Friday, January 30, 2015

Blueberry Cornmeal Cake and Friday Faves

Favorite Eats:

This is so so yummy.  And it's perfect any time of the day.  It's got cornmeal and blueberries in it so that's just like eating grits with fruit which makes it perfect for breakfast.  And it's got flour and sugar so that means it's probably a dessert which makes it perfect for any other time of the day.  Boom.

And when you make this, whatever you do, don't forget to sprinkle the sugar on top before you pop it in the oven.  That crispy, sugary, crunch on the top is to die.

Oh and you know what would be great with this when you serve it for dessert?  THIS gelato. Ermahgawd.

Here's the recipe:

Blueberry Cornmeal Cake


3/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar, plus 2 tbsp
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 eggs
4 1/2 tbsp canola oil
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup whole plain yogurt
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp ricotta
1 cup fresh blueberries


Position a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 350 deg. F.  Line with parchment and grease a 10-inch round cake pan.  (I used my 10-inch springform)

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, 3/4 cup plus 3 tbsp sugar, and salt on a medium-high speed, until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Incorporate the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl well.

With the mixer on low speed, pour in the canola oil, maple syrup, and vanilla.  Pause mixing and add the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, yogurt and ricotta.  Mix cautiously, just until incorporated.  Do not overmix!

Scoop the batter into the prepared pan, top with the blueberries, and sprinkle with the remaining sugar.  Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Do not over bake.  Allow to cool for about 15 minutes in the pan.

Place a flat plate on top of the cake and pan.  Carefully invert the cake onto the plate by flipping both upside down,  Then lift the pan off the cake,  Gently pull the parchment from every nook and cranny of the cake, being careful not to break the cake.  Rest your serving plate on the bottom of the cake and turn the cake right-side up onto the plate.

Favorite Super Bowl Food:

I already warned you that I'll be making these nachos, but here's the rest of the plan for the last football game for two hundred and twenty days.  

These meatballs minus the spaghetti.

Image from

And this easy Cheese and Roasted Garlic Pull-Apart Bread.  Doesn't that just make your mouth water??  And it's made with packaged biscuits, y'all.  

image from
And if you need further inspiration for Sunday, check out this post by Lady and Pups....I want invited to her party!

Other Favorite Food from around the web:

This Charred Cauliflower look like a perfect weeknight side.

Bon Appetit offered up their favorite "back of the package" recipes.  I'll second the motion for the chocolate chip cookies and the pumpkin pie.

Food and Wine posted this Mad Genius tip this week.....

And The Kitchn tested it out.....WIN!!

Favorite T-shirts:

Since I live in Alabama, you can be damn sure that I've ordered at least two Buckeye national championship t-shirts for every day of the week.  The ones from Homage and Lamp Apparel are, by far, my favorite.  They're soft like you favorite concert t-shirt from high school and just a tad more creative than what you'll find at your local sporting goods store.  Check them out.
Favorite Photos:

Photographer, Ken Scott, has assembled some of the most stunning winter images of Northern Michigan's ice caves that I've ever seen.  It almost makes me want to go see them in person.  Almost

Ken Scott Photography

Favorite Tunes:

Favorite New Product:

I bought a jar of this bourbon infused honey (YES...BOURBON infused HONEY) at Whole Paycheck Foods the other day and OMG.  If you don't have a Whole Foods, buy it here.  It has be generously added to every cup of tea I've had since it made it's way into my kitchen.

Other Favorite tidbits from around the web:

The 25 most popular homes on Houzz.  (Houzz is my own personal crack.)

What tips mean to the people that depend on them.  Don't be cheap, people.

Just one more reason to love JLaw!

Inside the mind of Tom Brady.  If you're a fan (this girl IS), then you'll enjoy this article.  If you're a hater, this will probably confirm why!

Deceit in Napa.  The cynic in me thinks this happens waaaaay more than is caught.

Should you add coconut oil to your pet's diet?  Apparently so.

One word.  Floss.

Remember when I mentioned that I wasn't a fan of modern day country music?  Here's why in one 
(or 6) song....

Have a great weekend!  Go Patriots.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

TWD - Brown Butter and Vanilla Bean Weekend Cake

I don't think it's a fluke that this is the first recipe in Dorie's new book.  Everything fabulous should start with the words "brown butter".  I love the nutty taste it imparts, I love the smell while it's browning, I love to watch all the shit that happens in the pan.  Perfection.

This isn't technically a pound cake, but it certainly acts like one.  I loved a slice of it toasted with a hint of butter, but this would be great with just about any topping that floats your boat.  Or all by itself.  

Dorie also suggests serving this with tea, coffee or her best idea....a snifter of rum.  I like the way she thinks!

We're not supposed to post the recipes, so sorry about that, but order yourself a copy!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Faves:

Favorite Drink:

This is absolutely, without a doubt, the best thing I've made in a long time.

Mr. B and I have become big tea drinkers.  We especially love chai tea.  Up until this point, this Cinnamon Chai Tea was our nightly ritual.   Until I tried my hand at making my own chai tea.

This is worth making for the scents alone that will permeate every corner of your kitchen when you're toasting the spices.  

I can't order a chai latte out, because of the sugar sweaters they leave on my teeth, which is why I love this homemade version.  You can adjust the sugar to your taste.  My sugar loving husband gets his sweaters and I get simply the taste of the warm, spicy chai.

I like mine made with unsweetened vanilla almond milk.  Ed prefers his with the good ole cow stuff.  Use whatever you prefer.

You should be able to find all the spices at your local grocery store, but if not, is a great source.  We are lucky enough to have a brick and mortar Penzys in B'ham.

Here's the recipe:

Chai Latte


Chai Tea
5 cinnamon sticks
3tbsp + 1 tsp whole allspice berries
3tbsp cardamom pods
2 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp +1 tsp whole cloves
1 tbsp + 1 tsp black peppercorns
6 star anise pods
One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
8 cups water
6 good quality black tea bags

3/4 cup whole organic milk
Vanilla simple syrup, honey or agave


Preheat your oven to 300 deg F

Toast the cinnamon, allspice, cardamom pods, fennel, cloves, peppercorns, and anise on a sheet pan until fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes.

Combine the toasted spices, ginger, and water in a medium saucepan and simmer over high heat until reduced by half.  Remove from the heat, add the tea bags, and steep for 3 minutes.  Immediately strain, discarding the whole spices and tea bags.

Heat the milk and 3/4 cup of the chai tea in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.  (Reserve the remaining chai tea for future servings.)

Pour in a mug and add the syrup, honey or agave to taste.

Favorite Eats:

Turn your slow cooker in to a sous-vide machine.

These black bean nachos are definitely happening on Super Bowl Sunday.

Favorite Watching:

If you haven't seen the new Maroon 5 (Adam's my boyfriend....don't tell his wife or my husband) you're going to want to watch this.  Apparently they crashed real weddings in LA before Christmas and the results are awesome.  Totally makes me smile....

I'm very, very sad that there are only two more episodes of Parenthood.  Very sad.

This awesome documentary combines two of hubs favorite and dogs

I've watched Somm at least three times (total wine geek) and was very excited to see that there will be a sequel.

Favorite Tunes:

I'm not a huge lover of current day country music, but I loved me some Hank, Jr in my younger days.  This takes me back there.

Favorite Reads:

I stayed up until midnight the last two nights reading this....

This is being call 2015's Gone Girl and it's up next.

Favorite Travels:

We're headed to Blackberry Farm this weekend for Mr. B's birthday.  And to completely blow the New Year's diet........

Favorite Funny:

It's embarrassing how hard I laugh at these..........

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Hummus with Tahini and Spicy Chickpeas

A belated happy New Year, y'all.  Where the f*ck has January gone already???  It felt like the holidays took For.  Ever.  Was it because Christmas and NYD both fell on a Thursday so it like two never-ending, long weekends??  And then my team (can I have a GO BUCKS!) made it to the inaugural College Football Playoffs National Championship game in Dallas.  Whoop!!  And we WON said game!

Since we have great friends that live in Dallas and since they were gracious enough to invite us to stay with them......ROAD TRIP!  I'm not one to usually go to things like this.  I always say they're better on TV, but who has a bigger TV than Jerry Jones??  NO ONE!  It was so much fun and I'm grateful that I got to see the Buckeyes win.....history and all....but I'll probably not do it again.  How could anything ever top this?

So now all that's left of football season is the Super Bowl.  Are you going to a party?  Hosting a party?  I'm probably not doing either, so I made this hummus this past Sunday for the two playoff games....can you believe Seattle came back and won that game?  And....#teambrady all the way!!!

If you have to take something to a Super Bowl party, this is perfect.  You could totally go out and buy some hummus and just make the spicy chickpeas for a topping, but really?  Make your own hummus, people.  It's quite easy and sooooooo much better that store bought.  Trust me.  The hardest part about making hummus is re-combining the paste and the oil in the jar of tahini.  I usually end up getting that shit everywhere.  

The spicy chickpeas totally send this over the top.  I found myself making sure I got a piece of the crispy jalapeño slices in every bite I could, so next time Imma add more of those to the mixture!  

Side note:  My food processor didn't get this smooth enough for my tastes so I ended up finishing it with a few pulses in my Vitamix, but it's up to you.

Here's the recipe:

Hummus with Tahini and Spicy Chickpeas
Michael Solomonov


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
1/4 cup minced Spanish onion 
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 
1 jalapeño—halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced crosswise 
One 14-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained 
2 tablespoons Aleppo pepper 
1 teaspoon ground cumin 
1/2 teaspoon ground caraway 
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 
Kosher salt 

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 
4 garlic cloves 
Two 14-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained 
1/2 cup tahini 
1 tablespoon ground cumin 
Kosher salt

2 tablespoons chopped parsley 
Lemon wedges and warm pita bread, for serving 


In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeño and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and golden, about 8 minutes. Add the chickpeas, Aleppo pepper, cumin, caraway and coriander and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spices are fragrant and the chickpeas are heated through, about 10 minutes. Season with salt. 

MEANWHILE, MAKE THE HUMMUS In a food processor, combine the lemon juice and garlic and pulse until the garlic is very finely chopped. Let stand for 10 minutes, then add the chickpeas, tahini, cumin and 1/2 cup of water and puree until smooth. Season with salt. Spoon the hummus onto plates and top with the spicy chickpeas. Garnish with the parsley and serve with lemon wedges and pita bread.  

 MAKE AHEAD The hummus and spicy chick-peas can be refrigerated separately overnight. Bring the hummus to room temperature and gently reheat the chickpeas before serving.