Whenever I host a dinner party, I get caught up in the dinner menu, appetizers, and drinks. Dessert is usually the last thing on my mind. And after a full day of prepping, cooking, and hosting, I want to serve something easy. A scoop of ice cream is the easiest of desserts, but it’s also kinda boring. Solution: affogatos. An affogato is just a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a shot of hot espresso poured over. As the espresso melts the ice cream, it basically becomes a sweet and creamy latte. I topped mine with a sprinkle of cacao nibs for a little crunch. Yummm!
During my recent vacation in Portland, I made multiple trips to Roman Candle Baking Co. Everything I ate there was delicious, but their salmon toast was particularly memorable. So memorable that I had to create my own version of it at home. It’s a no-cook, no-fuss recipe that will have you eating in just a few minutes.
Start with a slice of rustic, grainy bread. I used walnut levain. Spread with unsalted butter and sprinkle on some capers. Add sliced avocado and smoked salmon.
In a bowl, toss arugula with a drizzle of olive oil and sea salt. Take a handful of the dressed arugula and place on top of the salmon. Finish with some freshly cracked black pepper over the plate and you’re done!
You guys. Cookies dripping with dulce de leche and covered with powdered sugar? These are alfajores and in this moment they are my favorite type of cookie. I followed CHOW’s recipe for the cookies and Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for the dulce de leche. The dulce de leche took over an hour to make, so while the cookie dough was chilling in the fridge, I put on some fun music and went to work. It’s not a hard recipe to follow – it just takes time and patience. But oh man was it worth it. With this recipe, you’ll have more than enough leftover after making the cookies. Perfect as an ice cream topping or you know, just eating it straight out of the jar.
Margaritas are the popular choice with Mexican food, but if a paloma is on the menu, that’s what I’m ordering. Palomas are typically made with tequila but I prefer using a smoky mezcal. It gives the drink an unexpectedly smooth bite that works well with the sweetness of the grapefruit.
Makes 1 drink
- 2.5 ounces fresh grapefruit juice
- 0.5 ounce fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar
- 2.5 ounces mezcal
- club soda
- grapefruit garnish
- Combine grapefruit and lime juices with agave nectar in a glass.
- Stir in mezcal. You can use white tequila if you don’t have mezcal on hand.
- Fill the glass with ice. Top with club soda and grapefruit garnish.
Although I am a sweet-breakfast person to my core, I can never say no to a plate of Huevos Rancheros when it’s listed on a brunch menu. This version of the dish, with avocados standing in for refried beans, has the added bonus of making the meal a bit healthier while still remaining completely delicious, and the whole thing was pretty simple to boot. I was able to scrape this dish together at the spur of the moment with items I already had in my fridge, but if you need to cut a corner while cooking this, I bet substituting a good store-made chunky salsa could work in place of step one in the recipe. If you do have some extra time, however, I think making your own tortillas would really put the dish over the top– but then again, what dish isn’t improved with a hot, fresh tortilla? ;)
You can find the recipe here, on Food52. Enjoy!
With all the rain this week in San Francisco, I was eager to be inside to cook something warm and comforting. I had a lot of mushrooms on hand so I decided to make a cream of mushroom soup. I used this recipe from Ina Garten, but substituted the wild mushrooms for just creminis. It was exactly what I needed in this dreary weather.
I’m not a morning person, so I usually never wake up in time to eat breakfast before work. I usually have yogurt when I get into the office, but that gets pretty boring after a while. I wanted to make something simple over the weekend that would be easy to grab and go in the morning and replace my usual bowl of yogurt. I made a loaf of cranberry orange bread using this recipe, but substituted dried cranberries for fresh so I could use what I had on hand. The bread stayed fresh while kept in an airtight container and I had an easy (and maybe not exactly healthy) breakfast ready for the entire week.
I love a simple grilled cheese, but sometimes I crave a little more than just bread and cheese. To keep my grilled cheese from feeling too much like ‘kid food’, I use sourdough, add arugula and tomatoes, and use olive oil instead of butter.
Oil the outside of each slice of bread, then place one slice oil-side down onto a heavy bottom skillet over medium-low heat. Place slices of sharp cheddar cheese onto the bread, then cover with the remaining slice of bread oil-side up.
Cook for 5 minutes on each side or until bread is crisp and golden brown. Don’t raise the heat too much – cooking longer over a lower temperature allows the for bread to get the desired golden crust and for the cheese to melt. Once done, carefully open the sandwich and add tomatoes and arugula. Re-close the sandwich and cut in half.
As long as I can remember, deviled eggs have been a staple hors d’oeuvre at every family party. For my family’s annual Christmas Eve dinner, I made the familiar dish but switched up the egg-cooking technique for the first time. Instead of hard boiling, I used Alton Brown’s oven method. It’s hard to say if it actually made a difference, but it was fun to experiment with a new way of hard cooking eggs.
- Hard cook your eggs by boiling or baking.
- After letting cooked eggs sit in an ice cold water bath for 15 minutes, peel and slice eggs in half lengthwise.
- Scoop out the yolks and place them in a bowl. Add mayo, spicy dijon mustard, chopped up gherkins, salt, and pepper al to taste. I don’t have the precise measurements for this, but I usually add a spoonful of mayo and mustard at a time until I get the consistency I like. Unlike traditional recipes, I typically use more mustard than mayo for a spicier and tangier taste.
- Spoon mixture into a ziplock bag with a small 1/4″ corner cut out.
- Carefully pipe the mixture into each egg half.
- Dust with paprika.
Before I head home to celebrate (and eat!) with my family, I wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving to you all, and thanks for visiting our little corner of the internet. We are always excited to see who is reading and to get your comments– hopefully with some upcoming vacation time over the holidays, we will have several new projects, recipes, and photos to share with you all!
If you woke up this morning with a need to make a last-minute pie, here is an easy-to-follow and pretty quick recipe for Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust and Cinnamon Whipped Cream. Um, wow! If it tastes anything like my apartment smells right now, this is a winner. Food52 hasn’t led me wrong so far, so fingers crossed this doesn’t disappoint!
You can find the recipe here.
Photo by Grace for Dressed in Orange.