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This recipe combines two recent fascinations of mine: flavored mayo and black radishes. You heard it right, black. These winter radishes are by far the most interesting vegetable I've come across in a while. Put one in your mouth, and you think it an ordinary radish. Until...it starts to turn spicy on you! A horseradish-y flavor kicks in at the end and it's such a fantastical surprise. If you life in a climate like the northeast, pick them up at your local farmer's market. In Philly, I got mine from one of my favorite farmers, Tom Culton, of Tom Culton Biologique. I've deemed him the "Willy Wonka" of vegetable farmers for the amazing creations he brings to market such as these guys.
What's more, I bet you never knew that radishes were great detoxifiers and cleansers! They're especially great at breaking up phlegm in the body. I've had a bit of a cold, and there's nothing like some radishes to help loosen things. In Chinese medine they're also used to promote digestion for this very reason. Another bonus, radishes are rich in water, so they're great at filling you up in a low cal way.
By way of the mayo, I've been experimenting with fun flavors over the past year. Have you ever had a sandwich with chipotle mayo, or perhaps garlic? Amazing, right? This guy is a basil mayo, mmmm. Of course, there's a little guilt here, but the good news is that it has so much flavor that a little bit goes a long way. I've been messing around with some healthier, vegan options. So stay tuned until I get that guy perfected. Until then....
Basil Mayo Ingredients (Makes a mason jar-full to have on hand)
3/4 Cup lightly chopped basil
3 Medium garlic cloves, lightly roasted
1 Cup mayo
1 Tsp vinegar
1 1/2 Tsp salt
1/2 Tsp pepper
2 Tbsp pesto
1. Place garlic and basil in a food processor and chop until fine
2. Add all other ingredients and mix until well blended
Potato Salad Ingredients:
1 Cups chopped fingerling potatoes
1 Black radish, quartered and sliced
3 Tbsp basil mayo
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
2 Celery stalks, chopped small
1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. Spread potatoes out on a greased foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until tender.
3. Mix potatoes, radish, celery, basil mayo, and white vinegar in a large bowl
4. Chill in the refrigerator over night and eat
Yesterday my dad and I went up to one of my favorite spots, Heiberg Forest. We hiked around with the dogs and took in the beautiful day. A love of nature is one thing we both have in common, and it's become something of a tradition for us to go on this walk. He always points out and names the trees, and then we check out the hut where they produce the maple syrup, and end up at the vista lookout point. Running around with the dogs and elated from the scenery, I felt like a kid again. Free as a bird.
It's hard to believe that it's been a whole year since I was last home for my favorite holiday. So much and so little has happened all at once.
It's been the year of growth - learning to stand on my own, gaining financial control, and finding perspective. I'm thankful for the downs just as much as I'm thankful for the ups. I'm glad that life isn't always as easy peasy as you think it should be. That the road isn't always straight, and that sometimes you have to struggle to find answers. I don't regret the slumps in friendship that forced me to confront my faults, or the mistakes that taught me what better to do the second time around. I've been able to take these happenings and turn them into understanding.Without it all, I wouldn't learn, I wouldn't grow.
After all, the downs create the ups. If they never happened, I might not realize how lucky I am to be completely in love. How lucky I am to have friends and family that I adore, a roof over my head, and fresh food on my plate. I can truly look back and say that up until now, my life has been nothing but full.
There is no better schooling than life, and for that I am thankful. Here's to another year.
I'm already asleep when he gets off. He climbs into my bed. The smell of burnt tobacco and whiskey from a long night. Half awake, I drink it in. The alluring mask of who he wants to be, is. A romantic vision of a rowdy man, but with too much heart to ever really pull it off. It's an illusion that I've fallen in love with, and in that I don't mean that my love is fake in any way. That love is real. I love that he's a beautiful illusion, the way he reeks of trouble, but never actually brings it. Like his bearded kisses, he's both bristly and tender. The perfect mix of a man.
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Tuesday night was Free People's Winter Tale event! I've been working on the event for over a month now, and it was great to see it all come to life. We had hard cider with Snap from Art in the Age, vegan treats, a curated shop of picks from Refinery29, and live music by Alexandra Stewart. Planning and putting on these events is a passion of mine. I love the knitty gritty of setting up, the creativity of planning, and the fun of meeting all new (and some old) people. It was a magical night. I hope that everyone who came out thought so too.
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A recent farmer's market trip resulted in two winter squash, a bunch of kale, 4 shallots, a tub of fresh ricotta, and 10 million ideas as to what I could do with them. I hadn't made a quiche in a while, and settled on a trying a fall version with fillo dough and almond milk to make it healthier. It's such a beautiful, rustic, and down-home dish that I thought a skillet would be the perfect touch.
4 Shallots (sliced)
1/2 Large Sweet Onion (sliced)
6 Stems of Kale (chopeed)
2 Winter Squash
1/2 Tsp Mustard Powder
2 Pinches of Dried Thyme
1 1/4 Cup Almond Milk - Unsweetened
1 1/2 Cup Fresh Ricotta
10 Fillo Dough Sheets
Salt & Pepper
Cast Iron Skillet
1. Preheat oven to 350 F and thaw fillo dough sheets.
2. Peel and cube winter squash. Spread out cubes on a cooking sheet. Season with minimal olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme.
3. Saute onion and shallots until they being to appear see through. Add chopped kale with a dash of water to steam.
4. Line cast iron skillet with fillo dough sheets, basting with olive oil and alternating direction every two layers.
5. Beat together egg, almond milk, ricotta, mustard, salt, and pepper with a mixer.
6. First layer kale mixture into you pan, then squash, and then pour egg mixture over the top.
7. Stick you pan in the oven and bake for about an hour or until top turns crispy brown.
It's been an interesting week. I've been feeling very introspective. Trapped up a lot in my own head, sitting with fears and joys like common companions. It's both good and bad, but I can't really help but be any other way right now. Sometimes you just need to step back into yourself to asses situations and develop a vision. But at the same time, for someone who's usually such an extrovert, it does feel a bit isolating. I am very thankful for the people that do make it easy to hop out of that introverted world every once in awhile. The people that you can completely forget yourself around and spill all those milling thoughts out on. Letting it out, saying what you're scared of, confessing your dreams, and sharing what excites you with another person, is really sometimes the best solution.