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Sunday Supper Movement

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned how excited I was to attend this year’s Food and Wine Conference in Orlando, FL. Well that weekend is here, and it’s been AMAZING. I’m not going to gush about it now – perhaps in a future post – but you can sneak a peak at the wonderful food and drink and learning opportunities by checking out Books n’ Cooks on Instagram.

As a part of this amazing weekend, I have received the opportunity to participate in a live #SundaySupper event at Tapa Toro, a restaurant in Orlando that combines contemporary Spanish cuisine with a vibrant, energetic atmosphere. Tapa Toro immerses the diner in Spanish culture through their unique paella pit, tapas menu, and extensive selection of imported wines.

If you don’t already know, tapas are Spanish small plates. In the spirit of this weekend’s event, the #SundaySupper tastemakers have created “small bites.” When creating my small bite, I drew on my Italian heritage and the fresh local vegetables that are starting to appear in nearby farmers markets. Chicken Caprese Skewers are easy to make – and easy to prepare ahead – and are full of bright Italian flavors.

Chicken Caprese Bites

By Books n’ Cooks

Makes 12 Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 c. Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • splash of milk
  • canola or olive oil
  • 12 pieces of marinated mozzarella, Ciliegine-sized*
  • 12 cherry or grape tomatoes

* Ciliegine mozzarella are about the size of a cherry. You can use other sizes, but will need to cut to an appropriate size to top the chicken pieces.

Variation: Instead of marinated mozzarella, use plain mozzarella and sprinkle finished dish with fresh minced basil.

Prep: Place 12 long toothpicks in a shallow dish or plate and top with water. Allow to soak for at least 15 minutes, to ensure that they don’t burn in the oven.

Make the Chicken: Heat oil in a medium skillet set over medium heat, enough oil to cover the bottom of the skillet. While oil heats, place breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl or plate. In another shallow bowl, whisk together egg and a hefty splash of milk.

Dip chicken into egg and milk mixture, turning to coat. Then dip in breadcrumbs, again turning to coat well. Place chicken in hot pan – ensuring that pieces do not touch – and fry on 2-3 sizes, so that each piece has a nice crunchy crust on the outside and is cooked throughout. Move to a plate lined with a paper towel (to soak up extra oil).

Pull out an oven-safe dish – either a serving plate or plates, or a sheet pan. Skewer one piece of chicken, one piece of mozzarella, and top with one cherry tomato. Place on prepared dish.

If prepping ahead, you can stop here. Cover and refrigerate until just before serving.

Bake: About 30 minutes prior to serving, preheat oven to 450F. Bake chicken caprese bites for 15 minutes, until cheese is starting to melt and tomatoes are starting to burst.

Serve immediately.

Sunday Supper Small Bites Recipes for Entertaining

Small Starters

Pint-sized Protein

Demi-Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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This post is sponsored in conjunction with #BrunchWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the #Brunchweek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway. Details on our wonderful sponsors, the prizes they put together for you, and the place to enter to win, here.

In my opinion, a good brunch ends with a tasty dessert. You can never go wrong with homemade cinnamon buns of some sort, like the apple-cinnamon buns from earlier this week. But something I want something a little lighter in flavor. Something just a little bit sweet. Something that cause me to lose complete self-control, because if I’m going to be honest, homemade cinnamon buns do that to me.

Enter: a lemon poppy seed loaf cake. This particular cake is made with Nielsen-Massey’s lemon extract instead of fresh lemon juice and confectioners sugar instead of granulated sugar, giving it a pound cake-like texture and a light, lemon flavor.

This recipe was heavily adapted from Epicurious. The original recipe is a plain cake, made to serve 12-16 people. I’ve adjusted the ratios and added the lemon and poppy seed to create what I consider to be a light ending to your brunches.

Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf Cake

Heavily Adapted from Epicurious

Makes 10-12 Slices

Ingredients:

  • cooking spray
  • 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 lb. Dixie Crystals confectioners sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. Nielsen-Massey lemon extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. + 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 1 Tbs. poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 325F. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle bottom and sides with flour, tapping out extra. Set aside.

Place butter in a large bowl, and beat on medium speed with a handheld mixer (you can use a stand mixer if you prefer) until light and fluffy. Add sugar, beating until incorporated. Add lemon extract and eggs, beating until combined. Repeat with flour. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Add poppy seeds and mix one last time.

Pour into prepared baking pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, until top is beginning to brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool on a baking rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan, and returning to baking rack to cool completely.

Take a look at what the #BrunchWeek Bloggers are creating today!

BrunchWeek Beverages:
Blackberry Mint Bellinis from Sweet Beginnings
Cardamom Rose Cocktail from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Lemon & Blueberry Mocktail from Girl Abroad
Mango Pina Colada from The Spiffy Cookie
Sparkling Mojito Lime Rickies from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

BrunchWeek Egg Dishes:
Cheesy Asparagus Bacon Quiche from The Nifty Foodie
Creamed Asparagus Omelet from Wholistic Woman
Eggs in Hell from kimchi MOM
Asparagus and Cheddar Frittata from My Catholic Kitchen
Spring Veggie Quiche from A Day in the Life on the Farm

BrunchWeek Breads, Grains and Pastries:
Apple Cheddar Cream Cheese Danish from Amy’s Cooking Adventures
Apple Cinnamon Bread from It Bakes Me Happy
Gluten Free Apple Waffles from Gluten Free Crumbley
Banana Bread Buttermilk Pancakes from Love and Confections
Blackberry Cream Cheese Sweet Rolls from Pink Cake Plate
Brown Sugar Poptarts from Big Bear’s Wife
Creme Brulee French Toast from The Barbee Housewife
Cherry Almond Coffee Cake from The Chef Next Door
Cheddar Dinner Rolls from Family Around the Table
Cinnamon Apple Danish from Nik Snacks
Garlic and Herb Pull Apart Bread from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf Cake from Books n’ Cooks

Mocha Eclairs from The Redhead Baker

BrunchWeek Main Dishes:
Country Ham Biscuits with Peach Mustard from Palatable Pastime
Ham, Apple and Cheddar Melts from Cookaholic Wife
Ham, Egg, and Asparagus Breakfast Pizza Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
Shaved Asparagus, Herb Cream Cheese, and Smoked Salmon Pizza from Sarcastic Cooking
Yumbo Sliders from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

BrunchWeek Fruits, Vegetables and Sides:
Rhubarb Crunch from Cooking with Carlee

Biscuit Bar with Flavored Sugars from Sew You Think You Can Cook
Low-Fat Apple Coffee Cake from Hardly A Goddess

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This post is sponsored in conjunction with #BrunchWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the #Brunchweek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

In case you’ve forgotten, or are visiting for the first time, I want to remind you that our generous sponsors have donated some amazing prizes for #BrunchWeek readers. There are more than a few prizes to get excited about – high quality food from our sponsors, gift cards, gift sets that include marble pastry boards and slate cheese boards… Seriously good prizes. Head over, check out the details and enter to win, here.

So glad today is Hump Day, because this week has been a bit rough already. First off, I have all of these amazing #BrunchWeek recipes to remind me that instead of being in the kitchen whipping up breakfast pastries and savory eggs dishes, I’m stuck behind a computer, at a desk without a window all day long. But work has been a bit of a doozy too. I started off yesterday with great intentions of actually crossing things off my to-do list, and I accomplished not one of those things. Constant disruptions, surprises (and not the good ones) and travel between meetings meant that I actually got very little accomplished. Today is so packed that I’m not going to get much done either.

So with this start to the week, it should be no surprise that I’m already looking forward to the weekend, which is blissfully empty of any real plans. If the weather cooperates, we’ll probably go to the zoo with the kids and some good friends, but right now, I’m loving the fact that we can be bums on the couch all weekend if we want to. Maybe I’ll be able to try out one of the recipes I’ve bookmarked this week? Maybe even one of the oh-so-tempting pastry recipes from a fellow #BrunchWeek blogger.

In my house, sweet breads and pastries are an indulgence, and rarely make an appearance. It’s not that we don’t love them – we do! But we tend to show little self-restraint around these goodies. This small-batch recipe for apple cinnamon buns disappeared quicker than I would like to admit. Between the sweet apple-cinnamon sugar filling and the vanilla glaze, it was hard to stay away.

Apple Cinnamon Buns

Dough from Joy the Baker; Filling & Glaze by Books n’ Cooks

Makes 6-8 Cinnamon Buns

Ingredients for the Dough:

  • 1/2 c. whole milk
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. Dixie Crystals granulated sugar
  • 1 packet Red Star Platinum Baking Yeast
  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg yolk

Ingredients for the Filling:

  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 c. Dixie Crystals granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Lady Alice apple (or other favorite sweet apple), medium-dice

Ingredients for the Glaze:

Make the Dough: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, butter and sugar. Stir occasionally, until sugar has dissolved, butter has melted, and mixture is hot. Remove from heat and allow to cool, until mixture is warm (110-115F). Add yeast, stir, and let sit for 5 minute to activate. Mixture should begin to foam.

While milk mixture cools, whisk together yeast, flour and salt. Add egg yolk and milk mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon to incorporate. If dough appears too wet, add flour a little at a time. In the bowl, kneed dough a few times, scooping up any extra flour in the bowl and bringing dough together. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 10 minutes, while preparing filling.

Prepare the Filling: Combine sugar, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

Dice apples, if you haven’t done so already.

Assemble the Cinnamon Buns & Bake: Preheat oven to 350F.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a 9×12 inch rectangle. Brush with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. Spread apple pieces evenly over dough.

Tightly roll dough at the longer edge into a coil. Slice into pieces 1 1/2 to 2-inches thick.

Grease a 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan with remaining 1 Tbs. softened butter. Place cinnamon buns in prepared pan, with about 1/2 and inch between them, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place (I put mine by the oven that is preheating) and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

Remove plastic wrap and bake for 20 minutes, until cinnamon buns are golden brown and puffed up. Remove from oven and cool slightly.

Last Step – Glaze! In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, softened butter and vanilla extract. Add water, 1 Tbs at a time, until glaze reaches desired consistency. Mine was thick and spreadable, but melted into gooey deliciousnes when spread over still hot cinnamon buns.

Serve immediately, while still hot. Cinnamon buns can be stored in an airtight container or wrapped slightly for 24 hours, but are best when fresh.

 

 

Take a look at what the #BrunchWeek Bloggers are creating today!

BrunchWeek Beverages:
Pineapple Citrus Smoothie from It Bakes Me Happy.
Southern Spiked Mango Iced Tea from The Crumby Cupcake.

BrunchWeek Egg Dishes:
Cheddar Asparagus Mini Quiche from Amy’s Cooking Adventures.
Goat Cheese and Asparagus Breakfast Souffle from Palatable Pastime.

BrunchWeek Breads, Grains and Pastries:
Apple Cheddar Chop Bread from A Day in the Life of the Farm.
Apple Cinnamon Buns from Books n’ Cooks.
Apple Lekvar Sweet Rolls from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings.
Apple Hotteok (Fried Stuffed Pancakes) from kimchi MOM.
Apricot Danishes from Sarcastic Cooking.
Braided Apple Ginger Danish from The Spiffy Cookie.
Bourbon Banana Waffles from Forking Up.
Cinnamon Sugar Apple Muffins from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen.
Easy Popovers with Honey Butter from Hardly A Goddess.
Glazed Cinnamon Buns from That Skinny Chick Can Bake.
Strawberry Rhubarb Almond Rolls from Wholistic Woman.
Ultimate Cheese Muffins from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner.

BrunchWeek Main Dishes:
Breakfast Loaded Tatertot Casserole from Big Bear’s Wife.
Grilled PBJ with White Cheddar and Bacon from Nik Snacks.
Steak and Eggs Oscar Style from The Redhead Baker.

BrunchWeek Fruits, Vegetables and Sides:
Aloo Tiki with Apple-Tamarind Chutney from Culinary Adventures with Camilla.
Asparagus Salad from Cookaholic Wife.
Asparagus Caprese Salad from The Barbee Housewife.
Cheesy Potato Asparagus Tart from Sew You Think You Can Cook.
Garlic Roasted New Potato and Asparagus Salad from An Edible Mosaic.
White Cheddar Pimento Cheese Spread from Love and Confections.

BrunchWeek Desserts:
Chocolate Rose Truffles from Cooking with Carlee.
Coffee Almond Fudge from Family Around the Table.

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This post was created to be entered into the Food and Wine Conference Make It With Milk recipe contest, sponsored by Florida Dairy Farmers. I received no compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

In a couple of weeks, I’ll get to live it up in all my foodie glory at the Food and Wine Conference in Orlando, Florida. Although it’s the conference’s 5th year, this will be my first year attending. I’m beyond excited. The Food Wine Conference brings together bloggers, small business owners, winemakers, chefs, public relations professionals, traditional media, new media, authors and brands and covers topic such as social media, cookbook writing, and food photography. Be sure to check out their website for more information on the conference, the schedule, and the sponsors, as there’s still time to register.

I’ve been stalking the conference’s website and Facebook page for the past couple of weeks in excitement. The announcement of the Make It With Milk contest completely derailed my productivity at home, as I wracked my brain for ideas on what to make for it. A milkshake was the first thing that popped into my mind. But I have a secret to share. I am incredibly unadventurous when it comes to milkshakes. Vanilla. Just vanilla. Pure perfection. I’m much happier to experiment with pastas, soups, and breakfasts… the latter of which won out.

My kids are currently obsessed with pancakes. They put enough syrup and sprinkles on them that I can experiment with flavors and not hear the “it looks different” whines. And thus, the cheddar-cornmeal pancake was born. The kiddos drowned the pancake in syrup while my hubby and I enjoyed the savory pancakes, brightened by the sharp cheddar, topped with sweet brown sugar apples. Win, win for everyone.

Cheddar-Cornmeal Pancakes with Brown Sugar Apples

By Books n’ Cooks

Serves 4-6

Ingredients for the Brown Sugar Apples: 

  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 3 small to medium-sized apples, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 c. light brown sugar

Ingredients for the Pancakes: 

  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. cornmeal (I used white but yellow would give the pancakes some nice color)
  • 2 c. milk (I used 2% but use whatever you have on hand)
  • 2 large egg
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbs. baking powder
  • 4 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 5 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (a heaping cup)
  • cooking spray

Make the Apples: In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add butter and half of brown sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Add remaining 2 Tbs. of brown sugar and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are softened, about another 10 minutes.

Make the Pancakes: While the apples are cooking, make the pancakes.

Preheat an electric frying pan to 250F, or a large skillet (non-stick if you have one) over medium-low heat.

Add all ingredients except cooking spray (duh!) in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

Spray frying pan/skillet with cooking spray. Use an ice cream scoop, large tablespoon, or 1/8-cup measuring cup to portion pancakes into prepared pan, giving them at least an inch in between – they’ll spread. Cook until bottom is set and top is starting to bubble a little bit. Flip and continue to cook for another couple of minutes until cooked throughout. Remove from pan and repeat until batter is used up.

Serve hot topped with brown sugar apples.

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This post is sponsored in conjunction with #BrunchWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the #Brunchweek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

Before I start telling you about my new favorite entree to serve for brunch, I want to remind you that there’s also an awesome giveaway. Our generous sponsors have created some amazing prize packs, and I’m hoping that one of the Books n’ Cooks readers wins one of them. Check out the details and enter to win here.

So I wasn’t kidding about when I said that today’s post is my current favorite main course to serve for brunches. I first made these burritos in December, for a holiday brunch with a set of good friends. They received rave reviews from all of the attendees. And my hubby and I enjoyed the leftovers – frozen and reheated – for quick but flavorful breakfasts after the holiday season was over.

While the burritos I made in December were wonderful, I took the original recipe and tweaked it slightly, mostly skipping the bacon to make it vegetarian (and frankly, to cut prep time) and increasing the amount of eggs, for a nice hearty burrito. This recipe does make a huge batch, which makes it perfect for feeding a crowd or for freezing for quick weekday morning breakfasts. (Directions for freezing and reheating included below.)

I hope you enjoy my first recipe this #BrunchWeek. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to check out over 3 dozen fabulous brunch recipes.

Breakfast Burritos

Adapted from RecipeTin Eats

Makes 16 Burritos

Ingredients for the Vegetable-Bean Filling:

  • cooking spray
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1-14 oz. can stewed tomatoes
  • 1-14 oz. can low-sodium black beans, rinsed
  • 1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for the Enchiladas:

  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 24 large eggs
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 c. shredded Cabot Vermont Sharp Cheddar Cheese, or other favorite cheddar cheese
  • 16-8 inch flour tortillas

Optional Toppings:

Make the Vegetable-Bean Filling: Heat a large skillet, coated in cooking spray, over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and bell pepper, sauteeing until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, breaking up the strewed tomatoes into small pieces. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and allow to cool while you make the eggs.

Make the Eggs: In a large bowl, season eggs with salt and pepper. Whisk.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add butter, allowing to melt. Add eggs to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally until eggs reach your desired doneness. (I prefer eggs to be fairly dry, but I know others prefer scrambled eggs more watery. Eggs will continue to cook a bit in pan, and again in the oven.) Remove pan from heat.

Assemble & Bake the Enchiladas: Spray two 9×13″ Pyrex or other dishes with cooking spray. Set aside. Preheat oven to 400F, while assembling the enchiladas.

Lay tortillas on a clean work space. Place 2 generous tablespoons (I used the tablespoons that came with my everyday silverware set) of vegetable-bean mixture onto tortilla, spreading to cover. Top with two generous tablespoons of eggs. Roll tightly and place seam-side down in prepared dishes. Repeat until fillings are gone.

Sprinkle with 2-3 cups of shredded cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is melted and enchiladas are starting to brown.

Serve hot, topped with salsa and/or fresh avocado.

To Freeze: Make and cook enchiladas all the way through. Allow cooked enchiladas to cool. Place enchiladas individually on a piece of wax paper. Roll and tuck ends. Place wrapped enchiladas in a freezer bag and freeze until serving.

Enchiladas can be microwaved straight from freezer (remove wax paper), but they heat quicker when they are allowed to defrost for 30-60 minutes (basically the amount of time it takes me to get to work. 🙂 )


Take a look at what the #BrunchWeek Bloggers are creating today!
BrunchWeek Beverages:
Homemade Orange Julius from A Day in the Life on the Farm
Kimchi Bloody Mary from kimchi MOM
Mimosa Bar from Love and Confections

BrunchWeek Egg Dishes:
Asparagus & Pancetta Frittata from The Chef Next Door
Breakfast Burritos from Books n’ Cooks
Chilaquiles from The Redhead Baker
Coddled Eggs with Bacon and Cheddar from Family Around the Table
Eggs Benedict Breakfast Tacos from The Spiffy Cookie
Parmesan Polenta Brunch Bowl with Asparagus and Sausage from Cooking with Carlee
Put an Egg on it Mac and Cheese from Sew You Think You Can Cook
Smashed Sweet Potato Rosti with Butter Poached Egg from Nik Snacks
Smoked Eggs over Asparagus from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Spinach Baked Eggs with Habanero Cheddar from Sweet Beginnings

BrunchWeek Breads, Grains and Pastries:
Apple Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread from Pink Cake Plate
Apple Crumble Bread from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Apple, Sausage & Cheddar Oven Pancake from Wholistic Woman
Cheddar Asparagus Breakfast Tarts from It Bakes Me Happy
Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal from Big Bear’s Wife
Cinnamon Roll Pizza from Palatable Pastime
Best Dutch Baby Pancake Recipe from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
English Raisin Scones with Apple Jam from The Crumby Cupcake
Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls from Gluten Free Crumbley
Strawberry Lemonade Muffins from An Edible Mosaic
Strawberry Rolls with Orange Icing from The Nifty Foodie
Tiramisu French Toast from Brunch-n-Bites
Twisted Star Cinnamon Rolls from Amy’s Cooking Adventures

BrunchWeek Main Dishes:
Biscuits and Gravy Bubble Up from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Cheesy Bacon Chile Rellenos from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
Country Fried Steak & Eggs with Habanero Cheddar Gravy from Forking Up
Homemade Chicken Sausage & Egg Stromboli from Hardly a Goddess
Spinach, Artichoke and Asparagus Strata from Cooking in Stilettos
Ultimate Cheddar Grits Bowl from The Barbee Housewife
Veggie Loaded Breakfast Enchiladas from Sarcastic Cooking

BrunchWeek Fruits, Vegetables and Sides:
Apple and Creamy Ricotta Crepes from From Gate to Plate
Apple Cheddar Bites with Honey and Pepper from Feeding Big
Spring Asparagus Salad from Girl Abroad
Sweet Pea Sipper from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Thai Asparagus Slaw from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner

BrunchWeek Desserts:
Baltimore Peach Cake from Cookaholic Wife
Mandarin Orange Bundt Cake from My Catholic Kitchen

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This post is sponsored in conjunction with #BrunchWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the #Brunchweek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

Welcome to #BrunchWeek 2017!

 

Welcome to the fifth annual #BrunchWeek hosted by Terri from Love and Confections and Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures. We are so excited to have you join us this year as we celebrate Brunch and prepare for Mother’s Day.

 

Forty Bloggers from around the North America will showcase their best brunch dishes, from cocktails to cakes, danish, tarts, and pizzas – with 170 recipes, there is something for everyone! Our amazing Sponsors have donated some great prizes for the #BrunchWeek giveaway. Thank you so much, Sponsors, for your generosity. We have an incredible giveaway below and we’d love if you would take a moment to read about it and what you can win!

 

Prize #1 Red Star Yeast is giving one winner an amazing baking set, which includes “I Knead to be Loaved” apron, French rolling pin, Bench/Dough cutter, Oven mitt, Dough scraper, Bamboo spatula, Silicone spatula, Measuring spoons, Kitchen towel, 6 3-strips of Red Star Yeast, Red Star Yeast recipe book, Kansas Wheat Commission recipe book

For more than a century, home bakers have trusted the high quality and consistent performance of RED STAR Yeast. Inspiring bakers from novice to professional, our goal is your baking success! Visit redstaryeast.com for hundreds of tried & true recipes, baking tips and how-to videos. Better yeast. Better bread. Every time.

Prize #2 Dixie Crystals is giving one winner 1 case of 2-lb Extra Fine Granulated Sugar, a silicone baking mat, White Marble Pastry Board and Marble Rolling Pin, and Dixie Crystals red ruffle apron.

Since 1917, Dixie Crystals® has been the South’s choice for high-quality sugar and sweeteners. Our pure cane sugar products are all natural, non-GMO and provide consistently delicious results.

Prize #3 Cabot Creamery Coop is giving one winner $50 assortment of Cabot Cheese, one Berghoff Cheese Knife and one Slate Cheese Board

Cabot is a co-operative owned by 1,100 dairy farm families throughout New England & New York. In our farmers’ communities, they are often the ones to volunteer first. We honor their community spirit with our Reward Volunteers program. Learn more & start logging your volunteer hours today! www.RewardVolunteers.coop

Prize #4 Nielsen-Massey Fine Vanillas & Flavors is giving one winner a set of their pure flavors: 2-oz each of Orange, Lemon, Peppermint, Almond, Chocolate, Coffee, Rose Water, and Orange Blossom Water.

Nielsen-Massey Vanillas has been crafting the world’s finest vanillas and flavors since 1907. Each of Nielsen-Massey’s all-nature pure flavors are crafted with premium ingredients, sourced from around the world and chosen to meet the utmost quality standards. From lemon to peppermint to coffee or chocolate, Nielsen-Massey’s pure flavors offer convenience, quality and consistency to ensure your favorite recipes taste delicious every single time. All products are gluten-free, allergen-free, GMO-free, all-natural and Kosher.

Prize #5 Michigan Asparagus is giving one winner an Asparagus Steamer Pot with $40 gift card to Williams Sonoma and a box of fresh Michigan Asparagus

Fresh asparagus is the taste of spring and Michigan is one of the largest domestic asparagus growers in the U.S. Michigan Asparagus is available mid-May through June and is the only hand snapped harvested asparagus which means more usable asparagus and less waste.

 

Prize #6 Rainier Fruit is giving one winner a set of 3 stoneware pie plates with $40 Williams-Sonoma gift card and a box of fresh Lady Alice apples.

If you love apples, pears, cherries and blueberries than Rainier Fruit is the fruit brand for year. Nestled in the shadow of Mount Rainier, we focus on growing fruits and living a lifestyle that is Wholesome to the Core and brings you the best of organic and conventional grown fruit including our proprietary Lady Alice apples and all your other favorites like Honeycrisp and more.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Red Star Yeast, Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Nielsen-Massey, Rainier Fruit, and Michigan Asparagus for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The #BrunchWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Six winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The #BrunchWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or any other social channel mentioned in the #Brunchweek posts or entry.

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This post was created for entry into a Food and Wine Conference contest sponsored by Wish Farms. I received no compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

The sun is shining, the weather is beautiful, and I’m dying to get out of the office and onto vacation. Our summer vacation isn’t for months, but I have a mini getaway planned, and the date is in sight…

I’m super excited to be attending this year’s Food and Wine Conference in Orlando, FL, especially after seeing all of the amazing food photos from previous years. But it’s more than just the food that I’m excited about. The 3-day conference begins on May 19th and brings together bloggers, small business owners, winemakers, chefs, public relations professionals, both new and traditional media, authors and brands. So many opportunities to mix and mingle with such an awesome set of foodies! In particular, I’m looking forward to learning more about social media and the business end of blogging… what I need to take Books n’ Cooks to the next level (besides more time, that is!). Be sure to check out their website for more information on the conference, the schedule, and the sponsors, as there’s still time to register.

This recipe was created for Wish Farm’s Craft Your Favorite Cocktail/Mocktail contest, open to all attendees at this year’s Food and Wine Conference. The challenge is to create a cocktail or mocktail using Wish Farm berries, one of the sponsors of the conference. For me, creating the cocktail wasn’t the challenge – it was creating the cocktail before someone (in this case, my children) ate the berries.

When I learned about the contest, I immediately knew I wanted to create a cocktail around some sort of roasted berry. If you’ve never had roasted berries before, try them. Roasting the berries bring out even more of the natural sweetness of the berries. The roasted berries give the classic gin and tonic a bit more sweetness than is traditionally in the drink, making it a bit difficult to stop at just one. 🙂

Roasted Berry G&T

By Books n’ Cooks

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. Wish Farms blueberries, rinsed
  • 1/2 c. Wish Farms strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and quartered
  • 1/2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 6 oz. gin
  • 24 oz. cold tonic water
  • ice
  • additional berries for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 400F.

Roast the Berries: Place berries in a small oven-safe dish. Sprinkle with sugar and salt. Stir, and then spread into a single layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until berries are roasted and fragrant. Blueberries have likely burst and strawberries are softened. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Puree the berries when cool enough to handle. From here, you can refrigerate the puree until ready to serve. If you prefer a smoother drink, strain puree with a fine mesh sieve, discarding large pieces of fruit and refrigerating puree. (I enjoy the pieces of fruit, so I do not strain the puree.)

Assemble the Cocktails: In a rocks glass or an old-fashioned glass, place 1 heaping Tbs. of roasted berry puree. Add 1 oz. of gin. Stir briefly. Add a couple of ice cubes. Top with tonic water, about 4 oz. per glass. Stir gently.

Garnish with fresh berries, either on mini skewers or fancy toothpicks, or on the rim on the glass.

Serve cold.

Make Ahead Notes: The roasted berries can be made ahead, pureed, and kept in the fridge until serving. Roasted berry puree will keep for a few days in the fridge.

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What better way to end a week of #MexicanRecipes than with a margarita?

We don’t make margaritas often but when we do, we prefer them homemade. And I’m not going to lie, this margarita is probably the best we’ve made in a long time. It has the perfect balance of sweetness from the blackberries and tartness from the lime juice. I used a traditional salt rim, but you can certainly use sugar if you prefer. All in all, my hubby, our guests, and I all agreed – this margarita was simply perfection.

Blackberry Margaritas

Rewritten but not really adapted from Cooking Light, June 2011

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. water
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 c. 100% agave blanco tequila
  • 3/4 c. Grand Marnier
  • 2/3 c. fresh lime juice
  • 12 oz. fresh blackberries
  • 1 lime (for coating the rim and for garnish)
  • 2 Tbs. kosher salt (for coating the rim)

Make the Simple Syrup: In a microwave-safe bowl, heat water and sugar for 2 1/2 minutes. Stir, ensuring all of the sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.

Prep the Glasses: While syrup cools, prep 6-8 cocktail glasses. Spread salt evenly on a plate. Cut lime into 7-9 wedges or rounds – the number of glasses + 1. Use one wedge to rub the rims of glasses. Set remaining lime wedges/rounds aside. Dip glass rims into salt. Fill glasses halfway with ice and set aside.

Make the Cocktail: Add syrup, tequila, Grand Marnier, lime juice, and blackberries to a blender. Process until smooth. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined sieve over a pitcher. Discard solids.

Pour margaritas into prepared glasses and garnish with a lime wedge.

Serve immediately.

#MexicanRecipes
Happy #MexicanRecipes
Let’s have a fiesta of Cinco de Mayo inspired recipes all week long!

Check back each and every day for new recipes by following along with the hashtag #MexicanRecipes on social media.

Are you a food blogger interested in posting within our blogging community? Find out more by joining us online: Holiday Fun with Our Blog Friends.

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I don’t know about you all, but we’re big Chipotle fans in our house. Burrito bowl for me, burrito for my hubby, and my kids split the quesadilla kids meal – Miss. Hazelnut getting the quesadilla and fruit/chips and Mr. Nutterbutter getting the rice, black beans, and guacamole. This rice reminds me a lot of the rice at the bottom of my burrito bowl, with a burst of freshness from the lime juice and cilantro added at the end. It holds its own as a part of dish or as a standalone side.

Be sure to check at the end of the recipe for more #MexicanRecipes to inspire your weekend entertaining. And huge thanks to Sue at Palatable Pastime for organizing this great event!

Cilantro Lime Rice

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 c. long-grained rice
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 limes, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 a bunch of fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped

In a medium stockpot over medium heat, heat vegetable oil. Add onion and garlic, cooking for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Reduce heat to low. Add rice and salt. Cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes. Add chicken broth, lemon zest, and about 3/4 of the lime juice (reserving the remaining lime juice for finishing). Raise heat and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until almost all of the liquid is gone and rice is cooked. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Toss rice with reserved lime juice and cilantro.

Serve hot as a side dish or as the base for burrito bowls (I like to make them with taco meat, roasted or sauteed peppers and onion, homemade salsa, guacamole, and cheese.)

#MexicanRecipes
Happy #MexicanRecipes
Let’s have a fiesta of Cinco de Mayo inspired recipes all week long!

Check back each and every day for new recipes by following along with the hashtag #MexicanRecipes on social media.

Are you a food blogger interested in posting within our blogging community? Find out more by joining us online: Holiday Fun with Our Blog Friends.

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Today kicks off a weeks worth of #MexicanRecipes. Below is a handful of recipes to help inspire you for next weekend’s Cinco de Mayo festivities, followed by what’s currently my favorite recipe for Beef Tacos – easy to make, easy to scale for entertaining.

#MexicanRecipes
Happy #MexicanRecipes
Let’s have a fiesta of Cinco de Mayo inspired recipes all week long!

Check back each and every day for new recipes by following along with the hashtag #MexicanRecipes on social media.

Are you a food blogger interested in posting within our blogging community? Find out more by joining us online: Holiday Fun with Our Blog Friends.

Over the past couple of years, my husband has gotten really into dorky board games. The kind that take a while to set up, a long time to read and learn the rules, and sometimes a long time to play. I enjoy some of the games (I love playing Pandemic Legacy with friends, and am really into the collaborative version of Orleans) but I don’t play often enough to want to learn a lot of new games. My hubby is the opposite and would play a different game every night if he could.

My hubby has been getting his fill of board games with twice monthly board game nights. We host about half of the time, and the group that is coming seems to get larger every time. It’s made entertaining a bit of a challenge – a large group on a work night. I need something that can either be made a day before and reheated or is crazy quick to prepare in large quantities. With the warmer weather, chili no longer seems like the best choice. We’ve been grilling some, but these beef tacos are great for the spring rainy nights. The meat mixture is easy to make, easy to scale, can be made ahead and reheated the day of on the stove or in the slow cooker, and can be frozen or reused in other Mexican recipes (burritos, burrito bowls, and quesadillas) during the week if we have leftovers. We love the flavor (not spicy at all) and I love the hidden bell pepper for a little extra veggie.

Beef Tacos

Adapted from SkinnyTaste Fast and Slow (p. 139)

Serves 4

Ingredients for the Taco Meat:

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 c. tomato sauce

Tacos:

  • Hard or soft taco shells
  • Choice of toppings: shredded lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, salsa (we like homemade salsa), sour cream, guacamole

Make the Taco Meat: In a large skillet over medium heat, brown ground beef, breaking it up into small pieces. When mostly browned, drain out extra fat at the bottom of the pan. Return to stove and add onion, bell pepper and garlic. Cooking until remaining beef is browned and vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients – herbs, spices, and tomato sauce. Stir well. Lower heat and cook, stirring occasionally, on low for 15-20 minutes, until warmed throughout.

Serve hot with desired taco shells and toppings. Or, use in burritos, burrito bowls, or quesadillas.

Recipe Notes: Taco meat may be frozen for use later. It can also cook throughout the day in a slow cooker (6-8 hours on low, or 3 on high) if prepared in the morning, or is being reheated.

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