Friday, September 4, 2015

Creole Okra Corn Soup + The Easy Vegan Cookbook blog tour

Creole Okra Corn Soup
Welcome to today's stop on The Easy Vegan Cookbook blog tour! I'm not sure when Kathy Hester finds time to sleep, because every time I turn around, she has another beautiful cookbook being released. If you've spent any time on my blog, you probably know that I'm not a vegan—but that doesn't mean that I don't eat meatless and vegan meals and snacks. And while my husband is very much a meatatarian, over the years I've been able to convince him that even vegan meals can be hearty and satisfying.

This Creole Okra Corn Soup from Kathy's new book totally supports my case. It may not contain any animal products and have a brothy base, but it is packed full of seasonal vegetables and a nice little spice factor (which always wins his heart in the end). A couple of days before I received this book in the mail, my old neighbor dropped more than 6 dozen freshly picked ears of corn at my doorstep. I knew without a doubt that this recipe would be the first I would make from the book.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Celebrating 5 Years of Food 'n Flix! #foodnflix

This month marks the 5-year anniversary of the Food 'n Flix Club. Join us for a celebration of food in film this September!

Five years ago today I announced the very first movie pick for my newly created project called Food 'n Flix. Five years! For a while, I hosted everything right on the Food 'n Flix Club site itself, but after seven months, I announced that Food 'n Flix was going on the road. I wanted to spread the hosting love, and let participants take turns hosting and therefore, selecting the monthly movie we'd watch and cook from.

It's been fantastic five years full of movies, food, drink, new friends, and inspiration! Some months we watch a full-on foodie flick, others months we have to dig a little deeper and put our creative minds to work with a pick that may not seem food-related at first glance. To date, 60 movies have sent us into the kitchen to create an inspired dish and related blog post!

In honor of all the fun we've had since its inception, I thought we'd celebrate with a 5-Year Anniversary/Birthday Bash of epic proportions...aka, there's not one single movie we are watching this month—you can choose from ANY of those previously viewed flicks to create your post!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Grilled Veggie Sandwich w/ Goat Cheese (aka The Frodo) inspired by Baker's Blues

Grilled Veggie Sandwich w/ Goat Cheese (aka The Frodo)
Nine years! That's how long I've hoped that, and waited for, this book to come out. Back in the summer of 2006, I devoured the first two books in this trilogy by Judith Ryan Hendricks while occupying a quilt in my backyard, sounds of my then 2,3, and 8 year old kids somewhat muted in the background. I couldn't put them down. They were the catalyst for my need to bake bread. If it weren't for those little ones who kept me so tired, I'm pretty sure I would have found work in a bakery, where I had to be in at 3am.

I'd actually logged a little early morning bakery time during my culinary apprenticeship a number of years before that—and enjoyed it—but these books just sucked me in and brought it to a whole 'nother level. Of course, I was also set to move to Seattle and just insert myself into Wyn's life. (I have been to Seattle since then, and wouldn't have regretted the move one little bit.) I purchased a copy of The Tassajara Bread Book, which was/is very important to Wyn, online immediately.

Although it took some time and practice...and 4 or so more years to actually completely conquer my fear of yeast (not to mention sourdough)...I've now shared 130+ yeast bread recipes right here on girlichef. Any time somebody asks me why I started baking bread, I tell them about the books Bread Alone and The Baker's Apprentice, and that summer 9 years ago.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Buttermilk Pie #FridayPieDay

Buttermilk Pie
Buttermilk Pie may look like a Plain Jane, but looks can be deceiving. There's actually quite a bit of complexity in each bite—smooth vanilla-infused custard that's both sweet and tangy at the same time. Aside from the fact that it's delicious and fits in on the dessert table year-round, it's also ridiculously easy to make. If you can run a blender, you can make this pie. And while a homemade pie crust is something to be proud of, if that's not your thing, a storebought crust basically turns this into the easiest recipe ever.

I like it plain-jane-as-is, but try adding a fluffy dollop of whipped cream, dust it with powdered sugar, or serve it with seasonal fruit or a fruit compote if you want to dress it up a bit. I really don't think you can go wrong with this one.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Yogurt Plum Coffee Cake #ProgressiveEats

Yogurt Plum Coffee Cake
Let me ask you a question. Do you eat coffee cake for breakfast or for dessert? I've always thought of it as an a.m. food—surely because that's how we ate it in my house growing up. It's just like having a Danish or something. A nice slice alongside!

I only ask because I've noticed a fair amount of people who consider coffee cake dessert here in this wide world of food blogging. Is it a regional thing? A family-specific thing? A who-gives-a-f*ck thing? (I'm guessing that last one is the majority.) For me, it will always be a breakfast or brunch offering, though.

Cake in the morning just makes sense anyway. You know, more hours to burn it off.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Tangled Apple, Pistachio, and Golden Raisin Salad #HandHeldSpiralizer

Tangled Apple, Pistachio, and Golden Raisin Salad
It's transition time in the world of food. Peaches, corn, tomatoes and zucchini battle apples and pumpkin for our attention on food blogs, twitter, and pinterest. And I'll be honest—I'm torn. I'm totally an autumn kinda girl, willing the cooler air, football games, and apple orchards in with all my might. But, there's still about a month left of summer, and now is the time for trying to keep up with the summer harvest.

There are worse dilemmas to have.

I think August and September just have to be transitional months. A little bit of summer and a little bit of fall. That's a compromise I can work with. Today I'm looking forward to fall with a fresh, simple apple salad that lends itself nicely to cool weather lunches and potlucks.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Fresh Peach and Whiskey Ice Cream #EataPeachDay #SheMadeEllaHace

Fresh Peach and Whiskey Ice Cream
I've got a double-whammy to share with you today—Eat a Peach Day and this month's round of she made, ella hace with my friend Leslie from La Cocina de Leslie! Two reasons for one delicious post. Well, I guess it's actually two since both Leslie and I are sharing a recipe. Hmmm, so maybe it's a triple-whammy. Or would that make it a quadruple-whammy? I'll let you ponder that (or not) while I turn my attention to PEACHES!

My kids went back to school this past week, but we still have another month of summer to go—that means tons of fresh produce is still rolling in. My kitchen looks a little ridiculous right now. My counters and table are overrun by tomatoes, chiles, zucchini and yellow squash, corn on the cob, and green beans. I'm not even the one with a garden, my neighbors are. Not that I'm complaining (much), but I find myself without any space in my teeny-tiny kitchen to prepare or put it all up!

So what do I do? Hit up the market and roadside stands for deep ruby plums and fuzzy peaches. You know, so I can fill in the tiny gaps and form teetering pyramids. The fruit disappears in a flash, though, so I had to snag a couple of those peaches to make this ice cream. Yeah, I'm still in full-on ice cream mode, too.

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