Hey guys! I'm back after a little hiatus... crazy holidays, lots of stuff going on at work and was sick all week! I just had to tell you about this asparagus. My Aunt Beth made it for Christmas Dinner and it was the biggest hit at the table. I immediately harassed her via text for the recipe and she sent it to me right away (she's a sweetheart!)... This is a pretty healthy side-dish as long as you don't use too much sugar. As you all know from my previous post, I've been really trying to watch what I eat, without depriving myself. This is the perfect dish for that. I felt like I was eating the most amazing thing ever and it was not going to destroy my healthy eating. Truth be told, I ate more of this than anything on my plate. I accompanied it with some veal cutlets and it was lovely. We had it with beef tenderloin on Christmas, which was a far superior pairing than my veal cutlets but for real, I'm not made of money. Anyway, make this immediately and then thank me later ;)
I don't even know where to begin. So much going on in my life right now. Training for a marathon being one of them. Some family issues being another, but all in all I'm just insanely busy right now. Last weekend, Matt and I had a pot-luck dinner at his former boss's house. Since this is our third or fourth dinner there, and I've always brought something tasty, there have been some built-up expectations of me. Unfortunately, with my crazy busy schedule, I seriously could not even conceive of having the energy to go to the grocery store to make something on Thursday night when I had court Friday morning (the party was Friday night). So basically, I decided I was going to make something with what I had on hand and that could be made as quickly as possible. I happened to have 2 cans of cannellini beans, fresh sage and garlic (I always keep plenty of garlic in my house!). All I needed after that was olive oil and some salt and pepper and I was good to go. Next time I would consider adding some lemon juice just for an extra tang, but it was very well received at the party and the sage gave a nice fall flavor :)
SOOOO my co-worker and friend, Ashley was having a birthday and I figured, why get her a store-bought cake when I could make one especially for her? Her favorite cake is yellow with chocolate frosting, and fortunately, I stumbled across this. Smitten Kitchen's "Best Birthday Cake". I used her exact recipe, so I won't post it here, but it turned out amazing...especially the frosting, which wasn't too sweet but had an incredible flavor! So anyway, the pictures below are just the process, but it turned out fabulous and I highly recommend this recipe!
I brought this lovely little tart to a dinner party at Matt's boss' house and it was a huge hit. Since the party was on a weeknight, I needed something that I could make the night before and keep at room temperature to bring to the party. I found this recipe on Pinterest and tweaked it just a touch. This recipe was so easy and required pretty minimal effort, especially because I used store-bought puff pastry. I will definitely make this again but may even change it up a bit by adding some drizzles of a good balsamic, or a touch more goat cheese.
Wow guys, I really can't wait to talk to you guys about this one... I've had my first encounter with making macarons AND I have a fantastically sweet giveaway going on! So a couple of months ago, I discovered this amazing website that sells all kinds of kitchen stuff (like pretty much anything you can think of!), called Big Kitchen. You can find it by clicking here. So I tweeted to them to see if maybe we could work out some kind of review/giveaway treat for the OinK readers and they agreed! (yay!) I was given a few different options but when I saw the "Macaron making set" on the list, I was sold. I've never tried making macarons before, frankly because everyone else who blogs about making macarons talks about how hard they can be and how the first time never goes well. I will admit, these are not perfect. There are definitely some improvements I could make and I will explain that below in the Verdict section.
But FIRST let me tell you about the items they sent me that one lucky OinK winner will WIN! I got the silicone Macaron baking sheet and this phenomenal pastry bag set!
The Macaron baking sheet is awesome. I don't know about y'all but whenever I'm told how much to put of dough/batter/anything on a cookie sheet, I always put more than I'm supposed to and it can be very annoying. With macarons it would not only be annoying, but would probably turn these little guys into total disasters. This silicone sheet makes it so easy to know exactly how much of the macaron batter you need for each half of the shell and it has ridges so you really can't mess it up too bad! Plus it makes clean up super easy! I mean seriously, the only part of my macarons that could use help was the batter itself (I'm not sure I folded correctly or if I didn't sift the flour properly). All human error basically, so if you already know how to make macaron batter you are golden! Even if you don't, this silicone sheet at least makes it super easy to ensure you have the right shape and size for your perfect macarons! I truly loved it.
Now...on to the pastry bag. I'm obsessed. like incredibly obsessed. obsessed. okay I'll stop, but seriously it is AMAZING. I wish all of you could win this. I will never use my other pastry bags again. I don't even know where to begin! First off, they are silicone, which makes cleaning them pretty much the easiest thing ever. It also comes with this darling little brush that helps you clean the thinnest part so it's easy to get all the icing/batter/whatever out! Also, it comes with a stand. A STAND! No more trying to wrap my pastry bag over the top of a glass to fill it. This bag stands up so easily in the stand (thanks to the silicone I'm sure). Also, it comes with multiple shapes/heads (6 to be exact) that easily attach and detach without couplers! You don't need couplers anymore! Seriously amazing. Also, when it is standing up in the stand you don't have to worry about batter or icing dripping out as you are filling it because it comes with a little cap that you just easily take off before using. Not only are there 6 tips but there are 3 bags (two 17.5 oz and one 8.8 oz) so you can use more than one at a time and there is a clasp for sealing the bag so icing/batter doesn't come out the top! Seriously, whoever wins this is super lucky, and I wish you all the best of luck! I'm so happy I have this little set because I plan to use the pastry bag set for everything (cakes, icing cookies, etc.) and will definitely be making many macarons this summer, both to perfect my technique, and because I think they make the perfect little dessert, especially in the summertime when you don't want something especially heavy.
Here's what it looked like while making it and on the baking mat:
And out of the oven:
Definitely not perfect, but much better than what I was expecting! I can't wait to make more and get better at this! Without the baking sheet and the bag I probably would have pulled my hair out trying to do this!
I used this basic macaron recipe (although the macaron baking sheet comes with a raspberry macaron recipe that looks amazing but I didn't have raspberry preserves). I filled half of the macarons with a basic buttercream and the other half with nutella (swoon). They were both delicious but I'm leaning more towards nutella. I really want to make more this summer and jazz them up with some fun fillings, like raspberry etc. Any ideas y'all have would be great! Anyway, although they didn't turn out perfect, that was clearly human error and I think that these products are fabulous. I think I either didn't fold the batter right or I just didn't sift the flour enough. I'm not really sure, but I think that macarons are kind of a "practice makes perfect" kind of dessert and I plan to practice a LOT with this set. So now that I've gabbed on for like a million years as to why I loved these products, you can actually find out how to enter! Simply read the instructions below and post a comment to enter.
How to Enter:
Required First Entry: Go to Big Kitchen and pick out something you'd like! It can be anything... a new knife, a food processor, anything!
Extra entries (leave a comment for each!)
Like Big Kitchen on Facebook
Follow Big Kitchen on Twitter
Like Order in the Kitchen on Facebook
Follow Order in the Kitchen on Twitter
Tweet the following: "I just entered a giveaway from @orderinthekitch to win a Macaron making set and you can too! http://tinyurl.com/cwzqq9r "
Giveaway ends June 10th at 11:59 pm. A winner will be chosen by a random number generator. Duplicate comments will be deleted. Winner will have 48 hours to confirm or an alternate winner will be selected. Please leave your real email address in order to be contacted! While I did receive this product for free to review, the opinions and statements regarding the products are my own and I was not compensated for them.
Hey everyone! Thanks for bearing with me on my hiatus lately, I've had a LOT happening and have barely had a chance to come up for air. Anyway, I HAD to make time to make this post because I have something awesome to share with you guys... a giveaway!
The lovely folks at Certified Steak and Seafood sent me a gift certificate so that I could try some of their amazing product, and they are doing the same for one lucky Order in the Kitchen reader! The winner will get a $50 gift certificate to use in the online store! Keep reading to see how the product comes, what it looks like and how YOU can win!
I took a whole bunch of pictures from beginning to end (well not totally the end... I didn't capture our empty plates because the food was SO good!)
I decided to boil the lobster tails (although there are practically endless ways to cook lobster tails). I boiled them in salted water for one minute per ounce (these were 6 ounces, so about 6 minutes). I then just served them with some butter (about half a stick, melted in a pan) with shallots and chives (about a tablespoon of each). I spooned the white part of the butter off of the top, so I was left with mostly clarified butter.
For the filets I simply seared them in my All Clad pan for approximately 8-10 minutes on each side on Medium-High Heat, to get a good medium temperature. You can cook it to whatever temperature you prefer, just be sure to let it rest for about 10 minutes! While it was resting, I added a small diced shallot, and about 2-3 oz of sliced mushrooms to the pan that I had cooked the steak in. After a few minutes I added 1/4 cup of red wine (I used Chianti but a Syrah would be lovely as well) to deglaze the pan. After reducing the mixture until the meat is done resting, I simply spooned it over the filet. Simple and lovely!
The Verdict: Trust me, you WANT to win this giveaway. This filet was one of the most tender delicious meats I had ever eaten. I cooked it simply so that I could get as much of the natural flavor as possible, and I'm happy I did because it was so tasty. The lobster tails were equally delicious, and HUGE! Like enormous. I actually couldn't even finish my entire filet and lobster tail because the portions were incredible. You really get your money worth on this one. Plus, Matt certainly didn't complain that I had leftovers because he got to eat this magnificent meal twice. They also included a free gift with mine of a hamburger patty with 100% Angus. For free. Amazing, love this company and will definitely be using it in the future! Now, do yourself a favor, and read how to enter the giveaway so you can try this stuff! And if you don't win, I would definitely still suggest actually purchasing through the website because it's well worth the money (and their prices are actually very reasonable).
How to Enter the Giveaway!:
First (required) entry: What would you like to order from Certified Steak? A combo pack? Filets? NY Strip? It's up to you! What would you do with it?
Extra Entries (leave a separate comment for each entry--if you have already done these things, just comment saying so):
Like Order in the Kitchen on Facebook
Follow Order in the Kitchen on Twitter
Like Certified Steak on Facebook
Follow Certified Steak on Twitter
Tweet the following: "I just entered a giveaway from @orderinthekitch to win a $50 gift certificate to @certifiedsteak and you can too! http://tinyurl.com/6mw6a64"
Giveaway ends May 25th at 11:59 pm. A winner will be chosen by a random number generator. Duplicate comments will be deleted. Winner will have 48 hours to confirm or an alternate winner will be selected. Please leave your real email address in order to be contacted! While I did receive this product for free to review, the opinions and statements regarding the products are my own and I was not compensated for them.
UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to comment number 21, Michelle! You won $50 to Certified Steak and Seafood! YAY congrats!
Hey y'all, it's been awhile! Last week and this week have been very exciting and busy! I had my birthday last Thursday, our housewarming party on Saturday and today is my One Year Blogiversary!!! I can't believe that a year ago, I started this little old blog and began this awesome journey. I've met so many incredible people and have made some great friends (some who I've even met in real life!) I've loved it so much and I wish I was making something awesome to celebrate, but I have been dying to show y'all what I made for the housewarming and the cake I did for my birthday, so I think I'll share that instead... I hope that's okay with y'all :)
First I'll talk about the housewarming things I put together, and then I'll move in to the birthday cake!
So we all know that I love Pinterest. Like love, love, love it. I have about 65 boards and 6500 pins (eeek I'm out of control!) Anyway, Matt and I decided to have a housewarming to celebrate moving in to our new place. So, of course, I took this as an opportunity to make a new board. Now, I didn't make everything on that board, but I let it inspire me, and I definitely felt like I succeeded in making that board come to life! It ended up being a lot of work, but thankfully I had my friend Kristen in town to help me make all this stuff! Here are some of the highlights... I'll add captions to describe them and give some instructions.
Happy Easter weekend everyone! I hope you are all enjoying your weekends! I got a long weekend off from work, which I'm fully enjoying as a relaxing 3 days and doing pretty much as little as possible. Sometimes you just have to recharge ya know? Anyway, I made this rack of lamb a few nights ago and thought I would share it with you in the event that you haven't decided what to make for Easter dinner yet.
Well folks, we did it! We finally took the plunge and moved to Raleigh. Matt can now walk to work, and our new place is just lovely (I will post pics below). On the same day we moved, I got a job *yay!* at a firm ten minutes from our new place...fate or what? Anywayyyy I was feeling slightly cheesy and so I decided to make some cookies celebrating our move but wanted to make them Cow-Themed so that they could say we "MOOved"...I know, I'm a dork...but at least I don't deny it. I made these cookies with the simple sugar cookie recipe given by the lovely Sweetapolita on her blog...I just adore this recipe and so I use it a lot. I used fondant to do both the white and black and also for the letters. I used a pre-made fondant (Satin Ice), which is good but it's insanely sweet. I found it to be far too sweet and could only eat like a quarter of a cookie. I preferred the marshmallow homemade fondant I made for Marina's birthday cake because I had used lemon extract to cut the sweetness and so it wasn't too sweet like these. I used these little letter cookie cutters that I got from Williams-Sonoma, and they worked great for the most part...I had a hard time with the Os and the Ds (Because you have to cut the middle part out) so they look a little wonky and I think I preferred the cookies as just the plain cow pattern, but nevertheless I stuck with the letters because they were fun.
Hey y'all... I'm doing the holiday thing early (or right on time, in blogger world). I realize that I posted my 4th of July cake ON the 4th of July, and my holiday cookies on December 30th (oy vey) and that does not give readers enough time to make these holiday items for the actual holiday (unless they have a time machine...if you do, please let me know). I wanted to make mini-cakes for St. Paddy's day that reminded me (and hopefully you too!) of little lucky pots of gold! (I have recently been informed that it is actually St. PADDY's day and not St. Patty's day...learn something new every day huh?!)