apple tart: by J

appletartThis is one of the best desserts I’ve eaten in ages. From a little spot when I was back in Vancouver called Beaucoup Bakery.

I’m convinced everything they make must be delicious.

xo J

 

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cider love: by J

cider

I’ve got a big thing for cider. A good cider is crisp, clean tasting, with no overriding sweetness, and it has little else than apples and yeast in the ingredient list.

I have a couple favorites at the moment locally, Bite Hard Apple Cider out of Booneville, CA, back home I discovered Left Field Cider Co, from BC, and a bigger more easily found brand is Angry Orchard.

When looking for a cider I weed out any with added sugar, juice concentrate, or other sweetener types, I like few ingredients, and another often good sign for me is a higher alcohol percentage (between 6-9%).

In any case they’re generally affordable, drinkable, and as a bonus gluten free.

I’ve also been known use them in my sangria in replace of soda, be warned, this will be a high alcohol sangria.

xo J

farm tour: by J

mariquita1 mariquita2I love spending the day walking the fields and learning about the thoughts and methods of local farmers.

Andy of Mariquita Farms known for his specialty crops, like the popularization of the padron pepper, spigarello, and many more, is one of those unique farmers who gives you a sense of the hardship and necessity of farming.

I haven’t spent much of my life paying attention to these things, but since I have the importance and beauty is unmistakable.

xo J

 

Shika Provisions: by J

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Settling back in after my trip to Vancouver. It was so beautiful to be back with family and friends, with perfect summer days, and a city that feels like home and something new at the same time.

One of the absolute highlights was getting to check out my dear friend Mitsumi’s new cafe shop Shika Provisions. I am so blown away and happy for her and her husband, to have created such an incredible place. The food is homemade, healthy, uses local produce, and is beyond delicious.

A short and stunning ferry ride away from the mainland, you could easily pop over to Shika to grab lunch or a picnic box before exploring a little of Bowen Island. Conveniently located on the dock where the ferry lands, it’s easily accessible even if you don’t have a car.

We headed to the beach and picnicked after a quick swim in the ocean, as the sun set.

Feeling lucky,

xo J

farm brunch: by J

FarmLunchOne of the sweetest brunches I’ve had in a long time.

This Saturday my friend P made us brunch at the Farm he’s been interning at, freshly picked produce prepared by him, with earthy french toast topped with a homemade blackberry syrup-jam, and locally produced chicken sausages. We ate on a picnic table outside, with the smell of tomato plants on our hands from picking sungolds just before eating.

xo J

dumplings: by J

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I’m a lover of dumplings. Sometimes I keep frozen bags of pre made dumplings in my freezer, because sometimes you just really need a big plate of dumplings. That being said I always feel a little guilty about the quality. So once in awhile, I’ll make a batch of homemade and freeze the rest for those dumplings moments.

I didn’t make the wrappers but the Nijiya market close to my house had organic wrappers I felt good about. I kind of used a recipe sort of.

Basically, I finely chopped a small napa cabbage sprinkled some salt on it, and let it sit for about 20 minutes before pressing the water out, I added that to about a pound of ground pork, with a clove of chopped garlic, a few splashes of soy sauce and rice wine vinegar, a pinch of sugar, and a touch of sesame oil.

I always microwave a tiny bit of filling for about 20 seconds to taste it for seasoning, I do this with meatballs too, although a few minutes in a fry pan would work as well.

This is a basic recipe and would be great with ground turkey for a leaner dumpling, or a mix of both, and you could add in chopped cilantro, chives or water chestnuts.

I pan fry these on medium with oil until brown then add a couple of tablespoons of water and cover with a lid and continue to cook for 5-7 minutes, or until you hear the pan is dry, and remove the lid and let them brown a few more minutes if needed.

For a dipping sauce I pour roughly equal parts quality soy sauce and rice wine vinegar into a small bowl and add a couple of drops of sesame oil, or if you like it hot, chile oil. They’re also great with the dipping sauce and chopped scallions and toasted sesame seeds.

To freeze place them not touching on a baking sheet and place in the freezer, no need to cover, for 20 minutes, once they are frozen on the outside you can put them in a bag or airtight container and keep them for months in the freezer. No need to thaw them when cooking, just add a little more water and steam for a few extra minutes.

xo J

At about 2:30 a simple how to on dumpling folding.

Les Fruits & Légumes moches: by J

lesfruitsmochesI’m completely smitten with the Les Fruits & Légumes moches, roughly translated as the inglorious fruits and vegetables, campaign in France. Directly translated moche means ugly.

Typically fruits and vegetables that do not fit into molds of physical idealism are thrown out as they will not be accepted by most resellers. In France they rehabilitated these characters and sold them at 30 percent less in the supermarket, with a social media campaign and some juices and soups to highlight their being as delicious as any other fruit or vegetable.

Keep in mind we’re not talking about damaged or rotten fruit, simply those that formed outside the physical norm.

So far a huge success.

I love it.

xo J

check out the video in English here