Monster Eggs

by Jackie Alpers on April 10, 2014

monster eggs by Jackie Alpers

Looks can be deceiving; my favorite monsters are scary looking, but innately good. Just like these monsterized eggs, which  have been turned green and frightening looking, but are completely delicious. They are also monstrously easy to make.

Fried Eggs with Pesto & Parmesan
  • For each serving you will need:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-2 teaspoons pre-made pesto (I use Trader Joe's fresh pesto.)
  • 1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Spread the pesto, with a spatula, in the middle of a large nonstick pan over medium heat.
  2. Crack the eggs directly on top of the pesto. Cook until set, just like when you cook a regular (non-monsterized) fried egg, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Flip, top with the parmesan, and cook for another minute or so, until the cheese is melted and the inside of the yolk is the way you want them - a bit runny or hard.
  4. Transfer to a plate and serve immediately, preferably with bacon and coffee.
http://jackieshappyplate.com/2014/04/10/monster-eggs/

 

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The Bakepedia Interview

by Jackie Alpers on February 4, 2014

Jackie Alpers interview for Bakepedia

I had a wonderful time doing this interview for the magnificent Bakepedia, written by the equally magnificent Lauren Chattman.  Here’s the link to the whole Q & A.: http://www.bakepedia.com/blogpost/jackie-alpers-sprinkles-interview/

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My New Sprinkles Food Network Column

by Jackie Alpers on January 23, 2014

Sprinkles bagel by Jackie Alpers

I’m beyond thrilled to announce that I am writing and photographing a monthly column for the Food Network! It features seasonal & holiday recipes, fun projects and entertaining ideas that use sprinkles. Here’s January’s!

http://blog.foodnetwork.com/fn-dish/2014/01/how-to-beat-the-winter-blahs-with-sprinkles/

Brighten up a gray winter day with one of these 5 sprinkly ideas, like this sprinkles cream cheese schmear on a bagel.

Or, perhaps you’d prefer some sprinkles Snickerdoodle cookies.

sprinkles snickerdoodle cookies by Jackie Alpers

Or my sprinkles ball park salty-sweet soft pretzels.Salty-sweet sprinkles ball park sof pretzels

There’s something for everyone! So forget about the sun lamp and check out the Food Network Dish blog for a healthy dose of mood lifting sprinkles.

 

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Roasted Whole Baby Cauliflower with Herbs & Parmesan

by Jackie Alpers on January 15, 2014

Whole baby cauliflower-roasted with herbs and cheese by Jackie Alpers.

“I’m really into cauliflower right now”, my friend Helen announced as she pulled Bon Appetit’s version of this dish out of her oven. Now I am too. I’m also obsessed with the idea of roasting an entire head, so when I came across these adorable baby cauliflower at the market the wheels started turning. They make a visually stunning side dish, perfect on cold winter nights.

You can substitute one large cauliflower if you can’t find the little ones.

Recipe for Roasted Whole Baby Cauliflower with Herb and Parmesan

Four baby cauliflower

One small onion, quartered then sliced crosswise into 1/4 inch long pieces

*4 sprigs fresh thyme

*4 sprigs fresh rosemary

*4 sprigs fresh sage

2 tablespoons of good quality olive oil

olive oil spray

1/4  cup grated Parmesan

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan

salt and pepper to taste

* I bought a .66 oz package at the market that contained all three.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash the cauliflower. I soaked mine upside down in a big bowl of water to get any grit out of the nooks and crannies. Keep the leaves on. Hold each one over the sink by the stem and spray with olive oil. Tuck the herbs into all of the crevices as shown.

Place on a rimmed baking sheet with the onions and any remaining herbs. Drizzle each cauliflower with about a tablespoon of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then turn them over so that the stems face up. Roast for 20 minutes then turn them so that the stems are facing down. Continue roasting for another 15-20 minutes minutes. Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan, then top with the shredded and roast until cauliflower is tender and the onions are dark brown, about another 10-12 minutes longer.  Serve on per person, with the onions and remaining cheese mixture to the side.

Freshly washed baby cauliflower:

cauliflower-raw-JackieAlpers

 

Herbs tucked behind the leaves:

cauliflower-herbs-raw-prep_JackieAlpers

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Snack of the Day: New York Style Hot Dog Bites

by Jackie Alpers on December 10, 2013

New York Style Hot Dog bites with Kraut Jackie Alpers The folks at Whole Foods Markets asked me to come up with a holiday recipe using ingredients from their stores. I’d planned to do an organic grass-fed roast beef with root vegetables from their amazing produce section. Then I saw this sign. It was right past the meat section. whole-foods-market-63 I started thinking about my carbon footprint and frankly I was mesmerized by the selection of weird fake meats I’d never heard of. Then I looked up and saw: Farmhouse Culture Organic Smoked Jalapeno Kraut. My mind started to churn. I love sauerkraut. Below it was Viana Smoked Veggie Frankfurters. I had a change of plans. This recipe is vegan… and organic. The veggie dogs non-GMO verified. It’s quick and easy. Perfect when you need something simple to serve guests.

Vegan NY Style Hotdog Bites
  • 1/4 cup Farmhouse Smoked Jalapeno Kraut
  • 2 Viana Vegan Organic Smoked Veggie Frankfurters
  • I package The Fillo Factory Vegan Organic Mini Fillo Shells, defrosted
  • Mustard
  1. Cut the veggie dogs into 1/2 -1 inch long pieces. Cook in 1/4 cup water in a saucepan over medium heat until brown and heated throughout, about 5 minutes.
  2. Drain the kraut completely. Stuff each shell with about 1 teaspoon of kraut, and top with a slice of hotdog and garnish with a squirt of mustard. Enjoy!
http://jackieshappyplate.com/2013/12/10/vegan-ny-style-hotdog-bites/
But, then…I walked a little further,  saw these, and bought them too! I adore hushpuppies and they smoke their own salmon in the store! Smoked Salmon Hushpuppies

smoked-salmon-hushpippies-90

The beautiful produce section

whole-foods-market-8

This Friday ( 4-6 pm), Saturday ( 11- 2 pm) & Sunday (12 pm to 2 pm) Whole Foods in Tucson at River Rd.  is having special in-store holiday events they’re calling Dressing Rehearsal.  Friday – Sweet and Savory, Saturday – Holiday Ham Tasting, Sunday – Santa’s Workshop.

Wander around and see what strikes your fancy. In honor of this post, Whole Foods is giving away a $50.00 gift card. If you want to win,  just tell me your favorite holiday appetizer in the comments section.   WFM Dressing Rehearsal

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Sprinkles Holiday Ideas for Food Network’s Dish Blog

by Jackie Alpers on December 5, 2013

sugar stars Jackie Alpers

For my first article on the Food Network’s Dish blog, I came up with some ideas for fun and easy ways to add sprinkles to your holiday creations, including these DIY Sprinkles Sugar Cubes.

Plop a sugar cube doused with bitters into a flute. Top it off with your favorite Champagne or sparkling wine, and you have one of the perennial-favorite New Year’s Eve classic cocktails. Handcrafted aromatic bitters infused with Thai, Mexican or Moroccan flavors (available in specialty stores and online) and homemade sprinkles sugar cubes make it very 2014. For the instructions on how to make your own sparkling sprinkles sugar cubes, and for more ideas, visit the Food Network Blog.

champagne cocktail-9 Jackie Alpers

 

champagne cocktail b-1 Jackie Alpers

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Christmas Cookie Season

by Jackie Alpers on November 10, 2013

sprinkles triple chocolate coffee pistachio biscotti by Jackie Alpers

It’s christmas cookie season, and while biscotti isn’t technically a cookie per se, they often find their way onto the plethora of platters that mark the season. From cookie swaps, to office parties, to host/hostess gifts, cookies are part of what defines the winter holidays.

Biscotti means twice-baked in Italian. First you form the crumbly dough into one stiff mass and bake it whole. Then you let it cool, slice it and bake it again at a lower temperature. This is what gives biscotti its almost cracker like quality that goes especially well with coffee.

This festive chocolate/coffee pistachio biscotti recipe is excerpted from my book Sprinkles!: Recipes and Ideas for Rainbowlicious Desserts.

 

Chocolate Coffee Pistachio Biscotti
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground coffee
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup shelled pistachios
  • About 1/2 cup (4 ounces) colored candy melts
  • Red nonpareils or other sprinkles
  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Using an electric mixer, beat in the eggs at low speed for about one minute, until a crumbly dough forms.
  2. 2. In a separate large bowl, beat the brown sugar with the butter and the vanilla, coffee, and almond extracts until combined, then add it to the mixture in the first bowl. Beat at low speed until dough begins to form. It will not come together completely.
  3. 3. Fold in the chocolate chips and shelled pistachios.
  4. 4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Press the dough together with your hands, forming it into one mass. Then divide it into two equal parts and form the dough into two logs.
  5. 5. Place one log on each prepared baking sheet; form into a slightly flattened log, Use the palm of your hand to flatten each log until they are about 3' wide.
  6. 6. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Remove from the oven and let the biscotti rest on the cookie sheet for 20 minutes. Log will be slightly spongy to the touch, similar to a dense bread.
  7. 7. Lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees.
  8. 8. Remove the biscotti from the pan and place on a cutting board. Cut int 1/2" slices using a serrated knife. Return the slices, cut side up, to the cookie sheet.
  9. 9. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove and cool on wire racks.
  10. 10. Melt the candy melts in a deep mug or bowl according to package directions
  11. 11. Dip cooled biscotti half-way. Place on parchment and decorate with dragees and sprinkles
  12. Makes two dozen biscotti
http://jackieshappyplate.com/2013/11/10/christmas-cookie-season/

 

 

 

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pink cupcake with sprinkles by Jackie Alpers

An exclusive, behind the scenes shot of a pink cupcake photographed for the Sprinkles book trailer. Featuring: pink sugar pearls, a pink flower accent quin, cranberry colored sanding sugar, spring mix bunnies from Wilton Cake Decorating and electric pink jimmies.

Here’s the official cookbook trailer by Sundance award winning filmmaker Jason Willis:

“Sprinkles!  features step-by-step recipes for making the world a sweeter more sparklier place one pinch at a time. Here’s a guide to baking delicious desserts with a colorful twist: sprinkles! Written and photographed by Jackie Alpers who shares dozens of creative, colorful, super-fun recipes, plus quick-and-easy projects, holiday treats, and party-perfect sprinkles crafts. Published by Quirk Books. Available wherever books are sold.”

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Sprinkles Rainbow Blog Tour

by Jackie Alpers on October 8, 2013


Cookbook trailer for Sprinkles via Quirk Books on Youtube

Hey there cookbook fans!

Next week Quirk Books is releasing my debut cookbook, Sprinkles! Recipes & Ideas for Rainbowlicious Desserts. It’s an adorable book that teaches you all about everyone’s favorite confectionary, and dishes out a number of recipes, projects, and even crafts that use these tasty little pieces of sugar.

To celebrate, they’ve put together a fun Rainbow Sprinkles Blog Tour with a number of great bloggers. Starting next week and running through November, bloggers will be experimenting with Sprinkles, and sharing their color-/specific recipes. One week, we’ve got red. Another week, we’ve got orange. Then yellow, green, blue, purple… hitting all the colors of the sprinkles rainbow. At the end of the tour, we’ll roundup all the recipes and photos.

However, we want you to be able to see the recipes as they go live! So check out the blogs participating below, and be sure to bookmark their sites, follow them on Twitter, etc.

10/15: We Are Not Martha (RED)
10/22: 
Baked Bree (ORANGE)
10/29: 
KitchenKonfidence.com (YELLOW)
11/5: 
Bake or Break (GREEN)
11/12: 
Kitchen Meets Girl (BLUE)
11/19: 
Cherry Tea Cakes (PURPLE)

We’ll also be sharing their photos on our special Sprinkles Pinterest board. During their week, we’ll post their recipes to the board and share them with all of you!

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Postmodern Art Popsicles

by Jackie Alpers on October 6, 2013

Post modernism in popsicle form

What is the nature of art? Can it exist in popsicle form? Is it still art after the popsicle has been eaten? How does the process of melting affect the piece? These are some of the questions that I pondered while creating, and then ingesting this popsicle.

I made it from diamond shaped sprinkles in primary colors, and Sno-Caps candies. Some of the sprinkles melted while others stayed intact. One of the cool things about working with sprinkles in liquids is that different types of sprinkles dissolve at different rates, so I had no idea what this was going to look like until I  ran the ice pop mold under warm water and yanked my creation out.

You can learn more about the science of sprinkles (sprinkology?) in my book.

Postmodern Popsicles

Postmodern Popsicles

  • 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 cup sprinkles and small candies such as Sno-Caps, Nerds, or gummies.
  1. Place sprinkles and candies in ice pop molds and top off with almond milk. The sprinkles will sweeten the pops. For even sweeter pops add one teaspoon sugar.
http://jackieshappyplate.com/2013/10/06/postmodern-art-popsicles/

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