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Food | House of Earnest
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Category: Food

Springtime Lemon Petits Fours

petit four with poundcake

Despite the snow that fell here in Ohio yesterday, it is indeed springtime and you can tell by the brighter, plumper produce at the stores that everything is warming up a bit.  There are so many flavors and scents that make me think of spring, so as soon as the temps start to heat up, I’m usually quick to try a new flavorful recipe.  That is why today me and a few other bloggers are showcasing some fresh, spring recipes for you to try out (links below!)

I am not a huge sweets person, but if I do indulge, I like light flavors like lemon or coconut.  I made these beautiful little petits fours to share at Easter dinner this weekend and they’re so easy I thought you should know about it too. The trick is that I use frozen poundcake to make construction a bit easier. The poundcake is firm and not too fluffy which makes it easy to work with for people who don’t love to bake. Be forewarned, I went a little photo crazy on this one!

mini lemon cakes

Although the pound cake isn’t lemon flavored, a tart filling and a creamy glaze – both laced with lemon – are all it takes to get some big flavor out of these little bites! Ready for the recipe?  Continue Reading…


Pepper + Bleu Cheese Dirty Martini

filthy fire martini2

I like to call this the filthy fire martini. I thought it was hilarious, but that shows you my sense of humor. This all started because I thought I should start drinking more mature drinks. When I head to a nice restaurant for cocktails, I always want to order something classy, you know?

This martini recipe is perfect for those of you who love savory cocktails. I spiced up this martini a little bit with some Habanero vodka – don’t worry though! It’s not so so spicy even though it has Habanero pepper. I am only a medium salsa kind of girl and I love it, so I’m sure you will too.


spicy martini

Since there are only two Habanero for a whole 750ml of vodka and it only sits for a few days, it isn’t unbearably spicy.  If you do like super spicy stuff, just let it sit a little longer… maybe 2 weeks or so!

Definitely give this one a try.  The creamy tang from the blue cheese gives a nice contrast to the spicy flavors.

Do you like the spicy drinks?


No-Bake Cranberry Oat Chews

no bake christmas cookies

Things are getting quite festive around here.  I’ve been baking up a storm and actually have even more baking that I’m scheduling for this weekend.  This recipe, however, does not require baking at all. The no-bake cranberry oat chews are peanut-buttery, chewy, and hearty little gems.

I had all of the ingredients to make this cookie on hand, and you might as well.  I eat granola for breakfast and was inspired by the Cascadian Farm Dark Chocolate Almond Granola, so when the people at Cascadian Farm asked me to do a cookie swap with a few other bloggers, I was totally in.

I initially wanted to do a traditional chocolate no-bake, but my husband isn’t really a chocolate eater and so far this christmas, all of my recipes have been quite chocolate-y.

Granola no-bake cookies

Instead, I used a peanut butter and brown sugar mixture to create these chewy cookies. Check out the full recipe below, plus links to all of the wonderful bloggers participating in this cookie swap. Continue Reading…


Cookie Swap: Chocolate Dipped Lemon Cookie

christmas cookies lemon

Every year, I take a couple of hours to make a few different types of Christmas cookies and then freeze them to bring out for pop up parties and hostess gifts.  I always make different varieties each year (no repeats!) just to keep things exciting and to teach myself something new.

Although I do try something new each year, I do a couple of things consistently.  I always include a citrus cookie and a marshmallow variety.  The others are all fair game. And here is a fun surprise… not only will you be getting my recipe today, you’ll also be getting the recipes from 10 other amazing bloggers participating in this ‘cookie swap’. More on that after the recipe.

lemon christmas cookies

When I was looking for my citrus cookie this year, I decided to throw it at Bing and their new Bing Smart Search on Windows 8.1.  Typing in ‘Lemon Christmas Cookie’ (no lemon bars here) I was happy to see how the results popped up, which made it really easy for me to pick a direction and build this recipe. Continue Reading…


Spicy Marsala Gnocci

spicy gnocci

I have a treat for you today!  In the wintertime, with the days getting shorter and the nights getting colder, easy, warm dinners are essential.  I love to cook, but was thrown a challenge this week to make a recipe using Colombo Marsala.  It’s being featured in their ’12 Days of Marsala’ and I’m so excited to be included!  I’d never cooked with marsala before, but love the way this Spicy Marsala Gnocci turned out. It’s hearty, spicy, and a bit tangy.

The best part of the challenge, for me, is that if I win… I win a trip to Italy!  So please, head over to the contest Facebook page and vote for me!  I’ll be forever thankful!

gnocci recipe

It’s super easy (about 20 minutes) and I’m sure you’ll love it!  If you don’t like strong cheeses, swap the gorgonzola for parmesan, you’ll still love the smoky, spicy mix of the panchetta and the crushed red pepper.

Spicy Marsala Gnocci with Gorgonzola
Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4
1 tsp olive oil
6 oz chopped panchetta
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 cup Colombo Marsala Dry
16 oz package Gnocchi
4 tablespoons crumbled gorgonzola cheese
I hope you love it!  Don’t forget to vote for it over on the Colombo Marsala page!  I’m crossing my fingers!

Spiced Plums for Fall

spiced plums

I love doing creative things to prolong the gorgeous fruits and veggies that are available this time of year. While jam isn’t my speed, I wanted to create something spiced that integrated all of the wonderful flavors of fall into the late summer fruits that are still available in abundance.

I thought spiced plums would make an amazing addition to a fall martini, bread, beef tenderloin, or anything really.  I found this recipe for raw fruits in simple syrup.  I wanted to take it one step further however, and add spices.

Truth be told, you can do this whole thing without actually canning anything.  You would just need to use the plums within the week as you would any fresh fruit or veggie that you keep in your fridge. Either way, you’ll get some great tasting plums, it just depends on how long you’d like to keep said plums.

spiced plum ingredients

spiced plum recipe

fall spiced plums

If you’re the kind of person who wants to keep some of the spiced goodness around until Thanksgiving or Christmas, you can go the canning route which isn’t nearly and daunting as it seems (and is even easier with the beautiful french terrines! Continue Reading…


Tomato Handpies

hierloom tomato handpie

It’s the time of the year where there seem to be more tomatoes and squash than what people know what to do with.  Pop-up farm stands litter street corners and handmade ‘free tomatoes’ signs are everywhere.

With the little chill that’s in the air, I wanted to make something warm and comforting out of just such a tomato haul and these little handpies were just the ticket.  My mom bought me a mini pie maker for my birthday and I’d been itching for the perfect occasion to use it as well. The pies were super simple, flavorful, and really captured the essence of the early fall.

tomato pie

mini tomato pie recipe

If you don’t have a mini pie maker, don’t fret.  A set of hands works perfectly for the aptly named ‘handpies’. Don’t be scared away by pie crust either!  I just used a prepared frozen one and topped it with my ingredients.  Continue Reading…


Thankful for a Holiday Weekend

natually ella tacos

As many of us are gearing up for a holiday weekend, we’re planning our menus (I’m eyeing this taco recipe from Naturally Ella), getting buckets of beer iced, mowing the lawns and making plans with friends.

It’s easy during the whole balance of the year that doesn’t surround Thanksgiving to not only forget to be mindful about how thankful we are, but also to remember the people out there who don’t have the means to supply meals for their family.  Today kicks off Schwan’s ‘Open the Door to Thankful‘ campaign which is focusing on being thankful throughout the fall season and what we can do to help others get a meal.

To launch the program, Schwan’s Home Service will donate an initial 250,000 meals to Feeding America and invite consumers nationwide to join and add to the donation with their own “thankfuls.” In addition, every Thursday during the campaign, until October 10, the meal donation for each “thankful” shared by consumers will be doubled to 10 meals to honor “Thankful Thursday.”

The great news is, it’s SO easy to participate! All you have to do is share what you’re thankful for on the campaigns facebook app and five meals will be donated to Feeding America.  That’s it.

So go over, share what you’re thankful for on this #thankfulthursday and help end hunger.




Bacon Jalapeño Shrimp


If you’re looking for an amazing summer (and perfect into fall) appetizer, look no further.  My mother-in-law taught me this recipe just two weeks ago and I’ve served it three times since then – every time resulting in rave reviews.  It’s simple enough, requiring only shrimp, jalapeño, and bacon, but the flavors that come together and the perfect bite-size portability make this a crowd favorite.


jalapeno shrimp

ONE Slice a jalapeño length-wise into thin strips. TWO unpeel jumbo sized de-veined shrimp and make a slice down the back.  THREE insert the jalapeño strip into the back of the shrimp and wrap the entire thing in a half-slice of bacon.  FOUR secure the bacon with a toothpick. FIVE grill these guys at high heat (about 400°) for 4 minutes per side.

Everyone will love these.  Don’t be scared off by the jalapeño, when they’re grilled, the heat subsides and they just have an amazing flavor.  Give them a try and let me know how you like them!



Skinny Up Summer

summer drink, cocktail, mixed drink, low calorie, low cal


Firstly, how is it August? I feel like my life is flashing before my eyes.  It’s giving me anxiety!

Now that that’s out of the way, I always feel like I dive head first into summer during the months of June and July, indulging in each treat that the warm months have to offer – like I can’t get those things other times of the year (ice cream anyone?).  So now that August has popped up (and I’m heading to the lake with friends in 23 days), I get to feeling like I should rein it in and get back on track with a healthier lifestyle that will help me glide into the rest of summer with a lot of energy and not a lot of extra summer poundage.  I’m devoting August to a slimming down and getting into a workout routine (which I’ll admit I’ve never really had before).  So cheers to that!

I realized on a recent trip to Chicago how good some of these lower cal cocktails can be and decided to share a couple of my favorite recipes with you today!  Continue Reading…

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