Entries Tagged as 'spring'

Rosemary & Garlic Smashed Purple Potatoes

Posted on: June 12, 2014

smashedpurple6

The posts are starting to dwindle down to once a week around here while the weather warms up and I take more and more breaks from my computer. I’ve had more evenings filled with evening hikes and less evenings spent wrapped in a blanket on Pinterest. I sometimes think I need to stay focused and spend less time wondering but I’m mostly just enjoying the much needed break from the interwebz.

smashedpotato88

Did I tell you I inherited a boat? It’s a sweeeeeeet 1961 vintage, turquoise, motor boat that fits 4-6 people on its dark wood seats. It’s old and has needed a lot of work but we spent all last weekend cleaning it out, adding new lights to the trailer, replacing the gas tank, and getting it back into a usable state. It’s in pretty darn good shape for being 50 years old since my dad has housed it in the garage for the last 30 but there are still a few minor tweaks still needed before we can hit the water. All hard work aside, it’s been a fun summer project that has helped us get our hands dirty and reminded us of the rewarding benefits that come with physically putting effort into something.

smahedpotato5

Read More

Citrus Biscotti with Hibiscus Glaze

Posted on: May 31, 2014

biscottifinal

Let’s start the weekend with a cup of strong black coffee and a sugary biscuit, shall we? The small pauses of silence around here have been a sign that I’ve been completely over-extending myself lately dipping into large projects outside of VV… whether that be creating a magazine or guest posting or working on secret assignments that I can’t reveal to you (just yet) – there has been a lot going on behind the scenes over here! Thus, can we please just take this Saturday morning off, sit around the kitchen table marveling in leisure conversation, strong drip coffee, and warm baked goods? Please? We can?! Thank you – this is exactly what I needed.

biscottifinal6

After we enjoy this lazy morning around the table, I’m going to take a weekend vacation from my computer and go hiking, do some quiet baking, and probably watch some overly angsty 90′s movies.

Enough about me – what are you doing this weekend? If you are looking for some weekend entertainment, why not consider pre-ordering a copy of Driftless Magazine? Driftless is the new magazine that I’ve been promoting the sh*t out of while I try to get you all obsessed with how amazing it really is! The digital version is being released TOMORROW, June 1st so it’ll be in your inbox in time to wind-down with it before having to get back into the work week. (sorry – last time I’ll bug you about it for awhile – I’m just too excited about the magazine not to have it on the mind all the time!)

biscottifinal7

Read More

Mango Strawberry Pie with Coconut Crumb Topping

Posted on: May 18, 2014

strawberrymangopie8

Sometimes you wake up and you realize you are years older than you imagine yourself as. That is what happened to me last weekend when Wyatt’s little brother graduated from college. The exact same college I had graduated from several years back. The memories of him being a freshman and showing him the ropes around campus are so fresh. I’ve known him for four years but I always envision him as that young and naive freshman; I guess that means I always envision myself as that outgoing, a little too judgmental and way too cocky junior. That was a good year – it was the year I lived with two wild friends and it was the year we hosted all sorts of parties with local bands in our basement and it was the year I met Wyatt. It was the year that I got his brother a little too drunk when we went to see Ty Segall and Wyatt wouldn’t talk to me for days. It was the year I had come back from living in Nashville and it was the year I finally truly and honestly felt comfortable in my skin. It was the year they banned 4Loko (thank goodness) and it was the year I got hired at my current job. It was the year I always look back on and can picture so clearly when thinking about college.

goatcheesewhip11 stawberrycombo copy strawberrymangopie2sideways

Read More

Rhubarb Popsicles /// Guest Post from Will Frolic For Food

Posted on: May 12, 2014

We are mixing it up on VV today with a wonderful guest post from Will Frolic For Food’s creator Renee. I am very excited to introduce Renee to all of you Vegetarian ‘Ventures follows because she is a mastermind in the kitchen! We met over Coconut Dulce De Leche (if you haven’t checked out her recipe for that yet then DO IT. DO IT NOW!) and have been foodie pals every since. This particular guest post is on popsicles and I’m excited to announce that there will be a VV one on Will Frolic For Food later this week so stay tuned!

__________________

rhubarbpop5

Hey there! Renee here from Will Frolic for Food. Shelly and I have been stoked about doing this popsicle collab for months, but are just now getting around to it! Between working, planning a wedding, chocolate-making, and my many other projects time passes so quickly. I can hardly keep up!

Rhubarb for some reason always reminds me of celery. Probably because they look like sisters with the same nose but totally different personalities. Thus totally avoiding using it until this season. The stalks are these long legged pink-green beauties, ragged at the end from where the poisonous leaves and inedible roots we’re split off. It has the same stringy, crunchy consistency as celery when I bite into it with my knife. But it practically melts in heat, especially with a pinch of sugar and a dash of water to help it along.

So why rhubarb? Well, I like to make my kitchen times an adventure. I found a dairy free version of rhubarb curd over at Dolly & Oatmeal (check out how freakin’ gorgeous her rhubarb curd meringue tarts are! ). I did a blood orange curd this past Winter that went into my “keep forever lest be sad always” recipe box. I’m now a new-old hand at curd — why not try out a rhubarb one? I mean, when you curdify fruit it’s pretty hard to go wrong, right?

rhubarbpop5.2014.4

Read More

Spinach & Radicchio Salad with Broiled Citrus Vinaigrette

Posted on: May 5, 2014

citrussalad12

I know, I know. You are all over winter citrus and have moved on to asparagus and ramps. However, I can’t resist a beautiful blood orange and had to pick up the last few at our local co-op since these are what I can only assume to be the last batch of the season.

I discovered the technique of cooking citrus this past winter and am basically hooked. There is a completely new, sharp flavor that the citrus takes on when caramelized slightly and its not to be overlooked. I recommend using broiled, roasted, and grilled citrus in something that will let the fruit flavor shine instead of burying it under a dish chocked full of too many ingredients. You can count on there being lots of outdoor grilling days ahead with grilled citrus over the open coals.

citrussalad8

We are dangerously fast approaching salad season here at the Blue Bush (that is the term for our bright blue house that we reside in). Our kitchen doesn’t have air-conditioning so we tend to live off of raw foods for much of the warmer months. Oh and grilling – did I mention how much Midwesterns love a good cookout? Yup, salads for lunch and grilling for dinner. That is our summer routine.

Although air conditioning would be super rad, I’m not too mad about it. This will be our third summer here and I’ve learned to really appreciate the diversity that can be made with a big bowl of raw veggies and some wonderful dressing.

citrussalad11

Read More

Loaded Vegetable Spring Quiche

Posted on: April 23, 2014

quiche16ed

I’d like to pretense this story by mentioning that I am turning 25 this year. With that in mind, I’ve received an Easter “basket” every year of my life (that I can remember) from my mother. Even after I moved out at 18, my mother always managed to ship a box full of colored confetti and festive treats in the form of candy, money, cookies, or whatever else I was into at the time. This year was no exception.

quiche31

Our doorbell rang bright and early on Thursday morning when our UPS man dropped off a large package that was over-nighted from Seattle, Washington. I opened it up to find an array of spring foraged foods in the form of ramps, black garlic, blood oranges, palm heart, and mushrooms. This immediately prompted a ‘thank you’ text to my mother which was replied to with a comment about ‘I guess you are officially an adult when you get excited about receiving vegetables in your Easter basket’. That statement would almost be true if it wasn’t for the fact that I was so excited to receive these vegetables so I could play with them. I’d like to think I play with my food as much now, if not more, than when I used to receive dinosaur shaped gummies and candy necklaces (which were my favorite, by the way. I think I may have even rocked those up until the end of middle school).

quiche36

This quiche has an Asian flair to it with the fermented garlic giving almost a soy sauce scent. The saltiness of the garlic leaves no room for cheese so I’d suggest leaving it out (just this one time) and let the vegetables shine. If you having trouble finding ramps in your area then feel free to substitute them with chopped spring chives or caramelized onions. The black garlic (also known as fermented garlic) might be the trickiest of ingredients to find on this list but it will be worth the hunt – check your local farmer’s market or asian food market if you are having trouble finding it at your usual stops.

quiche8

Read More

Chocolate & Toasted Coconut Olive Oil Cake [with vegan option]

Posted on: April 14, 2014

toastedcoconut20
Every year our local radio station puts on an all day music event in the park. To me, it always marks that first day of true spring in Bloomington. It is often times the first Saturday that its warm enough to grill out and enjoy a picnic in the park while listening to some wonderful local and national music. It also usually lines up with being the first Saturday that the outdoor farmer’s market is in full swing.

toastedcoconut3

This year’s event was this past Saturday and the spring fever did not disappoint. I started the day with a walk to the farmer’s market and enjoyed smelling all the budding trees along the way. The sun was out and we welcomed temperatures above anything we’ve felt in 6+ months. I spent the afternoon planting wildflowers and playing around in the kitchen with the sun streaming in (oh what a difference it makes!).

We grilled out for dinner and I whipped up a cake for our guests. Ha, I know – a cake for a grill out? You can tell I’m rusty since a well disciplined griller would have found something that could be made over the hot coals. Unfortunately, it’s still a little early for berries and our citrus bounty has long since disappeared so cake it was! Delicious, moist, chocolatey cake – I must add!

toastedcoconut12

Read More

Chickpea Magazine Spring 2014

Posted on: April 10, 2014

chickpeaspring8

Spring is here and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t keep busy all winter long while hiding from the polar vortex. It’s silly how things pop up in waves but it seems like a lot of work I did the past few months is all becoming available this spring. First up, this article in the newest edition of Chickpea Magazine. It’s their Spring 2014 issue and I wrote an article on how to prep your garden.

Chickpea Magazine is a vegan, wholefood, and ad-free quarterly magazine that showcases everything from irriesistable recipes to seasonal photo essays to useful how-tos. You should most certainly become familiar with the magazine if you haven’t already – its wonderful!

chickpeaspring2 Read More

Rosemary Walnut Ice Cream // A Recipe From Scoop Adventures

Posted on: April 4, 2014

 

rosemaryicecream5

 

Well, we are finally past the ‘polar vortex’ phase of the year and have officially started moving into spring (which means constant thunderstorms and luscious greenery popping up everything for us Midwesterns). What better way to welcome spring than with an earthy ice cream flavored with rosemary, honey, and chunks of walnuts? My ice cream maker has been accumulating dust since I got it for Christmas and it’s about time we wore this puppy in.

rosemaryicecream21

 

This recipe is from Scoop Adventure, a new ice cream book by Lindsay Clendaniel that takes you around the country to all the best ice cream parlors. I was so excited to open up this book and find my own hometown ice cream parlor, Hartzell’s, featured for the state of Indiana. This rosemary walnut ice cream isn’t the Hartzell recipe and I’m not even going to tell you what it is, so your just gonna have to pick up this book for yourself. Heck, I bet your town is in there..or maybe a town you grew up in or went to on vacation…I bet some ice cream shop you love is featured and you won’t even know until you pick up this 192 pager.

 

 

rosemaryicecream9

Tell me you’ve made homemade ice cream before, right? Good. So then you know what I’m talking about when I say that homemade ice cream has the most wonderful fresh and creamy texture that you’ll never find in a carton of Kroger brand cookies and cream. It’s rich while tasting light and every bite is bursting with the flavors of your choosing.

 

rosemaryicecream4

 

The honey I used in this recipe was a jar we picked up in Marco Island during our little adventure earlier this spring. It’s saw palmetto honey, which has a very distinct flavor profile to it. The distinct flavor reminds me of relaxing on a white sand beach in the everglades. That means I taste a little bit of adventure with every spoonful.

 

rosemaryicecream11 rosemaryicecream13

Read More

Greek Goddess Celebratory Nachos

Posted on: April 1, 2014

nachos13

These aren’t just any nachos – these are celebratory nachos! These are ‘I just got nominated for a Best Food Blog Award’ by Saveur Magazine and am gonna treat myself to nachos and ice cream for dinner. I still remember the first time I voted for Saveurs BFBA three years ago and felt like I had such a strong opinion on who should win every category because I knew one blog per category. And I remember the first time I saw Oh, Ladycake’s badge on her site and was like ‘Wow. That would look mighty nice on VV’ (ha!). Fast forward several years and I can honestly say I follow 80% of the blogs nominated and consider a large portion of them dear blog friends of mine.

I guess what I am trying to say is that, if you are feeling it, you should hop on over and vote for VV in the ‘special diet category’ on Saveur’s site. But honestly, its okay if you don’t because I’m just happy to be a part of the club and mentioned among so many talented writers and photographers. I’m thinking of it as a win-win since I’ll be munching on Laura’s Quinoa Onion Rings if The First Mess wins and this Orange Chocolate Tart if Happyyolks is sent to Vegas.

nachho

These nachos are like no nachos you’ve probably ever munched on before. According to Food52, the most important elements for nachos are quality ingredients and strong layering ethic. We’ve got both of those bases covered here. These are a mix between eating a greek pita sandwich and a faleffel burger.

nachos10

Read More

Curried Carrot Soup With Maple Roasted Chickpeas

Posted on: March 5, 2014

carrotsoupedit

I’d like to start off by apologizing if this recipe looks faintly familiar. I may have made a super similar one over here but its been slightly updated for an even more delicious experience. I guess I could have omitted the chickpeas or swapped them out with croutons for more of a variety but, if we are being honest here, the maple chickpeas are what made this dish.

florida37 florida28

We picked up the cutest little carrots at the Farmer’s Market on our trip to Marco Island. The market made me so gitty and very homesick for summer days. We have a market here in Bloomington in the winter but it’s in a gymnasium and I can’t seem to get myself excited about it. Perhaps the gymnasium part reminds me too much of being at a children’s christmas bazaar or the lack of sunshine in the building brings a whole new gloom to dirty vegetables. Either way, it will never compare to the exciting hustle and bustle of the summer outdoor market.

florida27

This recipe is forever adaptable so please don’t feel limited by the ingredients and instructions listed below. Feel free to substitute some coconut milk for the broth or swap out whatever herbs you have on hand or toss the chickpeas in whatever spices you are craving at that moment. This soup is never the same for me because I always switch it up to fulfill my cravings at the time. As long as the soup is flavorful and the chickpeas are crispy then it’s probably going to be pretty darn delicious.

carrotsoup2

Read More

Searchable Saturdays

Posted on: June 29, 2013

…And time for some inspiring links from around the web:

       

1. ADVENTURING // Headed to the west coast at the end of July to join a friend on her cross country road trip. I’ll be tagging along on the part from San Fran to Portland which means I’ve been going a little crazy with planning. We are definitely hitting up the Redwoods and ocean. Anyone have any recommendations for San Fran / Portland / anything in between?!

2. INSPIRING // Look at this salad from Gourmande in the Kitchen! Don’t all the wonderful colors, textures, and shapes make you want to eat this for every meal? Love Love Love feeling inspired by vegetables. Now, the only problem I need to get over is my dislike for beets…they are so beautiful…why can’t I just like them?!

3. CREATING // I’ve been familiarizing myself with dreamweaver and Issuu a lot lately in hopes to start making my own VV online magazine / zine. This has triggered hours and hours of flipping through magazines and online design books in the name of “research”.

4. CRAVING // Milkshake Strawberry Banana Cake?! Yes, please. This ‘milkshake turned baked goods’ trend has been popping up all over Pinterest but no one has done it quiet as beautifully as Hungry Rabbit.

 

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend planned! I’d like to do some adventuring to the lake but the forecast calls for storms all weekend. It might be a sign that I’m overdue for a day getting lost in the kitchen…

Baked Sweet Potato Falafel with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

Posted on: June 10, 2013

I grew up in a town where ‘world cuisine’ meant heading to a chinese buffet or picking up a deep dish pizza. It wasn’t until I moved to Bloomington that I discovered the wonderful world of Falafel and Coconut Curry and Samosas and Naan and Pad Thai. Fast forward five years later and I can’t imagine living my life without these foods. Ethnic foods bring a world (literally) of variety into a vegetarian diet. I couldn’t imagine wanting to whip up anything else besides a big bowl of Curry or Samosa Patties on a rainy day.

These baked sweet potato falafels are a fun twist on the traditional deep fried chickpea falafel. Full of protein and vitamin B6, these little patties will fill you up and leave you feeling satisfied with out all the grease. They also reheat wonderfully for a great left-over lunch.

Note that you can also bake or boil the sweet potatoes in the recipe below to reach a desired ‘mashed’ consistency. I chose steaming because it’s supposed to retain the most nutrients out of any of the cooking methods. ALSO, you can easily make this recipe vegan by omitting the feta topping and choosing a vegan sauce to put on the patties (how about this vegan avocado cilantro dressing?)

 

sweetpotatofal

 

Baked Sweet Potato Falafel with Cilantro Yogurt

  • 2 sweet potatoes, diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • olive oil
  • salt/pepper

 

Cilantro sauce:

  • 1/2 cup chobani plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • salt/pepper

 

Delicious additions:

  • Pita bread
  • cucumber, diced
  • tomato, diced
  • Feta, crumbled
  • shallot, chopped
  • lettuce
  • sriracha

To make the sauce: Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until combined. Let set in the fridge for at least a half an hour after mixing (this will help the flavors meld together).

For the patties: Place diced sweet potatoes in a steamer basket and transfer basket to a pot. Fill the pot with about an inch of water and cover with a lid. Let steam for 10-15 minutes (depending on how big you diced the potatoes). Remove the steamer and let cool slightly

Mash the sweet potatoes with the cumin, garlic, lemon, chickpea flour, salt, and pepper. Transfer to the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until the batter has firmed up (this will help form the patties better).

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees and grease a baking sheet. Using floured hands, shape the batter into 2 inch circle patties that are about a 1/2 inch thick. Repeat with the rest of the batter and place all patties on the greased cooking sheet. Brush the tops with olive oil and bake for 30-45 minutes or until the tops begin to brown.

Serve warm inside warmed up pitas with cilantro yogurt sauce, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, shallots, and any other produce that sounds refreshing.

 

sweetpotatofal2

 

Searchable Saturdays

Posted on: June 8, 2013

       

1. CRAVING /// Have you seen this Roasted Apricot Buttermilk Ice Cream with Almond Streussel from Reclaiming Provincial?! Yup – dayummm! Summer fever has hit me hard and I have began a ridiculously large collection of ice cream and popsicle recipes..

2. CREATING /// The Vanilla Bean posted some wonderful pictures of making lilac sugar. I love using flowers in baking (makes your baked goods so so fancy!) or perfect way to add some extra fragrance in your afternoon tea.

3. INSPIRING /// I don’t usually save ‘inspirational’ quotes but this picture has stuck with me for some time. I often times get worked up over work and have problems letting it go – this picture reminds me that I often times get sucked into a situation and ‘go a little mad’; getting creative with doing something out of the normal helps reminds me I can remove myself from this funk. My way of removing myself is by hiking, baking, cooking, camping, and being out in nature.

4. DREAMING /// My dream is to eventually own my own bakery. Until I have the money and find a wonderful town lacking fresh breads and treats, I can only dream and prep. I’ve contemplating taking some bread baking and pastry classes to help expand my cooking knowledge.

 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! I’m off to do some thrifting and pick up some fresh produce at the farmer’s market.

 

PS Have you checked out my new logo in the top corner? It’s totally different from all those ‘minimalist’ logos that are out in the food world right now and I love it. I asked Wyatt’s brother to draw me a picture of two vegetables having fun canoeing together and this is what he came up with. It’s a weird mix between a children’s book cover and DIY zine style – I love it!

Cabin In The Woods

Posted on: May 28, 2013

We ditched work last Friday and headed to a cabin in the woods for our long Memorial weekend. Wyatt has family who owns a Wisconsin lake home. We had been promised hours of swimming, boat rides, and tubing. Unfortunately, the weather never rose above 60 and we had to improvise. I did manage to get out of my comfort zone by hanging out with some lamas, riding on a 4 wheeler for the first time, and eating obscene amounts of velveeta cheese (which was kind of a mistake.. but I’d probably do it again).

We couldn’t do much exploring close to the cabin because they were having problems with ticks and bears (another weird experience for us – I can’t be the only one that thinks this is strange, right?). We were, however, able to build campfire down by the water and enjoy the dock. We also adventured to a nearby State Park (Interstate Park) and did some major hiking. Here are some snapshots from the weekend:

 

wisconsin10 wisconsin6
wisconsin14 wisconsin4
wisconsin wisconsin3 wisconsin8 wisconsin9 wisconsin11 wisconsin7

 

What did YOU do for the long weekend?

 

Searchable Saturdays

Posted on: May 25, 2013

…And we’re back! After almost a month long break from ‘Searchable Saturday’s'! Is everyone geared up for the long weekend? I’m already (hopefully) halfway to Wisconsin by the time you guys are reading this (Thank you, wordpress scheduler) and will be spending the weekend in the woods exploring. What are you doing for the long weekend?

       

 

1. CRAVING /// Rhubarb is everywhere right now! If you are looking for something a little more exotic than my Ginger Strawberry Rhubarb pie, how about this delicious looking Rhubarb Brown Butter Bourbon tart from The Bojon Gourmet? It has bourbon so you know it’s fancy!

2. LEARNING /// Also, I know I mentioned this link earlier this week but I still can’t get over my micro greens! They have a subtle but irresistible flavor profile to them and they are SO simple to grow. Check out this post from Livia Sweets on how to grow your own.

3. MUNCHING /// Memorial weekend is the ultimate cookout weekend. How about a glass of these Oh Joy!’s Smoothie Cubes to go with your grilled kebabs and potato salads? I think so!

4. EXPLORING /// I’m really hoping that I get my WANDERLUST out of my system this weekend because it’s been bad. The vet advised us against doing too much hiking and camping because ticks are bad this year but it’s all I want to do. ALL THE TIME.

 

Mango Cucumber Salsa

Posted on: May 22, 2013

It’s finally time! After five loooong, cold months – fresh produce is back! And I’m not talking about those root vegetables that taste like dirt (sorry, beets. You just don’t do it for me). I’m talking about spinach that was picked earlier that day and strawberries that were carried on a truck from down the street.

This salsa is great in it’s simplicity. It’s wonderful when produce is so fresh that you don’t need a ton of added ingredients. Dip this salsa in tortilla dips or use as a topping for tacos, veggie burgers, or anything else that sounds delicious!

mangosalsa3

Cucumber Mango Salsa

  • 1 mango, peeled and diced (pit removed)
  • 1 red chili pepper, diced
  • 1/2 english cucumber, diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • juice from half a lime
  • 10 mint leaves, chopped
  • squirt of sriracha (optional, add if you’d like to add a hint of heat)

Combine the mango, pepper, cucumber, cumin and mint in a bowl. Squeeze the lime juice over the salsa and stir until everything is coated. Season with salt and sriracha.

 

cucumbermango4

Mini Strawberry Chocolate Tart with Whipped Goat Cheese & Basil Micro Greens

Posted on: May 19, 2013


strawberrytart5

Let’s talk about micro greens. Do you eat them? Do you grow them? To be perfectly honest, I had not had much experience with them before this spring. After planting my two gardens, I was still left with tons of seeds until I rememberd an article my Grandma sent me a few months back about using extra seeds to make micro greens. The process is simple and only takes between 7 and 14 days to grow. So while you are sitting around waiting for those tomato plants to produce fruit three months down the road, you could have already harvested six rounds of micro greens!

 

strawberrytart3

For this recipe, I used basil micro greens which complimented the strawberries wonderfully. It tasted like summer in every bite. I’ve found the basil micro greens to be the most flavorful so far but the swiss chard is the prettiest. With tiny strips of pink, yellow, and red…it’s hard to resist not topping everything with them. If you are into the idea of making your own micro greens, check out Claire’s post on it here or hop on over to Organic Gardening for their step by step tutorial.

strawberrytart6

Also, on the topic of new things, I was at the farmer’s market earlier today and my friend mentioned how her boyfriend eats the strawberries with the stems on. I immediately asked if she had told me he wasn’t supposed to do that and she laughed. She then went on to tell me that although it’s not standard, it’s in fact totally okay to eat the stems and that she has no right telling him not to do it. I didn’t believe her. After much research (aka – hopping on my iPhone), I discovered that I was completely wrong.  MIND BLOWN. AND…this was a game changer! I loved sliced strawberries but they are so much more beautiful whole. Hence the reason i kept them whole in this recipe…you can totally dig into the ENTIRE strawberry. BUT, if that is too weird for you (it’s okay, I totally understand) then feel free to chop the strawberries into thin slices or chunks.

If you’d like to just make one regular pie size version instead of two miniature, just double the recipe below.

strawberrytart8

Read More

French Onion Soup [Revisited]

Posted on: May 15, 2013

frenchonion5

Soup?! Really? But it’s SPRING. Soup season is over. Or so I thought. This past rainy and chilly Saturday sparked my desire for one last soup for the season. My stepfather and Ma had dropped off a 10 pound bag of onions from Shriners earlier in the week week. TEN pounds. Do you know how many onions that is for two people? A lot. I racked my brain trying to think of recipes that used more than 1 onion in it…stuffed onions with couscous and goat cheese? Or Pickled onions with beets and coriander? And then Wyatt suggested onion soup. Of course!

I’ve only made quick french onion soup but the rain challenged me to spend the afternoon in the kitchen caramelizing the onions. And don’t get me wrong – the quick method is delicious but it’s not even comparable to traditional french onion soup. This method leaves you with melt-in-your mouth, sweet slices of onion amaziness. I wish I had caramelized all ten pounds of onions to throw onto of everything (pizza, pasta, salads, …ice cream?).

Try this method of making french onion the next time you are stuck inside because of the weather or come home after a long day and need some serious cooking therapy.

 

frenchonion3

French Onion Soup [Revisited]

  • 7 cups sliced onions
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 4 springs of fresh thyme
  • 8 cups vegetable broth (I used homemade)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • fresh baguette, cut into 1 inch thick pieces
  • 1 cup grated Swiss or gruyere (or a combination of the two)
  • Salt/Pepper, to taste

 

Melt the butter and oil over medium-low heat in a large saucepans. Add the sliced onion and toss until coated with butter / oil. Cover, lower heat to low, and let cook for 15 minutes untouched (go play with your puppy, eat some almond butter, read a magazine, etc).

Uncover, turn the heat back up to medium-low and add in the sugar and a dash of salt. Cook for about an hour and stir frequently. Cook until the onions have become a deep brown and are irrisistable sweet.

Add the flour and cook for a minute. Next, add in the wine, broth, and thyme springs. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and use a spoon to scoop out the thyme stems.

Transfer soup into your desired amount of  ovenproof soup bowls. Top each with a  thick slice of baguette and grated cheese. Stick under the broiler until the cheese has melted and is just started to brown.

Enjoy!

frenchonion4

 

Strawberry Rhubarb with Ginger Crumb Pie [Vegan]

Posted on: May 12, 2013

strawberryrhubarb3

I had making a pie on the mind all week. I don’t get this urge very often (mostly because making a pie for two is just plain irresponsible) but decided to let myself indulge this time. My original thought was a blueberry basil pie but I was going to be open to whatever the farmer’s market would supply me. The only fruit I ended up finding at the market were strawberries and I knew I had to get them. They were petite and had the irresistible rustic appearance that wild strawberries often times have. This led to an internal struggle though…what other flavor combination would I use with strawberries? There was no basil at the market so that was out. I knew that rhubarb was the right choice (being in season and because strawberry rhubarb makes everything taste like a fruit roll up – in a good way) but I didn’t want to admit it at first. The ground breaking culinary discovery that rhubarb and strawberries were made for each other happened long before VV came around. What would make my pie different from the 100 million other recipes out there?

strawberryrhubarb

After racking my brain & running through every spice and herb imaginable in my head, it clicked. Ginger. Ginger had become my BFF over the winter (when I was constantly warding off a cold with Ginger Lemon Tonics). I immidetely imagined a gingerly zing hitting the tongue moments after the strawberry rhubarb kicked in for a second layer of flavorings. And you know what? I was right. I am SO glad I was right. Thank you, ginger. Strawberry Rhubarb pies will never be the same.

strawberryrhubarb2

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Ginger Crumble

Adapted from Vegan Pie in The Sky

For the Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening
  • 4 Tablespoons ice water
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

For the Filling:

  • 2 1/2 cups rhubarb, cute into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 3 1/2 cups strawberries, cut into 1/2 in chunks (fresh or frozen)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

 

For the Crumb Topping:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1/3 cup Earth Balance (or other vegan butters or regular butter if not wanting to make vegan)

 

For the crust: Combine the sugar, flour, and salt in a bowl. Using a pastry cutter (or your clean hands) cut in the shortening to the mixture until  coarse crumbly dough as formed.

In another small bowl, combine the ice water with the vinegar. Drizzle 1/3 over the water over the flour mixture and stir. Drizzle another 1/3 over the mixture and stir again. Drizzle the rest of the water over the dough and form a soft dough ball. If the mixture hasn’t come together, add another tablespoon of ice water. If it’s too wet, add a tablespoon of flour. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or parchment paper. Let sit in the fridge for an hour.

For the filling / crumb: Combine all the filling ingredients in a bowl and set aside. For the crumb, combine the flour, sugar, salt, ginger, and nutmeg. Drizzle in the butter with one hand and swish around the mixture with a spatula with your other hand. Mix until large crumbles form.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Roll the dough out on floured parchment paper (this will help you transfer it to your pie to the pan). You’ll want to make a 12″ circle with the dough. Quickly flip the dough into your pie pan and remove parchment paper. Add filling over dough and then spread the crumble evenly over the top.

Cover with aluminum foil and poke a few holes to let steam escape. Bake for 20 minutes and then lower heat down to 350 degrees. Remove foil and let cook for another 30 minutes or until the topping has browned.

Let cool for 20 minutes before serving.

strawberryrhubarb4 copy

Baklava Ice Cream

Posted on: May 4, 2013

baklavaicecream3

 

This was my first time making ice cream from scratch. I borrowed my Mother’s ice cream maker with the promise of returning it alongside a delicious pint of frozen goodness. My ice cream making interest peaked a few weeks back when I was enjoying a particularly irresistible piece of baklava with a side of ice cream. Scooping both chunks of baklava and the ice cream into my mouth, my tastebuds were trying to grab the flavors as one. Which is when my mind realized I should just combine the two..into a delicious baklava ice cream.

I had a plan – I was going to find a simple vanilla ice cream recipe and customize it with baklava ingredients. However, when I got home and started looking at recipes, I began to feel overwhelmed. So overwhelmed I wondered if it would have been better to just go and buy a pint of ice cream at Kroger. I mean do I use whole milk or heavy cream or eggs? Do I let the mixture sit for an hour in the fridge or overnight?

This wasn’t the kind of  kitchen tool that I grew up watching my family use. I was totally clueless and, for the first time in years, the internet seemed to be throwing too much information at me to process. I sat on the idea of making ice cream for a few days. Comparing online recipes with my recipe books until I came onto a decision. I’d just wing it…like I’ve done with so many successful (but also…some unsuccessful) recipes in the past. I chose to go with heavy cream AND milk and to let the mixture sit overnight (just in case).

 

baklavaicecream4

 

And let me tell you – I am SO glad I didn’t give up and run to Kroger for a pint instead. All the worry and reluctance was so worth it. This ice cream is like nothing I’ve ever had before. Better than store bought and better than my local ice cream stand. It’s creamy and tastes fresh and full of cinnamon-walnut-honey-baklava amazingness.

 

baklavaicecream2

 

Baklava Ice Cream

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk (I used 2% but whole would work well too), divided
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoons salt
  • 3 Tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon honey, divided
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 sheets phyllo dough, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

 

In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup milk with the cornstarch. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and salt. Set aside.

Combine the cream, remaining milk, vanilla bean, and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a simmer (just until tiny bubbles start to form around the edges) and let simmer for three minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the honey and cornstarch mixture, and return to heat. Bring to simmer, stirring constantly, and let cook until thickened (one or two minutes). Remove from heat, whisk in the cream cheese mixture, and chill the mixture overnight.

The night day: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and transfer to a baking sheet. On a separate baking sheet, place 4 phyllo sheets down and brush with butter. Place the other four on top of those and brush with butter. Mix any remaining butter with the walnut mixture. Cook both in the oven for 25 minutes or until the phyllo has browned and the walnuts are giving off a nutty aroma. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Break the phyllo dough into large chunks.

Remove the cinnamon sticks and vanilla bean from the chilled cream mixture. Prepare the ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s instructions (mine has me stick the cream mixture into the ice cream maker for 20 minutes). 1 minute before the ice cream is done churning, add in the nuts and phyllo dough.

Enjoy right away or transfer into an airtight container in the freezer to enjoy later.

 

baklavaicecream

Cornbread Waffles with Roasted Vegetables & Chimichurri Ramps

Posted on: May 1, 2013

My daily posts have turned more into weekly posts as thing have become a bit hectic around here. There are so many things I’ve wanted to share without over sharing on a food blog…which then usually just turn into not sharing them at all. So, instead, I’m just going to give off a short list of excuses that have been both tearing me from this blog and keeping me occupied in my “real” life:

1. I got a new day job / promotion. I was promoted from indie-rock-princess to indie-rock-queen. Hah, no. But I did go from a glorified secretary to being in charge of over 200 of our music client accounts. So, needless to say, I’ve been working 9+ hours a day trying to figure out everything that goes along with this new job.

2. It’s spring! And I’ve been putting most of my free time energy into prepping my garden. What good is a food blogger who can’t even grow her own produce to write recipes with?

3. My grandma passed away. I realize that this is a normal occurrence for people over the age of 80 but that does not make it any less unsettling. I don’t care how old you are – it’s very upsetting to watch a wonderful person have everything ripped away from them.

4. My boyfriend is obsessed with the X-Files. And not only is he obsessed but he is determined to watch EVERY SINGLE EPISODE. So starting at season one in Februaray, he has constantly had that on the TV…which has been…very distracting. Do you know how many episodes of the X-Files there are? HUNDREDS. There are NINE seasons. Do you realize how many hours have been wasting getting sucked in by that when I could have been cleaning my stove-top or seasoning my cast iron or making butterscotch cookies?!

5. Remember that Lemon Thyme Butter I posted about last week? OH MY! I’ve discovered that it’s pretty much amazing on everything. Melt it over pasta or spaetzle and thank me later. You’re welcome.

Okay, enough about me. Let’s talk about YOU! I have an ice cream recipe for YOU. Yup, that is right – homemade ice cream. And it’s filled with the most delicious…well I can’t tell you. But it’s sweet and savory and creamy and Middle Eastern. And it’s going to be posted on VV soon…how soon? I can’t tell you that either (can’t ruin the fun now!) – you’ll just have to check back.

vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

rampswaffles

Now back to ramps. Yes, that is right. I am posting ANOTHER ramps recipes. Two in a row, really? Well if we compare it to how many pizza or tofu recipes I’ve posted then it’s really not that bad. Ramps are new to me…and I’m pretty obsessed. I know they are going to start disappearing from the Farmer’s Market just as quickly as they appeared. This means, I’ve been cooking them up like crazy while I can!



ramppsswaffles

 

Cornbread Waffles with Roasted Veggies & Chimichurri Ramps

Makes 2 generous servings

Cheddar Cornbread Waffles:

  • 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups cornmeal
  • 1 Tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 cups milk
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese

Roasted Vegetables:

  • An assortment of your favorite vegetables to roast (I used 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, 1 diced onion, 1/2 diced small sweet potato, 2 chopped carrots)
  • 2 springs of fresh thyme, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt/Pepper

Chimichurri:

  • 1 bunch of ramps (about 10 stalks)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 red pepper flakes
  • dash of pepper

 

To roast the vegetables: Preheat oven to 400 and toss the veggies with olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Lay in a even layer on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes or until the vegetables have softened and just started to brown.

To make the chimichurri: Rinse the ramps and cut off the roots and any rough tips.  Slice into big chunks. Blend all ingredients in a food processor (or blender) until a smooth paste forms.

To make the waffles: Preheat your waffle maker. Mix the flour, cornmeal, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the egg yokes, milk, and butter. Fold the dried ingredients into the liquid until incorporated. In another bowl, beat the egg whites with a mixer until stiff but not dry peaks form. Fold the egg whites and grated cheese into the batter.

Ladle 1/2 cup (more or less depending on how big your waffle maker is) of the batter onto your preheated waffle iron and cook according to manufacture’s instructions (mine usually takes around 3 minutes).

Pile high with roasted veggies and chimichurri.

 

rampswaffles2

CHIMICHURRI Ramps Bread with Lemon Thyme Butter

Posted on: April 25, 2013

 

ramps

 

I came across ramps for the first time at the farmer’s market two weeks ago. The nice man who sold them to me explained that they are a type of mild wild garlic and grow in the early spring. The first recipe I tried was a Lemon Risotto from The Kitchn and I was instantly hooked. I went back the next week and picked up another bundle.

This time around I wanted to create my own recipe. When researching ideas, I came across chimichurri and knew I had to try it. Chimichurri is an Argentina sauce that is usually lathered all over meat. If you’ve ever read ‘The Butcher and The Vegetarian’ than you probably can recall the wonderful ways she described chimichurri. She spoke of it making her dizzy from the fresh flavors and needing more. That was enough for me to know I wanted to try it.

But…my adventures with chimichurri didn’t stop there. After lathering it on anything in sight, I wanted to also cook with it. Traditionally it’s rubbed on meat…which isn’t an option for me so I decided to do something completely different – through it in the loaf of bread I had planned to make anyways! And dayuuum…. not only was it beautiful with streaks of green running through it but the bread was soft and so flavorful that you could eat the whole thing plain. Or make some simple lemon thyme butter to dab on top.

 

 

rampsbread3

Chimichurri Ramps Bread with Lemon Thyme Butter

Chimichurri:

  • 1 bunch of ramps (about 10 stalks)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 red pepper flakes
  • dash of pepper

 

For the bread:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan

 

For the butter:

  • 6 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
  • Zest from half of an organic lemon

 

To make the chimichurri: Rinse the ramps and cut off the roots and any rough tips.  Slice into big chunks. Place all ingredients in a food processor (or blender) until a smooth paste forms. Lather all over slices of baguette or roasted veggies or proceed and make delicious bread out of it…

 

ramps2

 

To make the bread: Combine the warm water and yeast in the large mixing bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes or until it becomes frothy. Next, add in the flour, salt, and olive oil and mix until combined. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead by hand for ten minutes (you can also do this in a stand mixer with a bread attachment – sadly, my mixer gave out on me last month so I’m going old school). Transfer kneaded dough to an oiled bowl and cover with a clean dish towel. Let rise in a warm place for an hour.

Next, turn the dough out onto floured surface and roll into a rectangle (about 18 by 12 inches). Top with the chimichurri. Roll the long side of the dough towards you and pinch the ends closed (the same way you roll cinnamon into cinnamon rolls). Slice down the middle lengthwise, twist both pieces, and use the two parts to bread the bread by twirling around each other. Transfer to a greased baking sheet and let rise for another 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 and bake for roughly 25 minutes or until golden on top.

 

rampsbread

 

To make the thyme lemon butter: Mash the lemon zest, softened butter, and thyme together. Serve soft or wrap in parchment paper and stick in the fridge until firm.

 

rampsbread5

 

 

Homemade Mustards: Honey Curry & Beer Thyme

Posted on: April 16, 2013

homemademustard2

As spring approaches, I get the “grilling craving”. You know what I’m talking about – where not only the smell of blooming flowers is in the air but also the smell of charcoal and kabobs. This is usually also the time of year that I  get the urge to make a new condiment. For me, condiments will always be associated with summer outdoor cookouts. A veggie dog is just not the same without relish, ketchup, and mustard. But woah, have you seen all the preservatives that reside in your standard ketchup bottle? Its a sight for sore eyes!

This is usually why I like to make a few batches of homemade condiment to last me through the summer. Two years ago I posted about Ketchup, last spring was Barbecue Sauce, and this time around I am trying my hand at Mustard. The idea, for me, is that if I make it in the spring then I’ll have the condiments around in the fridge for grill outs and social gathering all summer long.

I’m pretty excited about this mustard because it will last in your fridge for up to 3 months. That means months of veggie dog toppings and Brie Grilled Cheeses! In addition, it makes plenty to share and you get to show off your fancy cooking skills to all your friends. What’s a better conversation starter than ‘Oh, here is where I put that homemade mustard. Yup, I said homemade’ ?

The trick for these recipes is to use enough vinegar that you get a bit of tang with each bite but also don’t use so much that the vinegar becomes overpowering (which can happen pretty quickly). Also, another thing to note, is that whole mustard seeds are super spicy. Like…way more spicy than most people ever realize. This means that you may need to add LOTS more sweetener at the end to get the desired flavor profile you are looking for. Don’t be afraid to mix in some more honey or agave to make it sweet. Or even more curry powder or thyme if you aren’t tasting the added ingredients as much as you’d like. Homemade cooking is all about experimenting so play around with this recipe and figure out what works best for your taste palette.

homemademustard

Homemade Honey Curry Mustard

  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown mustard seeds
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped shallots
  • 1 Tablespoon honey (plus more for the end)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon curry powder
  • salt

Homemade Thyme Beer Mustard

  • 1/2 cup beer
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown mustard seeds
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped shallots
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • salt

For both or either recipes: Place all ingredients for each recipe into two separate bowls (or just use one bowl if you are only making one of the mustards). Cover and let sit in the fridge overnight.

The next day, transfer everything to a blender and blend until desired consistency is reached (I like to keep a few mustard seeds whole but do whatever fits your fancy). Taste to season and add more honey if it’s too spicy or salt/pepper to help bring out the flavors.

Eat right away or transfer to an airtight jar and keep in the fridge for up to 3 months.

*Please note that the mustard seeds are like a sponge and will absorb any liquid around them so if your mustard becomes dry from sitting in the fridge, just add a few teaspoons of water to reach your desired consistency again

homemademustard3

Blueberry Thyme Soda

Posted on: April 12, 2013

blueberrysoda

I’m obsessed with my Soda Stream. Like more than anyone should ever be with a kitchen appliance. I was on the fence about getting one since it seems like such a unnecessary expense but I’ve never looked back. I use it more than my oven, more than my blender, more than my crock pot, and more than my coffee makers – how is that for an ‘unnecessary expensive’? I’ll even go as far to say that I drink less sugary juice and alcohol because I’d rather have a big glass of carbonated water.

In the end, my need to give up every other drink is both a relief and boring. I’ve spent my whole life being the most indecisive person all of my friends and family know. I’m not sure why picking an ice cream flavor is the end of the world for me – but sometimes it can feel like it. I sometimes wonder if that is why I secretly like being a vegetarian. I only have to scan restaurant menus for the tiny ‘meat-free section’ and can pick between 3 options instead of 30. That’s the relief part.

The boring part is well…exactly how it sounds. I’m not exactly ‘bringing all the boys to the yard’ with my amazing drink selections. And sometimes I feel unprepared when having people over and all I have to offer is water. Making my own ‘soda syrups’ was my answer to this problem. These syrups are not like the ones I make for cocktails (see Rosemary Lemonade or Blueberry Limeade Cocktail) and are more like the subtle flavor you would get from a flavored sparkling water (AKA a La Croix). I sweetened this with honey instead of sugar for a mellow flavor that also make your water look beautiful (without all those ‘natural flavorings’ – whatever those are).

 

blueberrysoda7

 

Also, I should note that if you don’t have a soda stream that you can certainly just pick up a liter of sparkling water at the grocery (probably for 50 cents or less) and still give this recipe a go.

Now here’s to hoping spring sticks around along enough for me to whip this up again this weekend for some friends!

blueberrysoda2

Blueberry Thyme Soda

  • 1 pint blueberries, slightly mashed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 spring thyme
  • 3 teaspoons honey*
  • 1 liter of sparkling water

 

In a small sauce, combine the mashed blueberries, water, and thyme. Bring to a boil and stir in the honey. Let simmer for about ten minutes. Remove from heat and look come to room temperature (or stick in the fridge overnight for a more intensive flavor).

Strain the blueberry mixture and discard the pulp/thyme sprig. Add the blueberry syrup to sparkling water and garnish with more thyme sprigs.

*Use agave to make vegan

blueberrysoda4

Theme by Blogmilk   Coded by Brandi Bernoskie