September 28, 2011
It's not that I traded in my tasty homemade batches for convenient store bought versions. I just stopped eating and/or craving it for some reason. Then one beautiful late August weekend we decided to go camping with some friends of ours and they just so happened to bring along a nice large batch of granola. It was beyond delicious and I found myself shoveling handfuls into my mouth and wondering why (and how) I had gone so long without.
Almond Ginger Granola with Blueberries
inspired by the kitchn
about 8 cups granola
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups whole raw almonds
1/2 cup hulled raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup honey
3/4 cup almond butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup dried blueberries
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.
In a small saucepan, warm the honey until very runny. Turn off the heat, stir in the almond butter and vanilla until smooth.
Pour the honey mixture over the oat mixture. Pour in the oil, and stir thoroughly until everything gets wet.
Spread the oat mixture evenly on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, stirring twice while baking. Transfer the granola to a large bowl and add the dried blueberries, tossing to combine. Store at room temperature tightly covered.
September 22, 2011
These days I feel lucky if I get the chance to read more than a few pages before slowly nodding off to sleep each night. But this Summer I found time, or at least I made the time. The funny thing is that three of the books just so happened to be food memoirs that I finally got to catch up on.
The first was Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, where I instantly wanted a plot of my own land to live off (and which may or may not have given me the canning bug this year). I was inspired to make things like my own cheese and yogurt, so far only the later has happened and with surprisingly good results.
Then I moved on to The Sweet Life In Paris by David Lebovitz. This book had me laughing out loud and even reading sections to my husband, who got a kick out of it as well. Recipes for apple tarte tatin, crepes, brownies that the French went nuts over, and of course a recipe for a perfectly simple, but oh so delicious, chocolate cake, which is what I'm sharing with you today. More on that though in a minute.
My most recent read, was A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg of Orangette. Another one that was hard to put down. When she described even the most simple moments where food was involved, I felt like I was there eating right alongside. She also has a chocolate cake that I want to try next. But what I first enjoyed was a big plate of roasted eggplant ratatouille because I just can't seem to get enough eggplant this year. It was delicious.
So I've been a busy reader this summer, but more than any marks or points I can mark down on my check list, I have good food to eat, share, and enjoy. I think that is better than possibly any of the prizes I received as a little girl and ones I want to keep and share. What have you been reading this Summer? I'd love recommendations!
Adapted from The Sweet Life In Paris by David Lebovitz
9 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup cane sugar
4 eggs at room temperature, separated
2 tablespoons spelt flour or plain flour
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Butter an 8-inch spring-form pan or alternatively use a 9-inch loaf pan, buttered and lined with parchment.
Place the chocolate and butter in a double broiler, melt until smooth. Remove from the heat, stir in 1/2 the sugar, the egg yolks, and the flour.
Whisk the egg whites with the salt. Keep whipping until soft droopy peaks form. Whip in the remaining sugar gradually until whites are smooth and hold their shape.
Using a rubber spatula, fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Then fold in the remaining whites just until the mixture is smooth and no white streaks remain.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the center feels slightly firm. Don't over bake. Let cool before serving. Keeps for 3 days wrapped or covered and frozen for up to 1 month.
Labels: Desserts + Sweets
September 19, 2011
Whole Living. This time I've put together a salad from a crisp head of purple cabbage, black beans, and a light and spicy dressing. Then it all gets topped with crunchy cornbread croutons. I whipped up another batch of my brown butter zucchini cornbread for the croutons, but you can use whatever your favorite is. Find the full recipe here.
September 17, 2011
We arrived with a non-fancy, but oh so good, chocolate cake (recipe soon!) as my mom was putting together an enchilada feast. We chatted for a bit and caught up, while Scott and my dad were outside. Then my mom showed me what she's been up to the past month.
Rows and boxes of canned goods all put-up by her. There was apple butter, herb marmalade, roasted red pepper jelly, green beans, and more jars of canned tomatoes then from a previous visit sometime around mid-August, where she and I did them together. Isn't that awesome?! She hit the canning bug this year as much as I did. Or at least as much as I thought I would.
I came to her early this summer with the idea that I wanted to can lots of tomatoes. Of coarse I don't currently own any of my own canning equipment, but I knew my mom did, so I called for an all out, mother-daughter, tomato canning extravaganza. My sister even showed up the day we did it, although she just hung out instead of taking part. We canned around 20 pounds of tomatoes that day. Which all lead up to my mom canning even more; exclaiming how cute the little 1/2 pint size jars are. Because they totally are.
I figured I would just use the peppers as a sandwich filling or for some other random meal. Instead I remembered I had picked up a couple eggplant from the market the day before and it had been awhile since we last enjoyed a warm plate of pasta. Warming, heartier meals have been on my mind the last few days, as the weather has made a major switch into Fall-like temperatures.
Eggplant & Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4-5 whole stripes of roasted red peppers cut into small pieces (about 1 whole red bell pepper roasted, see above)
2 tablespoons finely chopped Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
12 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or parsley
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, cook for 1 minute, then stir in the cubed eggplant. Stir occasionally for about 5-6 minutes or until the eggplant begins to soften.
Stir in the roasted red peppers, olives, vinegar, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes so everything is heated through. At this point add more salt to taste.
Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add in the pasta and cook according to package instructions or until al dente.
To serve, spoon the sauce over each plate of pasta and sprinkle with basil and/or parsley.
September 10, 2011
It was already pretty late and we'd be getting up early for the drive out to the coast. A quick search through my pantry and fridge revealed that I had no butter, eggs, or coconut oil, which left me to getting creative. Luckily I had some chocolate chips, flour, and a bag of shredded unsweetened coconut flakes for a little inspiration.
I remembered seeing somewhere once that you could place shredded bits of coconut into a food processor and after 10-15 minutes end up with something very much like coconut butter. I decided to give it a try.
I made these again this week at the request of my husband. He had a gallery opening last night in Seattle at the Assemble Gallery and Studio and wanted me to provide some of his favorite cookies for the night. I made flourless peanut butter, molasses ginger cookies and of course these coconut chocolate chip. The attendance was amazing last night and I'm so incredibly proud of all the work he put into the show; it was the least I could do to make cookies. If you happen to be in the area, the show will be up until October 11th; although the cookies will be gone, heehee.
Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes about 3 1/2 dozen small cookies
1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup almond meal
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup coconut oil (or 2 cups dried unsweetened, processed)
3/4 cups cane sugar
1/3 cup +2 tablespoons water, divided
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips or 8oz roughly chopped chocolate
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease or line baking sheet.
In a large bowl combine the flour, almond meal, and salt. Set aside.
In a medium bowl beat together the coconut oil and sugar. Add in the 1/3 cup and vanilla, mixing until everything is smooth and creamy. Add the wet mixture to the dry. The batter will be pretty crumbly, add in the 2 tablespoons of water if needed. The dough should have a sandy texture, but when pressed in between your hands come together and hold nicely.
Mix in the chocolate chips. Form the dough into small, walnut sized balls, and place on the cookie sheet, slightly pressing the cookies down to make a flat top.
Bake 12-14 minutes or until the bottoms ares lightly browned (the dough itself doesn't seem to darken much, so it's easier to see it the underside has browned). Cool on a wire rack completely before storing tightly covered at room temperature.
September 07, 2011
Whenever I soak and cook my beans I always make a lot more than I plan on using. That way I don't have to do it again so soon which saves energy too. I'll either place the rest into the freezer to defrost another day or I'll whip up a big batch of refried beans. For some reason I know they'll get eaten a whole lot sooner in this form by my husband, then if they're sitting there as is. They make a great addition to burritos or just as a main protein side dish to any meal.
Refried Black Beans
adapted from The Joy of Cooking
makes about 5 cups
2 tablespoons oil, ghee, or butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups cooked black beans
3/4 - 1 cup reserved bean cooking liquid or water
salt to taste
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring often, until a deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring.
Add to the saucepan half the beans. I like to use a handheld blender to puree the beans, if you don't have one you can either first run the beans through a high speed blender or food processor or just mash them with a potato masher, then add then to the onion.
Add in the rest of the beans and the reserved water, starting with 3/4 cup and adding more depending on how you like your beans. Stir everything and let cook for about 10 - 15 minutes, the water will absorb so don't worry if the beans seem soupy. Season with salt and serve warm.