Hey guys! I’m not quite ready to share the results of my natural dye experimentation just yet… i need a little more time, so check back for that next week! To hold you over, here’s a lovely little idea from Liz of Late Afternoon:
Spice up ice water (or any beverage for that matter!) by putting berries and flowers in your ice cubes! Just drop them in the ice cube trays before freezing :) This would be such a sweet touch for a party!
I’ve been waking up really early, and rather than lay there tossing and turning trying to fall back asleep, I’ve decided to put my mornings to good use. Like a crazy person I’ve been getting up and putting in early morning workouts. It’s great to get it out of the way, but it definitely leaves you wanting a good recharge with breakfast. As a solution, I’ve put together a great post-workout morning meal that is full of healthy energy and protein. The combination of nuts, seeds, and fruit helps rebuild those muscles, and gets you set to conquer the day.
2 Slices of Flax Seed Bread
Spread almond butter on one slice of bread
Cut banana lengthwise into three slices and lay them on top of the almond butter.
Place both halves into a toaster oven (or regular oven) until both slices of bread are toasted.
Fp Naomi, our resident chef, is away in Hong Kong right now so for today’s recipe I thought I’d share this video I came across recently. The recipe is for a cake made with beets, and although yes that does sound interesting and potentially delicious, what I love about it is the beauty of this video – it’s magically done, focusing on the physical act of making something as an art form. I couldn’t take my eyes away!
In reference to our Venetian theme this month, this week’s recipe is another of my favorite Italian-inspired recipes. Growing up my family made traditional potato gnocchi. It was always a huge production. My father and I would spend hours, rolling out hundreds of little gnocchi, preparing three different sauces, and, in the end, having a gnocchi fest with family and friends. Every person had to try the gnocchi with each sauce, falling in love anew with every bite. In the end, everyone was stuffed and happy…or uncomfortable from overeating – but – still happy…
Now that I’ve grown older and expanded my cooking experimentations, I’ve started making gnocchi with sweet potatoes. They’re a variation on the traditional version – a little healthier, and a little spicier. I don’t make hundreds, so it’s a bit less time consuming, but it still takes a while to make them. The following recipe will yield enough for 4-5 people – depending on how much you can eat. I made a homemade tomato sauce to go with them (I’ll can give you all this recipe another week if you’re interested), but they’re also good with butter & sage or any tomato/diavolo sauce you have.
2 Large Sweet Potatoes
1 Baking Potato
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
½ Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
½ Tsp Dried Oregano
Pinch of salt
All Purpose Flour
Preheat oven to 375˚F
Peel and dice sweet potatoes, then mix with olive oil, red pepper, and oregano in a roasting dish.
Cover dish with tinfoil, and then place in the oven to cook until potatoes are extremely tender (approx. 1/2hr)
Place baking potato to boil until it is also extremely tender (approx. 1/2hr)
Let both potatoes cool. Once the baking potato is cool enough to handle, peel and dice it. Then throw both the sweet potatoes and the baking potato together into a large mixing bowl.
Using a hand blender or rice mill blend both together until fairly creamy
Using a wooden spoon, mix in egg & a pinch of salt.
Still using a wooden spoon and working quickly, mix in flour until mixture reaches a doughy consistency. Towards the end I usually ditch the spoon and work it with my hands. It should still stick to your fingers a bit, but be thick enough to roll out once you’ve reached the right texture. It’s important to work fast so that you don’t have to add too much flour which will result in heavy gnocchi.
You’re now ready to roll out the gnocchi. Set yourself up on a table, or with enough counter space. You’ll need flour and a fork. Pour some flour on the surface, and cover your hands so that the dough doesn’t stick.
To roll out the gnocchi you first toll the dough into little logs about ½” thick. Then, using the fork, cut them into approx. 1” segments. Once you’ve done so, press the fork lightly on top to make little ridges. This is a little trick passed down through my family to help them cook just right, and it also makes them pretty.
After you’ve rolled them out, you’ll want to place the finished pieces on a towel until you are ready to cook them.
To cook the gnocchi you’ll want to set a pot of water to boil. Once it has reached a boil, drop in about 8 gnocchi at a time. Once they are cooked they will start to float, and you can scoop them out with a spatula or something with holes to let the water through.
Each serving is about 15 pieces. Drizzle with your desired sauce, garnish, and serve!
With this month’s catalog shot in Venice, I thought I’d give you all a recipe for one of my favorite Italian foods – gelato. This is a recipe that my grandma or aunt will whip up almost every time I visit them in Italy. I never really make it at home, so it’s earned a spot in my heart as one of those special treats I get whenever I visit my favorite place in the whole world. It’s made with hazelnuts and chocolate, like the Italian candy, Baci, from which it gets its name. More familiarly, it has a nutella-like flavoring, but whatever you relate it to, it’s a dream that melts in your mouth. Now that I have a vat of it in my fridge, it’s been really hard to stay away.
Try it out for yourself if you dare =P
1 1/3 Cups Whole Milk
100 Grams of Dark Chocolate
¾ (generous) Cup of sugar
¾ Cups of ground hazelnuts
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
Beat egg, 1 cup of milk, and vanilla extract together in a large bowl.
Place sugar, chocolate, 1/3 cup of milk, ¼ cup of hazelnuts into a pot, and place over a low flame. Keep stirring until chocolate is fully melted and sugar is dissolved.
Pour melted chocolate mixture into milk/egg mixture, add remaining hazelnuts, and stir vigorously until fully blended together.
Pour into a bread pan, and let cool for a bit. Once it has reached room temperature, stick the whole thing in the fridge over night.
After a night in the fridge to freeze, it should be ready to serve nde
This recipe idea came to me one day when I was out for drinks with a couple friends sipping on sangria. The restaurant we were at made a carbonated sangria. Sipping it down, I had a stroke of genius right then and there. I wondered what it would be like to use Kombucha instead of whatever club soda/sprite type thing they used (Kombucha is a fermented drink said to bolster immunity and be good for one’s health). So a week later I tried it out. It still had that fruity flavor with a kick of bubbles like the one at the restaurant, and the Kombucha served as a nice contribution to keep it from getting too sweet. It was also extremely easy to make. Needless to say, it’s delicious, and I stand by my statement that the idea was truly a stroke of genius. Let me know if you agree =)
I love spring rolls, but when they’re fried, I can’t really eat them without feeling some guilt. That’s why these rice paper spring rolls are great. Fill them up with fruit and veggies, and you have a guilt free, fresh, summer hors d’oeuvre. You can find the rice paper wrappers at any Asian market, or I usually buy mine from our local Whole Foods. Messing around with combinations for filling is half the fun, but this combo has proven to be a favorite amongst my friends. It’s also one of my own favorites – easy, no cook, and so utterly fresh tasting.
1 avocado cut into slices
1 mango, peeled and sliced into strips
½ cup of cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 carrot, shredded
4 leaves of red leaf lettuce, torn up into pieces
2 sprigs of cilantro
9 rice paper wrappers
Basin filled with hot water to soak wrappers in
Soak wrapper in hot water until it becomes pliable and bendy.
Take the rice paper out, and lay it out on a kitchen towel to absorb some of the excess water. Pile on a bit of each ingredient right in the center of the wrapper.
To roll it up, first fold up the lower half, keeping everything tightly together
Then fold in either side
And roll it up the rest of the way
Do the same for each spring roll. Serve with any dipping sauce you would like. Chili dipping sauce or soy sauce are two that taste great
This week’s recipe is more of an entire meal, and, I’m not going to lie, it’s a bit more difficult than the recipes I usually post. This is one to pull out when you have a good amount of time to cook, and you want to impress a group of friends (or whoever) with an entire delicious meal.
The coolest part of this Asian-inspired meal is that you’ll be able to tell everyone you made your own teriyaki sauce. Who does that, right? It’s easier than you’d think. It’s all about letting it boil down to the right consistency which can take a while. The broccoli rabe is the perfect light accompaniment to go along with the flavorful fish. Top the plate off with simple brown rice, to fill your guests up.
Place orange juice, mirin, soy sauce, and ginger into a large sauce pan at high heat. Once it starts to boil, lower the heat and let simmer until it reaches a thicker consistency. Approx 30-40min.
When teriyaki sauce is half way done, place butter and scallions in a small pot to sauté for about 2 minutes. Add brown rice & water. Cover pot until water has evaporated and rice is cooked. Turn off flame, and let sit, coved, until rest of meal is ready.
Preheat oven to 400F
Cook the cod in the sauce pan with the teriyaki sauce for about 4 minutes. Then place it in a flat, oven-safe pan. Pour left-over teriyaki sauce over the fish & add chopped scallions. Cook in the oven for another 10 minutes.
Using the same sauce pan, add grapeseed oil and garlic for broccoli rabe. Once garlic is sautéed, add broccoli rabe and water to cook for about 5 minutes. Once it is fully wilted, like cooked spinach almost, it will be done. You may have to pour out excess water.
There’s not much that can beat the flavor of creamy ricotta cheese slathered over a slice of fresh baguette – except maybe the flavor of homemade ricotta slathered over a slice of fresh baguette. Make your own cheese? That sounds way too hard. But that’s the wonderful thing about ricotta. It is the easiest cheese to make, and doesn’t take forever. Once you’ve whipped up a batch, you can use it for just about anything. For today, I like the idea of serving it on fresh French or Italian bread as an hors d’oeuvre for guests. Sprinkle it with balsamic, figs, and walnuts for an extra tempting snack ;)
To make about 2 cups, you’ll need:
4 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons good white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons minced scallions, white and green parts (2 scallions)
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Set a large sieve over a deep bowl. Dampen 2 layers of cheesecloth with water and line the sieve with the cheesecloth. Then, pour the milk and cream into a pot to boil. Stir occasionally as it heats up, adding in salt as you go. Once it has reached a boil, turn off the flame and stir in the vinegar.
2. Allow the mixture to stand and curdle for about 1 min. Then, pour the mixture into a cheesecloth-lined sieve and allow it to drain into the bowl for 20 to 25 minutes. You may have to occasionally pour out the liquid that collects in the bowl.
3. When cheese is almost finished straining, chop up all of your fresh herb ingredients. Transfer strained cheese to a new bowl, and stir in.
Every day in our cafeteria here at Free People they offer the most interesting soups. Since it’s been summer they’ll usually do one chilled option. I’m always intrigued, but never actually like the sample enough to get it for lunch…until the other day. They made this pineapple gazpacho – sounds weird – but I LOVED its mixture of sweet and spicy so much that I ended up devouring it down for lunch. At home I later tried to replicate the dish and found it’s beyond easy. The only thing is, you’ll need a bit of planning ahead since the dish tastes better chilled in the fridge over night.
For the Gazpacho You’ll Need:
1 Yellow Pepper
½ Sweet Onion
5 Sprigs Cilantro (stems included)
2 tsp Rice Vinegar
½ tsp Spicy Sriracha Sauce
¼ tsp White Pepper
For The Garnish:
¼ Red Pepper
2 Sprigs Cilantro (leaves only)
1. Core & Peel Pineapple. Then cut pineapple, yellow pepper, cucumber, and onion into medium pieces.
2. Throw all gazpacho ingredients into a blender or bowl if you have a hand blender like I do. Puree until texture is smooth.
There are many highlights to summer, but one of my favorites is fresh fruit! It’s probably the easiest thing to prepare, tastes amazing, and can be eaten for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and dessert. =)
2 Large mangoes
1 ½ tsp Sugar
Peel & dice mangoes. * Mangoes have a tough center, like with pineapple, which you’ll want to cut around.
Dice strawberries & slice banana.
Cut lime in half & squeeze juice from entire thing onto the salad.
Let it set in the fridge for at least an hour.
You can eat the salad plain, or mix it into Greek yogurt like I did for breakfast one morning. There are so many ways to go about serving it – get creative!
we had a little fourth of july celebration at the office and everyone brought such amazing stuff! if you’re having, or going to, a party this weekend – here’s some tasty inspiration for things to serve or bring :)
and this last one, we didn’t have at our party, but i had to include it:
remember our rainbow tie-dyed cupcakes? follow the same instructions using just red and blue dye, and then add some sprinkles on top!
Fuel your taste buds with new recipes and knowledgeable cooking tips. Healthy food makes for a good heart and great well being. We want to share our love and exploration of food with you in hopes that you pick up something new.