FOOD + DRINK

farmstand veggies | tinyinklings.comJust wanted to pop in and wish everyone a happy Friday. I’ll be working on finishing up some drawings for this challenge, trying a couple new recipes, and loving on my pups.  I went over to the farm stand near my house this afternoon and came back with the prettiest spread of friuts and veggies!  Who says winter veggies have to be bland?  I’m really excited about the baby broccoli.  I’ve been reading through the Mozza cookbook and there is a recipe for sautéed broccolini with chiles and vinegar that I’ve been dying to try.  And those blood oranges?!  I’m really going to have to enjoy those raw, perhaps in salad form (although if I had a juicer, I would make some fresh squeezed blood orange juice, STAT).  Mmmmm…

Other than that, the weather is looking blustery and cold again, so I’ll just be holed up inside the house in my grandma sweater drinking coffee and probably watching reruns of Friends on DVD.  No bigs.

Hope everyone has a great weekend! Xoxo!

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by Kayla on 01/25/2013

tagged as , , in COLOR,FOOD + DRINK,MY LIFE

It’s Tuesday.  It’s two days until Thanksgiving.  And I’m SO. EXCITED!  I daresay that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of all time.  Christmas is a close second, what with all the twinkly lights and the holiday cheer, but I find Thanksgiving to be a less stressful version of it.  One filled with all the food and family and friends, but without the consumerism and stress of Christmas.

Usually, my husband and I go to one of our family’ houses for Thanksgiving, but this year everyone will be out of town, so this is my first year cooking a Thanksgiving dinner.  It will just be John and I with a few friends, but I could not be more excited (plus, that fact that we don’t have a dishwasher means less people = less time spent hand-washing dishes).  I’m doing a ham instead of turkey (to ease myself into cooking this bonkers huge meal), with the classic sides.  Fun fact: John is THE BEST mashed potato maker I’ve ever seen. My mom taught him long ago and now he’s my go-to tater guy. Love him.

My favorite part is the stuffing.  Honestly, is there anything more worthy of busting out your Thanksgiving Pants than gravy soaked bread?  I think not.

Here are a few of the recipes I will be making this year.  Fingers crossed it comes out well!

1. PEAR, PECAN, AND GORGONZOLA SALAD 2. OVERNIGHT HERB ROLLS 3. HONEY HAM 4. MARINATED OLIVES 5. CREAMY MASHED POTATOES 6. BUTTERMILK APPLE PIE (image via)

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by Kayla on 11/20/2012

tagged as , , , in FOOD + DRINK,MY LIFE

You guys.  I’m ON IT this year.  I can’t even believe it myself.  Every year, I always say that I’m going to make something homemade to give as gifts during the holidays and then promptly forget about that plan until December 23rd when I realize that, crap, I totally forgot.

My lovely sister ordered me Shauna Sever‘s new book, Pure Vanilla, for my and my husband’s 4-year wedding anniversary.  It’s a fantastic book and I highly recommend picking it up if you are a vanilla lover. Smack in the middle of the book between recipes for vanilla sugar puffs and salted vanilla chip oatmeal cookies (!), lies a foolproof recipe for homemade vanilla extract.  Basically, if you have vanilla beans and vodka on hand, you’re good to go.

I picked up some little 8-pounce apothecary-style bottles from my local craft store and had all my little bottles of vanilla extract in-the-making lined up on the counter in ten minutes.  Here’s what I did to make this happen: [click to continue…]

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by Kayla on 11/05/2012

tagged as in FOOD + DRINK

When the weather turns cold and the evenings get shorter, there’s nothing I crave more than food that conjures feelings of warmth and coziness.  Add to that a husband who makes a damn good fire in the fireplace, and, suddenly, I’ve got a rockin’ Saturday night.  Here are a few recipes that I’m filing away for the chilly days ahead:

1 / Spiced bourbon cider (!) from The Jewels of New York via Front & Main

2 / Oat and salted dark chocolate sandwich cookies from Cook Republic

3 / Baked sweet potatoes stuffed with feta, olives and sun-dried tomatoes from Gourmande in the Kitchen

4 / Fig jam from Delicious Shots

*All images from their respective sources via my Pinterest board.

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by Kayla on 10/25/2012

tagged as , in FOOD + DRINK,INSPIRATION

I’m ready for it to be Fall.  It’s September for crying out loud.  And yet, temperatures are still climbing into the mid-eighties in and around San Luis Obispo.  C’mon weather.  My fall sweaters are getting antsy.  Compromise?  Okay.

I made pumpkin pie ice cream!  Fall flavors meet a cool summer treat.  It’s melt-in-your-mouth good.  Oh, and guess what?  It’s vegan, paleo, and gluten-free.  Win-win?  Mmmhmm. [click to continue…]

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by Kayla on 09/19/2012

tagged as , , , , , , in FOOD + DRINK

Rule number one: don’t go shopping when you’re hungry.  And for that matter, don’t search for pictures of doughnuts on Pinterest when you’re hungry, either.  Just don’t do it.  Although if you’re going to fall down the doughnut hole (see what I did there?), this recipe is a great place to start.  There’s no frying involved, just a doughnut pan and a hot oven.  (On a side note: did you know how hard it is to find a doughnut pan when you live in a small town? I literally drove all over town trying to get my hands on one and where did I end up finding it?  Ross. Really? I digress.) Tender cake doughnuts are “fallified” (that’s a word, right?) with pumpkin puree, spices like cloves and cinnamon, and baked in the oven until just cooked through.  They are moist and tender, and just sweet enough.  A quick dunk in a maple cinnamon glaze and these treats are ready to eat.  Enjoy with a hot cup of black coffee or some hot apple cider if you’re feeling fancy.  I won’t tell if you don’t want to share. :) [click to continue…]

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by Kayla on 09/04/2012

tagged as , , , , in FOOD + DRINK

I took my friend Marni olallieberry picking the other day.  It was her first time doing the U-Pick at the berry patch and despite the heat and the dust, we had a fantastic time.  We may or may not have come home with extremely stained tongues from all the berries we ate while we were out there. Since MArni and her husband ere only in town for a couple days, I decided to make a batch of quick berry hand pies for us all to share.

This recipe couldn’t be easier.  I picked up a store-bought pie crust, cut it into four pieces, and simply filled them with macerated berries and sugar.  The hand pies came out of the oven all bubbly and delicious.  It took all my willpower not to bite into one straight from the oven, but when we did finally get to dig in, they were fantastic!

Berry Hand Pies

serves 4

Ingredients:

1 store-bought pie crust, thawed according to package directions (bonus points: make your own pie crust!)

1 pint berries (I used olallieberries, but you could use any berries that are available in your local area)

1 Tbsp sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

2 tsp. lemon juice

1 egg

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375°.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Beat egg with 1 Tbsp water in a small bowl.  Set aside.

Wash and dry your berries and put them in a medium bowl.  Add the sugar and lemon juice and let sit for 10-15 minutes.  In the meantime, prepare your pie crust.

Roll one pie crust into a circle or square between two sheets of wax paper, filling any tears. Using a knife, cut the crust into four equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time, place the pie dough onto the baking sheet with the parchment paper. Place about 2 Tbsp of the berry mixture off-center of the dough, taking care to leave a 1/2 inch space around the edges.  Brush the edges of the dough with the egg mixture.  Fold the dough over the filling to create a triangle.  Using a fork, press the edges to seal the filling in.  Using the tip of a knife, cut two small slits in the top of the dough. Repeat with remaining 3 dough pieces.

Put the turnovers on the baking sheet back in the refrigerator for 15 minutes for let the dough get cold again.

Remove turnovers from refrigerator. Brush the top of each turnover with the egg mixture and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and the filling is bubbly.  Let cool, then dig in!

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by Kayla on 07/25/2012

tagged as , , , , in FOOD + DRINK

It’s a funny thing for me, strawberries. I like them raw, I like them as jam, but up until very recently, I didn’t like them in anything or masquerading as anything. Strawberry smoothies? Blech. Strawberry-banana anything? I think I just threw up in my mouth. Strawberry ice cream? No way, José. Maybe it’s because when I grew up, all that I ever tried was the strawberry part of Neopolitan ice cream and from that first taste, I decided I didn’t like it and that was that.

Now, there are really not a whole lot of foods that I won’t give a second shot (Except for beets. No thank you.), so this whole strawberry situation was nagging at me, especially when I have a husband who loves anything and everything strawberry. I’d tried this recipe a few months ago and really liked it, and although I think I would change a couple things next time around, it was still really great.

I also really love cheese, especially the goat variety, and I had remembered that I’d made a leek, goat cheese, and strawberry quesadilla awhile back and enjoyed the heck out of it. Do you see where this is going? It wasn’t until I saw this recipe that I decided to give the whole strawberry ice cream thing a second (third?) shot.

My strawberry and basil plants are going crazy right now, so I decided to combine a few things that I love together: strawberries, basil, and goat cheese. The ice cream is soft, and faintly tangy from the goat cheese, but tastes more like cheesecake. Pureed strawberries turn the custard a blush pink, and tiny green bits of basil dot the dessert like confetti. I think this would be fantastic with a sweet balsamic reduction drizzled over top, too. And you know what? I didn’t tell my husband that there was goat cheese in this (because he wouldn’t have tried it if he knew) and he quite enjoyed it. Victory! So go and enjoy, friends! I hear those strawberries calling your name…

Strawberry-Basil Goat Cheese Ice Cream

adapted from Hungry Girl por Vida

Ingredients:

For the ice cream base:

2 cups whole milk

4 teaspoons cornstarch

1 1/4 cup heavy cream

2/3 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons light corn syrup

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3 Tablespoons (1.5 oz) cream cheese, softened

5 ounces soft, plain goat cheese (like chevre), softened

For the strawberry-basil puree:

2 containers of fresh strawberries, or about 2 mounded cups frozen strawberries, thawed.

1/2 cup basil, loosely packed

4 Tbsp. sugar

Preparation

In a small bowl whisk together 1/4 cup of the milk with the cornstarch. Set the slurry aside. Place cream cheese and goat cheese in a large heatproof bowl, set aside.

In a food processor or blender, blend together half the strawberries and 2 Tbsp. sugar. Sieve over a bowl to strain out seeds. Repeat with remaining strawberries, 2 Tbsp. sugar, and basil leaves. Do not strain. Add to bowl with strawberry puree. Set aside. Yummy tip: Use the sieved pulp and seeds as a “jam” on a piece of toast. Yum!

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine remaining milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a low boil and quickly whisk in slurry. Continue whisking and bring the mixture to a boil, to thicken, continue to cook and whisk for an additional minute. Mixture should be thick enough to leave whisk tracks behind. Whisk a ladle full of the hot mixture into the cheeses to combine, pour in the rest of the hot mixture and whisk well to combine. Whisk in the strawberry-basil puree to combine well and cool over an ice bath. Once cooled, process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Scrape into a container, cover, and freeze to set.

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by Kayla on 07/18/2012

tagged as , , , , , , in FOOD + DRINK

Some things I love about summer:

1. Wearing open-toed heels to work and not having my feet freeze off at my desk by mid-morning.

2. Working out outside in the warm summer sunshine.

3. Lazing the weekend away reading books in the hammock.

4. Sundresses.

5. Fresh berries picked straight from our yard.

You guys, home ownership had finally paid off! No, I’m not talking about that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you buy your first home (although, not knocking it, that’s wonderful, too). When we bought our house back in 2009, the first thing we did was rip the front yard out and plant a mini orchard: citrus trees, stone fruit trees, and berries! Not without some hassle (those aphids can be a pain!), our little orchard is finally coming into its own. In particular, our strawberry and raspberry plants are going nuts right now. Like, I can hardly keep up with all this fresh fruit. I think we might need to open a U-Pick stand in our driveway if this continues. Friends? Family? Please come pick some stuff…

Anyway, I came home from work last night and glanced over at the berry bushes. Little red raspberries hung like jewels in the evening sunlight, barely clinging to the branches, just waiting to be picked. Well, who am I to ignore that? I saw a recipe on Pinterest for poppy seed pancakes and thought I’d give them a go with some smashed raspberries on top. Perfection. Plus, who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner, right?

Poppy Seed Buttermilk Pancakes

recipe from 101 Cookbooks

Ingredients:

2 cups white whole wheat flour (or unbleached a-p flour)
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/3 cup poppy seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, toasted until deeply golden
2 1/4 cups organic buttermilk
2 large organic eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted

butter, to serve (and for pan)

Preparation:

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, poppy seeds and sunflower seeds in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs and melted butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir it all together until just combined. This is a thick batter and a few lumps are ok, you don’t want to over-mix it.

Heat your skillet, pan, or griddle to medium-hot and brush it with a bit of butter. Pour about 1/4 of a cup of batter into the skillet. You might have to press it down a bit to get it even in thickness. Wait until the pancake bottom is deep golden in color, then flip with a spatula and cook the other side until golden and cooked through. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve with a golden pat of butter and a spoonful of raspberry smash. Maple syrup would be equally good here.

Raspberry Smash!

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh raspberries

2 Tbsp. water

Preparation:

Combine berries and water in a small sauce pan. Turn heat to medium and let the mixture come to a bubble. Let simmer for a few minutes and then smash about half the berries with the back of a spoon. Keep cooking until some of the liquid evaporates and the syrup thickens to your liking, about 5 minutes. This is a very loose recipe. If you like a thinner syrup, add more water. Thicker? Add less water and cook it longer. Enjoy!

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by Kayla on 07/11/2012

tagged as , , , , , in FOOD + DRINK

I finally feel like it’s summer around these parts. You know how I know? It’s practically painful to go to my day job when it is sunny and beautiful outside. Enter: the (rare) sunny summer coastal weekend or warm evening in my area of California. Every year I grow tomatoes in my backyard. They’re super easy to grow and my absolute favorite summer treat. On warm days or evenings, this salad is a snap to bust out. The just picked tomatoes are still warm from the summer sunshine and the scent of fresh basil lingers in the kitchen long into the night. My idea of heaven.

I’m not going to tell you how to make this, because, quite frankly, I’m sure you already know. A few tomatoes, tear up some basil, add a little sea salt and some olive oil. I will, however, share my top secret addition to make this salad extra special: garlic olive oil. Just a drizzle is all you need, but it makes it oh so much more delish. My favorite comes from Temecula Olive Oil Company in California. I’m partial to their reserve roasted garlic oil, but everything they produce is amazing. If you’re in Temecula or passing through, I highly recommend stopping by for a tasting.

What’s your go-to summer snack? Anything I should add to my rotation?

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by Kayla on 07/02/2012

tagged as , in FOOD + DRINK