Spike Your Side Dish

You might have noticed that Brian and I like to add a little splash of booze to some of our recipes from time to time, especially sweets like our Tipsy Blondies or the Bourbon-Apple Oatmeal Cookies. Recently, we tried to take our love of cocktails to a different dish—a side dish.

Bourbon-Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes by somethingwewhippedup.com

Bourbon-Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes by somethingwewhippedup.com

We served these Bourbon-Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes at brunch with some baked eggs, but the dish would work equally as well along side your dinner. It took less than 5 minutes to prep and then we were free to work on other things while the dish baked up. The end result is a roasted sweet potato that has an extra little touch of something that will make you smile as you eat it. And isn’t that what good food is all about?

Bourbon-Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Makes 2 servings

  • 1 pound sweet potatoes (1 large or 2 small), cut to a 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • kosher salt

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. In a medium bowl, add the sweet potatoes, olive oil, maple syrup, bourbon and cinnamon. Toss to coat and spread in an even layer on a baking sheet. Season with salt and roast for 15 minutes, use a spatula to flip the sweet potatoes over, return to the oven and roast for 10 to 15 minutes more or until browned and cooked through.

SWWU Tip 1: It’s easy to double or triple this recipe and make enough for a crowd (or leftovers). 

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Your New Favorite French Toast

Stuffed French toast is always one of our go-to breakfasts when we are hosting overnight guests. It’s something everyone loves and it feels a bit more special than a plate of eggs and toast. Instead of our usual cream cheese filling, we recently added a tangy twist with some creamy goat cheese.

Strawberry Goat Cheese Stuffed French Toast by somethingwewhippedup.com

Strawberry Goat Cheese Stuffed French Toast by somethingwewhippedup.com

Paired with a few strips of farm-fresh bacon, this breakfast turned out to be quite a tasty treat. It was pretty quick and easy to put together, too. To make the decadent filling, we simply combined softened goat cheese with a bit of honey and some strawberry preserves we made at a class we took earlier this summer at The Brooklyn Kitchen.

Strawberry Goat Cheese Filling for Stuffed French Toast by somethingwewhippedup.com

Strawberry Goat Cheese Filling for Stuffed French Toast by somethingwewhippedup.com

Use the recipe below as a guide, adjusting flavors and amounts to your preferences. We cut our toast thin, but if you added a layer of fresh-cut fruit this could definitely stand up to a thicker bread. Swapping blueberry, raspberry or other jellies, james or preserves would also allow you to add a different spin to this dish. Play around and have fun. You’ll be glad you did!

Strawberry Goat Cheese Stuffed French Toast

Makes 8 sandwiches

  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 4-ounce packages goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup strawberry preserves
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 16 pieces challah bread, cut about 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract (check out our recipe for homemade extract)
  • 1 tablespoon butter

1. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar. Set aside.

2. In another small bowl, combine the goat cheese, preserves and honey. Mix until well combined and set aside.

3. Place the challah pieces in open pairs (like you would to make a sandwich) on a work surface. Make sure the bread pieces will line up when closed together. Smear a bit of the goat cheese filling on each piece and top with remaining bread to make a sandwich.

4. In a medium dish, whisk the eggs, milk and vanilla extract together. Place this bowl near your stove if you can and heat a large skillet over medium. Add about 1/2 tablespoon of butter to the hot skillet and let it melt. PIck up one of your french toast sandwiches and dip it into the egg mixture, making sure to coat all sides. Add to the pan then sprinkle a bit of the cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of each. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes or until brown, flip and cook 2 to 4 minutes more until brown and cooked through. Repeat with remaining french toast sandwiches. (*You may need to make additional egg mixture if your bread is soaking up a lot.) Serve immediately with maple syrup on the side.

Strawberry Goat Cheese Stuffed French Toast by somethingwewhippedup.com

Strawberry Goat Cheese Stuffed French Toast by somethingwewhippedup.com

SWWU Tip: Making enough for a crowd? Keep prepared french toast in an oven heated to 200°F until you’re ready to serve them.

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The Perfect Pancake Breakfast

It’s been a long week and Brian and I can’t wait to get out of the city and up to the farm tonight. We’re looking forward to checking in on the trees we planted, exploring the Catskills and hanging out with some friends who will also be in the area. Of course, we’ll probably whip up one of our favorite breakfasts one or both mornings that we’ll be up there. Here’s a peek at a typical way to start the day at the farm:

The Perfect Pancake Breakfast by somethingwewhippedup.com

The Perfect Pancake Breakfast by somethingwewhippedup.com

What could be better than a pancake and bacon breakfast on the porch? Not much, I promise, not much.

We’ve perfected our pancake-making skills over the years and have come up with a few tips to getting everything just right every time. Here’s what helps makes this meal #1 for us:

  1. MIX IT UP: Ya, ya I know. Pancakes made from scratch are great. But you know what? Some of the ones that come from boxes taste pretty darn good too. And when I’m in a farmhouse that isn’t as always well stocked as my own home and the closest store is a trek, you can’t beat a pre-made pancake mix. Our favorites are New Hope Mills Buttermilk Pancake Mix and Kodiak Cakes Whole Wheat, Oat and Honey Flapjacks.
  2. ADD YOUR OWN SPIN: Intensify the flavor of your pancakes by adding a teaspoon of vanilla extract (check out our easy homemade version here) and a tablespoon or more of maple syrup to the batter. Occasionally I like to throw in a dash or two or ground cinnamon or ground ginger as well.
  3. USE SOMETHING UNEXPECTED: Our go-tos are pieces of cooked bacon, diced apple and chocolate chips. Sometimes we even use a combination of them all! Fresh fruit, shredded sharp cheese—the possibilities are endless.
  4. SERVE A SAVORY SIDE: Balance the sweet flavor of the pancakes with some sausage or bacon strips. We’re big fans of the options available at Hull-O Farms.
  5. TURN UP THE HEAT: Serving a bit of warmed syrup on the side makes this breakfast feel extra indulgent.

I know what we’ll be doing this weekend! Perhaps you should too. After all, I bet that special guy in your life (hi dad, sorry I won’t be celebrating with you in person this year) deserves a lovely breakfast in bed (or on the porch) this Sunday.

SWWU Tip: Pancakes with toppings cooked into them often result in a sunken-hole look. Avoid this by putting a bit of batter on top of each pancake after you’ve sprinkled on your topping of choice and before you’ve flipped it over. The pancakes in the photo above have apple and bacon pieces cooked into them, but they still look picture-perfect!

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Sweeten the Deal

This past holiday season some of our friends gifted us with a mega bottle of grade B maple syrup. We’re talking 64 ounces of delicious liquid gold! Having so much around the house might seem a bit excessive, but it definitely gives us an opportunity to experiment with some different uses and not really worry about a dwindling supply.

Over the weekend we tested out an idea for popcorn coated with maple and orange zest. After a few different attempts, here’s our winner:

Orange-Maple Popcorn by somethingwewhippedup.com

Orange-Maple Popcorn by somethingwewhippedup.com

Orange-Maple Popcorn

Makes 2 servings

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/4 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more if desired
  • pinch kosher salt, plus more if desired

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the canola oil, maple syrup, honey, vanilla extract, orange zest and popcorn kernels. Toss to coat, put a lid on and heat over medium. Every 15 seconds or so, move the pan in a circular motion, without removing it from the burner and without lifting the lid. Do this for 60 to 90 seconds or until you hear the popcorn begin to pop. Remove from heat as soon as you hear 3 or more seconds between each pop.

2. Immediately pour into a serving bowl and top with ground cinnamon and salt. Taste and add more of either of desired.

SWWU Tip 1: This popcorn can burn very easily. Keep the heat at medium and be sure to remove the saucepan from heat as soon as the popping is complete. 

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Quick and Delish: Vegetarian Dinner

Brian and I both love to cook. The only thing that gets in our way is time. Our demanding jobs keep us at the office past the dinner hour on some nights, so quick meals that don’t make us sacrifice on taste and healthfulness are a must. The first person to arrive home gets the dish started and the other is usually able to lend a hand at least midway through. If not, dish duty it is! Last week we whipped up this tasty meal in no time (we’re talking 20 minutes or less) with ingredients we happened to have on hand. It’s definitely going to be a new staple in our repertoire. I bet you’ll enjoy it just as much!

Maple-Tahini Noodles with Vegetables by somethingwewhippedup.com

Maple-Tahini Noodles with Vegetables by somethingwewhippedup.com

Maple-Tahini Noodles with Vegetables

Makes 2 servings

  • 4 ounces udon noodles (2 sleeves)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1/3 cup sugar snap peas, ends trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch long pieces
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then cook the udon noodles according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, tahini, soy sauce and mayonnaise until well combined. Set aside.
  3. Add the sesame oil to a large pan and heat over medium. Add the broccoli and cook stirring occasionally for 3 to 5 minutes or until just tender. Mix in the snap peas and cook 1 to 2 minutes more until heated through. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the maple-tahini sauce and toss to coat. Add more sauce if desired.
  4. Strain the noodles and toss with 2 tablespoons of the maple-tahini sauce. Divide evenly between two plates and top with vegetable mixture. Additional sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

SWWU Tip 1: The maple-tahini sauce can also be used to make a tasty chicken salad. Just make the sauce as stated above and combine with cooked shredded chicken.

SWWU Tip 2: Make this dish gluten-free by swapping in gluten-free soy sauce and replacing the udon with soba noodles. Be sure to check the package to make sure you’re using 100 percent buckwheat noodles; some are made with a bit of wheat flour.