Apr 1, 2013

Roasted Smashed Potatoes

These potatoes make a perfect potato side dish. They are crunch and creamy, easy to make and full of flavor without much fat. I love them plain with sea salt, fresh cracked pepper and a bit of olive oil. I enjoy them with chopped rosemary and I've also made them with chives and thyme.

It seems like a recipe repertoire always needs another good potato side dish. You cook red potatoes until they are fork tender and then mash them flat onto a rimmed baking sheet. Brush them with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs to taste. Pop them into a hot oven and allow them to become crispy. I hope you enjoy these potatoes as much as we do.

Mar 26, 2013

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Spring is just around the corner and I can't think of a better way to embrace it than by baking up a batch of these cookies.  They are pale and the bottoms are a beautiful golden color. They remind me of daffodils with the bright yellow flecks of lemon zest in the glaze. The cookies themselves are soft and pillowy, almost the same texture as a cupcake top. More like tiny glazed cakes than glazed cookies. They are full of lemon flavor.

The cookies themselves aren't super sweet, but the glaze walks the line between tart and sweet. These are the perfect little afternoon nibble, the cookies just beg to be devoured. 

Mar 25, 2013

Vanilla Bean Egg Cream

Old fashioned soda fountain drinks are fun and nostalgic. An egg cream is a beverage consisting of milk, and soda water  and vanilla or chocolate syrup.  It is associated with Brooklyn, New York. Most modern versions of the drink contain neither eggs nor cream. 

This is a mildly sweet drink, that isn't super rich, but tastes strongly of vanilla. It is a classic soda fountain drink. It doesn't include eggs, but it might be fun for Easter since it is called an Egg Cream.

Mar 20, 2013

Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette

I created a vanilla bean vinaigrette and simple salad to complement it. Like any salad you can substitute or omit any ingredients that you might not like or have on hand. This is a simple idea that really allows the vanilla to shine without being overly sweet like syrup.

Mar 14, 2013

Cream Puff Dessert aka Eclair Dessert

I grew up eating this dessert. It is inspired by classic cream puffs, however, because of the chocolate on the top, my family always called it eclair dessert. This is a wonderful treat and is well received at birthday parties, holiday get-togethers and gatherings. This dessert is definitely a favorite.

When Cale and I were dating, he asked my mom to make this constantly. He loves it. I don't make it very often for two reasons: 1) It makes a large half-sheet pan (I don't want to be tempted to nibble on it all day).  2) It uses instant pudding and Cool Whip (items that I don't have in my house and rarely buy).

This dessert has a light, soft and puffy bottom layer. It is basically a P√Ęte a choux [paht ah shoo], or a dough similar to the base for cream puffs and eclairs. The next layer is followed by a smooth and creamy pudding layer and topped with whipped cream or Cool Whip. It is then drizzled with a homemade chocolate syrup that sets up ever so slightly. This dessert really is delicious.

I only got a quick picture of this before I took it to a party. There are multiple layers, but I didn't get any pictures because there wasn't any left after the gathering. If you have a pot-luck or large get-together -- make sure you think of this dessert, you will get plenty of raves and recipe requests.

Mar 11, 2013

Ranch Dip

I haven't posted in a looong time. I haven't been cooking a lot lately and I found lots of other things to do with my time. However, when I get multiple requests for a recipe it seems more simple to just post a recipe on the blog than to continue to type up emails for multiple people. Also, as good as that Butternut Squash Lasagna is, I'm tired of looking at it.

I'm a big hummus fan. I love the smooth, creamy texture of hummus. However, I feel ranch dip does a better job appeasing the masses. More adults and kids like ranch than hummus, so this is a simple ranch dip that brightens a veggie tray and tastes great too.  This dip is a crowd pleaser, which is a good thing because it makes a TON.

This ranch dip is super simple it really doesn't even need a recipe, but since people keep asking me for it, I'll post the ingredients. It doesn't seem like a recipe, when all you need to do is dump a few ingredients and mix.

This dip will stay good in the refrigerator for a week, but please be prepared to serve it for a crowd because it makes a lot.