Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Lemon Cream with Graham Crackers & Sea Salt

One of the things I love about the changing of seasons is the way it affects what comes out of my kitchen. In the winter I want heavier, more dense desserts like brownies and cakes. Once the weather warms up, I want lighter desserts, ice creams, and puddings. This lemon cream is so light yet packed full of flavor, so it's a perfect dessert for a warm spring or summer day. You can make the lemon curd ahead of time and then whisk the cream into it right before layering with the graham crackers and serving. It's just light enough that there's no need to feel guilty about a second serving :)

Lemon Cream with Graham Crackers & Sea Salt
3 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups chilled heavy cream
graham crackers, crumbled
flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

Cook eggs, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened (mixture should coat a spoon), 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and add butter pieces, whisking constantly and working quickly, until mixture is smooth. Transfer lemon curd to a medium bowl, cover, and chill at least 2 hours.

Just before serving, whisk cream into lemon curd. Layer lemon cream and graham crackers in small glasses or bowls, starting and finishing with graham crackers. Top with lemon zest and sea salt. Serves 4.

source: Bon Appétit, February 2014

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Finding Recipes + Creating Your Own Recipes

Where do you find your favorite recipes? I get mine from a variety of places: blogs, magazines, and some from Pinterest.

Cinnamon-Sugar Apple Skillet Cake from Joy the Baker

My absolute favorite food blogs are Annie's EatsJoy the Baker, and The Pioneer Woman. I've made enough of these ladies' recipes to know they will turn out, and I just really like their food. There are plenty of other delicious food blogs out there as well, but these are my go-to.

Herbed Stuffed Zucchini from Food Network

I also get a fair share of the recipes I try from magazines. My favorites are Bon Appétit and Food Network. I also have found a number of good recipes in Southern Living and Taste of Home. My interest in a month's recipes can be hit-or-miss depending on the particular issue, but the recipes in these magazines have turned out well and line up with my tastes.

I also occasionally find recipes on Pinterest that I like. There are SO many recipes on Pinterest sometimes it's overwhelming to weed through and find the good ones, so I've created a board of all of the recipes I tried and liked to help keep track of the winners. I've discovered some good food blogs through the recipes I've tried and liked, as well.

One place I do NOT get recipes is my own brain... I am not creative enough to come up with my own recipes! I've found I don't have the patience or time to try developing my own recipes, and also there are just so many talented people out there coming up with delicious recipes - why should I try? However, if you are one of those talented people who creates delicious recipes, you might want to think about entering it into 47th Bake-Off Contest with Pillsbury. There are two categories you can enter: Amazing Doable Dinners & Weekend Breakfast Wows. If you have a great recipe, submit it! You could win $1 million :)

Where do you like to find good recipes? Do you enjoy creating your own recipes?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Around Here, Lately

It's been a good while since I've said hello here in this space. This is what's been going on around here, lately:

\\ The last weekend in March my sisters, mom, and I had a girls' weekend! It had been 8 years since our last one in New York City (pre-kids for my sisters, pre-Caleb for me), so we were long overdue. We were supposed to meet up in Asheville, but my mom had to have surgery so we changed our plans and met up at her house instead. We spent the weekend eating and talking. We shopped a tiny bit, but we literally sat and talked for three days, taking breaks only to go out to eat. It. was. wonderful. Those ladies encourage me, challenge me, and make me laugh more than most! I'm already hoping we can plan another one sometime soon.

\\ I had a couple of busy/stressful weeks of work in there. I love my job, really love it, but I had some tough days that left me drained and grumpy. On a more positive note, I finished up a bunch of big projects I had been working on for a few months! SUCH a good feeling to cross those off my to-do list. I'm really thankful for my job and how busy it keeps me, how it stretches me and how it pushes me to learn new things. I really like going to work each day, and I know that is a huge blessing.

\\ I'm so thankful it's April! March is my least favorite month of the year (the weather is bleh, you're longing for spring so bad it hurts, and March is just a boring name for a month), so I was mighty glad to flip over to April! We've gotten our fair share of April showers, but the other days have been sunny, blue skies, and even hot! No more jackets, lots of iced coffee, and eating dinners outside! I've gotten sunburned several times already, but I'm not complaining, not one bit! Sun-kissed cheeks and vitamin D for days please!

\\ I've been working out to Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 in the evenings after work. It totally kicks my butt, but I can feel the results and I'm pleased. Saying that I'm working out to Jillian Michaels DVDs sounds kind of intense, but don't worry... I usually grab a piece of Easter candy from the candy jar right before I start the DVD. A girl can only change so much, right?!

\\ We've still been working on decorating our house... the never-ending project. Caleb has done a ton of painting for me, we picked out furniture, Caleb's building furniture, and I'm trying to decorate and organize. Hopefully we will have some rooms completely done in the next little bit!

I think that's about it for what's been happening lately. Now I plan to get back to regular posting this week. I hope your week is off to a great start!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Saturday Mornings

I've been a little MIA lately, and I apologize! I'm hoping to get back into regular posting next week with a hello + catch up post to start, but first: Saturday mornings. Aren't they the best?! Work has been a little more stressful the last couple of weeks, so I've been savoring my weekends and soaking them up. Today I poured myself a bowl of cereal and couldn't help but smile at the vintage cover of the cereal box. Honey Nut Cheerios (and Cocoa Puffs!) were my go-to cereals as a kid. My favorite part was drinking the milk when the cereal was gone. Something about the way the cereal left that honey taste in the milk made it so. good. For a limited time you can find the below Retro cereal boxes at Target to give you your own moment of breakfast nostalgia :)

Disclosure: The information and free cereal have been provided to me by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op.