Second Anniversary Party Recap

It was such a lovely lovely time. Thank you all for coming!

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So many cupcakes….

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Who knew lemon curd was so popular! It was an after thought even.

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Loved my decorations. And those are flowers from my yard!

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Homemade hummus and delicious (albeit huge) crackers.

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Such lovely weather too.

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The real break out star of the party? Roasted veggies. Who knew? Drizzle veggies with olive oil then throw in the oven 400 F for 15 ish minutes.

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If you serve them at your party they will be the first treat gone. Gauranteed. Or maybe only is you have veggie loving friends like I do.

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In researching mojito recipes for a crowd I discovered one that said it made 8 drinks but used a whole bottle of rum. Good times indeed. Ours were not nearly that stiff.

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Flavored water and sweet take home treats!

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And in case you have had too many cupcakes and the roasted veggies were gone we had the obligatory plate of fresh fruit.

I sold enough raffle tickets to pay for my new camera lens. So very very blessed.

Thank you.

One year ago today: Strawberry jam scones

Two years ago today: Strawberry cupcakes and blueberry muffins

Homemade Falafel with Tahini Sauce

Remember when I bought tahini for the first time the other day? And made pita bread? Best day ever.

So I did it again. Not the buying tahini part because I already had some but the making pita bread. Just a half batch this time. Lets not get crazy out of hand people. And then I made homemade falafel to fill it with.

Homemade Falafel and Tahini Sauce

Seriously. Made my own falafel. Who knew it was so easy? Sure you gotta stand over the stove and fry them but it is so worth it.

Precious little brings me as much pleasure as being able to make restaurant quality food at home. I love being able to make things I would otherwise have to pay someone to make for me. And for a fraction of the price plus there is the upside that I get to share it with you.

Homemade Falafel and Tahini Sauce

Speaking of sharing things what are you up to on May 31st? This sweet little blog turns two at the end of May and last year it was SO fun to see many of you at the first anniversary party. Wanna have another party? I’ll cook. It will be delicious. There will be drinks. But seriously. Please just come celebrate with me. I would be over the moon.

Homemade Falafel and Tahini Sauce

Mark you calendar- My 31st. Be there or … I don’t know. I have no threats to make. Just come. It will make me happy. I might make you some pitas.

Homemade Falafel and Tahini Sauce

One year ago today: Baby bok choi and mushrooms and risotto primavera

Homemade Falafel with Tahini Sauce (makes XXX)
From Just a Taste

For the falafel:
2 cups roughly chopped white onion
6 garlic cloves
2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
1 cup lightly packed parsley leaves
1 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup all-purpose flour
Canola oil, for sauteing
Pita bread, for serving

For the tahini sauce:
1¼ cups plain yogurt (full fat or non-fat)
¼ cup tahini (sesame paste)
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Add the onion and garlic cloves to the bowl of a food processor and pulse just until they are finely minced. Remove the mixture and set it aside.

Add the chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, salt, chili powder, and cumin to the bowl of the food processor and pulse until they are roughly blended but not pureed.

Return the onion mixture to the food processor, along with the baking powder and just enough flour so that when you pulse the processor, the mixture begins to form a small ball and is not sticky. (Note: Start by adding ¼ cup of flour, and then the remaining ¼ cup. You can add more if the mixture is still too wet.)

Transfer the falafel mixture to a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 1 hour.

While the falafel mixture is chilling, prepare the tahini sauce by whisking together the yogurt, tahini and lemon juice. Season it with salt and pepper, cover it and place it in the fridge.

Once the falafel mixture has chilled, use a small ice cream scoop or spoons to form the mixture into balls (roughly 3 Tablespoons per ball). (Note: You can also add additional flour at this point, if the mixture is too wet to scoop.)

Set a large sauté pan over medium heat and add a liberal amount of canola oil so that the pan is well-coated. Let the pan pre-heat for 3 minutes then add the falafel one by one, browning them on the first side for 3 minutes, then flipping them once and browning the second side until the mixture is cooked throughout.

Transfer the falafel to a paper towel-lined cooling wrack and immediately season them with salt. Repeat this process until you have cooked all of the falafel.

Place three or four falafel inside a halved, warmed pita and drizzle with the prepared tahini sauce.

Homemade Falafel and Tahini Sauce

Sweet Potato Hash Browns with Ketchup Aioli

BRUNCH!

Easter absolutely screams brunch to me. Even though I don’t think I have ever done an Easter brunch. We are mostly ham and deviled eggs sorta people around here.

Sweet Potato Hash Browns with a delicious Ketchup Sauce

Something that has eluded me (and continues to elude me) has been hash browns. I can’t count the number of times we have tried to make them. If you know the secret please share with me. I am at a total loss.

What possessed me then to try and make sweet potato hash browns is also a mystery. I do however know that they.turned.out. Stop the presses. I actually made crispy potatoes in a pan. Well sweet potatoes but crispy fried potatoes nonetheless.

Sweet Potato Hash Browns with a delicious Ketchup Sauce

These were immediately devoured as soon as I was done taking pictures. The sauce really takes this one step further. I urge you to make it. And make it with craft ketchup. Remember Red Duck? We did a couple recipes with them recently and I am developing recipes for them on a monthly basis now.

Trust me- this sauce will only be as good as the quality of your ketchup so make it count.

Sweet Potato Hash Browns with a delicious Ketchup Sauce

So make em for brunch. Or make in the afternoon and devour the evidence before anyone else gets home. Just make em!

Ps. I really think the reason this works so well is the rinsing then draining/squeezing in a towel of the shredded potatoes. At least that is what I am telling myself. So drain and squeeze well! Get those puppies as dry as you can.

Sweet Potato Hash Browns with a delicious Ketchup Sauce

 

One year ago today: Flourless chocolate cake

Sweet Potato Hash Brown with Ketchup Aioli (makes 10-12 patties)
From High Heels to Hot Wheels

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled & shredded
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons egg whites
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup safflower oil (if frying)

1/2 cup reduced fat or fat free sour cream
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped
Dash salt & pepper

For the Sweet Potato Hash Browns
Place shredded potatoes in a colander and rinse until the water runs clear. Let drain for about 10 minutes. Wrap the potatoes in a clean dish towel and squeeze to pull out liquid. In a large bowl, combine potatoes, onion, garlic, egg whites, olive oil, salt & pepper. Stir to coat and combine evenly. Heat safflower oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Once oil is hot, place about 1/4 cup of potato mixture into pan (being careful of oil splashes). Fry for 4-5 minutes per side depending on thickness of potato cakes. Using a slotted spatula carefully remove cakes from oil and place on a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess oil.

For the Ketchup Aioli
In a bowl, combine sour cream, ketchup, chives, salt & pepper. Stir to combine completely.

Serve the warm patties topped with sauce and extra chives.

Sweet Potato Hash Browns with a delicious Ketchup Sauce

Pita Bread

Hummus and pita go hand in hand. Right? Thanks for agreeing with me.

A good mama friend of mine made these a few weeks ago with her littles. I have seen them all over Pinterest for months dying to try them.

Homemade pita bread

For some reason they simply haven’t surfaced on the list of things I needed or wanted to make. Now you can add them to the list of things I will NEVER buy from a store again.

Pitas to me have always been these overly dry tasteless things that you get at the store in a bag. Occasionally at a restaurant you get really good soft and fluffy ones but they aren’t the pocket type pitas. I didn’t even know that pocket pita could be synonymous with soft and fluffy. Delicious.

Homemade pita bread

Easy peasy bread that you kinda throw together and then leave on the counter. Want to know a secret? I forgot about mine and what was supposed to be 1 hour rise turned into I think three. I can’t remember. The recipe called for throwing it in the fridge- I did none of that. Who has the patience?!

And I baked mine in the oven for only three minutes on my pizza stone. All an absolute utter breeze. Have I stressed the fact enough yet that these were delicious? Often homemade things are pretty good but store bought can be passable. This is not one of them. Two different worlds. Go make your own!

Homemade pita bread

One year ago today: Apple Cupcakes with Vegan Buttercream Frosting

Pita Bread (makes 8-12)
From Smitten Kitchen

3 cups plus a scant 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 cups water, at room temperature

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all the ingredients. With the paddle attachment, mix on low speed just until all the flour is moistened, about 20 seconds. Change to the dough hook, raise the speed to medium and knead for 10 minutes. The dough should clean the bowl and be very soft and smooth and just a little sticky to the touch. Add a little flour or water if necessary.

Using an oiled spatula or dough scraper, scrape the dough into a 2-quart or larger dough-rising container or bowl, lightly greased with cooking spray or oil. Press the dough down and lightly spray or oil the top of it. Cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap. Let rise for about an hour and a half. Proceed to shaping or place in the fridge for 4 to 12 hours.

When ready to bake preheat the oven to 475°F one hour before. Have an oven shelf at the lowest level and place a baking stone, cast-iron skillet, or baking sheet on it before preheating. Cut the dough into 8 or 12 pieces. Work with one piece at a time, keeping the rest covered with a damp cloth. On a lightly floured counter, with lightly floured hands, shape each piece into a ball and then flatten it into a disk. Cover the dough with oiled plastic and allow it to rest for 20 minutes at room temperature. Roll each disk into a circle a little under 1/4 inch thick.

Quickly place 1 piece of dough directly on the stone or in the skillet or on the baking sheet, and bake for 3 minutes. The pita should be completely puffed but not beginning to brown. How well the pita will puff depends on how much moisture is in the dough. The more moist the better the puff. Allow to cool then enjoy.

Homemade pita bread

Hummus

WHy is it that the basics are elusive? How on earth do I know how to make my own butter but have never made my own hummus? We even keep a stash of dried garbanzo beans on hand at all times so would think it would be something that was n my repertoire.

Guess not.

However when requested I am more than happy to oblige. Particularly when it is something that has to be ridiculously simple and I just haven’t bothered to figure it out yet.

Which was the case here. A friend asked for it so I happily made it. And he happily ate over 2/3 of it in one sitting.

Homemade hummus in minutes

Who can blame him?

Also I thought I was going to take the cheater way out of this and use peanut butter instead of tahini. I had heard that you could do it and I didn’t want to bother with hunting some down (not like it is hard but I am L.A.Z.Y.). Nathan however was not amused so to acquiesce I got some. One of the local hippy stores (there are many) actually keeps tahini in bulk bins so I bought enough for two batches.

Totally worth it. Even better in pita sandwiches with tomatoes, shallots, and spinach. Seriously could make myself sick overeating on these. Oh and the pitas were homemade. Recipe to come. Also totally worth the effort.

Couple of notes- taste, taste, taste, and taste. Make sure you like the flavor! Also I had to add quite a bit of water to get it as loose as I wanted it to be. Don’t be afraid to keep adding water till it is right.

Homemade hummus in minutes

One year ago today: Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Scones and Ciabatta Bread

Hummus (makes about three cups)
From the Barefoot Contessa

4 garlic cloves
2 cups canned chickpeas, drained
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
2 tablespoons water or liquid from the chickpeas

Turn on the food processor fitted with the steel blade and drop the garlic down the feed tube; process until it’s minced. Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and process until the hummus is coarsely pureed. Add more water if necessary to thin it out. Taste, for seasoning, and serve chilled or at room temperature.

Homemade hummus in minutes

Homemade Corn Dogs and Red Duck Ketchup

Proof we are not 100% healthy eaters around here.

I am not kidding about these corn dogs. These are genuine dipped in batter fried in oil deliciousness.

Homemade Corn Dogs and a Ketchup giveaway!

Sure. Ok. Fine. It is organic non gmo masa and cornmeal. And the hot dogs are locally made from ethically raised meat. And the oil is cold press canola. BUT it is still battered and fried food. A true scarcity around here.

What prompted this? Ketchup. Wonderful local craft ketchup.

Homemade Corn Dogs and a Ketchup giveaway!

Nathan has been working with a super cool founders group and Red Duck  just happens to be part of the same group. Red Duck is a brilliant group of entrepreneurs who tired of the boring ketchup fare offered locally. They took to their kitchen to create something delicious and over 30 flavor combinations later three tasty flavors emerged- classic, curry, and spicy.

I had the privilege of tasting all the flavors at a local expo. Who knew ketchup could be so good? I feel this is the point in time where I need to admit I don’t really like ketchup. Well  I guess I should say I don’t like commercially available ketchup. This stuff? This stuff I will eat by the spoonful.

Homemade Corn Dogs and a Ketchup giveaway!

And guess what!?! You will get to too! Red Duck gifted me with two jars to taste and cook with at home (I did promise I would tell you about it) and then has offered to ship a 3 pack gift set to one lucky lucky reader.

Homemade Corn Dogs and a Ketchup giveaway!

Can we talk about this ketchup for a second? First off it is organic. Secondly it has none of the odd ingredients found in mass market ketchup such as high fructose ketchup or stabilizers. Thirdly it is local to my area. Love me some local businesses.

I highly recommend if you do win this ketchup that you make these corn dogs to go with. Seriously easy as all your are doing is mixing up a batter, dipping, then frying. The hardest part is waiting for them to cool. Dipping them in cool ketchup helps. Trust me.

Homemade Corn Dogs and a Ketchup giveaway!

How to enter this give away:

There are three ways to get an entry.

1. Leave a comment on this blog post telling me what’s your favorite thing to put ketchup on.

2. Go like Red Duck Ketchup on Facebook. Come back here and leave a separate comment telling me you did so.

3. Share this post on your Facebook. Come back here and leave a separate comment telling me you did so.

Entries close Friday, February 28th at 8 am. I will draw and and announce a winner on Friday.

Luck!

Homemade Corn Dogs and a Ketchup giveaway!

One year ago today: Brownie Cookie and Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches

Corn Dogs (we made them mini so it made 24)
From How to Cook With Vesna

Pack of hot dogs, the very best all-beef ones you can find
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup masa harina
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 to 1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
Bamboo skewers
2-4 cups of oil for frying

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the wet indregients (start with 1/2 cup buttermilk) and stir well. You are looking for the consistency of thick pancake batter. Skewer a hot dog and test dip in the batter. If it coats easily then you are ready to go. If it is too think then add some more buttermilk. Pour the batter into a tall cup. Pour the oil in a heavy duty pan (cast iron is best) and bring to about 375 F. A small dap of batter dropped int he oil should sizzle nicely. Skewer the hot dogs (or in our case 1/4 of the hot dog pieces) then dip in the batter. Put immediately in the pan and cook till golden then flip. Once the second side is golden remove to a paper towel to drain. Allow to cool slightly then enjoy dipped in the very best ketchup around.

(And Red Duck does have a fan in this little picky eater. The curry one specifically. Who needs corn dogs when you can just eat it with your hands!?)

Homemade Corn Dogs and a Ketchup giveaway!

 

Warm Lentil and Potato Salad

Dishes like this make me feel smug.

Every so slightly posh. Just a tad on the complicated side (not really but it does use two pots AND a bowl). Incidentally vegan. Chocked full of good for you stuff.

The day I saw it I couldn’t wait to make it.

Warm Lentil and Potato Salad

Except it got bumped on our weekly menu I don’t know how many times. I had all these ingredients on hand for at least ten days before I finally forced myself to make.

Why on earth did I have to force myself to make something I was initially so excited about? Who knows. I am just as baffled as you are. Maybe it was all the dishes I knew it would dirty.

And yes in case you are putting two and two together I had ALL the ingredients on hand for ten days. Including the parsley. Did you know if you wrap things like parsley and cilantro in a paper towel and stash in a zip lock bag in the fridge they might last up to two weeks? A serious life saver for the “I really want to make this no wait I don’t” person that sometimes takes up residence in my house.

Warm Lentil and Potato Salad

It also means I now just keep cilantro on hand since it can hang out in the fridge for some time before taking a trip to funky town. Seriously. Try it. Fresh cilantro on hand at all times is a win.

And I guess parsley too because when I made this Nathan paused from shoveling long enough to request this once a week. Delicious lentils meet buttery potatoes in an ever so slightly tangy dressing.

It made for a perfect light dinner. I can see this gracing the table at a fancy summer picnic too.

And probably our dinner table again in the very new future.

Warm Lentil and Potato Salad

One year ago today: Artisan Bread

Warm Lentil and Potato Salad (serves 4 as mains)
From Smitten Kitchen

1/2 onion
4 sprigs of thyme
1 small bay leaf
1 cup dry small green lentils
1 small bay leaf
Salt and pepper
1 pound yukon gold potatoes diced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 large shallot finely diced
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced or smashed to a paste (I use less)
1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
1/4 cup of your favorite olive oil
2 tablespoons capers roughly chopped
1 to 2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

Cook the lentils: Pick over and rinse lentils. Place them in a medium saucepan with the the 1/2 onion, thyme branches, bay leaf, some salt and 4 cups of water. Simmer the lentils over medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until firm-tender. Drain (discarding shallot, thyme and bay leaf) and keep warm.

Cook the potatoes: In a separate saucepan, cover potatoes with 1 to 2 inches cold water. Set timer for 15 minutes, then bring potatoes to a simmer. When the timer rings, check for doneness with a fork. Cook longer if needed. Drain and keep warm.

Make the dressing: Place the chopped shallot and red wine vinegar in the bottom of a small bowl and let sit for 5 minutes. Whisk in minced garlic, dijon, a pinch of salt, a few grinds of black pepper and olive oil. Stir in chopped capers and scallions.

Assemble salad: Place the potatoes, lentils, dressing and all but 1 tablespoon parsley in a large bowl and combine gently. Adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper if needed. Scatter salad with remaining parsley.

Warm Lentil and Potato Salad

Cheese and Rosemary Crackers

Seriously people can we knock it off with the snow already?

This is what it looked like out my window this morning. Not.ok.with.me.

Cheese and Rosemary Crackers

Ok ok ok I know it isn’t your fault but for the love of all that is holy who DID we piss off this year?

We already had an incredible amount of snow (for the Willamette Valley) in December. Snow, which because of sub zero temperatures, stuck around for a week.

Cheese and Rosemary Crackers

Then it came again. Although this time it was out for blood. First four inches, then a nice layer of freezing rain turned that into an ice skating rink. As if that wasn’t enough we then got another 6-8 inches (what the ?!?) topped with off with more freezing rain. Everything was coated with an inch of ice. Lovely.

Mostly we have taken it in stride though. Cold weather always brings out the carb craver in me. We don’t usually have bread around the house unless I make it. We were short on white flour and even shorter on bread flour so attempting a whole loaf of bread wasn’t on my list of things I wanted to do.

Cheese and Rosemary Crackers

Crackers though. Crackers rock. Or flatbread which is what this really is.

These were are breeze. A quick mix and knead and into the fridge. I totally followed the recipe to a T and used my pasta roller. If you have one this is absolutely the way to go. I can’t speak to how easy or hard it is to roll these out by hand since I didn’t even try.

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Also this is a great snowy day activity for your littles people. Painting activities at our house involve egg wash. I’m the best kind of mom. Really.

Cheese and Rosemary Crackers

One year ago today: Tuna Noodle Casserole and Peppermint Pattie Cookies

Cheese and Rosemary Crackers (make about 16)
From Martha Stewart Baking Handbook

1 cup warm water
3/4 teaspoon instant yeast
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for bowl and plastic wrap
15 ounces (about 3 cups) all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more for sprinkling
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 cup freshly grated aged cheese (I used manchego and parmesan), plus more for sprinkling
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves (or 3 tablespoons caraway seeds)

In the bowl of an electric mixer, stir the water and yeast together. Attach your dough hook. Add olive oil, flour, salt, and honey and mix on low speed for 1 minute. Switch to medium speed and mix until dough is soft but not tacky, about 2 minutes. Add cheese and mix for 1 minute more.

Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface; knead four or five times, forming into a ball. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap; let rest for 10 minutes. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 1 hour or overnight. Meanwhile, line two baking sheets with parchment.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide dough into 16 equal pieces. Flatten the dough with your hands into a disk. Using a pasta machine, run it through on either #3 or 4. If you don’t have a pasta roller, just roll out thinly with a rolling pin. Transfer pieces of dough to prepared baking sheets. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with 1 tablespoon water; brush over dough. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and additional cheese and top with sprigs of rosemary (or with caraway seeds).

Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until crisp and golden, about 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough. Bread can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Cheese and Rosemary Crackers

Chickpeas with Bengali Mustard Spices

Are you feeling the over indulgence from the holidays?

Both Nathan and I have certainly noticed it. Nothing irritates me quite as much as my pants not fitting the way they are supposed to. I mean come on. I bought them and they fit a certain way and continued to fit that way for EVER and a few too many holiday cookies and the suckers are out to make my day miserable.

Do.not.like.

Chickpeas with Bengali Mustard Spices

I put up with for exactly fourteen seconds before I resolved to do something about it. Sure I am a bit behind the rest of you with your new years resolutions but hey don’t judge. Some of us are born procrastinators.

For the record I did make resolutions. Two of them in fact. Firstly to move more. As in physically move. Second was to love myself more. I am winning at one of those but not so much at the other. I will let you sort that one out.

So. Back to what I decided to do about my rebellious pants. I decided first to concentrate on my first resolution to move more. Moving should help my pants fit better right? So thus began 30 days of yoga vinyasas every morning. Asthanga yoga is my personal favorite so I have been doing three surya namasakara a (sun salutation a) and three surya namasakara b (sun salutation b). It is tough. Mostly to motivate myself but man do I feel better.

Secondly I jumped started my body back into healthy eating with a three day juice fast and switching to vegetarian eating focusing on whole grains, beans, and veggies. It has been delicious and I feel so so so good.

Chickpeas with Bengali Mustard Spices

I am an all or nothing type of person. Making some drastic changes in how I was eating has helped me get on track and realize my body does better on less and on real food.

This was one of the many recipes I pinpointed when picking veggies and bean recipes. Nathan loves chickpeas so I knew right off the bat this would be a winner. And I was so right. He inhaled it. He told he would eat it every single day.

I would too.

We ate it just as is with no rice. It felt downright indulgent.

I love nothing more than a recipe that is delicious and nutritious and I can’t get enough of it. Also thankfully my pants have decided to get their act together and stop making me miserable.

Chickpeas with Bengali Mustard Spices

One year ago today: Graham crackers and Muesli 

Chickpeas with Bengali Mustard Spices
From Taste with the Eyes

2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dry mustard
salt to taste
1 can chickpeas, rinsed & drained
5 oz. baby spinach

Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds, cumin, fennel, and cook for a minute or two. Add turmeric, chile powder, dry mustard and stir to combine. Add chickpeas and cook until heated through. Add spinach, cook until the spinach has wilted. Season with salt to taste.

Chickpeas with Bengali Mustard Spices

Oven Baked Egg Rolls

Please don’t judge me.

I have an obsession.

When it comes to all things salty I have absolutely no self control. If it is salty and fried I am decidedly toast. (Speaking of which I have been known to salt my buttered toast. In my defense it is unsalted butter.)

Baked Egg Rolls

Popcorn (particularly with homemade butter), chips of any and all kind but particularly kettle type ones, delicious crackers, pretzels, salted caramel, you name it. As long as it is salty I am a FAN.

Consequently I have a small love for soy sauce. Just a smidge. Or alot. Don’t judge, remember?

I am totally on the fence about sushi but will still go out and eat it because you get to dip food in soy sauce. Again and again. My kind of party.

Chinese food is also where it is at. Most of it has soy sauce in the recipe at some point. Remember baby bok choi and mushrooms and beef with broccoli. Yeah. There is a reason I enjoyed those so much.

Baked Egg Rolls

Now there is a certain smugness that does come out in recreating Chinese take out at home. Food I would otherwise entrust someone else to make in a rather mediocre manner (at least in this town) I can make pretty decently here at home.

I have an inexplicable aversion to refined oils these days. I know some are ok ish and some are to be avoided at all costs but I just can’t muster the energy to do the research. So… when I stumbled on Chinese take out, no frying eggrolls in vats of oil, AND the chance to dip deliciousness into soy sauce I was sold.

Lordy these did not disappoint. Sweet and sour sauce is not on my list of favorite things but this recipe is easy and actually pretty good. Nathan’s response to the question of how he liked it was “mmmmmmhmmmm.” Sounds like a winner to me.

Baked Egg Rolls

It should be noted that the crispier you want your rolls the more oil you should brush on them. I was very stingy with the oil I was using and only the parts with generous amounts of oil crisped up.

Still. Delicious. The filling is absolutely spot on. I can’t wait to try these again with chicken or pork added. Maybe nooddles? Who knows….

Baked Egg Rolls

One year ago today: Juniper brined roasted turkey

Oven Baked Egg Rolls (makes about 14)
From Use Real Butter

For the filling:

2 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup green onions, julienned
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 cups cabbage, shredded
2 cups bean sprouts
1 cup carrots, julienned or shredded
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp soy sauce
dash cooking sherry
1 tsp salt
dash sesame oil
12-15 egg roll shells
1 egg, beaten
olive oil for brushing

For the sweet and sour dipping sauce:

1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
4 tbsps brown sugar
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp soy sauce
2 tsps cornstarch
4 tbsps water

Make the sweet and sour sauce: Combine the rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, and soy sauce in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Mix the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl or cup and stir into the boiling sauce. Stir until thickened (should take 10 seconds) and remove from heat. Set aside to cool.

Make the filling: Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat and add the green onions, ginger, and garlic. Stir until fragrant. Add the cabbage, bean sprouts, and carrots to the pan and sauté until the cabbage begins to wilt. Stir in the mushrooms and stir fry for a minute. Combine the soy sauce, cooking sherry, salt, and sesame oil in a small bowl or cup and mix together until uniform. Pour the liquid mixture into the vegetables and stir together until the vegetables are evenly coated. Taste and adjust seasonings with more salt or soy sauce as needed. Turn off the heat and drain off any excess liquid from the vegetable filling.

Assemble the egg rolls: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment and brush some olive oil over the lining.

Place an egg roll wrapper on your work surface with one corner pointing at you. Pile 2-3 tablespoons of filling into a 2×4-inch rectangle just below the horizontal diagonal line that connects the right and left corners. Take the corner nearest you and fold it over the filling, rolling it away from you so that the filling is completely encased in wrapper. Fold the right and left corners in toward the center, keeping it snug, but not so tight that the wrapper breaks, and continue rolling until you have  two inches of the last corner left. Dip your finger or a brush into the egg wash and paint the edges of the last corner, then quickly roll up the egg roll.

Arrange the egg rolls on the lined sheet, leaving a little room between each one. Brush the tops of each egg roll with a little more oil. Bake for 10 minutes, then flip the egg rolls over and bake another 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and serve with sweet and sour sauce, hot mustard, or whatever you like. Makes 12-15

 Baked Egg Rolls