As a kid there was only one type of potato I would eat: Arby's curly fries. And that was because they could barely be called potatoes. To me, a carb-a-holic and veggie-phobic, potatoes were lumped in with peas and carrots and other nasty things my mother could not persuade me to eat.
When I discovered garlic mashed potatoes 3 years ago, I wanted to kick myself. 21 years of living without potatoes? What a waste!
Now these starchy spuds are a regular part of my diet, in various forms. And my new favorite are these roasted, golden brown, flavorful fries.
As I type out this blog post, I am already rearranging my schedule around in my head so that I have time to make a double batch of these tonight. The first batch, which I made last week, disappeared far too quickly for me to savor them. Granted, the cupcakes were phenomenal. Simply the most successful cupcakes I've had since Ken and I made the chocolate and beer cupcakes with Baileys buttercream frosting.
I find that the further I push myself into becoming a better cook, the more my palate evolves. Where once I preferred my cupcakes as sweet as I could make them, I now gravitate towards more savory desserts. As soon as I bought my first jar of biscoff I knew I wanted to start baking with it right away, but I wasn't sure how to make sure the sweetness didn't overpower the dish.
Biscoff, for those of you who don't know, is heaven in a jar. Made from Lotus biscoff cookies (you might have had them in Europe, or on planes), it's similar in consistency to peanut butter, but deserves a spot on that high pedestal right next to nutella. It has a gingerbready flavor with a hint of cinnamon, and maybe even a little bit of toffee in there. It's to die for, and you can use it in so many ways. Luckily, I found the prefect recipe to use the unique flavor of this spread without being too sweet. ...continue reading
One year ago, if you had offered me an ooey, gooey slice of vegetable lasagna, I would have curled my lip in disgust.
Vegetables? AND no meat? I'll pass, thanks.
I had absolutely no idea what I was missing! My boyfriend found this recipe on the Pioneer Woman's website, and had me help him make it for his mother's birthday. We also made a typical meat lasagna using spicy sausage, and to our surprise, everyone loved the vegetable one more! Several of them had even requested that we skip the mushrooms, but ate the lasagna without knowing that the fungi were hidden among all the other veggies (sneaky, I know).
The secret to this lasagna is in the sauce. It uses a LOT of vegetables, diced very small and sautéed in olive oil and garlic, and then simmered with a can of whole tomatoes. I seasoned mine liberally with red pepper flakes, paprika, cayenne, and chili powder to give it a nice kick. The flavor is rich and incredible, and it makes perfect leftovers. I had a big piece every day for lunch this week! ...continue reading
We had a potluck at work this week for my coworker's last day. I was already bringing in my turtle sugar cookies, but I wanted to make something else and I was very limited on time.
My sister suggested garlic knots.
Yum. Who doesn't love these? I figured I would use the ingredients I already had on hand and throw these together in no time at all. And for once I was right!
You will need:
- A can of refrigerated biscuits (I used biscuits because I had a few cans left over from the monkey bread, but I'm sure you can use pizza dough, breadstick dough, whatever kind of dough you have lying around.)
- A few cloves of garlic (I used 4 relatively big ones, but that was probably too much)
- 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
- some seasoning (I just used some Italian seasoning, feel free to use whatever you have. Parmesan cheese would be good!)
Note: this recipe is for one batch, which for me made 1o knots. I made two batches to take into work.
I. Love. Brie.
This is my brie face
If only it were inexpensive and healthy, I would eat it every single day. Across the street from my college there was a restaurant called Johnny's Bar and Grille, and I would go there once a week and buy the baked brie appetizer.
Imagine heaven. That's what this meal is. It's drizzled with melba sauce and served with garlic crostinis and apple slices. The flavor combination is perfect.
But, unfortunately, I no longer live within walking distance of my brie. So I have to make it myself.
Again, unfortunately, it's not an everyday kind of meal. So this weekend when I had not one but TWO friends over for dinner (crazy, I know) I said, "what the heck, three people is practically a dinner party!" and I decided to make baked brie.
So what if one of my guests was lactose intolerant? 🙂
You will need:
(We used the recipe directly on the brie) ...continue reading
I'm a big fan of bananas. I try and bring one to work every day, but there's always the problem of them turning brown so damn fast.
If I buy them too early (like the week before) they never last me the week. Thank god for banana bread.
Awhile back, my sister sent me a very simple recipe for banana bread:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tps baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 overripe bananas
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a 9X5 loaf pan. In one bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, whip bananas and sugar together for 3 minutes until there is a nice fluffy cream. Add melted butter, eggs and vanilla. Beat well and scrape down sides of bowel. Mix in dry ingredients just until blended. Fold in nuts. Pour into pan. Back for 1 hour 15 minutes.
Now, she was obviously rushed when she typed this up for me (that can happen when you have a baby), and I've highlighted some of the delightful errors. My favorite is "scrape down sides of bowel." Gross =)
This one sort of came about as a joke, but the more I thought about it the more excited I got. What if this ACTUALLY tasted amazing? It does combine several of my favorite foods! So I convinced my friend (and web-master/photography guru) Ken to help me out, and we just made it up as we went along.
- A pizza crust (since we were baking at my house, which lacks a pizza stone, we opted for a pre-made crust. We didn't want to end up like this)
- Spaghettios (we went for the Spaghettios plus calcium)
- Some shredded pizza cheese
- Toppings of your choice (We chose hot dogs, because we already knew they went well with Spaghettios)
I'm really excited about artichokes. I had a single leaf back in July, and since then, I've made them three times. I think they're a lot of fun to eat, and I like that if you put the effort in, you're rewarded when you get to the amazing center (artichoke hearts! Who knew I would like this stuff?)
This is my favorite recipe that I've found, and I like that you don't need a dipping sauce. I made this once before with my friend Ken, and they turned out so phenomenal that we were all in shock. This time they were still great, but because we were rushing to get to the movie, we did not put the effort in that I did the first time.
So first you have to wash the artichokes, and then cut the tops of the leaves. Using kitchen scissors (or if you're like me and don't have any, regular scissors) you trim the tops of the leaves. I trim from the bottom up until I can't get my scissors between the leaves anymore, because they are so tightly packed. This makes them look nice! (and keeps you from getting stabbed by the pointy ends, which I've done)