Sweet Peas and Saffron http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com Wed, 20 Aug 2014 21:29:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 GARDEN VEGETABLE & BLACK BEAN TORTILLA STACKS http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/08/garden-vegetable-black-bean-tortilla-stacks.html http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/08/garden-vegetable-black-bean-tortilla-stacks.html#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 15:29:50 +0000 http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/?p=4686 Mexican-spiced fresh garden vegetables and black beans are baked between layers of tortillas and cheese for this easy week-night meal.
Garden Vegetable & Black Bean Tortilla Stacks

Tacos.  And it’s Tuesday!  I totally planned that.

Well I guess these aren’t the usual tacos.  Maybe you could call this a Mexican lasagna.  Or a taco pie?  I called it a tortilla stack…because look ^

I’m a huge taco fan.  Mostly because at the end of the day when I’m frazzled/exhausted/throwing cheerios at the baby to keep him quiet, I can still manage to whip up some tacos.  Even with really bad Mom-Brain.  Even with a Raffi-induced migraine.  Even with zoo-induced fatigue.  You get the point: they are easy!

Garden Vegetable & Black Bean Tortilla Stacks

Garden Vegetable & Black Bean Tortilla Stacks

This recipe definitely falls into the category of easy.

Step 1: cook veggies.  Toss with beans & corn.

Step 2: layer veggies, tortillas and cheese.

Step 3: bake.

Step 4: DIIIIG INNNNN

Garden Vegetable & Black Bean Tortilla Stacks

Garden Vegetable & Black Bean Tortilla Stacks

This is totally a recipe that you can change up, depending on what you have in your fridge…also a week-night bonus!  I go to the grocery store a LOT!  So when I can make a meal that doesn’t require me to show my face at the grocery store for the bazillionth time this week, I am so happy I do my happy dance.  And get a funny look from my baby who may be starting to realize that his mom is a bit of a weirdo.

I used fresh tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, onion, corn and black beans.  Cooked up with a little garlic, chilli powder and ground cumin.  Feel free to use ground beef or chicken.  This recipe is pretty flexible.  And did I mention?  EASY!

Garden Vegetable & Black Bean Tortilla Stacks

5.0 from 1 reviews
BLACK BEAN & GARDEN VEGETABLE TORTILLA STACKS
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Mexican-spiced fresh garden vegetables and black beans are baked between layers of tortillas and cheese in this easy week-night meal.
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ medium red onion, diced
  • ½ orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp hot red pepper flakes {increase if you want more spice}
  • salt & pepper
  • one 370mL bottle of taco sauce
  • ½ cup canned corn kernels, rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed {540mL, 19oz}
  • 2 cups cheese, shredded
  • 4 10-12 inch tortillas
  • a handful of fresh oregano leaves
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 425°F.
  2. In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, bell pepper and zucchini, and cook until onion is translucent, 3-4 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomato, chili powder, cumin and red pepper flakes, cooking for another 3-4 minutes until tomato is soft and cooked through.
  4. Stir in the corn, black beans and taco sauce, taste and decide if you want additional salt and pepper.
  5. On a parchment-lined cookie sheet, assemble tortilla stacks as follows: tortilla, then half of the black bean mixture, tortilla, half of the cheese, then repeat.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cheese is melted and slightly golden.
  7. Scatter fresh oregano over top, and serve immediately.
Notes
Use gluten-free or corn tortillas to make this a gluten-free meal!

]]> http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/08/garden-vegetable-black-bean-tortilla-stacks.html/feed 21 SALTED CARAMEL CASHEW BARS http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/08/salted-caramel-cashew-bars.html http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/08/salted-caramel-cashew-bars.html#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 23:28:47 +0000 http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/?p=4716 Salted Caramel Cashew Bars

I’ve come to the realization that I am one of those people who gets fixated on stuff, and can get a little obsessive at times.

I know I wasn’t the only twelve year old whose room was plastered with Jonathan Taylor Thomas posters from Teen Beat magazine.  Oh, JTT…

I also know I’m not the only person to get fixated on a TV series and power through it on Netflix.  {What on Earth am I going to do when we are finished watching Friday Night Lights?!}

Clearly I am also a little obsessed with food!  I tend to get fixated on certain ingredients in particular: coffee…kalestrawberrieschocolate…and now: salted caramel.

Salted Caramel Cashew BarsSalted Caramel Cashew Bars

I have made salted caramel before for these Salted Caramel & Chocolate Espresso Thumbprint Cookies, and they were To.  Die.  For.  Seriously, I don’t know why it took me so long to make more salted caramel!

The caramel in those thumbprint cookies was a tad too syrupy, and I wanted to find the best salted caramel to top these bars, so I went on a bit of an obsessive mission.  I’m not sure how many batches of salted caramel I made, I actually lost track.  I tried with corn syrup, without corn syrup, more cream, less cream, less butter, with vanilla…I had lumpy caramel, grainy caramel, liquidy/syrupy caramel, and too firm of caramel.

And you know what?  I ended up with something very close to the original recipe {facepalm}.

Salted Caramel Cashew BarsSalted Caramel Cashew Bars

Although, I learned a LOT of lessons about making caramel.  Namely, what NOT to do.

Like: do not make your caramel in a teeny tiny pot.  Use a medium-sized, heavy bottomed pot, because when you add the cream and butter, it will bubble up quite a bit.  And smelly burning caramel stuck on your stove top is not so fun.

Also: resist the urge to stir your caramel.  I just had to get in there and stir things up.  Then had bits of caramel stuck on the side of the pot that turned into a big old clumpy mess later.  Blerg.

And: maybe don’t try to make this while your baby is in his high chair.  He will inevitably get grouchy at the exact moment when the sugar begins to caramelize, leaving you with a very important question: screaming baby and perfect caramel?  Or happy baby and burnt caramel.

I tried making my caramel without corn syrup, but I actually liked it with a bit of corn syrup.  For one thing it helps get things boiling faster.  And the resulting texture was a touch softer.

Salted Caramel Cashew Bars

And then, because I guess it’s not really much of a dessert to eat the salted caramel by the spoonful {although in my world, that’s totally acceptable}, I stirred in some roasted cashews and poured it over a buttery shortbread crust….let it set for a few hours…

…And proceeded to chip away at these bars, sliver by sliver.  Calories totally don’t count when you only take a sliver…you heard that here first.  And I’m a scientist, so I tell scientifically accurate truths.

Salted Caramel Cashew Bars

5.0 from 1 reviews
SALTED CARAMEL CASHEW BARS
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 25
Ingredients
Shortbread Base
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter {170g; at room temperature}
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar {48g}
  • 1½ cup all purpose flour {187g; fluffed, spooned & leveled}
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
Salted Caramel
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar {164g}
  • 2 tbsp light corn syrup
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream {whipping cream, 35%}
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter {28g}
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp coarse sea salt {plus more for sprinkling}
Toppings
  • 1 cup roasted cashews
Instructions
Shortbread Base
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Line a 9X9 inch pan with aluminum foil. Spray bottom and sides and set aside.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar. In a separate bowl, mix together flour and baking powder. Beat the dry ingredients into the wet for several minutes until it is no longer crumbly and forms a dough ball.
  3. Using your hands, press the dough into the bottom of the 9X9 pan.
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until edges have *just* begun to brown. Allow to cool .
Salted Caramel
  1. In a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan, stir together the sugar and corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Once the mixture begins to simmer, do not stir. Allow to simmer for 4 or so minutes, until it turns a dark amber color. {*If it starts to caramelize faster on one side than another, gently swirl the pot to mix}.
  3. Stir in the butter, and gently pour in the cream, vanilla and salt {careful, it will bubble up and may spit}, stir with a clean spatula. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for another two or so minutes until it thickens slightly.
  4. Stir in half of the cashews. Pour the caramel/cashew mixture over the cooled shortbread crust. Tilt the pan to get the base completely covered. Scatter additional cashews and sea salt.
  5. Allow to cool for 30 minutes at room temperature, then an additional hour or two in the fridge.
Notes
I recommend storing the bars in the fridge, however you will want them to sit at room temperature for 10 or so minutes before eating to allow the caramel to soften up a bit.

Shortbread base adapted from Allrecipes

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SPICY MANGO MARGARITAS http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/08/spicy-mango-margaritas.html http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/08/spicy-mango-margaritas.html#comments Wed, 13 Aug 2014 03:08:02 +0000 http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/?p=4674 This spicy mango margarita is cold, sweet and refreshing, with a little kick of spice. Ready in two minutes flat!

Spicy Mango Margaritas

Heya!  It’s Tuesday, but can we please pretend it’s still the week-end?  Because today I have a margarita for you.

And this margarita has been awhile in the making.  Like months in the making!

It started as a raspberry habanero margarita last month.  Sounds good?  Well, I just couldn’t seem to get it right.  After making it too spicy, then not spicy enough, doing fresh raspberries, frozen raspberries, and raspberry simple syrups I finally threw in the towel.

Maybe I am just too picky when it comes to my margaritas…but there is nothing worse than a bad margarita, am I right?

Well.  I decided to give this margarita a try with mango.  And I finally got it right.

Spicy Mango Margaritas

Spicy Mango Margaritas

Hopefully if you have read this far, you are on board with this spicy margarita thing.  It is weirdly awesome.  And I love discovering weirdly awesome things in life, especially when tiny umbrellas are involved!

I discovered just how delicious spicy margaritas can be last summer.  Well, OK I was pregnant and could not actually board the train to margarita-ville.  Instead I boarded the train to its slightly less fun cousin, limeade-ville, and made cilantro and jalapeño limeade {which can also be made into a margarita}.  It was delicious, and I knew I needed another spicy drink in my life this summer.

So here’s the deal:  I’ve played around with using both jalapeños and habaneros in my cocktails and have just never been satisfied with the reproducibility of the spiciness…peppers really vary in their spiciness, and people’s taste buds are also quite specific for this stuff.  For this reason, plus being impatient and wanting my margarita rapido, por favor= one easy, simple solution.  Cayenne pepper.

 

Spicy Mango Margarita Spicy Mango Margaritas

 

Cayenne pepper is just eeeeasy guys, you can control how much heat you add so much easier than using jalapenos or habaneros.  Bonus: you don’t have to chop any peppers and handle the seeds/ribs.

I was SCARED chopping up the habaneros, and I probably washed my hands 8000 times afterwards.  I mean, we’ve all heard the story about the guy who goes to use the washroom after touching hot peppers, right…Or was I the only one who got to hear that glorious story?

Um…yes, I might save that story for another post..but these margaritas.  Frozen mangoes and cayenne pepper.  Plus the usual suspects in margarita-ville: lime, tequila, cointreau.  I added some ice as well and blended to smooth, frosty perfection with my new blender.

It is cold, sweet and refreshing, with a little kick of spice in the back of your throat.  Exactly what I’d imagined…last month.

And definitely worth the wait!

5.0 from 2 reviews
SPICY MANGO MARGARITAS
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 250g frozen mango chunks
  • 5 large ice cubes
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne
  • 2 tbsp superfine sugar {berry sugar in Canada}
  • 1 tbsp Cointreau
  • ¼ cup silver tequila
  • water {as needed}
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Add water as needed.

 

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GRILLED CHIPOTLE PORK TENDERLOIN WITH FRESH CHERRY SALSA http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/08/grilled-chipotle-pork-tenderloin-with-fresh-cherry-salsa.html http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/08/grilled-chipotle-pork-tenderloin-with-fresh-cherry-salsa.html#comments Sun, 10 Aug 2014 15:14:35 +0000 http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/?p=4667 Smoky chipotle, lime and honey grilled pork tenderloin is topped with a fresh cherry salsa. This flavor combination is unbelievable!

Grilled Chipotle Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Cherry Salsa | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

So…remember last week when I was so excited about painting my dining room?

Well.  After I painted the dining room, a funny thing happened:

The living room looked terrible.  So I painted the living room.

And then the couch didn’t match.  So I bought a new couch (well a ‘new to us’ couch).

And now the kitchen looks terrible.

 

Grilled Chipotle Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Cherry Salsa | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

Grilled Chipotle Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Cherry Salsa | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

To be fair, the kitchen is ORANGE.  Seriously orange…check it out in this post here.  As you can see, the paint has a really weird ‘sheer’ thing going on that I haven’t been really loving.  So someday that kitchen is going to get a new paint job.  Maybe not that soon.  I am starting to experience paint-fatigue…and I still haven’t done the bedroom!

So for now, I am going to have to stay away from Apartment Therapy and avoid looking at house-related pins on Pinterest.  They put waaaay too many ideas in my head!

With all the painting/decorating/organizing and reorganizing that has been happening, it is nice to have a simple, easy dinner, like this pork tenderloin.

Grilled Chipotle Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Cherry Salsa | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

We have had this tenderloin in one variation or another for dinner several times this summer.  It is so easy: marinate in a combination of lime, chipotle peppers and honey.  The pork is then grilled until cooked through and the marinade has caramelized, coating the tenderloin in a sweet and smoky layer.

Then comes Alton Brown’s weird but awesome trick for ultra-moist, super flavorful grilled tenderloin: wrapping the cooked pork with additional marinade for 10 minutes.  In those 10 minutes, so much more flavor and moisture seeps into the pork.  It really revitalizes it {we made the mistake of skipping this step one night and were so disappointed}.

I topped this pork tenderloin with a simple and easy fresh cherry salsa: cherries, a few tablespoons of chopped cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice.  The cherries and the chipotle are an unexpected, but delicious pairing…I am totally obsessed with it!

And this is another oven-free recipe…so if I decide to take the plunge and paint my kitchen, I have this recipe in my tool belt ;)

5.0 from 1 reviews
GRILLED CHIPOTLE PORK TENDERLOIN WITH FRESH CHERRY SALSA
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • One 400g pork tenderloin
Marinade
  • zest of one lime
  • juice of one lime
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 4 chipotle peppers, coarsely chopped
  • 4 tsp adobo sauce {from can of chipotle peppers}
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp salt
Fresh Cherry Salsa
  • 1 cup cherries, pitted and sliced into quarters
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp lime juice
Instructions
Grilled Chipotle Pork Tenderloin
  1. Combine marinade ingredients. Pour half of marinade into a resealable bag with pork tenderloin; cover and store other half of marinade until ready to cook pork. Marinate pork for 1 hour or more.
  2. Pre-heat barbecue to medium-high. Discard marinade and cook pork over indirect heat {towards the edge} for 15-20 minutes per side, or until cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F {63°C}.
  3. Place cooked pork tenderloin in aluminum foil, bringing the edges up around it to form a 'basket'. Pour the remaining marinade over the pork, and seal the aluminum foil, allowing everything to rest for 10 minutes.
Fresh Cherry Salsa:
  1. Combine all ingredients and serve over the pork.

 

Recipe adapted from the Food Network

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CRISPY OVEN-BAKED PARMESAN GREEN BEAN FRIES http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/08/crispy-oven-baked-parmesan-green-bean-fries.html http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/08/crispy-oven-baked-parmesan-green-bean-fries.html#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 19:56:33 +0000 http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/?p=4627 These green bean ‘fries’ are coated in Panko breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese, then baked to crispy perfection.  You’ll be fighting over who gets the last one!

Crispy Oven-Baked Parmesan Green Bean Fries | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

You guys…how is it AUGUST?!  It’s just insane how quickly this summer is flying by!

I am currently ignoring the fact that September is approaching, and the fact that Kai will start childcare and I will go back to my stressful PhD.

Instead I’m focusing on the great things that August has to offer: warm evenings, lots of walks, picnics, playgrounds and splash pools, our upcoming trip to my hometown, and the awesome bounty of produce: cherries, peaches, blueberries, tomatoes, peas, zucchinis, and beans!

 Crispy Oven-Baked Parmesan Green Bean Fries | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

Crispy Oven-Baked Parmesan Green Bean Fries | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

Beans are at their best this time of year, so fresh, crisp and crunchy.  I’m not normally that into beans, but when they are fresh like this, sign me up!

I knew I wanted to make a bean dish this week, and I was originally thinking salad…and I do love a good bean salad, but it was lacking a little excitement for me.

Somehow visions of Panko and Parmesan flashed through my mind and I knew exactly what I was going to make…bean ‘fries’!  There was no turning back from that idea!

Crispy Oven-Baked Parmesan Green Bean Fries | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

Crispy Oven-Baked Parmesan Green Bean Fries | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

The first time I made these, I didn’t make enough, and they were so good that Ben and I were actually arguing over who had more on their plate!  I made him give me some of his because he ate three right off the baking sheet…fair’s fair, right?

Are we in the Twilight Zone?  I mean who argues over beans?!

But these are no ordinary beans…rolled in Panko {Japanese seasoned breadcrumbs}, Parmesan cheese, a little garlic salt and some pepper, then baked up till they are crispy and perfect…definitely worth arguing over!

These guys would make a great healthier substitute for french fries…maybe to trick your kids into eating- and liking- beans! {Disclaimer- clearly from this post I have no idea how to get kids to eat food.  I’m far from an expert!}

Crispy Oven-Baked Parmesan Green Bean Fries | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

Crispy Oven-Baked Parmesan Green Bean Fries | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

Before you run off an make these, let me offer you a word of advice: make sure the beans you use are the fresh, crunchy kind.  If they are chewy and stringy to start with, they will make for chewy and stringy fries…yuck!

OK?  And….GO!

5.0 from 2 reviews
CRISPY OVEN-BAKED GREEN BEAN FRIES
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 400g fresh green beans, washed and ends trimmed
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
Panko Mixture
  • 1 cup Panko {Japanese seasoned bread crumbs}
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese {loosely packed}
  • ¾ tsp garlic salt
  • fresh ground pepper {around 20 grinds, ¼ tsp or so}
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
  2. Place flour, eggs, and Panko mixture in three separate shallow bowls.
  3. Dredge beans in flour, then eggs, then Panko mixture.
  4. Place on baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden and crispy.
  5. Serve immediately
Notes
Make sure to use crunchy beans, if they taste stringy and chewy to start with, they will probably not crisp up in the oven.
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RASPBERRY ROSE COCONUT THUMBPRINT COOKIES http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/08/raspberry-rose-coconut-thumbprint-cookies.html http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/08/raspberry-rose-coconut-thumbprint-cookies.html#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 13:25:29 +0000 http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/?p=4582 Coconut shortbread thumbprint cookies are filled with rose-flavored raspberry jam and topped with a fresh raspberry for this perfect, delicious cookie.

Raspberry Rose Coconut Thumbprint Cookies | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

Can I please explain the scene at our dinner table this evening?

Food.  All over the floor.  Green beans, cherries, chicken, chickpeas, watermelon chunks, rice rusks.  Floor lamp on it’s side.  Baby thumping his highchair table, food all over his face.

As it’s turning out, Kai is a bit of a diva when it comes to food.  List of food he won’t eat: all of the above listed items, peaches {which actually got an ‘ewwww’ face!}, turkey, beef or chicken meatballs, carrots, corn, zucchini, lentils, potato and sweet potato, raspberries…

List of food he will eat: Cheerios.  Cheese.  Bread.  Arrowroot biscuits.

Helllllp!  I’m in trouble.

thumbprint cookies collage

Raspberry Rose Coconut Thumbprint Cookies | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

I will admit that I’m a picky eater, too…but mostly with random things: bananas, oranges, stinky cheese, bad tequila…

I guess for now, I will have to wait until the time that I can reason with Kai, because for now, our dinner-time conversation mostly goes like this:

Me: “would you like some watermelon?  See, Mommy eats watermelon {eating watermelon}.  Mmmm!  Yummy!  Watermelon!”

Kai: “Eeeeeeeeeeeh!”.  Throws watermelon on ground.  Looks at me with big eyes.  “Uh-uh”.  Looks on ground.

So… does “uh-uh” count as a first word?  Because I’m pretty sure he is mimicking our “uh-oh”.  And I’m also pretty sure “Go Fetch, Mommy” is his new favorite game.

Raspberry Rose Coconut Thumbprint Cookies | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

Raspberry Rose Coconut Thumbprint Cookies | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

And this all has exactly nothing to do with these cookies…other than the fact that maybe Kai would eat them…since he likes digestive biscuits.  But he doesn’t like raspberries, so maybe not.

So here’s the run-down on these cookies {and thank-you my readers therapists for listening to my concerns}: soft, buttery, coconut thumbprint cookies.  Sweet, tart, slightly floral raspberry-rosewater jam filling.  Then topped off with a fresh raspberry, which really rounds out the fresh, sweet and tart raspberry flavors in these cookies.

I feel it necessary to state the fact that raspberries + rosewater is a completely ah-maze-ing, albeit slightly unexpected flavor combination.  It is ever-so-slightly-floral, sweet, tart, and all-round delicious…then you throw in buttery-coconutty shortbread.

My favorite thing about these cookies is that they are pretty small, making the raspberry : shortbread ratio quite high.  You get a big juicy burst of raspberry with every bite!

Really delish, easy peasy to make, and incredibly poppable {that is: pop-into-your-mouth-able}.

5.0 from 1 reviews
RASPBERRY ROSE COCONUT THUMBPRINT COOKIES
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 16
Ingredients
Coconut Thumbprint Cookies
  • ½ cup unsalted butter {113g; at room temperature}
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar {55g}
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour {125g, fluffed, spooned & leveled}
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut {135g}
  • ¼ tsp salt
Raspberry-Rosewater Jam:
  • ½ cup seedless raspberry jam
  • ½ tsp rosewater
Topping:
  • 16 fresh raspberries
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 300 F. Line a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt and coconut. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until dough comes together.
  4. Roll dough into 1-inch sized balls. Make an indentation with your thumb (or a smaller finger if necessary). See photos above for an example.
  5. Bake cookies for 5 minutes. While cookies are baking, whisk together the raspberry jam and rosewater until smooth.
  6. After 5 minutes of baking, use the back of a wooden spoon to reform the thumbprint in the cookies. Spoon approximately ½ tsp of the raspberry-rosewater jam into each indentation.
  7. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 or so minutes. Cookies may look underdone but should be firm to the touch.
  8. Press a fresh raspberry into the jam.
  9. Allow to cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes
Chilling the dough can help prevent the cookies from spreading, however if you chill overnight, allow the dough to sit for 15 or so minutes at room temperature before baking.
Cookies are best consumed the day they are baked.
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CHERRY-PEACH TURNOVERS WITH A SWEET BOURBON GLAZE http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/08/cherry-peach-turnovers-with-a-sweet-bourbon-glaze.html http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/08/cherry-peach-turnovers-with-a-sweet-bourbon-glaze.html#comments Sat, 02 Aug 2014 16:17:32 +0000 http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/?p=4612 Flaky puff pastry is filled with a sweet cherry-peach mixture and drizzled with a bourbon sugar glaze.  Ready in under 40 minutes!

Cherry & Peach Turnovers with a Sweet Bourbon Glaze.  Ready in under 40 minutes!  | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

Hey y’all!

Sorry about the y’all, I know, I’m Canadian and I should be saying eh or something like that ;)  It’s just that we’ve been watching excessive amounts of Friday Night Lights reruns, and now the voice in my head seems to have a Texan accent and says things like howdy and yonder and tuckered out.

And I have been trying to post this recipe for a few days now.  But things like visits from my Mom, watching more episodes of Friday Night Lights, and sunny warm weather have taken priority.  I’ve taken Kai to the splash park twice this week, and it was great {other than the rogue kid who poured water on my head!!  Nincompoop!}

But guys…these turnovers: totally worth turning on the oven on a hot day!

Cherry & Peach Turnovers with a Sweet Bourbon Glaze.  Ready in under 40 minutes!  | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

Cherry & Peach Turnovers with a Sweet Bourbon Glaze.  Ready in under 40 minutes!  | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

I actually was quite strategic with my oven use, since Ben has implemented an oven ban during this hot stretch of the summer.  I made up the filling the night before, and baked these guys up in the morning, before the heat sank in.  I mean, you’re going to want them for breakfast/brunch anyways, right?

I used peaches and cherries in these turnovers…you can use fresh or frozen, but let’s face it: fresh is best, especially when both peaches and cherries are at their peaks!  And really, you can use any type of fruit, but I went for my two {current} favorites.

The fruit is cooked until soft with a bit of melted butter and brown sugar.  A touch of cornstarch thickens things up, and then some vanilla is stirred in for extra flavor.  Try not to consume the fruit filling before the puff pastry comes into play, because fruit is exponentially better when sandwiched between layers of buttery, flaky pastry, right?

Cherry & Peach Turnovers with a Sweet Bourbon Glaze.  Ready in under 40 minutes!  | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

Cherry & Peach Turnovers with a Sweet Bourbon Glaze.  Ready in under 40 minutes!  | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

Confession:  I have a bit of a frozen-pastry-phobia, ever since The Great Pastry Incident of 2009.  Let’s just say: improperly thawed pastry= total mess and total freak-out by Denise while scrambling for a new potluck dish.

So learn from my mistake: thaw your puff pastry overnight in the fridge so it is ready to go when you need it.

It is actually so incredibly easy to use once properly thawed: simply roll it out on a floured surface, cut into squares and you are ready to build your turnovers!

Cherry & Peach Turnovers with a Sweet Bourbon Glaze.  Ready in under 40 minutes!  | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

After baking, {possibly influenced by the Southern accent going on in my brain}, I drizzled these babies with a bourbon glaze.  A teaspoon of bourbon added just a touch of that caramelly bourbon flavor, without giving you fire breath {one tablespoon, however…total fire breath, yikes!} The bourbon flavor is totally subtle, but adds another nice dimension to these turnovers.

So in summary: fresh, sweet cherries & peaches + buttery, flaky pastry, drizzled in sweet bourbon glaze = pure deliciousness.

Y’all have a great week-end :)

5.0 from 2 reviews
Cherry-Peach Turnovers with a Sweet Bourbon Glaze
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Flaky puff pastry is filled with a sweet cherry-peach mixture and drizzled with a bourbon sugar glaze. Ready in under 40 minutes!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
Ingredients
Filling
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 peaches, peeled, and diced into small cubes
  • 2 cups cherries, pits & stems removed
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Pastry
  • 1 package puff pastry {400g; should have 2 squares}
  • 1 egg white
  • Coarse sugar, for sprinkling
Bourbon Glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar {125g}
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp bourbon
  • 1.5 tbsp milk
Instructions
Filling
  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the peaches and cherries, and cook until soft, around 3 minutes.
  2. Add the brown sugar, stir until dissolved.
  3. Gently sprinkle the cornstarch over fruit, stir until completely dissolved.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
Turnovers
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or silicone baking mats.
  2. Roll one half of puff pastry out at a time to a 10-12 inch X 10-12 inch sized square. Divide into 4 equal squares. Transfer to baking sheet.
  3. Spoon 1.5-2 tbsp of filling into the corner of a square of puff pastry.
  4. Fold opposite side of pastry over and seal with a fork.
  5. Cut slits in the top of the turnovers, then brush with egg whites. Sprinkle with a bit of coarse sugar.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until lightly golden brown.
  7. Cool several minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Glaze
  1. In a medium bowl, beat together powdered sugar, vanilla, bourbon and milk. Drizzle over warm scones.
  2. Best served warm.
Notes
Fresh peaches & cherries are recommended for the best flavor, however frozen peaches & cherries may be substituted.
Filling may be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated until you are ready to bake.
If you wish to leave out the bourbon, simply replace it with more milk.

 

Turnovers recipe inspired by this AllRecipes one

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GRILLED ZUCCHINI RIBBON SALAD WITH WALNUTS AND PECORINO http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/07/grilled-zucchini-ribbon-salad-with-walnuts-and-pecorino.html http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/07/grilled-zucchini-ribbon-salad-with-walnuts-and-pecorino.html#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 20:29:38 +0000 http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/?p=4604 A simple and elegant salad that tosses lightly grilled zucchini ribbons with toasted walnuts, Pecorino cheese in a lemony vinaigrette.

Grilled Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Walnuts & Pecorino tossed in a Zippy Lemon Vinaigrette

Is everyone drowning in zucchinis yet?

I wish I were one of you.  I have a lot of zucchini plants and they are only just starting to produce zucchinis….smallish and totally wonky looking zucchinis, but they taste amazing.  That’s what counts, right?

In preparation for zucchini-palooza, which will be happening in a few short weeks, {I hope!}, I have been thinking up ways to use zucchini.  Like in a burger.  Last summer I put them in cheddar & cornmeal waffles and triple chocolate donuts.  Nom nom nom.

A lot of zucchini recipes {like the ones I just listed} try to ‘hide’ the zucchini.  Sneak-it-in-so-your-kids-don’t-realize-they-are-eating-veggies kind of recipes.

Well today I have a recipe that actually features the zucchini.

Grilled Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Walnuts & Pecorino tossed in a Zippy Lemon Vinaigrette

Grilled Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Walnuts & Pecorino tossed in a Zippy Lemon Vinaigrette

I am not allowed to use the oven right now, official orders from Ben.  It is HOT, as in 33°C out…{that’s 91 in ‘American’ :P }, and we have no air conditioning, so no oven it is.

Basically every meal so far this week has been raw or grilled, and this salad fits the bill perfectly.

Grilled Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Walnuts & Pecorino tossed in a Zippy Lemon Vinaigrette

Grilled Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Walnuts & Pecorino tossed in a Zippy Lemon Vinaigrette

This salad is such a breeze to prep…as salads should be!

Fresh zucchini ribbons are grilled for a minute or so, to the point of being a tad softer, but not limp.  I liked the lightly crunchy texture that they had, and I don’t think anyone likes mushy, limp zucchini.

Next toasted walnuts are added; you can either bake them in the oven or heat them in a pan until lightly browned.  The walnuts bring the crunch factor to the salad; I can’t seem to make a salad without nuts in them…just love that nutty flavor and crunch!

I added shaved Pecorino Romano, you can use Parmesan if you wish.  The cheese brings some salt to the mix, and…well…it’s cheese.  Any excuse for cheese on/in/over my vegetables!

Grilled Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Walnuts & Pecorino tossed in a Zippy Lemon Vinaigrette

I whipped up a super simple lemony vinaigrette that went oh-so-perfectly with all of the zucchini-walnutty-cheesey awesomeness that was already happening in my bowl.  Using lemon zest brings an ultra-lemony flavor to the dressing without bringing that sourness that lemon juice can bring.  White wine vinegar brings the zing, maple syrup brings a touch of sweetness {feel free to sub in honey, I had run out}, and voila!

Enjoy!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Grilled Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Walnuts and Pecorino
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A simple and elegant salad that tosses lightly grilled zucchini ribbons with toasted walnuts, Pecorino cheese in a lemony vinaigrette.
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4
Ingredients
Salad
  • 3-4 medium zucchinis
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ground pepper
  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup shaved Pecorino Romano or Parmesan {roughly; add to taste}
Lemony Vinaigrette
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp maple syrup {or honey}
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
Instructions
Salad
  1. Pre-heat barbecue over medium-high heat.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zucchini into 'ribbons', discarding the seedy center.
  3. Toss ribbons in olive oil to coat, then season with ground pepper.
  4. Working in multiple batches of 8 or so ribbons at a time, arrange on the grill. Grill for a minute or so {depending on the temperature of your BBQ} until zucchinis are lightly marked. They should be slightly softer but not limp. Continue until all zucchini ribbons have been grilled.
  5. Toss ribbons in vinaigrette and top with walnuts and Pecorino
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MOROCCAN CHICKPEA SLIDERS WITH SPICY HARISSA MAYO AND MINT http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/07/moroccan-chickpea-sliders-with-spicy-harissa-mayo-and-mint.html http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/07/moroccan-chickpea-sliders-with-spicy-harissa-mayo-and-mint.html#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 16:43:57 +0000 http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/?p=4514 These Moroccan-spiced chickpea burgers are packed with carrots and zucchini and topped with spicy harissa mayo and fresh mint.

Moroccan Chickpea Sliders with Spicy Harissa Mayo and Mint | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

Monday…where did you come from?

Is it just me, or is the week-end even busier than week days?  We are constantly trying to get things done on the week-end…chores, groceries, projects.  Which basically means one of us hangs out with Kai while the other one is productive.

And this week-end, I was productive!  After four years of living in this house, I finally painted our ugly red and brown dining room!  {Well I’m almost done…but the hard work is over, at least!}

I am very excited because I take most of my food photos in the dining room, and red/brown walls don’t do much for the light.  The new, lighter colors should hopefully improve the lighting situation :D

 

Moroccan Chickpea Sliders with Spicy Harissa Mayo and Mint | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

Moroccan Chickpea Sliders with Spicy Harissa Mayo and Mint | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

So maybe I got caught up with how delicious these sliders tasted, or maybe it was the fact that Ben and Kai were patiently not so patiently waiting for dinner.  Whatever it was, I somehow ended up with pretty much the same photo…over and over.  Oops!  Just think of it as the evolution of a burger getting ‘dressed’.

Anyhow.  I realized awhile back I didn’t have any burger recipes on this blog and I’ve been on a bit of a mission to add some ever since…specifically healthy ones.  These Greek Turkey Burgers with Whipped Feta were so good I had to make another burger.

This time, I have found my ultimate veggie burger!  Things to love:  they are mini.  They are Moroccan….ish.  I got to use my new food processor.  They are SO easy to make.  They taste oh-so-amazing!

 Moroccan Chickpea Sliders with Spicy Harissa Mayo and Mint | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

Moroccan Chickpea Sliders with Spicy Harissa Mayo and Mint | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

I mean, chickpea, carrot and zucchini-packed patties, spiced with ras-el-hanout {a Moroccan spice blend, and you can make your own!}, tossed with some egg to hold it all together, and some flour and Panko to get things nice and crispy…these = YUM, on their own.

But then topped with spicy harissa mayo, a mint leaf, and crunchy lettuce, then sandwiched between soft slider buns?  YUMMM!

Promise me you won’t skip the mint leaf?  It is the magical ingredient on these sliders.  It brings a bright freshness that ties the spicy mayo and the chickpea patties together.  SO GOOD.

Approved by the adamantly non-vegetarian, Ben, who will usually ask “where’s the meat?” on any vegetarian meal.  These are perfect for Meatless Monday…but really for any day of the week.

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
MOROCCAN CHICKPEA SLIDERS WITH SPICY HARISSA MAYO AND MINT
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These Moroccan-spiced chickpea burgers are packed with carrots and zucchini and topped with spicy harissa mayo and fresh mint.
Author:
Serves: 15
Ingredients
Moroccan Chickpea Burgers
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ras el hanout spice blend {see note}
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne
  • Oil {for frying}
Spicy Harissa Mayo
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp harissa paste {or more, if you want it extra spicy}
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
Toppings
  • 15 mint leaves
  • 15 slices onion
  • 15 lettuce leaves
Instructions
Moroccan Chickpea Burgers:
  1. Pulse chickpeas in a food processor 5-7 times until roughly processed {they should still be chunky}.
  2. Place shredded zucchini in a colander. Sprinkle with a small amount of salt and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Press against colander to get rid of excess liquid from zucchini.
  3. In a large bowl, combine all remaining burger ingredients.
  4. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
  5. Form 2-3 tbsp sized patties. Make sure to firmly pack them.
  6. Cook for around 2 minutes on the first side, 1 minute on the second side, until they are browned and firm to the touch.
Spicy Harissa Mayo:
  1. Whisk together the mayonnaise, harissa paste and ground cumin.
Notes
Ras el hanout is a Moroccan spice blend, for a recipe, see link below this card.
If patties are too crumbly, try adding an extra egg yolk to the mix.
Makes 15 sliders...but you will want to eat 2-3 for a meal-sized serving, so makes 5 or so portions.

 

For a ras el-hanout spice blend recipe, see this Gourmet recipe

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KEY LIME PIE SANDWICH COOKIES http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/07/key-lime-pie-sandwich-cookies.html http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/07/key-lime-pie-sandwich-cookies.html#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:23:52 +0000 http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/?p=4548 Key lime cream cheese filling is sandwiched between two soft graham cracker sugar cookies in this sweet and citrussy dessert.

Key Lime Pie Sandwich Cookies: key lime cream cheese filling is sandwiched between two soft graham cracker sugar cookies | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

I don’t know about you guys, but my summer is flying by waaaay too quickly!  How is it almost August?!

It’s around this time in the summer when I look at my summer bucket list and realize it’s still pretty much full.

One item on this list was to take Kai hiking.  So this past week-end, we got out the hiking backpack and headed out for a walk in the wilderness…sort of.  It was a pretty well trodden path.  Yet somehow we ended up off this well trodden path, bush-wacking, stepping through mud-holes, and at one point, stepping over a rusty barbed-wire fence.  Luckily we found the trail again, and got back to the car.

So…success!  I can cross something off my list!

One more thing on my list?  Key lime something.

Key Lime Pie Sandwich Cookies: key lime cream cheese filling is sandwiched between two soft graham cracker sugar cookies | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

Key Lime Pie Sandwich Cookies: key lime cream cheese filling is sandwiched between two soft graham cracker sugar cookies | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

I have professed my love for key lime before, and I am doing it again.

Specifically: key lime pie!  If you have never had key lime pie before, you are missing out!  It is sweet, creamy, and limey…but key limes are a bit different from normal limes…they are tiny for one thing, less tart, and almost a little bit orangey in flavor.  {And I hate oranges, but somehow I love key limes…go figure!}  One of the most important parts of a key lime pie is that sugary graham cracker crust.  Can’t skip that part!

I don’t make a lot of cakes or pies here, since it’s just the three of us, and Kai is a long way  few months from his pie eating days.  So I wanted to recreate the flavors of key lime pie in a more manageable size for our family…cookie size!

Key Lime Pie Sandwich Cookies: key lime cream cheese filling is sandwiched between two soft graham cracker sugar cookies | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

Key Lime Pie Sandwich Cookies: key lime cream cheese filling is sandwiched between two soft graham cracker sugar cookies | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

The easy way to make these cookies would have been to use graham crackers straight out of the package, but I am not a real fan of graham crackers…they are too dry and crumbly.   Doesn’t a nice, soft cookie sound better?

So I played around with a basic sugar cookie recipe, subbing out some of the flour for graham cracker crumbs and adding a touch of cinnamon to enhance the graham crackery-ness.

I struck gold with this recipe…I would eat these cookies without the key lime part!  They are almost like a ginger snap, but much milder in the spice-department and have that awesome graham cracker flavor.  Graham crackers without the crumbly dry mess?  Ah-maze-ing!!!!

For the filling, I combined cream cheese, powdered sugar, and the zest and juice of a few key limes.  Super fast and simple and delicious…try not to eat it straight out of the bowl, it is even better when smooshed between the graham cracker cookies!

These are good.  Really good.  The non-sweet-tooth Ben proclaimed these the ‘best cookies he’s ever eaten’.  I have to agree…and I’m a cookie connoisseur!

They taste exactly like a key lime pie.  If that’s your kind of thing, these are the cookies for you!

Key Lime Pie Sandwich Cookies: key lime cream cheese filling is sandwiched between two soft graham cracker sugar cookies | sweetpeasandsaffron.com

4.8 from 4 reviews
Key Lime Pie Sandwich Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Key lime cream cheese filling is sandwiched between two soft graham cracker sugar cookies in this sweet and citrussy dessert.
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
Graham Cracker Cookies
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour {94g or fluffed, spooned & leveled}
  • ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs {85g}
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup unsalted butter {113g}
  • ½ cup granulated sugar {100g- plus more for rolling}
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg yolk
Key Lime Cream Cheese Filling:
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened {light is OK}
  • ½ cup powdered sugar {63g}
  • zest of 3 key limes {1 tbsp approximately}
  • juice of 2 key limes {1 tbsp approximately}
Instructions
Graham Cracker Cookies
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 F. Line cookie sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and egg yolk and blend.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. They may not seem to come together right away but keep blending until your dough sticks together {1-2 minutes}.
  5. Roll dough into 1-inch sized balls. Roll balls in granulated sugar to coat.
  6. Bake for 6-7 minutes, until bottoms of cookies are lightly browned. Cool 5 or so minutes on cookie sheet and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Key Lime Cream Cheese Filling:
  1. Beat cream cheese with a stand or hand mixer until completely smooth. Add the powdered sugar and mix until completely incorporated.
  2. Add the lime juice and zest and mix. Taste and adjust lime if desired.
Assembly:
  1. Spread 1 or so tablespoons of cream cheese mixture on the bottom of a cooled cookie. Top with a second cookie.
  2. Serve immediately.
Notes
Makes 12 'sandwiches', or 24 total cookies.
Don't assemble cookie sandwiches until just prior to serving.
If you would like to firm up the filling, chill for an hour or so before assembling the sandwiches.

 

Filling inspired by Martha’s recipe

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