ginger

Beverage, Spring, Summer, Gluten Free

BERRY-GINGER COCKTAIL

Berry Ginger Cocktail . Sprouted Kitchen
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 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
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
Berry Ginger Cocktail . Sprouted Kitchen
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Side, Snack, Gluten Free

PANTRY PEANUT SAUCE

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This is the peanut sauce that was intended to be easy, quick, every day sauce and then things just kept getting thrown into the blender. Lots of finger dipping, tasting...more ginger! dip. add coconut! dip. more spice! What I have below is a general recipe, but you'll need to taste and adjust as you wish. I may have lost track of a half teaspoon here or there. We didn't want it so peanuty that it resembled more of a spread for toast than an asian sauce, so the coconut milk and bit of toasted sesame oil help rein that in (see note). We like lots of ginger, always citrus, just enough spice to warm your throat and poof, a great sauce that will be used for a number or quick dishes this weekend. The photo here shows it on a simple asian sandwich with seared tofu, cucumber, carrots and scallions but I also plan on using it as a dressing for a quinoa and kale salad or making some spring rolls packed with veggies with this on the side for dipping. However you wish, meals seem to come together quite quickly with a good sauce on hand.

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PANTRY PEANUT SAUCE // Makes about 1.5 cups

I imagine this would last a good two weeks in the fridge without comprimising too much on flavor. Don't quote me, I don't see it lasting long enough to tell, but it's an educated guess.

  • 1 cup creamy, unsalted peanut butter
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger
  • zest and juice of one large lime
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 2-4 Tbsp. light coconut milk or water, as needed*
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, optional
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Add all of the ingredients besides cilantro to a powerful blender or food processor and run until smooth. Taste and adjust as preferred. Add the cilantro, give it another few pulses and keep in an airtight jar in the fridge.

* I used coconut milk for thinning because I had some open. It also helped cut the peanut butter flavor and made it a bit more savory. Water will work fine to thin, just expect the peanut flavor to be more forward. It will firm up a bit in the fridge, so keep that in mind while choosing your consistency.

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Dessert, Snack, Winter, Chocolate

DARK CHOCOLATE + GINGER FLATBREADS

My intention this year was to give edible gifts and charity donations in peoples' names for Christmas. Everyone starts talking about lists and ideas and I worry that my idea won't go over so well - that my gift will look chintzy regardless of the cost. It's going to be on my new years resolutions to really follow through with that next holiday, if that is what I WANT to give. Because the season is about giving joyfully, not fulfilling a list. And yes, I am aware it isn't too late to do that this year, but the ship has sailed on committing to that for this year.

I got the idea for these treats from a Food & Wine magazine and thought they'd be nice to have around this time of year for when people stop over (which actually doesn't happen too often come to think of it, which is why I end up eating them). They're kind of like the ever popular "bark", except there is a whole grain cracker standing in for some of the chocolate thickness, making them lighter. They have a nice snap to them, a perfect sweetness and wrap up beautifully for a gift. The sturdiness makes them ideal to send in the mail too! So whether you need a treat around for you or someone else, it doesn't get much easier than dipping crackers in chocolate.

We are sharing this recipe with our lady friends over at Wedding Chicks so be sure to check out their other great edible treats!

DARK CHOCOLATE + GINGER FLATBREADS // Makes 16

Inspired by Grace Parisi at Food + Wine magazine

Get creative with your toppings. I added a dribble of peppermint extract to some extra chocolate and sprinkled crushed mint candies on top, sort of like a cracker peppermint bark. Some chopped pistachios and dried cherries would be great too, you could gift a variety pack!

6 oz. Dark Chocolate (I used Valrohna 71%)

16 Flatbread Crackers such as Ak Mak or Finn Crisp

1/4 Cup Crystallized Ginger, minced

3 Tbsp. Toasted Sesame Seeds

Maldon Flaked Sea Salt

Break up the chocolate and melt it in a double boiler (set a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water, being sure the water doesn't touch the bowl). Stir it every so often until the chocolate is completely melted, about 4 minutes.

Lay your crackers on a baking rack with some parchment paper underneath for easy clean up.

Coat the top of each flatbread with a generous layer of the melted chocolate (I use a spoon and a silicone pastry brush, an offset spatula or butter knife will work as well). Set them on the baking rack.

Sprinkle the chopped ginger and sesame seeds on top, no need for perfection, just go ahead and sprinkle. Add more if you please.

Finish them with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt and put the tray in the fridge to set.

They will last about two weeks in an airtight container.

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