Wednesday, December 17, 2014

croque monsieur crostini

YOU GUYS. This is a big day on the blog because 1) this is one of my new all-time favorite recipes ever ever, and 2) y'all have a chance to win one of those beautiful boards in the photo above!

First, these little crostini. I absolutely loooove a croque monsieur, but hardly ever make them/order them unless it's like, serious indulge time. But a little bite-size version? Yes, all the time! These are creamy and salty and just perfect. If you're making ham for Christmas, use the leftovers to make these little guys! Or basically if you're ever serving people and want to make them swoon, just make these.

Now let's talk about that gorgeous board above! This beauty came from the guys over at I love this company and everything they stand for! They only sell items that they personally have seen and handled, and all of their products are certified sustainable, renewed, or reclaimed. Many of their products are handmade by independent artists (big yay for this!). They donate a portion of their profits to environmental causes. Really, how awesome are they?!

To further prove their awesomeness, they are giving away a board to 3 lucky people! One of you will win a gorgeous 18 x 12 Maple Cutting Board with Grips from John Boos and two of you will win a beautiful 16 x 12 Proteak Edge Grain! Simply enter using the Rafflecopter below. :)

Croque Monsieur Crostini
makes about 20 crostini

you'll need:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup hot whole milk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere, plus more for topping
1 baguette, sliced
Dijon mustard
6-8 oz. black forest ham

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan. Add the four and stir for 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the hot milk and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened. Remove from heat add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and 1/2 cup Gruyere and set aside.

To toast the bread, place the slices on a large baking sheets and bake for 5 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another 2 minutes.

Top each slice of baguette with mustard and top with a bit of ham to each. Next, spoon on a bit of the cheese sauce, then sprinkle with Gruyere. Bake for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned. Top with a grind of black pepper, and serve hot.

a Rafflecopter giveaway \

See what some of my foodie friends made with their boards:  Souffle Bombay
Bakes In Slippers
The Vintage Mom
Little Kitchie
The Redhead Baker
The Suburban Soapbox
Courtney's Sweets
Yours And Mine Are Ours
Mindful Mamma
A Simple Pantry

Monday, December 1, 2014

balsamic roasted brussels sprouts with pancetta

Hey hey! How was your Thanksgiving?! We had a great one with family and friends, full of tons of food of Austin sunshine. :)

It seems that right after Thanksgiving, it's time to start thinking about what to cook for the next holiday meal. I think you should add these brussels sprouts to any/every menu! They are perfectly simple, but oh so delicious. Salty from the pancetta and sweet from the syrupy balsamic... heavenly!

Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta (barely adapted from Ina Garten)
serves 10-12

you'll need:
3 lbs. brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
8 oz. pancetta, diced
olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (because of the simplicity of this recipe, this is the time to break out the nicest balsamic you have!)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the brussels sprouts on a sheet pan in a single layer (you might need two sheet pans depending on the size). Add the pancetta, then drizzle with olive oil, salt, and teaspoon pepper. Toss with your hands, and spread out in a single layer. Roast the brussels sprouts for 30 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes or so. Remove from the oven, drizzle immediately with the balsamic vinegar, and toss again. Taste for seasonings, and serve warm.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

maple bacon cornbread muffins

I seriously cannot believe that Thanksgiving is THIS WEEK. Weren't we just in summer? All of 2014 has flown by, but this fall feels like a blur! Still, I am really excited for Thanksgiving - it's my favorite holiday, and I'm determined to savor it even though Christmas is edging in and Amazon is already offering Black Friday sales(?!?!).

What's your carb situation at Thanksgiving? I'm all about fluffy dinner rolls, but two carbs are better than one, so this year I tried out these cornbread muffins from my girl Erika. No surprise coming from her, but these. are. amazing. A little sweet, a little smoky, and tender as can be. Cornbread perfection!

Happy Thanksgiving y'all! xo

Maple Bacon Cornbread Muffins (just barely adapted from Southern Souffle)
yields 12 muffins

you'll need:
1 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup AP flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
dash of cayenne pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup bacon, cooked and chopped
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a muffin tin and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne. In another medium bowl, whisk eggs, milk, yogurt, and oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined. Fold in the bacon and maple syrup.

Use a 1/4 measuring cup to scoop batter into the muffin tins, filling to about 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in tin for a few minutes. Best served warm!

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Monday, November 17, 2014

little french fudge cakes

It's been SO chilly here in Dallas this past week, and all I want to do is bundle up with Gilmore Girls on Netflix and one (or two) of these little chocolate cakes.

These miniature cakes are absolutely perfect - not too sweet, a bit dense and decadent, and just the right size. These would be ideal for entertaining, too - just whip up the batter, pour it into the baking tin, and keep in the fridge until it's time for dessert. In 20 minutes you'll have fresh, warm chocolate cakes. You'll be a hero!

Little French Fudge Cakes (from The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper)
makes 6 cupcakes

you'll need:
one (3.5-4 oz.) bittersweet chocolate bar, broken up into small pieces
1 1/2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, broken up
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs plus 1 yolk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
half of a 3.5-4 oz. bittersweet chocolate bar, broken up

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 6-cup cupcake tin.

Combine the bittersweet chocolate, unsweetened chocolate, and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 2-3 minutes at medium-low power.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cinnamon, vanilla, eggs and yolk, sugar, and salt. Add the flour and stir until combined. Add the butter/chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth. Stir in the extra bittersweet chocolate pieces. Fill the cupcake pan 3/4 full with the batter.

Bake for 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5-10 minutes on a wire rack before serving warm.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

ham and brie breakfast grilled cheese

I can't even begin to describe how crazy I am about Joy the Baker's new cookbook, Homemade Decadence! I have a list a mile long of sweets I want to make, but this savory breakfast grilled cheese stood out to me as an omg-I-need-to-make-this-now situation.

The brie-cherry-ham-mustard flavors are decadent, a little sweet, and just all-out fantastic. All that between two buttery slices of brioche... HEAVENLY!

Breakfast Grilled Cheese (from Homemade Decadence)
makes 1 sandwich

you'll need:
2 slices brioche bread 
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
about 3 slices black forest ham
1 tablespoon cherry jam
2 oz. brie, sliced into thin pieces
butter, for the pan

First, assemble the sandwich: spread the mustard on one slice of bread and the cherry jam on the other. Pile the ham on top of the mustard, and the brie on top of the cherry jam. Sandwich the slices together.

Melt a bit of butter in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add the sandwich and cook until golden brown and crispy on both sides, about 6 minutes.

Cut into slices and enjoy immediately!

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

ginger pumpkin bread with walnuts

Hi, hi! I promise I'm still alive over here. The fall has continued to be busy, and I'm not in the kitchen or in this space nearly as often as I'd like to be. But I have managed to squeeze in some fall baking! 

While I'm not one to go pumpkin crazy, nothing quite makes the house smell like fall like fresh pumpkin bread in the oven. I whipped up this ginger-spiked loaf this weekend, and it was lovely. Not too sweet, a little spicy, just so right.

Note: this recipe makes 2 loaves of pumpkin bread... nothing wrong with that!

Ginger Pumpkin Bread with Walnuts (adapted from Martha Stewart)
yields 2 loaves

you'll need:
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pan
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 15-oz. can pumpkin puree
3 large eggs
2/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter and flour two 9x5 loaf pans and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, ginger, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugars, pumpkin, butter, and eggs. Add the flour mixture and stir until combined.

Divide the batter between the two loaf pans. Top with walnuts. Bake 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the loaf comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then carefully invert to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve warm!

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

crispy quinoa cakes with peas and parmesan

Now that it's officially fall, there are more amazing cookbooks coming out than I can possibly keep up with. I've got wayyy too many on my wish list (this and this at the top!). My first fall cookbook purchase was Easy Gourmet - and what a good buy it was! The photography and design are gorgeous, and the recipes are simple yet fresh and original.

These crispy quinoa cakes are from the breakfast section of the book, but we enjoyed these for dinner and many subsequent snacks. They are nutty and crispy and even better with a fried egg and sriracha on top (because, really, what isn't?).

Crispy Quinoa Cakes with Peas (adapted from Easy Gourmet)
serves 2-4

you'll need:
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/3 grated pecorino
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne
3 large eggs
olive oil
optional for topping: fried eggs, sriracha

In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, peas, pecorino, dill, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, cayenne and eggs. Form mixture into 

Heat a bit of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop mixture onto the pan and cook until browned and crispy on each side, 6-8 minutes.

Serve with a fried egg on top and sriracha, if desired.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

pappardelle with lamb ragu

We spent the past weekend in New Orleans, taking in the sounds of the streets (they are my favorite), the beautiful architecture, and - of course - the incredible food. Every meal in New Orleans feels like a stand-out meal, but our best one this trip was dinner at La Petit Grocery. Every dish we had there was delicious (blue crab beignets, what?!), including a handmade pappardelle with braised lamb that was to. die. for.

Here's my quick, weeknight, I-already-miss-New-Orleans version of that dish. 

Pappardelle with Lamb Ragu (adapted from Nigellissima)
serves 2-4

you'll need:
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic-infused olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint (plus more for serving)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 lb. ground lamb
one 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons currant jelly
1 1/2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 oz. egg pappardelle

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, until softened. Add the mint, oregano, and red pepper and toast for 30 seconds or so. Add the lamb and cook until it has lost its pinkness, breaking up with a wooden spatula as it cooks.

Add the tomatoes, jelly, worcestershire, and a bit of salt and pepper. Bring to a bubble, then lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes (or until the sauce has thickened well), stirring occasionally.

While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt well, then cook the pappardelle according to the package directions. Drain, then add to the pan with the lamb ragu. Stir to incorporate the ragu and pasta. Serve in bowls with lots of fresh mint on top.

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

blueberry cornmeal butter cake

I KNOW. Pumpkin spice everything is already dominating the food world. But I'm still loving the late summer produce that we're getting from our CSA! Let's hang on to summer for one more recipe, yes?

This quick, easy little cake is perfect for breakfast, a snack, or alongside some vanilla ice cream for an indulgent dessert. It's the perfect sweet-but-not-too-sweet treat. Make this before summer officially ends! Which, despite what Starbucks is telling you, isn't for another week. :)

Blueberry Cornmeal Butter Cake (from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook)
makes one 8x8-inch cake

for the cake, you'll need:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup sour cream
2 cups blueberries

for the streusel, you'll need:
1/2 cup sugar
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom and an 8x8 pan with parchment, then coat with butter and flour the bottom and sides.

Whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.

Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla and lemon zest.

Add a third of the flour mixture and stir until just incorporated. Stir in the sour cream. Stir in another third of the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix the rest of the flour with the blueberries. Gently fold in the blueberry-flour mixture into the batter.

Spread the batter into your prepared pan. In a small bowl, combine the streusel ingredients with a fork, then scatter the mixture over the top of the cake.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a tester comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack before turning out to cool completely. Enjoy!

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P.S. Remember these darling tea towels from Sunday Drive Designs? Well, now they're venturing into aprons... and the designs are just too. cute. Check out the Kickstarter campaign to check them out, lend your support, and get the first crack at these adorable aprons!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

crunchy quinoa salad with peanut vinaigrette

It's the beginning of the school year, so to say things are busy right now is a bit of an understatement. Meals like this one - which can be enjoyed hot, room temp, or cold, and can be eaten all week long - are just perfect right now. 

This quinoa is a new favorite, with its crunchy texture, gorgeous colors, and un.real. dressing. I hope you'll give it a go!

Crunchy Quinoa Salad with Peanut Vinaigrette (just barely adapted from In the Loop)
serves 4-6

for the vinaigrette, you'll need:
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon raw honey
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon olive oil

for the salad, you'll need:
3 cups cooked quinoa
juice of 2 limes
3 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup diced green onions
1/2 cup roasted, salted peanuts
2 cups cooked, shelled edamame
for serving: lime wedges, avocado, sriracha

Whisk together all of the vinaigrette ingredients until well combined. (You may have to microwave it a bit to thin the peanut butter and honey.)

In a large bowl, stir all of the salad ingredients together. Fold in desired amount of dressing. Taste for seasoning and add salt, pepper, and/or more dressing as necessary.

Serve in bowls with slices of avocado on top and drizzled with as much sriracha as you like.

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