Chocolate Pastry Cream Cups with Candied Hazelnuts

As I’ve been talking about for the last week, I helped provide desserts for a friend’s baby shower. At first it started simple, with cookies. Then, I decided to make a chocolate cake. When I was making the cookies, they were supposed to be more domed, like ice cream. I thought it would look cute to put them in chocolate cups and make them look like ice cream scoops. That’s where the idea for the candied hazelnuts first came from. Well, I had leftover pastry cream from the cake, and the cookies didn’t look like ice cream…they were also too big for the cups! So, a new dessert was formed.

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Store-Bought-Style Cinnamon-Sour Cream Coffee Cake

How do you like your coffee….cake? There are so many kinds out there. I feel like I keep doing a new one on here every so often, and I don’t know if I have a favorite. They are all different and tasty depending on what you are in the mood for. Or so I thought. Apparently my dad was not a big fan of this one because it is too moist. He likes his coffee cake to be a bit drier. But, luckily he has liked other ones I have made, so I will just save this one for us next time. 😉

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Jeweled Rice

We hadn’t had any Indian food for awhile, and in my search for a recipe to make, I came across this. It is not Indian at all, but it had some of the same seasonings which I was craving. This led to my first experience eating pistachios and being aware of what I was eating. They are super tasty! I can see why they cost so much. I was sad I had to buy a whole container initially, but after trying them, I am ok with it. You can buy some of these ingredients already prepped, such as the carrots and slivered almonds, but it’s not necessary. I love my food processor for doing carrots. It does it in under a minute and they taste better than the store-shredded kind.

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I served our jeweled rice with some chicken to add some protein. We had the leftovers other ways, too, like with soft poached eggs. Mmm.

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Spicy Spaghetti with Hazelnuts and Cauliflower

Thanks to my Aunt V who clipped an article for me from the Washington Post (a while ago), I found a version of this recipe which inspired me. I had cauliflower, but that was about it. Most of the rest of the ingredients were random things that I wanted to change. So, here is an easy weeknight all-in-one meal which still manages to be healthy. (More so if you use whole wheat pasta.)

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Even though I used cauliflower, I could see using broccoli instead. You could probably even use other veggies, but that would be the easiest swap. Likewise, you could use a different nut instead of hazelnuts. But, my hazelnuts were (technically) expired–I had been using whole ones and forgot about these chopped ones. They were still fine, and this way I got to use them and not waste them.

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