Midnight Pumpkin Layer Cake

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Happy belated Thanksgiving! It’s been so long since we’ve published a blog post here. Since we left for college, we sadly have not had access to a kitchen (I can’t wait to be an upperclassmen when I have a kitchen in my dorm!). College has been going really well, but it was wonderful going home for Thanksgiving and getting back into the kitchen for a bit. We made some of our favorite things- lots of salad, these awesome pizzas from Smitten Kitchen, chocolate chip cookies, apple cake, French onion soup grilled cheeses, and more.

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Amongst the “more” is this cake, which we made in honor of our birthday/our Dad’s birthday (both of which happened while we were away at school). It’s two layers of pumpkin cake with a layer of dark chocolate cake, chocolate chip cream cheese filling, and dark chocolate frosting. It was also supposed to have a layer of caramel, but unfortunately we had to eyeball the temperature we were supposed to cook it to since our thermometer broke and miscalculated a bit, so our caramel seized up. Oh well! The cake was still fantastic without it, and very decadent (although I’m sure the caramel wouldn’t be an unwelcome addition!). The frosting is really reminiscent of fudge sauce, but thicker. This was definitely a nice treat to have at the beginning of break! We will be cooking up a storm throughout December/January when we go home for break, so there will hopefully be more blog posts coming during that time.

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Midnight Pumpkin Layer Cake
 Recipe from Sweetapolita

Makes 1 3-layer 8-inch cake

Ingredients

For the chocolate cake layer:
3/4 cup (80 g) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1/3 cup hot coffee
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the pumpkin cake layers:
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
1//2 cup (120 g) packed light brown sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
2 cups (260 g) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon salt
For the salted caramel sauce:
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Large pinch of sea salt
For the chocolate chip cream cheese filling:
1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (190 g) powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 8 oz. package of cream cheese, cut into cubes, softened
3/4 cup (120 g) mini chocolate chips
For the dark chocolate frosting:
1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups (300 g) sugar
1 1/4 cups (150 g) dark cocoa powder, sifted
Large pinch of salt
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup full-fat sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

For the chocolate cake layer:
Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray an 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray and line the bottom with a parchment paper round. Into a large bowl, sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a medium measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, ,coffee, oil, egg, and vanilla. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk until smoothly combined, for about 1 minute. Pour the batter into the cake pan.
Bake on the middle rack of the oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes and turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For the spiced pumpkin cake layers:
Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray and line bottoms with parchment paper rounds.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and eggs together on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add oil and vanilla and  beat for 30 seconds on medium. Add pumpkin and mix for 30 seconds more.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, and salt, and add to the pumpkin mixture on the lowest speed.
Divide batter between prepared pans and bake on the middle rack of the oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes and then invert onto a rack to let them cool fully.
For the salted caramel:
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together the sugar, water, and lemon juice. Brush down the sides of the saucepan with a wet pastry brush and increase the heat to medium-high.
Stop stirring and let the mixture cook until it turns amber, about 8 minutes. Quickly remove the saucepan from the heat and add the heavy cream and butter (the mixture will bubble/steam). Return the pan to medium-high heat, and using a candy thermometer, cook until the caramel reaches 248°F.
Transfer the caramel to a heatproof bowl and stir in the vanilla and sea salt. It will thicken as it cools. Store in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
For the chocolate chip cream cheese filling:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt, and beat on low until combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 6 more minutes until light and fluffy. Add cream cheese and beat for 1 more minute. Stir in the chocolate chips. Keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.
For the dark chocolate frosting:
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. The mixture will be thick and grainy.
Whisk in the heavy cream and sour cream. Heat until hot to the touch and smooth, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla. Transfer frosting to a heatproof bowl and let cool. Refrigerate until spreadable, about 3 hours.
Assembly:
On a cake board or plate, place one of the layers of pumpkin cake. Spread half of the cream cheese filling across it, and then top with half of the caramel (leaving 2 inches around the perimeter of the cake for the frosting to spread). Place chocolate cake layer on top and repeat with another layer of the filling and caramel. Top with a layer of the pumpkin cake. Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes.
Frost entire outside of cake with the frosting, using a thin layer. Refrigerate for 15 minutes, and repeat with another layer of frosting. If desired, use a piping bag to decorate the cake and a pastry comb around the sides of the cake. Top with sprinkles, if desired. Keep the cake refrigerated if not using immediately  (let refrigerated cake sit for 2 hours before serving). Serve and enjoy!

Feta Flatbread with Caramelized Onions and Roasted Red Peppers

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Wow, are we bad at blog posting this summer! The first part of the summer compromised of working and babysitting a lot, while the past month has seemed to have evaporated away in the midst of shopping and otherwise preparing for college. We leave on Wednesday, which is hard to imagine! Leah and I are attending the same college, which I believe we mentioned here before, but my dorm is located about a mile away from Leah’s and we have no classes together, so we will likely have pretty different freshman year experiences. We’re both excited, but of course this is going to be a big adjustment!

The flatbread I’m posting about today has nothing to do with college (except for the fact that I’m going to have to go several months without cooking, sadly), but it is delicious! We took pizza dough and brushed it with garlic-infused olive oil. We then sprinkled it with caramelized onions, crumbled feta, and roasted red peppers and baked it in a flaming hot oven until crisp. The combination was wonderful and we really enjoyed this flatbread.

Feta Flatbread with Roasted Red Peppers and Caramelized Onions

Serves 3 as a full meal and 6-8 as an appetizer

Ingredients

1 ball pizza dough

1/2 cup caramelized onions (see directions here- save leftovers for putting on burgers, in mac and cheese, etc.)

1 roasted red pepper, sliced or chopped

1/2-1 cup crumbled feta cheese

2 small cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 cup olive oil

Dash of red pepper flakes

Directions

Preheat oven to 500-550 with a pizza stone located on the middle rack.

Heat olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan until garlic begins to sizzle and the mixture is fragrant.

Flatten the pizza dough until very thin and brush with some of the garlic oil. Top with caramelized onions, roasted red pepper pieces, and onions.

Transfer pizza to stone and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the crust is brown and crisp around the edges. Let cool briefly, then slice and serve. Enjoy!

 

Nutella Frosting

Nutella Frosting

I can’t believe that the first week of August is over! This summer has been flying by, and we’ll be leaving for college in 18 short days. 18 days is not enough time to buy everything we need and, of course, cook our way through our “make-before-college” list. Well, hopefully everything that needs to get done will get done eventually!

One of our friends came over a couple of weeks ago to bake, and she picked this Nutella frosting for cupcakes. We won’t be posting the cupcake recipe today since we still haven’t found our ideal one, but this frosting needs to be shared before our blog inevitably becomes neglected when we leave for college. It’s heavenly- fudgy, creamy, and full of chocolate flavor. It’s as delicious eaten from a spoon as it is on top of a cupcake. The Nutella flavor isn’t super strong, but it’s definitely there and is what makes the frosting so perfect.

Nutella Frosting

Recipe from Sweetapolita

Frosts about 2 dozen cupcakes or one 2-layer 8″ cake

Ingredients:

4 1/2 cups (565 grams) powdered sugar

1 1/2 cups (340 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature (sometimes we like to substitute             1/2 cup of the unsalted butter for salted and omit the pinch of salt)

1 cup (280 grams) Nutella

3/4 cup full-fat sour cream

11 ounces (330 grams) dark chocolate, melted and cooled slightly

1 tablespoon  vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Directions:

It’s easy- place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until very smooth, about 1 minute. Place the frosting in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to let the frosting thicken a bit. Frost cupcakes, a cake, etc. Enjoy!

 

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Éclairs

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One of the first “fancy” things Leah and I ever baked was a batch of cream puffs. I’m not sure how we made that selection, but I’m glad we did! Ever since, we’ve had a fondness for anything involving pâte à choux. When one of the blogs we follow posted a recipe for chocolate covered strawberry éclairs recently, we knew we had to make it- it was just a matter of having the time to get around to it! We finally did, and these were truly amazing.

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The traditional éclair shell is filled with a thick and creamy strawberry pastry cream and then topped with chocolate ganache. You can also top yours (optionally) with chopped freeze-dried strawberries. These are not too difficult to make, but will surely impress your family and friends.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Éclairs

Recipe from Love and Olive Oil

Makes 16 small/8 large éclairs

Ingredients

For the pastry cream:

1 3/4 cups whole milk

2 large eggs

1 large egg yolk

2/3 cup (5 ounces) granulated sugar

1/3 cup fresh strawberry purée

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1-2 drops red food coloring (optional; we omitted this)

For éclairs:

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup water

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 large eggs

For ganache and topping:
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
Crushed freeze-dried strawberries for an optional garnish
Directions
For the pastry cream:

Prepare the pastry cream 2-24 hours in advance. Bring milk to a slight simmer. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolk, sugar, strawberry purée, cornstarch, and salt until well-combined and free of lumps. Slowly whisk 1/4 cup of the hot milk into the eggs. Continue adding 1/4 cup of the hot milk at a time until half of it has been added. Whisk the egg/milk mixture back into the remaining hot milk in the pot on the stove. Whisk over medium heat until the mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Cook for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla, and if using, food coloring. Pour the pastry cream into a heat-proof bowl and press plastic wrap against the surface so that a skin doesn’t form. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. For the eclairs: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. In a large saucepan, combine milk, water, salt, sugar, and butter over medium heat. Bring to a full boil. Add the flour all at once and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture is cohesive and pulls away from the side of the pan (2-3 minutes). Transfer dough to stand mixture bowl fitted with paddle attachment and add eggs one at a time, and mix well after each addition, scraping the sides with a rubber spatula as needed. Spoon a portion of the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 in. round tip. Pipe out 5 inch long/1 inch wide tubes for large eclairs or 3-4 inch long tubes for mini eclairs. Allow 2 inches in between each eclair so that it can puff up. Smooth out any imperfections with a damp finger. Bake for 10 minutes until puffed and starting to brown. Reduce oven temp. to 375 degrees and bake until hollow inside and evenly golden brown on the outside, about 12 more minutes. Remove from the oven and poke a small hole in the end of each shell to let steam escape. Let cool fully on a wire rack.
For glaze: Combine chocolate and corn syrup in a heat-proof bowl. Heat cream until it starts to bubble a bit and steam, then pour it over the chocolate. Let sit for a minute or two, and then whisk until completely smooth. To assemble:Spoon pastry cream into a bag fitted with a small tip. Fill the shells until the start to feel heavy. Dip top of each eclair in the glaze, letting excess drip off, and then place on wire rack. Sprinkle with crushed freeze-dried strawberries, if desired. Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve within 6 hours. Enjoy!

Grilled Caribbean Chicken with Couscous Salad

Grilled Caribbean Chicken with Couscous

As much as I don’t like to admit this, I find it easy to get in cooking ruts. While the things I bake never really lack in variety, I feel like all the dinners I make are Italian, Greek, or Mexican. It’s a goal of mine to experiment with other kinds of cooking, like Asian, Middle Eastern, Indian, etc. I’m not that picky and I like trying new flavor combinations, so I shouldn’t be letting cooking ruts happen!

I’m not sure how authentically Caribbean this meal was, but it certainly was delicious. The chicken is coated in a flavorful, spicy marinade that includes cinnamon, cumin, allspice, and chili powder. Don’t be scared of the cinnamon- the spices work really well together. Some of the marinade is set aside before it’s added to the chicken, which is stirred into the couscous salad. The couscous salad is made amazing with the addition of grilled red peppers and grilled pineapple. The pineapple was so good that I want to add it to every meal from now on!

This dinner came together fairly quickly (all the steps are very easy), and considering the fact that it uses the grill, it may just be an ideal summer meal.

Grilled Caribbean Chicken with Couscous Salad

Serves about 4

Recipe from The America’s Test Kitchen Quick Family Cookbook

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Salt and pepper

4 (6-8 ounces each) boneless, skinless chicken breasts (trim and pound them if needed)

1/2 of a pineapples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick half-moons

1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and quartered

1 cup boiling water (measure the water after boiling- boiling one cup of water will result in too little liquid)

1 cup couscous

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Directions:

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup oil, garlic, cumin, chili powder, allspice, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Measure out two tablespoons of the marinade and set aside. Add the chicken to the remaining marinade; toss to coat.

Brush the pineapple and bell pepper with remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and season with salt and pepper.

On a gas grill, turn all burners to high and allow to preheat for 15 minutes. Oil cooking grate. Place the chicken, pineapple, and bell pepper on the grill. Cook, turning as needed. The pineapple and bell pepper should be spottily charred and the chicken should be well browned and register 160 degrees (8-12 minutes). Transfer the chicken, pineapple, and bell pepper to a platter and tent loosely with aluminum foil.

Combine the boiling water and couscous in a large bowl, cover, and let sit until the liquid is absorbed and the couscous is tender (about 5 minutes). While the couscous is soaking, cut the pineapple and bell pepper into 1/2-inch pieces. Fluff the couscous with a fork and fold in the reserved marinade, pineapple, bell pepper, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve the couscous alongside the chicken. Enjoy!

 

 

Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Ice Cream

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Leah and I were browsing in Williams-Sonoma recently (which we shamelessly acknowledge is our favorite store) and happened upon Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home. It looked fabulous, and we’d heard great things about the book. We were out of cash at the moment since it was our last stop at the mall, but you better believe we ordered it as soon as we got home!

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We had a recipe for strawberry ice cream on our blog, but we feel that this one is superior. The strawberries are briefly roasted to concentrate their flavor, pureed, and mixed into an egg yolk-free base. A bit of buttermilk is added as well for faint but pleasant tanginess. Almost every ice cream recipe in the book contains a small amount of cream cheese, and we think that this made the ice cream every bit as creamy, or possibly creamier, than ice creams with custard bases.

Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Ice Cream

Recipe from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home

Makes about 1 quart

Ingredients

For the roasted strawberries:
1 pint (16 ounces or 2 cups) strawberries, hulled and sliced ½-inch thick
⅓ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice

For the ice cream base:
1½ cups whole milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) cream cheese, at room temperature
⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
1¼ cups heavy cream
⅔ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
¼ cup buttermilk

Directions

For the roasted strawberries:

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine the strawberries with the sugar in an 8-inch square baking dish. Roast for 8 minutes, or until just barely softened. Let cool briefly, then puree with lemon juice using a food processor or blender/immersion blender. Strain the puree, if desired (we skipped this step, since our puree was smooth enough). Save ½ cup for the ice cream, and refrigerate the rest (we recommend stirring it into lemonade!).

For the ice cream base:

Mix 2 tablespoons of the whole milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl. Whisk the cream cheese and salt together in a medium bowl until completely smooth (this will be easier if your cream cheese is very soft). Fill a large bowl with ice and water.

Combine the remaining whole milk, the cream, sugar and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan and bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Return the pan to medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Add the reserved ½ cup of strawberry puree and the buttermilk and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon resealable freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice if necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes. (We found this to be a very efficient method to chill the base, but we probably won’t do this every time as it is a waste of a plastic bag).

Churn the ice cream base in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Place in an airtight container and freeze for at least 4 hours before serving. Enjoy!

Flourless Chocolate Cookies

flourlesschocolatecookie

If you’re looking for a gluten-free cookie that doesn’t require expensive or difficult-to-find flour substitutions, you’ve come to the right place! These cookies are super fudgy, with chewy-crisp edges. The sea salt brings them over the top. The beauty about these cookies really is the pure chocolate flavor that comes through. They reminded us of brownies, but they contain no butter or flour!

Our cousin cannot have gluten, so we’re hoping to bring these cookies when we go visit her family in a couple weeks. We have pretty much no experience in gluten-free baking, but we figured that we would give these a try to see if they were a success. They were, and they didn’t require any flour substitutions. We all felt that these would be good without the chocolate chips too, since the cookies are already pretty sweet, so it is up to you to include/reduce them. Either way, these will satisfy any chocolate craving!

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Flourless Chocolate Cookies

Recipe from Cooking Classy

Makes about 20 cookies

Ingredients

3 cups powdered sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large egg whites

1 large egg

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (we will reduce this next time)

Sea salt, for sprinkling over the tops

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk together powdered sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the egg whites, egg and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Drop dough by heaping tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets, spacing cookies about inches apart. Bake in preheated oven until cookies are puffed and crackled, about 14 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through during baking. Remove from oven and sprinkle tops lightly with sea salt. Let cool on baking sheet 5 – 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

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Ice cream is a popular dessert option in our house, and probably anyone’s house, but our two youngest brothers don’t always eat the more “adventurous” flavors we try (such as pistachio, even though it’s technically a classic flavor!). They were, however, thrilled when we decided to make cookies and cream ice cream, and Henry even helped cut up the Oreos! Our main complaint with cookies and cream ice cream is that there are rarely enough Oreos, but that isn’t a problem in this particular recipe. The ice cream base itself is rich and smooth, pairing perfectly with the crunchy cookies. You can’t get much better ice cream than this. Yum!

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

Recipe from Annie’s Eats

Makes 1 quart

Ingredients

1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
15-20 Oreo cookies, chopped (we quartered ours)

Directions

In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and cream. Warm over medium heat until bubbles form around the edges. In a medium bowl, place egg yolks and sugar and whisk together until smooth. Slowly pour the warmed milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture and whisk constantly.

Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and continue to cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon (mixture should be about 175 degrees).
 
Pour the custard through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl and whisk in the vanilla extract. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least several hours (we like to make ice cream bases in the evening and let them chill overnight. Then we’ll churn them the next morning and let the finished ice cream firm up until lunch/dinner).
 
Pour custard into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once the mixture has the texture of soft serve, remove half of it from the ice cream maker and scoop it into a container. Add half the chopped Oreo pieces and fold in with a rubber spatula. Add the remaining ice cream and Oreos and repeat. Freeze until fully hardened enough to scoop nicely. Serve. Enjoy!

Cherry Almond Dutch Baby

Cherry Almond Dutch Baby

You know how there are some things that you don’t cook with or eat that often? It’s not that you dislike them, it’s just that you and that ingredient never seem to cross paths. For us, that ingredient is cherries. They occasionally end up in our fridge, but they’re not really one of our go-to fruits, especially when baking. Pitting a bunch of cherries is a pain!

However, when we saw this Dutch baby recipe recently and noticed that we had some cherries on hand, we decided that we had to make it. It might just end our no-baking-with-cherries streak that we unintentionally started. The pairing of cherries and almonds is a great one. It isn’t overly sweet, but a dusting of powdered sugar is all that the giant pancake needs after coming out of the oven. It is breakfast perfection- you should try it over the weekend!

Cherry Almond Dutch Baby

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen, who adapted it from Sunset Magazine

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

3 large eggs

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Pinch of salt

4 tablespoons butter

2 cups pitted sweet cherries

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Powdered sugar

Directions:

Heat oven to 425°F. Whisk together the eggs, sugar, flour, milk, almond extract and salt until the batter is evenly combined (it’s okay if the batter is lumpy). Melt the butter in a 12-inch ovenproof frying pan. Add the cherries and cook until warmed, which will take about 2 minutes. Pour the batter into the frying pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and puffed.

Remove the Dutch baby from the oven and top with toasted almonds. Dust with powdered sugar and cut into slices. Enjoy!

Note: We didn’t have an ovenproof skillet, so we cooked the cherries and butter in a small saucepan and then poured the mixture into a pie plate. It worked just as well!

 

 

Pistacho-Crusted Asparagus with Feta

asparagus

After a power outage and some technical difficulties, I am finally getting a post up this week. Yay! Luckily, it’s a post about something delicious. I know, this is our second vegetable post in a row. I don’t know what’s come over us either!

Asparagus is one of our favorite vegetables, but it is so easy to make bland. If all you’ve ever had is steamed/boiled asparagus with salt and pepper, then this will be a great change. This asparagus is roasted with olive oil and pistachios, then topped with a vinaigrette, crumbled feta cheese, and parsley. It’s fantastically flavorful and the perfect summer side dish since it’s quick to prepare.

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Pistachio-Crusted Asparagus with Feta

Serves 4-6

Recipe from Joy the Baker

Ingredients

2 pounds asparagus

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup shelled and roasted unsalted pistachios

1 scant teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

For the vinaigrette:

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

Pinch of sea salt

Black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and adjust a rack so that it’s in the upper third of the oven.

Wash the asparagus and cut off an inch from the ends.  Dry the asparagus. Place the asparagus in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle with olive oil.  Toss to coat.

Place the pistachios in a food processor and grind until finely chopped.  Transfer them to a small bowl and stir in salt. Spoon about half of the pistachios over the asparagus.  Flip the asparagus and cover the other side in the rest of the pistachios. Place in the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until tender.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

Whisk together the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a small bowl and drizzle over the asparagus. Top with crumbled feta and parsley and serve warm. Enjoy!