Alex is graduating next week! (I really should have put a question mark on that sentence, because I truly can’t believe it.) I’m so proud of her. And I can’t wait for her to come back home and live with me forever! In my dreams…she actually has a job and is moving to […]
Alex is graduating next week! (I really should have put a question mark on that sentence, because I truly can’t believe it.)
I’m so proud of her. And I can’t wait for her to come back home and live with me forever!
In my dreams…she actually has a job and is moving to Dallas later this summer.
(But that’s closer to me than college was!)
News from Pawhuska: We are opening a little ice cream place in town later this week. It will have cones and sundaes and fun candy, and Bryce and his friend Kevin were happy to volunteer as tribute (tasters) last week.
They’re so self sacrificing!
These are the bare bones of the ice cream place: We basically painted the brick white, had the bench built in, added pendant lights, and brought in some tables. We have a little more work to do this week (we’ll paint some fun murals on the wall) but we’re almost there!
(I’ll tell you what we’re calling it later this week.)
(It might make you cry.)
I finished all the recipes for my new cookbook, The New Frontier!
It won’t be out until October and I still have a lot of editing to do, but to have all the recipes finished and written is a great feeling.
I’m ending with this photo of Ladd and me because I sure do like him.
Dips are my favourite food group. Yes, food group. If I ever got a tattoo, it would probably say something like: “pass the hummus”. I was recently hosting a party-for-no-reason, and like most of my get togethers they involve a lot of food. […]
Dips are my favourite food group. Yes, food group. If I ever got a tattoo, it would probably say something like: “pass the hummus”.
I was recently hosting a party-for-no-reason, and like most of my get togethers they involve a lot of food. But I didn’t feel like making a fallback dip, like tzatziki, or baba ganoush. No. I felt like leveling up and creating something I hadn’t tried to before. Something with BIG DIP ENERGY – a chunky, spicy, creamy, and above all impressive layer dip. I’d cooked pinto beans the night before, had a little tin of chipotle chilies kicking around the pantry, and I knew that if I cut a couple corners, this thing would come together so I’d still have time to tizz myself up before the guests arrived.
My childhood memories of layer dip involve many cans and jars of processed food being dumped into a large bowl, but the current-reality-holistic-nutritionist version definitely involves making every single one of those things from scratch. Mama don’t have time for that! So I simplified things by cutting out the guacamole (don’t yell at me like that – add it if you want to!), and using jarred salsa. Everything else was homemade, but came together quickly and easily.
First, I sautéed the pre-cooked pinto beans with onions, garlic, spices, and the chipotle peppers. While that was on the stove, I whipped up the hemp seed “queso” (no soaking required!). And the salsa got an upgrade with some fresh, chopped cherry tomatoes. This is such an easy hack btw, since it makes the salsa taste more alive and juicy, while giving it a lot more texture, which I personally dig. All it takes after that is mushing the beans up a bit in the pan, which you can do with a bean masher, or an immersion blender, if you don’t want to haul out yet another large piece of equipment. Then layer away! All in all, this took me about 20 minutes, start to finish, and the party people hung around this bowl like it was the last dip on planet earth.
The delicious, creamy “cheese” sauce is a riff off my cashew queso, but in the interest of keeping this allergen-free, I used hemp seeds instead. I love this change-up, since it’s less expensive, and contains way more omega-3 fats and protein. You can dial up the heat here if you like, but because both the salsa and the bean layer have quite a kick to them, I kept the queso pretty mild. Did I mention that this is delicious on its own next to a platter of veggie sticks?! Or chips. Let’s be honest.
Pinto Bean Dreams
Just look at those beautiful beans! Don’t they look gorgeous in all of their tone-on-tone mottled-ness? “Pinto” actually means “painted” in Spanish, and when you take a close look at pinto beans you can clearly see how they’ve earned their moniker. Their speckles fade when cooking, and turn a lovely pale pink colour. They also gain a super creamy interior that is perfect in soups and stews, but also dips.
Pintos, like all beans, are a mixture of protein and complex carbohydrates, making them incredibly filling, but won’t spike blood sugar levels. Pinto beans are low in calories and fat, but contain the highest amount of fiber out of all the legumes (wow!). Key nutrients in pinto beans include potassium to maintain normal blood pressure, calcium for supporting muscle and nerve function, iron to enhance oxygen transport, and zinc for skin health.
Like all beans, pintos can cause an increase in intestinal gas (burps! farts! abdominal discomfort!), due to the oligosaccharides in the beans fermenting in the lower intestine. Because these starchy molecules live in the skin of the beans, a simple soak in water overnight usually does the trick. The soaking process will help leach out many of these fermenting properties, which is why it is so important to discard the soaking water and then boil them in fresh water. Adding a strip of kombu seaweed to the pot will further help to reduce the gas-producing potential of pinto beans (and all legumes), acting like a sponge to absorb those raffinose sugar toot culprits. Try these two tricks to reduce your toilet tunes, and stay social!
I used a clear glass bowl to serve the dip in so that they layers are visible, and it was not until after pouring in two layers did I have the idea to put cilantro stems up on the sides of it. Doh! But knowing it would be #worthit, I painstakingly scooped out the beans and salsa trying to keep everything separate, cleaned the bowl, and started over. I lightly brushed the tiniest amount of olive oil on the leaves to act as glue, then pressed them to the walls of bowl. This is completely unnecessary, but it makes the dip look less monotone and more enticing in my opinion – green always does it! This step takes an extra two minutes and adds a decorative touch, but it’s your call. Maybe you need those two minutes to tizz yourself up?
If you want to change up the recipe, try using black beans or kidney beans in place of the pintos. If you want to add another layer to this already boss situation, go on and add the guac! I was just trying to keep things a little easier for ya’ll. And if you’d like to make your own salsa, I have a stellar raw recipe right here.
Lastly, I want to add that my bowl for this was roughly 1½ quarts / litres capacity, and everything it fit perfectly. I would only suggest sizing up if you don’t have this exact container size.
Legendary Layer Bean Dip Serves 8-10
Ingredients: 1 Tbsp. coconut oil (or ghee) 1 medium yellow onion, diced ½ tsp. fine sea salt 1 clove garlic, minced 2 tsp. ground cumin 1 tsp. dried Mexican oregano (substitute with regular oregano) ½ tsp. ground sweet paprika 3 cups / 500g cooked pinto beans (about 2 cans) ½ can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (use more or less to suit your taste) water as needed
1 small bunch cilantro, washed and dried 1 pint / 280g cherry tomatoes, divided 1 green onion, sliced (white and green part) 1 small jar (15.5 oz. / 415ml) store bought salsa, mild medium or hot, depending on your tastes
1 cup / 145g hulled hemp seeds 1 medium red bell pepper, seeds removed and roughly chopped ½ tsp. fine sea salt 3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast 2-3 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste ½ clove garlic 1 small piece fresh turmeric, chopped (substitute with ½ tsp. dried) ground cayenne, to taste 3 Tbsp. water, if needed
Directions: 1. Melt oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, salt, and stir to combine. Cook until lightly caramelized (about 10 minutes), then add the garlic and cook for a couple minutes until fragrant. Stir in cumin, oregano and paprika, cook for 2 minutes, then add the beans and chipotles in adobo (use as much or as little as you like). Cover and cook on low heat while you make the queso. If the pot becomes dry, add a little water and stir.
2. To make the queso, put all ingredients, except water, in a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. If needed, add water one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. If you want a thick cream, use less water, for a thinner sauce, use more. (You will not achieve a perfectly smooth sauce with a food processor, but it is still delicious!).
3. Slice the cherry tomatoes into quarters. Add half of them to the salsa and stir to combine. Save the other half for later.
4. Smash the beans with a bean masher, potato masher, immersion blender, or put them into your high-speed blender (remove the queso first, but don’t worry about cleaning it). The goal is to get the beans creamy, but not perfectly smooth. Add water if necessary, and season to taste.
5. Pick out a few stems of the most attractive cilantro, brush them with a little olive oil and stick them to the inside wall of the bowl (this step is optional). Chop the remaining cilantro and set aside.
6. Combine the remaining cherry tomatoes and combine them with the sliced spring onion. Sprinkle with a little salt, and fold to combine.
7. To assemble the dip, Spread the bean layer in the bottom first, followed by the salsa and finally the hemp queso. Top with the chopped cilantro, and finally the fresh tomato mix. Serve with whatever you like to dip! Party on!
Hope you’re all doing well out there. If you are experiencing any semblance of Spring weather where you are, please send some my way. K thanks. Happy dipping!
When I was writing the proposal for my second cookbook, one of the first recipes I’d made for it was a Thai green pea soup. This recipe is kind of a riff on that but instead has broccoli soup as its base with lots of extras thrown in. The peas and broccoli take so little time to cook, this is a definite weeknight-friendly dinner to make. The flavour is gentle here, with coconut milk and coriander (cilantro to those in the US) plus a bit of ginger for a slight ‘curry’ flavour. I used miso for the salty savouryness but it isn’t strong. I added frozen peas in here too which are a) super easy for adding bulk to a meal and b) naturally sweet so lift up the flavour of the whole broccoli soup. When it comes to soup, I’m ALLL about the extras on top (…as you may have noticed by this broccoli soup recipe). Here I baked some smoked tofu with soy sauce for a salty, smoky hit, almost like bacon, to sprinkle on. I added crispy onions too (inspired by this Donna Hay recipe) which are SO delicious here – they’re sweet and crispy and definitely […]
When I was writing the proposal for my second cookbook, one of the first recipes I’d made for it was a Thai green pea soup. This recipe is kind of a riff on that but instead has broccoli soup as its base with lots of extras thrown in. The peas and broccoli take so little time to cook, this is a definite weeknight-friendly dinner to make.
The flavour is gentle here, with coconut milk and coriander (cilantro to those in the US) plus a bit of ginger for a slight ‘curry’ flavour. I used miso for the salty savouryness but it isn’t strong. I added frozen peas in here too which are a) super easy for adding bulk to a meal and b) naturally sweet so lift up the flavour of the whole broccoli soup.
When it comes to soup, I’m ALLL about the extras on top (…as you may have noticed by this broccoli soup recipe). Here I baked some smoked tofu with soy sauce for a salty, smoky hit, almost like bacon, to sprinkle on. I added crispy onions too (inspired by this Donna Hay recipe) which are SO delicious here – they’re sweet and crispy and definitely worth the effort of making them. You should also be able to find big bags of crispy shallots/onions in Asian supermarkets which make things even easier.
What should I do with leftover broccoli soup?
When I’ve made this for our dinner, we usually have enough soup leftover for lunch or dinner the next day. If you feel like freshening up those leftovers, the soup works great as a base for a Thai green curry – fry off some Thai green curry paste in a pot, stir in the leftover soup, add some veg (carrot coins, pepper chunks, sugar snap peas etc) and simmer covered until soft. Then just serve it up with rice for a delicious dinner!
Broccoli Soup with Coconut, Coriander & Noodles
Yield: serves 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
For the soup:
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large white onion, roughly diced
1 tbsp finely grated ginger
500g (1 lb) broccoli
1 (400ml / 14 ounce) can coconut milk
250ml (1 cup) water
260g (2 cups) frozen peas
30g coriander (cilantro), leaves and stalks, roughly chopped
2 tbsp dark miso (or soy sauce)
For the tofu:
225g (8 ounces) firm tofu (I like smoked tofu here)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
300g dried udon noodles
a handful of storebought crispy fried onions (or see recipe below for homemade crispy onions)
1 lime, quartered, to serve
Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring often until softened and starting to brown.
Add the ginger to the pot and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.
Finely chop the broccoli and add to the pot along with the coconut milk and water. Bring to a simmer, turn the heat down to low and cover the pot with a lid. Let the broccoli cook for 5-6 minutes until completely soft.
Add the peas to the pan and stir through until defrosted.
Remove from the heat and add the coriander and miso. Blend the soup until smooth - either using a hand blender straight in the pot, or by pouring the contents of the pot into a free standing blender. If needed, thin with a little more water and season with salt to taste (the miso added enough salt for my taste)
For the tofu:
Drain the water from tofu packet and wrap the tofu in a couple of layers of paper towel. Set on a cutting board with another board on top. Place something heavy on top (I usually use a stack of cookbooks!). Leave to drain for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan / 350°F). Cut the tofu into ~1 cm chunks. Toss onto a baking tray with the vegetable oil and soy sauce to coat.
Bake for 15 minutes until crisp around the edges.
Cook the noodles according to the package, then drain, rinse with cold water and set aside in a bowl of cold water until needed.
Ladle the warm soup into 4 bowls. Divide the noodles between the bowls and top with the crispy onions and tofu. Serve with a lime wedge for squeezing over.
If your blender isn't that powerful I'd advise that you peel your broccoli stalk and cut off the very base of it. Otherwise you may end up with stringy bits of broccoli in your soup!
If you have Thai green curry paste sitting in your fridge/freezer, feel free to throw a tablespoon or two of that into the pot as you cook the ginger at the start. It'll add a good punch of flavour!
You can also serve this without the noodles/tofu if you want a lighter meal. It's nice to sprinkle a few defrosted peas on top of the soup for added texture if you do this.
Homemade Crispy Fried Onions
Yield: 1 cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
1 white onion, peeled, thinly sliced (I use a mandoline)
1 tbsp white rice flour or plain flour
4 tbsp vegetable oil
Toss the thinly sliced onion with the flour in a bowl until all coated.
Heat the vegetable oil in a small pot or frying pan over a medium heat. Once hot, add the sliced onion - you will probably have to work in batches so you don't overfill the pot.
Leave to fry, stirring occasionally - the oil will bubble up, the bubbles will recede and the onions will start to turn brown. Once they are all mostly brown, remove from the oil with kitchen tongs to a plate lined with paper towel to drain.
Repeat to fry all the onions.
Store excess, cooled, fried onions in a lidded container in the freezer.
Have you made this recipe? I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!
We are still in a bit of an in between produce season, but the weather is warming up and the sun is out so I am craving fresh fruit desserts like it’s my job. I guess it kind of is…
We are still in a bit of an in between produce season, but the weather is warming up and the sun is out so I am craving fresh fruit desserts like it’s my job. I guess it kind of is my job…I love to make desserts like this pavlova because it is fairly low lift and aside from a low, slow bake in the oven for the meringue (which you can make the day before if it’s not too humid where you live) everything comes together in a few minutes.
The tart crushed raspberries provide some nice sauciness here and contrast well with sweet strawberries and the crisp, pillowy meringue. Make sure to use the best strawberries you can find for this dessert, and adjust the sugar to your personal tastes. In NYC we get some really nice organic berries from California but they are $$ so you may just want to bookmark this until they are in season locally where you live. The mini mint leaves are also totally optional, but they do add a nice freshness and beautiful pop of contrasting color.
Crushed Raspberry and Strawberry Pavlova
Crisp and chewy meringue, pillowy whipped cream, and sweet-tart berries are combined to make this super springy, and fairly simple dessert. Assemble just before serving for the best textural experience as the meringue will weep and melt as it sits.
4 large egg whites
1 cup (200g) superfine sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 pound of the best strawberries you can find
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
To make the meringue: Preheat the oven to 250ºF (130ºC/Gas Mark 1/2). Trace an 8-inch (20cm) circle onto a piece of parchment paper and flip it upside down on a baking sheet.
Stir the cornstarch and sugar together in a small bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a handheld electric mixer in a large bowl, beat the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer running, slowly add the sugar mixture about one tablespoon at a time until you have added all of the sugar and the egg whites are stiff and glossy about 7 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and vinegar and mix for 30 more seconds.
Dollop the meringue onto the prepared baking sheet and use an offset spatula to spread it evenly to the edges of the traced circle. Make a shallow indent in the center of the meringue which will hold all of the delicious toppings. Bake the meringue for 1-1 1/2 hours or until the outside looks dry and slightly creamy in color. Turn off the oven and prop the door ajar with a wooden spoon. Let the meringue cool completely in the oven. It should feel firm and crackly when you press it, but will be soft and marshmallowy in the center. When cooled, you should be able to gently peel it off of the parchment paper and place it on a serving platter or cake stand.
To make the topping: Slice the strawberries in half if they are small, quarters if they are large. Combine the raspberries, sugar, vanilla bean seeds and a pinch of salt in a large bowl and crush the berries with a fork. Gently stir in the strawberries and let the fruit macerate for a few minutes. Taste and add a bit more sugar if desired, keeping in mind that the meringue will be quite sweet.
Whip the cream and sugar together to soft peaks. Top the cooled meringue with the whipped heavy cream, followed by the berries. Sprinkle mint leaves over the top and serve immediately.
I am so curious to see what our opinions are re: matzo after Passover is over this year because since last year’s Passover, we have basically kept the itsy bitsy Kosher section of our grocery store in business with our aggressive year-round matzo eating habit. I ate an insane amount of it while I was pregnant, with peanut butter and jelly, with Kewpie mayo and sliced cheese, and in extra shallot-y matzo brei covered in ketchup. Matzo was my go-to 3am snack, in bed. I am pretty sure Bernie is 1/3 made of matzo. Eating matzo is different when you have the option to eat bread though, right? Which is why we never got sick of it. This week without the option though, I’m afraid we’ll get sick of it and I’ll have to find another easy 3am snack. What a dramatic life we lead!
When it came to baby meal prep, I was told over and over to make lasagna! So a matzo lasagna, one big enough to provide enough leftovers for a few good days, was an obvious choice for Passover. And I wanted to make sure it was veggie packed, so I converted my spring vegetable quinoa hotdish in Molly on the Range to a freezer-friendly layered situation. The matzo pieces get nice and soft with the white sauce, and the flavors of leeks, chives, ricotta, and peas whisper spring! Even though it’s totally loaded up with cheese and milk, the ricotta and bright flavors add a nice sense of airiness. And there’s layers upon layers of spinach in this. So go ahead, have seconds!
Thanks to Our Family for partnering on this post and providing all of the cheese for this delicious Passover supper!
Spring Veggie White Matzo Lasagna
Makes one 9” x 13” casserole
1/4 c (57g) unsalted butter
2 large leeks, chopped
4 scallions or ramps, chopped, white and green parts separated
If planning to bake immediately, preheat the oven to 350ºf. If prepping ahead, see directions below.
To make the sauce, in a large pot, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the leeks, the white parts of the scallions or ramps, and a pinch of salt and cook until softened, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, and then stir in the matzo meal and cook for another minute. Add the milk, one cup at a time, stirring until thickened after each. Add the vegetable stock and continue to stir until thickened. Stir in the green parts of the scallions or ramps, the chives (reserving a small handful for the topping), peas, nutmeg, onion powder, a few turns of black pepper, hot sauce, and salt to taste. Remove from heat.
To make the filling, in a medium bowl, mix together the egg, ricotta, 1/2 cup of the parmesan, 1 1/2 cups of the mozzarella, and the salt.
To assemble, spread 1/2 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a 9” x 13” casserole pan (see specifics below on type of pan you should use if you’re planning to freeze). Layer in the following: 2 sheets of matzo, a third of the cheese filling dolloped all over, 1 cup of spinach, a layer of sauce, 2 sheets of matzo, another third of the cheese filling, 1 cup of spinach, a layer of sauce, 2 sheets of matzo, the remaining cheese filling, 1 cup of spinach, remaining sauce, and then sprinkle the top with the remaining 3 sheets of matzo broken into pieces, and the reserved parmesan, mozzarella, chives, and a few turns of pepper.
Bake, covered with foil, for 45 minutes, and then for an additional 15 minutes uncovered, or until golden brown on top. Enjoy!
To freeze: I’d recommend using a foil pan that you can place directly in the oven from the freezer. Otherwise, you can use glass or enameled cast iron pan, but it would be best to defrost it in the fridge overnight before baking to avoid cracking the pan. Once the lasagna is assembled, let it cool slightly and wrap in plastic wrap or foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, bake at 350ºf covered in foil for 1 hour 30 minutes, and then uncovered for an additional 15-30 minutes, or until golden brown on top and heated through. Enjoy!
Frozen cookie dough is an essential part of baby meal prep!!!! And just because Passover is around the corner doesn’t make this any different. Well, it actually kind of makes it easier because these cookies are, like, stupidly simple to make. One-bowl, three-minute simple. Remember this Passover cookie cake from a few years ago? Magic, right?! So chewy, delicious, and satisfying, and easy enough that some people asked if there was a typo and if there should have been more steps (no typo!). So these chocolate chip cookies are just hand-held versions of that cake that kind of take on a new life of their own because when they’re in this smaller shape and rolled in sugar, they get a crisp crunchy shell but stay so amazingly chewy inside. And also, you can keep this dough in the freezer and bake off only one or two cookies at a time as needed, so the convenience is real. And the flavor is awesome too, thanks to a tasty nut flour base. If you’d like to change things up and add dried fruit or M&M’s or other candy or chopped nuts, you can totally do that with these. Happy almost Passover!
Passover Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 c (112g) almond flour
1 c (112g) hazelnut flour, or 1 more cup almond flour
1/2 c (100g) lightly packed light brown sugar
1/2 c (100g) sugar
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 large egg
1 tb vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
3 oz chopped chocolate or chocolate chips (any kind!)
Coarse sanding sugar or turbinado sugar
If baking immediately, preheat the oven to 350ºf. If preparing for the freezer, see below for directions. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set it aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugars, and salt. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond and stir to combine and then stir in the chocolate. The whole mixture might seem dry at first, but keep on stirring and it will come together. Roll balls that are slightly larger than golf balls and roll them in sanding sugar. Flatten them slightly and then place them on the baking sheet, 1” apart.
If baking immediately, bake for 15 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom. Let cool slightly and enjoy! They will be super gooey when they come out of the oven but they will get chewy as they cool.
If preparing to freeze, stick the baking sheet in the freezer until the dough is frozen, about an hour or so, and then transfer to a ziploc bag. Label and freeze for up to 3 months. Bake cookies 1” apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment at 350ºf for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottom. Let cool slightly and enjoy! They will be super gooey when they come out of the oven but they will get chewy as they cool.
Because winter was especially long, spring burning happened a little late this year…but boy, did it happen! A consolation for not being able to start burning until April, however, is that the wind has been so favorable to burning. With the exception of a couple of days they had to abstain due to the wind […]
Because winter was especially long, spring burning happened a little late this year…but boy, did it happen! A consolation for not being able to start burning until April, however, is that the wind has been so favorable to burning. With the exception of a couple of days they had to abstain due to the wind being strong enough to make my face ripple in a slow-motion video (which is precisely why I do not participate in any slow-motion videos), most of the days have seen gentle breezes…ahhhh. Oklahoma, we are loving you right now!
I was at the Lodge the other day when Ladd was burning, and the fire skirted up against the north side of the house. This isn’t the first time this has happened; it goes all the way back to when Ladd and I were dating, and he and his dad and brother burned around the Lodge just before a Drummond family cookout began. I watched as the fire got closer and closer, and before I knew it, the flames were all the way under the (then old and rickety) wood deck. My mother-in-law Nan and her mom, Edna Mae, started filling stock pots in the kitchen and pouring water through the wood slats as the guys manned the fire truck and attacked it from the other direction. I joined in, filling whatever vessels I could find, running out on the deck to try to douse it. The fire ultimately went out, and we all sat down to eat.
I had only one question: “Does this happen a lot?”
Everyone laughed. (I’m still waiting for the answer.)
I posted this on Instagram and Facebook, but wanted to let you know about my partnership with Purina to create a line of all natural dog treats! I’m very proud of the treats, and I’m very proud of all my doggies, who have been rock stars during Purina’s visits to the ranch. (It helps that they love the treats!) Nice lip lick, Walter!
Our good friends’ daughter got married a couple of weeks ago. I’ve noticed that most of the selfies of Ladd and me are when we have both showered and dressed up. And showered. Ha.
Bryce went to his first prom Saturday night. He’s just a sophomore, so he still has a couple more ahead. He has a great group of friends in Pawhuska! Also, this was funny: I posted this photo on Instagram Sunday and pointed out that Bryce is the Anthony Michael Hall lookalike in the back. A keen reader pointed out that Sunday happened to be Anthony Michael Hall’s birthday! What are the chances? I feel this has some spiritual relevance somehow, given my obsession with 80’s movies.
April sunrises have been remarkable! And very pink! I’m trying to breathe them all in, despite my calendar in April, which is probably a world record for me in terms of the number of things going on in the world around me. Finishing my new cookbook, filming new Food Network shows, working on a new project for this website (I think you will like it!!), getting ready for Alex’s graduation, and various other kid, husband, animal, and family things coming over the next several weeks! It’s a busy time of year…but the sunrises will get me through.
I hope you’re all having a good spring so far, and I hope you’re breathing in the sunrises! (Or sunsets, depending on your sleep schedule!)
I’ve been preparing for this year’s Passover for months now. Ever since I realized that Passover would be Bernie’s first major holiday, I’ve had so man…
I’ve been preparing for this year’s Passover for months now. Ever since I realized that Passover would be Bernie’s first major holiday, I’ve had so many things going through my mind. This is our first holiday as a little family! It’s going to be the best thing ever! I’m going to cry so much!!!!!! Literally I can’t even imagine explaining the bitter herbs to Bernie without tearing up. And carrying her around while searching for the afikoman?? I’m weeping. The food, I realized, would have to be delicious and memorable but mostly prep-aheadable. In my freezer I have balls of Passover chocolate chip cookie dough and a white matzo lasagna (recipes coming soon for both of these), as well as chicken stock that will hopefully see some matzo balls. My mom is planning to be here for Passover so I’m hoping that between the two of us and Eggboy, we’ll be able to both snuggle Bernie all day long and roll a matzo ball. And braise a brisket. Even though braises do really well in the freezer, I didn’t get around to braising one before she arrived. (Oh, this is what Mom guilt is!)
I did however make a bunch of these meatballs that I love for multiple reasons:
-The flavor is incredible, they taste sausage-y, thanks to a sprinkling of fennel seeds and a heavy hand with the herbs.
-There’s spinach hiding in them! Even though they’re warm and comforting, they’re on the more nutritious end of the spectrum when it comes to freezer foods.
-They’re great as a Passover dish or a non-Passover dish. They’re not like those foods that only really taste good on the sixth day of Passover when you have Passover goggles on.
-Eggboy is obsessed with meatballs. He is meatball boy.
-They freeze and reheat really easily. I store them in a ziploc bag, so they can smoosh in anywhere in the freezer, and then you can reheat them just by tossing them into red sauce or sticking them in the oven.
Here I’ve plated them up with some creamy tahini sauce (garlicky yogurt sauce is also nice) and a super bright and springy chimichurri. It’s a fun way to eat them for a pasta-less week or if you’re just looking for a filling side for an otherwise vegetable-centric meal. When it’s not Passover I’m definitely piling these high on top of pappardelle.
Turkey and Spinach Meatballs with Tahini and Chimichurri
Makes 22-24 meatballs
2 tb olive oil, plus more for cooking meatballs
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
8 oz fresh spinach, chopped
1 large egg
1/2 c (30g) matzo meal (or panko breadcrumbs)
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 lb ground turkey (93% lean)
1/4 c tahini
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 tb water
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 c (100g) olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 425ºf.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in a large oven-safe skillet. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook until soft, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and fennel and cook for another minute and then add the spinach in batches, stirring, until wilted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the egg, breadcrumbs, 1 teaspoon salt, a few turns of black pepper, the onion powder, cayenne, thyme, oregano, paprika, parsley, turkey, and the slightly cooled spinach mixture and use your hands to mix to combine.
Wipe out the skillet that was used to heat the spinach and then heat a thin layer of olive oil over medium high heat. Form the turkey mixture into golfball-sized balls and brown them on all sides, in 2 or 3 batches, being careful not to crowd the pan. Transfer the browned meatballs to a plate. Once all of the meatballs are browned, return them to the skillet and stick the skillet in the oven for 7-10 minutes, until they’re cooked through and have an internal temperature of 160ºf. To make the tahini sauce, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, and water until smooth and pourable. If it’s too thick, add a bit more water, if it’s runny, add more tahini. Season with salt and pepper.
To make the chimichurri, combine all ingredients in a food processor, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, and blend until smooth. If you don’t want to use a food processor, you can also chop the herbs and garlic finely by hand and mix with the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
To serve, spread a large dollop of tahini sauce on a plate or shallow bowl, top with meatballs and drizzle on the chimichurri to taste. Enjoy!
To freeze: cooked meatballs can be cooled and stored in a ziploc bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, place on a sheet pan and cover with foil. Bake at 350º for about 15-20 minutes, or until heated through. Prepared chimichurri can be frozen as well. Defrost at room temp or heat briefly in the microwave. I wouldn’t recommend freezing tahini sauce, but it’s super easy to whip up!