Sweet Tea Cooking Is On Vacay!!!

Good Morning!! Sweet Tea Cooking is officially on vacation this week so posts will be sporadic but we have some newness scheduled for you. We are traveling to visit TJ’s brother for the weekend then heading over to Universal Studios for the rest of the week. You know we’ll be posting all of the food porn that we come across. Be sure to follow us everywhere that you can so you don’t miss any of the fun! You can vicariously be on vacay with us!

Facebook (Sweet Tea Cooking)
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When we return from vacation we’ll be putting all of our efforts into finishing the new look that the Sweet Tea Cooking design team (shoutout to TJ) has been working on. Hopefully we’ll be ready to launch the lovely looking website at the new .com web address in early November with plenty of regular posts!

If you would like to schedule a cooking session with me please feel free to leave a comment below, email me, or PM me on FB. I will get back to you as soon as we return from vacation. I still have a few openings left in November and December. Let’s get in the kitchen!

I’m also always looking for some new inspiration for Small Biz Shoutouts or #fangirlFriday so send those my way also!

Have a spectacular week and enjoy this song that we’ll be singing as we run through the airport to catch our flight!!!

Y’all Come Eat Now- Jalebi

Jalebi

Hi friends! We have a really fun dish for “Y’all Come Eat Now” this week. When I first started hitting up my friends and family with cooking session requests, my friend Julie was very quick to reach out to her mom to get the details on a dessert that her family made on Christmas Eve. when she was growing up. In the initial email Julie described them simply as “funnel cakes covered in syrup”, um, funnel cakes at home?! I was definitely intrigued. This also was definitely a sharp left turn outside of my cooking comfort zone. I’ve never actually fried any food before. My parent’s owned a deep fryer but I hated the way that it made the house smell so I let the fine people at Popeye’s do their thing. I was willing to test the waters (or should I say oil) in order to try this dish. This was also my first time working with yeast. I was very excited to learn this dish!

So you may be asking what the heck jalebi are. Jalebi are small, deep-fried sweets common in India and Pakistan that are soaked in sugar syrup. Julie’s mom gave us a little insight on the origins of the version that their family makes:

“I learned to make them from the TA of the Persian class I took in college; Iranians call them zulbia and they have a slightly different flavor from the Indian jalebis. The Iranian ones are not quite as heavy. So what we were making was more Iranian, but we called them jalebis because that was familiar to Riggses. Also, the honey syrup was kind of adapted and made up, not completely right for either culture, but they were still good.”

Julie informed us as to exactly how her family began making jalebis which I found fascinating. Both her mom and dad came from very well-traveled families that lived in other countries while they were growing up. Her mom lived in Chile until she was 12 and moved to Wisconsin and Julie’s dad lived in India until college, where he grew up eating jalebis. It is only natural that they would adopt a variety of traditions along the way.

The actual recipe is very easy. There is some wait time for the dough to proof. This is a great time to order some Indian takeaway, pick it up, pour a few glasses of wine, and stuff your gullet full of Chicken Tikka Masala. I’m not saying that is what we did but it’s a damn good idea…this is definitely what we did.

dough

Dough- ½ tsp dry yeast, add 1 cup lukewarm water, add flour until consistency of yogurt, cover with a dish towel and let sit for 3 hours; spoon into a squeeze bottle when ready to fry

The Riggses have learned over time that a honey bear works best. I learned that it’s the cutest bottle to repurpose!

Syrup- heat 1 part sugar and water to create simple syrup add honey and stir

Syrup

Fry- heat oil (canola or other non-flavorful oil) in a skillet

Now that you have everything made and ready to rock this is when the fun starts! This dish is very interactive. It’s the first time that I’ve been in the kitchen with four people all taking turns in the kitchen and didn’t feel overwhelmed.

  • You squeeze the dough into the hot oil and can attempt to make designs similar to funnel cakes or go fancy like butterflies or flowers like in the restaurants. You let it cook for 30-60 seconds until it becomes a light golden brown then flip it. Don’t splash!!
  • Pull the fried jalebi out of the oil and dunk directly into the syrup and using a fork that is being used for syrup only, fully submerge the jalebi for just a few seconds. You do not want it to get too soggy. TJ quickly became the jalebi syrup expert.
  • Place jalebi on a plate with some paper towels to cool and allow the syrup to harden a bit. It will not flake off like a glazed donut but you don’t want it to be too sticky either.
  • NOMNOMNOMNOMNOMNOMNOM while still warm.

Julie shows us how it’s done!

 photo 3 (1)Juliesyrup soaked

 I required additional supervision

supervision

I wasn’t scared at all to work with hot oil, nope not at all…

Jessie

I made jalebi nuggets…don’t do that

nuggets

This is my “Oh my god, it’s still sizzling! What do I do?!” face

ah

Chris & TJ got in on the fun too!

photo 3 (2) photo 2 (2) done

TJ was instantly a skilled syrup soaker!

photo 2 (1)

These steps happened VERY VERY quickly. A few tips to make this go as smoothly as possible is to have multiple paper towels or dishes to place your scooper for the oil on while you use a syrup only utensil for dunking and plating. I wanted to use the same utensil for the oil and the syrup which would have ruined the syrup but also made a horrifying sizzling noise. I was still scarred, more so mentally than physically, from my first big kitchen wound earlier in the week.  So that was a little overwhelming. So having prepped stations for each stage before you start will go a long way.

I highly recommend making this dish. It was very hands on and fun. Not many recipes get everyone in the kitchen working together like this recipe did. I can certainly see why this was a great Christmas Eve tradition for Julie’s family. Thank you to Chris and Julie for having us over and to Julie for sharing this recipe with us. We had a great time recreating it with you and watching you as the memories started coming back to you as we cooked.

#fangirlFriday- Flashback

Good Morning and Happy Friday! This week we’re doing a #fangirlFriday flashback. I want to take a look at what some of the inspiring women who have been featured on #fangirlFriday are up to now. Click on the link of their name to see the original feature. I encourage you (if you haven’t already) to check out their websites, podcasts, and/or blogs. I’ve had so much fun writing about all of these women and I wish them many more successes in the future!

JoyTheBaker

Joy the Baker– Joy’s newest cookbook, “Homemade Decadence” will be released on Tuesday, October 14. She is currently offering a free print for anyone that pre-orders the book! Joy has occasionally dropped hints on her blog that details on her upcoming book tour will be announced soon and I couldn’t be more excited! Fingers crossed that she comes to Baltimore (or DC on a weekend)!! In the midst of busily promoting “Homemade Decadence”, she is already writing her next cookbook which is ALL BRUNCH FOODS!!! I cannot wait to get that book in my hands!

taylor-swift-kelly-osbourne

NBD…just T-Swift and Kelly mixing it up in the kitchen

Kelly Osbourne– Kelly is my fashion idol right now! Every item that she releases is available in size 0-24. Everyone deserves to look sassy as hell and feel damn good about it. Who better than Kelly Osbourne to move the fashion industry in the right direction. God bless her! She debuted her clothing line exclusively on HSN last week. There are 15 pieces available with price points ranging from $50 – $150. I am crazy in love with the Union Jack dress and MUST OWN IT.

Cleo-Brock-Abraham-and-Julia-Turshen

Weird & Ravenous– These ladies have not had any movement on their Facebook, website, multitude of websites that they have previously contributed to. They seem to be social media ghosts right now but let’s hope that they are working on some great projects! I am completely smitten with their unique approach to homemade meals and find their videos absolutely charming. I have created a Spotify playlist with the songs that they used as the soundtrack of their videos. It’s such a great mix. I love listening to it while I’m cooking! I have also started making some of their recipes which have been pretty great so far. We made the quinoa con pollo dish in the debut of “It Came From the Internet” and we have their pad thai on the menu for next week. They make elaborate dishes just seem so accessible and I’m all about it.

Have you check out any of these ladies since they were originally featured? Let me know if you have any other people that are worthy of a #fangirlFriday feature. I’m always looking for new people to “gently stalk”.

Small Biz Shout Out- Ice Cream

ice cream

Hello friends! Today’s edition of Small Biz Shout Out is all about ice cream!! I know that everyone buying their Pumpkin Spice flavored treats in full force and is embracing sweater weather but that doesn’t mean that we can stop the hankering for a cup of ice cream and if you’re lucky it may be Pumpkin flavored. We’re lucky that we live in a city that is willing to satisfy our cravings in a variety of unique ways year round…if only snowball places would catch on!

Taharka Bros Ice Cream– Taharka Bros are everywhere! You can find them in some of the best restaurants in Baltimore, scoop shops, local colleges, festivals in the Change Maker Mobile (their recently crowdfunded mobile ice cream shop complete with a retail area for some thought provoking literature…they make it smart to eat more ice cream!), and most importantly in pints in the freezer section of many local markets. Attention White Marsh folks…they are available at Richardson Farms!!

I have devoured every flavor of their ice cream that I’ve had the pleasure of trying. One of the amazing things about Taharka Bros is that they have strong social beliefs and they use the popularity of their ice cream as a platform for their message. Once I read their story on their website I was no longer just a fan of the ice cream, I became a loyal member of the Taharka family. I admire them for standing up for their beliefs, following their passion, and bettering the community in their own special way. They close the above video with the quote, “It’s local, fresh, dope, revolution, empowerment…it’s family.” Here at Sweet Tea Cooking we’re all about family and we welcome Taharka Bros to the Sweet Tea Cooking family.

taharka-bros

Here is their story exactly as it reads on their website:

Having launched as a Benefit Corp. in 2010, the Baltimore based Taharka Brothers Ice Cream Co. is a for-profit and for-community social enterprise managed and operated primarily by college aged young adults. We use our award-winning ice creams, sorbets, and business initiatives to champion the fight for a better, brighter, and more “Taharkafied” world. Our offerings serve as a vessel for the continuous flow of cultural understanding, economic and social justice, civic involvement and, of course, good times!!!

Repping various parts of a city steeped in struggle, we’ve thought deeply about friends, families, futures, hopes, ‘hoods and heroes asking ourselves hard questions. Could we promote peace, social and economic justice to communities both local and non-local via an ice cream business? Could we make a good living and have crazy fun? We also thought on things that have inspired us, both sung and unsung human rights warriors that have made our world a more just place. We meditated on the struggles in the ‘hood, the music that maintains us and the writers and poets that sustain us. And of course we contemplated food – good food – and yes, those who go without food. We believed we could create a little sumthin’ that might, if done right, make a big difference (in a sweet way) in both our lives and the lives of others.

This is our contribution.

Welcome to the funkafied family, loved ones!!

With mad love,

Your new big Brothers

baltimore-charmery

The Charmery– The Charmery is located on the corner of 36th St and Chestnut in Hampden. This shop has the most adorable old school ice cream shop feel but the flavors are far from old school. According to the International Ice Cream Association member companies (which I just discovered is a thing!),vanilla is still the most popular flavor of ice cream in the US. The Charmery offers Pure Vanilla but I dare you to actually order it with all of the other delights that are available. Personally ordering Vanilla (unless it’s going on top of a warm brownie) is a sin…my husband does not share this opinion. Old Bay Caramel, Tell Tale Chocolate, Maryland Mud, Berger Cookies and Cream, Lemon Stick, Coffee by Spro, Duckpin Ale Chocolate, and Crunch Davis, are just a few of the decadent flavors that are available with a Maryland twist. For those of you that do not crave ice cream in the cooler months they have you covered with a variety of hot chocolates with homemade marshmallows that are absolutely divine! I cannot wait to score a hot chocolate at the end of a Terrific Lady Day.

BB_exterior_signs

Broom’s Bloom Dairy– Broom’s Bloom is a delightful place and we lovingly refer to it as “the ice cream farm” in my family. Broom’s Bloom serves around 12-15 flavors of ice cream a day all made right on the farm until they sell out for the day. Which has heartbreakingly happened to me twice…when I was next in line! While Broom’s Bloom can be a hike for some folks just for a scoop of ice cream but they also offer quiches, sandwiches, soups, and salads so you can make a whole meal out of the visit. TJ has yet to experience the ice cream farm so I plan on taking him up there for dinner tomorrow! In addition to the amazing ice cream and meals Broom’s Bloom is a mini Farmer’s Market. They sell soap, cheese, eggs, and pork made on their farm from their animals as well as meats, milk, and produce from other area farms and vendors. I’m pumped to load up on all kinds of goodies while we’re there. Broom’s Bloom is open all year (hours change depending on the season) and they can be extremely busy during the summer months. Wait in the line, it’s worth it! I’ll be sure to post pics from our field trip on Instagram Sweet_Tea_Cooking and Twitter @sweetteacooking.

As Bobby Hill from King of the Hill perfectly put it, “I like my sundaes even on a Monday”. Well in this case it’s a Thursday but we feel you Bobby. Now go and get you some ice cream on this week!

Cookbooks

cookbook

Hey hey! I hope that everyone had a great weekend! I was feeling a little under the weather last week so we’ve been taking it easy on the cooking. I do not have a “It Came From the Internet” post for you today seeing as we stuck to a lot of crockpot meals. We’re back with some great cooking posts this week for everyone. I had 4 cooking sessions between Saturday and Tuesday so I needed to be in tip top shape to soak in all of the goodness that was going on.

Since I spent lots of time laying on the couch resting I had plenty of time to pour over some of my favorite cooking blogs. I realized that everyone is releasing a cookbook this fall, I assume to gear up for Christmas gift giving…yay, it’s almost Christmas!!! I absolutely adore cookbooks but I have a pretty strict criteria that I follow before purchasing them. So I actually own very few of them.

  • Is the book too specific?- “1000 cookie recipes” or “Chicken Chicken Chicken”  are fictional examples of books that I wouldn’t even consider. Of course I love cookies and chicken but I don’t need to know how to make every possible chicken or cookie dish. Ideally I’m going to get knowledgeable enough to come up with combinations that would work with what we have on hand or craving.
  • Are the recipes easy to locate on the internet…for free?- Who doesn’t like fried chicken but a quick Google search will provide me with 100’s of recipes.
  • Are there large, detailed pictures to go with every recipe?- If not, suck it. I can’t handle not having pictures. Why do I want to spend my time and money making a dish that I think turned out how the recipe states but I don’t have a picture?
  • Is the book put out by a specific company (Campbell’s, Kraft, etc)?- We try not to eat too many processed foods and these books are just an elaborate way to make me feel like I need to buy their product.
  • Will I ever actually make these dishes?- I adore Julia Child but I do not own any of her cookbooks for exactly this reason. Shirred eggs with black butter sauce and Mousse de saumon (Salmon mousse, whatever that is) will not be hitting my table anytime soon. For every recipe that is actually something that we’d like to make in our house there are about 5 more that we’d never actually make or would even want to eat.
  • Is this a beautiful book that I want to own?- With the popularity of Pinterest and the zillion cooking blogs on the internet, it’s much more convenient to run a search than pull out your cookbooks to see if they contain a specific recipe that you’re looking for. I find that I flip through some of my cookbooks about once a week to get inspiration of what to cook for the week but I do not use that as a primary resource. These books need to be lovely on display and make me happy just reading them.

With all of this said I present to you 3 cookbooks that I would happily add to my collection, 1 that I already own, and 1 that breaks many of the above rules but I MUST OWN:

  • Thug Kitchen: Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck– This is not for the easily offended. I’ve been following these guys online for awhile and my spirit animal Scott and I are planning on making a few dishes from the cookbook…we’re also not so secretly mad that we didn’t think of creating a site like Thug Kitchen first. It’s pretty much exactly how we speak and what we like to do! If you can look past the “sentence enhancers” Thug Kitchen is full of recipes made with whole ingredients and encourage people to back away from the microwaves and actually cook for themselves. That’s a message I can get on board with and I love “sentence enhancers”.
  • Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook: Breakfast, Brunch & Beyond from New York’s Favorite Neighborhood Restaurant– I bought this cookbook for my brother and his fiance for Christmas last year. I had it on good authority that Santa was bringing them a KitchenAid so when I came across this book I thought it would be perfect. It met all of my qualifications and it seemed like they could use their KitchenAid to make some of these dishes. Brunch is my all time favorite meal and I’d eat brunch foods for every meal for the rest of my life if I could so a book that is dedicated to brunch is almost always a homerun for me. Clinton St. Baking Company is a very popular breakfast joint in New York City. They typically have a few hours wait for Saturday and Sunday brunch but they offer their breakfast menu all day so I’m planning on having some “brinner” there in December when TJ and I are in town next.
  • The Can’t Cook Book: Recipes for the Absolutely Terrified! by Jessica Seinfeld– Full disclosure, I first heard that Jerry Seinfeld’s wife wrote a cookbook and I immediately looked into it. If you don’t know me in real life I’m fanatical about all things related to Seinfeld so that is what peaked my interest. Her first book, Deceptively Delicious was very pretty and had what seemed to be well written recipes but all of the dishes were “kid’s food”. I don’t really believe in “kids food”. Kids will eat what the parents are eating if they are not given a bunch of options. (Sidebar-I’m fully aware that as a childless person, you’re thinking that I’m totally talking out my ass but this is definitely something I stand by until proven otherwise.) I was very excited when I recently discovered that Jessica has written another book and it is not geared towards kids or families. It is for people who think that they can’t cook and I am definitely in that boat. Throughout her book she teaches technique along with the recipes and why certain ingredients are necessary for specific dishes. This is so important to me so I can actual learn what the heck I’m doing and why!
  • B.O.A.T.S.2# Metime by 2 Chainz– Which is not a cookbook at all, it’s a CD that rapper 2 Chainz released in 2013 that came with a free 2 Chainz cookbook. Unfortunately that may have been a limited time offer because many of the more recent reviews on Amazon claim that their copy did not come with the cookbook. I’ll just share a few of the gems that are in the cookbook. If you can get your hands on this let’s have a reading party. It will be amazing!
  • Put on your Versace apron.”
  • “If wearing a four-finger ring, carefully place it on a side table before starting to cook.”
  • “KEEP IN MIND, ALL MEASUREMENTS ARE AT THE DISCRETION OF YOUR PALETTE. AS WE ALL KNOW, SOME PEOPLE HAVE A LOT OF FLAVOR, WHILE OTHERS ENJOY THEIR FOOD AND THEIR LIFESTYLE A LITTLE MORE SUBTLE (BORING). ALSO KEEP IN MIND THAT THESE RECIPES ARE INTENDED TO BE MADE AT 70 MPH WHEN YOURE ON A TOUR BUS, SO EXACT MEASUREMENTS CANT ALWAYS BE ACCOMMODATED.”
2-chainz-cookbook-album

MUST.FIND.THIS.BOOK!

Do you have any cookbooks that you’ve really enjoyed? Why? Does anybody even still buy cookbooks anymore?

#fangirlFriday- Tracy Benjamin of Shutterbean

joythebaker podcast

Tracy & her maj (Joy) are a hoot on their podcast!

Good Morning and Happy #fangirlFriday! This week we’re throwing some Sweet Tea Cooking love at Tracy Benjamin of Shutterbean! She is also the co host of the Joy the Baker podcast (who was our first #fangirlFriday feature). Do yourself a favor and grab a cuppa and check out Shutterbean. The primary focus is food and new recipes but Shutterbean also dabbles in the lifestyle website genre as well as providing links to so many articles and websites that I had never previously heard of but now can’t live without (like this one). I tend to check out Shutterbean when I know I have more than a few minutes on my hand because I’ve yet to stay for only just one article!

I truly admire Tracy Benjamin and suspect that there are a few extra hours in her day. Blogging is not her full time job yet she maintains a very popular and content heavy blog which she provides all of the stunning photography, stays active in her kitchen to come up and adapt new recipes, has a full time job, and is a wife and mom. I don’t even have a kid and I’m really struggling with how to keep up with the content of Sweet Tea Cooking, staying active in the kitchen, attempting to keep some semblance of a social life, keeping up with housework, and all of that taking place outside of office hours. Tracy please be my Yoda!! Like Tracy I have a great husband who is super supportive so that definitely helps. I just really need to get into a rhythm that works for us. Tracy mentions on her website that she only makes 2 new recipes a week and the rest are reliable standards that help keep the time in the kitchen reasonable. Her family is also not above a cereal dinner, which I love because neither are we!! I will have to try to cut myself a few breaks and keep a reasonable schedule.

I absolutely adore and appreciate the point of view that Shutterbean brings to the food blogging/podcast world. So many food blogs are extremely family (aka mommy) centric, which is great but that also can alienate an audience. I relate so much to Shutterbean because she has a family but they do not seem to be the whole of her identity. She very much so has her own voice that merges all of the parts of her identity together in a wonderful way. She brings a unique perspective to the blogging community and Sweet Tea Cooking loves her for it! Thank you for being fabulously you, Tracy!

cinnamon-buns

from an interview that Tracy did with Best Friends for Frosting

Small Biz Shout Out- Treat Yo Self Edition

I have to apologize for not posting as much this week. I’ve been feeling super run down and have had a migraine most of the week. I don’t know if it’s just the changing of the seasons or if I’m fighting off a cold. Resting up has been a top priority so I can in tip top shape for the full schedule of cooking sessions that I have scheduled this weekend. We have not spent very much time in the kitchen at all this week and I miss it. Yesterday I did throw some chicken in the crockpot with some Kaldi Plaki Cooking Sauce as soon as I came home then previously laid down on the couch to continue my Sex and the City marathon until TJ came home. By the time he came home dinner was almost done and all we needed to do was throw a bag of Basmati rice in the microwave. It was about all I had the energy for but it tastes so good and takes virtually no effort. I try to always have a bag of microwave rice and a jar of Kaldi Cooking Sauce in the pantry for these types of days.

Once I crawled back to the sofa I realized that tomorrow is Small Biz Shout Out and I need to buy some more Kaldi. This week’s Small Biz Shout Out theme is “Treat Yo Self”! All of these places are little splurges but hey, if we’ve learned anything from Tom Haverford it’s…

Tom HaverfordNeopol Savory, Smokery– I have had the absolute luck and pleasure of eating Neopol Salmon and only having to pay for it once! I used to work at Blue Moon Cafe and for Easter and Mother’s Day the owner would get a huge smoked salmon and we’d have a salmon, bacon, and cream cheese omelet on special. Well we of course had to do some quality control and make sure that it tasted good enough to serve…mother of pearl it always did! Neopol is hands down the best smoked salmon that I’ve ever had. I am getting hungry now just writing about it. Now that my luck has run out I purchased the smoked salmon tacos when I was at Belvedere Square last. Fry knows what I’m talking about

fry take my money

Seriously, I’m ready for a field trip out to Belvedere Square. Who’s coming with me?!

Gunpowder Bison & Trading Co. – I first found out about Gunpowder Bison when I received a pack of the ground bison in my CSA box from Mill Valley General Store a few years back. My brother around the same time started making drives directly to the store located on the Gunpowder Bison farm in Monkton, MD. He loves it! You can also purchase their products at a variety of farmer’s markets across the state. Gunpowder Bison & Trading Co. sells locally-raised, antibiotic- and hormone-free, dry-aged bison meat. Many people strongly feel as though bison has more health benefits than beef and have begun swapping that into their diet. We very rarely purchase any beef in our house. We’ve made the switch over to turkey but I do like to occasionally pick up a pack of Gunpowder Bison when I’m making Chili. Who’s ready for a field trip up the the store?

Choux: Ma Petite Shoe Cafe– Choux is located right next door to Ma Petite Shoe in Hampden. On the first Saturday of every month I have “Terrific Lady Day” that would Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle would definately be proud of. I start the morning with a massage at Missi Kibelbek Bodywork Studios (who I’ve been seeing for about 4 years. Make an appointment now!!), then I head out to breakfast so I can drink copious amounts of coffee and read before I head into my usual spots for some (mostly window) shopping. More often than not this means heading a few stores down to Choux for a dark chocolate croissant and a slice of quiche. Choux is also one of the few places on The Avenue with outdoor seating so that’s what first drew me in. Once I saw that all of the food was made in house, I was completely sold. You have not truly lived until you ate quiche for breakfast while people watching in Hampden and had someone deliver you a fresh out of the oven chocolate croissant! Choux also has amazing coffee with baristas that actual care about what they are doing. If you’ve had enough bad drinks at Starbucks you understand why this is such a big deal! In addition to a variety of homemade treats you can also purchase some hard to find products such as Kaldi Cooking Sauces. Even if I’m not eating my breakfast at Choux (they do not have any tables inside) I always stop in for a jar of Kaldi and a sweet treat to take home to TJ.

Have you tried any of these places? Do you have any little splurges that you indulge in? I wanna know!

It Came From the Internet- Baked Peaches

 

Happy Monday from Sweet Tea Cooking! I hope that everyone had a great weekend! It Came From the Internet is a post where I actually attempt one of the many dishes that I have Pinned or have coveted from other blogger sites. I vow to be completely honest and post any “Pinterest Fails” that I create also. I’ve made many of my Pins but they are always within my comfort zone. I haven’t really branched out very much so this is where things should get interesting.

Last week while we ate our Plated dinner I had peaches baking for dessert. I almost never baked a dessert the same evening that we were going to eat it. While it was so exciting it was almost a distraction for dinner. I just wanted to get right to dessert! However, I ate all of my dinner before digging in to dessert.

We have been on a huge peach kick this summer. They were so sweet and delicious. TJ commented that the last few that we purchased were not as good as they had been and with apple season in high gear it just made sense to stop buying them. I needed a way for us to get through our peaches besides throwing them in with our crockpot oatmeal. I came across a recipe for baked peaches on a website but it seemed a tad too fancy for our purposes. I know that our peaches were still pretty good and did not need a complex syrup, I searched for a recipe that just needed a few simple ingredients that we had on hand. I found the perfect recipe on Entwine Wine, a website for Food Network’s wine company…which was news to me. I still improvised the measurements seeing as I only baked one peach which makes two servings and did not feel like making brown butter. Overall, this recipe could not be any easier and it is so versatile. We’ll certainly be using this with other fruit!

  • All you need to do is halve and pit the peaches
  • Nuke two tablespoons of butter and mixed it with the cinnamon and brown sugar
  • Brush the mixture on top of the peaches allowing it to run down the sides so the whole peach carmelizes
Peaches

Oh yeah! Looking good!

  • Bake at 375 until tender, about 35 minutes
  • While the peaches are baking, mix plain yogurt with honey and a few shakes of cinnamon
  • Once the peaches are baked top with the yogurt mix and top with some granola…obviously Michele’s Granola
Baked Peaches

Putting that Michele’s Granola to good use!

This is a really great dessert that is relatively healthy. You can really customize it to fit your tastes and dietary needs. The butter and sugar can be cut down or swap the yogurt for some ice cream, it’s your dessert so do your thing! We’ll be making this dessert plenty in the future! Do you have any go to weeknight desserts?

Fastest Way to Cut a Watermelon

So you may have noticed that the large majority of our kitchen photos on this blog have a watermelon in the background. That thing isn’t a cool prop for staging the photos. That is a real deal watermelon. From about June to September TJ and I always have a watermelon on our counter or in the fridge…mostly on the counter. Despite receiving this awesome watermelon knife that works like a champ at our wedding shower, I hate cutting watermelon. It takes such a long time and is so messy!

TJ shared this video with me and my mind was officially blown! This guy cuts a whole watermelon and bags it up in 2 minutes. I may actually cut the watermelon this weekend!  That will be the final nail in the Summer 2014 coffin. I’m totally ready for fall though. Bring on sweater weather and all food and drinks having cinnamon in it!

Have you ever seen this method of cutting a watermelon? How have I never heard of this before?

#fangirlFriday- Alie & Georgia

Alie & Georgia

pic lovingly borrowed from A&G’s Tumbler

Good Morning and Happy #fangirlFriday! This week Sweet Tea Cooking’s internet crush is on two ever so lovely and sassy mouthed broads that I’ve mentally deemed my BFFs. I discovered Alie & Georgia when I was randomly looking for funny podcasts to listen to during my commute to work. From the first explicative they dropped I knew I was in love. I love a smart, funny, talented person that does not underestimate the value of a well timed curse word. They also dropped a bit of life truth that I would love to put into action, “monetize your friendship”. Alie & Georgia are two best friends that basically built a career out of being BFFs with similar interests. In my opinion, they’re living the freaking dream! They started out making short how to videos for their unique cocktails and posting them to YouTube. The McNuggetini went viral and things just got crazy from there.

They are the hosts of one of my favorite podcasts, Slumber Party with Alie & Georgia, stars of the webseries Classy Ladies with Alie & Georgia where they get lessons in a variety of culinary topics by experts in the field then they create a themed cocktail or appetizer and Drinks with Alie & Georgia which features their cocktail videos on the Cooking Channel’s website, and now have a travel-food show (basically my two loves in one show) called Tripping out with Alie & Georgia and are contributors on Unique Sweets, both of which air on the Cooking Channel. Since we are knee deep in all things pumpkin flavored here is a link to their Spiced Bourbon Pumpkin Milkshake recipe…you’re welcome!

The ladies have done a wide variety of guest hosting on other podcasts and shows both together and separately. Alie will be a correspondent on the upcoming show STEM focused show on CBS titled, Innovation Nation with Mo Rocca which premiers on September 27. Alie started out as a Biology major in college and still carries a passion for all things science related particularly bugs. Just listen to a few episodes of Slumber Party and the “What Did You Learn This Week” game will quickly reveal what she reads about for fun. You may recognize the girls from the insanely popular Comedy Central show Drunk History as the narrators of the Lewis & Clark Expedition. (video NSFW, throw on those headphones)

I am so in love with these ladies! I’m really trying to time a vacation out to LA so TJ and I can go to a live taping of both How Did This Get Made and Slumber Party. If only I could get them to coordinate their shows with our personal schedules…

Well Alie & Georgia, Sweet Tea Cooking loves everything that you do and will be long time fans. I have you to thank for really boosting up my small talk game. In honor of the ladies and their podcast, Slumber Party with Alie & Georgia, what’s your no guilt, nobody around to judge, “I do what I want” snack? Share in the comments section below!

Based on what’s actually in my house that’s a spoonful of peanut butter with chocolate chips on top or an unhealthy amount of Saltine crackers. If I pre-planned, cupcakes or donuts with pink icing…it’s been scientifically proven (by my stomach) that all baked goods with pink icing taste 63% better than goods with non-pink icing.