Bites of My Life

Work isn't slowing down, and neither is anything else. I'm not mad about it though. When things are busy, more gets done and in my experience more fun is had. It's like when you have barely time to do anything, you try to slip in as much fun as you can have.  

-Celebrated 4 years of teaching barre3 for sis last week! Still killing the game even 7 months preggo!
-Sweetly surprised when my drink order came out pink unknowingly. Order this: the sweet almond herbal tea from Elemental Coffee, add steamed almond milk. 
-A little post-college Monmouth Duo party. 
-A summer version of my go-to lunch!
-When the craving comes on strong and you can't leave the grocery store parking lot without ripping open the bag of popcorn. I wish I could say this doesn't happen often...
-First time trying Chick-n-Beer! With none other than my adventurous eating PIC, dad!
-It's too convenient that my new favorite coffee shop is walking distance from my work. 
-Bibimbap is one of my family's favorite things at our favorite restaurant in the city. Kathleen's version comes in a very close second. 
-The Hall's Pizza Kitchen officially opens today! Got a sneak peek last Friday and already have plans to go back this week. Their burrata is calling my name!
-Baby K can't come soon enough, loved getting to shower sis this weekend.
-Crawfish, barbecue and beer (and club specials) oh my. 
-Love a day just for you mammasita!

p.s. take a look at last week's Key Lime Pie recipe post if you missed, it's a must make dessert! In fact, I'm making it again tomorrow!

Annie

The Only Key Lime Pie Recipe You Need

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Look no further. This is the last key lime pie recipe you need. I got the recipe from one of my best friend's moms. She adapted it from Joy of Cooking then I made of few tweaks myself. The results=absolute deliciousness. I'm not even going to ramble on about it, let's just cut to the chase.

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I'm a sucker for a good graham cracker crust. Especially this one. It has brown sugar it. I'm telling you it makes all the difference. 

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Key Lime Pie
yields 1, 9" pie

Crust Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of graham crackers (about 10)
6 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup brown sugar 

Filling Ingredients:
14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup key lime juice (about 12 to 14 key limes)
zest of two key limes, plus extra for garnish
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp. sugar

Directions:
Preheat your over to 350 degrees. In a food processor, grind up your graham crackers until finely ground. Pour melted butter and brown sugar in and process together. Dump graham cracker grounds into a 9 inch pie pan. Using your hands spread them out and up the sides. Use the base of a measuring cup to help pat down the crust so that it is even. Use the side of the measuring cup to smooth the sides and make sure the crust is even all along the rim. Bake for 10 minutes.  

While your crust is baking whisk your egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, key lime juice and key lime zest in a large mixing bowl. Once your crust is done, lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Pour in the filling and bake for 15 to 17 minutes. Let your pie cool completely before adding the whipped topping. 

Once the pie is cool, make the whipped cream. Using an electric mixer, mix heavy cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Using a spatula, loosely top the pie with a hefty amount of whipped cream. Sprinkle with extra key lime zest. Serve cold. 

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Make it for you momma this weekend. I know she will love it. Mine sure does!

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Annie

4 Recipes for the 4th

Holidays these days are really more of an excuse to make festive dishes and overstuff yourself with delicious eats. Here is a small list of what I hope to make this weekend. Any specific recipes you are making for the 4th?

Fruit and Pretzel Flag Dessert // Bourbon Peach Baked Beans // Blueberry Corn Salsa // Cherry Peach Pie 

Annie

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

Uh huh hunni. Say hi to these little fluffy summery cookies packaged up to perfection! I whipped these bad boys out few Sundays ago when I was on my baking spree.  After consoling with my roommates if I should make lemon bars or these strawberry shortcake cookies, we all decided on the cookies. I turned to one of my favorite cookbooks for the recipe. Joy is my go to girl when it comes to desserts and her book, Homemade Decadence is chalk full of her best recipes. Exhibit A.

These cookies are described as a hybrid between a cookie and biscuit. They are light and fluffy like a biscuit, but also slightly crispy around the edge like a cookie. My favorite part is the fresh nutmeg that is grated in. Nutmeg adds an outrageously good edge to everything. You get the perfect little hint of nutmeg in the cookies, so don't skip this ingredient!

I'd normally use this part to gab on some more about who great these cookies are and why you should make them, but let's be honest, if it's a recipe post then no one reads the text. People (highly including myself) skip straight to the visuals. You probably aren't event reading this rant right now anyway. 

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies adapted from Joy The Baker's Homemade Decadence
yields about 20 cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped small
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsps. sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 stick cold, unsalted butter
1 large egg yolk
2 tsps. vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk plus
2 tsps. buttermilk
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsps. milk or water
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Directions: 
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookies sheets with parchment paper and set to the side. 

In a small bowl, toss the cut strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, and corn starch. The smaller you cut the strawberries the more evenly distributed they will be. 

In a medium bowl,whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Then, using a pastry cutter, two dinner knives, or my favorite-your hands, cut in the butter until you get pieces the size of peas. 

In another small bowl, whisk the egg yolk, buttermilk and vanilla. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients. Using a fork, stir until combined and the batter is moistened. Gently fold in the strawberries and juice with a spatula. 

Scoop the batter onto your prepared sheets. Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes or until slightly brown. Let the cookies cool completely before you try to ice them. 

For the glaze-whisk the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract. Add a little more milk if it's too thick. Using a fork, drizzle over the tops of the cookies. Serve slightly warm or wait until the glaze has hardened a bit. They will stay fresh for about 3 to 4 days!

Annie

Grapefruit White Chocolate Brown Butter Cookies

These cookies have my name written all over them. Brown butter-yes, white chocolate-yes, grapefruit-yes yes! The ingredient combination my have your eyebrows squinch at first, but it totally works. The grapefruit comes into play by taking the zest and combing it with the sugar to make a fragrant grapefruit sugar. They are so summery and fresh and you sort of just need to make them to understand!

I haven't baked in over a month. That's a crime, an actual crime. I had the day off last Friday and finally got back into my baking groove. I baked up a storm. First up these brown butter grapefruit cookies and then lavender brownies! Luckily I had lots of friends over and family members with sweet tooth's to help pawn my abundance of goodies off to. 

Brown your butter, zest your orange, chop your chocolate, add in some flour, sugar and eggs and you'll be in business. Leave it up to Joy to develop these perfectly unusual cookies!


Pro tip: while your cookies are baking, wash down all the dough you just gobbled up with some juicy grapefruit;)

Grapefruit White Chocolate Brown Butter Cookies
yields 20-24 cookies, adapted from Joy the Baker
Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. grapefruit zest
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cup white chocolate chips or chunks
sea salt, optional
Directions:
First you need to make the brown butter. Place one stick of butter in a medium skillet. Melt the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally. The butter will foam and froth as it heats, it may even snap, crackle, pop! I'm sorry I had to...You will start to smell the butter as it cooks and brown bits will form. Once the butter is an amber color remove it from the stove immediately and pour into a small bowl, along with the brown bits. Allow the browned butter to cool for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, combine the sugar and grapefruit zest in a small bowl. Rub the sugar and zest together with your fingers to really fragrant the sugar! Using an electric mixer, beat the other stick of softened butter with the grapefruit sugar for 3 to 5 minutes until whipped and smooth. Beat in the vanilla. 
Pour the cooled brown butter into the bowl along with the brown sugar. Beat for 2 minutes until the mixture is fluffy. Add in the egg and egg yolk and beat for another minute. On low, add the flour, salt and baking soda directly into the mixer. 
If you are using a block of white chocolate, chop it up into small bits. With the mixer turned off, use a spatula to combine in the white chocolate chunks or chips. 
Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Scoop 2 Tbsp. sized balls of dough onto parchment lined or greased cookie sheets. If you wish, sprinkle the tops with a little sea salt! Leave room between the balls of dough, the cookies will spread a lot when they bake!
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until just brown around the edges!


Check back tomorrow for this lavender brownie recipe!
Annie