August 9, 2017

Chef Luke Makes Candy Sushi

Chef Luke is BACK! He took a short break from his cooking show because he’s been extremely booked; camp, dates with mom, swim lessons, and all the attention throughout “The Summer of Luke” have been very exhausting. Luckily, his partner in crime, Chef Gavin, returned home from sleep away camp last week, and they insisted on cooking together.

They’ve done it again with this super fun recipe for Candy Sushi, which we adapted from Kraft. Watch the full video to see how it’s done!

Enjoy!

xx, Maggie
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August 4, 2017

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

Here’s a perfect example of baking something that I didn’t need, but was happy to stuff into my face. Guys, I have to fit into a very tight dress for my other son’s wedding in five weeks. Although there are healthy ingredients in this recipe, I went overboard and added streusel and drizzle to what would have been an acceptable muffin recipe.

Okay, so streusel and drizzle definitely takes this to the NEXT LEVEL, but really? I may has well have just plunked two of these bad boys directly on my hips before they passed through my lips.

Now, as for the size of these muffins? Well, they certainly ain’t muffkins. I like them BIG. Why? Why not?

Is there anything better than a muffin top? With the exception of one that sticks out if your pants are too tight (which may happen if you scarf down a few of these – consider yourself warned).

I absolutely love fresh peach season and throwing in the dried dates into this recipe was a nice twist. I’m getting tired of adding the usual cranberries and raisins to things. Aren’t you?

Oh yes! What about this muffin pan? The nice folks at USA PAN sent this to me a few months ago (pre-demolition), and I have been saving it until we finished the kitchen and had our ovens in full gear. I’m sure you can imagine how many muffin tins I have collected over the years, but this one is special. First of all, it has an amazing design. Love the stripes! Secondly, although I’m always cautious to either spray or line my muffin tins, this pan didn’t need ANYTHING because it’s super non-stick. My muffins practically fell out on the floor when I released them. Five second rule applies here if you happen to drop one.

Speaking of which, I get many requests about freezing baked goods. These muffins are perfect to pop in the freezer for up to three months or they will stay fresh in an airtight container for three days. Having said that, why is it that I never have to freeze anything? Most likely because I either take my goodies to the office OR I polish them off myself before they have a chance to make it into the freezer.

There are no secret ingredients in this muffin recipe. Just plain old fashioned DA BOMB diggity peachy keen muffins here.  Ready, set, let’s get baking!

For the streusel topping
– ⅓ cup packed light or dark brown sugar
– 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
– ⅔ cup all-purpose flour

For the muffins
– 2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1 cup rolled oats,quick cooking
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
– ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
– ½ teaspoon salt
– 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
– 1 cup granulated sugar
– ⅓ cup light brown sugar, packed
– 1 large egg plus 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
– 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
– ¾ cup milk (almond, rice or soy will work too)
– ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
– 3 fresh peaches peeled and diced into small cubes
– ½ cup chopped dried dates

For the vanilla drizzle
– 1 cup powdered sugar
– 3 tablespoons milk
– ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1) To make the streusel topping, in a large bowl combine both sugars, cinnamon, melted butter and flour until the mixture is very crumbly. Set aside or place in fridge while making your muffin batter to keep the streusel from getting too warm.
2) Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with non-stick spray; set aside.
3) In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the rolled oats and set aside.
4) In a large bowl using an electric mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and both sugars and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy; about 3 minutes.
5) Add in the egg, egg yolks, and vanilla and continue beating until well combined. Turn mixer off and set batter aside. In a large measuring cup add the milk and sour cream; whisk well to combine; set aside. With the mixer speed set to low; alternate adding the flour mixture and the sour cream/milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Be sure not to over mix. With the mixer turned off, add in the diced peaches and dates and use a spatula to gently fold the fresh and dried fruit into the batter just until incorporated.
6) Divide the batter evenly among prepared muffin tins. Don’t be shy, fill those tins to the brim. Top each muffin cup with about 3 tablespoons of crumb topping.
7) Bake for 27 to 30 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool muffins 10 minutes in the pan before transferring to a cooling rack. Once the muffins have cooled completely, make your drizzle by combining the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Drizzle over each muffin and let set. These freeze well, but I’m going to be honest here, there won’t be any left to freeze once you get your hands on these. Makes 8-12 large muffins.

xx, Debi
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July 31, 2017

DIY Chic S’mores Bar

Every summer when we pull out the bonfire pit, I can’t resist the urge to make s’mores! The smell is so nostalgic of childhood days at camp, but these tasty treats never get old. Last week in The Hamptons, I decided to treat the team to a chic s’mores bar in the backyard.

Using a simple cake stand, I set up all the necessary ingredients to make the perfect s’more.

But besides the cake stand, making this setup look gorgeous was really all in the details. I garnished the platters with greens from the garden and added a number of different candles to light the table as the sun was going down.

I used a simple wooden picnic bench from the backyard to set everything up, as it was lower to the ground and easier for everyone to access and assemble their s’mores.

The setup was a hit, and we can’t wait to do it again. Happy s’mores making!

xx, Maggie
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July 26, 2017

A Dinner Party for Two

Birthday gifts can be tricky. When you know someone special who has it all, how do you keep the excitement of gift giving alive?

How about a well designed, well thought out dinner for 2? That would be pretty fun to walk into as a birthday girl…don’t you think?!

Doesn’t get cuter than a husband surprising his wife with a beautiful dinner with the most delicious menu. That’s what we did here and loved every moment of it.

From the stunning table design with plates, utensils, glasses and placemats all from our favorite store CB2, to a bottle of pink champagne, candles and the perfect naked cake from Making that Cake topped with fresh flowers….it was pretty perfect.

We brought in a personal chef Linda Sarris who goes by the name The Cheeky Chef to create a delicious, beautiful dinner for the couple. She came into the apartment to prepare the dinner while we set up and once the couple arrived they sat down to a gorgeous appetizer followed by a pasta course and main dish. It smelled (and I know tasted) heavenly.

Bravo to the husband who thought of this idea. Made for the perfect night for his wife’s birthday celebration and surely one she’ll never forget.

Photos by Maggie Antalek

xx, Seri
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July 21, 2017

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

When I go grocery shopping with Steve, it’s always an experience. Let me explain.

Usually, we stay together and one of us pushes the cart down each aisle as we peruse the items that will ultimately make it into the cart. As a rule, the collaboration on what’s A YES and what’s A NO usually goes something like this:

ME: “OOOOOO!!! Look at these…..I want to make ______with them.”

STEVE: “YOU DON’T NEED THEM.”

ME: “Yes, I do. Can you imagine what they will look like in a photograph?”

STEVE: “It’s going to go bad in the fridge before you ever photograph them.”

ME: “NO, I’m going to make the recipe when we get home.”

STEVE: “YA, RIGHT.”

ME: “Can I get these too?”

STEVE: “NO”

ME: “WHY?”

STEVE: “Because you will forget that you have the container and it will expire”.

Enter these gooseberries. I have to admit something to you but you need to promise not to tell Steve, okay?

I really didn’t need these. Don’t get me wrong, they were super cute and really made for an unusal twist to this recipe BUT the bottom line is, they were totally an impulse buy and were not ripe enough to eat out of the container.

That’s exactly why there is a good amount of honey in this recipe because unless you like things REALLY SOUR, and I mean SOUR, you are going to want to ripen these on your window sill for a few days OR until you forget about them.

Oh, and my solution for shopping with Steve is not going shopping with Steve. I usually make my way to the store to buy everything my heart desires, quickly unpack it and try to camouflage it in the fridge. Works like a charm, until he finds it with arms and sleeves three months from now.

GOOSEBERRY MANUKA FROZEN YOGURT

– 1 cup low fat vanilla flavoured yogurt
– ¼ cup Manuka honey
– pinch of cinnamon
– 1 pint fresh gooseberries, frozen

1) Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
2) Select Variable 1.
3) Turn machine on and slowly increase to the highest speed.
4) Use the tamper to press ingredients into the blades.
5) In about 30-60 seconds, the sound of the motor will change and four mounds should form.
6) Stop machine. Do not over mix or melting will occur. Serve immediately with additional gooseberries for garnish.

See you next week!

debi @simplybeautifuleating
Simply Beautiful Eating

xx, Debi
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