I've been wanting some of this for a long time.. I don't know what it is about all things truffle that I find irresistible. Oh wait, yes I do. It makes everything DECADENT and AMAZING! It turns a regular dish into something rich and fancy. After months and months of wanting some truffle oil, and shying away from the hefty price tag every time, i finally snapped up a bottle. Oh I am so glad I did.
So the other night, I broke out the oil and made a truffle grilled cheese with a sharp aged cheddar and a hint of Fleuron cheese. It. Was, Incredible. I also made a side of potato wedges and some Utah Style Fry Sauce with a Sexy Spin..
I made the grilled cheese like I would any other.. I buttered the bread, and added just a half a teaspoon truffle oil to each side of the bread and a bit to the pan. It made all the difference. With truffle oil, a little goes a long way.
As for the fry sauce.. have you noticed it is all the rage lately? Well if you've ever been to Utah.. then you've known about it forever... I think it's also referenced in the movie Step Brothers as "fancy sauce." There are alot of variations of it.. but the base is 1 part ketchup to 2 parts mayo. A common ingredient is a teaspoon of pickle juice and a dash of onion powder. Sounds gross, but don't knock it til you try it. It is the best on fries.
For my sexy version of Fry Sauce.. I combined the W hotel's "sexy ketchup" with fry sauce. It's a basic fry sauce recipe, a dash of onion powder, and a few shakes of hot sauce. TASTY!
Next up.. truffle mac 'n' cheese and truffle parmesan garlic fries!
I adore Susan Branch
. Her little drawings and recipes are so whimsical and sweet.
This particular treat is a winner!
My Grandma Lenni used to make the most delicious pumpkin bread during the holiday season. It was so good, that I've been making it as a tradition for the past several years. I look forward to this bread every year. When the air gets crisp and the scarves come out, I know it's time for the first batch of pumpkin bread. The weather isn't exactly crisp here in New Orleans yet, and we definitely don't have any scarves on.. but I couldn't resist. Decadent, moist and flavorful.. this bread is wonderful! A perfect balance of spice and pumpkin. Fresh out of the oven with butter melting all over it.. ooooh what a treat. I know you'll enjoy it too!
2 cups canned pumpkin (or homemade pumpkin puree)
3 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup vegetable oil
3 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ teaspoon ground cloves
A note about this recipe.. using homemade pumpkin puree from fresh pumpkins really adds something special. You can substitute the vegetable oil with real melted butter for something that's nothing short of amazing..
Chopped nuts or chocolate chips or also tasty options.. but I like it plain myself.
Now get to it:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine pumpkin, sugar, water, oil and eggs. Beat together until mixed well.
2. In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves.
3. Slowly mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients beating until smooth.
4. Grease two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans. Pour the better into the 2 loaf pans evenly dividing the batter between the two. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow loafs to cool.
It was only a couple years ago that I discovered how delicious and easy pot roast is. I was raised in a (mostly) meat free home, and I'm slowly overcoming my fear of cooking meat. Someone suggested I try a pot roast and I haven't looked back. The idea of turning a hunk of beef into an aromatic, savory and succulent dinner is so appealing on an Autumn day. Tender roast beef in a rich beef jus packed with flavorful vegetables and herbs. You can use a crock pot or a dutch oven, and the slow simmering really makes your house smell amazing!
Let me tell you, when vegetables are slow-cooked in juicy beef drippings the result is amazing. The vegetables steal the show. Can't make this one too often (since a diet should contain only a little red meat), this is a perfect way to welcome Autumn!
1 3-4 lb. beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 cup water
1 cup beef broth
2 yellow onions, thickly sliced
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 celery stalks, sliced
carrots, peeled and chopped (as many as you can fit in the pot)
Yukon gold potatoes, chopped (as many as you can fit in the pot)
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1. Heat 2 Tbsp. olive in a large heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season beef with a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Sear the beef on all sides in the preheated pan, forming a nice brown crust on the outside.
2. Pour in water and beef broth. Add the onion, garlic, celery. Scatter the remaining vegetables and herbs around the pot. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with the remaining Tbsp. of olive oil.
3. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Continue cooking 3-4 hours, basting every 30 minutes or so with the pan juices, until the beef is fork tender. Place beef on a platter surrounded by the vegetables. Slice and serve with the pot juices on the side.
We've recently perfected the simple art of making French bread. It really is a simple recipe and comes in so handy! I'll be sharing the how-to in an upcoming post.. but today's treat is bruschetta. It is one of my favorite mini meals.. it's great as an appetizer, afternoon snack, or even a light dinner if that's your mood. I like making a series of tapas dishes and including a batch of bruschetta on the menu. You can skip the cheese of course.. these are almost like mini pizzas! Every time I make it, it comes out differently. How do you make your bruschetta?
Here's what you need:
1 pint Cherry tomatoes
4 cloves of Garlic
2 tbs. Olive Oil
2 tbs. Balsamic Vinegar
10 Fresh Basil leaves.. maybe more
Sea Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
2 tbs. Butter
Baguette of French Bread
4 tbs. Parmesan cheese
4 tbs. Mozzarella Cheese
Now what to do...
First, slice those tomatoes in half, lengthwise.
Finely chop your garlic
Heat some olive oil in a skillet and throw in the garlic on medium heat.. for just a minute
Toss it in a bowl to the side.
Now chop that fresh basil.
Throw the chopped tomatoes in the bowl with the garlic. Add a little more olive oil, and a bit of balsamic vinegar.
Add the basil. Salt and pepper it to taste.. don't overdo it.
Stir it up together and set aside.
Now you can prepare your bread and cheese.
Slice up your bread.
Saute the bread in a little butter just til golden brown.
Add the toppings and grated cheeses.
(I popped mine in the oven for 2 minutes just to get the cheese melted.)
Devour these little morsels.
Sometimes we get a hankering for homemade pizza around here. Albin makes tons of delicious pizzas. Actually he can make anything. A husband that can cook.. I hit the jackpot!
Anyways, he has spent some time perfecting the best crust.. and now he tops it with everything. Good crust is important, good sauce and good cheese won't be nearly as tasty on that rolled out refrigerator store crust. Believe me- we tried it. His favorites are tomato basil, bbq chicken, BLT, pepperoni, and spicy Italian sausage. We have a fancy pizza joint down the street from us, and I swear his pizzas are WAY better. WAYYYYY BETTER!!!! You must try this.
Here's the recipe for the crust..Ingredients
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour, plus more for rolling
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 envelope instant dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups water, 110 degrees F
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons
Combine the bread flour, sugar, yeast and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and combine. While the mixer is running, add the water and 2 tablespoons of the oil and beat until the dough forms into a ball. If the dough is sticky, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a solid ball. If the dough is too dry, add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth, firm ball.
Grease a large bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, add the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm area to let it double in size, about 1 hour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cover each with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let them rest for 10 minutes.
Makes 2 large pizza crusts.
Twice Baked Potatoes are just about the easiest comfort food to make. Just a step beyond really good mashed potatoes, and so so yummy. The craving set in last weekend.. and it's so worth the extra time.
First, bake your potatoes at 400 degrees for about an hour. While they're in the oven, grab some sour cream, butter, grated cheddar cheese, green onions, and fry up some bacon.
Combine butter, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and bacon in a mixing bowl. Leave a bit of bacon and cheddar to the side to top the potatoes at the very end.
Now, cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and grab a dish towel. They are HOT! Gently with a spoon, carve out the potato and add it to the mixing bowl. Be careful not to tear the skins.
Grab some black pepper and seasoned salt and give the bowl a healthy dose.
Add in some chopped green onions, and start mashing. Pardon my bootleg mixing tong.. my potato masher went missing.
Now load up those potato skins. I used two baking potatoes, and ended up with 2 twice baked potatoes. In other words.. fill them up.. don't try to skimp and get 4 servings since you have 4 empty potato skin shells.
Top with the remaining bacon bits and shredded cheddar. Pop back in the oven for about 15 minutes.
Enjoy every bite! They are so good.
I'm about to share with you a recipe site that I stumbled across a couple years ago, and I just LOVE it. It's whimsical, beautiful, AND useful! Maybe you've heard of this little gem of a website.. They Draw and Cook
It's a glorious archive of artistically crafted recipes, submitted by various artists. There are 100's of fun things on there.. and it's just too pretty. Makes me want to grab my sketch pad and do my own recipes this way.
Just a few...
It's Friday.. and I'm ready for some relaxing time. Maybe it's the pregnancy.. or maybe it's not...
But I am craving all things sweet. Think I'll make some cupcakes this weekend.. and maybe pop over to
Cafe Du Monde for some beignets.
Enjoy your weekend!
Albin is the real cook in our house. He makes everything from scratch, and nearly everything is perfectly flavored and prepared. It makes me one lucky lady... and I think I might get to pick up a couple things along the way.
This easy recipe is a winner. We were in the mood for barbecue last weekend.. what with the weather being all summery and everything. This hits the spot. Sweet, spicy, moist, and simple.
So here's how he did it..
2 cups ketchup
2 cups tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 1/4 cups red wine vinegar
1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
4 teaspoons hickory flavored liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
In a large saucepan, over medium heat, mix together all the wet ingredients and then add the seasonings. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce will thicken as it simmers (and then as it cools). I try to plan ahead and simmer for at least an hour. Use the sauce to brush onto meats the last ten minutes of grilling or for any other recipe where barbecue sauce is used.