Skillet Shortcake with Fermented Strawberries (plus Kraut Source Review)

Skillet Shortcake with Fermented Strawberries

I am so pumped about this post!  I did something ya’ll.  I tried something new.  Some might think it’s slightly coo-coo.  But it’s not.  It’s a thing…a big thing…a real game changer!  I fermented fruit!  And I used some new equipment to help me…which made my (fermentation) life WAY easier!

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Pasta & Peas in Parmesan Broth

Pasta & Peas in Parmesan Broth

Spring has officially arrived, but the fruit and vegetables have to yet show they’re pretty little vernal faces.  The warmer weather is shifting us away from heavy, hearty foods to lighter, quicker fare.  We want to spend more time enjoying the spring sun and less time hovered over a huge pot of stew.  But it looks like there are still some cool days ahead before we can truly shed the sweaters and warm, comforting meals.  This pasta bridges that gap between craving light, springtime meals and still wanting something warm and satisfying.  And it comes together in less than 30 minutes, so we can all enjoy more time in the fresh spring air!

Whole-Clementine Poppy Seed Pound Cake with Earl Grey Glaze

Clementine Poppy Seed Pound Cake with Earl Grey Glaze

Little cuties, clementines, mandarin oranges, tangerines…they’re all (nearly) the same thing.  They’re small, sweet, often seedless oranges.  My family eats quite a few when they’re in season – during winter – so I try to use them in a variety of ways, from sweet to savory, sauces to beverages, zest to juice.  For this recipe, I experimented and used the whole fruit.  ALL of it.  No separate zesting, juicing, or dividing segments; you just puree the whole dang thing.  The flavor is incredible!!

Chocolate Chip Coconut Oat Muffins

Chocolate Chip Coconut Oat Muffins

If there was only one muffin recipe I could make for the rest of my life, this would be it!  These are so SO good and filling but not too dense and perfectly moist and sweet but not too sweet and the topping…THE TOPPING, is beyond.  Loaded with heart healthy oats, shredded coconut, and a smattering of chocolate chips, this muffin is substantial.  One will fill you up – it’s like a bowl of oatmeal in delicious muffin form!

Virtual Vegan Potluck: Lemon Thyme Polenta Bites with Arugula Pesto & Mushrooms

Lemon Thyme Polenta Bites with Arugula Pesto & Mushrooms

Hello and welcome to the 2014 Virtual Vegan Potluck!  I’m so excited to be part of the VVP this year and want to give a huge shout-out to Annie, Angela and Poppy for organizing this worldwide virtual foodie event!  Be sure to check out all the awesome vegan recipes by way of the Go Forward/Go Backward buttons at the bottom of this post.  You can also go back and start at the beginning of the potluck chain.  Have fun, get hungry and enjoy!

Savory Dill Yogurt Biscuits

Savory Dill Yogurt Biscuits

Spontaneity can be one of the best, and most underrated, ingredients in a kitchen.  It can lead to impromptu discoveries and unexpected combinations.  I tend to cook the best food when I’m being spontaneous and not over-thinking things.  I woke up the other morning on a lazy Sunday and decided to make biscuits.  I started gathering the ingredients and spotted a bright green feathery bunch of fresh dill in the fridge.  Thinking, “hmm, why not?” I grabbed it and added a handful to the biscuit dough.  That little change — that bit of spontaneity — made a HUGE flavorful difference to what would have been plain old ordinary biscuits.  They became savory, herbaceous and fresh!

Vegan Garlic Cream Pasta w/ Roasted Broccoli & Mushrooms

Vegan Garlic Cream Pasta w/ Roasted Broccoli & Mushrooms

Creamy garlic sauce that’s vegan.  Skeptical I was.  No longer I am.  Like Yoda why am I talking?  I think it’s because this is some Jedi-like cooking going on.  It’s all Obi-Wan Kenobi up in here.  I did not think a vegan cream sauce could be this good.  But it is.  It’s magic…or the Force.  I wonder if a light saber would be a useful kitchen tool?  {oh boy, i think halloween is getting to me}

Apricot Brie Arugula Baguette Sandwiches

Apricot Brie Arugula Baguette Sandwiches

Sometimes you just need something quick.  Maybe you’re busy getting chores done around the house.  Maybe you’re running low on energy or culinary get-up-and-go.  Or maybe, the weather outside is so nice and you’re seriously whooping your hubby’s butt at a game of Bags and don’t want to lose your mojo by stopping to make dinner, so you slap together some bread, jam, cheese, and arugula for a super quick and easy baguette sandwich supper.  Yep, that’s the one.

Potato Kale Cakes with Kimchee Mayo

Potato Kale Cakes with Kimchee Mayo

Over the past month I’ve made 2 new food discoveries: savory (the herb) and kimchee (Korea’s national dish).  I’m in love with both…and though they may seem like strange bedfellows, I’ve put them together in this recipe.

Savory, the winter variety, was introduced to me through my CSA; one of the many awesome benefits of being a member is experimenting with new foods and flavors.  To me, it tastes like a cross between thyme and flat-leaf parsley; it resembles the woodsy flavor of thyme, but also has a clean, bright quality similar to parsley. It’s a beautiful in-between seasons kind of herb.  I’ve been using it in everything, including these potato kale cakes.

Panzanella

Panzanella

This Tuscan bread and tomato salad is exactly why summer was invented.  It brings together the lovely veg that’s simultaneously in season; a harmony of ingredients and flavor.  Historically, this dish spanned all classes of 16th century Italy.  Though namely a peasant dish — it was a way to use up stale bread, which back then was only baked once a week — it was also adored by nobility.  Poets even wrote about it.  The stale bread was soaked in water and vinegar to soften then tossed with whatever vegetables came out of the garden, most commonly onions and cucumbers.  Tomatoes weren’t introduced to the salad until the 1800’s.