A Fall Cooking Workshop in Andros, Greece -SOLD OUt

I’m so excited to announce that I will be the guest chef  for a Fall Cooking Workshop with Allegra Pomilio in Andros, Greece this September 12-16, 2018. Join us for four days …

280A2609.jpg

I’m so excited to announce that I will be the guest chef  for a Fall Cooking Workshop with Allegra Pomilio in Andros, Greece this September 12-16, 2018. Join us for four days of cooking, relaxing and celebrating late summer/early fall at the absolutely stunning, Mèlisses.

yossy arefi

We’ve planned 4 days of cooking lessons, excursions, and lots of wonderful food. Our host Allegra will take you to visit local producers, little villages across the island, introduce you to one of the most beautiful and secret beaches of Andros, and spoil you with freshly cooked meals - some of which we will cook together in a picturesque old beach house. It’s the time of wild figs, warm sunny mornings spent on the beach, discovering Greek hamlets and late evening sunset aperitifs by the pool. 

ZI4A7348-3.jpg

Allegra Pomilio our culinary host has been working in the field for many years. Her photography and visual art background studies combined with her passion for food found perfect balance in her blog: www.allegrapomilio.com. She assisted and spent time in Mimi Thorisson’s kitchen, in the heart of the French countryside. She spent two years honing her skills, studying at the Alain Ducasse Academy, as well as attending many prestigious Italian chef’s classes. Greece is her second home and Mèlisses is her continuous source of inspiration, where she pays particular attention to the presentation of the dishes and to the “art de la table”. 

280A1208.jpg

There are a few different styles of rooms available at a few different price points and registration is open now! Click through to learn more about this beautiful place, our workshop, and to reserve your spot. Allegra can answer all of your questions about the house. See you in Greece!

Click Here to Reserve Your Spot! 280A2561.jpg

photos of Mèlisses and Andros by Renee Kemps

Coconut Cake

So this is thirty. Another year around the sun, another number added to my age.When I was younger, my 30th birthday appeared so far away. The only experience with 30th birthdays I …

IMG_9586-2.jpg

So this is thirty. Another year around the sun, another number added to my age.

When I was younger, my 30th birthday appeared so far away. The only experience with 30th birthdays I had to rely on was a Friends episode—"The One Where They All Turn Thirty." As the show flashbacked with vingettes of everyone's milestone birthday, I falsely assumed that as I aged I would have as many regrets and crying episodes as the characters.

But, at thirty years old today, I feel right. I feel none of the anxiety and distress as I did on my 25th birthday when I despaired that my childhood was over. There have been no tears, crises, or wishful holds onto my youth. Instead, I feel at peace with myself.

I'm finally at a place in my life where everything is coming together.

coconutcake1.jpg IMG_9594-2.jpg

It was a big year for me. After an exhausting home search, I moved into my dream house last June with Chris, my boyfriend of eight years. Almost a year later, we've added our own personality to the space (though there are still many projects left to go). Even though I resisted it for many years, it feels good to put down roots.

I'm wrapping up my third year at my current high school as a science teacher. Although the change to pursue teaching instead of baking was an unexpected turn in my life, these students have created a place in my heart. I cannot imagine I will ever tire of watching them learn and grow as young adults during the time we have together.

And, because I don't have enough on my plate, I also thought it was a good idea to take 18 graduate credits this spring on top of working a full-time job and blogging. News flash: It was a terrible idea, but I survived. Who enjoys free time anyway? Not me, apparently.

IMG_9598-2.jpg

This past year I also fell back in love with baking. I've had mixed feelings about baking and blogging the last few years, finding the responsibility exciting one day and like a chore the next. After realizing that I was holding myself to impractical standards (that were not right for me anyway), I loosened the expectations I had for myself.

In this reinstated freedom, I rekindled a new love for a longtime hobby. 

The idea for this coconut cake has been in my head for years. I held myself back, though, waiting until I felt an occasion was "special" enough to turn it from dream into reality. Eventually I realized that this line of thinking was ridiculous—why was I stopping myself from enjoying a cake infused with one of my favorite flavors?

This coconut cake features coconut in every component. The cake is made with coconut oil, coconut milk, and coconut extract for an added touch. Covered in coconut whipped cream and sprinkled with toasted coconut, the cake is truly a coconut lover's dream. I enjoy the cake with an extra dollop of whipped cream and a handful of berries on top every slice. I recommend you do the same.

Cheers to another year, my friends. May we enjoy growing older as much as we enjoy eating cake!

IMG_9633-2.jpg

This Coconut Cake starts with a coconut infused batter. The cake itself falls on the denser side of the spectrum, but stays fresh and moist. Topped with coconut whipped cream and toasted coconut flakes, the cake is ready to be served. Enjoy with an extra dollop of whipped cream and a handful of fresh berries.

One Year Ago: Rhubarb Almond Cake
Two Years Ago: Chocolate Banana Baked French Toast
Three Years Ago: Perfect Pie Crust (Tutorial) & Berry Balsamic Pie
Four Years Ago: Roasted Strawberry Red Wine Popsicles & Berry Topped Angel Food Cake
Five Years Ago: Strawberry Charlotte, Fresh Strawberry Cake, Whole Wheat WafflesChocolate Hazelnut Banana Bread, & White Chocolate Espresso Cake
Six Years Ago: Rhubarb Ginger Muffins, Coconut Waffles, Multigrain Bread, & Vanilla Cupcakes
Seven Years Ago: Pina Colada Cupcakes, Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade, & Roasted Cherry Brownies

Coconut Cake

Yields 12-16 servings

1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (180 mL) coconut oil
4 large eggs, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/2 cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (125 mL) canned coconut milk
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (150 mL) milk
Coconut Whipped Cream, for topping
1 cup (60 grams) toasted coconut flakes, for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Heavily grease and flour a 10-cup tube or bundt pan. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, coconut oil, 4 egg yolks, vanilla extract, coconut extract, salt, and baking powder until uniform. Alternate adding the flour, coconut milk, and milk, stirring after each addition until the batter is smooth and uniform in appearance. 

In a separate mixing bowl, beat the 4 remaining egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter just until uniform.

Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in pan for 15 minutes before unmolding and cooling completely.

Immediately before serving, top the cake with a layer of coconut whipped cream and toasted coconut flakes. Serve with an additional side of whipped cream and berries.

Refrigerate leftovers. Allow the cake to come to room temperature before serving for best texture.

The 3-Ingredient, Microwavable Treat That Got Me Through College

It was my senior year of college and my journalism professor had assigned us the fairly straightforward task of making a dish and writing about it. But I had a problem: I lived in a sorority house where an antiquated microwave, communal refrigerator, a…

It was my senior year of college and my journalism professor had assigned us the fairly straightforward task of making a dish and writing about it. But I had a problem: I lived in a sorority house where an antiquated microwave, communal refrigerator, and beat-up toaster comprised our entire kitchen.

I could have asked asked to borrow a friend’s stove or oven (or knives or measuring cups), but procrastination a jam-packed schedule left me no other option but to MacGyver a recipe I knew all too well: Oreo balls.

Read More >>

Chocolate (Strep) Cake with Raspberry Buttercream | Matt’s Birthday

Did you know that small children can be “carriers” of strep throat but not show any visible symptoms? Did you know that Matt is a very open person who shares water glasses with the kids and is ready to receive slobbery kisses on the mouth from them at …

Did you know that small children can be "carriers" of strep throat but not show any visible symptoms? Did you know that Matt is a very open person who shares water glasses with the kids and is ready to receive slobbery kisses on the mouth from them at a moment's notice? This is all true and it's also the perfect storm to get strep throat three times in the span of five months. After Matt got it the second time, my mom mentioned the whole "they could be carriers" thing. I took the kids to the pediatricians and found out that yes, they both "had" strep. Point being, when it came time to decorate this cake (in the style of Wolfie of course) those cherry Ricolas felt juuuuuust right in celebrating Matt's year. (The plastic bug thing was Teddy's idea.)
As is the family tradition, when it's your birthday you get to pick what kind of cake you want made for you by me. Matt is typically a vanilla cake and vanilla buttercream kind of guy, but because Teddy's chocolate birthday cake was so delicious, he decided to go for this chocolate/raspberry combo. I used two different recipes: the cake is Lori's Chocolate Midnight Cake via Samin Nosrat. And the icing is from Yossy Arefi's Sweeter Off the Vine.
Isaac wasn't thrilled about the idea of waiting to eat the cake.
I don't think I've ever a made a buttercream the way this recipe instructed me to do it: you whip egg whites and sugar together in a heatproof bowl over simmering water until the sugar is completey dissolved and the mixture syrupy. Then, you whisk it, via an electric mixer, for 7 to 10 minutes, until it's super glossy and can form stiff peaks. Then, once it's at room temperature, you switch to the paddle attachment and add two whole cups of butter, one tablespoon at a time. (Teddy helped me at this stage, plopping each tablespoon in with his buttery fingers.)
The result is superb. It doesn't have that shocking sweetness of frosting made with powdered sugar. And when you get a bite of cake, fresh berry, and buttercream, it tastes like a richly flavored, multi-textured trifle. I like it a lot.  

For those of you who have tuned into Mom Rage, thank you so much! (We fixed an audio glitch so along with some great interviews with fellow parents, in two or three more weeks, you can look forward to some super clean, crisp audio too.)
In short, happy birthday, Matt! May this year bring you joy aaaaaannd far less strep! xoxxo

For chocolate cake recipe, go here:
Raspberry Buttercream via Yossy Arefi's Sweeter Off the Vine

8 ounces (225 grams) raspberries + another 8 ounces for the top of the cake
5 large egg whites
1 1/4 cup (250g) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
2 cups (450g) unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into tablespoon-size pieces

Use an immersion blender or potato masher to puree the raspberries, then pass the puree through a fine mesh sieve. Discard the seeds (or feed them to a four-year-old kid who is helping you).

In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large heat-safe bowl, whisk the egg whites and sugar together. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, ensuring that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water, but rests just above it. Cook the egg whites and sugar, whisking often, until the sugar dissolves and the egg whites are syrupy and very hot to the touch. 

Remove the egg whites from the double boiler and, with the whisk attachment, whip on high speed until stiff glossy peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the salt. Switch to the paddle attachment and turn the mixer down to medium low. Slowly add the butter to the meringue, tablespoon by tablespoon. During this step, it is likely that the frosting will "break," and you will think you have messed up. You didn't! All you have to do is turn up the speed on the mixer for a few seconds and the buttercream will come back together.

After all the butter has been incorporated and the buttercream is smooth and fluffy, very slowly stream in the raspberry puree and mix until well combined. 

Hot Dog Rice Bowl + Mom Rage!

I wanted to make something special for you to officially announce the launch of my brand new podcast: Mom Rage. I was thinking about something akin to a Mom Rage Pie or Mom Rage brownies. I dunno. It didn’t happen! What you get instead is the above Hot…

I wanted to make something special for you to officially announce the launch of my brand new podcast: Mom Rage. I was thinking about something akin to a Mom Rage Pie or Mom Rage brownies. I dunno. It didn't happen! What you get instead is the above Hot Dog Rice Bowl™. It's kind of an LOL, but also pretty delicious. It's a version of a typical weekday meal for us. Instead of hot dogs, I usually serve it with roasted garbanzo beans and a fried egg or two. If we're going to add hot dogs, I prefer the turkey variety, but alas, they were out of those at the grocery store, so what you see here is a mix of chicken and all-beef hot dogs atop basmati rice with a delicious salad (Kenter Canyon Farms winter greens, cucumbers, goat cheese, and a lemon juice and olive oil dressing). We always serve this kind of bowl with whole-milk yogurt and chili-garlic sauce. Bon appétit, guys! (Looking very forward to this post kicking off a major hot-dog rice bowl trend. You saw it here first!) 

OK, and now introducing: Mom Rage


I hope you'll listen. It's a passion project for me and my friend and co-host, Edan Lepucki. Our goal is to expand the conversation about motherhood. We're approaching this by talking honestly about our own lives as well as talking to other parents. In my more ambitious moments, I like to think about it as a podcast version of Stud Terkel's Working. I've also taken to riffing on a line from Women who Run with the Wolves. The line is: "Every woman is entitled to an Allelujia Chorus." And what I've been saying to Matt is: "Every woman is entitled to an interview on Mom Rage!" 

Here are the first two episodes! You can listen here or wherever you get your podcasts.






Please also note that the fanastic theme song is by Matt, Teddy, and Isaac.

Let's rage!
xoxx

Vegan White Chocolate Rhubarb Ripple Ice Cream

vegan rhubarb ripple (4 of 7).jpg vegan rhubarb ripple (1 of 7).jpg

Don't you love the way rhubarb ripple sounds? Vegan ice cream is a tricky beast. A lot of them rely on coconut milk and oil, which makes every flavor taste, well, like coconut. Except, there is a Van Leeuwen ice cream near my apartment and their vegan flavors never taste too coconutty – unless they are meant to. So I did a little (very little) sleuthing to figure out their secret. Turns out they have a cookbook and their secret is a combination of cashews for chew and cocoa butter and coconut for richness. The combination is not entirely neutral in flavor, you can still taste the individual componenets if you think about it, but the texture is amazingly smooth and rich. I decided to play up the cocoa butter (white chocolate!) flavor in this recipe which pairs beautifully with rhubarb and makes a delightfully springy plant based treat.  


There are a couple of spots left in my Fall Paris Workshop with Olaiya Land! We and I had such a long waitlist for our Paris workshop this Spring (thank you!) that we added another workshop this September 20-24. The format will be pretty much the same as the Spring version - think lots of pastry, delicious wine and cheese, market visits, prop shopping, and some solid photo, styling, and editing lessons in the city of light. This trip is for anyone looking to build their photography and styling skills (all levels welcome) and enjoy lots of beautiful food in one of the most amazing cities in the world. I am so excited to explore Paris in the fall, I am dreaming of the markets already! 

Details this way!

White Chocolate Rhubarb Ripple Ice Cream (Vegan)

makes about 1 quart

ice cream base adapted from Van Leeuwen Ice Cream

The key to the texture of this ice cream is to make sure the mixture is completely smooth and emulsified at every step so don't skip on the blending steps. Also, the ice cream base is wonderful on its own or with a bit of chopped chocolate folded in. 

Roasted Rhubarb Compote

1/2 (225g) pound thin rhubarb stalks

1/2 cup (50g) granulated sugar

juice of 1/2 lemon

Vegan White Chocolate Ice Cream

1/2 cup (75g) raw, unsalted cashews

1 cup (200g) granulated sugar

1/2 cup (100g) cocoa butter

3 tablespoons coconut oil

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/4 cups full fat coconut milk

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

For the compote

Heat oven to 375ºF.

Slice the rhubarb into 2-3 inch lengths. Toss it in a baking dish with the sugar, and lemon juice. Roast until soft and juicy. Blend until smooth. Cool completely before using in the ice cream. It should be thick and jammy, if it seems liquidy cook it on the stovetop for a few minutes over medium heat to reduce.

For the ice cream

Cover the cashews with water and let soak overnight. Drain and rinse the cashews then add them to a blender with 1/2 cup water. Puree until completely smooth.

Combine the sugar with 1/4 cup water and cook over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat then whisk in the cocoa butter, coconut oil, and salt until melted and smooth.

Add the sugar mixture, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean seeds into the blender and puree until smooth. Refrigerate until cooled completely then churn in an ice cream machine according to manufacturers instructions. Spoon 1/3 of the ice cream mixture into a freezer safe container, dollop 2 tablespoons of the rhubarb compote over the top and swirl with a knife, repeat with more ice cream and rhubarb until you have used all of the ice cream. You will have some rhubarb compote left over. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

vegan rhubarb ripple (5 of 7).jpg

Bury Me in Nam Phrik: Mike Sula’s Exploration of Thai Relishes (Plus Salted Soybean-Pork Rind Relish Recipe)

Around this time last year, I met with some of my friends who are part of Dill Magazine to talk about something I had wanted to see for a long time: a story on Thai relishes, nam phrik. These dishes form the most significant segment of Thai cuisine, bu…

Around this time last year, I met with some of my friends who are part of Dill Magazine to talk about something I had wanted to see for a long time: a story on Thai relishes, nam phrik. These dishes form the most significant segment of Thai cuisine, but they’re the least understood and the […] The post Bury Me in Nam Phrik: Mike Sula’s Exploration of Thai Relishes (Plus Salted Soybean-Pork Rind Relish Recipe) appeared first on SheSimmers.

....