First off, how much fun is this animated GIF?! And it’s so easy to make. I use Photoshop Elements and this took me maybe 15 minutes start to finish, including photo editing. Gotta love those people who post YouTube tutorials! You can rest assured that if something I make has layers you’ll be seeing one of these again.
This sweet dessert is inspired by the s’mores pot de creme at Sweet Houston. Their version is a little different. They have a layer of chocolate cake crumbles (I think) along with the graham layer, chocolate mousse (or maybe it’s pudding) and marshmallow cream. They come in darling little glass jars, but I found that these Beechnut baby food jars work just as well!
I like football and I was sad to see college football season come to a close. But I’m glad that the Superbowl is coming up! Not because I care about any of the teams that might be playing (the ones I cared about are out of it now) but because of the food. Oh, Superbowl food. Few things are better. Am I right? I think I am.
I whipped this butter up a month ago and after making a batch of these carrots I stashed it in the freezer. Today I made another batch to serve 2 people, and next week I could use what remains of the butter to serve at least 8. After making the butter all you have to do it cook the carrots, in small or large batches. This is a terrific semi-make-ahead side dish.
The herb butter can be made well in advance which, if you’re a good planner, makes this a super simple side dish to serve at a holiday meal or on a busy weeknight. I stored mine in the freezer for over a month and it was still great.
In addition to making the butter ahead you can prep the carrots up to two days in advance and store them in the fridge. That makes finishing these a breeze, taking no more than 15 minutes.
I personally loved the flavors, but my husband wasn’t crazy about the combination of herbs and pistachio. I’m still going to recommend this dish, though. I found the flavors to be a nice change from the typical flavors in cooked carrots. There is a slight bit of heat thanks to the hot sauce. The crunch of the chopped pistachios on top is really nice and adds great texture contrast. The herbs brighten things up, instead of weighing them down like brown sugar and butter do.
After cooking the carrots you drain the water, reserving some of it, and return the carrots to the pot. Then you add in your desired amount of butter and some of the water to make a sauce. The original recipe uses all of the butter for 3 pounds of carrots, but I used less and it was fine. Add less than you think you need, stir with a little water (less is more here as well) taste and add more butter if you desire. You may also want to season with salt. Once in their serving dish sprinkle with the reserved pistachios.
Carrots, peeled and cut into pieces about 2 inches long and 1/2 inch wide (1 pound serves 2-4. 3 pounds serves 6-10)
Make the Butter
Coarsely chop the pistachios in a food processor. Set aside half of the nuts. Pulse the remaining nuts until they are very fine but not pasty.
Add the parsley and mint, and pulse again until the herbs are finely chopped.
Add the butter, cheese, zest, hot sauce, and 1 tsp. salt; pulse until well blended.
If working ahead, scrape the butter onto plastic wrap, shape into a log, wrap, wrap in foil or parchment and freeze. Seal the reserved pistachios in a small zip-top freezer bag or other airtight container and freeze.
Make the Carrots
Put the carrots in a pot, add enough water to just cover them, and add a pinch of salt.
Bring to a boil, cover, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 4-5 minutes until desired tenderness.
Drain carrots, reserving 1/4 cup of the water. Return to the pot and add butter (a chunk at a time adding a little water as you stir) until carrots are coated to your liking. Taste and season with salt if needed.
Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with reserved pistachios.
The Fine Cooking magazine from October/November has a nice feature on cauliflower. It includes ways to prep and prepare it along with a few recipes. This tart is one of those recipes. This curry is another. I have a thing for coconut and curry, and so I was drawn to this recipe immediately. I also love to find satisfying vegetarian dishes that we can work in to our meal schedule. My husband didn’t miss the meat at all. This one is a keeper.
There is quite a bit of chopping to be done, but it can all be done in advance and refrigerated until you’re ready to cook. Once that is taken care of, this dish comes together easily. You’re looking at 45 minutes cooking time in all, but more than half of that is simply simmering time. Thanks to that simmering time your house will smell amazing. The only downside there is that it will smell that way for hours, and waking up to the smells of curry you ate the night before isn’t amazing. But it is worth it!
This reheats really well, so it’s a good choice for those of you cooking for one or two. This will feed you for a couple of meals, and that’s definitely something I look for in a recipe these days. I love leftover night.
The spices are warm and subtle. The first taste is sweet and then the heat hits you at the end but is still more warm than spicy. I didn’t have black mustard seed, so I didn’t use them and I thought this was still wonderful. The coconut milk tones down the heat and adds sweetness as well as welcomed creaminess. I used a whole jalapeno with a few seeds and it wasn’t overwhelming at all. If you want it spicy make sure to use more of the seeds and membrane or even add a second jalapeno.
The garnishes are necessary, in my opinion. The yogurt is a nice cool contrast to the warm curry, the cilantro is the perfect herb to compliment the spices and the cashews add richness and crunch. We ate this with warm naan which is perfect for soaking up the sauce. Serving this on top of rice would also be delicious (and stretch it a bit). I hope you try this dish! My mouth is watering right now as I think about it and I’m considering getting some out of the fridge…and it’s 8 in the morning. So you know it’s good.
2 tablespoons of butter + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (use ghee if you have it)
1 onion, cut into large dice
2 red bell peppers (you could also use orange or yellow)
1 jalapeno, chopped fine (as many or as few seeds as you’d like)
1 2-inch piece of ginger, chopped fine (about 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 teaspoons cumin seed
1 cinnamon stick (2 inches)
1 teaspoon salt
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup raisins
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 can coconut milk
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 head cauliflower, cut into 1-2 inch florets
fresh chopped cilantro
naan or rice for serving
Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, peppers, jalapeno, ginger, curry, cumin, cinnamon stick and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften and brown a bit.
Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes, water and raisins. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.
Stir in the coconut milk and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat and cook until thickened, 10-15 minutes.
Add in the cauliflower and mix together. Cover. keep the heat on low and cook until cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes.
Remove the cinnamon stick. Season with salt and lemon juice. Serve with yogurt, cashews and cilantro.
When berries of any kind are in abundance and being sold for cheap I grab them up. Last week I bought 2 pounds of blueberries for something like $2. I’ll eat them by the handful, put them in my yogurt, and in salads. Betsy likes them, too. When half the container was gone I decided to do something a little more exciting with them and made this cake that I’d had bookmarked in my Fine Cooking magazine for the past 2 weeks. Thanks to Sarah who helped me get it done after overestimating my ability to tackle 5 things at once.
This was super simple and beautiful. You could easily serve this at a brunch for guests as a lovely alternative to blueberry muffins. It’s delicious for breakfast, but also a nice evening dessert served with a little ice cream or sweetened whipped cream. To keep the berries from sinking to the bottom, toss them in a little flour after rinsing and patting them dry. Enjoy!
This recipe is from Fine Cooking. I love Fine Cooking. The website has great recipes, but the magazine is so worth having. The articles are interesting, the recipes have never disappointed me, the photos are beautiful, and they always include fun home and kitchen finds that I end up pining after. The only complaint I have is that I only get an issue once every 2 months. Here is the link to the recipe.
Cheesecake can be so incredibly delicious. It can also be totally overdone. For example, there is a cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory that mixes together cheesecake and pieces of carrot cake, slathers the top in cream cheese icing and tops it all off with candied almonds. No, thanks Cheesecake Factory!
I like my cheesecake pure and unadulterated. Buttery graham cracker crust filled with luscious creamy filling. No chocolate, no caramel, no fake fruity sauces, just cheesecake. I don’t mind fresh berries sitting on the side of the plate with a sprig of mint, but don’t mess with my cheesecake. Keep it simple.
This cheesecake is very good. The graham cracker crust is just right, not too thick and not too thin. The filling is incredibly creamy. The sour cream and lemon add a great tangy-ness and it isn’t overly sweet. I might have under-baked it a bit. The very center of the cake was on the verge of gooey, but turned out to be OK. I blame this on the recipe, though. After the cake bakes for 45 minutes, you turn off the oven and let it sit for an hour without opening the oven. So, I didn’t have a chance to check on it! It wasn’t my fault!
Overall, very tasty cheesecake and something I will make again. Next time I will bake it for 50-55 minutes. Other than that there are no changes that I would make. Enjoy!
A while back I lost my Canon camera in a horrific flood. A water bottle mysteriously opened in my purse, drowning and destroying my camera. Anyway, for a while I took pictures with my iPhone. Not spectacular, but sufficient photos. Then, Ben bought me a Sony camera that has served me well for the last 4 months. Two days ago the screen went bright white resulting in a visit to Best Buy where they told me there was nothing they could do, and that I would have to send it in for repair.
I can still take pictures, but just can’t see what the pictures looks like until I load them onto my computer. The photo below is the result of such a photo session. Two usable photos out of about 25 total taken. Not a great ratio. I could not tell what was in the shot, how the lighting was, if I needed flash, if the zoom was too much, or how the focus turned out. This is just not a way to take pictures!
Despite my camera woes, this cake was fun to make, not too terribly complicated, a great presentation cake, and quite delicious. The marshmallows dusted with cocoa make the cake look like an actual mug of hot chocolate.
I absolutely love Fine Cooking magazine. I have yet to make something from it that I haven’t liked. This cake is on the cover of the current issue, and I could not resist its rich chocolate-y layers and fluffy white marshmallows. I made it for Christmas dinner. Here is the link to the recipe.
The cake is moist, the frosting is rich and creamy, and the marshmallows are heavenly, ooey-gooey goodness. This is a rich and decadent cake.
The marshmallows are the most time consuming aspect of this dessert, but well worth the time and effort. I considered buying pre-packaged mallows, but my wise mother-in-law convinced me to make the real thing. It does make a difference, and the marshmallows are a lovely contrast to the rich chocolate cake and frosting.
Hot Chocolate Layer Cake
(courtesy of Fine Cooking magazine and Rebecca Rather)
For the cake
6 oz. (3/4 cup) unsalted butter; more for the pans
13-1/2 oz. (3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for the pans
3/4 cup canola oil
4-1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 cups granulated sugar
2-1/4 oz. (3/4 cup) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
2 Tbs. pure vanilla extract
2-1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
For the frosting
2-1/2 cups heavy cream
3 oz. (6 Tbs.) unsalted butter
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups granulated sugar
6 oz. (2 cups) natural unsweetened cocoa powder; more for decorating
1/2 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
For the marshmallows
Three 1/4-oz. envelopes unflavored powdered gelatin
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar; more as needed
Make the cake
Position racks in the bottom and top thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Butter three 9×2-inch round cake pans and line each with a parchment round. Butter the parchment, then dust with flour and knock out the excess.
In a 3-quart saucepan, combine the butter, oil, chopped chocolate, and 1 cup water. Heat over medium heat until melted.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, and cocoa powder. Pour the hot chocolate mixture into the sugar mixture and whisk until combined.
Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, then whisk in the buttermilk, vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans.
Set two pans on the top rack and the third on the lower rack. Stagger the pans on the oven racks so that no pan is directly over another. Bake, swapping and rotating the pans’ positions after 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on racks for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the racks, remove the parchment, and cool completely.
Make the frosting
In a 4-quart saucepan over low heat, combine the cream, butter, and vanilla bean and seeds and stir until the butter is melted.
Remove the vanilla bean and whisk in the chopped chocolate until melted.
Whisk in the sugar, cocoa powder, syrup, and salt until smooth—be sure the cocoa powder dissolves completely.
Pour into a 9×13-inch pan and freeze until firm, about 2 hours, or refrigerate overnight.
Make the marshmallows
Pour 3/4 cup cold water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Attach the bowl to the mixer and fit it with the whisk attachment.
Clip a candy thermometer to a 3-quart saucepan; don’t let the tip of the thermometer touch the bottom of the pan. In the saucepan, boil the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 3/4 cup water over medium heat without stirring until it reaches 234°F to 235°F, about 10 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, pour the hot sugar mixture into the gelatin in a slow, thin stream.
Add the vanilla, carefully increase the speed to high, and beat until the mixture has thickened and cooled, about 5 minutes (the bottom of the bowl should be just warm to the touch). Line a 9×13-inch pan with foil, leaving an overhang on 2 sides. Sift 1 Tbs. of the confectioners’ sugar into the bottom of the pan, then pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan and sift another 1 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar on top. Let sit at room temperature until set, at least 2 hours.
Assemble the cake
Remove the frosting from the freezer or refrigerator. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes to soften. Change to a whisk attachment and beat at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Put a cake layer on a flat serving platter or a cake stand lined with strips of waxed paper to keep it clean while icing. Top the layer with 1-1/2 cups of the frosting, spreading it evenly with an offset spatula to the cake’s edge. Repeat with another cake layer and 1-1/2 cups frosting. Top with the last cake layer.
Put 1-1/2 cups of the frosting in a small bowl. With an offset spatula, spread this frosting in a thin layer over the top and sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake until the frosting firms enough to seal in the crumbs, 20 to 30 minutes.
Spread the remaining frosting in a smooth layer over the top and sides of the cake. If necessary, you can rewhip the remaining frosting to loosen and lighten it. Remove the waxed paper strips.
Use the foil overhang to lift the marshmallow from the pan. Using a knife that has been dipped in cold water, cut along the edge of the marshmallow to release it from the foil. Transfer to a cutting board and remove the foil.
Put the remaining 1 cup confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl.
Cut the marshmallow into cubes of different sizes, from 1/4 to 3/4 inch (you will need to continue to dip the knife in cold water as you cut the marshmallows). The marshmallows will be very sticky—dip the cut edges in the confectioners’ sugar to make them easier to handle. As you work, toss a few cubes at a time in the sugar to coat, then shake in a strainer to remove the excess.
Mound the marshmallows on top of the cake (you’ll need only a third to half of them). Sift some cocoa powder over the marshmallows.