Sunday Happy

IMG_8373Wowzers…Is it for real Memorial day weekend? Where has all the time gone? Let's talk about a week gone by fast. My brain is on complete overdrive and I am having a hard time keeping it from exploding…SO MUCH TO DO! (Not bad stuff, just a lot of stuff) But lo, that's life right? There is always a lots of "stuff" to do, but today I am going to try and let that stuff chill and maybe give myself a few hours of coffee, (so much coffee) reading a book in the sunshine, gardening, and just some overall chillin. 

Hopefully.

And hopefully you party people out there will be able to do a little of the same, or at least the chillin part. It is a 3 day weekend after all (not for us, but whatever)

Some internet fun finds.

-Sleeping in a loft that I have to crawl to get to the bed… this  Gallery of Gorgeous Attic Bedrooms makes me so jealous..

-This new startup wants to sell you ugly fruit and veggies. I still don't get it, it's not ugly, its awesome.

-So cool and reminds me of my late brother in lawWet Fold Origami Technique Gives Wavy Personality to Paper Animals by Artist Hoang Tien Quyet

-Could this be my new home? And I love a good plant lady. BURSTING WITH PLANTS, A 1910 PORTLAND FOURSQUARE FOR A FLORIST AND BARISTA

-Its so weird how try this isGoing, Going, Gone: 30+ Items That Are Disappearing from Our Homes

-We are doing this is the humongus pot hole in front of our house(we want to anywayTreats in the Streets: Artist Jim Bachor Fills Potholes with Ice Cream Mosaics

-Holy shit is this the mister. 5 Conditions That Afflict the Reluctant Dishwasher. (1 and 2  really hit the nail)

A few photos from the weekIMG_8375-1Goodbye fiddleheads…. Hello ferns 

IMG_8333On our way to a geo catch…. And note clothing options for 2 in the afternoon. I am much fond of that little guy wearing a rain jacket without a shirt in when its sunny and 80 degrees. And a pink poke dot bath robe.. I mean, it's so the cool thing to do. 

IMG_8339We didn't find the geo, but we found this gigantic mushroom. Just as cool, maybe even cooler.

IMG_8347I love brick and there is one street in all of burlington (that I know of) that has brick sidewalks. I like to walk down it a lot. 

IMG_1263Nurse lady making food… I compare this to a big foot sighting. I have heard stories that she cooks,but have never actually witnessed it myself. (Just kidding….kinda)

Happy long weekend! (if you are lucky to have one!)

-C

Jalapeño Strawberry Cornmeal Cupcakes with Avocado Icing

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My oldest sister graduated from nursing school this past weekend (wahoo!) and the friends and family had a party for her. I made these cupcakes for the party.But really, I made them just for her.

See, she is not a lady big on sweets. When I asked her what kind of dessert she wanted me to make her, she said if I could make a cake out of french fries, well that would be great. (I was close to making a french fry cake) But instead, I went a slightly different route and made cakes out of thing that I know she loves and can eat. Jalapeños because she is obsessed. Strawberries cause she likes her some fruit and are in season and I think, go with everything. Avocado frosting because she loves avocado and cornmeal because it makes the cakes a tad less sweet and a little more hearty. I also used GF flour cause she is GF. 

 Wow, I am the best sister. And here are a few more reasons why..

  • I went to the party (I am not a big party person.. But I did have fun and her friends were cool)
  • I changed into a clean outfit for her party (I really didn't want to)
  • I stayed out past my 6 (I made it until 7.. what!!!)
  • I make her food
  • I am awesome (I think so anyway)

So yeah. The cupcakes. The Nurse lady totally got down with these. I am pretty sure that I heard the words, amazing and oh my good,  while they were being noshed on. The day after,  the nurse lady told me that they were the talk of the party (bullshit, but thanks)

Whatever, I was just glad she liked them.

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The stuff. For the cupcakes; cornmeal and some pre blended gluten free flour. Sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Soy milk (use whatever milk you want) oil, apple cider vinegar, strawberries and a couple jalapeños . For the icing; an avocado, a lemon, and some powdered sugar.

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This is not a hard batter to work, no need for a mixer or to cream anything, it can all be done with a wooden spoon.

 First, preheat the oven.

Then trim and tiny dice the strawberries, remove seeds and tiny dice the jalapeños and toss it all into a bowl. Sprinkle with a bit of sugar.

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In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking soda and powder, salt and sugar. Then add in the rest of the stuff. Stir together until combined.Now fold in the chopped berries and jalapeños and scoop batter into a well greased (or lined) cupcake tin.

Stick into oven to bake…

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Check cakes after 20 minutes and remove from oven when they are golden brown and a tester comes out clean when poked.

Remove from pan and place on a wire rake to cool. 

While the cakes are a coolin, add avocado to a blender with the zest of half a lemon and the juice of that half of lemon and blend smooth.  Add in the sugar and blend.  

The icing should be thick, but spreadable. Using your judgement and you taste buds, add more sugar  if the icing seems to thin or lemon juice if it seems to dry.

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And once the cakes are cooled, spread with icing and top with sliced strawberries.

Your welcome Nurse Shannon!

Happy Friday!!!

-C

Jalapeño Strawberry Cornmeal Cupcakes with Avocado Frosting

makes 24 cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cup gluten-free flour blend (if you don't need or want it gluten-free, just use all-purpose flour)
  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups nut or plant milk
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 1/2 cups diced fresh strawberries
  • 2 jalapeños

For the frosting

  • 1 whole avocado
  • 1/2 lemon (zest and juice)
  • 2-2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Pre heat oven to 350

Wash, trim and dice strawberries into little pieces and toss into a bowl. Remove stem and seeds from jalepenos and dice into small pieces.. add to bowl. Sprinkle with a little sugar.

In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking soda, powder, salt, and sugar and whisk together. Now add in the oil, milk, and vinegar and mix together with a wood spoon until combined. Lastly, fold in the strawberries and jalapeños.

Scoop mixture into well greased (or lined) cupcake tin and stick into oven. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until cakes are gold brown and a tester comes out clean. Remove from oven, remove form tin, and sick on a wire rack to cool. 

While the cakes are cooling, take the avocado, sugar, and the zest and juice of half a lemon and blend with your choice of blending drive until smooth.  The icing should be thick enough to If the icing is to runny, add more sugar, or to thick, a little more lemon juice.

Now Ice cupcakes and top with sliced strawberries.

Eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert.

No utensils required, just some teeth. 

Broccoli Leaf and Garlic Pasta Noodles

IMG_1084A couple of days ago, during a grocery store porous, I stumbles upon a produce item that I have not seen sold in stores before, Broccoli leaf. And I was kind of surprised  to see that they were selling bunches of the leaf,  organic,  at 2 bucks a bunch. I was very excited ! But wait.. You can eat broccoli leaves? Heck yes you can! Broccoli leaves  are fantastic. They taste kind of like broccoli, have a hearty texture like a collard, and can be used raw or cooked just like any other green. Its just one more super yummy green to add to your repertoire.  So when I bring home something that I find to be a good score, like a bunch of broccoli leaves, I feel like I have to share it with the mister. (I am so nice) And this dish was how I shared them…. Tossed into a bowl of garlic raging pasta. IMG_1044The stuff…. A bunch of broccoli leaves, lots of garlic, pasta, olive oil, salt and a lemon. Pretty simple right? IMG_1053Fist off, get your water boiling for the pasta. Once its ready, drop a pinch of salt into the water and stick pasta in for the amount of time recommend by pasta box people. While the pasta is boiling, mince up the garlic (I used my garlic press) into a skillet and add in the oil.  Stick on a burner on medium for a few minutes, stirring around to make sure the garlic doesn't stick and burn.  IMG_1069    IMG_1073Once you start to smell the garlic, turn heat onto low, chop up the broccoli leaves (stems and all)  and stir around until wilted and add in the juice of half a the lemon.When the pasta is cooked, remove a few tablespoons of starchy water and  strain the noodles. Add water and pasta right into the skillet with the other stuff.  Toss around, taste, season with salt and pepper.  Go ahead and add some chopped tomato and or parmesan cheese if you want.  IMG_1091And serve your amazingly amazing pasta.  And make sure that you are ok with really smelly garlic breath…Casue it's going to happen. Keep it good! -C


Broccoli Leaf and Garlic Noodles

  • 1 bunch fresh broccoli leaves (about 3 cups chopped)
  • 2 servings of your favorite pasta (spaghetti, penne, vegan, gluten free…..)
  • 8 or so fresh garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon (optional)
  • parmesan cheese (optional)

Start by bringing a pot of water to a boil with a pinch of salt. Add in pasta and cook per instructions on box. While pasta is cooking, mined garlic and add to a skillet with the oil. Place on a burner on medium heat and cook and stir until the garlic becomes fragrant. Chop the broccoli leaves (stems and all) into bit sized pieces and add to the garlic oil and toss around to wilt the leaves. Squeeze in some lemon juice. Once the pasta is done cooking, remove a few tablespoons of the starchy water and strain the pasta. Add the water and the noodles to the skillet, toss to evenly coat the pasta and call it down. Serve in a bowl or on a plate, topped with freshly chopped tomatoes and parmesan cheese if you so shall please and another little squeeze of lemon juice if you like. Watch your mouth.. it will be breathing out garlic like whoa. 

Fresh Veggie Spring Rolls

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My contribution to last nights dinner at my sisters.... Freshy fresh veggies spring rolls.I had about 30 minutes between work and getting over to my sisters house to throw something together so it needed to be something fast, easy, and something I could make without going to the store. She was making the main course (some teriyaki situation and rice) so I was doing up the veggies.

I had just bought a package of spring roll wrappers…. Bingo! The perfect and logical choice. I grab the wrappers, a variety of veggies and after spending 12 of my 30 minutes trying to scrub the oil based paint off of my face and hands, I still managed to completely prepare, construct, and take pictures of these lovely tasty spring rolls. and get over to my sisters in time for dinner.

Impressed?  

Damn right!

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The stuff. Carrot, beet, asparagus, red cabbage, and kohlrabi, which all (except asparagus, which I just cut into thirds) got cut into matchstick sized pieces with my mandoiln. Then there are the rice spring roll wrappers that we need to make the veggies into rolls. Also a bit of red wine vinegar to drizzle onto the veggies for a little extra zing. And lastly, soy, fresh ginger, and a couple cloves of garlic for a spicy salty dipping sauce.Start by having everything set out and ready to assemble. Fill a large shallow dish or baking sheet with really warm water. Working with one at a time,place a rice wrapper into water and let sit for about 10 seconds or until the paper starts to soften. Remove from water and place on a damp surface (just splash a little water on the counter) Take a little bit of everything and and place on the lower middle part of the paper. Fold in the sides first, then tuck and roll the wrapper as tightly as you can without ripping the wrapper.

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Repeat until you have used up all you veggies.For the dipping sauce. Finely grate ginger and garlic and add to soy sauce. Stir… and it's done.Freshy, pretty and fantastically delicious. And for real, took about 8 minutes to make. (I even had enough time to wash the dishes before we left!)

I am so awesome!

Hump Day Pow!!!!!

-C

Fresh Veggies Spring Rolls 

Makes 8-10 but can easily be increased or decreased to desired amount 

  • 8-1o rice spring roll papers
  • Splash of Red wine or rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy or tamari sauce
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • teaspoon  freshly grated ginger
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 medium beet
  • 1/4 head of purple cabbage
  • 10 thin fresh asparagus
  • 1 small kohlrabi

Note… I used the veggies that I had in the fridge at the moment. If you have a bunch of veggies but not these particular ones, use what you have. Pretty much all veggies taste good inside a spring roll!

Gather your veggies and prep by either using a mandolin, a grater, or some sick knife skills, and julienne, shred, or slice you veggies into thin match sticks. Once all the veggies are prepared, sprinkle a little vinegar over the top.

For the rolls...Grab a large shallow vessel  (a rimmed baking sheet works great) and add in warm water. Working  one at a time, place the wrapper into the water for about 10 seconds or until the wrapper starts to soften. Remove and spread onto a clean, damp work surface. Gather a bit of each veggie that you are adding and place towards the bottom  middle of the wrapper. Now fold the sides in over the pile of veggies. Then with the side closest to you, tuck and roll wrapper away from you, trying to keep it tight, but not to tight that it rips.. (Hopefully that makes since.) Place finished rolls onto a damp surface to keep from sticking and if not serving right away, drape with  a damp towel or paper towel to keep from drying out.

For the soy ginger dipping sauce. Add grated ginger,  minced garlic, and soy into a bowl and mix together.  Serve with spring rolls. 

Eat one, two, or a plateful. It's nice to share but not a necessity.

Happy Mother's Day Blueberry Scones

IMG_0927It's Mother's Day weekend which means that you and I and everyone out there should feel the slightest bit obligated to at least do a little something nice for your mom for the mere fact that you were borned. And really what better way to celebrate mom than with food… It really is the least that you can do. (I think mom's also like flowers and cards and handmade pasta necklaces) My mom is defiantly about the food. (she has had her fair share or pasta necklaces)  A many years back on Mother's day, this sweet little girl (me) made her mother a special  breakfast treat…blueberry scones. And ever since that day, for every freaking holiday, birthday, whatever day, my mother requests (demands) a batch of those scones. She is always saying that these are her favorite treat and that no one has ever made them as good as I do. (I guess that just reiterates that I am her number 1 child)

And for the last few months my mom has been up my butt, trying to get me to make her some. Not going to lie, I have been saying I'll get her a batch, but for some reason, I haven't gotten around to making them. So two birds here.. Make the scones and she gets off my back for a least a little while (a month.. maybe 2) and I give her a fantastic Mothers day gift that I know she will love.

So here they are , oh mother of mine. Blueberry scones!

IMG_0813The stuff. Flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. A bit of sugar, vanilla, buttermilk, and butter (use vegan butter and nut milk if you want to make them vegan) And of course we need the blueberries which can be fresh or frozen. I usually use fresh, but the store I stopped at only had really big containers of fresh that were like $1000 dollars a piece and the organic frozen happen to be on super sale. So you know, the cheap in me won that battle. IMG_0823So into the bowl goes all the dry stuff; flour, baking powder and soda, salt, and the sugar. Give it a good whisk.

Now for my special trick for a perfectly distributed cold butter in a pastry. Freeze your butter and grate it!

With a large wholed grater, grate the frozen butter directly into the bowl with the dry, stoping a few times to toss the butter chunks around so you don't end up with a huge pile of grated butter. When it's all grated, gently toss around so the butter is evenly distributed. IMG_0825Now dump the blueberries into the flour mixture. Toss them around to give them a coat of flour. Add in the buttermilk and vanilla and give a little mix until liquid is absorbed. We are trying to handle the dough as little as possible.IMG_0839Turn mixture onto counter. It's very loose, but thats what it should look like. IMG_0841 Very gently and with as little handling as possible, gather dough up, knead a few times till everything  just comes together. Press dough into a disk that is roughly an inch thick…. and it doesn't need to be perfect. IMG_0851Cut the disk into even sized pieces. Do 6 big, 8 normal, maybe even 10 smaller. Whatever size you like. (I did 8) Place the scones onto a baking sheet, using a spatula to transfer, and sprinkle the tops with a little bit of sugar. Into a preheated oven for about 20 minutes.IMG_0892And when the scones look all nice and browned and a tester comes out clean. remove and either serve right away warm, preferably with huge cup of coffee or tea, or stick on a rack to cool before storing in  air tight container.

Perfect to serve as a breakfast pastry, at brunch, or even as a dessert. A nice little treat for a special lady. (dudes can eat them too) 

Happy Mothers Day Mom! Thanks for having me!

And Happy Weekend!!!

-C


Blueberry Scones 

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons  to sprinkle on top
  • 1  teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted  butter frozen or really cold (use non dairy butter like Earth Balance for vegan)
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 teaspoon  vanilla 
  •  3/4 cup buttermilk (use non dairy milk for vegan)

Preheat oven t0 400 degrees

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Take the frozen butter and grate directly into flour mixture, tossing around to evenly disrupted. Add in blueberries and toss around till coated with flour, then lastly, add vanilla to buttermilk and mix into mixture until just barely coming together. Turn mixture out onto counter and with your hands, knead mixture a few times until it forms a solid dough. Shape into a disk and smoosh down until about an inch thick. Cut into 6-10 triangles  and place on a non greases baking sheet and sprinkle tops with remaining sugar. Stick into oven and bake for 20 minutes or until tops start turning a golden brown and a tester in the middle of a scone comes out clean. 

Remove from baking sheet and serve warm or let cool on a rack.

Mom gets first dibs, and if she is willing to share, eat one yourself with your face. 

Sunday Happy

IMG_0296It's been a long, packed, but very fantastic week. Everyday has been full of work, chores, family, and trying to get in a least one good bike ride or walk in.  I made a list of a few important points to mention from the past week.

  • Spring is real, not an imagined season in my head. (HOORAY!!!!). 
  • Banana ice cream is everyones favorite snack
  • Planting things from seed and watching them grow is magic
  • Riding a bike with kinda flat tires really sucks
  • The little people in my family are the best most fantastic humans
  • Don't tell a 2 year that ants will bite her or you will end up caring that child around everywhere because she is afraid to walk outside (Anyone know  good therapist for a 2 year old?)

Anyways, I am hoping to take it easy today, catch up on my coffee consumption, do a bit of gardening, reading, bike riding, all without pressure or expectations. Everyone should have a day for no expectations.

Some fun internet stuff from the week.

-I need an RV or camper. THE BRAVE // vintage rv renovation inspiration

-Who cares if not everyone is pleased, I would be if my lunch bags looked like this. These Parents Make Lovely Lunch Bag Art. Not Everyone Is Pleased

-So lovely. Urban Jewelry: New Lace Street Art by NeSpoon

-Alternative energy Woo Hoo!  Tesla's Powerwall Home Battery Wants to Make Fossil Fuels Obsolete

-I am really excited to make this… I have a feeling that I will be incorporating it into many of my recipes. ChefSteps' Genius Roasted Onion Cream

-Another house that I could get down with. 

And a few pictures….

IMG_0194The mister and the worlds biggest crayon, which is made of scraps of blue crayons from all over the world. I could totally use a big ass crayon like this.IMG_0336The coolest most badass 95 year old lady that I know (I know a few), Grammy Stem. And the little, getting a lift. (I could have used a lift too!)IMG_0339Brothers. The guy in the green is my Dad.IMG_8209Aftre dinner ice cream break.IMG_0344The sky has been on point all week longIMG_0152And made myself some veggie chips. The colors alone are delicious.

Have a great day!

-C.