My week in food and fun.
CITIZEN BISCUITS: the formation. Let me be clear: I really dislike working with coconut flour. I’ve mentioned a few times already that I found myself stuck with about a pound of it and in an effort to not waste an ounce of my existing pantry of expensive to semi-expensive goods, I’ve been trying to sustain myself off of it. These were an idea after a little bit of soul-searching lead me to find a way to give an offering to humanity. A sort of You’re out there, I’m thinking of you, I can’t solve all your problems but I can send my love. I wouldn’t say they turned out particularly well. Go figure. Bre + baking = questionable results. BUT I’ve never even made real biscuits before so I think that, coupled with the fact that they were still edible, means it wasn’t a complete failure.
WORLD PEAS SOUP + CITIZEN BISCUITS FOR ALL MANKIND
Pea soup is inspired by Heidi Swanson (the most awesome Yellow Split Pea Mash found in her Near & Far cookbook). Basic idea is cooked split peas (I used green ones), blended with a bit of coconut milk and salted. Heidi suggests topping with pan-fried scallions but onions caramelized in turmeric will work just as well. Jared and I devoured caramelized onions immediately so they’re not pictured. Soup paired with the coconut flour biscuits described above.
A sort of behind-the-scenes shot. Baked beans inspired by the Modern Potluck cookbook. Of course I ignored the fact that I didn’t have any of the ingredients called for, so quickly picked through my cupboards to find proper substitutions. This, my first true batch of vegetarian baked beans, will be hard to top. Navy beans (cooked from dry) plus a sauce made from maple sugar, honey, soy sauce, and sweet and sour mustard seeds. Baked for 1.5 hours at 350 degrees.
Beginning the month-long project of making apple cider vinegar from scratch. A simple mixture of sugar water and chopped organic apples. The leprechaun hat courtesy of a glass wedged strategically to try to keep the apples submerged in water (lest it mold). In addition to the zillion cooking contributions ACV can make, I use it in a homemade face toner (equal parts ACV, water, and witch hazel) and dip the tips of my hair into a jar of ACV cut with water as a sort of conditioner in the shower. I had to leave behind my old brew for the cross-country move so I’m currently making do without. It’s challenging…
Local berries. We bought three baskets of strawberries and couldn’t eat them all before they began to mush (we’re mindful to keep the appropriate fruit at room temperature to preserve their flavor and nutrient profile). The last basket made a lovely compote-style jam which was sweet enough on its own. I also find strawberries to jam up nicely without starch or pectin, so all I did was cook down the berries until spreadable consistency. This simple concoction quickly became a favorite and we’re anxiously awaiting the next set of market strawberries so it can be re-imagined!
I was clearly using up a can of coconut milk this week! Soak one tablespoon of chia seeds + 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats in 1 cup coconut milk and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, top with local sage blossom honey and up to one teaspoon maca powder. If my batch was ready, I would have stirred in some vanilla extract (one-half to one teaspoonful). This served as a most delicious, energizing breakfast, but I’ve been craving it as a late-night snack as well (replacing the maca with cinnamon or chopped chocolate).
I’m grappling with whether or not to put my SCOBY into hibernation until I feel more inspired. This next-to-last batch was double fermented with carrot juice and it was actually a raging success, requiring me to heavily reconsider.
I dry roasted these golden beets without a touch of salt or oil. I love both those things and use them liberally but this yields a nice result as well. They dressed a bed of massaged kale topped with a coconut milk dressing (blend: coconut milk, lemon juice, honey).
“CEREAL” aka pan-toasted oats, honey, strawberries, blackberries, oranges, and the last of that can of coconut milk.
Hi, hot springs!
Another one of those baking (mis)adventures… I’m calling this a sponge cake. I have no idea what a sponge cake traditionally is, but for my purposes it’s when the porous cake soaks up the whole ganache and tastes better after setting in the fridge overnight. We decided we’d gone particularly nutrient-dense in the cake (which is also hiding zucchini!) so we bought a couple bars of high-quality milk chocolate for the ganache. #badkids
Side note: despite all the laughable shortcuts made during the baking process, the biggest complaint was texture from the coconut flour. There are better gluten-free flours and, most notably, I’m not gluten-free, so my favorite sprouted spelt flour and the occasional unbleached whole grain wheat flour will do (especially when trying to share with a dude). End rant. Original recipe found here.
The gift of this fella is immense. Mama Bear says, after hearing me describe daily life with him, “It’s like having a child!” WHOA; hard to believe that’s come upon me at this stage of my life (though I’ve been calling Jared a doggie dad for two years now). Beyond trying to feed his need for attention at all times of the day, re-learning life through his eyes gives new meaning to it all. He’s truly the one who seeks adventure at every turn, is always ready to play, and is so unbelievable curious about the little things, like the process of brushing my teeth, getting dressed, the smell of curry powder, where the trash goes, what we’re always doing in the fridge, etc. This particular photo was on the way to a long afternoon of hiking straight up in straight sun. He wants so badly to feel the 80mph wind on his face that we have to hold onto his harness as he hangs out the window. On the way home, in a rare moment of peace, he was passed out in the back.
Another sort of behind-the-scenes look at what I deem BTS-worthy. I’d like to note that I started cooking my dry beans with a bit of seaweed (kombu is always a favorite) to help improve digestive ease (re: reduce impending gasses). Also, look at this beauuuuutiful Le Creuset dutch oven graciously gifted to us by our fabulous aunt + uncle cheerleaders, Rusty and Kris. Between their donations and my antique restorations, our cookware is the sturdiest stove-to-oven set you ever did see.
This summer I discovered that my second favorite cocktail (besides bourbon + ginger) is bourbon + beer. I had fun coming up with names for it, since I figured it doesn’t qualify as a traditional cocktail but more of a bomber. I couldn’t choose between BOUR or BEERBON, so I use them interchangeably. Introduced the fellas to this blend of “local” (old hometown region and new). Did the trick.