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Category: featured recipes

  1. Wednesday, July 22

    Grilled Nutella and Strawberry Sandwiches OR How to Eat Chocolate For Lunch

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    We are in New Jersey right now visiting my family. My sister-in-law Cora introduced us to a new way to eat chocolate for lunch yesterday. I’m always up for making chocolate into a meal, so I was 100% on board!

    nutella & strawberry sandwiches from @janemaynard

    Cora had recently taken her little girl and my niece Sophie to a cafe called Marigolds. They ordered the Nutella panini off the menu and discovered something quite delicious – a panini made with Nutella and fresh sliced strawberries!

    nutella & strawberry sandwiches from @janemaynard

    Of course we had to try making it on our own and that’s what we had for lunch yesterday! And before you start thinking it’s all weird that this is an actual sandwich that you can have for lunch (my mom couldn’t quite wrap her brain around it), this is basically a PB&J if you really think about it. Nutella is a hazelnut spread, so that’s just like peanut butter, right? And fresh strawberries are way healthier than sugar-laden jam. So, you know. totally the same and way healthier! (Okay, not totally, but whatever.)

    nutella & strawberry sandwiches from @janemaynard

    The cafe even served the Nutella panini with homemade potato chips. This is LUNCH, people. I swear!

    nutella & strawberry sandwiches from @janemaynard

    Whether you agree that this makes a healthy and nutritious lunch or not, I do think you’ll agree it’s delicious. Seriously, DELICIOUS. You’re welcome.

    Grilled Nutella and Strawberry Sandwiches
     
    Prep time
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    As created by my sister-in-law Cora Wallin, inspired by Marigold's in Summit, NJ
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • Good crusty bread
    • Fresh sliced strawberries
    • Nutella
    • Butter
    Instructions
    1. Spread Nutella on 2 slices of bread.
    2. Layer sliced strawberries on one side then put the sandwich together.
    3. Butter the outside of both slices of the sandwich and grill in a pan over medium heat until golden brown (like a grilled cheese sandwich) or cook in a panini maker.

     

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  2. Tuesday, July 7

    I’m About to Give You the Best Oatmeal Cookie Recipe Ever. Are You Ready?

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    jody's perfect oatmeal cookies, chock-full of chocolate chips and M&Ms, from @janemaynard

    Brace yourselves. Today I am giving you the best oatmeal cookie recipe ever. Well, the best chocolate chip M&M oatmeal cookie recipe ever. No, really. I haven’t met a cookie this addictive in quite some time. I even made myself sick to my stomach a few weeks ago eating too many, like a 6-year-old the day after Halloween. Not one of my finer moments. But I digress…

    jody's perfect oatmeal cookies, chock-full of chocolate chips and M&Ms, from @janemaynard

    Back to the cookies. These cookies are delicious, with wonderful flavor and texture. Additionally, these cookies are made with oil instead of butter. The original recipe says you can use coconut oil or olive oil. I have made them with half olive oil half coconut oil, and I’ve also made them with just coconut oil. I prefer the 100% coconut oil version. If you decide to use olive oil, I would recommend regular olive oil instead of extra virgin as extra virgin olive oil has more olive flavor.

    jody's perfect oatmeal cookies, chock-full of chocolate chips and M&Ms, from @janemaynard

    Okay, so, the recipe. I begged this recipe off of my girls’ piano teacher, Jody. She has no idea where she got it from, so we just call them Jody’s Oatmeal Cookies. If I ever track down the source, I’ll be sure to let you know! For now Jody gets credit for bringing these beauties into our lives.

    jody's perfect oatmeal cookies, chock-full of chocolate chips and M&Ms, from @janemaynard

    5.0 from 2 reviews
    Jody's Oatmeal Cookies
     
    Prep time
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    These Chocolate Chip M&M Oatmeal Cookies are some of the most addictive cookies I've ever eaten. You've been warned.
    Author:
    Serves: 3 dozen
    Ingredients
    • 2½ cups old fashioned oats
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • ½ cup granulated sugar
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup melted coconut oil (if your coconut oil is already liquid at room temp, you're all set. if it is solid, a few seconds in the microwave will melt it enough)
    • 2 large eggs
    • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • ¾ cups chocolate chips
    • 1¼ cups plain M&Ms
    • (I supposed you could do 2 cups of raisins instead of chocolate chips and M&Ms, but I'm a chocolate girl. If you go with raisins, add ½ teaspoon of cinnamon to the dough)
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
    2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Add the salt and baking soda and stir well. Add the oats, flour and both sugars and mix well until all ingredients are fully incorporated together. The dough might be crumbly. (Add a teeny bit of oil of needed - I have not ever added any extra oil myself). Alternatively you can mix all the ingredients except the chocolate chips and M&Ms in a large bowl all at once, but I find adding the ingredients in the order listed above makes it easier to mix the ingredients together evenly.
    3. Mix in the chocolate chips and M&Ms.
    4. Form cookie dough balls about 2 tablespoons in size and place on cookie sheet. The dough is tricky to work with, just be patient! Use your hands to really squeeze the dough into a ball. You may have to tuck the M&Ms and chocolate chips inside and underneath the cookie to get it to hold together on the tray.
    5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies begin to lightly brown on top but don't overcook.
    6. Cook all the dough into cookies as the cookie dough balls don't hold together well for freezing and dough is easier to work with when it is just made. Store baked cookies in an airtight container.
    Notes
    The original recipe says you can use coconut oil or olive oil. I have made them with half olive oil half coconut oil, and I've also made them with just coconut oil. I prefer the 100% coconut oil version. If you decide to use olive oil, I would recommend regular olive oil instead of extra virgin as extra virgin olive oil has more olive flavor.

     

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  3. Wednesday, July 1

    Jerkish Chicken, i.e. Kid Friendly Jerk Chicken That Adults Love, Too

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    One of my favorite foods in the world is Back-A-Yard’s Jamaican jerk chicken. I will never be able to make jerk sauce like that restaurant does and that’s okay with me. Sometimes it’s good to have a food you can only get in one place so you really appreciate it. That said, I do hate living so far away from Back-A-Yard, which is located in Menlo Park and San Jose. The other day I was having a serious hankering for some Back-A-Yard and decided to finally try making my own jerk.

    recipe for "jerkish" chicken, a kid-friendly marinade and sauce inspired by Jamaican jerk that is a bit more sweet and a bit less spicy | from @janemaynard

    The one and only problem with jerk is that it is just too spicy for my kids, so I wanted to figure out a way to make a kid-friendly jerk that still delighted my taste buds. The marinade/sauce I created and have made several times now is wonderful, although nothing at all like Back-A-Yard’s. It’s much sweeter with just a hint of heat. The kids devoured their chicken, as did Nate and I!

    Will I ever be able to replicate the pure culinary joy that is Back-A-Yard’s Jamaican jerk? Nope. But I’m okay with that, and I ended up with this scrumptious recipe instead!

    recipe for "jerkish" chicken, a kid-friendly marinade and sauce inspired by Jamaican jerk that is a bit more sweet and a bit less spicy | from @janemaynard

    Note #1: While I was editing this post and getting the link for Back-A-Yard, I discovered that Back-A-Yard is going to start selling sauces and rubs. I AM SO HAPPY! I will be able to get their sauce in my own kitchen! I’ll be sure to include a link in my Friday Show and Tell post when their online store opens.

    Note #2: I forgot to photograph the sauce. It’s brown and tastes delicious. There you go.

    Note #3: You can find the recipe for the potatoes in the background of the first photo by clicking here. They’re amazing. Thought you should know.

    Jerkish Chicken, i.e. Kid Friendly Jerk Chicken That Adults Love, Too
     
    Inspired by Jamiacan jerk, this chicken marinade and sauce has a sweeter flavor and just a bit of heat.
    Author:
    Serves: 5-8 servings
    Ingredients
    • Juice from 1 lime
    • ½ cup olive oil or canola oil
    • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 6 cloves fresh garlic
    • 6 green onions, very roughly chopped
    • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon jerk seasoning
    • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
    • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
    • ½ teaspoon pepper
    • 10-15 pieces bone-in chicken (I prefer legs and thighs)
    Instructions
    1. Combine all ingredients (except the chicken) in a blender. Blend until a sauce consistency.
    2. Reserve ½ cup of the sauce to serve with the chicken later.
    3. Place chicken pieces in a ziploc bag then pour sauce into the bag. Close bag, pushing air out, and marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
    4. Grill chicken as usual over moderate heat, cooking until inside temperature reaches 160-165º F.
    5. Heat reserved sauce on the stovetop or in the microwave until warmed. Serve with grilled chicken.
    Notes
    Prep time is only 5 minutes or so, but there is at least 30 minutes of marinating time to plan on. Cook time is only about 10 minutes.

     

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  4. Tuesday, June 23

    My Smart Girls, All of the Feelings, and Inside Out Homemade Butterfinger Bars

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    recipe for inside out homemade butterfinger bars from @janemaynard

    I have two very smart girls. Smart girls who make posters like this when they are playing:

    inside out homemade butterfinger bars from @janemaynard

    I mean, seriously. Just look at that poster. That is how they play. To say the kids and I were excited about the new Pixar movie Inside Out is an understatement. A movie all about navigating your feelings is totally up their alley! Plus, I think I may have a couple of future psychotherapists on my hands. (When I found that paper, it seriously cracked me up.)

    "inside out" homemade buttefinger bars by @janemaynardWe were going for “Joy” in the group shot, but Owen was apparently overcome by “Sadness”; Anna was going to do all 5 emotions for me, but we only got “Disgust” and a very happy looking “Angry” out of her

    Well, we went and saw Inside Out today. It was wonderful in so many ways and I want to give it all of the awards right NOW. Here is Inside Out in a nutshell: take the last few, way-too-emotional minutes of Toy Story 3, where all you can do is sob as you think about the bittersweetness of growing up, and turn it into a 1 hour 42 minute feature film. Needless to say I cried through ALL of Inside Out, from the first minute to the last. So did Cate. We think Anna did, too, but she won’t fess up to it. (Apparently Disgust is overpowering Sadness in her brain today.)

    recipe for inside out homemade butterfinger bars from @janemaynardThis step of the recipe is perfect for Anger!

    Once the movie was done, we were all feeling a little emotional. It was actually a rough couple of minutes where none of us were at the top of our game. And then we had to stop at the store. Owen, who was crazy tired, got really mad about our errand. (Why, hello, Anger! Nice to see you!) But then I thought to myself, “Um, duh, let’s make this fun!” (Actually that wasn’t me, it was Joy stepping up to the control panel in my brain.) Owen was the most angry about our errand, so I started identifying his feelings. “Oh, man, Anger is at the controls right now. Wait, I think Sadness just took over. Whoops, now we have Disgust. [Owen looks up and sees a giant blow-up shark.] And Joy is back!” The kids and I couldn’t help but laugh, especially since Owen’s emotions were changing at an impressively quick pace! Suddenly all was right with the world.

    recipe for inside out homemade butterfinger bars from @janemaynardrecipe for inside out homemade butterfinger bars from @janemaynard

    After we were able to laugh and let Joy take the reins, I started asking Cate and Anna what they learned from the movie. Cate responded immediately with, “You shouldn’t let your emotions take control.” Perfect. The conversation evolved from there and made me want to cry {again} and reminded me just how smart my smart girls are. Seriously, they are SMART and, even though emotions are a hard thing to deal with, I think they will have the upper hand as they navigate the choppy waters of growing up.

    recipe for inside out homemade butterfinger bars from @janemaynard

    In honor of Inside Out, going to the movies and chocolate (I’m always willing to honor chocolate), I have a recipe today for Inside Out Homemade Butterfinger Bars. To say this recipe is a labor of love is an understatement. It requires time and patience and you will probably feel Disgust, Anger, Fear AND Sadness while making them, but Joy will take center stage once you take that first bite. I promise.

    recipe for inside out homemade butterfinger bars from @janemaynard

    Homemade Inside Out Butterfingers
     
    Inspired by the movie Inside Out and the classic movie candy Butterfinger. This is a time-consuming recipe but oh-so-delicious!
    Author:
    Serves: 42
    Ingredients
    • 24 ounces good quality dark chocolate (the bars you see pictured used 24 ounces of chocolate - the chocolate was quite thick, if you want it thinner you could probably go down to as low as 18 ounces of chocolate total)
    • ½ cup water
    • 1 cup sugar
    • ½ cup light corn syrup
    • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
    Instructions
    1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside, along with an additional piece of parchment paper on the side.
    2. In a medium saucepan, combine the water and sugar and cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add the corn syrup and stir well. Raise heat to medium-high and clip on a candy thermometer. (I used my instant read thermometer, which worked fine, but I really wish I had a clip on candy thermometer because it takes time for the mixture to get hot and I had to hold the probe the whole time.)
    3. While the mixture is heating, place the peanut butter in a small bowl and heat in the microwave for 30-60 seconds, until melted. Set aside.
    4. When the sugar mixture reaches 280º F (this takes a WHILE, probably about 30 minutes), remove the pan from the heat and quickly stir in the peanut butter, mixing thoroughly. Immediately pour the mixture onto the lined baking sheet. Working QUICKLY (the stuff starts to set up fast!), put the other piece of parchment paper on top and press down, using a hot pad on top of the parchment paper as the mixture below is very hot. Press out flat to about ¼" thick.
    5. Let harden completely. Place large pieces of the homemade butterfinger in a thick, gallon-sized ziploc bag, then bang the candy with a hammer. You want small pieces, but you don't want to pulverize it to a powder, so work carefully. Set butterfinger pieces aside (you'll end up with about 4 cups of butterfinger pieces).
    6. Line a 13" x 9" baking dish with parchment paper. Cover the bottom surface of the lined dish with a layer of butteringer pieces, about 1 - 1½ cups. Set aside.
    7. Now you need to temper the chocolate. This also takes time, so get ready!
    8. Bring a medium pot of water to a simmer. Place a dry, clean bowl on top and add about 12 ounces of the chocolate to the bowl. Melt the chocolate and cook it over the simmering water until it reaches 115º - 120º F.
    9. Remove the bowl from the heat, add the remaining unmelted chocolate, stir, and let it cool to the low 80ºs F. Do NOT get any water in the chocolate. Stir regularly or almost constantly while the chocolate cools. This process took about 45 minutes for me.
    10. Once the temperature drops to the low 80s, place the bowl back over the simmering water and bring the temperature back up to between 88ºF - 91º F. (Milk chocolate tempers at 86º - 88º F, so if you subbed milk chocolate for the dark chocolate, please use this temperature.) Do NOT let the temperature go above 91ºF or you have to start the WHOLE PROCESS OVER. Once the temp reaches 88º - 91ºF, immediately remove from heat.
    11. Pour the tempered chocolate over the butterfinger pieces in the baking dish. Spread the chocolate out evenly, then sprinkle the top with more butterfinger pieces, about 1 - 1½ cups more. Be sure to press the butterfinger pieces into the chocolate while it is still soft.
    12. Let sit at room temperature until chocolate has completely hardened. Cut into small bars with a long, sharp knife, pressing straight down firmly when cutting.
    13. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
    Notes
    This makes a lot of bars and they are very rich, so it serves a lot of people. It really depends on how big you cut the bars what the final yield is. I recommend cutting it into 6x7 rows and columns.
    You will have about a cup or so of butterfinger pieces left over. Use these however you like...I'm thinking tossed in a batch of chocolate chip cookies would be delish!

     

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  5. Tuesday, June 16

    The #1 Freezer Jam Tip You Need If You Plan to Use Sure-Jell Pectin

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    If you’ve been around here for a while, you know I make freezer jam every year. It’s my favorite kind of jam. We never buy jam at the store. We’re completely spoiled and addicted to freezer jam and I blame my mom.

    instructions for making raspberry and strawberry freezer jam from @janemaynard

    ANYWAY…most years when I make my many batches of jam, I share a new tip or two on the blog. Far and away the most awesome freezer jam tip I gave was how many berries to buy for making strawberry or raspberry freezer jam. I don’t know what I would do without that post – I use it every year! If you want to read through the rest of the tips, click here – there is a lot of handy info in all those posts.

    This year’s tip, however, is CRITICAL to success if you’ve ever tried to replicate what I do. Every year I say the following: “Just buy Sure-Jell pectin and follow the instructions for freezer jam. Works like a charm!” Well, DO NOT DO THAT. This year I cracked open my box of pectin and immediately noticed the directions were different. I did a lot of google searching and discovered that last year Kraft inexplicably changed the directions. They have since fixed the problem, but apparently there are still boxes out there with the wrong directions inside. If you follow the wrong directions (which tell you to mix the sugar with the pectin and water and then boil the three together), your jam will absolutely not turn out. So, I’m going to put the CORRECT directions here on the blog, mostly for my peace of mind. I really don’t want you buying bucket loads of berries only to have your jam bomb on account of me telling you to use the directions in the box. Argh!

    Also, lest you think I am a domestic goddess (because I am not), my raspberry jam didn’t come out this year. It’s more like raspberry sauce than jam, but it still tastes like heaven, so whatever.

    With that vote of confidence (I swear this recipe works 99.99999% of the time!), here are the instructions for raspberry and strawberry freezer jam!

    Raspberry or Strawberry Freezer Jam
     
    Instruction for using Sure-Jell pectin to make raspberry or strawberry freezer jam. If you want to make another kind of jam, the instructions on the inside of the box have a chart indicating the amount of berries and sugar needed. Be sure that you follow the directions below for making the jam, however, as Kraft misprinted the jam technique in 2014.
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • FOR STRAWBERRY JAM: 2 cups crushed strawberries + 4 cups sugar
    • FOR RASPBERRY JAM: 3 cups crushed raspberries + 5¼ cups sugar
    • FOR BOTH KINDS OF JAM: 1 box Sure-Jell Pectin
    • FOR BOTH KINDS OF JAM: ¾ cup cold water
    Instructions
    1. Freezer jam can be stored in any airtight container. Make sure containers are clean and dry.
    2. Crush berries and, using a dry measuring cup, measure the exact amount of prepared fruit into a large bowl.
    3. Measure exact amount of sugar then add to the berries, stirring well. Let stand 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    4. Once berries have been sitting for at least 5 minutes (to time everything properly), mix the pectin and the water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat stirring constantly. Once mixture is boiling, boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
    5. Add to fruit-sugar mixture and stir constantly for 3 minutes, until sugar is dissolved (a few crystals may remain).
    6. Add to containers, leaving ½" space at the top for expansion when freezing. Cover with lids and let stand for 24 hours. Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks or freeze for up to 1 year. Thaw frozen jam in refrigerator.

     

     

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  6. Tuesday, June 9

    Coconut Almond Fudge Bars, i.e. Crack Bars

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    Honestly, I don’t love using the word “crack” when describing food, but today I’m breaking my rule. Here’s the deal. Nate called these coconut almond fudge bars “crack” after his first bite, which is saying something. Nate is nothing like me. He can pass on dessert. I DON’T GET IT. But this dessert? He was rendered as useless as I was in its presence.  That alone should tell you how good these bars are!

    recipe for coconut almond fudge bars, i.e. crack bars, from @janemaynard

    I wanted to create a special recipe for my candied coconut almonds. The kids and I were watching some TV food show where they featured a bar from a bakery in Cambridge, MA. My bars are nothing like what we saw on TV, but they did get my creative juices flowing. And the result was, well, crack.

    recipe for coconut almond fudge bars, i.e. crack bars, from @janemaynard

    These bars have a crust that is sort of like a cookie crust but also really not at all like a cookie crust. The texture is coarser but still holds together and is all buttery and wonderful. Then comes a perfectly fudgy layer that could really be eaten on its own, but why would you do that when you can sandwich that fudgy goodness in between so much other goodness? The top layer consists of candied coconut almonds. Fair warning: coconut almond fudge bars can get a little messy because of that top layer. I recommend using a plate. But even if you don’t use a plate, the mess is totally worth it.

    recipe for coconut almond fudge bars, i.e. crack bars, from @janemaynard

    Also, these bars are better fully cooled because everything sets up so nicely. But if you cannot wait and have eat them warm out of the oven, use a fork and go ahead and indulge in the buttery, chocolatey, gooeyness.

    Feel free to call these bars whatever you like. Go the proper route and call them Coconut Almond Fudge Bars. Or go the Momofuku route and call them Crack Bars. I’m good either way.

    Coconut Almond Fudge Bars, i.e. Crack Bars
     
    Prep time
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    These bars are irresistible, with a cookie-like bottom layer, fudgy middle layer and candied coconut almonds on top!
    Author:
    Serves: 9-12
    Ingredients
    • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
    • 7 tablespoons salted butter, softened to room temperature
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1 cup whole wheat flour (use whole wheat for the best texture!)
    • ½ teaspoon +1/8 teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • ½ cup sweetened condensed milk (this will be half of a 14-ounce can)
    • 1½ cups candied coconut almonds
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
    2. In a stand mixer or in a large bowl with hand mixer, beat together on medium speed the brown sugar and 6 tablespoons of the butter for 3-5 minutes, until well mixed and lighter in color.
    3. Add egg yolks and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated.
    4. Add the flour, ½ teaspoon salt, and baking soda and mix just until combined.
    5. In an 8" x 8" baking dish, press the sugar-flour mixture into the bottom of the dish to form an even layer. Set aside.
    6. In a small bowl combine chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, remaining 1 tablespoon butter and ⅛ teaspoon salt. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir well until all chocolate is melted.
    7. Spread chocolate mixture over the cookie layer.
    8. Sprinkle candied coconut almonds over the chocolate layer, then press that layer down into the chocolate with your fingers. Whatever doesn't get pushed into the chocolate will remain loose even after cooking, so you want to carefully work it to get as much pressed into the chocolate as possible. But don't worry if there are loose pieces!
    9. Cover dish with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes.
    10. Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting and serving.

     

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  7. Tuesday, June 2

    Candied Coconut Almonds

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    You might think that candied nuts simply can’t be improved. I mean, they are just so tasty. But this week I made them better than ever. Yes, it’s true!

    recipe for beyond-delicious candied coconut almonds from @janemaynard (they're addictive!)

    I’d like to introduce you to candied coconut almonds. I didn’t do much except add coconut to my regular candied almonds but the end result was pretty much the most delicious thing ever.

    What, exactly, are candied coconut almonds good for? Let me count the ways. As a topping for ice cream and yogurt? Yes. As an add-in for chocolate chip cookies? More of the yes. Salad? Sure, why not! Simply to eat straight out of the bowl? Most definitely yes.

    recipe for beyond-delicious candied coconut almonds from @janemaynard (they're addictive!)

    I also may be working on the best cookie bar recipe ever as we speak, and those cookie bars just might involve candied coconut almonds. You’ll have to wait and see…

    5.0 from 1 reviews
    Candied Coconut Almonds
     
    Prep time
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    Total time
     
    Crack in almond-coconut form.
    Author:
    Serves: 1½ - 2 cups
    Ingredients
    • ¾ cup sliced almonds that have been chopped up a bit
    • ¾ cup UNsweetened shredded coconut
    • 6 tablespoons sugar
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
    2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix together the sugar, water and salt. Add the almonds and coconut and stir well.
    3. On a silpat- or parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, spread the mixture evenly.
    4. Cook in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. If you want things crispy and browned, go on the longer side. If you cook it just for 10 minutes or so, things will not be browned, they will still be crispy, just not as crispy. Both ways are equally delicious, it's just a preference thing.
    5. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
    6. Stir and break up the pieces and store in an air-tight container. Should keep for quite some time.

     

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  8. Thursday, May 28

    Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade

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    Summer is here! Well, sort of. Right now where we live it’s actually super cloudy, cool and misty every day. So, summer? Not so much. But if I do things like make lemonade then it will at least kinda sorta feel like summer, right?

    recipe for über flavorful strawberry rhubarb lemonade from @janemaynard

    Today I have an excellent use for the rhubarb simple syrup I shared with you last week: strawberry rhubarb lemonade. This über flavorful lemonade was a hit with every member of my family and we drank every drop. In fact, I made this last week to photograph then proceeded to wipe my camera’s memory card clean before downloading the photos. When I mentioned today that I had to remake the lemonade for photos, the kids and Nate alike were more than happy I was making more so soon and were glad that I made that mistake last week!

    recipe for über flavorful strawberry rhubarb lemonade from @janemaynardrecipe for über flavorful strawberry rhubarb lemonade from @janemaynard

    Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade
     
    Prep time
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    Summer in a glass!
    Author:
    Serves: 6-8
    Ingredients
    • 1 cup rhubarb simple syrup
    • 4 cups water
    • 1 cup lemon juice
    • ½ pound strawberries, washed and hulled
    Instructions
    1. Place 1 cup of the water and the strawberries in a blender. Blend until pulverized. POW!
    2. Mix together the strawberry puree with all the other ingredients in a large pitcher.
    3. Serve with lots of ice!

     

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  9. Thursday, May 21

    Rhubarb Simple Syrup

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    I’m back in the kitchen! Yay! Today I have a fun seasonal recipe for you – rhubarb simple syrup!

    rhubarb simple syrup from @janemaynard

    Whether or not you like rhubarb you’ll like this syrup. With all the sugar involved it is anything but tart, and it adds a nice, subtle flavor twist to lemonades, punches, cocktails and more. You could even just drizzle a bit over ice cream or plain yogurt!

    rhubarb for simple syrup by @janemaynardrhubarb for simple syrup by @janemaynard

    I will have a recipe on Babble soon for Raspberry Rhubarb Sangria (including a alcohol-free version) that I will for sure share a link to when it goes live, and next week I just might have a Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade recipe for you, too. (Okay, I do, but you have to wait!)

    rhubarb simple syrup by @janemaynard

    Rhubarb Simple Syrup
     
    Prep time
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    Perfect for flavoring drinks of all kinds!
    Author:
    Serves: ~9 ounces
    Ingredients
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 cup chopped fresh rhubarb, ½" pieces (about 2 stalks)
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (optional)
    Instructions
    1. Combine sugar, water and rhubarb in a medium pot. Bring to a boil over high heat.
    2. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer mixture for 25 minutes.
    3. Strain mixture though a fine mesh sieve.
    4. Store in the refrigerator. Makes a little more than 1 cup of syrup.

     

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  10. Thursday, April 23

    Candied Pistachios + My Visit to the Super Secret Club 33 in Disneyland

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    You guys. Candied pistachios. How have I never eaten or contemplated their existence before? As much as I want to talk about these delectable little nuts, we first need to talk about where I discovered them.

    Recipe for candied pistachios, inspired by my visit to Club 33 in Disneyland

    A few days ago I received a text from my dear friend Mindy inviting me to be her date for dinner at Club 33 in Disneyland. I’ll admit, I had to Google it. I had never heard of Club 33 and, as I read about it, I found out why. It’s a “secret” restaurant in Disneyland located directly above the Blue Bayou restaurant and the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. As I kept reading I realized that I absolutely needed to accept Mindy’s invitation, drive to Anaheim, pay to get into Disneyland and join her for a 5-star dinner at this mysterious restaurant for fancy mice.

    Recipe for candied pistachios, inspired by my visit to Club 33 in Disneyland

    Walt Disney had Club 33 built so he could have a quiet and elegant place to host sponsors of the park. He took great care in planning the details, including replicating a Parisian elevator that he and his wife loved dearly. Sadly Walt passed away before the restaurant was completed, but it opened nonetheless. It has a “secret” entrance with a doorbell that you ring to announce yourself. And, if you ask Disneyland employees about Club 33 or where the entrance is, they’re supposed to act like it doesn’t exist. Kinda fun, huh? It’s also the only place at Disneyland that serves alcohol…very expensive alcohol, I imagine!

    Recipe for candied pistachios, inspired by my visit to Club 33 in DisneylandThe windows in the second story of that building in New Orleans Square are the Club 33 lounge. Now you’re in on the secret, too.

    Mindy’s parents are members of the club and they were kind enough to have me join them for dinner on Tuesday night. (I’m super glad Mindy’s husband had to work this week! Thanks, Tyler!). Club 33 was updated a few years ago so now it includes a lounge and bar area in addition to the restaurant. The lounge and bar are stunningly beautiful, with all kinds of fun details, like paintings that magically change over time.

    Recipe for candied pistachios, inspired by my visit to Club 33 in Disneyland

    When Mindy and I arrived, she let me ring the doorbell (hence, the “ooooo!” face I’m making). We were then escorted up a beautiful staircase to the lounge area. When it was time for dinner, we entered the dining room, where the tables were set with Club 33 china. Everything was beautiful (I know I already used that word a million times, sorry), with great art on the walls and “fanciness” abounding.

    The food was delectable. Truly. We had 6 courses and dinner was 3 1/2 hours long. Even after eating over that long time period we were still STUFFED. Everything we ate really was beyond delicious (hello, tender filet mignon, I am in love with you) and the waitstaff was lovely. My meal consisted of such goodness as cornbread coated fried portobello mushrooms, scallops on a bed of deliciousness that I have no idea what it was made out of, filet (I already professed my love), molten lava cake that was as good as what I make at home (that is the highest compliment I can give a lava cake) and more. It was a fantastic dinner!

    Side note: the bathroom wasn’t anything to sneeze at, either. In fact, I could live in it. Happily. Forever.

    Recipe for candied pistachios, inspired by my visit to Club 33 in Disneyland

    One of our favorite parts of the night was when it was time to leave. The park had been closed for almost 2 hours at that point, but we soon learned that all the lights stay on at Disneyland through the night (insert everyone making the same jokes about electricity bills and solar panels). One of the Club 33 employees had to escort us out of the park, I presume so we wouldn’t get into any mischief with Goofy or something. Walking through the streets of Disneyland with everything aglow and not a person to be seen was, well, magical! (Come on, I have to use the word magical at some point in this post, right?) When we walked by the Mary Poppins cafe, I half expected Julie Andrews and the penguins to come dancing by. And, no, we were not allowed to take photos, which was killer!

    Recipe for candied pistachios, inspired by my visit to Club 33 in Disneyland

    I owe Mindy and her lovely parents a huge THANK YOU for a wonderful evening I won’t soon forget! I even came away with a special treat for you, too – candied pistachios! My second course for the meal was frisée salad with avocaodos and strawberries, which was topped with a wonderful buttermilk dressing as well as candied pistachios. How have I never thought to candy pistachios before? They are, hands down, my favorite candied nut and should be served on all salads from now until the end of time.

    Recipe for candied pistachios, inspired by my visit to Club 33 in Disneyland

    Enjoy your candied pistachios and know that this is what the fancy mice eat.

    Candied Pistachios
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Inspired by the candied pistachios served on my frisée salad at Club 33 in Disneyland.
    Author:
    Serves: 1 cup
    Ingredients
    • 1½ cups raw, shelled, unsalted pistachios
    • 6 tablespoons sugar
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    Instructions
    1. Mix together the sugar, water and salt. Set aside.
    2. Preheat oven to 350º F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
    3. When oven is heated, stir sugar mixture well then add pistachios. Stir to coat all the nuts very well. Spread pistachios evenly on the baking sheet, spooning them onto the tray rather than pouring straight from the bowl to minimize extra sugar mixture pooling on the tray.
    4. Bake for 8 minutes. The sugar should be bubbling on the tray.
    5. Remove from oven and immediately stir the nuts around on the tray with a rubber spatula, making sure all those nuts get a nice coating of bubbly sugar. Spread the nuts back out evenly so they are either not touching each other or just lightly touching. Let cool completely.
    6. Serve over salad or ice cream or cake or whatever suits your fancy! At Club 33 they served these nuts on a salad with avocado and strawberries and a buttermilk dressing I wish I could replicate.

     

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