Spinach and White Bean Soup

A very green, healthy, filling soup in not too much time! If someone you’re dining with thinks that “it’s not dinner without meat” you could easily add some shredded or small-chopped chicken, but thanks to all the vegetables and beans this is plenty of filling without. On the other extreme, you could easily ditch the cheese and have a vegan soup!

IMG_7472This recipe calls for white wine. I don’t drink, and don’t need most of a bottle of wine sitting around, so I was going to go with one of the normal substitutions (grape juice or additional broth) but I decided to use this as an excuse to get a bottle of sparkling grape juice. The bubbles cooked out, but I thought it added a nice tangyness I enjoyed – maybe wine would do this as well, I don’t know – I really don’t ever drink!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup dry white wine/grape juice/sparkling grape juice
  • 32 ounces low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 15 ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup sliced zucchini, cut into half moons
  • 2 cup peas
  • 3 cup baby spinach
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
I definitely rounded up on my vegetable amounts...

I definitely rounded up on my vegetable amounts…

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 2 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon.

IMG_7467Add the carrots, salt, and pepper, and cook an additional 2 minutes, continuing to stir occasionally.

IMG_7468Add the wine and stock, increase the heat to bring the mixture to a boil, then bring it back down to simmer for 5 minutes.

IMG_7469Add the beans and zucchini and simmer another 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

IMG_7470Add the peas, spinach, and Parmesan, and cook until they are warmed through and the spinach is wilted.

IMG_7471Serve with additional black pepper on top. Actually, or extra Parmesan? Why not.

IMG_7473

Spinach and White Bean Soup

From Delish.com.

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup dry white wine/grape juice/sparkling grape juice
  • 32 ounces low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 15 ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup sliced zucchini, cut into half moons
  • 2 cup peas
  • 3 cup baby spinach
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 2 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the carrots, salt, and pepper, and cook an additional 2 minutes, continuing to stir occasionally. Add the wine and stock, increase the heat to bring the mixture to a boil, then bring it back down to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the beans and zucchini and simmer another 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Add the peas, spinach, and Parmesan, and cook until they are warmed through and the spinach is wilted. Serve with additional black pepper on top.

 

 

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Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie

I admit this pie may look slightly underwhelming, how it doesn’t explode out of the crust or anything, but after I took my first bite this weekend I started messaging people “I AM GOOD AT PIE”, which should give you an idea of how I feel about it. This is a DELICIOUS pie!

IMG_7490Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 60 Nilla Wafers
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Strawberry Filling:

  • 4 cups strawberries, divided
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Plus:

  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

To make the crust, first grease a 9″ pie pan and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place all the cookies in a food processor and pulse until only crumbs remain – this happens very quickly. If you don’t have a food processor, you can put the cookies in a ziplock and crush them with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin.

IMG_7479 IMG_7480Add the butter and sugar and pulse until evenly combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie pan and press evenly into the sides and bottom of the pan.

IMG_7481Bake for 10 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.

While the crust bakes, chop 1 cup of the strawberries small. Using the back of a spoon, crush the berries as much as you can.

These berries had NO INTEREST in crushing!

These berries had NO INTEREST in crushing!

Combine the chopped berries with the sugar, corn starch, and water in a small pot and stir together. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly and continuing to crush the berries further. Let the mixture reach a boil, and continue cooking and stirring until the mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

IMG_7483Once the pie crust and strawberry mixture have been cooling for a while (10-15 minutes), cut the remaining strawberries into slices, then set aside. Beat together the cream cheese and powdered sugar. Transfer the cream cheese mixture into the crust. Although the crust is pretty sturdy once it has chilled, I found it better at this point to drop the cream cheese in small blobs to distribute it widely, rather than trying to smear the cream cheese evenly and messing up the crust in the process.

IMG_7485Scatter the sliced strawberries over the cream cheese mixture.

IMG_7486Spoon the cooked/cooled strawberry mixture on top.

IMG_7487Refrigerate for 1 hour. Melt the chocolate chips, drizzle the chocolate over the top of the pie, and refrigerate a further 15 minutes. Then slice, serve, and do your own shouting about your pie prowess!

IMG_7488

Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie

Crust:

  • 60 Nilla Wafers
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Strawberry Filling:

  • 4 cups strawberries, divided
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Plus:

  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

To make the crust, first grease a 9″ pie pan and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place all the cookies in a food processor and pulse until only crumbs remain. Add the butter and sugar and pulse until evenly combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie pan and press evenly into the sides and bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.

While the crust bakes, chop 1 cup of the strawberries into small pieces. Using the back of a spoon, crush the berries as much as you can. Combine the chopped berries with the sugar, corn starch, and water in a small pot and stir together. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly and continuing to crush the berries further. Let the mixture reach a boil, and continue cooking and stirring until the mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

Once the pie crust and strawberry mixture have been cooling for 10-15 minutes, cut the remaining strawberries into slices, then set aside. Beat together the cream cheese and powdered sugar. Transfer the cream cheese mixture into the crust by dropping small blobs all around the bottom. Scatter the sliced strawberries over the cream cheese mixture, then spoon the cooked strawberry mixture on top. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Melt the chocolate chips, drizzle the chocolate over the top of the pie, and refrigerate a further 15 minutes before serving.

 

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Butterscotch Pudding Pie

There are a couple steps to this pie, but none of them take very long (with the possible exception of waiting for everything to cool before you eat it), and it’s totally worth it. The crust, even when baked, tastes like cookie dough, and is marvelous combined with the pudding and whipped cream. After several people at work thought it was super sweet, we warned my boss, who isn’t a fan of sweets, but I guess we actually oversold how sweet is was, as she ended up thinking it wasn’t sweet at all, and liked it as well. So…works for everyone, I guess?

IMG_7465Ingredients:

Cookie Crust:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Butterscotch Pudding:

  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Whipped Cream:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar or confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (optional, I used about 1/2 teaspoon to finish a bottle)

To begin, make the crust! Grease a 9″ tart pan and set aside. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the brown sugar and butter with a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.

IMG_7447Add the egg and vanilla, and beat again until combined. Reducing mixer speed to low, gradually add the flour mixture until just combined.

IMG_7448Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.

IMG_7449Transfer the dough to the prepared tart pan. Spread the dough evenly to cover the bottom and sides of the pan – if you don’t spread it up the sides too, you’ll have so much in the bottom that there’s nowhere for your filling to go!

IMG_7450Refrigerate the crust for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Remove the chilled crust from the refrigerator, and use a fork to poke holes all over the surface of the dough covering the bottom of the pan, but not the sides. Bake 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned, then set aside to cool.

While the crust cools, prepare the pudding. Combine the brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a heavy medium saucepan and whisk until no clumps remain.

IMG_7454Add approximately 1/2 cup of milk and whisk until combined. Stir in the remaining milk and the cream, then place over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking frequently.

IMG_7455Boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, then remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla. Pour the hot pudding into the prepared crust, then cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic directly down onto the surface of the pudding. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. If you have the freezer space, in this time freeze the bowl and beaters  you will make the whipped cream with.

IMG_7458When the pudding and crust are chilled, make the whipped cream. Using your chilled bowl and beaters, if possible, beat the cream on high speed until it begins to thicken. Add the sugar and vanilla, if using, and beat until soft peaks form.

IMG_7459 Spread the whipped cream over the pudding layer, and serve.

IMG_7462While the ideal is certainly to share this with friends and eat it all in the first day or two, I was pleasantly surprised to find that even 5 days in (I need more friends, clearly), neither the pudding nor whipped cream had started to seep liquid – this stayed in great shape until the whole thing was gone. Yum!

Butterscotch Pudding Pie

From Break or Bake.

Cookie Crust:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Butterscotch Pudding:

  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Whipped Cream:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar or confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

To make the crust, grease a 9″ tart pan and set aside. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the brown sugar and butter with a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat again until combined. Reducing mixer speed to low, gradually add the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand. Transfer the dough to the prepared tart pan. Spread the dough evenly to cover the bottom and sides of the pan.

Refrigerate the crust for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Remove the chilled crust from the refrigerator, and use a fork to poke holes all over the surface of the dough covering the bottom of the pan, but not the sides. Bake 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned, then set aside to cool.

While the crust cools, prepare the pudding. Combine the brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a heavy medium saucepan and whisk until no clumps remain. Add approximately 1/2 cup of milk and whisk until combined. Stir in the remaining milk and the cream, then place over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, then remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla. Pour the hot pudding into the prepared crust, then cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic directly down onto the surface of the pudding. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. If you have the freezer space, in this time freeze the bowl and beaters  you will make the whipped cream with.

When the pudding and crust are chilled, make the whipped cream. Using your chilled bowl and beaters, if possible, beat the cream on high speed until it begins to thicken. Add the sugar and vanilla, if using, and beat until soft peaks form.  Spread the whipped cream over the pudding layer, and serve.

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Browned Butter, White Chocolate Cookies

These are thick, crunchy cookies with a flavor I enjoyed. I don’t think they shouted BROWN BUTTER, but it’s definitely in there, and I thought it went well with the white chocolate. Once you’ve got the butter browned, everything else comes together super quickly, and you’ve soon got some cookies that are sturdy enough to bring on a picnic (that ends with being trapped in the desert, but that’s another story…).

IMG_7347Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Let the melted butter continue to cook until it has darkened, developed a nutty flavor, and has small brown bits in it.

IMG_7337Stir the sugar and vanilla into the browned butter.

You can see some of the browned bits from the butter in there!

You can see some of the browned bits from the butter in there!

Pour the butter mixture into the flour mixture and stir until combined.

IMG_7340Add the white chocolate and stir until just combined. The still-warm butter will probably melt the chocolate chips some – I was fine with this, if you don’t want it to happen you can just let the butter cool some. Spoon the dough onto the prepared sheets in roughly golf-ball sized portions.

IMG_7341Bake for 9 minutes, rotating the pans and switching racks half-way through.

IMG_7344Cool on the pan briefly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

IMG_7346

Throw them in a bag, and you’re ready to picnic!

Browned Butter, White Chocolate Cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Let the melted butter continue to cook until it has darkened, developed a nutty flavor, and has small brown bits in it. Stir the sugar and vanilla into the browned butter, then pour the mixture into the flour mixture and stir until combined. Add the white chocolate and stir until just combined. Spoon the dough onto the prepared sheets in roughly golf-ball sized portions.

Bake for 9 minutes, rotating the pans and switching racks half-way through. Cool on the pan briefly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Flourless Chocolate Cake

Realistically, this is a most-things-less cake, as it only has 3 (or 4) ingredients! It is, as you’ll guess from the ingredient list, super rich – one of my coworkers said it was like injecting cacao directly into your veins – and it has a similar texture to cheesecake. Hmm, making an Oreo crust under this is an option for the future, perhaps…?

IMG_7328

My mom sent me this recipe, and it does have a fourth ingredient, coffee, but both she and I left that out, so, while I can’t tell you how it is with coffee, I can tell you it’s fantastic without!

Ingredients:

  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/4 cup coffee (optional!)

Adjust the rack in your oven to a lower-middle position, and preheat the oven to 325. Grease an 8″ springform, line the bottom with parchment, then grease again. Wrap the outside of the pan with two crossed pieces of aluminum foil to help prevent any leaks, then put the springform in a large pan (like a 9X13″). Set some water to boil.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs (both white and yolk) until doubled in volume, about 5 minutes. This may seem like it’s not going anywhere at first, and you don’t want to reach stiff peaks (I don’t think you even could, with the yolks in there) but it will gradually grow significantly as more air is worked in.

IMG_7311Combine the chocolate and butter (and coffee, if using) in the bowl of a double boiler over just-simmering water (or just in a pot over very low heat, if you don’t have a double boiler). Cook until both butter and chocolate are completely melted and can be stirred together totally smooth.

IMG_7312Gently fold 1/3 of the beaten eggs with a rubber spatula, stirring gently until completely combined. Repeat with each of the other two thirds, again stirring gently to not deflate the eggs.

IMG_7313 IMG_7314 IMG_7317Gently pour the batter into the prepared springform pan, and smooth the top with your rubber spatula.

IMG_7319Pour the boiling water into the outer pan until it comes up to about half-way up the sides of the springform, then carefully transfer the whole thing to the oven. Bake 22-25 minutes, then remove from the oven, take the springform out of the larger pan, and let it cool on a wire rack. At this point the center of the cake will still seem VERY jiggly and uncooked, but as it cools it will firm up.

IMG_7320Once it has reached room temperature*, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least four hours before serving.

IMG_7323

This would probably be good with vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream if you hadn't just thrown your whipped cream out so you didn't have to move it to your new house...

This would probably be good with vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream if you hadn’t just thrown your whipped cream out so you didn’t have to move it to your new house…

 

 

*If you don’t have time to let it cool fully, put some paper towel over the cake pan and under the plastic wrap, so that as water condenses on the top it doesn’t rain back onto the surface of the cake.

IMG_7321 IMG_7322

Flourless Chocolate Cake

I’m sure this is elsewhere on the internet, but my mom sent me the recipe!

  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/4 cup coffee (optional)

Adjust the rack in your oven to a lower-middle position, and preheat the oven to 325. Grease an 8″ springform, line the bottom with parchment, then grease again. Wrap the outside of the pan with two crossed pieces of aluminum foil to help prevent any leaks, then put the springform in a large pan. Set some water to boil.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs (both white and yolk) until doubled in volume, about 5 minutes.

Combine the chocolate and butter (and coffee, if using) in the bowl of a double boiler over just-simmering water. Cook until both butter and chocolate are completely melted and can be stirred together totally smooth. Gently fold 1/3 of the beaten eggs with a rubber spatula, stirring gently until completely combined. Repeat with each of the other two thirds.

Gently pour the batter into the prepared springform pan, and smooth the top with your rubber spatula. Pour the boiling water into the outer pan until it comes up to about half-way up the sides of the springform, then carefully transfer the whole thing to the oven. Bake 22-25 minutes, then remove from the oven, take the springform out of the larger pan, and let it cool on a wire rack. Once it has reached room temperature, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least four hours before serving.

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‘Greek’ Hummus

This is so simple it hardly counts as a recipe, but I really like it! It’s both quite spinach-y and hummus-y, and I think would be good as a veggie dip. I threw it in a wrap with some more spinach and some chicken, and loved it!

IMG_7307

Ingredients:

  • 1 14 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor.

IMG_7305Process until smooth.

IMG_7306And you’re done! The perfect level of effort!

New house (AGAIN) = new-to-the-blog plates!

New house (AGAIN) = new-to-the-blog plates!

IMG_7309

I'm really into this, despite how much green is going on!

I’m really into this, despite how much green is going on!

Greek Hummus

Adapted from an infographic.

  • 1 14 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.

 

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Tim Tam Slam Ice Cream

A few months ago, I heard about the existence of a bike ride called the Tam Slam. For obvious reasons, this got me thinking of Tim Tam Slams. If you’re not familiar, a Tim Tam Slam is when you take a Tim Tam (rectangular, chocolate covered Australian cookie), bite off opposite corners, and then use it like a straw to drink hot chocolate until the heat of the hot chocolate melts the cookie. It’s delightful! By the time I got some Tim Tams and was ready to do something with them, however, it was a bit warm for hot chocolate, so I’ve tried to recreate the experience in a more summer-appropriate form. It turns out quite nicely!

IMG_7217Ingredients:

  • 10 ounces marshmallows
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chocolate syrup
  • 8 Tim Tams, roughly chopped

IMG_7214

Combine the marshmallows and half-and-half in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the marshmallows completely dissolve.

IMG_7213Transfer the mixture to a bowl, and chill in the refrigerator 30 minutes or until cold. When the marshmallow mixture is cold, in a separate large bowl, beat the heavy cream to the soft peak stage. Beat in the vanilla, then add the marshmallow mixture and beat until combined.

20160619_101335

This was the last thing my hand mixer will ever mix. RIP

Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker, freezing according to its directions. When the mixture is just about frozen, add the chocolate syrup and Tim Tam pieces, and let churn until well mixed.

IMG_7215It’s the perfect summer version of the Slam!

IMG_7218

Tim Tam Slam Ice Cream

  • 10 ounces marshmallows
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chocolate syrup
  • 8 Tim Tams, roughly chopped

Combine the marshmallows and half-and-half in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the marshmallows completely dissolve. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, and refrigerate 30 minutes or until cold. When the marshmallow mixture is cold, in a separate large bowl, beat the heavy cream to the soft peak stage. Beat in the vanilla, then add the marshmallow mixture and beat until combined.

Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker, freezing according to the machine’s directions. When the mixture is just about frozen, add the chocolate syrup and Tim Tam pieces, and let churn until well mixed.

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