I’m tanking you guys, vacation is FOUR days away and I’m hanging by my unpainted fingernails. (add that to the to do list.) I usually try to not to tell my mom when I go into work.. or how long I stay there. It only takes one “Oh my sweet baby.” To put into perspective how tired you are. Definitely caved this week, and well Dr. Mom has confirmed this girl is tired. (Are you tired of hearing how tired I am?) Good news is, I’m still happy. Happy and loving every minute in the kitchen.
This weeks Sunday Sweet is the brain child of I need gourmet/fast/I don’t want to go to the grocery store. Which is a bonus if you can’t run to the store. Double bonus if you’re a “complete” eater like me. If I have something sweet I need to counter with salty. Delicate balance.
Brown butter isn’t something you can buy at the store. Don’t worry, it’s incredibly simple to make, and your house will smell like buttery, caramel magic. Not like the movie theater greasy butter, but the magic baking butter. I use unsalted for this very reason. If you haven’t made brown butter before this tutorial is the best one I’ve seen.
After you brown your butter, let it cool for 30-35 minutes. It won’t solidify in this time, but it’s necessary to let it cool so it doesn’t cook your eggs.
1c Unsalted Butter
2 1/3c AP Flour
2tsp Corn Starch
1tsp Baking Powder
1/4tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1c Packed Brown Sugar
2 Large Eggs
*Preheat your oven to 350*
Start by browning your butter in a pot with tall sides. I turned it down to medium while I combined all my dry ingredients.
Add your brown sugar to the cooled butter. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix again. Another reason why I waited to add the vanilla until after it cooled a little bit is because Tahitian Vanilla is much more delicate than your typical Mexican or Madagascar. Tahitian Vanilla is more of a floral, fruity cherry-like vanilla. The brown butter in these cookies gives the cookies a more nutty flavor, so I wanted to lighten it up.
(you will be tempted to use this as a sugar scrub.. no judgment if you do..)
Add the butter, sugar, vanilla mixture to your dry ingredients.
Don’t panic if it’s all crumbly. That’s how it’s supposed to look. When you roll the cookies into balls it’ll stay together.
Sunday’s require a good piece of meat, don’t they? I think everyone comes from one of two families. You’re either meat & potatoes people, or know what a vegetable is. Kidding. I am from a meat & potatoes family. My Grammy Frost makes THE BEST pot roast. In fact, her roast pot is one of our family’s prized possessions. When my Dad got her roast pot as a Christmas present, I called dibs. Priorities.
So when Poppa Bear and Momsie came to visit for my Birthday (still surreal they made that happen for me.) I was making a roast for Sunday Dinner. Grammy and I once had a long conversation about how to make her signature roast, but until I get that pot, it’s me and a crockpot. Rather than traditional beef I opted for pork. My individual family loves pork roast and couscous.
In the name of meat, I don’t cut corners. I committed to a nine hour slow roast. In culinary school they teach you “Fat carries Flavor”. Why I hadn’t applied this concept to meat until now is beyond me.
I didn’t use any water.
I used BUTTER.
yeah, a whole stick.
was I completely panicked that it was going to burn in Sunday School? You betcha.
but it didn’t.
I created magic in a crockpot.
It was the most tender piece of meat I’ve ever had. Not only that, the butter created a majestical crust locking in the seasoning around the outside, while the butter carried the flavor through the inside.
The three of us took a moment of silence after the first bite. It was that good.
Did I mention it’s only five ingredients? Including the meat?
I can’t take all the credit for this recipe though, I found it on Pinterest. Which, not all of the recipes you find there turn out. (Don’t even get me started on that salted caramel cheesecake 65k of you repined. Nasty.)
So here’s my honest review. Make.this.roast.
Birthday Pork Roast
4-5 pounds Pork Roast/Chuck Roast
1 envelope Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning
1 envelope McCormick Au Jus Gravy Mix
1 Stick Butter – I use unsalted religiously, to each their own.
If you aren’t one for spicy food don’t worry, It’s not spicy at all, I wouldn’t skip the peppers, but if you’re worried maybe reduce it to 3-4.
These are going to be tougher than the directions on the back of a pop tart box.
- Put raw roast in crock pot
- Sprinkle seasonings directly onto the roast
- Place stick of butter onto roast
- Place Pepperoncinis around the stick of butter
- Put lid on crockpot – I added this step so it looks like an advanced recipe
- Cook on low for 8-9 hours
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoons ground cloves
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
1-2 tablespoons cinnamon
Somewhere between the sale on butter and four pounds of cream cheese in my cart I spied the most gorgeous red raspberries. I couldn’t help but make a cheesecake. Don’t worry Mom I made myself something “real” for dinner too.
So here’s the recipe, adapted with love from my girl Martha.
Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake
adapted from Martha Stewart Living May 2004
(cupcake version can be found in Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes)
1 cup (5oz) finely ground graham crackers
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) raspberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 packages (32 ounces total) cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
pot boiling water, for the roasting pan
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
Place a 9″ spring form pan onto a double layer of wide aluminum foil. Wrap up the sides of the pan to make it water tight. You don’t want any foil seams or edges on the bottom or low on the sides of the pan, or water may creep in while it is baking.
Combine the graham crackers, 2 tablespoons sugar and the melted butter in a large bowl and mix. Firmly press the crumbs into the bottom of your spring form pan. I find that a flat bottomed ramekin or coffee cup is useful for pressing the crumbs evenly and tightly into the pan.
Bake the crust until set, roughly 10 minutes and then allow it to cool on a wire rack.
Reduce your oven’s temperature to 325°F.
Purée the raspberries and then strain out the seeds and any solids. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar to the strained puree. Pour into a small sauce pan and bring the raspberry sauce to a bare simmer over medium low heat. Reduce the sauce for 1-2 minutes until it has thickened slightly and then set aside to cool.
In the bowl of your mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and fluffy (roughly 3 minutes). Reduce the mixer’s speed to low and add the 1 1/2 cups of sugar in a slow steady stream. Beat in the salt and vanilla and then on low speed, beat in the eggs, one at at time. Adding the next after the first has been incorporated. Take care not to over mix as the eggs can trap air in the batter and this leads to all sorts of cheesecake trouble.
Once you’ve mixed in the last egg, pour the batter into your prepared crust. Put your springform pan in a roasting pan. Put both pans in the oven before pouring water into the roasting pan. Promise you’ll thank me later. Try not to spill water on the top. Bake for 60-65 minutes. The top should be set with a little bit of wiggle to it. If it starts to brown to early, you can put tin foil on the top. Let it cool completely before releasing it from the pan.
I love having a place to be inspired, it’s easy to find inspiration anywhere, but its very convenient to have a thought and pull up hundreds of pictures. This year my goal has been sugar cookie work, but I’ve been noticing really fun, colored marshmallows making appearances on dessert tables.
Marshmallows are really simple, and they taste SO much better when they’re homemade. I had never made them before, but what’s the harm in trying? I did some research and went to YouTube. Recipes with pictures will only get you so far. If I’m trying something new I want to see a real person, making real mistakes, with real ingredients.
3/4 cup water, divided
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cups light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tsp peppermint extract (optional)
red food coloring (optional)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 T cornstarch
At the end of the mixing, add the vanilla and food coloring if you want. Allow the marshmallows to set until firm – usually about 4-5 hours.
6-7 cups fresh seedless watermelon chunks (about half of the melon)
3 tbsp. fresh lime juice (approximately 3 1/2 medium-sized limes)
Pina Colada Sorbet
adapted from skinnytaste.com
3/4 cup coconut milk
After an incredibly long day at work, I walked out to my car into the most beautifully, dreary storm. Dark clouds, wind blowing through the trees just begging for homemade soup and bread to be made. I love soup days. I think there’s emotion associated with all food, one of my favorites has got to be stick-to-your-ribs love type food.
It’s tradition in my family to always serve cheese potato soup on Christmas Eve, it feeds a lot and is something you can always stretch further for the straggler who’s heart needs a safe place to be during the holidays.Peeling the potatoes and grating the cheese remind me of my dear Grandmother Donnarae’s hands. Whenever you find a recipe you love, make sure you look at their hands. I can tell you exactly how my Momma’s hands look when she kneads bread on a Sunday afternoon, or the way my Grandmother Shirlyn holds a wooden spoon while she makes raspberry jam. I think a persons hands tell a lot about them. Look.
9-12 Medium Russet Potatoes
1 Onion ( I use white)
4-5 Cloves of Garlic. ( All flavoring is personal preference, I love garlic)
Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Gruyere ( super expensive, but one of my favorite cheeses:) )
1/2c Heavy Cream
Salt and Pepper
I cubed the potatoes and rough chopped the onion. Cuts don’t have to be perfect here. It’s a scrap soup. 🙂 I did dice up the garlic fairly small and boiled all of them together. Boil until your potatoes are soft. At this point I drained off some of the water. Maybe 1/2 inch above the potatoes. I mashed everything with a pastry cutter until it was the consistency I wanted. then I stirred the cream into the mix and added shredded cheese. Probably close to three cups total of the different varieties. Taste, Taste, Taste. A little bit of salt and pepper and let it get thick and bubbly. I ate it with crumbly bacon. So worth it!
Let’s not forget the bread.. I used this recipe from a copy of Gourmet Magazine. It’s my all time favorite when it comes to simple bread. Plus it’s pretty hard to go wrong with homemade garlic oil.
So, the guest list *started* at 40.. and well it just got bigger in true McGuire fashion. Who’s complaining ? 😉 I decided soup would be the easiest to feed the masses, and I decided on an Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup. I found a recipe on Epicurious and bought everything for a double batch. Turns out you should check the yield before you decide on a recipe. Turns out the recipe I picked had a yield of 6 servings. .Ah Whoopsie. Clock is ticking so I decided to wing it.. and it actually paid off. Everyone seemed to enjoy it!
Jessica’s Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup
Beef Stock/Beef Bouillon – 7cups
Zucchini – Two Large, about a pound
Hot House Tomatoes – Two cups, diced ( man up ladies, dice them yourself.. it’ll pay off promise. )
Garlic – Two Full Cloves (diced)
Yellow Onion – One Large
Sweet Italian Sausage – One Pound
Tortellini – 12oz ( I used Cheese Tortellini, uncooked.)
S&P – To Taste
I made my own beef broth with Better than Bouillon paste. Bring to a simmer in a large stock pot. In a large frying pan remove the sausage from the casings. Brown until your kitchen smells delectable. Pour sausage into a separate bowl keeping grease in the pan. Dice your garlic and onion.Saute in sausage drippings. You want to cook them until the onions become translucent. Add your tomatoes and turn the heat down. Slice your zucchini into thin rounds. Add to stock pot of broth. Add garlic, onion, tomato and sausage to large stock pot. Add parsley and oregano.. I like a lot. Personal preference here. Simmer for two hours. The purpose of simmering, is to give the flavors time to really come out. This part of the soup can be made up to two days in advance.
If you make it in advance, heat it back up to a simmer and add the tortellini. Cook pasta until al dente.
Add fresh Parmesan cheese on top if you want.