Hello. Hey. Hi there (Links I Love)

Jökulárlón Lagoon, Iceland

What are you lovely people up to this weekend?  We are going to a Baltimore Orioles game tonight and hoping to get some water sports in before the weather turns chilly.

Finished reading this.  After reading his blog for a while now, I just downloaded a sample of Mark Manson’s new book and can’t wait to get started on it.

 French artist shows how to confront Islamaphobes in public

I always assumed our son would pursue a career in video game development because he’s whipsmart and it’s his passion, but he has a different view on turning something you love into a vocation.  The consequences of monetizing your bliss.  I get it.

Love these new shoes for fall

Coming to Netflix:  Christopher Guest’s new mockumentary,  “Mascots”.  Looks awesome!

Is it possible to love Drake culture without actually loving Drake’s music?  YES!  First there was Sufjan Stevens version of “Hotline Bling”, then there was Drake on Cake, and Drake-inspired greeting cards, now there’s Namasdrake (too much?)

Going to this at the end of October.  My son is encouraging me to do this.

Love these housewarming party photos and seriously considering making an epic charcuterie table for the Christmas party this year

A new way to wake up

LOL

Have a great weekend!

 

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Tomato and Avocado Toast with Balsamic Syrup

Avocado Toast

 

Avocados.

Hard to believe there was a time I didn’t like them.  When I was younger they seemed weirdly textured, even more weirdly colored, and devoid of taste.  At that time the avocado hadn’t achieved the status it has today, being used primarily for guacamole and not much else.  Even then, the guacamole served in most restaurants was slimy-not the chunky, complex versions of today.

I just finished reading several reviews of Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook, It’s all Easy:  Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook.  Apparently, it’s a visually beautifully book with overly simple recipes-good for some, but not necessarily for experienced cooks.  Although I haven’t check it out firsthand, one particular reviewer stated they were disappointed to find  several pages  solely dedicated to making avocado toast.  Don’t get me wrong-I like Gwyneth more than the internet does on most days.  I own one of her previous cookbooks, It’s all Good, and I’ve even made a few things from it (it’s been a while, though); however, I acquired the book primarily for the stunning photography by Ditte Isager.

The real question is this:  Do we really need a recipe for avocado toast?

I make avocado toast a lot.  Like, A WHOLE LOT. It’s filling, good for you, and, as with eggs, it can be dressed up pretty nicely and stand in for any meal.    This variation elevates the toast by the addition of tomatoes and an easy to make balsamic syrup that can also be used with other dishes, such as grilled vegetables and salad dressings.

Just for laughs…a love letter to Gwyneth Paltrow’s luxurious cookbook sweaters

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Tomato and Avocado Balsamic Toast

Ingredients

  • 2 pieces multigrain bread, toasted to preference
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Make the balsamic syrup: Heat the vinegar in a small saucepan over low heat until it is reduced to 3-4 Tablespoons. Keep an eye on it-once it starts reducing it cooks fast and I have burned it a time or two. Remove from heat and pour in a small bowl or dish to cool while you assemble your toast.

Layer each piece of toast with avocado and a pinch of red pepper. You can slice the avocado if you want it to be pretty, or simply mash and spread with a fork impatiently like me. Top with tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the vinegar over the toast. Enjoy perfection!

http://fiercelyfresh.com/2016/05/tomato-and-avocado-toast-with-balsamic-syrup/

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Butternut Squash Soup with Rice and Coconut Milk

squash wild rice soup

Just as there are certain cooks that one knows by name alone-Ina, Jamie, Ree-there are food bloggers who have achieved the same status.  Say the name “Heidi” and one undoubtedly knows you must be speaking of Heidi Swanson, recipe creator and photographer of the site “101 Cookbooks”.  Heidi’s first book, “Super Natural Every Day”, was the first natural foods cookbook I ever purchased and continues to be one of the cookbooks I continually fall back on for great dishes.  Heidi has travelled extensively and I couldn’t wait for her new book, “Near & Far:  Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel”, knowing it would be filled not only with fabulous recipes from her trips abroad, but ethereal photographs as well.

Jimmy Fallon Squash

There are no shortage of butternut squash soup recipes on the internet, but many tend to lean toward the sweeter side.  What drew me to this recipe was the inclusion of a serrano chile, giving it just a slight spiciness.  Heidi recommends serving the soup with a scoop of wild rice, rather than adding it into the soup as I did.  You could even use a different cooked grain, such as farro or barley.

Butternut Squash Soup with Rice and Coconut Milk

Ingredients

  • 1/4 Cup coconut oil
  • 2 medium onions, cut into eights
  • 2 large shallots, halved
  • 1 whole serrano chile, stemmed
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt
  • 2 1/2 pounds butternut squash, seeded, peeled, and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp fresh grated or pureed ginger
  • 2-4 cups cooked wild rice blend (I use Royal Blend brand)
  • toppings such as toasted nuts or croutons

Cook the wild rice while you make your soup. I steam mine in my rice cooker (2 cups of rice to 3 cups of water).

Melt the coconut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, shallots, serrano, and salt. Cook until softened, about 7-10 minutes. Add the squash and the broth. Bring to a simmer and cook until squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Stir in the ginger and coconut milk. Add the cooked rice and season with more salt to taste. Top with toasted pumpkin seeds, pepitas, croutons, or yogurt.

http://fiercelyfresh.com/2015/10/butternut-squash-soup-with-rice-and-coconut-milk/
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