Homemade Beignets

You know when you are so sick and you want to do certain things but just cannot muster up the energy? Yeah, that’s how I’ve been feeling since last week! And I have less energy today than I did over the weekend when I made these beignets. But don’t worry, I’m crawling right back into bed after this.

I really was going to make beignets from scratch, I swear. And as often as I won’t let a recipe intimidate me, making a yeasted dough while sick was just too much!

Showstopping Red Wine Braised Short Ribs

Occasionally, I’ll share that a recipe is one of the best things I’ve made recently. But guys, this one…this is the one. This is the best recipe I’ve got in my back pocket, and truly the most requested dishes from friends. These braised short ribs are literally showstoppers.

When I invite friends over and tell them I’m thinking about braising short ribs, they’re all over it! Everyone close to us really love these, you must try them!

The first time I had a braised short rib was at Founding Farmers in DC, about 5 or 6 years ago. All I can say is, “wow.” I mean. A revelation. Thus began my journey perfecting a red wine braised short rib, that’s a little inspired by Boeuf Bourguignon. This is a really, really excellent dish to have in your pocket. It feels elegant, it’s absolutely delicious, and everyone will love it!

Cranberry Orange Quick Bread Recipe

This quick bread is one of my absolute favorites to make, mostly because every time I do my husband is super happy. It’s the little things, right? I get why he loves this one though. I don’t really make it often, but when I do, it’s always like, woah this is freaking good why don’t I make this more often? It’s the perfect balance of orange and cranberry and not too sweet and it’s so perfectly moist. I know, I hate that word too – gotta better one?

I mean can you even? Just look at those cranberries and those crumbs? Right after this, I’m warming up a slice in the oven and making a cup of coffee and relaxing.

Most of the ingredients you will have on hand to whip this up, with the exception, most likely, of the buttermilk. And after about 60 minutes, you’ll have the most delightful bread to share for breakfast or brunch or – let’s be honest – not share at all!

Stress Free Holiday Entertaining

Are you all thinking, “stress free entertaining, Hailey? There’s no such thing.” Then this one is for you. Because there can be stress free entertaining and I’m going to share with you how I keep the stress down around the holidays.

 

Here are my three tips:

1. Attitude is everything.

This sounds hokey, and I used to hate when people told me “attitude is everything.” But y’all it’s so true! I choose not to be stressed. When I feel it bubbling up, I take a second to recognize that I’m getting stressed and talk myself off the proverbial ledge and make a choice to let it go.

Also, if you’re recipe is good and you don’t burn a dish, it doesn’t matter what it looks like – if it tastes good it’s gonna be okay.

Apple Pie Dip with Cinnamon Pie Crust Cookies

This time of year, I love the idea of gifting edible treats to friends and neighbors. I think it really is so special to know that someone cooked or baked something with you in mind – that’s some real effort a person makes for you!

Edible gifts are a great idea, too, when you need to make a small gesture and for people that maybe you don’t quite gift a formal gift to, but for whom you still want to acknowledge. This year, I’m packaging up these little jars of apple pie dip with cinnamon pie crust cookies. I dolled the jars up with a cute little basket and an ornament – get ready, neighborhood! Apple pie dip for all!

An edible gift can also be so super practical! Your recipient can hoard it all (not going to lie, husband wouldn’t let me share this batch that I made specially for you), or they can use it for their own gatherings. And what other desserts have as much mass appeal as apple pie?!

I know, I know, you’re like, Hailey everyone loves ice cream, brownies, cookies. You’re right. But just trust me on this one. This treat is a hit.

Gift Guide: For the Baker

Bakers gonna bake, right?! I wish I was really a baker, you know, like someone who actually knew what they were doing beyond their handful of go-to recipes. But I am so blessed, my jeans not as much, to know a few bakers in my life. Here are a few suggestions for the bakers in your life!

 

  1. A gorgeous baking sheet set. 2. A cookbook to up the ante. Is it actually a baking book? Hmmm…. 3. Creme brulee set. Because everyone needs a kitchen torch. 4. Pie weights! 5. A stand mixer. 6. A bread maker, but only on the condition to be a taste tester for every batch. 7. A beautiful pie dish. 8. A cool spice or ingredient, like fancy flours, vanilla powder, high quality vanilla.

Are you a baker? What else would you wish for?!

Gift Guide: For the Cook

I think this guide is the one I’ve been looking forward to the most! These gifts are great for the cook in your life. You know, the one that is always trying new recipes, and trying new gadgets, and is just at home in the kitchen.

Okay, they’re all the things that I would love to get but would never buy myself. Which is what makes a gift great, isn’t it?

  1. What’s Gaby Cooking cookbook. I love her laid back, fresh, Cali style. 2. An immersion blender. Everyone needs one. I have this set and love it. 3. A great All-Clad pot in a size that works for a lot of different things, from pasta, to chili, to stew, to cranberry sauce. 4. Paella set. 5. A good quality knife. I have this Shun knife, which is meant for veggies, and is amazing. 6. A cutting board that holds a tablet. So handy. Also love this one from Food52. 7. Sous vide cooker. 8. Air fryer. 9. A chopper. Such a practical gift, I never had one until a friend gifted me one, and I love it! So nice to have one, especially when I’m cooking so many different things at once. 10. A pasta maker or pasta maker attachments for the KitchenAid stand mixer.

How to Put Together a Charcuterie Board

A charcuterie board is an entertaining essential in my book, the essential “ingredients” of which I feel like we always need to have on hand. Whether someone pops by for a meeting, or a neighbor comes over for a glass of wine, or a friend shows up at the last minute, it’s one of those things that feels so effortlessly chic to be able to put together.

A well executed charcuterie board always has at least one cured meat, two cheeses, a cracker, a vegetable (pickled, cured or fresh) and a sweet element.

To make it easy for guests, slice the cheese and meats for them!

I’m also a big fan of having seasonal napkins (guest, dinner and cocktail) stashed in the house.

Here’s my strategy when I’m picking up goodies for a charcuterie board:

  • Pick 2-3 cheeses, one a crowd favorite like cheddar, then two others that might be less popular. I like to pick a cheese that is wine or herb infused, something that is easy to tell the difference once on your plate or board.
  • Pick at least 2 crackers, different shapes and flavors.
  • Pick at least 1 meat for a small plate, 2-3 for a larger plate.
  • Grab a bunch of grapes, they’re always a hit! Sliced apple pairs well with brie, figs are lovely with a soft goat cheese, strawberries are my favorite so I like to sneak them on a plate whenever I can.
  • A vegetable of some sort – I count olives in this category, basically pick something that isn’t meat or cheese or crackers to liven up the board. Sweet & spicy cherry peppers work well, as do cornichons.

And as always, if you plan ahead and make a list it’s all much easier to put together! And once you know what you love, you can easily stock up on the essentials to pull together at the last minute!

 

What are your charcuterie board must haves?