because everybody at my office loves food, last year we started "breakfast club friday". the rules are simple. one person brings breakfast for the group. there are about 25 of us, so each person ends up only bringing food about twice a year. breakfast can be homemade or store bought, just as long as it's food. we've had everything from sausage casseroles & homemade cinnamon buns to whataburger taquitos & cold pizza with beer. no joke. we work in advertising, after all.
it was robert's turn this past friday, so he tried something new: giada de laurentis' lemon & basil eggs over foccacia. the recipe is simple:
1. hollow out your bread loaf (our local bakery was out of foccacia, so robert used a french loaf instead).
2. brush it with a lemon & olive oil mixture & bake for a few minutes.
3. pour egg, basil, cheese, salt & pepper & milk mixture (he made one with ham) in the bread.
4. bake until the eggs have cooked, about 40 minutes.
it was quite a hit & really simple. we'll definitely be making this more often at our house. you can find giada's detailed recipe here.
have you guys been digging the liberty of london line for target this season? I'm personally not a huge fan, but I did purchase this adorable printed romper. it'll be perfect to wear around the house or as a swimsuit cover-up this summer.
I finally watched tim burton's film, alice in wonderland, in 3d (definitely the way you should see it!). and while the film itself isn't burton's best, it is certainly beautiful to watch, full of bold colors and whimsy. the movie inspired me to put together my interpretation of the film.
when I heard nigella lawson on npr describing her chocolate guinness cake, I knew I had to try it out for st. patty's day. it was surprisingly delicious,with a hint of guinness flavor. I iced the top only so that it would resemble a pint of guinness. I might just make this a tradition every st. patrick's day.
1 cup guinness
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups superfine sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
ingredients for the frosting:
8 oz cream cheese
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar (sifted)
1/2 cup heavy cream
preheat the over to 350 F, and butter and line a 9 inch springform pan.
pour the guinness into a large wide saucepan, add the butter and heat until the butter's melted. next, whisk in the cocoa and sugar. beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla and then pour into the pan. after that is mixed, whisk in the flour and baking soda. make sure all the lumps are out.
pour the cake batter into the greased and lined pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. let cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack.
to make the frosting, lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth, sift the confectioner's sugar and then beat them both together.
add the cream and beat again until it makes a spreadable consistency. ice the top of the cake so that it resembles the frothy top of a pint of guinness.
you know you live in a real city when you've got a trader joe's. a trip to atlanta wouldn't be complete without stocking up on all the tj's essentials... cereal, yogurt-covered pretzels, cuban black beans, trader giotto's olive oil & peanut butter cups. maybe one day our city will be cool-enough to have one.
as you may know, I'm on a quest to find the best cupcakes around. so after several recommendations, kara & I really wanted to check out chocolate pink in atlanta. it's a really cute cafe that serves all kinds of pastries & coffee. both of our cupcakes were delicious! kara got the coconut (coconut milk pound cake with coconut sour cream filling & white chocolate buttercream icing) & I tried the mochaccino (vanilla chiffon cake with coffee cream filling, topped with chocolate ganache & coffee buttercream). I had to stop myself for ordering another one...
kara & I love finding unique pieces at thrift stores, estate sales & antique shops. so one of the first things we did in atlanta was visit kuduz antique market & a bunch of different stores in chamblee's antique row.
here are just a couple of photos (unfortunately most of the pictures I took are on my lomo & I haven't developed the film yet).
one of my very favorite chefs from "top chef" was richard blais. he was the one who was really into all of that molecular gastronomy stuff. well he is the genius behind this hip atlanta restaurant called flip burger boutique.
the atmosphere is fun & the menu is really creative. we started with the fried pickles with buttermilk ranch, followed by the flip burger, a side of hand-cut french fries with pomegranate ketchup, a wedge salad (to make ourselves feel better), and ended with the nutella & burnt marshmallow milkshake (that's where the liquid nitrogen came into play). sooo delicious!
"a loyal sister is worth a thousand friends". ~ marian eigerman
I went to visit my sweet sister in atlanta this past weekend. we had a blast chatting, eating, site-seeing, antique shopping & giggling. that's pretty much all we do when we're together is giggle...constantly. I know it sounds a bit cliche, but kara knows me better than any friend I've ever had & she loves me regardless. no matter what, I know that she'll always be there for me (& vise-versa). sisters are pretty much the best thing in the world. this quote above says it all.
this week I'll be blogging about some of the fun things to do in atlanta.
I'm a big shortbread fan. I loved the shortbread from atlanta bread... but then they closed. so when I spotted this recipe on food network, I really wanted to try it out (after all, the only thing that's better than shortbread is shortbread covered in chocolate!). it's really simple, with just five main ingredients (although I did add a tiny bit of vanilla), and really really delicious & addictive.
I had this beautiful gray sea salt that I sprinkled on top before serving, which made such a difference- I love that sweet & salty combination.
2 sticks butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for preparing pans
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for preparing pans
2/3 cup sugar
1/4- 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 pound good-quality milk chocolate
preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
butter 2 (8-inch) square nonstick pans and coat with flour, tapping off excess. place the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse once. add butter and pulse until mixture resembles peas. press the shortbread mixture into prepared pans and bake until golden brown around the edges, about 20 minutes. remove from the oven and let cool completely.
in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the condensed milk and 2 tablespoons of butter. slowly bring the mixture to a boil, stirring continuously. continue stirring over the heat until mixture becomes thick and amber in color, about 15 minutes. pour the caramel over the cooked shortbread and spread evenly using an offset spatula. cool to room temperature.
in a glass bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate. once chocolate has melted, pour it over the cooled caramel layer. cool at room temperature for about 10 minutes, and then place in the refrigerator to cool completely, allowing chocolate to slightly harden but not get hard. cut into 2-inch squares and sprinkle with sea salt if desired. store in an airtight container, either at room temperature in the refrigerator.