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Fudgy Chocolate Frosted Brownies

7/25/16



I feel like I've been focused on making lighter, healthier foods lately, which is BOR-ING!  Just kidding, but not really.  Even though it's absurdly hot and humid here, I was craving rich, fudgy, chocolaty brownies... so I turned my oven on and got to work.  I somehow stumbled upon these (probably googling "brownies" had something to do with it) and they looked so delicious.  I am always sold on fudgy brownies, but add a rich chocolate frosting to the top?  Done.  They were very, very good, and colorful sprinkles make everything more fun, don't you think?

You can find the recipe here.

Chopped Junior

7/22/16


Well, last week I probably got a B+ for all my posts.  This week?  Total F.  I'm sorry!  However, I have yummy things planned for next week... some healthy and some very, very indulgent.  But before you go off on your weekend ways, I wanted to share some news (in case you don't follow me on Instagram).  This coming Tuesday the 26th I will be guest judging on Chopped Junior!  We watch this show as a family ALL of the time, and recently my 7 year-old asked for his own Chopped box (I gave him corn, bacon, tortellini and broccoli - stay tuned).  I was so honored and thrilled to be a tiny part of this show, and watching these kids cook was a humbling experience to say the least.

I hope you watch and enjoy!  8/7c on Food Network :)      

Spaghetti Squash Bolognese

7/15/16


At first glance, doesn't that sort of look like cheesy garlic bread?  WELL IT'S NOT!  Oh, you gathered that because the title of this post is "Spaghetti Squash Bolognese"??  Stop rubbing your smart brains in our faces.  But you're right, this is spaghetti squash that is roasted first and then topped with a ground turkey-based marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, and roasted again until the cheese gets all bubbly and golden.  It's very simple to make (although I always make Carson slice the squash in half as I fear for the safety of my fingers) and easily would feed a family of 4 if not more.      

You can find the recipe HERE.



*I would feel remiss not to bring up the recent terror attacks in France.  A friend of mine who is an American citizen living there summed up how I've been feeling lately by writing... "it's like a bad dream, the kind you want to shake off when you wake up with a hug from your partner or kids."  I wish I could understand, or provide answers, especially because my son is old enough to ask questions, but instead I feel confused, frustrated, lost and tired.  And oddly, I keep thinking about these people who carry out such acts of hatred, and I keep imagining them as babies.  Innocent little babies, with their lives in front of them.  I want to wrap them up in my arms, and I want to love them.  Is that just the strangest thing?  I don't know, I guess it helps me to believe that love will always win.

Easy Edamame Hummus

7/13/16


Look at me, 3 blog posts in 3 days!  It reminds me of olden times, when I only had one child and Carson and I were able to stay up later than 9pm to watch television together.  Alas, things have changed.  My children have multiplied by 3, I'm halfway through my 30's, and I have no idea what Pokemon Go is.  All of that means, semi-homemade tricks are crucial in my kitchen.  Recently, I've been wanting to make hummus from scratch - and I'll get to it - but for now, taking store-bought hummus and blending it with shelled edamame beans will do!  (My kids love hummus, so I'm also hoping this might turn them onto the idea of green foods in general... maybe?)  Here's what I did:

Take one family-size portion of hummus (1 lb.) and throw it in a blender or food processor.  Add roughly 2 cups of shelled edamame and blend until smooth, adding olive oil if needed.  Season to taste with salt, pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon.  Sprinkle more olive oil on top before serving.

Easy!  Delicious!  And maybe, just maybe, you'll save some time in the kitchen and you can apply it to watching an episode of Orange is the New Black, Season 3 (because you'll never be current).

Pineapple Vodka Soft Serve

7/12/16


Yep, you read that correctly.  This is creamy soft serve, made from chunks of fresh pineapple with, yes, VODKA in it.  Tasty videos for the win again!!  When I saw this it wasn't a question of WILL I make it, it was WHEN.  While it did require freezing for 6 hours, the entire process was pretty simple!  Especially if you're lazy and buy pre-chopped up pineapple like me.  This is the perfect little (adult) treat for the summer heat.  

You can find the recipe in the comment section HERE.

Smashed Pea and Ricotta Crostini

7/11/16


I know peas get a bad rep, I think because our grandmothers and their mothers cooked them until they were mushy and bland.  But I'm here to tell you that I LOVE PEAS!  (That just reminded me of the song "I LOVE TOAST" that they sometimes play on the SiriusXM radio station Kid Place Live, anyone out there know what I'm talking about?  I sort of love that song.  Anyway.)  I do, I love peas, because if peas are properly prepared they are bright and fresh and sweet and delicious.  When you "smash" peas with a hint of garlic, fresh basil and good olive oil, the result is perfection.  And then pairing that with creamy ricotta and toasty bread??  Perfect appetizer, your guests will rave.   


Smashed Pea and Ricotta Crostini 

2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
2 basil leaves, roughly chopped, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil, plus more for toasting bread
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 tsp honey
1 loaf french bread

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut bread into 1-inch diagonal slices and place on a baking sheet.  Brush both sides with olive oil, and toast for about 10 minutes, until it begins to turn golden (flipping halfway through).  In a saucepan, bring water to a boil.  Prepare a bowl of ice water.  Add peas to boiling water and cook for 2 minutes.  Drain and immediately place in ice water to stop cooking process.  Let sit for a few minutes, then drain.  Place peas, garlic, basil, salt, pepper and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil into a blender or food processor.  Blend until peas reach a smashed consistency.  In a small bowl, add the ricotta and stir in the honey and 1 teaspoon of olive oil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Assemble toasts by spreading ricotta first, then smashed peas and sprinkle with more basil.         


Also, pea pesto here and here.

Edamame & Sugar Snap Pea Salad

7/5/16


When I travel, I pretty much plan out exactly where I'm going to eat for every meal of the day, oh I don't know, months in advance.  The reason for this is simple.  If you were to crack open my brain, you would see little thought bubbles with images of food inside, menus from various restaurants (that I've memorized), a little fat man (I'm convinced) that controls my lack of willpower, etc.  No really, I'm a scientist, you would actually find all of that.  The point is, I love food, and I know exactly where I want to eat when we land in LA... one of those places being Lemonade.  It's funny what you end up missing when you move, and the market-fresh, seasonal salads at Lemonade is right up there with the sunny weather.  Luckily for me, I own their cookbook!  So I can make the dishes I love in the comfort of my own kitchen (I swear this isn't a commercial).  Like this fresh, vibrant, crunchy Edamame and Sugar Snap Pea Salad with a Sesame Vinaigrette.  Perfect for your next summer BBQ.

You can find the recipe here and purchase the cookbook here!

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