Labor Day marks the end of summer, and here we are with it fast approaching. Summer has flown by, and I’m pretty ok with that. It has been hot here in the northwest, and I’m not really into heat. Fall is my favorite, at least it has been historically, I’ve never experienced a northwest fall, so I’ll let you know. Labor Day itself will be fun for us this year. My 3 year old is running her first race! She has been watching and cheering me on for the triathlons I have completed this year, and has been asking to race herself. We found an opportunity and she’s going to go for it.
I have a few suggestions for your Labor Day plans, whatever they may be.
If your running a race, let me suggest fueling up the night before with my loaded pasta.
I haven’t written a post about oatmeal in a while. I’m sure you have been dying for a new version of oatmeal the whole time. This should do the trick. This is a favorite of both by girls and they love to help make it. They can both eat dates while I chop, then my 3 year old helps me shred the zucchini. They take turns dumping in the ingredients, and impatiently wait as it cooks, and cools enough for them to eat. We rarely eat this for breakfast, but often make it for our mid-morning snack, or lunch. The girls also like it cold and room temperature so it is a stable in our snack bag. This oatmeal is sweet, cinnamony, and filled with vegetables! Everything you could ask for in an oatmeal. If you are serving it to a green vegetable averse person you can peel the zucchini before shredding.
Zucchini Date Oatmeal
2 medjool dates, pitted and finely chopped
1 cup shredded zucchini, one small
11/4 cups water
pinch of salt
heaping 1/2 cup rolled oats
2 TBL hemp seeds (optional)
cinnamon to taste (optional)
In a small saucepan combine dates, zucchini, water, and salt. Cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
Once boiling stir in the rolled oats, hemp seeds, and cinnamon. Cook, stirring frequently until the water is absorbed and the oatmeal is the consistency you prefer.
My husband is amazing. He is incredibly kind, thoughtful, and considerate. He takes the time to listen not only to me, but to our daughters, and everyone around him, and his puts time and effort into being a better person, better father, and better husband every day. He is my inspiration, my strength, and my favorite person. I am so happy I get to celebrate him on Father’s Day for being the most incredible father I have ever seen. He notices so many things about our daughters every day and takes the time to celebrate them with them. He takes joy in the small things, and shows how much he loves his girls each and every day. Happy Father’s Day AGW! Your ladies love you.
Because we love my husband so much for his birthday, instead of cake (which my daughters and I wanted) we made him this chocolate peanut butter cup slab and decorated it. This recipe is from the BraveTart cookbook, which you should all get.
For Father’s Day we celebrated early, and we will celebrate again later as my husband will be out of town on the actual day. My 3 year old LOVES to celebrate things right now so it’s super fun to make a big deal every chance we get. We like to make yummy food, the girls make cards, and we eat outside. She thinks eating outside is the absolute height of indulgence. When my husband gets back from his trip we will do all those things. Possible Father’s Day celebration food…
I’ve been working out a lot lately. It’s been a few years, you know with having babies back to back and then not sleeping for three years. However, finally, life seems to be settling in. Both my girls are starting to sleep and I finally have the energy to work out again! It’s pretty awesome. I finally feel like myself again after three years! I’m so lucky to have such a supportive husband who is willing to do the early morning wake ups while I go work out. We also decided to train for our first triathlon together. We’re going to do a sprint triathlon at the end of June. All very exciting, but it all makes be EXTREMELY hungry!
When I get so hungry and I don’t have a plan I end up eating junk. I’m secretly a doughnut fiend and will find a way to work one into my week if I’m not careful. These little gems help a lot. I like to make them super small and eat one before my early morning workouts, and will often snack on one later if I’m searching for food but don’t know what to eat.
This is a super adaptable recipe. You can use any combination of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, switch out the nut butter, add spices, you name it. This is a simple tasty version that I’m really digging right now.
Almond Cherry Breakfast Cookies- Vegan and Gluten Free
I know Easter is tomorrow, but it just isn’t a food holiday for me. This year we won’t even be at home. We are taking my 3 year old skiing for the first time! I’m super excited. So instead, Falafel.
Falafel is one of the most perfect foods when done correctly; salty, herbaceous, crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside, delightful alone and outstanding with a few sauces. The important part of these falafels is that the chickpeas are not cooked, but simply soaked overnight. It takes a little more planning, but is work the effort. The texture is lighter and the flavor more fresh. Serve with your choice of toppings, or just snack on them as is.
2 cup dried chickpeas
1 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1/2-1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper (optional)
6 large cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup all purpose flour or chickpea flour if gluten-free
Soybean or vegetable oil for frying
Toppings of choice.
Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain.
Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.
Sprinkle in the baking powder and half of the flour, and pulse. Continue to add flour and pulse until the dough easily forms a ball when shaped with your hands, and is no longer sticky.
Once dough is the right consistency, cover it and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour to overnight. You can cook it right away, but the texture is better if you allow it to sit.
When ready to use remove the dough from the refrigerator and form the mixture into balls about the size of a walnut.
Heat 2 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a wide deep pot and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour and try again. Then fry falafel balls in batches being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Fry until all sides are golden brown turning as needed.
Drain on paper towels.
I like my falafel best with baba ganouj and tahini sauce for dipping. Many like a sandwich in pita bread. Always serve with pickled or fermented something for that sour note.
For tahini sauce simply stir together tahini, water, lemon juice, salt and minced fresh garlic in proportions you like. I start with 2 TBL tahini, 2 TBL water, squeeze of lemon, one small clove of garlic, and a dash of salt. Minced fresh herbs go nicely here if you have extra parsley or cilantro.
It’s my favorite time of the year, a celebration of Pie, or really, a celebration of people who don’t “get” math so we turn a math thing into a food thing. Here are a few of my favorite ways to celebrate Pi Day 2018!
It’s my birthday today! I love my birthday. I pretty much take at least a week and give myself treats. So fun. Yesterday was date caramel sticky buns (recipe coming next week), today I’m making a cake (not sure what kind yet), I also went spinning (my new obsession) and had my husband bring the girls to take me out to breakfast after class. I know it is also the Superbowl, but lucky for me no one in my house really cares so we get to go to things that are usually crowded on a Sunday afternoon. Today it is going to the climbing gym. So, happy birthday to me and anyone else who shares my birthday. I’m sharing a few links below for my perfect birthday meal.
Life has been a bit odd lately with moving across the country and figuring out our new schedule. With all the changes my cooking and recipe development are a bit off, or maybe I’m just building up to the next round of creation. I have been cooking from recipes a lot lately! Totally crazy, I know! I’ve been having a lot of fun and learning a lot, but haven’t been focusing on my own recipes. I had a whole plan for recipes I wanted to get to you for the Holidays, but alas, it is not going as planned. Instead, I’ll let you know what I have been doing, and give a few recommendations for gifts for yourself or others who love to cook!
This is an essential for everyone who loves to cook, but also loves to know why a recipe works or doesn’t work. The beauty in this book is not only the recipes, but also the vast amount of knowledge that gives you the information you need to make your favorite recipe better, or more consistent, or just reaffirms that yours is the best.
My newest and quickly becoming my favorite is Bravetart
This is a baking lovers dream. Similar to The Food Lab it has some science on why baking works the way it does. It also adds some history about the recipes and how they became what they are today. This is for the person who is a die hard “from scratch” baker. There is even a recipe for homemade sprinkles!
Twelve Recipes is the book that pushed me over the edge into trying new things and various flavor combinations that I had previously avoided. These two books are a must for any cook, and will truly delight. Cal Peternell is an amazing writer and the books can be enjoyed simply for the pleasure of reading them and have the added bonus of completely mind blowing recipes broken down in an approachable manner. I often laugh out loud while reading these cookbooks.
This is for the diehard who already has every cookbook known to man, or the person in your life who is hard to buy for an enjoys the finer things in life. I honestly haven’t tried to make any of the drinks in this book but I have read it from cover to cover.
Any and all of these would make lovely gifts for the food lover in your life. If you’re really stuck and they already have these books then check out the equipment recommendations that the authors give. I’m sure there is a gadget or high quality piece of equipment there that would make a fantastic gift.
The recipe for this delightful morsel of a cake has been passed down from my great-grandmother. It was one of the first recipes I posted when I started my blog several years ago. I didn’t have a picture of it, and I never uploaded one, until today. Just in time to celebrate the start of the holiday season. This cake is ultra moist, full of warming spices, and somehow never too sweet. It is perfect for dessert, breakfast, or as an addition to a holiday brunch. It also takes about 5 minutes to make and makes a big impression with its amazing fall flavors. This is the cake to bake when you have company as the whole house smells like you’ve spent hours in the kitchen as the warm fragrance of fall baking spices waft through the air.
Gramma’s Spice Cake
Makes 1 9×9 cake
1 cup non-dairy milk, or dairy milk
1 tsp. vinegar (apple cider or white, but I’ve also used rice in a pinch)
1 cup sugar
1 TBL vegetable shortening
1 TBL chia seeds mixed with 2 TBL water, or 1 egg, or equivalent of 1 egg in whatever form you like
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 370F.
Add vinegar to milk and set aside.
Cream together sugar and shortening until smooth.
Add the chia seed/water mixture to sugar and mix together.
In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
Alternate between adding flour mixture and soy milk to the shortening, mixing thoroughly between additions.
Pour batter into a greased 9×9 cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cake pulls away from the edges of the pan and a cake tester comes out mostly clean.
We have moved from the Boston area to the Seattle area and have not yet settled in. We are in temporary housing for a few more days (it’s been about two weeks) and things are going well. I have been cooking, but absolutely have not been doing recipe development. Sorry. I know the holidays are coming and I need to get you some amazing things to feature at your holiday table, but this is not the week. Instead you can get a quick peek into my life with two littles in temporary housing.