Autumn brings the convergence of two camps: gardeners and football fans. Your tomatoes are ripening while your alma mater is taking the field, creating the perfect conditions for game-day salsa. Here’s the call: chop the tomatoes, throw them in a food processor with some spicy pickles (such as Duker’s Dills Hot Pickles), salt, cilantro and lime to taste and blend away. This spicy option will be a huge score with your friends.
Elevation Restaurant at the Cascade Culinary Institute Bend | elevationbend.com __________________________________________________________________________________________________ Bacon Beignets with Roasted Shallot Maple Vinaigrette Makes 15-20 servings | total time: 1 hour + 6-8 hours Bacon Beignet Batter Ingredients: 1 cup lukewarm whole milk, warmed to 105°F 1 teaspoon sugar 1 teaspoon active dry yeast 1 1/2 cups pastry flour 1 teaspoon kosher salt 2 large egg whites, room temperature 1 cup bacon cooked and finely chopped, approx. 12 slices Oil for deep frying Directions: Place warm milk in a large bowl. Add sugar and yeast; whisk to dissolve sugar. Cover with a warm, damp kitchen towel and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Add flour and salt; whisk until smooth. Whisk egg whites in a medium bowl until frothy, about 1 minute. Add to batter and whisk until smooth. Fold in bacon bits. Scrape down sides of bowl, allowing batter to pool at…
As a kid, hot chocolate didn’t do much for me. I realize that seems un-Americana. What could be more reminiscent of childhood winters than a steaming hot cup of cocoa, topped with whipped cream and stirred with a peppermint stick? Well, I was the kid who found that whole concoction rather cloying. I preferred my chocolate dark and in bar-form.
I can admit it. I survived the holidays thanks (in part) to a little beverage we call coffee. I went from my normal one cup per day, to two, even three cups a day in order to get it all done. And I did, for the most part, get it all done.
Here I sit at the first of the New Year, and all of that “hurry-up and get it done” busyness of the holidays has disappeared—leaving a handful of spare time in its wake. I’m also left re-evaluating the need for 3 cups of coffee a day. I love the ritual of it—the warm mug cradled in my hands, the rich smell of the dark liquid mixed with a little cream, and the desire it instills in me to curl up on the couch and read.
But, there are times when I am reminded of some advice I was once given, “When you really pay attention, how does your body actually feel when you drink that beverage or eat that food?”
Honestly, I can say that anything past one small cup of coffee doesn’t actually feel that great. My stomach isn’t thrilled with the extra acid and my already ramped up Type-A body could do without the extra adrenaline. That’s not to say that I will give up coffee. No, I love the ritual too much, but after the excessive indulging of the holidays, I feel inclined to be kind to my body.
Occasionally, I whip up a smoothie that never fails to make my body feel energized. The ritual isn’t the same as coffee. There’s a list of ingredients. There’s the noise from the blender. There’s the fact that the beverage is cold and I loathe being cold. But, my body loves it. I can actually feel my mind sending out little messages of elation to the far extremities of my body as I drink down the grape purple concoction.
I’m not sure why I don’t make it more often. Perhaps it comes down to the choice between cleaning the coffee pot and cleaning the blender, and I choose coffee pot. Whatever it is, I plan to use a bit of my newfound time to make my energizing smoothie more often.
Feel Good Blueberry Smoothie
My kids love this smoothie. They have no idea there’s a handful of spinach in there. Hopefully, they won’t read this.
1 cup orange juice
1 banana, broken into chunks
a handful of spinach, approx. 1 cup
¼ cup plain or Greek yogurt (optional)
1 tbsp honey
a shake of cinnamon
1 ½ cups frozen blueberries
1 cup ice
Put the ingredients into your blender in the order listed above. Blend until smooth. Pour into 2 large glasses or 4 small ones. Drop in a straw. Drink and be energized!