Garnish with Lemon http://www.garnishwithlemon.com Enliven your family meals Sun, 01 Mar 2015 13:17:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Mini Patty Melt Sliders http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/mini-patty-melt-sliders/ http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/mini-patty-melt-sliders/#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2015 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/?p=6774 You’ll score a lot of points with your friends when you serve these Mini Patty Melt Sliders at your next party! Tomorrow is March 1st and that means that March Madness (and warmer weather) is right around the corner. Eek! I love, love, love this time of year. College basketball at its finest. And this year...

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You’ll score a lot of points with your friends when you serve these Mini Patty Melt Sliders at your next party!

Mini Patty Melt Sliders

Tomorrow is March 1st and that means that March Madness (and warmer weather) is right around the corner. Eek! I love, love, love this time of year. College basketball at its finest. And this year it’s gonna be even more fun because my beloved Iowa State Cyclones are back and so much fun to watch.

Please understand my pain. I live in Minnesota and being a fan of almost any team here is tough. And I’m married to a die-hard Wisconsin Badger. Enough said, right?

With my Cyclones playing so well this year, I know I need something special to serve at my March Madness party. I’m keeping it simple with little bites like these Greek Salad Skewers and Easy Parmesan Pinwheels, but I’m pretty confident these Mini Patty Melt Sliders will steal the show.

Why? Well, because they are sliders, first of all. Who doesn’t love sliders? But these beauties are extra special because they are made with some seriously good beef. Snake River Farms was kind enough to send some of their amazing products to us, including their American Kobe Ground Beef. Color us impressed with their meats! I usually eat my beef pretty rare, so I was concerned how their ground beef would taste as the patties are placed over the heat twice. Was I about to ruin some spectacular beef? No worries; this meat is so juicy and flavorful that, even after it was cooked through, it was crazy good. Add some fried onions and melted cheese and you have the best patty melt a person could eat, guaranteed.

I’m feeling good about March Madness this year and hope my Cyclones play well. Either way I win because I get to eat these Mini Patty Melt Sliders. Sounds like heaven to me. Now if the weather would cooperate and get a little warmer, we would have the perfect trifecta.

Mini Patty Melt Sliders

While we were sent product to sample, we were not compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Mini Patty Melt Sliders
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Appetizers
Serves: 12 mini burgers
Ingredients
  • 1 medium sweet yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ pound ground beef (no leaner than 85/15)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 24 slices cocktail size Rye bread
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, sliced
  • 3 ounces swiss cheese, sliced
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a medium pan over medium low heat. Add sliced onions and cook for 20-25 minutes until softened and caramelized, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. As onions are cooking, place the ground beef in a small mixing bowl and add the Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper. Mix well. Take 2 tablespoons of meat and form into a ball. Flatten out to form a small patty.
  3. Heat a grill pan over medium high heat and spray with cooking spray. Add patties and cook for 2½ minutes per side. Remove from heat and place a ¼ ounce of sharp cheddar cheese on top of each patty.
To assemble Patty Melts:
  1. Melt butter over low heat in a large non stick frying pan. Place bread slices in pan to coat one side with butter and then remove to cutting board, butter side up.
  2. Place bread in pan, butter side down and top with ¼ ounce swiss cheese, 2 tablespoons fried onions, beef patty and then top with another slice of bread (buttered side up). Press down with a spatula to press sandwich together. Cook for about 2 minutes (or until browned), flip and cook for another 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

 Don’t forget the sweets!

Chocolate Caramel Peanut Bars

Chocolate Caramel Peanut Bars

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

Gooey S'mores Bars

Gooey Bakes S’mores Bars

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Flourless Chocolate Cookies with Mint Chips http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/flourless-chocolate-cookies-with-mint-chips/ http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/flourless-chocolate-cookies-with-mint-chips/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/?p=6773 Yes, you can make amazing cookies without flour! Check out these totally craveable Flourless Chocolate Cookies with Mint Chips. Are you as skeptical about these as I was?I really went into this with a half open mind. Scratch that. Maybe about a quarter open to the possibility that you can actually make craveable cookies without...

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Yes, you can make amazing cookies without flour! Check out these totally craveable Flourless Chocolate Cookies with Mint Chips.
Flourless Chocolate Cookies with Mint Chips
Are you as skeptical about these as I was?I really went into this with a half open mind. Scratch that. Maybe about a quarter open to the possibility that you can actually make craveable cookies without flour. In fact, I nearly threw in the towel after I saw how runny the dough was after mixing up the ingredients. In my mind, there was no way these could possibly work. Thank goodness I stayed the course and followed through because these Flourless Chocolate Cookies with Mint Chips are crispy, fudgy, minty mouthfuls of pure deliciousness. Definitely my newest obsession.

Wait a minute…crispy AND fudgy? Yes, you read that correctly. These cookies have a fantastic crisp bite to them as well as a rich fudgy center. The key here is not to overbake them. Watch them carefully until the edges are set but the centers still appear a bit soft and shiny. I promise this is not a high maintenance recipe, but it does require a bit of patience as the dough must rest in the fridge overnight.

The other essential tip that worked for me was using a cookie scoop to handle the raw cookie dough. This is sticky stuff, which makes it more challenging to get it from the bowl to the pan without looking like someone went all Jackson Pollock on the cookie sheet.

The original recipe called for chopped pecans, but I’m totally crushing on my version with the mint chips. Because, really, dark chocolate and mint…how can you go wrong?

P.S. Making these for a friend who is allergic to gluten? Just be sure that your corn starch and baking powder are labeled gluten-free, and you’re good to go. Then prepare yourself for the gratitude and accolades.
Flourless Chocolate Cookies with Mint Chips

Flourless Chocolate Cookies with Mint Chips
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 18-22
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1¾ cup dark chocolate chips, divided
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup mint chips
Instructions
  1. Whisk together sugar, corn starch, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. Bring a small amount of water to a simmer in a saucepan. Place a heatproof bowl on top of the saucepan being sure the water in the pan doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. Pour 1½ cups of chocolate chips into the bowl and melt completely, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and keep pan/bowl on burner. (You can also melt the chocolate chips in the microwave if you want. Just be sure to check the melting frequently so it doesn't overheat.)
  3. Melt butter in the microwave and whisk into the melted chocolate.
  4. Add eggs to sugar mixture and whisk until incorporated. Remove bowl of melted chocolate and butter from the stove and slowly whisk chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until the batter comes together. Gently stir in remaining ¼ cup chocolate chips and 1 cup of mint chips.
  5. Press plastic wrap on the surface of the batter and refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to 3 days.
  6. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and evenly divide dough on prepared cookie sheets using your 1½ tablespoon cookie scoop (or two spoons). Very gently press tops of dough balls to help them flatten as they bake.
  8. Bake for 8-9 minutes, rotating pans once as they bake. The cookies are done when they start to crack on top but still look a bit soft in the middle. Allow to cool for 6 minutes on the cookie sheets before sliding parchment paper onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Notes
The chocolate butter mixture cools quickly. You want it warm and pourable in order for it to incorporate into the sugar mixture. If needed, gently rewarm the chocolate before adding it to the sugar mixture.
Can you ever have enough cookies?

Chewy Oatmeal M & M Cookies

Salty Caramel Pecan Oatmeal Cookie Bars

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Tagalong Brownie Bites with Peanut Butter Frosting http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/tagalong-brownie-bites-with-peanut-butter-frosting/ http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/tagalong-brownie-bites-with-peanut-butter-frosting/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/?p=6703 It’s Girl Scout cookie season! Make it last all year and buy a few extra boxes to make these Tagalong Brownie Bites with Peanut Butter Frosting.  The Girl Scouts have a pretty good gig. They sell these irresistible cookies for a certain period of time each year and people to spend hundreds a lot of money...

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It’s Girl Scout cookie season! Make it last all year and buy a few extra boxes to make these Tagalong Brownie Bites with Peanut Butter Frosting. 

Tagalong Brownie Bites with Peanut Butter Frosting

The Girl Scouts have a pretty good gig. They sell these irresistible cookies for a certain period of time each year and people to spend hundreds a lot of money on these cookies. I buy waaaay more than I would of any other product because they are only sold for a short time. So far this year I have already purchased 14 boxes of Girl Scout cookies. And that was in the first 5 days that they were on sale. (Wow, that sounds a lot worse in print!) Thank goodness my neighbor is a Girl Scout AND her mom, Shannon, is the cookie chair. All I need to do is text Shannon, and cookies are delivered to my door. Heaven on Earth.

And tell me I’m not the only one who can eat the whole box in one sitting? A sleeve of Thin Mints is gone before I realize it. And my favorite cookie, Tagalongs? I need to open them when others are around. Enough said. They go VERY quickly. So in an effort to make my Tagalongs last a little longer, I got creative in the kitchen and put them in some brownie bites. I think these Tagalong Brownie Bites with Peanut Butter Frosting might be my best decision this week.

Tagalong cookies are the perfect addition to the chewy brownie. Crunchy cookies, chewy brownies and peanut butter. Life is good. And because there is no such thing as too much peanut butter, I topped them with peanut butter frosting. Bite sized portions mean that they bake quickly and I’m forced to share – win-win all around.

Buy a few extra boxes this year and hide them in your freezer. Your family will love you even more when you bake these Tagalong Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting long after cookie season has ended.

Tagalong Brownie Bites with Peanut Butter Frosting

Tagalong Brownie Bites with Peanut Butter Frosting
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Desserts
Serves: 48 mini brownie bites
Ingredients
Brownie Bites:
  • ½ cup butter
  • 8 ounces semi sweet chocolate
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 10 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup chopped Tagalong cookies
Peanut Butter Frosting:
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons heavy cream
Instructions
To make the brownie bites:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Place butter and chocolate in a small microwave safe bowl. Heat chocolate and butter in microwave in 30 second intervals until melted, stirring after each one, being careful not to burn chocolate. Remove from microwave and cool for 10 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, add cooled chocolate mixture and stir in sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring well to incorporate after each one. Add vanilla and stir. Add flour and stir until just combined, being careful not to over mix. Fold in chopped cookies.
  4. Using a small cookie scoop, place brownie batter in prepared pans. Bake for 13 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.
To make the frosting:
  1. Place butter and peanut butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until fully combined, about 5 minutes. Add powdered sugar and beat well. Add cream a tablespoon at a time to get to desired consistency.
  2. Place in piping bag and frost brownies with desired amount.

 

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Ham and Egg Breakfast Pizza http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/ham-egg-breakfast-pizza/ http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/ham-egg-breakfast-pizza/#comments Sat, 21 Feb 2015 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/?p=6841 Leftover pizza for breakfast has always been a thing, but this scrumptious Ham and Egg Breakfast Pizza makes pizza in the morning totally legit. See that egg? I die. Seriously, I was so ridiculously excited when I made this. Sometimes I can get all caught up in finding the newest, latest and greatest take on food,...

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Leftover pizza for breakfast has always been a thing, but this scrumptious Ham and Egg Breakfast Pizza makes pizza in the morning totally legit.

Ham and Egg Breakfast Pizza See that egg?

I die.

Seriously, I was so ridiculously excited when I made this. Sometimes I can get all caught up in finding the newest, latest and greatest take on food, only to make meal prep more time consuming and complicated than it needs to be. This Ham and Egg Breakfast Pizza is just another reminder that good food doesn’t have to be fussy and simple ingredients can truly make magic together.

Besides, who can argue with pizza for breakfast?

A few tips for making this killer pizza:

1) Place a pizza stone or overturned sheet pan in the oven while it is preheating. This helps ensure the pizza cooks evenly, especially important with that egg on top. Besides, who likes soggy crust?

2) Use the best ricotta you can find. This one was a real eye opener for me. I admit, I’m not well-versed in ricotta cheese, often settling for whatever is in the dairy section. But since the ricotta was one of the few starring ingredients here, I wandered over to the imported cheese section at my grocery store and picked up some Calabro Whole Milk Ricotta. Holy smokes, I could eat this stuff with a spoon! Smooth (not grainy) with a faint sweetness to it. You may not be able to get Calabro where you live, but seek out something similar. Sooo worth the extra few minutes of shopping.

3) Crack your egg on the pizza AFTER you put it in the oven. This is simply to avoid the cleanup that will inevitably occur when you try to transfer a raw cracked egg from one flat surface to another. Unless you have incredibly balanced hands, then by all means crack the egg before you put the pizza in the oven. (And start charging admission for your performance, because that’s pretty awesome.)

I know some of you might be squeamish about runny eggs, so I offered a range of cooking times in the recipe below. Choose what works for you.

Now go forth and impress the heck out of your family and friends. Because pizza. For Breakfast.

Enough said.

Ham and Egg Breakfast Pizza

Ham and Egg Breakfast Pizza
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 piece of Naan bread
  • 1½ tablespoons pizza sauce
  • 5 teaspoons ricotta cheese
  • 1 piece ham
  • 2 heaping teaspoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 egg, cracked in a small bowl
  • Fresh basil, thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. Place a pizza stone or overturned sheet pan in the oven and preheat to 450.
  2. Evenly spread pizza sauce over Naan. Drop teaspoon-size dollops of ricotta on the Naan. Tear ham into pieces and evenly space on Naan. Sprinkle Pecorino cheese on top.
  3. Place Naan in the oven and gently slide the cracked egg out of the bowl and onto the middle of the Naan. Bake for 8-12 minutes, depending on how soft or hard you like your eggs.
  4. Remove from oven. Garnish with fresh basil. Serve warm.

Looking for more savory ways to kick off the weekend?

Fried Egg and Mushroom SandwichFried Egg and Mushroom Sandwich

Cheesy Ham and Spinach Egg CupsCheesy Ham and Spinach Egg Cups

Easy Breakfast BurritoEasy Breakfast Burrito

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Mint Chocolate Green Smoothie http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/mint-chocolate-green-smoothie/ http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/mint-chocolate-green-smoothie/#comments Thu, 19 Feb 2015 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/?p=6771 Oh yes, chocolate and mint can be GOOD for you! See for yourself with our Mint Chocolate Green Smoothie. I swear this Mint Chocolate Green Smoothie can’t actually be good for you. If I didn’t make it myself, I would never have guessed that it is full of healthy goodness. I have a few green...

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Oh yes, chocolate and mint can be GOOD for you! See for yourself with our Mint Chocolate Green Smoothie.

Mint Chocolate Green SmoothieI swear this Mint Chocolate Green Smoothie can’t actually be good for you. If I didn’t make it myself, I would never have guessed that it is full of healthy goodness.

I have a few green smoothies that I always keep in my breakfast rotation (our Spinach Banana Protein Smoothie and Sheila’s Mango Ginger Power Smoothie are two of my favorites), but sometimes I crave want something a little more decadent to jumpstart my day. This Mint Chocolate Green Smoothie tastes more like a milk shake than a smoothie, which means my kids are all over it, especially when I dress it up with a little whipped cream and chocolate chips on top. Dessert for breakfast anyone?

Now I realize that I’m negating some of the health benefits of this smoothie by adding whipped cream and extra chips on top of the smoothie, but I’d venture to say the nutritional content of this smoothie is still pretty solid. I’m certainly no dietician, but protein-rich vanilla Greek Yogurt combined with calcium-loaded fresh spinach and omega-3-abundant avocado certainly help tip the scales on the positive side. Trust me; there is no way I’m getting Grady to eat fresh spinach in the morning unless it’s pureed inside a smoothie, so the mint chocolate combo is just an added bonus.

Dare I say, you could also make a thicker version of this smoothie and serve it in parfait glasses as an easy, healthy dessert. You could gussy up the name to sound like a fancy French dessert (menthe chocolat mousse, anyone??). But really, there is not need to disguise the fact that this Mint Chocolate Green Smoothie is just plain GOOD. And it definitely deserves a spot in your green smoothie arsenal.

Mint Chocolate Green Smoothie

Mint Chocolate Green Smoothie
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup vanilla greek yogurt
  • ½ cup tightly packed spinach
  • ⅓ - ½ cup milk (depending on how thick you like your smoothies)
  • 5 ice cubes
  • ½ avocado
  • ½ tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate chips
  • ¼ teaspoon pure mint extract
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

Banish smoothie burnout with these tasty options:

Ginger Peach Green Tea SmoothieGinger Peach Green Tea Smoothie

Blueberry Oatmeal Smoothie Blueberry Oatmeal Smoothie

25 Delicious Smoothies to Jumpstart the New Year - Garnish with Lemon25 Delicious Smoothies to Jumpstart the New Year

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Baked Potato Soup http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/baked-potato-soup/ http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/baked-potato-soup/#comments Mon, 16 Feb 2015 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/?p=6777 This easy Baked Potato Soup is pure cold weather comfort food. Yep, you guessed it; my soup craving hit again. It’s pretty much a given that whenever the temperatures fall below freezing that I start cranking out homemade soup. It’s my version of an electric blanket (although I think that might be nice, too, given...

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This easy Baked Potato Soup is pure cold weather comfort food.

Baked Potato Soup

Yep, you guessed it; my soup craving hit again.

It’s pretty much a given that whenever the temperatures fall below freezing that I start cranking out homemade soup. It’s my version of an electric blanket (although I think that might be nice, too, given the recent cold). This month I took a crack at Baked Potato Soup, because nothing says comfort food like a baked potato loaded with your favorite toppings.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say my version of Baked Potato Soup is healthy, but it certainly is better for you than many of the cream-based versions that are out there. But that doesn’t make it any less tasty. (Maybe just less likely to sit in your gut after a large bowl of it.) ;)

You can bake your potatoes any way you like for this soup – oven or microwave – but I opted to save time and use the microwave. After the potatoes cooled, I used the smaller of my super handy OXO fruit scoops to carve the baked potatoes out of their skins. So slick! The scoop has a thinner edge than a regular spoon which made it removing the potato guts go much more quickly.

Garnish your soup with the same toppings you enjoy on your baked potatoes. For me, this means bacon, sour cream, sharp cheddar cheese and garlicky chives. And maybe a little extra bacon – well, because, bacon.

This Baked Potato Soup is a peace offering to all of my snowed-in, sick-of-winter, cold-hating friends out there who vow to move to warmer climes next year. No, it doesn’t bring sandy beaches and palm trees to your home, but it’s amazing how a belly-warming soup can give you a momentary reprieve from cursing Mother Nature.

Momentary, yes, but it’s a darn tasty moment.

Baked Potato Soup

Baked Potato Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Soups and Stews
Serves: 4 as a main course
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces (4 slices) bacon, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 5 large Russet potatoes, baked, cooled and peeled
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • Cheddar cheese, chives, bacon bits and extra sour cream for garnish, if desired
Instructions
  1. Place bacon in a dutch oven over medium-low heat. Cook bacon until fat renders and bits are crispy, about 10-12 minutes. Remove bacon from pan and reserve.
  2. Increase heat to medium, add onions to pan and cook until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add potatoes and chicken broth to the pan. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in milk, sour cream, salt and pepper. Using an immersion blender, puree to desired consistency. (Alternately, you can puree it in batches using a blender.) Check seasoning and adjust as desired. Serve with cheddar cheese, chopped chives, cooked bacon bits and extra sour cream.

Soup? Did someone say soup?

Winter Minestrone SoupWinter Minestrone Soup

Crock Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup Crock Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup

Easy Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Ham Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Ham

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Sesame Salted Caramel Sauce http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/sesame-salted-caramel-sauce/ http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/sesame-salted-caramel-sauce/#comments Sat, 14 Feb 2015 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/?p=6754 Unlikely ingredients – nutty tahini and rich caramel – combine in this crazy delicious Sesame Salted Caramel Sauce. This is the story of homemade hummus… I know what you’re thinking. I’ve probably lost my marbles because here I am talking about hummus when I’m supposed to be waxing poetic about Sesame Salted Caramel Sauce. Just...

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Unlikely ingredients – nutty tahini and rich caramel – combine in this crazy delicious Sesame Salted Caramel Sauce.

Sesame Salted Caramel Sauce

This is the story of homemade hummus…

I know what you’re thinking. I’ve probably lost my marbles because here I am talking about hummus when I’m supposed to be waxing poetic about Sesame Salted Caramel Sauce. Just stay with me; this story has a happy ending.

Earlier this year I made a batch of homemade Edamame Hummus. Super yummy, super easy and a fun way to shake up my hummus intake. Tahini – or sesame seed paste – is the main ingredient in all traditional hummus recipes, but finding one that is not processed with peanuts (a no-no for my peanut allergic daughter) is more challenging than you’d think. So after much searching, I ended up with a rather large (and rather expensive) container of peanut-free tahini. Perfect for copious amounts of hummus, but I was at a loss for other ways to use my obscene amount of tahini. Fortunately my otherwise annoying habit of ripping recipes out of magazines to save for later use finally paid off in a big way. I vaguely remembered being intrigued by a recipe in a not-so-distant issue of Bon Appetit that combined sesame and caramel. Not only did I remember, but I actually knew where to look to find said scrap of paper. #Winning! It’s as though this Sesame Salted Caramel Sauce was meant to be.

As far as caramel sauces go, this one is easy-breezy to make. Caramel recipes can be rather finicky, sometimes requiring a candy thermometer or hyper-vigilant attention to make them a success. This simple version relies on a bit of upper arm strength for stirring and a pinch of cream of tartar to prevent the caramel from crystallizing – ideal for homemade-caramel-phobes out there.

The tahini gives the sauce a lovely nutty flavor, which is well balanced with the sweetness of the caramel. And the crunchy bite from the sesame seeds is a fantastic contrast to the silky sauce, especially over ice cream.

My next experiment is to top homemade waffles with Sesame Salted Caramel Sauce….

I mean, really, how can this story end badly?

Sesame Salted Caramel Sauce

Sesame Salted Caramel Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 1¼ cups
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ⅔ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Place sugar, cream of tartar and water in a medium saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil over medium high heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. The sugar will begin to caramelize while it is boiling. Keep stirring to ensure even cooking. You want the sugar to resemble the color of honey, which should take about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook until the sugar takes on a deep amber tone, stirring occasionally. This should take 3-5 minutes.
  2. Remove pan from heat and whisk in tahini, butter and cream until fully incorporated (this may take a bit of elbow grease to get it fully mixed together). Stir in sesame seeds and salt. Serve warm or cool completely and refrigerate for up to a week.
Notes
Make sure your tahini is at room temperature. It will incorporate into the caramel sauce more easily than refrigerated tahini.

Love caramel? Me, too. Probably too much. Wait, is that possible?

Chocolate Caramel Peanut BarsChocolate Caramel Peanut Bars

Caramel Apple Fruit Dip Caramel Apple Fruit Dip

Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel Whiskey SauceBread Pudding with Salted Caramel Whiskey Sauce

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Kung Pao Broccoli http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/kung-pao-broccoli/ http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/kung-pao-broccoli/#comments Thu, 12 Feb 2015 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/?p=6767 Make broccoli the star of your meal with this flavorful Kung Pao Broccoli! I have been dying to share this recipe with you because this will be THE ONE that will convert any non-broccoli lover over to the right side of the tracks. I teased you about this broccoli on Monday when I shared the salad I...

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Make broccoli the star of your meal with this flavorful Kung Pao Broccoli!

Kung Pao Broccoli

I have been dying to share this recipe with you because this will be THE ONE that will convert any non-broccoli lover over to the right side of the tracks.

I teased you about this broccoli on Monday when I shared the salad I made for our most recent book club meeting, but I have to say this Kung Pao Broccoli was the star of the night. Broccoli!? Are you kidding? I kid you not; we are a healthy bunch (as long as you don’t count the wine we drink). 

Now this isn’t just any ordinary broccoli – this has Kung Pao sauce on it. And the sauce is so good that I know I need to find eleventy other ways to use it. And so will you. Rich with sesame oil, soy sauce and a touch of hot chile paste, this Kung Pao sauce is so yummy that I eat it with a spoon. Are you a spicy heat lover? Just up the amount of chili paste. It’s super easy to tailor to your own taste with a recipe this simple.

This roasted Kung Pao Broccoli was a judged a success by 3/4 of my family (Greta is my holdout, but she’s 11). I consider that a major victory in the never ending battle to add more greens to our diets. Besides, how can you resist anything topped with crunchy peanuts??

Kung Pao Broccoli

Kung Pao Broccoli
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sides and salads
Serves: 6
Ingredients
Kung Pao Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons hot chili paste
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (I used bottled)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
Roasted Broccoli:
  • 2 heads broccoli, washed and cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup unsalted, dry roasted peanuts
Instructions
To make Kung Pao Sauce:
  1. Dissolve 1 tablespoon of corn starch with 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Place sesame oil, chili paste, white wine, soy sauce, and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Stir to combine. Stir in cornstarch mixture and heat over low heat until aromatic and slightly thick.
To make the Roasted Broccoli:
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place broccoli florets on a jelly roll pan, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Roast in oven for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven and toss with desired amount of Kung Pao Sauce. Garnish with peanuts.
Notes
If sauce gets thick, add water one tablespoon at a time to get desired consistency. Extra sauce keeps in refrigerator for 1 week.

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Roasted Grape, Feta and Arugula Salad http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/roasted-grape-feta-and-arugula-salad/ http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/roasted-grape-feta-and-arugula-salad/#comments Mon, 09 Feb 2015 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/?p=6769  Kick boring salads to the curb with this Roasted Grape, Feta and Arugula Salad. I hosted book club at my house a few weeks ago and when I was planning the menu, I knew that a Roasted Grape, Feta and Arugula Salad would be a hit. When the five of us go out to dinner, we tend...

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 Kick boring salads to the curb with this Roasted Grape, Feta and Arugula Salad.
Roasted Grape, Feta and Arugula Salad
I hosted book club at my house a few weeks ago and when I was planning the menu, I knew that a Roasted Grape, Feta and Arugula Salad would be a hit. When the five of us go out to dinner, we tend to get a side of vegetables as one of our appetizers, and there are always several salads on the table. Are we weird or just healthy eaters? Wait, don’t answer that. 

I wanted to do something a little different for book club, and salads are the perfect blank slate. It is kind of funny how our book club menus have changed over the years as my eating habits have evolved. Don’t get me wrong, I love cheese and butter as much as the next person, but I have been trying to be much more intentional in the amount of vegetables I eat. And now I crave them.
 
Have you ever roasted grapes? Roasting grapes brings out their sweetness even more. Toss them with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar and give them a quick roast in the oven. The end result? Delicious sweet, slightly acidic roasted grapes that balance perfectly with the peppery arugula and salty feta. Add a quick squeeze of lemon juice and olive oil, and this simple salad is full of complex flavors that are a welcome addition to any meal.
 
As for book club’s opinion? Well, the bowl was empty, does that tell you? And there was another keeper that night too. Kung Pao Broccoli. But you’ll have to come back on Thursday for that recipe. And trust me, that’s one you don’t want to miss. 
Roasted Grape, Feta and Arugula Salad
Roasted Grape, Feta and Arugula Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups seedless red grapes
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces arugula
  • 1 ounce crumbled feta cheese (about ¼ cup)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Toss grapes with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Place on jelly roll pan and roast for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place in a small bowl being sure to get the juices, too. Add walnuts, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Toss gently to coat.
  3. Place arugula in a salad bowl and add the the roasted grape and walnut combination and toss to combine. Sprinkle with feta cheese and serve.
More Book Club Favorites
Roasted Beet and Arugula Salad with Pistachios and Goat Cheese

 

Classic Wedge Salad

 

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

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Pan Seared Scallops http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/pan-seared-scallops/ http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/pan-seared-scallops/#comments Sat, 07 Feb 2015 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.garnishwithlemon.com/?p=6732 Don’t make a reservation for Valentine’s Day this year. Follow these easy steps to get restaurant-quality, Pan Seared Scallops at home! Valentine’s Day is one of my least favorite days to eat out. Restaurants are packed, and they charge double the price for what they would any other night. No, thank you. I would rather...

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Don’t make a reservation for Valentine’s Day this year. Follow these easy steps to get restaurant-quality, Pan Seared Scallops at home!

Perfect Pan Seared Scallops

Valentine’s Day is one of my least favorite days to eat out. Restaurants are packed, and they charge double the price for what they would any other night. No, thank you. I would rather save my money for another night.

My solution? I’ll make a restaurant-quality dinner at home. But that doesn’t mean I want to spend hours in the kitchen. So for me, that means scallops. Scallops are one of favorite seafood dishes, and I used to save the splurge only for restaurants. But after several failed attempts at making perfect Pan Seared Scallops at home, I finally mastered it. And you know what’s crazy? They have to be one of THE easiest things to make as long as you follow a few simple steps. Trust me; you can totally do this. 

Step One: Start with DRY scallops. I mean, really dry. Scallops hold a ton of excess water, and if you don’t get it all out, you will end up with a watery mess in your skillet. Pat them dry with paper towels. And when I think they are dry enough, pat them one more time just to be sure. If you rush this step, you will end up with scallops that won’t caramelize. (I’ve done this more times than I would care to admit.) And when you are shelling out the money for scallops, you want to make it worth your while.

Step Two: You need a smoking hot skillet. Literally. After your scallops are dry, heat your butter and olive oil until it is just smoking in a skillet. Keep your nonstick pan on the shelf for this meal; you’ll have the best results in a stainless steel or cast iron pan. (I have this one and LOOOOVE it.)

Step Three: Add your scallops to your smoking hot butter and oil, but don’t let them touch each other as they need room to let moisture escape. Otherwise you will have steamed scallops. And steamed scallops don’t make anyone happy. Let them caramelize for 2 minutes, flip them and sear them for another 2 minutes. The result? Gorgeous caramel color that is essential for restaurant-quality, pan seared scallops.

See how easy it is? Not only is it easy, but it’s super fast, too. Add a veg, a salad and a bottle of wine, and you have the perfect Valentine meal without having to leave the house.

Perfect Pan Seared Scallops

Pan Seared Scallops
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Restaurant quality scallops are easy when you follow these simple steps.
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 12 sea scallops
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Pat dry the scallops with paper towels. Make sure they are really dry before you begin heating your skillet. Season the scallops with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the butter and olive oil to a stainless steel skillet or cast iron pan over high heat and heat until smoking. Add scallops to skillet and make sure they don't touch. Sear for 2 minutes and flip over. Sear for additional 2 minutes or until opaque. Serve immediately.

 Complete your meal with these goodies!

Roasted Broccoli

Roasted Broccoli

Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese, Craisins and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese and Craisins

Molten Chocolate Cakes

Molten Chocolate Cakes

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