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Four Cooking Moments Every Couple Should Learn
September 13, 2018
I believe that there are certain things in life that every couple should learn before they get married. How to properly make a bed. How to say you are sorry. How to always remember to put the toilet seat down. How to host a little dinner for friends, make an incredible dessert, whip up a meal in under 30 and how to really do breakfast in bed right. You know, the basics. So that is what we're sharing today. Those must-have moments that every couple should have in their arsenal. And we've partnered up with Cuisinart to make sure that you see just how awesome those very moments can be.
1.  A QUICK & EASY DINNER PARTY FOR 6. Having friends over for a sweet but thoughtful dinner party is basically #newlywedgoals. But to do that, you really need a little bank of amazing recipes that are easy, that can be made ahead of time and that will be the perfect canvas for your crew to kick back, relax and make some good old fashioned memories. And yet, also the kind of recipes that makes your guests believe that it all comes soooo easy for you. Because it does. And for the first time ever, I'm giving you my top secret slam dunk dinner party recipes.
I use this little collection of recipes every time I get together with new friends because I know they make me look really good... without really trying too hard. And the single best appliance to make this happen? The 6 Quart 3-in-1 Cook Central® Multicooker by Cuisinart. To say I'm obsessed is the understatement of the century. It sautés, steams and slow cooks. All in one. Badda-bing, badda boom. Plus, it cleans up super fast and easily with a nonstick, dishwasher safe pot. Need proof? Just check out the pulled pork tacos that we made using this baby.

PULLED PORK TACOS
The best, easiest pulled pork recipe that you can make the day of or the night before.

1 TBS of Each: Cumin, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder | 2 TBS Chili Powder | 3 TBS Brown Sugar | 2 tsp Salt & 1 tsp Pepper + more to taste | 2 Cups Orange Juice | 4-5 pound Boneless Pork Butt or Shoulder, cut into 2" pieces | 2 TBS olive oil


Combine all of your spices, salt and pepper in a bowl to create a rub. Coat the pork pieces in the rub. In your multicooker, heat the oil. Brown all sides of your pork, working in batches if you need to. Place the browned pork back into the cooker and pour the orange juice around the pork.
Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours until the pork is easily shreddable. Just before serving, shred the pork with two forks and pour a bit of the sauce on top to keep it moist.
*Make Ahead Tip: If you are making ahead, cook the pork per the instructions but don't shred. Store with a bit of sauce in an airtight container and warm gently in your slow cooker. You can store the rest of the sauce in a separate container and even better, you can easily skim the fat off the sauce prior to reheating the pork and include it with your pork while you reheat it. SO good.

HOMEMADE TORTILLAS
The secret sauce to a meal your guests will always remember.

3 cups all-purpose flour | 1 teaspoon salt | 1 teaspoon baking powder | ⅓ cup vegetable oil | 1 cup warm water

In a food processor (naturally, I highly recommend the huge Elemental 13 Cup Food Processor from Cuisinart), combine the flour, salt and baking powder until well mixed. While running on low, add the water and the oil and mix until just combined - it will be a bit sticky but should be fairly solid. Place the dough on a floured surface and roll into a ball, using flour to prevent sticking. Divide the dough into 16 equal portions.
Roll each portion into a ball and gently flatten with the palm of your hand. Lay a towel over the discs and let sit for 15-30 minutes.

Heat a dry skillet -- or use the Cuisinart Griddler Five -- with the griddle plates on high. While it heats, roll your dough out into individual tortillas - ours were 8"- 9". You want them to be quite thin. Place the tortilla on your hot surface and let sit for 2 minutes - bubbles are a good thing. Flip and let sit for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and repeat with the rest of the dough.
*Make Ahead Tip: You can keep these in a sealed baggie at room temp for 5-7 days or you can make a whole bunch and freeze! You won't regret it. They are guaranteed to make the whole taco thing a FAR better experience than store bought!

ELOTE...IN A BOWL!
This is the dish that people ask for when they come over. It's SO flavorful and unexpected, a traditional dish in Mexico but a total treat to anyone who isn't familiar.

4-5 ears of corn | 2 tablespoons olive oil | 3 tablespoons mayonnaise | 3 tablespoons sour cream | juice of 1-2 limes | 2 cloves of garlic, minced | 1 tsp chili powder | 2 tablespoons red onion, minced | salt, pepper and cilantro to taste

Prepare your Cuisinart Toaster Oven baking sheet with foil. Cut the corn off the cobs and toss with the olive oil and a bit of salt. Broil in your toaster oven for 8-10 minutes or until your corn starts to brown. Keep an eye on it because it can turn brown quickly. I used Cuisinart's Air Fryer Toaster Oven... talk about convenient!
While the corn is cooking, combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add the hot corn and stir to coat. Season with salt, pepper  and cilantro to taste. This can be served cold, at room temp or warm (my personal favorite).

THE BEST GUACAMOLE EVER
It's been repinned a billion times. Literally a billion.

5 Ripe Avocados | Juice from 1 Lime | 3 Cloves of Garlic, smashed with salt (use the back of a spoon) | 1 Teaspoon Salt + More to Taste |1 tsp Jalapeno, minced | 2 Tablespoons Vidalia Onion, minced | 2 Tablespoons Cilantro, chopped | 1 Tablespoon of Sour Cream (optional)
Throw it all into your Cuisinart Food Processor and blend on low until you reach your desired consistency. Yep, it's that simple. And the food processor does all of the work for you - the one I was using, from Cuisinart's Elemental Series  had a 13 Quart work bowl (giant!)  so that you can actually make a ton of guac... bonus!

SPICY CHOCOLATE GANACHE SQUARES
You can make a batch of these little numbers and keep in the fridge for up to a month. Filled with whatever your heart's desire - from caramel to ganache - I usually just lay them out on the table after dinner and skip the big dessert.

Silicone Candy Molds | 12 ounce bag of semisweet chocolate | two 4 ounce bars of dark chocolate | 1 cup of heavy cream | 1 Teaspoon Ancho Chili Powder | Additional fillings like peanut butter, caramel, jam, etc.

Finely chop all of your chocolate and mix together. Place 1/2 of it in a microwavable bowl. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave again in 10 second increments, stirring between, until the chocolate is melted. Pour as much chocolate as needed into your candy molds. Holding the mold over a rimmed baking sheet, flip the mold over and tilt left/right/front/back to coat all sides of the molds and empty out any extra chocolate. If you'd like, you can use a bench scraper to scrape the top of the chocolate molds to get rid of any superfluous chocolate.
Place in fridge for an hour and transfer the melted chocolate (that fell onto the sheet pan) back into the microwavable bowl. You will use this to top your chocolate bites. Meanwhile, in a small pan - we used the GORGEOUS (seriously gorgeous people) Cuisinart Copper Pans that I literally leave out on my stove because they look so lovely in my kitchen - to bring the heavy cream to a boil. Place the rest of the un-melted chocolate, along with a full teaspoon of ancho chili powder into a heat resistant bowl.
Pour the heavy cream over the second half of the chocolate and let sit for about 5 minutes. Stir with gusto until you have a nice, shiny ganache. Remove the molds from the fridge and place a small spoonful of ganache into each one. Refrigerate for another hour.

Re-melt your remaining chocolate and pour on top of your molds. Quickly use a bench scraper or an offset spatula (or a knife) smooth out the chocolate and make sure each square is sealed. Refrigerate again until ready to serve!

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2. AN ANYTIME DESSERT. Sometimes, dessert is the only thing that we really need. Having a great one in your recipe repetoire will ensure that you can whip it up for guests or ditch dinner entirely for a date night and share something sweet and epically delicious. This caramel apple tart is perfection. It's warm and filling, it's versatile and forgiving. It's the one dessert that you should totally know how to make.

SALTED CARAMEL & APPLE FREEFORM TART
SO simple, so heavenly, so easy.

Prepared or Homemade Dough, chilled | 2 Large Apples | 1-2 Teaspoons of Lemon Juice | 1/4 Cup of Brown Sugar | 1 Tablespoon of Flour | 1/2 tsp salt | | 2 tsp Apple Pie Spice | 1/4 cup Homemade or Store Bought Caramel | 1 egg, whisked

After peeling and cutting the apples in half and removing the core, use your Cuisinart food processor's slicing blade to slice your apples. Immediately put them into a bowl and add lemon juice, tossing the apples to coat.
Add the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and stir to coat. On a floured surface, roll out your pie dough to about 1/4" thickness. Move the dough to Cuisinart's Air Fryer Toaster Oven baking sheet that has been prepped with cooking spray, oil or parchment paper. I absolutely love this baking sheet because it has high, thick edges to prevent warping and spillage. And I can throw it in my dishwasher for super fast and easy clean-up.
Pile the apples in the center of your dough and drizzle the caramel sauce on top. Fold the edges of the pie dough over the top of the apple mixture. Use a pastry brush to brush on the egg wash. Bake at 375 in the toaster oven for 18 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream!
*Make Ahead Tip: You can make the dough up to a week ahead and keep in the fridge. The apple mixture can be made the night before and then assembled before guests come over. Just pop it in the toaster oven while you eat dinner and it will be perfectly warm and delicious in time for dessert! Oh - and did you catch the part about this toaster oven being an 'air fryer' as well... so darn cool!

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3. A WEEKNIGHT DINNER. Yes, you should always have a good weeknight dinner in your toolbox. You should probably have a few more than one. This sheet pan dinner is just a foundation for the many, many ways that you can cook a complete meal using a single pan and the Cuisinart Toaster Oven. It's only the beginning... but it's a great start.

MAPLE SRIRACHA SHEET PAN CHICKEN WITH GREEN BEANS + POTATOES
There is nothing easier than a one sheet dinner for two made totally in a toaster oven. It's simple, delicious and will give you plenty of time to catch up on your latest Netflix and chill.

4 Chicken Thighs, boneless & skinless | 1/4 cup maple syrup | 1-2 tsp sriracha sauce | 2 Tbs soy sauce | 1/2 tsp garlic powder | 1 bag of pre-rinsed and cut green beans | 1 bag of small gold or red potatoes | 2 Tbs olive oil | salt/pepper to taste

Combine the maple syrup, sriracha, soy sauce and garlic powder in a bowl. The night before - place your chicken in a large ziplock baggie and pour this marinade on top. Leave in the fridge overnight. Alternatively, just make it 30 minutes in advance of your dinner and marinate at room temp.
When you are ready to eat, place your marinated chicken on a prepared/lined baking sheet. Toss the potatoes and the green beans in olive oil, salt and pepper. Place them alongside the chicken on the baking sheet. Bake in your Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven at 400 for 15-20 minutes until your chicken reaches an internal temp of 160 degrees.

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4. BREAKFAST IN BED. I've been married 13 years. I have 3 children. Breakfast in bed is officially a once a year kind of situation. Usually on my birthday or Mother's Day. But not you. You and your love can have breakfast in bed ANYTIME. YOU. WANT. Revel in it. Love it. DO it.

BACON, EGG & CHEESE PANINI
This isn't so much a recipe as it is a religion.

Whether you pile pita bread with bacon, eggs and as much cheese as you can (we used Jack) or you use buttered Challah bread, egg, prosciutto and avocado, the Cuisinart Panini Press (actually it's official name is the Griddler Five) is worth it's weight in gold for it's ability to turn a boring sandwich into something the Breakfast Gods would be proud of.
All you need are two pieces of bread, heavily buttered and some filling. Place that little baby in your Griddler Five and cook until the cheese is bubbling out of the sides. That's it. Heaven, simplified.

Now for the peach smooothie. Or any smoothie really because once you master the ratios of fruit/yogurt/liquid, you can basically have a perfect everytime smoothie whenever you want. We went for peach. 1 cup of frozen peaches, 1/2 cup yogurt, 2 Tbs Honey and 1/cup of Almond Milk all blended to perfection in your Cuisinart Blender...
... and now you have a breakfast that is worthy of lounging in bed for many many hours past your alarm clock. To maximize the breakfasting pleasure, include reading material, a really pretty tray and an adorable puppy or two. Optional, of course.
And there you have it, my friends. Your Field Guide to the only recipes you really need as a Newlywed. The recipes that will wow crowds and bring that homey warmth to your table that you crave. But here's the thing. The food is truly just the icing on the cake. It's the incredible appliances that Cuisinart so graciously let us use, that allowed us to make everything with ease - so that we could actually kick back and watch TV or read a book or have a glass of wine with the one we love. It's cooking made so so easy thanks to the thoughtful design and intention behind every Cuisinart Product.
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