In our last post, while discussing the most rockin’ sushi rolls around Corpus Christi, we also mentioned our order of deep-fried pork gyoza. Curious about what goes into the Japanese dumpling-making process, we decided to do some research of our own and headed out to the store.
For the most part, we followed this recipe from Budget Bytes. The best way we can describe this process is not horribly complicated but not easy, either. The most difficult part is the wrapping, so don’t be deterred if it takes you a few tries before you get it right. Our biggest tip (or smallest, depending on how you look at it) is to put a very small amount of meat mixture into the center of the dumpling. This will make wrapping easier and also ensure that you can cook the meat all the way through in the pan without burning the outside shell of the gyoza.
While we can’t speak to authenticity and won’t pretend to, we will say that this was such a fun process and these gyoza turned out delicious. They had the prime level of crunch and it was so hard to not pop ten of these in our mouths at a time. The filling was tasty and it would be super easy to adjust to your specific tastes. These are, dare we say, better than those from Rock ‘n Roll? Get your favorite hoisin sauce, fish sauce, or soy sauce, and go to town!
What Should You Know Before You Make Pork Gyoza?
Some of these ingredients may not be the easiest to find at typical grocery stores. We suggest going to an Asian supermarket for the best quality ingredients, primed and perfect for making gyoza.
A quick tip on the wrapping process before you get frustrated: YouTube! There are plenty of gyoza-wrapping videos, but this top result is easy to follow and also has text directions.
Pre-made gyoza wrappers are great for the novices like us, but if you’re already a gyoza-making pro, why not step it up a notch? Make your own wrappers with this recipe.
If you can’t find round wrappers specifically for making gyoza, don’t fret. The larger square ones will work just fine; all you need to do is use a biscuit cutter for the perfectly-sized circles.
When Should You Make Pork Gyoza?
We fully recommend making gyoza on a solo date night! Here’s what we mean by that. Gyoza are technically a “small bite,” so an appetizer or snack, and they do take up some pretty good time if you’re not accustomed to making them. Therefore, here’s our idea: treat yourself to some creative, culinary alone time and enjoy the slow, steady process of putting these gyoza together. Pour yourself a glass of Japanese plum wine, order an entree, and be rewarded with your creation.
Once you are accustomed to the process? Making these will fly by and be the perfect bite to take to parties. Skip the veggie tray and bring an entire tray of gyoza!
Grown-up Lunchables. Let’s all face it, that’s all a charcuterie board is. That’s all it is and yet, and YET. We adore it. Charcuterie boards get the best of the whole universe because, by definition, they aren’t limited to one flavor palette. They are ideal for anyone who loves the concept of buffets but doesn’t actually love, y’know, buffets.
Now, what happens when the charcuterie board meets brunch? Magic, that’s what happens. Fizz & Fork magic. You read about our morning trip to the farmers’ market, and this gorgeous creation was the result.
You’ll notice in our charcuterie brunch board we have waffles, chocolate chips, syrup, Greek yogurt with honey, bananas, a berry trio, peaches, port and fig jam, brie, fresh-baked rosemary bread, and bacon. This can easily be adjusted based off availability and the flavor profile you are going for. We could even go so far as to envision a “meat-lovers” brunch board featuring every breakfast meat under the sun, if that’s more your speed. For this one, we started, as we recommended in our last post, at the market, looking for those signature flavors we felt would really make the board pop. This, for us, was the port & fig jam. From there, we went to our ever-favorite grocery store, H-E-B, to fill in the gaps. We tried to be intentional about choosing a balance of flavors, but within that constraint we really just went for whatever sounded good at the time. Have fun with it!
You can read more about our experience picking up jams at the farmers market here.
The key to any good charcuterie, breakfast-themed or not, is a good mix of textures, flavors, and food groups. While we might have gone a little heavy on the fruit, we otherwise think we achieved that here. The port & fig jam ended up being absolutely delectable when spread, alongside the brie, on top of the rosemary bread. The berries and bananas made for an excellent additional topping to the waffles, and the bacon was the perfect bit of crunch. It may not look like a huge board, but this will fill up way more people than you think it will!
What Should You Know Before You Make a Brunch Board?
Visit a farmers’ market for the highlight pieces of your board. They’re delicious, support a small business, and also make great talking points when you serve.
Mix up your regular pancake or waffle mix with a mix in, like pecans or blueberries. It will elevate the board without adding much time or difficulty.
Try to find some clear or antique serving dishes. They make a rough board elegant and are also so fun to look for at thrift stores!
Have leftovers? Consider making a couple prepacked “meal preps” out of the ingredients. Mix it up with different combos!
When Should You Make a Brunch Board?
This would be a great meal to make when you want to have friends over for brunch and you want to impress them, but have minimal faith in your cooking skills. Boom, the brunch board is there to help. Pour a drop of orange juice into some bubble and you’re ready to go! This is also a great breakfast option for anyone who wants a hearty breakfast but isn’t a fan of eggs!
Our carefully curated playlist from the farmers market is still live and the perfect complement to a brunch board. We know we’ve been grooving to 75 and Sunny nonstop.
We also wanted to share with you a few “Watermelon Sugar” inspired shots. Like mentioned above, we went a little overboard with the fruit purchasing and wanted an artistic way to put them all to good use. We felt these photos accomplished that goal. Also, we got to go to the beach and it was fun! Have a great rest of your week!
Today’s post is a little different than our usual restaurant/recipe succession, but we promise it’s for good reason! A few good reasons, actually. The first of those reasons is that the ingredients for the recipe we’ll be revealing next week, inspired by Muse Bistro (can you guess it?), was partially sourced from this trip we took to the farmers’ market in Southside Corpus Christi. Between that, the extra goodies we picked up along the way, and our general love for local sourcing and farm-to-table style dining, we decided to dedicate an entire post to the trip.
Now, for the next very good reason we’re breaking tradition a bit this week…to introduce a new concept we’ll be trying out! What sets the tone for a good meal better than the perfect tunes? What brings people together the same way a great meal does? Music–and anyone who knows us knows we absolutely love music. Besides trying out new restaurants, concerts are our favorite thing to do together. This is why we’ve teamed up with our music aficionado friend, Makaila, to bring you a mini playlist that will match the vibes of the recipe and restaurant set we post about! This week’s playlist? “f&f 1: farmers’ markets & brunch boards.” We hope you’re as excited as we are about this!
What’s more classic than a lollipop? We picked up three of the cutest lollipops, all made by hand at a local farm and with visible inclusions of their respective flavors. For example, the rosemary mint flavor had a teensy sprig of rosemary visible through the candy. We also bought the honey lemon and the dill. The dill was our favorite, and tasted almost like pickle popcorn–sweet and salty, but not sour. There were other vendors peddling sweet treats like breads and pastries as well…we were sad to not be able to purchase the entire market.
Technically we didn’t actually buy anything “savory,” but since we used what we bought to create a meal, we figured it was allowed. Also, it’s our blog. We make the rules. Lol. Yes, we’re talking more to ourselves than anyone else.
Ahem. Anyway. Let’s jam. Jams and jellies are what we walked away with. We fell for these 30+ jam varieties hard and walked away with Port Fig, Chocolate Raspberry, Mango Jalapeno, and Strawberry Basil flavors. Aside from the jams, there were vegetables, fruits, and meat available on the savory front.
Things to Know Before You Go:
A farmers’ market is not a substitute for your regular grocery trip. While they are wonderful, they are also limited in available products by season, region, etc. Our suggestion? Go with a recipe in mind and get what you can, but plan to fill in the gaps at the store on your way home.
Most vendors now take card payments, but it’s always good to plan ahead and pick up some cash just in case. You don’t want to lose your beloved veggies just because you forgot to stop by the bank!
Don’t be close-minded. Farmers’ markets offer a ton of unique flavors and twists on traditional products. They also often have great non-edible products, like jewelry, that make for great gifts!
When Should You Make Your Own Trip to the Farmers’ Market?
The one we attended in Southside Corpus Christi is only open Saturday mornings. In Downtown Corpus Christi, there is another market that is every Wednesday evening, and occasionally others will pop up. We suggest following various markets on social media to keep up with their plans as well as searching “farmers’ markets near me” regularly to find new events.
The playlist for the next two weeks, “f&f 1: farmers’ markets & brunch boards” is an eclectic mix of upbeat, indie tunes. This is the type of music that makes you want to be in the open-air of a farmers’ market, strolling through the aisles with a wicker basket, daydreaming of the meal to come. Enjoy.
You’ll fall in love with this easy Valentine’s Day dinner idea
Valentine’s Day is coming in HOT, with only four days left to finish planning for the big day. If you’re still scrambling to decide what you and your sweetie should do to celebrate your love, especially in the middle of a pandemic, don’t you worry, we’ve got you!
Last week, we suggested Café Poêtes as the perfect place to take your girls for Valentine’s Day, and that would definitely be a great option for a date night as well. But if you’re more the “I haven’t left the couch in three days and I don’t plan on changing that anytime soon” type, you’ll find no judgement here. This post is for you. Picking a gift is hard enough, why not keep the celebration part sweet and simple with this easy-to-follow dinner recipe?
This recipe is one we cooked up, literally and figuratively, ourselves. So today you get the recipe directly from us:
Shrimp (However much you want)
1 pack of pre-packaged lobster ravioli from Costco
½ yellow onion
3 cloves of garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter
¼ cup dry white wine
¾ cup heavy cream
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp basil
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
If the shrimp are frozen, start off by defrosting them. Place them in a bowl of warm water and they should be ready to go in about 10 minutes. After they are thawed, drain the water from the bowl and pat the shrimp dry.
Next, finely chop 1/2 onion. Yellow is preferred, but we used a red one here and it turned out lovely as well. (We personally like to julienne our onions, but that’s mostly because it makes us feel fancy.) While you’re here at the chopping board, go ahead and mince the garlic.
Heat 2 tbsps of olive oil in the pan, along with 1 clove of garlic. Cook over medium-high heat until fragrant, then add the onion. Cook until tender and caramelized. Next, add the shrimp and season with salt and pepper (here is where you add the optional red pepper flakes for a bit of kick). Cook until the shrimp isn’t translucent and has a pink coloring. Transfer to a plate!
Fill up a pot of water and heavily salt it. Bring it to a boil.
While you are heating the water up, start on the sauce. In the same pan you cooked the shrimp and onion in, add 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tbsp of unsalted butter, and 2 cloves of garlic to the pan. Cook until the garlic is nice and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Turn the heat down to medium-low and add 1/4 cup of white wine, cooking until halfway reduced. Then add in 3/4 cup of heavy cream. Mix together and bring to a simmer.
By now, your water should be boiling. Add in the lobster ravioli and cook on high for 4 minutes.
Return to the sauce and add in however much Parmesan makes you happy–I’d say about 1/2 cup. Take a whisk and mix it all together, working out the clumps and making it smooth and creamy. Add in 1 tsp of basil or any other herb of choice at this time.
Drain the pasta, then add both that and the shrimp into the saucepan. Mix and cook for about 3 minutes, just long enough to heat the shrimp back up.
Once the dish is complete, you are certainly more than able to serve. If you want to add some pizzazz, though, while also getting in your greens, we suggest roasting some asparagus to serve as a bed for the pasta dish. This can easily be done in the oven on a roasting rack while you work on the pasta. Once everything is complete, throw some additional parmesan on top, ladle onto a plate, and pour a glass of wine. The final step? A toast–to love and Costco ravioli!
What should you know before you make this Shrimp & Lobster Ravioli dish?
The amount of shrimp required for this recipe is variable depending on how much you enjoy shrimp, but an easy rule of thumb is to have about ¼ pound per person eating.
The Costco lobster ravioli is divine. It just is. But this recipe would work with any pre-assembled lobster ravioli you can find…probably.
We suggest buying frozen shrimp that’s already peeled and de-veined. It significantly speeds up the process and keeps you from getting too messy.
Make sure the parmesan cheese you buy is finely shredded and not the shaky stuff! It a.) won’t have the same taste and b.) won’t melt correctly.
When should you make shrimp and lobster ravioli?
Valentine’s Day, duh. That’s why we’re here, isn’t it? But honestly, this seafood dish would be perfect for anytime you want to make your dinner just a little bit ✨special✨ even if it’s just for you!
We trust Joanna Gaines with our life…and our donuts
Who’s ready for #DemoDay? Demo Day=Best Day.
Wait…something here isn’t right. Oh, yeah. We momentarily forgot we’re a food blog, not home renovation experts. We did get the right family at least. Chip and Joanna Gaines might have gotten their start on the hit HGTV show Fixer Upper, but since then they’ve expanded tenfold into all manner of homemaking products, from decor to what we’ll be talking about today–cookbooks!
Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gatheringis a collection of Joanna Gaines’ favorite recipes from her home and restaurant, divided into six categories: breakfast, lunch, dinner, small plates, snacks, and desserts. After perusing the book and trying out several of the recipes, we’ve determined there’s one thing that won’t ever need fixing up, and that’s Joanna Gaines’ taste. Specifically, her recipe for Vanilla Cake Donuts with Maple Glaze.
Last week, we took you to Gates Donuts for some of the most incredible cake donuts we’ve ever had, so this recipe was the perfect opportunity for us to try our hand at it ourselves. Here’s how it went:
The dough for these donuts was pretty easy to make, just your classic mixing and kneading. The one relatively-unique step was the vanilla bean pod scraping. For that step, it’s easiest to lay the pod flat on a cutting board and use the edge of a paring knife to scrape as many seeds as possible from the walls of the pod.
Now, full disclosure, we had never deep fried anything before this. We can go ham with an air fryer or sizzle things up on a stovetop any day, but this was a whole new ball game. A ball game, which, as it turns out, was pretty easy. The trickiest part of this was getting the temperature right, but once we got it heated up, the actual frying was simple, and Joanna’s instructions are easy to follow. After letting them cool a bit, we whipped together the simple maple glaze and dipped them in to complete the donut!
We didn’t even wait for these to cool before chomping down. Joanna Gaines never disappoints. Most of them were thick and moist with a gorgeous golden crunch on the outsides. A few of our donuts, however, were still doughy in the center, so we recommend that you leave your thicker ones in the oil for another minute or so longer than it says. Ensuring that your temperature doesn’t get too high will make it so that you can leave them in longer without burning the outside. The aftereffect of this experience? Nothing can stop us now that we can make our own donuts. Nothing.
What should you know before you make Vanilla Cake Donuts with Maple Glaze?
Don’t substitute regular flour for cake flour! However, if you can’t find cake flour at your local grocery store, you can actually make it yourself. Measure out one cup of all-purpose flour, then remove two tablespoons and replace it with corn starch, and there you have it–a quick and easy cake flour substitute.
You are going to need a lot of vegetable oil. We are deep frying, after all, so make sure you get plenty of oil to fill your cast iron. It would be awful to mold a bunch of perfect donut dough only to be short on oil and not able to fry them up.
The thermometer is crucial for this recipe! You’ll have to adjust the oven settings as you go as the oil changes in temperature, so it’s imperative to have a good thermometer that you use frequently to make sure the donuts can get to that perfect golden color.
When should you make Vanilla Cake Donuts with Maple Glaze?
These donuts, because of the maple and vanilla flavor profile, make a wonderful fall or winter breakfast. Served warm with a mug of hot apple cider? We can’t think of anything more cozy and comforting. Another option is to make these on a birthday morning! Add some colorful sprinkles and they’re perfectly festive to celebrate another trip around the sun.
Everyone have a great week and we’ll see you back here next Wednesday! In the meantime, we’ll be busy channeling our inner Joanna Gaines by completely redecorating our homes and ordering Magnolia Table Volume 2.
From Moscow to Texas, this fruity mule is a winner.
Remember how we said we were mesmerized by the basil-infused ice cube in our Fresa Gin Tonic from MAD Houston? We weren’t joking. That one seaweed-colored cube, arguably one of the least-significant aspects of the evening we spent at MAD, was the spark for this week’s cocktail recipe. The Fresa Gin Tonic was a delicious complement to our meal, and we loved the idea of having herbs in a cocktail, so we decided to take the key ingredients–strawberries and basil–and book them a first-class ticket to Russia.
We’re both big fans of the Moscow Mule, even if technically it originated far from Moscow…in a British pub…in Los Angeles. Regardless, it’s a quick, easy cocktail that always feels just a little bit extra with its spice and its shiny copper mug. It was the perfect palate base for adding our ingredients. We loosely based our version off this recipe from The Home Cook’s Kitchen, with a few significant differences. Namely, the aforementioned basil ice cube.
First things first, the ice cube! To make these, we cut basil leaves into thin strips and then muddled them in a shallow bowl. We spread approximately ten basil leaves across an ice cube tray of twelve, then filled the rest with water. It’s truly up to you how little or much you add, entirely dependent on your level of love for basil. For the actual cocktail, you simply add the strawberries to your mug and muddle away. Then, add the basil leaves and muddle those a bit as well to release and combine the flavors. If you want even more juices, you can give the basil a rough chop before you muddle it, but that’s not a requirement by any means. After that, all you do is pour in the lime juice, ginger beer, and vodka, and stir well.
Just like the Fresa Gin Tonic before it, this cocktail exceeded expectations. It’s fruity, but the basil and lime ensure that this drink is not overly sweet. The “fizz” half of us also really loved the fizzy, spicy carbonation of the ginger beer. We personally prefer our drinks stronger than average (no judgment!), so we ended up adding an extra pour of vodka. The ice cubes were a hit, as expected, and the slow release of flavor was perfect for sipping and talking. We will say, our ice cubes were pretty heavy on the basil, so if you’re less of a fan, you can either put less basil in the cubes or skip adding the leaves to the main cocktail altogether. Overall? We can’t wait for this pandemic to be over so we can serve this at a party with all our friends!
What should you know before you make Strawberry Basil Mules?
Copper mugs are necessary! This drink may have a different flavor profile than a classic mule, but the ginger beer still begs for the temperature control and crisp mouthfeel of the copper. Besides, it’s tradition. If you need some, we found our mugs at Target, but any local Total Wines or liquor store should have them as well. We even spotted a couple giant ones for making a big batch.
Don’t have a bar set? Don’t worry too much. Having a muddler is nice, but in a pinch the back of a wooden spoon will do just fine. This recipe is also simple enough that a shaker isn’t really necessary as long as you stir well enough, and a shot of vodka is somewhere around a three second pour from a bottle.
The basil ice cubes will take a few hours, so if you plan to make this cocktail for an event, we suggest making them and putting a couple trays in the freezer the morning of the party.
Garnish, garnish, garnish. A sliced strawberry, an extra basil leaf, or a wedge of lime are all festive, colorful options!
When should you make Strawberry Basil Mules?
Sweet summertime! You can obviously enjoy this cocktail whenever you please–we made it during the wintertime, as you can see by our photo setup. We also live in South Texas, though, so it’s not like there’s a huge seasonal difference. All of that being said, summer is ideal in our opinion because this is a fruity twist on the classic, and both basil and strawberries thrive during the summertime. You’ll likely get more robust flavors if you serve this cocktail then, when the basil leaves are giant and the strawberries are in-season-juicy. The combo is refreshing that it would pair perfectly with a hot summer pool day!
A chocolate lovers’ holiday: Nutella and Orange Puff Pastry and Mary Rose’s Hershey Bar Pie
Traditions are a prominent part of the holiday season. They’re that little sparkle of magic that signals, “Oh, yes. It really is the most wonderful time of the year.” Some families hide a pickle in their Christmas tree, some wear matching plaid pajamas, some do Advent calendars for their dogs, while others pull their hair out trying to find a new spot for a tiny red-clothed elf. Every family has traditions and (nearly) every family loves them.
Food and traditions often go hand in hand, so for this week’s post we decided to share some of our own favorite traditions…and by traditions, we do mean recipes. We hope you like chocolate, because buckle up, buttercup, both of our favorite holiday recipes turned out to be gooey, melt-in-your-mouth, chocolate desserts!
Nutella & Orange Puff Pastry (Cat’s Choice)
There’s a reason kids love dino nuggets, and it’s not just because they have an undeniably tastier crunch. It’s because they’re shaped, and anything that’s a fun shape is inherently more festive and more enjoyable than it’s boring square or circle counterpart. That’s why we think this snowflake-shaped puff pastry would be the most fitting centerpiece for your dessert table this Christmas.
The recipe came from Natalie over at Life Made Simple, and it’s just five ingredients! First up, you cut your puff pastry into two equivalent circles and spread Nutella over the bottom circle. There’s no exact measurement, but be generous! Then, sprinkle the orange zest on top. Top it with the next layer of puff pastry and you’re ready to start creating the shape.
The easiest way we found to do it is to put a cup in the middle of the pastry as a guide, then to cut outwards from there, first into fourths, then eighths, then sixteenths. To form the shape, take two pieces that lie beside each other and twist them away from each other three times, then pinch the tops together to create a point. Repeat this all the way around. Cool the whole thing down in an egg wash and voila! Ready for the oven.
After 25 minutes at 375, your snowflake will be puffed up, golden, and gorgeous. Don’t waste any time–eat it while it’s hot! It is snoo flakey. Get it, snowflake-y? Okay, all jokes aside, this dessert looks really complicated, but it’s probably the easiest one you’ll ever make. It looks and tastes incredible, and it’s sure to impress even the pickiest holiday partygoer.
What should you know before you make a Nutella & Orange Puff Pastry?
You can use a cake pan and a knife to cut the puff pastry into two equivalent circles. It takes out all the guesswork!
The orange zest is a wonderful combo, but if you don’t like that flavor, don’t give up on this recipe. It’s optional!
You’ll probably have some scraps leftover. While you form the snowflake, keep those scraps covered with a towel so they don’t dry out. That way, when you finish, you can use those scraps to create little Nutella twists! They’re delicious, great for grab-and-go, and ensure that you don’t waste any of your ingredients!
Mary Rose’s Hershey Bar Pie (Mindy’s Choice)
This recipe is actually a family one. I (Mindy) grew up hearing about the famous Hershey Bar Pie my grandmother would make for my dad when he was growing up. After she passed away, I found a handwritten copy of the recipe and decided to try it out. Now, there are two occasions I pull it out for: Christmas and my dad’s birthday. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Like the puff pastry, this recipe is simple and easy to make. Here it is:
Corn Flake Crust:
⅓ cup melted butter
1 ½ cups finely-rolled cornflakes
16 ounces Hershey’s almond chocolate bar (slightly less than 4 XL bars)
½ cup milk
½ pint whipped cream (We use Cool Whip)
Put the marshmallows, chocolate, and milk in a double broiler and melt. If you don’t have a double broiler, you can use a deep pot but be sure to stir it constantly so the mixture doesn’t burn. Stir well and let cool. Add the cream to the chocolate mixture and pour into the crust to chill overnight. Sprinkle saved crumbs on top.
Mix thoroughly and press to the sides and bottom of the pie pan. Save a few to sprinkle on top of the pie.
This is my favorite dessert, hands down. The filling is rich (and incredible), so even one pie can serve quite a few people. What really makes this recipe, though, is the cornflake crust. It is so simple but that crunch really brings it to the next level and balances out the chocolate and marshmallows wonderfully.
What should you know before you make Mary Rose’s Hershey Bar Pie?
You have options! This recipe is really pretty customizable, so, don’t like nuts? No problem, just use regular Hershey bars. Can’t find honey corn flakes? Use regular cornflakes and add ¼ cup of sugar. You can try dark chocolate, white chocolate, a mix.
An easy, no-mess way to crush the cornflakes is to put them in a gallon-sized bag, close it up, and gently roll over them with a rolling pin. Just make sure there’s minimal air in the bag so it doesn’t pop open when you run the rolling pin over top!
This pie is great for making ahead of time, since it needs to be chilled overnight anyway. The day before an event, whip it up and by the time you need it the following day you can just grab it and go, no additional steps.
When should you make both of these recipes?
We think holiday baking makes a great family tradition, one that you can start at any time. When is a better time to start a new at-home tradition than 2020? Either of these recipes would be an easy way to start that tradition, given that your family loves chocolate!
What are your family traditions? Do you have any favorite holiday recipes? We would love to hear all about them in the comments!
We’re taking a week off to celebrate the holidays next week, but we’ll see you back here the following Wednesday, December 30. Until then…Merry Christmas!
It’s time for us to make a confession–our choice of cuisine when we visited the Texas Renaissance Festival last week was not entirely random. I know, I know. While it’s true that we both love Polish food, that wasn’t the only reason we chose Polonia. For anybody who doesn’t know, Catherine’s last name is…wait for it….Sieraski. That’s about as Polish as they come, so of course we had to do a Polish dish to honor her heritage (and our taste buds)!
While we had a lot of great recipe options thanks to the combination plate we ordered last week, we had to go with a tried and true classic, the pierogi. We pulled these pierogi recipes from two places: Natasha’s Kitchen for the cheese filling and Cold Weather Comfort for the meat filling.
Not to be outdone by the chefs of the Renaissance Festival, we made not one, not two, but three different pierogi fillings. We started our cooking there, with the fillings–potato and cheese (cream cheese and mozzarella), beef and onion, and a mix of both for a beef and potato combo. We did fillings first because it’s fine for them to get cold while you spend most of your time prepping the dough later. The fillings will be heated back up later when we cook the pierogi, so all you need to do is make sure that you have a way to keep them fresh in the meantime. We just left them covered and on the stove, and they were still great by the time we were ready to fill. One quick tip about the dough, when you are forming the pierogi, we recommend that you keep any dough you are currently not using covered by a bowl so it doesn’t dry out. If the dough dries out, it becomes tough and much more difficult to roll out, which makes the process longer and not nearly as enjoyable.
There are two ways to cook pierogi, and the one you choose will impact your final result. The first is to simply bring your water to a boil, plop them in, and when they float, voila! You’re ready to eat! The other option is to take it a step further. In this method, after the pierogi float, you then transfer them to a pan with a little bit of oil to get some browning on the outside, which provides a really nice crunch and is our personal favorite way to do it. Whatever your choice, after you’re finished cooking, you can serve your pierogi with a side of sour cream, tossed in butter, topped with salt and pepper, or just plain and enjoyed on their own merit.
Now, here’s a fun grammar tidbit: pierogi plural is just pierogi. Simply put, if you want to tear up a whole plateful or even two, you totally can and nobody will be the wiser when you say you had “pierogi” for dinner. You can eat them with a fork if you’re feeling fancy, but don’t be shy to just use your fingers and dig right in! We know we did, especially those beef and onion ones, which were our absolute favorite.
What should you know before you make pierogi?
The dough takes a WHILE to make and on top of that filling and pressing the pierogi will eat up your time, especially if you’re trying to make them look good. Don’t think this is a simple, quick dinner meal you can whip up on a weeknight (totally not speaking from personal experience or anything…)
Don’t be afraid to play around with fillings! Pierogi are essentially a pocket for your imagination. For example, the recipe for the potato and cheese filling calls for mozzarella, which is what we used, but it would be so easy to switch that up for your favorite cheese and really make the recipe your own.
Pierogi make a great meal, especially if you really love them, but they’re also a wonderful choice for an appetizer, side dish, or as an hors d’oeuvres for a party.
When should you make pierogi?
This would be a great dish choice for a cheap, at-home family bonding or date night. Making this recipe would be great with a S.O., kids, or other family members, and would be a fun way to pass an evening with a delicious payoff at the end. Just make sure you start early and have some light snacks (or wine, or both, we won’t judge) while you cook!
Do you have any heritage dishes you like to make? We would love to hear them, so let us know in the comments or on Instagram @fizz.and.fork!
The folks over at Present Company knew what they were doing when they crafted the Pumpkin King Shot, because when it comes to fall and Thanksgiving, pumpkin really is king. In case you hadn’t noticed, come September pumpkins start to slowly seep into the stores, the restaurants, the collective consciousness…We, for one, aren’t mad about it.
Today we’re going to lead you through the recipe that was inspired by Present Company’s Pumpkin King Shot as usual. We got this week’s Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll recipe from Ambitious Kitchen if you want to try it yourself!
However, it’s also Thanksgiving next week—basically, a food blogger’s holy grail! A few weeks back, we asked on Instagram @fizz.and.fork what content you all were interested in seeing over the holiday season, and one reader (Hi, Natalia!) suggested ideas for a Thanksgiving brunch. In response, our “When Should You Make This Recipe” section this week is dedicated to all things Thanksgiving, but for brunch. We’ve crafted a menu that includes drinks, savory, and sweet items, and we would love to see all of your Thanksgiving brunch spreads!
Before we get into that, though, the pumpkin cinnamon rolls:
The dough for these cinnamon rolls was easy to form, but here are a couple notes about the dough that might be helpful in your own attempt! For one, if you (like us) always forget to take out the eggs beforehand, run your cold eggs under warm water for a minute or so and they’ll warm right up to room temperature. When it’s time for the yeast, make sure you get the milk to the correct temperature (110°F) or the dough will not rise correctly. When you’re kneading, it’s normal for the dough to try to climb up the hook while it’s being kneaded. Just make sure to push it back down every so often. Once it’s done, though, this dough smells absolutely heavenly.
One quick note on making the glaze, it’s important for both the butter and the cream cheese to be at room temperature before they’re blended together to avoid clumpy icing!
Y’all. These are so much more flavorful than a plain cinnamon roll. We’re not sure how that’s even possible, but the pumpkin pie spice mixed into the dough really does make all the difference. We didn’t think that adding the maple syrup into the glaze would make much of a difference taste-wise, but it really really does. The glaze is absolutely what makes these cinnamon rolls. We added a dash of candied pecans on top for a little extra oomph, and it added a bit of crunch alongside the doughiness of the cinnamon rolls.
We can also attest that these taste equally as good the second day, so don’t be afraid to make a whole panful, even if it’s just for you 😉
What should you know before you make these pumpkin cinnamon rolls?
We highly recommend you use bread flour for this recipe over all-purpose. The bread flour will give the rolls more height and make them more light and airy.
These cinnamon rolls, while more than worth it, are going to take up a significant amount of time, so here’s a quick tip. If you want them to be ready early in the morning, follow the recipe up until you are supposed to put them in the oven. Instead, leave them cut and ready to go overnight in the fridge. In the morning, transfer them to your preheated oven and they’ll be ready in 20-25 minutes!
When should you make these pumpkin cinnamon rolls?
The moment we’ve all been waiting for—our curated Thanksgiving brunch menu! We tried to incorporate classic brunch menu items with all the flavors and ingredients of the holiday. Each item is linked to the corresponding recipe. Here are our suggestions for an at-home brunch that will make you extra grateful this year.
Not to toot our own horn too much, but Clawmosas are the perfect easy cocktail for Thanksgiving brunch. They’re elevated without requiring anything more than a stop at the store and a good shake.
If you’re not into seltzers, a cranberry-juice mimosa will add the perfect Thanksgiving flair!
And that concludes our first ever curated holiday menu! What are your Thanksgiving plans—a big dinner with family, or a brunch with friends? Why not both! Have a happy Thanksgiving, everyone! This year, we’re grateful for you!
As you know from last week’s post, we believe that an absolutely crucial part of any brunch worth going to is the drink you pair it with! So this week, we decided to lean into the “fizz” part of our name with our first cocktail recipe, a trendy twist on the mimosa.
Mimosas—a combo of orange juice and champagne for those not in the know—are the classic brunch cocktail. MAX’s Wine Dive last week offered options for switching the mimosa up with different juice mixers and flavor profiles, and it turned out to be one of our favorite parts of the visit. We wanted to do the same type of switch up with our recipe this week, to make the mimosa even more fun than it already is! Enter: White Claw Hard Seltzers. White Claws have seemingly taken the world by storm since their release in 2016 and subsequent skyrocket to popularity last summer. You’ve probably heard by now the saying, “ain’t no laws when you’re drinking Claws,” so we figured there was no reason we couldn’t or shouldn’t mix them with juice and serve them with pancakes!
Step one: pull out your prettiest glasses or champagne flutes.
Just kidding, although it definitely made us feel like we were doing something right! In reality, all we did was mix our choice of White Claw flavor with the juice we felt would go best with it. Juice has a strong flavor so you won’t lose anything by being a little heavy-handed with the Claw, and doing less juice also means that you’ll still be able to taste the subtler flavors of the White Claw. The ratio we went with and that we recommend is three parts White Claw to one part juice.
Before we poured, we dipped the rims of our glasses with red cocktail sugar, and while it turned out pretty, we probably wouldn’t do it again or recommend it if you make this recipe on your own. Cocktail sugar isn’t always the tastiest and it can definitely get in the way of the drink.
Here are the juices we used and combinations we tried: orange juice with mango White Claw, cranberry juice with lemon White Claw, peach mango juice with Watermelon White Claw, and organic apple, orange, and carrot juice with tangerine White Claw.
All of these were winners in our book, but if it was a competition, the very clear first place prize would go to the cranberry juice and lemon Claw combo. Both of us absolutely loved this one! It was fruity, flavorful, and incredibly refreshing. The twist of lemon brought in the perfect citrus notes. This cocktail would bring the perfect fresh feeling to any summer day, whether it’s at brunch or out on the beach!
Even though the cranberry juice and lemon was our favorite, there was definitely something for everyone. Mindy also loved the watermelon and peach mango combo, while Catherine really enjoyed the tangerine White Claw combined with the apple, orange, and carrot juice. To be honest, it would be hard to go wrong with any combination you choose!
What should you know before you make this cocktail?
The White Claw flavors we used (mango, lemon, tangerine, and watermelon) are from the Flavor Collection No. 2 variety pack. The Flavor Collection No. 1 has even more options–natural lime, raspberry, ruby grapefruit, and black cherry. Both variety packs are packs of twelve with three of each flavor, but each flavor is also sold in their own packs if that’s what you prefer.
There’s an easy way to make these clawmosas healthier if you’re trying to be more conscious of what you’re putting into your body. White Claw 70’s come in two flavors, clementine and pineapple, and are only 70 calories each, gluten-free, and have zero grams of sugar. You can mix a White Claw 70 with a natural, no sugar added juice or, if you own a juicer, a juice that you make, to create the perfect healthy brunch cocktail.
A fruit garnish makes for a perfect extra pop of color. We used strawberries, but lemons would also be perfect!
When should you make clawmosas?
You’ve heard of dinner parties, but why not host a brunch party? Get a few friends together, throw some flapjacks on the griddle, fry up your favorite bacon, mix up a few clawmosas, and enjoy! These cocktails are SO easy, perfect for summer, and will have all your friends convinced you’re secretly a bartender…ahem, I’m sorry, a mixologist.
Did you enjoy this week’s post? Let us know in the comments, and tag us on Instagram @fizz.and.fork if you make your very own clawmosas! Until next Wednesday, xoxo