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4th of July Popsicles – Spiced Curiosity #vegan

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

4th of july popsicles – berry sweet!

    makes 4 popsicles
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar – the good stuff
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper or 3 full grinds
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 3 green cardamom pods or 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp honey

Tomorrow welcomes the Fourth of July. Earlier this week in anticipation, the New York Public Library graciously exhibited original copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. I hurried over from my work during lunch, hoping to glimpse the antiques which molded America’s government and overall way of being. As I was ushered into the room with awed whispers, I was grounded by the unity of respect and curiosity of everyone in the room. As I read through each page, I was inspired by the enormous dedication and contribution of these men and their passion to create a great nation. The neat, purposeful scripts of Thomas Jefferson sang the words “life, liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness,” and dreamed of something much bigger than the small colonies they then had.

All countries are blemished, but I believe all countries are also blessed. Tomorrow I gladly take pride in all of The United States’ glories and history. I hope you find a quiet moment to reflect and realize what your nation means to you, regardless of where you live.

On a lighter note, I’m enjoying the holiday with friends and family. To me no celebration or get-together is complete without tasty food, so I’m bringing 4th of July Popsicles to share. These are a tri-flavored treat, as each layer is a surprise. The red strawberries pack some heat with black pepper and linger on the palate with tangy balsamic. The simple white layer cleanses the tastebuds with almond milk and honey. Finally, the blueberries finish off the pop with earthy cardamom and a little citrus.

4th of July Popsicles – Spiced Curiosity #vegan

4th of July Popsicles – Spiced Curiosity #vegan

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Coconut Rice Pudding with Mango –– Spiced Curiosity

Friday, May 10, 2013

coconut rice pudding & lime mango – have a sweet mother’s day!

    serves four
  • 3/4 cup black japonica rice
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 ripe mango – slightly soft to the touch
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • a few mint leaves

I think I appreciate my mother exponentially with age. Honestly, with every coming year and glowing, growing cycle of my life, my appreciation for her quadruples. Not only do I regard her in the highest, but I also see the warming and lightening effect on those around her. All in all I’m a little biased, but come on. Mom rules. And I’m sure yours does too.

So in anticipation for girl-time this Sunday, I offer a fun dessert to make and eat together. Every piece is an experience. As you dunk a spoon through the chilled mango and down to the dark, creamy rice, take a second to admire how the sunny yellow pops against the purple swirl of pudding. The contrast continues on the tongue, with the satiating duo of cool, chopped fruit on top of the hot rice. Definitely a dish to share with someone close.

Mother's Day Idea! Coconut Rice Pudding with Mango –– Spiced Curiosity

Mother's Day Idea! Coconut Rice Pudding with Mango –– Spiced Curiosity

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Ramp Pesto Pasta & Balsamic-Roasted Tomatoes –– Spiced Curiosity

Friday, May 3, 2013

ramp pesto pasta & balsamic-roasted tomatoes


    ramp pesto – makes 1 cup
  • 1 bunch of ramps
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 5 small mint leaves
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste

    balsamic-roasted tomatoes
  • 10 large cherry tomatoes
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt to taste

    whole dish
  • 1/2 cup ramp pesto
  • 10 balsamic roasted tomatoes
  • 8 oz quinoa or brown rice pasta

Ramps are an intriguing root, balancing the sharp flavors of onion and garlic in a scallion-like body. My favorite savory flavor, with limitless possibilities. So after waffling over how to use it (savory pancakes? bruschetta? just pickled?), I pinned down the idea of pesto pasta. Not only is the recipe simple to make, but I can use it on everything. Pasta. Eggs. A slab of thick sourdough. The pungent spread spices up anything in a beautiful way.

Ramp Pesto Pasta & Balsamic-Roasted Tomatoes –– Spiced Curiosity

Ramp Pesto Pasta & Balsamic-Roasted Tomatoes –– Spiced Curiosity

Although I had my mind set on making pesto, I observed different restaurant menus for inspiration. This past weekend my boyfriend and I wandered into Buvette, where I tried a glorious tartine. Over thick slabs of crusty bread reigned a decadent, walnut mint pesto. I tried not to grab every piece with all ten fingers, and I’m sure my boyfriend appreciated the minor show of self-control. (Right, silverware.) The flavor was so rich I almost drowned, but I bobbed back up with a spike of mint in every bite. I really liked that brightening contrast. Remembering how mint lifted up the dish, I added a few leaves to the ramp pesto experiment. Success! The heavy garlic and onion flavor lightened with just a few leaves. (If you don’t have any at home, the dish still tastes great without.)

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Vitamin A & Sweet Potatoes with Ají Amarillo

Monday, April 1, 2013

vitamin a & sweet potato fries with ají amarillo

roasted sweet potato fries – serves 3 hungry friends

  • 3 medium or 5 small sweet potatoes – 4 cups chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil – not virgin
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • cracked black pepper

peruvian ají amarillo dippin’ sauce

  • 1/4 cup ají amarillo paste
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 lime’s juice
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • salt to taste

Happy April 1st! As the last recipe post for National Nutrition Month, sweet potato fries are delicious and easy to prepare. Not only are they simple and tasty, but according to World’s Healthiest Foods, one cup of baked sweet potato holds a ridiculous amount of Vitamin A – 438.2% of your daily value. I mean let’s be serious, I’m adding it to many more dishes now.

I love the dense, slightly sweet texture. The roots feel hearty and also add a spot of bright red-orange to the meal. I try to vary my veggies in size and color, and sweet potatoes make it easy.

Vitamin A & Sweet Potatoes with Ají Amarillo @SpicedCuriosity

Vitamin A & Sweet Potatoes with Ají Amarillo @SpicedCuriosity

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