Cilantro Garlic Butter

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You guys… I think this is the best butter I’ve made so far. Its such a good flavor combo and goes well with so many things. You need a stand mixer for this recipe (you can use a hand mixer too but it’ll take a while and your arm will get tired)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint of heavy whipping cream (or 1 quart if you want more butter, double everything if you use a quart)
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions:

  1. Combine heavy whipping cream, cilantro, black pepper, garlic powder and salt in a large bowl
  2. Set mixer to medium speed and mix for about 15 minutes (it’ll take about 25-30 minutes for a quart of whipping cream). You will see the cream thicken first, then you’ll start to see globs of butter forming and the rest of the cream thinning and forming buttermilk. When the globs start forming, it gets very splashy, so I suggest putting a towel around/over the bowl and turning the mixer speed down a bit.
  3. Once you see lots of globs and some buttermilk (liquid), you’re done mixing (see picture below)
  4. Pour off the buttermilk into a jar (you can use this later for cooking a creamy sauce or whatever you want).
  5. Then place butter globs into a cheesecloth or towel and squeeze as much buttermilk out of it as you can. This will make the butter keep longer
  6. Store it in parchment paper. If you squeezed out the buttermilk well it will keep for about 1-2 weeks in the fridge and about 1 month in freezer
  7. Enjoy!

*** You can use the leftover buttermilk to make a sauce for pasta, rice or potatoes***

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Banana pancakes with maple caramelized peaches

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These are my go-to pancakes. They are easy to make and the peach maple topping really adds something decadent and unique to them.

This recipes makes about 12 smaller pancakes or 6-7 regular sized pancakes

Ingredients:

Pancakes:

  • 2 bananas mashed
  • 2 cups of pancake mix of your choice (or 2 cups all purpose flour and 1 tsp baking soda)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup half and half or milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp butter

Topping:

  • 1 peach finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

Instructions:

  1. Combine all pancake ingredient except butter in a bowl and mix together until smooth. The batter should be liquid but not runny, like the consistency of a creamy sauce. If its too runny add more flour. If its too thick, add more water
  2. Heat butter on large pan or griddle
  3. Using a small ladle (about 2 tbsp), pour mixture onto pan or griddle. Adjust amount of batter based on how many pancakes you want. Turn to heat to medium and cover
  4. Flip pancakes after about 1-2 minutes
  5. For the topping: In a small/medium pan heat up 1 tbsp butter
  6. Add brown sugar and mix with butter until it forms a relatively uniform mixture
  7. Add peach slices and turn heat to medium
  8. Flip peaches around with spatula until they start to soften a bit
  9. Add maple syrup and mix it around with the peaches
  10. Turn heat to medium low, mixing occasionally, and cook for about 5 minutes
  11. Serve pancakes topped with the maple peaches
  12. Enjoy!
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Tri-tip steak topped avocado salad

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Ingredients:

  • 2-4 pieces of tri-tip (4-6oz each)
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp corn starch
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp chopped scallions
  • 1/4 finely chopped red onion
  • 1 tbsp butter

Instructions:

  1. Combine red wine vinegar, salt, sugar, soy sauce, olive oil, pepper and corn starch inborn and mix well. Place steak in same bowl or into ziplock and pour mixture into bag.
  2. Shake the bag or flip the meat around in the bowl to coat with marinade. Marinate for 30-60 minutes
  3. While marinating, prepare all the ingredients for the avocado topping
  4. Heat a large pan with some butter
  5. Sear steak on both side for about 1-2 minutes on each side, then decrease heat to medium and cover the pan. Cook until internal temp is 130-135F for medium rare or about 145 F for medium
  6. Allow meat to rest on a covered plate for 5 minutes
  7. Mix all the avocado ingredients together and serve on top of steak
  8. Enjoy!

 

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Cilantro shrimp with rice pilaf

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This recipe will include both the shrimp and the rice. I suggest making the rice first because the shrimp are super quick.

For the shrimp:

Ingredients:

  • 1 lbs of shrimp peeled and de-veined
  • 1.5 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter (melted)

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Instructions:

  1. Preheat broiler to 500
  2. In a large bowl mix together paprika, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper
  3. Mix in melted butter, garlic and cilantro
  4. Allow to marinate for 15 minutes
  5. Place on broil-safe baking dish and cook for 2 minutes, then flip and cook another 2 minutes

For the rice pilaf:

Ingredients

  • 2 2/3 cup low-sodium vegetable broth (use chicken or beef broth if you are making this rice with meat)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. kosher sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 onion powder
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/3 cup orzo
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro (or parsley)

Directions
  1. In a medium bowl add the vegetable broth, butter, salt, garlic powder, pepper, paprika, and onion powder. Heat in microwave for 2 minutes
  2. In a large skillet set over medium heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the orzo and cook until brown, about 4-6 minutes.
  3. Add the rice and cook until it turns bright white, about 5-7 minutes.IMG_3170
  4. Pour the warm broth mixture into the skillet, stir to combine. Once the mixture simmers, cover and cook for 12-15 minutes, on medium-low heat. Remove the cover, add cilantro, cover and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes or until all of the broth is absorbed.
  5. Enjoy!

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Spicy butter

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This butter has a nice little kick to it. It goes really well with seafood, but also other dishes. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the butter itself once I drained and squeezed all the buttermilk out. But it basically looked the same as my prior butter recipe, but more red. See my prior herbed butter recipe here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint of heavy whipping cream (or 1 quart if you want more butter, double everything if you use a quart)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions:

  1. Combine heavy whipping cream, paprika, pepper, chili powder, cayenne pepper and salt in a large bowl
  2. Set mixer to medium speed and mix for about 15 minutes (it’ll take about 30 minutes for a quart of whipping cream). You will see the cream thicken first, then you’ll start to see globs of butter forming and the rest of the cream thinning and forming buttermilk. When the globs start forming, it gets very splashy, so I suggest putting a towel around/over the bowl.
  3. Once you see lots of globs and some buttermilk (liquid), you’re done mixing.
  4. Pour off the buttermilk into a jar (you can use this later for cooking a creamy sauce or whatever you want).
  5. Then place butter globs into a cheesecloth or towel and squeeze as much buttermilk out of it as you can. This will make the butter keep longer
  6. Store it in parchment paper. If you squeezed out the buttermilk well it will keep for about 1-1.5 weeks in the fridge and about 1 month in freezer
  7. Enjoy!

*** You can use the leftover buttermilk to make a sauce for pasta, rice or potatoes***

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Basil lemon garlic bread

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Ingredients:

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  • 1 packet of yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups warm milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (and another 1/2 tbsp for brushing)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups of rye flour
  • coarse salt for sprinkling on top of bread
  • 1/2 tsp of dry basil for sprinkling
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 garlic cloves minced

Instructions:

  1. In a medium sized bowl mix the yeast, sugar, and warm water.
  2. Set aside for 5 minutes or until foamy. If it doesn’t foam that means the yeast is dead and you need to start over
  3. Whisk the milk, honey, salt, olive oil, and baking soda together and add it to the yeast mixture.
  4. Add fresh basil and lemon juice and mix
  5. Add 3 cups of all purpose flour (1 cup at a time) and mix until smooth. Use a mixer for this if you can
  6. Add the rye flour, one cup at a time, keeping mixer on low speed.
  7. Once the dough pulls from the sides of the bowl take it out it from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Knead a little bit
  8. Place in bowl, cover with towel or plastic wrap and leave it alone and let it rise for 1.5 hour
  9. Preheat oven to 400F.
  10. At this point you can just put the dough in baking dish lined with parchment paper (this will make it easier to take out). Or you can braid it by splitting the dough into 3 pieces.
  11. Brush the tops of the loaves with olive oil and sprinkle coarse salt, then dry basil, lemon zest and then garlic
  12. Bake for 12 minutes. Take out and spray with some water. This will crisp the tops a bit. Bake another 13 minutes.
  13. Remove loaf from oven
  14. Allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes
  15. Enjoy!

**Notes: If you want a crisper crust, brush the bread with egg instead of olive oil. You could also use melted butter instead of olive oil. I think my favorite is to brush with egg before baking and butter after baking***

***If you dont have rye flour, you can just use all purpose flour for the whole thing***

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Magic cake

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This is a really cool cake. You make just one batter pour it into a baking dish and you end up with a 3 layered cake! I had never heard of this before, but apparently its been around for a while on different baking and cooking blogs. I got this recipe from JoCooks (https://www.jocooks.com/bakery/cakes/magic-cake/). I actually made all 3 versions of the cake that she has on her site (original, Nutella and lemon). Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos of the Nutella cake, but next time I make it I definitely will because it was really delicious! This recipe is for her original cake. I made a few small tweaks to the recipe based on making this cake a few times and realizing some things that make the process easier and create those 3 layers.

The original cake is very light and airy. It has 3 layers: a fudge-like dense layer, a custard middle layer and a top airy layer.

So here is the recipe with the changes I made:

Ingredients:

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  • 4 eggs at room temperature (separated into egg yolks and egg whites)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 8 tbsp butter unsalted and melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk lukewarm (heat in microwave for 1 minute to get it to the right temperature)
  • powdered sugar for dusting cake

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F degrees. Grease a 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish
  2. Separate the eggs and beat the egg whites with a standing mixer if you have one, until stiff peaks form. (I usually just let the mixer do the work here and at the same time hand mix the other ingredients in a different bowl)

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  3. *I suggest doing this part by hand (using a whisk or fork), I think it came out better when I did it this way.* Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add melter butter and vanilla extract and continue beating for another minute or two after which you can add the flour and mix it in until fully incorporated.
  4. Slowly start adding the milk (about 1/2 cup at a time) and beat until everything is well mixed together. (if you’re using a mixer here, this ill get super messy and splatter)
  5. Now add the egg whites to the bowl. Fold them in gently and mix by hand. You want to leave some little globs floating around, so don’t mix it completely. It should look like the picture below, on the right

  6. Pour batter into baking dish and bake for 40-50 minutes or until the top is lightly golden. My oven took 45 minutes pretty consistently *According to JoCooks: The baking time can vary greatly for this cake. I’ve baked this cake in 3 different ovens and I’ve always needed different times which were from 40 to 70 minutes. Test it after 40 minutes to see what it looks like. The cake is done when it only jiggles slightly but feels firm to touch.*
  7. Sprinkle some powdered sugar after cake has cooled.
  8. Enjoy!

It doesn’t look super impressive when it comes out. Kind of just looks like a poundcake, but the magic happens when you slice into it and see 3 layers!

Below is a photo of the full cake, a slice of the lemon magic cake I made and a slice of the original cake. Though these pictures are not amazing, you can see the layers. So give it a try, I promise its easy!

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Sweet & spicy bacon wrapped chicken with kale and caramelized walnuts

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This meal was really amazing, especially considering that it came about from me thinking, “hmm what do we have in the house to eat?”. I has a really great flavor combination, its easy to make and it will leave your guest saying “wow!”

I would suggest brining the chicken if you can, but if you don’t have time you can skip that step.

Ingredients:

Brine:

  • 1 cup boiled water
  • 2.5 tbsp table salt
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 tsp pepper

Main meal:

  • 4-6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 4-6 piece of bacon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp chili power
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Kale and walnut side dish

  • 4-5 leaves of fresh kale, chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup whole or halved walnuts
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp butter and another 1/2 tsp butter

Sauce

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp corn starch mixed with cold water (do this once you’re actually making the sauce)
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • pinch of cinnamon

Instruction:

  1. If you are not going to brine the chicken, skip steps 1-4. Combine 1 cup of hot water with salt and pepper and mix well until salt dissolves.
  2. Place chicken in a shallow dish that is deep enough to accommodate 3 cups of water and cover the chicken completely.
  3. In a large bowl combine hot water mix with cold water and pour over the chicken
  4. Let stand in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours or overnight
  5. Preheat oven to 400 F
  6. Combine chili powder, garlic powder, cinnamon, brown sugar and paprika in a small bowl and mix
  7. Brush the spice mix on to each piece of chicken, front and back
  8. Wrap each chicken piece with 1 piece of bacon
  9. Place all the chicken onto a baking dish
  10. Bake for 35 minutes. You can broil at the end for 2 minutes or so to crisp the tops. But you don’t need to do that
  11. While the chicken is baking, make your side dish. Heat a medium pan with some butter
  12. Add walnuts and brown sugar, turn heat to medium and stir frequently so the walnuts get covered in the melted sugar
  13. After about 5-7 minutes, remove walnuts from heat and carefully place them individually on a piece of parchment paper. You need to do this, or all your walnuts with cool to form a big sugar and walnut glob
  14. In a large pan, heat 1/2 tsp butter and add the kale, sprinkle with salt and lemon juice. Mix frequently and cook on medium heat until kale gets more tender.
  15. In a small pot combine buttermilk, cinnamon, salt, pepper and whipping cream and bring to soft boil, dont let it boil over, then turn heat to medium.
  16. Mix cornstarch with cold water until its is completely liquid and add it to the sauce. Stir it.
  17. Allow the sauce to heat a bit more for 2 minutes or so and turn the heat to low
  18. Toss walnuts into pan with kale and mix it together
  19. Remove chicken from oven and serve with kale and walnuts. Pour a small amount of buttermilk sauce over the chicken
  20. Enjoy!

 

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Homemade buttermilk rye bread with rosemary

You guys, this bread is soooo good! I actually slightly regret making it because I want to eat all of it.

I used the buttermilk that I had left over from the butter I made last week, but you can use regular buttermilk. It really makes the bread soft and delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet of yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1.5 cups warm buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups of rye flour
  • 1/4 cup butter melted and cooled down
  • 1/2 tsp of rosemary

Instructions:

  1. In a medium sized bowl mix the yeast, sugar, and warm water.
  2. Set aside for 5 minutes or until foamy. If it doesn’t foam that means the yeast is dead and you need to start over
  3. Whisk the buttermilk, honey, salt, and baking soda together and add it to the yeast mixture.
  4. Add 3 cups of all purpose flour and mix until smooth. Use a mixer for this if you can
  5. Pour in the butter until it is totally mixed into the batter.
  6. Add the rye flour, one cup at a time, keeping mixer on low speed.
  7. Once the dough pulls from the sides of the bowl take it out it from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Knead until it’s elastic
  8. Place in bowl, cover with towel or plastic wrap and leave it alone and let it rise for 1.5 hour
  9. Split the dough into 2 loaves. Place into greased loaf pans and cover again. Allow to rise for 45-55 minutes or until the tops of the breads reach the top of the bread pans
  10. Brush the tops of the loaves with butter and sprinkle with a bit of rosemary
  11. Preheat oven to 400F.
  12. Bake for 15 minutes. Take out and spray with some water. This will crisp the tops a bit. Bake another 15 minutes.
  13. Remove loaves from oven and brush with a bit melted butter.
  14. Allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes
  15. Enjoy!

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Black bean burger and portobello black bean burger

As I’m sure you guys can tell, I’m not a vegetarian. That being said, I’ve been trying to integrate at least one day a week when I don’t eat meat. I think it helps me expand my horizons a bit and cook out of my comfort zone.

These black bean burgers were the first vegetarian meal I truly enjoyed and would make again.

So here’s the recipe for the portobello black bean burger (if you want the regular black bean burger just ignore the mushroom part and use buns).

Ingredients:

Black bean burger (makes about 5 patties)

  • 2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 carrot finely shredded
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup quick oats
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheese of your choice

Portobello bun:

  • 5 portobello mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp butter softened
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Topping:

  • 1 medium tomato chopped
  • 1.5 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1 tsp parmesan or shredded cheese of you choice

Instructions:

  1. Heat one tbsp of olive oils in pan. Add onions, garlic, salt and pepper and cook on medium/high heat stirring frequently until the onions are translucent
  2. Add carrots, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper and cook on medium heat until carrots become soft and tender.
  3. While the veggies are cooking, place the 2 cans of drained and rinsed black beans in a large bowl and heat in microwave for 30 sec
  4. Using a masher, fork or food processor mash the black beans until they become like a paste. Its ok if you have some little chunks of black beans
  5. Add the carrot and onion mix to the bowl of black beans and mix well
  6. Add flour, quick oats and cheese to bowl and mix well
  7. Form patties with you hands. Place them in the freezer for 10-15 minutes
  8. While the patties are chilling, rinse and dry the portobellos
  9. Season both sides of the portobellos with salt, pepper and garlic powder
  10. Heat a skillet with 1/2 tsp of butter and place mushrooms on it
  11. Cut the remaining butter into small chunks and place them into the mushrooms (the inner side of the mushrooms). Cover the pan and set heat to medium
  12. Once the butter in the mushrooms has melted flip them over and cook another 2-3 minutes or until tender. Set aside.
  13. Remove patties from freezer and place on pan. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side on medium heat.
  14. In a small bowl combine tomatoes, cilantro, salt and 1/2 tsp balsamic vinaigrette
  15. Serve black bean patties on top of the portobello mushrooms topped with tomatoes and cilantro mix. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top. And viola!
  16. Enjoy!
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