Desserts, Snacks

Vanilla Coconut Popsicles

One of my earliest memories is eating a coconut popsicle. A creamy white pop with little bits of shredded coconut sprinkled throughout. I don’t remember where I was, or who I was with, specifically. And maybe the memory is actually a blur of many popsicles, the result of countless visits to roaming trucks and Central Park kiosks, but I can close my eyes and see my fingers ripping through the flimsy plastic. I know I was three or four, and the moment I unwrapped the pop, it began melting down the stick in the hot Manhattan sun, cream getting dangerously close to my fingers. I’ve had many a coconut “froz fruit” since those first few, and this happens every time. I’m a little more okay with the meltdown now, (I’m fairly sure I was the only kid to really really really hate being sticky) and every time I pass a truck it takes everything in my power not to buy three.

In celebration of summer and Billy’s #popsicleweek (!!) I felt it was high time to take a whack at these in my own kitchen.

All I hoped to achieve with my own version of this popsicle was that slightly chewy consistency that comes from all pre-packaged ice cream truck confections. Let it be known I’m not talking about that taffy-like quality that New England-style ice cream does so well (shoutout to Herrell’s in Northampton, which supplied me with my delightfully chewy birthday ice cream sundaes and homemade chocolate whipped cream from 2011-2015). No, I’m talking about the kind of icy texture that comes only as a result of bumping around in the back of a Mister Softee freezer for months at a time, temperature going up and down by day, even by hour. The treats start to melt, then freeze back up, then melt again. Once they’re unwrapped and bitten, it’s clear the contents aren’t a solid mixture, but a hundred million coconut-flavored snowflakes.

It’s impossible to create the real thing, but I’ve come pretty close. I added a hit of vanilla, which is technically not part of the classic pop, but I think it added a little something special. The recipe is wildly simple too, for more time eating popsicles and less time debating whether this was worth it, and if you should’ve just walked outside to a truck.

A note on the sweetener for this recipe: Anything will do, it simply depends on your preference. If you want to notice the flavor, use honey or maple syrup; if you don’t, use powdered sugar. Completely your call. As for the chocolate, I personally prefer dark chocolate in general, but I’ve found that semisweet makes for that classic, barely cloying magic shell-type coating, which is actually kinda great. Again, the choice is yours.

There can never truly be enough popsicles, so do yourself a favor and head over to the #popsicleweek homepage on Wit & Vinegar for about a million more wildly creative and delicious-sounding frozen treats.

Vanilla Coconut Popsicles

1 (13.5 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
±2 tablespoons desired liquid sweetener (honey, syrup, coconut nectar, etc.) OR 1/4 cup powdered sugar (see note above)
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut

Optional:
2-6 ounces 80% dark or semisweet chocolate, chopped (you’ll need more for dipping, less for drizzle)
1 teaspoon coconut oil
flakey sea salt

Place all ingredients in the first list except shredded coconut in a blender and blitz for 25-40 seconds, or until well mixed. Add shredded coconut and blend for a few seconds just to incorporate. Pour mixture into a prepared popsicle mold. Freeze for about 4 hours.

If you’re interested in doing a chocolate dip or drizzle: Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler, then remove from the heat. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. If dipping: Pour the chocolate into a tall heat-proof jar. Un-mold the pops one at a time, dip, let excess chocolate drip off, then place the pops on the baking sheet and return to the freezer for a few minutes. If drizzling: Working quickly, un-mold all the pops and place then on the baking sheet. Drizzle the chocolate on with a spoon, then return to the freezer for a few minutes.

🔜🔜🔜 #popsicleweek

A post shared by Rebecca Firkser (@ruhbekuhlee) on

 

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Breakfasts, Musing, Snacks

Breakfast [or Anytime You Damn Well Please] Muffins

Who do you want to be when you grow up? I was asked a few weeks ago at an interview. I knew I wouldn’t find the answer scribbled in my notes, between ideas for recipe development and the blurb about what makes my voice ~unique~. I’ve never been asked something like this by a potential employer, and it was a decently pleasant surprise. And I bet its answer gives a little more insight into a person than asking whether they’re a strategic or tactical thinker, or where they see themself in five years.

When I was very small, I wanted to be an actress. I was that obnoxious eight year old who sang all the time: at family gatherings, in the grocery store, in the bathrooms at school for optimal echoes. I wanted to be on stage so badly. Itching to play Cosette or Belle or Maureen, I memorized the words to every soundtrack I got my hands on. I sang along with the familiar lyrics every week as I spooned out cookie dough onto baking sheets after school.

Then came the crippling stage fright. The heart-pounding, voice-shaking panic overtook me all at once—while I was onstage, no less. I was thirteen, auditioning for the middle school musical. Fourteen seconds into singing, I couldn’t hear the music over the pounding in my chest. I don’t remember if I even made it to the chorus. We heard Becca was a really good singer. I overheard one of the girls in the audience say. I wonder what happened? 

My greatest dream a crumbled mess of embarrassment, I moved backstage. With the faintest taste of bitter on my tongue, I sewed the hems and smeared foundation and lipstick on the kids who weren’t rendered mute under the spotlight. But I liked being close to the stage, and costuming was fun. I sliced through my best trays of thick fudgy brownies, brought the dark squares to tech week and thought, this is something I could do with myself.

While I applied to college with “journalism” and “studio art” selected on the Common App’s Major intention section, I rolled up to day one at Smith planning to declare theatre design the bulk of my coursework. Which shoes would a Chekhovian woman woman wear to walk around the orchard? How do six identical suits convey the hierarchy of office politics? Who would paint their nails red; why wouldn’t he wear this hat, but that one? I thought about color and exposed skin.

Cutting patterns didn’t give me the same feeling of purpose as it seemed to give my peers and professors. I was good at it, and felt proud seeing the finished productions, but I didn’t enjoy it. I took a job in the art museum over the costume shop. I stopped sketching for fun. I grew to dread those orange walls. The building smelled like stress.

I graduated with a specific degree in this field I’d entered into by default. I wouldn’t be applying to theatres or MFA programs, but I left the Pioneer Valley knowing what I wanted to do.

Food is what drives me, and writing is the way I package ingredients into substance. This past weekend was the fourth anniversary of writing this blog, and this is my 200th official post. I’ve been out of school for a long year. A year of cover letters and internships and almosts.

I snapped to attention to give an answer at the interview. I pretty good one, I think.


I’ve taken to making these muffins every two weeks or so, for easily transportable snacking. There are a million ingredients, yes, but I think they’re worth it.

Breakfast Muffins (GF, makes 12-15)

1 cup oats
3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup chickpea flour
2/3 cup brown rice flour
2 tablespoons arrowroot starch (cornstarch gets the job done too)
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon allspice
½ black pepper
½ teaspoon sea salt
6 dried prunes
1 large carrot
1/2 green apple
2 very ripe bananas
2/3 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
zest of 1 orange
1/3 cup olive or melted coconut oil
3 eggs

coconut sugar (though any sugar will do)
sunflower seeds or pepitas

Preheat the oven to 400º F and grease a muffin tin. Place the oats in a food processor and grind into a course flour. In a large bowl, whisk the oat flour with the rest of the dry ingredients and set aside.

Place the prunes in a bowl of very hot water and set aside. Grate the carrot and apple and set aside.

In a bowl, mash the bananas, then mix in buttermilk or yogurt, orange zest and oil. Blend the prunes into a paste in the food processor, then blend into the banana mixture. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients, then fold in the carrot and apple. Crack the eggs into a small bowl and beat for about a minute, then fold into the batter.

Scoop into the prepped muffin tin, then top with a sprinkling of coconut sugar and sunflower seeds. Bake 18-20 minutes.

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Breakfasts, Desserts, Snacks

Olive Oil Tortas


Summer is coming.

I can tell from this new light streaming through the window in the back room where I’m currently typing, blinding me in a way that is mostly uncomfortable, but also encouraging of the changing seasons.

Everyone around me can feel it too: The streets around the farmer’s market yesterday were more crowded, the lines outside the brunch spots longer. The cat does nothing but stare out the plate glass front door. It makes me feel like I should start eating every meal outside, even if it is still possibly a little to chilly for that.

As someone who marks time by thinking of past years, I can’t help but think back to the last time I saw this kind of weather. Back at school, in such a different state of mind and daily routine. I was so much better at exercising, at eating vegetables. Really good at drinking at least one beer a day, too. There was no daily commute, unless you count the seven minute walk to the theatre building. My world is so much bigger now, even though it feels matchbox-tiny.

I’m going to run now, even though I’m rusty. Old-spending-every-winter-weekend-couch-lounging habits die hard, I guess?

In the meantime, you can pour yourself a cup of coffee and head over to Tasting Table and read this thing I wrote. And to Food52 to read this thing, too. You’ll also find a pretty rad recipe for Olive Oil Tortas!

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Main Dishes, Sides, Snacks

Shaved Carrot and Brussels Sprout Salad

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Last week I participated in a Snapchat takeover for feedfeed, a really rad site that acts as a platform for bloggers, chefs, home cooks, and “foodies” alike interested in being a part of a community to share recipes and food photos! The theme of the week was salad, so I made my favorite desk lunch: a shaved carrot–dare I say, carrot “noodle”–and Brussels sprout salad with crispycrunchyroasty chickpeas.

I used to make this salad at least thrice a week, if not more, in my apartment last year, which now that I think of it seems like a hundred million years ago. It made the perfect 5pm meal-ish snack before going out for beers and truffle fries and duck nachos at 7 (and pickles and greyhounds at 11.) And better yet, if I remembered to make a large enough batch, I’d pack up the leftovers and take them for lunch the next day. After that overnight soak, the dressing seeps further into the carrots, which you might think sounds gross, but I assure you it is not. It tastes great at room temperature too, so if you’re in a work situation where you either don’t have access to a fridge or are a new employee and too timid to use the team fridge (aheh) you’ll be all set. Watch my snap story below, then check out the recipe below that! And check out the feeds I edit on feedfeed too: Meatless Monday and Overnight Oats.

Shaved Carrot and Brussels Sprout Salad with Tahini-Miso Dressing and Crispy Chickpeas (serves 1-2, depending on how hungry)

5 carrots
~6 Brussels sprouts
1 scallion
1 can (13-15 oz.) chickpeas
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste

3 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon well-stirred tahini
1 tablespoon white miso paste
1 teaspoon lemon juice (you may want more)
1/2 teaspoon thyme
pinch/few grinds red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425º F. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then use a dishtowel to dry them thoroughly. Spread them out onto a baking sheet and coat with sesame oil. Sprinkle on salt and pepper to taste. Bake  10-15 minutes, until crispy. If you hear them starting to pop in the oven before the time is up, cover the sheet lightly with foil. When they’re done, let them cool to room temperature on the baking sheet.

Slice the carrots into strands using a vegetable peeler and thinly slice the Brussels sprouts. Toss together in a large bowl.

To make the dressing, whisk together oil, tahini, miso, lemon juice, thyme, red pepper, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust according to your preferences! Toss the dressing with the carrots and Brussels sprouts. If you’re not expecting to finish the whole batch, transfer the amount you’ll be eating to a bowl. Add a few handfuls of chickpeas. Thinly slice the scallion and sprinkle on top. Devour!

Store remaining salad and chickpeas in separate airtight containers for about 2 days. Brighten with more lemon juice and cracked pepper.

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Book Review, Sides, Snacks

Torta (Dominican Corn Bread)

The genius behind Hot Bread Kitchen is threefold. Founder Jessamyn Rodriguez 1) decided to create a space dedicated to making bread. This is fairly self-explanatory. Bread is perfection. Chewy, salty perfection. And in a world filled with sad, soft, cellophane-wrapped grocery store bread that can barely stand up to butter, let along sandwich fillings, we need all the real bread we can get. 2) For said bread-making space, Rodriguez hires low-income, immigrant and minority people, often women. HBK then provides these employees with proper culinary skill that they can take on to future places of employment within the food industry. 3) The employees of Hot Bread Kitchen share their own bread making secrets from their heritages and homelands (Moroccan m’smen! Indian naan! Persian nan-e quandi!)

These brilliant aspects of Rodriguez’s company and more are apparent from the Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook. Unlike a traditional cookbook of recipes with a bit of copy, HBK’s book is more like a coffee table book that happens to teach readers to make breads from around the world.

The book is divided into sections: unleavened flatbreads, leavened flatbreads, tortillas and more, lean breads and roll-ups, Challah and beyond, filled doughs from around the world, quick breads and holiday breads, and (my personal favorite) what to do with leftover bread (a problem I rarely find myself experiencing, but the ideas were so creative!) If you’ve found yourself saying, “gee, my grandma/aunt/mother used to make all her bread from scratch and I never do that, I should try!” this is the book for you. Start with soft lavash and make your way to a Chilean empanada.

As if the book didn’t cover an expansive enough topic, it also includes recipes for culturally appropriate dishes to serve alongside your breads –not that there’s anything “wrong” with putting peanut butter and jelly on a tortilla– but why not try your hand at chilaquiles? Or make a Bangladeshi-style vegetable dish packed with fenugreek, nigella, black mustard, and fennel seeds to accompany your homemade chapatis? Also, the Challah French toast grilled cheese with peaches hellllo. And once I master Bahn Mi baguette dough, I plan to make the pork belly Banh Mi with “the works” recipe, contributed by HBK’s former farmers’ market manager Thuy Nguyen.

Which brings me to one of my favorite elements of this book: peppered among the recipes are Baker’s Profiles, which detail short stories of current and former Hot Bread Kitchen employees. Women who have baked for HBK have gone on to work for well- known NYC bakeries like Amy’s Bread, larger companies like Whole Foods, and even started their own shops.

The first recipe I made from this cookbook was a torta, a Dominican corn bread baked in a skillet. A sweet, buttery bread I’d just as soon eat with a slick of chocolate frosting for dessert as I would crumbled into chili. This recipe was contributed by Rodriquez’s mother-in-law, and is incredible. I don’t own an 8-in cast iron skillet, so I made my torta in ceramic dish, though I imagine a regular cake pan will work just fine too (it’s just not as fun to plunk that down on the dinner table as it is with a more *rustic* skillet)

Torta (from the Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook, makes 1 8-inch loaf)

1 cup AP Flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons whole milk
9 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 350º F. Put an 8-inch cast-skillet in the oven to get hot.

Whisk together to the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

Whisk together the eggs and vanilla in a separate bowl.

Warm the milk and 8 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring every now and then, until the butter is melted. While whisking, slowly pour the butter and milk mixture into the flour mixture. Mix until smooth. Whisk in the egg mixture.

Take the skillet out of the oven and add the remaining tablespoon of butter. It should melt immediately. Tilt the skillet to spread the butter over its surface. Pour the batter into the skillet. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Let cool completely before inverting torta from the pan and slicing.

 

NOTE: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review. Check out this review on their website too!

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Main Dishes, Snacks

Roasted Vegetables on Toast

Have you ever been sitting at your work desk, staring at your $14 Sweetgreen salad and distinctly felt as though you heard your credit card sigh? Or perhaps you’re less tempted by the to-go counter and manage to brown-bag it, only to be overwhelmed with despair as you crunch on damp baby carrots (why are they always damp?!) and mini packages of hummus, or relive your elementary school years with a Wonder Bread PB&J. Or sadder still, you find yourself with one hand on the computer and the other in a family-sized bag of pita chips at 3:45, stomach growling for all to hear, because you’ve once again just not had time to eat. I propose an end to this (and an echo to the the #notsaddesklunch movement) in the form of toast and roasted vegetables.

The veggie spread takes all of an hour to create, as many days ahead as you choose. And did you know that toast CAN in fact be reheated to its original crunchy state? Head over to Food52 to check out my article!

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Extras, Main Dishes, Sides, Snacks

Name the Artwork: A Pop Quiz in Famous Food Paintings

I have a deep affinity for quizzes, particularly for those related to food. So naturally, I was thrilled when Food52 decided to publish my article about food in art, featuring (you guessed it) a quiz! Can you name them all? Head over to Food52 for answers and recipes!

ps- check out my new clips page to see other things I write outside of the blog~

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Breakfasts, Snacks

Crumbly Ginger Date Breakfast Cookies

The existence of ‘self’ is what keeps everybody from confronting their fears about the ground they happen to be standing on.
—Robert Smithson

I’ve never been a part of any organized worship, but I’ve been thinking about it lately. About one thing having enough power for someone to actually single it out as an exalted entity. My parents came from Conservative Jewish and Sunday Protestant families respectively, so my sister and I weren’t raised “religious” in the truest sense of the word. We know why there’s a three-day gap between Good Friday and Easter (it’s actually not this) and we can recite the Hanukkah blessings in Hebrew (which probably has more to do with liking to sing and less to do with studying religious text), but that’s pretty much the extent of it. When I was younger I sometimes felt like I missed out, as never got to complain about Sunday School nor did I have a Bat Mitzvah. Looking back, I understand I was—albeit unconsciously—given a fairly unique opportunity to explore my own relationship with worship. And while I’m attracted to certain aspects of religion, particularly to the sense of community involved in belonging to a house of worship, and to theological storytelling, I didn’t, and still don’t really, have a yearning to practice. Religion aside, I’ve never felt as though I regard anything with enough devotion to throw around the term “worship”. At least, not for something that doesn’t seem cliche or obvious. It means too much.

I prefer when people are honest. I like when it’s cloudy outside. I enjoy 85% dark chocolate. But I don’t worship “Truth” or “Nature” or “Theobroma cacao”. Someone asked me last year if I worshiped anything, likely as a test, because this person already had their semi-pseduo-intellectual answer ready to go. I vaguely recall saying something pretentious, like “food and the actions that come with it”, but that was a cop out. I have yet to find something so powerful that I feel the need to proclaim its control over how live my life, because honestly, that feels like it can get tricky. Am I doing things because I like them, or because I made the sweeping declaration to hold myself to a certain set of standards? Maybe it’s good to have dogma, but only if one can admit it may not stay the same forever. This has less to do with religion and more to do with worship in the ritualistic sense.

I can say with certainty that food is a powerful element of my life. I use it to ensure that I feel good. I try not to let it become something that controls every choice I make, but I can often fall into that pattern. I’d like to involve food in my future career, difficult as that may be. It’s personal and important, but it is not Everything (with a capital E). My favorite part about having to feed myself at school last year was that when I went grocery shopping, I controlled every element of my purchases. If I wanted to buy 25 cans of coconut milk I could. If I wanted to eat stir fry (or kale salad or Cocoa Puffs) for dinner five nights in a row, I could. There was no one telling me they’re bored of that meal, or they don’t like this particular vegetable, etc. It’s all extremely selfish, but sometimes it’s good to think about yourself.

Since I moved back home, breakfast seems to be the one meal where I can consistently eat whatever I want. I miss being able to make simply what pleases me, and I know I’ll have that again someday. But that day is not today. So in the meantime I will break up a ginger date breakfast cookie over yogurt and be okay with it.

****

Speaking of worship, horrific events like those that occurred at the University of Missouri on Wednesday, and in Paris (and Beirut and in Baghdad) on Friday only cause me –and many others, I imagine– to question further whether there is any sort of higher power controlling this world. Hundreds of people lost their lives, and hundreds of thousands lost their sense of security this week. No one can give a reason why, except for the chillingly open-ended term that seems to encapsulate so many recent acts of violence. If, like me, you’re another person in the States feeling helpless, it looks like the very least we can do is stay aware, alert, and supportive. I’m trying to read as much as I can about the events, I hope if you can spare the time you do the same.

****

Crumbly Ginger Date Breakfast Cookies (very loosely adapted from The Vibrant Table)

1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
3/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/4 cup corn flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa nibs
2 large pieces crystalized ginger
4 pitted deglet noor dates

1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Combine the flours, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. In a small bowl whisk together the almond milk, coconut sugar, and vanilla. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and fold together.

Finely chop the ginger and dates, and add to the batter along with the cocoa nibs. Using a teaspoon cookie scoop, drop cookies onto the prepared tray.

Bake for 15 minutes, until the tops of the cookies are golden brown. In the meantime, combine the extra coconut sugar, cocoa powder, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Take the cookies out of the oven and while they’re warm place the sugar mixture in a fine mesh sieve and dust over the tops of the cookies.

 

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Desserts, Snacks

Olive Oil, Almond and Candied Ginger Mandelbrot

I am a pizza bagel.

Maybe you’ve heard me say this before? I can’t remember how or when or where I was introduced to this term for those with Italian and Jewish roots, but I love it. I love it even more because the two places I’ve called home for the longest amount of time are New Jersey and New York; if you know anything about these spots, you KNOW they take their pizza and bagels seriously. And with good reason. The bagels I found in my dining hall in Massachusetts were slightly chewier pieces of white bread that crumbled at the merest smear of cold cream cheese or butter. I’ve had that deep-dish thing everyone in Chicago is so obsessed with, and while it was good, (how can dough + sauce + cheese not be??) it wasn’t *pizza* as I know and love it.

You get the gist. So when I was developing a recipe for The Nosher, a blog that focuses on Jewish food, I knew I wanted to make a snack –dare I say, a nosh,– that highlights both the pizza and the bagel sides of my family. And that led to Olive Oil Mandelbrot (also known as Mandel bread. Also also known as biscotti.) Check out the article and recipe here!

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Breakfasts, Snacks

173

Zucchini Carrot Muffins (GF)

In the past few days, I’ve realized it’s completely possible to lose hours upon hours in the food internet world. I’m home alone for the most part now, which was an extreme rarity at school. Someone was always around to break up my excessive perusal of food blogs and goodfoodjobs.com and Grub Street and Eater and Munchies and– I think I should stop there. The moment of realization came the other day when I sat down at my computer with a giant mug of coffee at 9 in the morning and was in a media haze until my phone rang well past noon. Not the best. And while baking can break up the day to an extent, even that can get a little cumbersome. There are only so many cookies I can bake before I need to either get a bigger freezer or more friends to help me eat everything (speaking of which, if anyone is hungry and in Montclair, there are at least three brownies or compost cookies with your name on them. I’ve gotten rave reviews by the smart folks who’ve taken me up on this so far, just saying.)

I want to get into more ambitious kitchen projects now that I’m no longer a full-time student. Recipes than don’t have to come together in less than an hour and then are just dumped in the freezer. That always seemed to be the case this past year as I did my best to keep up the blog and an acceptable GPA and some semblance of a social life. I really want to throw a fancy food party complete with lots of unique kitchen experiments and some sort of festive theme (something like this or this. Or this if I really dreamed big/had more than ten square feet of table space.) But planning a food party takes a lot of time and energy. And cleanup. So the few parties we ended up throwing turned out much more akin to a typical college soiree..the only food that was ever present was Jello shots. And one time someone who worked at a bakery in town showed up with freshly baked bread and cookies. As proud as I am of my Jello shot makin’ skills, I’m just dying to tackle a more intense food party. Hopefully this summer I can make it happen. Not to brag or anything, but I do have a very snazzy fire pit in my backyard soooo.

Some things I plan to make for these food parties that may not actually ever happen:

This Fig And Walnut Bostock. Looks like if french toast and bread pudding got together inside a really trendy cafe.

A fluffy, crunchy (two adjectives you didn’t think go together, I bet) Pavlova with strawberry rhubarb cream and pistachios.

I think I’d forget how on the fence I am about tomatoes while making this heirloom tomato tart..it’s just so pretty.

These savory cheddar waffles are also making me question my tomato ambivalence.

I’m 100% invested in learning how to grill and these jerk chicken kebobs are calling to me. As are these shrimp skewers.

Who isn’t a fan of anything cooked in beer? I want to make these mussels asap. They’re also apparently the best thing to serve at a dinner party anyway so I think I’m on the right track.

And also because I’ve spent so much of this post talking about food parties, I think it’s only fair you all watch a few episodes of this, as that is its title. And it is the weirdest, coolest thing ever.

Until I can gather up some people to actually eat all the things I plan to make for these food parties, I’m sticking with recipes that can be easily frozen and defrosted as family and friends want to indulge. Hence these muffins. Don’t be scared by the veggies in the title, cooked carrots are super sweet and zucchini has essentially no flavor alone, and when baked up with sugar and coconut oil and cinnamon it has no flavor at all! Some baked recipes that involve zucchini instruct one to squeeze all the water out of the veggies before adding them to the batter. Not the case here; the water helps loosen up the very thick batter and ultimately makes a more tender muffin. Also, don’t be afraid of garbanzo bean flour. It may seem weird to use a chickpea-based ingredient in a sweet breakfast item, but it’s really just mild and creamy. And it’s full of protein- in fact, it has the same amount as almond flour, so it’s a really great alternative if you’re looking for an alternative to putting nuts in everything, as I’m currently attempting. I also used coconut sugar, which has the same ratio as regular sugar when swapping, but is infinitely better for the body. I felt like they were sweet enough with 1/4 cup of sugar (mostly because I love slathering jam on muffins, which obviously adds a lot of sweetness,) but you do what makes you happy. I also feel like 1/4 cup of cocoa nibs or chocolate chips would be extremely good thrown in here for good luck. Happy breakfasting!

Muffins (makes 12-15)

1 1/2 cups garbanzo bean flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4- 1/2 cup coconut sugar (depending on how sweet you like muffins)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup finely shredded carrots
1 cup finely shredded zucchini
1/4 cup raisins or craisins (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a muffin tin with solid coconut oil or cooking spray.

In a mixing bowl combine both flours, baking powder, sugar, salt, and spices.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the melted coconut oil, eggs, yogurt, and vanilla; stir to combine. The batter will be thick, resembling cookie dough.

Add the shredded carrots and zucchini (and raisins if using) and combine. F

ill the muffin tins halfway-3/4 of the way full and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the edges are golden. Devour with butter, honey, jam, date cream, yogurt, or au naturel!

 


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