Friday, September 21, 2012

bread and pickle lunch

beautiful foccacia ryan made.  i made the pickled zucchini (via heidi at 101 cookbooks), guess i can have credit for that, i highly suggest you make it too, tasty:

just about the perfect lunch, in my opinion.

make it at home, pad thai

it's hard to move to a new place.  you start to miss your usual favorites.  after some disappointing thai take out in salt lake, ryan made this for me!  homemade is always better anyway!  i call it, "ryan's famous pad thai", and i'm not sad anymore.  next up pho? 

peanut oil, for sautéing 
1 lg. shallot, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 package rice noodles, soaked in warm water till beginning to soften
1 block super firm, pressed tofu, in matchsticks
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons tamari
1 teaspoon ground chili powder
2 tablespoons tamarind pulp mixture (dissolved into 1/4 cup water with 1 tablespoon pulp)
bean sprouts, to your liking
scallions, sliced
white pepper, to taste
lime wedges, to serve
thai basil, sliced for the top
peanuts, toasted and crushed

it's simple too!  heat oil in a pan. toss in shallot and garlic, quick sauté, then tofu, till browning.  Add noodles and saucy ingredients: sugar, tamari, chili powder, tamarind, 2 minutes.  Toss in the sprouts, scallions, pepper.  serve topped with basil, a squeeze of lime, more chili powder if you so desire, and crushed peanuts!  also i would suggest an imperial ipa, you'll be happy for sure.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

eat the bread!

finally an article that addresses all my concerns and worries about why people think they can't have bread. sad.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

house bloody mix

we made some bloody marias and michaladas for our "saturday morning". 
they were delicious!  good for you too, i would like to think... look at all those tomatoes! perfect morning pick-me-up!

Monday, June 11, 2012

classic northwest.

4oz of greeny goodness.  dry hopping the imperial black ipa today with cascade and amarillo. i'm particularly excited about this guy.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

here are a few shots of a recent dinner we had on a little weekend campout. 

white beans, crispy onions, apple sage field roast sausage, oyster mushroom, and asparagus cooked tin foil dinner style, being that we forgot the cast iron... worked out quite brilliantly though i must say.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

finally some tasty indian food!

just a few shots of some really tasty indian food we made in our own kitchen!   mixed vegetable coconut sambar, lemon rice, and ginger garlic naan. in the sun. yes!

Friday, April 13, 2012

simply good spicy tomato soup.

tomato soup has never really interested me.  not that i don't like tomato soup i just generally find it uninteresting, i never have any desire to make it or order it, it always seems to taste just about the same.  then, i ran across this recipe on 101cookbooks and it just looked so pretty and sounded so simple and delicious that i had to try it. the very next night. which happened to be the full moon.

so we made it a little event, with the first campfire of the spring.  it was pretty lovely sitting around a toasty fire under a full moon enjoying this spicy nourishing soup with a giant loaf of fire roasted garlic bread.

the soup itself is mighty delicious but for me it was all about the toppings and the scoop of rice hidden underneath.  we ate it over brown basmati rice and topped with fresh parsley, toasted almonds, a little dollop of coconut cream and a generous squeeze of lemon.

4 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
1 big can fire roasted tomatoes
6 cups water

sauté the onion in butter until soft.  add garlic and spices cook briefly until fragrant.  season with salt and pepper.  stir in tomatoes and water.  simmer for about 15 minutes then blend with an immersion blender until smooth.  cook until you get your desired consistency. stir in some of the cream off the top of a can of coconut milk or just serve a small scoop of cream in individual bowls. serve over some rice and add some toppings!

this soup freezes really well so go ahead and make a big batch.  i ate it the second day with cheesy rye toast and the following day as a sauce over baked sweet potatoes. it's versatile!

ginger beer

here are a few shots of what goes into the ginger brew we have been making a whole lot of lately. 

 it's actually really simple.  it starts out with a "ginger bug" or start which we feed a bit of sugar and ginger each day until it's bubbly and alive with wild yeast.

after the bug is ready all you have to do is boil a whole bunch of grated ginger (i like mine super gingery), water, sugar and lemon juice, cool it, and add the ginger bug, strain. then bottle and wait at least a week for it to get fizzy and tasty.

this is about our fifth batch and we're keeping our ginger bug alive so we can keep a steady supply!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spent Grain Flax Crackers

we have been trying to use up our spent grain from home brewing in every possible way. we have been wanting to make crackers for a long time so we thought why not now with all our grain left over from the 'nut brown' we recently brewed.

here is the recipe:
preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

1 cup spent grain
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup butter or earth balance (room temp)
4 tbl sugar
1 tbl baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup rye flour
in a mixer slowly combine ingredients. slowly add:
1 1/4 cup unbleached white flour

mix to a stiff dough. divide in half and roll out to 1/8 inch think. then, spray with water from a water bottle, and sprinkle with flax seed and coarse sea salt.

when the oven and stone are preheated, pull out the stone and slide the rolled out dough on to it. cut it with a pizza cutter and throw it in.

bake for 9 minutes or so, until the bottom is a deep golden brown. flip them and bake them for another 5 mins or so. make sure they don't burn. they bake fast.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

pot pie brew night

today was a memorable day.  it was our second celebrated event of pot pie brew night, a brilliant tradition we recently invented that will clearly continue, because it is wonderful. beer + brewing + eating delicious variations on the pot pie... how could that go wrong?

tonight the pot pie was a creamy cauliflower pot pie with a black olive studded biscuit crust.  the beer a lovely smelling nut brown, bubbling happily in the fermentor beside me, right this second.

 here's the tasty recipe. for the pie. not the beer. that's top secret...

i believe the inspiration for this pot pie was originally pulled from veganomigon but has been made and altered numerous times over the past few years.  i once made this for my hamburger helper and cold hot dogs on crackers eating grandpa and he loved it. that's a winner for sure. he didn't even tell me it tasted "healthy"!

3 tablespoons butter - i use earth balance
4 tablespoons all purpose flour

make a roux! brown that flour in the melted butter, until it smells nutty and delicious, stirring constantly.

2 cups unsweetened coconut milk (or other unsweetened milk)

slowly stream in milk while stirring

1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons good grainy mustard
salt and pepper to taste

add herbs, mustard and salt and pepper.  simmer for about 10 minutes until thickened into a sauce.

now, sauté your veggies!

1 large leek, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced

sauté leek and carrot for about 10 minutes until soft

2 cups quartered crimini mushrooms
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

add mushrooms until softened and beginning to brown, deglaze with white wine vinegar.

1 head cauliflower, in florets

add cauliflower, cook for a few minutes until just tender. don't over cook.

add the sauce to the veggie mixture and pour into a casserole dish.

roll out crust to fit the top and gently place over veggie mixture sealing at the edges.

bake at 375 until top in golden and interior is bubbly.  let rest a few minutes and devour.

favorite chipotle black bean soup

we have been making this very soup a lot lately. a whole lot.  partially just because we tend to have all the ingredients on hand so we're ready to go, but mostly because it is wonderfully delicious and fills your belly in the best of ways.  win win.

1 very large onion, finely diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground oregano
1 bay leaf
2 chipotle chilies in adobo
2 teaspoons adobo sauce

sauté onions and peppers until soft and beginning to brown. stir in garlic and sauté about a minute.  add spices, chilies, adobo sauce and bay leaf stir and cook until fragrant.

2 cups black beans soaked for at least a few good hours or over night
12 cups water

add soaked beans and water.  bring to a boil and simmer for a hour or so until beans are fully cooked and much of the water is absorbed.  the longer the better.

3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

once beans are cooked and soup has thickened a whole lot add the orange juice, cocoa powder, and cilantro.

top with diced red onion or sliced green onions, more cilantro, maybe some sour cream or some cheese.  what ever you wish.  it's going to be good. enjoy!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

spinach gnocchi with pomodero

 we took a shot at gnocchi (again) i've had some successes and some failures with these little guys so honestly, i never know what we might end up with.  luckily, this one ended up being perfectly, ok not perfect, but perfectly wonderful.  i think our biggest problem with these was that we threw in a bunch of steamed spinach into the dough which makes them want to boil apart a bit while cooking, but they still held together well and tasted like the real deal. yay!
 i've read a bunch of recipes that recommend using egg as a binder for the dough so that you won't have to worry about ending up with goopy potatoey mess, but i have never tried using a binder.  if you do it right, it shouldn't be necessary and you end up with a lighter less dense gnocchi.

our recipe was simple. super simple.
2 large russet potatoes, cut in half and boiled for about 30 minutes until soft.
(next time i think we might try baking them and scooping out the flesh so as not to incorporate any unnecessary water)
about 1 cup flour, give or take depending on the size of the potatoes and amount of water.
 that's it!

after you boil your potatoes, remove from water and carefully peel off the skin.  while still hot, push through a potato ricer, over a cutting board.  let cool and dry a bit about 15 minutes is plenty of time.

next, pull all your potatoes together into a nice mound and add about 3/4 cup flour.  carefully work the mixture together until you have a nice soft, but not sticky dough.  add more flour if needed.  divide into about 8 sections and roll into dough ropes on a floured surface, finger width is a good size to ensure proper cooking.  then cut into about half inch segments. roll the pieces over the back of a fork to form ridges and toss onto a baking sheet dusted with flour until ready to boil.

(we threw in the spinach right after incorporating most of the flour)

boil in batches of about 15 gnocchi at a time.

we served ours with a super simple pomodero sauce this time. though i also love mine with simply butter and sage leaves.  

3 cloves minced garlic sautéed in some olive oil
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes- can't wait for fresh!
1 tablespoon tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
big handful of fresh chopped basil stirred in just before serving.  

it was wonderfully delicious!  don't be afraid, it might not be perfect every time but gnocchi make one very rewarding dinner!

Friday, January 13, 2012

my favorite fig bars

these are my favorite fig bars.  so much better than anything you could buy at the store.  i always make them around the holidays, but really they should be made much more often. i have always used dried figs here because i almost always make them in the winter time, and dried is the only option.  i really do want to try them out with fresh ones some time, though it almost seems like a shame to cook fresh figs.

i discovered this recipe years ago in vegan with a vengence, which is the base and inspiration of the version i usually make.


1/2 cup butter- i use earth balance
3/4 cup raw or coarse sugar
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1/4 cup coconut milk, or your favorite
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-pourpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

prepare the dough first because it needs to sit in the fridge for about a hour.
cream the butter and sugar well, then add arrowroot and mix to combine, beat in the milk and vanilla.  Next add your dry ingredients flours, baking powder, soda and salt.  mix to combine.  split your dough in two wrap in some plastic wrap and refrigerate.

the filling is super simple.  i've experimented with a few varieties of figs and they are all delicious!
about 1 pound of dried figs,  chopped finely
1/4 cup raw sugar
lemon zest
1/2- 3/4 cup water

combine all filling ingredients bring to a boil then let simmer for about 10 minutes.  cool before filling your bars.

preheat oven 350'

once dough has been in the fridge for at least 1 hour remove your two pieces and roll into rectangles on two pieces of floured parchment.  try to get your rectangles to be the same size and width, i usually shoot for about 9x13, but square works too.

next, spread your cooled filling on the bottom rectangle within about 1/2 inch of the edge.  then bravely flip your other rectangle of dough from it's parchment on top of the fig filling.  try your best to line up the edges then pinch or crimp to the filling won't escape when it's cooking.  sprinkle with a bit of raw sugar.

bake at 350' for 15-20 minutes until just beginning to brown.  the dough should still feel soft because you don't want hard and crunchy fig bars.  once removed let cool for about two minutes and cut into desired square or bar shape.  once completely cooled store in an airtight container so they stay soft and delicious!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


look what we did today!

it's sauerkraut!  well, not yet. but it will be.

supposedly using green and purple cabbage is going to give us bright pink kraut.  we kept it simple this time, being first timers, no herbs, no spices, no additional veggies.  cabbage and salt. that's it.

tamping the salted cabbage into it's fermenting vessel.

using a cement block to keep the cabbage within it's brine.  it works.