Instagram and Twitter and working my booty off in work and life (as though those are two separate things?). I have a few things brewing outside my comfort zone that I’ll be sharing soon, and I just lined up some childcare for Ruby that I’m feeling great about so I can push full steam ahead on those new projects.
This blog tends to go through regular phases of neglect, as it’s low on the priority list, somewhere behind my family, paid work, my sanity…
BUT, all this creative inspiration and branching out has me itching to write again and explore what I can do with this space, at a minimum sharing more details surrounding this fertile world of culinary content as it intersects with my own life. That’s one of the reasons I love working with food – It’s impossible to separate from real life, as the two are inextricably intertwined.
Until then, here’s a little recap of some of my work to go live last month:
This pressed picnic vegetarian sandwich, heavily loaded with grilled vegetables, basil pesto, olive tapenade, and high quality olive oil. It improves overnight in the fridge, topped with something heavy, and transports easily for an on-the-go outdoor lunch. Iced tea or cold beer optional, but highly recommended. (Recipe.com)
Nutella doughnuts. Risen, fried, and piped full of chocolate-hazelnut goodness. (Recipe.com)
I am digging sheet pan dinners right now. They just feel so easy – spread everything on the pan, throw in the oven, and play with the kids until everything is tender and caramelized. For this sausage sheet pan recipe I added a dill and pepita gremolata to bright up the dish and also discuss the art of sheet pan cooking. (Hellobee)
Last is a recipe for my favorite meal of the day: brunch! My idea brunch menu is sophisticated but super simple, and this bacon and leek quiche meets all the criteria. (SheKnows)
Bonus: This double chocolate pancakes article was just updated with a seductive, syrupy gif. It’s mesmerizing. (Recipe.com)
Recipe.com, but I’m also itching to tell you about a new project that’s pushing me technically and creatively. It will probably have to wait until next month, though, as we’re waiting for the website to go live. No rush except that it gives me a thrill to share these kinds of things with you and get your feedback! In the meantime, here are all the pretty spring things I’ve been cooking up…
I’d been hoping to find an opportunity to write about this classic carrot cake with fluffy cream cheese frosting, since it’s the one I’ve been baking, unfailingly, for years. Trust me, you need no other carrot cake recipe.
While some classic dishes have a reputation for being intricate or time-intensive (Have you ever made Julia Child’s cassoulet?), chicken piccata is proof some traditional dishes are as unfussy as them come. This recipe is savory, bright, and a 30-minute meal that truly belongs on the weeknight rotation.
As if you needed any persuading to gorge yourself on gorgeous spring vegetables, I teamed them up with a flaky, buttery crust and creamy cheese filling to make spring vegetable ricotta tarts.
Risotto is a staple dinner dish (or breakfast, when it comes to leftovers) in our house, but it’s always changing based on the season. To welcome rising temperatures, I made this lemony spring risotto with green punches of sweet peas and tender asparagus.
And speaking of asparagus, I found a new side dish (or appetizer!) to love throughout spring in the form of breaded asparagus with honey mustard sauce. Healthy fries, I tell ya.
I pretty much couldn’t shut up about spring last month, so I kept it coming with spring rolls. Okay, that descriptor might not be the most accurate but these collard spring rolls are inspired by their rice paper brethren but are grain-free. They’re still packed with fresh, crunchy vegetables and perfect for dipping in a spicy peanut sauce.
I finished off the month with comfort food in the form of a phyllo-topped chicken pot pie. Like the other recipes I focused on, this one is vegetable-heavy but the creamy sauce and buttery topping elicit the nostalgia you’d expect from this hearty dish.
As this two kid, two adult, one bedroom scenario plays out before me, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that love grows best in little houses, but lately it feels like perhaps little houses just make you want to flip the freak out. I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say we are a sleep-deprived household relying heavily on coffee to get through this difficult stage.
Looking over the list of personal recipes I’ve been working on, it struck me how strongly my current fog has influenced what we eat. I’ve been intentionally keeping things on the healthy side, choosing energizing and immune-boosting ingredients to combat the effects of too few hours of sleep. Almost every item on that list is also fast and easy, with a particularly heavy hand of smoothies. Whether I’m blending up breakfast, lunch, or a snack, I always take a moment to scan the fridge and cupboard for add-ins to increase the nutritional value of my lazy meal. This method produced the superfood tropical smoothie, this chocolate tahini smoothie, and a refreshing green smoothie I’ll be posting soon.
I am equally thankful to coffee and my Vitamix for getting me through the day in good spirits.
Today’s recipe is the most dessert-like of the three but doesn’t leave me with the crash effects of a refined sugar good. This one is date-sweetened with rich coconut milk and nutty tahini. Raw cacao powder, cinnamon, and maca contribute a host of nutrients and give it a sophisticated bitterness and spice. If the amount of fat in the recipe doesn’t work for you or you’re just feeling something a little lighter, replace half the coconut milk with water.
Chocolate and Tahini Smoothie
handful of ice
2/3 c coconut milk
2 tbsp tahini
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 Medjool date, pitted
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp maca
cacao nibs, to garnish
Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Serve cold, topped with cacao nibs.