Jicama, Orange & Avocado Salad

Last week I posted a few Instagram polls asking what you’d like to see more of on the blog as I’ve been a little remiss lately. Well, I’ve heard you & I’m excited! Lots of fashion, travel, cooking & entertaining and even a little bit of wedding planning coming your way.

Today, I want to share a new recipe I learned while taking a cooking class this weekend at Sur La Table. Sidenote: I love taking classes at Sur La Table- they make an excellent date activity and a few, I’ve even flown solo (macaron class a few weeks ago) and always have the best time. This last weekend’s class was Authentic Mexican and this Jicama, Orange & Avocado Salad stood out as a repeat recipe for sure.

What You’ll Need:

1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced on mandoline
3 large oranges, rind removed, quartered & cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 medium jicama, skin removed with a knife and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon chile powder
2-3 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
1 large avocado, sliced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
sea salt<I love this OXO mandoline & always use it with this cut resistant glove to avoid a nasty cut>

How To:

Combine onion, oranges, jicama, oil, chile power and lime juice and toss to combine. Gently fold in the avocado and cilantro. Taste & adjust seasoning with salt or additional chile powder. Allow to chill for a few minutes for flavors to marinate & serve in a large chilled salad bowl.

*Consider making ahead by combining all ingredients except for the cilantro and avocado, and marinating the flavors so it can be absorbed into the jicama. I find it to be a little like tofu in the sense that it takes on whatever flavor its paired with.

I also fell in love with a shrimp taco recipe that I’ll be sharing later this week. Crazy week for me as I’m doing a quick flight out to Phoenix and topping the week off with our engagement photos! Here we go…may your coffee be strong & your Monday be short!

cheers

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Summer Chickpea Salad

 

This is one of my very favorite recipes, especially in the summer when almost all the ingredients can be picked up at my local farmer’s market. Full disclosure, this is not my own recipe, but reblogged from one of my very fav food blogs, How Sweet Eats. Jessica recommends the salad be enjoyed on bread but I love it so much, I eat it as a lunch salad by itself. It also maintains extremely well in the fridge as I usually make it on Sunday & enjoy throughout the week.

Summer Chickpea Salad with Honey Garlic Lime Vinaigrette

yields: serves about 4                          total time: 30 minutes

What You’ll Need: 

3 cups chickpeas (or 2 (15-ounce) cans, drained and rinsed)
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2-3 ears grilled corn, cut from the cob
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 lime, juiced and zested

The How To:

In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, onions, corn, tomatoes, basil and chives. Toss well with the salt and pepper. Separately, in a small saucepan, add the oil, vinegar, honey, garlic, lime juice and zest. Heat over low heat and whisk until the mixture is warm and garlic cloves are sizzling a bit.Pour the liquid over the chickpeas and and toss well to coat. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Check out How Sweet Eats for this recipe & many fantastic others!

Cheers!

Cookbook Giveaway: Graze

You know I love to share my fav cookbooks but this one may take the cake. My friend, Suzanne Lenzer, chef & food stylist extraordinaire, has recently debuted her newest cookbook Graze which emphasizes the joy of tapas style meals. A less-of-more mentality; smaller portions for more variety. Um, yes please! The book is fantastically written and along with incredible recipes she includes sections on how to shop & what essentials you should have lying around your kitchen to make grazing totally stress free. Suzanne also feels, “life is better with bread” which paints a great picture of why we get along so well (#rootinforgluten).

Suzanne and I met each other while working on a food client at my old agency. She was the preferred food stylist of this brand & from our first photoshoot I was amazed. Her kind demeanor & mind blowing food styling are just a tiny tidbit of how lovely it is to work with (& know) her.

If you’re thinking tapas aren’t really your thing, there are plenty of recipes you can double to eat as a full meal. If you’re still not convinced, then I’ll direct you to her mouthwatering pizza cookbook: Truly Madly Pizza….which describes many of my nights in college & let’s face it, grad school, too. In Truly Madly Pizza, Suzanne prefaces the book with two particular sentiments I think we can all get behind:

  1. Pizza is not junk food.
  2. It should always be paired with wine.

And the people said AMEN!

Ok, ok the giveaway! Super simple to enter, just follow the steps below.

  1. Follow me on Instagram
  2. Like & tag your favorite cooking partner in the comment section on my photo of Suzanne’s cookbook
  3. Follow Suzanne on Instagram

Winner will be announced this Thursday! Good luck!

Cheers,

Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms & Peas

Happy Friday! I’m still loving my girl, Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook, Cravings. If you haven’t gotten it yet- you should. From page 1 you’ll be wishing you were a supermodel, who eats carbs and is married to John Legend. Man, some girls get all the luck.

If you’re in need of a delicious dish heading into the weekend, this risotto is la la lovely for a snuggled-in date night or impressing a group of your besties (either situation deserve a glass of wine, of course).

What You’ll Need:

2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
2 cups warm water
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 shallot or 1/4 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup shredded Parmigiano- Reggiano, plus more for garnish
freshly ground black pepper

The How To:

  1. Place the porcinis and warm water in a bowl & soak until soft, at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours. Remove the mushrooms, squeeze them so the liquid drips back into the bowl and strain the liquid through a piece of cheesecloth or very fine strainer.
  2. Transfer the strained soaking liquid to a medium saucepan, leaving behind any grit in the bottom of the bowl and add chicken broth. Warm the broth over medium-low heat until steaming and keep warm on a back burner.
  3. In another medium saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until translucent (but not browned) about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir, allowing to cook for 2 minutes. Add wine and salt and increase heat to medium-high and boil until the wine is mostly evaporated, 2-3 minutes.
  4. Return the heat to medium and using a ladle, add 1 cup of the brother to the rice; cook & keep stirring until the broth is almost all absorbed. Keep adding 1/2 cup of broth at a time, waiting to add more until most the brother in the pot is absorbed each time and cook, stirring occasionally until the rice is swollen and still very slightly firm in the middle. Overall this process is about 22 minutes. You may be left with a little broth you don’t use; traditionally risotto should be a little loose and saucy but how wet you want it is up to you.
  5. Stir in the peas and cook just long enough to warm them through then stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter, Parm and reserved chopped porcini.
  6. Divide risotto among bowls, garnish with fresh pepper and of course, a little more parm (because, cheese..) Enjoy!

Cheers,

Currently Cooking…

Day to day, I’m constantly connected to technology. Whether for work, the blog or just scrolling through Instagram to pass time, I’m never far from my phone, iPad or laptop. After a long day at work, I race home to open a regular cookbook, flip the pages and land on a new recipe to try. If you’re an avid reader, you understand me when I say there’s nothing better than opening the page of book. Sundays have started to become my “me time” to delve into a cookbook, find a new recipe and get to cooking! Listed below are some of my favorite cookbooks.

1. Seriously Delish – if you follow the blog or my instagram, you already know I have a seriously love for Jessica Merchant and her food.  I’ve followed her blog since grad school and every time I make one of her recipes, they just get better & better. Read her book cover to cover? Follow her blog (& insta), How Sweet It Is for daily inspiration.

2. Cravings – I asked for Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook for Christmas mainly because I love her and think we’d be BFF- having no idea I’d actually love her recipes. No surprise, I do! Stay tuned for later this week when I share her incredible risotto.

3. Shake – ok, technically not a cookbook but mixology can be as fun (and complex) as cooking. Authors, Eric Prum & Josh Williams craft some amazing cocktails and put some exciting spins on the classics (I LOVE the Montauk Mule pictured above) all while giving a step-by-step process on how to make every cocktail perfectly- no intimidation factor here. Another major plus to this book is that it’s divided into sections based on season, so you won’t get stuck in a rut even in the dead of winter.

4. Cooking for Jeffrey – Ok, as if Ina needs any kind of introduction. Her cooking is beyond perfect and let’s face it, so is Jeffrey. This year, one of my resolutions is to work on preparing meat dishes. I certainly don’t hate preparing it, but I always doubt my ability so.. you know what they say, practice makes perfect. All of her cookbooks are divine but this one particularly has some great meat courses that I’ll be practicing over the next few months. Also obsessed with Foolproof, too!

Not pictured:

5. Mastering the Art of French Cooking– Julia Child’s bible & gourmet classic, one day I will master this book, for now, I will tread lightly as each practice soufflé bakes.

6. Molly on the Range– full of midwestern classics- be still my heart! I could never top epicurious’s review: “cooking from this book is as salty and cozy and a BFF sleepover”

7. Martha Stewart’s Cooking School – perfect to master the basics. Want to make a killer pot roast? Martha’s your girl.

8. Meat – back to my desire to learn to better prepare meat, this cookbook lays out all the basics, even down to terminology & cuts. I have a feeling I’ll be referencing this book a lot over the next few months.

9. Soup of the Day– for a short stint in grad school, I worked in a William Sonoma store (hello discount!) On slow days, I’d peruse the cookbooks dreaming of what I’d cook once I finally finished my thesis. I’ve always loved soups, especially served up with a little bit of crusty bread from the local bakery. This book provides plenty of options with 365 recipes to try.

10. The slow cooker Cookbook – if you haven’t learned to love the crockpot, you should. I don’t use mine nearly as much as I should but when I do, I’m so happy I did. It’s beyond easy to get in a rut when using a crockpot but with this cookbook you’ll have a myriad of options that don’t all feel so heavy.

What are some of your favorite cookbooks? Do you still buy cookbooks or do you prefer to find recipes from Pinterest or your favorite food bloggers online?

Cheers!

 

Crispy Brown Butter Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Balsamic Caramelized Mushrooms & Goat Cheese

Happy Holidays, loves!

Anyone else in full winter mode? I’m craving cocoa, hearty food and just want to watch Christmas movies by the tree. A few weeks ago my friend instagrammed a picture of incredible gnocchi so of course I had to ask. She turned me onto Half Baked Harvest and now I’m so obsessed! The recipes on Tieghan’s blog are incredible!

Today I’m re-blogging:

Crispy Brown Butter Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Balsamic Caramelized Mushrooms & Goat Cheese
(because you need this in your life)

What You’ll Need

Gnocchi:

1 cup of mashed sweet potato
1 cup pureed burrata cheese  (I mixed whole milk with burrata)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup fresh parmesan, grated
3-4 cups all-purpose flour

Brown Butter Balsamic Sauce + Mushrooms

1 1/2 pounds cremini mushrooms, sliced
6 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

How To:

Gnocchi: Mix mashed sweet potato, pureed burrata, eggs, salt and parmesan together in a large bowl. Add 2 1/2 cups of the flour and mix well with your hands. The dough should be very sticky. Add another half cup of flour and mix in. You want the dough to still be pretty sticky, but sturdy enough to shape into a ball. If it’s not, keep adding a little flour at a time until you can get a soft dough that will be rollable.

Spread some flour on a large work surface. Section off the dough into several smaller spheres. Take one piece and roll the piece of dough into a snake about 1/2 inch thick, then cut it into pieces about the width of a fork. Dust the gnocchi with a little flour and press the tines of a fork into each individual piece. This create ridges for the sauce to stick. Repeat this process with the other piece of dough and place the gnocchi on a large plate, cover and set aside. *Note: this dough freezes extremely well!

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Mushroom & Brown Butter Sauce: In a medium skillet over high heat, add 4 tablespoons butter. When the butter is melted, sprinkle in the mushrooms in a single layer but do not stir. Let them sizzle until they have caramelized on the bottom, approximately 2 minutes. When the bottoms are caramelized, toss them once and season with salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook without stirring for about 5 minutes. Add the remaining butter and cook until it begins to brown. Once the butter is browned reduce the heat and add the garlic, thyme and rosemary and cook for about 10 seconds. Add the balsamic vinegar, and simmer until the mushrooms are glazed with the sauce. Then stir and remove the pan from the heat and slide the mushrooms and sauce off to the side.

Add the gnocchi to the salted boiling water. Boil the gnocchi until they float, then remove them with a slotted spoon and add them right into the skillet with the mushrooms/sauce. Return the skillet (with the mushrooms and gnocchi) back to medium heat and allow the gnocchi to get a little crisp on each side (roughly 2 minutes per side). Stir the gnocchi into the sauce and mushrooms and serve, topped with crumbled goat cheese.

Enjoy!

What are some of your winter favorites?

Cheers!

Easy As Pie

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a lovely weekend. I spent mine battling a cold that knocked me out for almost the entire weekend. I managed to make it to the farmer’s market outside my apartment to make a cabbage & vegetable soup which I’m crediting with why I feel better this morning.

Today I want to share.. not necessarily a recipe but thoughts on a quick pie that will look like you’ve slaved in the kitchen for hours. Hear me out. As we start to enter the holiday season, dinners and parties pop up out of nowhere. Sometimes you need to really win the party, right? Bring something everyone will rave about? At the very last minute?! Here it is. If you’re short on time, let these adorable pie cutters be your friend, grab some organic fruit filling and pre-made pie dough and go to work. Yes, hear me out. I love being able to roll out homemade pie dough and peel freshly picked apples from the orchard but sometimes (a lot of the time…) girlfriend does not have time for that.


My go to is cherry pie, which also happens to be my favorite! Roll out the pre-made dough into the pie plate. Insert filling. (Hint: for cherry pie, for homemade or pre-made filling, I always add a tiny bit of almond extract *heart eyes*).  Get creative with the designs. I obviously have a bit of an obsession with the leaf stamp but you catch my drift, the possibilities are endless.

I even baked a quick birthday pie for my dad when I was home in Ohio

However you end up designing your pie, I like to brush egg white along the crust to get it golden brown in the oven and bake. Usually start at 450 degrees for 15 minutes then take it down to 350 degrees for another 30. Take my advice, let the pie cool completely before you dig in, otherwise your filling won’t set properly.

Nothing can beat a homemade pie but this may be pretty darn close. Definitely a hit for last minute entertaining, too!

Cheers,