September 30, 2014

Apple Crisp


This past weekend, I went apple picking with Mike's family at Middlefield Orchard in Cooperstown, NY. It was such a beautiful weekend to be outdoors soaking in the sunshine and seeing the first foliage of the season. On the way to the orchard, we drove down Main Street and stopped to visit The Lemon Tree Shop.


A food lover's dream boutique shop and Le Creuset retailer.

After our Main Street stop, we headed on over to Otsego Lake.




Middlefield Orchard was a beautiful 10 minute drive from the heart of Cooperstown. 

A pair of Honeycrisp apples, my favorite!

A cluster of Blondi apples.




We brought home some Honeycrisps, Blondis, and Zestars. The only logical thing to do with so many apples is to bake! The rest of the afternoon, Mike's mom, sister, and I spent together in the kitchen. We baked family recipes- their homemade apple pie and my mom's apple crisp. It was a perfect fall weekend!


APPLE CRISP

INGREDIENTS
  • 8 apples, peeled and sliced
  • ½ c. sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 c. old-fashioned oats, uncooked
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 2 sticks butter, melted
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Mix sugar and cinnamon with the apple slices and place in a 9x13" baking dish.
  3. Mix oats, flour and brown sugar in a bowl. Add the melted butter, incorporating all of the dry ingredients. Sprinkle this mixture over the apples.
  4. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until apples are bubbling and the topping is golden. Serve with vanilla ice-cream. Enjoy! 
*NOTE: My mom's original recipe calls for raisins and pecan pieces. Mix ¾ c. raisins and ¾ c. pecan pieces in when you mix the cinnamon and sugar with the apple slices.



September 24, 2014

RVA Wednesday: Southern Season and Southerly Restaurant


Southern Season just opened its third location- Richmond, VA! Described as a  "food lover's paradise," this store also has it's own cooking school and restaurant, Southerly. Today I will focus on just the restaurant.

I just had the pleasure of dining on the open-air patio at Southerly with two girlfriends this past weekend for brunch. It was a perfect morning for brunch on the patio in the mid-September air. I literally wanted to order one of everything from the menu! I think my 10.5 mile run that morning had a little something to do with my huge appetite!


After much debate, I decided to order a the Buttermilk Pancakes, with blueberries and bacon, with a glass of orange juice. Our server, Ana, was very friendly, knowledgable and patient with our indecisive minds (and to think I look at every restaurant's menu before going to avoid this dilemma…) The pancakes and bacon came out fresh off of the griddle and were perfectly cooked. Exactly what I was hoping they would be!


Both of my friends ordered the Southerly Eye Opener, which comes with two eggs cooked to order, choice of bacon or sausage, and a buttermilk biscuit. Emily and Whitney had nothing but good things to say as well.

Since I was only there for one meal, I will definitely be returning, so I can try more menu items. My mom and I have plans next week to take our time and browse the aisles of Southern Season, so stay turned for a post with more pictures from inside of the store.


September 23, 2014

Oriental Coleslaw


Oriental Coleslaw always reminds me of family get togethers. My grandmother passed the recipe down to me while I was still in college, where I loved being able to cook once I was out of the dorms and in my own apartment.

Growing up, I remember enjoying cooking for my family, but looking back, I think in my college apartments are where my passion and creativity in the kitchen really took off, and this blog was born as a way to share the dishes I have made! I also began collecting "too many" kitchen gadgets around this time-- I mean how many college kids have a lemon zester or a complete set of French White Corningware?!

Kelley, my roommate, and I would go to Pier 1 every Friday (we strategically planned our schedules in such a way, I might add) to walk around and sometimes buy kitchen items! We, and our other roommate Blair, enjoyed testing our meals out on each other another, and eating was the best part!

Kelley and myself, Fall 2007

Kelley, Blair, Carrie, Spring 2010


ORIENTAL COLE SLAW

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 (16 oz.) bag of cole slaw
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 bag Ramen noodles, chicken favored
  • 3 Tbsp. sesame seeds, roasted (optional but recommended)*
FOR THE DRESSING
Mix the following thoroughly:
  • 3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar (can also substitute red wine vinegar for a tangy twist)
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • ½ c. salad oil (a light oil such as canola or vegetable)
  • 1/3 tsp. each of salt and pepper
  • Flavor packet from the Ramen noodle package
DIRECTIONS
  1. Mix cole slaw and green onions.
  2. In a separate bowl, crunch uncooked Ramen noodles, mix in sesame seeds.
  3. Just before serving, mix noodles and slaw. Toss with dressing and serve chilled.
*To roast sesame seeds: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread sesame seeds on a cookie sheet and toast, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes, until starting to brown.


Salad tongs and bowl are discontinued, but from Pier 1.



September 14, 2014

Breakfast Casserole


I love a good breakfast! This weekend we decided to enjoy a homemade brunch instead of venturing out. There is something therapeutic about creating a meal in the kitchen during the weekend. I don't know if it is the fact of dining in the comfort of my home or not having anywhere to be and cooking on my own time. Recipe serves 6 and is passed down from my aunt :)

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 eggs, well beaten
  • 3 slices bread, cubed and with the crust left on
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, freshly grated
  • ½ pound bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
DIRECTIONS
  1. Mix milk, eggs, bread, cheese, dry mustard, salt and pepper in a bowl. Let sit overnight in the fridge, or at least one hour before baking.
  2. Right before baking, sprinkle with bacon.
  3. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes at 350°F. Let sit five minutes before serving and enjoy :)

Casserole dish is a previous 3-Piece Pot Luck Baker Set color scheme from Crate & Barrel, similar here.


September 6, 2014

Breakfast Kabobs


With football season on its way, let the tailgating begin! These breakfast kabobs are perfect for morning/early afternoon games. They are also a great treat (and 2/3 healthy!) for bridal and baby showers and get-togethers.

INGREDIENTS
  • Strawberries, halved
  • Blackberries
  • Glazed Donut Holes
  • Bamboo skewers
DIRECTIONS
  1. Soak skewers for 20 minutes to prevent splinters from getting into the food; pat dry.
  2. Rinse and dry the fruit; set aside.
  3. Place the blackberries, strawberries, and donut holes in an alternating order. Refrigerate until ready to serve and enjoy :)


Mike and I enjoying the Virginia Tech game


For more food on a stick ideas, see my pervious posts: Caprese Skewers, Shish Kabobs 1Shish Kabobs 2Dessert Skewers


September 1, 2014

Sassy Pimento Cheese


Those who have shared meals with me know I love a good pimento cheese. Having come across many recipes out there, I decided to incorporate my favorite ingredients for the perfect blend. In my opinion, cayenne is the key ingredient for making this a sassy spread with a bit of zing!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups Extra Sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
  • ½ cup cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup diced pimentos
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • Garlic salt, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
DIRECTIONS
  1. Grate the cheddar while it is still cold for best results. In a separate bowl, add the cream cheese, mayonnaise, pimentos, cayenne, garlic salt and salt and pepper.
  2. Stir the cheddar cheese into the above mixture until well mixed.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to serve and enjoy :)