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
 
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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
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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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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.
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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!

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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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.
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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!

(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
 
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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.
————————————————–

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!

Nectarine + Prosciutto Galettes with Gorgonzola + Thyme

Nectarine + Prosciutto Galettes with Gorgonzola + Thyme recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #pastry #baking #pie #dessert

Nectarine + Prosciutto Galettes with Gorgonzola + Thyme recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #pastry #baking #pie #dessertThis post was supposed to be published two days ago, but I’ve been spending my evenings shopping online for tutus. Talk about a rabbit hole. I’m down it so far, I’m thinking it’d be shorter dig my way out through China. Which wouldn’t be the worst idea, since that’s where about 100% of tutus you can buy online are made. Also iPhone 7 cases. But that’s a hole nother story.

(Yes, I’m laughing out loud at myself.)

In a move I was almost certain we’d never make, we signed Lana up for ballet this week. To be clear: I have nothing against ballet. There is much about it to admire, and I even did my own little stint as a tot. But even in the little baby class, it’s structured. Where the itty bitty gymboree classes encourage you to run amuck (a skill Lana has all but mastered), ballet encourages composure.

When Miss Patricia asked us in a sing-song voice to sit on the purple dot, Lana ran away and tried to break into the bathroom.

When Miss Patricia asked us to hold our daisies high above our heads and tiptoe across the room, Lana brought hers down like Thor’s hammer on the girl adjacent. Cackling.

When Miss Patricia encouraged us to flutter gracefully about like butterflies, Lana jumped up and down, flapping her arms loudly like a duck. (To be fair, the duck thing is my fault. I taught her this despite the fact that flapping is maybe more of a chicken move. If she quacked it’d be more clear, but we’re still only working with about 10 words, half of which refer to food.)

Nectarine + Prosciutto Galettes with Gorgonzola + Thyme recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #pastry #baking #pie #dessertAnyway.

Ballet. Not exactly the most natural fit for our rambunctious kiddo, but she was pleased as punch with the class, and Miss Patricia promised us we weren’t too distracting and that she’d “probably start to follow along within about a month,” so here I am, shopping for tutus. And slippers. And little clippies to keep her mullet off her neck.

It’s a terrifyingly adorable rabbit hole if nothing else.

And a shockingly visual reminder of just how quickly time passes when they’re teeny. I was sure this stuff would be a loooong way out, but no, here we are, already. Little pink skirts and sweaters sized not by months but years. How did this happen?

It’s maybe a little ridiculous, the ways in which I try to draw out her babyhood. Every night I extract her from the tub, hands holstered firmly under her armpits, and race her dangling little bod to her bedroom to dry off, just like I did back in the days of sink baths. She’s been more than capable of walking back to her room on her own for months, but I think it’s kind of special that she gets to go straight from the tub into her footie jammies without her feet ever touching the floor. Pristine little toes for bed, can you imagine! How weird am I for reveling in this tiny luxury and wanting to preserve it for her?

Nectarine + Prosciutto Galettes with Gorgonzola + Thyme recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #pastry #baking #pie #dessertWhat this — what ballet class and babyhood and first-time mom psychosis — has in common with these sunsetty little open-faced pies is very little, unless we acknowledge that these, too, are an iteration of my clinger-on tendencies; my hesitancy to let things go in good time.

In this case, the poor bastard I’m set on preserving is not a tubby-time ritual but the summer I’m supposed to be bidding adieu. And yet here I am, perched here on the cusp of October and parading stone fruit before you like the awkward, too-old, baton-twirling girl on your hometown’s Fourth of July float. She, too, has grown up too fast, but she’s there with the best of intentions, I promise you.

And, in case this isn’t already weird enough, she brought prosciutto.

It won’t take much for me to sell you on these guys unless you’re vehemently against eating animals (leave out the prosciutto) or blue cheese (leave out the gorgonzola) or pie (I pray you get the help you need).

They’re unfussy to put together, fussy-looking enough for brunch and the perfect way to preserve the feeling of summer despite their autumnal hue.

They’re also damn good company when you’re 19 browser tabs deeps in spandex and tulle at one in the morning. Not that I’d know anything about that.

Happy weekending, friends!
xo,
Em

p.s. In case you missed it, last week’s Triple Coconut Tres Leche Cake with Honey-Vanilla Summer Fruit (aka more seasonal denial)!!!
p.p.s. Ok, but seriously, this baby ballet wrap sweater? I DIE.

Nectarine + Prosciutto Galettes with Gorgonzola + Thyme recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #pastry #baking #pie #dessertNectarine + Prosciutto Galettes with Gorgonzola + Thyme recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #pastry #baking #pie #dessert

Nectarine + Prosciutto Galettes with Gorgonzola + Thyme
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
By:
Makes: about 6 servings
Ingredients
  • ½ recipe prepared pie crust (I've used Ina's recipe with much success)
  • 4 oz thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 2-3 nectarines, thinly sliced (the extra-ripe late-season ones will work just fine!)
  • ¼ cup apricot jam
  • sugar, for sprinkling
  • ½ tsp dried or 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • crumbled gorgonzola
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or silpat. Divide dough into 3 pieces and roll each out to approximately 8 inches in diameter.
  2. Arrange a thin layer of prosciutto evenly over the top of each round of dough, leaving about a 1.5" border; top with sliced nectarines, fanning them out evenly if your patience allows. Using your hands, a spatula or a pastry cutter, fold the excess dough up over the edges of the prosciutto and the fruit. (Don't aim for perfection here - rustic is a-ok!) Brush jam evenly over the top of each galette -- both the crust and the exposed fruit -- and sprinkle crust generously with sugar. Carefully transfer galettes to prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake galettes for 30-35 mins or until crust is deeply golden-brown. Allow to cool slightly.
  4. Serve warm topped with gorgonzola and thyme. 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!

Triple Coconut Tres Leches Cake with Honey-Vanilla Summer Fruit (DF/GF)

Triple Coconut Tres Leches Cake with Honey-Vanilla Summer Fruit recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfree #glutenfree #dessert

Triple Coconut Tres Leches Cake with Honey-Vanilla Summer Fruit recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfree #glutenfree #dessert
Alanna (The Bojon Gourmet) and I met when I was just baaaaarely pregnant — those first days when you’re still wincing at sneezes and consulting your sustainable seafood app for fear of mercury poisoning at every turn. Both of us being only somewhat formally employed at the time (note: if you’ve read the tale behind the name of her blog, you’ll know she takes no offense to this; note-within-a-note: she is now a bonafide cookbook author!!! while I am still…whatever the hell I am…), we met up for a weekday brunch at Plow where I promptly broke out into a cold sweat over how to slyly avoid bacon, runny eggs and booze at a meal traditionally designed around all three.

“Should we get champagne? Mimosas!” she suggested. (Clearly we were designed to be lifelong friends.)
“Oh, how fun! But I’m driving back right after this. Plus, you know…Asian. Low tolerance. I turn sooo red…….” I wet blanketed back.

Which is why I didn’t have the heart to confess, when we ordered a delicately dressed salad topped with an undeniably soft-cooked egg, just how many early-day preggo fears were wrapped up in that taut little trembling sack. But what kind of food blogger doesn’t eat runny yolks! What kind of riffraff will she think I am? I desperately asked myself while googling “runny eggs + birth defects” under the table.

Triple Coconut Tres Leches Cake with Honey-Vanilla Summer Fruit recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfree #glutenfree #dessert
And so it is that my first date with Alanna marked the first, last (and, in case you didn’t get it, only) undercooked egg that I partook in throughout my entire pregnancy. Which made it even more ridiculous when I finally divulged this fact to Alanna at the launch party for her new book (which I’m getting to, I swear), Alternative Baker, on Sunday afternoon —

— and she replied with, “um, I don’t even like runny eggs.”

Go.
Freaking.
Figure.

Fortunately, a little white lying on both our parts didn’t stop us from having a lovely time, and I walked away as smitten with Alanna as I knew I would be when I first started visiting her space a year or more before. She’s everything her blog conveys: sweetly humble, quick-witted, deeply intelligent. There’s also something to be said for the way she converses — softly and often with a smile in her eyes — that makes it feel like you’re trading schoolgirl secrets in the best way possible. And, of course, she’s supremely talented.

Which brings us to this cake.

Triple Coconut Tres Leches Cake with Honey-Vanilla Summer Fruit recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfree #glutenfree #dessert
I was fortunate enough to test this cake last summer when Alternative Baker was still in draft form, and it instantly seduced me with its accessible ingredients, custardy texture and elegant flavor profile, which is far more subtle than you’d expect from a cake featuring not one but three iterations of coconut. At the time, I knew it was something special — particularly since I was avoiding dairy and was, therefore, in a serious Legit Cake dryspell — but after making it again this week, I can formally endorse it as one of the best cakes I’ve ever enjoyed. Probably the best cake I’ve ever made.

And that’s not even acknowledging that it’s gluten. freaking. FREE.
Alanna Taylor-Tobin: maker of magic.

I’ve tampered with the recipe as originally published only just slightly where the topping is concerned, and that’s primarily due to the fact that truly decent mangoes — Alanna’s recommended fruit — just weren’t in the cards. So, strawberries it is, kissed with just a touch of honey and vanilla, both of which complement the subtle nuttiness of the millet flour. And few slices of electric kiwi tumbled about, as well, because all that coconut needs a little tropical company. It’s floral, fragrant, not at all too sweet. And let’s not forget pretty. I love a pretty cake.

Tremendous thanks to Alanna for allowing me to share this recipe with all of you today. And if you’re reading, sweet friend: big hugs on this most precious book-baby! It’s the best of your already exquisite art, captured in print, and I couldn’t be prouder. ♥

xo,
Em

p.s. Whether you bake — or not (me!!). Whether you’re gluten-free — or not (meeeee!!!!!)…you can and most definitely should order Alternative Baker for yourself here. It’s everything gorgeous you never thought you could bake delivered with surprising ease and accessibility. You won’t be disappointed.
p.p.s. To see this recipe adorned with Alanna’s original mango and lime topping, be sure to visit Shelly’s beautiful post here.

Triple Coconut Tres Leches Cake with Honey-Vanilla Summer Fruit recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfree #glutenfree #dessert Triple Coconut Tres Leches Cake with Honey-Vanilla Summer Fruit recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfree #glutenfree #dessert Triple Coconut Tres Leches Cake with Honey-Vanilla Summer Fruit recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfree #glutenfree #dessert Triple Coconut Tres Leches Cake with Honey-Vanilla Summer Fruit recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfree #glutenfree #dessert

Triple Coconut 'Tres Leches' Cake with Honey-Vanilla Summer Fruit (DF/GF)
 
This cake, from Alanna Taylor-Tobin's Alternative Baker, is one of the best I've ever eaten -- and it just happens to be both dairy- and gluten-free. While there's really only one milk involved (and coconut, at that), the custardy texture is truly reminiscent of a traditional tres leche cake. I think I might even prefer it to the original. 🙂
By:
Makes: 8-12 servings
Ingredients
  • For the Cake:
  • ¼ cup avocado oil
  • ¾ cup water
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup plus 2 T organic granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup sweet white rice flour
  • ⅓ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ cup millet flour
  • 1¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 5 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • For the Milk:
  • 3 T organic granulated cane sugar
  • ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
  • 2½ cups full fat, well-shaken canned coconut milk
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • 3 T dark rum, optional (be sure to choose a gluten-free variety if you intend to keep the recipe GF)
  • For Finishing:
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 2-3 medium kiwi, peeled and thinly sliced into half-moons
  • 2 T honey
  • 1½ tsp Mexican vanilla
Instructions
  1. To make the cake: Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 325F. Line an ungreased 8-inch round baking pan with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, water, egg yolks, and vanilla, then whisk in ½ cup sugar. Place a strainer over the bowl and sift in the flours with the baking powder and salt, adding back in any bits left in the strainer. Whisk until completely smooth.
  3. In the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Slowly add in the remaining 2 T sugar and whip until the whites are glossy and just hold a firm peak, 1-3 mins.
  4. Use a flexible silicone to fold ⅓ of the whites into the batter, then gently fold in the remaining whites until just combined and no streaks remain. Immediately pour batter into prepared pan and bake until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, 40-50 mins. Remove to a cooling rack. Meanwhile, make the milk mixture.
  5. To make the milk mixture: Place sugar in a medium saucepan and add the vanilla bean pod and scrapings. Use your fingertips to rub the seeds into the sugar to distribute them evenly. Stir in the coconut milk and salt. Bring to a bare simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, then remove from heat, cover and let steep for 10-20 minutes to infuse the vanilla. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve and into a heatproof bowl or jar. Let cool to warm, stirring occasionally to prevent skin from forming, then stir in the rum (if using).
  6. When the cake is cooled but still warm, slice it into wedges (you'll get 8 standard or 12 modest servings), leaving the cake in the pan, and poke all over with a slender chopstick or skewer. Slowly pour over 1½ cups of the coconut milk mixture, letting it absorb into the cake. Let cake cool completely at room temperature and then transfer both the cake and the extra vanilla-infused coconut milk to chill, at least an hour and up to a day or two.
  7. To finish the cake: preheat the oven to 325F. Spread the coconut flakes on a small baking sheet and toast until golden, 5 mins or so, keeping a very close on eye on them as soon as they start developing color.
  8. Combine the strawberries, kiwi, honey and Mexican vanilla in a small bowl.
  9. To serve, carefully remove a slice of cake from the pan and top with more of the chilled coconut milk, the honey-vanilla macerated fruit and the toasted coconut. Enjoy!
Notes
I've written the recipe almost exactly as printed in Alternative Baker with the exception of the topping, which is originally composed of mango and lime, as captured in Shelly's post, here.
 

————————————————–

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!

Brown Sugar Panna Cotta with Honey-Balsamic Roasted Figs + Toasted Pepitas

Brown Sugar Panna Cotta with Honey-Balsamic Roasted Figs + Toasted Pepitas recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfree #dessert #coconutmilk

Brown Sugar Panna Cotta with Honey-Balsamic Roasted Figs + Toasted Pepitas recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfree #dessert #coconutmilk
When Chris and I lived in Ohio, one of our favorite restaurants was a bustling Italian place on the riverfront in Dublin called La Tavola. For happy hours, it had a huge patio surrounded by plenty of hardwood trees for shade and unfussy cocktails mixed by unfussy bartenders. For date nights, it had lighting that was just dim enough and handmade pastas you could order by the half or full — perfect for sharing a taste of everything, even when it was just the two of us. And for impressing out-of-town family, a gigantic rustic farm table that sat smack in the middle of the dining room acted as an exposed butler’s pantry, stacked tall with bread and butter plates, carafes of water and wine, and a sunny floral centerpiece roughly the size of Honda Civic. Hardwood trees aside, it all felt very Californian. And for at least our first year or so in Ohio, that seemed of notable importance.

Of all the memorable meals we enjoyed at La Tavola, two dishes, in particular, harnessed our attention with enough vigor that we’ve since made inspired-by variations at home. One, a fresh spinach fettuccine with red pepper flakes and garlic (basically aglio e olio), which I swear we ate almost weekly before the babe was born — a tradition I am just now realizing we should resurrect post-haste (ooooh, how fun is that to say?). And the second, a purist’s panna cotta: creamy white with just a hint of vanilla, a tumble of fresh berries and a caramelly drizzle of tangy balsamic. Like, real balsamic. The kind you imagine Italian monks must chant over in underground caves while a bell tolls far in the distance. (That is how it works, right?)

This panna cotta is a seasonal riff on that fondly memorable dessert, given a new identity with a coconut milk base (though you could absolutely use cream) and just enough brown sugar to sweeten the cream while also adding a little bit of coziness. It also adds a sugary crunch when sprinkled over top, which reminds me very much of childhood vacations and complimentary breakfast buffets at The Embassy Suites, where my best friend and I would get to sit at a table all by ourselves (!!!) and add as much brown sugar to our oatmeal/yogurt/frosted flakes as our little turnt-up hearts desired.

As for the fruit-and-balsamic component, I’ve replaced that rich, sticky balsamic of royal pedigree with a (regular ol’) balsamic and honey combo, which, when tossed with short-seasoned fresh figs and toasty pepitas and briefly kissed with the broiler’s flame in a method directly inspired by this gorgeous number from Sarah, makes for a topping as seductive in both flavor and texture as this sentence is long and confusing.

It’s the perfect treat to tuck into (I love the distinctive snick of that first bite) as we bid regretful adieu to the end of summer and set our sights on the pumpkin-spiced aspirations of fall.

I hope you love it as much as I do.

xo,
Em

p.s. Though the Dublin location closed shortly before we left Ohio for California, I’ve learned that La Tavola reopened in Grandview in 2014 with a more neighborhood-oriented setting and menu. If anyone has been, I’d love to hear how it compares!

Brown Sugar Panna Cotta with Honey-Balsamic Roasted Figs + Toasted Pepitas recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfree #dessert #coconutmilk

Brown Sugar Panna Cotta with Honey-Balsamic Roasted Figs + Toasted Pepitas
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
By:
Makes: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • For the Panna Cotta
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 T cold water
  • 2¾ cups whole coconut milk
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar, plus extra for serving
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • For the Figs
  • 10-12 ripe black figs
  • 1.5 T balsamic vinegar
  • 3 T honey, divided
  • ¼ cup pepitas
  • sea salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
Instructions
  1. To make the Panna Cotta: In a small saucepan, sprinkle cold water over gelatin and let stand for 1 minute while gelatin softens. Put saucepan over low heat and warm until gelatin is completely dissolved. Remove pan from heat.
  2. In another saucepan, bring coconut milk and brown sugar to JUST a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and stir in gelatin. (Note: if you’ve let your gelatin sit too long and it has gelled, stir a little of the hot coconut milk into the gelatin to re-liquefy and then add to the rest of the coconut milk.)
  3. Divide mixture among ramekins and cool to room temp; then transfer to refrigerator and chill until set — at least 4 hours or overnight.
  4. About an hour before serving, prepare figs. Preheat broiler. Halve figs (or quarter, if they’re biggies) and arrange cut-side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle over balsamic and 1.5 T of the honey. Season generously with cracked pepper. Broil for 3 mins.
  5. Meanwhile, combine pepitas with remaining 1.5 T honey and generous pinch of sea salt.
  6. When figs have broiled, top with pepitas and broil again for 3 mins or until seeds are beginning to brown. Let figs cool completely.
  7. To serve: Dip ramekin in hot water for 3-5 seconds. Run a knife around each edge and then invert ramekin onto serving plate. Repeat with remaining ramekins.
  8. Top panna cotta with cooled figs and an extra sprinkling of brown sugar. Enjoy!
Notes
Prep and cook time does not include time to chill the panna cotta or cool the figs, so though there is very little hands-on work required, plan accordingly. 🙂

Because this dairy-free recipe uses coconut milk, there is a subtle coconut flavor that runs through the brown sugar and the sweet-tart caramelized figs. If you'd prefer a more traditional panna cotta and are not averse to using dairy, sub the coconut milk for heavy cream.
Brown Sugar Panna Cotta with Honey-Balsamic Roasted Figs + Toasted Pepitas recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #dairyfree #dessert #coconutmilk

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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!

Gingered Mint Tea Sparkler // Happy Bday P&Q!

Gingered Mint Tea Sparkler recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #nonalcoholic #mocktail #summer

Gingered Mint Tea Sparkler recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #nonalcoholic #mocktail #summer
Back-to-back bevvies!? I know. But I can explain. Onesies: I’m just not ready to give up on summer, ya ol’ gal. And twosies: it’s mah berfday! Ok ok, it’s not my birthday, but it’s this ‘ere blog’s birthday, and that calls for something you can clink in a glass.

Are we still kinda stuck on ya ol’ gal? I know. It was a weird thing to say. Like, something that only a Kristen Wiig character could pull off speaking out loud, but what’s done is done. YA OL’ GAL.

You think I’m going to work that in a bunch more times before this post is over, don’t you? You guys. You don’t know me at all. Oh, wait, hang on a minute.

YAH OLL’ GALLLLLZZZ.

Ok but really, this dranksiedrank.

As sexy as it is, this super simple little bev came about as the result of a doozie stomach flu that had me living on little more than flat ginger ale and mint tea for eight days. EIGHT DAYS. boooo! But when the ginger ale is boldly effervescent and the mint tea is icy cold and there’s a perky little squirt of lime in there? yayyyy! It’s warm and cool and crazy refreshing and has nothing to do with tummy trubbs and everything to do with this little spot turning 4 years old.

Four years!
YOOOO OLD GARRRRRL!

Things around here don’t always go as planned, and the list of stuffs I’d love to do (with food! with styling! with pigtales!) is nearly longer than our many heaps of laundry are tall, but it remains one of my favorite things on this planet. And though I’d come back time and again just for me, it’s a heck of a lot more fun when you guys are here, too. So with many hugs I’ll just say: thanks for hanging, friends.

And happy FOUR, little piggy! Cheers!
xo,
Em

p.s. past blog bday celebrations: coffee crunch cakes for 3! grilled melon + prosciutto caprese for 2! crazy tasty but poorly photographed pineapple shortcakes for 1!!!
p.p.s. oh yeah — and let’s not forget this is totally booze-friendly, too, if you so desire. Ya ol’ gal!

Gingered Mint Tea Sparkler recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #nonalcoholic #mocktail #summerGingered Mint Tea Sparkler recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #nonalcoholic #mocktail #summerGingered Mint Tea Sparkler recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #nonalcoholic #mocktail #summerGingered Mint Tea Sparkler recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #nonalcoholic #mocktail #summerGingered Mint Tea Sparkler recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #nonalcoholic #mocktail #summer

Gingered Mint Tea Sparkler
 
Prep time
Total time
 
By:
Makes: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 12 oz (1 bottle) ginger brew
  • 2 cups strongly brewed mint tea, chilled (see note)
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • ice
Instructions
  1. Fill four glasses with ice.
  2. Squeeze quarter lime into each glass.
  3. Add ½ cup mint tea to each glass; top with ginger brew.
  4. Stir briefly. Enjoy!
Notes
Regarding the ginger brew: I love something stronger than your typical mixer ginger ale here, so search out a true ginger brew that packs plenty of spicy punch.

As for the tea: I steeped three mint tea bags in two cups of barely boiling water until the water cooled completely, then chilled the brewed tea in the refrigerator overnight.
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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!