Saturday Sites: Week Twenty-Seven

Forbidden Rice Blog | Saturday Sites Week 27, 2015

1.) YES! Encourage more play!

2.) I’ve lived in Ashland for nearly 12 years now, but my birthplace and origin for the first 18 years of my life still says home.

3.) But speaking of small town living

4.) Let’s make maple bars when the it doesn’t feel like an inferno turning on the oven in the house…

5.) A lot of parents of young children can probably relate to this piece of art.

6.) 12 comics that nail the reality of parenthood. Numbers 3, 5, and 6. Bwahahaha.

7.) This moment is priceless. (And also, the three women on the right end are still smiling!)

8.) I cannot wait to make these popsicles.

9.) My inner OCD self enjoys this post.

10.) Camping food tips, tricks, and ideas. ‘Tis the season!

11.) This. Being raw and vulnerable with the wolf at the door.

12.) I feel like the number of times I watched this and laughed makes me a terrible person (but I don’t care, it’s funny!).

13.) I’m also probably an asshole for thinking this video is hilarious.

14.) I’d tweak this a bit… and probably use fresh mahi mahi or halibut!

15.) A dose of culinary medicine sends med students to the kitchen. I would love to take a classe like this.

16.) This makes my heart happy.

17.) I’ve been enjoying this podcast.

18.) This video.

19.) A little reminder.

Blueberry Pie

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

Awaiting Oregon berry season with eager anticipation is one of the highlights of these months for me. Embracing the vast bounty and variety of berries available here each summer can be chalked up to “enjoying life’s simple pleasures” in its finest sense. Strawberries can be found as early as May, then again in the later summer months (when they are full of even better flavor). Raspberries and blackberries start showing up in June, marionberries around July… but my all-time favorite, blueberries, are beginning to show up right now… and should easily stick around until late summer.

Last year I made one of my favorite jams ever with some local blueberries. While I look forward to making another batch or two (or three, or four), standing around a stove cooking piping hot jam, then jarring them up while Ashland temperatures have been lingering in 3-digit numbers, sounds less than ideal.

Of course my next move wasn’t the most intelligent either, given the outside temps, but I couldn’t resist the first blueberry pie of the season. It’s one of my favorites and not often a pie I find on restaurant menus. There’s a beautiful simplicity about a good blueberry pie. This recipe isn’t brain-surgery; it’s pretty simple, the crust is flaky and also simplistic. This pie will easily become a loved staple in your recipe repertoire if you let it! :)

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

Blueberry Pie

Makes one 9-inch pie.

Ingredients:

For the crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup granulated sugar (plus a little more to sprinkle on the top)
1/2 teaspoon salt
14 tablespoons cold butter
8-10 tablespoons ice cold water

For the filling:
6 cups fresh blueberries, picked through for stems
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
zest and juice from half a large lemon
1 egg, whisked with 1 teaspoon water

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

Directions:

Prepare the dough for the crust: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, sugar, and salt. Cut in the cold butter (I like to use a standing box-type grater for this) until you have a shaggy looking mixture with pea-sized pieces of butter mixed in. Add the water to the mixture, then use a fork to bring to dough together. Add a bit more water (a tablespoon at a time) if necessary, although you want to dough to be shaggy and not outwardly wet.

Divide the dough into two equal portions and gently knead each portion into a flattened disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap or wax paper and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

Prepare the filling: In a large bowl, combine the blueberries, sugar, flour, salt, zest and lemon juice. Gently mix until all the berries are coated. Let the blueberries sit for about 10 minutes.

Prepare the pie: Remove one of the pie dough disks from the fridge. Roll the dough out into about a 13-inch round, on a lightly floured surface. Gently lift the 13-inch round and center it in a deep 9-inch round pie dish. Place the crust in your fridge while you roll out the top crust.

Roll out the top crust just as you did the bottom crust, creating a roughly 13-inch circle.

Remove the bottom crust from the fridge and fill with the blueberry mixture, evenly spreading the blueberries around. Carefully remove the top crust from your work surface, then drape over the filling. Use a small knife to trim the crust, leaving about 1-inch overhang. Press the top and bottom crusts together with your fingers, and fold under. Use a fork or your fingers to crimp the edges of the dough. Cut a few small slits in the top of the crust so the steam can vent.

Brush the pie lightly with beaten egg, then sprinkle with a teaspoon or two of granulated sugar. Place the pie in your fridge to chill while the oven preheats.

Bake the pie: Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and continue baking for another 30 minutes, or until the top of the pie is nicely golden brown and crisp.

Allow the pie to cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting and serving. Leftovers can be wrapped in plastic wrap, then refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Pie

Meatless Monday: Breaded Chik’n Cutlets with Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta

Forbidden Rice Blog: Breaded Chik'n Cutlets with Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta | Quorn

One of my favorite vegetarian meat alternative companies is Quorn. The flavor and texture similarity to chicken was what first attracted me to their products. Whenever I am cooking something with Quorn, I often treat it the same way I would’ve cooked chicken years ago.

One of my other favorite things to cook with is summertime produce this time of year. We’ve been out of town frequently and my humble little garden has suffered the effects of neglect. I don’t know how much produce I’ll eventually wind up with, but likely not nearly as much as the last few years. Fortunately I live in a little Oregon valley where the fresh produce is still plentiful and easy to come by.

I had a dish similar to this recently, except it was actual chicken. I immediately knew I wanted to figure out a vegetarian version ASAP. So… I did. While you can get already breaded Quorn Chik’n patties or cutlets (which are also filled with various ingredients like cheese, or garlic and herbs), I decided to get the “naked” cutlets and bread them myself (you get 4 cutlets in that box versus 2 in the already breaded varieties). You can add more or less tomatoes if you prefer, depending on the size of heirlooms you find!

Forbidden Rice Blog: Breaded Chik'n Cutlets with Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta | Quorn

Breaded Chik’n Cutlets with Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta

Serves roughly 8-12 folks.

Ingredients:
3 boxes of Quorn Naked Chik’n Cutlets
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
6 ounces panko bread crumbs
enough oil to coat a deep pan about 1-inch deep
3 large heirloom tomatoes (whatever color/variety you prefer), diced bite-size
one 8-ounce block feta, cut into bite-size cubes
4-ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup packed basil leaves, chopped
lemon wedges, for serving

Forbidden Rice Blog: Breaded Chik'n Cutlets with Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta | Quorn

Directions:

Thaw the chik’n cutlets fully. In a small bowl, mix together the salt, garlic, Italian seasoning, pepper and coriander. Heat the oil in a large, flat-bottomed pan over medium-high. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

Whisk together the milk, eggs, and 1/3 of the seasoning mixture in a dish. In another dish, mix together the bread crumbs and remaining seasoning.

Dip each fully-thawed Quorn cutlet first in the egg-milk mixture, coating both sides. Then dip in the bread crumb mixture, again coating both sides. Fry in the heated oil until golden brown on both sides.

Place the fried cutlet on a large baking sheet that has raised sides. Continue until all the cutlets have been breaded and fried, arranging them in a single layer on the baking sheet.

Top the cutlets with the diced tomatoes, feta, and crumbled goat cheese. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the feta softens, tomatoes are heated through and the goat cheese melts. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the chopped feta, and serve immediately with lemon wedges to squeeze over individual portions.

Forbidden Rice Blog: Breaded Chik'n Cutlets with Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta | Quorn

Forbidden Rice Blog: Breaded Chik'n Cutlets with Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta | Quorn

Forbidden Rice Blog: Breaded Chik'n Cutlets with Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta | Quorn

Forbidden Rice Blog: Breaded Chik'n Cutlets with Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta | Quorn

Forbidden Rice Blog: Breaded Chik'n Cutlets with Heirloom Tomatoes and Feta | Quorn

Day to Day Life: Week Twenty-Five

A quick look at the last week:

Officially in his 10th year.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 25, 2015

This queso was a big hit around here!
Forbidden Rice Blog | Meatless Monday: Queso Fundido Con Soyrizo

Little Blue Chicken!
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 25, 2015

Also perplexed about what is food and not food…
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 25, 2015

Summertime foods.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 25, 2015

Some days just require an extra tall Kentucky mule.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 25, 2015

Cluster of peachy roses.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 25, 2015

Pizza night’s always a good night.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 25, 2015

We met Silas, his mom, and friends out at the South Umpqua Falls. So pretty! Plus both perfect water and weather.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 25, 2015

I made dinner at Nana’s one night. It was followed by the funniest few checker games afterwards…
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 25, 2015

Also quite humorous, Silas teaching Nana how to play pool.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 25, 2015

Craig and I made a quick trip down to California. Southbound I-5 skies…
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 25, 2015

And a view of Mt. Shasta.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 25, 2015

We had burritos for lunch and dinner… then tacos for me, burrito for Craig, the following day for lunch. These pollo asado tacos were delicious.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 25, 2015

A little pit-stop at Shasta Lake on the way home…
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 25, 2015

And Father’s Day dinner included grilled veggie dogs and veggie chicken dogs, roasted potato salad, watermelon, and this cheesy grilled corn.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 25, 2015

S’mores Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

Forbidden Rice Blog | S'mores Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

When I first met Silas, he was a not-quite-two-year-old, making a mad-dash away from his dad (my now husband) at the park beside my old apartment. Seeing this rambunctious, active, very spirited, near-two-year-old grow up into the still rambunctious, very spirited, ten year old he is now has been quite the journey. He is more than willing to try your patience… again and again and again, within a matter of minutes. But he’s just as quick to care about people, offer sincere compassion for folks he both knows and doesn’t know. His heart is gold (even on the days I would quickly describe him as pure hellion).

Forbidden Rice Blog | S'mores Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

For his tenth birthday, Si requested a s’mores cake. The last couple years he’s requested cakes that are more ambitiously themed or colored, so I was pretty quick to OK a s’mores cake. Even though I buy marshmallows only, perhaps, once every couple years. Hah. As I scoured the inter-webs for ideas, I pulled tips and recipe attempts from various places. This is probably the largest (as in tallest) cake I’ve ever baked, but it was fun to make! And even more fun to eat!

Forbidden Rice Blog | S'mores Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

Forbidden Rice Blog | S'mores Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

S’mores Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

Makes one 3-layer, 8-inch round cake OR one 2-layer cake and 6 cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cake:
2 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
14 tablespoons butter, softened
3 eggs
1 3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 cup boiling water

For the filling:
12 large marshmallows
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
one 7 1/2-ounce jar marshmallow fluff
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1 graham cracker, finely crumbled

For the topping:
one 3.5 ounce bar of dark chocolate, broken into pieces
12-16 large marshmallows
1 graham cracker, coarsely crumbled
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips

Forbidden Rice Blog | S'mores Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

Directions:

Prepare the cake: (This step can be done 24 hours in advance; just let the cake layers cool completely, then individually wrap each layer in plastic wrap and leave at room temperature until needed.)

Preheat your oven to 350° F. Lightly grease three 8-inch round cake pans then dust lightly with flour.

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs to the creamed butter mixture, one at a time, making sure each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Beat on high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

Alternate adding the flour mixture and the sour cream to your butter mixture. Mix on low speed until well combined. The batter will appear semi-thick at this point. Stir the boiling water into the batter.

Pour the batter into your prepared pans, filling each to about 2/3-full. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick poked into the center of the cake comes out clean or with minimal crumbs attached. Cool completely.

Forbidden Rice Blog | S'mores Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

Prepare the toasted marshmallow buttercream: Turn your oven on to broiling. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then brush lightly with olive oil. Arrange 12 marshmallows on the prepared pan, spacing them at least 1 1/2-inches apart. Place the marshmallows under the broiler and watch carefully. As soon as the marshmallows have reached a toasty-brown color, flip them over. Lightly brown that side as well. Make sure to keep a close eye on these. They go from light brown to burnt quickly! Remove from the oven.

Beat the butter and powdered sugar over low speed until blended together (1-2 minutes). Add the vanilla extract and increase the speed to medium-high. Beat for 3-4 minutes. Add the marshmallow fluff and toasted marshmallows, and mix on the lowest speed for about 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Assemble the cake: Place your first layer of cake face-up on a cake plate or stand, then cover with half of the toasted marshmallow buttercream. Sprinkle on half of the finely crumbled graham cracker and half of the mini chocolate chips. Place another cake layer on, face-up and cover with the remaining buttercream, followed by the remaining finely crumbled graham cracker and mini chocolate chips.

Prepare the top cake layer: Turn your oven on to broiling. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the remaining cake layer on the pan. Arrange the 12-16 marshmallows on the cake, standing them upright. Gently place the cake in the oven and again, keeping a close eye on them, toast until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and gently smoosh down each marshmallow.

Melt the dark chocolate in either a double broiler or microwave.

Place the top cake layer on top the the assembled cake, then sprinkle on the coarse graham crackers, remaining mini chocolate chips, and drizzle the melted dark chocolate over the entire cake.

The cake is best served the same day it is made, but leftovers can be stored at room temperature, wrapped or covered, for up to 3 days.

Forbidden Rice Blog | S'mores Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

Forbidden Rice Blog | S'mores Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

Forbidden Rice Blog | S'mores Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

Forbidden Rice Blog | S'mores Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

Forbidden Rice Blog | S'mores Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting