Pro Baking Tip #5

BACON

baconheart

BACON! Something you’ll see a lot of here in our blog. Over the summer, we’ve been to a couple BBQs where we’ve encountered a big mistake, HUGE! The misuse of added bacon nuggets to everyday bbq food, mostly hamburgers.

You CANNOT add raw bacon to your raw hamburger meat and expect it to cook properly. You will end up with a cooked burger and little nuggets of Trichinellosis, also called trichinosis! That’s just gross.

The way we do it is:

  1. Place packet of bacon in the freezer for 10 minutes. This makes the bacon easier to cut, otherwise it will just squish around your cutting board.
  2. Cut bacon into little pieces.
  3. Put the pieces into a cold pan and turn on the heat. Low and slow will give the best result.
  4. Now you can mix the cooked bacon pieces into the raw hamburger meat before cooking.

This tip also applies when baking, remember to always cook your bacon first! Trust us! We have your back.

ENJOY!

Salted Caramel

Salted Caramel

It’s still too hot here in LA to be in the kitchen, so for today’s recipe we have a almost foolproof Salted Caramel. We’ve come across so many caramel recipes and they never turn out right, but this one, this one is AMAZING.

We’ve made this caramel multiple times and every time it’s perfect! We think it has to do with the warmed cream that you pour over the sugar and water. We promise you this recipe is nearly foolproof and everyone can make it!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream (Hot)
  • 2 Tablespoons Salted Butter
  • Fleur De Sel Salt

Step 1:

In a medium sauce pan over high heat, dissolve the granulated sugar and water. Stirring constantly.

During that time, if the sides of the pans have sugar that start to crystallize, use a pastry brush dipped in water to remove the crystallized sugar.

Step 2:

Continue cooking until the sugar starts to turn a deep amber color. As soon as it starts to turn, remove from the heat, immediately.

Step 3:

Very carefully and slowly, pour the hot cream into the sugar mixture whisking/stirring constantly. Don’t be alarmed when this mixture starts to bubble, just keep stirring.

Step 4:

Next, add the butter and a pinch or two of the fleur de sel salt. Stir until smooth. If desired, add 1/2 teaspoon or so of vanilla extract.

Step 5:

Move to an air tight container, and allow to cool before placing in the fridge.

Classic Chimichurri

Classic Chimichurri

Today’s recipe is a chimichurri which is traditionally a green herb sauce to serve over grilled meat. The recipe origins can be traced back to Rio de la Plata, Argentina. Traditionally, chimichurri is made by blending parsley, garlic, mint, and oregano with oil.

Before we made this recipe, we totally thought the main green herb in this dish was cilantro but after doing some research, we realized that cilantro is the last thing that would be put into this wonderful dish, and for that we are thankful! Because, if you didn’t know you know now, we really dislike Cilantro. Christie HATES it, and Marlee (me) strongly dislikes it.

A few Sunday’s back we invited our friend Claudia over dinner, and we asked her if she could have anything for Sunday dinner, what would it be. And this is what she wanted. We were a little nervous making something we’d never made before*, but then we realized, it’s just like making pesto! You allow the food processor to do all the work, and all you really have to do is season the meat, and it cook it.

*According to Christie, after proofreading this, she informed me that we actually did make a chimichurri sauce once before but she refused to eat it because there was cilantro in it. I personally don’t recall this memory, but that’s okay. Enjoy our recipe! And remember there is nothing to be afraid of in the kitchen, except maybe the garbage disposal. Those are scary.

Classic Chimichurri

Classic Chimichurri

Classic Chimichurri 

Ingredients

Chimichurri 

  • 2 Cup Flat Leaf Parsley (Fresh)
  • 1 Cup Mint Leaves (Fresh)
  • 1 Cup Oregano Leaves (Fresh)
  • 1 Cup Garlic Olive Oil
  • 4 Teaspoons Red Pepper Flakes
  • 16 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Pounds Skirt Steak

Dry Rub 

  • 2 Tablespoons Oregano Leaves (Dried)
  • 2 Tablespoons Basil Leaves (Dried)
  • 1 Tablespoon Parsley Flakes (Dried)
  • 1 Tablespoon Thyme Leaves (Dried)
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Freshly Ground Pepper
  • 1/2 Tablespoons Smoked Paprika
  • 2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder

Step 1: 

For the dry rub, mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. How easy was that?

Step 2: 

In a food processor combine the parsley, mint, oregano, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Pulse until broken down, 2 to 3 pulses.

Step 3: 

Next add the olive oil and pulse until smooth.

Step 4: 

Using as much dry rub as you’d like, cover your your skirt steak with your dry rub. Make sure you massage it into your meat, you want that flavor to go everywhere.

Step 5: 

Next, add about half of the chimichurri sauce and massage that into the meat as well for maximum flavor.  Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours. Remove the meat about 30 minutes before you plan on cooking.

Step 6: 

You can either grill your meat on your grill or in a large skillet on the stove. We use a stovetop griddle that lays on top of the burners. Super helpful!

Okay, so turn your grill or pan to high heat and allow to heat for a few minutes. When your cooking device is good and hot, lay your meat down and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes per side.

Step 7: 

Allow the meat to rest for at least five minutes, and then cut the meat across the grain and serve with the rest of your classic chimichurri sauce.

Classic Chimichurri

(That lovely mouth you see is our friend Claudia, anxiously awaiting our food)

Classic Chimichurri

Healthy OVERNIGHT French Toast Bake

Healthy OVERNIGHT French Toast Bake

You know what would be the best way to start your weekend? Making our Healthy-Overnight French Toast Bake.

It’s quick, it’s easy, and of course it’s delicious. Please note, this is an over night French Toast, so the longer it sits, the more moisture the bread will absorb and make it extra delicious come morning time.

Healthy OVERNIGHT French Toast Bake

Healthy French Toast Bake 

Ingredients 

  • 8 Slices of Cinnamon Swirl Bread**
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Half and Half *
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • Pinch of Nutmeg
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons Turbinando Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Raisins
  • Cooking Spray

**Can also use Cinnamon Raisin Bread and omit the raisins from the recipe.

*You can use Fat Free Half and Half, but we prefer just regular old half and half.

Step 1: 

Spray an 8×11 glass baking dish with cooking spray.

Step 2: 

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs together. Then add the half and half, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Whisk until combined.

Step 3: 

Place the bread down on the greased baking dish. if necessary break up the pieces so the bottom is completely covered.

Step 4: 

Sprinkle the raisins evenly over the bread and lightly push them into the bread.

Step 5: 

Next, pour the egg mixture over the bread and make sure all the bread is covered. Again, lightly push the bread down so the bread soaks up the egg mixture. Cover and place in the fridge OVERNIGHT.

Step 6:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Step 7: 

Remove the french toast from the fridge and uncover. When the oven is hot, place in the oven and cook for 35 minutes.

Step 8: 

Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before digging in.

Adapted from Love It, Cook It, Eat It! (4 Points)

(Points may vary depending on if you use Fat Free vs Regular half and half)

Healthy OVERNIGHT French Toast Bake

Quick and Easy Pasta Carbonara

Pasta Carbonara is one of our favorite dishes. Christie had it at least 9 times while we were in Rome for two weeks.

We nicknamed our favorited restaurant “The Little Tomato”. Well, when you hear the ingredients, you might think “Breakfast?”, but this is definitely a delicious dinner or breakfast if you’re into that sort of thing!

Quick and Easy Pasta Carbonara

Quick and Easy Pasta Carbonara

Pasta Carbonora 

Ingredients 

  • 1 Box of Spaghetti
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 Cup Parmesan (Grated)
  • 5 Slices of Bacon (Diced)
  • 5 Garlic Cloves (Minced)
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley (Chopped)

Step 1: 

First, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Next add the salt and cook the pasta according to the boxes instructions. Before draining, reserve at least one cup of the cooking water. Set the pasta aside.

Step 2: 

Over medium-high heat, heat a large skillet. When the skillet is hot, add the bacon and cook for about 6 minutes. You want the bacon to be cooked, but not over cooked. Drain the excess fat.

Step 3:

Next, stir in the garlic and cook for about a 1minute or until the garlic is fragrant. Turn the heat to medium.

Step 4: 

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs together and then add the parmesan.

Step 5: 

Stir the pasta into the bacon and garlic and slowly pour the egg mixture over the pasta. Making sure you are stirring constantly. Add a little pepper and salt if needed.

Step 6: 

One tablespoon at a time, add the reserved pasta water until you achieve your desired consistency. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

Quick and Easy Pasta Carbonara

Quick and Easy Pasta Carbonara

We found inspiration from this blog for today’s recipe

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

Here in LA we are experiencing some major summer heat. The past couple of days have been brutal. So brutal that we haven’t even been in the kitchen because it’s just too hot (this is what it’s like living with no Air Conditioning).

So instead of cooking over a hot stove, cool down with this tangy and tart summer treat. Key Lime Pie Ice Cream is perfect for those who love ice cream but aren’t fans of the overly sweet stuff.

Now, you may be thrown off by seeing vodka in the recipe, but don’t be! Vodka can’t freeze, so adding it to your base will help make it smooth and creamy.

Enjoy and stay cool!

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream 

Ingredients 

  • 1 (14 oz) Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 Cup Key Lime Juice
  • 1 Cup Half and Half
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Key Lime Zest (Heaping)
  • 6 Graham Crackers (Broken into pieces)
  • 1 Shot Vodka (to keep it smooth)

Step 1: 

In a medium bowl, mix together the milk, half and half, vodka, and cream together.

Step 2: 

Add the key lime juice and zest and stir until thick, smooth and creamy. Pour into a jar and allow to chill for at least 30 minutes.

Step 3: 

Next, pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and churn to your manufactures settings. In the last five minutes of churning add the graham cracker pieces and let mix in. Transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze for at least three hours to firm up.

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

Holy Guacamole!

In preparation of the Fall heatwave in Los Angeles, we thought guacamole would be the perfect recipe to post today! Not only do we LOVE our avocados in this house/city/state, but we also didn’t want to make something that involved heat since it’s currently 97°F outside. The only heat we want is from the cayenne and chipotle peppers!

Holy Gu

Holy Gu

Holy Guacamole! 

Ingredients

  • 4 Large Has Avocados (Reserve one pit)
  • 1 Jalapeño (Deseed and diced)
  • 1/2 White Onion (Finely diced)
  • 2 Roma Tomatos (Deseeded and diced)
  • 1 Large Clove Garlic (Diced)
  • Garlic Salt
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Chipotle Pepper
  • Green Onions (Chopped)

Step 1: 

In a large a bowl, using an electric mixer, blend the avocados until no longer large and chunky.

Step 2: 

Next, add the diced jalapeños, onion, tomatoes, and garlic and stir to combine.

Step 3: 

Add your garlic salt, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne and chipotle and mix well. Adjust seasonings to your liking.

Step 4:

To serve, place your reserved avocado pit in a bowl and cover with the guacamole. Sprinkle with chopped green onions and serve.

The pit will help the guacamole from oxidizing, but if you really want to prevent oxidation, sprinkle your guacamole with either fresh lemon or lime juice.

Holy Gu

Christie’s Chicken Salad

Christie's Chicken Salad

Today’s recipe is a simple and classic. We’ve already shown you how to make traditional Chicken Salad, but today’s version is Christie’s take.

What makes this recipe special is it’s made with a combination of mayo, for the flavor we always look for in chicken salads, but also it’s made with greek yogurt, to cut out some of the calories of mayo and adding a tanginess. This is what happens when you have leftover shredded chicken and random fridge ingredients!

Christie's Chicken Salad

Christie’s Chicken Salad 

Ingredients 

  • 2-3 cups shredded chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup of celery (fine dice)
  • 1/4 cup of onion (fine dice)
  • 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • Turmeric
  • Mustard powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt

Step 1:

Finely dice the onions and place into a small bowl. Add the apple cider vinegar with a tablespoon of water into the bowl of onions. This will mellow out the ‘bite’ of the onions without compromising the crunch and give an added sweetness. so good!

Step 2:

Finely dice the celery and add to bowl of shredded chicken.

Step 3:

In another small bowl, add mayo, greek yogurt, turmeric, mustard powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. You can also add a splash of the apple cider vinegar onion liquid, but don’t add the onions yet. Combine everything and give it a taste, adjust accordingly.

Step 4:

Drain the onions and add them to the chicken bowl, mix the chicken, celery and onions together until incorporated.  Add half of the mayo mixture to the chicken and mix, add more mayo mixture if needed or wanted. 🙂

Christie's Chicken Salad

Christie's Chicken Salad

Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Love French Toast

This french toast will truly rock your Sunday! It’s got everything that the King aka Elvis would have enjoyed! We took his famous peanut butter, bacon and banana sandwich and made it into breakfast, french toast breakfast!

Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Love French Toast

Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Love French Toast

Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Love French Toast

Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Love French Toast

Ingredients 

  • 1 Loaf of Challah (Sliced)
  • 6 Piece of Bacon (Chopped)
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2/3 Cup Half and Half
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1/2 Smooth Peanut Butter**
  • 3 Bananas (Sliced)

**You don’t really need that much, just to be able to spread the peanut butter on both sides of the bread.

Step 1: 

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs together. Next add the half and half, salt, cinnamon and vanilla and mix until combined.

Step 2: 

Using the peanut butter, cover two pieces of your challah bread. Continue and repeat until the bread is covered.

Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Love French Toast

Step 3: 

On one side of the bread sprinkle some of the bacon and on the other side, place a few of the sliced bananas. Sandwich both pieces together and put the sandwich in the egg mixture and let sit on one side for at least a minute.

Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Love French Toast

Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Love French Toast

Step 4: 

While the bread is “marinating” turn on your griddle to medium heat or 350°F. Flip the bread and soak the other side for another minute.

Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Love French Toast

Step 5: 

When the bread is good and soaked, place the bread on the griddle and cook for three minutes per side or until each side is golden and brown.

Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Love French Toast

Step 6: 

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy.

Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Love French Toast