August 6th, 2014

Best Dinner Rolls

Best Dinner Rolls | via HeartofHomemade.com

Here’s a short story for you, my friends. Once upon a time, there was a girl who searched to the ends of the Earth for a dinner roll recipe that would suit her needs. She found many different varieties…some buttery, some hard, some yeasty, some crusty. But no recipe in all the land gave her exactly what she wanted: long-lasting fluffiness and perfect texture, delicious flavor, and easy technique. One day, when this girl was supposed to be taking a break from blog recipes, she accidentally created a magical recipe that was everything she had ever hoped for. She tested it again, and again it came out perfect. “It can’t be!” she cried. And she proceeded to stuff her face with bread.

Best Dinner Rolls | via HeartofHomemade.com

Best Dinner Rolls | via HeartofHomemade.com

Guys. That was based on a true story. I may have never mentioned this before – but bread is one of my very favorite things on this planet. I am extremely picky about it, and it is very often my favorite part of the meal at restaurants. There is just nothing like bread fresh out of the oven. Nope. So, after years of looking for a rolls recipe that could be enjoyed for dinner, but then also enjoyed for the rest of the week with breakfast and lunch – I’ve found it. And, even though I was supposed to be taking a break… I just have to share it.

Best Dinner Rolls | via HeartofHomemade.com

This recipe is very tweak-able. If you want sweet bread, add some more honey. If you want cheesy bread, add your favorite grated cheese. If you want herbs, add some herbs. Have a party with it! And let me know how your tweaks turned out! I’d love to hear about some variations on this recipe.

 

Recipe follows after the jump –>

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August 4th, 2014

Strawberries and Cream Cinnamon Rolls

Strawberries and Cream Cinnamon Rolls | via HeartofHomemade.com

This past weekend, my roommate and I decided to be particularly …err…relaxed. We started off the weekend with espresso at 10pm and a game night with friends (which, by the way, included some of the most memorable Taboo quotes I’ve ever heard…though I don’t think I’d be allowed to share them here). We stocked up on sugar and Asian goods from the local Asian market, and proceeded to binge watch anime while we ate some homemade ramen. We ate way too much chocolate and also watched 10 Things I Hate About You (if you haven’t seen this movie – please, do yourself a favor and go rent it on Amazon or something). We played Mario Party. We vegged. Oh yeah, and somewhere in there, we devoured some Strawberries and Cream Cinnamon Rolls.

Strawberries and Cream Cinnamon Rolls | via HeartofHomemade.com

Little known fact: strawberries and cinnamon are actually delicious together. If you don’t believe me, you can also check out this Guava Strawberry Pie post. I won’t lie – at first, I thought I preferred my original recipe cinnamon rolls. But, after consuming 2 *cough* maybe three of these, I realized how very wrong I was. When Sunday came, I had to scramble to get rid of these puppies as fast as I could, for fear that I would eat the entire batch by myself. The strawberries and cream glaze would probably work just as well on biscuits, pancakes, whatever carb-laden delicious breakfast food you desire. Try not to eat it all off the spoon, though, if you can.

Strawberries and Cream Cinnamon Rolls | via HeartofHomemade.com

Let me do my duty as a nice person right now. If you’re trying to be “good” or on a diet – this probably isn’t the post for you. Really, you probably should just stop reading right now. There’ll be another Wellness Wednesday recipe up soon – you can catch back up with me then. If, however, you are craving something different, something extravagant, then just keep on scrolling. And maybe plan a jog for later.

Strawberries and Cream Cinnamon Rolls | via HeartofHomemade.com

 

 

Recipe follows after the jump –> read more »

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July 30th, 2014

Ropa Vieja (Cuban Shredded Beef)

Ropa Vieja (Cuban Shredded Beef) | via HeartofHomemade.com

Today, I have another wonderful family recipe for you. It’s one of my all-time favorite foods (and let me tell you, I’ve tried a lot of food). But today, in return for this treasure of a recipe, I’m going to ask that you do me a favor. Go get to know one of your friends a little bit better, and let them get to know you better. Intentionally strengthen a friendship with someone you don’t naturally get along with. Why this request, you ask? Well, let me explain.

Ropa Vieja (Cuban Shredded Beef) | via HeartofHomemade.com

I used to envy watching guys in their friendships – it was so often like watching a band of brothers. They were loyal to each other, almost family. They were real and weren’t afraid to laugh, fight, and, in a way, to claim each other. They would beat their chests and play their stupid games, and the girls would roll their eyes (and do a jealous double-take in their own minds). How could they be so real and unaffected? As a young woman, I watched from the sidelines hoping to one day have that kind of friendship, too. But this year, I’ve discovered sisterhood. I’ve been challenged by a group of women who are both real and intentional in the relationships they create, a roommate who is so open she unknowingly has the power to break down every last defense of the reticent, and best friends who manage to make a difference in my life even from hundreds of miles away. And I’ve never felt anything like this.

Ropa Vieja (Cuban Shredded Beef) | via HeartofHomemade.com

To have a community of people that really knows you is as wonderful as it is risky. Yes, there are reasons people keep to themselves. If you ask me, those reasons aren’t good enough. This world needs more community, because community brings challenge, growth, hope. It encourages real love and not just the superficial affectations of the cowardly. So, do yourself a favor, go make a friend if you don’t have one. Start a real friendship with someone you’re only acquaintances with. It will take effort, but it will be amazing. And so you say, “But, Damaris, how can I possibly break the barriers with [insert name of stranger here]?” Easy! Make them some Ropa Vieja, some white rice, and head on over to their side with a homemade Cuban lunch, courtesy of you, their-new-best-friend-to-be.

 

Recipe follows after the jump –> read more »

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July 26th, 2014

Frijoles Negros (Cuban Black Bean Stew)

***************RECIPE UPDATED 11/22/16***************

 

Frijoles Negros (Cuban Black Bean Stew) | via HeartofHomemade.com

When I was first learning to cook, I used to follow my mom around the kitchen, writing down everything little thing she did. The difficulty of learning to cook from any seasoned Cuban chef is that they rarely measure anything. So, as she was about to toss a handful of something into the pot, I would grab her hand and pour whatever she held into a measuring cup. Believe it or not, these were the beginnings of my Cuban cuisine education. After years of learning through studying, cooking, and a lot of trial and error, I can at least say this: I finally understand my mom.

Frijoles Negros (Cuban Black Bean Stew) | via HeartofHomemade.com

Admittedly, I have been delaying posting Cuban recipes – and this one in particular. It’s hard to explain, but the Cuban kitchen has a lot to do with learning how flavors complement each other and adjusting to your audience. It has very little to do with careful measurements. That being said, you will find over time that experience with Cuban cuisine will allow you to make your own adjustments.

Frijoles Negros (Cuban Black Bean Stew) | via HeartofHomemade.com

Now, as this is a post about a black bean stew – let me start by saying this. I have known many people who claimed they didn’t eat beans – that they didn’t like them. To this day, I have never met a person who wasn’t converted by this dish. This recipe belonged to my grandmother. In Cuba, she was famous for her black beans. She passed it on to my mother, who passed it on to me. I am delighted to be able to share it with you. In Cuba, dishes vary by the region from which they originated. Some Cuban black bean stews include pork or other meats for flavoring, but this one (my favorite) is completely vegetarian and emphasizes the decadent taste of the actual bean without being boring like so many bean dishes are.

Recipe follows after the jump –>

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July 24th, 2014

Teriyaki Salmon Patties

Teriyaki Salmon Patties - via HeartofHomemade.com

I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude this week – thanks to some very wise friends of mine. Apart from amazing people, rockin music, and extraordinary books – I have to say hobbies make the top 5 in my gratitude list. Nothing makes my day quite as much as coming up with a stellar recipe and sharing it with you guys. Something about it feels like art – like expressing a little bit of my heart in some creative way can make this world a little better. Alright, enough with the mushy thoughts. Let’s get on to the mushy (is that a bad adjective?) food.

Teriyaki Salmon Patties - via HeartofHomemade.com

There’s nothing quite like a kickboxing workout to kick your healthy eating habits into gear. So, courtesy of my workout today (and of the ladies at Her Heart), I bring you the most savory salmon patties ever – Wellness Wednesday style. Now, if you aren’t from the South, odds are you’ve never heard of “salmon patties.” Well, let me introduce you to something you’ll never forget. Traditionally, they are a delicious form of croquette held together with bread crumbs and eggs, and fried.  This version, however, is very light, using very little oil and bread and  a lot of flavor. These patties are incredibly tender and pair very well with green vegetables or starches like baked potatoes.

Teriyaki Salmon Patties - via HeartofHomemade.com

If you’re looking for a healthy meal option that will set your flavor-lovin-tastebuds in a frenzy and make you feel like you’ve had a calorie-dense meal (without actually having one), these Teriyaki Salmon Patties are definitely the way to go. Enjoy!

Recipe follows after the jump –>

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July 17th, 2014

Guava Strawberry Pie (Pastel de Guayaba y Fresas)

Guava Strawberry Pie - via HeartofHomemade.com

We’re going to talk about Guava Strawberry Pie during this post, but first let me tell you a story. I met a man earlier this week who said he worked as a psychologist. He was a man of quickfire questions who left little time for replies. Yet, somehow, you left his side feeling as though you had shared your innermost self with him. He asked me, at one point, in his speed-questioning way, what had been the overarching lesson I had gleamed from my father. Pressed for time and without much time to think, the reply came on its own, “Do what you need to do, when you need to do it, and enjoy doing it.” Without of a moment of hesitation, he asked me the same question about my mother. Again, there wasn’t time to think this through. Yet again, the reply came on its own. “Love others to the best of your ability.”

Guava Strawberry Pie - via HeartofHomemade.com

Wow. How is it that in twenty seconds of my time, this man brought about two things about me that even I didn’t know? Why have I never really asked myself these questions? I was shocked, a little lost in reverie, as he went on to explore his own curiosity within my psyche. It was certainly an experience, and a very pertinent one in my life. Today, I want to celebrate the two people who have celebrated my efforts, who have loved me through my annoying phases and my know-it-all ones, and who have encouraged me to get past those phases. These people have sacrificed more for me than I have ever sacrificed for everyone in my life put together.

Guava Strawberry Pie - via HeartofHomemade.com

In their honor, this recipe brings in a hint of Cuban flavor to it with some guava and lime. It is very traditional for Cuban sweets to revolve around tropical fruits. In honor of the new things that their love allowed me to experience, I’ve incorporated a few of my favorite American flavors. Won’t you indulge me by indulging in this sweet treat? This pie really is “the best of both worlds.” Sweet, homey, and delicious. Grab some vanilla ice cream and a warm piece of pie, and let the memories take you where they may! I will gladly join you.

Recipe Follows After the Jump –>

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July 10th, 2014

Cranberry Oat Muffins

Cranberry Oat Muffins - via HeartofHomemade.com

So, last week my hard drive failed. Boy, did I learn my lesson in backing up everything. In fact, if you’re sitting at your computer, and your pile of un-backed up data is lying in wait of some unexpected disaster (such as hard drive failure…or a tornado, who knows?), go back it up right now. Seriously, I’ll understand. On a wonderfully happy note, ASUS (a company I now have a crush on…is that possible?) not only repaired my out-of-warranty laptop (for free!), but they did it and got it back to me within days! Days!!

Cranberry Oat Muffins - via HeartofHomemade.com

In celebration, I decided to make muffins. Oh yes, tea and muffins. Glorious, glorious muffins. Have you ever put your mouth up to something and, quite literally, inhaled in order to just get it in your mouth? That’s what happened to me with the batter for these muffins. It’s one recipe I’ve been experimenting with for a while and, while it is most certainly not a Wellness Wednesday recipe, I just felt the need to share it with you. I love oats, muffins, and good snacks for pairing with tea time. These muffins are all that and more.

Cranberry Oat Muffins - via HeartofHomemade.com

Seriously, I’ve paired them with meals, I’ve eaten them for breakfast, and I’ve enjoyed them with my tea and coffee. Now, you must be saying to yourself… “Wow, she eats a lot of muffins.” It’s…probably true. I’ve made these multiple times over the last month – and I’m not easy to please in the muffin department. You’ll understand when you try them. You’ll especially understand if you try them with a little bit of butter and a side of tea. As per usual, I’ve included my personal tea choice for them. Enjoy!

 

Recipe follows after the jump–>

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June 27th, 2014

Gouda Eggs Benedict with Bacon Crumble

Gouda Eggs Benedict - via HeartofHomemade.com

Today my husband arrived early in the morning from a 9-hour bus ride. You know, long-distance marriage can be a bear. But when your husband loves you enough to take overnight bus trips (cheerfully) just to be able to see you more often, it can really make you appreciate what you’ve got. This morning, I decided to celebrate his arrival with a late-morning breakfast.

Gouda Eggs Benedict - via HeartofHomemade.com

This morning I wanted to take a new twist on an old favorite. And so was born the recipe for Gouda Eggs Benedict With Bacon Crumble. It was soooo tasty. Trust me – you’ll understand when you find yourself halfway through licking the stirring spoon for the sauce and realize you need to save some for your breakfast. Yes, this happened.

Gouda Eggs Benedict - via HeartofHomemade.com

Gosh I love breakfast food. There’s something that can be so comforting and peaceful about a quiet (and delicious) breakfast with your loved ones. Speaking of peaceful – what’s a good, peaceful breakfast without some tea? I don’t know about you guys, but I love tea. Yes, even in the summertime. So, I have provided in the recipe my personal tea pairing choice.

Gouda Eggs Benedict

It is imperative with this dish that you use good Gouda. My favorite is actually a colossal hunk of Gouda cheese wheel that they sell at Costco. The cheese is ultimately what will determine how subtle and savory your sauce turns out. This sauce is an easier, but just as decadent, take on the standard hollandaise sauce. If you are craving a creamy, savory, filling breakfast dish, look no further.

Gouda Eggs Benedict

Recipe follows after the jump–>

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June 25th, 2014

Super Moist Chicken Burgers With Mango Jalapeno Topping

Today I decided on a new life mission. It’s based on a comment I’ve heard way too many times, in as many variations as you can possibly imagine. “Everything that is delicious is unhealthy.” I can see you nodding at the screen in agreement. And I’m not here to tell you you’re wrong. I’m here to show you you’re wrong. No, I don’t mean I’m going to create something “healthy and edible” – I am going to create meals that are so delicious you will completely forget that they are “healthy” to begin with. And so this life’s mission will be called “Wellness Wednesdays.”

Chicken Burgers with Mango Jalapeno Topping | via HeartofHomemade.com

Welcome to the very first one! Can I just say – this recipe is tried-and-tested, roomie-approved, carb-lover-approved, and will definitely be one to store in the recipe book for the ages. And, can you say this with me? It is LOW-CARB, FULL OF VEGGIES, AND DELICIOUS. Yeah, that’s right. I said it. Healthy AND Delicious. Put briefly, it is a deliciously moist and seasoned chicken burger over a bed of spinach, topped with a mango jalapeno topping.

I decided to experiment with a lean meat that, in all honesty, I normally don’t enjoy. Chicken breast. It’s almost unbelievable to me that these burgers are made of chicken breast. I also did not even notice the spinach, even though I ate a good amount of it. It was all tied together so well by the mango topping that I just got thoroughly tied up in enjoying my dinner. By the end of it, I was happy, satisfied, and incredibly full. It was simply perfect. I hope you all enjoy this as much as I did!

 

 Recipe follows after the jump —> read more »

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June 22nd, 2014

Real White Chocolate Cookies and Cream Cake

White Chocolate Cookies and Cream Cake | via HeartHomemade.com

 

You know, I never thought the first official entry to this blog would happen on a bus. But here we are, as the trees and mountains speed by along both sides of me, I am thinking about cake. Not just any cake, though. This cake has been a source of frustration and hope for me since I was little. It might even be fair to say this was one reason I ever started baking. You need background, you say? Well, you asked for it. I grew up frustrated with “cake-makers” in general. I never liked cake. I never thought I liked cake. Until, of course, the day I had my first homemade cake.

 

Edited_IMG_0254

 

One particularly irksome issue was cakes that were titled “Oreo Cake” or “Cookies and Cream Cake.” There was never anything “Cookies and Cream” about them. I felt lied to. The promises of crunchy, chocolatey, and creamy were all empty! I have, as a result, been on a lifelong mission to bring some kind of happy resolution to this issue. So, recently, I sat down and developed this beauty of a cake, aptly named “Real White Chocolate Cookies and Cream Cake.”

 

Edited_IMG_0260

 

The promises of chocolatey, crunchy, gooey deliciousness are blissfully fulfilled in this cake. The batters are a combination of the best, thickest, most satisfyingly creamy white chocolate and deep, dark chocolate batters around, with an abundance of Oreo cookies, white chocolate chunks, and dark chocolate chunks. And, if that is not enough to set your chocolate-loving tastebuds in a frenzy, it is filled and topped with a wonderfully creamy white chocolate cookie ganache. Are you in heaven yet? I am. Be warned, this recipe is not for the faint-hearted! Note the *subtle* lack of a prep/cooking time. But it is oh, so, worth it!

Recipe follows after the jump—>

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