August 14, 2014

Brown Butter Blueberry Scones and Raspberry Muffins

I've really been into baking with oatmeal lately. I like how it keeps me full longer in the morning, adds chewy texture and extra density to baked goods, and is supposedly healthier!

I've tried a number of scone recipes in the past but this happens to be one of my favorites because of the brown butter. It adds this salty caramel flavor to the scones that is simply irresistible to my newly minted salt tooth. Yes, did I tell you? Now, instead of craving just a dessert after lunch and dinner, I also crave something salty so I follow lunch with a cookie or bar AND a bag of chips or crackers or cheese. I'm just waiting to turn 30 and have all this snacking and desserting hit me in the rump ;)

Again, amazing scones. LOVED the brown butter in the recipe. It what makes the scone incomparable.

Recipe from The Newlywed Cookbook by Sarah Copeland. If you google the recipe, you can find it on googlebooks!

Usually, when I stumble on a recipe this good, I don't expect to find another killer one the very next day. These muffins were made with applesauce instead of butter and oil and they were still delicious! The raspberries were extra tart and wonderful, lending a bright taste to these muffins.

Recipe from:

I used greek yogurt instead of sour cream, and applesauce instead of butter. :)

Steak Vermicelli Noodle Bowls

Continuing in this vein of hot weather foods, I'd love to share this easy recipe for Vietnamese style vermicelli noodle bowls. I say "style" because it's not super authentic but I've always liked twists on original recipes (which is coincidentally how I design too - by twisting a classic or a recognized design type). The key is to have a tasty fish sauce vinaigrette and this one is successful. I've never used a mortar and pestle to grind the sugar, chilies, and garlic but I think it's what brought so much flavor into this simple recipe. And ribeye steak is relatively cheap as far as steaks go but it makes the dish feel very luxurious for a quick weeknight meal! 

I highly recommend this dish, especially for a hot day! 

August 11, 2014

Loaded Crockpot Carne Asada Tacos and Strawberry Honey Sorbet!

I've been seeking out slow cooker recipes because the prep work is usually pretty basic (usually it just involves chopping vegetables and measuring out ingredients versus processes like searing, sauteeing, browning, steaming, etc.) and because it's something Nick can start in the afternoon now that he's working from home. 

Plus, it's been really hot and muggy in LA so not turning on the oven or stovetop is a major bonus. 

We made this carne asada last week with 2 lbs of flank steak from Trader Joe's. At first I thought it was an expensive dish because the meat was almost $20 but it went a long way. This meat becomes tender and flavorful and when eaten in burrito form with cheese, avocado, homemade pico de gallo (also in this recipe), and sour cream, you can create 4+ meals for two people. 

PS This recipe is for LOADED tacos. We made burritos instead and didn't make the Mexican fries but let me tell you, I was tempted. I just didn't want to turn on the oven given it was 80 degrees in our house already...

We ate this with our favorite tortillas (The Red Chile and Onion Flour Tortillas from Trader Joe's) and it got better everyday as the flavors soaked into the meat more. 

And, if you're looking for another recipe to cool off with that requires minimal effort, I highly recommend Strawberry Honey sorbet! The hardest part was trying to use the fine mesh strainer to separate the seeds from the juice of the strawberries because it took a long time and a lot of push and force with the back of a wooden spoon, but the product was delicious. It was the right texture (soft but not watery) and not too sweet.