Give me s’more please!

S’mores are a tasty campfire treat that I look forward to every summer.  The origin of this treat can be traced back to the “Graham Cracker Sandwich” in an old Girl Scouts cook book.  There is no denying that you will always come back for some more of this combination of toasted marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers. I used to love to catch my marshmallows on fire and let them burn to gooey goodness. Now I have more patience and prefer a nice toasty outside and a super gooey inside.  As we are always looking for ways to make something old, new again… we have come up with some pretty delicious variations on this classic dessert.

Happy Friday,

Julie

Traditional S’mores & More

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

8 Large Marshmallows, toasted to your liking

2 chocolate bars, cut into 4 pieces

4 large graham crackers, broken in half

Method:

-Sandwich toasted marshmallows between two pieces of graham cracker and 1 chunk of chocolate.

VARIATIONS

-Make this treat even easier by using Paul + Pippa Chocolate Flake Biscuits to replace the graham crackers and the chocolate.

-Use some single origin dark chocolate from Palette de Bine

-Add some extra sweetness by placing a Salty Caramel from Jacobsen Salt Co. in the sandwich

-Make it cool by adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream

-And when all else fails just eat the gooey marshmallow😊

It’s 5 o’clock Somewhere! Strawberry Moscow Mule with Gus & Grey Sassy Redhead

Who doesn’t love a cocktail on a hot summer day or night… or even better, BOTH?! Not only do I enjoy drinking a delicious cocktail, I also equally enjoy crafting the perfect cocktail, and playing around with and experimenting with different flavor combinations. Variation is limited only to your imagination, so let your creativity run wild…. I certainly do! In the summer, I love using seasonal produce paired with fresh herbs, like blackberries or strawberries and mint, or cucumber and basil, or raspberries and thyme…. so on and so forth, the list goes on and on. A combination of nostalgia, the ocean breeze, and the warm hug of a summer evening pairs so perfectly with a cocktail. I relish the nights set underneath a star painted sky sipping something cool, light, and refreshing. A lovely craft cocktail also elevates your summer outing, picnic, or party to the next level, so plan accordingly 🙂

Since it’s almost strawberry season, how does a Strawberry Mule with Gus & Grey Sassy Redhead sound?! Pretty amazing, right? I think so too! Fresh strawberries, ginger beer, maybe some fresh mint for good measure, vodka, and Gus & Grey Sassy Redhead Jam for a little spicy-sweetness, how could you go wrong with this combination?! Get your friends together and enjoy a beautiful summer moment outdoors with this delicious cocktail. Enjoy!

Strawberry Moscow Mule with Gus & Grey Sassy Redhead Jam

Ingredients:
⅓ c sugar
⅓ c water
⅓ c Gus & Grey Sassy Redhead Jam
1 c fresh strawberries, chopped, plus extra for garnish
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice, plus lime wedge for garnish
3 oz chilled vodka (yes, this is a double! You can thank me later!)
Ginger beer

Method:
– Make simple syrup by combining sugar, water, and Gus & Grey Sassy Redhead in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cook until all of the sugar is dissolved. Add the chopped strawberries and allow to steep for at least 30 minutes. Now would also be the perfect time to add some fresh mint leaves, gently mashed beforehand to release their oils. After steeping, strain into a pitcher.
– To an ice filled cocktail shaker, add a few tablespoons of simple syrup, vodka, and lime juice. Shake until chilled.
– Muddle a few fresh strawberries and a few mint leaves in the bottom of a copper mug, add ice, and top with the vodka mixture, making sure to leave room for the ginger beer. Top with ginger beer and a wedge of lime and ENJOY!

Happy summer, everyone!

Payton

Comfort Food for a Rainy Day

I had the most delicious roasted mushroom and caramelized onion toast at Ladybird in the East Village a few weeks back, and ever since then, my palate has been hooked on all things mushroom. Inspired by the delicious simplicity of the dish, I decided to try my hand at recreating it, from scratch… which meant also baking the perfect loaf of bread to act as a vehicle for the scrumptious roasted mushrooms and caramelized onions. And what a ride it has been!

Since today is quite gloomy, I thought I’d share a yummy whole wheat bread recipe. It is delicious as is, but somehow even more delicious once toasted. Enjoy with sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onion, a generous smear of roasted garlic hummus, and sliced avocado for a spin on Ladybird’s creation, or simply enjoy with butter and Bee Local honey or Gus and Grey jam. The moral of the story…. The bread itself is so delicious that it doesn’t really matter what you top it with! So let your creativity soar!

When baking a whole wheat or whole grain bread, there are a few tips to remember. Unlike processed white flour in which the bran and the germ are removed, whole grains are fully intact with the bran, germ, and endosperm, and therefore require more moisture to ensure that the bread once baked is not too dry or crumbly. Due to the excess moisture, as well as the added bran and germ, whole grain bread is heavier than bread made with processed white flour, so additional time for the bread to rise is necessary to ensure the proper texture. Also, avoid over kneading! Lastly, depending on the humidity in the air, more or less flour than the recipe calls for may be needed, as making the perfect bread is all about feel — so if your bread doesn’t turn out great the first time, don’t fret and simply try again.

 

Happy baking!

Payton

 

Whole Wheat Bread

2 Loaves

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon dry yeast

2 cups warm water

5-6 cups whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon coarse sea salt

 

Method:

-preheat oven to 375°

-make sponge: In large bowl, combine yeast, water, and 2 cups of whole wheat flour, stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place for 30 minutes.

-Prepare the Bread:

  1. Add salt and just enough flour to create a dough that pulls away from the side of the bowl.
  2. Turn dough out onto a clean and floured work surface and knead for 10 to 15 minutes, adding remaining flour as necessary, until a smooth dough is formed. The dough should be moist, but not sticky.
  3. Transfer dough to a clean and lightly oiled bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and proof in a warm place for 50 to 60 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.
  4. Prepare loaf pans with oil and parchment paper.
  5. After the dough has doubled in size, punch down, and allow to rise one more time.
  6. Divide dough in half, form into two loaves, and transfer to loaf pans. Allow to rise again, under a damp towel, for 10 to 15 minutes.
  7. Bake bread for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch. If using a thermometer, the internal temp should register between 190° and 205° F.

Week Night Dinner with Eggs

I love cooking and especially love cooking for my family. Every week I plan out our dinners based on who will be home and their eating preferences.  On occasion my husband will tell me he’s going to be out and then at the last minute change his plans and come home for dinner.  I think he just wants to keep me on my toes.  In these situations I often get pretty creative with what is in the refrigerator and pantry.  This recipe for Shakshuka is from one of those nights. The side dish, spaghetti squash ‘hash browns’ is definitely still in the development phase!

Happy Friday,

Julie

Ingredients:

2 large red bell peppers, diced

1 yellow onion, diced

1 jar Hellenic Farms Kalamata Olives

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

6 oz baby spinach leaves, washed

5 large eggs

Olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste

Method:

-Preheat oven to 350°F

-in a cast iron skillet, sauté peppers and onions until they are tender. Add the Hellenic Farms Kalamata Olives and tomatoes and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes.  Add the spinach and stir until wilted. Season with salt and pepper as you are cooking. Remove the pan from the heat.

-Make 5 wells in the mixture.  This is where you will crack your eggs.  Crack an egg into each well.  Place pan in pre-heated oven and cook for 10-15 minutes.  Egg whites should be cooked and you can adjust the cooking time to keep the yolks runny or cook them through.

-Remove from oven and enjoy along with some crusty bread.

From Grandma with Love

My love for food was ignited at the head of my grandma Carolyn’s old farmhouse table as she taught me how to roll out handmade cinnamon rolls when I was five years old. An unconditional nurturer, my grandmother radiates love and kindness, manifesting her love most clearly through food, always served with the most illuminating smile. As the mother of five children, a restaurant owner, and the head cook at Spring Grove School for more than two decades, my grandmother has dedicated her life to food. Her ability to share her love and warmth through food inspires me everyday to create beautiful and nourishing dishes for myself and the ones that I love.

As Easter nears, I wanted to share a recipe for one of my grandmother’s most sought after desserts — Scotcheroos — in hopes to inspire a fun family project in the kitchen. A simple combination of peanut butter, sugar, chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips, my grandma’s Scotcheroos are devoured almost instantly at any gathering that she brings them to. I hope you enjoy!

Payton

Grandma Carolyn’s Scotcheroos

Ingredients:

1 c sugar

1 c corn syrup

1 c creamy peanut butter

3 to 4 quarts popped Tiny but Mighty Popcorn

Optional*

1 c milk chocolate chips

1 c butterscotch chips

Method:

-Add sugar and corn syrup to a medium sized saucepan. Over medium high heat, bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter. Pour over popped popcorn.  Form into eggs. Allow to cool.

-The options for add-ins and toppings are endless! While forming, feel free to fill the center of your egg with your favorite candy of choice. Or drip or roll in melted or chopped chocolate, nuts, or candy pieces.

-My grandma always tops her scotcheroos with a combination of melted milk chocolate and butterscotch chips. Simply add chocolate chips and butterscotch chips to a glass bowl and melt over a double boiler. Once melted drizzle over the top of the formed eggs.