Matcha & White Chocolate Dipped Strawberries


     A few years ago I took my brother to this ice cream shop in Anaheim, CA that served these pre-made ice cream bars that you could custom dip in whatever type of chocolate you wanted. He got a peanut butter bar dipped in chocolate (which was delicious) and I got a matcha bar dipped in white chocolate (which was even better). This flavor combination might sound a little weird at first, especially if you aren't a fan of white chocolate, but I promise it is SO good. 

     While strawberries aren't really in season I couldn't resist grabbing some at the store. Winter has been weighing on me lately, and biting into a strawberry is the closest thing I have to the joy of the warmer months yet to come. I actually lucked out because the berries I got tasted way better that expected—making them perfect for my chocolate-dipping endeavors.

     I know that sharing a recipe for chocolate dipped strawberries as a Valentines's Day dessert is very cliche, but these strawberries are a whole new take on the tradition. Holiday or not these matcha flavored treats are begging to be made. 


Matcha White Chocolate dip

adapted from betty crocker

1 cup white chocolate chips

2 tsp coconut oil

2 1/2-3 tsp matcha powder

1 pint fresh strawberries, rinsed and dried

Equipment: Microwave or saucepan, small-medium sized bowl, whisk, and parchment paper


Method

Add the chocolate chips and coconut oil to a bowl and melt. This can easily be done in a microwave—simply microwave in 2-3 30 second intervals, mixing in between until chocolate is melted. Alternatively you can melt the chocolate an coconut oil in a saucepan over low heat until smooth.

Once the chocolate is melted, remove 11/2 tablespoons of the white chocolate and pour it into a separate bowl. Whisk in 2 1/2 teaspoons of the matcha powder into the white chocolate until smooth. Taste, and add an additional 1/2 teaspoon if desired. 

Dip each strawberry into the white chocolate mixture and set on a piece of parchment paper. Once all strawberries have been dipped, dip a fork or a knife into the small bowl of the reserved melted white chocolate and drizzle in a "Z" motion over each strawberry. Allow the chocolate to firm up before serving.

Enjoy!

 

Fried Polenta with Braised Leeks


Comfort food has been on constant rotation in my home lately and I recently made a dish that I just can't get enough of: pan fried polenta with braised leeks. Polenta is already a dreamy dish on its own, but once fried, it immediately turns into a new and exciting dish. I realize that there are so many wonderful veggies that I could have used to complement my fried polenta, but for some reason I was drawn to these beautiful leeks. Aren't they gorgeous?

I absolutely love leeks. I find their flavor to be very pleasing but not too overwhelming, making them (in my mind) a perfect match for the polenta. As of late I've been sauteeing my leeks (usually for soups), but for this dish I wanted a different form of preparation—so I thought braising them would be great. I have to thank Amber Wilson for the idea of braising leeks, which I found featured as one of her recipes on food52. After a little experimentation, I came up with a slightly adapted method of Amber’s braising recipe. 

The process is pretty straight forward. First you sear the cut side of the leeks, flip them over, add a little broth, and cook them slowly at a low temperature until you they become juicy and flavorful. This cooking method is typically used for various types of meats. But I found that taking this approach ended up being at a wonderful way to get even more flavor out of these leeks.

I could easily eat a bowl of these leeks on their own, but adding them to a dish of fried polenta is totally worth those few extra steps. Especially with a glass of La Crema's Monterey Chardonnay in hand. Make sure to head over to La Crema's blog to get the recipe for these fried polenta triangles so you can make this appetizer at home.

Thank you again for supporting the brands that support The Broken Bread.


Braised Leeks

2 1/2 tbs unsalted butter

4 leeks

3 tablespoons chicken or veggie stock

1 small lemon

salt and pepper, to taste

parsley, for garnish

3-4 tablespoons chopped bacon (about 4 cooked strips)

Equipment: 1, 3.5 Qt sauté pan, serrated knife- if available


Method

Remove one outer layer from each leek, rinse, trim the roots, and cut off any dark green parts (you only want the white and very light green parts). Half each leek lengthwise, rinse again (if needed), then pat dry.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the butter is hot, add the leeks to the pan, cut side down. Press down on the leeks a bit to ensure a nice, even browning. Let the leeks cook for about 3 minutes, or until browned, then flip over. Immediately reduce heat to low and add 3 tablespoons of stock to the pan. Partially cover the leeks with a lid and let cook until tender which should take about 8-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the leeks.

Once the leeks are fork tender, remove them from the heat. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the leeks and season with salt and pepper to taste. Carefully remove the leeks and cut away any papery layers may be separating. Using a serrated knife, carefully cut the leeks into bite sized pieces. Transfer the leeks back to the skillet and keep warm until ready to serve over the fried polenta. Garnish the finished dish with chopped bacon and freshly chopped parsley.

ROSEMARY GRAPEFRUIT GIMLET


     These past few days have been a whirlwind, both personally and politically. I have been so confused and sadden by the trajectory our president has set this country on; it’s one that I don’t agree with, and one I absolutely do not support. I typically stay pretty neutral about my personal views when it comes to the blog, but I wanted to share what I’m feeling today because I believe that’s the only way I can grow, and hopefully help others grow. For now I am focusing on the power of love.

     I know there is a lot of research for me to do to help me get a better grasp of how I can help those being affected during these trying times, and I believe that being vocal about my views is definitely the first step.

     With all of this madness going on I find myself diving deeper into my work. Not to escape reality, but in an attempt to foster feelings of joy. This joy is something that I want to share with everyone who visits this space. My husband and I have been long-time fans of the Greyhound—a classic cocktail made from vodka and grapefruit. When we were dating, John would bring over some of this fresh, bitter citrus and we would juice it into the most delicious of drinks. And since for this cocktail we wanted to explore the herbal notes of gin while reinterpreting the Greyhound, we decided to make a Gimlet with grapefruit in place of the customary lime. Lastly, we added a lovely rosemary simple syrup, which complements the tartness of the grapefruit and the already present botanical flavor of Hendrick’s gin. This drink is light and refreshing, and the striking blush color it gets from the grapefruit makes this an especially handsome cocktail.

     I hope that you enjoy this video and recipe, and perhaps you and your loved one can make this drink for each other on Valentine’s Day—I know John and I will!


Rosemary Grapefruit Gimlet

Inspired by David Lebovitz

Makes 1 drink

1 1/2 oz fresh grapefruit juice

1/2 oz rosemary simple syrup- I made this one from David Lebovitz

2 oz gin of choice- I used Hendrick’s

Few cubes of ice, for the shaker

Rosemary for garnish

Equipment: jigger, cocktail shaker, 1x 6oz cocktail glass (I used a Nick & Nora glass)


Place the grapefruit juice, simple syrup, and gin into a cocktail shaker filled with a handful of ice. Secure the top and shake for about 20 seconds. Pour into glass and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.

Cheesy Bacon & Jalapeno Pull-Apart Bread


     One wouldn’t exactly be inclined to refer to John and I as avid fans of sports. However, we both really do love getting together with our friends to watch a thrilling game and spend time with one another. Whether it’s witnessing the UEFA finals unfold at an Irish pub in Strasbourg with our brother-in-law like we did this summer or just watching the Seahawks while relaxing with our friends, we always have a great time.

     With that said, the Super Bowl is just a couple weeks away and so I’ve been developing a special recipe for the occasion. Football game hangouts are replete with enough chicken wings, onion dips, and sliders—I wanted to make something inviting but unexpected. That’s when I decided that this pull-apart bread would be ideal. And boy is it scrumptious! Cheddar and mozzarella both creamy and tangy reside within the melted butter-saturated crevices of a warm round of baked bread. Chunks of applewood-smoked bacon channel the salt, smoke, and char for which it is rightfully loved while slices of jalapeno cut through the richness of it all for some pleasant relief. Guys, this pull-apart bread is serious. 

     Now the one thing you cannot forget when making this recipe is to start with high-quality bread. For this I turned to La Brea Bakery’s Italian Round Loaf, whose flavorful and fluffy texture really makes this recipe shine. Though I now live in Seattle, I grew up in Los Angeles and remember going to La Brea Bakery for a treat of an artisan baking experience. Even now, when John and I visit Southern California we often make time to stroll into their cafe on La Brea avenue. Their commitment to avoid all artificial flavors, colors and preservatives and to use only non-GMO ingredients has established a firm foundation for their quality. 

     The Super Bowl is a time to indulge and enjoy one another, and I hope this recipe will make it that much better. 

This post was sponsored by La Brea Bakery. All opinions are my own. As always, thank you for supporting the brands that support The Broken Bread.


Cheesy Bacon & Jalapeño Pull-Apart Bread

1 Italian Round from La Brea bakery

¾ cup (3 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese

¾ cup (3 oz) shredded cheddar cheese 

1 cup chopped cooked bacon, about 1, 12 oz pack uncooked

⅓ cup sliced pickled jalapenos, chopped

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

3-4 tablespoons chopped parsley, for garnish

Equipment: Serrated bread knife, Cutting board, Aluminum foil (extra wide if available), baking sheet, pastry brush if available.


Method

Heat the oven to 350°. Place both cheeses in a medium bowl along with the bacon and chopped jalapeños. Toss to combine; set aside.

Place the bread on a cutting board and slice the bread into 1 inch slices, making sure not to cut all the way through the bread. Rotate the bread 90°and slice the bread again creating a cross hatch appearance.

Carefully stuff all the newly created crevasse of the bread with the cheese mixture. It may seem like too much filling at first, but have faith and stuff every nook and cranny of that sliced bread.

Drizzle the melted butter over the entire loaf. Use a pastry brush to brush the top of the bread with a residual butter left in the dish, or with any butter that happened to overflow while pouring.

Wrap the load tightly with tin foil that’s been sprayed with a little non-stick spray. The non stick spray isn’t super necessary, you might end up with a little cheese stuck to the tin foil. Place the loaf on a baking sheet and put into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Increase the heat to 400°F, remove from oven, and carefully unwrap the bread. Place back into the oven and bake for an additional 8-10 until crisp and lightly browned.

Removed from oven, remove foil, and devour immediately.


Orange & Vanilla Fritters


     I absolutely love getting new cookbooks. It’s so pleasant to sit down with a cup of coffee and to explore all the creative arrangements someone has poured into a fresh volume for us all to enjoy. I recently had such an experience flipping through Huckleberry, Zoe Nathan’s new cookbook written with the help of her husband Josh Loeb and her friend Laurel Almerinda. 

     Page after page I was continually greeted with exciting recipes that begged to made. However, Nathan’s lemon and ricotta fritters caught my attention in a special way—and I thought I’d produce my own version. 

     I chose orange and vanilla as the primary flavors in this adaptation, and the result is like a cross between a 50/50 bar and a funnel cake—pretty much perfect. And while these are great on their own, I decided to take them one step further with a chocolate dipping sauce which adds one more stage of indulgent deliciousness. 


Orange Vanilla Fritters

Barely adapted from Zoe Nathan’s Huckleberry cookbook.

Makes 18- 20 fritters

2 large eggs, separated 

½ cup ricotta

zest of 1 large orange, preferably organic

1/3 cup whole milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

5 tsp granulated sugar

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

½ tsp baking powder

2 tbs unsalted butter, melted

powdered sugar for dusting 

Equipment: Dutch oven, Candy thermometer


Method

In a dutch oven or countertop fryer heat 3 inches of oil to 375°F

Whisk together the egg yolks, ricotta lemon zest, and milk in a small bowl.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form, 3 to 4 minutes. 

Meanwhile, add the egg yolk mixture to the flour mixture, followed by the butter. Stir until just combined. Gently fold in the egg whites.

Using a soup spoon, scoop up to 2 ½ tbs of batter and ease it into the hot oil using another spoon. Fry in batches until golden brown about 5-6 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly on a cooling rack, then sprinkle with powdered sugar.

These fritters will not keep so eat right away.


Chocolate Dipping Sauce

1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

1 tbs cocoa powder

4 tbs milk, or more if a thinner sauce is preferred 


Place the chocolate chips and cocoa powder into a small bowl; set aside.

Place the heavy cream or milk in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Pour the hot liquid over the chocolate chips and cocoa powder. Let sit for 1 minutes then whisk until smooth. If the sauce is too thick, simply whisk in a little extra warm milk until desired texture is achieved.

APPLE & PEAR Galette with a Buttered Rum Caramel Sauce


     Seattle’s embrace of the winter season has given us gorgeous days filled with dustings of snow, but has also left us quite incredibly chilly. Since I grew up in southern CA for most of my life I will admit that I’m likely a little more sensitive than the average Seattleite, but I think we can all agree anything below 30°F is pretty dang cold. That’s why I’m usually found staying indoors this season, roasting up a storm and baking warm treats. One such treat I recently made is this apple and pear galette with a delectable buttered rum caramel sauce. Now this galette might look like any other galette, but the exciting part was that it only took 8 minutes to bake—and even more, I didn’t use my oven to bake it. 

     So what did I use? Well, Panasonic recently gifted me with one of their Countertop Induction Ovens (CIO), and it worked especially well. This countertop oven can do practically anything a normal oven can so, being able to grill, bake, broil, and toast quickly and competently. It worked incredibly well for my galette, keeping the exterior satisfyingly crisp while maintaining a soft, juicy interior. 

     Panasonic also invited me to CES, their annual conference held in Las Vegas which kicked off early this morning. At CES, Panasonic was unveiling quite a few impressive pieces. One such mind-blowing development is their new concept kitchen, complete with interactive interfaces that heat your stove top and oven to the needed temperature before you even begin cooking. The kitchen also includes a display that guides you in real-time through cooking dinner with recipe videos. The future’s here people. 

     I also had a chance to see the CIO in action, where a chef cooked a perfectly seared sirloin steak right before our eyes in less than 10 minutes. I’m consistently impressed at how the CIO can produce such high-quality meals in such a short amount of time—it’s really remarkable. If you're interested in taking a closer look at this impressive machine head over to Williams-Sonoma, Bed Bath & Beyond, Amazon, or Panasonic

     Now if this recipe is calling your name, I’ve made sure to include instructions on how to make this galette in a traditional oven. I hope it keeps you warm and satisfied this winter season!

Thank you to Panasonic for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own.


Apple & Pear Galette

Yields 1, 8-inch Galette

2 green apples

2 bartlett pears

2 tbs lemon juice

2 tbs brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon 

1/2 tsp cardamom

2 tbs melted unsalted butter

1 sheet puff pastry

1/2 cup crushed graham crackers

2 tbs course sugar

1 large egg

2 tbs milk

Equipment: Panasonic CIO


METHOD

*** See below to make this galette in a traditional oven 

1. Preheat oven on GRILL-Medium.

2. Peel, core, and cut fruit into about 8 wedges each. All fruit should be about the same size.

3.Toss Fruit with lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, and melted butter.

4. Place fruit in Grill pan and cook on GRILL-MEDIUM for 3 minutes.

5. Flip gently toss/stir fruit and grill for an additional 3 minutes.

6. Remove fruit and reserve.

7. Wipe out the grill pan and preheat the oven to BAKE 400F/220C.

8. On a small cutting board dusted with flour, cut the puff pastry into a 8’’ circle.

9. Sprinkle ground graham crackers in the center of the dough

10. Lay fruit wedges around the circle, overlapping slightly, with the thicker portions in the middle of the dough. Be sure to leave a 1’’ border on the sides of the circle.

11. Combine the egg and milk and mix well to make an egg wash. Brush Egg wash along the 1’’ border. Fold the dough edges in toward the center, over the fruit, pinching and folding it to seal the edge and create a pleated border.  

12. Brush egg wash on the top of the dough border and sprinkle with coarse sugar and additional cinnamon if desired.

13. Carefully slide the assembled galette into the grill pan. BAKE for about 8 minutes or until the dough is brown and the fruit is fork tender

14. Rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. Serve galette with a drizzle of caramel.

** if using a traditional oven preheat to 350°F.  Reduce the amount of fruit, using only three instead of four. Peel, core and slice the apples and pear into 1/2 inch slices. Skip steps 4-7, and pick back up at step 8. Bake the galette for 45-50 minutes, or until crust is golden and fruit is fork tender


Buttered Rum Caramel

Yields a little over 1 1/2 cups

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup water

3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 heavy cream

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

2 tablespoons spiced rum

Equipment: Heavy bottomed saucepan, wooden spoon/spatula, pastry brush, small dish of water.


Method

Place the sugar and water in a saucepan set over medium high heat and bring to a boil. As the caramel is cooking, dip your pastry brush in a bit of water and brush down the sides of the pan to prevent crystallization. Allow the sugar and water to boil until spots of color begin to appear. When this happens do not stir the sugar, instead swirl the saucepan to even out the browning of the sugar.

After some color begins to appear the sugar will begin to caramelize at a quicker rate, so watch your caramel very closely. Remove the saucepan from heat once the caramel reaches a deep amber color.

With a spatula, or wooden spoon, slowly add in the cream, butter, vanilla, salt, and spices. The mixture will bubble quite up quite a bit, but continue to stir as until combined.

Put the saucepan back over medium low heat to help melt any parts of the caramel that may have hardened. Once the caramel is smooth, mix in the rum, then transfer to a glass jar and allow the caramel to cool before sealing.

Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Cranberry & Satsuma morning Juice


     My body has officially hit a wall after being a bit too indulgent over these past few weeks. After a swath of rich holiday meals, my body is yearning for nutrients and health—and this cranberry & satsuma morning juice fits the bill. One of my worst habits is that I usually run out of the house without a lick of breakfast, only to find myself starving later and cramming a muffin in my mouth. This lifestyle choice obviously needs some modifying so I'm building an arsenal of easy morning drinks that will help me kick this bad habit.

     The great thing about cranberries is that they're packed with tons of health benefits. I almost began to wonder why I hadn't made a juice with these tart little red gems before. They're not only a good source of vitamin C, vitamin E, and fiber, but they also have anti-inflammatory properties and moreI added some satsumas and fresh ginger for a splash of citrus and spice. The result is a refreshing, vibrant juice that can help me kick my no-breakfast habit.

This drink isn't sweet on its own, so a little drizzle of honey is warmly welcomed. Whether you're looking to aid a sluggish body like mine or just need to use the last of your cranberries, I hope you enjoy this morning juice!


Cranberry & Satsuma morning Juice

Yields about 2 cups

3/4 cup coconut water

1/2 cup fresh organic cranberries

2 small satsumas, peeled

1/2 tsp roughly chopped ginger

small handful ice

honey to taste


Method

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add honey to taste.

This drink does have a lot of cranberry skins in it, so feel free to strain this juice before drinking. 

Barcelo Stories—Exploring the Dominican Republic


     Earlier this year John and I had the incredible opportunity to travel to the Dominican Republic to partake in a project called Barcelo Stories. This project is meant to draw people into the unique beauty and incredible adventures one can witness and enjoy in the Caribbean. Barcelo Hotel Group, among whose hotels are the Royal Hideaway (where we stayed), Barceló, Occidental, and Allegro, sent dozens of bloggers to Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Aruba to show what an exciting time one can have when traveling to these countries.

     John and I made a few short films to show how much fun it was to explore the lively city of Santo Domingo and the rich landscape it has to offer. We wandered through the oldest cathedral in the Americas, walked through a fortress castle built five centuries ago, descended into limestone caves with shimmering subterranean pools, and got lost in lush jungle forests. We had the time of our lives. I hope these videos inspire you take a trip of your own to this wonderful country. 

     In total we created three films, this being the first of the three. To view the others, click here.

How To Make a Classic Albondigas Soup


Every now and then I'll find myself craving a dish that no one else but my mother could make. I need only close my eyes for a moment before I'm seeing vivid flashbacks of her presiding comfortably over our kitchen, making tortillas from scratch, crafting some delicious creation, whose fragrance simmers welcomingly from the stove. I feel very fortunate to have grown up in a house where there was never a shortage of fresh tortillas, rice, or beans. It's funny because as a child I didn't understand why my mother didn't venture out beyond these basics, but now I know these were the building blocks of my mother's childhood; they're what she knew. My mother is originally from Mexico, so she would typically make meals that resembled the ones her mother made for her when she was growing up. Between these two women, I know that I have tasted some of the best Mexican food I will ever eat (it helps to have been back and forth countless times to small, authentic towns in the heart of that beautiful country—I know good Mexican food). As I got older, I realized that I would eventually have to make my mother's signature dishes for myself. Keeping this in mind, I was always ready to watch, learn, and help my mom whenever she stepped into the kitchen. I am still trying to perfect many of her recipes, and today I'm sharing one of my favorites: albondigas soup.

Albondigas soup (''meatballs soup'' in Spanish) is wonderfully fragrant and very satisfying. It's a hearty mixture of fresh vegetables, flavorful broth, and herb-seasoned meat. And these meatballs are uniquely stuffed with uncooked rice, which, once the soup is ready, transform the meatballs into plump, flavorful bits of heaven. This soup can serve about 4-6, so when I make it at home John and I just slowly enjoy it over a couple days. In my mind this soup is such a staple Mexican meal. I've tried a few versions at some restaurants that are slightly different than what I'm used to, but nothing compares to a batch of this made right at home. 

Now, no warm and cozy meal is complete without wine, right? I decided to pair this soup with the oh-so delicious 2014 Monterey Pinot Noir from La Crema. Hints of plum on the nose, cherry on the pallet, and subtle minerality all throughout make this a fantastic compliment to albondigas soup. 

To get the recipe make sure to head over to La Crema's Blog

Thanks again for support the brands that support The Broken Bread. As always, all opinions are my own.

 

How to host a Wine & Cheese gathering while traveling


I was lucky enough to fly to San Francisco last month with my friends Annie of Annie Reeves and Megan of The Freckled Italian. The girls and I were getting together for an event we were hosting, and since we had a little down time that evening we thought why not relax and catch up with a glass of wine and some snacks? Now this may seem like quite a hassle at first since we were staying in a rental home, but with these two girls by my side we were able to put together a beautiful and satisfying spread in no time.  

We wanted to keep it simple, so we focused on grabbing just a few necessary items from a local store and went from there. This is one of my favorite things about traveling: getting to visit new markets in the city and seeing all the unique treats they have to offer. Before we headed out we made a list that I think will make anyone's cheese board dreams come true—especially if you're short on time.

Here's our list:

  • One Baguette
  • Gluten Free Crackers
  • A few different Cheeses like Goat, Brie, and a Hard Cheese
  • Green Olives
  • Fig Jam
  • Prosciutto
  • Almonds 
  • European Style Butter - it's the best
  • Some Seasonal Fruit
  • Cornichons
  • Some Dark Chocolate 

This list is pretty fool proof if you're trying to put a cheese board together. Just remember to choose snacks that you love and to refrain from overthinking it. Plus, if you can get your hands on some high quality cheese like the Vermont Creamery cheese we had, then you'll be completely fine. 

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Having a list was really helpful once we got to the store because we were able to divide and conquer, making that part of the process extremely quick. Once we got home we grabbed a cutting board, some jars, and a few glasses for wine. Thankfully our Airbnb has just what we needed, and I had some extra cheese boards on hand for our event the next day. Now what if you're staying in a hotel you might say? No problem! Most hotels would be more than happy to send up some plates and glasses, which are basically the two most important things when putting a wine and cheese gathering together, plus if you're at a hotel, then you don't have to do any dishes :)

Once our boards were put together the girls and I opened a bottle of La Crema's Monterey Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir and headed outside so we could enjoy our spread under the cotton candy sky that the beautiful city of San Francisco graced us with. I felt so fortunate to be traveling, but also to have taken part in an intimate hang out that made our time together all the more special. So next time your traveling with friends, or you find yourself in a city where friends can come to you, why not try and host a little gathering? For more tips and pictures of our get together be sure to check out La Crema's blog, as well as Annie and Megan's blog.

All of these gorgeous images were taken by our talented friend Ozzie.

Thank you to La Crema wines for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own. 

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Mascarpone Cheesecake with Pomegranate Syrup


When it really comes down to it, I think I got my sweet tooth from my father. One could always find him up to something in the kitchen after a hearty meal—he’d be scavenging for chocolate chip cookie ingredients, digging for treats at the bottom of a bag of baked goodies, or preparing to craft a homemade cheesecake. This last one was my personal favorite, and so I thought it would only be natural if for this Thanksgiving I made a wonderful, exquisite cheesecake of which he would be truly proud.

This decadent dessert is made up of a beautiful blend of cream cheese and Vermont creameries’s delicious mascarpone cheese. It’s ever so smooth and delicate, with an extra added tang from a judicious layer of silky crėme fraîche. Obviously such a treat tastes delicious on it’s own, but I wanted it to have something more, and a garnish of some homemade pomegranate syrup with some fresh seeds did just the trick. With or without this garnish, I promise this cheesecake will satisfy any sweet tooth. 

I know that baking a cheesecake at home can at times be a little tricky, so I’ve included a few extra tips after the recipe to ensure that you end up with a smooth, crack-free cheesecake. 

Also, thanks to Vermont Creamery for providing me with all the delicious cheese that I needed to make this dreamy dessert. And as always thanks for supporting the brands that support The Broken Bread. 

I wish you all a happy and safe Thanksgiving! 


Mascarpone Cheesecake with Pomegranate Syrup

1 3/4 cups finely crushed chocolate wafers, about 38 

5 tablespoons unsalted Vermont Creamery Cultured butter, melted

2, 8 oz packages full fat cream cheese, room temperature

1, 8 oz container mascarpone cheese, room temperature

3 tbs crėme fraîche, room temperature 

3/4 cup plus 1 tbs granulated sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

3 large eggs, room temperature

 

For the pomegranate syrup

2 cups pomegranate juice

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

 

For the crėme fraîche topping

3/4 cup crėme fraîche

2 tbs powdered sugar

1 heaping cup pomegranate seeds, for garnish

Equipment: 9" springform pan, parchment paper, 18” wide heavy duty tin foil wrap, standing mixer, large roasting pan, saucepan.


Method

Move oven rack to the lower third position of the oven and heat to 350°F. Lightly grease the sides of the springform pan and line the base with a 9’’ parchment round.

Add the crushed cookie wafers and the melted butter to a medium bowl and mix until the combined. Evenly press the mixture into the springform pan along the bottom and about 1-1 1/2 inches up the sides. Cut a large square of tin foil (about 20’’ x 20’’) and place the springform pan right in the middle. Gently fold the tin foil up the sides of the pan, pressing at the top to secure. Repeat this process one more time in order to create a sturdy, waterproof barrier. Place the springform pan in the oven for 8 minutes; remove and let cool.

Reduce the oven's temperature to 325°F. Add the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, 3 tablespoons crėme fraîche, sugar, and vanilla to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until smooth and no lumps remain, about 3 minutes. On the lowest speed, beat in the eggs one at a time until just incorporated.

Pour the cheese mixture into the prepared crust, then place into the roasting pan. Place the roasting pan on the lowest rack and slowly fill with hot water until it reaches about 1-1 1/2’’ inches up the sides of the springform pan. Close the oven and bake for 40 minutes until the edges are set, but the center is still wobbly.

After 40 minutes turn off the oven and use the handle of a wooden spoon to slightly crack open the oven door. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour to finish baking. 

Carefully remove the cheesecake from the oven and discard the foil. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap or tin foil and place in the refrigerator to cool completely; about 5 hours, preferably over night. 

While the cheesecake is chilling prepare the pomegranate syrup. Add 2 cups of pomegranate juice and 2 tablespoons sugar to a saucepan and gently simmer for 30-35 minutes, or until the syrup is slightly thick and has reduced to 2/3 cup. Place the syrup in a airtight container and store in the fridge to cool completely. 

Once the cheesecake has properly chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and set aside. In a small bowl whisk together 3/4 cup crėme fraîche and 2 tablespoons powdered sugar until smooth. Spread the crėme fraîche over the top of the cheesecake, then garnish with pomegranate seeds.

Allow the cheesecake to come to room temperature before serving. Drizzle each slice with bit of pomegranate syrup and enjoy!

Some additional tips

· Make sure all of your ingredients are truly room temperate. This will ensure you get a smooth filling when beating your ingredients together. 

· Do not over beat the filling. Over beating the filling incorporates too much air (which is why using the paddle attachment is best) which can cause the cheesecake to puff up when cooking, then shrink and crack once it cools.  

· Don’t open the oven while the cheesecake is baking, even when you turn of the off the oven. Cheesecakes are really sensitive to temperature changes, that's why this recipe let's it gently bake for an additional hour with the oven cracked open ever-so slightly. 

· Don’t over bake your cheesecake. This is a big one.  When you pull your cheesecake out of theoven it should still have a little wobble in the center. That's what you want! You just have to have faith that once it chills properly you'll end us with the dreamiest cheesecake to enjoy this thanksgiving.

Roasted Celeriac & Fennel Soup


It's virtual baby shower time and I'm bringing soup! Cynthia, from Two Red Bowls, and her husband Andy (Bowl 2) recently welcomed their son Luke (Bowl 3) into the world! And thus to celebrate, Steph and Alana (of I am a Food Blog and Fix Feast Flair) are hosting a virtual baby shower! Cynthia is such a talented blogger, and an incredibly kind woman for whom it brings me joy to celebrate. I'm simply elated at arrival of her sweet baby boy.

To celebrate Cynthia and baby Luke, I made a roasted fennel and celeriac soup. This soup is SO good, and it comes together so quickly, which in my mind is always a good thing. I've been craving cozy soups like crazy lately which is likely due to all of the cold and rainy days Seattle has been having lately.This soup combines some of my favorite veggies, plus I added some toasted pepitas, and shaved fennel to add a little extra heartiness to this bowl of warmth.

I thought this would be the perfect soup for this virtual baby shower because it's served in a bowl, duh (two red bowls, you get it ). I hope you and your family feel loved today Cynthia! Congratulations! Below you can find the full list of everyone else who made something for the #threeredbowls party.

I am a Food Blog | Mac and Kimcheese Dolsot Bibimbap
Fix Feast Flair | Dishoom's Chicken Ruby Murray
The Fauxmartha | Mom Lunches
A Cozy Kitchen | Cornbread Chicken + Dumplings
Cake Over Steak | Salted Caramel Chocolate Crackles
The Pancake Princess | Stovetop Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Snixy Kitchen | Chicken Pot Pie with Chestnut Biscuits
Lady and Pups | Egg Florentine in Pullman "Bowls"
Betty Liu | Honeynut Squash Congee
Style Sweet CA | Date Bourbon Cinnamon Rolls
Warm Vanilla Sugar | Broccoli Quinoa Bowl with Avocado Sauce
A Beautiful Plate | Coconut Cauliflower Soup
Girl Versus Dough | Tomato Grilled Cheese Soup
Fork to Belly | A Big Hawaiian Fruit Bowl
Donny Tsang | Chawanmushi
Wit & Vinegar | Jerk Chicken Chili
Constellation Inspiration | Salted Egg Yolk Custard Mochi
Twigg Studios | Katsu Udon Soup wth Popcorn Chicken Croutons
Edible Perspective | Acorn Squash Bowls with Pears, Pecans, and Vanilla Bean Cream
Coco Cake Land | Asian Bowl Cut Sugar Cookies
Southern Souffle | Sorghum Apple Biscuits In A Bowl
The Bojon Gourmet | Smoky Sweet Potato & Lentil Tortilla Soup
Flourishing Foodie | Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Soup
What should I eat for breakfast today | Little Bowl with Creamy Polenta, Cheese, Onions and Mushrooms
Top with Cinnamon | Squash & Crispy Kale Bowls with Pomegranate and Miso-Ginger Dressing
The Broken Bread | Roasted Celeriac + Fennel Soup
Fig+Bleu | Cauliflower Harissa Soup
My Name is Yeh | Corn Dog In A Bowl
Chocolate + Marrow | Parsnip + Potato Soup with Crispy Pancetta                                          Crepes of Wrath | Mini Scallion Pancake Challah Buns
O&O Eats | Persimmon Cobbler
With Food + Love | Golden Beet Soup


Roasted Celeriac & Fennel Soup

2 tbs unsalted butter

oil, for drizzling

2 shallots, diced

1 medium fennel bulb fennel, quartered

1 medium celeriac

4 cups chicken or veggie stock

2 bay leaves

5-6 few sprig of thymes

salt and pepper

to garnish

toasted pepitas

shaved fennel 

fennel fronds

olive oil, for drizzling 


Method

Heat oven to 425°F

Peel or cut the exterior off of the celeriac root and cut into 1-inch pieces. Place 3 cups of the chopped celeriac onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; set aside. Cut the fronds off of the fennel bulb, cut into 6 wedges, and add to the baking sheet. Drizzle the veggies with oil, and a pinch or two of salt and pepper and toss to coat. Place the baking sheet into the oven and let veggies roast for 25-30 minutes, or until fork tender and lightly caramelized.  Make sure to stir the veggies halfway through the cooking time.  

Melt the butter in a large pot set over medium heat. Add the chopped shallots and cook until tender and slightly translucent. Add the roasted veggies, bay leaves, thyme, an extra pinch of salt and pepper, and continue to cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.  

Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow the soup to simmer for 30 minutes.

Carefully remove the bay leaves and any thyme twigs. Remove any thyme leave from that are still attached and add back to the soup. Pour the soup into a blender and puree until sillky smooth. Pour the soup back into the pot and season to taste. If the soup happens to be too thick, simply add a bit more chicken stock.

Garnish soup with shaved fennel, pepitas, fennel fronds and a bit of olive oil.

An Autumn gathering at La Crema's Saralee's estate


Northern California is such an enchanting part of the country. And this past weekend I had the opportunity to co-host another La Crema event with my lovely friends, Annie of Annie Reeves and Megan of The Freckled Italian, at the stunning La Crema Saralee's estate in Windsor, CA. This trip marked my first visit to this region so I wasn’t sure what to expect; let’s just say I’m already trying to plan another trip back. 

Pulling onto the property is where the experience truly begins. As you make your way up the gravel driveway you are immediately greeted by a sea of grape vines so vast they seem to disappear into the horizon. When we first arrived, the leaves on the vines were already changing colors; a visual celebration of reds, oranges, and greens that blanketed the property. At the top of the driveway sits a beautiful, enormous restored barn that dates back to the 1900s. Walking up to its doors I wasn’t sure what I would find inside, but I was excited to find out. The immediate feeling within is almost like you've been there already—and before my eyes could even take it all in I was being greeted with a smile and glass of rosé. 

This amazing property was the perfect backdrop for a day of learning, tasting, eating, and reveling in community. Megan, Annie, and I were quite lucky to have seven incredible Bay Area bloggers join us for this special gathering. Once all of our guests arrived, our journey began with an exciting golf cart tour of the vineyard led by a personal concierge. We were taken up to hill tops from which we surveyed the beautiful landscape, we rested under giant walnut trees in whose shade we enjoyed wine tastings, and walking in between the perpetual vineyard rows we tasted each kind of grape straight off the branch. This trip was simply incredible.

After our tour we were treated to a three course lunch with a wine pairing that was put together by Chef Tracy. The food and wine pairings that Chef Tracy created was beautifully crafted and inspiring that I found myself inspired to pay closer attention to how wine can build off of an already flavorful meal. Our meal began with beautiful oysters on the half shell flavored with wasabi caviar that was paired with La Crema's 2015 La Crema Saralee’s Pinot Noir Rosé. After that we were served the a flavorful portion of tuna that was served over the creamiest celery root puree, topped with pine nuts and preserved lemon; which was paired with La Crema’s 2014 La Crema Kelli Ann Vineyard Chardonnay. The final course (my favorite) was a perfectly cooked Liberty Farms duck breast, sauteed chard, chanterelle mushrooms, and sunchokes, which paired beautifully with their 2013 La Crema Fog Veil Pinot Noir

To finish off the day, we ended with a wine and cheese tasting that was as immersive as it was informative. Our chef’s love and passion for these pairings was clearly evident—not only in the way she spoke but in the way she absolutely lit up at each new stage of the experience. My favorite pairing was this Dry Jack cheese that was paired with tart cherry jam and a sampling of Arroyo Seco Pinot Noir. 

IMG_2583.jpg

Spending the day at this vineyard was a delightful experience, one that reminded me how interesting, sophisticated, and dynamic a glass of wine can truly be when paired carefully with various flavors. Suffice to say, this day's experience, while firmly rooted in the joy of food and wine, nevertheless succeeded in transcending it.

Here's a short video of our time at the vineyard. To see more picture from the even be sure to check out Megan, and Annie's , and La Crema's blog for more!

 

Thanks again for supporting the brands the support The Broken Bread!

All images in this post were taken by Oguz Uygur.

Easy Chicken Skillet Pot Pie


The fall holiday season is fast upon us, and with Thanksgiving less than a week away I've been indulging in many of my favorite comfort foods—such as this delicious chicken pot pie. I've loved pot pies since I was a little kid, but my appreciation for this steamy bowl of comfort totally changed when I made it from scratch a few years ago.

Making a chicken pot pie at home can sound like a lot of work, but it’s one of those recipes that sounds more overwhelming than it really is. I get it: life is busy, sometimes a little too busy to make time for a home made chicken pot pie one might think. But not quite! With a little prep, you can get home from work and have your pot pie in the oven in about thirty minutes.

When it really comes down to it, a pot pie is all about the filling. I want it to be richly flavorful, with each bite being hearty and satisfying. For this recipe, I've included rotisserie chicken, carrots, potatoes, chanterelle mushroom, and just the right amount of fragrant herbs. To learn how to make it, head over to La Crema’s blog. While you're there you can also see what kind of wine I paired with this meal, because, if you’re gonna make a pot pie, you might as well drink some wine while you make it.

Just incase rotisserie chicken isn't an option for you, I've include a quick poaching method that I like to when I am preparing chicken for my pot pies.

Thanks again for supporting the brands that support The Broken Bread!


Poached Chicken Breast 

1 lb chicken breast

water

large pot

a pinch or two of salt


Method

Place the chicken breasts into the pot and fill with enough water to cover, and a few pinches of salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 15-18 minutes, or until the chicken has an internal read of 165°F.

Remove the chicken breasts from the water, and let cool slightly. Use either your hands or two forks to shred the chicken into desired sized pieces.

**If you wanted to make poach chicken for a salad, or as a side to a dish I suggest adding some aromatics to increase the overall flavor of the chicken. Since this recipe is intended for the pot pie I didn't feel the need to add any. 

Pear & Grape Buckwheat Galettes


Baking with alternative flours is such an exciting endeavor to me, but in most of my attempts to make gluten-free treats with them, I just haven't been able to produce a really satisfying recipe—until now. My sweet friend Alanna just came out with a wonderful book called Alternative Baker, and if you want to experiment with alternative flours, this is the book for you.

Her book is filled with stunning images, delicious recipes, and valuable information about alternative flours.

After flipping through her book, I was instantly drawn to these buckwheat and pear galettes with a salty caramel sauce. I'm a big fan of buckwheat desserts, so this seemed like a good place for me to start my alternative flour baking journey. I really appreciate how Alanna gives you very detailed instructions as you work through her recipes. This made the whole process much more enjoyable for me because all of her tips really do set up you for success; a delicious piece of success that you get to eat.

Alanna’s recipe uses fresh pears, but since I had the loveliest concord grapes and green apples on hand, I thought why not make a variety of flavors? These galettes were absolutely delicious. The texture of the dough was incredible, and the deep and rich flavor that you get from the buckwheat flour is, in my opinion, what makes these little treats so memorable. 


Buckwheat Crust

Yields 8, 3 1/2 (9-cm) Galettes

Recipe by Alana Taylor Robin

1/4 cup ice water

1/2 cup sweet rice flour

1/2 cup GF oat flour

1/4 cup plus 2 tbs buckwheat flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

2 tbsp tapioca flour

2 1/2 tbs finely ground chia seeds- preferably white

1 tbsp organic cane sugar

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

8 tbs cold, unsalted butter, sliced 1/4-inch thick

1/4 cup cold buttermilk

Filling

4 pears, 4 granny smith apples, or 2 cups grapes

1/2  a lemon

2 tbs cream or milk

3 tbs organic cane sugar

salty caramel, for drizzling

flaky sea salt, for sprinkling


Method

In a large bowl, combine the rice, oat, and buckwheat flour with the cornstarch, tapioca flour, ground chia seeds, sugar and salt. Scatter the butter pieces over the top and work in the butter with a pastry cutter, or with your fingers until the mixture resembles wet sand, that has lots of butter chunks that resemble the size of small peas and almonds.

Stir the ice water and buttermilk together and drizzle the mixture over the flour, one tablespoon at a time tossing the dough with either a flexible spatula, or two forks to moisten the mixture evenly. Add just enough of the liquid mixture for the dough to hold together when you give it a squeeze, and add it directly to the dry floury pieces that tend to hang out at the bottom of the bowl. Alana also mentions in her book that you may or may not need all of the liquid called for in this recipe, or you may need more ice water. Simply pay attention to how the dough feels and you'll be fine. 

Knead the dough in the bowl 10-20 times until it comes together. Press the dough into a disc, wrap with plastic and store in the refrigerator for up to two days.

*Alana also provides a few other options on how to get a super flaky crust, but you'll have to buy her gorgeous book to get those :)

Once you're ready to make your gallettes, remove the dough from the fridge and using a sharp knife cut it into 8 equal portions, placing 7 of them back into the fridge. Use a rolling pin to roll out the first portion of dough into a 6-inch round that's about 1/8-inch thick, flipping and dusting with extra buckwheat flour to prevent sticking. Trim the edges of the dough round as necessary and place back into the refrigerator. Repeat this process until all the of the dough pieces have been rolled out. Dust the rounds with a little extra flour, cover and store in the refrigerator until firm, or for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day.

To make the filling, position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and heat to  400°F. If using pears or apples, peel the fruits, half them lengthwise, and remove their cores. Slice the fruit into 1/4 inch thick slices and drizzle with a bit of lemon juice to keep them from browning. If using grapes, no additional prep work needs to be done.

Dived the dough rounds between two baking sheets that have been lined with parchment paper. Keeping the fruit slices together, tranfer the pear or apples slices to the top of a tart. If using grapes, simple mound about 1/4 cup of grapes in the center of the dough round and carefully fold up the dough around the fruit to create a 1-inch lip, creasing and pleating the dough. If any cracks occur, simply press the dough back together to seal. Place the galettes back into the fridge to chill until firm. Brush the dough lightly with cream and sprinkle the apples, pears, or grapes, and dough evenly with the sugar.

Bake the galettes until the juices from the fruit begin to bubble and the dough is golden. Since the dough is already dark, make sure to take a close look to see if the crust is done baking; about 30-40 minutes, rotating the pans front to back and top to bottom for even browning after the first 20 minutes.

Remove the galettes from the oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes, or up to several hours. Serve the galettes with a drizzle of caramel sauce, like the salty caramel sauce Alana shares in her book, and a pinch of flaky sea salt if desired.

Roasted Hatch Chile Burger


Burgers are a beautiful thing, aren’t they? Most days I’m pretty sure I could eat burgers for the rest of my life—I mean, if I had to. I think that one of my favorite things about burgers is that they don't really require much work to taste great; one just needs the right ingredients.

For the most part this burger is pretty straight forward, but there's one part about it that's very special: roasted hatch chile peppers. These glorious peppers are in season right now and they make a wonderful addition to a classic burger. Roasting them is really where their flavor emerges, and the result is a burger whose every bite is packed with the perfect amount of spicy deliciousness.

Now, I have to warn you—these pepper are spicy, so when you are peeling off the skins and removing the seeds I highly recommend two things: wear gloves if possible, and don’t touch any part of your face one you’ve started handling them. Besides that, you’re only about 6 minutes away from roasting a batch of these lovely peppers right at home.

Since this burger packs a bit of heat, I paired it with La Crema's lovely 2014 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. It's berry undertones come alongside and generously complement the flavor profile of this burger. Make sure to head over to La Crema's site to get the full recipe for this burger.


Roasted hatch chili pepper

4-5 medium hatch chilies

Equipment: Baking sheet, plastic gloves if available.


Turn the broiler on to high, wish rack set to the highest position.

Wash the hatch peppers, pat dry, and scatter onto a baking sheet.

Place the sheet under the broiler and leave the chilis there for about three minutes, or until blistered and charred. Remove the tray from the oven and using a pair of tongs, or spatula, flip the chilis over and place back in the oven. Allow the other side of the chilies to blister, then remove from oven.

Place the freshly blistered peppers into a medium bowl, placing a few paper towels, or a rag to cover. Place a large dish over the top of the napkin and let the chilies steam for 15 minutes.

Remove the chilies from the bowl and carefully begin to remove their skin, followed by their seeds. Cut the remaining pieces of the chili into strip and place in a small bowl until ready to use. 

Click here to get the rest of the recipe.

Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Broken Bread. This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

And one last thing—here are some tips to ensure a delicious burger: 

  1. Use the best quality meat you can get you hands on. Since this is essentially what the burger is all about you might as well get some delicious fresh beef. I recommend getting 80% lean 20% fat. It’s that 20% percent that will guarantee you a tasty burger.
  2. Make that special sauce at home. You don’t need a lot of ingredients to make a killer sauce. Find me go-to sauce recipe here.
  3. Keep the extra ingredients simple. I have to have cheese on my burger, other than that I might toss in a slice of avocado, or some roasted chilies, but sometimes I find that simplicity is best when it comes to a burger.
  4. Lastly, get your hand on a either a potato or brioche bun. I personally stick to the potato bun, but either of these options will be the perfect bookends to that juicy piece of beef.

 

 

 

A Peach & Coconut Cream Tart


The world is filled with simple pleasures, and last week I experienced a new one: karaoke. I've gone a few times, and though I've always secretly wanted to sing, I've never had the nerves to just get up and do it. I don't know why I care so much because, I mean, more times than not people are just out there to have fun no matter what they sound like. Well, expect for those few professional singers that nail every note like there's an agent in the crowd; they'll make anyone thankful they decided not to sing.

But with all that said, I finally did it. To think, just last week you could have found me belting out a song from Eve-6 with my sister in-law. We were a mess, but we had the best time.

Speaking of simple pleasures, how does a peach and coconut tart sound? I know the flavors in this tart are pretty simple, but that's how I like it. I've been on a peach kick lately and pairing them with a coconut pastry cream is now one of my favorite ways to enjoy them. What I especially love about this tart is that each ingredient stands out in each bite.

I added brown butter to my crust, but if you don't want to, just add melted butter instead. Although, I really recommend going with the brown butter since it adds just a little extra nuttiness that pairs so well with the coconut. 

I hope this tart gives you some inspiration on how to use all those beautiful peaches before their season runs out. Oh, and I will warn you now that this crust is a little delicate, so just keep that in mind when you serve; but I mean who really cares about a dessert that can get a little messy, right? 


Coconut Cream Filling

filling adapted from Joy of Baking

1 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk

3 large egg yolks

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch, non gmo if possible

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

3/4 teaspoon natural coconut extract or paste- I used this one

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

pinch kosher salt

zest of half a lemon

2-3 ripe yellow peaches

2 teaspoons sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

FOR THE CRUST

1 1/3 cup crush nilla wafers

1 stick unsalted butter

1/4 coconut toasted flakes

pinch salt

Equipment: 2 Sauce pans, whisk, fine mesh sieve, food processor, skillet, 1, 9.5 x 1 inch tart pan, micro plan zester


Method

Place the coconut milk into the saucepan and set over medium high heat. While the coconut milk is heating up add the egg yolks to a medium heat proof bowl along with the sugar, whisking until smooth.

Sift the cornstarch and flour into the egg mixture and whisk to combine. Make sure not let this mixture sit to too long before the next step;  Joy say's if you do bits of egg will form.

Once the coconut milk begins to steam, pour it into the egg yolk mix in a steady and slow stream while whisking with the other hand. Once all of the coconut milk has been whisked in, pour the coconut milk into a medium saucepan and while whisking constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat. 

Once the mixture begins to boil, let it cook for an additional 30-60 seconds, or until thick. Immediately remove from the pan from the heat and pour into a clean bowl. Mix the tablespoon of butter, 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 3/4 teaspoon coconut extract, whisking until combined. 

Cover the pastry cream with plastic wrap, making sure to press the plastic against the coconut cream to prevent a skin from forming. Place the bowl in the refridersator until completely chilled.

While the filling is cooling start making the crust by pulsing the vanilla wafers in food processor until finely ground.  *Alternatively, you can smash the cookies in a plastic bag until they achieve a very fine texture. Add the crushed cookies to a large bowl.

Place the stick of butter in a skillet (lightly colored if possible- this will help you see the browning of the butter) and set over medium heat. While stirring occasionally, let the butter melt completely. The butter will begin to foam, and spatter a bit, just keep stirring every now and then until the foam subsides. 

Keep a close eye on the butter as it will turn a golden brown color pretty quickly. Once it does, remove from heat immediately and pour into a separate container.

Measure out 1/3 cup of the brown butter and mix it into the ground wafers, along with the toasted coconut flakes, and a pinch of kosher salt. If the mixture feels a bit dry, go ahead and add a little extra brown butter.

Add the crust mixture to the pan, pressing firmly at the bottom, and pressing the crumbs up the sides. Place in the refrigerator immediately and let chill for about 45 minutes before adding the filling.

Assembly

About 15 minutes before you are ready to fill the crust, slice all of the peaches and add them to a large bowl. Gently toss the peaches with about 1 tablespoons of lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of sugar and let sit for 10- 15 minutes.

Remove the pastry cream from the refrigerator and fold in the zest of half a lemon, then add to the crust. Arrange the peach slices over the top of the tart, serve and enjoy! 

Fresh Honeydew-Ginger Mojitos


It's the middle of the week and I already know what you're thinking, "What delicious cocktail am I making once I get home", right?. Well my friends #drinkthesummer has got you covered. My lovely friend Sherrie has rounded up a swell group of people to have a virtual cocktail party, and you're invited!


For this summertime soiree I'm sharing my recipe for these honeydew melon-ginger mojitos. In my mind mojitos are one of those quintessential drinks that you have to make at least once before summer is over; which sadly is creeping up pretty quickly. Awful, I know.

I believe that honeydew melons don't get put to proper use. The only time I find myself eating them is when they are served up at some hotel breakfast buffet, or if by chance they end up in a fruit cup that I get at the store. It's a shame. From their color, to their utterly sweet and juicy flesh; I have no clue why I'm not eating these melons more often. To make up for my laziness, I've decided to show off the potential of this beautiful melon by tossing it into this mojito, adding fresh muddled ginger, and just the right amount of demerara sugar.

Here is the full list of everyone who made a delicious beverage for #drinkthesummer

 Adult drinks 

With Food + Love | Basil Fig Vodka Smash

A Little Saffron | Beach Bum's Rum

A Thought For Food | Tarragon Tequlia Swizzle

Downshiftology | Limoncello Prosecco with Blueberries and Thyme

Heart of a Baker | Green Tea Mint Cooler

Hungry Girl por Vida | Whisky Peach Alexander

The Green Life | Spiced Plum, Fig & Kombucha Cocktail

Hummingbird High | Watermelon and Mint Agua Fresca

Floating Kitchen | Peach Sun Tea and Bourbon Cocktail

Beard and Bonnet | Melon Mojito

EGD | Backyard Peach Sweet Tea

Appeasing a Food Geek | Basil and Black Pepper Gin Sour

Vegetarian Ventures | Garden Tonic Punch

Nosh and Nourish | Mango Margaritas with Chile Lime Salted Rims

Domesticate ME! | Watermelon-Basil Mezcal Margarita

The Foodie Nurse | Husk Cherry Margarita

my name is yeh | Choose Your Own Adventure Bloody Marys

Sevengrams | Cucumber, Gin and Chartreuse Cocktail

Wicked Spatula | Coconut Gin and Tonic

Eat Boutique | Sbagliatos and Homemade Sweet Vermouth

Nutritionist in the Kitch | Healthy Muddled Blackberry Pina Coladas

Chocolate + Marrow | Pequito Verdecito

The Solstice Table | Jalapeno Watermelon Cooler

HonestlyYUM | Watermelon, Fresh Herbs, & Sotol Cocktail

Seasonal Cravings | Strawberry Lime Gin Rickey

Salted Plains | Frozen Honeydew Daiquiris

The Broken Bread | Honeydew-Ginger Apricot Mojitos

Fix Feast Flair | Ginger-Berry Splash Cocktail

Turntable Kitchen | Summer Cooler Cocktails, Two Ways

Foolproof Living | Blueberry, Dark Cherry and Calvados Cocktail

Dessert for Two | Salty Melon Slush

 

Drinks for everyone!

Heartbeet Kitchen | Salty Watermelon Shrub Elixir

TENDING the TABLE | Raspberry and Fig Hibiscus Cooler

Snixy Kitchen | Lavender Earl Gray Blackberry Ice Cream Floats

The Bojon Gourmet | Vanilla Rooibos Peach Ice Cream Floats

Gratitude and Greens | Hong Kong Style Crushed Watermelon Ice

My Heart Beets | Spiced Pistachio Shake

rooting the sun | Strawberry Fennel Soda

The Modern Proper | Vanilla Bean Plum Shrub

Feed Me Phoebe | Watermelon-Cucumber Kombucha Coolers

Gourmande in the Kitchen | Stone Fruit Thyme Shrub Soda

dolly and oatmeal | Cold-Brewed Shiso & Hibiscus Tea Iced Latte

happy hearted kitchen | Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with Fennel, Orange + Cardamom

I am a Food Blog | Cherry Vanilla Sodas

Tasty Yummies | Fig Vanilla Bean Almond Milk

Let's talk evergreen | Iced Earl Grey Yuanyang With a Hint of Rose

Kale & Caramel | Emerald Beaut Green Spritzer

Earthy Feast | Watermelon Hibiscus Agua Fresca

Now, Forager | Sparkling Plumcot and Purple Basil Shrubs

The Pig & Quill | Brown Sugar Blueberry Pie Shakes

Well and Full | Peach Bubble Tea

Sweetish Co | The Best Frozen Hot Chocolate

holly & flora | Spiced Pineapple Shrub Sparklers with Black Tea + Coconut

I know there's a lot, but hey at least you'll have drink inspiration for dayzzzz.

You may have noticed this already, but I ended up straining my mojito before serving it, as opposed tot muddling everything together in the same glass. You can make this drink either way, it's just that I'm just not a fan of slurping down a bunch of muddle mint leaves.


Honeydew-Ginger Mojitos

serves 2

5 oz light rum

6 oz fresh honeydew melon juice

1 large lime, quartered

16 mint leaves, plus extra for garnishing

1 1/2 tbs demerara sugar

5-6 circular skinless slices of ginger, about 1/4 inch thick

ice

apricot la croix, or soda water

2 large glasses


Method

Fill a shaker with the ginger and muddle to release their juices. Add the lime wedges and sugar, and muddle to release the juices from the lime.

Add the mint leaves and gently muddle. Add the rum, a large handful of ice, and seal the shaker. Shake for about 10 seconds, then strain into two cups. Fill each glass with ice, and top off  the drink with apricot la croix or club soda.

Garnish with a slice of lime and some fresh mint.

* I chopped up half a honeydew melon and blended it until smooth for the juice in this drink. I didn't bother to strain it because I like the texture of the melon juice.

*I am not a fan of overly sweet drinks, so if you are, then you might want to add a bit more sugar.

 

 

Green Tea Affogato & a #bossbabefestMSP recap


There truly is no substitution for the joy that community can bring into someone's life. When I started blogging a few years ago I had no idea how fulfilling blogging could be, but I also wasn't aware of how much alone time I would encounter; truth be told it’s a lot. I can't tell you how many times I have wanted to get a dog so that I could have someone to talk to, ha! I find it quite odd that this is the case because the life of a blogger is based in community; it really is the life blood of what we do. I am so thankful that my career allows me to connect with people, readers, and other bloggers from all over the world, but what I find myself lacking is the chance to connect with people in real life, not just via my phone or computer.

But then #bossbabefestMSP happened.

My girls Amanda and Sherrie, who I really admire, happened to be experiencing the same pangs for community as I was, so they decided to do something about it and hosted a retreat. These ladies put a hell of a lot of work into this event, but they had one goal in mind: to get a group of fellow bloggers together so we could support, love, and encourage each other, and that's exactly what happened.

We spent the weekend laughing, eating, shooting, and talking. Amanda and Sherrie had prepared a bunch of fun activities for us to enjoy like a private cocktail session from Erik Eastman of Easy & Oskey, and the opportunity to learn how to make flower crowns at Willful Goods.  Each of these activities were so much fun, plus it gave us girls another way to experience a little slice of life together. 

On our final night there we had a beautiful dinner that was all made possible because of the generous people at  La Croix. Before we sat down, we got the chance to make some mock-tails by adding these delicious infused shrubs Sherri made to our favorite La Croix flavor. 

Around this table we did more that share a meal; we celebrated community. But what I walked away appreciating the most were all of our group conversations. From discussions about zodiac signs and favorite foods, to sharing seemingly taboo information about how we approach our work; we covered it all. I came to Minnesota eager and thirsty for friendship, and I definitely left recharged.

Each of the ladies that attended #bossbabefestMSP are SO incredibly talented, and inspiring, so here’s a list of who came so you can take a look for yourself.

Sherrie (With Food + Love)

Amanda (Heartbeet Kitchen)

Alanna (The Bojon Gourmet)

Emilie (The Clever Carrot)

Sarah (Snixy Kitchen)

Liz (Floating Kitchen)

Jayme (Holly + Flora)

Renne (Will Frolic For Food)

Shelly (Vegetarian Ventures)

Honestly, saying goodbye to these ladies was so hard. When Amanda and Sherrie dropped me off at the airport tears were definitely shed. I am so thankful for everything these two incredible women did to make this #bossbabefestMSP happen.

Thank you to everyone for filling my heart with so much joy and love. 

Now, let's talk about this green tea affogato, shall we?

Each summer I seem to find a new dessert that I eventually become obsessed with, which as of late has been the ever-so satisfying coffee-creamy goodness of an affogato. The idea is simple: hot espresso drizzled over a generous scoop of ice cream, and that's it! Too easy right? This dessert is what inspired me to make this green tea affogato. In my version, I pour warm green tea over a scoop of chocolate chip ice cream, and I promise you the result is heavenly! I have to thank My Encha for gifting me with such high quality green tea.

This event wouldn't have been possible without the incredible help from our offical sponsors, Vital Proteins.

 

Thank you again to all our of the sponsors who made this event happen!

 La CroixVital FarmsBob’s Red Mill, Now FoodsRodelle Vanilla, Udi’s Gluten FreeBig Spoon RoasterMy EnchaA HeirloomJered’s PotteryMademoiselle MielFauxgerty

 


Green Tea Affogato

Inspired by Heartbeet Kitchen & Two Red Bowls

Serves 2

1 teaspoon high quality green tea powder

5 oz soy milk, hot not boiling

3 oz hot water, not boiling

2-4 scoops chocolate chip ice cream


Method

Sift 1 teaspoon of the match powder into a wide cup or bowl.

Add about half of the water into the cup and using either a bamboo whisk, or a small wire whisk, begin to whisk the mix the water into the green tea to until a smooth paste forms.

Once smooth, pour in the remaining hot water and soy milk into the cup, whisking to combine.

Place 1-2 scoops of chocolate chip ice cream into two separate cups. Divide the green tea, then pour equal amount into each each cup.

Enjoy!