Rainbow Caprese Salad with Spicy Balsamic Glaze

Rainbow Caprese Salad with Spicy Balsamic GlazeIt’s that time of the year where it’s not exactly summer or fall. I’m dying to wear boots and sweaters but I’m not looking forward to winter. The other day I was watching Quantico (Awesome show btw. Priyanka Chopra is absolutely stunning.), and there was a scene with slushy streets in NYC. My mind immediately curled itself up into a ball thinking, “No…… I’m not ready for another winter.”
heirloom tomatoesRainbow Caprese Salad with Spicy Balsamic GlazeLuckily, we still have some summer produce to cling on to the last whisper of summer. I found some heirloom tomatoes at Trader Joe’s this past week and they were available in so many different hues that a rainbow was the first thing that came to my mind. I’m almost embarrassed to say that nearly every ingredient that I used in this recipe is from Trader Joe’s (even the paprika!), but imo a one-stop shop is always good news.Rainbow Caprese Salad with Spicy Balsamic GlazeI love Caprese salad because it’s a solid balance of flavors. But more than half of the time, I’m disappointed when I order it in a restaurant. The ratio to tomato, cheese, basil and balsamic glaze is usually off. I suppose everyone has their own idea of what makes the perfect ratio and that’s why making it at home is the best option all around. (It’s usually cheaper too.)Rainbow Caprese Salad with Spicy Balsamic Glaze Rainbow Caprese Salad with Spicy Balsamic GlazeHeirloom tomatoes are super sweet and juicy so you want to use a very sharp knife to slice them neatly. Tip: when cutting the little tomatoes, cut them vertically (from the stem end) to get the prettiest shot of the seedy insides. I wanted to balance the sweetness with a hint of heat and it turned out well. I may be biased because I love hot sauce on almost anything and everything. Even if you forgo the spicy glaze and opt for plain balsamic vinegar, it’s still delicious since vegetables + cheese = always tasty.
Rainbow Caprese Salad with Spicy Balsamic Glaze

Rainbow Caprese Salad with Spicy Balsamic Glaze

Ingredients:

2-3 lbs. heirloom tomatoes in various colors, shapes and sizes
16 oz. fresh mozzarella
1 bunch fresh basil
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
spicy balsamic glaze (recipe below)

Instructions:

  1. Wash and slice your tomatoes.
  2. Slice your mozzarella.
  3. Pick out the freshest leaves from your basil bunch. Save the tiny ones for garnish.
  4. Line the plate with basil leaves and top it with the mozzarella slices.
  5. Arrange the tomato slices from red to green, starting from the darkest red.
  6. Put some basil slices in between the tomatoes.
  7. Sprinkle the tomatoes lightly with salt and drizzle the olive oil.
  8. Drizzle the balsamic glaze and top with the remaining basil leaves.

Spicy Balsamic Glaze

Ingredients:
½ c. plus ½ tbsp. balsamic vinegar (6% acidity)
½ tsp. red pepper flakes (if you just want a hint of spice, dial it back to ¼ even ⅛ tsp. if you’re sensitive)
¼ tsp. smoked paprika
freshly ground black pepper
¾ tbsp. sugar

Instructions:

  1. In a small pot, add ½ c. balsamic vinegar, red pepper flakes, paprika, sugar and as much black pepper as you want.
  2. Boil down the vinegar until thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Keep a close eye on it so that it doesn’t burn.
  3. Add ½ tbsp. balsamic vinegar to up the acidity that you lost.
  4. Cool and use as desired.

Weekday Update

 

*I spent too much time on Monday morning trying to get Bear and Pusheen to be friends. He was not amused.
*I spent too much time Monday morning trying to get Bear and Pusheen to be friends. He was not amused.

 

  • I’m officially on the Stranger Things train. My favorite character is Dustin. Who is yours?
  • Whaaaaaaaaattttt… a Pumpkin Spice Latte beer?? Must find and try.img_4229
  • I spent a part of my Labor Day weekend in Findlay, Ohio for my cousin’s wedding. Farms. Everywhere. Other than that, it was a beautiful, small town wedding. (L to R: That’s me, my cousin- Debbie, my sister-Rachel, and my other cousin-Joseph)
  • My current favorite makeup is the Tarte water foundation. It literally melts into your skin and is incredibly weightless. Bonus, it will not oxidize on your skin.
  • I got this bag  (in black) as a birthday gift for myself. I’m loving it.
  • I also received this necklace as a birthday gift. I love it. It goes with everything.
  • Try as I might, I cannot spend $800 on a pair of boots. I tried just about every option out there for a pair that would hug my legs as tight as Stuart Weitzmans and I finally found it. Call off the search party.
  • I haven’t watched the suicide squad yet, but I had to get these Funko Pop keychains. Adorable.
  • Football season has officially begun. I benched C.J. Anderson and I’m crying on the inside.

Raspberry Rosé Macarons

Raspberry Rosé MacaronSummer is quickly nearing its end and I felt like I had to make something “summer” before it became too late. When I look back on the summer of 2016, I would have to say that it was the summer of rosé. The internet has been buzzing with things from made from rosé such as frozé (frozen, slushy like rosé) and rosé gummy bears with thousands of people on their wait list. It is the prettiest out of all the wines and (for this wine newb) the tastiest.
Rosé MacaronSo I set out to make the prettiest macarons I could dream of. The pinks in the macaron shells are inspired by the many pink hues of rosé and the filling is a raspberry rosé frosting. To get it to taste like rosé, I used sparkling wine flavoring and also boiled down one cup of rosé to a mere 1/4 cup. (The process goes quick because of the alcohol content.)
Raspberry Rosé MacaronsRosés tend to have a fruity note so I wanted to add a raspberry flavoring. The raspberry flavor comes from powdered freeze dried raspberries (I got mine from Trader Joe’s.). As much as I love fresh fruit in my frosting, I knew I was adding more liquid with the rosé so this was a great way to decrease the liquid content without compromising the flavor. The raspberries have seeds in them so if you do not want seeds in your frosting, use a fine mesh strainer to sort them out.
Raspberry MacaronsThe end result is a definite raspberry flavor with a hint of rosé that grows stronger at the end. I think the way you perceive rosé is different for each person. My sister said she barely tasted it while other people said they could definitely taste it. Either way it is not straight up raspberry, there is something different about it.

Raspberry Rosé Macarons

For the macaron shells:

Ingredients:
212 g. almond meal
212 g. powdered sugar
172 g. egg whites, divided to 82 g. and 90 g
236 g. sugar
158 g. water
edible silver stars
edible pink shimmer powder
light pink gel food coloring
pink gel food coloring

Instructions:

  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, add the almond meal and powdered sugar and pulse until thoroughly combined.
  3. Sift the mixture over a large mixing bowl, throwing out the lumps as they appear.  Add 82 g. of the egg whites and stir until you get a thick mixture.
  4. Separate the almond flour mixture into two bowls (253 g. each). Mix one bowl with light pink gel food coloring and the other with pink food coloring.
  5. In a small pot attached with a candy thermometer, combine the sugar and water over medium heat and boil until the syrup reaches 200˚F.
  6. Once the syrup reaches 200˚F, start whipping the remaining 90 g. in the bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attachment on medium speed until soft peaks are reached.
  7. Once the syrup reaches 248 degrees, remove the pot off the burner and slowly pour the syrup down the side of the mixing bowl with the egg whites on medium speed.
  8. Once the egg whites are fully incorporated, increase the speed to medium high until egg whites form glossy, stiff peaks
  9. Mix a ⅙ of the egg white mix to the light pink almond mixture and stir together until the batter is slightly lighter and less pasty.  From then on, fold in ⅙ of the egg white mixture twice until the mixture “flows like magma”.  The mixture should be smooth and run thick ribbons off the spatula. Repeat with the pink almond mixture.
  10. With a pastry bag fitted with a ½ in. plain tip, paint stripes in the inside of the pastry bag with the pink gel food coloring.
  11. Fill half of the pastry bag with the light pink and the other half with the pink batter. Pipe 1¼ – 1½ in. rounds.
  12. The piped batter may have peaks but should smooth away in a minute or two. Sprinkle the top of the macaron batter with tiny silver stars. Let the batter stand until the tops of the macaron batter are dry to the touch, about 30 mins to 1 hour.
  13. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
  14. Once you place the macarons in the oven, reduce the heat to 275˚F. Bake 10-13 minutes, until the feet are formed and the tops are smooth.  The macarons are done when you slightly wiggle them and they start to come off of the parchment paper / silicone mat.
  15. Once you remove the macarons, reheat the oven to 350˚F for ten minutes before baking another pan of macarons at 275˚F.
  16. Let cool and dust the tops with pink shimmer dust. Fill with frosting.

Raspberry Rosé Frosting

Ingredients:
1 c. whole milk
¼ c. flour
a pinch of salt
8 oz. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c. sugar
1 ½ tsp. sparkling wine flavor
1 c. rosé wine
3 tbsp. powdered freeze dried raspberries

Instructions:

  1. In a small pot, boil 1 c. of wine until ¼ c. remains. Let cool and set aside.
  2. In a saucier pan, put milk, salt and flour and whisk until combined on medium heat.
  3. Continuously whisk mixture until thickened to a pudding like consistency.
  4. Once thickened, strain through a mesh strainer into a bowl with a spatula to remove lumps.
  5. Place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the flour mixture and put into the fridge until fully cool.
  6. In a mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the sugar and butter on high speed until fluffy and pale about, 5-10 minutes.
  7. Add the chilled flour mixture and continue to whip on high speed until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is no longer gritty, about 5-10 minutes.
  8. Add the rosé, freeze dried raspberries, sparkling wine flavoring and mix until combined.