Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chicken Stew + a GIVEAWAY

Pretty pumped to share this recipe with you all today. As you may have guessed slow cooking is kind of my jam, and I love coming up with new and fun ways to use one of my favorite tools in the kitchen. This recipe is a total keeper and is chockful of great flavors.

Sweet Potato Chicken Stew

This slow cooker stew is loaded with white meat chicken, sweet potatoes, and a nice kick from a jalapeno pepper, salsa verde, and cayenne. It’s the perfect meal for a cold winter’s night!
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Homemade Crepes

Note: This was originally posted in January 2011. It has been re-published with new photos and a video! :) I considered adding new text but I kind of liked this walk down memory lane :) Enjoy!

Crepes

When I was in high school, students taking French had the opportunity to spend about a week and a half in France, spending a few days in Paris and then around a week in Niort, a beautiful town in the West of France with our correspondants, or exchange students. This was one of the coolest experiences of my life; not only was it my first trip to Europe, but I was able to travel with my best friends from school and also meet new ones in France. I still maintain a friendship with my correspondant, Sophie, and in August of 2010 she and her boyfriend actually came to New York and stayed with me in Hoboken for a week- the first time we had seen each other in 6 years!

Anyways, in order to actually get to France, our class had to do some fundraising. I’m sure there were a lot of different ways we tried to do this; to be honest I don’t remember most of them. However, I do know that my best friend Morgan and I signed up to help with the absolute hardest one: making crepes for a French-inspired breakfast bake sale.

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Holiday Desserts: Mint Chocolate Truffles

Mint Chocolate Truffles

Happy hump day! We are officially two weeks out from Christmas, and if you haven’t finished or even started your holiday shopping, I have a little easy homemade gift idea for you today that doubles as the perfect stress-relieving snack for when you just need that hit of chocolate.

Mint Chocolate Truffles

These mint chocolate truffles are super decadent, but you won’t believe how easy they are to make! These are based on my favorite Easy Peasy Chocolate Truffles recipe, with a fun and festive hint of mint. I personally love the crackle of the cold chocolate shell as you bite into one of these, followed by the soft, sweet and chocolatey texture of the chocolatey filling.

In the spirit of sharing, I’m so pleased to post my recipe for Mint Chocolate Truffles over at Table for Seven today. So go ahead and click over to see the recipe as well as check out Erin’s wonderful blog!

You can also learn how to make them step by step in a video tutorial I made here:

Happy Eating :-)
mally

How the F#!& Do I Make That?: Perfect Pizza Dough

Perfect Pizza Dough

I am somewhat of a pizza addict. It’s borderline alarming.

It’s not hyperbole when I tell you that I consumed five slices of pizza yesterday. And no, not those lame Little Caesar’s style personal pizza slices, that even the smallest of small children could house in about 3 seconds. I’m talking about five grown-ass-woman slices of pizza. No regrets. (OK, maybe some regrets.)

To demonstrate how dedicated I am to this, my most favorite of food groups, I tried to find you a really funny GIF I saw once of a cat who’s busy burrowing themselves in a bag when they suddenly pop out all crazy-like, looking around, and the text comes over saying “DID SOMEBODY SAY PIZZA??”. Alas, several, possibly incriminating-in-the-future Google Image searches later could not yield the GIF I was looking for, but hopefully you get the idea. But here’s another one I did find that should give you at least a few nightmares:

Thank College Candy for this gem.

(On a side note, it’s alarming/probably not surprising how many “cat pizza” gifs there are on the internet).

Perfect Pizza Dough

ANYWAYS, if I haven’t scared you off yet, back to this pizza. I’m guessing there are more than a few pizza addicts around here too, so I wanted to share a recipe for what I consider the perfect pizza dough that you can make right at home, no fancy brick-oven fires required.

As we know, the crust can either make or break a pizza, regardless of its toppings. This dough produces pizza crust that is crispy on the exterior, but tender and fluffy once you take a bite. There are a few techniques in here that prevent any sticking to the pizza stone or baking sheet (parchment paper is your friend!), and if you’re scared of working with yeast or have never made dough from scratch, I promise it’s not as scary as it might seem (and certainly not as scary as the above cat gif. I should probably take that down).

Here’s a video I made to walk you through the steps to pizza bliss!

 

Perfect Pizza Dough
 
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Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 3.5 cups (16 oz) bread flour (plus a few tbsp more if needed)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 packet instant yeast
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • cornmeal, for dusting

Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or, if not using a stand mixer, a large bowl), add the bread flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Mix together to combine.
  2. Bring the 1.5 cups of water to 110°F, warm enough to activate but not kill the yeast. Using a thermometer is the best way to be sure of the temperature, but if you don’t have one, microwave the 1.5 cups of water for one minute on high.
  3. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the warm water into the bowl. Add the olive oil and mix until combined. If the mixture is too sticky, add more flour a tablespoon at a time. If the mixture is too dry, add more warm water a tablespoon at a time. You want the dough to be smooth and only slightly tacky.
  4. If using a stand mixer, put on the dough hook attachment, otherwise use your hands. Knead for 10 minutes, then place the dough in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap.
  5. Place the covered bowl in a warm environment for one hour to let rise. (I turned on my oven to 400°F for one minute, then turned it OFF and placed the dough in the oven. If you use this method, make sure to turn the oven OFF before you put the dough in there!)
  6. After an hour, dough should have risen considerably. Remove from the oven, then turn oven on to 450°F. Place a pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven and allow to heat up as oven is pre-heating.
  7. Take off the plastic wrap, and punch down the dough to allow the gases to escape. Divide dough in half (you can save the other half for later in the fridge for a few days, or use it all for an extra large pizza). Roll the dough out on a piece of parchment paper dusted with cornmeal to the desired size and shape, and cover with toppings of your choice.
  8. When oven is preheated, place the parchment paper with the pizza on it on the pizza stone and bake for 12-15 minutes. The pizza should slide easily off the parchment. Slice and serve!

Perfect Pizza Dough

Let me know if you try this dough, and if anyone ever does find that pizza cat GIF…:) I’m off to eat another slice!

Happy Eating :-)
mally

Browned Butter Dijon Green Beans (The Best Green Beans Ever)

Best Ever Green Beans

Green beans are boring, right? It’s pretty much a fact. When they come from a can (shudder), they’re often mushy, lackluster in color, and tasteless. I find steamed green beans are often the same way- no texture, no real flavor.

I’m here to tell you that green beans CAN be sexy. Making the best green beans ever requires only a few easy tricks:

First step? Put away the steamer and/or the canned beans. We’re going fresh here.

Second step? Browned butter. Yup.

Third step? One of my favorite flavors: dijon mustard. This brings these beans up about seven notches, flavorwise.

Best Green Beans Ever

The best thing is these are a total snap to make! In 10 minutes you will have a killer side that even picky eaters and former green-bean-haters will enjoy.

These, my friends, are…. the most interesting green beans in the world.

Brown Butter Dijon Green Beans (The Best Green Beans Ever)
 
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Author:
Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 lb green beans, trimmed of their ends
  • kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • zest of one lemon + 1 tsp juice, for garnish (optional)

Instructions
  1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the butter and allow to melt. Once the bubbling subsides and brown bits appear in the butter, add the green beans right away and a sprinkling of kosher salt. Toss to coat the beans in the butter and allow to cook for 3 minutes, until the beans are bright green and starting to show signs of browning.
  2. Add the garlic to the skillet with the beans and allow to cook for a minute, stirring every so often. Add the dijon mustard and toss again to coat everything.
  3. Remove to a serving dish and garnish with lemon zest and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Best Green Beans Ever

Happy Eating :-)
mally