Category Archives: recipes

Life Lately

I know I’ve been a little absent from my blog lately!

In the past few months, my full time job became a little more hectic and a lot more stressful. However, I’m working on a few things, and planning on blogging full time in the near future.
In fact, I’m pretty excited about several things that are coming together. Stay tuned!

But for right now (and for the next few weeks), my posts will be very few and far between!
So, for those of you who don’t follow me on Instagram, i thought i’d write a “life lately” post via my steady flow of Instagram pictures.

We have been slowly and steadily working on finishing up our home. And by finishing? I mean that I am aware we will never be “finished”. But I do feel as though things are finally all in place.  In fact, I love it around here right now. I just want to stay inside all day and enjoy it!

photo 1 copy

Comforter: Target photo 1

Pillows: Ikea
Shelf: West Elm

1897022_10101308784113147_8212989924721962219_n

photo 1

photo 2 copy 2

Canister Set: Target

photo 3 copy 2 Mirror: Ikea
Lamp: Ikea

photo 4

photo 5 copy

Stoneware Vase: Target
Lamp: Bushwick Hardware

photo 5

Polka Dot Vase: Target
Peacock Chair: Thrifted
Throw: Target

We have also been soaking up the last few days of summer weather here in Texas. Which, ironically, seems to be following us deep into Fall. I can’t tell you how upset that makes me. I can, however, be happy that we still get to take Penny on long, barefoot walks to the park every day after work. I can’t really complain about that.

photo 2 copy

photo 3 copy

She also enjoys the comforts of home. And claiming chairs as her own.

photo 2 copy 3

We have been decorating for Fall and enjoying lazy nights at home, watching our favorite Fall TV shows while yummy smelling candles burn.

photo 4 copy

photo 2

This candle smells SO incredible. All of the scents are just wonderful, but this one smells just like a Christmas tree! Check them all out on Sydney Hale Co.

And, of course, I have been on a baking spree.
I love when the chilly nights blow in. It makes me want to wake up early and bake pumpkin flavored things. My go-to’s have been cinnamon rolls and pumpkin bread.
I can’t stop. I won’t stop. I will, however, increase my running routine to offset said delicious baked treats. That’s fair, no?

photo 5 copy 2

photo 4 copy 2

(I will have to post a recipe for these delicious gems, soon. PUMPKIN cinnamon rolls!)

photo 3

Oh, and that’s my handsome husband. Just because he’s cute.

Pants: Target
Shoes: Target
Shirt: Gap
Jacket: Banana Republic

Mama’s Blackberry Cobbler

 I’ve decided that baking is my therapy.
Some people run. Some people eat lots of candy (okay, I’m guilty of that too) and some people shop until they drop. Me? I like to take all of my stress out on the kitchen.
Flour everywhere. Sugar in my hair. Egg yolk on the floor.
If the kitchen isn’t messy when you’re done, you’re not doing it right.

This past week was really stressful for me. I can’t really pinpoint one particular reason, honestly. I think it’s just a really big itch. An itch to do something new.
And I think because I can’t really scratch that itch (seeing as i’m not sure what that itch is) I took that stress and baked it into one large, scrumptious, mouthwatering blackberry cobbler.

And now I want to share that steamy, delicious love with you, too.
This is actually my mom’s recipe.  I have very fond memories of climbing up onto the barstool and watching my mom roll out pie crust. She was oh, so meticulous. Making sure everything was just right. (Now I find myself rolling out dough in just the same manner)  I would rest my hand on my face and just watch and watch as she rolled and perfected. Rolled and perfected. Throwing me and my brothers a piece of pie dough every now and then to keep us busy.
And at the end of the afternoon, the delicious smell of ooey gooey blackberries would waft up to my room (which was conveniently located just above the kitchen) and i knew it was almost time to gobble up the first bite.  I can almost smell it now.  Isn’t it funny how childhood memories are the most memorable ones we have? I love that.

Now, where to begin. Ah yes, the dough.
This is just a standard “from scratch” dough recipe.
Really simple.
Let’s get started.

The Dough:

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose-flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 16 T COLD unsalted butter (equivalent to 2 sticks)
  • 1/4 cup ice water

Step 1
In a mixer, combine flour, salt and sugar; mix on low to combine.

photo 1 (7)
Here’s the tricky part. Make sure your butter is REALLY cold. Don’t take it out of the fridge until you are ready to use it.  Cut the butter into pads and add it to the mixture.

photo 2 (10)
Now, I did this the old fashioned way.  You don’t want to completely mix the butter in, so I took two knives (using both hands) and cut the butter into the mixture.  Sounds difficult, but super easy.  Mix until it resembles corse meal, with pea sized pieces of butter remaining.

Step 2
Slowly add the ice water. Mix on LOW for a few seconds until dough is crumbly, but holds together when you pinch it.  Add water as needed.
This process will make your dough extra flaky when you bake it. Yum!

photo 3 (9)

Step 3
Split the dough in half.  Form each dough into a round ball.  Do not knead the dough, as you want delicious pockets of butter when baking. Transfer each half of the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap.  Secure tightly and refrigerate for one hour or until firm.  Now you will have two disks ready for the bottom and top of your crust!

Step 4
When dough is ready, remove both disks from the refrigerator. Start with one disk.

photo 2 (10) copy 2

Grab a deep pie dish.  On a floured surface, roll out one of the disks to cover the bottom of the dish. I like to leave a little dough hanging over the sides so I have extra to pinch at the end.
(Sidenote: Roll out and slice a few strips of extra dough to use for the pie filling! I’ll explain later!)

Blackberry Filling

Ingredients

  • 6 cups of blackberries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 T. lemon juice

Step 1
Now that you have the bottom of the pie crust prepared, lets start with the filling!

photo 1 (7) copy
First, wash those blackberries! I was lucky enough to find big, juicy ones at the local farmers market.  Next, toss together all of the ingredients.  It will seem as though there is quite a bit of the flour mixture and not enough liquid, but toss to cover all of the blackberries.

photo 2 (10) copy

Step 2
Use 1/3 of the blackberries mixture and pour on top of the uncooked pie crust in the prepared pie dish. Throw in a few of those strips of pie dough. These will be a little doughy surprise when you cut into the cobbler.  Don’t skip this step.  It’s a delicious, doughy secret.

photo 1 (7) copy 2
Repeat this step again, and then top with the last 1/3 of the blackberry mixture.
Ready for this? More butter. Before you add the top of the crust? Just slice a few pads of butter and place them on top of the finished blackberry mixture. Just a little extra yumminess.

photo 5 (5)

Step 3
At this point, you are done with the blackberry mixture, and ready to top the cobbler with the other pie crust.  Roll out the dough and either top it with normal pie crust (which is totally acceptable and just as delicious! If you do, before you place the crust on top, make a few slices in the middle with a knife. About half an inch apart. This will let the cobbler bubble through a little at the end of baking and you will know it’s ready!
I created a lattice crust.  It was super easy! (Find a tutorial for that here!)

photo 3 (9) copy
Pinch the outsides of the pie. I use my thumb to make an imprint and then pinch the sides together. You can do whatever pleases your little heart.

Step 4
This is an important step and a lovely trick my mama taught me.
Before you place the pie in the oven, brush a little milk onto the crust and sprinkle with sugar. This will make that crust a beautiful golden brown color.

Step 5
Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
**If you notice the edges of the crust burning, you can open the oven and wrap them in a little bit of tinfoil. This will allow the middle to continue baking and keep the outsides from burning. Another fun mama fact. Aren’t they the best?**

photo 4 (7) copy
ENJOY THAT LOVELY cobbler.  I like to have a little bowl when it’s still hot. There is something about warm cobbler that just tastes like a warm, summer day.
Chad likes to top his with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.
Blue Bell vanilla ice cream, to be exact.  This IS Texas, y’all.

photo 5 (5) copy

Chicken Fried Steak & Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

 When you are from the South, you’ve definitely heard of/tried/seen a chicken fried steak at some point in your sweet little life. Well, it also just so happens to be my husband’s all time favorite food. Whenever it’s on the menu, bam. That’s his pick. No question about it. I, on the other hand, loathe red meat. I don’t like to eat it, pick it up, look at it or even have it in my kitchen. Lucky for him, however, I happened upon a pretty interesting looking recipe for one and thought I’d try it out. You know how people always say “don’t judge a book by it’s cover?” Well, I’m guilty of that. I literally will check a book out at the library because I like the way the cover looks. I don’t even read the back of it. That’s pretty much what happened with the chicken fried steak recipe. The food blog was super aesthetically pleasing and they made that steak look good.
They won this red meat loathing girl over.
Judged it by it’s cover. Bought the ingredients. Fried it right up.

I will say, it was pretty intimidating because Chad stood behind me the whole time.
Judging me. With judging {i know how I like my chicken fried steak} eyes.
I have never fried anything in my entire life.
I might have sloshed some hot oil around and let out a little curse word.
But once I got the hang of it, I was frying that steak up like a boss.

I must admit, it was fun to try something new. And I evened out the playing field by oven roasting some healthy brussels sprouts. {my favorite}
Oh. And, Chad gave the clean plate of approval.
(and then I took a bow, did a happy dance, and enjoyed a cold beer)

Balsamic Oven-Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds Brussels Sprouts
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • Sea Salt, to taste
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper, to taste

How To:

Preheat oven to roast at 375°F.

Peel off the outer, beat-up layers of the brussels sprouts.
Trim the ends, then cut brussels sprouts in half.
Balsamic Brussel Sprouts

In a large bowl, toss together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Then add the brussels sprouts and toss evenly.
Balsamic Brussel Sprouts 1 Lightly oil a cookie sheet and spread out the brussels sprouts. (cut side facing down) Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, flip the sprouts over, then roast them again for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
Balsamic Brussel Sprouts 2

 

Chicken Fried Steak via (I’m A Food Blog):

Steak Ingredients:

  • 1 steak of choice (I chose a round steak from Whole Foods and pounded it for tenderization)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • oil for pan-frying

Gravy Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons duck fat   (I know.)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • salt and pepper

How To:

(Depending on what type of steak you purchased, you might have to pound it a little to tenderize it. I did this for about two minutes on each side)

Chicken Fried Steak

Place the flour into a shallow dish (I used glass pie dishes, as they were shallow but large enough to hold the steaks) and mix with the salt and pepper. Crack the egg in another shallow dish and whisk lightly. Dredge the meat in the flour, then the egg, then the flour again.
Chicken Fried Steak 1

In a large frying pan, heat up about 1/2 cm of oil over medium-high. Once the oil begins to simmer, add the steak and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 4-5 minutes per side. (I ended up cooking each side a little longer on medium heat, as my cut of steak was a little thick) Remove from the pan and set aside while making gravy.
Chicken Fried Steak 2 In a sauce pot, melt the duck fat over medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour and cook while stirring until thoroughly mixed. While whisking, slowly pour in the milk, then the broth. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, whisking occasionally until slightly thickened. Taste and season with salt and pepper. (This is a little difficult as it can thicken pretty quickly..so just make sure to stir the whole time! I had Chad help me with this step!)

Chicken Fried Steak 3

Now, enjoy your chicken fried steak and balsamic brussel sprouts and then have your husband do the dishes and help you clean the hot oil from every corner of the kitchen!
Chicken Fried Steak 4

espresso chocolate chip cinnamon roll deliciousness

okay, everyone get their baking brains ready.
i posted these delicious sweet treats on instagram over the weekend, and had several people request that I put them up on the blog!
wish? granted.

i am not a huge coffee fan, so these weren’t my favorite. but chad just gobbled them up.
there are only two of those bad boys left.

these are a little time consuming, but the nice part is that when you are waiting for the dough to rise, you can run around the house doing other things like I did.
or go for a walk while they are baking (which is what we did, and I highly suggest), so that when you get home, you walk into a cloud of cinnamon deliciousness.
not to mention they will be right out of the oven ready.
and maybe that walk would cancel out the calories…right?

i found these on a wonderful recipe blog, Alaska From Scratch, and they are quite the tasty find, i tell you!

anyway, these are a great weekend treat, and are fun to make!

enjoy!

Ingredients

For Dough:
    • 2t yeast
    • 1T sugar
    • 1c warm milk
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 4T butter, melted
    • 3c flour
    • 1t salt
For Espresso Syrup:
    • 1/3c brown sugar
    • 3T brewed espresso (+ more for glaze)
    • 1/4t cinnamon
For Filling:
    • 4T butter, soft
    • 1/2c semi-sweet chocolate chips
For Glaze:
  • 1-1/2c powdered sugar
  • 1/4t cinnamon
  • 1T butter, melted
  • 1/2t vanilla
  • 3t pure maple syrup
  • enough brewed espresso to make a smooth, runny glaze

 

How-To:

To the bowl of a stand-mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add the yeast, sugar, and milk. Mix together and allow to stand 5 minutes until foamy. Add the egg and butter and mix until combined. Incorporate the flour and salt until a soft dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If too sticky, add more flour by the tablespoon until it comes together. Turn the mixer on medium-high and knead dough 5 minutes. Cover the bowl and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

When the dough is done rising, put a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, espresso, and cinnamon. Stir until the sugar dissolves and the mixture becomes a glossy syrup. About 2-4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Next, turn the dough out onto a floured work surface.

 And roll into a large rectangle. Using your fingers, spread the top of the dough with the soft butter. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the butter. Drizzle the espresso syrup over the top.

Roll the dough up, trim off the edges with a sharp knife, and slice into 2-inch-wide rolls. Place rolls into a round baking dish or pie plate, allowing room for them to rise.

Cover loosely with foil and allow them to rise another 45 minutes.

before rising:

after rising:

Preheat oven to 400. Bake the rolls with the foil for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes, or until golden brown on top and cooked through.

In the last 10 minutes of baking, whisk together the powdered sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and maple syrup. Gradually incorporate espresso until a smooth, runny glaze forms. When rolls are done, pour the glaze over top while hot.

these are delicious when hot or warmed up! if you’re feeling a little adventurous? heck, slather a little peanut butter on the top!

however you eat them, enjoy!

xo