|May 9, 2013||Posted by Lauren Keating under Desserts, Reviews, Shawn's Favorites, Spring|
This time of year, it seems like there’s an occasion for a fancy party every time you turn around. Graduations. Mother’s Day. Bridal showers. Baby showers. Wednesday night. Ok, maybe not Wednesday night… although with a cup of tea and a slice of this decadent tart, it might seem like a special occasion. Of course, it’s perfect for all of those other situations too.
The crust, made from pulverized shortbread cookies, is light but intensely buttery. The dark chocolate ganache filling is rich, rich, rich and velvety smooth. It’s sweetened with just a smidge of honey and infused with a touch of lavender – not so much that it tastes like perfume, just enough to give it a subtle hint of springtime flavor – and it literally melts in your mouth (and on the counter if you leave it out and your house it too warm.) Top it all off with some fresh raspberries and grab some friends to share it with. A little bit of this goes a long way, so there’s plenty to go around.
I recently signed on as a Blogger Ambassador for Walkers Shortbread, and I’m really excited about this partnership. I’ll be honest – when they first approached me, I said no. But as I talked to them more, I could tell that they were really passionate about their product. And their passion totally rubbed off on me. I’ve always known that Walkers is delicious, but I didn’t know that the company is still run by the same family that founded it in 1898, that it’s made with butter from free-range, grass fed cows, or that the company is committed to baking without GMO ingredients, artificial flavors/colors, or preservatives. In fact, their original shortbread only has four ingredients (butter, four, sugar, and salt) – the cookies I make in my kitchen are more complicated than that! It’s no wonder that they taste so good! (Yup, I totally drank the kool-aid. BTW, they aren’t paying me to say this, although they did send me some cookies.)
Walkers also gave me a code for 20% off full-price items: HDSpring. It’s good on their website, WalkersUS.com, until May 24. There are all sorts of fun things on there, so be sure to poke around! (Also, try the stem ginger shortbread. OMG!)
- 10 package Walkers vanilla shortbread cookies (from 5.3 ounce package)
- ½ cup whole white wheat flour
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil or butter, softened
- ½ pint heavy cream
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 2 Tablespoons dried culinary lavender
- 12 ounces dark chocolate chips
- ½ pint raspberries
- Heat oven to 350*F.
- Pulverize the cookies into a fine powder, either in a food processor or by sealing them in a heavy plastic bags and rolling over them with a heavy rolling pin. Add the cookie crumbs, flour, and oil/butter to a mixing bowl; mix well. Press into a 9-inch tart pan. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Add the cream, honey, and lavender to a saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a simmer; reduce heat to low and let the cream steep for 15 minutes.
- Pour the chocolate chips into a mixing bowl. Set a mesh strainer over the bowl; pour the infused cream through the strainer. Discard the lavender; stir the chocolate and cream until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Pour into the baked tart crust. Refrigerate 30 minutes, or until chocolate is set. Remove from pan and top with raspberries.
- Serve chilled or at room temperature.
This post was written as part of the Walkers Blogger Buzz Ambassador program. I did not receive monetary compensation, but I did receive cookies to help inspire my recipe.
|May 7, 2013||Posted by Lauren Keating under Mexican and Southwestern, Quick Weeknight Meals, Sandwiches, Vegetarian or Vegan|
I’ve been really lazy about cooking lately. I just haven’t felt like putting together a weekly plan or going grocery shopping… and without a plan, any chance of me cooking goes right out the window. We were both getting kind of cranky about it, so a few weeks ago I promised Shawn that I would actually cook the next day. Of course, I had no inspiration. So I did what any 20-something (err… 30-something) would do – I turned to Pinterest. It’s such a great resource for keeping things organized! I had pinned these gorgeous lentil cauliflower burgers to my “to make” board at some point, and the second I saw them on there I knew what we were having for dinner.
I was originally drawn in by the stunning photo (seriously, go look at it) but I was also really intrigued by the recipe, which is basically just cauliflower, lentils, and spices: all things that I almost always have on hand. They’re also really neutrally flavored, so they go with almost any toppings. I loaded mine up with chipotle barbecue sauce, roast poblano pepper, and avocado. (And some Monterey Jack which they honestly didn’t need.)
Like most homemade veggie burgers these take a little bit of effort to make. The recipe is pretty straightforward though, and if you multitask by cooking the lentils while you roast the cauliflower, you can have dinner on the table in a little over a half hour.
- 2 cups cauliflower florets (defrosted if frozen)
- 2 poblano peppers, halved, seeds removed
- ½ cup dried red lentils
- 2 cups water
- ⅓ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoons chipotle chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 ounces reduced fat Monterey Jack, shredded
- 4 soft rolls, split
- ½ avocado, sliced
- 4 Tablespoon chipotle barbecue sauce
- Heat oven to 400*F. Add the cauliflower to a food processor and process for 30 seconds, or until it is finely chopped and has the texture of rice. Place the poblanos on the edge of a baking sheet; spread the cauliflower in a thin layer on the rest of the sheet. Bake 15 minutes or until cauliflower is crisp. Place the poblano in a sealed plastic bag to allow it to steam.
- Meanwhile, rinse the lentils and pick through them to remove any small rocks or other debris. Add to a pot, along with water, salt, garlic powder, and chili powder. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are soft and the water has absorbed.
- Add cooked lentils, roasted cauliflower, remaining spices, and flour to a bowl. Mash gently. Mix well. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Form into 4 patties. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown and slightly crispy. Top with cheese and bake another 5 minutes.
- Place piece of poblano on the bottom part of each bun. Top with a burger, avocado slices, and barbecue sauce.
|May 5, 2013||Posted by Lauren Keating under Mexican and Southwestern, Sides, Spring, Summer, Vegetarian or Vegan|
Happy Cinco de Mayo! This is one of my favorite holidays, for no reason other than it give me an excuse to eat Mexican food and drink margaritas. What’s not to love?
By this point, you probably already have your menu planned out. But if you don’t, or if you’re looking to add something extra, you should definitely give this grilled corn with lime-cayenne butter a try. Grilled corn on the cob is one of my absolute favorite summertime treats. It’s so easy (you can grilled it right in the husk!) and the grill gives it a subtle smokey-charred flavor that I love. I usually just eat it plain, but for a special treat this lime-cayenne butter is awesome. It had just the right amount of heat to make the corn seem even sweeter.
On a side note, I’m going to try switching up my posting schedule. I’ve been posting new recipes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a long time, but I’ve been thinking about trying out a Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday schedule for a while. I think it will work better with my schedule. As an added bonus, it lets me participate in Sunday Supper – a weekly blogging event focused on sitting down at the table for a meal at least once a week. Each week has a different theme – this week’s is Cinco de Mayo. Be sure the check out the bottom of this post to see what al of the other participants made!
- 4 ears corn on the cob
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- ½ lime, zested and juiced
- ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 generous pinch sea salt
- Heat grill to high. Remove all but 1 or 2 layers of corn husks (you’ll be able to feel and possibly even see the kernels – that’s ok!) Place the corn on the grill; cover and cook 10 minutes or until husks are charred. Remove from heat and let cool.
- While the corn is cooking, combine the butter, lime juice and zest, cayenne pepper, and salt. Mix well to combine.
- When corn is cool enough to handle, peel back the remaining husks and remove the silk (it should come off very easily). If desired, place corn back in the grill for 1-2 minutes to give it some color. Serve with lime-cayenne butter.
|May 2, 2013||Posted by Lauren Keating under Breakfast, Desserts, Grains, Light, snacks, Spring|
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup shredded carrot (about 2)
- ¾ cup cooked quinoa
- ½ cup walnuts
- ¼ cup shredded coconut
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- dash salt
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil (at room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup raisins
- Heat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with a silicon mat or parchment.
- Mix fist 10 ingredients (through salt). In a separate bowl, mix together honey, coconut oil, and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients; mix thoroughly. Spread in a thin layer on the baking sheet.
- Bake 15 minutes; stir. Reduce heat to 225F and bake 45 minutes, or until ingredients are dry and toasted. Remove from oven and let cool. Stir in raisins.
- Store in an airtight container.
|April 29, 2013||Posted by Lauren Keating under Greek/Mediterranean, Light, Pasta and Noodles, Quick Weeknight Meals, special projects, Spring, Summer|
Spring is finally here! It was so gorgeous this weekend that I wanted to spend every second possible outside. From the looks of my blog analytics, we’re all on the same page… there weren’t very many people looking at recipes this week and I definitely don’t blame them. I have the perfect recipe for you though – it takes practically no time or effort at all. If you have a burner on your grill, you can even make the whole thing outside (and it will be done in even less time, since those grill burners are so hot that they bring water to a boil in the bat of an eye!)
The ingredients in this pasta are really simple, but they work together to give it a ton of fresh, bold flavor. To make it, you’ll need thinly sliced chicken breast, linguine, red and yellow bell peppers (I bought pre sliced peppers, which were half the price of whole ones), fresh oregano, and feta. Marzetti Simply Dressed Champaign Vinaigrette pulls everything together – you’ll use it as a marinade for the chicken and to dress the final dish. (You could also use Simply Dressed & Light Cesear Dressing).
This pasta is delicious warm, but it’s also fabulous served as a chilled pasta salad. I can’t wait to eat the leftovers!
- ¾ cup Marzetti Simply Dressed Champagne Vinaigrette
- 1 pound chicken cutlets
- 1 box high-fiber linguini
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 10 kalamata olives, quartered
- ¼ cup crumbled feta
- 4 springs fresh oregano
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- Pour ½ cup champagne vinaigrette into a shallow dish. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover and marinate for 30 minutes. Grill over high heat until done, 4-5 minutes on each side (discard extra marinade). Cut into strips.
- Meanwhile, boil pasta according to the directions on the package. Place peppers in the bottom of a colander; drain the cooked pasta over the peppers. Let sit 2 minutes, then return to the pot. Stir in chicken olives, feta, and oregano. Stir in ¼ cup vinaigrette. Season with crushed red pepper flakes.
- Serve with more feta and oregano, as desired.
This is the last recipe in the series that I’ve been doing with Marzetti Simply Dressed this spring and, once again, I have a terrific giveaway (worth $175) to give one of you! It includes:
- 5 coupons for free Marzetti Simply Dressed dressings
- a $75 Visa Giftcard
- Williams Sonoma salad spinner
- Crate & Barrel over-the-sink board with colander
- Trio vegetable peeler
- Nine assorted Marzetti vegetable pods, for storing leftover vegetable halves (I use these all the time and love them!)
Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below (it might take a second to load.) For an alternate entry, send an email with the subject “Marztti Simply Dressed Giveaway” to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This post was brought to you in partnership with Marzetti Simply Dressed; I was compensated for creating the recipe for chicken and pepper pasta. All opinions are my own.
|April 24, 2013||Posted by Lauren Keating under Asian, Fish and Seafood, Lent, Salads, Shawn's Favorites|
I might have a problem: I might be a little sriracha-obsessed. That bottle up there? I bought it last week and it’s already almond have gone. I’ve been finding ways to sneak it into things left and right. When I originally came up with the idea for this salad, I envisioned a creamy avocado-lime dressing. You see how that turned out, right? No avocado in sight; instead, I dressed it with a spicy mixture of yogurt, sriracha, and lime juice. And I don’t regret it for a second, because the dressing kind of made the salad.
The ingredient list for this recipe is a little long, but most of the ingredients are cheap. You probably even have a bunch of them in your fridge. They also each serve a purpose: The cabbage provides a backdrop for the rest of the ingredients. The cucumber and spouts add watery crispness. The snow peas (which were one of my favorite aspects of the salad) give it a vegetal bite. The cashews give it crunch. The cilantro and onion give it freshness. And the carrot gives it color. It’s the one ingredient that could probably be sacrificed in terms of flavor, but you’d be left with an awfully green entrée.
We both loved this. I’ll admit that I was a little hesitant at first but it kept growing on me the more I ate. Shawn enthusiastically described it as being “very vegetable-y, but good. And when you get something that’s not a vegetable, like salmon or dressing, it’s really good!” He also asked me to keep the leftovers, saying that he’d eat them for lunch the next day. Considering 1) he’s not a leftovers kind of guy, and 2) it was a salad, I’d consider this recipe a keeper!
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 salmon filets
- 1 head Napa cabbage, shredded
- 1 cucumber, sliced into half circles
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- ½ cup snow peas, roughly chopped
- ½ cup cashews
- ½ cup loosely packed cilantro
- 4 green onions, chopped
- ½ cup plain fat free Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Heat broiler. Wisk together the soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil. Set a cast iron (or other broiler proof pan) on a burner set to high. Once he pan is hot, add the salmon filets. Immediately pour the soy sauce mixture over top. Transfer to the boiler; broil for 2 minutes or until the salmon is cooked.
- In a very large bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, cucumber, carrot, bean sprouts, snow peas, cashews, cilantro, and green onions.
- In a small dish, mix together the yogurt, sriracha, and olive oil. Use a fork to separate the salmon into large flakes. Add salmon and dressing to the salad; mix well.