All posts in snacks

Things on a Plate: fig-pecan-molasses or apricot-pistachio-honey salad plates.

things on a plate: arugula, prosciutto, ricotta, fig, pecan, molasses

Every summer, my personal food choices seem to degenerate into a category best described as “some things on a plate.” I don’t know if it has more to do with bountiful produce, bountiful heat, or bountiful laziness, but it happens, and it’s happened every summer since I was a child. Perhaps it’s embedded in my genes, because everyone in my family seems to be afflicted.

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[virtuous] fig + millet donuts.

[virtuous] fig + millet donuts.

I looked out the window the other day around 5:30 pm and saw something foreign: the sun. it was still light outside, even after 5 pm. Granted, this is wonderful news, but so much more is expected of you when the days are longer and it starts to warm up, right? You have to dig out from under your mountain of blankets, for one. You probably have to stay up past 9 pm; saying it “feels later” because it’s been dark since midafternoon just doesn’t work as well when it’s not dark. Perhaps most importantly, you need to start thinking about putting on actual pants. Sans stretch. With actual waistband. Whatever shall we do?!?
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feast magazine, february 2014 [part one]: black walnuts.

black walnuts.

So: black walnuts, otherwise known as the nut I was tasked with creating recipes around for this month’s Feast magazine: let’s talk about them. When I was asked to do a feature article on black walnuts, I was obviously elated: me? write a feature? Yes, please: I would love that. I am honored. I am utterly geeked out by your request yes I will do it. But then it dawned on me: black walnuts?

I know nothing about black walnuts.

Now, you could argue here that my entire columnist life is centered around ingredients I largely know nothing about until I work with them for the magazine, but that’s 1 recipe: this time, they were asking for a full writeup and 6-7 recipes. Add to that the direction to balance sweet to savory and make it all winter-centric, and you get one nervous writer.

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white chocolate sweet + salty snack mix, momofuku’d.

sweet + salty snack mix, momofuku'd.

Remember the song “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music? You know the one; “raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…” and all that? Well, it’s probably one of my favorite songs from one of my most-loved movies, and it invades my brain around this time of year. Because of this, I wrote you a very small song to the tune of My Favorite Things about this recipe. Sing it with me:

“popcorn and peanuts and cornflakes and pretzels
the cornflakes aren’t normal they’re toasted and messed with
vanilla confetti cake crumb’s in there too
this is the snack mix that I made for you

I took all the things and put them in a bowl
then melted white chocolate and poured it in slow
I swirled it and whirled it like momofuku
this is the snack mix that I made for youuuuuuu…” Continue reading →

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toasted coconut, almond, + millet bark.

toasted coconut, almond + millet bark.

I’ve been meaning to tell you about this bark. It’s terrible, when I hold out on you, particularly when it’s something this easy and this good. Did I mention that, as far as chocolate bark goes, it’s pretty good for you? There’s that too, so you can feel good about making this repeatedly for yourself and others. If you give this as a gift (which you should) and the receiver throws their hands up in protest, mumbling something about holiday calories and winter weight gain, be sure to tell them not to worry, because this is arguably the healthiest chocolate thing they’ll eat this season. Except if they eat Willow’s chocolate avocado mousse, but someday, those avocados? They’ll be gone. And you don’t want to be left with nothing. Continue reading →

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pumpkin + caraway pan scones.

pumpkin + caraway pan scones.

Please allow me to introduce to you my opening shot for pumpkin season: the pumpkin pan scone. It’s not what you think, for there’s not one speck of cinnamon, allspice, or ginger to be found here. Nary a sprinkle of sugar in this little guy; just pure pumpkin, in a semi-savory dish perfect for any time of the day or night.

I’ve realized in the past few years that we (and I mean “we” like Americans) sometimes have too narrow a view of pumpkin and what it can do for us. We’re perfectly willing to whip up all sorts of squashes and root vegetables into savory dishes, but the pumpkin? Always the sweet treatment. Which is great, by the way, because I love it this way; I happily count myself amongst the pumpkin-spice-crazy crowd. Custard pies, cheesecakes, bars, you name it: sweet and delectable, to be sure – but there’s so much more it can do.  Continue reading →

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sweet cherry + rosemary focaccia.

sweet cherry + rosemary focaccia.

One more for the road, people; I’m writing this post and then launching myself face-first into my suitcase so I can get packed and ready for our flight this Monday. Well that, and a few dozen other odds and ends I need to tie up, but that’s okay: once we’re all in Florida, it’ll be vacation, and vacation food to go with.

Bread and I have been having a little bit of a moment recently, and I’ve been trying to figure out why. It’s just never happened to me before in a summer setting: typically, I get all bread-crazy in the winter. Perhaps this year it’s because I’ve learned how to actually make it versus trying to do so and dissolving in a pile of tears when it inevitably fails. I suppose that makes the entire process more fun for everyone. Continue reading →

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cucumber guacamole.

cucumber guacamole.

I’ve been eating this nonstop for a few weeks now, and it occurred to me that many of you may like it as much as I do. ‘Tis the season to dive headlong into as many avocados as you can find, because they are buttery and scrumptious, and oh so good for you. Even their fat is good for you. Avocados are fabulous, but let’s be honest; the have quite a few calories, and sometimes you just don’t want to care about that. Continue reading →

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good morning sunshine bars.

good morning sunshine bars.

Pre-bathing suit dieters: avert your eyes and avert them now. Go quickly to a health food blog, do an emergency keyword search for things like “quinoa” and “fennel,” and do your best to completely avoid what I have going on here. This is not the post for you. I’m swimming in the sea of early summer fruits as much as the rest of you, but I couldn’t get this out of my head, so here it is. Page one of the newest Baked offering, Baked Elements: The Good Morning Sunshine Bars, finagled by yours truly. And I did do a good amount of finagling here. Continue reading →

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monday bites: soft pretzels.

soft pretzels.

Many of you know I’ve been hard at work sporadically at work repairing my relationship with yeast. It’s no one’s fault, really; yeast things and I have just never agreed on much. For instance, I think when I make bread, or bagels, whatever, which involve rising and punching and all that, that they should actually rise; yeast doesn’t feel the same. While I would argue that I’m a decent cook and deserve for my yeast rolls to turn out soft and fluffy, yeast would counter that it would rather see my rolls become oddly shaped and have a density akin to wet sheep. It’s a dysfunctional relationship, to be sure, but lately it seems we’ve had a breakthrough.

People, take note: in the past few months, I’ve made 3 successful yeast-based things, none of which resemble a wet sheep. Continue reading →

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