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  1. Cooking the Book: The Art of Simple Food

    A few weeks ago, I posted a photo asking which cookbook I should try my hand at cooking cover to cover. Although many said Buvette would be the tastiest, I lean toward simple food more than extravagant food and figured I should take a cue from the Queen of Simple Cooking, Alice Waters, and cook through The Art of Simple Food

    There are LOTS of recipes in this book, but more than that, there are techniques and stories of how to make something your own. Being a rule follower, bake by the book kind of cook, this was something that I needed to hear. 

    Sometimes you just have to throw a pinch of salt here or a few grinds of pepper there and know that it’ll turn out just fine. Don’t have dried cherries? That’s fine. Use dried cranberries! No feta cheese? Try soft goat cheese for a whole new flavor and texture.

    These are the lessons I’ve learned from Alice so far. She’s taught me how to be a better cook - not just how to follow directions. 

    My first recipe from her book was Brussels sprouts. I love her method, and while I didn’t adjust it at all, Alice gave me the confidence to change it if I so desired. 

    Here’s to lessons from chefs that carry over far beyond the kitchen counter. 

    Simple Brussels Sprouts (from The Art of Simple Food)
    serves 4

    you’ll need:1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed1 tablespoon olive oil 2 slices bacon, diced 1 small onion, diced2 sprigs thyme or rosemarysalt and pepper to taste

    Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Quarter the sprouts and cook in salted water until tender. Drain well.

    In a medium heavy pan, heat live oil and bacon. Cook bacon until done, but not crisp. Remove the bacon and set aside. Add the onion and thyme (or rosemary) to the pan with the bacon fat and cook until soft.

    Season with salt and pepper, and, turning the heat to medium high, add the Brussels sprouts and cook until warmed throughout and beginning to brown. Add bacon, toss and check for seasonings. Serve warm.

    Also: Happy Tunesday!

     

  2. Eyes // Rogue Wave

    So it’s a Tunesday on a Wednesday. Whoops! At least I thought about it? Ha. This is an oldie, but I love the sound of it for slow mornings. 

    Enjoy your Tunesday Wednesday!

     

  3. Blue Moon // Beck

    I still remember listening to Beck for the first time. It was the middle of 9th grade, and I felt wayyyy cooler than I probably should have. 

    Listening to his new album, I’m not going to lie - it still feels cool. 

    Tunesdays are back for good, and I am really excited about it. 

     

  4. Jam: A Kitchen Mixtape

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    Remember a few months ago when I told you big things were coming to the blog? Allow me to introduce you to Jam: A Kitchen Mixtape. 

    In the Loop started solely as a food blog, but, as things often do, molded into something slightly different. 

    I found that I love listening to music while I cook, turning on the record player for dinner parties and sharing this music with others. 

    Jam: A Kitchen Mixtape sprouted from the idea that music and food really do mix. 

    I’ll reveal more about the site as things unfold, but for now, a photo of my logo should suffice. Thanks to Kadie Smith for the amazing work. I love her talent. 

    Can’t wait to jam together!! 

    Only sort of sorry for that pun. 

     

  5. Actually Dairy (and Gluten!) Free: Falafel Bites

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    I think it’s safe to say I’ve been off my blogging game lately. I actually got sad because Tunesdays haven’t been a thing for the last few months. What happened?

    I’ve been trying to figure out my lack of posting. Maybe it’s because bacon and eggs drizzled with hot sauce isn’t really a recipe - but it is real life - so I suppose I could post that. :)

    Anyway, I made these falafel bites a few months ago. (You know, back before Pumpkin Spice Lattes returned. Do you remember?) They’re gluten and dairy free, yet are still delicious, so I’d say we have a winner on our hands.

    So before the nutmeg, pumpkin spice and cloves run aplenty in your house, give summer a proper goodbye with this falafel; you won’t regret it.

    Also, to make up for my lack of Tunesdays, I give you my rotation of music as of late. I’ll call it Mid-September Mixtape.

    Dairy and Gluten Free Falafel Bites (adapted from here)
    serves 4

    you’ll need:

    1 3/4 cups dried chickpeas (trust me on this, it’s worth the soaking time!)
    1 garlic clove, chopped finely
    1 small onion, sliced
    2 teaspoons cumin
    1 cup chopped fresh parsley
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    1 teaspoon black pepper
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    5 tablespoons olive oil

    To soak the chickpeas, place in a large bowl and cover with water by about 3 inches. Soak, for 12 hours or up to 24.

    Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Drain the chickpeas and place them in a food processor or heavy duty blender along with the garlic, onion, cumin, parsley, salt, pepper, baking soda and lemon juice.

    Pulse the ingredients until everything is combined and minced.

    Grease a large baking sheet with half of the olive oil. Form the falafel into small bites and place on the baking sheet. Brush the tops with remaining olive oil.

    Bake for 10 minutes or until browned on each size. Enjoy atop a big salad, loaded with the last of the cucumber, tomatoes and balsamic.

     
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