Easy Weeknight Dinners Cookbook

Easy Weeknight Dinners Cookbook

I was recently introduced to this Easy Weeknights Dinner cookbook. Seeing the different ways cooks compose their recipes and how they differ from my approach is really fun! While I don’t cook in the same ways, this book has lots of tricks for getting a composed dish on the table in very little time—it’s a cookbook for the cook who wants to prepare a meal with a home-cooked feel without committing to spending lots of time in the kitchen. With ingredients like a packaged pre-made pizza crust or boxes of cookies, you are able to skip time consuming homemade steps and still put together a pizza dinner or chocolate chip cookie s’mores dessert.

Easy Weeknight Dinners Cookbook

In really testing out this cookbook, I decided to make one of the recipes and make to see how I’m being guided through each step. I went with “Golden Apple Snack Cake” because I really wanted a recipe that started from scratch—that, and hello, that’s “snack” and “cake” is in the same title (done!).

The recipes are created in simple direct broad strokes so that you can read and absorb them quickly. Though, I did encounter a bit of frustration with ingredients like “chopped apples” which left me wondering if I’m roughly chopping or finely chopping—big chunks or small pieces. End of the day—or recipe—I don’t imagine it makes much of a difference and instead is based on personal preference. Though when in baking mode, I wasn’t quite sure if my middle of the road sized pieces would cause the end pastry to fall apart (fyi, it didn’t). That said, I would like to know how the pastry in the recipe’s picture was made so I can effortlessly be pulled through the steps and end up with the dessert in the picture sitting directly in front of me.

Easy Weeknight Dinners Cookbook

Not long after you start, you’re done and have these rich, sweet and buttery snack bars in front of you—they would be perfectly served a la mode with vanilla bean ice cream (just a bit of food for thought).

Enter to win a copy of this Easy Weeknight Dinners cookbook below! I have two copies to give away! And don’t worry, if you don’t win this one, you can still buy a copy with a $5 discount and free shipping here! Good luck!

“Easy Weeknight Dinners” Cookbook Giveaway

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Beet Crostini

I love how these crostini look; there is a sense of clean, almost artistic sophistication. Class up any dinner or make them for a cocktail party, they are elegant and super delicious bites that are perfect for every occasion. 

As featured in the article “The Third Date – An LT Field Guide Featuring Featuring Michelle Williams” in Life, Tailored

Beet Burrata & Honey Crostini

INGREDIENTS

Burrata (8 oz)
Beet (1 large)
Baguette (1. I used Stirato)
Honey
Salted Butter (2 tbap, melted)
Salted Butter (1 tbsp, for wrapping with your beet)

RECOMMENDED KITCHEN ITEMS

Baking Sheet
Silicon Brush
Cutting Board
Bread Knife
Chef’s Knife
Tin Foil
Tablespoon
Strainer
Pairing Knife (optional)

1. BEETS: preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Use your chef’s knife on your cutting board to remove the leafy greens from your beets. Discard of them. Thoroughly wash your beets in your strainer.

Tear off a piece of tin foil large enough to wrap your beet in a pouch. Coat it with your butter leaving any extra in its center. Put your beet in the center of the foil. Wrap the foil up into a pouch around the beet. Put it on your baking sheet and then put your baking sheet into the oven. Let bake for 40 minutes—or till you can stick a knife with little effort through your beet to its center.

Take your beet out of the oven. Let them sit for 2 minutes and then cautiously open your pouches (they will be hot so be extra mindful). Under running water use your hands to push the skin off of your beet. (If you have trouble, use your pairing knife to remove the remaining skin.)

On your cutting board, cut your beet into eighths and then into thin slices—roughly 1/8 inch thick.

2. BAGUETTE: on your cutting board, use your bread knife to cut your baguette into inch thick slices. Lay them out on your baking sheet.

Use your silicon brush to coat the top of your slices with your melted butter.

Put them in the oven for 7 minutes—or until lightly toasted.

3. PUT IT ALL TOGETHER: use your tablespoon to scoop your burrata onto the top of each of your toasted baguette slices.

Drizzle honey over each of them.

Top off each honey coated cheesy crostini with a few beet slices.

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Peanut Butter Banana Bread

After my Sea Salt Caramel Banana Peach & Walnut Bread  proved to be such a success amongst family, friends and my all-confirming several-times-a-day mindless zombie-esque trips to the kitchen to have “just one more piece”, I had to make another loaf to, if nothing else, replace the one  that disappeared far to quickly. Inspired by the childhood peanut butter, banana and honey sandwiches my friend introduced me to in the fourth grade, this rich loaf came to life. 

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

INGREDIENTS (yields 1 loaf)

Banana (5 overly ripened)
All Natural Smooth Peanut Butter (3 tbsp)
Honey (2 tbsp)
Egg
Light Brown Sugar (1/2 cup)
White Sugar (1/4 cup)
Baking Powder (3 tsp)
Vegetable Oil (1/4 cup)
Salt (1/4 tsp)
Unsalted Butter (1 tbsp for coating your loaf pan)

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

RECOMMENDED KITCHEN ITEMS

Food Processor
Nonstick Loaf Pan
Large Mixing Bowl
Medium Mixing Bowl
Rubber Spatula

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

1. PROCESS ITusing your hands, break your bananas into smaller chunks and put them into your food processor (size doesn’t matter so long as they fit into it). Add in your peanut butter and honey. Blend down until it is pureed.

2. FLOUR & SUCHin your large mixing bowl, combine your flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.

Mix in your vegetable oil and egg. Then using your rubber spatula, fold in your banana mixture. Voila! Your dough is ready!

3. BAKE ITpreheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Coat your nonstick loaf pan with butter.

Pour your dough into your loaf pan and then put it in the oven. Let it bake for 40 minutes or till golden brown on the outside.

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Pistachio Cookies

Ok. Let’s start at the beginning. I recently went to Toby’s Estate Coffee in the Flatiron district. And as you can read in my review of it, I ended up with a iced cup of coffee and an incredible, mouth-watering, delicious pistachio cookie. Well, the flatiron area isn’t that close to home and I needed these cookies on a regular basis. So, I made my own incredible, mouth-watering, delicious version that also go perfectly with a great cup of coffee. (I’m in love!) 

Pistachio Cookies

INGREDIENTS (yields 20 cookies)

Pistachio (1.5 cups, deshelled. 20 for topping)
All – purpose Flour (3/4 cup)
White Sugar (1/4 cup)
Confectioner’s Sugar (1/4 cup for dough.  1 cup for coating the outside of your cookies)
Vegetable Oil (1/4 cup)
Egg
Salt (1/4 tsp)
Goat Cheese (2 oz)
Pure Vanilla Extract (1/4 tsp)

Pistachio Cookies

RECOMMENDED KITCHEN ITEMS

Food Processor
Baking Sheet
Large Mixing Bowl
Medium Mixing Bowl
Parchment Paper
Rubber Spatula
Whisk

Pistachio Cookies

1. PISTACHIOS & FLOUR:  put your pistachios in your food processor and pulse till it becomes a coarse flour consistency—roughly 1 minute (a few larger pieces add some nice texture to the final cookie so don’t be too finicky about this).

Put this pistachio flour in your large mixing bowl. Add in your all-purpose flour, white sugar, 1/4 cup of confectioner’s sugar and salt.

2. OIL, EGG & SUCH: in your medium mixing bowl, use your whisk to mix together your vegetable oil, egg, goat cheese and vanilla. Then using your rubber spatula, fold it into your flours in your large mixing bowl.

Pistachio Cookies

3. BAKE AWAY: preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.

Use your hands to roll 20 1 inch balls of dough and then line them out on your baking sheet about 2 inches from one another. Put them in the oven for 15 minutes—or until when you stick a tooth pick in the center of one, it comes out with only crumbs and not uncooked dough.

Pistachio Cookies

4. SUGAR COATING IT: pour your remaining confectioner’s sugar onto a new piece of parchment paper. One at a time, roll your cookies in it until they are fully sugar coated and then stick a pistachio in their middle.

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Toby’s Estate Coffee

Toby's Estate Coffee Roasters

Typically, when I go to a coffee shop it’s all about the coffee. With such a beautiful display case, cake stands and adorable colorful floral on black background plates (that I not-so-secretly want one of) I had to get a Toby’s Estate Coffee pastry. Well, if not for that reason then for the fact that I forgot cash and needed to bump my bill above the five dollar mark.

Toby's Estate Coffee Roasters

Whether the romanticized way or the realist way, I heeded their recommendation and got a pistachio cookie. It was incredible! It’s quickly become my new obsession. I went so far as to follow up on my my Instagram statement, “Obsessed with these little bites of pistachio heaven! I have to make my own version STAT!” (don’t worry, here’s my Pistachio Cookies recipe!). 

Toby's Estate Coffee Roasters

Let’s get back on track here, the coffee. It’s delicious. I’m all about iced coffee in the summer and their iced cold brew is simply perfect—it’s not bitter; not overly rich, instead it’s flavorful and easy to drink (which can become a problem for me with the credit card limit and the wanting refill after refill. Order two at once? Hmmm.)

Toby's Estate Coffee Roasters

The beauty that I’m finding with coffee shops these days is the environment that they create based on their branding. You go from the shabby chic vibe of a DTUT, to the down-to-earth yet put together industrial feel of Irving Farm and Ninth Street Espresso (review coming soon), to this polished posh beautiful coffee shop.

They’ve created a gorgeous escape from life on the corner of 21st and 5th. It’s a whole other take on the shopping, eating, culture experience. I’ll explain. You see, on that corner is on of my very favorite clothing stores Club Monaco. They renovated this location and have connected to an elegant strand bookstore which then directs you to Toby’s Estate—if you’re following the amazingly plotted flow of events, you have just shopped for gorgeous clothes, picked up an exciting book or even a great new coffee table read in the literature section and then are off  to refuel before your exit back into your day-to-day life (so incredible. Hopefully one day they’ll house my future cookbook).

Toby's Estate Coffee Roasters

Beyond the structural environment that they have created, the social one is also wonderful. There you see, I’ve made a new friend (he is holding my old business card—I’m revamping them as we “speak”—I’m ashamed to say I never got his name. Ugh!) This is all to say that everyone I encountered there was incredibly fun and kind—the kind of people you want to surround yourself with for an afternoon coffee. I was trying to get one of them to sneak me one of those cute floral plates. That’s what friends are for! (I think I may have to become a regular first before playing that card. Such a great problem to have!)

Toby’s Estate Coffee

Address: 160 5th Avenue, NYC
Phone: (646) 550-0161

They have a great looking location in Brooklyn, too!

Address: 125 North 6th Street, Williamsburg
Phone: (347) 457-6160

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