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How to Make Nut Milk and Oat Milk

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Nut milk and Oat Milk are healthy and delicious. Right now, there is some controversy regarding calling the liquid produced by grinding nuts, oats or other ingredients as milk, – the producers and sellers of milk from animals are asking that the name be changed and that nut and other non-dairy milks are not shelved next to dairy milk in supermarkets.

But for the moment I will keep that name, as it describes its appearance and use quite well. For example, the name coconut milk is well accepted and never confused with dairy milk. Non dairy milks are quite easy to make – fore example, nuts are soaked, then ground with water, sieved and stored. Various drinks can be made with these milks, and today I include a nut milk with dates and vanilla. Delicious.

Non dairy milks can be used as a substitute for dairy milk and cream in recipes including soups, baked goods and shakes. The milk can be sweetened with a variety of natural sweeteners including vanilla, honey, and pitted dates.

Having a high speed blender is not essential, but it does help as it grinds the ingredients to a finer powder than lower speed ones. But quite adequate milks can be made in other blenders and also food processors.

Similar recipes include Making Nut Butters.

Almond Milk with Dates, Vanilla, Honey and Cinnamon

How to Make Nut Milk

Almond Milk: Take 1 cup raw whole almonds and soak at least 4 hours or overnight. Drain the almonds and add to the blender with 3 cups fresh water. Beginning at a low speed, gradually increase the speed to high.  Blend for 1 – 3 minutes or until completely smooth.

Strain the milk if desired, and to stabilise it, heat it over medium heat and stir constantly to 71C. This will keep in the fridge for 1 week. Shake or stir well before using.

Notes: Use skinned almonds for a light coloured milk, or leave the skin on for a darker colour. Go unsweetened for a natural almond taste, or sweeten with sugar, maple syrup, dates or your favourite sweetener.

Save the pulp – use it as a facial, or dry it out and make almond flour with it. To make almond flour from it, dry on an oven tray in a 80C oven for 2 hours or until no longer damp (squeezing the pulp in your hand – if it feels damp, continue drying the pulp). Place back in your blender and blend blend on high for 20 seconds until it is powdery.  (You may also be able to make almond butter with it.)

A fine meshed sieve, fine cheesecloth or special nut bag is best for straining to produce a very smooth milk.

Other nuts: The general method for other nuts is the same, but the amounts of water used might vary. For example, for Cashew Butter, use 3 – 4 cups water to 1 cup of cashews.  There is no need to strain cashew milk. Rice syrup is a good sweetener this milk, and purchase broken cashews – they are quite a bit cheaper than whole cashews.

Almond Milk with Dates, Vanilla, Honey and Cinnamon

Almond Milk and Date Shake

Take about 4 Tblspn soaked almonds and blend with water, stoned dates, honey and vanilla essence for a beautiful almond nut drink. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top.

Almond Milk and Orange Flower Water Shake

Blend whole almonds with milk instead of water, sugar to taste and a dash of orange flower water.

How to Make Oat Milk

Oat Milk: Take 1 cup rolled oats and soak at least 4 hours or overnight. Drain the oats and add to the blender with 3  – 4 cups fresh water and a pinch nof salt. Beginning at a low speed, gradually increase the speed to high.  Blend for 1 minute – it does not have to be completely smooth. Line a sieve or other strainer with a double layer of muslin, thin towel or old clean T-shirt and strain. A nut bag can be used if yours does not let too much residue through. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Notes: Don’t over blend as it can make the oat milk a little slimy. Do not heat the milk as it becomes gelatinous, as you can imagine with oats.

Oat Milk and Date Shake

Blend the oats with several pitted dates, cinnamon and a little vanilla. Honey or maple syrup can be added.

A handful of berries is wonderful in this shake.

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Source: https://ganga108.wordpress.com/2018/06/11/how-to-make-nut-milk/

Sleep Training: One and a Half Weeks In

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Well here we are, one week into the official world of Sleep Training.

Night 1
Night 2

The other nights have gone like so:
Night 3: Asleep within seconds. Fussed herself to sleep a couple times overnight. Fed only at 5:30am.
Night 4: Asleep after 4 minutes of crying. Fussed herself to sleep a couple times overnight. Fed at 1am and 5:30am.
Night 5: Asleep after 30 minutes of crying (it was awful). I have officially forgotten how many times she woke up overnight to eat. I think it was once.
Night 6: Asleep within seconds. Fussed herself to sleep a couple times I think. Fed at 12:30am and 6:15am.

The next few nights were similar - falling asleep easily and quickly with zero to minimal fuss. Last night (night 11 if you're keeping track), she was wide awake in her crib for at least 5 minutes, maybe longer, quietly looking around before falling asleep. She woke to eat around 1:30am, and then...woke up at 4am. It was too soon for her to be hungry, so we thought we'd try to do the intervals, but she just got louder and louder. Will thought something might be wrong, so we checked her physical needs -- diaper: dry, gas: not apparent; pain: possibly teething. She was pulling on her ear a lot, so we thought maybe it was teething pain. At around 4:30am, maybe 4:45, I honestly have no idea, we gave her some ibuprofen. Back to the intervals. By 5:30am, I was ready to give up. She'd been sleeping or quiet-like-sleeping for a maximum of 10 minutes, but usually only 2-3 minutes, for an hour and a half. I threw in the towel and nursed her to sleep. She slept until her usual 7:30am wakeup time. It was the first time we'd needed to do intervals in the middle-of-the-night/early-morning, and it did not go well. Oy. Hopefully that was just an April Fool's joke (she's still figuring out what a "joke" is, I suppose) and tonight will be better.

We've had slight variances to her bedtime routine over the last week or so, and are figuring out what works and what doesn't. I'm tempted to log this all in an app or a spreadsheet and really be able to analyze the data...or I could just roll with it. Which I think is the better thing for my sanity. Try to let go. Try to learn but not control the uncontrollable. I don't think I could handle more tracking anyway.

The biggest news for us is that we're doing no arms swaddled now - she's in a sleep sack, which we started with the swaddle "wings" around her chest. It was hot the other night, so we tried a sack without wings, and she's been doing fine in that. From now on, it'll just be in the zip up sleep sacks, or just pajamas if it's warm enough, I suppose. No more swaddled arms, no more hands-as-weapons.

Relatedly (I think), I'm struggling with my supply - I was always a "more than enough" person, and now I'm becoming a "just enough" person, at least where pumping is concerned. It's stressful to pump at work and not get enough for the next day. Stress decreases supply, so it's a vicious cycle. I'm trying to relax, to drink more water, eat more oatmeal...and I'm back to pumping three times a day at work (I had gone down to two and had been getting the same output). Margie seems to get plenty to eat straight from the tap, so I've thought it could be an issue with the pump, but it doesn't seem like anything is wrong with it. Might just need to re-train my body to pump.

We're trying to sleep train for naps now, which means she's somewhere between crying for half an hour before we give up the nap and sleeping for an hour in her crib (so far, just for Lorena). Usually if she nurses I can get her to nap for half an hour.

Baby sleep is vexing. I'm surrounded by people who are in the same boat, so it can sometimes feel like the only topic there is to talk about, at all. It's hard and it's exhausting walking the line between "do whatever it takes to get some sleep for everyone" and "try to make some progress to get her sleeping independently".

But that's where we are. We know she can do it. We know there will be setbacks. We know there will be more heartbreakingly painful cries. We know there will be more nights of uninterrupted sleep. But man, it's tough.

Super Sweet Baby Quilt (with brief tutorial)

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Super Sweet Baby Blanket
A few weeks ago, my son's 3rd grade teacher announced that she was going to be adopting a baby girl very soon. We are so excited for her! She has been wonderful for dealing with my (somewhat challenging) 8 year old son and I wanted to do something nice for her.Super Sweet Baby Blanket

First (of course) I wanted to make her a quilt. I had a stack of scraps of Rifle Paper Co fat quarters from these two quilts (here and here) and decided to use a few prints from each of them plus a few prints from my stash.

Super Sweet Baby Blanket

I knew that I wanted to go super sweet and girly with the colors, so I picked the softer prints from the collections. This color scheme is a little out of my wheelhouse because I tend to favor more saturated colors, but I just fell in love with it.

Super Sweet Baby Blanket
Super Sweet Baby Blanket

For the backing fabric, I used my favorite Rifle Paper Co print ever. I do not think there is a prettier, sweeter fabric out there.

The layout is just off-set rectangles, which would work really well for any scraps you have sitting around. Here is the info on how I made this baby size version:
Cut (93) 3" x 6.5"
Cut (18) 3" x 3.5
Sew the rectangles into rows, then sew the rows together.

Super Sweet Baby Blanket

I did some grid quilting - it is the first time in a while I have marked lines for quilting on my quilt (I have gotten lazy!) and there is a little rundown on my process in my Instagram story highlights (the one called "Marking a Grid") if you want to see how I do it.

Super Sweet Baby Blanket

In addition to the quilt, I added a couple of my kids' favorite read aloud books - I am a Bunny by by Ole Risom and Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson - plus a favorite baby toy and an Amazon gift card.

We found out that the baby was born yesterday and so my son's teacher will be out for the rest of the school year. Sad for us, but so happy for them!

Finished Size: 36" x 42"
Fabrics: Various Rifle Paper Co, Cotton + Steel Basics, and others
Backing: Menagerie Jardin de Paris in Peony by Rifle Paper Co
Batting: Happy Cloud Cotton Batting (on sale for a steal!)

Super Sweet Baby Quilt - Kitchen Table QuiltingSuper Sweet Baby Quilt - Kitchen Table Quilting

Grain Free Gingerdoodle Cookies

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Dec
07

The cutest grain free gingerdoodle cookies make with a swirl of snickerdoodle cookie dough and gingerbread cookie dough. These festive cookies are perfectly sweet, gluten free, and great for the holidays!

The cutest grain free gingerdoodle cookies make with a swirl of sugar cookie dough and gingerbread cookie dough. These festive cookies are perfectly sweet, gluten free, and great for the holidays!

The very last day of #AKCookieWeek is here and while I’m sad for it to end, I’m so excited to end it with a bang. Meet my grain free GINGERDOODLE cookies. That’s right, they’re a fusion between a gingerbread cookie and a snickerdoodle — what more could you want in a holiday cookie?!

The cutest grain free gingerdoodle cookies make with a swirl of snickerdoodle cookie dough and gingerbread cookie dough. These festive cookies are perfectly sweet, gluten free, and great for the holidays!

To be honest, I had a really hard time naming these. At first, I thought about calling them gingerbread swirl cinnamon roll cookies, which was cute, but not as amazing as your suggestion of gingerdoodle.

So thank you, AK community!

The cutest grain free gingerdoodle cookies make with a swirl of snickerdoodle cookie dough and gingerbread cookie dough. These festive cookies are perfectly sweet, gluten free, and great for the holidays!

These cookies were inspired by two of my other very favorite christmas cookies: my almond flour sugar cookies and my paleo ginger molasses cookies. I basically infused both doughs together, rolled them up and glazed them with a light vanilla icing.

I originally made these right before Thanksgiving and then brought them over to my mother in law’s. We both couldn’t stop eating them! They get softer as the days go on and I couldn’t resist having one with my cup of afternoon almond milk latte.

Pretty sure I’m going to be dreaming about these cookies for the rest of my life.

The cutest grain free gingerdoodle cookies make with a swirl of snickerdoodle cookie dough and gingerbread cookie dough. These festive cookies are perfectly sweet, gluten free, and great for the holidays!Please know that these cookies are both gluten free and grain free, plus they can easily be made dairy free too! I’ve included options in the notes section of the recipe.

The cutest grain free gingerdoodle cookies make with a swirl of snickerdoodle cookie dough and gingerbread cookie dough. These festive cookies are perfectly sweet, gluten free, and great for the holidays!IMPORTANT NOTE: I haven’t tested these cookies with any other flours. I know I’m going to get the question about flour replacement, but these cookies are meant to be gluten free/grain free.

If you’re interested in making a ‘regular’ version of these gingerdoodles, I suggest combining my molasses cookie dough and my brown butter snickerdoodle dough, you should get delicious results.

The cutest grain free gingerdoodle cookies make with a swirl of snickerdoodle cookie dough and gingerbread cookie dough. These festive cookies are perfectly sweet, gluten free, and great for the holidays!

Cookie Week Giveaway:

We’re giving away one $250 Amazon gift card to supply all of your baking needs this season! To enter:

1. Make any Ambitious Kitchen cookie recipe, snap a photo, and share it in our Facebook Group or on Instagram

2. Use the hashtags #AKCookieWeek and #AmbitiousKitchen (note: make sure your account is public so that we can see your creations!)

3. The more times you enter, the better chance you have at winning! Winner will be announced on Monday, 12/10 and notified via DM. USA only, 18 years and older.

SEE HOW TO MAKE THE COOKIES:

Grain Free Gingerdoodle Cookies

Author: Monique of AmbitiousKitchen.com

Nutrition Information

  • Serving size: 1 cookie with icing (based on 22 cookies)
  • Calories: 203
  • Fat: 13.4g
  • Saturated fat: 5.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 19.1g
  • Sugar: 11.0g
  • Fiber: 4.1g
  • Protein: 4.2g

Recipe type: Dessert, Cookies, Grain Free, Gluten Free

Prep time:  30 mins

Cook time:  8 mins

Total time:  38 mins

  • For the cinnamon sugar cookie layer:
  • Wet
  • 1/4 cup melted and cooled coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Dry
  • 1 1/2 cups packed fine almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour (not packed)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • For the gingerbread cookie layer:
  • Wet
  • 1/4 cup melted and cooled coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses (I like using blackstrap molasses)
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Dry
  • 1 cup packed fine almond flour
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour (not packed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Organic sugar for rolling, if desired
  • For the icing:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk, plus more to thin as necessary
  1. In a large bowl, add in melted and cooled coconut oil, sugar, honey, egg and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Next add in almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon and salt. Stir until dough is well combined. Allow dough to sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Roll out dough into a 10×10-inch square between two sheets of wax paper. Without removing the wax paper, place on a baking sheet and refrigerate while you make the gingerbread cookie dough.
  3. Make the gingerbread cookie dough: In a large bowl, mix together melted and cooled coconut oil, coconut sugar, molasses, egg and vanilla extract. Next add in almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice and salt; mix well to combine and form a dough. Let the dough rest for just a few minutes. Roll out dough into a 10×10-inch square between two sheets of wax paper. Place in fridge and refrigerate the dough for 10 minutes while you clean up a bit.
  4. Remove both doughs from the fridge, and peel off the top of the wax paper from each. Invert the gingerbread dough on top of the snickerdoodle dough (or it can be the opposite if you want to mix it up!). Use your rolling pin and gently roll over the dough over the top wax paper to seal the layers together. Peel off the top layer of the wax paper. The bottom layer will stay as you roll it up.
  5. Starting with the edge of the dough closest to you, carefully curl the edge of the dough up and roll with your fingertips, just like you would with a cinnamon roll. You’ll want to roll these pretty tightly. After a log is formed, roll it back and forth on the counter to compact the dough. Transfer the log to plastic wrap, roll it tightly, twisting the ends of the plastic to firmly seal it. With your hands on the ends of the log, push firmly toward the center to slightly compact the dough a little more. The log should be roughly 10-11 inches long and about 2 inches thick, give or take. Refrigerate the log for 15-30 minutes, or place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice dough into about ⅓ inch thick rounds. Set rounds 1 inch apart and bake for 8-10 minutes. Once cookies are done baking, allow them to cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling. Repeat with remaining dough.
  7. To make the glaze: In a small bowl: add in powdered sugar, melted butter, vanilla extract and almond milk. Mix until smooth. Drizzle a teaspoon or two over each cookie. Makes 20-22 cookies.

To make cookies dairy free: Use vegan butter or coconut oil in the icing instead of regular icing.

3.5.3251


Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen Photography by: Yoga of Cooking

PIN THESE GINGERDOODLE COOKIES:

The cutest grain free gingerdoodle cookies make with a swirl of sugar cookie dough and gingerbread cookie dough. These festive cookies are perfectly sweet, gluten free, and great for the holidays!



Source: https://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/grain-free-gingerdoodle-cookies/

Mel’s Buddha Bowls With Super Tasty Peanut Sauce

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This easy Buddha bowl recipe with creamy peanut sauce is, whoa, SO good! Plus it’s one of those fabulous recipes that is super customizable to your taste buds and/or what you have on hand!

Top down view of Buddha bowl recipe with peanut sauce.

Have you gotten on the Buddha bowl train yet? They are certainly nothing new (began trending years ago), and the name origin is a little muddy with lots of strong opinions about what a Buddha bowl is and isn’t. 

But to me, it’s simple: fill up a bowl with flavorful, good-for-you ingredients, smother with a tasty sauce (or two), and dig in. We have variations of Buddha bowls quite frequently for dinner because it’s a fantastic way for my kids to customize their own dinner adventure. 

Spoiler alert: to avoid the anti-vegetablers in my crowd just spooning peanut sauce over chicken and calling it good, our rule is you have to choose at least four of the available options and that seems to make everyone *mostly* happy. With enough of that delectable creamy peanut sauce poured on, they’ve learned even spinach is palatable.

Assembled Buddha bowl recipe with peanut sauce in white bowl with fork.

Because there are endless variations of these types of Buddha bowl recipes out there, it’s taken me a while to get a real, live recipe written up. I would say this Buddha bowl recipe with peanut sauce is always our go-to starting place.

But there are so, so many ways you could change this up:

  • Use brown rice or other grain instead of quinoa
  • Add or take away from the vegetables and roast your own assortment (broccoli, squash, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, etc) – let me just say, though, there is something about the roasted sweet potato + red onion combo that is magical 
  • Make it easily meatless by leaving out the chicken
  • OR, instead of cooking the chicken in the skillet, grill the chicken (yum!) or use leftover chicken from another meal or a rotisserie chicken – additionally, you could change up the meat protein and use shrimp, fish, pork or beef
  • Add a million different fresh garnishes (chopped fresh herbs, tomatoes, other types of greens, chopped peanuts, sesame seeds, etc)

Assembling Buddha bowls in white bowls with quinoa, chicken, sweet potatoes, avocado.

Crunch factor. It’s super important to me to have some crunch action in a good Buddha bowl. Why? Because a little crunch makes the world go round. Fresh cucumbers are my choice, but you could sub in any other fresh veggie you love.

Let’s talk sauce. It is peanut sauce all the way for me and my Buddha bowl. The peanut sauce version in this recipe is creamy with a pop of sesame flavor and a fresh zing from the lime juice. In other words, it’s drinkably good. 

However, because I make this easy 5-minute Thai peanut sauce recipe all the time and usually have it in the fridge, we often sub it for our Buddha bowl drizzle. And sometimes we go crazy and add two different sauces. I know. Livin’ life on the edge over here.

This yum sauce and/or this cilantro lime dressing are worthy companions to the creamy peanut sauce (and both of these are usually on hand in the refrigerator, too). Seriously, my mouth is watering just thinking about the yumminess all those sauces add to the heaping goodness of a Buddha bowl. 

Top down view of Buddha bowl recipe with peanut sauce.

Don’t let the prep of this recipe scare you off. Almost everything can be made ahead of time (especially the roasted vegetables, quinoa and sauces), which actually makes this a super yummy and quick lunch option to throw together. 

We headed out on a little road trip this last weekend, and I had a little dish (ok, big dish) of this Buddha bowl goodness to ride along with me (full disclosure: totally packed PB&J for everyone else). 

I can’t wait to see how you change up this recipe to make it your own! You guys always amaze me with your creativity (even when it doesn’t quite work out, haha!). 

Sidenote: the shallow bowl-plate dishes in the pictures are these Sweese bowls aff. link I bought last year. We use them constantly for salad and stand alone pasta meals…and also for ice cream and brownies. �

One Year Ago: Mississippi Mud Bars
Two Years Ago: The Best Blackberry Crisp Can Use Other Berries, Too!
Three Years Ago: Divine Tres Leches Cupcakes
Four Years Ago: Sweet and Spicy Pork and Pineapple Tacos
Five Years Ago: Whole Wheat Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Yield: 4-6 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa (see note)
  • Chicken broth or water
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 red onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons oil
  • Salt and black pepper (I use coarse for both)
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger or ginger paste (see note)
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 seedless/English cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 2 to 3 cups baby spinach
  • Diced avocado
  • Chopped, fresh cilantro

Peanut Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter or tahini
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil or toasted sesame oil
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce (optional, but adds great flavor and a little kick)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced

Instructions

  1. Cook the quinoa according to package directions, substituting chicken broth for water. (Here is how I cook quinoa in the Instant Pot)
  2. While the quinoa cooks, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Toss the sweet potatoes and onion on a large sheet pan with a tablespoon of oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until tender, 20 minutes or so, flipping once or twice.
  3. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat with 1 tablespoon oil. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds until sizzling (don't let the garlic burn). Pat the chicken pieces dry and add them to the skillet, seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken, stirring occasionally, until cooked through 5-6 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  4. For the dressing, whisk or blend all the ingredients together until smooth (this can be done several days in advance; refrigerate the dressing).
  5. Add a scoop of cooked quinoa to serving bowls. Add roasted sweet potatoes, onions, chicken, handful of spinach, diced avocado, chopped cucumbers, and a sprinkle of cilantro. Drizzle dressing over the top and dig in.

Notes

This recipe works really well to use already cooked, leftover quinoa and same with leftover chicken (grilled, rotisserie, etc). If using already cooked chicken, you can add the ginger/garlic to the sweet potato/onion mixture or even to the sauce to get that gingery kick.

My life has been transformed by ginger paste. I use it almost every time fresh ginger is called for in a recipe and it's amazing (no chopping knobby fresh ginger!). It's very easily and widely found in grocery store produce sections near the fresh herbs/salads. However, keeping fresh ginger on hand is easy...cut fresh ginger into 1-inch pieces and store in the freezer. When ready to use, it can be grated on a box grater straight from the freezer (no need to peel!).

This yum sauce is also fantastic on these bowls (as is this cilantro lime dressing).

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Recipe Source: adapted from this recipe at Allrecipes

Disclaimer: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Posted on April 29, 2019 by Mel




Source: https://www.melskitchencafe.com/buddha-bowls-with-peanut-sauce/

Write Your Own Cookery Book in 12 Steps

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It's often crossed my mind to write a cookery book, especially as I have a catalogue of hundreds of recipes on this blog, but it's something that would take a lot of time, and currently I don't have much of that spare, but never say never! 





If I do ever write one, I'd definitely like to write the draft old school, with pen and paper, and what better pen could you get than a classic fountain pen. I used to write with one at school, and my writing was always neatest when I used it on a fresh page of a brand new exercise book so I was thrilled when Lamy sent me one of their Nexx cartridge fountain pens in anthracite.  Comments from the kids ranged from 'that's not a real pen' to 'how does it work'. Kids of today have no idea of the struggles we had filling pens from a bottle of ink! Thankfully this fountain pen comes with ink cartridges to make refilling a breeze, and a lot less messy.




In the steps below, written on behalf of Lamy, you can get some pointers on writing your own cookery book. If you have any tips to add please feel free to let me know!

  • If you have a food blog then you're well on your way to writing your first cook book. You may have hundreds of recipes already in your portfolio, and with a little refining you could have an ebook or physical book published in no time.

  • Choose a theme for your book. Write down a few ideas and try and discover your own niche.

  • Have a back story. Tell your readers how you found yourself to be writing a cook book, Are you using your granny's recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation? Then tell your story. Everyone loves reading a heartwarming tale so add a little of your personality before each recipe or chapter.

  • Read lots of cookbooks yourself and develop your own writing style.

  • Test your recipes, again and again. Not only test them yourself but try giving your recipe to others to try out, either friends or family members to make sure the recipe can be followed by people of all abilities. Double check measurements, cooking times, ingredients lists and methods, as well as cooking temperatures.

  • Do not copy recipes. Others have worked hard to develop recipes so it's important to respect that. If you've been inspired by someone then mention this and give them credit

  • Source ingredients relative to your theme. If, for example, you're aiming your cookbook at families then don't include ingredients that can only be sourced in a little back street deli on the island of Madagascar.  Busy families don't always have the time to go hunting out ingredients, so they need to be readily available in supermarkets.

  • Organise your recipes by main ingredient, course, seasons or even by length of time to cook. Have sections of similar length.

  • Allow the title of your recipe to sound exciting, but at the same time you don't want it to be too mysterious.

  • Try, try and try again. If you get rejected by a publisher don't give up at the first hurdle. Keep pushing it, and if you keep getting knocked back consider self publishing

  • How do you envisage the finished cook book? Will you want a finished photo for every recipe? Will you want recipes to have step by step or technique images? Do you want each dish served on the same style of plate or on the same background? Will you be completing the food styling and photography yourself? Food styling is fun, but it takes a lot of thought and planning and you want to make sure you get this part right, especially as many readers DO judge a book by its cover.

  • Do it for the love rather than the money. There's not big money to be made in publishing a cook book, but don't let that put you off because if you've got this far it's something to be very proud of, so go and give yourself a pat on the back.





in collaboration with Lamy

Fresh Strawberry Pie & Chantilly Whipped Cream

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Fresh Strawberry Pie with Chantilly Whipped Cream ~ An all-natural, easy homemade Fresh Strawberry Pie from scratch that will knock your socks off. Made with our Homemade Red Berry Dessert Glaze, fresh summer strawberries and topped with our Chantilly Whipped Cream. Use our foolproof buttery and flaky pie crust recipes for Perfect All-Butter Pie Crust or Best Ever Flaky Buttermilk Pie Crust. Everyone will rave! | #pie #pastry #berries #dessert #recipeAn all-natural, easy homemade Fresh Strawberry Pie from scratch that will knock your socks off. Made with our Homemade Red Berry Dessert Glaze, fresh summer strawberries and topped with our Chantilly Whipped Cream. Use our foolproof buttery and flaky pie crust recipes for Perfect Flaky All-Butter Pie Crust or Best Ever Flaky Buttermilk Pie Crust. Everyone will rave!

A New All-Natural Summertime American Classic:
Fresh Strawberry Pie with Chantilly Whipped Cream

My sweet friends, today I am over-the-moon happy to share with you a very special recipe—a homemade, made from scratch Fresh Strawberry Pie without artificial colors, flavorings or other synthetic additives. Ah. Summertime. What is it without a freshly made Fresh Strawberry Pie?


Over the past two summers, I worked diligently on this recipe for Fresh Strawberry Pie as well as the component recipes and tutorial articles for it so that you will have all the information, knowledge and confidence, as well as options, to forge ahead and make the very best Fresh Strawberry Pie to celebrate spring and summer with friends and family. Honestly, this pie will be the hit of your summertime bash!

Fresh Strawberry Pie with Chantilly Whipped Cream ~ An all-natural, easy homemade Fresh Strawberry Pie from scratch that will knock your socks off. Made with our Homemade Red Berry Dessert Glaze, fresh summer strawberries and topped with our Chantilly Whipped Cream. Use our foolproof buttery and flaky pie crust recipes for Perfect All-Butter Pie Crust or Best Ever Flaky Buttermilk Pie Crust. Everyone will rave! | #pie #pastry #berries #dessert #recipe

Below is a complete list of all the component recipes and tutorial articles associated with today’s recipe for easy reference.

Associated Recipes & Articles for Fresh Strawberry Pie
Best Homemade Pastry Flour
Perfect Flaky All-Butter Pie Crust Pastry
Best Ever Flaky Buttermilk Pie Crust Pastry
How to Make Pie Crust Dough & Flute the Edge
25 Essential Pastry Washes For Pie Crust
How To Blind Bake (Pre-Bake) A Pie Crust
Caring for Fresh Berries & The Best Berry Wash
Homemade Red Berry Dessert Glaze
Stabilized Chantilly Whipped Cream – New Way

Included in our recipe for Fresh Strawberry Pie is a classic recipe for Chantilly Whipped Cream. You can make a single recipe or easily double it to serve more. Or, you can prepare our Stabilized Chantilly Whipped Cream. As I mentioned, you have many options.

The only option that I am still working on is the gluten free variation for my favorite buttery, flaky pie crusts—Perfect Flaky All-Butter Pie Crust Pastry and Best Ever Flaky Buttermilk Pie Crust Pastry, for my dear gluten free readers. My hope is to complete this work soon (in the coming days) and update the recipes with the variations or post the recipes separately.

This Fresh Strawberry Pie recipe will truly knock your socks off. The secrets are in the incredibly tasty Homemade Red Berry Dessert Glaze bursting with fresh red berry flavor. It is made by thickening 100% pure pomegranate juice, used for both color and flavor, as well as freshly made red raspberry purée—which complements fresh strawberries beyond measure. This magnificent homemade glaze is better than any prepared glaze you could purchase at the grocery store and so much better for you since it is made with all-natural ingredients—that actually have health benefits such as added fiber.

Fresh Strawberry Pie with Chantilly Whipped Cream ~ An all-natural, easy homemade Fresh Strawberry Pie from scratch that will knock your socks off. Made with our Homemade Red Berry Dessert Glaze, fresh summer strawberries and topped with our Chantilly Whipped Cream. Use our foolproof buttery and flaky pie crust recipes for Perfect All-Butter Pie Crust or Best Ever Flaky Buttermilk Pie Crust. Everyone will rave! | #pie #pastry #berries #dessert #recipe

Let’s talk briefly about Chantilly Whipped Cream since it is included in this recipe.

About Chantilly Whipped Cream
Chantilly Cream is a classic whipped cream topping used to adorn the most elegant of desserts or makes ordinary desserts more extraordinary. Take care not to overheat as this causes the whipped cream to become granular and separated. Perfect whipped cream should be whipped to soft or stiff peak stage. In this recipe, for Fresh Strawberry Pie & Chantilly Whipped Cream, granulated sugar is used versus confectioners’ sugar. Since the granulated sugar is added to the cream in the beginning, it has a chance to dissolve before the cream is whipped. If you would like to read more about Chantilly Whipped Cream, be sure to read our article and accompanying recipe for Stabilized Chantilly Whipped Cream as it includes a bit of history and why I call my recipes Chantilly Whipped Cream.

Why We Recommend Organic Pasteurized Heavy Whipping Cream
Unfortunately, ultra-pasteurized heavy cream is the most widely available. Pasteurized organic heavy cream is preferred. It has the sweetest cream flavor and 1 cup (240 ml) yields a full 2 cups (480 ml) after whipping. A good alternative to pasteurized organic heavy cream is regular pasteurized heavy cream. It also whips up to 2 cups (480 ml). Since ultra-pasteurized heavy cream is processed at such a high temperature, some of the protein and enzymes are lost. Thus, ultra-pasteurized heavy cream has a slightly cooked taste and yields a small volume than its counterparts—about 1½ cups (360 ml). It is definitely worth it to seek out either organic pasteurized heavy cream or regular pasteurized heavy cream.

To learn how to prepare Stabilized Chantilly Whipped Cream for your Fresh Strawberry Pie, simply follow our easy recipe.

Our sincere hope, here at Wicked Good Kitchen, is that you will enjoy this recipe for Fresh Strawberry Pie and that it will truly knock your socks of and receive rave reviews. No matter which buttery and flaky pie crust you use, this recipe is phenomenal!

Happy pie making, my friends!

Below are Pinterest-friendly sized images to pin at Pinterest!

Fresh Strawberry Pie with Chantilly Whipped Cream ~ An all-natural, easy homemade Fresh Strawberry Pie from scratch that will knock your socks off. Made with our Homemade Red Berry Dessert Glaze, fresh summer strawberries and topped with our Chantilly Whipped Cream. Use our foolproof buttery and flaky pie crust recipes for Perfect All-Butter Pie Crust or Best Ever Flaky Buttermilk Pie Crust. Everyone will rave! | #pie #pastry #berries #dessert #recipe

Fresh Strawberry Pie with Chantilly Whipped Cream ~ An all-natural, easy homemade Fresh Strawberry Pie from scratch that will knock your socks off. Made with our Homemade Red Berry Dessert Glaze, fresh summer strawberries and topped with our Chantilly Whipped Cream. Use our foolproof buttery and flaky pie crust recipes for Perfect All-Butter Pie Crust or Best Ever Flaky Buttermilk Pie Crust. Everyone will rave! | #pie #pastry #berries #dessert #recipe

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Fresh Strawberry Pie & Chantilly Whipped Cream

  • Author: Stacy
  • Yield: One 9-inch (23 cm) pie

Description

An all-natural, Fresh Strawberry Pie from scratch. Made with our Homemade Red Berry Dessert Glaze, fresh strawberries and topped with our Chantilly Whipped Cream. Use our Perfect Flaky All-Butter Pie Crust or Best Ever Flaky Buttermilk Pie Crust. Everyone will rave!

Ingredients

For the Pie Crust Choices

For the Strawberry Filling

For the Chantilly Whipped Cream—Makes about 2 cups (480 ml)

  • 1 cup (½ pint or 240 ml) chilled heavy cream, very cold
  • 1 tablespoon (about 12 g) granulated cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of fine-grain sea salt, optional

Option For Stabilized Chantilly Whipped Cream

Optional Special Equipment & Supplies

Directions

Prepare the Pie Crust: Follow recipes to yield one (1) 9-inch (23 cm) baked pie crust, either Perfect All-Butter Pie Crust Pastry or Best Ever Flaky Buttermilk Pie Crust Pastry.

Follow directions for blind baking (pre-baking) the pie crusts with our tutorial, How To Blind Bake (Pre-Bake) A Pie Crust. Cool crust completely before adding filling to pie crust.

To seal, protect or moisture-proof your baked pie crust to prevent a soggy bottom, simply follow the directions to brush on Egg White Glaze after baking while the pie crust is still warm from the oven. The directions are included in the tutorial, How To Blind Bake (Pre-Bake) A Pie Crust. We highly recommend this step—especially if you are preparing your Fresh Strawberry Pie ahead of time.

Prepare the Strawberry Filling: Follow directions to prepare Homemade Red Berry Dessert Glaze. Cool glaze completely.

When ready to prepare the Strawberry Filling, hull 2 pounds (908 g) fresh strawberries slicing larger berries in half. (Slice extra-large strawberries in quarters, if desired.) Place sliced strawberries in a large bowl; pour 1 cup (240 ml) cooled (to room temperature) Homemade Red Berry Dessert Glaze over sliced strawberries and toss gently with rubber spatula to coat evenly.

Using rubber spatula, scrape and pour fresh strawberry filling into prepared 9-inch (23 cm) pre-baked and cooled pie crust and arrange berries attractively so they are cut-side down. Drizzle remaining 1 cup (240 ml) of glaze evenly over the top of strawberry filling.

Refrigerate pie until set and ready to serve, at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours.

Prepare the Chantilly Whipped Cream: Chill nonreactive mixing bowl and beaters (for a handheld or stand mixer) in the freezer for about 10 to 15 minutes or refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes.

To the chilled bowl, add well-chilled cream, sugar, vanilla and salt. Beat on low speed until thickened and small bubbles form. Increase mixer speed to medium and continue to beat until beaters leave a trail in the cream. Increase speed to high and continue to beat until cream is smooth, thick and nearly doubled in volume.

Chantilly Whipped Cream is ready to serve immediately. For a decorative presentation, fill a 12- or 16-inch (30.5 or 41 cm) piping bag (depending on amount of whipped cream prepared in the recipe choices above, 2 cups or 480 ml to 4 cups or 960 ml) fitted with a Wilton 1M decorating tip and pipe 8 large rosettes around perimeter of pie for each serving. Alternatively, place all ingredients for the Chantilly Whipped Cream into a chilled Whipped Cream Dispenser such as the iSi 1-Pint Gourmet Whip Culinary and Cream Whipper as we often do to keep whipped cream chilled for any leftover pie.

Slice and serve pie with fresh Chantilly Whipped Cream or Stabilized Chantilly Whipped Cream.

Yield: Makes one (1) 9-inch (23 cm) pie; 8 servings.

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Source: http://wickedgoodkitchen.com/fresh-strawberry-pie-chantilly-whipped-cream/

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Julia Child’s Ratatouille

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Julia Child’s ratatouille recipe is a delicate and robust vegetable stew with tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant and layered with fresh herbs and garlic.

Julia Child's ratatouille recipe is a delicate and robust vegetable stew with tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant and layered with fresh herbs and garlic.

Julia Child isn’t always all about butter and cream and this aromatic dish will prove it. She refers to it as an eggplant casserole, built upon Mediterranean flavors. I made this vegetable dish last week with my abundance of seasons produce and just as Julia states, a good ratatouille should not be rushed.

A beautiful arraw of vegetables is what makes ratatouille so beautiful.

And this certainly took longer than expected. The secret is to cook each vegetable separately so it is able to hold it’s shape. Each vegetable layer that is cooked in the same pan creates layers of flavor for the upcoming vegetables. I followed her directions exactly, however substituted red bell pepper for the green (which I find more flavorful).

The end result was a brilliant and robust vegan casserole. I saved it for the next day and it was even better. The tomatoes and fresh herbes deepened its flavor profile and the vegetables still intact. Serve with some good crusty bread and your favorite protein. Enjoy the flavors of the Mediterranean.

Method:

1) Begin by peeling the eggplant and slicing it in about 1/2 inch thick pieces and 3 in long.

To make Julia Child's ratatouille, Peel and slice eggplant in about 1/2in thick pieces and 3 inches long.

2) Slice  zucchini about the same size as eggplant.

Slice zucchini into long strips to add to ratatouille.

3) Place vegetables in a bowl and add 1tsp salt. Toss to coat and allow to sit for 30 minutes. Then drain and dry very well with a paper towel.Separate the vegetables since they will be cooked separately.

4) While the vegetables are sitting, prepare the tomatoes. Boil water in a medium sized pot and once it is at a boil, add your tomatoes. Allow to boil in the hot water for just about 10 seconds, this will allow the skin to come off easily.

Blanch cook the tomatoes to easily remove the skin for ratatouille.

5) When done, drop in a bowl fill with water and ice. This stops the cooking process.

After tomatoes are quickly blanched, place them in an ice cold water bath to stop cooking.

6) Next, peel the tomato skin and discard. Cut the tomatoes in half and seed them. Then cut into strips. Reserve.

Julia Child's ratatouille recipe is a delicate and robust vegetable stew with tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant and layered with fresh herbs and garlic

Slice tomatoes into long strip to add to ratatouille.

7) Heat a large skillet with olive oil and then saute the eggplant first until lightly browned.

Julia Child's ratatouille recipe is a delicate and robust vegetable stew with tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant and layered with fresh herbs and garlic.

8) Remove the eggplant and saute the zucchini until lightly browned and remove to a side dish.

Julia Child's ratatouille recipe is a delicate and robust vegetable stew with tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant and layered with fresh herbs and garlic.
9) In the same skillet, add the bell peppers and onions and cook slowly in the olive oil for about 10 minutes until tender but not browned. Add garlic and season with salt and pepper.

Julia Child's ratatouille recipe is a delicate and robust vegetable stew with tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant and layered with fresh herbs and garlic.

10) Add the sliced tomatoes on top of the peppers and onions. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and allow to cook for about 10 minutes until the tomato juices have rendered.

Julia Child's ratatouille recipe is a delicate and robust vegetable stew with tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant and layered with fresh herbs and garlic.

11) After about 10 minutes, uncover and raise the heat to reduce the casseroles juices, almost entirely.

12) Place 1/3 of the tomato mixture at the bottom of a casserole dish and sprinkle with fresh herbs. Layer half eggplant mixture on top, then tomato mixture, eggplant mixture, and the rest of the tomato mixture with more fresh herbs.

Julia Child's ratatouille recipe is a delicate and robust vegetable stew with tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant and layered with fresh herbs and garlic.

13) Cover casserole and allow to simmer for another 10 minutes while basting it’s juices.  Taste for seasoning. Allow to simmer until juices have evaporated.

Bon Appetit!

Have an leftover bell peppers and onions? Fry them up in my Italian style peppers and onions or add them on top of sausage and pepper pizza!

Julia Child's ratatouille recipe is a delicate and robust vegetable stew with tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant and layered with fresh herbs and garlic.

Julia Child’s Ratatouille

Julia Child's ratatouille recipe is a delicate and robust vegetable stew with tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant and layered with fresh herbs and garlic.

Course: Appetizer

Cuisine: French

Keyword: Julia Child's ratatouille, easy ratatouille recipe, best ratatouille recipe, traditional ratatouille recipe

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb eggplant
  • 1 lb zucchini
  • 1 lb roma tomatoes blanched, peeled and seeded
  • 2-3 garlic cloves smashed
  • 1/2 onion sliced
  • 2 bell peppers seeded and sliced in 1/2 in thick slices
  • Small bunch of fresh parsley and/or basil chopped
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • Salt and peppe to taste + 1tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Begin by peeling the eggplant and slicing it in about 1/2in thick pieces and 3 in long.

  2. Slice zucchini about same size as eggplant.

  3. Place vegetables in a bowl and add 1tsp salt. Toss to coat and allow to sit for 30 minutes. Then drain and dry very well with a paper towel.Seperate the vegetables since they will be cooked seperately.

  4. While the vegetables are sitting, prepare the tomatoes. Boil wter in a medium sized pot and once it is at a boil, add your tomatoes.

  5. Allow to boil in the hot water for just about 10 seconds, this will allow the skin to come off easily.

  6. Drop in a bowl fill with water and ice. This stops the cooking process.

  7. Next, peel the tomato skin and discard. Cut the tomatoes in half and seed them. Then cut into strips. Reserve.

  8. Heat a large skillet with olve oil and then sautee the eggplant first until lightly browned.

  9. Remove the eggplant and sautee the zucchini until lightly browned and remove to a side dish.

  10. In the same skillet, add the bell peppers and onions and cook slowly in the olive oil for about 10 minutes until tender but not browned. Add garlic and season with salt and pepper.

  11. Add the sliced tomatoes on top of the peppers and onions. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and allow to cook for about 10 minutes until the tomato juices have rendered.

  12. After about 10 minutes, uncover and raise the heat to reduce the casseroles juices, almost entirely.

  13. Place 1/3 of the tomato mixture at the bottom of a casserole dish and sprinkle with fresh herbs. Layer half eggplant mixture on top, then tomato mixture, eggplant mixture, and the rest of the tomato mixture with more fresh herbs.

  14. Cover casserold and allow to simmer for another 10 minutes while basting it's juices. Taste for seasoning. Allow to simmer until juices have evaporated.




Source: https://littleferrarokitchen.com/julia-childs-ratatouille/

How to Build a Winter Cheese Plate

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How to Build a Winter Cheese Plate

Appetizers, Holiday, How-To, Quick and Easy, The Holidays

I’m not trying to brag but I have been invited to two holiday parties already and we haven’t even entered the month of December. This is going to be a very fun season for me! I’m excited. 

My neighborhood is very into the holiday spirit; each and every single house on the block already has lights up. In order to fit in with the Jones’, we spent the weekend trying to get our lives together, i.e., getting rid of the squirrel-eaten pumpkins.

In preparation for this season, I wanted to put a mini guide together about Building a Winter Cheese Board! 

For this post, I teamed up with Roth Cheese. Their cheeses are so amazing and made in Wisconsin using fresh, local milk from dairy farmers right down the road. The flavors are delicious and rich. While I think they’re wonderful on a cheese board, I also think they’re perfect for grilled cheeses, too; their meltability is on point! They’d also work in a gratin or melted over vegetables.

Here are some pointers on creating a winter cheese board:

Pick Your Cheeses – I went with Grand Cru Havarti, Grand Cru Gouda, and Grand Cru Alpine-Style. I cubed up the Havarti and Gouda for easy consumption. I decided to leave the Alpine-Style in its wedge mainly for aesthetic reasons lol. The Havarti is mild and buttery. The Gouda creamy with a hint of sweetness. The Alpine-Style is nutty. I like for all of the cheeses to complement each other, while all being different to offer some contrast.

Dried Fruit – I went with dried crystallized mango and dried apricots. Other good options would be dried cranberries, dates, cherries or golden raisins. 

Nuts! – I chose Marcona almonds and caramelized pecans. Other lovely options would be pistachios, walnuts or regular pecans. 

Pick Your Carbohydrate Vehicle – I usually go with bread because it’s easy and always delicious but on this particular day I went with mini toasts and some fruit-studded crackers. I support butter crackers, a good loaf of bread and water crackers, as well.  

Fresh Fruit – I think fresh fruit is a nice alternative to bread. One of my favorite things is to get a piece of cheese with fresh fruit. That pairing in the same bite is delicious! For this board I went with sliced figs and sliced Comice pears. Apples or persimmons would also be lovely and very winter-y. 

Briny Things – I went with Castelvetrano olives this time around, but I also love cornichons, pickled artichokes, sweety drop peppers and peppadews.

Meats – If you’re vegetarian, obviously ignore this recommendation. I like to offer two different types: a thinly sliced prosciutto and a sliced salami. This gives guests some texture differences that’s kinda nice. 

Other fun additions – I love adding some form of jam like apricot or fig. I had some quince paste and some honeycomb, which always looks so gorgeous and sadly reminds me of My Girl the movie (the end ruined me forever). I also added some membrillo paste which is made from my favorite fruit on earth: quince. 

Decor – Non-edible garnishes are very controversial but I’m down for it. I am pro-non-edible garnishes. I do go with organic flowers as garnish just in case someone decides they want to eat a flower (I dunno). You can also add little ornaments or tinsel around the cutting board.

I say get creative! 

Let’s Talk About Arrangement– I’m far from a pro, but I kinda like everything close together. I think it’s ok to repeat ingredients. For instance, I have two groups of the same olives, two groups of dried apricots and two groups of prosciutto. I think it looks pretty! And it also offers a practicability factor. If two or three people are reaching for the board, they have options as to where they can grab for the ingredients.

The wave with the cracker is 100% optional but I do think it’s fun. Who doesn’t love a wave? 

Let me know if you have any tips of your own! 

xo

(This post was sponsored by Roth Cheese. All the opinions expressed herein are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that keep A Cozy Kitchen cozy.)

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Source: https://www.acozykitchen.com/how-to-build-a-winter-cheese-plate/

Hamburger Cake

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Hamburger Cake

Cakes, Chocolate, Desserts, Summer

Two cake posts in a row?!

Not to worry, I have some savory foods in the pipeline coming soon. And then I have more cake. I like to think that this cake is part savory part sweet because it’s a cake that looks like a hamburger!

Do you follow Lyndsay from Coco Cake Land?! She’s one my favorites on the innanet. She’s so funny and sweet and strong and rad. Her new book Coco Cake Land: Cute and Pretty Cakes to Bake and Decorate is out and it is hoooooot!

It’s full of pretty and cute cakes that you can bake and decorate. There are step-by-step photos and things like cactus cakes, rainbow cakes, pineapple cakes with faces and so much more. I like to think that it would make a really cute gift…but we’re not in holiday season just yet (thanks the heavens!) because I’m not about that right now—too stressful.

People keep talking about summer coming to an end but it is still ridiculously hot in Los Angeles. And there are still summer fruits at the market thriving so we’re still in summer and I’m ok with that.

And what is more summer than a hamburger cake? It is super cute and surprisingly easy to put together. No crazy piping skills needed. I will say that it’s component heavy and a bit laborious so I wouldn’t judge you if you went the cake mix route for this one since it’s such a project.

You can also make the cake layers a few days before or even a week ahead. I’m thinking of doing a post on how to make a cake ahead of time because you all ask about this so much and I totally get it! Its way easier to make the cake layers the week ahead and then frost it the day you need it. Doing it all in one day is too much! So that post is coming soon.

In the meantime, enjoy this lil’ hamburger cake.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield: 1 (8-inch) cake

Serving Size: 8 to 10

Ingredients

    Vanilla Cake Layers:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated white sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Chocolate Cake Layer:
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup + 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cups granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup good-quality Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup freshly brewed coffee
  • Buttercream + Cake Decorating:
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon gel food color in green
  • 1/4 teaspoon gel food color in yellow
  • 1 teaspoon (or more) gel food color in red
  • White sugar pearls or white fondant punched out into small circles using a piping tip as a cutter
  • Tools:
  • Piping bag fitted with an open star tip
  • Piping bag fitted with a leaf tip
  • Piping bag fitted with a medium-size open circle tip
  • Piping bag fitted with a large open circle tip
  • Cake board
  • Cake turntable

Directions

    To Make the Vanilla Cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line two 8 x 2-inch round cake pans.
  2. In the bowl of a stand up mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the eggs one at a time until incorporated, then add the vanilla extract.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the cream and milk.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, add one-third of the flour mixture, then half of the milk mixture. Keep alternating as you add the mixtures, finishing with the dry ingredients. I mix for about 30 to 60 seconds total—you do not want to overmix this batter, but be sure the ingredients are incorporated.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among two cake pans and smooth the tops with an offset spatula. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, checking for doneness at 25 minutes. The cakes will be done when a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean and the tops of the cakes are light golden brown.
  6. Cool the cakes completely in their pans before frosting. Or alternatively, cool them for 30 minutes in their pans and then gently turn them out onto a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
  7. To Make the Chocolate Cake Layer:
  8. Make sure the oven is preheated to 350 degrees F. Grease and line one (8-inch x 2-inch) round cake pan.
  9. In a liquid measuring cup, mix together the whole milk and the white vinegar. Let the mixture sit until curdled, about 10 minutes.
  10. In the meantime, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together on low speed the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  11. Once the milk is curdled, whisk it in a large bowl with the vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract until combined.
  12. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture. Add the hot coffee and mix just until the batter is incorporated, about 30 seconds.
  13. Add the cake batter to the prepared cake pans and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, checking for doneness at 30 minutes.
  14. Cool the cake completely in its pans before frosting.
  15. To Decorate the Cake:
  16. In the bowl of a stand up mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until it is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the sifted powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk, if using. Mix on low speed to combine the ingredients. Once the sugar is incorporated, crank the mixer to thigh speed and beat the mixture for another 2 minutes, until it has more than doubled in volume, for a fluffy whipped frosting.
  17. Divide the buttercream in half. Set aside one bowl. Divide the contents of the second bowl evenly among three bowls. Mix the green gel color into the first bowl, yellow into the second bowl, and red into the third bowl. Note: sometimes “red” is a difficult color to achieve—it requires a lot of food gel coloring.
  18. Fill a piping bag fitted with an open star tip with the uncolored buttercream. Fill a piping bag fitted with a leaf tip with the green buttercream. Fill a piping bag fitted with a medium-size round tip with the yellow buttercream. Finally, fill a piping bag fitted with a large round tip with the red buttercream.
  19. Place a covered cake board on a cake turntable. Pipe a dab of uncolored buttercream onto the cake board. Place the first vanilla cake layer onto the board. Starting from the outside and working your way in toward the middle, pipe the uncolored buttercream in concentric circles, creating a giant, generous swirl of buttercream. Stop when you get to the center.
  20. My frosting was super soft because it’s summer! So transfer the cake to the fridge to firm up a bit, if needed. Pipe the nest layer of uncolored buttercream just as you did the first layer.
  21. Next, begin piping green buttercream “lettuce” right on top of the uncolored buttercream layer, using the piping bag with the leaf tip. The idea is not to be too uniform with your leaves! Squeeze the piping bag a little harder to get bigger leaves, and overlap and layer them in a way that looks organic.
  22. Squiggle on your “mustard” using the yellow buttercream. I pipe large loops all along the exterior, on top of the lettuce layer but not covering it.
  23. Using the red buttercream for your ketchup, piping this is an ongoing loop on top of the yellow buttercream layer but in between the yellow loops.
  24. Carefully place the final vanilla cake layer, unleveled and dome side up, on top of the “ketchup buttercream. Gently press down to adhere.
  25. Place the sugar pearls on top of the cake for a sesame seed bun effect.

Notes

Short cut alert:

It is not lost on me that this recipe is A LOT of work. It has lots of components. I'm going to say that if you're short on time and in search for a short cut, I would go the boxed cake mix route. A chocolate cake box and vanilla one will do the trick.

You can also make some of these components the day ahead. Make the cake layers a day ahead and wrap them with plastic wrap and stick them in the fridge. You can also make the frosting ahead, too.

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Late Summer Stuff To Eat

Fun Brand Partnerships



Source: http://www.acozykitchen.com/hamburger-cake/


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