Sunday, March 30, 2014

Livin' The Life 3/30/2014

 NYC on a rare, non-snowy, non-rainy evening

Breakfast is coming at you soon!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Biscoff Cheeseball

I've been holding out on this recipe for almost a year.  Sorry about that.  

I first made this tasty appetizer for my housewarming party back in May 2013.  I was hoping to snap a few pictures of the final product before putting it out to be devoured, but of course time got the better of me and all of a sudden it was already half eaten.  I must say that I think this was the life of the party.  If you happen to love cookie butter and cream cheese, then this is probably a bandwagon that you will want to jump on.

This week, my client had a "breakfast for lunch" event, or as I like to call it, "brunch for lunch".  I described this biscoff cheeseball to someone last week and their reaction was: "Oh, so it's like a biscoff cream cheese frosting."  Technically, I guess that could be correct, but I like to see it as a dip.  You can serve it with fruit or graham crackers or whatever else you desire.  I picked up some Nilla wafers as well, because why not?  (Ok, I know this cheeseball has nothing to do with breakfast, but I really just wanted to make it again, so I volunteered it for the party.  That's a good enough excuse to make this, right?)

This biscoff cheeseball is quick and easy to create and it only requires 5 ingredients.  Blend the first three together, freeze the result, then roll it in the final 2 ingredients.  Freeze once again.  I can pull this together in no time and lately, I've been realizing that most of my recipes have required less than an hour of active time to make.  What can I say? A girl has things to do.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Zucchini Feta Quiche

No, seriously though...can Spring just show up already?

Ever since I returned from the Caribbean last week (Can we talk about how amazing Grand Cayman is?), I've realized precisely how tired I am of heavy coats, layered sweaters, and winter boots.  I need these seasons to get a move on right now.

Can a quiche hurry things up?  Let's investigate.  I have zucchini and feta at the ready, along with some eggs and a pie crust.  Of course I have the cheese too.  Why are you even asking?

A quiche is my go-to food when I'm feeling lazy and still want something light, nutritious and tasty.  Sometimes I love to trash it up with many things, but sometime I keep it simple.  This time I chose simplicity.  I also chose to add a dose of freshly grated zucchinis to help old man winter realize it's time to peace out.  The warm weather is coming soon.  I can feel it!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Sausage and Mushroom Risotto

I should probably be embarrassed about this, but I'm not.  I must admit that I've had a box of arborio rice (aka risotto rice) staring at me from my pantry since I moved into my new apartment.  To put this into perspective, I moved in back in April 2013...

I'm probably in the minority when I say that I think risotto is one of the easiest things to make.  I feel as if I overlook it so often in my attempt to whip up other dishes or treats that I feel I haven't "done" yet.  Risotto is simple and delicious and cheesy and I-just-need-to-reach-for-that-darn-box!

When I opened the cupboard door for the umpteenth time and saw the risotto again, I finally decided that it was time for action.  Even though I have an endless list of risotto recipes bookmarked online and torn out of magazines, I had recently been assigned Heather's blog, Join Us, Pull Up A Chair, this month's Secret Recipe Club.  There are so many tasty recipes on this site that you really must do yourself a favor and check it out!  While I tried to give each recipe a fair shot at being "the one" for this month, I have to say that I definitely honed in on the Baked Sausage and Mushroom Risotto recipe.  Come on!  You know I feel some kind of way about sausage.  Once we add in the mushrooms, cheese, and risotto, this was a clear winner in my eyes.

Another disclaimer here: I didn't bake the risotto like the original recipe recommended.  I wanted to, but I ran out of time and just quickly finished it on the stovetop.  I did use all the ingredients though, so I'm about 100% sure the taste was spot on, which is a good thing because this risotto was insanely delicious!  All I can say is that you must give this is a shot if you even only halfway love this combination of ingredients.  Don't walk to your kitchen.  Run!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Mini Double Chocolate Cake Donuts

As you're reading this, I am relaxing somewhere on the island of Grand Cayman.  Yes, my friends.  I am on va-ca-tion.  I'm sure I'm loving it.  Most of that probably also has to do with the fact that it's barely spring in the Northeast and it's definitely much warmer down here.

Unfortunately, the, uh, "preparation" I needed to make it here and hang out in public in my bathing suit required me to pack up these delicious baked donuts and remove them from my kitchen the same day that I made them.  Because it makes sense to bake chocolate donuts even when you can't eat them.  That's practical, right?  Sure.

To be completely honest, I did have to taste test a few of these suckers.  I'm always skeptical about the freshness factor of baked donuts.  I don't think they taste as good a day or two after they're made.  Since I sent these donuts out in three different batches, I had to taste three of them to make sure they were still as good as when they were made.  I do have a reputation to keep, you know!  (They were fine, by the way.)

You also don't have to make these into mini baked donuts.  You could use a regular-sized donut pan, but seeing as I don't have any of those, mini donuts it is!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Bahamian Fire Engine

Over the past year or so, I've received several positive emails or comments from my relocated Bahamian people about the Bahamian recipes that I post here.  When you grow up on a small island with a culture that predominantly revolves around food, and then you end up moving elsewhere, sometimes you just crave the comfort of a home-cooked meal.  Depending on where you move and with whom, sometimes that's just not possible.  Another thing I've come to realize is that, dang, sometimes I want Bahamian food too, but I don't actually know how to make it.  That's when we turn to the internet.

So, I recently decided to profile a new series on the blog.  I'm planning on featuring Bahamian recipes once in a while so that:
1) I can actually document my family's recipes (Let's be honest.  We know most of these recipes have no written instructions anywhere!); and
2) My fellow Bahamians and I can have a reference to recreate these dishes in the future.

I've begun to request that my family provide me with some recipes that I can include on the blog and they are working overtime to put measurements to some of our favorite meals. In the meantime, I looked to the Bahamian calendar to help me create a fire engine breakfast dish.  First of all, yes, our national calendar contains recipes.  Second of all, you're probably wondering what fire engine is.  Fire engine is a very popular breakfast dish in the Bahamas.  It's composed of steamed corned beef and vegetables, then served over rice or grits.  It sounds strange but I swear it's delicious.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Caramelized Onion Beer Bread

Alright, one more beer-related recipe because 1) St. Patrick's Day is still on its way, and 2) I just can't help myself.  Can I ever post too many beer recipes?  Nope.

This time, I wanted to make something savory.  I also wanted a new way to incorporate my balsamic caramelized onions into another recipe.  While I love them slathered over meat or piled on top of toasted bread, I decided I wanted to try something new.  Why not put them into a bread instead of on top of it?  Also, add beer.  This is basically how my mind works.  I throw all the things together.

I found a recipe that was pretty close to what I was looking for, and I modified from there.  In the end, I must confess that in addition to easting this warm and slathered with butter, I may have spread a little honey and cinnamon on top of a slice to make it sweet.  No judgements, right?