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Monday
Dec082014

GIFTS + THINGS

Happy holidays! I've purchased about two of the twenty something gifts I need so I'm still on the lookout. I'm certain you've seen a lot of these lists as of late, but I can't help but find them intriguing. We are sharing a few of our favorites finds from this year - a couple we own, others we want. I put a (H) next to Hugh's contributions :) As a tortured soul of a gift giver, I appreciate reading other peoples' favorite things to help jog ideas. I shared a few good finds with Yahoo Food and here is our list from last year in case you fall down a shopping rabbit hole. Because Amazon makes things too easy, they also have a wishlist where you can send toys to children in the hospital or here is a list of resources for toy drives or adopting a family in the Los Angeles area but I'm sure you can research a similar list in your own city.

Holiday Goods 2014 . Sprouted Kitchen

Breville SmartOven : Hugh picked this out as our aniversary gift. It was a rec from The Sweet Home and we are both equally obsessed with it for different reasons. Hugh can manipulate the perfect piece of toast and  I can fit a 9x13 pan in there (!!). Our toaster oven is likely the most used appliance in our home - which is weird or sad or awesome I don't know. But since that is the case, we were alright splurging on one that was amazing. It's just super well thought out and designed. I always appreciate when I can get a solid recommendation on a kitchen appliance and this is our top pick this year. 

Stone Cold Fox Handtowels: Because a guest bathroom should be more put together than mine. I want a set of those tan linen ones!

Madewell Transport Tote: I am not a purse person so the fact I am suggesting one speaks volumes in itself. There aren't a ton of pockets or details and that's maybe why I love it. It is aging beautifully, holds a little or a lot and matches everything. Never ever in my life have I owned something that my fashion designer sister purchased after me and she recently bought one for herself so there's that.

Holiday Goods 2014 . Sprouted Kitchen

Sunday Suppers Everyday Plate: Karen and her team who have the gorgeous blog, book and studio in NYC just opened a shop on their site. There are a handful of things I would love, but I have a special place in my heart for plate/bowl vessels and these are simple and stunning. 

Mod Fox and Little Woolf Kids Bedding: It's harder to find cute crib sheets than you'd think. Both of these shops have some different and fun prints that would be a great gift for an expectant mother on your list! Gah, that little boy. I can hardly handle his cuteness.

Hatched Baby: Speaking of cute baby things. If you are looking for something special for a mini person, there are some adorable items here. Curran has this super soft coverall and if there wasn't sweet potato mash on it consistently, he would wear it daily.  

Holiday Goods 2014 . Sprouted Kitchen

Noonday Collection: I was recently introduced to this company and while the jewelry is pretty, I extra double like that they work with artisans in developing countries to create economic opportunity for the women making the goods. I have worn these earrings most days since I got them. 

Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 Pancake: (H) This is my current "daily life" lens. It's a compact little guy at a fun focal length and it yields some quality imagery for the price point. The real bonus is it's size. DSLRs can be obnoxious, and while this lens won't suddenly allow you to pocket your camera or anything, I've found it much more pleasant to casually carry around and photograph with compared to any other DSLR (or point and shoot, tbh) set up I've tried. 

Death by Living by N.D. Wilson: (H) This is the best book I read all year. Laughter. Tears. Highlighter and dog eared pages. Rereading. Telling anyone who'll listen about it. It's that kind of book. 

Holiday Goods 2014 . Sprouted Kitchen

UE Mini Boom Wireless Speaker: (H) I know, sort of random, but I think the point of these sorts of lists is to pass along the things we use and love, and we end up using this thing just about every day. Our kitchen cleanup dance parties, garage organizing dance parties, and impromptu yardwork dance parties (you get the idea) are vastly improved beyond what the built in iphone speaker ever allowed for.

Cookbooks: So many favorites this year! Many of which I've shared recipes from. I am anxious to cook from Plenty More from the famous Ottolenghi. Ashley's book Date Night In comes out in a handful of days and I can confidently speak to its striking recipes and sweet stories. For the vegetable heavy cooks I've really enjoyed At Home in the Whole Foods Kitchen, Green Kitchen Travels and Vibrant Food. And for the entertainer, they'll need Sunday Suppers, or the self published dream project from The Yellow Table.

Quitokeeto Mason Studio Apron: I don't usually wear aprons but maybe I would if I had this one. Those pockets!

Sunday
Nov302014

HOLIDAY SLAW WITH ROASTED SHALLOT DRESSING

Holiday Slaw with Roasted Shallot Dressing . Sprouted Kitchen

I had the best of intentions to share this simple salad, one that goes with everything, before Thanksgiving but one thing led to another and maybe this will fall into your weeknight plans. I made the mistake of purchasing a Costco bag of peppermint pretzel thins so the only way to make that right are giant salads. This past weekend we hung lights, wreaths and put out a few poinsettias. I don't own a bunch of holiday decor, but I am eager to make our home feeling cozy and festive this time of year. I have memories of the stuff my mom put out - an old nativity scene with shredded paper hay, stockings with a disney character and our name embroidered on them and the alternating red and white lights that go around the roof. Even though Curran has no idea what's going on yet, I want to build traditions he'll look back on. It's amazing how a mini person can inspire so much intentionality. And I mean that in more ways than just Christmas lights.

I'm on this bender of vegetables being chopped small or sliced paper thin. I've mentioned that I finally found a mandoline I'm keen on and it makes the whole situation easier. For Thanksgiving round two with Hugh's family, I shaved multi-color carrots super thin and tossed them with some red quinoa, lentils, micro greens, toasted walnuts and an apple cider vinaigrette. It didn't appear as popular as the mashed potatoes but I will for sure be making that again.

I know the crazy starts now - may there be rest and thankfulness in between it. 

Holiday Slaw with Roasted Shallot Dressing . Sprouted Kitchen

HOLIDAY SLAW // Serves 6

 

  • 3 cups diced butternut squash (1/2")
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • pinch of salt, smoked paprika and cinnamon
  • -
  • 2 bunches Lacinato/Tuscan kale
  • 1/2 head red cabbage
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 3/4 cup shaved parmesan
  • 3/4 cup toasted pecan pieces
  •  
  • // roasted shallot dressing //
  • 2 small or 1 large roasted shallot*
  • handful fresh chopped chives
  • 1/4-1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. each sea salt and ground pepper

 

* roast a shallot much like a head of garlic. Trim the end, toss it (skin on) in a little olive oil and pinch of salt, wrap it in foil and pop it in the oven for 45 minutes until softened and caramelized. Time will vary by size of the shallot or how many you do. Simply peek in to check it's texture. Remove to cool to the touch before squishing it out of it's skin. 

Holiday Slaw with Roasted Shallot Dressing . Sprouted Kitchen

Preheat the oven to 400'. On a large rimmed baking tray, toss the butternut cubes with the olive oil, salt, smoked paprika and cinnamon to coat. Spread in an even layer and bake for 20 minutes until just tender but not mooshy. Set aside to cool completely. 

In a blender or food processor, whiz all the dressing ingredients together until smooth.

Stem the kale and chop it ultra thin. Using a mandoline or excellent knife skills, shave the red cabbage and onion. Collect these items in a large salad bowl. Add the cherries (I chopped mine in half if you feel so inclined), parmesan and pecans, drizzle desired amount of dressing and toss to coat. The kale and cabbage can handle, if not improve, by sitting in the dressing for 5-10 minutes before serving. 

Holiday Slaw with Roasted Shallot Dressing . Sprouted Kitchen

Monday
Nov102014

CURRIED YELLOW SPLIT PEA SOUP

Curried Yellow Split Pea Soup . Sprouted Kitchen

"You'll need coffee shops and sunsets and roadtrips. Airplanes and passports and new songs and old songs, but eople more than anything else. You will need other people and you will need to be that other person to someone else - a living, breathing, screaming invitation to believe better things." - jamie tworkowski

Curried Yellow Split Pea Soup . Sprouted Kitchen

Curried Yellow Split Pea Soup . Sprouted Kitchen

CURRIED YELLOW SPLIT PEA SOUP // Serves 4-6

I bake up an extra sweet potato and scoop out the flesh to thicken up the soup. I find it deepens the flavor to not taste so legume-y. Perhaps a personal preference. You could use pumpkin puree or even cooked carrots if you have them on hand. Add more ginger or a sprinkle of cayenne if you'd like some heat. The soup will keep for a week but will thicken up in the fridge, so simply reheat with a touch more liquid.

I wish we'd had some naan on hand. Soup + naan. That would make for a wonderful dinner.

  • 2 Tbsp. ghee or unsalted butter
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp. each sea salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • 3/4 cup roasted sweet potato
  • 12 ounces dry yellow split peas, rinsed and drained
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk, remaining for garnish
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • chopped cilantro, black sesame, micogreens for garnish

 

Curried Yellow Split Pea Soup . Sprouted Kitchen

In a large pot or dutch oven, warm the ghee or butter over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger, turmeric, cumin, curry, sweet potato flesh, yellow split peas and broth. Stir and bring the mixture up to a boil, down to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for 45-55 minutes until the peas are very soft. With an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender, puree until mostly smooth. I like mine a little chunky. Return to the pot. 

Stir in the coconut milk, orange juice and taste for seasoning. Add cayenne or more ginger if you'd like it spicy. Serve each bowl with dollop of coconut milk on top, cilantro, black sesame and microgreens for garnish. 

This post is sponsored by the U.S. Dry Pea and Lentil Council

Curried Yellow Split Pea Soup . Sprouted Kitchen

Tuesday
Nov042014

BERRY-GINGER COCKTAIL

Berry Ginger Cocktail . Sprouted Kitchen

I went over to her house to pick up some chairs on loan for our dining table. My Aunt Suzy wasn't using them, it will take me months to pick out chairs for our new table, and I like to get Curran out to say hi. I've mentioned my Aunt before - my mom's sister, the only aunt I've grown up close to, geographically speaking, who has been fighting ovarian cancer for six years. She had a beautiful drawing of a skeleton sitting out and I couldn't believe she drew it herself. Actually I could, she's good at a lot of things, art being one of them. As she pulled the drawing closer, she pointed where she had drawn arrows to all the parts in her own body where tumors have grown. She used the technical names of the organs, as you would expect a very conscientious woman would. A lump rose in my throat as she talked about it so matter of factly, like it was no big thing to go through your cancer records and make an illustration of the sick parts of your body that are designed to keep you alive. I didn't say much because it made me sad and I'm certain that as unbelieveably positive she is, it had to have made her sad too. She wiped a few treasured baby toys clean and played with my son and he smiled back at her. I thought of taking a picture because the moment felt important to me, even though I was just going by to pick up chairs, but she has been a supportive, encouraging and generous role model for me, and seeing Curran gaze at her with the affection I feel but infrequently express, was special. But I believe we can take pictures in our minds too, and I'll always hold that image. The drawing keeps popping in my head and I've been thinking about how we deal with grief - how to humbly empathize with someone I love who has been fighting for six long years. That terrible, cliche saying, "live like you're dying" (which we all are at some rate), what does that look like in a practical sense? Not in the hike a major mountain or skydive sort of way, but in the everyday. The small moments.

In this recent interview I read from Anne Lamott she answers a handful of questions about her new book and on life in general. She's speaking on self-consciousness here, but I love theses lines:

"It gets infinitely better as you get older. You’ve lost your parents and some friends, and you feel so amazed and grateful that you still have the gift of life. You figure out that what your butt looks like is 143rd on the list of what is meaningful here, during our brief stay. You throw stuff out of the plane that keeps you flying too low. And yet; and yet. It’s still a struggle." 

I've wasted a good amount of time lately concerned about fixing up our house, my post-partum body, our "long term plan" but then I saw Suzy's drawing. What I wanted to tell her was that it's not over. Cancer hasn't won. I'm so proud of her and grateful for the person she has been to me in the thirty years I've been her niece. I have nieces and nephews of my own now, and I hope to be as good to them as you've been to me. This weekend a big group of family and friends are hiking to raise money and awareness for womens cancer research and to celebrate Suzy. It honors a remarkable woman. So, a cocktail. Cheers. Bottoms up. To the strongest fighter I know. May your plane be flying high. 

Berry Ginger Cocktail . Sprouted Kitchen

Berry Ginger Cocktail . Sprouted Kitchen

Berry Ginger Cocktail . Sprouted Kitchen

Berry Ginger Cocktail . Sprouted Kitchen

BERRY GINGER COCKTAILS // Make 1 drink

Adapted from Bon Appetit

I know we're all into apples and squash and such but my car thermostat said 76' this afternoon and there are still berries at my farmers market. If you can get your hands on juicy, bright red berries, go for it. Thawed, frozen berries will give you the same pretty color with likely a little less flavor but it's still worth the cocktail, if you ask me.

Lemon Ginger Syrup

  • 4 ounces peeled, chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/4-1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4-1/3 cup agave nectar

Blitz the ginger in a food processor to form a coarse paste. Put it in a saucepan along with 3 cups of water and simmer for 30-40 minutes until reduced by half. Allow the mixture to cool slightly and strain it into a container. Stir in the lemon juice and agave nectar (I used roughly 1/3 cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup agave. Adjust to your taste). This will make more syrup than you need but can be stored, covered in the fridge for two weeks. 

Berry Ginger Cocktail . Sprouted Kitchen

Berry Ginger Cocktail . Sprouted Kitchen

Berry Ginger Cocktail . Sprouted Kitchen

 

Berry Ginger Cocktail . Sprouted Kitchen

  • 3 strawberries (fresh or thawed frozen berries)
  • 2 oz. tequila
  • 2 oz. lemon ginger syrup
  • glug of soda water
  • ice and super thin lemon slices for serving

In your glass, cut up the berries and muddle them in the bottom of the glass. Fill it up with ice. Add the tequila, ginger syrup and a splash of soda water. Give it a stir, taste and add more of whichever you fancy.

Garnish with lemon slices and drink. I suppose you could make a pitcher of this for a party or shower just multiply each ingredients by about eight. 

Berry Ginger Cocktail . Sprouted Kitchen

Wednesday
Oct222014

ROASTED VEGETABLE + QUINOA BOWL

Roasted Vegitables & Quinoa Bowl . Sprouted Kitchen

The past few months I have been working as a personal chef for a couple who work long days and want their fridge full of healthy meals to come home to. It's a pretty great situation seeing as I get to do what I enjoy, can stay in my gym clothes, and it's flexible hours with Curran. I don't necessarily come home wanting to cook for my own family, but such is life. The wife was asking for me to leave some of the recipes of the foods I've been making them and I still haven't responded because I don't, um, have recipes to leave. I'm not one for rules, with practice, cooking has become an intuition sort of deal, and I think that's only because I understand the basic principle and can go off on my own from there. Anyway, I've been making big batches of roasted vegetables for them and realize that while it's not always a recipe, understanding a few things about doing them well, is helpful. A few tips I've learned only by doing them wrong a lot of times:

* They need a generous coat of oil. Vegetables are mostly water, and a generous coat of oil creates a barrier between the heat and their water, allowing them to retain the natural moisture as opposed to it cooking off and the vegetables just getting dry. It also dresses them at the end, so while you don't want them sitting in a big pool of it, you should see the oil coating everything.

* You want to use vegetables with a similar cooking time, and cut their size appropriately. For example, here, I know delicata will get soft before the fennel, so I cut the delicata on the large side and the fennel on the thin side so their cooking times balance. Make sense? Autumn vegetables usually need a little more time than summer so if you are cooking seasonal things, your timing should work out. Summer items like zucchini, peppers, eggplant have more water and less natural sugar in them so I find they roast in about half the time. 

* A large, rimmed baking tray is key. Oil and season on the tray and just toss with your hands there for one less dirty dish. A thin lip lets the moisture escape so you get a good crust. 

* Out of the oven, let them sit for a few minutes. Don't smoosh them all in a bowl so fast as they will steam each other and get moosh (technical term). Give them space to breathe before putting them on a serving platter. When I cook for work or make roasted vegetables in advance, I let them cool completely before packing them up for the fridge. 

* Salt enough. Not too much. I can't tell you how much, that's a personal taste deal. But don't get stingy, I'll say that much. 

* The other spices are up to you. I generally throw in something spicy, dried herbs and fresh herbs after baking. But you can be generous with these as well. I love za'atar on carrots, cayenne and maple on sweet potatoes, cumin and cinnamon on squashes, and lemon pepper and Italian herbs on zucchini. I like a little soy sauce or maple syrup on occasion but this adds moisture to the pan so only use a teensy bit to avoid steaming. 

Anyway. I am no master, but a trial-and-error, learn by doing sort of thing has left me with the above constants in my vegetable roasting experience. Feel free to share your tips or favorite spices in the comments, I love to have new ideas. 

Roasted Vegitables & Quinoa Bowl . Sprouted Kitchen

ROASTED VEGETABLE + QUINOA BOWL // Serves 6

 

  • 1 medium fennel bulb
  • 1 small onion, red or yellow
  • 4 carrots, cleaned
  • 2 small delicata squash
  • 1/2 lb. brussels sprouts
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (I used a chile infused one for a bit of spice)
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tsp. everyday seasoning or Italian herb blend
  • pinch of cayenne 

 

 

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • few big handfuls of baby kale
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, to taste
  • microgreens, for garnish

 

Roasted Vegitables & Quinoa Bowl . Sprouted Kitchen

Preheat the oven to 400'. Prepare all your vegetables and collect them on a large baking tray. Halve the fennel and slice it into wedges. Peel the onion, cut off the ends, and slice it into thin wedges, cut the end off the carrots and slice 1" pieces on a diagonal. Scoop the seeds from the squash and slice it into thick half moons. Halve large brussels and leave the small ones whole. Drizzle the olive oil, salt, a few pinches of pepper, everyday seasoning and cayenne. Toss to coat well and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Dividing into two sheets if it looks over crowded. Bake in the upper third of the oven for twenty minutes. Turn the heat up to 425' and cook another 20 minutes or until the edges of the vegetables are browned and crisp. 

While the vegetables roast, cook the quinoa. Put the quinoa and broth in a pot. Bring it up to a gentle boil, down to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork, add a few handfuls of baby kale and leave the lid ajar so it cools. This will barely wilt the kale so its not quite so raw. Once it is room temperature, drizzle in the olive oil, red wine vinegar and a hearty pinch of salt and pepper and toss to coat. Transfer to your serving bowl. Top with the roasted vegetables, pine nuts, feta cheese and microgreens.

Serve warm or at room temperature.