3.02.2015

PRUNE, RAISIN + WALNUT HAMANTASCHEN

Prune, Raisin + Walnut Hamantaschen // Sevengrams

When it comes to the holidays, I'm all about tradition. When I was a kid, Purim meant noise makers, costumes and prune-filled cookies. My sisters and I would gather around our kitchen table and make hamantaschen with my mother -- she would prepare the dough, and we would help out with the rest, somehow always ending up with flour up to our elbows.

Since being in Toronto, I've attempted to make hamantaschen without my mom, but could never quite get the dough right. The consistency would be off, and the triangles would explode in the oven, loosing their shape and oozing filling all over the baking sheet. Fail.

This year, I was determined to get it right -- simple, easy to handle dough, and a prune filling just like the one my dad used to buy (maybe even a bit better if you ask me). Chag Sameach!

Prune, Raisin + Walnut Hamantaschen // Sevengrams

Prune, Raisin + Walnut Hamantaschen // Sevengrams

Prune, Raisin + Walnut Hamantaschen // Sevengrams

Prune, Raisin + Walnut Hamantaschen // Sevengrams

PRUNE, RAISIN + WALNUT HAMANTACHEN // makes 24-30

The dough steals cues from both the traditional recipe my mother uses (from Second Helpings, Please), and Molly Yeh's recent post. It needs to be refrigerated overnight, so plan accordingly! Also, you'll most likely be left with far too much filling -- I'm thinking of swapping out the filling on these later this week to use it up. 

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 T orange juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

1 egg + 1 T water, for egg wash

filling //

1 1/2 cups dried prunes
2 cup water
half a lemon, juiced
1/2 cup raisins, chopped
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
2 T bread crumbs (like panko)
2 T white sugar

What to do:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.

In a separate, larger bowl, combine the juice, oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Slowly add in the dry mixture, stirring to incorporate.

Transfer the dough onto a countertop sprinkled with flour. Knead a few times with your hands, until the dough is smooth but not sticky. If the dough is too dry, add more juice (1 tsp at a time); if the dough is too wet, add more flour (1 T at a time).

Divide the dough into 2 flat disks, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

To make the prune filling. In a small pot, combine the dried prunes, 2 cups of water and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes. Pour out almost all of the excess liquid from the pot, and use a fork or spoon to mash the prunes into a 'paste.' Add all the remaining ingredients, stir to combine and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350, and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Remove one disk from the fridge and roll it out onto a lightly floured surface to 1/8-1/4" thick (if dough begins to crack, add a splash or 2 of water). Use a round cookie cutter (2-3") to cut out the circles and transfer them to the baking sheet. Repeat with re-rolled scraps, and second disk of dough.

Once all the circles are ready, transfer a small spoonful of filling onto each. Fold into a triangle by folding the top left side over the right, and then folding the bottom upwards. Pinch the seams tightly to secure the shape. Repeat with the remaining dough. Brush each cookie with the egg wash.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.

2.23.2015

BEET + GOAT CHEESE TART WITH A CORNMEAL MILLET CRUST

Beet + Goat Cheese Tart with a Cornmeal Millet Curst | sevengrams

To say that its been cold around here lately, would be an understatement. I'm more inclined to describe it as bitter temps that get deep into your core, and make your nose want to fall off. Fun times.

Yes its cold outside, but its almost equally cold inside, thanks to our not so trusty furnace. A furnace on the fritz means a rather chilly house, and a chilly house begs for warm and comforting meals. Bowls of coconut curry and bolognese, piles of baked chilaquiles, probably these tomorrow night, and this tart -- perfectly crunchy crust, topped with hearty warm roasted beets and a sprinkling of goat cheese. Whether its for weekend brunch, work day lunches, or dinner when N's at basketball, I can't get enough.

Beet + Goat Cheese Tart with a Cornmeal Millet Curst | sevengrams

Beet + Goat Cheese Tart with a Cornmeal Millet Curst | sevengrams

Beet + Goat Cheese Tart with a Cornmeal Millet Curst | sevengrams

Beet + Goat Cheese Tart with a Cornmeal Millet Curst | sevengrams

BEET + GOAT CHEESE TART WITH A CORNMEAL MILLET CRUST // serves 6-8

Crust adapted from Megan Gordon's Whole Grain Mornings

Preheat oven to 400.

Ingredients:

3-4 beets
2 T olive oil
2 cups beets greens (or kale/spinach/chard), roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup nut milk
3 eggs
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled

crust //
1/2 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup white (or whole wheat) flour
1/2 tsp salt
6 T butter, cold, unsalted, and cut into cubes
3-4 T ice water
1/4 cup millet

What to do:

Start by making the crust. Butter a 9 inch tart pan and set aside. Using a food processor fitted with the s-blade, pulse together the cornmeal, flour and salt. Add the butter and continue to pulse until the mixtures resembles a coarse meal. Add the ice water, 1 T at a time, and pulse until the dough looks a bit wet and clumpy. You'll know its ready when a small piece holds together when squeezed. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the millet. Press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of your tart pan and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Wash and peel the beets. Slice them into 1/4" rounds and toss with 1 T olive oil. Spread onto a parchment lined baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 25 minutes, until tender.

Warm the remaining 1 T of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sautee the minced garlic and greens for 5 minutes, until fragrant and wilted. Set aside to cool.

Once your crust has chilled for an hour, preheat the oven to 375. Bake the crust for 15 minutes. During this time, whisk together the eggs and milk. Add the crumbled goat cheese and set aside.

Remove the crust from the oven. Top with an even layer of greens, and arrange the beets across the top evenly. Pour in the egg mixture and a dash of freshly ground pepper.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the filling is set and golden brown. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.


2.19.2015

THE ALPS (SWITZERLAND + FRANCE)


We're just back from an epic week in the Alps, and though the return home was less then ideal (-40 degrees > frozen pipes > burst pipes > mini kitchen flood), I'm still riding on the high of the past 10 days. There's just something magical about a ski vacation: long, thigh burning days on the slopes; blue bird skies leaving you with a hint of goggle tan; the relaxing vibe of an après ski beer; the beyond satisfactory feeling of removing your ski boots at the end of the day; and gathering around the table for dinner with a bottle of wine, close friends, and a home cooked meal. Seriously, it doesn't get any better.

The trip started in Zurich, and though we were complete zombies from our overnight flight, we managed to sample some local beer, indulge in a massive rosti and sausage plate, and take a mini stroll along the water. Next up was Zermatt, an adorable Swiss ski town, nestled deep in the mountains. We lucked out with a glorious blue sky ski day, giving us far too many opportunities to stop on the side of the slopes and snag a pic of the Matterhorn. We weren't blown away by the terrain, but the VIEW - whoa, oh, and the fabulous little slope side champagne bar we stumbled into on our last run. We then took the train to Geneva, and while totally mesmerized by the landscape (picture green pastures with snow capped mountainous backdrops), somehow missed the shift from Swiss-German to Swiss-French. We spent the little time we had in Geneva strolling through the old town, and dining on fresh fish (fera) from Lake Geneva.

Then it was time to head to France - no doubt the highlight of the trip. Morzine is a picturesque french mountain town tucked at the base of Avoriaz. We were lucky enough to be hosted by two of the most fabulous people I know, and we couldn't have asked for a better few days. There was a trip to the local farmer's market with maybe a few too many saucissons purchased; a well needed, good for the soul, nature walk; a day trip to Chamonix with possibly the best lunch spot ever; a typical french mountain dinner of raclette and charcuterie; a spring-like, mogul ski day at Avoriaz; après ski drinks and card games; a perfectly appropriate last breakfast before flying home; and all the laughs, fun and relaxation a girl could ask for.

SWITZERLAND | ZURICH //

wandering the streets of the old town
meandering through the shops along bahnhofstrasse
beer, sausage + rosti at zeughauskeller (typical beer hall)
mussels and drinks at les halles (try the appenzeller naturperle)
creative adaptive reuse at the viadukt-strasse 
frau gerolds garten





SWITZERLAND | ZERMATT //

apres ski at the snowboat (mulled white wine!)
schnitzel and live music at schweizerhof
sample some local german pastries at one of the many bakeries in town
fondue at whymper-stube (you will leave smelling like cheese - you've been warned)
champagne bar at the base of rothorn







FRANCE | MORZINE + CHAMONIX //

wednesday morning farmer's market
day trip to chamonix-mont blanc
ski day at avoriaz
apres ski/dinner at the bec jaune
lunch or afternoon coffe at dotty's
eat raclette
all the croissants from la bonbonnière










JK, can't thank you enough. Countdown to September xx





2.09.2015

CHOCOLATE DONUTS WITH TOASTED COCONUT (DF + GF)

Chocolate Donuts with Toasted Coconut // sevengrams

With February 14th just around the corner, I figured it was time for a Valentines Day post. Turns out though, that Valentines Day is rather atypical around here -- no fancy dinners, no gifts, and no flowers. Two years ago, there was skiing and sugar cookies. Last year, skiing and nutella granola. This year, more skiing, and more chocolatey treats. I'm beginning to notice a trend...

I've never been a fan of changing up your 'normal' just because its valentines day. Instead, remind the people close to your heart how much you care for them, and value them as people. An added bonus would be to pamper them with baked goods, and for that, I give you these chocolate-y, coconut-y, gluten free, baked donuts. Pretty much ideal for anyone and everyone!

Sending you much love, hugs and gratitude  xx

Chocolate Donuts with Toasted Coconut // sevengrams

Chocolate Donuts with Toasted Coconut // sevengrams

Chocolate Donuts with Toasted Coconut // sevengrams

CHOCOLATE DONUTS WITH TOASTED COCONUT (DF + GF)

Adapted from Ashley McLaughlin's "Baked Donuts for Everyone"

Preheat oven to 350.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3 T almond meal
1 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (faux)buttermilk* + 2 T nut milk (or 1/2c + 2T buttermilk)
1/4 cup apple sauce
2 T oil
2 tsp vanilla extract

glaze //
1/2 cup powdered (icing) sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp coconut oil
3-4 T almond milk

toasted coconut, for topping

*(faux)buttermilk: combine 1/2T white vinegar with 1/2c nut milk, let sit until curdled 
What to do:

Grease your donut pan with unsalted butter and set aside.

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, then add the buttermilk, apple sauce, oil and vanilla. Whisk until well combined.

Pour the wet mixture over the dry, and using a wooden spoon, stir just until combined and no more visible dry flour remains.

Transfer the batter into the donut pan, using a spoon or piping bag. I found the piping bag yielded a smoother, rounder donut. Fill each mold almost to the top, as the donuts don't really rise.

Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Wait for donuts to cool completely before icing.

To make the glaze, whisk together the icing sugar and cocoa powder. Add the coconut oil and almond milk, 1 T at a time, until desire consistency is reached.

Dip each donut into the glaze (I dunked the bottom half), then turn up right onto a wire rack and sprinkle with coconut.

Enjoy!


2.01.2015

BREAKFAST BOWLS WITH POTATOES, AVOCADO AND SOFT BOILED EGGS

Breakfast Bowls with Potatoes, Avocado and Soft Boiled Eggs // sevengrams

This past week was one of those weeks where I was reminded that work deadlines are way less fun then spending time in the kitchen. That sometimes, netflix can't be a priority, and its okay if dinners become mindless concoctions of whatever is in the fridge.

When I woke up on Saturday and realized that I actually had the time to put together a hearty meal, I was giddy with excitement. I wanted something that was warm and satisfying, and easily eaten from the couch (because, this). I'm a recent convert to soft boiled eggs, and can't rave about them enough -- as good as poached, minus all the effort. This bowl throws itself together within half an hour -- perfect for slow weekend mornings and hungry bellies.

Breakfast Bowls with Potatoes, Avocado and Soft Boiled Eggs // sevengrams

Breakfast Bowls with Potatoes, Avocado and Soft Boiled Eggs // sevengrams

Breakfast Bowls with Potatoes, Avocado and Soft Boiled Eggs // sevengrams

Breakfast Bowls with Potatoes, Avocado and Soft Boiled Eggs // sevengrams

BREAKFAST BOWLS WITH POTATOES, AVOCADO AND SOFT BOILED EGGS // serves 2

Ingredients:

2-3 white potatoes, chopped
1 T olive oil
1-2 tsp seasoning salt (I used Big Boy)
4 eggs
1 avocado, sliced

red chile flakes, cilantro and fresh lime, for serving

What to do:

Place the cut up potatoes in a medium sized pot and cover with water, plus 3 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce to medium heat, cover, and cook for 10-13 minutes. You want the potatoes to be fork tender, but not too soft that they fall apart. Strain and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the potatoes and 1 tsp of seasoning salt. Stir to combine. Add more seasoning if you'd like. Let the potatoes cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring only periodically so that they crisp up.

While the potatoes are cooking, boil your eggs. Add 1 inch of water to a medium sized pot and bring to a boil. Lower to medium, gently place the eggs in the pot, cover, and cook for 6-1/2 minutes. Transfer the pot to the sink, and run the eggs (still in the pot) under cold water for 30 seconds. Gently peel your eggs and set aside.

To serve, divide the potatoes and avocado slices between two bowls. Top with a squeeze of fresh lime and a sprinkle of red chile flakes. Gently place 2 eggs on each bowl and break them down the centre to release the yolk. Top with fresh cilantro.


Follow my blog with Bloglovin

1.26.2015

LEMON + CURRANT SCONES

Lemon + Current Scones // sevengrams

I have several fond memories from my childhood associated to citrus -- elementary school citrus drives leading to boxes upon boxes of oranges and grapefruits in the house; my grandmother's citrus compote, as she was the only one patient enough to remove all the pith; and ski hill lunches, always ending with two (or more) clementines. With winter upon us, we've been trying to have a steady flow of clementines in the house, and the occasional orange or grapefruit, but nothing like it was when I was a kid.

The abundance of citrus had left me wanting to bake something citrus-y. I quickly realized that I don't actually like the flavour of oranges in baked goods, and the grapefruit was being saved for this. So I turned to the trusty lemon, and though not super wintery, these scones were the perfect compliment to my mid-afternoon cup of tea.

Lemon + Current Scones // sevengrams

Lemon + Current Scones // sevengrams

Lemon + Current Scones // sevengrams

Lemon + Current Scones // sevengrams

LEMON + CURRANT SCONES // makes 6-8

This was my first attempt at 'american scones,' and I was quite pleased with how they turned out. Light enough to resemble a british scone, but with a fine crumb that almost resembles a muffin. 

Preheat oven to 425.

Ingredients:

1 cup white flour
1 cup spelt flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1 T baking powder
2 tsp lemon zest (roughly zest from 1 lemon)
6 T unsalted butter, cold and cut into chunks
1/2 cup dried currants
1/2 cup faux-buttermilk* (or 1/2 cup buttermilk)
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt

a splash of milk, for brushing
coarse sugar, like turbinado, for sprinkling

* faux-buttermilk: add 1/2 T white vinegar to a 1 cup measuring cup; fill to the 1/2 cup line with nut milk and let sit for a few minutes (to curdle)

What to do:

In a food processor fitted with the s-blade, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder and lemon zest. Pulse 2-3 times.

Continue to add the butter cubes, and pulse 7-8 times, until the mixture reaches a coarse, pea size crumb, texture.

Transfer to a bowl and stir in the currants.

Add the yogurt to the faux-buttermilk, and pour gently over the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined, being sure not to over mix.

Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and work the dough into a ball. If the dough isn't holding together, add a splash of water. Once in a ball, press the dough down with your palms, forming a 1/2" thick disk. Using a knife or pizza slicer, cut into 6-8 triangular pieces.

Transfer the scones to a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with a small amount of milk, and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Bake for 13-17 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool slightly. Best served warm, or at room temperature.

1.18.2015

ROASTED SQUASH, CHICKPEA AND WHEAT BERRY SALAD

Roasted Squash, Chickpea and Wheat Berry Salad // sevengrams

While in Chicago with my mom back in November, we had lunch at this fabulous little neighbourhood restaurant called Birchwood Kitchen (merci vicky for the recommendation). It was one of those restaurants where everything on the menu tempts you, and you leave your decision to the very last minute and just trust your gut. I chose mushroom ragu on toast (think something like this), and my mom ordered a roasted squash salad, with chickpeas, wheatberries, hazelnuts and pecorino. To say that we were happy with our choices would be an understatement. We left with full bellies, big smiles, and a promise that I would attempt to replicate my mom's dish once back home. It may have taken a little while, and I may have abandoned a few ingredients along the way, but I never break a promise - had to get it just right. Enjoy!

Roasted Squash, Chickpea and Wheat Berry Salad // sevengrams

Roasted Squash, Chickpea and Wheat Berry Salad // sevengrams

Roasted Squash, Chickpea and Wheat Berry Salad // sevengrams

Roasted Squash, Chickpea and Wheat Berry Salad // sevengrams

ROASTED SQUASH, CHICKPEA AND WHEAT BERRY SALAD // serves 4-6

The wheat berries can easily be doubled if you want to make the dish a bit bigger. There will be enough dressing for it, and it won't detract from the balance of the dish - promise!

Preheat oven to 400.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup wheat berries
1 3/4 cup water

1 butternut squash
1 T olive oil
1/2 tsp chili powder
s+p

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 T olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder

arugula, for serving

dressing //
juice from 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
s+p

What to do:

In a medium size pot, combine water and wheat berries. Bring to a boil, stir, reduce heat to low and cover for 1 hour. Strain excess water.

Cut the ends off the butternut squash and carefully, using a carrot peeler, peel off the skin. Slice lengthwise in half, and then cut into 1/4"-1/2" half-moons. Remove seeds and stringy bits as required.

Toss the squash  in a bowl with the olive oil, chili powder and a dash of salt and pepper. Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet, and roast for 20-30 minutes, until soft, but still holding its shape.

Make the dressing by combining all the ingredients in a glass jar. Seal the lid and shake vigourously. Set aside.

Wait until the wheat berries are ready before starting on the chickpeas. In a cast iron skillet over med-high heat, warm 2 T olive oil. Add the remaining spices and stir gently until fragrant and bubbling. Add the chickpeas, and roast until crispy, about 10 minutes, stirring to spread the flavours and avoid sticking. Turn the burner off, add the wheat berries and 2-4 T dressing and stir to combine.

When ready to serve, plate a few slices of squash, followed by a heaping scoop of wheat berry/chickpea mixture and a handful of greens.

Best served warm or at room temperature.