Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Beet Salad

I have only recently discovered how much I enjoy beets, which I ordered on a whim when out with some colleagues. I don't know how I hadn't tried them before.

This a beautiful salad, I am a bit obsessed with how pretty beets are. This dish is so simple and delicious, and it utilizes the greens as well, which would be a shame to throw away.

Beet Salad
2 bunches of beets, with greens attached (about 8 small-medium beets)
1/3 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
pinch of salt
plenty of fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425.

Trim beets of roots and greens (reserving greens for later). Scrub beets and wrap in a few foil packets (I did 2-3 beets per packet). Roast until tender, about an hour.

In the meantime, mix together, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Remove beets from oven, and let sit until cool enough to handle. Using paper towels to protect your hands (from heat and staining), gently rub the skins away from the beets (this is surprisingly quick and easy). Cut the beets into bitesize chunks. Put beets into bowl and toss with half of the olive oil dressing. Store in fridge until ready to serve (can be done in advance).

Before serving, roughly chop beet greens, rinse and dry. Toss with remaining dressing and pour out onto a platter, top with the dressed beets, and then the pecans and feta cheese.

this recipe can also be found at some of my favorite food blog hops


Beet Salad

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ice Cream Inspired by Books

In honor of National Ice Cream month and summer reading, Quirk books has brainstormed some amazing sounding flavors based on books. I wish these were real, because they sound delicious!

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Vanilla Ice

I originally bought this adorable ice cube tray to make coffee bean shaped frozen coffee with my leftover cold brew coffee (and because I am somewhat of a sucker for cute shaped items and themes), but then I was thinking I could also make ice cubes to add to my coffee, which is how I landed on these vanilla ice cubes, creamy and vanilla-y, so delicious.

Vanilla Ice makes the perfect amount to fill this tray
1 cup milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 tablespoons sugar (optional)

Combine milk, vanilla bean, and sugar (if using) in a small saucepan over low-medium heat and bring to a simmer, simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Discard the vanilla bean and pour into ice cube molds, then freeze.

  Vanilla Ice

Vanilla Iced Coffee

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Monday, July 15, 2013

Lucy Knisley: The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Not too long ago I discovered the wonderful work of Lucy Knisley, when I checked out French Milk from the library after reading a short review online. It's a graphic novel travel diary, and I loved it, especially all the attention she paid to the food eaten while away. I was thrilled to learn she had another book coming out soon, and I got Relish as soon as it came out. This one is all about food, and it's fabulous. My favorite part are the lovely illustrated recipes (I'd love an entire cookbook exactly like this). One of which I had to try almost immediately...and I suggest you do too, these cookies are really something special. The right balance of crisp and chewy, salty and sweet...delicious.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies (from here)
1 cup butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup coconut flakes
12 ounces chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, mix together butter with sugars until thoroughly combined. Add eggs one at a time, and then vanilla, mixing with each addition, stir until completely incorporated.

In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt. Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet until the mixture comes together. Then mix in the coconut and chocolate chips.

Drop dough onto ungreased cookie sheet and top dough with an additional pinch of salt, bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.

  Relish & Cookies

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Chocolate Chip Cookie

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Blueberry Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Glaze

Our local market is practically overflowing with fresh summer berries, and I never leave it without buying more (berries being one of my favorite snacks). With a surplus of blueberries in my fridge, I decided to bake some into a delicious coffee cake.

Blueberry Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Glaze (from here, with a few changes)


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 

1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream 

1/4 cup buttermilk 
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a bundt pan. 

Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Cream together butter and sugar until well incorporated, add eggs one at a time and then vanilla. Mix until fluffy. Add in sour cream and beat until batter is smooth and fluffy. Then add in dry ingredients, beat until mostly mixed together and then add the buttermilk. Mix until batter is completely smooth.

In a small bowl, toss the blueberries together with remaining 2 tablespoons of flour. Gently fold the berries into the batter with a spatula.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for about 55 minutes. 

Allow cake to cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Allow cake to cool completely before adding glaze.

For the glaze, mix together sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla, then add milk, tablespoon by tablespoon until desired consistency is reached.

this recipe can also be found at some of my favorite food blog hops

Blueberry Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Glaze

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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th everyone! I hope you all have a fabulous, relaxing day!

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Cold Brew Coffee

I love iced coffee, it's one of my favorite things to drink.

For a while now I have seen several variations on the cold brew coffee, and read the claims of less acidity. I wanted to try it for myself. I love it! It's definitely a smoother flavor, and I love that it starts out cold, so you don't have to wait for your coffee to cool down before icing it.

Cold Brew Coffee (inspired by here, here, and here)
1/4 cup ground coffee

Measure coffee into a quart sized container with a lid (I love my mason jars for this) Fill the rest of the way with water, cover and give it a shake to mix it up a little bit, then lit the mixture sit for at least 12 hours.

Strain coffee mixture through a coffee filter set into a strainer (this process can take a while, but be patient).

Add coffee to your glass, then add milk/cream/sugar, etc to your liking.

  Add Milk 

Cold Brew Coffee

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