I’m always coming across new food challenges to participate in. It helps me be keep my recipes varied, because I get new ideas of things to make! In my internet sleuthing, I found The Pastry Challenge. The idea of the Pastry Challenge is to make a pastry item that meets the monthly theme. This month’s theme was anything, which really is a nice way to start this since I haven’t been doing much baking lately.
I decided to use the first time back into pastry baking to be a dinner item – this is a shortcrust wrapped up with ham, arugula, mustard, and parmesan cheese. It was a great choice. I added just a bit too much water to the dough, but all-in-all, delicious!
Ham and Arugula Shortcrust Rolls
1 cup flour
1/8 tsp red chili powder
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/ 8 tsp ground black pepper
4 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1 tbsp + 1 1/2 tsp parmesan cheese
1 egg yolk
3 tbsp ice water
2 tbsp honey mustard
5 slices honey ham
1/3 cup arugula
- Sift the flour, chili powder, salt, and pepper together. Put into a food processor and pulse several times.
- Add the butter and pulse into a course meal is formed.
- Add the 1 1/2 tsp cheese and pulse several times.
- Add the egg and pulse several times.
- Add the water 1 tbsp at a time and pulse until the dough comes together.
- Shape into a ball and wrap in seran wrap. Refrigerate for half hour.
- Roll out the dough on a floured surface. Smear with mustard. Top with ham, arugula, and 1 tbsp parmesan.
- Roll into a wrap, starting on the long side.
- Put in the refrigerator for 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375. Cut the dough into slices. Place on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.
* makes about 9 rolls
Erm…. Yes. This is absolutely a strange recipe for me to share. It’s an absolutely strange thing for me to have on here. But without further ado, welcome candy sushi! It is incredibly sweet and if you eat too much of it, you will get a stomachache, I promise.
Regardless, these were fun. I’d never made rice krispies treats before (yes, really!) so I got to do that. And then I got to stuff candy in them.
I guess the question is, what on earth would inspire me to make this? It isn’t like I have kids or something to entertain.
Would you believe me if I told you it was due to this scene in Failure to Catch? Hosted this month by Amy’s Cooking Adventures, this month at Food ‘n Flix we watched this chick flick. I’d seen this movie before and never considered it a foodie movie, but it definitely has many food scenes!
This movie is about Paula and Tripp. Tripp is in his 30’s and still lives with his parents. His parents hire Paula, a professional who’s one goal in life is to help grown men grow up and move out of their parents’ houses. While Tripp has his own reasons for failing to launch (ha, like what I did there?) I decided to mix together two things from the movie: the idea that moving out is immature and this sushi scene pictured above where Paula and Tripp went on one of their dates.
I wasn’t about to try my hand at sushi for real, because though I love to eat it, I don’t trust buying raw fish from anywhere. But I really wanted to do something from this scene. So I made some incredibly immature candy sushi.
2 tbsp butter
5 oz jet puffed marshmallows, plus 4 more
3 cups rice krispies
fruit by the foot
- First we are going to make a thin layer of rice krispies treats. Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the marshmallows and stir over heat until the marshmallows melt into the butter. Stir in the rice krispies. On a wax paper lined tray spread the rice krispies out thinly. Set aside until it hardens.
- Once the rice krispies have hardened, cut into a rectangle, so you have straight edges.
- At one edge, place a twizzlers and gummy worms, creating your filling.
- Roll the rice krispies just once. Cut the rice krispies roll from the rest of your sheet.
- Wrap in fruit by the foot.
- Continue with your remaining rice kripsies treat.
Sundays have unofficially become “hot chocolate day.” As long as it stays cold outside, I’ll be beginning the new week with a mug of hot chocolate. It’ll be the one thing that makes me sad when it becomes hot out again – I’ll need to think of other ways to bring a sweet start to my week: milkshakes, smoothies, slushies.😛
This week’s hot chocolate is a white hot chocolate. I’ve never had white hot chocolate before. And while I truly am a dark chocolate type of girl, this hot chocolate was perfect.
Let’s see how long I keep this up!
White Hot Chocolate with Blackberry Brandy
- 16 oz skim milk
- 4 oz white chocolate, cut into small pieces
- blackberry brandy, to taste
- 4 marshmallows
- In a saucepan, heat the milk. Once the milk begins to bubble remove from the heat.
- Add the white chocolate. Cover with a lid and let sit for 3 minutes.
- Stir the chocolate/milk mixture together to ensure the chocolate gets melted in the milk.
- Pour into 2 mugs.
- Add a splash of blackberry brandy. Use however much or however little you prefer!
- Top with marshmallows.
I haven’t participated very much in Dom’s new Simply Eggcellent. I guess I can’t even call it new, because I think he’s been running it for the last year. I think I only have one other submission. Each month he gives a theme and bloggers from all around the internet make an egg dish based on the theme. This month’s theme was all about being healthy, because so many people have resolutions to start the new year healthy.
This is healthy for two reasons: for two pieces of this, it was only 366 calories (so one piece of stuffed bread is only 183 calories) and eating breakfast is supposed to be a way to start your day on a good foot!
I’m really bad about eating breakfast. I’ve been trying all week to do it and even bought some easy meals, cereal and yogurt and granola, but I’m just so slow in the morning that it makes it difficult. But because it’s Saturday now I really have no reason.
So, I decided to start my weekend off with a delicious breakfast.
While I’m early for Breakfast Week (January 24-30), this definitely a simple breakfast you can make either for breakfast week or any morning! Use whatever veggies you have in the house, smother it with cheese, do your thing!
Brussels Sprouts and Eggs Breakfast Boats
2 sandwich rolls, split in half lengthwise
1 tbsp Brummel & Brown yogurt spread (or butter)
4 brussels sprouts, sliced into shreds
2 slices of pepper bacon
salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat to 375. Scoop the bread out of the middle of the sandwich rolls large enough to place an egg in the hole. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray and put your bread in the dishes.
- Smear the inside of the bread with your butter substitute or butter.
- Fill the holes with brussels sprouts.
- Push the brussels sprouts down. Put an egg in the middle of each hole.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 18 minutes.
- While your bread is baking, cook up your bacon. Cut it into small pieces.
- Sprinkle the top of each bread boat with bacon.
I love winter time almost exclusively for hot chocolate. Every mug of hot chocolate when it’s cold outside feel so justified. Living here in the desert, it didn’t get cold until rather recently. Usually I’m drinking hot chocolate much before Christmas. But with the warm weather outside, I didn’t even want hot chocolate! How awful! All I wanted to drink was water!
Alas, the cold weather has come and done some havoc on the house like freezing my pipes. Before we talk any more about hot chocolate, I have to tell you that this winter hates me. First my pipes froze (and luckily thawed without bursting) and THEN my power went out and left me without any heat! The power going out wasn’t actually weather related and was just old wiring related, but having these back to back disasters when it’s cold out isn’t fun!
What is fun is cuddling up with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate.
When I was at the grocery store today I saw something I have never seen before: McCormick’s Valencia Orange Peel. Something inspired me to pull it off the shelf. And then something else inspired me to put the boxed hot chocolate aside and make a delicious cup of orange hot chocolate.
What else should I do with the orange peel? It’s really finely grated and tastes delicious.
This month’s We Should Cocoa is all about simplicity. Lisa at Lovely Appetite is hosting this month. This might be the simplest chocolate recipe of all!
Chocolate Orange Hot Chocolate
2 cups skim milk
1 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
3 oz milk chocolate chips
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
1/4-1/2 tsp McCormick’s Valencia orange peel
- In a small saucepan heat the milk, Valencia orange peel, ground cinnamon, and vanilla extract.
- When the milk just begins to simmer, add the chocolate. Whisk continuously until all the chocolate has melted.
- Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream.
I rung in the new year with several goals for myself, one of which involves blogging at least once a week. I don’t know what it is that keeps me from doing this more regularly.
My first dinner of 2016 was grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup. This soup wasn’t just canned Campbell’s (which I’m not slamming!) but a curried tomato soup. It was a very warm way to start 2016 (it’s cold out!) and was a simple start to the new year.
Curried Tomato Soup
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium red onion, sliced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp red chile flakes
1 14-oz can of whole tomatoes
3 tbsp coconut milk
- In a large pot melt the butter. Add the onion and salt and cook for 10 minutes, until the onions soften up.
- Stir in the spices and stir for 30 seconds.
- Stir in the tomatoes and the liquid in the cans with the juices and 3 cups of water. Simmer for 15 minutes.
- Puree with a hand blender until smooth.
- Stir in the coconut milk
* serves 2
* This recipe is being shared with Beth Fish Reads’s Weekend Cooking.
Two posts, back to back, two days in a row?! Who is this girl!? Where did she come from!
I made these burgers for dinner tonight, which were incredibly tasty. I served them alongside snapea crisps. I’m about to start holiday celebrations tomorrow, so this was a great light meal before I start pigging out.
The green avocados are calling out to Eat Your Greens – so here is my submission!
Falafel Burger with Guacamole
1/4 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp cumin
1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained
6 sage leaves
pinch of crushed red pepper
pinch of baking powder
1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tbsp water
1 ripe avocado
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 hamburger buns
1/2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tomato, sliced
salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400.
- In a skillet, heat the olive oil. Add your onion and garlic with the cumin and cook until tender and golden brown.
- In a food processor, process together the chickpeas and sage. Do not over process. You do not want to create a paste. You just want to break down the chickpeas.
- In a bowl, combine the chickpeas and onions. Stir in the crushed red pepper, baking powder, flour, and water.
- Make patties of the chickpea mixture. Place on a baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes.
- While the patties are cooking, in a blender combine the avocado, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Puree together until smooth. If it is not smoothing out, add some water a little at a time.
- Toast your hamburger buns.
- Spread the bottom bun with mayonnaise. Top with a chickpea patty, guacamole, and tomato slices.
* serves 2
I don’t know what’s wrong with me blogging lately – I just have zero motivation to do it. I’ve also lost a lot of motivation for cooking. I’m hoping to change it up in the New Year, mostly because I like to look back and create this sort of cookbook of recipes I liked enough to eat again. So I think a new year’s resolution is going to be to update this thing like once a week. That shouldn’t be impossible.
This year has just been zipping by. I don’t know where this year went. And also, this holiday season has just snuck up on me. I’m going to my parents’ on Wednesday until Sunday. Then back home to ring in 2016.
This month’s Alphabakes is all about the letter “N.” Caroline and Ros are letting the letter “N” stand for NOEL, so I’m expecting they’ll be receiving a ton of sweet treats baked up specially for the holidays! I veered in a different direction this month.
Caramelized Onion and Red Wine Naan Pizzas
2 pieces of pre-made garlic naan
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 onion, sliced
4 oz mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup red wine (I used the rest of the Bogel zinfandel I had drank over the weekend)
2 tbsp parsley, minced
1/2 tbsp rosemary, minced
1 cup mozzarella, shredded
1/4 cup feta
salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425.
- In a pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Add the onions and cook them over medium-high heat, allowing them to brown. Make sure they do not burn by stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- In the pan, heat the remaining 1/2 tbsp of olive oil. Cook the mushrooms for 4 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender.
- Pour in the wine, parsley, and rosemary with the mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms have soaked up the wine. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place your naan on a baking sheet.
- Sprinkle the naan with the mozzarella. Top with the onions. Then top with the mushrooms. Finish by sprinkling feta on top.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes.
* serves 2
* This is also being shared with Mix It Up Monday
It is true – this cookie has absolutely every flavor in it. (Okay, that’s a gross exaggeration . . . but this cookie really does have a lot of different flavors in it.) The pumpkin and marshmallow keep these cookies very moist. And I really love moist chewy cookies. They are always my favorite. My boyfriend prefers a crisper cookie, so these are all mine! Yes!
My grocery store had these chocolate chips that were filled with caramel. They worked perfectly in this cookie!
Brown Butter Pumpkin Chocolate Caramel Chip Cookie
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup chocolate caramel chips
- In a small saucepan, melt your butter on medium-low heat.
- Once the butter melts, stir gently. Once you see brown bits at the bottom of the pan, take it off the heat: you have browned butter! Put it in a small dish and place in the refrigerator to chill until you’re ready for it.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the browned butter you made earlier with your sugars. Beat until fluffy.
- Beat in the egg white, vanilla, and pumpkin puree until well combined.
- Turn your mixer to low. Pour the dry ingredients into your wet ingredients. Mix until just combined.
- Using a spatula, fold in your chocolate caramel chips. Cover with plastic and place in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
- Preheat your oven to 350. Prepare two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.
- Roll the chilled dough into 1 1/2 tbsp balls. Flatten between your hands. Place a dab of marshmallow creme in the center of the flattened ball. Fold the dough gently around the marshmallow, rolling it into a ball so it covers the marshmallow.
- Place on your baking sheet, 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 9 minutes, until the edges of your cookies are light golden brown. Let sit on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before placing on a cooling rack to cool.
* makes approximately 18 cookies
* I’m sharing this recipe with Beth Fish Reads’s Weekend Cooking
It is my favorite time of year! Christmastime! And on top of that, it’s my favorite blog event of the year! It’s the 4th Annual Christmas Cookie Swap, hosted by Bread Booze Bacon, White Lights on Wednesday, Home Made Interest, It Is A Keeper, Our Mini Family, Cooking On The Front Burners, and Create Craft Love. For the fourth year, bloggers are paired up to share cookie recipes during what I like to call, cookie season. Last year the cookies I was given to make were oatmeal cookies – this year took a different approach!
This year I was paired with Janae from Jay Tried and True. Janae shared her recipe for Magic In The Middles, a fun twist on the chocolate and peanut butter cookie. You get a chocolate cookie stuffed with peanut butter!
I love chocolate and I love peanut butter, so this was a great cookie to start my holiday baking. What a delicious cookie! And they seemed to turn out perfect.
This baking and photo taking did make me realize though that my camera needs to be cleaned, because every picture had the same dark blob in the middle of it. This picture happened to sort of hide it, because it’s right where the table is.
I plan to post more cookie recipes this season. There’s always room for cookies!
Magic In The Middles
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
Extra sugar for topping
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (or the very handy Silpat which is my favorite thing ever.)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In another bowl, beat together the sugars, butter, and peanut butter until light and fluffy.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, making sure all the ingredients are well combined.
- Make the filling next, by stirring together the peanut butter with the powdered sugar.
- With floured hands, roll the filling into one inch balls.
- Break off 1 tbsp of the dough. Make an indention in the center and press a peanut butter ball into the dough.
- Bring the dough around the peanut butter filling and roll into a ball, so the dough surrounds the peanut butter.
- Dip the top of each cookie into your extra sugar. Place on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
- Grease the bottom of a drinking glass and use the glass to press the cookies to about 1/2-inch thick.
- Bake for 7-9 minutes.
See the rest of the delicious cookies here!