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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Craving Cure: Crème Fraîche Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Crème Fraîch Chocolate Chunk Cookies by somethingwewhippedup.com

Crème Fraîche Chocolate Chunk Cookies by somethingwewhippedup.com

These cookies may just be the perfect solution to a chocolate craving. They’re rich but still light, i.e., you won’t feel guilty when you go back for seconds—or thirds. No judgement here! When I developed the recipe I decided to I incorporated a bit of crème fraîche that I had taking up space in my fridge. After all, tangy crème fraîche usually takes other foods I add it to up a level (remember my favorite onion dip?). The result was  a moist cookie that was full of chocolaty goodness but wasn’t dense or overloaded like so many are. I’ve made several batches and fall for them more and more each time. See for yourself.

Crème Fraîche Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (check out our homemade vanilla extract recipe)
  • 2/4 cup chocolate chunks
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips 

1. In a large bowl or in a stand mixer, cream together the butter, crème fraîche, sugar and brown sugar. Mix for 2 to 3 minutes or until fluffy. Add in the eggs and mix to combine.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to the wet in two batches, mixing until completely combined each time. Add the vanilla extract and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks and chocolate chips. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spoon dough onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet in heaping tablespoonfuls.  Space cookies at least 2.5-inches apart. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until almost set in the middle. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 1 to 2 minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

SWWU TIp 1: Of course these cookies are delicious when you eat them right out of the oven, but I found the flavor to be at its peak a day later. Store in an airtight container for up to a week. They won’t last that long though.

SWWU Tip 2: These cookies are very moist and fragile when they come out of the oven. Make sure you let them set a bit on the warm pan as directed, then use your thinnest spatula to transfer them to a wire rack to continue cooling. They will firm up as they sit.
Crème Fraîch Chocolate Chunk Cookies by somethingwewhippedup.com

Crème Fraîche Chocolate Chunk Cookies by somethingwewhippedup.com

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Sweet Nothings

Our lives have been a bit hectic for the past few weeks. I won’t bore you with the details right now, but I will apologize for neglecting the blog a bit. Lucky for you, we have been busy cooking and crafting up a storm, so there will be lots to share soon. In the meantime, here’s a quick recipe we recently tried for a super simple sherbet that takes just five ingredients to make.

Lemon-Blueberry Buttermilk Sherbet by somethingwewhippedup.com

Lemon-Blueberry Buttermilk Sherbet by somethingwewhippedup.com

I know, I know. Summer is over! But I’m not quite ready to move on to the pumpkin-flavored goodies just yet (it’s not even October). And we just spent the last few days in North Carolina, which is still enjoying some warm temperatures during the day. This refreshing treat is a great way to hang on to the fading warm temperatures while we can.

The sherbet was inspired by a recipe I spotted on a Buzzfeed post for a three-ingredient frozen lemon-buttermilk dessert. It turns out, that person got the original recipe from the website for Bon Appétit. We put our own twist on it by incorporating a blueberry compote we had whipped up a few days before. The result: A tart, sweet dessert that is simple and refreshing—and a perfect way to wind down on a hectic day.

Lemon-Blueberry Buttermilk Sherbet

(Recipe adapted from Lemon-Buttermilk Sorbet via Buzzfeed)

Makes about 2.5 pints

  • 4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup blueberry compote

1. Combine the buttermilk, lemon juice, lemon peel and sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk until sugar is dissolved, cover and store in fridge until well chilled (about 3 hours).

2. Once chilled, pour mixture into an ice cream machine and churn until nearly finished. Once you think you have about 5 minutes remaining, add the blueberry compote and continue to let the ice cream maker do its thing. When complete, transfer to a freezer-proof container and freeze for 2 to 4 hours or more.

SWWU Tip: Curious to know why I called this creation a sherbet instead of a sorbet? A bit of research revealed that adding dairy (be it milk, buttermilk or eggs) to a sorbet actually makes it a sherbet. Either way, it’s delicious!

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Pretty In Pink

A happy accident occurred in our kitchen this past weekend. And it’s one that turned out to be quite pretty. Take a look.

Beet and Couscous Salad by somethingwewhippedup.com

Beet and Couscous Salad by somethingwewhippedup.com

I’ll admit, when I started, I had no idea where the dish was going to end up. All I knew was that I had some big, beautiful beets and I was going to make something with them. I started by roasting the beets along with some radishes (you know how much we love those now) and then just started pulling other additions from the pantry. The result was a bright, beautiful couscous salad. The beets tinted everything a lovely shade of pink that really helps this dish pop aesthetically. The pepitas add an unexpected crunch and the caramelized shallots add a nice sweetness. I definitely recommend you give this one a try.

Roasting the beets and radishes (we made two packets that looked like this for this dish) (somethingwewhippedup.com)

Roasting the beets and radishes (we made two packets that looked like this for this dish) (somethingwewhippedup.com)

Beet and Couscous Salad

Makes about 8 servings

  • 3/4 pound beets
  • 1/2 pound radishes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups Israeli couscous
  • 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup roasted pepitas
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fruity olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place the beets and radishes on a piece of foil and top with 2 tablespoons olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Fold the sides of the foil up and secure. Roast for 60 minutes, then remove from oven and let cool. When beets are cool to the touch, use your fingers (wear gloves to prevent staining your skin) to remove the skin and discard. Dice the beets and radishes and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, prepare Israeli couscous according to package directions. Once made, let cool to room temperature.

3. Heat a small pan over medium-low. Add the butter and let melt. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 20 minutes or until caramelized. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, roughly chop and set aside.

4. In a large bowl, combine the beets, radishes, Israeli couscous, shallots, pepitas, dried cranberries and the parsley or cilantro. Top with the fruity olive oil and red wine vinegar. Toss to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pretty In Pink: Beet and Couscous Salad by somethingwewhippedup.com

Pretty In Pink: Beet and Couscous Salad by somethingwewhippedup.com

SWWU Tip 1: I found that this salad tastes best at room temperature. If you refrigerate leftovers, just bring to temperature on the counter 30 minutes prior to serving.

SWWU Tip 2: Don’t have one of the ingredients on hand? Replace the pepitas with walnuts or almond slivers. Swap golden raisins for the dried cranberries. Use fresh min instead of cilantro or parsley. Play around a bit and have some fun. 

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A Delicious Way to Use Up All of Your Zucchini

If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, chances are, you’re swimming in zucchini right now. Brian and I haven’t been to the farm in a few weeks, so we’ve been stocking up on the summer staple at our local farmers’ market. Remembering how much we enjoyed the carrot fritters we made earlier this year, we set out to do something similar with the zucchini we had hanging around. We wanted to try a version that was baked, not fried, so we wouldn’t feel as guilty when I went back for seconds.

Baked Crispy Zucchini Cakes by somethingwewhippedup.com

Baked Crispy Zucchini Cakes by somethingwewhippedup.com

We’re quite pleased with how these baked crispy zucchini cakes turned out. They work just as well as a dinner or lunch side dish as they do a quick grab-and-go breakfast option. Heating them up on a rack in the oven after they bake is essential in making them crisp up on all sides. So be sure you don’t skip that step if you make some for yourself. These cakes are quite good on their own, but we especially enjoyed them when we paired a few with a bit of our homemade caramelized onion dip.

Baked Crispy Zucchini Cakes

Makes about 12

  • 2 eggs
  • 5 to 6 cups shredded zucchini, squeezed and drained (see note below)
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup shredded yellow onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Add the eggs to an extra-large bowl and beat until scrambled. Add the zucchini, carrot, onion, salt and pepper. Mix until combined. Add the flour and toss to coat, making sure no lumps of flour are left behind.

2. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Place a scoop (about 1/4 cup) of the zucchini mixture into each well, filling to the top. Press down gently to make the top flat. Give the top of each cake a light coating of cooking spray. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top of each cake is browned and crispy. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes before removing from muffin tin. Reduce oven heat to 300°F.

3. Transfer the cakes to a baking sheet (preferably one lined with racks) and warm in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp on all sides.

SWWU Tip: If you have one, use a food processor to shred the zucchini, carrot and onion and save yourself a bit of time. Take a few minutes to transfer the vegetables to a towel in batches, about 1 cup each, and squeeze out the excess liquid before combining with the other ingredients.

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