Friday, December 27, 2019

Outlander: Jam Tarts

Happy Holidays! 
Christmas is here and I decided that this holiday season needed some delicious Jam Tarts and boy was I RIGHT!
This Outlander treat called for 1/2 Short Crust Pastry recipe and 1/2 cup of Fraser Strawberry Jam.
To start set the oven to 375 degrees and prepare your muffin tin. For the dough, mix together flour, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor. Pulse until you have mostly pea sized lumps. Then whisk together ice water, egg yolk and lemon juice. Add to the bowl and pulse a few more times. I eventually had to mix a little more thoroughly by hand.
Sprinkle some flour on your counter and knead the dough into a ball. Flatten with a rolling pin and roll to about 1/8 inch thick. Use a 4 inch "cookie cutter" to cut out 12 rounds. If you don't have one, I used a large mason jar. Press the pastry into each muffin tin cup and poke the bottoms three or four times with a fork. Bake for about 5 mins. Don't worry, you will be baking the pastry a bit more once the jam is added. 
The tasty Fraser jam is at the back of the Outlander Cookbook, detailing how to make and can preserves. For this strawberry jam, you will need Granny Smith apples, strawberries, lemon juice and sugar. Start by cutting the apples into 1/2 inch cubes and the strawberries into halves or quarters. 
In a pot of medium heat stir the fruit and lemon juice together. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir constantly to avoid any scorching. Next stir in the sugar until it's dissolved. The jam needs to reach about 212 degrees which takes about 15 to 25 minutes. 
It was kinda fun making a fruit compote, I always see chefs turn to this 'filling' solution on the Food Network and they make it look effortless. Turns out it is pretty easy and quick to create. I'll definitely have to make it again. My mom kept wanting to add in a thickener and I had to convince her that I needed to follow Theresa Carle-Sanders recipe exactly. It was pretty funny!

Hindsight, I should have cut the apples a bit smaller but their size did not take away from the old-fashioned compote-style jam. It was just a bit chunkier and there's nothing wrong with that he he! 
Now you're ready to create your tarts. Fill each cup with about 1 teaspoons of jam (I was a bit heavy handed) and return them to the oven. Bake until the jam bubbles and the pastry is golden. This took about 15 minutes. 
Gently remove the tarts from the muffin tin and set on a cooling rack. The recipe says to let them cool completely and they were right LOL! I didn't want to wait and tried to eat one a bit early. I topped a few tarts with a strawberry slice and plated them. Voila! Outlander Jam Tarts! Thanks Theresa! 
These lovely creations were both savory and sweet. I couldn't get enough and my whole family really enjoyed them. Craig described these as tasting like the original strawberry pop tarts of his youth and he's not wrong!
Thanks for readin!
Cheers, Bun

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Cookie-dough Bites!

Hello Lovelies! 
I wanted to share one of my favorite Sakara treats! Cookie Dough Bites. These little morsels are packed full of flavor and really bring a smile to my day.
To start take a 1/2 cup of almond butter mixed into 1/4 cup of maple syrup and vanilla until smooth. 
In another bowl mix together the dry ingredients: 1/4 cup of coconut flower, 3 tablespoons of flax-seed meal and salt. Then mix the wet and dry ingredients together and fold the cacao nibs in. Once mixed properly roll the dough into 1 inch balls and set aside. 
Mix together shredded coconut and hemp seeds that will be used to roll the dough balls in. Feel free to pick any type of  topping but the coconut is yummy. After rolling your bites into the mix refrigerate the bites for about 30 mins, before serving. 
These bites are pretty simple and much more of an almond bite than traditional cookie dough. However, I really love them and don't feel guilty for scarfing them down. Plus they definitely have more protein and less artificial ingredients.
Thanks for readin!
-Bunny

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Pineapple Kiss

Hey Summer Lovers! 
Here is a pineapple cocktail to sweeten your weekend from Sakara Life called the Pineapple Kiss. Similar to a tequila sunrise, the Pineapple Kiss is refreshing, sweet and nourishing. Pineapple is rich in vitamin C and the mint has anti-inflammatory powers! I'm not a big tequila fan but this cocktail totally swayed me!
To create this yummy cocktail you will need:
3/4 cup fresh pineapple juice 

1/4 cup coconut water

1.5 ounce blue agave tequila 

1/4 cup lime juice

Handful of muddled mint

And some pineapple slices, I chose to use cubed pineapple for convenience and snacking ability.
To start, muddle the mint and pineapple a bit in the base of your glass. Be careful...check out my face when I chipped off a piece of my stemless glass!
Next, mix the pineapple juice, coconut water, lime juice and tequila in a pitcher. It seemed silly to use a large pitcher, as Sakara suggested for this, so I opted for my mixing cup. Then you're ready to add some ice to your glass and pour the mixture over the mint and pineapple. You may also garnish your drink with some pineapple wedges. 
Voila! You have a beautiful sweet treat to soften the blow of the summer sun! As Sakara says, here's to eating clean and playing dirty. Thanks for readin!! 
Cheers,
Bunny

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Turmeric + Meyer Lemon Squares

Hey there! 
This weekend I made some yummy lemon squares from the Sakara cookbook. I was really eager to try these vegan squares because they incorporate turmeric. Plus lemon bars are one of my favorite sweet treats!
First I created the crust from almond meal, tapioca flour, coconut oil and maple syrup. This part was super quick and simple. I was surprised! Just whisk together the almond meal and flour, then stir in the syrup and oil. Press the mixture into a parchment lined pan and bake for about 15 minutes. 
While the crust was baking, I created the yummy lemon filling. I whisked together lemon juice and cornstarch in a medium pot until smooth then added the remaining ingredients (minus the lemon slices). For the turmeric you only use 1/2 teaspoon which was just enough of a kick. Keeping the filling on medium heat and stirring frequently it tuned a deep yellow color and started to thicken up. It took about 8 to 10 minutes. 
I removed the filling from the heat and let it cool for about 10 minutes. Then poured the filling into the crust and placed it in the fridge for a few hours. 
It seemed like forever but once the squares were finally firm I carefully lifted them out of their tin and cut them into squares. I topped each square off with a lemon slice and voila, perfection! To be truthful, I was eager to try these but skeptical. I knew they would not be the powder-sugar covered desserts I have come to know. 
Instead these were much more...real and I came to love them. I could taste the lemon, hint of turmeric and maple. The crust was wonderful with the filing, really grounding all that lemon goodness! 
I always ask Craig what his take-away is and I totally agreed. They are refreshingly tart and sweet with a savory crunch he he! I'll definitely have to make them again and share the recipe. Thanks for readin! 
Cheers!
-Bunny


Saturday, July 13, 2019

Vanilla + Meyer Lemon Gin and Tonic

 Howdy Ya'll
A magical thing happened, Sakara came out with a cookbook! I was floored and quickly snatched up a copy. To my joy it not only included one of a kind recipes but life tips and information about how certain foods can better our bodies. Each section focuses on a different part of a meal and an ingredient that is health positive! 
Creating a lovely book full of unique creations.
 For my first post I chose to create their Vanilla + Lemon Gin and Tonic, cause I love myself a good drink!
For this tonic you need a wildflower honey simple syrup, Meyer lemons and some Gin. I am not a big Gin drinker but I thoroughly enjoyed this mix. The proportions were right and the touch of honey was perfect.
This cocktail proved to be refreshing and not overpowering. I can't wait to try more of these tasty cocktails.
Thanks Sakara!

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Seven Stills & Stanford Court Hotel Review

Hi there, 
Well if you know Craig and I at all, you know we love a good hotel and brewery! So why not try out the newest one on the block. Seven Stills Brewery popped up in San Francisco starting with a small brewery and growing to gain a partnership with Stanford Court Hotel on Nob Hill. 
The Stanford Hotel on Nob Hill was contained in an older tall building but as soon as we walked into the lobby we were hit with modern style and an open floor plan. Around the circumference of the lobby were horses painted like they were just running around the expanse and to the right a blue tinted reading area. 
Straight ahead was the Seven Still Bar/Lounge, which greeted us with wonderful aromas.
After a quick check in we went into the old green elevator and went up to the 8th floor. I really loved how the hotel was completed...there were modern flares but with old fixtures and sconces. It really made for an interesting hotel.
 

Immediately walking into our room it was so spacious I was surprised...very minimalist that it seemed European looking. Instead of a closet they had a kind of rolling cart that was stationary to hang up your jackets and put your shoes. Such a neat idea that I hadn't seen in any American hotels yet. The bathroom was gorgeous...I'm always a sucker for a marble bathroom! Also, they actually had a tub which was a plus. Another more European feature was the heated towel rack! The last time I saw one of those, was in Ireland!


The furniture and interior design that they had up we're all based out of San Francisco and you could tell that they tried to keep things pretty local. They had complimentary water which I rarely ever see and on the desk there was a paper mat that showed all the different events going on during the month. Perfect for a guest visiting the city for the first time.
Once settled we made our way back down the long hallway into the old elevator to check out the Seven Stills eating area. The space was open and very relaxed looking. Everything on the menu had a bit of a twist to it and nothing was boring looking. Craig went for one of their craft beers which smelled fruity but didn't taste that way, which was a surprise to him! The beer was delicious and so different from what he was used to.
We ordered a light dinner...some chicken wings, salad and some brussel sprouts. The wings were good (according to Craig) but messy he he. I expected the salad and sprouts to be a bit more decadent but they were a little basic. But that's alright...I had my eye on their dessert menu. Seven Still had the most delicious looking triple chocolate mousse. This masterpieces had a dark chocolate layer, white chocolate layer, dark chocolate layer and an oreo cookie crust on the bottom. Plus chocolate flakes on top and yummy raspberry sauce on the side. Needless to say I ate the whole damn thing. No regrets!
Craig tried a beer float which to our surprise was actually kind of gross tasting...sorry Seven Stills and I've never seen Craig not finish a drink or a dessert but he couldn't do it. Something about their signature Chocasmoke whiskey with their ice cream just did not quite mix well. I gave it a sip to and did not enjoy it at all. I'm not that into bitter food but it wasn't just bitter. It was earthy and a bit like a bad version of those round barrel root beer candies. Craig kindly ordered a whiskey to cut the taste he he! 
The rest of our night was lovely but I have to mention one thing...the bed wasn't the best. From the hotels vibe I expected to melt into the mattress and never want to leave but that wasn't the case. The frame creaked a lot and definitely distracted from certain things...LOL! We also noticed that they offered different pillows to try, since Craig sleeps with a memory foam pillow at home he asked to try the service. But no one ever showed up :(
The next day we headed to the Seven Still Brewery a short distance from Nob Hill. 
There we enjoyed a tour and whiskey tasting. I don't want to give too much away but it was such a nice experience. Staff were friendly and eager to teach us about their work. Each whiskey was so original, being that they were all small batch. Craig's favorite was the Four Legs Good.
The brewery held a chill vibe with a hint of humor all mixed with serious brewing magic! We would totally recommend a visit. This place is gonna get big!
Thanks for reading my review. 
Cheer, Bunny

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Candytopia

Hey Y'all! 
I got sucked into another vortex of delicious art, this time it was at Candytopia in San Francisco. Located conspicuously close to the Museum of Ice Cream, this new pop-up features interactive art displays made entirely of candy.
This candy factory is a maze of themed rooms, sweet treats to eat and wondrous candy displays. Each featured art piece includes a plaque letting guests know how many jellybeans(or what have you) were used and also how much all that candy weighs. It was really nice getting the inside scoop of the hours spent on these masterpieces. Guests are also encouraged to touch and photograph the candy art which was really fun. I don't want to give too much away but here are a few of my favorites! 

One part of this experience that set it apart from the MOIC are their Sugar Rush photo-ops. A few rooms have cameras set up on the ceiling with timers. The photos are then emailed to you automatically. That was a big plus for me. You know I love my pictures!
My favorite space by far was the magic confetti room. Imagine candy pigs in tutus, jellybean unicorns and buckets of rainbow confetti falling from the sky! It brought out the kid in me instantly. I could have stayed in there forever!
 
This rooms particular Sugar Rush had a spinning color circle with a TON of confetti raining down! Can we say Holiday Card!?
Towards the end of the candy journey, much like the MOIC sprinkle pool, Candytopia features a giant pool filled with faux marshmallows. Stepping into this soft pit of white was hilarious, just trying to get from one side to the other was exhausting! he he But we loved it!
Candytopia was so awesome, I'd definitely recommend checking it out if you're in the area. This museum stresses the importance of candy in our lives...the importance of artistic expression and the ability to just have fun! That is everything!
Thanks Candytopia and San Francisco, until next time!
Cheers, Bunny