2015 - Buttered Side Up

Top 10 Recipe Posts of 2015


Top 10 Recipes of 2015
2015 was definitely a year of stretching, in my personal life and in the realm of blogging.

I'm proud of myself for working through the pain, fears, and frustrations this year brought.

Here are my favorite recipes that I shared on Buttered Side Up in 2015:


Philly Cheese Steak Pizza | Buttered Side Up
PHILLY CHEESE STEAK PIZZA
Mmmm...this was so so yummy.



Blueberry Dutch Baby - Buttered Side Up
BLUEBERRY DUTCH BABY
I love me a good Dutch Baby. This one was on repeat over the summer.



Curry Coconut and Lime Chicken Soup - Buttered Side Up
COCONUT AND CHICKEN CURRY SOUP
This soup is so flavorful. Even Reuben liked it, and he detests curry.



Triple Lemon Cake with Edible Flowers
TRIPLE LEMON NAKED LAYER CAKE WITH EDIBLE FLOWERS
This is one of the prettiest cakes I've ever made.



Cream Leek, Asparagus, and Bacon Pasta | Buttered Side Up
CREAMY LEEK, ASPARAGUS, AND BACON TAGLIATELLE 
This is basically carbonara made healthier with the addition of asparagus. Delicious.


Overnight Soaked Oatmeal
OVERNIGHT SOAKED OATMEAL
Helen and I eat this ALL. THE. TIME.



Whole Wheat French Bread | Buttered Side Up
TRANSITIONAL WHOLE WHEAT FRENCH BREAD
This was scrumptious fresh from the oven...



Raspberry Clafoutis
RASPBERRY CLAFOUTIS
A lovely, sweet-tart, custardy dessert.



Roasted Butternut Squash Soup Recipe
ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND GARLIC SOUP
I really like the method I used for roasting the squash.



CHAI SPICED DOUGHNUTS
Ugh, these were amazing.


So there you have it: my favorite recipes from 2015. Here's to 2016, and another great year of blogging!

KoMo Grain Mill Review


Note: Pleasant Hill Grain sent me this mill at a discounted price for review. All opinions are my own.
KoMo Grain Mill Review
When I reviewed the Mockmill Grain Mill back in September, I hinted that my dream mill would be a KoMo. The lovely lady from Pleasant Hill Grain that I was working with guessed which mill I meant, and wondered if I would be interested in reviewing the KoMo as well.

Um, yes!

Let me show you how this piece of art works:


KoMo Grain Mill Review
To grind, simply pour your grain into the hopper. Turn the machine on, and out comes freshly milled flour!




KoMo Grain Mill Review
Similar to the Mockmill, you rotate the top of the mill to adjust the coarseness of the grind.


Here's a video to demonstrate the grinding process:




KoMo Grain Mill Review

HERE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS I LOVE ABOUT THIS MILL:

  • * Beautiful design. The wood is just gorgeous, and it fits so well with my kitchen. The KoMo now also comes in dark walnut as well.
  • * The Fidibus Classic is made of solid beechwood or solid walnut. 
  • * This mill is pretty quiet compared to others. It's not "whiny" at all. If you put the lid on while you grind, it muffles the sound even more (see video).
  • * The KoMo grinds flour pretty quickly, especially if you don't have it set to the finest grind.
  • * The mill produces very little flour dust.
  • * Because you grind the flour into an open container (unlike other mills where the flour is dispensed into a closed bowl), you can tell right away whether you'd like the grind finer or coarser. 


The only downside I can really think of for this mill is the pricetag. It is a pretty big investment, but what a stunner! I think the quality of the mill warrants the price. Plus, the mill comes with a 12-year warranty.

I feel so blessed to be able to own this gorgeous machine.

To purchase one for yourself, visit Pleasant Hill Grain, where you can get free shipping on orders over $59.

If you purchase an electric KoMo Grain Mill before January 12, 2016, you will receive 40% off a bucket of wheat or rice. To take advantage of this offer, simply call Pleasant Hill Grain at 1-866-467-6123 to order and mention that you found the discount on Buttered Side Up.



Gingerbread Dutch Baby



NOTE: Some links are affiliate. All opinions are my own.
Gingerbread Dutch Baby Recipe | Buttered Side Up
It's Christmas week! 

I can't believe December has rushed along so quickly. I feel like I haven't eaten nearly enough festive food or listened to enough Christmas carols.

Also, I have some last-minute shopping to do. How about you?


Gingerbread Dutch Baby Recipe | Buttered Side Up

This Gingerbread Dutch Baby is absolutely divine. The spices aren't overwhelming, but more than subtle.

Helen and I absolutely adored it. We ate it all between the two of us (with breaks). I groaned as I took bite after bite. Nom.

This would be perfect for an easy Christmas morning breakfast!





Gingerbread Dutch Baby Pancake

adapted slightly from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook | PRINT

25 mins Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs,
  • 1 tablespoon organic light brown sugar,
  • 1 teaspoon organic, unsulfured, blackstrap molasses,
  • 1/3 cup organic all-purpose flour,
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • pinch of cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon unrefined salt
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • extra butter + confectioner's sugar, for serving

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 C).

Place eggs in blender and blend until pale. Add sugar, molasses, flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, salt, and milk and blend until smooth.

In a 9-10-inch skillet, melt the butter. Swirl it up the sides of the pan. Pour in the batter. Bake for 15-20 minutes, checking at the 12-minute mark.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with extra butter. A dollop of whipped cream would make this even more amazing...

Chai Spiced Doughnuts + New Christmas Traditions


This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MakeItMerrier #CollectiveBias



Christmas is a magical time of year for me. The days are colder, and everything feels so cozy. The newness of winter still gives a sense of wonder when I walk outside. All of the lights going up everywhere you look, the Christmas carols, the plans for gift-giving and parties...


Decorating the Tree 08
But amidst all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, things can get muddled and lost. I think it's so important to slow down and appreciate the little things. Like customs and traditions.

The traditions my family still practice take me back to the winters of my childhood.


Advent Calendar 02
Now that I have a growing little family, I want to create new traditions all our own. Things that will be meaningful and make my children love this time of year as well.

One tradition I started this year: an advent calendar! Helen has been loving opening a new envelope each day. I filled it with tiny gifts and activity cards.



Like coloring Christmas pictures, making paper snowflakes, going sledding, and making doughnuts and coffee.



This is definitely a tradition I can get behind. The ritual of homemade coffee forces you to slow down. Take the time to reflect on life. Read a Bible story.

We have been enjoying Starbucks beans lately - I've been experimenting with the proper ratios of water to make espresso in the French press. I'm still learning, but it's a fun process.


Yes, I allow Helen to drink coffee. But rest assured, it is the tiniest amount. And since I make my coffee at home, I know exactly what goes into the cup. I think she loves feeling grown-up like mommy with a cup of coffee all her own.


These doughnuts were one of the most delicious things I've ever made. And they were much easier than I anticipated!

I opted for a traditional yeast dough, and I was not disappointed.



Chai Spiced Doughnuts 04

Helen loved stamping out the doughnuts.



I decided to dip the warm doughnuts in a chai-spiced sugar. It was delightful.


Chai Spiced Doughnuts 25
Serve with a cup of French or Espresso Roast (with milk, cream, and maple syrup, or course) and you've got yourself one amazing treat.

You can re-warm any leftovers in the toaster for breakfast. You're welcome.



By the way, here's a tip for shopping at Target during the holidays: do your shopping during the week if possible! It can get a bit crowded on the weekend. Of course, I often opt to go shopping when Reuben can come and help with Helen, so we brave the weekend crowds!



Check out Starbucks for more beans for your home-brews. Also, if anyone wants to buy me this copper French press for Christmas, you're most welcome to do so (hint, hint, Reuben!). :P

Get a $5 Starbucks Card e-gift when you purchase 3 or more qualifying Starbucks products.

What are some of the traditions that you and your family keep?



Doughnuts with Chai-Spiced Sugar
adapted from Cooking Classy and Epicurious | PRINT

Ingredients:

For the doughnuts:

  • 1/2 cup warm water (no more than 115 degrees)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup cream, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon unrefined salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg + 1 yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups organic all-purpose flour + extra for adjustments and dusting work surface
  • 4 cups coconut oil, for frying

For the chai-spiced sugar:

  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Directions:

To make the doughnuts:
Place the warm water, yeast, and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer. Whisk and set aside for about 5-10 minutes to get foamy.

Add the rest of the sugar, cream, salt, butter, egg + yolk, vanilla, and half of the flour. Using the whisk attachment, whisk until smooth. Switch to the dough hook. With the mixer running, gradually add the remaining flour. Add additional flour if needed to create a dough that's a bit sticky/tacky (dough shouldn't stick to your finger).

Place dough in a buttered bowl (turning once), cover with a clean dish towel, and set in a warm spot of your kitchen to rise, about 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled.

Gently punch the dough down and place on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper. Roll dough out to a bit under 1/2-inch thick. Using two biscuit/round cutters (or a doughnut cutter), stamp out doughnuts. Transfer to a separate sheet of parchment paper that has been lightly floured. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30-40 minutes.

To make the chai-spiced sugar:
In a shallow bowl or dish, whisk together all of the ingredients for the spiced sugar.

To fry the doughnuts:
Place the coconut oil in a medium-sized heavy-bottomed saucepan (you could also use a cast iron pan). Insert a candy thermometer and turn the heat on medium.

When the oil reaches 360 degrees F, do a test-run with an ugly doughnut. It should only take a minute or two for the doughnut to get golden brown on one side. Flip and cook until the other side is golden as well. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts and holes. Watch to make sure the oil stays around 350-360 degrees F.

When the doughnuts are done cooking, remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Cool slightly and dip both sides in the spiced sugar.

Serve with a cup of coffee or cold milk.


Rømmegrøt (Milk and Flour Porridge) Recipe


Rømmegrøt (Milk and Flour Porridge)

I remember the first time I ever heard of Rømmegrøt. We were eating lunch at my husband's family's house (this was long before we were married or even a couple). Reuben's grandparents also came to lunch, and his grandmother brought a crockpot of what they called "mush" or Rømmegrøt. I decided I'd better sample it, but by the time I went to dish myself some, it was gone. Devoured. 


Rømmegrøt (Milk and Flour Porridge)
My sister and I decided to recreate it ourselves. Someone had mistakenly called what Grandma Kastner made Rømmegrøt (I think the proper term is risengrynsgrøt, or rice porridge), so that was what we based our recipe on.

In any case, it was massively delicious. Like, it's difficult for me to describe just how yummy Rømmegrøt is. 

It's super rich, so you can only eat a small bowl (unless you're a grown man or growing boy). And you simply MUST serve it with melted butter and cinnamon-sugar on top.

Rømmegrøt (Milk and Flour Porridge)
Rømmegrøt has become a Christmas-morning tradition. My husband tried to convince me to make it for Thanksgiving, but I balked at the idea of serving (what I consider) a Christmas dish for Turkey Day. 

Since it's December, I made some for him last weekend. We gobbled it down. I can't wait to whip up another batch.

NOTE: We tried to recreate traditional Rømmegrøt, but I'm not sure this recipe is entirely authentic. Other recipes I've seen call for sour cream instead of sweet cream. I'd like to try that variety someday!

Also, one of my readers (Kari H.) pointed out that the actual name of this porridge is Fløyelsgrøt: velvet or butter porridge. 


Rømmegrøt (Milk and Flour Porridge) 
adapted from my sister's recipe | makes about 6-8 servings | PRINT

Ingredients:
  • 4 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) salted butter
  • 3/4 cup organic all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • Cinnamon-sugar, for topping

Directions:

Place the milk and cream in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Don't let it scorch! In a small saucepan, melt 1 stick of butter for on top of the Rømmegrøt. 

In a large pot over medium-low heat, melt the remaining 2 sticks of butter. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk until smooth and bubbly, about 3 minutes. 

Whisking constantly, pour in the hot milk and cream. Bring to a boil. Boil and stir 1 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in maple syrup.

Spoon into bowls and serve with a healthy drizzle of melted butter and a sprinkling of cinnamon-sugar. 



Butcher Box Review


NOTE: Butcher Box sent me a box for review purposes. Some links are affiliate. All opinions are my own.

Butcher Box Review
MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUT MY UPDATED BUTCHER BOX REVIEW HERE!

A few weeks ago, the folks at Butcher Box contacted me asking if I'd be interested in reviewing their grass-fed beef. I'm a HUGE fan of grass-fed anything, so of course I was all about it.

HOW DOES BUTCHER BOX WORK?

Each month, for $129, Butcher Box sends you a selection of 6-10 pounds of grass-fed beef. They also send you information and recipe cards so you can get inspiration for how to cook your meat.


Butcher Box Review

WHAT DO I THINK OF THE SERVICE?

I think this is a really awesome idea for a food subscription service! Not only does it take the hassle out of shopping for grass-fed beef, it also forces you out of your comfort zone to try new cuts of meat. In my box I received: boneless short ribs, sirloin tips, sirloin steak, ground beef, and bacon.

The major downside that I see to this service is the cost. If this was my only meat for the month, $129 wouldn't be a bad price. But we like to eat other types of meat (chicken, pork, etc.), so we need to supplement. If you're a smaller family, I would maybe suggest purchasing a box every other month.

Also, the ground beef was perhaps a bit high in fat content for the dish I used it in.


Butcher Box Review
HERE ARE A COUPLE OF DISHES I'VE MADE WITH THE MEAT SO FAR:

Slow cooker boneless short ribs with olives, balsamic vinegar, thyme, onions, garlic, and carrots (based off of the recipe card that came in the Butcher Box). I cooked it all day on low.
That was one of the most tender, buttery roasts I've ever had. Mmhmm.



Butcher Box Review

Sirloin tips in a mushroom, balsamic, teriyaki, cream sauce. Reuben and Helen LOVED this. Which is kind of a big deal, because Helen doesn't like meat. But she asked for several more pieces!

I thought this was a sirloin roast, so I was planning on roasting it in the oven. When I took it out of the package I realized that it was already cut into pieces. So I improvised and seared the meat and added a sauce. If I would have realized sooner how the meat was cut I would have marinated it for extra flavor/tenderness. But it was still good!


SO, WOULD I SUBSCRIBE TO THIS SERVICE?

If my food budget was higher, I would. It's nice to have the decision about what meat to buy taken care of. And I got to try cuts of meat that I was either too scared to try, or just didn't think to buy.

Click here to learn more about Butcher Box.

What do you think of this type of service?

BUTCHER BOX COUPON CODE

P.S. - If you'd like to try out ButcherBox for yourself, here is a coupon code for $15 off + a FREE package of sugar-free bacon! Use the code "Buttered" at checkout.

CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT!

Green Bean Casserole From Scratch

Green Bean Casserole From Scratch | Buttered Side Up
Green Bean Casserole has actually never played a huge part in my family's Thanksgiving meal. Which is a shame, because it's delicious.

But until last week, I had never attempted making it. It seemed like one of the those dishes that was hopelessly processed. I mean, store-bought French fried onions are the epitome of processed, right? And most recipes I knew of called for canned soup as well. Not exactly the most nutritious side dish.


Green Bean Casserole From Scratch | Buttered Side Up
This year I was on a mission to tackle this Thanksgiving staple and make something less processed. I was going to fry my own French onions if I had to. 

After looking over The Faux Martha's recipe, I noticed that she mentioned that she got her French fried onions from Trader Joe's. So when my sisters and I took a trip to the cities, I kept my eye out for them. I actually found some at IKEA, and the list of ingredients was quite short: onion bits, palm oil, wheat flour, water, and salt. Certainly not a health food, but it wasn't going to kill me if I so much as looked at it. So I snatched up a can.

I must admit that even as I was making this casserole, I wasn't so sure that it was going to be fabulous. But one bite put my fears to rest. The creamy, hearty sauce is amazing, the onions on top are so so yummy, and the green beans make you not feel so bad for eating this dish. Heh heh. 

Notes: 

This recipe is pretty heavy on the mushrooms and fried onions (mua-ha-ha-ha). If you want a higher ratio of green beans to mushrooms or onions, simply double the rest of the ingredients and leave the amounts of mushrooms or onions the same.

If you'd like to make this recipe completely from scratch, you can make the fried onions yourself: HERE and HERE are some recipes. And HERE is a gluten-free option.

DO AHEAD: You can make the green bean cream sauce and keep it in the refrigerator for about 3-5 days. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle the fried onions on top in the last 10 minutes or so of baking time.



Green Bean Casserole From Scratch
adapted from The Fauxmartha | makes 3-4 servings | PRINT

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch sections.
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup onions,  finely diced
  • 5 ounces cremini (aka baby bella) mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • a few leaves of fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons organic all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup turkey or chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup fried onions

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add the green beans and some salt. Cover and simmer until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet. Add the onions and mushrooms and saute until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the flour, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste and cook for 2 more minutes. 

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

Whisk in the stock and cream. Bring to a boil and boil until thickened, about 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the green beans. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Sprinkle the fried onions on top.

Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Serve immediately.






Easy Baked Pumpkin Custard with Nutmeg Whipped Cream


Baked Pumpkin Custard | Buttered Side Up

I can't believe that Thanksgiving is next week already!

We have had such a mild November. Highs in the 50s and 60s. It feels more like October! It just doesn't seem that I've been able to squeeze in enough pumpkin desserts before Turkey Day.


Baked Pumpkin Custard | Buttered Side Up

If you're looking for an easy way to get your pumpkin fix, this custard is definitely the ticket. All you need to do is whisk together the custard ingredients, pour into ramekins, and bake until set. Serve with nutmeg whipped cream and a sprinkling of freshly grated nutmeg on top and this will seem like a fancy dessert.


Easy Baked Pumpkin Custard
adapted from Primal Palate | makes 6 servings | PRINT

Ingredients:

  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree, canned or homemade
  • 11 ounces heavy cream (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar, organic cane sugar, sucanat, etc.
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • a few grinds of black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C). Place 6 ramekins on a shallow rimmed baking sheet. 

Whisk together all ingredients in a medium bowl. You could also use a blender to do this. 

Fill ramekins about 3/4 full with the custard. Bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until just set. 

Cool for a bit. Serve warm or room-temperature with whipped cream (sweetened with maple syrup and flavored with a bit of vanilla extract and freshly grated nutmeg). Sprinkle extra nutmeg on top.


Baked Pumpkin Custard | Buttered Side Up



What I Ate Wednesday (11-11-15)


Note: Butcher box sent me a box to review. All opinions are my own.

What I Ate Wednesday is my chronicles of what I eat in a day. You can see all of the posts by clicking HERE


Breakfast
BREAKFAST:
Overnight Oatmeal (made with quick steel-cut oats) with butter, maple syrup, coconut sugar, cinnamon, banana, pecans, and cream.


Lunch
LUNCH:
Asian-style beef (from my Butcher Box) in a coconut sauce over rice with carrots, soft-boiled egg, and sauerkraut.
I wasn't super thrilled with this dish - I should have added more fresh veggies!


Afternoon Snack
AFTERNOON SNACK:
This is one of my all-time favorite snacks: A spoon of peanut butter poked with dark chocolate chips. You must have a glass of cold milk as well (I like to mix in some collagen for extra protein).


Supper
SUPPER:
I apologize for the horrible lighting, but the light fades quickly in the fall/winter here in northern Minnesota.
We had pumpkin waffles with cuties and fried eggs.


Snack
EVENING SNACK:
We went to my family's house to watch a movie, and we had buttered popcorn while we watched. Helen really went to town on it (she was watching Peppa Pig).
I also had half of a peach fruit bar.

And that's what I ate last Wednesday! 
What's YOUR favorite afternoon snack?



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