Molly Wrote (another) Cookbook!

Molly Yeh Yogurt Pita and Chickpea Sandwich

Our plans are on hold until it stops snowing. The ground is frozen one day, then muddy the next. We let the chickens free range now so they can't stretch their wings and scratch in the morning and they have enough sense to hide at the first sign of danger. And yet I still worry. I look out the window when I'm baking. When I'm writing. When I'm on a conference call, I will search them out from the second story window.

And the dogs chase them on the fence-line, but they don't seem to care. They just want to eat, to sleep, to be safe. And maybe that's why I like them so much; I'm not so different from them.

And it's been 25 days since I've eaten meat. I'm not sure if it's a fad or if it's here to stay, but I've been finding alternatives, additions, substitutes. So when I got Molly's new Short Stack yogurt cookbook, I wanted to find a blank canvas. Something that I could adapt to, something easy. Something I'm still learning to do. And just like her last book, it's effortless and easy and conversational and aspirational. It's dog-eared already and I'm excited to try new dishes throughout the warm months (whenever they may come).

Roasted Chickpeas Sandwich with Molly Yeh's Yogurt Pita

Molly Yeh Yogurt Pita and Chickpea Sandwich

For the pita recipe, make sure you pick up her Short Stack!

Ingredients:

  • 2 can chickpeas, drained
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • Juice of half a lemon

Directions:

  1. On two sheet pans lined with paper towels, lay out chickpeas and allow to dry for 6 hours or overnight
  2. When time has elapsed, preheat oven to 400*F
  3. Roll a paper towel over chickpeas
  4. Coat with olive oil and line sheets with parchment
  5. Roast for 20 minutes
  6. Place all chickpeas in a bowl and pour spices to coat
  7. Squeeze lemon and put into your pita!

Assembly: Cut the pita down the middle, stuff with chickpeas, some lettuce or cabbage, and a dollop of Greek yogurt (mine was mixed with a little dill!)

Molly Yeh Yogurt Pita and Chickpea Sandwich
Molly Yeh Yogurt Pita and Chickpea Sandwich
Molly Yeh Yogurt Pita and Chickpea Sandwich
Molly Yeh Yogurt Pita and Chickpea Sandwich
Molly Yeh Yogurt Pita and Chickpea Sandwich

Nordic Ware Double-Whammy: Just in Time for the Holidays

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Last year, I did a DNA test with Ancestry.com. I wanted to see where I was from, in the national sense. In the ethnic sense. In the cultural sense, having been so devoid and divorced from all the culture I grew up in. I wanted a summary, a percentage chart to tell me who and what and where I could be. It turns out, I'm European. German, and Irish and English. Those are my roots, in the proverbial sense. In the lackadaisical sense of a diaspora that have all culminated to the Eastern part of Indiana where I was born.

Midwestern, that's all you really need to know, at the end of the day, of who I am and what I am.

I thought about this as I perused the books that Nordic Ware sent me to review and bake from. I thought about how my ancestors on my father's side settled in the same county they live in now. How they looked at the expanse of field and the gentle, almost imperceptible slope of flat, flat earth and thought this was a place to raise a family. I thought about how their Protestant work ethic fed families of 8, 10, 12. I thought about how that has shaped the way I eat today - how these cookbooks, and so many more, are a reflection of inherited values and cultures and belief systems that I've lived at the very edge of my entire life, but never deep in their thickets.

Below, I made a bundt cake. I added mayonnaise as the recipe called for. It lasted for days, moist and tender and just the right amount of darkness to it. I also made Swedish pancakes. Lighter, they spread out paper thin on the griddle I used. A bit of fig jam or confectioner's sugar did the trip. They filled me up. They were made with simple ingredients. They told a story I'm still figuring out, about the place I'm from and who I am and how I got here.

Nordic Ware - Book Reviews

Earlier in the Fall, Nordic Ware asked that I bake from two books for them, in partnership with the Minnesota Historical Society. These books connected with their brand and heritage, which has always been a subject I've gone back to in my own writing. 

Nordic Ware - Chocolate Bundt Cake
Nordic Ware: Chocolate Bundt Cake
Nordic Ware: Chocolate Bundt Cake

Bundt Cake Bliss - find more info here.

When I got this book, I was curious to see if I would find a recipe that I would connect with. While I do not stray away from more down-home style cakes, I wanted my baking to feel authentic. What surprised me was, behind the cover, it read like a regular ol' spiral-bound church cookbook, complete with names and small suggestions for variations. It felt right at home. 

So, for this recipe, I baked a classic cake that I remember growing up with: a chocolate bundt made with mayonnaise. Because of the high oil content, I was worried this cake would fall to pieces when I took it out of the pan. Not a problem with with Nordic Ware's copper bundt pan

You can find the recipe in Bundt Cake Bliss. The photos below show a drizzle I did of cream cheese and a bit of milk and confectioner's sugar.

Jul - find more info here.

For me, Nordic food is a new arena and not one that really played into the food I grew up on in the Midwest..or so I thought. It was exciting to see recipes that my own family had derivatives from--meatballs, Christmas breads, and even pancakes. The high quality of the pictures and easy recipes had me dreaming of how to incorporate a bit of Swedish food into my Christmas table this year.

I made a super simple Swedish Pancake recipe from Jul, using Nordic Ware's slim griddle. As mentioned, I topped mine with fig jam and a squeeze of lemon juice. It was perfect. 

Nordic Ware - Swedish Pancakes
Nordic Ware - Swedish Pancakes
Nordic Ware - Swedish Pancakes

A special thanks to Nordic Ware for sponsoring this post. Nordic Ware has been producing quality kitchenware products in their 70 years and are now one of America's most beloved and iconic brands. For more information or products, check out their website!

Lily Wrote a Cookbook! #KaleandCaramelCookbook!

Lily is a talent, an inspiration. Lily is a soulful presence, so recognizable by her thoughtful weaving of story and description. She's a teacher. There's wisdom in her recipes. Her photos are light, airy. There's a sense of comedy and self-effacement when she writes. She's created a craft and a light that her stories and photos and recipes all possess that are so uniquely hers, all wrapped under the eponym of Kale & Caramel.

To me, both the blog and the person behind it, act as a pantheon. At once, Lily is the goddess of hearth and the goddess of the seasons. She listens to the plants, to the world around her. A goddess of art and magic and wisdom. Of loss and rebirth and tenderness.

And did this book spring from her head? I do not know, but there's a mysticism and ease in its prose that says it may just have.

Lily wrote a cookbook, and I was lucky enough to get a copy. And from the beautiful pages, full of crisp white borders and shocks of color, you get a sense of who she is and what she can create. And, in turn, what you can create from her work. I wanted to give you a taste of what this book has to offer its reader, so I am sharing her Citrus Sage Tonic recipe with you below.

To learn more about The Kale & Caramel Cookbook, click here. It's out today so buy a copy (or two! or three!) and let me know how much you love it! 

Citrus Sage Tonic

Kale and Caramel Citrus Sage Tonic

Ingredients:

  • 3 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons agave nectar, depending on the sweetness of the grapefruit
  • 1 large grapefruits, juiced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 lime, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 large lemon, juiced (about 1/2 cup)
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Ice cubes, for serving

Directions:

  1. Use a muddler or a wooden spoon to crush the sage into the agave nectar at the bottom of a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add the grapefruit, lime, and lemon juices, and a few pinches of salt
  3. Shake vigorously, then strain out over ice
  4. (Lily suggests making this a cocktail with tequila, mezcal, gin, or vodka!)

This recipe is Copyright © 2017 by Lily Diamond from KALE & CARAMEL: Recipes for Body, Heart, and Table published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. Photos copyright © 2017, Lily Diamond

Kale and Caramel Citrus Sage Tonic
Kale and Caramel's Citrus Sage Tonic
Kale and Caramel Citrus Sage Tonic
Kale and Caramel Citrus Sage Tonic
Kale and Caramel Citrus Sage Tonic

Frozen Bananas, Kale and Caramel, Dollywood - and more!!!

After 6 years of talking about going back to Dollywood, we finally (over)packed our bags and made the 7 hour trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. We left early, we stopped once for gas and once for coffee and made it there by check-in. We watched the landscape of Pennsylvania, with its still-brown trees and rushing creeks, expand into the lazy West Virginian mountains, which then flattened into verdant and beautiful Tennessee.

For me, going back was important. It was meaningful. It was where we used to go to when I lived in Kentucky, in Indiana. I've lost a lot of who I was then, growing up and older. I wanted to remember, to greet the town we spent weekends at when my mother worked nigh shifts and my father stuffed newspapers with coupons to make ends meet.

Each turn, each road, each store was in the grey space of memory and fabrication. I created fake memories, building on what felt familiar in the moment. I became my own unreliable narrator. Nostalgia became a tight rope and I tested the strength of how far I could go back in my mind with each foot step across town. I pushed ahead. Things weren't the same as they were; but I pushed ahead.

And in those moments of reflection and exhaustion, we filled the hours with new memories. Miniature golf while waiting for our tattoo appointments. We both got something done right before midnight: Nolan two hands and myself a fox and three rabbits. We ate large portions of dinner and dessert and walked it all off the next day. We rode the water rides two or three times and shared fries in the warm valley sun. We held hands, we shook the Ferris wheel cart. We bought postcards we forgot to send out. 

We drove home on Easter, stopped for dinner, got our dogs and it all happened so fast, getting back into the routine of this new life in our new house.

Stay / Eat / Shop / Do

Rose and Cocoa Nib Frozen Bananas

So two amazing things happened last week: we went to Dollywood and I got Kale and Caramel's (Lily) new book, The Kale and Caramel Cookbook! In my package was a little jar of rose and cocoa nib sprinkles. While we were walking around the amusement park, we came across a frozen banana stand. Well, I really wanted to celebrate both of these things--so I married them together into one easy treat!

Directions: Cut 4 bananas in the middle on a diagonal. Pierce each with a skewer or popsicle stick. Place onto a parchment-lined half sheet. Freeze for 15 minutes. Melt 12 ounces of dark chocolate in a small bowl, either in the microwave or in a double boiler. Remove bananas from freezer and dip into melted chocolate. Sprinkle with rose and cocoa nib sprinkles from Kale and Caramel. Freeze for another hour before you can enjoy!

Rose and Cocoa Nib Frozen Bananas
Rose and Cocoa Nib Frozen Bananas
Rose and Cocoa Nib Frozen Bananas
Rose and Cocoa Nib Frozen Bananas
Rose and Cocoa Nib Frozen Bananas
Rose and Cocoa Nib Frozen Bananas