French 77

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While I know January is normally time for cleansing and hitting the gym and starting that diet you have been putting off for months, sometimes you just need a little enticing treat. A little break during happy hour should be welcomed when you are working so hard in other areas of your life. I often feel that we take on too much at once, or at least I know I do, and we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to bury our heads in work and in daily tasks, and we regularly forget to take that step back and just breathe. I personally struggle with this time and again. When I am not working, I fill my days off with to-do lists, workouts, errands, and assignments and I am constantly trying to tell myself to relax and enjoy the day for what it is worth. Today, I did just that. Kris and I are super fond of this little cocktail and we love it so much we knew we had to share it with you. It is a little spin on the classic French 75  and is incredibly delicious. It encompasses just the right amount of sweetness with a strong and biting piney undertone and the bubbles give that extra special effervescence. Oh, I shouldn’t forget to tell you that when I saw the Michelle Brut Champagne, I obviously had to buy it. So fun! We hope that you enjoy because we definitely are! Xo. 

Ps. Kris- “Why did you write an ‘Xo’ at the end?” 

      Me: “Because I’m drunk, honey.”

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French 77

Serves 1


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Prep Time
3 min

Total Time
5 min

Prep Time
3 min

Total Time
5 min

Tools
  1. cocktail shaker
  2. .5oz and 1oz jigger (measuring tool)
  3. ice
  4. champagne saucer or flute
Ingredients
  1. .5 oz of Meyer lemon juice* (see note)
  2. 1 oz gin
  3. .5 oz elderflower liquor (St. Germain)
  4. .5oz champagne or prosecco
  5. Meyer lemon twist, for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice. Add the lemon juice, gin, and St. Germain. Shake vigorously and pour into a champagne saucer or flute. Top with champagne and garnish with a twist. Cheers!
Notes
  1. I love using Meyer lemons because they are naturally sweeter and less sour than regular lemons. If you cannot find these beauties any lemon will do.
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/

Homemade Lavender Almond Milk

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One of the easiest and simplest things to make is homemade almond milk. I personally love preparing it because it tastes light years better than the packaged stuff and is so much healthier for you; say good-bye to the processed sugars, preservatives, and additives and welcome the all natural, purified, and completely raw nut milk. The possibilities are endless too, I might add. Any raw nut will do; almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, or even pumpkin seeds are just a few delicious examples. Once you have chosen your nut base you can flavor and sweeten with raw honey, agave, maple syrup or fresh dates. Pure vanilla extract or your favorite ground spices are excellent ways to give the milk an extra tasty essence.

One of my dearest friends, Meryl, who is constantly making her own raw and healthy snacks told me that she loves the addition of a few dried lavender leaves in her homemade nut milk. I took her advice and then added a bit of honey for sweetness, pure vanilla extract, and some ground cardamom and hit the nut milk jack-pot. I love the slight floral hint the lavender gives while the cardamom adds just a touch of warmth. The real kicker is how incredibly effortless it is to come together! I can honestly say that I will never go back to the store-bought cartons and I am really looking forward to seeing what my favorite flavor combinations will be…Enjoy! 

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This recipe yields about 3-4 cups of milk and will last in the fridge for about a week. 

Homemade Lavender Almond Milk


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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup raw almonds, placed in a small bowl soaked and completely covered in water overnight (8-12 hours)* See note
  2. 4 cups filtered water
  3. 1 TBSP raw honey
  4. 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  5. pinch of dried lavender (about 1 tsp)
  6. 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  7. a few layers of cheese cloth (or a sheer fabric nut milk bag)
Instructions
  1. After the almonds have soaked in water overnight, drain the water out of the bowl. Rinse and drain the nuts a few times with clean water and set aside.
  2. In a blender, add the nuts with 4 cups of filtered water and blend on high for a few minutes. Add the honey, cardamom, vanilla, and dried lavender and blend for another minute.
  3. Set a metal strainer over a large glass bowl and place cheese cloth over the metal strainer. Pour the almond milk straight into the cheese cloth. Allow the milk to run throughout the cloth and then gather the cheese cloth in your hands and squeeze all the milk out of the cloth. You should be left with the creamiest almond milk in the bowl and all almond meal in the cloth. Pour the milk into an airtight container/mason jar and store in the fridge for 5 days. Enjoy with cereal, granola, or smoothies!
Notes
  1. Any organic nut of your choice works great here, just make sure you are buying the raw form!
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/

Broccoli Salad w/ Honeyed Whole Grain Mustard Dressing

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Do you know that broccoli salad that always makes it’s way to holiday dinners and family get-togethers? I think it is from Costco or those local bulk buy stores and usually makes enough to feed close to ten people. Growing up, I would always love it when someone brought the broccoli salad to a family festivity. I loved the creamy dressing and figured that since it was mostly broccoli, I could load half my plate with this salad. Not until I was older, and learned how to read food labels, was I shocked to find out that while I thought I was choosing the “healthy” option at dinner, I was really choosing to pack my plate with one of the most unhealthy sides. That store-bought broccoli salad was soaked in a mayonnaise sugar dressing and was mixed with tons of bacon and thick chunks of cheddar cheese. All of that tasted pretty good, don’t get me wrong, but when you are looking for a broccoli salad to make for a normal work week lunch this was not the one to choose. I needed something that tastes just as great yet is more densely filled with wholesome ingredients and nutritive compounds.

I kept most of the classic ingredients for the new adaptation; broccoli, red onion, dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds. I gave the bacon and cheddar cheese the boot and instead filled it with an incredible vegetarian protein; organic garbanzo beans, otherwise known as chickpeas. Chickpeas are brimming with protein, fiber, iron, folate, and manganese.  I changed the dressing a honeyed whole grain mustard vinaigrette that isn’t creamy but still gives the salad a bit of sweetness that it demands. This new version is so delicious and doesn’t make me miss the old stuff at all….Good riddance! Welcome to the new broccoli salad of the future…the one I will now and forever feed my family and friends during the holidays or at a lazy picnic lunch. 

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Broccoli Salad w/ Honeyed Whole Grain Mustard Dressing

Serves 6


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Prep Time
10 min

Cook Time
2 min

Total Time
15 min

Prep Time
10 min

Cook Time
2 min

Total Time
15 min

For the dressing
  1. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 2 TBSP honey (or maple syrup/agave nectar if vegan)
  3. 2 TBSP whole grain mustard
  4. 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  5. 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  6. 1/2 tsp salt
  7. 1/2 tsp pepper
For the salad
  1. 3 heads of organic broccoli
  2. 1/2 red onion, chopped
  3. 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  4. 1 15 oz can of organic garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  5. 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  6. 1/2 cup toasted (unsalted) sunflower seeds
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl whisk all the salad dressing ingredients together for about a minute until it emulsifies and set aside.
  2. Blanch the broccoli. Blanching helps to keep the broccoli looking bright green while taking the raw bite out of the salad. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. In a large bowl, make an ice bath (water and ice). Dip the heads of the broccoli into the boiling water for 1 minute and then put them straight into the ice bath. Let cool and then pat the broccoli dry.
  3. Chop all the stems off the broccoli and cut into tiny florets and add to a large bowl. Add the chopped red onion, the shredded carrots, garbanzo beans, dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds. Pour the dressing all over the salad and toss to coat using tongs or a large spoon (the dressing likes to sink to the bottom of the bowl, so be sure to toss for a few minutes to get the dressing in the florets). I like to let the salad sit in the fridge for about an hour to get cool before serving in an air-tight container. Can be stored in the fridge for up to 3-4 days* (see note).
Notes
  1. This salad serves 6-8 people as a side and about 4 people as a main course. It can be made as much as a day ahead of time if you are preparing for a party or gathering.
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/

Salsa Bruschetta

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This ridiculously warm weather we are having in the middle of January is kind of amazing. Yes, I think it should feel more like winter and I agree that we desperately need it to rain but I am a sun worshiper at heart. I love the warmer climate and everything that encompasses it. I can never have enough barefoot sunset strolls while wearing tank tops and shorts, even when it is the middle of winter. I will never tire of it and that is why I will always call this place my home. The false summer that we are having not only makes me want to hit the beach immediately but it also makes me crave all kinds of summer time foods. Today, I was yearning for tomatoes. Tomatoes always speak “summer time” to me because that is when they are quite literally the most wonderful things to put in your mouth. During their peak season they are incredibly juicy and possess so much flavor. The best part is that we are so fortunate to be able to get amazing tomatoes all year long in our grocery stores. Therefore, I didn’t have to wait 3 months to fulfill my craving today.

I had bruschetta on the brain, but I wanted to kick it up a notch with a bit of a latin twist. I imagined the flavors of classic Mediterranean bruschetta with a Southern California perspective. I love the brininess of the capers next to the spiciness of the jalapeño and the red onion. The feta cheese and basil give it that Italian spin while the cilantro brings it right back around to Mexico. Salsa meets bruschetta. Bruschetta meets salsa. You get the idea… 

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Salsa Bruschetta

Serves 8


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Cook Time
2 min

Total Time
22 min

Cook Time
2 min

Total Time
22 min

Ingredients
  1. 1 fresh thin ciabatta loaf, cut in quarters, and then each quarter cut in half lengthwise, so that you have 8 thin slices.
  2. 1 lb grape tomatoes, sliced in quarters (remove as much of the juicy seeds as possible)
  3. 1 jalapeño, seeded and de-veined, finely chopped
  4. 1/4 small red onion, finely chopped
  5. 2 TBSP capers, drained of the juice
  6. 2 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro
  7. 5 basil leaves, stacked on top of each other, rolled up, and sliced “chiffonade” style
  8. 2 garlic cloves
  9. 1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
  10. 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  11. 1/2 tsp pepper
  12. 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  13. Maldon Salt for sprinkling* (see note)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the diced tomato, jalapeño, red onion, capers, and cilantro. Add the olive oil, red wine vinegar, and pepper and mix to combine. Set aside.
  2. Toast the ciabatta slices. I use a very hot grill hot pan to toast the bread because I like the look of the grill marks. Feel free to toast your bread in the oven or toaster oven if that is your preference. Once toasted and still warm, rub the garlic cloves on all 8 slices. You should see the garlic melt into the toast.
  3. Top each piece of toast with some of the tomato mixture, some crumbled feta, the basil chiffonade, and a sprinkling of the Maldon salt. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Notes
  1. If you do not have a fancy finishing salt, such as Maldon, substitute for 1/2 tsp of sea salt and add to the tomato mixture at the same time as the pepper. I highly recommend that you purchase a flaky finishing salt at some point because the flavor is unparalleled. The salt can be a bit expensive but will last you a very long time.
  2. This makes 8 servings as an appetizer. I like to serve this as a main lunch course for two by simply cutting the recipe in half.
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/

Good ol’ Whole Bowl

DSC_0268I have been on this kick lately where almost everything I eat comes in bowl form. Kris even said today, while I was shooting this bowl, “More bowl food?”. Please honey, like this is a bad thing?? How can you not love a wholesome bowl full of super flavorful ingredients that not only taste incredible when put together but are also genuinely good for you? It’s a bowl that is just down-right good for your soul. (I don’t know why, but the word “bowl” makes me want to rhyme… a lot). Kris and I often eat lunch at this little café in San Clemente, where bowls are the star of their menu. The bowls are primarily made with whole-grains and then topped with all sorts of organic veggies and legumes and dressed in a super delicious sauce. It is wonderful when you can pack all kinds of nutrient-dense foods into one little tasty package and know you are getting so much fuel for the day. I was also inspired to create my own version by a recent post from Sarah over at My New Roots. She calls hers an “Abundance Bowl” and gives a great recipe for a winter-time rendition of brown rice, broccoli, and lentils. I haven’t tried hers yet, but I am sure I will in the very near future (it looks amazing!). I wanted to create a bowl that you could throw together whenever you have a fridge full of whole-grain or vegetable leftovers. You could really make this bowl all about you and whatever you love; there are truly endless possibilities. I happened to have farro and green lentils on-hand, but, barley, quinoa, millet, brown rice, or wheat berries would have been just as marvelous. I was utterly fond of the crunch the kale and red cabbage gave to the bowl and the herb yogurt sauce made for so much depth of flavor. Of course, Kris and I both had to add a drizzle of our favorite hot sauce on top, Sriracha, and that really brought the whole dish together. I hope you enjoy this bowl as much as I did and perhaps it will motivate you to create one of your own bowl masterpieces! 

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Good ol’ Whole Bowl

Serves 4


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For the Bowl
  1. 1 bag of quick cooking Farro (I bought mine at Trader Joe’s)
  2. 1/3 cup dry green lentils
  3. 1 medium sweet potato, skinned and chopped into cubes
  4. 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  5. salt & pepper
  6. 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  7. 1 cup tuscan kale, finely chopped
  8. drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
  9. 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  10. salt & pepper to taste
  11. micro greens, for garnish
  12. sriracha for serving (optional)
For the Herb Yogurt Sauce
  1. 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  2. 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  3. 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  4. 1 TBSP chopped fresh dill
  5. 1/2 shallot, chopped
  6. 2 garlic cloves
  7. zest and juice of 1 organic lemon
  8. 1/2 cup plain goat’s milk yogurt (or any yogurt you prefer)* see note
  9. 1/4 tsp sea salt
  10. 1/4 tsp pepper
Instructions
  1. The night before, prepare the lentils in a medium bowl and cover with water and soak over night (or up to 8 hours).
  2. Preheat the oven to 400.
  3. Drain the lentils and rinse well. Add the lentils to a large pot of boiling water. Bring the lentils up to a boil, then cover and reduce to simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until lentils are cooked. Drain and set aside. While, the lentils are cooking, peel and chop the sweet potato into small bite-sized cubes. Add the sweet potato cubes to a medium bowl and drizzle with about a TBSP olive oil. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 1/2 tsp ground cumin and toss to combine. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place the sweet potato cubes on the baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Prepare the farro per package directions. Once finished combine the farro with cooked lentils in a large bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the chopped kale and red cabbage. Drizzle a bit of olive oil, about 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to combine and then set aside.
For the Herb Yogurt Sauce
  1. Place walnuts in food processor and process until it becomes a fine meal. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings (adding more salt or pepper if needed).
To Prepare the Bowls
  1. Add about 3/4 cup of the lentil/farro mix to the bottom of each bowl. Top each bowl with 1/2 cup of the kale/red cabbage mixture and about 1/2 cup sweet potato cubes. Garnish with a few micro greens. Drizzle the Herb Yogurt Sauce over the top with another pinch of salt & pepper. Serve with Sriracha and enjoy!
Notes
  1. I used plain goat’s milk yogurt in the sauce because it isn’t too thick. Feel free to use any plain yogurt you like, just be sure that it isn’t greek-style or the sauce doesn’t become loose enough.
  2. Store left-overs in separate containers for about a week.
HONEYED HOME http://www.honeyedhome.com/