Cookbook Challenge – Peach Cake Dippers

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The thing I have been loving most about this cookbook/magazine challenge is trying new things that I never pick when I’m exclusively googling. I’m realizing how much I stay inside the (recipe) box when I google as I go. Flipping through books and magazines has opened my eyes to lots of ideas that I wouldn’t have thought of on my own. Now, this recipe isn’t so out there. I’ve made a couple of fruity cake/bread type desserts on the blog already. I was slightly surprised by how much I needed to make this though because I’m not usually drawn to cinnamon topped desserts (ugh, another weird, unreasonable food preference). In fact, when I took my first sneaky sample I seriously considered leaving out the cinnamon topping because I already liked the taste so much. I talked myself into sticking with the recipe though and am really glad I did. It’s so much tastier with cinnamon!

By the way, the recipe is for a full sized bundt cake, but sadly I don’t have a bundt pan at the moment. It’s ok though – I love when I have a reason to use this cute pan that reminds me of mini sand castles! The peaches and cream bundt recipe can be found here. I halved the recipe, which gave me enough for 30 mini cakes and one mini loaf. Dipping them in whipped topping was really fun and I think would be great for a party! It’s kind of like fondu. You gotta give these a try. They are incredibly light and moist with a nice hint of peach. The cinnamon and whipped topping is a must – it makes it takes like peach pie…in cake form! Yum!

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Cookbook Challenge – Roasted Tomato + Capicola Pasta

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I am loving this challenge so far. Eventually I will move on to the cookbooks that I originally intended to utilize for this challenge, but for now I am totally hooked on my Everyday Food magazines. It still counts, okay? I don’t make pasta dishes like this very often. Usually when I crave pasta it’s the creamy, saucy, comfort type. This fresh, simple pasta recipe is so awesome though and still just as satisfying. Plus it’s just so pretty (I got a little picture happy)! The magazine recipe called for pancetta and penne. I had some other kind of tubular pasta that I am blanking on at the moment…and I bought capicola in a pack with prosciutto for another dish that I will be sharing soon. I think it worked out great! Bacon would also be good, of course. Oh, and I also added some garlic to the roasting pan just cuz.

It’s pretty hard to mess this up, I think. You basically throw some tomatoes, onions, meat, and oil into the oven and then stir it into the pasta with some herbs. On the table in 30 minutes. Here’s a link to the full recipe. It’s kind of like magic the way this sauce forms so quick right out of the oven. As you stir everything into the pasta the meat crumbles apart while the pasta water and bursted tomatoes combine and coat the noodles. Super flavorful and the red pepper flakes make it a little spicy too. It’s pretty good cold too, so it could be a nice picnic pasta! And by the way, the recipe is dairy free aka no cheese…but I don’t see how a little parmesan cheese would hurt?

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Cookbook Challenge – Baked Eggs + Grits

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It’s time for a challenge! I’ve posted before about my love for collecting cookbooks. I’ve been realizing more and more that despite having some great books and magazines around, I typically end up just doing a quick Internet search for recipe ideas. I’m obviously all for digital recipes and food blogs, but I thought it would be fun to challenge my kitchen creativity a bit with a cookbook only cooking challenge. I’m not totally sure how long this will go on (a month?) or even how strict I’m going to be on myself…but I think it’s going to be super fun to learn some new recipes that have been sitting on my shelf just hoping to be used.

I’m including magazines too mostly because I have recently become obsessed with Everyday Food Magazine. I got an email that the issues are free on the iPad so I downloaded a few for my latest plane ride. A plane is like the worst place to read food magazines by the way – so hungry! The issues are short and sweet, but I got tons of ideas and couldn’t wait to start my challenge. I based my shopping list on a few of their recipes, so this week will probably be mostly Everyday Food posts! Starting with this one – baked eggs and grits. I love me some grits! Always have (I’m a southern baby). This was a delicious start to the day and something I’ll definitely continue making. From start to finish it only took about 30 minutes and 15-20 of those minutes were spent waiting for the eggs to bake. I made some minor changes to their recipe (which is here if you can’t get your hands on the latest issue) based on what I bought. I’m sure there are tons of ways you could adapt this! Have fun! My adaptation is listed below.

Cookbook challenge is off to a great start! I feel inspired already. I hope you all enjoy the challenge and feel free to join in!

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Baked Eggs + Grits (Adapted from Everyday Food Magazine May 2013)

2 servings

– butter or oil for brushing

– 1/4 cup instant grits

–  about a 1/4 cup of chopped leeks

– 1 or 2 tablespoons chopped sage

– 1 ounce cheese of your choice (I used a few chunks of provolone…)

– 2 eggs

– salt, pepper, and parmesan

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter or oil two ramekins. Cook grits according to package instructions. Stir in cheese, leeks, and sage. Season with salt and pepper and stir until cheese is melted.

2. Pour half of grits into each ramekin. Make a well in the middle and crack 1 egg into each well. Season egg with salt and pepper. Sprinkle any leftover leeks, sage, or cheese over the top. Bake for about 20 minutes until whites are set. Rotate pan after 10 minutes. Serve with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and black pepper.

Burrata French Bread Pizza

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And this is the rare moment where I post something that I actually made very recently! As in, I made it last night. I’ve been living in the past a little on this blog as of late, but not today. I was very pleased with this leftover concoction. I had two ingredients that I really needed to use and luckily, they went together perfectly – burrata and french bread. Yes! I had burrata for the first time at a really awesome Denver restaurant called Osteria Marco. Paul took me there for some kind of special occasion years ago and I still have very fond, mouth-watering memories of their pizza, meatball sliders, and especially the burrata. I always see this cheese at Trader Joe’s, but didn’t pick it up until recently.

We ate some at room temperature a few nights ago, which was pretty great. I was still craving the warm burrata with toasty bread that we had at Osteria though. I had a little can of tomato sauce that I thought I needed for some recipe and didn’t end up using so I figured I might as well make burrata french bread pizza! Melty, creamy cheese and toasty bread…heaven. A perfect, quick weeknight meal! And the perfect way to use up my nearly past-the-date cheese and few day old baguette. I seriously have the hardest time keeping baguettes around. I love having one on hand, but I think our really tiny, warm kitchen makes them go bad extra fast. I dunno. I try to remember to save part of it in the freezer, but I’m always convinced that this time I’ll be able to finish it. Well, we definitely finished these pizzas! Delish!

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A Lotta Panna Cotta

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Ok I didn’t really make a lot of panna Cotta, but it was too much for me to eat! I made this last week after listening to an episode of The Splendid Table (always a good source of inspiration!). I had totally forgotten that I put it on a mental ‘I wanna learn how to make that’ list. The first time I tried it was at The Fort in Colorado. I’m pretty sure they aren’t known for their desserts, but their panna cotta was amazing! That was years ago and I finally learned how simple it is to make. Cream, sugar, vanilla, and gelatin. That’s it! I added a little almond extract too because I cook with it any chance I get. There are so many topping options too. I went with simple, fresh blueberries and candied lemon peel to make it pretty. Those were also easy to make, but I wasn’t a big fan! Maybe I’ll try it again with fresher citrus next time. I was pleasantly surprised that this dessert reminded me a lot of the Berry Chantilly cake from Whole Foods, which is my favorite! I haven’t seen it at the Whole Foods here, so it was a nice substitute for now!

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Bombes Away!

 

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I kind of can’t believe that this dessert exists. I saw the recipe on Sprinkle Bakes recently and felt an immediate urge to make it. I’m pretty sure my jaw actually dropped when I saw her pictures. I don’t always follow online recipes exactly, but I did with this one and the proportions were perfect. Despite being layers and layers of chocolate and sugar, it’s actually not overwhelmingly sweet. The mouse and ganache balance the sweetness of the cookie dough and the brownie adds some chew and a hint of saltiness. Really good combos!

I obviously decorated mine a little differently and used a taller bowl. I love her smooth, elegant dessert, but thought the layers of chocolate lava looked pretty cool too, so I went with it. I also think it’s pretty funny that it looks like a giant hunk of cookie dough underneath some chocolate before you cut it open. I had a lot of fun making this thing. Each step of the assembly just made me laugh. Like really, I’m filling a cookie dough bowl with chocolate mouse and that still isn’t enough!? We all joked that it felt like the SNL Taco Town commercial with the taco wrapped in a pizza, wrapped in a pancake…

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:: Lets get this thing started the right way! ::DSC_1144

:: I love having a bowl of cookie dough that’s safe to eat…not that raw eggs ever stopped me before :: DSC_1146

:: you’re beautiful ::DSC_1151

:: yeah, lots of chocolate involved :: DSC_1186

:: seriously?? Brownie bottom :: DSC_1190

:: It’s a miracle. I flipped mine directly onto the stand with some paper squares to catch extra chocolate ::DSC_1246

:: ta-da! :: DSC_1202

:: pretty gold sprinkles go great with chocolate :DSC_1260

:: Yay, success! ::DSC_1224

:: I’m ready for another slice ::