Monday, August 5, 2013

Girl and the Grill: Grilled Figs Wrapped in Prosciutto

I conquered the broiler last year, but now I turned it up a notch and have started on mastering a new hot skill; the grill. We love using the grill on a hot day because we can make dinner quickly without adding extra heat inside the house.

These have made an awesome summer appetizer in our house, as we wait for our brats and burgers to grill. I'm biased though, because wrapping anything in proscuitto might be delicious to me :)

You could also try adding some rosemary or goat cheese for a fun twist!

Grilled Figs Wrapped in Prosciutto

Credit: ©

-Thinly sliced prosciutto
-Olive oil

1. Slice figs in halves
2. Wrap thin slice of prosciutto around each half. One piece of prosciutto per fig seems to work best
3. Drizzle with olive oil. I don't add salt because the prosciutto has such a salty flavor.
4. Grill for about 5 minutes on each side. So about 10 minutes total. Should form a grilled shell around the Fig.
5. Eat!

By: Maggie Dunphy

Friday, August 2, 2013

La Fournette: A Bite of Paris

I was picking up my Big Ten 10k race packet in Old Town with my friend Laura, when I spotted a little bite of Paris in the middle of the block.

We saw a sign for La Fournette, and my inner foodie started jumping up and down like a crazy child in a candy store. La Fournette was the French bakery/deli that Chef Gale Gand and her baby intern chef Jess had been raving about for the past year. Gale completed her culinary training in France, so she always knows best.

And just like that, I was back in Paris for 20 minutes (they were about to close, or I would have spent all day trying everything) of pure heaven. We decided on croque monsieurs for dinner- the best grilled cheese and ham sandwich/panini you might ever have in your life. Ingredients are not used sparsely as the cheese overflows and creates a savory layer of crust around the sandwich.

La Fournette: Croque Monsieur

For dessert, we grabbed colorful and sweet macarons. They were definitely on the same level as a French bakery in the heart of Paris. My personal favorite is the pistachio with hazelnut filling.

La Fournette: Macarons 
La Fournette: La Macarons 
Also, I grabbed a couple breakfast treats for the next morning. When we were in Paris, I would always start the morning with a Brioche, kind of like sweet bread roll. Light and airy with a little sugar to add a touch of sweetness. Ryan is traditional and prefers a chocolate croissant.  La Fournette is simplicity done at perfection.

La Fournette: Chocolate Croissant 

La Fournette: Brioche

 By: Maggie Dunphy

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Double Trouble Blueberry Muffins

These are seriously the best blueberry muffins I have ever made, make sure to put this in your index. It has the perfect berry to "cake" ratio, and they will melt in your mouth. I wish I could wake up every morning to one of these. 

Muffins are great because they can work for multiple occassions. Breakfast, brunch, or an office morning snack for your coworkers- you can't go wrong. 

Little Cooking Magic Trick- if you toss the blueberries with a light dusting of flour before mixing in, they are less likely to all end up at the bottom. 

 Double Blueberry Muffins

Credit: Gale Gand

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups fresh or thawed frozen blueberries
2 cups flour
1/2 cup whole, 2 percent fat, or 1 percent fat milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a muffin tin or line the cups with paper liners. In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer), cream the butter until smooth. Add 1 cup of the sugar and mix. Add the eggs, vanilla, baking powder, and salt and mix. In a shallow bowl, mash 3/4 cup of the blueberries with the back of a fork. Add to the batter and mix.

With the mixer running at low speed, add 1/2 of the flour, then 1/2 of the milk, and mix. Repeat with remaining flour and milk. Fold in the remaining 1 3/4 cups whole blueberries by hand until well mixed. In a separate small bowl, mix the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar with the cinnamon. Use an ice-cream scoop or large spoon to fill the muffin cups 3/4 full. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar over the muffins and bake until golden brown and risen, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan at least 30 minutes before turning out.

By: Maggie Dunphy

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Lazy Lemons: Lemon Bars

There is nothing much better than an extra long lazy weekend! Happy Memorial Day! 

And we get a second lazy Sunday, tomorrow! Unfortunately, the Chicago weather has been gray and chilly. So, these are the perfect guilty snack. 

These are the best lemon bars, I have ever made. They are the perfect ratio of crust and custard, and sweet and tart. Refreshing and delicious! Make sure to slice them small as they are very rich. 

Lemon Bars

Recipe courtesy of Barefoot Contessa


For the crust:
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the filling:
6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup flour
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.

Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.

Cut into triangles and dust with confectioners' sugar.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Reinventing the Wheel: Rice Krispie Pops

Hi all! 

Guess who's back.....Long time, no blog, right!? 

A year hiatus was much needed and I'm ready to get in front of the stove yet again. Also, working on cooking more healthy recipes this time around (of course, not in this post though).  

Sometimes I feel like taking a break allows us to refocus and gain a different perspective. Working and commuting along with real world fun, unfortunately has cut into cooking, photography and blogging time. It's all a juggling act, but I've been missing my me-time in the kitchen. So here we go again! 

With a new layout, a fresh perspective and a fun little twist on your basic rice krispie treat, my cooking love affair has begun once more. 

Rice Krispie Pops 

  • 2 tablespoons butter (the real deal)
  • 1 package regular marshmallows or 4 cups mini ones
  • 6 cups of Kellogg's Rice Krispies Cereal 
  • Also need- chocolate for melting. 

1. In microwave-safe bowl heat butter and marshmallows on HIGH for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir until smooth.
2. Add KELLOGG'S RICE KRISPIES cereal. Stir until well coated.

3. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares. Best if served the same day.

4. Wait 15 minutes, until cool to the touch. Slice into rectangles. Remove from the pan and pinch one end of the square together to make an arch. Put on popsicle sticks (I used 1/2 a stick for each), and place on a sheet pan in the fridge for 10 minutes. 

5. Meanwhile, heat up chocolate by microwaving in 15 second intervals and stirring. Should take about 2 minutes total. Make sure it's smooth. 

6. Dip or use spoon to coat half the rice krispie with melted chocolate. Place on pan with wax paper and sprinkle with sprinkles!

7. Move the tray to the the fridge or freezer for 10 minutes to set the chocolate. 

Wah-lah! You have made beautiful and delicious treats. Perfect for a birthday party or summer picnic.