1
Royal Cheddar Cheese Soup
2
Slow Cooked Sausage and Sauerkraut
3
Spicy Italian Crushed Tomato Sauce
4
Mary’s Special Ingredients Box Review
5
The Best Collard Greens
6
Peanut Butter and Pickles Sandwich + Giveaway!
7
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pie Pudding
8
Tomato Macaroni and Cheese
9
Mexican Black Bean and Corn Salsa
10
Sweet Tuxedo Fudge (That you can freeze!)
11
Spicy Bok Choy Mushroom Noodles
12
Cake Batter Granola Bars
13
Fudgy Kidney Bean Brownies
14
Broccoli Grilled Cheese Sandwich
15
Baked Kale Meatballs and Is it Spring? Are you sure?
16
Glazed Carrot Cake Donuts
17
Pasta al Gratin Macaroni and Cheese
18
Chicken and Cherry Tomato Toss Stir-Fry
19
Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins
20
Getting Ready for Game Of Thrones With Sweet Oatcakes

Royal Cheddar Cheese Soup

In today’s recipe we’re going to go back to the Edwardian era and make classically delicious Royal Cheddar Cheese Soup.

I have a new favorite cookbook.  It’s called Edwardian Cooking, The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook by Larry Edwards.  I don’t even watch Downton Abbey (YET) and I’m already obsessed.  The cookbook  includes 80 recipes from Sweet to Savory that include Breads, Side Dishes, Entrees, Desserts.  In the opening the author states “Long before there was the rage of organic food, sustained living and natural eating, there was the abbeys of Great Britain. Though Downton Abbey is a fictitious abbey, what we see dramatized is very real.  Also very real in the television dramatization is the food”.  

Edwardian Cooking
(Those cookies are coming to the blog soon!)

Everything that left the kitchen during this Era was made from scratch. The abbey cook would start their day around 6AM and the day would last 18 hours.  They would prepare 8 meals a day (including meals for the abbey staff). Besides the meals they would also prepare food for the High Teas and many social gatherings on the grounds of the Abbey. Hard work, right?

For this recipe here I have to warn you that this Royal Cheddar Cheese Soup is delicious.  Not only was it good for dinner but I made so much we also had it for leftovers the following day and it even warmed up beautifully.   I’m also pretty proud of myself because this recipe calls for onions and since they are pureed up I totally ate (slurped) them and enjoyed every minute of it!  

Royal Cheddar Cheese Soup

During the Edwardian era it was pratically required that if you served bread with a meal, you had to serve soup. These people knew how to live!  The most popular soup among the aristocrats was the smooth Royal Cheddar Cheese Soup.  The book describes it as the “quintessental English soup” as it includes potatoes, onions, cream and cheese.  When this soup was served it was never served hot.  It was always served at room temperature so guests at the abbey would not have to blow on the soup (the horror!).  

Lastly, it’s cool to note this Soup was always served at dinners when special guests were present.. so consider yourself fancy and enjoy this delicious Satiny Smooth Soup!

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Royal Cheddar Cheese Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon butter
  2. 2 yellow onions, peeled and chopped
  3. 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  4. 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  5. 6 cups chicken stock
  6. 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  7. 1 cup heavy cream
  8. 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  9. 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  10. 3 tablespoons minced chives or grated carrots
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, potatoes, and garlic and sauté 10 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the contents of the saucepan to a food processor and puree.
  4. In the saucepan, over medium heat, whisk together the dry mustard and heavy cream.
  5. Stir the puree into the saucepan and simmer 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the Cheddar cheese and hot sauce and keep stirring until the cheese has melted.
  7. Ladle into serving bowls, top with some chives or carrots, and serve.
Adapted from Edwardian Cooking, The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook by Larry Edwards
Adapted from Edwardian Cooking, The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook by Larry Edwards
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

Slow Cooked Sausage and Sauerkraut

This Slow Coked Sausage and Sauerkraut will leave you feeling full and happy!

 A few weeks ago I was left with a cup of sauerkraut.  Being a person that doesn’t like any food to go waste I was going crazy with what to do with it.  We used some of it up on chili cheese dogs but what was going to be next?  Then I thought of all the great Polish dishes I ate as a kid.  There was always sauerkraut alongside meat and mashed potatoes so that’s how this Slow Coked Sausage and Sauerkraut recipe was created.

It’s funny how recipes that just came out of no where end up being your favorite.  This slow cooked dish was a huge hit at the dinner table leaving it a now favorite and often requested meal.   The meat becomes so tender and juicy in the slow cooker and it picks up the spices of the brown sugar giving it a slight sweet taste.  I served this on mashed potatoes which I would totally recommend but you could also serve over rice or noodles. For mashed potatoes I would always recommend this recipe, it’s a favorite!

So next time you’re wondering what’s for dinner, give this Slow Coked Sausage and Sauerkraut a shot. I think you will love it just as much as we do!

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Slow Coked Sausage and Sauerkraut

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 Sausage

Slow Coked Sausage and Sauerkraut
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup sauerkraut
  2. 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  3. 1 pound of Italian sausage cut up into 1-2 inch pieces
  4. 1/2 onion sliced
  5. 1/4 cup water
Instructions
  1. In a bowl combine the sauerkraut and brown sugar. Place this into slow cooker.
  2. Next arrange the sausage pieces and onion over the sauerkraut.
  3. Pour water on top.
  4. Cook on high for 2 hours, checking occasionally to make sure there is still water.
  5. Reduce to low and cook for 2 more hours.
  6. Serve over mashed potatoes.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

Spicy Italian Crushed Tomato Sauce

Doesn’t a big bowl of pasta just fill you up with happiness for dinner?  How about we add a touch of spice with some crushed tomatoes?  Magic, right?

That’s how I feel about this recipe, it’s absolutely magical.  I think most times when we think of tomato sauce it doesn’t have that kick to it, but this Spicy Italian Crushed Tomato Sauce definitely has some spice.   It’s not overly spicy, but there’s enough that gives it a extra zip zap taste.    Also, can we talk about the aroma that that this sauce has?  It’s delicious.  If you give this sauce a shot, just watch your  kitchen start to fill up with people asking when dinner is ready.   Tell them them a few more minutes and kick them out of your kitchen.  Then take a few big spoonfuls of this sauce first. 

Speaking of tomatoes… our tomatoes have adjusted from their transplanting period and are now firm in their containers.  I love seeing them start to add a few inches of height and turn a nice green color.  Expect a big garden update post at the end of this week!  The other fresh star of this recipe is the basil.  I was able to throw in a big bunch of basil chopped up in this sauce and it was a perfect fit (not to mention the smell was amazing!).  Don’t you just love fresh basil?  Mmmm!

Spicy Crushed Tomato Sauce

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You can totally use whatever pasta you want to use.  This was one of those nights where I threw a bunch of quarter filled boxes together for a pasta mix!

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 Now go on and have a great pasta dinner tonight.. enjoy!

Spicy Italian Crushed Tomato Sauce
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Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup olive oil
  2. 6 cloves garlic, minced
  3. 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  4. 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes (or fresh crushed tomatoes)
  5. 1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
  6. 1 bunch of fresh basil, chopped up
  7. 1 small bell pepper, chopped up
  8. 1 12 ounce package dried pasta of choice
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes.
  2. Add red pepper flakes and saute for 1 minute.
  3. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil and pepper.
  4. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring a few times.
  5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add your pasta of choice and cook as instructed on box. Drain.
  6. Add pasta sauce to pasta and stir.
  7. Serve hot and enjoy.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

Mary’s Special Ingredients Box Review

Recently I got to review a box of MARY’s secret ingredients (MSI).  MSI is a limited edition culinary surprise box containing unique gourmet, artisanal ingredients along with small kitchen products.  Each season, a box of surprise goodies will be delivered to your door to enjoy.  If you don’t know what to do with the products, don’t worry as each ingredient in the box will be used in a recipe on the LOVE blog.  

I love box ideas because 1) I really like surprise gifts in the mail.  2) I love to discover new snacks and cooking items.  Getting a new sauce or herb will make me think outside of my regular kitchen box and be creative.      Also I love that 10% of profits get donated to Feed The Children Organization.

If you’re interested sign up at Mary’s Secret Ingredients.  For all the gourmet products I got it’s well worth the $25.95 price tag as I know how much this stuff costs in the store!  Sign up for the Summer box, Autumn box or Winter box or go crazy and treat yourself to all 3.  This makes a awesome gift as well, so think of upcoming foodie friends birthdays or anniversaries!  They will love you for it!  My birthday is October 24, so you know. 😉

Let’s look at the box!  With my 2 helpers.. Xanadu and Goblin!

MARY’s secret ingredients
First up, it’s wrapped beautifully and very organized!

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I was already oohing and ahhing.  How long did these wafer cookies last in my kitchen? Less than 24 hours.  The next day I went for a wafer cookie and they were GONE.  The packaging was GONE.  I texted Matthew “WHERE ARE THE WAFERS!!!!!”.  He texted me that he ate the rest during the middle of the night.  I was heart broken.  Seriously. 

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These applewood smoked meats were also delicious.  They lasted 2 days I think.  I would totally buy these if I saw them in the store!

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A big jar of fresh oregano that smells as good as you think it does!

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Probably the highlight of the box for me (ok besides the wafer cookies) is this peppermint tea.  Peppermint tea is one of my favs to enjoy and calm down with.

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Even better is that it’s made right here in Brooklyn by Calmer Sutra Teas!

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These were little pieces of cheeses that had a hint of spice to it.  

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This was a delicious brine that has me bursting with ideas! Goblin is pretty excited too.

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So go ahead and put some LOVE in your cooking!

I hope you go ahead and try a box out, I really think you will love it!

The Best Collard Greens

I have been saving up this recipe for a few months anxiously awaiting to share it with you guys. The time has come, the best collard greens are here!

My obsession with collards came last year when I had some authentic ones down South. From there I was obsessed.  I came home, got a few bunches of collard greens and promised myself I would try to learn to make them just as good (or at least close!).  The outcome is a major mouth watering recipe.   When I first made this exact recipe there was silence at the dinner table as we just wanted to savor the taste.  Then a few days later they were requested again for dinner.  Then a few days later, again.   I’m at the point where I love these greens so much I would just have them for dinner, nothing else. They are so good.  Just thinking about them gets me all worked up.

I’m kicking myself because we didn’t plant any collard seeds this year.  What were we thinking? Don’t worry though, next season there will be collards.  And lots of them!

Enjoy this delicious recipe and have a great weekend! Are you doing anything fun?

The Best Collard Greens

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The Best Collard Greens
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Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  2. 6 slices turkey bacon (or regular)
  3. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1 pound collard greens, chopped
  5. 3 cups chicken broth
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  8. 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
  9. 1 tablespoon brown sugar
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat.
  2. Add bacon and cook until crisp. Remove bacon from pot, crumble and return to pot.
  3. Add garlic to pot and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add collard greens and stir until they begin to wilt.
  5. Add chicken broth, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and brown sugar. Stir.
  6. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

Peanut Butter and Pickles Sandwich + Giveaway!

I’m obsesed with Peanut Butter and Pickles!  I just can’t get enough of this combination!

Pretty much every single day for lunch or a late afternoon snack, I’ve been toasting up one or two slices of bread,   throwing on some peanut butter, throwing on a big pile of pickles and then eating it up with a smile!  Have you ever tried peanut butter and pickles? I love the combo of the sweet and the tart.

And my favorite Peanut Butter for this sandwich? I’m obsessed with Peanut Butter & Co’s The Bee’s Knees right now.   You guys know my love for Peanut Butter & Co, but I am super in love with the sweet addition of the honey in this.  If you’ve tried this kind of Peanut Butter or you have and love it too, then make sure enter the Giveaway down below where you can win 2 jars! 

First up, toast 2 pieces of bread.  I love the Light versions of bread nowadays, 1 slice is 40 calories.  Love it.  What else do I love? This plate that Katie gave me.  Thanks girl!
Peanut Butter and Pickle Sandwich

Then I take a generous amount of peanut butter and put it on both slices.
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I also usually take a big spoonful and put it straight into my mouth because I can’t resist.Peanut Butter and Pickle Sandwich_2

Then I throw on a BIG (!) pile of pickles.  This is my favorite homemade pickle recipe but for store bought I always go for tart hamburger dill pickle chips. Peanut Butter and Pickle Sandwich_3

Seriously, I load up on the pickles. Every single bite should have a crunch to it.
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The perfect lunch!
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And now because I love you guys, here’s a chance to win 2 jars of Peanut Butter & Co’s The Bee’s Knees.  Contest runs from May 15-May 22.  Only US Residents please (but I love you all!).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Have you ever tried Peanut Butter and Pickles before?

 

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pie Pudding

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pie Pudding, a delicious healthy snack or dessert!

Chocolate and pumpkin are just the best couple aren’t they?

I mentioned on Monday that we just used up our last bag of homemade garden tomato sauce that I froze.  The same goes for pumpkin!   When making this pudding I had to reach for my last bag of frozen pumpkin puree.    I’m always a bit sad seeing the last bag gone, but it’s a great feeling knowing all the vegetables get used with love.   We just planted our pumpkin seeds last week so already I’m planning for some Summer pumpkins!  Are you guys ready for the pumpkin dance?  Prepare yourself… hopefully I’ll be dancing with happiness soon!

This Pudding is awesome for so many reasons.    For one, you are using 1 and a half cups of pumpkin so it’s full of fiber! You are using 1.5 cups of pumpkin to 1 cup chocolate chips so you’d think this is super pumpkin tasting, but it’s not.  It’s still super rich in chocolate tasting to the extent that people who don’t like pumpkin (gasp!) will still be licking their dishes when they’re done.  I recommend the good ol trick of making this recipe for pumpkin haters, having them exclaim how great it is, and then laughing and telling them how much pumpkin they ate!    Oh, I love being mean!

Lots of people think Pumpkin is only for Fall months but I don’t agree with that.    I think Pumpkin is great for the summer months for cool treats.  Besides this chilled pudding, what about pumpkin ice cream or pumpkin milk shakes?  Delicious, right?

Please please please give this Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pie Pudding a try.    I think you will fall in love with it! 

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pie Pudding, a delicious healthy snack or dessert!

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pie Pudding, a delicious healthy snack or dessert!

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pie Pudding, a delicious healthy snack or dessert!

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pie Pudding, a delicious healthy snack or dessert!

 

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pie Pudding
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups pureed pumpkin
  2. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  3. 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 tablespoon sugar
  6. 1 cup chocolate chips + handful of additional chips
Instructions
  1. Melt the chocolate chips (stove or microwave).
  2. Put all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until it is smooth. Add a handful additional chocolate chips and stir with spoon to distribute them evenly.
  3. Put in bowl and chill in refrigerator until firm.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pie Pudding, a delicious healthy snack or dessert!

Tomato Macaroni and Cheese

Delicious Tomato Macaroni and Cheese casserole recipe, ready in less than 1 hour.

If you add tomatoes to macaroni and cheese, that makes it a healthy dish, right?  I’m glad you agree with me!

For this recipe  we are mixing 2 cups of fresh chopped tomatoes with some cheesy macaroni noodles.  If you don’t have fresh, don’t worry I got you covered too.  Instead substitute it with 1 can of diced tomatoes.   I have a entire macaroni and cheese recipe section now and check out how many of them have vegetables in… I really love getting veggies cheesy!   So next time you’re craving some homemade mac and cheese add some tomatoes! Enjoy!
Delicious Tomato Macaroni and Cheese casserole recipe, ready in less than 1 hour.

Delicious Tomato Macaroni and Cheese casserole recipe, ready in less than 1 hour.

Delicious Tomato Macaroni and Cheese casserole recipe, ready in less than 1 hour.

Tomato Macaroni and Cheese
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups macaroni noodles
  2. 8 oz cheese (either cheddar or mozzarella)
  3. 2 cups fresh diced tomatoes (or 1 can diced tomatoes)
  4. 1 teaspoon sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  6. 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  9. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  10. 1/2 cup bread crumbs
Instructions
  1. In a large pot boil macaroni noodles per directions on box. Drain and put half in a greased casserole dish.
  2. Take half of cheese and add on top of macaroni.
  3. Put remaining half of macaroni noodles on top, then top again with remaining cheese.
  4. Stir together diced tomatoes, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, thyme and pepper in bowl. Pour over macaroni mixture.
  5. Spread bread crumbs on top of dish.
  6. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
Delicious Tomato Macaroni and Cheese casserole recipe, ready in less than 1 hour.

Mexican Black Bean and Corn Salsa

MEXICAN BLACK BEAN and CORN SALSA that takes 2 MINUTES to make! This easy homemade salsa recipe is full of fresh Mexican flavor! Eat this healthy dip with chips or serve as a salad.

We love this Mexican Black Bean and Corn Salsa because it only takes 2 minutes to make and can easily be served as a dip with tortilla chips or as side salad.   I find that I can make this recipe in the hot Summer months for picnics, or in the cold Snowy months with slow cooker tacos and we love it equally.

MEXICAN BLACK BEAN and CORN SALSA that takes 2 MINUTES to make! This easy homemade salsa recipe is full of fresh Mexican flavor! Eat this healthy dip with chips or serve as a salad.

We eat Mexican food very often in our house so this salsa is a perfect fit! I see so many tasty taco recipes from bloggers but recently I came across a book that I fell in love with it. It’s “The Taco Revolution” and features over 100 recipes to “Master America’s New Favorite Food”.    It’s not often that Matthew and I both have to fight over a cookbook but when he saw this on my desk his eyes nearly popped out of his head. “Tacos!” he exclaimed.  “Tacos!” I exclaimed.   In this cookbook there’s a section devoted to one of my favorite foods – salsa!  

MEXICAN BLACK BEAN and CORN SALSA that takes 2 MINUTES to make! This easy homemade salsa recipe is full of fresh Mexican flavor! Eat this healthy dip with chips or serve as a salad.

From slow cooker tacos, to salsa, to cornbread, I love it all. In fact check out my Mexican recipe selection here for lots of other recipes!  Make this salsa and serve it with your next Mexican dish!

Enjoy!

MEXICAN BLACK BEAN and CORN SALSA that takes 2 MINUTES to make! This easy homemade salsa recipe is full of fresh Mexican flavor! Eat this healthy dip with chips or serve as a salad.

 

Mexican Black Bean and Corn Salsa
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Ingredients
  1. 1 can of corn (drained)
  2. 1 can of black beans (drained)
  3. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  4. Juice of 1/2 lime (or 1 tablespoon lime juice)
  5. 1 tablespoon paprika
  6. 2 teaspoons cumin
  7. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  8. Cilantro to garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Serve and enjoy!
Notes
  1. Make sure to refrigerate leftovers.
Adapted from The Taco Revolution: Over 100 Traditional and Innovative Recipes to Master America's New Favorite Food by Brandon Schultz
Adapted from The Taco Revolution: Over 100 Traditional and Innovative Recipes to Master America's New Favorite Food by Brandon Schultz
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
MEXICAN BLACK BEAN and CORN SALSA that takes 2 MINUTES to make! This easy homemade salsa recipe is full of fresh Mexican flavor! Eat this healthy dip with chips or serve as a salad.

Sweet Tuxedo Fudge (That you can freeze!)

Fudge is a total weakness to mine.  Being around a tray of fudge is just asking for guilt and trouble, so when I make a batch I love to throw it in the freezer so it isn’t staring at me in the face for the next few days.  Fudge freezes great which means when you need that afternoon pick me up or need a quick dessert, just reach into the freezer and grab a piece of fudge.  It’s such a sweet treat.

This recipe is for Tuxedo Fudge which is half white and half black, just like a tuxedo. Well I guess a tuxedo is more black than white which is how my fudge turned out too.  There’s no such thing as too much chocolate, right? This old fashioned fudge recipe is made by combining coconut and chocolate to create one beautiful layered candy.

Tuxedo Fudge

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This recipe comes from 300 Best Homemade Candy Recipes Cookbook by Jane Sharrock.  The cookbook is pure dangerous as it has recipes from peanut brittle, caramels, truffles, nut balls, taffy and beautiful lollipops! It’s a sweet dream!
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Sweet Tuxedo Fudge (That you can freeze!)
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Coconut Layer
  1. 2 cups granulated sugar
  2. Pinch salt
  3. 1⁄2 cup butter or margarine
  4. 1⁄4 cup light (white) corn syrup
  5. 1⁄2 cup milk
  6. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  7. 1⁄2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
Chocolate Layer
  1. 2 cups granulated sugar
  2. 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  3. Pinch salt Pinch
  4. 1⁄2 cup butter or margarine
  5. 1⁄4 cup light (white) corn syrup
  6. 1⁄2 cup milk
  7. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  8. 1⁄2 cup pecans, in large pieces (optional)
Instructions
  1. 1. To make the coconut layer: In heavy saucepan over low to medium-low heat, bring the sugar, salt, butter, corn syrup and milk to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to boil. Cover and cook 2 to 3 minutes to dissolve the sugar crystals on the sides of the pan. Remove the lid. Cook, stirring only as needed to prevent scorching, to the soft ball stage (234°F to 240°F/112°C to 116°C, with 236°F/113°C recommended).
  2. 2. Remove from the heat. Cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Add the vanilla. Beat by hand until the candy begins to thicken and lose its gloss. Stir in the coconut. Spread the candy into the prepared pan. Cool at room temperature while making the chocolate layer.
  3. 3. To make the chocolate layer: In a clean saucepan, combine the sugar and cocoa until well blended. Add the salt, butter, corn syrup and milk. Bring to a boil over low to medium-low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to boil. Cover and cook 2 to 3 minutes to dissolve the sugar crystals on the sides of the pan. Remove the lid. Cook, stirring only as needed to prevent scorching, to the soft ball stage (234°F to 240°F/112°C to 116°C, with 236°F/113°C recommended).
  4. 4. Remove from the heat. Cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Add the vanilla. Beat by hand until the candy begins to thicken and lose its gloss. Stir in the pecans, if desired. Spread the chocolate layer over the coconut layer in the pan. Cool and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container.
  5. To freeze cut up into squares and store in freezer bag. Take them out of the freezer as you need one.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
Tell me, is fudge dangerous to you too?  

Spicy Bok Choy Mushroom Noodles

Easy 15 minute Asian dish recipe for Spicy Bok Choy Noodles.  These Spicy Noodles include Bok Choy, Kale and Mushrooms making them a vegetable lover’s dream!

Lately I have really been in the mood for a big bowl of Chinese noodles full of vegetables so I cooked this up one night and now it’s a official staple for dinner. I love that I can use both fresh bok choy and kale from the garden making this a happy harvest meal too.   The red pepper flakes and ginger add a little spice that goes a long way for flavor.  These noodles are not soupy as the broth will boil off and the rice noodles will soak them up.    Just thinking about this dish is making my mouth water!

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Easy 15 minute Asian dish recipe for Spicy Bok Choy Noodles. These Spicy Noodles include Bok Choy, Kale and Mushrooms making them a vegetable lover’s dream!

Easy 15 minute Asian dish recipe for Spicy Bok Choy Noodles. These Spicy Noodles include Bok Choy, Kale and Mushrooms making them a vegetable lover’s dream!

Easy 15 minute Asian dish recipe for Spicy Bok Choy Noodles. These Spicy Noodles include Bok Choy, Kale and Mushrooms making them a vegetable lover’s dream!

Oriental Spicy Bok Choy Noodles
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  3. 1 teaspoon ginger
  4. 1 large head bok choy - chopped
  5. 1/2 cup kale - chopped
  6. 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  7. 4 cups chicken broth
  8. 12 oz rice noodles
  9. salt + pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a pot heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add red pepper flakes, ginger, bok choy, kale and mushrooms. Stir to combine them while cooking for 2-3 minutes until the greens wilt.
  2. In a large pot bring chicken broth to a boil. Once boiling add rice noodles, cooking as instructed on noodle package. When the noodles have 4 minutes left, add vegetables and stir.
  3. Season with salt + pepper if needed.
  4. Enjoy!
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

Easy 15 minute Asian dish recipe for Spicy Bok Choy Noodles. These Spicy Noodles include Bok Choy, Kale and Mushrooms making them a vegetable lover’s dream!

Cake Batter Granola Bars

Birthday Cake Batter Granola Bars that taste just like cake and are topped with chocolate chips and sprinkles!

One of my absolute favorite afternoon snacks is a granola bar to add some fuel, but who says your granola bars can’t be sweet too?

Basing this on my Chocolate Chip Granola Bars and Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Granola Bars recipes I wanted to create a granola bar that was filling with oats but tasted more like a pastry.  To be exact I wanted it to taste like cake batter because shouldn’t everything?  Alongside the other ingredients I added in some dry cake mix which was a great partner to pair with the oats when the wet ingredients are added in to make everything stick together.

Not only do these definitely taste like cake batter, but they smell just like cake too.   Isn’t it just wonderful?  You can totally be fun with the sprinkle colors too.  Maybe add red and green for Christmas, or bright yellow for Summer time picnic treats! 

Next time you’re craving granola bars or cake batter, give these a shot and let me know what you think!

Birthday Cake Batter Granola Bars that taste just like cake and are topped with chocolate chips and sprinkles!

 Birthday Cake Batter Granola Bars that taste just like cake and are topped with chocolate chips and sprinkles!

Birthday Cake Batter Granola Bars that taste just like cake and are topped with chocolate chips and sprinkles!

 

Cake Batter Granola Bars
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups quick cooking oats
  2. 1 cup crispy rice cereal
  3. 2/3 cup cake mix dry
  4. 1/4 cup salted butter
  5. 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  6. 1/4 cup honey
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  8. 4 tablespoons sprinkles
  9. 3 tablespoons white chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Spray a 8x8 pan lightly with cooking spray.
  2. Mix your oats, cereal, cake mix and 2 tablespoons sprinkle together in a large bowl.
  3. In a small saucepan melt butter, brown sugar and honey on medium high heat until melted. Once it begins to bubble change heat to low and stir for 2 minutes.
  4. Remove saucepan from burner and stir in your vanilla.
  5. Pour your hot mixture over your oats mixture. Stir well. You want to make sure every single piece of oats and cereal is coated.
  6. Pour your mixture into your greased pan and push down with spatula to flatten it.
  7. Sprinkle chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons sprinkle over top evenly. Use your spatula to press them down so they are embedded in the bars.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator to set for 1 hour.
  9. Take out and cut into bar sizes.
  10. Store in airtight container in refrigerator to keep them fresh.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
Birthday Cake Batter Granola Bars taste just like cake and are topped with chocolate chips and sprinkles!

Fudgy Kidney Bean Brownies

This Fudgy KIDNEY BEAN Brownies recipe is the BEST!  These brownies are easy to make, moist and made with red beans to make them more healthy!  They have a thick chocolate frosting on top that everyone will love!  This is a sneaky way to get your kids to eat more vegetables!  Trust me, everyone will think they’re the best brownies ever!

A few days ago I was craving brownies (when aren’t I)?    Because I always love some adding some vegetables to sweets, I went into the cabinet to grab a can of black beans to make my favorite black bean brownies but sadness hit, I was all out of black beans.  So then I sat on the floor, pantry door open, and begun to think.. could I use another bean?  So I grabbed a can of dark red kidney beans and these Fudgy Kidney Bean Brownies were made!

This Fudgy KIDNEY BEAN Brownies recipe is the BEST! These brownies are easy to make, moist and made with red beans to make them more healthy! They have a thick chocolate frosting on top that everyone will love! This is a sneaky way to get your kids to eat more vegetables! Trust me, everyone will think they're the best brownies ever!

These brownies are incredibly fudgy, incredibly rich, incredibly chocolaty and made out of magic.  Did I sell you on them yet? The kidney beans worked as a perfect substitution for the black beans.   This recipe is now one of my favorite brownie recipes that I can’t keep my paws off of!  

This Fudgy KIDNEY BEAN Brownies recipe is the BEST!  These brownies are easy to make, moist and made with red beans to make them more healthy!  They have a thick chocolate frosting on top that everyone will love!  This is a sneaky way to get your kids to eat more vegetables!  Trust me, everyone will think they're the best brownies ever! 

This Fudgy KIDNEY BEAN Brownies recipe is the BEST!  These brownies are easy to make, moist and made with red beans to make them more healthy!  They have a thick chocolate frosting on top that everyone will love!  This is a sneaky way to get your kids to eat more vegetables!  Trust me, everyone will think they're the best brownies ever!

Because I love double chocolate,  I added a thick layer of brownie frosting to the top of these that set perfectly.  When you take a bite you’re just going to fall into chocolate heaven.  So go ahead and make these….. I’ll meet you there!

This Fudgy KIDNEY BEAN Brownies recipe is the BEST!  These brownies are easy to make, moist and made with red beans to make them more healthy!  They have a thick chocolate frosting on top that everyone will love!  This is a sneaky way to get your kids to eat more vegetables!  Trust me, everyone will think they're the best brownies ever!

This Fudgy KIDNEY BEAN Brownies recipe is the BEST!  These brownies are easy to make, moist and made with red beans to make them more healthy!  They have a thick chocolate frosting on top that everyone will love!  This is a sneaky way to get your kids to eat more vegetables!  Trust me, everyone will think they're the best brownies ever!

UPDATE: Here’s a how to video for you! If you like the recipe, share it on Facebook!

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Fudgy Kidney Bean Brownies

This Fudgy KIDNEY BEAN Brownies recipe is the BEST!  These brownies are easy to make, moist and made with red beans to make them more healthy!  They have a thick chocolate frosting on top that everyone will love!  This is a sneaky way to get your kids to eat more vegetables!  Trust me, everyone will think they're the best brownies ever!

Ingredients

For the brownies

  • 1 15 oz can of dark kidney beans - drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup creamy regular or chocolate peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

For the frosting

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

For the brownies

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips in a food processor. Pulse until smooth and creamy.
  3. Stir in chocolate chips and mix with spoon so they are equally distributed.
  4. Grease 8x8 pan and pour brownie mixture in it. Take a spatula to smooth out the top.
  5. Bake the brownies for 16-18 minutes and remove from oven.

For the frosting

  1. Combine milk, butter and powdered sugar together in a saucepan over medium heat, bringing to a boil. Allow to cook at a rolling boil for 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
  2. Add chocolate chips and vanilla to saucepan and stir until the chips are melted.
  3. Pour immediately over warm brownies.
  4. Put in refrigerator to allow brownies to set quickly.
  5. Enjoy!

This Fudgy KIDNEY BEAN Brownies recipe is the BEST! These brownies are easy to make, moist and made with red beans to make them more healthy! They have a thick chocolate frosting on top that everyone will love! This is a sneaky way to get your kids to eat more vegetables! Trust me, everyone will think they're the best brownies ever!

Broccoli Grilled Cheese Sandwich

 Today we’re going to give a makeover to our favorite childhood sandwich, The Grilled Cheese.

As a kid I would beg my Mom to make Grilled Cheese sandwiches for lunch and dinner.  When I wasn’t asking her to make them, I was ordering them at the diner served alongside a big spoonful of mashed potatoes.  Did you ever have grilled cheese and mashed potatoes? It’s the perfect combo, especially if there’s a bunch of gravy poured over your potatoes.

One night we were craving something different for dinner but wanted to use up some fresh broccoli we picked that was growing under the greenhouse.   After a quick broccoli roast, these sandwiches were made and enjoyed… very quickly!  Immediately after finishing his Matthew said “I want another!”.  Me too man, me too.

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Baked Kale Meatballs and Is it Spring? Are you sure?

It’s Spring, right?  Are you sure?  I mean snow and sleet storms happen when it was just 75 degrees a few days ago, right?  Wait.  What is going on?

Spring was here.  The sunshine was blasting.  I had my sunglasses on and short sleeves.  I was planning picnics in the park.  I was ready to get the tomatoes outside.  I was excited for walks for ice cream.  I took my mittens out of my bookbag.  Winter coat? No way, that was packed away.

Then Tuesday night came.  We were on our way home from the last regular season home Brooklyn Nets game (note: The Knicks killed us, but who cares, we’re going to the playoffs unlike you Knicks) when suddenly it just started sleeting and snowing.  We’re talking sleet that comes down and cuts you in the face.  We’re talking a storm where you get home and you have to throw your clothes right in the washer because you’re soaked.  We’re talking weather where there’s no way of not looking like a wet dog (note: I do not look cute like a dog does.  I look like a monster).  This all happened…. in Mid April!

So immediately worries set in for the garden.  Broccoli, Cauliflower, Bok Choy, Lettuce, Peas, Carrots, Radishes, Kale, Onions and more were already planted.   We were historically set to not go below freezing again and we were definitely set for not having snow again until Winter.  Then Mother Nature had to go out and have a bad day…

There’s not  much you can do to protect a garden in mid storm.  Yes, you can brave the sleet while getting soaked to throw on some fabric to protect them from the freezing temperatures (which is what we did), but there comes a time where you just have to hope the plants are going to be ok and just leave them be.    The wait is the worst feeling.    During the next morning we ventured to the roof to find our peas in snow, with more fabric being pressed into the plants due to snow weight on top.  

garden

garden

The kale didn’t look good.  The lettuce didn’t look great.  The sugar snap peas looked frozen.  The onions were knocked over.. but it was too early to tell as they still needed some afternoon sun to bounce back.
Kale, Sleet Snow Storm April 2014

Kale, Sleet Snow Storm April 2014_2

One thing was certain though, the kale had to be picked. If you guys remember, this kale was planted last Summer (!) and it somehow survived Winter (!) so in terms of how long it’s been planted, it was a real true survivor.  I was a bit bummed that this freak storm was the one to finally destroy it, but time was not on it’s side. Kale, Sleet Snow Storm April 2014_1

Kale, Sleet Snow Storm April 2014_4

So with my winter coat on with a somber heart (I’m so dramatic, I know) I picked all 6 kale plants.  These kale plants really grew fantastically and even though they were destroyed by the weather, it was close to time to pick them anyways as they were starting to flower.   I got pounds of kale off these plants and my entire bottom shelf of the refrigerator is now full of kale. 
Kale, Sleet Snow Storm April 2014_3

But first I had to take a dramatic photo of me with my baby kale and title it “Kale Mother” to post on Instagram.  I love my friend Avery’s comment: PAMALEESI: MOTHER OF KALES
“Kale Mother”, the story of a mother losing her kale plants in a freak sleet snow storm during Spring of 2014 when it was 70 degrees a few days ago.  #kale #rip #mother #artphotography #art #documentary #gardenchat #bluehair #manicpanic  #rooftop #NYC #Br

 

How did the other plants do after they thawed out? We think everything is ok.  A few leaves got burned by the frost, but the lettuce bounced back beautifully and the peas are still standing tall (alongside the onions).    Let’s take a collective sigh of relief as it could have been a real disaster with months of seedling planning ruined.   I guess we had a little luck saved! 

So now with a ton of kale.. what are we going to do?  I wanted to make something right away so I could use up a few full cups of kale, as I get a little stressed with too much kale!  We love our kale turkey meatballs, especially on a hoagie,  so I decided to make a double batch and put a spin on this recipe with mixing the meats.  This was the perfect solution because I got 1 dinner that night out of it, and 2-3 extra dinners to freeze.  Lately we’ve been craving meatballs with pasta but we’re too lazy to make them when hunger hits, so now they’re all ready to be eaten (after being defrosted!)

So let’s make some meatballs! First the kale was picked.  But first I had to weigh in. This year I’m going to keep track of how much we grow to see.  I’ve been telling myself to do this every year but this year I’m going to do it! (I hope..)
Kale, Sleet Snow Storm April 2014_6

 In my other meatballs recipe I usually pan fry them but I didn’t feel like babysitting them so I decided to bake them instead.   I loaded 2 cookie sheets full of meatballs!
Baked Kale Meatballs

These meatballs turned out beautifully! They were crisp on the outside, moist in the inside and full of flavor.    These might be some of the best meatballs I ever made so I was happy to see them made alongside our garden kale.  Having a bit of homegrown in every meal always makes it better, right?    Also these are going to make your home smell great.  When someone walked in our front door about 2 hours after baking they said “It smells so good in here!”.  It totally did.

Baked Kale Meatballs _1

Baked Kale Meatballs _2

Baked Kale Meatballs _4

Baked Kale Meatballs _3

 To freeze them, I separate them into meals and put in a freezer bag.  When it’s time to enjoy them, I’ll let them sit out for a bit to defrost, then warm them up to eat, or throw in a pot to cook alongside the pasta sauce.

Baked Kale Meatballs

COLOURBOX1047713

Baked Kale Meatballs
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Ingredients
  1. 4 cups uncooked chopped fresh kale
  2. 1 pound ground turkey
  3. 1 pound ground beef
  4. 2 pinches each of dried rosemary, parsley and oregano
  5. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  6. 6 cloves garlic
  7. 2 eggs
Instructions
  1. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a pan over medium high heat. Add kale and spices. Cook until your kale is wilted.
  2. Put kale mixture and garlic into a food processor and chop it up. Add your turkey and egg and pulse until it's combined. Depending on food processor size you might have to do 2 batches.
  3. Form this mixture into 1-2 inch balls.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Line 2 cookie sheets with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray.
  6. Put meatballs on foil and cook 35-40 minutes or until the internal temperature is 160 degrees.
  7. Enjoy right away, or freeze for later.
Notes
  1. Makes 30 meatballs.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
Have a great weekend everyone!
How’s the weather where you are?  Is it finally Spring?

Glazed Carrot Cake Donuts

The Best Carrot Cake Glazed Donuts!  These homemade baked donuts are made with carrots (healthy!) so they taste just like carrot cake!  This recipe is easy to make and the donuts are moist and full of flavor!  These donuts are perfect for breakfast or dessert – they’re so yummy!

This Winter we got very lucky with our carrots.  We didn’t have high hopes for them but upon one Spring cleanup day we were surprised to find pounds of carrots hiding under the soil waiting for us to find them.  It was a giant surprise and it created some giant garden smiles
Fresh Garden Carrots

Aren’t they just beauties?  I just can’t get enough of fresh carrots.  There’s nothing like the taste of a carrot that was just picked.  Sometimes I nibble on one as soon as I pick it, I just can’t help myself.  So I took the carrots down to the kitchen and pondered… What to make?  I was craving carrots for dinner so I made some brown sugar glazed carrots that were delicious but I wanted to make a dessert with them too.  
Fresh Garden Carrots

I had a real craving for carrot cake but I didn’t have everything on hand.  Then I thought to myself: DONUTS!  Then I thought..

CARROT CAKE DONUTS!

The Best Carrot Cake Glazed Donuts! These homemade baked donuts are made with carrots (healthy!) so they taste just like carrot cake! This recipe is easy to make and the donuts are moist and full of flavor! These donuts are perfect for breakfast or dessert - they're so yummy!

These donuts taste just like carrot cake with a sweet sugary glaze on top.  Think of a bakery glazed donut + a carrot cake…. all as fresh as possible.   The freshness of the carrots really make these donuts something special and you really get a nice taste of the carrots with the sweetness of the donuts.  

These donuts are definitely a keeper in my garden notebook now. I can’t wait for our next carrot harvest to make (and devour!) some more Carrot Cake Donuts!

The Best Carrot Cake Glazed Donuts! These homemade baked donuts are made with carrots (healthy!) so they taste just like carrot cake! This recipe is easy to make and the donuts are moist and full of flavor! These donuts are perfect for breakfast or dessert - they're so yummy!

The Best Carrot Cake Glazed Donuts! These homemade baked donuts are made with carrots (healthy!) so they taste just like carrot cake! This recipe is easy to make and the donuts are moist and full of flavor! These donuts are perfect for breakfast or dessert - they're so yummy!

The Best Carrot Cake Glazed Donuts! These homemade baked donuts are made with carrots (healthy!) so they taste just like carrot cake! This recipe is easy to make and the donuts are moist and full of flavor! These donuts are perfect for breakfast or dessert - they're so yummy!

The Best Carrot Cake Glazed Donuts! These homemade baked donuts are made with carrots (healthy!) so they taste just like carrot cake! This recipe is easy to make and the donuts are moist and full of flavor! These donuts are perfect for breakfast or dessert - they're so yummy!

Glazed Carrot Cake Donuts
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 egg
  2. 1/2 cup orange juice
  3. 1/4 cup melted butter
  4. ½ teaspoon vanilla
  5. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  6. 1 cup flour
  7. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  8. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  9. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  10. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  11. ¼ teaspoon allspice
  12. 1 ¼ cup shredded carrots
For the glaze
  1. 2 tablespoons milk
  2. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  3. 1 cups confectioners powdered sugar
For the donuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat egg in large bowl. Add orange juice, butter, vanilla and sugar, beat well.
  3. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice and mix till moistened.
  4. Gently fold in shredded carrots.
  5. Fill donut pan up.
  6. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Let cool for 2 minutes.
For the glaze
  1. Combine milk and vanilla in a saucepan and heat over medium heat.
  2. Stir in confectioners powdered sugar into milk mixture. Whisk slowly, until well combined.
  3. Remove from heat and dip each donut into glaze.
  4. Set on rack until cool enough to eat.
Notes
  1. Makes 12 donuts.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
The Best Carrot Cake Glazed Donuts! These homemade baked donuts are made with carrots (healthy!) so they taste just like carrot cake! This recipe is easy to make and the donuts are moist and full of flavor! These donuts are perfect for breakfast or dessert - they're so yummy!

Pasta al Gratin Macaroni and Cheese

“Hey quick, come over and check out this béchamel sauce” I yelled to Matthew.
“What?” he responded.
“Get over here, you have to check out this sauce.  It’s so beautiful!” I demanded.  Nicely.
Begrudgingly he arrived at the stove.  “What?”
“What? Did you just what this sauce? Look at it!”.  
“What?”
Am I married to a man who can’t see and appreciate the beauty of this white sauce?  “What?  What again?  Look at it! Look at how beautifully the milk has cooked making it oh so creamy.”
He nods.
“Get out of here.  Right now! No sauce for you!”

Italian Cooking Pasta al Gratin_6

Sometimes other people just can’t see the beauty in things, but what are you going to do?

I am obsessed with the béchamel sauce that holds together this macaroni and cheese dish.  You’d think by looking at it the dish is full of cheese, but there is only 1/4 cup of cheese in this dish!    The sauce is made slowly cooking the milk until it turns creamy, patience is key here.  The sauce is velvety and oh so rich making it hold together your elbow noodles perfectly.  

This recipe comes from one of my new favorite cookbooks “Italian Kitchen” by Anna Del Conte, published by Sterling.  Not only are the recipes in it amazing (because honestly, they are) but it’s one of the prettiest cookbooks I’ve ever owned in my life.  First of all, the book comes with no dust jacket which I love.  I always take off my dust jackets anyways hoping for a pretty cover inside, but this one is just straight up off the shelf beautiful.  Also the outside of the book cover is printed on a canvas that has the appearance of being worn, like you’ve been enjoying this cookbook with love for years.    I’ve had this cookbook lying around the house recently and whenever anyone sees it they always comment on how great it looks.  

Italian Cooking Pasta al Gratin_2

And then as soon as you open up the book you’ll be stunned by great the first opening spread is.  Whoever designed this cookbook needs a award, or maybe some dishes left at their doorstep.  Because I’m crazy I googled this and the design is by Anna crone and the Photography is by Jason Lowe.  I usually don’t list info like this here but it’s really one good looking book.
Italian Cooking Pasta al Gratin_3

When you get to the Table of Contents you’ll see a short list of categories.   I love that there’s only a few and the book focuses on what it’s intent is, Italian Cooking.  
Italian Cooking Pasta al Gratin_4

The pasta section is the key to my heart is full of so many recipes I’ve already made or am planning to  Again, don’t you love the rustic design?
Italian Cooking Pasta al Gratin_5

For you guys though, I really wanted to share the Pasta al Gratin Macaroni and Cheese recipe.  As many of you know I’m a big time mac and cheese lover but this one here is not your average recipe, it’s so rich and deep with flavor making it a real star in serving.   I love what the author of the book, Anna Del Conte, said about this recipe when she was discussing her favorite pasta dish with her husband.  After asking her what her favorite was she said “Pasta al gratin”.  “Oh really?” he said, and thought “What about that discerning palate she’s so proud of?”  But he was thinking of the macaroni and cheese of his school days, and I was thinking of the velvety, cheesey delight of Pasta al Gratin.  She goes on to say:  Although it (this dish) is made with a sauce with a French name, the dish is Italian.  it is made in many regions, with certain variations.  In the north, for instance, Parmesan is used, sometimes mixed with Emmental or fontina, while in Naples, a buffalo mozzarella is cut up and pushed here and there among the penne (or elbows).  

Italian Cooking Pasta al Gratin

And without further taunting you with pictures, I open up the cookbook and share you with this delicious Pasta al Gratin Macaroni and Cheese recipe.Italian Cooking Pasta al Gratin_8

Italian Cooking Pasta al Gratin_9

Italian Cooking Pasta al Gratin_7

 

Pasta al Gratin Macaroni and Cheese
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Ingredients
  1. 2 oz fontina, grated
  2. 2 oz Parmesan, grated
  3. 12 oz penne or macaroni elbows
  4. 3 cups whole milk
  5. 5 tablespoons butter
  6. 1/2 cup flour
  7. sea salt and black pepper
  8. grated nutmeg
Instructions
  1. To make the bechamel sauce, heat the milk until hot but not boiling. Remove from the heat.
  2. Melt the butter, remove the saucepan from the heat, and stir in the flour. Put the pan back on the heat and cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat an add the milk gradually. Return the pan to the heat and cook until the sauce comes to a boil. Season with salt and pepper and a generous amount of nutmeg. Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. To finish the sauce, leave cooking on low for 10-15 minutes, only stirring occasionally. This long, slow cooking makes it a rich sauce you would not be able to achieve if you cooked for a shorter time.
  5. Add the cheeses to the sauce.
  6. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente, as instructed on box. Drain.
  7. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Coat a shallow baking dish with a little of the sauce. Dress the pasta with about 2/3 of the bechamel and transfer to the prepared dish. Spread the rest of the sauce all over the top. Bake for 30 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to blend while cooking a little.
Adapted from Italian Kitchen
Adapted from Italian Kitchen
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

Chicken and Cherry Tomato Toss Stir-Fry

 10 minute Chicken and Cherry Tomato Stir-Fry recipe.  Serve hot over rice, couscous or noodles.

This chicken and cherry tomato toss is a gardeners dream serving up a fresh and delicious stir-fry dish!  When tomato season hits I like to be prepared for recipes because once one it starts…. then it will start to rain tomatoes!    
 10 minute Chicken and Cherry Tomato Stir-Fry recipe. Serve hot over rice, couscous or noodles.

When tomato insanity hits we often have days where we are picking 10 pounds of tomatoes.  I make plenty of sauces to last us through winter, but I love to enjoy our cherry tomatoes super fresh for dinner!  This Chicken and Cherry Tomato Toss Stir-Fry is totally going to be a Summer time favorite!
 10 minute Chicken and Cherry Tomato Stir-Fry recipe. Serve hot over rice, couscous or noodles.

The combination of chicken stock, soy sauce and ginger root gives this a great “Asian” tasting meal.  I can totally see this being a Chinese dish served over rice.  In my case I served it over thick lo mein noodles which was a perfect compliment to the chicken and tomatoes.    After dinner I was declaring this delicious so next time you set your eyes on some cherry tomatoes, grab them and make this Stir-Fry!  

 10 minute Chicken and Cherry Tomato Stir-Fry recipe. Serve hot over rice, couscous or noodles.

 10 minute Chicken and Cherry Tomato Stir-Fry recipe. Serve hot over rice, couscous or noodles.

 10 minute Chicken and Cherry Tomato Stir-Fry recipe. Serve hot over rice, couscous or noodles.

 10 minute Chicken and Cherry Tomato Stir-Fry recipe. Serve hot over rice, couscous or noodles.

 

Chicken and Cherry Tomato Toss Stir-Fry
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Ingredients
  1. 3 tbsp chicken stock
  2. 1 tbsp soy sauce
  3. 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  4. 1 tsp salt
  5. 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  6. 1 tbsp coarsely chopped garlic
  7. 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger root
  8. 12 oz skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into 11⁄2-inch
  9. 1⁄3 cup thinly sliced green onions
  10. 3⁄4 cup halved cherry tomatoes
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine chicken stock, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, if using, sugar and salt and stir well. Set aside.
  2. In a wok or a large deep skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger and toss well, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add chicken and spread into a single layer. Cook, undisturbed, until edges turn white, about 1 minute. Toss well. Cook, tossing occasionally, until no longer pink, about 1 minute more.
  4. Add chicken stock mixture, pouring in around sides of pan. Cook, tossing occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and coated in a thin, smooth sauce, 1 to 2 minutes more.
  5. Reserve a generous pinch of green onions for garnish, and add remaining green onions and cherry tomatoes to pan. Cook, tossing once, for 1 minute more.
  6. Transfer to a serving plate. Sprinkle reserved green onions over chicken. Serve hot or warm over rice, couscous or noodles.
Notes
  1. Serves: 4
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
 10 minute Chicken and Cherry Tomato Stir-Fry recipe. Serve hot over rice, couscous or noodles.

Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins

Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins made ready in 12 minutes! Use refrigerated biscuits to make homemade Cinnamon Rolls with a powdered sugar icing that your kids will fall in love with!  These Cinnamon Rolls are quick and delicious – perfect for Saturday morning breakfast.

On a scale of 1-10 on the yummy scale, these cinnamon roll muffins are a 11.  Watch out.

One afternoon I was craving cinnamon.  It seemed like everywhere I looked I saw a cinnamon roll on twitter, on the street, in a window, and every time I closed my eyes.   All I wanted was a cinnamon roll, ok maybe I wanted two, but I wanted them quick. I didn’t want to wait hours for yeast to rise, my belly was singing “feed me cinnamon rolls” so I came up with this great Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins which will get you delicious cinnamon rolls in less than 20 minutes! Dangerous, I know.

These Muffins use the same idea of my Monkey Bread Muffins by using refrigerated biscuits to quicken up the recipe.  After baking, then we make a creamy vanilla frosting to pour over them, which you’ll see will melt beautifully and just warm your heart with happiness.  

Enjoy friends… enjoy!

Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins made ready in 12 minutes! Use refrigerated biscuits to make homemade Cinnamon Rolls with a powdered sugar icing that your kids will fall in love with! These Cinnamon Rolls are quick and delicious - perfect for Saturday morning breakfast

It only takes 12 minutes to make these Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins! No yeast or rising needed! All you need is Pillsbury refrigerated biscuits.

It only takes 12 minutes to make these Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins! No yeast or rising needed! All you need is Pillsbury refrigerated biscuits.

It only takes 12 minutes to make these Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins! No yeast or rising needed! All you need is Pillsbury refrigerated biscuits.

It only takes 12 minutes to make these Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins! No yeast or rising needed! All you need is Pillsbury refrigerated biscuits.

 

Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins
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For the muffins
  1. 2 cans of 7.5 oz Pillsbury refrigerated biscuits (or other brand)
  2. 1/4 cup butter - melted
  3. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  4. 1/4 cup white sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the frosting
  1. 2 cups powdered sugar
  2. 1 tablespoon butter - melted
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  4. 2 tablespoons milk
For the muffins
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a dozen muffin cup sheet with nonstick spray. Spray it good - on the bottom and sides.
  3. Mix melted butter, sugars and cinnamon in a plastic bag.
  4. Take each biscuit and rip it up into 6 pieces. Put the biscuit pieces in bag and shake to coat evenly.
  5. Place 8-10 pieces of biscuits into each muffin cup to evenly fill them up.
  6. Bake for 12-14 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool for 1 minute. Then remove from pan, the muffins should fall right out.
For the frosting
  1. Mix powdered sugar, butter and vanilla in bowl with hand mixer.
  2. Add milk and continue to mix until it reaches a "frosting" consistency.
  3. Pour frosting over warm muffins, enjoy!
Notes
  1. Makes 10-12 muffins.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
Now I’m off to make another batch of these!

Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins made ready in 12 minutes! Use refrigerated biscuits to make homemade Cinnamon Rolls with a powdered sugar icing that your kids will fall in love with! These Cinnamon Rolls are quick and delicious - perfect for Saturday morning breakfast

Getting Ready for Game Of Thrones With Sweet Oatcakes

You guys, the season premiere of Game of Thrones is on this Sunday, are you excited as me?

You either have 2 responses:
YES!
I don’t watch Game of Thrones

If you say “YES!” then I slap you high 5, hug you and give you my love!
If you say “I don’t watch Game of Thrones” I still hug you because you’re nice, but I need to know why you don’t watch it!

If you haven’t been watching the last few seasons, then you need to catch up because it is my favorite show on television and I get so much thrill from Sunday nights that it’s hard to put into words.  Recently I finished reading all the Game of Thrones books which left me in sadness for about a week because I had no idea what to do with my life anymore without these books.   I’m also interested to see how this is going to change how I watch the show, as I know so so so so much, but the show likes to change things a bit.  

You want to know how excited we are? We just ordered HBO specifically for Game of Thrones.  That’s dedication.  And then once it’s done for the season, we’ll remove HBO.

To get in the spirit I wanted to make a sweet that would be the perfect treat to bring to a Game of Thrones party.   Along with your Cersei wig and your white cloak, I think you should totally whip up a batch of the Sweet Oatcakes!   You already know Sansa is obsessed with Lemon Cakes, so let’s stay in the cake family but give it a oat twist!  These oatcakes are sweet but have plenty of crunch making them the perfect and addicting snack! I dare you to eat one….! 🙂 If you eat more than one though, it’s ok, they’re only 113 calories a piece!

Even Jon Snow likes them. PS. Hi Jon Snow.  *Wiggles Eyebrows*. 
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I’m House Stark all the way, even though my Starks are disappearing. What House are you?

 Sweet-Oatcakes

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Sweet Oatcakes

Sweet Oatcakes
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup butter
  2. 1 teaspoon salt
  3. 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 1 1/2 cups flour
  7. 1 cup rolled oats, ground in a food processor
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly grease two 9 inch round cake pans with nonstick spray.
  2. In a bowl cream together butter, salt, brown sugar and vanilla. Add in the baking soda, flour and oats and continue to mix.
  3. Divide the dough in half and press into cake pans, smoothing out so it takes up the entire base of the pan and is smooth on the top. Prick the dough on top with a fork in a pattern if you'd like.
  4. Bake the cakes for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. My time is always 37 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and loosen edges with a butter knife.
  6. Wait 5 minutes then carefully turn cakes upside down to get them out. Immediately after, using a pizza wheel, cut each round cake into 12 pieces.
Notes
  1. Makes two dozen oatcakes.
  2. One oatcake = 113 calories.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

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