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!

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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!

 

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,

Cantaloupe- Basil Agua Fresca

My obsession with agua fresca began at a small restaurant I used to frequent in Pittsburgh. They make incredible agua fresca and as soon as I tried it, I knew I wanted to make some of my own. Unsure where to begin, I found this recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks, Seriously Delish. (Follow the author, Jessica Merchant, on her blog, How Sweet Eats– I’m hooked!) This agua fresco is amazing and perfect for summer if you’re in the mood for refreshing drink.

What you’ll need:

– 1 cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes

– a big handful of fresh basil

– 1 1/2 cups of water

– 3 limes

– 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

– fresh mint for garnish

The How To:

1. Add cantaloupe and half the bunch of basil into a blender and blend until completely pureed.

2. Pour the mixture through a fine- mesh strainer and use a spoon to press all the juice out of the pulp.

3. Combine cantaloupe juice, remaining basil leaves, water, lime juice and sugar into a large pitcher and stir.

4. Chill the mixture for about an hour or so.

5. Pour over ice and garnish with mint or basil.

6. Enjoy.

Cheers!

Three Thrills by Thursday

This week has both flown by and felt drudginly slow. Cleveland keeps getting hit with snow and cold and as much as I love the snow, I’m a little over it. Guess it’s a perfect time to head on vacation!

My first thrill is an upcoming vacation which is just around the corner. Follow along on Instagram: @bliss_and_bellinis for more photos. As for me, I’m all packed and ready to go!

My second thrill is this incredible banana bread. I’ll be sharing the recipe when I get back but it is really simple and perfect if you have a surplus of bananas that are maybe a tad too brown for your liking.

(those oven mitts got a little dirty in battle)

My final thrill this week is probably the best thing to television this week. Jimmy Fallon at Bayside High. Enjoy!

Cheers,

 

Three Thrills by Thursday

Happy Thursday, everyone! Just yesterday I looked down at my phone, saw the date and it sank in. We are a mere 14 days out from Christmas and 20 days from 2015- seems so surreal, it feels like summer was just yesterday! Anyway, I contemplated on making my own gift guide for you however over the past few weeks I’ve seen some great gift guides that will count as my first thrill this week! I may decide to put a few more gifts up early next week however, these guides are pretty good.

1. Cupcakes and Cashmere has a whole series of gift guides:
Men’s Gift Guide
Under $25
Under $100
Under $250

Stocking Stuffer Gift Guide from Southern Curls & Pearls

The Everygirl’s Gift Guide (something for everyone!)

Nordstrom’s Gift Guide

Helpful hint: If you’re stumped on a gift for a particular person, check out their Pinterest board for some tips!

2. As the holidays approach, schedules fill up with holiday parties where you’ll likely to eat, drink and be merry- non of which are particular good for your skin. If you’re lacking that holiday glow, check out these concealer tips.

3. Whether you’re hosting over the holidays or not, here are 10 Make-Ahead Tips from the Kitchen Queen herself.

Cheers!

 

 

 

[Image via Taste by Williams Sonoma]