Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Salami and Arugula Breakfast Quesadillas

I just took breakfast to a whole new level.

This is like a cheese plate all wrapped up crunchy, gooey, quesadilla. My first bite sent me into wonderful breakfast bliss and all my troubles faded away.

Melty cheddar cheese, salty cured salami, crisp peppery arugula and perfectly scrambled eggs--oh this is what dreams are made of. I'm not kidding. This is a breakfast dressed to impress.

I am so obsessed with quesadillas that if I can have one for breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner, I will. I love the crunch of the tortillas and the smooth blanket of cheese. And let's not forget the bells and whistles--that is, the garnish. For me, my knees go week for cool, creamy sour cream and spicy salsa. If guacamole and chopped cilantro make your skirt fly up, they would be just perfect as well.

Now, I know there is some controversy over the best way to cook a quesadilla. Do you get a big tortilla, burrito size, fill one side with the good stuff and fold the other half over? Or do you get a smaller, 10-inch tortilla and top it with a second tortilla? I have tried both, but for this particular dish, I used the smaller, sandwich technique. I find it easier to flip this way.

Whatever way you flip, this a breakfast that will start each and every day on the right foot.

P.S. Quesadillas, previously: BBQ Chicken

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies



Are you baking up a storm in your kitchen? 'Tis the season after all. I am whipping up a whole bunch of these AH-mazing Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. Rich, sweet, chocolatey cookies, blanketed in a generous layer of powdered sugar. These cookies look like festive balls of snow, and they taste like everything you could ever want in a chocolate cookie.

I love these cookies for so many reason. First is, you can prepare the batter the night before, because it is critical that it chills for at least a few hours. Then the next morning, just roll the batter, toss each cookie in the powdered sugar, and bake! Another reason these are wonderful treats is that there is no fancy equipment or ingredients required. As long as you have a big bowl, a whisk, and a couple of cookie sheets, you are just a few steps away from decadent chocolate cookies.

After baking off my first batch, I was a bit sad because I didn't feel like the crinkles had enough powdered sugar on them (though they still tasted amazing!). The next time around, I was very generous with the powdered sugar, and now they look great! Just like the classic cookies you think of when you hear "crinkle cookies." So, pro-tip: don't be afraid to be heavy handed with your powdered sugar!

I guarantee Chocolate Crinkle Cookies will be a real crowd pleaser this Christmas season. All the chocolate lovers in your life will be begging you for these year-round!

For other chocolate cookie treats, check out the links below!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Spicy Sausage, Gnocchi and Kale Soup

SURPRISE! I have a new favorite soup!

I feel like I say this with every new soup I cook, but this one. OH, this soup. It is spicy and creamy, rustic yet refined. The ingredient list is small, but that doesn't mean this isn't packed with delicious flavor. In fact, this is a soup that is dressed to impress - perfect for early holiday get-togethers or as a first course at your Christmas table! 

This Spicy Sausage, Gnocchi and Kale Soup is like a big blanket wrapping you in warmth. It is truly the definition of comfort food. The spiciness of the hot Italian sausage is cooled wonderfully by the heavy cream. The kale is tender and filling, packed with all sorts of good-for-you nutrients. A can of diced tomatoes and a chiffonade of basil seems too appropriate here--their natural sweet and tangy tastes complimenting the sweet cream. 

And let's not forget the gnocchi. I might as well admit it now--I am wholeheartedly obsessed with gnocchi. Big fluffy potato dumplings. What could be better? I never thought to use gnocchi in soup; I was a bit concerned that they would become gummy and create a weird texture in the soup. Turns out, I was wrong. In fact, this soup is just as tasty the next day! 

As with most soups, I strongly recommend serving this with a big piece of crusty bread and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Some extra basil gives this creamy soup a much needed freshness. What more can I saw? I wouldn't change a single thing, Let's eat!