There are some foods that I consider to be just a catalyst for other, more appealing foods. Take french fries, for example. I actually refer to the long fried potatoes as ketchup sticks because without the ketchup, I really see no point in eating a french fry. I've always applied the same principle to my english muffin eating experience. The crater filled muffin has always served as a suitable holder for my butter, jam, peanut butter, eggs or avocado but beyond that - they really didn't serve any purpose.
It's not that there's anything inherently displeasing about english muffins, but on their own, they've never been that appealing. Then it occurred to me that perhaps I just haven't been eating the right kind of English muffins. I honestly don't think that I've ever tasted a made from scratch, freshly baked English muffin. Is it possible that I could make a muffin at home that is crave worthy, all on its own?
If anyone can turn an ordinary English muffin into an exceptional breakfast treat filled with nooks and crannies, it's America's Test Kitchen. I'm wasn't completely convinced that making homemade English muffins would get me to put aside my jar of peanut butter, but it was certainly worth a try.
2 3/4 cups bread flour
1 Tablespoon yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup + 6 Tablespoons warm whole milk
2 Tablespoons honey
5 Tablespoons cornmeal
2 Tablespoons butter
Let muffins cool completely on wire rack.
Split muffins with fork or knife.
Toast and serve.
Well it turns out, I really DO like plain English muffins. As I suspected, I was eating the wrong kind of muffins all this time. Homemade from scratch English muffins are AMAZING! And I can eat them plain - without any toppings. And when I do add my favorite toppings or filings, they're even more amazing.
Summer nights at the Davis house mean engaging in epic corn hole tournaments and board games competitions. We love late night movie marathons, ice cream shop visits and evening swim sessions. The three of us have to go our separate ways most days but when we come together in the evening, we make the most out of these warm, humid summer nights.
I know that I've hit full blown summer mode when I start staying up past my usual 10:00 bed time. (Normally, my body just shuts down at precisely 10 pm every night - regardless of what I'm doing or where I am.) 🤣 For some reason, I'm oddly energized and invigorated by summer nights I find myself wide awake and making smore's on the grill at 11:30 at night. 🤷🏻♀️ These late summer nights are amazing but they make it harder and harder to drag myself out of bed before 7:00 AM with each passing day.
Hold on to your hats folks, because if you struggle to get yourself out of bed in the summer like me - I'm about to make your morning a whole lot easier. Meet your new incentive to get your butt out of bed - the magical Breakfast Cookie. I'm willing to bet that if you have a batch of these in your freezer, you'll wake up thinking about them and dare I say - leap out of bed to get one, the minute that you wake up.
Since I've started making these cookies, I've gone from dragging myself out from under the covers in sloth-like fashion to springing out of bed kangaroo style. What can I say? I'm motivated by food. 😂🤷🏻♀️ Feel free to adjust my recipe to suit your own needs. Swap out the pumpkin seeds with walnuts or the raisins for dried cherries. The key is to make them your own.
1 carrot, grated
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
3/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir together with a wooden spoon.
Scoop onto into rounds on a silpat lined cookie sheet. Flatten slightly.
Bake 25 minutes at 350.
I wrap these cookies individually in plastic bags and put them in the freezer. Freezing them is a great way to keep them fresh but it also stops me from eating all of them in one day. (You know a cookie is good when I have to hide them from myself!) A quick 30 seconds in the microwave is all the you need to defrost these little treats. I recommend making a double batch - you'll be glad you did.
My relationship with avocados started out innocently enough. I enjoyed the creamy slices that were served alongside my street taco or floating on top of my bowl of tortilla soup. But slowly, over time, my love for the little green fruit grew into a full blown obsession. The beloved avocado has worked its way into my heart and now I just can't get enough of them.
Avocados are a staple in our house. I don't even bother adding them to my grocery list anymore - I just pick up 1 or 2 every time I go to the grocery. It seems pointless to question whether or not we NEED more. Of course we need more avocado and the thought of facing a day without an avocado in the house is just a little heart breaking.
I love freshly made guacamole and I adore avocado toast. I put sliced avocado on just about everything that I can - salads, soups, sandwiches, tacos, etc. They just make everything better. I've even put them in muffins and burgers. Oh, and if you happen to be my server at a restaurant - save yourself the trouble of asking - YES, I do want avocado with my meal. I know it costs extra - it's worth it. Bring me all the avocados in the kitchen, please.
If you're still teetering on the edge of admiring avocados and a full blown avocado obsession - do NOT make these avocado fries. The crispy panko crust over the warm, creamy avocado slice is absolutely ridiculous and will likely turn you into a super fan. These baked avocado fries are so good and I dare say that they're one of my very favorite ways to enjoy my favorite superfood.
Baked Avocado Fries
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon water
1/2 cup panko
I was first introduced to avocado fries at my favorite little Mexican restaurant. They serve perfectly browned, deep fried, panko crusted avocado slices as an appetizer alongside crispy tortilla rounds. They're just about the only deep fried fruit that I can see myself eating. I dare say that my baked (healthier) avocado fries are even better than the original deep fried version. You NEED these avocado fries in your life - trust me.
Leave it to me to take a simple, four ingredient recipe like peach dumplings and make it harder. While most home cooks are busy trying to simplify recipes, I'm over here, modifying recipes so they take TWICE as long to prepare. 🤣 Although it appears to most that I'm simply tying to waste more time in my kitchen, I'm actually just trying to figure out how to get the best possible outcome from each recipe that I make.
The most basic peach dumpling recipes have four ingredients: peaches, crescent rolls, cinnamon sugar and butter. What could be easier? I've made this 4 ingredient dumpling recipe and I wasn't at all dissatisfied with my experience but part of the joy that I find in dessert, comes from the process of making it. I actually LIKE the feel of soft dough in my hands and the smell of peaches simmering on the stove. The investment in time that is takes to make homemade dumplings actually makes the experience of eating them, even more rewarding.
I'm certainly not going to be recipe shaming anyone for making the 4 ingredient peach dumplings. They're quick, they're easy and they're downright tasty. But if WANT to make your own dumpling dough and peach filling, you need to try this recipe inspired by America's Test Kitchen. For me, the results are worth the added effort but you decide for yourself. Oh and a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream is an absolute must for this scrumptious dessert.
1 1/2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole milk
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
4 large peaches, peeled and cut into 4 wedges
3/4 cup water
6 Tablespoons butter, cut into 6 pieces
1/3 cup + 1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup peach preserves
1 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Bake 45 minutes at 350.
Disclaimer: I'm fairy certain that the peaches used in this recipe came from South Carolina but for arguments sake, let's just say this is a peach recipe from the Peach State. 🍑
This year, we decided to kick off the summer with a Memorial Day clambake. I have to admit that I was a little intimidated by the thought of tackling a whole clambake by myself. The clams, the shrimp, the corn, the potatoes, the sausage - that's a lot of
food for one person to prepare. I've dabbled a bit in trying to steam clams but I've never actually made a whole clam-bake, complete with all the trimmings. Not to mention the fact that most clambakes feed 20-30 and we are a family of 3 right now.
My dad has always been the clambake King of our family. He makes EPIC clambakes every Fall. I don't want to even try and recreate my dad's ultimate clambake so I've decided to go a different direction and develop my own clambake style. The less traditional - grilled clambake. Not sure if grilled clambakes even qualify as a "clambake" but I've got to say - it worked out pretty great for me.
Don't be intimidated by the lengthy ingredient list, or by the number of steps in the recipe. Preparing a clambake is a process. Embrace the journey and put your own stamp on the recipe. I cut this recipe in half and it was perfect for 3-4 people.
1/3 cup fresh basil
1/3 cup fresh dill
1/4 cup fresh chives
1 cup mayonnaise
1 serrano pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
6 cloves garlic, 2 minced & 4 sliced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons water
24 jumbo shrimp in shell, deveined
1 Tablespoon sugar
24 littleneck clams, scrubbed
3 pounds fingerling potatoes
1/2 cup olive oil
2 pounds sausage (I used a caprese chicken sausage)
4 ears corn, shucked
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine
Serve with lemon wedges, reserved herbs and herbed mayonnaise.
Here's the skinny of the grilled clambake. 1.) The herb mayonnaise sauce is completely unnecessary. Everything is SUPER flavorful anyway and we didn't see any need to add additional sauce or herbs to any of the seafood or vegetables. 2.) The corn does not need to be drenched in garlic butter. The grilled corn would have been just as tasty with just a sprinkling of the fresh herbs. 3.) The broth that the clams cook in is by far the most tasty part of this whole recipe. Do not throw it away or waste it. Serve it on the side and mop up every ounce of this liquid gold with your shrimp, clams or extra bread.
We devoured this platter of goodness in no time. It took about an hour and a half to prepare all of the food but it was definitely worth it. Sooooo tasty.
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