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Rhubarb Coffee Cake

I feel like I’ve been living under a rock for a few months. Pregnancy doesn’t seem to be terribly conducive to productivity, and it certainly isn’t conducive to food blogging. I just feel so tired all the time. I’ve had zero energy and cooking has lost some of it’s appeal. Honestly, for awhile there, I didn’t want to eat anything except for cereal, grapes, and toast. Such is life during the first trimester.

But, I’m finally starting to feel like my old self again. Real food (meaning: something other than grapes and toast) actually sounds good. I’ve started cooking again. It feels good to be back.

In my opinion, a good piece of coffee cake is one of life’s simple pleasures. Coffee cake isn’t particularly pretty or inventive, but it’s just so good. I’ve made this recipe a number of times, and it never fails. The cake is so moist and flavorful, layered with chunks of tangy rhubarb on the bottom and giant spiced buttery crumbs on top.

If there was anything that was going to lure me back into the kitchen, it was this recipe. It’s just that good.

rhubarb coffee cake | rosemarried.com

RHUBARB COFFEE CAKE
(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

For the cake:
1/2 pound rhubarb, cut into 1/4″ chunks
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/3 cup plain yogurt (or sour cream)
1 large egg, plus one large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter (room temperature), cut into 8 pieces.

For the crumb topping:
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter, melted
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 baking pan.

2. In a small bowl, toss chopped rhubarb with 1/4 cup of sugar, corn starch, lemon zest, and 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger. Set aside.

3. To make the crumb topping, whisk together the sugars, spices, salt, and melted butter in a large bowl. Mix until smooth. Next, stir in the flour with a spatula or wooden spoon. (The mixture will resemble a solid dough.) Press the dough firmly in the bottom of the bowl, and set aside.

4. To make the cake filling, stir together the yogurt (or sour cream), egg, egg yolk, and vanilla in a small bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter pieces and a spoonful of yogurt into the mixture, and mix on medium speed until moistened. Increase the speed and beat for 30 seconds. Add the rest of the yogurt in two batches, beating for 30 seconds after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

5. Scrape most of the batter into the prepared pan (reserving about 1/2 a cup). Spoon the rhubarb over the batter. Spoon the remaining batter over the rhubarb. (Don’t worry if it doesn’t evenly cover the rhubarb, it can just be scattered dollops of batter!)

6. Using your fingers, break the topping mixture into big crumbs. Sprinkle the crumbs over the cake. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool before serving.

Friday Favorites: April 11, 2014

Spring has arrived, and I couldn’t be happier. This season is, without question, my absolute favorite. Everything is new again. Everything is green, alive, and so darn beautiful. I find myself spending all of my free time outdoors, soaking in the sunshine and breathing in the spring air.

With that said, I thought it only appropriate that I write a spring favorites list. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted one of these list, and I have a lot to share.

So, without further adieu, here are some of my current favorite things.

FRIDAY FAVORITES: APRIL 11, 2014

Tiny Human | Rosemarried.com

*So, I should probably start out my favorites list by saying that WE’RE HAVING A BABY(!). I’d say this news tops the favorites list by a long shot. ;) Nich and I are completely thrilled, and we are looking forward to the crazy journey ahead of us.

*Now that you know I’m knocked up, the rest of my favorites list will probably make more sense. For example, I’m currently obsessed with and/or craving chocolate chip cookies. I want to eat all the chocolate chip cookies, all the time. I’ve been on a mission to find the best chocolate chip cookie in Portland, and the current winners are: Two Tarts, Roman Candle, Tabor Bread, and Bunk Sandwiches. (If you happen to have any local chocolate chip cookie recommendations, I’m all ears.)

*La Croix Sparkling Water: Coconut Flavor. I’m not gonna lie, I really miss margaritas. But, when I’m sipping a cold glass of sparkling coconut water, I don’t miss margaritas nearly as much. La Croix doesn’t contain any sugar or sodium, and has just a hint of natural flavor. It’s the perfect pregnancy treat.

Rhubarb | Rosemarried.com

*RHUBARB. I’m so excited that it’s rhubarb season! I bought a ton of rhubarb at the Beaverton Farmer’s Market last week, and thus far I’ve made Rhubarb Sour Cream Coffee Cake (recipe coming to the blog shortly!) and Lavender Rhubarb Simple Syrup. I also want to make this recipe. And this recipe. Oh, and let’s not forget about this delicious rhubarb recipe.

*Awesome Blogs. Since I’ve essentially been hibernating for a couple of months, I’ve had a bit more time to catch up and read blogs. Recently, I’ve been particularly enjoying: Local Haven, Bird is The Word, The Everywhereist, The Little Things We Do, and Autumn Makes & Does.

*”Days Are Gone” by Haim. I love this record. So much. It’s perfect springtime roll-down-your-windows-and-sing-along music.

Cheese and Crack, Portland OR

*Cheese and Crack. This is a darling new restaurant that serves my two favorite food groups: cheese and bread. The presentation is stunning (see above) and the cheese selections are spot on. Oh, and they make ‘nachos’ with potato chips and mornay sauce. Need I say more?

*The Chocolate Cake at Xico. I liked this cake so much I wrote an article on Serious Eats about it. (Also, I can never think about chocolate cake without thinking about Bill Cosby, so while I’m at it I’ll just include a link to Cosby’s infamous “Dad is great, give us the chocolate cake!” bit.)

*Playoffs! The Blazers officially made the NBA playoffs! It’s all happening! And, the husb and I splurged and bought tickets to a playoff game. You guys, I’ve never been to a playoff game in my whole life. I AM SO EXCITED.

And, that’s all for now, folks! Happy Friday.

xoxo
Lindsay

Shredded Cabbage Salad with Orange Sesame Vinaigrette

If you happen to live in Minneapolis, Chicago, New York, Fargo, Anchorage, Denver – or any other city that has a real winter – I have a new found respect for you. No, seriously. How do you do it?! The cold, snow, ice, wine, and freezing rain. I hate it all. We just had 4 straight days of snow in Portland and I feel exhausted and cold and tired and like I need a month-long tropical vacation.

When the snow began to fall on Thursday morning, I was immediately enamored. It was just so pretty and fluffy…and I didn’t want it to stop! I wished that we all could have a snow day (or two!). I wanted to cozy up with a good book, my bunny, my cat, and my husband. I wanted to watch bad television shows and drink red wine. I wanted my own little wintery staycation.

Well, I certainly got what I wished for. I was stuck in my house for 5 days, due to “extreme weather conditions”. It was novel at first, but quickly turned maddening. I cleaned my house. I did boatloads of laundry. I cooked a ton. For the most part, I cooked familiar dishes, such as meatloaf, mac n’ cheese, and harissa-stewed butternut squash. At some point during the storm, however, I decided to make something light and healthy. I raided my fridge and found a head of cabbage, a couple of green onions, carrots, and an orange. And thus, this salad was born.

This salad is the result of snowstorm and sheer boredom, but that shouldn’t deter you. The salad is bright and fresh and wonderful. Honestly, it tastes like sunshine. (And since we’re right smack the middle of winter, I think we could all use a bit more sunshine, don’t you?)

Cabbage Salad with Orange Sesame Vinaigrette | Rosemarried

SHREDDED CABBAGE SALAD WITH ORANGE SESAME VINAIGRETTE

Ingredients:

1 small head (green) Napa cabbage
1 carrot, julienned
3-4 green onions, thinly sliced
Small handful of cilantro (8-10 stems), finely diced
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 large clove garlic, minced
The juice of half an orange, plus 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar (unseasoned)
1 teaspoon honey
Salt & pepper, to taste

Method:
Using a sharp knife (or mandoline or food processor), slice or shred the cabbage into thin strips. Toss the cabbage with the sliced carrots, green onions, and cilantro.

In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, orange zest, minced garlic, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and honey. Toss the cabbage mixture with the dressing to coat, Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the salad and lightly toss. Serve at room temperature.

Pronto Pizza: Bringing Quality to the Suburbs

If you were to ask me about my favorite restaurants in Portland, I could rattle them off quickly and easily. Luce, Bollywood Theater, St. Jack. Du’s, Pok Pok, Boxer Sushi, Bunk, Apizza Scholls, Tanuki, etc. I could go on. We have so much good food in this town. I feel thankful and spoiled.

But, what happens when you drive 15 minutes outside of Portland? Or when you find yourself shopping at the mall or visiting relatives in the ‘burbs? Are you doomed to dine at chain restaurants and sketchy strip mall sandwich shops? (Disclaimer: I do not like chain restaurants. I find the food to be bland, processed, unhealthy, and uninspired. However, this is just my personal opinion and I don’t expect everyone to necessarily feel the same way.)

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably found yourself in the suburbs a few times, asking these same questions. Honestly, it’s a little bit shocking. Portland is brimming with amazing restaurants, but Portland’s outlying neighborhoods have (mostly) abysmal food options. It’s Red Robins and Olive Gardens as far as the eye can see.

Which is why I was so delighted to discover Pronto Pizza – a delicious restaurant with an emphasis on local and organic ingredients – right smack in the middle of a strip mall off 82nd Avenue in Clackamas, Oregon.

Pronto Pizza Menu

My husband and I were invited to dine at Pronto Pizza a few weeks back, and we thoroughly enjoyed our experience. The space is huge, but is decorated in such a way that the place feels intimate and cozy. (Fun fact: the owners bought all the Beaker & Flask furniture when it went out of business.)

The service was great – our waitress was clearly passionate about the food and she gave us great recommendations. We sampled a number of different dishes throughout the evening, including appetizers, salads, pizzas, and even a few items from the recently revamped children’s menu.

Cauliflower Sticks from Pronto Pizza

Baked Cauliflower Sticks

While most of the dishes we tried were tasty, the pizza was the clear standout of the evening. Made with imported Italian pizza flour, the pizza crust is damn near perfect. It’s chewy and charred in all the right places. The toppings are thoughtful and restrained, the sauce is light and flavorful. (It should be said that my husband used to work for Apizza Scholls and is a true pizza geek. Even he was impressed with Pronto’s Pizza.)

Brussels Sprout Salad with Bacon from Pronto Pizza

Brussels Sprout Salad with Bacon

Other standouts of the evening included the polenta fries, the Brussels sprout salad, and the cauliflower ‘breadsticks’ from the kid’s menu. I wasn’t really a fan of the pasta (too heavy) or the beet salad (over-dressed), but the rest of the food was stellar. I applaud Pronto’s dedication to quality and their use of fresh, local ingredients. And, while I don’t have children of my own, I really appreciate that Pronto’s kids menu is full of creative, fresh, and healthy options such as homemade apple cranberry sauce and breaded and baked cauliflower sticks. (I kid you not, the cauliflower sticks were better than traditional breadsticks.)

The moral of the story? If you find yourself in the ‘burbs of East Portland and you’re wondering where to eat, there is a place that offers much more than your typical strip mall offerings. Pronto Pizza is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise desolate fast food wasteland.

Full disclosure: While our meal at Pronto Pizza was comped, all opinions expressed are my own.

Friday Favorites: Super Bowl Snacks Edition

In general, I’m not one to write holiday-themed blogs or recipes. Most holiday food comes across as cheesy and inauthentic: heart-shaped cookies and lots of red food coloring for Valentine’s day; eyeballs and severed fingers and candy corn for Halloween; red, white, and blue for the 4th of July. I’m sorry, it’s just not my thing.

And then there’s the Super Bowl. I’m a little astonished by my enthusiasm for the day, considering that I don’t particularly like football. But you know what I do like? The Puppy Bowl. And clever commercials. And lazy Sunday afternoons. And most importantly, I love SNACKS. Especially snacks that are bad for you, such as: pizza, nachos, wings, chips, dips, etc. I love it all. Granted, I don’t often indulge my junk food cravings. I usually eat whole and healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, rice, and organic and free range meat. But this is my one day a year that I throw out all of my food rules. I allow myself to eat junk food. I’m not gonna lie, I look forward to this day every year. I especially look forward to devouring handfuls of Salsa Verde Doritos (they are my most favorite of all the guilty pleasures).

In light of my love for Super Bowl snacks, I thought I’d share a couple of my favorite snack and appetizer recipes. (I’ve even included a few healthy – and vegan! – options, for those who would like to enjoy lighter fare during the big game.)

Enjoy! And go Blazers! (Get it? Because I don’t like football…)

Sriracha and White Bean Dip | Rosemarried

Sriracha and White Bean Dip from Rosemarried

FRIDAY FAVORITES: SUPERBOWL SNACKS (ON SNACKS ON SNACKS):

Sriracha and White Bean Dip – My own recipe (and one of my all-time favorite dips). Spicy, easy, delicious.

Lemon Basil Hummus – My own recipe. Vegan, vibrant, and full of flavor. Would go great with pita chips and/or veggies.

Avocado Tomatillo Salsa – Chef Kelly Myers from Xico’s recipe for a fresh, bright, and tangy salsa. No cooking required, just throw everything in a blender and you’ve got salsa!

Garlicky Party Bread – from The Smitten Kitchen. Looks so good (and yet, so bad for you).

Ike’s Fish Sauce Wings – Portland Monthly Magazine was kind enough to share the recipe for Pok Pok’s famous (and insanely delicious) chicken wings.

Creamy Brussels Sprout and Shallot Dip – by The Minimalist Baker. I’ve made this recipe several times, and it always delivers. I prefer this dip to spinach artichoke dip.

Vegan ‘Tuna’ Stuffed Piquillo Peppers – from Mary Eats. My friend Mary is an inspiration. She is very dedicated to a healthy and mostly plant-based diet — and she managed to create an amazing (and healthy) Super Bowl recipe. Mad props to her. (Granted, Vegan Tuna does sound a little scary at first, but as I read the recipe and saw the ingredients I changed my mind. This sounds awesome.)

Guacamole – by 101 Cookbooks. I’m obsessed with Heidi’s avocado dip with mustard seeds, serrano chilies, and curry powder — but I do not believe that recipe is online. (It can be found in her Super Natural Every Day cookbook and I highly recommend it). I’ve not tried this guacamole recipe yet, but if it’s anything like her avocado and mustard dip, it’ll be nothing short of amazing.

Stilton & Shallot Paté – recipe from Ramson’s & Bramble. I think this is just a fancy way of saying “Blue Cheese Dip”. Whatever it is, I want to eat it.

Friday Favorites: January 2014

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a Friday Favorites list.

Frankly, I’ve missed it.

There’s something strangely therapeutic about compiling a list of inspiring and lovely things. It reminds me how much I have to learn, and how much there is to explore and enjoy. Even in the midst of winter, there’s so much to see and do.

Here, in no particular order, is a list of a few of my favorite things. Happy Friday!

1. Turmeric Tea. I first saw this tea on 101 Cookbooks, and thought the tea looked incredible. My friend Kirsten recently posted her own Turmeric tea recipe on her blog, and I finally decided to give it a try. Let me tell you, it’s amazing. It’s unlike any tea I’ve ever had. It’s full of all sorts of wonderful things (for the mind and the belly!) and it also happens to taste great.

2. The introduction of Sriracha Kettle Chips and Juanita’s Chilepeno Tortilla Chips. Game changers in the form of chips.

3. My new freelance website! I quit my job in August, to pursue the freelance life. So far, I’m absolutely loving it. I recently launched a new website, which explains a bit more about what I do. I’m really proud of the site, and if you’re so inclined, take a look!

4. Happy Yolks. I can’t say enough good things about this blog. Not only are the photos and recipes stunning, but Kelsey is a really wonderful and thoughtful person. I’m constantly inspired by her writing, her outlook, and her food. My goal is to cook more of her recipes this year.

5. Rabbit Cafes. YOU GUYS THERE ARE REAL CAFES IN JAPAN THAT LET YOU HANG OUT AND DRINK COFFEE AND SNUGGLE REAL LIVE BUNNIES. That’s it. I’m moving to Japan.

6. MACARONI SALAD. I’ve had the strangest craving for macaroni salad lately. You know, the store-bought stuff that is strangely sweet and drowning in mayo and comes in a giant plastic tub. I love it. But, I generally don’t allow myself to buy the giant tubs of macaroni salad, because I know it’s unhealthy/processed/fattening/gross food. So, I’ve been searching for a homemade version that might suffice and I think this recipe looks mighty tasty. It might not be anything like the macaroni salad from church potlucks in my youth, but I think it’s time I let that macaroni salad go.

7. Kimchi. I can’t get enough of it. I love making it. I love eating it. I’ve been putting kimchi on tacos, burritos, stir fry, breakfast bowls, rice, soba noodles, salads, and more. I’ve been known to eat it straight out of the jar. (My favorite brand of kimchi is Choi’s, which is made in Portland. Usually, though, I just make my own or pick up a jar at the PDX Food Swap.)

8. Kefir. This week, I made my very first batch of kefir. I just poured some milk into a jar with kefir grains and let it sit on the counter for 36 hours. I then strained out the grains and was left with a wonderful and fermented milk drink, which is full of healthy bacteria (which makes for a happy gut).

9. The new Volcano Choir record. I can’t stop listening to it.

10. This recipe for Shaved Brussels Sprout and Carrot Salad with Cara Cara, Avocado, and Orange Tahini Dressing. (Recipe by the lovely folks at Brooklyn Supper.) I could eat this salad all winter long. It’s dreamy.

11. Bollywood Theater. This is the best Indian food in Portland. Period. (Granted, we don’t have a lot of good Indian food in Portland but that is beside the point.) The beets braised in coconut milk are to die for. Currently, they have one location in Portland on Alberta Street but they are opening up a second location on Division. I can’t wait.

12. Punk Domestics. This site is a fantastic resource for anyone interested in canning, preserving, curing, fermenting, and more. There’s just so much good stuff on this site. (After a quick browse today, I now want to make hard cider mustard, blue cheese paté, homemade yogurt, duck ham, and gravlax.)

Coconut and Date Granola + A Handmade Holiday DIY Gift Guide!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I really love Christmastime. It may sound cheesy, but I do believe this is the most wonderful time of the year.

Each and every year, I write out my thoughts on Christmas and include a handmade holiday gift guide. This year, I’m going to keep it short and sweet. I’ll include some of my text from last year’s post, as I think it sums up all that I want to say.

+++++

I love Christmas: I love the baking, the decorations, the gifting, the crafting, the music, the family, the traditions, and the nostalgia of it all.

If only it were as simple as that. But there’s the ugly side of Christmas: The shopping malls, the parking lots, the Black Friday lines. The anxiety, stress, and despair. The wish lists, greed, credit card debt, and consumerism. The poor, the broken, the forgotten, the needy.

It’s all so unsettling.

But four years ago, I watched one short video (from the wonderful folks at The Advent Conspiracy) and it changed the way I do Christmas. The message was so simple and clear: Love All, Spend Less, Give More.

Those six little words pack quite the punch. They’ve given me a new outlook, they’ve given me hope. Christmas is different, in the best way.

+++++

For the past four years, I’ve made most of my Christmas gifts. I find so much joy in the process and I have a ton of fun getting creative with gifts. I don’t pretend to be superwoman and I certainly don’t try to take on too much. I do purchase gifts from local businesses and artisans, and I’ll also pick up things at vintage and thrift stores.

This year, I put together A Handmade Holiday Pinterest Board, with 25 handmade gift ideas. There’s a little something for everyone – ornaments, terrariums, spice blends, jams, sauces, and more. Take a look!

Lastly, I am including a simple and delicious recipe for homemade granola with coconut, almonds, and dates. I plan on giving jars of this granola to various friends and family for Christmas.

You can’t go wrong with the gift of granola!

Coconut and Date Granola | Rosemarried

Coconut Granola with Dates and Almonds

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups oats
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup roasted coconut chips (from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds
  • 1 cup dried dates, pits removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Generous pinch of sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Line two baking sheets with parchment or a Silpat.
  2. In a small pot, heat the coconut oil, olive oil, and honey over low heat. Whisk together until coconut oil is melted and the mixture is combined. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and spices.
  3. In a large bowl, toss together the oats, shredded coconut, and chopped dates. Toss with the honey and oil, to coat. (Note: I don’t add in the toasted almonds and coconut chips until after baking.)
  4. Pour onto prepared baking sheets. Using a spatula, spread granola into an even layer.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until granola is golden brown. Check granola every 5 minutes and stir, if needed. Allow the granola to cool on the baking sheets. Once cool, mix in the coconut chips and toasted almonds. Store in airtight containers in the pantry. Granola will keep for 1-2 weeks.

Notes

Adapted from La Casa De Sweets

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