Rampin' it Up

I've been wanting to experiment with ramps for awhile now. They are only really available in April and only for a short period of time so I usually don't pay attention and miss my window. This year though I succeeded! Ramps are like a wild onion and have more of a leek flavor. Once clean and snipped at the end you can use the whole stalk. Our friend Jessica joined us for dinner and games and helped eat up my experiments.

Since I wasn't sure when I'd get my hands on fresh wild ramps again anytime soon I wanted to try it a few different ways. The bread turned out amazing and is quite a simple equation for a recipe. I would love to try it again with some homemade pesto or roasted red pepper puree. The bread also turns out beautiful and only gets better once you slice into it.

Rounded dinner off with a simple olive oil based pasta with sautéed ramps and prosciutto. I wanted the ramps to shine in this dish and fill your mouth with their flavor. Simple but delicious.

Chimichurri Filled Twist with Lemon Thyme Butter:
from here

10 stalks of ramps
2 tbs red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
pinch of pepper

1   place all ingredients into food processor and blend until smooth

1 cup warm water
2 tsp yeast
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg; lightly beaten
1/4 cup asiago cheese; shredded

1   in a large bowl mix water and yeast, let sit and get foamy for about 5 minutes
2   add in the flours, olive oil and salt
3   knead in a mixer-6-10 minutes
4   place in an oiled bowl and lightly plastic wrap over the top. let it rise for 1/2 hour
5   roll out dough on a floured surface into a rectangle about 12" x 18" and spread on the chimichurri evenly, leaving a 1" gap around the short sides and one of the long sides
6   roll the dough hot dog direction starting with the side you didn't leave the gap on
7   pinch the dough together at the seam and then also pinch each end together
8   cut roll in half, also pinch together those new ends
9   on a baking sheet gather two of the ends and twist the rolls over each other, tuck the ends under the loaf
10  let rise for 1/2 hour and preheat oven to 425 degrees F
11  brush dough lightly with egg and sprinkle on the asiago cheese
12  bake for 25-30 minutes, top should be golden brown. Also you know when it is done if when you flip the loaf over and tap the bottom it should make a hollow sound

Lemon Thyme Butter:
6 tbs butter; room temperature
2 tbs thyme; chopped
1/2 lemon; zested

1   beat all ingredients together and place in dish and store in refrigerator
2   slice up the bread and slather with the lemon thyme butter

 I also really wanted to make a dish were you could really taste the ramps, where they were the main focus. So I went with a simple olive oil pasta with some ramps and prosciutto sautéed with red chili peppers and a little salt. Sprinkled on some bread crumbs and a little shredded asiago and extra warm olive oil on the side. It was simple and you could twirl it all pretty on your fork which always makes me feel fancy, it was also delicious!

We finished up with these lavender oat white chocolate cookies which are strangely addictive and perfect for the emerging spring weather!

Fluffy Spelt Biscuits

Sadly we finally opened our last jar of homemade apple butter :(
It was delicious and nestled perfectly onto the fluffy spelt biscuits I whipped up to accompany it. I really love biscuits because they are a 1 bowl in and out kind of recipe, no fuss. That no fuss ends with warm fluffy biscuits- that's a win.

I've been experimenting with spelt flour and loving the results. Spelt is a very old derivative of wheat. A lot of people with gluten allergies can eat it as well. Plus my big win is that where wheat flour can create tough grainy biscuits the spelt flour rose to the occasion and they were nothing but light and fluffy. Plus spelt has a bit of a nutty flavor which I really enjoy.

Spelt Buttermilk Biscuits:
recipe from here

2 cups spelt flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
4 tbs cold butter
1 cup buttermilk
1   prehet oven to 425 degrees F
2   in a large bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt and sugar
3   cut in the butter until all the butter is smaller than a pea
4   using a wooden spoon stir in the buttermilk until incorporated
5   on a floured surface knead the dough 10-15 times and roll out to about 1/2" thick. Then fold dough in half, in half again and roll out to 1" thick
6   cut biscuits with a round biscuit cutter or a drinking glass. Roll out remaining dough and cut into more circles
7   place on baking sheet and bake 12-15 minutes.


Harry Potter Party!

It all started when our friend Liz said she'd never seen or read Harry Potter! My heart shattered a little that day, how can I be friends with someone who doesn't know the wonders of Harry Potter! So in order to continue our friendship I demanded a movie night! And then I got serious...
I sent her a letter in green ink, delivered by sticker owls, that she had been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry and a ticket to the platform 9 3/4 train.
Thinking we'd only make it through a few movies I stuck to a bathroom door with the Chamber of Secrets snake lock, a train station sign and some banners for the Hogwarts 4 Houses.

The food was Bertie Botts every flavor beans, chocolate (in case of a dementor attack), Licorice wands, muggle popcorn and a potion station where ginger beer and cherry lemonade = polyjuice potion.

Finally before movie watching could commence we put on the sorting hat and some black graduation gowns "robes" and took a test to find out our house, when a few other friends came over we also convinced them to join in on the test. Once we were sorted we donned our house tie.


 To keep up the movie watching spirit before the second movie I whipped up some butterbeer, although quite sweet it was also delicious. I used this recipe. It was a lovely night of lounging and snacking and pretending we truly were wizards (p.s. I am a real wizard I just can't tell Muggles)



Tomato Zucchini Galette

We had some friends come over for dinner last Saturday night. We didn't know it was happening until that afternoon and then we also offered to make dinner. Hmm our fridge was pretty sparce. So I decided to make a galette. It was a warm spring evening and a plate of roasted veggies covered in a cheese dusted dough sounded perfect, but also so so simple. I love filling a galette dough with plums and the like but this savory one was delectable!
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup of butter; cold
1 tsp salt
1/2-3/4 cup ice water
1    in a large bowl mix flour and salt
2    cut in or grate in the butter
3    add 1/4 cup of ice water and mix
4    mix in the other 1/4 cup 1 tbs at a time, add a little more if necessary- dough should hold together
5    shape dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, place in fridge for 1 hour
6    flour parchment paper surface and roll out dough to about 1/4" thick circle
7    preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2 leeks; thinly sliced
handful of brussel sprouts; leaves pulled off
1 tbs olive oil
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 carton cherry tomatoes; cut in half
2 small zucchini; sliced
handful of parsley
salt & pepper
egg & cheese for top of galette
1   heat oil in saucepan and sauté leeks and brussel sprouts 2-4 minutes
2   spread leeks and brussel sprouts onto rolled out dough leaving a 2" gap around edges
3   sprinkle cheese over top
4   lay on zucchini and cherry tomatoes
5   sprinkle on parsley and s & p
6   fold up sides of galette with parchment paper until all are folded over one another
7   whip an egg and brush the galette crust with it and sprinkle with cheese
8   bake for 50-60 minutes, slice and serve


Dino Baby Shower!

Our friends Molly & Ryan are having a baby boy! Their the first people this close to us proximity wise and friend wise combined to have a baby. It has been really fun to watch them grow into their new parent role. They are both beautiful people and I just can't wait to smoosh this kid's cheeks!

To celebrate they had a mixed baby shower - dino themed! It was complete with a mojito and taco bar, chugging beer from bottles and cute dinosaurs abound. I got to make the cake which was a carrot cake decked out in chocolate rocks, mommy & daddy dinosaurs and a baby egg.

We had more fun than I'm pretty sure you normally get to have at a baby shower. One of the highlights was strapping on our "bellies," balloons to play twister pregnant. We all had quite a hard time of it and also seriously fun!

Can't wait to meet him soon!


Spicy Chorizo & Roasted Red Pepper Mac & Cheese

This week after eating out and running all over Seattle I wanted homemade comfort food and pajama pants. Mac & cheese is my ultimate comfort food, It may also just be my favorite food. I wanted to mix it up though and thrown in some extra goodies, Keystone style (a mac & cheese place in Cincy)
I roasted a red pepper, threw in jalapenos and some good chorizo sausage melted together with freshly grated pepperjack cheese. Yeah, mmm!

Spicy Chorizo & Roasted Red Pepper Mac & Cheese:

1 red bell pepper
1/2 lb chorizo sausage; not in casings
1 shallot; diced
2 jalapenos; diced
2 tbs butter
2 tbs flour
2 cups pepperjack cheese; shredded
3 oz. cotija cheese
2 cups milk
1 tbs djon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
8 oz spiral noodles

1    put oven on high broil and roast red pepper, rotate as sides blacken, remove red pepper from oven once soft, then remove skin and seeds and slice pepper
2    cook chorizo in pan until browned and add in shallot and jalapenos, cook 2-3 minutes
3    boil water and cook pasta until al dente, strain and set aside
4    preheat oven to 350 degrees F
5    in a medium pot melt butter on medium heat and whisk in flour (a roux), once it bubbles let cook for a minute then slowly whisk in milk. Add in pepperjack and cotija cheese, whisk until melted
6    stir in mustard, salt, pepper, cayenne, red peppers and chorizo mixture
7    put pasta in a 9x13 dish and pour cheese mixture overtop, stir together
8    bake in oven for 15-20 minutes, cheese should be bubbling, and top each plate with a little cilantro


Beach Party

After our hike on Sunday we grabbed some friends and headed to Golden Gardens. We didn't have a fire pit available so we cozied up to some nice people that let us share theirs. The night consisted of kites, Frisbees, hot dogs, beer, oldies tunes, and a bunch of great people huddled around a fire. One of those nights you're fine with dragging on and when you go home your whole body still feels warm for hours!

Sad to see our friend leave the next day but love all the time we got to spend putzing around with him. Our time was also spent singing random songs on guitar all night, hitting up breweries and late night pizza, big buck hunter, brunches, movies, Chinese food and lots of other great little moments. That's something James is excellent at, making little moments a really great time and living in them while they happen.



Sneaking in a Friend Hike

We hiked Lake Twenty Two while our friend James was in town. They day turned out to be quite beautiful, despite the threats of rain. We really like this hike because the scenery on the way up is so pretty, the intense greens, overlooks and such. Since it had snowed recently we also got showered on whenever we walked through the trees as they dripped snow onto our shoulders.

The lake was more beautiful blanketed in snow we thought than when we've previously hiked it. The overcast day let us see it all clearly and the contrast of the snow coating the almost black looking trees made this a great destination. Even got a little sunshine as we ate gummi bears and sandwiches.


I built a snowman, his name was Max.
On the way back we grabbed tacos and firewood for that night.