Day Picnic with Wyatt and Tuko/Taco/Teke.
…And we are back. After 6 glorious days of soaking up the sun on Atlantic beaches and sipping on Bloody Marys at the pool. It’s was wonderful and short lived. I was oh so saddened to come back to this 30 degree and rainy weather. Spring, where are you? Last year I was prepping my garden by this time.However, this year I don’t see the snowy slush temperatures breaking anytime soon. Ah well. At least I have my slight [sort of, not really] tan to hold me over for another month.
Anyhow, the trip was great but I am glad to be back to my kitchen. And my usual eating routine. Vacations often time becomes an epic eating marathon. This is fine when you are hiking for 5 hours a day but when you are just sitting around the pool sipping on Bloody Mary’s…this can be a bit of a negative thing. I also find myself eating out of boredom on long car rides. So, if not prepared then I end up gurgling down three bags of cheetos, a milk shake from Sonic, and endless snickers bars. The sugar high is always met at the end with a feeling of regret and stomach aches.
This time around I made sure to pack the car with goodies so I wouldn’t be tempted with processed candy bars and thick spoonfuls of dairy. This chex mix recipe isn’t lacking all together in processed foods but it is much less processed than buying a bag of it the gas station. And it lasts for a good week so you’ll still have it to munch on long after your hummus has warmed and your carrots start to smell funky from the heated car.
Feel free to play around with ingredients you have on hand and any seasonings you are super into. Although, I would suggest staying away from any seasoning that are lacked with MSG because we don’t want you dosing off at the wheel now!
Side note: I also picked up a copy of Vegan Eats World during my travels so expect some fun international dishes in the coming weeks. EVERY recipe looks amazing and I cannot wait to dig into it!
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Mix together the chex cereals, cheese crackers, bagel chips, and pretzels. Drizzle the butter and fold in all the seasonings.
Pour the mixture onto a large baking sheet (or two small ones). Let cook for about an hour and stir every 15 minutes. Once done, remove from heat and let cool completely.
Store in an airtight container or munch down immediately.
Morning! Sooo… I have a DONUT recipe for all of you. But that would be wayyy too nice of me to just come out and share my favorite sugary breakfast. If I did that, why would you ever bother to come back? I’d like to keep you around so we are going to just have to wait. Perhaps until later today or maybe even tomorrow? So, check back if Sugary-Blueberry-Lemony deliciousness is your thing (and, sorry, but if it’s not then you are lying to yourself).
But until then, I’ve got some weekend pictures to share with you (think of it as a way to prove myself and show that I am about more than just vegan cupcakes and vegetable soups). Wyatt and I gave ourselves haircuts, went exploring at a nearby state park, and watched a whole lot of X-files (5 episodes down, 195 to go…). I love taking winter as an opportunity to explore those parks which are usually too crowded for us to adventure to in the summer.
And we ended our day trip with massive amounts of breakfast food at a random diner we came across on our way back to Bloomington. As you can see, Wyatt likes gravy piled on EVERYTHING.
Just tryin’ to get outside whenever possible. Wyatt and I weren’t sure if we were going to have that much time on Thursday so do Valentine-esque things so we went on a little hike over the weekend. There is nothing I love more than hanging out with my favorite person and favorite puppy in one of my favorite places. Pure bliss.
Hellooooooo, Weekend! What to do with you? I’m planning to turn our heat and humidifier way up to pretend like I’m in Florida. Or maybe I’ll embrace the cold and build a fort / drink gallons of hot cocoa? Hmmm, choices choices!
Anyhow, here are some inspirations from the week…
1. Vacationing has been on the mind. I’ve already started planning all of our summer camping trips. I’m thinking 3 day weekend to the Smoky Mountains and a 9 Day trip out West (Lake Powell, Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Colorado Monument, Santa Fe, etc). And then, as always, our yearly weekend trip to Turkey Run.
2. Another trip I’ve been planning is Florida…and, by planning, I mostly just mean clothes / accessory shopping. I want a high-waisted swim suit SO bad but am worried about weird tan lines? Oh no…functionality or fashionable? Sounds like I’ve got some real life problems here.
3. Salted Honey Almond Butter. Do I need to say more? A lovely commenter suggested making your own almond butter for my No Bake Salted Dark Chocolate Almond Bites and I could not agree more!
4. You have no idea how much I really really really want new glasses and I really really really want these! Yes, please.
Okay, a whole lot of lusting over places, items, and wants this week. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! I’m off to try to calm this consumerism craving with some homemade cleaning supply making.
My Mikal Cronin crush is becoming a problem:
Sorry to hound you with ANOTHER post not related to food (is this even a food blog anymore? Just joking!) but I’ve been busy spending the last few days organizing. I finally updated the VV facebook page (the old one was a little bit…okay, a lot outdated). And I also organized my 10,000+ (eeep!) photos from the last few years.
This leads me to the topic of this post. I am sort of a Film nut. I know digital is all you need these days with filter programs like instragram and vsco but there is something about 35 mm film that I cannot give up. The whole experience of traveling the country with a few disposable cameras is like no experience that an Iphone can replace. Within the last two years, Wyatt and I have traveled North [Lake Michigan], East [Maine, Pennsylvania], South [Florida, Austin], and West [Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Portland, Seattle] and every time we bring our Fisheye, Holga (for double exposures), and expired disposable cameras (we usually pick these up from goodwill for a buck). This has caused the product of dozens and dozens of beautiful (film) photos. I have no many that I didn’t want to just make…a Facebook folder out of them (LAME) so I created this little online zine. It’s nothing special (I am no designer by any means) and won’t ever be in print but it’s a nice little zine of my favorite film pictures. Check it out here!
No recipe post today. Just an adventure in the woods geode hunting, roasting veggie dogs, listening to tapes, and playing around a fire.
Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. It was so nice to step away from my stove and cook over an open fire. To drink a few beers before 3 pm. To wonder in the woods on a brisk day. To watch the sun set over the water. To go on an outdoor adventure in the middle of January.
Mixing up the format again for Searchable Saturdays…because I can. Let me know what you think. Cool? Cool.
1. I’m constantly looking for inspiration in new forms and ordered this quarterly publication this week. I LOVE low-fi photography and cannot wait to get this in the mail! Ordered their summer issue but the winter one is on sale right now for 11 bucks. Go check it out!
2. I’ve had the worst spring fever this week and it has sparked a lusting for high-waisted shorts and round sunglasses. Check out my spring style board on pinterest for a look into all the fashion lusting I’ve been doing.
3. This picture may have made me drool a little bit. Lettuce, Avocado, Cucumber, and Peanut Sauce?! Yes, please!
Well, I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend! I am off to drag Wyatt on a hiking and winter picnic excursion because 50 degrees is warm enough for my stir-crazy to demand an adventure.
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:
Okay. So I’m not gonna lie. I am starting to get REALLY excited about Thanksgiving. Not only does it mean a 5 day weekend (!!!) but also implies copious amounts of amazing food. My mother emailed me the final menu for the big day this morning and now all I can think about is mushroom gravy, purple mashed potatoes, and Cappuccino chocolate cheesecake. I helped curate the menu (with recipes from some of my favorite blogs like Love & Lemons, SpoonForkBacon, and JoyTheBaker) and cannot wait to spend an entire day cooking in the kitchen.
Anyhow, while my spirits are high on Tofurkey, I thought I’d share a few VV recipes that would be perfect for your big Thanksgiving day!
1. Oatmeal Molasses Rolls – Soft, gooey, and irresistible when fresh out of the oven
2. Glazed Honey Mustard Brusses Sprouts - tangy and crunchy will help bring variety to your meal
3. Cranberry Pecan Goat Cheese Pops – perfect little appetizer when entertaining guests! Super mobile, bite size, and delicious!
4. Roasted Carrots with Hazelnut & Rosemary - cooking with wine always makes things fancier, right? And these colorful carrots will for sure stick out on your holiday table!
Also, if you feel like adventuring outside of VV, I highly recommend checking out some of these thanksgiving recipes:
Collard Greens & Blue Cheese Salad (The Healthy Foodie)
Honeycrisp Bourbon Cider (SpoonForkBacon)
Parsnip Gratin with Gruyere (Feasting at Home)
Autumn Brittle (Adventures in Cooking)
Bailey’s Salted Caramel Chocolate Pie (She Wears Many Hats)
Heyya! No recipe today. Just a few snapshots from our Denver trip last weekend. Hope everyone is gearing up for a fantastic weekend!
PS It’s the last day for my Cascal Giveaway so don’t forget to sign up before it’s too late!
Heyyya! So I’ve been a bit MIA the past few days because we took a snappy trip to Denver over the weekend. It was both exciting and exhausting. This means that I’m feeling a bit out of it still and will most likely be taking the week to get my baring back in order (people say that – don’t they?).
On that note, I have not had a chance to cook anything fancy or extensive this week (see: Butternut Squash Soup with Goat Cheese Croutons or Muesli Bread) but that doesn’t mean that a girl just doesn’t eat at all! So here is a recipe for one of my favorite types of grilled cheese that is so simple yet a “treat yo ‘self” delight (Parks and Recreation, anyone?).
Also! Did you guys check out the giveaway that I’m hosting? It’s lasting through the week and I’d love for you to enter for a chance to win!
Lastly, I’m going to very vague about the measurements for this recipe since it should be total personal preference. I like mine on the sweeter side so I add a bit more fig jam but do whatever your taste buds are feeling!
Spread butter on one side of the bread and fig jam on the other. Place the apple slices, arugula, and brie on top of the jam and sandwich them between the bread.
Place on a skillet over medium heat and cover with a lid. Let cook for about 5 minutes on each side (also, this will depend on how fast yours brown and how crispy you like your bread).
***Note: If you have some extra time, feel free to soften the apples up first by sauteing them in the pan before-hand for a minute or two
Morning, Morning, Morning! Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! Mine was filled [again] with all my favorite things: friends, hiking, yoga[ing], cooking, and exploring. It’s been so beautiful here with the leaves changing that I’ve felt the need to get outside as much as possible before the cold comes in! We are going to Denver this weekend so I’ve been trying to get my Midwest Fall crammed into 3 weekends this year instead of 4. Here are a few pictures from the hiking /// Fire Tower adventure yesterday:
This weekend was also great because it felt like a bit of a staycation. On Saturday night, Wyatt and I skipped out on our usual bar spot and went drinking at a small Irish pub instead. I had never really drank there before and it was such a wonderful, new experience. The place is full of great lighting, has a rustic pub feel, and delicious cocktail combinations! Definitely my new favorite “date spot”.
And then on Sunday we spent most of the day hiking with some friends. On the way back from the hike, we went out to eat at this little touristy restaurant called ‘The View’. This place is down by the lake so it’s a ways away from Bloomington and we have passed it dozens of times but never thought to stop. It was a pretty good experience [minus some terrible music playing]. The atmosphere was laid back and they had some delicious homemade veggie burgers and ginger sprinter.
And now let’s talk about food! I have a very love//hate relationship with tofu. I can make an amazing General Tao Tofu dish like no one’s business but then there are often times that my tofu comes out crumbly//mushy//sad when I step out of my comfort zone with it. And thus, I have decided that I love [when things go right] tofu too much to be discouraged about trying a new recipe out of fear it won’t come out. I am planning to try a new tofu dish at least one a week for the next month to hone in on my skills and figure out what works/does not work for me when it comes to this protein packed beast [and perhaps I'll try tempeh next month...and then seitan...etc].
I started my new ‘Tofu Journey’ [can we call it that?] with this scramble. I’ve made many tofu scrambles before and sometimes they turn out just right…but other times they turn out watery or dry or bland. I wasn’t going to let some bad attempts discourage me this time though. I thought about failed attempts in the past and what went wrong…the final verdict to making a good tofu scramble [I decided] was 1. watch it closely to make sure it doesn’t get dried out 2. Pick a flavor combination and stick to it so that it doesn’t end up bland or have too much going on 3. Don’t get impatient…make sure you let it get to the right consistency before taking it off the stove top.
Serve 3 (or a hungry 2!)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss the tomatoes in olive oil and salt / pepper and place onto a baking sheet. Roast for about 20 minutes (I like my tomatoes to still have a bit of shape but feel free to roast for longer if you like them to be broken down).
In the meantime, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium. Add the chopped onions and cook for about 5 minutes; add the garlic and cook for another two. Next, squeeze the tofu over the sink and try to ring out some of the water. Crumble the tofu over the pan and saute for about ten minutes (this will depend on how moist the tofu is so this is the part where you watch it very closely…cook longer if it’s still mushy and add a tablespoon or so of water if it dries out). Add in the prepared pesto and cook for another two minutes. Remove from heat and top with roasted tomatoes.
Serve with soy yogurt and blueberries. Or with a big side of home fries.
Good Afternoon! I am feeling particularly moody today because I am just not ready for the weekend to be over. Luckily, I spent all weekend doing things I wanted to do….hiking, exploring, cooking, baking, yoga[ing], etc. On Saturday, Wyatt and I took the afternoon to explore some new shores along Lake Monroe. We have our normal spot that we always adventure to in the summer to bask in the sun, play our favorite tapes, and dip our bodies into the lake. However, now the weather is too cool for that we decided to spend our time walking along the shores and taking in the beautiful fall leaves, crisp breeze, and sound of the water against the rocks. It was such a perfect way to spend the afternoon.
And, on the way back into town we stumbled upon an abandoned water-slide (how random is that to just find a giant water slide in the woods?). It was built out of cement and runs 400 feet. After some research, we discovered it was an old attraction from the 70s that was quite popular back in its day but was eventually shut down because of larger theme parks that opened up in the area. It’s too weird to think that we have probably passed by this place dozens of times and never thought to look closely.
Anyhow, here are a few pictures from the adventures (some really weirdly saturated photos…they transferred from my phone weirdly…but I kind of like it. Look at how blue Wyatt’s sweater is in the last one!):
And, as usual, to go with my Moody Monday Theme…I will be keeping the recipe super simple today! This roasted acorn squash is perfect to go with any weeknight stew or even as a side at your next holiday dinner. Just take ten minutes to prep and then pop in the oven for an hour while you prep the rest of dinner! So easy!
I should let you know…this recipe may be simple but this side is packed full of flavor. The drizzle of maple syrup helps bring out the natural sweetness that shines through when roasting squash. It’s the perfect side to counteract that savory main dish.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice the acorn squash into equal slices and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toss with olive oil, brown sugar, sage, and salt.
Bake for 40 minutes (and flip halfway through). Drizzle maple syrup over the squash and cook for another 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and serve warm!
Heyyyaaa. Happy…Monday? And October…WOAH. weird. It seems like it was just yesterday that it was my birthday (September 4th). This month flew by but lots and lots of yummy things were made in the process.
Let’s take a look at a few of our favorites:
1. At the beginning of September my CSA box was OVERFLOWING with zucchini. This meant we we made a new zucchini bread recipe almost daily. These dark chocolate zucchini muffins were probably my all time favorite (who doesnt like eating chocolate for breakfast?!). But I was also pretty impressed with the Savory Feta Zucchini muffins….
2. Everything is better with avocado! We learned that this summer when people start throwing avocados in things from baked sweets to smoothies. This dip is no different and makes everything you might stick in it irresistible. Oh, and the homemade potato chips aren’t so bad either!
3. Mmmm…some of the last bits of summer in a bowl. I still firmly stand by the belief that the best kind of recipes are simple so that the delicious flavors of the ingredients can shine through. And this dish is a perfect example of that. Ripe tomatoes and crusty bread help to bring out all the flavors of summer in this Panzanella.
4. And finally, the last week of September I let myself give into fall and whipped up everything cinnamon, apple, and pumpkin flavored. Although the pumpkin cinnamon rolls and apple crisp were freaking amazing dishes, the pumpkin granola was my favorite because it was sooooo simple and I was able to enjoy it for days after.
Oh and the biggest excitement this month was seeing my article about the Midwest Vegan Food Scene in Chickpea magazine! I have been such a huge admirer of Chickpea magazine for so long that it was really great to be a contributor this time around!!
And now let’s take a look at October!
October is going to be an exciting and busy month. Wyatt and I will be heading to Denver at the end of the month to visit my brother and a few relatives, my blog make-over will [hopefully] be finishing up, and I have loads of recipes in store that consists of lots of root vegetables and fall squash!
Oh and how about a fall goal list? We posted one on the fridge a few weeks ago and I am happy to say we already have crossed a few things off the list. Here is what it looks like:
1. Go apple picking 2. Have horror movie nights
3. Finish my blog make-over
4. make homemade cheese (gonna happen this season!)
5. Go on a fall camping trip
6. Enjoy a bonfire
7. Make pumpkin flavored donuts and dog treats
And here are a few inspirations that I came across this week….
1. As anyone who has read my blog this summer knows, I have been crazy about coming up with cocktail concoctions so this little tutorial was incredibly informative! And… beautiful photos never hurt!
2. I’ve never made a cheese plate before but these pictures are sure as hell making me want to….
3. Tomorrow is a national free museum day which reminded me that I really would like to go to the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the St. Louis City Museum before it gets too cold. AND, my friend just informed me of an awesome Mid-Century Museum nearby that we must check out. Museums on my fall to-do list? I think so.
4. I don’t really talk much about music on VV which is weird…since my day job does consist of working for 25 independent indie-rock labels…anyhow, this is a video from Moon Duo that is too awesome not to share.
6. Oh! We hosted our first ‘Horror Thursdays’ move night this week and I made Joy The Baker’s giant skillet cookie for it. It. was. so. delicious!
Okay, well it’s too nice out to be on my computer right now. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and enjoys a lovely lunch picnic today!
I know we are all super excited for Fall but it was still quite the slap in the face this morning when we woke up to it being 39 degrees out. I’m not complaining or anything but HOW DO PEOPLE GET OUT OF BED WHEN IT’S COLD OUT? I can already foresee many [many] lazy days in bed with my macbook and hot tea in my near future.
Anyhow, I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. We tried to go apple picking yesterday but the Midwestern drought that struck our entire month of July seems to have thrown off the growing season and all the apples had already fallen from the trees. Ah well, at least we got some yummy apple cider and fig jam out of the experience (and persimmon pulp…more to come on that in a future post…).
Here are a few pictures from a mid-week dinner picnic we went on last week. Nothing like watching the sunset over the lake to cure the mid-week blues. [warning: sorry cat lovers but there are A LOT of dog pictures to follow...Tuko was being extra photogenic that day and seems to have jumped into 90 percent of my photos from the evening]:
So yeah, last week I promised you that I would get the last bit of summer out of my system and move onto fall this week. That means that I won’t be posting that absolutely delicious bruschetta recipe I had hope to but I will be posting lots of cinnamon, apple, and pumpkin themed recipes this week. MMMMMMM.
Oh, and speaking of cinnamon…let’s start the week off with an essential: pumpkin pie spice. I grew up using pumpkin pie spice that was prepackaged from our grocery store but did you know it’s ridiculously simple to make your own? And on top of that, you can make it with spices that you more than likely have sitting in your pantry. How cool is that? So why not whip up a batch to use in all your fall baked goods, to sprinkle on top of warm oatmeal, and to spice your cider with?
Mix together and sprinkle over everything. BAM! That’s it.
Store in an airtight container with the rest of your baking spices.
Oh man, it’s only Wednesday? This weekend needs to come sooner so I can spend time browsing the Farmer’s Market, drinking cocktails with my Ma, and making pumpkin cinnamon rolls.
However, with that being said, I am enjoying my week. I’ve been waking up early everyday to do Yoga before work which has been very energizing. And last night we went out to see one of our favorite musicians – Nobunny…which was both amusing and enjoyable. And I have a craft night scheduled tomorrow to finally made those billy buds I’d been thinking about for 4 months now. I must say…not too shabby of a week so far. How is your week coming?
Oh! And…before it becomes too much of old news and pointless, I have pictures that I was going to share from my “birthday hike” last Tuesday. Wyatt, Tuko, and I headed a bit north to check out a state park we had never been to. It was a bit muggy and buggy but none-the-less beautiful and quiet. In fact, we did not come across one person on our whole journey through the park…perhaps this place is a beautiful secret that many people around here have still not yet caught onto!
And we all know that after you go on a several mile hike that you need a post-hiking snack….right? Or is that just me? Anyhow, we whipped up these baked potato chips with avocado dip for an afternoon snack. And let me tell you….damn! I wish that I could spread this avocado dip on EVERYTHING. Think…guacamole but creamier. And dipping crispy, warm chips that were fresh from the oven was a perfect accompaniment.
For the dipping sauce:
Mix all the dipping sauce ingredients together. Place in fridge until ready to serve (the longer it sits the more time this will give the flavors to blend together!).
To make the fries: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the sliced potatoes onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush both sides of the slices with oil and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in 15 minute segments and flip every 15 minutes. It took me about 40 minutes for all the potatoes but I checked frequently and removed the thinner ones that cooked faster.
Hey all! Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! You may be seeing me post less and less ‘Moody Monday’ posts as we move forward because I’ve been trying to incorporate more day-to-day things into regular posts. This means that a regrouping at the beginning of the week is starting to feel a bit unnecessary. But either way, I do enjoy posting about my weekend so today I am going to!
Wyatt and I ended up taking our spontaneous road trip up to Lake Michigan and went camping for the weekend. It was a much needed adventure! We were so back and forth on going because we have been so busy lately that taking the weekend away from our house just did not seem like it was be a de-stresser. Instead, I felt like I should probably stay home and that I would find relief in cleaning up around the house, being lazy with some tea and a magazine, and watching movies with my boyfriend. However, these are things I’ve been doing for the past month so making myself get out of my comfort zone was a perfect change of pace. There is something about listening to the waves crash along the shore and gazing out into endless water that is so soothing. The perfect cure to a stressful month!
I am so glad we took this trip because it may be our last camping trip of the season. And the weather was cool which meant all weekend long flannel wearing and crisp evenings by the fire. Helllloooooo, Fall!
Oh…and here are a few pictures from the weekend!
Anyhow, shifting gears…am I the only one who seems to have mounds and mounds of basil taking over my backyard? Well, I’m guessing not and although I currently loathe the flavor of basil because it has been in pretty much every dish I’ve made for the past 3 months… I know come February I will be missing summer bounty like woahh. So, in attempt to spare my future self of the winter blues, I whipped up some pesto and froze it in ice cube trays for the cooling months ahead.
These cubes will be perfect come winter when you want to add a bit of pesto to stews, pasta, or pretty much anything that comes to mind! Just remember to top the cubes with olive oil because it will prevent the pesto from getting freezer burnt. Also, I omitted the Parmesan so that my pesto will be more versatile but feel free to play around with it! And lastly, feel free to double or triple this batch if you have a ton ton ton of basil on hand.
In a food processor or blender, pulse the basil, nuts, and 1/2 cup olive oil together until a thick pesto has formed. Pour evenly into an ice tray. Drizzle the extra tablespoon of olive on top of the prepared pesto. Stick in the freezer overnight and then transfer to an airtight bag. Store in the freezer for up to 6 month.
Woah! That is correct- VV has officially been around for a whole year! Pretty weird, huh? It’s crazy how far we have come 200+ recipes later. Although my writing and photography skills have improved immensely, there is still so much room for improvement. That is totally exciting because it keeps things interesting and constantly makes me want to try harder.
Last year at this time I was still in school, applying for jobs in Portland and Austin, and trying to avoid thinking about my future. I would not have guessed that a year later I would still be so dedicated to my blog, living with Wyatt and our puppy (I was Tuko-less a year ago…weird), and working full-time at Secretly Canadian. All in all this has been an eventful year and I am excited to see what else the future has in store for us.
I decided to ‘go big or go home’ for this recipe today. It is adapted from the cutest cake book ever to exist (Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson) and it is rather labor intensive. This cake was absolutely delicious and oh so gorgeous but please plan to dedicate a couple of hours to it! It’s a ‘special occasion’ cake that you probably don’t want to make too often.
Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend and enjoy!
To make the butterscotch sauce: In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add in the sugar and stir until combined. Cook, stirring regularly, until the simmers and changes from a grainy texture to a thick caramel texture (this should take about five minutes). Next, whisk the mixture as you slowly add in the cream. Bring heat to medium high and let the mixture boil (whisk the mixture often). Let boil for about 5 minutes or until it becomes thick and dark. Remove from heat and let cool for ten minutes. Whisk in the vanilla, whiskey, and salt. Stick in the fridge to cool completely.
For the cake: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 12 by 16 inch pan with parchment paper and grease the paper.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, 3/4 cup of the sugar and make a well in the center of the bowl by pushing the dry ingredients to the outside. In another bowl, whisk together the oil, yolks, water, and vanilla. Pour into the center of the well and fold dry ingredients into wet until smooth.
Using a mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium until frothy. Next, add in the cream of tartar and slowly increase speed to high. Whip until soft peaks begin to form and slowly add in the last 1/4 cup sugar. Continue mixing until the peaks become shiny.
Use a spatula to fold the egg whites into the cake batter until just incorporated. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and use a spatula to even it out. Stick it in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes.
While it is cooking, make the frosting: Stick your mixer bowl in the freezer for a few minutes to chill it. Next, whip the cold heavy cream with 1 cup of the cooled butterscotch on medium-low speed. Slowly turn your mixer to high and whip until light and fluffy.
Assembly time: This is when it starts to get super fun! Place your sheet of cake horizontally in front of you. Cut the cake into 4 equal part. Next, take a scissor and cut the parchment paper directly along the cut lines you just made (this will make it easier to pick the cake up by the parchment paper and help with assembly).
Next, spread half of the frosting onto the sheet of cake and sprinkle with half the almonds. Take one sheet of the cake and spiral it on a plate (with the frosting side facing inward). Take another sheet and continue to spiral the cake out. Repeat with the rest of the cake (this is a bit tricky but try to keep it as tight as possible so the cake does not have room to fall over).
Lather the outside of the cake with rest of frosting and almonds. Drizzle any leftover butterschotch on top.
Serve warm to all your favorite people. And with a hot cup of coffee. Or Ice cream. Or both.
Well, it’s that time again! July has already flown past us and it’s time to start reflecting. Here are my favorite posts from this past month:
1. Ah yes! The Blueberry Peach Cobbler Cake that I made for our 4th of July funsies. I feel like I have never experienced a cake that was not only so packed with flavors from the fresh fruit and spices but also stayed moist for days after! Soooo. delicious!
2. The post I made about our Lake Picnic! Although this does not have a recipe included, it was fun to play around with these photos and work to really try to capture the beauty that comes along with spending an evening at Lake Monroe.
3. This was the first recipe I made with our CSA box. The summer squash was so fresh that our farmer had literally picked it earlier that day! ah! and the buttery crumble on top made for a mouth-watering mess that I could get use to indulging in!
4. Blueberry Limeade Cocktail – it was very exciting to make my own simple syrup (and so freaking easy!) and then serve it to all our guest at our House Warming Party. The blueberries made this drink the most beautiful deep purple that I have ever seen a cocktail!
As far as my summer goals, I think the only thing I crossed off in July was ‘Take Time To Do A Little Yoga Everyday’ and ‘Try New Cocktails’. I really need to get on the ball here because August is what I consider to be the last month of summer. Sadly, my puppy torn up the part of the garden with cucumbers so there will be no pickling of my own cucumbers this year. With that being said, I think it’s time to tweak my summer list a bit…
3. Pickle my own grown cucumbers
3. Learn to can
And I think I will be holding off on making cheese until the weather cools down…that is actually going to be a great recipe to play around with when it’s cold and I need to amuse myself for the afternoon.
So…goals I plan to tackle in August:
1. Start working on my recipe zine
2. Learn to can
3. Learn to like mushrooms // start cooking with mushrooms more
4. Go camping (if the weather cools..)
5. DIY projects: macrame planters // homemade rings // Billy Buds (see here)