These milk chocolate cookie sandwiches are for those days when you need something sweet and fast. Something to delight your tastebuds stat. It’s the type of treat that I keep in my back pocket (not literally because well that would be messy) when we want to celebrate something like a small achievement: a day without a talkative note at school, for picking up your clothes without being asked, OR because you just need chocolate and NOW. These sandwiches are for those moments. Finding delight in the small things. It’s a good thing.
I have a thing for cooked cream aka panna cotta. It sounds better in Italian. Everything sounds better in Italian. Go ahead and try. Everything sounds better. Whenever I have to make dessert and I’m in doubt, my go to is panna cotta. Always. Why? It’s delicious, it lends itself to ANY flavor combination (reading into I can use what I have in the house) and it’s silly easy to make. Now you know. I’m pretty sure I have almost a dozen recipes for panna cotta on this site. Clearly I don’t get tired of it and I hope you don’t either.
I love eating outside. Let me clarify, I like eating outside in the spring time when the weather is nice and the bugs haven’t started swarming. There’s something so relaxing about dining al fresco (so much fancier than just saying outdoors). Last weekend after years of complaining suggesting what an awesome idea it would be, we finally bought a small outdoor dining table for our deck. Since then we’ve eaten outside almost every night (read I was right) since and I couldn’t be happier.
(Disclaimer: I have been selected by Kraft Foods to be an ambassador for PHILADELPHIA cream cheese. While I have been compensated for my time, my opinions are my own.)
What’s not to love about a s’more right? Chocolate. Graham Crcakers. TOASTED marshmallows. All coming together to form one ooey gooey cohesive delicious fantastic mess. Wet wipes would come in handy here. There’s not just for babies you know. They’re completely and totally delightful.
Raisin and nut wha? Agrodolce. Agrodolce is Italian for sweet (dolce) and sour (agro). It happens to be one of my favorite combinations and is a lot like me depending on how my day is going. What don’t tell me you’re never moody? This sauce, and it’s actually more salsa or compote than sauce but let’s not split hairs I have enough of those, is something I could eat directly out the jar. But better not, it’s amazing topped on chicken, pork, lamb, OR even mixed into pasta. You know how much I like options.
You know grilling isn’t just for meats and veggies (and fruits, can’t leave out fruits, have you tried grilled peaches? Oh sweet drippy goodness do it!). Why let them have all the fun? You can make desserts on the grill too! Sure can. In fact you can make an entire meal on the grill. Besides having all that gorgeous grill flavor you’re not messing up the kitchen. That’s happy happy happy in my book. Anyone else hate doing dishes?
Finally grilling season is here. I’m just a tad bit excited about this after a VERY long winter. I love the smells that waft through the neighborhood as soon as the weather has heated up (and the pollen has past ugh). People are out walking the neighborhood (and gasp actually smiling and waving), flowers are blooming, the trees are filling in and grills are going strong. It’s a good thing.
We (and when I say we I mean my husband) like to grill a lot. It’s typically, chicken, ribs, with the occasional steak thrown in. It’s not that I have anything against steak, quite the contrary, bring on a hunk of perfectly cooked (for me) medium steak any day of the week if you’re paying ; ) If I’m paying it’s more of a special occasion meal. But guess what? Now it doesn’t have to be.
If I’m being honest, I have to admit that this whole having to wear shorts soon (let’s not even discuss the b word) is kind of freaking me out. It gets HAWT in Carolina people. So shorts are a necessity. One good thing about the weather is the fact that I don’t want to heat up the kitchen or the house for that matter. Cooking lighter meals is just easier for me in the spring/summer time. So what’s a girl to make besides salads? Seafood. I’ve always been a seafood fan. Fish, crab, mussels, shrimp, oysters, lobster. I’m in. The answer is always I’m in.
Apparently spring doesn’t know it’s spring because we’ve taken a u-turn and appear to be right back into winter. Who authorized this? Obviously I am not happy about this. I’ve had to turn the heater back on and pull out all of the scarves and boots I had put away for the season. The only good thing from this colder weather is I can enjoy soups a little longer. Silver lining. Silver lining. Now all I need is a silver spoon. Kidding. Kind of.
I don’t know about you but I feel better about eating a cupcake than I do a slice of cake (not that I’d turn that down mind you, ’cause I would not). Something about it’s size makes me feel quite alright about indulging in one. Okay who am I kidding, you all know about my epic sweet tooth, TWO. You got me. Sigh. Good thing there are a lot of stairs in my house is all I can say.
Have you noticed a re-occurring theme of EGGS across the blogosphere this month? Of course you did eggs happen to be one of the stars of the Easter season (hello Easter Eggs) and you guessed it, deviled eggs. Did you happen to catch our CLASSIC DEVILED EGGS post earlier this month? We waxed poetic about the incredible edible egg and it’s versatility. Yes those little babies aren’t just for breakfast. They’re also great in one of my favorite courses (you do remember that wicked sweet tooth of mine) which should come as no surprise that it is dessert.
I love pork products. Probably more than the average person (well not as much as Chef Michael Symon who has multiple pigs tattoos – but close). So naturally when I had an opportunity to partner with the National Pork Boardit was a big giant no brainer. I am official now. Yes officially a Sister Cites of Ham Ambassador (Raleigh – DurHAM) and I have a badge to prove it. A celebration was in order which had to include what else? Ham! This spiced roasted ham with glaze. It’s a showstopper and it couldn’t be easier to make. Promise.
If you’re on a diet, click away, OR just plan on getting on the treadmill for a little longer. Fried dough (aka doughnuts, donuts, fried dough, just gimme). There’s something completely irresistible about it. Doughnuts are my weakness. Especially warm right out of the fryer. Swoon. I feel better about eating these small little doughnut holes, somehow it seems like I’m consuming less calories (even if I do eat 2 dozen by myself). I also have a unicorn that lives in my backyard and leaves me presents. Are you jealous LOL?
Whiskey and Caramel went into a bar and they came out sauced! Seriously sauced. Okay okay so then went into a pot instead but the results are the same. This is one boozy sauce that besides eating it by the spoonful (are you not supposed to do that?) it’s amazing drizzled on all sorts of sweet treats. Oh you want examples? Ice cream, Cake, Brownies, DOUGHNUTS or just a spoonful into your coffee because you’re really not going to be able to resist.
Oh salmon, you’re so gorgeous with your peachy pink flesh and shimmering silvery coat. You’re quick, easy and good for me (how many things can we say that about). Truth be told, I don’t eat nearly enough fish. It’s not for lack of not loving it, ’cause I do. I need to put it on my grocery list more often (naturally that will work like a charm right? I always get everything on my list – side-eye) It bakes up perfectly in about 15 minutes, and the glaze. Hold your horses on this one. It’s balsamic and raisin and will knock your socks off.
Good things come to those who bake. It’s true! See that above, it’s definitely a good thing. Sweet slurry of raspberries, swirled with dark chocolate plus a little (chili powder) kick in the pants for good measure. Sweet, spicy goodness on a plate that’s perfect for your Valentine’s Day dessert (or any day dessert for that matter). Did I mention it comes together in less than 20 minutes? You didn’t think I made that puffed pastry from scratch did you ; )
Any excuse to make a decadent dessert and I’m in. Valentine’s Day no exception. As much as I love to have someone cook for me, I have to admit I don’t like to venture out for a romantic meal on Valentine’s Day. Why? Because in my experience, restaurants are over-crowded, over-priced and the service is typically slow on the love-iest dove-iest night of the year. Plus I can make a very special meal at home for our whole family for a fraction of the price. THEN we plan on a date night the following week when it’s safe to exit the house again. Win. Win.
I have a confession to make. This is the first time I’ve ever decorated cookies with royal icing. My friend Marian from Sweetopia did a rockstar session on cookie decorating at our food conference last November and can I tell you that she makes things look so easy that I thought even I could give this a try. I wanted to make a sweet treat for Valentine’s Day that I could share with my loves. I of course went to Pinterest for cookie inspiration and felt immediately overwhelmed with all of the beautiful designs (currently way out of my league) instead I saw a box of conversation hearts sitting on my table and I thought let’s make a cookie version instead (much tastier than those yucky hearts to be quite honest).
I LOVE Panettone. It’s probably more like a ridiculous obsession but whatever. I love it so much I usually stock up at Christmas time when they’re out and about in stores. I hoard them because other than enjoying a slice, or two or three for breakfast with my cappuccino I can make things with them like this incredibly decadent and delish Panettone bread pudding or Cheat’s Sponge Cake with Summer Berries and Cream(it also makes wicked french toast but that’s another post).
I’m a dipper. It’s true. I like to dip things. It’s just part of who I am and come on let’s be honest it’s just fun. Guacamole and hummus are two of my favorites (not that I’d turn down queso, ever). Do you know that hummus is easier to make than guacamole? It is. My KitchenAid food processor does all the work for me. No chopping, no mincing. I just chuck all the ingredients into my food processor and press the button. Besides being obviously good for you, making it at home means you can make it just the way you like it. Thick or creamy. Heavy on the lemon juice. All up to you.