MULLED RED WINE HOT CHOCOLATE
I know many of you live in more temperate areas of the country, but here in New England it's still winter. That means it's time to decide whether the evening libation will be a nice warming glass of wine, or a hot cup of cocoa. Except that I no longer have to make that decision, Red Wine Hot Chocolate for the win!
I know what you're thinking, I recoiled a bit at first too, it just seems.....wrong.
The more I thought about it though, the more I realized that I love chocolate and wine, and chocolate and fruit...soooo....I mean it kinda makes sense...right?
I assure you it does. It's incredibly rich and decadent, it has a totally unique flavor, and it feels very festive. It's not for everyone, and it is a bit of an acquired taste, but once you start drinking it, it's so unique and different that you'll find yourself finishing the mug without thinking. So if you're brave and looking for something different this winter, read on!
It's that time of summer where I've had a lot of potato salad. I'm not complaining mind you, because I love it. However, my waist line may not. I was looking for a potato salad alternative that would still hit those classic flavors, just not be as heavy.
As usual, Ina Garten had the solution, Creamy Cucumber Salad! The cucumbers are great right now at my local markets, and if you've grown your own chances are you may have an abundance of them ready to eat. So grab 4 (or 5) and make this easy summer salad.
I have gone from being someone who says, "I can't have one more appliance." To someone that has allll the appliances, and trust me I don't have room to store them. Kitchen size aside however, I love to cook. My husband also enjoys cooking, though he primarily likes to experiment with proteins. I purchased a smoker for him for Christmas a few years ago and he has enjoyed the challenge of learning all the different aspects of it.
He became interested in Sous Vide last year, I had never heard of it before, but he began to research it and determined that we needed one. I was skeptical that what essentially looked like we were boiling meat could yield anything close to restaurant quality.
Well, we finally tried it out. I have to tell you, the results surprised me. We're definitely novices but I already have a few tips and tricks to share. So here it is, a steak house dinner for two!
I daylight as a history teacher and so far there hasn't been much overlap between that and my blog. Today's Sunday Coffee Series however presented an opportunity to have a bit of a history nerd moment. You'll see what I mean in a bit.
New Orleans is on my bucket list and of course as a coffee lover, Cafe du Monde is going to be a must-do stop. This past February we were visiting friends in NYC who had recently returned from a trip there. We were treated to Chicory Coffee that they had brought back, and it was fantastic! It had never occurred to me that you could actually buy it outside of New Orelans....but you can! Let's take this Sunday Coffee to New Orleans, shall we?
I think a perfectly brewed cup of coffee is one of life's great luxuries. Close your eyes, inhale, let the warm steam wash over you. Sip. Taste. Be in the moment, completely relaxed. The world moves a little slower, and nothing seems so bad as it did a minute ago. My favorite Sunday morning ritual is to make myself a fresh cup of coffee and just sit in my dining room soaking in the morning sun. I put some jazz on, and just relax and simply be. No work, no thinking about the "to do" list. Just myself and a beverage as old as time. It's heavenly.
Since this little ritual is something I look forward to each week, I thought I would start a new series on the blog called "Sunday Coffee." Each week I'll cover some kind of coffee related topic. If you've been around here for a while you know that I am obsessed with my Nespresso, but on Sundays or when I'm at my beach "house" I use my french press. I love the coffee it makes, and I don't even mind that it takes just a little bit more time and effort. However, I learned recently that I was doing quite a few things wrong. I (like many), added my coffee, water, brewed, and plunged. There's more to it than that. I fixed these 5 mistakes that I was making with my french press and it dramatically changed the coffee. I thought if I was making these mistakes, you might be too. They are super easy fixes and really take no additional time. Happy Sunday my friends, may your coffee be strong and your work load be light! Read on for the five mistakes you're making with your french press.
Easy INSTANT POT YOGURT
I remember watching Heidi with my grandmother when I was younger. There was a scene where she and her grandfather were eating what looked to be the most delectable and delicious fresh cream that they had gotten from the goats that day. I just knew that someday I wanted to experience that delicious cream for myself. While I now know that yogurt made from goats milk would not appeal to me, I do absolutely enjoy homemade fresh yogurt. Having spent years purchasing yogurt machines, trying homemade methods that involve overheated ovens and leaving cream in places it shouldn't be left. I had given up. I then discovered the easiest method that yields the most delicious, creamy, and fresh tasting yogurt imaginable. Heidi watch out THIS is the only yogurt recipe you'll ever need.
EASY CHEESY DELICIOUS MEATLOAF
My mother reads my blog (I think), so I'm going to apologize in advance for what I'm about to say. I'll start by saying that I love my mom's spaghetti and meatballs, her turkey, and her chicken pot pie. She makes a lot of delicious food, but I hate her meatloaf. I'm sorry mom, but I think you kinda know this already. Something about a loaf of meat was just a turn off to me, and there was some squished up bread in it which skeeved me out. I know there were some Italian spices, but overall it was just not my thing. It's not just her meatloaf, anytime I had it at a restaurant or someone else's house- I just didn't enjoy it. So after high school I delighted in the fact that I would never have to have meatloaf again.
In a twist that only this life could dole out, bf happens to love meatloaf. It's his favorite, in his mind it should be in the weekly rotation. So, if meatloaf loving bf and I were going to dine in cohabitory bliss, I would need to figure something out. So, I scoured the interwebs for a good recipe. I tried several, and finally I took all the aspects of each that I did like and combined them and got rid of everything I hated (I'm looking at you squishy bread). The result? A cheesy, delicious, explosion of flavor that takes mere minutes to put together. I can honestly say I love it. This is not your mother's (or my mother's) meatloaf. This is your punk loving, pink hair, rule breaking yet everyone loves her cousin's meatloaf (I don't have one of those but if I did I think this is what she would make). Read on for the recipe and enjoy!
This is the story of one dish two years apart. As in, I thought I was making this dish for the first time, and it turns out I made the exact same dish on the same day one year prior. I remembered it as soon as I started cooking. It's creamy and cheesy and lemony and fresh. It's really the perfect Spring dish. If you have a half an hour and a few simple ingredients, you can put this together. It's visually beautiful and the taste is out of this world. It also reheats nicely for lunches throughout the week. Once I realized this dish was a fabulous repeat, it was quickly added to the rotation and we have it frequently. It would be perfect for Mother's Day if you're still looking for something!
I've been meaning to get this post up for over a month; the time keeps getting away from me!
This recipe actually accomplished two things for me, I made a new Ina recipe, which I will definitely make again because it was super easy. I also, learned how to make pastry cream. Cognac pastry cream to be specific. I don't know why I had avoided homemade pastry cream for so long, it intimated me I suppose. No more!
My friends have a New Years Eve party every year. Each year they change the theme, and everyone dresses according to the theme. They also do a menu based off the theme. Therefore, I knew if I was going to bring something to the party, it needed to fit within the theme...which was luau. Don't get me wrong, this is a very fun theme, but it's the middle of one of the coldest winters in recent memory in New England. Needless to say, there wasn't a lot of tropical inspiration on Food Network. This was going to be a bit tricky to figure out.
Is there anything better than fresh baked bread? No. The answer is no. There's something so comforting and nurturing about it. Some people have to hide sweets from themselves, they over do it on chocolate. I have to hide bread from myself. My last meal? A really, really good piece of bread with some french butter. Pure heaven. Okay, so you get the idea...I like bread!
I have always wanted to make bread, but never learned how to do so properly. My attempts before resulted in hard, semi-cooked, inedible loafs that bf pretended he didn't hate, yet only took one bite out of. This weekend, I set out to change that!