Lemon Loaf

A couple friends have reached out to me after seeing my Instagram post about my copy cat Lemon Loaf from Starbucks. So I thought I would actually log on to my blog and post the recipe here!

IMG_2068

Be warned, if you don’t like strong lemon flavor than this is NOT the cake for you. Seriously, it’s lemonlicious and makes your mouth pucker up just looking at this cake.

Lemon Loaf
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup sour cream ( I use light sour cream)
1/2 cup, 1 stick room temp unsalted butter
3 tablespoons lemon zest
3-4 drops lemon oil (I use DoTerra)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Lemon Glaze
2-2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour a loaf pan; set aside.

To a large bowl, add the eggs and sugar, whisk until smooth. Add the sour cream and the zest and the lemon oil, along with the softened butter.

Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and stir until just combined, don’t overmix.
Pour the batter into prepared pan. Bake for about 45-50 minutes, or until top is domed, set, and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Allow loaf to cool in pan on top of a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before turning out onto rack to cool completely before glazing. I chuck it in the freezer to help the cool down process if I can’t wait for the bread to be done. ;D
Lemon Glaze – To a small bowl, add the lemon juice and slowly mix in the confectioners sugar while trying not to spill it everywhere. Whisk until smooth and thick. You may need to play with the sugar and lemon juice amounts a bit as necessary for desired consistency and flavor.
Spread glaze over bread before slicing and serving. Reserve some glaze back and after about 10 minutes reapply the glaze over the top of the bread. This will ensure that nice thick layer of icing just the way Starbucks does it.

Enjoy!

Giving Thanks 2015

I am giving out Thanks this year. Because when I give gratefulness and thanks I get so much. I get this wonderful warm feeling that stays with me all day long. I get to see the smiles on the people I notice and see them be grateful for my thanks. It’s an incredible feeling. So this year I am thankful this year for our home. We bought a house in July and it’s been 5 years in the making. I am so incredibly grateful that we have a beautiful home and yard and people to share it with. I am filling with thanks and joy this holiday season. I am thankful that I do not have to host any holiday gathering this year even though it’s bittersweet for me. I am thankful for the extra time spent with my family instead of baking and cooking.

Finally, discount viagra health I am thankful to my Aunt Adele who assigned me to bring an appetizer this year to Thanksgiving in Rochester. Without her prompting I wouldn’t have experimented and come up with these delectable, dreamy, puffy cloud pillows of ooey-gooey cheesy cranberry goodness.

Like I said: I am thankful not to cook everything but my little fingers can’t help but wrap themselves around the closest spatula and dive right into cooking!

IMG_9714

Brie+Cranberry Puffs

For the Cranberry Sauce:

1 Tablespoon Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur

1 bag fresh cranberries; rinsed

1 cup apple cider

3/4 cup sugar

For the puffs:

2 wedges of your favorite Brie (I wish I would have used Le Delise de Bourgogne from Trader Joe’s)

2 packages of Pepperidge Farms Puff Pastry Sheets

1/4 cup crushed pistachios

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large sauce pot over medium heat add rinsed cranberries, sugar and apple cider. Bring to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of Chambord Black Raspberry liquor. Reduce heat to low and mash cranberries with a wooden spoon or spatula. Continue to cook, about 8 minutes until all berries have popped and sauce is thickened slightly. Coat the back of your spoon or spatula and run your finger down the middle. If the sauce remains separated then it’s done. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Remove thawed puff pastry from packaging and lay flat on pastry Silpat or clean cutting board. After you’ve unfolded the pastry sheets, fold in the opposite direction to give you cut guides. Cut each sheet into squares of 9. Place each square into a mini tart pan making sure to press down to create a “bowl” shape. Take a fork and dock the bottom of each pastry puff so they remain flat on the bottom.

Cut cheese into cubes, it’s easiest if you allow cheese to harden in the freezer for 15 minutes before cutting. Place one cube into each pastry puff and bake at 425 for 10-15 minutes into cheese is oozing and pastry is flaky and golden brown. Remove from oven and place the puffs on a serving platter. Taking a teaspoon place a dollop of the cranberry sauce on top of the melted cheese and garnish with crumbled pistachios.

Happy Thanksgiving!

image

Ode to the Cauliflower

So I’m perusing HuffPost a few weeks ago and I happen across this insane pic of an entire head of Cauliflower that’s been roasted. It looked so cool. I’m not going to lie, cialis generic click I wanted to make it for the wow factor alone! Seriously guys, cialis usa it’s so cool looking!! Look!!

FullSizeRender

So so I clicked on the recipe attached to the killer photo and I immediately recoiled. No, I will not put Greek yogurt on a Cauliflower. Cauliflower is already a vegetable. We don’t have to make this any healthier. Vegetables like Cauliflower were made as vessels for copious amounts of sour cream based Dill and Ranch dips. Sorry. Nope. Not happening. And double not happening to adding Cumin to the yogurt first. Nah-uhn. Cumin is only acceptable in Indian cuisine. Oh, well, Chili too. But that’s it. Consider this my line in the sand on that spice.

Meanwhile, back to the Cauliflower and well, the recipe. I decided to throw it out and make my own. Huge. Surprise. Right?

IMG_4863

So here is my Sour Cream Sriracha-luscious take on the humble-bumbly white crumbly food I lovely refer to as excuse for dip. Even though I am a secret Cauliflower lover.

Happy Tasting!

IMG_4867

Cauliflower Bomb

1 cup Daisy Light Sour Cream

1 Tablespoon Sriracha Sauce

1 Tablespoon Granulated Garlic

1 knifepoint of Hot Pimenton (Paprika)

1 Teaspoon Salt

1 Teaspoon Pepper

IMG_4870

Method

Preheat over to 400 degrees F. Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl until mixture is well combined. Set aside. Wash Cauliflower head and remove all green leaves and woody stem being careful to keep the whole head intact. Dip Cauliflower into the bowl with the Sour Cream Sriracha mixture making sure every surface is coated. Place on a sheet pan lined with aluminium foil that has been lightly greased and bake for 50-60 minutes or until the Cauliflower Bomb is golden brown on top. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Cut into slices and serve warm.

IMG_4872Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Giggles

IMG_5630

Almost every morning my son and I enjoy a piece of cinnamon raisin toast with peanut butter on it. It’s kind of our thing, cialis site and I’m totally in love with it. We sit down together at the table and for the next 10-20 minutes our fingers get sticky, viagra sales clinic our faces get sticky and we literally cannot stop the giggles that roll out of us. It’s the best. :)

I was telling my friend Carolyn a few weeks ago about our morning giggles fest and she said to me: “add some coconut oil to your toast first, it will change you life!” Well I’m here to tell you, it did change my life for the better! Now at first spread, the coconut oil seems a little weird, but it melts right into the bread just like butter. So I got to thinking. Why not make my own PB with coconut oil? So, of course I made some. I can’t help myself.

So here is my take on Peanut Butter, and it’s pretty damn delicious if I do say so myself.

Happy Tasting!

IMG_5632

Homemade Peanut Butter

1-1 1/2 cups whole roasted Peanuts; shelled

1/4-1/2 cups Organic refined Coconut Oil

2 Tablespoons Organic Wildflower Honey

IMG_5633

In the bow of a Food Processor fitted with a steel blade, add the peanuts and coconut oil and blend until smooth. This takes about 10 minutes. I like to pulse the machine to make sure I break up all the peanuts really well. I also had to do several rounds of scraping down the sides of the bowl. If the Peanuts are not blending add more Coconut Oil. If the mixture is too oily, add some more shelled Peanuts. Once you reach a smooth consistency, add the honey and blend for another minute or two. Voila, you’ve got your Peanut Butter. You can either refrigerate your PB or your can leave it on the counter in an airtight container for about 2 weeks. Not that it will last that long…

IMG_5642

Terrariums and why I love Target…

Stick with me on this post. It might seem a little frazzled, tadalafil decease perhaps even a little crazy, but I promise by the end I will make sense. If I don’t, then perhaps I am a glass of wine ahead of you on this fine Friday afternoon, don’t worry, you can always catch up!IMG_5492

So I have two beautiful, sweet, adoring, loveable cats, that are all the adjectives mentioned above and more. Like, obnoxious, crazy and they literally will eat any plant in site. Whatever happened to animal sensing danger and steering clear? Anyways, thanks to Target Boutique (as my family calls it) I can now have house plants without fear of my cats! YAY!

IMG_5498

Target is good like that. Seriously. Target is the quintessential $100 dollar store. When’s the last time you visited? Did you spend roughly $100? Yeah, see. Crazy when you think about it. I blame it on their “dollar section.” They have all this great stuff in the dollar section and then they hit you with the $3 items, which are usually just a step above the dollar items in cuteness and functionality. So you come in for toothpaste and walk out with a cart full of amazing finds! Like these $3 glass hanging terrariums. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first spotted them. I was like: “No way! That’s gotta be plastic.” Nope. 3 bucks buys you these adorably cute terrariums that you can fill with whatever your heart desires!

IMG_5509

I decided I wanted to fill my terrariums with succulents and some small “fairy plants.” So a quick trip to Bachman’s was in order and in 10 minutes I had 3 mini terrarium gardens to hang where I choose. So, get yourself to a Target and get crafting.

All you need is:

Pot of dirt

3 terrariums

6-8 assorted “fairy plants”

water

Add a little dirt to the bottom of each terrarium then remove the plants you want to use from their individual pots. Place plants into the terrarium very carefully making sure to cover up the roots. If you need to add more dirt to cover the plants that’s fine. Water the plants and hang where you want. You can hang them individually or you can tie them all together and hang as one, like I did.

IMG_5515

Happy Crafting!

Burritolicious

Yesterday we spent two and a half hours in the car running around trying to find the perfect house to buy. Not only did we do that but we also did that while dealing with a cranky, viagra search teething, cialis bored 15 month old. Needless to say I was exhausted when we got home. Then the hubby remembered we were out of cat food right it the middle of my food prep time and left to go get some. Seriously. I now understand all those parent cliches about time and forgetfulness… I am NOT laughing… ok, maybe just a little.

So I challenged myself to make a 15 minute dinner while running around after my crazy child, who loves to get into anything that even looks slightly forbidden. For those of you who know me, that’s pretty much never where I am at. I come from the school of if you slave over your food it tastes better. I don’t know why I feel this way. But after completing the challenge I’m sorta changing the way I think about quick dinners.

I even managed to grill the dinner and have it plated on the table when the hubby walked back in the door. Seriously guys. This. Never. Happens. I must be living in Bizzaro world. ( Hon, is that what it’s called in the Superman Comics?)

So anyways, here is my quick 15 minute sorta burrito Mexican food dish. Can you tell I need a better name. Any Mexican food aficionados that can help me out with this one? Until then, I will simply call this recipe Burritolicious.

burritolicious

Burritolicious

For the sauce

1/2 cup Sour Cream ( I use Daisy)

1 can Mild Green Chiles

1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper

3 Green Onions; rough chopped

2 sticks of Mozzarella String Cheese

( I’m sure Cotija cheese would be just as delicious, I just didn’t have any)

Salt; to taste

For the Burritos

Flour tortillas

Shredded Cheese

1 can Black Beans; rinsed

Avocado; sliced

Trader Joe’s Carne Asada

Grill Carne Asada according to package instructions. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the Sour Cream, Green Onions, String Cheese, Cayenne Pepper and Green Chiles. Blend until smooth. Add salt to taste. Set aside. Cut Avocado into slices, set aside. Once meat is done cooking, remove from grill and place on plate covered with foil, allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes. In the meantime, place tortillas on the grill and grill for 1-2 minutes per side until golder brown and slightly puffy. Move the tortillas to the top rack of grill, add 1/8-1/4 cup of shredded cheese on each and close the lid for 2-4 minutes to allow cheese to melt. While cheese is melting, cut up your Carne Asada.

Assemble your “burrito” by placing the Black Beans and Carne Adada on the melted cheese followed by the “crema” sauce, top with Avocado and dig in.

They are so good, that I was so busy eating them, I forgot to take a picture with the Avocado on top. Oops!

burritolicious2

Happy Tasting!

Croque-en-Bouche

Lately I’ve been a little under inspired. It’s not for a lack of trying. I have actually been testing recipes like crazy, viagra canada sick I’m just not loving what I come up with. I try to tell myself that sometimes this happens. That it happens to the best chefs in America. That even the Barefoot Contessa must have the off day or two here and there, generic cialis prescription where not even the clout of her name is high enough to keep a souffle from falling. So to get me out of my food funk, viagra what seems more rational than trying one of the culinary world’s scariest desserts?

Croque-en-Bouche, when done right, is a glittering tower of delicious golden clouds filled with sweet, rich pastry cream and glazed with a molten caramel that forms not only the sinfully delicious glue that holds this magnificent tower together, but the perfect crunchy juxtaposition for all that sweet smooth cream.

Now traditionally speaking, Croque-en-Bouche is a French wedding Cake. I believe the literal translation is: Crunches in Mouth. Emily, is that right??

Now I don’t know anyone getting married, but I need a major accomplishment to get me out of my food funk, so if I pull this off, I’m going to celebrate and dance like I did on my wedding day! And then I’m going to eat every damn delicious golden bite. Well, maybe my hubby can help.

So, wish me luck… here goes nothing!

Croque-en-Bouche

For the Pate de Choix batter

1 cup organic unsalted sweet cream butter
2 cups water
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon granulated sea salt
9 eggs
For the Pastry Cream
3/4 cup organic fair trade cane sugar
6 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 cup of unbleached all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups organic whole milk
1 1/2 cup fresh Raspberries
2 teaspoons vanilla
For the Caramel
3 cups organic fair trade cane sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Method

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter in water. Bring liquid comes to a rolling boil, add all the flour and salt. Stir vigorously until mixture forms a solid ball/chunk and comes away from the sides of the pan. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes. Using a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, pour the pate de choix batter into the bowl, beat in the  eggs, one at a time, making sure batter is completely smooth after each egg.

IMG_5097

When dough is satin smooth, place in a piping bag and pipe small 1-1 1/2 inch rounds onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing them at least 1 inch apart. You will want to use at least two half sheet pans. Smooth the tips of dough down with dampened fingers, and bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and pierce each puff with the tip of a sharp knife to allow excess steam to escape. Return to the oven for another 4-5 minutes. Check them often to make sure they do not burn. Place on racks to cool. When cool, fill each puff with pastry cream. (Puffs may be baked up to 24 hours in advance but once they are filled the Croque-en-Bouche should be assembled immediately.) Dough yields roughly 70 puffs.

IMG_5109

 Place eggs and sugar and Vanilla in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until the eggs and sugar are pale yellow in color. Add in 1 1/2 cups fresh Raspberries blend until smooth. Add in salt and flour and blend until smooth.  Very slowly add the scalding milk through the feed tube. Return mixture to a heavy saucepan and cook over medium/low heat whisking constantly. Mixture will thicken quickly, keep whisking to avoid lumps, about 6 minutes. When very thick, remove from heat, pour into a bowl, and press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of cream to prevent a skin from forming and chill thoroughly, about an hour. Yields roughly 4 cups.

Place sugar, cream of tartar and water in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat only until sugar is dissolved. Do not stir after that, swirl pan only. Raise heat and allow syrup to cook until it is a deep golden color (hard crack on a candy thermometer). Remove from heat and place in a large pan containing boiling water to keep it soft and manageable.

IMG_5129

Using a piping bag filled with the cooled pastry cream, pipe a small amount into each puff until just full. Lift individual puffs with your fingers and dip into the caramel. Place caramel side down on a large round serving platter. Make a round of puffs then another ring of puffs on top. Keep building in this manner to form a tall cone. Any remaining caramel can be drizzled over the top.

IMG_5139

Happy Tasting!

Bacon + Pea Carbonara

Carbonara

Is there anything on this Earth that is better than bacon? I can only think of a few things that are better that straight up bacon and they usually include the use of bacon. Can you tell I live in the Midwest? For the hearty folk of Minnesota, cialis generic treatment meat, generic viagra well more specifically bacon, will always be a staple of life. One of the reasons I love living in Minnesota. We are unashamed of our love of meat. (Take that how you will) ;)

Bacon+Pea Carbonara

5 strips Un-cured Nitrate Free Bacon

1/2 cup Frozen Peas

2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream

3 Organic Free Range Egg Yolks

1/3 box of Spaghetti ( I use Creamette)

Grated Parmesan to finish

Method

In a large pot bring 6 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add 1/3 box of Spaghetti and cook until “al dente.” Meanwhile, in a large saute pan over medium flame, cook bacon strips until crisp, about 6-8 minutes. Add minced garlic cloves. Cook for 1 minutes making sure garlic does not burn. Add the frozen peas and cook 2-3 minutes. Add the cream and bring to a simmer. Separate 3 egg yolks. Off the flame add the yolks 1 at a time to the pea and cream mixture, whisking constantly so the egg yolks don’t coagulate. Drain the pasta and toss in the cream sauce. Crumble the bacon on top and stir into the pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan and enjoy!

Happy Tasting!

Blueberry Upside Down Streusel Cake

IMG_4969

Each time I write a new post, sildenafil rx I am greeted with my host page asking me: what’s on my mind? Well WordPress, viagra what’s on my mind is Blueberries!! I’m not gonna lie, cialis sale Blueberries are far from my favorite berry. I know, I know, who doesn’t love Blueberries? Well in my humble opinion Raspberries are far superior to Blueberries AND everyone’s favorite the Strawberry.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Blueberries. Blueberries are great little bites of sweetness bursting in your mouth, I just genuinely don’t understand the obsession with putting them into everything you bake. Blueberry pastry, blueberry pancakes, blueberry pie, blueberry coffee cake, blueberry donuts…. the list goes on.

After going to the grocery store and seeing the wonderful fresh organic Blueberries just sitting in the aisle calling my name, I got home and shortly realized that I had bought an overabundance of Blueberries. So knowing my husband the way that I do, I knew I had to come up with some kind of baked Blueberry dish to satisfy both my overabundance of fruit and my hubby’s teenage appetite!

IMG_4967

So here it is, a veritable Frankenstein like mash up of 3 different concepts. Blueberry bread, Blueberry Streusel, and Blueberry Bunt cake. I like to call it, Blueberry Upside Down Streusel Cake. I couldn’t snap a pic of my hubby stuffing his face with it, but believe me, it’s husband approved too! And I gotta say, after having 3 pieces in two days, I’m starting to understand this Blueberry baking obsession!

Happy Tasting!

Blueberry Upside-down Streusel Cake

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature + 3 tablespoons for pan greasing

2 cups all purpose unbleached flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup organic fair trade sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 cup fresh organic Blueberries

2 Lemons, zested + juiced

1 cup Streusel

For the Streusel

2 cups all purpose unbleached flour

3/4 cup light brown sugar; packed

zest of one Lemon

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

For the Glaze

1/4 cup fresh squeezed Lemon juice

2 cups confectioners sugar

IMG_4964

Method

Prehead oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a large bunt pan; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy. In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking soda and powder and salt. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the creamed butter, sugar and eggs, alternating with adding the buttermilk, until all the wet and dry ingredients are combined. Fold in blueberries and pour into your buttered and floured bunt pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine flour, sugar, lemon zest, and butter until large moist clumps form. Place the Streusel on top of the Blueberry batter. Bake until the cake is golden brown and Streusel is golden brown in color and when an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 40-50 minutes. Gently transfer the cake to cake stand, but flipping the cake upside down.

In a small liquid measuring cup, whisk fresh Lemon juice and confection sugar until it forms a smooth, lump free glaze. Pour glaze over the humps of the bunt cake while still hot so that the glaze is absorbed. Let cake cool, and serve.

IMG_4971

Enjoy!

Black Pepper & Bay Cherry Cider

IMG_3391c

These days thoughts of Fall occupy my brain. Each day I look out my window I see the leaves on the trees changing from the varying shades green to the intense oranges, cialis search yellows and reds of harvest season. The days are still pretty warm here, sale but I love comfort this time of year, so I tried my hand at a twist on traditional warm cider. Black Pepper and Bay Cherry Cider, and I have to say, it’s like Fall in a glass. Even though it doesn’t have the requisite addition of pumpkin flavoring.

IMG_3471c

IMG_3474c

Black Pepper & Bay Cherry Cider

4 cups Cherry Cider (found at Trader Joe’s)

4 dried Bay leaves

1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of Black Peppercorns; divided

Method:

Crush 1 teaspoon of black peppercorns with a mortar and pestle. Add cider, bay leaves, crushed peppercorns and whole peppercorns to a medium sized sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes, then turn off flame. Let the black peppercorns and bay steep for another 5 minutes. Using a sieve, strain cider and pour into your favorite mug and enjoy.