bento love

Variety Bento

autumn is in the air —
i vacillate between
excitement for
mustard yellows & crunchy leaves
and
utter dread for
dreary cold temps.
today marks the first day of school
for most kids in MD,
which means traffic is up,
the campus is packed,
and the kids in my building
aren’t seemingly training for the
gymnastics olympic team at 1pm.

Variety Bento

in favor of transparency here,
i’ve been in a food rut.
i’m not my usual excited self on market day,
most evening dinners have been veggies on toast,
i’m spotty with the breakfast thing
and while i still pack our lunches 4/5 days,
more often than not,
it’s PB&Honey sandwiches
or pasta salad.
just punch me with all this food blogger burnout already.

Variety Bento

enter the bento.
i tinkered with it a little last summer,
then lost interest
and for reasons beyond me
picked up the interest again.
i like the portion control,
and honestly,
how pretty it looks.
if that’ll get me out of my slump,
i’ll take it.

Variety Bento

resources & inspiration: (these are not affiliate or sponsored links)
glass bento containers
sushi maker
bentoparty
shisodelicious

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summer kefir scones – 2 ways

Kefir Scones -

this post was created in partnership with Green Valley Organics.

during the work week
i’m an early bird,
typically up before the alarm dings.
it’s unusual indeed for it to go off,
and when it does happen,
it’s a sign i slept really well,
and the day can be considered a victory
before it even starts.

we attempted to view the eclipse on monday,
there we were,
dw & i with our shoddy recalled goggles
that we purchased weeks ago,
standing under a heavy blanket of grey clouds,
it was like Mordor,
and then right as 2:42pm was imminent
the clouds opened
and we were rained on.
not so victorious,
but hilarious regardless.

summer is winding down,
our zucchini stash is ridiculous
and every time i bite into a peach
i’m reminded that august is going away
and september is right behind it.
i’ve stashed a few peaches
and shredded zucchini in the freezer,
to make some breakfast scones in winter,
when it’s bleak and i require
some kind, any kind, of pick-me-up.
these summer scones:
victory indeed.

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.

Kefir Scones -

Lemon Zucchini Scones or Peach Lavender Scones
makes 8 each

1 1/2 cups spelt flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (nix if making peach lavender scones)
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBL butter, cold and cubed
1/2 cup plain, whole milk kefir
3 TBL maple syrup
zest of one lemon (1 TBL dried lavender)
1 cup shredded zucchini, wringed/squeezed dry as much as possible (or cubed peach slices)

preheat the oven to 375Β°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

in a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

cut in the butter with a fork until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.

pour in the kefir and maple syrup. add in the zucchini and lemon zest. (or peaches and dried lavender)

dump the mixture onto lightly floured counter top. shape into a disk and cut into 8 segments.

transfer to prepared baking sheet. bake for 18-20 minutes, or until lightly golden.

cool on pan for a few minutes and then transfer to wire rack to fully cool.

cover well. i usually keep them in large pyrex container, in the fridge. when i’m ready to eat, i toast them just a smidge in the toaster oven for some added warmth and crunch.

BAM!

Kefir Scones -

4 years ago: vietnamese pickled carrots & daikon
3 years ago: blueberry swirl muffins
2 years ago: summer salsa
1 year ago: homemade chocolate covered popsicles

s’mores pound cake

s'mores loaf

it’s been 2 weeks since our vacation
with the nephews
while i don’t miss the bugs
or shitty water pressure
i miss the idyllic pace
evening grilling
star skies
and camp fire

s’mores is not new to my life,
but it’s not often in my life.
that needs to change.
starting now.

s'mores loaf

s’mores pound cake
adapted from food&wine

*note: i made 2 loaves, for a recent girls night in gathering. i ended up baking it for longer than i would’ve liked, and i thought it came out dry, but the ladies enjoyed it fine.

1 1/2 sticks soy butter, softened (i used earth balance)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups spelt flour
1/2 cup finely ground graham cracker crumbs, from half a sleeve
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
5 TBL lactose free half/half
3 large eggs
1 TBL pure vanilla extract

chocolate swirl:
3 TBL melted soy butter
2 TBL unsweetened cocoa powder

pre-heat oven to 325F. crease a 8×4 loaf pan. set aside.

in a mixing bowl, cream the soy butter with the sugars. in another bowl whisk the dry ingredients. and then in yet another bowl mix the liquids. keeping the mixer on medium, alternate btwn the wet and dry ingredients.

pour half the batter into prepared loaf pan. spoon in the chocolate swirl mix along the length of the loaf pan. top with the rest of the batter. using a chopstick swirl the batter around, but don’t aim to mix everything.

bake for about 50-55 minutes.

cool in pan for 15 minutes, and then turn out on rack and cool completely.

chocolate ganache

8 oz bittersweet chocolate, rough chopped, in a bowl
4 oz of lactose free half/half

heat the half/half in a small saucepan, just to boiling.

gently pour the half/half into the bowl of chocolate. ignore it for 10 minutes.

seriously.

after 10 minutes, stir until mixed through. it’ll be liquid-y but as it cools it’ll thicken up.

for the marshmallow fluff, i used this recipe.

to assemble, spread the ganache over the loaf and spread the fluff to your heart’s content. sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs as desired.

BAM!

s'mores loaf

4 years ago: spicy cantaloupe salad
3 years ago: pickled beets
2 years ago: not a blessed thing
1 year ago: fast ‘n dirty bread & butter pickles

eleven madison park granola

Granola

it’s the point in the
season/life/year where i spend less time
in front of the computer,
even less time behind the camera,
and practically no time in the kitchen.
initially i fight it,
because what else is there to do,
and most importantly,
what will we eat??

simultaneously though,
i can’t force it,
if i’m not feeling it,
i’m not feeling it.
anything more than that
rings kinda like a farce,
and if there is one thing
i sound vaguely very pretentious about,
it’s the authenticity of whatever.

today’s recipe requires minimal kitchen time,
and it’s perfect to have for breakfast with milk,
or smother in kefir for dinner.
cus sometimes you just gotta go with it.

Granola

eleven madison park granola
adapted from eleven madison park

*note: dw & i dined at eleven madison park for his birthday a few months ago and they gave us their granola as a parting gift. short of going back there to dine, i had to make it at home. their version is sweeter, and initially i would halve the sugar amount, and now i just nix it completely. i think the key is the olive oil and low temp. it is so good, it’s well worth forcing myself into the kitchen to put together. my office sidekick cj swears by it, tells me i need to quit my day job and become a crunchy granola hustler. don’t tempt me.

**note: this recipe is for 1 batch, but we typically double it.

***note: depending on what we have available and what we buy, we’ve bought nuts and coconut chips already roasted (or salted) and we would adjust the seasoning accordingly, or omit the stuff that wasn’t raw until the end. use your best judgement

2 3/4 cups rolled oats
1 cup shelled pistachios (ideally, raw and unsalted)
1 cup unsweetened coconut chips (ideally untoasted)
1/3Β cup pumpkin seeds, raw
1/3 cup sunflower seeds, raw
sprinkle of kosher salt
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup dried sour cherries or raisins

preheat oven to 300F.

in a large bowl, mix together the raw ingredients.

in a small saucepan, warm the maple syrup and olive oil on low.

pour the warmed liquid on the raw ingredients and mix through, making sure all the dry ingredients are coated well.

on a rimmed baking sheet, lined with parchment paper, dump the granola on it and spread it out. bake until dry, about 40 minutes. be sure at the half way mark to stir granola around.

when the time is up, stir the granola one last time and allow to cool in the oven with the door open.

when it’s at room temp add in the cherries or raisins and whatever remaining ingredients that were not raw and mix through.

store in air tight containers, will keep for a week or two. we’ve managed to consume within that time frame, so i’m unsure if it’ll keep freshness beyond that.

BAM!

4 years ago: dutch oven bread
3 years ago: miso ramen
2 years ago: grass jelly with chia seeds
1 year ago: chia tea

balsamic berry + ginger cereal bars

balsamic berry + ginger cereal bars

oh it’s been a week.
things that happened:

how the temps were simultaneously
warm but the winds cool,
or, how i had the chance to eat poorly,
but instead ate salad and guacamole and rice cakes.
how i joined the Y and bought myself
a black 1 piece bathing suit so that i could
do water aerobics.
how i did F O U R photo shoots
for these breakfast bars,
in 2 different spots around the abode.
it’s a wonder there were any
left to photograph.

balsamic berry + ginger cereal bars

balsamic berry + ginger cereal bars

*note: these are a little on the cloying side, i would cut back the sugar by half, though the hit of balsamic does cut through, lending a rounder taste to it overall.

1 cup softened butter, i use green valley organics
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 1/2 cups plus 2Tbl spelt flour, divided
2 cups dried berries (my local mom’s has blueberries, cranberries & cherries. take your pick)
1/2 cup chopped candied ginger
6 oz container of plain yogurt, i use green valley organics
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, i use Hare Hollow’s Blackberry Ginger

preheat oven 350F.

in large mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar.

to the creamed mixture, add the oats and 1 1/2 cup of spelt flour, until just blended.

set aside about 1 1/2 cups for topping.

with the rest, pressing into greased 12×9 pan.

bake for 10 minutes.

meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the dried berries and candied ginger, and mix it with the yogurt, egg, and balsamic vinegar. add in the remaining 2 TBL spelt flour to soak up some of the moisture.

spread wet mixture of partially baked crust.

dot the top with remaining crumb mixture.

bake 20-25 minutes.

cool on rack., cut into squares.

fridge leftovers.

BAM!

balsamic berry + ginger cereal bars

this post was sponsored by Hare Hollow. all opinions are my own.