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!

Advertisements

Creamy (vegan) Asparagus Soup with Shiitake “Croutons”

Creamy (vegan) Asparagus Soup with Shiitake “Croutons”

Ok, so this is my third asparagus recipe in a row, but I suppose that’s what happens when you primarily eat seasonally and locally. {sorry/not sorry}  This soup is velvety, full of spring flavors, and just happens to be vegan.  I wanted to make a creamy soup, but didn’t have any cream in the house…BUT I did have a big bag of cashews, so I made cashew cream.  It’s easy and adds such a wonderfully luscious texture and richness to the soup.  I’ve also got a trick to making the soup super green…souper green?!

Leek and Asparagus Scrambled Eggs with Parmesan

Leek and Asparagus Scrambled Eggs with Parmesan

Springtime is one of my busiest times of the year.  I help run a farmer’s market and a kids program at that market, so the couple months leading up to Opening Day is hella hectic!  Not to mention it’s one of the busiest times of year for my husband, too; a professor and sculptor.  So…our meals tend to be quicker and easier and use fewer dishes — mostly because they’re all piled up in the sink waiting to be washed.

This spring-y breakfast (or breakfast-for-dinner) hits that “I want eggs/I want vegetables/But I don’t want to do dishes” spot.  It’s all done in just one pan — no separate bowls for whisking eggs or a separate pan for cooking the vegetables.  You just cook the vegetables first then break the eggs directly into the pan and stir ’em around (a.k.a. scramble them) as they cook.  It’s easy, virtually mess-free, and really good!

Orange Soy Grilled Asparagus

Orange Soy Grilled Asparagus

The spring sun is out and that means it’s time to fire up the grill!  This is a simple, bright and refreshing side dish that goes well with just about anything.  It’s perfect for a weeknight dinner, and while the asparagus is marinating you can get the rest of your meal ready and preheat the grill…and pour yourself a glass of wine.  Because wine’s important.  And so is multitasking.  With wine.

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!

Spring Veggie Pasta w/ Cilantro Pesto

Spring Veggie Pasta w/ Cilantro Pesto
Summer is nearing and we need to make room for the hot-weather veg about to grace our tables.  This is a fantastic way to use up any spring veggies you have on hand.

This pasta takes advantage of the spicier spring produce available: peppery arugula and piquant radishes.  The cilantro pesto — made with garlic scapes, toasted almonds, red pepper flakes, lime juice and avocado oil — compliments those flavors and steers us in the direction of the Southwest.  Fiber-rich black beans and fresh, milky mozzarella round out the dish for a hearty, healthy meal.  To add an additional kick of spice and flavor, drizzle on some sriracha!  Let’s get the party started!

Braised Asparagus & Spring Onions

Braised Asparagus & Spring OnionsThe beauty of cooking asparagus is that it’s best when left to humble methods with few ingredients.  Simply grilled with a little olive oil, salt & pepper is divine.  Steamed with a squeeze of lemon and garlic salt is incredible.  Asparagus doesn’t need much to be an amazing side dish.

This recipe follows suit: few ingredients and a simple preparation.  I stumbled upon this recipe while reading Deborah Madison’s Vegetable Literacy (a phenomenal book/cookbook).  It called for braising the asparagus.  I was curious; I haven’t done a lot of braising — it’s a technique I tend to shy away from because in my head it’s synonymous with “it takes a really long time.”  Well, apparently it doesn’t.  This dish is ready in 20 minutes.  It’s fantastically simple and enormously flavorful.  The veg is cooked just past al dente and you’re left with a light buttery sauce you can soak bread in.  It makes for a nice, light meal or a hearty companion.

Strawberry Bruschetta w/ Nutella & Whipped Coconut Cream

Strawberry Bruschetta w/ Nutella & Whipped Coconut CreamI’ve been making this ultra simple dessert for years and I look forward to strawberry season specifically for this treat!  Grilled bread, topped with Nutella, sliced strawberries and whipped coconut cream is the perfect ending to any springtime meal, especially when you’ve already got the grill fired up.

In years past, I topped the strawberries with homemade whipped cream (the dairy kind), but this year I decided to give whipped coconut cream a try…and all I could think was, “Why the H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks didn’t I try this sooner?”  It’s good.  Darn good.  So stinkin’ good.  I. like. really. lots.

Grapefruit Tarragon Gin & Tonic

Grapefruit Tarragon Gin & Tonic
If I was to choose one boozy beverage to sip for the rest of my days it would be the classic “G & T”…gin & tonic, with a squeeze of lime.  It’s refreshing, lightly fizzy, lovingly sour, perfectly bitter, and just a smidge sweet.  Most people tend to sip it in the warm spring or summer months, but I indulge year ’round – although there is little else that’s better than an ice cold gin & tonic on a hot, sunny evening after a long day’s work.  And that’s about where we’re at right now – it’s officially G & T season!

Radishes with Tarragon – Garlic Chive Butter

Radishes with Tarragon - Garlic Chive Butter

Often the best snacks or party appetizers are the simplest ones that highlight fresh, raw ingredients.  With spring in full force and my local farmers market having just opened up, I wanted to taste the season.  Literally.  I found three kinds of radishes from one vendor and tarragon and garlic chives from another.  These had to join forces somehow…but with minimal manipulation.