Kale & Caramel’s Roasted Strawberry & Basil Cream Pie

The first time I met Lily Diamond was at a brunch a couple years ago with a few other bloggers up in LA where we talked about her just starting the book process and me half alive from finishing up mine. She told me the book was centered around herbs and edible flowers and each one had their own chapter and I was instantly sold (I always have half bunches of herbs I want to eat and with my luck I would assume a flower was edible then have diarrhea for a week). We talked about ideas for coping with the process, shared an eggs benedict pizza and talked about how underwhelming the dessert was.

We’ve been friends ever since.

One of my favorite things about Lily (besides how funny and charming she is without even knowing) is her ability to pair together foods and memories that somehow go so perfectly hand in hand when they in fact shouldn’t. Her writing is so thoughtfully done with bits of humor that let you know she is in fact a human and not some robot that’s trying to use the most flowery of words to sound smart. Her book is all of this and beyond, beyond being new ways to use herbs, face masks and sprays to help you chill out.

This is one of the first recipes I opened to and with both strawberries and basil coming into their own for the season I figured it was a perfect to share with you. It’s the perfect millennial pink (the actual shade of pink not just any shade that people have been attaching the title to, neon pink it’s not ur day) without any food coloring and it showcases how to use an herb in a way you wouldn’t really expect and gives me ideas for other infused whipped cream combos.

Mission accomplished, Lily.

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Tahini Chip Pound Cake

Tahini Chip Pound Cake // Wit & VinegarHello I made you this beautiful bundt cake that’s actually been living inside my head for a while now he is no longer imaginary but v real show him some love.

I’m a sucker for a good classic fine crumb pound cake, and by sucker I mean I will suck up half the slices like a vacuum cleaner within 5 minutes because I am an animal, but also a machine. So the fact that this is  a good classic with the addition of the nutty tahini/chocolate combo #blessed just makes it that much more dangerous for me to be left alone with it.

Tahini Chip Pound Cake // Wit & VinegarWe’re keeping this post extra short this time around because I’m currently up in Fort Bragg visiting my mom/sister/brother in law/grandma/shiny new nephew and it’s time to go make breakfast. Whatever you’re celebrating this weekend this pound cake is perfect because it comes together so easily, feeds 10 people without batting an eye, and if the chocolate isn’t your thing then you can leave it out and this cake would be perfect with some sliced strawberries and whipped cream.

And bonus for all of us! The same day I finalized the recipe Erin Jeanne McDowell (one of my favorite instas) blessed us with all the tips you need for a perfect bundt.

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Strawberry Ginger Peeps

Strawberry Ginger Peeps // Wit & VinegarIt’s almost Easter which means Peeps season is almost over. I know there’s like this very divided train of thought where you’ll either eat an entire package in one sitting or throw the whole thing out the window because you’d rather choke on a piece of old egg. I just happen to be in the eat the entire package in one sitting camp.

Now I know what you’re thinking:

“Billy there’s packs of peeps at the store for a dollar and change and you want me to make them?”

And my answer is “Yes, did I stutter?”

Now, we’re not going to make the classic vanilla ones because technically yes you can buy those (but these would still be an improvement because those taste like a sweet plastic). Instead we’re actually going down the path of Strawberry Ginger, two words used to describe someone with red hair and now the flavor of these peeps.

I got the inspo from this v relevant post last year where I made strawberry top vodka and threw it in a Moscow Mule. The ginger strawberry combo move was so perfect and it translates insanely well with these peeps. You still have time to grab a mold before Easter (easiest thing for diy peeps) and show off your sugar skills, and if this combo isn’t for you then maybe you can try Esteban’s twist on mango con Tajin (did you really think we were spending $15 on a peeps mold and it not getting more than one post into the world that is the internet?)

Now that would be crazy.

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Sambal Tahini Carrot Dip

Sambal Tahini Carrot Dip // Wit & VinegarWe’re having a dip party!

A few bloggers are getting together to throw a dip party with Good Health Snacks, involving actual dips and not the bean dips where we run around and flick man boobs.

Hopefully that is a reference that everyone gets and not just me growing up in the mountains.

Sambal Tahini Carrot Dip // Wit & Vinegar

I’ve been wanting to make a roasted carrot dip for a while now because I love the idea of roasted carrots blended with a bunch of spices to make me feel like the bag of chips I’m eating is healthy. I know at first glance this is just a baby food for babies with advanced palettes but it really is the perfect thing to serve at a party or a dinner where it’s just you standing in a kitchen alone.

The flavor combo of this is really kind of perfect. The sambal oelek gives a nice after kick while the bitterness of the tahini cuts the sweetness of carrots with the lime. I don’t want to call it hummus because there aren’t any chickpeas in sight but the combo of the tahini and citrus and olive oil we’re landing on hummus adjacent.

Sambal Tahini Carrot Dip // Wit & VinegarFor the full list of dips you can head over to the dip party hostess with the mostess Chicano Eats! Continue Reading

Artichoke Shakshuka

Artichoke Shakshuka // Wit & VinegarHappy Monday, Happy start to a new week, Happy trying not to let all the news make you want to fall into a sleep that lasts 4 years/angry cry into your Special K.

Steve and I have been back from Colima, Mexico for a week now and these past couple of days have been me actually being able to catch up on and function what is real life. The trip was great, quick, exhausting, all of the above, and all I want right now is to be laying on a beach drinking too many beers and eating all the ceviche.

Artichoke Shakshuka // Wit & VinegarObviously that won’t be happening soon (for at least a few months) so we’re back in the real world of work with some newish book happenings!

This shakshuka comes from Molly Gilbert‘s new book One Pan & Done. If you’re not familar with Molly she’s also the author of the book Sheet Pan Suppers, another ingenious book, and it’s even got her the title of sheet pan queen. I guess that’s one more queen title I will never be able to snatch.

Artichoke Shakshuka // Wit & VinegarThe book is great though because it focuses on as much one pan cooking as possible. Of course with some baking there’s multiple bowls, but the majority of the book is all one pan and my all time favorite of the haus of one pan is shakshuka, or really any form of eggs baked in an egg sauce and served with a huge chunk of crusty bread, and this twist of adding artichoke hearts is so genius. I think it helps bulk up the whole thing to make it a little more filling and it adds this nice briny bite that makes the dish that much better.

Go out and get Molly’s book and get to making all the one pan meals for everything rn.

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Israeli Couscous Coconut Pudding

Israeli Couscous Coconut Pudding // Wit & VinegarI grew up in a very predominately white religious community in the mountains of central California (Oakhurst/Coarsegold to be exact) and have managed to separate myself from almost everyone I went to high school with/knew growing up through religious happenings on facebook. That’s started evolving after I came out, then the ignorance involved with the major sort of initial public transitioning by a celebrity with Caitlin Jenner, and eventually sort of ended with this election/girls claiming milo yiannopoulos and tammy lahren were heroes.

It’s weird to me to hear the word bubble being used, mainly from people in areas like this, to describe the large hubs or the ‘elite coasts’ when being where I am now I can easily go into a grocery store and be the only white dude in there, and drive past more than a church for christians, mormons, jehovah’s witness and seventh day adventists on my way there. Growing up everyone went to a church or was involved with God in some way, you sort of stuck with your own religious group, nobody I knew was gay or queer in any form (minus one guy that was brave enough to be himself and was constantly bullied for it), the only people of color I knew personally could be counted on my two hands, and about a third of them were adopted by white people in my church.

That, right there, is a bubble.

Israeli Couscous Coconut Pudding // Wit & VinegarWhen you’re someone that lives in this environment it’s extremely easy to just ignore what’s going on 40 miles away in Fresno, or anywhere in the world for that matter, and when something doesn’t go your way you either blame the democratic president or if he’s republican say it’s in God’s hands and you don’t worry about it.

I wish I were joking.

I see these statuses on facebook now by the few people that have managed to hang on through my political rants that I went to church with and it’s like they’re completely blinded by what’s going on but it’s because it doesn’t affect them in any way. Zero repercussions because they’re content in the life they live. They ”were able to open their eyes that morning along with their family because god is good and they’re in good health” so what’s happening to all these minority groups is not an issue. I had a girl I went to high school with post this whole status about people needing to stop complaining and calm down because presidents change all the time and she was in good health god bless, and about 40 straight white people had liked it, so I did the thing any angry person would do when the actions he’s done are normalized and pasted the whole transcript from the bully bush pussy grabbing bus convo as a comment.

Needless to say she unfriended me and wrote me a whole long message about how that was wrong and she never asked for it because SHE DIDN’T VOTE FOR ANY CANDIDATE and that it’s sad that I have to base my being as a person on a president. *read* she’s a straight white woman that has nothing being taken away, it doesn’t affect her, so she doesn’t care. Place that under white privilege in your dictionary.

When my fundamental rights as a human being have the possibility of being threatened, it is an attack on my being as a person, as a human being. When the vp and cabinet members are being picked have a whole list of targets for LGBT people, minorities, and women, there’s an issue with that, and even if I didn’t fall into one of those categories I’d still give a damn because I’m a decent human being that cares about equality.

Her response? She likes to appreciate the little things in life and not worry about that. She’s content with getting to have her grandmother in-law at her wedding (good thing she’s not on that lis of countries, amirite?) holding hands with strangers, and watching rain fall.

Watching. the fucking. rain fall.

Israeli Couscous Coconut Pudding // Wit & VinegarThe takeaway from all this is that if you’re in her shoes/bubble, and you don’t know why people are upset with the new president, then figure it out, do some research.

Spoiler Alert: it’s not just because Hillary lost.

There’s a reason almost 3 million people marched in the Women’s march, why LGBT people are worried about the “godly man” mike pence that believes in electrocuting gay youth to ‘convert them’ to heterosexuality. When in doubt, ask one of your LGBT friends or poc their thoughts, and if you don’t know anyone that’s LGBT or not white then that, right there, is the problem.

Now we get to quickly talk about the food (we’ll get back to our regularly scheduled programming this week because it is, after all, my job to take pictures of food and write about it, but let it be known right here right now that when something needs to be said we’ll be talking about it.)

This pudding! I had the pleasure of going to one of the #bennettbrunches a few months ago for the release of my bb Molly‘s new book and we had to bring something for an Israeli brunch and this white boy had no idea what to bring so I searched molly’s site and found sort of a sweet Israeli couscous dish and said why not and it ended up going over very well with everyone. I love the idea of sort of a tapioca/rice pudding but with pasta and adding the element of a semi tart dried fruit and the warm spice of cardamom to send it over the top.

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