Southern Fried Corn

So as you may have seen, I'm pregnant! I'm at 24 weeks now, and it has completely changed my blogging habits, so I apologize for that! During my first trimester, I did not want anything to do with food, unless it was oyster crackers or plain pasta. So dragging my butt into the kitchen to create delicious, flavorful food was just not happening. And then to photograph that food? Forget about it. 

I'm feeling much better now, but as you can imagine, I have been pretty busy trying to get ready for baby's arrival, putting our house on the market, AND starting my MBA. So again, blogging took the back burner. But I'm hoping that I'm back, and better than ever! 

Now, on to this corn recipe. My father-in-law said that this corn changed his life. 


While that may be a little extreme, it is pretty derrrrn good. The milk mixes with the flavors of the veggies and seasonings to make a delicious, creamy "sauce" of sorts that complements the corn really well. Also, this recipe is SIMPLE and CHEAP, so it's a perfect side dish to serve all summer long at your BBQ's or with a simple supper. You will be surprised at how tasty it is - I promise!

Ingredients:
6 or 7 ears fresh corn, husks and silks removed
1/2 onion, minced
1/2 green pepper, minced
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon honey
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter

Cut the kernels off the cobs into a bowl. Add the onion, pepper, flour, honey, salt and pepper, cayenne, and milk, and stir until well blended.

In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the oil and add the corn mixture, and fry for about 5 minutes. Add the butter and continue to stir until the butter is melted an the corn is tender, about 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Red Velvet Macarons


Macarons are one of the most glorious desserts around. They melt in your mouth. And while these delightful French cookies may seem daunting to make, if you can follow a recipe, you can make macarons! I have made a handful of different recipes so far, so I’ll share with you my favorite recipe, along with a few tips to help you ease in to the process.

Feel free to play with the flavors and colors of your macarons. This recipe can be easily modified, just omit the cocoa powder and food 
coloring and substitute whatever flavoring and colors you want! 

Check out my Chocolate Peanut Butter Macarons for another fool-proof recipe and my macaron tips!


Red Velvet Macaron Ingredients:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup almond flour
2 large egg whites, room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar
1/4 cup superfine sugar (regular granulated sugar pulsed in a food processor for about 1 minute will work)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 pinch fine salt
1 teaspoon red food coloring

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
4 ounces fat free cream cheese, room temperature
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
Pulse confectioners’ sugar and almond flour in a food processor until combined. Sift mixture 2
times.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit. Whisk egg whites with a mixer on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and whisk until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low then add superfine sugar.

Increase speed to high, and whisk until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Add the food coloring and mix to combine. Sift flour mixture over the egg whites, and gently fold until mixture is smooth and shiny.

Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip, and pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on parchment-lined or silicon mat-lined baking sheets, dragging pastry tip to the side of rounds rather than forming peaks. Tap bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macarons are crisp and firm, about 10 minutes.



Let macarons cool on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.

Prepare the frosting. Beat the cream cheese in an electric mixer on high speed until smooth, then add the vanilla. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until just combined. Add more confectioners’ sugar if desired for a thicker, sweeter frosting.

Match up like-sized cookies and pipe about 1 teaspoon of frosting on one macaron, and gently press another macaron on top to make a sandwich.

"Get your Spring On" Recipe Roundup!



Spring is heeeeeeeeeeeeeeere, it really issssssssssssssss! Despite the rain and crazy wind in southwest Virginia this morning, I have faith that spring is here. The blossoms are blossoming, the birds are all cute and fat and singing, and the farmer's market has resumed normal hours, which means more fresh fruits and veggies at your fingertips. So get your spring on with some of these fabulous springtime recipes, courtesy of yours truly, as well as a few of my favorite bloggers!

To Whet your Appetite: 

Red Sangria with Fresh Apples and Oranges



Can't wait to try this: Fresh Mint Iced Coffee from howsweeteats.com


While you wait: 




And one of my favorites: Parmesan Brussels Sprouts Crostini from howsweeteats.com

The main event: 

Chipotle Mango BBQ Chicken with Cilantro Chimichurri



Asian Baby Back Ribs with Pineapple Ginger BBQ Sauce



Turkey Tacos with a Zucchini Rhubarb Slaw



Pulled Pork Sliders with White BBQ Sauce and Homemade Pickles


Sweet Tooth:

Hazelnut Gelato



Easy French Toast Strawberry Shortcake



Blueberry Lemon Creme Brulee


And how amazing do these look? 
Chocolate Cupcakes with Fresh Mint Buttercream  from notwithoutsalt.com 

I hope you try a few of these recipes this spring. Let me know what you think!

Fresh Tomato, Garlic and Prosciutto Toast


If anyone out there is still reading my blog... Sorry I have been so completely, horribly MIA lately. I started working on getting my MBA this spring, and it is taking up a lot of free time that used to be spent blogging. But don't worry, while education IS important, it is not as important as food. I mean, food is a necessity. You NEED it to live. You don't need Operations Management 624 to live.



So, here is a delightful springtime recipe for you made with FRESH tomatoes. (How excited are we that there are fresh fruits and vegetables again?!) This appetizer is perfect outdoor shenanigans and eating in a hammock among friends and family, as long as you are not as messy as I am and spill the tomato sauce down your white shirt. 

Recipe from the one and only Bobby Flay

Ingredients:
2 large, fresh tomatoes
4 cloves garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt
Pepper
8 thick slices of bread
8 slices of Prosciutto 

Quarter the tomatoes and remove as much of the seeds and liquid as possible. Place in the bowl of a food processor with the garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Process until everything is a consistently smooth consistency. Let rest for 30 minutes, draining the excess liquid as necessary.



Preheat a grill to medium-high heat (we used a charcoal grill which gave the bread a nice smoky flavor).



Brush olive oil on both sides of each piece of bread. Grill the bread for about 5 minutes on each side. Top with some of the tomato mixture and a slice of Prosciutto. Serve immediately.

Hazelnut Gelato

All of this cold weather is making me long for those seemingly never-ending, warm, beautiful summer nights. Which got me thinkin' about our trip to Italy... and one of their specialties: hazelnut gelato. We had gelato pretty much every night while we were in Italy. That's nine straight nights of gelato. And I miss it!



The coolest part about Italian gelato, besides how awesome it tastes, is that you get to pick a different flavor of gelato for every scoop. They expect you to, and I was 100% on board with this. My go to flavors were hazelnut and pistachio, with an amaretto thrown in there every once in a while!


Once we got our gelato, we'd walk around the streets of Rome, or Florence, or wherever we were, and people watch and look at the beautiful sights around us. It was perfect



THIS recipe will make you feel like you are eating that perfectly nutty, creamy hazelnut gelato from the little corner gelateria on the piazza. It brought me right back there. 

Printable Recipe HERE.

Warning: This made maybe 4 cups of gelato. It was devoured in 1.6 days. So you might want to make a double batch!

Ingredients:
1 cup hazelnuts 
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
Pinch of salt
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup Nutella
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large pan over medium heat, toast the hazelnuts until fragrant, about 5 - 10 minutes, tossing occasionally to toast all sides evenly.



Add the toasted hazelnuts, 1/4 cup sugar and salt to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. 



In a large sauce pan over medium heat, add the milk, cream, and chopped hazelnut mixture. Cook for about 5 minutes. 

Meanwhile, combine the 4 egg yolks and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Whisk or beat until the egg yolks are a pale yellow. 

Turn the heat on the milk mixture down to LOW.

Temper the egg yolks: Slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, stirring continuously, to slowly bring the temperature of the egg yolk mixture up. This will prevent the eggs from scrambling when you add them to the hot milk mixture. Once the eggs are warm, add them into the remaining milk mixture and stir continuously to combine. Cook for 7 - 10 minutes more (do NOT bring to a simmer), stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and scrambling of the eggs! 

Add the Nutella and vanilla to the mixture and stir to combine. 

Chill the gelato mixture completely.

Strain the mixture through a fine sieve to remove the solids. (I had a hard time throwing out the hazelnuts, but I'm glad I did. The flavor from the toasted hazelnuts definitely still came through in the ice cream and I really liked the smooth texture.)

Churn the gelato and freeze until ready to serve.