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Super Bowl Brownies

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Are you ready for some football?! Make your Super Bowl Weekend extra sweet with these fun & easy football brownies! Our resident baker, Dear Liza’s, walks us through the simple steps:

Ingredients (Makes 12):

1 Box Brownie Mix
Eggs
Vegetable Oil
Water
Football cookie cutter
1 vanilla frosting (store bought or see recipe for homemade)

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Instructions:

To make these quick and delicious football brownies start by coating a 9×13 glass or metal pan with a non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Follow directions on the box to make the brownies (brands may vary) or here is a recipe I like to use for homemade. Once your ingredients are mixed together, add some chocolate chips to make them extra chocolatey!

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Once brownies are cooked and completely cooled, use your football cookie cutter to cut out your individual footballs. Set aside on a piece of wax paper while you prepare your frosting.

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To decorate your footballs, take a sandwich size zip loc bag (or a piping bag) and fill with vanilla frosting. Try to keep the frosting towards one corner of the bag. Close the bag and twist the top, pushing the frosting down towards the corner. Cut a small tip off the end of the bag. (If you’re using a piping bag I recommend a #8 or #9 tip.)

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Start by creating a half circle on each side of the football. Then pipe a straight line across the middle. I chose to do 4 vertical lines but you can do however many you would like. Plate and serve!

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For order info & more homemade desserts, follow @dearlizas on Instagram.

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Simple Salad

Fall-Salad

We love this easy salad & dressing recipe from our Graphic Design Manager, Kristen – it’s perfect for the season!

Ingredients:
8 oz. spring mix salad greens or baby spinach
1 bosc pear or fuji apple
1 pomegranate
5 oz gorgonzola or blue cheese, crumbled
1 cup pecan or walnut halves
1/4 to 1/2 cup maple vinaigrette, recipe follows

*Note – certain combos work better together…I like to use spinach with walnuts, apples, and blue cheese, and spring mix with pecans, pears, and gorgonzola.

Directions:
Toast the nuts in a dry pan, shaking constantly until they’re just fragrant and lightly browned.
Cut the apple or pear into quarters, remove the stem and the seeds, and slice very thinly.  Sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browning.
Cut the pomegranate in half, and submerge it in a bowl of water while you remove the arils/seeds. (The white pith will float to the top and the seeds will sink to the bottom, and the staining juice is confined to the water)
Toss the greens and the apple/pear slices with the dressing and season with salt and pepper.  Scatter the pomegranate seeds, nuts, and cheese on top.
Serves 4 as a starter, 2 as a dinner salad.

Maple Vinaigrette Dressing:
1 large shallot, minced (1 heaping tablespoon)
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. maple syrup
3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
1 tbsp. walnut oil (optional)

Add the first 4 ingredients to a small mason jar and shake to combine, then add the oils and shake until emulsified.

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More Trick or TREATS!

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We promised you more Halloween treats, and we’re so excited to share these adorable cupcakes by Dear Liza’s! Having a Halloween party? Thankfully she put together some easy-to-follow instructions for us all to try:

I know making cupcakes from scratch can be a little time consuming, so for these fun Halloween cupcakes I would suggest a box mix. My favorite is Betty Crocker “Yellow Cake Mix” (not the one using butter).

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If you are feeling ambitious I highly recommend this recipe from Martha Stewart. I always add 1-2 cups of mini chocolate chips to my cupcakes. Any of these can be done in mini size as well. Store covered in the refrigerator to keep fresh.

I like to make my own vanilla buttercream frosting, but if you’d like you can use store-bought frosting. For homemade buttercream frosting recipe and instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post.

Mummy Cupcakes

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Ingredients: 

Cupcake liners
Candy eyes
Petal piping tip (Wilton #103/104) – you can find this tip at most grocery or crafting stores
Piping bag (can also use a Ziploc bag – drop tip into bottom corner and cut a small piece off the end of the bag)

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Using a butter knife or angled spatula, frost cupcakes with a thin layer of white buttercream frosting.

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Drop the piping tip into piping bag and cut a small piece off the bottom, just enough for the narrow part of the tip to come out. Fill bag with frosting.

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Place 2 candy eyes in the middle (frosting will act as glue). Using the piping bag, start on one side and lightly squeeze to create a strip across the cupcake.

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Crisscross and overlap strips until entire cupcake is covered. Plate and serve!

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Owl Cupcakes

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Ingredients: 

Cupcake liners
Giant candy eyes
Candy corns
Vanilla frosting Chocolate frosting
Piping bags (can also use a Ziploc bag by cutting small piece off the bottom corner) Instructions

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Start by preparing the candy corns to use for the beak and feet. Cut the yellow base off of the candy corn to create the beak. Split the remaining yellow piece in half to create 2 feet. Set aside in a small bowl for later.

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Cut the tops of the cupcakes off so you have a flat surface.

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Using a butter knife or angled spatula cover ¾ of the cupcake with chocolate frosting, leaving a ¼ pie shape unfrosted. Fill a piping bag with chocolate frosting and cut a small piece off the bottom. Create 2 small ears on each side by squeezing and pulling straight up. Fill a separate piping bag with vanilla frosting and cut a small piece off the bottom. Fill in the unfrosted area by lightly squeezing and pulling up to create white dots until fully covered.

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Place 2 giant eyes on the chocolate section. Using the candy corns, place the beak and 2 feet on. Plate and serve!

Homemade Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

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Ingredients: 

1 stick of butter (softened at room temperature)
12 oz./1.5 cups solid vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners sugar (sifted)
1-2 tablespoons milk
Pinch of salt

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Using a large bowl, mix the shortening and butter with an electric mixer until blended together and creamy. Add vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift the confectioners’ sugar. Gradually add the sugar into the mixture, on medium (be careful not to add too much sugar at a time or else it will overflow and fly everywhere). Occasionally stop to scrape the sides of the bowl. Mix until all the sugar is incorporated. Add a pinch of salt to give it just a hint of saltiness (if you desire). Add 1 tablespoon of milk. If the mixture is too dry, add more milk. If it is too runny, add more confectioners’ sugar. Keep bowl covered and chilled until ready to use. Frosting can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

For order info & more homemade desserts, follow @dearlizas on Instagram.

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Trick or TREATS!

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This Halloween we wanted to cook up some super fun and adorable treats! We asked New York based, homemade dessert extraordinaire Dear Liza’s, to share some of her favorite, easy-to-make, Halloween desserts!

Candy Corn Rice Krispie Treats

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For the Yellow
4 ½ cups rice krispies cereal
5 cups mini marshmallows
3 tablespoons butter Yellow food coloring

For the Orange
3 cups rice krispies cereal
4 cups mini marshmallows
2 tablespoons butter Orange food coloring (or red + yellow)

For the White
2 cups rice krispies cereal
2 ½ cups mini marshmallows
1 ½ tablespoons butter

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Lightly coat two 9” round cake pans and a rubber spatula with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Starting with the yellow layer, measure out cereal into a mixing bowl. Using a large saucepan melt the butter on low. Once butter is melted, add the marshmallows. Stir until completely melted and runny. Add the color one drop at a time until you reach desired color. Add the marshmallow mixture to the cereal and stir until fully incorporated.

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Using your hands, take half of the mixture and create a “ring” around the inside edge of the cake pan (about 1 ½ in. wide). If the mixture is sticking to your hands, lightly coat fingertips with butter. Work quickly because the mixture becomes harder to mold as it cools. Repeat the same in the other cake pan.

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Wash bowls and spatulas and repeat the above process for the orange and white sections. Once all three layers are pressed into pans, allow to set and cool for 1 hour. You can also place them covered in the refrigerator to cut time in half.

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When ready to cut, flip over cake pans onto a cutting board and remove the round treat. Cut the large round in half, then quarters and each quarter in half. Plate and serve!

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Fun tip: if you have left overs from the orange layer take a small handful and roll into a ball forming a pumpkin shape. Using a Kit Kat bar cut a small piece and stick into the top for a stem.

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For order info & more homemade desserts, follow @dearlizas on Instagram.

Stay tuned for new Halloween treats next week!

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Trick or TREATS!

I know making cupcakes from scratch can be a little time consuming so for these fun Halloween cupcakes I would suggest a box mix. My favorite is Betty Crocker “Yellow Cake Mix” (not the one using butter).

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If you are feeling ambitious I highly recommend this recipe from Martha Stewart. I always add 1-2 cups of mini chocolate chips to my cupcakes Any of these can be done in mini size as well. Store covered in the refrigerator to keep fresh.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

 

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Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

1 stick of butter (softened at room temperature)
12 oz./1.5 cups solid vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners sugar (sifted)
1-2 tablespoons milk
Pinch of salt

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Using a large bowl, mix the shortening and butter with an electric mixer until blended together and creamy. Add vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift the confectioners’ sugar. Gradually add the sugar into the mixture, on medium (be careful not to add too much sugar at a time or else it will overflow and fly everywhere). Occasionally stop to scrape the sides of the bowl. Mix until all the sugar is incorporated. Add a pinch of salt to give it just a hint of saltiness (if you desire). Add 1 tablespoon of milk. If the mixture is too dry, add more milk. If it is too runny, add more confectioners’ sugar. Keep bowl covered and chilled until ready to use. Frosting can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

 

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Homemade Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

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Ingredients: 

1 stick of butter (softened at room temperature)
12 oz./1.5 cups solid vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners sugar (sifted)
1-2 tablespoons milk
Pinch of salt

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Using a large bowl, mix the shortening and butter with an electric mixer until blended together and creamy. Add vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift the confectioners’ sugar. Gradually add the sugar into the mixture, on medium (be careful not to add too much sugar at a time or else it will overflow and fly everywhere). Occasionally stop to scrape the sides of the bowl. Mix until all the sugar is incorporated. Add a pinch of salt to give it just a hint of saltiness (if you desire). Add 1 tablespoon of milk. If the mixture is too dry, add more milk. If it is too runny, add more confectioners’ sugar. Keep bowl covered and chilled until ready to use. Frosting can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

For order info & more homemade desserts, follow @dearlizas on Instagram.

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Judy’s Autumn Soup

ashley's-autumn-soup-web

The perfect soup with a hearty filling taste and lots of goodness for the soul!

1lb extra lean ground turkey meat
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup any other veggies (green beans, corn, etc)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. basil
salt
pepper
2 cans, 14 oz diced tomatoes
3 cups of water
Brown the turkey meat and drain. Add the chopped onion until tender (about 4-5 minutes). Add tomatoes, water, veggies and spices. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Serve with toasted french bread slices fresh from the bakery.
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cronut craze

cronuts

So we’ve been hearing about these Cronuts for a while now, but like most people we were under the impression that this was a treat only available to east coasters residing in New York City. Luckily, one of our staffers found a local donut shop called DK Donuts in Santa Monica that makes their own version of the Cronut, called O-Nuts. These delicious half melty croissant-half donuts are not to be missed!

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gummy bears galore

gummy bears

We’re pretty obsessed with these gummy bears from our local Sprouts Farmers Market! They’re so vibrant and come in 12 colors & flavors. Delish!

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Meat-Free Monday

stephanie's-stew

Steph’s Spicy Chickpea Stew

1 400g tin  chickpeas, rinsed
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 organic bell peppers, diced ( I used red and yellow this time)
1 medium to large onion, diced
1 Tbsp smoked paprika (I use spanish paprika)
juice of 1 lemon
1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
sea salt

Saute onion in olive oil about 5minutes, add peppers, saute another 5, then put lid on at low -medium heat for about 10 minutes.
Add paprika,chickpeas and tomatoes.cook another 15 minutes with lid on. Add juice of 1 lemon and sea salt to taste.

Great with brown rice and steamed broccoli, enjoy!

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