Posted in blogging, daily, dessert, filler, food porn, links, recipe

Recipe Round-up: Summer At Jenn’s

It’s June 20th, which means summer is here! And this year after such a miserable winter and a spring that was spent doing not much more than work, I’ve been looking forward to warm, sunny days and floating away the afternoon in the pool all the more.

Along with the sun and warmer weather comes recipes I love to dig out when it’s just “too damn hot to cook”, and I figured I would re-share them in case you needed some summertime inspiration.

Like this spinach and strawberry salad with goat cheese and citrus vinaigrette.

100_1250 by you.

Quick, easy, and perfect for Meatless Monday.

Or this Watermelon “Plank” salad with feta and balsamic glaze.

Wonderful as a main dish or as a side.

Here’s a ‘non-recipe’ post for a grilled chicken and smoked mozzarella panini with store made pesto and sun dried tomato spread, and a mango, black bean and quinoa salad. So easy, and great to take for a summer picnic, or tailgating at the drive-in, perhaps?

Can I get an amen?

This roasted parmesan zucchini is perfect if you’re a gardener with superfluous squash lying around.

Culinary OCD, that’s me.

And since you can’t have a “summer food” post without mentioning the holy mother of summer foods, here’s an Heirloom Tomato Crostini that is the best no-cook meal for the hottest nights of the season.

Gosh, I can’t wait for good tomatoes.

This kicked-up gazpacho is also perfect for all those fresh garden “‘maters”, and it makes a TON of soup. No worries about what to take for lunch for a week!

100_1297 by you.

And finally, since I can’t finish a post like this without a little something sweet, here is a peach blackberry crostata with honey-ginger glaze and cardamom spiced fresh whipped cream that is sure to impress any of your summer dinner guests.

I’m itching to make that one again, in addition to experimenting with some other summer crostatas.

Hope your summer is a fantastic one, kids. Spend time doing everything you want to do, or doing nothing at all.

 

 

Posted in daily, filler, links, pop culture musings

What I’m Loving Right Now

Things:

  1. This freakin’ fabulous coat that I will own before the snow flies.
  2.  This High Definition Powder (Translucent) By E.L.F. Cosmetics. Sets your makeup with a dewy yet matte finish. Gorgeous.
  3. This Givenchy bag. At almost five times my mortgage, however? Not likely.
  4. This beautiful ombre sapphire necklace from Etsy. Shame it’s too short for my chubby neck.
  5. These fierce-as-all-hell leopard wedges from Anthropologie.
  6. Essie nail polish in For the Twill of it. Perfect fun fall color.

Foodstuffs:

  1. Pork Carnitas. Mmmm, meat.
  2. This sounds like the greatest turkey burger ever created.
  3. I’m a sucker for a casserole, and chicken cordon bleu casserole is right up my alley.
  4. Caramel Banana Cake Roll. Are. You. Kidding. Me.
  5. Salted Caramel Apple Tartlets are almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
  6. Proscuitto & Gruyere Croissants are pretty much the fanciest sandwiches ever.
  7. Blueberry Marscapone Tartlets. Are tartlets a thing now? Because I gotta say, I’m fully on board.
  8. Oh look, it’s all of my favorite things in one cookie.

Entertainment: 

  1. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC. Yeah, like I haven’t been waiting for this since it was announced last sumer. Marvel + Joss Whedon + Not-Silver-Fox Clark Gregg = Uh, hells yes.
  2. Brooklyn Nine-Nine on Fox. Super fun, and proof that Andy Samberg actually can do something besides SNL. (Side note: If you haven’t seen Jesse and Celeste Forever with him & Rashida Jones, I highly recommend it.
  3. Don Jon, in theaters now. A comedy about a porn addicted Jersey guido looking for a “dime” and ending up getting..something a little different.
  4. New Jam: Brave, by Sara Bareilles
  5. Other New Jam: Royals, by Lorde. Not linking, because if you turn on the radio you’ll hear it in like twenty seconds.
  6. Other Other New Jam: Let Her Go, by Passenger.
  7. Anything and everything on Netflix. Orange is the New Black. House of Cards. The Walking Dead. The New Girl. Parks and Rec. Catch up, people.

I’ll wait.

 

Posted in food porn, links, parties and celebrations, Uncategorized

Stuff I Meant To Tell You About Forever Ago: A Very Pinteresting Party

Back in February I had a few friends over for an Oscar-watching party. It’s the second time I’ve done this, and I’m thinking it’s going to become a yearly tradition. Food-wise, I like to do it up a little fancier than I usually do for parties (it is the Oscars, after all), and to help me find the perfect finger foods to serve I turned to my new favorite time waster, Pinterest.

Seriously, who doesn’t love Pinterest? It’s like a visual orgy of pretty. Pretty food, pretty decor, pretty clothes, pretty men (you. are. WELCOME.). I’ve gotten a ton of new recipes from it, and I’ve actually cooked a fair few to great success.

Like this recipe for Asian meatballs. Wonderful flavor, and a great “make ahead” option.

Mine weren’t quite as pretty as the website, but I’m okay with that.

These French Dip Crescents with Au Jus were a huge hit. I cut the crescents in half, though, to make them more finger food friendly.

I love alliteration. And the spicy kick of horseradish sauce in those crescents. Make those, you’ll thank me. And your friends will kiss you.

I also served these puff pasty squares with goat cheese and raspberry-chile chutney. I didn’t find the recipe on Pinterest, but had made them for last year’s Oscar shindig and loved them so much I wanted to serve them again. Crispy pastry, creamy tangy goat cheese, and sweet/spicy jam.

Perfection. In the background you’ll notice my requisite veggie tray, which I usually always serve so I don’t overload on the less healthy options (Two different sour-cream  based dips notwithstanding, of course). Ah! and the hollowed-out-bell-peppers-as-dip-bowls? Pinterest!

On to my crowning achievement, the dessert tower.

Isn’t it glorious?

Since I decided to do three different mini desserts instead of just one, and I only had two days of prep time (and I’m not a masochist), I took some shortcuts. The first treats I made were mini red velvet cupcakes from a box mix. I did make the cream cheese frosting from scratch because canned frosting just isn’t the same, taste-wise. Nor does it pipe as prettily onto the cupcakes. I added the silver and gold sprinkles for a little glitz.

O U FANCY HUH.

Next were these two-ingredient lemon bars. I read the comments on the website before baking them, so I knew they wouldn’t turn out like the lemons bars I love, with the shortcake-type crust on the bottom and the gooey lemon curd-like center, but these were decent. A good idea to keep the ingredients on hand to throw together should you ever need a desert in a pinch.

Last were these Chocolate-Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Treats, which were like manna from heaven. I could have eaten the whole tray by myself. I was never a big Krispy Treat person before (too sugary, I think. Which makes no sense since we’re adding mini peanut butter cups and chocolate in the mix but whatever, these rule), but I will make the hell out of these again and again and again.

Definitely before next year’s Oscar party. Maybe even for my upcoming Cinco de Mayo party.

Which I will totally tell you about. Before July.

Posted in daily, food porn, links

In Lieu of an Actual Post I’m Just Going to Skim Through Google Reader and Share Some Links.

You ask where I’ve been and why I haven’t posted in so long, and all I can tell you is, dudes. Busy. I’ve been working like a fiend lately. “Lately” meaning the past five months. I’ve been working a lot of days at my per diem job, and I’m lucky if I get one full weekend off a month, so yeah. Busy. Too busy to clean my house, too busy to visit my family, too busy to do a lot of things, least of all cook a mess of food. But I have kept up with my Google Reader, and my ‘starred items’ folder is positively bursting at the seams with yummy goodness just waiting for me to bust out my saute pan and Kitchen Aid Mixer.

Like this Indian Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice from Sugarcrafter. I’ve only just recently ‘discovered’ Indian food, and butter chicken is a favorite. I’ve also recently ‘discovered’ Thai food, and if you are what you eat, then you’ll soon be reading the blog of a take out container of chicken pad thai.

These Lemony Roasted Potatoes with Garlic are the definition of comfort food around this house, and after my current 19-day stretch of work, work, and more work, I’m going to need some comforting.

Butterbeer Cake, also from Sugarcrafter (I like her). I made these Butterbeer cupcakes for my Oscar party back in February, and they were a huge hit. This recipe is slightly different, but I’d like to try it out, you know, strictly for scientific reasons. Cough. For those of you wondering, “WTF is Butterbeer?”, would it kill you to read a damn book once in a while?

Because you can never go wrong with a classic, Joy the Baker’s Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream sound like a winner. Ovaltine in the frosting? Did NOT see that coming.

I’m trying to branch out of the “sweet cakey treats” realm of baking, and learn how to bake yeast-based goods. These homemade English Muffins from Amy Bites seem like a good place to start.

Peanut Butter Banana Pound Cake with Nutella Glaze. I want to roll around naked in this. Seriously, that’s just obscene.

And lest you think everything on my “to make” list is laden with calories and butter and sugar (and you’d be right), there’s this Ribboned Asparagus Salad from Smitten Kitchen that will be coming out of MY kitchen sometime this weekend. Mmmm, asparagus. How I love you.

And that healthy salad will most likely be followed by these Lemon Sugar Cookies. Because there always needs to be cookies. But for now there is only sleep, and sweet anticipation.