Ginger-Berry Splash Cocktail

Last night we went to our first game at Dodger stadium, since moving to LA. They played the SF Giants and we rooted for the home team... does that mean we're officially Angelenos? We ate Dodger dogs, garlic fries, and soft-serve topped with loads of blue (Dodger colored) sprinkles. It was great. Glorious even--and our team (weird) won. And then I bought a baseball cap to celebrate because I'm a little basic like that. I also felt 100 percent left out, as I was the only person in all black with zero blue or white. All in all, the whole thing felt like a very summer night in Los Angeles kind of thing to do. I mean, the temperature was perfect, warm but not hot, and everyone was reaching for the coldest thing they could find, be it a beer, a soda, or some soft-serve.

Speaking of summer things, Sherrie aka the goddess behind With Food + Love has gone ahead and pulled together some of the raddest bloggers around to #drinkthesummer! Last year I whipped up some berry peachy (get it, berry, like very) kentucky mules and this year, Moses has hopped back on the drink wagon to share a seasonal libation. He proclaimed it to be a "drink for the girls." Not too sure if I should be offended by that or not, but I have to admit that it was mighty tasty and went down a little too easy?! When I asked him if he had anything else he wanted to share about this drink, he told me that it's kind of like a margarita, but not really at all. So, basically, I'll just tell you that I enjoyed it, thought it was nicely balanced, and loved the spicy kick the fresh ginger gave it. Also, I'm a sucker for pretty much anything with St. Germain, so there's that. If this drink sounds like your jam, awesome. But if it doesn't, no worries. I'm pretty sure the fifty other bloggers participating have got you covered with something to tickle your summer fancy. Head over to Sherrie's for a full list of libations! I've got my eye on Lindsey's Cold-Brewed Shiso & Hibiscus Tea Iced Latte, Steph's Cherry Vanilla Sodas, and is anyone else thinking, hurry up Sunday brunch after seeing Molly's Choose Your Own Adventure Bloody Marys?!

Ps - All photography by Moses!! Leave a comment and ask him to come back more if you'd like to see more Moses Libations here!

GINGER-BERRY SPLASH COCKTAIL

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4-inch thick slice fresh ginger
  • 1 fresh strawberry, plus a slice for garnishing
  • 2 oz. tequila blanco
  • 3/4 oz. St. Germain
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup
  • Handful of ice

TOOLS

  • Cocktail shaker
  • Jigger
  • Muddler
  • Coupe glas
  • Fine mesh sieve

FIX

  1. Place lemon juice, ginger, and strawberry in a shaker and muddle to combine.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and a handful of ice and shake for 20 seconds.
  3. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, pouring into coupe glass.
  4. Garnish with a slice of fresh strawberry, serve and enjoy.

Fresh Mint Ice Cream

Here’s a question, what are your top five favorite ice cream flavors? Is it a tough one? Maybe this isn’t something I should admit, but I’ve got my top five on lock. Chocolate chip cookie dough, coffee, vanilla Swiss almond, crème fraiche, and fresh mint (chip or no chip but always fresh). You can call me basic if you want, but there they are. Top five favorites right now. While they’ve changed over the years, these are the only flavors that live in our freezer year round, plus chocolate, ‘cuz Moses is partial to chocolate ice cream.

Sadly, I have to confess that I’ve never made my own fresh mint ice cream and after making this one, I can’t figure out why. It’s infinitely better than the store bought version because of the secret ingredient (yes, I’m clearly a fan of secret ingredients). And here’s the thing, I’ve been teaming up with Pernod Classic for the last few months and I’ve been loving how versatile their product is. I’ve added it to salmon poke and my mom’s spaghetti and clams and have been insanely impressed by how much flavor a little Pernod Classic can impart. And now, I’ve put it to fresh mint ice cream and gah, it’s perfection. 

You know that vodka in your ice cream trick (it helps it reach that perfect scoopable, ice-free texture since alcohol doesn’t ever fully freeze)? Well, I subbed Pernod Classic for vodka and goodness gracious, it’s a dream. I love how it enhances that fresh mint flavor, while subtly infusing it with notes of anise, fennel, and maybe even carnations. And it really rounds out the sweetness of the ice cream by really pulling out that bit of saltiness. Guys, I think this is my new favorite fresh mint ice cream. Wish I could have you all over to try a spoonful, but since I can’t, I’ll give you the recipe instead. ;)

FRESH MINT ICE CREAM

Makes about 4 cup

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 c. heavy cream
  • 1 ¾ c. whole milk
  • ½ c. granulated sugar
  • ¼ c. sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. Pernod Classic
  • ¾ oz. fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped

TOOLS

  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Medium saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Wooden spoon
  • Fine mesh sieve
  • Immersion blender
  • Ice cream machine

FIX

  1. In a medium bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks and set aside.
  2. Bring the cream, milk, and sugar to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat (you can heat on high, but watch it very carefully if you do).
  3. Stream in half of the milk mixture into the beaten egg yolks, whisking constantly the entire time. Add the egg mixture back into the milk mixture and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the mixture can coat the back of a wooden spoon (you’re making a custard).
  4. Remove pan from heat and mix in the condensed milk, salt, and Pernod Classic. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl set over an ice bath and add the chopped mint. Let cool for 30-40 minutes then cover bowl with plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator to chill overnight.
  5. Use an immersion blender (a regular blender will work just fine) to blend in the mint then strain through a fine mesh sieve. Churn in your ice cream maker as directed by the manufacturer (I churned mine for 30 minutes).
  6. Transfer to desired container, cover, and freeze for at least 2-3 hours.
  7. Serve with fresh mint sprigs and enjoy!

Thank you to Pernod Classic for sponsoring this post. This recipe is the third recipe in this series of four, so be sure to check back next month for my final recipe! You can find other great recipes, cocktails, and tips by checking out the hashtag #PernodCooking on social media. 

Moffles: Two Ways

What are we going to watch now that the Olympics are over? Should I just start catching up on Netflix? While the end of the 2016 Olympic games was a big enough event to mark Sunday as eventful, my day was jam packed and overflowing with all sorts of wow-moments by itself. I started the day sipping my morning coffee in what Moses has dubbed our "urban jungle" corner and breathed in a lot of thankful breaths as I took in our little space. That was followed by a quick recipe shoot (I'll share it later, promise) and then, THEN, two of my favorite bloggers came over and we had a big ole waffle party! Lily, who you guys all know as Kale & Caramel, strolled in with a bag brimming with summer's abundance and Karen, aka 1/3 of HonestlyYum, rolled up with all the fixins for real-life doffles. I mean, talk about a large dose of sunshine. I love these two ladies so much--they both exude so much goodness, you can't help but feel good and inspired when they're around. More on them and all we waffled because while that was a large chunk of why the day was epic, there was more awesomeness later in the day. Our friends text us at the last minute to see if we wanted to check out Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble at the Hollywood Bowl. I mean, YESSS. And guys, let me just say, they were breathtakingly good. So, yes, yesterday was an important day.

So, back to the waffling. I'll tell you about mine first 'cuz it was the quickest, and because I'm excited to use the word "moffle" as much as possible. It's such a silly sounding word. So what's a moffle? Well, it's a mochi waffle, duhhh (jk about the duhhh). And while you can make your own mochi batter/dough, you can also take the quick approach like I did and pick up some packaged cut mochi squares (rectangles?) from the store! After that, all you'll need is a waffle iron, some cooking spray, and all the toppings your heart desires. Since I couldn't decide if I wanted to go sweet or savory, I opted not to choose and instead make both. For the sweet version, I waffled one mochi square for 5 minutes then promptly topped it with azuki (sweet red bean), a scoop of vanilla ice cream, sliced strawberries, and a dusting of matcha sugar. For my savory waffle, I decided to riff off of one of my favorite snacks, spam musubi! I panfried the spam, then dressed it in some shoyu sugar goodness! For the waffle, I split a slice in half and sprinkled a healthy dose of furikake (dried seaweed seasoning) in between the two slices before waffling them for the same amount of time as the savory waffle, 5 minutes. The results for both? Crunchy outsides, gooey insides. The only thing to note when moffling, you've got to eat them immediately. Just like when you panfry mochi. If you wait too long, you lose that gooey inside and are stuck with just crispy outside, kinda crispy inside.  

photo by kale & caramel (thanks, lily!)

photo by kale & caramel (thanks, lily!)

And it's not a waffle party unless everyone waffles, and also brings their own waffle iron, lol, so up next is Lily's summery caprese waffles. You're probably thinking holy dachshund, how can I make these? Well, start with her cornmeal basil waffle batter, which pssst, is loaded with chunks of parmesan, waffle it up, then top with her quick and easy caprese salad. Yum. Or genius. Either word works. 

And then because you can't have moffle without doffle, Karen made blueberry buttermilk donut waffles. Okay, so maybe she didn't make them just because one should always use the words moffles and doffles in the same sentence, but instead made them because they're amazing and should be shared and made often. Or maybe she made them because sprinkles should always be invited to the breakfast table. Whatever the reason, they're so bright and beautiful and donut waffles are definitely party worthy.  

Photo by Kale & Caramel
Photo by Kale & Caramel

Ps - Today's post doesn't contain an actual recipe, so scroll back up if you wanna reread the how-tos of moffling. And head over to Kale & Caramel for all the deets on caprese waffles and then jump over to HonestlyYum for all the blueberry buttermilk doffle info. 

Pss - Happy Monday! Woot. This is gonna be a good week. I just know it. 

Fig Tarts: Two Ways

How is everyone's week shaking out? Moses and I made the executive decision to take the day off. We treated ourselves to a coffee out and spent an hour in the gym before heading over to the pool for some much needed relaxation. There we spent the afternoon plotting and planning a little escape. Guys, how are London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, and Copenhagen in early October? Those are the cities that topped our list and we are thinking we should visit all of them! What do you think, should we do it? Do you have any other cities you'd recommend over the ones I just mentioned? I just picked up Citix60 guides for those five cities and while I've visited a couple of them before, Citix60 has got me super excited for a new perspective on the places I've seen and new adventures in the spots that I haven't. The guides are pretty rad because they're curated by 60 different artists and creatives who all share their favorite spots (not sponsored, just wanna share). And of course, if you've got any recommendations for any of these places, please, please share!! I'd love the lowdown before we book everything. 

Anyway, enough about all our daydreaming! Here's what's been happening lately. Last week, Moses, Lily, and I headed over to Bobby Hundreds' new poke + ceviche restaurant in Palms/Culver City called TikiFish, and were treated to a new take on poke bowls. I hit up the Janessa Leoné sample sale at The Platform and picked up a few new hats, all of which are tying for favorite new hat. Had a chance to also see Freda Salvador's trailer named Diego, IRL. After that, the weekend was all about staying home-ish. We walked around the neighborhood and hit up Grand Central Market, checked out great Indian restaurant called Badmaash, and snapped photos as we strolled. On Sunday, we brunched-in and caught up on some chores while tuning in to the Olympics.

We also snacked on boatloads figs, fresh figs to be specific. They're pretty much a game changer. I mean, I grew up with fig newtons and newmans and then I found fig preserves and felt like my fig-life was complete. But once fresh figs were thrown into the mix, my life was made. The folks over at California Figs were kind enough to send a few crates my way, to celebrate the season, so I've been in fig-heaven over here. I blend them up in my morning smoothies, I just preserved a bunch (first time canner here!), and they've been finding their way into all my salads. I pretty much put them in everything and anything I can think of 'cuz they're that good... and then I made these fig tarts! Since I couldn't decide if I wanted to make mini mascarpone fig tarts or a frangipane fig tart, I made both of 'em! They are equally delicious, but definitely check off different tart boxes. The mascarpones are perfect for a light(ish) dessert while the frangipanes are ideal for breakfast (in my opinion). All recipes are adapted from two recipes I love (Deliciously Noted and Yossy Arefi). And of course, there are a million other ways to bake with figs (cakes, friands, etc.), so if tarts aren't your thing, there are loads of other fig-filled recipes out there. What are you making with your figs this year?

FIG TARTS: TWO WAYS

Barely adapted from Deliciously Noted and Yossy Arefi

Makes six 4-inch mini tarts or one 13-3/4-inch by 4-1/4-inch tart

INGREDIENTS

TART DOUGH

  • 1 large egg yolk, cold
  • 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. cold water
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • Large pinch of salt
  • 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2″ cubes

MASCARPONE TARTS

  • 6 4-inch mini tart shells or 1 13-3/4-inch by 4-1/4-inch tart shell (see above)
  • 8 oz. mascarpone, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
  • 4 - 6 fresh figs, sliced
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

FRANGIPANE TARTS

  • 6 4-inch mini tart shells or 1 13-3/4-inch by 4-1/4-inch tart shell (see above)
  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 c. fine almond flour (meal)
  • 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
  • Pinch of salt

TOOLS

  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Food processor
  • Plastic wrap
  • Rolling pin
  • 6 4-inch tart pans or 1 13-3/4" x 4-1/2" tart pan
  • Fork
  • Pie weights or short-grain rice
  • Parchment paper

FIX

TART DOUGH

  1. Whisk the egg yolk, vanilla bean paste and water together in a small bowl until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
  2. In a the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt and pulse a few times, until combined. Add the cubed butter and pulse until the butter is the size of small peas. Pour in the egg mixture, while pulsing, and pulse until the dough just starts to come together (it should look slightly crumbly). Test readiness by squeezing a small amount together. If it holds together when you squeeze it, it's ready. If it doesn't, add 1/2 a tablespoon of water at a time until it does. 
  3. Press dough together on a clean work surface and form into a 1-inch thick disc and let chill for an hour. 
  4. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  5. After chilling for an hour, take dough out and let rest on the counter at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes to soften a bit before rolling. Roll out the dough, either into a rectangle, slightly longer and wider than the pan or a large circle for mini tarts, making sure it is 1/8″ thick. If making mini tarts, cut out six 5-inch wide circles. If the dough gets too soft to work with, place on a sheet pan and chill for 5 minutes.
  6. Fit the dough to your tart pan(s) and dock. Freeze for 15 minutes then line with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes or until the dough appears dry. If filling with mascarpone, remove parchment and weights and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Let cool completely in the pan.

Note: This makes enough dough for six 4-inch tartlets or one 13-3/4-by-4-1/4-inch rectangular tart.

MASCARPONE TARTS

  1. Whisk mascarpone, honey, lemon juice, and vanilla bean paste together in a medium bowl until combined and smooth. Smoothly spread the mixture into cooled tart shell(s).
  2. Arrange the fig slices on top and sprinkle on lemon zest.
  3. Chill in the refrigerator for an hour to set.
  4. Remove 15 minute before serving. 
  5. Serve and enjoy!

FRANGIPANE TARTS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F.
  2. In the bowl of your food processor, combine the butter, sugar, and lemon zest and pulse until smooth. Add the almond flour and pulse until thoroughly combined. Add the flour and cornstarch and pulse a couple times. Then add the eggs, vanilla bean paste, and salt and pulse until just just combined.
  3. Spread the frangipane into the cooled tart shell(s), filling until right below the edge of the curst. Fill with quartered figs, arranging as you please. 
  4. Place the tart(s) on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 30 minutes for mini tartlets and 45 to 50 minutes for a large tart, or until golden brown and set. Set on a wire rack to cool.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Vanilla Fig Preserves

We've been all about the Olympics here, well all of us except for Vienna. Vienna's not a fan of anything that leads to yelling and when Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross are on fire, or Simone Biles crushes her vault, I can't help but cheer! Have you guys been watching? Did you watch that Phelps / le Clos showdown? Oh man, daggers. Michael Phelps' stone-faced stare during Chad le Clos pre-swim shadowboxing sesh was priceless. And while the rivalries are exciting and entertaining, I have to say, I'm just in awe of all these athletes. They are definitely superhuman superheroes and crazy inspiring. But what I've really been loving is watching their families and friends in the stands. Dwyer nation, the Raismans, they make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Gosh, I love the Olympics.

And speaking of superheroes, Rebecca Lindamood's new cookbook came out! I met Rebecca last year in Tuscany when Molly, Brandon, and I all went out there with DaVinci Wine and let me just say, she's a real-life superhero. She's a mother of five boys, who she homeschools, she teaches pilates and barre classes, mills her own flours, writes and maintains a blog, and has now just written an epic book called Not Your Mama's Canning Book! She pretty much does it all and thanks to her, I've made my first batch of preserves!

I'm not sure why I thought canning was a scary thing, but thanks to Rebecca, I feel like I can can (can-can, hehe) all the things! And while I'd be happy with learning to just can, what I love about Rebecca is that she doesn't want to just teach you to can, she also wants to show you how to use those wonderful canned goods, so she provides boatloads of recipes to use those preserves and sauces you've just canned! 

Since I'm a curd-nerd and major cheeseboard enthusiast, I jumped on the chance to make my own fig preserves. It's one of my favorite things to put on any board and since it's California fig season, now's pretty much the best time ever to make these preserves! I used brown Turkey figs for the preserves, but honestly, feel free to use any fresh fig you can find (they're all amazing). Rebecca's recipe (below) is super easy to follow and a great jumping off point for a canning newbie like me. I'm already looking forward to my next round of canning--what should I can?

Ps - If you're obsessing over that gorgeous copper jam pot like I was, it's Falk and I love and highly recommend it!! 

VANILLA FIG PRESERVES

from Rebecca Lindamood's Not Your Mama's Canning Book

Makes 4-5 cups

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 c. (662 g) chopped figs
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped to release the seeds
  • 4 tsp. (20 ml) calcium water, mixed according to Pomona's Universal Pectin Instructions
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) lemon juice
  • 2 cups (383 g) sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. (9 g) Pomona's Universal Pecti

TOOLS

 

FIX

  1. Add the chopped figs, water, vanilla bean and its seeds to a large, non-reactive saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes or slightly longer depending on how ripe your figs are, stirring occasionally to soften the fruit. Add the calcium water and lemon juice, stir thoroughly.
  2. Measure the sugar into a mixing bowl and whisk in the pectin powder until it is completely incorporated and even in color.
  3. Bring the fig mixture back to a boil. Add the sugar mixture and stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the sugar and pectin are fully dissolved. Return to a full boil and remove from heat immediately. Remove and discard the vanilla bean.
  4. Fill the jars to within 1/4 inch (6 mm) of headspace. Wipe rims clean. Center a lid in place and screw a ring to fingertip tightness or fix clamps in place. Put filled jars in a canner filled with boiling water to cover the jars by 2 inches (5 cm). Boil for 10 minutes, then, using a jar lifter, transfer the jars from the water to a clean dish towel or wire rack. Let cool completely. Remove the rings, wipe clean, label the jars and store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. Once a jar is opened, it is good for about 3 weeks in the refrigerator.