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A Baby Shower

Our Baby Shower | A Sweet Spoonful

Last Saturday we felt the whisper of fall for the first time — it was an ominous grey morning with pretty intense wind and light rain, all interspersed with bouts of that saturated, golden September light that I look forward to each year. We had friends staying with us from out of town, and their toddler son Leon sampled an apple from our tree in the front yard (many an apple fell in the storm); suffice it to say, the apples didn’t get rave reviews. I had a feeling this would be the case. Sam made coffee and eggs, and later that morning our dear friends Brandon and Molly hosted a baby shower for us at their restaurant Delancey so we all headed out, looking forward to a day celebrating Baby Sprout with our people.

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When we walked up to the door, Natalie was stringing these amazing colored flags she’d cut by hand across the restaurant, and Molly and Brandon were busy setting out bagels and spreads from Eltana, a tasty green bean and tomato salad, fresh fruit (thank you, Keena!) and Ashley’s addictive brownies. We busied ourselves hanging photos on the wall from when we were babies, and Sam raced around in typical Sam fashion chasing Natalie’s son Eero. I’ve been to many baby showers in the past where it was generally all women and there were games and gifts and the like — but we wanted to have a co-ed shower that wouldn’t feel too shower-ish, a comfortable gathering on a blustery Saturday afternoon with really good bagels and many of our friends.

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Sara’s Peach Derby Ice Cream

Peach Derby Ice Cream | A Sweet Spoonful

I received The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon cookbook in the mail not long before we moved to our new house, and I remember lying in bed and bookmarking pages I was excited to try but also feeling overwhelmed with where to start: the truth is that this summer has been a relatively low-inspiration / low energy time in the kitchen for me. I’d been chalking it up to pregnancy but when I think back and if I’m honest with myself, my cooking style tends to be very easy and produce-driven during these warmer months. I rarely break out complicated recipes, instead relying on fresh tomatoes and corn or zucchini and homemade pesto to guide me. But last night I cracked open Sara’s book and pulled out a few peaches I’ve had sitting on the counter, fearing their season may be nearing its end. This morning as I was making coffee, I sliced up the peaches, toasted the pecans and churned away — having a bite (or maybe two) before getting it into the freezer to firm up.  Continue Reading »

Peach Derby Ice Cream | A Sweet Spoonful

Peach Derby Ice Cream

Yield: 1 quart
Prep Time: 10 mins
Inactive Time: 140 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 160 mins

The only thing I’ll do differently next time is dice the peaches smaller than I did. Big hunks of fruit can feel kind of hard and icy in ice cream whereas little bites are bright and add flavor and texture, so do take the time to do a nice fine dice. If your cream cheese is very firm, you may want to whisk in a quick splash of milk to loosen it up a bit — I ended up doing this just to help it incorporate more easily.

Lightly adapted from: The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon 

Ingredients

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons honey
3/4 cup natural cane sugar
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
1/2 cup toasted, chopped pecans, plus more for garnish
2 ripe peaches, pitted and diced

Directions

Mix the 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.

Combine the remaining milk, the cream, honey, sugar and salt in a large saucepan or pot (at least 4 quarts). Bring the mixture to a very gentle simmer over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cornstarch mixture.

Bring the mixture back to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, another minute.

Gradually whisk in the cream cheese until smooth. Stir in the buttermilk, vanilla, cinnamon and bourbon (if using). Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for two hours or until cold. If it chills too long, a fat layer will separate to the top. Remove this piece before churning* (see note below).

Churn the ice cream according to the manufacturer’s directions. In the last minutes, add the toasted pecans and half the peaches. Spoon the mixture into the storage container and freeze until firm.

*Just a note on chilling: I chilled my mixture overnight and it was absolutely fine. Mascarpone has a higher fat content than cream cheese, so if you go the mascarpone route, Sara’s suggestion on not chilling too long will likely apply. But the recipe as written here can be chilled overnight. 


Heidi Swanson’s Cucumber Salad

Heidi Swanson's Cucumber Salad | A Sweet Spoonful
You often hear how women begin to nest towards the end of pregnancy. This looks different for different people — some staying up late at night finishing painting projects, others buying new furniture, stocking the freezer or spending time on the nursery. Next week I’ll be entering the third trimester and I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of nesting and of spending time at home. In truth, nesting isn’t something that’s new to me: I come from a family of nesters. My dad opened a furniture store the year I was born in Northern California and during my childhood it slowly grew to be a larger chain. He cared about the fixtures in our house, and would sit with me on our front stoop pointing out examples of good and bad taste — mostly in cars that would drive by but I seem to recall this with passerbyers and their attire, too. I realize this probably sounds a bit pretentious or maybe even downright snooty, but we grew up pretty humbly in those days; it was more a matter of strong opinion than a reflection of, say, having more than anyone else on the block. Those opinions, of course, were contagious and today I care very much about the way our house is situated and how we spend our time at home (although I don’t sit out on our stoop and talk to Sam about who I feel has good and bad taste on the block).

My mom also cared a great deal about our home life: she always had fresh flowers in the kitchen or on the dining room table and insisted we all sit and eat dinner together each night. Even today, if you have a hard day or things feel a little off, she’ll suggest fresh flowers and I’ve come to realize she’s right: they really can fix many of life’s very minor problems. In addition to bouquets, my mom was always an enthusiastic consumer of seasonal wreathes and colorful holiday decorations (and still is). She loves a good throw pillow and clean-burning taper candles. My people care about their surroundings. Continue Reading »

Heidi Swanson's Cucumber Salad | A Sweet Spoonful

Heidi Swanson's Cucumber Salad

Yield: 4-6
Prep Time: 25 mins
Inactive Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 55 mins

Ever-so-slightly adapted from Near and Far

Ingredients

1 large cucumber (12 oz / 340g), seeded and thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
3 radishes, thinly sliced
1 cup (1.5 oz / 45g) chopped kale
12 oz extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 stalks lemongrass, tender center only, minced
1/4 cup (60ml) brown rice vinegar
1/4 cup (60ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons honey (or brown sugar)
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more to serve
1/2 cup (70g) toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 package soba noodles, to serve (optional)

Directions

Place the cucumbers, onion, radishes, kale and tofu in a large mixing bowl.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the lemongrass, vinegar, lemon juice, honey, and salt and simmer for a couple of minutes — long enough for the honey to dissolve fully. Remove from the heat and whisk in the red pepper flakes. Let cool for 5 minutes and pour over the cucumber mixture. Toss gently but thoroughly and let sit for at least 15 minutes. Toss again and adjust the salt and red pepper to taste.

If you’re serving this salad with soba noodles, cook them according to the instructions on the package. Drain off any residual liquid from the cucumber mixture into a small bowl. If serving with the noodles or with grains,  toss them with this liquid. Top with pumpkin seeds and a good squeeze of lime. Serve the remaining lime wedges at the table.


Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Whole Wheat Banana Bread | A Sweet Spoonful

Last weekend we went camping out on Orcas Island, my favorite of all the San Juan Islands. The trip had been on our calendar for a few months, but it seemed to sneak up quickly (hasn’t that been the case this summer?) leaving us scurrying like crazy to get out of the house Friday afternoon to catch our ferry. We’ve been to Orcas enough times to have a favorite swimming hole, hike, and bakery, but this trip would be different as we were going car camping with three other couples and a gaggle of kids. I knew that at 24 weeks pregnant it might not be superbly comfortable to sleep in our small tent, but we were bringing air mattresses and I packed my pillow so surely all would be well. The day before we left I baked a loaf of this banana bread and stocked up on healthy snacks and fizzy water. Sam dug through the basement to find all of our camping gear. We were ready. Continue Reading »

Whole Wheat Banana Bread | A Sweet Spoonful

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Yield: One 9x5-inch loaf
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 55 mins
Total Time: 75 mins

The Ovenly ladies call for canola oil in their recipe but I opted to use coconut oil instead; it has a really wonderful sweet fragrance that works well with the flavors in this bread. If you don’t have coconut oil, you can certainly use a canola or vegetable oil instead. I also added walnuts because I happen to love nuts in my banana bread. You could leave the nuts out altogether if you prefer or make this loaf a bit more indulgent by adding chocolate chips. It’s wonderful sliced at room temperature or toasted — always with a little butter.

Slightly adapted from: Ovenly

Ingredients

Non-stick cooking spray or butter for greasing the pan
2 large ripe bananas (to make 1 cup mashed)
1/4 cup whole flax seeds
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup real maple syrup
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup coconut oil, warmed so it's liquified
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup full-fat sour cream
3/4 cup toasted walnuts halves, chopped

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350F. Liberally grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan with butter (or non-stick cooking spray).

Peel the bananas and place in a small bowl. Mash with a fork until smooth. Separate out 1 cup of the banana mash. If there is extra, feel free to freeze in an airtight container for future use (smoothies, top your yogurt or oatmeal).

Grind the flaxseeds into a fine powder using a coffee or spice grinder.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, flaxseed meal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, eggs, oil, brown sugar and vanilla extract. Add the sour cream and mashed banana. Whisk until almost smooth — it’s ok if a few lumps remain.

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. Don’t overmix. At the very end, fold in the toasted walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.


Confetti Quinoa Salad

Confetti Quinoa Salad | A Sweet Spoonful

We just returned from my mom’s cabin on Lake George in upstate New York where we often spend the 4th of July. As usual, each bedroom was packed with family members (this year the couch was even occupied for a night), and our days with reading, lounging on the dock, swimming a bit, maybe jogging down the road or playing tennis if you were feeling ambitious. We drank a notable amount of seltzer water; I managed to read three books and my mom threw us a family baby shower complete with balloons, chocolate cake and Mike’s rhubarb bars.

In previous years, my mom has planned most of the dinners and  even some lunches, but for breakfast we’d all fend for ourselves. I’d often bake a pie or a batch of brownies in the afternoon and everyone would help out where they could, but she would largely do the shopping and brunt of the cooking. This year was different: having just moved from California to Vermont, my mom had a lot on her plate and sent out an email before the holiday weekend asking us all to chip in and help with the meals. Sam and I claimed Friday dinner: we grilled sausages and Sam made his famous deviled eggs. We cut up some unusually seedy watermelon that I found at the co-op in Burlington before we drove out to the lake, and I made a summery quinoa salad that I expected to be kind of epic. The trouble was that it wasn’t. I overcooked the quinoa until it was kind of a congealed mush and everything just went downhill from there. But I knew that the idea was strong — to pack a whole grain salad with all the things of summer (corn! tomatoes! basil!) — so when we got home to Seattle I tried again. And this time it’s a winner.

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Confetti Quinoa Salad | A Sweet Spoonful

Confetti Quinoa Salad

Yield: 6 as a side portion
Prep Time: 10 mins
Inactive Time: 45 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 80 mins

You can make this salad about 6 hours ahead if you’d like: to do so, just leave out the basil and greens and fold them in right before serving. While I didn’t use it this time around, I think this salad would be great with some creamy goat cheese and if you’re looking to amp up the protein, you could always fold in a few handfuls of your favorite beans or marinated tofu. And remember you’ll have leftover pickled onions, so be sure to save them for future sandwiches and salads. Once you get used to having them around, they make for a most beloved condiment.

Ingredients

For the Pickled Onions:

1 small red onion, sliced 1/8-inch thick
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
4 teaspoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons sugar

For the Salad:

1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed
2 ears corn, shucked
1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes (a little less than 1 pint)
1 cup arugula or spinach, stems trimmed, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh chives
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if necessary
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Place onion in a small bowl. Bring vinegar, salt and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to ensure they’re mixed well. Pour over onion slices and let stand for 30 minutes. Drain but reserve the pickling liquid. Roughly chop the onions and set aside.

Bring quinoa, 3 cups of water and a generous pinch of salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover and reduce the heat; simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and spread into large salad bowl to cool.

Place both ears of corn in a large pot of boiling water. Allow the water in the pot to come back to a boil, cover, and cook on low for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Remove from pot and set on a dry, clean surface to cool. Once cool enough to handle, slice the corn off the cob by balancing a flat end of the cob on a cutting board and using a downward cutting motion with a nice, sharp knife. This should yield about 1 1/2 cups corn kernels for the salad.

In a large salad bowl, toss together corn, tomatoes, arugula, 1 cup chopped onions (use more if you’d like), basil and chives. Add olive oil and 3 tablespoons of the reserved pickling liquid. Fold in quinoa and stir well. Season with salt and pepper and more pickling liquid if you’d like.


Toasted Coconut Popsicles (+ Some Big News)

Toasted Coconut Popsicles | A Sweet Spoonful

Hello from our guest bedroom where I have officially taken up refuge as our upstairs bedroom is stifling hot and my inexpensive drug store fan doesn’t seem to be doing the trick. We’re having a bit of a heat wave in Seattle, and Sam has been out of town all week so dinner has been a mellow affair, usually consisting of quesadillas or, on occasion, a big bowl of berries + whipped cream or popsicles. I finally just bought a popsicle mold and am not quite sure what took me so long, but I’m hooked and these coconut numbers were the first recipe I tried. The ingredient list seemed deceivingly simple, and I thought there’s no way they could be as velvetty and luxurious as the ones I buy from our local co-op. But they are, and you can tailor them to fit your own taste in terms of sweetness and amount of toasted coconut. I’m not quite ready to share how many of these I’ve eaten this week, but I thought it was time I shared them with you.

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Toasted Coconut Popsicles | A Sweet Spoonful

Toasted Coconut Popsicles

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 5 mins
Inactive Time: 180 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 195 mins

Feel free to double this recipe depending on how much space you have in your popsicle mold; I certainly will next time. And I noticed some recipes call for a pinch of salt, so you could experiment with that as well. If you don’t have a vanilla bean, you could use 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract instead, but you won’t have those pretty little flecks which, if you’re anything like me, will likely make you happy.

Adapted from: Leite’s Culinaria 

Ingredients

1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
1 13.5- or 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
2 1/2 -3 tablespoons natural cane sugar (or granulated sugar)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spread coconut onto a rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. It can burn quickly, so keep an eye on it. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the coconut milk, vanilla bean and seeds, and sugar. Stirring occasionally, cook until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture just barely begins to bubble (although don’t let it boil). Remove from the heat, cover, and let it steep for 1 hour.

After steeping, remove the vanilla pod and discard. Whisk the coconut milk mixture well and stir in the toasted coconut. Pour it into a bowl with a spout or a large measuring cup for easier pouring. Fill 6 ice-pop molds evenly with the mixture. Freeze until firm, at least 2 hours or up to overnight.


Yogurt Crepes with Berries and Yogurt Whipped Cream

Yogurt Crepes with Strawberries and Yogurt Whipped Cream | A Sweet Spoonful

For many years, I’ve always made a summer to-do list. I usually set to work on it right at the beginning of June when the days feel long and ripe with possibility. The list often involves things like learning to bake sourdough bread or making homemade ricotta, doing an epic hike I’d read about in a local magazine, training for a marathon, or reading specific novels. It is always a pretty aspirational list, and I generally don’t make much of a dent in it — resulting in the guilty feeling come late August that I’d wasted too many lazy afternoons when I could’ve been baking sourdough or making ricotta or doing memorable, epic hikes. But this summer is going to be a bit different: there will be no list. We wait so long in Seattle for long stretches of sunny days, and now that it stays late until 9:30 (or later?), I want to see more of our friends and find stretches of time to do not much of anything except catch up, tan our legs and eat farmers market berries. That’s my list. Continue Reading »

Yogurt Crepes with Strawberries and Yogurt Whipped Cream | A Sweet Spoonful

Yogurt Crepes with Strawberries and Yogurt Whipped Cream

Yield: 9-10 Crepes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Inactive Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 35 mins

I ended up using a bit of buckwheat flour in my crepes because I love the color and flavor, but if you’d rather use all all-purpose flour, go right ahead. The batter holds up beautifully in the fridge for a few days, so if you don’t want to cook them all off at one time, you can look forward to leftovers.

Only Slightly Adapted From: Yogurt Culture

Ingredients

For the Crepes:

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled, plus more for the skillet
3/4 cup all purpose flour (90g)
1/4 cup buckwheat flour (30g)
1 cup plain yogurt (not Greek)
4 large eggs
About 2/3 cup whey or water
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced in half (or in quarters if the berries are large)

For the Yogurt Whipped Cream

1 cup cold heavy cream
1 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons sugar

Directions

Make the whipped cream: 
Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the cream on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add the yogurt and vanilla, then continue to whip, slowly streaming 2 tablespoons sugar down the sides of the bowl. Continue whipping until the peaks hold when the whisk is lifted. Taste, whipping in up to 1 tablespoons more sugar, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Make the Crepes:
In a large bowl, whisk the butter, flour, yogurt, eggs, whey or water, and salt until smooth. Let rest for 10 minutes. The batter should have some body but should drip easily from the whisk.

Heat a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until a drop of water on the skillet sizzle and evaporates. Using a silicone pastry brush, brush the bottom and sides of the skillet generous with melted butter. Tilt the skillet forward, then pour 1/3 cup batter close to the lip of the skillet. Quickly swirl so the batter coats the bottom. (If the batter is too thick to swirl and coat easily, whisk 1-2 tablespoons water into the remaining batter).

Cook until the underside of the crepe is lacy and nicely browned and the edges look dry, about 1-2 minutes. Flip and cook for 1-2 minutes longer. Invert onto a plate. Brush a bit more butter onto the skillet and repeat with the remaining batter, brushing the skillet with more melted butter between batches. Stack the crepes on the plate.

To serve: top each crepe with a generous spoonful of berries and yogurt whipped cream. Enjoy immediately.


Thick and Creamy Cherry Almond Ice Cream

Thick and Creamy Cherry Almond Ice Cream | A Sweet Spoonful
This past week we’ve had quite a heat wave in Seattle. I’ve been getting into the bakery early in the mornings so as to avoid the afternoon heat + hot oven combination, and it turns out the upstairs of our new house is quite a little hot box. I bought some aggressive blinds and a new fan and am hoping both will help cool things down a bit. The wool blanket is in the linen closet for the season, and Sam’s been making iced tea like it’s his job. Summer has arrived! A few nights ago, the thought of actually doing much real cooking seemed a bit overwhelming, so I figured it was time to dig out the ice cream maker and get to work.

I’d wanted to do something with the beautiful strawberries we have in the markets right now, but it seems every time I get a little pint it’s gone before I have the chance. They are just so incredibly sweet, and it seems a shame to do anything other than eat them right out of the container, preferably while sitting on the Moroccan picnic blanket you brought back from honeymoon on the lawn in your new backyard trying not to stress out about the incredible, insurmountable number of weeds. So. Many. Weeds. But cherries: somehow the bag of cherries made it safely through the weekend, so I set about to find a great cherry ice cream recipe.  Continue Reading »

Thick and Creamy Cherry Almond Ice Cream | A Sweet Spoonful

Thick and Creamy Cherry Almond Ice Cream

Yield: About 1 Quart
Prep Time: 10 mins
Inactive Time: 160 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 200 mins

The authors of the cookbook note that the type of strainer you use greatly impacts the texture of your ice cream: a regular fine-mesh wire strainer will yield a more rustic ice cream whereas a superfine-mesh strainer like a chinois will give you a very smooth, silky ice cream. Next time I make this, I wouldn’t be opposed to folding in a little chopped dark chocolate — never a bad idea.

Slightly adapted from Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones

Ingredients

For the Cherries:

1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups water
1 3/4 cups cherries

For the Base:

3/4 cup whole raw almonds
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup 1% milk (or 2%)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
5 large egg yolks

Directions

Poach the Cherries:
In a small non reactive saucepan, combine the sugar and the water and bring to a boil over medium heat. When it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, add the cherries, and cook until the cherries are soft and cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and let the cherries cool completely in the syrup. Once cool, drain the cherries (save the syrup for other uses*) and squeeze the pits out of the fruit. Chop the cherries into 1/4 inch pieces. Refrigerate until you’re ready to use.

Prepare the Nut-Infused Milk
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 F. Spread almonds on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Let cool completely.

Combine the cooled nuts with the 3/4 sugar in a food processor. Pulse until very finely ground (about the consistency of sand). Don’t overprocess or the mixture will become oily.

Transfer the almond mixture to a heavy nonreactive pan and stir in the cream, milk and salt. Heat over medium-high heat until it just begins to bubble around the edges. Remove from heat and cover the pan. Let stand for about 20 minutes, or until a nice almond flavor has infused into the mixture (smell and taste to gauge!)

Make the Base:
In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the yolks just to break them up. Set aside. Place the pan with the cream mixture over medium-high heat. When the mixture comes to a bare simmer, reduce the heat to medium.

Carefully scoop out about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture and, whisking the eggs constantly, add to the bowl with the egg yolks. Repeat, adding another 1/2 cup of the hot cream to the bowl with the yolks. Using a whisk and stirring constantly as you pour, add the egg-cream mixture to the cream mixture in the saucepan.

Cook carefully over medium heat, about 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until it’s thickened enough to coat the back of a spatula and hold a clear path when you run your finger across it. Strain the vase through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean container. Set container into an ice water bath, and stir it occasionally until base is cool. Remove container from the ice water bath, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

Freeze in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer instructions. While ice cream is churning, put the container you’ll use to store your ice cream into the freezer. Add the chopped cherries at the very end or fold in by hand. Enjoy very soft ice cream right away, or freeze for at least 4 hours for a firmer ice cream.

*Use leftover cherry syrup in cocktails, swirled into club soda, or drizzled over vanilla ice cream.


Tara O’ Brady’s Hummus with White Miso

Hummus with White Miso | A Sweet Spoonful
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of joining a group of friends, acquaintances, and new-to-me faces when Tara O ‘Brady was in town promoting her cookbook, Seven Spoons. We all descended on Aran Goyoaga’s beautiful studio space in downtown Seattle for a Friday lunch that Aran and Tara cooked from the book, surrounded by blooming peonies, fizzy drinks, and good company. When I was on tour last year promoting my own cookbook, I remember how exhausting (albeit wonderful) it was just feeling “on” all the time while meeting and greeting new faces. But during the hour or so before we all sat down to lunch, I marveled at how calmly Tara was chatting and pulling together all of these dishes. I’m quite certain I would’ve been a wreck if someone had asked me to prepare a meal from my book in the middle of book tour in a room filled with many of my peers. But both Tara and Aran were busily chatting, delegating small tasks, garnishing away. To say everything was delicious would be an understatement; to say I felt like it was the best lunch I’ve had in a very long time would be the truth — and all a testament to how at home Tara is with her food and her style of cooking. While the roast chicken was incredible as were the roasted springy vegetables, greens, almonds and honeycomb — I couldn’t stop slathering that gorgeous, silky hummus onto everything in sight. I knew when I got home it’d be the first recipe from Tara’s book that I’d flip to.  Continue Reading »


Where to Eat in Seattle

Where to Eat in Seattle A Sweet Spoonful

It’s getting to be one of the best times of the year to visit Seattle and I have a handful of friends coming in the next six weeks or so, all asking for food recommendations. My mom just visited last week and my dad comes this weekend, so restaurants have been on my mind lately. I thought that I’d long ago put together a list like this of places I like to eat in Seattle but in searching through the archives it looks like that was in a distant dream, so I thought now was the perfect time. I decided to organize this list in categories — Lunch, Dinner, Sweets and Cocktails — as that’s often how I kind of mentally categorize places. Maybe it will be helpful to you at some point if you find yourself in our city, and when you do, may there be no shortage of chocolate layer cakes, flaky croissants, excellent french fries, wood-fired vegetables and oysters. Not necessarily in that order. Continue Reading »


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