Arugula Pistachio Pesto Crostini with Cello Cheese

This blog post has been sponsored by Cello Cheese

Summer is starting to feel like it’s winding down, so lately I’ve been doing everything to hold on to all the summer produce I can: Eating tomato toast every morning, grabbing all the peaches at the farmers market, taking handfuls of berries every time I open the fridge, etc. So when Cello reached out to me about trying their Copper Kettle cheese and sharing it with you I figured it was a perfect way to use up all the produce from summer. In the words of Wilson Phillips: Hold on for one more day.

The cheese itself is so elevated, it’s perfect for snacking with the crackers and fruit; it has a nutty flavor with a caramel finish.Cello’s Copper Kettle Cheese is cooked in copper vats, and then aged for 16 months to develop complex flavors unlike any other cheese you have tried! To take it to the next level, I whipped up an arugula pesto to make a delicious summer crostini bite.

The pesto’s perfect because you get the bite from the arugula evened out with pistachios, and then the nuttiness is amplified even more with the nutty flavors from the Copper Kettle cheese. The fruit just finishes up the balancing act.

All of this works really well for something you can make ahead of summer parties, too. The pesto and toasted bread can be prepared ahead of time so all you have to do is slice the fruit and serve.

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Corn, Zucchini, & Hatch Chile Sausage Queso Fundido with Sprouts Farmers Market

Well, we’re officially in the thick of hatch chile season, everyones favorite chunk of the year where the chile has potential to show up in everything.

And nobody does a better job of including it in as much as possible as Sprouts Farmers Market, they’ve not only got the mild and hot options for the pepper in the produce dept. but they’ve incorporated it into fresh pork and chicken sausage at their butcher shop and have slipped it into all kinds of grocery products, from potato chips to guacamole. They’ve got it all covered.

So when they reached out to ask if I could incorporate some hatch chile into my own creation I obviously said yes, duh, it’s easy to add some hatch to a dish to give it that extra punch of flavor and I love Sprouts for their great selection of meats and produce.

This dish couldn’t be easier too, you just brown some sausage, cook some shredded zucchini, hatch chile, and fresh corn and then bake it all with a bunch of cheese and serve it with all the chips. It’s also perfect for parties because you can prep it the day before and pop it in the oven when everyone arrives.

Special shout out to Sprouts Farmers Market for sponsoring this post and helping keep this site/me moving/shaking/twisting.

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Pear, Ginger & Mandarin Muffins

Spring has awoken, spring is upon us. These muffins are part of the welcome basket.
I love that sort of end of winter beginning of spring situation (even though it’s very short lived in socal, we just went from rain to heat blasts), we still have some good winter citrus to pair with what are generally spring flavors and the combos are some of my favorites.

Today I’m pairing (took everything in me to avoid the pun) with USA Pears to bring you these spring forward muffins. Their site is actually one of my favorites for fruit specific details because they go over all the varieties and the best way to use them, this page in particular is awesome because it’s easy to read and recognize the pears, making it that much easier to figure out which pear you might want to use for your next fruit crisp or pie.

The cool thing about pears, even though they’re generally thought of as fall fruits, is they’re actually readily available year round. Since the usual suspect of spice pairing is something warm like cinnamon or nutmeg I shifted the spice/flavors onto fresh ginger and citrus zest to give us a lighter profile that wouldn’t overpower the flavor of the pear too much.

I went through quite a few trials with the muffin, only because my initial idea was to cube up the pear and put in the batter to have some juicy chunks but it turns out they’re a little too juicy, chunks would work better in something like a cake that has ample time to bake up. So I went the alternative puree route and ended up with something that’s barely sweet and fragrant with the clementine and ginger. They’re perfect for a light breakfast or afternoon snack, especially with a cup of (iced year round if you’re me) coffee.

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Summer Shakératos with Nespresso

Special shout out to Nespresso for sponsoring this post and helping keep this site/me moving/shaking/twisting.

If you really, truly know me as a human creature you know that one of my lifelines is iced coffee. Like, 100% will probably have more iced coffee than any other liquid on any given day, telling myself there’s water in there somewhere so I’m hydrating.

This means that my excitement shot to very excited when Nespresso reached out and asked if I wanted to try their new line of iced espresso capsules, roasted specially for using over ice to make sure the drinks not weak or has that bitterness that you can get if you cool down hot coffee too fast.

The idea is that you actually brew the espresso right over the ice, and in this case, shake it up with some syrup like you’re a bartender then serve it up,  a casual 4 times a day 🙂

Part of the whole partnership was also creating something to jush up the iced espresso from yas bam to YAS BAM and I took the route of some fun syrups you can keep in your refrigerator for whenever you want the extra jolt in the jolt.

First up:

Pistachio Coconut Syrup, a perfectly toasty nutty flavor that screams HAZELNUT WHO?!

Makes about ¾ cup

2/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/3 pistachios, finely chopped
3/4 cup water
2/3 cup sugar

In a medium sized saucepan set over medium low heat, toast up the coconut, stirring frequently, until it’s a nice toasted golden brown. Add the pistachios and the water then bring the mixture to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar until it’s dissolved then let the syrup hang out and steep for at least a couple hours to really infuse the flavors into the syrup. Once it’s cool and ready strain it through a fine mesh strainer into a jar or vessel of your choice and store in the fridge until ready to use. You might also notice some of the coconut oil left over once the syrup’s chilled. If it’s too much just carefully skim it off the top and discard or spread onto a piece of toast.

Next up miiight be my favorite because it’s so classic and a flavor from my childhood, now highly caffeinated. It’s the cream soda syrup that gets up the Cream Not Soda Shakérato.

For the syrup, it’s a caramelized sugar and vanilla mixture that’s so easy and perfect. To make it, just boil 1 cup of water in a medium sized saucepan then set it aside (this will help with dissolving the sugar after its caramelized). Add 1 cup of sugar to the saucepan and over medium heat, cook the syrup until it melts and start to caramelize. Don’t stir too much, just a gentle swirl of the pan should be fine. Once it turns a nice amber color slowly add the boiled water, being careful because it might splatter just a little. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar dissolves then remove from the heat and add 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste and stir. Let it cool then pour into a jar or vessel of your choice and store in the fridge until ready to use.

 

Those are just the syrups, but if you want the full rundown of the drinks keep your eyes peeled on the instagrams!

Coconut Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Hi Yes Hello, It is I, the elusive not chanteuse of food blogging.

I’m back from a few months off to help spread the good word about a new book from the blogging world, actual blog royalty by time of blogging, The Pretty Dish from the the pretty Jessica Merchant of How Sweet Eats. I keep wanting to call it the pretty mess a la Erika Jayne that also had a book released this week but I just like to think that the book gods had their hands in this to help the sales of both.

She had too many good things in there to choose from to make and share (she’s a master with easy weeknight dinners) but I’ve got a sweet tooth that’s more of just the entire bottom half of my jaw so naturally I was drawn to cookies. The original recipe for these is actually a chocolate sprinkle crinkle cookie (Joy made them and they look perfect) but I didn’t have any cute sprinkles that worked with coating a whole cookie buuut I did have a bag of these coconut chips that I love adding to smoothies and coating cakes because I think they’re just insanely beautiful.

It turns out they work perfect. They’ get a little toasted in there and they’re not sweet, just coconutty with a brittle bite so these are basically just fudgy cookies coated in crispy crunchy coconut chips and they are pure magic. They come together so easily and are fun to roll up and in the coconut, and I think if I were to change anything it would be an experiment to toss a handful of toffee chips into the batter but even without I would make and eat these a thousand times over.

If you’re into simple weeknight dinners, body scruuuubs, and fun desserts (mojito cupcakes!) go grab Jessica’s book and give it a good read, you won’t regret it.

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