almond roca

oh man oh man oh man oh man!!! toffee + chocolate + salted almonds = THIS. please, make this. you will not regret.

almond roca
yields 3 cups

1.5 c chopped salted almonds
1 c packed light brown sugar
1 c (2 sticks) salted butter
3-4 bars hershey's chocolate (depending on what size pan you use)
candy thermometer (optional)
cocoa powder (optional)

1. butter a 7 x 11 inch pan (i just used a 9 x 9), sprinkle half the almonds (3/4 c) in the pan
2. in a heavy saucepan at medium-high, melt butter and add brown sugar
3. stir until gently boiling
4. reduce heat to medium/medium-low and boil, stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer reads 300 F
4a. if you don't have a candy thermometer, boil until the color turns a rich caramel, this may happen between 5 and 12 minutes (mine was closer to 5)
5. remove toffee mixture from heat, and pour into pan over almonds
6. sprinkle a little cocoa powder over the toffee (this helps the toffee and chocolate bind to each other)
7. place chocolate bars on top in a single layer
8. let sit for a minute or so until melted
9. using the back of a spoon, spread the chocolate around carefully
10. sprinkle with remaining toasted almonds (3/4 c), and gently press them in
11. cool completely, then break into chunks with a knife
12. EAT THEM ALL IMMEDIATELY (or store in a covered container)



prosciutto-wrapped fingerling potatoes with dill sour cream

whenever i see the term fingerling potatoes, i am forever reminded of this SNL skit (they come from the FINGER LAKES) which makes absolutely no sense but is magical.

these lil guys are super fun and easy to make, and the saltiness from the prosciutto makes you wanna bop your head like this lil doggie.

auditory pairing: starfucker - rawnald gregory erickson the second

proscuitto-wrapped fingerling potatoes with dill sour cream
potatoes from xai eats a lot (super super amazing photos, please check him out)
yields 4 servings (or more as a party food)

1 lb fingerling potatoes
1/2 lb sliced prosciutto
salt, pepper, olive oil
small tub sour cream (8oz or less)
1 tbsp fresh dill
sprinkling lemon pepper seasoning (or fresh lemon)

1. place potatoes in a pot and cover with water an inch over the potatoes, season with salt liberally
2. bring to a boil, cook for 25mins or until fork tender
3. drain the potatoes and let dry while preheating the oven to 450 F
4. wrap each potato with a piece of prosciutto (the amount to your choosing)
5. set them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper
6. place in the oven for 15-20mins, until prosciutto has crisped up
7. while potatoes are in the oven, mix sour cream, dill, and lemon pepper seasoning together
8. once potatoes are done, serve with the dill sour cream dip



apple pie in a brown paper bag

when i baked this, i was convinced my kitchen was going to catch on fire. i stood there dutifully for 20 mins with a fire extinguisher until my ADD kicked in and i wandered off. the good news: CRISIS AVERTED! no kitchen fire from this recipe. the good-er news: this shit is on point. 

auditory pairing: the temper trap - sweet disposition

apple pie in a brown paper bag
yields 8-10 slices
slightly changed from secret life of a chef's wife (please check out her post, her pics are amaze-balls)

1 prepared 9 inch deep dish pie crust, not pre-baked (i like alton brown's recipe & video)
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
2 tbsp all purpose flour
5 c sliced apples, not sliced too thinly (i used fuji)
1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 c (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter

1. preheat the oven to 350 F
2. combine and mix all filling ingredients sans apples in a large bowl
3. toss the apples in and coat well, pour into pie shell
4. for the topping, mix the flour and sugar in a medium bowl
5. cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes and toss into the bowl
6. cut the butter into the flour sugar mixture with a pastry blender until crumbly
7. sprinkle topping over pie filling
8. place pie in large grocery-sized brown paper bag, giving the pie as much room as possible. if you can get the sides not to touch, this is ideal. i was only half successful at this but it still came out great.
9. fold the end of the bag over a couple of times, and staple shut
10. place in oven, making sure the bag isnt touching any heating elements
11. bake at 350 F for 1 hour and 55 minutes
12. after its done, remove pie in bag and tear open the wrapper

serve warm with cream (ice or whipped)

a big thanks to my beautiful taste testers: mary and megan <3


caramel stuffed apple cider cookies

i may or may not have an obsession with "secret hidden" things in food, like caramel hidden in the middle of these cookies. its like opening a present, and being like, "no WAY!!!! you got me CRAYON RINGS?!"

auditory pairing: the black keys - tighten up

caramel stuffed apple cider cookies
yields ~4 dozen cookies
from scrambled henfruit and the cooking photographer

1 c softened butter
1 c granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 box (7.4 oz) instant apple cider mix
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
3 c all purpose flour
1 (14 oz) bag kraft caramels
GLOVES (oh how you need gloves)
parchment paper

1. in a small bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon
2. in a mixer, cream together butter, sugar, and all packets of apple cider mix powder, until light and fluffy
3. beat in eggs, add vanilla
4. gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, mix just until combined
5. refrigerate for an hour
6. preheat oven to 350 F
7. unwrap caramels
8. put gloves on and scoop out walnut-sized cookie dough balls
9. roll into a ball, then flatten. place an unwrapped caramel in the center, and seal the dough around it
10. place on parchment-lined cookie sheets 2 inches apart
11. bake 12-14 minutes, until VERY lightly browned around the edges. try not to over-bake.
12. once done, slide parchment sheet off cookie sheet and onto counter
13. once cooled a little more, twist off cookies and flip them over to cool some more
14. if some are hard to twist off, placing them in the freezer for a bit will help twist them off

serve warm! <3
if cookies aren't warm any more, putting them in the microwave for a few seconds softens the middle enough to give you 20 mouthgasms, not 19.


blueberry-tini jelly shots

friends·giv·ing: \'frends-ˈgi-viŋ\
: the act of giving thanks with friends
: a prayer expressing inebriation
3   : a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine fullness

auditory pairing:  generationals - victim of trap

thanks for all the fun, friends!

blueberry-tini jelly shots
adapted slightly from jelly shot test kitchen
yields 15-18 servings

2/3 c prepared lemonade (strained to remove solids)
2/3 c lemon lime soda 
3 envelopes gelatin (these were quite thick, if you're not unmolding them, i think 2 envelopes might do)
2/3 c blueberry vodka
fresh blueberries
plastic shot glasses or similar

1. plop 3 blueberries each in 15 plastic shot glass containers or similar, have a few extra of each on hand in case you make slightly smaller portions
2. combine lemonade and soda in a small saucepan and sprinkle with the gelatin
3. allow gelatin to soak for a minute or two
4. heat on low for 5 mins, while stirring, constantly until gelatin is dissolved
5. remove from heat and stir in vodka
6. pour into plastic containers, and refrigerate for several hours
7. serve!


oatmeal raisin cookies

know what i think is cute? that mr bebe loves oatmeal raisin cookies above all others. it's the weirdest thing. chocolate chip cookies? meh. peanut butter cookies? hmph. snickerdoodles? derp. healthy(ish) oatmeal raisin cookies? that'll do pig, that'll do.

auditory pairing: discovery - swing tree 

o hai!

oatmeal raisin cookies
yields 3 dozen cookies
from Sun-Maid

3/4 c butter, softened
1 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/4 c milk
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c all purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 c oats (quick or old-fashioned)
1 c raisins

1. preheat oven to 350 F
2. beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, milk, egg, & vanilla until light and fluffy
3. combine flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda
4. add to butter mixture and mix well
5. stir in oats and raisins
6. drop by tablespoonfuls onto parchment paper
7. bake 12-15 mins


french scalloped potatoes

SO. my amazing sweet sweet mom bought me a blue le creuset french oven. i know, right? what's cooler is she got it at prime outlets, and they give free casserole dishes along with them, and a free steamer, AND FREE RECIPES! behold, le creuset french scalloped potatoes, or pommes de terre dauphinoise

auditory pairing: flight of the conchords - foux du fafa

french scalloped potatoes
(pommes de terre dauphinoise)
serves 6-8

-2 1/4 lbs potatoes
-3 2/3 c milk
-pinch of nutmeg
-1 bay leaf
-1-2 tbsp butter, softened
-2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
-salt and pepper
-optional - 3-4 tbsp creme fraiche or heavy cream (i didn't use)

1. preheat oven to 350 F
2. cut the potatoes into fairly thin slices, use a mandolin if you have it
3. put the potatoes in a large saucepan and pour the milk over, adding more to cover if needed
4. add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and bay leaf
5. bring slowly to a boil over medium heat 
6. simmer for about 15 mins until the potatoes just start to soften, but not completely cooked, and the milk has thickened
7. generously butter a 14 inch oval gratin dish, and sprinkle the garlic over the butter
8. using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to the dish
9. taste the milk and adjust the seasoning
10. pour the milk over the potatoes just until the surface, but not covering them
11. optional - spoon a thin layer of cream over the slices now, if you choose to use it
12. bake for about an hour until the milk is absorbed and the top is a deep golden brown


slow cooker chicken tikka masala

not gonna lie, not gonna do it. i have eaten the H-E-DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS outta this shit. (see what i did there? went out of my way not to cuss, and then went out of my way to cuss. you're welcome, internet) no but seriously, i made this on sunday, and it will not make it to the end of the week. whu-eva, whu-eva, i do what i want.

auditory pairing: the white stripes - we're going to be friends

 the lebanese version of greek yogurt, kinda

slow cooker chicken tikka masala
slightly adapted from eat, live, run
yields 6 servings

for the chicken:
-9 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
-1 tbsp ground coriander
-1 tbsp cumin
-1 tsp kosher salt (l'chaim!)
-1 c yogurt (i used labneh, which is the lebanese version of greek yogurt...kinda)
-3-4 tbsp butter
-3-4 thai hot chili peppers (or 1-2 jalapenos, depending on what you have) stem removed, skin pierced with a sharp knife
-handful of cilantro

for the sauce:
-3-4 tbsp butter
-1 large onion, diced
-6 cloves garlic, smashed or diced
-1 tsp kosher salt
-3-4 tbsp garam masala
-2 or 3 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
-4 c crushed tomatoes
-1 tbsp raw sugar
-2 tsp cornstarch
-1 1/2 c cream

1. cut the chicken thighs into 1 inch pieces; sprinkle coriander, cumin, and salt over chicken
2. stir in the yogurt (or labneh) until evenly coated, cover and let sit for 10-20 mins
3. in a large saute pan brown 1/4 of the chicken with 1 tbsp butter on med-hi heat, transfer to the slowcooker and repeat with the rest of the chicken
4. throw pierced pepper(s) on top of chicken
5. for sauce: return the pan to the heat & melt butter over medium high.
6. add onions, garlic, and salt. cook stirring frequently until onions begin to lightly brown around the edges
7. stir in garam masala and ginger, cook for 1 min
8. raise the heat to high and add crushed tomatoes & raw sugar
9. stir well and bring to a boil, pour over chicken in the slow-cooker
10. cover the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 5 hrs
11. stir the cornstarch in the cream, and pour into slow cooker, stir
12. replace lid and cook for 10 minutes more
13.garnish with cilantro, serve with basmati rice or naan


guava cheese flan

oh MAN have i missed the delicious exotic groceries that i can buy in miami. guava paste? YES PLEASE! flan pans? get outta here kitty cat!

auditory pairing: foster the people - pumped up kicks (and thanks to kara nolting for posting this dubstep remix)

guava cheese flan
yields 2 flan pans

1 c sugar
1/4 c water
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
5 eggs
1/2 c guava paste
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp vanilla extract

1. preheat oven to 350 F
2. place sugar and water in a pan, and cook on medium heat 10-15 mins, until sugar turns golden
3. immediately pour into 2 flan pans and swirl pans to coat bottom and sides of each pan
4. let pans cool to let harden
5. in a blender, place sweetened condensed and evaporated milks, eggs, guava paste, cream cheese, and vanilla extract
6. blend until smooth
7. pour into the two flan pans and cover with foil
8. place a large shallow baking pan in the oven, and place the 2 flan pans on top
9. pour hot water into the shallow baking pan so that it is about halfway up the flan pans
10. bake 1 hour until knife inserted in middle comes out clean
11. remove flan pans from wire rack, run a knife around the sides of the pans
12. cover and refrigerate 3 hrs until chilled
13. to unmold, invert pan onto a dish and tap until flan pops down