Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Shortcut Basil & Parmesan Rolls

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I have learned it's okay to take shortcuts, especially when it comes to baking. Oh sure, I aspire to make the perfect pies, cakes, cookies, and bread completely from scratch, but my results are inconsistent at best. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

I'm pretty good with cookies, quick breads and muffins. However, if anything needs yeast and effective kneading to get the desired results I'm pretty much screwed. I just can't count on myself to get it done right every time.

But, it's okay. I've made my peace with it.

Even if I had mad baking skills I still happen to live in a world where there isn't always time to make homemade bread from scratch. Between work and Pinterest there aren't a whole lot of hours left in the day, which is why I've been known to stock my fridge with pre made crescent roll dough. It's just too easy.

Take the rolls pictured above, for example. All I did was unroll the dough and spread a mixture of olive oil, basil and grated parmesan cheese one side. Then I just rolled it up, like I was making cinnamon rolls, and sliced the roll into eight equal sized rolls. Then I baked them until they were starting to brown -- about 20 minutes or so.  Fresh from the oven, these little rolls tasted mighty fine as a snack alongside a glass of white wine. 

From scratch or not really from scratch -- does it really matter in the grand scheme of things? Life is way too short to cry over ruined baked goods. I should know -- I have a few tear-stained hand towels in my kitchen.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Mushroom & Spinach Melt

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I heart sandwiches.

During the week I typically stick to simple turkey, lettuce and cheese, but when the weekend rolls around I like to invest a little more time and effort creating toasty, tasty sandwich options. This mushroom and spinach melt is definitely a weekend sandwich and totally worth the time.

I melted a healthy tablespoon of butter in a pan over medium heat. Once the butter melted I tossed in a package of baby bella mushrooms that I cut into quarters. I cooked them in the butter for several minutes along with some fresh thyme. Then I added in another tablespoon of butter before adding in a few splashes of Chardonnay to deglaze the bottom of the pan. I added some salt and pepper and let the mushrooms cook a few minutes longer in the butter and wine before removing them to cool.

While the mushrooms were cooling I slathered some dijon mustard on two slices of sandwich bread.  I layered some fresh spinach on one slice of bread, topped the spinach with some of the cooled mushrooms and then grated some provolone over the top of the mushrooms. Then I cooked the sandwich in a panini press for a few minutes until the bread was toasty and the cheese was melted.

A perfect weekend sandwich.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Favorite Recipes from 2012

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I have been thinking over the last few days that I would skip posting a list of recipes posted here in 2012. However, after spending the better part of today catching up on my favorite food blogs, I realized that paying tribute to the recipes and tasty adventures of the prior year is somewhat of a blogger tradition. To just move on to 2013 without acknowledging the greatest hits from last year just feels wrong.

There are several ways to approach this kind of post and in the end I decided to share my favorite posts from 2012. It's been a fun trip down memory lane and I've managed to whittle the list down to my Top 5 personal favorites.

2012 was a great one and I'm excited to see what 2013 has in store! As always, thanks for stopping by and supporting my little blog --

Happy New Year!

Homemade Granola
I wasn't a fan of the whole fruit and yogurt thing until I made my own granola.
This recipe made me a believer.

Brussels Sprouts
2012 will be remembered as the year I fell in love with brussels sprouts. Simple, tasty and easy to do -- I think I've made these a thousand times since September.

Peanut Butter Banana Bread
So good. Earned rave reviews at Thanksgiving.

Garlic Soup
So comforting it's almost medicinal.

My favorite coffee companion.


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