I could not be more basic. Truly, we had one evening of *slightly* chilly weather, and I am suddenly dreaming of fall. Give me tissue turtlenecks and riding boots if it means we can rid ourselves of summer heat. To celebrate the change of seasons, I have two goodies to share with you today. First, a fall shopping guide, full of a few new favorites and things I’m eyeing. Secondly, a sun-dried tomato quiche recipe from my book, Her Daily Bread. Let’s get after it!
Cordless Lamps Light up your fall gatherings with these luxe cordless touch lamps with adjustable lighting!
Suede Western Boots I’m told western is in- these boots from Madewell are the perfect tone for fall!
Sun-Dried Tomato Quiche
This recipe for sun-dried tomato quiche is from my first book, Her Daily Bread. (If you haven’t checked it out already, please do!) The recipe was inspired by my sister. A number of years ago, she asked a waiter what the “kweesh” of the day was. Even though she was maybe 12 at the time, I have not let her live it down since. Sorry, Cheney.
I adore the flavors of this sun-dried tomato quiche, so much so, that I made it for a brunch last weekend! I think it makes the perfect vegetarian option for any breakfast or brunch, but it’s rich enough to enjoy whenever. Flavored with feta, parmesan, and Italian herbs, this quiche is perfect anytime of the year, truly.
Making the Quiche
To make this quiche, we start with the crust. Here, I use my favorite pie crust. You can read all about my best tips on making homemade pie doughs here! Once par-baked, the remaining ingredients come together in a single bowl. Half and half, whole eggs, and herbs pour over the cheese and diced tomatoes. After a good bake, the slices are ready for enjoying.
What to Serve with Quiche
I like the serve quiche slices warm with a mixed green salad. This one tastes terrific with a sweet balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing. Quiche also makes a great accompaniment to soup or a stand-alone dish to serve with various brunch options. The best thing about quiche is that it’s flexible on temperature. Served hot or every just room temperature, it tastes good either way.
Give the sun-dried tomato quiche a try and let me know what you think! Happy baking and happy shopping!
If you like this sun-dried tomato quiche you should try:
This sun-dried tomato quiche is flavored with feta and parmesan cheese, Italian herbs, and a buttery pie crust!
Total Time:1 hour
For the pie dough:
1–3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Approximately 5 tablespoons ice cold water
1 large egg
For the quiche:
1 tablespoon butter
½ cup chopped yellow onion (about ½ of one medium onion)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups (480 gm) half and half
3 large eggs
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon dried basil
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
To make the pie dough:
Whiz the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor to combine (Note: you can also do this by hand with a pastry cutter!) Pulse in the shortening and butter, just until evenly dispersed with pea-sized clumps throughout. Begin adding ice water 2 tablespoons at a time until moist clumps begin to form. Remove dough from food processor, form it into a flat round disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour prior to use.
To prep the quiche:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out onto a floured work surface into a round of dough about an inch and a half wider on all sides than a shallow 9” tart dish. Roll the dough back onto the rolling pin and the transfer it to the dish, unrolling as you go. Gently work the dough into the edges of the dish and trim off any excess dough, leaving about an inch of excess hanging on all sides. Fold the dough under itself and gently crimp the edges into the dish, allowing the top of the dough to extend about ¾-1” above the lip of the dish. This will help keep your crust tall even after baking. If your dough has gotten soft or warm while rolling it out, place it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to chill up again.
When ready to bake, prepare your egg wash by whisking the remaining egg from the pie dough with a teaspoon of water. Place a crinkled sheet of parchment paper into the bottom of the crust and fill it with pie weights or uncooked dry beans. Bake in the preheated oven about 10 minutes, then remove the paper and weights, brush the entire crust with a thin layer of the egg wash, and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the bottom of the crust doesn’t look too wet and soggy. While the crust is baking, begin to assemble your filling.
In a small fry pan, heat the butter until melted and then cook the onion over medium heat, stirring regularly, until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
Whisk together the half and half, eggs, parmesan, Italian seasoning, basil, salt and pepper. When the crust is finished baking, spread the cooked onion mixture on top of the crust and evenly spread out the sundried tomatoes and feta. Carefully pour the egg mixture into the dish, being careful to not overflow the tart. Bake in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes or until the top is golden and the center is no longer jiggly. Serve warm or reheat individual slices in the toaster oven!
There may be a million typos in this post about today’s black and blue margaritas, because we have been traveling and my brain is still in a fog. This past week, we spent some time as a family in California visiting the San Diego Zoo. If I’ve never said it before, I’ll say it now: vacations with kids are a lot of work. Don’t get me wrong- good times were had by every one of the animal lovers in our house, but I’m definitely still recovering.
If you’ve never been or have been considering going to the San Diego Zoo with little ones, let me be the first to cheer you on. With over 1600 acres of California real estate, the zoo and accompanying safari park are more like amusement parks than anything else. Gift shops, restaurants, and hundreds of species from all over the planet round out a destination that is somehow simultaneously fun and educational. Over the past year, my kids have turned into full-on animal enthusiasts, and the zoo was the perfect indulgence for their growing little minds.
Because the zoo and safari park are in two different areas of San Diego, we opted for two different hotels during our trip. Our first leg was spent near the zoo itself, and we stayed at a nearby Marriott on Coronado Island. The second leg was dedicated to the safari park and visiting friends in LA, so for that time, we found a Park Hyatt that was killer for kids. With water slides, multiple dining options, and even a Top Golf Swing Suite, this hotel was a destination in itself. We would 100% go back in a heartbeat.
Tips for Visiting the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park
Do not try to do the zoo and safari park in a single day. Not only are these parks far apart locationally, it’s also physically taxing. I’d recommend setting aside two days to see both.
Consider getting a membership! We actually saved a good deal of money by purchasing one adult and one child membership. Not only do you get discounts on food, merchandise, and some of the tours and safaris, but you also get a few guest passes and tickets discounts with some memberships as well!
Pick a route and stick with it. You can download maps of the park on the zoo website, and I highly recommend scoping out a route ahead of time. The parks are both very expansive, and I found it helpful to have a plan that didn’t require much backtracking.
Download the app! The San Diego Zoo app was extremely helpful for navigating the parks and exploring the animal options available.
Consider additional excursions. We did both an inside look tour and a safari during our time at the zoo and park. I would 100% recommend the safari but would probably skip the behind the scenes option next time. Do make time to ride the double decker bus at the zoo though!
For more information on hotels, the zoo, and other San Diego attractions, I highly recommend checking out this and this site. I found her local intel to be really helpful and 100% on the nose. The San Diego Zoo is truly a great spot for young families, so keep it in mind for your next vacay! Now that we’ve gotten the travel talk out of the way, let’s get to the main event: black and blue margaritas!
Black and Blue Margaritas
These black and blue margaritas are a simple summery drink recipe from my new book, Her Daily Bread. I was eager to include a margarita in the drinks section of the book, and this one is a great way to include fresh summer produce. With muddled blackberries and blueberries as well as a honey simple syrup, these margarita is flavorful, refreshing, and beautiful, too! Let me tell you how to make it.
We start with the syrup. Water and honey come together on the stove until dissolved and smooth. Once cooled, the syrup is muddled with berries before fresh lime juice and silver tequila are added. Shake in a tall cocktail shaker filled with ice until chilled and then serve. This recipe for black and blue margaritas can easily be batched, so come thirsty or invite a friend to join.
With summer kicking into gear, I hope you’ll give these margs a try. If you have any great kid friendly vacation destinations, shoot me an email to tell me about them! In the meantime, happy baking and have a great week!
If you like these black and blue margaritas, you should try:
These black and blue margaritas are made with fresh summer berries, lime juice, and a honey simple syrup!
For the margaritas:
¼ cup fresh berries (I use a mix of blackberries and blueberries)
2 ounces tequila blanco
1 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice (from about 1 lime)
¾ ounce honey simple syrup (recipe below)
Coarse salt (optional)
For the honey simple syrup:
½ cup honey
½ cup water
Muddle the berries in a tall cocktail shaker until they’re broken down and juicy. Add the remaining ingredients to the shaker and fill it with ice. Shake vigorously for about 20 seconds. Wipe the flesh of the lime around the rim of a margarita glass and dip the glass in salt, if desired. Fill with ice and strain the chilled mixture into the prepared glass. Enjoy!
To make the simple syrup:
Combine the honey and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir with a whisk until the honey is dissolved and then place in a small jar or heat-safe container to cool in the fridge. This can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Happy New Year, friends! It’s been a *hot* minute since we last chatted, and I’m dying to know: how was your holiday? Were you able to rest? Celebrate? Love someone in big ways? Our Christmas was pretty routine, with the exception of my book release, and I gotta tell you- mundane felt good. We did a lot less of the Christmassy stuff this year, opting instead for movies, bowls of popcorn, and lots of pajamas. I’m not sure that my kids will remember a childhood filled with trips to visit Santa, gingerbread houses, and extra decorations, but they’ll definitely remember Mom plopping down next to them in her bathrobe. This year, that kind of quiet was just what we needed.
In the past, I’ve drummed up a whole bunch of expectations for myself this time of year: personal goals, marriage goals, work goals, and more than a few body-centric lists of ways I could do better. My personality is the kind that thrives wherever bullet points and checkmarks are concerned, and I’ve rarely met a benchmark I didn’t mind running towards. But this year, I’m at a loss. To be honest, I feel like I have very little direction and even fewer goals I want to pursue, so even though my inner drive is telling me to GO, my brain keeps responding with a, “but… where?”
For some reason, this troubles me. Not because I’m discontent with my own life or what I’ve achieved or the things I have to offer as a woman, mother, or writer, but because, in a lot of ways, I’ve trained myself to be ever on the move. Itfeels good to check off those lists. Ilike claiming those achievements as my own. Why can’t I do and have it all?
-“Being quiet, willing to learn, ready to question and wonder and think in new ways- this is how we grow. “
For me, the stillness of not knowing is uncharted territory. And while it’s not the kind that feels comfy cozy, I do think it could be precisely what I need. We don’t have to have the maps or lists or plans figured out to move forward, and there’s lots to learn in the waiting, too. Being quiet, willing to learn, ready to question and wonder and think in new ways- this is how we grow. It’s not a stagnant or backtracking thing, and taking a step in a new direction doesn’t mean that ground has been lost. And certainly a lack of resolutions doesn’t mean a lack of resolve. So that’s me right now. Nothing terribly exciting, and certainly not the kind of commentary you’d expect to find on a blog post about Nutella coffee, but it’s where I am and I thought I’d let you know. 🙂
So without further ado, here’s the first recipe of 2022- Nutella Coffee! This one is an offering from my book, and I love it for its ease and comfort. Here, strong coffee is made even more rich with the addition of chocolate hazelnut spread. A dollop (or two! or three!) of whipped cream rounds this out as the best little afternoon pick-me-up or dessert.
Also, not miss the top 10 recipes of 2021! Collectively, these recipes were viewed hundreds of thousands of times, and I gotta say- you all pick well! Out of these, my favorites are the cookies and cream rolls, the bourbon bundt cake, and the banana Nutella muffins, but I’ll let you decide! Give them a peep and let me know what you think! Happy Wednesday, Happy New Year, and Happy Baking, y’all!
In a large measuring liquid cup or oversized mug, use a milk frother or small whisk to stir the Nutella into the coffee until all the chocolate has melted and combined smoothly. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and enjoy!
Just before the new year, I was chatting with a friend who told me it was time to start writing on this site again. Sure, we’ve been exchanging recipes and small talk and quick hellos here and there, but as of late, there’s been fewer words and in-depth sharing. To be completely honest, 2020 wore me out, and between family, other work projects, and even just managing my own heart and peace of mind amidst the ongoing political and social turmoil, there wasn’t a whole lot leftover to share here. I just needed a bit of a reprieve. But the truth is, our stories matter; the offerings we expose to one another can encourage, soothe, nurture, and excite the people we share them with. As much as I needed a break last year, I want to share transparently with you guys even more. So today’s the day. I think it’s time we catch up.
A Coffee Chat
Let’s coffee chat. Are you guys at all interested in the enneagram? I’ve long been a fan of personality tests, even those silly ones on Facebook that tell you, like, what Disney Princess or “Friends” character you are, but the enneagram is the first test that pinned me right on the nose. As a type 3 wing 2, I love to set goals, love to achieve, and love to seek praise, accolades, admiration, and so on. I like efficiency and checking things off my list, and my personality tends to thrive when there’s a finish end in site- all good things… right?
Except at some point last year, I stopped thriving. Life came to a halt and I wasn’t able to move at a pace that felt purposeful. Although those first couple months of quarantine empowered me to take on the new tasks of “homeschooling” kids, cleaning out my house, and even working towards new work goals, as time went on, those efforts became tiresome and I began to feel like I was flailing under my self-imposed, incessant need to move forward. Can anyone else here relate?
I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but somewhere along the way I knew I had to get comfortable with my own discomfort. My identity wasn’t tied to my ability to achieve, and my worth wasn’t diminished just because my capacity for work was temporarily overwhelmed. Those months of last year that I spent feeling tired and defeated ended up being huge moments of growth, because they forced me to disconnect my value as a women, mother, friend, and wife from my own efforts. They forced me to slow down, become comfortable with my flaws, and receive love from the people around me even when I didn’t feel like I had much to offer in return. Honestly, it felt really good just to look at the little piles of chaos in my life and know I didn’t have to make them all perfect immediately; I had value even if I didn’t get it all right the first time.
The Good News
So I guess this is a message of encouragement. Wherever you find yourself today, know that your worth isn’t tied to your abilities, your social standing, or your appearance. You’re not a failure if you have to do less, say no, or take time to take care of yourself; it’s okay if there are areas of your life where you’re still very much so a work in progress. Whether you’re starting over, feeling behind, or even just suffering from an extreme case of poor self-confidence, know that there is grace for you to be exactly who you are in the season, and you have at least one friend (raises hand!) in that fresh start boat with you. 2021 may not be easier than 2020, but it is an opportunity to embrace new hope, resolve, and dreams. If you’re like, “Yes, I need that today,” I hope you’ll take this opportunity to move forward towards them.
I’ll keep the rest short today. This Kentucky coffee was inspired by a Mayan coffee I had this time last year in Mexico. The drink was warm and boozy, made slightly sweet with thick clouds of freshly whipped cream on top. I tracked down the Mayan liquor and began making them at home as an after-dinner treat. This rendition, a Kentucky coffee, features high-quality bourbon and a smidge of maple syrup for added sweetness. The homemade whipped cream is all the same and absolutely steals the show. Don’t skimp on the whip, okay?
If you find yourself in need of a coffee chat of your own, I hope you’ll make one (or two! or three! or four!) of these Kentucky coffee drinks at home to share with a friend. I hope you all have a terrific week. Happy baking!
I recently offered my grandfather a slice of tomato pie, and he said, “HUH? Tomatoes in a pie?” Turns out, tomato pie is a super Southern thing, and if you were previously unaware, now’s the perfect time to learn all about it. Today’s post is a quick one with a few summer favorites to share with you today, and then we will get to this yummy savory pie!
A New Activity to Consider:
I’m thinking of composting. Do you guys do this already? Now seems like the perfect time to get started, and while researching, I loved this article from GOOP! Send your favorite resources my way if you’re already doing this at home, and check out the article here!
I love everything from Supergoop, but this sunless tanner with SPF is perfect for these summer days. I usually apply a coat before I head outside and wind up with a nice little glow even after just a few minutes in the sun! I’m also loving my new Chacos. Since I barely get dressed to go anywhere at this point, I basically live in my new sandals, but I’m also super intrigued by their new customizable slides! Check them out here!
Here’s what you need to know about tomato pie: It’s cheesy. It’s savory. It’s filling yet refreshing, herbaceous yet creamy, and the whole thing is packed into a delightful buttery crust. I love to serve tomato pie as a lunch or supper option- anywhere you might ordinarily offer a savory tart or quiche. I opted to use a blend of mozzarella (for meltability) and cheddar cheese (for flavor), but a small addition of feta, parmesan, or even asiago would be yummy here too! If you need a shortcut, you can consider doing a refrigerated or frozen store-bought pie crust, but I really love my basic pie dough too much to encourage that. You decide! Give this summer tomato pie a try and let me know what you think! I’ll have another simple recipe for you in less than a week, so stay tuned! Happy Monday, y’all!
This tomato pie is a butter crust filled with farm-fresh tomatoes, a creamy cheese topping, and loads of flavor!
For the crust:
1–3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespons chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
5 tablespoons (approximately) ice water
1 large egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water
For the filling:
3 medium tomatoes, sliced 1/8-1/4” thick
Salt and pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 dashes hot sauce
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
To prepare the crust:
Whiz the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor to combine (Note: you can also do this by hand with a pastry cutter!) Pulse in the shortening and butter, just until evenly dispersed in pea-sized clumps. Begin adding ice water 2 tablespoons at a time until moist clumps begin to form. Remove dough from food processor, form it into a flat round disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour prior to use.
When you’re ready to bake the pie, roll the dough out on a well-floured surface into a 1/8-1/4” circle about an inch larger than your pie plate on all sides. Roll the dough loosely back onto the rolling pin and lift it into the pie dish. Gently fit the dough into the pie plate and trim off any excess dough leaving a 1” border around the edge of the dish. Fold the lip of the dough under so that it extends just over the edge of the pie plate and crimp the edges as you prefer. Prick a few holes in the bottom of the dough with a fork and place the whole pan into the freezer to chill briefly, about 15 minutes, or longer if your dough has gotten soft. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
When the oven is preheated, remove the pie plate from the freezer and line the insides of it with a piece of parchment paper. Use either pie weights or dry beans/rice to weigh down the dough and bake for about 15 minutes. After this initial bake, remove the pie weights, brush the entire crust with a thin layer of egg wash (the egg whisked with water), and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until set. In the meantime, prepare your filling.
To prepare the filling:
First, prepare the tomatoes. To remove excess liquid, sprinkle the sliced tomatoes with 1-1/2 teaspoons salt and layer them in a colander with sheets of paper towel. You can gently press down on the towels every so often to squeeze out excess juices. Do this for about 10 minutes.
In a separate bowl, combine the cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, and hot sauce. Stir and set aside.
Once your pie crust is par-baked, sprinkle the onions on the bottom of the crust, and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle on a bit of salt and pepper. Begin to add the drained tomatoes in layers covering the bottom of the crust, sprinkling in salt, pepper, and the Italian seasoning as you go. I used about 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon pepper total. Your tomatoes should fill up to about 1” below the lip of the pie crust. Spread the cheese mixture on top and place in the preheated oven to continue baking until the crust is golden and the insides are bubbling throughout about 30 minutes. Remove the pan and allow it to cool completely prior to cutting and serving warmed.
Happy Friday!! Friend, can I just tell you how awesome you are? I don’t have to know your story to know you are a prize. Life is WEIRD right now, yet here you are still perusing the internet for food inspiration. You’re still at it. Sometimes we don’t need to wait for a big milestone or breakthrough in order to acknowledge ourselves and the significance of our stories- sometimes we need to celebrate the fact that we’re still standing. WE’RE STILL STANDING, Y’ALL! So let’s celebrate with some happy things. Today I’m going to share these sausage kale pinwheels as well as a few things on the internet that have been making me smile.
What I’m Reading:
My dear friend left a pile of books in my mailbox, and it has brought me endless amounts of joy. My guilty pleasure of the moment is “Meg and Jo,” a modernized, medium-trashy version of the classic “Little Women” that tells the tale of 4 sisters growing in life and love together. If you love the original and are a fan of pointless fiction, there’s a good chance this is the mindless read you need right now. For a shorter read, check out this comical article from Bon Appetit about food etiquette in the times of social distancing. The author answers questions about eating during ZOOM meetings, hiding food from your quarantine roommates, and more.
What I’m Eating:
Besides endless pans of no-churn ice cream, I have been eating the crap out of these Mediterranean turkey burgers from The Modern Proper. Like, we make them weekly. Also, my girlfriend recently sent me this recipe for simple summer corn chowder which sounds all kinds of comforting and delicious. Don’t we need more food like that? Normally in April I’m thinking about bathing suit season and getting right for the summer, but honestly, let’s just get cozy. I want food that feels like a hug.
What I’m Watching:
We have yet to really binge on any kind of TV, but I have been filling my brain with all sorts of funny Youtube videos. John Krasinski (Yes, that’s Jim from “The Office”) has started a little video series called “Some Good News,” and on a recent episode, the cast of “Hamilton” sang the intro song to their show via a ZOOM call. I cried actual tears. It was beautiful. You should watch the episode, but especially that song… so amazing. Also this video of 5 unexpected moments in Carpool Karaoke is hilarious. Happy viewing!
Sausage Kale Pinwheels:
Chalk these guys up as your new favorite savory snack. These little scone-like pastries are filled with spicy Italian sausage, sautéed kale, and Swiss cheese. You can easily adapt them to meet your preferences and they are great for a number of meals- breakfast, afternoon snack, dinner appetizers, etc. This dough is incredibly versatile and can be used for a number of fillings, so feel free to go wild! Sausage kale pinwheels are kind of a derivation from our normal train of thought here, but we need some salty to balance out all that sweet, right? This is just the ticket. Give these a spin sometime in the coming weeks and let me know what you think! Hugs to you guys from me to you and happy baking!
If you like these sausage kale pinwheels you should try:
These sausage kale pinwheels are filled with spicy sausage and Swiss cheese. The pastry is flaky and tender and serves as a great breakfast or appetizer option!
For the dough:
1–2/3 cups (235 g) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into chunks
1/3 cup (80 gm) heavy whipping cream, cold
1 large egg, cold
For the filling:
2 teaspoons olive oil
½ pound Italian sausage (I used mild)
½ yellow onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup chopped kale
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon thyme
½ cup shredded Swiss cheese
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
Baking spray or canola oil spray
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Use a pastry cutter or the back of two forks to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until pea-sized clumps are present throughout and the butter is well integrated. In a separate bowl, whisk the whipping cream and egg. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir together until a shaggy dough forms. Dump the mixture out onto the counter and knead together just until a dry dough forms- do not overwork the dough. You can add an additional 1-2 tablespoons of cream if your dough won’t come together at all. Place the dough in the fridge while you prep your filling.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the sausage and onions and brown to perfection, breaking up the sausage as you go. Once browned, add the garlic and cook for an additional minute, stirring regularly. Add the kale, red pepper, salt, pepper, thyme, and water and cook until kale has wilted. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the dough from the fridge. Once ready to roll, lightly dust a workspace with flour and use a floured rolling pin to roll out dough to a 8″x18″ rectangle, about 1/8” thick. Toss the swiss and parmesan cheese with the sausage mixture and sprinkle it all over the dough, leaving a 1” border around the perimeter of the dough.
Starting with the widest end closest to you, begin to roll the dough somewhat tightly away from you until you reach the end. When finished rolling, pinch to seal the dough seam at the end. Slice the log into ¾” rounds and arrange them on the sheet pan. Bake in the oven until the crust is golden brown, usually about 20 minutes depending on the size of your rolls. Allow to cool slightly before consuming. Rolls are best eaten the day they’re prepared but can be reheated the following day.
Feel free to sub in another cheese! A different variety of sausage! Another green!
The countdown is on. It’s two days until we all stuff our faces full of dressing, pie, and turkey (jk, we’re all just here for the sides), and I am so ready. I guess there’s people in America who don’t get into the communal tradition of a shared table and breaking bread, but, if you didn’t already guess, I am so here for any reason to pile my plate full of carbs and stare across the spread at a bunch of faces I love.
For a family-focused baking blogger, Thanksgiving is my dream day, and I can’t wait to dive in. So if you haven’t already nailed down exactly what you plan to contribute at the holiday feast you’re attending, let me lovingly nudge you in the direction of these gouda cheese puffs and a simple holiday snack board. It’s a cute and yummy way to make a fancy looking spread, and I’m eager to get a few of y’all in the kitchen to make it.
Holiday Snack Boards
So why a holiday snack board? Why these gouda cheese puffs? Thanksgiving may be all about the main event of a turkey plus some fixin’s (that’s Southern talk for side dishes, by the way), but every gathering needs a few appetizers. You can consider these gouda cheese puffs the pre-game to any Thanksgiving supper, and loading them onto a snack board with a spread of other semi-homemade treats is a surefire way to make your guests extra thankful. Let’s start by chatting the ins and outs of the puffs.
These gouda cheese puffs utilize the star shortcut of store-bought puff pastry. The frozen dough is really simple to work with and adds a terrific amount of texture and flavor to whatever baked appetizer you’re making. Here, the dough is loaded up with a buttery onion and thyme saute and then baked under a blanket of Kerrygold Blarney Castle cheese. Yes, it’s as delicious and indulgent as it sounds, and they’re fun to make! Here’s how to do it.
Making the Puffs
First, follow the instructions on your puff pastry to gently and briefly thaw it out. Unfold the sheet and use a 2″ round cookie cutter to trim out rounds of dough. Place them on a prepared baking sheet and then use a second smaller cookie cutter or a pairing knife to score a 1/4″ border around the dough. We do this so that the piled toppings can rest in the middle while the outer 1/4″ can puff and flake in the oven. YUM.
Put the prepared dough in the freezer to keep cold while you prep the rest of the ingredients. Thinly sliced onions cook down with butter and thyme until translucent and barely browned, and Worcestershire sauce and ground mustard are added to the mix for extra flavor. Set the onions aside to cool while you grate the Kerrygold gouda, and then pile it all into the unbaked puff pastry.
Once baked, the outer edge of the pastries are puffed while the interior is rich and ultra-savory. These are best served right after baking and topped with bacon or tomato jam. YUM. In the meantime, you can begin prepping your holiday snack board. Here’s a few details on how to throw one together in a cinch!
Feel free to assemble your snack board on any type of serving tray or platter that you have. I like to make sure mine if brimming with lots of goodies, so consider what you plan to put on it while picking a platter. Here I’ve used a slate cheese board, but a fine wood cutting board, ceramic dish, or even a pizza board works splendidly! I’ll link a few favorites here and here and here.
I like to anchor my snack boards with a few larger staples. Here, the gouda cheese puffs were the main event. I supplemented entirely with store-bought appetizers. Pre-made hummus was gussied up in a pretty dish with an extra drizzle of olive oil and spice. A whipped goat cheese dip that I found at my grocery store also got the royal treatment in a fresh bowl with herbs. Finally, a single block of cheese (I’m looking at you, Kerrygold!) and some peppered salami bulk up the offerings and and add some substance to an otherwise carb-fest. Other great options to consider include veggie dip, pimento cheese spread, a baked wheel of brie, or another kind of salsa or dip.
Once you’ve got some heavy hitters on your board, fill in the gaps. Assorted crackers, cheese straws, sliced baguette, or pita chips are a few of my favorites. Choose varieties that taste good and will add texture to your board. With any remaining space I like to add pickled veggies, olives, bite-sized fruits, or any variety of crudités. Jams, relishes, or a small jar of honey often work well too depending on the elements of your board.
Start your board assembly with the larger items or anything that requires a bowl. It’s easier to fill in with the snack crackers and relishes than it is to try to find a home for a giant cheese log. Start big and work your way smaller. You can garnish your store-bought dips and spreads with fresh herbs or a drizzle of olive oil to make it feel homemade. No one has to know you just threw a bunch of pre-made goods on a tray! If toothpicks, relish forks, or spreading knives are needed for any of your board items, be sure to bring those with you so that your host isn’t left rummaging for them at the last minute. This is supposed to make things easy, remember?
Many thanks to Kerrygold for sponsoring this post! I love to include their cheeses on my board, and it was a happy find that their gouda tasted so great on the gouda cheese puffs. If you’re in need of a last minute addition to your Thanksgiving menus, I hope you’ll include these! I’m incredibly thankful for all your who join in on my baking fun and will certainly be counting you on my gratitude list this year. Happy baking and Happy Thanksgiving!
If you like these gouda cheese puffs you should try:
These gouda cheese puffs are made from flaky puff pastry, sautéed onions, and shredded cheese. Little appetizers with yummy flavor!
Total Time:35 minutes
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package instructions
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large white onion, sliced thinly (1/8”)
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
½ teaspoon Worcestershire
1 egg, lightly beaten, if desired
1 cup shredded gouda cheese
3 tablespoons grated parmesan
1/3 cup bacon jam
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Unfold the puff pastry sheet on the piece of parchment or on a lightly floured counter. Use a 2” round cutter to trim out 12 circles of dough. You may have extra dough- feel free to freeze and save or make a double batch of puffs. Use a smaller round cutter or a paring knife to score a ¼” border around the edge of each pastry circle and prick the inner circle with a fork a few times. Place in the fridge to keep cool while you prep your filling.
In a sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter and olive oil together. Add the thinly sliced onions and cook, stirring regularly, until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the thyme, salt, and pepper, and continue to cook until the edges of the onions start to get dark. Add the mustard and Worcestershire and stir to combine. Remove from the heat.
If desired, add a teaspoon of water to the lightly beaten egg and use a pastry brush to paint a thin layer of the wash on top of each tart. Divide the sautéed onions among the rounds of , piling a few onions only into the inner circle of each round. Depending on the size of your onion you may have a little leftover. Divide the cheese among the tarts, sprinkling it and the parmesan directly on top of the onions. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until the puffs have risen and the edges are golden. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly. Add a teaspoon of the bacon jam to the top of each tart and serve!
We’re so close. The fall season and all that comes with it- the changing leaves, the scent of cinnamon, and the onset of denim and cozy sweaters- is so close it’s almost tangible. Although my thermometer is protesting, I’m ready to dive head first into autumnal everything, and today we’re going to start with this sweet tea old fashioned.
It’s no secret that I love bourbon. Very few things expose my Kentucky roots like my adoration for the sweet and subtle burn of that perfect amber liquid. Today we’re going to transform my favorite bourbon cocktail, a classic old fashioned, by adding Red Diamond Sweet Tea. The combination of those two quintessential Southern things makes for a winning, drinkable combo that is just perfect this time of year.
Sweet Tea Old Fashioned
This sweet tea old fashioned requires very few ingredients, but because of this, we want to opt for the highest quality possible. We first start with a peel of orange and a few dashes of bitters. Muddle the two together in an old fashioned glass until the oils in fruit are released. Next we add 2 ounces of high-quality Kentucky bourbon and a hefty pour of chilled Red Diamond Sweet Tea. Finish it off with an extra-large ice cube and enjoy. Seriously, it’s that simple.
Sweet tea is a staple here in the South, and it’s no secret that my go-to fave is from a locally founded company, Red Diamond. Made simply with tea leaves, water, and sugar, Red Diamond Sweet Tea is free of preservatives and concentrates and has that perfect classic flavor that every glass of good Southern sweet tea should. The combination of bourbon and sweet tea makes for an old fashioned that is slightly sweeter and more drinkable than the classic cocktail. Because there are so few ingredients and very uncomplicated preparation involved, this is a great cocktail to batch for a group of friends.
I hope you’ll give this sweet tea old fashioned a try sometime this fall! Be sure to pick up a gallon of Red Diamond Sweet Tea and give a toast on my behalf. Have a great weekend and happy fall y’all!
If you like this sweet tea old fashioned you should try:
This sweet tea old fashioned is a Southern spin on the classic bourbon cocktail!
Total Time:2 minutes
2 dashes orange bitters
2 ounces bourbon
6 ounces chilled sweet tea
Muddle the strip of orange peel and bitters together in an old fashioned glass until the orange peel has released some oils. You’ll notice a strong orange scent in the glass. Add the bourbon and sweet tea. Add a large ice cube and enjoy!
If you’ve followed along on this blog for any length of time you know I’ve just had a baby. It’s weird- pregnancy is so all-consuming that it’s easy to forget what life was before. There’s just so many physical (okay, emotional and mental too) limitations for those 9 months. But now that we’ve welcome baby Charlie into the world and I’m beginning to get back to my (new) normal, I’ve enjoyed the slow tiptoe back into a non-pregnant lifestyle and the things I missed out on for a few months. Perfect example: bourbon. I love bourbon. I missed bourbon. Now, post-pregnancy and able to enjoy an adult beverage from time to time, I’m really digging grown-up drinks, and this bourbon ginger sweet tea is so up my alley.
Bourbon Ginger Sweet Tea
This is a seriously simple cocktail to throw together. Kentucky bourbon, lime juice, and ginger beer are combined with sweet tea and poured over a tall glass of ice to make a cocktail that is kind of a mash-up of a bourbon mule and sweet tea. Because no shaking or blending is needed, this also happens to be a great cocktail to batch for a crowd and share on the last of this season.
Making the Drinks
To make a really good bourbon ginger sweet tea we need really good ingredients. Sweet tea is a staple here in the South, and it’s no secret that my go-to fave is from a locally founded company, Red Diamond. Made simply with tea leaves, water, and sugar, Red Diamond Sweet Tea is free of preservatives and concentrates and has that perfect classic flavor that every glass of good Southern sweet tea should. To the tea we add fresh lime juice, quality Kentucky bourbon, and just a smidge of ginger beer. The lime juice and ginger beer balance out the boozy sweetness of the bourbon and sweet tea, and all together these ingredients make up a cocktail that is seriously easy to drink. Pace yourselves, people.
If you’d like to batch this bourbon ginger sweet tea for a crowd, pull out your calculators and get computing! I recommend stirring the ingredients together just before serving and allowing guests to pour their own over glasses of ice. If you want to make these ahead, just leave out the ice and the ginger beer until just before serving to keep the cocktail slightly fizzy and to prevent it from getting watered down. Serve each tea in a tall glass and garnish with a lime wedge if you’re feeling extra fancy.
If you are doing all you can to soak in these last days of summer, give this drink a try. It’s seriously refreshing and makes for a great treat to sip on day or night. Many thanks to Red Diamond for sponsoring this post and to you all for supporting brands that make Wood & Spoon possible. If you give the recipe a try, let me know what you think in the comments section below! Happy Monday!
I think it’s a cruel joke that drinking alcohol is not allowed when you’re pregnant. Imagine being 25 pounds heavier than normal in the dead of summer. Imagine there’s two other kids at home who dominate you day and night because they know your 9 month pregnant self is too tired to chase after them. At that moment, don’t you really deserve a cocktail? Wouldn’t you really want something that would cool down and refresh that tired, center-heavy body of yours? The answer is an obvious and resounding YES, so in my late pregnancy, in the heat of my cocktail craving days, I started working on the recipes for the 3 varieties of champagne cocktail popsicles that you’ll read about today. It’s a summertime treat that everyone, Mamas especially, are deserving of, and I think you’re really going to like them.
First up is a mimosa popsicle. Made with fresh orange juice, sparkling wine, and just a smidge of simple syrup, this is the push-pop your brunches have been waiting for. I love a classic mimosa as much as anyone, but a mimosa popsicle? That’s something to write home about. The second option is a bellini pop! Fresh peach wedges are pureed and stirred with champagne and a teeny bit of syrup to create a seriously fruity popsicle that is altogether summery. I found I enjoyed this one the most, particularly since peach season is showing out in all it’s glory right now. You can use frozen peaches here, but this is also a great way to use up peaches on the verge of going bad. Finally, we have a strawberry lime champagne popsicle. Pureed berries, simple syrup, a squeeze of lime juice, and bubbles round out the list of ingredients for these pops. They’re a crowd pleaser, and you can easily include a little bit of lime zest for extra citrus flavor.
What You’ll Need
While traditional popsicle molds work fine here, I really encourage you to consider grabbing some of these disposable plastic push-pop bags. They’re super inexpensive (I found mine on Amazon!) and make the perfect portion size for these champagne cocktail popsicles. Keep in mind that alcohol does not freeze; these will melt faster than your average pop! If you opt to not use plastic sleeves, consider serving small popsicles in a glass with a tiny pour of champagne at the bottom. I saw something similar here and think it would make for a cute beach or brunch cocktail to serve.
These champagne cocktail popsicles are indeed boozy; feel free to add a bit more fruit if you prefer a more subtle wine flavor. No need to splurge on any expensive booze here- just something inexpensive that you wouldn’t mind drinking a small bit of. Either way, be sure to stay cool with these grown-up popsicle cocktails (poptails?) and let me know what you think! Happy Monday and Happy Drinking!
These champagne cocktail popsicles come in three push-pop flavors: Bellini, mimosa, and strawberry lime!
1 cup orange juice
½ cup sparkling wine
1 ounce simple syrup, optional
1–1/3 cups chopped peaches
½ cup sparkling wine
2 ounces simple syrup
For Strawberry Lime:
1–1/3 cups chopped strawberries
½ cup sparkling wine
Juice of one lime
2 ounces simple syrup
For the Mimosa:
Combine the orange juice and sparkling water in a large measuring cup. Taste the mixture and add simple syrup if you desire the pops to be sweeter. Divide the mixture via funnel into 4 disposable plastic push-pop tubes. Freeze until solid!
For the Bellini:
Combine the chopped peaches, sparkling wine, and syrup in a blender and process just until the peaches have been pureed and the mixture is smooth. The mixture will bubble slightly. Allow some of the bubbles to subside, re-stir the mixture, and then divide is among 4 disposable plastic push-pop tubes. Seal and freeze until solid.
For the Strawberry Lime:
Combine the chopped strawberries, sparkling wine, lime juice, and syrup in a blender and process just until the strawberries have been pureed and the mixture is smooth. The mixture will bubble slightly. Allow some of the bubbles to subside, re-stir the mixture, and then divide is among 4 disposable plastic push-pop tubes. Seal and freeze until solid.