Oh boy am I excited about this one guys. This past weekend was crammed with getting posts lined up for the month I’ll be in transit moving, getting married, and starting a new job. Originally this was a roasted asparagus recipe from last asparagus season and I ended up hating the way the photos turned out. Then lunchtime inspiration hit and BAM. This beautiful little dish that tastes even better than it looks materialized out of the kitchen.
Well, I wish it just materialized. I wouldn’t mind having a kitchen fairy that made just these ;). Good news for the fariy-less folks, this one is easy enough to make solo.
Poached Egg Asparagus Toast asparagus
salt + pepper
1 T mild vinegar
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Wash and trim the asparagus. Spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast for 12-15 minutes. When the asparagus is finished remove it from the oven and immediately drizzle with lemon juice.
While the asparagus is roasting it’s time to poach the eggs! I follow Faith Durand’s methodto get a no fuss egg done. While the egg is poaching, toast a piece of bread with a bit of butter and shave some parmesan cheese with a vegetable peeler.
Layer the toast with the lemon asparagus, shaved parmesan, poached egg, and top with cracked pepper.
Mmmm, look at the golden yolk. Usually I stay far far away from slimy foods, but Faith’s egg poaching method truly does create the most amazing silky compliment. I couldn’t help but include this extreme close up.
Even the colors of this dish scream Easter! What’s on your Easter Brunch menu? Will you be trying something new or using a favorite go to?
Still looking for St. Patrick’s Day ideas? These cookies are the perfect last minute treat- just pop a few in treat bags with some gold coins! And for a fun St. Patrick’s Day twist, we’ll be using rich, delicious Irish butter. Yumm. These coins also have a secret. Can you guess what’s behind the golden color?
Turmeric! Turmeric is a spice that is used to create brilliant yellow pieces. It makes a great natural food coloring as well! You won’t taste the small amount in these cookies, but try to use stale turmeric over fresh (or leave it out for a day so the flavor weakens).
Irish Butter, Lemon Shortbread Cookies
1 c Kerrygold salted butter
1/2 c powdered sugar
2 c flour
1 T lemon zest
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp salt
2 T lemon juice
Whisk flour, salt, lemon zest, and turmeric together. Set aside.
Cream butter and sugar together in stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the mixed dry ingredients from the first step and lemon juice on low speed until just incorporated.
Roll dough out to 1/4″ and chill for 30-45 minutes until it’s cold but still pliable. You want to chill it without it drying out.
Once the dough is chilled, preheat oven to 350. Cut out your coin shapes with circle cutters. I added a coin ‘ridge’ by offsetting a smaller circle on my large ones and opted for a plain design on the smaller ones. Edible gold leaf or tiny shamrock sprinkles would be perfect for decorating too!
Bake for 10-12 minutes- just until the bottom edges of the cookies start to brown. Shortbread cookies should generally come out of the oven the same color they went in.
*If you want to use unsalted butter, add another 1/4 teaspoon salt to your dry mix.
Real talk, these are so good. Like all shortbread cookies, the sweetness doesn’t hit you over the head so you don’t get tired of them. They start harmlessly light and fluffy and finish with a mouthwatering tartness that makes them perfect with Irish breakfast tea.
Do you love themed food for St. Patrick’s Day? Tell me what you’re be making below!
P.S. If you’re curious about the tea towel in the photos, I actually dyed it using the Double Tub Method from last week! Except instead of a moving bin, I used our bedroom trashcan haha. I was desperate and all the stores had already moved on to Easter.
Cocktails and Mardi Gras naturally go hand-in-hand, but can we take it really over the top with a punny party trick drink? Oh yes. We can.
The French (3) Quarters is a twist on the classic French 75, making use of a vibrant purple, blackberry lavender syrup that turns a party pink when mixed! Pair it on your bar cart with green champagne bottles & gold accents and you’ve got yourself a true Mardi Gras set up.
So there are two ways to make the focal ingredient, the blackberry lavender syrup. Method 2 just has an extra step for a slightly different taste and possibly more convenient if you don’t have culinary lavender but do have lavender tea. Method 1 tastes more like infused sugar and Method 2 is more delicate like really good lavender ice cream. I would recommend trying both. Let me know your favorite!
Blackberry Lavender Syrup Method 1 1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup gently crushed blackberries
1-2 tsps culinary lavender
1| Combine water, sugar, blackberries, and lavender in saucepan.
2| Bring to simmer over medium-high heat and stir until sugar dissolves.
3| Strain the syrup through a double mesh strainer.
4| Transfer to an airtight glass container and let completely cool before using.
Blackberry Lavender Syrup Method 2 1-2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 cup gently crushed blackberries
1 lavender tea satchel
1 | Brew lavender tea according to directions or simmer 1 T of culinary lavender for 10 minutes.
2| Transfer 1 cup of tea to saucepan and add sugar & blackberries. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves.
3| Strain and transfer to a glass container. Let completely cool before using.
The French (3) Quarters 1/2 oz simple syrup
1-1.5 oz gin
spritz of lemon juice
2 oz Champagne or sparkling wine
1| Shake simple syrup, gin, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice.
2| Strain into a chilled champagne flute and top with Champagne. Watch the purple turn bright pink!
3| Garnish with blackberry & lemon twist.
French (3) Quarters Tips: Make the syrup ahead of time! Infused simple syrups can keep ~1 month in the fridge.
Use a London Dry Gin– by definition they are all natural and don’t have any extra flavoring or sugars that could clash with the syrup.
If you made it all the way to the end, you’ve earned a confession- this drink was supposed to be purple. *shameface* But with more digging I’ve noticed:
a) purple cocktail syrup recipes usually just show the syrup, not mixed into anything!
b) purple cocktails use of Blue Curacao
c) blueberries might make it more purple, but the colors are wildly all over the place and I couldn’t tell if they were natural, Photoshop, or good old-fashioned food dye.
C’est la vie. Now I actually love the surprise of the dark purple turning pink and it tastes great anyways, so it all works out 😉
Nerd alert guys. When I was younger and it was Valentine’s Day in a manga, I wished and wished it was the norm in the States to hand make chocolate. In the books stores would be filled with decorative papers and chocolate ingredients that made me swoon. Store bought was for lazy people. Or so I thought until I actually tried to start from just raw, unsweetened chocolate and loads of sugar. Ack. That was disgusting. And held me at bay from trying any chocolate making again for awhile. That is until my mom made truffles!
The melt in your mouth, completely decadent, smooth chocolate are to die for. And it’s so, so easy to make! The only *slight* setback back is there’s no clean way to do this. Chocolate hands everywhere. But that’s not such a bad thing right? 😉
8 ounces semi-sweet bar chocolate
8 oz bittersweet bar chocolate
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 tsp finely ground Himalayan salt
coarse ground Himalayan salt & cocoa powder to garnish
Important note- you have to use bar chocolate for the recipe to work. Chocolate chips don’t have the same fat content that will set your chocolate.
1| Chop all the chocolate as finely as possible. We’ll be relying on just the heated cream to melt the chocolate, so it’s important to have even, tiny pieces to start. Transfer to a heat-safe bowl.
2| Bring the heavy cream and finely ground salt to a simmer over medium heat. Quickly give it a mix and pour over the chocolate.
3| Let stand for 2 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Cover and transfer the bowl to the fridge to set for ~2 hours depending on how good your fridge is. If you’re short on time, you can transfer the chocolate to a glass baking dish. Spreading the chocolate out in a thin sheet can cut your set time to 30 minutes. Once set, the chocolate should be soft enough to be scooped out and hold its shape.
4| Scoop ~1″ balls and loosely roll between your hands. Don’t worry about getting a perfect sphere. The rough shape is a nod to the truffles’ namesake, the truffle root, and is a mark of true handmade goodness (Thank you Martha Stewart ;D).
5| Drop the balls in cacao powder and top with a sprinkle of salt. Start lightly with 2-3 salt pieces on top- the pink sea salt packs a big punch. I love the sharp contrast between salty and sweet so I went very heavy handed. Prepare to wow all with chocolatey goodness.
Did you know there are two different types of cocoa? Yup, and which one you choose can affect your truffles! Serious Eats breaks down the difference between natural & Dutch processed cocoa. The short of it is, use Dutch if you want a darker color and more bittersweet, earthy, balanced flavor and use natural processed if you want classic chocolate flavor.
Brussels sprouts are back in season! They’re easily one of my favorite vegetables because they’re super quick to make and once roasted they can be dressed up to anybody’s taste. And to make it easy on you, here are three ways all in one place: sweet honey, spicy sriracha, & the savory balsamic vinegar jewel of it all.
Preheat oven to 400. Lightly coat sprouts in olive oil, salt & pepper. Toss into oven for 30-40 minutes shaking the pan halfway through until browned on the outside. Et voila! Time to get saucy.
Each sauce works well drizzled on top right from the oven. Or turn it into a colorful, interactive station for Thanksgiving and let guests pick their toppings!
Sweet, Sweet Serendipity honey
The easiest sauce of the three, this one comes from an old roommate’s repertoire. We had been on a broccolini kick for so long and wanted to change up our veggies, so he roasted some brussels sprouts, drizzled on honey, and topped with goat cheese. The sweet, creamy combination is pure dinner acceptable candy.
equal parts sriracha, apple cider vinegar, honey
I had been testing a spicy glaze for salmon and figured why not for the brussels sprouts? The honey and apple cider vinegar balance the spice while also making a perfect glaze. Drizzle over hot sprouts and serve.
1-2 T butter (to taste)
1 cup balsamic vinegar
The one that started it all- my mom’s OG Thanksgiving dish. This glaze is so good people will fight for the last drops. (This technique is the same we used in last year’s Valentine’s DayRed Wine Sauce! Check it out for a great dessert idea.)
In a large saucepan, bring the vinegar to a simmer over medium-high heat then bring down to a low simmer. Stir occasionally. It should take about 10-15 minutes depending on how thick you like your sauce. Remember, it’ll thicken up once cooled! When you’re ready to remove from heat, stir in the butter and try your hardest not to drink it straight.
Pro tip: Do not breathe over this- vinegar vapors will be in the air and will knock you back.
I love serving all three on a platter! The colors give any table the perfect seasonal touch. Try them out and let me know which one is your favorite.