Well Dined

10Jan/170

Try The World – Spain Box; Tapas

Well Dined | Spanish Tapas

I've had to pause my Try The World subscription, because I have been so slow to go through the boxes, plan a meal/blog post, make it, and write it up.  Oops!  So I've made a goal for 2017 (I don't like the word "resolution") to work on 1 Try The World post per month.  This month I made tapas with the Spain Box!  So much food!!!

Well Dined | Try The World - Spain

The Spain Box came with El Navarrico salsa tumaca con ajo (tomato sauce with garlic); El Avión paprika; Oleum Hispania extra-virgin olive oil; and Espinaler canned white tuna - all of which were used to make the tapas.

Well Dined | Try The World - Spain

It also contained P. listo jasmine floral jam; Ines Rosales cortadillo citrus crumble cakes; and El Almendro turrón (almond candy).

21Jul/166

ICC – Peach Cobbler Trifle

Well Dined | Peach Cobbler Trifle

I've joined a group called Improv Cooking Challenge, where each month 2 ingredients are chosen for us to make dishes with.  This month was peaches and cream - yum!  I scrolled through my saved recipes on Pinterest and found this Peach Cobbler Trifle that looked perfect for the challenge!

Well Dined | Peach Cobbler Trifle

Pound cake is layered with a pudding mixture, peaches, and a crumble topping.  My trifle dish is actually a punch bowl, so I only made 2 layers.  But with a taller, narrower dish - you could make 3 layers.

Well Dined | Peach Cobbler Trifle

I really liked that the pudding mixture used orange zest and sour cream to take it out of too sweet territory.  I added a pinch of salt to the crumble mixture and the peaches to help in this regard, too.

4Jan/162

Classic French Toast

Well Dined | Classic French Toast

I love to make French Toast this time of year.  My husband loves it, too, he says that my French Toast is the best (so sweet <3).  I think the secret is to definitely use brioche or challah, that plus a million ingredients in the batter - read on!

Well Dined | Classic French Toast

In addition to eggs and cream, I use vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange juice, lemon zest, and sherry.  So many flavors!  It is so worth it.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.  First, either slice the bread (thickly, 1 inch) the night before and leave it out to get stale, or toast it slightly in the morning.  Then make the batter and soak each side of the bread for 10 minutes.  Just before you cook the toast (in butter, of course), sprinkle one side with granulated sugar - this will created a yummy bit of caramelization.  Do the same to the other side before you flip it over to cook.

Well Dined | Classic French Toast

Top with lots of butter and some maple syrup.  Yum.  This is definitely the perfect French Toast - custardy in the middle, little bit of caramelization, lots of flavor.

6May/151

No Bake Vegan Date and Nut Bars

Well Dined | No Bake Vegan Date and Nut Bars

I recently moved to a new house about 35 minutes from my old one, but I still have a gym membership near my old place because I need to use up some training sessions before I quit.  So I've been driving over there twice a week to train.  I'm used to drinking a protein shake on the way to the gym, working out, then getting lunch.  But now with the extra drive (and waking up earlier), I'm getting hungry by the time I get to the gym - and that is no good for working out!  So here is where these (vegan, paleo, gluten-free) date and nut bars come in handy.  I throw one in my bag straight from the freezer, and by the time I get to the gym they are thawed, so I eat it before heading in.  They fill me up and give me a boost of energy - perfect!

These are also great for healthy homemade snacks or desserts, and especially for people with food allergies (other than nuts, obviously).  I bet kids would love them.

Well Dined | No Bake Vegan Date and Nut Bars

The crust is made from nuts, date, and coconut -  most of which is pressed into the bottom of a pan, and the rest is sprinkled on top later.  The original poster is a big fan of soaking and drying nuts before eating them to remove the phytic acid that can make them difficult to digest.  I tried it for this recipe and it took quite a bit of time (I dried them in the slow cooker overnight), but if that is too much work for you it's okay to just use raw nuts.  The original recipe also calls for brazil and macadamia nuts, but these are a bit hard to find and a little expensive.  I recommend raw cashews as a replacement.

Well Dined | No Bake Vegan Date and Nut Bars

The filling is made from dates, dried figs, and orange zest - yum.

23Dec/140

Holiday Round-up

If you are starting to panic because Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate) is closing in and you don't have a dinner plan yet, fear not - I have you covered!  I have a round-up of all of my holiday recipes, from protein to sides to dessert, and even breakfast!  So please enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Well Dined | Holiday Meal

Perfect Roasted Turkey, Apple Sausage Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Cider Gravy

Well Dined | Brined and Roasted Pork

Brined and Roasted Pork

Well Dined | Slow Cooked Cider Ham

Slow Cooked Cider Ham

Well Dined | Dr Pepper Glazed Ham with Prunes

Dr Pepper Glazed Ham with Prunes

Well Dined | Garlic and Herb Crusted Rib Roast with Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus

Garlic and Herb Crusted Rib Roast with Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus

20Dec/140

Cranberry Custard Pie

Well Dined | Cranberry Custard Pie

Who says cranberries are just for Thanksgiving?  With this combination of bright and tangy cranberry orange compote over sweet and creamy vanilla custard, you will want to eat them all Winter long.  The acidity from the compote is balanced out by the custard - perfect.  The gorgeous bright red color makes it great for the holidays, as well.

Well Dined | Cranberry Custard Pie

You can make the two components of this pie separately, chill them, and assemble when ready to serve.  That makes traveling to a holiday potluck much easier.  For the compote - combine cranberries, sugar, orange juice and zest in a pot and simmer until the cranberries start to burst.  Transfer to a container and chill for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.

Well Dined | Cranberry Custard Pie

For the pie - prebake a pie crust, then fill with a custard made from flour, sugar, milk, egg yolks, butter, and vanilla.  Bake until set, cool completely, then chill for at least a few hours and up to 2 days.  Spread the cranberry mixture over the custard pie just before serving.

26Dec/130

Christmas 2013

Well Dined | Christmas Wreath

Merry Christmas, y'all!  We went on a bit of a crazy roadtrip (which I will tell you about later, because there are restaurants involved) and didn't get back til late on the 22nd, which left us in a bit of a scramble to get ready for Christmas.  We managed to get some outdoor decorations up (check out the wreath I made!), but no tree or anything indoors.

Well Dined | Christmas Dinner

We also spent all our holiday money on travel, so no presents this year.  But we did have a nice Christmas dinner (I mean, come on - how could I not, right?).  Honey Baked Ham (going store bought on the main let me focus on sides); Spinach and Gruyere Strata; Sweet Potato Gratin with Caramelized Onions; and Bacon Popovers.

Well Dined | Cranberry Raisin Tart

And a Cranberry Raisin Tart with orange zest and spices for dessert.

Well Dined | Orange Cranberry Rolls

Oh yeah, and breakfast!  Can't forget Christmas morning sweets!  I made these Cranberry Orange Rolls by Smitten Kitchen - yum!

3Jun/130

Farro with Scallions, Peas, and Goat Cheese

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It's time for another vegetarian lunch with Melissa!  This time we made a warm and creamy grain salad with veggies (kind of our favorite thing).  This salad has farro, arugula, scallions, split peas, English peas, goat cheese, and chives in a citrusy dressing with orange, shallot, and Parmesan.  So basically every delicious ingredient there is.

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We made things easy by precooking the farro and split peas (you can do this a day in advance) and using frozen peas.

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We tossed the farro mixture with a citrusy dressing, then folded in arugula and charred scallions, and topped with goat cheese and chives.  Let me tell you about charred scallions - they are awesome.  Super awesome.  We were worried that the onion flavor would be overwhelming, but charring them takes a lot of that sharpness out and replaces it with sweetness.

7Jan/130

More Figs!

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I've stated before how obsessed I am with figs.  I snatch them up whenever I see them at the store.  Jasper does not share my love of these little jewels, which means more for me!  Bwahahahaha!  ...Okay I'm fine now, sorry about that.

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Mostly I like to eat my figs with cheese - this makes me ridiculously happy.  Coincidentally (or not), I also like to eat my cheese with fig jam.  Anyway, one of the most popular pairings for figs is blue cheese, so I wanted to play around with that a bit.

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I broiled the figs with blue cheese so that they were hot and melty, but I didn't stop there...

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I topped them off with crispy prosciutto and honey.

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It's okay if you drool a little, I understand.

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Going in a sweeter direction - I also made some balsamic glazed figs with mascarpone.

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Adapted from this recipe - I tossed the figs with a glaze made from balsamic vinegar, sugar, orange juice, and orange zest and broiled them.  Then I served them on top of mascarpone whipped with cream and sugar.

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The cream melting into the hot figs with the sweet and tangy glaze... yeah - this was pretty much heaven.

31Dec/120

Christmas 2012

I wanted to do a big Christmas dinner, but I didn't want to be in the kitchen all Christmas Day. I also wanted to try something different than the usual rib roast and Yorkshire pudding. So I decided to do dinner on Christmas Eve and to do some easy, low-prep dishes for Brunch on Christmas Day.

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I ordered a half fresh ham through Whole Foods to try cooking a Christmas ham for the first time, but I made a few mistakes.  I wanted to cook it in the slow cooker with brown sugar and cider to make a glaze, but I didn't realize that "fresh ham" is not really what we consider ham - without the curing or smoke, it is more like a pork roast - so I didn't really get the flavor that I wanted.  I also couldn't get the whole thing to fit in my (very large) slow cooker insert, so I had to chop a chunk off - which actually ended up being a good thing because I roasted that piece and it came out better.