Rosemary Cherry Compote

Hello my sweet darlin’s!

Basically my life the last week has looked a little like this:

Study for finals, work, study more for finals, work, write final essays, work, stay up all night studying for finals, take finals, fly to LA for best friends graduation, drink a lot of liquor in celebration, SLEEP.

Yesterday was the first day I actually felt somewhat rested. It’s been great.

Now that I am at my parents house for a week I have time to try some new recipes. When I made dinner last night though, we had yet to go shopping and my folks got into town the same day as me, so ingredients for dinner were slim pickin’s.

There were a couple items that caught my eye: roasted turkey, sourdough bread, onions, and fresh cherries. I could work with that.

A roasted turkey sandwich with rosemary cherry compote and crispy onions. Yea, that sounds tasty.

Lucky for me, the turkey was already roasted, the bread was already baked, and we will get to those crispy onions a little later. Right now, I’m gonna show you how to make some seriously phenomenal cherry compote.

Recipe adapted from YumSugar

What you’ll need:

2 cups rinsed, stemmed and pitted cherries

2 1/2 Tbs. Sugar

1 tsp. Fresh Rosemary, finely chopped

1 tsp. Balsamic Vinegar

1/2 Tbs. Water

Salt

Pepper

What to do with it:

1. Place cherries, sugar, rosemary, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil

2. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and allow to simmer until cherries are nice and soft and the sauce has thickened. It will take 15-17 minutes. (I helped it along by taking the back of a wooden spoon and slightly mashing the cherries against the side of the pan)

3. Once they are at the consistency you prefer, take them off the heat, add the balsamic and allow to cool

4. Serve hot or cold

I would liken this compote to the summer version of cranberry sauce, its a little tart, not too sweet and goes great smothered on turkey. Which is exactly what I did.

For the sandwich:

Sourdough loaf, cut into hearty slices

Cream Cheese

Dijon Mustard

Roasted Turkey

Cherry Compote

Spiced Crispy Onions

I think sandwich assembly is pretty easy, but here’s what I did

Slather one piece of bread with cream cheese, and the other with Dijon

Layer about 3 slices of roasted turkey on one side – you can do more, but my bread was on the small side

Spoon a generous heaping of cherries on top of the turkey, take the wooden spoon and get the sauce in crevices of the turkey layers

Take a big ol’ handful of the crispy onions and place that on top and cover with the other piece of bread

This sandwich was so divine. It pretty much felt like a Thanksgiving leftover sandwich…and who says I have to wait for November to get on that?!

Nobody, that’s who.

So go ahead, indulge and enjoy in this delightful slice of heaven.

Btw, my parents have an entire hillside of rosemary growing wild in their backyard.

Any ideas for what to do with some of it?

Rainy Nights

Do you have that one day a week that feels especially draining?

I do.

It’s Tuesday.

I’m in class all day (separated by awkward blocks of free time) I usually have a ton of homework, and I have class early on Wednesday. So pretty much, Tuesday’s feel too short entirely.

Here’s how today went.

I woke up to overcast icky all-I-wanna-do-is-stay-in-bed-weather.

My first bus came a little late, so I missed my train. Which caused me to run 20 minutes late.

Of course today I had a midterm at 9 30. That we had to use a scantron for. I didn’t have a scantron. My friend said he’d get me one, but it’s a big class, so I couldn’t find him. I was lucky enough to sit next to the sweetest girl who had an extra. Not sure how I did on the midterm. It was pretty dang tough.

I went and worked on the magazine after, which was stressful. Due to space constraints, one of my stories may get chopped in half. I’m pissed.

Julio and I took a break from the magazine to grab some delicious veggie burritos for lunch. He went to New York over spring break, so I got to hear all about it!

My other 2 classes went fine, no complaints. I even snacked on a tasty Madeline and a big ol’ cup of coffee in between them.

After my last class got out at 6 30 I went outside and BAM there was seriously a howling gale and a torrential downpour. It was bleak. So very bleak.

I had to wait in this rain for 15 minutes for the train.

When I finally got on the bus, soaking and pooped, I sat down and hoped for a speedy trip home. Just my luck, that didn’t happen. There was a delay and the train stopped for 45 minutes. Phone dead. Computer dead. Pissed.

My day improved by leaps and bounds after that fiasco. I got on a new train, that wasn’t delayed, then hopped on the bus to take me to my nice warm home.

Fletcher greeted me and rubbed up against my ankles while I made dinner.

What did I slap together? A pastrami, provolone, avocado sandwich with coarsely ground mustard on a cheese roll and some creamy cashew carrot ginger soup topped with garlic rye crisps. DUHHHHH

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Ohhhhhh, it sure did warm my soul.

Then I put my comfort slacks on, turned on the heater, and got into bed to start reading my new book. It’s called Farm Anatomy by Julia Rothman. It’s incredible so far. Can’t wait to tell ya more about it!

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I also have a few magazines to catch up on, namely Saveur – The Vegas Issue, and Lucky Peach – The Cooks and Chefs Issue!

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It’s not very often that I get to pleasure read, so you better believe I take advantage of it every second I can!

I also take every opportunity to play with my little man

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Warm meals, reading, and kittens – that’s what I like to do on rainy nights by myself.

What do you like to do when you’re alone and it’s cold out?

RAW Food Challenge Day 5

Today, it’s Friday.

Friday is glorious for me because it’s the start of my weekend.

Friday is also tragic for me because it’s the end of my weekend.

I’m in school Mon-Thurs and then I work Sat, Sun, Wed

I usually try to make Friday count by doing fun stuff around the city, but every once in a while, I have to spend my Fridays doing domestic stuff. Like laundry, cleaning the house, scrubbing the stove, ect.

Today is that Friday.

Since pretty much every other day I’m up between 7:00-8:00am, I slept in today.

Until 11:00!

I probably could’ve gone longer, but that’s when Matt, my main (and only) squeeze, text me asking how I slept. I told him I was still sleeping and rolled over for another 30 minutes, just ’cause I could.

When I finally deemed it an appropriate time to get up I made myself a cup of coffee, played with Fletcher, and lounged in my silky robe (scandalous).

Fletcher has lazy mornings every morning. Lucky boy.

After a long hot shower where I sang Lana del Rey at the top of my lungs, or I rather, in my best chilling soulful voice, I got dressed and discovered that I can put my belt one notch tighter! This raw challenge is doing some unexpected good!

I think its time to invest in a new belt, since this one is hanging a little too much now. Such a shame since this has been my go to leather belt since the day I found it for $7 at a thrift store!

Breakfast: Berry Banana Smoothie

When I started thinking about breakfast, I looked through my fridge and saw that all my raw food has really been dominating every square inch of it (sorry roomies)! Part of the problem is the half full containers of fruit and tomatoes. I wanted to clear up some space so I pulled out the blueberry and strawberry containers and dumped them in my blender to make a nice berry smoothie.

I pulled out my almost empty jar of almond milk and a frozen banana, for good measure.

In my opinion, there is nothing better than fresh semi-tart blueberries. I may or may not be know for going through entire containers of them in one sitting. (Better blueberries than chocolate though).

I blended everything together for a minute, by everything I mean:

2/3 cup of Blueberries

10 medium sized Strawberries

1 Frozen Banana

1 1/2 cups Raw Almond Milk

4 ice cubes, optional

Gosh, I really do love smoothies in the morning.

Perhaps another reason I love this smoothie so much is because it matches the color of my walls.

A short story: When my mom was pregnant with me, her and my dad decided they wanted my gender to be a surprise so as a result, they chose to paint my room yellow (because a boy would love to grow up in a bright yellow room, obviously). Then, when I moved into my first apartment, I shared a room with another girl and the color that coordinated with both of our bed spreads was yellow, who woulda known? Now that I am in an apartment that allows me to paint, in a room to myself, I decided to fulfill what my childhood deprived me of, a pink room!

Speaking of which, let me give you a short tour of my humble abode, or at least just a tour of my room.

Anyway, back to my smoothie!

Oops, I guess there’s nothing to get back to!

Lunch: Ants on a Log

This meal was inspired by my sweet baby-angel younger sister, Julia. When she was in kindergarten she participated in an after school program, Cubbyville, where once a week they would have little cooking lessons (mostly done by the teacher), nevertheless, I thought it was such a cool idea to expose kids to how easy it is to make healthy food. It was adorable because every day after that class, Julia would come home with her “recipe book” of what they made that day so she could excitedly show me her latest food project.

Ants on a Log was the cutest, so thank you Jules for the great idea!

You start with some freshly rinsed celery that has been patted dry

Fill in the celery with your favorite nut butter, I couldn’t choose between almond and peanut, so I did a few of each!

 

Top with some delicious and raw sun dried raisins

 

Oh gosh, munching on these made me feel like I was a little kid again!

Dinner: Thai Inspired Salad with a Peanut Butter Vinaigrette

My mother is the Salad Queen. Hands down, nobody can put together a salad like her. Whether the main vessel is lettuce (or greens), or pasta, or potato, or egg, or fruit, or meat Momma Kerley can make one composed dish. God bless her.

This is the raw interpretation of one such salad, minus the shredded chicken.

I’m sorry for the wacky lighting in some of the pictures, it was getting dark so I had to use flash in some of them!

The ingredients are simple, and not exact:

Romaine Lettuce

Grated Carrot

Bean Sprouts

Snow Peas

Green Onion

For the dressing:

2 Tbs. Raw Peanut Butter

2 Tbs. Apple Cider Vinegar

2 Tbs. Agave Nectar

2 Tbs. Sesame Seeds

2 Tbs. Water

Normally, I make this with Balsamic Vinegar and sugar in which case the sugar content would be lower, but I upped it in this recipe since Apple Cider Vinegar is so pungent! This is all to your taste, of course!

Before mixing ^

Top with a big handful of cilantro and its ready to eat!

I had a very nice and relaxing day by myself, I’ll tell ya, sometimes I really enjoy having time alone. Even if that means I just putter around the house bleaching my sink, vacuuming the rugs and cleaning out my desk drawers. I felt very productive and accomplished.

Lucy and her friend came home a bit ago and are making molten lava chocolate cookies, so I have barricaded myself in my room to avoid the temptation!

Wish me luck for the next 2 days where I will be surrounded by non-raw food at work! Lordy!

Chile Pies (& Ice Cream)

Since last May I have been living 3 houses down from Chile Pies (& Ice Cream). When I first moved in I just kept thinking to myself, “Crap, I’m gonna get fat. Great.” With at least 10 varieties of freshly baked pie on any given day AND late night access (they are open ’til 10p.m.), I knew it would take some serious will power to not become their best customer.

It has taken quite a bit of self worth to walk (quickly might I add) past it every day, but here we are a year later and I still wear the same pant size. The times I have gone in though, I have been extremely impressed with the variety and creativity of the pie flavors.

Apple with Golden Raisins and Chai spices? Yes!

Strawberry Rhubarb? Ummm, if it tastes like my Grandma’s – then get me 2 slices.

Cheesecake?! Sadly, they only have it on weekends.

The best part? Chile Pies gives more than just pie to the community. When I saw down with manager Kali Nickless she filled me in on how the shop uses almost all organic, local, and fresh ingredients.Save for a few items like vanilla which they acquire through fair trade and their namesake chilies they have imported straight from New Mexico. I ain’t mad at ’em for that though.

Their philosophy behind the whole project is to bring a great product to a community, to help them in this goal they have enlisted Straus Family Creamery as their main dairy supplier because of their ethical practices, quality dairy, and as Kali says because they are bringing back the vintage glass bottles for their milk.

On the ice cream end of the spectrum Chile Pies was contemplating using Straus as well, until the stumbled upon Three Twins the organic ice cream producers who have been quite the hit in S.F. as far as I can tell. Chile Pies thought so too. Kali explained how they were really drawn to Three Twins because they experiment with unique flavors (my personal favorite, Dad’s Cardamom). I am still itching to try Strawberry Je Ne Sais Quoi – strawberry ice cream with a splash of balsamic vinegar. YUM.

Don’t take just my word for it though, after learning a little more about the shop I decided that a photo slide show was the best way to highlight perfection in a crust.

Oh and I almost forgot to mention, Chile Pies will be opening a new location in the coming months in the Castro in an effort to make more people come together and feel good (and full) by way of pie.