Hazelnut Brittle

Growing up, I loved peanut butter…actually, anything peanutty, really. Peanut brittle fell into this category, and honestly, who doesn’t love peanut brittle? Since I’ve grown up, I’ve come to love a variety of other nuts, and one of my favorites (hazelnuts) is in season at the moment, so I thought I’d enjoy my favorite nuts with one of my favorite candies by trying my hand at making a batch of hazelnut brittle to complete my Thanksgiving dinner.

The result was more than I could have hoped for–distinctly hazelnutty, sticky, crunchy, sweet, caramelly, buttery, salty, and lightly tinged with that delicious bourbon aroma. And just look at it. Maybe I’m a sucker for brittles, but I drool like Pavlov’s dog at the sight.

I was largely inspired by a recipe I saw, and honestly, I was really impressed with the… click to read more…

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Cream Cheese Swirled Pumpkin Bread

I’m not a big breakfast person, and probably in keeping with my sweet tooth, more often than not, you’ll catch me reaching for a pastry over an omelette. This was my nod at being seasonal and keeping my weekday breakfast interesting: a loaf of pumpkin bread with cream cheese swirled in the middle.

This was a delicious bread, kind of like a banana bread (which I’m sure we’ve all had before), but well, pumpkinny instead of banana-y, and richer in color. I included some of the usual suspects as far as pumpkin-friendly spices and a mix of nuts (walnuts, pecans) and chocolate chips. I’ve had images of deliciously frosted pumpkin cupcakes in my head for a while, so I also thought a swirl of cream cheese throughout the loaf would go nicely while still making a decent claim at this being breakfast friendly and not all out… click to read more…

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Spiced Brandied Cherries

I’m not sure if I’ve been living in a cave, but I’d never heard of brandied cherries before. When I first ran across them over at Sidewalk Shoes though, I knew I had to try them right away. I mean how good does it sound–preserved fruit, but in liquor! Right up my alley.

Unfortunately, like when making preserved lemons, I can’t tell you how this tastes yet. It requires a bit of time to age and mingle. Of course, seeing how I sampled as I cooked, I can say I’m eagerly looking forward to when I get to open this jar up. This could go on top of ice creams, in mixed drinks, or just make for a great adult snack. Plus, its a fun way to let you enjoy cherries out of season.

  • ~3 cups cherries, stemmed but not

click to read more…

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Watermelon Sorbet

Does any fruit scream summer more than watermelon? Big, light, juicy, refreshing, and sweet–no outdoor summer meal is done without a piece of watermelon. So if you’re looking for something simple and light to put together to beat the heat at your barbecue this July 4th, why not make a batch of watermelon sorbet in advance?

This recipe comes from David Lebovitz, specifically from his fantastic book, The Perfect Scoop (for any home-made ice cream lover, you need this book. Seriously). I’d originally hoped to have some fancy schmancy decorative plating for you all to ooh and ahh at where I would make white chocolate shells, brush them something green, and fill it with sorbet (since that would look like a watermelon). You might notice no photos of this–yea, it looked that good, haha. So instead, it only gets as exciting as chocolate chips… click to read more…

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Phyllo Caprese Bites

I can be fickle about tomatoes. I love tomatoes, don’t get me wrong, but raw? No thanks. Cooked briefly? Sure, bring them on–go figure. Enjoying the nuances of really fresh tomatoes means keeping the cooking to a minimum, so this I tend to be wary of doing much in this area. But why not try something light to show off the sweet red jewels of the season? I caved and was delighted with these Phyllo Caprese Bites.

This dish was actually a clear-out-the-fridge dish, leftovers from a dish that I haven’t written up yet, lol (gee, I wonder if there will be any phyllo/tomato dishes coming online soon!). I wanted finger food, and when you have fresh tomatoes, its best to keep things simple so that their flavor can really stand on their own. Judy over at No Fear Entertaining whet my appetiteclick to read more…

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Mango Nutella Crêpes

Once I conquered my fear of making crepes and realized I could quite easily make these at home rather than reserving them as a treat best left to the hands of someone more experienced, they found their way into my weekend breakfast repertoire. Pancakes, waffles, bagels, and omelettes are all great Saturday morning breakfast food, but there’s no reason not to include some delicious Mango Nutella Crêpes in your routine as well.

After having made my first batch of crêpes, I still had a ton of nutella in the pantry, and nutella just screams crêpes to me (and in unison, my belly was also screaming crêpes, so it was decided). So while local strawberries have come and gone, it was onto another favorite fruit that has been looking pretty darn good on the store shelves these days: mangoes! Yes, this isn’t tremendously different from the prior crêpes, but… click to read more…

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