Vanilla & Chocolate Conchas

This recipe takes a rather long time to prepare, but believe me, its worth it.  These pastries are a little more dense than what you would purchase in a Mexican market, but the flavor is almost identical  I’ll definitely be making these again.

kitchen tunes: Destiny’s Child/Bug A Boo

recipe from BH&G/May 20017

INGREDIENTS:

 

1/2 C lukewarm water (110 degrees)

2 TBSP active dry yeast

3/4 C, plus 1 TBSP granulated sugar

3 1/2 C all-purpose flour, plus 1/4 C for dusting

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 tsp. salt

3 TBSP. unsalted butter at room temp

1/2  TBSP extra-virgin olive oil

1 C all-purpose flour

1 C powdered sugar

8 TBSP unsalted butter, chilled and cut up

2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder

 

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a large bowl, combine the warm water, yeast and 1 TBSP granulated sugar.  Let it stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  • Place 3 1/2 cups of flour on a clean working surface; make a well in the center.  Pour in the yeast mixture, the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar, the eggs and salt.  Using your fingers, mix until dough comes together.  (Dough will be very sticky; use remaining 1/4 C flour and a dough scraper to help knead until you have a well-formed dough ball.)
  • Add 3 TBSP butter; knead until elastic and very smooth, about 10 minutes.  Grease a large bowl with olive oil; place dough in the bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap; allow to rise about 1 hour.
  • Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface.  Divide into twelve 2 inch pieces.  Roll into balls.
  • Place balls on two greased baking sheets.  Cover with plastic; let rise until double in size, about 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile for sugar topping, in a large bowl combine 1 C flour, the powdered sugar, and 8 TBSP butter.  Mix with hands until a moist dough forms.  Divide in half.  Add cocoa powder to one half; mix until well incorporated.  Divide the plain and chocolate dough into six balls each.  Flatten to a 1/4 inch thick disk; place on each concha.
  • Using a sharp knife cut through sugar topping.  Flatten each concha slightly; let rise 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake 20 minutes or until puffed and edges are golden.
  • ENJOY!

Grilled Artichokes

Hey guys!  Man does time fly when you’re having fun!?  It’s been over three weeks since my last recipe post, and probably even longer than that since I made this recipe for grilled artichokes.  I must admit, I did have some help.  While I did all of the prepping and steaming, by brother-in-law did the grilling.  And what a fine job he did!

 

These grilled artichokes would go well with whatever dipping sauce you choose. My go to is a quick chop of cilantro, maybe 2 TBSP mix it into a cup of Mayo, stir in the juice of one lime and you’re good to go!!

Kitchen tunes: How Do I Live?/LeAnn Rimes

 

INGREDIENTS:

 

4 large artichokes; halved

1 lemon, quartered

3/4 C olive oil

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

 

DIRECTIONS:

 

  • Remove the outer leaves then trim the tops, stems and tips of leaves from the artichokes, cut in half lengthwise. Place the halves into the bowl of lemon water, this will prevent them from browning.
  • Fill a large pot with 1 inch of water, bring the water to a boil
  • Using tongs, place the artichokes into the bottom of the pot.
  • Reduce to simmer and simmer for approx. 15 min. then drain.
  • Squeeze the lemon wedges into a medium bowl.  Stir in the olive oil, garlic and season with salt and pepper.
  • Grill the artichokes on an outdoor grill for 5-10 minutes, brushing the garlic dip on during the last couple of minutes.  Serve immediately with the remaining dip or a dip of your choice.
  • ENJOY!!

 

TIP: Using a stainless steel or an enameled pot will prevent discoloration or off flavors of the artichoke

Rainbow Chard with Sausage & Beans over Polenta

For Mother’s Day, the boys and I spent the day in the city. We had a few things in mind for our itinerary, but decided we’d do what we do best and wing it for the most part. 

We started our morning off at the Fort Mason Farmers Market. We arrived early enough to score an awesome *free* parking spot (which is a pretty BIG deal in San Francisco!). Since the vendors were still getting set up, we decided to walk across the street to Starbucks for a caffeine fix and an excuse to use their restroom!
It worked out to be perfect timing. We got to the farmers market just before it became too crowded. While there I picked up some shallots, rainbow chard, fresh (not dried) garlic, and a head of orange cauliflower. All organic. 

I was a little hesitant to buy too much produce since I knew that whatever I’d be purchasing would be sitting in a cooler in the back of the car all day. Also because we have two baseball games scheduled for the upcoming week, which means I won’t be doing a lot of heavy cooking. 

After the farmers market we headed to see the “painted ladies”. This famous row of houses is probably known best for their appearance in the intro to the television series “Full House”.  Which I wouldn’t doubt that I have seen every single episode of!

Next up we headed to North Beach A.K.A “Little Italy”. (And again, another amazing FREE parking spot!) Every time I’m in North Beach I have to stop at Stella Pastry & Cafe. This time we ordered a cannoli, an Apple turn-over and some Italian butter cookies with sprinkles. Yum!

 

As if that wasn’t filling enough, we then walked around the corner to a little hole in the wall known as Golden boy Pizza. We arrived just minutes before they opened for the day. We watched them slide their pizzas into the window display just as they unlocked the front doors.  We made their first order of the day!


Four slices of pizza, a sprite, a water, and a tall glass of beer for $21! Yes, please! 

The crab & garlic pizza is to die for! 


The server was kind enough to give us a clean pizza box even though I offered to pay for it. We told him we were headed to Seward Mini Park to slide down the cement slides and that we needed the cardboard to slide down on. He admitted that was an excellent reason to need a pizza box and refused any payment for it. So, I slipped an extra tip into the jar for his kindness. 😉


As if we hadn’t come across our share of luck so far into our trip, we were ecstatic to discover that we had the park to ourselves! The mister and I took advantage of it and let our inner child out while we took a few turns sliding down ourselves!
After that, we drove back down to the marina in hopes that the tide would be a little bit higher than it had been in the morning. We again parked the car in the free lot and took a short stroll down through the Golden Gate Yacht Club parking lot. Just past the lot is a jetty and at the very end is the Wave Organ.  The Wave Organ is constructed of cement pipes in various degrees that use the echos of the crashing waves to amplify the sound resulting in an amazing ocean melody. 


The views from the jetty are fabulous! The city skyline sits in one direction while the Golden Gate Bridge sits in the west and lonely Alcatraz stands alone in the center of the bay.  

We were lucky enough to get there in time to watch a sailboat race just as they passed the shore.  


We were pretty worn out after that and decided to call it a day!  All in all it turned out to be a pretty fantastic day! The weather was beautiful, the kids had a blast and we hardly spent a dime! 

kitchen tunes: champagne supernova/oasis

*this recipe was created by: The Daily Garlic.*



INGREDIENTS:


for the chard, sausage & beans:

1 lb Italian sausage; casing removed
1 bunch rainbow chard

1 14.5 oz can great northern beans; drained

2 TBSP olive oil

1 shallot, minced (aprox 2 TBSP)

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 C white cooking wine

1 C chicken stock 

Salt & pepper 

For the polenta:



1 1/2 C milk

1 1/2 C chicken stock

1 C polenta 

2 TBSP butter

Fresh cracked pepper 

DIRECTIONS:


For the chard, sausage & beans:

  • Prepare the chard by first washing it then removing stems from leaves. 
  • Chop the stems and set aside.
  • Roughly chop leaves and set those aside as well. 
  • In a large cast iron pan brown the Italian sausage over med-high heat while separating into large chunks. When cooked through, remove and set aside. 
  • In the same pan, heat olive oil and sauté the chard stems with the shallot, garlic, salt & pepper. 
  • Once the stems begin to soften, remove from pan and set aside with the cooked sausage. 
  • Deglaze the pan with the white cooking wine and add the chard leaves. Sauté just until wilted. 
  • Return the sausage and chard stems back into the pan. Add in the beans and chicken stock. Salt & pepper if needed. Lower heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. 

For the polenta:

  • Heat the milk and chicken stock until it starts to come to a boil. 
  • While whisking, slowly pour in the polenta. 
  • Continuously whisk until thickened. 
  • Stir in the butter and pepper. 
  • ENJOY!

Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Scones

As far as imagination and creativity goes, my brain sometimes severely lacks. Although I will say that I do have a pretty decent ability of being able to take a basic recipe (such as Betty Crockers “Scones”) and revising it, thus turning it into something of my own. As long as I stick close to the same dry/wet ingredient ratio, I can have so much fun swapping out ingredients and adding my own spin on it, often based on what I already have in my fridge. Most of the time it works, occasionally it doesn’t. With this mornings breakfast, I’d say it went very well!

Kitchen tunes: I’m yours/ jason mraz

INGREDIENTS:

1 3/4 all purpose flour

3 TBSP granulated sugar

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/3 C firm unsalted butter

1 large egg, beaten

1/2 C mini chocolate chips

6 TBSP heavy whipping cream

DIRECTIONS:

  • Heat oven to 400 degrees
  • In a large bowl, sift together the first five ingredients listed.
  • Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture looks like fine crumbs
  • Stir in the egg, chocolate chips and heavy whipping cream (dough will be slightly dry)
  • Knead lightly 10 times.
  • On an ungreased cookie sheet, pat the dough down into an 8 inch round and using a sharp knife cut into 8 wedges.
  • Bake for aprox 15 minutes.
  • ENJOY!

Cannoli Dip

Holy Moly, it’s a cannoli! Wait…no…what a trip! It is actually a dip! A cannoli dip!

kitchen tunes: assets/ yellow claw feat. Tropkillaz & The Kemist

Recipe featured in: Family Circle/April 2017

INGREDIENTS:

2/3 C heavy cream

1/3 C confectioners sugar

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

16oz ricotta cheese

1/2 C mini chocolate chips

12 waffle cones broken into pieces

DIRECTIONS:

  • Using an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream, confectioners sugar and vanilla extract to soft peaks.
  • Add ricotta cheese and chocolate chips, beat until combined.
  • Serve with waffle cone pieces.


Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

 

Last November my favorite black t shirt went missing. Even though it was nothing fancy, it was just a shirt I picked up from Target for maybe 12 bucks, still…it was my favorite black shirt! It’s one of those shirts that you can literally just pull out of the closet and throw on with anything. It fit perfect. Never lost it’s shape. Rarely needed ironing. And because of the material it’s made from, it doesn’t seem to ever fade. <—- and that’s a pretty big deal!

 
When I noticed it was MIA I pulled everything out of my dresser drawers, twice. I went through my entire closet hanger by hanger, numerous times. I even searched both boys closets and dressers and had the mister do the same in hopes that it accidentally got mixed in with their laundry. Still, no luck!

 
Once I came to terms with its absence, I settled on the idea that I must’ve accidentally placed it in the goodwill box that I had sent out for donation at the end of the year. I just hoped that whoever was lucky enough to end up with my shirt was enjoying it as much as I once did.

 
This week was teacher appreciation week at the boys’ school. Thursday specifically being “dress like your teachers favorite superhero” day. Since I had a superhero cape packed away with old costumes I decided to it pull down the Rubbermaid tote I had up in the closet and dig it out for Carson to wear.

 
And I’ll be darned!

 
Shoved in the middle of the tote, inside out and all wrinkled up laid my favorite black t shirt!!! It was a glorious reunion. I took the shirt, hid it behind my back and went to where the boys were to ask “Can you guess what I just found?!”. It took them only two guesses to figure out what was behind my back. Hehehe. 🙂

 

 

INGREIDENTS:

1 egg

1 C all purpose flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 C plus 2 TBSP brown sugar

1/3 C granulated sugar

3/4 tsp kosher salt

6 TBSP unsalted butter

1/5 tsp vanilla extract

 

DIRECTIONS:

 

  • Place your oven rack to its lowest position.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter and kosher salt.
  • Stir in egg and vanilla
  • Add in flour and baking soda
  • Mix in 3/4 C of the chocolate chips, reserving the remainder.
  • Scrape the batter into a 10 inch cast iron skillet.
  • With damp hands, press dough down into an even layer so that dough extends to the sides of the pan.
  • Scatter the remaining chocolate chips on top of the cookie
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are browned.
  • Allow the cookie to cool in the skillet for 1 hour.
  • Cut into wedges.  ENJOY!

 

kitchen tunes: case of the ex/Mya

recipe adapted from: Giant Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie/ Bon Appetit Magazine March 2016

 

Ginger-Lime Roasted Rainbow Carrots

 

 

 

When Dominic was an infant I was asked by his pediatrician if he ate a lot of carrots. I remember replying “Carrots and sweet potatoes are his favorite, why do you ask?” “Because his skin has an orange tinge to it.” So there you go! It must be true…we really are what we eat!

 

Thinking about it now, I wonder what he would’ve looked like had I only fed him purple carrots and purple potatoes?

 

And since I don’t plan to have anymore children, will someone please do me the favor of feeding their baby a moderate amount of purple carrots and purple potatoes and let me know how that goes?
Come on…it’ll be fun, do it in the name of science! 😉

 

 

kitchen tunes: Budapest/George Ezra
INGREDIENTS:

2 TBSP Organic Raw Blue Agave

2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil

1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and microplaned

1 lime juiced and zested

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 bunch of rainbow carrots, peeled and cut into strips

handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

 

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the first six ingredients.
  • Add the prepared carrots into the bowl and toss to coat.
  • Arrange carrots onto a 9×13 inch roasting pan.
  • Place into the oven and bake until tender.  Approx. 25 minutes

 

*Recipe adapted from: The Family Circle/April 2017 issue