2015 & Hocking Hills

349900062015?! Three days in, and it's going real well. To ring it in, I was lucky to be a part of a casual cabin soiree in Hocking Hills. Us kids got wise, and decided to beat out the usual hustle and bustle of New Year's Eve by sitting our butts in a cabin for the night. The New Year was greeted by friends, champy, and hot tubbin. Let me tell you, that is one of the best ways to ring in a new year. 34990001

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Plus, between snacking on tasty cheese balls, pancakes, and omelets, we were able to experience a little nature! Off to Old Man's Cave we went, with pink noses and dusty pups. I brought along my camera, snapped some pics, and thought I'd throw them up on my trusty friend, the good ol' Internet.

34990008 34990009As for 2014, I'm honestly a little sad to see it go! It was sweet to me and has left me with lovely memories of engagement, travels, a new pup, along with personal and professional growth. However, I look onto 2015 with anticipation of more great things to come. At last, I will graduate, be plopped into the world of employment, and finally be a big kid!

34990013As far as "real" resolutions go, just expect to see more of me around these parts. Thanks to holiday indulgence, I am more motivated than ever to experiment with new ways to get healthful foods in my tummy.

34990012I wish you all the happiest of new years and look forward to our year together!

~Hans

Garden of Hope

95360020I've been a lucky lady this summer. Traveling, spending time with loved ones, cooking, and crafting is always good for the soul. In particular, I feel like I have struck gold with my volunteer and school opportunities. So I wanted to write a post promoting a program that I've been a part of throughout this harvest season, called Garden of Hope. This program is through JamesCare for Life, a department at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center's The James that provides patients with additional support through scheduled classes or events.

The Garden of Hope is one plot of many within the Waterman Agriculture and Natural Resources Laboratory and is currently growing a ton of fruits, vegetables, and herbs for cancer patients to come pick several times a week for free! To me, it's like being transported to a picturesque farm for a couple of hours, forgetting that I am only 5 minutes away from my apartment. It's become a very special place to me as I have enjoyed wandering around Waterman, snapping some pictures of the friendly cows as they are fed. It's a spot where people come to pick produce and rejoice in all the wonderful things that fresh veggies can bring! It has also been a huge source of inspiration for my summer cooking.

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95360013As I wrapped up my last week of volunteering, I was sad to say my goodbyes to the participants and other volunteers who made my experience at the garden so enriching (although they can be sure I'll be stopping by during the fall harvest).

Thanks to the garden, I have really upped my veggie game and have gotten much better at realigning my meals to better fit my ideal food plate (see my about page for more info!). I've made TONS of veggie-centric dishes including this baked falafel, caprese salads, zucchini pasta, eggplant fries, and more from the lovely produce I have been able to harvest. I hope to share some specific recipes with you all in the near future, so stay tuned!

~Hans

Whole Wheat Zucchini Muffins with Crunchy Sunflower Seed Topping

IMG_6169Happy Thursday, everyone! Today, I am honored to be a guest blogger on one of my favorite RD blogs! Sally Kuzemchak is the star over at Real Mom Nutrition, where she shares her vast knowledge in nutrition and how to apply it when feeding a family of four. For the past few months, I have been lucky enough to help her with some photography, recipe development, and brainstorming. As I am going through grad school and my dietetic internship, I always enjoy getting to see the many ways RDs get to apply their knowledge. I have learned a ton under Sally's wing and was thrilled when she asked me to come up with something to share with her viewers. Luckily, I had a recipe up my sleeve that I had been dying to share. Whole wheat zucchini muffins! IMG_6081muffinzIMG_6130These muffins have been one of the many great outlets that I have used to keep up with all of the wonderful zucchini and squash that have been coming through my kitchen door. I have made these muffins many times and have tried different variations.  I decided to share this version because I felt it was the tastiest! However, with great taste often comes some extra calories. Please note that they are very versatile and can of course be prepared without the topping, while still delicious. Visit Sally's blog to check out the recipe!

Looking for other ways to use up that zucchini? Here are some suggestions:

- Zucchini noodles! I have been obsessed for weeks now with these tasty noodles. So much so that when I first look at a zucchini I find myself measuring it in terms of noodle yield and thinking of all the possible sauces I can pour on top!

- I have also tried out making Food52's Zucchini Butter and had great success! I enjoyed it atop whole wheat bread or just with a spoon for a quick pick-me-up. Apparently, this is something that you can do with radishes as well!

- I have been intrigued by this Zucchini Soup as well! Looks simple, tasty, and easy on the waistline!

- Don't forget about gold rush squash! I use this almost interchangeably with zucchini and love it. Use it with zucchini to get a lovely variety in color. Here's another soup that looks incredible, plus who doesn't love chickpea croutons!?

Squash away my friends!

~Hans

 

 

Film Fun + Fridge Pickles

IMG_6067-2So far, this summer has been fabulous. I've gotten to pick some strawberries, hang with some of my best pals, moved down the street, all the while getting more practical experience in the land of nutrition and dietetics. Oh and before I forget to say, I also ADOPTED A PUP! These are my excuses for my lack of internet presence for the past couple months. However, despite all the fun things going on, I have gotten a kick in the pants and am now inspired to bring some tasty summer treats to you all. Let's let the film roll; keep scrolling for a killer recipe for fridge pickles! 94700010-294700008-2

We stopped by Circle S Farms in Grove City to pick some strawbabies, and BOY where they tasty. I had never been berry picking before and was surprised by how it affordable it turned out to be!

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95360025Gardening at the new pad.

doubleAnd last but not least, let me introduce Ladybird! We met online (thanks allpaws.com!) and fell in love. Next thing I knew, Triz and I were on the way to Lexington, KY to pick her up. The guess is a Dachshund and Cairn Terrier mix. We like to say that she is a dog with front wheel drive, as her back end can be a little uncoordinated. She is the best.

splitWe have lots of fun.

Anyways, enough about me and my activities and more about pickles! Personally, I love a good, crunchy pickle. However, I always find myself disappointed when I venture to the grocery store and look at the selection. You'd be hard-pressed to find anything without high-fructose corn syrup or artificial dyes. Pickles don't need that stuff!

picklesSo like any good Millennial would do, I took to the Internet and found myself a nice fridge pickle recipe. Fridge pickles are great for those who aspire for pickle greatness but are slightly intimidated by canning, processing and giant pots of hot liquid (like me). Have at it!

~Fridge Pickles & Green Beans~

Adapted from Ashley Neese Made me ~2 large jars of pickles

 Ingredients:

2 cups water 2 cups apple cider vinegar 4 cloves garlic 1 1/2 Tsp. Kosher salt 1 lb. cucumbers Large handful of string beans 2 Tbsp. dried dill 3 Tbsp. of your pickling spices of choice

Method:

In a medium pot bring the water, vinegar and garlic to a low boil. Simmer on low for 5 minutes.

Wash and slice the cucumbers into quarters, lengthwise. Trim the ends off of the string beans.

Fill the jars with equal amounts of the fresh dill, dill seeds, coriander seeds, mustard seeds and peppercorns. Next add the cucumbers and beans to the jars. Pack them tight.

When the 5 minutes are up on the pot stir in the salt and let it dissolve. Once the brine is smooth turn off the heat and transfer 2 cloves of garlic to each jar.

Ladle the brine into each jar until all of the veggies are submerged. Allow to come to room temperature on the counter. Put the lids on top and store them in the fridge.

The pickles will be ready in 24 hours. The longer they stay in the fridge the softer and more flavorful they will become.

typepickles~Hans

 

 

Doughnut Obsession

IMG_5493-2 Doughnuts. Not something you may think a nutritionist would love and hold so dearly, is it? Let's just say this lady has a BIT of a weekend ritual, one that usually involves getting a sugary treat. In town, one of my Sunday favorite haunts is DK Diner. DK's sour cream doughnut to me is the epitome of a classic, no-nonsense fried lump of dough. I dream of them. They are crumbly, tangy, and all around wholesome. That's not to say I don't have an appreciation for more fancy, modern doughnuts. Wolf's Ridge Brewing also knows what's up. They get fancy with cake doughnut balls, glazing them with their home-brewed IPAs and whipping up cream anglaise on the side for dipping. Genius.

I also think doughnuts can teach us all a well-valued lesson. They've shown me that sweet treats don't need to be seen as an evil by those who want to eat healthfully. It's all about moderation. Whatever your "vice" may be, I would be much more concerned about what you're eating 95% of the time rather than a the shameful 5%. Just keep the DQ dipped cones within the 5%.

In honor of National Doughnut Day, I took a stab at making my own doughnuts. I bring to you "Cardamom Sour Cream Doughnuts with Ginger-Cardamom Créme Anglaise." Pretty fancy, right?! I tried to use a recipe that would be just a little too involved to tempt me late at night. However, in case you do get such temptations, I will direct you this hilarious post from i am a food blog.

 

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Cardamom Sour Cream Doughnuts Adapted from Hummingbird High Makes about 12 3" doughnuts and 12 1.5" doughnut holes

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom*
  • 1/2 cup sugar (plus more for coating)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 cups vegetable oil, for frying

Directions:

    1. In a bowl, whisk together 2 1/4 cups  flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon cardamom. Set aside.
    2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or with the back of a spoon), cream 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons butter together until sandy.
    3. Once the sugar and butter are well combined, add the 2 egg yolks and mix until the mixture is light and thick.
    4. Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream and ending with flour, scraping the sides of the bowl down as necessary. The dough will be sticky. Transfer the dough into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill for an hour.
    5. Once the dough is chilled, roll out the chilled dough on a floured surface until about 1/2 inch thick. Use a 3-inch cutter to cut out doughnuts and 1/2-inch cutter for the doughnut holes. Knead scraps together, re-roll and cut out the remaining dough into doughnuts.
    6. Pour 2 cups of vegetable oil into a heavy bottom pot (I used an iron skillet) to at least 2 inches deep. Heat to 325 (F). Add the donuts to the heated oil a few at a time, careful not to overcrowd the pot. Fry on each side until golden brown, being careful to make sure they don't burn.
    7. When the donuts are finished frying, let drain on a paper towel to soak up the excess oil.
    8. While still warm, roll the doughnuts in a bowl of sugar to coat.

*notes: if not using freshly ground, use 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom.

Nutrition Info: Serving size: ~ 1 doughnut or 2 doughnut holes (with 2 Tbsp of Créme Anglaise) Calories: 109 (162)          Carbs: 19 g (28 g)         Fat: 2 g (3 g)          Protein2 g (3 g)          Sodium: 181 mg (203 mg)         Sugar: 8 g (17 g)


 

Ginger-Cardamom Créme Anglaise Inspired by Wolf's Ridge Brewing's Orange Créme Anglaise, adapted from I Know How to Cook Makes approximately 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated, peeled, ginger
  • 5 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 2 egg yolks

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan bring milk, sugar, ginger, and cardamom to a simmer over low heat.
  2. Place the eggs yolks into a large bowl and, beating with a which, add the hot milk a little at a time. Rinse saucepan and fill with 1' of water. Bring water to a simmer.
  3. Set the bowl of custard over a pan of simmering water, stirring all the time. The mixture should thicken to the back of a spoon. Do not allow it to boil.*
  4. Strain the custard through a fine mesh strainer into container of choice.

*notes: if the custard does separate or curdle, just remove the bowl from the heat immediately and whisk vigorously until once again smooth.

Nutrition Info: Serving size: ~ 2 Tbsp of Créme Anglaise Calories: 53          Carbs: 9 g          Fat: 1 g          Protein: 1 g          Sodium22 mg          Sugar: 9 g

 


Hope you enjoy!

~Hans

Swedish Weaving + Etc.

IMG_5098 Alright folks, I might not have a fun recipe to share with you this week. Instead, I dedicated most of my time to finishing up a project that I have been working on for a long, long time. My Swedish Weaving! Above, you can see the fruit of my labors for the past several months, a 60" x 90" blanket that I wove for myself after completing two others for each of my parents for Christmas. Oy vey, this guy took me a long time, probably 100+ hours. So enjoy!

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It turns out the origins of "Swedish weaving" aren't very clear, and it isn't certain how it comes from Sweden. It is also known as Huck Embroidery due to the specific fabric, huck, that the embroidery is done on. This technique was most popular in the 1930s and 40s, when mostly done on linen and kitchen towels. However, Swedish weaving has recently been enjoying some attention and has become somewhat trendy again. I ended up going to Jo Ann to get myself a bag of Monk's Cloth, some yarn, and a weaving needle. Three blankets later, I haven't looked back and am already thinking of my next project.

I have dabbled in MANY forms of fiber arts and crafts in the past years. Cross stitch, crochet, knitting, needlework, macrame, etc, etc. I find craft-work comforting due to its repetitive, often meditative, nature. Although it requires tenacity and dedication, I like being able to sit and work with my hands to create something new and unique. I taught myself Swedish weaving by using pattern books to get the hang of the process and adapting them to my needs. As my Dad would say (a true and blue DIY kind of guy), "nothing's hard when you know how to do it."

At some point in your lives, I would encourage you all to pick up a new craft and try it out! You may surprise yourself when you rock at it!

Etc:

- Love me some enamelware... ugggh or omg

- Just wanted to make sure you all know what Konpeitō is! If you've ever seen Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away, this is the candy that the soot balls loved to snack on. Of course, it's just sugar, sugar, sugar but I've had some and there's just something about it's weird shape and colors that I love! Try it out y'all.

- Gonna try to make myself one of these...

- And last but not least: Tonight, I am lucky enough to be attending the book launch party for an amazing ice cream artist in town, Jeni Britton Bauer. Her company, Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream is releasing their second book. As if I wasn't already sold, my über-talented friend, Kelsey, shot the whole book and did an AWESOME job. I'm super proud of her and totally excited to get to celebrate~~

 

Until next time!

~Hans

 

Cole Slaw with Yogurt Dressing

slaw It’s that time of year! Let’s make some Cole slaw. I was inspired to whip this up the other day after eating dinner with my family and slamming down on my mom’s slaw. I love her recipe. It’s tangy and flavorful, but not too heavy or creamy. She uses dried cranberries and cashews, which gives it great texture and additional sweet/salty boost. Yumm!

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In my version, I decided to make my dressing from scratch. Although I am HIGHLY fond of what my mom uses (Marzetti Slaw Dressing), I peeked at the ingredient list and wasn’t too enthused. Sugar as the second ingredient? No thanks. So, I decided to use Greek yogurt as a base to my dressing. I find I can get away with substituting Greek yogurt for a LOT of things (mayo, sour cream, etc) without compromising the sauce’s texture or richness. Delicious!

Cole Slaw with Yogurt Dressing

Like most of my recipes, this slaw is very flexible and forgiving. Like your slaw extra creamy? Add more sauce! Don’t like walnuts or dried cranberries? Use any nut or dried fruit you’d like. It’s very versatile. I wouldn’t even be offended if you’d rather stick with the store-bought sauce.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Yogurt Slaw Dressing:

2/3 cup Greek Yogurt

2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp. lemon juice (~ ½ half a lemon)

2 Tbsp. honey

1 tsp. celery seeds

Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Slaw:

4 cups cabbage, shredded (~ half a head)

2 cups carrot, shredded (~ 2 medium carrots)

3 scallions, chopped

½ cup walnuts, chopped (or any other nut)

1/3 cup dried cranberries (or any dried fruit)

 

In a small bowl, make the slaw dressing by mixing all the ingredients together. Try dissolving honey in a touch of water to make it easier to incorporate in dressing. Taste and season accordingly.

In a large bowl, add the cabbage, carrot, scallion, walnut, and cranberries. Toss of mix. Dress the slaw by starting with half of the dressing. Add more as needed. Keep the slaw in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Enjoy!

 

Nutrition Info:

Serving Size: ~1.5 cup of 10

Calories: 130          Fat: 5 g          Carbs: 20 g          Sugar:13g         Sodium: 71g            Protein: 4g

Aqua de Jamaica

jamaica I propose to you a refreshing drink of what was introduced to me as hibiscus water. While completing one of my Dietetic rotations at a community clinic, several Spanish interpreters and staff members raved about this beverage to me. As I did a little more research, I came across a few recipes for Agua de Jamaica. "Jamaica" (pronounced hah-MY-kah) is the term used in Latin America for "Hibiscus." I whipped myself up a batch and boy was it GOOD. This well-pigmented tea has a tart taste but also offers a wonderful, floral sweetness. It’s red, tangy, and darn right addicting.

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Hibiscus flowers can prove tricky to find in some locales, I’m sure. I found mine in the bulk tea section of my grocery store. However, it may be stashed with spices or in the ethnic food aisle. You can also try to find any Mexican grocers in your area, or resort to ordering it online.

Aqua de Jamaica

This recipe was compiled from several others I saw on the web (namely: 101 Cookbooks) but was mostly influenced by my lovely teammates from CNHC.

Ingredients:

1 oz dried hibiscus flowers

6 cups filtered water

½ cup sugar (or any other sweetener)

Juice of 1 lime (plus more if you want a garnish)

Bring filtered water to a boil. In a heatproof container or pitcher, pour in boiling water and add dried hibiscus flowers and sweetener. Let the hibiscus steep in water for 10 minutes.

Strain flowers from tea with colander or mesh strainer. Add the last 3 cups of filtered water and lime juice. Let tea cool in the refrigerator.

Serve this drink in glasses with ice and garnish with thin slices of lime. Enjoy!

*Note: If you lack large pitchers to keep this tea in (like I do), just follow this recipe but skip adding in the last 3 cups of water. When preparing your drink, simply a 1:1 ratio of hibiscus tea and water. Feel free to try out different add-in! This is also delicious with some club soda instead of extra water (or maybe gin?? I dunno, probably).

Italian Stuffed Cabbage

cabbagegif I love cabbage. It is extremely versatile and can be used fresh in slaw or salads along with hot dishes. Not only does it boast great taste and functionality, it also happens to be GREAT for you. Read on if you want an extra key to good health or another tasty recipe to keep in tow.

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The Joys of Cabbage:

It is a cruciferous vegetable. What like, pines trees? Not quite. Cruciferous vegetables (aka Cabbage vegetables) are numerous but include things like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale. These guys pack a ton of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals to help keep you out of trouble.

A phytochemical is defined as a bio-active compound found in plants. They are what cause the plants we eat to be a certain color, have a certain taste, or tout certain health benefits. One of the big phytochemicals in cruciferous vegetables that a lot of studies are being done on is sulphoraphane. This particular compound can stimulate enzymes in the body that detoxify carcinogens before they damage cells. However, although one phytochemical seems to boast cancer-fighting properties, other studies suggest that is the synergy between this phytochemical other bioactive compounds that gives cruciferous veggies their ability to stave off cancer. (check out more info here)

Not only does cabbage and the like contain anti-carcinogenic phytochemicals, they help reduce oxidative stress and give a good amount of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Not only do they have a ton of the good stuff, they have little to none of the bad stuff. Talk about nutritionally dense (let’s address this in another post). What’s not to love? Go buy some sauerkraut.

I love this recipe because it can be prepared vegan, vegetarian, or all encompassing. If you want meat, just use italian sausages without the casing. Nix the parmesan if you are avoiding animal products, double it if you love cheese. Also, instead of the tomato sauce, I thawed a bag of my marinara from a couple weeks back. Just add a bit more water to make sure there’s enough liquid to cook the cabbage rolls and you are all set!

Italian Stuffed Cabbage [Mondeghini al sugo] Adapted from Smitten Kitchen which was adapted from Rachel Eats, who adapted it from from Giorgio Locatelli’s recipe in Made in Italy and Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book (phew!).

Makes approximately 12 cabbage rolls; a serving can range from 2 (petitely) to 3 per person.

For Cabbage Rolls: 1 large savoy cabbage 7-ounce (200-gram) hunk of bread (see above), crusts cut away, torn into small scraps (you’ll have about 3 loose cups of scraps) 2/3 cup (approximately 150 ml) almond milk 14 ounces (400 grams) veggie sausages 1 small sprig of sage, finely chopped 1 small sprig of rosemary, finely chopped 2 tablespoons grated parmesan (optional) Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For Sauce: 1 28-ounce can peeled plum tomatoes 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

Prepare cabbage: Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Discard any messy or broken outer cabbage leaves and carefully peel 12 nice, large leaves. (Take your time with this step but a torn leaf will hardly ruin the dish.) Blanch leaves for about 30 seconds to 1 minute (you can do a few at at time), until wilted, and spread out on towels so that they dry and cool.

Make filling: Place bread scraps in bottom of large bowl and pour milk over. Let sit for a few minutes, then mash it gently with a spoon until something close to a paste forms. Mix with sausage meat, herbs, parmesan and a pinch or two of salt and black pepper; I find this easiest with a fork or bare hands.

Make the cabbage rolls: Lay your first cabbage leaf on the counter. If it doesn’t want to lay flat, pare away some of the thickest stalk (with a paring knife or vegetable peeler) to make it easier. Form some of the filling mixture into a golf ball-sized round. Wrap cabbage leaf around it and pin at the top with a toothpick. Repeat with remaining leaves and mixture.

Make the sauce: To prepare your tomatoes, either break them up with your hands (for bigger chunks), run them through a food mill or roughly chop them right in their can with scissors (what I did here). In a heavy saute pan with a lid or a medium (5 to 6-quart) Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds (just until golden, not a moment longer) then add the tomatoes, bringing the sauce to a gently boil. Season with salt if needed. Add cabbage packages, arranging them carefully in the pan so they all fit, cover the pot and gently simmer them for 25 minutes. Remove the toothpicks and carefully turn the rolls over, cooking them for another 25. Remove the lid and simmer for another 10 minutes to cook off some of the wetness. They’re all cooked now, but if you can rest them for another 15 minutes before eating them, the flavors settle and they become even better.

Frozen Banana Pops

bananaGIF2 Being the excellent internet patron that I am, I play favorites. One of my favorites happens to be Thug Kitchen. I encourage you ALL to look up this foul-mouthed, hilarious and truly enlightened blog. It’s gotten awards, it’s been credited.

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It was labor day. It was hot. Thus, I froze some bananas!

Because I meddle, I decided to make adding the coconut oil mandatory since it works so well to raise the freezing temperature of the chocolate. Just melt chocolate and coconut oil together and put it on anything. It will harden at room temperature like a champ. Also, I demand dark chocolate rather than semisweet.

FROZEN BANANA POPS

8 popsicle sticks 4 bananas 1 cup of dark chocolate chips 1 teaspoon of coconut oil 1/4 cup of roasted nuts (I used peanuts but use what you like) 1/4 cup of toasted, shredded coconut

Line a baking sheet with wax paper or parchment. Peel bananas and cut them in half widthwise. Stick the popsicle stick up the banana from the flat cut side, making sure you don’t poke a hole through the other side of the banana.  Put them all on the baking sheet and let them hang out for a minute. Chop up the nuts all small and put them in a bowl.

Melt the chocolate by either slowly heating in the microwave in 25 second increments and stirring in between until it is melted. OR you can do how I do and build a double boiler. Grab a medium saucepan and fill with an inch or 2 of water. Throw an all metal bowl on top of that and make sure the whole mouth of the pan is covered and that the water inside isn’t touching the bottom of the bowl. Put this over a medium-low heat and put the chocolate chips and oil in the bowl, stirring the chocolate as they melt over the steam. When the chocolate looks all smooth, turn off the heat. This should whole process should take about 3 minutes.

Grab a banana and gently dip it into the chocolate and spoon the chocolate over to cover any holes. Drip off the excess chocolate and sprinkle it with a small handful of the nuts and coconut flakes (or whatever you want!). Put it down on the baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the bananas. Freeze the pops on the tray for at least 3 hours before serving.

Makes 8 badass banana pops

Hans' Marinara Sauce

IMG_4211 I’ve been at it again! This time I was saving my dad from drowning in tomatoes, which he has been dutifully harvesting from his garden. This marinara is a GREAT way to use up that seemingly endless supply of tomatoes when caprese salads and BLTs just don’t sound as good the tenth time around (if that’s possible). This recipe freezes really well, as I like to portion it into freezer bags for a quick dinner when I’m short on time or feeling lazy. It’s so much more delicious than store-bought sauce and a great way to enjoy the harvest season for up to 6 months after picking!

 

 

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Tristan used the marinara to make a fabulous grilled eggplant Parmesan. Twas a glorious Sunday. Enjoy!

Dried herbs hold their flavor much longer than fresh herbs when slow cooking. If you want to use fresh herbs, add them at then end of the cooking process, just before serving. Use whichever of those herbs you prefer for a total of 2 Tablespoons.

 

Hans’ Marinara Sauce

Yields 6 servings

2  yellow onions, peeled and diced (about 2 cups diced) 2 Tbsp olive oil 5-6 cloves of garlic, minced (about 2 Tbsp) 2 Tbsp dried herbs (basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, etc) mixed, total

2 Tbsp tomato paste 1/2 cup red wine 12 cups (or about 4-5 lbs) peeled and seeded fresh ripe tomatoes* salt and pepper to taste

To peel and seed tomatoes: Heat a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, core tomatoes and score an “X” on the other side. When water has reached a rolling boil, place tomatoes in water and parboil for 1 minute. Remove tomatoes and place in cold or iced water and allow to cool. Simply peel skins off and squeeze the tomatoes over a colander to collect juice but remove seeds. Set aside peeled and skinned tomatoes in their juice.

In a large soup pot, heat up the olive oil. Add the onions and cook slowly, on medium heat until they start to caramelize. They should be evenly brown and soft. Cooking them this way brings out the natural sweetness in the onions. Add the garlic, dried herbs, and tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the red wine and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the tomatoes and their juice, stirring to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook on low, stirring occasionally for at least 2 hours, or longer depending on the water content of the tomatoes. The sauce should be thick with much of the water evaporated to concentrate the flavor (sometimes I let it cook 4-5 hours over a very low flame). Add salt and pepper to taste.

Because this makes quite a bit, I like to split up the sauce into servings for two in freezer bags and pop them in the freezer where they can keep for up to 6 months to a year!

*Start with 4-5 lbs of fresh, ripe, tomatoes. If you don’t have fresh tomatoes, you can use 2 (28 oz) cans of crushed tomatoes, 1 (28 oz) can of whole tomatoes and 1 (6 oz) can of tomato paste. When I use canned tomatoes, I always add a couple tablespoons of sugar to counteract the acidity of the canned tomatoes. I find I don’t have to add any sugar with the ripe tomatoes from my garden.

Where the Rosemary Roams...

IMG_1563 Last week I came back from a trip to Rosemary Beach, FL. It is a lovely place situated not too far from Panama City, but far enough. During some seasons, it is brimming with hormone-heavy, upper-middle class kids, often who have eaten too much candy. During other seasons, it is a sleepy community, that gets to enjoy a more natural Floridian habitat. All of the landscaping was done to honor native Florida fauna, so no palm trees in sight!

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I loved walking down the boardwalks, so well enshrouded by shrubs and adorable residential facades. Beach picnics also made the food tastier and the drink more refreshing. It was a splendid trip to the panhandle.

Cardamom Pound Cake and Tea Poached Plums

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Now that you’ve hopefully been enticed through picture, I shall catch you up to speed. Last week I made a summer feastie, inspired by a wonderful Bon Appètit issue. The above photos feature the Cardamom Pound Cake and Tea-Poached Plums. It was sooo yum! Here are the secrets:

I am always enticed my recipes that feature cardamom, one of my favorite spices. Naturally sweet, it is always a little more flavorful if it has just been ground. If you have a mortar and pestle handy, have at it! I used almond milk because it’s what I had lying around, easily replaced with your choice of milk-beverage.

Cardamon Pound Cake

adapted from Bon Appétit

serves 8

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature (+ more for pan)

2 cups all-purpose flour (+ more for pan)

1 1/4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. ground cardamom

3/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 cup almond milk

1/2 cup crème fraîche (+ more for serving)

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs, room temperature

3/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. almond extract

1/4 cup sliced almonds

*Tea-poached plums, see recipe

Place a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350°. Butter a loaf pan; line bottom and long sides with parchment paper, leaving overhang. Butter parchment and dust pan with flour, tapping out any excess.

Whisk baking powder, cardamom, salt, and 2 cups flour in a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk milk and crème fraîche in a small bowl; set aside.

Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat sugar and 3/4 cup butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions and occasionally scraping down sides and bottom of bowl, them add vanilla and almond extracts.

Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with crème fraîche mixture in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients; beat until just combined. Scrape batter into prepared pan, smooth top, and sprinkle with sliced almonds.

Bake cake, rotating halfway through, until golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 55-65 minutes. (Tent with foil if browning too quickly.)

Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cake cool in pan 15 minutes. Using parchment overhang, gently remove cake from pan and transfer to rack; let cool.

Slice cake and serve with Tea-Poached Plums and crème fraîche.

Again, I am drawn to use of cardamom and black tea for aromatics. Be careful not to overcook the plums, as I did, and be sure to use left over poaching liquid in cocktails, as I did.

 

Tea-Poached Plums

adapted from Bon Appétit

makes 1 quart

1 1/2 lb. small plums (15-20), preferably Italian

3 bags strong black tea

3/4 cup light brown sugar

6 whole cardamom pods, lightly crushed

1 whole star anise pod

1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise

Using a paring knife, score plums all the way around, starting and ending at stem end and cutting just through the skin (you want to keep plums intact).

Bring 2 cups filtered water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat, add tea bags, and let steep about 5 minutes; discard tea bags. Add sugar and bring mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat, add plums, cardamom, and star anise; scrape in vanilla seeds and add pod. Simmer until plums are just tender, 15-20 minutes. Remove from heath and let plums cool in poaching liquid.

Discard vanilla pod, cardamom, and star anise. Halve plums, remove pits, and return to poaching liquid. Delicious when served with Cardamom Pound Cake (see recipe).

Sup

Hello internet! Starting a blog sure feels a lot like waiting for people to show up at a party. Horribly awkward. So please forgive. My name is Hannah Bills and I bring the promise of a blog. ”Nutrire” is the latin root of several words, including nutrition. I have a background in human nutrition and dietetics and am currently on the path to becoming an RD. So there’s that.

When I am not contemplating macro- and micronutrients, I thoroughly enjoy domesticity (captured through photos), spirituality, and travel. I am also taken with integrative medicine, appreciating the promise that there is some or many ways for each individual to chose to perceive or honor their health.

It’ll be a mix of things but mostly I hope to amuse and inspire. I intend to fill this space with my work to help inspire myself or promote the nourishment that others may be seeking on the web.

If you’ve made it this far through my spiel, hats off to you and please enjoy my subsequent posts!

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