• July 4th Recipe Roundup

    I ‘ll be honest with you all, I did absolutely nothing this weekend. Not. One. THING. And oh boy it was lovely. I bopped around the house, I re-watched Stranger Things in preparation for this week, and I only wore real clothes for about 2 hours across both days combined. I sat on the porch with a glass of wine and a Martha Stewart magazine and felt RELAXED. And then, for the cherry on top of the laziest weekend, I realized that this is a literal 3 day week followed closely by a 4 day weekend!!! But not just any 4 day weekend, July 4th weekend!! It’s the most important barbecue weekend of the year, are you ready???

    That is a perfect segue into this post, what to make for your barbecue. If you listen to me, I’m not saying that you definitely will be the most popular person at the party, but I’m also not NOT saying that, you know? A good barbecue has gotta have a good snack spread, a cocktail (or mocktail), those classic BBQ foods like burgers + dogs, and my favorite part, DESSERT. Because this is Sweet D, I’m bringing my favorite desserts to recommend, but because I’m also an equal opportunist, I have a few other dishes as well.

    Before we dive in, here are 5 things to be happy about today:
    ONE. A new cookbook giving you fresh inspiration. (Today’s is this one and I’m already obsessed.)
    TWO. Latte art.
    THREE. Me time.
    FOUR. Climbing atop an observation tower.
    FIVE. Cozy bed jackets.

    Okay let’s barbecue!!

    Tomato Burrata Salad.

    So I know this was also included in my Memorial Day recipe roundup, but it’s making a return appearance for a REASON. It can be prepped in 10 minutes, better yet, it can be done in advance because the tomatoes only taste better sitting in the olive oil dressing. It looks so fancy and photogenic with those beautiful burrata balls broken over the top, and highlights the best fresh flavors of summer.

    Blueberry Slab Pie.

    This is another repeat classic, because nothing says barbecue like pie, and nothing makes it easier to serve pie to a crowd than one that can be cut into squares and feeds 20 people. Plus, if you’re feeling particularly creative, there could definitely be some kind of American Flag sitch in the pie crust, but I’ll leave that up to you.

    Tart Cherry Clafoutis.

    Still one of my favorite desserts to date, a clafoutis is a custardy baked dessert that holds your fruit of choice in beautiful little jammy pockets, and honestly it was enough to make me tear up. In this most special tart cherry season, this dish highlights and compliments their brightness perfectly into one slice and serve dessert.

    Classic Focaccia.

    If you’ve seen the Netflix series Salt. Fat. Acid. Heat., you will recognize this recipe as the one Samin Nosrat makes in Italy, which I fell in love with almost instantaneously. It’s simple and perfect and so satisfying. It can be easily customized with herbs or vegetables, but it makes for excellent finger food. I don’t know about you but if I went to a party and this was on the food table, I would cry tears of joy.

    Cinnamon Plum Apricot Pie.

    This pie was an unusual one, with perfect sweetness from the apricots and plums, and warmth from the cinnamon. I had combined the two fruits since I was short on the season’s apricots, but since it’s early enough in the summer, an all apricot pie would be just beautiful. And I haven’t even gotten to the best part of this dessert, which is the vanilla pouring custard that goes on top in great pools. Basically what I’m saying is you need this pie rn.

    Blueberry Buttermilk Cake.

    Ah, the Blueberry Buttermilk Cake. Not the flashiest of desserts, but one of the underestimated heroes for sure. Those jammy blueberries and that crunchy cinnamon sugar lid are just perfection, and it’s a perfect vehicle for a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

    Lemon Meringue Pie.

    There are few things in this world that I love more than lemon desserts. Lemon bars, lemony cheesecake, and best of all, lemon meringue pie. For those who weren’t around last May, I made this pie and was so excited to try my new kitchen torch, only to realize that I am a fool and the butane had to be purchased separately. I actually have yet to try again with a torched meringue, but it feels like this week is the time!!! I mean, just LOOK at that layer of lemon curd. Omg.

    Cornmeal Peach Cobbler.

    My god I love this cobbler so much. Bubbly peach filling is one of life’s greatest pleasures, don’t you think? But WAIT, you don’t know true happiness until you combine it with cornmeal biscuits!!! They’re incredibly low maintenance drop biscuits that get golden and crisp, perfect for soaking up the cinnamon-y peach goodness.

    Cheesecake Pudding Pie.

    Looking for a cheesecake without the 8 hour chilling time of an actual cheesecake? Well, look no further. I don’t even know that there’s anything else that I need to say here, do you? CHEESECAKE. PUDDING. PIE. The end.

    Sweet Corn Layer Cake with Blueberry Jam Buttercream.

    Unpopular opinion that will soon be popular opinion, skip corn on the cob and instead serve your corn in the CAKE. But not just any cake, one topped with a rich, fruity buttercream and stacked into 2 perfect layers. Take the unconventional approach and impress everyone you know!

  • Memorial Day Recipe Round-Up

    Can you believe that it’s already Memorial Day Weekend? Honestly I’m a little spooked, where did all of the Spring go?? It’s almost JUNE. Whew okay I’m calm we’re good it’s all good. I’m interrupting my usual Tuesday posting schedule to bring you this special collection of recipe highlights, perfect for a backyard barbecue! Whether you’re hosting a party or just feel like making something new and fun, please enjoy this collection of my 10 most Memorial Day appropriate recipes!!

    ONE. Blueberry Slab Pie

    Do you need dessert for a crowd? Or do you just eat enough pie on your own? Look no further than this masterpiece, it is deceivingly simple to make, because why mess with the flavor of blueberry and pie crust? Also did I mention that slab pies are baked on a sheet pan, crazy easy to slice, and serve up to 20 people? Go make a pie!!!

     

    TWO. Fresh Fruit Tart

    Slightly more labor intensive than a slab pie (only slightly), it’s hard to pass up a tart like this when theres fruit art involved. A crisp tart shell holds a generous portion of rich vanilla pastry cream, and from there the decorating is up to you! Will it be a symmetrical pattern? Or an artful heap? Berries or stone fruit? Or both? It’s up to you!!

     

    THREE. Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcakes

    Did you think I would go an entire rhubarb season without mentioning rhubarb?? Think again!! While a new 2019 rhubarb recipe is on its way, I will tide you over until then with this twist on the classic strawberry shortcake. A buttery biscuit, lightly sweetened soft whipped cream, and a heaping scoop of strawberry rhubarb quick jam becomes a simple yet incredibly flavorful dessert that guests can assemble themselves and take the pressure off you! You’re welcome!!

     

    FOUR. Fried Burrata in Romesco Sauce

    I realize that here on Sweet D I tend to favor dessert recipes, after all, it’s called SWEET D, right? However, this recipe was designed with entertaining in mind, so I’d be crazy not to include it on this list. And while you could eat this whole thing yourself (and I’d be very impressed with you), the best way to eat a ball of fried burrata is surrounded by friends, with a glass of chilled white wine and lots of garlicky bruschetta. Do I need to keep convincing you? I didn’t think so.

     

    FIVE. New York Cheesecake with Roasted Blueberry Sauce

    The best part about this cheesecake recipe, aside from the fact that it could LITERALLY be in a museum, is that the whole thing can be made the day before and kept chilled in the fridge, meaning you have more time with your guests, more time to grill, and more time to eat snacks! Highkey this recipe is one of the most decadent ones on my site, I still think about it at least once a day and you should too.

     

    SIX. Almond Sheet Cake

    You know how every year, Ina Garten makes a Flag Cake using a sheet cake and some berries? Well, here’s your fancy base to a flag cake, the simplest almond cake and frosting which will be a gorgeous and elegant compliment to the fruit on top. A word to the wise- if you choose to make the flag on this cake, use fresh berries only and don’t add any extra sugar to them, the berries will release their juices and make the top of the cake very soggy!

     

    SEVEN. Cornmeal Peach Cobbler

    Okay I know that ~technically~ it’s not peach season yet, but I couldn’t bring myself to look past this perfect cobbler in all its bubbly, fruity glory. Golden cornmeal biscuits are an excellent, slightly salty counterpart to the classic flavor of peach, but if you’re having trouble finding good ripe peaches this time of year, you could always substitute with blueberries, strawberries, or cherries!

     

    EIGHT. Tomato Salad with Burrata

    What’s that? You spent all your time making the desserts on this list and don’t have any food for dinner? Boy have I got good news for you. Enlist one of your guests to be your tomato chopping sous chef, and this salad will be done in 10 minutes. That’s right, TEN. And with the rustic yet glamorous presentation, people will think you put a lot more work into it than you did. Plus, there’s no better combination than mozzarella and tomato, am I right or am I right?

     

    NINE. Mini Pavlovas

    Are you sensing a theme here for these desserts? If you guessed berries, you’d be correct. Personally, nothing screams summer holiday like fresh berries, so it seems only fitting that they keep popping up on this list. While pavlovas are slightly on the challenging side, the payoff is well worth it, there’s nothing quite like the crisp, marshmallow texture of a pavlova with whipped cream and berries.

     

    TEN. Summer Fruit Galettes

    You know that I had to fit one more pie recipe in here, it’s practically in my contract. And what better recipe than the deeply unfussy, rustic pie that doesn’t even require a pie plate? These galettes are easily customizable, easily served, and the best part is you don’t have to sacrifice any of the things you know and love about regular pie to do it. A win-win!

     

    Happy Memorial Day Weekend, I hope it’s filled with all ten of these foods! XoxoxoxoxD

  • Milk and Cookie Pie

    I’d like everyone to know that when I made this pie the other day, I had just returned home from the eye doctor, and my pupils were so dilated my eyes were practically all black, and any amount of light literally BURNED, I was like a damn vampire. However, I made the mistake of mentioning this pie, created by Erin McDowell and originally found here, to my siblings when I came across the recipe, and they wouldn’t take no for an answer. So, as a result, I baked this pie in a kitchen as dark as I could make it, squinting the entire time. And STILL, it was fabulous, which is probably mostly a credit to Erin’s recipe, but also I LITERALLY blind-baked a pie so there’s that. Someone please tell me I’m funny…pls.

    Anyway, this past Easter weekend was full of food and also rainy weather, which wasn’t so great for the spring-y holiday, but made it extra cozy for me while holed up cooking and baking for 16 people with my mom! In addition to the dinner classics like ham, scalloped potatoes, and such, I made 2 different spring desserts: a pavlova, like this one I wrote about last week, and also another almond cake, which I wrote about here! Both are good desserts to make the night before, since the pavlova can dry in the oven overnight, and the cake is covered in a glaze that keeps it moist. We all ate lots of food and Easter candy, which is exactly what you’re supposed to do, and now that the day is over, catch me scooping up all the discounted Peeps at CVS am I right?? But back to the present, let’s get baking, shall we?

    Here are 5 things to be happy about at the beginning of this week!!
    ONE. Appreciating the good fortune of loved ones.
    TWO. Ghost stories and marshmallows by the fire.
    THREE. Stained glass.
    FOUR. Feeding your mind.
    FIVE. Downspouts after a rain.

    MAKES: 1 9 inch tart
    PREP TIME: 30 minutes
    BAKE TIME: 20-24 minutes
    INACTIVE TIME: 1 to 2 hours or overnight

    COOKIE CRUST INGREDIENTS

    6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
    ½ cup light brown sugar
    ¾ tsp vanilla
    1 egg yolk
    1 + 2/3 cup all purpose flour
    ½ tsp kosher salt
    ½ cup chocolate chips

    COOKIE CRUST STEPS

    ONE. Grease a 9-inch tart pan with cooking spray. Place the prepared pan on a baking sheet, and make sure that you have enough room in both your freezer and fridge for later.

    TWO. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and the egg yolk, then mix to combine.

    THREE. Carefully add the flour and salt, then mix until incorporated. The mixture will be crumbly, but should stick together when squeezed. At this point, stir in the chocolate chips so that they’re uniform, then press the dough into the prepared pan, making sure it’s even on all sides.

    FOUR. Place the tart shell in the freezer and let it chill while you preheat your oven to 350ºF.

    FIVE. When it’s ready to bake, prick the bottom and sides of the dough with the tines of a fork, then bake until the crust is lightly golden brown, between 20 and 24 minutes. Set aside to cool completely while you make the filling.

     

    FILLING INGREDIENTS

    1/3 cup cool water
    1 Tbsp powdered gelatin
    1¼ cup heavy cream
    1/3 cup granulated sugar
    1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste (or 1 vanilla bean)

    FILLING STEPS

    ONE. Mix the cool water with the gelatin in a small bowl, and allow to bloom for at least 5 minutes.

    TWO. In a small saucepan, heat together 1 cup of the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the bloomed gelatin and heat until that too dissolves, about another minutes.

    THREE. Pour the heated cream mixture into a large glass measuring cup or bowl with a spout. Stir in the remaining heavy cream and milk. Carefully pour the cream mixture into the cooled crust, and transfer the whole pie to the fridge. Chill for at least 1 hour, up to overnight, until the panna cotta filling is completely set.

    DECORATION INGREDIENTS

    1 cup heavy whipping cream
    1 Tbsp granulated sugar
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    Chocolate chips/ cookies for decorating

     

    DECORATION STEPS

    ONE. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla together until medium soft peaks form, about 3 to 4 minutes.

    TWO. Generously pile the whipped cream onto the center of the pie, and smooth out as desired. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, shavings, or mini cookies as desired.

    YUM! XOXOXOXOXOXO