How to Roast Shishito Peppers with 3 Ingredients

I’ll be honest with you – I’ve never noticed shishito peppers in the grocery store before. Then, hubby and I went out with friends to a ramen place and we had blistered shishito peppers for an appetizer – I’ve been hooked ever since! And I’ve been actually noticing the peppers at the farmer’s market and Trader Joe’s.

 

Did you know: 1 in 10 shishito peppers are very spicy? The rest are just warm. And when they’re blistered, they make the most excellent vehicle for salt. Yep, these little guys are just an excuse for me to eat some salt. Because if you follow me on the ‘gram, you know I’m 100% obsessed with salt. In fact, I’ve got about 10 or 11 types of salt in my cabinet. #psycho

These cook up super fast – they puff, blister, and deflate. You can eat it in one bite and really do you here! You can season it up with anything! I used a Mexican spiced salt that I bought when I was in Mexico last year, and unfortunately it doesn’t have the ingredients in it. I’ve grabbed a few options for different salts I would try on these below.

Beef Empanadas Recipe

You didn’t think we’d talk about cocktail party recipes, like this and this, and not talk about empanadas, did you?! I wouldn’t leave you hanging like that! These empanadas have been crowd pleasers lately, especially with the aioli I shared with  you in the chicken thigh tapas post!

These empanadas use puff pastry as the shell, which give a lovely crunchy, buttery and almost sweetness to the empanadas. And there are 2 secret ingredients that make it interesting – keep reading!

Upgrading Pigs in a Blanket with Kielbasa

Being Polish, one flavor that always strikes me as the holidays is kielbasa. My grandmother always serves up kielbasa around holidays, but the from-the-butcher kind that tastes so amazing relative to the mass produced kind. So for this pigs in a blanket appetizer recipe, I encourage you to find a butcher that sells Polish kielbasa, and if you’re in the NJ-CT-NY area, get Rapacki!

We recently hosted a cocktail party before leaving for our New Years trip to Paris (!!!), and these were such a hit! You know I’m all about any opportunity to graze and these are delightful. The puff pastry adds a sweet crunch to the salty, savory kielbasa. Plus, they bake quickly (once your pastry is defrosted) and reheat well!

The Greatest Cornbread Recipe of All Time

I’m not one to tout anything I make as the greatest anything of all time. Okay, maybe I’ll say “the greatest something or other I’ve ever made ever.” That I’ll do. However, this is going to be that one time exception. You’re going to want this recipe forever and ever and it will be the greatest cornbread you ever have until you go to Founding Farmers. And then it’ll be the greatest cornbread recipe you’ve ever made of all time.

I wish you could scratch and sniff your screen. I wish you could just reach in and grab this little slice of heaven.

Baked Brie for a Festive Appetizer

If you don’t get all heart eyes over cheese, I’m not sure we can be friends? It always feels like Christmas is an excuse to get things dressed up: the house, the table, and now, the cheese. This baked brie with cranberry apple compote is on point for Christmas! It’s wrapped in puff pastry and the tangy brie combines so well with the lightly sweet compote. Serve it up with sliced green apples and crackers – it’s great with both!

Whipped Goat Cheese with Pomegranates & Jam

I can’t remember exactly the first time I had goat cheese with fig jam, but I remember thinking, “wow I could eat this every day for the rest of my life.” Goat cheese, I’ve noticed, can be a little polarizing, but if you love it then you’ll love this “recipe.” It’s literally my go-to anytime we have company, and comes together in 3 minutes. Okay, 5 if you count the time to get it to the plate and open a box of crackers and get them on a plate.

If you’ve been here for a while, you know how much I love a customizable, you-do-you-boo kind of recipe. This is 100% one of them. Top the cheese with seasoning, like Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel Seasoning, or herbs, like chives. I always serve whipped goat cheese with a seasonal jam. I know, I’m always going on and on about Trader Joe’s but it’s my favorite, for so many reasons. But I can tell you one of those reasons is seasonal jam! Recently, I’ve been serving this with the sugar plum and it’s awesome. But I’ve also done the Apple Cider Jam, Peach Bellini Jam, Fig Butter, etc. Basically, grab any jam-like jar from their shevles and you are all set, my friend.

Perfect Asparagus Tart Recipe

Warm, cheesy, tangy, flaky…downright dreamy. This asparagus tart recipe is perfect for your spring and Easter gatherings and is irresistible served warm and super tasty at room temperature.

I promise the only regret you’ll have with this recipe is wanting to eat it all! It’s so simple it’s almost a sin to even call this a recipe. You can change up any aspect of the recipe, change the cheeses, use a different veg – it’s all up to you!

The balsamic glaze I added at the end really helped to finish the dish, just add right before serving if you decide to serve this tart at room temperature!

Serve up this Asparagus Tart with an arugula salad, Lamb Lollipops and Lemon Loaf for dessert! Get your Easter table ready here!

Easy Asparagus Tart Recipe

Yield: 6-8 servings | Time: ~35 minutes

Ingredients:

Pastry dough, thawed.

1/4 c grated Gruyere cheese

1/4 c whole milk ricotta cheese

1/2 tbsp lemon zest (optional!)

salt, pepper to taste (salt might depend on the cheese you choose)

optional: balsamic glaze to finish

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400°

Roll thawed pastry dough onto parchment lined baking sheet

Score pastry dough in a rectangle to make the area that will be the “crust,” about 1/2 inch from the edges. Poke the base with a fork generously to prevent the puff pastry from, well, puffing up too much. Bake dough for 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, trim and blanch your asparagus. Drain well.

While pastry and asparagus are cooling, combine cheeses, lemon zest if using, salt and pepper. Mix well. Gently spread cheese mixture evenly on tart, leaving crust without cheese.

Top with blanched asparagus. Bake for 12 minutes or until crust is golden-brown and cheese is melty delicious.

Let cool for a few minutes and cut into slices. You’ll need a very sharp knife or a very sharp serated knife to cut the pastry without the crust falling apart.

 

Note: Frozen pastry dough typically comes with two sheets of dough. This recipe can easily be doubled to utilize both sheets of puff pastry. make sure to separate them from each other if you are going to thaw both sheets of pastry dough.

 

Sunday Funday Menu

So the saying goes, “A Sunday well spent brings a week of content.” I love spending our Sunday’s with friends and family. It’s such an enjoyable way to round out the week and get one last recharge in before the chaos of a new week.

Keeping Sunday entertaining easy and simple is so important, not just for you as a hostess but for your guests. You want to make them feel comfortable and like they’re getting their last dose of relaxation in before their week, too. I am loving this menu for a great Sunday lunch.

 

I’m all about casual entertaining (okay, china and a beautifully set table 100% has its place and I’m super into that, too). Keeping things casual sends a signal to your guests that they can just relax, be themselves, be comfortable. A simple menu packs a punch when all the flavors go from one dish to the next – it’s like a good playlist or a great story. Putting together this menu, I thought about each flavor in the dishes working together. I’m not a big fan of say, cheese and crackers for an appetizer and ground beef tacos for the main dish – a little jarring for my taste.

Stay casual by picking a palette – keep the colors in the same family and stack up your dishes and utensils for an easy grab. A stack of dishes to me is a little bit more like, “hey thanks for joining us for our usual dinner.” What’s better than having your friends join you for an every day kind of meal?

I have a sick stash of mason jars around the house and use them for everything – smoothies, flowers, and here, utensils. I always throw utensils in a mason jar. What could be more casual?