Cauliflower Steaks

cauliflower

It’s a well known fact that fresh is always better than frozen products. When it comes to vegetables though, the shelf life for them being fresh and kept in the fridge goes faster than I can keep up with in my back and forth work schedule.

During the slow winter months, also knows as our off season at the Country Club, I try to use this free time to do a lot more cooking at home. The only thing I wish this side of Cleveland would offer is more farmers markets. I would much rather spend my money there than at the grocery store any day. Even though I’m doing a lot more cooking at home, I’m still watching how much produce I bring home. I can only use up so much of it at one time during the week. Like I said, fresh vegetable always seem to wilt or rot on me before I get to using them.

I’ve always had a liking for cauliflower, raw or cooked didn’t matter to me. A fellow co-worker mentioned how she will make roasted cauliflower for her 2 little kids at home. She roasts it in the over with oil, salt and pepper and then sprinkles loads of Parmesan cheese and tops it with fresh made pesto, she really talked the roasted cauliflower recipe up. I figured if 2 kids under the age of 6 will eat it, it’s gotta be good. Usually I steam cauliflower so I was ready to try something different with roasting it. I took the basic ingredients: salt, pepper, and EVOO and added a few more spices to it to really make the flavor pop. The recipe makes the best entree, or side dish, you choose.

dsc_0690

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Total Time: 25 Minutes

Mise en Place:

  • 1 Head of Cauliflower, stem & leaves removed, cut (You will get 3 steaks out of 1 head)
  • 1/2 Cup EVOO
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning Blend
  • S&P, TT

Method of Prep:

  • Heat Oven to 350
  • Once cauliflower is cut, place on a sheet tray
  • In a small bowl mix together EVOO & seasonings
  • Using a pastry brush, brush oil over the front and back of cauliflower, brush along the tops and sides as well. Season with S&P.
  • Place in the oven and roast for 10 Minutes. Turn over and place back in the oven for an additional 15 minutes or until tops of cauliflower are golden brown.
  • Enjoy!
  • 686

 

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

2016-11-08-19-11-08

Whats not to love about a classic plain cheesecake!? If made right, you don’t even need the fru fru additions of fresh fruit and whipped cream. I make at least 1 cheesecake every year, depending on the occasion will determine the flavor I choose to make. With autumn in full effect, I wanted to make the one pumpkin flavored dessert I make each year. Last couple of years I’ve made a pumpkin roll and decided this time to make a pumpkin cheesecake. I get that pumpkin spice is over rated and over used, but I promise you this pumpkin swirl cheesecake via Juniors Cheesecakes will have you begging for more.

If you’re not familiar with Juniors (I wasn’t either, my Husband told me about them) they are known for the home of New York’s best cheesecake. You haven’t really lived until you’ve had Cheesecake at Juniors. Unless you plan on traveling to NYC anytime soon, using one of these recipes to make for your own is the closest you’ll get to the best cheesecake. Believe me when I say Cheesecake factory is good, but this is so much better! It has been voted number 1 cheesecake in NY for over 45 years, that’s saying something!

This recipe was borrowed from the Juniors website. Check out the site for other tasty treats and history! (Graham cracker crust is my own)

Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Total Time: 1 day.

Yield: 1, 9″ Round cake pan

Graham Cracker Crust:

-1 1/2 Cups Ground Graham Cracker crumbs.

-1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar

-6 Tablespoons Butter, melted

 

-Combine all ingredients and mix until well incorporated.

-Press mixture into 9″ pie plate.

-Place in the oven @ 350 degrees and bake until lightly browned. Remove and allow to cool completely.

dsc_0506

 

For the Cheesecake:

Mise en Place:

Four 8-ounce packages cream cheese (use only full fat), at room temperature
1 2/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs
3/4 cup heavy or whipping cream
1 cup canned pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more for sprinkling

Method of Prep:

1. Bake off graham cracker crust if you haven’t yet done so.

2. Put one package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl down several times. Blend in the remaining cream cheese, one package at a time, scraping down the bowl after each one. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the remaining 1 1/3 cups sugar, then the vanilla. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after adding each one. Beat in the cream just until completely blended. Be careful not to overmix!

3. Remove 1 1/2 cups of the batter and set aside. On low speed, blend the pumpkin and the 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice into the remaining batter. Gently spoon the pumpkin batter on top of the crust. Using a teaspoon, drop the white batter in small spoonfuls on top of the pumpkin batter, pushing it down slightly as you go. Using a thin, pointed knife, cut through the batter a few times in a “figure 8” design, just until white swirls appear.

4. Place the cake in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the sides of the springform. Bake until the edges are light golden brown and the top has golden and tan swirls, about 1 1/4 hours. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 2 hours (just walk away-don’t move it). Leave the cake in the pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely cold, preferably overnight or at least 4 hours.

5. Release and remove the sides of the springform, leaving the cake on the bottom of the pan. Place on a cake plate. Pipe whipped cream rosettes around the top edge of the cake. Lightly sprinkle the cream rosettes (page 26) with a little pumpkin pie spice. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Slice the cold cake with a sharp straight-edge knife, not a serrated one. Cover any leftover cake and refrigerate, or wrap and freeze for up to 1 month.

The Junior’s Way
For this cake, the bakers use canned pumpkin, the kind that’s 100-percent pure pumpkin purée, not canned pumpkin pie mix. This works better than cooked fresh pumpkin because the moisture and flavor are consistent, cake after cake.

juniors-chzcake

Apple Butter

apple-butter

Autumn, the years last loveliest smile. Were already half way through the season but it really hasn’t felt much like fall here in N.E Ohio in the last month with the unusually warmer weather we’ve been having, hey I’m not complaining though!  This week, the temperature finally started to dip back into the lower 60s with heavy clouds and even a little rain fall here and there. The crisp air is comforting as I warm up around a fire pit with a hot hazelnut latte from Starbucks in my hand and watch as the wind throws the leaves onto the ground. The sound of leaves crushing beneath my brown leather boots is a lovely reminder that its okay to let things go and to just breathe and have patience for whats to come in the near future.

I didn’t have much opportunity this fall to work with the seasonal produce. I finally made time to swing by my favorite fruit stand up near my Grandparents home in Port Clinton and grabbed a heavy bag of the best looking Gala apples a girl could pick. The first thing that came to my mind that I haven’t made before in the past was Apple butter. Of course I made apple pie as well, however that recipe is one everyone should already have.

This smooth, puree that spreads better than butter is super easy to make and goes great on pancakes or even a piece of toast. Heck, it’s even good enough to eat it off a spoon like peanut butter! However you choose to enjoy it, this recipe is worth making. If you’re looking for gift ideas to your friends and family for the holidays, which are just around the corner, why not make a large batch and can it up in a fun gift basket with pancake mix and other breakfast essentials; Just a fun idea!

apple-butter-2

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Total Time: 50 Minutes

Yield: Makes 4, 8oz Jars

Mise en place:

-8 Gala Apples, peeled, cut in medium chunks, seeds removed

-1 Cup Apple Cider

-1 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar, divided

-3/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

-1/4 Teaspoon Allspice

Method of Prep:

-Bring apples, cider and 1/2 cup sugar to a boil in a dutch oven over high heat. Cover leaving lid slightly ajar, and boil 20 minutes or until apples are tender and most of the liquid had evaporated; Stir every 5 minutes.

-Process cooked apples and cooking liquid in a blender until smooth. Return mixture to dutch oven. Stir in cinnamon, allspice and remaining 1 cup of sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat.

-Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered stirring often, 15 minutes or until thickened.

-Cool about 45 minutes. Spoon into airtight containers and refrigerate up to 2 months or freeze up to 6 months.

**Mix in 3 Tablespoons of Pumpkin puree to make a pumpkin apple butter!

2016-11-08-19-05-06

Monogram Cork Board

corks

Last year I did a similar post on a Monogram Letter where I used artificial flowers as a way to doctor up a large letter for decor around the house. This post is very similar to that but instead of flowers I’ve used wine corks. If you didn’t already know this, I have a slight, some may say addiction to wine. But I also work in the front of the house of a Country Club where I open 2-6 bottles of wine a week, sometimes many more and lots of my corks come from work lol so not ALL these corks are from me poppin bottles every night. I’m sure many of you have seen these cork board projects on pinterest, and if you haven’t well this is a very simple project and cute one to have around in the office.

This monogram letter was made for my Chef who got married this past weekend. As a wedding gift, I made them this little board of their new last name so they have something nice to hang some wedding photos on! If you aren’t able to collect wine corks as fast as me, you can find them on sale in most craft stores as well. These monogram boards make excellent gifts for the holidays and birthdays. Also it’s an hour long project that costs under $15! Can’t beat that. Happy crafting ya’ll!!

monogram-g

Mise en Place:

-1 Large Monogram Letter (I used wood for this project)

-50+ Wine Corks

-Hot Glue Gun

-Glue Sticks (At least 5)

-Colored Paint (optional)

-1 Sawtooth Hanger with Nails

Method Of Prep:

-If planning to hang this board, attach sawtooth hanger with nails on back of board using a hammer.

-If you plan to paint the letter, first paint the back and allow to dry. Then paint the front and sides, allow to dry.

-Begin gluing on the corks one at a time until the board is fully covered. Depending on the shape of the letter, some areas might be tricky to fill, just do what you can to make the cork fit, even if you have to cut some in half. There may end up being some gaps throughout the letter, which is normal…some areas you really cant fully cover.

-Hang and decorate the board.

monogram-g-2

Easy Project Ideas

This is one of my longer blog posts. I want to begin sharing craft ideas and I have a lot of catching up to do. Rather put up 50 separate posts, I combined a few into 1. Another reason why I wanted to put together this blog, was so I could share my passion for crafting along with cooking. I guess it’s a part of my genes that I have a small creative side. My dad for example, is a great artist. He is so good at drawing that I asked him to draw out my next tattoo which he still has yet to do…I guess he just really doesn’t want me to get more ink haha.

I’ve always found ways of keeping busy and ever since Pinterest dropped on the internet I have been crazy surfing for new recipes, decor ideas, quotes and I even used it to plan the perfect wedding for myself. I do owe Pinterest a lot of credit, not everything I put together I’ve come up with on my own…but many of it is ideas Ive gathered up from other pinners and turned them into my own.

If you’re looking for some inspiration on something new to make, maybe for a gift, group project, decor whatever your plan, here are 3 projects I’ve made recently that are super easy and are sure to please everyone. My instructions might be a little vague, so If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to shoot me a message. Thanks for stopping by, and have a great weekend ya’ll! xoxo

fall-door-wreath-beginning

Project 1: Fall Door Wreath

Time to Make: 45 Minutes

Mise en Place:

-1 Small Styrofoam round (found in the wreath area of craft stores)

-1 Roll (your choice) Fall themed ribbon

-1 Small bunch (your choice) artificial seasonal flower

-Large Ribbon (your choice) of color, I went with orange to go with the Halloween season

-Hot Glue Gun

fall-door-wreath-middle

Method of Prep:

-Unravel about 3 feet of ribbon from the roll. Glue a small amount at the end of the ribbon and place it onto the wreath.

-Begin weaving the ribbon in and out of wreath until you get to the end. Glue the end piece on. Unravel another few feet of ribbon and continue the process until wreath is fully covered.

-Next, glue on the ribbon. If you find tying the ribbon on with string will hold better, you can do that.

-Lastly, Glue on the flowers.

-Hang on the front door and make all your neighbors jealous!

fall-door-wreath-end

Project 2: Wine Cork Napkin Holder

napkin-holder

Total Time: 45 Minutes

Mise en Place:

-35 Corks

-Hot glue gun

-Napkins!

Method of Prep:

-Glue corks together in sets of 5. I glued the sides of each cork to the next one.

-Assemble using the picture as a reference.

-Set out on the kitchen or dining room tables filled with a seasonal napkin. OR gift to someone for the holidays!

napkin-holder-2

Project 3: Chore Board

chore-board-beginning

Total Time: 30 Minutes

Mise en Place:

-Chalk Board (I found this Owl one in the Dollar bin at Target!)

-Chalk Paint Pens

-Ruler

-Small clothespins

-Stickers for pins (as a way to mark who is who)

Method of Prep:

-Write a list of items you want to mark on the chore board. Using a ruler, draw as many lines as needed to mark for the columns.

-On the clothespins, come up with a system of how you want to mark what clothespin belongs to who. On mine, the gold paws are mine and blue are my husbands. Either stick or glue on the stickers, whatever will hold longer.

-Write chores on the board and place pins on who’s turn it is for each task.

-Hang in desired room of house.

chore-board-end