September 2013 - Buttered Side Up

Bacon and Brie Grilled Cheese with Jam



Bacon and Brie Grilled Cheese with Jam

Bacon and Brie Grilled Cheese with Jam

Bacon and Brie Grilled Cheese with Jam

Bacon and Brie Grilled Cheese with Jam

Bacon and Brie Grilled Cheese with Jam

Bacon and Brie Grilled Cheese with Jam

You GUYS. This sandwich is kinda bonkers.
Crispy bacon, melty Brie and sweet jam. What a lovely combo. 

I shared the details about how to make it over on the Good Life Eats blog HERE.

Have a lovely Monday!
Erica

Cornmeal Waffles



Cornmeal Waffles
Cornmeal Waffles

Life has been a little crazy lately. 

Reuben's grandpa passed recently and my grandma on my mom's side passed this last week.
It all happened in such a whirl that it's hard for me to stop and think. Feel.

We have spent many of our evenings away from home, consuming unhealthy food. Don't get me wrong, it's been awesome not having to worry about cooking supper some evenings. But it seems wrong to eat restaurant food so many evenings in one week.

It feels good to make things from scratch. Even if it's something as simple as waffles for breakfast.

Waffles make me happy. The little pockets filled with butter and maple syrup get me excited. I know, I'm weird.

If you're having a crazy-busy week, try making these waffles for breakfast one morning. If nothing else, it's a nice, relaxing start to an otherwise hectic day.



Cornmeal Spelt Waffles
adapted from Pinch of Yum | makes approximately 4 servings | PRINTABLE PAGE

Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour (I used sprouted Spelt flour)
  • 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal (I used whole, stoneground)
  • 3/4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (I used evaporated cane juice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon unrefined salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (I used soured raw milk)
  • 1 large egg, beaten (I didn't bother beating it beforehand)
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter 

Directions:

1) In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, cornmeal, baking powder and soda, sugar and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg and butter. Add to the dry ingredients and mix just until moistened. 
2) Preheat your waffle iron and cook according to manufacturer's instructions. Serve with lots of butter and real maple syrup. Enjoy!



Cooking Inspiration + Life Lately


Veggies for Roasting
I have been obsessed with roasting veggies lately. Here's a little something that I dreamed up: Roasted Vegetable Chicken Alfredo. I baked up a pan of broccoli, grape tomatoes and garlic (drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt) and added it to a basic Alfredo sauce. It was awesome.
By the way, lining your pan with parchment paper is the best. No dangerous aluminum and no nasty cleanup.



Roasted Tomatoes
I also roasted up a pan of heirloom tomatoes that I got from the co-op. I pureed them with some cream and used it as a sauce for pasta. Reuben really like it, even though it didn't have any meat! Here's what the finished product looked like.
I usually roast my vegetables between 400 and 450 degrees F for about half and hour, or until they look done to me.



Infused Water
You guys. Infused water is so refreshing. I experimented with a blend of lemon, cucumber and mint. Reuben calls it pickle water (he doesn't care for cucumbers), but I like it.



Figs
I tried figs for the first time! It's quite a different flavor, but I enjoyed it. We sauted them with butter and honey and served them over vanilla ice cream. Delicious.



Vintage Silver
I LOVE the vintage silverware I got from Reuben's grandma. Some of the pieces are very odd. I'll have to do a bit of research to learn the intended uses for them.



Shiny Red Kitchen Aid!
I finally purchased a Kitchen Aid stand mixer! I found it for almost half-price on Gilt (BTW, if you use my link you'll get $25 off your first order and I'll get $25 off my next order!). I have waited for over two years for this. Now I can make bread without hand-kneading it!



Helen
And of course I have to throw in a Helen update. This little rascal started crawling last month (at 6 months old) and is starting to pull herself up onto things everything (almost 7 months old). She keeps me on my toes - she's already an expert at Getting Into Things. And she's VERY interested in my food photography.

If you'd like to read more about Helen and see pictures from my everyday life, check out my personal blog and my Instagram.

Also, let me know in the comments if you like these inspiration/life update posts, or if you'd prefer that I keep it to recipe posts. 

Have a lovely day!
Erica

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts




This was originally posted on October 22, 2012 on Cooking for Seven. I enjoyed these so much last fall, and I'm excited to roast up another batch.


Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Perhaps I have been spared a bit of the usual hatred for Brussels Sprouts by the simple fact that my mom didn’t cook them much when we were kids. Of course I’d heard so many bad things about this leafy green that I somehow had it in my mind that they were gross and to be avoided.
Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Then I saw beautiful pictures of roasted Brussels Sprouts floating around the web. They didn’t looks so bad. In fact, they looked pretty good, delicious even.
Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts
So I purchased a small bag from our local health-food store and roasted them up. They. Were. So. Good. It is my firm belief that roasting will transform nearly any vegetable into something scrumptious (perhaps with the exception of beets).
00Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts3
These little veggies pack a pretty good nutritional punch as well. Just one cup provides over 100% of your daily intake of vitamins K and C. Perfect for a pregnant me.
If you are an avid Brussels Sprouts hater and have never tried roasting them, may I suggest purchasing a small bag and giving it a try. There’s not much to lose, and you may find that you love (or at least don’t hate) them.

Note: this is a method, not a recipe with specific ingredient amounts. Tailor it to your own tastes!
Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts | by Erica Lea | Printable Page
Ingredients:
  • Brussels sprouts
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • good-quality butter for serving, optional (my favorite brand)
Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205° C). Wash the Brussels sprouts and remove the outer layer of leaves and any that are yellow or ugly-looking. Cut off the brown stubs and slice in half.
2) Arrange the sprouts on a rimmed baking sheet or shallow roasting pan, cut side up. Drizzle with good olive oil and sprinkle with salt and fresh-ground pepper.
3) Roast in preheated oven for 15 minutes, flip the sprouts over and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until the sprouts are tender and the outsides are nicely colored.
4) Serve with extra salt and pepper and (my favorite) good-quality butter. Enjoy!


Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Summer In a Jar | Homemade Peach Jam


Peach Jam

Peaches

Peach Jam

Peach Jam

Peach Jam

Peach Jam

This spring I vowed that I would buy heaps of peaches to freeze for the winter months. I've tried buying out-of-season peaches before, and they are flavorless.

Summer was coming to a close and I hadn't secured my peaches, and the price at the grocery store was prohibitive. I was resigned to another peachless winter. Then, I realized that the co-op was selling lugs of peaches. Of course I bought one

Am I ever glad I did.

I froze over half of them, we ate several of them fresh (with cream of course!), and I made this lovely jam with the rest.

It really is the easiest jam I have ever made. All that's required is throwing all (three) of ingredients into a pot and boiling for about half an hour. Then just ladle the jam into jars and refrigerate. You could also process these in a water bath to make them shelf-safe, but I prefer to keep mine in the refrigerator or freezer. I'm lazy like that.

And now, as we move into fall, I have a bit of summer preserved.

PS: My jars are Weck Tulip jars. I bought mine from Terrain

What's your favorite summer fruit?



No-Pectin Peach Jam
recipe from HGTV Gardens | makes about 8 small jars | PRINTABLE PAGE

Ingredients:
  • 6 pounds peaches
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 cups sugar (I used evaporated cane juice)

Directions:

1) Peel and pit the peaches, roughly chop and place in a large pot. Add the lemon juice and mash them together with a potato masher to desired consistency (I don't like my jam too chunky).
2) Stir in the sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat. Continue to boil, stirring frequently, until the jam reaches about 210-220 degrees F (99-105 C) and thickens, about 25-30 minutes (I didn't bother measuring the temperature and just boiled the jam until it looked good). You can test the thickness by dropping a little bit of jam onto a cold plate.
3) Ladle the jam into sterilized jars and either cool and refrigerate/freeze or process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (here's a how-to if you've never done a boiling water bath). 





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