Mar
06

Macaroni and Cheese 10 Ways

Macaroni and cheese is the ultimate comfort food, hands down. Filling pasta, gooey cheese, and enough carbs to put you into an after dinner coma. It’s just so good. But if your go-to is a box of neon orange Kraft you’re missing out in a big way. Here are ten homemade versions of the stuff that will take your comfort to a whole ‘nother level.

 

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Click on each image to go to the recipe.
All photos copyright of their respective sites unless otherwise noted.

Feb
11

Cheesy Cauliflower Soup

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It would appear finding the perfect cauliflower soup is my annual winter mission/pastime (see Cauliflower Soup). This one is made all the better with the addition of sharp cheddar and crusty bread – I like to tear up a slice and put it right in the soup itself to make an extra hearty meal. It’s been great to have a pot of this around in these absurdly frigid temperature – maybe I should have named it Winter Vortex Soup instead.

 

Cheesy Cauliflower Soup

• 1 stick butter, divided in half
• 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
• 1 carrot, finely diced
• 1 stalk celery, finely diced
• 1 large head cauliflower, chopped small
• 2 Tbsp dried parsley
• 2 quarts low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
• 6 Tbsp flour
• 2 C milk (any fat content)
• 1 C half and half
• 2 tsp salt
• 1 C sour cream
• 1 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese

In a large pot melt 4 Tbsp butter, add onion and cook until it begins to brown. Add the carrot and celery and cook for an additional few minutes. Add cauliflower and parsley and stir to combine, then cover and cook on low for 15 minutes. Afterwards, pour in stock and bring to a boil. The reduce heat to a simmer. In a medium saucepan, melt the other 4 Tbsp of butter. While it melts, in a mixing bowl whisk together the milk and flour. Slowly add to the melted butter, whisking constantly for about 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and add half and half, then add mixture to the soup. Add salt and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Add sour cream and stir to incorporate. Serve immediately with crusty bread.

Feb
06

10 Delicious Tacos

Let’s face facts, tacos are delicious. They’re delicious any time and any place, but for some unknown reason they’re best in winter for me. Maybe it’s the spices, maybe it’s their versatility and ease, but it’s probably the comfort level. My all-time favorite is a solid SoCal fish taco, but I’m generally up for anything that doesn’t contain weird animal parts. Here are ten that I’m hoping to try ASAP!

 

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All photos copyright of their respective sites unless otherwise noted.

Feb
03

Happy Hearts Day Gifts + Treats

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DIY Concrete Love Hearts Necklace // Skip a Beat Tea Towel // Candy Buttons // DIY Cupid’s Arrow Piñata // Heartstring Garland // DIY Heart & Arrow Headband // DIY Leather Conversation Hearts // Heart Backdrop // Darling Dearest Frame

 

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Heartbeat Necklace // DIY Floating Heart Backdrop // DIY Fabric Valentine // Heart Lips Graphic Tee // iceDrops heart Ceramic Beverage Chillers // Besties Floral iPhone 5 Case // Makes Outs Foil Stamped Print // Love Necklace // Black Triangular Wall Hearts

 

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Baked Chocolate Cherry Doughnut Hearts // DIY Valentine’s Pillows // Linzer Cookies // Marbled Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies // Heart Hole Punch // Heart Pattern Friendship Bracelets // Heart Shaped Mini Cookies // Not Soap, Radio Body Wash // DIY Copper Arrows

 

Jan
16

Mushroom Stroganoff

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Beef stroganoff was my favorite dinner growing up, and my very favorite part of that dinner was picking out all of the mushrooms in the sauce for myself. Now that I’m an adult and mainly a vegetarian, I decided to update the classic that my Grandma found on the back of a bag of egg noodles sometime in the 1950s. There are two ingredients that you won’t find in other stroganoff recipes that make this take on it completely different.

Mushroom Stroganoff
• 2 Tbsp butter
• 1/2 C minced onion
• 1 clove minced garlic
• salt and pepper
• 2 C sliced mushrooms (I like portobellos)
• 1 C vegetable broth
• 1 Tbsp vinegar
• 4 oz tomato paste
• 1/2 C sour cream
• 1 bag wide egg noodles

In a pan melt butter and sauté mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Add a few dashes of salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms and onions soften and begin to turn translucent. (About 8 minutes.) Stir in vegetable broth, vinegar, and tomato paste. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Stir in sour cream and simmer for 2 additional minutes. Serve over wide egg noodles.

* If you’d like to go the meat route, add 1 lb. ground beef or turkey and 2 Tbsp flour after you sauté the vegetables and cook until browned.

Jan
09

10 Warm + Hearty Soups

During the winter months I practically live off of homemade soups. It’s just so easy to make a big pot and eat off of it for a few days or freeze half of it for later, and it’s such a comforting food. I have my favorite go-to, but these ten are on the short list for the next few months! Just click on each image to go to the recipe.

 

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All photos copyright of their respective sites unless otherwise noted.

Dec
26

Best of 2013: Food + Cocktails

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Click on each image to go to be taken to the post.

Dec
23

My (Imaginary) New Year’s Eve 2013

After the craziness of Thanksgiving and Christmas I like to make New Year’s Eve more low-key. A come as you are get together with good friends and family is just what the doctor ordered for a great start to a new year! Want to dress up? Go for it. Prefer pajamas? That’s cool, too. We’ll decorate some with metallics and pinks and call it a day. Everyone can bring an appetizer or dessert and I’ll provide the cocktails – sound good? Mix and mingle as you please, and if you can’t stay awake until the ball drops? No judgement. Now that’s my kinda party.

 

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THE DECOR
Confetti Triangle Invitations – Oh Happy Day
DIY Confetti Wreath – A Subtle Revelry
Handmade Paper Bunting – Toast UK
Recycled Honeycomb Tissue Paper Pouf – Zipper Teeth
Happy New Year Garland – Anthropologie
Porcelain Hurricanes – West Elm
Silver + Gold New Year Tiara – Party 411
Black + Silver New Year Top Hat – Amol’s Fiesta Party Supplies
New Years Surprise Confetti – Anthropologie

THE TABLE
‘Larabee Dor Fete Mini Champagne Saucer – Kate Spade
DIY Happy New Year Cake Topper – Style Me Pretty
Floating Blocks Table Runner – LEIF
Glittering Flatware – Anthropologie
Gold Confetti Paper Napkins – Anthropologie
Mercury Glass Octagonal Hurricanes – West Elm
Metallic Print Glassware Set – West Elm
Pink Pop Side Plate – Burke Decor
Pink Dot Tablecloth – Hay

THE COCKTAILS
Black Rose – Kelley Moore
Cinnamon Maple Bourbon Sour – So… Let’s Hang Out
Cranberry Pear Mulled Wine – Couldn’t Be Parve
Cranberry-Orange Sparkler – Martha Stewart
Cucumber Gin Salt + Pepper Cups – Joy the Baker
Hot Buttered Rum – Not Without Salt
Sparkling Raspberry Cocktail – Apartment34
Sugar and Spice Russian – Waiting On Martha
Winter Punch – 101 Cookbooks

Dec
18

An (Imaginary) Holiday Appetizer Party

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I’ve always wanted to throw a party that’s strictly about appetizers. Think about it, they’re one of the best parts of any special meal and you can typically fill up on them alone. Oh, and my definition of an “appetizer” is basically anything that can be eaten in three bites or less, which leaves plenty of room for interpretation and inspiration. The good news? You’re invited to my imaginary holiday appetizer party! (All links and sources at the end of the post.)

 

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First let’s set the mood with plenty of simple touches. Ice lanterns lining the front walk and a tinseled wreath on the front door. Rustic vases full of berried branches. A festive backdrop for photos and plenty of white paper pendants suspended from the ceiling. Even miniature handmade wreaths for party favors!

 

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The best hostesses always offer a beverage as soon as you’ve walked in the door and they’ve taken your coat! I like to offer a selection of hot and cold, boozy and non-boozy, that way you’re sure to have something for everyone. Most of the beverages above can be made in large batches, making it super easy to use pitchers and allow your guests to refill at their leisure. And of course allowing you to actually enjoy your own party!

 

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When entertaining during the holidays, I like to purchase one or two special pieces for the occasion and rely on everyday pieces for the rest. In this case the purchases are small wooden appetizer forks, napkins and a festive cheese board. Otherwise it’s easy to stick to basics in our white, black, gold, and wood palette.

 

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Last (but definitely not least) are the appetizers themselves. I think the rule of one plate of apps to every two people invited is a good rule to go by. Again, here I like to have a good mix of savory/sweet, soft/crispy, hot/cold, etc. Lots of these recipes can be prepped a day or two ahead of time and popped in the refrigerator until you’re ready to either warm them, assemble them, or set them out for guests. That equals less stress for you and a get together you can not only enjoy, but participate in. Happy Holidays!

THE DECOR
Birchwood Vase – Better Homes & Gardens
DIY Mini Holiday Wreaths – The Sweetest Occasion
Ice Lantern Kit – Terrain
DIY Tinsel Garland Wreath – Creature Comforts
Paper Pendants – Serena & Lily
Snowball Curtain – Cox & Cox

THE DRINKS
Boozy White Hot Chocolate – The Little Ferraro Kitchen
Cranberry Orange Gin Fizz – The Messy Baker Blog
Spiced Sparkling Cider – The Best Remedy
Mocha Coffee Punch – She Wears Many Hats
Peppermint Eggnog Milkshake – The Merrythought
Pink Peppermint Russian – Kleinworth & Co

THE PIECES
Arrow Forks – Sucre Shop
Be Merry! Cheese Board – C. Wonder
Gold Foil Cocktail Napkins – C. Wonder
Heath Serving Platter – Canoe
Hot Drinks Glass – Create & Barrel
Leopold Coupe Glass – Cocktail Kingdom
Mercer Burst Salad Plate – Crate & Barrel
Mingle Bar Glass – Crate & Barrel
Nico Platter – Crate & Barrel
Old Dutch Copper Tray – Overstock
Porcelain Serve Platter – Target
Wood Topped Ice Bucket – West Elm

THE APPETIZERS
Apple, Sweet Potato + Bacon Turnovers – Savory Simple
Baked Brie with Roasted Cranberry Sauce – A Couple Cooks
Cranberry Crostini – Cookie and Kate
Lobster Crostini – What Katie Ate
Mini Caramel Apple Hand Pies – Freutcake
Pumpkin Cheesecake Phyllo Straws – Rachel Cooks
Pomegranate Jeweled White Cheddar Cheeseball – How Sweet It Is
Cranberry Curd Tartlets – Martha Stewart
Zucchini Chips – Food Fanatic
Pumpkin Butter S’mores – Wit & Vinegar
Spinach Hummus + Sweet Potato Goat Cheese Quesadillas – 24 Carrot Life
Spiced Apple Chutney and Cinnamon Swirls – Great British Chefs

All photos copyright of their respective sites unless otherwise noted.
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Dec
17

Cranberry Eggnog Bread

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One Friday night a few weeks ago it was snowing and I was hungry. I had a bag of cranberries that were close to their last breath and some eggnog in the same boat. And thus. Cranberry Eggnog Bread was born!

Cranberry Eggnog Bread
• 3 C cranberries
• 1 C sugar, divided
• 3 C flour
• 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
• 1 1/2 tsp salt
• 2 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp nutmeg
• 2 eggs
• 1 1/2 C eggnog (I used light)
• 2/3 C unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Rinse off the cranberries and lightly chop them up if you wish. Place cranberries in a bowl and coat with 1/2 C sugar. In a separate medium-sized bowl, combine flour, remaining sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine eggs, eggnog, and butter. Add dry ingredients in increments and mix on low until combined. Fold in sugar-coated cranberries. Grease two loaf pans and divide bread mixture between them. Bake 45-60 minutes, or until a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of each pan and invert. (You can add a glaze of 1/2 C eggnog and 2 C powdered sugar at this point if you’d like! I prefer mine slathered with cold butter.)