B.O.T.C.H. Cream Cheese Spread

BOTCH Cream Cheese Spread

this post was created in partnership with Green Valley Organics.

in college i had a secret job.
secret because i wasn’t allowed to work
during the school term,
it was deemed that i was to focus on studying,
#TigerParents
but i deemed that i needed to focus
on how to pay covers into bars/frat parties.
#Priorities
i worked at a bagel shop
right off campus
where i learned the subtle art
of slapping on full fat cream cheese for sorority girls.
#AlphaAlphaKissMyAss
this was in the time before
real dietary restrictions,
like gluten-free or nut allergies for others,
and most notably for me, lactose intolerance.

for a time i didn’t eat bagels,
due to the over-saturation of the stuff,
but also due to not being able to consume it
slathered with full fat cream cheese.
now, both are back in my life.

happy end of july,
hello august,
we are sweaty, but well,
hope you are too, friends.

BOTCH Cream Cheese Spread

this post is sponsored by green valley organics. all thoughts and opinions are my own. the first time i discovered this product, i damn near cried. dairy can be in my diet again without any adverse impact. basically, they’re making my dairy dreams come true. thanks so much for supporting the sponsors that keep morestomachblog up+running, toot-free.

B.O.T.C.H Cream Cheese Spread
*note: this cream cheese is softer than that of regular cream cheese. if you’re using a regular cream cheese, leave container out for 15-20 min to soften a bit.
**note: this was a super popular flavored cream cheese at the shop, but the original recipe uses fresh tomatoes, dried chives and red or white onions. due to the wetter consistency of this product, i went dry with the tomatoes and made sure the chives and spring onion were wiped dry after washing.

1 container of green valley organic lactose-free cream cheese
1/3 cup of crumbled bacon
1/4 cup fine chopped spring onion
1/3 cup rough chopped dried sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil!)
1/4 fresh chives, finely chopped

in a stand mixer whip/cream the cream cheese a bit, not too much, it is soft already but you want it pliable enough to take on the added ingredients.

add all the ingredients in the bowl and mix it real quick, just enough to combine everything together.

transfer mixture to a container with a lid.

fridge, covered, to firm up.

spread on your favorite bagel or toast.

if you’re feeling fancy, it makes a great sub for mayo in a generic BLT sandwich.

BAM!

BOTCH Cream Cheese Spread

4 years ago: green tomato & mint chutney
3 years ago: homemade thai iced tea
2 years ago: not a damn thing
1 year ago: chilled somen noodles with cold mushroom broth

gochujang sloppy joes

Gochujang Sloppy Joes

years from now,
i hope i can recall
how it felt when the the world descended into madness.
that sounds dramatic,
doesn’t it?
but that is how i currently feel.
i don’t want to forget:
how my feet hurt from standing in a crowd,
arms raised, holding a sign,
flushed against my beloved
as he held me from behind.
or, how helpless i felt when
i heard about the ban,
sitting under warm blankets on our couch,
watching the news on low volume
as to not disturb my beloved in his slumber.
or, how infuriating and humiliating it felt
to witness 7 men sign documents
dictating a woman’s choices about her body.
never in this lifetime will there
ever come a time when the situation would be reversed.
and as angry as i am,
i would never want to be in that kind of situation.

Gochujang Sloppy Joes

years ago,
when i still lived with my grandparents,
after we immigrated to this country,
(actually, we were refugees. there is a difference),
and they scrounged pennies to pay for my school lunches,
hot lunches that fueled me for the day at just 65¢.
sloppy joes were always a favorite,
that salty-sweet kick,
served with tator tots.
this combination always takes me back,
back to a time when the debate on immigration
was more civilized.

Gochujang Sloppy Joes

Gochujang Sloppy Joes
dw made this up, i don’t know where, it just showed up on the table for dinner.
i also told dw i was going to edit his recipe but it seemed like a lot of work, so this is in his words.
also, he’s dreamy.

In a bowl, combine the following and stir to a thick paste:
1 T honey
½ T brown sugar
2 T Apple cider vinegar
1 t Worcestershire sauce
1 heaping T Gochujang
1 T Dry Ground Mustard
1 t garlic powder
1 t smoked paprika
½ t kosher salt
½ t freshly ground black pepper

Caramelize a half or whole onion, sliced in bite-sized pieces, in a T of olive oil – Set aside
Brown 1 pound ground dark meat turkey
Add 1 diced red bell pepper and simmer until bell pepper is cooked to your liking
Add 16 ounces canned diced tomato with juices
Drain juices from turkey, tomato, and bell pepper to another saucepan and reduce until thick

Add caramelized onion, reduced juices, and seasoning paste to the simmering turkey mixture and simmer until hot, aromatic and delicious

Serve over toast, or on buns.

Gochujang Sloppy Joes

3 years ago: chocolate ginger molasses cookies
2 years ago: brinjal pickle hummus
1 year ago: crock pot baked beans

spinach salad + baked falafel balls

Spinach Salad + Baked Falafel

i’d say in the last 6 months or so
i’ve had a strong feeling
of lethargy.
not physically per se,
but like i’m tired of the grind.
i’m perfectly content to have cereal for dinner,
and more often than not
i’ll turn to dw
and say we’re eating out
or it’s his turn, again, to make something.
i still go through the motions of
being an adult:
menu plan
grocery shop
meal prep.
if i’m really good,
i might even blog about it.
i would say though,
butt-end of 2016 was cereal all day, err’day,
and repeats,
like this spinach salad that is so stupid good,
and some form of bean ball,
whichever i happen to grab from the pantry.
it’s not a hardship when ingredients are good
to begin with,
but it certainly does make for
a quieter food space.

Spinach Salad + Baked Falafel

 

TL; DR:
i’m beat, i might drop off the face of the earth
cus all i eat is breakfast for dinner,
unless it’s this salad,
in which case, it’s dinner for breakfast.

Spinach Salad + Baked Falafel

spinach salad with dates & almonds
adapted from the cookbook jerusalem by ottolenghi
the NY Times has the full recipe

*note: we made this salad all autumn and it looks to be something we’ll be consuming all winter. i’ve used spinach, arugula, kale, or lettuce mix. my vinegar use is also spotty, sometimes it’s generic distilled white, other times it’s sherry vinegar and recently it’s been rice vinegar. i obviously have an issue with following recipes to the T. i also eyeball amounts of everything, because sometimes the fridge needs clearing or the meals needs to be stretched to the next day. it’s whatever tastes good, man.
**note: the butter can be omitted & double down on the olive oil, but if you’re able to consume it, or have access to lactose free butter, DO IT.
***note: the falafel balls are an added healthy protein option, though any meat or hard boiled egg would do. the salad is fine as a stand alone meal. i have taken to par-cooking or full on cooking the garbanzo beans before shaping. soaking is not enough and my stomach rebels if we skip the boiling part. besides, this method offers an almost creamy hummus-y like texture that’s quite pleasing.

3 TBL vinegar, take your pick, you can do whatever you want
1/4 large red onion, thinly sliced
4-6 dates, pitted and rough chopped
Salt
1 TBL unsalted butter, i use Green Valley Organics
2 TBL olive oil, divided
2-3 pitas, roughly torn or cut into 1 1/2 -inch pieces
1/2 cup raw, slivered almonds, coarsely chopped
2 tsp sumac
healthy pinch chili flakes
spinach or greens, aim for like 2 really big healthy handfuls
2 TBL freshly squeezed lemon juice, optional (real talk: i’ve never done this step, and up until i had to type this recipe out, i didn’t even know about it)

in bowl, add the vinegar, onion slices and dates. throw in a pinch of salt and mix. set aside while you prepare the rest of the dish.

in a frying pan, heat up the butter & 1 TBL olive oil. aim for medium heat. add the pita pieces and cook until golden. this step can take up to 10 minutes sometimes, depending on how big the pieces end up being and how crunchy you want them to be. add in the almonds and mix well. take/turn off heat and add in the sumac & chili flakes and a pinch of salt. mix thoroughly.

to assemble, in a large mixing bowl add in the greens with the pita mix with the onion/date dressing, excess vinegar included. drizzle with an additional tablespoon of olive oil and lemon juice if using, and toss well.

BAM!

baked falafel balls
makes 22 balls

soak 1 cup of dried garbanzo beans with a healthy pinch of baking soda overnight
1/4 cup of parsley, WITH STEMS
1/4 cup of cilantro, WITH STEMS
1/4 cup of minced onions
2 tsp cumin
salt/pepper to taste
1-2 tsp almond meal

cook garbanzo beans for about an 30-45 minutes, in the same soaking water. drain.

pre-heat oven at 350F and prep a baking sheet with parchment paper.

in a food processor, pulse the parsley, cilantro and onions. add in the cooked garbanzo beans, cumin and salt/pepper. pulse, you’re not making hummus, it’s a chunky texture that you’re aiming for, there might even be whole beans in there, you’re wanting the mixture to stick somewhat. add almond meal, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the mixture binds enough to make a ball.

using an ice cream scooper, scoop out a portion and rolling to a ball. put on baking sheet and continue.

bake for 20-30 minutes. if you think of it, turn the balls to brown all over. it’s not detrimental if you don’t.

remove from heat. can be eaten hot or at room temp. usually i drizzle bit of miso-tahini dressing, which doesn’t clash with the spinach salad dressing.

BAM!

Spinach Salad + Baked Falafel

1 year ago: chili + fennel seed pork pies
2 years ago: lentil tacos
3 years ago: diy toy kitchen

kefir biscuits

Kefir Biscuits

the month of december always kicks my ass
the holidays
birthdays
l i f e
on saturday,
when the light in the condo was hazy,
PBS on TV,
and we were debating on if we should
turn the heat on, finally,
dw & i spent the midday making biscuits.
first with lactose free half/half,
then with kefir,
eventually declaring the latter being the better,
and we brought them to share
for a pre-holiday gathering,
because,
it being the season of giving
and sharing,
a time when we need both so dearly.

i know in recent weeks
my posts have been somber in tone,
a realistic reflection of how i’ve been feeling of late.
i talk,
with indignation,
about how things are,
how i perceive them to be.
words, despite what a particular elected official says,
are important,
but equally so,
so are actions.
you’ll notice on the sidebar links
to organizations that i believe in.
donate
volunteer
participate

Kefir Biscuits

kefir biscuits
adapted from local milk

*note: the first time we made this, i used ghee + regular AP flour + homemade buttermilk and they turned out divine. this time ’round we used what was on hand: sprouted spelt flour and it did not rise as fluffily as before, but still turned out delightful, taste-wise.

250 grams sprouted spelt flour, i use one degree
1 TBL baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
56 grams cold unsalted lactose free butter, cut into dice, i use green valley
230 grams whole milk kefir yogurt, i use green valley

preheat oven to 425F. prepare baking sheet with parchment paper.

whisk together the dry ingredients.

add the diced butter to the flour mixture, and using your fingers cut the butter until it’s crumbled to pea-sized.

pour in the kefir milk, stir until no more dry streaks. don’t get overzealous. it shouldn’t be dry, but it’ll still be kinda wet and you’ll freak out, and you’ll be right to freak out. carry on though.

flour work surface and pour the shaggy mess onto it. flour the top of dough and pat it into a rectangle until it’s about an inch thick.

fold the rectangle, rotate dough and gently roll out with a pin.

fold, rotate, and roll out again. be gentle.

fold, rotate, and roll out again. be gentle.

aim for an inch thick.

using square cookie cutter, press down and cut out the biscuits. place on prepared baking sheet, close to each other, as they apparently help with the rising.

bake for 10 minutes, until brown & fluffy.

serve, warm, with assortment of toppings: jam, butter, or honey.

BAM!

Kefir Biscuits

3 years ago: pumpkin challah chips
2 years ago: chocolate chip pb cookies, vegan & gf
1 year ago: chocolate espresso dacquoise – lactose free

sephardic challah with whole spices

Sephardic Challah With Whole Spices

even though i have a netflix list
of shows/movies queued up
i spend an inordinate amount of time
rifling through the various offerings.
same with HBO Go, Amazon
and don’t get me started on my
to-read books pile.
maybe it’s a fear of missing out,
or that non-committal habit of
having something already but
still seeking something better,
i don’t know,
i just know that when i finally do
settle on something,
my mind is pretty made up,
even if i took 30 minutes to get to that conclusion.

Sephardic Challah With Whole Spices

in the case of this challah,
i’ve been on an on/off again search
for the ultimate recipe.
i’ve pinned plenty of options,
with private promises of attempting them
and then perfecting them.
i took a baking break during the warmer months,
and when i went looking at my
queued list,
none grabbed my attention.
back to the drawing board.
it took awhile,
but this came along
and i knew i had to make it,
mind made up.

Sephardic Challah With Whole Spices

sephardic challah with whole spices
adapted from the NY Times
makes 2 loaves

*note: my oven must run hot, or it’s the convection thing, but the loaves became dark around the 10-15 min mark so i would tent with foil for remaining bake time.
*note: toasting and then grinding them would be an excellent way to impart the spices without having to bite into them whole. i don’t mind the whole spices but that’s just me.

scant cup of raisins, soaked in warm water, drained well
4 TBL sesame seeds, divided
1 TBL caraway seeds
1 TBL coriander seeds
1 TBL cumin seeds
1 TBL black sesame seeds
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
5 cups/600 grams bread flour, more for dusting
1/2 TBL cinnamon
2 1/2 tsp/30 grams olive oil, more for rising bowl
75 grams honey (to taste, i was aiming for 50 grams and got a little heavy handed)
2 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup warm water, more as needed
1/2 TBL kosher salt
2 egg yolks + 1 TBL water for glaze/brush

in a pan, toast 1 TBL of sesame, caraway, coriander, cumin and black sesame seeds over medium heat until toasty-smelling. set aside and cool.
in a small bowl, combine yeast with 2 TBL warm water and ignore while it blooms. if it doesn’t, chuck it and get new yeast.

using stand mixer with dough hook, combine the flour with cinnamon, olive oil, honey, eggs and warm water. mix until a soft dough forms. on this particular day, the weather was kinda dry so i did add about 1-2 TBL of water to the dough to make it softer/pliable.

add in the salt and toasted seeds until the dough is smooth. it’s going to take awhile, about 5-10 minutes. original recipe says to add mix in the raisins then. what i did was i poured the dough onto the lightly dusted counter and gently kneaded the raisins in. it was a smidge sticky but you know, deal with it. transfer to large oiled bow. cover with plastic wrap and let stand until doubled in size, up to 2 hours.

line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. set aside.

turn dough onto lightly dusted counter and press down gently to deflate. divide dough in two and rest for 5 minutes.

roll each piece of dough into 18″ long rope and rest for another 5 minutes. then go back and roll into 32″ rope.

take one of the ropes from one end form the dough into a coil, tucking the end under.

repeat for the other rope.

transfer coils onto prepared cookie sheets and cover with large bowl. ignore for 1 hour, until the loaves have doubled in size.

about 30 minutes in, preheat oven to 400F.

whisk the egg yolks with 1 TBL of water. brush the egg wash over the loaves and let stand uncovered while oven warms.

brush with egg wash again and sprinkle with remaining sesame seeds.

if you’re able, bake both loaves side by side, for 30 minutes. i baked them one by one.

transfer loaves to rack and cool before serving/slicing.

can be consumed as is, but i liked it best when slathered with veg butter and drizzled with a bit of honey.

BAM!

Sephardic Challah With Whole Spices

3 years ago: butternut squash & pearl barley risotto, lactose free
2 years ago: inside out peanut butter cups – vegan, gluten free
1 year ago: i didn’t do shit last year