Wednesday, October 15, 2014

MAPLE GLAZED CARROTS WITH CINNAMON, CUMIN, HAZELNUTS + MINT


I gotta tell you guys, this book of mine has taken me on a crazy adventure over the past two months. I found myself hanging out at some great farmers' markets in Portland and NYC, having a lovely lunch with these kind folks on Vashon Island, seeing old friends and family here and here, cooking on TV, teaching photography at this amazing woman's house, giving a Maker Talk, and teaching a class at this incredible spot. Phew.

Having never done so many new things in such a short period, this experience has felt quite surreal. Like many authors/bloggers/photographers, I'm most comfortable writing and cooking at home and looking through the back of the camera lens. As I mentioned in my last post, this whole endeavor of putting a book into the world feels like leaping off a very high cliff over and over again - pretty darned scary, yet exhilarating all at the same time.

I'm a believer in the notion that spring and summer - those seasons filled with sunlight  - are our natural times to go out, run around, be social. Just in the past few days, I've seen the position of the sun shift and the days shorten and I find myself ready to welcome autumn. I'm craving coziness, cooler days, even fog. I want to hunker down with my family, cook big pots of stew, eat porridge for breakfast, dive into long novels and play board games by the fire.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm actually tired of tomatoes, zucchini, and peaches. Instead, I'm jonesing to roast every root veggie imaginable. So here I am today with these delicious Maple Glazed Carrots inspired by Bryant Terry - a local food hero and cookbook author. When I was in Seattle, I bought Bryant's book Afro-Vegan at Book Larder (a fantastic bookshop!) and Paul and I have both been itching to cook from it.  Bryant's carrots, which have just the sort of warm and toasty flavors I'm craving this time of year, seemed like a good place to start.

I think this dish could be amazing for Thanksgiving dinner. (Oh my, could Thanksgiving be a month away? Yikes!)



INGREDIENTS inspired by Bryant Terry's Glazed Carrot Salad in Afro-Vegan
printable recipe
  • 4 bunches baby carrots peeled and trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup ( + more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • fresh mint leaves
Preheat oven to 425.

Scatter prepped carrots onto a medium baking sheet.

In a small mixing bowl combine oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, cinnamon, garlic, cumin, and sea salt.  Slather the flavorful rub over the carrots. Cover the baking sheet with tin foil and stick the pan in the oven. Bake carrots for 10 minutes. Remove foil, give the pan a shake to turn the carrots, and continue roasting uncovered for another 10-14 minutes until the carrots are tender to your liking.

When you take the carrots from the oven, taste for seasoning. Add a bit more salt or lemon juice if you think the carrots need it, or if you're like me and really dig that maple kick, feel free to drizzle another tablespoon of maple syrup over the roasted carrots. Top with the toasted hazelnuts and mint leaves, and serve right away.

Serves 4 as a side dish


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

BACKYARD FIGS WITH GREEK YOGURT, MARCONA ALMONDS + HONEY

I went swimming with my mom on Sunday morning. (Well, technically it wasn't exactly swimming, but I did submerge myself in the Pacific and loll around in the waves for a while.) This may seem like a perfectly normal thing to do if one imagines the Hollywood version of California, all sunshine and palm trees. But the Bay Area doesn't meet this tropical vision. Ours is the land of fog, chilly summers and icy waters. Too much of a wuss about the cold, I (until Sunday) had never dipped more than a toe into the water in the 35 years I've lived in Northern California. Paul, on the other hand, surfs regularly. And our kids - Lilah a self proclaimed penguin and Otis who never seems to get cold - have swum many times, but not I.  I've happily stayed on shore, usually bundled in sweaters and scarves, watching everyone frolic in the surf. Even swathed in a wetsuit the waters are seriously chilly, but this time, I was determined to try something new. I have to say, it felt invigorating and life affirming to move beyond my comfort zone even in this tiny way.

A dip into unknown waters seems an apropos metaphor for my life at the moment. Since sending my book into the world last month, I feel as though I'm taking the plunge on a daily basis. I'm connecting with new people every day... Hosting a big party for my community. Teaching classes. Giving talks. Sitting on panels. Doing book signings. Giving interviews. It's all new for me. Despite my introverted leanings, I'm trying to approach this adventure with an open mind and heart and so far I've been blown away by the warmth and generosity I've encountered. When someone meets me with a smile and shares a story about their own love of cooking or even how my book might be bringing a little extra joy to their kitchens, I'm blown away and filled with gratitude.

As I pondered what recipe to share today, at first I imagined something elaborate and celebratory, but after I took a few quiet moments to breathe and reflect on what my body is craving these days, I realized that once again I'm inspired by the simple goodness that the season has to offer. Our backyard fig tree is bursting with huge juicy fruit and I thought I would let nature's exuberance mark this occasion by letting the figs shine in their own delicious way. Today's recipe isn't really a recipe at all, but an acknowledgment that if we take a moment to a look around and appreciate the magic that nature has to offer, we'll be met with great reward.

INGREDIENTS per serving
  • 2-4 fresh ripe figs, sliced
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • a handful of salted, roasted Marcona almonds
  • a drizzling of honey

You can serve juicy figs with creamy Greek yogurt, honey and salty crunchy Marcona almonds - these delicious companions - for breakfast of course, but this dish also makes a wonderful afternoon pick-me-up or a not-too-sweet dessert. The layers of texture and flavor are heavenly!


It seems as though I'm not the only fig-lover out there.... Here are some other delicious fig recipes from around the web:

Phyllis's Fig and Blue Cheese Tart
Cheryl's Fig Leaf Ice Cream
Laura's Dark Chocolate Fig Cinnamon Buns
Stacy's The Wonder of the Fig
Sarah's No churn Fig + Coffee Ice Cream
Kathryn's Fig and Almond Torte
Elizabeth's Fig and Cantaloupe Salad
Kasey's Yogurt, Mascarpone and Fig Tartlets 
Carolyn's Brown Butter Almond Tea Cakes with Figs






Wednesday, August 27, 2014

GRATITUDE + BAKED EGGS ON A BED OF ROASTED CHERRY TOMATOES

What a week! Paul and the kids are heading back to school - and my boy Otis is starting high school today. Summer vacation has come abruptly to an end, and my book was released into the world last Tuesday! I've been excited and nervous, scared and giddy all at the same time. 

You, yes you, have helped welcome this book by greeting it with open kitchens and hungry bellies. I have gotten some of the sweetest notes from friends and even strangers, saying that you are already busy cooking my recipes, sharing them with your families. I'm moved beyond words. 

Some of you have shared the book on your own blogs and websites and I'm grateful for the amazing outpouring of support and generosity! 

***If you are also cooking from the book already, I'd love to hear about any recipe you've tried!***

Food 52: Books We Love + Buckwheat Zucchini Muffins
Vanilla Bean Blog: Creme Fraiche Caramel Sauce  
5 Second Rule: Hanger Steak with Gremolata
London Bakes: Simple Almond Torte
Turntable Kitchen: Sunshine Soup + Fish Tacos with Pomegranate Salsa
Edible East Bay: Baked Eggs on a Bed of Roasted Cherry Tomatoes 
Bay Area Bites: Candied Tomatoes
Ashley Neese: Inspired Living 
Design Sponge Home Tour + Ruby Red Grapefruit Fizz
Rodale News
My Darling Lemon Thyme: Simple Almond Torte
Sweet Sugar Bean: French Toast Sandwiches
Poires Au Chocolat: Golden Millet Crepes 
A Cup of Jo: Breakfast Salad 
365 Cookbooks: Ruby Red Grapefruit Fizz 
The First Mess: Bali Garden Stew 
Mom's Kitchen Handbook: Polenta Fries
Food Gal: Brown Butter Almond Tea Cakes 
The Little Green Wheelbarrow: Sunshine Soup 
SF Chronicle
Rue Daily 
The Oregonian
Lonny: Red Rice Risotto + Pluot Parfaits + cucumber gimlets
Cookie + Kate: Baked Eggs on a Bed of Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Brooklyn Supper: Wild Salmon with Dill Butter + Fennel
A Cozy Kitchen: Honeydew Granita
Chow.com

The Kitchn 
Maria Rodale's Farm Country Kitchen
The Style Saloniste
Eat Your Books 
SF Weekly 
Fox in the Kitchen 
London Bakes via Steller Stories: Simple Almond Torte
The Food Network's Healthy Eats Blog: Quinoa Tabbouleh
The Little Loaf 
Berkeleyside 
Huffington Post
Handmade Charlotte: French Toast Sandwiches 
Organic Gardening
My Little Expat Kitchen: Baked Eggs on a Bed of Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
La Domestique: Cozy Winter Soup + Mushroom Lover's Galette
She Eats: Wild Salmon With Dill Butter
Delicious Shots: Ruby Red Grapfruit Fizz
Mom.me Cooks We Love 
The Little Things: Peach + Rosewater Lassi
Good on Paper: Best Granola Ever
7x7 
Red Tricycle: Juicy Burgers with Gruyere, Avocado & Pickled Onions
Lisa is Cooking: Prawns on Lemongrass Skewers + Pip's Yellow Rice
Authentic Suburban Gourmet: Toasty Pecans 
Two Tarts: Peach + Rosewater Lassi 
Celiac Foundation of Northern California 
Cari Borja
Something Lovely
{510} Families
Fitbie Fresh Picks: Tomatoes
SBS: Kitchen Pharmacy
 ...............................................

To mark this big occasion, I wanted to share an easy summery recipe from the book with you. With tomato season in full, juicy swing, I thought you might enjoy this one. xoxoxo



BAKED EGGS ON A BED OF ROASTED CHERRY TOMATOES

Juicy hot cherry tomatoes pop in your mouth. There’s just a hint of basil for sweetness. When both mingle with creamy baked eggs, it’s an amazing combination of texture and flavor that makes for very happy tastebuds. 
 
These baked eggs are a hearty meal—even one egg, with its tomato companions, is surprisingly filling. You can easily increase or decrease the recipe depending on how many people you want to serve: Think 1 egg to 3/4 cup tomatoes, and you’re good to go. 

Of course, you can serve these eggs for breakfast or brunch, but I’d eat them for dinner any day. 

I highly recommend serving the eggs with a side of big buttery Croutons or Polenta Fries (both recipes are in the book) to soak up all the juicy goodness. 

INGREDIENTS
  • 3 cups sweet cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil leaves
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Scatter the tomato halves into a medium ceramic baking dish or cast-iron
skillet. Bake the tomatoes in the hot oven for 12 minutes, then take the dish out. (If a lot of liquid has cooked out of the tomatoes, carefully pour off a little liquid now.) Top the tomatoes with the Parmesan, drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle on the 2 tablespoons basil and the salt and pepper. Then crack the eggs gently onto the bed of hot tomatoes. You want to keep the yolks intact, but don’t worry when the egg whites spill down around the sides of the tomatoes. 

 
Return the baking dish to the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. You’ll know you’re done when the egg whites have set but the yolks are still soft. Sprinkle the cooked eggs with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and the remaining 1 teaspoon basil. 

Serve right away in shallow bowls. 

serves 4 
 
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