The weather has not been very summer-like this week, rainy, windy and 65 degrees. This is hardly a surprise, as almost exactly two years ago, just a few short days before our wedding, my then-fiance and I woke up to a gentle dusting of snow in our backyard (and promptly freaked out).
So, we’ve found ourselves back in hibernation mode, craving things with tons of meat and carbs and basically anything not involving vegetables or a salad. There was boxed macaroni and cheese the other night. I know. Continue reading
I don’t want to suggest that the only way to eat kale is when it’s smothered in bacon grease and bourbon. But I think it probably is the best way.
This is a recipe originally available from Garden and Gun (online here), passed on to me by a coworker who, like me, was sick of kale salad after kale salad. Again, not that there is really anything wrong with kale salad, but every once in a while, you want something a little more tender, more meaty, something easier to convince your loved ones to eat.
The foundation of the dish is something called “bacon jam,” a concoction of bourbon, bacon, bacon grease, vinegar, and a little bit of sugar. Once you’ve got that mixture, you toss in your chopped kale and wait for it to wilt. It practically melts into the bacon jam, leaving you with an amazing sweet/sour/bitter combination. Remember how I said that all flavor is a combination of fat, salt and acid? This is a perfect example of a good balance among the three. Continue reading
These amazingly moist, grain-free, gluten-free lemon scones were a long time coming, and relied on a major evolution of forces in order to be made at all.
It started with the cherries, thoughtfully pitted and frozen by me last summer and promptly forgotten until we moved last month. A coworker and I chatted for a while a few weeks ago about what I could possibly do with these cherries, and she immediately suggested jam, to be served with lemon scones. Of course! What else?
And then, in one of those lovely coincidences that seem to only happen with the oldest of friends, my best friend from high school sent a housewarming gift that included a bag of light muscovado sugar. With its rich molasses notes, I knew this was just the thing to temper the tartness of the lemon juice, deepen the sweetness and warm the flavors up to something a little more appropriate for March, rather than June.
Further coincidence? It’s St. Patrick’s Day, and scones are still to this day one of the things I miss most about Ireland. I know it’s essentially a biscuit. I still miss them. And I’m pretty sure, anyway, that you can’t do better than this recipe for a gluten-free scone.
Grainless Lemon Scones
Yummy grain-free scones, infused with muscovado sugar and lemon juice
- 2 cups almond meal
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 2 Tbsp cold butter
- ½ cup muscovado sugar
- zest from 2 lemons
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 3/4 cup milk of your choice
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and set aside.
- Combine almond meal, coconut flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom in a large bowl and whisk until combined. Add butter and work with your hands until the mixture is crumbly.
- In a small bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest and whisk until very fragrant and well-combined. Whisk into the other ingredients.
- Add lemon juice and milk, and stir with a spatula until very well combined. The mixture may be crumbly, but you’ll see it will come together when pressed.
- Dump dough onto the baking sheet and press into a ball. Flatten ball until the dough circle is about one inch high. Split with a knife into eight equal segments, wiggling the knife to create a solid separation between the wedges.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the outside is golden and the inside is still moist. Cool on a wire rack; serve with plenty of butter, margarine and/or tea.
You know those DirecTV commercials with Rob Lowe? Where the real Rob Lowe has DirecTV, while creepy or sad Rob Lowe has cable?
Imagine regular applesauce as creepy or sad Rob Lowe. The applesauce you buy at the store can be sad, barely apple-ish, really bland and not useful for anything except replacing oil in baked goods.
I might be a really bad gardener, you guys.
This is my first year planting a garden, and I feel like so far, there may have been more misses than hits. My spinach died of something I think was a fungus but may have been water blisters; my tomato plants are puny and have yet to produce anything; half of my herbs have died. And this afternoon, I walked out to my cold frame to excitedly survey my kale, only to find that caterpillars have begun munching away at the leaves. Ugh.
The only thing that has survived, nay thrived, so far has been my rainbow chard. It somehow escaped whatever killed the spinach and is soaring high, bright happy stems aloft. It’s survived my erratic watering schedule (oops) and has missed the Great Caterpillar Invasion of ’14. This chard is my shining star.
It’s summertime. We all know that all you want to eat is a giant bowl of vegetables, and those vegetables better not have touched a heat source at any point (apart from maybe a grill). They should be in season, full of flavor and taste basically like sunshine.
In other words, the standards are high. Luckily, I have just the salad for you.
Are you ready for a confession?
This was not going to be a blog post. Originally, this was something I just made with leftovers from the fridge. I had tomatoes. I had a microwaved ear of corn, half an avocado and basil. And, best of all, I had a brand-new ball of smoked mozzarella that I picked up for another recipe that I was suddenly to hot and tired to make.
I didn’t think this was a recipe at first. However, I have a rule — if Ben likes it so much that he mentions how good something is more than three times, it probably should go on the blog.
He usually likes my cooking, but he often tolerates my healthier recipes more than he actually relishes them. Some things, like pistachio pesto, he just won’t eat; other recipes, like strawberry bars, he’ll eat, but not rave over. Others, like the oven-baked brisket, he won’t stop talking about for days. Continue reading