To Make / Vegan Peach Panna Cotta

 
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     Hi there! Peaches are abundant at every market right now, and nothing says middle-of-summer like a ripe peach. To bring in peach season right, I figured a healthy-ish peach panna cotta would be the perfect summery Italian treat! Panna cotta is a cream based, gelatinized dessert that can have any flavor you want (thought typical flavors are vanilla or coffee). To make it a little more acceptable for eating by the bowl-full, I switched out the cream with coconut milk - which also allows me to forgo the gelatin as that always creeps me out when I have to use it for some reason. When refrigerated, coconut milk forms a thick and smooth texture, much like a gelatin! With the addition of a few sprigs of mint from our garden, this dessert is as refreshing as it gets (which is ideal considering the relentless heat)! Get the full recipe below!

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Ingredients:

- one ripe peach

- one large sprig of mint

- one can of full-fat coconut milk

- 1/4 cup of honey

- 1 tsp. of vanilla

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Directions:

1. Slice and dice your peach, and tear up your mint!

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2. Purée the peaches and mint together in a blender, along with a little water. 

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3. Combine peach mixture with can of coconut milk, honey, and vanilla in a stand mixer. Mix until fully combined and then pour into two small ramekins or into one large bowl, then refrigerate for 20 minutes.

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4. Serve with more peaches + mint. Enjoy!

    Thanks for reading, and have a fun Wednesday!

To Share / Our Weekend + Rosato Sangria

 
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     Good morning! I took a bit of June off from doing much of anything, what with vacation and the almost rude heat we had, but I'm back! After my long absence, I thought it'd be fun to share a few snapshots from our weekend along with this week's recipe: rosato sangria. First up, my Italian twist on the spanish batch cocktail! 

    My best friend Cat was in town on Friday from St. Louis, so I made this for our favorite pastime - pizza, netflix, and gabbing. It was delicious and fresh, and what we didn't finish lasted me the rest of the weekend! Ahhh, batch cocktails. Get the how-to below!

Ingredients:

- A bottle of dry-ish rosato wine (the Italian version of rosé)

- half a cup of vodka

- sparkling water

- fresh strawberries, quartered

- ice

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Directions:

1. Add strawberries and ice to a tall pitcher. Then pour in your vodka, rosé, and top with enough sparkling water to fill your pitcher. Stir and pour over ice - enjoy!

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      Our weekend mostly consisted of lounging in the A/C, venturing out of doors solely to play in our kiddie pool in the backyard or to peruse the farmers market. Bailey only found the farmers market acceptable because she got to pick one thing to purchase - and shocker! It was blueberries. 

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     I picked up a delicious scone from a local bakery, those blueberries, some fresh eucalyptus, a lavender kombucha, and wild baby carrots!

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       As of typing this, these carrots are about gone. They go perfectly with some red pepper hummus! 

      All-in-all, it was a very nice weekend despite the heat! Our plans for the Fourth are to set off some fireworks in Columbia, then head to the lake for the weekend. I'm looking forward to whipping up this Grand Aioli and roasting some s'mores! Thanks for reading, and have a fun Tuesday!

To Make / Homemade Ricotta

 
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     Buongiorno friends! With summer weather in full swing, it's time to head to Italy - or to their food, at least! Full disclosure: I have been to Italy, and we did eat a lot of delicious food (mainly gelato) while there - but I want to dive deeper than just the standard Italian food that everyone and their nonna has had. Italy has many different regions (that were all their own sovereign states up until the mid-19th century - yup, Italy wasn't unified until about 150 years ago), and therefore, many different cuisines. I want to explore all of them - starting with a cornerstone of many Italian regions: ricotta! You can buy a tub of ricotta in any grocery store, but it's one of the easiest cheeses to make at home - and now that I've made it, I think it tastes 5,000 times better than store bought. I smeared mine on whole wheat toast, and made a quick strawberry jam from the strawberries in our garden - very simple, very fresh, and one of the most delicious things I've eaten in awhile! Find the recipe below, and happy cheese-making!

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     Ingredients: 

- 3 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar

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Directions:

1. Combine milk, heavy cream, and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until warm. Turn up your heat slightly, and add vinegar and lemon juice. Continue to stir occasionally until mixture curdles - about 5 minutes. 

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2. Remove from heat and pour over a cheesecloth into your container. Let strain for about 20 minutes. 

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3. Once strained, use as you like! The ricotta will keep for about a week in the fridge. 

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4. Enjoy! (Preferably the Italian way - on bread with fruit and an espresso :))

    Thanks for reading, and have a fun Tuesday!

To Grill / Honey Ginger Kebabs

 
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     Good morning! For my second and last Asian-inspired recipe of Spring (the quickest season here - it's already consistently 85-90+ degrees every day), I decided to work with a new-to-me ingredient - ginger! Obviously, I've had ginger-flavored things before, but I've never used it myself. Seeing as it's a prevalent flavor in many Asian dishes, now seemed as good a time as any to try it out! Using Half Baked Harvest's recipe for a honey-ginger glaze for salmon, I whipped up my own glaze for chicken kebabs instead, as chicken is the favored protein in my house (I like salmon now, but am generally outnumbered by Brett and Bailey on this subject). Post-grilling, I de-skewered the chicken, onions, and peppers, and combined them with quinoa, mango, and more sauce. It was the perfect bright lunch for my Friday! Get the recipe below!

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Ingredients: Honey Ginger Glaze

- 1 tablespoon sesame oil

- 2/3 cup of honey

- 2 tbs. of sambal oelek

- 2 tbs. soy sauce

- 1 in piece of peeled ginger, minced

- juice of one lime

Ingredients: Kebab Bowl

- 2 small chicken tenderloins

- a few slices of red pepper and onion, chopped

- 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa

- 1/4 cup of diced mango

- 1/2 cup of Honey Ginger Glaze

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Directions:

1. Whisk together all ingredients for glaze and set aside.

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2. Skewer your chicken, peppers, and onions while grill heats up. Then baste kebabs with glaze and grill. 

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3. Remove from grill and baste again. 

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4. Prepare your bowl: combine quinoa with grilled meat, peppers, and onions. 

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5. Top with mango and more glaze.

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7. Enjoy!

    Thanks for reading, and have a fun Monday! We'll see you back here next week for our first recipe inspired by (you guessed it) Italy! 

To Blend / A Cucumber Mint Cooler

 
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     Good morning! When planning out this season's recipes, I decided I want to focus on a different region's cuisine for each season. Each different region has a distinct seasonal feel to it's classic dishes, and the one the screamed spring to me was Asia! Asian cuisine is so veggie focused, with bright and fresh flavors that make the most sense for spring dishes - so with that, I'll introduce this cocktail to you. 

      Cucumbers are growing on me, and are ripe for the picking at the moment. We have some  in our garden, but until they too are ready to be harvested, farmer's market ones are the best option! Our mint in the garden, however, is constantly sprouting leaves and happens to pair perfectly with cucumber. Those two ingredients are the bones of this cocktail, and make for the perfect apertif on a warm spring evening. Get the full recipe below!

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Ingredients:

- 1 small cucumber, peeled

- a handful of mint leaves, plus a couple for garnishing 

- 1/2 cup of vodka

- 1/2 cup of lemon juice

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Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender.

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2. Blend until smooth and thin.

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3. Pour and garnish with mint leaves. Enjoy!

      Thanks for reading! I don't want to fully reveal where we're metaphorically visiting for the summer season, but I will say one thing - the goal of the summer will be living la dolce vita. ;) Have a fun week!

To Make / An Ideal Spring Dinner

 
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      Hi there! It's finally warm every day here now, and that means I'm craving all things fresh and simple for meals. On weeknights, it's a marathon to get good food on the table and bottoms in seats at a reasonable hour - so I usually opt for only one component of a dinner that takes more than 15 minutes to prepare, with the rest being assembled in that short time frame! This Monday, that took the form of grilled cheeses, accompanied by sweet potato fries (the time-consuming menu item) and tiger salad. 

     I know you've heard me ramble about grilled cheese and sweet potato fries before, but let me introduce you to tiger salad! Tiger salad is a cooling and refreshing cucumber salad from Northern China, with a bit of spice and sesame flavor to it. It typically uses lettuce in the place of cilantro, but I have A LOT of cilantro on hand right now - so it got tossed in instead! Cilantro brings a lot of flavor to this dish, and I think I'd prefer it here over lettuce anyways. I also made the addition of carrots, for the sake of using them up and adding more veggies! Get the full recipe below, along with my sweet potato fries recipe. 

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Sweet Potato Fries:

- 2 large sweet potatoes

- 2 tbs. olive oil

- 1 tbs. oregano

- 1 tbs. cumin

- a dash of salt + pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 and slice your sweet potatoes into sticks. 

2. Toss raw sweet potatoes in olive oil and your herbs, then arrange on an oiled baking sheet.

3. Roast for 45 minutes, flipping the fries after 15 minutes.

4. Serve warm and enjoy!

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Tiger Salad:

 - 2 mini cucumbers

- half a carrot

- a handful of cilantro

- 1 tbs. of apple cider vinegar

- 1 tbs. of sesame oil

- 1 tbs. of sambal oelek

- green onions

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Directions:

1. Slice your cucumbers, carrots, and green onions. Mince your cilantro.

2. In your salad bowl, mix your vinegar, oil, and sambal oelek with your veggies.

3. Serve immediately and enjoy!

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Wednesday!

To Recap / #The100DayProject's First 20 Days!

 
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Chicken Cordon Bleu

     Good morning! Just wanted to pop in and share what I've made so far in #the100DayProject challenge. Below, a list and some photos for your viewing pleasure!

#100foodfinds Day's 1-20:

1. Cashew Milk

2. Sweet Potato Chips

3. Pickled Onions

4. Baked Potato Broccoli Cheddar Soup

5. Baked Blueberry Donuts

6. Poached Eggs

7. BBQ Roasted Chickpeas

8. "Lara" bars

9. Chicken Cordon Bleu

10. Bechamel

11. Oven-fried Chicken

12. Date Shake

13. Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookies

14. Puffed Quinoa

15. Bolognese

16. Mango con Chili y Limon

17. Jalapeno Simple Syrup + a Salty Dog cocktail

18. Pie Crust

19. Whole Stem Garlic

20. Deep-fried Oreos

  Strawberry Pie with Homemade Pie Crust

Strawberry Pie with Homemade Pie Crust

  Baked Potato Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Baked Potato Broccoli Cheddar Soup

  Sweet Potato Chips

Sweet Potato Chips

  White Pizza with Homemade Bechamel Sauce and Homemade Neapolitan Style Crust

White Pizza with Homemade Bechamel Sauce and Homemade Neapolitan Style Crust

  Poached Eggs on Sourdough with Pickled Red Onions and Parmesan

Poached Eggs on Sourdough with Pickled Red Onions and Parmesan

  A Spicy Salty Dog Cocktail using homemade Jalapeno Simple Syrup

A Spicy Salty Dog Cocktail using homemade Jalapeno Simple Syrup

  Homemade Coconut "Lara" Bars

Homemade Coconut "Lara" Bars

  Deep. Fried. Oreos. Life = made.

Deep. Fried. Oreos. Life = made.

To Bake / Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

 
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     Hi there! If you're a 90's kid like moi, the movie Parent Trap (the Lindsay Lohan remake, not the original 1961 film - which was good but the styles are definitely different!) was probably a favorite of yours at the time! At least, I know my sisters and I loved it/still love it! Anywho, there are many things about the movie that were inspiring, but one of my favorite things I got from it was a new food combo: Oreo's dipped in peanut butter. At first it sounded strange, but if Lindsay Lohan said it was good, then we were all at least trying it (oh to be young and impressionable LOL)! I may be an adult now, but my chocolate-loving heart still thinks of this combo anytime I buy a jar of peanut butter. This time around, I decided to act on the whim, and whip something new up in compliance with #the100DayProject! I've never made peanut butter cookies, so I decided to take the classic recipe and amplify it with chocolate for the ultimate Parent Trap dream cookie! They delivered, and I'm so excited to share the recipe here! Get the how-to below!

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Ingredients:

- 1 + 1/2 cups AP flour

- 1/2 cup cocoa powder

- 1/2 tsp. baking soda

- pinch of sea salt

- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened

- 1/2 cup brown sugar

- 1/2 cup sugar

- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (I used all natural, so it's way more drizzly than regular, but either one works!)

- 1 egg

- 1 tsp. vanilla

- 2 tbs. milk (if your dough is still too dry, up it to 1/4 cup)

- 1 cup of chocolate chips

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Directions:

1. Mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt - set aside. In a stand mixer, cream butter and scrape down the sides. Then, beat in both sugars and peanut butter. Lastly, add egg and vanilla. 

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2. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and beat until combined. Add in milk and chocolate chips. Chill in fridge for 30 minutes, then preheat oven to 350. Using an ice cream scoop, make dough balls and place on oiled baking sheet. 

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3. Bake for 11 minutes, and let cool for five if you must! ;)

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4. Serve after a meal of chili (I hope you get the Parent Trap reference :)) and enjoy! 

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Wednesday!

To Brew / Rose Almond Milk

 
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       Hi there! With spring beginning yesterday (can I get an amen?!), I thought it apt to share a new take on my basic ol' almond milk. I use almond milk every day in smoothies and in my coffee - but it can get a little dull every now and then to be so monotonous. That being said, I set out to create a fresh flavor with almond milk by making the additions of a little rose water, vanilla, and honey! It's simple, obviously floral, and slightly sweet - just what I needed to switch things up. Get the full recipe below!

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Ingredients:

- 1 cup of almond milk

- 1 tsp. of rose water

- 1 tsp. of vanilla

- 1 tsp. of honey

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Directions:

1. Heat your almond milk either on the stove until steaming or in the microwave for a minute and a half. 

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2. Whisk in your rose water, vanilla, and honey. 

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3. Serve warm on it's own (it was delicious!) or use in your coffee/smoothies!

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Wednesday!

To Make / Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

 
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     Good morning! This is one of those recipes that came out of wondering what the heck I'm going to do with a mostly full jar of (insert ingredient here)?! You know - those ingredients that you buy for a specific recipe that only uses a spoonful of said ingredient. It's usually something obscure that is really only used in that one recipe. Now, I really hate wasting food, so last week when I bought ricotta for a pasta dish (surprisingly, not lasagna) and still had the majority of the tub left after making the pasta, I had a pretty good brainstorming session. I racked my brain for a minute on what one does with a full tub of ricotta, and then it hit me - a memory of lemon ricotta pancakes that Brett and I had at our B+B in Denver two years ago! SOLD. I immediately searched for a simple lemon ricotta pancake recipe and scored with this one. Luckily, I already had literally all of the ingredients on hand, and guys - these are the best pancakes I've ever made! They're fluffy (thanks, random ricotta), tart, and sweet all at once. You can definitely say this is a "when life gives you ricotta (and also, ironically, lemons)..." situation. Get the full recipe below!

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Ingredients: Blueberry Compote

  • 1 cup of fresh blueberries
  • 1 tbs. of honey

Ingredients: Pancakes

  • 1 1/4 cups AP flour
  • 3 tbs.'s sugar
  • 2 tsp.'s baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 1 tbs. melted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp.'s lemon zest
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Directions: 

1. Preheat your griddle to 350, and grease. In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients. In another bowl, whisk together ricotta, butter, eggs, egg whites, lemon juice, and zest. 

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2. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients bowl and mix until just combined. Scoop out your batter onto the griddle to form pancakes. Cook for two minutes until bubbles form on top, then flip and let cook until browned.

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3. While pancakes are cooking, make your blueberry sauce by combining blueberries and honey in a small skillet. Mash together with a fork and let cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

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4. Once pancakes are done, serve warm and top with your blueberry compote. Enjoy!

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Wednesday!

To Mix / A Spring Bloody Mary

 
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      Good morning! Tomorrow is finally March, and my mind completely disregards the technical start date of the spring equinox, so from tomorrow until summer - I'll be in spring mode! I've been craving a bloody mary to go along with weekend brunch for a little bit, so this past weekend, I made it happen! It was the perfect opportunity to shoot the pretty red drink as it was incredibly sunny (a la spring!) and the perfect weather for brunch on our porch. I could get used to this! Now, my spring twist on this is simple: black pepper and lemon. I like to stick with a spicy tomato and carrot juice base and only add a little flavoring to complement it! Get the recipe below!

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Ingredients:

- 1 glass of spicy tomato/carrot juice (if you don't like the spice, feel free to get whichever tomato juice you like!)

- 1 shot of vodka

- half a lemon

- black pepper

- ice

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Directions:

1. Pour your tomato juice into your glass, over ice, then add in the vodka.

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2. Sprinkle black pepper on top, then squeeze your lemon into the drink.

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3. Stir and enjoy!

     Thanks for reading, and be on the lookout for my second brunch recipe for the week on Friday! Have a fun Wednesday!

To Bake / Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

 
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      Happy Valentines Day! I've been trying to decide what to make for this love-filled holiday (and for me, it's a celebration of all love, and that includes self-love - so even if you're spending it alone, there's still cause to celebrate!), and landed on these salted caramel stuffed chocolate cookies from the Half Baked Harvest cookbook! They're rich and gooey, almost like a brownie! I'd also like to note that they were gone by the end of the night after I made them, so it's safe to say Brett was a fan. Get the recipe below!

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Ingredients:

- 1/2 cup of flour + 2 tbs.

- 2 tbs. of cocoa powder

- 1/4 tsp. of salt

- 1/4 tsp. of baking soda

- 3 large eggs

- 2 tsp. of vanilla

- 1/2 cup of sugar

- 6 tbs. of butter

- 4 oz. of dark chocolate

- 2 cups of chocolate chips

- Ghirardelli Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Squares

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Directions:

1. Melt your butter, dark chocolate, and chocolate chips in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir consistently until fully melted. 

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2. In a mixing bowl, beat together your eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Then mix in your melted chocolate + butter mixture. Add your flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder, and mix until combined. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour minimum, or overnight.

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3. After the dough is chilled, preheat your oven to 350 and scoop out small golf ball sized portions onto a greased cooking sheet. Flatten each ball with a spoon and place a piece of the chocolate caramel squares on each cookie. 

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Had to do a close up on those chocolates!

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4. Scoop out slightly smaller balls of dough and place one on each cookie on top of the caramel. Flatten with your spoon and smooth the edges together. Sprinkle tops with sea salt a la Bailey. 

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5. Bake for 10 minutes, and serve warm with a glass of milk. Enjoy!

To Blend / Blood Orange Smoothies

 
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     Good morning! I've recently realized a food philosophy I've been subconsciously following for awhile, and that is focusing on one fruit and one veggie that I really love each season. For fall it's sweet potatoes and figs, for summer it was strawberries and spinach (which is pretty seasonless, but it pairs best with summer produce in my opinion), and spring makes me crave asparagus and honeydew melon! I started realizing this pattern of focusing on basically two produce items when I was deciding what I wanted for smoothies (typically my daily lunch). I landed on kale and citrus, and have been sticking to that for the past couple of months! Kale is so nutrient dense, citrus is highly beneficial this season (looking at you flu), and both keep me feeling great and energized!

     Now, today's smoothie recipe doesn't have kale, because I'm a visual person and really wanted to see how these gorgeous blood oranges blended up. :)  Feel free to add a handful of kale though, as it couldn't hurt! Get the full recipe below!

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Ingredients:

- 1 blood orange peeled and segmented (feel free to use any citrus you like!)

- 1 tsp. of turmeric or a golden turmeric blend (I've been using this one from Moondeli and love it)

- 1 cup of almond milk

- 1 sliced + frozen banana

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Directions:

1. Gather your ingredients and add them to a blender, almond milk first.

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2. Blend on high until smooth and frothy.

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3. Serve in your tallest glass and enjoy (preferably with a little stinker who enjoys vying for the first sip)!

To Make / Grilled Cheese

 
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     Good morning! Last week, I was craving an adultified grilled cheese. Enter: pears + brie! After deciding I needed a grilled cheese in my life, I was searching for seasonal fruits that aren't citrus (I'm currently chipping away at a giant bag of blood oranges - smoothie recipe coming next week!), and realized pears are in season. Score! They're the apple of winter, and go so well with cheese and a little honey. A sweet and creamy perfection! Get the recipe below!

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Ingredients:

- a few slices of brie

- a few slices of fresh pear

- 2 slices of bread of choice (I used sourdough!)

- a drizzle of honey

- mayo

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Directions:

1. Heat a greased skillet on medium, then spread mayo on your bread on the sides that will be grilled. Place your first piece of bread in the skillet, mayo side down, and top with your cheese and pears. Drizzle with honey, and place second piece of bread on top. 

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2. Cover with your skillet lid (this will contain the steam and help the cheese melt faster) and let grill until the cheese is melted. Then flip and let grill for 1-2 minutes, until bread is golden brown. 

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3. Slice and serve with your favorite chips/pretzels!

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Enjoy! 

Thanks for reading, and have a fun Wednesday! I'll be back next week with that yummy citrus smoothie!

To Bake / Nutella Challah

 
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      Hi there! It's the middle of January, and Columbia is blanketed in snow - which means most of us want to be literally blanketed 24/7. We are thawing as I speak though, so the outdoors are slowly becoming more appealing! Until then, I'm noshing (to use the appropriate Yiddish term, considering this recipe) on this Nutella challah to stay cozy on the inside. I've never made challah before, and I've only eaten it once when a Jewish friend made it (along with matzo ball soup - YUM) to celebrate passover for our dorm building in college. I've never forgotten how delicious his traditional take on the bread was, and have been waiting for the perfect recipe to try my hand at it! 

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       I found said recipe in the Half Baked Harvest cookbook, and knew I wanted to make it this winter asap! While it is filled with Nutella, the actual bread of it is healthy-ish. It does have sugar, but it's only 3 tablespoons! It also has whole wheat flour, and olive oil instead of butter. In my opinion, these whole ingredients negate the bad ones! :) Get the recipe below, and have fun making this - I know I did!

Ingredients: 

- 1 cup of warm water

- 1 packet (2 + 1/4 tsp.) of instant yeast

- 3 tbs. of brown sugar

- 1/4 cup of olive oil

- 2 eggs

- 1 + 1/2 tsp. of salt

- 2 cups of whole wheat flour

- 2 cups of AP flour

- Nutella

- 1 egg, beaten

Directions:

1. In a stand mixer, using the dough hook, combine the yeast, warm water, brown sugar, olive oil, eggs, and salt. With the mixer still running, add the flours and mix until the dough comes together - about 5 minutes. Knead the dough on medium speed for another 2 minutes. Knead by hand until smooth and return to mixing bowl. Cover and let sit for 1 hour in a warm place (I usually put mine on top of my fridge!).

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2. Knead dough again, and let sit for another 30 minutes. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface, and divide it into 3 equal balls. Roll each ball into a 12 inch rope, and roll out the ropes flat.

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3. Spread Nutella onto each piece, and tightly roll each into a rope again. Pinch the edges to seal.

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4. Grease a rimmed baking sheet, and lay out each rope side by side, seam side down. Pinch together the tops of the ropes, and braid them together. Do this by placing the far right rope over the center rope, and then the far left over the now center (originally far right) rope. Continue this until you reach the end of the ropes, and pinch the ends together.

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5. Brush some beaten egg over the loaf, and let sit for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350, and brush the loaf again. 

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6. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm (and with even more Nutella if you're chocolate-crazed like me), and enjoy!

To Brew / Winter Glow Tonic

 
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     Hi there! I don't know about you, but I've been having to adjust my skincare and water intake, to make up for the crazy dry winter we are enduring. Missouri always seems to be humid, but this winter, it has flipped the switch! In turn, my skin has been about the driest I can ever remember! I've added a facial oil, started drinking even more water than I already was (which is a lot), and now - this winter glow tonic. So far, so good! 

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      I've been able to re-balance, thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric. I posted a golden milk drink awhile back, and this is a riff on that - but this one is more catered to this particularly challenging season. My best friend Cat got me a trio of herbal supplement powders, which you can add to warm or cold drinks, and I'm loving all of them! For a warming winter drink, I've turned to the Golden Turmeric. It includes turmeric (obvs), ginger, cardamom, black pepper, and pink salt. So simple! The ginger is the real kicker though, as it boosts your immune system. I think we could all use some of that this time of year!

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      This tonic is my favorite thing for an afternoon pick-me-up, and I wanted to share how I make it today! Ya know, just in case anyone else needs a little something to perk up their dark winter days. Get the how-to below!

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Ingredients:

- 1 cup of cashew milk (or any kind of milk you like!)

- 1 tsp. of golden turmeric blend (you can also use just straight up turmeric, up to you!)

- 1 tbs. of honey

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Directions:

1. Heat your milk until warmed through, then stir in your turmeric and whisk in your honey. Enjoy!

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Tuesday! I'll see you back here on Thursday with a review of my new favorite cookbook!

To Make / Spicy Cauliflower Soup

 
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     Hi there! I changed up the site yesterday to reflect the new direction I've taken towards posting mostly about food. I'm loving the new site and hope you do too! The new design is much more geared towards the content I've got lined up for this awesome new year, so get excited for some new posts! My first one for 2018 is a delicious and spicy soup from my new favorite cookbook by Half Baked Harvest (thanks mom + dad!!). I'm dedicating a whole post to the book next week, because I can't not share it's contents, but for now I'd like to present you with my adaptation on Tieghan's curried cauliflower soup! I switched out the curry for the Indonesian sambal oelek, as I've never been the biggest fan of curry. Also, I omitted the coconut milk in favor of greek yogurt, as that's what I had on hand! Now, this recipe is only in her book (you can purchase your own copy here), but she has a similar recipe on her blog with squash instead of cauliflower, so I'd highly recommend giving that one a try! In the meantime, see my warming cauliflower soup below: 

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Ingredients:

- 1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets

- 6 cloves of garlic

- 4 tbs. of olive oil

- 1/2 of an onion, diced

- 2 tbs. of sambal oelek

- 1 tsp. of smoked paprika

- sprinkle of cinnamon

- 1 cup of greek yogurt

- 3-4 cups of broth, any kind will work

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Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425. Roast cauliflower and garlic on a baking sheet for 25 minutes. While the cauliflower is roasting, heat your olive oil in a large dutch oven or pot. When it shimmers, add onion and cook until fragrant, about 8 minutes. Then, add your spices and sambal oelek, and saute for another minute. Add 1 cup of broth, and stir in the greek yogurt, then let simmer until cauliflower is done. 

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2. Once cauliflower is roasted, take your pot off the heat, and let cool slightly. Pour into a blender or food processor, and then add your cauliflower and garlic. Blend until smooth. 

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3. Return soup to pot and add 2 more cups of broth and stir. Simmer over medium heat until soup is heated through, then ladle into bowls and serve with warm naan or buns. Enjoy!

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun weekend! I'll be back next week to talk the Half Baked Harvest cookbook, and to share a golden milk tonic that's been helping alleviate all of the sinus yuck we've been having this winter! 

To Bake / Chocolate Sugar Cookies

 
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     Good morning! Growing up, we always made sugar cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve, and I wanted to do something similar with Bailey this year. We didn't make them on Christmas Eve, I'll be making chocolate chip cookies because that's Santa's (i.e. Brett's) preference this year, and cinnamon rolls for the next morning from scratch - another family tradition, c/o my dad (although we always enjoyed Pilsbury instead, but who doesn't?!)! Even though chocolate chip will be on Santa's plate this year, I still wanted Bailey to get to do the cookie cutters and icing aspect of Christmas cookies. However, sugar cookies are one of my least favorite cookies, so I added some cocoa powder! They turned out better than I expected (duh, chocolate). They have a brownie taste with a sugar cookie texture, and in my opinion, that's a huge upgrade to the original cookie! See for yourself below, and peep Bailey getting in on the action. She had a blast! 

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Ingredients:

- 1 cup of butter (2 sticks) - room temperature

- 1 cup of sugar

- 1 egg

- 1 + 1/2 tsp. of vanilla

- 2 cups of AP flour

- 3/4 cup of cocoa powder

- pinch of salt

Directions:

1. Mix together butter and sugar, then add your egg and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add to the wet mixture. Roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper. Let dough chill in the fridge for one hour. 

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2. Using whatever cookie cutters you like, cut out shapes. Chill shapes in the fridge for 10 minutes.

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3. Preheat oven to 350.

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4. Bake for 12 minutes.

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5. Let cool to room temperature before icing, this is very important!

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6. Ice your cookies as desired and enjoy!

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      Bailey really loved doing this, and I think we definitely have a new holiday tradition now. 

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Tuesday! We'll be back later this week to celebrate the start of winter!

To Bake / Chicken Pot Pie

 
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     Good morning! I tried my hand at chicken pot pie for the first time last weekend, and the results were too good not to share! I'm not sure I'd ever even tried chicken pot pie (I was against meat in pies for most of my youth, for some reason), but it sounded delicious and just right for the colder weather we've been getting. Also, there's not much that's topped with a puff pastry crust that I won't eat. Find the recipe below (adapted from Bon Appetit)!

Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary

  • 1/3 cup of AP flour

  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 cups of shredded chicken

  • 1/4 of an onion, diced

  • 1 cup of frozen peas, thawed

  • 1 cup of frozen carrots, thawed

  • Hot sauce

  • Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed in refrigerator

  • 1 large egg, beaten for brushing

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Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400, and melt your butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Once melted, add your diced onion and rosemary, and saute for 4 minutes. Add your flour and stir repeatedly until the mixture is golden brown, for about 6 minutes. Whisk in your broth, 1/2 a cup at a time. Then, whisk in milk and add salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, whisking throughout, until the mixture is thick enough to coat a spoon. Add your peas, carrots, and chicken. Next, stir in your hot sauce + Worcestershire sauce.  

2. Pour your filling into a greased baking dish, and top with your pastry crust. Press the edges to your dish to seal, and brush the entire crust with your egg wash. Feel free to add a pretty touch, like these little rosemary leaves!

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3. Place dish on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch any spills!), and bake for 20 minutes. Then, reduce heat and bake for another 30 minutes. 

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4. Let sit for 10 minutes after baking, then serve warm. Enjoy!

     Thanks for reading! Have a fun Wednesday, and we'll be back next week with a twist on classic cookie cutter sugar cookies for Santa!

To Bake / Cranberry Butter Dutch Baby

 
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     Good morning! Cranberry season is still in full force around my house. I had such an excess from making cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving, and it's been a lot easier than I thought to find uses for the leftover sauce, but also for the raw cranberries! I've been adding the fresh cranberries to my daily lunch smoothie, and stirring in the leftover sauce with some greek yogurt to add to my grain or lentil bowls. Today though, I've added my beloved cranberry sauce to butter for this cinnamon dutch baby pancake (recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest)! It's the perfect amount of sweet for breakfast or brunch, and serves 3-6 people (depending on how many slices you eat :)). Get the recipe below!

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For the Dutch Baby:

- 4 eggs

- 2/3 cup of milk

- 2/3 cup of AP flour

- 2 tsp. of vanilla

- a good shake of cinnamon

- another good shake of nutmeg

- 1/2 tsp. of salt

- 4 tbs. of butter

- syrup for serving!

For the Cranberry Butter:

- 1/2 cup of cranberry sauce 

- 4 tbs. of butter at room temp.

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Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 450, place 2 tbs. of butter in your cast-iron skillet, and put in the oven to warm. While that's heating, blend your flour, milk, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and 2 tbs. of butter in a blender. Make sure there are no lumps!

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2. Pour batter into your hot skillet, and place back in the oven. Cook for 20-25 minutes, and don't open the oven or your pancake will deflate! 

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3. While the pancake is baking, mix together your soft butter and cranberry sauce. When the dutch baby is done, spoon on cranberry butter and let melt.

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4. Drizzle with A LOT of syrup. 

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5. Serve warm and enjoy!

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     I, as usual, enjoyed mine with a cup of black coffee (the perfect pairing with a breakfast so sweet!). The pancake was the fluffy, sweet, and buttery confection I was looking for, and I hope you all enjoy it!

    Thanks for reading, and have a fun Tuesday! I'll be back later this week to share about my new gifting philosophy for Bailey this year. See you then!