Orange Marmalade and Zucchini Tea Cake

Tartine has got to be one of the best bakeries I’ve ever been to. However, since I no longer live in the lovely city of SF I have to make do with their wonderful cookbooks. (books 3 and 4 are on my wish list!) This recipe is surprisingly very easy to put together, and another bonus I got to finally use that marmalade that has been sitting in my fridge taking up space. This recipe is from Tartine’s first self-titled book. While the recipe may seem to call for too much sweetness with the jam and the sugar, funny enough it wasn’t too sweet. I had some slivered almonds that I threw into the batter. I also added that crunchy sugar to the top for texture. I’m sure I’ll make this one again it was so delicious! Added bonus is it keeps well in the fridge and I almost want to say tasted better the next day.
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Ham and Cheese Pinwheels

Need a quick appetizer for a party? Or perhaps some quick bites for lunch? These were so simple and easy that the author had it right to say there is no “recipe” you just sort of put it together. I have been following the blog Lunchbox Blues for the past year or so because the author is great about how to make lunches that aren’t your typical sandwich PB&J (not that there is anything wrong with that, but there are only so many you can eat). I even got his cookbook Beating the Lunchbox Blues  which was more of a picture book showing options you could do for lunch. I have tried several things and these pinwheels were one of them. Just have a sheet of puff pastry, put on some sandwich meat, and cheese. Roll up, bake, consume. How could anything in puff pastry be anything but delicious?

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Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Dip

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Spinach and Artichoke dip is such a staple in restaurants. It’s hot, creamy, and tastes so decadent. I got this recipe from Ellie Krieger’s The Food You Crave where she takes favorites and makes them healthier. I love it when nutritionists try to make things just as tasty but not as bad for your body. I took this to girls’ night in dinner and it was a hit! Note to self this makes a TON and I have so much leftover. I’ll have to think of some creative ways to use this since I can’t imagine eating this as a dip everyday. But my friends said they really liked that they could taste the veggies and that while it was still rich and creamy it wasn’t heavy like the ones you eat in restaurants. A definite “must try” for everyone!

Mango Sticky Rice

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I love Mango Sticky Rice. It is so bad for you, but it is so good. The chewy texture with the sweet mango is just divine. My friend MM and I were cooking up a storm and we decided to make this for dessert. We got the recipe from Thekitchn which was amazingly simple. Unfortunately we didn’t have separated coconut milk, but that’s ok. We just divided the can of coconut in half and used some for the rice to soak and some for the cream topping. The best part was also we could have as much mango as we wanted. I was so full and we had a lot leftover too! It was fantastic. Definitely a must-do-again dessert.mmmmm.

Cinnamon Cardamom Banana Bread

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Ahh the craziness of “fall” even if it is still in the triple digits here. I am already predicting I will probably have one of the busiest fall seasons and inevitably will not have time to exercise and eat good things. So cue “freezer cooking” which seems to be a fad that I am late to the game. A lot of these types of recipes tell you to double the ingredients, but when you are cooking for one (I know cue the sad music) there is always enough leftover with the regular recipe. This banana bread recipe comes from a “Not Your Mother’s” series cookbook on freezer cooking. You could bake these into loaves or muffin shapes. I used all my muffin tins AND I still had enough to make a small loaf. I have enough that I could eat one banana bread muffin a day for at least a whole month. Good thing these are really tasty! I have them in the freezer and they will hopefully be just as tasty when I take one out for breakfast. The recipe doesn’t originally call for cardamom. But there is something magical about combining cinnamon and cardamom together. It almost makes the flavor more intense. Try this recipe out, but be forewarned. You will have a TON of these and perhaps you just might be nice and share a few with friends.

Korean Appetizers

Continuing on a Korean food streak, here are 2 of my favorite “appetizers” to eat. Korean food is notorious for all the small dishes surrounding the main dish. One that is popular and easy to make are these zucchini rounds.
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Most recipes I’ve seen called for a portion of ground meat to also be put together with this before dipping in flour and egg, but I just dip in flour (pat off excess) dunk in egg and then fry up. Dip in soy sauce/sesame oil. We used a mix of this ponzu infused soy sauce that was amazing!!

Another delectable, though perhaps a bit more labor intensive dish are these stuffed Korean peppers. Here I stuffed it with some marinated ground beef (soy sauce, sugar, garlic, sesame oil, salt/pepper). When buying the peppers really try to look for ones that are fairly straight and a bit fat. Clear out the seeds, but know that there is some kick in the ribs (white parts) inside the peppers too. Stuff. Dunk in flour. Dunk in eggs. Fry up. Devour with sounds of “omg this is so good”. I could enjoy a whole meal with these and these zucchini rounds. But this was part of my Korean cooking blowout for friends, so they got to enjoy the other good eats I posted earlier. 🙂

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Hope you all try these out. You won’t be disappointed!!!

Some Holiday Kisses

I haven’t been near a mistletoe (fortunately) so I have been spared so far this holiday season. This year I guess is one of the first in a long time that I haven’t been sick of playing Christmas gigs, hearing Christmas music, shopping..(ok maybe a little, the crowds were ridiculous). While my family isn’t so super Christmas blowout celebration, I like to make cookies for the season. This is the first time I’ve made these peanut butter, kiss cookies, but they are yummy, and a definite must-try, must-devour, holiday treat. It actually called for you to wait for the cookies to completely cool before eating…I have never heard anything so ridiculous, warm and gooey is where it is at. The original recipe called for gourmet chocolate/espresso tops, and I will probably try to make it that way some day, but since I had all these kisses I needed to get rid of I used them instead. I had the perfect amount! Bam~ and done. 🙂
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Happy Holidays everyone!