Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014

A Romantic Weekend in Comfort, Texas

For Valentine's Day weekend, Chris and I took a little getaway to Comfort, Texas, just about twenty-five minutes south of Fredericksburg. We had never been to Comfort before, and it was pretty darling. Small, romantic, and not overrun with weekenders like Fredericksburg can be these days sometimes.

Where to stay: Hotel Faust. So cute. Loved it all. And you get a delicious breakfast in the morning.

Where to shop: All the little antique shops and stores on High Street.

Where to eat: We got a pizza to go from Comfort Pizza the first night and grabbed a bottle of wine from the Branch on High (the new tasting room/wine bar of the award-winning Bending Branch winery). The next night we ate at Welfare Cafe, which is a short drive away. 814 A Texas Bistro was also recommended to us, although we didn't have time to eat there.

Wineries to visit: Bending Branch Winery is just a few minutes outside of town, and I am official a fan of their wines now. So many times over recommended. We also stopped at Singing Water Vineyards, which is close by as well.

 On the wine trail
 High's Cafe and Store (across the street from Hotel Faust)
 Antique shopping on High Street
 The cute sign at Comfort Pizza

 On the wine trail
 Hearts are everywhere.
 At Singing Water Vineyards

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Meyer Lemon Cream with Crumbled Graham Crackers and Sea Salt

Quick and easy dessert time! This recipe is extremely lemony and simple and I love it. 

We cut a lemon pie at our wedding instead of a cake. That is how much I love lemony desserts. Which is funny because I absolutely abhorred all things lemon when I was little, especially lemonade. Lemonade was the worst. And probably from an evil hell dimension back then. But, you know? Pretty tasty now. And so is this lemon cream.

Meyer Lemon Cream with Crumbled Graham Crackers and Sea Salt
5 servings

3 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice (from 2 Meyer lemons)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
1 1/2 cups chilled heavy cream
6 graham crackers, crumbled (or more depending on how crunchy you want it to be)
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
Sea salt

Cook eggs, sugar, and lemon juice in medium pan over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently until thick. Transfer mix to a blender and blend on low. Then add butter a few pieces at a time and continue to blend on low until completely mixed. Pour lemon curd (that's what you just made) into a bowl, cover, and stick in the fridge for at least 2 hours to chill completely. Before serving, whisk in cream. Layer lemon cream mixture and crumbled graham crackers in a few layers in small ramekins or bowls. Finish by topping with some more graham cracker crumbles, lemon zest, and a little bit of sea salt.

(Adapted from Bon Appetit)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Snacking On: Tiny's Tiny Pies Texas Two-Step Pie

In.gredients is now carrying individual Tiny's Tiny Pies in teeny glass jars, and I couldn't resist buying one the other day. So good! I got the Texas Two-Step, but they are carrying both sweet and savory kinds right now.

Pre-baked but still delicious looking

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Pancetta, Goat Cheese, and Pear Crisps (aka, My Favorite Easy App)

When I was an assistant at Epicurious (Almost ten years ago! Time, you sure did fly.) and answering all the recipe- and cooking-related questions that came into the website, I would go through their online archive in my downtime, searching for things I might be interested in making after work or on the weekend. (And also, ostensibly, looking for typos of course.)

Back then, I had just started to build my own personal archive of keeper recipes, and this was the first appetizer I threw together in my tiny Greenpoint railroad apartment on India Street that made the cut. These crisps have made an appearance at almost every Thanksgiving and Christmas since. They were also there the first time I ever cooked for Chris when we started dating. And it's the perfect thing to make for dinner parties or potlucks when something more challenging or time-consuming is also on your docket.

Pancetta, Goat Cheese, and Pear Crisps
Serves 2 to 4

1/2 pound pancetta, thinly sliced
2 to 3 ounces of goat cheese
1/2 pear, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces

Heat oven to 400 degrees, and then cook pancetta (laid out with no overlapping) on a baking sheet for 12 to 14 minutes, until crispy. Remove from oven and let the pancetta cool on some paper towels. When cool, layer a spoonful of goat cheese and a pear slice onto each piece of pancetta and serve.
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