Monday, November 14, 2016

Apple Spice Bundt Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze

I love any excuse to have cake for breakfast!

Or lunch, or dinner, or snacks.

Hey, so real quick. Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK. I know, don't panic (I'm panicking).

The good news is, for those of us hosting an overnight guest or two or four, I made us a perfect make-ahead breakfast treat!

This Apple Spice Bundt Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze is festive, decadent and delicious. Apples, pecans, and spices come together in a moist cake topped with a rich, sweet glaze that is out of this world. Since we'll be spending much of our time on Thanksgiving day worrying about how exactly we are supposed to cook a turkey (how do people just KNOW how to cook a turkey?!), this cake is baked up the day before. Slice and serve with hot coffee while you and your family watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for pure holiday morning bliss!

P.S. Are you the aforementioned overnight guest? Might I suggest surprising your host with this beauty? They will love you even more than they presumably already do!

There is something so beautifully vintage about a bundt cake. They are showstoppers in and of themselves. But this cake? Well, that drippy glaze? Those crunchy, toasted pecans? It's practically a work of art. A very delicious work of art that fills your home with the most intoxicating scents of autumn!

Breath, bake, and enjoy this cake.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Apple-Infused Bourbon Moscow Mules

If you're thirsty and you know it, clap your hands!

*clap clap*

We did it, guys! We made it through the ugliest election year ever and now, my goodness, we are going to have a cocktail. We deserve it.

Because it's November and we all have the holidays on our mind, I took the liberty of taking a classic cocktail (the Moscow Mule) and making it festive (by swapping vodka for apple cinnamon infused bourbon).

I strongly suggest you keep this recipe for Apple-Infused Bourbon Moscow Mules in your back pocket for any and all holiday gatherings this year. They are sweet and spicy and full of flavor. We are on a huge mule kick (HA!) right now as we just got ourselves a set of monogram copper mugs. Although they aren't essential to the drink, they do have a funny way of keeping your drink chilled for longer - science!

To start, we need to infuse our bourbon. I'm no bourbon expert, so I just use whatever bourbon I like to drink in cocktails. Start by slicing up 2 fresh apples (maybe from that apple picking reserve we are all desperately trying to get through) and splitting them between two mason jars. Nestle a cinnamon stick inside and grate in some fresh nutmeg and lemon zest. Cover with bourbon and marinate in the fridge 6 hours or overnight. Now you're ready!

As for the Moscow Mules, we absolutely need ginger beer. Ginger beer is less sweet and a bit more spicy than ginger ale. If you're a ginger lover like me, you are going to be obsessed with any and all cocktails that use ginger beer. A bit of fresh lime will also serve you well in your mule journeys. Tart, fresh, the perfect compliment.

So, not to be dramatic, but these bourbon mules taste quite a bit like pie. The more you drink, the more the ginger flavor comes through, cutting the sweetness in a very addicting way.


Monday, November 7, 2016

Pearl Cous Cous with Caramelized Mushrooms and Sage Brown Butter

Do you ever get an idea in your head, and you just can't stop thinking about it?

That happened to me recently and this delightful Pearl Cous Cous with Caramelized Mushrooms and Sage Brown Butter was the end result.

The idea actually came to me from a bottle of olive oil. I know, what am I even saying? Well, have you noticed a lot of boutique olive oil shops popping up everywhere? This is a big food trend right now. These local shops brew and infuse their own olive oil and balsamic vinegar and create some of the most unique and delicious flavors. These are great for cooking as well as marinades and salad dressings!

My favorite infusions tend to be herb-infused. I've had rosemary olive oil, basil olive oil, even cilantro-lime olive oil. After a recent visit to the Crushed Olive in Sayville, NY, I fell in l.o.v.e. with their Wild Mushroom and Sage Olive Oil. I KNOW. Too perfect for this time of year!

And so, I became obsessed with this idea of mushrooms and sage...and not just mushrooms, but buttery, caramelized mushrooms. Be still my heart.

P.S. Can we all agree to stop thinking that we don't like mushrooms? I don't know what happened to give mushrooms such a bad wrap. I have to assume these haters just haven't had mushrooms cooked down so perfectly until tender? And bursting with flavor that you simply can't get anywhere else?

Whoops, minor mushroom ramble. Let me tell you some quick things about this amazing recipe because I know that's what you're here for. First is - flavor. Flavor, flavor, flavor. Mushrooms are cooked down in a bit of butter and olive oil and honey (yes! for caramelization!) with a bunch of sage, garlic and lemon zest. If you have neighbors, you should probably apologize now for how amazing your home is going to smell. This gets tossed together with tender, nutty whole wheat pearl cous cous, a big handful of parmesan cheese, a squeeze of lemon juice and...and...

Sage. Infused. Brown. Butter!

Enjoy this cous cous as a lunch or paired with a protein for a wonderfully quick dinner. Hosting a Friends-giving this year? Might I suggest adding this to your table? It's sure to be a hit!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Soup's On!

Hi there, internet! How are you doing?

Sorry there has been a bit of radio silence around here. In an effort to not bring down the mood too much, I'll just say this: life. Life happens. It's been busy. Sadly, my wonderful Grandma passed away last week. She was 96, and we were able to celebrate her with family and friends for a few days, and that was lovely. I've also been slightly unmotivated in the kitchen. I was stumped for new ideas and when I did have an idea, it would bomb. It happens sometimes, it's just a creativity rut. But, the good news is, I've been doing a lot of eating outside of my kitchen. I will say that it is rather interesting how a little time eating someone else's food can get the juices flowing. Also with Thanksgiving less than a month away (OMG STOP - how can this be?!) food is surely going to be on our brains for the next few weeks.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I am HOSTING - yes, indeed. In my two bedroom apartment, we will be piling in both my family and my in-laws for a non-stop day of eating. Please pray that I don't burn the turkey, that my pie crust comes together with ease, and that I can make my Grandma's Cheesy Carrot Casserole as tasty as she always did. Thank you <3

Are you chilly? I'm cold. We are resisting putting our heat on for as long as possible, but yesterday there was frost on the ground. Temptation is real.

When life gets chilly and you just want something delicious to eat, I always turn to my soup pot. I've made a whole lot of soup and stew and chowder around here (see my recipe list for the complete repertoire). Today, I'm rounding up a few of my most recent favorites that you should be sure to add to your menu this week!

Coconut Curry Chicken and Rice Soup - Flavor is seriously amped up in this warming, zingy soup. It's a crazy twist on an old classic, and I especially love soaking up that extra coconut curry broth with a warm piece of naan bread. Ugh, I'm starving!

Crockpot Harvest Beef and Barley Stew - This stands as one of my most popular recipes of 2015, and for good reason. First of all, your slow cooker does all the work for you. Then there are the autumnal flavors of rosemary and sweet potato in every bite, making this meal as comforting as your favorite flannel pjs!

Spicy Sausage, Gnocchi and Kale Soup - The ingredient list is small (awesome) but the flavor is out of this world (amazing)! Pillows of gnocchi and ribbons of kale swimming in a slightly spicy, slightly sweet creamy pool of soup - what's not to love!

Ground Lamb and Pearl Cous Cous Stew - I la-la-looove lamb, and a bit of ground lamb in this stew creates a unique, gamey flavor that gets complimented with a bit of cinnamon and tomato paste. This is a little off the beaten path, but wow is it tasty. It reminds me a lot of the rustic stews and soups we had during our honeymoon in Iceland!

Cream of Turkey Soup with Wild Rice Medley - Hi, were you listening earlier when I said Thanksgiving is on it's way? That means it won't be much longer until Thanksgiving LEFTOVERS, which let's be real are the true MVPs of this holiday. This soup. Holy cow. Rich, delicious, simple. I'm totally addicted!

New recipes coming next week! See you then :-)