Beet Ginger Lemonade

Added on by Melissa.

This lemonade was inspired from one of my favorite juices to make. The sweetness and earthiness of the beet really compliments the tart lemonade.

Having a juicer will definitely help speed up the process, if you don't have one a simple blender and cheesecloth will work just fine. 

Also, juicing your own lemons makes a world of difference, so please don't reach for the plastic lemons in your produce section!

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Beet Ginger Lemonade

Ingredients

1 cup of sugar

1 + 6 cups of water

6 lemons, juiced (this should come to about 1 cups worth)

1 small beet

1 thumb size piece of ginger

Directions

In a small saucepan combine the sugar and 1 cup of water, bring to a simmer until the sugar is dissolved and set aside to cool.

In a juicer or blender juice the beet and ginger. (Strain if needed to remove any pulp)

Combine the remaining ingredients in a large pitcher and chill for at least an hour before serving.

Mango Coconut Lime Sorbet

Added on by Melissa.

Making sorbet is on the top of my favorite quick desserts. You can make it with as little as three ingredients (that you probably have in your kitchen right now) and all under 2 minutes.

Mangos cream up so beautifully that you could always replace the coconut milk with other liquids, I often use water

Any fruit + liquid + acid (or liquor) + sweetener (if desired) combination works; you just need either the fruit or liquid to be frozen.

Some of our favorites are...

-Strawberries + Water + Lemon Juice + Honey

-Pineapple + Water + Ginger + Lime

-Blackberries + Orange Juice + Honey

-Honeydew + Melon Liquor + Ice (I haven't tried freezing melon)

-Watermelon + Lime + Mint + Ice

If you plan on storing this in your freezer, add a tablespoon of alcohol (vodka or any flavor that would pair nicely with your fruit combination) to prevent ice crystals from forming

Note: You may want to avoid any berries with tons of seeds (or puree them first and strain before using) I am undeniably a raspberry seeded jam girl, so I don't mind them, but some people have other opinions.

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Mango Coconut Lime Sorbet

Time- 2 minutes

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 cups mango, frozen

1/4 cup coconut milk (unsweetened was used here, but its a preference)

1 lime, juiced and zested

Directions

In a vitamix or blender with tamper:

Combine all ingredients and move blender to highest speed tamping in all outside directions toward the blades. Blend until smooth, this shouldn't take longer then 1 minute.

In a food processor or blender without a tamper:

Combine all ingredients and pulse in increments of 3, scraping down the sides of the container until fully combined. 

How to: Cut a Mango

Added on by Melissa.

Mangos are one of my favorite treats. It has a wonderful creamy consistency when blended, making it one of my favorite exotic super fruits.

Mangos are considered to be part of the EWG's Clean Fifteen List, which means they are less opt to test positive for pesticidal residue due to their protective outer skin. 

The most intimidating part of the mango is getting rid of that big ole pit. Here are a few tricks that will add mangos into your culinary repertoire in no time.

Either start with the mango peeled, or as is with the "nose" pointing up and towards you. This is a big hint to where the largest part of the pit will be!

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Then guide your knife along each side, you shouldn't feel any resistance, and if you do theres a good chance your skimming the pit. Just pull out your knife and move it over slightly

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After you cut both sides you'll have two "cheeks" and the pit that has some precious meat around it

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Cut around the pit -I usually snack on these pieces as a little reward :)

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Next, score the cheeks (on the cutting board; not in your hand)

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Then invert the fruit and slice off the pieces. You are left with the mangos ready to use for a snack or in your favorite recipes, stay tuned for one of mine next week!!

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How To: Make Cold Brewed Coffee Concentrate

Added on by Melissa.

Coffee is my go-to drink, but we all know when summer comes around sometimes the last thing you want to drink is a hot cup of joe.

The answer: Cold Brewed Coffee. Not hot coffee that has been chilled (Ew) You're usually just left with a very bitter tasting coffee that needs to be doused with sugar.

I know what your thinking- without heating the beans how are you extracting all the roasted toasted goodness? It turns out that coffee beans do not need to be heated to release all of their essential oils.

Step One: Roast

Choose a medium roast coffee bean. I prefer medium over dark roast because they taste more like coffee beans rather then the roasting process itself.

Step Two: Grind

I like my grind to be between a medium-fine grind. The finer the grind the more contact the water will have with the beans, but you don't want all fine grounds because the coffee becomes a bit "sluggish"

1/3 cup of grounds will yield two drinks

Step Three: Combine & Stir

Combine 1 1/2 cups of room temperature (preferably filtered) water with your grounds and let sit for about 10 minutes 

Step Four: Rest

Overnight-12 hours is best at room temperature

Step Five: Strain Strain Strain

If you have a coffee press save yourself some trouble and make the entire batch in there. If not just strain through a fine mesh chinois or some cheesecloth.

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Step Six: Enjoy!

In a tall glass filled with ice mix equal parts concentrate with water or milk (to taste)

 

 

 

How To: Oil a Cutting Board

Added on by Melissa.

Introducing How To Tuesdays! Each week I will share a simple guide on how to conquer kitchen basics.

Feel free to drop ideas into the comment section! I would love to know your kitchen woe's

One of the most frequent questions I'm asked during knife skills classes is how to take care of your cutting board to prevent cracking, cross contamination, knife marks and more. 

Your cutting board does so much for you; now its time to take care of it back!

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Oiling your board is pretty much as easy at it sounds. Starting off with the right oil is key, you want to stay away from anything that you would cook with, because that will go rancid a lot faster then some other oils. I prefer beeswax & mineral oil combo. Its a conditioner that really treats the woods fibers and will make a huge difference in your kitchen.

1. First start off with dry, clean wood. You don't want any stains of last nights herbs in there and smell the board- if you can smell garlic give it a good wash and let it dry once again. Oiling the boards will prevent those oils from seeping into the wood and eventually cracking or ruining your board.

2. Get a old washcloth or rag and liberally dip a corner or section in your oil of choice.

3. Start rubbing the wood in the direction of the grain with the oil cloth until a significant color improvement is seen.

4. Do the entire first side and move on to your other pieces. You want the oil to seep in for about 10-20 minutes.

5. With a clean cloth dry the excess oil off the wood. Wait to use until the board doesn't feel greasy.

Note: If your board still looks dry, repeat this process. Once the wood is treated you can do this less often, about once a month to every two months. 

Quick & Easy Ricotta Gnocchi

Added on by Melissa.

Gnocchi is one of those pastas I would order out when dining and often be disappointed with. Good not great are the words that would cross my mind, but I kept punishing myself hoping they would be "light and fluffy" "pillows" the next time i ordered them. Gnocchi is usually made with potatoes. A starch that becomes gluey when overworked, which doesn't take much. Also, if you don't use a ricer your pretty much begging for thick dense pasta nuggets.

Enter Ricotta.

Ricotta is a well known type of gnocchi you can pretty much guarantee will be light, fluffy, and delicious. Oh and did I mention they take under and hour to make? Winning.

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Once the gnocchi dough comes together, I like to quarter it so I can work with small portions one at a time. Keep the extra dough covered in a damp towel while working.

Roll each dough ball into a long rope with one or two hands, until its about the thickness of your thumb. The key is to roll each rope the same thickness.

Cut each piece a little less then an inch. I generally use the thickness of my forks as a ruler, and you'll see why below!

Each gnocchi needs to be rolled against the back tines of a fork. I use my thumb and a bit of pressure just to make the gnocchi roll up on itself creating a little crease that will act as a pocket for your sauce!

Aren't they darling?

While working, keep them spaced on a cookie sheet in the freezer, you may want to lay down a piece of parchment or plastic wrap if your sheet tray isn't nonstick. Freeze until firm then just keep in a sealed bag until ready to use!

 

And Voila! Its just that easy, and delicious.

Ricotta Gnocchi

Serves 6

1 
pound ricotta cheese

1
 large egg

1
 tablespoon olive oil

1/4
 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

2
 cups flour, sifted, plus extra for rolling dough

Salt

Add the ricotta, egg, olive oil, and cheese in a medium bowl. Add a heavy pinch of salt and slowly mix in the flour, about 1 cup at a time. Work until everything comes together, no more.

Quarter the dough and set aside under a damp towel.

Generously flour your work surface and begin rolling each dough ball with both hands into ropes about the thickness of your thumb.

Line ropes up and cut 1-inch pieces about the width of your fork. Roll each piece off the back of a fork with a little pressure to create a little crease that will act as a pocket for your sauce!

Transfer gnocchi to lined sheet so they don’t stick together and put in the freezer while making the rest of batch. Allow them to freeze entirely on the baking sheet before storing in a ziplock bag.

When ready to prepare, bring a large stockpot of generously salted water to a boil.

Before adding the gnocchi to the water gently stir once with a wooden spoon to create movement and prevent gnocchi from sticking to the bottom. Add the gnocchi and let cook for about 2-3 minutes (they will rise to the top when they are finished cooking) Gently scoop them out of the water and gently toss with your favorite sauce.

Cauliflower Soup

Added on by Melissa.

Cauliflower is such a beautiful blank canvas to work with; whether you keep it true to the very few ingredients it calls for or add your own style, I believe you will be pleased with the results!

Soften onions in a bit of olive oil until slightly caramelized

Soften onions in a bit of olive oil until slightly caramelized

Next add your cauliflower, some water & allow the cauliflower to steam until softened

Next add your cauliflower, some water & allow the cauliflower to steam until softened

Add the remaining liquid and simmer until the cauliflower begins to break down

Add the remaining liquid and simmer until the cauliflower begins to break down

Puree and add back to to the stove- taste for seasoning

Puree and add back to to the stove- taste for seasoning

Garnish and serve! Here I used a slight drizzle of truffle oil and some chives. 

Garnish and serve! Here I used a slight drizzle of truffle oil and some chives. 

Creamy Cauliflower Soup 

Yield: 4

Total Time: 45 minutes

Recipe adapted from: Chez Panisse


Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, roughly chopped

1 cauliflower head, broken into florets


5 cups of water

salt, to taste


Directions:

In a medium soup pot heat the olive oil over medium heat and began to sweat the onions being careful not to let them caramelize too much, or burn. This should take about 10-15 minutes.

Add the florets and about 1 cup of water, put a lid on the pot and let the cauliflower steam until softened. Add the remaining 4 cups of water, a heavy pinch of salt and let simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, or until the cauliflower begins to break down and the liquid has reduced slightly.

Carefully pour the soup into a blender, and puree until smooth. (You may need to add a bit more liquid at this point) Return soup to the pot, taste for seasonings, and let sit for about 10 minutes. At this point the soup with thicken slightly and give the salt a chance to meld into the soup.

Pour into preheated bowls and garnish, as you desire.

Notes: You may swap out the water for vegetable or chicken stock, however I don’t believe the added flavor is necessary, I love the richness the cauliflower brings with the earthy sweetness of the onions.

Notice no cream or dairy was added to this soup- having a great blender (vitamix) creates creamy & luxurious textures without adding any fat.

Also, sometimes cream dulls down the flavor of a soup, if you want the extra richness I recommend swapping out some of the water with the cream.

Some of my favorite toppings for this soup:

Pesto- A few tablespoons of pesto may be added to the soup, and barely swirled to leave a distinct color difference. Garnish with toasted pine nuts and shaved Parmesan.

Miso- Once again a few tablespoons of Miso can be added at the end of the cooking process to add wonderful flavor and depth. Garnish with scallion greens.

Curry- Adding yellow curry powder or paste to the onions in the beginning of the recipe will allow the spices to toast and integrate wonderful flavor into the soup.

Enjoy and let me know your favorite flavor combination!!

xo Melissa



 

 

Welcome to Fork In Hand!

Added on by Melissa.

We are so excited that the blog is (almost) up & running smoothly! Be sure to check back to subscribe for weekly recipes! xo Melissa

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Blueberry German Pancakes

Added on by Melissa.

Jeffrey has been bragging about his dutch baby pancakes since I met him, and this is the first time he has made them for me. After four years of hype these babies are definitely worth it!

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Dutch Baby, or German Pancakes are oven baked large pancakes thats can feed a crowd. The texture lies between a crepe and a thin eggy pancake, with crisp "popover" like edges. Usually baked in a hot cast iron skillet, a metal pie dish can be easily used instead.

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Dutch Pancakes are classically made with apples, we substituted blueberries. Why you ask? They are great to bake with whether fresh or frozen, and they don't lose their integrity once frozen like apples and other fruit, and well they are Jeffrey's favorite!

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Once in the oven you have about 20 minutes to set the table, pour yourself a cup of coffee and get out some maple syrup! 

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Blueberry German Pancakes

Yield: one large pancake

Total Time: 25 minutes

Bake Time: 15-20 minutes

Notes: Feel free to substitute the blueberries for any fruit, fresh or frozen, just be aware some fruit may be better used fresh rather then frozen because they will give off more liquid (i.e. apples, peaches, & pineapple) 

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter

2 large eggs


½ cup milk


2 tbsp sugar


1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch salt

½ cup all-purpose flour


½ tsp cinnamon


½ cup frozen blueberries

confectioners' sugar, for dusting

maple syrup, for serving

Directions:

Preheat oven & skillet of choice in a 400°F oven.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, & salt. Add the flour and cinnamon and mix until smooth. Fold in blueberries.

Remove skillet and add butter and swirl to let melt and foam. Working quickly, pour prepared batter into skillet and return to oven.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until center is set and edges are golden brown. The pancake will puff up on the sides

Dust with confectionary sugar and serve with warmed syrup. 


Enjoy!

xo Melissa & Jeffrey