Jeff's Bruschetta | Garlic, My Soul

Years ago, I taught Jeff how to make homemade garlic bread after finding some offensive frozen stuff in our apartment’s freezer. (It may have not been his, because at the time we had a few roommates, but I was disgusted either way and vowed to set him straight.) Over the years, I have become inept at making it, but Jeff has perfected it, leading people to request him to bring it to parties, events, and it’s even become a staple at Thanksgiving. (He has also added cheese to it, god bless him.)

Recently we had a dinner party at Megan and Mitchell’s, where we brought the food and cooked for them at their house! It was very fun, and George did a great job planning out who was to make what – and Jeff got assigned bruschetta.

After maintaining that it was essentially jazzed up garlic bread, Jeff got to work making some deliciously toasted bread, topped with fresh tomatoes, basil, and just a little parmesan cheese.

Jeff's Bruschetta | Garlic, My Soul

Here’s what you need to make this quick and easy bruschetta for your next dinner:

1 baguette, sliced in about one-half to one inch pieces
garlic
butter
tomatoes of your choice (we used cherry tomatoes)
fresh basil, julienned
parmesan cheese, grated
balsamic vinegar

Here’s what you do: put your oven on broil. Then, cut up your baguette. Melt butter and add in minced garlic. You can do this at whatever intervals and amounts you want – we love garlic, so we used about a one-to-one ratio (I know, call us crazy.)

Smear that onto each piece of bread, then toast until just crispy and browning, about five or so minutes (but watch the bread because it can burn quickly!)

Meanwhile chop your tomatoes (in quarters or bite-size pieces) and julienne your basil. When the bread comes out of the oven, top each piece with some tomato, basil, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Drizzle the whole thing with balsamic vinegar, and you’ve got an impressive looking, vegetable touting appetizer to eat while you wait for dinner to be ready!

Jeff's Bruschetta | Garlic, My Soul

I have a feeling this is going to become a staple, and that Jeff will be the only one who can make it…

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I discovered Bo Nuage, a Melrose Ave bakery, while on one of my morning jogs around the neighborhood. The awesome black-and-white decor immediately caught my eye and I turned around in place so I could make a mental note of the shop’s name.

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Bo Nuage – or “beautiful cloud” – is owned by Audrey and Pascal Achcar, a Parisian husband-wife team who relocated to Los Angeles a couple of years ago. They have perfected these cloud-like whipped meringue cakes, which have become a fairly new trend in France.

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The majority of these meringues are gluten free, and all of them are made with natural ingredients and zero artificial additives. Lots of bonus points for being colorful too!

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Bo Nuage recently started selling their version of traditional French croquettes, and they are amazing.

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All of the Bo Nuage employees are incredibly kind and welcoming! Pascal made me this delicious plate of croquettes to accompany a cup of Stumptown coffee. I was in heaven!

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I took home this pumpkin spice meringue in the spirit of the season. It was light, airy, and absolutely delicious!

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If you’re ever on Melrose Ave and want to pretend like you’re in Paris (which is basically every day for me), head over to Bo Nuage immediately. What a treat!

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies | Garlic, My Soul

Recently, our good friend Megan had a birthday. Megan’s birthday signifies the beginning of fall for us around these parts, as it falls in the beginning of October, and we always end up making some delicious cake, cookie, or other sweet to celebrate the lowering temperatures and the ability once again to bake.

We wanted to make a pumpkin treat, as we did for last year’s celebration, but something perhaps a little simpler (although what is more simple than a bundt cake?) So we settled on pumpkin chocolate chips cookies, which are basically just our recipe for chocolate chip cookies with pumpkin in them. This is our final recipe. We researched several recipes, but ended up using this one from King Arthur Flour as a guide.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies | Garlic, My Soul

Although these cookies weren’t as fancy as Megan’s 2012 pirate cake, or her 2011 blackout cake, they were the perfect iteration of autumn. With a glass of milk, they were the most delicious ending to our vegetarian lasagna dinner when we celebrated with her! This cookies are easy which is pretty much always our favorite kind of dessert, and they aren’t too fussy to put together. Plus, you can make the dough ahead of time and then bake them later, which is exactly what we did – they fill your house with the most delicious cinnamon-pumpkin-chocolate smell.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies | Garlic, My Soul

We hope you get a chance to make these this fall, and if you do, and you happen to make them in Los Angeles, let us know. We’ll bring the milk.

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Gluten Free Cheddar Bay Biscuits | Garlic, My Soul

I was in the gluten free test kitchen mode this week. And after seeing this alluring recipe fly around Pinterest recently, my path was clearly chosen.

I usually try to keep myself from attempting to straight recreate fan favorites minus the gluten – as the results no matter how good are usually disappointing – but in this case, it simply couldn’t be helped. They just looked too delicious!

Cheddar Bay Biscuits have a deep and abiding place in my soul. In my previous life as a baker I would make cheddar and gluten-filled biscuits drenched in butter from a recipe reportedly to have been stolen from Red Lobster.

Tall tales notwithstanding, they were damn delicious and we (my bakers and I) always had to adjust the recipe to account for biscuits nicked straight from their oven trays by the kitchen staff before dinner was even served.

This new gluten free recipe also spoke to me from a simplicity standpoint. It is entirely comprised of tapioca flour – I’ve grown a little tired of gluten free flour mixes of late – and is so delicious in its own right, that it gives those gluten-free-ers among us reason to hope they will live to eat another Cheddar Bay.

Good work, Pinterest.

Gluten Free Cheddar Bay Biscuits | Garlic, My Soul

Ingredients

½ cup butter
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup milk
2 cups tapioca flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon dried parsley
2/3 cup grated cheddar cheese

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Grease or line a sheet tray with parchment paper. Set aside.
3. Going against all your biscuit training (namely cutting the butter into the flour at a temperature as cold as humanly possible) bring butter, water, milk and salt to a slow boil then remove from heat.
4. Mix in tapioca flour until a lumpy paste forms. Be sure not to over mix.
5. Let your dough rest for about 10 minutes.
6. Then stir in the eggs, garlic and parsley.
7. Fold in the cheese.
8. Scoop using an ice cream scoop or spoon, place biscuits evenly spaced on your sheet tray.
9. Bake for 15-20 minutes depending on the size of your scoops. Check and rotate your tray after 10 minutes. They will be just barely golden on top and have a nice crispy golden bottom.

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Today we’ve decided to curb our recipes and talk to you about something we care about – hunger. It is World Food Day, dedicated to raise awareness around hunger throughout our globe, and a day of action to help stop hunger. Though we live in a country of plenty, did you know that one in nine people live with chronic hunger? We can help feed the hungry, whether it’s through food drives, or helping out at a shelter to provide meals to the homeless, or by walking in a hunger walk to raise awareness.

You can learn more about ways you can help here.

For now, get to Pinterest and pin Megan’s fun and informative infographic to help educate the masses – with your help, we can change the world.

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