purple darkness

Gorgeous purple garlic and deep hued Concord grapes at the market that I had to bring home along with a cookie or two from Boulettes Larder before making my own super healthy treats. Energy levels have been shifting as the Super Moon made it's voyage and finally came to visit last night. 

quinoa no bake cookies

1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sunflower seed butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
3 cups cooked and cooled cooked quinoa (from 1 cup uncooked quinoa)
*optional chocolate chips for decorating

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and clear a space for it in your refrigerator or freezer.
2. Combine coconut oil, maple syrup, and cocoa powder in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to combine. Let boil for one minute, then remove from heat. Stir in sunflower butter, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom. Mix in quinoa.
3. Drop batter in small scoops (I use a mini ice cream scoop) onto the parchment paper lined tray. *Optional, add a chocolate chip to the top of each cookie for decoration.
4. Place tray in the refrigerator or freezer to set (approximately one hour). The cookies are ready when they are firm. For best results keep them stored in the refrigerator.
5. Eat, share, and enjoy!

infusion / ratafia with apricot kernels

I love making infusions, they're a way to experiment with new flavor combinations while easily preserving something that would normally go to waste. Sometimes I just infuse with herbs and spices, but over the past few years I've used citrus zest with vodka, or the last basket of summer strawberries in a pint jar of brandy and today it was adding apricot kernels. Apricots are in abundance now and after hearing about almond extract being made with stone fruit pits I started to squirrel away my apricot, cherry, and peach pits. I have a few infusions started that I hope to enter in a competition in a month or so and saved a pint jar of brandy for the stone fruits. I cracked open 10 apricot pits and added the kernels to the pint jar of brandy, 10 cherry pits, and two peach pits. The measurements are largely based on what I had and after tasting in a few weeks I may adjust for the next batch. *I tried to crack the apricot pits with a hammer at first and then used a pair of kitchen scissors instead with a little more ease. After scouring the internet for almond extract recipes I found this informative post and recipe from the 4th edition of Picayune's Creole Cook Book (1910) 

Peach Kernel Ratafia
Ratafia aux Noyau de Peches ou d’Abricots
¼ pound each of peach or apricot kernels
4 pints of brandy 
2 ½ pounds of sugar

2 pints of water 

Pound the peach or apricot kernels – some also pound peach stones – steep them for one whole month in four pints of brandy in an earthen jar, and at the end of that time add a syrup made of two and a half pounds of sugar and 2 pints of water. Mix all well together, and then filter as directed above
 [sic: below], and bottle and seal, and keep in a cool, shady place. 

Ratafia aux Noyau is one of the standing Creole drinks, that is most agreeable, the taste being of a delicate vanilla and almonds combined.

Further research pulled up this NY Times article on Bottling the Bounty of the Season which I love. 
"A good ratafia exploits the seasons and transcends them. It captures the taste of produce when it’s in high supply so you can still enjoy it when it’s gone. Jams and jellies do the same thing, but they are cooked, which changes the character of the fruit. In a ratafia, alcohol and acidity do the work of preserving the fresh ingredients. But they won’t preserve it forever; the fruit starts to oxidize, changing in color and in flavor. Ratafias are not shelf stable, which is why they are not usually found in wine shops. The only way to get them is to go to a restaurant like T’afia or bottle your own, which is not hard at all."

*reposted from last year for those of you looking for more information via my IG post

Darwin Cafe

I caught up with a friend over a delicious lunch at Darwin Cafe. We shared this gorgeous salad with arugula, peaches, watermelon radishes, fromage blanc, toasted almonds and red wine vinaigrette. The pastrami sandwich was loaded with coleslaw, thick cut pickles, sweet onions, BBQ sauce, swiss, and aioli. This little cafe is a new favorite.

a weekend of fog & farmers markets

Shishito peppers are in season now and I'm thrilled. I blister them in a skillet with a little oil and then a sprinkle of salt at the end. Here's a full recipe via Food52. They're delicious and addictive mostly mild, but the odd hot one or two always sneaks into a batch. The prettiest speckled heirloom beans are popping up from Lonely Mountain Farm at the Ferry Building Farmers Market. I walked over to the Fort Mason Farmers Market earlier today before stopping in at Renegade Craft Fair. A stop at the Happy Boy Farms stand is always a must with beautiful organic produce at a great buy. They have a bumper crop of heirloom tomatoes (above) and melons along with a heap of summer gems. The fog has been lingering until noon before the sun comes out so I've saved a little coconut milk to the side from a curried soup and picked up a can of condensed milk for the weeks morning coffee. I'm still thinking about the cafe rico (espresso and condensed milk) from last weekend. I met lovely makers at Renegade Craft Fair today. My favorites were Red Onion Woodworks with the loveliest boards and spirit, Porcelain & Stone bands and bracelets, and these little California state pendants.