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Cheesy Spinach Tomato Pie + A Giveaway!

2 Dec

I won’t lie, I occasionally listen to Christmas music throughout the year. So it would be incorrect to say that now that Thanksgiving has past, I’m finally getting to listen to my fave holiday jams. What would be more correct is to say that I am finally getting to listen to my fave holiday jams without hiding it. I can put on my Happy Christmas! playlist in the car, and the BF will (somewhat reluctantly) allow it. It’s a very exciting time of year for me.

My dear friend Eleanor gave me my Christmas present already: this beautiful pie pan. She knew I would be baking for Thanksgiving, so she gave it to me early!

Pie PanI’ve already used it for my Secret Recipe Apple Pie and this oh-so-amazing, super delicious, completely to-die-for tomato pie. I’m not kidding: this is one of the best meals I’ve ever made. Our dinner conversation primarily revolved around how delicious it was and how this will definitely be a dish to serve for casual dinner party guests. The BF and I each had thirds, which is amazing for us light eaters. And I may or may not have had some for breakfast the next day.

Here are the star players: Ingredients

It’s really not complicated, though maybe a little time consuming, but totally worth it. After the crust is ready, just add your layers… sliced tomato, fresh basil and sauteed spinach, and then cheese!

Layers

I edited a more classic recipe a bit to include spinach (I figured I needed something healthy to counter all that cheese) and to substitute Greek yogurt for mayonnaise (I’m not a fan of mayo, so we never have any in the house). I tried to squeeze extra water from both the tomatoes and spinach, and it still came out a bit soupy, so maybe I’ll use my cheesecloth next time and try a bit harder. But not to worry — even a little runny, it didn’t stop us from enjoying our third helpings!

Cheesy Spinach Tomato Pie

And in the spirit of Christmas and delicious cheesy tomato pies, here’s my first-ever Giveaway! Enter to win this cute little Clinique gift set.

Clinique Gift Set

Gift set includes:

  • 7-Day Scrub Cream Rinse-Off Formula
  • Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion
  • Clinique Eye & Cheek Colour Compact: Colour Surge Eye Shadow Duo in Pink Slate, Soft-Pressed Powder Blusher in New Clover, and True Bronze Pressed Powder Bronzer in Sunkissed
  • Long Last Lipstick in Bamboo Pink
  • Brush Set
  • Matching large and mini cosmetics bag

* Does not include mascara shown in picture

There are a few ways to enter – the more ways you enter, the better the chance you have at winning – so make sure you comment once for each of the following things you do:

  • Favorite the new Wine & Plum Etsy shop! Favorite 1 item in the Wine & Plum Etsy shop, and comment below to share which item you would like to give or receive for Christmas!
  • Bonus: Follow Wine & Plum on Pinterest! Pin your favorite Wine & Plum recipe or Etsy shop item to one of your Pinterest boards, and share the link to your pin in a comment below.
  • Bonus: Follow Wine & Plum on Instagram and tag 3 friends on my Instagram giveaway post.
  • Bonus: Follow Wine & Plum on Twitter, and tweet about this giveaway: Excited about this delicious Cheesy Tomato Pie #recipe plus an awesome #Clinique #giveaway from @wineandplum! http://bit.ly/1fYGSw8
  • Bonus: Like Wine & Plum on Facebook, and share any post from the W&P Facebook page.

Don’t forget to leave a comment for those bonus submissions!

Now, here’s the recipe for the Tomato Pie! If you make it, come back and let us know how you liked it!

Mmm... cheesy

Cheesy Spinach Tomato Pie adapted from Simply Recipes

Crust:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/4″ cubes
3 tablespoons cold water

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well with your hands, kind of like kneading, until all ingredients are incorporated. Shape dough into a ball.

Flour your working surface and turn out dough with a floured rolling pin, making a large circle. Transfer crust to a pie pan and press evenly into the dish.

Bake the pie crust for about 8-10 minutes.

Pie:

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3-4 tomatoes, sliced
2 large handfuls spinach
1/4 cup sliced basil (about 7-8 leaves)
2 cups grated cheese (Any combination of your favorite cheese; I suggest mozzarella and cheddar. In ours, we ran out of mozz so substituted havarti, which was delicious)
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
Salt and pepper

Place the tomato slices in a colander and sprinkle some salt over them; allow to drain while preparing the rest of your ingredients.

In a large bowl, mix together the cheeses and yogurt; set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach and stir well, coating leaves with olive oil. Cook until spinach is wilted, only 3-4 minutes. Set aside.

Once the pie crust has baked for about 8-10 minutes, remove from oven and assemble pie. Pressing each slice between paper towels to remove excess liquid before placing, arrange tomato slices in a circle in the bottom of the pie pan. Sprinkle the basil on top of the tomatoes. Squeeze spinach in paper towels or cheesecloth to remove excess liquid and then arrange evenly in the pan. Last, spread the cheese mixture evenly over top of the entire pie.

Bake until the top of the pie is golden brown, anywhere from 25-45 minutes.

Linking Up With:

Funday Monday from Still Being Molly
Block Party from Sumo’s Sweet Stuff
Made by you Monday from Skip to my Lou
Inspiration Monday from Twelve O Eight
Time to Sparkle from Love Grows Wild
Wonderful Food Wednesday from All She Cooks
Create It Thursday from Lamberts Lately
Full Plate Thursday from Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
All Things Pretty from Sparkles and a Stove
Foodie Friday from Simple Living & Eating

Black Bean & Quinoa Veggie Stew

25 Nov

Mmm so tasty and warm and filling… and healthy! I cooked up a huge batch, froze the leftovers in individual containers, and have been enjoying this hearty stew more and more as it’s gotten colder.

I like it like chili: with some shredded cheddar on top and scooped up with tortilla chips.

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I used collards because that’s what I had, but you could use other greens, like kale or spinach. Or you could leave ’em out altogether if that’s not your thing.

This is a short one, but I’ll leave you with this gem: beans, beans, they’re good for your heart colon.

Enjoy!

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Black Bean & Quinoa Veggie Stew adapted from Oh She Glows

1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
1/2 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 large onion, diced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped to 1/2″ dice
1 carrot, sliced
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
6 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (1 can, drained and rinsed)
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 handfuls collard greens

In a medium-sized pot, add quinoa along with 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cover. Simmer covered for about 15-20 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Remove from heat, fluff with fork, and keep it covered until ready to use.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pot. Add garlic and onion, and sauté for a few minutes over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. Add the sweet potato and carrots, and sauté for 5-7 minutes more.

Stir in the cumin, chili powder, and broth. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer for about 18-20 minutes uncovered, or until the potatoes are tender.

Just before serving, stir in the cooked quinoa, black beans, cayenne, and greens. Season with salt and pepper to taste, adding more spice if desired.

Linking Up With:

Funday Monday from Still Being Molly
Block Party from Sumo’s Sweet Stuff
Made by you Monday from Skip to my Lou
Inspiration Monday from Twelve O Eight
Time to Sparkle from Love Grows Wild
Wonderful Food Wednesday from All She Cooks
Create It Thursday from Lamberts Lately
All Things Pretty from Sparkles and a Stove
Foodie Friday from Simple Living & Eating

Milky Way Pecan Pie

10 Nov

Back in September, I bought a huge bag of chocolate candy — the good stuff, like M&Ms, Snickers, Milky Way, Twix. I told the BF it was enough to last us through Halloween and the fall season, and I wasn’t wrong. Even after leaving a bowl out for the neighbors on Halloween night, we still have a ton left.

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I had predicted this and decided to sacrifice a dozen mini Milky Way bars on Halloween afternoon. I needed a dish to share at a party, and it felt right to include candy in some way. And once I tasted this, I knew I had made the right decision. Because really, pecan pie is great, but it’s even better with chocolate.

Still have leftover Halloween candy? Use Milky Way bars or whatever chocolate candy you like for this recipe. Don’t have any left? Just go out and buy some. This pie is worth it. The graham cracker crust gives it kind of a cookie bar texture and flavor. So it’s kind of like a pie-shaped slice of a chocolate pecan cookie bar. Also known as heaven.

IMG_2730

Milky Way Pecan Pie adapted from Bakerella

Crust:

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons white sugar
3 tablespoons melted butter

Pie:

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon self-rising flour
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup melted butter
2 eggs
3/4 cup pecans
1 cup chopped Milky Way bars (~10 fun-size bars)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the graham cracker crust ingredients together until thoroughly blended and press into the bottom of an 8″ pie pan. Bake for 5-7 minutes.

Place brown sugar and flour in a large bowl and whisk until combined.

In a small bowl, mix together white sugar and hot water until sugar is dissolved. Add to the large bowl. Add vanilla, and stir until thoroughly combined.

Add melted butter. Fold into mixture until it disappears.

Loosely beat two eggs in a separate bowl and fold into mixture until the eggs disappear. Fold in pecans and Milky Way chunks.

Pour mixture into prepared pie pan. Return to oven and bake for about 35 minutes, or until pie has set and edges are browned.

Milky Way Pecan Pie

Linking Up With:

Funday Monday from Still Being Molly
Block Party from Sumo’s Sweet Stuff
Made by you Monday from Skip to my Lou
Inspiration Monday from Twelve O Eight
Time to Sparkle from Love Grows Wild
Wonderful Food Wednesday from All She Cooks
Create It Thursday from Lamberts Lately
Full Plate Thursday from Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
All Things Pretty from Sparkles and a Stove
Foodie Friday from Simple Living & Eating

Classic Potato Soup

4 Nov

I feel like all I’m posting lately are soups and desserts. But that’s pretty much all I’m cooking, so I guess that’s about right. I’m not sure how long my soup obsession will last — it’s a relatively new thing, so I’m not sure if it will stick around. And of course I’ve always been obsessed with chocolate and sweets, so that seems like a permanent thing.

At any rate, I wanted to share this one with you now because it is so tasty and warm and filling and comforting. So if the time change has got you down — and I know I’m pretty down when I get home from work and it’s already completely dark — then this is the soup for you. It’s delicious and super unhealthy and it will warm you from the inside out. And it’s definitely hearty enough to be a complete meal. Though maybe you could balance it out with a nice salad or something.

Typically I try to give you options for vegetarian/vegan alternatives, and I am usually inclined to take that route myself. And I guess here you could go with vegetable broth and facon if you so desire. But really, if I’m talking comfort food, I’m talking about real bacon. I highly recommend it.

Potato Soup

Potato Soup from The Pioneer Woman

2-3 slices bacon
1/2 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
4 whole small potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon cajun spice mix
4 cups (free-range, organic, low sodium) chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup cheddar, grated

Cook bacon in a large soup pot over medium heat until bacon is crisp and fat is rendered. Remove the bacon from the pot and set it aside. Pour off most of the grease, but do not clean the pot.

Return the hot to medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Stir and cook for 2 minutes or so, then add the diced potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, seasoning with salt, pepper, and Cajun spice.

Pour in the broth and bring it to a gentle boil. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the potatoes are starting to get tender. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and the milk, then pour into the soup and allow the soup to cook for another 5 minutes.

Remove about 2/3 of the soup, and blend in a blender or food processor until completely smooth. Pour it back into the soup pot and stir to combine. Stir in cream. Check for spices, salt, pepper, and temperature, adjusting as needed.

Serve in bowls garnished with grated cheese and crumbled bacon.

IMG_2718

Linking Up With:

Funday Monday from Still Being Molly
Block Party from Sumo’s Sweet Stuff
Made by you Monday from Skip to my Lou
Inspiration Monday from Twelve O Eight
Melt In Your Mouth Monday from Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms
Time to Sparkle from Love Grows Wild
Wonderful Food Wednesday from All She Cooks
Create It Thursday from Lamberts Lately
Full Plate Thursday from Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
All Things Pretty from Sparkles and a Stove
Foodie Friday from Simple Living & Eating

Biscoff Blondies

21 Oct

So after Biscoff Brownies, my first experiment with cookie butter, I was both completely enthralled by Biscoff and I still had some left in the pantry. So since brownies had already been done, I tried my hand with blondies. And this is rare for me, because as you know, I’m a straight-up chocaholic, but…

OH MY STARS Y’ALL THESE ARE SO GOOD YOU HAVE NO IDEA STOP READING AND MAKE THESE RIGHT NOW. RIGHT. NOW.

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Here’s the thing. Once cooled and cut into bars, these are just as good as any other brownie or blondie. Delicious, but not completely insane.

But if you bake these, pull them out of the oven, and then proceed to immediately eat them with a fork out of the pan? You will think you have died and gone to heaven. Oh yes you will.

IMG_2700

Like, after I cut them up the next day into actual bars, I tasted one, and it was good. But really, I was trying to give the bars to family and friends and coworkers to get rid of them as fast as I could in order to justify baking another batch to eat straight out of the oven. I guess it would have been smarter to leave them in the pan and re-heat them in the oven the next day, but I just didn’t know any better. Please, learn from my mistakes. I beg you.

IMG_2701

Here’s the recipe. You’re welcome.

Biscoff Blondies from The Traveling Spoon

3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup Biscoff cookie butter spread
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×8-inch baking pan lightly with butter. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter, Biscoff spread, and brown sugar until just combined. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Stir egg and vanilla into the cooled Biscoff mixture until just blended. Add the flour mixture, and stir until smooth. The batter will be very thick. Fold in chocolate chips.

Transfer mixture into the prepared pan, spreading evenly with the back of a spoon (or mush it with your fingers, if necessary). Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown. Eat directly from warm pan! (Or, if you just gotta be like that, cool in pan on a wire rack before cutting and serving.)

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Linking up With:

Funday Monday from Still Being Molly and Lipgloss and Crayons
Block Party from Sumo’s Sweet Stuff
Made by you Monday from Skip to my Lou
Inspiration Monday from I Should Be Mopping the FloorTwelve O Eight,Redhead Can Decorate, and Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom
Melt In Your Mouth Monday from Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms
Time to Sparkle from Love Grows WildInside BruCrew LifeThe Recipe Critic, and The Gunny Sack
Create It Thursday from Lamberts Lately
Full Plate Thursday from Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
All Things Pretty from Sparkles and a Stove and My Fashion Forward Blog
Foodie Friday from Simple Living & Eating

Eggplant Bharta

14 Oct

When I was in Hendersonville, we stopped by a new spice and tea shop on Main Street, and I picked up a packet of garam masala. So since then, I’ve been wanting to use it to make something delicious. When I got an eggplant in our CSA, I thought that was the perfect opportunity.

I did a little internet research, trying to find a recipe that was authentic but wouldn’t have too many specialty ingredients that I’d have to go out and purchase. Naturally, the result was delicious, but maybe not quite as delicious as if I had spent the time and money on those speciality ingredients.

I know it looks like mush, but it's actually really good.

I served this eggplant bharta (I believe bharta just means ‘mashed’) with jasmine rice and mini chicken tikka samosas from Trader Joe’s. The eggplant was not incredibly flavorful, but combined with the samosas and rice, it was really delicious. The BF and I are both fairly light eaters, so this recipe and a box of frozen samosas made dinner for the both of us and another lunch for me. If you’re cooking for more than two, I would definitely recommend getting two eggplants and doubling the recipe. I also recommend attempting this on a weekend since prepping and roasting the eggplant will take quite some time. But the results are worth it! Try it out!

Eggplant Bharta

Eggplant Bharta adapted from Indianfood.about.com and FineCooking.com

1 medium-sized eggplant
1 tbsps cooking oil
1 shallot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2″ piece of ginger, grated
4 oz (~3/4 cup) grape tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp garam masala

Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise. With the tip of a knife, score the flesh deeply in a diamond cross-hatch pattern by making two or three long cuts, cutting at a steep angle, and then rotating the eggplant to make another set of similar cuts. Press on the edges of the halves to open the cuts and sprinkle salt over the surface and into the cuts. Set aside, cut side up, for 30 min. Heat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Over the sink, gently squeeze the eggplant to extract the salty juice and wipe them dry with a paper towel. Brush each half thoroughly with olive oil. Place each half, cut side down, on the lined baking sheet. Roast for 1 hour. The eggplant will collapse and the bottoms will be a deep brown caramel color. Let cool considerably before handling, at least 20 minutes. Gently turn the cut side up, and scoop the flesh from the skin with a spoon. Coarsely mash and set aside.

Heat the cooking oil (olive oil, vegetable oil, etc.) in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and garlic, and saute until shallots are nearly translucent and the garlic releases its smell. Add the ginger and cook for one minute more. Add the tomatoes, cumin, and garam masala. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring often to prevent the spices from sticking to the pan. (Sprinkle a bite of water if necessary.) Add the eggplant and mix well. Cook for one more minute, then serve hot with rice and/or naan.

Linking up With:

Funday Monday from Still Being Molly and Lipgloss and Crayons
Block Party from Sumo’s Sweet Stuff
Made by you Monday from Skip to my Lou
Inspiration Monday from I Should Be Mopping the FloorTwelve O Eight,Redhead Can Decorate, and Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom
Melt In Your Mouth Monday from Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms
Time to Sparkle from Love Grows WildInside BruCrew LifeThe Recipe Critic, and The Gunny Sack
Create It Thursday from Lamberts Lately
Full Plate Thursday from Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
All Things Pretty from Sparkles and a Stove and My Fashion Forward Blog
Foodie Friday from Simple Living & Eating

Almond Squash Pie

7 Oct

Squash Pie. Yep. I said it. At first I was really hesitant, but then I figured that we eat pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie, and both of those are pretty good. So why not try a squash pie?

I had a TON of yellow squash because for a few weeks at the end of the summer, we were getting them every week in our CSA. I used them in quiches and burritos and enchiladas and still had some leftover.

So in addition to taking a vegetable quiche to my grandma’s over Labor Day weekend, I decided to take a pie.

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This came out pretty good. It is super thin — more like a tart than a pie. Also, I made it in a tart pan, so there’s that.

The flavors are pretty subtle. There’s not a ton of sugar, and squash has a mild flavor, so the almond really takes over here. I think it would be cool to try it again with vanilla extract instead of almond and see how that goes.

Overall, it was good. Not necessarily my favorite, but also I prefer my desserts to be overloaded with sugar and chocolate. But if you’re looking for a more subtle flavor, this may be it.

(Also, I think I might have over-cooked it a little bit because I was watching Doctor Who and got distracted. C’est la vie.)

Have you ever had a squash pie? What do you think of it?

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Almond Squash Pie adapted from Food Network

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons cold milk
1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt

2 medium yellow squash, sliced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon almond extract
1 egg

For the crust:

Mix together flour, oil, milk, sugar, and salt. Blend evenly. Spread mixture into a 9″ pie pan or tart pan, pushing dough evenly across the bottom and up the sides.

For the pie:

Put the squash in a large pot and fill with water. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until tender, 20 minutes. Drain and press the squash with a spoon to remove any excess water.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Transfer the squash to a blender. Add the butter and flour, and blend until pureed. Add the sugar, almond extract, and egg; blend until smooth. Pour the filling into the pie crust.

Bake until the filling is set, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let the pie cool to room temperature before slicing and serving.

Linking up With:

Funday Monday from Still Being Molly and Lipgloss and Crayons
Block Party from Sumo’s Sweet Stuff
Made by you Monday from Skip to my Lou
Inspiration Monday from I Should Be Mopping the FloorTwelve O Eight,Redhead Can Decorate, and Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom
Melt In Your Mouth Monday from Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms
Time to Sparkle from Love Grows WildInside BruCrew LifeThe Recipe Critic, and The Gunny Sack
Create It Thursday from Lamberts Lately
Full Plate Thursday from Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
All Things Pretty from Sparkles and a Stove and My Fashion Forward Blog

Apple Cheddar Squash Soup

30 Sep

Do y’all know how much I am loving soup? I never thought of soup as a main dish, except for chili. But after last winter’s CSA, I found myself really enjoying soups, not least because soups are an easy way of sneaking in more veggies into your diet. I’m not a fan of simple vegetables — I like lots of added flavor and spices. The BF is happy eating steamed veggies with salt and butter, but I prefer something a little more than that, so spiced soups are awesome. Plus, I love cooking up a soup and then having bowls and bowls of it leftover for meals throughout the week. As I’ve mentioned before, I eat weird things for breakfast, and soup is one of my favorites to have in the morning.

Squash Soup's On!

When I was researching recipes to use up the 4 dozen apples I had after the Apple Fest, I found this amazing recipe for Apple Cheddar Squash Soup. Even after ABC sandwiches and Honey Apple Cake, I still had apples from the festival. I also happened to get a butternut squash in my CSA that week too, so it seemed like fate. I finally got around to making this soup and have been enjoying it since.

This soup is super tasty with subtle flavors. I thought that the soup tasted better and better with each passing day — the flavors built over a few days in the fridge and were stronger by the time I finished the last bowl around day 5. It is a pureed soup — I love eating pureed soup but I don’t love preparing it. After transferring multiple batches of soup into my semi-functioning food processor, I am feeling the need to invest in an immersion blender soon. The lid on my food processor keeps getting stuck on, and I’m certain that if I keep wrestling with it, this will eventually mean a lot of soup spilled all over my kitchen, and I really don’t want to have to clean that up. How long is it until Christmas again?

Delicious Fall in a Bowl

Apple Cheddar Squash Soup adapted from Food Network

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium apples, thinly sliced
1 medium sweet potato, diced
1 1/2 cups chopped peeled butternut squash
Salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup apple juice
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup milk
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
Bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)
Chives for garnish (optional)
Crusty bread, for serving (optional)

Melt butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion, apples, sweet potato, and squash. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Cook until the onion is soft, about 8 minutes.

Stir in the sage and flour. Add the apple juice and cook over high heat, stirring, until thickened. Add the broth and milk. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the potato is soft, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the cheese to the soup and stir over medium-low heat until melted.

Puree in a food processor or blender in batches until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. If necessary, transfer back to the pot and cook uncovered over low heat until soup reaches desired consistency.

Garnish with crumbled bacon, chives, and more cheese, if using. Serve with bread.

Linking up With:

Funday Monday from Still Being Molly and Lipgloss and Crayons
Block Party from Sumo’s Sweet Stuff
Made by you Monday from Skip to my Lou
Inspiration Monday from I Should Be Mopping the FloorTwelve O EightRedhead Can Decorate, and Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom
Melt In Your Mouth Monday from Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms
Create It Thursday from Lamberts Lately
All Things Pretty from Sparkles and a Stove and My Fashion Forward Blog

Biscoff Brownies

23 Sep

I have been hearing so much about Biscoff spread lately! I’ve seen about a bazillion Biscoff-themed pins on Pinterest. And this came on the heels of the BF gently telling me that Biscoff, a.k.a. Europe’s favorite cookie with coffee, is vastly superior to whatever cookies I mistakenly brought home from the grocery store. So when I realized that this Biscoff spread existed and was created out of the same cookie that is Europe’s and the BF’s favorite cookie with coffee, I thought a Biscoff dessert would be appropriate.

I was craving chocolate, so Biscoff Brownies sounded perfect. But here I am using the word “Biscoff” a dozen times in a row, and I didn’t even use actual Biscoff in this recipe. I’m a fraud! I used a knock-off “cookie spread” from Trader Joe’s. And let me tell you, it was delicious.

Look at those Biscoff swirls!

I may try to use this brownie recipe either on its own or with other spreads, like Nutella. The brownies are so ooey-gooey and mushy and fudgy — my favorite kind of brownies. The original recipe called for 3 eggs, and I only had two, so I substituted 1/4 cup homemade applesauce for the third egg. Maybe that’s what made it extra gooey. Just in case, I will definitely make it with applesauce from now on. Also, the original recipe called for vanilla extract, and I just now realized that I completely forgot to put it in. I didn’t even notice. But do with that information what you will.

They’re so good! There may or may not be a hole cut into the middle of the brownie dish right now… I like the gooey center pieces so I avoid the edges. I’m going to go off to have another brownie while I research other Biscoff recipes now. Cheers!

Mmm... chocolatey gooey goodness

Biscoff Brownies adapted from Unsophisticook

3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup cocoa powder
2 eggs
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup Biscoff Spread, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a square 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper or give it a coating of baking spray.

Melt the butter in the microwave. Whisk in sugar, salt and cocoa powder.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs well, and then whisk in the applesauce and chocolate mixture until well combined.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder until well combined. Stir the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Melt Biscoff Spread in the microwave and drizzle over the top of the brownie batter. Use a clean butter knife to swirl the Biscoff Spread into the batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes. When you jiggle the pan, the center of the brownies should be firm. Cool on a wire rack.

Linking up With:

Funday Monday from Still Being Molly and Lipgloss and Crayons
Block Party from Sumo’s Sweet Stuff
Made by you Monday from Skip to my Lou
Inspiration Monday from I Should Be Mopping the Floor, Twelve O Eight, Redhead Can Decorate, and Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom
Melt In Your Mouth Monday from Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms
Time to Sparkle from Love Grows WildInside BruCrew LifeThe Recipe Critic, and The Gunny Sack
Create It Thursday from Lamberts Lately
All Things Pretty from Sparkles and a Stove and My Fashion Forward Blog

ABC (Apple-Bacon-Cheddar) Sandwiches

16 Sep

OMG these sandwiches are so good. The BF and I have enjoyed them multiple times in the past few weeks, as we’ve tried to use up all the apples from the Apple Festival. This was actually the first apple recipe we made.

I’ve mentioned before how much I love grilled cheese. It’s a life-long love affair. Cheese is essentially a food group for me.

Cheesy & Appley

My favorite cheese sandwiches right now:

  • The BAM (Bacon, apple, mushroom + gruyere on sourdough) from Sandwhich, one of my favorite lunch spots in Chapel Hill.
  • The Orchard (apple, ham, cheddar, and rosemary on country white) from American Meltdown, my favorite grilled cheese food truck. The BF and I regularly track down the big orange truck in Durham and elsewhere around the Triangle.
  • The Guacamole Grilled Cheese I posted a couple months ago.
  • The ABC (apple, bacon, cheddar on country white), recipe below.

Served up on a super thick slice of country loaf from Bread & Butter and soaked in butter, this may not have been the most healthy dinner, but it sure was tasty. Need a grilled cheese fix? Try this out. You won’t regret it.

Here’s a recipe. I didn’t really use amounts because sandwiches are one of those things where you should just put however much you want to on the bread.

ABC... easy as 123

ABC Sandwich

2 slices of bread
thin slices of apple (Granny Smith if you like tart; Gala if you like sweet)
bacon slices
cheddar slices
butter

Slice everything up. Arrange slices of cheddar cheese on the surface of both slices of bread. Broil or toast until the cheese is melted and the bread is slightly crispy.

While the bread is toasting, fry up a couple slices of bacon in a skillet. When finished, rest bacon on a paper towel.

Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter in a pan over medium heat. Transfer a slice of cheesy bread to the pan, layer on the apple and bacon. Sandwich the other slice of cheesy bread on top. Flip the sandwich when the bread is golden brown, only a couple minutes on each side.

ABC with Sweet Potato Fries

Linking up With:

Funday Monday from Still Being Molly and Lipgloss and Crayons
Block Party from Sumo’s Sweet Stuff
Made by you Monday from Skip to my Lou
Time to Sparkle from Love Grows WildInside BruCrew LifeThe Recipe Critic, and The Gunny Sack
Create It Thursday from Lamberts Lately
All Things Pretty from Sparkles and a Stove and My Fashion Forward Blog