Spicy Lamb Meatballs

Meatballs. Lamb meatballs to be exact and they are magical-spherical-bombs of greatness and are what date night dreams are made of. I've said this many times before, but what I look forward to most when Friday or Saturday night rolls around is hanging with Thomas in the kitchen, cooking a delicious meal, popping open a bottle of Trader Joes' finest, or two to be exact, and spending a date night "in". Just the two of us.

To be honest, some of those Friday "date nights" turn into us eating dinner on the couch and me falling asleep at 9:30 right as we are starting to watch a movie. I know, I HATE when someone falls asleep during a movie that I am excited to watch yet I am the biggest culprit of it. But other date nights, like this past weekend when we whipped up these meatballs, we spent the night talking until the wee hours of the morning - laughing, reminiscing, and spending quality time together being totally disconnected. 

Maybe we were so utterly blissful because we had just eaten the most incredible lamb meatballs of our lives. To be honest, I'm not a huge meatball fan usually. They are good -  but I would rather have a hearty bolognese sauce instead. But lamb meatballs? That's a different story. The combination of the spicy lamb, cool greek yogurt, spattered with a sweet mint raisin pesto is beyond words. This meal is so easy to put together, looks fancy enough for date night, and will no-doubt have you going back for seconds. I have been wanting to make these from bon appétit since the recipe was published in December, so I can't believe we just got around to making them. This recipe should 100% be on your menu for this weekend!

Lamb Meatballs-6.jpg
Lamb Meatballs-2.jpg
Lamb Meatballs.jpg
Lamb Meatballs-8.jpg

Spicy Lamb Meatballs with mint raisin pesto

Ingredients 

- 1 large egg
- ½ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- ½ tsp. ground cumin
- ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ tsp. ground turmeric
- ¼ cup finely chopped parsley, plus 1 cup parsley leaves with tender stems
- 2 Tbsp. plus ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1½ tsp. kosher salt, plus more
- 2 garlic cloves, divided
- 1 lb. ground lamb
- 2 cups mint leaves
- 3 Tbsp. golden raisins
- Plain whole-milk Greek yogurt (for serving)

what to do 

  1. Place a rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 425°. Combine egg, panko, cumin, red pepper flakes, turmeric, finely chopped parsley, 2 Tbsp. oil, and 1½ tsp. salt in a large bowl. Finely grate 1 garlic clove into bowl. Add lamb and mix with your hands until evenly distributed. 
  2. Gently roll lamb mixture into 1½"-diameter balls (about the size of a golf ball; you should have about 20). Place on a rimmed baking sheet, spacing evenly apart. Bake meatballs until browned and cooked through, 8–10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, purée mint, raisins, parsley leaves with tender stems, remaining garlic clove, remaining ½ cup oil, and a big pinch of salt in a blender until smooth. Taste pesto; season with more salt if needed.
  4. Spread yogurt over plates and divide pesto and meatballs on top.
  5. Do Ahead: Pesto can be made 2 days ahead; cover and chill. Meatballs can be formed 2 months ahead; freeze on baking sheet until firm, about 2 hours, then transfer to a freezer bag and keep frozen.

Strawberry Basil Moscow Mules

How is it Friday already?! I'm not complaining by any means, but the weeks have been going by lightening fast. I am sorry I have been slightly neglectful on here lately - but I am determined to stop being a lazy ass and start posting for you guys again at least 4-5 times a week! I am finishing You are a Badass and I am so inspired to stop wasting my time and start pursuing this little blog of mine at full speed ahead! You heard it here...no slacking from me now! 🙃 

Anywho- IT'S FRIDAY AND I'M SO EXCITED. Sleeping in on Saturday morning has never sounded so good as it does right now. This weekend we are going to be low-key since we are both going to bachelor/bachelorette parties next weekend! Two of our closest friends are getting married and next Thursday all us girls are headed to Austin for the bachelorette and the boys are heading to Lake Billychinook for the bachelor party on a house boat! Should be a very eventful weekend to say the least. 

Being in weekend mode, I wanted to share one of my favorite cocktails! A Moscow mule recipe is one that I love pulling out whether it's a relaxed night at home with Thomas or if I'm hanging with the girls - like next weekend in Austin! They are quick to make, easy to drink, and you can change out the fruit with the seasons! Since strawberry season is in full-swing right now, I wanted to combine their luscious sweetness with one of my favorite herbs - basil. The two together is so delicious, and combining those flavors with Fever-Tree's Ginger Beer makes it even more of a winner. Fever Tree is my absolute favorite since it's not too sweet and has the most incredible ginger flavor!

I hope you all have a great weekend! Take a breather, relax, soak up some vitamin D, and make a Moscow mule for good measure! 😀

Strawberry Basil Moscow Mule-2.jpg
Strawberry Basil Moscow Mule-4.jpg
Strawberry Basil Moscow Mule-5.jpg
Strawberry Basil Moscow Mule-6.jpg

Strawberry Basil Moscow Mule

Ingredients per drink

- 3-4 medium ripe strawberries, hulled and quartered (plus extra for garnish)
- 3-4 fresh basil leaves, chopped (plus extra for garnish)
- 1-2 teaspoons of sugar, agave, or honey if you want it slightly sweeter
- 2-3 ounces of Vodka
- juice from 1 lime
- crushed ice
- 2-3 ounce chilled ginger beer

what to do

  1. Place strawberries, basil, lime juice, and sugar (if using) in copper mug and muddle by using a muddler or the bottom of a wooden spoon to smash the berries and basil together for 1- 2 minutes, until juices are fully released and you have a good mash. Pour in vodka. 
  2. Stir and then fill mug about 3/4 of the way full with crushed ice and top off with chilled ginger beer.  Stir again with a spoon and garnish with a fresh strawberry and basil leaf. Enjoy!

Fall off the bone Korean Spareribs with Kimchi Coleslaw

Grill season is here!! Summertime is the best when the sun is out until late into the evening, you're hanging out with friends in the backyard, and you're cooking up a storm on the grill with a drink in hand! 

Sadly in our current apartment we don't have a space to keep our own grill, so we often go over to friends houses to grill out. However the good news is that you don't have to have a grill to make amazing ribs - which is one of our favorite things to make in the summer! The way my mom has always done ribs is to slowly bake them in the oven until they are falling off the bone, and that's how I make my ribs! 

Over the last year or so I have been introduced to different Korean ingredients and I am obsessed with the flavors! For these Korean spareribs the base of the bbq sauce is Gochujang - a Korean chili paste which is one of the backbone ingredients to Korean cooking. And then there's Kimchi! The bubbly fizzy fermented wonderment is horrendous to some people, but I can't get enough of it! Kimchi essentially means "salted vegetables" and you can pretty much 'Kimchi' anything, however the traditional and most common Kimchi is made out of napa cabbage and typically seasoned with a coarsely ground red pepper known as gochugaru, plus garlic, ginger, and some kind of fermented or fresh seafood. I buy the Seoul Kimchi from our local Fred Meyer and it's the absolute best. The kimchi dressing I made for this slaw is a perfect companion to these melt in your mouth Korean spareribs! I adapted these recipes from bon appétit's grilling issue! Definitely give them a try!

Korean Spareribs with Kimchi Coleslaw  (1 of 1).jpg
Korean Spareribs with Kimchi Coleslaw  (3 of 1).jpg

Fall-off the Bone Korean Spareibs with Kimchi slaw

ingredients

Ribs
- 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
- 6 Tbsp. gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste) 
- 1 can of chipotle chiles in adobo (less if you don't want as much heat) 
- rack of pork spareribs (about 4 lb.)

Spicy Kimchi Slaw
8 scallions
- 1/2 cup kimchi, plus 1 tbsp. juice from jar
- 2 tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp. Sriracha
- 2 tsp. fish sauce
- 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 small head of napa cabbage
- 1 6" piece daikon, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 2 cups store bought shredded carrots
- salt for seasoning
- toasted sesame seeds and cilantro for serving

What to do

  1. Place a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350°. Whisk vinegar, brown sugar, gochujang, and adobo in a medium bowl until sugar is dissolved. Transfer half of sauce to a small bowl and set aside for serving.

  2. Season ribs all over with salt and pepper. Place rack on a double layer of foil and wrap up. Set on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until very tender but not falling apart, 2½–3 hours. The last 30 minutes of cooking remove top foil, baste generously with bbq sauce and let continue baking. Remove from oven, baste with more sauce and serve extra gochujang bbq sauce for serving. 

  3. The last 30 minutes of the ribs cooking, make your Spicy Kimchi Slaw. Remove dark green tops from scallions and thinly slice; set aside. Blend scallion bulbs, kimchi, kimchi juice, vinegar, Sriracha, fish sauce, and sesame oil in a blender until smooth. With motor running, very slowly stream in vegetable oil; blend until dressing is thick and airy. Set aside.

  4. Tear off leaves from cabbage until you get down to the crunchy white part. Rip outer leaves into 2" pieces. Thinly slice core crosswise until you have about 6 cups; reserve remaining cabbage for another use. Toss in a large bowl with daikon, carrots, and reserved scallion tops. Season with salt; pour reserved dressing over. Toss to coat, transfer to a platter, and top with sesame seeds and cilantro.

Norwegian Gas-Station Bratwurst

I'm very much a fall/winter gal. I'm a sucker for big sweaters and cozy scarves. I love curling up with hot chocolate or a belly-warming Old Fashioned, cooking up a pot of stew on a cold night and settling in for a movie or good book - That is my happy place. But that is a fairly recent development since moving to Portland where it's generally chilly 8 or 9 months out of the year. My OG happy place and when I feel most at "home" is when the sun is beating down, the smell of sunscreen and BBQ in the air, and there's an ocean or lake somewhere near by with preferably a boat ready to go for a spin. One of the biggest things I miss about living in Florida is being able to strike up the grill on any given day and have friends and family over for a BBQ and "lake day". 

That's why I am SO excited for Memorial Weekend kicking off on Friday! Thomas and I are heading down to Central Oregon to Lake Billy Chinook with four other couples for a fun-filled weekend of camping, boating, cooking over campfires, drinking good ol' Coors Light and Jack Daniels out of red solo cups, and undoubtedly lots of laughs and great memories.  We did the same thing last year with the same group and I'm so happy it's becoming a tradition! 

Since hotdogs and brats are definitely on most people's menu's for Memorial Weekend, I wanted to share one of my favorite ways to eat a hotdog now - Norwegian style! In Norway it's called "pølse i lompe" which you can get EVERYWHERE! My favorite is in the Norwegian gas stations - not kidding! The hotdogs are served in a flat potato bread (lompe) and you can eat it plain or top it with potato salad (yum), or shrimp salad (gross), and lots of yummy condiments like crunchy fried onions! Ever since Thomas introduced me to this, my favorite combo is with potato salad, crunchy onions, and sweet mustard. SO GOOD. We even served this at our wedding for our late night snack!! 

I somewhat "Americanized" this beloved Norwegian junk-food by using Bratwurst (which I guess is actually German?) and hoagie rolls! I love the combination of the hot brat right off the grill with the cold potato salad, sweet/tangy mustard, and the texture of the fried onions. Give it a try, you won't regret it! I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend and stay safe!

Norwegian Style Brats (1 of 1).jpg
Norwegian Style Brats (3 of 1).jpg
Norwegian Style Brats (2 of 1).jpg

Norwegian Gas-Station Bratwurst

Ingredients
- Bratwurst or hotdogs
- Hoagie rolls, Hawaiian hotdog buns, or Norwegian Lompe if you want the traditional way! 
- Crispy fried onions (such as French's
- Potato salad (homemade like this recipe from the Kitchn, or store bought is usually good from the deli section!). 
- Dijon mustard or stone-ground mustard
- honey

What to do 

  1. First things first, grill your brats. I use Char-broil's method! They should be grilled slowly over medium-low heat (between 300 and 350°F) for the best results. It should take about 20 minutes to hit your desired internal temperature of 160°F. That should take about 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the brats. Remember to turn them often so each side gets caramelized. Trying to rush the process by using high heat is a cardinal sin in the bratwurst world. Too much heat is going to char the outside and cause the casing to split open, which will allow the juices to spill out.
  2. Once your brats are off the grill, lightly toast your buns. You don't want them to crunchy, just get them warm and slightly golden . 
  3. Next assemble! Top your bratwurst with potato salad, crispy onions, and sweet mustard. 

Enjoy!

Spring Veggie Mini Quiches

Happy almost momma's day to all the wonderful momma's out there! Sadly, I won't be with my mom this year since we took off so much time for the wedding, but if I were home I would definitely treat her with these spring veggie mini quiches for brunch! For starters, how freaking cute are they?! Everything tastes better when it's mini in my opinion. These guys are loaded with all kinds of spring veggies. Walking around Portland I have been so inspired lately -The farmer's markets are bursting with beautiful fruits and veggies and everything is so vibrant right now. I wanted peas, scallions, spring mushrooms, radish's and fresh herbs to be the highlight of these. What better vessel for all of this spring egg-y deliciousness than a flaky buttery crust! These are super easy to make, especially if you use store bought pie dough, and you can even make them ahead of time to make preparing brunch a breeze. And of course, don't forget the mimosa's! All the mom's out there deserve a little R&R 🥂 

Mini Spring Quiches (4 of 1).jpg
Mini Spring Quiches (7 of 1).jpg
Mini Spring Quiches (6 of 1).jpg

Spring Veggie Mini Quiches

Ingredients

- 6 mini pie pans (or tartlet pans, but you might have some extra egg mixture leftover)
- 1 (14.1 ounce) package of refrigerated pie dough (we use Trader Joe's!) 
- 1 bunch of scallions chopped, reserving some of the green tops for garnish
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 8 oz of mushrooms (any variation you prefer!) 
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk or half and half
- Garnishes: Fresh parsley, chopped scallion tops, thinly sliced radishes, and snap peas (quickly blanched and sliced exposing the inner peas)  

what to do

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

  2. First rub a little butter on each pie or tart pan that you're using. Then, rolling our your thawed pie crust, lay your pie pan or tart form down and cut around it leaving a little extra room. Flip over and press the dough evenly around the pan, and crimping along the sides as you go. 

  3. Place all of the quiche crusts on a large baking sheet and bake the crust in the preheated oven until they are golden brown, about 10 minutes or so and then remove them from the oven. The tops will continue baking after you pour the eggs in, so don't let them get too dark! 

  4. Heat a skillet over medium- high heat until hot before adding in mushrooms. Let them cook down until seared and brown all over before seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove mushrooms from the pan onto a plate. In the same skillet sauté the scallions in a tablespoon of olive oil for a minute over medium heat before adding 2 cloves of minced garlic. Remove from heat. 

  5. Whisk all 6 eggs and milk in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper before gently mixing in the mushrooms, onions and garlic. Turn down oven to 350 degrees. Pour egg mixture into pre-baked quiche crusts and continue baking until egg mixture is set, about 10-15 minutes. 

  6. While the mini-quiches are baking, bring a pot of water to a boil. Quickly blanch the snap peas for 1-minute and then move them into a bowl of ice water. Gently halve the peas with a paring knife once they are cool to expose the inner peas. Drizzle them with a little olive oil. 

  7. Remove the quiches from the oven and garnish with fresh parsley, green scallion tops, thinly sliced radishes, and the halved snap peas. 

Mini Spring Quiches (2 of 1).jpg
Spring-Veggie-Mini-Quiche's.jpg

How to Perfectly Poach an Egg

We've been back in Portland a little over a week now and I think we are becoming somewhat normal again. I have never experience let lag that before! The first few days of being back from Bali we could barely keep our eyes open in the evening and would fall asleep around 6 PM and then be bright eyed at 2 or 3 in the morning. It doesn't make for a great schedule, but I gotta tell ya, I love having so much time in the morning! I loved waking up and catching up on the news, drinking my coffee and slowly getting ready as opposed to springing out of bed 30 minutes before I have to be at work.

What do you guys do for jet lag? Anything special? I read an article that you should limit your light exposure at certain times to try and get back on schedule and putting a few drops of this Dr. Singha's Travel Tonic in your water to feel more refreshed! Next time I'll definitely be more diligent on trying to get back on schedule quicker! 

If you all followed along on our honeymoon then you know that the food we had in Bali was AHMAZINGG, but it's always a good feeling to get back home and whip something up! We've made all the food we've been missing this past week, including lots of avocado toast and poached eggs. Bali definitely has it's fair share of avo toast and healthy cafés from Australian's bringing western cuisine over, so we got our fix on the honeymoon - But doing it at home by this method ensures that you have a perfectly poached egg every time! There is nothing worse then ordering a poached egg in a restaurant and the yolk comes out fully cooked. 

I've made terribly ugly poached eggs more times than I can count, but I think I finally got it down - so here's a little tutorial for you! 

How-to-Poach-a-Perfect-Egg.gif

How to Perfectly Poach an Egg

  1. First things first, heat some water in a medium sized pot. Make sure to put enough water to fully submerge your eggy. Don't let your water boil! You just want very hot water. THIS IS IMPORTANT. Just get it hot enough right before it boils and control the temperature if you see it start to bubble. 
  2.  Put a splash or two of vinegar in your water. This helps your egg firm up faster so the egg whites don't disperse in the water. 
  3. Crack your egg into a small dish. It makes it easier to slide the egg into the water as opposed to cracking it. Maybe someone should teach me how to properly crack an egg because I swear I always get a piece of shell in there somehow and it's a real pain in the ass to get out. 
  4. Make a whirlpool in the water with your spoon
  5. Gently slide the egg into the middle of the whirlpool 
  6. Now just wait...don't stress. It might look a little wonky at first but the whirlpool will help pull the egg together and then it will bind to itself. You can always help it out by gently pushing it all in with your spoon but that's not necessary. 
  7. Keep an eye on it, but it usually takes about 3-4 minutes for a perfectly cooked poached egg. Nudge it a little with your spoon to make sure the whites are fully cooked, but you want a wobbly egg, not a hocky puck. 
  8. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. 

Something that I discovered is that you can make your poached eggs ahead of time! If you're ever throwing a brunch get together or having company over, you can store your poached eggs in cold water in the fridge for 1-2 days and then reheat them right before your party by submerging them in hot water for a minute! Life savor. 

I hope this was helpful and hopefully you'll all have poached eggy happiness from here on out! 

Poached Eggs (2 of 1).jpg
Poached Eggs (6 of 1).jpg
Poached Eggs (1 of 1).jpg

Flourless Fudgy Brownie Cookies + A Life Update

Hello Friends! 

It's been a hot minute since I've shared anything with you so I wanted to give a little life update. We are t-minus 26 days until the big day! We've been busy bees trying to get last minute things done like final alterations, buying gifts, choosing cocktails, fixing the seating chart, preparing speeches and the list goes on...but it's been so fun! I'm so incredibly excited for the day to finally get here when I get to marry the greatest person in the world in front of everyone we love. And to top it off, we jet off to Bali right after the wedding for two weeks for our honeymoon! It can't get here soon enough!

I know there's no excuse for my lack of blogging, but between work and wedding planning we also went to the Dominican Republic two weeks ago with my work which was so great to disconnect for a bit and escape the cold Portland weather. We soaked up the sun, drank a lot of presidente on the beach, rode ATV's through the jungle, and of course we ate A LOT. Have you guys tried Mama Juana?! ¡Ay, caramba! It's a Dominican Republic liquor that is concocted by allowing rum, red wine, and honey to soak in a bottle with tree bark and herbs. The first night we got a little ahead of ourselves - no more Mama J for me!

In other news, THOMAS ALSO TURNED 30! We threw him a surprise party in the Dominican a few days before, and on his real birthday I made a cozy meal at home with a scallop and fennel salad, slow braised lamb shanks, Israeli couscous and roasted tomato salad, and roasted sweet potatoes with yogurt and cilantro-chile sauce. I can't wait to see what's in store for this next decade of our lives - I have a feeling that a lot of good things are coming our way! 

The next 26 days are going to be a whirlwind I'm sure, but I'm going to try and soak it all in and relish in the moment as much as possible. I can't wait to share our wedding and our adventures in Bali with you! 

NOW FINALLY TO THESE GLORIOUS FLOURLESS FUDGY-AS-HELL BROWNIE COOKIES. In these days leading up to the wedding, we've been trying to workout, eat healthy, and not eat any refined sugar, but these cookies were calling our name on Sunday. They were SO good that I had to share them. I'm not the best baker, but I'm working on it! I always add too much freaking flour and my cookies end up like little puffy hockey pucks. But those days are gone folks because I've discovered FLOURLESS COOKIES. They are the bomb.com and answer all of my cookie prayers. 

Talk to you guys soon! I'll make sure I write at least one or two more posts as a Harper before I become a Knudsen :) 

Flourless Fudgy Chocolate Cookies (1 of 1).jpg
Flourless Fudgy Chocolate Cookies (4 of 1).jpg

Flourless Fudgy Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Ingredients: 
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips  
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts or hazelnuts (optional) 
- Flaky sea salt for topping

What to do

  1. Combine the sugars and butter in a microwavable bowl (or in a pot on the stove). Heat until bubbly, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and beat well with a hand mixer. 
  2. Add in the eggs and vanilla and beat with hand mixer for two minutes (this, along with melting the butter and sugar, helps create a crackly crust on top of the cookies). 
  3. Stir together the cocoa and salt and add them to the batter. Beat for another 30 seconds. 
  4. Fold in the chips and nuts. The batter maybe be thin. Allow the batter to rest while you preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper. The batter should thicken as it rests. 
  5. When the batter is scoopable (but still very sticky), scoop by about 3 tablespoons full onto pan 
  6. Bake cookies for about 9-12 minutes. When they come out of the oven, you can press a few more chocolate chunks into the tops of the cookies. 

Breakfast in Bed: The Essentials

You’re the cream to my coffee
Eggs-actly what I need.
All it took was one look
And I was toast.

I'm such a cornball I know... BUT HAPPY VALENTINES DAY FRIENDS!! No matter if you are a big V-day enthusiast or not, everyone likes a little love on this day. Normally we like to stay in and have a dinner at home but this year we are going to grab a cozy corner spot at one of our favorite restaurants in Portland Tasty and Alder and then catch a movie. It definitely felt like valentines day over the weekend when we had a pancake feast in bed. Besides it being slightly precarious with the blueberry syrup and sheet situation it was seriously the best thing ever. I love getting up to make breakfast just to craw back in bed after with a cup of coffee - or prosecco if you're feeling frisky. 

- One of the most crucial breakfast in bed essentials is a good/sturdy tray - Like this one from Pottery Barn!
- Also something important - THE BREAKFAST OF COURSE! You can keep it easy and simple with croissants or pastries that you pick up at your local bakery, or if you want to make it extra special French toast, waffles, or pancakes are always a good way to go. 
- If you're drinking coffee, Chemex is awesome and you can keep it on your tray!
- For optimal breakfast in bed coziness, you need a snuggly duvet or blanket like these throws from West Elm. 
- The last essential will be a nap after all the breaky goodness. Makes sense since you're already there anyways! :)

Keep scrolling to see the recipe for these healthier pancakes with blueberry grapefruit syrup!

Breakfast in Bed (1 of 1).jpg
Breakfast in Bed (6 of 1).jpg
Breakfast in Bed (7 of 1).jpg
Breakfast in Bed (8 of 1).jpg

"Lightened up" Pancakes with Blueberry Grapefruit Syrup 

Ingredients 


pancakes
 -2 cup quick cooking oats
 -3 scoops vanilla protein powder (Bob's Redmill) 
 -2 eggs
 -2 bananas
 - 1/2 cup of milk (add more until it becomes a thick batter)
 -coconut oil for cooking

Blueberry syrup
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1/2 of grapefruit, juice squeezed
 
 What to do

To make the syrup: heat the blueberries, water, grapefruit juice and sugar over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Let the syrup come to a gentle boil and cook until thickened about 10 minutes. Add another squeeze of grapefruit if you need to make the syrup a little more tart! 
 - For the pancakes, put the oats, protein powder, eggs, bananas, and milk in a blender and blend until a smooth batter forms. We like the batter pretty thick because as it cooks it evens out, but if you like it thinner just add a little more milk! 
 - Heat a tablespoon of coconut oil on a griddle or in a small frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, pour batter into the pan making either a small or medium sized pancake. If you have a griddle this would go a lot faster, but since we only have a small cast iron skillet we just make one at a time. 
 -Once both sides are golden brown, transfer to a plate and top with syrup and extra blueberries!

Beef Pho

The last couple of weeks have been a little bit of a doozy. After having the flu last week, I haven't really recovered fully and now have completely lost my voice. For my job I literally am on the phone with people all day long, so this has been quite the pickle as you can imagine. I have mustered and made it through every-day, but yesterday I decided to finally throw in the towel and head to the doctor. I spent the rest of my day glued to the couch watching Harry Potter... ALL of the HP movies are on HBOGO right now BTW. I thought Thomas would be working the whole day, but then that little rascal walked in the door and made my day so much better. And I made him watch HP with me obviously - He's such a good sport!

It felt good to rest my voice for a bit, and to help it even more I made this bone broth beef pho using Bonafide Provisions Organic Beef Bone Broth. This was my first time trying bone broth! What do you guys think of it? I've been hearing forever about how beneficial it is and I've seen so many "broth bars" pop-up around town - so it's about time that I gave it a try! I jazzed mine up a bit for this recipe, but even by itself it's delicious. Plus do you know about all the benefits? I had no idea! It's amazing for gut health, makes your skin glow, helps you sleep better, supports bone strength and a healthy immune system! Sign me up!

Pho is one of my go-to comfort foods lately. I love slurping up the noodles in the rich broth, and mixing in all of my favorite crunchy things like bean sprouts, jalapeño's, and fresh basil. The pho I made yesterday isn't traditional, but it's a quicker alternative and hits the spot! I hope everyone is feeling good and hasn't caught this nasty flu! FYI, something else that's really helped me is fresh ginger and lemon tea. We've been drinking it every night!

Beef Pho (3 of 1).jpg
Beef Pho (2 of 1).jpg
Beef Pho (1 of 1).jpg

Beef Pho

Ingredients
- 12 oz beef eye of round (cheap cut of meat is fine since you're going to thinly slice it) 
- 1 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 star anise pods
- 5 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 8 cups of beef bone broth or beef stock (I used a mix of both) 
- 1 teaspoon asian fish sauce
- kosher salt, to taste
- 4 oz dried rice noodles
- 4 oz mushrooms, such as shiitake, oyster, or cremini
- 3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 head of boy choy, cut and washed

Optional toppings: 
- sliced jalapeño's
- green onion tops
- fresh basil
- red pepper flakes 

What to do

  1. Place beef in freezer to make it easier to thinly slice. 
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large pot over medium-high; add ginger, garlic, star anise, cinnamon, and cloves. Toast the spices tossing them constantly, until lightly browned and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Immediately add broth, cover, and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook, partially covered, for 20 minutes. Use a slotted spoon, remove and discard the star anise, cloves, and cinnamon stick. Add fish sauce to broth and taste; season with a little salt and an additional 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce, if desired. 
  3. Add noodles to a medium pot of boiling water; cook according to package directions. Drain noodles and divide among bowls. Remove beef from freezer and slice as thinly as possible.
  4. Heat a skillet over medium heat with a little olive oil. Once heated, toss in your mushrooms and cook until browned. Sprinkle with salt and pepper at the end and place on a plate. Reheat the skillet with a little olive oil and throw in the sliced carrots. Once they've sautéed for a couple of minutes, toss in your bok choy. Add in another minced garlic clove if desired and season with salt and pepper. Let the bok choy cook for a few minutes until it's slightly wilted. 
  5. Remove the veggies and turn the skillet on medium high heat. Add a little more oil and once hot, add in the thinly sliced beef and sear. It's going to continue to cook in the broth, so you only need to sear it a minute or 2. Season with salt and pepper and any other spices you like. I added dried ginger and garlic powder! 
  6. Ladle broth into your bowls on top of the noodles and add the beef, bok choy, carrots, mushrooms, and other desired toppings! 

Enjoy!

How to Make the Best Paella

Hey Friends - I hope everyone had the best weekend! After an epic bachelorette party in the Bahamas last weekend, I am still in recovery mode. We had the most incredible time soaking up the sun, drinking rum out of coconuts, and dancing/karaoke-ing the night away. It was better than I could have hoped for, but unfortunately on the flight home I was slapped with the worst flu I've had in a long time. So this past week has been spent drinking ginger lemon tea, sleeping a lot, and binge watching Netflix. I hate when you're sick and your taste buds are all messed up! I've been dreaming of all the yummy food I've wanted to make but I just haven't felt it this week. But I did want to share this incredible Paella we made a couple weeks ago that I am still dreaming of. This is the first time we've ever made Paella and I can't believe we haven't been cooking it the whole time! SO GOOD, SO GOOD. 

It's actually a lot  simpler than I thought it would be! Make sure you let your rice sit though and get a caramelized crust on the bottom. Those little brown bits makes the dish even better! 

Paella (4 of 1).jpg
Paella (2 of 1).jpg

Paella

Ingredients
-2 tbsp olive oil
-2 chorizo sausages, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 large onion chopped
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 4 chicken thighs boneless and skinless, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 4 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 tbsp hot sauce such as Tabasco or Sriracha
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp saffron
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb large shrimp
- 1 lb mussels scrubbed and soaked
- lobster tails (optional) I know these can be pricey!
- fresh parsley for garnish
- 1 lemon cut into lemon wedges

What to do 

  1. In a large paella pan or skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat and add sausage to the pan. 
  2. While the sausage is cooking, add in the onion, sprinkle with salt and let cook for 2-3 minutes until they start to soften. Then add in your garlic and cook for another minute before tossing in your chicken pieces.  
  3. Once the chicken has starting browning, stir in your tomato paste and let that cook down for another 2-3 minutes. 

  4. Add the arborio rice to the pan and stir well. Add the broth, hot sauce, smoked paprika, saffron and season with salt and pepper. Stir everything together and then just let the mixture sit and cook for 10-15 minutes without stirring. You want to create a caramelized crust on the bottom of the rice. Be careful not to burn it! Gently take a spoon every so often and push a small portion of rice to the side to check the bottom. The rice should absorb most of the liquid at this point but not all of it. 

  5. Turn down the heat just a little and arrange the shrimp, mussels and lobster tails over the rice, cover with a lid again and cook for another 10 minutes or until the mussels open up. Keep an eye on the lobster tails to make sure they don't overcook. You could also cook the lobster in the oven separately with garlic butter which is what we did!

  6. Turn off the heat and garnish with parsley and lemon wedges.

Mediterranean Falafel Pizza

We are back on American soil folks! After our final snowy morning in Norway on Wednesday, sipping coffee around the fire and having open-faced breakfast sandwiches around the table with family, Thomas and I packed our bags to head back to Portland. We didn't arrive in PDX until Thursday night, so we are finally happy to be home to say the least. BUTTT guess what I am doing on Wednesday? Heading back to Orlando to get on a cruise to the Bahamas for my Bachelorette party!! Seriously, so much happening right now that my brain is having a hard time processing it! I'm a little overwhelmed, but extremely excited nonetheless. I better funnel green juice and eat nothing but super foods for the next week because I see a lot of strong drinks with pink umbrellas in my future. 

So with the crazy week/month that we've had, I am SO DOWN for easy meals that we don't have to think to much about that are healthy and light. If your holidays were anything like ours, I think you are all totally onboard with this. Enter mediterranean falafel pizza! Has anything sounded so magnificent post holiday madness? This is such an easy recipe, and to make it even more simple you can just use store-bought hummus! I highly recommend making homemade hummus (I love Molly Yeh's recipe), but sometimes I get that 'ain't nobody got time for that'. 

Falafel Pizza (1 of 1).jpg

Mediterranean Falafel Pizza 

Ingredients:
For the Falafel Crust:
- 1/2 white onion
- 1 cup lightly packed cilantro
- 1 cup lightly packed parsley
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons of flaxseed + 2 tablespoons of water
- 1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour

Toppings: 
- homemade or store-bought hummus. I like a basic lemon-y version for this pizza. 
-Sundried tomato salad (one of my faves that we make almost weekly)
- Cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
- thinly sliced red onion
- feta cheese
- kalamata olives
- chopped parsley

What to do

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a baking stone and set aside.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flaxseeds and water. Set aside to thicken.

  3. Add the onion, cilantro, parsley, and garlic into a food processor. Process until finely chopped. Add in the remaining ingredients, including the flax mixture, and process until the batter comes together and is incorporated.

  4. Scoop half of the batter onto one end of the baking dish or pizza stone. Shape it into a circle and smooth out the top so that it is an even 1/4 inch thick. Repeat with the remaining batter on the other side of the baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes.

  5. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. To finish, spread on a layer of hummus, then top with tomatoes, onions, olives, feta and parsley. 

Enjoy!

Wine Braised Beef + Parsnip Purée

Happy Saturday! 

What is everyone up to this weekend? December weekends are simply magical aren't they?! Don't you love waking up in the morning and turning the Christmas tree on, sipping on hot coffee when you can tell that it's blistering cold outside. Tonight we're having a little date night and going to The Grotto for the festival of lights and listen to Christmas chorals. Apparently it's the largest Christmas choral festival in the world! I'm also going to pick out my veil and accessories for the wedding today at BHLDN. So excited! 

To continue date night once we're home from the festival,  we're going to dive into this wine braised beef and parsnip purée with a big glass of red. Thomas and I live for comfort food on the weekends and this is the ultimate winter meal that is seriously my go-to around Christmas time. You braise the beef low and slow for several hours until the meat is melt-in-your-mouth tender. Parnsip purée is so good I could seriously eat in place of mash potatoes almost every time - which is big for me to say since I love potatoes so much. Boiled in milk and then blended until they are silky smooth, I promise you that these parsnips are the best possible cushion to all of the braised beef goodness piled on-top. 

Wine Braised Beef and Parsnip Purée (3 of 1).jpg
Wine Braised Beef and Parsnip Purée (4 of 1).jpg
Wine Braised Beef and Parsnip Purée (5 of 1).jpg

Wine Braised Beef + Parsnip Purée 


Ingredients

For the Beef
- 5 lbs chuck roast
- 1 medium sized onion, finely diced
- 3 large carrots, peeled and finely diced
- 3 celery stalks, finely diced
- 5 garlic cloves, minced, 
- 1/2 a bottle of red wine
- 3 cups of beef broth (or enough to cover the beef in the pot) 
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb crimini or white mushrooms (sliced) 
- Flat leaf parsley for garnish

For the parsnips
- 3 large large parsnips, diced
- Half and half or heavy cream (enough to cover the parsnips in the pot)
- salt to taste

What to do

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Pat dry meat and generously salt and pepper all sides. In a large brainer or dutch oven heat oil until hot. Brown all sides of the meat. About 2 minutes per side. Set meat aside.
  3. Reduce heat to medium low and add onions, carrots, and celery. Saute until just tender. Add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.  place the meat back in the pot and slowly pour in wine and beef stock. The meat should sit just above liquid line. For a good braise, you don't want it fully immersed in the liquid. Bring the dish to boil. Cover and place in preheated oven. Cook for 2 ½ -3 hours. Meat should gently fall apart with a fork when done.
  4. Once the meat is almost done, bring your parsnips covered in 1/2 and 1/2 or cream to boil. Boil for about 10 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from heat and purée in a blender until silky smooth. 
  5. For the mushrooms: Heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, placed your sliced or quartered mushrooms in the pan and sauté until browned. Sprinkle with salt and pepper as they are finishing cooking. 
  6. Serve the beef  in shallow bowls on a bed of the parsnip purée and topped with mushrooms and parsley. 

Egg-in-a-hole Breakfast Skillet

How is everyone's pre-thanksgiving weekend?! Prepping the meal for the big day? Or maybe you're just prepping your tummies and not doing any cooking at all. Whatever floats your boat! I'm currently writing  from the Atlanta airport after my work training, getting ready to board to head back to Portland. We are literally turning right back around and heading back to Georgia on Tuesday to spend a few days at the cabin for Thanksgiving with the fam. 

I feel like from the moment we get to the cabin for Thanksgiving it's non-stop eating. You would think that we would eat lightly before the big meal on Thursday but nope -  not the case. It's literally fried chicken, fried fish, or fried venison the night before (something is bound to be fried), always fresh baked cookies coming out of the oven, and big breakfasts every morning!

I am definitely making these adorable breakfast skillets this year for the fam! They are SO darn good. It reminds me of my moms biscuits and sausage gravy, but these are just jazzed up a little with puff pastry and a sunny side up egg! The creamy, sausage-y richness from the gravy, combined with flaky pastry and a runny egg yolk is something out of breakfast heaven. I had only one little cute cast iron skillet, but if you have enough you can make everyone individual ones, or you could do one big skillet or casserole dish. This time of year is the absolute best to sit around with your family, sharing good food and make memories together.

I would love to hear what traditions you have every year with your family at Thanksgiving! :)

Egg-in-a-hole Breakfast Skillet -1.jpg
Egg-in-a-hole Breakfast Skillet -5.jpg
Egg-in-a-hole Breakfast Skillet -7.jpg
Egg-in-a-hole Breakfast Skillet -8.jpg

Egg-in-a-hole Breakfast Skillet 

Ingredients: 
- 16 ounces hot Italian breakfast sausage (choose mild if you don't want spice)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 red potatoes, chopped
- 1 small onion, diced
- 4 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced thyme, plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced chives
- 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk (add more depending on consistency)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 8 medium eggs 

Note: This is to feed 8, so if you only want to feed 4 cut the recipe and half and only cut holes out of 1 puff pastry sheet. 

What to do

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F.
  2.  Sausage gravy filling: Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and brown/crumble sausage, about 4 minutes. Transfer sausage to a mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. Drain grease from skillet, add butter and melt over medium heat.
  4. Add potatoes and onion and sauté for 6 to 8 minutes or until potatoes turn tender and onions lightly soften and caramelize. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add garlic and continue to sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in herbs. Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir together for about 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly stir milk into the mixture and continue to stir until gravy is smooth and mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Add more milk in this process if it's too thick. Fold sausage back into the gravy mixture and adjust seasonings. Set aside and keep warm.
  6. Puff pastry topping: Cut thawed puff pastry sheet down the middle, both vertically and horizontally, so you have 4 even rectangles on each sheet. Using a 2 1/2 inch circle cutter, cut a circle out of each piece of puff pastry. Place each rectangle, plus cut circle onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes.
  7. To assemble: Divide the filling mixture amongst skillets/ or big skillet. Remove pre-baked puff pastry rectangles from the baking sheet and set each one over a gravy filled skillet and gently press. Crack an egg into the cut out circle of each pastry rectangle and place skillets onto the baking sheet (circles of puff pastry should still be on the tray).
  8.  Place baking sheet back into the oven and reduce temperature to 375˚F.
  9.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden brown and the egg whites have set, with the yolks still runny. Lightly season with salt and pepper, top with minced thyme and serve. 

Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Balsamic Sage Brown Butter

It is chilllly in Portland folks. It's dropped down in the 40's, all the leaves are starting to fall, and Starbucks already has their Christmas cups out. WHAT IS THIS CRAZINESS?! Wasn't it just summer? Regardless, I am so excited for the fact that Thanksgiving is in a little over two weeks and Christmas is right around the corner! I am forbidding myself to not start listening to Christmas songs until after Thanksgiving though. I had the itch to turn on holiday jams today but I restrained myself. Two whole months of listening to Mariah Carey is just a tad much. 

With the cold weather brings lots of staying inside and cooking up yummy things which makes my heart happy. I have loved seeing all of the beautiful Thanksgiving recipes start to come out from other bloggers! Thomas and I are having a mini Thanksgiving for ourselves this weekend, so I'm excited to share what we come-up with for you! 

But now can we talk about these little pillows of sweet-potato gnocchi heaven? MIND BLOWN. The last time I had good gnocchi was in West Hollywood with my friend Paige at Laurel Hardware. They were so freaking soft and pillowy I thought it would never be possible to make gnocchi as good at home. Well my friends, I was wrong. This recipe is simple, delicious, and is the perfect Fall/Winter pasta dish. They are tossed in a balsamic brown butter and topped with crispy sage and grated parmesan- I mean seriously. Permission to do a swan dive into that please? 


Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Balsamic Sage Brown Butter
recipe adapted from Salt & Wind


Ingredients
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (yams) halved lengthwise
- 1/2 pound Russet potatoes halved lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper as needed
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus more for garnsish
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups all purpose or white whole wheat flour
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 12 to 15  fresh sage leaves
- 2 medium shallots, quartered and thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

What to do

  1. For the gnocchi: Heat an oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Drizzle potatoes with olive oil, season with a few good pinches of salt and a few cranks of pepper, place on a baking sheet cut-side down, and roast until fork tender, about 30 minutes.
  2. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Scoop flesh out of skins then mash with back of a fork) and stir in cheese, egg, honey, and the 2 teaspoons of salt. Mix in flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, until soft dough forms. Taste and add additional salt, as needed. You've added enough flour when you touch the back of the dough and it is damp but not sticking to your hand.
  3. Turn dough out onto floured surface and shape into a square. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces. Rolling between palms and floured work surface, form each piece into a rope (about 1/2 inch in diameter), sprinkling with flour as needed if sticky. (However, don't add too much additional flour, as too much will make for heavy gnocchi.) Cut each rope into 1/2 -inch pieces. Stop here or, as desired, using your thumb, roll each piece down over the tines of a fork to indent.
  4. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a slow boil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, simmer gnocchi until they float then cook and additional 30 (if fresh) to 60 seconds (if frozen). Using a slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to a clean rimmed baking sheet. Reserve 2/3 cups of pasta cooking water and drain the rest.
  5. For the sauce: Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once it foams, add sage and cook until crisp and fragrant. Remove sage to a plate and return frying pan to stove. Add shallot and, watching it carefully and stirring often, allow the solids to begin to brown and the butter to become fragrant and nutty. Scrape along the bottom to prevent the solids from sticking and burning.
  6. When the butter is brown, immediately remove from heat, and carefully stir in the vinegar (otherwise it may sting your eyes). Stir in pasta and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water, return to heat, and cook until just coated in the sauce. Add freshly ground black pepper, taste for seasoning and finish with additional pasta water, salt, black pepper, the crisp sage, and freshly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Sweet Potato Gnocci -2.jpg

Our Go-to Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie + Homemade Magic Shell!

Helloooo! We meet again! How was everyone's weekend? Mine was uneventful/eventful if that's a thing? My weekend consisted of:

- Thomas and I sleeping in every morning past 9:30 which was heaven on earth after what seemed like the longest week ever. 
- We watched too many Friends episodes then I would like to admit and we watched Blood Diamond (have you seen it?! SO GOOD), SPLIT (which was weird but fascinating), and I may or may not have made him watch the first Sex in the City movie for like 10 minutes until I turned it off because I knew how mean/torturous I was being. 
- Besides countless hours on the couch doing nothing, I was also productive somewhere in there! I made homemade sweet potato gnocchi for the first time for you guys that's coming to the blog this week as well as a insanely good egg-in-a-hole breakfast skillet that fulfills all of your carbacious desires. 

Now it's back to Monday and I wanted to share our go-to smoothie recipe with you. I'm not kidding when I say that IT'S SO GOOD. I honestly feel like it's a treat every time I drink it AND it has all-natural healthy ingredients. We drink this in the morning heading to work, as an after-workout snack, or an after dinner dessert by adding chocolate and making it more of a ice-cream consistency.

One miracle I discovered this weekend is HOMEMADE MAGIC SHELL!!! All of my childhood dreams have come true! Did anyone else use to squeeze magic shell in their mouth when your parents weren't looking? No - Just me? Well I have found a slightly healthy version to jazz up your smoothies, frozen yogurt, or ice-cream at home. Scroll down to get the magic!

Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie-2.jpg
Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie-6.jpg
Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie-3.jpg
Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie-7.jpg

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Ingredients:
- 1 frozen banana ( I freeze all of my bananas as soon as they get too brown to eat)
- 1 heaping tablespoon of peanut butter (we use this no-stir crunchy peanut butter)
- 1/2 cup of almond milk (add more or less depending on the consistency you're going for) 
- 1 teaspoon of chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon flax seeds
- Toppings: Sliced banana, cocoa nibs, homemade magic shell
 

What to do

  1. Blend all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth! 
    Note: If you want an ice-cream consistency for dessert, we freeze almond milk in ice-cube trays. 

Homemade Magic Shell

For 1/2 cup of chocolate shell, you'll need: 
- 1 cup good quality chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 heaping tablespoons of coconut oil

What to do

  1. Add the chocolate to a microwave-safe bowl or container along with the coconut oil.

  2. Microwave, in 30 second intervals, until completely melted.

  3. Pour it over ice cream and watch the magic happen (allow 30 seconds before you try to crack it.

Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie-9.jpg

Caramelized Beef Ramen with Roasted Miso Squash

How was your Halloween?!

I hope you got into as much face-painted, monster-mashing, candy corn-eating, jello-shooting debauchery as we did. 

Our Halloween festivities started on Saturday night with a get-together at a friend's house where we drank jello shots out of huge syringes, boogied down with Napoleon dynamite and a slutty nun, ate my annual spinach "throw-up" dip out coming out of a pumpkin's mouth, and clowned around until the wee hours...solid party as you can tell. 

IMG_1135.JPG

On Sunday when all we were craving was comfort food, we cooked up a huge batch of this homemade ramen complete with melt-in-your-mouth caramelized beef and miso/curry crusted, acorn squash roasted to perfection. I mean Come-onnnn. Could there be a more perfect Sunday meal? I don't think so. 

I seriously dream of one day meandering my way through ramen shops in Japan and slurping my way through the country - but until then making it at home can be just as delicious and satisfying.  This is definitely not a weeknight meal - You want the meat to cook long and slow, so you don't want to rush it! However leftovers for the rest of the week? I'm down with that! 

Last night, for actual Halloween, we heated up bowls of this leftover ramen, popped open a bottle of wine, and watched Young Frankenstein. It was the most perfect mellow Halloween night. You really know you're an adult when a bowl of ramen is more delicious then a bowl of Halloween candy 😜

Caramelized Beef Ramen -3.jpg

Caramelized Beef Ramen with Roasted Miso Squash
 

Ingredients
SOUP
- 2-3 pound beef chuck roast
- 6 cups beef broth, plus more if needed (we use Better Than Bouillon) 
- 1/2 cup + 2-4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce <--Use low sodium
- 1/4 cup + 2-4 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons red curry paste
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce optional
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon sambal oelek chili paste, or to taste
- The juice of 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon Chinese five spice (you can buy this or make your own at home!)
- Black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 cups wild mushrooms left whole/sliced depending on size - or any other mushroom sliced
- 4 packs Ramen noodles seasoning packets discarded
- 4 soft boiled or fried eggs for serving
- sliced jalapenos, cilantro + green onions, for serving

MISO/CURRY ROASTED ACORN SQUASH
- 1 medium squash seeded + diced, acorn, butternut, or kuri squash are our faves
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon miso paste
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Pepper to taste

What to do

  1. Add the beef to a crockpot. Pour the beef broth, 1/2 cup soy sauce (adjust depending on your taste), 1/4 cup rice vinegar and fish sauce over the beef. Add the red curry paste, ginger, sambal oelek, juice of 1 lime, Chinese five spice powder, black pepper and 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Cover the crockpot and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours (I recommend going low and slow).
  2. About 40 minutes before you are ready to eat, roast the squash. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  3. In a small bowl mix together the melted coconut oil, curry powder, cayenne powder, miso, brown sugar and a good pinch of pepper. Add the cubed squash to a baking sheet and pour the curry/miso mixture over the squash. Toss well. Bake for 30 minutes or so, tossing a couple of times during cooking. You want the squash to be lightly browned and crisp.

  4. Meanwhile, remove the beef from the crockpot and add the mushrooms. Cover the crockpot and crank the heat up to high. Lightly shred the beef with two forks or your hands.

  5. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sesame oil. Once hot, add enough beef to cover the surface of your skillet, do not over crowd. Sprinkle a little brown sugar over the beef, add 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, toss. Allow the beef to caramelize, about 2 minutes. Stir and continue caramelizing, about 3-5 minutes total. Remove the beef from the skillet, repeat with the remaining beef. 

  6. Add the Ramen noodles to the crockpot and allow them to cook 5 minutes. Once the noodles are cooked, stir in only half of the beef. Ladle the soup into bowls. Top with extra caramelized beef, miso roasted squash and an egg. Season the egg with salt and pepper, Add the jalapeños, green onions and cilantro if desired. 

Happy slurping!