Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

Hello again friends!

Nearly a month ago, I hosted myself a sweet little, David Bowie inspired housewarming party.  There was a ton of food and laughs and fun.  Best part is I had a friend from NYC come up to help me throw the shindig.

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Floor Confetti = Good Party
I have a number of friends who had varying diet needs…gluten free, dairy free, a few veggies and pescatarians…so I did my best to try and provide options that people would feel happy and safe eating.  I considered myself pretty lucky to have found an Ina Garten recipe that fit in with the veggie and dairy free friends for one of the party desserts, though with a slight buttercream adaptation.

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mini pumpkin cupcakes

Full disclosure, I did not make the cream cheese based Maple Frosting that Ina included…but I am including the recipe to be complete along side what I did – which was a dairy free (maybe vegan) and vegetarian Maple Bourbon Buttercream.

Not making Ina’s frosting didn’t break these cupcakes, which were surprisingly delish.  All the yummy of pumpkin spice, but not in a way that is harsh.  The cupcakes were moist (man, do I hate that word). and had a nice spongey vibe to them.  A nice thing too is that they tasted better and kept their moisture as the night and then a day or two went on.  It’s not often that cupcakes can taste just as good or arguably better if they are a day old.

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Recipes rating: five knives out of five

Om, nom, nom,

Lisa

*****

Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

yields about 10 cupcakes

Cupcakes:
½ cup vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing the pan
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature (I just used a third large egg)
1 cup canned pumpkin purée (not pie filling)
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
Maple Frosting (recipe follows)
½ cup coarsely chopped Heath bars, for serving (two 1.4-ounce bars)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush the top of a muffin pan with vegetable oil and line it with 10 paper liners.

Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. In a larger bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and the ½ cup vegetable oil. Add the flour mixture and stir to combine.

Scoop the batter into the prepared tins (I use a 2¼-inch ice cream scoop) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely, spread the cupcakes with the Maple Frosting, and sprinkle with the chopped Heath bars.

Maple Frosting
(Frosts 10 cupcakes)

6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese, butter, maple syrup, and vanilla on medium-low speed until very smooth. With the mixer on low, slowly add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.

Vegan Maple Bourbon Buttercream

3/4 cup of Earth Balance vegan butter
2-3 cups of icing sugar
½ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
1-3 teaspoons of bourbon (essentially do this to taste – you want a nice bourbon flavour and boozey heat, but not enough to knock someone over)
1-2 teaspoons of maple syrup (again, to taste because you don’t want thinks too sweet)

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the earth balance butter, on medium-low speed until very smooth. With the mixer on low, slowly add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth. Next mix in your flavours – start with the vanilla, then bourbon and then maple syrup. Remember those last two are to taste…you want a nice heat from the bourbon and a nice maple finish.

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Cooking for Jeffrey: Rigatoni with Sausage and Fennel

Hi Friends!  Long time no see!

I made this recipe many, many weeks ago on a weekend where the weather in Winnipeg was miserable.  So miserable that it gave me a lengthy migraine and all i was craving as a big old vat of comfort food.  And rest assured, this recipe did not disappoint.  At. All.

I was particularly intrigued by this recipe because it had fennel in it and at this point in my 37 years on this earth, have had yet to cook with fennel.  I was always scared off by claims of it being licorice tasting (FYI – I hate licorice), but I figured I should get over my preconceived notions of what fennel is like and just go out and try it.

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All the chopped onion, fennel and the uncased sausages…this smelled amazing when cooking

It was easy to prep for this meal and it didn’t require me to get any crazy ingredients. It was nice to see that, given I have noticed odd ingredient requests in a few of Ina Garten’s recipes.  Though, if all her recipes taste as good as this one, well, I will gladly buy all the odd ingredients and all of her cookbooks, too.

I made one intentional and one unintentional adaptation to Ina’s recipe.  I accidentally picked up rotini pasta instead of rigatoni.  I also doubled up on the tomato paste added to the pasta sauce.  I wanted a deeper red colour and a slightly more robust tomato flavour.  I would definitely recommend doing that because YUM.

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Another great thing about this recipe too, is that it makes a ton and tastes even better as leftovers…so it makes the long-ish  prep time of this pasta dish worthy of each and every moment spent on it.

Recipe rating: 5 knives out of five….yes, it’s that good!

Om, nom, nom,

Lisa

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Cooking for Jeffrey: Rigatoni with Sausage and Fennel

3 tablespoons good olive oil

3 cups chopped fennel (one large bulb)
1 1/2 cups chopped  yellow onion
1 1/4 lbs sweet Italian sausages (casings removed)
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
1/2 teaspoon whole fennel seeds, crushed with a mortar and pestle
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup half-and-half
2 tablespoons tomato paste (I doubled this in my recipe)
1 lb rigatoni (I bought rotini accidentally)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset, over medium heat.  Add the fennel and onion and saute for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.  Add the sausage and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, crumbling it with a fork, until nicely browned.  Add the garlic, crushed fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and cook for one minute.  Pour in the wine, bring to a boil, and add the heavy cream, half-and-half and tomato paste.  Bring back to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 2 tablespoons salt, and cook the rigatoni according to the directions on the package.  Drain and add to the sauce, stirring to coat the pasta.  Cook over low heat for 5 minutes to allow the pasta to absorb the sauce.  Off the heat, stir in the parsley and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan.  Serve hot in shallow bowls with the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan on the side.

Ina Garten’s Weeknight Bolognese

Summer vacations have come to a close, the cooler nights of Autumn are upon us… and that means back to regularly scheduled programming! For the remainder of September and throughout October, Lisa and I will be cooking through the acclaimed Ina Garten’s repertoire via online recipes and cookbooks.

I’ve long admired the Barefoot Contessa – even though I frequently joke that Jeffrey should go make his own dinner for once! – and this was my very first foray into her world of cooking. And what a fine foray it was.

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I selected Ina’s Weeknight Bolognese recipe as I had cooked and blogged a similar recipe which was a huge, delicious hit in my household. Since Ina is basically a legend, I wanted to see how her recipe lived up to my tastebuds!

As usual, I broke the rules and made a few substitutions within the ingredients. I grabbed some delicious locally raised Manitoba ground beef from Bouchée Boucher (check out their fantastic butcher shop on Marion) and amped up the garlic count with an extra clove. Since I didn’t have any oregano or red pepper flakes floating around in my cabinet, I used a combination of a couple of spices from Penzey’s: Black and Red Spice, and Sunny Paris Seasoning. I also used some organic whole milk versus heavy cream, and rigantoni in place of the orecchiette or small shells that were suggested.

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End result? After 9 days on the road around North/South Dakota and Wyoming, this recipe was exactly what I needed: Warm, nourishing and comforting. Make this on a Sunday night and enjoy as leftovers for a day or two, along with some crusty bread and the remainder of red wine from the ingredients 🙂

Recipe Rating: 4.5 Knives out of 5

Bon appétit!
Cindy

*****

Weeknight Bolognese

  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil, plus extra to cook the pasta
  • 1 pound lean ground sirloin
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1¼ cups dry red wine, divided
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 pound dried pasta, such as orecchiette or small shells
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground sirloin and cook, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon, for 5 to 7 minutes, until the meat has lost its pink color and has started to brown. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 more minute. Pour 1 cup of the wine into the skillet and stir to scrape up any browned bits. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1½ teaspoons pepper, stirring until combined. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a tablespoon of salt, a splash of oil, and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the box.

While the pasta cooks, finish the sauce. Add the nutmeg, basil, cream, and the remaining ¼ cup wine to the sauce and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened. When the pasta is cooked, drain and pour into a large serving bowl. Add the sauce and ½ cup Parmesan and toss well. Serve hot with Parmesan on the side.

Copyright 2010, Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That? by Ina Garten, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved
Recipe pasted from https://barefootcontessa.com/recipes/weeknight-bolognese-1

Blueberry and Corn Crisp

It’s not a big secret that I’m a fan of the avant garde – especially when it comes to food!

When I stumbled upon a recipe for Blueberry and Corn Crisp on Bon Appétit’s Healthyish, my interest was automatically piqued: Corn (both fresh and in meal form) in a dessert? Let’s make this!

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The result was a interesting combo of flavours and textures – really quite very good! Extremely easy to assemble, too. Not too sweet, pairing perfectly with coconut flavoured Greek yogurt and a drizzle of local Beeproject Apiaries honey.

I ended up using frozen blueberries because my grocery store was out of fresh ones. (Sigh!) This resulted in a bit too much liquid for my liking, so if I do make this dessert again, I would go the fresh berry route… and maybe throw in raspberries and blackberries, too.

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I used polenta instead of cornmeal as part of the topping… wowza! This is a fabulous ingredient to use for a crisp.

And also, hey – thank you, readers, for being patient with our little blog as we enjoyed a thoroughly lazy summer!

Cindy

 

 

Panzanella Salad

While perusing the recipes listed on Bon Appetit’s Basically, one headline kept standing out: Panzanella Is A Bread “Salad” That’s 75% Croutons.

A salad that is mostly bread: Do you hear the angels singing?

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I’ve had panzanella salad a few times in my life, and it’s always been super delicious. It’s not even the bread we’re talking about here: the standout flavour, for me, has always been in the fresh tomatoes and herbs.

While the Basically post had quite a few links to different bread salad recipes, I decided to follow their suggestions to create a panzanella salad to call my own. (I had just picked up a garden growler from local farmers Hearts and Roots, so I was definitely on the right track to create something mighty tasty.)

  1. Start with crusty, hearty, slightly stale bread. I picked up a Berliner rye from Save On Foods, and left it out on the counter in its packaging for 3 or 4 days.
  2. Use good olive oil. I love the little boutique olive oil shops in my town. For this recipe, I used an harissa-flavoured olive oil for a little extra spice.
  3. Add cheese. This should be listed as #1, but who am I to judge! I used a combo of freshly grated asiago and parmesan cheeses.
  4. Add vegetables or fruit. Not that there’s anything wrong with solely bread, oil and cheese, but we’re making a “salad” here! I used fresh heirloom tomatoes, ripped kale, ghost cucumbers and fennel.
  5. Add an accent. Something with a little flavour. I used thinly sliced leeks, and a bit of chopped shisho and fennel herb. Since I wanted a bit of protein for dinner, I threw in some slices of dry cured Italian sausage.
  6. Season it up! Salt, pepper and a generous splash of balsamic vinegar was all that I needed.

Boom, done! I made this on a scorcher of a summer night, so no oven and easy prep was a great bonus. This salad was hearty but light, and perfectly paired with a crisp glass of chardonnay or three.

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Bon appétit!
Cindy

Gin Aperol ‘Buch Spritz

It’s no secret that I love kombucha. Yup, that funky sour fermented tea!

I actually started drinking the stuff a few years back, after a holistic nutritionist suggested I add more probiotic foods and supplements to my diet. (End result? No more painful stomach aches!) It took about a week for kombucha to please my palate. Upon first taste, I found it extremely bubbly and vinegary… but that sensation and taste became a little addictive! I drink the ‘buch regularly now, at least a few bottles per week.

An email from Bon Appetit’s Healthyish popped up in my inbox last week, with the title “Should you rethink your drink?” The first recipe link on it? 3 Perfect Kombucha Cocktails. With the August long weekend approaching, I knew I had to devise my own concoction!

Taking inspiration from this recipe, my Gin Aperol ‘Buch Spritz was born:

  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz cucumber vodka
  • 2 oz Aperol
  • Splash of club soda
  • Berry-flavoured kombucha (I used Brew Dr.’s Superberry)
  • Mint for garnish

Fill a glass with a few ice cubes. Add alcohol in order of above. Add a splash of club soda and top off your glass with kombucha. Stir very gently. Add a sprig of mint for garnish.

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Smoky Aperol, fresh flavours from the gin and cucumber vodka combined with the bubbly sourness of kombucha… this is a heck of a cocktail!

Bottom’s up!
Cindy

Cooking Off the Books: Best Homemade Pizza Crust and Sauce

So the original plan was that Cindy and I would re-blog cooking each other’s favourites from the blog over the past year, even making a twist on those favourites.  Alas, I have not really done that.  I cooked a few of her favourites (and mine), but did not document with pics aside from one day, when Cindy came over and helped me make her favourite biscuits (ps, these are even more delish when you add bacon).

Part of that is due to new homeowner exhaustion.  I forget to take pics until I plate and then it’s like…”oh yeah…pictures. Welp.”

Part of this is due to the fact that I have had a lot of dinner guests at my new house and so, I have opted to go for a tried and true meal that I know always satisfies vs something new…I mean, it’s kinda the same thing, right?

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Individual pizzas on the Egg for a fun dinner with friends!

My pizza crust and sauce recipe are simple and don’t require anything fancy and that is probably why they are so good.  The toppings can be as fancy or as simple as you like.  I do have some tips to make you pizza extra delish:

  1. Make sure your oven/grill is piping hot – like 500-525 F!  Your pizza will cook in about 10 minutes if it’s fresh…15 minutes if you are cooking a frozen pizza (give or take based on your oven of course and add more time if you like your pizza extra well done).
  2. Put some cornmeal or semolina flour down on your pan or pizza peel before you put on your toppings.  Not only does it add a nice crunch/mouth feel to you pizza, but it keeps the pizza from sticking to the peel/pizza pan/pizza stone.
  3. Spread a thin layer of olive oil over the top of your crust before you put on any sauce or toppings – it helps ensure you get a lovely, golden brown crust.
  4. If you are grilling your pizza, don’t put on too many toppings – the weight will make it harder to get the pizza off the peel.
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    base level of cheese…proper toppings next!

  5. Consider adding toppings in the following way: sauce, 2/3 of  the amount of cheese you plan to use (acts as a nice sticky, melty base) your toppings like pepperoni, veggies, etc, and then the 1/3  of the cheese…just to seal it all up.  Putting that last little bit of cheese on top still allows for the toppings to cook, vs burying them in all the cheese or having them fall off by putting them on top of the cheese.
  6. If you are freezing your pizza, do it on a pizza pan to start, this ensures it freezes flat and your toppings don’t fall off. Also, it tightly in a few layers of cling wrap when it is finally frozen solid.
  7. This is a bonus tip – if you don’t have instant yeast, use regular yeast, but make sure you proof it first….a smidge of sugar and some warm water…let it sit and get all foamy and you will be good to go.  And if you eff that up, and put in non instant yeast without activating, you can still save it – just put in in a warm spot (i use an oven I have turned on for about 3-5 minutes)…and you will see your dough start to rise.

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Seeing this makes me hungry!

Without further ado, here are my recipes….the dough is from the New York Times.  The sauce is from a Kneading and Knives favourite The Kitchn.

Lisa’s Favourite Pizza Dough
Yield: Enough dough for 1 large, 2 medium, or more smaller pizzas (ps i love doing the small personal sized pizzas when friends come over!).

Ingredients: 
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, plus more as needed
2 teaspoons instant yeast, such as SAF-Instant Yeast.
2 teaspoons coarse sea or kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling
1 to 1 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil.

  1. If using a food processor, combine flour, yeast and salt in work bowl. Turn machine on and add 1 cup water and the oil through the feed tube. Process 30 seconds, adding up to 1/4 cup more water, a little at a time, until mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch. (In unlikely event mixture is too sticky, add flour, a tablespoon at a time.) To make dough by hand, combine half the flour with the yeast and salt in a bowl and stir to blend. Add 1 cup water and the olive oil; stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add remaining flour bit at a time; when mixture becomes too stiff to stir with a spoon, begin kneading, adding as little remaining flour as possible, just enough to keep dough from being sticky mess. Knead 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Turn dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand a few seconds to form a smooth, round ball. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; let rise until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours. (You can cut rising time if you are in a hurry, or you can let dough rise more slowly in refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours.) Dough can then be used immediately or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and frozen for a month. Defrost in covered bowl in refrigerator or at room temperature.
  3. Form risen dough into a ball and divide into two or more pieces; roll each into a ball. Place each on a lightly floured surface, sprinkle with a little flour, and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rest until slightly puffed, about 20 minutes.
  4. Oil one or more baking sheets, then press each dough ball into a flat round directly on sheet. Pat out dough as thin as you like, using oiled hands if necessary.
  5. Lift up your crust and throw down some of that semolina/cornmeal. Proceed with any toppings you like.  Pop it into a pre-heated 500 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.

Lisa’s Favourite Pizza Sauce

Yield:  about 4 cups
Ingredients: 
1 32-ounce can whole or diced tomatoes
6 to 8 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, plus more to taste
Salt
Fresh-cracked pepper
Olive oil
Equipment:

Blender or food processor
Muffin tin, if freezing
Freezer bag or container, if freezing

Instructions

  1. Combine the tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, some black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil in a blender or food processor. Use both the tomatoes and their juices, or drain the tomatoes for a slightly thicker and more concentrated sauce.
  2. Puree the sauce: Blend the ingredients until they’re completely pureed. Stop the blender and scrape down the sides as needed.
  3. Give the sauce a taste: Taste your sauce, and add more salt, fresh-cracked pepper, or olive oil to taste. Blend a few more seconds to combine.
  4. Use the pizza sauce: This sauce is ready to be used as is — no cooking required. Just spoon it onto a round of pizza dough and use the back of the spoon to smooth it out. This amount of sauce makes enough for eight medium pizzas, depending on how much sauce you like on your pizza.
  5. Refrigerate unused sauce for up to a week.
  6. Freeze any extra pizza sauce for up to 3 months: Spoon any unused sauce into muffin tins. Freeze until solid, then pop the frozen cubes out of the mold and transfer to a freezer container. Thaw overnight before using on pizza, or microwave the cubes in 30-second bursts until they melt into a sauce.

 

 

 

 

 

1 Year Blogiversary: Food 52 Genius Recipes Raised Waffles

Hi everyone! Apologies for the lack of blog posts. June was a bit of a nutty month with me having to take a bit of time off from cooking – Thanks, finger injury! Still healing, btw. – and a large cluster of family birthdays, mine included.

To celebrate our 1 year blogiversary, Lisa and I have each picked our favourite reviewed recipes for one another to cook through. I was secretly hoping Food 52’s Raised Waffles were on the list – and they were!

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While these looked pretty darn good while cooking…

So, I made these waffles at the cottage, during one of these clustery birthday weekends. Were they as delicious as I imagined and as Lisa revised? YES. These waffles have the greatest flavour – not too sweety, somewhat yeasty, soft inside and crunchy on the outside. (These would be so good paired with some bacon, a poached egg and chives!)

Were they easy to make? For me – nope. These actually turned out to be a pain in the booty to make. I am not sure if cooking them at the cottage and the difference in air humidity had anything to do with it, but these waffles were kind of a mess.

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…in reality, they were more waffle bit and chunks.

Lisa was surprised I had such issues with these waffles, and I am still pretty puzzled. These are definitely worth another shot for me, but this time I will make them in my home kitchen and see how it goes.

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Tons of food styling going on with this pic! (These are not “full” waffles whatsoever, but many bits and pieces put together to look like solid pieces!)

Anyway… bon appétit!
Cindy

Kneading + Knives Bucket Lists: Summer 2017

The days in Winnipeg are getting longer, the patios are open and the smell of BBQs is in the air. That can only mean one thing – SUMMER!!!!

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We are both BIG Olaf fans!

To celebrate all things warm, and delicious on the first official day of summer, we are creating our own little bucket list of the things we want to do this summer – SO fun!

Cindy’s List:

  1. Create a cocktail using cucumber vodka and rosé: I recently bought a bottle of the former and absolutely love to drink the latter. Mixing them in some way can only be better, right?!
  2. Create a really great Signature Cindy Salad for dinner on those hot summer nights or that I can bring to summer potlucks. Besides greens, I’m thinking melons, berries, some stinky cheese and… something crunchy?
  3. Experiment with homemade popsicles!
  4. Continue to experiment with pizza on the BBQ – especially finding the perfect crust, as the one we used last year was almost as thick as foccacia!
  5. Since I’ll be travelling for 2 weeks in July on a road trip, I definitely want to make some great homemade snacks to bring along. Any suggestions?

Lisa’s List:

  1. Make some deeeeelish ribs on the BBQ.  I tried some mediocre ribs by Jamie Oliver last summer,  but I really, really want to find ones that knock my socks off.
  2. Take a random day off and go to the beach.  I haven’t been to a beach since March 2016…granted, it was in Australia, which was fab…but I def. want a day of sand between my toes and sun on my skin.
  3. Spend time relaxing in my backyard, with a freshly made mojito, made of mint harvested from my mint plant and maybe some blueberries and strawberries harvested from my plants, too…if they bear fruit.
  4. Plan a fun housewarming / birthday party in August….complete with a kick ass menu!
  5. Patio beers with good friends both in my back yard and out and about in Winnipeg.
  6. I have a bonus one – to really give my new convection oven and my kitchen a proper test run, I want to attempt to make a beautiful cake from a recipe I have never tried before…eeek!

What’s on your summer bucket list?

May 2017 | Our Final Review of Pinch of Yum

Our cookbook (well… blog!) for May 2017 was Pinch of Yum.

Lisa’s Thoughts:

Pinch of Yum – totally not a misleading title.  Lindsay’s blog is full of yummy things to make.  Unfortunately, due to the chaos that was purchasing appliances for my new to me house, I was only able to make a few recipes from her blog – which was a total bummer….but I am confident that I will be making more things from her blog because…omg..so many things.  I also liked that it didn’t require outlandish ingredients for most of the recipes…and a lot of them were chock full of veggies and were generally quite healthy.  They also weren’t overly complicated, which I appreciated after a month with that Jamie Oliver 15 Minute nightmare book.

I loved the burritos I made of hers…and love that they are in my freezer and have made for delish dinners on nights when I can’t be bothered to make a proper dinner…and for the record….the reheated burritos taste great – but they do take about 25 minutes in the oven to warm up (since I currently don’t have my microwave installed…sad).  I loved the other dishes I made, too…and already have my eye on a few others to make in the future when I’m not pulling my hair out with the craziness that is moving.

I also liked that her blog includes blogging tips and parts from her real life, both the terrific and the tragic.  It makes her more real and relatable and for whatever reason, it made me enjoy visiting the blog more.  It also made me want to drive to Twin Cities and give her a hug.

So, if you are looking for healthy, delish food – def. at Pinch of Yum to your regular food blog repertoire.  You will not be sorry.

Cindy’s Thoughts:

Hurrah! After a disaster of a cookbook in April, May was a wonderful month of cooking from the Pinch of Yum blog! Lindsay’s recipes are simply, healthy, quick and most importantly… delicious.

Like Lisa mentions above, the recipes didn’t require outlandish ingredients. The vibe of the recipes and the way they were written were similar to The Kitchn, which I loved: friendly and approachable.

This is a definite blog to bookmark and use regularly. (Especially those soft chocolate chip cookies!) Plain and simple: I love just kind of everything about the Pinch of Yum blog.

Recipes We Cooked: Spicy Sausage Rigatoni, Spicy Chipotle Turkey Burritos, Balsamic Watermelon Chicken Salad, The Best Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies, Burst Tomato and Zucchini Spaghetti with Avocado, Brown Butter Scallops with Parmesan Risotto

Final Verdict: Highly Recommended

yes