Food & Drink - Recipes

Three-Ingredient Tiramisu Stacks

05.27.2015

As a foodie, I’ve indulged in many desserts over the years. But there’s just something about tiramisu that keeps it locked in at the #1-spot on my list. Maybe it’s the creamy texture from the Italian mascarpone cheese. Or perhaps it’s the espresso-soaked lady fingers. Cocoa powder dusted all over? Definitely could be! So with spring entertaining in full swing and the weather heating up, I thought it would be fun to put my own spin on this no-bake dessert favorite using just three ingredients layered between Triscuit crackers.

Perfect to serve as a savory-sweet appetizer for a spring brunch in the garden or as a light, simple dessert after a big family-style meal, the Triscuit is more than just a cracker; it becomes the all-important base for this ‘tiramisu-inspired’ recipe creation. I also love that the size of each Triscuit cracker is ideal for just about two bites, so this recipe is best served in individual portions. Elegant, delicious and mini, too! Like this recipe? For even more creative ways to top your favorite Triscuit cracker, be sure to follow Triscuit on Pinterest and don’t forget to hop on over to follow Triscuit on Instagram, too!

(Makes one serving; suggested serving size is two topped crackers per person)

Ingredients:

2 Triscuit Original crackers

Ricotta cheese

Coffee liqueur to taste

Dark chocolate (grated and melted)

How to:

Begin by mixing the coffee liqueur into the ricotta cheese. I used enough of the liqueur so the coffee taste is evident, but not overpowering. Since this recipe only uses three ingredients, I chose to use coffee liqueur to both flavor and sweeten the ricotta cheese. However, if you would prefer not to use liqueur, you can just use espresso of strong-brewed coffee instead. This can also be made ahead of time; just cover with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator until ready to assemble each dessert.

Next, melt some of the dark chocolate for drizzling on top of the “tiramisu” stack. Reserve some chocolate for grating on top of the ricotta cheese.

To assemble, place one Triscuit cracker on a plate. (For fun serving ideas, be sure to read on to the end of the post!) Next, spread some of the ricotta cheese mixture on top of the cracker. Using a microplane or cheese grater, grate dark chocolate on top of the ricotta cheese. Place another Triscuit cracker on top. Drizzle the melted dark chocolate on top. Garnish with additional grated chocolate.

Being of Italian ancestry, big family-style meals are a way of life; it’s the way I cook and entertain on a daily basis. The more, the merrier! My husband and I traveled to Italy for our honeymoon almost 9 years ago. We absorbed as much of our heritage and culture as possible in a two-week period. It was a magical experience, to say the least. At the end of each day, I indulged in either hazelnut gelato or — you guessed it — tiramisu. To this day, taking that first bite of tiramisu brings me back to Italy, sitting in the piazza with my handsome husband, watching people frolic about the square as we sipped espresso. I can’t wait to bring my children there one day soon so they can experience the culture and food, too!

Serving Ideas for Three-Ingredient Tiramisu:

  • Plate each individual dessert on a coffee cup saucer; serve a cup of hot coffee or espresso with the tiramisu
  • Serve each dessert alongside a big bowl of berries and fresh whipped cream for the ultimate summer indulgence
  • Serve additional Triscuit crackers with pieces of dark chocolate for those who may want to continue nibbling
  • Feel free to place a dollop of the coffee-infused ricotta cheese on the side of each plate
  • If serving family-style, arrange each tiramisu stack on a platter; garnish the platter with a smattering of melted chocolate and stud the melted chocolate with chocolate-covered espresso beans
  • Feature the tiramisu stacks as the star of a DIY coffee bar; include an assortment of coffees and Italian after-dinner cordials

Triscuit believes in simple things coming together to create something more.  Whether it’s just three ingredients on a Triscuit or about life, we believe that you (and Triscuit) are “Made for More”.

Triscuit sponsored this blog post. The opinions and text are all mine.

Bake - Food & Drink - Recipes

Pecan-Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

05.07.2015

If brunch is on the calendar for this weekend’s Mother’s Day festivities, then this flavorful, moist coffee cake is for you! My grandmother made this cake all the time when I was a kid; I remember the ‘grown-ups’ eating it as they sipped coffee and had conversation around the dining room table. In the center of the cake is a streusel made of sugar, cinnamon and chopped pecans. This combination of ingredients is also the topping for this delicious cake, providing a slightly crunchy, sweet crust on top of each slice. Best enjoyed with coffee or tea, this buttery cake is the perfect addition to any breakfast or brunch gathering.

pecan coffee cake

Pecan-Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake
 
Ingredients
  • 1 stick butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ pint sour cream
  • ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • FOR THE STREUSEL & TOPPING:
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease the bottom and sides of a tube or Bundt pan.
  3. Cream butter and 1 cup of sugar in a bowl with a hand mixer or using a stand mixer. Mix well until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs one at a time and mix well.
  5. Add sour cream and vanilla extract; mix.
  6. Gradually add the flour and continue mixing.
  7. Add the baking soda and baking powder; mix.
  8. In a small bowl, combine ½ cup sugar, cinnamon and chopped pecans to make the streusel and topping.
  9. Pour half of the batter into the bottom of the pan.
  10. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture on top of the batter.
  11. Pour the remaining batter on top of the streusel.
  12. Sprinkle remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture on top.
  13. Bake for about one hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  14. Allow to cool in the pan before removing.

 

Bake - Food & Drink - Recipes

Simplified Spring Living: Strawberry-Lemon Yogurt Loaf

04.27.2015

During the spring and summer months, I like to eat lighter meals and try to incorporate as many fresh fruits and veggies into my recipes as possible. I’m also a big fan of using citrus to brighten up my dishes and really make them pop. This super-moist loaf cake made with Greek yogurt, along with my morning cup of java, is the perfect way to start a sunny spring day. Studded with slices of fresh strawberries and lemon zest, it’s the perfect combination of ingredients to satisfy and delight your taste buds!

strawberry loaf cake

Simplified Spring Living: Strawberry-Lemon Yogurt Loaf
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (I recommend using 2% or full fat; non-fat may not give the cake the body it needs)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • Zest of one large lemon
  • ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • A good handful of fresh strawberries, rinsed and patted dry; sliced into quarters
  • ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8.5 x 4.5 loaf pan.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  3. In a large bowl. whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet.
  4. Fold in the oil with a rubber or silicone spatula, making sure that the batter is well mixed.
  5. Add in the sliced strawberries and gently fold them in.
  6. Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan.
  7. Bake for about one hour or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

 

Home & Garden

Simplified Spring Living: Spring Things

04.18.2015

Is it just me or does it seem like over the last week, everyone around you has more of a spring in their step? The birds are chirping, the flowers are popping up and for the first time since last fall, I dusted off my patio furniture and set out my pretty cushions (man, I can’t wait to spend more time out here!). Weeknight cooking is getting a bit easier because I can use my gas grill while the kids play on the swings (and that means less clean-up, too!) and… we are about to excavate a section of the yard to finally grow a vegetable garden — stay tuned for the details on that project coming soon! So in the spirit of all things SPRING, here are a few of my favorite things right now!

My early Mother's Day gift! Coral tote, Vera Bradley.

My early Mother’s Day gift! Coral tote, Vera Bradley.

Flip flop days are coming! Love these nautical-inspired flips from Brighton.

Flip flop days are coming! Now I just need a pedi! Love these nautical-inspired flips from Brighton.

Brass and glass! Terrarium boxes, Anthropologie.

Brass and glass! Terrarium boxes, Anthropologie.

Pre-treated wood corner plant stand, IKEA

Pre-treated wood corner plant stand, IKEA

Lemon Basil soy candle, Williams-Sonoma

Lemon Basil soy candle, Williams-Sonoma

My patio furniture! All-weather wicker, Raymour & Flanigan

My patio furniture! All-weather wicker, Raymour & Flanigan

Mini Jade succulent, Lowes; chubby bird planter, TJ Maxx

Mini Jade succulent, Lowes; chubby bird planter, TJ Maxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bake - Food & Drink - Recipes

Simplified Spring Living: Blueberry-Lemon Buttermilk Biscuits

04.14.2015

Light, fluffy and buttery are just a few words to describe these simple, spring-inspired drop biscuits. The sticky dough is a cinch to pull together (I think it literally took me five minutes!) — no mixer, no fancy gadgets, just a bowl and a wooden spoon! And just like that, adding these to your breakfast or brunch line-up — done!

The trio of flavors combine to create the ideal medley; the buttermilk offers a bit of tang, the lemon imparts a bright citrus note and the plump blueberries sweeten it all up perfectly. If you’re planning a brunch for Mother’s Day this year like I am, these simple drop-style biscuits are a must-make. If you have an extra few minutes to make them fresh that day, they are best enjoyed hot from the oven with a smattering of butter or jam. However, you can also make them the day before and warm them in the oven before serving. Another idea is to package them up for each guest to take home. It’s a a delicious gesture that’s sure to be remembered!

blueberry lemon biscuits

Simplified Spring Living: Blueberry-Lemon Buttermilk Biscuits
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 cup cold buttermilk
  • 1 stick of butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • About 6-8 ounces of fresh blueberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder. sugar and salt.
  4. In another bowl or 2-cup liquid measure, add the buttermilk and melted butter; stir until clumps form. Add in the lemon zest, lemon juice and blueberries, folding in gently so the blueberries don't break up.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and gently incorporate until a sticky dough forms.
  6. Using a tablespoon-size cookie scoop, drop the biscuit dough onto the baking sheets, about one inch apart. Don't worry if they aren't perfectly round, they look more home-style and rustic when they are free-formed.
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes or until lightly golden on top and bottom. Cool slightly on wire racks. Serve warm with butter or jam.

 

Bake - Food & Drink - Recipes

Simplified Spring Living: Coconut-Lime Pound Cake

03.30.2015

Bursting with spring-inspired flavors like sweet, toasted coconut and bright, tangy lime, Coconut-Lime Pound Cake is the ideal spring dessert. Not only is it oh-so-pretty on the plate, but it’s easy to pull together, too, making it the perfect addition to my Simplified Spring Living series. If you’re looking for a sweet ending to your Easter meal, try this simply elegant cake!

coconut lime cake 1

coconut lime cake 2

Simplified Spring Living: Coconut-Lime Pound Cake
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. fine salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk, plus 2 Tbsp. for icing
  • 1½ cups shredded coconut, toasted
  • 2 limes (1 for cake, 1 for icing)
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter and flour a loaf pan.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and granulated sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 8 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  5. Add vanilla, then eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down bowl.
  6. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with two ½-cup additions of buttermilk. Beat until well combined.
  7. Add the juice and zest from one lime and 1¼ cups of toasted coconut (the other ¼ cup should be reserved for the topping). Gently fold the lime and coconut into the batter.
  8. Transfer batter to pan and bake until a skewer inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 60 minutes.
  9. Let cool in pan for at least one hour. Remove cake from pan and let cool completely on plate. (Store at room temperature, wrapped in plastic.)
  10. Whisk together confectioners' sugar, 2 tablespoons buttermilk and juice of one lime. Drizzle over cake and sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup coconut.

 

Food & Drink - Recipes

Simplified Spring Living: Pasta with English Peas

03.26.2015

As I was writing my last blog post about a yummy Chicken Satay that I recently made, I stumbled upon the notion of simplified meals and the beauty of the spring season. I pondered the concept a little more later that day; spring is a time for animals, people and nature to come out of hibernation and savor the simple beauty and splendor that the season has to offer. It’s about simple, fresh meals made with in-season ingredients, admiring the rebirth of nature and just an overall sense of lightening up — from our clothing to the decor in our homes; shedding layers, if you will. The glorious rebirth of spring led me to create this special series, Simplified Spring Living, my homage to saying farewell to winter and hello to warmer, simpler days ahead! Let’s kick off the series with this easy, spring-inspired family meal of Pasta with Shallots and Fresh English Peas!

pasta with peas

Simplified Spring Living: Pasta with English Peas
 
Ingredients
  • 16 ounces of fresh, shelled English peas (rinsed, drained and picked over)
  • 1 lb. short pasta (I used a dry gnocchi)
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • Butter, about 3 Tbsp.
  • Olive oil
  • Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a large saute pan, heat about 2-3 Tbsp. of olive oil.
  2. Add the shallots and begin to soften.
  3. Add the peas and 2 Tbsp. of butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a small amount of water (the peas need some liquid to cook in). Cover and cook over medium heat until peas are tender but not mushy. This could take up to 30 minutes or so. At this point, the peas should have absorbed most of the water.
  4. When the peas are nearly done, begin cooking the pasta to al dente.
  5. When the pasta is al dente and the peas are tender, spoon the pasta directly into the saute pan using a handheld colander.
  6. If the pasta-pea mixture seems too dry, add a little of the pasta water.
  7. Mix together in the pan with 1 more Tbsp. of butter.
  8. Pour into a large bowl and add a few handfuls of grated cheese, gently mixing to incorporate,
  9. Serve with more grated cheese and a dollop of fresh ricotta cheese. Garnish with freshly chopped Italian parsley, if desired.

 

 

Food & Drink - Recipes

Easy Chicken Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce

03.23.2015

As the weather begins to warm up and the days get longer, we find ourselves turning to lighter, quicker meals that that are easy to prepare and even easier to serve and eat. These lazier days of spring and summer mean less time fussing in the kitchen and more time with family and friends enjoying all that the season has to offer. From picnics to dinner on the patio to grab-and-go meals eaten on the bleachers at the local ball field, savor the beauty of the season and simplify meal time.

This easy Chicken Satay is best prepared the night before, which is a big time-saver. It’s perfect as a quick appetizer before a family meal, or as the main course served alongside a salad, grilled pineapple slices or simply dressed Asian noodles. Make the peanut dipping sauce up to a few hours ahead of time and keep in an airtight container until ready to serve. Grill the chicken indoors or out — it couldn’t be fresher or easier!

chicken satay

Easy Chicken Satay with Peanut Dipping Sauce
 
Ingredients
  • For the Chicken
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 2 tsp. low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes (add more if your family prefers it spicy)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • For the dipping sauce:
  • About ½ cup of creamy peanut butter
  • 4 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • Water, about 6-7 Tbsp. (to thin out the sauce)
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Chopped peanuts (optional)
  • Chopped green onions (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, toss the chicken strips with the sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, red pepper, salt and pepper. If making it ahead, store in the refrigerator until ready to grill. To save space in the fridge, store chicken in a sealed plastic bag.
  2. Before grilling, carefully thread each strip of chicken onto a bamboo skewer. Brush hot grill pan with canola or vegetable oil. Grill on both sides until chicken is cooked through, You can also grill outdoors on a BBQ.
  3. For the dipping sauce, combine peanut butter, rice vinegar and red pepper in a small bowl. Mix to begin incorporating. Add water a couple of tablespoons at a time to thin out the sauce, whisking briskly. Taste and adjust the pepper, if desired. If you prefer a thinner sauce, add more water. Whisk until smooth.
  4. Garnish dipping sauce with chopped peanuts and green onions, if desired.

 

 

Food & Drink - Make

Cool, Refreshing Iced Ginger-Green Tea

03.18.2015

I’ve been trying to incorporate more fresh ginger into my diet considering its many health benefits. It’s used liberally in India for aiding in digestion and battling cold and flu. It helps to keep the sinus passageways clear, soothes an upset stomach and boasts anti-inflammatory properties, too. I’ve added it to chicken dishes, stir fry, grated it into homemade fruit jams and also dropped a big chunk into chicken soup when my daughter had an upset tummy. This time, I infused green tea, another healing food, with ginger syrup and created a delicious, cool, refreshing beverage. Keep a pitcher of this in the fridge to sip on all spring and summer long!

iced green tea

Cool, Refreshing Iced Ginger-Green Tea
 
Ingredients
  • For the ginger syrup:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Fresh ginger, peeled and sliced (I used a piece that was about 4-5 inches in length)
  • For the green tea:
  • 8 green tea bags
  • Boiling water
Instructions
  1. To make the ginger simple syrup, combine sugar and water in a pot. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Lower the heat and add the fresh ginger slices. Bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat. Keep covered and allow to steep for 30 minutes. Cool completely. Strain out the ginger and discard. Store in a jar or bottle in the fridge until ready to use.
  2. To make the tea, add 8 tea bags to water, bring to a boil. Cover and let steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and discard. Allow to cool.
  3. Pour the green tea into a large pitcher or bottle. Add as much or as little of the simple syrup as you like. Serve cold. Keep in fridge.

 

Holidays - Make - Recipes

Slow-Roasted Beef Brisket

03.11.2015

In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to put my own spin on the classic Irish dish of corned beef and cabbage. Instead of using a corned beef brisket that’s been soaked in brine (which is extremely high in sodium), I opted for a lean, thin-sliced beef brisket that my butcher cut for me — no brine! Slow roasting the beef in a low oven for several hours ensures buttery, tender slices. For the vegetables, I roasted chunks of red potatoes, savoy cabbage and red cabbage, for a vibrant, tasty side dish. And to wash it all down, a cold bottle of imported Guinness stout! Cheers to the luck of the Irish!

brisket

 

Slow-Roasted Beef Brisket
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lb. piece of thin-sliced beef brisket
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • Fresh thyme, roughly chopped
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Worcestershire sauce, about 5-6 good splashes
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Place the brisket with the fatty side down a shallow baking dish.
  3. Drizzle the top of the brisket with a good amount of olive oil and Worcestershire sauce.
  4. Season with salt, pepper, garlic and thyme. Rub the seasonings into the beef. Flip it over and coat the fatty side of the brisket with the juices from the baking dish.
  5. Flip back over so the fatty side is down, cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 325 for about 3 hours or until the brisket is tender.
  6. For the last 10 minutes or so, remove the foil and broil the top of the beef. This gives it a nice crusty coating on the outside while the inside of the beef is tender.
  7. Cover again and allow to rest for up to one hour. In the meantime, roast the cabbage and potatoes.
  8. When ready to slice the brisket, cut on the bias so you get long slices.

For the Roasted Cabbage and Potatoes:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the red potatoes in half or quarters, depending on the size. Cut the cabbages into 3-inch chunks. Place on a sheet pan.

Drizzle with olive oil; season with sea salt ans black pepper. Toss to coat.

Roast for about one hour or until the potatoes are fork-tender and everything is golden brown.