Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler

RHUBARBCOBB-24RHUBARBCOBB-8My sister Addie and I present our *first official* collaboration which incorporates her knowledge on local cultivation and my desire for an art direction/photography project. Addie keeps a large garden out at the Royce family farm, which she and my dad tend to. We’ll be dedicating a post in the future to the farm and its beauty. For now I let Addie take it away:

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler

PREP: 20 min | TOTAL: 55 min

This cobbler recipe is so simple and fast, and so customizable. The recipe originally calls for blueberries, but since it’s not quite that season yet, I decided to go with strawberries and rhubarb which are both really abundant right now in Minnesota, and I had a ton of strawberries from my garden. RHUBARBCOBB-1RHUBARBCOBB-12.jpgRHUBARBCOBB-11

You could make this same recipe all summer long and switch out the fruit depending on whats in season and you’d have a different dessert every time. One tip would be to adjust the amount of sugar and lemon in the fruit filling depending on how sweet/tart the fruit you’re using is. People typically think of crisp or pie when they think “strawberry rhubarb” but a cobbler is just as easy and feels reminiscent of strawberry shortcake. RHUBARBCOBB-16RHUBARBCOBB-19RHUBARBCOBB-21I already had buttermilk on hand which is really the only ingredient you will probably have to go out of your way to buy. The biscuit topping only calls for 1/3 of a cup, so use the leftover buttermilk in salad dressings, smoothies, pancakes, homemade ice cream, etc.

Ingredients

Filling
6 cups fruit (I used about equal parts of strawberries and rhubarb)
1/2 cup sugar (you may want closer to 3/4 cup sugar to mellow out the rhubarb)
1 tablespoon cornstarch (more or less depending on how soft and juicy your fruit is)
A pinch of salt
Zest of one lemon Juice from half a lemon

Topping
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract Milk to brush on top of the biscuits
Sugar to sprinkle on top of the biscuitsRHUBARBCOBB-22

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 375.
For the filling:
In a large bowl, mix together sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add fruit and mix. Add lemon zest and juice and mix. Once everything is evenly coated, pour into a 9×13 pan. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the filling is getting bubbly around the edges. This may take longer for starchier fruits.

For the topping:
While fruit filling is baking, combine flour, 1/4 cup of sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut butter into small cubes and work into the dough with your hands. Shortly before the filling is ready, add the buttermilk and the vanilla and stir to combine. Turn the dough out onto a board and form it into a rectangle. Cut 6-8 even pieces and shape them into biscuits.

Pull fruit mixture from the oven and increase the oven to 425. Arrange the biscuits on top of the bubbling mixture. Brush the tops of the biscuits with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Return the pan to the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tops of the biscuits are golden brown.RHUBARBCOBB-26RHUBARBCOBB-28

Cool the cobbler for a few minutes and serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

(Recipe adapted from Alexandra’s Kitchen)

A simple summer dessert

PEACHMINT-19Recently I found myself in a rut. I’m happy being a stay-at-home mom at this point in my life. Truly! It took a long time to come to peace with it (part of it has to do with my baby having an actual personality now, and the weather being nice). I miss working and getting paid to be creative. But I will work again. I’m confident of that. What I really wanted was some sort of outlet in the meantime. I remember being totally beside myself one night before bed, crying to Alan that I felt like I had lost a part of myself.

Then the next morning, I was sitting at my computer and Alex was taking a characteristically long nap, and I had the idea to do this post on stationeryHonestly, that post was not really about the stationery. It was a impromptu mini art direction opportunity. I got to utilize some amazing natural light in my office, take photos of beautiful paper products, and use props! I was in heaven. And editing the photos afterwards is always one of my favorite parts. I emailed Alan, telling him how elating and therapeutic the little project had been.PEACHMINT-3Sometime later I was perusing the blog Cashew Kitchen, whose cozy and moody food photography just gets me, and it hit me that I should take that up as a hobby!  I would be able to check off a lot of boxes, including playing around with my camera, getting more comfortable with editing, art direction, and styling. AND, Art Directing a Cookbook is on my Life List even, so this gets me a little closer to that goal.

I have plans to collaborate with my younger sister Addie, who is passionate about food, cooking, cultivation and who has wanted to start a food blog that emphasizes cooking with local, seasonal produce. Synergy ✨

So, here it is! I’m starting off with something super simple, and it’s so easy, a whole blog about it is totally unnecessary.PEACHMINT-17I tossed this dessert together the other night after putting Alex to bed. I’d been frustrated with my diet choices lately; the last two weeks basically we’d been “dining out” every single night which is not only a super bad habit, it’s expensive. On top of that, my incredibly awesome and badass sister-in-law sent me a literal box of ice cream for Mother’s Day, and well, since it was there, I had to eat it, you know?

When I finally had the energy and time to go to the grocery store, I made sure to get some fruit for snacking on. And yogurt for Alex. And a bunch of herbs, because herbs are the essence of good food.

Anyway. I had just put Alex to bed. I was buzzing off having cooked a good honest dinner, and Alan was off helping my sister and her family unload boxes into their new house. I sliced up a little peach, tossed some sugar in a pan and began to caramelize to top some greek yogurt. Then I thought … How could I ramp this up a bit?

And then I thought… I should really take some photos of this.

PEACHMINT-5Summer has never been at the top of my list when it comes to Best Seasons, but there are certain things I love about it. Warm golden evenings. Cooking light, vibrant dishes, long-lasting light… And all these smells! Fresh mint is such a fine and refreshing smell.PEACHMINT-18And these flavors blend together seamlessly. It would be such a perfect way to top off a beautiful day spent outside.

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Insanely Easy Pasta Recipe

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I come to you today humbly with a recipe I really think you should try out. It’s fast, it’s easy, and it’s *insanely* good. I devised this pasta recipe one night recently after we’d gotten out of a matinee on a hot Sunday and it was about dinner time. Should we go out, which would require little energy, or make something? I did a mental inventory of what we had in the cupboards and decided I could throw together some sort of Cacio e pepe  bastardization (I’ve never made cacio e pepe!). I knew we had cream, bucatini, a lemon, parsley, butter and parmesan cheese. All terrific ingredients for a fast pasta dish.

By the way, I absolutely love pasta, and the many forms it can take. Basically any night we’re drawing a blank on dinner I offer to “make some sort of pasta”. I also really believe that people should stock their pantries well with ingredients complementary to a good pasta dish. Get a few cans of fire roasted tomatoes, have some garlic on hand, some basil, some cheese, lemon… The PASTA-bilities are endless (hahahahahhahaaa).

This recipe is also nice because it requires very little prep, and uses one pan (I can’t overemphasize how much I love one-pan dinners). Do note though, that because of the butter and cheese and cream, this isn’t exactly a super healthy dish. However I’m confident you could take out the cream, and it would still be delicious.

PASTARECIPE-1

Easy Cheesy Lemony Pasta | Prep: 5 min Cook: 15 min
• Bucatini
• Juice of one lemon (also optional: zest of that same lemon, for extra lemony-ness)
• 1 c. shredded parmesan cheese
• 1 c. heavy cream
• 2 tbsp butter
• Bunch of parsley, roughly chopped
• Optional: panko bread crumbs

Start by bring a skillet of salted water to a boil. Cook the bucatini al dente. Reserve a half cup of pasta water. Drain and rinse.
In the same pan, melt the butter on medium heat. Gradually add the cream, cheese and lemon juice (+zest), stirring constantly (don’t want to burn that cream!), until combined. Add pasta, stirring an coating. Do this for about 5 minutes while the sauce thickens. If you wish to thin the sauce out a little, use the reserve pasta water.
Optional: At this point, in a separate pan, heat up a little olive oil and toast some panko bread crumbs with fresh salt and pepper (we have some in the cupboard from times when we’ve recreated a Blue Apron meal… They come in big containers!), until browned and toasty-smelling.

Divide between two bowls, top with bread crumbs and parsley. Then enjoy the hell out of that thing. THAT’S IT!PASTARECIPE-3

When Life Gives You Basil

BASIL-1 copyBASIL-10We got a CSA this summer which is a new thing for us. We’re not really great with produce. Half the stuff we get at the store is usually rotten or wilted before we really figure out what we would do with it. No longer! We went with a super organized CSA through our local co-op that sends out an email every week letting us know what we’ll get. The first two weeks we got bunches and bunches of basil. Before I had the energy to do anything with the first batch, half of it got wilty. So, batch kitchen projects were in order.

At Rock the Garden the last few years they’ve had a really tasty Prairie Vodka drink with basil lemonade. It’s so tasty and this year I was sad to be missing out on it (because of the no booze thing, yeah?) So while I had all this basil, I figured, how about I make basil lemonade? Turns out making a simple syrup is extremely simple, as the name would imply. BASIL-2It’s 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, and a big ol handful of that delicious basil. Bring it to boiling in a sauce pan (or until the sugar is dissolved) and let sit for half an hour, then strain out the herbs and chill for at least 4 hours before using. Perfect for a yard party where you need a signature drink (imagine the possibilities!) or just chillin’ on a summer afternoon. BASIL-5BASIL-6FYI: You can use this same recipe for mint, or rosemary (haven’t tried rosemary but I’m sure I will before summer’s end). BASIL-11

Game day Snacks: Creamy Onion Dip!

CRW_4140Well. Here we are. A recipe feature. A recurring opening to many of my posts lately is “Since getting married…” But it’s the super truth. After you get married, it’s great, you have all this free time and a buddy around the house to do stuff with! I’ve become a sort of Susie Homemaker all of a sudden. Cooking a lot more, cleaning like ALL the time. There are endless projects I want to tackle now that I’m not stressing over a wedding. Being married is also great for projects because you also have a taster and a model and an idea giver. The goal of being more a “Lifestyle Blogger” is not understood by many, but Alan, true champ he is, has been pretty much on board with every silly thing I want to blog  about, or every time I want to stop and take a picture. Thanks Alan!
CRW_4078Anyway. A recipe feature. As I’ve been cooking more lately, and sort of into making my own kind of everything (it’s so much more rewarding to make stuff from scratch than to buy it in a store), and because I have all these new appliances and cookware and serving dishes I just want to share it with everyone. Maybe like me, you have friends who like football. Football season comes, and every Sunday it’s just “whose house is it this week?”
CRW_4082We like entertaining. We like supplying way too many snacks too. I thought I’d start off with an easy Onion Dip I adapted from these two recipes with a little twist: fresh mint (also, I didn’t have cream cheese, but I totally had goat cheese which is way cooler). A little weird, right? I’ll explain where that came from eventually. BUT, I’m obsessed with mint lately. I’m not sure how much the prep time is, as I was too busy staging these photos, and it took me a much longer time to chop onions than I expected, because I’m totally susceptible to their evil.

INGREDIENTS
So, the recipe:
– 3 medium onions, chopped
– 2 Tblspoons olive oil
– 3/4 tsp kosher salt
– 1/2 cup sour cream
– 1/2 cup goat cheese
– 1/2 cup mayonnaise
– 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
– 1/4 tsp white pepper
– 1/4 tsp black pepper
– 1/2 tsp garlic powder
– 1/3 juice from a lemon
– Fresh Mint

Directions are simple:
Heat oil in skillet, sautée onions and 1/4 tsp salt over medium-high heat until golden brown. They should look like this:
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I used the opportunity of these puppies frying up to get the cleaning up done. Just give them a quick toss every so often.
CRW_4100Next, after the onions have cooled a bit, throw them in a food processor, or blender, pulse them into a nice paste, then add the rest of your ingredients. Stick it in the fridge for a few hours to “set.”
CRW_4137And it’s really that simple! Serve with your preferred brand of potato chips (or if you run in a “healthy gameday snack crowd”, serve with veggies. Or both, who cares.

Bonus tip: You can use this exact recipe to make another equally delicious dip if you leave out the onions! Whaaa?

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