Friday, June 16, 2017

Styled by Amie

Happy Friday! 
If your handwriting is anything like mine, legible only when typed, then you can really appreciate these chalkboard and lettering skills! Styled by Amie takes boring signs to another level using her stylish and eloquent penmanship. She has done work for Scentsy, Lularoe and other pop-up shops helping to give every event a special and personal touch. 
I was fortunate enough to have Styled by Amie create a few signs for me, for my bridal shower, and they did not disappoint. 
Totally on-point with the Alice in Wonderland theme and super adorable. I wanted to take them home! She even added moss and some playing cards. This girl should seriously create an Etsy shop and take over the calligraphy world! Check out her IG!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Sakara Love

So I am in complete love with these Dark Chocolate Cardamom Cookies from Sakara! LOVE! I didn't even know I liked cardamom. Such a great treat...not too sweet, not too savory. Perfect! They are so yummy but a bit too pricey to order all the time :(
A week or two after my last cookie had been eaten I started craving the spice and nutty almond butter of the Sakara cookies. I had to have more, so I decided to try making my own. The main ingredients call for almond flower, almond butter, cardamom and honey. While these still have sugar in them, it was nice not adding in a stick of butter, sugar and a few eggs. Also, you add in chopped dark chocolate. I have never been a huge dark chocolate fan, it can be so bitter, but these cookies turned me around! Such a good combo!
For this mix you have to let it chill out in the fridge over night but that didn't stop me from eating some of the dough he he! 
After rolling out little dough balls onto my cookie sheet and giving them a quick bake, they were ready! So delicious and just like the Sakara ones. They look a little different but it's probably how I molded each one...a little too smooth/round.
Tip: Definitely use a paddle mixer instead of a whisk. The dough became thicker with each ingredient and wasn't the easiest to mold. Plus I added in dark chocolate chips but will chop up the chocolate a bit more when I make them again. That's right, again, again and again ha ha! 
Or I may add the Sakara ones to a Clean order as a special treat. See the link below for the Sakara Clean Boutique. Such great products! I would recommend the beauty and detox waters as well!
Cheers, Bunny

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Comfort Foods

First of the menu, Penne and Arrabbiata Sauce with a tangy carrot and tangelo salad! Pasta will always be a comfort food for many, us included. We tend to watch our carbs so this was a real treat!
This is another dish that I came home to. My sweet hubby already had it prepared and even down-played the spiciness on my portion. I guess Arrabbiata means "angry sauce" named for it's heat/spice due to the combination of tomatoes, garlic and dried red peppers. I didn't mind the spice it had and found the creamy mozzarella melting around the pasta  mouth-watering! I mean...who wouldn't! It was glorious! 
The side dish of carrots and tangelo was juicy and hearty. I enjoyed it a lot. A combo that neither of us would have thought to put together. 
Next we have the yummiest comfort food of them all, grilled cheese! This specific grilled cheese has a healthy twist including beets that I very much appreciated. I present Fontina and Beet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. For these I need to quote straight from the card, 
"These gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches combine creamy fontina with sautéed arugula and—for a layer of delightfully earthy, tart and sweet flavor—pickled beets." 
That would have been enough for me to down this sweet sandwich but then you rub garlic on the toasted sourdough. Come on....amazing! The citrus salad was very seasonal and refreshing as well. Good flavor combo.
Such a perfect comfort food feeling. Brought me right back to my mom's kitchen. I will definitely have to remake this!

Smoky Seared Cod from Blue Apron

Hi There! 
Here is another Blue Apron meal that we really enjoyed. I love that they are able to send fish and other items without them spoiling. Even so we made sure to cook this one, with the cod, first and it turned out to be a great choice!
When I hear the word cod I don't immediately get excited ha ha! It's a bland white fish but that works well with the other ingredients and spices. Especially the shallot and dates. Like most BA meals, this took about 30 mins overall and was pretty easy to make. The bulk of the work was cooking the cod and roasting the potatoes after slicing them.
The overall flavor is light which I really liked. Each piece was evenly paired and the potatoes were heaven. God I love potatoes! The cod does also have a distinct smokiness as Blue Apron mentions, to go along with the Spanish-style sauce of dates and butter. I would love to have this again! 
Thanks, Bunny

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Quiche from Blue Apron

So I was beyond excited to get the items for this dish. Maybe more excited than someone should be about food LOL but I love me a good Quiche! I rarely get to have one so it was extra special. Side note: Kelly's French Bakery on the Santa Cruz west side have AMAZING quiches. So buttery and scrumptious!
This Blue Apron Mushroom and Goat Cheese Quiche had everything. It was savory and flavorful, marrying each ingredient together creating a satisfying dinner. I liked that I knew what was in the quiche and it was yummy but a bit healthier than maybe a store bought one would be. Adding the goat cheese was a smart choice too, giving the quiche a little bit of tanginess. I will definitely try to recreate this!
In all honesty...I did not like the Arugula salad...arugula is not my friend and the lemony dressing did not help. My taste-buds immediately rejected it! Craig ate mine ha ha!
Thanks Blue Apron for such a yummy dish!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Beautifully Broken Bisque

 The lust for blood has returned...True Blood that is and I wanted to pay homage to one of the best characters I've ever had the privilege of watching. He is charming, snarky, eloquent, strong, weak, passionate and cultured. A true villain that you couldn't help but be fond of. Some nights I will re-watch TB snuggled in my covers and skip to Russell's scenes. To honor his bloodlust and his love for Talbot here is his Beautifully Broken Bisque. This dish wasn't too complicated and tuned out to look just like the original. 
In a sauce pan, heat up the olive oil and add the onions. Cook the until soft then add in the carrots and then the beets. Cook for another 5 mins. Add the lemon, salt, pepper, broth (I chose veggie) and water. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium. Let simmer for about 30 mins and make sure the beets are soft.
 Remove the beets/mixture from heat and let it cool a bit. Then add to your mixer. I only had a blender handy but it worked he he! Once pureed your bisque is ready!
Plate the bisque while warm and garnish with sour cream. We added a bit more pepper and seasoning as well. The bisque was gentle if that makes sense...light and quenching. The beet flavor stood out and while it wasn't powerful, it was hearty. The sour cream completely adds to it as well. Looking like a true bloody bisque, Talbot would have been proud! 
FYI: Be careful with the beets/ of our kitchen looked like vampires tore thought it LOL!
On top of the bisque, I made hush-puppies! A Maryanne/Sam recipe. These little balls of dough were perfect and fun to dip! First you combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add in the cornmeal and stir to blend. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well with a wood spoon, until smooth.
Pour in the buttermilk and mix until absorbed. if the batter is too dense add in more buttermilk. I found that I needed to add a little bit more flour and cornmeal. Once the batter holds it's shape, add the green onions and garlic.
Heat up your vegetable oil in a pot, about 2 inches deep, until it reaches 360 degrees. Plop in rounded tablespoons of batter and watch them form. It's kind of interesting to see them take shape, no two the same. You can drop in about 4 to 5 at a time, it really depends on the size of pot and/or batter.
Turn the frying batter over in the oil to make sure all sides cook evenly. This should only be about 3 mins.
Once cooked, drain each one on a paper towel. You may dust them with more pepper or seasoning if you would like. Voila! perfect hush puppies! These tricked my brain, while I liked them I thought they were supposed to be sweet. They resembled beignets a bit ha ha! I wanted to cover them in powdered sugar! Instead I stuck to the bisque and Craig to his hot sauce...always with that hot sauce! 
Thanks for readin! -Bunny

Friday, March 24, 2017

Blue Apron Love

Happy Friday!
While I have taken a small break from cooking/baking, I have been receiving scrumptious meals from Blue Apron. Each week I opened my door Monday morning to find a huge Blue Apron box. Inside the items are kept in insulated wrapping and on top of two huge ice blocks. All meat items are kept closest to the ice. The box contained three recipes for the week (which you can pick/swap on their website) and each item needed to prepare the meal. We mainly did vegetarian options and two that included fish. Craig always adds some more meat to his portion if needed. It was fun to match all of the ingredients together with their respected receipt card and then pick which to try first. I was always excited about the ones with cheese! he he
I was working late the day after our boxes arrival and came home to a rich and flavorful home. Either driven by hunger, curiosity or love, Craig surprised me with our first Blue Apron meal. It was the sweetest thing! The Indonesian-Spiced Salmon was delicious. It's something that honestly I would have never tried. I didn't know if my tummy or taste buds would be able to handle it but they did. The flavor was light but well seasoned. The freekeh paired well with the salmon and was indeed sweet, spicy and sour!
The Fettuccine with beet, goat cheese and poppy seeds quickly made it's way to the top of my love list. The noodles were so deliciously homemade and the added beets and chard turned them pink! The addition of the veggies and cheese took this seemingly simple meal to another level! I must recreate this he he!
The Za'atar-Roasted Broccoli Salad was another dish I would have strayed from but was pleasantly surprised. I really liked the Fregola Sada paired with the broccoli. Plus the egg brought in more flavor and the roasted almonds a bit of crunch! Good call Blue Apron! 
With our last dish done we felt so accomplished, so adult. We had put meals together before but none so simple yet intricate LOL!  I love that Blue Apron comes with everything you need, even if you still have to chop, slice and season yourself, it's fun and teaches you to try new things. I wasn't really sure how some of these would taste...I am always weary when it comes to spices but was pleasantly surprised. Each ingredient combination worked perfectly. 
Unfortunetly Blue Apron is a bit pricey, at least for us, but we still have a few recipes to try this week! I can't wait to share! 
They have shown us a peek into the amazing flavors the world offers. I would definitely recommend!