We recently started binge watching The Great British Baking Show and it’s fantastic! After watching episode after episode of “biscuits”, cakes, swiss rollls and roulades, some things I’d never even heard of before but looked amazing on camera, etc. being baked and presented, we were inspired to bake something ourselves at home. The particular episode we were watching at the time featured a lot of lemon cakes, which led me to discover this recipe for lemon cake with lemon buttercream frosting; as we already had everything we needed to make this at home, we got to work. Of course we did not have edible flowers on hand, so we made candied lemon slices instead to top the cake with. I think it came out pretty well too! As they say on the show, “On your mark, get set, bake!”
In our house there is definitely a strong love of ice cream/sorbet. One of our favorite local places to go is Blank Slate and they recently had apple cider sorbet on their menu which inspired us to make our own, homemade apple cider sorbet. We looked up recipes online before putting anything together and ended up combining several different recipes we found. Here’s what we ended up with and I think it’s pretty delicious!
- Step 1: combine 2 peeled apples (we used Honeycrisp), sugar, and ground cinnamon – cook to soften
- Step 2: place cooked apples in a bowl, add a pinch of salt, and mash into apple sauce consistency – taste and add more cinnamon and/or sugar if needed
- Step 3: make and chill simple syrup – 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar
- Step 4: combine chilled simple syrup with 1.5 cups apple cider and apple sauce you made earlier
- Step 5: put into chilled ice cream maker and let it do it’s thing
- Step 6: once it’s reached the desired, frozen consistency, move it to a freezer-safe container for storage and/or serve and enjoy
We’re always looking for good recipes and if it’s something that’s quick and easy to make that’s even better. When we came across this recipe for Crispy Sheet Pan Gnocchi and Veggies and tried it for ourselves, it did not disappoint. Quick…check. Easy…check. Delicious…check, check! I never would have thought to roast gnocchi to cook it, but it really worked out well, and to make this whole thing even more appealing it was really nice that cleanup was so easy given that we only used one sheet pan/baking dish to roast everything together in.
It’s currently 55 degrees, windy, and it definitely feels like fall here today. This turn in the weather always makes me crave a bowl of delicious, homemade, veggie chili. We’ve made a lot of chili over the years and every time we make it it’s slightly different – Ryan is an excellent cook and tends to just throw in a little bit of this and a lit bit of that and the end result is typicaly mouthwatering perfection…thus was the case with our chili today.
Here are some videos/photos I took of the process:
- Step 1: 1 tbsp butter, 1 diced bell pepper, 1 diced onion
- Step 2: chili seasoning, diced jalapeño (we used 4, with seeds!)
- Step 3: 2 fresh ears of corn, 2 diced fresh zucchini
- Step 4: ~2 tbsp semi-sweet baking chocolate
- Step 5: 1 28oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes, 1 28oz can fire roasted crushed tomatoes – lower heat, cover, & let simmer for 15 minutes or more
- Step 6: drain, rinse, & add the beans – 1 15oz can aduki beans, 1 15oz can black beans, 1 13.4oz can kidney beans
- Step 7: add spices to taste – s&p, smoked paprika, & chili powder…then let simmer some more
We have three different veggie chili recipes currently on our blog, if you’re interested, and here they are:
Ryan has always been a fan of the meatball sub, but since I don’t eat much meat at all (and what I do eat I’m very picky about) I was really excited to try making these vegan meatballs. They were delicious and did not disappoint! As you have to cook and then completely cool the quinoa in advance, and with all the steps involved from start to finish, it is a bit time-consuming…but totally worth it in my opinion.
Here’s a few videos/photos I took of the process: forming the meatballs, pan-frying the meatballs, baking the meatballs, then we added ours to some marinara sauce, we served ours as meatball subs with mozzarella and parmesan cheese, topped with fresh basil, on a baguette and toasted them in the oven to finish and melt the cheese…yum! Again, you can find the vegan meatball recipe here and I highly recommend giving it a try for yourself; this is one I think we’ll definitely make again soon.
Maddy’s antics never cease to amuse us (and, let’s be honest, sometimes drive us crazy); the image above is of one of her rubber squeaker toys which she’s dropped into the toilet all by herself – we fished it out and properly cleaned it off…but it did give us a good laugh! She’s got that “Border Collie stare” down pat and her curly tail is the cutest. We enjoyed a relaxing weekend at home with Maddy, lots of long walks in our neighborhood (the crisp, fall temps we had were much appreciated!), and we made this Blue Apron meal and used up about half of our garden basil to put together a quick pesto sauce for a pasta dinner Sunday evening.
Look at this photo above…beautiful fall leaves scattered on the ground and you can almost feel the crispness in the air, right? While it is officially fall, as of last Friday, September 22nd, it certainly doesn’t feel like it here in A2; the high reached 92 degrees here on September 22nd which matched the record high for this date set in 1895. While some of you may be happy to have summer all year long, I am really looking forward to the cold front headed our way for mid-late week this week. We received ingredients for this meal in a recent Blue Apron delivery and just couldn’t bring ourselves to make chili with this 90+ degree weather we’ve been having. Our weekend included watching Tech beat Houston on Saturday (making them now 3-0), a fun game night with friends, and some delicious Blue Apron meals (Fusilli Bucati Pasta with Summer Squash, Corn, & Tomatoes, Summer Vegetable Paella with Saffron, Spiced Freekeh & Chickpea Bowls with Glazed Carrots, and Katsu-Style Eggplant with Stir-Fried Green Beans & Sweet Peppers).
We decided to make Maddy some homemade dog treats, following this recipe, today and she seems to love them. It wasn’t difficult and went pretty quickly (the most difficult/time consuming step was getting the treats to come neatly out of the cookie cutters and onto the tray without breaking) and it’s good to know exactly what goes into them as we made them ourselves. We used various cookie cutter sizes and shapes and, pictured below, Maddy waited patiently at our feet while we put these together. I’m sure we’ll be making more and trying some different recipes out in the near future; here’s to happy, healthy pups!
It seems our garden is really set up to make sauces and hot sauce more than anything else. Rather than just using our serrano peppers for hot sauce again (which we still may do) we decided to mix them with our tomatoes for a nice salsa that can be quick canned for preserving in the fridge or freezer.
- 1/2 red onion (roasted on grill and diced)
- mix of roma and heirloom tomatoes, about 14 heirloom and 8 roma
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (+ some to coat the onions and tomatoes)
- 3 cloves of garlic pressed into a paste
- lots of serrano peppers minced (we lost count at 12, there may be more)
- cilantro to your taste (we used about a 1/2 cup loosely packed then finely chopped)
- 1 cup + 1 tbsp of distilled white vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
On a grill roast the tomatoes and onions. Remove from grill and let cool. Small dice the onion. Core the tomatoes and put into a blender or food processor and puree (ours produced just over 4 cups of tomato sauce). Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the garlic and peppers and sauté for a few minutes (3-4). Add the onions and continue to sauté for a couple more minutes (2-3). Add the tomato sauce and vinegar and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce the heat to low and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken a bit. Add the cilantro and salt and pepper to your taste.
This recipe is not safe tested for real canning, we’re not certain about whether or not there is enough acid to keep it on a shelf for long term. That said, there should be enough vinegar for long term freezing and making it shelf stable in your fridge for a while.
Also pictured above, we pickled our garden jalapeños using this recipe.
We grew our own poblano chile peppers this summer; now that it’s getting to be late August and the weather will soon turn, we’re harvesting a lot of ripe peppers, tomatoes, etc. and figuring out what to do with all our garden goodies. With us both coming from Texas, we are fans of spicy food and Hatch chiles hold a special place in Ryan’s heart as it wasn’t too far from his hometown and an often used and enjoyed ingredient in home cooking. When he recently saw fresh Hatch chiles in our local grocery store, he was sure to pick up a bag and decided they would pair well with our homegrown poblano chiles for a nice, spicy sauce.
- 3 tomatillos
- 4 poblano chiles
- 6-8 Hatch green chiles
- 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced to a paste or pressed in a garlic press
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
Roast tomatillos on the grill. Roast peppers on the grill, over medium heat, until skins are browned and start to come loose from peppers; remove from heat, place in container, and cover to steam. Once cooled, remove pepper tops, deseed, and remove skins leaving you with only the flesh of the peppers. Put all ingredients in a food processor and purée.
After putting this together and tasting it, Ryan called it the “best sauce ever”; it’s fresh, and spicy, and if you’re not afraid of some heat give it a try for yourself!