Monday, June 28, 2010

ariel's making ... pattypan squash

snorkel mom and i spent last weekend in santa cruz celebrating bobbi noodle's graduation. bobbi lives next to bill, the farmer, who always hooks us up with awesome veggies to take home. this time, it was a couple of ginormas pattypan squashes. what beauties!

batter frying is so much fun ... it can be done with eggplant, zucs and summer squash.

all you need is an egg wash with a little milk in it and some whole wheat flour. dip the squash into the egg ... then the flour ... and then into a hot pan with about 2 or 3 tablespoons of extra vigin olive oil. fry on medium heat 'til golden brown.

top with ketchup or aoli ... how yummy!

happy frying ... and happy monday ya'll!



Thursday, June 24, 2010

Karina's Vegan Lavender Mint Cake with Apricot Mint Frosting!

Spending hours in the kitchen working on a cake is blissfully therapeutic for me (or maybe its more the tasting along the way and eating of said cake afterward...). Regardless, I was happy for the excuse of a friend's birthday to get it the baking zone again.

I went down to the local Haight St. Market and delighted in the fresh abundance that stone fruit and berry season had to offer! I was immediately drawn to the Organic and ripe Rainer Cherries, apricots, and black- and blueberries. I grabbed a bundle of fresh mint as well, stocked up on the basics of flour and sugar, and headed home to begin my baking party for one.

My friend Alex told me his wife Mel (birthday gal) was a classic vanilla cake connoisseur, but gave me the go ahead to spice it up a bit. I decided to do a vanilla cake infused with subtle mint and lavender, and then make an apricot-mint frosting. I also decided to do it vegan so everyone could join in on the fun.

I crushed up a few tbls of lavender buds and probably 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint as finely as possible and added it to my trusty vegan vanilla cake recipe:

2 cups water
3/4 cups light oil (I used olive)
2 tbl white vinegar
4 tsp vanilla
3-1/2 cups unbleached flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
a few shakes of cinnamon or any other flavors you want to experiment with!

Bake at 350* for about 40 minutes or until cooked through ( I always check mine early to make sure its as moist as possible.)

The frosting was completely improvised. I know if you take earth balance, some type of milk (I used hemp milk), and powdered sugar you will get something resembling frosting. I decided to start flavoring by slicing up three apricots and throwing them into the food processor with the rest of the bundle of mint and a splash of hemp milk to keep it moving.

Then I threw that apricot puree in a large bowl with a few scoops of earth balance, a cup of powdered sugar, agave, cinnamon, and randomly, a few scoops of vanilla coconut milk ice cream I had had the night before.

I used a hand mixer to blend and thicken it up. This was working, but after doing it maybe too long, it started to separate a little. I let it sit in the refrigerator over night, then brought it down to room temp again and put it all in the food processor the next morning with some more powdered sugar and that smoothed it up a lot.

It was still not my ideal consistency, but it tasted so good it didn't matter. I knew that I could use it as a thick glaze that would help "glue" on all of my fresh fruit garnish.

Along with the fruit, I sprinkled some candied ginger crumbs on top.

Thank you summer fruit!

Monday, June 21, 2010

ariel's making ... brick bread

ok ... so this is no stunning chef sam bread ... but i wanted to make a super dense, all whole wheat loaf of bread ... and in the process invented "brick bread."

my made-on-the-fly recipe used:

1 T. yeast
1 T. organic sugar
2 c. whole wheat organic flour
1 1/2 c. water
1 T. sea salt
1 t. extra virgin organic olive oil

first i soaked the yeast and sugar in some warm water for about 5 minutes to get it going. then i added the rest of the water and flour and salt and mixed. once it formed into a dough, i kneaded it for about 5 minutes. then i set it to rest in a warm spot for about an hour. once it had doubled, punched it down, kneaded it some more and placed it in a bread pan. then i let it rise again for about an hour.

then i baked it at 400* for about 45 minutes ... and ta-da! brick bread ;)

with some jam and butter ... this is the perfect late night, totally healthy, snack!

happy baking!



Saturday, June 12, 2010

ariel's harvesting ... sour plums

the sun is shining this weekend and the fruit on the trees are starting to ripen! how exciting! i wanted to do a post about urban foraging. chef sam and i are big on foraging in the city for fruit. there is a plethora of fruit trees in san francisco and a lot of it goes unpicked. luckily, the foraging trend is catching on and city grown fruit is being properly harvested.

the plum tree in our backyard produces lovely little purple plums, but you have to harvest them on the sour side, because when they get ripe they just fall to the ground and smmmmooosh. i love them sour though ... i even took a bag of them on a picnic with the girls today, and the whole big bag was devoured.

so even though some trees produce smaller fruits, that doesn't mean they don't taste amazing!

oh -- and get yourself a handy fruit picker. they're super fun to use :)

enjoy the sunshine this weekend sweeties!



Thursday, June 3, 2010

chef sam's making ... peanut butter granola and fresh soy milk

this is our 50 lbs. bag of organic oats. yes -- we eat a lot of oats, usually raw (i'll post that soon) but also as homemade granola, in pancakes and all sorts of other great baked goods. it usually takes us about 4-6 months to finish a bag.

chef sam made some amazing peanut butter granola and fresh soy milk, so i documented the process to share with ya'll.

the granola was a mix of oats, sugar, cinnamon, pb, coconut, chopped almonds, sesame seeds and butter -- baked on a cookie sheet in the oven 'til golden brown.

chef sam's mom used to make fresh soy milk when he was a kid and he has fond memories of her giving him hot steaming bowls of it with sugar or with chinese dougnuts.

first he soaked the dry soy beans in water for several hours.

then he blended them all up and strained the mixture throw a cloth.

what a perfect combination! both were very delicious and if you've never had homemade soymilk, you should try it! it's totally different than anything you can get in the store.

ciao for now!