Tag Archives: entertaining

salted caramel ice cream sandwiches

Peanut butter cookies with salted caramel gelato.

Peanut butter cookies with salted caramel gelato.

It wouldn’t be Labor Day without ice cream sandwiches. Here’s an idea for some awesome salted caramel ice cream sandwiches with peanut butter cookies and salted caramel gelato that I LOVE!

Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sandwiches
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup creamy natural peanut butter
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoons sugar and coarse salt, for sprinkling on the cookies
1 quart Talenti sea salt caramel gelato

mixer

1. Beat the brown sugar, softened butter, and peanut butter with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer  until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract and beat to combine. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix just until combined. Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Use the tines of a fork to make crisscross pattern.

Use the tines of a fork to make crisscross pattern.

Sprinkle with coarse sugar and salt!

Sprinkle with coarse sugar and salt!

2. Heat the oven to 350°F. Using the palms of your hands, roll the dough into 1-inch balls, coat each ball in the salt and sugar mixture, and transfer to a baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between cookies. Press the tines of a fork flat against each ball of dough, then make a second indentation perpendicular to the first one. Bake until the cookies are firm and their edges are golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer the cookies to wire racks or paper towels to finish cooling. Once the cookies have cooled, use an ice cream scooper to add a generous portion of gelato to one half of the cookies. Sandwich them together withe the remaining halves and place in an airtight container. Can be stored for 2-3 days. Yields 12 sandwiches.

Let the peanut butter cookies cool before adding gelato.

Let the peanut butter cookies cool before adding gelato.

 

 

mexican lasagna

 

My simple and delicious Mexican Lasagna filled with Del Real Foods authentic small batch Carnitas!

My simple and delicious Mexican Lasagna filled with Del Real Food’s authentic carnitas!

*This is a compensated contest in collaboration with Del Real Foods.

After being invited to participate in the Del Real Foods Blogger Recipe Contest, the first thing that came to mind was my Grandmother’s cooking. Fleeing from Mexico during the revolution, my grandmother didn’t have the opportunity to hone her skills at cooking any family recipes. Instead, she developed her own more Americanized versions of her native dishes. I grew up on classics such as “Chicken Chile Goo” and “Chita’s Famous Tacos” made with Lowry’s Taco Seasoning mixed with Lypton’s Onion Soup Mix. I have many fond memories of casserole-style dishes with corn tortillas, meat and enchilada sauce. I suppose that’s why Mexican Lasagna popped into my mind almost immediately when I began thinking about this challenge.

Thanks to the Cardenas family, Del Real Foods produces delicious, high quality, preservative free, healthier products that can be prepared in minutes and included in countless recipes. My Mexican Lasagna is an homage to my Grandmother, the Cardenas family and the notion that good food will always bring people together.

Did I mention that their carnitas are legit?!

Did I mention that their carnitas are legit?!

Ingredientes
1 package Del Real Foods Carnitas, defrosted and shredded
1 container of Del Real Foods Salsa De Molcajete Roja
24 oz can mild enchilada enchilada sauce (I used La Victoria)
32 oz. block of Monterey Jack Cheese, grated
1 small can of chopped black olives
1 small bag corn tortillas (at least 24)

Preperación
Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine enchilada sauce and chopped olives in a large bowl. One at a time, place tortillas into the sauce, coating both sides generously and then arrange in a single layer in a deep 9″ x 13″ baking pan. Tear tortillas to fit when necessary. Next, place a thin layer of shredded carnitas onto the layer of tortillas. Now, gently spoon the Salsa De Molcajete Roja onto the pork and smooth with fingers. Sprinkle about 1/4 of the cheese and repeat the layering process. You should be able to achieve 4 to 5 layers depending on the depth of your pan. Place dish uncovered on the top shelf of oven and bake for 35-40 minutes until the top begins to turn golden brown. Allow the Mexican Lasagna 10 minutes to rest before cutting into it. Serves 8-10 people. Enjoy!

 

 

pizza party

pizzaparty

Matt and Adam’s wood-burning pizza oven pizza party!

By now, you probably know how Britt and I feel about pizza. So, when our friends Matt and Adam invited us over for a pizza party in their newly renovated backyard, how could we say no? We had the most amazing evening; checking out the fabulous additions, which, transform a simple backyard into an entertainer’s dream. One of the most significant, being, the outdoor wood-burning pizza oven. These have become quite popular/available in recent years and come in kits which are relatively simple to have installed. The total price hovering around$6K – $7K installed.

I’ve said it before but there’s just no way to make a perfect pizza crust without oven temperatures over 600°F. The smoke from the wood also contributes immensely to the flavor of the crust which ultimately is the star of the show. That being said, this is one of the most amazing kitchen tools and is definitely going on my bucket list. These ovens aren’t limited to just pizza either. I’m told they produce the most incredible roasted chicken, fish, meat, poultry, bread… the list goes on and on.

Matt even handed out Sarapes when it got chilly!

Matt even handed out sarapes when it got chilly!

Matt and Adam pre-made 10 pizza crusts and everyone was invited to create there own pizzas by selecting from the variety of toppings, sauces and cheeses. We then cut the pizzas into 8 slices and shared them with the group. It was fun trying different people’s creations. We had a blast! Thank you Matt and Adam for hosting such a brilliant night!

What I drank:

Aglianico pairs great with a wide variety of pizzas!

Aglianico pairs great with a wide variety of pizzas!

Aglianico del Vulture is an Italian red wine made from the Aglianico grape from the Vulture area in Basilicata. Gricos is full bodied with great fruit, structure, tannins and a velvet mouth feel. I highly recommend this wine with pizza! More please!