Posts Tagged food blog

Strawberry Cream Pie

This pie is the best pie ever.

I know that’s a bold statement, but I am telling you the truth. This strawberry cream pie is just the best. It’s simple, seasonal, and it’s absolutely beautiful.

Northwest strawberries are at the peak of their season right now, and so they are remarkably plump, sweet, and juicy. They don’t need any doctoring or sweeteners, they are perfect just as they are. They are especially perfect when piled atop a sweet cream filling and a homemade almond and graham cracker crust.

This pie is essentially a no-bake pie. The only thing that requires baking is the crust, which bakes for a whopping 12 minutes. The pie comes together quickly and painlessly, and the end result is marvelous. I mean it when I say this pie is perfect. I cannot stress that point enough.

strawberry cream pie | rosemarried.com

Strawberry Cream Pie

Serving Size: 8

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, melted
  • 1 package graham crackers (or 1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • The zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, washed and sliced in half

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9″ pie pan.
  2. In a food processor, pulse together the graham crackers and almonds, until they are fine crumbs. Pour the crumb mixture into a bowl, and stir in the melted butter, brown sugar, and nutmeg. Mix until the crumb mixture is moistened. Press the mixture evenly into the pie pan. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  3. Once the crust is cooled, prepare the filling. In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, mascarpone, powdered sugar, sour cream, and vanilla. Beat for 2-3 minutes, until fluffy. Gently stir in the lemon zest.
  4. Gently spread the filling over the graham cracker crust. Place sliced berries atop the cream mixture. (You can artfully arrange them, but I prefer just to heap them on top.) Chill pie for 6-8 hours before serving.

Notes

Adapted from Cookooree.com

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Roast Vegetable ‘Stacked’ Enchiladas

This recipe isn’t anything new or life-changing. It’s isn’t particularly pretty or Pinterest-y. It’s a casserole, for crying out loud. (You could even venture to say this is something akin to a ‘Mexican lasagne’.)

But you know what? All of that aside, these vegetable enchiladas are really stinkin’ delicious. This dish has been a staple in my household for years, but I’ve hesitated writing about it here, because of the aforementioned reasons. But, you know what? To heck with reason. And to heck with pretty and Pinterest-y recipes. Because, sometimes, the best things in life aren’t pretty in the least.

And I’m totally ok with that. So, here it is then: my favorite recipe for ugly-yet-tasty roast vegetable enchiladas. I think you’ll like them. A lot.

roast vegetable enchiladas | rosemarried.com

Roast Vegetable Stacked Enchiladas

Serving Size: Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 15-20 corn tortillas
  • 1 can (28 oz) red enchilada sauce (my personal favorite is El Pato brand enchilada sauce)
  • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 white or yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 large handful kale leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 canned chipotle peppers (in adobo), finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil or a SilPat.
  2. While the oven is preheating, chop and prep the vegetables. Peel the carrots and parsnip, and chop into 1/4 pieces. Remove the stem and seeds from the poblano and bell pepper, and chop into 1/4 inch pieces. In a bowl, toss together the chopped peppers, onion, carrots, and parsnips. Stir in the olive oil, cumin, chopped chipotles, salt, and pepper. Spread the veggie mixture in an even layer on prepared baking sheet. Roast veggies in the oven until tender and starting to brown, 15-20 minutes.
  3. While veggies are roasting, heat a small amount of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook corn and chopped kale, until the kale is wilted and any excess moisture from the corn has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  4. Once the veggies are roasted, it is time to assemble the enchiladas. In a 9×13 baking dish, pour enough enchilada sauce in the bottom of the dish to coat. Place a layer of corn tortillas atop the sauce. Pour a bit more sauce over the tortilla later, using a spoon or spatula to spread evenly over the tortillas. Sprinkle a handful of cheese over the tortillas. Next, sprinkle a mix of roast vegetables (including the kale and corn) over the cheese and tortilla layer. Add a bit more cheese atop the vegetable layer. Continue to layer in this fashion – tortillas, sauce, cheese, vegetables – until the pan is full. Place a layer of tortillas atop everything, and spread sauce generously over the tortillas. Sprinkle one last layer of cheese atop of the pan, for good measure. :)
  5. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees F. Bake enchiladas, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before attempting to eat. (I have burnt my tongue many a time on these enchiladas!)
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Rhubarb Coffee Cake

I feel like I’ve been living under a rock for a few months. Pregnancy doesn’t seem to be terribly conducive to productivity, and it certainly isn’t conducive to food blogging. I just feel so tired all the time. I’ve had zero energy and cooking has lost some of it’s appeal. Honestly, for awhile there, I didn’t want to eat anything except for cereal, grapes, and toast. Such is life during the first trimester.

But, I’m finally starting to feel like my old self again. Real food (meaning: something other than grapes and toast) actually sounds good. I’ve started cooking again. It feels good to be back.

In my opinion, a good piece of coffee cake is one of life’s simple pleasures. Coffee cake isn’t particularly pretty or inventive, but it’s just so good. I’ve made this recipe a number of times, and it never fails. The cake is so moist and flavorful, layered with chunks of tangy rhubarb on the bottom and giant spiced buttery crumbs on top.

If there was anything that was going to lure me back into the kitchen, it was this recipe. It’s just that good.

rhubarb coffee cake | rosemarried.com

RHUBARB COFFEE CAKE
(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

For the cake:
1/2 pound rhubarb, cut into 1/4″ chunks
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/3 cup plain yogurt (or sour cream)
1 large egg, plus one large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter (room temperature), cut into 8 pieces.

For the crumb topping:
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, melted
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 baking pan.

2. In a small bowl, toss chopped rhubarb with 1/4 cup of sugar, corn starch, lemon zest, and 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger. Set aside.

3. To make the crumb topping, whisk together the sugars, spices, salt, and melted butter in a large bowl. Mix until smooth. Next, stir in the flour with a spatula or wooden spoon. (The mixture will resemble a solid dough.) Press the dough firmly in the bottom of the bowl, and set aside.

4. To make the cake filling, stir together the yogurt (or sour cream), egg, egg yolk, and vanilla in a small bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter pieces and a spoonful of yogurt into the mixture, and mix on medium speed until moistened. Increase the speed and beat for 30 seconds. Add the rest of the yogurt in two batches, beating for 30 seconds after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

5. Scrape most of the batter into the prepared pan (reserving about 1/2 a cup). Spoon the rhubarb over the batter. Spoon the remaining batter over the rhubarb. (Don’t worry if it doesn’t evenly cover the rhubarb, it can just be scattered dollops of batter!)

6. Using your fingers, break the topping mixture into big crumbs. Sprinkle the crumbs over the cake. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool before serving.

Roast Chicken Salad with Tarragon and Apricots

This recipe starts with Martha Stewart’s roast chicken. I suppose there are other ways you could go about cooking the chicken, but I adore Martha’s recipe. It is simple and classic and it results in perfectly cooked chicken, every single time. (A quick note about Martha’s chicken recipe. She says to cook the chicken to 180-190 °F. However, the FDA recommends that chicken be cooked to 165 °F. I side with the FDA on this one. If cooked to Martha’s recommendation, I think the chicken would be dry and overdone.)

Recently, I’ve been attempting to roast a chicken at least once a month. First off, roast chicken is so incredibly delicious. In a world full of boneless skinless chicken breasts and chicken nuggets made of pink slime, it is easy to forget that chicken is real food that comes from a real animal. I almost forgot that chicken can taste good. But let me tell you, a properly roasted chicken is one of my favorite things to eat.

In addition, a roast chicken results in multiple meals throughout the week, and a whole bunch of homemade chicken stock. (And homemade chicken stock is the best!) While there are a number of great ways to use up leftover roast chicken, I almost always end up making chicken salad. What can I say? I love a good chicken salad.

I’ve made a lot of chicken salads in my day, and this version is one of my favorites. The crunch of the celery, the sweetness of the apricots, and the vibrance of the fresh spring herbs are just perfect together. It is the perfect springtime meal.

Tarragon and Apricot Chicken Salad | Rosemarried

Tarragon and Apricot Chicken Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked chicken (mix of light & dark meat), roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon hazelnut oil (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 celery sticks, roughly chopped
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • Optional ingredients: chopped hazelnuts or diced green onions.

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the mayo, sour cream, hazelnut oil, vinegar, and herbs.
  2. Mix together chicken, celery, shallot, and chopped apricots in a medium sized bowl. Pour the sour cream mixture over the chicken and stir to combine. Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed.
  3. Cover the chicken salad and store in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. Serve with bread, crackers, or in lettuce cups.
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Moroccan Spiced Carrots with Feta and Mint

You know what? Life is good. Life is really good.

As much as I’d like to complain, I really can’t. My cup runneth over. My freelance career is going splendidly. My husband is the best. I have an incredible network of family and friends to lean on. I have the cutest pets on the planet. Oh, and I live in a city full of talented people (and delicious food).

In addition, I recently started a job as the Marketing Director for the Beaverton Farmer’s Market. The job is a part-time and super flexible, which is a perfect compliment to my freelance schedule. It is a huge and thriving market, brimming with artisans, farmers, bakers, and makers of every sort. I love it!

Even though I’ve only been with the market for a couple of months, I can already feel a difference in my cooking and eating habits. Each week, I come home with an incredible array of baked goods, fruits, veggies, snacks, sauces, and more. I can’t help but be inspired by the things I find at the market.

During my first week at the market, I stopped by the DeNoble Farms booth and purchased a couple of rainbow carrots. I’ve eaten a lot local and organic carrots in my day, but there was something particularly special about these carrots. They are vibrant, flavorful, crisp, and sweet. They are light years beyond any carrot you’ll find in a grocery store.

For the most part, I’ve been eating these carrots raw and unadorned, which is totally delicious. However, you really can’t go wrong with these carrots. A few nights ago a made a big roast chicken dinner, and decided to make a side of spicy roasted carrots. I made up this recipe on the spot, and I feel that it’s a winner. The sweetness of the carrots pairs so nicely with the spice and smokiness of the harissa, paprika, and cumin. The addition of salty feta and fragrant mint just add to the depth and flavor of the dish.

All of that to say, I love these carrots and I love this dish. Really, I love my life. I got no complaints and I’m gonna leave it at that.

Moroccan Spiced Carrots with Feat + Mint | Rosemarried

Moroccan Spiced Carrots with Feta and Mint

Ingredients

  • 2 small bunches organic carrots (15-20 small carrots)
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Wash and dry carrots. Remove carrot tops, if any, and reserve for another use. If you carrots are small and thin, you may leave them whole. If they are larger, slice lengthwise in half (or quarters).
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, harissa, spices, lemon juice, and honey. Toss the carrots with the oil and spice mixture and half of the chopped mint, then arrange in an even layer on a lined baking sheet.
  4. Roast for 20+ minutes, or until fork tender. (Roasting time will vary, depending on the size of the carrots). When tender, remove from oven and arrange in a serving dish. Sprinkle feta cheese and remaining mint atop the roasted carrots. Serve warm.
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Meyer Lemon Yogurt Cake

Tomorrow morning, I will wake up long before the sun comes up and I will drag my sleepy self to the airport. Clad in borrowed snow boots and a down coat, I’ll board a plane to Minneapolis.

It was -26 in Minneapolis earlier this week. I can’t even imagine what that kind of cold feels like, honestly. I certainly don’t have the clothing for such temperatures. I’ve cobbled together a borrowed wardrobe of snow clothing and I’m hoping for the best. I may just hole up in the Mall of America for the week. (I can subsist on Cinnabon and roller coasters!)

Meyer Lemon Yogurt Cake | Rosemarried.com

It should go without saying that Minnesota in March is not my dream vacation. But, my middle sister now lives in Minneapolis and she’s turning the big 3-0 this week. She insisted that she had to have both of her sisters with her on her 30th, and so we agreed to make the trek to the frigid Midwest.

Since there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of sunshine in my immediate future, I decided to make my own sunshine in the kitchen. One of the best things about winter is the abundance of citrus. Even on the darkest and gloomiest of days, the mere scent of citrus brightens my spirits.

This cake is the perfect remedy for wintertime blues. It’s decidedly simple, and the Meyer lemons truly shine through the batter. If you need a little sunshine in your life, I suggest you give this cake a try.

Meyer Lemon Yogurt Cake | Rosemarried.com

Meyer Lemon Yogurt Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 3 large cage-free eggs
  • 1 tablespoon grated Meyer lemon zest (approximately 2 Meyer lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a loaf pan.
  2. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Next, fold the vegetable oil into the batter until it is combined.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick placed in the center comes out clean.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small pan, combine 1 tablespoon of sugar, the remaining lemon juice, and the vanilla bean seeds. Heat over med-low, until sugar dissolves and mixture is clear. Remove from heat.
  5. When the cake is done, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes. Remove from pan and place on a baking rack. Pour the glaze over the cake and allow it to soak in. Allow to cool before serving.

Notes

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

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Pronto Pizza: Bringing Quality to the Suburbs

If you were to ask me about my favorite restaurants in Portland, I could rattle them off quickly and easily. Luce, Bollywood Theater, St. Jack. Du’s, Pok Pok, Boxer Sushi, Bunk, Apizza Scholls, Tanuki, etc. I could go on. We have so much good food in this town. I feel thankful and spoiled.

But, what happens when you drive 15 minutes outside of Portland? Or when you find yourself shopping at the mall or visiting relatives in the ‘burbs? Are you doomed to dine at chain restaurants and sketchy strip mall sandwich shops? (Disclaimer: I do not like chain restaurants. I find the food to be bland, processed, unhealthy, and uninspired. However, this is just my personal opinion and I don’t expect everyone to necessarily feel the same way.)

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably found yourself in the suburbs a few times, asking these same questions. Honestly, it’s a little bit shocking. Portland is brimming with amazing restaurants, but Portland’s outlying neighborhoods have (mostly) abysmal food options. It’s Red Robins and Olive Gardens as far as the eye can see.

Which is why I was so delighted to discover Pronto Pizza – a delicious restaurant with an emphasis on local and organic ingredients – right smack in the middle of a strip mall off 82nd Avenue in Clackamas, Oregon.

Pronto Pizza Menu

My husband and I were invited to dine at Pronto Pizza a few weeks back, and we thoroughly enjoyed our experience. The space is huge, but is decorated in such a way that the place feels intimate and cozy. (Fun fact: the owners bought all the Beaker & Flask furniture when it went out of business.)

The service was great – our waitress was clearly passionate about the food and she gave us great recommendations. We sampled a number of different dishes throughout the evening, including appetizers, salads, pizzas, and even a few items from the recently revamped children’s menu.

Cauliflower Sticks from Pronto Pizza

Baked Cauliflower Sticks

While most of the dishes we tried were tasty, the pizza was the clear standout of the evening. Made with imported Italian pizza flour, the pizza crust is damn near perfect. It’s chewy and charred in all the right places. The toppings are thoughtful and restrained, the sauce is light and flavorful. (It should be said that my husband used to work for Apizza Scholls and is a true pizza geek. Even he was impressed with Pronto’s Pizza.)

Brussels Sprout Salad with Bacon from Pronto Pizza

Brussels Sprout Salad with Bacon

Other standouts of the evening included the polenta fries, the Brussels sprout salad, and the cauliflower ‘breadsticks’ from the kid’s menu. I wasn’t really a fan of the pasta (too heavy) or the beet salad (over-dressed), but the rest of the food was stellar. I applaud Pronto’s dedication to quality and their use of fresh, local ingredients. And, while I don’t have children of my own, I really appreciate that Pronto’s kids menu is full of creative, fresh, and healthy options such as homemade apple cranberry sauce and breaded and baked cauliflower sticks. (I kid you not, the cauliflower sticks were better than traditional breadsticks.)

The moral of the story? If you find yourself in the ‘burbs of East Portland and you’re wondering where to eat, there is a place that offers much more than your typical strip mall offerings. Pronto Pizza is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise desolate fast food wasteland.

Full disclosure: While our meal at Pronto Pizza was comped, all opinions expressed are my own.