Creamy Hummus Soup with Crispy Soyrizo Gremolata (Vegan)

Creamy Hummus Soup with Crispy Soyrizo Gremolata (Vegan) (via thepigandquill.com)

Creamy Hummus Soup with Crispy Soyrizo Gremolata (Vegan) (via thepigandquill.com)
Like so many recipes that find their way to this space, this soup was a happy accident. A well-meaning attempt (and I do mean well-meaning, as not a corner was cut!) at Kenji Lopez-Alt’s intriguing Israeli hummus recipe — more on what makes it so intriguing later — watered down, quite literally, into a slurpable meal worthy of your soup spoon.

Too many times I’ve daintily tucked pita into a creamy bowl of restaurant hummus while every fiber of my being screams good lord woman, eating it by the oversized spoonful is the clear winner of all ideas ever! And too many times, apparently, I’ve bump-on-a-logged it, afraid of what my dining companions, or — sin of all sins! — the doler-outter-of-pitas — might think. Because I will admit: when pita is good, it’s responsible for at least half the splendor.

But when hummus is good.
When hummus is this good.
It needs not the company of pillowy fillers.

Indeed, it’s a treat to behold all on its scoopable, spoonable own.

Creamy Hummus Soup with Crispy Soyrizo Gremolata (Vegan) (via thepigandquill.com)
As suggested, the basis for this recipe is Kenji Lopez-Alt’s Israeli hummus, which claims to turn out that super creamy, whippy-textured hummus available almost exclusively in restaurants or at scary New York deli counters but without all the urban-legend chickpea peeling. Which, to be honest, I probably have time for, but Nashville is back and the sobbing required for every episode of This is Us just really taps my reserves and so isht like peeling chickpeas isn’t a thing that’s going to happen. Also, The Bachelor. It’s a taxing season. Open your mouth when you speak, Nick. OPEN. YOUR. MOUTH. WHEN. YOU. SPEAK.

Rather than peeling the chickpeas to achieve ultra creaminess, Lopez-Alt (here’s where I really want to just call him Kenji) soaks dried beans in salt and baking soda overnight, drains them, and then simmers the crap out of them in more salt and baking soda, plus a whole complement of aromatics for good measure/flavor. That mixture is drained and high-power-blended into a smooth paste (insert: my goof-up of adding more soaking water than necessary), which is then whisked together with a homemade tahini sauce of its own brilliance. I don’t want to give too much away, but it employs an entire head of unpeeled garlic cloves, a butt-ton of lemon juice — and more elbow grease in the form of, again, a high-powered-blender.

Happily (and generously) the good folks at KitchenAid provided the new Pro Line® Series Blender featured here so I could take its 3.5 horses for a spin, and it made light, whippy work of both the hummus and the unpeeled garlic tahini components that are so critical to this soup’s unexpected lusciousness. If you’re without such an appliance, Lopez-Alt does mention that a food processor could suffice, but he supplies enough words touting the supremacy of the former that I assume you might as well not bother.

While the base of the recipe — that being the hummus-turned-soup — I can take almost no credit for, the crisped soyrizo (or, please, classic Mexican chorizo, if you are an eater of meat) is a personal addition not to be missed. It’s a small play on the decadently-topped hummuses (hummi?) you might find in your fave restaurant — here on the Peninsula, Oren’s in my go-to — offering spicy, bright, herbacious and textural complements to a soup that is otherwise akin to liquid silk. It’s also embarrassingly simple — at least compared to the thoughtfully-executed components of the soup base. And should you find yourself with leftovers, it’s an excellent veggie filling for tiny street tacos or folded into a pair of soft scrambled eggs.

Creamy Hummus Soup with Crispy Soyrizo Gremolata (Vegan) (via thepigandquill.com)
I’ve intentionally written the recipe below to encourage you to seek most of the details for the soup, itself, from the Serious Eats website, making notes accordingly to demonstrate how and where my dippeth became souppeth. The Crispy Soyrizo Gremolata is incorporated at the end.

Before I leave you to that, however, I promised Chris I would note two of his observations re: said soup in this post (not one to contribute to this blog very often, a request of this nature seems paramount in importance) — and those are:

1) A soup based on a dip is most definitely a game-day eat. I think the phrase “Souperbowl Soup” was even dropped, to my giddy amusement.

2) When you mix the topping into the soup, it basically tastes like a bowl of vegan queso dip.

So, you know, if all the Lopez-Alt test kitchen schtick doesn’t sell you…
Vegan Queso Dip. 

Happy weekend, friends!
xo,
Em

Creamy Hummus Soup with Crispy Soyrizo Gremolata (Vegan) (via thepigandquill.com) Creamy Hummus Soup with Crispy Soyrizo Gremolata (Vegan) (via thepigandquill.com) Creamy Hummus Soup with Crispy Soyrizo Gremolata (Vegan) (via thepigandquill.com) Creamy Hummus Soup with Crispy Soyrizo Gremolata (Vegan) (via thepigandquill.com) This post is written in partnership with KitchenAid, who generously provided the Pro Line® Series Blender you see here. As always, I only support partners whose products and practices complement those employed in The Pig & Quill kitchen.

Creamy Hummus Soup with Crispy Soyrizo Gremolata (Vegan)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
By:
Makes: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • Creamy Hummus Soup, adapted from Kenji Lopez-Alt's Israeli Hummus Recipe (see recipe instructions below for given modifications)
  • drizzle extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 6 oz loose Mexican-style soy chorizo, casing removed
  • ½ English cucumber, diced
  • juice and zest of one meyer lemon
  • two large handfuls finely chopped parsley, plus more for topping
  • smoked paprika for topping, optional
  • crunchy sea-salted chickpeas for topping, optional (homemade or storebought, these have proven tasty)
Instructions
  1. Prepare hummus according to Kenji Lopez-Alt's method minding the following:
  2. The Tahini Sauce called for is actually a separate recipe (here); in said recipe, pulsing the garlic unpeeled with the lemon juice is critical to the resulting flavor.
  3. When blending the chickpeas, err on the side of using less of the simmering water, reserving whatever water you do not use for thinning the soup later if a saltier taste is desired.
  4. Whisk in the tahini and taste the final product before proceeding. At this point, I'm assuming you have a lovely hummus - yay! If you're still tempted to proceed to make soup, heat the desired amount of hummus gently over medium heat until warmed through, thinning with either a little reserved simmering water OR plain water, depending on the saltiness of the soup, until soup thickly covers the back of a spoon (think bechamel).
  5. To make the Gremolata: While soup is warming, heat drizzle of olive oil in a medium skillet. Add soy chorizo and fry until crispy in places, 5 mins. Add cucumber and saute until just warmed through. Turn off heat. Finish with lemon juice and zest and plenty of parsley.
  6. Serve soup topped generously with the gremolata, a pinch of smoked paprika, more olive oil over the top and crunchy, salted chickpeas, if desired. Enjoy.
Notes
The first thing worth noting is the time. While much of the time is inactive (that is, about 2 hours of simmering and only 15 or 20 mins of actual active cooking or prep), this is a meal that requires some planning. Add an extra overnight soak if you're using dried chickpeas.

Second, it is not lost on me that this concept could be made exponentially simpler by taking your favorite take-out or store-bought hummus and thinning it into soup with a little good quality stock or water in your high-powered blender and heating it accordingly. Though you won't experience the same thrill of blending up all those silky little soaked chickpeas, I suspect the results would be passable if not applaudable. And I would still very much encourage the gremolata topping. 😉
 

Creamy Hummus Soup with Crispy Soyrizo Gremolata (Vegan) (via thepigandquill.com)————————————————–

OH! before you go…

Like whatcha see here — or have a question, feedback, or recipe hack to share? Join The Pig & Quill convo by commenting below (I love, luv, lurve comments) and hang out with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. And don’t forget to subscribe to P&Q emails or add me to your RSS reader with Feedly or Bloglovin’ so you never miss a post. x’s & o’s!

Flourless Persimmon Cake with Black Pepper-Molasses Date Caramel (DF/GF)

Flourless Persimmon Cake with Black Pepper-Molasses Date Caramel (DF/GF) (via thepigandquill.com)

Thank you so kindly for the dramatic outpouring of support I received here and across social media following my last post. While I’ve been a bit delinquent about responding to comments and messages, it’s only because your generous gestures have left me without adequate words. 

Flourless Persimmon Cake with Black Pepper-Molasses Date Caramel (DF/GF) (via thepigandquill.com)
I’ve thought a lot over the past few weeks about how to start this blog post. In the wake of my last post, I’ve experienced no shortage of heart-warming gestures of love, support and generosity, any of which would make a fine anecdote with which to kick off this recipe for wintry spice cake. If you fancy yourself a writer (as I sometimes dare to), you may relate to the giddy elation that occurs when, mid-shampoo, words you’ve been struggling with begin to rise from within — coaxed forth by the similarly rising steam, or perhaps the safe anonymity of the fogged-over mirrors — only to find they’ve retreated when you finally make time to put pen to paper (finger to keyboard) too many long moments later. It’s not that I intended to go this long without checking in, but after the first few false starts, it started to feel a little forced.

So today. Tonight. Without poetry or fanfare (and with Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark dry-witting away in the background), I’ll leave you with this. Highlights from the long month we’ve been apart. A couple of brief thoughts as we welcome this New Year. And then, I promise, we’ll talk about cake.

  • I parted ways with my right breast.
  • My Boston bestie flew out and custom-built me an entryway table, danced the baby around (wildly and without complaint), and Marie Kondo’d my closet.
  • We made this salad and these cookies on serious repeat.
  • We came up with a plan to preserve little micro-Lanas in case we decide to expand our family down the line. It involves a bunch of little needles, one bigass needle and tinkering with my hormones. Like, a lot.
  • I shed so many happy tears when I opened the most thoughtfully-curated care package from almost 30 friends in the blogging community. I will never stop reiterating how grateful I am for the kinship and camaraderie that we share in this bizarre little online world. You’re the sweet, brazen, inspiring and wickedly creative sisters (and brothers) I never knew I’d come so much to rely upon. ♥
  • I began to tackle a thick stack of thank you notes, which currently sit abandoned and half-addressed. (Consider this a blanket IOU — they’re coming, I swear!)
  • I strategically conned Sarah into bringing her sweet babe across the Bay, feeding me lunch, and stocking my freezer with pineapple fried rice.
  • My in-laws brought my knives in for sharpening for the first time in 10 years and HOLY WOW.
  • I physically therapied like a boss.
  • We celebrated Chris’ birthday with the most memorable omakase experience and the best ikura + uni I’ve had to date (insert something less cliché here about a cool ocean breeze on the tongue).
  • We ate ALL THE FANCY CHRISTMAS COOKIES.
  • For the first time since moving back to CA, we stayed home for the holiday and hosted a quasi-international Christmas Eve potluck: pork and green chile tamales, ravioli en brodo + curry-roasted carrots; and Christmas Day supper: lamb + beef bolognese, creamy parmesan brussies (← a riff on Sherrie’s recipe) + garlic bread.
  • I finally bought an Instant Pot.
  • And made 8-min lentil soup.
  • Which, real talk, is still like 30-min lentil soup when you account for the pressure build-up and release. Meh.
  • (Sorry I said pressure build-up and release. At least I didn’t say climax.)
  • (Oops.)
  • I took a (several hour-long) trip down the rabbit hole touring celebrity homes on Lonny.
  • Santa brought Lana a bike and Chris’ eyes actually sparkled with pride when she threw her leg over the seat and took off, unprompted. Cue Mommy Xanax.
  • I wore these plaid pants on repeat every day since Christmas — now on sale, yay!
  • My mom and I scoured the clearance endcaps at Target for no less than 90 leisurely mins and it was exactly as glorious as it sounds (read: very).
  • We rang in the New Year with a mini Sequence tournament — I’m officially hooked.

In some ways, the past month has been both incredibly ordinary and unfathomably extraordinary. Unsurprisingly, a cancer diagnosis is a whole lot of hurry-up-and-wait, leaving strings of unscheduled days or weeks suspended on silken threads between these looming monoliths of surgery and chemotherapy. So here I’ve been. Vegging like a pro and getting psyched up for the next big thing. A little anxious. A little bored. A lot optimistic.

I shared a bit of this on Instagram today, but I’ll say it here, too. While 2016 had its flaws, it also had its bright spots (or was, at the very least, eye-opening for many). Even right at the end, my family found ourselves mourning the loss of my grandfather, who passed the day before my surgery. But the celebration of his immensely storied life that followed was as heartwarming a sendoff as any I’ve seen. He was a phenomenally generous human being. Warm and kind and interesting in the way only someone of 90 years can be. A veteran. A Mason. A farmer.

This cake is made with persimmons from my grandfather’s tree, and even though I first assembled and photographed this recipe more than a month ago, I still find it fitting for the New Year. Fragrant and spiced, a worthy accompaniment for coffee or tea whether served after dinner or at the breakfast table. Nothing that would break any resolutions you might (not) have made, but cake all the same. And with an assertive black pepper and molasses-spiked date caramel that’s as memorable as it is simple to make.

Peace and love to you in 2017, friends.
xo,
Em

Flourless Persimmon Cake with Black Pepper-Molasses Date Caramel (DF/GF) (via thepigandquill.com)Flourless Persimmon Cake with Black Pepper-Molasses Date Caramel (DF/GF) (via thepigandquill.com)Flourless Persimmon Cake with Black Pepper-Molasses Date Caramel (DF/GF) (via thepigandquill.com)

Flourless Persimmon Cake with Black Pepper-Molasses Date Caramel (DF/GF)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
By:
Makes: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Fuyu persimmons, stems removed
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 2⅓ cups ground almonds (preferred) or almond meal
  • 1 heaping tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • generous pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • coconut oil, for greasing
  • Black Pepper Molasses Date Caramel, for serving (recipe below)
  • toasted sliced or slivered almonds, for serving
Instructions
  1. Put the persimmons in a pot, cover with cold water and boil for 2 hours. Drain, cool, and halve. Add cooked fruit to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 9″ springform pan with coconut oil and line the bottom and sides with parchment.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs; then add the coconut sugar, almonds, baking powder and spices. Add the chopped persimmons and stir well to combine. Turn the cake batter out into your prepared pan and bake for 45 mins, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. If cake begins to brown too deeply, lightly tent it with a piece of foil for the remainder of its time in the oven.
  4. Allow cake to cool completely in its pan on a wire rack before turning it out and removing the parchment. While it can be enjoyed immediately, for optimal taste and texture, let cake rest, covered, at room temperature or in the fridge overnight before slicing and serving with the date caramel sauce and a scattering of toasted almonds.
Notes
Regarding time: the 2 hour simmer on the fruit IS included in the prep time, but it's so very simple and hands-off; don't let it dissuade you from giving this recipe a try.

As with the Clementine Cake on which this recipe is based, this cake is best enjoyed the next day, rested either on the counter overnight or well-wrapped in the fridge.
 
Black Pepper-Molasses Date Caramel (Vegan)
 
Prep time
Total time
 
By:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup pitted Medjool dates
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 T molasses
  • ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • lots of freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients except pepper in a high speed blender and blend until very smooth and creamy, adding more coconut milk if needed to bring everything together (or to thin caramel consistency).
  2. When caramel is creamy, add pepper (beginning with at least ¼ tsp) and blend briefly to combine. Taste, and add more pepper if needed. Repeat until pepper is prominently detectable above the caramel's sweetness.
  3. Transfer caramel sauce to an airtight jar and store in the fridge until use. Enjoy!
Flourless Persimmon Cake with Black Pepper-Molasses Date Caramel (DF/GF) (via thepigandquill.com)————————————————–

OH! before you go…

Like whatcha see here — or have a question, feedback, or recipe hack to share? Join The Pig & Quill convo by commenting below (I love, luv, lurve comments) and hang out with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. And don’t forget to subscribe to P&Q emails or add me to your RSS reader with Feedly or Bloglovin’ so you never miss a post. x’s & o’s!

Pigtales 05: On Thankfulness + News

Family Photography by Kait Miller

Pigtales is a glimpse at the going-ons that take place (mostly) outside of the P&Q kitchen. Baby stuffs, things I love, general musings and other tales from my life as a momma, wife and semi-professional goofball.

I wanted to share this post before the holiday. Wait, scratch that. I wanted to share this post a month ago — on Monday, October 24th, to be exact. The day that, as Lana and I were driving home from ballet, singing Five Little Monkeys for at least the twenty-fifth time and cursing the already setting sun, I received the phone call telling me I had breast cancer.

I was shell-shocked. Dumbfounded. Numb. I mean, once I stopped the car and got Lana into the house, I was a snotfaced, convulsing mess. But aside from that first tidal wave of emotion (which was triggered by the singular thought that if I die, Lana won’t remember me), I kind of entered a silent zombie mode, punctuated every so often by a spoken aloud what in the actual fuck.

Fifteen days later, the electoral college determined that Donald Trump would be our next president. It was a rough couple of weeks, you guys.

But here’s the deal.

Ever-present beneath the overwhelming feeling of fear and the sans-feeling feeling of shock was the constant hum of thankfulness. That we had detected it early. (I found the lima bean-sized lump myself while nursing Lana.*) That I have access to a great team of doctors and solid health insurance. That cancer is no longer the death sentence it once was. It’ll be a rough year, to be sure, but if my new hairdresser is the Buddhist Latina Oracle I suspect her to be, I’ll be stronger for it.

On Thursday morning, I’ll bid adieu to my right breast. (As tempted as I am to do away with both, I’m clinging to the idea of nursing a second kiddo, if we have one.) A couple weeks later, if we decide it’s right for us, we’ll do the fertility preservation thing. (Chemo can send you into a kind of early menopause.) And a few weeks after that, I’ll start chemo.

But before all that, I’m soaking up these last few days as a two-boobied human, researching the shit out of how to pack for a mastectomy (oh hai thousands of cancer blogs I never knew existed!) and basking in the overwhelming show of support we’ve received from family and friends near and far. Two of my besties are coming out to wait on me hand and foot next weekend. Lana will be spoiled silly with lots of extra grandparent visits. And Chris! Well. No one will be surprised to learn that he’s been everything you’d hope a partner would be when shit gets real: composed and snuggly and steadfastly there. (To his teammates at work, who may very well have forgotten what Chris looks like when all this is over: I owe you many, many cookies.)

All things considered, I’m as blessed an individual as they come. And really, if I were anything but thankful at this point, I’d just be asking for a karmic asskicking. Because, simply put in clichéd one-liners:

It could be so much worse.
This, too, shall pass.
And my personal favorite: King Kong ain’t got shit on me.

Peace, love + hugs, friends. And Happy Thanksgiving.
xo,
Em

* LADIES THIS IS THE PART WHERE I SHOUT AT YOU TO KNOW YOUR BOOBIES AND ERR ON THE SIDE OF CAUTION. I was certain the tiny lump I found was nothing, but both Chris and a close friend of mine urged me to check, just for peace of mind, and here we are. Also, for anyone familiar with the disease or who may just be curious about the details of my particular diagnosis, the pathology report as of this moment shows: Stage 1, Grade 2-3 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC); very weakly ER+; PR-; HER2+; no genetic markers; no lymph node involvement.

p.s. photos are a sneak peek of this week’s family sesh with Kait Miller!
p.p.s. always thankful beyond adequate verbiage for this little hambone ↓
Family Photography by Kait Miller

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OH! before you go…

Like whatcha see here — or have a question, feedback, or recipe hack to share? Join The Pig & Quill convo by commenting below (I love, luv, lurve comments) and hang out with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. And don’t forget to subscribe to P&Q emails or add me to your RSS reader with Feedly or Bloglovin’ so you never miss a post. x’s & o’s!

Ultimate Fall Chopped Salad with Honeyed Tangerine-Turmeric Vinaigrette

Ultimate Fall Chopped Salad with Honeyed Tangerine-Turmeric Vinaigrette (via thepigandquill.com) #vegetarian #vegan #dairyfree

Ultimate Fall Chopped Salad with Honeyed Tangerine-Turmeric Vinaigrette (via thepigandquill.com) #vegetarian #vegan #dairyfree
There are no new words to communicate how quickly this holiday season came upon us. There are even fewer words to relay how unprepared I am for the coming days of packing, travel and stretchy pants. And the internet knows far more than me about how to put your best bird forward, so I’ll spare you my attempt.

Instead, as has become habit of late, I’ll keep things on the short side (I’m actually working on a new pigtales piece that will exhaust whatever vocabulary I leave on the table in this post) and just drop this most colorful salad into your laps. Something to brighten what can often be an otherwise beige holiday table. Or something to greet you on the other side of decidedly beige weekend. (To be clear: beige in these references is not necessarily a bad thing. Gravy knows no bounds, and rightly so.)

I’ve so named this salad ultimate fall based on the foundation components, alone, but the dressing is truly something to behold, so I’ll start there. A hefty dose of turmeric, given away by the dressing’s beckoning golden hue, meets honey (or maple syrup), freshly squeezed tangerine juice, plenty of black pepper and just enough apple cider vinegar to impart discernible tang. It’s at once bright and refreshing, earthy and warm. Draped luxuriously over a bed of finely chopped romaine; a bounty of fall fruit (matchstick’d persimmons and apples + more tangerine); sharp, grassy herbs; and a confetti rainstorm of toasted almonds and tiny pom arils, it makes for Skittles’ famous mantra manifested in salad form.

Another way of looking at it — what with the cilantro, scallions, almonds, citrus and cold, crispy ribbons of romaine — is as a quasi-autumnal Chinese Chicken Salad. Minus the chicken, of course. Though I can only imagine how suitable a little leftover turkey topping would be. (Read: OH SO VERY.)

I hope to be back later this week with a few more holiday thoughts, but in case I’m tardy (and let’s face it, that’s all too possible), warm hugs and cheers for sharing this space. Happy Thanksgiving, friends.

xo,
Em

p.s. the best and simplest spicy, roasted cranberry compote from last year!
p.p.s. My fave mini-Thanksgiving in 60 from the P&Q archives!

Ultimate Fall Chopped Salad with Honeyed Tangerine-Turmeric Vinaigrette (via thepigandquill.com) #vegetarian #vegan #dairyfreeUltimate Fall Chopped Salad with Honeyed Tangerine-Turmeric Vinaigrette (via thepigandquill.com) #vegetarian #vegan #dairyfreeUltimate Fall Chopped Salad with Honeyed Tangerine-Turmeric Vinaigrette (via thepigandquill.com) #vegetarian #vegan #dairyfreeUltimate Fall Chopped Salad with Honeyed Tangerine-Turmeric Vinaigrette (via thepigandquill.com) #vegetarian #vegan #dairyfreeUltimate Fall Chopped Salad with Honeyed Tangerine-Turmeric Vinaigrette (via thepigandquill.com) #vegetarian #vegan #dairyfreeUltimate Fall Chopped Salad with Honeyed Tangerine-Turmeric Vinaigrette (via thepigandquill.com) #vegetarian #vegan #dairyfreeUltimate Fall Chopped Salad with Honeyed Tangerine-Turmeric Vinaigrette (via thepigandquill.com) #vegetarian #vegan #dairyfree

Ultimate Fall Chopped Salad with Honeyed Tangerine-Turmeric Vinaigrette
 
Prep time
Total time
 
By:
Makes: 4 large servings
Ingredients
  • For the Salad
  • 2 romaine hearts, chopped into ribbons
  • 4 small tangerines, peeled and segmented
  • 2 persimmons, sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 large apple, sliced into matchsticks
  • 2 large handfuls cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 scallions, finely sliced (green and white parts)
  • ¼ cup sliced, toasted almonds
  • ¼ cup pomegranate arils
  • For the Honeyed Tangerine-Turmeric Dressing
  • 2 oz tangerine juice
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T apple cider
  • 1 T raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • pinch salt
Instructions
  1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a large glass jar and shake vigorously.
  2. Combine all salad ingredients and toss lightly with desired amount of dressing. (Basically, uh, assemble and dress salad.) Enjoy!
 

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OH! before you go…

Like whatcha see here — or have a question, feedback, or recipe hack to share? Join The Pig & Quill convo by commenting below (I love, luv, lurve comments) and hang out with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. And don’t forget to subscribe to P&Q emails or add me to your RSS reader with Feedly or Bloglovin’ so you never miss a post. x’s & o’s!

Coconut Red Curry Sweet Potato Bisque (Dairy-Free)

Coconut Red Curry Sweet Potato Bisque recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfree

Coconut Red Curry Sweet Potato Bisque recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfree
Phew. What a weird week, huh? Chances are, if you live in the US, the past couple of days have been a trip. An SNL sketch that has gone on and on, until you’re starting to feel more than just a little uncomfortable for the actors. And I say this not as a woman or a parent or a proponent of preserving love and withholding judgement — though I am all of those things. I say this an American. And I think that, regardless of which way you voted, you probably feel the same. Things got a little circus-y. Or more fittingly, we let things get a little circus-y. And now it’s time to take down the tent, shovel up the elephant shit, and act like grown-ups.

To the best of our ability.

Also, pretty sure elephants aren’t allowed in the circus anymore, but you get me.
It was that or a Tim McGraw reference.
Let’s talk about soup.

Coconut Red Curry Sweet Potato Bisque recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfree
Soup is, for me (as I’m sure it is for many of you) the very near epitome of comfort food — bested only, perhaps, by potatoes in any iteration. It makes sense, then, that soup largely comprised of potatoes is as close as I may come to engineering an edible hug. Warm and soul-soothing, flecked through with chile spice and redolent of the sweet and coconutty red curry (that you’re already drinking like soup) at your fave Thai restaurant, I’ve deemed this soup the antidote to many a malaise, political or otherwise.

Coconut Red Curry Sweet Potato Bisque recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfree
It’s also worth noting that, if you have young’uns or a seriously spice-averse spouse or (sadface for you) IBS or the like: this soup is spectacularly tasty even without the curry paste, at which point it shines as a deceivingly simple cream of sweet potato soup, albeit with a distinctively coconut profile that screams FANCY. Lana ate plenty of the soup in this form right from the pot, and plenty more for first lunch and second lunch and dinner.

We eat a lot of meals around here.

She’s also a fan of the tofu topper, which is completely optional but equally simple, and I always love a little texture with my creamy soups. If you’re not a fan of tofu (*cough* allow me to introduce you to this recipe *cough*), shredded poached or rotisserie chicken or a trio of sautéed prawns set atop each bowl would fill out the meal nicely.

Happy Thursday, guys.
Soup hugs.
xo,
Em

Coconut Red Curry Sweet Potato Bisque recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfreeCoconut Red Curry Sweet Potato Bisque recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfreeCoconut Red Curry Sweet Potato Bisque recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfree

Coconut Red Curry Sweet Potato Bisque (Dairy-Free)
 
Prep time
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Makes: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • For the Soup
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • half white onion, chopped
  • 5 med japanese white sweet potatoes, sliced (skin-on)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 15-oz can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 can (use the coconut milk can to measure!) beef or veggie stock
  • black pepper
  • 3-4T red curry paste (I use this one - no MSG!)
  • water as needed
  • For Serving
  • Sesame-Soy Tofu (see recipe, below)
  • cilantro
  • olive oil
Instructions
  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven over med-high flame, sauté onions in olive oil and ½ tsp salt until translucent, about 3-5 mins.
  2. Add sweet potato, garlic, remaining ½ tsp salt and black pepper to taste. Sauté until potatoes take on a little color, 10 mins.
  3. Add coconut milk and stock, bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 mins or until potatoes are tender.
  4. Carefully transfer soup and broth to a high speed blender and process until smooth, working in batches if necessary. (Note: whenever blending hot liquids, remove blender lid insert and loosely cover with a towel, allowing steam to escape, to avoid a soupsplosion.)
  5. Return soup to pot and stir through red curry paste to taste, beginning with 3 T and adding more as desired. If soup is too thick for your liking, thin with a little water. Serve warm topped with tofu, cilantro and drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!
Notes
I love the savoriness and depth of using good quality beef stock in this soup, but for a vegan variation, veggie broth is super tasty, too. 🙂
Sesame-Soy Tofu
 
Prep time
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By:
Ingredients
  • 1 lb super firm tofu (I love Hodo Soy brand), cut into ½" pieces
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 2 T coconut sugar
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a zip-top bag and marinate several hours or up to overnight.
  2. Preheat broiler. Prepare rimmed baking sheet with parchment or silpat.
  3. Arrange marinated tofu on baking sheet in a single layer and broil until well browned, about 6-8 mins. Flip and broil on second side, another 6 mins. Serve on soup, as a salad topping, over rice or just as a snack. Enjoy!
————————————————–

OH! before you go…

Like whatcha see here — or have a question, feedback, or recipe hack to share? Join The Pig & Quill convo by commenting below (I love, luv, lurve comments) and hang out with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. And don’t forget to subscribe to P&Q emails or add me to your RSS reader with Feedly or Bloglovin’ so you never miss a post. x’s & o’s!

Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Curry Beef Stew

Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Curry Beef Stew recipe (via thepigandquill.com)

Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Curry Beef Stew recipe (via thepigandquill.com)
If you have any penchant for food blogs at all, you know Cynthia. She’s the quiet, quasi-anonymous beauty behind Two Red Bowls. The kind of writer who uses just enough big words to make you feel a little shy about your own prose while keeping everything warm and casual and best-friendy. A food-styling sensation. And creator of such culinary masterpieces as these beautifully storied umami-bombed noodles; these temptingly grabbable (steamed) buns; and this nostalgic Korean stew that is topped with not one but three of my favorite post-war convenience foods: spam, hotdogs and American cheese. (I die.)

If you’ve been reading along in this space for a bit, you might remember when Cynthia popped in with bacony tomato soup and sammies (the bacon being in both the soup AND the sammies, because we are clearly of the same mind) when Chris and I first welcomed Lana.

And if you happen to know Cynthia as a fellow blogger, you know she is famous for leaving the best comments ever — friendly and personal and anecdotal and sweet.

In short: she is one magnificent gal, oozing with talent and charm and irresistible appeal and completely humble despite it all. And now she’s a momma! To a little hapa (*roof-raising hands*) baby boy named Luke who is as cherubic and beautiful as babies come. I am beside myself with excitement.

Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Curry Beef Stew recipe (via thepigandquill.com)
Which is why today’s post is completely dedicated to #threeredbowls — Cynthia, her hubby (B2) and their new little Baby Bowl, Luke — courtesy of virtual baby shower hostesses Steph and Alana. (Technically, B3 wasn’t scheduled to arrive until today, but I think it’s fair to say all his Internet Aunties are thrilled with his early arrival. 😉 )

In keeping with the #threeredbowls shower theme — that being “bowl-friendly food,” of course! — I wanted to put forth something that would complement the dreamy, baby-scented and assumedly time-warped haze in which Cynthia and B2 might find themselves these first few weeks. Cozy, filling and so simple to put together (you can even use ground beef right out of the freezer), this warming, savory and only slightly exotic stew is subtle on the spice so as not to upset a nursing babe’s tummy. Sans yogurt, it’s also dairy-free, in case sweet Luke follows in Lana’s dairy-averse, spit-up-on-all-the-things footsteps. (From a laundry standpoint alone, I hope not, Cynth!)

Speaking of babes, it’s also familiar enough (hello potatoes and carrots) that little ones in solid mode will happily gobble it right down. And if you’re looking to feed a crowd or stretch this out over several extra meals, it’s pure comfort food when served over white or brown rice. But then again, I’d eat almost anything over a bowl of hot rice. No really, my mom and I were just talking about this last weekend. Canned tamales. Dinty Moore. Marie Callender’s pot pies. Ok, maybe it’s just institutionalized pantry items from the 1990’s. Oh wait, no, fried hot dogs. So, lunch meats, too.

Anyway.

Big bowl-cheers and a thousand happy-teared hugs to you, sweet Cynthia. Despite the moments of complete madness, of which there will be many, I can imagine few things more awe-inspiring than the arrival of a tiny human whom, but the way, you made with your body. This period of time — that is, the snuggly, lip-smacking, sleeping-on-your-chest time — is just as short-lived as everyone will tell you. Hold it close. <3

xo,
Em

p.s. Visit Fix Feast Flair and I am a Food Blog today for the full list of #threeredbowls recipes – there are almost 40!
p.p.s. That time Cynthia made these gochujang pigs in a blanket for my virtual baby shower!
p.p.p.s. (← that’s a lot of p’s) Last week’s Totoro Donburi + Pumpkin Cannelloni!

Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Curry Beef Stew recipe (via thepigandquill.com)Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Curry Beef Stew recipe (via thepigandquill.com)Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Curry Beef Stew recipe (via thepigandquill.com)Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Curry Beef Stew recipe (via thepigandquill.com)Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Curry Beef Stew recipe (via thepigandquill.com)

Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Curry Beef Stew
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
By:
Makes: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground beef, crumbled (frozen is ok, see note)
  • 1 lb baby potatoes, quartered
  • 3 large carrots, sliced
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin
  • ½ can (use the pumpkin can) beef stock
  • 1 generous T fresh sage, finely chopped (or about 1 tsp dried rubbed sage)
  • 2 tsp (or more, to taste) sweet curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • For serving:
  • plain yogurt (we like whole milk Greek)
  • toasted cashews
  • chives or scallions
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large slow-cooker and stir lightly to combine. Cook on low for 7-8 hrs, stirring occasionally if you have the opportunity. Remove bay leaves and serve topped with yogurt, toasted cashews and chives. Enjoy!
Notes
If using frozen ground beef, it’s advised to break up the meat after a couple of hours (essentially, once it’s thawed out) so it can incorporate into the stew and better mingle with the other flavors.
————————————————–

OH! before you go…

Like whatcha see here — or have a question, feedback, or recipe hack to share? Join The Pig & Quill convo by commenting below (I love, luv, lurve comments) and hang out with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. And don’t forget to subscribe to P&Q emails or add me to your RSS reader with Feedly or Bloglovin’ so you never miss a post. x’s & o’s!

#Totoroweek Katsudon with Furikake + “No Recipe” Fried Rice

#Totoroweek Katsudon with Furikake + "No Recipe" Fried Rice (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfree

#Totoroweek Katsudon with Furikake + "No Recipe" Fried Rice (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfree
Oh haiiiii twice in one week mah peebles!
(Sorry.)

Just checking in quickly today to bring you the (quasi-non) recipe for these little dudes. Typically, katsudon entails a breaded and fried pork cutlet simmered with sautéed onions, soft-set eggs and a simple little sweet-salty sauce over hot rice — and that’s basically what’s going on here, sub baked tonkatsu for fried and garlicky fried rice for plain steamed. I didn’t do it to be confusing, guys. It just turned out that way.

OH. And in honor of Steph’s #totoroweek, the katsu cutlets have been stylized into (some admittedly pretty abstract, because #lazy) little totoros – yay! With cheese bellies and nori features borrowed from the hostess, herself. Thanks, girl!

#Totoroweek Katsudon with Furikake + "No Recipe" Fried Rice (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfree
There’s rain in the forecast this weekend, so we’re staying in with friends to carve pumpkins, snuggle up with scary movies and brunch on all the things. The perfect little pre-Halloween weekend without the pressure of getting dressed up all slutty or donning a costume that cleverly ties into the presidential election. I’m not saying those are the only two options, but they’re basically the only two options. Unless you count the inevitable #NastyWoman getup, which is kind of a “best of both worlds” situation.

Hope you guys have an awesome weekend, dudes.
Happy Halloween!
xo,
Em

p.s. Be sure to check out #totoroweek on Instagram and visit I am a Food Blog’s round-up of this year’s totoro creations!
p.p.s. ICYMI, Savory Pumpkin Cannelloni with Candied Walnuts + Crispy Sage!

#Totoroweek Katsudon with Furikake + "No Recipe" Fried Rice (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfree

Katsudon with Furikake + "No Recipe" Fried Rice
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
By:
Makes: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 tonkatsu cutlets, sliced into strips (I use this recipe for Baked Tonkatsu from Just One Cookbook)
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup beef stock
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1 T sake or sherry wine
  • ½ tsp tapioca flour
  • 1 T olive oil
  • ½ white onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 bowls No Recipe Fried Rice (see below)
  • green onions + furikake for serving
Instructions
  1. For the Katsudon: Lightly scramble eggs. Whisk together beef stock, sugar, soy sauce, sake or wine and tapioca flour.
  2. Heat oil in a large saute pan over med-high flame and add onion, cooking until just tender and beginning to brown. Push onion to sides of pan and place tonkatsu pieces in the middle.
  3. Pour over stock mixture, cover and simmer until sauce has thickened slightly and katsu is warmed through, about 1 min.
  4. Flip katsu pieces and pour egg into the pan around katsu. Reduce heat to medium, cover again, and allow eggs to steam until they are just set.
  5. Divide fried rice between two bowls. Top each bowl with half of the tonkatsu pieces and the egg/onions. Garnish with additional green onions and plenty of furikake. Enjoy!
Notes
For the Totoro Katsu: Trim katsu cutlets into little rectangles, adding scraps to pan to cook alongside, too! Decorate each rectangle with a cheese belly and eyes and nori strips (the larger flecks from the furikake will work great!).
"No Recipe" Fried Rice
 
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By:
Makes: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • drizzle each avocado + sesame oil
  • 1 cup white rice (uncooked volume), cooked and refrigerated overnight
  • 1 T soy sauce, or more to taste
  • 1 T oyster sauce, or more to taste
  • green onions or chives, chopped
  • dash garlic powder
  • black pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat oils in a large skillet over med-high flame and add rice, crumbling it into the pan.
  2. Stir-fry until rice is heated through, well-coated with fat and beginning to dry out a bit, 5 mins.
  3. Season with soy sauce, oyster sauce, garlic powder and black pepper to taste; cook for another minute or two for flavors to absorb. Finish with plenty of green onions. Enjoy!
Notes
This is fried rice in its most basic form, relying only on pantry ingredients. Feel free to doctor it up to your heart's content using fresh garlic, a little ginger, any number of veggies (frozen peas are my fave!), leftover tidbits of meat, etc. Just be sure to allow yourself enough room in the pan so the rice can cook without steaming.
————————————————–

OH! before you go…

Like whatcha see here — or have a question, feedback, or recipe hack to share? Join The Pig & Quill convo by commenting below (I love, luv, lurve comments) and hang out with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. And don’t forget to subscribe to P&Q emails or add me to your RSS reader with Feedly or Bloglovin’ so you never miss a post. x’s & o’s!

Savory Pumpkin Cannelloni with Candied Walnuts + Crispy Sage (Dairy-Free)

Savory Pumpkin Cannelloni with Candied Walnuts + Crispy Sage Recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfree

Savory Pumpkin Cannelloni with Candied Walnuts + Crispy Sage Recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfree
As I write this, Lana is on the baby cam arranging her bed buddies around the perimeter of her crib, and her baby doll just won’t sit up the way she wants. It’s fascinating to me the way she’ll prop her up, watch her slouch forward, frown, prop her up again, etc., without so much as peep — when I know that, if I were in the room with her, she’d be whining almost instantly for my help. It’s moments like this — little, stalkery episodes where I stand back and admire her persistence or strength (she deadlifted a compost pail full of rocks and carried it across the backyard when I was just out of sight) — that I wonder if my constant presence isn’t a hindrance of sorts.

When she comes up against a step and reaches for my hand.
When she shoots her arms skyward the moment I walk into her room. (Ut! Ut!)
When she pushes her spoon toward me, followed by the oatmeal. Like, you scoop it, mom, not me.

I question if all my help is actually hurting her a little, or if she’s just an opportunist. And if it’s the latter, shouldn’t I take advantage? My mom once reminded me of a time when, as a kiddo, I took her hand while walking through a parking lot, and when she looked at me curiously, I told her to enjoy it while it lasts.

Ay, if the snark is genetic, I’m gonna need a more frequent wine club subscription.
But also —
I was kinda right.

Savory Pumpkin Cannelloni with Candied Walnuts + Crispy Sage Recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfree
So for now, I’ll probably stay close (and sometimes a little too close), savoring the times she needs me and appreciating the independence she’s demonstrating every time she grunts and scuttles away from my unsolicited embrace.

And in between those moments, I’ll shovel my face full of pasta. Or more specifically, tender sheets of lasagne wrapped around a filling of caramelized pumpkin, bathed in thyme-infused coconut milk (which comes through as more silky than coconutty, I promise) and dressed with candied walnuts and crispy, fried sage.

Because if there’s one thing I can’t resist, it’s pumpkin + sage.
And pasta.
Oh, and creepin’ on my offspring.

Who, by the way, has just successfully wedged baby’s head between the crib bars to hold her in place.
Atta babe. I knew you could do it. 😉

xo!
Em

p.s. This post is part of today’s #virtualpumpkinparty hosted by one of the sweetest, most original bloggers I’ve ever had the chance to “meet,” Sara (Cake Over Steak) and a new-to-me blogging friend, Aimee (Twigg Studios), whose photography will leave you weak in the knees. To browse the entire collection of pumpkin party recipes — there are more than 100! — visit Sara’s post here or Aimee’s post here. Happy Pumpkin Party!
p.p.s. Last year’s pumpkin party contribution: Vegan Pumpkin Pie Shakes! and another fave squash + sage combo: Parmesan-Ricotta Spaghetti Squash Fritters!

Savory Pumpkin Cannelloni with Candied Walnuts + Crispy Sage Recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfreeSavory Pumpkin Cannelloni with Candied Walnuts + Crispy Sage Recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfreeSavory Pumpkin Cannelloni with Candied Walnuts + Crispy Sage Recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfreeSavory Pumpkin Cannelloni with Candied Walnuts + Crispy Sage Recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfree

Savory Pumpkin Cannelloni with Candied Walnuts + Crispy Sage (Dairy-Free)
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
By:
Makes: 2-3 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 15-oz can organic pumpkin, drained
  • 2 T coconut sugar
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • generous ¼ tsp salt
  • lots of black pepper
  • 7 oven-ready flat lasagne sheets
  • For serving:
  • generous T coconut oil
  • generous T olive oil
  • handful of whole, fresh sage leaves (about 12)
  • candied walnuts (I buy mine at TJ's, if you make your own at home, so much the better!)
Instructions
  1. Combine coconut milk and thyme in a small saucepan until mixture just begins to bubble. Turn off heat, cover and let infuse while you prepare the pumpkin.
  2. While coconut milk steeps, combine pumpkin, coconut sugar, coconut oil, salt and pepper in a nonstick saute pan over med-high heat. Cook until mixture begins to deepen in color and caramelize, about 10 mins, stirring frequently. Add ⅓ of the thyme-infused coconut milk and stir, keeping the pan over the heat, until combined. Allow mixture to cool (can be done ahead of time).
  3. Boil lasagne noodles until just al-dente, 8-10 mins, stirring frequently to prevent sticking (this is where the seventh noodle comes in -- as a tester!). Drain and rinse noodles under cold water until cool enough to handle.
  4. Spread a spoonful of coconut milk in the bottom of a baking dish or skillet. Arrange six noodles on a cutting board, dollop pumpkin filling at one end of each, using all filling, and roll up. Arrange in the prepared baking dish seam-side down and pour over remaining coconut milk. Bake for 20-25 mins, basting with the coconut milk once or twice, until cannelloni are heated through and noodles are tender.
  5. While pasta bakes, heat a generous tablespoon each of coconut oil and olive oil in a small sauce or frypan until shimmering (but not smoking) and add sage. Quickly fry until a bright, deep green color, 30-60 secs (note: the leaves will crisp as they cool); remove to paper towels to drain and immediately sprinkle with salt.
  6. Serve cannelloni topped with fried sage and chopped candied nuts. Enjoy!
Notes
Don't be dismayed by the cook time on this one - it's honestly one of the simplest recipes you can make considering the restaurant-quality flavor payoff. For a weeknight meal, the coconut milk, the pumpkin filling and the noodles can all be prepared ahead of time, leaving you only with assembly, baking and a quick fry of the sage. For feeding a larger crowd (think: holidays!), this also takes well to doubling. Just adjust the size of your baking vessel accordingly.
————————————————–

OH! before you go…

Like whatcha see here — or have a question, feedback, or recipe hack to share? Join The Pig & Quill convo by commenting below (I love, luv, lurve comments) and hang out with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. And don’t forget to subscribe to P&Q emails or add me to your RSS reader with Feedly or Bloglovin’ so you never miss a post. x’s & o’s!

(You’ll Never Guess They’re) Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

(You'll Never Guess They're) Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies (via thepigandquill.com) #baking #dairyfree #eggfree

(You'll Never Guess They're) Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies (via thepigandquill.com) #baking #dairyfree #eggfreeLet’s talk about fears. Is it weird to kick things off that way? Here, I’ll add some bogus relevance. It’s almost Halloween: super spooky. Let’s talk about fears. Better?

I’ll tell you what I’m afraid of. One thing, really, and I’m getting real vulnie putting this out there for all the internet to read/take advantage of. Ready?

Creepy tiny repeating textures, mostly those occurring in nature and especially those occurring on flesh.

We’re talking:

  • beehives
  • pores/spores/those things on the underside of ferns VOMMITTTTT
  • aerial views of penguins en masse

See also:

  • geico guy made of money
  • skittles chicken pox guy OMG NO
  • tree trunk arms guy from Grey’s

And most definitely:

  • adzuki beans beards

I’d like to point out that I’m intentionally not linking to these examples because it would mean searching for and therein (re)witnessing them for myself, but google to your heart’s content if you feel like having a major effing panic attack.

Seriously chills vom chills repeat vommmmmm.
Are you still reading? Are you breathing into a paper bag yet? No? Just me? Because you guys, I’m not alone. It even has a name. Trypophobia. OMG even just typing that is making the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Ughhh. Really. Google At Your Own Risk. Are you dying? I’m dying.

I’m talking about all of this because the chocolate chunks spilled across the counter in these pics is like trypophobia lite. Do you see it? It’s like…kinda scaly? OMG barf again. I’m so sorry I’m saying barf and vom so much in a post about cookies, but I can’t not share. DO YOU SEE HOW THE CHOCOLATE COMES TOGETHER TO MAKE A TEXTURE? I almost couldn’t edit the pics, you guys. Are you dead? I’m dead.

(You'll Never Guess They're) Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies (via thepigandquill.com) #baking #dairyfree #eggfreeAlso, while we’re talking about fears, I think Lana has a legit fear of stickers. STICKERS. I had like 15 Hello Kitty slambooks filled with stickers when I was kid, so this is clearly not genetic, but she takes serious issue with them. You know how when you find the little giraffe or whatever at Trader Joe’s they give you stickers and fruit? (This is a child’s game, but I found it once, and when the guy jokingly offered me a honeycrisp, I didn’t say no.) Anyway, didn’t fly. As in, violent head shaking and almost instant tears when I attempted to artfully adorn the back of her hand. And you better believe the sticker on the banana had to go, too. Poor babe. Lisa Frank would be her Game Maker.

Ok. On to cookies. So.

You can call Bad Mom on this one, but these came about as a way to get chocolate chip cookies into our egg-averse 18-month-old. Google brought me to Ovenly’s recipe for vegan chocolate chip cookies, which made me think of the ridiculously addictive vegan CCC’s that are served up almost daily on the Google campus, and a few experimental batches later, these guys were born. The method is almost 100% Ovenly while the ingredients are inspired by the flavor profile of The Goog. Extra salty and with a hint of caramel chewiness. They’re a people-pleasing CCC, which means they’re a little thicker and a little chewier than my dream cookie (#teamthinandcrispy), but they pack so much classic chocolate chip cookie oomph that I can’t not snag one off the counter every time I set foot in the kitchen. And they’re the perfect texture for the little one to munch on — one strictly-doled-out quarter at a time. 😉

UGH. Texture.
xo!
Em

p.s. not joking you send me one photo of an anthill or the indigenous person wearing a body armor of tiny shells from the Museum of Natural History and I’ll write all the bad things about you in my slambook. And slash your tires.
p.p.s. dunn ferget about deez Orange Pecan Sticky Buns!

(You'll Never Guess They're) Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies (via thepigandquill.com) #baking #dairyfree #eggfree(You'll Never Guess They're) Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies (via thepigandquill.com) #baking #dairyfree #eggfree(You'll Never Guess They're) Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies (via thepigandquill.com) #baking #dairyfree #eggfree

(You'll Never Guess They're) Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
A phenomenally classic chocolate chip cookie that just happens to be vegan. 🙂
By:
Makes: 30 cookies
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup + 1 T avocado (or other neutral) oil
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup + 1 T water
  • 1 T Mexican vanilla
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup oat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ¼ cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips (dairy-free if you intend to keep the cookies vegan)
  • coarse-grained or flaky sea salt for topping
Instructions
  1. Combine sugars, oils and water in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on medium until sugar is almost fully dissolved, 5-7 mins. (If you rub the mixture between your fingers just a few granules should remain.) Add vanilla and mix to combine. (Alternatively use a large bowl and a hand mixer or a lot of elbow grease!)
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt in another bowl. Add chocolate chips to dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  3. When liquids are mixed, dump in dry ingredients all at once and mix (with paddle attachment or wooden spoon) until just combined. Dough will be almost a batter consistency.
  4. Refrigerate dough until set, at least 12 hours or up to several days.
  5. When ready to bake: preheat oven to 350F. Just before baking, portion chilled dough into approx. 1.5 T scoops (this scoop gives me exactly 30 cookies every time!), sprinkle with salt (I omit this for the kiddo's cookies), and bake for 15-18 mins or until edges just begin to brown. Serve warm and gooey or remove to a cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy!
Notes
The chilling time for the dough is critical to ensure the cookies hold their shape. (Not necessarily a bad thing as I've kept the dough in the fridge for up to 5 days, baking fresh cookies off as desired!) If working in batches, refrigerate any remaining dough until just before baking.

Also, the oat flour adds just a bit more dimension to these guys, but they can absolutely be made with a full 2 cups of AP flour if oat flour doesn't happen to be on hand in your kitchen.
————————————————–

OH! before you go…

Like whatcha see here — or have a question, feedback, or recipe hack to share? Join The Pig & Quill convo by commenting below (I love, luv, lurve comments) and hang out with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. And don’t forget to subscribe to P&Q emails or add me to your RSS reader with Feedly or Bloglovin’ so you never miss a post. x’s & o’s!

Orange-Pecan Sticky Buns

Orange-Pecan Sticky Buns recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #baking #holiday #desserts #breakfast #pastry

Orange-Pecan Sticky Buns recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #baking #holiday #desserts #breakfast #pastry
We’re down to one nap. Have we talked about this yet? We’re down to one nap. And while it’s a helluva lot easier to schedule our days around a single snooze, it’s a doozy for my personal time. And my email inbox. And the taking of photographs during (diminishing) daylight hours. Oh, and also my sanity. See again: lack of personal time.

Remember the days when Lana would snooze on my boob to the tune of a Pretty Little Liars marathon? I’m pretty sure I was still too busy fuh-reaking out about new parent shit at the time to fully appreciate the glory that was the nurse-nap, but man, that was a sweet deal. These days, I’m lucky if I can get the dishwasher loaded and a single episode queued up before the distinct dahhhhhhh-dah-dah-dah of a freshly woken babe trills from down the hall.

Good thing she’s so gosh-daggin’ cute.

Despite the shorty nap, Chris and I are rapidly learning how fun it can be to have an older kiddo on our hands. There’s the whole ballet thing we talked about last week, which, in its second week, is still charming as hell. There’s the way she picks up, inspects and then hugs every little thing, from her vast collection of plush buddies to a slivered almond she picked off my oatmeal. (You haven’t seen sweet until you’ve seen Lana cradle a nut in the crook of her arm patting its “back.” Swoon.)

Orange-Pecan Sticky Buns recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #baking #holiday #desserts #breakfast #pastry
And then there’s the food! Maybe (probably) this is questionable parenting, but as she gets older, it seems slightly more acceptable to let Lana sample a few junky little treats that were previously off limits, like these sticky buns. Yes, I encouraged her to eat her oatmeal first (doctored up only with a little banana and a drizzle of ghee); and yes, I scraped the majority of the toasty, sticky-amber filling from her portion (and, um, onto mine) before handing it over. But just the idea that we could share a little homemade pastry had me envisioning gelato cups topped with two tiny spoons and polishing off santa’s leftover cookies and standing before Tiffany’s, bearclaws in hand.

Pretty powerful little cinnamon roll, eh?

Orange-Pecan Sticky Buns recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #baking #holiday #desserts #breakfast #pastryTwitching ovaries aside, the other thing these bunz have going for them is OH YEAH I MADE THEM FROM SCRATCH. Sorry to yell, but a baker I am not, so big girl baking — like I opened a packet of yeast baking — is kind of berg derl.

The recipe below, as noted in the instructions, isn’t mine at all but (barely) an adaptation of a Bread in 5 recipe that was printed here some 8 years ago. (Big thanks to Akiko for forwarding it along — I have a feeling you may have changed my carb-loving life with just one email!) As written originally, this recipe will produce a highly desireable, classic sticky bun with very little effort (no kneading, per Bread in 5’s fame), but the warmth and — ok, I’ll just say it, however premature it may be — holiday spice of the orange zest and clove add undeniable allure that will have me coming back to these guys for Thanksgiving lunch, Christmas breakfast and everything in between.

I know you’ll be equally obsessed.

Hugs and happy weekend from me and my little nut-snuggler! (←heh)
xo,
Em
Orange-Pecan Sticky Buns recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #baking #holiday #desserts #breakfast #pastryOrange-Pecan Sticky Buns recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #baking #holiday #desserts #breakfast #pastryOrange-Pecan Sticky Buns recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #baking #holiday #desserts #breakfast #pastry

Orange-Pecan Sticky Buns
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Decadent morning rolls laced with sticky caramel + holiday spices. Bread dough and sticky roll method courtesy of Bread in 5 as printed here.
Makes: 8 large buns
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ pounds prepared, refrigerated boule dough (using this Master recipe)
  • 6 T unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ~60 pecan halves
  • 4 T salted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • zest of 1 large orange
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ cup chopped and toasted pecans
  • pinch of ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. This recipe is so very similar to Jeff & Zoe's recipe as printed here that I can't in good conscience reprint it in full; instead, I'll encourage you read this article start to finish and then follow the Sticky Rolls recipe (at the very bottom of the article) as written, noting that I made the following adjustments:
    * double the pecan halves to about 60 (this is accounted for in the ingredients list, above)
    * add orange zest and ground clove to the filling in the quantities noted above
    * allow the prepared rolls to come completely to room temperature before baking
  2. Serve rolls warm with any extra caramel sauce scraped from the hot pan dabbed over the top. (If your sweet tooth really fiending, a drizzle of no-recipe icing made with powdered sugar and a little orange juice is extra indulgent!) Enjoy!
Notes
Please note that, while the hands-on time required for these little guys is surprisingly short, prep time does not account for making the homemade dough or allowing the prepared rolls to rise for the recommended 1 hour.
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