This jalapeno cheddar cornbread whips up fast and easy- it’s the perfect savory/sweet accompaniment to all your soups this season!
I’m not sure how clear I have made this in the past, but I really really hate Winter. SO much. I am a huge weiner, about it too, despite having spent the first 26 winters of my life in Wisconsin, where the struggle is REAL. And as for Fall… Fall would be great if it didn’t lead right into Winter- it’s basically the Sunday afternoon of seasons, if you think about it. All of this is to say that, if you need me, I shall be face-down in a steamy bowl of soup for roughly the next five months. It’s going to be a lot of soup.
As mentioned last week, I finally bought myself a cast iron skillet– it has been working really hard in my kitchen ever since and aside from producing fajitas, apple crisp, steak au poivre (that brought tears to mine eyes), and several dutch babies, it has also renewed my vigor for cornbread! So today I’m posting this ultra-comforting Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread. Tender, fluffy, buttery- it’s totally got that savory/sweet thing going on, which means it goes with everything. It is to soup what taupe ankle boots are to fashion this season- best friends.
That’s it- get on it! Stay tuned next week for a great new soup!
- 6 T. butter, divided
- 6 T. honey, divided
- 1 1/4 c. cornmeal
- 3/4 c. flour
- 3/4 t. baking soda
- 3/4 t. salt
- 1/4 c. brown sugar
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 1 large jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 1/4 c. grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 c. buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place 4 T. butter and 4 T. honey in small saucepan over low heat. Allow to melt while you prepare the batter.
- In a mixing bowl combine cornmeal, flour, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, sugar, chopped jalapeno, and cheddar cheese. Stir together to combine.
- Separately, whisk together the buttermilk and eggs, then gradually whisk in the melted honey and butter. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated.
- Pour into a 10" cast iron skillet or greased cake pan. Bake for 25 minutes, then cover loosely with foil to prevent over-browning. Continue baking another 10 minutes, or until a toothpick tests clean in the center of the cornbread.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 T. butter and 2 T. honey on low heat. Stir to combine fully.
- When cornbread comes out of the oven, brush melted honey-butter over the top of the crust.
It’s easy, it’s made of things you have in your fridge, and it’s on the table in 30 minutes. This dependable Cardamom Apple Dutch Baby recipe is sure to become a weekend breakfast favorite!
Hey there, guess what I finally bought for myself? A cast iron skillet! Girl, you write a food blog and you didn’t even have a cast iron skillet until now? Yes. Alright? It’s true. It’s one of those kitchen items that I always knew I wanted, and didn’t really have any reason not to buy, except for that I kept forgetting. Over and over. For years. Other items in this category include tongs, a meat thermometer, ice trays, a salad bowl, waffle iron, and one of those forky noodle scoops.
I managed to do without the skillet for so long because I do have a cast iron grill pan (which I have, admittedly, baked weirdly-shaped focaccia in, with surprising success) and an enameled cast iron dutch oven which does pretty much everything well. Everything, except, be photographed well with an apple dutch baby inside (too deep for that).
So I’ve been wanting to share this recipe with you for practically ever, and now I finally am checking it off my list! Let’s talk about it. Dutch baby, which also goes by German Pancake (less cute), is a crusty, eggy, puffy, custardy delight that is a snap to whip up any weekend morning. It’s just a simple egg-milk-flour batter, which is poured into a hot pan of melted butter, and then baked in the oven for about a half-hour. It poofs like a souffle while the edges crawl up the sides and form a beautiful crispy crust, and then it deflates when you take it out to cool. Just like any pancake, it’s dreamy with just about any fruit, though I think it lends itself to apples the best. Adding fruit to the equation inhibits rising to the middle somewhat, and instead forms a sort of custard around the fruit, kind of like clafouti. I love that part.
I flavor the apples with cardamom as they soften in the skillet, but go ahead and use cinnamon if you’d rather. Or nutmeg. Or both!
Any way you make it, be sure to top with all the usual pancake-suspects: maple syrup, powdered sugar, and plenty of butter! On its own, this will feed two people happily, but if you side this with some bacon and hashbrowns or other breakfast-delights, it’ll feed four.
- 2 medium granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4" thick
- 4 T. butter, divided
- 1/4 t. ground cardamom
- 1/2 c. flour
- 1/4 t. salt
- 3 large eggs
- 2/3 c. milk
- 1/2 t. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 425F degrees.
- Melt 1 T. butter in a 10" cast iron skillet (or other oven-proof skillet) over medium heat. Add apples and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, thoroughly whisk together the flour, salt, eggs, milk, and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
- When the apples have begun to soften, add the cardamom and toss to distribute. Drag apples to the edges of the pan, leaving space in the middle. Add remaining 3 T. butter and melt. Toss apples to coat with butter, then arrange evenly on bottom of skillet.
- Pour batter over apples and place skillet in preheated oven. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until center is puffed and set.
I am not the first to sprinkle sugar on top of some yogurt, torch it, and call it breakfast creme brulee- in fact the concept is kind of having a moment right now. I first ran across bruleed yogurt on pinterest and it was easy enough to try out for myself a few times, but each time I found it a bit lacking in body and richness. Even the thickest Icelandic yogurt cannot compare to the custardous luxury of true creme brulee in its traditional dessert form, that is true, and I had no delusions that it would fool me to begin with. I am very good at knowing what is dessert and what is not dessert. So I started to think about what could be combined with the yogurt to give it a little extra oomph. I first tried whipping in some whole milk ricotta, which gave it the body that I was looking for but also added a slight grittiness to the texture that I found a bit off-putting after a couple of days.
I forgot about it and moved on with my life for a while. But then, last week, tired of eating the same unsatisfying instant oatmeal at my desk every morning, I thought about how much more I would relish ignoring the first few work emails of the day if I were tapping my spoon onto a crisp, deeply caramelized crust, and scooping burnt shards and creamy yogurt (and what else?) into my face.
And then I thought about mascarpone cheese. Of course, mascarpone! The dairyous hero of tiramisu! Thick and silky, with a concentrated dairy cream flavor. So I tried it, and I was glad to discover that not much mascarpone needs to be added to the yogurt in order to add juuuust enough suggestion of dessert to an otherwise responsible yogurty concoction. It is very good.
If you have been reading along for a while you likely have noticed by now that I am a bit of a make-ahead fangirl when it comes to breakfasts and lunches, in particular. In the evenings, I love nothing more than to slow down and unwind after work via a home-cooked meal, but in the mornings I am all about convenience. If this sounds like you then you’ll be glad to know that this breakfast creme brulee recipe has the make-ahead built right in, and these little heroes are perfectly packable and ready to come with you to work if need-be. Your workmates will be j-e-a-l-o-u-s, if you’re into that sort of thing.
I gathered some 8-ounce Weck jars, which I love for their tight seals and mega-cuteness (you can buy them at World Market), but you can use Ball jars or any other sealable glass or ceramic ramekin-like vessel that will stand up to heat from a culinary torch. I began by spooning some apple butter on the bottom of each jar, because it’s Fall now (ugh), then topped with the yogurt-mascarpone concoction. At this point the jars are sealed and stored in the fridge until ready to use. To prepare one breakfast creme brulee, just unseal, top with a generous sprinkle of sugar, and torch until a deeply caramelized crust forms. Let it cool for a couple of minutes, then gobble it up or seal it to take to work!
- 3 c. vanilla Greek or Icelandic yogurt
- 4 T. mascarpone cheese
- 8 T. fruit compote, jam, honey, or apple butter
- 4 T. granulated sugar, divided
- Either by hand or with an electric mixer, whisk together yogurt and mascarpone thoroughly. Set aside.
- Drop 2 T. of fruit compote/jam/honey/apple butter in the bottom of each of four (roughly 8-ounce) jars or ramekins. Top with yogurt-mascarpone creme, distributing evenly. Spread the tops flat, cover or seal, and refrigerate until ready to use.
- To brulee: When ready to eat, sprinkle 1 T. sugar over top of yogurt-mascarpone creme, shake gently from side to side to even out, then brulee with a culinary torch until entire surface is deeply caramelized. Allow to cool undisturbed for 5 minutes.
- If you don't have a culinary torch, you can try using your oven's broiler. If you do go for the broiler instead, use oven safe ramekins for this recipe, instead of glass jars, and be sure to watch carefully!
Hi faithful followers! I’ve been much busier lately on weekends than I typically enjoy, hence my being MIA from blogging. I will be bringing you a tasty new weekday breakfast recipe later on this week, but before I do that I have to tell you all about some fantastic food events we attended two weekends ago at the fifth annual Bon Appetit presents Feast Portland extravanganza! So, I there was simply no time to photo shoot new recipes because I was just sooo busy eating just about everything on the planet amongst my food-obsessed brethren. Sue me.
Feast Portland 2016 packed over 40 food and drink events within a mere four days at various locations around inner Portland. It was so much action that there is physically no way a person could attend them all. Nor could any average human afford to, for that matter. It’s a really big deal! Most events were all-inclusive food and beverage tasting festivals centered around a theme, like Shabbat Shalom, a dinner tour of Israeli cuisine, and Smoked!, described by Bon Appetit as “a delightful meat-fueled inferno of the best chefs slinging Flintstonian cuts of meat”. Many were hands-on educational classes on everything ranging from cooking and buying sustainable Salmon to crafting the perfect signature cocktail. All events featured reputable chefs and food industry folks.
Out of all 40 events, or at least the ones that had not yet sold out 15 minutes after tickets went on sale (true story), we scored tickets for two events that spoke to us in particular. The first event was Brunch Village presented by Whole Foods Market, a massive outdoor celebration of my favorite mealtime. Fancy chefs from Portland, Seattle, and Los Angeles represented a wide range of cuisines, each creating a completely unique and inventive small plate in the spirit of brunch! We ate quite a lot. I snapped a few phone pics in between bites, which are made extra special by a horrendously cracked camera lens, thank you very much.
Let me just get my favorite small plate out of the way immediately, which was Bamboo Sushi’s Tamago nigiri with foie torchon, crispy lardo, and bittersweet chocolate- pictured below. The best way that I can describe this is, stay with me here, french toast sushi. The custardy tamago and sweet sushi rice were a dead ringer for french toast, while the foie torchon and lardo acted as an unmistakable side of bacon. It was stunning, completely unique, and impeccably executed. I revisited that table a couple more times, shh..
Next came Urban Farmer’s booth, which offered “French Toast with Epic Sauces”. Some of the sauces didn’t strike me as particularly inspired (looking at you, bacon jam), but I enjoyed the farmers cheese mousse and roasted red pepper jam the most. Chocolate mole was a miss for me, though. The sponge-y looking blob in the below-left photo is a piece of honeycomb candy. At the beginning of the line, not pictured, was practically an iceburg of honeycomb candy about the size of a spare tire.
At one point we found ourselves shuffled into a very long line headed for Toro Bravo’s tent, where Chef John Gorham offered a fried chicken biscuit with pimento cheese. The woman directly in front of me nabbed the very last sandwich on the table (sucker), which left me first in line for the next fresh hot batch, right out of the oven. What a win! The fried chicken was perfectly crispy, but what stood out to me was the biscuit. Flaky, crunchy, buttery and everything a biscuit ought to be. Just look at that thing. However good it was, I couldn’t in good conscience allow myself to eat the entire thing, lest I run out of valuable real estate in the stomach-region.
We next found ourselves in front of what appeared to be a snack bar with many of our favorite things, namely, pickles and olives and Olympia Provisions sausages. If we had approached the table from the other direction, we likely would have noticed that it was actually the end of the best bloody mary bar in the world. Hashtag, no regrets.
Next up was Chef Rachel Yan of Seattle’s Trove who served up lardo tamales with pickled shrimp, which I enjoyed enough, but did not find particularly brunch-y. But isn’t it pretty anyway?
At this point we had not eaten everything but we were both about to burst, so we made one last visit to the Olympia Provisions booth which featured a veritable smorgasbord of charcuterie. Olympia Provisions is a Portland company that Ben and I have been huge fans of ever since we moved to Portland. Olympia Provisions crafts salami using old techniques of slow aging and curing- they are never cooked, and naturally ripen with a powdery white coating of mold over the casing (the same type of mold that surrounds your brie or camembert). Further, they source high-quality meat from local, sustainable sources who slaughter humanely. Their attention to detail is admirable from start to finish, and their products are incredible as a result. You should go learn about them. And hey- they have a sausage of the month club, too!
At this point there was still so much more to eat, but we could not, so we rolled ourselves home. But not before we smuggled out a small plate of charcuterie for the road. I took a quick nap and then it was time for me to attend my second event alone, which was a hands-on class held at Tournant on the east side of town entitled Cook, Style, Shoot, Share: A Food Styling, Photography, and Social Media Workshop, led by award-winning cookbook author and food stylist Andrea Slonecker and celebrated restauranteur and social media wizard Kari Young. Ben surprised me by buying me a ticket (forcing me against my will) for this class- full disclosure, I dreaded it for months. It wasn’t because I lacked interest in the subject, because it was totally right up my alley and I was sure that I’d find it helpful overall, especially as far as the blog is concerned. I dreaded it because the mere thought of standing in the same room as two very talented and successful industry people, as well as possibly other Portland food bloggers, made me feel like a complete imposter, and I was terrified of being discovered. I can be quite neurotic, but Ben’s always encouraging me and helping me confront my many insecurities- he is a jerk-face to the max.
I was pretty awkward literally immediately- with Ben’s parents coincidentally in town that weekend they kindly gave me a ride to the class, and when I arrived I stepped out of the car directly in front of a group of classmates, and I felt like I was being dropped off at kindergarten. And then while we all waited outside for Tournant to open, a photographer for Eater Portland, making polite conversation, asked me if I had attended the Smoked! event, and I thought she was asking me for a cigarette and told her that I didn’t have any. She stared at me blankly until I crumpled from embarrassment (actually, we laughed it off, and then she told me my camera was cool). Then we all went in and class started and SPOILER ALERT: I did not die and nothing perilous happened to me at all.
It was actually pretty fun. After brief introductions, we split up into groups. Each group was given a recipe to prepare that would be used to photograph a big tablescape at the end. My group was responsible for eggs en cocotte with wild mushrooms. The other groups prepared waffles with fresh fruit, grilled vegetables and sausages, and jalapeno margaritas. This part of the workshop was a lot like home ec class, but since it was sponsored by Breville and Le Creuset, it was a lot prettier than home ec class. Seriously, I’ve never seen so much Le Creuset wares in one place outside of Sur La Table. Anyway, the cooking part had to happen really fast since the class was crunched for time, but I did have a few seconds to nose around and snap the other groups working while our cocottes were in the ovens.
Once all of the food was cooked we carefully brought our dishes up to the front where we would be photographing. We gathered around while Kari and Andrea worked and explained their magic- comparing different textiles to the wood of this cutting board and that teapot, pushing and pulling plates around, scattering utensils and black sesame seeds with abandon. Apparently the key to styling a table of food is to throw things around before you have time to think, to make it look casual and effortless, and then adjust for balance and texture. Also, a brushing of bacon fat makes meat look shiny and delicious in photographs.
At the end we all took turns standing on dining chairs and snapping our perfect instagram-worthy photos. I grabbed my real camera to take the best shot possible, and immediately realized I’d left my memory card in my laptop at home, like an amateur, and had to shoot with my cracked phone again. I got my shot, and then Ben and his parents picked me up from school, and we went to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner. I’d had enough of fancy food for the day. But just look at that shot!
Well that was Feast Portland 2016 for me! We’re looking forward to attending again next year. Come back later this week for a new recipe!
It’s with great pleasure that I announce that Humbledish is now one year old! Yay, Humbledish! Ben and I celebrated this milestone with a layered funetti cake with rosé buttercream. And donuts on top. Because donuts. It is a smashing cake that my coworkers are feasting on this very moment, and the recipe can be found on the bottom of this post, as always. I’ll talk more about the cake shortly, but I’d like to use the front end of this post to reflect on the last year, as well as my goals for the future. It just seems like the right thing to do, ya know? Feel free to scroll ahead past all the blah-blah-blah, if you wish.
I wish that I could say that blogging has been all fun and fulfillment. Truthfully, I vacillate between periods of genuine pride for what I am building and have learned so far, and then feeling like an unmitigated fraud. I spend a lot of time wondering if anybody reads this thing, and why does it matter to me if anybody reads this thing, and what am I even getting out of this? Is all of this effort and money spent worth it? Will any of this matter to anyone but me? Hello? Can anybody hear me out there?
I would truly rather spend less time entertaining that kind of negativity, but even when I am, I at the very least know that I am doing something. I am trying something, and for the first time in my life, I am following through. The website is not perfect and it’s not really even done (how do I still not have an “About Me” page?), but I built it. Sometimes my photos are a little dark, or a little out of focus, but they are miles ahead of my first photos, and continue to improve. I am becoming okay with existing inside the learning process and, slowly, I am narrowing the gap between my vision and what my current abilities allow me to achieve.
So here I am, one year in, which is the perfect checkpoint to assess where I started, where I am, and where I’d like to go next. My goals for the next year are:
-to come to peace with not being able to post as frequently as “real” food bloggers. I love dreaming about the possibility of blogging full-time in the future, but my now-reality is working a full-time job and cooking/photographing on the weekends. I am finding that one post per week is a good, realistic goal that allows me to deliver content that I can be proud of.
-to be kind to myself as I continue developing skills that are still new to me.
-to make connections with readers and other food bloggers out there.
Let’s talk about cake! This triple-layered funfetti cake with rosé buttercream is nothing short of F-U-N. We’ve got sprinkles! We’ve got donuts! We’ve got wine! We’ve got… MORE sprinkles! It’s the perfect cake for adults who want to forget they are adults. Let’s start from the inside and work our way out. A classic, tender buttermilk white cake (from Sally’s Baking Addiction) gets accessorized with rainbow jimmies to form the innards- it’s firmer and much less sweet than boxed funfetti cake mix, and provides a strong base. The buttercream (adapted from Wicked Good Kitchen) starts with reducing a cup of rosé by half in a saucepan, then combined with powdered sugar, and whipped and whipped with a WHOLE POUND of butter. It’s a lovely buttercream that is not too cloyingly sweet, and has a nice subtle tang from the rosé (the alcohol cooks off during the first step, so be sure that this is family-friendly, as well). I opted to frost the cake semi-naked, which means that buttercream is applied just scantly to the sides- enough to fill in some nooks and crannies, and then is scraped off make a smooth surface all around the sides. It’s just like puttying a hole in the wall. Topping this cake is the fun part- use your imagination! Meringue cookies, pastel-colored french macarons, donuts, frosted animal cookies… you name it. I bought a pack of Little Debbie mini-donuts for $.79, dipped them in different colored icings, and sprinkled them. BOOM.
Well, er- I guess that’s it. If anyone really does follow this blog… please comment and say hello- I’d really like to get to know you!
- 3 3/4 c. sifted flour
- 3/4 t. baking powder
- 3/4 t. baking soda
- 1 t. salt
- 1 1/2 c. (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 3/4 c. granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 large egg whites, room temperature
- 3 t. vanilla
- 1 1/2 c. buttermilk
- 3/4 c. rainbow jimmies
- 5 c. powdered sugar
- 1 c. Rosé or other blush wine (choose something fruity and less dry)
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1 lb. (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- pink and yellow food coloring, optional
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Butter and lightly flour three 9-inch round cake pans.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Beat the butter on high until creamy using stand-mixer or hand-mixer. Add the sugar and continue beating for 5 minutes. Reduce speed and add the whole eggs one at a time, and beat until incorporated. Add the vanilla. Reduce speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk, allowing each addition to incorporate. Set batter aside.
- Using clean whisk or beaters, beat the egg whites until frothy and soft peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into cake batter. Finally, fold in the jimmies.
- Spread batter evenly between the three prepared cake pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean from the middle. Allow cakes to cool completely- wrap and freeze if desired (see note section).
- Measure powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl or bowl of stand mixer. Cut butter into 1-inch chunks and set aside.
- Pour wine into a small saucepan and bring to a rapid boil. Cook until reduced to 1/2 c. (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat.
- Immediately after, turn your mixer on low speed and pour hot wine into mixing bowl in a slow and steady stream. Increase speed to medium and beat until the mixture comes down to room temperature, about 5 minutes. Add the salt.
- Reduce speed to low and gradually add in the butter chunks. Once all the butter is fully incorporated, increase speed to medium-high and continue beating until light and fluffy. Tint with food coloring, if desired.
- Frost however you'd like, then top with all the goodies your heart desires!
- Cake layers can be made ahead of time and frozen until needed. Wrap each layer individually with two layers of cling wrap.
- Frosting can also be made ahead. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator, and re-beat just before using.
I’ve been making pork potstickers for family and friends for years- they have always been improvised and slightly unique each time, and I never wrote the recipe down until I prepared the little dumplins you see pictured before you. We took a long camping weekend up in Washington last month with some loved ones where I was reminded by Ben’s cousin Alex that I once made these potstickers for him several years ago, long before we all migrated to our respective corners of the Pacific Northwest. He told me emphatically that they were so delicious that he has since never forgotten about them. It warmed my heart! The whiskey helped, too.
My love language is food. This is in no small part due to warm and snuggly memories I have of making jello poke cake and elephant ears and cinnamon rolls with my grandma in her tiny kitchen as a wee lass. I like to think that love is evident in the foods I prepare (with the exception, perhaps, of these scones, which made me stabby). Potstickers, especially, are truly a labor of love- every comforting bite was once cradled gently in the hand of the person who lovingly crafted them, one-by-one. This is a very sly and sentimental way of disclosing to you that they are not fast to prepare, and there’s some technique to learn.
There are upsides to potstickers’ laborious, two-bite construction. They can be prepared in bulk for future convenience- I usually make about 100 at a time (double the recipe below). And they freeze just marvelously- that way whenever you need them, you can open your freezer and grab a handful or a lot. They don’t need to thaw and they take just ten minutes to fry/steam straight from the freezer, so you can have them for dinner, lunch, snack, elevenses, party-time (what is that), or whenever hunger strikes. I don’t exaggerate how quick and easy they are to heat up- I have been enjoying fresh, crunchy, and piping-hot potstickers on my hour lunch-break all week. I am living the dream, you guys!
Flavor-wise, these pork potstickers have got it all. Each dumpling is a magical parcel bursting at the seams with mouthwatering umami flavors of ground pork, shiitake mushrooms and sesame oil. They’re salty and spicy and crunchy and addicting, and you are going to love them. They’re perfectly complemented by the dipping sauce included with this recipe- sweet brown sugar, salty soy, and the zip of plenty of sambal oelek. Do not neglect to make the sauce- it comes together really fast on the stove and there’s plenty to keep in the fridge until your potsticker-stash is depleted.
So here it is! My very own pork potstickers- written down, at long last, hurled joyfully into the ether, so they can be shared and loved forever and ever, amen.
- 2 t. sesame oil
- 4 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and finely diced
- 1 lb. ground pork
- 1 t. freshly grated ginger
- 1 clove garlic, grated or minced
- 2 T. soy sauce
- 1 t. chili paste (sambal oelek or sriracha)
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 c. coleslaw mix, roughly chopped to break up long pieces
- 2 T. cornstarch, divided (plus extra for dusting)
- 1/4 c. warm water
- 50-60 potsticker wrappers
- vegetable oil, for frying
- 1/4 c. water
- 1 c. brown sugar
- 1/2 c. soy sauce
- 2 t. sesame oil
- 1 T. chili paste
- Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add diced shiitakes and saute until softened. Set aside.
- Combine pork, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, chili paste, scallions, coleslaw mix, and 1 T. cornstarch in a large bowl. Add the shiitake mushrooms and work with your hands until everything is evenly incorporated. Refrigerate while you prepare to fold the potstickers.
- Mix together 1 T. cornstarch with warm water. Dust a large cookie sheet or tray liberally with cornstarch. Queue up Gilmore Girls on Netflix.
- Working over a clean cutting board, place a small spoonful (about 2 t.) of filling in the center of the wrapper. Dip a finger into the cornstarch slurry and apply around the edges of the wrapper. Fold the bottom and top edges over the middle of the filling, pinch together, and pleat the sides toward the center to seal. Place on the prepared cookie sheet, pleated edge pointing up, and repeat until out of filling.
- At this point, you can freeze the potstickers (see notes below) or cover with damp paper towels and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Set aside to cool.
- Grab your largest non-stick skillet and lid. Coat the bottom of the pan with vegetable oil and heat to medium-high. Arrange potstickers evenly in hot pan, pleats pointing up, leaving a little space between each one. Fry undisturbed for 5 minutes, or until bottoms are golden brown.
- Pour in water and cover the pan. Steam for 5 minutes (or 7 minutes if frozen).
- Uncover and cook off the remaining water for 1 minute.
- Serve hot with dipping sauce.
- *Dipping sauce recipe yields about 10 oz. of sauce- reduce recipe if desired. It keeps great in the refrigerator.
- *If freezing the potstickers, it's best to freeze them on the cookie sheet covered loosely with cling wrap, and then you can transfer them to a ziplock bag when fully frozen- this keeps them separated so you can grab however many you want later. No need to thaw before using- just follow the directions as above and expect them to take a few extra minutes to brown on the bottom before steaming.
Suddenly, it’s late August. The Dog Days. Try as we might, it’s hard to hold onto these last few breaths of Summer, isn’t it? The signals are all around us- the corn’s drying up, the berries have gone to mush, and if you look to the edges of the sidewalk you might just see a few yellowed crunchy leaves, arriving embarrassingly early to the party. For those of us who live for Summer, it’s a sort of in-between time of grieving and desperation.
Whether you’re Team-Summer or Team-Autumn, I have just the cake to get you across this seasonal threshold. With its unexpected combination of juicy late-summer peaches with the warmth of whiskey and hazelnut, this peach upside-down cake is the perfect way to usher in a lovely Autumn season.
This whiskey, hazelnut and peach upside-down cake is an easy one to throw together. From the top (er, the bottom?) the cake begins with a quick butter and brown sugar stove-top caramel which is laced with a splash (okay, two) of whiskey, poured into the cake pan, and then topped with thinly sliced peaches. Roasted hazelnuts are blitzed briefly in the blender to form a coarse meal and then folded into a classic buttery cake batter, which gives this tender cake a lovely little crunch as well.
While the whole thing bakes the peaches caramelize and the whiskey caramel sauce bubbles up the sides of the cake, forming beautiful sticky pockets on the edges. The hazelnuts toast up further, and will fill your entire house with an aroma so heavenly as to gently coax any sleeping cohabitants willingly out of a late Sunday morning slumber. And they will expect to eat this for breakfast, by the way.
Be sure to let the cake rest for 15 minutes after you pull it out of the oven to let the cake settle a bit and adhere to the peach layer before unmolding. This cake is so effortlessly beautiful and incredibly, eye-rolling-ly, delicious that you might just find yourself telling Autumn to bring it on.
- 3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, divided
- 1/3 c. brown sugar
- 2 T. whiskey (bourbon or rye recommended)
- 2 medium peaches, thinly sliced
- 1 c. dry roasted (unsalted) hazelnuts, skins removed
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 c. flour
- 2 t. baking powder
- 1/4 c. milk
- Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly coat a metal 9" round cake pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- Melt 4 T. butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and stir until the mixture is bubbly. Remove from the burner and stir in the whiskey. The sauce will sizzle and bubble. Set the pan aside.
- Use your blender or food processor's pulse mode to chop the hazelnuts into an even meal, pausing to scrape the sides as needed. Do not blend too long or you'll have hazelnut butter!
- Beat together the remaining 1/2 c. of butter with the sugar using an electric hand or stand mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, allowing to cream together thoroughly. Reduce your mixer's speed to low and add half of the flour, allowing to incorporate fully. Add milk, allowing to incorporate fully. Add rest of flour and the baking powder. Add hazelnut meal and mix thoroughly.
- Pour whiskey caramel sauce into cake pan, tipping the pan as needed to evenly coat. Lay your peach slices evenly on top in any design you'd like (I did mine in a spiral from the center).
- Using a rubber spatula, plop the cake batter evenly on top of the peaches and distribute, pressing gently so as to not disturb the peaches.
- Bake 35-45 minutes, or until cake tester comes out of center of cake clean.
- Cool for 15 minutes before unmolding onto a cake plate or stand.
- Once the cake is fully cooked, the whiskey becomes a subtle flavor note- this cake is family friendly when made as directed above. For a sassy adult version: After removing the cake from the oven, use a fork or chopstick to poke several holes into the cake. Slowly drizzle an additional 1/4 c. of whiskey over the surface of the cake. Allow to rest 15 minutes before unmolding.
I’ve baked scones exactly twice in my life/in the last week, and the first was a failed attempt at developing this recipe. For the first go-’round, I’d had the delight of scoring some fresh sour pie cherries at the farmer’s market (I always seem to miss them!). Knowing that I’d likely only get one crack at sour cherries for the year, I wish I’d decided to make something less experimental… you see where I am going with this.
My first version of these tart cherry scones with earl grey and ricotta was an unmitigated disaster. Everything went great at first. The dough came together perfectly, a disk of pastry-perfection all ready to go, and then… wait… how am I going to get these sticky, juicy cherries into the dough NOW? I attempted to fold them in with my hands. It was a horrible idea. Things got slimy and my kitchen basically exploded.
I don’t now how the idea of cherries and earl grey popped into my head, but I knew that it was a winner at heart and that another attempt was warranted. Dried tart cherries to the rescue! Attempt number two was drama-free and I don’t think I cursed even once while making them. And, duh, they are delicious!
I’m no scone expert (clearly), but I opted for full-fat ricotta as the binder in these cherry scones to add a little heft and richness to the crumb. Truth-be-told, I have historically not been a big fan of the extremely dry texture of most scones I’ve eaten. The ricotta performed as I hoped- these scones are crumbly as they ought to be, but do not feel quite so dry in the mouth. You could probably still whistle a tune after eating. If that’s your thing.
I suck at whistling.
Completely un-hilariously, the day after version two came out of the oven I ran into a fresh berry scone recipe on the internet. APPARENTLY, all you have to do is roll out the dough, spread the berries on, roll the whole thing up jelly-roll style, and then slice and bake. OF COURSE! Blergh, sigh, eye-roll. Maybe I’ll try again next cherry season, but these will do marvelously until then!
- 2 1/2 c. flour
- 1/3 c. sugar
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1 T. baking powder
- 2 T. chopped or ground loose earl grey tea leaves (or just cut open 5 tea bags like I did)
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 2 eggs, divided
- 1/2 c. whole milk ricotta
- 3 T. heavy cream (or milk)
- 2 c. tart dried cherries
- coarse raw or turbinado sugar
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F).
- In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and tea leaves. Add the cold butter and work into coarse crumbs using your hands. Fold in the cherries.
- In another mixing bowl whisk together 1 egg, ricotta, and cream (or milk). Scrape into the dry mixture.
- Use a wooden spoon to combine wet and dry ingredients until a shaggy dough forms. Turn out onto a clean work surface and knead until dough is uniform. Shape into a 10-12" disk.
- Make an egg wash by whisking together the remaining 1 egg and 1 t. water. Brush over the top of the disk. Sprinkle coarse sugar liberally over the top.
- Slice dough into 12 wedges and carefully transfer to a cookie sheet.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden on top.
Have you been to the farmers market lately? What a glorious bounty of magnificent produce we are graced with right now. Sour cherries! Figs! Rainbow carrots! Stone fruits galore! It is truly a great time to be alive and eating! Out of all of nature’s summer treasures, I anxiously await peaches and corn the most. Corn holds serious nostalgia for me as a native midwesterner- to me, it has always been a delicious signal that summertime is in full swing. And here we are. It’s late July, the corn stalks are well past knee-high, and caravans of peach trucks are making their way up from Georgia (actually, we have pretty good peaches in Oregon, too!).
At the intersection of peach season and corn season, you will find this remarkably tasty and addictive and mega-healthy sweet potato and black bean burrito bowl with fresh peach and corn salsa. I tried out this recipe from Cook Nourish Bliss last summer, and then I made it again and again and again, and then I pined for it all winter long. It has been waiting quietly on my blog post list since- I have been so wanting to share this recipe with you!
You’re going to love this burrito bowl because it has so many flavors and textures going for it- the soft and creamy charred sweet potato and black bean mixture brings heat, depth, and smoke while the juicy and crunchy peach-corn salsa counters that and offers relief from the spicy chipotle pepper. It’s all wrapped together with avocado (hopefully yours is greener than mine!) on the side and always-welcome cilantro lime rice. I think it’s the perfect counter-balance of both textures and flavors that makes this a slam-dunk. Oh yeah, and it’s vegan!
My only departure from the original recipe is that I take the avocado out of the salsa and put it on the side- this allows for the possibility of leftovers (however unlikely), without scummy brown avocado the next day. The salsa would be incredible on its own with chips!
- 1 c. brown rice, rinsed
- 1 3/4 c. water
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1/4 c. chopped cilantro
- zest of 1 lime
- juice of 1 lime
- 3 medium peaches, chopped
- 2 ears fresh corn, raw, kernels removed
- 1/4 c. minced red onion
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 1/2 c. chopped cilantro
- juice of 1 lime
- 1/4 t. salt
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2" chunks (leave skin on, or peel- whatever you like)
- 1-2 T. minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (start with 1 T., adjust to your spice-preference)
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 c. vegetable broth
- 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 avocado, sliced
- Add rice, water, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to boil, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 35 minutes.
- Remove from heat, leave covered, and let stand 5-10 minutes.
- Stir in the cilantro, lime zest, and lime juice just before serving.
- Mix peaches, raw corn kernels, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, and salt in a bowl. Stir to combine then set aside.
- Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add onion and cook for a few minutes, until starting to soften. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add sweet potatoes and chipotle peppers. Season everything with salt and pepper and stir. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, tossing halfway through.
- Add the vegetable broth, stir, and re-cover. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are softened and caramelized. If skillet becomes dry, add another splash of broth.
- Add the black beans to the skillet and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes, or until beans are warmed through. Remove from heat.
- Portion the rice into four bowls. Top with sweet potatoes/beans, salsa, and avocado slices.
How is your summer going? Are you grilling out a lot? Are you wearing enough sunscreen? Did you go see the fireworks on Monday? Are you sitting in a stale, air-conditioned office from 8-5 every day wondering how it is that you have no recollection of June ever coming and going? So far I have found myself primarily in the latter scenario, but I am grateful to be on the cusp of a vacation. I’m drafting this post ahead of time as part of my pre-vaycay preps- but by the time this post auto-publishes and you read it, I should be (hopefully) floating carelessly on a lake, slathered in SPF 1000, and taking in some rural peace and quiet. We’re headed back to our place of origin, Wisconsin, where nobody does summer better. In anticipation of all the charred sausages and pasta salads and corn on the cob and snicker apple salad (google it) that I expect to subsist on for the week, I present this week’s dish: A bright and summery, yet creamy and comforting, pasta with fresh english peas, spinach, and a you-have-to-taste-it-to-believe-it raw vegan avocado basil cream sauce.
The sauce, adapted from Damn Delicious, truly could not be easier- you literally throw everything in a blender while the pasta is boiling and blitz until smooth. The peas and spinach join the pasta for the last few seconds in the pot, and then it’s all drained, then tossed with the sauce, and you’re done! What we have here is a 15 minute comfort meal, that doesn’t heat up the house, that doesn’t take a lot of prep, and is relatively healthy. Add this to your summer meal rotation… stat!
If you’re wondering where on earth to find fresh peas and you already missed the farmers market for the week, you can get them at Trader Joe’s, or you can use frozen (no shame in frozen peas!). Let’s see a close-up of those happy little peas!
- 8 oz. pasta (whatever is your favorite shape!)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- juice of 1 lemon (about 2 T. juice)
- 1/2 cup packed fresh basil
- 2 large avocados, peeled and pitted
- 1/2 c. hot pasta water (grab it while the pasta boils)
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- 1 c. fresh or frozen peas
- 2 c. fresh spinach leaves
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to directions.
- While the pasta boils, combine garlic, lemon juice, basil, and avocados in blender or food processor. Add a 1/2 c. of hot water from your pasta pot. Blend until smooth. While the blender is still going, drizzle in the olive oil in a slow stream. Set aside.
- Add the peas to the pasta pot for the last minute of cooking. Toss in spinach, stir, then drain pasta immediately.
- Return the pasta to the empty pot and add the sauce. Toss to combine and then serve.
- If there is one downside to this recipe, it is that leftovers do not store well. It is avocado, after all. Scale this up or down as needed!