SPICED APPLE BREAKFAST CAKE WITH OAT STREUSEL

I'm definitely one for a savory breakfast (eggs, avocado toast, etc), but as soon as it starts to get cooler, I crave a sweet one now and then.  With apple season in full effect, I know a lot of us are trying to get rid of apples in as many recipes as possible.  This breakfast cake goes great with any fruit, but seasonal apples are a winner. It's perfectly sweet and nutty with the most delicious oat topping.  It's somewhere in between a light dessert and breakfast, but either way - I promise you'll enjoy it.

SPICED APPLE BREAKFAST CAKE WITH OAT STREUSEL (gluten-free)

3/4 cup almond flour or meal

1/4 cup cornmeal

2 tablespoons tapioca flour

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon sea salt

5 tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons almond milk

2 large apples (honeycrisp or granny smith, or your preference), peeled and cut into small cubes

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

freshly ground nutmeg to taste

TOPPING:

1/2 cup gluten-free oats

1/3 cup walnuts, chopped

1 taplespoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon butter

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Sprinkle of sea salt

Raw sugar, to top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Whisk together first six ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  In another mixing bowl, mix together butter, vanilla, eggs, almond milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and apples.  Slowly mix in the dry ingredients to the wet, adding a little at a time until all is well-combined without lumps.  

Pour cake batter into a greased 9x9 cake pan.  Chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.  In the meantime, combine oats, walnuts, maple syrup, cinnamon, butter and sea salt in a medium mixing bowl.  Using your hands, mix together mixture well until crumbly and well-combined. 

Top chilled cake with crumb topping, and sprinkle with flaky sea salt and raw sugar. then bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick stuck into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Cool for 20-25 minutes before serving.

GREEN CAULIFLOWER PIZZA WITH HEIRLOOM TOMATOES, PROSCIUTTO & PESTO

New work for EIDE's Cerebral Issue ( out now!) and a recipe for decadent green cauliflower pizza!

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GREEN CAULIFLOWER PIZZA WITH HEIRLOOM TOMATOES, PROSCIUTTO & PESTO (Gluten-free)

(Serves 4-6)

CAULIFLOWER "CRUST"

2lbs. cauliflower or about 3 cups roughly chopped

3/4 cup almond flour

1 tablespoons dried thyme

3 eggs, beaten

Sea salt to taste

Freshly ground pepper

PESTO:

3/4 cup pistachios

2 garlic cloves, smashed

2 cups basil

1/3 cup parmesan, grated

1 lemon juice + zest

Olive Oil until desired texture

TOPPINGS:

12 oz. heirloom cherry tomatoes, sliced

3 garlic cloves garlic, sliced

1 large ball mozzarella (about 12oz), sliced

3 oz. prosciutto

2 cups baby arugula

Shaved parmesan, for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a food processor, pulse cauliflower until pureed the size of rice.  Add to a large mixing bowl.  Use a paper towel to press cauliflower well and remove any moisture.  Then, add almond flour, thyme, sea salt and freshly ground pepper; mix.  Fold in beaten eggs until mixture is well combined. Refrigerate for 20 minutes

While crust is chilling, use the same (cleaned) food processor to make the pesto.  First add pistachios and garlic until fine. Pulse together basil, parmesan, lemon juice and zest until gritty.  Stream in olive oil while blending until pesto reaches desired consistency.  About 1/3-1/2 cup.

Once crust has chilled, add to a parchment-lined (and greased!) baking sheet using your hands to shape. Make sure to form a crust!

Parbake your crust for 25 minutes. Then, remove from oven and begin adding toppings.  First layer sliced garlic along the bottom of the crust.  Then, cover with sliced mozzarella slabs and a thick layer of pistachio pesto.  Top with cherry tomatoes. 

Bake for 7-9 minutes or until cheese has melted completely.  Then, add oven to broil and return pizza to oven for 3-5 minutes or until bubbly and browned.

Remove from heat and allow pizza to cool.  Then, top with prosciutto, baby arugula and shaved parmesan.  

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GIVEAWAY WINNER!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered the amazing giveway by BlackBird Bakery.  I'm so excited to announce that HEATHER ROBERTSON is the winner of six amazing gluten-free flour blends and The Everyday Art of Gluten-Free Cookbook!  

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GLUTEN-FREE "COMPOST" COOKIES & A GIVEWAWAY FROM BLACKBIRD BAKERY

Baking gluten-free, as I've attempted to articulate before, can be a tough and windy road.  Usually the key to finding your old favorites--gluten-free--is making them yourself.  It may take a little more effort, but it's worth it to avoid the very dense and often tasteless goods available in most markets.

I know many are exhausted and mystified by making flour blends or trying to adapt a recipe to gluten-free.  It can definitely be a pain and requires jumping through hoops when really all you want is a good chocolate chip cookie.  Karen Morgan of Blackbird Bakery has created an amazing series of gluten-free flour blends specifically formulated for their intended baked good.  This means you're not just using an all-purpose flour (which usually isn't really all-purpose), but each flour is specifically designed for say, Bread and Pizza or my favorite, the Cookie Jar blend.

Not only has Karen shared her recipe for Trash Can cookies with us (inspired by my favorite Milk Bar Compost Cookie), but Blackbird Bakery is gifting one special reader with a flour blend and cookbook giveaway.  (Details below!)  These cookies are the best combination of sweet, salty, buttery, crunchy chocolate chip cookies that are seriously as addicting as I'm sure they sound.  


GIVEAWAY!


I'm so excited to announce Blackbird Bakery is generously giving away ALL OF THEIR FLOUR BLENDS and their NEW COOKBOOK, The Everyday Art of Gluten-Free, to one very lucky (probably gluten-free) reader!  Please comment below to be entered to win and share on social media to spread the word!  The winner will be announced on the blog this SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11TH at 3pm EST.

HOW TO: INFUSED ALCOHOL (Bay Leaf Gin, Hibiscus Tequila & Strawberry + Pink Peppercorn Vodka)

I've always wanted to infuse my own alcohols, but that was before I realized how stupidly easy it actually is.  (I mean, this process almost doesn't require any googling.)  All you need is to pick a liquor you love, decide on some interesting ingredient to infuse, and let it sit for about a week.  It's as easy to make as it is to drink - the hardest part is picking what to use!

BAY LEAF INFUSED GIN ( Makes about 25 oz)

1 (750ml) bottle of gin, I recommend ST. GEORGE (my favorite gin, ever)

15 fresh bay leaves

In a large glass bottle, pour your bottle of gin over around 15 fresh bay leaves.  Cover and let sit for one week in a dry, cool place.  Once infused, remove all bay leaves, and use as you would any other gin.  Bay leaf gin and tonics are awesome.

STRAWBERRY & PINK PEPPERCORN INFUSED VODKA (Makes about 25 oz)

1 (750ml) bottle of vodka, I recommend TITO'S VODKA

1 pint strawberries, hulled

2 tablespoons pink peppercorns

In a large glass bottle, pour your bottle of vodka over fresh, hulled strawberries and pink peppercorns.  Cover and let sit for one week in a dry, cool place.  Once infused, strain peppercorns and strawberries (which will be white and weird!), and use as you would any other gin.  I love this vodka with soda or tonic.

HIBISCUS-INFUSED TEQUILA (Makes about 25 oz.)

1 (750ml) bottle of tequila, I recommend ESPOLON Tequila Blanco

About 1/2 cup hibiscus leaves

In a large glass bottle, pour the bottle of tequila over dried hibiscus leaves.  Cover and let sit for one week in a dry, cool place.  Once infused, strain hibiscus leaves, and use as you would any other tequila.  Hibiscus margaritas are amazing ;).

HENRY STREET STUDIO CERAMICS

Loren and Aliza Simons are the mother-daughter duo behind Henry Street Ceramics.   They work as a team, each piece being "the work of two pairs of hands." (I know, I can't.) I had the pleasure of photographing these gorgeous pieces in person, and let me say, it's hard to do them justice even with the nicest camera. It's the feeling you get when you are in the presence of truly beautiful work.  If I washed my produce out of their perfect colander just once, I could die happy.

Luckily for all of us, they are gifting us with an upcoming Fall Sale starting THIS SUNDAY (debuting their new colors!).  It starts at 5pm, so set your iPhone reminders because things are going to sell out quickly.   I can't say how lovely these pieces are, so please show support to these talented two.  

FIG AND HAZELNUT CREME TART WITH BUCKWHEAT CRUST

I totally get why people aren't into baking.  I'm sure for some it seems too detailed, time-intensive, maybe even technical.  Especially when it comes to gluten-free, it gets dicey and sometimes expensive, with the addition of 2-3 flours for every dough. But for me, baking has always been how-do-I-say…healing?  There is nothing in the world like the feeling of finishing a tart or pie, with all the steps, techniques, chilling, pulsing, rolling, etc.  It can cure any bad mood.  The fact that it takes time is what I love about it most.  Baking makes you work for it, and I've always loved that kind of attitude.

This Summer has kept me so baking-busy that I've been just trying to see how much I can bang out on any given weekend.  (Yes, Summer baking.  Where the true bakers lie.) Sometimes though, the best days are when you spend the whole afternoon making one…single…dessert.  Even if maybe baking isn't your thing, I suggest you use it as a tool -- if only to cure a little depression and/or eat something sweet.  There's something about it that really fills you up when nothing else can. 

FIG AND HAZELNUT CREME TART WITH BUCKWHEAT CRUST (gluten-free) Serves 6

FILLING (Adapted from Martha Stewart)

3/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 stick butter (8 tablespoons), soft

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons cognac

8 oz figs, thinly sliced

2 plums, thinly sliced

Handful of red currants

Raw sugar, to top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

In a food processor, pulse together sugar and hazelnuts until the size of hazelnut meal.  Add the next four ingredients and pulse until well combined and smooth.  Set aside.

BUCKWHEAT ALMOND CRUST (adapted from The Bojon Gourmet)

1/2 cup buckwheat flour

1/2 cup almond flour

1/4 cup arrowroot starch

1/2 tsp. xanthum gum

1/4 tsp. salt

6T butter, chilled + cubed

6 tablespoons ice water

Add the first six ingredients to a food processor. Pulse your dough until butter is about pea-sized and crumbly. Then add one tablespoon of water at a time until dough forms and begins to come away from the edge.  Fraisage your dough (shown here, starts at 2:00), meaning use the heel of your hand to smear dough, a little at a time, across the counter.  This helps to add long strands of butter into your dough for better texture.  

Pat your dough together into a 6'' disk, wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes.  Once chilled, roll out between two pieces of plastic wrap.  Roll out a few inches wider than your intended tart dish (I used an 8 inch).

Place your greased tart pan nearby, remove one side of plastic wrap and carefully (using two hands) flip dough over into your pie dish.  Remove last sheet of syran wrap and carefully fit and press dough into your tart pan evenly.  

Gluten-free dough can be dicey, but remain calm! If any piece rips of gets torn, carefully pinch it together again.  Remove the excess tart dough (save for a mini tart) and parbake for 10 minutes.

Once tart crust is parbaked, reduce oven heat to 325 degrees.  Pour in filling making sure to spread evenly before topping with figs, plum and red currant.  Arrange in a pleasing fashion and sprinkle with raw sugar.  Bake for 1 hour, then cool for 25 minutes before serving.  

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(For those asking, you can purchase this tart pan HERE)

AUGUST 2014 FAVORITES

FOOD52 Finds:


Eva Kolenko, her work is as beautiful as her website design by the talented, Emma Robertson. 


Can't live without these lately:


Loving Bon Boutique's new design + product:

SIMPLE THINGS JULY 2014 ISSUE: Summer Picnic

Summer is really coming to an end now. Even though it's still warm weather, we have officially entered September.  I'm happy the heat and Mosquitos are on their way out, but I will miss a farmers market with more than just root vegetables. 

Since we're on our last days of festive outdoor activities, I myself am looking to have another picnic or BBQ before the month is over. These recipes and images were shot for the July issue of Simple Things UK, so please pick up a copy and look at the rest of the spread!  Hopefully, you can get some last minute, end-of-Summer inspiration. 

SALMON SALAD WITH SHAVED FENNEL. PISTACHIO, DILL & CELERY SEED VINAIGRETTE (gluten-free)  SERVES 6

1lb. wild salmon

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 lemon, sliced

5-8 oz. mixed spring greens

2 heads of fennel, shaved

2 large bunches of mixed greens

3/4 cup pistachios, roughly chopped

1/4 cup fresh dill, roughly chopped

Sea salt to taste

Freshly ground pepper

Celery Seed Vinaigrette:

1 garlic clove, minced

2 teaspoons celery seed

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon honey

1/2 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Sea salt to taste

Freshly ground pepper

Add all ingredients to a small mason jar.  Shake well to combine.  

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Add salmon to a foil-lined large baking sheet.  Rub with olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  Top salmon filets with sliced lemon and bake for 15-17 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together spring greens, fennel, fresh dill and crushed pistachios.  Toss with celery seed vinaigrette, then top with baked salmon.  Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

GARLIC POTATO SALAD WITH PICKLED RED ONION, CHIVES & LEMON CREME FRAICHE (gluten-free, vegetarian) SERVES 6

3.5lbs. mixed potatoes, cubed

3 tablespoons olive oil

6 oz. creme fraiche

1 tablespoon maille mustard

1 lemon, juice + zest

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 tablespoons. fresh chives, thinly sliced

1/2 cup pickled red onion

1 tablespoon fresh dill

Sea salt to taste

Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Add potatoes in a single layer to a large baking sheet with olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  Bake for 45-1hr or until golden brown and crisped.  Set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together lemon juice + zest, creme fraiche, mustard and garlic.  Whisk together, then toss with potatoes, making sure to coat everything well.  Top with fresh chives, dill and pickled red onion.  Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.

Pickled red onion

1 large onion 

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 garlic clove, halved

1 teaspoon pepper corns

Add sliced onion to a large mason jar with peppercorns, garlic and salt.   In a small saucepan, bring sugar and apple cider vinegar to a boil.  Slowly pour liquid into mason jar.  Set aside to cool, then chill overnight.

 

AUGUST 2014: INSPIRED WORKS

We all know him well.  Nordic master and innovative chef behind Denmark's NOMA, Rene Redzepi, has turned the method of foraging and obscure edibles into a true culinary art.  I've admired his work (and collaborations with my favorite photographers) for years, but recently read an article on one of my favorite sites for creatives.

I struggle a lot with satisfaction in my work - always feeling like I could/should be working harder/better, etc.  The idea of hard work isn't just about gritting through it and putting in the hours, but staying engaged and self-breeding the consistent ability to evolve.  I loved this quote (below) that so perfectly addresses the true meaning of hard work.  

Some may see this as eccentric or overbearing, but for some of us with constant hunger (figuratively so), it perfectly encompasses that feeling.  As much as I hear people speak about satisfaction in work and "doing what they love," I relate more to the emotional struggle of trying to be my own version of "great."  The moments of inspiration are obviously wonderful, but most of it is putting in the hours and chipping away at the block of what you desire.  It takes a certain amount of stamina to keep performing and creating when maybe you're exhausted by the sheer idea of that.

My favorite Ted Talk of all time is led by Elizabeth Gilbert, none other than the Eat, Pray, Love author.  I never read her book (and don't really need to), but I come back to her lecture over and over, especially when feeling a little depleted.  I don't want to ruin the poignancy of this talk, so please go listen.  Her storytelling perfectly examines the evolution of the creative plight and that no matter the struggle, what always remains is showing up.