Dessert, Gluten Free, Summer


Cantaloupe & Mint Yogurt Pops . Sprouted Kitchen

It may be beach season but our past few weekends have been spent working on the yard. I am hosting one of my best friends' baby shower here next month and while I can't completely overhaul it how I'd like, it has been in need of some sprucing. Curran runs around naked with the hose, Cleo rolls around on a blanket under a striped umbrella, yelling when she's on her tummy for too long but refusing to flip over. Hugh is sore and his back is completely sunburnt from weeding and planting ground cover but the "American dream" or something right? I trim the few plants that I haven't killed yet and water judiciously given the drought situation. Everything looks on the brink of being completely parched - which I am not sure whether to blame on my water conservation or lack of interest in gardening all together. Probably both. Naps. Food. Work. Crying. Laundry. The days are spent so quickly and I go to bed regretting that we didn't do anything "special" today. Maybe it's the news lately or my sensitive spirit but I know that our days are finite. I've been teary over the recent tragedies in Istanbul and Orlando. It could be any of us, really. And while I can't guarantee my people are safe at all times, I want our days to feel rich in love. At the end of each one, I want to feel like that day was marked by something and it's tough to keep in perspective that sometimes those marks are delicate and small and don't necessarily have to take much effort. I want some sort of miraculous balance between fun and new and intimate and social and productive but I know we don't get to have all that in the scope of the day. It is only when I can sit alone and quiet, that I see that even these days in the backyard with the baby buns and sunburns ARE a beautiful part of our finite days. Our memories and photos of these first few years with young kids may largely be at home and I am only recently starting to come to terms with that. I do need a vacation, but watching my boy giggle through the sprinklers and request that his sticky popsicle be cut in pieces because it hurts his teeth is it's own brand of wonderful. 

As a major fan of fruit in desserts, I was so excited to flip through Yossy's new cookbook. It's divided by season and then ingredient but still has adaptations for other fruits within the recipes. It's admittedly on the richer side of my normal fare but I find desserts to be more crowd-pleasing that way anyhow. And sometimes Hugh and Curran are my crowd. She has this pistachio pound cake in there that looks amazing and a super simple looking strawberry tart. It'll be perfect for summer meals outside. Curran chose these popsicles and while I'm sure he would have eaten anything from the book, they were perfect for these warm summer days.  

Cantaloupe & Mint Yogurt Pops . Sprouted Kitchen
Cantaloupe & Mint Yogurt Pops . Sprouted Kitchen

CANTALOUPE AND MINT YOGURT POPS // Makes 6-12 depending on molds
Recipe from Sweeter off the Vine by Yossy Arefi

Yossy asks for a teaspoon of orange-flower water which I do not stock. I went for the zest and juice of one lime which I thought was a perfect substitute with the melon and mint though I am sure the original is wonderful. We have a small, flimsy $1 popsicle mold from Walmart as our freezer is configured in such a way that makes it hard to fit in a full size mold. If you don't have molds, you could churn it in an ice cream maker for frozen yogurt or even just drink it as a smoothie. The sweetness dulls once frozen so keep the mix a little sweeter than you'd like your finished product.

12-ounces seeded and chopped cantaloupe
1 cup full fat greek yogurt
1/3 cup mild honey, to taste
1 Tbsp. fresh mint leaves, packed
zest and juice of one lime or 1 tsp. orange-flower water

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Taste the mixture and adjust the level of sweetness if necessary by adding more honey, one teaspoon at a time (I did not find it needed any more). Pour into frozen pop molds and freeze the pops until completely firm, at least 6 hours or overnight. 

Cantaloupe & Mint Yogurt Pops . Sprouted Kitchen
Cantaloupe & Mint Yogurt Pops . Sprouted Kitchen
Cantaloupe & Mint Yogurt Pops . Sprouted Kitchen

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Beverage, Personal



Feeding people is an exercise in generosity. It takes time to prepare a menu, gather friends, shop for ingredients, clean the house, set a table, and clean it up. It costs money to buy food and all accompanied ingredients. Entertaining, be it for four or seventeen, takes time and money. I enjoy feeding people. I like making food, serving in that way, as an act of love and nourishing people I care about. That is why I cook. Not for myself, I am happy with hummus toast, but because my skill feeds someone elses need to be fed, to feel taken care of. I want to give that. Without noticing, I grew pragmatic about that process last year - not inviting people over for the sake of frugality or inconvenience. The book testing was over and I didn't want to try so hard, maybe some of you can understand that. Except around New Year resolution time, I realized I'd cooled it a little too hard. I missed it. I missed the fearless giving that happens around a table where food is shared. Despite practicality, we'd have more dinners with friends. 

My parents were out of town for the weekend so I jumped at the opportunity to use their beautiful yard and more spacious kitchen to get friends together. We were pushing it for an outdoor dinner, the weather is not that warm yet, but I put out blankets and extra jackets and we made do. Everyone brought something to share, Hugh and I grilled teriyaki black cod, Alaskan Halibut with cajun spices and green apple salsa and tri tip with a couple sauces. I made a pot of black beans with onions, wine and a number of other pantry staples that turned out better than expected. And of course there was a springy cocktail which I'm including the rough recipe for below. I can't exactly explain how in the hustle of feeding 17 people, I felt alive. Like I was supposed to be doing this. Nourishing people. 

It took time and money. It always does. It is always worth it. 



I can't think of a better combination for the change of seasons. It was perfect to make for a group. I am also thinking a blood orange and blackberry would be a nice and pretty combination, maybe even with gin if you wanted to have two types of cocktails out. These are rough estimates, taste and add as you wish. 

3 T. honey

3 T. natural cane sugar

16 oz./2 cups fresh grapefruit juice

16 oz./2 cups vodka

1 pint strawberries, roughly smashed

few sprigs of fresh mint

8 oz. club soda/soda water

ice for serving

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the honey, cane sugar and a few tablespoons of the grapefruit juice. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Transfer to a large pitcher. Add the grapefruit juice, vodka, strawberries and stir. This much can be done in advance and kept in the fridge until needed.

Rough up the mint to release the flavor. When ready to serve, add the mint and soda water and give the mix one more stir. Pour the mix into ice filled glasses, letting bits of strawberry and mint get in the glass for presentations sake. 

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Dessert, Winter, Chocolate



Besides the hearty soup and well balance bowl we've had the past two posts, it seems my diet lately has consisted of more treats than usual. I feel so cliche even saying that, as I would love to tell you I prefer carrot sticks to cookies, but I do not, especially in December. Likely story, I know. I have tried pickles, coffee, brushing my teeth, desperate seances and what not, but sometimes the need for something sweet comes with a fury. By fury, I mean a need for baby chocolate peppermint molten cakes. They are so much easier to make than I expected, and a personal dessert makes a guest, and you, feel special. I am catering a dinner party for twenty this Friday, and after testing these for four, it will be just as easy to do for twenty. Borrowing 16 additonal ramekins is the difficult part. If I am going to make a decadent dessert, it will be worth it. By using organic eggs and butter, and the best quality chocolate you can find, your end result tastes as wonderful as the ingredients you used.


Hugh and I watched Food Inc. last week and I thought it was very well done. I tend to take everything I hear on the subject of the corporate food industry for face value, so am glad I had Hugh to remind me of the art of persuasion. Sure, it is a movie made by one side of the issue, but the material encourages the viewer to buy locally, visit farmers markets, cook at home, plant a small garden and stay away from processed foods. I don't care how literally you take it, but the call to action is unanimously postive. I wish my garden grew molten cakes, then everyone would be happy.


1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter

5 oz. High Quality Bittersweet Chocolate (Valrhona or Scharfenberger)

2 Large Eggs

2 Egg Yolks

1/4 Cup Natural Cane Sugar

2 tsp. Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

1 tsp. Peppermint Extract

Pinch of Salt


Candy Cane for Garnish

Oven at 450'

1. Set a glass bowl over a pot of gently boiling water (double broiler). Break up the the chocolate, and add it and the butter into the glass bowl. While the mixture is melting, whisk the eggs, egg yolks and sugar together in another bowl until light and thick.

2. When chocolate is almost completly melted remove from the heat, stir to release some heat as it should be quite warm. Slowly pour in the eggs, peppermint extract, pinch of salt and then quickly beat in the flour until just combined.

3. Butter and flour four 4-ounce ramekins, tap out excess flour. Pour the chocolate mix evenly amongst the ramekins. At this point, you can keep them in the fridge for several hours, and simply bring them to room temperature before baking. Otherwise, bake them on a baking sheet for 6 to 7 minutes MAX, centers will be soft. Allow to sit for 3 minutes.


4. Invert the ramekin onto a plate, let them sit about 10 seconds and give the bottom a little tap, then lift. Sprinkle with candy cane, serve immediately. Accompany with unsweetened whipped cream or ice cream if desired.

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