Homemade Pesto & Potato Pizza

I’ve been eating a lot of pesto lately, it’s just so easy to make and tastes great on so many things. I remembered I had some pizza dough leftover in my freezer, so when I got a ton of basil, arugula, and potatoes in my CSA this week, I knew what I was going to make… pizza. My favorite easy go-to when I want something delicious that doesn’t take too long to make. I didn’t have any nuts on hand so I made a pesto without nuts and actually liked it a lot, didn’t even notice they were missing!

**not the best “final” photos… but I swear it tastes GREAT!

Ingredients:
1 cup fresh arugula
1/2 cup fresh basil
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil, and more as needed
Salt and pepper, to taste
1-2 golden potatoes, sliced (you want them to be thin enough to cook, but not so thin they burn)
1 pizza dough (I buy mine at Whole Foods or Trader Joes, or I just pick some up from my local pizza place)
1 cup shredded gouda cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a food processor, add the arugula, basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Mix until you have the texture of pesto. Set aside. Next, cook the sliced potatoes in a pan with some olive oil until fork tender but still slightly firm.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread on the pesto, followed by the potatoes, then top with the gouda cheese. Cook in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the toppings are bubbling. Crack some fresh pepper on top and perhaps come red pepper flakes, and dig in!

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Mom’s Homemade Cream Puffs

Good news everyone! My mom has shared another one of her recipes. This time it is her delicious cream puffs that she has been making us for a long time. Sometimes she’ll just make the puffs and stuff them with ice cream and drizzle with chocolate sauce, but this time she made the custard filling version… which I would drink if I could. The puffs themselves are very airy and light, and the filling is sweet but not overly so. She also said if you don’t have time to make the custard, you can simply mix together vanilla pudding and whipped cream and that will do the trick in a pinch.

Puff Dough:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
4 large eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium saucepan, slowly bring the water, butter, and salt to a boil. Remove from the heat and add all of the flour at one time, mixing well with a wooden spoon. Return to the stove and continue to beat the mixture over low heat, about 4-5 mins. Remove from the heat again and beat in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth – continue beating until the mixture is shiny and breaks into strands.

On an ungreased baking sheet lined with parchment paper, drop large heaping tablespoons of the mixture 2 inches apart (you can make smaller or larger, whichever you prefer). Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 45 mins. Don’t peek when they’re cooking or they’ll collapse! After approximately 40 mins you can check on them – if you lightly flick them with your finger, they should sound hollow. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Custard Filling:
1 1/2 cups whole milk (if don’t have, add 1/2 or light cream to low fat milk to thicken)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch (plus more as needed)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 pink heavy whipping cream

Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl and mix together. In a small saucepan, slowly heat the milk until bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Add all of the sugar/cornstarch mixture at once to the hot milk, and stir over medium heat until it boils, then add the lemon zest, turn down the heat, and let simmer for one minute. In a small bowl beat the egg yolks with a tiny bit of the hot milk mixture – this will temper the eggs so that they warm without cooking when you add them to the hot mixture. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils and thickens. Add additional cornstarch if necessary to thicken. Stir in the vanilla at the end. If the mixture is chunky at all you can pour through a fine sieve to smooth it out. Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, having the wrap actually touch the surface of the custard so that a film doesn’t form. Place in fridge to completely cool and set up. In the meantime, whisk the heavy cream vigorously in a cooled metal bowl until you have yourself some whipped cream – you can also do this with a standing mixer. When the custard is cooled, gently fold the whipped cream into the custard.

When ready to serve, slice the puffs in half and scoops a big dollop of the custard in the center. Be prepared to eat about 700 of these!

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Roasted Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream With Chocolatey Cones

My sister had a ton of fresh strawberries that she got from the farmers market in Rhode Island, so while I was home we decided to make a version of the “Sprouted Kitchen” roasted strawberry ice cream. She had the genius idea of filling the cones with chocolate and toasted coconut, which made the whole thing over the top amazing. There is nothing like homemade ice cream in the summer!

Ingredients:
2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced in half
2 teaspoons sugar
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons maple sugar (or regular sugar if you don’t have)
1 13.5 ounce can full fat coconut milk (if not full fat it tends to taste too icy and not a creamy)
1/2 vanilla bean, vanilla scraped out
1 box sugar cones
1 cup (melted) dark chocolate
1 cup unsweetened toasted coconut flakes

You want to make sure our ice cream container for the machine has been in the freezer for a good amount of time before using it. I like to keep mine in there overnight before I make my ice cream.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and top with the strawberries. Roast them for about 25 minutes or until completely softened and cooked through. Alternatively, my sister and I were already using the grill for our dinner, so we just covered the pan with aluminum foil and cooked the strawberries right on the grill! Either way works. Let the strawberries cool completely – this step is important as they cannot be warm when you add them to the ice cream maker.

While those are roasting, make the cones. Add the toasted coconut to a small shallow bowl and crunch them up a little. Next melt the chocolate. One cone at a time, pour about 1 tablespoon of the chocolate into the cone and swirl it around to coat the inside as much as you can, then dip the rim of the cone into the chocolate as well. Place the cone into the bowl of the coconut, and press the coconut to stick to the chocolate along the rim of the cone. Place together (opening first) onto a plate and put them in the freezer to harden.

Simmer a bit of water in a pot, and place a glass bowl over top. Make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Next, add the egg yolks and both sugars to the bowl and stir until they melt. You can add a little of the coconut milk if you need some more liquid to help it melt. Stir for about 5 minutes, you’ll see that the mixture looks shiny and smooth. Add the can of coconut milk and whisk everything together. The mixture will thicken just a bit. Lastly, stir in the vanilla and turn off the heat. Pour the mixture through a fine strainer to catch any of the egg bits that may have cooked. Place the bowl in the fridge to cool completely.
When the mixture is completely cooled, add it to your ice cream maker and churn according to instructions. When the ice cream is about 75% finished, add in a cup of the (cooled) roasted strawberries and let it continue until finished. At this point the ice cream is pretty soft still, but take a big bite anyway! Transfer to a container and freeze until firm. Scoop into your chocolatey coconut cones and debate whether to share with your friends or to just eat all of it in secrecy…

Lemony Goat Cheese & Mushroom Ravioli

I have a secret to share with you! Two words…. wonton wrappers. Not everyone has time to make pasta from scratch, but still wants something a little more homemade then the stuff you pick up at the grocery store. I love using wonton wrappers as my ravioli pasta, it is so easy and tastes delicious! This time I stuffed them with pan roasted mushrooms and scallions, goat cheese, ricotta, and lots of lemon. This ended up being one of my favorite pasta dishes I have made in a while! I promise they taste better than they photographed…

Seeing the ravioli was so flavorful, I just warmed up some olive oil, lemon, and red pepper flakes to drizzle something simple over the top.

Ingredients (makes about 20 ravioli)

Filling:
Wonton wrappers
7oz goat cheese
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
8-10 baby bella mushrooms, stems removed, chopped
1/3 cup freshly chopped scallions
Juice and zest of (1) small Meyer lemon
Fresh black pepper
Olive oil
Small bowl of water

Sauce:
Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Squeeze of fresh Meyer lemon juice

Cook the mushrooms and scallions over medium heat with some olive oil for about 5 minutes. Once finished, place in a food processor with the goat cheese, ricotta, lemon juice/zest, and a good crack of fresh black pepper. Mix until fully incorporated.

Place the wonton wrappers on a flat surface and top half of them with about a teaspoon of the mushroom filling. You don’t want to over fill them otherwise the filling will leak out. Next, one by one wet the edges of each ravioli with the water, then wet the edges of a (non) filled wonton sheet and place on top. Seal the edges by pressing/pinching firmly. I like to use a pastry cutter to make the edges pretty! Place all the ravioli on a plate and cover with a damp paper towel to help them not dry out until you’re ready to boil them. In a large pot of boiling salted water, drop in half of the ravioli and let cook until pasta is soft, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon.

For the topping, just cook the olive oil, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes for 1-2 minutes on the stove, and pour over top the pasta when serving. I also added some fresh shaved Parmesan cheese and a little more black pepper.

Simple Crostini Recipe

A crostini is the answer to all your appetizer needs when you don’t have time to make something crazy but still want it to be delicious. Or if you’re just feeling lazy and want some good old bread covered in delicious toppings (aka every day of my life)

These I made for dinner last night, and it took all of 15 minutes to throw them together. You can really use whatever you like! I made sure to make a “dessert” one to save for last…

This recipe makes two of each, but you can adjust the ingredients based on how many you’re making!

Avocado Crostini:
1 small avocado
Squeeze of lemon juice
2-4 small radishes, sliced
2 eggs, hard boiled and sliced
2 chives, chopped
Drizzle of olive oil
Maldon salt
2 pieces sliced baguette

Start by hard boiling the eggs – my trick is to place them right in the pot with the cold water then once the water starts boiling set 10 mins on the timer and you’ll have yourself some hard boiled eggs! Next, smash the avocado with some lemon juice (which helps to keep it from browning) and spread on the bread. Top with the sliced eggs, radishes, chives, Maldon salt, and a smal drizzle of olive oil.

Goat cheese & Fig Crostini:
6 tablespoons goat cheese
2-3 figs chopped
2 piece prosciutto
1/2 teaspoon spiced honey (I used Mike’s Hot Honey, but you can also just mix some paprika etc with some honey)
2 pieces sliced baguette

To assemble, just spread on the goat cheese, followed by the prosciutto, chopped figs, and a drizzle of the spiced honey.

Ricotta & Strawberry Crostini:
4 tablespoons ricotta
1 teaspoon honey
3-4 fresh strawberries, sliced
10 small edible flowers, optional (you can usually find these at Whole Foods or Eataly in NY)
2 pieces sliced baguette

In a small bowl (or food processor) whip together the ricotta cheese and honey. Spread on the bread and top with the sliced strawberries and edible flowers.

Not Your Mama’s Yogurt

I got these absolutely beautiful edible flowers in my CSA this week, which I was very excited about. I’ve always wanted to use them – they make everything look so gorgeous! I have some flower ice cubes freezing right now which I will hopefully be posting tomorrow, but in the meantime here is the yogurt I made this morning! Very easy to make, with a few simple ingredients…

Ingredients:
1/3 cup frozen or fresh mango, chopped
1/3 cup frozen or fresh pitted cherries, chopped
1/3 cup dry coconut flakes (I used regular unsweetened, but toasted would be delicious too)
8-10 small edible flowers, optional (Whole Foods usually has these)
2 cups Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon raw honey
Heavy pinch of cinnamon

If you’re using frozen fruit, simply warm up in separate bowls until thawed, about 1 minute. To assemble, fill bowl with yogurt, and top with the rest of the ingredients!

Mango Coconut Yogurt Popsicles

IT’S POPSICLE SEASON!!! I was cleaning my kitchen up this weekend and stumbled across my popsicle mold and got overly excited and ran right out to the store in order to make some popsicles immediately. I had a mango on hand, so I decided to go with a mango, coconut, and yogurt mix. It was so good. The only frustrating thing is the fact that you have to wait for them to freeze. I made them at night and ran to the fridge in the morning to eat one… because it’s summer, and therefor popsicles are an acceptable breakfast food…

Ingredients:
1 large mango, skin removed and chopped
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 (13.5oz) can light coconut milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup coconut water

Simply mix all the ingredients in a food processor, and pour into the popsicle molds! Place in freezer until frozen – at least 4-5 hours, but I tend to do overnight just to be safe.