Lime Curd

You guys!  Guess what?  I’m finished with college.  Yep, totally finished.

I was excited.  I gave myself a high five.  That was about it… slightly anti-climatic.

I wanted to eat like 5 cupcakes and relish in my accomplishment.  I want to travel the world for a little bit.  I want to bake a lot… with expensive chocolate.  I want win a bunch of money and just be set for a while.  Or maybe someone who really loves me a lot would just want to fund all of my travel/baking adventures… maybe take me on a shopping spree or two?

No?  Thats not gonna happen?  Shoot!

In the mean time, while the rain is pouring down and I’m avoiding sifting through job listings, lets talk about limes!  And curd!

I had a large bag of limes leftover after catering my friends wedding this past weekend so I decided to turn those green gems into something really tasty.

First limes get washed, zested, and juiced.  Time to pucker!

Next it’s time to separate eggs.  This curd uses two whole eggs and 4 yolks.  All those eggs  create a rich, smooth, creamy curd.

Butter and honey get satiny together and are whipped up before adding in the eggs and lime juice.

After a little heat, stirring, and lime zest your curd is finished!

Seriously, this curd is good.  I’m usually not a huge citrus fan but I really enjoyed this.  It has the perfect balance of tart and sweet.   Its smooth and creamy and literally melts in your mouth.

I just took another bite to be sure I was correctly describing this.  I was but I might need another bite just to be sure…

The yellow hue with dots of green zest make it perfect for spring.  Its like Easter in a jar.

Speaking of Easter, these little parfaits would be a perfect addition to an Easter brunch.

Really, they’d be a great addition to anything… breakfast, a lunchtime dessert, a healthy snack, or light after dinner sweet.  Layers of greek yogurt, lime curd, strawberries, and hazelnuts are a treat for both your eyes and your tummy.  Yes!

Lime Curd

Recipe from Cookie and Kate

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, soft and cut into small cubes
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 10-12 limes)
  • 1 Tbsp finely grated lime zest

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, cream butter and honey.
  2. Add egg slowly, beating until incorporated.
  3. Pour in lime juice and mix until combined.  Pour mixture into a non-reactive saucepan.
  4. Cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens, about 5-7 minutes.  Be sure to continue stirring through the whole process to avoid the eggs curdling or mixture sticking to the bottom of the pan.  Once the mixture is about at boiling point it will thicken quickly.
  5. Remove curd from heat and stir in lime zest.
  6. Pour into glass jar and let sit until completely cool.  Once cooled, screw on the lid and store in the refrigerator.  Makes about 2 cups.

Crispy Kale with Coconut and Farro

It’s been a slow sunday afternoon so far. While the sun is peeking through the clouds now, just 10 minutes ago snow was falling from the grey sky above my house.

As the snow was falling I started thinking about how much slower life is when it snows.  The flakes take their time reaching the earth’s floor.  No agenda, just floating in their own time.

It was peaceful.  It reminded me to take time.  Take time to look out the window and stare at the beauty before me.  Take time to walk through the woods or in the park.  Take time make good food.  Take time to listen to the people in my life that I love, and the ones that get under my skin.  They need time too.

This sunday snow fall made me take a step back from the stress of life, the busyness of the coming week, and the vast unknown of what lies ahead of me in the coming months.  I found myself drawn to the window, not wanting to take my eyes away from the white pillows that were providing a sense of comfort.  A feeling of calm.  God was speaking a word of rest to my heart through the beauty of his creation.

It was lovely.  And it was needed.  My stress levels were beginning to build as I was looking toward this week and the ones to follow.  Projecting my fears on the unknown is something I’m quite good at.  I really know how to overwhelm myself.  I get stuck in the future and forget that I’m supposed to be living in the now.  Because really, I don’t know what the future holds for me and I miss a lot of good things wonder about something that I can’t control.

Its funny how a simple sunday snowfall can bring so much light into my crowed head and worried heart.  A simple sunday snowfall drew me back to God.  Resting in his peace.  Relishing his beauty.  Finding grace in the small things.  Recognizing love all around me.

On Sundays, I rarely make a meal.  It’s usually brunch after church or snack on whatever is in the house.  However, I’ve been dreaming about baked kale the last few days so I thought today would be a great time to try out this recipe.  I had crispy kale for the first time a couple weeks ago and, seriously, why have I just now tried this?

It’s like a really thin, healthy, delicious chip.  Into my mouth it goes, straight to my tummy.  All parties involved are so glad its happening.  Kale if fully of vitamins A, K, and C and boasts antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cancer fighting nutrients!  Basically Kale is one of the best veggies you can eat.  Your body will thank you.  And then give you a high five.

Farro is chewy and slightly nutty, a great compliment to this dish.  Coconut adds a faint touch of sweetness while the flavors of soy and sesame create a salty bite that will make you want to the entire thing yourself.   Trust me.  I almost didn’t share.

Whether you decide to share or eat it all yourself take a moment to sit and enjoy.  Enjoy the flavors.  Enjoy the day.  Enjoy the now.

Crispy Kale with Coconut and Farro

Recipe via Joy the Baker

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sriracha
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 5 cups dino kale, ribs removed and torn into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flake
  • 1 cup uncooked farro

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring a couple cups of water to a boil.  Salt the water generously and add in the farro.  Turn heat down to a simmer and continue cooking farro until soft but with a bite, about 17-20 minutes.  Drain water and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together sesame oil, soy sauce, and sriracha.  Drizzle in olive oil while whisking to emulsify the oils.
  4. Place the kale and coconut on prepared baking sheets.  Drizzle about half of the dressing over the kale and coconut and toss to coat.  Bake for about 12-15 minute, until brown and crispy.
  5. Put farro in a bowl and top with kale and coconut.  Pour leftover dressing on top.  Serve warm.  Eat seconds.  Makes 4 small, 3 medium, or 2 large servings.

English Crumpets

I daydream a lot.  Off in my own little world, thinking about things that might not (probably won’t) ever happen.

I have alternate worlds to keep me occupied when I don’t want to be in my current reality.

Its like the opposite of meditating.

In my English world I live in a flat in London.  I take the Tube and I don’t own a car.  I have a cool business where I can work from home.  I live next to a park that is lush and green.  I go there to do my serious thinking.

In my English world own a lot of blazers.  I have really cute flats and I wear high heels.  My hair is long, still curly, but does what I want it to.  I can flip it around and stuff like on a shampoo commercial.

In my English world I have questionable teeth.  But, I’m getting them fixed.  I’m on the waiting list for the Dentist and it’ll only be like 5 more years until I get in.  But its free.  Score.

In my English world I go out to the pubs with my guy friends after they get off work.  We drink beer.  They all wear suits.

In my English world the guys are always wearing suits.  Slim cut.  Not the bulky, baggy looking ones they wear in the U.S..

In my English world I have a small cottage in the countryside near a town thats name ends with shire.  I get snowed in there in the winter.  I have a garden in the summer.  I don’t kill all the plants in this world.

In my English world I have an accent, obviously.  I get to say words like bullocks and rubbish.  Everything I say sounds proper.

In my English world I go to high tea with my girlfriends every thursday afternoon .  We wear cute skirts and high heels.  We sip tea.  We eat crumpets.  Its magical.

I’ll admit.  These crumpets gave me some trouble.  I had to make them several times before I got them right.  But finally I did!

I’ll also admit that in my in my English world Robert Pattinson may be my boyfriend.

No biggie.

Crumpets are comparable to English muffins but a bit more spongy.  These have a salty bite to them, which I enjoy.  They are best served warm off the griddle with some butter, jam, and tea.  And a little bit of day dreaming!

English Crumpets

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup warm water

Directions

  1. Combine flours, salt, instant yeast, and sugar in a bowl.  Add the 1 cup warm water and beat until smooth and elastic.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise about 1 1/2 hours.
  2. Grease 5 or 6 crumpet rings (3-3 1/2 inches).  Heat a griddle or large saute pan on medium high heat. Place rings on griddle to warm.
  3. Dissolve baking soda in 1/2 cup warm water.  Mix into dough until well combined.  Using an ice cream scoop or a ladle, scoop batter into each ring about 1/2 in deep in the ring.  Cook for about 7-10 minutes or until the surface sets and is full of tiny bubbles.  Using an oven glove or tongs, lift the rings from the crumpets.  Flip the crumpets over and continue cooking for about 3 minutes until the other side is golden brown.  Continue process, re-greasing rings after each batch until all crumpet dough is cooked.
  4. Serve crumpets warm with butter, jam, fresh fruit, or any other topping your heart and taste buds desire.  Makes about 12 large crumpets.

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

March is going swimmingly well so far, which is good since its one of the best months of the year.  Lots of good stuff to look forward to this month.  And good things have already happened… the sun was out on Friday AND Sunday last weekend.  Say what?  If thats not a sign of a good month ahead then I don’t know what is.

Later this month my friend Becky and her lover boy, Pete, are getting married.  So exciting!   And guess what?  My mom and I are making all the food.  It should be an adventure!

A crazy, stress filled one, I’m sure.  But it should be fun… I think.  I’m projecting that I’ll cry at least once because I’ll be all frazzled.  No biggie.  I used to cry at the drop of a hat.  I finally got ahold of myself though.

Really, the wedding will be a piece of cake compared to facing the fact that I’m graduating from college in 2 weeks.  Really? Graduating? Like totally done?

Oh, geez.  I have to find a job.  Just the thought makes me cry.  I’m just kidding.  I’ve only cried about 10 times over having no idea what I’m doing after graduation.  Its a big milestone so more cry sessions are allowed.  Right?

There are two things that I won’t be crying about at all this March.

First, march madness.  I love college basketball and this is the best championship tournament of any sport.  Imo.  Oh man I can’t wait til it starts!

I have to say that if Duke loses at the buzzer at any point in the tourney I might shed a couple tears.  I love that team.  And coach K.

So now I’m down to one event that I won’t cry at.  Fingers crossed.  The day of my birth!  Yes, birthday month is upon me and I’m just a few days away.  I’m quite looking forward to a nice dinner out… and maybe a few presents.  My love language is gifts after all.

But, if no presents await me on Friday I will hold in the tears and count my many blessings. Seriously.  I don’t need presents.  I have too much already.

I just really like them.  A lot.  I can’t help it!  Thats how God made me.

Okay, enough about me.  Lets talk about these cookies!  Something that is good for any of life’s events, for sure.

These particular cookies are filled with whole wheat flour, oats, banana, and chocolate.  Good stuff in there!  I was curious how olive oil would substitute for butter and it worked out great.  Though you can’t particularly taste the olive oil at least there are a few healthy fats in this treat.

That makes me feel better about eating one after a workout.  Oops!

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

slightly adapted from Cookie and Kate

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp or 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 heaping cup banana, mashed
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups oats
  • 3/4 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or spray pan with cooking spray.  In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, brown sugar, and olive oil until sugar looks similar to wet sand.  Add egg and mix until combined.  Mix in banana and vanilla extract.  Add dry ingredients and oats to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.  Mix in the chocolate chips.

Drop a rounded tablespoon full of dough onto cookie sheets.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 3-4 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.  Pour a glass of milk, eat, and enjoy!