Rosemary “Shrub” Cocktail

Two months ago I got this thing in my Hatchery Box called drinking vinegar. Uh, huh? It says to mix with alcohol of my choice and top with soda water. The flavor is supposed to be Michigan Apple Pie. Since when does vinegar taste like pie or belong in my cocktails? Well, you learn something new every day and I am truly grateful to Hatchery box to practically forcing me to learn this new cocktail. I took a little swig and let the flavor sink in while I went for a run. On my way back home I saw the rosemary bush outside the apartment and the lightbulb went on.Rosemary "Shrub" Cocktail- Glitter It GoldThe label on this “drinking vinegar” says that it is also called a “shrub.” So….why not “shrub” it up a little more by adding some rosemary simple syrup. Wow, it’s good. Eric said it tastes like something really high- end that you would drink in a fancy cocktail bar, which reminded him that we have none in our area and that he bought me a (text)book on mixology which I have been neglecting and we could have a successful bar by now….Rosemary "Shrub" Cocktail- Glitter It Gold

But seriously, this cocktail couldn’t be easier to make. The simple syrup is super simple, as the name implies: 1/4 c water, 1/4 c sugar, 1 6″ sprig of rosemary. Bring to a boil, simmer a few minutes then let cool. Viola. Then simply put the whiskey, rosemary simple syrup, and drinking vinegar in a lowball glass and top with soda water and garnish a little rosemary. Rosemary "Shrub" Cocktail- Glitter It GoldUltra shrubby, kinda hipster, but super delicous. You can order the brand I used here or on the McClary Bros website where they have a bunch of flavors and I just went a little too crazy after getting the green light from Eric (Pineapple and Fennel Seed and Lemon and Ginger!!). I would suggest another place to get it or another brand, but this whole drinking vinegar thing is new to me so I am still investigating that…..

Ingredients (for 1 cocktail)

  • 2 oz of whiskey or bourbon
  • 1 oz of drinking vinegar
  • 1 oz of rosemary simple syrup
  • 2 oz of soda water

for the Rosemary Simple Syrup

Place 1/4 c of water and 1/4 c sugar in a pot and dissolve sugar. Add 1 6″ sprig of rosemary and simmer for 2 minutes. let cool before using.

Truffle Honey and Brie Toast

Sometimes when I have a stressful day at work, it takes me a little while to unwind before I can start cooking. Which is odd becuase usually cooking is my form of relaxing and unwinding. But on some days I am just too hungry and tired and wired from my day that dinner seems like this gigantic, monster of a feat that I just don’t have the energy to begin. Enter glass of wine and fancy (yet ridiculously easy) snack to pamper myself a little before tackling dinner. These snacks usually consist of a cheese, a spread or sauce or jam or preserve, a vehicle, and a flavorful/decorative finishing touch. Today I made these, and Oh. My. Goodness. Delicious. Toasted sourdough topped with a slice of brie, a drizzle of truffle honey, a sprinkling of toasted pistachios, and pinch of fresh cracked black pepper. Stick it back in the toaster over for a minute to get the brie all nice and melty.Truffle Honey Brie Toasts with Pistachios- Glitter It Gold

This would be good as baked brie too. Just spoon the honey over a piece of brie (rind removed) in a baking dish and bake until gooey and soft, top with pistachios and serve with a plate of crackers or toasts.Truffle Honey Brie Toasts with Pistachios- Glitter It Gold

I have been working on a Creamy Roasted Garlic Balsamic Vinaegrette for you. But I need pictures, and pictures requires me to photograph when it’s light out, and making it and having light just haven’t happened at the same time yet. Anyways, my point in telling you this is one ingredient in the dressing is Truffle Honey. The stuff is heaven in a jar, but rather expensive. So, as encouragement for you to get some, I figured I would give you a few recipes that use it, so you know, it’s a little more worth it. I’ll get my act together and get you the dressing recipe soon and some more details on the truffle honey. But for now I am going to finish this wine and toast because my brain hurts, make burgers for dinner and go straight to bed. After an episode of House of Cards. or three. (don’t judge). Goodnight.

Pea Shoot, Roasted Strawberry and Burrata Salad

It’s spring. And in Southern California that means it should already be 85 degrees and sunny just about every single day. Which is why I am thoroughly confused about our current weather- gloomy, cold, drizzley. Like what is this, the Northwest? NO! I know we are in a drought and could use some rain, but if it is isn’t actually going to rain I would like my sunshine back thank you very much!

So anyways, it’s spring. And today is the first Saturday in a very long time that I don’t have anywhere to be, and you know what that means- SPRING CLEANING. Well sort of. I started off really strong- two loads of laundry, dusting, dishes, folding clothes, putting things away, fliling…. but then I got hungry. We have plently of leftovers I was planning on eating until I openened the fridge thinking I would clean that out as I decided what to eat and these really sad looking strawberries were staring up at me from the back of the fridge. I had to do something, rescue them, make them less pathetic looking. So you know what I did? I sliced them up, tossed them in balsamic, and roasted them. Now my original plan was to dump them over the pistachio gelato I impulsively bought at the grocery store yesterday but that doesn’t really count as lunch so I came up with this wonderful salad. W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L. It is so good. The strawberries are like candy, with the crunch of the pistachio (since I already had pistachio on my mind), and oh the cool creaminess of the burrata…. Pea Shoot, Roasted Strawberry, Burrata Salad- Glitter It Gold

My tastebuds were in heaven.Pea Shoot, Roasted Strawberry, Burrata Salad- Glitter It Gold

This was the perfect thing to brighten my gloomy, boring day full of cleaning. Try this salad, just try it. I found pea shoots at my local asian market and the burrata at Ralph’s. If you can’t find burrata just use fresh buffalo mozzarella. If you can’t find pea shoots I imagine spinach would be good, but try for the pea shoots, they’re also good in omelettes, smoothies, and sauteed too.Pea Shoot, Roasted Strawberry, Burrata Salad- Glitter It Gold

I did have a little bit of roasted strawberries left so…..

Pistachio Gelato with Balsamic Roasted Strawberries

I deserve this. I have been cleaning all day, or half a day, with every intention of cleaning the rest of the day….after I finish this….

Ingredients for 1 serving:

  • 1 cup pea shoots
  • 1/2 c strawberries, quartered
  • 1 TBS balsamic vineager
  • 1 tsp good quality olive oil
  • 1 ball of burrata, or about 2 oz of buffalo mozzarella
  • 1 TBS roasted, salted pistachios, shelled
  • S+P

Method

  1. To roast the strawberries place them on a non-stick baking sheet and roast at 400 for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before using.
  2. Assemble the salad pea shoots first, then add the roasted strawberries, then sprinkle with pistachios, drizzle with balsamic reduction, drizzle with olive oil, place burrata on top, sprinkle with S+P.
  3. Devour.

Banana, Almond, Oat Smoothie

This is my husband’s absolute favorite smoothie. We go through about 2 bunches of bananas a week just because of this smoothie. I wish I could get him to drink more green smoothies but, at least we are starting our morning off better than with a Starbucks gutbomb sandwhich (easier on the wallet too). It’s really quick to make, and easy to eat on the go. This recipe fills a mason jar which I always put it in because it’s the perfect size, can go in the dishwasher, and travels well with a sealed lid.Husband's Favorite banana, almond, oat smoothie- Glitter It Gold

This smoothie is sweetened with dates but honey is good too if you don’t have dates. I also like to throw in some other add-ins on occasion: cacao nibs, cocoa powder, shredded unsweetened coconut, sometimes I use walnuts or pecans instead of almonds. The recipe below is the basic one and actually my favorite.Husband's Favorite banana, almond, oat smoothie- Glitter It Gold

Want to know a secret? Sometimes when I write banana I accidentally write bananda, like Amanda+banana. I also have been known to write my name as Amandanda or Amanda Rowlanda- mostly when I was in college and running on 3 hours of sleep per night. You’re not judging me right? Can we still be friends? Smeeeh….why am I so embarrassing sometimes?Husband's Favorite banana, almond, oat smoothie- Glitter It Gold

Ingredients:

  • 1 c almond milk
  • 1 TBS chia seeds
  • 3 TBS quick oats
  • 1 TBS unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 tbs raw almonds
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 medjool dates, seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup ice

Method

Throw it all in the blender and enjoy!

 

Mushroom Miso Soup with Soba Noodles

Mushroom Miso Soup with Soba Noodles- GlitterItGoldLet me just start out by saying that this is one of the most photogenic meals I have yet to photograph. Not like I’m all that experienced but I mean I just couldn’t get over how beautiful this looks. Okay, for the real story now. I got back from a bachelorette party weekend on Sunday with probably the worst hangover in my (almost) 25 year existence. I have never experienced one that lasted more than 24 hours. I am also all bruised up, sunburned, and have a cold sore in my nose. TMI? sorry. But I do and it hurts and my nose is stuffy and that makes it worse. When I had to go home at lunch for a powernap before going back to work I knew I needed some healing food for dinner.Mushroom Miso Soup with Soba Noodles- GlitterItGold

The first thing that came to mind is miso. I have talked about miso before because is one of those ingredients that few people use and I can’t get enough of. It is really good for you too. The particular benefits I wanted to take advantage of are: it is full of probioics that help aid digestion (and soothe sensative tummies), it strengthens the immune system, is high in antioxidants, and is a great source of vitamins- especially B vitamins. And what better way to get your miso than in a soup. Soup is the ultimate sick food. Mushrooms are also known to strengthen the immune system so I used 4 kinds: oyster, cremini, shitake, and enoki. I also wanted some green in there so I used bok choy but any sturdy green would work (kale, chard, even cabbage would be good).Mushroom Miso Soup with Soba Noodles- GlitterItGold

I really wanted a soup that was hearty and filling- not just broth- and I also wanted it to be big on flavor. The best way to bring out the flavor in veggies (in my humble opinion) is roasting. I drizzled with sesame oil, tamari, and gochujang (a korean condiment made of fermented chili, sriracha would work just fine).Mushroom Miso Soup with Soba Noodles- GlitterItGold

I have an asian market, 99 Ranch Market that has just about every exotic ingredient and vegetable that you could never find in your regular grocery store (ie gochujang, oyster mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, 20 varieties of miso, soba noodles, etc.) I am sure you could substitute several ingredients in this soup and it would still be heavenly. (add a poached egg on top?)

Mushroom Miso Soup with Soba Noodles- GlitterItGoldNext time you need a little immunity boosting meal that is easy to digest, light yet filling- reach for this stuff. I already feel better. Also, I think I use way too many parentheses. (oh, well)

Serves 4, prep time: 20 minutes, cook time: 20 minutes, total time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 5 heads of baby bok choy, quartered
  • 1/2 oz of dried shitake mushrooms
  • 6-8 oyster mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 package of enoki mushrooms, bottoms removed and separated
  • 1 sheet of dried seaweed paper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 servings of (preferably fresh) buckwheat soba noodles (about 8 ounces)
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 TBS of mild yellow or white miso
  • 1 TBS minced ginger
  • 2 stalks of green onion
  • 1 package of extra firm tofu, drained and cubed
  • 1 TBS of sesame oil
  • 1 TBS Gochujang or other chili paste
  • 1 TBS tamari or soy sauce

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400F
  2. Drain your tofu by removing from package, placing between two folded sheets of paper towel, and placing a weight on top (I use my cast iron). Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes, then cut into cubes
  3. place the dried shitakes in a bowl of warm water to reconstitute while the tofu drains.
  4. Toss the sliced creminis, oyster mushrooms, garlic, tofu and bok choy with the gochujang, sesame oil, and tamari, spread on a baking sheet and place in the oven for about 10 minutes, flipping/stirring once at 5 minutes.
  5. While the veggies are roasting bring a pot of water to boil, cook soba noodles for 3-4 minutes or according to package instructions if using dried noodles. Drain and rinse in cold water, set aside.
  6. Return the pot to heat and add the water, ginger, shitakes, and the white part of the green onions. Shred the seaweed paper into the pot and add miso. Gently warm the soup being careful not to cook the miso too much.
  7. Add in all the roasted veggies. Place a serving of soba in a bowl with the enoki mushrooms (I prefer not to cook them, just heat them with the warmth of the broth), pour soup over the noodles. Top with green onion, sesame seeds, a few drops of chili oil and a squeeze of lemon.

 

Mint Chip Green Smoothie Bowl

Green smoothies are a great way to start the morning- get your veggies and your fruit and drink on the go- Perfect. But sometimes you just need something different. I typically don’t like sweet Breakfast foods- they make my tummy hurt. But occasionally I crave something on the sweet side in the morning.

Mint Chip Green Smoothie Bowl

  A green smoothie bowl that tastes nothing like veggies (or even fruit) can keep me from eating that donut, pancake, or muffin. This green smoothie bowl is packed full of antioxidants, protein, minerals like iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamins A, K, and B and aids digestion and concentration. Wow- doesn’t that make you want to have this every. single. morning. And you what makes it EVEN BETTER? It tastes like mint chip. Seriously. It’s a nutrient packed and delicious blend of spinach, banana, spirulina powder, cacao nibs, cocoa powder, oats, shredded unsweetened coconut, honey, peppermint, and almond milk. It could even pass as dessert- really healthy dessert.

Mint Chip Green Smoothie Bowl

If you aren’t using spirulina powder in your smoothies you are missing out on some pretty amazing benefits- it’s 65% protein in one of the most highly digestible forms and it has tons of iron and minerals and B vitamins. 1 serving (1 TSP) has 4 grams of protein. The only downside to spirulina is that it kinda tastes and smells like pond water, but that taste is also easily hidden by flavors like mint, lemon or citrus, and red berries. I buy mine from Mountain Rose Herbs online, which is also were I get my cacao nibs.

                

Mint Chip Green Smoothie Bowl

What a great way to start the morning- with a breakfast that tastes like dessert and is super healthy for you.

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana (cut into pieces and frozen)
  • 1 cup tighly packed spinach leaves
  • 1 TBS Spirulina powder
  • 1 TBS cacao nibs
  • 1 TBS cocoa powder
  • 1 c almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 drop of pure pepermint oil
  • 4-5 peppermint leaves
  • 1 TBS honey
  • 1 TBS shredded unsweetened coconut

Method

Place all ingredients in the blender on blend on high until smooth. If you wish to make it a smoothie you will need to add additional almond milk. Top with extra shredded coconut, cacao nibs and maybe some sliced banana (all mine were frozen or I would have added on mine too).

Enjoy- you’re off to a great start today.

Fancy Egg and Toast

What’s the deal with eggs and toast lately? It seems like no one can get enough. All anyone wants to talk about it that perfect egg, how to achieve it, how to consume it. And we all thought cooking eggs was like the easiest thing to do and now our whole world is being turned upside down because we just found out that we have been cooking eggs wrong our whole lives.

And don’t even get me started with the toast thing…. I’m actually having a hard time posting about toast. Like stick in the toaster, smear some PB and honey on it call it good amiright? Wrong. Toast has decided to ditch the ball cap and jeans in favor of a ball gown and diamond accessories. Toast is a fancy thing now. While I’ve been fancying up my toasts (formerly known as an open faced sandwich) for years, it has never seemed to me like the kind of thing that needed a recipe. Yet here I am, jumping on the bandwagon.

So anyways here’s my toast today. Jalapeño cheddar loaf, cottage cheese, chilies in adobo, smoked salmon- because you know that’s my thing right now- avocado, sunny side up egg, cracked black pepper and Hepp’s Applewood Smoked Salt. It’s pretty damn delicious. The smokiness and spice of the adobo pairs so well with the smoked salmon and what better way to tame spiciness than with avocado? It’s a simple meal (toast is a meal when you make it like this- who knew?), but oh so good.

Method:

  1. Toast a thick slice of bread to your desired toastiness.
  2. Smear on 2 heaping TBS of cottage cheese.
  3. Smear with 1/2 tsp of chopped chilies in adobo.
  4. Layer on 3 slices of smoked salmon.
  5. Add three slices of avocado.
  6. Top with an egg, sunny side up cooked in ghee (clarified butter) was my choice but make it how you like. Eggs don’t have to be complicated. Heck scramble it if that’s how you like it.
  7. Too with fresh cracked black pepper and smoked salt.
  8. Devour.

How To Roast Garlic

Garlic is my favorite. It goes in everything savory. Recipe calls for 2 cloves? I add 6. I love it. I also love roasting it. Roasting garlic mellows out the flavor, gets rid of that spicy kick that raw garlic has, and makes it soft, slightly sweet and caramelized and spreadable. Yes, spreadable. As in on a warm, toasty, french baguette. With brie cheese. And a drizzle of balsamic. Are you drooling yet? Because I am.Easy Roasted Garlic

It is so easy to make and having a bunch of it pre-made (it freezes well), makes it easy to throw into soups, dressings, sauces, smearing on toast, adding to bruschetta… anywhere you would use raw garlic and more.

Just remove any loose skin and cut the top off exposing the cloves.

Easy Roasted Garlic

Drizzle with a little EVOO.

Easy Roasted Garlic

Pop them in the oven. 45 minutes later you have beautifully caramelized garlic ready to become a part of another delicious recipe or simply spread on some toast.

Easy Roasted Garlic

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400F
  2. Peel off the outer layers of skin leaving the cloves attached.
  3. Cut off the top exposing a little bit of each garlic clove.
  4. Drizzle with 1 TBS olive oil per head of garlic so that it seeps down into each individual clove and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt
  5. Place tightly in foil and bake for about 45 minutes or until it can be easily pierced with a fork.