I’m not sure if it’s the earthy sweetness or the fact that anytime we roast something it warms up our whole apartment but I’ve always found roasted vegetables to be comforting. One of my favorite veggies to roast is Brussels sprouts, and this recipe is as easy as it is healthy. The walnuts enhance the Brussles sprouts natural nuttiness and made this dish an instant favorite.
what healthy new recipes have you tried lately?
I stumbled on this banana cookies with peanut butter frosting recipe while looking for a way to use up some of the over-ripe bananas I have in my freezer. I had no idea how delicious they would be. These banana cookies find the delicious middle ground between cakey cookies and ooey gooey cookies. When I say it was hard not to eat three or four of these cookies at a time I really mean it.
The only change I made to the recipe was using 1/2 a cup of powdered sugar in the peanut butter frosting instead of a full cup. I’m not a fan of really sweet frosting so you may want to start with 1/2 a cup of sugar and add more to taste.
These cookies are dangerously delicious so if you’re thinking about starting a diet, don’t make these. However if you posses superior willpower and self control you really should give this recipe a try. I would love to hear your thoughts.
what recipes have you stumbled upon lately?
The last time we visited D’s parents his mom let me in on her simple and incredibly versatile fruit tart recipe and it’s quickly become my go to dessert for impromptu summer parties.
1. on a well floured surface roll pie crust dough out to fit into a 9″ pie pan. I used this pie crust recipe but I’ve also used Jiffy’s “just add water” pie crust mix (one box makes enough for two 9″ tarts)
2. after rolling the dough out cut it into a circle and lay it in the bottom of a pie plate, pinching the sides up a bit
3. we happened to have peaches and strawberries on hand but you can really use any fruit, the riper the better. Thinly slice all of your fruit, remember consistency is key!
4. once you’ve artfully arrange your fruit on your crust (spiral patterns are usually a crowd pleaser) sprinkle a tablespoon or so of sugar over the top of your tart for a touch of sweetness. Bake in a 350 degree oven until edges of the crust are golden brown (about 12-16 minutes)
5. serve with a healthy scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and congratulate yourself on being a master chef as you watch everyone lick their plates clean.
What summer sweets have you been whipping up?
Basil from our garden, garlic, and walnuts
My love for pesto is fairly new. For the longest time I thought all pesto had pine nuts (which I do not enjoy) so I avoided it all together. Eventually I was introduced to walnut pesto and fell in love with the rich, earthy, nutty flavors.
Adapted from Jane Salzfass’s Spaghettini with Yogurt Pesto recipe featured in Great Meals in Minutes, pasta menus this yogurt pesto makes a great dip, sauce, or marinade and is perfect for sweltering summer nights when you can’t face turning the oven on.
You will need: 2-3 cloves garlic, 1/4 – 1/2 cup walnuts, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 1/2 – 2 cups fresh basil leaves (firmly packed), black pepper (to taste) – food processor
To Make: mince cloves of garlic in food processor (if using minced garlic skip this step). Add walnuts, salt, and olive oil to the minced garlic and blend in food processor until you’re left with a smooth paste. Slowly add Greek yogurt and fresh basil to the walnut paste mixture in the food processor and blend until well combined and bright green. Add salt and pepper to taste and chill covered in the fridge for an hour before enjoying.
mince garlic in food processor add walnuts, salt, and olive oil to minced garlic and blend in food processor until smooth. *(If I’m making pesto dip/spread I’ll keep this mixture a little bit chunky as opposed to blending it smooth when I plan to use it as pasta sauces)*add Greek yogurt slowlyadd basil leaves to yogurt mixture and blend until smoothWhile you can enjoy it immediately I’ve found that it’s best after its had some time to chill in the fridge (about an hour or so).
Every time I make this quick and easy pesto recipe I find another way to use it. Last night we had burgers with tomato, mozzarella, and a dollop of pesto and before I left for work this morning I put a couple of chicken breast in with the rest of the pesto to marinade so tonight we’ll be having grilled pesto chicken Caesar salads tonight.
I can’t wait to hear how you enjoy this delicious pesto so be sure to let me know in the comments below or on twitter or facebook!
My fruity pear pot recipe is loosely based off of an “Oriental Pears” recipe I found in the rocking early 80’s cookbook, Great Meals in Minutes – Pasta Menus. We have a whole set of these gems and while the 80’s food styling is clearly out of control I’ve found some great recipes including this one and a creamy yogurt pesto that I’ll be sharing with you soon!
Fruity Pear Pots. You will need: one firm pear, 1/4 cup fresh or frozen berries (roughly), one teaspoon complimentary liquor, & 2 toothpicks (per serving)
– cut the top off each pear an inch below the stem, keeping the stem on, set aside – core out each pear (I used a strawberry huller but a melon baller or sturdy teaspoon would work too,) try not to cut/pierce through the bottom of the pear
– fill each pear with berries (we used Wyman’s frozen mixed berries) and top with one teaspoon of liquor (we had amaretto and it came out deliciously but I bet a blackberry cordial or brandy would be delicious as well)
– place the top back on each pear, using toothpicks to hold it place
– put the pears in a glass baking dish (I used pyrex Tupperware) and place them on a rack (I used my steaming basket) above an inch and a half of boiling water in a covered pot for 10 – 12 minutes or until tender.*
*for softer, moister pears add a cup of water to the glass baking dish before placing in the covered pot
– carefully remove the pear from pot (the pears will be extremely hot) and enjoy as is or add a dollop of vanilla ice cream or Greek yogurt with chopped walnuts for a fresh and light dessert that’s sure to leave the palette pleased.
what recipes have you been testing out lately?
All photos taken with instagram. To see more follow me (@woreout)!
After UVM’s defeat at the hands of UNC on Friday D and I found ourselves staring into our bare bones fridge despondently. Using what we had left in our fridge (a questionably tomato, eggs, spinach and bacon) and other odds and ends (avocado and sort of stale bread) we put together this easy and delicious sandwich.
D put a little mayo and chili garlic paste on his sandwich while I kept it simple with just salt and pepper. You can completely customize this sandwich based on your tastes and what you have kicking around in your kitchen. This sandwich would also be be perfect for those suffering from post St. Patty’s ailments.
What are you favorite leftover meals? How do you use up leftovers?
When a fall chill creeps into the air I look forward to shrugging into cozy knits, classic leather boots and colorful scarves. The arrival of fall doesn’t just call for new fashions but also new flavors. I headed to Speeder & Earl’s, a local Burlington coffee shop, to talk fall flavors, perfect pixie cuts and why local is always better with Emma, one of Speeder’s uber stylish baristas.On the particularly chilly Friday morning I spent with Emma, I was impressed with the level of customer service that is standard practice at Speeder & Earl’s. Emma not only greeted the majority of the customers by name but remembered the orders of almost all the repeat customers. “We’re all repeat customers,” explained Emma. “Even if they’re not a local or don’t come in every day, people can come back in and finish the conversations they started the last time they were here.”
Being a small locally owned business allows Speeder & Earl’s to cater to their customer’s seasonal flavor desires. In the summer months Speeder’s keeps at least three different flavors of ice tea in their coolers and plenty of freshly brewed iced coffee at the ready. When fall rolls around Speeder’s replaces one of their ice teas with local cider from Champlain Orchards and updates their chic specials board with other seasonal favorites. Speeder & Earl’s special board, perfectly depicting the blustery fall conditions in BurlingtonA cup of fall flavors, Speeder & Earl’s steamed cider and mulling spices
Before I’m done admiring her new pixie cut Emma appears with a steaming cup of local cider, perfectly capturing all my favorite fall flavors. “We steam Champlain Orchard’s cider with these delicious mulling spices, it’s just really warm and inviting,” Emma explained. Inviting was the perfect word to describe this fragrant spiced treat. Not only did it totally take the chill of the day away but it was lite and caffeine free making it a perfect post work pick me up.
The next fall treat Emma whipped up was Speeder’s signature, A Clockwork Orange. According to Emma as soon as it starts to cool off this becomes one of the most popular specialty drinks at Speeder’s.
Emma adding the finishing touches to Speeder’s A Clockwork Orange
To create this fall favorite Emma, pours freshly brewed espresso over an orange peel to “release the essential oils and make it really fragrant.” Then she adds delicious almond flavor, dark Ghirardelli hot chocolate and whipped cream to create the perfect marriage of summer sweetness and warm fall flavors. The next time you can’t shake the stress of your day or the chill of the fall air, stop into Speeder and Earl’s and treat yourself to one of these.
Speeder and Earl’s is a perfect example of why keeping your dollars local just makes sense. All of their coffee is roasted locally in small batches at their Pine Street location right in Burlington and believe me you can taste the difference. The care that Speeder & Earl’s puts into their coffee extends to their customer service ten fold. Just stop into either their Pine Street or Church Street locations and see what I mean. Whether you try one of Speeder & Earl’s specialty drinks or opt for a cup of their perfectly brewed drip coffee you wont leave disappointed.
What are some of your favorite fall flavors? Where do you get your caffeine kick from?
Tracking down a bottle of wine that you read about in a “best wine under $25” article is no different than driving to every Target’s in a 175 mile radius when Alexander McQueen’s McQ line launched. Similarly a bottle quickly picked up at the convenience store on your way to a party is just like the white v-neck tees you buy in bulk; classic, cheap and totally disposable.
Searching and saving aside certain bottles of wine like certain pieces in your wardrobe
deserve require an investment.
Kistler, 2007 Chardonnay, $62.50
Abby from Dedalus Wine Shop in Burlington, Vermont called Kistler’s 2007 Chardonnay from California’s Sonoma Valley, “the Princess Diana of Chardonnays.” With hints of spice and vanilla Abby described this chardonnay as “perfectly juicy.” With a $62 price tag this bottle is meant to be savored and celebrated in the company of good friends and great food.
Pair this investment bottle with an investment piece from your closet. Investment pieces should be timeless, their value should increase overtime and with each time you wear them. When considering which piece to invest in (and how much to invest) consider how often you’ll be able to wear this piece and the craftsmanship that went into creating it.
When I think of investment pieces the first thing that comes to mind is Louis Vuitton. Louis Vuitton has been a leader in the fashion world since opening their doors in 1854. The longevity of Louis Vuitton’s brand is proof that investing in a piece from one of their collections is one that will pay out over time. A bag with a classic silhouette from a time tested designer/design house will stand up to decades of use and always be in style. Louis Vuitton, Wilshire MM
What would you consider a great investment piece? What have pieces have you invested in?