ANZAC Biscuits

One of the most prominent and contentious differences between the American and English languages is the word ‘biscuit’. Most people would tell you that the American translation is ‘cookie’ and leave it at that. Of course, the delicious fluffy buttermilk biscuits we enjoy here in the Southern US are a completely different thing, unknown to the rest of the world. Express a hankering for a fried chicken biscuit to your English-speaking colleagues and hilarity will likely ensue (as Lauren once found out).

We believe there’s more to it than that though—there’s a distinct difference between English biscuits and American cookies. Biscuits are traditionally hard, whereas Americans like their cookies soft. (A quality that appears to often be achieved by loading them up with so much sugar that the other ingredients can barely hold it together.) So we have an agreement on how to resolve the language dispute: soft cookies are cookies and hard cookies are biscuits.

ANZAC biscuits, then, are definitely biscuits. Legend has it that soldiers of the Australia-New Zealand Army Corps, serving in Europe in the First World War, used to receive them in care packages from home. They were baked hard to survive the journey of many weeks or months across the world.

Early on the morning of the 25th of April, 1915, ANZAC troops (under British command) began landing on the shores of the Gallipoli peninsula, in modern-day Turkey. It was the beginning of an ill-fated campaign to wrest control of the Dardanelles straight from the Ottoman Empire, thus opening access to the Mediterranean for the Russian Black Sea Fleet. And every year on the 25th of April, ANZAC Day, New Zealanders and Australians the world over pause to remember just what a colossally bad idea that was. Lest We Forget.

ANZAC Biscuits from Kiwi and Peach

ANZAC Biscuits

{makes 10 biscuits}

The Dry
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 tsp baking soda

The Wet
1.5 ounces (5o grams) butter, melted
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350°F (160°C).

In a large bowl combine all of your dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, melt your butter then whisk in the golden syrup and vanilla. Add this to the dry ingredients and start mixing. If it is too crumbly to roll into a ball, add up to two tablespoons of warm water. Roll the dough into golf-ball-sized balls and place staggered on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Pop them in the oven for 15 minutes. You’ll know they’re finished when the edges start to brown. Take them out and let them cool completely before gobbling them up. And obviously, they last forever—just not in our house.

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Lemony Chicken Rice with Spring Vegetables

Oh spring! I’m so happy to see you.

This winter was rough and if I’m being honest, pretty lonely. Moving to a new town is isolating in an of itself but add the coldest winter in recent history and you have yourself a recipe for a rough transition. I had to get out of the house!

I started volunteering with a non-profit here called FEAST—fresh, easy, affordable, sustainable, tasty— which is what we think food should be. The goal is to give kids the opportunity to have hands-on experiences with fresh fruits and vegetables whether that’s growing it in the garden or cooking it in the kitchen. The hope is that if they grow it themselves and cook it well they’ll want to eat it and enjoy the taste! We use introduce  lots of seasonal vegetables, teach them how to use them, and try show the kids that, when prepared well, veggies can be really tasty! A few weeks ago I was officially got the offer to contract with them and teach the middle school after school programs. It’s amazing and absolutely the perfect job for me. I am so, so happy to be back in middle schools talking about my favorite thing, food! To say it was a sanity saver is an understatement.

Working with beaucoups of vegetables is so refreshing to me after that long winter. I love celebrating these lovely little gems that the earth {and our local farmers} have given us and learning how to craft them in a way that brings out their unique flavors. Eating close to the earth like this keeps us completely mindful of what is in season and what the earth is giving us at this moment in time.

It certainly draws parallels to our meal planning service, The Seasonal Supper. When pulling together our sneak preview, I snuck in one of my favorite new spring recipes that hadn’t made it on the blog yet. While you should absolutely go download the sneak peek {and you should sign up for The Seasonal Supper while you’re at it}, I couldn’t resist sharing it here too.

So this Earth Day, let’s eat close to the earth and let’s be mindful and thankful for all it gives us.

Lemony Chicken Rice with Spring Vegetables

Lemony Chicken Rice with Spring Vegetables

{serves 2}

for the rice:
1/2 cup brown rice
1 1/4 cup well salted water

for the chicken:
drizzle of olive oil
1 chicken breast
dash of salt and pepper
half a head of broccoli
half a bundle of asparagus
dash of red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp chopped preserved lemon {or juice from 1/2 of a fresh lemon}

for the sauce:
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp chopped preserved lemon {or zest and juice from 1/2 of a fresh lemon}

Get the rice started first because it is going to take about 50 minutes to cook. Just follow the directions on your pack of rice and make sure that your water is well salted.

Once the rice is on, go ahead and chop your veggies. Cut the woody end off the asparagus and put them in the compost. Then chop the stalks into about thirds. For the broccoli just cut the flowers off the stalk.

Drizzle a bit of olive oil in your skillet and start heating it up on medium-high heat.

On a separate cutting board, because food safety, cut the chicken breast into bite sized pieces. Sprinkle with sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper.

When the pan is hot, add your chicken. Let it cook for a couple of minutes stirring occasionally until it’s sealed on all sides, then add the asparagus, broccoli, red pepper flakes, and preserved lemon. Stir well and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the broccoli and asparagus are tender and the chicken is cooked through.

While that is cooking, whisk the sauce together in a small mixing bowl.

Once the chicken and vegetables are done cooking, remove the skillet from the heat and pour the sauce into the pan. Give everything a stir to make sure the sauce is fully incorporated.

When the rice is finished, plate it up and enjoy!

 

The Seasonal Supper

Last weekend, the Kiwi and I hit up the Mother Earth News Fair. It was incredible and worthy of a post of it’s own, but one thing I heard there really struck me. Joel Salatin, of Food, Inc. and The Omnivore’s Dilemma fame, talked about today’s norms, the orthodoxies of our age. He also mentioned that most of us there were, well, heretics, because we went against those norms and that was for the better because they were kind of mind-blowing. One of those orthodoxies in particular though especially burnt my britches.

49% of meals are prepared outside of the home. That’s almost half of our meals being made by other “people”.

If you read our post about our food philosophy then you know why that doesn’t sit very well with me. Usually the other “people” that are making that food are corporations that care more about their bottom line than your nutrition. We also tend to indulge in not-so-healthy treats more often when other “people” are making it for us. When people take a moment to prepare their supper, to sit down at a table and eat, it leads to healthier relationships with food and in turn healthier people. And thats the goal isn’t it? To be healthy?

He followed it up with this—70% of folks don’t know what’s for supper at 4pm. I’m definitely not saying there is something wrong with that. I’ll be the first to admit that is absolutely true for us more often then I’d like to admit. However, I am saying that you’re much more likely to grab fast food, order take-out, or resort to convince foods like TV dinners and frozen pizzas if you don’t have a plan.

Our goal, our mission, is to get people cooking for themselves and having fun with it. Whether you’re cooking just for yourself, for you and your significant other, or for you, your significant other, and your persnickety little people that think vegetables are weird trees, we want dinner time to be a respite, not just another chore. It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut eating the same thing over and over again until you never want to see another baked potato ever again! Eating the exact same thing week after week just isn’t exciting, but we also know that meal planning isn’t easy. It takes planning, time, and lots of mental muscle to do this on a daily basis, so let us take care of that for you. That is why we are introducing…

seasonal-supper-logoEach season {every three months} we will send our members 4 weeks of flexible week night dinner line ups and their corresponding grocery lists. These meals will be balanced, healthy, and definitely in line with our food philosophy, so you’ll only find whole foods on our ingredients lists. You will also receive 20+ healthy recipes, some of which have not made their way to the blog yet, to help you prepare those meal as well as loads of juicy info on seasonal produce and tips on ways to simplify week night cooking. Almost all of our meals take less than an hour and most only require 30-40 minutes of actual hands-on time. We want this to WORK for you, so we are also including meal planning resources like blank meal plans, blank grocery lists, and monthly calendars to pop up on the fridge and keep you organized.

And of course, they’ll be cute. Even the most mundane things can be so much more fun when you have cute paper products on which to organize you life. Don’t you think?!

Here is what you’ll get each season’s collection:

  • 20+ healthy, whole-food recipes that serve 2 people
  • 4 week night line ups + 4 corresponding grocery lists
  • a blank weekly meal plan
  • a blank grocery list
  • 3 monthly calendars
  • plus other surprise seasonal goodies

The whole collection will be emailed to you as PDF files. From there you can download them and print out as many copies as you need. All files are formatted to print easily on normal computer paper and have helpful crop marks on pages that need to be trimmed. Use the meal planning tools to mix and match your four weeks of recipes so that you have an ever-changing dinner schedule that keeps your eater’s tastebuds on their toes and you having fun in the kitchen!

Ready to join?! Members pay $19.99 per season. That’s JUST $7 per month for us to do all your meal planning for you! If you don’t want to subscribe, you can still buy individual seasons for $24.99 per season. We will be rolling out our first complete Seasonal Supper collections on June 1st for the summer and winter seasons depending on your hemisphere. Subsequent seasons will be released September 1st {Fall/Spring}, December 1st {Winter/Summer}, etc.

If you are interested, and if you made it to the end of this blog post I’m pretty sure you are, click the join now button down there to get your name on the list. You’ll fill out a little form that will send me your contact information {no worries, your info is safe with us} and I’ll be sure to get in touch with you when the collection is ready!

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You’re pumped about this, right?! I won’t keep you waiting then. Our first complete season won’t be available until June 1st, but I have a little treat for you guys.

Today, you’re getting a sneak peak—one week of spring suppers! In addition to the line up and the grocery list, we are giving y’all five recipes for wonderfully seasonal week night meals and two bonus recipes that tie in with those meals. We are also giving you a blank weekly meal plan, grocery list, and calendar for the month of May. I really hope y’all have just as much fun using them as I had designing them! To access them you can either click the image below {or here} or visit our freebies page.

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Chard Art Orzo

Monday I talked about our CSA and looking forward to getting veggies I might have otherwise not purchased. We are certainly going to be pushing our creativity and the limits of our vegetable consumption this season because in addition to our CSA one of the perks of my new day-job is that I get to bring home leftover veggies. Not half bad, eh?

Today, I wanted to talk about one of those new-to-me veggies—rainbow chard. I’d certainly heard of it but never cooked with it, and if my students’ reactions when introduced to it are any indication, neither had they. I figured it would be a good chance to experiment. So what did we discover? Like lots of dark, leafy greens, it wilts nicely and, as a bonus, the stem is actually pretty tasty too. {It tastes a lot like celery.} It’s a bit sturdier than spinach, so it retains a nice chew when cooked down and is a great textural element in a dish. Also like its dark leafy green fellows, it packs a nutritional punch in terms of it’s vitamin A and K content as well as being a good source of iron and magnesium. It’s a good thing to eat.

I had been thinking about developing a healthy-ish recipe for a quick, spinach artichoke type pasta for a while now because I mean, who doesn’t like spinach artichoke dip? The chard though. The chard really made everything connect for me. {The bacon doesn’t hurt either.} Each ingredient holds it’s own working together to subtly punch you in the mouth with flavor.

Chard Art Orzo from Kiwi and Peach

Chard Art Orzo

{serves two}

½ cup orzo
1 piece thick cut bacon
9-10 stems of rainbow chard, washed
1 clove garlic
juice from ½ of a lemon {or 1 tsp of chopped preserved lemon}
dash of salt and pepper
2 oz cream cheese
2 tbsp sour cream
¼ cup almond milk
5 ounces artichoke hearts
dash of red pepper flakes

Boil your jug and start heating up your frying pan or skillet on medium.

Get your orzo cooking in a pot with plenty of well salted, boiling water on medium high heat. If this is your first time with orzo, don’t worry about it. It’s just like cooking other pastas. Make sure your water is well salted and set your timer for about 10 minutes. When it’s finished, drain it and sit it to the side.

After you get the orzo started, cut your slice of bacon into small strips and pop them in the skillet. While the bacon is rendering, de-stem your chard and tear {or chop} it into 2 or 3 inch pieces. Peel the garlic and either mince it or put it in your garlic press.

Add the garlic to the skillet and stir. Give it about 30 seconds and then add the chopped chard, lemon juice, and a dash of salt and pepper. Stir well and let that cook down for about 3 minutes. Add the cream cheese, sour cream, and soy creme. Keep stirring it around until it melts and is completely incorporated into the chard.

Chop the artichoke hearts into quarters and toss them into the skillet along with the cooked orzo. Sprinkle the whole thing with red pepper flakes and mix well.