Lasagna Roll-Ups

I love lasagna as much as the next person, but sometimes I get frustrated when it comes apart. I don’t have the patience to let it sit for a while after it comes out of the oven, so I usually have to deal with “deconstructed lasagna,” a.k.a. lasagna that falls apart.

That’s why I love these lasagna roll-ups. They’re fun and easy to make, and they stay in one piece better than towering layers of flat lasagna noodles.

These lasagna roll-ups can be as simple or as complex as you want them to be. You can use jar marinara sauce for the top like I did, or if you want to make your own sauce or use some homemade that you have on hand, you can.

You can also sub in different meat if you want. I really like the prosciutto in this dish, though. My trick for making it seem more meaty is rolling up the thin prosciutto and then chopping it, so it sticks together and becomes more like thick chunks. My boyfriend told me he liked the consistency of it and was surprised by how meaty it was. I rarely cook with meat so I think he appreciates it when I sneak some in.

The roll-ups are delicious on day one but they’re even better on day two, which is a feat for a pasta dish. My boyfriend and I microwaved the leftovers yesterday and they were so good. The flavors really came together and the texture of the lasagna was still on point.

Here’s a song to get you started on your lasagna roll-up journey.

Lasagna Roll-Ups

Ingredients

for the béchamel sauce:
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 tsp AP flour
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
pinch ground nutmeg

for the lasagna:
1 15-oz container whole milk ricotta cheese
1 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan
3 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
1 large egg, beaten to blend
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 Tbsp olive oil
12 uncooked lasagna noodles
2 cups marinara sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella

Directions

First, make the béchamel sauce. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and continue to whisk the mixture for a few minutes. Whisk in the milk and increase the heat to medium high. Whisk the sauce for a few more minutes until it starts simmering and has thickened. Whisk in the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Set the sauce aside.

Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan and set aside. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Whisk the ricotta, spinach, 1 cup Parmesan, prosciutto, egg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl until it’s well blended.

Generously salt a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Add the olive oil and cook the lasagna noodles until they’re tender but still firm to the bite. Drain the noodles.

Spoon the béchamel sauce into the prepared pan and spread it out to coat the bottom. Place the noodles on a work surface and spread about 3 Tbsp of filling on top of each one. Roll up and then place the noodles, seam-side down, in the béchamel sauce. Make sure the noodle roll-ups do not touch. Pour the marinara sauce on top and then sprinkle on the rest of the Parmesan cheese and the mozzarella cheese.

Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes. Cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!

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Spaghetti with Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard

This pasta dish came about because I had a bunch of Swiss chard in my garden that I wanted to use up before the weather turned, and because I wanted to make the most of butternut squash I see at the farmers’ market every weekend. Swiss chard and squash are two of my favorite fall ingredients.

They pair well together because even though they’re both earthy, Swiss chard is more like kale and butternut squash is sweet, so they compliment each other well. They also both pair well with cheese, which is another star ingredient in this pasta dish.

You can use any kind of noodle in this dish but I would recommend spaghetti or a more substantial noodle. There’s a lot going on, so you want to have a noodle that will hold up well under cheese and vegetables.

This is the perfect dish to make when you don’t feel like cooking. It takes minimal effort but delivers maximal flavor.

It also spotlights the best ingredients of the season, which don’t stick around for too long (unfortunately).

Here’s a song to get you started on your spaghetti with butternut squash and Swiss chard journey.

Spaghetti with Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard

Ingredients

1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 package spaghetti
5 leaves of Swiss chard, thinly sliced
4 cloves minced garlic
olive oil
juice of one lemon
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
pinch of red pepper flakes
olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and more Parm for topping

Directions

First, roast the butternut squash. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Toss the butternut squash with a drizzle of olive oil and some salt, and roast the cubes for about 30 minutes, or until they’re tender and slightly brown. Remove the squash from the oven and set aside to cool.

Boil the spaghetti according to package directions. In the meantime, heat some olive oil in a large lidded skillet on medium heat. Add the Swiss chard and garlic and sauté for a few minutes until the Swiss chard is wilted. Put the lid on and let it sit until your spaghetti is done.

When the spaghetti is done, drain it while reserving a little pasta water for tossing later. Add the spaghetti to the skillet with the pasta water, lemon juice, Parmesan, red pepper flakes, butternut squash, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss the ingredients together to combine, then serve. Enjoy!

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Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins

For the past few months, I’ve started to bake a lot of gluten-free food. I love gluten as much as the next person, maybe even more, but I’ve noticed that when I cut down on wheat, I feel better.

That brings me to these gluten-free pumpkin muffins. They’re one of my favorite muffins I’ve made recently, and that’s saying a lot because I usually bake them every other week.

These muffins incorporate amaranth flour, which is familiar to people with gluten-free diets but probably unfamiliar to the rest of us. I had never heard of it until I read about its nutty flavor and smooth texture, and then I decided to incorporate it into these muffins. It also has lots of health benefits, so I figured it would be a good addition.

These muffins have all the best elements of fall: They’re slightly sweet, earthy, nutty, warming, and most importantly, filling. They’re the perfect thing to make on a chilly Sunday and store for the rest of the week for breakfast. I ate about two a day and I didn’t get tired of them.

I’d recommend sprinkling powdered sugar on top of each one once they’ve cooled, but if you want to cut down on sugar, you can omit that step. Or you can take them in the opposite direction and add icing, which would make them more like cupcakes.

Here’s a song to get you started on your gluten-free pumpkin muffin journey.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients

2 large eggs
100 g blonde cane sugar
7 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/4 cup amaranth flour
1/4 cup white rice flour
pinch of sea salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with 12 liners.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs with cane sugar on medium until light in color. Reduce the speed and beat in the melted butter and pumpkin purée.

In a large bowl, combine the flours with sea salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Mix the dry ingredients into the bowl of the stand mixer using a spatula.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups and bake for 25 minutes, or until the tops spring back to the touch. Allow the muffins to cool briefly in the pan and then turn them onto a rack to cool all the way. Top with powdered sugar. Enjoy!

Posted in Breakfast, Brunch, Gluten-Free, Muffins, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos

Last fall when I visited my friend Lyz out in California, she made nachos for dinner. When I asked her to show me how to do it, she was surprised. “You’ve never made nachos before?” she said. I had not. I grew up eating chips and dip, and I’ve had my fair share of takeout nachos, but I’d never actually eaten them at home.

When I saw how easy it was, I decided to create my own version at home. I use thinly-sliced sweet potatoes instead of tortilla chips, and I get creative with toppings.

I had Jim slice the potatoes for me last night because I still have PTSD from when I cut off part of my thumb on a mandoline. Without going into too much detail or preventing you from making these nachos, four years ago when I was living in DC, I decided to cut a peach with a mandoline to make peach pancakes. Peaches are slippery little suckers, and it got away from me. If it weren’t for my good reflexes, I’d probably be down part of a thumb.

Anyway, now I’m completely healed and you can barely see the scar. But sometimes I still worry about cutting stuff on a mandoline, which is why I’m glad that Jim is here.

Feel free to sub toppings in this recipe. I’d recommend keeping the avocado and black beans because they pair so well with the sweet potato, but you could get creative with vegetables. You could also use a different kind of cheese than Monterey Jack, although I love how that melts down and browns in the oven.

My favorite part of this recipe is it comes together on one pan. Actually, two pans if you want to space out the sweet potatoes so they cook more evenly. I decorated two with toppings last night and told Jim that we should each eat one. We ended up each eating about half and saving the rest for lunch today.

Also, you could easily make this dish vegan. My sister is vegan now so I thought of her after I made it, and recommended that she gives it a try. Just sub the Monterey Jack out for vegan cheese.

Here’s a song to get you started on your loaded sweet potato nachos journey.

Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos

Ingredients

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup cooked black beans
1 bunch of radishes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup salsa
1 avocado, diced
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
1 lime
1/4 cup Adobo sauce (from canned chipotles in Adobo sauce)
salt and black pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.

Toss the sweet potatoes with olive oil and some salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread the sweet potatoes on your prepared baking sheets. Bake them for about 15 minutes. Then sprinkle the shredded cheese on top and bake for about 10 more minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown and bubbling and the potatoes are soft and brown around the edges.

In the meantime, prepare your toppings. Toss the sliced radishes in your salsa.

To assemble, take the baking sheets with the sweet potatoes out of the oven and sprinkle with all your toppings. Enjoy!

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Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes, Peas, and Crab

I’m usually a purist when it comes to pasta. I’ll put veggies in, and sometimes I’ll do a meat sauce, but I hardly ever go the seafood route.

However, pasta is actually the perfect vehicle for any and all seafood. It’s a neutral backdrop so you can play around with toppings. For this spaghetti, I decided to combine crab with tomatoes from the farmers’ market, a bunch of fresh herbs, and frozen peas (that I obviously cooked).

A word about fresh herbs: If you’ve ever read Samin Nosrat‘s “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat,” or heard her talk about cooking, she always emphasizes the value of fresh herbs. I’d tend to agree. They don’t cost that much, and they add way more flavor than dried herbs. They also take the dish’s sophistication up a notch. I know we’re not all shooting for restaurant quality at home, but if that’s your goal, you might want to invest in some fresh herbs.

This dish comes together quickly even though it sounds fancy, making it the perfect dish to serve for a dinner party, or even just yourself if you want to treat yourself to something delicious.

My two favorite parts of the recipe are cooking the peas and pasta in the same pot (hello, fewer dishes), and letting the roasted tomatoes sit in the oven once they’re done cooking. You might be like, what? Won’t they burn? The simple answer is, no. You roast the tomatoes at 350 degrees F, a relatively low temp, and they will cool along with the oven after you turn it off. Also, it saves counter space and time as you don’t have to remove the pan from the oven in the middle of assembling the rest of the dish.

Here’s a song to get you started on your spaghetti journey. I heard it in my friend Julicia’s Instagram story the other day and now I’m hooked.

Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes, Peas, and Crab

Ingredients

for the tomatoes:
2 cups cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp chopped marjoram
3 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

for the pasta:
1 cup frozen peas
16 oz spaghetti
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 Tbsp chopped marjoram
1 lb cooked crab meat (from one large can)
3/4 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley, plus more for garnish

Directions

First, roast the tomatoes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Toss the tomatoes in a bowl with garlic, sugar, chopped marjoram, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread into a baking dish and roast for about 25 minutes. When they’re done, turn off the oven and leave the tomatoes in there to stay warm.

To make the pasta, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the peas and cook for a couple minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the water and place in a small bowl. Cook the spaghetti in the same pot according to package directions. Drain, reserving about 1/2 a cup of pasta water. Return the spaghetti to the pot and toss with a tablespoon of olive oil. Put the lid of the pot halfway on to keep the pasta warm.

Heat another tablespoon of oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes without browning them, stirring occasionally. Add the white wine and bring the mixture to a simmer. Increase the heat slightly and let the wine reduce for a couple minutes. Add the marjoram, crab, and chicken broth, season with salt and pepper, and let the mixture simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Add the heavy cream and reserved peas and simmer for a few more minutes. Stir in the parsley, then add in the spaghetti and toss to coat the noodles in toss. Add the roasted tomatoes and toss the whole mixture together. Serve with more parsley. Enjoy!

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Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts with Maple Glaze

I go through stages in cooking and baking where I become obsessed with a particular thing. In 2017 and 2018, it was smoothie bowls. Last year and the beginning of this year, it was laminate, aka buttery French pastries.

Now, I’m heading into my baked doughnut stage, and I couldn’t be happier. It all started at the beginning of the pandemic when I was stuck inside for days on end, and I wanted a simple baking project that would deliver delicious results.

I also wanted something that wasn’t laden with fat and grease. I love a fried doughnut as much (or more) than the next person, but I don’t like making big batches of them at home. They really only taste good on day one, and I feel gross if I eat a bucket full of them by myself.

That’s not the case with baked doughnuts. They are fluffy and light, and they pack a lot of flavor without drowning in oil and grease. Yes; they have a different texture than standard doughnuts, but that’s not a bad thing. They’re like a lighter cake doughnut that you can eat three at a time.

Which brings me to these apple cider doughnuts with maple glaze. I went to an apple orchard last week with my boyfriend and picked up a big jug of local cider. The first thing on my list to make with it were doughnuts.

The batter incorporates a healthy pour of apple cider, fall spices, and buttermilk, which gives it a tangy flavor that balances the sweet and tart flavors.

The maple glaze on top though is what really steals the show. Make sure you use good maple syrup because that makes a big difference in flavor.

I sprinkled some nonpareils on top of each doughnut. If you go this route, make sure you put the sprinkles on as fast as you can after you apply the glaze. The glaze sets quickly and you want to make sure the sprinkles adhere to the doughnut before it does.

Here’s a song to get you started on your apple cider doughnut journey.

Baked Apple Cider Doughnut with Maple Glaze

Ingredients

for the doughnuts:
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 eggs
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup apple cider
1/4 cup buttermilk

for the maple glaze:
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
pinch of kosher salt

Directions

Grease two doughnut pans and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat the eggs with the softened butter until smooth, then beat in the apple cider and buttermilk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until combined (do not overmix). Spoon or pipe the batter into the prepared baking pans.

Bake the doughnuts for 8-10 minutes or until the tops spring back to the touch. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing them and placing them on a wire rack to cool completely.

Once the doughnuts are completely cool, making the glaze. Melt the butter and maple syrup together in a small saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the confectioners’ sugar and salt. Dip the top of a doughnut in the glaze, place on a wire rack, and put sprinkles on top. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts. Enjoy!

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Cherry Coconut Granola with Cacao Nibs

On Labor Day I thought about making pancakes or French toast for breakfast, and then I decided to make granola instead. Pancakes and French toast are all about immediate gratification, which I’m a big fan of, but homemade granola is the gift that keeps on giving.

I usually cave and buy granola pre-made, but there’s something special about making it at home. You get to play around with flavor and texture combos, and you also get to control the amount of sugar that goes into it. Some granola is way too sweet, so I like having the option of adding just the right amount of sweetener.

You can play around with the dried fruit and nuts that you include in my recipe, but I think a good standard granola recipe always includes three basics: nuts, dried fruit, and of course, oats. You can leave out the coconut if you’re not a fan, but I like how it pairs with the cherries and cacao nibs in this recipe.

I don’t always like eating yogurt every morning for breakfast, but since I’ve made this granola, I’ve had yogurt bowls for three days straight. The granola lasts for a month in an airtight container, so I see many more yogurt bowls in my future.

If you want to see me making the granola step by step, visit my Instagram page.

Here’s a song to get you started on your homemade granola journey.

Cherry Coconut Granola with Cacao Nibs

Ingredients

260 g rolled oats
225 g combined coconut flakes, chia seeds and sliced almonds
115 g apple juice
115 g maple syrup
55 g melted coconut oil
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp flaky sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
170 g dried cherries
cacao nibs to taste

Directions

First, combine the rolled oats with the mixed coconut flakes, chia seeds, and sliced almonds in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk the apple juice, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, sea salt, and cinnamon until smooth. Pour the wet ingredients on the dry and toss with a spatula to combine. Spread onto a prepared baking sheet so it’s in one even layer.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the granola for about 45-50 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes, until it’s evenly browned. Remove it from the oven, let it cool completely on the baking sheet, then toss in the dried cherries and cacao nibs. Store in an airtight container for a month. Enjoy!

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Caramel Apple Galette

When I went to the farmers’ market a couple weekends ago, I couldn’t believe it because I saw the apple stand for the first time. Usually that means it’s fall, and two weeks ago, it felt like anything but fall in St. Louis. It was still upward of 90 degrees F and so humid that my hair puffed up every time I walked outside.

Now it’s cooled off a bit, and it’s easier to believe that fall is coming. Even though it seemed way too early to do this, I used the first of the season’s apple crop to make a caramel apple galette.

I like making galettes because they’re sort of a blank canvas for anything you want to put on top. They’re an especially good vehicle for fruit, which pairs well with buttery, flaky pastry and sugar.

The star of this galette, though, is the homemade caramel sauce. Believe it or not, I had never made caramel before making this galette. I thought it would be difficult, but it’s actually pretty easy as long as you pay attention every step of the way. Making caramel is all about watching for different smells, colors, and textures. You start with sugar and water, add cream and butter incrementally, and then toss in some vanilla and salt at the last minute, once the sauce is thick and brown.

I had extra sauce after drizzling some on top of the tarts, so I put it in a glass jar in the fridge. You can warm it up if you want to use it again, because it will harden in colder temperatures.

One more note: Any apple works well in this recipe, but I think tart apples work especially well. It balances the sweetness and gives it a kick.

Here’s a song to get you started on your caramel apple galette journey.

Caramel Apple Galette

Ingredients

for the caramel sauce:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
pinch of salt

for the galette dough:
1 cup AP flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
7 Tbsp cold butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup ice water

for the galette:
1 1/2 Tbsp AP flour
2 Tbsp sugar
3-4 tart apples, sliced thin
1/4 cup caramel sauce

Directions

First, make the galette dough. Pulse together the flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until small pieces form. Transfer the mixture to a wide bowl and work the dough with your fingers until it starts coming together. Sprinkle the ice water over the dough and continue tossing until the dough comes together completely. Form into a ball, tightly wrap in plastic wrap, flatten it slightly into a disk, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Next, make the caramel sauce. Mix together the sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is boiling. Make sure your cream is measured out and your butter is cut up.

Raise the heat to high and cook the mixture without stirring for about eight minutes, swirling it every so often until the mixture starts to color. Lower the heat a little and let the mixture take on a deep brown color.

Turn off the heat and pour in the cream. It will be a little chaotic in the pan so protect your hand with an oven mitt. Once the mixture settles, whisk in the butter until smooth. Add the vanilla seeds and salt. Cool the caramel completely before serving and storing.

Finally, assemble your tart. Take the galette dough out of the fridge and allow it to come to more of a room temperature. Roll it out into a 12-inch circle. Put the dough on a prepared baking sheet and refrigerate it while you cut the apples. Leave a border and sprinkle the dough with flour and half the sugar. Layer your apple slices on top and then sprinkle on the rest of the sugar. Drizzle with caramel sauce. Fold the edges of the galette over the fruit, then refrigerate the entire tart until it’s firm.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Take your prepared tart out of the fridge and brush the edges with cold water and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until the filling is bubbly and the crust is golden brown. Allow the galette to cool slightly before serving. Ice cream or whipped cream is delicious on top. Enjoy!

Posted in Dessert | Leave a comment

Oeufs en cocotte

Oeufs en cocotte, or eggs in a cocoon, is a quintessential French dish that sounds really intimidating to make, but it’s actually not.

For this version, I made a shallot and leek base, sautéd some spinach to put on top, and then cracked an egg over each ramekin and topped that with some heavy cream. Yes; it’s a lot going on in one little ramekin. But it all comes together quickly and pretty seamlessly, making it the perfect thing to serve for brunch or even a quick weeknight dinner.

The other thing about this dish that might intimidate some people is the water bath. Not many American recipes call for baking things in the oven with a layer of hot water around them, so it sounds scary and wrong. But the reality is, it’s easy and it creates an egg dish with a velvety texture. I like to pre-load my ramekins into a large baking dish, heat up some water in an electric kettle, then carefully pour it in, making sure not to get any in the ramekins themselves. Too much water in the eggs/cream equals a soppy mess.

The other piece of advice I’d give you about this recipe is, commit to the crack. It’s scary to crack individual eggs into ramekins. I’m not sure why, but it is. I guess the margin for error is higher, but the good news is, you probably won’t screw up badly enough to ruin it. You crack the egg in first before you pour cream on top, so if you have an egg crack issue, you can just scoop it out and try again with another egg. However, a little confidence goes a long way. Trust me.

Here’s a song to get you started on your oeufs en cocotte journey.

Oeufs en cocotte

Ingredients

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 small leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced
1 large shallot, diced
1/4 cup dry white wine
5 oz baby spinach
1/2 tsp ground cumin
sea salt and pepper
3 oz smoked salmon, minced
4 large eggs (or 8 if you use bigger ramekins)
6 Tbsp heavy cream
ground nutmeg

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter or grease four 8-oz ramekins or eight 4-oz ramekins, and set them aside.

Melt one tablespoon of butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the leeks and shallot and cook on low heat, stirring, for about 5 minutes until soft. Add the wine and cook the mixture into the liquid is absorbed. Set the pan aside.

In another pan, melt another tablespoon of butter over medium heat and add the spinach and cumin. Season with some healthy pinches of salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the spinach has wilted. Let the mixture cool and then squeeze the extra liquid out with your fingers. I like to wrap mine in a clean kitchen towel, wind it up, and squeeze. Finely chop the spinach mixture and set it aside.

Add some leek mixture to each ramekin, followed by some spinach, and then break one egg inside each one. Pour the cream around the egg yolk, trying hard not to cover to yolk. Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg.

Transfer the ramekins to a baking dish and pour hot water in so it comes halfway up the side of each ramekin. Try not to get any water in each ramekin. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the egg white is set and the yolk is runny. Serve with bread. Enjoy!

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Iced Lavender Latte

Lavender lattes are one of my favorite things. I’m not sure when I had one for the first time, but ever since then, I’ve craved them.

There are a bunch of places in St. Louis that make a delicious lavender latte, and I usually patronize them when a craving hits. But now COVID-19 is a concern, so even though I know cafés and coffee shops are taking precautions, I find myself making my favorite drinks at home.

That’s where this iced lavender latte comes in. I was thinking yesterday about going to get one today from a local coffee shop, but then I thought, why not try to make one myself? I have a bunch of fresh lavender in my herb garden I’ve barely touched all summer, plus some dried culinary lavender from when I made sourdough lavender apricot bread.

What’s the difference between culinary lavender and garden lavender? you may ask. Culinary lavender is dried and it’s made for baking/cooking. It has lavender flavor but it’s not as potent as fresh lavender, which packs a powerful punch.

This lavender latte recipe includes culinary and fresh lavender so you can get the most flavor possible without completely decimating your lavender garden. If you want to play around with proportions, or you don’t have any lavender in your backyard, you could add a teaspoon or two more of culinary lavender, and I’m sure it would taste just as good.

This is one of my favorite drinks I’ve made all summer, right after peach sharbat (more on that later). The lavender syrup is subtly sweet and fragrant, and it adds just the right amount of flavor to an otherwise dull latte.

Here’s a song to get you started on your iced lavender latte journey.

Iced Lavender Latte

Ingredients

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tsp culinary lavender
2 lavender sprigs, plus another for topping
1 vanilla bean, split in half
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
milk of your choice
1-2 shots espresso

Directions

First, make the lavender syrup. Combine the sugar, water, culinary lavender, two lavender sprigs, vanilla bean, and vanilla extract in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and then let the mixture cook for a minute. Remove the pan from heat and set aside until cool.

Once the mixture has cooled, strain it into a container. You can use a little to make your latte and save the rest in the fridge for later. Fill a cup with ice and pour in some milk and a couple tablespoons of lavender syrup (or less, if you don’t like your latte as sweet). Mix, then add the espresso and mix again. Enjoy!

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