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As I mentioned in Monday’s post, I’m heading to a Fourth of July potluck at a friend’s house tomorrow and I’ve spent many hours on Pinterest and the web searching for recipes to make. Here are a few that caught my eye!

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I may take the rest of the week off, so if I don’t see you here on Friday, I’ll be back next Monday. Hope all my American readers have a great Fourth of July!

Tell me: What are your plans for the fourth?

Through a series of wonderful events, I was able to experience three of my favorite sweet treats this past weekend. If you’re ever in NYC and looking for a tasty treat, I would definitely recommend these places!

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2000 Grand Street

Doughnut Plant Label

In case you missed, last Friday was National Donut Day. I don’t know if I’ve talked about it much on the blog, but I love donuts. I mean, I have a major sweet tooth, so I love pretty much anything sugary, but donuts have a special place in my stomach. There’s a local donut joint back home in Bakersfield that I used to frequent regularly. The donuts were cheap and delicious- what better combination is there? I miss it so much here on the East Coast that every time I fly back home and my parents pick me up at the airport, I always ask them to stop by Foster’s and pick up a donut for me. Anyways, all this is to say that I’m always on the hunt for my new donut joint here in NYC.

Doughnut Plant has some pretty tasty donuts.  They have many flavors that I’ve never heard of before and slowly I’m trying them all. My only complaint is that sometimes when I try to visit their store they’ve run out of donuts for the day! Luckily, I didn’t have that issue on Friday when I went and picked up a coconut lime donut in honor of National Donut Day- yum yum yum.

Butter Lane

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Butter Lane Label

This is one of my favorite cupcake places in NYC. Their cupcakes are pretty simple and very delicious.  You can choose from three different kind of cakes (vanilla, chocolate or banana) and about 14 different flavors (my two favorites are caramel and espresso). I had a “buy one/get one free” google offer that was expiring last week, so after work I walked over to their store in the East Village and picked out a mixed dozen. I still have a few left in my fridge- I’m trying to limit myself to one a day!

Dough

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Dough Label

I’ve been to the Brooklyn Flea several times, but the first time I went to the Fort Greene location and saw the stand for Dough, I couldn’t contain my excitement- new donuts to try! Dough might be favorite donut place that I’ve tried in NYC so far. Their donuts are so doughy (I can’t think of a better way to describe it!) and they also carry really interesting flavors, such as Blood Orange and Hibiscus. Last Sunday I went to the Brooklyn Flea in Williamsburg with some friends and I couldn’t leave there without getting a donut from Dough. This time I tried the Cafe au Lait which was so good. I’ve never been to their actually store in Brooklyn but one day soon I will.

Tell me: Do you like donuts? If so, tell me about your favorite donut place!

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This recipe was too good not to share right away, plus it’s perfect for Cinco de Mayo! I used half of the beef for the taco bites (I only bought one can of crescent rolls) and the other half I set aside to take to lunch tomorrow along with this cilantro-lime rice I whipped up quickly. Check out my vine to see the process in action!

Recipe from 365 Days of Baking; adapted

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 3 tablespoons Homemade Taco Seasoning*
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cans (8 oz. each) 8 count crescent rolls
  • 3 plum tomatoes, chopped**
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

I divided the Homemade Taco Seasoning recipe in thirds to get just enough seasoning for this recipe.
** I used cocktail tomatoes because I couldn’t find plum tomatoes at my local grocery store.

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper.
  • In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground beef until no longer pink, crumbling while cooking.
  • Drain the fat and return the beef to the skillet.
  • Add onion to the skillet and cook until soft.
  • Add taco seasoning and water and stir until thoroughly to combine.
  • Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer while preparing crescents.
  • On a piece of parchment paper, unroll one package of crescents.  
  • Cut each triangle in half, so that you have two smaller ones.  Don’t worry, they won’t be exactly symmetrical. Gently separate them and arrange on parchment so that they are easy to access.
  • Place 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons of ground beef mixture onto each crescent triangle.
  • Top each triangle with a few pieces of chopped tomato and sprinkle with some cilantro.
  • Fold the points of the dough over, so that it comes together like a diaper, pinching the dough as the pieces come together to secure. Some stuffing may fall out- just stick it back in.
  • Place onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 10-13 minutes until golden brown.
  • Repeat with remaining ingredients and second package of crescents.

One more note: This recipe calls for cheese, but since I don’t eat cheese I left that part out. Cheese lovers- check out the original recipe!

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On Superbowl Sunday we went over to a friend’s house to watch the game and we were served this delicious stew. The next day I texted our hostess to ask about the recipe and when I saw how easy it was, I knew exactly what I was making for dinner that night. This stew can be served with many different things (I ate it with bread, rice, and pasta) and any way you eat it it’s muy delicioso!

Recipe from Epicurious; adapted

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 pound Italian sausage (sweet or spicy, whatever you prefer)*
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 15-ounce cans cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 5 ounces baby spinach (about 10 cups)**
  • Smoked paprika (optional)

* I used sweet sausage, but I did add a dash of red pepper flakes for a tiny bit of kick.
** I used regular spinach, chopped (only because my local grocery store was out of baby spinach).

Directions

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat. Chop sausage into bite-size pieces, then add to skillet and cook, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, approximately 5-10 minutes. Transfer sausage to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet. Add onion, garlic, and thyme sprig. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 5-8 minutes. Add beans and broth and cook, crushing a few beans with the back of a spoon to thicken sauce, until slightly thickened, 8-10 minutes (if it’s not as thick as you want, cook it a little longer). Season with salt and pepper. Add spinach by handfuls and cook just until wilted, about 2 minutes.

Fold the sausage into the stew; add water to thin, if desired. Divide stew among bowls; drizzle with oil and sprinkle with paprika, if desired.

One more note: I made this recipe again this week and this time I used bacon instead of sausage because my local grocery store was out of sausage. I have to say, it’s also really tasty with bacon!