Gluten Free Caramel Pecan Tart with Chocolate Genache & Mascarpone Drizzle

January 18, 2013

ella

This is Ella. She is one of the best things in my life. She has put up with my nonsense for more years than I would like to admit. She didn’t strangle me after us living together for a year and she still encourages my crazy adventures (like moving down to Nasvhille to chase my music dream. And starting a food blog. And adopting a puppy even though I can hardly take care of myself). Oh, and did I mention she makes me bruschetta… bruschetta that looks like this…

 

bruschetta

 

..every September. It’s oh so amazing. It’s also what sparked my Winter Bruschetta post yesterday. But anyways, monday was her 24th birthday (Hey, Ella…we are getting old!) and she doesn’t know where she will be in 4 months. Maybe it’s still here with me in Bloomington. Or maybe she will disappear into the wilderness that is Wyoming or maybe she’ll serve a non-profit programs in Washington, DC. Whatever she chooses…I plan to support her since she supported me all those year. And I didn’t want to support her in the form of gifting another thing to carry across the country. Instead, I made this tart. And I made it gluten-free because I am also trying to encourage her gluten-free food adventures! So much support and encouragement around here, huh?

 

Chocolate-Pecan-Caramel-Tart

 

So here it is. Ella’s birthday tart. The Gluten-Free Caramel Pecan Tart with Chocolate Genache & Mascarpone Drizzle (WOAH. SUCH A MOUTHFUL). I started with an almond flour crust…which gave it the tiniest hint of nutty flavor and then did a date/caramel layer followed by a VERY rich chocolate genache and a mascarpone drizzle. Dayum. It was intense and oh so delicious.

Lastly, I’d like to note that this tart LOOKS daunting because there are 4 components BUT you only cook the crust and there are a lot of repeated ingredients. Do not fear – with a little bit of time and a few fresh ingredients, you will have a delicious and decadent tart in no time! Okay, enough chatting…let’s get baking!

 

Caramel-Pecan-Tart

 

Caramel Pecan Tart with Chocolate Genache & Mascarpone Drizzle

a weird love child of this recipe and this one

For the crust:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

For the filling:

  • 10 dates, pitted and soaked in 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped (+more for garnish)

For the genache:

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup / agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 vanilla bean

For the drizzle:

  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
  • ~1 Tablespoon milk (dairy or un-sweetened nondairy)
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 2 teaspoons honey

Combine the dates with 1/3 cup of water and let soak for one hour.

Make the drizzle first so that the mascarpone has time to absorb the vanilla/honey flavors. Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrap out the seeds. Discard the pod and set half the seeds aside for the genache. Whisk together the mascarpone, honey, and vanilla bean seeds. Stick in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the tart.

To make the crust: Whisk together the almond flour and salt. Add in the agave/maple syrup and coconut oil and whisk until a crumbly dough forms. Grease a 4×14 tart pan (with removable bottom) and press the dough into it. Use a fork to pierce the dough through-out the pan. Transfer to the fridge and let chill for 30 minutes.

CaramelPecanTart

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake 15 minutes (or just until it starts to firm up and turn slightly brown). Remove from oven and let cool completely.

In a small food processor, combine the dates (including the water they were soaking in), vanilla, and salt. Pulse until well combined and then fold in the pecans. Pour into the prepared crust and stick in the fridge while you prepare the genache.

To make the genache: In the small food processor, pulse together the coconut milk, cocoa powder, vanilla seeds, and maple syrup / agave nectar. Pour over the caramel mixture and smooth with a spatula. Stick back in the fridge for at least an hour (so that all the layers can set).

Right before serving: Whisk a tablespoon of milk (1 teaspoon at a time) into the mascarpone filling until its thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle over the tart and garnish with chopped pecans.

 

Caramel-Pecan-Tart

 

Serve to all your chocolate and pecan loving friends!

 

ellaandme

Ella —– Me

 

 

Something for you to dance to while baking:

Winter Bruschetta

January 16, 2013

winterbruschetta

Oh man, I have been hit with spring fever. Between planning a March getaway trip and drooling over spring fashion, I am ready to be on a warm beach with a beergarita! And let me tell you – this is the worst possible time to be struck with this spring fever. Not only is vacation still 2 months away but it’s also been in the 20s here all week (and plans to stay that way).

So how in the world do I cope with this spring fever without quitting my day job and moving down to Austin, Texas where the sun always shines (that is a bit of an exaggeration but you know what I mean)? Well, let’s figure this out. What do I miss? Fresh Bruschetta, high-waisted shorts, laying in the grass with our tape player, and lake days. I can’t really think of a way to imitate laying in the grass…unless, of course, if I wanted to snuggle my hair into our huge cacti collection that resides in the kitchen (OUCH!). But I can drag Wyatt on winter lake picnics with warm soup and Mexican hot cocoa. And I can layer up with some tights and knee high socks under my shorts. Done and done. Now, onto the bruschetta? Gahhh…could you imagine traditional bruschetta in January? So filmy and flavorless…yuck. But what if we used winter vegetables? Like sweet potatoes and onions? And still stuck it on a warmed and buttered baguette? Now we are talking!

 

winterbruschetta3

 

Winter Bruschetta

  • 1 fresh baguette, sliced into 1 inch thick pieces
  • 1 large sweet potato or small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 onion, cut into large chunks
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (omit to make vegan)
  • 2 Tablespoon fresh sage, chopped + divided
  • Salt/Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large oven safe pan, toss together the sweet potato or squash, onion, garlic cloves, half the sage, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoon olive oil. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the squash/potato can be pierced nicely with a fork (but does not become mushy). Remove from oven and let cool while you prepare the bread.

To prepare the baguette: Brush the remaining olive oil on the baguette slices and top with cheddar cheese. Place under the broiler for a minute or two or until the cheese / bread is toasted. Top the bread with the potato/squash mixture and serve warm. Garnish with leftover age or, for a sweeter version, drizzle with honey.

 

Let’s get through the winter with Mikal Cronin:

 

Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

January 15, 2013

HoneyBourbonBarbecueSauce

If close up pictures of french fries doesn’t make you want to ditch your soup dinner plans and run out to the nearest diner then I do not know what does. Sorry that I just ruined your diet with this photo. Don’t worry, you can start again tomorrow.

I grew up a firm believer that ketchup was for eggs and barbecue sauce was for french fries. Although I’ve grown out of lathering ketchup all over my morning scramble, I still cannot resist a big side of tangy barbecue sauce to accompany my french fries and tofu nuggets (yes, I am guilty – I do enjoy those processed fake chicken nuggets that you can find in you organic freezer section at Kroger).

Although I am known to still down the occasional fry or chicken-less nuggets, I do try avoid the processed and high-fructose packed condiments that fill our grocery stores. Have your REALLY looked on the back of that condiment jar in a while? It’s a rather upsetting sight. Instead, I usually whip up a batch our this barbecue sauce  and it usually holds me through all summer (and I participate in A LOT of grill outs every summer).

I decided to mix it up and try a new bbq sauce this time around. It’s definitely not the traditional bbq sauce you are used to (I’d suggest using this recipe if you are looking for that) but it’s a great sauce to use for special occasions. It’s a wonderful way to add new flavor to your condiments or to fancy up a side of fries at a party. The bourbon gives it the inevitable and sophisticated alcoholic aroma while the honey helps sweeten and tone it down.

I made this in my slow cooker so I could walk away and not worry about it. But it would probably be made just as easy in a saucepan by throwing in all your ingredients and letting it simmer down to your desired consistency (bet it wouldn’t take more than 30 minutes!).

 

Honey-bourbon-barbecue-sauce

 

Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 ounces of tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • dash of hot sauce, optional
  • salt, to taste

 

Heat the olive oil over medium in a small skillet. Add onions and sauté until translucent (about five or so minutes). Add in the garlic and cook for another minute. Remove from heat.

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and turn the slow cooker on low. Let cook for 8 hours. If the sauce is too thin after 8 hours, remove the lid and let cook down to desired consistency.

Use an immersion blender to blend into a smooth sauce or leave the small chunks of onions (they are delicious!).

Serve right away or transfer to an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. If you’d like to keep it longer, freeze it in ice cube trays for easy access to later.

 

honey-bourbon-barbecue-sauce

 

 

Because Nobunny is both saucy and probably a bit alcoholic (yeah -  not really sure what that means either):

Sweet Potato and Mascarpone Ravioli with Caramelized Onions

January 14, 2013

Did I tell you about Christmas? I received so many wonderful kitchen tools and they have been filling my free time with cooking inspiration. First, I received a Tagine which is a wonderful Moroccan clay pot that I’ve been using to cook up flavorful veggie strews. Have you ever cooked with preserved lemons? Or harissa? I had not until I discovered the wonderful world of tagine cooking and now I am hooked!

We also received a pasta maker and ravioli press. It’s a tradition for my Ma and I to make homemade pierogies once a year so I am very acquainted with their pasta machine. But to have my own?! The options are endless! I started my adventures with this ravioli. There is something so wonderful about the creamy mascarpone that pairs nicely with the sweetness of the potatoes and then the savory garlic and onions.

Before we get started I have to tell you that I did a total no-no. In my recipe, I posted a link to ANOTHER recipe so you have to [gasp] follow two recipes at the same time. I know this is both annoying and could possibly even be confusing. BUT, I promise I did it for a reason [and that reason was NOT laziness]! This was my first time making homemade pasta on my own and I am no where near an expert. Thus, I didn’t really feel like it was right trying to tell you how to make it since I am still in my learning phase of this process. And instead, I sent you to a REALLY informative and easy to follow link that I used to make the dough for this recipe. So, I know you are wondering, why even post this recipe at all? Well because the ravioli filing / combo was totally my own inspiration and I found it too damn delicious not to share on here! So, don’t be mad! And I promise I’ll hopefully have my own step-by-step tutorial on homemade pasta one day. Until then, The Kitchn is a wonderful guide. Now, let’s make some ravioli!

 

homemaderavioli

 

Sweet Potato and Mascarpone Ravioli with Caramelized Onions

For the pasta dough:

 

For the filling:

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt

 

Topping / Sauce:

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon dried thyme
  • Salt/Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

 

  • Parmesan

 

To prep the filling: Bring a large saucepan full of salted water to a boil. Peel and dice the sweet potatoes and add to the boiling water. Let boil until a fork can easily pierce through them (about 25 minutes). Drain the potatoes and let cool. While that is cooling, slice the vanilla bean in half and scrap out the seeds. Once the potatoes have cooled, mash with the vanilla seeds (discard the pod), mascarpone, lemon juice, and salt. Set aside.

 

homemaderavioli4

 

Follow the Kitchn’s recipe on how to make the dough (follow through step 8).

Once the dough is rolled out to your desired consistency, lay across your ravioli press and fill each pocket with a tablespoon of filling. Lay another sheet of dough across the top and use a heavy rolling pin to gently roll back and forth over the ravioli until its sealed. Repeat with the rest of the dough / filling.

 

homemaderavioli5

 

Bring a large saucepan full of salted water to a boil. Add the prepared ravioli (only doing about 6-8 at a time, depending on how large your pot is) and let cook for 2-3 minutes or until they float. Transfer to a wire rack and repeat with the rest of the ravioli.

To make the topping / sauce: Heat the butter and olive oil in a saucepan over medium low. Add in the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes or until they become translucent. Add in the garlic, turn the heat down to low, and let cook for 30 to 45 minutes or until caramelized. Finally, add in the thyme, boiled ravioli, salt, and pepper and turn the heat back up to medium. Saute for about five minutes or until the ravioli just starts to brown.

Serve warm with shaved parmesan.

 

homemaderavioli3

 

Track of the day:

Wake up with Mascarpone: Breakfast Bowl & Breakfast Sandwich

January 10, 2013

Usually when I purchase mascarpone, I use it up in one sitting by making a fruit dip or smothering on top of cookies. However, this time I’ve been savoring it by throwing a tablespoon or two into pretty much ever meal. Pasta? Sure, why not!? Granola. Yes, please! blondies? Why not dip them in mascarpone? It’s been wonderful to open up the fridge and wonder “what can I douse in mascarpone today?”.

This intention has caused the creation of two delicious, quick breakfasts. I am the type of person who wakes up 20 minutes before she has to leave for work and needs a breakfast FAST. The first one is an indulgent twist on my usual morning granola and yogurt. And the second is a bit more YOLO (do you say that? I don’t actually say that…I just could not think of a better describing word. Thank you mainstream media for RUINING MY VOCABULARY).

Let me elaborate a bit more on my contrast between these two breakfasts. I have a [wonderful] boyfriend who is so skinny that you could probably see threw him when he turns to the side. This really irritates me when we eat 80% of the same foods (the other 20% is him getting a side of fries when I get a side salad) and it’s like he is getting skinnier as I am getting bigger! This is good in the aspect that it strives for me to constantly eat better as to not become the husky one in this relationship. But, at the same time and out of frustration, it also makes me want to down an entire jar of nutella when he is not looking. So this week’s breakfasts have consisted of ‘Morning bebe. Here is a big bowl of Granola / Mascarpone / Fruit that I made us for breakfast” and “Oh, you aren’t awake yet? Well I’m downing this Nutella / Ciabatta / Mascarpone sandwich before you get up” [I mean the Nutella has been in that cabinet for far too long...it could go bad soon! I'm only eating this as to not waste food...maybe...no, not really].

So, whether you are feeling like treating yourself or giving your body a good foundation for the day, one of these breakfasts should satisfy your needs. I’d suggest you whip up a batch of your own mascarpone so you can have yummy, creamy breakfasts to look forward to all week as well!

 

MascarponeBreakfastBowl

 

Mascarpone Breakfast Bowl

Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrap out the seeds. Discard the pod and transfer seeds to small bowl with the mascarpone. Whisk until combined and then pour in granola. Top with fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey.

 

MarcaponeBreakfastSandwich

 

Mascarpone Breakfast Sandwich with Nutella & Fresh Fruit

  • 1 slice ciabatta bread
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Nutella or any hazelnut spread
  • 2-3 Tablespoons fresh mascarpone
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Fresh fruit

Slice the ciabatta bread in half and spread the Nutella on one side and the mascarpone on the other. Sprinkle the cinnamon on both sides and spread a single layer of bread. Fold the two pieces into each other and set under the broiler for a minute (or until your desired warm/crispiness is achieved). Eat immediately [preferably before anyone else sees you or else you may have to make more].

 

 

Daily dose. Why wake up slowly? Let’s get this day going:

Homemade Mascarpone

January 9, 2013

Homemade-Mascarpone

This post has been a long time coming. I promised myself I would make homemade cheese back on my [cringe] summer to do list. And then again [eeeep!] in the fall…and then I stuck it on my winter one. And guess what?! I FINALLY DID IT! And although making my own cheese was both enjoyable and delicious, it kind of made me hate myself more. It was so ridiculously easy to make…probably easier than 80% of the recipes on here…that it really really bugs me to know it took 6 months to get around to making it.

Before you start, make sure you have a candy thermometer and cheese cloth. It’s very important to keep the milk at a stable temperature so it doesn’t burn or not stay warmed up long enough. But other than that, you only need 2 (yes, 2!!) ingredients. Doesn’t it kind of make you mad to think you’ve spent all that money on mascarpone in the past?

Anyhow, this recipe is oh so easy! Just make sure you give yourself enough time for the cheese to strain overnight. I’ve been mixing my mascarpone into almost everything! I stuck it in some homemade ravioli, pasta, and even with my morning cup of granola and fruit! So creamy and delicious!

 

Mascarpone

 

Homemade Mascarpone

  • 2 cups heavy cream (NOT ultra-pasteurized)
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice

 

In a small saucepan, slowly bring the heavy cream to a small simmer (the temperature should climax at 180 degrees and the goal is to try to keep it around there). Let simmer at 180 degrees for about 3 minutes and add in the lemon juice. Simmer for another 3 minutes and then remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature (best to just step away for a half an hour).

Fill a small strainer with several (I used 3) layers of cheesecloth and put a small bowl under the strainer. Pour the cooled mascarpone mixture into the strainer and stick in the fridge overnight (mine only strained a few tablespoons of whey but the mascarpone came out thick and creamy in the morning).

Add to your pasta, granola, or elaborate desserts! Store in an airtight container in your fridge for up to a week.

 

 

Homemade Mascarpone

 

Song inspiration (classy but still a bit scandalous):

Wanderlust

January 8, 2013

Southwest-Road-Trip

photo from our Southwest Road Trip last May

I’ve been feeling a bit…uninspired by my actions around VV lately. Can you tell? It just seems like I get into a groove and then get bored with the formula after a few months. Perhaps it’s the prospect of the temperature getting into the 60′s (!!!) this weekend that has sparked my winter dormant self to feel energized with ideas. You know…the feeling where you want to stop wearing that same black sweater and pull out those high-waisted shorts and crop tops. The same self that wants to get lost in the woods and go skinny dipping in the lake. And pull out my 35mm and take a cross country road trip. You know, the feelings that makes your heart race and lets you feel alive? Those feelings.

Something else that sprung this feeling was reflecting on my life and music [sounds like the beginning of a cheeeeeezey memoir]. I went to school for music and then chased my dreams down to Nashville to try to pursue the music industry. I used to read music books non-stop in my free time (which has now turned into food books), watch rock documentaries with my morning coffee, go to shows every other night, and only date musicians. As time passed, I settled into working for a music distribution company that distributes dozens of independent labels. Pretty cool, right? Well, yes and no. Now it’s my job to go to shows every time our bands come through. And it’s my job to read Pitchfork and StereoGum daily. And it’s my job to schmooze with other musicians in our music scene. Somehow, when you stop doing things because it’s your hobby and you start doing things because you have to, they become less fun.

So, as we turn a new leaf [the year changing and all], I’m going to make it a goal to get back into music. Whether that means listening to a new album everyday or going to 1 [non-work related] show a month. Whatever it takes. I’m going to take my music taste back and stop being so knee deep in the daze that is popular indie rock.

Now, the weird part. How in the world do I incorporate that into my blog? Skinny dipping doesn’t exactly make my soup shots look more appetizing. Or adventuring cross country doesn’t give me more time to expand on what I’m doing here. And music certainly does not give my kitchen better lighting. Well, I’m not exactly sure how to incorporate all these feelings but I think I am going to start with matching a song to the recipes I post about. And posting more pictures from random adventures [which also means I will need to start taking more random adventures - score!]. And using some more color around here…and perhaps a new, hipper font? Caviar dreams – you don’t ALWAYS inspire me like you should. And stop looking for so much inspiration in other food blogs [which usually just leads to criticizing my own]… instead looking to travel blogs, vintage stores, and art exhibits. 2013, I am ready for you!

 

 

Song of the day:

Mini Winter Fritattas with Sweet Potato, Onion, & Parmesan

January 7, 2013

I’m a big quiche fan and would be lying if I didn’t mention that I was rather hesitant to get on the ‘fritatta’ bandwagon. But as I cook with eggs more and more, I realize comparing a quiche and fritatta is like comparing whole wheat oatmeal cookies and double chocolate chip cookies. Quiches are rich and full of heavy cream and eggs piled on top of a buttery crust. Fritatta is like the healthy crustless sibling to the quiche with its easy preparation and delicious vegetable filling.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I still LOVE me a cheesy and buttery quiche. But frittatas have been making their way into my daily routine more and more because of their simplicity. I don’t have to spend time making a crust or hoping I have heavy cream on hand (which I usually don’t). I can just stick in whatever vegetables I may have on hand and whisk up some eggs. So simple!

 

winterfrittata2

 

Continue Reading…

Harissa Paste

January 4, 2013

Happy Friday! Any big plans for the weekend? I didn’t start my work week until Wednesday so this week kind of feels like cheating…did I really earn weekend already? I could get use to this 3 day week thing! As for my weekend? The only thing I have planned to to make some homemade ravioli (now if I could only decide on ONE filling option…).

Continuing with my New Years resolution to eat less processed food, I decided to make my own harissa paste instead of heading to the specialty market to pick up a bottle of it. I needed some harissa paste because I received a beautiful Tagine for Christmas and have been cooking in it non-stop. It’s such an easy, delicious, and ridiculously healthy way to whip up a batch full of hearty veggies drenched in flavorful Middle Eastern or African spices.

So what exactly is harissa paste? It’s a condiment made out of chiles that will have varying ingredients depending on location. It’s been known to be used in African, Moroccan, and several other Middle Eastern countries. I added a few teaspoons of it to a butternut squash, raisin, and shallots combination I made the other day and it was delightful. I plan to use the leftover paste as a condiment on sandwiches (adding a little bit of honey bring the spice level down without compromising the wonderful flavor). I’ve also heard of peopling dipping fresh bread into it or adding it to cooked couscous.

This recipe can also be made with fresh chiles (just omit the soaking process). I am eager to grow some in my garden this summer so we can experiment more!

 

 

HarissaPaste

 

Continue Reading…

Homemade Pumpernickel Loaf

January 3, 2013

As I mentioned yesterday in my post on Pear, Brie, and Spicy Brown Mustard Grilled Cheese, this is the first time I have ever tackled making homemade pumpernickel bread. I was pleasantly surprised by the flavor complexity that went into this bread. Whoever first invented this must have either seriously known what they were doing or was trying to clean out their kitchen cabinet in the form of throwing everything into a loaf of bread. I like to think it may be my second theory.

This bread is not for the impatient. It has 2 rising cycles so I recommend whipping this up on the weekend when you are planning to be hanging around the house anyways. Or even if you weren’t planning on hanging out around the house all day maybe this can be your excuse? Don’t want to go visit that weird uncle you’ve been putting off seeing in St. Louis? Tell him you’ve got some bread to make that just can’t wait another weekend. He will…probably not understand but at least you’ll get some amazing bread out of it and your home will smell like a fresh bakery!

 

pumperbread

Continue Reading…

Pear, Brie, & Spicy Brown Mustard Grilled Cheese on Pumpernickel

January 2, 2013

pear grilled chee

One of my 2013 goals was to eat less processed food so I started my new journey today with some homemade bread. And not just any homemade bread – pumpernickel bread! Have you ever made pumpernickel bread before? I always knew that the flavor was complex but I was blown away by the flavor profile of this bread. We are talking coffee, chocolate, cornmeal, and molasses all going into this wonderfully delicious loaf. I’ll be posting the recipe for the bread tomorrow so make sure to check back if you are interested in making your own!

As for today? How about a seriously dangerous grilled cheese recipe? Like peanut butter and jelly, pumpernickel bread and spicy mustard were made for each other. There is something about the tangy mustard that lightens up the complexity of pumpernickel perfectly. Then throw in some sweet pear and melty brie? Irresistible! I thought keeping brie around the house was hard enough…now with this sandwich option it is going to be straight up impossible.

This recipe is like the winter version to my fall Apple, Brie, Arugula and Fig Grilled Cheese but with a bit more tang and less sweet. It still hits the spots with the salty/sweet pulling at your tastebuds and leaves you wondering why you would ever make a grilled cheese without brie again.

 

Pear Brie Grilled Cheese

 

Continue Reading…

Quick & Easy Lentil Soup

January 1, 2013

Did you have a wonderful New Year?! Did you get to kiss that special someone at midnight and maybe drink a little too much bubbly? Yeah, me too. Ah well. How about we start off the new year right with this super healthy and delicious lentil soup?

I usually make dinner for Wyatt pretty much every night and this has been going on for well over a year now. However, I just recently found out his favorite soup is lentil soup. That means all this time I’ve been making these elaborate and time consuming (and delicious… see Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Goat Cheese Croutons and Rosemary Soup with Rustic Bread) when I could have just made this simple lentil stew. Go figure!

This soup is not only easy but it’s packed full of vegetables and protein. Not bad, eh? And this recipe made enough for us to enjoy for two meals plus some for me to freeze for later! It’s dairy free so it freezes super well and will go perfect with a big salad or crusty bread or grilled cheese.

 

Lentil Soup

  Continue Reading…

A Look Back at 2012

December 31, 2012

No food post today. Just a small reflection 2012 and thoughts on opening the door to 2013. 2012 was a year of change…for both the better and the worse. I graduated from Indiana University, moved in with Wyatt, scored a full time job working with indie rock music, adopted Tuko, and continued to blog almost daily here on VV.

Graduating from college was both exhilarating and a let down. I had spent my whole life dreaming of moving away and going to school but graduating made me realize that I probably should have dreamed bigger. I came out of college feeling lost and restless and full of doubt. Scoring a full time job out of school should have probably made me proud but instead it left me feeling empty and wondering if this was the climax of my life. It’s been six months since I graduated and I am in a much better place then I was but am still hoping 2013 will bring a bright and fresh outlook.

Despite being filled with so much doubt, 2013 was also an amazing year of learning and discovery. We had wonderful year raising our oh so hyper puppy Tuko, I took up yoga, many friends moved away and I met many new ones, we moved into our first official ‘home’ for me to decorate all by myself, we finally adventured to the southwest, and my cooking and photography continued to grow.

As we move into 2013, I am hoping for more adventure and new discoveries.  I tend to make goals every season but still wanted to make a few 2013 resolutions…here is what I’ve got so far:

1. More adventures close to home

2. Less doubt, More Risk

3. Less processed foods

4. Work on photography

5. Keep moving forward & always improving

6. Continue to surround myself with positive people

 

Hope everyone rings in the new year with their favorite people. And I hope you continue to follow VV in 2013… I’d like to think it’s only getting better every day! Annnnd to end the post, here are a few favorite photos from the year:

 

 

 

2012 Recap

 

Happy Holidays from VV

December 22, 2012

 

No ‘Searchable Saturdays’ today because I am headed home for the holidays. I hope everyone has a wonderful break from their usual routines and enjoy some quality time with wonderful people!

Vegan Gingerbread Biscotti

December 21, 2012

And its time to push on with the holiday baking! Yesterday I posted about those beautiful candied orange peels and last week there was the Peppermint Dipped Brown Butter Shortbread cookies…and now I’m here again with some biscotti! Are you sick of all the sugar yet? Yeah, me neither!

This is a perfect accompaniment to your morning cup of coffee [or tea] for you to enjoy on your lazy holiday mornings. They are firm but soften up beautifully when dunked in a big cup of coffee and give a wonderful gingerbread flavor tint to your cup of joe! I topped my biscotti with frosting since I had just made some for sugar cookies but feel free to drizzle with chocolate or caramel or whatever you are feeling!

 

 

Vegan Gingerbread Biscotti

adapted from Isa Moskowitz
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 4 Tablespoons of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used my homemade stuff)
  • 1 3/4 cup of flour
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a baking sheet.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the molasses, sugar, flaxseed, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt. Pour the dry ingredients into wet and stir until combined and crumbly. Finally, add in a the milk a tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together (you want to keep the dough on the dry side so you may not use all 4 tablespoons).

Roll the dough out into a 11 inch by 4 inch long and place on greased cooking sheet. Cook for 30 minutes or until the edges just start to brown. Remove from oven and let cook for an hour.

Reheat oven to 325 degrees and use a sharp knife to cut diagonal strips into the biscotti log. Turn the pieces so that the inside part is facing up (this will help dry out the middle) and stick back in the oven for  20 minutes. Let cool completely to reach that desired crispiness.

 

 

Candied Orange Peels

December 20, 2012

 

If you live in the Midwest (like myself), you may be bracing yourself for the big Draco Storm (when did they start naming thunderstorm? I get naming hurricanes and tornadoes but T-storms?) that is planned to hit within the next two days. We had our first wave last night with constant rainfall all night long. What does this mean? It’s time to lock myself in the kitchen and get Christmas baking!

This is the first time I’ve ever made sugared peels and I was pleasantly surprised with the process. Yes, it takes awhile but it’s not labor intensive at all and is a super easy project to have on the side while you bake up other Christmas goodies.

I made these to go into a little gift box that I’m making for Wyatt. He loves getting an Old Fashioned cocktail when we go out for fancy dates so I thought it would be fun to make him a little kit for home. I’ve included a nice bottle of bourbon, bitters, some fancy maraschino cherries, and now these homemade orange peel. Even if these peels are too sweet for him to put in his cocktail, I’ll enjoy the extra touch of sugar when he makes mine!

I highly recommend using organic oranges for this. Since you are using the peel any sort of pesticides used to grow the fruit will have seeped onto the peel…better to be safe than sorry!

 

Candied Orange Peel

  • 4 organic oranges
  • 3 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cloves

Start by cleaning and scrubbing the oranges very well to scrap off any dirt. Next, cut through the orange in four different sections by slicing into the peel and pith but not going all the way through. Peel the oranges and set the insides aside for a different use (my “different use” was munching on them for an after dinner snack and again for breakfast).

Add the orange peels to a saucepan and fill with water until they are all covered. Bring the water to a boil over medium high heat and then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 20 minutes and remove from heat. Strain the water and let the peels cool until they are okay to touch.

Okay, this is the trickiest part! It’s time to remove the pith from the peels (the white part) or the end result will be tart. I used a spoon and scrapped off the pith as much as possible (don’t feel like you have to get the white part COMPLETELY gone but the more you scrape away the sweeter they will be). Cut the orange peels into long, thin strips.

Next, add 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup of water to a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and stir often until the sugar has dissolved (about five minutes). Add in the orange peels and let simmer for 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let the peels cool in the sugar water (I let them cool for about an hour so they could continue to absorb the sugary syrup).

Once cooled, combine 1 cup sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a shallow dish. Using a fork or slotted spoon, remove the peels (one at a time) and dip in the sugar mixture. Transfer to wax paper and repeat with the rest of the peels. Let them sit out at room temperature overnight to harden.

Enjoy as a snack or dessert or in your next fancy cocktail!

 

Honey Ginger Lemon Tonic

December 18, 2012

 

So, all anyone is posting about right now is Christmas. Which is awesome. I LOVE Christmas and kind of wish I was posting the awesome homemade gifts I made for everyone. Unfortunately, I am not… because I am sick and cannot bring myself to think about all the 10000xxx things I still need to do before Christmas. All that is currently on my mind is getting more lemons from my local co-op (which seems soooo far away right now)….

Within my four years of college, I had the fortunate (and at times, unfortunate) experience of living with 12 different people. This exposed me to many different eating patterns, traditions, methods of cooking, and ideologies about ‘what is healthy’. I’ve lived with people who ate too much, who didn’t eat, who ate pills for meals, who wouldn’t eat carbs but loved downing a tub of ice cream, and who believed in only eating out. Living with people… you see them at their highs and lows. At one point or another, I probably saw every single one of these people sick, depressed, drunk, excited, and exhausted. Everyone has different ways of dealing with emotions;  although I’ve lived with a few who thought that sprite was the answer to any sickness (no, thanks!) or a greasy pile of french fries would cure any upsetting ailment, I’ve stuck by one of my roommates method. She lives by the idea that if you catch your cold or flu coming on early enough, it could be prevented with a whole lot of orange juice and a honey lemon tonic.

Since living with her, I’ve adapted her tonic slightly by adding ginger (which helps boost the immune system) and it’s fantastic (well..as fantastic as anything is when you are sick). The taste is not overpowering (am I the only one who hates the taste of EVERYTHING when I’m sick?), the hot water is soothing on your throat, and the ginger/honey/lemon juice are helping you to kick that cold.

 

 

Honey Ginger Lemon Tonic

Serves 1
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 lemon slices
  • 1/2 inch of ginger, roughly chopped
  • ~2 teaspoons of honey

 

Add water and ginger into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and squeeze the juice from the lemon slices in to the water (then throw the slices in). Let simmer for about 3 minutes and then remove from heat. Add the honey to your favorite mug (add more if you like it sweet) and transfer the water mixture to the mug. Drink warm so the water can soothe your throat.

 

Festive Rum Balls

December 17, 2012

…And I’m officially feeling behind on holiday prep. When did Christmas become a week away? Yikes! Is it okay for me to admit that I have not started my Christmas shopping yet? Okay, let’s not talk about it.

Instead. let’s talk about these little balls of chocolate. We had our annual holiday party for work over the weekend and it was…I mean this politely…a shit show. Every year, we have a combined party with the three record labels that work in our building and a manufacturing company that manufactures our vinyl. We had three alcohol companies sponsor the event this year which meant cases of liquor and several kegs. Did I mention all the people who I work with LOVE to drink? Go figure. Well, I decided that these rum balls would go with the ‘alcohol’ theme of the party. And they did. They lasted a whole 15 minutes.. A success? I’d say so.

These rum balls have a texture somewhere between a super moist brownie and cakey fudge. And then there is the ever-so-slightest tint of rum flavor which makes it fancy (adding booze to anything classes it up, right?). I rolled mine in red sprinkles and cocoa powder but feel free to experiment and try any sprinkles you have on hand, coarse sugars, chopped nuts, etc.

 

 

Rum Balls

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living
  • 3/4 cup butter (1 and a half sticks)
  • 8 ounces of semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup spiced rum
  • red or green sprinkles

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 13 by 9 baking pan. In a double boiler, heat the butter and chocolate over simmering water. Stir constantly until melted and remove from heat.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, salt and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Next, add in the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Finally, fold in the flour. Transfer dough to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean from the center. Remove from oven and let cool.

Once cooled, break up the cooked batter into chunks and transfer to a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment. Turn mixer on low and slowly add in the rum. Turn the mixer up to medium and continue to beat until the batter comes together and forms a large ball.

 

 

Use your hands to roll batter into one inch thick balls and dip in sprinkles or cocoa powder. Repeat with the rest of the batter and transfer balls to a wax paper lined baking sheet. Stick in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. Done!

 

Looking for other Christmas cookie options? Try these Peppermint dipped Brown Butter Shortbread cookies or check out my Winter inspiration board on Pinterest

Searchable Saturday

December 15, 2012

 

A few inspirations from the week…

 

1. Have you ever wondered how much gingerbread it would take to build a life size gingerbread house? Yeah, me neither. But it’s still kind of fun to read about.

2. Pickled cherries? Talk about a snazzy way to jazz up those Shirley Temples and Tequila Sunrises!

3. Simplest homemade body butter ever. I’d add a little lavender oil for a nice aroma!

4. Young and wanting to start a business? NPR used Bloomington kids as examples in this article…I must have that Bloomington syndrome. The last statistic in the article makes me soooo sad though…

5. Eggnog AND cheesecake?!?! Yes, plz!

6. Awesome tutorial on how to make a super unique mood boards

 

And now I’m off to pick up our CSA, make some rum balls, and get ready for my Christmas work party tonight. Hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Homemade Grenadine // Tequila Sunrise + Shirley Temple

December 13, 2012

 

Okay, I have a confession to make. I grew up on Shirley Temples. Any fancy occasion that I was out with my family and my Grandma would order her ‘Manhattan’, I would proudly announced my ‘Shirley Temple’ drink order. They would bring it out in a fancy cocktail glass and it would be garnished with a few cherries. Ah, I felt like such a sophisticated ten year old.

But this is where my confession comes in. I went the first 23 years of my life thinking that grenadine was cherry flavored syrup. Wrong. How can you blame me? After all, they did always garnish those Shirley Temples with cherries! It’s actually pomegranate syrup! Who would of thought I was so health trendy in my tweens? If only I knew French then I would have known that grenade means ‘pomegranate’. Ah well. Silly me.

Anyhow, so I’ve been on a drink kick lately. More specifically, I’ve been on a booze kick (see Boozy Stout Brownies, Cranberry Mojito, etc). And my fascination with simple syrups started this summer when I first whipped up that delicious Sparkling Blackberry Lemonade. And then the Rosemary Lemonade. and then the Lemongrass cooler. and so on. You get the point. So when I found out that grenadine was just an over-produced, over-sugared version of pomegranate simple syrup….I knew I had to try my own.

 

 

If you are use to making your own simple syrups, you will notice that this process is a bit different because we are starting off with pomegranate juice instead of having the fruit boil and steep into a juice. But anyhow, it’s not complicated and more on that later. Oh! And last thing – don’t wear white while making this. The juicing part is both fun and messy.

 

 

 

Homemade Grenadine

method adapted from Reclaiming Provincial
  • 2 pomegranates
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups sugar (depending on how sweet you like your syrup)

 

First, the fun [and messy] part! Making the juice. I used a citrus squeezer and sliced the pomegranates into quarters to juice them. You could use a hand held squeezer if you have it or even a zip lock bag (break the seeds up as much as possible and then strain out the seeds). The goal here is to get as much juice out of the pomegranate without 1. breaking the tiny white seeds within the red seeds because they will release a bitter flavor (hence why a blender wouldn’t work) and 2. separating the juice from the tiny seeds and whites of the pomegranate. If you don’t have a juice squeezer, this may take some creative thinking on your part but it’s not impossible. Using my citrus squeezer yielded about 2 cups of juice from 2 pomegranates so try to achieve around that amount.

 

 

Next, transfer the juice to a small saucepan and add the desired amount of sugar (I started with a cup and a half).  Bring to a boil over medium heat and then immediately remove from heat. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved (if it has not dissolved already). Let cool completely then transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge.

 

Annnnd, in case you were wondering what MY favorite ways are to use grenadine are…

 

Shirley Temple

  • 1 ounce grenadine
  • 2 maraschino cherries
  • ginger ale or lemon-lime soda

Place the grenadine and cherries in a glass. Fill the remainder of the glass with ginger ale / soda and enjoy!

 

Tequila Sunrise

  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 2 ounces grenadine
  • Orange Juice
  • maraschino cherry or orange slice, for garnish

Place grenadine and tequila in a cocktail glass. Fill the remainder of the glass with orange juice. Garnish with cherries or orange slices.

 

 

 

 

 

Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash

December 12, 2012

So I curated (doesn’t that sound so much more important than planned?!) 90 percent of my family’s Thanksgiving dinner menu this year. The only thing I did not pick out was the Wild Rice Stuffing which my aunt made. And it was probably my favorite thing that was served that day. I don’t really have much experience with wild rice and I was blown away by the added texture it gave to the stuffing.

And so this experience made we realize I want more wild rice in my life which led to me making these stuffed squashes. And let me tell you….this stuffed acorn were great but I probably ended up eating 50% of the wild rice mixture before I could even get around to sticking  it in the acorns. It was chewy and savory and sweet (thanks to the maple syrup!) and oh so addicting. I’m already dreaming of quick winter salads that are really just a healthy (throw the term ‘salad’ at the end of anything and it becomes guilt-free) way to talking about this wild rice mixture!

 

 

Anyhow, this is great as a side dish or even as a main vegetarian entree at your next dinner party (which, according to The Kitchn, are dead these days)!

 

 

Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash

Serve 2 as a side. Adapted from My Daily Morsel
  • 1 acorn squash, sliced in half
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 2 cups vegetable stock (I used my own from this recipe)
  • 2 scallions
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries (or any dried fruit), chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • Juice from half an orange
  • salt/pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a baking sheet and place squash cut side down. Cover the squash with tin foil and roast for 40 minutes or until cooked all the way through.

In the meantime, prepare the inside. Heat oil over medium in a large saucepan. Add onions and saute until soft (about five minutes). Next, add in the garlic and cook for another minute. Add oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, wild rice, and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook until all the stock has evaporated/ been absorbed (about 20 to 25 minutes).

Remove from heat and fold in the pecans, scallions, cherries, maple syrup, and orange juice. Season with salt and pepper. Once the acorn squash is finished cooking, stuff with the wild rice mixture and enjoy warm!

 

 

Peppermint Dipped Brown Butter Shortbread

December 11, 2012

We put our tree up the Saturday after Thanksgiving but my Christmas spirit didn’t really kick in until I whipped up these cookies. There is something so calming about waking up on a sunny, snowy day and hiding from the cold in your warm kitchen with the lingering smell of butter cookies. We haven’t had any snow yet here but the weather was certainly chilly enough for me to stay inside and bake this past weekend.

We had a few friends over on Sunday night to watch ‘Christmas Vacation’ and I made these cookies to go with it. Nothing like a Christmas comedy and overloading on sugar to get you ready for the holidays! The movie put me in the spirit and I am now ready to Christmas shop, wrap gifts, and drink peppermint lattes. Hmmm… if only my family would tell me what they want already….

 

 

Peppermint Dipped Brown Butter Shortbread Cookies

  • 2 sticks of butter (1 cup), divided & at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 box of peppermint candy canes, unwrapped and crushed
  • 8 ounces of white chocolate

Start by browning half (one stick) of the butter. Place butter in a small saucepan over low heat and let cook until small brown flakes form. Stir often so the bubbles don’t bubble over the pan or so that it doesn’t burn. Once the butter has browned, immediately pour it into a glass cup and let cool completely.

Beat together the butter (browned and regular) and the brown sugar. Next, add in the flour and salt and continue to beat until a thick ball of dough forms. Wrap dough (with parchment, wax paper, etc) and let chill for at least 30 minutes (this will help keep the dough together).

Once chilled, transfer dough to a floured surface and roll out to about 1/2 inch thick. Use a biscuit cutter or the top of a round glass to cut out circular shapes. Transfer to a greased cookie sheet and repeat with the rest of the dough.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place the cookies in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes while the oven preheats (this will help the cookies keep their shape). Cook cookies for 15 minutes or until they are golden brown around edged. Let cool completely.

Crush the peppermint candy canes anyway you see fit. I put mine in a ziploc bag and went to town using a meat tenderizer (also known as the kitchen hammer!) until they were in tiny pieces.

Melt the white chocolate in either your microwave or over a double boiler. I don’t have a microwave so I used the double boiler method which consisted using one saucepan inside the other and letting water simmer under the first pot while I constantly stirred the white chocolate over it until melted (this was a terrible explanation. If it is your first time using a double boiler, use this as a reference). Once melted, dip half the cookie into the chocolate and then roll in the peppermint chunks. Place on wax paper (this prevents sticking) and repeat with the rest of the cookies. Let cookies chill in fridge for 15 minutes or until the chocolate has hardened.

Enjoy with a peppermint latte or some eggnog and baileys!

DIY Kitchen Article /// New Chickpea Quaterly

December 10, 2012

 

 

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Monday. I have some exciting news! The preview winter issue of Chickpea Quarterly is finally done and viewable online! I have an extensive article in it on how to stock your kitchen with homemade staples. My article has recipes for how to make homemade almond milk, vanilla extract, and vegetable broth so hop on over to check it out. Oh, and there are some other AMAZING recipes for cookies, winter stews, holiday gifts, and so much more! Plus, the photography is oh so gorgeous and inspiring.

Okay, enough ranting about how much I love Chickpea. But honestly, it’s a beautiful magazine and I love being a part of it. Okay, done (for real this time). I’ll be back tomorrow with a new and delicious recipe for you!

 

Searchable Saturdays

December 8, 2012

Oh man, I have not been this excited for a free weekend in a long time. This week was super exhausting and I can not wait to spend today getting my life back in order and (of course) cooking up some delicious things in the kitchen.

Here are a few links I found inspiring this week…

 

1. Making some holiday treats for friends? Here are some adorable gift tags to jazz them up!

2. I’ve been intrigued by making cocktails lately and am working on making some bar staples. Has anyone had any experience with making homemade bitters? I am thinking about trying out these Fig Orange bitters? What about homemade Maraschino Cherries.

3. I stumbled upon this super comprehensive guide to doing your own screen printing. New winter project? Why not?!

4. VV was on TheKitchn again (YAY!) this week. The link is here (along with several other tasty recipes!) if you want to check it out.

5. Love the style of this recipe card on how to make Midnight Milk Punch!

6. Scared you might eat all that Trader Joe’s cookie butter with a spoon the night you get it? Turn it into cookies and share with all your friends!

7. Drank all the alcohol in your house during that little get together you had last Friday? Here is a great article on substituting when recipes call for alcohol!

 

Well, I’m off to start my day. Going to take this cold/wet weather as a sign to be productive. Christmas shopping time? I think so! Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend.

Honey Pepper Vinaigrette

December 7, 2012

The word ‘vinaigrette’ always throws me off…I always have to look up how to spell it EVERY time I use it. You’d think that common kitchen words would be automatic in my vocabulary but damn, that is a weird one. Why in the word of it not just be spawned from vinegar and be vinegarrette? Am I crazy? I guess so.

Well, last week I had the November Wrap Up and one of my winter goals from that post was to start making my own salad dressing. What can I see? I am crazy about homemade staples (see homemade vegetable broth, DIY ketchup, DIY BBQ Sauce, etc etc etc). There is something so satisfying about knowing exactly what is going into your food and to realize how something is actually SUPPOSE to taste instead of what it’s additive infested counterpart has conditioned you to be use to. Take, for example, the homemade ketchup I posted about over a year ago (woah! Such a loooong time ago), you can actually taste that the sauce was made from tomatoes. Crazy, huh?

This dressing is wonderful. The honey adds the slightest bit of sweet to the otherwise savory salad dressing giving a wonderfully subtle and delicious overall flavor. I topped this over raw kale, carrots, pecans, and onions but I bet this would be great lathered over some grilled asparagus or roasted winter squash!

 

 

Honey Pepper Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup vinegar (white, sherry, etc)
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 shallot, finely minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons mint, minced

Combine everything in a container with a lid and shake vigorously until everything has blended together. Store in the fridge for up to a week.