This tart was on the menu for my Mother’s Day Brunch this year. I wanted to make an egg dish that was easy and elegant, and this definitely fit the bill. With both mascarpone cheese and gruyere, it definitely comes out as a cheesy treat. When I baked the crust for 10 minutes on its own, it sank a bit, but the filling still worked great in the tart pan and we were left with a delicious and cheesy egg dish, even if the crust wasn’t perfect. In the future I would probably try to weigh down the crust, using this technique from All Recipes. Continue reading
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
So apparently it’s National Granola Bar Day?
Last year on my Instagram feed, I started taking note of all of these National “food days.” I would be like, “Is it seriously granola bar day? Who comes up with this shit?”
I guess there is a “day” for just about any food you can think of, and while it’s totally bonkers ridiculous, I couldn’t help but put my favorite food days on my calendar, so I would be ready for 2015. And there we go – another one of my 2015 blogging goals. These “days” I will be celebrating represent recipes I have always wanted to try, maybe even recipes I didn’t know I wanted to try, but nonetheless things I have always thought would be fun to make.
So Granola Bars – Obviously one of my favorite things on earth. Easy, on the go, sometimes healthy, sometimes not. However, I had never made my own. They were always in store-bought form which is something I try to stay away from these days. Continue reading
Instead of making goals like, “Run for office” or “Do an Ironman” or “Save Money” I decide, “I need to make a different sugar cookie every month this year.” And so here we are. Month one. Sugar Cookie number one. I don’t really know if I can top this, they are easily one of the best treats I have ever created.
You see, this sugar cookie recipe is old, classic, and foolproof. There are so many fun directions you can go…Different frostings, different cookie cutters, different seasons…the possibilities are endless! One problem I have – I am the worst cookie decorator of all time.
But I will always say that taste trumps looks in the culinary world. Sure…it may look beautiful…but if it tastes bad, it’s all out the window. And so here we are. Basic, round sugar cookies…with maple frosting and crumbled bacon. Thank God for the invention of maple bacon everything!
I can’t really promise anything more amazing than this – there will be more sugar cookies…they just won’t be maple bacon. Most of the recipes this year will be using the classic sugar cookie dough recipe that Grammy used…a recipe that may be more near and dear to my heart than any other recipe out there. I’ll explore different ways to make these cookies fun, tasty, and seasonal! Now you know my goal and can hold me to it…And I will need to be sharing lots of cookies…
Christmas Breakfast 2014 may be my favorite yet – Lil’ Crescent Smokies and Spiced Apple Ebelskivers. We were able to whip these up pretty fast and eat everything WHILE opening presents…because we just love to multitask THAT much! The Lil’ Crescent Smokies are one of the best Christmas breakfast traditions that Jordan has introduced my family to…they are just so easy and so satisfying! For Ebelskivers, you have to have a special Ebelskiver pan, but the recipe below isn’t too difficult to bust out on Christmas day, since we made the apple filling the day before. I know I am past the Christmas due date…but you can totally eat this breakfast whenever you want.
Spiced Apple Ebelskivers
Adapted from Ebelskivers
Makes about 21 pancakes
For Classic Vanilla Ebelskiver Batter:
- 1 cup flour
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 1 cup whole milk (we have substituted nonfat before and it still works fine)
- 2 tbsp butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the Spiced Apple Filling:
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- 2 tart apples, such as Granny Smith or Honeycrisp, peeled, cored, and diced small
- powdered sugar, for dusting
- butter for the ebelskiver pan
For the Vanilla Batter:
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks, then whisk in the milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Add the yolk mixture to the flour mixture and, using a wooden spoon, stir until well blended. The batter will be slightly lumpy.
In a clean bowl, using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg whites until stiff, but not dry, peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, fold about one third of the egg whites into the batter to lighten it, then fold in the rest just until no white streaks remain. Use the batter right away.
For the Spiced apple filling (can be made a day ahead):
In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and cook, stirring to dissolve the sugar, just until bubble, 3-5 minutes. Add the apples, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring often, until the apples are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 200F. Brush the wells of an ebelskiver pan pan with some melted butter and place over medium heat. When the butter starts to bubble, add about 1 tablespoon of batter to each well. Working quickly, carefully spoon about 1 teaspoon of the apple filling into the center of each pancake. Top each with another 1 tablespoon batter.
Cook until the bottoms of the pancakes are lightly browned and crisp, 3-5 minutes. Use 2 short wooden skewers to turn all the pancakes and cook until lightly browned on the second side, about 3 minutes longer.
Transfer the finished pancakes to a platter and keep warm in the oven while you repeat to make 2 more batches. Dust the warm ebelskivers with powdered sugar and serve. These are great immediately, but we find the flavor of the apples comes out even more after the pancakes have cooled down, A cooled down ebelskiver dipped in hot maple syrup is really quite the party in your mouth!
Happy Saturday! Just a quick and easy little holiday breakfast recipe for you. My obsession with Smitten Kitchen continues…and I made this gingerbread dutch baby this morning. I didn’t stray too far from the original recipe, but I used a 10 inch cast iron skillet instead of a 9, cut back on the butter and used nonfat milk instead of whole. Enjoy!
Gingerbread Dutch Baby
Makes 1 (10 inch) Dutch Baby, serving 2
adapted from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp unsulfured molasses
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp (a dash or two) ground ginger
- pinch of ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp (dash or two) nutmeg
- dash salt
- 1/3 cup milk (I used nonfat, though the recipes suggests to use whole)
- 1 tbsp butter
- Powdered sugar and maple syrup, for serving
Preheat oven to 400F. Crack the eggs into a blender and run until they are pale in color. Add remaining ingredients except for the butter and powdered sugar, and process until smooth. Add the butter to the cast iron skillet (I used a 10 inch, though the recipe suggested a 9 inch) and put in the oven for a minute until the butter is melted. Swirl the butter around and up the sides, making sure the pan is nicely coated.
Pour the batter into the prepared skillet, and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the pancake has puffed up and browned a bit. Mine went in for the full 20 minutes and didn’t really poof until the last five minutes of baking.
Remove pancake from oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve slices directly from the cast iron skillet with warm maple syrup.
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.
My mom has made this jam every summer for YEARS. I can’t remember when it all started, but as a kid, after my first taste of this jam, there was no looking back. I could officially never eat store-bought strawberry jam EVER again. This homemade stuff was way too good. It doesn’t even resemble the store-bought strawberry jam…you know, that name brand everyone else buys…you just can’t do it after this jam.The proof lies within everyone who has had it, the biggest example being Jordan, who I am convinced maybe decided he was going to marry me after his first taste of this jam. The moment went along the lines of me making him some scones, which he had never had before. Obviously, this plays into the life-changing moment, but then he put some of the jam on top and freaked out. “What is this?!? This is homemade? How is it so good? Oh my god, this is the best jam I have ever had.” I couldn’t help but laugh at his jam freak-out…I mean, it’s just strawberries, sugar (a lot), and pectin. Nothing crazy. It’s just one of those things that is a bajillion times better when it’s homemade.Then I told him I didn’t even make the jam – it was actually my mom. Through college (and years after) I still was getting reloaded with jam from her every year. Even through this confession, I think Jordan knew deep down I would be making it one day, solidifying all PB&Js and toast in his future. Or he knew if he stayed with me, I would at least always have an arsenal of jam from my mom. But this year it was finally time!My mom and I made this jam together and it’s super easy, it just takes some time. It’s super worth it and super basic. Like I said earlier – it’s really nothing crazy or special. It’s actually from the side of the pectin box, which is probably why it’s been there for years and is so good. Anyone can do it, as long as you get past the fact it’s about a 2:1 ratio on sugar to berries. Don’t even worry about it – you are eating homemade goodness! It’s better than anything bought from the store. No weird ingredients you can’t pronounce. Everything in moderation, people – you may have a problem if you are like my Grandpa (Pompa) who eats this jam by the spoonful and can clear through a pint in a week (maybe days). But hey, the guy is 88 and also has been known to eat butter by itself, so I say just eat some damn jam every once in awhile and you will be okay.Also – this recipe is easily adaptable, the same recipe below can be followed with just about any fruit or combo thereof. Strawberry + mango happened this year, and WHOA. Just remember, 1 part berries, 2 parts sugar, 1 box pectin. We always make a few batches, we use at least 4 boxes of pectin every year so we can freeze, save, and give to friends. But if you are flying solo, 1 batch will keep you going for at least 6 months, maybe a year depending on your jam intake I think the biggest “secret” here is using the best local strawberries you can find. In the Portland area, the local strawberries are different than ones you buy at a grocery store, they are smaller, and much more delicate – they only last about a day after you buy them. This jam does turn out a little different if you use non-local store bought berries. Go to your farmers market or buy them from a road side stand if you can.
Mom’s homemade Strawberry Jam
adapted from the box of Sure Jell
makes about 5 cups of jam
- 2 pints fresh strawberries (preferably farmstand/farmer’s market berries)
- 4 cups of sugar
- 1 box (1.75 oz) of Sure Jell fruit pectin, or any other kind of fruit pectin
1. Wash and rinse plastic or glass containers with tight fitting lids. You can use 1-2 cup sized containers, or whatever you’d like depending on how many batches you are making. Try to make sure they are freezer-safe, as the jam freezes really well.
2. Prepare fruit. Wash 2 pints of strawberries, discard the stems. Crush berries using a potato masher, or you can pulse them in a food processor. Make sure you only PULSE them, do not puree. Your jam should have nice little bits of fruit.
3. Your 2 pints of strawberries should pretty much measure out to 2 cups crushed berries. Pour the 2 cups of berries into a large bowl. Add 4 cups of sugar to the bowl with the berries and stir well. Let stand for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not reduce the sugar or add a sugar substitute, or the pectin will not set!
4. Stir 1 box of pectin and 3/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Pectin may start out a little lumpy but just stir it around a bit more. Bring to a boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
5. Stir pectin mixture into strawberry mixture. Stir constantly until sugar is completely dissolved and no longer grainy, about 3 minutes.
6. Pour into prepared containers, leaving 1/2 inch space at the top for expansion during freezing; cover.
7. Let jam stand at room temperature for 24 hours until set. Refrigerate up to 3 weeks. Otherwise, store in freezer for up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator. This jam is good on everything. Scones, Biscuits, Waffles, Sandwiches, stirred into yogurt, you really have endless possibilities! My mom has even used this jam as the middle layers on white cakes. And it’s amazing.