Just a little food porn…

We had a small happy hour at our apartment this past week that turned out really nicely. I was in way too much of a rush to take pictures (always my problem!) but it was too cute to not post. First things first, THESE TOMATOES. As delicious as they are pretty. edited_860

This is a go-to quick recipe my mom used to make for dinner parties. It is always such a hit, I’m embarrassed to say how effortless it is. 8 oz cream cheese + 1/2 cup raspberry chipotle sauce!edited_861

Second on the menu was prosciutto & goat cheese toasts with a blackberry ginger balsamic. I picked up the balsamic this weekend while I was in St. Michaels, Maryland. It was super rainy so there was nothing to do but shop!edited_865 edited_867edited_872edited_877

Third, I made rosemary parmesan foccacia bread. The bread flour is a necessity in my pantry lately. Also, pantry is a loose term- more like hoarding space where I fit as much as I can into a cabinet without causing a food avalanche.  The dried rosemary didn’t flavor the bread as well as I hoped, but I didn’t have any fresh. Never again!edited_874

Our wonderful landlord sent us this cookie delivery from Captain Cookie and the Milkman in DC. Wish I could say I made these beauties, but I just ate them instead 🙂edited_876

Lastly- onion dip with veggies!edited_879

A New Year, A New Challah Recipe

After a week of working late every night, and 3 consecutive failed attempts to make apple custard, I decided to keep it simple this weekend and make Challah. I got this new recipe from my cousin. However she is a mother of four, and I am a mother of zero, so naturally I decided to halve the recipe. Here is the recipe that makes two beautiful Challot:

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Ingredients:
– 2.5 cups of warm water
– 1.5 teaspoon fast-rise yeast (one & a half packets)
– 2.5 LB of bread flour (POUNDS, NOT CUPS)
– 1 cup sugar
– 1/2 cup oil
– 2 eggs
– dash of salt

Directions:

1) Mix warm water and yeast and let sit for 10 minutes until yeast bubbles form
2) In a separate bowl, mix all of the remaining ingredients
3) Add yeast/water mixture. If using an electric mixer, wait for dough to pull away from the sides.
4) Take dough and knead with floured hands. Knead A LOT (10-15 min).
5) Let rise in a well-greased bowl for 4-5 hours.
6) Punch down dough and (if needed) add flour to make the dough silky. Should be tacky but not sticking to your fingers.
7) Split dough in half, then each half into thirds. Braid two loaves.
8) Brush egg wash mixed with 2 tsp honey onto the braided dough. Cover with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or whatever you please!

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.