ROASTED BANANA COCONUT ICE CREAM
I've stalled halfway through Brene Brown's book, Daring Greatly, a week after my book club already met about the book. It would have been helpful to finish it prior to the get together but I just didn't. I kept meaning to but such is life. I intend to finish the book eventually. Anyway, she tells this story about her daughter being in grade school and a girlfriend telling one of her secrets in class and how embarrassed and disappointed she was. The metaphor Brene uses to speak with her daughter is comparing friends to a marble jar; like the sort teachers keep in class that they add marbles to when the class is good or take marbles out of when kids misbehave - encouraging good behavior with a reward to be had if the marble jar becomes full. Friends can be people who we trust while some others say hurtful things at times, but they live on somewhat of an invisible marble system in our heads. You can think of the friends who have earned lots of marbles, the ones who listen and respect your secrets in this case, and those are the friends who it is most safe to be honest and vulnerable with. I just keep thinking about that image, of being a person who earns marbles for and from people I care deeply about, and I feel incredibly accountable for my actions and words in a good way. I understand that is not the big picture of the book but halfway through, I keep thinking about being a marble friend.
I have been slowly paging through Anna's book, A Modern Way to Eat, because so much of her style is what I want to cook. She has just the right amount of Nigel Slater-ness where measurements and directions are sometimes left to the cook and I love that sort of responsibility. I know some folks think it is vague recipe writing but I enjoy it. I had great luck with one of her pancake recipes, am anxious to try the California Wraps and will absolutely make this ice cream again. It has no dairy, a very subtle, natural sweetness, and still feels like a treat. I've been having a thing with McConnell's Eureka Lemon and Marionberry Ice Cream (you guys, if you're a lemon person you MUST try) and this feels necessarily less decadent. My chocolate shavings addition here is because I couldn't imagine it otherwise but perhaps you're more virtuous than I. Her next book, A Modern Way to Cook, is out in the UK if you're that direction and I can't wait to see that beauty as well.
Also! We are heading back to Seattle in October to host a photography workshop with the lovely Aran Goyoaga of Cannelle et Vanille at her beautiful studio. It was such a nice group of people last visit and I felt like I came out of the weekend more inspired than I went in so we're excited to go back. There are more details on her site and a few more spots if you're interested.
I hope your weekend involves ice cream in some capacity. xo
ROASTED BANANA COCONUT ICE CREAM // Makes 1 pint
Recipe adapted from A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones
3 medium, ripe bananas honey (I used about 3 Tbsp.) 1 can full fat coconut milk juice of half a lemon pinch of salt 1 tsp. vanilla 3 ounces grated dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 350'.
Slice the bananas into 1/2 - 3/4 inch pieces and toss them with the honey on a parchment lined baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring once during baking, until the bananas are browned and cooked through. Scrape the bananas and any syrup into a blender or food processor. Add the coconut milk, lemon juice, pinch of salt and vanilla and puree until smooth.
Chill the mixture in the fridge until cool. Process the mixture in your ice cream maker, scraping down the sides as needed. In the last minutes, pour in the grated chocolate and give it one more churn to incorporate. Transfer it to a container and stir occasionally until frozen. If you like it softer, serve it after only an hour in the freezer, if you want it firmer, let it sit overnight. It will be scoopable after sitting at room temperature for a few minutes.
Garnish the ice cream with some chopped pistachios, toasted coconut or more grate chocolate.
GREEK SALAD DIP
We were at some new friends' house for dinner this past weekend and they made a whole Greek-themed dinner. I brought a sub-par peach cake, we listened to Greek music and I soaked in being on the other side of the kitchen. I really like hosting and having people over, but it is such a treat to be the one invited as a guest. I just finished the lovely Jessica Fetchor's book Stir and from the perspective of someone who is sick, she mentions as being the natural hostess and care taker, it is uncomfortable sometimes to be on the other side, being cared for, but how necessary it is. I realize I was merely at someone else's house for dinner on a Saturday night, not holding a candle close to Jessica's story of surviving a brain aneurysm, but we can relate to stories by way of our own reality. I was craving to sit at the table instead of standing in front of the stove, is that ok to say on a food blog? As someone who gets paid to write recipes for work? Maybe especially so. My favorite, unrelated to this, line in the book:
"But we are always swept this way and that. We create the life we want to live, yes. Then, in return, that life creates us. We follow the tides; we have no other choice. We splash about beneath the brightest of moons, then the darkest of skies, tug hard from the surface on anchors that refuse to budge, and then, if we are very brave, dive deep."
I just really enjoyed the book and Jessica's perspective. Perhaps I feel swept up in some sort of tide myself. Anyway. Erin made this chunky Greek salad with tomato halves, slices of cucumber, whole olives and feta cheese scattered throughout. It seemed so rustic but classic and I could have eaten the entire bowl. So, in light of loving to have lunches ready in the fridge, I thought maybe I could chop everything small and have a Greek salsa type thing. I could bring it to BBQs as a dip or toss it with a bit of lettuce for lunch or just sit with the serving bowl and a bag of sturdy crackers. It is exactly as I imagined it'd be and worth sharing here. No new technique or farmers market romance, just the tale of a summer staple gone right.
GREEK SALAD DIP // Serves 6 as an appetizer
I'll bring this dip to summer parties, but it's also great to keep stocked at home for a quick lunch. Stuff the mixture into a pita or into romaine leaves to make a meal of it. Not that crackers and a dip like this are not a sufficient lunch. You could add some cooked quinoa and a little more dressing and consider it a side dish, making it even more perfect for backyard BBQs.
1 cup cooked French Lentils 2-3 persian cucumbers 2 roma tomatoes, or something similar 1/2 a red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed 1/3 cup minced red onion 1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives 1/4 cup fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley 3 Tbsp. fresh chopped oregano leaves 1/2 tsp. sea salt pinch of red pepper flakes 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar 1/2-3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, to taste
Put the lentils into a large mixing bowl. Scoop out the seedy center and finely dice the cucumbers. Do the same with the tomatoes and red pepper. The smaller the dice, the easier to scoop with a cracker. Add them to the mixing bowl. Add the red onion, olives, parsley, oregano, salt, pepper flakes, olive oil and vinegar and stir to mix. Gently stir in the crumbled feta and taste for seasonings.
Serve at room temperature or chilled. The salad will keep for 4-5 days in the fridge, the vegetables getting a bit softer by the day but still enjoyable.
GRAPEFRUIT + WATERMELON AGUA FRESCA
I am motivated by the "summer bucket lists" I've been hearing about or seeing on Instagram. With Curran and the work we have to do around the house, I've thought the fun parts of this season would fall to the wayside but that is silly thinking. There are local weekend trips to take, pizza down at the beach at sunset, farmers market hauls for peach crisps, and apricot jam to swirl into plain yogurt. There may be a fence to build, a storage area to fix up, and a kitchen that needs updating but those tasks can blend in with the things that make us feel alive too. I forget that sometimes. Head down, responsibility, get things done... it's never that stuff that lightens my heart and fills me up even though it's my default setting. Time for a summer list.
It started warming up around here this week and I'm not great about drinking water. My goal is to reward every two tumblers of water with a more tasty drink - I have a cucumber, apple, kale juice in the fridge which I like over ice or this super refreshing grapefruit and watermelon juice with a splash of sparking water for fizz. Sunkist sent me some ruby red grapefruits that were super juicy and the watermelon juice cuts the tartness just right. I went for a 50/50 blend this round, but you could alter that based on preference. Also, it makes a dreamy cocktail mixer. The happy hour fix is crushed ice, this juice, a tiny tip of triple sec and a glug of tequila for the best summer margarita. Maybe a little extra lime if you have one around. This recipe makes enough juice to make about six cocktails so it'd be great for a small party. All said, I hope your summers have started off in the best way.
GRAPEFRUIT + WATERMELON AGUA FRESCA // Makes one generous liter
I use a juicer for efficiency sake, but I understand not everyone has one. For the grapefruit and lime, you could squeeze the juice by hand or with a citrus juicer into a bowl. The watermelon pieces can be blended in a food processor and then strained to get a smoother juice. You basically need about 2 cups of each grapefruit and watermelon and the juice of one lime.
4 Ruby Red Grapefruits, peeled 1 small watermelon, cubed and peeled 1 lime, cut in quarters crushed ice sparkling water, optional tequila and triple sec, optional
In a juicer, juice the peeled grapefruit, watermelon and lime. Stir together to mix. Add more lime to taste.
As an agua fresca, enjoy cold over ice. I add a splash of sparkling water. It also makes an excellent margarita with a bit of triple sec and a shot of tequila.
This post is sponsored by Sunkist Citrus Fruits. Fruit and compensation provided by Sunkist, all opinions are my own.
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