Apple, Brie and Bacon Bread

Apple, Bacon and Brie Bread  |  Lemon & Mocha

Yes! The day is finally here! I made and photographed this life-changing Apple, Brie and Bacon Bread in August and I finally get to share it with you! Of course the reason I kept from posting it was my neurotic schedule I have planned months in advance, but now it will be fresh on your mind for the holiday season so it was worth the wait.

Apple, Bacon and Brie Bread  |  Lemon & Mocha

I don’t even think I need to describe the bread for you to grasp how crazy delicious it is; I’m sure the title alone does it all, but let me dive in anyways. Remember my Cheesy Pesto Bread with Crispy Prosciutto? This is the same idea, just with a different flavor profile – and one that could not be more perfect for fall.

Apple, Bacon and Brie Bread  |  Lemon & Mocha

The base of the bread is a quick homemade honey mustard sauce. It’s creamy, a little tangy and a little sweet. Next we have some crispy cooked bacon. Bacon makes everything better. Then we have some brie cheese that gets a little gooey. Gooey-ness is cheese perfection and brie melts really well. Brie is a creamy and more mild cheese that I love pairing with some sweet elements. Remember my Honey Walnut Baked Brie? Pure heaven. That’s why the brie goes so well with the honey mustard sauce and the apple.

Apple, Bacon and Brie Bread  |  Lemon & Mocha

I used a granny smith apple to bring in some tartness as well as sweetness and I love the texture it has in the bread. The apple is very thinly sliced so that it almost cooks through in the bread.

Apple, Bacon and Brie Bread  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’ve already been requested to make this Apple, Brie and Bacon Bread again and I’m sure I’ll be making it for plenty of gatherings for the next foreseeable future. I am totally, definitely on board with that. I love this bread because like the Cheesy Pesto Bread with Crispy Prosciutto you can make it ahead of time and reheat it to serve as an appetizer or snack. I have even more variations of this bread planned so get excited for more deliciousness!

Apple, Bacon and Brie Bread  |  Lemon & Mocha

Apple, Bacon and Brie Bread
 
Yield: 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 16 ounces pizza dough
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked
  • 4 ounces sliced brie cheese
  • ½ granny smith apple, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 egg
Directions
  1. Set the dough out to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil or spray with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, mayonnaise and mustard until combined to make the honey mustard.
  3. Using flour so it doesn’t stick, roll out the dough on a clean surface until it is roughly the shape of an 11” x 14” rectangle. I usually hold it then let gravity stretch the dough to get it started. Leaving a 1” border, evenly spread the honey mustard on the dough. Next, evenly lay the cooked bacon. Top with the sliced brie and sliced apple.
  4. Beat the egg in a small bowl. Lightly brush the egg on the border you left. Gently fold the short edges in then, working carefully, tightly roll the dough up lengthwise. You want to be rolling from long edge to the other long edge, being sure to tuck in the short edge sides as needed. When you’re done rolling, pinch the dough at the seam to seal it. I like to pinch it twice to make sure it’s really tight. Carefully place the bread roll seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly brush the egg on all exposed top and sides of the roll.
  5. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Let cool slightly then cut into slices and serve.

 

Warm Mushroom Barley Salad

Warm Mushroom Barley Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Every time I make a dish with mushrooms in it, it immediately becomes one of Matt’s new favorite dishes. I’m also mushroom obsessed, but Matt is on a whole other level. When I ask him what he wants me to make, his answer is always “that <insert name of food here> with the mushrooms.” This Warm Mushroom Barley Salad was no exception. The reason I’m telling you all this is because I was distracted with getting ready for our Japan trip and I couldn’t think of what to write for this recipe so Matt said, “just tell them that I love it.” Haha! That would be my shortest post ever – Matt loves this dish. The end.

Warm Mushroom Barley Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

I love cooking with different grains and was excited to discover how much I liked pearled barley a few years ago. It has a nice chewy texture and a slightly nutty taste that pairs really well with the sautéed mixed mushrooms. You can use any mushrooms you want for this, but since it’s the star ingredient I recommend a mix of a few that are maybe a bit different from your usual cremini or white mushrooms. I used a combination of cremini, shiitake and oyster mushrooms.

Warm Mushroom Barley Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

The Warm Mushroom Barley Salad is a simple dish, but simple is good. Especially around the holidays, then simple is really good. You can make this dish ahead of time and warm it in the microwave or serve it right from the stove-top without using any precious holiday oven space.

Warm Mushroom Barley Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Since it’s simple, feel free to jazz it up further with some of your own obsession ingredients. It would taste so good with some caramelized onions, some kale or even some garlicky chicken sausage – yum! Or just keep it as is and enjoy!

Warm Mushroom Barley Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Warm Mushroom Barley Salad
 
Yield: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup pearled barley
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound mixed mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Directions
  1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add the pearled barley then cook for 30 minutes, drain.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook half the mushrooms for 5 minutes, until tender, seasoning with salt and pepper while they’re cooking. Then remove the mushrooms to a large mixing bowl. Reheat the skillet over medium-high heat with another tablespoon of olive oil. Add the garlic and the other half of the mushrooms, cook for 5 minutes, until tender, seasoning with salt and pepper while they’re cooking. Remove the mushrooms to a large mixing bowl.
  3. To the mushrooms add the drained barley, the lemon juice, parsley and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Don’t be afraid to salt! Serve warm or room temperature.

Recipe slightly adapted from Food & Wine.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle

Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle  |  Lemon & Mocha

Another Wednesday, another recipe full of pumpkin-goodness! I have two fairly simple desserts recipes that are both big crowd-pleasers that I’ll be sharing with you in time for Thanksgiving. Spoiler: they both include pumpkin! I love pie at Thanksgiving, but sometimes I want something a little different.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle  |  Lemon & Mocha

I discovered this Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle two years ago and it became an instant favorite. I’m a sucker for a good trifle, especially one that involves angel food cake, because they’re so light, which is perfect for after a big holiday meal. The Summer Berry Trifle is a classic, but I wanted a go-to trifle during the fall and winter months as well.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle  |  Lemon & Mocha

This Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle recipe is super easy and has just three layers. The first is the angel food cake. You can buy store-bought angel food cake, make it from a box mix or make your own homemade version. I personally like to stick to the box mix version since you just mix it with water and bake – crazy easy! One of these days I’ll try a homemade angel food cake, but when I’m throwing it into a trifle and busy with other holiday prep the box mix is good enough for me.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle  |  Lemon & Mocha

The next layer is a pumpkin cheesecake filling. Yes, it’s as incredible as it sounds. It’s creamy, warmly spiced and packed with pumpkin flavor. Finally, we have a cinnamon whipped cream because whipped cream is amazing, but cinnamon whipped cream is on the next level. I used whipped topping, but I included instructions for homemade whipped cream as well so feel free to use whichever you prefer!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle  |  Lemon & Mocha

I used this 7.5” trifle bowl from Crate and Barrel, which as you can see is bursting at the top so you could definitely get away with a larger trifle bowl not looking too empty. Or just pile more cinnamon whipped cream on top! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle  |  Lemon & Mocha

Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle
 
Yield: 8-10 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 prepared angel food cake (I use a box mix), cut into chunks using a serrated knife
  • 4 cups whipped topping, see note
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, light or regular
  • 15 ounces pure pumpkin
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more for topping
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Directions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice then beat until combined. Fold in 1⅓ cups whipped topping.
  2. Combine the remaining 2⅔ whipped topping with the ground cinnamon.
  3. Layer ⅓ of the angel food cake chunks into the bottom of the trifle bowl. Top with ½ of the pumpkin mixture, smooth into an even layer. Top with ⅓ of the cinnamon whipped cream, smooth into an even layer. Repeat the layers two more times so that you end with the whipped cream on the top. Sprinkle with a dusting of pumpkin pie spice then refrigerate until ready to serve.
Notes
If you would prefer to use homemade whipped cream instead of whipped topping, you will need 4 cups of whipped cream. Beat 2 cups of cold heavy cream with ¼ cup granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon until stiff peaks form.
Box mix tip: I don’t have an angel food cake pan so when I make the box mix for this recipe I use a 9x13” pan. I put parchment paper on the bottom then bake it at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes. The top should be golden brown and not sticky. Then turn the pan upside down using 4 cans of the same height under each corner and let it stay like that until it cools. Once it’s mostly cooled, run a butter knife around the edges then the cake should fall right out.

Recipe slightly adapted from Mom on Timeout.

Fall Spinach and Arugula Salad with Tahini Dressing

Fall Spinach and Arugula Salad with Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower, Crispy Chickpeas and Tahini Dressing  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’m going to shock you all right now by letting you know that I’m obsessed with this salad. As I’ve mentioned here before, I am not a big fan of salads unless they are loaded with stuff. This salad doesn’t have a ton of stuff, but the goodies it does have on top are just the right stuff. Cue New Kids on the Block. This Fall Spinach and Arugula Salad with Tahini Dressing is the ultimate culmination of a few recipes I’ve shared recently. I made the Roasted Turmeric Spiced Cauliflower and the Crispy Roasted Chickpeas with this fall salad as my main intention, but they were so good on their own that I figured they deserved their own posts, too.

Fall Spinach and Arugula Salad with Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower, Crispy Chickpeas and Tahini Dressing  |  Lemon & Mocha

We’ve also already seen this creamy and tangy tahini dressing before on the Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Bowls. The dressing pairs really well with spiced and tender roasted vegetables so I knew it would be perfect over the Roasted Turmeric Spiced Cauliflower.

Fall Spinach and Arugula Salad with Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower, Crispy Chickpeas and Tahini Dressing  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you haven’t made the Roasted Turmeric Spiced Cauliflower dish yet, you need to make it soon! Preferably to eat on top of this awesome salad. The spices aren’t hot spicy, they are warming spices, which I like to think of as warming you from the inside out, similar to how you might describe a cozy bowl of soup. I threw some red onion in with the cauliflower to get caramelized. I love the flavor onion brings to dishes, but oftentimes raw onion is too pungent for me. Roasting the onion slices really mellows the onion flavor and brings out a nice sweetness to them.

Fall Spinach and Arugula Salad with Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower, Crispy Chickpeas and Tahini Dressing  |  Lemon & Mocha

Matt and I had this salad with our dinner and the next day I had it for lunch with some deli turkey slices on top. One great thing about this salad is that it tastes so good whether the cauliflower is warm out of the oven or cold right from the fridge.

Fall Spinach and Arugula Salad with Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower, Crispy Chickpeas and Tahini Dressing  |  Lemon & Mocha

I created this salad with Thanksgiving in mind. I think it is a great way to have a healthy salad option that complements the fall Thanksgiving flavors better than your typical garden salad. Also, you can make it ahead and serve it cold so that’s always a bonus for the holidays! Enjoy, everyone!

Fall Spinach and Arugula Salad with Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower, Crispy Chickpeas and Tahini Dressing  |  Lemon & Mocha

Fall Spinach and Arugula Salad with Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower, Crispy Roasted Chickpeas and Tahini Dressing
 
Yield: 4 servings, ⅔ cup of dressing
Ingredients
for the salad
  • 2 heads cauliflower, cut into florets
  • ½ large red onion, cut into large strips
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 cups spinach
  • 4 cups arugula
  • ¼ cup crispy chickpeas
for the dressing
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Directions
for the salad
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil and set aside.
  2. Place the cauliflower florets in a mixing bowl. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, cumin, turmeric, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and ground black pepper. Pour over the cauliflower florets and toss to completely coat. You may want to really rub the tops of the cauliflower florets in the mixture to get them completely coated.
  3. Place the coated cauliflower florets on the prepared baking pan and spread them out. Bake for 20 minutes, then add the red onion to the baking sheet with the cauliflower, lightly tossing. Continue to bake for another 20-25 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and browned. Make sure the onion doesn’t burn. Top with the chopped fresh parsley.
  4. Add the spinach and arugula to a large mixing bowl or salad bowl. Top with the turmeric roasted cauliflower, the roasted red onions and the crispy chickpeas. Serve with the dressing on the side.
for the dressing
  1. Whisk together the dressing ingredients or mix in a high-speed blender until smooth.

 

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

November already? I’m here to sweeten your Friday with these Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins! Another monthly muffin post, except there’s something different about this one. This is not the Food Network Magazine’s November muffin recipe. Theirs was a corn chestnut muffin that Matt and I could not get excited about so I made these Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins instead!

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

I used the base from February’s Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Muffins since they were extra chocolatey and moist. Then I add some cinnamon and brown sugar spiced pecans to the top that you can whip together in a small mixing bowl. The inspiration for these November muffins came from my love of chocolate pecan pie – see recipe for Mini Molten Chocolate Pecan Pies – but way easier and perfect for eating for breakfast.

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

There’s a few things I miss about college, but one of the biggest is their dining hall food – is that weird? Every once and a while Boston College would have slices of the most amazing chocolate pecan pie in to-go boxes and I always had to get it, and maybe a second one for my mini fridge. As you know I have a hard time parting with chocolate treats and I begrudgingly shared these muffins, but I’m glad I did because everyone really liked them! Also, because then I would have eaten them all so basically a win-win all around.

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

It’s also fitting to be posting these for the November Muffins since Diane’s birthday is later this month and my stepmom loves chocolate pecan pie – big emphasis on the chocolate! I hope you all love these muffins! I don’t like the sound of December’s muffin either so I have something in the works for that one, too. Think savory like March’s Irish Cheddar, Bacon and Potato Muffins – yum!

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

Did any of you make the Food Network Magazine’s November muffins? What did you think? Also, don’t forget to turn back your clocks this weekend. Fun fact – Japan hasn’t observed daylight savings time since 1951, but they are considered adopting it for the 2020 Olympic Games. Okay, that’s all I have for you today, happy Friday, friends!

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

Double Chocolate Pecan Muffins
 
Yield: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the chopped pecans, melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and pinch of salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate chips and stir to combine.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the milk and vegetable oil then whisk until smooth. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  5. Evenly pour the batter into the prepared paper liners. Each muffin cup should be filled ⅔ to the top. Bake for 2 minutes then remove the muffin pan from the oven and working quickly, spoon some of the pecan mixture into the center of each muffin. Return the pan to the oven. Continue to bake for 16-20 more minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out with just a crumb or two.
  6. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes then move the muffins to a cooling rack until completely cooled.

 Recipe from January/February 2018 issue of Food Network Magazine.

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