Why Did I Wait So Long?!!! The Story of My NEW Love

It all started when I googled recipes for cornmeal… then I found Alanna’s website The Bojon Gourmet. And true to my mildly obsessive reading habits, I spent the next two days reading all of the recipes on her website. I highly recommend spending some time to read her recipes. Beautiful photography, beautiful food… all sorts of goodies to be found.

So… it goes back to the cornmeal. I’ve been thinking about cornmeal, so when I found Alanna’s recipe for custardy cornmeal cake, I knew it was just right. The only problem? I didn’t have an 8 inch cast iron skillet… so of course I braved rush hour traffic to go hunt one down.

So when I got to Target and there was just ONE small cast iron skillet left without a barcode… I just bought it. The nice man there helped me, and after inspecting the bottom of the pan and seeing “8SK” stamped on the bottom, he decided it was in fact an 8 inch skilled at it would just be $10.99. So I popped it into my car, grabbed some grassfed buttermilk and cream and headed home.

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So. I mixed my batter, suspicious that it was such a little quantity of batter, but I proceeded anyway. I spread the batter thinly, and baked away.

When my cake baked up thin, contrary to Alanna’s beautiful pictures, I was indignant! I did everything right! I even followed the recipe!! I even bought the right pan!!!!!

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But, I was immediately pacified when I ate a slice of my delicious creation. It was creamy, delicious and just perfect as a near-midnight snack.

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Then, after scrutinizing the recipe AGAIN, I noticed that the pan Alanna used looked much smaller than mine. So I whipped out my ruler and discovered I had in fact bought a 10 inch skillet. Oh dear…. that explains everything!!

The morale? Thin or thick, that beautiful cornbread studded with berries is an excellent dish.

So today, I meant to remake the cornbread with a double batch so I could have a thick and creamy slice of cake… but then I was thinking about asparagus and cheese.

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I did a little research on Alanna’s blog again, and baked up the crustless quiche in the SAME beautiful, cast iron skillet I bought.

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Let me tell you… Not only am I completely enamored with Alanna and her beautiful recipes, but I am absolutely head over heels with my new skillet.

Why ever did I wait so long to purchase this lovely skillet? Amazing. I love it. I can’t say enough good things.

So, my dear lovelies, this wasn’t a recipe post, but more of a review of The Bojon and Lodge skillets. Both? Excellent! Highly recommend.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

And for your patience reading my ramblings about my NEW love (10in Lodge skillet), here are some pictures! ❤



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Farmer’s Market

Every Thursday during the summer, I stop at the local farmer’s market. To me, there is something utterly magical about farmer’s markets. I always feel satisfied and very zen when I leave. There is something beautiful about talking to the hardworking families about the fresh produce and how to cook… it’s really more about how to live.

The farmer’s market near my home now is small, but it has everything I need. There is an organic produce stand, a local beekeeper, grassfed meats, a local distillery, local eggs, and a cheesemaker. There are a few other stands, but those are the ones I frequent the most.

Last week, I bought a small brick of beeswax and polished all of the wood cutting boards in the kitchen. It was so satisfying being able to do some small task that instantly brightened my kitchen and utilized something from a nearby farm. I am still happy about… okay… thrilled. I keep showing the shiny boards to my family and they’re bored of me and my boards!!

Today, I bought a bunch of kale, some beets, summer spinach, honey, and a pint of blueberry ice cream. I just ate some of the ice cream, and let me tell you – amazing.

Anyway, I’ve been staring at my computer trying to do work all day, so I’m taking a break from beating myself up, to share my little thoughts on farmer’s markets.

Oh… and of course, remember – support the farmers! It’s always good to support local production! It’s fresher, better, and supports local small businesses. Always a good thing in my book.

Alright. Live well everyone!

Until next time!

-H

Caramelized Peaches with Cinnamon

Oh hi friends. I meant to write you this amazing recipe for garlic scape pasta salad. I made it, tasted and yum-yummed, took pictures, and then put it in the fridge. The next day, I pulled it out for lunch and it was TERRIBLE. Seriously. What a waste of scapes.

Pantyways (I say that in real life… isn’t that embarrassing?) I went to the store and as I was floating past the fruit for the vegetables, these peaches caught my eye. PEACHES. People!!! Peaches are my ultimate food kryptonite because I’m allergic and I LOVE them. And you know I have so little control over my food-related impulses that before I knew it, I had paid and was loading a dozen beautiful and fuzzy peaches into my car.

So, like a lot of things I’m allergic too, I CAN eat them once the items are cooked. Unfortunately for most things this totally ruins it. Like seriously… the point of eating an apple is to get that juicy crunch and the satisfaction of crunching the fruit! CRUNCH man, CRUNCH! (Can you tell I drank a bit of caffeine today???).

Well… let me tell you, my friends, this? This is the absolute way one should consume peaches. I know it’s hot and gross out, but these hot little peach slices are just amazing over coconut ice cream and I don’t get hives from eating them! Win-win!

Now, I have a little convection toaster oven, which makes this particular dessert a snap to make. If you do not have one, feel free to use your oven. I would just suggest batching this baking with some other baking you need to do so that you optimize the time your oven is on and steaming you out of your home.

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Alright… This really isn’t much of a recipe, but it’s amazing!!

Caramelized Peaches with Cinnamon (Kaprise Kitchen’s solution to peaches)

  • 2 large peaches, firm
  • 1 teaspoon of cane sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of butter
  1. Slice peaches into 4 slices. I just mine in half and then half again.
  2. Sprinkle each slice with salt
  3. Sprinkle each slice with a little lemon juice and then the sugar.
  4. Dust cinnamon over the slices
  5. Dot the surface of the peaches with butter
  6. Bake at 400 degrees on a parchment lined pan for 50 minutes.
  7. Enjoy. Seriously… you should let it cool for like 10 minutes so you don’t burn yourself because I have a fat lip from burning it with peaches. True story bro.

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What I learned from my 30 Day Challenge

My 30 day challenge was to run/bike at least 2 miles every single day. Mid month I added walking.

This is just a list of the things I noticed. I starting writing these down after my runs, so some of them are really random, but I wanted to share my little realizations with you too!

  1. I am not an every day runner. My body needs rest and functions better with less but longer runs.
  2. I like running in the morning… Seriously. Who knew?!
  3. I need to figure out how to fix and maintain my bike on my own because I’m really really terrible about taking it to the shop. It’s been a month and it’s still languishing in the garage, flat and broken. Ooops.
  4. Despite running for nearly my entire life, I still have to work on my nutrion, electrolyte balancing, salt…. all that, since it still throws me off once in a while
  5. I think I want a running buddy once a week… I haven’t quite decided, but after running for so many days, sometimes I think it might be nice to have someone to chit chat with while I run. But then I think, I also love love love running alone because it brings me peace.
  6. When I don’t run for a couple days, I’m a huge bitch. I just have too much energy and I need to expel it into the universe in a positive way or I get cranky and needy, and I kinda bitch at everyone. Running = happy.
  7. I’m a super duper uber lazy walker. I walk SO SO SLOWLY. I need to work on picking up the pace and treating my walks like I treat my runs… seriously!
  8. I need to work on core fitness, weight lifting, and other all around body fitness. I think I am at the point where I can run forever and nothing about my body changes. I would like to firm up my core and work on muscle definition elsewhere in my body. I have super toned and defined legs, but that’s where that ends. Just my legs. I also think that if I were to improve core strength and upper body strength that I would be able to run faster. So I need to vary my workouts.
  9. For those of you curious about this – My weight is probably 1 pound different. I weigh just about the same as I did when I started, but everything on my body has firmed up just a bit. This goes back to my previous bullet, about how I am so accustomed to running that my body doesn’t change much, so if I want to see change I need some change in my work outs too
  10. I used to run exclusively in running tops that covered my entire back, shoulders, and most of my arms because I didn’t want sunburn, but as I have been running in very hot weather, I’ve been getting into running tanks and slathering on sun screen.
  11. I like running in spandex shorts more than regular shorts. I find that I like my clothing to stick to me so that nothing rubs, moves, or bothers me when I’m running
  12. Most running hats that are sold are possibly the stupidest and the worst caps ever. They don’t cover anything and they don’t shade enough of my face. It’s still my biggest irritation when I look for running gear. I have ONE hat that I love, and the rest I put up with out of necessity.
  13. I need to find a new running mix because the music I have right now is about 10 years old, and I actually know ALL the lyrics and for the most part could probably sing my entire playlist without turning my music on.
  14. I have a lot of running shoes

So. There you have it!! I hope that you had a healthful and productive June as well! Let me know what kind of “challenges” you have participated in the past and whether I should try them too!!

Grilled Nectarine Coconut Lemon Chia Seed Ice Pops

What a mouthful!!!

Do you say ice pop or popsicle? The area I grew up in has some quirky vernacular, or so I’m told. When I first moved to Baltimore, someone told me that I spoke funny. Haha.

Anyway. I’ve been looking at ice pop recipes all over the internet and really getting into them, but when I saw Joy’s gorgeous Roasted Strawberry Popsicles I immediately got my butt in gear to make them. I didn’t have a popsicle mold, so I spent the better part of the morning hunting one down. The one I found at the craft store was hideous, but I found this adorable one at Marshall’s. It was 2xs more expensive… but you know, I have little control over my food-related impulses. Very little.

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Right on. Here we go.

Grilled Nectarine Coconut Lemon Chia Seed Ice Pops (Inspired by Joy)

  • 13.5 ounces of whole coconut milk (about one can)
  • 1/4 cup of chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • Zest of one organic lemon
  • Juice of one organic lemon
  • 1 nectarine, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil, melted
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, chia seed, maple syrup, lemon juice, and lemon zest until well combined.
  2. Set aside the chia/coconut mixture
  3. Heat up a the grill (or you can just use a broiler!!).
  4. Brush the nectarine slices with some coconut oil, and grill for a few minutes on each side, until tender.
  5. Once your nectarine slices have cooked, chop them into bite size pieces and mash just lightly in a small bowl
  6. Once the chia seeds have plumped up (it took mine about 40 minutes), begin assembling your pops
  7. Start with the chia/coconut mixture, tapping the ice pop forms gently on the table to remove air bubbles. Add a spoonful of nectarine, tapping gently to remove bubbles and get even layers.
  8. Freeze for several hours, or until set.
  9. Serve!!!
  10. My ice pop mold is quite small, but I saved the remaining chia/coconut mixture in the refrigerator and refill the molds as I eat the pops.

Enjoy!!!!!


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Stunted Seedlings

Just after Mother’s Day, I moved my seedlings from their little cardboard homes into nice big terra cotta planters on my deck. So far… they are still just about the same size.

I planted them in organic potting soil with plenty of good drainage, on a south facing deck, sprinkled plenty of organic fertilizer, and watered them the right amount… what is going on little seeds? Why aren’t you growing?? My neighbors have huge heads of lettuce and their tomato plants are flowering…. mine? Mine are teensey weensy little things….

What am I doing wrong? Has anyone else encountered this problem before?

Love;

Stunted Seedling Owner

Running Headaches

Literal, not metaphorical.

Occasionally after I run, I suffer from horrible migraines. The kind where you need a combo of gatorade, a fistful of Advil, and an afternoon long nap. When I first started getting them, they weren’t terrible. I could just manage to get through my day… but recently when I do get a running headache, it seems like nothing will make it stop. Today I ran, and just like that the worst of the worst headaches visited me. I finished my run at 11:00am today, but after struggling through the better part of the day, I slept for the rest of the afternoon and just woke up a few hours ago.

I ate some dinner, ran some errands… and I have to tell you I still feel pretty shitty.

Anyone else suffer from these? What do you do to prevent them?

Itty Bitty One Bite Calzones (Kinda…)

You guys. I did a bad thing. I made these… and instead of sharing? I ate them all.

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So. First, these aren’t calzones. Sorry if I roped you in based on that information. Misleading title huh? But I didn’t actually know what to call these little things because they aren’t dumplings, or calzones, or really anything. Instead – it’s just a crispy shell filled with mozzarella and tomato sauce… which is really what a calzone is, but baked. These babies are fried.

Anyway… before we get to the recipe, as always I have some rambling to do (you love my rambles, you do!). In college, I used to order a pizza, sit, and eat each and every single piece by myself while I studied. I could normally polish off the entire pizza in an hour, sometimes longer if I was actually studying. Well, one day my best friend Corinne caught me in the act and to this day, she won’t let me live it down. She thinks it’s hilarious that I used to regularly stuff down entire pies of pizza. Small confession: I definitely did this in my last year of law school.

Oh right… back to the calzone-things. There used to be a delivery place that would deliver amazing calzones at my undergrad. I don’t know if they still do and it’s been so long that the name escapes me… but Corinne and I used to eat calzones in the library, hung over, and working. I know… I’m painting such an attractive picture of my college years, aren’t I? So, I’ve been thinking about teeny ones, like one bite calzones for the longest time because everyone likes finger food. And, for me, I like more sauce and more cheese and less bread than a normal calzone offers. Originally, I thought about doing this little recipe in actual yeast raised pizza dough, but then I forgot to buy yeast. So then I was thinking pie crust, but I got lazy and decided on wonton wrappers. I always have a package or two of wonton wrappers in my freezer, so it worked out. I’m cleaning my fridge and making my food-dreams come true.

Right on. Here we go. So before we get started, I highly recommend using a splatter guard. It’s one of those mesh things that you pop over the top of frying pans to prevent oil splatters. I really debated on making these at all because frying anything “wet” like tomato sauce can be a HUGE problem and lead to really dangerous splattering oil. And then after I made them, I debated on posting them here, because I don’t like the idea that anyone makes something I recommend and gets hurt. However… I decided as I was cleaning that you are ALL adults and I am giving you the appropriate warning so there it is. BE CAREFUL!

Kaprise Kitchen’s Itty Bitty One Bite Faux Calzones

  • 2 Mozzarella sticks
  • 16 small circular wonton wrappers
  • 1/4 cup of chunky tomato sauce*
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil

*** I recommend using the chunkiest sauce you have so that you can eliminate the more fluid and liquid-y parts of your sauce. I made sauce from whole canned tomatoes a few days ago, so I used the chunks of tomatoes from that sauce only. The reason for this is that in case your wrapper leaks as you fry, the sauce won’t hit the oil and turn into a fountain of spluttering hot oil.

  1. Cut the mozzarella sticks down the length and then into fourths. You should get 8 thin rectangles from each stick (16 total)
  2. Lay out the wonton wrappers and place one mozzarella segment in the center of each
  3. Using a small spoon, add a small dollop of sauce on each circle
  4. Seal the circles with a dab of water and press firmly so that the wrappers are 100% sealed. You want to give yourself a little room as you seal these. The sauce and cheese will puff a bit as you cook so you should give them room to move around without breaking the seal of the wrapper.
  5. In a pan, heat the oil and drop a piece of wrapper in to check the temperature. You want a gentle bubble of oil
  6. Gently place each “calzone” into the oil, giving plenty of space
  7. Fry on each side for about 1 minute, or until golden brown.
  8. If cheese or sauce leaks from your wrappers and causes the oil to splutter, step back until the oil has stopped spluttering before removing the little calzone. Better to have burnt food than burnt body parts.

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I hope you enjoy this recipe! I can see this being versatile and becoming as down to earth or as sophisticated as you want. This would even be good with a dollop of goat cheese and fig spread!!

Have a great weekend everyone!

xoxo-H