Archive for the ‘FOOD’ Category

03.08.18

CROQUE MADAME

croque madame | designlovefest

you’re going to make this sauce and want to use it on everything! it’s so cheesy and decadent. ivan took the leftovers and made mac + cheese with it which also sounds SO good. such a simple recipe to throw together and feels very impressive. i liked mine without the egg, but the egg makes it more breakfast appropriate. the recipe was inspired by on Food&Wine and it’s definitely fun to make when you’re feeling a little indulgent! – joanie

croque madame | designlovefest

makes 4 servings

what you’ll need:
• french loaf cut into thick slices
• 4 eggs
• deli ham slices
• 1/2 cup shredded gruyere cheese
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
• 1 cup milk
• salt
• chopped chives for garnish

mixed greens salad:
• 4 cups mixed greens
• 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• salt and pepper to taste

• in a pot melt butter on medium heat, once melted slowly whisk in the flour. constantly stirring for about a minute or until the mixture begins to thicken. add milk and shredded gruyere cheese, continue to stir on low heat for another 3-5 minutes, don’t let it burn! remove from heat.

croque madame | designlovefest
croque madame | designlovefest
croque madame | designlovefest
croque madame | designlovefest
croque madame | designlovefest

• we used a cast iron skillet to lightly toast our thick slices of french loaf on both sides but a regular toaster works fine too. next turn broiler on. place your toast on a baking sheet lined with parchment, add one to two spoonfuls of sauce to each slice and smooth to cover the surface, then add the sliced ham, cover with shredded gruyere cheese. place the baking sheet in the broiler and broil until the cheese is golden and bubbly.

croque madame | designlovefest
croque madame | designlovefest
croque madame | designlovefest

• fry four eggs to your liking. add each fried eggs to each of the toast, top with chopped chives and serve with the mixed greens salad. for the mixed salad, we just placed some fresh greens in a bowl with a bit of red wine vinegar and high quality olive oil. add a sprinkle of salt and enjoy!

croque madame | designlovefest
croque madame | designlovefest

images by: 
styling by: joanie cusack + ivan solis

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02.27.18

STEAK FRIES WITH CHIMICHURRI

steak fries with chimichurri | designlovefest

i went to south america on my honeymoon and ate some seriously delicious food and drank some amazing wine. one thing we ran into over and over again in Argentina was chimichurri. they’d serve it along side steak or in a bowl as a condiment to be added to whatever you’re eating. the flavor is really garlicky and compliments many types of dishes. i’ve only attempted to make it once since returning but ivan and i made a version with kale last week and it was really good. it packs a punch and is loaded with kale, lemon, garlic and parsley so beyond being delicious, it’s actually good for you. serve on fries like we did, or along side a piece of steak or with a side of crusty bread. but probably don’t plan on kissing anyone after, the garlic really sticks around!   -joanie

steak fries with chimichurri | designlovefest

serves 6:

kale chimichurri
• 4 cups kale leaves de-stemmed and chopped
• 2 cups flat leaf parsley
• 2 garlic cloves
• juice of 2 lemons
• 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• salt to taste (we used 1 teaspoon) 

• in a food processor place the chimichurri ingredients and pulse to combine. add more olive oil if the mixture becomes a paste. taste and adjust as needed.

steak fries with chimichurri | designlovefest

steak fries:
• 1/2 pound of flank steak at room temp. salt and pepper each side.
• 1 bag of frozen fries
• 1 avocado diced
• 1/2 red onion finely diced

steak fries with chimichurri | designlovefest
steak fries with chimichurri | designlovefest
steak fries with chimichurri | designlovefest
steak fries with chimichurri | designlovefest

• bake fries according to the package’s instructions. heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on a skillet on medium heat. place the skirt steak on heated skillet. cook on each side for about 7 minutes. we prefer ours medium well to serve with the fries. set aside, cover with foil for 10 minutes and then dice.

• to assemble, place the fries on a platter and add the steak, red onion, avocado and dollops of chimichurri throughout. as an option we served ours with our sriracha dipping sauce which is a combination of mayo and sriracha.

steak fries with chimichurri | designlovefest
steak fries with chimichurri | designlovefest
steak fries with chimichurri | designlovefest

images by: 
styling by: joanie cusack + ivan solis

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02.20.18

BIRTHDAY CAKE

our favorite birthday cake | designlovefest

there are soooo many recipes out there on the internet nowadays and it can be really hard to sift through them and find what’s worth making and what might be a waste of time. i wanted to find the perfect chocolate birthday cake, something that you’d feel excited to bring a friend on their special day. i read through a ton of recipes and felt that the had the most remarkable reviews. it felt like no one had a bad thing to say and that many of the comments were, “best cake I’ve ever had!” and “i’ve found the perfect chocolate cake!”. reading through them i knew we had to give it a try and see if it’s that good, and truthfully, it is. i also think we should all start baking birthday cakes for our loved one’s birthdays. how fun and sweet (pun intended) for someone to show up on your door with a cake and candles. birthdays can become less and less climactic as we get older and i say we start working to counter that feeling.  so let’s all bake someone a cake! -joanie
p.s. the plates are from knot and bow! you can find them . 

our favorite birthday cake | designlovefest
our favorite birthday cake | designlovefest

i know baking can be intimidating but if you take it step by step it really is an approachable recipe. my biggest baking tip is to be super exact, don’t eyeball anything, make all of your measurements exact. we made the cake exactly as instructed. but one thing i will say is that the baking time was a bit long, it says 35-45 minutes. we did 35 minutes and i think it could have been 3-5 minutes shorter than that.

Beatty’s Chocolate Cake by Ina Garten
serves 8

what you’ll need: 
cake:
• butter for greasing the pans
• 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
• 2 cups white sugar
• 3/4 cups good cocoa powder
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 3 extra-large eggs, at room temp
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

chocolate frosting: 

• 6 ounces good semisweet chocolate (she recommends Callebaut, we used Ghirardelli)
• 1/2 pound butter at room temp
1 extra-large egg yolk at room temp
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1 1/4 cups shifted confectioners’ sugar
• 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder

our favorite birthday cake | designlovefest
our favorite birthday cake | designlovefest
our favorite birthday cake | designlovefest

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans. you could also use three smaller pans if you wanted to create more layers and height.

• Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

• Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

our favorite birthday cake | designlovefest
our favorite birthday cake | designlovefest

Chocolate Frosting:

• Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.

• In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don’t whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.

our favorite birthday cake | designlovefest
our favorite birthday cake | designlovefest
our favorite birthday cake | designlovefest

images by: 
styling by: joanie cusack + ivan solis

02.05.18

CHICKEN FAJITAS

CHICKEN FAJITAS | designlovefest
CHICKEN FAJITAS | designlovefest

weeknight dinners can be hard, it’s tough sometimes to muster up the energy to cook something after a long day. we all want to be those people who are making something delicious and trying out new recipes but that’s not always possible. enter the fajitas, cut up whatever vegetables you have in the fridge, add a protein (chicken, steak, beans, tofu), toss it all in your cast iron and you’re good to go with zero worry about messing this “recipe” up. because it’s actually barely a recipe, it’s more of an idea that you can add and subtract from as needed. we purchased everything we needed for this recipe at trader joe’s. their onion salt in particular is very good as is there prepackaged cauliflower rice and corn tortillas. – joanie

CHICKEN FAJITAS | designlovefest

CHICKEN FAJITAS 
serves 3 people 

what you’ll need:
• 2 chicken breasts – patted dry, salt and pepper each side.
• 3 bell peppers
• 1/2 red onion
• 1 package cilantro
• 2 limes
• 1 package tortillas
• 1 package cauliflower rice
• olive oil
• sour cream (optional)
Trader joes chili lime seasoning
Trader joes onion salt

CHICKEN FAJITAS | designlovefest
CHICKEN FAJITAS | designlovefest
CHICKEN FAJITAS | designlovefest
CHICKEN FAJITAS | designlovefest

how to make:

• i recently learned about this new chicken cooking technique from  which if you aren’t following yet, you should be. they have great recipe ideas and tips. to cook the chicken, take a cold cast iron pan, without any oil and put your chicken skin side down on the pan and place it over low heat and let it cook, about 5-7 minutes per side without moving it. this will give it a nice browned outside. flip it over and do the same thing to the other side. you may need more time depending on the thickness of your chicken. remove chicken, set aside, covered.

• cut the bell peppers into strips and thinly slice the red onion. add to the same heated cast iron with some olive oil and cook for an additional 10-20 minutes, i like my vegetables to get really cooked down and browned but you can cook for as long or short as you’d like. stirring occasionally. salt to taste.

• in a separate pan heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. add the cauliflower rice and season the salt and garlic salt to taste. stirring every other minute until cauliflower rice is tender; about 5-7 minutes. remove from heat and mix with 1/2 lime and 1 cup chopped cilantro.

CHICKEN FAJITAS | designlovefest

serve fajitas with heated tortillas. we served our tacos with a dollop of sour cream!

CHICKEN FAJITAS | designlovefest

images by: 
styling by: joanie cusack + ivan solis

01.30.18

LAMB MEATBALL PITAS

lamb meatballs | designlovefest

you’re going to want to make these tonight! super simple, no crazy spices that you have to buy and put in your pantry never to reach for again and they’re meatballs which are almost impossible to mess up. we used lamb and they turned out super moist and flavorful but you could use ground chicken as well. the onions and cilantro are best if you finely chop them which is something we neglected to do. you could also grate your onion, something i’ve done in the past and would recommend! these barely needed any breadcrumbs and if you wanted to make them gluten free i think you could skip them all together. serve on a toasted pita with a smear of yogurt and you’ll be so happy you did. – joanie

lamb meatballs | designlovefest
lamb meatballs | designlovefest
lamb meatballs | designlovefest

what you’ll need:

for the meatballs:
• 1 pound of ground lamb meat
•  salt
• 1 teaspoon paprika
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 egg
• 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs
• quarter onion diced finely
• 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
• 1/2 cup feta cheese
• 2 tablespoon avocado oil (olive oil is also fine)

for the yogurt sauce: 
• 2 cups greek yogurt
• 1/2 cup finely chopped mint
• 1/2 lemon juiced

for serving: 
• red onion as garnish
• 1 persian cucumber diced
• 4-8 small flatbreads

• in a large bowl mix (i like to use my hands!) the lamb meat with big pinch of salt, paprika, garlic powder (or fresh garlic!), breadcrumbs , finely chopped onion, egg, feta cheese and cilantro. and with the palms of your hands roll into meatballs.

lamb meatballs | designlovefest
lamb meatballs | designlovefest
lamb meatballs | designlovefest
lamb meatballs | designlovefest

• in a skillet heat 2 tablespoons of avocado oil on medium heat. cook each meatball for about 8-12 minutes, until cooked through, rolling them around as to get all sides of the meatball cooked. set aside on paper towels.

lamb meatballs | designlovefest
lamb meatballs | designlovefest

• for the yogurt, mix the mint and lemon juice with 1/2 teaspoon salt. set aside.

lamb meatballs | designlovefest
lamb meatballs | designlovefest

• to assemble start with your flatbreads and a good smear of the mint yogurt, lamb meatballs, diced cucumber and slivers of red onion.

lamb meatballs | designlovefest
lamb meatballs | designlovefest

images by: 
styling by: joanie cusack + ivan solis

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