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AVOCADO LOX

AVOCADO LOX - LAUREN KELP

Hello friends & happy Tuesday! We hope you had a wonderful long weekend spent celebrating like never before. If you are anything like us, you are a bit slow to the grind this morning. So, we are sharing one of our favorite, super easy, no stress breakfasts to get you going – the avocado lox!

It is a twist on the classic lox, and there’s a reason people stick to the classics, right? Holidays are meant for relaxing–not spending all day in the kitchen. This little recipe pleases the masses with minimal prep time. Basically, if you can slice an avocado, you’ve got this! It’s our little twist to step this number up a notch!

AVOCADO LOX - LAUREN KELPLOX - LAUREN KELPAVOCADO LOX - LAUREN KELPAVOCADO LOX - LAUREN KELP


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CARNE ASADA TACOS

CARNE ASADO TACOS - LAUREN KELP

Happy national taco day! Just kidding….that’s not true. But we truly do believe in celebrating tacos everyday, or at least every other day. The lovely Mrs. Kelp and I originally met in the great state of Texas–Austin to be exact–and one of the stipulations for citizenry of this particular city is that you partake in tacos at least once a day. And the options abound! Breakfast tacos, chicken & waffle tacos, even dessert tacos. It’s true.

And I do believe that this common love is one of many things that truly solidified our friendship…well, tacos and french fries. Right, Lauren? And maybe wine…

Which brings us to carne asada. Many of you may disagree, but I do believe the shining star of this recipe is the marinade. It’s amazing. Basically a cilantro style pesto. So easy and so versatile. I actually even used the leftovers as a salad dressing for the rest of the week! So I beg of you, don’t make the mistake of tossing any extra…you’ll regret it.

 

CARNE ASADA TACOS - LAUREN KELPCARNE ASADA TACOS - LAUREN KELPCARNE ASADO TACOS - LAUREN KELP

So go celebrate Monday with tacos and margaritas–I give you permission!

And be sure to share your favorite taco recipes with us by tagging #LKmakes!

CARNE ASADO TACOS - LAUREN KELP


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HONEY ALMOND BUNDT CAKE

ALMOND BUNDT CAKE - LAUREN KELP

Monday’s are made for cake & we prefer this delicious almond bundt cake. Because, hello?! WHY NOT! Check out Constance’s easy, beautiful, and terrifically yummy recipe below. Try it out? Let us know! – xoxo, LK


 

Hello lovely people! Constance here! Happiest Monday to you and yours. I’m reclaiming Mondays and choosing to celebrate instead of lament. How you ask? Well, I’ve officially decided that Mondays were made for cake and with fig season in full swing, I can think of nothing better to top today’s honey almond bundt cake…or anything for that matter.

One of my absolute favorite gifts from my sweet husband was the cutest little fig tree that he planted in front of our house when I was traveling for work. He’s always been such a good gift giver, but this truly blew me away. I’m obsessed, and I cannot believe how much fruit it’s given us already!

Combine this abundance with a classic almond cake, and I’m in heaven. This delicious honey almond bundt cake is great for a shower, a birthday, any holiday, or any old Monday afternoon–your choice! Bon appétit!ALMOND BUNDT CAKE - LAUREN KELP

 

 

ALMOND BUNDT CAKE - LAUREN KELP

 

 

ALMOND BUNDT CAKE - LAUREN KELP

 

ALMOND BUNDT CAKE - LAUREN KELP

ALMOND BUNDT CAKE - LAUREN KELP

ALMOND BUNDT CAKE - LAUREN KELP

ALMOND BUNDT CAKE - LAUREN KELP

ALMOND BUNDT CAKE - LAUREN KELP

ALMOND BUNDT CAKE - LAUREN KELP

ALMOND BUNDT CAKE - LAUREN KELP

ALMOND BUNDT CAKE - LAUREN KELP


constanceRecipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma

BAKED LEMON DONUTS WITH GRAPEFRUIT GLAZE

BAKED LEMON DONUTS - LAUREN KELPWell, I finally did it. I took the plunge and bought a donut pan. The verdict is still out on whether or not this was a good decision health wise, but happiness wise–it seems to be one of the best! We’re super ready to bid summer adieu, and we absolutely cannot wait to try out some pumpkin recipes with our new addition, but until then, we’re getting the most out of the abundance of citrus here in the desert.

These donuts are so light and fresh, and my absolute favorite part? They’re baked!

As always, we want to hear what you’re favorite combos are! Not a grapefruit fan? Try out blueberry! Whatever your preference, be sure to share and tag #LKMakes. Happy Monday you wonderful folks!

BAKED LEMON DONUTS - LAUREN KELP

INGREDIENTS FOR DONUTS:

-¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
-¼ cup good olive oil
-¾ cup granulated sugar
-2 large eggs
-3 tsp vanilla extract

-2 tsp lemon extract
-1-2 tsp grated lemon zest (depending on your tastes)
-1 cup whole milk
-2⅔ cups all-purpose flour
-1 ½ tsp baking powder
-¼ tsp baking soda
-½ tsp salt

INGREDIENTS FOR GRAPEFRUIT GLAZE:

-2 cups powdered sugar

-6-8 tbsp fresh grapefruit juice

BAKED LEMON DONUTS - LAUREN KELP

BAKED LEMON DONUTS - LAUREN KELP

BAKED LEMON DONUTS - LAUREN KELP

INSTRUCTIONS FOR DONUTS:

-Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and grease your donut pans with coconut oil spray.
-In a large bowl, combine butter, oil and sugar and whisk until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
-Add in eggs, vanilla extract, lemon extract, lemon zest and milk and whisk until smooth.
-Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and whisk just until combined. Batter will be thick.
-Spoon batter into a large disposable piping bag or freezer bag. Cut off the end of the bag so your opening is about ½-3/4” wide. –Pipe batter once around each doughnut hole – the batter shouldn’t quite fill the hole as they’ll expand and rise.
-Bake for 7-8 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes before removing from the doughnut pan to cool completely.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR GLAZE:

-In a medium bowl (not too deep as you’ll want to be able to dip your doughnuts), combine powdered sugar, and 6 tbsp of fresh grapefruit juice.

-Add an additional juice if needed. You want your glaze to be thin enough to evenly coat your donuts, but thick enough that it will set and become dry to the tough.

-When donuts are completely cool, dip tops of doughnuts into the glaze and overturn so the glaze runs down the sides. Set aside for the glaze to set.

BAKED LEMON DONUTS - LAUREN KELPBAKED LEMON DONUTS - LAUREN KELPBAKED LEMON DONUTS - LAUREN KELP


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BLACKBERRY GORGONZOLA FLATBREAD

BLACKBERRY GORGONZOLA FLATBREAD - LAUREN KELP

In my world, Mondays are made for flatbread….or Domino’s pizza, but preferably homemade flatbread. And barring a rough Monday where ordering in is the only option, this particular flatbread is a Higley favorite. With a combo of gorgonzola and brussel sprouts, it’s most definitely not for the faint of heart, but it is truly so good.

Tips and tricks?

-No matter what you do, do NOT skimp on sautéing the brussels!

-If blackberries aren’t in season, red grapes are a good substitute.

BLACKBERRY GORGONZOLA FLATBREAD - LAUREN KELP

INGREDIENTS FOR DOUGH:

-2 c. whole wheat flour

-1 pkg. or 1 tbsp. active dry yeast

-3/4 tsp. salt

-1 c. warm water

-1 tbsp. olive oil

-1 tsp. honey

INGREDIENTS FOR FLATBREAD:

-EVOO

-1 small wedge of gorgonzola, crumbled

-1/4 cup sliced almonds

-1 cup fresh blackberries

-1 cup brussel sprouts, shaved and lightly sautéed

-fresh cracked pepper

BLACKBERRY GORGONZOLA FLATBREAD - LAUREN KELP

INSTRUCTIONS:

-Pour flour into a large mixing bowl.

-Add yeast and salt. Mix well.

-Add water, oil and honey; mix well.

-Cover with a moist cloth and place in a warm spot for 10 minutes to rise.

-Place dough on a lightly floured surface and slowly spread and press the dough into your desired thickness and shape.

-Drizzle the top with EVOO.

-Top the flatbread with the crumbled gorgonzola, almonds, blackberries, and brussel sprouts.

-Bake at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

-Remove flatbread from oven, top with fresh cracked pepper and enjoy.

BLACKBERRY GORGONZOLA FLATBREAD - LAUREN KELPWe’d love to hear what your go-to flatbread combos are! Tag your recipes with #LKmakes – we’ll be sharing our favorites soon!


 

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APRICOT WHISKEY SMASH

APRICOT WHISKEY SMASH - LAUREN KELPOh dear friends. It is indeed the weekend and celebrate we must! I’ve only recently jumped on this whiskey train, and I must admit I waited way too long. I can’t say I’m tough enough to order a Johnny Walker straight up, I can definitely get behind a good whiskey based cocktail.

The best thing about this particular concoction? It’s super simple! We here at LaurenKelp.com believe that eating, drinking, and entertaining is, above all else, supposed to be fun! You’ve heard us say it a million times – who cares if the sauce is runny or the chicken is  little burnt? Having friends and family there to laugh off the mishaps with is truly the best part!

So if you’re anything like me and prone to drop the ball every now and then (i.e. forget to thaw the meat in time or over-salt the brussel sprouts) be sure to have this yummy little cocktail up your sleeve! It’s easy, refreshing, and a mega crowd pleaser!

APRICOT WHISKEY SMASH - LAUREN KELP

INGREDIENTS:

-5 fresh mint leaves

-1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice

-1 apricot cut into wedges

-3/4 oz. simple syrup

-2 oz. Knob Creek Whiskey

-ice

-1 sprig fresh mint

APRICOT WHISKEY SMASH - LAUREN KELP

INSTRUCTIONS:

-In a cocktail shaker, muddle the mint leaves, lemon juice, apricot wedges, and simple syrup.

-Add whiskey and ice to shaker.

-Shake vigorously for 30 seconds.

-Strain cocktail through a fine strainer into a cocktail glass (over ice if desired).

-Garnish with fresh mint sprig.

APRICOT WHISKEY SMASH - LAUREN KELP

APRICOT WHISKEY SMASH - LAUREN KELP


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THE PERFECT SUMMER SLIDERS: THREE WAYS

sliders0003Hello, summer people! Hopefully your weekend was full of friends, good food, and lots of summer fun. We’ve been crushing these summer sliders are season long and thought it was high time we share out favorite combos with you. Get ready for the BAT (Bacon, Avocado, and Tomato), the Pulled Pork, and, of course, the Classic Slider! Mix, match, have a slider bar – go crazy!

sliders0002INGREDIENTS FOR PULLED PORK:

pulled pork (we’ve got the perfect recipe!)

– pickled radish

– spicy barbeque sauce

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INGREDIENTS FOR B(acon)-A(vocado)-T(omato):

– peppered bacon

– avocado

– heirloom tomato

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INGREDIENTS FOR THE CLASSIC SLIDER

-grilled ground beef patty

-cheddar cheese

-stone ground mustard

-iceberg lettuce

-red onion

-heirloom tomato

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DINNER WITH FRIENDS | LAUREN KELP

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Howdy folks! As you all know, we are doing this fun series called – Dinner With Friends. It’s like our Tablemakers concept but a little more practical. As much as I would love to have our weekly dinner party full of tree trunk chargers in the middle of a vineyard in Sonoma, it’s not always the most practical thing. But, like we always say, entertaining doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be honest!

So, today we are taking a peek in to my little house downtown Chicago and getting a look inside how we normally entertain. Lots of really delicious food, good drinks, and the best of friends – what more could you need?
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Since moving back to Chicago it’s been an absolute blast getting to catch up with old friends again. We kicked off the evening with a casual little “cocktail hour” on the sofa while the soup did its thing on the stove. Nothing makes me feel smarter when entertaining than having a recipe that does the work itself. No one wants to be slaving away in the kitchen while you have friends over, so don’t!

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I absolutely love having people over for dinner, but I understand that it is not everyone’s cup of tea. I think a lot of that has to do with the pressure to have a perfectly set table, a cool house, and a secret affinity for cooking. The truth is that no one cares about any of that! Everyone is just so excited to get together the rest is just toppings.

We set a really simple table that full of color and chocked full of mismatched silverware, stemware, and serving platters. They all worked together because we wanted them to, not because they matched. And guess what? No one noticed!

HT|DWF0057 HT|DWF0039Isn’t this cake delicious looking? Just wait until you taste it! Get the recipe for this surprisingly easy cake HERE!
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The best part of the entire evening was kicking back, not being stuck in the kitchen, and catching up with people we haven’t seen in years. We told stories, drank a fair share of wine, and caught up on all things big and small. The pot of soup was emptied and the cake didn’t stand a chance. It was absolutely perfect.
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POMEGRANATE & JALAPENO GUACAMOLE

GUACAMOLE - LAUREN KELPHappy Monday, y’sll! Constance here and I’m not sure how your month is going so far, but if it’s anything like mine, it’s been a bit of a scramble. A good scramble and a fun scramble, but a scramble at that. July always catches me off guard–so many parties and family get togethers at the beginning of the month, and I was a little overwhelmed with what to bring where and how much for how many.

So what did I learn from the mayhem? Two things: I’m a firm believer in focusing on your strengths and……everyone loves guacamole. The trick for me was finding the perfect little twist, and thanks to a patient husband who loves taste testing and several taco themed gatherings, I think we found a good one!

Another bonus with this one: all of the ingredients are really ‘to taste’, so make it your own. Like more of a kick? Amp up the jalapeño. More of a sweet kind of gal? Add more pomegranate seeds. Our biggest piece of advice though? You can never have to much lime.

GUACAMOLE - LAUREN KELP

INGREDIENTS:

-2 ripe avocados

-3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice

-2 tablespoons radish, finely chopped

-2 tablespoons crushed pistachios

-2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds

-1 tablespoon fresh jalapeños, finely chopped with seeds

-Salt and pepper to taste

-2 tablespoons cojita cheese, crumbled

INSTRUCTIONS:

-Halve avocados and spoon into a small bowl.

-Add lime juice and smash with the back of a fork to your desired texture.

-Fold in radish, pistachios and pomegranate seeds.

-Salt and pepper to taste.

-Top with cojita cheese.

GUACAMOLE - LAUREN KELP


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LOX: A NEW SATURDAY BRUNCH TRADITION

 

LOX - LAUREN KELPMy husband and I recently made a pact to truly make the most of Saturday mornings. This may sound like the easiest thing in the world, but with busy schedules (everyone out there can relate to this, right?) I’ve learned that everything needs to be reclaimed once in a while. Community is something that is extremely important to us, and while we try our best, sometimes we just can’t make weeknights work for dinners with friends or family. So we’re putting it out there–an open invite for Saturday brunch to any and everyone who wants to join!

Sometimes this will mean going out, and sometimes it will mean inviting all of you into our tiny home–we want to mix it up. For those Saturday mornings back at our humble abode, we’re planning to take it back to the basics. First on the list: lox.

Why? It’s hearty. It’s simple. It’s a crowd pleaser. And my sweet husband requested it…

But in all seriousness, this is the hostess’s dream menu. It allows you to make much of your company while actually still getting to enjoy them. Minimal time spent in front of the stove means more time getting to know your neighbors, laughing with friends, and having meaningful conversations with those you love dearly. It’s pretty much a perfect setup.

LOX - LAUREN KELP

INGREDIENTS (serves four):

-2 plain bagels

-extra virgin olive oil

-1/4 cup plain greek yogurt

-1 teaspoon of fresh dill, finely chopped

-1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

-Smoked salmon

-2 teaspoons of capers

-fresh dill to garnish

-fresh cracked pepper to taste

LOX - LAUREN KELP

INSTRUCTIONS:

-Halve each bagel and brush both sides with olive oil.

-Set your oven to broil and toast bagels until lightly brown.

-In a small mixing bowl, combine 1/4 cup of yogurt, lemon juice and finely chopped dill.

-Spread the yogurt mixture onto both halves of the bagels.

-Top with smoked salmon and garnish with capers and fresh dill. Serve and enjoy.

LOX - LAUREN KELPHave ideas for a great Saturday brunch menu? We’d love to hear! Share with us by tagging #LKMakes and #thoughtfulliving on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!


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