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

————————————————–

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.
————————————————–

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 Blueberry Pie Shakes

Brown Sugar Blueberry Pie Shakes recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #milkshake #icecream #summer #drinkthesummer
This past weekend was full of firsts. My first real vacay away from the babe. My first show at Red Rocks. My first exposure to Dr. Pimple Popper. (I can get into a lot of bizarre shit, but I just can’t do it, you guys.)

The four days I spent in Denver were so very indulgent. Leisurely breakfasts in with old friends. Leisurely breakfasts out with new friends. Pedicures. Sour beers. Reclining movie theater seats. Wait — backtrack. MOVIES IN A MOVIE THEATER?? BE STILL MY HEART. ♥

Daily hair washing. Rootbeer milk. Driving stick shift. Caffeine.

Is this real life? I kept asking myself.
Nay, this how the childless live, a little voice answered.

Oh. Huh. I had completely forgotten.

These pie shakes — PIE SHAKES!!! — are a continuation of this weekend’s indulgence. They won’t win any clean eating awards, but in the name of living a little, I’m gonna ask you to just roll with it.

Summery blueberries.
Nutty brown sugar.
Real ice cream.
A one-two punch of almond butter and shortbread cookies that, together, simulate the richness of pie crust.

I’m not going to try much harder than that to sell you on these things, because when it comes down to it, you’re either a pie shake person or you’re not. Put another way: you’re either my friend, or you’re not.

Just kidding: I have no fraaaannds.

Brown Sugar Blueberry Pie Shakes recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #milkshake #icecream #summer #drinkthesummer
Many hugs to Chris and Momma Stoffel for showing our babe such a good time while I was off galavanting at high altitude these past few days. That little bug’s complete apathy at my return is nothing if not a testament to your superior caregiving skills. Or my stale airplane hair. What I’m tryna say is: I’d pay cash money for that sweet bugaboo to squeeze me.

You hear that, baby girl? HUG YER MOMMA.
There’s a pie shake in it for you.
xo,
Em

p.s. Tremendous thanks to Sherrie (With Food + Love) for hosting today’s #DrinkTheSummer virtual shindig, which (in addition to my own gluttony) was the catalyst for these summery sippables. Be sure to scroll down to check out the other 50+ bloggers cheersing the season with their best drinkalinks, below. Yay!
p.p.s. That time I made pumpkin pie shakes, too!

#DRINKTHESUMMER – BOOZY
With Food + Love | Basil Fig Vodka Smash
A Little Saffron | Beach Bum’s Rum
A Thought For Food | Tarragon Tequlia Swizzle
Heart of a Baker | Green Tea Mint Cooler
Hungry Girl por Vida | Whisky Peach Alexander
Beard and Bonnet | Melon Mojito
Appeasing a Food Geek | Basil and Black Pepper Gin Sour
Vegetarian Ventures | Garden Tonic Punch
The Foodie Nurse | Husk Cherry Margarita
Wicked Spatula | Coconut Gin and Tonic
Nutritionist in the Kitch | Healthy Muddled Blackberry Pina Coladas
Chocolate + Marrow | Pequito Verdecito
The Solstice Table | Jalapeno Watermelon Cooler
Seasonal Cravings | Strawberry Lime Gin Rickey
Dessert for Two | Salty Melon Slush
#DRINKTHESUMMER – NOT BOOZY
Heartbeet Kitchen | Salty Watermelon Shrub Elixir
My Heart Beets | Spiced Pistachio Shake
rooting the sun | Strawberry Fennel Soda
The Modern Proper | Vanilla Plum Shrub
Gourmande in the Kitchen | Stone Fruit Thyme Shrub Soda
I am a Food Blog | Cherry Vanilla Sodas
Well and Full | Peach Bubble Tea
Brown Sugar Blueberry Pie Shakes recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #milkshake #icecream #summer #drinkthesummerBrown Sugar Blueberry Pie Shakes recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #milkshake #icecream #summer #drinkthesummerBrown Sugar Blueberry Pie Shakes recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #milkshake #icecream #summer #drinkthesummerBrown Sugar Blueberry Pie Shakes recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #milkshake #icecream #summer #drinkthesummerBrown Sugar Blueberry Pie Shakes recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #milkshake #icecream #summer #drinkthesummerBrown Sugar Blueberry Pie Shakes recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #milkshake #icecream #summer #drinkthesummer
Brown Sugar Blueberry Pie Shakes
 
Prep time
Total time
 
By:
Makes: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup vanilla ice cream, plus extra for topping
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries, plus extra for topping
  • 4 shortbread cookies, plus extra for topping
  • 2 T almond butter
  • 2 heaping T brown sugar, plus extra for topping
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • pinch salt
  • 1.5 cups milk or almond milk
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a high-powered blender in the order listed and blend until smooth. Divide between two glasses.
  2. Top each glass with an additional scoop of ice cream, a handful of blueberries, a shortbread cookie and a generous sprinkling of brown sugar. Enjoy!
Brown Sugar Blueberry Pie Shakes recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #milkshake #icecream #summer #drinkthesummer————————————————–

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!

Gazpacho Andaluz with Smoked Paprika-Glazed Almonds

pacho Andaluz with Smoked Paprika-Glazed Almonds recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #vegetarian #dairyfree #vegan #soup #summer

Note: Before you lose interest amidst all my BS, let me get straight to the punchline: share a fruit or veggie selfie using the #DrinkGoodDoGood hashtag on social media, and Naked Juice will donate 10 lbs of produce to communities in need. It’s so easy, you guys. And you love selfies. YOU LOVE THEM. K, back at it…

pacho Andaluz with Smoked Paprika-Glazed Almonds recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #vegetarian #dairyfree #vegan #soup #summer
Clean undies. Bubbly water. Freedom.

Oh hi there. Today we’re listing things I take for granted.

How about: fresh produce? Seriously.

While I’ve been known to snobbishly scoff at Trader Joe’s overpackaged stone fruit or dimpled avocados, the truth is, for most folks living the lifestyle that many assume of Silicon Valley residents, fresh, seasonal and — more often than not — locally grown and organic fruits and veggies are pretty easy to come by. Within just a mile or so of my house, there’s a weekend farmer’s market, a Trader Joe’s, an upscale specialty market with a highly Instagrammable produce section and a Whole Foods. Tack on another mile and there are two more farmer’s markets, a handful of year-round produce stands and even more gourmet food stores than I can count.

If you want to be that girl with a baguette and a bouquet tucked into the basket of your Vespa, this is so the place to do it.
And I so do.

pacho Andaluz with Smoked Paprika-Glazed Almonds recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #vegetarian #dairyfree #vegan #soup #summer
Just on the other side of the highway, however, that narrative is completely reversed. I mean, do the gals over there want to scoot around draped in produce and bread? Of course. That is most definitely every girl’s dream, and if it’s not yours, you’re dead or lying. But it’s not a dream as quickly realized.

Because just on the other side of that highway, in the zipcodes that struggle for air/resources/acknowledgement amongst the Hooverous suck of the Valley’s tech giants and “signature” seven-figure fixer-uppers? Is a bonafide Food Desert. Capital Eff. Capital Dee. As in, within that same mile radius, fresh, affordable fruits and vegetables are next to nil.

Remember that bubble I mentioned that one time? Yeah, apparently I’m still hiding out inside. Taking things for granted. Earning Gold Medals in privilege. *bling*

In reality, nearly 30 million Americans live in these food deserts, and yet 60% of folks don’t believe food deserts exists in their community.

On the one hand: OMG do you think any of my bubble-mates want to braid my hair!?
On the other hand: wommmpppp.

pacho Andaluz with Smoked Paprika-Glazed Almonds recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #vegetarian #dairyfree #vegan #soup #summer
But you guys youu guyz yew gaiis yehhhw gahhhhs.
Yerrrrgerrzzzzzzz!

Naked Juice is partnering with Wholesome Wave to, errrr, quench (?) these food deserts via their Drink Good Do Good campaign, beginning with a 250,000 lb contribution to communities in need. And for every fruit or veggie selfie you share using the #DrinkGoodDoGood hashtag on social media, Naked Juice will donate another 10 lbs of produce to Food Deserts — up to half a million dollars worth of fresh, high-quality fruits and veggies. 

A selfie, you guys.
Like that ridiculous tomato-cupping goon up there.
The 80’s called, they want their part back. And I’m going through brow rehab, so… And WHO WEARS HORIZONTAL STRIPES ON THE INTERNET?

Moms do. Didn’t you know? Stripes. Moms. It’s a thing. Ugh.

Anyway. DO IT. So we can talk about this dang gazpacho alreadyyyyy…
I’ll wait.

Ok, see? Now we’re probably still in the bubble together, but at least we know we’re up in here. Feels good, right?

pacho Andaluz with Smoked Paprika-Glazed Almonds recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #vegetarian #dairyfree #vegan #soup #summer
ABOUT THIS GAZPACHO.

When I first read about this Andalusian-style gazpacho on the Saveur archives a few weeks ago, it piqued my interest super hard. Unlike the kinda 90’s-y-blended-slightly-barfy-looking stuff that makes up most of my gazpacho experiences to-date, this gazpacho is silky and creamy and refreshing and loaded with lots of olive oil-soaked bread. BREAD!

And with all that blitzed up olive oil in there, it’s almost a little…aioli-y?…in its richness. AIOLI!

After doing a little googling on the topic, it kinda seems like I’m probably the last person to know about bready, olive-oily gazpacho, so maybe this is just another boring, blended 2000’s-y soup for you, but I’m many exciteds. Especially since all it requires is literally throwing a buncha leftover veggies in the blender with a tip of vinegar (um. and the bread. and the oil.), which is the ultimate win for lazy. LAZY!

I’m stopping.
SMOKED PAPRIKA-GLAZED ALMONDS!
Done.

Snap a selfie. Make this soup.
Take less life stuff for granted.

xo,
Em

p.s. Be sure to tag me (@thepigandquill) in your #DoGoodShareGood selfies so I can see your fruity faces!

pacho Andaluz with Smoked Paprika-Glazed Almonds recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #vegetarian #dairyfree #vegan #soup #summerpacho Andaluz with Smoked Paprika-Glazed Almonds recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #vegetarian #dairyfree #vegan #soup #summerpacho Andaluz with Smoked Paprika-Glazed Almonds recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #vegetarian #dairyfree #vegan #soup #summerThis post is sponsored by Naked Juice and the #DrinkGoodDoGood campaign. As always, I only support partners whose products and practices complement those employed in The Pig & Quill kitchen. Thanks for supporting the brands that help keep this piggy cooking!

Gazpacho Andaluz with Smoked Paprika-Glazed Almonds
 
Prep time
Total time
 
By:
Makes: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • For the Gazpacho
  • 2-3 slices day-old, slender baguette or hearth bread (about 3 oz), cut into about 1” pieces
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 lb. very ripe tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 english cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped, plus extra for serving
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • ½-1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • For serving:
  • smoked paprika almonds (see recipe, below)
  • chopped cucumbers
  • olive oil
  • sliced scallions
  • sea salt
Instructions
  1. Combine bread cubes and olive oil in a small bowl, using a spoon to submerge cubes. Allow to soak 2 hours or up to overnight (covered, unrefrigerated).
  2. Add tomatoes, cucumber, garlic, vinegar, ½ tsp sea salt, soaked bread with oil, and almond milk in a high-powered blender. Blend until very smooth, about 30-60 secs. Add more salt to taste, if needed. If a thinner consistency is desired, add a splash more almond milk.
  3. Refrigerate soup until well-chilled, at least 2 hours. Serve topped smoked paprika almonds, reserved chopped cucumbers, scallions, a drizzle of olive oil and sea salt. Enjoy!
Notes
Prep time doesn't account for soaking the bread. But if your blender is fab and your bread still on the soft(ish) side, you can probbbbbbably get away with skipping this step. 😉
Smoked Paprika-Glazed Almonds recipe (via thepigandquill.com)
Smoked Paprika-Glazed Almonds
 
Cook time
Total time
 
By:
Makes: ½ cup
Ingredients
  • ½ cup almonds, chopped
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • pinch salt
Instructions
  1. Heat small skillet over medium flame. Add almonds and toast until fragrant and golden brown, stirring frequently, about 3-5 mins.
  2. Add maple, smoked paprika and salt and immediately stir to coat nuts evenly.
  3. Reduce heat to low and cook another minute.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool before serving.
————————————————–

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!

Double PB&J S’mores (w/ Homemade Graham Crackers!)

Double PB+J S'mores recipe with Homemade Graham Crackers (via thepigandquill.com) #sweets #dessert #baking #summer

Double PB+J S'mores recipe with Homemade Graham Crackers (via thepigandquill.com) #sweets #dessert #baking #summerHaii gaiiz!

It’s National S’mores Day. Can you even freaking believe it? There’s a day for FUGGING EVERYYYTHANG. It’s also National Watch All the Gymnastics Day, National Your Kid Only Napped 40 Minutes Day and National Company is Coming Time to Swiffer the Hair in the Bathroom Day.

Ok, I made that last one up. But I’m still celebrating, because I’m one classy-ass hostess. You’re welcome, playdates.

But back to National S’mores Day. Let’s do it up proper, k?
I kinda wanted to say “prah-puhh” all British-like, but I didn’t know if you would get it. Do Brits like s’mores? They’d be right prah-puhh with a spot o’ tea, so probably yeah. Yeh. Yehhhhh. I’m still doing the accent. You knew that.

Ok. I promise this time.
S’mores.

Yehhhhhhhhh.
Ok.

Double PB+J S'mores recipe with Homemade Graham Crackers (via thepigandquill.com) #sweets #dessert #baking #summer
A few weeks ago, I saw Christina making homemade graham crackers on snapchat, and my mind did a mini-splode. If you know me at all, you know I don’t bake for shit, but when I checked out the recipe, they seemed really, surprisingly simple — and I loved that she made them naturally sweetened so they’d be a (somewhat) guiltless treat for a teething babe. So later that week, I whipped up a batch, and they’ve been on repeat ever since. Because Lana loves them, yes — the first week we introduced them, I had to hide the container because she was getting all Chucky-baby about it — but mostly because I can’t stop stuffing them with roasted marshmallows, peanut butter cups and spoonfuls of blackberry jam. And more peanut butter. And sea salt. And then stuffing THAT.

In my faaaaaaace.

I can’t.
It’s like.
I mean.
You know how I feel about pb & j things.
PB+J Thangz.
Pee-Bee-En-Jay-Fangles.

I know. I have no idea, either.
National I Digress Day.
Yehhhhhhhh.

Happy S’moresing!
xo,
Em

p.s. in case you missed it, I was featured on Food52 this week – squeeeee! 🙂
p.p.s. last week’s chili-lime coconut mango pops!
p.p.p.s. pretty sure it goes without saying, but you could absolutely make these with store-bought graham crackers, too, and they won’t suck at all. But it’s worth it to try your hand at the homemade version. Plus you get to use cookie cutters and poke little holes in things with a fork, which is always kinda therapeutic. I should probably not be a parent.

Double PB+J S'mores recipe with Homemade Graham Crackers (via thepigandquill.com) #sweets #dessert #baking #summerDouble PB+J S'mores recipe with Homemade Graham Crackers (via thepigandquill.com) #sweets #dessert #baking #summerDouble PB+J S'mores recipe with Homemade Graham Crackers (via thepigandquill.com) #sweets #dessert #baking #summerDouble PB+J S'mores recipe with Homemade Graham Crackers (via thepigandquill.com) #sweets #dessert #baking #summer

Double PB&J S'mores (w/ Homemade Graham Crackers!)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
By:
Makes: as many as you like!
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cut jumbo marshmallows in half crosswise and roast to desired doneness. (If doing this inside, I like to skewer the mallows with wood chopsticks that have been soaked in water for an hour or so and roast them over a low gas flame.)
  2. Assemble! It's pretty obvious you can do this any way you like, but I prefer to top one graham cracker with half a roasted mallow; a pile of PB cup quarters; the second roasted mallow half, blackberry jam; peanut butter; plenty of sea salt and the second graham cracker. Enjoy!
Notes
Regarding the Homemade Graham Crackers:
1) I follow Christina's recipe exactly except I reduce the molasses by 1 tablespoon and increase the honey by 1 tablespoon.
2) Using a 2" square cutter (I actually have this exact set) and re-rolling the scraps, I can get about 30 cookies from each recipe.
3) And for some reason -- maybe because I just don't roll these quite thin enough -- these always take 22-25 mins in my oven.
4) Finally, of course you can use store-bought grahammies, too! I'll still be your frannnd.

Regarding the marshmallows: I love cutting these gigantic jumbo marshmallows in half -- for some reason I think they just toast up more evenly on my stove -- and sandwiching the chocolate in between the two layers, but you could absolutely do two standard mallows per s'more. 🙂
————————————————–

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!

Chile-Lime Coconut Mango Pops

Chile-Lime Mango Coconut Pops recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #vegan #dairyfree

Chile-Lime Mango Coconut Pops recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #vegan #dairyfree
Hey guys!

Little known fact: I am only capable of starting posts with hey guyssss. They are literally the first two words that pop out every time I open a new draft. And then, like, 64% of the time I come back to the top and force a new opener. Or just add a bunch of sssssssss’s. Or swap in a super original spelling of hey. I’m kinda digging haaaaaaiii but sometimes heyyo slips out, too. Hihihi! Hehwoooooooh. Heyeyeyeye. Hajjjjaieyeewwww.

I’m drinking $4 wine. Hey guysssssss.

Anyway, these popsicles are so super simple that they leave me with almost nothing to drone on about — it’s hot. they’re cold. but also hot. because spicy. but not too spicy, because you add it after. or you don’t have to add it at all. i’m drinking $4 wine — so I’m just going to talk about a few thangalangs and you can chime in.

Like.

  1. Stranger Things. STRANGER THINGS! That score, that 80’s typography. That little Dustin guy! Are you watching?
  2. I’m going to Denver! We’ve got three days and very few plans so gimme all the places to eat and drink beers and stand up on a paddleboard and buy hipster things and otherwise spend time and money sans behbehhhh kthx.
  3. Instagram Stories I don’t even knowwwww. I’m so conflicted, you guys! I love Instagram, and I’ve just started loving snapchat (@thepigandquill) and now they have a love-child thing but it’s owned by Facebook and doesn’t have filters and everyone is already using it and there’s so much pressure. Are you about it? Should I be about it?
  4. Bachelor.in.Paradise.
  5. Everyone’s fawning over a homogenized aesthetic curated by social media. (Pssst: including me.)
  6. I just signed up for a half-marathon in October (squee!) and am in desperate need of cross-training. What are you loving? Programs with kiddo care or that I can tackle during naptime would be mosht exshullent!
  7. Speaking of naptime, SEND ME ALL YOUR TIPS ON NAP TRANSITIONS 2→1 SORRY TO SCREAM.
  8. I think we all know how I feel about The Bachelorette, but have we talked about this dress??? Swoondiggydiggy.
  9. York Peppermint Patties or Reeses?
  10. I’m drinking fourrrr dollahhhhh wiiiiiiine.

Spicy cool popsicles, dudes. Get ’em in your face.
byeguysssssss!
Em

   Chile-Lime Mango Coconut Pops recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #vegan #dairyfreeChile-Lime Mango Coconut Pops recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #vegan #dairyfreeChile-Lime Mango Coconut Pops recipe (via thepigandquill.com) #vegan #dairyfree(love this little pop shoot outtake! ♥)

Chile-Lime Mango Coconut Pops
 
Prep time
Total time
 
By:
Makes: 10 popsicles
Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups mango juice
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 2-4 T honey or maple syrup (see note)
  • juice and zest of 1 lime, plus extra for serving
  • pinch sea salt
  • tajin seasoning, to taste (or other chile salt)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in blender, beginning with 2 T honey, and blend until completely smooth. Taste for sweetness and adjust honey as needed. Pour mixture into molds (I use these). Freeze 30 mins. Insert sticks. Freeze until solid, at least 6 hours or overnight.
  2. To release pops, dip mold into warm water. (Store released pops wrapped in wax paper in a plastic zip-top bag in the freezer.)
  3. Immediately before serving, squeeze over more lime and top with a generous sprinkle tajin, if desired. Enjoy!
Notes
Update: when I originally published this recipe, I completely omitted the fact that I've made these several times with both honey and maple syrup, and the difference is nearly undetectable. So if you're looking to make these vegan (as advertised), the maple syrup route is for you. (I blame the $4 wine!) Cheers!
————————————————–

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!

Overnight Miso-Braised Sausage + Chard Lasagne

Overnight Miso-Braised Sausage + Chard Lasagne recipe (via thepigandquill.com) Possibly the simplest and tastiest lasagne yet! #dinner #cheese #eggfree

Overnight Miso-Braised Sausage + Chard Lasagne recipe (via thepigandquill.com) Possibly the simplest and tastiest lasagne yet! #dinner #cheese #eggfree
When I was 12 years old, I had a fever-induced dream that I was walking through a canyon of lasagne, towers of noodles and jarred red sauce closing in on me from all sides while I scrambled to pick up brittle twigs of dry angel hair pasta before they crumbled between my fingers. I knew that, somehow, collecting up the angel hair was my way out, but it was an impossible task, multiplying before my eyes. I awoke in a cold sweat, crying, and tugged on my (then) step-sister’s arm.

“Tiffany, I had a bad dream. About lasagne.”
She took it about as seriously as you can imagine.

It should come as no surprise, then, that lasagne wasn’t really my thing growing up. Somewhere between the feverish dream, pasty pans of frozen Stouffer’s and many a prime time commercial convincing me that the dreaded lasagne pan was the only thing standing between me and domestic supremacy, it just didn’t hold much appeal.

But I’ve grown up a bit. So when method challenged me to cook up the dish of my dreams (heh) as part of their #fearnomess campaign, I figured I’d show that nineties kid in me there’s nothing to be scared of. Lasagne, I now know, is as simple as it is delicious. And with method in hand, that ‘dreaded’ pan? It ain’t no thang at all.

This lasagne is a little different from your standard fare in a couple of ways. One — the flaaaaaaayvah! Based on my favorite-ever tomato soup, the sauce is straightforward but super savory: intensely sweet San Marzano tomatoes, licoricey Thai basil and — for the salt component — nutty, umami-rich miso. Plus Italian sausage and summer’s bounty of Swiss chard, it’s a meal to behold.

And two: it’s overnight lasagne! As in, you assemble it one day, let it sit in the fridge, and bake it the next — no boiling required. Which makes it entirely possible to have a pan of bubbly, piping hot lasagne for breakfast, if you so choose. It also means you can prep it tonight and bake it off lickety-split for dinner guests tomorrow.

Which just happens to be…National Lasagne Day.
No, I’m serious. How’s that for timing?

Overnight Miso-Braised Sausage + Chard Lasagne recipe (via thepigandquill.com) Possibly the simplest and tastiest lasagne yet! #dinner #cheese #eggfree
I know you guys will absolutely dig this dish as much as I do (hello, remember that time I teased it on Instagram and it was double-tapped, like, a whole bunch?). And if you know me, you know that, partnership stuff aside, we seriously dig method’s whole line-up in this house. Because they embrace everything that’s important to us as we raise dat little bug of ours, yes (everything is biodegradable, recyclable and never tested on animals – yay!) — but also because they get the job done.

Oh yeah, and they make my counters look kyOOt-AF.
Wink.

Happy Thursday, pals! Here’s to making all your non-freaky lasagne dreams come true!
xo,
Em

p.s. in case you missed it, last week’s prettiest-ever ricotta toast! <3

Overnight Miso-Braised Sausage + Chard Lasagne recipe (via thepigandquill.com) Possibly the simplest and tastiest lasagne yet! #dinner #cheese #eggfreeOvernight Miso-Braised Sausage + Chard Lasagne recipe (via thepigandquill.com) Possibly the simplest and tastiest lasagne yet! #dinner #cheese #eggfreeOvernight Miso-Braised Sausage + Chard Lasagne recipe (via thepigandquill.com) Possibly the simplest and tastiest lasagne yet! #dinner #cheese #eggfreeOvernight Miso-Braised Sausage + Chard Lasagne recipe (via thepigandquill.com) Possibly the simplest and tastiest lasagne yet! #dinner #cheese #eggfreeOvernight Miso-Braised Sausage + Chard Lasagne recipe (via thepigandquill.com) Possibly the simplest and tastiest lasagne yet! #dinner #cheese #eggfreeThis post is sponsored by method. As always, I only support partners whose products and practices complement those employed in The Pig & Quill kitchen. Thanks for supporting the brands that help keep this piggy cooking!

Overnight Miso-Braised Sausage + Chard Lasagne
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
The miso in this recipe is subtle, but it adds an element of nutty savoriness to an otherwise absurdly simple tomato sauce. Married with the sweet, licoricey Thai basil, it's the perfect complement to fennel-rich Italian sausage and earthy chard.
By:
Makes: 12 small or 6 large servings
Ingredients
  • 1 lb sweet Italian chicken sausage
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 large bunch swiss chard, leaves and stems separated
  • 1 28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 small bunch fresh Thai basil leaves (about ½ cup)
  • heaping ¼ cup mellow white miso
  • ¾ lb low-moisture mozzarella, shredded
  • ⅓ lb asiago, shredded
  • 15 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 9 no-boil lasagne noodles
  • light cooking oil for sautéing, such as avocado oil
  • black pepper
Instructions
  1. Remove sausage from casing. In a large pot or dutch oven, brown sausage and shallots in a little avocado oil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until sausage is deeply caramelized, about 15 mins.
  2. Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, miso and basil in a food processor and pulse until miso is fully incorporated and basil is finely chopped.
  3. Shred mozzarella and asiago cheeses. Chop chard leaves into pieces and finely chop card stems.
  4. When sausage is browned, add chard stems and leaves. Reduce heat to medium, stir to combine, and sauté until leaves are wilted, 5 mins. Add tomato mixture and stir to combine. Bring to a bubble, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 mins.
  5. To assemble lasagna, spread a little of the tomato sauce mixture in the bottom of an 8x11 pan and layer as follows:
    - 3 noodles
    - ⅓ of the ricotta cheese
    - freshly grated nutmeg (conservative freshly grated sprinkle)
    - ⅓ each of the shredded cheeses
    - ½ the meat sauce
    - 3 noodles
    - ½ of the remaining ricotta cheese
    - nutmeg
    - ½ of the remaining shredded cheeses
    - remaining meat sauce
    - 3 noodles
    - remaining ricotta cheese
    - nutmeg
    - remaining shredded cheeses
  6. Allow to cool slightly, then cover tightly with foil and refrigerate at least six hours or overnight.
  7. When ready to bake: preheat oven to 350F. Bake casserole, covered, for 60 mins, or until filling is hot and cheese is bubbly. Remove foil and bake another 15-20 mins to brown cheese. (For an extra browned top, you can also broil the lasagne for a minute or two, keeping a very careful eye on it.) Allow to rest 15 mins before cutting into 12 pieces and serving. Enjoy!
Notes
I love the extra sweet, licoricey note that Thai basil lends to this dish, but Italian basil will absolutely do if that's what's convenient. And since the sauce is so simple, San Marzano tomatoes -- which have a sweet, almost concentrated tomato flavor -- are highly recommended. If you use a traditional canned tomato, you may want to add a couple pinches of sugar and/or a few tablespoons of tomato paste. Lastly: our kiddo has a mild egg allergy, so I've left the traditional egg out of the ricotta portion of the recipe. Most lasagne noodles, however, DO contain eggs. If you're looking to make this completely egg-free, be sure to choose an egg-free pasta, like these guys.
Overnight Miso-Braised Sausage + Chard Lasagne recipe (via thepigandquill.com) Possibly the simplest and tastiest lasagne yet! #dinner #cheese #eggfree

————————————————–

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!

Summer Whipped Ricotta Toast Two Ways

Whipped Ricotta Toast Two Ways recipe: Tomatoes, Basil Oil, Sea Salt // Summer Fruit, Honey, Black Pepper (via thepigandquill.com) #breakfast #brunch #summer #vegetarian
I’ve been debating getting into this for a few weeks now, and the last thing I want to do is detract from such a pretty post with an undeniably ugly topic, but you guys.

The Bachelorette. 
WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING.

I won’t give any radical spoilers because I totally get that in a Hulu World not everyone has seen it, but why she’s not just going full Kaitlyn rogue and humping Luke in a barn somewhere is beyond me. And do we really need to get into it over Robby’s hair? I know it’s completely unfair to just personally attack these people, that they’re real people with real feelings, but I’m a real person with real opinions and I’ma tell you that boy needs some mussin’ up. As in, someone stole a tub of Garnier pomade from my gym locker in 1998 (I HAD UNRULY BANGS) and I am now 419% certain it was Swimmer Bod.

But really. Get those bowed legs wrapped around ya and call it a season, girl. If for no other reason than Christina and I can have late-night snapchat (username: @thepigandquill) conversations about something else, like the weather. Or how it would make my life if she moved back to California. Or — here’s an idea — our babies.

I don’t even want to talk about Jordan.
So instead: toast.

This whipped ricotta situation, you guys. It’s so ridiculously simple, I’m embarrassed that I’m even formatting the damn thing as a recipe, but, you know, search engines. So.

Until we get to the actual “recipe” (um, put beautiful, seasonal things on toast; insert into mouth; make sex noises), let’s just talk about what’s really going on here, and that is: a celebration of the season.

Whipped Ricotta Toast Two Ways recipe: Tomatoes, Basil Oil, Sea Salt // Summer Fruit, Honey, Black Pepper (via thepigandquill.com) #breakfast #brunch #summer #vegetarian
Ricotta toast is one of those things I seem to always forget about, and when I remember I get wildly excited and eat nothing else for three weeks straight, only to forget about it again once I’ve run a few tubs dry. The great thing is, once it’s come front of mind again, the seasons have usually changed, and with it, the bounty I set atop each sumptuously slathered slab.

For this summer version, I chose the teensiest cherry tomatoes, grown ever so lovingly by Chris and our bug, a verdant basil oil that’s just a little brighter and cleaner than your basic pesto (yet just as versatile); and sea salt. The kind that crunches as you shatter each crystalline flake, if you’ve got it.

And on the sweet end of the spectrum: stone fruit, of course. I’ve chosen these little plum-cherry hybrids that beckoned to me from the market, which are decidedly more plummy in flavor but do possess a smooth tartness that grooves really well with the woodsy, almost piney sweetness of blueberries, floral local honey and plenty of cracked pepper. But if such a specific variety is unavailable in your area, no worries. Any good stone fruit will do, and at this time of year, peaches and nectarines are pure candy on the tongue.

I could assume the same thing of Luke.

Happy Thursday, homies!
xo,
Em

Whipped Ricotta Toast Two Ways recipe: Tomatoes, Basil Oil, Sea Salt // Summer Fruit, Honey, Black Pepper (via thepigandquill.com) #breakfast #brunch #summer #vegetarianWhipped Ricotta Toast Two Ways recipe: Tomatoes, Basil Oil, Sea Salt // Summer Fruit, Honey, Black Pepper (via thepigandquill.com) #breakfast #brunch #summer #vegetarianWhipped Ricotta Toast Two Ways recipe: Tomatoes, Basil Oil, Sea Salt // Summer Fruit, Honey, Black Pepper (via thepigandquill.com) #breakfast #brunch #summer #vegetarian

Summer Whipped Ricotta Toast Two Ways
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Calling this a recipe is nearly fraud - just take the tastiest farmer's market finds you can get your hands on, mound 'em up over a thick slab of crisped toast towering with whipped ricotta and finish everything with a drizzle of something sweet, salty or herbacious. It's tough to get wrong. 🙂
By:
Makes: about 6 servings
Ingredients
  • For the Toast
  • 6-8 slices rustic whole grain bread (or as much as you desire!)
  • 15 oz whole milk ricotta
  • olive oil
  • For the Savory Toppings
  • couple handfuls cherry tomatoes, halved
  • basil oil (recipe follows)
  • flaked sea salt
  • For the Sweet Toppings
  • sliced stone fruit, such as plums or nectarines
  • blueberries
  • honey (raw/local, if possible!)
  • freshly cracked black pepper
Instructions
  1. Drizzle sliced bread liberally with olive oil and broil until golden brown.
  2. Meanwhile, turn ricotta out into a large bowl and beat with a hand mixer until slightly more voluminous and very creamy, about 2 mins.
  3. Spread toast with whipped ricotta and adorn with toppings of choice. Enjoy!
Basil Oil
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This super versatile oil is simpler and "cleaner" than pesto but just as tasty. I love it over fresh sliced tomatoes, a strawberry salad or anything grilled.
By:
Makes: about ½ cup
Ingredients
  • 1 cup basil leaves (packed)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • sea salt + pepper
Instructions
  1. Blanch basil leaves in boiling water for 10 seconds. Remove, drain and pat dry.
  2. Add to blender or food processor with oil and process until almost completely smooth. Season with plenty of salt and a touch of pepper. Keeps for about a week in the fridge. 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!

Hoisin-Grilled Eggplant + Avocado Bánh Mì

Hoisin-Grilled Eggplant + Avocado Bánh Mì (via thepigandquill.com) #vegetarian

First off, a moment of gratitude for your unwavering acceptance of my unconventional post yesterday. In a world that keeps insisting it’s reached its quota of hope, you make me happy to be human. Ok, on with the show.

Hoisin-Grilled Eggplant + Avocado Bánh Mì (via thepigandquill.com) #vegetarian
I’m just going to start this off by saying how disappointed I am that the eggplant emoji has taken the dirtiest of turns. Seriously, all I wanted to do the whole time I was teasing this post on social media was string together about a billion heart and hearty-eye emojis with the eggplant emoji, backwards and forwards and backwards again. But I can’t do that, now can I? Not without the whole world thinking I’m in love with getting diddled every which way. So thanks, wang lovers, for mucking that up for me. What a bag of dix.

get it?

Let’s talk about this bánh mì.

Hoisin-Grilled Eggplant + Avocado Bánh Mì (via thepigandquill.com) #vegetarianIt’s simple. It’s summery. Salty and sweet. Crunchy and creamy. Warm and cool. A veritable juxtaposition of all the typical food adjectives that are, uh, juxtaposable. And the eggplant. The Eggplant. I know there are some of you out there who have completely written off eggplant as a bland, or maybe even itchy (more on that here), nightshade of questionable character. And I won’t promise I can persuade you differently with but one not-even-that-original recipe. But try these two words on for size:

Hoisin-grilled.

Oh shit. Feels nice, right?
Sticky-sweet, saucy and smokin’ hot?
Maybe it’s time for that eggplant emoji after all. 😉

You can find the recipe for these most-summery sammies (and even more eggplant musings!) in my contribution to Hither & Thither’s In Season column today.
Happy Tuesday, kiddos.

xo,
Em

ps – Oh snap, I’m finally snapping! Behind the scenes stuffs, naptime confessions, sneak peeks of rad GIFs like thatta one down thurrrr ↓, yay! Check me out: @thepigandquill.

Hoisin-Grilled Eggplant + Avocado Bánh Mì (via thepigandquill.com) #vegetarian

Hoisin-Grilled Eggplant + Avocado Bánh Mì (via thepigandquill.com) #vegetarian

Oh, um, you’re still here. Hi. I know this is where the recipe usually goes, but today’s it’s over on Hither + Thither. See ya there!

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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!