Monday, December 30, 2013

Rosemary Cashews

If you're like me and still scrambling to plan your New Year's Eve meal, then don't feel so badly. I just finalized my menu about 3 minutes ago. I started to panic about what to serve because some guests have dietary restrictions and they eat a lot so I don't want to disappoint anyone, but then I remembered: Don't panic! Most caterers and party planners would always tell you to but 75% of your appetizers and make the rest; don't put too much on your plate. Go with some simple cheese and crackers for the store bought options, maybe some sliced cucumbers and salami, and these cashews are easy, yet elegant enough, to be your "homemade" option. Butter, cashews, rosemary, and a little sweetener. BOOM THATS IT! 

What you'll need:
1 lb toasted, salted cashews
2 tbs. fresh rosemary, minced
1 tbs. kosher salt
1/2 tsp stevia
2 tbs. melted butter

1. Preheat your oven to 325*. Toast your cashews for 10 minutes, just enough to warm them. 
2. Mix revert thing else in a bowl. When cashews are warmed through, toss everything together. Let cool and serve! 

enjoy :)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Garlic Kale Chips

I have a huge snacking problem. I just love anything that crunches. Chips, pretzels, you name it, I love it. I've been working really hard to get into shape so I had to give my beloved chippies up. A much healthier (and seriously, they're good) option is kale chips. I had about a 2 month obsession with these ranch kale chips from Whole Foods but at $5.99 per bag I realized it was getting ridiculous. So I started making my own to save my waistline and wallet. These are very easy and despite what other recipes may say, get the prechopped kale at the market. They're great for snacking, lunches, or just to make and having hanging around for a bad day.

What you'll need:
1 10oz bag chopped kale
Canola oil spray
1/2 tsp. garlic salt

1. Preheat your oven to 400*. Lay 1/4 of the kale on a baking sheet in a single layer. Spray with a few spritz of the canola oil and sprinkle a tiny bit of the garlic salt (the pan looks crowded but they will shrink). Bake for 20 minutes. 
2. Repeat the process until you've used up all of the kale chips (about 4 more times). 

enjoy :)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide 2013

We've decided to push back our Hanukkah gift exchange until my sister comes back for Christmas. With just two weeks left, I have been struggling to find the perfect holiday gift for the foodies in my life. I've compiled my Top 10 list of foodie Must Haves for those that are in the same boat as I am (and who's bank account is struggling, too). All of the gifts are under $100 to save everyone's sanity a little bit. Oh, and almost all of the websites are offering FREE SHIPPING for guaranteed Christmas delivery!

1. A great set of whisky stones to keep your drink chilled and not watered down.

2. Blank gift tags to add a personalized touch to gifts.

3. Stainless wine opener and foil cutter.

4. Le Creuset signature round Dutch Oven, a necessity for all cooks.

5. Wood Monogram cheese board.

6. Cheery wood Boos cutting board.

7. "From the Kitchen of" Stamp from Yellow Owl Workshop.

8. ADORABLE Mason Jar shot glasses.

9. The Bible of cook books, Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child.

10. Reusable striped popcorn cups.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Gruyere and Prosciutto in Puff Pastry

Call me crazy but I'm already planning my New Year's Eve plans. I know, I know, we JUST had Thanksgiving but you know how I am. I was thinking about what I wanted to serve for appetizers (I'm not huge into going out; I'd rather open a great bottle of wine and feast until I can't move) so I began sifting through my cookbooks. I came across this little doozy from my lovely Barefoot Contessa. Her recipe called for ham rather than prosciutto and dijon mustard but Daniel LOVES prosciutto and hates mustard (I know, he's odd). This is a no-stress, simple appetizer that you can throw together in just minutes but will taste, and smell, like you've been slaving over it for hours! Oh, and did I mention the melty, gooey cheese?!

What you'll need:
2 sheets puff pastry, defrosted in the fridge overnight
5 slices prosciutto
8 oz. shredded gruyere
2 tbs. garlic aioli 
1 egg, beaten with 1 tbs. water (for egg wash)

1. Preheat the oven to 425* and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Lay 1 sheet of puff pastry on a floured surface and carefully roll it out to 10x10” square (just eyeball it if you don’t have a ruler handy). Transfer it to the baking shet and spread the aioli over it, leaving a ½ inch border. Begin layering the prosciutto down and top with mass amounts of gruyere.
3. Place the second sheet of puff pastry on the floured surface and roll it out to 10x10” square. Place it on top of the other pastry sheet, push down the sides and brush the top with the egg wash.
4. Cut 4 diagonal slits across the middle (this will allow steam to come out, or else it’ll explode).
5. Bake for 20 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Let cool and serve.

enjoy :)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Horseradish and Chive Mashed Potatoes

Probably the most important entity of your Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and/or Christmas dinner is the mashed potatoes. There is about 10,000,000 ways to make them and I usually stick to roasted garlic and non-fat Greek yogurt but this Thanksgiving we celebrated the once in a lifetime event of Thanksgivukkah. To marry the flavors of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving I made horseradish and chive mashed potatoes. I'm not a fan of horseradish at all but apparently they were received by rave reviews! Of course the original recipe came from Buzzfeed and their incredible Thanksgivukkah menu, but I used a little less horseradish because I didn't want to offend anyone's taste buds. If you want to try something different with your side dishes then this is sure to please those with pallets that are up to experimentation!

What you'll need:
1 whole head of garlic, roasted
3 pounds Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes
2 tbs. horseradish
1 cup non-dairy creamer
3 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 large bunch chives 

1. Roast your garlic at 400* for 45 minutes.
2. Peel and boil your potatoes (remember, ALWAYS boil potatoes in cold water. This will take anywhere from 25-35 minutes). Drain and use a hand mixer to mash your potatoes. 
3. Slowly add the creamer salt, pepper, and garlic. Continue to mix until thoroughly combined. Chop and add ¾ of the chives and horseradish.
4. Garnish with the remainder of the chives and serve immediately.

enjoy :)

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope you got to spend it with those most special to you; I know I did!