Thanksgiving Morning: Cranberry and Pumpkin Scones with Whipped Maple Butter

By  now most everyone in the United States is up and elbows deep in some delicious turkey day preparations.  My family’s Thanksgiving tradition generally involves no breakfast, me taking over any heavy lifting duties, as well as about 4 bottles of champagne for the cooks (of which there are usually 2 – you do the math).  This year we decided to be smart about it and make something simple yet filling and delicious to fill our tummies before the main event begins.  After just finishing my first bites and almost licking the butter container clean, I can tell you that these will definitely become a new part of our family tradition – how about yours?

pop goes the cranberry

Cranberry and Pumpkin Scones with Whipped Maple Butter!
serves 8

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Chicken Fajitas

I am a slave to spice.  I live on Frank’s.  Usually dinner is Frank’s with a side of whatever else we’re having.  I literally put that **** on EVERYTHING.  I also absolutely love Mexican food and Southwestern flavors – hence my obsession with Bobby Flay.  And who doesn’t love sangria?

One of the simplest Mexican dishes to master is the fajita, and for drinks, there’s the Spanish sangria.  That’s partly because there’s no real formula for either, save a few basic rules, and because anything wrapped in a warm tortilla or with wine and some hot sauce is – in my opinion – worth dying for.

chicken fajitas

Chicken Fajitas!
serves 4

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Perfect Pumpkin Spice Simple Syrup

Fall is my favorite season.  Being in Florida, I have to celebrate as hard as I can to make myself feel like it’s fall, because apart from the one day it cools down to 65, there isn’t much to remind you of fall here.  Everyone who loves fall loves that delicious PSL – pumpkin spice latte!!  Here’s a super easy way to make the simple syrup at home, avoiding the long lines and, best of all, the price tag.

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celebrating fall with pumpkin spice and Ithaca memories!

Perfect Pumpkin Spice Simple Syrup!
makes about 1.5 cups

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Pear & Goat Cheese Puffs With Sliced Almonds & Roasted Bell Pepper/Balsamic Glaze

Dear lovely followers,

I’m participating in a cooking competition called Diced! on http://www.rantingchef.com.  Please please please check out my entry below, peruse the competition’s entries on The Ranting Chef and VOTE FOR ME in the poll on the right hand side of the page so I can cook up a delicious entree in the next round!  Make sure to share and show support for this great competition!

Merci and much love ❤

-Echo

I am a HUGE Chopped fan.  Huge.  I watch it almost every day to get myself in the mood for dinner.  I’ve even had dreams about competing – in which, ironically, the most stressful part was picking the correct dish to plate.  Not that I’m a perfectionist or anything.

I love thinking of what I would do given whatever ingredients present themselves in the baskets, and watching how the competitors can work so quickly to achieve such wonderful results.  Because of this, I obviously JUMPED at the chance to apply to compete in an incredible competition for food bloggers called Diced! on Pat’s blog, Rantings of an Amateur Chef.  Given a list of ingredients that must each be showcased, we have to create a dish that is beautiful, original… and most of all, yummy!

So what did I decide to do when given puff pastry, roasted red peppers, sliced almonds and pears for the appetizer round?

minitarts galore!

puffs galore!

Pear & Goat Cheese Puffs With Sliced Almonds & Bell Pepper/Balsamic Glaze!
serves 4

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Goat Cheese and Mushroom Chiles Relleños

Sometimes you just need to eat a chili stuffed with cheese.  Jalapeño poppers became famous for a reason!  If you’re looking for a little more upscale version of this classes party dish, I suggest you give this recipe a whirl – it’s sure to delight your tastebuds.

https://winetowalnuts.wordpress.com/favorite-foodies/
Goat Cheese and Mushroom Chilles Relleños!
makes 8 stuffed chiles

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Bacony Brussels Sprouts

Today I’m going to change the way you feel about brussels sprouts.  I, like most of you, would never have willingly picked brussels sprouts as a go-to side dish.  My mom used to make brussels sprouts by boiling them in a little sprite, and while this definitely curbed their characteristic bitterness, I’m really not a big fan of sweet flavors.  I prefer my chocolate bittersweet, my wines heavy (for reds) or acidic and mineral (for whites), and my vegetables savory and sautéed… this is one reason you’ll probably never see me post a recipe where carrots are the star component.  I usually try to make my vegetables pretty healthy, too… but not this time!  I figure brussels sprouts are healthy enough to allow a little guilty indulgence.

Warning: this post is chock-full of dirty, sexy food porn.

who doesn’t love bacon?

Bacony Brussels Sprouts!
serves 2

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Goat Cheese, Basil & Roasted Red Pepper Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Last night I decided I felt like a lighter meal since my stomach has kind of been off lately.  I have a few favorite lighter meals, like the shrimp baguettes I posted a few days ago, but I wanted something delicious and chicken-y.  I decided on a super simple but super delicious recipe.  This is a great summer dinner!

who doesn’t love goat cheese?

Goat Cheese, Basil & Roasted Red Pepper Stuffed Chicken Breasts!
serves 4

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