Saturday, May 19, 2012

Lavender White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today we began harvesting the veggies and herbs we have so far from our Spring garden.  In case I haven't mentioned before, our garden is made up of numerous container plants on our apartment patio.  And by numerous, I mean this patio is covered in plants...plus two fruit trees...it's kind of ridiculous.  It's so bad that we have received several letters from property management asking us to take down all of our planted pots from our ledge...so we take them down for a day or two and then they go back up again!  Chris is definitely the one with the green thumb.  Not me, If I so much as look at a plant I swear I will kill it.  I am the absolute worst gardener I've ever known, but I love helping pick everything once it's grown!




























Today I decided to make a special treat with our fresh lavender.  I absolutely love the versatility of lavender.  It can brighten up any baked treat or add a unique twist to a savory dish.  For my Bachelorette party last year my girls took me to this cute place in downtown Fullerton called the Tranquil Tea Lounge where I discovered the most amazing White Chocolate Lavender Scones.  I decided to recreate them into cookies and they turned out so good.  Soft cookies with a hint of floral lavender are complimented by creamy white chocolate chips creating a unique twist on the classic chocolate chip cookie.


























Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh lavender (or you can use dried)
2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips



Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and lavender.  Set aside.


In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars together.  Add the vanilla.  Add eggs, one at a time and mix until combined.  In small batches, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop out tablespoon size portions of cookie dough onto sheets.

 Bake about 10-12 minutes until golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack.





Recipe Adapted from Pass the Sushi


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mini Blackberry Galettes


Well friends, I have been awfully sick for the past few days and have barely been able to get myself out of bed.  Thank goodness I have the best hubby in the world to take care of me…and cook and clean.  I’m one lucky girl!  I can always tell when I’m finally starting to feel better after being sick when I feel like getting in the kitchen and cooking up a storm.  In fact, I’m starting to think that my poor husband may even like it when I’m sick just because our kitchen is in pristine condition…not the case when I’m feeling up to par.  He came home today to find me up and out of bed and making a mess of his beautifully cleaned kitchen…so sad…at least he got some amazing galettes out of it!   

What is a galette you ask?  My dear friends, this pastry could be one of the best things I’ve ever attempted to bake.  A galette is a free form rustic tart that bakes beautifully and tastes amazing when filled with either sweet or savory ingredients.  I chose to fill mine with fresh blackberries, warm spices, vanilla, honey, and butter.  The result…melt in your mouth, perfectly spiced amazingness…is that a word?!  Enjoy these tarts hot out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you will be in pastry heaven!


Ingredients: 

Filling: 

1 1/2 cups blackberries, washed and well dried
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon

Cornmeal pate brisee:

1 cup flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces (after you cut the butter into pieces it will get warm from your fingers so pop it in the freezer for a few minutes right before you put it in the food processor)
1/2 cup ice water

Egg wash:

1 egg beaten with a tablespoon water

Directions:


In a bowl, mix together all of the filling ingredients.  Let the filling marinate for at least an hour in the fridge while you prepare the dough.


To make the pate brisee in a food processor, add the flour, cornmeal, salt, and sugar into the bowl of the processor and pulse to combine.  Add the butter, and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse sand.  About 10 pulses.  Next, while running pour the ice water slowly through the top of the processor until the dough comes just comes together. 

Pull the dough out of the food processor and place onto a floured work surface.  Mound together gently, carefully dusting with enough flour so that the dough doesn’t stick, and form dough into a ball.  Divide it in half, flatten each half to make a disk, and wrap each half in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour.

After one hour, preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and take one half of the dough out of the fridge.  On a floured surface, shape into a ball.  Sprinkle with flour and top with a piece of parchment paper to prevent sticking.  Roll out the dough with a rolling pin over the parchment paper, until a rough circle is formed.  Gently peel up the circle of dough and place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and set aside.  Repeat with the second piece of dough.

Place a few spoonfuls of the filling mixture into the center of each circle of dough.  You want to leave enough dough around the edges to fold up around the filling.

To fold the dough up and around the fruit, first gently fold up one piece of dough.  Now dip your fingers into the egg wash mixture and rub some egg wash onto the edges of the dough you just pulled up.  Now pull up another piece of dough and pinch together.  Continue this process until all the dough is pulled up and around the filling.  Once the galettes are assembled, brush some more of the egg wash mixture on the dough and sprinkle with sugar.  Repeat with the second galette.


Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.  Allow to cool and top with vanilla ice cream to serve!



Recipe Adapted from No Tea After 12

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Italian Baked Eggs

Mother's Day is right around the corner...tomorrow to be exact!  The very special day where Mom's everywhere get the chance to sleep in, have breakfast in bed, and take a day off to do whatever they want.  
Treat your Mom right this Mother's Day with a special breakfast of Italian Baked Eggs.  Perfectly fluffy eggs loaded with fresh herbs, savory sauteed onions, peppers, and just a hint of garlic, topped off with bubbly Provolone cheese makes for a real treat.



Makes 2 servings
Ingredients:

1/2 an onion, chopped
1/2 a red bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 egg whites
2 eggs
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 slice Provolone cheese
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:

In a medium skillet cook onion, garlic, and paper in hot oil under tender.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl stir together the egg whites, egg, milk, and herbs.  Stir in the red pepper mixture.  Pour into 2 individual ramekins, greased with cooking spray.



Top each equally with Provolone cheese and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes until set.  Turn on broiler and broil for about 2 minutes or until cheese becomes bubbly and slightly brown.

Enjoy!


Recipe Adapted from BHG

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Individual Blueberry Crumbles + Liebster Blog Award

Blueberries are so deliciously ripe and in season right now...what better excuse to make equally delicious blueberry crumbles!  As if I needed another excuse to make these fresh blueberry crumbles,  bubbling over with goodness...I am also celebrating receiving the Liebster Blog Award!


I am so honored and excited to be receiving this award, thank you so much CY @ the shopaholic 24/7!  It is a reward in itself that this blog has become so much more to me than just a hobby.  It has really given me such joy to do what I love, while sharing my experience with others, and meeting so many amazing fellow bloggers along the way!

I now have the opportunity to nominate 5 fellow bloggers (in no particular order):

~ European Cutie - Absolutely love to look at all her European cuisine...especially all things Italian (my favorite!)

~ Paper & Pots - If you love cake pops, parties, and all things crafty check out this blog right this second!

~ Southern Girl's Kitchen - Good old fashioned food + lots of yummy baked goods = one amazing blog

~ Red Shallot Kitchen- Lots of unique savory and sweet recipes with something for everyone

~ The Messy Baker - Check out her Sunday Supper features for awesome meal ideas!

Attention Nominees!!! The Important Stuff:

1. Be sure to thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog
2. Link back to the blogger who presented you with the award
3. Copy and paste the blog award image on your blog
4. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 5 different blogs (with 200 followers or less) who you feel deserve to be awarded!
5. Let each nominee know they have been chosen by leaving a comment on their blog

Another big thank you to all of my readers!!! This blog would be nothing without you!

Now...onto the Blueberry Crumbles:


Ingredients:

4 cups fresh blueberries, washed and dried well
1/2 cup sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons flour, plus 1/2 cup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl combine the blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice together with 2 tablespoons of flour.  Pour equal amounts into individual ramekins.  In a separate bowl, blend remaining 1/2 cup flour, brown sugar and butter.  Mix until crumbly.  Sprinkle over berries.  Bake for about 30 minutes until bubbly.


Top with nonfat Greek yogurt for a reduced guilt topping.  Drizzle with honey if desired for an extra hint of sweetness.  This goes great with the yogurt topping!