Thursday, September 15, 2016

Life is also Delicious

Delicious is defined as "pleasing to the senses". It always seems to be linked to life's great foods but I believe it goes beyond the palate.  The idea of Sharing Delicious came out of my passion for hosting, cooking and celebrating with the people I love. It was a great place to start.  I had a focus and I could go from there.  It also seemed like the right direction because food and recipe blogs are VERY popular these days.  Great.  I went for it but then I started to notice that I was feeling disconnected from cooking... Maybe I was just so saturated by food media that I didn't need to express my creativity in that area?  I started to question this blog and why I was writing it and most importantly why I was NOT writing it.  A blog I follow, init4thelongrun.com, recently posted about changing her blog and refocusing her energy in order to write about the world outside of food and the "healthy lifestyle" blog.  My brain went *ding *ding *ding!  Life is delicious beyond what we eat.  The word is also defined as "very pleasing and delightful".
I think this new idea will not only help with my blog but help with my life as I seek ways to nurture my mind, my body and my relationships. I want to honor all of these things more fully!  I want to give of myself and my time AS WELL as my cakes and cookies.  Sometimes the gift of time far outweighs the gift of treats.  I find that I am seeking that from my relationships and I want to be there to give it right back. 

Another reason for a blog shift is the big move!  I am moving off of this rock we call Nantucket and making my way back (I wrote bake instead of back...Freudian slip?) to Kansas City with my husband and my pup.  We are headed for a new adventure and we are ready to make some positive changes in our lives!  I look forward to sharing these discoveries on this blog because all of life is delicious.

So there will be some recipes but there will also be some small celebrations of life's other delicious elements.  I hope this blog will inspire you to celebrate your lives as I hope it will do the same for me.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Making time for Summer Suppers!




Summer on Nantucket is anything but calm!  There is so much going on that we hardly have time to eat a meal together let alone cook together, but amidst the chaos the hubs and I made the time to enjoy some food and each other.  It was an easy dinner made of fresh veggies from my neighbors garden and a friends farm!

Introducing this adorable Lemon Cucumber!
 

The Menu

Broiled Cod with Lemon and Garlic
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Carrot Top Pesto (Keep a scrolling for this recipe)
Blistered Green Beans
Lemon Cucumbers with green onions dressed with olive oil, S&P, and lemon juice



Sometimes the fastest food seems like the best idea.  I have had so many big bowl/fridge emptying salads lately.  Don't get me wrong, this girl loves a big salad but taking the time to cook this meal together really helped us melt away from the stresses and just take the time to nourish our bodies and our souls.  Food is so magical.

Add caption
So if you take anything away from this short little post, take this...COOK!  Do it...seriously though...do it!  It really does satisfy the mind and the tummy :)


Recipe: Carrot Top Pesto

Tops from one bunch of carrots
1-2 garlic cloves, depends on how much you like garlic
handful of raw almonds
Lemon juice
1/3 Cup olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Place everything, except olive oil, in a food processor.  Pulse until everything is finely chopped, then stream in the olive oil.  Add more oil if you like it on the thinner side.  Then, TADA..done!

Roast sweet potato wedges in a 425 degree oven for 25 minutes and then toss with the pesto.  It is just the yummiest.






Coming up next time....BUTTERMILK ICE CREAM!! 








Saturday, July 9, 2016

Ginger + Garlic = Happiness




Did you ever notice that if you add ginger and garlic to anything it just tastes amazing.  I have been really inspired by this delicious combination lately.  I have also been inspired by the extremely warm weather on Nantucket.  The warm weather makes me crave easy dinners that require little to no heat from the stove.  Savoy Slaw and Cool as A Cucumber Noodle Salad with Poached Shrimp are two recipes that are perfect for warm nights.





Savoy Slaw Recipe

1/2 Head Savoy Cabbage, shredded
1/4 Red Onion, thinly sliced
1/2 Orange Bell Pepper, thinly sliced
1/3 English Cucumber, halved and thinly sliced
1/3 Cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
1/4 Cup Fresh Mint, chopped
1 Tablespoon Sesame Seeds

Dressing
1/2 Inch Ginger, grated
2 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
1/2 Teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil
1 Tablespoon Tamari or Soy Sauce
Juice from 1/2 a Lime

In a large bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.  Place all slaw ingredients on top of the dressing in the large bowl and toss together until everything is combined.  Put your slaw in the fridge for about 30 minutes.  That will give the cabbage a chance to soak up all the yummy dressing.



The ginger/garlic inspiration continued with this next recipe.  I wanted something cool and satisfying for dinner and also I am still trying to get the hubs to love a veggie noodle!  I looked to my fridge and cupboards for ideas.  I found rice noodles, cucumbers, some avocado and some fresh herbs.  I also had a stash of shrimp in the freezer, score.  Bam! Done.  

4 Ounces of Rice Noodles, steamed
1 English Cucumber,  spiralized



I knew that a mix of rice noodles with the cucumbers noodles would create a nice texture.  Plus it looked real pretty!



I tossed the noodle mixture with a gingery, garlicky sauce and let them sit in the fridge for a few hours.  This allowed the noodles to absorb all the goodness.



Gingery, Garlicky Sauce

Ingredients
 Zest and Juice from 1 Lemon and 1 Lime
1/2 Inch Ginger, grated
2 large Garlic Cloves, grated
1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
1 Tablespoon Tamari

Toss all the ingredients together and pour over the noodle mixture.
 I decided to poach the shrimp with some aromatics.  This made it quick and easy and didn't over-heat my kitchen
I Lemon, Sliced
2 Teaspoons Red Pepper Flake
1 Tablespoon Peppercorns
2 Teaspoons Salt
Water

Bring Everything to a boil and add shrimp.  Cook until the shrimp are pink and happy.


With the noodles soaking up glory in the fridge and the shrimp cooling....I drank Rose and waiting ever so patiently.







When we were ready for dinner, I chopped up some fresh herbs that I had on hand.  I threw together a mix of mint, cilantro and basil.  I also added avocado because....come on it is avocado!



Everything came together pretty nicely if I do say so myself!

Cucumber Noodle Salad with Poached Shrimp

Monday, June 13, 2016

Dippity Dip!

A short post after a long time away from Sharing Delicious!  I have been traveling and busy with work so the blog took a back seat for a few weeks!  I am jumping back in with a short and sweet post about DIP!  I love dip.  Really and truly I see chips, bread, and crudite as things that just get in the way of the dip.  I may or may not eat it with tiny spoons...

The Dip of Dips!


My favorite kind of dip is White Bean (fill in the blank).  I love the nutty flavor of white beans and how they can hold up to all kinds of different flavor combinations.  My most recent dip creations was one of the most tasty dips of all the dips, Caramelized Onion and Roasted Garlic White Bean Dip!

But really you can combine any flavors that please your palate.
Here are some of my favorite combos

Sweet Basil and Sun Dried Tomato
Cilantro, Lime, Chipotle
Roasted Red Pepper and Kalamata Olive with swirls of reduced Balsamic Vinegar


White Bean Dip wth Caramelized Onions and Roasted Garlic

Ingredients

2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
2 bulbs of garlic
3 medium yellow onions
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 F.  Wrap two bulbs of garlic in foil.  Bake in oven for 25-30 mins or until the garlic cloves are very soft and fragrant.  When garlic is done, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly so you can squeeze out the cloves without burning yourself (lesson learned. Ouch!)

Cut onions into thin slices and cook over medium low heat for 35-40 minutes.  Stay close by because you need to stir the onions often.  Cook until they are golden brown and very soft.  When the onions are close to done, add salt and the thyme.  Stir to combine and remove pan from heat.

Both the garlic and onions can be cooked a day in advance!!

Place the white beans in a large food processor with the olive oil and pulse until it is all combined.  Turn the machine on and stream in 2-4 tablespoons of water.  You want the bean mixture to become a silky smooth mixture.  When the beans are blended and velvety add garlic cloves and mix until combined.  Once everything is satiny soft, reserve 2 tablespoons of the onions and add the rest to the food processor.  I processed the onions until the dip was pretty smooth but if you prefer more texture, just give it a few pulses.  Spoon the dip into a bowl and top with the reserves onions. Serve with whatever you like or just eat with a tiny spoon!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

So it turns out....


Bloggin' is tough.  I cook and bake all the time but the writing and taking pictures seems to escape me somehow.  There have been many recent occasions of sharing delicious things and instead of beating myself up for not taking the time to take the right kind of photos...I'm sharing!  Will there be some recipes? Yes! Stories? Sure! Will the photos be on point? No and I'm beating myself up for it!  But still I invite you to sit back, relax, and enjoy this smattering of delights from my kitchen.



Fresh Strawberry Cake
I have been celebrating a lot of birthdays lately!  This treat was requested by a friend who had a hard time making that final birthday cake decision.  She didn't want to ask for a Strawberry Cake because she had heard it was hard to make, labor-intensive, etc.  I said, "Sh! You are getting your cake"!  She told me stories about cakes from her childhood.  She only wanted strawberry cake and so when she wanted a cake in the shape of Barney the Dinosaur it looked like a massacre when they cut the cake.  I love those stories.  I combined a few recipes for this cake.  The cake comes from Add a Pinch.  Follow the link to get the recipe.  For the frosting I stuck with the good ol' standard butter cream and added a few tablespoons of strawberry jam.  It came out the perfect shade of pink and tasted like real strawberries.  This is a keeper for sure!
Par-tay Mix
PAR-TAY mix is always a hit and so easy to make.  The version here is gluten free to accommodate a good friend's snacking needs but you could easily make it chuck full of gluten.  
Pretzels, Popcorn, Rice Chex, Corn Chex, A mix of nuts (Peanuts, cashews, almonds...whatever you like).  I was inspired by Smitten Kitchen's Popcorn Party Mix.   I doubled the recipe and added a pinch of cinnamon.  Also, the instructions ask you to brown the butter.  I skipped this step because I simply didn't read the recipe carefully!  I will be browning the butter next time. This made a really big batch and we were snacking happy for days.  

Ingredients
1 bag pretzels
1 box Rice Chex
1 box Corn Chex
6 cups of popped popcorn
2 cups of mixed nuts
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 teaspoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons ground smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder

Instructions
Heat oven to 250°F 

Mix together all the snack mixings in a large roasting pan.  

Mix all other ingredients together in a bowl and whisk to remove lumps of sugar.
Pour the mixture of the snack mixings and stir well so everything gets a coating of goodness.
Mix slowly and patiently.  It takes a minute to get everything tossed around but it is worth it.  

Bake for 1 hour and stir every 15 minutes.  Toss, taste, add more salt if needed and then you are done!


Gluten Free  Greek Flatbread with Golden Tomatoes and Olives
Bob's Red Mill GF Flour 1 to 1 was used to create this crispy flatbread.  Here's the situation, I make things and don't write down the recipes....darn it!  This blog is helping to remedy that problem but, alas, I do not recall the exact recipe for this beautiful thang!  What I do recall is that water, yeast, flour and salt were involved, there wasn't much resting or rising of the dough and the dough was really sticky!  After scrolling the interwebs and looking at other GF flatbreads, all of this is relatively normal.  I promise to write it down next time!
Tomato Basil White Bean Dip
Just put beans and stuff in a food processor and voila you have a dip!  This is the easiest way to test your creativity.  This round came together with white beans, garlic, fresh basil, dried oregano, sun dried tomatoes, Greek olives, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Done!  I whizzed it up and put it in a bowl and shared it with some friends who came over or a night around the fire pit. Nothing fussy...just dip!
Lemon Squares, Gluten Free
This is my beautiful friend and she has celiac disease which means she REALLY can't have gluten. Our friendship has given my the chance to explore this world of recipes and get creative.  I mostly stay away from wheat.  Not because I have a diagnosed intolerance but just because I gave it a try, felt better and kept going.  This makes me one of "those" people.  Listen...I worked in restaurants and  I get that it's annoying so I try not to make a fuss or anything.  But my friend here, for her I make a fuss (and buy weird flours). I went to a trusted source, Food52, and nabbed this recipe. GF Lemon Squares.  The only thing I would change is the thickness of the crust.  I wanted more lemon than crust.  Also, I added a lot of zest.  
Baby Scones with Lemon Glaze
I have this fantasy of being a baker in my own shop and creating divine breads and treats...it is my little secret.  I see myself covered in flour and watching the sunrise as I knead bread.  This book helps color my fantasy bakery.  I am obsessed with Yvette van Boven's book Home Baked!!  There is the amazon link.  Go and buy it now!  The pictures are beautiful and the recipes are so accessible.  I mentioned about that I don't eat wheat but that doesn't mean I don't love to make breads and other goodies for others.  I'm a sharer.  But the amazing thing about this book is that is contains a great variety of GF baked goods.  I made her scones for our Daffodil Festival Picnic recently and they were a hit!!
Lemon Meringue Pie
Birthday treats all over the place this past week.  My friends hosted a Derby Day Birthday Brunch that celebrated 3 birthdays.  The requests came in and one was lemon meringue...oh you little devil pie.  When it emerged from the oven I was so pleased but I let it sit out too long on a very humid day and the filling did a little spreading once I cut the first slice.  Oh well.  The birthday boy was happy and that is all that matters!  I used the recipe from America's test kitchen but I added more zest!


Ok.  There it is.  I did it!  

I vow to be more consistent in my photo adventures and not to allow hunger to get in the way of food styling :)  Sorry husband....
Derby Day Brunch
Here's to the ladies who BRUNCH!!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Friend-spiration!


Cake Creation
The friends in my life are always inspiring me to conquer new recipes and challenges!  They mention in passing that they love a particular dish or dessert and I immediately want to leap into action to make it for them.  Last week was a good friend's birthday and so another cake adventure began!  She had a very specific request that I was very excited to fulfill, Ice Cream Cake.  After the "Any cake I want? Really?" decision was made, we moved on to the next...what flavors of ice cream will make up this cake?

After much debate, she narrowed it down to a two-layer cake with that signature cookie-crumble center.

Layer 1 - Vanilla Ice Cream with English Toffee Pieces
Center - Chocolate Sandwich Cookie Crumble
Layer 2 - Coconut Ice Cream
All topped with a Rich Hot Fudge Sauce

I was up to the challenge and I wanted to make the majority of the ingredients from scratch.  I went ahead with the childhood favorite chocolate sandwich cookie because...if it ain't broke don't fix it!

Birthday Girl!
Digging In!

This was a bit of a process because there are multiple layers and time needed to freezing and setting but look at this face!

Ok...here we go!










Ingredients

Ice cream: This Base was used for both flavors
4 cups heavy cream (split evenly)
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup toffee pieces (I made my grandmother's toffee for this recipe and used the leftovers to decorate the top of the cake but you can buy the toffee bits in the baking aisle or crush your favorite candy bar)
1 cup coconut flakes, toasted
1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerate can for a few hours before making the ice cream.

Hot Fudge: Recipe from Smitten Kitchen! 
2/3 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup light corn syrup (I'm interested in trying this recipe with Brown Rice Syrup, next time!)
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Heaping 1/4 tsp sea salt
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped, divided
2 tbsp  unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla

Cookie Crumble Crust and Center Layer
1 package chocolate sandwich cookies
1 stick butter, melted

Instructions

Day Before
Vanilla Toffee Ice Cream
Whip 2 cups heavy cream in a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, and whip until stiff peaks are formed.  Lower the speed and whip in 1 can of the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla.  Mix just until everything is combined.  You don't want to loose all that air in the whipped cream.   With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the toffee pieces.  Pour the mixture into a freezer-safe pan like a metal loaf pan.  Allow to set for 6 hours or over night.  I did both ice creams the night before so all I had to do was make the sauce, make the crumble and assemble.

Coconut Ice Cream
Spread coconut flakes on a sheet pan and toast in a 350 degree oven until lightly browned and fragrant.  Allow to cool to room temperature.
Scoop about 1 cup of the solid coconut milk from the refrigerated can and add it to a large bowl.  Whip the coconut milk until it becomes smooth.  Add 2 cups of heavy cream and whip until stiff peaks are formed.  The rest of the recipe is the same as above only now it is coconut flakes.

Day of Assembly

Cookie Crumb Crust
(While making the crust, place one flavor of ice cream on the counter to soften)
Place half of the package of cookies into your food processor and pulse until the cookie are pretty crumbly.  Add the second half of the cookies and pulse until it is the texture of rough sand.  Turn the machine on and pour in melted butter and mix until combined.  Easy Peesy

Assembly
Wrap the bottom of a springform pan with foil because you never know.  Press half of the cookie mixture into the bottom of the pan.  I use the bottom of a measuring cup because I saw Martha Stewart do it and I figure she knows what's up.
Add your first layer of ice cream.  Your choice, I went with the toffee per the birthday girl's request. The ice cream should come a little under halfway up the pan.  You want enough room for the cookies and the second layer.
Cover with plastic warp and allow to set in the freezer for an hour.
Remove the pan from the freezer and add the second half of cookie crumbs and put it back in the freezer for 20-30 minutes so it can set up.  This will make adding the second layer of ice cream a bit easier.  Make sure you take the second flavor of ice cream out of the freezer to soften.  15 minutes should be good.
Once the cookie crumbs are set, add the second layer of ice cream.  The second layer should come about 1/2 inch from the top of the pan.  Place the whole thing back in the freezer to set.

Hot Fudge Sauce
In a sauce pan, bring the cream, syrup, cocoa, and 1/2 the chocolate to a boil.  Reduce to a low simmer and cook until thickened.  This took about 3 minutes for me.  Once it is thickened, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter and the rest of the chocolate.  Stir until everything is melted together and terribly tempting.  Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature.  It will thicken even more as it cools.  Once it is cooled, spread a thin amount on the top of the cake and spread to evenly coat the top.  Place back in the freeze the set this fudge layer.  This helps create a barrier so the sauce won't totally melt the ice cream when you go to add the final fudgey layer.

Final Step
Bring the pan out of the freezer and set on the counter for a few minutes so the ring can be removed easily.  Meanwhile, you can reheat the fudge sauce if it has become too thick.  Once the sauce is ready, remove the ring and place the cake on a platter.  Pour the warm fudge over the cake and allow it to dip over the sides.


Ooey Gooey Fudge!
It is a lot of steps but totally worth it when is complete.  I had some left over coconut and toffee pieces and so I added some to the top.  It really made it look special.

Tada!

Another treat to add to the repertoire.  All thanks to the wonderful friends in my life who indulge my need to make them goodies!




Sunday, April 17, 2016

Recipe Creation on Theme!


I love a theme.  Have I mentioned this?  It's serious in all areas but especially when it comes to food!
A theme I love to tackle goes along with my other passion, theatre. Each show I do inspires a themed dessert creation.  For example, I made red velvet cupcakes with grey icing for Steel Magnolias.
The most recent treat...



The Four Season's Tart

The show was, Wake Up, Brother Bear!  This is a show designed 1-6 year olds and invites the children on to the stage to help tell the story of the four seasons!  Thus the need for a tart for all seasons!  The seasons are as follows:

Winter - Ginger Bread Crust
Fall - Pumpkin Spice Filling
Spring - Figs
Summer - Honey

I also made a pepita brittle for the top to add a little texture

I am really proud of this one because I had the thought, I put together the recipe and it all worked out! I am also working on upping my food photo game and the photos for this tart are my favorite so far. Shout out to Georgie +In it 4 the Long Run for the photo advice and inspiration!
Honey Drizzle
Recipe for the Four Seasons Tart

Ingredients

Filling:
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar 
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
1/4 tsp ground ginger
3 cardamom pods, removed after filling is cooked 
pinch sea salt
1 can coconut milk, full fat
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Toppings:
10-12 dried mission figs
Honey
Mint (optional, nothing to do with flavor...just tart vanity)
Crust:
1 box your favorite ginger cookies, I used ginger snaps but really any crispy and gingery cookie would work
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
1 stick butter, melted

Pepita Brittle:
1/2 cup raw pepitas
1/4 cup sugar

For the crust: pulse the ginger cookies and spices in a food processor.  You want these to be finely ground.  Once you have the desired consistency, add the melted butter and process until the butter is well incorporated.  Press the mixture into a tart pan and put in the refrigerator to set.
For the filling:
In a medium saucepan, whisk the dry ingredients together.  Whisk in the pumpkin and place pan over medium high heat.  Bring the mixture to a low boil and then whisk in the coconut milk (make sure the coconut milk is well mixed before adding it to the pan).  Lower the heat to medium low and cook a few more minutes until the mixture thickens.  Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.  Place the filling in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Make sure the plastic is directly on top of the mixture so it doesn't get a film at the top.Allow to chill for a few hours or over night.  Once the mixture is chilled, add it to the prepared tart shell.  
For the brittle: Place peptias and sugar in a medium sauce pan and cook together over medium heat until the sugar melts and begins to turn a light caramel color.  Allow the mixture to cool on a silpat or parchment-lined sheet pan.  
For the garnish: Cut the dried figs in half and arrange them on the top of the tart, sprinkle with brittle and drizzle with honey.  If you are feeling fancy, add a sprig of mint. Done!
Look at that fancy mint!
My cast mates were super thrilled with this creation and I can't wait to create for the next production, Balloonacy.  Any thoughts?

Some thoughts on the amazing world of children's theatre...

Doing theatre for children, especially the tiniest audience members, is always full of surprises.  Here are a few examples of unique audience members.*The Wanderer: This little one wants to be on stage and has a bashful parent that hesitates in redirecting the wanderer.

*The "Nuh Uh":  The little one insists that everything you say is a lie and will shout out their tiny opinions during every moment of the show, Bear says "It's Spring now and getting warm...." Child says "Nuh Uh!".
*The Sticky One: This child is covered in some kind of sticky snack substance.  As they come up and play, we must dodge the stickiness with grace so they kiddo won't feel self conscious about his or her stick mess.
*The Violent Child: The kid is aggressive.  He or she may hit you, throw blankets at your face or try to trip you and others.
*The Lover: This little one just wants to hug and love during the show.  he are she may hop up on stage and hug you at any moment.
*The Terrified: This child wants absolutely nothing to do with you! You are scary and strange and nothing you do will make them feel any different.

The parents are also pretty hilarious. Here are a few...
*The NO: You may ask the parents to participate with the kids, this parent will say no every time.  No matter how awkward it is , no matter how much their child wants them to play...the No will be a jerk and shake their head "No".  Shame
*The Hands Off: This parent will watch as their child creates chaos, spills snacks, wanders around, etc and they will just sit back and do nothing.  This is their moment to sit back and relax and let others deal with their wild child.
*The Enamored: This parent is IN IT!  They are with you the whole time and are more engaged than their child.  The jump up to participate, they clap, they sing...they are the best.
*The Neutral: This parent sits with a neutral scowl, arms crossed..just appearing completely annoyed with the entire experience.  All the while, their child is on stage making a lake dance with leaves or catching fireflies.  It doesn't matter...their life is just terrible in the moment and they will do nothing to disguise their disgust.

Each performance has a unique set of characters and circumstances. It is always an adventure and I love it!