sourdough strata with gruyère and kale

This weekend has brought a string of perfectly cozy autumnal cinnamon spiced moments that are exactly what I live for. The sun has put his fluffy cloudy sweater on and the light is the most beautifully diffused grey, this is hands down the best time of year. Until the snowstorms roll in, then that’s the best time of year.

We sipped pumpkin spice oat milk lattes and ate sourdough apple pancakes and gooey cinnamon rolls for brunch while Sufjan Stevens emerged from the radio (but this had to be changed to Iron and Wine radio because Sufjan Stevens radio always ends up playing Christmas music and nighttime space sounds, does anyone else have this problem?). 

We achieved my ideal date. I didn’t know it was my ideal date until happened, but I wore grey sweatpants and we drove through the dark (it gets dark before 9pm now!) rainy night to the new Pho restaurant in town and ate gigantic steamy bowls of soup. They were never ending bowls of soup and we closed down the place. It was so delicious, I can’t wait to go back.

Watched Bojack season 5!!! It’s as outrageous as ever and continues to exhibit one of the best qualities in a show which is that if you’ve just spent the whole afternoon watching it and then your husband comes home from harvesting beets and wants to watch all of the episodes that you just watched, you can watch them with him and be equally as amused as the first time you watched them because the jokes are all equally as funny the second and third times around and there are endless amounts of references and details to find that you couldn’t possibly catch all in just one viewing. Or maybe you could if you’re hip to that type of thing which I’m not. 

I roasted a chicken! I’ve never really been the chicken roasting type but on Rosh Hashanah I chose to forego the brisket and make Melissa Clark’s salt and pepper chicken and it was sooooo juicy and crispy and salty and perfect and easy and it made the house smell so cozy that I did it all again last night. And even though I had filled up on bagels and didn’t have enough room to eat that much of it, it was worth it. We’re going to have chicken tacos with tahini dressing tonight. 

Honorable mention! This isn’t a fall-specific moment, but I made a nice discovery on Friday night which is that cauliflower pizza crust is not awful!! After a week of challah grilled cheeses and matzo ball soup leftovers, we were in the mood to not feel like death after Friday pizza night so I took a chance on a frozen cauliflower pizza crust and while it was totally flavorless, the texture was correctly crispy on the edges and chewy in the innards and it was a genuinely solid vehicle for sauce and mozzarella. We will do this again sometime but not this week because I’m about to make a big batch of bagels for Yom Kippur and hopefully there will be some leftover for Friday pizza bagels.

Ok, here is another recipe that I developed for summer camp! It’s a savory cheesy bread pudding that is a cinch to make and infinitely improvise-able. At camp, we added a pound of bacon and cooked the onion in the bacon fat before folding everything together. Breakfast sausage would also be great. But without meat, and a great gruyère and enough greens (it always seems like you’re trying to fold in too many greens but they really cook down in the oven), it is totally delicious and you can prep it all ahead, so yes there’s a reason I’m posting it just in time for Yom Kippur. 

A bowl of cheesy, eggy bread that’s mostly very soft, save for a few strategically placed crispy the edges, and yes you should have seconds because there are greens for ~balance~. Does it get much better?? Only if there’s a thunderstorm outside.


sourdough strata with gruyère and kale

serves 8

2 tb unsalted butter

1 yellow onion, diced

16 oz crusty sourdough, cut into cubes

1 c (4 oz) shredded mozzarella

1 c (4 oz) shredded gruyère or swiss, plus more for topping

6 oz kale, chopped (chard or spinach would always work!)

8 large eggs

3 1/2 c (840 ml) whole milk

1/2 c (120 ml) heavy cream

2 tsp dijon mustard

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp nutmeg

Leaves from 4 sprigs fresh thyme

Black pepper

Hot sauce

If you’re planning to bake this immediately, preheat the oven to 350ºF. If you’re prepping this the day before, no need to preheat now.

In a skillet (or 4 qt braiser that you can put in the oven), heat the butter over medium heat and add the onion. Cook until soft, 5-7 minutes. Or if you’re feeling wild and have the time, caramelize the suckers. Remove from heat. Combine the sourdough, mozzarella, gruyère, and greens with the buttery onion mixture, either in a 9” x 13” casserole dish or in the braiser if you used that to cook the onions.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, mustard, salt, nutmeg, thyme, a bunch of turns of pepper, and hot sauce to taste. Pour into the pan with the sourdough. Top with another little sprinkle of gruyère. Cover with foil and bake immediately or refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours. 

Bake (at 350fº) covered for 30 minutes, and then uncovered for about another 30 minutes, until browned on top and set throughout.

Enjoy!


cozy braised chickpeas with squash

Blogging on a Saturday night?? It’s like I’m back in college again! Only this time as soon as I post this I am entering a pillow fort and only resurfacing when it's time to go to brunch tomorrow, not going uptown to drink boozes at Kyle and Sam’s house and then coming back downtown and eating Gray’s Papaya hot dogs, ketchup and kraut please, Brian do you want my papaya juice?

The truth is I’ve been in recovery mode from summer camp all week, and on Wednesday when I meant to post about braised chickpeas I had a big long flight and got distracted by watching I Feel Pretty.

Summer camp was off the hook!!! We put as many foods on walls as possible and used a record amount of sprinkles. We served cinnamon rolls with tahini frosting, bougie bug juice (watermelon, mint, a.c.v., salt, fizzy water), pan pizzas, breakfast sandwiches, and vats of late night beer cheese. And I had my annual summer camp Uncrustable and it was still a little frozen but totally perfect. I also led a 90s themed cookie cake making workshop and was tasked to make marzipan boobs. A first for me! But I think I did ok?? Out of all the boobs in the world surely they looked like some of them.

Now I’m racing to the finish line of 5778 and planning my Rosh Hashanah menu. Our apple trees are looking good, the potatoes are ready to be dug up, and the squash miiiight be there?? My current menu draft is this but it will probably change because that’s just how I operate:

Potato challah
Matzo ball soup
Grilled honey chicken
Some charred corn situation
A green thing
Apple and marzipan crumble

But I want to also share with you these braised chickpeas that we’ve been enjoying on these newly cooler nights and that would make a delightful vegan main course for your new year's feasts. The concept is simple: make the same braising liquid you’d make to braise a brisket but instead of using brisket, use chickpeas and squash. Hence the name I originally gave this: Brisket Braised Chickpeas! It's like how chicken fried steak doesn't actually have chicken in it. We are braising chickpeas à la brisket, with red wine, fresh rosemary, delicious home smells, and all. Ultimately, having "brisket" in the name of a vegan dish sounded confusing. But never mind that. Potatoes or parsnips in this would also be good. And this is best enjoyed out of a bowl with a large hunk of bread, torn from the loaf, and I believe it would ring in the coziest of new years!

Shana Tovah, friends!!!


cozy braised chickpeas with squash

serves 6

1/4 c olive oil 

1 large onion, chopped

2 large or 4 small carrots, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp cayenne

Black pepper

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 c dry red wine

1 small butternut squash, cubed

1 (14 oz) can tomatoes

2 c veggie broth

2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, rinsed

2 sprigs rosemary

2 bay leaves

chopped fresh parsley, for serving

hunks of bread, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350ºf.

In an oven-safe dutch oven or cocotte, heat olive oil over medium, until shimmering. Add the chopped onion, carrots, celery, and a pinch of salt and cook until soft, 10 to 12 minutes. (Alternatively, you can work in a non-oven safe pot and transfer your mixture to an oven-safe dish when it's time to move to the oven.)

Add the cayenne, a few turns of pepper, and the garlic and cook another minute, until fragrant.

Add the red wine and cook until it's reduced by half. Add the remaining ingredients, give everything a stir, and cover.

Transfer to the oven and braise for 2 to 3 hours, until the chickpeas are soft. Discard the bay leaves and rosemary sprigs, top with parsley, serve with bread, and enjoy!


overnight cinnamon rolls with tahini cream frosting and pistachio rose dukkah

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Helloooo, vest weather!!!!! It's here! It's here! I got off the plane yesterday from L.A. and there was a cool refreshing chill in the air, the kind that says cozier days are a comin'! I promptly put on my vest for our evening walk and did a happy dance because vest weather (and quarter zip fleece pullover weather) is the best weather. 

Now I'm just doing all of my laundry and packing right back up again to head to Unglued Camp for the weekend but before I leave I want to talk about these cinnamon rolls that I'm going to be making for all of the campers! (I also wanted to post these in time for Yom Kippur break fast menu planning purposes since the fact that these can be prepped a day in advance makes them perfect for that meal!)

In my kitchen, tahini and cinnamon function together in a similar way that chocolate and espresso, broccolini and lemon, and melon and salt work. In each of these pairs there’s one true star and the other enhances. You add espresso to make chocolate more chocolatier, a squeeze of lemon over broccolini brightens it into its truest best self, and behind every great bite of melon there is some salt (or salty meat). When you add a little bit of cinnamon to anything with tahini, its warmth adds depth to the flavor that’s subtle but great. 

With these rolls though this relationship has been inverted and it works just as well: in their heart, they are cinnamon rolls. Buttery, soft, doughy, delicious classic cinnamon rolls. It’s cinnamon’s time to shine! The tahini plays the roll of support, offering its seedy richness to an otherwise very tangy cream cheese topping. That nuttiness bridges the gap between sweet, tangy, and cinnamony for a beautifully autumnal swirl of tastiness. And a pinch of cardamom also adds a very special something. On top, I like to finish these with a dukkah that's heavy on the crushed pistachios and rose petals, for color and crunch!

You can prep these a day in advance or--if you're up before the roosters--you can make them in a few hours. And if you don't have tahini (why don't you have tahini???) peanut butter or almond butter or pistachio butter would be dope in its place. 


Overnight Cinnamon Rolls with Tahini Cream Frosting

Serves 8

Ingredients

1 c (236ml) whole milk

1/2 c (113g) unsalted butter

4 1/2 c (585g) all-purpose flour

1/2 c (100g) sugar

1 tsp kosher salt

a pinch of cardamom

2 1/4 tsp instant yeast

2 large eggs, room temp

 

Filling

1/4 c (67g) unsalted butter, melted

1 c (200g) brown sugar

2 tb cinnamon

1/4 tsp kosher salt

 

Frosting

1/4 c (67g) unsalted butter, softened

4 oz (113g) cream cheese, softened

1/4 c (64g) tahini

2 c (240g) powdered sugar

A pinch of kosher salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

 

Sprinkles and/or pistachios, rose petals, sesame seeds, turbinado sugar, and flaky salt

Clues

Combine the milk and butter in a large saucepan and heat over medium, stirring gently, until the butter is just melted and then remove from heat. It won’t be very hot, just warm. Set it aside to cool slightly while you combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Once that’s combined, check on the milk/butter mixture to make sure it’s just lukewarm or slightly warmer than room temp- you don’t want it to be hot otherwise the eggs will cook. Add the eggs to the mixture and whisk to combine. Stir this mixture into the dry ingredients and then knead, either on a work surface or with the dough hook, adding more flour as needed, until the dough is smooth and slightly sticky, 7-10 minutes. Place in an oil bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for 1 1/2-2 hours, or until doubled in size. 

Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and roll it out into a large 16” x 14” rectangle. Brush it with the melted butter and sprinkle evenly with the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Roll it up tightly the long way, and pinch the edges to seal. Cut into 8 rolls and place in an 8” x 11” baking dish. (Alternatively you can roll it out into an 18” x 12” rectangle, cut 12 rolls, and place them in a 9” x 13” baking dish.) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or let rise at room temperature for another hour and then go directly to the baking step.

When ready to bake, remove the rolls from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours, until puffy. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Remove the plastic wrap and bake until the rolls are lightly browned; begin checking for doneness at 30 minutes. 

While the rolls are baking, make the frosting: beat the butter, cream cheese, and tahini together in a mixer fitted with a paddle. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth and creamy. Beat in the salt and vanilla. 

Spread the rolls with the frosting right when they come out of the oven. Sprinkle with sprinkles, pistachios, rose petals, sesame seeds, turbinado, flaky salt, and any other pretty toppings you’d like, and serve. Enjoy!


-yeh! 

photos by chantell and brett quernemoen

necklace by marian bull // dress by whowhatwear // glasses by warby parker

apple and honey pizza + wheat harvest!

Today is the last day of wheat harvest! It was earlier than expected this year because it was such a hot and dry summer. The wheat fields are soooo pretty so I'm kind of sad they'll all be picked now but one perk of this earlier wheat harvest is that Eggboy will have some breathing time before beet harvest, some of which will be spent at summer camp!!! Since it’s been a good few years since I took a camera out to the fields, I thought it would be fun to have Chantell and Brett come out and capture the harvest, the wheat, and a fun thing to do with the wheat: mill it into flour and make pizza with it! 

Wheat harvest is less intense of a harvest than sugar beet harvest because you can only harvest the wheat when it’s very dry, meaning that you can’t really start until 11am, and then you have to stop at sundown, so there’s still time at night to sit on the couch and eat a taco and watch half an episode of Breaking Bad. (Sugar beet harvest goes 24 hours a day… no time for couch or TV.) But that doesn’t mean it’s less dramatic!! The way the fields are so golden and create big poofs of dust when the combines roll through creates the coolest scene. 

Once it’s harvested, the wheat, which is hard red spring wheat, gets brought to the mill in town where it’s ground into flour and shipped all over the country. Some of it becomes King Arthur Flour! Some goes into pancake mix. And some of it (the high protein variety) gets sent to the Bronx to make bagels!!!

And then there’s like .00000001% of it that Eggboy has brought in for me to blend in the Vitamix and play around with. I added some to challah and it came out reeeeally dense. It was bad. But that density works really well in pizza dough, so I’ve been adding it to my current favorite pizza dough, which is based on the recipe in Bread Toast Crumbs. It’s a no-knead recipe that only needs to rise for an hour and a half, so it’s the best on pizza Fridays when I forget to make dough the day before. And the nutty whole wheatiness of our home-milled flour goes splendidly with this new concoction: apple and honey pizza! With apples from our trees!!!

Apple and honey pizza is a Rosh Hashanah-ready recipe I’ve been wanting to make for a while and it works because sharp sharp cheddar, pepper-y arugula, and punchy balsamic all balance out the sweetness of the apples and honey so it definitely does still feel like a good salty savory situation. In a slightly dainty move, the crust here is really thin and crisp, so you could totally house the whole thing for supper or serve it as an appetizer flatbread thing. There’s no real sauce, just some slow cooked olive oily onions, and brie would be en excellent alternative to the sharp cheddar. Overall it strikes a perfect combo of sweet, salty, and acidic, so it's fully ready for a sweet (yet balanced!) new year!

apple and honey pizza

serves 2-4

ingredients

Dough:

1 1/3 c (173g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2/3 c (86g) whole wheat flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 c (236 ml) lukewarm water

Toppings:

1/4 c (50g) olive oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
6 oz (170g) sharp cheddar, shredded
1 apple, thinly sliced
leaves of 1 sprig of rosemary, chopped
Black pepper
Kosher salt
4 tsp honey
Crushed red pepper
2 handfuls of arugula
A drizzle of balsamic glaze
 

clues

In a medium bowl combine the flours, salt and yeast. Mix in the water until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 1/2 hours (or overnight).

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet over low heat and add the onion and thyme sprigs and cook for about 45 minutes, until very very soft.

Preheat the oven (ideally with a pizza stone) to 500ºf, cut out two big sheets with parchment paper, and dust liberally with flour. Divide the dough into two parts, and place each on a piece of parchment. The dough will be very sticky, so don't be shy in dusting it with enough flour as needed to handle it. Roll out until the dough is very thin, just a little thicker than 1/4” (and again, feel free to dust dust dust with flour as you're rolling). 

Discard the thyme leaves from the onion mixture and transfer the onions and the excess olive oil to the dough, spreading it around to distribute evenly. Top with the cheese, apple slices, rosemary, and black pepper, and sprinkle the edges with salt. Using a pizza peel or baking sheet, slide the dough onto baking stone and bake until the cheese is splotchy with brown marks; begin checking for doneness at 7 minutes. If you don’t have a baking stone, you can simply bake on a baking sheet. 

Drizzle the pizzas with honey, sprinkle with crushed red pepper, top with arugula, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Enjoy! 


-yeh!

photos by chantell and brett quernemoen

apron by enrich and endure, necklace by marian bull