Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk + Coffee


Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk + Coffee // Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Man, you all really like your pumpkin spice this year! I can't even tell you how many pumpkin spice Facebook posts and memes I've seen this fall (and fall only just started!). And Pinterest, jeez louise. Pumpkin spice for days. My favorite pumpkin spice incarnation has to be beer. I love a good pumpkin spice beer! This one is my favorite right now… it tastes like pumpkin pie!

I'll leave the beer making to the professionals, but one pumpkin spice treat I will make at home is the PSL. Pumpkin. Spice. Latte. Sort of. So… I mentioned this before, but I'm not a huge fan of sweet, milky coffee. I'm obsessed with (and maybe addicted to) the actual taste of strong, black coffee. But, like everyone else, when the leaves start turning orange, I start craving a little pumpkin spice in my coffee. I don't like the taste of soy milk, and I hate the taste of regular (cow) milk (yes, even in a latte, I can taste it), so I decided to make my own pumpkin spice almond milk to add to coffee! 

Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk + Coffee // Loves Food, Loves to Eat
This mix is sweet but not overly so, and has just the right amount of pumpkin and spice. Make a jar-full, and take it to work to add to your coffee all week! It feels all cozy and indulgent, and makes me want to bundle up in a warm sweater! 

Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk + Coffee // Loves Food, Loves to Eat

PPS. I read the back of a pumpkin pie spice jar, and it said it contained mace (spice). I remember there always being a jar of mace in my mom's spice rack, but I honestly couldn't remember anything about it. So I looked it up… did you know that mace is the dried lacy layer of the nutmeg seed? Weird! Feel free to throw some of that in your spice mix, if you have it! 

PPS. Since you'll have extra pumpkin puree after making this, go ahead and make some pumpkin pie granola too. 

Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk + Coffee 

Pumpkin pie spice is a breeze to make on your own. I use just cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg, but you can also add cloves and cardamom if you want. For the spiced milk, you can also try adding maple syrup instead of the brown sugar!

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
pinch allspice
pinch nutmeg (fresh ground is best)
pinch salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (also try almond, to pump up the flavor of the almond milk!)
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling, be sure the only ingredient is pumpkin)

To serve: Coffee, fresh nutmeg, whipped cream (optional)

Combine almond milk through pumpkin puree in a small pot and whisk to combine. Heat over medium until it starts to bubble, then simmer stirring occasionally for another minute or two. Taste, and add more sugar/spices/pumpkin as desired. Use right away, or let mixture return to room temperature before refrigerating. Store in a jar in the fridge for up to a week, and give it a good shake or stir before using. 

To serve, I like to do a 60/40 coffee to almond milk ratio, but test it out and figure out what you like best. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sweet Potato, Pear, and Wild Rice Salad

Sweet Potato, Pear, and Wild Rice Salad
It's officially fall, and that means you can officially wear boots and scarves and order pumpkin spice everything, shame free. It also means I can start making dishes full of fall flavors like pears and roasted sweet potatoes. I really think sweet potatoes are going to be my go-to this fall, sort of like corn was all summer. I just love sweet potatoes so much. As is evident here and here

Sweet Potato, Pear, and Wild Rice Salad
Amanda always welcomes fall with a pear and pecan salad that has a creamy yogurt-honey-lemon dressing. I decided to make that salad, but add in some heartiness with wild rice (actually, I used forbidden black rice, which is super fun), sweet potato roasted in coconut oil, and aged white cheddar. Bleu cheese would absolutely work here too (um, maybe both!?). 

Sweet Potato, Pear, and Wild Rice Salad
This salad also holds up well for lunch the next day! Just layer it in a jar so that your dressing is on the bottom, and your arugula is on the top. And leave your pecans out, so they stay nice and crunchy. 

Sweet Potato, Pear, and Wild Rice Salad
Who says you can't welcome fall with a salad!?

Sweet Potato, Pear, and Wild Rice Salad

Exact amounts for roasting the sweet potato and making the dressing are below. For assembly, just use proportions that work for you. I like to use equal parts rice, sweet potato, and arugula, then add in a handful of everything else. 

1 large sweet potato or yam, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
Salt & Pepper
Wild rice of your choice, cooked and cooled
Chopped fresh pear
Honey yogurt dressing (recipe below)
Toasted pecans
Diced red onion
Shaved or cubed aged white cheddar

To roast the sweet potato, preheat oven to 400, toss cubes with coconut oil, spread out evenly on a baking sheet, sprinkle salt & pepper, and roast (flipping once) for 30-40 minutes, until golden and slightly crispy on the outside, and creamy-tender on the inside. Watch to make sure you don't burn them. Cool.

To assemble, toss together cool roasted sweet potato, cool wild rice, pear, arugula, and a spoonful of dressing. Top with pecans, red onion, and white cheddar. Serve with fresh ground pepper. To assemble in jars, add a scoop of dressing, followed by rice, sweet potato, arugula, cheese, and pear. I like to bring onion and nuts in separate containers or baggies--the nuts so they don't get soft, and the onion so it doesn't overpower the whole salad. Refrigerate until lunch time, then either toss and stir in a bowl, or eat straight out of the jar. 

Honey Yogurt Dressing
3/4 cup plain yogurt
3 tablespoons honey
Juice from 1 large lemon
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
Salt & Pepper

Whisk yogurt, honey, lemon juice, and chives together until smooth. Add salt & pepper to taste. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Apple Muffins with Crunchy Oat Bottom & Maple Glaze

Apple Muffins with Crunchy Oat Bottom & Maple Cinnamon Glaze: Loves Food, Loves to Eat
You know those stupid, fattening, sweet, buttery muffins that parade around as breakfast but are really just dessert? 

Apple Muffins with Crunchy Oat Bottom & Maple Cinnamon Glaze: Loves Food, Loves to Eat Well, sorry. That's what these are. 

I said I'm sorry!

Apple Muffins with Crunchy Oat Bottom & Maple Cinnamon Glaze: Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Ok, but really… I'm not all that sorry. For starters, swimsuit season is over, my friends. Time to put on some extra weight to stay warm through the winter, right? And they do have whole wheat and apples, hello…that's healthy-ish. And also, my house smelled so amazing and warm and fall-y when I was making these, which is reason enough to whip up a batch.

Apple Muffins with Crunchy Oat Bottom & Maple Cinnamon Glaze: Loves Food, Loves to Eat

Sidenote: have you seen the most obnoxious Gwyneth Paltrow food quotes? OMG. I love it so much. I just want to find ways to incorporate autumnal yum into my daily vocabulary. These muffins are a pretty good excuse…they're chock-full of autumnal yum. 

Apple Muffins with Crunchy Oat Bottom & Maple Cinnamon Glaze: Loves Food, Loves to Eat Do you remember the apple muffins at Costco? I'm not talking about the ones they have now, with the streusel topping… I'm talking about the ones they used to have with the crunchy oat-crumble bottom. You guys, those muffins were awesome, as far as dessert muffins go. That's what I was going for here with the crispy oat bottom, but the muffins themselves are loosely based on the blueberry muffin recipe in the Grand Central Bakery Cookbook. I changed it up quite a bit. I mean, obviously I used apples (big hearty chunks of 'em) instead of berries, but I also used whole wheat flour and oats, and lots of warm fall spices. And butter. There's a good dose of the good stuff in here. You could definitely use coconut oil, but the butter makes these so good. For dessert, I mean. 

Apple Muffins with Crunchy Oat Bottom & Maple Cinnamon Glaze: Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Apple Muffins with Crunchy Oat Bottom & Maple Cinnamon Glaze: Loves Food, Loves to Eat

Apple Muffins with Crunchy Oat Bottom and Maple Cinnamon Glaze
Makes 24 standard sized muffins

I made some in paper liners and some directly in a greased muffin tin. The crunchy bottom seems to come out of both just fine, but either way, be sure to cool entirely before trying to remove, to avoid leaving behind delicious crumble. 

Crumble bottom:
1.5 cups quick oats
1/2 cup butter (1 stick) melted 
1/2 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt

Muffin batter:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup quick oats
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
2 medium apples, diced (about 3 cups of apple chunks)
4 eggs
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup with 1 tablespoon lemon juice)

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Juice from half a lemon
Dash of cinnamon 

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease 24 muffin tins, or line with paper liners. 

Make the crumble bottom: Stir all ingredients together until combined and set aside.

Make the batter: 
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour through allspice, and stir in the apples until coated. Make a well in the center.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and melted butter, and pour into the well in the dry ingredients. Evenly pour the buttermilk around the outside ring of the dry ingredients. 

With your hands, mix the dry and wet ingredients together, using big, slow circular scrapes. Be sure to incorporate the dry ingredients on the bottom of the bowl, but stop as soon as everything is incorporated. Don't over mix! 

Bake: Fill each muffin tin with a small scoop of crumble, and pat down with your hands or the back of a spoon. The spoon muffin batter on top of crumble, filling tins about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean.

Cool completely in the tin, then gently run a knife along the outside edge to release the muffins. 

Mix together glaze ingredients (add more syrup if it's too stiff, or more sugar if it's too runny), and glaze cooled muffins. 

Apple Muffins with Crunchy Oat Bottom & Maple Cinnamon Glaze: Loves Food, Loves to Eat

Monday, September 9, 2013

Warm Roasted Potato Salad with Blistered Shishitos

Warm Roasted Potato Salad with Blistered Shishitos & Feta: Loves Food, Loves to Eat
I have another restaurant-inspired dish for you today! Warm roasted potato salad with blistered shishito peppers and feta! But before we get to that...

Warm Roasted Potato Salad with Blistered Shishitos & Feta: Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Breaking BAD!!! OMG you guys. Did you watch it!? I won't give anything away...just. Wowza. That last ten minutes, when you know what's gonna happen and you're still jumping up and down, ripping your hair out, yelling at the TV. Is it next Sunday yet!?

Warm Roasted Potato Salad with Blistered Shishitos & Feta: Loves Food, Loves to Eat Ok, moving on... (but I'm dying inside to talk about Breaking Bad!!) so this recipe. A few weeks ago my friend Genevieve and I had lunch at the fancy new Bar Sajor in Pioneer Square. The service was ridiculously slow, and everything was a bit expensive, but the food was really fresh and good. I've worked in Pioneer Square for years, and maybe I'm just not used to fine dining down here. I mean, cheap gyros and pho... yeah, we have that. But 2-hour lunches with a hefty price tag? Not the norm in these parts.

Warm Roasted Potato Salad with Blistered Shishitos & Feta: Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Anyway, my favorite dish was probably also the simplest. Roasted potatoes with whole, blistered shishito peppers, big chunks of tangy feta, a bit of house made aioli, and a pinch of fresh thyme. Who knew that potatoes and shishitos were a match made in heaven? In my version, I swapped out the aioli with a creamy thyme dressing, and sliced the blistered shishitos so that it can all be tossed together and eaten more like a salad.

Warm Roasted Potato Salad with Blistered Shishitos & Feta: Loves Food, Loves to Eat
New to shishitos? Get on it, my friends! These Japanese peppers are super flavorful, slightly sweet, and not at all spicy (although I've read that once in a while you'll find one with a bit of heat). According to Ben and V (who gave me these peppers from their garden), shishitos are a popular bar snack in Japan, just fried up and sprinkled with sea salt, eaten whole. Once you blister 'em, you'll be tempted to just snack on these like crazy, so I would recommend getting a few extras. You might have trouble finding them at your regular grocery store, but Asian stores and markets should have them year round.

Warm Roasted Potato Salad with Blistered Shishitos & Feta: Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Warm Roasted Potato Salad with Blistered Shishitos
Inspired by a dish at Bar Sajor
Serves 2

1 lb baby potatoes, scrubbed and halved
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1.5 tablespoon mayo
Juice from 1 lemon
Thyme from 2-3 sprigs
1/2 inch piece of shallot, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
6 shishito peppers
1/3-1/2 cup big feta crumbles

Preheat oven to 375. Toss potatoes and 2 tablespoons evoo, and add a generous shower of salt and pepper. Spread out on a baking sheet, and bake for about 40-45 min, until golden and crispy. Let cool slightly.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large, heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high. Cook peppers, turning occasionally, until they begin to blister on all sides. Drain on a paper towel and sprinkle with sea salt, let cool until you can slice them without burning yourself. Holding onto the stem to slice peppers.

Whisk together mayo, lemon juice, thyme, shallot, and S&P to taste. Toss with warm potatoes and sliced peppers, gently fold in feta. Tastes great warm or cold!


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fried Green Tomato Salad

Fried Green Tomato Salad: Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Just when you think summer is over….whammo! Sun! This is good news, because I have an end-of-summer recipe for you. I've been wanting to make this since July, then time just got away from me. But today, thanks to a free afternoon and some awesome tomatoes from my friends Ben & V's garden, I bring you fried green tomato salad! 

Fried Green Tomato Salad: Loves Food, Loves to Eat
When I was in Sonoma for Amanda's 30th, we went to the Girl and the Fig, and I had this amazing plate of fried green tomatoes. I also had an incredible duck confit hash, but...we're here to talk about tomatoes. They were mixed in with arugula, fresh sweet corn, cherry tomatoes, and a tangy vinaigrette, and topped with creamy fresh ricotta. I had only had fried green tomatoes on their own, dipped in ranch or the like, so this dish blew my mind. 

Fried Green Tomato Salad: Loves Food, Loves to Eat

Also… right now I'm reading Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (the book behind the Fried Green Tomatoes movie), so I mean, obviously the timing is good here. It's always a little disappointing to watch a movie after reading the book, but I kind of like doing it in reverse order—reading the book after watching the movie. In this case, it's been so long since I've seen the movie that I'm still surprised by everything that happens (and, a lot more happens in the book), but I can still picture Kathy Bates as Evelyn Couch, and Mary Stuart Masterson as Idgie… and I love those two gals.  

Fried Green Tomato Salad: Loves Food, Loves to Eat

Anyway…this recipe is totally from my memory (and a scroll through my instagram photos), so I'm not sure how similar it really is to the original, but this take is pretty damn tasty. There are a few steps, but all in all, for just a bit of effort, you get great big flavor. 

Fried Green Tomato Salad: Loves Food, Loves to Eat

Fried Green Tomato Salad 

2-3 thin slices red onion 
Vinaigrette (recipe below)
1 large, ripe heirloom tomato, sliced
2 fried green tomatoes, still warm (recipe below)
One ear of sweet corn, kernels removed 
Ricotta mixed with fresh thyme from 2-3 sprigs, and a pinch of salt
Salt & pepper

Make the vinaigrette, slice the red tomatoes and corn, whip up the ricotta, and then fry the tomatoes. To assemble, toss onion slices and a big handful of arugula with enough vinaigrette to coat. Place arugula and onion slices on plate, and layer fried and fresh tomatoes on top, add a pinch of salt, and top with corn. Top with dollops of ricotta, and drizzle with additional dressing. 

2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice from 1 small lemon
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped chives
Salt & pepper to taste

Whisk ingredients together. 

Fried Green Tomatoes
2 large, firm green tomatoes
1/2 cup flour with a pinch of salt and pepper
1 egg 
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup cornmeal
vegetable oil for frying

Slice tomatoes 1/2 thick. 

Set up your breading station:
1. Flour, salt, & pepper
2. Egg and milk, whisked
3. Panko & cornmeal 

Dip tomato slices in flour, then egg and milk mixture, then panko and cornmeal mixture.

Add about 1/4 cup of vegetable oil to a heavy bottomed skillet, and heat over medium until good and hot. Add half the tomato slices, and fry for a few minutes on each side, until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towels, and sprinkle with sea salt. Repeat with remaining tomatoes. 

Fried Green Tomato Salad: Loves Food, Loves to Eat

Monday, September 2, 2013

Corn Chowder with Bacon and Green Chiles

I know it's September, and football is happening (go UW!), and there are pumpkin recipes everywhere, and storefronts are filled with boots and scarves. I get it. But can't we still enjoy summer…just for a few more weeks!? Days??

Corn Chowder with Bacon & Green Chiles: Loves Food, Loves to Eat

I had all these summer recipes I wanted to make before the season swapped over to fall, and I took a pulse check on Facebook to figure out which of those summer bucket-list recipes I should make first. The big winner? Corn chowder! Unfortunately, I might only get to one or two more summer recipes before chicken wings and chili just get too tempting. But lucky for you, corn chowder is one of 'em! 

Corn Chowder with Bacon & Green Chiles: Loves Food, Loves to Eat

This has totally been the summer of corn for me. You could even say I'm a child of the corn. Or maybe not… that's creepy. Let's just say I love corn.

Corn Chowder with Bacon & Green Chiles: Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Most of the corn chowder recipes I've seen out there are filled with heavy milk, cream, and potatoes. That just sounds wintery to me. And guys… I just wanted something summery here. And obviously green chiles=summer. And obviously bacon=awesome. 

Corn Chowder with Bacon & Green Chiles: Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Speaking of summer and awesome, this soup is awesome. And summery-like. It's a little tangy from the lime and chiles, salty and smoky from the bacon, and nice and sweet from the fresh corn. Rather than adding milk or cream, I just blended half the soup, that way it's thick, but not heavy. Top it off with a swirl of sour cream, some cheese, and cilantro? You'll be thinking it's early August. 

Corn Chowder with Bacon & Green Chiles: Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Also, if your produce section is running low on last of the season corn, or you decide to whip this up in December, no worries! You can totally use frozen corn. Then you can have summer anytime. Yep, you're welcome. 

Corn Chowder with Bacon and Green Chiles 
Serves 4-6

8 ears of corn, raw (or 8 cups of frozen corn, thawed)
4 slices of bacon, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 sprigs of fresh thyme (or a pinch dried)
2 sprigs of fresh oregano (or a pinch dried)
4 cups chicken broth 
1 four oz can roasted green chiles (mild or hot, depending on your taste)
Juice from half a lime
Salt & pepper

sour cream
lime wedges
cheese (crumbled cotija or shredded cheddar or jack)

Cut kernels off corn cobs, and then run the back off the knife or a scrape a spoon along cobs to get the last of the liquidy goodness out of the cobs. Set aside.

Heat a stockpot or dutch oven over medium, and add bacon and onions. Cook until onions are translucent and starting to brown, and bacon is cooked through (it won't necessarily be crispy). Add the garlic, thyme, oregano (and olive oil, if necessary), and cook a few more minutes. Add corn and green chilies, and stir to combine. Add broth, and turn heat to medium-high, bring to a boil. 

Add lime juice, and reduce heat to low. Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 20-30 minutes. 

Remove from heat, and (carefully) run emersion blender through soup one or two times. You don't want to fully blend, but want about 1/2 blended, half still chunky. You could also scoop 2-3 cups of the soup into a blender, blend until smooth, and stir back in. Be careful blending hot soups, it could splatter. 

Server with sour cream, lime wedges, cilantro, and cheese. 
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