Espresso & Cocoa Steak Rub

IMG_2288More often than not, steak makes an appearance on our Valentine’s Day. It’s nostalgic and classic. It makes me think of my grandparents, Frank Sinatra, Audrey Hepburn and white linens. A nice juicy cut of steak lends the perfect touch of masculinity to an otherwise overtly feminine day. After sampling a similar espresso & cocoa steak rub at the grocery store, I knew I had to recreate these flavors at home. The complexly bitter, spicy, and semi-sweet flavor compliments beef perfectly. I used two half pound grass fed strip steaks but really any cut works (these just happened to be what was available in the grass fed department). I sliced these steaks against the grain and served it on top of a bed of argula, buffalo mozzarella, and XL grapevine tomatoes. We enjoyed the lightness of the salad paired against the bold beef flavor but the serving possibilities are truly endless.

IMG_2282

IMG_2292-001

Espresso & Cocoa Steak Rub

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons Instant Espresso Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Thyme
  • 4 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Red Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 2 Half Pound Strip Steak (Use Grass-fed/Organic if possible)

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl
  2. Whisk together
  3. Liberally rub spice mixture onto both sides of steaks
  4. Let marinate in fridge overnight or at least an hour
  5. In a cast iron skillet, heat over med. high heat
  6. Coat pan with oil
  7. When pan is warmed through, place steaks on pan and cook on one side for about 4 minutes (you should hear a nice sizzle allowing the steak to form a nice a crust)
  8. After 4 minutes, flip steaks and cook for another 4 minutes
  9. Remove from pan and let rest on plate for 10 minutes before serving
  10. Enjoy!
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://www.spicysweetandpetite.com/espresso-cocoa-steak-rub/

Orange Glazed Pineapple with Mascarpone & Mint

IMG_2271-001After acquiring a whole pineapple the other day at Whole Foods, I immediately began to search for recipes to utilize. At first I opted to go the savory route thinking a pineapple dessert would be too typical or ordinary. But everything changed when I stumbled upon this recipe on Bon Appetit for orange glazed pineapple with mint. It completely altered my perception of using pineapple in a dessert. The picture combined beautiful caramelized pineapple with pistachios and crème fraiche. My take on that recipe combines a mixture of mascarpone cheese and Greek yogurt; making a tangy and creamy garnish. I cooked the orange juice and sugar down to a syrupy consistency and strengthened the citrus flavor even more. I found that incorporating cinnamon delivers a slight warmness to the overall flavor. It adds an unexpected yet completely necessary dimension. Overall this recipe is light, practical in its simplicity, and totally delicious.

IMG_2258

IMG_2270

Orange Glazed Pineapple with Mascarpone & Mint

Ingredients

  • 1 Pineapple
  • 1 cup Mascarpone Cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons Non-fat Greek Yogurt
  • Fresh Mint
  • 3 cups Orange Juice
  • 1/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Toasted Pistachios
  • Honey

Instructions

  1. Cut up pineapple into rounded slices, carefully remove the core from each slice.
  2. In a small saucepan, whisk orange juice, brown sugar, and cinnamon together; bring to a boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes until mixture is thickened.
  3. Place pineapple rounds in a baking dish, pour orange juice mixture on top of pineapple; toss to coat.
  4. Let marinate in mixture for a few hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 450. Place pineapple on baking sheet. Brush the tops with leftover glaze mixture in the baking dish. Bake pineapple for 15 minutes.
  6. After 15 minutes, flip over and brush the opposite side with glaze. Bake for another 15 minutes.
  7. Once pineapple is caramelized, place on a serving dish and let cool a little.
  8. While cooling, combine mascarpone cheese with greek yogurt.
  9. Dollop mascarpone mixture in the center of each pineapple ring.
  10. Drizzle with honey.
  11. Top with fresh chopped mint
  12. Liberally top with toasted pistachios.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://www.spicysweetandpetite.com/orange-glazed-pineapple-mascarpone-mint/

Blueberry Cobbler Ice Cream

IMG_2208

It has been uncharacteristically cold this winter. At least in San Antonio. I’m certainly not complaining as I actually get to wear the cozy array of winter attire I often lust over this time of year. Boots and puffy vests aside, the “snowpocalypse” we’ve experienced (aka I had a few icicles on my back patio) has been nothing short of entertaining – a welcomed change to the normal pace if you will. Minus my canceled flight to Dallas last week. :(

IMG_2225

But, as it always goes, we tend to want what we don’t have. Right?  It was only a matter of time before my pinterest boards began filling up with bronzed skin tutorials, heirloom tomato recipes, and fruity cocktails. Lucky for us South Texans all of these things are totally appropriate come mid March/ early April. Well, maybe not the seasonal produce.

20140131-105455

With warmer months on my mind, ice cream only seemed fitting. One of our favorite Christmas presents this year was a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. I’ve already made a batch of fresh mint and sea salted dark chocolate ice cream and thus discovered the amazing-ness that ensues with homemade ice cream. Not only is the process fun but the flavor of real ice cream can’t be beat.

IMG_2226

This recipe for Blueberry Muffin Ice Cream looked irresistible. With a few modifications, the jury ultimately decided that my version is more cobbler than muffin. You can credit the cinnamon for that.

* In honor of my soon-to-be husband, I dedicate this ice cream to the Denver Broncos. Blueberry – Blue and Orange for Broncos. Ok, I’m really pushing it but it’s the thought that counts!

Blueberry Cobbler Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups organic half and half
  • 1 1/2 cups organic 2 % milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 egg yolks
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 jar store bought blueberry jam, I used one that did not contain added sugars, any standard size will do
  • 1/2 package fresh blueberries
  • One whole recipe of cinnamon streusel
  • RECIPE I USED FOR CINNAMON STREUSEL FROM KITCHY KITCHEN:
  • Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 oz butter, cold and cubed
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Using your fingers or a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon and then mix in the butter until crumbly. Place on a baking sheet with a silicone mat and bake at 350 F for 10 minutes. Break apart and mix the streusel up, and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown. Crumble and cool.

Instructions

  1. Melt butter until browned. Cool to room temp.
  2. Bring the milk and half and half up until it's just about to boil (this happens all at once so keep an eye on it!) over medium high heat- be careful not to scorch the milk.
  3. Whisk yolks, sugars and salt in separate bowl.
  4. Temper egg mixture so the eggs do not cook by whisking in 1 cup of the hot liquid into egg mixture. Then whisk egg mixture into the milk mixture in pot.
  5. Return to heat, and cook up to 170 degrees F (210 is boiling), constantly stir.
  6. Remove from heat and add in the vanilla and brown butter.
  7. Strain through a wire mesh strainer. Allow to cool to about room temperature in an ice bath and pop in the fridge.
  8. Once the mixture is room temp (maybe an hour), put it in an ice cream maker. Mine took about 20 minutes.
  9. At 20 minutes, add in blueberry jam and cinnamon streusel until combined.
  10. Pour the ice cream into a large container and fold in fresh blueberries.
  11. Freeze container until firm enough for your liking.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://www.spicysweetandpetite.com/blueberry-cobbler-ice-cream/

Emeril Lagasse’s Split Pea Soup

 

IMG_2164There have been numerous occasions throughout my life that seem to eerily mimic those found in movies. I can not count the number of times I’ve felt a kindred connection with a particular character or circumstance. With that being said, I don’t normally resonate with events depicted in children’s books. That was until last week.

IMG_2163If you don’t already know the story of George and Martha pull up a chair because you’re about to find out. Unless of course you’d rather skip down to the recipe and that would be just fine too. Once upon a time there was a pair of hippos named George and Martha. Martha loved Split Pea Soup. She made it everyday. The twist? Martha’s hubby hippo George was not a fan of Split Pea Soup. You could even say he hated it. Now George happens to be a very empathetic hippo. He kept his secret hidden in an attempt to preserve Martha’s delicate feelings. So poor George slurped down every bowl Martha affectionately served him. As this atrocity continued, George began to get desperate. In a final act of fight or flight George dumped a bowl of soup, assuming of course Martha could not see. But alas see she did. Long story short Martha confronts George, George finally confesses his utter distain for the soup – it ends well. Honesty really is the best policy.

IMG_2171The recipe below makes roughly 6 qts of Split Pea Soup. You’re seeing the correlation with George and Martha now aren’t you? Heed my warning and make friends with your freezer or save this delicious soup for a crowd. Don’t over serve your family and fiancé bowl after bowl of Split Pea Soup. I’m speaking from experience.

Note – While this soup is wonderful as is, I found it to be exceptional with just a drizzle of truffle oil on top and a hearty slice of sourdough.

Recipe found HERE

I’m Back!

IMG_1981{ Beautiful Chandeliers at One of My Best Friend’s Wedding }

Hi. How are you? It has kind of been a while right? Like a while as in a month or so (I’m grossly underestimating).

Turns out it’s a lot harder to blog consistently when you work a full time job, are in a zillion weddings, planning a wedding of your own, and are living daily life. The funny part is that there are people who do all this and are also raising children. These hypothetical people are probably laughing at me.

I have no excuse.

IMG_2033                { Sparkler Exit }

I started this blog as a fun thing to do for myself. I was in between jobs and this helped me to stay focused. I still intend to post each and every chance I get, but at this point I simply don’t have the time.

You’ve also probably noticed that I stopped linking up to What I Ate Wednesday. Truthfully, it just wasn’t me. It began to feel forced and inauthentic. I found myself dissatisfied with the material I was putting out. So I’ve made the executive decision to nix it. I know I most likely will lose some readers as a result, but I’m ok with that. We’re moving on to bigger and better things folks. Ok, probably not bigger. But definitely better, for me that is.

IMG_1911               {The Bridesmaids Sans One Maid of Honor}