apple and peanut butter green smoothie

We had the best weekend ever in Fargo!! We were there for the first annual Fargo Hotdish Festival which was the greatest thing in the world. We ate 11 different hotdishes that were all unique and amazing. There was a spätzle hotdish, a hotdish with gigantic homemade tater tots, a hotdish with lingonberries, a kugel (!!!!), and so many other incredible interpretations that filled me right up, physically and inspirationally. We also got to Fargo in time for the Unglued Craft Fest, where I fell in love with these gnome watercolors and mind-blowing cow-to-cone gelato from Duchessa. And somehow we also found the stomach space for ramen at Slurp, knoephla at the HoDo, thick squishy toast at Youngblood, and an Ube cupcake and some gummies from Yeobo. It was delicious in every way and felt like a mini babymoon! Now I’m back and continuing to chug along with meal prep, baby prep, and recipe testing for recipes that I’m planning to post during my maternity leave and recipes that will go in the remaining episodes of season 3 of Girl Meets Farm.

This week I have a freezer friendly version of my regular breakfast routine for you! For years now I have been the biggest fan of loading up on veggies at the start of my day. It makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something first thing in the morning and like I’m ahead of the game for the rest of the day. I feel like superwoman when the rest of my meals for the day are heavy on the vegetables, which is what I always strive for, but in the event that I have a big cake testing day and end up accidentally taking too many test bites and then barely have an appetite for dinner, I feel a little bit less bad knowing that I ate at least some type of plant in the morning. In the summers when our garden is bursting, I love making breakfast salads with tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, fresh herbs, lemon, and olive oil or tahini sauce, piling them over a plop of greek yogurt, and scooping them up with toast. But when it’s not the summer, I’ve been having this here green smoothie!

This is a beginner’s green smoothie, or a green smoothie for people who in their heart of hearts would really rather be eating scrambled eggs with ketchup and extra crispy hash browns and toast with butter at Darcy’s Diner every morning, but are looking to add some reasonable nutrition without going full on brain dust. It’s made with a simple set of ingredients that I stock up on at the beginning of every week (the gigantic bag of pre-washed kale, the bulk bag of honeycrisp apples, and Smucker’s all natural peanut butter or, if I’m splurging, unsweetened almond butter). In the beginning of my green smoothie journey, a little over a year ago, I’d also add some celery, a small piece of ginger, and a few shakes of turmeric, but when I was in my first trimester and suddenly needed to simplify a lot of the flavors entering my mouth, I scaled back to the bare basics and haven’t gotten around to reintroducing these other things. I like the straightforwardness of apple and peanut butter flavor in a blanket of green. It’s sweet, nutty, creamy, and fresh! And delicious.

Also when I got pregnant and read about the increased importance of Omega-3s, I started sprinkling on Trader Joe’s super seed mix at the end which is a nice crunchy mix of flax, chia, quinoa, and a few other seeds. I’m going to call these sprinkles.

One important step that makes this smoothie (or any smoothie really) extra good is blending it into oblivion in a high powered blender. If you feel like your blender is going to launch into outer space, you’re doing it right. I use my Vitamix and blend it until it’s as smooth as possible, milky almost. Blending for too long could warm it up though, so I typically blend for the time it takes me to refill my ice tray, place it back in the freezer, and then retrieve my cups and straws. When I look in the top opening of the blender and see that it’s very smooth, I know it’s ready.

A few fun things that have made my morning routine cuter include: these pretty silicone straws, this sprinkle ice tray, my Marian cups, and the lid that I always use to cover up Eggboy’s half so I can stick it in the fridge for when he comes in for lunch. These aren’t necessary obviously but, like I said, they’re fun and cute.

I’m posting this now because I’m planning to prep a bunch of blender-ready packs for my freezer before Poppy Seed’s arrival! These are great for the freezer and make blending a breeze (assuming that baby isn’t sleeping…). Directions for freezing and blending from frozen are below.


Apple and Peanut Butter Green Smoothie

Makes 1 large or 2 small smoothies

Ingredients

1 honeycrisp apple, chopped

1 squeeze of lemon juice

2 heaping tb (40g-ish) unsweetened peanut butter or almond butter

1 oz (about 1/2 c firmly packed or a nice big handful) fresh spinach

3 oz (about 1 1/2 c firmly packed or 3 big handfuls) fresh chopped kale

6 large ice cubes

1/2 c cold water (I just stream water in from my tap for 2 seconds)

Optional additions: a few shakes of turmeric, a small chunk of ginger, 2 chopped celery stalks

Super seed mix, for topping, optional

Clues

In a high speed blender (and in this specific order), add the apple, lemon juice, peanut butter or almond butter, turmeric/ginger/celery (if using), spinach, kale, ice cubes, and water and blend on high for about the time it takes you to refill your ice cube tray and stick it back in the freezer, or until very smooth. Pour into glasses, sprinkle with super seed mix, if using, and enjoy.

To make these freezer friendly: in quart sized deli containers or quart ziploc bags, pack in the apple, lemon, peanut butter or almond butter, turmeric/ginger/celery (if using), spinach, and kale. Make a bunch at a time! Seal and freeze for up to three months. When ready to blend, add the contents to the blender along with 1 cup of water. No need to add ice. Let it sit for a few minutes so that it can defrost slightly and then use a butter knife to carefully break it up into slightly smaller chunks, just so it’s not one huge mass. Blend on high, using the tamper to help everything incorporate, until very smooth. Pour into glasses, sprinkle with super seed mix, if using, and enjoy.


rhubarb rose jam

Happy Sunday!!! It feels weird to have my computer open on a Sunday but Cousin Elaine and I made this rhubarb rose jam yesterday that I am first-day-of-summer-camp excited about. I wanted to write it down ASAP so I wouldn’t forget it and also so that we can all have time to make it over and over before rhubarb season ends. 

It is based on Claire Ptak’s rhubarb and angelica jam from The Violet Bakery Cookbook, only I’ve swapped out angelica and added vanilla bean and rosewater. Rosewater might be my favorite friend of rhubarb and because I was making this jam as party favors for Rob and Hansaem’s very elegant wedding in Paris later this month, I figured rosewater would be the perfect addition. And the vanilla bean just kind of gives the whole thing a luxurious hug. 

The measurements below are for a very big batch (triple of Claire’s), this made enough to fill 25 cute 2-oz Weck jars, and my 5.5 quart dutch oven was the perfect size to hold everything. If you don’t have a jungle of rhubarb in your yard that you need to use up or a zillion party favors to make, you can either get your calculator out and calculate a third of these ingredients (the timings stay the same), or come over and take some of my rhubarb. 

In a good container with a tight fitting lid, this will keep in the fridge for up to a month, but of course you can also can it with sterilized jars and seals and the whole bit. Yesterday was my first time doing the latter! Cousin Elaine is the canning expert of the family, so she and I spent the afternoon sterilizing jars and dipping things into boiling water to kill the cooties. Canning always seemed intimidating to me when I read about it on paper but when Elaine walked me through the process it all made complete sense. So if you’re considering canning for the first time, my biggest recommendation would be to get yourself a Cousin Elaine.

Happing Jamming!!


Rhubarb Rose Jam

Makes enough to fill 25 cute 2-oz jars

ingredients

1,500g (3 lb 6 oz) rhubarb, chopped into small pieces

1,125g (5 1/2 cups + 2 tb) sugar

juice of 3 lemons

1 tsp rosewater

1 tb vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean, scraped

clues

In a large heavy pot, combine the rhubarb and half of the sugar. Cover and macerate at room temp for 1 hour. 

Add the remaining sugar and lemon juice to the pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Once it comes to a boil, let it boil rapidly over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. It might get a little spitty, so be careful and wear an apron, and if it gets too wild you can reduce the heat a little bit. It’s ready when most of the rhubarb is translucent and the consistency has thickened (it will continue to thicken as it cools). Reduce the heat to low and stir in the rosewater and vanilla bean. Carefully give it a taste to see if the rosewater is where you want it. 

Spoon into sterilized jars and seal or transfer to containers and keep in the fridge for up to a month. 


-yeh!

roasted butternut squash soup with almond ricotta and coconut bacon

whoa, book parties are like weddings! everybody is sooooo nice and you get to schmooze until your face feels like it's gonna fall off, and when you you can no longer stand upright in your party shoes or speak clearly because you were singing sia as aggressively as sia herself, you and the other late-night survivors go sit in a booth at your old old standby in korea town to eat kimchi pancakes and bulgogi. and then the next morning even though you're still kind of full from kimchi pancakes all you want is a plate of greasy eggs with cheese and hot sauce and squishy bread, and by gum, it is good.

it's peak amazingness paired with hurty feet and exhaustion, and i wouldn't have had it any other way. 

my book tour has officially begun, but i am home now! for about 72 hours before lift off to boise, and it is so cold here. which is good because for a while last week it was too warm to harvest the beeties. and then it poured, so it was too rainy to harvest... as crazy as this past week was for me in new york, it was even crazier for eggboy because this harvest is one of the most insane it's ever been, apparently. the fields are so wet and eggboy is constantly having to stop to clean mud off of the harvester. oyoyoy. it's a good thing we have a freezer full of soup!

before i left for new york, i made a very large pot of squash soup from ali's new book, inspiralize everything. it is so perfect for this weather right now. it gets a beautiful creaminess from coconut milk (it's vegan!) and has just a bit of spiciness. it's officially one of my very favorite squash soups and i couldn't have discovered it at a better time because our garden is bursting with butternut squash. in ali's book, she adds spiralized apple noodles to this soup, but for this run, another of her squash recipes inspired me--it paired butternut squash noodles with coconut bacon and almond ricotta. ok: coconut bacon is good!!!! my knee-jerk reaction to most fake meat is negative, but i recently bought some coconut bacon and it's so good, sweet, and addictive. it's like smoky candy. i'm so glad i know how to make it from scratch now since when it's store bought it's like a million dollars. so this recipe is a combination of two of ali's recipes and it screams **autumn** in every single way. and it's perfect for sukkot, which is right around the corner! yay!!!! go, ali!!! 


roasted butternut squash soup with almond ricotta and coconut bacon

makes 4 servings

adapted from ali maffucci's inspiralize everything

clues

for the almond ricotta:

in a high-speed blender or food processor, combine the soaked almonds and water. puree until mostly smooth, with some texture but no large chunks remaining. place a fine-mesh strainer or colander over a bowl and line with cheesecloth. add the almond mixture and drain for 8 hours. discard any liquid that collects in the bowl. transfer the ricotta to it and season with salt, pepper, and the herbes de Provence.

for the soup:

preheat the oven to 425ºf. line a baking sheet with parchment paper. put the butternut squash cut-side up on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle the inside of the squash with the coconut oil. rub it in with your fingertips or a brush. season with salt and pepper. flip over the squash and bake for 45 minutes or until the flesh is easily pierced with a fork. let cool for 5 to 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle. use a spoon to scoop out the flesh and transfer it to a bowl, discarding the skin.

while the squash cooks, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. when the oil is shimmering, add the shallot and cook for 3 minutes or until softened. add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.

transfer the shallot and garlic to a high-speed blender. add the squash, nutmeg, chili powder, broth, coconut milk, and salt and pepper to taste and pulse until creamy, about 1 minute. taste and adjust seasoning to your preferences.

for the coconut bacon:

preheat the oven to 350ºf. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

in a medium bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, liquid smoke, and tamari. add the coconut flakes and stir to coat. season with salt, then spread the coconut flakes over a prepared baking sheet, spacing them apart. bake for about 10 minutes.

divide the soup among four bowls and top with pepitas, ricotta, coconut bacon, and more pepper.

ingredients

for the almond ricotta:

2 c raw blanched almonds, soaked in filtered water overnight, rinsed, and drained

1 c filtered water

salt and papper

1/2 tsp herbes de Provence

for the soup:

1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds), halved lengthwise and seeded

1 tb coconut oil, melted

salt and pepper

2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 small shallot, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg (just a pinch)

1 tsp chili powder

2 c low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

1 (15-ounce) can lite coconut milk

for the coconut bacon:

1/2 tb maple syrup

1 tb liquid smoke

1 tb tamari or reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 c unsweetened coconut flakes (not shredded)

salt

for serving

1 tb roasted and salted shelled pepitas

pepper


-yeh!

brazil nut cookie dough cups (vegan) + a #mollyontherange preorder sprinkle giveaway!

a real live copy of molly on the range arrived late last week and i shrieked so loudly, almost as loud as when a fox tried to take a macaroni in his mouth. it was so wild and unexpected, i thought i was unboxing my new business cards and sprinkle envelopes from chelsey, but nope, it was a book! my book! the thing that's going to classify me as an author and qualify me to wear elbow patches! i carried it around with me, to seattle and eastern washington and back, and then last night we used it to make fried rice even though i didn't really follow the recipe. i was mostly just curious to see if i'd used butter or oil (it was butter, thank goodness) and then let the page sit open next to me while i chopped all of my onions. i tried to get onion juice on it as an inaugural stain. 

i'm getting off track: there are three are exactly three weeks left to preorder and that means three preorder giveaways!

first up, magic sprinkle mix! throughout the life of this book, i've dreamt of a sprinkle mix. something with rainbows, various sprinkley shapes, spices, sesame seeds, and salt. a seasoning mix on its own that's as tasty as it is colorful, and something naturally colored, like the sprinkles i keep in a jar on my open shelf. so working with india tree, who makes my favorite naturally dyed sprinkles, i developed a mix that is exactly that! it's got cardamom, black sesames and white sesames, smoked salt, and a secret mixture of their sprinkles that extends beyond their carnival mix. i am so excited about it and if you see me between now and the end of my tour, there's a chance i might have one of these bad boys for you:

why hand out business cards when you could hand out sprinkle packets?? (all of the credit for this idea goes to one of the cool dudes behind the hare's corner, who i met in ireland and instead of giving me a business card, he gave me a little packet of seeds! it was so cute.) aside from the little packets though, there are also six jars of this magic sesame cardamom limited-edition sprinkle mix up for grabs to those who've preordered molly on the range! details on how to enter are at the bottom of this post. 

first i want to show you how i've used them, on these here cookie dough cups that are vegan and inspired by the brazil nut cookie dough bars in anna jones' new book, a modern way to cook. i had never bought a brazil nut before, but when i did, eggboy flipped out! he loves them! anna's recipe calls for blending the nuts with some sugar and coconut oil and adding chocolate chips, and it tastes just like raw cookie dough, it's dangerous and addictive. in order to let these sprinkles shine through, here i've instead coated this dough in chocolate for a fancier peanut butter cup! 


brazil nut cookie dough cups

makes 12

ingredients

6 oz (or 1 heaping cup) brazil nuts

2 tb sugar

2 tb coconut oil (solid)

2 tb maple syrup

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

12 oz dark chocolate

sprinkles, for topping

 

 

clues

place the nuts, sugar, coconut oil, syrup, salt, and vanilla in a food processor and pulse until the mixture comes together into a dough-like texture. it may still look crumbly but if you squeeze a bit in your hand, it should hold together. dump it out onto a work surface, divide it into 12 equal parts, and then roll them into balls and flatten them. set aside.

line 12 muffin tins with paper liners and set aside. 

melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave until smooth and then spoon about 1 teaspoon chocolate into the bottom of the liners. stick in the freezer for a couple minutes to firm up slightly. place a disk of filling in each muffin liner and then top with the remaining melted chocolate so that it covers the filling completely. top with sprinkles and let harden in the freezer. enjoy!


if you've preordered molly on the range and would like to win one of six jars of limited-edition #mollyontherange sesame cardamom sprinkles, leave a comment here with what you'd use them on first! open to u.s. residents. enter now through pub date (10/4) and have your preorder receipt ready for if you win!