butternut squash polenta & veggie sausage

Butternut Squash Polenta + Veggie Sausage

it’s Sunday morning,
10:00am,
i’m under a thick blanket
my friend Nuria knitted for me,
a parting gift made up of
old, random strands of yarn i had laying around.
the sun is full on bright out,
but the day lies,
because it’s below freezing.
i’m watching The Mind of a Chef,
season 4, episode 3,
trying to be motivated
and inspired to make something in the kitchen,
instead, all i can think about is
sipping a negroni.
first, i don’t even like gin,
the shit tastes like shit.
second, it’s taken about 4 watches of
Gabrielle Hamilton for me to even like her.
third, it’s now going on 10:30 in the A M.
BUT!
the way she describes
how the gin ebbs the edges of a hard day,
how the campari’s bitterness coaxes an appetite,
the combination leaves you warm, hungry,
and then the vermouth brings it all together.
damn, an aperitivo for breakfast, please!

and, should you find yourself,
later in the day, still awake,
breakfast for dinner it is…

Butternut Squash Polenta + Veggie Sausage

butternut squash polenta & veggie sausage
makes 4 servings

note: this dish came about because we had a butternut squash on our counter since autumn. for a hard veggie, it doesn’t really take that long to cook, especially when it’s chopped small. cooking two ingredients that take a fair amount of time to be done, together, seemed to make sense. and then to bring it all together, i topped with breakfast stuff. i’ve always viewed breakfast for dinner meals to be fun, somehow whimsical, but always satisfying and warming.

1 cup of polenta
a cup, give or take, of cubed butternut squash
1 bay leaf
4-5 cups of homemade veggie stock, or water

veggie breakfast sausage patties, chopped
1/2 onion sliced
olive oil
1 glove garlic minced

medium-hard boiled eggs, sliced in half
chopped chives, dried or fresh, optional, for garnish

in a large pot, heat up the veggie stock or water, along with the bay leave. bring it to a boil and slowly stir in the polenta and squash. reduce heat to medium and simmer. stir every so often, when you think of it, but think of it often. you’re aiming for a soft creamy mixture, anywhere from 20-30 minutes. you might have to add more liquid if it gets too thick. salt/pepper to taste. if you’re fancy, mix in a pat of butter.

between stirrings, in a skillet, heat up a splash of olive oil. add in the sliced onions and a sprinkle of salt. mix until well coated and then add in the minced garlic. you’re aiming for soft and tender and browned caramel-y onions. don’t burn the garlic.

push the onion/garlic mixture to side, and heat up the chopped veggie sausage.

to assemble, ladle in a scoop or two of the polenta. top with sauteed onions and chopped veggie sausage. finally, add on half an egg and garnish with chopped chives.

BAM!

Butternut Squash Polenta + Veggie Sausage

another polenta option: creamy polenta and roasted mushrooms
3 years ago: ultimate white cake
2 years ago: overnight steel cut oats
1 year ago: ny style cheesecake

orange & olive oil cake

Orange & Olive Oil Cake

it’s somehow well into february
2017 has been the slowest & quickest passing of time.

today,
6 years ago,
i met 2 incredible humans.
just over a month ago
we lost an incredible human.

everything else aside,
we have much to celebrate,
and so we will.

Orange & Olive Oil Cake

orange & olive oil cake
adapted from the splendid table

*note: the recipe calls for the use of a 9″ springfoam pan and a bake for up to 42 min. i grabbed our 8″ pan from the pantry & our oven runs hot so we took it out early and it was just right. a crust forms and it creates a perfect contrast with the soft interior. this is a great accompaniment to morning coffee, 3pm tea or after dinner nosh.

**note: cover well & will keep in fridge for a week.

1 1/2 cups spelt flour
scant 1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (about 2 oranges)
zest of 2 oranges
2/3 cup light olive oil
1/4 cup chopped candied orange peel
powdered sugar, optional, for dusting

preheat oven to 375Β°F. line an 8″ cake pan with parchment paper. set aside.

in mixing bowl add alllllll the ingredients, except for the powdered sugar, and mix through. (that’s what i did) however, if you want to be correct: dry ingredients first, then add the wet stuff one at a time. mix with a spatula until all the dry streaks are gone.

pour into prepared pan. bake for 38 minutes.

cool for 20 minutes, then flip out of pan onto wire rack to cool completely.

sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired, slice and serve.

BAM!

Orange & Olive Oil Cake

3 years ago: 2 flavors of pull apart bread
2 years ago: savory sticky rice
1 year ago: red wine poached pears

citrus-pistachio scones (grain free)

Citrus-Pistachio Scones

the other night,
while aimlessly scrolling through FB
with alex trebeck smug in the background
i came across an hs friend’s update.
for some reason,
through no prompting that i could discern,
he listed 10 albums he listened to
when we were all still pimply,
voices changing
and in dire need of deodorant.
being as how i adore lists
i wracked my brain
for my list of albums:

Citrus-Pistachio Scones

madonna // bedtime stories
tori amos // little earthquakes
toad the wet sprocket // fear
jon bon jovi // blaze of glory
u2 // zooropa
erasure // the innocents
roxette // crash boom bang
alanis morissette // jagged little pill
stone temple pilots // purple
counting crows // august and everything after

this doesn’t include the
asian new wave
i still have a fondness for.

tl;dr: i was emo AF

Citrus-Pistachio Scones

citrus-pistachio scones (grain free)
loosely adapted from against all grain cookbook by danielle walker
makes 7 scones

*note: these scones have nothing to do with music, unless you count the fact that i was listening to music while i made them.

2 cups blanched almond flour, sifted, plus more to roll out dough
3 TBL super crushed pistachio nuts, unsalted
3 TBL kinda sorta crushed pistachio nuts, unsalted
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 egg
2 TBL almond milk, i use califia farms
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 TBL coconut oil, in soft solid form
zest of 2 lemons
1/4 cup candied orange peel (recipe below)

preheat oven to 350F, put parchment paper on cookie sheet. set aside.

place almond flour, 2 types of crushed pistachio nuts, maple syrup, egg, almond milk, baking soda, salt & lemon zest into mixing bowl. mix until it loosely comes together.

using a fork, add in the coconut oil, letting the oil crumble. stir in candied orange peels.

on the counter, sprinkle some almond flour. dump out the dough onto the counter and shape into a disc, about an inch thick. cut into triangles and be done with it. but if you’re fancy, use a round biscuit cutter to make into circle scones.

place on prepared cookie sheet.

bake for 18-20 minutes. i like it slightly under, crispy outside but still soft on the inside. dw likes it more done. you’re aiming for a golden crust.

serve with tea or coffee. if you’re super fancy, a glaze drizzle would be nice.

candied orange peel

*note: if conventional oranges are what’s available, be sure to wash them in warm water. i’ve let them sit in a vinegar bath (1 part vinegar, 2 parts water) for about 5 minutes. in my mind, whether true or not, it gets rid of any residual sprayed pesticides etc. it’s entirely up to you.
**note: this can be made way ahead, and can keep in a clean jar in the fridge for awhile, aim for less than a month.

2 organic oranges
water
1/2 cup sugar
scant 1/2 cup water
3 TBL sugar

wash the oranges really well, and dry.

cut the top and bottom of the orange to give it stability. you can either score the skin and peel (which is how my gpa used to do for me) or you can be lazy and just cut the skin off as close to the flesh as possible.

cut/peel as much of the pith (the white stuff) off as possible.

slice the orange peels as thin or thick as you want.

dump into a saucepan, add water and bring to a boil. drain. do this 2 more times.

in the same saucepan, add in the 1/2 cup sugar with scant 1/2 cup of water. bring to a gentle boil, swirl to dissolve the sugar. add in the sliced peels, mix to make sure every peel is covered in syrup. leave it alone for about 15 minutes.

drain, reserving the syrup for another use, like tea or lemonade, or some baked bread that calls for the use of citrus simple syrup to be doused in it. i’d say there’s about 1/4 cup of the stuff left.

in a bowl add about 3 TBL sugar. add the drained sticky peels to the bowl and shake it around till all the peels are coated in sugar. lay on a cookie tray with parchment paper. spread it out into a single layer. put it in the oven set at the lowest temp possible (mine goes down to 170F) and leave for 30 minutes, or up to an hour. more if your peels are thick. you’re aiming for a dried product.

BAM!

Citrus-Pistachio Scones

3 years ago: red pepper & baked egg galette
2 years ago: crocheted broomstick lace infinity cowl
1 year ago: mushroom stroganoff

mohinga – burmese fish noodle soup

Mohinga - Burmese Fish Noodle Soup

in an effort to end 2016 with some
kind of happiness,
with some mad hope,
dw & i split the 4 day break
with friends,
then snuggled up,
(hygge, H O L L A!)
hiding from people,
watching sherlock.
we are our best selves
after a period of anti-social behavior.
it’s been a whirl of short weeks-long weekends,
now faced with not another holiday until spring,
i’m doing what i can to break the monotony of winter.

Mohinga - Burmese Fish Noodle Soup

the first step is a minor adjustment
to my social calendar.
i signed up to volunteer
at our local IRC office,
i was matched with a burmese family.
for a few hours a week
i will tutor them in english,
along with whatever else they’re up for.
this will likely challenge me,
i’m not naturally inclined toward teaching,
but this is necessary,
as i fight,
COME AT ME KC,
in a small way,
the absolute cluster of the next 4 years.

but first, let’s eat.
happy 2017.

Mohinga - Burmese Fish Noodle Soup

mohinga – burmese fish noodle soup
adapted from luke nguyen

makes an ass ton – we were eating this for dinner for about 5 days, and there was still more, but i had to put an end to the leftover thing

note: i did not add the rice powder, because i didn’t feel like grinding rice. my spice grinder is for coffee grinding anyway.

noodle bowls:
rice vermicelli noodles
hard-boiled eggs, halved
chopped cilantro, to garnish
lime wedges, to serve

broth:
1 head of fish, if you had to choose, catfish is fine
1 lemongrass stem, bruised
2 garlic cloves, bashed
1 tsp ground turmeric
3 TBL cooked chickpeas, mashed (i used jarred jovial)
1 red onion, quartered
1/2 red onion, chopped
fish sauce, to taste
1.5 lbs catfish fillet, cleaned and de-boned

spice paste:
3 lemongrass stems, finely sliced, white part only
2-4 red chilis, to taste
1/2 red onion, rough chopped
4 garlic cloves , diced
1″ piece of fresh ginger, peeled & sliced
1/2 cup grape seed oil
2 tsp shrimp paste
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp sweet paprika

make the broth: place the fish head in a large pot with the lemongrass, garlic, red onion quarters and turmeric. pour in enough cold water to cover the head and bring to a boil. skim off any muck, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. strain the broth and put back in pot. keep the heat at low, and gently lower the fish fillets into the broth and cook for about 15-20 minutes. remove the fillets and with forks, flake them into chunky pieces. set aside. keep the broth pot on low though.

while the broth is simmering, make the paste: in a mortar & pestle, pound the lemongrass, chillies, chopped onions, garlic and ginger into a smooth paste. you can use a food processor for ease.

in a saucepan, heat up the grape seed oil. add in the paste and saute for 20 minutes. you’re gonna question if the amount of oil is correct, and i’ll just say, i asked the same question and it worked out fine. stir in the shrimp paste, tumeric and paprika. add in the flaked fish, be gentle with mixing, cook on low for an additional 5 minutes.

returning to the pot of broth, add the fish mixture to it. next, throw in the mashed chickpeas and chopped red onions. season with fish sauce to taste. stir to combine, and let simmer for 30 minutes.

to serve:
cook vermicelli noodles according to package instructions. divvy into soup bowls.

ladle soup over noodles, being sure to add in chunks of flaked fish.

top with half hard boiled egg and generous smattering of chopped cilantro.
spritz with lime juice.

BAM!

Mohinga - Burmese Fish Noodle Soup

3 years ago: coffee chocolate chip ice cream
2 years ago: carne rustida de navidad
1 year ago: spiced mexican cookies

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