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)
thinly sliced red onion

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.


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


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

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

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.


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

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

White Bean Dip with Salsa Macha Swirl

Thanks to Good Health Snacks for providing chips and inspiration for this post! 

White Bean Dip with Salsa Macha Swirl \\ Loves Food, Loves to Eat #enjoygooddipping I’ve tried two new things this March!

The first is March Madness. I had never filled out a bracket before because I care approximately negative zero percent about watching college and/or professional basketball. I should like it, but I’m just not that into it. Here’s my history with basketball: when I was in 5th or 6th grade, all I wanted in life was a Space Jam basketball, and I got one for Christmas (along with a black bomber style jacket with Looney Toons characters on the back, and fake brown leather sleeves. Around the same time, I had my first sort-of French kiss outside the gym during a high school basketball game…that my silly parents somehow let me go to unsupervised. But clearly that jacket was the hot fire, amiright!?). My Space Jam basketball was black and had the logo and characters painted on it. What I didn’t have was a basketball hoop. My dad installed one, nailed to a wooden post on the top, flat part of a sloping dirt and poky weed-covered hill on our country property. And every time I missed the backboard, I had to run down the little hill into a thorny thicket and hope the ball didn’t go into or under the barbed wire fence. I played basketball in school, from 5th-ish to 8th grade, and scored exactly once. When I was in high school, I was a basketball cheerleader for two years, and I became weirdly good at making three point shots. One time, at a basketball tournament in the middle of nowhere in Oregon, I won a 3-point contest at half time. In my cheerleading uniform. My prize was a two liter of soda. I’d like that to be my claim to fame, but literally no one has ever talked about it since basically the moment it happened. All of this is to say, I know about basketball. I don’t hate it? I don’t know.

White Bean Dip with Salsa Macha Swirl \\ Loves Food, Loves to Eat #enjoygooddipping So this year, for the first time, I’m participating in March Madness at work. And while I haven’t watched one game, my competitive spirit has taken over, and I’m checking the leaderboard constantly. If my team makes it to the end, I might even tune in to a game. We’ll see.

The second new-to-me thing of the month is salsa macha! I had it for the first time at a restaurant a couple weeks ago, and fell in love. If you’re not familiar: it’s an oily paste of ground dried chilis, nuts, garlic, and sesame seeds… things I never would have thought to combine. It has a unique nutty-smoky (but not spicy!) flavor.

White Bean Dip with Salsa Macha Swirl \\ Loves Food, Loves to Eat #enjoygooddipping When I saw that Good Health’s Organic Black Bean and Rice Tortilla chips pair well with salsas and the like, I knew I had to try my hand at salsa macha. But then I read that their Sea Salt Eat Your Vegetables chips pair best with hummus-type dips, I decided to kill two birds with one stone, and make a creamy white bean dip swirled with oily salsa macha. The bean dip has lemon for acidic tang, and garlic for a slight bit of bite, but I kept it pretty mild, compared to other white bean dips out there, since we’re topping it with salsa macha and I wanted the flavors to jive. The combo is really, really good. Even if my team loses the sports thing, I’ll consider myself a winner (I’d like my coworkers to consider me a winner as well, since we put money on this).

White Bean Dip with Salsa Macha Swirl \\ Loves Food, Loves to Eat #enjoygooddipping March Madness. Good Health chips. Creamy white bean dip with salsa macha swirls. This is essentially the chip and dip version of winning a 3-point contest in a cheerleading uniform with a Space Jam basketball.

White bean dip with salsa macha swirl
Salsa Macha slightly adapted from this recipe
This makes extra salsa macha, but not to worry, it’s fabulous on roasted vegetables, eggs, chips, tacos, a spoon… 

White Bean Dip
2 cans of white beans (I like Great 
Northern), drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic, diced
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
1/8th teaspoon salt (plus more for 
taste, as desired)

Salsa Macha
1 cup olive oil
½ cup peanuts (or almonds, if you’re 
allergic) + 1 tablespoon chopped for garnish
5-6 cloves garlic, chopped
5 mild dried Mexican chili peppers (I 
used 4 guajillo peppers and 1 ancho, 
but feel free to add a spicy pepper into 
the mix), stems and seeds removed, torn or 
cut into smaller pieces
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 heaping tablespoon sesame seeds

For the White Bean Dip
In food processor or high power blender, pulse together dip ingredients until smooth and creamy. Taste, and add more salt as needed. 

For the Salsa Macha
Heat a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat, and add olive oil. 

Add 1/2 cup of peanuts and the garlic, and cook a couple of minutes, until lightly golden and fragrant. Add peppers, and cook another minute or two. Make sure garlic and nuts don’t burn. 
Remove from heat, let cool about 10 minutes. 

Add vinegar and salt, and add to blender or food processor. Pulse until you have a well incorporated but slightly gritty paste. 
Stir in sesame seeds. 

To serve, scoop dip into bowl, and top with a swirl of salsa macha. Add extra peanuts for garnish. Serve with Good Health chips!

Wait, there's more! #EnjoyDippingGood with these other tasty dips + Good Health chips! And thanks to Chicano Eats for hosting such a delish link party! 

Salvadoran Chimol by Sour Then Sweet
3 Dips en menos de 5 minutos by The Blog By Taina
Mango & Pineapple Salsa by BearsnUnicornsLA
Roasted Red Pepper, Thyme, and Goat Cheese Dip by Appeasing a Food Geek
Poza Rica-Style Peanut and Chipotle Salsa by Flan & Apple Pie
Sambal Tahini Carrot Dip by Wit & Vinegar
Charred Carrot and Avocado Dip by Sun Diego Eats
Chunky Guacamole by Chicano Eats


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Chicken Salad Pita Sandwiches with Lemon, Dill, & Pancetta

Chicken Salad Pita Sandwiches with Lemon, Dill, & Pancetta // Loves Food, Loves to EatThe last few weeks have been full of: cold but sunny blue skies, blooming cherry blossom trees, pouring rain, hail, and snow. The glimpse of clear-skied weather on the horizon, paired with an even more soggy dreary grey, has me longing for spring and summer so hard. I miss sitting on a patio, sipping a cool crisp white or rose as the sun sets. I miss using the grill and watching things grow in my garden bed. I miss jogging outside with bare arms. I miss sun ripened berries and stone fruits. Deargod I miss nectarines.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Raw Layered Cashew Cheesecake

A few months ago I decided to do the Whole 30. But really, I decided to do a Whole 5. If you don’t know about Whole 30, the gist is that it’s a 30-day elimination diet, wherein you don’t eat things that cause inflammation, including dairy, grains, legumes, processed sugar and maybe a few other things. Then at the end of the 30 days, you’re supposed to slowly add back in those items, which should help you find out if you have particular sensitivities. They can’t stress enough the importance of doing the entire 30 days, and they basically say you shouldn’t even bother doing just one week, because that’s not enough time for the toxins or whatever to leave your body.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Cream Wafers with Grapefruit Blood Orange Filling

Cream Wafers with Grapefruit Blood Orange Filling \\ Loves Food, Loves to EatAs I write this post, my valentine is off on a work trip, and I can hardly stand it. A lot of my friends think Evan and I are pretty independent because we have our own hobbies that, after years and years of being together, we don’t try to push on each other. He has his nerd things and video games and electronic music, I have cooking and being in nature and scary movies and reading. We’re pretty good about doing our own thing and being totally cool with it.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Feeling the Weight

For a while I thought “it’s bound to get better,” or “things will slow down.” But in reality, the hits keep coming. And maybe that’s what life is and what being a grownup out in the world is. Or maybe some people are just luckier than others… but even then, it’s all relative.

In 2014, six weeks before my wedding day, my dad passed away. I was 29 years old, and our little family unit—my mom, dad, sister, and myself—we were closer than most families I know. We had never spent a Thanksgiving or Christmas apart. The grief of losing him was overwhelming and all encompassing. I felt cheated that he didn’t get to be at my wedding. That he would never meet my future children. But then, my sister didn’t even get to share her engagement with him. My mom had been with my dad since she was sixteen, more of her life with him by her side than without. Grief is personal. Grief is all relative. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Buffalo Chicken Rolls

Buffalo Chicken Rolls // Loves Food, Loves to Eat | #foodiefootballfansToday is the final post in the #foodiefootballfans recipe collaboration! My team didn’t make it to the big game, which means I can actually focus on the halftime show and the food this year. And that’s a big win (sigh, sorry hawks), because we’re having buffalo chicken rolls! 
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