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Raspberry Lemon Bars

Hiiiiii guuuuys,

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This post is a couple days late due to traveling things. But better late than never, right? My wonderful yoga-friend gave me a gigantic bag of organic lemons the last day I did yoga with her and I promised her I would use them to bake something lemony and delicious. So I baked these! I adapted the recipe from Smitten Kitchen (as usual), so I knew it would be lovely. My mom actually told me that these were the best lemon bars she’d ever had! I was pretty satisfied with how they came out. I wish I had one right this second, but unfortunately I’m on the wrong side of the country (and to be honest, they’ve probably been consumed by my family by now wahh).

These lemon bars were my final hurrah: the last thing I would bake or cook in the fully-stocked, roomy California kitchen at my parents’ house before I left to go back to New York. It was my last night at home, so naturally I had to get some last minute baking in. While most people would go out and party with friends on their last night, I baked. Pretty indicative of my summer. My friend Armen insisted that I teach him how to bake, so I put him to work on the crust. This recipe was somewhat involved (as expected from lemon bars), but it was worth it. I wonder if I’ll ever say something I bake/cook isn’t worth it. It would probably have to be a true disaster. I generally only choose to make things that I would find delicious, and they’ve generally been successful. Knock on wood. I’ve probably jinxed it now. Sigh. ANYWAYS:

Crust:

1/4 c. sugar

1/4 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest

1 pinch salt

1/2 c. unsalted butter, cut into chunks

1 c. flour

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9×9″ baking pan with coconut oil (or butter, oooor whatever you usually use). In a food processor, pulse the sugar, zest and salt until combined. Add the butter and continue to pulse until it’s dispersed throughout, then add the flour and pulse even more until it becomes doughy. This may take a while–Armen got rather frustrated (indicated by the phrase “so over this” I heard repeatedly muttered from his designated dough-making corner of the kitchen). When it’s nice and dough-like, press it into the bottom of the pan and about 1/2″ up the sides. Bake it for about 15 minutes or until it’s a little bit browned on the edges and let it cool while you make the filling. Leave the oven on!

Filling:

1 cup raspberries

2 large eggs

1 1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. lemon juice (freshly squeezed! about 4 lemons’ worth)

2/3 c. flour

A bit of confectioner’s sugar to dust on top

Puree the raspberries in the food processor until they’re liquified, then strain the puree to remove the seeds. I ended up with a little less than 1/3 c. of puree, but don’t worry about being too exact. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice. Next, whisk in your raspberry puree and stir in the flour until combined. Pour enough of this lovely concoction into the semi-cooled (doesn’t need to be completely cool, don’t worry) crust until it’s level with the edges and stick it back in the oven for about 25 minutes until it has almost completely set (just a teeensy bit jiggly, but mostly solid). Take it out of the oven and let it cool before cutting. Unfortunately when it comes to lemon bars, you actually have to wait for them to cool. When I absolutely HAVE to wait for something to cool, I usually stick in the fridge so I don’t have to stare at it. Also, it works faster, so it’s doubly efficient. Once cooled, cut and enjoy!

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You maaaay have noticed that I doubled the filling recipe. This was for a number of reasons, one of them being that I used a 9×9″ pan instead of 8×8″ (since that’s all I had) and the other being that I am silly and accidentally poured all of my raspberry puree into the medium bowl instead of the 3 tablespoons that the original recipe called for (oops). I just doubled everything else and it turned out rather fabulous if I do say so myself. I liked the thicker filling area with the thinner crust, it was a nice combo.

Stay tuned for some DORM COOKIN’ coming up within the next few weeks, friends. It’ll be an adventure to say the least.

Love, Emily

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Lemon Basil Zucchini Lasagna

Hi loves,

Wow okay yeah, I realize my title is a mouthful. I didn’t know what else to call it to capture the true essence of the recipe, okaaaay? Basically, I saw this recipe a while ago and I thought it looked new and exciting. Who doesn’t love lasagna? It’s cheesy, saucy, pasta-y, veggie goodness all baked into one dish. If it wasn’t all gone by now (we only had one slice left from a fairly hefty casserole dish and I ate it the next night…yes, it was that yummy) I would definitely be eating some as I type.

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I have a certain friend who, for one reason or another, will not accept that I am, in fact, a decent cook. This dinner was an attempt to change that. My lasagna resulted in some compliments from some of my toughest critics! Try it, it’s delish.

3 zucchini, sliced lengthwise

1 box of flat, no-boil lasagna noodles

3 1/2 tablespoons of butter

3 1/2 tablespoons of flour

2 c. milk

3/4 c. ricotta

1/4 c. fresh basil, chopped

2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

grated parmesan for layering

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First and foremost, coat your sliced zucchini lightly in olive oil and cook on an outdoor grill. Next, make the sauce by heating the butter in a saucepan on medium until melted, mixing in the flour until combined, then adding the milk and whisking until the mixture thickens (it took me about 6-7 minutes). Once thick, stir in the ricotta, basil, and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set this aside. Preheat the oven to 350 and begin to layer your lasagna! I used a 9×13 casserole dish. Start with a layer of sauce, then noodles, then zucchini, then cheese and repeat. Don’t overlap anything! It’s quite alright if the layers aren’t perfect. Once you’re done layering, finish the top off with sauce and parmesan and stick it in the oven for about 25-30 minutes until the cheese on top is nicely bubbly. Let it sit for 10 minutes before you eat it (the absolute worst part of making any dish, I know).

Ta daa! Beautiful lasagna.

I paired this with some chicken breasts that I marinated in olive oil, lemon juice, fresh basil, and salt and pepper and grilled and it was a perfect pair. My friends enjoyed their dinner, I enjoyed eating it as much (if not more) than I enjoyed making it, and all in all this was a success. If you’re a “traditional” lasagna fan, I suggest you give this a try!

Love, Emily


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Watermelon Slush

Meow,

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Apparently, August 3rd was National Watermelon Day. To be quite honest I’ve been celebrating for weeks. And by that, I mean I average approximately 1/4 watermelon per day, all by my onesies. I wish I was kidding; I am not. I used that day as an excuse to eat half of a watermelon by myself…I eat a lot of watermelon, okay? It’s just such a happy, summer fruit. And it’s pretty.

This is literally the perfect summer drink. Only two ingredients (ice and watermelon…shocker), it’s beautiful, and it’s delicious. And easy! Next time you’re reading a book outside or whatever you do when you have free time during the summer to enjoy the sunshine, make one! It’ll be worth it.

1/4 watermelon, cubed

ice

Blend the watermelon and strain out the pulp and seeds. Blend with ice until it’s the perfect slushy consistency, and drink! (I garnished with basil just to make it look pretty.) It’s as easy as that.

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LOOK AT HOW BEAUTIFUL THAT IS. I can hardly stand it. Ugh.

Love, Emily


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Blueberry Yogurt Muffins

Hi friendz,

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I made muffins today! I love muffins. They’re just so darn cute and portable and like, handheld (ha). I hardly ever eat them, but when I do, I quite enjoy them. I saw this recipe that used greek yogurt (yum) and didn’t have flour in it and I was intrigued. When my dad got a batch of blueberries that weren’t really worth eating plain (don’t you just hate when that happens?) I promised I would do something snazzy with them. Sooo these little muffins were the product of a combination of my muffin craving and blueberry availability. I obviously tweaked this recipe a fair amount (these are not, in fact, strawberry shortcake muffins at all), but I credit the use of oats and yogurt and such to the Dashing Dish. Thanks!

2 1/2 c. old fashioned oats

1 c. vanilla greek yogurt

1/2 c. sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 c. blueberries, washed

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Preheat the oven to 400. Grease a muffin pan or fill with foil liners (the other recipe said that these particular muffins stuck to the paper ones); I greased mine with coconut oil and it worked fine. I was a liiittle nervous that they wouldn’t make it out of the pan in one piece, but they popped right out! Put all of the ingredients except for the blueberries in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Stir in the blueberries and pour into prepared muffin pan. Bake for about 17-22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. You’re done! So easy, right?

These are just the perfect little blueberry muffins. The vanilla yogurt adds a nice sweetness and vanilla-y flavor without being overwhelming. This is just a nice go-to muffin recipe; I’m sure I’ll use it (along with experimenting with different ingredients!) plenty at school to feed my muffin-loving friends.

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Much love to all of you friendsies who have told me recently that you read/like my blog, it means a lot! You are all wonderful, beautiful people.

Love, Emily


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Veggie Pizza

Hi guys!

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Apparently I love veggie things lately. Let’s be honest, I love veggie things always. Veggies are great. And I’ve been really craving pizza lately too. I eat a ton of pizza when I’m in New York (which probably contributes to the noticeable decline in health I experience vs. when I’m home…oops), and I haven’t had any in ages. My family never eats pizza. With the exception of my teenage brother who eats anything and everything he wants, we are super health-conscious in my house. As delicious as pizza is, it is disturbingly unhealthy, I will admit. Although every once in a while, I encourage you to get a real, hefty, doughy slice of pizza loaded up with goodies, this is a nice option for when you’re craving pizza but wanting healthy. So naturally when I saw this recipe on Pinterest, I was excited to try it.

So the super sneaky thing about this pizza is…the dough is made out of cauliflower! I wasn’t joking when I said it was veggie pizza. Heh. Yeah alright I am so not funny. Okaaay I know this sounds kinda questionable…I’m not the hugest fan of cauliflower (the smell scares me), but in this context, it didn’t bother me at all. Quite the opposite, in fact. Although it wasn’t quite as satisfying as a bigger-than-your-face slice of New York pizza smothered in buffalo sauce and bleu cheese (hnnnnng), it did the trick for my pizza craving, aaand it was parents-approved. Win, win!

Here’s the recipe for the crust (I’ll tell ya what I put on it later):

Preheat the oven to 450.

1 head of cauliflower

1 egg

1/3 c. mozzarella cheese (the original recipe had goat cheese, but I didn’t have any on hand)

1 tsp. oregano/Italian seasoning

Wash your cauliflower and cut it into florets. Throw these in a food processor in little batches at a time and pulse until the cauliflower is chopped up enough so that it looks like little grains of rice. Put your “rice” in a microwave-safe bowl, cover it and microwave on high for 7 minutes so that it’s nicely steamed and no longer has that funky cauliflower smell. Dump your “rice” into a thin dish towel and (no, I am not kidding), squeeze the hell out of it. I mean it; squeeze like there’s no tomorrow. Get all of your frustration out on this stuff (I know I did). Once it’s properly squeezed, dump it back into a bowl and stir in the egg, cheese and seasoning until properly mixed. This is your dough! Spread it out as thick/thin as you’d like (I like mine super thin) on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Please please use parchment paper. Or grease it or something. I used tin foil because I didn’t have any parchment paper and had to practically peel pizza-slice-shaped pieces of foil off the bottom of each slice. No fun. Stick just your crust in the oven for about 15 minutes until it starts to get lightly browned and crispy. Here’s your crust! Now turn off your oven and turn on your broiler for the final phase of veggie-pizza-making.

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Then comes the fun part! Toppings! For this, I just sauteed about 1/4 c. of thinly sliced mushrooms and 1/4 c. thinly sliced red onions with 1 clove of chopped garlic and about 1 tbsp. olive oil on medium for about 2 minutes. I spread some pizza sauce on the finished crust, sprinkled some mozzarella, and put my mushrooms and onions on top, then stuck it in the oven and broiled it for just a couple of minutes until the cheese was nice and bubbly. Remove, slice, and enjoy!

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Munch on, health-conscious pizza lovers.

Love, Emily


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Veggie Egg Bake

Good morning, friends!

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Last night, I made breakfast for dinner. I absolutely love breakfast foods, but sometimes (…okay, most of the time) I am in no mood to go through the hassle of actually MAKING BREAKFAST. Like pancakes or whatnot. Too much thinking too early in the morning. So naturally, breakfast-for-dinner is the next best option. You still get the breakfast foods, but then you have all day to mentally prepare for your cooking endeavor. (At least, this makes sense to me…)

Instead of a batter-y breakfast, I opted for an eggy one. I kept hearing people talk about/seeing recipes pop up on pinterest for egg bakes, and since I’d never made one before, I thought why not. It looked easy enough. Turns out it was extremely easy as well as delicious and oh so satisfying. As I sit here typing this, I am, in fact, eating the one remaining slice with half an avocado mashed on top for breakfast and I am overcome with breakfast happiness. Not only is it delicious, it’s good for you! Eggs are pretty much the best thing in the world for you so if you don’t like them, you’re really missing out. Eat eggs. Do it.

1/2 c. chopped green onions

6 oz. baby spinach

2 tsp. olive oil

1 1/2 c. shredded cheese (I used mozzarella, it was delicious)

1/2 c. thinly sliced mushrooms

8 eggs

2 tbsp. milk

salt and pepper to taste

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Preheat the oven to 375. Cook the spinach and olive oil in a skillet on medium heat until it’s wilted; about 2 minutes. Transfer the cooked spinach to a lightly greased casserole dish (I used a 9×13″ one, but you can use a slightly smaller one if you have it on hand/if you want your egg bake a little thicker) and spread the cheese and other chopped veggies on top. Scramble the eggs in a bowl with the milk (I always scramble eggs with milk; I find it makes them fluffier and more delicious. Picked this trick up from my mama) and season them with salt/pepper. I used about 1/2 tsp. Lawry’s seasoned salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper…Lawry’s on eggs is my weakness. Ugh, yum. Pour the egg mixture on top of the veggies and gently mix together with a fork to make sure the egg is evenly distributed. Stick it in the oven for about 35 minutes until the edges are lightly brown and there ya go!

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I ate mine with some Trade Joe’s Jalapeño Pepper Sauce on top, which was fabulous. I will definitely be making this again; it was a nice alternative to the usual “chicken and side dishes” dinner.

Love, Emily


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Strawberry Honey Oatmeal Bars

Hi friends!

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Let me just say. These are fabulous. So summery and yum. I love honey, and in this recipe it just adds such a nice sweetness and that distinct honey flavor UGH it’s wonderful. These were nice and easy to make and so so great. No weird ingredients or anything; with the exception of the rather surprising amount of jam, you might even have all of this stuff in your kitchen already (I did)! I found this recipe forever ago on Pastry Affair and I’ve been meaning to try it for ages. It was well worth the wait. Although if I made it again, I would have put a liiiittle less salt (maybe 1/4 tsp. instead of 1/2); I’m not a huge fan of saltiness in baked goods and I feel like personally, it was a bit too much. Also, since I didn’t have any whole wheat flour, I just used a full cup of all purpose. Honestly if you’re eating something like this, is the half a cup of whole wheat flour really going to make a difference in terms of its healthiness? I feel like probably not. Slash I just don’t really care. Dessert is dessert, right? If/when you make these bars, my word of advice would be to eat at least one while they’re still warm. It’s like a little strawberry cobbler square…I bet it would be absolutely fantastic topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. OH the possibilities.

6 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 c. brown sugar

1 egg

1/4 c. honey

1 1/2 c. old fashioned oats

1 c. all purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 c. strawberry jam

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Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly grease an 8×8″ pan. Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Once combined, add the egg and the honey and mix. Next, stir in the oats, flour, baking soda, and salt to make the batter. Press 3/4 of the batter into the bottom of the pan. This batter will be pretty sticky, so good luck getting it off your hands if you’re using them! (I used the back of a spoon to help me out here.) Now, spread all of the jam on top of this layer. It may strike you as a lot of jam…I was a little grossed out by the amount. When I was spreading it I felt a little like I was spreading pizza sauce, which was a little disconcerting. But it turns out fine, I assure you! Once spread, crumble the rest of the batter on top and stick it in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the top is slightly golden brown. Let it cool a couple minutes before you cut it (I know, waiting is hard) and enjoy!

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LOOK AT THAT OOEY GOOEY GOODNESS. I wish I could somehow share with you how delicious my entire house smelled after I baked these. It was pure foodie bliss.

Happy baking!

Love, Emily