August 29, 2014

Turkey Pesto Meatballs and Spaghetti

I had a craving for spaghetti and meatballs recently and was gifted a couple bags of homemade pesto so I knew I had to try this recipe I had bookmarked.

The original recipe is for a party appetizer of just meatballs but I found it has so much sauce that I could easily combine the sauce and meatballs from the recipe with a bag of spaghetti for a complete main course.

The meatballs were delightful. They were super flavorful from the pesto but lighter than usual since they were made from ground turkey.

The only thing I did differently was add red chili pepper flakes to the red sauce for some spice. We like it spicy around here :)

This is a picture of me eating leftovers for lunch at my desk and therefore a momentous moment in history because I almost never eat leftovers! This recipe was just THAT good!

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Brunch: Cinnamon Roll Cake, Huevos Rancheros Sandwiches, and Minty Mojito Iced Coffee

Guys, I feel like I keep stepping up my brunch game. Seriously, this brunch rocked.

It starts with these biscuits in a can from Trader Joe's that were delightfully flaky, tasty, and almost perfect. I think making them from scratch would have been slightly better but not by much, and it would have required a lot of time.

I used two rolls of biscuits for both the cinnamon roll cake and four breakfast sandwiches.

Both recipes are relatively easy. The sandwich is simply refried beans on one half of each biscuit (I threw in some diced green chilies into the refried beans), cheese oven-toaster-melted on the other half of the biscuit, and salsa, bacon, fried egg, and avocado in between the halves.

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The cinnamon roll cake is also easy, even if it takes a little more time. You basically roll out each biscuit until it's a flat pancake shape, then you dip the pancake shape into melted butter (I used a pastry brush to slather butter onto each side, and dunk it into a cinnamon-sugar mix. After this, you roll it up and lay it into a pre-buttered pan. Once it's baked and gooey and makes your house smell like heaven, you drizzle a powdered-sugar-cream on top. Heaven x Two.

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Have you heard of Philz Coffee? It's based in San Francisco and it's one of our favorite coffee places anywhere. They have a variety of coffee beans with very distinct flavors. Beyond just being light, medium, and dark roast, each bean has subtle to strong hints of other flavors. So their coffee alone is great for coffee enthusiasts but they also offer unique coffee specialty drinks like their popular Minty Mojito Coffee which tastes just like a mojito. It's the best. Ever since they opened one here in Los Angeles, I get one 2-3x a week. It's perfect for the hot weather but I'll probably be drinking it even when the temperature starts dropping.

I decided I needed to start making this at home to save a little money and to see if it could be done. Nick uses Intelligentsia beans and I made a mint syrup (basically mint leaves, sugar, and water, boiled and cooled). We added some creamer and mint leaves for garnish and jumped for joy knowing we had successfully recreated this cult favorite drink at home.

There you have it! An amazing brunch, perfect for this long holiday weekend! 

August 21, 2014

Raspberry Oat Scones and Raspberry Pancakes!

I bake with blueberries and strawberries a lot but not raspberries...maybe because their season is shorter or maybe because I haven't really noticed them before? I'm actually not sure why I've neglected raspberries before this but as of two weeks ago, they're my new favorite fruit to bake with! I've already made Oatmeal Raspberry muffins and these Lemon Raspberry muffins and now I can add Oatmeal Raspberry scones and Oatmeal Raspberry pancakes to my raspberry repertoire (say that three times fast!)

You know those Brown Butter Blueberry Scones from The Newlywed Cookbook that I loved sooo much? Well I repeated the step of using browned butter for a new raspberry scone recipe and they turned out awesome! These scones are dense with whole wheat and oatmeal but not cardboard-tasting at all. In fact, they are just sweet enough from the browned butter tasting like maple syrup, and appropriately tangy from the raspberries.

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The next pancake recipe has barely any sugar in it and no butter or oil (except the slabs of butter I put on top) but manages to taste delightful....because of the RASPBERRIES! Man, those little raspberries are pretty great, aren't they?

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