Monday, September 8, 2014

A Moment

Hey friends, you may have noticed some silence around here.

My dad—one of the funniest, coolest, most vibrant and charming troublemakers I've ever met—passed away two weeks ago.  

Things may continue to be quieter around here while I’ll take a moment to figure out how, for the first time in my 29 years, to live in a world that he isn’t in…while simultaneously putting final touches on Evan and my wedding, which is just 4 weeks away.

I’ll be back when the inspiration strikes, maybe in a week, maybe post honey-moon. But in the meantime, I wanted to let you know I’m not going anywhere, and I hope you’ll stick around too!


Monday, August 11, 2014

Peach + Cilantro Sodas

Hey friends! Sorry for being MIA! I've been so busy! I had Ragnar*, then went backpacking, then flew to Sonoma for my bachelorette party(!), then got sick, then blah blah blah yadda yadda etcetera etcetera PEACH + CILANTRO SODA! 

Peach + Cilantro Sodas // Loves Food, Loves to Eat Last weekend we saw Book of Mormon, the musical (so good), then went to dinner at Terra Plata afterward, where I had an amazing house-made peach cilantro soda (plus a million other delicious things). I've been dreaming about that soda since Saturday you guys. Fizzy, peachy, and not-too-sweet with juuuuust a hint of cilantro in the background. Such a small hint that you can tell something herbaceous is goin on, but you might not even guess right away what it is. Unless you're one of those crazy cilantro-tastes-like-soap people, then maybe you'll figure it out immediately. But really, if you are one of those people, you probably don't want to drink a peach + cilantro soda anyway. 

Peach + Cilantro Sodas // Loves Food, Loves to Eat If you aren't one of those cilantro-tastes-like-soap people, then you should probably definitely make this. It's easy and summery, and I won't even try to stop you from adding bourbon. Or rum. Or gin. Or even vodka, if that's your thing. 

Peach + Cilantro Sodas // Loves Food, Loves to Eat Cheers! I missed you guys! Summer is super busy and wedding countdown craziness is in full effect, but I promise I'm not abandoning you. Now, go make some bourbons! I mean, sodas!

Peach + Cilantro Sodas // Loves Food, Loves to Eat *PS. In that video on the Ragnar NWP page, see those crazies in sumo suits at 28 seconds in!? Yeah, that's my team! I'm giving a power-fist in the background with a hulk-hand. NBD. 

Peach + Cilantro Soda
Makes about 4 large glasses

5 ripe peaches, rinsed and halved, pits removed
1/3 cup cilantro (not chopped-- a small handful)
Juice from 1 lemon
1.5 tablespoons agave 
Soda water

Add peaches, cilantro, lemon, and agave to blender, and blend until smooth. In a Vitamix it gets super smooth, but if you have tiny chunks thats ok! Taste, and add a bit more sweetener or lemon if you desire - it will be diluted from the soda water, so keep that in mind. Fill your glass just over 1/3rd full with peach mix, the next third with ice, and top off with soda water. Stir and serve! Note: It may start to separate a bit, just give it another stir. 

Store extra peach mix in fridge. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Smoked Salmon Dip | #SoLetsPigOut

It's summer, bikinis are overrated, and it stays light out super late. So….LET’S PIG OUT. But seriously. #SoLet’sPigOut is a virtual potluck hosted by two super cool gals, Emily and Gina. It’s basically a rad excuse to get together with some of the coolest people on the internet-block/planet for a midsummer celebration of the season's finest eats. I’m talkin’ apps, snacks, desserts, entrees, drinks…all the recipes you need for a really great summer potluck, from 25 awesome food bloggers. I’m bringing the smoked salmon dip!

Smoked Salmon Dip #SoLetsPigOut // Loves Food, Loves to Eat Thick, creamy, smoky, delicious. This dip is a staple in my family. My mom has been making it my entire life.

Smoked Salmon Dip #SoLetsPigOut // Loves Food, Loves to Eat My hometown is nestled in between the Columbia River and the Klickitat River, bordering towns with names like Trout Lake and White Salmon, so needless to say, there was a lot of fish in my childhood. Like, a lot of fish. My parents were pretty avid fishermen (fisherman & fisherwoman? fisher-people?) when I was growing up, especially during salmon season. Amanda and I refer to one summer of our lives as “The Summer Mom and Dad had OCFD.” That’s obsessive compulsive fishing disorder, in case you were wondering. We were middle school aged, so old enough to be home alone, but too young to drive. Did I mention we lived in the middle of nowhere, miles away from friends? Oh, and we only had 5 tv channels? And this was before internet-at-home? Yeah, we really had to use our imaginations back then.

Smoked Salmon Dip #SoLetsPigOut // Loves Food, Loves to Eat So anyway, Mel & John were out salmon fishing from sun up to sun down every single day (ok, maybe they worked too, who knows?), leaving Amanda and I to fend for ourselves. Maybe that’s where I learned to love cooking? Survival, I tell you. She and I both remember the cupboards being bare that summer, but that’s probably just our memories playing tricks on us—if you saw my parents’ cupboards you’d understand why that probably wasn't true...I think they’re preparing for the zombie apocalypse. But about the salmon: we literally got tired of salmon. It’s the one thing we remember eating that summer. We basically lived off of my dad’s hot-smoked-canned salmon, grilled salmon (either Jamaican jerk rubbed or mayo-seasoning salt rubbed, which by the way, makes the best grilled salmon ever), and batches of Mel’s salmon dip (made from leftover grilled salmon and/or salmon that she cooked just to make dip).

Smoked Salmon Dip #SoLetsPigOut // Loves Food, Loves to Eat Now, of course, I realize how lucky we were. What I wouldn’t give for unlimited salmon that doesn’t cost a month’s rent! Leftover salmon? Please. These days I make Mel’s salmon dip with store bought canned salmon, because you better believe if I’m forking out a full paycheck for fresh fish, I’m grilling it and eating it all in one sitting right then and there. Luckily, Mel’s dip recipe has some secret ingredients that give the illusion of tons of super smoky smoked salmon, without actually using smoked salmon. Genius, that woman! 

Smoked Salmon Dip #SoLetsPigOut // Loves Food, Loves to Eat This recipe is also super simple and comes together in the blink of an eye, which means you'll have extra time to make other #SoLetsPigOut potluck recipes! YES! Check out the recipes at The Pig & Quill and So…Let's Hang Out

Mel's Smoked Salmon Dip

We have lots of good canned salmon in the PNW, but if you can't find anything local, I've found the Trader Joe's canned salmon is pretty good! Just avoid anything that has skin with it, no bueno. Use 2 6oz cans, or equivalent cooked salmon. For fun, I bought a little 2 oz chunk of smoked salmon and mixed that in as well. You can serve with any crackers or veggies, but the classic summer-of-OCFD version calls for Saltine crackers. 

2 6oz cans salmon, drained
2 oz chunck of smoked salmon (optional)
1 8oz brick cream cheese, softened to room temp
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish sauce (more or less, depending on preference)
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste

Stir everything together until fully combined. That's it! Add more lemon juice or liquid smoke if you desire. Store in the fridge in an airtight container. 

PS. I knew making this dip look pretty would be a challenge. The quickest way to tell if food looks gross? Have a second grader take it to school for lunch and see how many kids make fun of it and are grossed out by it. Yep, I was that second grader you guys. In the end I was the lucky one with this dip in my lunch, but man, sometimes a kid just wants a Lunchable like everyone else, ya know?   

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Summer Salad Roundup

Summer Salad Roundup // Loves Food, Loves to Eat
This weekend is two of my favorite events of the year: Ragnar Relay (my 6th year!) and Burning Beast. Next weekend we’re hiking/camping for Amanda’s birthday, and the following weekend is…wait for it… my bachelorette party weekend! In Sonoma! 

Summer Salad Roundup // Loves Food, Loves to Eat Um, also…did I mention that Evan and my wedding is in 2.5 months!? Where did the time go!? At this point, we mostly just need to pull together some last minute decorations and things. We have each other and we have the food, so that’s really all that matters in the end. Oh, but we’re having a helluva time picking out the aisle song. We love music and want it to be something special, but most of the bands we love sing about the opposite of happiness and love. Maybe you can help: I love classic rock (think CCR, Stones), bluegrass, Lana Del Rey, and Miley (don’t hate). Evan loves electronic music & Elliot Smith. Together, we’re bigtime fans of DCFC, Colin Meloy, and Neutral Milk Hotel. Annnnd, go! 

Summer Salad Roundup // Loves Food, Loves to Eat So anyway, with all I have going on lately, I’ve been living off of quick salads. Not even exciting ones. I know that’s kind of boring, but it’s true. Sometimes I toss some chicken on the grill and then put that in the salad, or maybe I’ll throw the whole thing in a tortilla, and call it dinner. I’ve been so busy and it’s so warm out that I’ve just had no energy to put together a real dinner. I think Evan loves it, because it means he can eat out whatever and whenever and I just don’t care. The Korean place around the corner probably loves it too, because Evan’s been a very frequent customer (sidenote: their grilled pork & kimchi sandwich is insane, and I’ll probably need to recreate it for you sometime soon!).  

Summer Salad Roundup // Loves Food, Loves to Eat Summer’s a busy time, man. If you’re also living off salads, here’s a little inspiration from the archives:

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Simple Blueberry Ice Cream

Simple Blueberry Ice Cream // Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Last weekend, Amanda, Pete, Evan and I were sitting in the sun, drinking beer. Pretty typical. And then our friend Mer showed up. Also typical. So there we were, sweating our faces off, drinking craft beers (Seattle is craft beer heaven, by the way). Aside from the sweating our faces off, this is basically what we always do. So anyway, Amanda started talking about homemade ice cream, and the next thing you know, we were all crammed into my apartment around my ice cream maker. Summer is the best. 

Simple Blueberry Ice Cream // Loves Food, Loves to Eat I love a good egg-filled custard based ice cream. All creamy and rich. But for those moments when you want homemade ice cream and you want it right now (er, well, in 20 minutes) this simple milk and cream base can't be beat. No cooking. No extra cooling or anything. The only added step here is throwing some fresh blueberries in a blender with fresh lemon juice to make a tangy, fruity, swirly mix-in. 

Simple Blueberry Ice Cream // Loves Food, Loves to Eat It's seriously so easy and basic that I almost didn't share it. But the little bites I've been sneaking from the freezer all week were enough to change my mind. 

Simple Blueberry Ice Cream
Ice cream maker required

2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
Pinch salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
Juice from 1 lemon

Whisk together cream, milk, sugar, vanilla, and salt, and pour into your ice cream maker. Follow ice cream maker's instructions. 

While ice cream maker is doing it's thing, blend together blueberries and lemon juice. Feel free to add a little liquid sweetener if you want (like honey or agave) but I like the tang. 

Right as ice cream is almost done, add 3/4 of the blueberry mixture and continue running machine until it's mixed in. 

To eat as soft serve, top with a little additional blueberry sauce. 

To freeze for hard ice cream, pour ice cream into a freezer safe dish, and pour remaining blueberry mix on top. Swirl with a fork. Freeze until set. 

Simple Blueberry Ice Cream // Loves Food, Loves to Eat

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Shaved Ice Coconut Pineapple Sundae

We booked our honeymoon! Guess where we're going? I'll give you a few hints. 
Shaved Ice Coconut Pineapple Sundae // Loves Food, Loves to Eat

It's a tropical paradise full of palm trees, coconuts, pineapples, shaved ice, ukelele music, waterfalls, beaches, coconuts, pineapples, and shaved ice. Did I mention coconuts, pineapples, and shaved ice?

Shaved Ice Coconut Pineapple Sundae // Loves Food, Loves to Eat

Hawaii! Did you guess right? We're going to the island of Kauai, and I am stoooooookkkked. We went to Maui a hundred years ago (in 2008… ack!) and loved it a ton. For honeymoonin, we considered knocking out a bucket list destination like Vietnam or France, but in the end, we decided on good ol' Hawaii, for a few reasons. First off, for us west-coasters, that tropical palm-treed paradise is just a hop and skip away. A quick little flight. Which means less time in a plane/train/taxi-cab, and more time on a beach/hammock/surf board. 

Shaved Ice Coconut Pineapple Sundae // Loves Food, Loves to Eat

Second, we aren't even tryiiin to get travel stress on our h-moon. Don't get me wrong, we love traveling to new, foreign places. But, you have to admit, there's always at least one currency/customs/language/map-reading stressor that comes up in a new country. And normally, I'm all about navigating those waters, but after 10 months of wedding planning, the last thing I want to do is run out of lempira and not have an ATM or credit card machine in site (like happened in Honduras), or get lost in the middle of the night in the pouring rain in Brugge because oh-my-god-i-thought-that-was-the-castle-by-our-hotel, but-every-mother-effing-corner-has-an-identical-castle. You know. Nothing major, but things I don't want to think about on my honeymoon. 

Shaved Ice Coconut Pineapple Sundae // Loves Food, Loves to Eat

You know what I want to do on my honeymoon? Oh, and Evan's honeymoon? (Aside from that, perverts). I want to relax. I want to be holding a drink in my hand non-stop. I want to lay on the beach, with my husband (!) by my side. I want the option of doing absolutely nothing all day and not feeling guilty about. But. BUT! If we do want to adventure, Kauai is full of hikes and waterfalls and places where Elvis filmed movies. I think we're gonna have a really swell time. I think we're also going to consume a LOT of shaved ice. 

Shaved Ice Coconut Pineapple Sundae // Loves Food, Loves to Eat

Which brings me to this dessert! I was inspired by a few recipes for this, and by Hawaii! Christina from Dessert for Two posted this coconut snow the other day, and I just couldn't get it outta my head. It's basically just semi-frozen coconut milk, granita style. She served hers with chocolate sauce, which looks so rich and good, but with Hawaii thoughts swirling in my mind, I wanted something tropical! Another recipe that been's in and out of my dreams is this roasted pineapple popsicle. So naturally, I decided to combine the coconut granita magic with roasted pineapple. And not just any roasted pineapple… roasted pineapple sauce! And then, since the coconut snow and roasted pineapple sauce was sort of reminiscent of classic ice cream sundaes (remember that pineapple sauce!?) I threw some cherries on top. And some black sesame seeds, for good measure.

Shaved Ice Coconut Pineapple Sundae // Loves Food, Loves to Eat

Coconut shaved ice! Roasted pineapple sauce! Go ahead, you can pretend you're on my honeymoon. Oh wait, is that creepy?   

Coconut Shaved Ice Sundae with Roasted Pineapple Sauce
Makes 2 sundaes

This is a simple recipe, but you do need to scrape the coconut snow every half hour for 2-2.5 hours, so keep that in mind. You may have extra pineapple sauce, but it's delicious on ice cream, yogurt, oatmeal, with a spoon, in a box with a fox, you name it. 

1 can coconut milk (full fat)
Juice from 1 lime
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water
1 pineapple
3 tablespoons brown sugar
Pinch sea salt
Cherries, pitted
Black sesame seeds

First, get your coconut snow in the freezer:

In a bowl, whisk together coconut milk, lime juice, honey, and water until smooth and combined. Pour into a shallow, freezer-proof dish (I used an 8 inch cake pan), and pop into freezer. After 30 minutes, scrape it all over with a fork to stop from freezing solid. Repeat this every 30 minutes for around 2-2.5 hours.

While coconut snow is in the freezer, make pineapple sauce:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel one whole pineapple, and cut into bite-sized chunks (feel free to save out a few wedges for the sundaes). Add to a baking dish (smaller, not a full baking sheet, it's ok if the pieces overlap), and top with brown sugar and a pinch or two of sea salt. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Pineapple should be super soft, and there should be a bit of liquid in the pan. Let come to room temperature, then add pineapple and any extra liquid in pan to a blender, and blend until smooth. If it's too thick, you can add a splash of water.

Assemble the sundae:

In a glass or bowl, fill halfway with coconut snow, add a small layer of pineapple sauce, fill the rest of the way with coconut snow, then top with more pineapple sauce, cherries, and black sesame seeds. Dig in!

Coconut Snow from this recipe

Roasted Pineapple Sauce inspired by these pops

Monday, June 23, 2014

Coconut Lemon Bar Popsicles

It's summer! And it's popsicle week! 

Coconut Lemon Bar Popsicles// Loves Food, Loves to Eat #popsicleweek The always awesome Billy is hosting popsicle week, which is basically just a big, giant internet popsicle party, wherein 37 bloggers (including yours truly!) post a bunch of really fun frozen treat recipes all week long. I'm so excited for you guys to make these coconut lemon bar pops, and to try all the other cool creations (cool… get it? like… frozen. but also like…rad. oh. you did get it?). Head over to Wit and Vinegar, where Billy's updating the popsicle page with the latest recipes as they come in. 

Coconut Lemon Bar Popsicles// Loves Food, Loves to Eat #popsicleweek So, about this popsicle. Remember that one time when I didn't care about lemon bars, and then my friend Genevieve begged and begged, so I finally made them? And I threw a whole bunch of shredded coconut into the shortbread crust? And then I discovered that lemon bars are amazing and I'm silly for not caring about them? Remember that? Well, these popsicles are the frozen summer version of those lemon bars! They're so creamy and coconutty and lemony! With little bits of buttery crumbled cookie chunks! 

Coconut Lemon Bar Popsicles// Loves Food, Loves to Eat #popsicleweek I asked for some popsicle flavor ideas on the ol' FB, and I heard a whole lotta coconut. And a whole lotta lemon. And a few lemon-coconut. So you people who said lemon or coconut or lemon and coconut? These are for you. And all you other people, who said things like boozy pops and Thai iced tea-sicles? You just head on over and check out all the other popsicle week posts! There's something for everyone. Except for Biscuit… she asked for a Fancy Feast popsicle, but I said no. You have to draw a line somewhere, ya know?

Coconut Lemon Bar Popsicles// Loves Food, Loves to Eat #popsicleweek These are easy breezy. I used store-bought cookies and crunched 'em up, because it's summa and i'm not trying to be in front of an oven all day. I tried three different variations on the mix-ins: coconut and cookies mixed evenly in the liquid, coconut and cookies at the top end, and coconut and cookies at the bottom end. I think mixed evenly throughout works best, because you get cookie flavor in every bite, but if you want to try the other options, go for it! 

Coconut Lemon Bar Popsicles// Loves Food, Loves to Eat #popsicleweek Coconut Lemon Bar Popsicles
Makes about 10 big popsicles

1 can full fat coconut milk (for full creaminess)
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup honey
1/3-1/2 cup desiccated coconut (depending on how textury and coconutty you like it)
1/2 cup shortbread cookie crumbles 

Whisk together coconut milk, lemon juice, and honey until smooth (or whiz up in a blender). Stir in coconut and cookie crumbles. Pour into popsicle molds, and freeze until solid. Release from molds (I like running warm water over the outside of the mold) and enjoy! 

Coconut Lemon Bar Popsicles// Loves Food, Loves to Eat #popsicleweek