Farfalle with Pancetta & Sage

Rainy days are the best day to cook; it always was and forever will be! Rainy, fall days are even better. I can turn a few ingredients into a masterpiece as long as Anita Baker or Aretha Franklin are in the background serenading me. It’s been raining for days here and because I had some sage and mushrooms that were near expiration, I decided it was time to make my favorite pasta dish. Rainy days with pasta are epic, y’all.

Back when I was a broke graduate student living on food stamps and a dream, I’d make this dish for my family and friends to get us through to the next payday. It’s amazing what you can do when you’re hungry with a limited amount of groceries. We’d eat this and watch Netflix [back when it was $5 a month] or dance the night away to the MJ Experience on my Wii. I get really nostalgic when I think of this dish… it’s carried us over and through so many times. I’ve tweaked it since the mid-2000s because pancetta wasn’t something I was willing to spend money on back then.

No sunlight means somewhat shitty indoor lighting photos… sorry, not sorry! In my dream kitchen, there’s a window on the roof directly above my stove and island. But, here in present day, y’all get fluorescent lights, bad camera angles and pure imagination. Click the photos to enlarge.

Modifications for those that need them: If you can’t grab pancetta, use bacon. Same pig, different area. Be sure to use fresh sage instead of dried, and if you can’t find shallots, use yellow onion. My only suggestion is to ALWAYS use heavy cream. I’ve tried this with half & half, and I’ve tried this recipe with milk… it’s a no! Other than that, do what you do! I’ll post short clips of the end product to my Instagram page later today.

I hope you enjoy one of my easiest and most affordable dishes. It’s definitely in my top 3 favorites! You can add a side of salmon, beef or chicken with it. Not shown in the photos are four handsomely baked chicken thighs with herbs de provence and lemon zest. Let me know how you like it and I’m wishing you the best of luck in your kitchen adventures. Enjoy!

THE RECIPE

Serves 4-6

  • 1 lb. farfalle pasta

  • 1 c. cremini mushrooms, sliced

  • 4 c. chicken broth

  • 6 oz. pancetta, diced

  • ½ c. heavy cream

  • ¼ c. asiago cheese

  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed

  • 2 shallots, chopped

  • 2 Tbsp. butter, salted

  • 2 Tbsp. fresh sage, chopped roughly

  • 2 Tbsp. herbs de provence

  • 1 Tbsp. white pepper

  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes

  • Salt to taste

  • Fresh parsley to garnish

  1. Bring 4-6 quarts of water and 3 cups of chicken broth to a rolling boil. Add salt and pasta. Stir to keep from sticking. Cook about 8 minutes. The pasta should be firm and not completely done.

  2. While pasta is boiling, using medium high heat, fry pancetta in butter until browned. Add shallots, mushrooms, garlic and sage. If pancetta mix begins sticking, add some pasta water to pan. Cook until veggies have softened. Remove from pan.

  3. Turn stove to medium low heat. Add the remaining cup of chicken broth and heavy cream. Season with salt, pepper, and herbs. Play with it and season to your satisfaction. Add asiago cheese in and stir. Allow sauce to come to a simmer then add pasta.

  4. Fold in the pancetta-veggie mixture. Toss until the sauce sticks to the pasta.

  5. Top with freshly parsley and grated parmesan or asiago cheese. Serve & Enjoy!


Death by Chocolate Oreo Stuffed Brownies

E X H A U S T E D. I’m exhausted. Mainly because developing recipes on a whim gives me anxiety and stress heartburn. I once tried some blondies in the middle of the night and they came out like a brick. Since then, I’m terrified of fucking up food. I’m a perfectionist in the kitchen. I do it right, every single time… without complaint. These Death by Chocolate Oreo Stuffed Brownies happened by coercion. My kid wanted brownies and begged until he got them. I was trying to make cinnamon rolls and he saw the extra flour as his chance to get them. But let me tell y’all something, he’s picky AS HELL which causes me to be extremely creative in my ingredient selection. According to Malcolm, this brownie needed to be moist, not too sweet, warm and soft with an elevated profile. He asked for adult brownies with at least three chocolates AND Oreos.

So, this is how the Death by Chocolate Oreo Stuffed Brownies came to be… thank Malcolm, y'all. This brownie was described as perfection, love on a two way street and sweet love. They were gone within 5 minutes. I made about four additional batches to ensure the recipe was solid and it’s really a winner. When I open my restaurant in 18 months, an elevated version of this brownie with lavender honey ice cream is going on the menu… prepare yourself!

Unfortunately, there aren’t step by step photos because I put Malcolm on camera duty and he doesn’t know how to work my camera [he didn’t tell me until the brownies were 90% done], but if you follow the directions, you’ll be fine. This is a very easy recipe! I made it simple so Malcolm can make it on his own when I’m not around.

I hope you enjoy this brownie as much as we enjoyed making and eating them. I’m quite sure this will be a hit with your friends and family! Make sure you give them time to cool down so you don’t burn the roof of your mouth and eat them with a glass of milk because why TF not! Peace and Blessings to each of you. Enjoy!

THE RECIPE

Makes 12-16 Brownies

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 c. flour

  • ½ c. butter

  • ½ c. granulated sugar

  • ½ c. light brown sugar

  • 1 c. milk chocolate chips

  • ½ c. white chocolate chips

  • ¼ c. dark chocolate chips

  • ¼ c. unsweetened cocoa powder

  • ¼ tsp. salt

  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla

  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon

  • 1 tsp. nutmeg

  • 1 tsp. cloves

  • 12-16 Oreos

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. In a bowl, add butter, cocoa powder and milk chocolate chips. Microwave for about 1 minute, then stir. Repeat this step in 30 second intervals until chocolate is fully melted and incorporated. It should be smooth.

  3. Add sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and vanilla. Mix well then add in eggs. I add eggs last to give the chocolate mixture time to cool slightly. You don’t want scrambled eggs in your chocolate, trust me!

  4. Fold in the flour until combined fully. The mixture should be even and without lumps. Fold and stir well. This is important!

  5. Pour half of the batter into a greased or parchment lined 9x9 square baking pan. Spread evenly to each corner.

  6. Add a single layer of Oreo cookies to the batter. Sprinkle dark chocolate chips and white chocolate chips on top of the Oreo layer then pour the remaining batter on top of the chocolate chips. If you want, top with chopped Oreos.

  7. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a knife can be inserted into the middle and comes out clean.

  8. Cool completely before cutting [it takes about 30-40 minutes in my house].

  9. Serve with milk and enjoy!

Red Beans & Rice

This dish reminds me of a time when I used to spend my summers laying in the grass with short shorts on, hanging with my friends and the boys from my neighborhood! It reminds me of a time before smartphones when late night phone calls always got interrupted by mom once she realized I was up past 10. This dish reminds me of grass, rain on concrete and riding through Regional Park on Sunday. Red Beans & Rice is a comfort, just like my childhood memories. My elevated recipe is the equivalent of a four-page love letter to my past. Seriously, this is all the feels and all the flavors in one pot and I’m happy to share it with each of you.

I do not believe in shortcuts when I cook. Shortcuts typically mean something gets omitted and I don’t play like that! I want food that is flavorful and I don’t mind spending time on the prep, if the outcome will be worth it. This recipe takes time. Don’t skip any steps then complain later. In fact, let this be a meal you make when you’ll be in the house not doing shit. Fry some chicken or bake salmon and you’ll have a banger for the family.

Soak your beans overnight. It softens them up. Don’t try to boil them for longer or microwave them, soak them… overnight. Also, if you’re not trying to use a ham hock, don’t even try this recipe. IDGAF what your cousin, aunt, granny or momma told you… the ham hock makes this dish. I don’t want to imagine this dish without it. Vegan Red Beans & Rice sounds like you’ll be farting for days and ham hock-less Red Beans & Rice sounds unappetizing. So, if you don’t like pork, this one ain’t for you!

The magic to this dish is in your technique. My great-grandmom affectionately dubbed this technique as “Almost, but Not Quite”. It’s when you cook something to the point of it being almost, but not quite burnt. I swear! When I was a kid, I’d call my granny crazy AF and go sit somewhere with my side-eye judging her for almost burning the beans, but not anymore. It’s a real thing. Don’t be afraid to cook your meat and veggies down in this recipe. That’s where the flavor resides.

Finally, I’m going to share my secret to fluffy ass rice in hopes that you’ll leave that rice in a bag on the shelf. First of all, you need to rinse your rice in warm tap water BEFORE you boil it. You’ll notice the water will be murky as fuck… good. That’s residual dirt and starch and it makes your rice sticky if it stays so rinse it off! Next, add salt and bring the water to a rolling boil. Once it starts rolling, add the rice and lightly stir it make sure it’s not sticking together. Put the lid on the pot, turn the heat on the low and move on with your life for the next 17-18 minutes. Don’t open that lid for any reason… don’t worry about checking it. Set it and forget it! Once the time is up, take the pot off the stove and leave it alone for another 5-7 minutes. After the time elapses, you can fluff it with a fork. It’ll be perfect, I promise!

THE RECIPE

Serves 6-8

  • 7 c. Water

  • 2 c. White Rice

  • 2 c. Chicken Stock

  • 1 lb. Red Kidney Beans, dried

  • 1 lb. Smoked Ham Hocks, scored

  • 1½ lb. Andouille Sausage, cut into rounds

  • ½ lb. Pancetta, diced

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced

  • 4 celery stalks, sliced thinly

  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced

  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 shallot, chopped

  • ¾ tsp. dried sage

  • ½ tsp. white pepper

  • ½ tsp. black pepper

  • ½ tsp. smoked paprike

  • ¼ tsp. dried oregano

  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

  • Handful of fresh parsley, chopped roughly

  • Fresh Thyme, chopped roughly

  • Cajun Seasoning or Salt to taste

  1. In a large pot, on medium heat, fry pancetta until golden brown then add vegetables. Cook until softened and caramelized, or about 10 minutes.

  2. Turn stove to medium-high heat then add sausage to the pancetta & veggie mix. Cook until both sides are browned, or about 7 minutes. Add in the fresh parsley, thyme and all seasonings. Stir and mix well. This is where you’ll almost, but not quite burn your food. Take special care to make sure the sausage is brown but not burnt. Trust yourself!

  3. Add ham hocks, chicken stock and water. Bring to a rolling boil before adding beans.

  4. Once beans are added, boil for 5-10 minutes then bring temperature down so that it simmers. Cover with a lid and for 3-4 hours until the beans have softened. Be sure to check and stir periodically so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot. If the liquid evaporates, add no more than a cup at a time.

  5. Once beans are soft, use a wooden spoon to smash about half in the pot. Smashing the beans allows for a creamy texture that enhances the flavor of the dish. Use a clean spoon to taste. Add cajun seasoning or salt, as needed then cook for 10-15 more minutes.

  6. Serve with rice and garnish with green onions or parsley and enjoy!

Sweet Dreams - The Cinnamon Roll

I’m a late-night baker. I often set my alarm for 11 PM and bake throughout the night. Most often, it is during these times you can find me in the kitchen with Aretha Franklin ballads playing softly, pouring my all into whatever I’m working on. This particular masterpiece was created from love. In my experience, love is so imperfect, devastating, complicated, beautiful and oh so worth it. It’s forgiveness and acceptance, peace and joy. Love stands the test of time and y’all, love is patient… so patient. I know love because God is love and I’m currently in love and believe me when I say: this recipe is love, made with love.

To be completely honest, I didn’t realize what I had done until it was over. The first night I made this I was feeling all the emotions. I cried my way through as Aretha sang through, “Never Loved a Man” & “Ain’t No Way” and by the time I took the songs off repeat, this was on my counter. Once we took our first bites, I knew this was going to be my Holy Grail recipe. They aren’t overly complicated to make, but these cinnamon rolls take time, effort and are worth everything you’ll put into them… just like relationships!

Because I’m obsessed with what I’ve affectionately named “Fairy Dust”, I threw it in for good measure. Fairy dust is a mixture of lavender and rose petals. Jerome swears lavender is for relaxation and sleep. I don’t know much about the sleep, but it actually does help you relax. I believe the combination of rose and lavender compliment each other so well that not adding it to the dough would be a unacceptable.

I seemed to find love in a hopeless place… a bag of Golden Oreos. Who would believe that these cookies could be so perfect for cinnamon rolls? Not me. I don’t know what pushed me to do it, maybe it was the hysterically crying that caused me to try it but it works! I incorporated the Oreos and lavender in the dough, filling and frosting. The rose petals are in the dough and garnish but not the filling. Oh, and my trick for the best cinnamon roll filling is super simple. I add a pinch of nutmeg and ground cloves to the brown sugar & cinnamon. It upgrades your life and is absolutely dynamic. My grandmom used to do it and she was never wrong, so that’s that on that!

I’ve made about 5 batches of these cinnamon rolls in a 3 day period because everyone that has one, wants another and I had to make sure these measurements were perfect! You can make your cinnamon rolls as big as you like or as small as you want. You don’t have to limit yourself here. I make 8-10 big cinnamon rolls because EVERYTHING is bigger in Texas. I couldn’t decide on a name so I asked Aerica and Jerome for help. Everything J came up with sounded like phrases fit for a funeral home so he’s officially not allowed to name anything else. But my girl Aerica, never lets me down. She came up with the name for these cinnamon rolls and a few more recipes that drop this week.

I really hope this becomes your new favorite, as it’s easily become mine. I hope that when you can’t sleep at night, you take a bite of this lavender and rose petal infused cinnamon roll and know that Sweet Dreams are around the corner.

With all my LOVE,

Brittney

THE RECIPE

Makes 8-12 Cinnamon Rolls

Instructions for the Dough:

  1. Get your warm water and sprinkle the yeast on it. The water should be steaming, but not so hot that it burns.

  2. Add 1 ½ teaspoon of sugar to the yeast water, stir & sit. If you use the yeast I use then it takes 3-5 minutes for it to bubble and activate. If not, you’re not using my brand or it’s old… wait another 5 minutes.

  3. Whisk the yeast mixture, milk, remaining sugar, egg, egg yolk and vanilla together. If you have a stand mixer, now is the time to use it. If not, you can do this by hand.

  4. Stand Mixer: Use the dough hook to slowly mix the flour into your wet ingredients. Add 1 cup at a time, alternating between flour, butter and fairy dust. Do this until the dough is smooth and the sides of your mixing bowl are clean. Add the oreos last and mix until they are distributed evenly throughout.

    By Hand: In a large bowl, mix the flour into your wet ingredients. Add 1 cup at a time, alternating between flour, butter and fairy dust. Add the oreos last and mix until they are distributed evenly throughout. Turn the dough on a clean, floured surface and knead by hand until the dough is smooth and elastic. This takes about 10 minutes.

  5. Transfer dough to a lightly greased [use butter] bowl. Cover with plastic and sit on top of a warm oven until the dough has doubled in size. I turn my oven to 425 and wait about an hour… do that!

  6. Punch down the risen down and transfer to clean working space. Roll the dough into a rectangle. Turn your oven down to 350. This is the baking temp and it needs to be right!

Instructions for the Filling

  1. Use a bowl to mix all the ingredients together… leave the butter out the mix!

  2. Spread the butter over the dough.

  3. Sprinkle your sugar and cookie mixture on top and press gently.

  4. Starting at the side opposite of you, roll the dough into a log. Slice the log equally.

  5. Place rolls on a greased or parchment paper lined baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest on top of a warm oven for 45 minutes. They should have risen and puffed up. If not, give it a little more time.

  6. Remove the plastic wrap and bake rolls for 27-30 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Allow rolls to rest for a few minutes before you frost them.

Instructions for the Frosting

  1. Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth.

  2. Add salt, vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until fully incorporated and completely smooth.

  3. Spread over your cinnamon rolls.

  4. Top with Golden Oreos and Fairy Dust!

For the Dough:

  • ½ c. water, warm

  • 2½ tsp. active, dry yeast

  • ¼ c. + 1 ½ tsp. sugar

  • ½ c. whole milk, room temperature

  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk

  • 6 Tbsp. butter, salted and softened

  • 2 Tbsp. vanilla extract

  • 4 c. all-purpose flour

  • ¾ c. Golden Oreos, chopped

  • ½ c. fairy dust [half lavender, half rose petals]

For the Filling:

  • ½ c. butter, salted & softened

  • ½ c. brown sugar

  • 3 Tbsp. cinnamon, ground

  • 1 Tbsp. nutmeg, ground

  • 1 Tbsp. lavender

  • 1 tsp. cloves, ground

  • ½ c. Golden Oreos, chopped

For the Frosting:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

  • 1 c. powdered sugar

  • ¼ c. butter, salted & softened

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • pinch of salt

  • Golden Oreos + Fairy Dust, to garnish

 

Note: I use Platinum Superior Yeast by Red Star. It’s by far the BEST on the market so I’m not touching anything else. If you can’t find Platinum in your stores, grab it from Amazon. I won’t endorse any other yeast in my cinnamon rolls so use what you have available, but this is all I use!

Lavender Rose Cake Batter Cookies

Did you miss me? I took a 18 month hiatus to get my life together. I’d be lying if I said I missed this during my time away. THIS became too much, too fast and everything I love about cooking and food photography wasn’t fun anymore. Why? Because I allowed people to tell me what to do with my dream. This website was created because my snapchat DMs were in straight shambles night after night and this was a way to give my viewers the recipes and maintain normalcy in my life. But after a while, auditions, recipe requests and interviews took over… lesson learned and I’m better because of all it. I know what I want for myself and for my food business. Y’all either gon’ take it, or leave it. I actually don’t care if you leave it because it means less things for me to do!

At any rate, something that I’ve been working to perfect for a while is marrying lavender and rose in baked goods. They both compliment each other so well but can easily overpower breads, cakes and cookies. I finally came to the conclusion that nothing tastes bad in cake batter and I’m so elated to share this recipe with you. I’m calling it my Love on Top cookie because it is fancy, tastes great and makes you want to pussy pop on a handstand!

Let me know what you think.

Best,

Brittney

 

THE RECIPE

  • 1 ½ c. all-purpose flour

  • 1 ½ c. boxed white cake mix

  • ½ c. white chocolate chips

  • ¾ c. butter, softened

  • ¾ c. packed light brown sugar

  • ¼ c. dried lavender

  • ¼ c. dried rose petals, chopped

  • ½ c. granulated sugar

  • 1 tsp. corn starch

  • ½ tsp. baking soda

  • 1 egg, at room temperature

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • Pinch of Salt

  1. Mix the lavender and rose petals together and set aside.

  2. Sift the flour, cake mix, salt and baking soda together and set aside.

  3. Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugars (brown & white) together until smooth.

  4. Add the egg and combine. Scrape the sides and add the vanilla.

  5. Slowly add the flour/cake mix to the "wet"ingredients (butter/sugar/egg) until combined. Scrape the sides as needed.

  6. Add rose petals, lavender and white chocolate chips and mix until the chips are fully incorporated.

  7. Using a cookie scoop or spoon, make dough balls of equal size and refrigerate for at least one hour. When the dough has harden, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  8. Bake cookies for approximately 14 minutes until the edge of the cookies have begun to turn brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 3-5 minutes.

  9. Garnish with lavender and rose petals [because you’re officially fancy as fuck].

  10. Serve with milk and enjoy!