You’re probably thinking that something looks different ’round these parts. While I’d love to say we got a new fruit bowl, that’s not quite it.
Yes, after almost a year in existence, Love and Olive Oil has a new look. It’s subtle, and not nearly finished, but it is definitely more elegant and eventually, more user-friendly. It’s not done yet, but you get the basic idea.
I have some ideas for improved functionality, including:
Browse cookbook archives by thumbnail images instead of just the post titles
DONE! Feast your eyes on those archives!
- Print feature for all the recipes (not just the very few I have had time to make into recipe cards)
- Subscribe via email
Now my question to you:
What else could I do to improve this blog? What special features would you like to see? Are you sick of just recipe posts, what do you want to read about? Do you want more photos and less writing, or more writing for each entry? Anything we can do to improve this blog, I’m interested to hear it!
I saw this recipe posted on Steamy Kitchen and just had to try it. Any excuse to use those vanilla beans I bought on ebay, right?
Needless to say, like all of Jaden’s recipes, it was delicious. Unfortunately, we were only able to find (and afford) the little bay scallops, which, considering we added some chopped pear to the salad, you might struggle to pick out in the photo above. Scallop, or pear? That is the question! But as a seafood drizzle or a salad dressing, the Sweet Chili and Vanilla dressing was a treat. And yes, the recipe does call for ketchup. Do not snub your nose because of this. Make it, and then make your decision.
I think this would be delicious over shrimp – and you might actually be able to see them!
Scallop & Spinach Salad with Vanilla Chili Dressing
Makes 2 servings.
Recipe from Steamy Kitchen.
scallops, shrimp, or whatever floats your boat
salad greens (we used baby spinach)
optional: add chopped pear for some extra flavor and texture.
1 tablespoon bottled sweet chili sauce
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon minced cilantro
1 pod vanilla or 3 drops vanilla extract
Slice open the vanilla pod and scrape out seeds. Combine with the rest of dressing ingredients.
Pat scallops dry. If you got the frozen kind, it might help to toss them with a dusting of cornstarch to really suck up the moisture. Season with salt and pepper. In hot skillet with cooking oil, sear scallops over high heat until opaque (1-1 1/2 minutes per side depending on how big your scallops are). Remove from heat immediately. Serve scallops on top of salad greens and Sweet Vanilla Chili Dressing.
Now this would have been the recipe to break out the pasta maker. It was delicious, but could have been even more so with freshly made pasta. Maybe we’ll make it again this week, and post about the results.
We added thyme and hazelnuts to the original recipe, and used baby portobello mushrooms instead of Porcini (for affordability reasons and the fact our store didn’t have porcini… it’s not like we even had a choice). I’m sure any mix of mushrooms would suffice for this dish – which is true proof that pasta doesn’t need to be slathered in sauce to be good.
Baby Portobello Fettuccine
Makes 4 servings.
Recipe inspired by 101cookbooks.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2-3 fresh porcini mushrooms, chopped (1-2 cups)
fine grain sea salt
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound fresh egg fettuccine noodles
scant 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
In the meantime, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in your largest skillet over high heat. Add the mushrooms and a big pinch of salt. Saute the mushrooms until they release their liquid and begin to brown. Now stir in the garlic and 1/2 of the thyme and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Remove from heat and set the skillet aside.
Salt the pot of water generously and cook the fettuccine noodles according to package instructions. Drain. Transfer the noodles to the skillet with mushrooms, and stir in the black pepper, cheese, lemon zest, hazelnuts and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and thyme. Sprinkle with cheese and enjoy!
You know the cookies that are just the right size, and just the right sweetness? The kind that ‘mysteriously’ disappear from the counter?
These are those cookies.
There were 4 left when I took this picture. I had also made a batch of my pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (can you say, sugar craving?) which as good as they are, didn’t disappear as quickly.
I came back later and there was one peanut butter cookie missing – it had been mysteriously swapped for a pumpkin cookie. A few hours later, another switch had occurred (might I add that the cookies were still aligned in a perfect row). Before I knew it, there were three pumpkin cookies in this arrangement and only one peanut butter bite left. Hmmm. Supernatural forces maybe? Ghosts of peanut-butter-loving pasts?
I never waited to find out, because I ate the last one before some(thing) else did.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes: Not enough (approx. 4 dozen).
Recipe from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook (someone buy this for me? please?)
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter or margarine, softened
1 cup peanut butter at room temperature (smooth is what we used, but I am pretty sure they use chunky at the bakery)
¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon (for sprinkling) sugar
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk or soymilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup peanut butter chips
½ cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, the baking soda, the baking powder, and the salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and the peanut butter together until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat until smooth. Add the egg and mix well. Add the milk and the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat thoroughly. Stir in the peanut butter chips. Place sprinkling sugar on a plate. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls into the sugar, then onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving several inches between for expansion. Using a fork, lightly indent with a crissscross pattern (if you happen to get so excited about these cookies that you forget this step *cough*likeme*cough* not all is lost. actually, nothing is lost at all), but do not overly flatten cookies. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Do not overbake. Cookies may appear to be underdone, but they are not.
Cool the cookies on the sheets for 1 minute, then remove to a rack to cool completely.