eggs Benedict a la Julia … I know what we’re having for Father’s Day Brunch

When I was introduced to holidays with my husband’s family, I was introduced to a whole host of new family food traditions. It’s one of the many blessings that comes with joining families, I think.

I love making Nana Ivy’s Molasses Cookies with the littles at Christmas. And while I haven’t yet been given the family pilaf recipe, I look forward to eating it at Thanksgiving. But my favorite of favorite dishes has to be Eggs Benedict for Easter (and Mother’s Day and Father’s Day) brunch.

eggs benedict with blender hollandaise sauce

It’s just so … buttery.

Salty.

Creamy.

Delicious.

Honestly, it just seems so decadent.

It requires “all hands on deck” to get it served hot and to the table for everyone. (Someone manning the poached eggs and asparagus, another on English muffin duty, and a third on the hollandaise … I love it when there’s a kitchen full of activity.)

And with the advent of the modern convenience of a blender … there’s just no excuse not to make eggs Benedict.

There are so many blender hollandaise recipes online these days.  And so many are inspired by the great Julia Child There’s this one from simply recipes. I love and have used this one from Tori’s Kitchen. Even Food Network has one.

But here’s what I use for 10 servings (assuming one serving equals two eggs, asparagus, ham and one English muffin)

eggs benedict - blender hollandaise sauce

Asparagus:

  • 2 bunches of fresh Asparagus (bottoms trimmed)
  • Avocado oil
  • Sea salt & cracked pepper (to taste)

Meat:

  • You don’t have to use meat (we have enough vegetarians in the family that not everyone gets meat on their plate). But we have made Eggs Benedict with spiral ham, Canadian bacon, bacon, prosciutto, pancetta … Pick your favorite, pre-cook it the way you like it and set aside until it’s time to prepare the plates.

Eggs:

  • 1 large sauté pan filled with water
  • 1 TBLS apple cider vinegar
  • 10 farm fresh eggs

Hollandaise Sauce:

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 stick melted salted butter
  • fresh cracked pepper (to taste)

English Muffins:

  • If we’re lucky, my Cowboy-sourdough-bread-master-husband makes fresh sourdough English muffins. Otherwise, since it’s generally for a special holiday, we find the best English muffins we can and set someone on toaster duty. (This is a job we’ve even given to our 5 year old because any time we can engage the littles in food prep, they are more likely to be game to enjoy the food.)

eggs benedict with blender hollandaise sauce

DIRECTIONS:

First things first:

MEAT & ASPARAGUS – pre-cook your meat and asparagus and set aside.

For the asparagus, I toss the asparagus in a little avocado oil and layer in a roasting pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast in a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, turning at least once while they are in the oven.

POACHED EGGS – Fill a large sauté pan with water (leaving about an inch from the lip) and add ACV. Bring to a boil. (My sauté pan is a 12-inch stainless steel pan and I can poach about 6-8 eggs at a time).

While the water is coming to a boil …

HOLLANDAISE SAUCE – Add egg yolks and lemon juice to your blender and blend for about a minute. The eggs will get a little frothy.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan careful not to brown or burn the butter. It’s important to keep the moisture intact in the butter. When it’s fully melted, turn your blender back on a low speed and drizzle the butter into the eggs. Keep in a warm spot (in a bowl of warm water?) until you are ready to use. (Use within 30 minutes … if it needs thinning before serving, add a tablespoon of warm water and blend again.)

POACHED EGGS (cont.) – Very gently crack eggs into the boiling water. Let cook for 3 minutes.

In those three minutes, prepare English muffins, meat and asparagus on individual serving plates.

Remove the eggs from boiling water using a slotted spoon and add to the serving plates. Top with Hollandaise, a touch of cracked pepper and have a HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

With love,

Jeanne

 

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Domestic Superhero
Kelly the Kitchen Kop

hazelnut cake …

I met Michaela von Schweinitz last summer at a Cowboy Cookout at my friend Steph’s. She is a gorgeous German ex-pat film director living and working in SoCal. Michaela was the only other woman there in Cowboy boots…

Did I mention she’s German? Because I’m always looking for ways to connect to my grandfather’s heritage I often find myself being drawn to people and food from the Old Country.

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it’s not just food that connects me to my grandfather’s heritage … sometimes it’s blonde babies picking flowers in the mountains …

So I whipped out my one year of German (technically, it was a one-credit elective called “German Folk Songs” during which we sang German folk songs for an hour each week) and utterly embarrassed myself with nonsensical conversation.

Thankfully she overlooked my lameness.

And even though we only met once and emailed two or three times, I now believe her to be a lifelong friend.

I firmly believe this to be true because she shared recipes with me.

Her first recipe was for a salad that I dream about. It was the salad she brought to Stephanie’s cookout and now I check our beets in the garden daily so I can make it again. It’s the sole reason I planted beets this year. So I think about Michaela nearly every day as I weed and water in the garden.

And the second recipe is even better than the first …

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She told me she makes this cake as a breakfast treat for camping trips. The hazelnuts remind her home. And it’s a nourishing, delicious and easy way to reconnect with her past.

And the fact that it’s paleo-friendly, gluten free, dairy free and vegetarian … it’s a tasty treat for almost any get-together and almost everyone can have some (except for those with egg and nut allergies).

The original recipe calls for 2 cups of ground hazelnuts, 1 cup sugar, 5 eggs, hot water and 2 drops of bitter almond aroma. And makes a 9×12 pan.

But I don’t want to have that much of this cake sitting around our house because I will eat the whole thing.

We don’t use sugar too much these days (except in homemade kombucha), so I needed to find an alternative.

And in the almost year that I have had the recipe, I have not remembered to pick up bitter almond aroma at the grocery store … not once.

So I’ve made a few adjustments.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup hazelnut meal (Bob’s Red Mill sells it pre-ground, or you can grind your own.)
  • 1/3 cup pure grade B maple syrup
  • 3 eggs (separated)
  • 1 TBLS hot water
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and put the rack on the lowest setting.

Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper and oil the paper with coconut oil.

Separate the eggs into two bowls and refrigerate the whites.

Whisk the egg yolks with vanilla, hot water and maple syrup into a cream. Whisk until it goes beyond frothy and almost Zabaione-like (a very loose custard). Add the hazelnuts and mix well.

I use the whisk attachment on my immersion blender to beat the whites into a stiff “snow.”

And I have to quote Michaela’s email for this next step …

“With a tool my friend in Germany calls ‘Kinderfeind’ because with it she scrapes the last bit of dough out of a bowl leaving nothing for the kids to ‘nash.’ I very carefully add the ‘snow’ to the nut mix. I just don’t know how you call this tool here.”

*I call it a rubber spatula or rubber scraper, but I’m calling it a ‘kinderfeind’ from now on. It’s a PERFECT description.

NOTE: DO NOT OVERMIX THE EGG WHITES AND HAZELNUT!

Gently spoon into your baking dish.

Bake for 40 minutes.

*The original recipe bakes for 60 minutes … the smaller glass pan takes less time.

Turn off the oven and let the cake rest in the oven for another 5-10 minutes. Remove it from the oven and remove from the pan and let cool completely.

It’s incredible breakfast cake, but I’ve been known to nosh on it all day, and serve it with a dollop of whipped cream for desert.

Makes 8 servings … (or one serving, if there’s no one else in the house to share it, or the kids sleep late and you’re alone with the cake for too long? … not that I would ever eat an entire hazelnut cake … ever … seriously.)

I’m going to take Michaela’s advice and bake this for camping this year. It’ll be a great compliment to sunrise over the Gallatin Mountains …

 SHARED on:  Kelly the Kitchen Kop

choco maca smoothie

Chocolate maca smoothie

Remember how how I was telling you all about the benefits of maca powder?  And how by adding a tablespoon to my morning routine (in addition to reducing carbs and taking Pilates a few times a week) I’ve been able to shed a few pounds of winter weight that had settled on my middle?

I told you about the maca chai latte (a great warm way to start the day). But we’ve been visiting my mom’s in the SoCal desert these past few days and it’s honestly too warm to even think about a chai latte (sorry Montana friends. I heard about the six inches of snow!!)

Since a hot latte’s not in my life right now I wanted to find a cool tasty alternative. I also wanted something satisfying that would keep me “full” until lunch.

Did I mention my parents live in date central? Seriously, most of the dates available in the US come from the Coachella Valley. There are at least three date farms within a mile of my parents’ place.

Which is a long-winded intro to my new favorite breakfast smoothie:

Chocolate Maca Breakfast Smoothie

INGREDIENTS:
1 banana
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3-4 chopped pitted dates
1 TBL raw maca powder
1 tsp raw cacao powder
1/2 cup filtered water

DIRECTIONS:
Combine all the ingredients in a high speed blender and purée until smooth.

Yum!

Xo, Jeanne

baked (soaked) oatmeal

We’ve been waking up super early these days to hit the slopes.

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But I’ll be honest, the kiddos would rather not wake up as early as we need to to get a good warm breakfast in their little bodies before we hit the road.  So I’ve been looking for portable breakfasts that are easy to take in the car.  Egg tacos are a favorite.  Bacon, a green smoothie and hot tea with raw honey is another.  But last week, I decided to bake some soaked oatmeal into a breakfast cake and low and behold …

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Portable.  Delicious.  Nutritious.  And keeps ’em satisfied for a morning on the slopes until we stop for a hot cocoa break  late-morning.

A total winner.

And easy to make the night before, so long as I’m organized enough to remember to soak the oats 12-24 hours beforehand.

(In case you don’t remember why we soak our grains before using them … grains, like oats and flour, barley and millet, et al, have something called “phytic acid” and other anti-nutrients that make them harder for humans to digest, and make it more difficult for our bodies to access the nutrients in this nutrient dense food.  Soaking the grains in an “acid bath” of apple cider vinegar and water, or whey, buttermilk, lemon juice, etc., helps break down the phtyic acid and make the grains more digestible and nutrients more accessible and usable.)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups Organic Rolled Oats
  • 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar or 1 TBLS fresh Lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Oil (melted)
  • 1/2 cup Raw Honey
  • 2 Eggs (room temperature)
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/3 cup Coconut Flour
  • 1 tsp Aluminum free Baking Powder
  • 1 Tbls Chia Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 4-6 tsp Blueberry Preserves (or your favorite jam or your favorite berries) – TOTALLY OPTIONAL

DIRECTIONS:

The Night/Day Before:  Put rolled oats in a glass or non-reactive bowl/jar and cover with filtered water by about 1 inch.  Add ACV or lemon juice.  Stir to combine and cover.  Set aside in a warm place in your kitchen for 12-24 hours.

When you’re ready to bake:  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Rinse the oats.  Really rinse them.  In a fine mesh strainer, for about 2-3 minutes until the water almost runs clear.  (It will likely never run perfectly clear, but get it close.

Mix the warm coconut oil with raw honey and whisk until combined.

Add the vanilla and eggs.  (The eggs need to be room temperature.  Cold eggs will not only re-solidify your coconut oil, but will also make the oatmeal less moist and less cakey).

Then add the coconut flour, baking powder, chia seeds and sea salt.

Last but most important … stir in the rinsed rolled oats.  Careful to not “over mix” … you just want to coat the oats with the egg-honey-oil mixture.

Pour into a well-greased 8 x 12 baking dish.

(OPTIONAL STEP:  Top with 1/4-1/2 teaspoon dollops of your favorite jam or berries)

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving.  (I cut leftovers into servings and store in the fridge for quick serve snacks during the week.)

NOTE:  If we eat this at the table in the morning, I’ve been known to cut it early and top with a pat of raw pastured butter or a little cream.

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And then she was happy …

Makes 12 servings.

cherry chia (soaked) oatmeal

cherry chia oatmeal Jeanne here.

We were fortunate this summer to get a 20 pound box of Flathead cherries from a friend who lives nearby.

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Although I’m going to admit that after slicing, pitting and freezing 15 of the 20 pounds, my finger nails were purple for a week (it didn’t matter that I scrubbed them raw), my sink was stained and I was a little “over” cherries.  So into the freezer they went… out of sight out of mind.

Months have passed now.  There’s snow on the ground.  It was 14 degrees when I trekked our garbage can to the curb this morning.

I “re-discovered” the cherries in our storage freezer a few days ago.  My love for cherries is renewed.  And after making cherry chia soaked oatmeal at least 3 times in the last week, I have discovered a new favorite warm and cozy breakfast treat.

It’s packed with protein (chia seeds), the great anti-bacterial-anti-viral benefits of raw local honey, the healthy gut-bacteria renewing properties of raw milk and the uber-digestible benefits of soaked oats.

Here’s how we do it:

SOAKED OATS:

  • 1 cup rolled oats (not steal cut, not quick cooking)
  • 1 tablespoon Bragg’s apple cider vinegar (you could also use whey or lemon juice)
  • about 1 1/2 cups filtered water
  • glass or ceramic (non-reactive) bowl/jar

OATMEAL:

  • 1 cup soaked oats (thoroughly rinsed)
  • 1 cup milk (we use raw whole milk, but you could use coconut milk or almond milk or whatever milk substitute you like)
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • handful frozen cherries (rinsed and partially thawed)
  • pinch sea salt

DIRECTIONS:

The Night Before – soak your oats! (12-24 hours before you’re making oatmeal) – I put these in a bowl when we started making dinner and about 16 hours later, I used them for breakfast.

Add one cup of rolled oats to your non-reactive glass or ceramic bowl/jar.  Cover (by about an inch) with filtered water and add 1 tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar.  (The ratio is 1 tablespoon for every 1 cup of oats … so if you’re making 2 cups of oats, it’s 2 tablespoons of ACV, etc.)  Cover with a clean dish towel and leave in a warm spot in your kitchen.

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NOTE:  I put mine on the stovetop as it’s the warmest spot in the kitchen.  Sometimes I put it in the oven as it stays pretty warm after using it for dinner.

In the morning:

First things first … rinse those soaked grains in a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear.  This makes all the difference in the world.

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In a small to medium saucepan, add the soaked oats, milk and salt.  Cook on medium until the oats are the consistency you like. (It takes about 3-5 minutes.)  Stir in the honey and chia seeds.

When well combined, separate into serving bowls.  Top with cherries (or blueberries or peaches or whatever other frozen fruit you like)

Totally satisfying and nourishing breakfast to start a busy blustery day.

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Kelly the Kitchen Kop: Real Food Wednesday
The Domestic Superhero

chai breakfast cookies

We’ve had some serious Fall weather this week.  Threats of snow (which did not appear, except at higher elevations). Overnight temps around 30 degrees.  Daytime highs in the 40s.

And all that does is make me want to curl up on the sofa, watch a good bad movie and drink Chai Tea (also called Yogi Tea).

The thing about chai tea is that it not only makes the house smell delicious while it’s brewing (I love the smell of cardamom … it’s “like totally tripendicular, you know?” – what movie?), but the combination of spices (cloves, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom) also happens to be good for blood detoxification and circulation, detoxing the colon, settling the nervous system and strengthening the bones.  It’s good for colds, flu and general fatigue …

Basically, the ingredients in Yogi Tea are PERFECT for Fall weather blues and the onset of cold and flu season.

Then I made a promise to bring treats to a playdate we have with friends today … realizing later that at least two of the kiddos have grain, dairy and egg allergies.

I thought about making those paleo-yam brownies that I make for camping … but had no cocoa in the house.  And they have eggs in them.

I also have a recipe for raw-vegan-date-sour cherry-chocolate bites that might have fit the bill.

And Abby’s got a recipe for grain-free cookies from her sister-in-law Lores that is out of this world.  But it calls for almond flour and I wasn’t sure if any of the kids had nut allergies … and there is chocolate in them.

Again … no chocolate.  And no sour cherries.  And they have to be frozen, and I don’t want to eat frozen treats in 40 degree rainy weather.

But I did have all the spices for chai.  And I had bananas and shredded coconut (which are featured prominently in the date-sour cherry-chocolate bites).  And a few sweet potatoes.

So, armed with chai spice, bananas, sweet potatoes, a little coconut flour and a  food processor … I started experimenting.  Just two batches later … nourishing, refined-sugar-free, grain-free, egg-free, dairy-free goodness.  (I wasn’t sure about nut-allergies, so I didn’t put any in for this batch.  I might add some chopped almonds or walnuts or pecans next time … just to mix things up and add a little depth to the texture.)

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 large baked sweet potato (peeled)
  • 5-6 sweet Mejool dates (pitted and course chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor or high speed blender, combine the bananas, sweet potato, dates and ACV and pulse until well mashed and combined.

Add the coconut flour, baking soda, sea salt, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and cloves.  Pulse again until a sticky dough ball forms.

In a large bowl, gently fold the shredded coconut into the dough.

Scoop heaping teaspoon size balls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Press them down just a bit as these cookies aren’t going to spread in the oven.

Bake for 25-30 minutes.  (NOTE:  after about 12 minutes, I swapped the cookie sheets to protect the bottoms from burning … nobody likes a burnt cookie bottom.)

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Let cool on the cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring to wire rack to finish cooling completely before storing.  Not sure yet how long they’ll last in the fridge, but I’m guessing a few days.

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We’ll be lucky if there are any left by the time we head to the playdate.

xo,

Jeanne

homemade almond “Nutella”

I’m not going to lie to you.

This is not Nutella.

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But it is a delicious homemade almond-cocoa spread that reminds me of Nutella in all the right ways.

I know … I know … Abby already gave you a great recipe for homemade Nutella.

But here’s the thing:  I don’t often have hazelnuts on hand.

And with our habit of soaking and crisping almonds, I do have almonds … almost always.

So I tried her recipe out with soaked almonds … but it was a little soupy and not very spreadable.

Which made me crazy.

So I crisped up another batch of nuts and whipped out the food processor for another go.

And now I’m happy.

Because this creamy and delicious almond-cocoa spread is perfectly nourishing and a great topper for sourdough pancakes.

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a note about how yellow these pancakes are … that happens sometimes when you use farm fresh eggs that were layed yesterday with yokes the color of a crimson sunset 🙂

And it took me 15 minutes in the food processor.

(I think I know what’s going in the Christmas gift-box this year.)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup soaked and crisped almonds
  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup of organic cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons grade B maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk

DIRECTIONS:

Pulse the almonds in a food processor for about 10 minutes.  It’s a long time, but you want to give the almonds to turn into a fine paste so the texture of your “Nutella” is smooth and creamy.  Just let it rip.

After the nuts are finely chopped and beginning to paste-up, add the coconut oil, cocoa, maple syrup, vanilla and salt.  Again, pulse until well-combined and it forms a clumpy mess.

Then add the coconut milk.  Start with a 1/4 cup.  If it’s not smooth enough for your liking, add a touch more (only a teaspoon at a time) until it reaches your desired texture.

YUM!!!

I love Tuesdays.

 

Shared at:
The Nourishing Gourmet

a perfectly portable homemade chia “pod”

After a nearly two-week technology vacation, it’s Jeanne here.

I’m going to admit that it’s weird to be back after almost 14 days mostly unplugged.  The littles and I were on a 3,000+ mile road trip to visit the Cowboy, my mom and stepdad, my sisters, a new baby cousin, and some very dear friends.

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The real reason we made the trip:  it was take the kids to work day (not really) … but they loved sitting at Dad’s very fastidious desk (his desk at home is a little less neat :))

To describe it as “whirlwind” is sort of putting it mildly.  We trekked from Montana to Utah to Los Angeles to Palm Springs to north of San Diego to southern San Diego to LA to Palm Springs to Utah to Montana … and we did it in just under 2 weeks.

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I am so thankful our littles like to travel … this was taken on the very last leg of our trip in a hotel room in Salt Lake City. It was a very happy dance.

And honestly, it wasn’t a totally conscious decision to be offline.

We were just in the car so much … and after reading about Werner Herzog’s new 35 minute “short film” From One Second to the Next about the dangers of texting and driving I had made a commitment not to text or talk while driving.  Mind you, I have NOT seen the film.  I just read about it and it changed my life.  I don’t think I have the courage to actually watch it.  But I agree with the message … whatever it is you have to say?  It can wait.  But I digress.

I won’t bore you with the ins and outs of our trip because not everyone wants to be invited over to watch a home-movie (but if you invite me over to watch yours, I will do so happily :))

Plus … there’s a good chance the real reason you’re here today is this:

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My San Diego sister introduced me to these little nuggets of goodness, which she found at Sprouts.

It has four organic ingredients:  Coconut Milk, Bananas, Blueberries, Chia Seeds.

I love how good for you they are [Chia seeds have been shown to stabilize blood sugar, increase brain power.  They are 20 percent protein.  Jam-packed with digestible fiber, calcium and antioxidants.  They have strontium (which helps assimilate protein) and can help with weightloss by boosting metabolism and promoting lean muscle.  There’s evidence that these tiny little nutty-tasting seeds can help reduce blood pressure and encourage heart health.  They’ve also been shown to aid in detoxification and elimination. And I haven’t even mentioned how good for you Coconut Milk is.]

I love the portability (although I wish it weren’t in plastic with two plastic covers and a plastic spoon).  It’s a great texture (it’s kind of yogurty … not slimy like I thought it could be because sometimes that happens when you add chia seeds to liquid).  And it doesn’t have the “it will go bad by lunch if it’s not refrigerated” that threatens dairy products.

I tried the blueberry.

I was uber ready for it to be delicious.

🙁

It was okay.

Actually, it was sort of bland.  Like the bananas weren’t ripe enough.  Or maybe it was missing just a hint of sweet.

But I love the idea of a Chia Pod.

So I have been obsessed with making my own version of this since Saturday … waiting (not so patiently) to get home, get to the store and whip out the Vita-Mix.  (Plus, it gives me an excuse to use all those dang jelly jars that have been cluttering our cupboards.)

I started simply, with four ingredients …

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I used peaches instead of blueberries because when we were in SoCal we stopped at a local farmers’ market and bought way too many to eat on a drive home and I didn’t want them to go bad and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. (How’s that for a run-on sentence?)

But my first attempt had the same problem as the store bought Chia Pod.

Tasteless.

So here’s what I did:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 very ripe peaches (pitted and cut into large chunks … it was about a cup and a half to two cups of chopped peaches, but it could have been strawberries or blueberries or mango or a blend of any berries or fruit that trips your trigger)
  • 2 ripe bananas (I will likely reduce this to one banana next time because the taste is pretty heavy on the banana)
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup of chia seeds (the Chia Pod uses white chia.  I only had black chia on hand and while it doesn’t look as “pretty” as the store bought version, it still tastes pretty much the same and packs the same amount of awesomeness)
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey (or use grade B maple syrup or raw sugar or agave if you want to make this a vegan treat)
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender and pulse until well-combined.  Divide into individual serving cups and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to “set.”

And …

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I know they’re not as cute as the one’s my Sis got at Sprout’s (or it might have been Trader Joe’s). I’ll have to work on the packaging when I make a strawberry version next.

I love them.

I had one for dessert last night.

Our little guy had one for a snack … and his big sister ate half of it.

And there are still six in the fridge to pack and go anywhere anytime (breakfast, lunch, snack, dessert).

So life is good.

Except for maybe what I found in the freezer after being gone for two weeks.

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But I don’t want to leave you with this image that’s haunting my brain … so here’s one of our kids after going to a block party with their cousins …

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It may not be helping you much, but it definitely takes my mind off my task for the day 🙂

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taste test tuesday: strawberry rhubarb pie

Jeanne here.

It’s Tuesday.  And we’re doing that taste test thing again.

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I was out of town last week and returned home to find a jungle of rhubarb growing in one of our garden beds … ready to harvest and screaming to be made into a pie.  And we had the excuse of a Memorial Day Cookout to try my hand at a strawberry-rhubarb pie.

But here’s the thing:  Growing up in New Jersey, we also had a plethora of rhubarb growing in the garden.  And my stepdad’s Aunt Ginny (God bless her … a beautiful and funny gal) would take this incredibly tart stalky plant and cook it down with loads of plump juicy red strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, sugar, a little more cornstarch and a lot more sugar and would turn this beautiful Spring harvest into a gelatinous pie that pretty much tasted like cornstarch and sugar.

So to say I was excited to learn a few years ago that we had rhubarb growing (like a weed) in the garden is kind of … well … it would actually be kind of an exaggeration.

I didn’t know that strawberry-rhubarb pie could be tangy (that’s the job of fresh rhubarb in a pie) … sweet (naturally sweet because fresh organic strawberries cook down into a gorgeously sweet, but not overly sweet, treat) … and a totally refreshing end to a holiday cookout.  Especially with some homemade ice cream.

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But then I met (metaphorically … in the blogsphere … I’ve never actually met her) Deb Perelman from The Smitten Kitchen, and everything about my relationship with rhubarb has changed.

Because her recipe for strawberry-rhubarb pie is totally sublime.

Firstly, there’s no cornstarch (she uses tapioca instead).

She limits her use of sugar (which I reduced even more, and I used maple syrup instead of brown sugar).

And the tablespoon of lemon juice makes everything taste as fresh as it is.

strawberry rhubarb pie

Here’s what’s in it:

  • Deb uses an All Butter, Really Flaky Pie Dough or double-crust pie dough of your choice (we use a recipe for a butter crust from The Pie Chef that has never failed us.  It’s the best pie crust I’ve ever had)
  • rhubarb, in 1/2-inch thick slices
  • strawberries, hulled and sliced if big, halved if tiny
  • granulated sugar (I used organic cane sugar and reduced the amount by about a third)
  • light brown sugar (I used grade B maple syrup, instead)
  • lemon juice
  • salt (her recipes generally call for kosher or iodized salt.  I use sea salt)
  • quick-cooking tapioca (you can use tapioca pearls instead, but they need to be soaked first)
  • unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • egg yolk beaten to blend with water (for wash)

I’m not kidding when I say this pie is sublime.  The kiddos and I are headed out this morning to “harvest” more rhubarb so we can try a version of this in a breakfast cobbler.

One thing I should point out … Deb Perelman is not necessarily a “real food” or “nourishing food” blogger.  She may not soak her grains or use traditional cooking methods.  But her food is not processed.  It’s wholesome, delicious and clearly cooked with love.

We’re linked up:

This Chick Cooks
Kelly the Kitchen Kop
The Nourishing Gourmet 

 

feliz cinco de mayo

Neither of us are Mexican.

But Abby’s from Texas.

Jeanne lived in Southern California for 17 years.

And we both just LOVE Mexican food.

For breakfast.

Lunch.

Dinner.

Dessert.

And we’re thankful that our families like Mexican food as much as we do, because otherwise mealtime might be less fun.

So in honor of Cinco de Mayo, we decided to share some of our favorite Mexican-like recipes.  Some we’ve made more nourishing … some, we sorry to say (but not really sorry) we just make the way we make because that’s just how we like it.

egg taco Image-42 a1000 taco seasoning

BREAKFAST:

SOUP/SIDES/SALADS:

LUNCH/DINNER:

PANTRY STAPLES:

And really … this is just the tip of the ice berg.  Wait ’til Jeanne shares her tres leches cake recipe … or when Abby decides to start making her own sprouted grain tortillas.  We’ve got chili rellenos to share.  And Mexican inspired quiches.

But we want to know:  what Mexican dishes do YOU love … and how can we help you make them better for you?  Let us in on your faves and we’ll start working on a nourishing version and then share the secret.

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!