In terms of recipes, we have a lot of options these days. I think it’s safe to say we probably have too many recipes available to us…it can be very daunting. Regardless of reviews, you really never know how something is going to turn out until you make it and taste it for yourself.
I’m starting to realize this blog may as well be the fan page of Smitten Kitchen, where I make all of her food and gush about it on a regular basis. The hardest part? Her recipes are so good I barely ever have to adapt them. They are so perfect I feel like I must post them here and then I’m just regurgitating her amazingness when you should probably just head over to her blog and see for yourself. Continue reading
These rolls…are a triumph. From someone who loves bread but has always been terrified of actually making it at home…I just kind of can’t believe it.
Yes, this recipe took time, but it wasn’t hard at all! And the result was the most amazing, flavorful, and fun rolls that made my husband swoon and me just kind of sit there in disbelief of the awesomeness.
And the entire reason I made them…was baking bootcamp. A worthy installation of baking challenges from Joy the Baker that have officially made me never afraid of making yeasty bready things again! Continue reading
This pie was concocted during what we will call “The Great Apple Pie Test Session” by Lulu. She was determined to find an apple pie recipe worth making again and again. The best part about this “session” was:
1. All I did was taste test
2. She tried completely different pie recipes, so different you can barely compare them. (Apple Tart Tatin and Slab Pies are from 2 completely different families, I am quite sure the french would not be caught dead using the word slab, it’s probably not even in their dictionary).
I am most definitely NOT french and we can talk about “slabs” and eat them together all you want! And, as I will make sure to repeatedly tell you, give me a dessert in the form of a bar (I mean slab) anytime over a “slice.” I’m an on-the-go girl, and need to have as many bites of my dessert before I make it to the couch. I mean, the treadmill…
During this grand experiment, my mom discovered what may be the secret to pie crust: part butter, part shortening. We barely adapted Smitten Kitchen’s Slab pie recipe, and all we changed was the crust having both butter and lard (crisco, shortening, whatever).
Let’s talk Thanksgiving – if there is one thing I have never understood, it’s having TWO potato dishes – mashed potatoes AND a sweet potato casserole. I get it if you are having 30 people over for Thanksgiving…yeah, you are going to need a lot of dishes and a lot of food. But for a smaller get together, I feel like a person should only have to worry about 1 potato dish and leave room for the other good stuff – stuffing, rolls, veggie sides…and DESSERT.
If you want both, I think a sweet potato pie is the way to go! We have the same idea as a pumpkin pie going here – but instead we use real sweet potatoes! Doesn’t that make you feel great about yourself? And pssst – I really think this sweet potato pie is better than pumpkin pie!
The only thing about smoked salmon is you can never have enough. Have you ever been to party where there is just extra smoked salmon laying around? No. It’s always the first thing to go because it’s so. damn. good. When I saw Shutterbean’s post on this smoked salmon spread, I pretty much wanted to cry because I too have been late to the smoked salmon plate before. And then it was just…obvious…Smoked Salmon spread is so easy to make, and it solves the problem of all the salmon disappearing before the bagels and crackers do! And it’s super adaptable and easy, you can easily adjust to your taste!
Smoked Salmon Spread
adapted from Shutterbean
makes about 1 1/2 cups, serves 6-8
- 1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese, at room temperature
- about 4 oz smoked salmon, roughly chopped and divided
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1-2 tsp of capers (a little bit of juice from the jar is fine, I opted to do this instead of adding milk or greek yogurt to thin it out slightly).
- dash of hot pepper sauce (such as tabasco or sriracha)
- 1 tbsp. fresh or dried dill (you may want to scale it back to 1 tsp, we really like dill over here)
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
PRO TIP: Instead of cream cheese, try Neufchâtel cheese! It’s always right by the cream cheese at the store and often contains less fat and calories than regular cream cheese. And whoa – tastes almost the same.
- fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish, or you can mix a little in!
- 1 tbsp milk or greek yogurt – if your cream cheese is too thick you may want to thin it out with another dairy product.
- a few tbsp. red onion, mix it in or serve it on the side for the onion-o-phobes
- want some kick? Add a dash of horseradish
- Lemon slices always make a pretty garnish…
Combine the cream cheese, at least 2 oz of the salmon, lemon juice, capers, hot sauce, pepper, and dill to a small food processor and process until smooth. Want more salmon in there? Then add the rest. It’s a nice touch to keep a little bit of salmon set aside to garnish the dip, but you don’t need much.
Serve with crackers for a nice pre-dinner appetizer, or serve at brunch (who are we kidding, eat this whenever you want), with bagels, tomatoes, red onion and fresh slices of lemon.
Make Ahead: Dip can be made up to 2 days in advance and stored in an air-tight container in the fridge.
Crumbles…Cobblers…Crisps? Aren’t they all the same thing? All I know is they are all delish. However, I haven’t made many in my life, they are one of those easy things that I always blow off and instead I go make some *new* or *trendy* thing…which never turns out as good as one of the classics. Stick with the classics people! They are still around for a reason!So the lovely Lulu found this amazing guide on The Kitchn and I just have to share the whole thing here. It really lends itself to “wingin it” and just going for it. We made a blackberry, blueberry, and nectarine crisp going off of this guide. It’s probably the best thing I have eaten all summer long.
How to Make a Fruit Crumble, Cobbler, or Crisp
from The Kitchn
Makes one 8″x8″ square pan, 9″ pie pan, or use individual ramekins
For the filling:
6 – 7 cups fruit, enough to almost fill pan
1/2 – 1 cup sugar, to taste
1-3 teaspoons lemon juice, to taste
1-3 tablespoons cornstarch, depending on juiciness of fruit
1 teaspoon spice, like cinnamon, ginger, or nutmeg (optional)
For the crumble topping:
1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (4 ounces) brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
ICE CREAM FOR TOPPING!!!
Heat oven to 375°F.
1. Prepare the Fruit Filling: If necessary, dice the fruit into bite-sized pieces. Toss the fruit with sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, and any spices. Use more sugar and less lemon juice when cooking with tart fruits like rhubarb and blackberries, and less sugar but more lemon juice for sweet fruits like peaches and plums. Best is to taste a piece of fruit and adjust to taste. Use more cornstarch with very juicy fruits like plums and less with firm fruits like apples. But don’t worry; no matter your ratio of these ingredients, your crumble will be delicious.
Pour the fruit filling into the baking dish.
2. Prepare the Crumble Topping: Thoroughly mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt for the crumble topping. Break the butter into a few large pieces and toss these in the dry ingredients. Using your fingers, a fork, or a pastry cutter, work the butter into the dry ingredients until large heavy crumbs are formed.
3. Top the Fruit Filling: Pour the crumble topping evenly over the fruit.
4. Bake the Crumble: Bake the crumble for 30-35 minutes until the fruit juices are bubbling around the edges of the pan and the topping is firm to the touch.
5. Cool and Store the Crumble: Let the crumble cool for at least 15 minutes before eating. If transporting to a picnic or party, let the crumble cool completely to give the fruit filling time to set. Crumbles will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to a week. Serve cold, room temperature, or re-warmed in a low oven for 20 minutes.
• Using a 9″x13″ Pan: Increase the fruit to 10-11 cups, adjusting the other filling ingredients to match. Increase all the crumble topping ingredients by half (1 1/2 cups flour, etc.), except for the baking powder.
• To Make a Crisp: Add 1/2 cup of old-fashioned rolled oats or 1/2 cup chopped nuts (or both) to the topping.
• To Make a Cobbler: Press the crumbs into biscuit-sized patties and arrange them in a single layer over the fruit.
• Flour Substitutions: Try subbing another flour for all or some of the AP flour in this recipe. Almond flour, spelt flour, and barley flour would all make delicious crumbles and cobblers.
• Sugar Substitutions: Swap the brown sugar for white sugar for a lighter flavor, especially for cobblers. Feel free to experiment with other sugars in your cupboard as well.
I’m one of those people who can shamelessly polish off about a pound of trail mix in under five minutes. And I’m not picky either…Yes, I like to make sure I’m getting a balanced handful, and I never pick out all of the chocolate before everything else. You’ve gotta plan ahead for the last perfect bite!These cookies make trail mix less complicated. All the goodness of trail mix in one cookie. Totally portable, and perfect for a road trip or camping weekend. And if you are a germ-o-phobe (I’m def not) these are good because a bunch of people aren’t sticking their hands into one bag…
This recipe can be adapted. I almost added butterscotch chips, but wanted to keep it as classic as possible. Peanut butter chips, other nuts, golden raisins, tons of other stuff would work, make your own favorite trail mix into a cookie!
Trail Mix Cookies
adapted from the Joy the Baker Cookbook
makes about 3 dozen cookies
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups M&M chocolate candies
- 1 cup coarsely chopped roasted and salted peanuts
- 3/4 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together oats, flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together butt and sugars until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating on medium speed for 1 minute between each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl as necessary. Beat in the vanilla until thoroughly incorporated.
Stop the mixer and add the flour mixture all at once. Beat on low speed until just cinforporated. Add the M&M’s, peanuts, and raisins. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and finish incorporating the cookie batter with a spatula.
Roll generous tablespoonfuls into balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.
Cookies will last at room temperature in an airtight container for about 5 days.