Tuesday, February 16, 2016
I love beets! I just thought you should all know that. It's my favorite vegetable to incorporate into any meal. Whenever I'm at the grocery store, at a loss for what to make for dinner, I always gravitate towards them. Up until recently I've used them only in savory dishes, but I've been thinking about adding them to a dessert for a while now. We all know about the famous Tiger in a Jar Beet Cake video; I'm still not sure which is more beautiful, the cake or the styling. I've had beets and goat cheese together more times than I can count, but now I am ready for beets and chocolate. Make sure you check out the list of my favorite beet filled foods under the recipe!
In case you missed my last post, January was a pretty busy month for me and Robbie (packing, moving, deciding how long we could keep our Christmas tree up). Cooking meant working with only the things that hadn't been bubble wrapped yet. Brownies seemed like an easy enough dessert to make, but as Robbie will tell you, I never let ANYTHING become too easy. In my defense, Robbie did remind me that I should try combining beets and chocolate.
When it came to brownies, texture was a source of tension in our house. My mom and I are fans of dense, fudgy brownies, but my dad and my sister preferred theirs more cake-y--why wouldn't you just bake a chocolate cake?. If you're like me, you'll love this recipe for fudgy beet brownies. If you're like my sister, you should still try this recipe; she ate one anyway.
6 medium sized beets, stems removed
1 c of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 c of sugar
1 tsp of salt
10 tbsp of unsalted grass-fed butter, melted
2 tsp of vanilla extract
1/2 c all purpose flour
4 oz of bittersweet chocolate chips
Steam the beets whole for 45 minutes. Plunge into ice cold water. When cool, peel and finely grate. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine cocoa powder, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the butter, followed by the eggs and vanilla extract. Fold in the flour, chocolate chips, and grated beets.
Grease a 9x13 baking pan with butter. Fill the pan with batter and spread to evenly distribute. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the brownies cleanly.
FOR MORE BEETS!:
-- Check out this recipe for golden beet and smoked paprika hummus from Food52. For at least two months, I was making this once a week.
-- If you want more beets and chocolate, try the beet hot cocoa recipe from Fox Meets Bear.
-- For South Jersey Shore locals--or tourists--stop by Greens and Grains in Northfield for their Beet & Berry smoothie.
at 12:15 AM
Friday, February 12, 2016
We decided that self-love was going to play an important role in our Valentine's Day preparations this year. We spend so much time stressing over gifts or experiences we want to give the other, that we sometimes end up with ferocious neck beards and ferocious anxiety. Going into this holiday (Hallmark or not, we'll use any excuse to celebrate love) I wanted to make sure a sense of calm washed over us before we had to worry about competing schedules or unnecessary gifts (We just KonMarie'd and I can't even think of owning more STUFF--more on that later).
Our theme? WARMTH. It's been so cold out and we're adjusting to living in a new place, so comfort was our ultimate goal. We came up with a plan that soared straight past warm to totally hot!
We started our day with Bach's Rescue Remedy. We've only just started exploring floral essences, but there's definitely something magical about them. While this may not scream "WARM!" it subtly hinted at Spring and started our day off so very gently.
After breakfast we applied Patrick's favorite DIY mask; ACV and French Green clay, before dry brushing and filling the tub with Dr. Singha's Mustard Bath. We squished into the thickly scented, spicy tub together for the full twenty minutes, and talked about our plans for the rest of the day.
I like to think that I'm a yoga guy, but I rarely have the opportunity to go. There's a beautiful Baptiste yoga studio near our new place that we are both very excited about. There's no better way to practice self-care and stay WARM, so we joined an early afternoon session; sixty minutes of the amazing Grace & Glory experience was exactly what we were looking for.
We headed home, showered, put on cozy sweaters and ended our day at one of the best kept secret Pho restaurants in the county; endless cups of jasmine tea and giant bowls of fatty broth wrapped around us.
We harnessed WARMTH through self-love. We shared the vulnerable experience of self-love. Insecurities and anxiety have melted away; we are now fully prepared to stand inside our love for each other.
at 9:03 PM
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
It was Robbie's idea to have a champagne cocktail; a bottle of Vueve is always a nice treat, but we thought it would be hilarious to use pink cans of bubbly. The cocktail we made is a twist on a French 75, which normally has gin, lemon and champagne. Ours uses Greenhook Beach Plum Gin, the American cousin of sloe gin. This summer, when Robbie would walk on the beach before he went into work, he would find secret spots where beach plums grew. It was my dream to forage them and make my own version of sloe gin, so I was pretty happy to find out that someone else had done just that.
Pink and fruity aren't usually words that describe my favorite cocktails, but I'm pretty sweet on this plum flavored champagne cocktail. I especially loved how easy it was to throw together; you don't want to ever let your ambitious V-day plans take time away from cuddling with your loved one. After making this, snuggle on your sheep skin together surrounded by beeswax candles, and enjoy your night.
2 oz of Greenhook Beach Plum Gin
.75 oz of lemon juice
2 sugar cubes
Sparking wine (canned or bottled)
Combine gin, lemon juice and sugar cubes in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake vigorously to incorporate the sugar. Strain into two champagne flutes, and top with sparkling wine.
at 10:17 PM
Friday, February 5, 2016
January has been such a busy month for Robbie and me! The last few weeks have been spent packing up our apartment, and moving back into the house I grew up in. When I first got accepted to graduate school, my parents were generous enough to open their house up to us before we move again in the spring. Between wrapping champagne flutes and guessing how many books can fit in a box before it becomes to heavy to carry, I managed to make a few lists of how I wanted to enrich my life and improve the blog in 2016. Now that we're settled in, and have had a month off from blogging, I'm excited to share what I've been up to.
After Robbie, the person I've talked to the most about the blog has been one of my favorite bloggers, Brett of Fig + Bleu. Over the last few months he has been my biggest inspiration and my biggest cheerleader--sans pleated skirt. About a year ago we became friends when he shared a photo a cookbook I owned called "A Boat, A Whale & A Walrus". I commented that he had to make the scones from the book, after I had made them for Easter brunch. Now he's the friend I turn to if I have an existential crisis over a loaf of bread that just wont rise. I decided that scones would be my first recipe of the year.
These scones are actually nothing like the scones that made Brett and I friends. During the packing process, I discovered a giant unopened bag of oats. I had no idea what to do with them; I couldn't just throw it away like the bottles filled with a teaspoon of soy sauce, but I didn't want to drag it around the state either. The scones were my solution. I took an entire day to bake and cook everything I wanted before packing away all of my favorite kitchen utensils and baking pans. At the end of it, I leaned against a box brimming with cookbooks and enjoyed these scones.
Oat Date Scones with Apple Cider Curd
For the scones:
11 tbsp of butter (We used Kerrygold)
3 tbsp of maple syrup
1 large egg
1/3 c of milk + extra for brushing
1/2 c of all purpose flour
1/2 c of rolled oats
1 tbsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 c of chopped pitted dates
For the apple cider curd:
6 egg yolks
3 tbsp sugar
8 tbsp of butter
1/4 c of maple syrup
scant 1/2 c of apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Cream the butter and maple syrup together in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on medium speed. Mix in the egg and milk.
In a separate bowl mix the flour, oats, baking powder, and salt. When the eggs and milk are incorporated into the butter, turn the mixer to the lowest speed. Add the dry ingredients. Once the dough has come together, add the chopped dates.
Turn out the dough on to a floured surface. With your hands or a rolling pin, shape the dough into a 3/4 inch thick disc. Cut the disc into 8 wedges. Brush the top of each scone with milk before baking for 14 minutes, or until the edges just begin to brown.
While the scones bake start the curd. Put the butter, maple syrup, cinnmamon and ACV into a saucepan and warm over medium-low heat. In a stand mixer whisk the egg yolks and sugar together. Once the butter is fully melted, turn the heat up to medium. When the mixture comes to a boil, take it off the heat. With the mixer still whisking, slowly add the hot butter mixture to the egg yolks, tempering the yolks.
After adding the last of the butter, add everything back into the saucepan. Heat the custard over medium-low heat, whisking constantly. Slowly bring the heat up to medium, continuing to whisk. When the custard comes to a boil, remove it from the stove, and transfer it to a separate bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, with the wrap against the surface of the custard. Refrigerate until cooled and set.
at 10:03 AM