A Gift Guide For the Home Cook from Kiwi and Peach

Oh. holidays.

Despite life being seriously bonkers right now, I wanted to stop by for a little chat. What’s new with you?

We have a house! It was touch an go there for a bit {a month}, but after an impromptu trip to Asheville, losing the most perfect house, and then finding our wonderful bungalow right in West Asheville, we officially have somewhere to call home. I am completely aware that this is a food blog not a design blog, but you’ll just have to indulge a few of the home posts that are going to be coming up next month. {Or not, but I’ll be posting them regardless.}

We are staying with my folks through Christmas—making up for lost family time the past two years. We are spending the weekend working on projects for the new house, wrapping gifts, and making lots of Christmas goodies. I’ll pop back in before Christmas to share one or two of those with y’all, but until then you can be dreaming of date ball cookies and delicious, buttery dutch apple cake.

Christmas is drawing closer and wish lists for the folks on my shopping list are seemingly nonexistent. What does one buy for the cousin you haven’t seen in two plus years that has no obvious hobbies and an aversion to alcohol? {Seriously, what?}

While I might not be able to solve my own gift dilemmas, I certainly can help you out with yours. I spend a ridiculous amount of time daydreaming about kitchen gadgets, pots and pans, etc. There are some beautiful, practical, and lovely things out there that might just be the perfect gift for the cook in your life. Most folks already have their basics, but I assure you everyone also has their ‘nice to have’ list. You know, the pretty stuff that they might not buy in their own, but you would be champion of the day if you got it for them. It’s all under $30 and any of it would be a sure fire hit in the Kiwi+Peach household. Here does.

A Gift Guide For the Home Cook in you Life from Kiwi and Peach

A Gift Guide For the Home Cook in you Life from Kiwi and Peach

1. Tupelo Honey Cafe{$29}
Love Southern food with a twist? Love farm-to-table? Love beautiful photography? If you only buy one cookbook, get this one. It’s hands-down my favorite cookbook of all time. Full of practical recipes that you can and will actually make at home, it’s a staple in our house.

2. Squirrel nut cracker from Target {$14}
Seriously, just look at it. It doesn’t get much cuter than that, right? While it might not be the most practical of nutcrackers, it will certainly look cute on their counter.

3. Copper measuring spoons from West Elm Market {still available in stores, $16}
These would make me smile every time I used them. Classy and a little fancy with some precious typography, they would be the perfect thing for all this Christmas baking!

4. Stoneware egg crate and fruit basket from Anthropologie {$12, $20}
The perfect things to store your farmers’ market finds in.

5. Goat tote from West Elm {$18}
This bag cracked me up. Perfect for toting groceries and your farmers’ market haul.

6. Farm Anatomy by Julia Rothman {$14}
This beautifully illustrated paperback is full of informative diagrams of anything you ever wanted to know about farms and farm animals. It’s certainly on my list.

{This post contains an Amazon affiliate link. That means that if you head over to Amazon from the link and choose to buy the book, a tiny bit of the money you spent on the book will come back to me for the referral.} 

Meet Dooley + Sweet Potato, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Pizza

We have a little addition to the Kiwi+Peach family. Meet Dooley.

She is five years old and likes long runs, chasing tennis balls, staring at you while you eat, cuddling and popcorn.

Kiwi and Peach | Meet Dooley

While she certainly isn’t a new addition, she hasn’t been living with us for about two years. For lots of logistical reasons, Dooley living in Germany was not going to work out. My sweet, sweet parents volunteered to look after her while we were away, but now that we are back, she will obviously be coming with us to Asheville.

I mean, I’ll try not to turn into a crazy dog lady, but seriously, look at that face. No promises.

Kiwi and Peach | Meet Dooley

So, so lucky to get to be her human. It’s safe to say she’s going to be a regular around here.

You know what else is going to be a regular around here, this pizza. {see what I did there}

A couple weeks ago I was trying to use up the last of food and clean out the pantry when inspiration hit in the form of pizza. As soon as it starts getting the least bit cold, I put sweet potatoes on just about everything. Why not pizza?

Sweet Potato, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Pizza from Kiwi and Peach

Sweet Potato, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Pizza + Roasted Red Pepper, Hazelnut, and Fig Pesto

The Potatoes
1 sweet potato
drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper

The Basics
1 batch of whole wheat pizza dough
1 batch of pesto {recipe below}

The Toppings
1 cup of spinach, packed
5 oz goat cheese
drizzle of maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.

Wash your potato and dry it well. Slice it into rounds about the width of you pinky finger, about a 1/4 of an inch think. Lay them flat on a baking sheet, brush both sides with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and a bit of pepper. Pop them in the oven for about 20 minutes. When they are finished transfer them to a bowl and set them to the side.

Once you put the potatoes in, proof the yeast for your pizza dough and set it to the side. When the proof is done, go ahead and finish the dough. By the time you’re finished mixing that up the potatoes will be finished. Take them out of the oven and turn the heat off. Leave the door of the oven open so the oven can cool down a bit.

Put the pizza dough in a well greased skillet and pop it in the oven to rise for about 15 minutes.

While the dough is rising, whip up that pesto.


Roasted Red Pepper Pesto with Hazelnut and Figs from Kiwi and Peach

Roasted Red Pepper, Hazelnut, and Fig Pesto

makes about 1 cup

1/2 of a roasted red pepper
2 tsp tomato paste
1/4 cup hazelnuts
1 clove of garlic
3 dried figs, stems cut and quartered
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil

In a food processor, combine all of your pesto ingredients except the olive oil. Give it a whirl and then start slowly adding the olive oil as the machine is running. When you get it to a consistency you like, you’re done!

{Quick note about the pesto. The freshness of the hazelnuts you use have a huge effect on the taste. Some hazelnuts, usually ones meant for baking tend to taste slightly stale when eaten fresh. Once baked, that stale aftertaste disappears and it is delicious, so using not-so-fresh hazelnuts is okay for the pizza since you’ll be baking it. However, if you wanted to use this same pesto on say a crostini, or as a pasta sauce, you’re going to want to use fresher hazelnuts to avoid that unpleasant, stale aftertaste.}


When the dough is finished rising, transfer it to the baking sheet. Crank the oven back up to 400°F/200°C.

Roll the dough out to the size you’d like your pizza. Leaving space around the edge for a crust, slather the dough with an even layer of pesto then layer up the spinach, sweet potatoes, and finally the goat cheese. Drizzle a bit of maple syrup over the whole thing and pop it back in the oven for 20 minutes to bake the crust and melt that delicious, delicious cheese. Enjoy y’all!

Sweet Potato, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Pizza from Kiwi and Peach

Sweet Potato, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Pizza from Kiwi and Peach

Servus München + I’m Going Back Home: Nina Simone

This was supposed to post yesterday. Oops. Somewhere in the middle of getting up at the crack of dawn, getting on a plane, an 11 hour flight, and then getting to see our friends and family for the first time in a a year and a half that obviously that didn’t happen. So just pretend like it’s still yesterday. Okay? Thanks.


Our last day Munich has arrived. This past Saturday we officially handed over our wonderful apartment that has been the best first home we could have asked for. Today, we get on a plane.

Christmas time in Germany is magical. Twinkling lights on the streets, the smell of glühwein everywhere you go, and the lebkuchen, oh the lebkuchen. We just couldn’t miss this season completely. We didn’t have to be in the States quite yet, so we stayed and said goodbye to Munich properly.

There were coffee and dinner dates with friends that filled our hearts, trips to Christmas markets and cups of glühwein that filled our tummies, and most of all, moments when we took a look around and thanked our lucky stars we got to call this place home for the past two years.

We are so very loved. Thank you so much to everyone that made our time in Munich so incredibly special. We will miss you tons and you’ll always have a place to rest your head if you’re ever in Asheville.

But for now…

Food News {monday}

Happy Monday folks! How was your weekend? We had a little get together at our place to say bye to our friends. The next week or so is going to be crazy with the movers coming and us preparing to hand back over the apartment, so we wanted to take advantage of our one calm weekend and spend it with some of the coolest and funniest folks we know in Munich. We sure are going to miss you guys!

And you know what we did on Sunday? We rested. It was magical.

Sweet, sweet rest–it had been far too long since we hung out.

I was finally able to catch up on my reading and found some articles, recipes, and goodies that I just couldn’t wait to share.

Camel Trekking in the Sahara from Kiwi and Peachcamel trekking in the Sahara
{photo credit: the kiwi}

{read}

“You cannot sustain good health on fake food.” Fascinating insight from an ex-chef about feeding your family good food on a strict budget. {eatocracy}

This has nothing to do with food, but wow–what a beautiful tribute to their love. {rolling stone}

For all the folks who have asked what grits are… here is a great fact sheet covering your basic corn. {food52}

The good, the bad, and the ugly of each state’s ‘signature’ dish. Hilarious read. {deadspin}

We aren’t dairy-free, but I do have to be careful. Here are some great tips if you have to pay attention to your dairy consumption. {the stone soup}

The history of popcorn and how we came to associate it with the movies. {smithsonian}

{make}

We have some brussels just asking to be made into this. {in the little red house}

My next soup experiment + some great info about my favorite veggie, the sweet potato. {in the little red house}

{love}

These guys can peel a whole head of garlic in less than 10. Color me impressed. {the kitchn}

Cheesecloth angst? Such a handy list of reusable alternatives. {the kitchn}

I mentioned this a couple weeks ago, but Seven Handle Circus has 3 days left to fund their new album. Head over and see what you think. {kickstarter}

Jenny’s calligraphy shop makes me a little weak at the knees. {jenny highsmith calligraphy}

Sweet {Home} Asheville

I had a recipe to share with y’all today. I promise, I did.

But today is a really big day for us, and I just don’t think that a recipe for a perfect party appetizer, as delicious as it may be, really documents the importance of the day. I’ll share the recipe tomorrow.

Today, we have some big news.

Real big. Huge.

Kiwi and Peach: Sweet {HOME} Asheville

The Kiwi and I are moving to Asheville, North Carolina!

Today, the Kiwi had his interview at the consulate, and his work visa has been approved. It’s official–we’re coming America!

I am feeling all the feelings. As Oktoberfest wound down, I found myself a bit weepy that this was the last time we would experience it as locals. On that trip to the Alps that I so cryptically wrote about a couple weeks ago, my heart actually hurt that it would be my last time there for a long while. As we’re going through the insurance inventory for our moving company and putting a value on all of the things we’ve picked up from our travels, I find that priceless isn’t an option but that is what this stuff is. {Reality check: they are things, I know this, but they are also memories, very precious memories.}

But enough about my being an emotional mess. That is to be expected. Germany has been our home for the past two years. This is where we met, where we grew, where we fell in love, where we dealt with challenges neither of us thought we’d ever have to face. It’s where we became a team, a family. Munich has been the backdrop for all of this and will always have an incredibly special place in our hearts. But we always knew that Munich was not going to be forever.

For one, I cannot work in my field in Germany. I’ve spent the last two years gaining hands-on experience that, without a doubt, make me a better Family and Consumer Science teacher, but I can’t actually teach Family and Consumer Science here and I want to teach FACS again. I can’t wait to get back in the classroom, teaching those little whipper-snappers all there is to know about food, nutrition, and how to be productive, independent individuals who can think and analyze and in turn, impact their world. That is what makes me feel fulfilled, and that, my friends, is something I can’t do in Germany.

Why Asheville?

On the night we met, the Kiwi, who had also recently moved to Germany from the south, and I talked extensively about our favorite Southern towns. Conveniently, they happened to be the exact same ones–Charleston, Savannah, and, yes, Asheville. When we started the conversation about going back to the States, we knew it was going to be one of those towns.

I truly believe that where you choose to live has a huge impact on your happiness. Short story is we are moving to Asheville because it’s  a town with great things going on: food-wise, art-wise, music-wise. It doesn’t hurt that it’s in the middle of the mountains {you know, my place} so hiking is just minutes away. Food, art, music, the outdoors–those are the things that make us happy, so we are choosing to be intentional and surround ourselves with that environment. Most importantly though, it’s a town we both feel completely at home in, settled. We are pretty sure these are our folks. We’ll fit right in.

Food News {a weekend report}

It’s the weekend!

We are actually staying in Bavaria this weekend, and I am so excited about having a chill weekend at home. We haven’t done that in a while. We’re planning on taking a nice long walk through the Englisher Garten, catching a play, and hopefully, heading to the Alps for a quick visit.

Perfection.

Food News from Kiwi and Peach {Fall Colors in Munich}

You know what else hasn’t happened in a while? Food News. My links bookmark folder is getting unruly because I’ve amassed a ridiculous number of articles that I’m just dying to share and discuss.

So, I’m sharing.

Let’s discuss.

{read}

An explanation as to why flavor is as much mental as it is physiological. {scientific american}

A look at why companies think GMO labeling would raise food prices. Hint, it’s not the labels. {grist}

A really interesting article about the evolution of boxed cake mix. {bon appétit}

Could the chemicals in processed foods be the contributing factor for obesity? {pro publica}

An interview with Marion Nestle: school “cafeterias [are the] key battlegrounds in the fight against obesity and poor nutrition.” {civil eats}

{make}

Can you believe they use lye when making pretzels?! I’ll stick with the baking soda when we give this a try this weekend. {the kitchn}

Sign me up for this butternut squash mac and cheese. Get in my belly! {marshalls abroad}

Can’t wait to try this salad. {naturally ella}

{love}

Parchment paper really is a baked goods game changer. {food52}

How to maintain those gorgeous wooden chopping boards. {the kitchn}

This tortilla press is exactly what I’ve been looking for. The goodies that come with it aren’t half bad either. {food 52 provisions}