Roasted Lemon Mint Pesto & Ricotta Tartines, Two Ways + Kale & Caramel Cookbook

date04.26.17

A vibrant pesto made of roasted lemon slices, fresh mint, and toasted almonds from the Kale & Caramel cookbook – atop a bed of creamy whole milk ricotta with two topping variations. Garlicky pea and fava beans for a savory take and plump tart blackberries for a sweet bite. These pesto & ricotta tartines make the perfect midday snack!

Roasted Lemon Mint Pesto & Ricotta Tartines, Two Ways

Today’s post is a two-part celebration.  We’re celebrating my friend Lily’s beautiful (like seriously unreal) cookbook Kale & Caramel: Recipes for Body, Heart, and Table – set to hit the shelves May 2nd(!!!). The vibrant roasted lemon mint pesto from her cookbook is the showpiece of these ricotta tartines.

Via a virtual shower of healthy snacks, we’re also celebrating the newest cutest member of the A Couple Cooks team, baby Larson! Thanks to Lily, I’ve kept the ingredients for these roasted lemon mint pesto & ricotta tartines on hand for emergency snacking. Though truthfully, all my meals are “snacks” when I work from home…nonetheless these tartines are way more satisfying and nourishing than the handful of frozen chocolate chips I’ve been known to sneak.

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Homemade Whole Grain Gluten-Free Pasta

date04.21.17

Earthy whole grains mix into a pliable gluten-free pasta dough that cooks up smooth with a deep flavor profile that’s simultaneously rich and balanced, while also soaking up the flavors of whatever sauce it’s tossed in. Gluten-free pasta perfection.

Homemade Whole Grain Gluten-Free Pasta

Homemade Whole Grain Gluten-Free Pasta

With an independent organic market down my street and countless others within a 10 minute drive of my house, it’s easy to forget how spoiled we are with groceries here in the Bay Area. Artisinal ingredients are standard fare and over the years, many of these have become pantry staples in my cooking. So when my market stops carrying one of those ingredients, I FEEL IRRATIONALLY LOST.

(And hungry).

The grocery buyer at the market down my street recently changed hands and with that shift, they stopped stocking three of my favorite ingredients (gasp). Possibly the most tragic of these was a fresh whole grain gluten-free pasta that was pure carb magic.

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Rhubarb White Chocolate Tart with Candied Kumquats (gluten-free)

date04.10.17

A layered tart that bridges the seasons with a tangy spring rhubarb “curd” and late winter tart candy kumquats all nestled in a crumbly white chocolate gluten-free crust with a white chocolate drizzle to finish. Slightly adapted from Marbled, Swirled, And Layered by Irvin Lin, this tart will be the centerpiece of any dinner party.

Rhubarb White Chocolate Tart

When people ask, I tell them I go to bed between 12am and 1am. But that’s only because I’m ashamed to tell them that it’s really between 1:30am and 2:30am (and last night: 3:30am). Usually I’m working, sometimes I’m wrapped up in an episode of Big Little Lies, sometimes I’m reading my friends’ cookbooks cover to cover, scribbling down pages of recipe titles I can’t wait to try (which I guess can also technically count as working…?). In the case of Irvin’s Marbled, Swirled, & Layered, I’ve got a list so long I’ll be baking every day for the next year. This rhubarb white chocolate tart with candied kumquats comes first, bridging the seasons between winter kumquats and spring rhubarb just in time for Easter.

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Morning Mint Matcha Milkshake (Vegan)

date03.27.17

Earthy nutty matcha, vibrantly fresh mint, caramely dates, and smooth creamy coconut combine into a morning mint matcha milkshake worthy of breakfast or dessert. Packed with superfoods like chia, flax, and oats, you can feel good about indulging. 

Morning Mint Matcha Milkshake (Vegan)

Matcha March isn’t over yet just because St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone – it may have been the initial impetus for the month-long theme, but it was really just an excuse. In reality, I forgot to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day. Between me and the baby, our March 17th green game was zilch. Fortunately, strangers don’t pinch grown adults.

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California Food Styling & Photography Workshop

date03.23.17

Sebastapol Food Styling & Photography Workshop

I’m teaming up with two of my idols and buddies to co-host our first ever food styling and photography workshop this summer and the time has finally come to spill all the details with you! I’m so excited and hope you can join us! (Also we sold half our tickets during pre-sale, so act fast so you can come drink wine with us and take pictures of food!). Read on for more info…

Join Gerry of Foodness Gracious, Alanna of The Bojon Gourmet, & Sarah of Snixy Kitchen (that’s me!) for a three-day food photography retreat June 21st – 24th where you’ll experience intensive hands-on styling, photographing, and editing sessions in a beautiful craftsman home in wine country.

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Coconut Matcha Ice Cream with Black Sesame Brittle Chips

date03.16.17

Creamy vegan coconut matcha ice cream studded with black sesame brittle chips. Earthy green undertones with sweet roasted nutty notes that crunch with every bite. So creamy no one will know it’s vegan!

Vegan Coconut Matcha Ice Cream with Black Sesame Brittle

If someone ever asks me to dream up my ideal ice cream, I’ve got my answer. It’s this. Coconut matcha ice cream with black sesame brittle chips. I’ll be over here eating this whole loaf pan of ice cream for my birthday on Saturday (after hugging all the cats at the cat cafe adoption center). Don’t worry, friends, I made a second batch for you all to share (also I’ve picked out cats for each of you to take home as party favors. Kidding…but am I?).

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Black Sesame Brittle

date03.13.17

Ultra high gloss three-ingredient black sesame brittle. It’s crunchy and sweet with a deep roasted nutty flavor, and makes a great edible gift or sweet snack (like folded into coconut matcha ice cream, for example)!

Black Sesame Brittle

I’m taking a break from my regularly scheduled Matcha March programming for this black sesame brittle. If you’ve been following along this month, don’t worry (lol), we’re gonna crush up this brittle and fold it into coconut matcha ice cream later in the week. But first, this black sesame brittle is so downright addicting on its own that it deserves a moment.

While we agree on most flavors, Lucas loathes black sesame (I will never understand). But it isn’t his birthday this weekend, it’s mine. And I can think of no other dessert flavor combo I’d rather eat to celebrate than coconut, matcha, and black sesame. I also plan to make another batch of this brittle to cover in dark chocolate because WHY NOT?

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Gluten-Free Tempura Asparagus with Matcha Salt

date03.07.17

Ultra-crispy gluten-free tempura asparagus spears fried up with a rice flour and egg batter, then sprinkled with togarashi and earthy matcha salt to give these spears lots of sweet, savory, and salty matcha umami.

Gluten-Free Tempura Asparagus with Matcha Salt

While you will likely find tempura something on most Japanese restaurant menus in the States, our experience when visiting Japan was much different. In Japan, we were told, many chefs train to become culinary masters of specific foods, with tempura being just one of them (among others: soba, tofu, ramen, tonkatsu, sushi, etc.). Even within each cuisine, there are limitless variations; The ramen show we attended had, I kid you not, at least 30 different styles ramen exhibited.

We spent our first night in japan eating just tempura and the meal was varied, flavorful, and so satisfying – I would be totally happy eating only tempura for the rest of my life, I thought (and then I again thought that about soba and tofu). While we only dined at the one tempura restaurant on our trip, I can only imagine the diversity in recipes, flavors, and techniques from chef to chef. I urge you to travel to Japan, if only for the tempura. But if gluten is your enemy, my gluten-free tempura asparagus with matcha salt is an attempt to capture that crunch, flavor, and preparation in a recipe without wheat.

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Coconut Matcha Rice Pudding with Date Adzuki Bean Paste {Vegan}

date03.01.17

Earthy and sweet coconut matcha rice pudding – so creamy no one will believe it’s vegan! Topped with date-sweetened adzuki red bean paste for a savory-sweet dessert that’s vegetal and nutty with a hint of caramel. (It also makes a great naturally green St. Patrick’s Day treat!)

Coconut Matcha Rice Pudding with Date Adzuki Bean Paste {Vegan}

They raised the downtown Berkeley metered parking rate to $3.50/hour last week. Consequently, my friend Carla and I discovered last week that it’s actually cheaper to pay someone to deliver our milk tea boba than it is to meet at the tea house downtown. That’s insane right? This breaking news is a little dangerous for someone who works from home and generally always has a matcha latte boba craving.

February is gone, which means my annual foray into all things matcha has begun. With this vegan coconut matcha rice pudding with date adzuki bean paste, I’m kicking off Matcha March 2017.

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