Sweet Midnight | Garlic, My Soul

Our Six Chairs At The Table dinner this past month was wonderful. We focused on lesser used meats like lamb and duck, so I wanted to create a savory and soothing cocktail that would start the night off right. This cocktail mixture offers a sweet, earthy, and bitter in a great combo and sets a nice tone for the rich meats we ate.

I wanted to use some out-of-the-box liquor this time around, so I chose to make the base white rum and brandy. Garnished with some red delicious apples ,this is subtle drink that opens up your palette for some fun and unique tastes.

Type: Spirits
Author: George
Difficulty: Easy

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1

Ingredients

  • 3 ounce white rum
  • 1.5 ounce brandy
  • 3 slices red delicious apples
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1.5 ounce Cherry Coke
  • Angostura Bitters

Directions

  1. Take a cocktail mixer and drop in the sugar and 2 slices of Red Delicious apples, save 1 slice for garnish.

  2. Add a few dashes of your bitters and muddle for a few moments.

  3. Drop in some ice and pour in the liquor components and shake for a couple seconds.

  4. Strain into a glass with ice, add a splash Cherry Coke. Garnish with the remaining apple slice.

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Raspberry Lemon Bars | Garlic, My Soul

Lemon bars continue to impress me. They are so easy to put together, and every time I make them I’m just wowed by the ease of making them and yet how good they are. They make me never, ever want to make a cookie again because cookies are so damn annoying – you have to scoop them all out and pray they don’t hit each other..not worth the trouble, if you ask me. But we’re not here to talk about cookies, we’re here to talk about these Raspberry Lemon Bars.

Raspberry Lemon Bars | Garlic, My Soul

If you’re ever hosting a dinner party and you want an easy dessert you can put together ahead of time, this is your dessert. Going to a dinner party and you’ve been tasked with making something? Again, these are your game, baby. The best part is that it’s easy to add in a second fruit and the flavor just gets better. Seriously. The first time I made lemon bars, I made them half lemon and half blood orange, and I didn’t think I could top that. I was wrong, you guys. These raspberry lemon bars are perfect.

You should make these this weekend or the first chance you get. We served ours with ice cream to cut the tartness of the lemon and it was the perfect combo. These are light enough to be served with a heavier meal (like we did) but substantial enough that you don’t feel like you’re being duped (hello, I know that fruit salad dessert is just fruit in a bowl. You’re not fooling anyone.)

I can’t wait to try these with blueberries and blackberries. I am basically treating lemon bars like cobbler – the options are endless!

Happy baking, kiddos.

Type: Baking, Dessert, Treats
Author: Jennie
Oven Temperature: 350°
Difficulty: Intermediate

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Time: 1 hour
Servings: 9

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • vanilla ice cream, for serving

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 8×8-inch baking pan, line with parchment paper (so that it over hangs slightly from the pan) and grease the parchment paper. Set aside.

  2. To make the crust, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add flour and salt. Beat on low speed until dough is incorporated. Dough may come together, but if it remains shaggy, that’s fine too.

  3. Dump the crust into the prepared pan and use your fingertips to press the dough into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until just browned around the edges.

  4. You can make the filling while the crust is baking! In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until well combined and slightly thick. Add the flour, lemon juice, and zest and whisk until blended. Then, add your raspberries and mix once or twice, breaking some but not all the raspberries.

  5. Pour the filling over the still warm baked crust. Return to the oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned on top and no longer jiggling in the center.

  6. Allow to cool completely in the pan. Run a knife around the edges of the pan. Slice lemon bars into nine squares. Use the over hanging parchment paper to lift the squares out. To store the lemon bars, place them in an airtight container separated by wax paper layers.

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Duck Stew Stuffed Peppers | Garlic, My Soul

Hey y’all! For this edition of Six Chairs at the Table, we wanted to try some meats that we don’t normally cook with. Although we originally wanted to use rabbit, we had trouble locating rabbit meat, so we ended up with duck for our main course, and tried our hand at lamb.

Here’s what was on the menu:

Chard Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette
Lamb Meatballs with Polenta and Spicy Sweet Sauce
Duck Stew Stuffed Bell Peppers
Raspberry Lemon Bars

Chard & Blueberry Salad | Garlic, My Soul

First up was our salad. We slightly wilted the chard, then served with fresh strawberries, blueberries, walnuts, and some strawberry dressing (recipe to come, this was definitely a keeper!)

Lamb Meatballs with Sweet Sauce | Garlic, My Soul

Next up, we made lamb meatballs, and served them over perfect soft polenta (loaded with butter and cheese of course) in some homemade barbecue sauce that was spicy, sweet, and topped the whole thing with some gruyere.

Duck Stew Stuffed Peppers | Garlic, My Soul

Our main course was duck breast pan seared them slow cooked with red wine, cauliflower, sweet potato, and asparagus, with a sprig of rosemary for good measure. We made jasmine rice to go with this and layered that in the roasted bell pepper before adding in the stew. This could have used some more salt, and perhaps a little chicken broth (or more duck fat!) and we’ll be experimenting with this one, but it was a great start.

Duck Stew Stuffed Peppers | Garlic, My Soul Lemon Raspberry Bars | Garlic, My Soul

Finally, we made raspberry lemon bars and topped them with vanilla bean ice cream. These were the winner of the night. We had originally planned on just making lemon bars but we had extra raspberries from the farmers market, so we just went for it.

The raspberries added the perfect layering of sweet over the tart lemon, and with the ice cream these were definitely a crowd favorite. And, let’s be real – lemon bars are so easy to make it’s stupid not to make them all the time and make them look REAL fancy. Lemon Bar recipe here, but don’t worry, I’ll be writing this one up, too.

Sweet Midnight | Garlic, My Soul

Of course, George made a delicious brandy and rum cocktail to start the night off right, and he’ll be writing up the recipe to that next week so you can make them, too.

Happy weekend, you guys! I hope you have delicious plans.


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Cheesy Breadsticks | Garlic, My SoulYou guys, we’ve been making some new pizza dough. This is the recipe we’ve been using. As Jeff says, this is a game-changer. I believe his sentence was, “People, there has been a tectonic shift in the dough.” Everyone laughed, and then had a breadstick, and then agreed that yes, this dough is in fact much better.

But, besides using new dough, which is amazingly good, Jeff has ALSO started making breadsticks. These are simple, easy to put together, and everyone’s new favorite. We used fresh garlic, and butter, and Parmesan, and mozzarella cheese.

Cheesy Breadsticks | Garlic, My Soul

Now, one of the most important things to remember here, and I’ll tell everyone again, and again, is to keep the oven on as HOT as possible. Our oven goes up to 550. Just crank it up. Let your oven heat up for a WHILE. Give it 30 minutes, an hour. It makes a difference. It’ll make it the perfect environment for perfect breadsticks.

Cheesy Breadsticks | Garlic, My Soul

Now, you can use any cheese you want. I would suggest Parmesan cheese, and some mozzarella, but you could use four cheese, or asiago, some Romano…go crazy! Just don’t forget that you need a ton of garlic, and a ton of butter, and a hot oven.

We have Jeff to thank for this one – he really wanted to recreate Papa Gino’s breadsticks, and now we have a new fave dish at pizza nights. Or, if you’re like us, once a week for dinner because your husband is the best/worst/really the best, these breadsticks are TOO good.

Type: Baking, Breads, Snacks
Author: Jennie
Oven Temperature: 550°
Difficulty: Intermediate

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Time: 24 hours
Servings: 8-10

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe pizza dough
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, diced
  • 4-6 tablespoon butter

Directions

  1. Turn up oven as high as possible - our oven goes to 550.

  2. Make the pizza dough recipe from Serious Eats. (http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/07/basic-new-york-style-pizza-dough.html)

  3. Melt butter over the stove. Chop your garlic, and grate your cheese.

  4. Roll out your dough, the butter, sprinkle with garlic, and sprinkle evenly with half the cheese. Repeat with other dough.

  5. Place pizza in oven about 10 minutes, or until bubbling and hot.

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Pecan Cranberry Granola | Garlic, My Soul

Granola is my fave breakfast for weekdays. On weekends, I make eggs and avocado toast and pancakes, even, but when I’m on-the-go (read: eating breakfast at my desk) I really love yogurt and a hearty granola. Problem is, most pre-made granola is either BORING-city or has too much sugar or is CHOCKED full of almonds. And not the bee-friendly ones, either. So I decided to take matters into my own hands last weekend and make my own.

Pecan Cranberry Granola | Garlic, My Soul Pecan Cranberry Granola | Garlic, My Soul

For this recipe, and really for all granola recipes, I try to do this: base of oats, one dried fruit, one nut, one seed, a couple spices, and something to sweeten the deal. In this case, I used cranberries, pecans, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and coated the whole thing with maple syrup and coconut oil. You could really choose whatever you feel like, however. Play around with what you like – try raisins, or apricots, or crystallized ginger, use walnuts, or cashews, or peanuts…you get the idea.

And, let it be noted: if you make granola, it’s in the oven for a bit of time, and it smells AWESOME, so make.it.count – it’s like a two-for and you get a house scent out of it, no Yankee Candle needed!

Pecan Cranberry Granola | Garlic, My Soul Pecan Cranberry Granola | Garlic, My Soul

The full recipe is here, and can be the basis for whatever you feel like this week, or whatever quarter-bags of nuts and seeds you have in your cabinet, which is what I usually use, let’s be real.

What do you guys look for in a granola? Do you like more fruit, or more nut? Do you even like oats, or do you leave ’em out and go for a more trek mix situation? Let me know what you’d like to see – I love hearing from y’all.


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