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Tasty Thursday – Taste of the South

I am constantly on the hunt for the PERFECT recipe for 1. Biscuits (if Popeyes could just tell me their secret I’d forever be indebted, don’t judge until you’ve tried them, they’re heavenly) and 2. Corn Bread. I have tried dozens and they’re always good, but not amazing and nothing like what I ate when I lived in Georgia. It’s like the Holy Grail, hopefully more attainable but I’m always looking for it! If you have one, tried and true, please please please share. I’ll be forever grateful!

I found a pretty good recipe this weekend for the later of the two searches – Chive &  Jalapeño Corn Muffins. Earlier this summer when Matt and I went strawberry picking we bought a pepper plant. The peppers finally harvested so we plucked them off and decided to have something with a kick for dinner. I adapted the recipe from one I found in Cooking Light magazine and the entire dozen were finished by Monday (caveat – I ate one for breakfast, 2 with Split Pea soup for lunch, and another with Monday’s dinner, oops!). I served the muffins for BBQ chicken on the grill, apple sauce, and my favorite sweet potato salsa for our veggie (it’s chocked full of super foods!). Overall it was a pretty delicious Sunday supper!

Here’s the recipe, enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups fat-free buttermilk – next time I’m using full-fat
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 3 ounces grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 3/4 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon of diced jalapeño

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Combine the buttermilk, olive oil, and egg

3. Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (through pepper) in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Make a well in center of flour mixture. Add milk mixture; stir just until moist.

4. Stir in 2 ounces of cheese (about 1/2 cup), 2 tablespoons chives and all jalapeños. Spoon into 12 muffin cups coated with butter (cooking spray burns in muffin pans and smells awful!). Sprinkle muffins evenly with remaining 1 ounce cheese and remaining 1 tablespoon chives.

5. Bake at 400° for 12 minutes or until a fork inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Remove muffins from tins; cool on a wire rack.

Wedding Wednesday Fact

Happy Wedding Wednesday!

I read an article from the WSJ yesterday (thanks to my hubby for sending it my way!, titled “Delayed Development: 20-Somethings Blame the Brain“. The article discusses brain development and it’s effects on 20-somethings. The author brought up points about parents being worried about their 20-something children still living at home, still trying out professions, not finding a partner, and so on. The advice – not to worry! Our brains our not fully developed until our late 20s. This may even help explain why we’re waiting a bit to get married!

“As recently as the 1960s, the average age of first marriage for women in the U.S. was 20, and men 22. Today, the average is 26 for women and 28 for men.”

The Knot found average ages to be even higher: 29 for women and 30 for men!

No matter your age we hope you’re having a great wedding season!

 

 

Image courtesy of Kiss the Groom

Tasty Thursday – Homemade Za!

Friday nights are always pizza and movie night with the hubby and I so look forward to this part of the week! Just a few more weeks until we are reunited and can resume this part of our lives. Until then, I’m making pizza for my mother-in-law and myself tonight and it’s going to be delish! When it’s Matt and me at home, I usually make ½ and ½ – girly/manly. He gets mozzarella, homemade marinara sauce, green peppers and fresh pepperoni right off the log. I prefer a white pizza and this has become my go-to: fontina cheese w/ sautéed mushrooms and spinach! That’s what we’re having tonight and I can’t wait! Serve with a fresh arugula salad and you’ve got one awesome dinner.

In my opinion, the key to good pizza is homemade dough. Don’t worry, it’s not that difficult to make! It is much easier with a food processor but if you saw me in the kitchen last night screaming and crying at the 30-year old machine I had to work with I think you’d be fine to do it by hand.

This dough recipe is direct from the back of the Fleischmann’s yeast packet and is yummy and reliable. I personally don’t mess with whole-wheat flour so you’re on your own there. I’ve tried it and made pizza that tastes like very thick bread. Yuck.

Pizza Dough Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 envelope Fleischmann’s® Pizza Crust Yeast OR RapidRise Yeast

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive OR vegetable oil

1 cup very warm water (120° to 130°F)

Topping Ingredients:

Minced garlic

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

Portabella mushrooms

Fontina cheese, lightly shredded/torn (it’s very soft so don’t get upset if it just falls apart, it all melts the same way!)

Parmesan cheese, finely shredded

Fresh baby spinach leaves 

Pizza Dough Directions:

Insert metal blade in food processor bowl. Add flour, un-dissolved yeast, and salt; process 5 to 10 seconds to combine. Add oil. Begin processing, then slowly pour water through feed tube just until ball forms, about 10 to 15 seconds (all water may not be needed). Continue processing 60 seconds to knead dough. Carefully remove dough and blade from processor bowl. Shape dough into ball.

If you’re not using the dough immediately, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or freeze until ready to use. I always prefer to make a few rounds of dough while I’m at it so several are ready in the freezer!

Topping Directions:

Preheat over to 400’. Sprinkle parchment paper with corn meal (no stick!) and roll out dough (I usually do rectangular zas because it’s easy and quick!). In a small bowl, combine olive oil, salt, pepper and minced garlic. Using a spoon or brush, lightly cover dough with mixture. Top with fontina cheese and parmesan.

In a pan, sauté mushrooms in olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper until soft. Place mushrooms on top of cheese pizza. Add spinach leaves.

Bake pizza for 15-20 minutes (keep an eye on it!) until cheese is melted and crust is golden.

I top mine with red pepper flakes but not everyone thinks that’s normal…

Enjoy!!

 

Have a favorite pizza recipe? Share it with us below!

Wedding Wednesday – Summer Cocktails

While the stores may be in full Halloween mode (it’s a bit early folks!) it’s still blazing hot summer in New England which leads me to assume it’s pretty warm everywhere else as well! One of the best ways to have your guests cool down at a summer soiree is to have refreshing drink options! This weekend we attended a gorgeous wedding at the Boston Public Library and their signature drink was a blueberry pomegranate spritzer w/ a skewer of fresh blueberries – YUM!  Even better – they offered the drink sans booze so you could have a refresher or you could add your liquor of choice to jazz it up a bit!

Here are some delicious drink ideas we’d love to try before the leaves start to fall! Did you have a spectacular drink at your wedding? Please share!

{Southern Living}

{Martha Stewart}

 {Weddings & Wellies}

Tasty Thursday – Summer Salads Rd 3

Summer is the best time for salads and there are so many delicious options! This is one of my go-tos and is great as a meal or for lunch the next day. We even served this at our wedding we love it so much! Another recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa, gotta love Ina!

Greek Panzanella

INGREDIENTS

1 green pepper, chopped in 1″ pieces

1 red pepper, chopped in 1″ pieces

1 yellow pepper, chopped in 1″ pieces

1 cucumber, chopped in 1″ pieces

1 red onion, chopped in 1″ pieces

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 block of feta cheese

1 french baguette, sliced into thick chunks, 1-2″ wide

DRESSING INGREDIENTS

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. dijon mustard

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

1/2 cup olive oil

 

DIRECTIONS

1. Sautee bread in pan with olive oil, salt & pepper until toasted

2. Chop all vegetables and feta and combine in bowl

3. Mix together all dressing ingredients

4. Add croutons and dressing to veggies and let marinate for 30 minutes + before serving

 

Enjoy!!!

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