HOW TO CUT UP A CHICKEN

Everyone always worries about how to cut up a chicken and they ask “why cut up a chicken when I can buy it already butchered in a grocery store?” The answer is simple: you will save so much money if you buy a chicken yourself, just as long as you know how to cut it up. Today I’m going to teach you to cut up a whole chicken.

It may seem scary but if you know the right steps you can actually end up saving money in the long run, making multiple meals at once… AND you get the backbone to make a stock. 

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1 chicken

steps:

To start, make sure the chicken is breast side-up. We’re going to cut off the thighs, slice the skin between the breast and the leg and pop out the joint. Run your knife along the edge of the bird, and the thigh should easily release. 

Repeat with the same side. slice, pop, and release. 

Next are the wings. Feel for the joint, slice around the sides of the joint and it should release. 

Now it’s time to remove the back bone from the breasts. Follow the fat line on the breast and cut to on both sides until the back bone is released. Save that for some chicken stock. 

For the breasts, slice down the middle, flip the breasts, and  

Using the heel of your knife, pop open the breast bone. Now you’ll easily be able to remove the breasts from each other. 

You can leave the chicken like this or cut the drumsticks off of the thighs. But along the fat line of the wing and you should be easily able to separate the bone and the thigh.

There you have it, one chicken that yields 2 thighs, two wings, one back bone, two breasts, and two drumsticks. 

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HOW TO MAKE CELERY JUICE IN A BLENDER

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makes 16-oz. juice

ingredients:

  • 1 head of celery, washed, leaves and root removed, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

tools:

  • high-speed blender

  • nut milk bag or strainer

steps

Place 1/8 of the celery into a blender.

Blend on high until the celery is finely chopped.

Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the blender.

Add the remaining celery and blend on high, scraping down the sides, until the celery liquifies.

Using a nut milk bag (or a strainer), strain the celery into a bowl or glass, squeezing the bag until no juice remains.

Drink on an empty stomach for best results.


SPICY OVEN-BAKED SWEET POTATOES

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If you want to learn how to make this dish and want to see my tips on how to throw a dinner party, peep my latest YouTube video :).

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makes 8 sweet potato halves

ingredients:

  • 4 small sweet potatoes

  • 1/2 stick butter

  • 2 tsps chili flake

  • juice and zest of 1 lime

  • 2 tsps honey

  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

  • 1 serrano chili

  • 1 bunch sage

  • flaky sea salt

steps:

Preheat the oven to 425°F or C

Poke a shit ton of holes in your sweet potatoes and place on a tin-foil lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven for at least 60 minutes, letting all the juices bubble out of the holes of the potatoes.

While the potatoes are baking, melt the butter over a medium heat. Continue to cook for about five minutes until the butter turns a light brown color.

Pour into a bowl and add the juice and zest of one lime, chili flake, honey, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. Adjust the taste according to your preference.

When the potatoes are out of the oven, slice in half horizontally, top with butter, flaky sea salt, serrano slices, and sage.

Enjoy.

MATCHA HOLIDAY COOKIES WITH TURMERIC MASCARPONE GLAZE

The holidays are all about going HAM, like a said in my most recent YouTube video. And while it is important to make sure that you are taking care of yourself, because mentally it can be quite overwhelming (especially if you’re the one in charge of making all the food even if you didn’t ask for that job.), it is also very important to make HOLIDAY COOKIES. I was sent some culinary grade Matcha from Matcha Love and I decided to make some Matcha Holiday cookies with a turmeric mascarpone glaze. It is a ton of fun to play with natural colors as dye instead of using all those weird B30 and B32’s out there.

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You can use any type of cookie cutter you want, if you don’t have a cookie cutter you can freehand it. Have fun and happy holidays!


Feel free to watch the full video here. And don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe to my page for new videos every Wednesday! I released a special additional holiday video today because I just couldn’t help myself :)

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makes about 30 cookies

ingredients

for the cookies

  • 3/4c sugar (150g)

  • 3 sticks butter (12 oz)

  • 1 t salt

  • 475 g (AP flour) (about 4 cup)

  • 2 tsps vanilla extract

  • 20g matcha

for the icing:

  • 1/2 c mascarpone 

  • 2 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 tsp lemon zest

  • 2-3 tbsp milk

  • 4 tsps turmeric

steps:

Preheat your oven to 325°F or 163°C.

For this recipe you’re going to want 3 sticks of butter, cubed and at room temp.

3/4 cups granulated sugar, 2 tsps vanilla extract, four cups all purpose flour, scooped and leveled, one teaspoon kosher salt, 20 grams matcha powder, I’m using matcha love culinary grade powder which equates to about 2.5 tablespoons.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar until smooth.

Add your vanilla extract and whip again to fully combine. 

In a separate bowl combine your flour, matcha powder, and salt. Whisk to combine

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until you have a sandy looking dough. just look at that green color… into it. 

Turn out onto your countertop and kneed the dough a few times with your hand to shape it into a flat ball. You want your dough to come together enough so it isn’t crumbly anymore and it looks like a sugar cookie dough. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes. HOT TIP: You can also make this dough several days in advance and store it in your freezer until you’re ready to use. If you freeze the dough, make sure you take it out about 2 hours before you’re rolling and cutting your dough so it is pliable enough to work with. 

Flour your work surface and rolling pin and roll out your cookie dough, until it is about a quarter of an inch thick and cut out with your cookie cutters. If you don’t have a cookie cutter, feel free to use a knife and free hand it. You can make any shape you want. Using an offset spatula or any spatula, carefully lift up the cookies and lay them onto a parchment lined baking sheet. They can be close together because they won’t spread in the oven because we aren’t using a rising agent. 

If you want, you can brush a little bit of milk or heavy cream onto your cookies before you bake them to give them a little sheen but that’s completely optional. 

Bake your cookies for 8-10 minutes, rotating them halfway through the baking process.

For the glaze, start by combining 3 tbsps of milk with 4 tsps of turmeric withover a medium low heat and whisk to combine. You can use any kind of milk you want, I’m using coconut almond milk here. 

Transfer to a bowl and set aside. You’ll also need 1 tsp of vanilla extract, 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted,  1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, 1 tsp lemon zest. 

Combine all ingredients except the turmeric milk and whisk until smooth. Next, add the turmeric milk one tbsp at a time until your desired consistency is reached. 

Spread onto the cooled cookies and top with sprinkles if you want.

WINTER CITRUS & AVOCADO SALAD

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It’s really hard to stay healthy during the holiday season when everyone is shoving cookies and eggnog down your throat. I’m obsessed with food so it’s really hard for me to say no to anything, which is why I find it extra important to create healthy recipes for myself to have at home during the week so I can find some level of balance in my life. With the whole romaine scare right now, it made me think of my favorite lettuce that I actually like better than romaine: little gem. Little gem is like a mini romaine lettuce, it’s more beautiful and has a lot more flavor, but it’s also a lot harder to find. So the other day when I walked into Eataly and they had purple little gem I was so frickin’ excited.

This salad combines winter citrus, little gem, avocado, radish, red onion, and tons of herbs to create a truly satisfying and healthy winter alternative. This is a great option to bring to potlucks or to whip out at a dinner party, especially because citrus is at it’s peak season in the winter.

As you guys know, I’ve just started my Youtube channel, so I’ve made a video that showcases exactly how to make this recipe. Hope you enjoy. In all seriousness though, let me know what you think in the comments below and if you like the video give it a thumbs up and subscribe to my page for new vids every Wednesday. Woo!

little gem salad

serves 4 ppl

ingredients:

  • 2 heads little gem lettuce

  • 1 naval orange

  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 avocado, cut into thin strips

  • 1 purple radish, thinly sliced

  • fennel fronds, mint leaves, basil leaves, celery leaves

  • salt

  • pepper

  • 2 tsps champagne vinegar

  • 4 tsps olive oil

  • 1 tsp grainy mustard

steps:

wash lettuce in a bowl of cold water and pat dry

Lay the lettuce on a towel to dry and place another towel on top, lightly pressing down. 

Next, you’ll cut your orange, cut off each end, and running your knife down the sides, remove the bitter pith. Once all the pith is removes, cut into slices. 

For the dressing, combine 1 tsp grainy mustard, 2 tsp champagne vinegar, salt and pepper, and 4 tsp olive oil. Shake together, taste and set aside. 

When you’re plating your salad, it’s really a choose your own adventure experience. What I like to do is start with the lettuce, placing it all around the plate so it looks like it just fell there. sprinkle a little bit of salt on the lettuce. What this does is it opens up the cells of the lettuce so they taste more like lettuce, just trust me on this. After, a little bit of the dressing. 

Next up, the avocado, then the citrus, the radishes, red onion, more salt, the rest of the salad dressing, and then make it rain herbs. Damn, that’s one sexy salad. 

FUNFETTI CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

It’s my childhood friend Maggie’s 26th Birthday. I am a broke but woke lady, so I decided to make her cookies as her birthday gift. I’ve tested this chocolate chip cookie recipe throughout my years. I’ve made Sally’s Baking Addiction cookies, Jacques Torres’ cookies, and the Buzzfeed chocolate chip cookies by Lindsay Hunt, and I settled on a combo that is most heavily inspired by the Buzzfeed recipe… mostly because I love her way of using melted butter to get rid of the need for a stand mixer. It makes the cleanup process so much easier, and makes the recipe a ton more accessible to everyone. You could make these cookies in your dorm room for fricks sake, and I LOVE IT.

My recipe uses bread flour, a ton of vanilla extract, and a 63% bittersweet chocolate chip: resulting in the best damn cookies you’ll ever have in your life. I feel very strong about this.

These cookies are crunchy on the outside, chewy and soft on the inside, and all around tasty AF. If you’re not into the FANCY SPRINKLES (they do change the texture of the cookie a bit) feel free to omit them.

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Guess what friends?! I’ve decided to start making my recipes into full-blown YouTube vids so you can follow along as I make the recipe and get to know me a little bit more. I want you to understand who I am and sometimes I feel like it’s hard to fully express myself through writing and pictures. I’m an extremely visual person, always have been (WONDER WHY I GOT INTO FOOD?! lol), so video is a medium that I have always preferred. The moving picture, what a magical creation (said in an old timey voice).

Please let me know what you think of my videos, I’m going to try to release a new one every Wednesday (wish me luck haha), but the only way I can get better at these videos is if I hear from all of you. So be sure to subscribe to my page and throw my videos a thumbs up if you do indeed like them. What the hell, leave a comment so we can get even more specific!

makes 16 cookies

ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour

  • 1 cup AP flour

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

  • 2 tsps kosher salt

  • 1, 11.5-oz. bag of semisweet chocolate chips

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled

  • 3/4 c granulated sugar

  • 1 1/4 c light brown sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • colorful sprinkles

steps:

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

In a medium bowl, melt the butter, stirring out any extra clumps, set aside so the butter can cool back to room temperature.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt).

Add both sugars to the cooled butter, quickly whisk the sugars for about 1-2 minutes. you’ll want to form what looks like a paste.

Add in each egg, one at a time, stirring in between to fully incorporate into the sugar mixture.

Whisk in the vanilla extract.

Add in half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, using a spatula to incorporate.

Add the chocolate chips to the remaining flour mixture, and coat the chips in flour. This helps the chocolate chips evenly distribute throughout the cookies without sinking to the bottom.

Add the remaining flour and chocolate chips to the batter, mix until just incorporate.

Cover with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to let everything set. You can chill the dough overnight if you’d like, it may be harder to scoop out so let the dough come to room temp before you scoop it.

Place sprinkles in a small bowl. Using a 2.5-oz. scooper, scoop the cookies, roll them in your hands, and drop them into the sprinkle mixture, coating the top of the cookie.

Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking process to ensure even baking. Every oven has a different temp, so if the cookies are looking golden brown on the outside but raw on the inside, lower the temp by 15 degrees.

Place on a wire rack to cool, be careful as the inside will be delicate as it needs time to set.

Enjoy these cookies on their own, with a glass of milk, or an ice cream sandwich… what the hell, eat one of these bad boys for breakfast.

Store the cookies in an airtight container for 3-5 days. If you want them to last even longer, pop the container in the freezer and thaw the cookies by placing them in the microwave for 15-30 seconds.

CURRIED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

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It’s squash season, and that my friends is a beautiful season indeed. I’m finding myself enjoying all types of squash prepared in ton of different ways. Delicata, butternut, acorn, spaghetti, kabocha, the options are truly endless.

But one of my favorite things to do with squash is turn it into a soup. Soup is so cozy, it makes me want to get in comfy clothes, put on some slippers, turn on my computer fireplace, and watch a movie. This recipe is, like all my recipes, very simple… and very delicious. Get ready for something you can be super proud of that requires little to no skill at all.

My favorite trick, adding in a carrot to the mixture to create more depth of flavor and make the orange color even more vibrant.

This dish is made with chicken stock, but you’re welcome to swap in veggie stock to make the soup vegan. :)

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curried butternut squash soup

makes 2 quarts

ingredients:

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 yellow onion, diced

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped

  • 1 3-4 lb. butternut squash

  • 1 large carrot

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

  • 2 tsp curry powder

  • 3 tsp kosher salt

  • 1 8-oz. container stock (chicken or veg)

  • 3 sprigs thyme

  • 1 bay leaf

  • black pepper

  • optional garnish: purple radish, walnuts, basil

steps:

In a stockpot over a medium heat, add coconut oil and saute onion until translucent, about 8-10 minutes.

Add in shallot and garlic, cook an additional 2-3 minutes.

Add in cubed butternut squash, carrot, bay leaf, thyme sprigs, and 2 tsps salt, stir around all ingredients several times to combine.

Cover butternut squash with stock, the exact amount will differ depending on how large your squash is, but you want the liquid to just cover the top of the squash.

Cook over a medium heat about 10-12 minutes, or until you can easily insert a fork into the squash. The squash should be soft.

Transfer the mixture into a blender or food processor (you may have to do this in two batches), removing the bay leaf and the thyme, and blend until smooth and creamy. Add in curry powder and any additional salt, adjusting to taste.

To keep the soup hot, transfer back into the stock pot and keep on a low heat.

To serve: garnish with purple radish, basil, toasted walnuts, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Enjoy.

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ICE CREAM HACK #3: DARK CHOCOLATE COCONUT

I love ice cream.

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dark chocolate coconut ice cream

ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted

  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream

  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate, melted

steps:

Let your ice cream soften a bit, about 5-10 minutes.

While your ice cream is softening, using a offset spatula or a spoon, spread your melted chocolate in a very thin layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Chill in the refrigerator until hardened.

Once hardened, break up into shards of chocolate.

Combine all ingredients together in a bowl.

Return to the freezer and freeze for 2-3 hours or up to overnight.

Enjoy.

dark chocolate and espresso magic shell

ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

  • 1.5 TBSPs coconut oil

steps:

Combine all ingredients in the microwave, microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted.

Be careful with your chocolate, as it can easily burn.

Drizzle over ice cream and watch the chocolate magically harden!

assembly

scoop ice cream onto a cone or bowl of your choice, drizzle chocolate shell over the top, garnish with toasted coconut, enjoy.

BESSER'S BASICS: PANTRY ORGANIZATION

Having a clean, organized pantry is an absolute must when you are a chef. If you can’t see all of the paints in the paintbox, then you can’t make the most vibrant and creative painting you know you’re capable of. Same goes for cooking.

In NYC, space is limited, and it can be infuriating. What I would do for a gorgeous walk-in pantry where I could really see everything in my pantry and add even more items to my pantry. Alas, I have to make due with what I’ve got— which is a small cabinet.

The first thing I did in my pantry organization journey was measure my pantry cabinet. Then I thought about biggest frustration with my pantry, it’s that it is very deep so things can get lost in the back. How to solve this problem? Answer: rolling racks.

So I went on Amazon and I ordered these rolling racks. When they arrived, I worked with my amazing intern Sage to empty everything out of my pantry, wipe down the shelves, adjust the shelving height, and install the racks.

At first, I thought I’d be able to use both tiers of the racks but then I quickly realized that the height of my pantry, even if I adjusted the shelving, wouldn’t allow me to reap the benefits of both tiers, so I sacrificed one.

The next thing I did was I thought about the items that I use the most and how I could most easily access them.

Top Shelf: Place to store my equipment

Middle Shelf:

  • Oils (olive, coconut, walnut, peanut, avocado, canola)

  • Vinegars (red wine, aged balsamic, champagne, white wine, apple cider, yuzu, sherry)

  • Pastes (tomato paste, anchovy paste, red thai curry)

  • Sauces (hot sauce, raos)

  • Syrups (pomegranate, date, honey, maple, corn)

  • Cooking Wines (sherry, white, red, etc.)

  • Condiments (unopened ketchup, mayo, etc.)

  • Maldon Salt

  • Collagen Powder

  • Stocks (unopened chicken, beef, vegetable)

Bottom Shelf:

  • Grains

  • Legumes

  • Starches

  • Flours

  • Sugars

  • Nuts and Seeds

  • Dried Foods (Dried chilis, mushrooms, fruit)

Watch the full video on how I chose to organize my pantry here.

Hopefully this post inspires you to take control of the space you have and make the most of it. xx, Elena

If you want to purchase any of the equipment you see, you can find all the products on my products I love page.

ICE CREAM HACK #2: STRAWBERRY COOKIES AND CREAM

It’s time for the second installment of Ice Cream Hack series: strawberry cookies and cream. Yes, you heard that right. Strawberries and cream is a classic, but how about strawberries COOKIES and cream?!?

Want to watch the full assembly? Peep the video on my instagram :)

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strawberry cookies & cream

ingredients:

  • 1 cup strawberry preserves

  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream

  • 1 cup chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed

  • to garnish: freezer dried strawberries

steps:

Let your ice cream soften a bit, about 5-10 minutes.

Combine all ingredients together in a bowl.

Return to the freezer and freeze for 2-3 hours or up to overnight.

Enjoy.

cookies & cream magic shell

ingredients:

  • 1 cup chocolate sandwich cookies, into a fine powder

  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

  • 1.5 TBSPs coconut oil

steps:

Combine all ingredients in the microwave, microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted.

Be careful with your chocolate, as it can easily burn.

Drizzle over ice cream and watch the chocolate magically harden!


assembly

scoop ice cream onto a cone of your choice, drizzle chocolate shell over the top, garnish with freezer dried strawberries, enjoy.


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NUTTY FENNEL GRANOLA

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I love granola. A lot. My all-time favorite granola brand is Purely Elizabeth salty chocolate and blueberry hemp (not sponsored btw, I just frickin' love this female-owned business). I had never made granola before so I decided to take a look at what was in my pantry and try it out. 

This granola combines honey, maple syrup, olive oil, oats, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, raisins, coconut flakes, and spices to create something magical. The key spice: fennel seed. Fennel has a mild licorice taste but the seed has a depth that plays super well. 

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nutty fennel granola

makes 5 cups

ingredients:

  • 1 egg white, beaten

  • 3 c old fashioned oats

  • 1 c chopped nuts (I used pistachios, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts)

  • 1 1/2 c coconut shavings, unsweetened

  • 1/4 c honey

  • 1/4 c maple syrup

  • 1/2 c olive oil

  • 2 T fennel seeds, crushed

  • 1 1/2 t flaky salt (I used Maldon)

  • 1/4 t dried ginger

  • 1/8 t nutmeg

  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 c dried cranberries

  • 1/2 c raisins

  • 1/4 c candied ginger chips

supplies:

steps:

Preheat your oven to 300°F. 

Combine all ingredients and place on a baking sheet that is covered in parchment paper. 

Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes, removing the tray from the oven every 10 minutes to stir around the granola for even toasting. 

Enjoy. 

Serve with Greek yogurt, citrus slices, a drizzle of honey, fresh mint, and flaky sea salt. 

TANGY CARDAMOM MILK PANNA COTTA WITH ROSE WATER SYRUP

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Every time I see panna cotta on a menu it’s a done deal, I’m ordering it. The creamy yet light texture, the beautiful simplicity of it all, I’m obsessed. Panna cotta is one of those dishes that seems super fancy but is honestly insanely easy to make. It’s essentially a creamy jello and it doesn’t have a ton of ingredients.

What I love about this specific panna cotta is that is doesn’t have any artificial, high sugar ingredients. I used coconut sugar in the panna cotta, giving it a healthy-er twist and a surprisingly nice caramelized finish. However there is granulated sugar in the rose water syrup to keep the rose water syrup’s transparent color. I’d love any suggestions on another sugar alternative that would keep the rose water syrup clear, let me know below in the comments if you know of any alternatives!

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Otherland Candles is a dope female-owned candle company and I am truly obsessed with everything they have created. Their candles make my apartment smell like heaven. So, when they launched their fall candle collection and I saw their Cardamom Milk candle, I was inspired to create a dessert that reminded me of the candle. Hope you enjoy this dessert as much as I do.

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tangy cardamom milk panna cotta



ingredients:

  • 1/3 c coconut sugar (or granulated sugar)

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/8 t Himalayan sea salt (or regular sea salt)

  • 1/8 t freshly ground cardamon

  • 2 c greek yogurt

  • 1 c heavy cream

  • 1 packet gelatin

steps:

take 2.5 tablespoons of water and sprinkle your jello packet over it. let bloom for five minutes.

in a small saucepan combine heavy cream, cardamom, vanilla extract, coconut sugar, and salt to a simmer.

in a large bowl, whisk greek yogurt until all large lumps are removed.

off the heat, add the bloomed gelatin to the cardamom cream mixture and mix until the gelatin has dissolved completely.

slowly add the mixture to the greek yogurt and mix until combined.

pour the mixture into six glasses or ramekins and chill for at least 3 hours in the refrigerator or 15-20 in the freezer.

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rose water syrup

  • 1/2 c water

  • 1/3 c granulated sugar

  • 1 t rose water

  • 1 Hibiscus tea bag

  • for garnish: 1/3 c dried rose petals

steps:

heat 1/2 c of water until boiling, add hibiscus tea and steep until the water reaches your desired pink consistency (this takes barely any time so keep an eye on it.

remove the tea bag and add in granulated sugar and rose water. mix to dissolve sugar. bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook about 10 minutes until syrupy.

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to serve

IN THE RAMEKIN: if keeping in the ramekin, drizzle cooled rose water syrup over the top and garnish with dried rose petals

OUT OF THE RAMEKIN: if removing from the ramekin, dip the ramekin in hot water for several seconds to loosen the panna cotta and invert onto a plate. drizzle with rose water syrup and garnish with dried rose petals. enjoy, it’s lit :)

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ICE CREAM HACK #1: ESPRESSO & MINT ICE CREAM

I love coffee. I love chocolate. I love mint.

My three favorite foods are cheese, bacon, and ice cream. When I’m trying to be creative but taking the easy way out, I love to take vanilla ice cream and hack it to create my very own flavor.

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In the first installment of my Ice Cream Hack series, I’m making a chocolate covered espresso mint ice cream WITH a fab espresso chocolate shell.

All of these recipes have a shell on them, because it reminds me of childhood. I have the fondest memories eating ice cream and pouring the magic chocolate shell on top (remember, the bottle with the turtle on it?! Oh the good old days!) so I wanted to re-create that childhood experience for these recipes too!

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espresso & mint ice cream

ingredients:

  • 1 cup chocolate covered espresso beans, crushed

  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream

  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chiffonade (cut into thin strips)

  • 1 tsp mint extract

steps:

Let your ice cream soften a bit, about 5-10 minutes.

Combine all ingredients together in a bowl.

Return to the freezer and freeze for 2-3 hours or up to overnight.

Enjoy.

dark chocolate and espresso magic shell

ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup chocolate covered espresso beans, crushed

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

  • 1.5 TBSPs coconut oil

steps:

Combine all ingredients in the microwave, microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted.

Be careful with your chocolate, as it can easily burn.

Drizzle over ice cream and watch the chocolate magically harden!

assembly

scoop ice cream onto a cone of your choice, drizzle chocolate shell over the top, garnish with fresh mint, enjoy.

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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

 

ingredients:

  • 3 cups Flour

  • 2 cups Sugar

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • ½ 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 2 9-inch cake pans.

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. 

 

rosemary butter sauce

 

ingredients:

  • Rosemary sprigs in 3/4 sugar

  • ⅓ c butter

  • 3 TBSp water

  • 2 tsps vanilla extract

steps:

Combine ¾ cups sugar, ⅓ c butter, 2 tsps vanilla, and water. Cook over a medium heat until just melted.

 

mascarpone whipped cream:

 

ingredients:

  • 8oz mascarpone cheese, room temp

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • ½ 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

 

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. 

 

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 425°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. 

 

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.