Pizza Please!

Pizza Please!

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Summer is the most popular time to travel.  I’m sure everybody is getting their plans together and getting ready for a fabulous summer trip!

I ran across this article from Food and Wine that lists the best pizza places in the country.  I’m sad to say that there’s not any listed that are in close proximity to me, but they are in places that I like to visit.  I keep a list of recommended restaurants in places that I travel to often.  I’m sure that you do too.

I have several Italian friends and they have always told me that the water up east is better for making pizza dough and bread than water in the south.  One friend even told me once that a restaurant he knows in Florida has water shipped in from NYC to make bagels.  That seems a little far fetched, but I guess it could happen.  The bagels, pizza and bread seem to have a different consistency and taste in New York or Philly than in Kentucky.  Nothing beats a slice of pizza in NYC!

See below for the article.  You might want to make a stop to one on your trips and try them out. xoxo

http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/best-pizza-places-us

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Steak Lovers Unite!

Steak Lovers Unite!

Who doesn’t love a great steak!  As we get older maybe we don’t eat as many steaks as we used to for a variety of reasons, but that doesn’t mean we can’t splurge sometimes.

Recently T & L published an article about the best steak houses in the country.  I’ve actually been to several of them but the others are certainly on my to-do list!  Everybody has steaks but GREAT steaks are hard to find.  Many on the list are iconic places that maybe you have visited or have heard of over the years.

The good news is that a couple of the steakhouses listed are pretty close to where I live.  Road trip! xoxo

Photos by Kelly Campbell, Starr Restaurants and Urban Farmer.

http://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/best-steakhouses-in-the-us#five-oclock-steakhouse

 

Bubbly Baking

Bubbly Baking

I came across the greatest recipe the other day!  I set my DRV to tape The Chew each day.  It’s not as good as when Mario Batali was a host, but I still really like it.  Clinton Kelly is awesome and always has something fun to contribute.  So when I saw this the other day and was so excited.  This will make the perfect birthday cake for me later this month! xoxo

Champagne Cake
Clinton Kelly

| Servings: 6 – 8 | easy | 45 to 60 min

Ingredients
Champagne Cake:
3 egg whites
1 and 1/3 cup cups champagne
1 (15.25-ounce) box white cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Champagne Buttercream Frosting:
2 sticks unsalted butter (softened)
4 and 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 tablespoons champagne

To Assemble:
silver dragees (to garnish)

Directions
For the Champagne Cake: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease, two, 9-inch round cake pans with butter, line with parchment paper and dust with flour, tapping excess out.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add egg whites, champagne, cake mix, and oil. Mix on medium speed until fully combined, about 1-2 minutes.

Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans. Transfer to oven and bake for 23-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, trim the tops of the cakes using a serrated knife to make flat and even.

For the Champagne Buttercream Frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add butter and whip on medium speed, until smooth. With the mixer running on low, slowly add the confectioners’ sugar to the butter and increase speed to high. Add vanilla and champagne and mix until fully incorporated and the mixture is light and fluffy.

To Assemble: Place one of the cake rounds onto a cake stand or serving platter. Top with a layer of the champagne frosting, spreading evenly across the top and around the sides. Use the remaining frosting to ice the entire cake.

SPANX

Mighty Meatballs

Mighty Meatballs

Who doesn’t like spaghetti and meatballs?  The meatballs listed below are a little less traditional than the standard meatball that you may be used to.  By using chicken instead of  veal and sausage you can make the meatballs a lot healthier and still have delicious food.  Try them out and see for yourself.  Ciao bella!  xoxo

Step 1

In a food processor, pulse the sun-dried tomatoes, 1 garlic clove, half of the jalapeño, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper until finely chopped. Add the bread crumbs and pulse to combine. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the chicken, egg and milk. Using lightly moistened hands, roll the mixture into 20 meatballs, a scant 1 1/2 tablespoons each. Dust the meatballs lightly with flour, tapping off any excess.

Step 2

Wipe out the food processor and add the remaining garlic clove and jalapeño half; pulse until chopped. Add the tomatoes and their juices and the oregano and process until smooth.

Step 3

In a 9-inch cast-iron skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the meatballs and cook over moderate heat, turning, until golden but not quite cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the tomato sauce to the skillet and simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Return the meatballs to the skillet and simmer, turning, until just cooked through, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a bowl, sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

One Serving 290 calories, 10.4 gm total fat, 1.8 gm saturated fat, 16 gm carb.  Photo and recipe by Food and Wine Magazine.

Oscar Worthy Treats

Oscar Worthy Treats

The biggest night in show business is Sunday.  Are you ready?  Have you seen all the movies and have your champagne chilling?

The Oscars are a big night at my house.  We watch the red-carpet special on E that starts around 5 or 6pm, way before the show starts.  The girls (the dogs) get all dressed up in their Oscar dresses.  I love the fashion.  In fact, we are planning a conference call between a couple of us to discuss fashion dos and don’ts.

This is an elegant and fast appetizer from Buzzfeed that is worthy of an Oscar party.  Enjoy xoxox

Pear, Ricotta and Walnut Crostini

1 1/4 cup Ricotta cheese, honey, walnut pieces, pear slices and salt and pepper.

Divide the Ricotta cheese evenly on the toast.  Add the rest of the ingredients and drizzle the honey.  Sea salt works best.

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Sweets for the Sweetie

Sweets for the Sweetie

Valentines Day will be here soon.  I found this recipe from People magazine from one of the Chopped judges.  It looks really good and super easy.  You could add chocolate chips to make them even better. Homemade cookies are great gifts for your sweetie! xoxo

 

Maneet Chauhan’s Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground allspice
1 cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs, at room temperature
4 tsp. liquid red food coloring
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
¾ tsp. pure vanilla extract
½ cup powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and allspice in a medium bowl. Beat sugar and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in food coloring, vinegar and vanilla until well blended. With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients and beat just until combined (the dough will be soft and sticky).
3. Place powdered sugar in a small bowl. Using a 1½-tablespoon cookie scoop, drop scoops of dough into powdered sugar, rolling dough into 24 balls. Place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet.
4. Bake until cookies are puffed and tops are cracked, 12 to 14 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 2 minutes; transfer to cooling rack to cool completely, about 15 minutes.

Makes: 24 cookies
Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes

Bourbon Pancakes

Bourbon Pancakes

 

Are you looking for a great recipe to make for your Valentine?  I have it right here!  Buttermilk pancakes are so good and the hardest part is going to the grocery to pick up the ingredients.  Add Bourbon syrup to the dish and you’ve got a meal that is scrumpdillyicious!

Ingredients
Bacon Pancakes with Maple Bourbon Butter Sauce
Pancakes:
8 slices bacon
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
3 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons melted butter (slightly cool)
2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
Syrup:
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons butter

Directions
For the Pancakes: Heat a griddle to medium-high heat. Fry the bacon until crispy and then transfer to a paper-towel lined plate.

Lower the heat to medium, and remove any excess bacon fat. You want there to be a thin layer for the pancakes.

Chop the bacon into crumbs and separate the crumbs into two piles.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar, whisking together to thoroughly combine.

Add the buttermilk, butter, half of the bacon, and eggs and whisk together until combined but still slightly lumpy.

Drop spoonfuls onto the griddle, and cook on each side until it bubbles, then flip over. Transfer to a warm oven while finishing the rest.

For the Syrup: In a small saucepot, combine the bourbon and maple syrup, whisking together over medium heat until thoroughly combined and hot.

Cook until reduced slightly, about 5 minutes, then whisk the butter in, a tablespoon at a time, until fully incorporated.

Serve a stack of pancakes covered in syrup and sprinkled with the reserved bacon crumbs to serve.

 

Photo and recipe by The Chew

 

Indoor S’mores

Indoor S’mores

Who doesn’t like s’mores?  They are so delicious and yummy.  The only downside to traditional s’mores is that you have to toast them over an open fire.  Living in the suburbs, I’m out of luck!  I was so excited to find this delicious recipe.  This would be a wonderful Super Bowl or Valentines Day addition to your menu.  Enjoy! xoxox

 

Dessert for Two Recipe

Ingredients
1 cup chocolate chips
8 large marshmallows
graham crackers for dipping
Instruction

Preheat the oven to 450.

In a cast iron skillet, add the chocolate chips. Snip the large marshmallows in half and top the chocolate chips with them. (You could also use a scoop of mini marshmallows alternatively.)
Once the oven is up to temperature, add the skillet to the oven. Bake for 7-9 minutes, or until the marshmallows turn golden brown.
Serve with graham crackers for scooping.

 

Burger Nation

Burger Nation

I love a good burger, who doesn’t!  Food and Wine lists the best burgers in the US.  Even though you may not be able to visit many of these restaurants listed, you can still use the ideas for your own burgers.  Most of the burgers have different types of meat, besides hamburger.  Talk to your grocery store and see if you can try something new in your mix.  Use a different bun and you go from yum to super yum! xoxo

http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/best-burgers-in-the-us?xid=NL_DISH111217&utm_source=foodandwine.com&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=the-dish&utm_content=2017111220PM#15

 

 

2018 Top Places to Visit

2018 Top Places to Visit

All the lists are coming out for 2018.  T + L recently sent out the top places to visit in 2018.  Interesting choices.  You might want to check it out! xoxo

http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/best-places-to-travel-in-2018?utm_source=travelandleisure.com&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=letter-from-the-editor&utm_content=20171205#nacujam-bay-croatia

 

Marina bay