I Think Thursday 8.31.17

Hello, September?  Is that you?  Yeah, you can come over — just bring a bit of sweater weather and some of your ripest tomatoes, mkay?

Here, some links for this Thursday:

  1. Might be time for Deb’s Plum Cake!
  2. During a week of extra shitty news, this is fantastic.
  3. Are you still into Hanson?
  4. As someone with a toddler, this is an interesting read.
  5. Wow, how surprising! …Said no woman ever.
  6. What’s that you say?  You want to buy the Sheet Pan Suppers e-book for under $2?  OKAY!
  7. #Glut
Posted in I Think Thursday, Series | 1 Comment

Creamy Mint Chip Ice Cream

Have you made your own ice cream yet this summer?  Fall is starting to creep up on us — darker evenings, more back to school sales, fewer sweat-through-your-shirt days — but there’s still time!

We’ll embrace knitwear/closed-toe booties and hot coffee soon enough, but now’s the time to savor a few things (not necessarily in this order):

  1. Tomatoes with olive oil and crunchy salt
  2. Dresses and bare legs
  3. Screen doors
  4. Sprinklers/ankle-dips in the lake/wading pools
  5. Homemade mint chip ice cream

Let’s talk about number five.

My friend Sarah introduced me to this particular mint ice cream — I was visiting her newly built cabin up on Lopez Island, and I had just put Calder down to sleep.  I sat on the couch and she handed me a bowl of homemade mint chip ice cream.  It was cold and perfectly creamy, studded with chopped Andes mints (how underrated are Andes mints, btw?!), and between the new-cabin-wood-smell, the salty island air and the fact that my child was sleeping soundly a few rooms away, it was, quite possibly, one of my favorite ice cream experiences to date.

You can have it too!  It turns out that this treat is on the simpler side to make.  It uses mint extract instead of fresh mint leaves (I know, I was skeptical too), eggs, and healthy amounts of half-and-half and heavy cream (among other things – see below). It makes a lot of ice cream, and a bowl piled high with the cool and creamy, chocolate chunk-laden stuff is a true delight, even without the smell of fresh wood or ocean air (or the relief that comes with the knowledge that your kid is finally – finally! – asleep).

It’s still summer!  More ice cream, please.

Creamy Mint Chip Ice Cream wait! there’s more…

Posted in frozen, Recipes, Smooth & Creamy | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Baby Kale Salad with Cherries & Pistachios

Well, here we are, feet firmly planted into August.  How has your summer been so far?

Besides a general theme of uncomfortable, sticky heat (yes, summer, hello, hi), mine has been filled with good things: popsicles, peaches, chubby toddler toes in public wading pools, ferry boats, merry-go-round rides at the zoo, cold wine, flowy shirts, bags of fresh cherries, Moana dance parties, grilled salmon, and a handful of rocky beaches.  The usual, you know.

And we’ve only had two instances of toddler food poisoning, and just one semi-bad allergic reaction.  Not too shabby!

OH, also, here’s a fun question: anyone know what happens when you accidentally run a (used, yes, ugh) non-cloth diaper through the washing machine?

I DO.

I don’t really want to talk about it – there is weird chemical gel involved – but let’s just leave it at GROSS, cool?

Let’s get back to the popsicles and the wine and the cherries, okay?  Maybe in a bright, tangy baby kale salad with pops of sweet fruit and salty pistachios?  There’s still plenty of summer left to grab.

Baby Kale Salad with Cherries & Pistachios wait! there’s more…

Posted in Recipes, Salads | Leave a comment

I Think Thursday 8.10.17

More weeks, come and gone.  Time for some LINKS, please!

  1. I just wanted to remind you that, even though summer fruit is at its peak right now, brownies are still delicious.
  2. This is hilarious.
  3. But really though, the pressure!
  4. Everything I thought I knew is a LIE!
  5. Amazing.
  6. It’s (kind of) coming back!  What do we think of the trailer?!?!
  7. Just the loveliest.
  8. JEEZ.
  9. Weird, but cool!
Posted in I Think Thursday, Series | Leave a comment

I Think Thursday 7.27.17

Happy Thursday to you!  What’s that you say?  Our government are total assholes?  YOU ARE CORRECT!  Still, some links to brighten your day:

  1. Might be high time for this Raspberry Nectarine Clafoutis!
  2. Ummmm this might be the best thing ever?
  3. For all you fans of Hamilton AND Game of Thrones
  4. HAH.
  5. French moms aren’t superior parents – they just have it easier.
  6. Full fat 4 ever.
  7. Hooray!
  8. Are you all caught up on And Eat It Too?  New episode up today!
  9. I want to try this, and also Allison is just FUNNY.
  10. Wow!
Posted in I Think Thursday, Series | Leave a comment

Victoria Sponge

Ever since I first laid eyes on the absolute delight that is the Great British Baking Show (or Bakeoff, depending on where you live), I’ve been jonesing for some Victoria Sponge.

I’ve also been in a generally better mood, because as anyone who has watched this show can tell you, it’s the loveliest of lovely things to watch and, somehow, can make you forget (if only for an hour-long episode) that things like this are the truths we live with now.

Plus, there’s cake!  Or sponge, if we’re being British about it.  As far as I can tell, a Victoria Sponge (I really want to call it a “Victoria Sponge Cake” but isn’t that like saying “Victoria Cake Cake?” Help me, Brits!) is basically just two light and buttery pound-ish cakes, sandwiched with a thin layer of jam and a thick (beautiful, billowy) layer of lightly sweetened whipped cream.

SWOON.

I’d put it firmly in the category of snack cake, which as we all know is the best kind of cake — the kind you can just snack on all day long and it somehow feels appropriate.  Not overly adorned.  Lightly sweet.  Snacky.  You know?

Anyway, when I went to create my own version, I ran quickly towards Nigella Lawson, Domestic Goddess that she is, and she didn’t steer me wrong.  (Also, Mary Berry’s version — and most versions, actually — calls for castor sugar, which is the Brit way of saying superfine sugar, which I didn’t have on hand.  I eventually picked some up, though, because the cake — the sponge, I should say — really benefits from a final dusting of the stuff before serving).  The final verdict on this thing is: SCRUMMY.  Let’s eat cake.

wait! there’s more…

Posted in Breads & Cakes, Fancy, Recipes, Snacks | 3 Comments

I Think Thursday 7.20.17

Thursdays come and go so quickly this time of year.  How about some links, hm?

  1. A no-cook meal I want right now: Sweet Melon, Cucumber & Goat Cheese Salad.
  2. 2-ingredient summer drinks!
  3. Do you read theSkimm? I love it for catching up on the news every morning.
  4. hahaaa
  5. This cheesecake looks so baller.
  6. Well, dang.
  7. An interesting read.
  8. Well, oops!  (I’m definitely guilty on most counts.)
  9. Yum!  This looks so good.
Posted in I Think Thursday, Series | 2 Comments

Cool Blackberry Basil Smoothie

Summer is feeling HOT here in Seattle, and as a result we’ve been on a smoothie kick in our house lately.  Give us all the frozen fruit!  (And all the pancakes, too, because it’s actually more like a smoothie-and-pancake-kick, if I’m honest, because #balance (and also #toddler), and it’s kind of my favorite thing.)

Aside from being a generally healthy and cooling treat, I’m loving the smoothie life because have you ever watched a one-year-old with very minimal hair growth slurp smoothie from his tiny cup and then look at you and go “mmm” very matter-of-factly?  Hot weather or not, I will keep make smoothies as long as I get to watch this happen.

I love all manner of frozen fruit for smoothies (we’re generally big on peaches, strawberries, blueberries and cherries over here), but when The Oregon Raspberry and Blackberry Commission challenged me to come up with a blackberry smoothie recipe with an unexpected flavor twist, I jumped at the chance. And given the lovely fresh herbs available this time of year, my mind went immediately to basil. I kept it simple, letting the berries and basil shine through, and the result is one of the most refreshing cupfuls of frozen goodness you’ll find — sweet, tart, and very slightly herbaceous, not to mention the most gorgeously gorgeous shade of purple.  (Does it exist in lipstick and nail polish form?  Beauty experts, please say yes.)

Something in me suspects that, frozen in little cups or molds, this smoothie would transition pretty perfectly into popsicles, too.  Popsicles and pancakes for breakfast? Works for me.

Oh, hey!  While you’re blending your own smoothie, head on over to Instagram, where the ORBC and I are doing a fun little giveaway — all you have to do to enter is follow our accounts and tell us what you’d do with your own shipment of beautiful Oregon blackberries!

The Oregon Raspberry and Blackberry Commission provided reimbursement for the ingredients in this post.  All opinions are my own. wait! there’s more…

Posted in Beverages, frozen, Recipes, Smooth & Creamy | 1 Comment