How to host a Wine & Cheese gathering while traveling


I was lucky enough to fly to San Francisco last month with my friends Annie of Annie Reeves and Megan of The Freckled Italian. The girls and I were getting together for an event we were hosting, and since we had a little down time that evening we thought why not relax and catch up with a glass of wine and some snacks? Now this may seem like quite a hassle at first since we were staying in a rental home, but with these two girls by my side we were able to put together a beautiful and satisfying spread in no time.  

We wanted to keep it simple, so we focused on grabbing just a few necessary items from a local store and went from there. This is one of my favorite things about traveling: getting to visit new markets in the city and seeing all the unique treats they have to offer. Before we headed out we made a list that I think will make anyone's cheese board dreams come true—especially if you're short on time.

Here's our list:

  • One Baguette
  • Gluten Free Crackers
  • A few different Cheeses like Goat, Brie, and a Hard Cheese
  • Green Olives
  • Fig Jam
  • Prosciutto
  • Almonds 
  • European Style Butter - it's the best
  • Some Seasonal Fruit
  • Cornichons
  • Some Dark Chocolate 

This list is pretty fool proof if you're trying to put a cheese board together. Just remember to choose snacks that you love and to refrain from overthinking it. Plus, if you can get your hands on some high quality cheese like the Vermont Creamery cheese we had, then you'll be completely fine. 

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Having a list was really helpful once we got to the store because we were able to divide and conquer, making that part of the process extremely quick. Once we got home we grabbed a cutting board, some jars, and a few glasses for wine. Thankfully our Airbnb has just what we needed, and I had some extra cheese boards on hand for our event the next day. Now what if you're staying in a hotel you might say? No problem! Most hotels would be more than happy to send up some plates and glasses, which are basically the two most important things when putting a wine and cheese gathering together, plus if you're at a hotel, then you don't have to do any dishes :)

Once our boards were put together the girls and I opened a bottle of La Crema's Monterey Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir and headed outside so we could enjoy our spread under the cotton candy sky that the beautiful city of San Francisco graced us with. I felt so fortunate to be traveling, but also to have taken part in an intimate hang out that made our time together all the more special. So next time your traveling with friends, or you find yourself in a city where friends can come to you, why not try and host a little gathering? For more tips and pictures of our get together be sure to check out La Crema's blog, as well as Annie and Megan's blog.

All of these gorgeous images were taken by our talented friend Ozzie.

Thank you to La Crema wines for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own. 

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Mascarpone Cheesecake with Pomegranate Syrup


When it really comes down to it, I think I got my sweet tooth from my father. One could always find him up to something in the kitchen after a hearty meal—he’d be scavenging for chocolate chip cookie ingredients, digging for treats at the bottom of a bag of baked goodies, or preparing to craft a homemade cheesecake. This last one was my personal favorite, and so I thought it would only be natural if for this Thanksgiving I made a wonderful, exquisite cheesecake of which he would be truly proud.

This decadent dessert is made up of a beautiful blend of cream cheese and Vermont creameries’s delicious mascarpone cheese. It’s ever so smooth and delicate, with an extra added tang from a judicious layer of silky crėme fraîche. Obviously such a treat tastes delicious on it’s own, but I wanted it to have something more, and a garnish of some homemade pomegranate syrup with some fresh seeds did just the trick. With or without this garnish, I promise this cheesecake will satisfy any sweet tooth. 

I know that baking a cheesecake at home can at times be a little tricky, so I’ve included a few extra tips after the recipe to ensure that you end up with a smooth, crack-free cheesecake. 

Also, thanks to Vermont Creamery for providing me with all the delicious cheese that I needed to make this dreamy dessert. And as always thanks for supporting the brands that support The Broken Bread. 

I wish you all a happy and safe Thanksgiving! 


Mascarpone Cheesecake with Pomegranate Syrup

1 3/4 cups finely crushed chocolate wafers, about 38 

5 tablespoons unsalted Vermont Creamery Cultured butter, melted

2, 8 oz packages full fat cream cheese, room temperature

1, 8 oz container mascarpone cheese, room temperature

3 tbs crėme fraîche, room temperature 

3/4 cup plus 1 tbs granulated sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

3 large eggs, room temperature

 

For the pomegranate syrup

2 cups pomegranate juice

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

 

For the crėme fraîche topping

3/4 cup crėme fraîche

2 tbs powdered sugar

1 heaping cup pomegranate seeds, for garnish

Equipment: 9" springform pan, parchment paper, 18” wide heavy duty tin foil wrap, standing mixer, large roasting pan, saucepan.


Method

Move oven rack to the lower third position of the oven and heat to 350°F. Lightly grease the sides of the springform pan and line the base with a 9’’ parchment round.

Add the crushed cookie wafers and the melted butter to a medium bowl and mix until the combined. Evenly press the mixture into the springform pan along the bottom and about 1-1 1/2 inches up the sides. Cut a large square of tin foil (about 20’’ x 20’’) and place the springform pan right in the middle. Gently fold the tin foil up the sides of the pan, pressing at the top to secure. Repeat this process one more time in order to create a sturdy, waterproof barrier. Place the springform pan in the oven for 8 minutes; remove and let cool.

Reduce the oven's temperature to 325°F. Add the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, 3 tablespoons crėme fraîche, sugar, and vanilla to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until smooth and no lumps remain, about 3 minutes. On the lowest speed, beat in the eggs one at a time until just incorporated.

Pour the cheese mixture into the prepared crust, then place into the roasting pan. Place the roasting pan on the lowest rack and slowly fill with hot water until it reaches about 1-1 1/2’’ inches up the sides of the springform pan. Close the oven and bake for 40 minutes until the edges are set, but the center is still wobbly.

After 40 minutes turn off the oven and use the handle of a wooden spoon to slightly crack open the oven door. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour to finish baking. 

Carefully remove the cheesecake from the oven and discard the foil. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap or tin foil and place in the refrigerator to cool completely; about 5 hours, preferably over night. 

While the cheesecake is chilling prepare the pomegranate syrup. Add 2 cups of pomegranate juice and 2 tablespoons sugar to a saucepan and gently simmer for 30-35 minutes, or until the syrup is slightly thick and has reduced to 2/3 cup. Place the syrup in a airtight container and store in the fridge to cool completely. 

Once the cheesecake has properly chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and set aside. In a small bowl whisk together 3/4 cup crėme fraîche and 2 tablespoons powdered sugar until smooth. Spread the crėme fraîche over the top of the cheesecake, then garnish with pomegranate seeds.

Allow the cheesecake to come to room temperature before serving. Drizzle each slice with bit of pomegranate syrup and enjoy!

Some additional tips

· Make sure all of your ingredients are truly room temperate. This will ensure you get a smooth filling when beating your ingredients together. 

· Do not over beat the filling. Over beating the filling incorporates too much air (which is why using the paddle attachment is best) which can cause the cheesecake to puff up when cooking, then shrink and crack once it cools.  

· Don’t open the oven while the cheesecake is baking, even when you turn of the off the oven. Cheesecakes are really sensitive to temperature changes, that's why this recipe let's it gently bake for an additional hour with the oven cracked open ever-so slightly. 

· Don’t over bake your cheesecake. This is a big one.  When you pull your cheesecake out of theoven it should still have a little wobble in the center. That's what you want! You just have to have faith that once it chills properly you'll end us with the dreamiest cheesecake to enjoy this thanksgiving.

Roasted Celeriac & Fennel Soup


It's virtual baby shower time and I'm bringing soup! Cynthia, from Two Red Bowls, and her husband Andy (Bowl 2) recently welcomed their son Luke (Bowl 3) into the world! And thus to celebrate, Steph and Alana (of I am a Food Blog and Fix Feast Flair) are hosting a virtual baby shower! Cynthia is such a talented blogger, and an incredibly kind woman for whom it brings me joy to celebrate. I'm simply elated at arrival of her sweet baby boy.

To celebrate Cynthia and baby Luke, I made a roasted fennel and celeriac soup. This soup is SO good, and it comes together so quickly, which in my mind is always a good thing. I've been craving cozy soups like crazy lately which is likely due to all of the cold and rainy days Seattle has been having lately.This soup combines some of my favorite veggies, plus I added some toasted pepitas, and shaved fennel to add a little extra heartiness to this bowl of warmth.

I thought this would be the perfect soup for this virtual baby shower because it's served in a bowl, duh (two red bowls, you get it ). I hope you and your family feel loved today Cynthia! Congratulations! Below you can find the full list of everyone else who made something for the #threeredbowls party.

I am a Food Blog | Mac and Kimcheese Dolsot Bibimbap
Fix Feast Flair | Dishoom's Chicken Ruby Murray
The Fauxmartha | Mom Lunches
A Cozy Kitchen | Cornbread Chicken + Dumplings
Cake Over Steak | Salted Caramel Chocolate Crackles
The Pancake Princess | Stovetop Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Snixy Kitchen | Chicken Pot Pie with Chestnut Biscuits
Lady and Pups | Egg Florentine in Pullman "Bowls"
Betty Liu | Honeynut Squash Congee
Style Sweet CA | Date Bourbon Cinnamon Rolls
Warm Vanilla Sugar | Broccoli Quinoa Bowl with Avocado Sauce
A Beautiful Plate | Coconut Cauliflower Soup
Girl Versus Dough | Tomato Grilled Cheese Soup
Fork to Belly | A Big Hawaiian Fruit Bowl
Donny Tsang | Chawanmushi
Wit & Vinegar | Jerk Chicken Chili
Constellation Inspiration | Salted Egg Yolk Custard Mochi
Twigg Studios | Katsu Udon Soup wth Popcorn Chicken Croutons
Edible Perspective | Acorn Squash Bowls with Pears, Pecans, and Vanilla Bean Cream
Coco Cake Land | Asian Bowl Cut Sugar Cookies
Southern Souffle | Sorghum Apple Biscuits In A Bowl
The Bojon Gourmet | Smoky Sweet Potato & Lentil Tortilla Soup
Flourishing Foodie | Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Soup
What should I eat for breakfast today | Little Bowl with Creamy Polenta, Cheese, Onions and Mushrooms
Top with Cinnamon | Squash & Crispy Kale Bowls with Pomegranate and Miso-Ginger Dressing
The Broken Bread | Roasted Celeriac + Fennel Soup
Fig+Bleu | Cauliflower Harissa Soup
My Name is Yeh | Corn Dog In A Bowl
Chocolate + Marrow | Parsnip + Potato Soup with Crispy Pancetta                                          Crepes of Wrath | Mini Scallion Pancake Challah Buns
O&O Eats | Persimmon Cobbler
With Food + Love | Golden Beet Soup


Roasted Celeriac & Fennel Soup

2 tbs unsalted butter

oil, for drizzling

2 shallots, diced

1 medium fennel bulb fennel, quartered

1 medium celeriac

4 cups chicken or veggie stock

2 bay leaves

5-6 few sprig of thymes

salt and pepper

to garnish

toasted pepitas

shaved fennel 

fennel fronds

olive oil, for drizzling 


Method

Heat oven to 425°F

Peel or cut the exterior off of the celeriac root and cut into 1-inch pieces. Place 3 cups of the chopped celeriac onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; set aside. Cut the fronds off of the fennel bulb, cut into 6 wedges, and add to the baking sheet. Drizzle the veggies with oil, and a pinch or two of salt and pepper and toss to coat. Place the baking sheet into the oven and let veggies roast for 25-30 minutes, or until fork tender and lightly caramelized.  Make sure to stir the veggies halfway through the cooking time.  

Melt the butter in a large pot set over medium heat. Add the chopped shallots and cook until tender and slightly translucent. Add the roasted veggies, bay leaves, thyme, an extra pinch of salt and pepper, and continue to cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.  

Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow the soup to simmer for 30 minutes.

Carefully remove the bay leaves and any thyme twigs. Remove any thyme leave from that are still attached and add back to the soup. Pour the soup into a blender and puree until sillky smooth. Pour the soup back into the pot and season to taste. If the soup happens to be too thick, simply add a bit more chicken stock.

Garnish soup with shaved fennel, pepitas, fennel fronds and a bit of olive oil.

An Autumn gathering at La Crema's Saralee's estate


Northern California is such an enchanting part of the country. And this past weekend I had the opportunity to co-host another La Crema event with my lovely friends, Annie of Annie Reeves and Megan of The Freckled Italian, at the stunning La Crema Saralee's estate in Windsor, CA. This trip marked my first visit to this region so I wasn’t sure what to expect; let’s just say I’m already trying to plan another trip back. 

Pulling onto the property is where the experience truly begins. As you make your way up the gravel driveway you are immediately greeted by a sea of grape vines so vast they seem to disappear into the horizon. When we first arrived, the leaves on the vines were already changing colors; a visual celebration of reds, oranges, and greens that blanketed the property. At the top of the driveway sits a beautiful, enormous restored barn that dates back to the 1900s. Walking up to its doors I wasn’t sure what I would find inside, but I was excited to find out. The immediate feeling within is almost like you've been there already—and before my eyes could even take it all in I was being greeted with a smile and glass of rosé. 

This amazing property was the perfect backdrop for a day of learning, tasting, eating, and reveling in community. Megan, Annie, and I were quite lucky to have seven incredible Bay Area bloggers join us for this special gathering. Once all of our guests arrived, our journey began with an exciting golf cart tour of the vineyard led by a personal concierge. We were taken up to hill tops from which we surveyed the beautiful landscape, we rested under giant walnut trees in whose shade we enjoyed wine tastings, and walking in between the perpetual vineyard rows we tasted each kind of grape straight off the branch. This trip was simply incredible.

After our tour we were treated to a three course lunch with a wine pairing that was put together by Chef Tracy. The food and wine pairings that Chef Tracy created was beautifully crafted and inspiring that I found myself inspired to pay closer attention to how wine can build off of an already flavorful meal. Our meal began with beautiful oysters on the half shell flavored with wasabi caviar that was paired with La Crema's 2015 La Crema Saralee’s Pinot Noir Rosé. After that we were served the a flavorful portion of tuna that was served over the creamiest celery root puree, topped with pine nuts and preserved lemon; which was paired with La Crema’s 2014 La Crema Kelli Ann Vineyard Chardonnay. The final course (my favorite) was a perfectly cooked Liberty Farms duck breast, sauteed chard, chanterelle mushrooms, and sunchokes, which paired beautifully with their 2013 La Crema Fog Veil Pinot Noir

To finish off the day, we ended with a wine and cheese tasting that was as immersive as it was informative. Our chef’s love and passion for these pairings was clearly evident—not only in the way she spoke but in the way she absolutely lit up at each new stage of the experience. My favorite pairing was this Dry Jack cheese that was paired with tart cherry jam and a sampling of Arroyo Seco Pinot Noir. 

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Spending the day at this vineyard was a delightful experience, one that reminded me how interesting, sophisticated, and dynamic a glass of wine can truly be when paired carefully with various flavors. Suffice to say, this day's experience, while firmly rooted in the joy of food and wine, nevertheless succeeded in transcending it.

Here's a short video of our time at the vineyard. To see more picture from the even be sure to check out Megan, and Annie's , and La Crema's blog for more!

 

Thanks again for supporting the brands the support The Broken Bread!

All images in this post were taken by Oguz Uygur.

Easy Chicken Skillet Pot Pie


The fall holiday season is fast upon us, and with Thanksgiving less than a week away I've been indulging in many of my favorite comfort foods—such as this delicious chicken pot pie. I've loved pot pies since I was a little kid, but my appreciation for this steamy bowl of comfort totally changed when I made it from scratch a few years ago.

Making a chicken pot pie at home can sound like a lot of work, but it’s one of those recipes that sounds more overwhelming than it really is. I get it: life is busy, sometimes a little too busy to make time for a home made chicken pot pie one might think. But not quite! With a little prep, you can get home from work and have your pot pie in the oven in about thirty minutes.

When it really comes down to it, a pot pie is all about the filling. I want it to be richly flavorful, with each bite being hearty and satisfying. For this recipe, I've included rotisserie chicken, carrots, potatoes, chanterelle mushroom, and just the right amount of fragrant herbs. To learn how to make it, head over to La Crema’s blog. While you're there you can also see what kind of wine I paired with this meal, because, if you’re gonna make a pot pie, you might as well drink some wine while you make it.

Just incase rotisserie chicken isn't an option for you, I've include a quick poaching method that I like to when I am preparing chicken for my pot pies.

Thanks again for supporting the brands that support The Broken Bread!


Poached Chicken Breast 

1 lb chicken breast

water

large pot

a pinch or two of salt


Method

Place the chicken breasts into the pot and fill with enough water to cover, and a few pinches of salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 15-18 minutes, or until the chicken has an internal read of 165°F.

Remove the chicken breasts from the water, and let cool slightly. Use either your hands or two forks to shred the chicken into desired sized pieces.

**If you wanted to make poach chicken for a salad, or as a side to a dish I suggest adding some aromatics to increase the overall flavor of the chicken. Since this recipe is intended for the pot pie I didn't feel the need to add any. 

Pear & Grape Buckwheat Galettes


Baking with alternative flours is such an exciting endeavor to me, but in most of my attempts to make gluten-free treats with them, I just haven't been able to produce a really satisfying recipe—until now. My sweet friend Alanna just came out with a wonderful book called Alternative Baker, and if you want to experiment with alternative flours, this is the book for you.

Her book is filled with stunning images, delicious recipes, and valuable information about alternative flours.

After flipping through her book, I was instantly drawn to these buckwheat and pear galettes with a salty caramel sauce. I'm a big fan of buckwheat desserts, so this seemed like a good place for me to start my alternative flour baking journey. I really appreciate how Alanna gives you very detailed instructions as you work through her recipes. This made the whole process much more enjoyable for me because all of her tips really do set up you for success; a delicious piece of success that you get to eat.

Alanna’s recipe uses fresh pears, but since I had the loveliest concord grapes and green apples on hand, I thought why not make a variety of flavors? These galettes were absolutely delicious. The texture of the dough was incredible, and the deep and rich flavor that you get from the buckwheat flour is, in my opinion, what makes these little treats so memorable. 


Buckwheat Crust

Yields 8, 3 1/2 (9-cm) Galettes

Recipe by Alana Taylor Robin

1/4 cup ice water

1/2 cup sweet rice flour

1/2 cup GF oat flour

1/4 cup plus 2 tbs buckwheat flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

2 tbsp tapioca flour

2 1/2 tbs finely ground chia seeds- preferably white

1 tbsp organic cane sugar

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

8 tbs cold, unsalted butter, sliced 1/4-inch thick

1/4 cup cold buttermilk

Filling

4 pears, 4 granny smith apples, or 2 cups grapes

1/2  a lemon

2 tbs cream or milk

3 tbs organic cane sugar

salty caramel, for drizzling

flaky sea salt, for sprinkling


Method

In a large bowl, combine the rice, oat, and buckwheat flour with the cornstarch, tapioca flour, ground chia seeds, sugar and salt. Scatter the butter pieces over the top and work in the butter with a pastry cutter, or with your fingers until the mixture resembles wet sand, that has lots of butter chunks that resemble the size of small peas and almonds.

Stir the ice water and buttermilk together and drizzle the mixture over the flour, one tablespoon at a time tossing the dough with either a flexible spatula, or two forks to moisten the mixture evenly. Add just enough of the liquid mixture for the dough to hold together when you give it a squeeze, and add it directly to the dry floury pieces that tend to hang out at the bottom of the bowl. Alana also mentions in her book that you may or may not need all of the liquid called for in this recipe, or you may need more ice water. Simply pay attention to how the dough feels and you'll be fine. 

Knead the dough in the bowl 10-20 times until it comes together. Press the dough into a disc, wrap with plastic and store in the refrigerator for up to two days.

*Alana also provides a few other options on how to get a super flaky crust, but you'll have to buy her gorgeous book to get those :)

Once you're ready to make your gallettes, remove the dough from the fridge and using a sharp knife cut it into 8 equal portions, placing 7 of them back into the fridge. Use a rolling pin to roll out the first portion of dough into a 6-inch round that's about 1/8-inch thick, flipping and dusting with extra buckwheat flour to prevent sticking. Trim the edges of the dough round as necessary and place back into the refrigerator. Repeat this process until all the of the dough pieces have been rolled out. Dust the rounds with a little extra flour, cover and store in the refrigerator until firm, or for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day.

To make the filling, position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and heat to  400°F. If using pears or apples, peel the fruits, half them lengthwise, and remove their cores. Slice the fruit into 1/4 inch thick slices and drizzle with a bit of lemon juice to keep them from browning. If using grapes, no additional prep work needs to be done.

Dived the dough rounds between two baking sheets that have been lined with parchment paper. Keeping the fruit slices together, tranfer the pear or apples slices to the top of a tart. If using grapes, simple mound about 1/4 cup of grapes in the center of the dough round and carefully fold up the dough around the fruit to create a 1-inch lip, creasing and pleating the dough. If any cracks occur, simply press the dough back together to seal. Place the galettes back into the fridge to chill until firm. Brush the dough lightly with cream and sprinkle the apples, pears, or grapes, and dough evenly with the sugar.

Bake the galettes until the juices from the fruit begin to bubble and the dough is golden. Since the dough is already dark, make sure to take a close look to see if the crust is done baking; about 30-40 minutes, rotating the pans front to back and top to bottom for even browning after the first 20 minutes.

Remove the galettes from the oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes, or up to several hours. Serve the galettes with a drizzle of caramel sauce, like the salty caramel sauce Alana shares in her book, and a pinch of flaky sea salt if desired.

Roasted Hatch Chile Burger


Burgers are a beautiful thing, aren’t they? Most days I’m pretty sure I could eat burgers for the rest of my life—I mean, if I had to. I think that one of my favorite things about burgers is that they don't really require much work to taste great; one just needs the right ingredients.

For the most part this burger is pretty straight forward, but there's one part about it that's very special: roasted hatch chile peppers. These glorious peppers are in season right now and they make a wonderful addition to a classic burger. Roasting them is really where their flavor emerges, and the result is a burger whose every bite is packed with the perfect amount of spicy deliciousness.

Now, I have to warn you—these pepper are spicy, so when you are peeling off the skins and removing the seeds I highly recommend two things: wear gloves if possible, and don’t touch any part of your face one you’ve started handling them. Besides that, you’re only about 6 minutes away from roasting a batch of these lovely peppers right at home.

Since this burger packs a bit of heat, I paired it with La Crema's lovely 2014 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. It's berry undertones come alongside and generously complement the flavor profile of this burger. Make sure to head over to La Crema's site to get the full recipe for this burger.


Roasted hatch chili pepper

4-5 medium hatch chilies

Equipment: Baking sheet, plastic gloves if available.


Turn the broiler on to high, wish rack set to the highest position.

Wash the hatch peppers, pat dry, and scatter onto a baking sheet.

Place the sheet under the broiler and leave the chilis there for about three minutes, or until blistered and charred. Remove the tray from the oven and using a pair of tongs, or spatula, flip the chilis over and place back in the oven. Allow the other side of the chilies to blister, then remove from oven.

Place the freshly blistered peppers into a medium bowl, placing a few paper towels, or a rag to cover. Place a large dish over the top of the napkin and let the chilies steam for 15 minutes.

Remove the chilies from the bowl and carefully begin to remove their skin, followed by their seeds. Cut the remaining pieces of the chili into strip and place in a small bowl until ready to use. 

Click here to get the rest of the recipe.

Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Broken Bread. This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

And one last thing—here are some tips to ensure a delicious burger: 

  1. Use the best quality meat you can get you hands on. Since this is essentially what the burger is all about you might as well get some delicious fresh beef. I recommend getting 80% lean 20% fat. It’s that 20% percent that will guarantee you a tasty burger.
  2. Make that special sauce at home. You don’t need a lot of ingredients to make a killer sauce. Find me go-to sauce recipe here.
  3. Keep the extra ingredients simple. I have to have cheese on my burger, other than that I might toss in a slice of avocado, or some roasted chilies, but sometimes I find that simplicity is best when it comes to a burger.
  4. Lastly, get your hand on a either a potato or brioche bun. I personally stick to the potato bun, but either of these options will be the perfect bookends to that juicy piece of beef.

 

 

 

A Peach & Coconut Cream Tart


The world is filled with simple pleasures, and last week I experienced a new one: karaoke. I've gone a few times, and though I've always secretly wanted to sing, I've never had the nerves to just get up and do it. I don't know why I care so much because, I mean, more times than not people are just out there to have fun no matter what they sound like. Well, expect for those few professional singers that nail every note like there's an agent in the crowd; they'll make anyone thankful they decided not to sing.

But with all that said, I finally did it. To think, just last week you could have found me belting out a song from Eve-6 with my sister in-law. We were a mess, but we had the best time.

Speaking of simple pleasures, how does a peach and coconut tart sound? I know the flavors in this tart are pretty simple, but that's how I like it. I've been on a peach kick lately and pairing them with a coconut pastry cream is now one of my favorite ways to enjoy them. What I especially love about this tart is that each ingredient stands out in each bite.

I added brown butter to my crust, but if you don't want to, just add melted butter instead. Although, I really recommend going with the brown butter since it adds just a little extra nuttiness that pairs so well with the coconut. 

I hope this tart gives you some inspiration on how to use all those beautiful peaches before their season runs out. Oh, and I will warn you now that this crust is a little delicate, so just keep that in mind when you serve; but I mean who really cares about a dessert that can get a little messy, right? 


Coconut Cream Filling

filling adapted from Joy of Baking

1 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk

3 large egg yolks

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch, non gmo if possible

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

3/4 teaspoon natural coconut extract or paste- I used this one

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

pinch kosher salt

zest of half a lemon

2-3 ripe yellow peaches

2 teaspoons sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

FOR THE CRUST

1 1/3 cup crush nilla wafers

1 stick unsalted butter

1/4 coconut toasted flakes

pinch salt

Equipment: 2 Sauce pans, whisk, fine mesh sieve, food processor, skillet, 1, 9.5 x 1 inch tart pan, micro plan zester


Method

Place the coconut milk into the saucepan and set over medium high heat. While the coconut milk is heating up add the egg yolks to a medium heat proof bowl along with the sugar, whisking until smooth.

Sift the cornstarch and flour into the egg mixture and whisk to combine. Make sure not let this mixture sit to too long before the next step;  Joy say's if you do bits of egg will form.

Once the coconut milk begins to steam, pour it into the egg yolk mix in a steady and slow stream while whisking with the other hand. Once all of the coconut milk has been whisked in, pour the coconut milk into a medium saucepan and while whisking constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat. 

Once the mixture begins to boil, let it cook for an additional 30-60 seconds, or until thick. Immediately remove from the pan from the heat and pour into a clean bowl. Mix the tablespoon of butter, 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 3/4 teaspoon coconut extract, whisking until combined. 

Cover the pastry cream with plastic wrap, making sure to press the plastic against the coconut cream to prevent a skin from forming. Place the bowl in the refridersator until completely chilled.

While the filling is cooling start making the crust by pulsing the vanilla wafers in food processor until finely ground.  *Alternatively, you can smash the cookies in a plastic bag until they achieve a very fine texture. Add the crushed cookies to a large bowl.

Place the stick of butter in a skillet (lightly colored if possible- this will help you see the browning of the butter) and set over medium heat. While stirring occasionally, let the butter melt completely. The butter will begin to foam, and spatter a bit, just keep stirring every now and then until the foam subsides. 

Keep a close eye on the butter as it will turn a golden brown color pretty quickly. Once it does, remove from heat immediately and pour into a separate container.

Measure out 1/3 cup of the brown butter and mix it into the ground wafers, along with the toasted coconut flakes, and a pinch of kosher salt. If the mixture feels a bit dry, go ahead and add a little extra brown butter.

Add the crust mixture to the pan, pressing firmly at the bottom, and pressing the crumbs up the sides. Place in the refrigerator immediately and let chill for about 45 minutes before adding the filling.

Assembly

About 15 minutes before you are ready to fill the crust, slice all of the peaches and add them to a large bowl. Gently toss the peaches with about 1 tablespoons of lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of sugar and let sit for 10- 15 minutes.

Remove the pastry cream from the refrigerator and fold in the zest of half a lemon, then add to the crust. Arrange the peach slices over the top of the tart, serve and enjoy! 

Fresh Honeydew-Ginger Mojitos


It's the middle of the week and I already know what you're thinking, "What delicious cocktail am I making once I get home", right?. Well my friends #drinkthesummer has got you covered. My lovely friend Sherrie has rounded up a swell group of people to have a virtual cocktail party, and you're invited!


For this summertime soiree I'm sharing my recipe for these honeydew melon-ginger mojitos. In my mind mojitos are one of those quintessential drinks that you have to make at least once before summer is over; which sadly is creeping up pretty quickly. Awful, I know.

I believe that honeydew melons don't get put to proper use. The only time I find myself eating them is when they are served up at some hotel breakfast buffet, or if by chance they end up in a fruit cup that I get at the store. It's a shame. From their color, to their utterly sweet and juicy flesh; I have no clue why I'm not eating these melons more often. To make up for my laziness, I've decided to show off the potential of this beautiful melon by tossing it into this mojito, adding fresh muddled ginger, and just the right amount of demerara sugar.

Here is the full list of everyone who made a delicious beverage for #drinkthesummer

 Adult drinks 

With Food + Love | Basil Fig Vodka Smash

A Little Saffron | Beach Bum's Rum

A Thought For Food | Tarragon Tequlia Swizzle

Downshiftology | Limoncello Prosecco with Blueberries and Thyme

Heart of a Baker | Green Tea Mint Cooler

Hungry Girl por Vida | Whisky Peach Alexander

The Green Life | Spiced Plum, Fig & Kombucha Cocktail

Hummingbird High | Watermelon and Mint Agua Fresca

Floating Kitchen | Peach Sun Tea and Bourbon Cocktail

Beard and Bonnet | Melon Mojito

EGD | Backyard Peach Sweet Tea

Appeasing a Food Geek | Basil and Black Pepper Gin Sour

Vegetarian Ventures | Garden Tonic Punch

Nosh and Nourish | Mango Margaritas with Chile Lime Salted Rims

Domesticate ME! | Watermelon-Basil Mezcal Margarita

The Foodie Nurse | Husk Cherry Margarita

my name is yeh | Choose Your Own Adventure Bloody Marys

Sevengrams | Cucumber, Gin and Chartreuse Cocktail

Wicked Spatula | Coconut Gin and Tonic

Eat Boutique | Sbagliatos and Homemade Sweet Vermouth

Nutritionist in the Kitch | Healthy Muddled Blackberry Pina Coladas

Chocolate + Marrow | Pequito Verdecito

The Solstice Table | Jalapeno Watermelon Cooler

HonestlyYUM | Watermelon, Fresh Herbs, & Sotol Cocktail

Seasonal Cravings | Strawberry Lime Gin Rickey

Salted Plains | Frozen Honeydew Daiquiris

The Broken Bread | Honeydew-Ginger Apricot Mojitos

Fix Feast Flair | Ginger-Berry Splash Cocktail

Turntable Kitchen | Summer Cooler Cocktails, Two Ways

Foolproof Living | Blueberry, Dark Cherry and Calvados Cocktail

Dessert for Two | Salty Melon Slush

 

Drinks for everyone!

Heartbeet Kitchen | Salty Watermelon Shrub Elixir

TENDING the TABLE | Raspberry and Fig Hibiscus Cooler

Snixy Kitchen | Lavender Earl Gray Blackberry Ice Cream Floats

The Bojon Gourmet | Vanilla Rooibos Peach Ice Cream Floats

Gratitude and Greens | Hong Kong Style Crushed Watermelon Ice

My Heart Beets | Spiced Pistachio Shake

rooting the sun | Strawberry Fennel Soda

The Modern Proper | Vanilla Bean Plum Shrub

Feed Me Phoebe | Watermelon-Cucumber Kombucha Coolers

Gourmande in the Kitchen | Stone Fruit Thyme Shrub Soda

dolly and oatmeal | Cold-Brewed Shiso & Hibiscus Tea Iced Latte

happy hearted kitchen | Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with Fennel, Orange + Cardamom

I am a Food Blog | Cherry Vanilla Sodas

Tasty Yummies | Fig Vanilla Bean Almond Milk

Let's talk evergreen | Iced Earl Grey Yuanyang With a Hint of Rose

Kale & Caramel | Emerald Beaut Green Spritzer

Earthy Feast | Watermelon Hibiscus Agua Fresca

Now, Forager | Sparkling Plumcot and Purple Basil Shrubs

The Pig & Quill | Brown Sugar Blueberry Pie Shakes

Well and Full | Peach Bubble Tea

Sweetish Co | The Best Frozen Hot Chocolate

holly & flora | Spiced Pineapple Shrub Sparklers with Black Tea + Coconut

I know there's a lot, but hey at least you'll have drink inspiration for dayzzzz.

You may have noticed this already, but I ended up straining my mojito before serving it, as opposed tot muddling everything together in the same glass. You can make this drink either way, it's just that I'm just not a fan of slurping down a bunch of muddle mint leaves.


Honeydew-Ginger Mojitos

serves 2

5 oz light rum

6 oz fresh honeydew melon juice

1 large lime, quartered

16 mint leaves, plus extra for garnishing

1 1/2 tbs demerara sugar

5-6 circular skinless slices of ginger, about 1/4 inch thick

ice

apricot la croix, or soda water

2 large glasses


Method

Fill a shaker with the ginger and muddle to release their juices. Add the lime wedges and sugar, and muddle to release the juices from the lime.

Add the mint leaves and gently muddle. Add the rum, a large handful of ice, and seal the shaker. Shake for about 10 seconds, then strain into two cups. Fill each glass with ice, and top off  the drink with apricot la croix or club soda.

Garnish with a slice of lime and some fresh mint.

* I chopped up half a honeydew melon and blended it until smooth for the juice in this drink. I didn't bother to strain it because I like the texture of the melon juice.

*I am not a fan of overly sweet drinks, so if you are, then you might want to add a bit more sugar.

 

 

Green Tea Affogato & a #bossbabefestMSP recap


There truly is no substitution for the joy that community can bring into someone's life. When I started blogging a few years ago I had no idea how fulfilling blogging could be, but I also wasn't aware of how much alone time I would encounter; truth be told it’s a lot. I can't tell you how many times I have wanted to get a dog so that I could have someone to talk to, ha! I find it quite odd that this is the case because the life of a blogger is based in community; it really is the life blood of what we do. I am so thankful that my career allows me to connect with people, readers, and other bloggers from all over the world, but what I find myself lacking is the chance to connect with people in real life, not just via my phone or computer.

But then #bossbabefestMSP happened.

My girls Amanda and Sherrie, who I really admire, happened to be experiencing the same pangs for community as I was, so they decided to do something about it and hosted a retreat. These ladies put a hell of a lot of work into this event, but they had one goal in mind: to get a group of fellow bloggers together so we could support, love, and encourage each other, and that's exactly what happened.

We spent the weekend laughing, eating, shooting, and talking. Amanda and Sherrie had prepared a bunch of fun activities for us to enjoy like a private cocktail session from Erik Eastman of Easy & Oskey, and the opportunity to learn how to make flower crowns at Willful Goods.  Each of these activities were so much fun, plus it gave us girls another way to experience a little slice of life together. 

On our final night there we had a beautiful dinner that was all made possible because of the generous people at  La Croix. Before we sat down, we got the chance to make some mock-tails by adding these delicious infused shrubs Sherri made to our favorite La Croix flavor. 

Around this table we did more that share a meal; we celebrated community. But what I walked away appreciating the most were all of our group conversations. From discussions about zodiac signs and favorite foods, to sharing seemingly taboo information about how we approach our work; we covered it all. I came to Minnesota eager and thirsty for friendship, and I definitely left recharged.

Each of the ladies that attended #bossbabefestMSP are SO incredibly talented, and inspiring, so here’s a list of who came so you can take a look for yourself.

Sherrie (With Food + Love)

Amanda (Heartbeet Kitchen)

Alanna (The Bojon Gourmet)

Emilie (The Clever Carrot)

Sarah (Snixy Kitchen)

Liz (Floating Kitchen)

Jayme (Holly + Flora)

Renne (Will Frolic For Food)

Shelly (Vegetarian Ventures)

Honestly, saying goodbye to these ladies was so hard. When Amanda and Sherrie dropped me off at the airport tears were definitely shed. I am so thankful for everything these two incredible women did to make this #bossbabefestMSP happen.

Thank you to everyone for filling my heart with so much joy and love. 

Now, let's talk about this green tea affogato, shall we?

Each summer I seem to find a new dessert that I eventually become obsessed with, which as of late has been the ever-so satisfying coffee-creamy goodness of an affogato. The idea is simple: hot espresso drizzled over a generous scoop of ice cream, and that's it! Too easy right? This dessert is what inspired me to make this green tea affogato. In my version, I pour warm green tea over a scoop of chocolate chip ice cream, and I promise you the result is heavenly! I have to thank My Encha for gifting me with such high quality green tea.

This event wouldn't have been possible without the incredible help from our offical sponsors, Vital Proteins.

 

Thank you again to all our of the sponsors who made this event happen!

 La CroixVital FarmsBob’s Red Mill, Now FoodsRodelle Vanilla, Udi’s Gluten FreeBig Spoon RoasterMy EnchaA HeirloomJered’s PotteryMademoiselle MielFauxgerty

 


Green Tea Affogato

Inspired by Heartbeet Kitchen & Two Red Bowls

Serves 2

1 teaspoon high quality green tea powder

5 oz soy milk, hot not boiling

3 oz hot water, not boiling

2-4 scoops chocolate chip ice cream


Method

Sift 1 teaspoon of the match powder into a wide cup or bowl.

Add about half of the water into the cup and using either a bamboo whisk, or a small wire whisk, begin to whisk the mix the water into the green tea to until a smooth paste forms.

Once smooth, pour in the remaining hot water and soy milk into the cup, whisking to combine.

Place 1-2 scoops of chocolate chip ice cream into two separate cups. Divide the green tea, then pour equal amount into each each cup.

Enjoy!

Yogurt Marinated Apricot Chicken Skewers


I was in the supermarket the other day, and as my eyes were scanning the magazines at the checkout stand one caught my attention; fall dessert recipes. No way. No way am I to ready to entertain any ideas of fall. As far as I am concerned summer is in full swing and I plan on focusing on enjoying every last bit of this season while I still can. It was kind of weird, but I walked out of the store feeling a sense of pressure that I couldn’t quite figure out. I do appreciate that this simple magazine acted as a reminder for me to cherish summer for as long as it’s here, but at the same time it made me feel as if I should be preparing for the seasonal change, even though I haven’t felt it in the air just yet. I want to enjoy my summer for as long as possible, so in an odd attempt to stand firm in my love and appreciation for the sunshine I wanted to make something that screamed of this season; thus I made these yogurt-marinated chicken skewers with a ton of yummy side dishes. 

Make them over an outdoor grill, or toss them into a grill pan on your stove; either way you decide to cook these skewers, I promise you'll end up with a dinner that’s pure summertime vibes. To get the recipe for the skewers, head over to La Crema's blog to see which kind of crisp white wine I paired with this meal.

Now, what's a proper summer dinner without some side dishes? I am a huge fan of dips and salads so I served a few different kinds with this dish: hummus, tzatziki, and my personal favorite, homemade tabbouleh. Tabbouleh is a classic middle eastern salad that's only made up of a few ingredients, most of which I'm sure you have in your fridge right at this very moment.

Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Broken Bread. This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.


Simple Summertime tabbouleh 

 

1/2 cup cooked bulgur

1/3 cup chopped tomato, seeds removed

1/3 chopped cucumber

1/8 cup chopped red onion

1/4 cup chopped mint

1 cup chopped parsley, loosely packed

11/2 tbs lemon juice, or more to taste

salt and pepper, to taste

light drizzle olive oil, about 1 tbs or so


Method

Add all ingredients to a medium bowl, tossing to combine. Taste adding more lemon juice, salt and pepper as needed.

 

Peach Cobbler with a Chai Spiced crust


A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of taking a joy ride down to Portland; three hours of sipping on iced coffee and listening to my favorite 90's hits. I seriously loved every second of that drive. And the reason for this mini road trip was to collaborate with Natalie & Holly, the incredibly talented duo behind The Modern Proper. I originally met Holly just about a year ago at an event we both attended. It only took about two minutes for me to realize that we were destined to be friends. Fast forward one year, and there I was in Portland, baking, styling, and shooting alongside her and Natalie. 

After a few brainstorming sessions, the ladies behind the modern proper and I decided to create a recipe that would put a twist on a the oh-so-classic fresh fruit cobbler. We were each recently given these super cute pie dishes from falconware enamel, so it was pretty clear that making mini cobblers was the best way to go.

These falcon pie dishes are so cute, aren't they? They actually come in handy if you ever want to make a cobbler for two...or one (no judgement). Each recipe we created yields enough filling and topping to fill three dishes, one traditional 8x8, or one 9-inch pie dish. 

The two desserts we ended up creating were a brown butter, pistachio, and blueberry cobbler, (the recipe for the blueberry crumble can be found on The Modern Propers blog) and a peach and chai spiced crust cobbler. Blueberries and peaches are some of our favorite summer fruits, so using them in our recipes was a no-brainer. What I love most about these types of desserts is that they aren't too fussy, plus they taste amazing with a scoop of yummy ice cream.


For this recipe I found myself inspired to use a small round biscuit cutter for the crust. I have seen a few fellow bloggers take this approach, so a big thanks goes out to bojon gourmet and apartment 2b baking co for the inspiration.

We all know that summer won't last forever, so get out there and enjoy all those wonderful stone fruits and berries. Oh, and if you're loving these enamel pie dishes and plates, make sure to head over to my instagram account because the modern proper and I are giving away a set of each to one lucky person!

 


Peach Pie with a Chai Spiced Spelt Crust

serves 8

½ cup flour, plus extra for dusting

¾ cup spelt flour

1 tbsp sugar

¼ tsp sea salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground ginger

½ tsp ground cardamom

¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

1 stick very cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces

1/2 cup water very cold

 

For the peach filling

6 cups peaches, peeled, sliced

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped, or 1 tsp vanilla extract

2 T. cornstarch

⅓ cup sugar

Pinch of salt

1 ½ tsp lemon juice

 

To finish

Egg wash made with 1 egg yolk mixed with 2 tablespoons water

3 tbs turbinado or granulated sugar

Special equipment: 1, 9 inch pie pan, 1 ,8 x 8 baking pan or 3 Falcon Enamelware pie dishes, large bowl, 2-inch dough cutter


Method

Place both flours, sugar, salt, and remaining spices in a large bowl and whisk together to combine. Add the cubed butter to the bowl and using either your hands, or a pastry cutter, work the butter into the flour until it resembles the size of small peas. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the cold water over the mixture, and begin to fluff using two forks. Continue this process, one tablespoon at a time, until 3 tablespoons have been added.

If dough seems a bit dry, sprinkle a 1/2 teaspoon of water at a time until the dough resembles shaggy crumbs. Turn the dough onto a work surface and gently knead a few times until it comes together.  Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days.

For the filling: Cut the peaches into slices that are about 3/4-inch thick. Add the sliced peaches to a large bowl, then add the vanilla bean seeds, cornstarch, sugar, salt, and lemon juice; tossing to coat the peaches.

Set oven to 375°F. Remove the dough from refrigerator and let sit for 5-8 minutes before rolling it out. Dust your work surface generously with flour and roll out the dough until it’s about 1/8-inch thick. Using a dough cutter that's about 2-inches wide, begin to cut out 36 discs; re-rolling the dough once to make enough dough rounds.

Pour the peach filling into a 9-inch pie pan, 8 x 8 baking pan, or divided between 3 Falcon Enamelware pie dishes. Arrange the pie dough pieces over the top of each pie; should be 12 rounds per pie dish.

Brush the tops of the cobbler with a bit of egg wash, and a light sprinkling of sugar. Place into the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown, and the pie is bubbling.

Remove from oven, and allow to cool slightly before serving with a giant scoop of ice cream!

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blueberry& Pistachio Fool


There's something really special about this time of year in Seattle. As many of you may already know, the rain and clouds are a familiar friend of this city. I knew this would be the case when I moved here, and I readily accepted this truth with arms wide open. But, as I later learned after moving here, an incredible thing eventually happens after months of nostalgic grey: Summer arrives, and the city that I already love transforms into a land of vibrant color. Trees are covered with multi-colored blooms, and the local lakes are filled with people, all of which are out relaxing on the plush green grass enjoying their lunch with loved ones. Seattle truly comes alive during this time of the year, and I feel so lucky to live here. So, you already know the city is looking pretty good this time of year, but what about the seasonal produce? Well, Seattle doesn't disappoint because the produce available during the summer is incredible—my absolute favorite fruit hits the markets this time of year, and blueberries are amongst my most treasured.

Did you know that July is officially blueberry month?  Well it is, and that means you need to get yourself to the market and scoop up as many of these gorgeous blueberries as you can get your hands on. I always make an effort to go pick my own berries, but since this isn't always an option for me I am super thankful that I can snag a box of Driscoll's blueberries from my local market. Their blueberries are super sweet, and since Driscoll's distribution center is in the PNW, I know I am getting the freshest berries.

There are so many wonderful ways to incorporate fresh seasonal blueberries into a dessert. You can turn them into pie, add them to some homemade popsicles, or hey, if you can stand turning on your oven, you could mix them into a cake. For my little hoard of berries, I thought it would be fun to make something a little different, so today I am sharing with you my recipe for a delicious blueberry fool. My recipe is a play on a traditional English dessert that mixes custard with puréed or stewed fruit. As much as I love custard, I wanted to simplify this dessert, so I made these fools with whipped cream and some decadent crème fraîche. This dessert is quite easy to make, but what I find most surprising is that with only a few ingredients, I ended up making a truly satisfying dessert that would please anyone's sweet tooth. But let's be real, I'm fairly certain this dessert tastes as good as it does because of those sun-ripened blueberries. 


Blueberry & Pistachio Fool

Serves 3-4

1 1/2 cup fresh Organic Driscoll's blueberries, or other fresh blueberries

1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoons water

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 

1 cup heavy whipping cream

¼ cup créme fraîche

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 1/2-4 tablespoons powdered sugar, or more to taste

pinch salt

chopped, toasted pistachios, for garnish

Equipment: Saucepan, medium bowl, spatula or other large spoon, standing or handheld mixer.


Method

Add the blueberries, sugar, water, and lemon juice, to a saucepan over medium heat. Allow the blueberries to come to a gentle simmer, and continue to cook until they release their juices, and some have slightly burst; about 5 minutes. Transfer the cooked blueberries to a medium bowl and allow to cool to room temperature before placing in the refrigerator to chill completely.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, add the heavy cream, crème fraîche, vanilla extract, powdered sugar, pinch of salt, and beat until stiff peaks form. Taste the whipped cream, adding more powdered sugar if desired. 

Remove the chilled blueberries from the refrigerator, and place a small spoonful of the cooked berries into each glass. Add the remaining blueberries to the whipped cream and gently fold to combine. Make sure not to over mix at this point as this can deflate the dessert.

Evenly divide the blueberry fool amongst desired serving glasses, and garnish with chopped pistachios before serving.

Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Broken Bread. This post was sponsored by Driscoll and The Feed Feed. All opinions are my own. 

 

Strawberry & Cremé Fraíche toast


   A marine biologist. That's what I wanted to be when I was a little girl. I wasn't sure what that job would exactly entail, but I knew I’d do anything so long as I got a career that would let me play with otters and dolphins.

        I remember being fairly vocal about this dream to my friends and family all the way up until middle school. As I got older, my passions obviously changed, and just before graduating high school I found myself in an odd place. Instead of having a clear idea of what career I wanted to pursue in college, I was instead confused and fearful. When I was a little girl I truly believed that I could be anything, now here I was, debating what major made the most practical sense for me.

        At this point marine biology was off my radar, but I nonetheless knew what my passions were: I loved baking, I loved cooking, I loved anything that had to do with food and the people for whom I'd make it. But I didn't approach college with my passions in mind, instead I made a decision on what would cost the least amount of money, what would make the most practical sense; something I believed I could actually do.

        It was at that moment that I really needed my seven year old self to scream into my ear and say “just go to culinary school.” I needed the zeal of that little girl who didn't think twice about whether or not she was capable of being a marine biologist, I needed the girl whose only concern was what made her happy. I'm telling you all this because I think all too often we let fear get the best of us; I know that's at least the case for me. Fear has prevented me from dreaming. When I was little I didn't care if I failed, because if I failed in the end, it wasn't the end of the world; and the funny thing is that's still the case, I just became too scared to believe it.

        Before I started The Broken Bread I had always dreamed of writing my own book, though fear told me this was not an option. But nevertheless such an opportunity fell into my lap, and at that moment I had a decision to make. Consider, with the flick of a pen at the end of a contract, I was now committed to a project that would undergo a great amount of scrutiny not only from a publisher, but from the readers that frequent this space I've created. The fear of judgement expectedly lodged itself in my throat like a rock, and I was faced with the decision. I could either let my fear of failure consume me, or I could focus on the joy of being able to share my stories and creations. I needed to stand firm in the belief that no matter how this book was received, my life didn't depend on it. I had the opportunity to learn from it, to grow through it, to be changed by it; even if I in some sense failed, it wouldn't be the cause of my undoing. Of course fear doesn't go away, it's stirred anew each day. But writing this book transformed me, it taught me what life looks like when the little girl's heart finds its lived expression, when fear is relegated to a place of annoyance rather than of influence.

Now since strawberry season is in full swing, I thought I would share a recipe from this little book of mine that celebrates such a beautiful berry. When I lived in California, my father would take my sister and I to the Oxnard strawberry festival each year, so whenever I eat a ripe strawberry I can't help but remember our times at that festival. The recipe in my book doesn't call for pistachios, or for vanilla beans in the créme fraîche, but I had those ingredients on hand so I thought, why not? I love following recipes, but sometimes wonderful things happen when you end up using what you have on hand; which is a point I drive home in my book. If On Toast ever happens to find its way into your kitchen, I hope you'll be able to use it as a springboard for inspiration next time you find yourself craving a satisfying piece of toast.


Vanilla Bean Créme Fraîche

recipe ever so slightly adapted from Date Night In

1 cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons buttermilk

1/2 vanilla bean seeds scraped

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional

Equipment: Glass, or plastic jar with lid, cheese cloth, or tea towel


Method

Pour the heavy cream and buttermilk into the glass, or plastic jar and seal the lid. Shake the jar vigorously to mix the ingredients. Once combined, remove the lid and place the jar on a kitchen counter top and cover the top of the jar with a piece of cheese cloth, or with a tea towel.

Let the jar sit at room temperature for 12- 24hrs (time depends on warmth of the rooms) until a thick and creamy texture is achieved. Once the correct texture is achieved, mix in the seeds from 1/2 a vanilla bean pod. If a more present vanilla flavor is desired, mix in an additional 1/2 teaspoon into the créme fraîche. Seal the jar and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Here's a link to a site that give some really helpful tips when making créme fraîche at home.


STRAWBERRY&CRÉME FRAÎCHE TOAST

1 slice of brioche bread

softened butter, for toasting

3 tablespoons vanillla bean créme fraîche

11/4 teaspoon rose sugar

5-7 small to medium sized strawberries

1 tablespoon chopped pistachios, toasted

honey, for drizzling

pinch kosher salt (optional)

Remove the tops from the strawberries, and either half, or quarter depending on size. Add the berries to a bowl, along with 1 1/4 teaspoons rose sugar; tossing to coat. Let strawberries sit at room temperature for 15-20, or until their juices begin to release.

Brush both sides of the bread with the softened butter, and place onto a skillet set over medium heat. Toast each side for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.

Let the bread cool just a bit before spreading a layer of the vanilla bean créme fraîche. Top the toast with the strawberries and some of their juices. Garnish toast with a a sprinkle of  chopped pistachios, a drizzle of honey, and a pinch of kosher salt.

Enjoy!

* also many thanks to Swissmar for sending me that beautiful olive wood salt keeper!

Nyc & a simple summer salad


I was lucky enough to spend the first day of Summer roaming through the beautiful city of New York. My time there was short but oh so sweet, especially since I was invited to celebrate the release of Chobani’s new Mezé dips. To celebrate, Chobani transformed a New York home into a beautiful edible oasis. This house came fully equipped with a live veggie wall, blueberry bushes, and a floating garden in the pool. Needless to say, this house was packed with a ton of fresh seasonal treats that we could use when trying all of the new Mezé dip flavors that Chobani just released.

These new Mezé dips come in four great flavors, and have the ability to transform a simple meal into something special. During the summer I enjoy making simple salads; a few tomatoes, sliced cucumber, and some fresh greens are all I need to make a satisfying snack. But I found that a little of Chobani's roasted red pepper mezé dip makes this snack even better, giving it an extra boost of flavor. So whether you're looking for a little something extra to add to your next snack, or possible something to bring to that 4th of July party, I recommend you gives these dips a try.

 

Simple Summer Salad

2 large spoonfuls of Chobani Roasted Pepper Mezé Dip

1/2 a small cucumber, thinly sliced

2 handfuls small cherry tomoatos, cut in half

rasddish sprouts, for garnish

olive oil, for drizzling

salt and pepper, to taste


Method

On a large plate place one large dollop of Chobani's roasted red pepper dip on the opposite ends of a large plate. To create a teardrop effect, simple drag the spoon through the mezé dip.

Place sliced cucumbers and halved tomatoes over the top of the mezé dip. Garnish the plate with fresh radish sprouts, a drizzle of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

Thank you to Chobani for partnering with me to create this post. All my opinions are my own.

Spiced Carrot Salad with Garlicky croutons


 Seattle has been blessed with some gorgeous weather lately, but the rain and clouds are back and to be honest, I'm pretty happy about it. I really love the sun, but I also appreciate/need those cloudy days. These past few weeks John and I have been trying to make some positive changes to our eating habits, which means we have made it a point to eat as many veggies as we can, and as of late our go to meal have been salads. I love filling my salads with various textures, and flavors, like this spiced carrot salad with a charred orange vinaigrette that is up on La Crema's blog right now.

This salad has a lot of going on in it, but with each bite you get the most pleasing of flavor combinations. There is a bit of heat from the carrots, sweetness from the strawberries, a brightness from the dressing, and the most welcome crunch from some homemade garlicky croutons. This is definitely one of those salads that will leave you satisfied, which is kind of my goal whenever I make a salad.

If you haven't made croutons before, now is the time. They are super simple to make, and their presences in this salad makes all the difference. When I make croutons I prefer using some type of artisan bread, but you can really use any type of bread you like. For this recipe I used a Peasant Levain loaf from Grand Central Bakery, which is my absolutely favorite local loaf of bread to buy. It's beautiful to look at, and it has notes of sourdough in it which adds even more flavor to this salad. 

If you do end up making this salad I do suggest pairing it with the ever-so crisp Monterey 2014 Pinot Gris, from La Crema. It's notes of citrus and spice make it the perfect wine to sip on while enjoying this salad.

Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Broken Bread. This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.


Garlicky Croutons

2 cups cubed artisan bread, 1/2 inch cubes or so

1 clove garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

kosher salt, to tase

Equipment: Small bowl, baking sheet, microplane zester


Carefully grate the clove of garlic with a microplane zester and add to a small bowl along with the olive oil, whisking together to combine.

Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the baking sheet. Place cubed bread on top in an even layer and drizzle with the garlic olive oil, tossing with your hands to combine. 

Place in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until crisp, making sure to stir the bread halfway through cooking time to get an even crisp. 

Remove the croutons from the oven and let cool before using.  

 

 

Coconut-Rhubarb bread pudding


I have a weird relationship with bread pudding. This is one of those desserts that I love, but I never order it if it's on the menu. I've had mostly experiences with bread pudding when I was younger, and I have opted to stay away ever since. I really do love bread pudding, but from what I can remember each time I've ordered it all I was served was a soggy pile of mush that used to look like bread. The idea of making bread pudding hadn't crossed my mind for a while, but the other week I had some bread that was getting stale, and it hit me; I needed to make bread pudding.  

This bread pudding is a little different than most. It's filled with fresh rhubarb and baked in a coconut milk custard; sounds delicious right? I actually found some rhubarb growing in my backyard, so that's what inspired me to put it in this recipe. Don't worry if you don't have rhubarb, or don't like it, because you can still make this recipe. I made a version of this pudding with chopped strawberries, and it tastes just as delicious! So at least you have another fruit option.

This bread pudding is lightly crisp on top and has a fantastic custardy bottom. I know a lot of people enjoy topping their bread pudding off with a warm sauce, like a creme anglaise, but I opted for good old fashioned whipped cream. John and I ate this bread pudding while it was still pretty warm, so the whipped cream melted into the pudding and basically became a sauce itself, which totally worked for us! I did have every intention of making a coconut whipped cream, but I ran out of coconut milk, so whipped cream it was.

*As a parting tip, don't skip poaching the rhubarb in the recipe. If you do, you'll end up with really firm, sour bits of rhubarb, which is no good, I promise you.

Thank you to Falcon Enamelware for these lovely prep set bowls. Not only are they beautiful, but they are also really durable and stackable which is a huge plus in my kitchen since I'm running out of room.


Coconut Rhubarb bread pudding

2 heaping cups sliced rhubarb, about 1/4 inch thick

1/3 cup plus 6 tablespoons brown sugar, divided

2 1/4 cups coconut milk

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, more for greasing

pinch salt

2 large eggs, plus 1 yolk beaten

1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup flaked coconut, plus more for garnishing

6 cups cubed egg bread like challah or brioche, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

powdered sugar, for dusting

whipped cream, for serving 

Equipment: 1 small skillet (I used an 8.5 inch), 1 saucepan, whisk, 5-6 cup baking dish  


Method

In a small skillet add the chopped rhubarb, along with 6 tablespoons brown sugar and 1/2 cup water, or enough water to cover the rhubarb. Bring the rhubarb to a simmer over medium heat, adjusting heat as necessary. Let rhubarb simmer for 4-5 minutes until tender, but not falling apart. Gently strain the rhubarb and set aside.

In another small saucepan set over low heat, warm the milk, butter, salt, and remaining sugar. Continue warming the milk just until butter melts. Remove saucepan from heat and set aside.

Butter a 4-to-6-cup baking dish and fill half of it with the cubed bread, then gently scatter half of the rhubarb over the top. Repeat this process one more time.

Whisk the eggs, vanilla, and shredded coconut into the milk mixture until combined. Pour the milk mixture over the bread, making sure to everything get soaked. 

Let the bread pudding rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes. After 15 minutes of resting, pre-heat the oven to 350° F. Before baking, sprinkle a some extra flakes over the top, then place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until custard is set, and the edges of the bread have browned. Serve warm or at room temperature with a dusting of powdered sugar and dollop of whipped cream.

 

Roasted strawberry-rhubarb spring cake


Who doesn't love a homemade cake? When I was a little, my version of a homemade cake was the ever-so classic funfetti. For a few years those funfetti cakes made their appearance at almost every family celebration or holiday; I basically made a that cake whenever I could. I still (secretly) love making that cake, but I haven't made it in a while. As I have gotten older I have found such joy in making a cake from scratch. I admit this can sometime be quite a lengthy endeavor, but I find that making a cake can from scratch is a such a relaxing process for me. I open all the windows in my kitchen, turn on my music (sometimes guilty pleasure music), organize all my ingredients, and dive right in. I like to zone out, get lost in the process, you know? In my day-to-day life I deal with stress, anxiety, bills, and all that other fun grown up stuff. But, oh, when I'm making a cake, that's all I am doing, I'm just making a cake, and nothing else. I shut out the world and everything that is bothering me and I focus on the here and now.

I saw this cake a while back, and I have been wanting to make it ever since. It only took a quick glance at the ingredients to know that this cake was going to be amazing. I had to make a few changes to this cake since my husband is allergic to almonds. I love almonds, but I would have felt so guilty if I had made a cake my husband couldn't eat. Maybe I'll make a mini almond version for myself sometime soon.

In an attempt to make this cake truly spring worthy, I filled the first two layers with roasted rhubarb and strawberries, which was a very, very good decision. Each bite of this cake is incredibly flavorful, with little bursts of tartness from all that roasted goodness. Like I said, funfetti cakes will always hold a sweet spot in my heart, but nothing will ever compare to the joy I have when I get to spend a day baking a cake that tastes as good as this one. 

 

 


Roasted Rhubarb & Strawberries

2 cups sliced rhubarb, 1/2 inch pieces

1 1/2 cup hulled and quartered strawberries

3 tablespoons melted coconut oil

1/4 teaspoon course salt

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon rose water (optional)

Equipment: Small bowl, whisk, parchment paper, spatula, baking sheet or other baking dish

Pre-heat oven to 375 F°(190 C°).  Add strawberries and rhubarb to a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk together the coconut oil, sugar, salt,  and rose water( if using), and pour over the prepared fruist. Use your hands or a spatula to evenly coat all of the strawberries.

Pour the strawberries and rhubarb onto a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper, and place in the oven. Roast for 35-45 minutes, or until the strawberries ann rhubarb are soft and their juices begin to thicken. Once removed from oven, and set aside to cool.


For the cake

adapted slightly from Adventures in cooking

2 1/2 cups white flour

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoon spelt flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 tablespoons orange zest

2 egg whites

3 whole eggs

1/2 cup orange juice (fresh squeezed if possible)

1 1/2 cups full fat plain yogurt

powdered sugar, optional garnish

Equipment: Standing, or handheld mixer, three 8 inch cake pans, microplane zester, cooling rack


Method

Turn the oven down to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour thee 8-inch cake pans; set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together both flours, baking powder and salt, and set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer (handheld mixer works too) and the butter, sugar, and coconut oil, and beat on medium low speed until the mixture becomes smooth. The original recipe suggested about 2-3 minutes, which worked for me. Add in the vanilla extract, orange zest, eggs and egg whites, and mix until incorporated. Now, add the orange juice, mixing until the batter becomes smooth.

In three separate additions, add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl, alternating with the plain yogurt, beginning and ending with the flour. Once the last addition of flour has been added, allow the batter to mix until it just comes together. Do not over mix the batter at this point.

Divide the batter evenly between the three prepared cake pans and place in the over for 35-40 minutes, or until the a tester inserted into the center of the cakes come out clean. Once fully baked, remove the pans from the oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes, then remove from pan and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.


Cream cheese frosting

12 oz cream cheese, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoons softened butter, room temperature

2 cups powdered sugar, or more if a sweeter frosting is desired.

equipment: Standing or handheld electric mixer


Method

In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth, about 1 minute.

Add vanilla extract, beating to combine. Turn of mixer and add the powdered sugar and mix on low until combined. Once all of the powdered sugar has been added set mixer to high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy 1-2 minutes.


Assembly

Once cake has cooled, place 1 cake, domed side down, and spread about half of the frosting over the top. Scatter about half of the roasted rhubarb and strawberries over the frosting. Repeat this process on more time, using the remaining frosting and fruit. Place last cake, dome side face up, top with a bit of powdered sugar and garnish with flowers if desired. 

Spring Grain bowl


The weather in Seattle lately has been absolutely gorgeous! We actually even had one day get as warm as 80°, which for Seattle is pretty crazy, especially since it's only April. Since weather like doesn't happen too often, John and I made sure to take full advantage of the shining sun and spent as much of our day outside as we possible could. We sipped on homemade strawberry soda, worked on our tans, and for lunch we got to enjoy this delicious grain bowl. 

I had my first grain bowl a while back at this cute bistro in New York, and I have been making them at home ever since. This grain bowl is filled with many refreshing and satisfying vegetables, but it's the farro that really makes it a memorable meal. Making one of these at home is really easy, so make sure to head over to La Cream's blog to get the recipe for my favorite version.

For this particular grain bowl I made a tangy mustard & garlic vinaigrette, which delicately unites all the interesting flavors. This dish also pairs quite well with a glass of La Crema's Wilamette pinot noir, which John and I thoroughly enjoyed. I am actually hoping we get another week of sun sooner than later so we can relish in this all over again.

Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Broken Bread. This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.


Tangy garlic vinaigrette

Makes enough for 2 grain bowls

1 teaspoon dijion mustard

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon honey, or more to taste

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons good quality olive oil

salt & pepper, to taste


Method

In a medium bowl whisk together the mustard, vinegar, honey, and minced garlic. 

While whisking continually, pour in the olive oil until fully combined. Season dressing with salt and pepper to taste.

Dip a piece of kale into the dressing to taste, adjusting flavors as needed.

Pour the dressing into an airtight container.