ROSEMARY BUTTER CAKE WITH FRESH APRICOTS

I love butter.

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Infusing butter can be so damn useful. you can infuse it with any herb you'd like: basil, rosemary, thyme, tea, cannabis (😎). For this butter I just took a handful of rosemary and placed it in a saucepan with a stick of butter. 

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rosemary butter cake

makes 1 cake

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ingredients:

  • 3 cups Flour
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Β½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup melted rosemary butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs

steps:

Put a handful of rosemary and 1 c of butter into a small saucepan. Melt over a medium heat and let the rosemary sit in the butter overnight. 

Preheat oven to 325 F, grease a 10 inch bundt pan.

Large bowl, mix flour, 2 cups sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda. Blend in buttermilk, 1 cup of butter, and 2tsps vanilla and 4 eggs. Beat pour 3 mins. Pour into pan.

Bake for 60 mins or until stick comes out clean

Cool before removing from the pan.

*Unfrosted cakes can be made a day in advance, just wrap tightly with plastic wrap to store. 

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rosemary butter sauce

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ingredients:

  • Rosemary sprigs in 3/4 sugar
  • β…“ c butter
  • 3 TBSp water
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract

steps:

Combine ΒΎ cups sugar, β…“ c butter, 2 tsps vanilla, and water. Cook over a medium heat until just melted.

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mascarpone whipped cream:

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ingredients:

  • 8oz mascarpone cheese, room temp
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Β½ c confectioners sugar

steps:

Whisk heavy cream stiff peaks form

In a separate bowl, whisk mascarpone and confectioners sugar

Gently fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture.

garnish:

  • 6 apricots, halved (you can use any fruit you'd like though)
  • 1-2 sprigs rosemary 

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assembly:

Using a serrated knife, slice off the tops of the cakes to level them. 

Now, it's time for the rosemary butter sauce. Using a pastry brush, brush the butter sauce onto the tops of the cake. The sauce will further flavor the cake and help it stay extra moist (sorry if you hate that word). 

Next, place the cake on a plate or cake stand, top-side up, and add 1/3 of the mascarpone frosting. Using the back of a spoon or a pallet knife spread the frosting into an even layer. 

TIME FOR THE NEXT LAYER. You ready? I am.

Top side down, place the second layer onto the cake. Now you'll have a gorgeous flat surface. Frost the top of the cake and gently spread the excess frosting along the sides, creating a rustic feel. Top with halved apricots and rosemary sprigs, slice, and ENJOY!

This cake will fresh up to 2 days at room temp. 

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EPIC BLT BOARD

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I love bacon. Bacon might be my favorite food, other than cheese. August is REALLY peak tomato season, and with the stunning fresh tomatoes at the farmers market of course I had a hankering for a BLT. 

So, I decided to raid my fridge and create a big a** BLT board, that also happens to be awesome for entertaining. Create this board and you'll be sure to impress your guests!

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BLT Board

Serves 8-10

Ingredients: 

  • 1 package uncured bacon
  • 3 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 avocado, pitted and sliced
  • 3 eggs 
  • 1 loaf sourdough bread
  • mint
  • basil
  • chives
  • olive oil
  • flaky sea salt (I use Maldon)
  • mayonnaise 

Steps:

Preheat the oven to 425Β°F. Place the bacon on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake in the oven until crispy, about 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. 

Boil water. Place eggs in the water and set a timer for 6 minutes. Get an ice bowl with a bit of water. When the eggs are done, place into the ice bowl to shock them and stop the cooking. Peel eggs and slice. 

Place all ingredients on the a board and choose your own adventure. Enjoy. 

Hot tip: tryna be healthy? Skip the bread and create a salad. 

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CHERRY COMPOTE

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Let me tell you a love story... a love story between a girl and a yogurt company. I am the type of person that loves to walk down the aisles of the grocery store ingesting all of the different offerings and different brands on the shelves. On one particular day, I was making my way through the dairy section and I came across a gorgeous yogurt with a compote at the bottom in a short and wide jar with the drawing of a moustache on the lid. I looked at the price and it was 6 DOLLARS. 6 DOLLARS?!? HOW COULD I POSSIBLY SPEND THAT AMOUNT OF MONEY ON A JAR OF YOGURT. I was disappointed, and I left the grocery store without purchasing the yogurt. 

Every time I went back to the store, I would wheel my cart past the dairy section, and my eyes would still go to the yogurt. I would read the flavors: quince, sour cherry, orange blossom. They were fascinating to me. But, I didn't buy it. 

Finally, one day, when I was in the dairy section I read the label a little closer, it said "made in Brooklyn," I decided to do more research and I learned that this company is a female-owned, small-batch yogurt producer. NO WONDER WHY IT COST SO MUCH. This was a lesson in doing all the research of a product, because once you understand all the hard work that goes into it, you appreciate it more and you're more willing to invest in the product. 

So, I proudly made my way to the dairy aisle and I picked up the sour cherry flavor and took it home (and paid for it, obviously). I broke the paper seal and my spoon dove in for my first bite, making sure that I picked up that sour cherry compote at the bottom. HOLY SHIT, when I put this in my mouth I had no idea I would experience the creamiest, most delicious yogurt I've ever had in my entire life. It was truly exceptional. My hats off to the founder of White Moustache yogurt, Homa Dashtaki. Damn woman, you know your stuff. 

I try to treat myself to this yogurt at least once a month, but since it is sour cherry season, I decided to take a stab at my own compote recipe. Served it with Greek yogurt and I got close to the same thing! You can also serve this compote with panna cotta, on top of olive oil cake (or any cake), in a tart, or any way you'd like. CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE. 

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sour cherry compote

makes 1 quart

ingredients:

  • 1 pints sour cherries, pitted
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest 
  • 1/8 t nutmeg

supplies:

steps:

Combine all ingredients in a pot. Mix to combine

Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Cook for 30 mins - 1 hr or until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.

Place a mason jar in the microwave and microwave on high for 2 minutes.

Store compote in the air-tight container for 6 months. 

Enjoy. I SURE DID.

BANOFFEE POPS

THIS SHIT IS BANANAS.

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I've been seeing banoffee cake EVERYWHERE lately. It was a mystery to me. What is this caramel banana biscuit pie and why does everyone love it so much? I needed to put this to the test but I wanted to do a creative spin on it. 

When I'm trying to eat healthy, I really need something sweet to hold me over, so my go-to is a chocolate covered banana on a stick. Tastes and feels like ice cream, but it's a banana so HEALTH. 😬🍌

THEN, it hit me. BANOFFEE POPS. Take all the goodness of banoffee pie and put it on a stick. This was a fun one. First, I took bananas and put them on a stick. Then, made my dulce de leche by putting a can of sweetened condensed milk in boiling water for 3 hours and VOILA: DULCE DE LECHE. 

Next, I took vanilla wafer cookies and I crushed them up by placing them in a baggy and hitting them with a rolling pin (this is fun and very therapeutic). I combined whole milk and vanilla extract and put the crushed cookies into the milk, resulting in a cakey yet crunchy flavor. 

I dipped the bananas in the caramel and rolled them in the cookie crumbs, messy to make but HOLY SHIT THEY WERE LIFE CHANGING. 

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banoffee pops

makes 6 pops

ingredients:

  • 6 baby bananas (if you can't find babies, cut 3 normal-sized bananas in half)
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 box vanilla wafer cookies
  • 1/4 c whole milk
  • 1 T vanilla extract

supplies:

steps:

Place can of sweetened condensed milk into a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook at a simmer for 2-3 hours. The longer you cook it, the darker the caramel will become. Place on a cooling rack. Note: you want to cool this for at least 30 mins, if you try opening it when it's too hot, the built up pressure could cause the hot caramel to shoot out. 

Place bananas on a stick and put on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the bananas in the freezer. 

Add vanilla extract to your milk. Pour the crushed wafers into a bowl and drizzle the milk over the mixture, stirring to combine. 

Open your can of caramel and dip each banana into the caramel, then dip the banana into your cookie mixture. Repeat until all bananas are covered. Place back in the freezer to set (about 30 minutes) and enjoy. 

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TOMATO TOAST

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I love tomatoes. especially in the summertime. the summer is all about eating farm-fresh tomatoes all day, every day, for every meal. 

I was in Wisconsin at my family's lake house the other week and we picked up some tomatoes from the farm stand near by, toasted up some sourdough bread, slathered on mayo, and topped the toast with tomatoes, fresh basil, chives, salt, and pepper. it was truly exceptional. 

the juicy tomatoes, creamy mayo, and sour bread, finished with the fresh basil and touch of onion from the chives really created a flavor experience. I am in love. 

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tomato toast

makes 1 toast

ingredients:

  • 1 slice crusty sourdough 
  • 1 handful of tomatoes, halved or sliced
  • fresh chives
  • fresh basil
  • mayonaise or veganise
  • flaky salt (I used Maldon) and pepper

steps:

Toast bread.

Spread mayo or veganaise on bread.

Place tomatoes, basil, chives, salt and pepper on top. 

ENJOY IT GURL. 

DIY EVERYTHING BAGEL SEASONING

EVERYTHING. BAGEL. SEASONING. I want to put it on everything. Toasts, salads, meat, eggs, you name it. You can buy it at Trader Joes or at Williams Sonoma, OR you can make it yourself. It's really easy and keeps in your pantry for up to 6 months. Enjoy. 

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everything bagel seasoning

makes 1 cup

ingredients:

  • 2 T sesame seeds
  • 2 T black sesame seeds
  • 4 T poppyseeds
  • 2 T dried onion
  • 2 T dried garlic

steps:

Combine everything in a bowl and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

JUMBO PIGS IN A BLANKET WITH EVERYTHING BAGEL SEASONING

This. Recipe. Is. Insane. And. Very. Easy.

Everything Bagel Dog
Egg Wash

Yes, I am the person who goes out of their way to become best friends with the man holding the tray of pigs in a blanket at a party. I am the girl who gets PISSED when there isn't any ketchup and only mustard (more stories about my passion for ketchup to come). 

While I love the concept of little weenies as appetizers, I usually eat the equivalent of a full-sized hot dog. So, I decided it would be a great idea to turn my favorite cocktail-sized treat into one for adults (which means a large version, lol). 

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These dogs have the added addition of everything bagel seasoning which really elevates the dogs by giving them a garlic and onion flavor with a sesame and poppyseed crunch...and it looks pretty great too :). 

What's great about this recipe is it is really easy to make because most of the ingredients are store-bought, with the exception of the everything bagel seasoning, which you can make here, or buy at Trader Joes or Williams Sonoma

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jumbo pigs in a blanket with everything bagel seasoning

makes 6-8 

ingredients:

steps:

Preheat your oven to 375Β°F and then defrost your puffy pastry according to the instructions. 

Combine all of the ingredients in your everything bagel seasoning into a bowl. 

Slice your puff pastry horizontally into thin strips. 

Scramble 1 egg and add a teaspoon of water. 

Then, take your hot dogs and pat them dry. I like to use the all beef kosher uncured hot dogs because they don't contain any nitrates. Starting at the top of each dog, take your puff pastry and wrap it around the dog until you get to the bottom. Once you reach the bottom, pinch the puff pasty so it's secure around the dog. Then place the dogs on parchment lined baking sheets.

Take a pastry brush and brush the top of the dogs with egg wash (egg wash will allow the dogs to have a nice shiny texture and it acts a glue for the everything bagel seasoning). 

Top the dogs with your everything bagel seasoning and flakey sea salt (I like to use Maldon sea salt). 

Bake your dogs according to the instructions on the puff pastry packet. Serve them with your choice of condiment and enjoy!

KIWI-LIME SORBET

 I bought an ice cream/sorbet maker back in September and tucked it away in the back of my cabinet for the summer. Now that the weather is FINALLY nice enough (and I had a ton of kiwis, I mean a ton, leftover from a shoot) I decided to bring out the ice cream machine and given it a try.

I bought an ice cream/sorbet maker back in September and tucked it away in the back of my cabinet for the summer. Now that the weather is FINALLY nice enough (and I had a ton of kiwis, I mean a ton, leftover from a shoot) I decided to bring out the ice cream machine and given it a try.

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makes 2 quarts

ingredients:

  •  15 very ripe kiwis
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • juice of 2 limes

steps:

Slice the kiwis in half. Using a spoon, carve out the meat of the kiwi, throwing away the hairy exterior. 

Place kiwis in a food processor or blender and pulse a couple of times until the kiwis turn into a smooth puree. Be careful not to process too much, you don't want to pulverize the seeds. 

Pour in your sugar and lime juice. Pulse a few more times. Let your ice cream chill in the freezer for at least two hours and up to overnight. 

Following the instructions according to your manufacturer, turn on your ice cream machine, add the puree, and let it spin for 25 minutes. Place in a container and freeze for several more hours until the sorbet reaches your desired consistency. 

Scoop and enjoy on it's own, with champagne, or with a creamy panna cotta or tangy yogurt. 

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BLUEBERRY MERINGUES WITH POPPYSEEDS AND DARK CHOCOLATE

I've been making a lot of fresh pasta lately and the pasta dough I have been making has been an egg yolk dough. As a result, I have a shit ton of egg whites chilling an a quart container in my fridge. I am going to be making an egg white cupcake-cake (you know the ones where you lay out a bunch of cupcakes and frost it into a design) later this week for a birthday party, so stay tuned for that, but in the meantime I decided to make some simple meringues. 

I am not a huge fan of plain meringues, they are a little too sugary for me, so I decided to balance them with a homemade tangy blueberry compote and some bitter dark chocolate. The poppy seeds add a nice toasted finish too. 

Blueberry and Poppyseed Meringues with Dark Chocolate

makes 10 meringues

for the meringue:

  • 3 (90 grams) large egg whites, at room temp (this is very important)
  • 1/4 t cream of tartar
  • 1/8 t kosher salt
  • 2 T powdered sugar (confectioners sugar)
  •  3/4 cup (150 grams) plus 1 T granulated sugar
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 T poppyseeds
  • 1/2 c chopped dark chocolate

for the blueberry compote:

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • juice and zest of 1/2 lemon

steps:

* Keep the egg whites at room temp because it is what will allow the eggs to get the volume that you are looking for with your big fluffy meringues. You want to take your egg white out of the fridge 1 hour before you make your meringues. 

Preheat your oven to 250Β°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

In a small saucepan over a medium/high heat, combine your blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Let the mixture cook down, once it has reduced by half you know your compote is ready, be careful, the mixture is hot. You can either leave the blueberries whole or muddle them in the pan for a more compote-like texture. Set aside to cool. 

Use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment (this is easiest unless you're trying to get a big arm workout in) that is VERY clean. If there is any water or residue of any kind, your meringues might not turn out and that would suck. When you know that your bowl is thoroughly clean, add the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar. Whip on high for 3 mins until soft peaks form. 

While the whites are being whipped, sift together 2 T powdered sugar and 1 T granulated sugar, discarding the big bits left in your sieve. Set aside. 

Once the soft peaks form, keep your standing mixer running at a medium-high speed slowly add 1 T of sugar at a time, this whole process should take you five minutes, until all the sugar has been added. Once the sugar is added, continue to whip for 2-3 more mins until you have thick, glossy, stiff peaks. 

Remove from the mixer and fold in 1/3 of your cooled blueberry compote to create a beautiful swirled effect, reserving the rest for later. Using a tablespoon, spoon out dollops of the meringue mixture onto the parchment paper, about 1/2 inch apart from each other. Taking a smaller spoon, create a divot in the middle of each meringue. Fill each divot with a small about of the reserved compote, top with chopped chocolate and poppyseeds. 

Bake in the oven for 1 hour, do not open the oven at any time. Let cool completely before you eat or the compote will fall right through the meringue. Enjoy. 

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This recipe is based off of Dorie Greenspan's Snowball Meringue recipe with a few slight modifications. 

CHERRY AND SOUR CREAM COFFEE CAKE

As it starts to be less shitty outside, we're able to enjoy some of the great bounties of the season... and I'm primarily talking about fruit. Cherry season is May - August, and I recently got my hands on some juicy cherries. I love a good sour cream coffee cake, so I combined them in this recipe. Hope you enjoy. 

cherry coffee cake

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makes 1, 9x5 in. loaf pan

for the crumble:

  • 1/2 c AP flour
  • 1/4 c LBS
  • 2 T cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 t kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t nutmeg
  • 1/4 t clove 
  • 3/4 c pecans, optional

for the cake:

  • 1 1/4 c cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 6 T unsalted butter
  • 3/4 c sour cream
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 1 t vanilla extract 
  • 1 c pitted cherries

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steps:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease your 9x5 in. pan

For the crumble, mix together all the ingredients with your fingers until it forms a crumble.

For the cake, paddle together butter and sugar in an electric mixer until blonde (4-5 mins). Add eggs, one at a time, until just incorporated. Add in sour cream and vanilla extract. Mix until just combined. 

In a separate bowl, mix together your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt). Slowly add to the wet ingredients and mix until it just comes together. Fold in your cherries. 

Pour 1/2 of the cake mixture into the pan, add 1/3 of your crumble, cover with the rest of your mixture. Cover with remaining crumble. 

Bake for 50 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. 

Let cool for 30 minutes, seriously though, I know it's hard to wait but it will allow the cherries to set and it will taste much better. Enjoy. 

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recipe inspired by my girl, ina garten.

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