Let’s try this outfit of the day thing. Yay lace and leather. Also was wearing these boots from Target.
Luck struck me last week when The Hungry Post selected me as a winner for their Miami Spice giveaway. They had been running the contest for a few weeks with several different restaurants via their Facebook page. I was holding off on entering until they announced they’d be giving away a dinner at Edge Steak & Bar at the Four Seasons hotel. I’d heard amazing things about this restaurant and they didn’t disappoint. Here are some of the dishes we had.
You’ll notice that the lamb looked and smelled so incredible that I had to sneak a bite before I took the photo. We had a great evening and thank you again to the Hungry Post!
I had the rare occasion of having buttermilk on hand, thanks to this cookie recipe here, so I thought I’d run with a few more recipes that utilized the decadent dairy product. In the spirit of using everything I could from my cupboard I also considered this sophisticated dutch-processed cocoa powder my mom sent me.
I went with a Marble Buttermilk Pound Cake with Chocolate Sauce which was a life saver when it came to the 6pm meeting I had that day.
Makes one 9 x 5 loaf
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for the pan
1 cup sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup cocoa powder
For the chocolate frosting:
2/3 cup of heavy cream
6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon corn syrup
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour the loaf pan. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light lemon-colored and fluffy, about 5 minutes. While the butter and sugar are creaming, measure out the flour, baking powder, and salt into a small bowl and whisk lightly to combine. Crack the eggs into a bowl and add the vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well in between each addition and scraping the bowl as needed. Add 1/3 of the flour to the batter and beat on low speed just until incorporated. Then add 1/2 of the buttermilk and beat. Add another 1/3 of the flour, and beat, and then the last of the buttermilk and beat. Finally, beat in the last 1/3 of the flour. Transfer roughly 1/2 of the batter to a separate bowl. In a small bowl or ramekin, mix the cocoa powder with 2 tablespoons of hot tap water until smooth. Add this chocolate mixture to the remaining batter. Beat to incorporate.
Beginning with the vanilla mixture, place four spoonfuls of batter into the pan, spacing them far enough apart so that you can create a checkerboard when you add the chocolate batter. Add the chocolate batter into the empty spaces to fill the bottom of the pan in a checkerboard pattern.
Repeat with the second layer, alternating the vanilla and chocolate batter. (See notes, above) Using the handle of a wooden spoon, swirl the batter to create a marbled effect. (See notes, above.)Place in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes, rotating the pan half way through. The cake is done when it has browned slightly and a cake tester comes our clean when inserted into the middle. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes and then unmold and let cool completely.
Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, and add chopped chocolate and corn syrup. Let sit until chocolate is melted and then stir gently to combine. Let cool slightly until ganache has thickened to a pourable consistency.Place the cake on a serving platter. Pour the ganache over the cake and spread lightly as needed. Allow it to drip down the sides here and there.
“Top 5” he said. My husband, the “cookie connoisseur” said these Red Velvet Black & White cookies were in the all time Top 5 that I’ve made for him. I’d really have to agree. They are soft and moist like red velvet cake and are accompanied by a decadent chocolate topping and a rich cream cheese frosting. They were also described as a “muffin top with icing” that sounded pretty accurate to me.
I brought a dozen to my office to prevent us from eating the full batch ourselves, and my co-workers were raving. I’m still getting high fives after the fact.
The blogger I tweaked this recipe from, Joy The Baker, brought these to a cookie swap with INA GARTEN HERSELF! So you know she was bringing her A-game.
Find recipe in my recipe box here.
On our way to a scorching day at the beach, hubs and I parked our cruisers outside this lovely coast side “cakery” called Lee & Marie’s. Shabby chic decor with an abundance of sweets and southern charm. This place makes you feel at home.
I enjoyed a simple citrus salad with strips of apple, mandarin oranges, nuts and wait for it…. mushrooms. Seemed odd at first to throw mushrooms in there but it paired quite nicely.
The couple also owns Bar Crudo, a raw bar next door, which has been getting a lot of good buzz.
I thought I was tech savvy until I was putting together this post. I meant to share it with everyone weeks ago but I was failing miserably at uploading a video of what I was cooking. A few posts ago I mentioned all the corn recipes I wanted to try. However I only had 4 ears of corn so I had to make a decision. The winner was the Creamy Sweet Corn Clam Pasta. This dish was spectacular! The corn was such a great showcase for the dish and added a velvety sweet goodness that could have stood on its very own. — The clams were a nice touch though, not going to lie.
Check out my really hi-tech video below. Please excuse the audio from my hubs.
I’ve been wanting to get back into sandwich making. There is just something so comforting and satisfying about your favorite ingredients nestled in between two slices of fresh-baked bread. So I stopped be PAUL a franchise bakery out here on Lincoln Road for their signature baguette. Here is what went down:
And with all that left over bread of course I HAD to make french toast. Duh.
Sunday evening I also had a friend’s birthday party in which I was on duty to make dessert. I made a Tres Leches. It was my first time and I chose an Alton Brown recipe based on a delicious one my mom made a while back. I think my measurements were a bit off because the cake was still dense and not as moist as it should be. The flavor was all there, but I like my Tres Leches good and soggy.
After narrowing down our Miami Spice list, hubs and I landed on Hakkasan, Makoto, Gotham Steak and Catch. I really love this article posted on Thrillist on the top best values. This past weekend we went to Hakkasan for lunch. Not many restaurants offer lunch, let alone offer it on a Saturday.
What I love about this restaurant’s spice deal is that they give you multiple apps and entrees, no need to pick just one. Where I think we went wrong was choosing lunch over dinner. Frankly, the dinner menu sounds much better. As well, the restaurant is lined with gorgeous floor to ceiling intricate wood paneling. This eliminates any view or terrace option, so we really weren’t able to take advantage of the gorgeous day and scenery.
Oh and the food, well, here is the rundown:
HAKKA SIGNATURE COCKTAIL – A delightful lychee cocktail that’s velvety texture had me taking this one down like I was partying at LIV.
DIM SUM COMBO – Really unique dim sum. I was particularly impressed with the steamed mini char siew bun (precious white pillow in the picture).
BARBEQUED COMBO – Great BBQ items, nothing really else to say here.
CRISPY SEABASS IN ORANGE SAUCE – Orange sauce tasted more like a mango sorbet, I felt it didn’t really compliment the battered Seabass either.
STIR-FRIED SHANGHAI BAK CHOI WITH GINGER OIL – Nothing fancy.
NOODLES (Spicy sesame bean curd skin cheung fun) – You gotta be open-minded for this one, which I wasn’t really feeling that day.
MANGO CUSTARD – The coconut sorbet made this dish!
WHITE CHOCOLATE PANNA COTTA – I thought the white chocolate was a brilliant panna cotta idea – great combination of flavors.
I haven’t been watching a whole lot of Food Network lately, (I’ve been binging on Orange is the New Black) but if there is one show I do love it’s the Next Food Network Star. And we’re down to the finale so it’s only a few months away that we’ll be seeing a show from our favorite food network star get pulled from the cable line up. Sandwich King? Rebel Chef? What happened to those guys?
Either way – my vote goes to DAMARIS! Despite the unusual name, I really like her. Is “Damaris” a southern thing I don’t know about? I was so curious I googlized it and found that the name meant “heifer” and “drunkard”. Hmm, we have more in common than I thought.
Well she’s a real charming gal, with a great sense of humor. Anyone who makes me laugh is a winner in my book. I must admit, I was also very intrigued by her recipe in the second to last episode. Sweet Potato Biscuits with Peppered Pork Loin, Apple Mustard Butter and Salad.
Good luck Damaris!
A few weekends ago my hubs and his long time friend Mike decided they wanted to make the infamous Cronuts. (Read more about the croissant/donut craze here) Mike, who is his own culinary star among friends, had already dominated this magical pastry but wanted to drop some bakery knowledge on us. Here are the men at work. (Love men in the kitchen)
After 7-8 hours of attentive kneading and caressing we had cronuts! Time to hit the fryer.
Mike’s choice sides were chocolate ganache, bacon syrup, maple glaze and the winner of the night – guava and cheese. Can you blame us Miami folk?
It was really a sensational dessert. I felt like I was having a one-of-a-kind experience that some wait 2-3 hours for – and we made more than the 2 allotted from famed Dominique Ansel. Pfffft. Take that!
If you want to stick it to the pastry man, try it for yourself. This is the recipe we used here.
Miami’s has had some nice little New York additions in recent years. Catch. Shake Shack. Mercadito. Serendipity. Il Mulino. Mr. Chow. Cipriani. (Just to name a few) The most recent being Lucali, a classy pizza joint from Brooklyn. I went recently with my hubs and here’s what we had to say.
1. Pizza – Sumptuous cheese lightly layered on their chewy crust. The only downfall was the crust/topping ratio – as you can see in the photo some edges were just much too wide.
2. Ambience – So Brooklyn.
3. Price – You might feel a little bad about how much you pay for this pizza. The place is cool, the service is great and the food is good, but my heart ached a bit when I got the bill. It’s pizza, not wrinkle reducing pizza.
I’ve been detoxing this week which usually consists of a lot of juice, caffeine cravings, and salivating over my favorite food blogs, plotting for the weekends recipes. In this case I have 4 ears of corn that I just can’t decide what to do with. Corn pancakes, corn fritters, corn pizza, corn quesadillas – there are so many great options! CAN I PUT CORN IN A COOKIE? Probably.
Here are my contenders. You’ll know next week which one I fell for.
Traveling to or from Big Pine Key is a 3 hour car ride so me and my beau always make a point to break it up with a great lunch. I’ve made it my goal to try every well rated place in the upper Keys. We more often than not end up at a seafood place but in this instance we were craving something meaty. And then we found M.E.A.T Eatery and Taproom. It’s a cozy quick service restaurant that offers savory and creative burgers which a great selection of beer.
I had the standard burger which was salty and delicious, the bun was also airy and flavorful. I was pleasantly surprised by the homemade ketchup. Generally I don’t like homemade ketchups but this spicy mango version was great for dipping the duck fat fries. – YUM!
This past weekend my husband, Nick, and I went to hang with my mom and step-dad at their Keys home in Big Pine Key. Weekends there generally consist of full breakfasts, packed lunches for the boat and dinners using the catch of the day. My mother, who is equally gourmet took on most of these tasks, but here are a few I pioneered.
Peanut Butter Pecan Biscotti’s
Recipe c/o @joythebaker
Mediterranean Pressed Picnic Sandwich
Recipe c/o @food52
I made a traditional Pan Bagnat recently for another boat trip and it was delicious, savory and kept really well. However, something about eating fish while out at sea was sickening. So, for this go-around I went for a different recipe. While still a pressed sandwich, this one offered Mediterranean flavors such as artichokes, olive tapenade, roasted red peppers and artichokes, and lovely prosciutto.
And this photo is just for fun. It also makes me feel like my parents are bad asses.