I love a good summer salad. One of my favorites, includes the sweetness of watermelon, the saltiness of feta cheese and the richness tartness of balsamic vinegar. I wanted to play on these flavors and created my Watermelon, Feta, Jalapeño Salad. The slight heat of the jalapeño is the perfect addition to this summer time favorite.
One of my favorite summer dinner dishes is Mujadarra ruz, lentils with rice. Paired with a light salad of tomatoes, cucumbers and mint, this makes for a perfect picnic meal. This dish is also vegetarian and done in about thirty minutes.
Mother’s Day is around the corner, and many are planning special ways to treat their mothers. I wanted to share a special cake recipe to mark this very special day honoring mothers. This hibiscus glazed bundt cake is easy to make and is super delicious!
As I get into a new routine with my job, I am getting on more of a schedule for blogging. I hope to share my take on favorite holiday cookies!
When I was growing up, my aunt and uncle lived just a few homes down from us. We spent winter break baking holiday cookies to share with our cousins on Christmas Eve. One of the cookies we made were snickerdoodles! As a child, the name made me smile 😀 I created my Cinnamon Cardamom Snickerdoodles last winter, when I was experimenting with cardamom pods.
Chocolate chip cookies are a classic treat, that everyone I know loves and enjoys. They were invented in 1938, by Ruth Graves Wakefield, who owned the Toll House Inn at the time. There are so many ways to put your own spin on them! My salted brown butter chocolate chip cookies , pumpkin spice chocolate chip cookies and chocolate chip cookies (that have the addition of milk powder I learned this from Chef Christina Tosi) are a few of my favorites!
With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I have been receiving many requests for easy side dish ideas. Here I have complied 4 sides that will make the perfect addition to any menu! In this post, I will share the recipes for four Thanksgiving side dishes that can each be made in less than 25 minutes! I begin by sharing my favorite homemade cranberry sauce, the ultimate silky smooth mashed potatoes, garlic-parmesan green beans and roasted delicata squash!
I start with the ever classic, cranberry sauce. If you plan to serve cranberry sauce, please do not use that stuff out of a metal jar. Its SO easy to make fresh and you won’t have that weird tin taste.
I infused my cranberry sauce with orange, cinnamon, nutmeg and topped it with mint for freshness!
In a heavy bottom sauce pan, combined cranberries, sugar, water, orange zest, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until mixture thickens.
Remove cinnamon stick and nutmeg pod.
Allow to cool completely and top with fresh mint.
One of my favorite side dishes are mashed potatoes. I love mashed potatoes that are rich, creamy and smooth! I first learned about mascarpone while watching Giada DeLarentes on Food Network. She added them to her potatoes and I had to re-create them immediately. There are a few important steps to take with mashed potatoes.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, for topping
Boil potatoes until soft and tender
Drain water off potatoes.
Add in the butter, mascarpone, heavy cream. Using an electric mixer, mix the potatoes until smooth.
Taste for salt and add additional to your liking
Top with chopped chives, freshly ground black pepper and remaining butter
Potatoes must be cooked properly. Inserting a knife into the center of the potato, it should come out easily and clean.
Be sure butter, mascarpone and cream are at room temperature.
Use a mixer to mash the potatoes, this ensures they are smooth and even throughout.
I mean look at this *drools over keyboard*
Garlic Parmesan Green Beans
With the oven being occupied with the turkey, a casserole and maybe some roasted sweet potatoes, I like to make veggie sides that can be made on the stove top. These are super easy, yet delicious green beans, that can replace a heavier side and provide a crisp, bright, side dish to the table.
The key to making the perfect textured green beans, is blanching. This means placing the green beans in boiling water, then immediately immersing them in ice water to stop the cooking process.
Place the green beans into the water and boil for 3 minutes
Remove the green beans from the boiling water and place immediately in the ice water
Heat olive oil in skillet and sauté garlic
Add the green beans to the skillet and heat for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat
Top with parmesan
Roasted Delicata Squash
Delicata squash is great for many reasons. One being is you can eat the skin, making preparation very easy. For this dish, I sliced the ends off the squash, spooned out the seeds and roasted the squash.
Cheesecakes are my absolute favorite desserts! They were the first recipe I learned to make on my own. I was in fourth grade and was looking for a book to purchase at the book fair. I selected a cookbook and I couldn’t wait to get home and start baking!
I made my cheesecake first at age 11 and ever since then, I have been tweaking and perfecting the recipe. I created this pumpkin cheesecake after multiple requests from Hussein! 😀
Tips For Cheesecake Baking:
Start with room temperature ingredients, this includes the cream cheese! It will be easier to mix your batter into a smooth, silky texture.
Whip your batter far on low speed. You want the batter to be super smooth, but you do not want to introduce a ton of air in. The air will create pockets that will crack when cooling.
Pre-bake your crust! This helps ensure it is the proper texture and maintains its shape.
Bake in a water bath. This means placing your cheesecake pan in a large pan and surrounding the cheesecake with water. *be sure to wrap your spring form pan in foil to prevent the water from ruining your crust.
Allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven, with the oven door cracked. Do this for about 20 minutes for a slow cooling process to prevent cracking.
The cheesecake can be made a day ahead of time. Make the marshmallow meringue the same day you will be serving it!
I absolutely love pecan pie. However, it is not a pie I grew up eating. Our family enjoyed pumpkin, sweet potato and apple pie during our Thanksgiving gatherings. It was not until I saw an episode of the Pioneer Woman where we baked a pecan pie, that I decided to try it and immediately loved it.
I created my mini pecan tarts as a spin off of the classic pecan pie. I really love individual desserts, as they make serving so easy!
For the crust, I used a short pastry that I have been using in my lemon bars for years. I love this crust because it is a few simple ingredients, is fool-proof and it is absolutely delicious.
I will be making these for my family this Thanksgiving. I love that they can be made ahead and will keep for two days at room temperature stored in an air tight container 😀
Combine butter, 2 cups AP flour, brown sugar and pinch of salt in a food processor. Pulse until mixture begins to come together. Add in the ice water and pulse a few more time, until the dough comes together.
Divide the dough evenly into each tartlet pan. Press the dough up the sides. Prick the dough with a fork.
Place the tartlet pans on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
While the dough is blind baking, make the filling.
Whisk egg, corn syrup, sugar, butter and vanilla in a bowl until smooth.
Remove the crusts from the oven. Place1 tablespoon pecans in each tartlet.
Pour the filling over the pecans. Return tartlets back to the oven for 12-15 minutes, until they are just set.
Remove from oven and enjoy!
Make this recipe? I’d love to see! Tag me @AmandasPlate or #CreateAmandasPlate
If you have worked with me, you know I love to bring treats in to work, especially for meetings. It’s a great way to make meetings more enjoyable for all 😀 And I get feedback on the recipes, as I work to develop them 😀 It’s a win-win for all <3
In preparation for a few meetings this week, I wanted to create a new cookie. After seeing some peanut butter M&Ms I decided to try