COOKING

Crisp Cooking Giveaway!

I first became acquainted with Crisp Cooking at the International Food Blogger Conference last year, and now I have had almost every season to use their cute, clever line of kitchen tools. I’ve used the herb mincer for making cocktails and sauces, 4-1 zester for my lemons, limes and hard cheeses, Bird’s Beak Paring Knife (with included sharpener) for … paring, tongs with removable handles for salads, and berry baskets for darn near everything.

What I appreciate about Crisp Cooking’s line of products, beyond the adorable branding, is that each tool has been so well thought out. There are always multiple uses, extra gizmos, plus removable parts for easy cleaning. Here’s what I’ve been playing with:

CrispCookingBerryBasket

3-PK Berry Baskets

CrispCookingTongs

Salad Tongs

CrispCookingZester

4-in-1 Zester

CrispCookingParing

Bird’s Beak Paring Knife

CrispCookingHerbMincer

Herb Mincer

And here are a handful of the recipes I’ve completed with Crisp Cooking tools:

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The Canlis Salad (tongs, mincer)

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Vodka Mint Lemonade (mincer)

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Mincing for the above cocktail

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Asian Noodle Salad (tongs, mincer, paring knife)

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Storing my Rainier Cherries (berry baskets)

I am delighted to be able to give away one set of the 3-pk Berry Baskets (value $13.99) and the 4-in-1 Zester ($12.99) to one lucky reader. Simply leave a comment between now and next Monday, July 20 below, on our Facebook page or Instagram saying how your quality of life would improve with the Berry Baskets and Zester. Creativity welcomed and appreciated! 🙂

-t&T

T&T

Items for giveaway were provided bylogoThoughts and opinions my own.

Giveaway

A Gluten Free Blueberry Morning

At the International Food Bloggers Conference last year, I attended a session in which Hostess with the Mostess showed us bloggers some themed recipe ideas (with corresponding tablescapes!) using some of Krusteaz‘ newest baking mixes.

Obviously the tablescapes were my favorite part…of the entire conference. So thrilling, in fact, that I decided to model the tables for our annual Tijuana mission trip auction after the Hostess’ fiesta-themed tablescape. More on that later!

Anyway, one of Krusteaz’ newest offerings is a line of gluten free mixes, and after the conference, they sent me some mixes to try.

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Nice touch with the branded spatula.

I’d recently tasted the brunch donut holes at Capitol Cider (a gluten free restaurant), and was just starting to believe that gluten free baking ≠ equal dry, thin tasting and dense. But mixes by nature are iffy.

HOWEVER. I made up a batch of the Gluten Free Blueberry Muffin Mix and … I’m pretty excited about them. It took five minutes, for one.

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Et Voila!

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Second, there’s definitely not a lack of flavor. The texture and richness reminded me of a cake pop. I could only eat one muffin per sitting (as you can see from my photo, I originally intended to eat two). That’s not a bad thing – all of the fancy-pants cupcakes around are a similar intensity. I think these muffins would be great for a group brunch or bridal shower, and I’d imagine most people wouldn’t even know that the muffins were gluten free. Plus, there are all sorts of other recipes you can make with this mix on the Krusteaz website, such as tropical blueberry cake.

My parents, for instance, are now gluten-free and were delighted to experiment with some of my extra mixes. I tried using the pancake mix for waffles… and, well, I’m bad at making waffles so I didn’t think the mix could be blamed for my own personal issues. I also tried the Double Chocolate Brownie Mix and the end result was a strong “good” when accompanied by my normal brownie accessories of vanilla ice cream and raspberries. Alone, I could tell the brownies were gluten free (that aftertaste thing?) but the texture and chocolateyness were on point.

Torie and Tristan Blueberry Muffin Mix

What are your favorite gluten free foods? I am going gluten-free for the next few months because whenever I do, I feel better. And get skinnier. What? It’s summer.

Would love your ideas!

-t&T

T&T

Honey Glazed Salmon with Browned Butter Lime Sauce

AKA, Knock-Your-Socks-Off Salmon. Seriously, this is the best dish I’ve ever made.

Tristan doesn’t even like salmon, but we’d had some in the freezer for ages, and it was time to clean house. When I found this recipe on Cooking Classy and saw that browned butter, honey AND lime were involved,  if ever a recipe would win him over, this was it.

I’d never made salmon before, and there were definitely some “uh oh” panic moments, in which I may have screamed “GOOGLE HOW TO CUT A FROZEN FILET!” This made it all the more gratifying when Tristan pronounced it Delicious. And I agreed!

Without further adieu:

Honey Glazed Salmon with Browned Butter Lime Sauce

4 servings

You will need:

  • 4 (6 oz) salmon fillets, rested at room temperature for 20 min. (Mine were still frozen, despite attempts to thaw them 24 hours in advance. Note the picture of the carefully saran-wrapped filets in a glass bowl, as instructed)
  • 8 tsp flour
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • zest of 1 – 2 limes
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 recipe Browned Butter Lime Sauce (recipe below)
Browned Butter Lime Sauce
  • 6 Tbsp salted butter, diced
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Honey Glazed Salmon 4 - Torie and Tristan

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Directions

  • Note: Prepare two salmon fillets at a time or use two skillets, because you don’t want to overcrowd the salmon when cooking it on the stovetop or it won’t cook evenly.
  • Place salmon fillets on a cutting board or plate and sprinkle 1 tsp flour over each side of the salmon fillets and spread flour to evenly coat.
  • Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil into a 10 inch non-stick skillet, swirl pan to evenly coat bottom. Once oil is hot, carefully place salmon in pan and drizzle honey on one side (less than 1 tsp); cook over medium heat, 3-5 minutes. Flip over and drizzle honey on the other side and cook an additional 3-5 minutes. Salmon should be cooked through with bottom nicely browned.
  • Plate salmon immediately, drizzle each fillet with 1 1/2 – 2 Tbsp Browned Butter Lime Sauce and sprinkle with lime zest. Serve warm.

Honey Glazed Salmon 3 - Torie and Tristan Honey Glazed Salmon 5 - Torie and Tristan

Browned Butter Lime Sauce
  • Place butter in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, swirling pan occasionally, until butter has a nutty fragrance and has turned an amber shade.
  • Remove from heat and add browned butter along with lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper to a blender. Blend on low speed for 30 seconds to 1 minute until well blended. Pour sauce into a small glass dish until ready to serve; might need a whisk before pouring onto salmon.

Honey Glazed Salmon - Torie and Tristan

And here’s the final product. Buttery, sweet, tangy. Lightly crisped on the outside yet melts in your mouth.

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If you try this recipe, do let me know what you thought! I need to know if it is not, in fact, that best thing you’ve ever tasted.

-t&T

T&T

Best BBQ Burger Recipe Of All Time

As promised, today I’m sharing the BEST BBQ BURGER RECIPE OF ALL TIME … unless you hate strawberries, in which case this one isn’t for you. Once Tristan and I made the components to this recipe for our Star Spangled Third party, we  milked the leftovers for a good two weeks. And now you can, too!

Best BBQ Burger Recipe

This recipe first sparked my interest when I met its creator, Jaeger Stoltz, while out with mutual friends in Seattle last year. Call me easily impressed, but anyone that can win $100,000 in a national recipe contest knows something about something. I think the recipe required everything to be done on the grill, so I’ve added some notes where we took some life-changing shortcuts, especially as we were making a double recipe. On that note:

Strawberry BBQ Bacon Burger

Strawberry BBQ Sauce

  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon dark molasses
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Patties

  • 2 1/4 pounds ground chuck (20% fat) < T&T used Waygu on sale; ground beef probably would’ve been fine
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
  • 12 strips thick-cut smoked bacon

Strawberry Salad

  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 cups mixed salad greens < T&T purchased one large tub and it was plenty of greens for double the recipe, so don’t overthink 4 cups
  • 1/2 cup chopped or torn fresh basil leaves
  • Remaining sliced strawberries from making sauce
  • 4 ounces gorgonzola or or other blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Vegetable oil, for rubbing on the grill rack
  • 6 thick slices Gruyere cheese
  • 6 brioche hamburger buns, split

Directions

To make the sauce, place 2/3 of the strawberries in a blender; reserve the remaining berries for the salad. Add the tomato paste, mustard, vinegar, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to the blender and pulse until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour the mixture into a fire-proof saucepan and place on a gas grill over medium-high heat (T&T did this stovetop). Add the molasses and brown sugar and bring to a slow boil, stirring often, then remove from the heat, cover with foil, and keep warm.

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To make the patties, combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix together well while handling the meat as little as possible; this prevents it from becoming too dense. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form into patties leaving a slight indention in the center of patties; this allows the final product to be more equal in thickness when finished. Set aside until grilling.

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My favorite patty master in action!

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Slider and full size patties!

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Cook the bacon in a fire-proof skillet on the grill over medium-high heat until browned (T&T did this stovetop). Drain on paper towels to remove excess grease. Set aside.

To begin preparing the salad, combine the onion, vinegar, salt, and sugar in a small bowl and set aside at room temperature to quick-pickle the onions. Combine the greens, basil, and remaining strawberries in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until assembling the burgers. Keep the crumbled cheese chilled until assembly.

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Our unstirred salad, almost ready to be loaded onto burgers!

Heat the grill to medium-high. When the grill is ready, with a paper or cloth towel, rub the grill rack with vegetable oil to prevent sticking.  Place the patties on the rack and cook until done to preference, 3 to 5 minutes. The top of the patty should look like it has cooked a little. Flip once and cook another 3 to 5 minutes. Do not push down on the patty because this will release the juices. Top each patty with the BBQ sauce then a slice of the Gruyere cheese, cover the grill, and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove the patties from the grill and place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers, top each bun bottom with a patty and two strips of the bacon. Lightly drain the pickled onions, add to the mixed greens along with the crumbled cheese, and toss to combine. Drizzle the salad with the olive oil, sprinkle with the salt, and toss again lightly. Pile a handful of the salad on the top of each bacon-topped patty; if a few bits fall off, there is no problem—these are little treasures for later. Spread a little more BBQ sauce on the toasted sides of the bun tops and place on top of the salad.

Makes 6 burgers.

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Look all those luscious layers!

Once we ran out of buns, Tristan and I ate the patties with cheese, sauce, bacon and the salad for the next few days:

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Here you can see Jaeger showing off his recipe on The Today Show. We can take zero credit for the recipe development, yet all of our friends were thoroughly impressed, so if felt as if we actually created pure joy. We had some extra copies of the recipe printed out (so that we could spill on a few and it’d be okay), which all got taken home by guests, food smudges and all!

Let us know if you make the recipe and what you think!

-t&T

T&T

 

 

A Star-Spangled Third

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Tristan and I had a few friends over on July 3. It was 4th of July-themed, but on a less chaotic night (i.e. less parties to compete with). None of my friends had to work on the 4th, so it was a great night to relax and enjoy some BBQ and bevvies! I talked about my Orondo Ruby Sangria recipe here, and I still have to share the super special strawberry BBQ recipe we made. This post is focused on the party itself, and of course, the decor (is there a difference?).

4th of July Eve Party

I’d done some Pinterest perusing, and gathered some 4th of July decor inspiration, then promptly ran out of time to do anything I’d planned. BUT, our friend the Star also appears during Christmas and New Year’s Eve, allowing for easy re-purposing of existing decor when in a bind.

In this picture, we see how I painted some letters and glued them onto some ribbon I already had, and draped them across a glittery star I’ve had on my front door SINCE CHRISTMAS. I would not kid about this.

Torie and Tristan July 3 party

I also was able to re-use the festive stars I had hanging during our New Year’s Eve soiree. And I really wanted to do this centerpiece, but went to three different places looking for blue bottles (no luck), and my amazing husband brought me home flowers that weren’t red (but stunning nonetheless, and still alive, almost two weeks later!). I took these as clear signs that my centerpiece wasn’t meant to be. Here’s what I came up with instead:

Torie and Tristan July 3 party

Lantern, cookies, Orondo Ruby cherries, pit bowls and firecrackers (again, left over from New Year’s Eve!).

Here’s the BBQ station (AKA Tristan’s Turf) before it was overrun with amazing food and condiments.

Torie and Tristan 4th of July cocktail party

Yay for market lights!

Torie and Tristan 4th of July cocktail party

We inherited this flag from some family members (don’t worry – it wasn’t folded into a triangle in wooden case or anything), and it was such a fun, vintage touch!

Torie and Tristan 4th of July cocktail party

Let’s zoom in on those snacks!

Yummy treats

Our little apartment reached capacity at 13 people, inside and out. Here are some brave souls who were willing to appear on our blog.

July 3 party pic 2 July 3 party pic 1

Up next, the recipe for THE best burger I’ve ever had. Tristan and I have been eating the leftovers for two weeks and could continue through winter. It’s THAT good.

-t&T

T&T

 

 

Torie & Tristan, Out & About

It’s been a busy last few weeks. Here’s a mini photo journal.

A friend invited us over for Moscow mules at her “carriage house.” I didn’t know what a carriage house was, either. But now, I’m obsessed – it’s basically a mini party house that lives in the backyard:

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Upon quick research, they appear to be universally charming. And this particular carriage house is shabby chic fabulous. The lights on the wall spell out BE NICE. And look at these Moscow Mules all lined up, begging me to take a picture (and drink one):

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Now that Tristan is advocating for local, organic food, I initiated him into the granola world that is the Ballard Farmer’s Market. If you’ve seen my recipes lately, you’ll know I’m already a fan.

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We made the mistake of going at lunchtime and so naturally, everything looked and smelled delicious. We made a pit stop at the Market Minis stand for some powdered sugar and cinnamon sugar fresh mini donuts.

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Then we opted for fresh tamales and veggies:

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And look at this!

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Later, using some of our veggie purchases, I created one of my first-ever “I think these ingredients should all taste good together” recipes: roasted red pepper, sauteed mushrooms, chicken, chestnut fettuccine, cucumber, basil, garlic…

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And, yay!

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Another night, when Tristan was in charge of dinner, he continued to confirm that he is a WAY better photographer than I am. I received this picture message on my phone:

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He just has an eye for photography which I try to fake. And I even have a better camera phone. Oh well, that’s why we’re a team! And the dinner was yummy, too :).

We also tried out two raw “healthy” cookie dough ball recipes – chocolate chip and peanut butter butterscotch. LOVED them both, and they lasted us all week and completely satisfied our sweet tooth (teeth?) while being a great protein boost.

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This weekend, we are having my aunt and uncle over for fondue (our fave) and I will be able to finally debut my Easter tablescape and new gold flatware. Pictures to come next week!

 

-t&T

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Farmer’s Market Sides: Butternut Squash Mac n’ Cheese with Caramelized Onions, Bacon, and Apple

I am OBSESSED with today’s recipe. During the cold winter months, sometimes there’s nothing quite as comforting as mac & cheese… and this recipe is only 294 calories a serving! I’m so thankful that A Pinch of Yum came up with it.

Butternut Squash Mac n’ Cheese with Bacon, Caramelized Onions, and Apples

Serves: 4 (confirmed!)
Ingredients
  • ½ box whole grain elbow macaroni (about 2.5 cups dry)
  • 1 cup canned butternut squash puree (I admit – my butternut squash for this recipe did not come from the Farmer’s Market; it was an organic can from Whole Foods; however I’d recommend puree-ing a whole squash in a food processor, as it was quite difficult to find a canned version)
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons evaporated milk
  • ¼ cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 oz low fat cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 large crispy apple, chopped or grated
  • 4 tablespoons crumbled bacon

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese (2)

Instructions
  1. Heat butter in a skillet over low heat. When melted, add onions and let caramelize for at least 30 minutes for the best flavor. Keep heat on low/low-medium.
  2. Cook the pasta according to directions. Drain and return to pan over low heat. Add butternut squash, chicken broth, evaporated milk, and cream cheese. When combined, add in salt.
  3. Add onions and apples to the pasta. Stir to combine and add a tablespoon more broth or milk if needed.
  4. Just before serving, mix in cheese and stir until melted. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon bacon.
Notes from Author

Because there’s very little butter, it can “dry out” quickly, especially once off the heat. Add a tablespoon of water, milk, or broth if you need to get it back to its original creaminess.

MMmmmMMMmmmm… smelling good!!Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese (4)

And here it is, about to go in our bellies.

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Definitely fulfilled my winter craving for comfort food, and it was fantastic as lunch leftovers as well.

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This concludes our Farmer’s Market Sides series. In case you missed it, we’ve shared recipes for:

What are you looking forward to trying? Do you have any must-try recipes using seasonal produce? It’s almost spring, which will bring new veggies to the market. As I’ve typed this post, Tristan has watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and Food, Inc. on Netflix. I have a feeling we’ll be eating more locally grown, seasonal fruits and vegetables in the future :).

-t&T

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Farmer’s Market Sides: Roasted Carrots with Toasted Almonds and Lemon

So, everything is roasted. As I’m writing these posts, I’m thinking, “gosh, do they all sound the same?” Well, they don’t taste the same, at all. Tomorrow’s recipe isn’t roasted, however today we are roasting again.

This recipe was adapted from one on America’s Test Kitchen: Roasted Carrots and Fennel with Toasted Almonds and Lemon. Given that I don’t like fennel and Tristan could care less, I’ve removed the fennel and added a dash of cinnamon:

Roasted Carrots with Toasted Almonds and Lemon

via Urban Greens; yet again, the recipe says this serves 4-6 but I found it yielded 2 modest servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Carrots, peeled, halved crosswise, and cut lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup toasted sliced almonds
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice from 1 lemon
  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Table salt and ground black pepper
  • Dash of cinnamon

Directions

  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or aluminum foil.
  • In a large bowl, combine the carrots with the butter, dash of cinnamon, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper; toss to coat.  Transfer the carrot to the prepared baking sheet and spread into a single layer.
  • Cover the baking sheet tightly with foil and roast for 15 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue to roast, stirring twice, until well-browned and tender, 30 to 35 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and place in a large bowl. Toss the roasted carrots with the almonds, lemon juice, and chopped fresh parsley leaves. Transfer to a serving platter, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Roasted Carrots on Torie and Tristan (5)

Roasted Carrots on Torie and Tristan (13)…et bon appetit!

Roasted Carrots on Torie and Tristan (1)

Roasted Carrots on Torie and Tristan (17)We paired the carrots with garlic lemon chicken, which was a hit.

Up next: LOW CAL Mac & Cheese! I know – tell you more, right?!

-t&T

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Farmer’s Market Sides: Roasted Butternut Squash with Spinach, Toasted Almonds and Spice

On to day two of sharing recent side dishes I’ve created using vegetables from our local Farmer’s Market. Yesterday, I talked about Honey Balsamic Roasted Carrots. Today, we’re using butternut squash in a recipe from Women’s Day. This was actually my first squash experience – I’d always been strangely intimidated by cutting and roasting such an odd-shaped veggie.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Spinach, Toasted Almonds and Spice

Ingredients

  • 1 medium (about 1 1/2 pounds) butternut squash, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon(s) olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/4 cup(s) sliced almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch(s) cayenne pepper
  • 4 cup(s) baby spinach

If you’re like me, you had to Google “how to cut a butternut squash.” This is a good description.

How to Cut Butternut Squash

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the butternut squash with 2 tablespoons oil and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, toss the almonds with the remaining teaspoon oil, then the cinnamon and cayenne. Scatter the almonds over the squash and continue roasting until the almonds are golden brown and the squash is tender, about 5 minutes more.
  3. Scatter the spinach over the squash and almonds and let sit for 1 minute, then gently fold together.

Roasted Butternut Squash - T&T

Here’s our final dinner, paired with ribs:

Roasted Butternut Squash - T&T

LOVED this side dish. If I recall, Tristan thought it was good but wasn’t quite as obsessed. I was able to take leftovers to work the next day and just pull out a few wilty spinach pieces.  I will definitely make this recipe again. And, now I know how to handle butternut squash! #wifewin

Up next: I use the leftover toasted almonds in Roasted Carrots with Toasted Almonds and Lemon.

-t&T

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