Posted: September 24th, 2010 | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Billy Reid, Screen Door, Screen Door Dallas, Screen Door Review | No Comments »
Okay, okay… I know, I have not been here all week long. Well, I have no good excuses except that I have been super busy busy all week long. Goodness. I don’t how, but I have managed to fill my days chockfull of activities that keep me away from our home. Ryan says I am an overactive social butterfly. It makes my busy schedule sound kind of cute. I think.
Alrighty, so the real reason I wanted to chat with you today is because in this busy schedule of mine I attended an event at Billy Reid in Dallas — and this event was catered by the Screen Door, a restaurant that has a modern take on real southern food. I love it. I love southern food. I love southern food done cleanly. I have to say, their food was my favorite part of the night. (When is food not my favorite part of something? Lets just be honest here people.) But seriously… I had to do a little bit of bragging about them. They were amazing. And David, the chef, is an amazing guy. He graciously let me peek in the back and bother him, answering my probing questions, sharing recipes, and laughing all the while. And let me tell you about his pimento cheese on a Tabasco cracker…. the man is amazing. I hate pimento cheese, home made, store bought, always. Until I met his pimento cheese. Oh, it was a work of art. It was awesome. It was also sitting on one incredible little cracker. The flavors married perfectly. It left a delightful after taste. I wanted a bucket full of the stuff. I could have eaten those little boogers all day long. And one day, I plan on doing just that. Until then, I recommend that you make yourself get out tonight and head down to the Screen Door for dinner –their menu will make your mouth water. I can’t wait to make down to their storefront for dinner sooner than later… I don’t think there could possibly be a bad thing on the menu. So, go on, scoot, off you go! Enjoy!
Posted: September 17th, 2010 | Filed under: Uncategorized | | No Comments »
I am adoring these pillows from Alexandra Ferguson on Etsy.. I would love to put the second one in my bedroom. (And what a fun gift for newlyweds…)
Posted: September 15th, 2010 | Filed under: Bread | Tags: banana bread, chocolate chip banana bread, chocolate chip peanut banana bread, easy banana bread, peanut banana bread | 1 Comment »
This last weekend was the birthday of my amazing hubby Ryan –he turned 27. We celebrated this weekend with some of our amazing friends — Ryan claimed that it was one of his most favorite nights of all time. I couldn’t agree more, we had an absolute blast. We are so blessed to be friends with such amazing people. I can’t believe we are getting old so fast. It is crazy — things are not at all like we thought they would be — they are quite possibly better. But sometimes we still feel like we are 18. Time is just flying by so fast–but I can honestly say that I wouldn’t want to spend my life with anyone else.
But amongst all of the birthday busy-ness I still found time to bake. Of course I made him breakfast (which I’ll post later this week) and some super yummy cupcakes — but I also continued my peanut/butter baking!
Okay, so there may not be actual peanut butter but there are peanuts in this banana bread! Now, if you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know that I am on a perpetual quest for new banana bread recipes and new things to do with the bananas that get brown too quickly for me. So there I was, reading through the magnificent Magnolia Bakery Cookbook and there it was — chocolate chip peanut banana bread. I know, I know, not actual peanut butter, but I had just bought peanuts for one of the peanut butter recipes and I don’t use them that often, so this would be a great use of resources, and well, it just seemed perfect. What I really like about this bread is that the banana is super light and sweet and just dances in the background to the beautiful chocolate chips and the little tiny bits of peanuts add an amazing crunch.
MMM….. I just get so excited about it — and the next day it was even better. The banana flavor came out more, it was like all the flavors had a little party over night where they all bonded and became better friends. So, if you can possibly keep your hands off of it, I suggest waiting to eat it the next day.
Chocolate Chip Peanut Banana Bread
adapted from The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook
1/3 c unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 c mashed ripe bananas
1/3 c whole milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c sifted self rising flour
1/2 c finely chopped unsalted peanuts
1 c chocolate chips (I used 60% cocoa)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, on the low speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs on at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition. Add the mashed bananas, milk, vanilla, and salt. Max in the sifted flour until well combined. Stir in the peanuts and chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Let cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.
Posted: September 13th, 2010 | Filed under: Uncategorized | | 1 Comment »
I was inspired by the Pioneer Woman… she put up a post about creamy tomato sauces… and I also love tomato cream sauces. And since I am *ahem* jobless, I am trying to use what we have on hand. Well, I had most of it on hand, so why not have an amazing dinner after a sweaty spin session and a long day of work for Ryan? I saw no reason as to why this couldn’t be made possible… so adapt for what was on hand I did, and tasty tasty tasty it was. I’m not going to lie, whenever I make a tomato sauce I really like to give it that “simmer time” that reduces it in size by half and concentrates all of those beautiful flavors. It does something magical. And really, is there ever a time that adding cream is a bad idea? I think not. (At least my taste buds agree even if my hips don’t.)
Try this tonight — you won’t regret it.
Thanks Ree for the inspiration and instruction!
Tomato Cream Pasta Sauce
adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks
1 26 oz jar of marinara sauce
1 8oz can of tomato sauce
1 large shallot
4 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 c heavy whipping cream
Crumbled Feta cheese (between 1/2c to 1 c depending on how much you love Feta)
Fresh torn basil
1 1/2 lbs of your favorite pasta (I used angel hair)
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
Heat butter and oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for a minute or so. Pour in tomato sauce and marinara sauce and add salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. Stir and cook over low heat for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce will become darker and thicker and reduce in volume.
Remove from heat and stir in cream. Add cheese to taste, then check seasonings. Stir in pasta and chopped basil and serve immediately. (Thin with pasta water before adding basil if needed.)
Posted: September 9th, 2010 | Filed under: Cookie | Tags: heath bar blondies, peanut butter blondies, peanut butter heath bar, peanut butter heath bar blondies | No Comments »
Okay, so you know about the peanut butter thing. What else can I make with the peanut butter I think to myself. The pie had been sitting on the back burner for awhile, just waiting to come out. But I hadn’t thought past the pie. And then my new cookbooks came in. My beautiful new cookbooks. Amazon and I were friendly last week. I picked up two Magnolia Bakery cookbooks and the Royer’s Round Top Cafe Cookbook. (The last one is out of print, so Amazon was the only way to find it. But, apparently they are working on a new one. I sure hope it happens sooner than later.) And so I was doing what I always do when I get a fantastic new cookbook… reading each one page by page, recipe by recipe, story by story, like it was a fiction novel. I love it. One time my very smart little sister asked me… “How is you know so much about cooking stuff?” and after thinking about it for a minute I replied, “Because I read cookbooks like you read Harry Potter.” (This could now be switched out with the Twilight series.) And there it was, in the middle of the bars section of a Magnolia Bakery book, a blondie with peanut butter… and it sounded amazing… I could just imagine it looking all cute on a plate for friends. And that was the end of the search… I was ready for some awesome blondie action.
Man am I glad I settled on this great little cookie bar. It is super tasty and not difficult to put together. And, they did not stay in the house… they went with Ryan up to the office to be eaten up by others.
Peanut Butter Heath Bar Blondies
adapted from the Complete Magnolia Cookbook
1 1/2 C. unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 C. smooth peanut butter
2 1/2 C. granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3 T. vanilla extract
3 C. self-rising flour
4 C. peanut butter chips
1/2 c heavy cream
4 coarsely chopped Health bars or chocolate covered toffee bars (about 1 cup)
1/2 C. finely chopped unsalted peanuts
Preheat oven to 325° F. Grease and flour a 12 x 18-inch jellyroll pan.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and the peanut butter until fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until smooth. Add the eggs and the vanilla extract and mix well. Add the flour and beat until well incorporated. Spread the batter evenly into prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into center of pan comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool to room temperature.
To prepare the topping: In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the peanut butter chips and the cream, stirring until smooth. Drizzle the peanut butter mixture decoratively over the cooled blondies. Sprinkle the Heath Bars and the peanuts on top.
Allow to cool to room temperature, or overnight, before cutting and serving. Makes 24 three-inch blondies.
Posted: September 9th, 2010 | Filed under: Pie | Tags: homemade peanut butter pie, no bake peanut butter pie, peanut butter and chocolate pie, peanut butter pie | 2 Comments »
My sweet hubby loves peanut butter. I mean, I certainly like peanut butter but I don’t generally choose the baked good with peanut butter in it. But Ryan loves peanut butter. When we got married I bought a jar of peanut butter for our pantry. A small jar of peanut butter can easily last me a year. It was gone in two weeks. I was shocked. I picked up the empty jar and made Ryan look at it. He had this face like ‘what, thats a completely normal amount of peanut butter consumption.’ So now I buy multiple jars of the stuff at a time. Recently I realized that I had two jars of untouched peanut butter and was inspired to go on a peanut butter baking streak. I started with a peanut butter pie…
A light and fluffy chocolate covered peanut butter pie. It is cool and tasty and full of tasty creamy goodness.
Get ready for a couple more peanut butter delicious desserts…
Peanut Butter Pie
1 pie crust or gram cracker crust in a 10″ pie pan or 4 similarly prepared 6″ tarts
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 8 ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup heavy cream
In a bowl whip the cream with the granulated sugar and set aside. In your mixer beat the remaining ingredients until well blended. Reduce speed and slowly beat in the whip cream scraping down the sides of the bowl until just blended. Pour into your prepared pie crust and even out the top.
Prepare the glaze by placing the chocolate chips into a heat safe bowl and set aside. Bring the heavy cream to a simmer over medium heat and then pour over the chips and let stand for a minute then mix until smooth.
Smooth the glaze over the peanut butter pie and chill for several hours before serving.
Posted: September 7th, 2010 | Filed under: Uncategorized | | No Comments »
It is gray and rainy today, and I have a serious case of boot lust. Everywhere I go I find boots that I love. Now, let me start the boot picks by saying that I pretty much prefer a knee high boot with no heel. I just think its a really sexy look and am always trying to talk my hubby into working boots into the budget.
Bowtied Beauty Boot
Lets Take A Ride
Pebbled and Primped
Can you tell I love me a nice tall riding boot? Mmm… now if only the weather were a little bit cooler.
Posted: September 2nd, 2010 | Filed under: Crisps and Crumbles | Tags: peach and strawberry crisp, peach and strawberry crumble, peach and strawberry dessert, peach crumble | 1 Comment »
It has been rainy here most of the week. (Rainy and sunny hot humid combo really.) I love staying in when its so rainy. I love just being able to enjoy life from my patio or inside our living room with the windows open, watching the rain come down and the lightning show. This is Texas, so we pretty much appreciate rain whenever we get it — especially in the summer. So I wanted share something warm and bubbly and comforting — still summery with all of the great fruit — but definitely a great comforting dessert. This peach and strawberry crumble is not my least healthy dish either, and the ingredients are simple, not expensive or hard to find, which is always a plus.
And I really wanted to make the most of all the pretty strawberries and peaches before they are all gone because they are too far out of season. And the peaches were perfect — amazingly juicy and delicious, dripping everywhere, eat over the sink kind of peaches. And I am really going to miss peach season, but they will be back next year, and apples and fall are just around the corner.
Peach and Strawberry Crumble
adapted from At Home With Giada
Juice from 1/2 a large lemon
1 1/2 tbsp whole wheat flour
1 pound medium strawberries, halved
1 1/2 pounds yellow peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced
1/2 c light brown sugar
2/3 c all purpose flour
2/3 c old fashioned style oats
1/2 c pecans
1/4 c light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 c unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Preheat oven to 350 F. Prep an 8×8 inch glass baking dish with a non stick cooking spray.
Filling: In a medium bowl whisk together lemon juice and whole wheat flour. Add the strawberries, peaches and brown sugar Toss until the fruit is coated. Pour the fruit mixture into the prepared pan.
Topping. In a food processor, combine the flour, oats, pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon and sea salt. Pulse until mixed. Add the butter. Pulse until the butter is the size of peas. Sprinkle the mixture over the filling and bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the filling is bubbling and the top is light and golden. Cool the crumble for 5 minutes.
Serve with vanilla ice cream.