• 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!

  • Tomato Salad with Burrata

    Surprise!! A bonus recipe this week! I know what you’re thinking, two posts in one week? What’s the occasion? Well, the occasion is I got burrata at the grocery store, and I just HAD to do something about it. And that something was marinate cherry tomatoes in garlic olive oil, toss them with some salt, pepper, and basil, and break those two burrata balls right over the top and I have to say, it was HEAVENLY. That still counts as salad right?? It does in my book at least. By the way, if you don’t know what burrata is, first of all, WELCOME, and second of all, it’s a type of cheese that has an outside casing of mozzarella, with a soft, creamy inside that is perfect for breaking open and letting the filling ooze out all fancy like. Is that weird? Who knows, but you’ll be on board as soon as you try it I promise.

    Since this is my second post of the week, I’m going to keep it short and sweet because we all know you’re here for the recipe, no shame in that! This is ridiculously easy to make, and just as easy to customize depending on what else you have on hand, but since summer is ending and good cherry tomatoes will soon be scarce, I’m trying to use them as much as I can. However, some other good additions would be sliced peaches, strawberries, a drizzle of pesto or honey, or even some chili oil if you like things extra spicy!

    Before we get started, we can’t forget the five things to be happy about today, so let’s do that first!

    ONE. It’s FRIDAY!! You have a whole two days of freedom ahead of you, do yourself a favor and sleep late and have some waffles for breakfast, would you?
    TWO. Bottomless diner coffee that always seems to taste better than when you make it at home.
    THREE. String lights lining a porch railing, lighting up a warm night so you can sit and talk outside for hours.
    FOUR. Coming home to a package you’ve been waiting for sitting on the doorstep.
    FIVE. Writing letters and sending them just because, not for any reason other than to make someone’s day brighter.

    Okay! Let’s get cooking! (Or really just cutting and prepping, as almost no cooking is involved, YAY for heatless recipes!!)

    Ooooooooooomg am I right?


    Prep Time:
     15 minutes
    Inactive Time: 30 minutes
    Serves: 4-6 people

     

    Ingredients

    36 oz. cherry tomatoes (roughly 2 packages), halved
    1 tsp kosher salt
    ½ tsp pepper
    2 garlic cloves, sliced
    ¼ cup olive oil
    5 basil leaves, chiffonnade
    2 burrata balls, halved or quartered

    Steps

    ONE. In a small saucepan, add the olive oil and sliced garlic and heat on very low until the garlic is fragrant and infuses into the oil but doesn’t brown. Set aside to cool while you halve the tomatoes and discard the garlic. (If you already have a garlic-infused oil or you would prefer a plain olive oil, you can skip this step!)

    TWO. Toss the cherry tomatoes, salt, pepper, basil, and olive oil in a large bowl. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

    THREE. To serve, pour the tomatoes and the juices they released onto a large, flat serving dish. Break open or cut the burrata balls in half or in quarters (depending on how much you want to share!), and place on top so that some of the filling begins to spill into the tomatoes. Serve a piece of burrata with a healthy scoop of tomatoes to each.

    YUM!! xoxoxoxoxD

  • BLT Pasta with Garlic Croutons

    Hello friends!! For today’s recipe, yes, you read that right, it’s BLT PASTA!! One of life’s simple pleasures is a good sandwich, and in my opinion, nothing matches the near perfection of a good BLT in the summer. The crisp bacon, juicy tomato, fresh lettuce, it’s a classically delicious combination that one would not think could possibly be improved. HOWEVER, that was before you considered this recipe. Adapted from The New York Times (recipe here), this pasta has all the best parts of a traditional BLT sandwich, as well as the addition of peppery arugula and salty pecorino romano cheese. An added bonus? The sauce practically cooks itself! After frying the bacon, halved cherry tomatoes are cooked in the resulting bacon fat and reduced to a bubbling, rich but not heavy sauce, made even silkier with the freshly grated cheese and pasta water. All you have to do is stir it all together!

    Enjoying these beautifully colored gems while I can!!

    My own version of this meal includes one extra accent in the form of crispy garlic croutons because I just really love mixing bread and pasta. Is that weird? My all time favorite pasta dish is literally just pasta tossed with garlic breadcrumbs, sometimes with some sautéed kale and a fried egg, but also sometimes not, and it’s just SO delicious. So anyway, I figured, since this dish is adapted from a classic sandwich anyway, why not bring the bread back? And boy am I glad I did, because even just a small handful on top of your pasta swirl provides the most perfect and satisfying crunch and we quickly learned, as my mother remarked while eating this, “I could eat this pasta all night”.

    I’ve been seeing fancy noodle swirls all over my instagram and quickly realized how challenging it is to get them all to cooperate with me. How’d I do?

    Before we get started, I’m bringing you 5 more things to be happy about this week, are you ready? Let’s go!

    ONE. The newly released Netflix movie To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – which is heartwarming, sweet, and impossible to watch just once.

    TWO. Eating a cup full of cold, cubed watermelon and feeling instantly refreshed.

    THREE. The immediate relaxation you feel when stepping into an air-conditioned space from the heat outside.

    FOUR. Playing the same song over and over while driving by yourself, with no one to tell you not to.

    FIVE. Dinners where everyone gathers around the table long after the food is finished, simply enjoying each other’s company.

    Are we feeling happy? Hungry? Let’s get cooking!!

    Prep Time: 45 minutes
    Cook Time: 20 minutes
    Serves: 6-8 dinner portions (plus leftovers for tomorrow – or midnight!!)

    Ingredients

    2 boxes pasta of your choice (I used bucatini but any tube like pasta works!)
    12oz. bacon, diced
    2 lbs. cherry tomatoes, halved
    10 oz. arugula, washed and dried
    1 cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese, plus more for sprinkling
    ½ loaf ciabatta bread, torn into bite size chunks
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    Olive oil
    Kosher salt + pepper
    Red pepper flakes

    Steps

    ONE. Bring pasta water to boil in a large pot. Cook your pasta according to the package instructions for al dente, reserving 2 cups of the pasta water.

    TWO. In a shallow pan (I used a cast iron skillet), heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and add crushed red pepper flakes to your liking, depending on your spice preference. I used about ½ tsp for these croutons. Add in the torn pieces of ciabatta and stir so that every piece is coated with olive oil. Toast until the bread becomes golden brown and crispy, about 5-7 minutes. Set aside.

    THREE. While the water is coming to a boil, crisp your bacon in a large skillet or pot on medium-high heat, then remove and drain on a paper towel-lined plate, taking care to keep as much of the bacon fat left in the pan as possible. Add the halved cherry tomatoes to the pan with the bacon fat, and cook on medium heat until the tomatoes become soft and begin to burst. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pot to incorporate the browned bacon bits into the sauce as well. Season with salt and pepper, and after about 5 minutes of cooking, add half of the cooked bacon back to this sauce and mix to combine.

    Look at these cuties doing their thing!!

    FOUR. With the heat on medium-high, add the cooked pasta straight from the water into the skillet with the tomato sauce. Add in your arugula plus ½ cup pasta water and cook for a minute until the arugula begins to wilt slightly. Stir in the cheese and an additional ½ cup pasta water, mixing everything together until the sauce becomes smooth and almost shiny, and coats the pasta. Feel free to add more pasta water as needed, until you reach the desired consistency.

    I almost dropped my phone into the pasta for this shot, you’re WELCOME

    FIVE. To serve, pile a generous helping of pasta onto a plate or into a shallow bowl, add a handful of garlic croutons, a sprinkling of crisped bacon pieces, and a heaping snow shower of grated cheese. Best enjoyed with a glass of chilled white wine.

    YUM!! xoxoxoxoD