a few food things

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1. I made this sweet potato pulled pork hash with fried eggs a few nights ago. Don’t mind the pics- doesn’t everyone eat dinner at 9pm?!

2. My sister and I are starting an 8-week cooking class today and I’m.so.excited!

3. My sister and I are also going on a foodie tour tomorrow. Such a great week.

homemade corn & black bean salsa

I love chips and salsa. Homemade salsa, preferably- that jar stuff just doesn’t match up. But there is so much prep work to homemade salsa {and I have no portion control with this combo} that I usually reserve it for restaurants or parties {such a party staple}.

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But last week I found myself just 2 ingredients short of a great black bean and corn salsa that I knew I had to make it happen. So here it is!

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{Don’t judge my inconsistent knife skills. This salsa has character.}

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Corn & Black Bean Salsa*

1 can of whole corn kernels, drained and rinsed
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced finely
1 handful of cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime
salt & pepper to taste
*Proportions are relative. Do what feels right!

After prepping each ingredient, mix all and season to your taste. Let sit for 10-15 minutes for flavors to combine.

compound butters

These butters are fan-cy.

Compound Butter 1

But so easy! Compound butter is simply adding flavors to butter to serve with a dish. I made these butters to go with the birthday dinner steaks I made for my mom and older sister. I pan-seared the steaks, and when still piping hot, serve with a slice of compound butter. The butter then slowly melts down the steak and makes it even more savory. So good!

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For each butter start off with 1.5 sticks of salted butter at room temperature. Or if you’re like me and forgot to take the butter out of the fridge to soften, prepare the other ingredients while this happens. Then whip the butter and fold in flavorful ingredients.

Compound Butter 2

Chipotle Cilantro & Lime Compound Butter

1.5 sticks of salted butter, room temperature and whipped
1 chipotle pepper from can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1-2 tablespoons of adobo sauce from can
1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
juice of 1 lime
zest of 1 lime

Once butter is whipped, fold in other ingredients until combined.
On plastic wrap spread butter mixture in an even thick layer. Grabbing the bottom portion of the wrap, pull it up over the butter to begin a roll or log using your hands to shape. Twist ends of plastic wrap and refrigerate. You can transfer the log to parchment paper to be able to write on the surface to label each butter.

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Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Compound Butter

1.5 sticks of salted butter, room temperature and whipped
2 small heads of garlic {or 1 elephant head}, roasted and chopped
2-3 tablespoons of rosemary, chopped

To roast garlic remove the papery outer skin of the garlic bulb. Then cut 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch off the top to expose garlic cloves. Wrap bulbs in aluminum foil and drizzle with oil. Roast in oven at 400 for 30-35 minutes. Once garlic is cooled, squeeze garlic out of skin.
Once butter is whipped, fold other ingredients in until combined.
On plastic wrap spread butter mixture in an even thick layer. Grabbing the bottom portion of the wrap, pull it up over the butter to begin a roll or log using your hands to shape. Twist ends of plastic wrap and refrigerate. You can transfer the log to parchment paper to be able to write on the surface to label each butter.

Compound Butter 4

Blue Cheese & Chive Compound Butter

1.5 sticks of salted butter, room temperature and whipped
4-5 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
2-3 tablespoons of chives, chopped

Once butter is whipped, fold other ingredients until combined.
On plastic wrap spread butter mixture in an even thick layer. Grabbing the bottom portion of the wrap, pull it up over the butter to begin a roll or log using your hands to shape. Twist ends of plastic wrap and refrigerate. You can transfer the log to parchment paper to be able to write on the surface to label each butter.

Enjoy!

sour cream coffee cake muffins

I love everything about coffee cake. The airy texture. The moist cake. The cinnamon-sugary, streusel-like crumble. It’s both the perfect breakfast and dessert. And lunch and dinner. And snack.

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So when I had almost all of a 5 lb {yes! 80 OUNCES! Normal size containers are 12 oz!} tub of sour cream I knew I should whip up a batch of coffee cake muffins. {The massive tub of sour cream was left over from a large dinner party I helped cook for. Any one want some sour cream?}

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Though sour cream is not the star here, it is certainly playing a major role behind the scenes. The addition of it gives the cake a ton of moisture and density, but the baking soda and powder keep the cake airy. And the cinnamon is the perfect ending to this treat.

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Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins {adapted from Gimme Some Oven}

Cake Ingredients
1 stick softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
12 oz sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

Topping Ingredients
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream butter and sugar in mixer. Add eggs to mixture one at a time, beating well to combine.
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl.
Rotate adding the dry ingredients and sour cream to the creamed mixture. Add vanilla and mix until all combined.
In a pre-butter/cupcake liner muffin tin, add batter until half full. Sprinkle topping, then add additional batter until 3/4 full. Sprinkle with remaining topping.
Bake at 350 degrees for 16-20 minutes.

roasted brussels sprouts

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. Has she lost her mind?! Brussels sprouts are so gross! And a few months ago I would have totally thought the same thing. But my eyes have been opened and these little things are actually delicious. Or they at least have the potential to be delicious.

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The way they grow is so fascinating, but their true beauty is in the preparation. I have only enjoyed them when roasted, which produces a caramelized, soft, almost avocado-like texture. Some enjoy them boiled, but I think that is where you hold your current prejudice about these nuggets of goodness. Break free from your discrimination and give them a roast! Sure, you’re still eating vegetables, but roasting changes them to something everyone enjoys.

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The only thing is that they smell, no, they reek. My husband was certainly taken aback by the smell when he walked in the door last night. Not so appetizing. But they’re worth it, I promise!

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My sister helped me whip these up, topping them with crumbled blue cheese and dried cranberries. So so good! And so so easy- it’s a very low maintenance recipe!

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with crumbled blue cheese and dried cranberries

1 carton brussels sprouts {about 1 lb}
2 tbs oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Begin by trimming the brussels sprouts of the outer guard leaves and cutting off the stem. Rinse.
Halve each sprout and toss with oil and salt and pepper.
Layer on baking sheet evenly and spread apart.
Roast for 15 minutes, then flip sprouts to other side. Continue roasting for 10-15 more minutes, or until desired browning.
Let sprouts rest for 5 minutes. Then combine with blue cheese and cranberries in serving bowl
Enjoy!

key lime pie parfaits

HappyValentine'sDayLadies listen, the key to your guy’s heart is food. It’s so simple. Cook him a warm meal, make up a quick sandwich, bake a pie. He’ll love you forever. At least that’s they key to my marriage.

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My husband loves key lime pie, indiscriminately so. Last weekend we went to our favorite local restaurant and after dinner, he ordered their key lime pie. The reaction from the waitress was so so funny. She had this look of hesitation on her face, asking “Well, have you had it here before?”. My hand flew to my mouth to cover the laughter/shock that was about to pour out.

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Before my husband could answer she went on to explain that it’s the dessert that is most returned to the kitchen because it is really not a true key lime pie, that it’s more whipped than it is custard-like. But, of course, my husband went on to order it because he does not discriminate against pie. I’m thankful that waitress’ honesty, though quite blunt.

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These key lime pie parfaits are also whipped and a perfect Valentine’s treat for my husband, the I-love-all-pies guy. It’s super simple to whip up {#punny!} and a nice alternative to chocolate on Chocolate’s Valentine’s Day.

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Key Lime Pie Parfaits {makes 6-8 parfaits depending on cup size}

1 sleeves of graham crackers, crushed + 4 tbs melted butter
1 {14 oz} can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup key lime juice {from the bottle or fresh}
1 {16 oz} tup of whipped topping, thawed {or 16 oz heavy whipping cream and 2 tbs sugar for homemade whipped cream}
16 oz heavy whipping cream + 2 tbs sugar for homemade whipped cream

Crush graham crackers to a fine crumble. Stir in melted butter. Spread crumble on a cookie sheet and toast for 5-10 minutes until golden brown.
Stir condensed milk and key lime juice in a large bowl. Fold in whipped topping until combined.
Beat whipping cream to make homemade whipped cream {for detailed instructions click here}.
To assemble the parfaits, add 2-3 tbs of the graham cracker crumble to the bottom of each cup. Then pour in the key lime mixture until close to the brim. Add a dollop of whipped cream and finish with a pinch of the crumble on top.

Enjoy!

chocolate chip oatmeal cookies

These cookies! Oh, these cookies! So soft and chewy. The delicious sweet cinnamon and the melted chocolate chips. Soooo good!

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I have been meaning to make these cookies for quite some time. As in almost 6 months. My mom is super into oatmeal for breakfast and, after talking it up for some time, fooled me into thinking that I too would enjoy a bowl of mush each morning. Umm, no. So boring and flavorless. I’d much rather have a breakfast sandwich. But don’t get me wrong, I’m so down with those instant maple and brown sugar oatmeal packs. I know, I’m so common.

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The stars finally aligned {aka there was actually butter and chocolate chips in my kitchen at the same time} so I decided to whip up a batch of chocolate chip oatmeal cookies using the oatmeal that will never be eaten as originally intended. The source recipe uses raisins rather than chocolate chips but I don’t ever allow raisins to cross the threshold of my house, so that wasn’t going to happen. But if you’re into that sort of thing you can just swap raisins for the chocolate chips in equal measurements. And if you do this, make sure you clearly label the cookies for those around you. There’s nothing worse than biting into what you presume is a chocolate chip cookie and finding those little puny raisins. Ew ew ew.

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I mean, really, is there anything better than milk and cookies?! Nope. Nothing. No way.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies w/ Milk

Well, maybe this. If you prefer to get your calcium and dairy intake in other ways, rich vanilla ice cream is certainly an option. Don’t mind if I do.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Sandwich

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies {recipe adapted from Quaker; makes 3-4 dozen depending on cookie size}

1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 4 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 & 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups Quaker Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1 cup chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350°F.
In large bowl or stand mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium speed until creamy.
Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well.
Add oats and chocolate chips; mix well.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets or silicone baking mat.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown.
Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.