Like many people, I have recently acquired a sourdough starter while in quarantine. I promise it’s not as intimidating as it sounds. If you haven’t started one, Zero Waste Chef has all of the resources for you.
This is an easy way to use up the discard, with a little additional “lift” from commercial yeast. The result is a flavorful, not-too-sour crust that has all of the characteristics of your favorite restaurant deep dish: the shatteringly crisp, nearly fried bottom and caramelized cheese edges with an abundance of air bubbles throughout.
Let’s get to it!
Let me preface this post by admitting this: I am not from the southern United States. According to my Ancestry DNA, I am less than 7 percent Italian. But hey, I have this piece of paper (from a UC-accredited culinary school) hanging up on the wall of my bedroom that says that I am a pretty decent cook. I crave cheesy polenta grits, but sometimes I just don’t have the energy to stand in front of my stove constantly stirring.
I am obsessed with ice cream. Lately I have been really into making my own home made concoctions, because I can get my ice cream fix using quality ingredients…for a fraction of the price.
This recipe is a bit of a sorbet/ice cream hybrid, as it uses almond milk for a bit of creaminess…but it has all the intense, deep flavor of a sorbet. Bonus: it’s lactose-free!
This week something very rare happened: we ran out of sandwich bread. I know, I know, this sounds unbelievable coming from a bread-a-holic. I’ve been busy working on my latest A&E story for the Weekly, and I needed a fairly easy homemade white bread recipe that not only tasted better than store-bought bread, but could be made with my KitchenAid stand mixer with very little hands-on time. I adapted this recipe from Fun Cheap or Free:
French macarons are delightfully crispy-yet-chewy almond meringue sandwich cookies, not to be confused with coconut macaroons. Anyone who is fond of macarons knows that these little delectable cookies can cost up to $5 per cookie. WHY?! Because they can. And they’re adorable.
It has taken me THREE YEARS to fine-tune the process of making my own. I am now boldly calling my vanilla French macaron recipe foolproof, because every single cookie in this batch was perfect. I’ve decided to share this batch with one of my very best friends when we get together today to swap gifts. Read on for the recipe!
P.S. They’re gluten free!
Have you ever read a brownie recipe and rolled your eyes upon reading, “Wait one hour before cutting?”
I’m sorry, but when I crave brownies, I want them now. (Cue Veruca Salt voice.)
Generally speaking, muffins cool much faster than brownies, so I decided to make three-bite brownies baked in muffin cups. More specifically, I baked them using a six-cup muffin tin and silicone baking cups.
This is called using whatever you’ve got.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, it’s pretty common to subscribe to some kind of produce delivery service. For us, it’s Imperfect Produce and Farmstead.
Although these delivery services make healthy eating a lot easier, occasionally we wind up with a bit of surplus near the end of the month.
Even if you don’t use one of these delivery services, you’ve got to admit that this is the season when vegetables shine. Corn, green beans and tomatoes are at their peak in the summer. It’s hard not to overdo it and buy too much when the prices on produce are so low.
In my freezer, I had about a cup of veggies on the verge of freezer burn, and a blob of tomato paste leftover from making pasta sauce so I threw those into this dish as well. Why not clean out the fridge and the freezer?
Other great substitutes or add-ins could be celery, cooked beans, sweet potatoes, or again, whatever you have!
Soup isn’t typically the first thing people crave in summer, but just trust me. This recipe walks the line of being light enough for summer and hearty enough to satisfy. It would pair awesomely with a salad, pasta dish or sandwich. Although my version is vegetarian, it could easily be vegan if you skip the sour cream garnish.
Let’s just be honest — this is the easiest (and most cost effective) way to make sure none of that summer veg goes to waste. Extra points if you save the root ends of your carrot, leek, garlic cloves and shallot in the freezer to make a homemade stock later!