Earth Day Compost Cupcakes!

IMG_3153Celebrate Earth Day with a Compost Cupcake!

Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (or melted coconut oil)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Frosting

  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 3-4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line muffin pans with cupcake liners. (Makes approx 14 cupcakes.)

In a large bowl, whisk cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together until thoroughly combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla together until completely smooth. Pour half of the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Then half of the buttermilk. Gently stir. Repeat with the remaining wet ingredients and buttermilk. Stir until combined; do not overmix.

Pour the batter into the liners. Fill about halfway to avoid spilling over the sides. Bake in batches for 18-19 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Then! Pick some pretty flowers, take the leaves off the stems. Stick the happiest little flowers you can find into the cupcakes, and place the cupcakes on a bed of leaves, surrounded by gummy worms. No, I’m not kidding. It’s disgusting and delicious and also awesome.

The Earth is the only place we have – let’s celebrate it!

Cupcake recipe from: Sally’s Baking Addiction – thanks Sally!

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Raclette Night

IMG_4933Our beautiful friend Amelie invited us to a Raclette Night last week! For those of you sadly not in the know, raclette is a French (or Swiss, depending on whom you ask) cheese dish in which a table-top grill is used to heat individual-sized cheese pans that are then poured onto bread, potatoes, and meat.

Dinner consisting of mainly cheese?

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Um, yes please. (Or, my French excuse: “Oui, oui, c’est vendredi!”)

Amelie extraordinaire!

Amelie extraordinaire!

Just upon entering Amelie’s home the wafting scent of fromage came adrift down the hallway, which might sound unappetizing but was in fact so enticing it acted as a homing beacon.IMG_4946 IMG_4951 IMG_4957

Untraditional as it may be, I wonder if pouring raclette over vegetables could also be fair game. If I get the green light, next time I might show up with a basket full of CSA broccoli or brussels sprouts and get crazy.

These two.

These two.

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After the dairy-palooza, as if a mountain of cheese and starch wasn’t enough of a perfect meal, Amelie made an exquisite tart tartine for dessert.IMG_5004 IMG_5006 IMG_5011All in all a perfect evening full of food, drink, and cheer. Oh, and also cheese. Really stellar, stinky cheese.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Fennel

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The most winterific green there is: Brussels Sprouts. Everyone knows it.

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Late in our CSA season we tend to get a bunch of rooty vegetables like fennel and heartier greens like brussels sprouts.

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An easy and tasty fallback cold night dinner is to roast them both up together. Slice the fennel, then cut the stems off the sprouts, and cut them in halves or thirds. Throw both the sprouts and fennel in a pan with sliced shallots, olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper. Roast the combo at 375°.

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You’ll know it’s done by the heavenly aroma, but it should take about 35-40 minutes. The sprouts will be soft and there should be some crispy bits (which are the pieces you should hog for yourself).

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Serve next to something grainy with lemon, herbs and garlic, and remember winter won’t last forever and that brussels sprouts make your insides warmer. Enjoy!

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Recipe for a Perfect Galentine’s Day

Galentines-Day-2014-1I am not a fan of our nation’s favorite pink and red holiday, the dreaded February 14th. And when accused that this is no doubt due to a bad breakup or the lack of man in my life, I grow purple – not red nor pink but purple – with offense. I am in a very happy partnership; I just think Valentine’s day is a rip, expertly designed to make people spend money and feel crummy. Congratulations Corporate America, you have succeeded again.

I do, however, think that one Leslie Knope has combatted this problem with great excellence. Galentine’s Day is the grand tradition of celebrating one’s gal pals. We thank you as always, Leslie, for your brilliance and beauty.

I have requested amongst my ladies that we celebrate after the 14th instead of the 13th, as this demonstrates a healthy protest against the dreaded Val. And I think this year we managed to put together the perfect Galentine’s Day Recipewhich is as follows:

1 obnoxiously cute vegan #heart cookie, for a friend who’s really into social media:

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1 ludicrously fuzzy pair of slippers for a chilly set of toes:

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1 toastiest blanket of all time for each participant (arctic weather dependent):

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1 absolute best ever movie made in the ’90s celebrating girlhood and womanhood alike. (For gluten sensitivity replace with: Thelma and Louise):

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And obviously, 1 tremendous nod to the woman who started it all:
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Mix together in cozy apartment, cover in dark chocolate, and serve with cuddles.

Happy Galentine’s Day, y’all, whenever you celebrate. Hope you have the best ever women in your life too.

Vegetarian Ramen. Hello, Grad School.

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It turns out grad school : hard.

Due to the brain-crushing, time-consuming monstrosity that it is getting an education, it has been an impressively long time since I’ve chimed in. But since we had this fabulous kale shortage of 2015 (also known as Juno), I’ve been given the rare moment to brag about some of our grad school meals. Cue ramen, grad school fare.

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Found this fabo recipe on blueapron.com, slightly tweaked for what we had on hand.

Ingredients:IMG_4887

  • Head of Bok choi
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Scallions
  • 1 Package Firm Tofu
  • 3 Ounces Shitake Mushroom
  • 3 Tbs Vegetable Demi-Glace
  • 2 Tbs Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbs Miso Paste
  • 1/4 Cup Hoisin Sauce
  • 12 Ounces Ramen Noodles

IMG_4889In a medium pot, heat some oil and add garlic, the hard parts of the bok choi, and the white parts of the scallion.  When soft stir in the vegetable demi-glace (which is super weird stuff), 4 cups of water, the mushrooms, miso, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, then let it just hang there for 6-8 minutes.

Meanwhile sauté the tofu in some oil for a little less than 5 minutes, turn the heat off, and then add the hoisin sauce.

Add the ramen noodles and bok choi leaves to the broth, cook for 2-4 minutes. Divide into two bowls, add the tofu and the scallion greens.

Blamo, ramen.

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Momofuku ain’t got nothin’ on us.

Kohlrabi Fritters with Applesauce and Lemon-Honey Yogurt

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This week we got an absurdly sized kohlrabi in our CSA, much too big for a slaw and as we’d done a coconut curry earlier in the week our Kohlrabi Curry felt redundant. I looked online for a little inspiration, and found that people use kohlrabi in lieu of potatoes for latkes! (Or fritters for the less Upper West Sidey of my readers.)

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Fritters sounded phenomenal and not a big stretch for a Wednesday. And thus, the standard recipe:

  • 2 small bulbs kohlrabi
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Vegetable, canola, or olive oil for frying

Our kohlrabi was so big and juicy that we not only doubled the eggs, but also tripled the flour. We also had some fantastically aromatic dill that I chopped and added to the kohlrabi mixture.

Localfoods.about.com gives the following instructions, with a few little edits and tweakings of my own:

  1. Peel the kohlrabi or chop the skins off with a knife. Grate the kohlrabi on a large holes of a grater or shred it in a food processor. Put the grated kohlrabi onto some towels, twist them together, and squeeze out as much liquid as you can.
  2. Crack the egg (or eggs if you’re doubling) into a large bowl and beat it with a fork. Combine the kohlrabi and the egg and chopped dill. Sprinkle the mixture with the flour and salt and stir to combine thoroughly.
  3. Heat a generous layer of oil (about 1/4 inch deep) in a large frying pan or pot over medium-high heat until the pan is evenly very hot. A bit of batter dropped into the pan should sizzle immediately.
  4. Put generous spoonfuls of batter into the pan and flatten a bit with the back of the spoon. You should be able to fit about four fritters in a large pan at a time. Partially cover and cook until the fritters are browned on one side, 2 to 3 minutes, flip, partially cover again, and cook until they are tender and browned on both sides. Transfer the fritters to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve immediately.

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IMG_3186WIMG_3182hile the fritters were frying I chopped up some of our CSA apples and put them in a pot, covered them with water, and let them cook down into applesauce.  It’s bonkers to buy applesauce when it is this simple to make. And your local apple flavor will be massively more delicious than Mott’s, I promise! We also squeezed half a lemon on some Greek yogurt and added a swizzle of honey.

Dinner: Kohlrabi Fritters with Applesauce and Lemon-Honey Yogurt and a nice big share salad.IMG_3205

Apple Season is Back!

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We’re back with yet more apple ideas.

In past years we’ve given you Dabbled with Apples in which we stupidly went apple picking despite the plethora of apples coming our way via our CSA (going picking is just so irresistible in October), and Appletopia in which we provided three things to do with your apple bounty, and made an insensitive Steve Jobs joke.

This year amongst the piles of apples accumulating in our kitchen I have made use of them in the following ways:

  • Apples and peanut butter
  • Apple-kale juice
  • Apple, arugula, and sharp cheddar on a croissant
  • Applesauce
  • And most recently, apple muffins

I found this recipe on the blog addapinch.com and they were really straightforward to make and a serious crowd pleaser. They were gone before I could even blink.

Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
Serves: 12 – (or more realistically, four… in one sitting)
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (+ 2 teaspoons for coating apples)
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (+ ½ teaspoon for coating apples)
  • 2 cups diced apples – I added a squeeze of lemon to them so they didn’t brown and had a slight zestiness
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup milk
  • For the Topping:
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375º F. Add muffin liners to your muffin tins.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Toss together diced apples, squeeze of lemon, and 2 teaspoons of flour to coat apples in a separate bowl. Set aside.
  4. Cream together butter and sugar until lightened in color, about 3 minutes. Add an egg, one at a time, taking care to fully incorporate before adding the other. Mix in vanilla.
  5. Gently fold in flour mixture, alternating with milk. Stir until just combined. Fold in diced apples and scoop mixture into prepared muffin tins, filling about ⅔ to ¾ full. Bake until a toothpick or skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
  6. Prepare topping for muffins while the muffins are baking by melting the butter and allowing to cool slightly. Pour butter into a separate bowl sized easy for dipping tops of muffins. Mix together granulated sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl and set aside.
  7. Once muffins have baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly in the muffin tin. Then, remove each muffin and dip first into the melted butter and then into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place onto a plate to finish cooling.

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I wish I had more pictures to share – but this is the last lonely muffin.

Which will be gone by the time I’ve hit “Publish.”

What Would You Do…

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… if on your second week of grad school you fell bouldering and fractured your ankle?

It turns out – if it were me – that I would ignore the foreboding pile of books on my desk and invite some loved ones over to play board games and keep me company, whilst picking at the leftovers of this week’s CSA. Treats like, for example:

  • Share cherry tomatoes with share garlic, local mozzarella, basil, balsamic and oil.
  • Share green and yellow string beans drizzled in olive oil with coriander and sea salt.
  • Share greens and arugula, with share peaches and non-share pistachios.
  • And fruitcake made with share plums.

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Plus the additions of bread, cheese, falafels, hummus, and copious amounts of ankle-numbing liquor brought from my personal fan club, it could theoretically turn into a spread worth sharing.

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Later – again, just if it were me – I would deteriorate into a pile, make a fort, and watch a movie I’ve seen 10,000 times.

Lessons learned from the past week:

  • When injured, let your friends do the cooking.
  • … And also the cleaning.
  • Mean Girls is only funny 9,999 times.  On the 10,000th it loses some of its punch.
  • Grad school is harder on crutches – as are revolving doors.
  • Your partner can only provide so much help without sparks erupting from his ears.
  • Settlers of Catan is the worst… but I will likely start a war of mythical proportions by saying that out loud.
  • I have a wonderful and hilarious circle.
  • And! If at all possible, don’t break yourself.

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