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

GIVEAWAY WINNER - LeCreuset's Cookbook - and Mussels!

GIVEAWAY WINNER - LeCreuset's Cookbook - and Mussels!

I think I'm really made for winter. I spent all of my long weekend in pajamas, with the bed pulled out of our sofa bed, a tray of drinks and books propped up, and the dogs by my side. It was heaven. The way the light scattered in to wake up. I could hear the crunch of deer on the snow and ice and photographed them from my window. I drank a lot of tea and ate a lot of junk food and it was exactly what I needed.  A good way to remember that the holidays aren't a season, but all of Winter is.

After the long weekend of eating soups, chips, burritos, and eggs (lots of eggs--the chickens are still producing at 85%!), I wanted something light. Something filling. Aromatic but soft, no sharpness to ruin the pleasant dullness of relaxation. Lazily, gratefully, I knew what I wanted to make - mussels. I know it's not the most relaxing food in the world, but it is probably one of the least fussy and most delicious dishes I can think of. And it was heaven to pinch the meat out between a used shell and to press the warmed, iridescent shell to my lips. To have the broth of wine and garlic slide down the corners of my lips. To toss the used bivalve into the awaiting mouth of the white bowl and to soak the baguette in the small dredges left in the bowl. It was, and will always be, my favorite meal.

Le Creuset wrote a cookbook and it's where the recipe is from below. I feel grateful to have this book, as I am always looking for the path of least resistance when it comes to French food, and this book has it all. Beautiful photographs, easy instructions, no fuss or worry. My absolute favorite way to cook. And with one pot to clean, it made my relaxing weekend all the more stress-free.

I'm excited to also share this book with a lucky winner who participated in my Instagram giveaway. Congratulations to Brandice!

Steamed Mussels

GIVEAWAY WINNER - LeCreuset's Cookbook - and Mussels!

Serves 2 or 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 pounds fresh mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded

Directions (as shared in Le Creuset's Cookbook):

1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Stir in the shallots and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in wine, cream, butter, tarragon, and season with s salt.

2. Add the mussels, cover, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir the mussels, cover and continue cooking until they open, 4 to 6 minutes. Discard any mussels that do not open. Sprinkle with parsely and serve at once with the broth and some crusty bread.

Pictured here: Braiser / Bowls

GIVEAWAY WINNER - LeCreuset's Cookbook - and Mussels!
GIVEAWAY WINNER - LeCreuset's Cookbook - and Mussels!
GIVEAWAY WINNER - LeCreuset's Cookbook - and Mussels!

Curry Pumpkin Quiche (or, a practice on using up the most eggs and leftover ingredients)

The more work we put in, the more we are getting out of our farm. We are not owners of the acreage. We are not owners of the chickens. We are stewards only. Providers. Protectors. Housemaids, landscaper, and garbage man. We kill mice in traps and with the same hands pet a chicken while she's laying. Hoping to soothe. To say a small thank you for the work she's doing for us.

It's been just less than a month since their egg laying has picked up. We average 8 a day. That's 2 dozen every couple of days. About 4 or 5 a week. And we give them away--to librarians and shopkeepers. To the mailman and our mothers. We try to sell them, but it's winter and we're lazy and don't want to take money out for change. Instead, we let the eggs pile up in cardboard boxes and give them away when someone comes over. And, fortunately, more people have been over lately than before.

But after Thanksgiving, in the month of December, between the bookends of the holidays, I know there will be leftovers. Half-used, half-assed ingredients that I bought for one dish and I'm left with a half can of something-or-other to use up. Nolan and I are more conscious of waste, or animals, of the environment. We try to buy what we need, and use up what we have. So, looking in the fridge, behind the soggy mushrooms that we forgot about and the gallon of iced tea neither of us remember buying, there was spinach, a can of pumpkin, and a pat of dough. A half dozen eggs and an hour to kill, I made a quiche, dotted with spinach and brightened with curry powder. A dish that fed us for three days.

Curry Pumpkin Quiche

Ingredients:

  • Dough for 10-inch pie crust
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 tablespoon yellow curry powder
  • 1/4 cup frozen (or fresh) spinach

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F
  2. Roll out and shape dough into your pie pan, ensuring any tears are patched up (otherwise, filling will leak out)
  3. Whisk together all remaining ingredients
  4. Pour over uncooked pie crust
  5. Bake for 50 minutes or until center is firm, but slightly springy to the touch
Curry Pumpkin Quiche
Curry Pumpkin Quiche
Curry Pumpkin Quiche
Curry Pumpkin Quiche

French in the morning: Oeufs au Plat

Tarragon and Garlic Oeufs au Plat Bressanne

I'm still learning about the land we bought, the restless five acres that house hidden deer on the hill and raccoons behind the garage. We came back from Iceland this week, a six hour flight and a two-hour drive home. When we made the turn that led to our house, the expansive reality of our ownership surprised me. Five acres looks so much bigger when you've been staring at nothing but the mindlessness of an airplane cabin.

There are many things I didn't realize about the land. How much effort it takes to maintain it and how effortless it is to respect it. How cautious I am to burn anything. How fearful I am of giving our chickens anything that isn't first corroborated between two websites. How quiet it can be, home alone all day with lazy, dozing puppies. How lonesome the night feels sometimes when the sky, coquettish, hides behind sheets of moonlit clouds.

This is our first autumn at this house of ours. There are four bushes that are in our backyard. I ask Nolan what kinds they are, as they haven't yet blossomed or changed color. I know so little about these types of things. And, because of this, I am able to be surprised in the resolute sense that this world will shift forward without my incessant question-asking. 

The chickens will lay on their time.

The dogs will bark in the nighttime.

The bees continue to build their ruddy nests in places we haven't yet discovered.

And we may find a deer, broken and flattened, on the side of our driveway. This is through no fault of our own. None of it is, really.

I am beginning, just beginning, to find peace in acquiescing. To hold so little responsibility, to become a steward of our animals and this homestead I am responsible for, versus a master of anything. I hold no ego the way I once did. I hide behind no fantasy, the way I once did. Sometimes I cannot tell if I am exhausted from years of trying so hard to keep everything together, or if it was all in my head for nothing.

Next year, I'll know a little more. And this recipe is in preparation for it. Herb and tomato and egg from our land; I'm waiting for the day when I can taste it.

Tarragon and Garlic Ouefs au Plat Bressanne

Tarragon and Garlic Oeufs au Plat Bressanne

Adapted from this recipe, this dish is perfect for a simple Sunday meal for two. Feel free to adjust your garlic, seasoning, and even herb choice as you like. Adaptable French is key to how I like my meals, you could say.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 clove garlic, diced finely
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 slices of quality bread, sat out to stale for a day or so
  • 2 eggs
  • 6-8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon tarragon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375*F and butter a small cake pan, baking dish, or skillet
  2. In a small saucepan, heat heavy cream, garlic, salt and pepper on medium heat until bubbles just begin to form on the edge of the pan
  3. Remove from heat and let steep
  4. Lay bread in prepared pan
  5. Pour cream mixture over top
  6. Cream a small well in the center of your bread to nestle the egg yolks
  7. Crack your eggs over the bread
  8. Add tomatoes
  9. Bake for 12 minutes, but begin checking at 10 to see how your whites have set. You can take out anytime after 10, depending on desired runniness of your eggs
  10. Sprinkle with tarragon and any additional salt and pepper
  11. Best if eaten immediately
Tarragon and Garlic Oeufs au Plat Bressanne
Tarragon and Garlic Oeufs au Plat Bressanne
Tarragon and Garlic Oeufs au Plat Bressanne
Tarragon and Garlic Oeufs au Plat Bressanne
Tarragon and Garlic Oeufs au Plat Bressanne

My Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer Meal

A line from a song keeps running in my head - "Don't let this fading summer pass you by."

Hello, old friends, I'm back to blogging this month! There are so many recipes I've made that I haven't posted, and while I'm going to Iceland in just THREE (!) days, I still haven't even written about Vermont yet. But, I'm back. Back to a messy kitchen and a flour-covered camera. Back to cakes, back to breads. I'm trying my hand at savory more, as you've probably seen the last 3 recipes on here. 

I needed the time away. Sometimes I get gripped by the inextricable need to be a quitter, a runaway. I don't think it's a fault of mine, but it makes it hard to stick around long enough to see something blossom into success. I get bored. I get discouraged. I burn out. This summer, my priorities shifted a bit since we're back in Pennsylvania at our own house now. I'm doing more with Nolan's family, like weddings, showers, and christenings. I'm busier with housework, farm work, and my full-time job. So I didn't document what I ate as much lately. I haven't really been active on instagram. I haven't let the fading summer pass me by just yet.

With so many weekends away and trips to plan, we've been making more meals that are thrown together, roasted or sauteed for flavor, and all in one pan. The below is no different. In fact, it's the best kind of cookery that I enjoy the most. Easy, comforting, quick to keep the kitchen cool when it's muggy outside. In just weeks it will be cool and I'll want to have the oven on all the time. But for now, with the windows open and a breeze rustling the hair the nape of Elsa's neck, nothing is better than a quick meal so I have more time for connecting with the home I built and love so much.

Quick (and adaptable!) Cannellini Dinner!

cannellini dinner

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of bacon, roughly chopped
  • 15-20 green beans
  • 2 cups kale, chopped with stems removed
  • 2 cans 16 oz cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste (about 1 teaspoon of each for me!)
  • 1 or 2 hardboiled eggs
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet, add bacon and begin to cook
  2. When browned and crisp around the edges, add your green beans and begin to cook down
  3. As the green beans cook, they will crisp around the tips and turn a vibrant green, turn heat to medium-low
  4. Next, add your kale and allow to wilt
  5. Add cannellini beans and stir constantly to warm
  6. Finally, add your garlic, salt and pepper
  7. Transfer to a bowl, add your egg and a squeeze of lemon and enjoy!

Note: You can really use any vegetables or meat for this, just follow the basic recipe to mix it up however you want!

cannellini dinner
cannellini dinner
cannellini dinner
cannellini dinner