Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Strawberry-Balsamic Stoneground Cornmeal Muffins

live in the (berry stained) now.
Stoneground Cornmeal Muffins
strawberries in all things because they are everything.

It recently came to my attention that I've been approaching this whole strawberry thing wrong for a good portion of my adult life. Call it something of a culinary epiphany. Each year I dutifully drive to the u-pick, spend the better part of an afternoon plucking perfectly ripe little gems straight from the plant, haul my pounds and pounds of berries back home and proceed to jam and can for what feels like days. Because of this my pantry shelves look mighty impressive, and I always have holiday gifts covered, but I eat shamefully few strawberries during their sadly brief season. As this summer began, I took stock of my still jam-packed (that's a pun, mind you) larder and decided NEVER AGAIN. Too much damn jam and not enough berries in my belly. This year I'm making a change. No more unnecessary self-denial.
Strawberries in/ on/ over all the things until there are no more. 
I'm living in the berry-stained moment.

Stoneground Cornmeal Muffins
(makes 1 dozen medium muffins)

1c stoneground cornmeal
1 1/4c whole wheat pastry flour
1/2c unrefined sugar
1Tbsp baking powder
1tsp baking soda
1/2tsp finely ground sea salt
2tsp apple cider vinegar
1.5tsp vanilla extract
2c fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
1Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1c unsweetened non dairy milk
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4c canola or other neutral oil
extra sugar for dusting tops of muffins

Thursday, July 10, 2014

quick pickled watermelon radishes and fennel

pretty pink picklemania.
Watermelon Radishes & Fennel.
anxiety-inducing seasonality be (ever so slightly) damned.

Sometimes spring and summer produce gives me anxiety. Truthfully, sometimes most things give me anxiety, but we're here to talk about vegetables. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE summer (and all of the radishes, cucumbers, corn, tomatoes, etc. that come with it) but sometimes that "love with a capitol L" leads to irrational excitement which leads to overbuying and that overbuying leads to panic.
Or the excitement leads to panic and that panic leads to overbuying....
How on earth am I going to eat all of these ______ 
*fill in the blank with seasonally appropriate produce* before they go bad? 
How can I keep eating said seasonally appropriate produce 
even when it is no longer seasonally appropriate???
Quick pickles are the answer.
A little vinegar, a little spice.
Seasonality temporarily upended,
(vegetable-based) anxiety alleviated.

And the picklemania? Totally manageable.

pretty pickle therapy.


Quick Pickled Watermelon Radishes 
& Fennel.
(will fill one quart jar)

1 bunch watermelon radishes (about 3-4)
1 large fennel bulb with stalks and fronds attached
1/2c unseasoned rice vinegar
1Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2tsp sea salt
2tsp organic sugar
2tsp freshly ground coriander seeds
2 star anise pods
2Tbsp toasted sesame oil

Friday, July 4, 2014

Strawberry-Rhubarb Balsamic Crumble

'tis the season for such things.
Strawberry-Rhubarb Balsamic Crumble.
things to be thankful for.

The transition from spring to summer can be a rough one. Almost overnight the once irresistible idea of leisurely days spent hanging out in back yards and on porches pales in comparison to spending said days in our underwear on the couch under an air conditioner.  But there is a brief moment in early New England summer where strawberry and rhubarb seasons align perfectly. I think it's Mother Nature's way of helping to ease the seasonal cross-over, gently reassuring us that everything will be ok. Yes, we'll be sweating through our clothes for the next two and a half months, but for now THERE ARE STRAWBERRIES. And rhubarb.
And those two things in combination are enough to make the whole "spring allergies become summer headaches coupled with unavoidable sunburn
and sweating profusely until fall" thing worth it.
So, we will gather rhubarb and we will stand in the sunshine, plucking ripe berries straight from strawberry plants until our fingers are stained red 
and we will remember that we are lucky. 
Even if we are a little bit overheated.

this is a good place to be standing.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Balsamic Crumble
(Serves 4-6)

2c washed and hulled strawberries, halved or quartered
1 1/2c rhubarb, sliced into 1/4" pieces
1Tbsp unrefined sugar
1Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2tsp  lemon zest
2Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/2c whole wheat pastry flour
1/2c light brown sugar
1/4c vegan butter or slightly chilled coconut oil
1/2tsp ground sea salt
1/2tsp vanilla
1tsp cinnamon + extra for topping
fresh mint for garnish (optional)