Tag: recipe

Roasted Cashew & Sesame Brittle

Roasted Cashew & Sesame Brittle // shutterbean

I hate to humblebrag but I’m really good at staying away from candy. Like…with all the Halloween candy we had in our house this year, I only ate one piece. I made sure it was a Take5 bar. Worry not!

Roasted Cashew & Sesame Brittle // shutterbean

However…this brittle?  I totally LOST MY FREAKING MIND eating it.  There’s something about the salty/sweet/ savory/ crunchy/ buttery/ nutty goodness that makes it absolutely irresistible. I polished off a good portion in record time..spurring me to make another batch.  I think it’s the crunch…It’s all of it really.

Roasted Cashew & Sesame Brittle // shutterbean

Watch out…you may not have enough left to give away this holiday season.

Consider yourself warned.

Make a double batch.

Seriously.

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Pignoli Cookies

Pignoli Cookies // shutterbean

My Dad is one of those people who doesn’torder dessert yet… if YOU order dessert, he will attack your dessert with his spoon. I secretly like to watch this happen, so I make sure to order desserts he would enjoy. His dessert choices resemble mine…he likes banana bread, oatmeal raisin cookies, anything with peanut butter or bananas, coffee cakes and ALL Italian cookies. He goes nuts for biscotti, sfogliatelle and pignoli (pine nut cookies). I think anything that can be dunked into milky coffee is one of his prerequisites.

Pignoli Cookies // shutterbean

These cookies are an Italian classic. I made them a few years ago (never blogged about them though!) and I found this recipe in Martha Stewart’s Cookies cookbook recently. If you’ve never had pignoli cookies, they have an almond paste base which makes them wonderfully chewy. The pine nuts add a nice little crunch and give then cookies a little bit of depth.  What I love about them is that they’re not super sweet. I suppose my Dad would agree. He claims not to like sweets….

Pignoli Cookies // shutterbean

If you’re looking to put an unexpected cookie in your cookie tray this year, you should make these!  But keep my Dad away from your tray. You’ll have none left. My mom is probably nodding her head in agreement right now.

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Cranberry Brie Bruschetta

Cranberry Brie Bruschetta // shutterbean

I know I normally post snacks on a Thursday but I have my dad’s favorite cookies coming up on Thursday and I really wanted to get this little snack idea out to you! I made my own cranberry sauce this year for Thanksgiving and had some leftover so I made a little bruschetta with it. Toast some crusty bread with olive oil (I did this in the oven) add some soft cheese (like a Brie!) on top (I used Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt. Tam cheese (not a brie!)- but a favorite!) and top it with a big dollop of cranberry sauce.  It’s perfect pick me up for the afternoon in between lunch and dinner.  Actually… it could be eaten for breakfast/lunch/dinner!

Apple Cinnamon Infused Bourbon

Apple Cinnamon Infused Bourbon // shutterbean

Hey……me again..just infusing more booze over here. I swear…once you get started, it’s kinda hard to stop.  And this one might be my favorite infusion yet! We take dried apples and a few cinnamon sticks and infuse bourbon (my favorite!). After a few days, you get a syrupy/spicy sweet/STRONG concoction. I’d drink it straight on the rocks…or maybe add a little mulled cider to it….or make myself a toddy with it. Heck, I’d even consider putting it in caramel.  I think I like it a little toooooo much if you know what I mean. I’m serious about that caramel. Somebody do it.

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Blackberry Thyme Infused Vodka

Blackberry Thyme Infused Vodka // shutterbean

It’s that time of year when I start infusing alcohols for boozy homemade gifts like a mad woman. That means my kitchen turns into a science lab. Sorry, husband!   A bottle of booze is one of my favorite treats to bring to a party. BOOZE! In the past, I’ve made Limoncello, Amaretto, Strawberry Vodka, Cucumber Infused Vodka and Candy Cane Infused Vodka. This year I have this Blackberry Thyme number and a spicy bourbon infusion in the works. This pretty vodka infusion of blackberries & thyme is mildly sweet and slightly herbal. I can imagine it would be fantastic cut with some lemonade, ginger ale or some tonic. That color will turn some heads, no doubt.

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Roasted Potato Breakfast Nachos

Roasted Potato Breakfast Nachos // shutterbean

I know we’re supposed to be in Thanksgiving Brainstorm Mode right now but let’s talk about the days after when you have company over at your house and you want to feed them something delicious for breakfast. Besides dipping into your leftover stash, you should make them this showstopper Roasted Potato Breakfast Nacho recipe from Joy the Baker’s Homemade Decadence Cookbook. If you haven’t bought yourself that book WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??! Seriously.  I can imagine it would also be good for one of those Sunday football situations as well. My maj knows what’s up when it comes to potatoes and cheese.  I’ll bring the runny egg yolk to the situation because that’s how I roll. Teamwork!

Roasted Potato Breakfast Nachos // shutterbean

As I type out this recipe, I see that it serves 4-6 people. In my house it served two. That happens whenever meat & potatoes are involved. My husband is in heaven whenever the two things are combined and he eats as if his life depends on it. It secretly makes me happy. As you can imagine it’s hard to lose weight in my household when you have a food pushing wife.

Exhibit A:

Roasted Potato Breakfast Nachos // shutterbean

Can you really blame him? There’s Italian sausage up in that pile of potatoes. And nacho cheese and fried eggs and salsa and ALL THE THINGS.

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The Best Creamed Spinach

The Best Creamed Spinach // shutterbean

I’m not quite sure how I did it, but I was low-carb for the last two years of my college life. I know… I constantly ask myself HOW??! During this time, I had short lived tech support job at the campus computer lab. This was over 13 years ago so the internet was a different beast. At that time, I was obsessed with changing my Winamp skins and downloading TV-show theme songs on Napster.  While I was sitting in the computer lab, I remember having some weird/random craving for creamed spinach and I spent one of my whole shifts looking for a good recipe online.  That was one of the first things I made from the internet.  The image of me following directions that I printed OFF THE COMPUTER in my little college apartment is somehow burned into my brain. And here we are now… I have a food blog and have been making this dish for 13+ years.

If you’ve listened to one of our old podcasts, I think I talked about the period of my life where I ate creamed spinach like it was going out of style.  THIS IS THE CREAMED SPINACH I WAS TALKING ABOUT.  Over the years I’ve made so many versions. I’ve added shrimp and pesto. Sometimes mushrooms make an appearance. I made it with artichoke hearts and that went over well because it was kind of like a warm artichoke spinach dip. I’ve used some as a stuffing for meat dishes and I think there was a time where I mixed in some marinara and served it with chicken parmesan.  I have a tendency to make things repeatedly until I get sick of them.

The Best Creamed Spinach // shutterbean

As a result, this creamed spinach recipe has been a once a year dish for Thanksgiving but after making this batch yesterday and it NOT being Thanksgiving (YET) I’m thinking it might need to be added back into the rotation. There’s something about churning out a huge vat of food and making a whole dinner that has the power to turn you off from making/eating something. You know what I’m saying?

For this recipe, I always use frozen chopped spinach because I love the texture and the ease. The creaminess comes from the marriage of cream cheese and Parmesan. I have to say that during the Thanksgiving crunch, the creamed spinach dish sometimes gets left in the oven too long and there’s a nice crispy Parmesan crust that forms.  I don’t mind. In fact, I’m 100% into it.

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Maple Bourbon Pumpkin Butter


Maple Bourbon Pumpkin Butter // shutterbean

I’ve made quite a few recipes that involve pumpkin butter and I almost always get a comment asking if I’ve made my own. The answer is NO, but now it is YES. Yes, I’ve made my own pumpkin butter and it’s REALLY REALLY EASY. Of course I added bourbon to my pumpkin butter, because that’s how I operate.

Maple Bourbon Pumpkin Butter // shutterbean

It’s November which means we’re all kind of expected to GO GO GO. I’m a fan of making life easy for myself. Shortcuts are always welcome and recipes that don’t take a ton of effort are my wheelhouse. I just typed wheelhouse. Sorry about that.

Maple Bourbon Pumpkin Butter // shutterbean

If you’re thinking about giving the gift of treats this year, you should really add this Maple Bourbon Pumpkin Butter to your lineup. It’s kind of an unexpected gift because somehow pumpkin gets lost under the fold of COOKIE NATION. People love a little something special they can add to their regular meal rotation.   You could pair a small jar with a bigger jar of homemade granola as a hostess gift.  I’d write a little card that says Just Add Yogurt!  Or maybe if you’re feeling adventurous, you’ll make your own?  I’m pretty sure the lucky recipient of this pumpkin butter will appreciate the smooth texture (thanks to a whirl in the Vitamix!) and cinnamon-y bourbon notes. I bet it would make an even better addition to a milkshake…

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