Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Zucchini Quesadillas

Loves Food, Loves to Eat // Zucchini Quesadillas A strong case of seasonal nostalgia sits in these warmer days and long, sun-lingering evenings. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about summers growing up at my childhood home. There are, of course, lots of paths I could take down memory lane, but one thing that strikes me most right now, is that we always had people over. 

When I was in high school, my parents best friend couple from up the road would come down for dinner and drinks almost every weekend. We’d all play rugged cross-country croquet in the sprawling weed-strewn yard, we’d all play cards, we’d all visit and joke and gossip, we’d all go for after-dinner walks. There was always wine and there were blender cocktails, and there was always, ALWAYS enough to eat. My dad would often make his legendary chicken on the charcoal grill, there would be salads and sides and chips and salsa, appearing out of nowhere. I don’t even think there were always invites. I think folks just showed up, knowing there would be food and friends. 

I can’t even imagine swinging by one of my friends’ houses unannounced (and vice versa, the horror of an uninvited guest!), especially just before dinner time. Am I doing it wrong, this whole adult thing? There we were, in the middle of nowhere, our nearest friends miles away up winding, wooded country roads, and yet, we always had friends around. Now I live in the city, surrounded by people, and we live such solitary, isolated lives. Everyone is so busy, everyone has such full calendars. Dinner parties are extravaganzas with long planning emails or text chains and everyone is booked three weekends out but might be free this Tuesday for one hour or maybe in four Wednesdays from now. We all have to pencil each other in, among getting together with the so-and-sos, the work friends, the people down the street, the date nights, the me-time nights, the friends from out of town, the college friends, the favorite-tv-show nights, the husbands’ friends, the kids and babies, etc. 

Maybe living in the city there are just too many people and there’s just too much to do (and too much fomo) to maintain the show-up-every-weekend kind of friendships my parents had. Perhaps it was born out of the seclusion of where we lived. Or maybe what they had back then was unique. I don’t know, but as the weather heats up, I’m finding myself yearning for easy pop-in dinners and long, lazy evenings with friends. 
Loves Food, Loves to Eat // Zucchini Quesadillas
On to zucchini quesadillas! My mom used to make these all the time. The recipe these are based on was published in Martha Stewart in 2003, the year I graduated high school, so it totally makes sense that these were in heavy rotation at the time, the era of the bff drop in. Mel could use up our garden’s abundance of zucchini, and because they were baked two at a time in the oven (Whoa! That blew our cast-iron-skillet-quesadilla-making minds back then), it was easy to feed an inevitable crowd. She would actually double it and make four giant quesadillas (a half dilla easily fed one person, so I just make them folded in half). I also don’t ever remember there being corn in the ones we made back then. I’m not sure if that was simply because we used what we had on hand, or because my mom chose to leave it out, but I still make them without corn, and I've cut back considerably on the oil. 

If this summer is anything like last summer, I’ll have a lot of zucchini in my little garden box to work through. Hoping to work through it (along with working through my unannounced-visit-anxiety) with good friends.  



Zucchini Quesadillas 
Makes 4 half-quesadillas
Adapted from this recipe

2 tablespoons olive oil
½ large onion (or 1 small onion)
(roughly chopped)
1 teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic
2 medium-large zucchini
(halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
¼ cup fresh cilantro (plus more for garnish)
4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
(I use Mission Gluten Free flour tortillas) 
2 cups grated pepper jack cheese
Sour cream and hot sauce to serve



Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add onion and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and starting to brown, about 5 minutes.

Add garlic and zucchini, and cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is soft and tender (but not mushy) another 5 minutes or so. Remove from heat and add cilantro.

Brush one side of all tortillas with remaining oil. With oil-side-out, fill half of a tortilla with a layer of filling and a layer of cheese, and fold in half. Repeat with remaining tortillas so that you have four half-quesadillas (this makes them much easier to flip). Arrange on a baking sheet.

Bake until cheese has melted and tortillas are golden brown, turning once (carefully), about 10 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool slightly. To serve, slice each quesadilla into wedges.

Serve with sour cream, hot sauce, and remaining cilantro. 

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Long Goodnight

Loves Food, Loves to Eat / My water color galaxy paintingsHi, hello! It’s me! I’ve been quiet on here for a variety of reasons, but the main one is that I gave up gluten last August. I just haven’t really found inspiration in my newly gluten-free kitchen, and I’ve been leaning heavily on recipes from experts who’ve been doing this gluten free life a lot longer than I have. 

The reasons I gave it up are mostly annoying to explain to people (I generally say “digestion reasons” when people ask, to avoid in-depth discussions about my lady parts), but here’s a little more detail: I started to realize that a bunch of random unrelated symptoms I’ve had for years might not be random or unrelated at all, and I also discovered that it’s maybe not normal to have debilitating pain and nausea that renders you unable to leave the bed once a month. So, the more I read, the more I became convinced I have endometriosis. This is strictly a self-diagnosis at this point. I haven’t been officially diagnosed, as that typically requires laparoscopic surgery and I haven’t gotten there yet. 

But I’ve been down the rabbit hole and back, and one of the greatest resources I’ve found on the topic is Jessica Murnane. This is where I first learned that eliminating certain inflammatory foods can help with endometriosis symptoms, as essentially those foods are inflaming an already painful inflammation. So I decided to give up gluten for a while, just to try it out (hormone related: I’ve also stopped consuming the other favorite love of my life, coffee. It’s been a real whirlwind!)

The results? I’ve felt, in general, way less fatigued. My frequent stomach discomfort and near-daily-2nd-trimester-style bloating quickly went away. I no longer worry that I won’t be able to fit in my jeans by the end of the day. But even more exciting (and trust me, no longer bouncing between 3 pant sizes on the daily is pretty exciting), In the last eight months, I haven’t spent one day of my period stuck in bed in the fetal position, unable to move, throwing up and writhing in pain. So, I don’t know for sure if endo is what ails me, but my quality of life has improved since going off the gluten, so I’m going to stick with it (just imagine how I’d feel if I went off dairy and sugar too! Just kidding. I’m not there…yet.).  

The downside of giving up gluten, is obviously, giving up gluten. I was team gluten my whole life, almost smugly so. We had pizza, donuts, and craft beer at our wedding, for crying out loud! I’ve learned I can get along pretty well without it, but a few things suck. My favorite pizza place doesn’t do a GF crust. It’s hard to order takeout when restaurants don’t list allergen info on their sites/menus. Seattle restaurants and bakeries, in general, seems behind on the “trend.” Bread products are dismal—buns and rolls and baguettes? Forget about it (omg what I wouldn’t give for a legit baguette). I miss ramen so much. My brewery hopping days feel like a sepia toned memory. I’m now that person who has to pepper restaurant servers with questions about allergens.

Sometimes it feels like a small, hardly noticeable shift. Other times it feels like it’s changed my entire life. So that, plus some other personal things, have kept me away. I haven’t developed a recipe, taken a food photo on my actual camera, or written down words for this space in half a year. Honestly, it feels liberating to just make dinner and not think about developing a recipe or writing things down. But I also don’t want to say goodbye to this little gem that’s been such a fun creative outlet to me (since 2009! I'm ancient in food blogging years), and a resource to a handful of you, my ever-faithful fans (ie my mom). I’m hoping kitchen inspiration strikes, but until it does, I’ve been following other creative pursuits. I’ve been doing a lot of fiction writing (currently trying to wrap my head around a causal loop time paradox - lol- for a story I'm writing... Evan is my time-paradox expert, but if you wanna help me plot doctor this, hit me up!), and I just picked up some watercolor paints this week, which I'm now obsessed with (see photo above!). 

Anyway, that’s all for now. Just wanted to pop in and say hi and I hope to come back with something for this space at some point (and I post on IG and IG stories all the time if you’re interested in my nonsense). 

As Gilbert Grape said “It's not goodbye. It's goodnight. Goodbye is for when you're going away." So for now: goodnight! 

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Monday, October 23, 2017

Pumpkin Curry | Virtual Pumpkin Party

Pumpkin Curry// Loves Food, Loves to Eat #virtualpumpkinpartyIt’s been a rough week over here. Evan and I were just on vacation in Maui, celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary. When we left Seattle, I was still wearing sandals, and when we got back a week later, from the sunniest, beachiest vacation, it was full on Seattle fall. All the rain. All the wind. All the chilly chill temps. Luckily that also means all the unbelievable fall colors (seriously I can hardly stand how beautiful the trees are right now), and all the fall treats… which brings us to the annual Virtual Pumpkin Party (the best fall food event!), hosted by Sara from Cake Over Steak... and this here curry situation!

Pumpkin Curry// Loves Food, Loves to Eat #virtualpumpkinparty I was already thinking of doing a coconut-pumpkin curry (which I know has been done and is fully not unique but yolo), but then I got a little tip while we were in Maui that sealed the deal. At an amazing food truck we went to almost every day (I got the ahi-loin fish tacos omg), Evan had the fish curry bowl, and they let us in on a recipe secret: a big part of the curry sauce base was CAULIFLOWER! Blitzed up in the food processor. It works perfect in this chicken + pumpkin curry, adding some heft and a good savory note to the otherwise kind of sweet flavors (lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, pumpkin, coconut milk). And cauliflower is super good for you, vitamins, nutrients, yadda yadda etc. With the cauliflower, this is a hearty stew, rather than a thinner soup-like curry. The color of this curry made me think of the best ever Thai dish, Khao Soi (it's nothing like it but whatever), which inspired me to put pickled greens on top. I quick pickled some baby bok choi, and the sharp acidity is exactly what this dish needs. Plus peanuts for crunch, and fresh cilantro and red onions. This is pretty simple. I used powdered curry and ginger because lazy, and while there are a handful of ingredients, it comes together pretty quickly and could even work for a weeknight! Note: you should be able to find lemongrass and lime leaf with the fresh herbs (mine comes packaged next to the fresh refrigerated basil, thyme, etc), or in an Asian supermarket.

Pumpkin Curry// Loves Food, Loves to Eat #virtualpumpkinparty Ugh I guess it’s time to put aside the post vacation blues and embrace fall. Here’s my 5 step plan: Step 1: pumpkin curry bowls. Step 2: visit the #virtualpumpkinparty headquarters for so many good pumpkiny fall treats (savory, sweet, and everything in between!). Step 3. scarf + booties. Step 4. candles + fireplace + cat cuddles. Step 5. ALL THE SCARY MOVIES BC SCARY MOVIE SEASON IS MY FAVORITE.

Chicken & Pumpkin Curry Bowls 
Notes: This makes a lot—good for a big group or leftovers. Serves at least 8. Start the rice (recipe at link but see below for notes) and pickled bok choi while the curry is simmering Both take about 30 min.

Coconut oil
1 Japanese or Chinese eggplant
(long skinny type), diced  (about 2.5-3 cups)
1.5 cups diced mushrooms (crimini or white button)
1 lb chicken breast, diced
1 2-inch piece of lemongrass, halved
lengthwise and hard outter layer removed
2 small kaffir lime leaves
1 shallot, diced finely (about 1 tablespoon)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red onion, sliced thin or diced
3 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 can (about 2 cups) coconut milk
1 cup water
1 can (about 2 cups) pumpkin puree
(be sure to get pure pumpkin w/no
sweeteners or spices, not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 head of cauliflower, pulsed in food
processor until it’s a fine mealy texture
1 hearty squirt sriracha
1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Salt & pepper
juice of 1 lime

To serve:
Coconut rice (recipe here, plus I like to toast 
about 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut 
with the rice, and leave out the sweetener
and extra flavorings... not needed!)
quick pickled bok choi (recipe below)
peanuts
thinly sliced red onion
cilantro
sriracha 


Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, and add about a tablespoon of coconut oil. Add eggplant and mushrooms, and cook until tender but not super soft and squishy, about 5 minutes, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Remove from pot and set aside.

Add another tablespoon coconut oil, and add chicken, lemongrass, and lime leaves. Cook until chicken is just about cooked through, and add shallots, garlic and red onion and a pinch of salt. Cook a few more minutes, until the onions/garlic are cooked and fragrant, but be careful to not burn.

Stir in spices (curry through cumin) and cook another minute or so, until fragrant (again, being careful not to burn).

Add coconut milk, water, pumpkin, and cauliflower, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer and remove the lemongrass and lime leaves.

Add back in eggplant and mushrooms, plus a squirt of sriracha and soy sauce, and chickpeas. Simmer for about 30 minutes to an hour. Stir in lime juice shortly before serving (and add more salt and pepper to taste).

Serve over coconut rice with quick pickled baby bok choi (below), peanuts, thinly sliced red onion, cilantro, and sriracha to taste.

Quick Pickled baby bok choi


1 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 baby bok choi, sliced thin (everything
from bulb to leaves)





In a medium sized bowl or large jar, stir together vinegar and sugar, and add bok choi, submerging it in the liquid. Let sit for at least 30 min.

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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Passionate Palmer Pops | Popsicle Week 2017

Passionate Palmer Pops | Popsicle Week 2017 // LOVES FOOD, LOVES TO EATIt’s Wit and Vinegar’s WORLD FAMOUS POPSICLE WEEK! The hottest (yet, chilliest/chillest) week of the year! Check out the 2017 popsicle week page for a plethora of pops. Some are covered in toasted marshmallow (!), some are made with pudding, others are boozy and fruity, a few have chunks of cake in them. And this, my friends, is mine: The Passionate Palmer Pop™. 

Passionate Palmer Pops | Popsicle Week 2017 // LOVES FOOD, LOVES TO EAT It’s a sordid love affair, a steamy (yet frosty) summer romance between everyone’s favorite non-alcoholic drink named after a golfer, the Arnold Palmer, and the tangy sweet tropical seductress, Passionfruit. We’re talkin’ sweet and sour, sticky and melty, and as refreshing as a glass of iced tea on a hot summer day. We have intrigue. We have temptation. We have PASSION. And tea and lemon. We have passionfruit Arnold Palmers (tea + lemonade combo) in one cool, frozen package. 

Passionate Palmer Pops | Popsicle Week 2017 // LOVES FOOD, LOVES TO EAT My sister and I were throwing out popsicle flavor ideas, and when we landed on passionfruit Arnold Palmers, and the name Passionate Palmers, we laughed hysterically. Partially because we think we’re hilarious no matter what we say, but mostly because we had an 8th grade teacher named Mrs. Palmer, who also happened to be the mom of one of my best friends growing up. Like the true middle schoolers we are at heart, it’s just funny saying passionate + a teacher’s name. RIGHT!? (Is this the part where we make the calculator say boobs*?) #growupalready. 

Passionate Palmer Pops | Popsicle Week 2017 // LOVES FOOD, LOVES TO EAT I had to search pretty far and wide to find any sort of passionfruit anything. Seattle has no passion. When I was about to give up, I got over my hating-tourist-season-at-the-market infliction, and tried Pike Place Market, and of course, found everything I needed: frozen passion fruit pulp and whole passionfruit fruits. The whole passionfruit is fun because it adds some fresh flavor and the cute crunchy seeds, but if you can’t find them, the frozen pulp will do. I found mine at the Mercado Latino, the Latin grocery at Pike Place. When it doubt, try a Hispanic/ Latin grocery. I used the Goya brand frozen pulp, which is 100% passion fruit pulp (no sweetener, etc). If you can’t find that, my next suggestion would be passionfruit nectar or juice (Goya also has one, or try a Hawaiian brand—look for lilikoi instead of passionfruit), but don’t add extra sweetener to the pops, as those drinks are usually pretty sweet. And if all of the above fails, and you live in a passionless pit, I think pureed mango would be pretty good here too!  

Passionate Palmer Pops | Popsicle Week 2017 // LOVES FOOD, LOVES TO EAT Don’t forget to visit Billy’s #popsicleweek page to enjoy fun pops all summer long!


Passionate Palmer pops (passionfruit arnold palmer popsicles) 
Makes ~10 standard sized popsicles

2 cups water
4 tea bags (basic black tea, like Lipton)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from approx. 
2 whole lemons)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2/3 cup frozen passionfruit puree/ pulp
2 whole passionfruit






Boil water, then steep tea bags for about 10 minutes, until you have a dark, strong tea (but not like, impossible to consume dark). You can either simmer the bags in a pot with the water, or just boil, remove from heat, and steep, covered. Chill tea until cool (in refrigerator, or over an ice bath).

While tea is chilling, cut open both whole passionfruit, and scoop the insides (seeds and all, they’re edible!) into the bottom of each of your popsicle molds. Freeze until solid, about 20 minutes.

Add lemon juice, maple syrup, and passionfruit puree to chilled tea (Note: the frozen passionfruit comes pretty solid. To use it, I first broke it up and added it, with a splash of water, to the blender, just to get it to loosen up to a thick soft-serve, sorbet like consistency. You could also just try thawing it like a normal patient person). Whisk or stir until combined. Taste, and add more maple syrup as needed (depending on how sour/tangy versus sweet you like it).

Pour mixture into popsicle molds, over frozen passionfruit. Insert sticks and freeze until solid.



*Speaking of 8th grade and boobs... my mom, sister, and I recently reminisced about the time I tried to stuff my bra (with wadded up tissues) for a middle school dance, and as my friend and I were leaving the house, my mom SO EMBARRASSINGLY, IN FRONT OF MY FRIEND, told me to take it out! I died a thousand angsty deaths. But in hindsight, I think she did me a huge favor: 
    Amanda: How'd you know she stuffed? Were they too big?
    Mom: No, they were just super lumpy and weird shaped!

Passionate Palmer Pops | Popsicle Week 2017 // LOVES FOOD, LOVES TO EAT


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Monday, June 12, 2017

Father's Day Waffles with Cardamom-Vanilla Strawberry Rhubarb Compote & Whipped Coconut Cream

Father's Day Waffles with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote & Whipped Coconut Cream // Loves Food, Loves to EatMy dad occasionally visits me in my dreams. In the beginning, I had these dreams much more frequently. They’re so vivid and real, he’s so vivid and real, that in the rawness of fresh grief, they were devastating to wake from. My dad has been gone almost three years (this August) and while I still wake tearful, with the scar of loss newly opened once more, his dream visits have started to feel like something else. Like a gift. Like an extra, stolen moment of time I get to spend with my dad, however fleeting. 

Father's Day Waffles with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote & Whipped Coconut Cream // Loves Food, Loves to Eat Earlier this week, just before I woke, I dreamt that we were in the kitchen, talking. He was bebopping around, stirring this and tasting that, as he was wont to do, and we just chatted, about nothing significant. He was there, his face, his personality, his voice. He was real and alive. And then I woke up. I hadn’t had one of these visits in a while, and my morning got off to a rough and fuzzy start, as I tried to go to back to sleep, to will him to return, with tears on my cheeks. But he didn’t return, and I eventually embraced his gift for what it was, got up and took a cup of coffee and the cat outside to the patio. And there, I noticed a tiny bit of green popping out of the dirt for the first time—one of the irises my mom dug up from my childhood home had finally started to grow… I had almost given up hope! Those irises were my dad’s favorite flowers. An absolute gift indeed. 

Father's Day Waffles with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote & Whipped Coconut Cream // Loves Food, Loves to Eat A month ago, I suggested a revolution: waffle brunches for Father’s Day! So here I am, carrying the torch. My dad would have loved nothing more than waffles and a big bouquet of freshly cut flowers on his special day. These waffles are pretty simple and straightforward, with the addition of whipped egg whites which make them a bit lighter and more airy. I think there are two kinds of waffle people: the ones who like a big, tall Belgian waffle with large deep holes and crisp exterior, and the ones who like a thin, light, slightly crisp on the outside but mostly chewy waffle, with lots of tiny holes. I’m the latter, and so are these waffles. If you’re in waffle camp #1, feel free to sub in your favorite waffle recipe as the base. Regardless, we’re topping them with a rhubarb and strawberry compote, flavored with cardamom and vanilla, and a big dollop of coconut whipped cream, because we’re either sharing these with dads or, for any number of reasons, eating our feelings on Father’s Day, and either option calls for a big dollop of whipped cream. 

Father's Day Waffles with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote & Whipped Coconut Cream // Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Father's Day waffles 
with strawberry rhubarb compote & whipped coconut cream 
Waffle recipe adapted from here. Makes 4-6 waffles (I have this waffle iron).
Notes: the coconut milk needs to chill overnight before whipping the cream, so be sure to get a head start. 

1 cup all purpose flour
1.5 T sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup almond milk
2 large eggs, separated
4 T melted butter (unsalted)

To serve:
Maple syrup or honey
Strawberry Rhubarb Compote (below)
Whipped coconut cream (below)
finely chopped pistachios




In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a smaller bowl, whisk together milk and egg yolks. Pour wet ingredients into dry, and gently stir, don’t over mix. Add butter, and gently stir to combine, again, don’t over mix—it’s ok if there are a few lumps. In a separate, clean bowl, with an electric mixer, beat egg whites until peaks form, and very gently fold into batter. Let rest while waffle iron heats up. Cook waffles according to waffle iron instructions.

To serve, top with a drizzle of syrup or honey, a big spoonful of the compote and coconut cream, and a sprinkle of pistachios.

whipped coconut cream 
Notes: the unopened can of coconut milk needs to chill overnight so the cream fully separates from the liquid, so be sure to get a head start. 

1 can full fat coconut milk
1 T powdered/confectioners sugar






Place can, unopened, in fridge overnight. When ready to make, open can, and drain the liquid + scoop out the solid cream, being careful not to mix with the liquid. Add the solid cream to a bowl or stand mixer, and beat on high until light peaks form. Add sugar, and beat until combined.


strawberry rhubarb compote with cardamom and vanilla 
Fills 2 pint jars 

4 cups sliced/chopped rhubarb (about 5 big stalks)
1 cup sliced strawberries
Scant 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla (I used vanilla paste)
4 cardamom pods—shell and lightly 
grind the inner parts (with mortar 
and pestle)
Pinch salt
Juice from 1 baby lemon (or 1/2 regular sized lemon)




Add all ingredients to a pot over medium heat. Stir to combine, and let cook until everything starts to soften and break down, about 5 minutes. Cover, and lower heat to simmer for about 5-10 minutes, until you have a loose jammy consistency.

Use right away warm, or remove from heat, cool to room temp, put in jars, and store in refrigerator.



Father's Day Waffles with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote & Whipped Coconut Cream // Loves Food, Loves to Eat
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Saturday, May 13, 2017

Coconut Lime Scone Loaf with White Chocolate and Mac Nuts

Coconut Lime Scone Loaf with White Chocolate and Mac Nuts // Loves Food, Loves to EatLet me be clear: this is not a Mother’s Day post (sidenote, happy Mother’s Day, mom!). This recipe isn’t for Mother’s Day. You can, of course, make it for a mom, but you can also make it for yourself (you can enjoy it even if you’re a dad, a cat-mom, a dog-mom, a non-binary non parent, an LGBTQ teen, a single dude who loves video games, a dude married to a dude, a woman in a long-term relationship who may or may not want to get married and has decided she doesn't want kids, a pregnant lady, a DINK couple, etc!), and you can also make your mom a big spicy pan of enchiladas if that’s what she’s into. Because moms, like all human women (and like all of the humans mentioned above, plus more... all the humans, even!), are complex creatures who don’t fit into one mold.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my mom has a taco tooth, not a sweet tooth, and would much prefer something savory over something sweet. When I was growing up, my dad would whip up some waffles… while my mom chowed down on a leftover taco, cold from the fridge. That’s how she rolls. All this is to say, one: my mom gives absolutely zero fucks #shedowhatshewant, and two: let’s stop gendering food. Sure, moms might like flowers and scones, but they also might like a big bloody steak with a glass of whiskey or something smothered in some goddamn hot sauce. Just as dads might want sweets and waffles and fresh flowers on the daily (like my dad did). Based on my observations of brunch ordering habits, most of my women friends prefer breakfast sandwiches with runny eggs and bacon, over fruity French toast. As far as I know (and of course, only with an outsider’s perspective/cat-mom perspective, so I might be wrong), having a baby and parenting a child doesn’t make all the women suddenly crave pink breakfast food.

Coconut Lime Scone Loaf with White Chocolate and Mac Nuts // Loves Food, Loves to Eat I’d like to make a proposal: food blogs filled with meaty, spicy, savory recipe roundups on Mother’s Day, and waffle brunches on Father’s Day. Ok, so now, to the part where I look like a total hypocrite because this isn’t a recipe for something meaty and spicy and savory. Here’s a scone thing! We can start the revolution on Father’s Day.

Coconut Lime Scone Loaf with White Chocolate and Mac Nuts // Loves Food, Loves to Eat I didn’t intend to have this post coincide with Mother’s Day, but I saw both Molly Yeh (My Name is Yeh) and Food52 post pics of Molly’s scone loaf on Instagram this week, and I just had to make it because LOOK AT IT. It’s a scone! In a loaf! So I had to make it and then I had to post it, and it just so happens to be on Mom’s Day weekend. If I was having Mother’s Day brunch with my mom, though, we’d probably have breakfast burritos with tons of salsa. She’d be real PO’d if I only showed up with scones. (ha, remember saying PO’d? lolol).

Coconut Lime Scone Loaf with White Chocolate and Mac Nuts // Loves Food, Loves to Eat I changed up the flavor profile of this scone loaf (Molly uses marzipan and dark chocolate) to better match what I had on hand and because I thought maybe tropical-ish flavors would coax the sun back out of its cloudy, rainy hiding place. This recipe is adapted from Food 52’s post, but I also share custody of Molly’s book, Molly on the Range, with my sister, and I highly recommend getting it. It’s one of the most creative yet accessible yet adorable plus delicious cookbooks I’ve picked up in a long while.

Coconut Lime Scone Loaf (with white chocolate & Mac nuts)
Adapted from here and here
Notes: I used this almond-coconut milk, but I think canned coconut milk or regular almond milk would do the trick, or you could simply use heavy cream. I also accidentally used 1 full cup (rather than 3/4 cup) of butter and it turned out awesome, so choose your own adventure. 


1 packed teaspoon lime zest (+ 1 teaspoon for top)
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
½ cup chopped macadamia nuts
½ cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried coconut flakes (unsweetened)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons granulated (white) sugar
(+ 1 teaspoon for top)
¾ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 large eggs
½ cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon coconut extract

Glaze
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
Splash coconut extract
Pinch fresh grated nutmeg



Heat oven to 400° F.

Line an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving 1-inch over-hang (or grease pan really well).

In a small bowl, toss together the 1 teaspoon lime zest with the powdered sugar, so that the sugar coats the lime and it doesn’t clump together. Add the nuts, chocolate chips, and coconut, and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar. Add cubed butter and, using a pastry blender, cut in and mix until butter is roughly pea-sized. Stir in zest/nut/coconut/chocolate.

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, and extract and add to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined.

Scoop the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and evenly spread. In a tiny bowl or measuring cup, stir together (or mix using fingers) remaining 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 teaspoon lime zest, and sprinkle evenly on top.

Bake until deep golden brown on top and “firm when you poke it with your finger, with no squishy give,” approx. 40-45 minutes total. Check at 30 minutes in, and cover top loosely with foil if it looks too dark (any white chocolate chips near the surface might burn). Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove using the parchment overhang, or gently turning upside down against rack.

To make glaze, whisk together ingredients, and drizzle over cooled loaf.

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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Crispy Cracker Coconut Mounds

Loves Food, Loves to Eat // Crispy Cracker Coconut MoundsAlternate title: Dipping Things in Chocolate is Hard.

I recently learned that the reason a lot of people don’t like coconut (according to two people I know who don’t like coconut) is the texture. I don’t really get it. Do these people just not like sweetened shredded coconut? What about desiccated? What about fresh? Or big dry flakes? I feel like there are way too many coconut types and applications to just give it a blanket dislike. I’m the kind of person who loves coconut, both in flavor and texture. I truly think it makes everything better. I was the kid who wished for Almond Joys at Halloween, who requested chocolate cake with coconut pecan frosting for every birthday, and who poked a hole in the bottom of every chocolate in the box, until I found the coconut one. I’m that person.
Loves Food, Loves to Eat // Crispy Cracker Coconut Mounds
These little treats taste a lot like an Almond Joy—gooey sticky sweet coconut filling, crunchy almonds, and a chocolate shell. But then there’s the added salty, buttery crunch of the Ritz cracker, just for fun. I was originally planning on making little shortbread egg-shaped cookies, then doing the topping and the chocolate coating, but got lazy. Hence the Ritz. I’m pretty ok with it though, these fun treats are tasty and come together in a snap, and I actually really like the flavor of the Ritz here. The hardest part is the chocolate. Why is it so hard to get a nice, even, smooth shell? In my mind, these were the perfect little mounds, with perfectly smooth chocolate. What are your chocolate-dipping secrets? Tips? Tricks?

Loves Food, Loves to Eat // Crispy Cracker Coconut Mounds Oh well, I suppose I’ll never be a professional chocolate dipper. Sigh.

Loves Food, Loves to Eat // Crispy Cracker Coconut Mounds I’m calling these Coconut Mounds, because that’s what they are and I couldn’t think of a more appropriate name, but it’s kind of silly, because as we all know, Almond Joys have nuts, and Mounds don’t. But these do. It’s a confusing world we live in.

Loves Food, Loves to Eat // Crispy Cracker Coconut Mounds
Crispy Cracker Coconut Mounds
Makes approx 15.
Note: I also made a batch using almond-based non-dairy cream cheese, which were excellent, but did need a bit of flour to thicken up the mixture enough to scoop.

4 oz cream cheese (half a brick)
1 cup confectioners / powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped almonds (I use roasted salted)
Ritz-type crackers
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips + a tiny bit of coconut oil



Mix together cream cheese and powdered sugar (with stand or hand mixer) until combined and creamy. Add vanilla, and mix. Stir in coconut and nuts. If mixture seems super soft and too loose, you can either add a tad of flour and stir to combine, or pop in the freezer or fridge for a few minutes.

Scoop mixture onto Ritz crackers (I used a 1.5 tablespoon scoop, not filled all the way) in mounds

Melt chocolate in microwave, with just a bit (1.5 teaspoon -ish) of coconut oil, just to thin it

Dip mounds in chocolate, being careful to not dislodge mound from cracker

Chill to harden chocolate, can be stored in fridge

Loves Food, Loves to Eat // Crispy Cracker Coconut Mounds
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