12.06.2017

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Hey there – I got you a present! You can win $75 to spend however you’d like on my new favorite thing – a Gathre bonded leather mat. Head over to this instagram post to enter and win.

Gathre makes a huge variety of beautiful, multi-purpose leather bonded mats in a range of sizes (tablecloth, maxi square, maxi circle, midi, mini, micro) and prints (york branches, buffalo check, starlight , solids) that can be used in a million different ways from the beach and park to under a highchair, for baby changing, picnicking, crafting, practicing yoga, on a playroom floor, as a tabletop placemat, or a full size tablecloth. Here is a helpful gallery of images that show the many ways to use a Gathre mat.

We have a tablecloth sized buffalo check mat and I love the mat’s texture (smooth on the top and soft suede on the underside) and the fact that you can just wipe them down with warm water and gentle soap after using. We pulled out our mat on Sunday to use as a gingerbread cookie making surface. The mat held up perfectly under the flour, dough, rolling, stamping, and general mess. I just ran a damp cloth over it and packed it up when we finished.

Head over now and enter – I hope you win!

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Gingerbread Cookies

Makes a couple dozen depending on your cookie cutter size

 

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2/3 cup molasses

1 egg

 

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, and salt in a mixing bowl.

3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter, coconut oil, and brown sugar together. Pour in the molasses and egg and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes.

4. Add the dry ingredients into the sugar-butter mixture and mix to combine. Turn the dough out on a work surface and form into a ball. Divide the ball in half then shape each half into a disc. Wrap the discs in plastic and place them in the fridge to cool.

5. Once dough has cooled down (about 30 minutes in the fridge or 15 minutes in the freezer), flour a work surface and roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thick. Stamp the dough with cookie cutters and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.

6. Let the gingerbread cookies cool on the baking sheet then store cookies in a lidded box or jar on the counter for up to 4 days.

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11.29.2017

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I woke up Monday morning determined to eat well this week. After last week’s Thanksgiving escapades (creamed spinach 4-life!!) and extended road trip diet (which consisted of mostly bagels and coffee) I needed a restart. One strategic move that always works to improve my vegetable intake is preparing a handful of favorite dressings, all unique and packed with flavor, to have on hand. These three little jars are my ticket out of this carb jungle.

Each dressing can be made quickly and easily  by simply combining the ingredients in a lidded jar and shaking vigorously. Below are the recipes for Lemon-Tahini Dressing, Carrot-Ginger-Miso Sauce, and Mustard Vinaigrette. I love the Lemon-Tahini number over quinoa and roasted root vegetables. The Carrot-Ginger-Miso is especially good mixed into a stir-fry or tossed with dark leafy greens. The vinaigrette is good on lentils and simple salads.

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My 3 Favorite Dressings:

Lemon-Tahini Dressing:

1/4 cup tahini

1 lemon, juiced

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 teaspoon salt

2-3 tablespoons hot water

Simply combine everything in a lidded jar and shake, shake, shake. Tahini-Lemon Dressing can be stored on the counter for a week.

 

Carrot-Ginger-Miso Sauce:

1/2 cup miso paste, white or red

1/4 cup canola oil

1 cup shredded carrot

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon honey

1/4 cup water

Simply combine everything in a lidded jar and shake, shake, shake. Carrot-Ginger-Miso Dressing can be stored in the fridge for a few weeks.

 

Mustard Vinaigrette:

2/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar

1/2 a lemon, juiced

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 garlic clove, halved

Pinch dried or fresh herbs – dill, thyme, cilantro, and oregano are my favorites.

Simply combine everything in a lidded jar and shake, shake, shake. Mustard Vinaigrette can be stored on the counter for a week.

 

DON’T FORGET! You get 20% copies of Feeding a Family using code FAF20 at this link. Give the gift of food and family this holiday!

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03.22.2017

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Remember our cookbook club (fun NY Times story here / tips on how to start your own here)? Our last meeting, a couple of months ago now, was focused on Small Victories by Julia Turshen. We read, cooked, and ate from Julia’s new release and I’ve been meaning to share some of her words of wisdom with you as well as the recipe that I made that night – Kimchi Fried Rice with Scallion Salad.

Take it away Julia….

“There’s a theory out there in the ether that even the best cooks stuggle with cooking rice. I’m afraid I’ve suffered from poor rice cooking for a long time. The fail-proof method I’ve grown to love, especially for long-grain rice, with grains that are best when kept separate (as opposed to cozy short-grain rice, where the grains hug their neighbors), is to cook rice just as you would pasta. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the rice, and boil until the grains are tender (10 to 15 minutes for most types of white rice, 35 to 40 for more types of brown rice). When the rice is done, drain it in a fine-mesh sieve and serve immediately with butter and salt, or let it cool and use it the next day for one of the best foods in the world: fried rice.

Leftover rice is best for making fried rice because the grains become very dry and then act as sponges for whatever flavors you combine them with. My favorite is cabbage kimchi, the fermented condiment that’s eaten with every meal in Korea. I came to love it when I worked on Kimchi Chronicles, the companion cookbook to the PBS program of the same name. Served with a simple scallion salad (a popular accompaniment to Korean barbecue), this is one of my favorite side dishes, and it makes for a wonderful, savory meal on its own if you top it with a fried or poached egg.”

PS. Next month our cookbook club is throwing it back and reading, cooking, and eating from The Silver Palate Cookbook. Chicken Marbella 4-EVA.

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Kimchi Fried Rice with Scallion Salad from Small Victories

Serves 4

 

Scallion Salad:

4 scallions, roots and dark green tops trimmed off

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

1 tsp rice wine vinegar

1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Kosher salt

 

Fried Rice:

One 16-ounce jar cabbage kimchi, including juice

3 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil, plus more as needed

1 small yellow onion, finely diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

Kosher salt

4 cups day-old cooked brown or white rice

1 Tbsp soy sauce, plus more as needed

 

To make the scallion salad: Cut the scallions thinly on the diagonal or into small matchsticks. The best way to do this is to cut each scallion into three even pieces and then cut each piece in half lengthwise. Put each piece flat-side down on your cutting board and cut into thin strips. Put the scallions, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, and sesame seeds in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and set aside.

To make the fried rice: Put a sieve or colander over a bowl and drain the kimchi. Reserve the juice. Finely chop the kimchi and set it aside.

In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, warm the canola oil. Add the onion and garlic and sprinkle with a large pinch of salt. Cook, stirring now and then, until the onion just begins to turn translucent, about 5-minutes. Turn the heat to high, add the chopped kimchi, and cook, stirring now and then, until the edges of the kimchi become ever so slightly crisp and stick to the pan, about 5 minutes.

Crumble the rice into the skillet and stir throughly to combine. Add the reserved kimchi juice and cook, stirring, until the rice is warm and red through and through from the kimchi juice, about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, drizzle over the soy sauce, and taste for seasoning, adding a bit more salt and/or soy sauce if needed.

Transfer the fried rice to a serving bowl (or portion straight from the skillet) and top with the scallion salad. Serve immediately.

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Come follow me on instagram – I’m doing a lot of fun Feeding a Family giveaways that I don’t want you to miss!

02.02.2017

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I wrote The Beginner’s Guide to Juice Making for Food52. Check it out! 

Whether you received a juicer over the holidays, are in the midst of a New Year’s resolution kick, or simply want to get more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet (who doesn’t?), you may be curious about juicing…click here to read the full article and get the recipes.

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Photography by Elizabeth Cecil

08.23.2016

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My mom made this dressing, then my sister made it, then I made it and I keep making it. I think my new obsession with Tahini-Yogurt-Ginger Dressing is a response to the generous bowls of garden fresh veggies our neighbor drops off and those I happily buy at the bi-weekly farmer’s market. If you happen to be drowning in cherry tomatoes, greens, or really any vegetable at all, I suggest drizzling this creamy sauce overtop and digging in. I imagine it is just as good brushed across grilled chicken, steak, or mixed into potato salad. In fact, I’m certain it would taste great on almost anything.

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Tahini-Yogurt-Ginger Dressing from this collection of summer dressings

Makes about 1 cup

2 tablespoon Greek yogurt

2 tablespoon tahini

2 tablespoon minced scallions or chives

3 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

Salt and freshly ground pepper

5 tablespoons lemon juice

8 tablespoons olive oil

In a bowl or jar, mix the yogurt, tahini, scallions and ginger. Add salt and pepper and then the lemon juice and olive oil. Stir or shake until thick and smooth.

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