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salt

Watermelon, Basil and Feta Salad

 

Watermelon, Basil and Feta Salad

I woke up on Saturday morning realizing August was just 2 weeks away. Woah, woah, woah, hold the phone! But by all means, don’t hold the melon.

It wasn’t until I then realized I had went this far into the summer without buying my first full watermelon that the panic set in. That’s like living in the city without a bike — practically a crime, at least in my world.

I love watermelon, and how I let this much of summer slip by without eating a full half to myself is beyond me. Summers are made for meals of watermelon, right?

So of course, Saturday morning, straight to the market I went. And breakfast become none other than a huge slice of sweet, juicy summer. My favorite.

Watermelon, Basil and Feta Salad

It’s a miracle that the other half of the melon ended up in this salad. Like a just-picked heirloom tomato, or a perfectly ripe avocado, there are some things in life that I often feel, “Why bother doing anything more than adding a fork.” Although it goes without saying, a little bit of salt can entirely enhance those first two items, and it appears a little bit of feta and basil can do the same for watermelon. Sliced watermelon is great, but so is this melon salad.

On Sunday, I also happened to be heading to a friend’s b-day brunch, so the opportunity to make something special couldn’t be passed up. If you’re a food blogger, sliced watermelon isn’t all that great when fun, food-related occasions arise. Although, the few slices you’re munching on while cooking — those speak of excellence.

Needless to say, this was a hit and a totally worthy use of an impressively ripe and ready melon. Salty feta plays off the sweetness of the melon, while a minty basil takes its natural refreshingness to a whole other level. If you want your watermelon to feel fancy, in an effortless sort of way, this is it. I’m already ready for brunch, round 2, and of course, watermelon round 2, too.

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Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips

Kale Chips

I was pretty much appalled when my friend came over and asked me what exactly kale was. In my world, it’s nearly impossible to understand how someone could not have ever tasted, or at the very least read about, this ubiquitous green.

I did grow up in a family that gardened and harvested a ton of kale, and who also insisted on eating it all times of the day, everyday, breakfast included. I mean, sure, I wouldn’t expect every person to call that normal. But after 2012, when kale became the the Jennifer Lawrence of the food industry, I just didn’t see how her question was possible. I guess it wasn’t too much of a disappointment when she didn’t fall head-over-heels for these kale chips. However, I can happily say I got her to eat not just one, but six of them — even with a potato chip option on the table too.

Kale

When baked into chips, I could easily eat a whole bunch of kale in one day. After being popped in the oven, the leafy bouquet you get from the store quickly dwindles down to fill just a medium-sized bowl. Aside from its decrease in size, it’s easy to forget you’re eating a whole bowl of healthy greens when snacking on something comparable to junk food. The friend I mentioned above might call me a weirdo, but I’d take kale chips over potato chips nearly any day of the week. They really resemble little of what you’d expect if given a bowl of steamed kale to compare. Although, I happen to love steamed kale too.

This recipe in particular helps to deliver an even further junk food vibe by adding a traditional salt & vinegar flavor combination. Sure, kale chips have been done a trillion times before. If you follow my blog or are any food-inclined person aside from my friend, you’ve probably heard of/tasted/baked them multiple times at this point. However, there are so many variations you can try that I find they never get old. Kale chips are simply one of life’s greatest snacks, in far more aspects than one. Feel free to experiment with different kinds of vinegar varieties.  The balsamic adds a slightly sweeter kick than with your traditional salt & vinegar chips, so if you want your kale to fully compare, consider using white vinegar instead.

Click here for recipe…

Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

Chocolate Caramel Cookies

Chocolate cookies stuffed with caramel—that’s a sight and sound that will inevitably lead to a taste. Or at least a longing for a taste. You can’t tell me that looking at these cookies doesn’t make you want to try one. And if you can, I’d rather not be friends. (Just kidding.)

But seriously, chocolate and caramel is a match made in candy heaven. This recipe from The Comfort of Cooking doubles the pleasure of this pairing by stuffing an already delicious classic into even more chocolate. Behold, a cookie that looks and sounds every bit as decadent as it tastes.

Given all of that, these are surprisingly simple to make. It was probably more difficult trying to convey how awesome these are through the viewfinder of my camera than it was to actually bake them. The dough comes together quickly and after just a short rest period in the refrigerator, they bake up even quicker. Make sure to include the salt, which makes these cookies the addictive delights that they are. I actually amended the original recipe to add a 1/2 tsp. to the dough. I would suggest sticking with this, as outlined in the recipe below, because salt really does wonders to enhance the richness of both caramel and chocolate. Besides, we all know these were never meant to be healthy. Delicious and crowd-pleasing, on the other hand, are these cookies’ destiny. In my kitchen, sometimes that’s all a good dessert recipe needs.

Chocolate Caramel Cookies
Click here for recipe…