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Recipe Hoarder

I am a collector of recipes — cookbooks, Pinterest pins, newsletters, handwritten recipes from friends and family — but I’m starting to feel my “collector” status slip into the realm of hoarding because I tend to forget to actually make the meals I get so excited to gather, read, and organize.

So I’m challenging myself to a 30-day Recipe Challenge. I’m not going to go full on Julie & Julia on you, my readers, but I want to use this blog as accountability for doing what I say I’m going to do!

Over the next 30 days (because that seems like a reasonable amount of time, and leaves days for going out and preparing some old favorites), I will prepare at least one meal from:

That’s 13 recipes in 30 days. Totally doable. 

In fact, I’ve already begun.

RECIPE #1

Last night I made Heidi Swanson’s Kale Salad with Toasted Coconut & Sesame Oil from her book, Super Natural Every Day. This cookbook was a wedding gift from a great friend of mine who has great taste. I’ve made a few recipes from the book, and all of them have been easy to make and delicious. The kale salad was no different — simple, healthy, and tasty. The sesame oil and coconut added some richness to offset the bitterness of the kale. The sauce also has soy sauce, which made it delightfully — but not overly — salty. I served the kale-coconut mixture (which was baked in the oven) over brown rice instead of farro (that’s what I had on hand), and it was perfect.

 Stay tuned for the next 12 recipes this month!

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Village Jazz & Kinky Boots

I was recently able to experience a couple of events that epitomize New York entertainment. 

At the beginning of the month, Sean and I went to see the Le Boeuf Brothers, an incredible jazz quintet, at 55 Bar in Greenwich Village. I absolutely adore live jazz performances (especially when I know the band!). Watching a musician improvise is witnessing an artist create spontaneous (but intelligently founded) art…which is amazing! I’m looking forward to seeing more shows at all the cool jazz venues in New York.

Later that week, I got to see the Broadway show, Kinky Boots, with one of my best friends, her mom, and her sister-in-law. We had a delicious pizza dinner beforehand — and a cocktail each too — before heading to the show…where we got a rather large serving of red wine in some adorable souvenir cups…with straws included! The show is based on a true story, and the music was written by Cyndi Lauper. The music is very Lauper — super fun, upbeat, and worthy of some very talented drag queens! And everything else one might expect from a Broadway show was fabulous as well — the vocal ability, the dancing, and the set design. Overall, it was a super fun evening with wonderful company!

 A few more on the NYC bucket list: something at Madison Square Garden and the Opera. Anything else I should add?

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And Finally…The Miso Brassica Recipe

A couple months ago, before our whirlwind move to Manhattan, I was attempting to copy a recipe for Miso Brassica, a delicious appetizer on the menu at Heirloom, a trendy vegetarian restaurant in Vancouver’s South Granville neighbo[u]rhood.

While Anthony Bourdain is a self-proclaimed hater of vegetarians, he does know what he’s talking about when it comes to making food super flavorful. His answer, and what I have found to be the answer is this: butter; lots and lots of butter.

I recently came down with a cold after months of getting away with eating dairy (which I gave up completely for seven years) and more sugar than I would usually feel comfortable eating. I was just playing with fire. I know that sugar and dairy interfere with my immune system, but I was enjoying myself. This recipe will therefore be reserved for those days when I repeat my favorite Julia Child quote,

“Everything in moderation…including moderation.” 

So, here’s the recipe.

Ingredients:
– 12-16 oz. Brussels sprouts, cut in half (or quartered if they’re huge)
– equal amount of broccoli, cut into individual florets
– 1 big bunch of kale, cut into bite-size leaves
– 2 sticks of butter, cut into cubes
– 2T of water
– 3T of miso paste
– 2T olive oil
– salt to taste

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Then, the Beurre Monté: In a heavy-bottomed Dutch or French oven, bring the water to a boil. Bring the heat down to low, and then whisk the butter into the hot water, a few cubes at a time, until it’s been emulsified.

2. When you’ve got a nice, smooth sauce, slowly incorporate the miso paste until there are no lumps.

3. Stir in all the raw veggies until they are coated with the sauce. Leave the heat on low, and cover. Let the veggies get tender, stirring occasionally; this will take around 20 minutes. Add olive oil if the veggies are sticking to the bottom.

4. When the veggies are a little softer than al dente, drizzle on the remaining olive oil, stir to incorporate, and then stick the whole pot into the oven, uncovered, until the veggies get brown and a little crispy on the outside (but soft in the middle). This will take another 10-15 minutes.

Serve hot and add a little salt if needed (definitely taste first — miso can be quite salty).

Please let me know if you try this out. I would love to continue to perfect the recipe!

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