Category Archives: recipes

summer margarita trio

June 10, 2014

summer margarita trio // forage + fodder

summer is officially here in texas and there’s no better way to sit poolside than with a fresh margarita on the rocks. i wanted to try some unique flavor combinations, so naturally i teamed up with my favorite cocktail pal julie, of olive + rye, a simple and beautiful lifestyle blog, to create a summer margarita trio for y’all featuring three simple but delicious margarita recipes.

summer margarita trio // forage + fodder

the key to a fantastic margarita (or any cocktail for that matter) is fresh ingredients. why waste your time with limeades and mixes when you can have the real thing? trust me, it makes all the difference when you take that first sip. since you’ll be using fresh fruit, there will be a lot of pulp, so you’ll want to use a hawthorne strainer for all three of these recipes.

summer margarita trio // forage + fodder

summer margarita trio // forage + fodder

another equally important tip is to use decent booze. it doesn’t necessarily have to be top shelf, but you’ll taste the quality with these recipes because there’s no artificial nonsense to mask it. you get me?

summer margarita trio

summer margarita trio // forage + fodder

we’ve assembled a top notch variety of margaritas that are sure to please every palate. for those of you who like their summer sips with a kick, this grilled pineapple jalapeño marg will rock your world. it makes for a surprisingly complex flavor with the smokiness of the grilled pineapple paired with the of sweetness of licor 43, and that final zing of jalapeño. it’s an experience to say the least.

grilled pineapple jalepeno margarita // forage + fodder

grilled pineapple jalepeno margarita // forage + fodder

 grilled pineapple + jalapeño margarita

2 rings grilled pineapple
2 oz reposada tequila
1/2 oz licor 43
juice of 1 lime
2-3 jalapeño slices, seeded if you want less kick

grill your pineapple rings on a bbq until they begin to caramelize. you want them to have a bit of char, but still be juicy.   once cooled, remove the core from the rings and place them in your shaker and muddle until as much juice from the pineapple is drawn out as possible. from there, add the tequila, licor 43, lime juice, and jalapeño slices to your shaker.

fill your shaker with ice and shake vigorously until the shaker begins to condensate. strain the mixture into a glass filled with ice and add a slice of grilled pineapple and jalapeño for garnish.

note: if you don’t like spicy, then skip the jalapeños in the shaker, and just add a seeded ring to your drink at the end. you’ll still get some good heat from it.

cucumber basil margarita // forage + fodder

this cucumber basil margarita is truly refreshing in every way. like all good margaritas, it’s not too sweet and not too boozy. the basil really ties it all together nicely, and this drink is one that you could sip on for hours.

cucumber basil margarita // forage + fodder

cucumber basil margarita

8 cucumber slices
8 basil leaves
2 oz silver tequila
1/2 oz simple syrup
juice of 2 limes

place cucumber slices and basil leaves in a shaker and muddle until cucumbers are well juiced and basil is crushed. then add tequila, simple syrup, lime juice and top with ice. shake vigorously until the shaker begins to condensate. strain into an ice filled glass and garnish with a basil leaf and/or cucumber.

blueberry margarita // forage + fodder

blueberry margarita // forage + fodder

what i love most about this blueberry margarita is that it’s not too sweet. muddling the blueberries with brown sugar creates a dark, almost savory element to this margarita and the orange bitters are a nice alternative to the traditional triple sec.

blueberry margarita

1 small handful blueberries
1 bar spoonful brown sugar
1 1/2 oz silver tequila
juice of 1 lime
2 dashes orange bitters

place blueberries and brown sugar in a shaker and muddle until blueberries are well juiced and brown sugar has mostly dissolved. add tequila, lime juice, orange bitters and top with ice. shake mixture until the shaker begins to condensate and then strain into an ice filled glass. garnish with blueberries, and enjoy!

blueberry margarita // forage + fodder

grilled pineapple jalepeno margarita // forage + fodder

cucumber basil margarita // forage + fodder

summer margarita trio // forage + fodder

so there you have it folks, a summer margarita trio to match your tan lines. grab a sun hat, kick up your feet, try all three and let us know which is your favorite!

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camp cooking // roasted potato + leek soup

April 14, 2014

camp soup

the remodel is moving along well, but still no kitchen. so i decided to share a quick and easy camp cooking recipe with y’all. and let’s be honest, by camp cooking, i mean glamp cooking because there’s a vitamix involved. we sort of made this recipe up on the fly while at the grocery store in a hungry rage, but it turned out well.

camp soup prep

the ingredients are simple and few and this entire meal was cooked out on our back porch. (not pictured above but essential: bottle of wine + good music for simultaneous dancing/prepping)

leeks

leek prep

soaking leeks

fact: leeks are filthy. so rather than just rinse them off like you would any other veggie, i highly recommend slicing them into rings  (or better yet, cross-slicing them) and soaking them in a bowl of cold water. be sure to separate the layers as best you can, and rinse and refill the bowl a time or two, taking time to mix them up with your hands (here’s a more thorough explanation).

soup prep

grilled

salami

vitamix

camp soup

roasted potato + leek soup with crispy salami

½ large leek, chopped
½ sweet onion, chopped
2 russet potatoes, cubed
6 slices of genoa salami
large handful of fresh arugula, rinsed well
1/3 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt + pepper to taste

*if you have the luxury of a fridge, i’d add either a ¼ cup of heavy cream or garnish your finished soup with some fresh goat cheese. especially if you’re not a fan of arugula because it cuts that hint of bitterness.

rinse, slice and soak your leeks until all dirt has been removed and set aside in a bowl. while your leeks are soaking, you can go ahead and coarsely chop your potatoes and onion and arrange in a cast iron pan with the leeks. if you don’t have a cast iron pan, then i’d recommend a vegetable or fish rack, or even a heavy duty baking pan that you’re okay with putting on your grill. in my opinion cast iron is always preferable though.

drizzle in your olive oil and mix it all up with your hands so that everything is evenly coated. fire up your grill to at least medium flame and once it’s warm, set your cast iron pan right on there.

you can crisp up your salami slices right now by placing them directly on the grill or on a small piece of foil on the grill. we have a two tiered grill, so we put them directly on the top rack and the veggies on the bottom rack. once the salami are nice and crispy (which won’t take long at all) remove them from the grill and set aside.

at this point you can close the lid to your grill and simply check your veggies every five minutes or so. you’ll also want to use a grill-appropriate spatula to occasionally flip everything so it doesn’t burn. when veggies are almost done, sprinkle your fresh arugula on top and close the lid for just another minute or two to allow it to wilt. by this point your potatoes should be able to be pierced with a knife, so remove the pan and turn off your grill.

scoop the entire contents of the pan into your vitamix (or blender) and add the 1/3 cup of chicken broth. (if you’re adding heavy cream to the recipe, now would be the time for that as well).

blend until the soup becomes the consistency you like – for vitamix users, stop and taste often, because the machine is so powerful your soup could end up the consistency of baby food. we prefer a little texture so we don’t blend all the way to that point. if your soup is too thick then add more broth and blend again. at this point you can salt and pepper to taste, although with the chicken broth you probably just need some fresh pepper.

pour your soup into bowls and crunch and sprinkle that delicious crispy salami on top. if you have goat cheese, add a small dollop on top. this should make enough for two fairly hearty servings.

since we currently do not have a fridge, our goal was to make exactly enough for two hungry people with no leftovers. i’m happy to say that we sufficiently devoured this down to the last drop.

juice 101

March 5, 2014

juice ingredients

juicing. it’s fun, it’s fresh, and it’s easier than you think. now i don’t pretend to know which juicer is best, but i will say that i got mine for under $100 and i love it. before i was spending up to $4 a pop for fresh juices, so this machine has more than paid for itself. but before you start liquefying everything in sight, here are a few things you should know about juicing at home.

juice trio

juice trio

organic vs. not
now i get that we all can’t afford to shop organic all the time. but for juicing, it’s definitely worth it. my best advice is that produce you can’t or normally wouldn’t peel should be organic (ex: berries, leafy greens, & peppers). you can certainly peel apples, but then you miss out on the bulk of their nutritional value, so if you can, keep to the organic variety. either way, be sure to thoroughly wash your produce before using it.

fruits vs. veggies
real talk. if you’re juicing just fruit alone, you’re basically just ingesting a ton of sugar. is it better for you than the cranberry cocktail found at your grocery store? sure, but you miss out on the natural benefit of antioxidants and fiber when fruits aren’t eaten whole. pineapples and mangoes have an especially high sugar count, so use them sparingly. ultimately you should opt to use juice recipes that mainly consist of veggies and add a touch of fruit to sweeten if you need to. green juices are especially beneficial to start your day, especially when consumed on an empty stomach.

high yield
obviously some fruits and veggies hold a higher water content than others, so keep that in mind when mixing and matching produce items in your juice recipes. i’ve found that cucumbers, sweet potatoes, and celery yield a lot of juice. pineapple, shockingly does not, so i’d recommend using it sparingly or just eating it straight up. and you can always add coconut water to more concentrated, pulp-like juices.

greens
green juice recipes rock and can actually be delicious, even to the newbie juicer. spinach is a great leafy green that lends itself well to being sweetened. kale is still fairly neutral, and greens like collards and chard lean more towards a savory or bitter flavor. if you want to get the most juice from your greens, roll them into a ball before sending them through your juicer. and don’t forget about herbs! parsley and mint can be especially tasty.

your pantry
it’s always ideal to juice what’s in season, but there are a few items that i always have on hand. a lemon can add that extra little detoxifying kick in the morning and it also keeps your apple juice from browning. ginger will bring out more complex flavors in your juice and it’s excellent for your health. apples produce a fair amount of juice and are the perfect mild sweetener for those green juices.

juicing tips
most seeded fruits and vegetables can be juiced whole, however pits will need to be removed from stone fruits such as peaches or cherries. citrus fruits will need to be peeled beforehand as well. you can find more produce prepping tips here. also, it’s best to drink your juice immediately after making it – it’ll taste better and you’ll receive the most nutritional content.

handful

now to the recipes. i’ll be adding more adventurous juice recipes in the future, but for now here are a few combinations to ease you into juicing:

1 apple + 2 carrots + 1 beet (peeled) + 5 raspberries

1 apple + 1 orange + 1 beet (peeled) + 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger (peeled)

2 handfuls of spinach + 1 apple + 1 pear + 1/2 lemon (peeled) + 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger (peeled)

1 sweet potato + 3 carrots + + 1 beet (peeled) + 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger (peeled)

handful of spinach + handful of kale + 1 pear + 1 cucumber + 2 celery stalks + fresh mint

and for you brunchers out there, don’t forget our recipe for a mean bloody maria mix.

 *i am not a nutritionist. and as much as i love these juices, i am also a girl that likes to chew, so with the exception of breakfast, these recipes are by no means meant to be meal replacements – they are just awesome. juice wisely my friends.

cold snap cocktail

February 4, 2014

cold snap

we had a few requests for this cocktail recipe yesterday via instagram, so i figured i’d share it with y’all real quick. ask and you will receive my friends!

the weather here has been jumping back and forth like crazy for the last few weeks. within a three day period we will have freezing temperatures with sleet only to be followed up by sunshine and 75 degrees. it’s maddening. i can’t pack up my closet because i’m switching back and forth so damn much. this part of texas winters is really more a series of cold snaps than anything else, hence the name of this cocktail.

the cold snap

1 ½ oz spiced rum (like sailor jerry)
½ tsp honey
2 oz spiced apple cider
1 oz red wine*
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 slice green apple

stir or shake the spiced rum and honey in a shaker until the honey has dissolved completely. add in the cider, wine, cinnamon stick and star anise with a few ice cubes and shake vigorously. strain into your glass of choice and retrieve your cinnamon and star anise for added flavor then garnish with a thin slice of green apple, which will make a nice boozy snack once you’ve finished your drink.

*note: for your red wine, you don’t want anything too bold. for this one we used a local barbera, and finished the bottle on its own with dinner.

(makes 1 drink)

the southern belle

January 2, 2014

awhile back i stumbled upon the grilled cheese academy’s annual recipe showdown in one of my weekly email feeds. while most would promptly filter this into their spam folder, i forwarded it to my husband and with an abundance of exclamation points that required our participation. lucky for me, he was just as excited about inventing a grilled cheese sammie as i was. (one of the many reasons i adore him). so after a few days of brainstorming, planning, and ingredient tweaking we constructed the southern belle: a refined, yet savory take on a southern classic featuring a charming combination of rosemary bacon waffles, havarti, and buttermilk fried chicken. 

the southern belle

the contest itself was simple, create a unique grilled cheese that features wisconsin cheese, name it, snap a photo and submit your recipe. this creation was inspired by my love for making waffles for my family every sunday as a kid in our cast iron waffle maker that has been used for several generations. plus i needed some southern appeal to rep my texas roots. most chicken and waffle dishes lend themselves better to breakfast, so we opted for a savory rosemary bacon waffle and nixed the syrup.  we didn’t win, but at least we ate well, and we’re already dreaming up ideas for this year’s competition.

the southern belle

for waffles:

4 slices applewood smoked bacon
a heaping ¾ cup of all-purpose flour
½ tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
1 egg yolk
¾ cup milk
¼ cup cooking oil
1 egg white

1. cook bacon slices in a cast iron pan and set aside on a paper towel lined plate to cool. once cool, coarsely chop, and reserve for later.

2. in a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, rosemary, and chopped bacon.

3. in a separate bowl, beat the egg yolk with a fork, and then whisk in milk and oil. add this to the dry mixture all at once and mix until batter is slightly lumpy.

4. using a mixer (or a whisk if you want a workout!) beat the egg white until stiff peaks form. gently fold in the fluffs of egg white into the batter with a spatula, being careful not to overmix.

5. pour batter one batch at a time into your lightly greased waffle maker and cook until golden brown. keep finished waffles in the open air and do not stack to ensure that they don’t get soft from moisture.

for fried chicken:

2 chicken breasts, filleted
1 quart buttermilk (1/8 cup set aside)
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ tablespoons seasoned salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
1 pinch red pepper
1/8 cup milk
vegetable oil for frying
4 slices of havarti cheese

1. fillet each chicken breast lengthwise so you are left with four thinner breast pieces. then, place chicken in a large bowl (or freezer bag) and cover with buttermilk. refrigerate for a minimum of 5 hours – overnight if possible. when ready to fry, remove chicken from bowl and let sit on counter for 30 minutes to remove the chill.

2. preheat oven to 350F. Stir together the flour, seasoned salt, pepper, thyme, paprika and red pepper in a very large bowl. In a small bowl combine the 1/8 cup buttermilk and the milk. pour the milk mixture into the flour and use a fork to mix until there are little lumps throughout. the mixture should be patchy with moisture.

3. heat 1 ½ inches of oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat with lid on. thoroughly coat each buttermilk-soaked chicken piece with the breading, pressing to adhere the breading. i flip and press each piece through the mixture 4 times for a good thick coating.  add the chicken to the oil 2 pieces at a time. cover pan and fry approximately 6 minutes (but check to make sure chicken isn’t getting too brown). using tongs turn the chicken, cover and cook additional 3-5 minutes more.

4. place chicken on a wire rack (with a baking sheet underneath it) and continue frying the second batch of chicken. when done, bake the chicken for 10-15 minutes, until chicken cooked through (use a meat thermometer to check if needed). when chicken is done, turn oven off and place a slice of havarti on each chicken piece. also, place your waffles directly on the oven rack if they need warming. once cheese is melted, remove chicken and waffles and assemble. cut each sandwich in half and enjoy!

NOTE: Prepare the waffles before you begin frying the chicken, as you’ll want to eat the chicken fresh from the oven!

a hill country day date

November 14, 2013

day datelast weekend we ventured out on a quick little day date to the hill country. honestly it’s so nice to get out of the city even if only for a few hours. the drive alone gives us a chance to decompress from the week, and then we’re met with rolling hills, open skies, and of course, vineyards.

vineyard

photo_2

william-chris

that’s right folks, texas can actually produce some pretty good wine. in fact, between fredericksburg an johnson city there are roughly a dozen wineries and tasting rooms. each one has its own distinct charm to it. one of my favorites is william-chris vineyards. their tasting room is in a century old farmhouse. beautiful right? (you can find the entire map of the hill country wine trail here) sipping wine on an empty stomach sounds like a recipe for disaster, so we filled up on a hearty breakfast hash before hitting the road.

hash3

hash1

a sidebar on the beloved breakfast hash: i can’t get enough of these. they are a breakfast staple in our home and  there are endless options. this particular morning we opted for red potatoes, anaheim peppers, onion, apples, sage and bacon.

hash

breakfast hash with dirty eggs

olive oil
2 red potatoes
1 tart apple (we used granny smith)
1 small onion
1 anaheim pepper, seeded & chopped
bacon
handful of fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
sea salt & fresh pepper to taste
2 eggs

cook bacon in a small frying pan. once cooked to your preference of crispy, set aside on paper towels to cool. turn off burner and reserve 1-2 tablespoons of the grease for later. meanwhile chop the potatoes, apple, onion, and pepper into roughly bite-size pieces.

in a separate deeper pan (or cast iron) heat a few tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat and add potatoes, stirring occasionally so they don’t stick. once potatoes begin to lightly brown, add the onion and anaheim pepper. monitor the heat level so that nothing burns, and when onions become translucent, add in apples, bacon, chopped fresh sage leaves, and salt and pepper to taste. at this time, heat up your reserved bacon grease to medium or medium high heat. once the hash is looking crisp in all the right places, remove from heat so that apples keep their crunch.

meanwhile fry up your eggs in the bacon grease and place them on the hash right in the pan, or spoon servings onto plates and place the eggs atop them there, your call. tasty accompaniments for this dish are louisiana hot sauce and a few crumbles of goat cheese.

(serves 2 hungries or 3 light eaters)

oatmeal inspiration

November 6, 2013

oatmeal 1

i don’t about y’all but when it starts getting cold, i eat oatmeal on the regular. it’s just such a cozy way to start the day. not to mention it ‘sticks to your ribs’ and offers some good healthy energy. but do you ever find yourself in an oatmeal slump? the same flavors can get old real quick, so i like to switch it up pretty often. here is one of my current favorite combos: raw pumpkin seeds & dried currants.

oatmeal fixins

oatmeal 3

i always use organic rolled or steel cut oats as my base and cook them with equal parts water and milk (or a milk substitute). i don’t cook with butter often, but i’m no stranger to adding a touch to my oatmeal for good measure.

oatmeal 2

basic oatmeal recipe

1 cup rolled oats
just under 2 cups of liquid (i like equal parts water & milk)
pinch of salt
touch of butter (or knob of ghee)
pinch of cinnamon

bring liquid and salt to a boil and pour in oats, turning heat down to medium. you’ll want to stir occasionally and make sure that the heat is consistent. if the oats are sputtering out, then your heat is too high. you want a nice steady bubble. when the liquid is almost all gone, add your butter or ghee and cinnamon to taste. cook a few more minutes and dish out into bowls. now this is where things get fun!

the fixins

handful of raw pumpkin seeds
handful of dried currants
honey
milk of choice

are really up to your discretion. i prefer a crunchier and less sweet oatmeal, so i go heavy on the pumpkin seeds and easy on the honey. pair with a delicious cup of coffee and a comfy robe it the spirit moves you.

what are your favorite oatmeal combos? i’ve been meaning to try a good no-cook overnight oats recipe, any recommendations?

(serves 2)

sips & whistles // vieux carre

July 22, 2013

i had vieux carre on the brain after our fabulous trip to new orleans. this recipe comes straight from my favorite book of libations, bitters. and it features a local texas bourbon, so that’s cool. honestly, this is pushing the summer simplicity barrier at six ingredients, but it’s worth it. and there’s no muddling or garnishing required, so deal with it.

the goods

goods 2

pour some out

vieux carre

vieux carre 1

the vieux carre

1 ounce bourbon or rye
1 ounce cognac
1 ounce sweet vermouth
1/4 ounce benedictine
2 dashes angostura bitters
2 dashes peychaud’s bitters

measure all ingredients in a shaker with ice and stir with bar spoon briefly until chilled. strain into a chilled highball glass over ice. garnish with a lemon twist if you’re feelin’ fancy.

suggested album pairing: best of john coltrane*

*or you can geek out like we did and just listen to the game of thrones books on tape.

homemade(ish) pickles

July 5, 2013

pickles

well our garden cucumbers are coming in like gangbusters so i figure no better time to try homemade pickles. they’re surprisingly easy and friggin’ delicious. i was definitely a pickle kid growing up – like drink the juice from the jar kind of pickle kid.

pickles6

pickles2

pickles3

pickles5

i wish i could post a real recipe here, but i actually didn’t measure much of anything. the important thing is to have equal parts distilled white vinegar and water and be sure to completely cover your cucumbers in the jar. if you’re not into precise measurements like me, here’s my ‘ish list’ of ingredients for this first batch:

dani’s homemade ‘ish’ pickles

distilled white vinegar & water (1 cup give or take)
a few garlic cloves, peeled
a few sprigs fresh dill
whole peppercorns
mustard seeds (a hearty pinch)
corriander seeds (a teeny pinch)
a bit of salt (2 teaspoonsish) & even less sugar (1 heaping teaspoon)

bring the water, vinegar, salt & sugar to a boil so that everything dissolves and then remove from heat. pack your cukes in a canning jar (i used quart sized) with all of the other ingredients. i suggest layering – cucumbers, spices, garlic, dill. repeat until jar is packed full. pour vinegar mixture over the cukes until they are completely covered. seal lid nice and tight and place in the fridge. they’ll be crisp and tasty in about 24 hours.

this is a good base recipe for bread and butter pickles. so if you like sweeter pickles, add more sugar. if you want some spice, try crushed red pepper flakes. note: whole cucumbers will take longer to um, well ‘pickle’ than sliced spears or chips, so keep that in mind.

figgy crepes with honey basil mascarpone

July 2, 2013

figgy crepes

i am on a serious crepe kick right now. it’s sort of the perfect summer dessert right? decadent without being too rich, refreshing without being too sweet. and ever so versatile. seriously y’all, you can put just about anything in a crepe. we had some  friends in town for dinner the other night who requested something ‘healthy’ after binging on tex-mex the day before. thus, this figgy crepe with honey basil mascarpone was born.

mascarpone2

mascarpone

fig

crepe

crepes:

2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
two pinches of salt
a few shakes of cinnamon
2 tablespoons honey

mix all ingredients by hand with a whisk, or keep it easy by mixing it in your vitamix on level 1. (if you don’t have a vitamix, go here to read why you should). lightly butter a medium sized pan on medium/high heat and pour in about 1/4 cup of batter. you’ll want to tilt the pan to get a nice even thin coat of batter. cook for about 2 minutes until the top side has set and then flip and cook for about 10-15 more seconds. crepes can be stacked on a paper towel-lined plate until ready to eat. if you wrap them well they’ll keep in the fridge for about 2 days. (the batter can also be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge).

crepe filling:

8 oz mascarpone
fresh basil, finely chopped
local honey
lemon zest
fresh black mission figs, rinsed and sliced

your crepes can be made ahead of time, and simply served room temperature or warmed slightly in the oven for a minute. i’d actually recommend making the mascarpone filling ahead of time to allow time for the flavors to get friendly with one another. again you’ll notice that i didn’t tell you how much of each ingredient to add, because i believe it should be done to taste. teach yourself to listen to you palate and learn what it likes. it makes the process of creating dishes much more enjoyable than just following my specifications.

assemble crepes by spreading the mascarpone filling along the middle of the crepe and adding as many fig slices as you’d like. if you prefer it a little sweeter, drizzle some honey in there too. fold the sides of the crepe so that they overlap and garnish with a tiny dollop of mascarpone, fresh basil, and a touch of honey. and then eat to your heart’s content!

crepe recipe slightly adapted from here.