Jasmine Tea London Fog

Jasmine Tea London Fog

Author note: I use the frothing attachment on my automatic espresso machine to steam and froth the milk. However, there are several ways to create a frothy top. Whipping the warmed milk with a whisk can create a soft whip like substance as well as using an electric handheld frother.

1/2 cup warm water

1 jasmine tea bag


1/4 cup whole milk

frothed milk, to top

  1. In a mug, steep the tea with the warm water for 5-8 minutes. Remove the tea bag.
  2. Steam the milk (or gently warm the milk on the stovetop). Pour the milk with the steeped tea. Stir in honey to taste.
  3. Top with frothed milk. Serve immediately.

Lemon Arborio Rice Soup

It’s easy to get into particular food habits in the winter months– the comfort habit.

You know what I’m talking about, it’s the warm, delicious but oh- so-heavy soup.  It’s glorious, isn’t it? Truth be told I enjoy a bowl of comfort really any time of the year, however it’s especially tempting (and satisfying) during these colder months. But I will confess, there are times I want a comforting warm soup that isn’t packed full of protein and other heavy ingredients.I want the best of both worlds. I assume you do too.

Lemon Arborio Rice Soup has become this hybrid of sorts. It’s comfort soup combined with light bright citrus notes. All the while the soup is hearty and satisfying (and one that I want to get seconds of– because isn’t that a mark of a good soup?).To achieve this soup hybrid, citrus is needed. Not just any citrus though. Lemon. The soup requires lemon zest and lemon juice.

Lets just take a moment and pause to think about the lemon. This bright and beautiful fruit is one of the most critical components of my kitchen– and I hope it is to yours too.Its zest adds sweetness without the acid. Its juice provides acid to add depths of flavor to most any recipe. The juice also brings out flavors of other ingredients. Plus, lemons are just lovely to look at. They are perfect pops of color to decorate the kitchen table or countertops with.With all this lemon love, let me encourage you…actually implore you to always reach for fresh lemons and lemon juice when cooking. There may be ease with the bottled lemon juice, but its flavor is nothing compared to a fresh lemon.

Since lemons are so fantastic, I’m constantly grabbing a few every time I go to Market Street. It so happens it is currently citrus season so the produce season is bursting with all things bright and beautifully citrus-y. From lemons to oranges to grapefruits and pommellos, Market Street has a mighty fine citrus game going on right now… which is perfect for Lemon Arborio Rice Soup.This beautiful soup has Arborio rice cooked in the style of risotto. That means it’s been toasted with onion infused olive oil, then cooked slowly with warm chicken stock. (Side note: if you’re looking for quality NON GMO verified Arborio rice, check out Rice Select at Market Street. It’s my go-to rice because of the quality AND because I like the container.) Once the rice is cooked, additional chicken stock is added, along with saffron butter, parmesan, mascarpone and…LEMON!

Finish the soup off with chopped leafy greens of one bunch of Italian parsley (Gasp! Yes, one bunch of parsley! It is more than just a garnish– in fact it’s one of my other all-time favorite ingredients). Stir and serve warm.This soup is bright because of the lemons, hearty because of the rice and comforting because of the mascarpone and parmesan. The parsley, well… it adds a bit of crunch and earthiness that balances out all of the flavors in this perfectly delicious, citrus-y soup.

Lemon Arborio Rice Soup

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 cup Arborio rice

1/2 cup onion, diced

1/2 cup pinot grigio wine

6 cups low sodium chicken stock, warmed

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/8 teaspoon saffron

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

zest of 2 lemons

3/4 cup parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese (plus more for topping)

1 bunch of parsley, leafy greens chopped

  1. Place the oil and onion into a large pan. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, stir occasionally.
  2. Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat the rice with the oil. Toast for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Pour the wine into the pan. Scrape up any brown bits. Bring the wine to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Increase the heat to medium-high.
  5. Pour 3 cups of chicken stock into a measuring cup or bowl. Add a few ladlefuls of the stock into the pan. Stir the rice very frequently to prevent the rice from sticking to the pan. Once the chicken stock has been absorbed by the rice, add another few ladlefuls of stock, stirring very frequently. Continue this process until 3 cups of the chicken stock is used and the rice is cooked.
  6. Pour the remaining three cups of chicken stock into the pan once the rice is cooked. Reduce the heat to low and warm through for five minutes.
  7. Stir in the butter, saffron, salt, lemon juice and lemon zest. Stir well.
  8. Once the butter is completely melted and mixed into the soup add the parmesan and mascarpone cheese. Continue to stir until both are melted and incorporated into the soup.
  9. Remove from the heat. Add the parsley (reserving a 1/2 cup to top individual bowls of soup) and stir.
  10. Place the soup into individual bowls. Top with a dollop of mascarpone and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Market Street. All opinions are my own.

Thai Broccoli Rice

Thai Broccoli Rice

Author note: The level of heat is up to you. If you prefer a lot of heat, do not seed the serrano pepper. If you prefer a little bit of heat, remove a bit of the stem and seeds. Use a low sodium tamari, this will allow you to control the salt level a bit more.

8 cups broccoli florets

2 tablespoons canola oil

1/2 cup onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped

1 serrano pepper, chopped

4 cups cabbage, shredded

juice of 1 lime

8 basil leaves

1 cup cilantro, chopped

1 tablespoon fish sauce

2 tablespoons low sodium tamari (or low sodium soy sauce)

1/2 teaspoon of salt (optional)

  1. In a food processor, puree the broccoli until a rice like consistency develops. This may have to be done in two batches depending on the size of your food processor.
  2. In a large flat bottomed skillet, add the oil, onion, garlic, ginger and serrano and cook over medium heat for 7 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  3. Add the cabbage and coat with the infused oil. Cook for 4 minutes.
  4. Add the riced broccoli and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  5. Add the fish sauce and soy sauce and cook for 1 minute.
  6. Remove from the heat and add the basil, cilantro and lime juice. Stir well. Serve warm.

Tiramisu Panna Cotta

Tiramisu Panna Cotta

  • Servings: servings 6-8
  • Print
Author note: The chill time is dependent upon the serving bowls the panna cotta is placed in.

4 cups heavy cream, cold

1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin

3/4 cups sugar

2 tablespoons dry marsala wine

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon espresso (or very strong coffee)

whipped mascarpone, for topping (recipe below)

lady fingers, crumbled, for topping

cocoa powder, for topping

  1. Pour the cream into a large pan. Then, sprinkle the gelatin on top of the cream. Do not stir. Let it dissolve for 10 minutes.
  2. Next, place the pan on the stove-top and turn the heat to medium. Begin to stir the mixture.
  3. Once the cream is warm, about 7 minutes, add the sugar, marsala and espresso. Continue to cook until the sugar is dissolved, about 8 more minutes. Do not let the mixture boil.
  4. Continually stir the cream until the gelatin dissolves completely, about 15 minutes total. It will look clumpy at first, but do not fear. Continue to stir until the cream is smooth.
  5. Pour the cooked cream into a large serving bowl or individual serving bowls, cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.
  6. Once the panna cotta is set, serve cold and top with cocoa powder, crumbled lady fingers and whipped mascarpone.

for the whipped mascarpone

3 tablespoons heavy cream

1 cup mascarpone

2 tablespoons sugar

  1. Place all ingredients into a large bowl. Using a mixer, whipped on high until stiff peaks form. Serve chilled or place into the fridge up to one day before serving.

A Pleasant Little Review | America’s Test Kitchen’s The Complete Slow Cooker

America’s Test Kitchen—the name synonymous with quality, trust and taste has created yet another stellar cookbook. The Complete Slow Cooker, one of the newest releases from America’s Test Kitchen, has, as expected, maintained this high standard of cooking.Upon receiving my copy of The Complete Slow Cooker I was incredibly excited. My husband was due for a week of travel, and my work schedule was slammed. It was apparent that this week was destined for slow cooking—and The Complete Slow Cooker would be my guide.

As I do with all new cookbooks that enter A Pleasant Little Kitchen, I read them first. After a quick skim over the recipes listed in the table of contents my initial thoughts were:What a variety of flavors and cuisine!

I can’t choose just one recipe to make.

My friends need this book (and I’m so glad it’s in my life).

I love how each recipe is categorized as easy prep, vegetarian, light or cook all day.So far so good. Then, as I made my way through the recipes themselves I began to draw up a list of recipes to make. This particular list was quite long.

Japanese Pork and Ramen Soup

Chicken Tikka Masala

Red Beans and Rice with Okra and Tomatoes

Scallops with Creamy Braised Leeks

French Lentil Stew

Lamb VindalooIt was apparent that I was going to need more than one week to get to know this book and I was okay with that.

Chicken Tikka Masala (page 91) the first slow cooked meal. The instructions were easy to follow, the steps simple to execute and the flavor development was on point. After about 10 minutes of prep, dinner was placed in the slow cooker with ease— which let me get to work being single mom for the week, business owner and chauffer (just to name a few).One of my favorite qualities about the slow cooker is the warm aroma that fills the home while it’s doing its magic. Coming home after a busy afternoon, the slow cooker is like a giant food hug waiting to tell you that dinner is ready.

This go around, I wanted to share some of the America’s Test Kitchen love, so instead of enjoying the leftovers the following day I sent them on to a friend. Her response to the meal was just like mine—it was SO good. However, she pointed out how healthy the meal was and quickly asked for the recipe; evidence that the recipe was a winner.Selecting the next recipe was tricky—do I go for another flavor profile that is unique, like lamb vindaloo, OR do I choose my inner comfort craving?

Comfort craving won and Southern Chicken with Dirty Rice (page 223) was next on the menu.Like the Chicken Tikka Masala, this recipe was also prepared with ease while combining multiple layers of flavor. I would like to point out that this recipe (along with a lot of the recipes in this cookbook) try to maintain a “one-pot” wonder feel. Much appreciated, America’s Test Kitchen.

While I wanted to pass on this meal to another friend, I couldn’t part with it. The chicken was cooked perfectly, the rice had just enough heat and it satisfied my craving so well that I couldn’t wait to repeat the next night….which I did.Lastly, I tackled a meatless meal that I knew would be freezer friendly for the leftovers. French Lentil Stew (page 75) was hearty, comforting, flavorful and healthy. My little family dove into our bowls with crusty French baguettes and a few slices of cheese.

I need to tell you a bit more about this book though besides the delicious, approachable recipes. The Complete Slow Cooker is an excellent cookbook to welcome into your kitchen because within the pages are:notes from the test kitchen – these notes expand on certain topics like quinoa, lentils, storing soups, shopping for garam masala, how to cut stew meat

make it 5 ways – these double paged sections take one recipe, like chicken and potatoes (found on pages 100-101), and gives you five recipes on how to make it—genius!

simple sides – these suggestions are brief recipes that pair well with the recipes on the corresponding page (like soft and cheesy breadsticks that pair well with Mushroom Bolognese or Alla Norma Sauce, found on page 270-271)If you’re looking for a slow cooker cookbook, America’s Test Kitchen has your answer. The Complete Slow Cooker continues to carry the expected high standard of quality and trustworthy recipes that America’s Test Kitchen is known for. Their test cooks work extremely hard making sure the recipes that come from ATK are approachable, well thought out, expertly executed and delicious.

Gnocchi with Spicy Roasted Baby Broccoli

It’s 5:30. You start to hear everyone’s stomachs grumbling… but there’s no dinner plan.

Well, actually, maybe there was a dinner plan BUT the energy required to pull off the dinner was not available 30 minutes ago.You could order pizza. However, the fridge is full of beautiful ingredients from your weekly visit to Market Street (remember that well-planned menu created on Sunday?). And there is that bag of baby broccoli from last week’s menu that may (or may not) have one day left before it’s past the point of no return.Then you hear it. The kitchen conscience.


Don’t worry. Let me be your kitchen confidence. You CAN respond to this inner voice telling you to cook. Yes. You CAN make dinner. It’s time to roast that broccoli.

Let me be real with you…anytime that dinner or a side dish is looming roasting is always a quick, easy and dependable way to cook.Roasting requires a simple equation that always yields good results:

extra virgin olive oil + item to be roasted + kosher salt + 400 degree oven

It’s that easy. Now, just add anything you want to roast.Broccoli. Cauliflower. Potatoes. Chicken. Grapes. Your recent trip to Market Street has in fact filled your kitchen with a variety of roastable items (whether or not you’ve realized it). And that’s exciting. 

As with anything there are always ways to modify the base equation to improve the final outcome. The more you experiment with this simple roasting equation the more roasting truths you’ll discover.Such as:

1– some vegetables do better with higher roasting temperatures (brussels sprouts)

2– adding different oils and seasonings enhance the final outcome (find a variety of dried herb and spice mixes the next time your walking down the spice aisle at Market Street, you won’t be disappointed).

3– what appears to be “done” for some vegetables may be burnt for other vegetables. It really is up to the roaster4—covering the vegetables for 10-15 minutes allows them to steam before roasting (this technique works great for broccoli)

5– a good shake or toss every 10-15 minutes is a good thing

6– if roasting meats, a thermometer is a must to gauge when the meat is finished cookingNow. Roast whatever comes to mind— green beans! broccoli! tomatoes! grapes! oranges! nuts! The options are deliciously endless.

Then, when the said item is roasted eat it by itself or throw it into a salad, cooked pasta, ice cream, toast, soups or dips.All things considered that bag of broccoli isn’t so scary after all. It’s actually inspiring, especially if you toss it with cooked gnocchi, grated fontina and olive oil.

Now, I have three words for you: roast. that. broccoli.

Gnocchi with Spicy Roasted Baby Broccoli

  • Servings: servings 4-5
  • Print
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

7 cups baby broccoli (about 7 cups)

juice of 1/2 a lemon

cooked gnocchi

shredded fontina

extra-virgin olive oil

  1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the oil, salt, garlic powder, cayenne and chili powder. Whisk well to combine.
  3. Place the broccoli florets into the olive oil mixture and coat the broccoli well.
  4. On a rimmed baking sheet, spread the baby broccoli in a single layer. Cover the baking sheet tightly with foil.
  5. Cook the broccoli for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the foil and continue to roast, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes (until browned to your liking), stirring every 10 minutes.
  6. Place the broccoli into a medium bowl. Top the broccoli with a squeeze of lemon juice and toss.
  7. Meanwhile, cook the gnocchi. Place the cooked gnocchi into the bowl with the broccoli. Add a generous amount of fontina.
  8. Drizzle olive oil on top of the gnocchi and broccoli. Stir well. Serve warm with crusty bread.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Market Street. All opinions are my own.

Chocolate Pancakes with Peppermint Whipped Cream

Chocolate Pancakes with Peppermint Whipped Cream

  • Servings: servings vary
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Author note: The ingredients listed for this recipe are based on 1 cup of packaged pancake mix. If your favorite pancake mix used more or less, adjust the ratio accordingly. 

1 cup pancake mix

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon sugar

whipped peppermint cream (see recipe below)

Preheat a skillet over medium-low heat.

  1. Mix the pancake mix per the package directions, adding the cocoa powder and sugar.
  2. Working in batches, ladle the mixture into the skillet forming pancakes about 3″ in diameter. Cook until bubbles form, about 1 minute. Flip the pancakes and continue cooking until fully cooked, about another 1 minute.

for the whipped peppermint cream

Author note: This whipped cream can be made up to 1 hour before serving.

1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon peppermint flavoring

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Place all ingredients into a large bowl.
  2. Using an electric mixer, whip on high until stiff peaks form, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Serve immediately, or spoon out and place into a container. Store in fridge until ready to serve (up to one hour).

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