Sweet Peas and Saffron http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com Tue, 16 Dec 2014 17:26:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 CRISPY SESAME PANKO SHRIMP http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/12/crispy-sesame-panko-shrimp.html http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/12/crispy-sesame-panko-shrimp.html#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 09:50:09 +0000 http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/?p=5296 This simple shrimp recipe tastes just like tempura…without the deep frying!  Panko breadcrumbs give these shrimp the ultimate crispy texture!

Crispy Sesame Panko Shrimp
It’s December 16 and the countdown is on!

T minus 3 days until we head up north to my parents house for Christmas.  There will be Christmas tree hunting {while wearing snowshoes}, probably followed by drinking some celebratory spiked hot chocolate.  There will be cross-country skiing.  There will be tobogganing.  Maybe some outdoor pond skating.  Definitely hot tubs.  Definitely fondue.

I am starting to get excited about the holidays and all of those winter traditions that are just so much fun this time of year.  I’m really excited for Kai’s second Christmas, although he’s only 15 months and will probably be way more distracted by the wrapping paper {and not the gift}, and will probably be pretty busy trying to take down the Christmas tree.

I’ve spent some time this month thinking up fun food that would be perfect for the holidays, and I could see this shrimp recipe being a holiday party appetizer, served with some tempura dipping sauce.  Or maybe served for a few friends with a happy hour drink.  Or even for dinner with some rice and steamed veggies.


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CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT BAILEYS MAGIC COOKIE BARS http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/12/chocolate-hazelnut-baileys-magic-cookie-bars.html http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/12/chocolate-hazelnut-baileys-magic-cookie-bars.html#comments Sat, 13 Dec 2014 18:04:53 +0000 http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/?p=5281 These magic cookie bars are ready to go into the oven before it has even pre-heated!  A chocolate cookie base is topped with soft caramels, hazelnuts, coconut, sweetened condensed milk and Baileys Irish Cream!

Chocolate Hazelnut Baileys Magic Cookie Bars

I am looking at the calendar and suddenly feeling slight pressure to get to the mall!  I haven’t bought a single gift yet for Christmas, and we are leaving for my parents house next Friday.

Luckily, unlike past years, buying gifts this year will probably only take me one trip and an hour or so of shopping.  We have implemented a new ‘policy’ that each person draws one name and buys that one person a good gift.  This is much easier than trying to figure out what my brother wants, or what Ben needs {side note: what is it about guys?  They want something, they buy it.  Then when you ask what they want, they don’t know!?}.  I like our new Christmas gift giving rules much better!

Lucky for Kai, he isn’t on the list…we are allowed to spoil him rotten.  Just remember, family members, it has to fit in our suitcase!  Also, he will probably be way more excited about the wrapping paper!

In case you are also finding yourself looking at the calendar and freaking out a little bit about too many things to do and not enough time, I have been baking up some {ridiculously} easy holiday recipes.  These Chocolate Hazelnut Baileys Magic Cookie Bars are #3 on the list.


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SPINACH SALAD WITH APPLES, BACON, AND SPICY MAPLE WALNUTS http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/12/spinach-salad-with-apples-bacon-and-spicy-maple-walnuts.html http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/12/spinach-salad-with-apples-bacon-and-spicy-maple-walnuts.html#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 17:51:23 +0000 http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/?p=5263 This spinach salad is packed with all sorts of goodies: bacon, spicy maple walnuts and crisp Granny Smith apples.  A salad worthy of a holiday feast.
Spinach Salad with Apples, Bacon, and Spicy Maple Walnuts

Is it strange that I crave salads?  I am a crazy salad lady.  They are one of my favorite things to eat and one of my favorite things to play with on this blog.

My perfect salad has a few important components: something leafy {but not lettuce!}, something crunchy, something creamy {usually cheese}, and something sweet.

Well, I have a salad for you, with all of those components.  But I feel like I’m misleading you guys a little bit.   This salad…well, there’s spinach, an apple and a bit of onion.  And then there’s bacon…cheese…and walnuts that are tossed in maple syrup.

So maybe you guys should know.  This isn’t ‘diet food’.  Because sometimes your salad needs bacon.  And cheese.  And candied walnuts.


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MEXICAN-SPICED DARK CHOCOLATE BARK WITH SEA SALT AND PEPITAS AND A $300 AMAZON GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY! http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/12/mexican-spiced-dark-chocolate-bark-with-sea-salt-and-pepitas-and-a-300-amazon-gift-card-giveaway.html http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/12/mexican-spiced-dark-chocolate-bark-with-sea-salt-and-pepitas-and-a-300-amazon-gift-card-giveaway.html#comments Mon, 08 Dec 2014 09:00:52 +0000 http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/?p=5257 Dark chocolate is spiced with cinnamon and cayenne and sprinkled with sea salt and pepitas.  This would make a very special holiday gift {and no-one needs to know how easy it was!}

Mexican-Spiced Dark Chocolate Bark with Sea Salt and Pepitas

Remember how I mentioned that balancing being back at work, a toddler, and a food blog, my life has become verrry busy, and that I was going to be focusing my efforts on super duper easy Christmas recipes this year?

Well.  If you want easy, I have easy for you.  I mean, this barely counts as a recipe.  It is so basic, it almost doesn’t deserve its own post.

Because spoiler: chocolate bark is…um…melted chocolate.  That is re-solidified.

But wait!  Hopefully I can convince you that this ‘non-recipe’ is a bit more exciting that your basic ‘bark’!


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BAKED BUTTERNUT & TURKEY PASTA SHELLS WITH BROWN BUTTER & SAGE BREADCRUMBS http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/12/baked-butternut-turkey-pasta-shells-with-brown-butter-sage-breadcrumbs.html http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/12/baked-butternut-turkey-pasta-shells-with-brown-butter-sage-breadcrumbs.html#comments Thu, 04 Dec 2014 09:41:51 +0000 http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/?p=5232 Pasta shells are baked in a light and creamy Greek yogurt and butternut squash sauce with ground turkey and sprinkled with the most amazing brown butter sage breadcrumbs.

Baked Butternut & Turkey Pasta Shells with Brown Butter Sage Breadcrumbs

In case you haven’t heard, I’m now a minor celebrity in town.

Kidding!  But I was on the news…for real!  For THREE WHOLE SECONDS!  An amazingly generous man donated $10 million to the research group that I work in at university {I am alllllmooooosssssttttt done my PhD.  Hopefully.}

Anywho the media was there and I came back from lunch and there was a TV camera set up right in front of my bench.  I tried to hide, but it didn’t work.  I had to stand there with my boss and pretend to have some highly intelligent conversation…mostly I tried my hardest not to smile.  Science is verrry serious, people!

I don’t think I have a career in front of the camera.  Although I always think it could be fun to create some cooking videos for this site someday!

But really.  I’m not a celebrity.  The real celebrity here is this pasta.


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CHOCOLATE DIPPED CARDAMOM SHORTBREAD FINGERS WITH SALTED PISTACHIOS http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/12/chocolate-dipped-cardamom-shortbread-fingers-with-salted-pistachios.html http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/12/chocolate-dipped-cardamom-shortbread-fingers-with-salted-pistachios.html#comments Tue, 02 Dec 2014 09:29:24 +0000 http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/?p=5219 These simple shortbread cookies are easy and delicious!  They would make a perfect holiday gift for that sweet tooth on your list.

Chocolate Dipped Cardamom Shortbread Fingers with Salted Pistachios

It’s December, and I am finally ready to start some holiday baking!

In past years I have been happy to make some pretty delicious…and complicated…stuff.  I used to have a seemingly endless supply of time to putter in the kitchen.  Not this year.  I have waaay too much on my plate to mess around with roasting chestnuts or making cookies with too many components.

Instead, I’ve decided to share with you some holiday baking projects that are a} easy, b} fast, and c} still just as delicious as something you’ve slaved over!

I am starting off with these shortbread cookies.  These are actually the most complicated of all the baking projects I have planned, but they are still super easy.


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ROASTED GARLIC & CAULIFLOWER SOUP WITH ANCHOVY-BUTTERED TOAST http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/11/roasted-garlic-cauliflower-soup-with-anchovy-buttered-toast.html http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/11/roasted-garlic-cauliflower-soup-with-anchovy-buttered-toast.html#comments Fri, 28 Nov 2014 09:43:33 +0000 http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/?p=5203 A healthy and delicious vegetarian soup that is packed with a ton of flavor and served with anchovy-buttered toast.

Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Soup with Anchovy Buttered Toast

Feee-riday!  Finally.  Longest week for me in a long time.

And my Americano friends, you are probably in a turkey coma right now.  Or maybe you’re out stampeding at some Black Friday sales.

But guess what?  Monday is December 1st.  Brace yourselves for the onslaught of Christmas recipes that will be flooding your pinterest feed.  It’s about to get all gingerbready and pepperminty up in that joint.

So stuck in between the pumpkin pie and stuffing recipes of Thanksgiving, and the sugary Christmas sweets, here is this soup.  Delicious, SO much flavor, and it just happens to be healthy!


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RED PEPPER HARISSA DIP http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/11/red-pepper-harissa-dip.html http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/11/red-pepper-harissa-dip.html#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 09:01:59 +0000 http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/?p=5187 A simple and healthy dip that comes together in minutes, and is perfect for a snack or party.

Red Pepper Harissa Dip- A simple and healthy dip that comes together in minutes, and is perfect for a snack or party

Hi, my name is Denise, and I am a hummus addict.

But you already know that, don’t you?  I am the person who brought you the Smoky Sweet Potato Hummus, and then Roasted Garlic and White Bean Hummus.  And this week-end, I just couldn’t help myself.  My hummus cravings kicked in…again…and I made this dip.

This was going to be hummus, but I think at this point, it is just dip {no chickpeas and no tahini = not hummus in my book}.  Because what happens when you send a man to the grocery store to pick up some chickpeas?  You get cannellini beans.

Ben makes me laugh.  He confused chickpeas and white beans this time and a few weeks ago he admitted that he didn’t know the difference between rosemary and thyme.  But I am definitely a verrrry lucky lady to have myself a guy who is willing to go to the grocery store for me.

Continue reading: RED PEPPER HARISSA DIP

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SPICED PEAR AND CRANBERRY COFFEE CAKE http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/11/spiced-pear-and-cranberry-coffee-cake.html http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/11/spiced-pear-and-cranberry-coffee-cake.html#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 17:33:17 +0000 http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/?p=5172 This wintery coffee cake is spiced with ground ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg, packed with fresh pear and cranberries, and topped with a delicious brown sugar crumb topping.
Spiced Pear and Cranberry Coffee Cake with a Brown Sugar Crumb Topping

Sometimes our advanced technology is great.  Sometimes it is not as great.

For instance: do have someone in your life who is terrible by e-mail?  That person who frantically writes up an e-mail and hits send without reading it over?  That person who comes across as extremely rude, blunt, and bossy?  Maybe they are a little crazy with the exclamation points and CAPS!!!

If we were living in the early 90’s, maybe you’d have to communicate by phone, where they could explain themselves a little more gently.  Or even better, in a letter, where their words would be carefully chosen and proof-read.

Let’s just say that I am afraid to check my e-mail these days, and that I need to grow thicker skin.  I’ll be alright though, because I have a huge chunk of this coffee cake to ease my pain!


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JALAPENO & SMOKED GOUDA PUFF PASTRY PINWHEELS http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/11/jalapeno-smoked-gouda-puff-pastry-pinwheels.html http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/11/jalapeno-smoked-gouda-puff-pastry-pinwheels.html#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 03:10:24 +0000 http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/?p=5162  These jalapeno and smoked gouda pinwheels couldn’t be simpler to prepare. Perfect as an appetizer, or party snack!

Jalapeno and Smoked Gouda Puff Pastry Pinwheels

I feel like I am perpetually behind.  The last post was supposed to go up on Monday, and this post was supposed to be up on Wednesday.  Between work, dinner, and a picky eater of a one-year old, I am pretty busy.  And by the time Kai is in bed and the dishes are done, all that I have the energy for these days is the couch and Netflix.

Why aren’t there 30 hours in a day?  That would be awesome.

So.  This recipe is perfect for people like me…people who are short on time, people who mistakenly think they are superman/woman and try to do far too many things, people who need something easy for a holiday party.  Even if you don’t check any of the above boxes, if you like puff pastry wrapped around smoked gouda, cream cheese and jalapenos {and who on Earth wouldn’t?!}, this is your recipe.


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