Yesterday, as I gloriously splashed around in Lake Sammamish on a perfect PNW summer Saturday, I commented to my (socially distant) friend Stephanie that this was the type of weekend we spend the rest of the year waiting for. It was warm out (but not too hot), the water was refreshing (but not cold!), and once we got back to shore, we had a wine tasting waiting for us. And to soak up the wine, we had about-to-be grilled halibut, and this Crispy-Edged Focaccia with Tomatoes and Zucchini.
There should probably be some new word to define the overwhelming emotion that is “I can’t express the rush of joy I feel being in close-ish proximity to my friends.” Like lots of other folks, I’ve mostly kept to my house over the past four months. It’s the responsible thing to do, and for me, and hardly seems like much of an ask in the face of a global pandemic. Of course, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get tiring, even though I live with my lovely partner (and we equally agree that we can’t believe how well we’re getting along, what with all of this togetherness). I just miss my friends. And the outside.
So, with masks in hand, boundaries agreed on, and outdoor plans firmed up, we headed to Jen and Tim’s for an amazing afternoon of being on the water, tasting wine, mostly, giddily enjoying a PNW summer evening with friends. The Wine Tribe tasting resulted in some excellent finds (I’ll leave it to Steph to post those results soon!), Jen and Tim made an incredible dinner (with drool-worthy tomatoes from their garden) and, I’m pleased to say, the focaccia did itself justice.
Speaking of friends, this focaccia recipe, with the adaptations, came directly from my pal Christopher. He and I like to give one another real-time updates on what we’re making for dinner (or dessert or perhaps cocktail hour). When he texted me photos of the gorgeous, chewy-cheesy-crispy edged glory of a gluten-filled dream, I demand details. As it turns out, he took this great recipe and pizza-fied it. He was kind enough to share the details for me, so that I, in turn, could zhuzh it up in my own way. I kept the crispy edge (brilliant) and added a bunch of sautéed veggies to highlight some glorious summertime produce and make it more of a side dish. The end result is an airy, chewy bread topped with crispy, cheese edges and filled with the heartiness and tang of summer veggies.
I posted a recipe for s’more brownies 9 years ago.
Why post again?
Same ingredients only…Different!
Interesting how you can use all the same ingredients but create a sweet treat with a different bite, different texture yet the same decadent flavors.
Thanks to Fat Witch for inspiring this recipe again.
This is an easy dessert that everyone will love… co-workers, kiddos, neighbors and friends!
I was wandering around my house the other day (because where else would I be?) and heard that unmistakable musical clanging that is the ice cream truck. While I was pleased to know that some remnants of the before-times still exist, I was even more smug to know that I didn’t have to rely on external resources for sub-par (but deeply nostalgic) treats. Of course ice cream trucks have their place in American history, but I’d counter that this Chocolate S’mores Ice Cream can create it’s own memories too; rich and fudgy, the unmistakable spice of the graham plus the chew of the marshmallow fluff can be a delicious counterbalance to the lure of the ice cream truck.
I know I made a s’mores ice cream for my last post; but part of what I’m loving about our ingredient focus this month is how adaptable the flavors are. Also, it’s summertime; it’s not that I won’t turn on my oven (of course I’ll turn on my oven!), it’s just what why would I, when I can instead pull the ice cream canister out of my freezer and churn this instead?
Wow it’s hot! We are in the depths of summer here in Denver with what feels like unrelenting heat! I can’t bear to bake. I can’t bear to do much of anything. Luckily I got a hike in early today before the sun got too hot! This s’more bark was waiting for me when I got home – a win.
This bark also gave me an excuse to pull out my little torch I originally bought to make this S’more Pie. Super quick and easy, this recipe will give you a s’more inspired treat in less than 15 minutes.
Once Streusel and I decided to spend July focusing on recipes highlighting our take on s’mores, I could barely wait to make this ice cream. Peanut Butter S’mores Ice Cream is a delicious combination of summer treats – the flavors of the brilliant campfire dessert, but in a cool, creamy form that you can make at home (helpful, since most of us aren’t hanging out at campfires these days). Plus! Peanut butter. Is there anything more?!
ps. it’s also *super* easy to make!
I’m not a big fan of donuts. There are other things I’d rather eat if I’m going to eat something sweet for breakfast. One of my favorite splurges is a cheese danish from Das Meyer Pastry Chalet. Full of slightly sweet cheese with a pale yellow egg pastry and of course lots of streusel on top. The only donut I can’t resist is Lamar’s Old Fashioned Sour Cream donut. Perfectly glazed outside, tender golden inside…if someone brings those to work I am doomed!
A close second would be my homemade air fried donut holes!
I had cocoa staring at me in my pantry and I started to wonder about chocolate sour cream donuts. With a little googling I found this recipe for donuts and although they look amazing, I didn’t feel like putting that much effort into a donut. So, I converted it into a glazed chocolate sour cream donut cake. It was easy and gave the taste of a fresh fried donut without the extra fat! Don’t fret, there is still plenty of fat and calories in this cake. When I make this breakfast cake again I think I will double the glaze. It had a thin layer of crunchy glaze on top and even though the edges were the perfect amount of glaze, those inner slices of cake could have had a little more!
Back in the before times – in the days where we left our homes and dared to be in breathing range of other people – Brandon and I met up with our friends in Sedona, AZ for a weekend of vortex-feeling, hiking and not being wet (for us Seattle people) or cold (our friends live in Minnesota). It was a great weekend – mostly because of our fanatic friends – plus the amazing red rocks and general outdoor beauty. And also because it was the birthplace for the inspiration that became these Almond Butter Banana Bread Muffins with Granola Topping.
On our first morning in town, we stumbled into a coffee shop and, hungry people we were, ordered a breakfast that included whole grain toast with almond butter, banana, a drizzle of honey and sprinkled with granola. Simple food, but our minds were blown. Somehow the combinations of flavors and textures – salty, sweet, crisp, crunchy and chewy – was perfect. Happily it’s been easy enough to re-create at home (especially with this bread), and it’s become a regular in the breakfast rotation.
Fast forward to this past week. My work-from-home “desk” is my dining room table, which is next to the kitchen. The other day, during one of my 47,000 zoom meetings, I realized I could smell the bananas, hanging out on the kitchen counter, becoming overly ripe. This signaled to me that a) they were past their prime for almond butter toast purposes; and b) reminded me how much I dislike the overly-ripe banana smell. And since I can’t stand wasting food, it then occurred to me that I should be considering options to replicate the flavors of my favorite toast, just in baked-good form (and then it occurred to me that I should probably be paying attention to the meeting I was in…)
The end result is that amazing breakfast toast flavor, in portable muffin form! The recipe includes all the same ingredients – almond butter, whole grain flour, honey, banana, and granola – but in the form of a fluffy and tender muffin. The granola on top is a revelation; crunchy and salty, it adds great texture to the muffin.
Berries have started showing up in the grocery store, which I’m thankful for, because I wouldn’t be able to mark the season otherwise. With just a few days as an exception, Seattle is as rainy and wet as the stereotype claims. Since I’ve been spending so much time indoors, cooking, it’s been nice to add some fresh flavors into the mix. These Blackberry Ricotta Scones with Lemon Glaze are tender and moist; a mildly sweet cake with a bright and zippy glaze that paired brilliantly with my morning coffee.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the exceptionally complicated times that we are in. In part, I’m noting this because I’ve been staring at my computer screen for a while now, trying to come up with something cheerful and light to talk about. The truth is, I’m just not up for it. While I don’t need to lean on this blog express my feelings and opinions – I can do that in the rest of my life – I also don’t want to pretend like the rest of the world isn’t happening.
One of my favorite things about baking is that it’s not complicated, in the sense that if you correctly put ingredients together (e.g. you figure out the science of it), then most of the time, you can guarantee your outcome. It’s very different than my work, and I appreciate its lack of complexity (in this sense, of course – of course there are many many ways in which baking is exceptionally complicated). For now, I’m using the “stress” of baking (“Ahhh! Will my sourdough rise?!”) as part of my self-care time.
With that – these scones are truly delicious and absolutely worth the 20 minutes it takes to put them together. Enjoy, and stay safe.
I have been in a scone kinda mood! I love the crunch of the sugar on top. The firm outside, the tender, flaky inside! Luckily this month’s theme bodes well for my scone addiction. We are baking up breakfast treats in June!
My other recent addiction has been soba noodles. Soba noodles inspired me to incorporate buckwheat into a scone. When my daughter saw these cooling, she asked, “What are the cement colored things in the kitchen?” Admittedly buckwheat flour has a unique hue BUT it also has such a complex and hearty flavor. Combined with brown sugar and generously topped with sparkling sugar, these are a great way to start the morning.
I’ve also just taken to starting my morning with pour over coffee! I know, I know, I’m only about 5 years behind the rest of you. During this time at home, a drastic thing occurred – my Keurig stopped working! As I scoured the internet on how to fix it, I hit upon a Bon Appetit article detailing pour over coffee! I didn’t go too crazy, I only bought a Hario dripper and server. I refrained from buying a gooseneck kettle (yet)! Don’t fret – I was able to fix my Keurig however I haven’t used it in weeks since discovering the joy of methodically making pour over coffee. I love the simplicity of making coffee this way. Combined with the simplicity of these scones, my AM routine has become much less routine!
Every time you try a new chocolate chip cookie isn’t it a little bit different and yet you still love it?! SO – try this cookie and tell me it isn’t a little bit different yet you didn’t regret a single bite.
For these cookies you make the dough the night before and bake them the next day when the dough is cold. These are large, gloriously soft and almost an inch high. I used a 1/4 cup scoop for these, I like my cookies BIG! Even though I usually love my cookies slightly underdone and chewy, I LOVED the texture of this big cakey cookie. These cookies would be even better sandwiched around a dollop of vanilla ice cream.