Monday, April 24, 2017

Quick Shrimp Noodle Soup. 100 Days of Recipes: Day 21

True confession: 100 days of recipes in a row is hard! I could just pull things from older posts/archives, but I had approached this challenge as more of a way to highlight the every day 'recipes' that I create. Some are created with great planning and care, some just kind of happen. Some are recipes for food, others for other things to nourish the soul. And some days, those things happen, but they don't get chronicled or even thought about until all there was to chronicle was a pile of empty plates or a distant memory. I've done a better job of capturing glimpses, at least, on the Instagram page, so if you're following there the gaps won't be as noticeable. :)

Case in point - Day 20 was yesterday, and it was a lovey and full day that actually presented multiple opportunities to be that day's post: a surprise housewarming for a Lindsey and Michael that had a table laden with bagels and all sorts of yummy things that go with it. The real recipe from that experience, however, was the peace found sitting on comfy couches, watching lovely birds dance around feeders in their new front yard, while Michael swung gently on the porch swing and strummed his banjo. Later in the afternoon, Lindsey and I attended an inspiring, if not chilly and damp, Healthcare Townhall, where we heard the new progressive voice of Matt Coffay, and celebrated his announcement to run for office (recipe for change!). That was followed by a warming bowl of soup at Blossom on Main, in Waynesville, NC. We were too busy talking and getting rid of the chill to think about photos or recipes, but later when I got home and was thinking about dinner, I just wanted more noodle soup!

So in fact, today's recipe is yesterday's recipe! When I got home I was happy to see I still had some rice noodles, and I found a few other things to add to the mix:

Noodles, shrimp, kale, mushrooms, miso, broth, and sriracha to start.
 Also from the pantry: some tamari, garlic, onion, and ginger. I'm going to list this in 'recipe' form at the bottom of the post, but admittedly I was tired, so amounts are estimates! I think it's a simple enough dish, however, to say that almost any ingredient may be added "to taste".

The finished soup, except that I snapped the picture before
I poured more broth over the noodles, so this is really the goodness
that was IN the broth!
Quick Shrimp Noodle Soup

8 oz pre-cooked shrimp*
4 oz. rice noodles
2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 cup kale leaves, thinly sliced
thumb-size knob of ginger, thinly sliced
1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
2 TBSP miso paste
2 squirts of tamari sauce
Sriracha sauce to taste
Salt to taste

prep note: *The shrimp were pre-cooked, and because if was the end of a long, if not lovely, day, I didn't want to take a lot of extra time for a slow-cooking soup that would give me more fully developed flavors. Miso is a wonderful ingredient to add depth to a quick recipe - I created a quick "marinade" for the shrimp by finely dicing some of the onion, garlic, and ginger into some miso. I loosened it up with a bit of the broth, and coated the shrimp with it and let that sit to the side while I prepared the rest of the soup. 

In a sauce pan, heat just enough broth to cover the pan. When you see it simmer, add the onion, garlic, and ginger and saute until they soften and become fragrant. Add the kale and mushrooms, and a bit of salt. Saute another minute or so to soften those vegetables, then add the broth. Bring it all to a high simmer, and add the noodles. Cover the pan and let the noodles completely soften - they will absorb a good bit of the broth, so add more if it gets less soupy than you like. Add the tamari and taste the broth for any seasoning yo might like to add. Reduce to a light simmer, and add the miso paste and the shrimp, stirring to fully dissolve and incorporate (and to heat the shrimp). Add sriracha to taste (more at serving, even!). 

Scoop out noodles, shrimp and veg to a bowl, then pour over as much broth as you want for your soup-slurping delight!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Some days, you eat cake! 100 Days of Recipes: Day 16

Some days, you have cake!

Birthday Girl!
Today at the studio, we celebrate our wonderful Operations Manager, Lindsey Mudge. We actually celebrate her every day: the amount of details she keeps up with on our behalf, the number of things she does behind the scenes, that we mostly don't even know about, but that keep us running smoothly - well I don't think it's an understatement to say they are innumerable! 

Princess Birthday Girl, enjoying having her cake and eating it, too!

So today, in her honor, we put the traditional "Happy Birthday" banner across her office, made her wear the "Birthday Tiara", sang (in four part harmony!) Happy Birthday to her, and feasted her with vittles from Homegrown restaurant. Our fearless leader Sarah is out of town, but she called in for the singing, and she arranged for a chocolate cake from Short Street Cakes that had us all giddy on sight. We capped off the celebration with a gift for Lindsey from Dobra Tea, her favorite after-yoga pit stop.

We drew on our Asheville community to help celebrate a valued member of our TVP community, and all of it reminds me how very blessed we are, all of us.

Some days, you punt. 100 Days of Recipes: Day 15

Some days, you punt.

Yesterday was one of those days - busy on the phone and computer before I left the house, and then busy at the studio, trying to continue glazing for my firing at the end of the week, with visions and thoughts swirling in my head from my busy-ness earlier in the morning. So it really didn't surprise me that something was just enough 'off' that I kind of kept running into myself. 

Studio Snacking Survival Kit
And while I didn't remember to post this yesterday, this was totally my recipe for surviving the day - small snacks so I could at least stop and distract myself for a few minutes and avoid any blood sugar "hangry" episodes (believe me, the day didn't need any help being dysfunctional!). My go-to items in this survival kit are often the same: Roots Hummus with dipping veggies, nuts and dried fruit, apple and peanut butter. And water - I did a marginal job on that yesterday, but I did stay fueled!

Today I'm a gallerina, so I can be more thoughtful about yesterday's folly and plan for my final glazing session tomorrow while my last bisque kiln cools. Today is also a special day in our studio, so my Day 16 post will be in that celebration - stay tuned!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Lamb Stew. 100 Days of Recipes: Day 14

Lamb Stew, a la Tagine

A Tagine is a dish from North Africa, named for the conical earthenware pot used to cook it. The conical lid allows for a very moist atmosphere in cooking, and the results are just as mouth-watering. 

I have yet to make myself a ceramic tagine - it's on the list, but I can approximate the results in my large, enameled cast iron stock pot, and that's what I did recently for our studio Annual Meeting that I hosted at my home.

The original serving, over cauliflower couscous with roasted sweet potatoes

As soon as I do make that tagine pot, I'll make the recipe again, and then I can give a good comparison. But given how abso-friggin-lutely good this came out in my stock pot, I'm not sure I'll be rushing to make the pot or the comparison (but it is still on the list)!

Lamb Tagine (serves 4)

Preheat oven to 300 (day of cooking!)
Marinade for the 3 pounds of lamb* (do the day before):

2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground allspice

*I used 3 pounds of boneless leg of lamb, with excess fat trimmed and chopped into 1" cubes.

Place the lamb in a bowl, sprinkle the dry marinade on top and massage it thoroughly throughout the lamb. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight. 

Take the lamb out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you're ready to start - by the time you prep the rest of the ingredients for the tagine, it'll have warmed up just enough.

In a large cast iron or other heavy-bottomed pan, heat about 1 TBSP of olive oil to med-hi heat. Add as much of the lamb as you can without crowding it - it should all be a single layer with room (in a 10" pan, that's about 1/3 of your lamb). Brown the lamb on all sides, and remove it to a large stock pot (mine is an enameled cast iron pot, like Staub or Le Creuset). Repeat with the remaining lamb, adding more oil as needed.

Leftovers become even more tender, with even richer flavors.
To the stock pot, add:

1 TBSP freshly grated ginger
1 head of garlic cloves, smashed and roughly chopped
1 large onion, grated
1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
6 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced in half or left whole if small
2 28-oz can diced or crushed tomatoes
2 cups of stock (lamb or chicken)
10 dates, cut into 1/3's
8 dried apricots, cut into 1/4" slices
2 TBSP honey

Cover pot and place in 300 degree oven for 3-4 hours* Lamb will be SO tender, and the fruit and vegetables will make a thick, luxurious sauce. Remove it from the oven and let it sit for about 10 minutes before removing from pot. Serve over couscous, or to be gluten free, cauliflower couscous (this recipe will show up soon, too).

*Ovens vary, and cook time will also vary depending on how consistently you cut the lamb.

One more note: I had intended to include sweet potatoes in the pot with the lamb, but one of my studio mates offered to bring some as a side dish, so she roasted sweet potato chunks in a dry marinade similar to what I used on the lamb. Had they been in the pot, they would have melted into the sauce with the other veg and been delicious, but having them roasted separately made them a perfect compliment to the rich tagine, with the lightness of the cauliflower couscous making a trifecta of deliciousness!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

If you love it, put an Egg on it! 100 Days of Recipes: Day 13

If you love it, put an Egg on it!

Most times, when I'm planning a recipe or a meal, I'm thinking ahead to the leftovers - how the flavors will continue to develop in the second or third serving, and what else I might do with the original meal or element. And if I've made something that really makes my mouth and soul sing, one of my favorite ways to enjoy it again is under an over-easy egg. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner - it's a winner!

My handbuilt bowl is the perfect vessel for my
leftover lamb tagine (that will be in a future recipe posting)
with all it's warming spicy goodness, under a velvety egg. dang.
That's today's recipe - if you have leftovers from a meal that made you happy, put an egg on it! 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Recipe for Refreshment. 100 Days of Recipes: Day 12

Recipe for Refreshment

Belgian Style Pale Ale by Ponysaurus Brewing (Durham)
in a Salt Yellow 'Fine Brew' tumbler.

I think the picture pretty much sums up today's recipe. It was a lovely day outside, but we were consistently busy in the gallery all day so I didn't see the sky until just before dusk. It felt like the end of a busy week when i got home, so the recipe creation part of my brain just decided it needed a night off. I did manage a lovely salad of all sorts of odd and end greens, veggies, fruits, and nuts, but I was so hungry I ate it before really thinking of it as a recipe. :)

Friday, April 14, 2017

Sweet Potato Crostini. 100 Days of Recipes: Day 11

Sweet Potato Crostini

This has become my go-to staple for impromptu entertaining or just those days when I'm not sure what I want to make. While slices of sweet potato grill on the Foreman Grill, I prepare a variety of toppings, and in both sweets and toppings, a little goes a long way, so it's also a pretty inexpensive way to put together an enticing platter of goodies!

Assortment of sweet potato toasts.
Photo by Laurie McCarriar/Artist Geek
And of course, the variety of toppings is only limited by your imagination, and your pantry!

Sweet Potato Crostini

Amounts of course will vary based on how many people you're trying to feed. In general, you want to use skinnier sweet potatoes that will give you nice disc shapes when you cut across the middle. Cut them as thick as you like, but all should be of even thickness to cook well in the Foreman Grill. Skins off or on is your choice, and no seasoning is necessary before they go on the grill.

Cook time will also vary depending on thickness, but give them a check after about 3 minutes and flip them if you want marks on both sides. They're done when they're fork tender, but with a slight char on the skin.

Suggested Toppings

Sliced hard boiled egg and sliced pickled garlic with sriracha squirt
Thin slice of braised pork belly with jalapeno jelly
Chopped tomatoes, olives, and pickled garlic
Mango sriracha hummus and candied bacon
Goat cheese and smoked salmon
Dark chocolate and toasted marshmallow (GF S'mores - don't judge till you try it!)

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Matzoh Pizza. 100 Days of Recipes: Day 10

Matzoh Pizza

I'm having fun finding different ways to enjoy the yummy matzoh from OWL Bakery, and tonight I made an impromptu pizza of sorts. I toasted the matzoh lightly in the oven, then topped it with a homemade tomato basil hummus, chopped boiled egg, avocado, fresh basil, and hot sauce.

I love how the beautiful toast in the matzoh just about perfectly matches
the textures in my salt yellow glaze (eating with my eyes, first!)
The matzoh wasn't perfectly flat, so before I added the toppings, I pressed it flat, breaking it into several large pieces. Spreading the hummus on first held it together, and then it also made eating it easy as I could just pull out smaller, broken pieces. 

Matzoh Pizza

for the Hummus, place the following in a food processor:

1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
2 tsp. lemon juice
4 cloves chopped pickled garlic
1/2 tsp. pickling juice (you can also just increase the lemon juice)
small bunch of basil leaves, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBSP tomato paste

Pulse to mix ingredients, then set to puree. Drizzle olive oil in while it blends until it becomes a consistency you like. I like it smooth, but not completely lump-free - a little texture is nice! 

Other toppings:

1 hard boiled egg, chopped
1/2 avocado, chopped
4 large basil leaves, thinly sliced
hot sauce

Spread the hummus on the matzoh, add toppings, enjoy!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Grilled Chicken and Citrus Salad. 100 Days of Recipes: Day 9

Grilled Chicken and Citrus Salad

Today I am the 'gallerina' at The Village Potters, and on those days I usually bring foods to prepare in our studio kitchen. My studio mate Sarah is working hard to finish glazing a kiln load of pots and load it later today, so I told her I would bring food to prepare us lunch, and that it would fit within her preferred eating regimen, which is basically protein with fruits and vegetables, no refined grains, sugars, or saturated fats.

Chicken in the marinade.
To me, that says salad with a protein! I put the chicken breasts in the marinade at 7am, and they were perfect for the George Foreman grill by noon. The marinade and salad portion of this recipe reflects what I had on hand, paired with things from Sarah's shelf in the studio fridge - as is usually the case with the recipes I provide, you may adjust to your own tastes and what's in your pantry!

That moment when you realize you've completely failed as a taking-pictures-
 member of society.
The result was so good, and we were so consistently busy in the gallery, that I forgot to take my usual "plated" shot, but remembered just before I took the last bite of chicken.

Literally, the last bite of chicken.

worth it.
Grilled Chicken and Citrus Salad

Serves 4

Marinade for the chicken:

2 cups white wine, or rice wine vinegar
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
3-4 cloves pickled garlic, sliced
generous pinch of sea salt
1 tsp. turmeric
small bunch parsley, chopped
small handful of basil, chopped
1/4" nub of fresh turmeric, grated
1/2" nub of fresh ginger, grated
2 large chicken breasts, no skin, no bones

Mix all marinade ingredients, then add chicken and let marinate 4 hours or overnight.

I used a Foreman Grill - you can use a grill pan, or even a grill! Get it hot, and grill approx. 7-8 minutes per side. If you close the Foreman grill, that amount of time just about does it - it all depends on the thickness of the chicken breasts. Remove them from the grill, but don't cut them until you're ready to plate them on the salad.

for the salad:

1 head of Romaine
2 cups mixed baby greens
1/2 cup baby carrots
1/2 yellow pepper, sliced
3 large crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 grapefruit, sectioned
1head broccoli, lightly steamed
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1 avocado, chopped
1 hard boiled egg
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 sweet onion, thinly sliced

Balsamic Vinegar

Toss salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and balsamic vinegar. Slice the chicken into strips or chunks, and place on top of the salad. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Charoset. 100 Days of Recipes: Day 8


Passover began last night, and there are many traditional dishes that will appear on Seder tables this week. Life events here changed my plans to host a seder, but I've been peering over various recipes, so I'll share some for this week's part of the 100 Day Challenge.

On the Seder table, charoset represents the mortar used by slaves in Egypt. The word 'charoset' comes from the Hebrew word cheres, which means clay. No wonder it's always been my favorite dish on the table!

Over the years and in the various cities where I've lived, I've enjoyed the hospitality of many different Seder meals, and while the traditional dishes are always on the table, each cook will impart a unique twist on most recipes. This is I think doubly true for charoset. 
my chunky charoset
The base ingredients of charoset are basically fruit, nuts, spices, and sweet wine with perhaps some other sweeteners. Apples are almost always included, sometimes with dates, figs, raisins, sometimes just the apples. Some include walnuts, others almonds. Some just cinnamon, others add cloves, or ginger. Some use honey, others might include brown sugar. Sweet, red table wine is most often a staple, but apple cider vinegar can also be used. The possibilities are endless!

For this simple version, I pretty much eye-balled it for the ingredients on hand, so forgive the lack of an exact recipe - if you look them up, you'll see how basic it is and you can create a version based on your own tastes. For mine, I've used pink lady and gala apples, with walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, fresh grated ginger, honey, and apple cider vinegar. I like a chunkier version, because I like to eat it by itself, but I'll also chop some up finer so it sits nicely on a matzoh. 

Wishing everyone a Happy Passover, and a coming Happy Easter!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Smoothie du Jour. 100 Days of Recipes: Day 7

Smoothie du Jour

I love packing smoothies to take to the studio. I also love cooking at the studio, but sometimes you just don't want to stop work long enough for the fun of prep and cooking. I have learned, however, that it's worse yet to keep working until the 'hangry' stage, so I try to have something on hand when that scenario approaches.

My smoothies vary, depending on what's in the fridge/freezer, but today's smoothie features something I just learned: you can eat banana peels!!! I feel like I should have known this - I know often times the best nutrients can be found in the skin/peels of foods, and I know bananas are jam packed with nutrients! Till now, I considered bananas only for wrapping other foods in them to cook, tossing on a compost heap, or putting them in a pit fire for potassium flashes - I never thought of edible uses. My recent focus on 'what to do with the scraps' has made me more attentive to all the scraps I create, and a quick google later, I learned I can, indeed, eat the peels. Even better, I learned that over-ripe peels are more tender and sweeter, and good for smoothies. 

Frozen spinach, frozen blueberries, frozen sliced bananas (with peels!),
cacao nibs, chia seeds. I added some Forager Project's Cashew Yogurt
drink and a bit of coconut milk to thin it all out.
 Lucky for me, I'm often too lazy to peel my bananas before freezing them, and usually just wait until they're past the ripeness that I care to eat, and toss them whole in the freezer. No more frozen fingers trying to get the peels off before using them!!

The finished batch - a bit for now, and more for the studio.
The smoothie tastes as good as it ever does, and I've added fiber and other nutrients to the mix. And the only part now that goes to compost are the very ends and stems. If I ever get a Vitamix, there will be much banana peel cooking in the kitchen!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Scraps Soup. 100 Days of Recipes: Day 6

Finishing up what was started last night, and a lovely, therapeutic morning puttering in the kitchen. Here's what became of my pot full of scraps:

I think I'll just call it "Scraps Soup", as I doubt it will ever be the same twice, and I think that may be what I like most about it! Because this is intended to be 100 days of recipes, here it is, more or less:

Scraps Soup

In my large stock pot, I tossed leftover scraps of cauliflower stalks, bits of sweet potatoes, onions, fennel bulb,and a few cloves of garlic. I covered it in some open containers of vegetable and chicken stock from the fridge, threw in a handful of crushed thyme leaves (dried out from last year's herb garden), a generous toss of salt, and several grinds of pepper.

That simmered, covered, on a med/low heat for several hours. That's probably not necessary, but I fell asleep watching a movie. Luckily there was enough liquid, and the heat was low enough, that it didn't dry up and burn off. I turned it off and left it to finish this morning, when I put it back on that heat to warm it while I scoured the kitchen for any more scraps. I found two little ends of fresh-but-drying-out turmeric and ginger, so they were grated into the pot along with a bit more salt after tasting. In the fridge, I found the leftovers of a small tin of chopped up mushrooms and truffles*- in they went. I picked up some ramps at my favorite tailgate market yesterday, and added the tender leaves to the pot as well.

As it heated up under cover again, I saute-ed the ramp bottoms with some trumpet mushrooms, also collected at the tailgate, in a bit of olive oil.

Once the goodness in the stock pot was heated again, I went at it with the immersion blender, melding all the good flavors into a velvety, thick soup. 

The result - a soul-warming soup base to hold the seasonal goodness of the ramp/mushroom saute. And plenty in jars, ready to nourish throughout the week!

*I love shopping at Hopey & Company! It's on my daily route, great selection of organic produce, lots of local products, and then the occasional, random find that pops up. The little tin of chopped truffles and mushrooms in oil was one such find - I grabbed it on a whim to top some of the sweet potato toasts at the annual meeting. The finishing flavor on this soup is a nice blend of the ramps, melting into a soft truffle sweetness. 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Soup, Part 1. 100 Days of Recipes: Day 5

I started today's recipe late, so it will finish tomorrow -  here's part 1:

Other than 'Soup' there is no name for this creation as of yet, but by the slow-simmering aroma wafting from the kitchen, I think it will be a good one! The ingredients are mostly the scraps from cooking earlier in the week: cauliflower stalks, bits of sweet potato, fennel bulb, onion, and stock. That's my starting point, tune in tomorrow and see what it becomes!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Recipe for Love and Happiness. 100 Days of Recipes: Day 4

Recipe for Love & Happiness

Easy recipe with long-lasting benefits. Go to a shelter or the pound, and get a dog. Be worthy of that dog, and grateful every day you have, because it's likely you'll have more days than the the dog will have with you. Stir up the unconditional love and joy every day, and if the time comes that you need to help your lovely companion over the Rainbow Bridge, let yourself simmer with that love as long as you can, and know that like every good recipe, the feeling you get in your soul when you create and or enjoy it, will be with you as long as you have memory.  

My sweet Gable. 2001-2017. 

"What we have once enjoyed, we can never lose.
All that we love deeply becomes a part of us."
 - Helen Keller

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Baked Polenta with Ramps. 100 Days of Recipes: Day 3

Although I've been too busy to go forage in the woods or at the Tailgates, I'm starting to hear of the annual appearance of ramps, the distinctly delicious wild onion that once was a rare find, and now seems to be almost ubiquitous in markets and restaurants. Even so, it is a great marker of Spring, happily has not yet gotten to being in markets year-round.

And while Spring is coming and flowers and trees are blooming, the weather still has fun surprises in April. Day 1 of this Challenge was sunny and 70 degrees. Yesterday was grey, cooler, and rainy, ending in rolling thunder storms. In the nearby mountains, snow is predicted by the weekend. Welcome to Spring in Asheville! It being on the cooler and more dreary end of our weather scale while I pondered today's recipe, I was thinking comfort foods, and so offer this for Day 3.

100 Day Challenge, Day 3

Baked Polenta with Ramps

1 cup coarsely ground cornmeal
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chopped kale leaves & tender stems
1/2 cup ramps, cleaned well and sliced across the leaves & bulbs
1 Tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper
optional: fresh grated Pecorino Romano

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a 10" cast iron pan, heat olive oil over med/low heat, and saute the kale and ramps until wilted, but not over-cooked, adding just a pinch of salt and pepper while you cook them. Remove the pan from the heat, but leave the greens in the pan. In a small bowl, combine the beaten eggs with the broth and water (you can use all broth or all water if you like). 

Add the cornmeal, liquid mixture, salt, and cayenne to the pan, and stir to combine. Cut up the butter and sprinkle over the top of the pan (it will float), and if adding the Pecorino, sprinkle over the top to lightly cover.

Bake, uncovered, for about 45-60 minutes, or until the dish becomes puffy and then feels 'set' in the middle (not soupy/soft). Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes before cutting into wedges to serve.

*disclaimer: I have a habit of wanting to try a new recipe and pouring through cookbooks and perusing online to get ideas. So it was, some years ago, when I came across a basic 'baked polenta' recipe, and on a whim I tried a 'half' quantity recipe as it was just for me, and added some leftover saute-ed veggies, so the amounts on the veg are my approximation, as is the estimated pan size. As long as you can fit it all in the pan, go for it! It's also great with diced sweet potatoes, onions, and mushrooms. And bacon. It's kind of like a cross between a frittata and cornbread dressing. Very comfort-foodie, and if you already have the leftovers, it's almost a one-dish preparation. As much as I love messing up the kitchen for a recipe, stirring everything in one pan and baking it is a nice way to go, too.

Springy Fruity Elixir. 100 Days of Recipes: Day 2

April has somewhat snuck up on me. The winter was weird, so now things are blooming all over the place, it was sunny and 70 yesterday, but because it's still before Mother's Day, and because it's Asheville, there might be snow at the end of the week.

Today I'll take inspiration from my Monthly Planner, and take a moment to remember all those things to toast - good family, good friends, good dogs, mostly good cats, good colleagues, clients, and cohorts, doing work I love, and always a reason to see and find gratitude.

100 Day Challenge, Day 2

Springy Fruity Elixir

A refreshing way to drink water, and avoid sugary sodas or juices. Of course, make what ever variations you like, depending on what you have on hand.

Per serving:

1 can Soda water, or unsweetened lemon or lime seltzer
2-3 strawberries, cleaned and tops removed
3-4 raspberries, rinsed
4-5 mint leaves, thinly sliced
2 basil leaves, thinly sliced
Juice of 1/4 lemon slice (optional, if you don't use a lemon seltzer)

In the bottom of a tumbler, muddle the berries with the mint and basil leaves. Squeeze lemon juice into glass, then pour over soda water. Add ice if desired.

I also do a version of this with non-carbonated water, and make larger batches in a bottle that goes with me to the studio. I like to put sections of citrus orange/grapefruit/lemon in those for added flavor.* The more it chills in the fridge, the more the fruit flavors diffuse into the water, and when you drink it you'll get the occasional fruity/minty/herby treat!

*the best way to cup up your citrus for these bevvies, or for salads, is to supreme them. If you're not familiar with that, you can learn how by watching this video!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Moroccan Style Spice Blend. 100 Day Challenge, Day 1

It's been an ongoing frustration for me that my sweet little recipe blog has fallen into complete disrepair, barely offering ideas, much less recipes, for months at a time. I've been watching other artists embrace the #100DayChallenge, and I've been thinking about joining it - maybe posting some work in progress in the studio, following a kiln load from wet clay to glaze firing. That can be accomplished well within 100 Days, but it might be a nice starting point. Then I happened upon my poor recipe blog, and decided this challenge might just perk up the feed. 

So here we go:

100 Day Challenge, Day 1

Spice Blend for Moroccan Style Seasoning

I use some form of this blend to marinate meats before searing and slow cooking, and for seasoning roasted vegetables. The variations are endless depending on your own tastes and what you may or may not have in the cupboard. 

Mix it up, put it in a jar with a good-fitting lid, and sprinkle liberally on anything that wants a little kick in flavor. If you're seasoning vegetables to roast, this blend is great on sweet potatoes, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and winter squashes. I'll save the Lamb Tagine recipe for another post! 

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

Moroccan Spiced Roasted Sweet Potatoes
(with Lamb Tagine over Cauliflower Couscous)