Dinner "In" For Two {Farewell Christmas 2013}

posted Sunday, December 29, 2013.
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And so we are here again. The ending of yet another year, gaining a number to our age, and mentally gathering all of the memories we made in 2013. I have always been a lover of this season. The cooler weather sweeps in, leaves change into a warm palette of beauty then float gently towards the earth. Old traditions roll in over dishes served at the table, and new ones are formed with new generations being birthed. There is something so tangibly incredible at this time, yet pensive as well.

For many, the season holds reminders of those we have loved and lost. An empty seat at the table, a faint flame from a candle lit in remembrance. Heavy hearts that linger into the new year. Wether delightful or dispirited, the season comes in force by way of consumerism and the like. All the more reason to take the time to sit at a table with the one or the one's you love… and reflect.

This is something we have come accustom to throughout each year, and on a monthly basis. There always is a weekend evening set apart that we set the table just like you see above. Create a beautiful meal with whole ingredients, simple sometimes, complex when I get a wild hair to experiment. Both sharing in the experience of cooking, selecting the wine to pair, and setting the table for two.

Obviously as much as I love creating the scene, thinking through the menu, and setting the atmosphere… he takes in the actual meal to the same degree. I adore all things rustic, vintage, simple and natural. That in itself keeps me far from the pompous refined feel that would take sweat and deep pockets to create in the setting. This above takes me 5 minutes.. yes, even the arrangement. These are the times we remember ya'll.

I have a dream that this table will be so long and full of people, one would need to play musical chairs to see each person face to face. Maybe that is what we would actually do as the meal turns to coffee and dessert? This is and should be where you can unplug all of the devices in life and plug your heart into conversation well spent. Nourishing to the body, healing to the heart. Connection. Kinship.
Come let us Gather together!

Maple Ginger & Spice Breakfast Risotto

posted Monday, December 16, 2013.
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Having family in town for the holiday's? Making breakfast "in" before heading out on an adventure of your choosing? This recipe may be sure to please the one's that prefer to eat "clean" or "vegan", as well as provide a beautiful energy boost to the morning!
Although the recipe itself is for the Risotto alone… we like to put an extra spin on it by adding fresh cut  banana, slightly warmed coconut butter, walnuts, pecans, and a hefty sprinkle of chia seed! You could drizzle some local honey as well.

Maple Ginger & Spice Breakfast Risotto:

(serves 2)

1/2 cup Risotto ( arborio) rice, dry
1 and 1/2 cup water
pinch of salt, or to taste ( i use himalayan)

1/2 cup non-dairy milk, vanilla or plain
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
1.5 tsp maple syrup ( to taste)


Add Risotto, water, and salt to a large pot. Heat over high heat until boiling, then reduce to a simmer.
Cover pot with a lid. Cook for an additional 15-20 minutes until fluffy and tender.
Stir your rice every few minutes to prevent from sticking or burning.You may add more water during the 15-20 minutes if you feel you need to.

Once the risotto has become tender, add milk, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and maple syrup. Simmer again until steamy. This will allow for all of your spices and flavors to fuse together.

Breakfast Sandwich: "the BEGA"

posted Tuesday, July 30, 2013.
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Meet the "BEGA", a classic breakfast sandwich to enjoy during the weekend, or any day really. I just say the weekend because weekday work mornings only give room for me to get ready and zoom zoom zoom!
Although it may seem like alot, this sandwich is easier than several other breakfast options.

B is for BACON
E is for EGG
G is for goat cheese ( or whatever cheese you prefer)
A is for avocado

It is best on any type of artisan bread or locally baked loaf. Sourdough is photographed, via Instagram.

Summer Love: Lavender Lemonade

posted Sunday, June 9, 2013.
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 Summer Love In A Glass

In every season there are a multitude of favorite dishes and beverages we all enjoy. If not eagerly await to indulge our taste bud's and not mind the added expense to the grocery funds. ( for those following a budget) 
I can list out my seasonal favorite's and almost always find myself almost whining over several, because they are THAT much unattainable in any local store.
Locally grown berries, ripened sweet peaches, juicy watermelon, Meyer lemon's, pomegranate's so large they barely fit in your grasp, and a variety of fresh herbs are on my list. 

So here we are in a new season where we can enjoy, indulge ( within reason ya'll) and even reminisce happy childhood moments.
One of my timeless summer favorite's is your classic tall glass of lemonade! Not the powder, chemical laden stuff either. Im talking fresh squeezed lemon's, sugar and ice.
As my palette has blossomed with time I look forward to homemade lemonade with an extra twist. Although that extra twist could be a myriad of choices... my personal favorite is "Lavender Lemonade". 

With many varieties of lavender grown, you want to go for a culinary lavender for making this oh so lovely beverage. You can also add in a sparkling of your choice to make it a bit fizzy. ( Amelie's, our local French bakery makes theirs this way) 

Here is the recipe:

Lavender Lemonade

1-1/4 tbspn ( 1/4 cup) culinary lavender
2 cups boiling water
2/3 cup sugar ( organic cane)
1-1/2 cup's fresh lemon juice ( about 8 lemons)
2 cup's cold water (filtered or spring)

* use culinary lavender only, if you find the hidcote variety your drink will turn a pretty pink


Begin by bringing 2 cups of water to a boil, then add the lavender to the boiling water. Take away from heating element and allow to steep with a lid for 15 minutes.
After the 15 minutes has passed use a small metal sieve to strain the lavender from the lavender tea.
Once strained, pour the tea back in the pot and add your sugar. Stir until the sugar is one with the tea.
Allow your sweetened lavender tea to cool to room temperature.
Once cooled, add in your lemon juice, followed by the remaining 2 cups of cold water. 

Now this is a concentrated version made for adding a sparkling water of your choice. If you do not prefer it sparkling, you may add more filtered water to the lavender lemonade and adjust to taste.

Whole Foods Cooking Class: A Salute to Julia Child

posted Sunday, April 28, 2013.
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One of my fondest and dearest memories of childhood was my mom putting my brother and I in front of the TV to watch Julia Child. As mom would need the time to cook herself, or do a myriad of other things around the house... we were almost always glued to the TV watching cooking shows. I have since held a small glimmer in my heart for Julia, and I do still watch her shows on PBS. As for the movie that was released in 2009 starring one of my favorite actress's Meryl Streep as Julia, and sweet little Amy Adams, oh my. I own the movie and have watched it I know more than 20 times and tears have been shed. Oh yes, genuine tears.. I LOVE this movie!

 Anyhow.. I was able to be apart of a class hosted at my local Whole Foods over the weekend that was created around Julia's recipes and French technique in motion.
Here is a run down of the menu:
Petit Chaussons au Roquefort ( pastry turnovers with blue cheese)
Coq au Vin (chicken in red wine with bacon)
Oignons Glaces a Brun (brown-braised onions with an herb bouquet for flavor)
Champignons Sautes au Beurre (sauteed mushrooms)
Gratin Dauphinois (scalloped potatoes with milk and cheese)
La Tarte des Demoiselles Tatin (upside-down apple tart)
... and a choice of red or white wine, French of course! {can someone say "oui oui"}

 I was not able to take as many photo's as I would have liked to, mind you... we had alot to cook and then endulge in. The aroma alone was tantalizing beyond measure, and the class was small so you were able to move around freely, take in everything with ease. As far as what Whole Foods offers with the classes, I will definitely return soon! I found this photo below online and it so reflected what my set would be like if ever I hosted any type of cooking show ( ummm, hello dreamer)
I love how Julia must have come up with such wonderful improv ideas to make everything work together for what she desired to convey to her audience. So, that is my short and sweet take on the class. Got to run, Julie and Julia has been placed in the DVD player by my husband, he sure knows how to make this girl smile!


A Little Afternoon French Press: Watch

posted Wednesday, April 10, 2013.
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A Little Afternoon French Press from Edible Joy {Stephanie Taylor} on Vimeo.

Finally started on producing our own video's for Edible Joy. This is our first so be patient! So very excited for the one's on the "to-do" list. My husband is a fast learner and did an awesome first job!!

Simply "Table Time"

posted Monday, March 18, 2013.
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This my friend is about a deeply cherished experience  I like to call "table time". Personally I have defined it a little something like this.. "any amount of time spent at an actual table with food, fork, and faces".
Simply stated yet oh such a broad subject depending upon who you have table time with and the food upon the table.  Table time has been something that has organically come together after 13 years of marriage, and of course a love for food and all the details. I believe that a meal constructed with actual work and thought put into it is a luxury and should be an experience to embrace. 
Although I have more than likely made thousands of sandwiches, bowls of cereal, toasted bagel's, yogurt with fruit, and other necessary quick bites for survival. Actual meal time and prep for me go a little something like this: music, candle's, wine, fresh flower's, stunning ingredients in their most natural state, and a beautiful slab of wood that my knife collides with incessantly. 
Setting the atmosphere with the details and creating a flow with a particular cuisine has become almost like an inner default for table time. 
Think of some of your favorite trips: where you ate, what you ate, and what the atmosphere spoke to you while sitting at the table. If you remember it well, you can smell the air, almost taste the food you selected. You my friend, had an experience that you will more than likely be able to recall for the rest of your life. Wether you shared that with the love if your life, loved ones, or best friend's... it holds a permanent impression within your psyche. For many, some of the most beautiful conversations and connections take place at a table with food, drink. 
Few and far between, a meal, a table, and a group of faces can be a negative experience when masks are in full force and cliques rule... but, I do not like to create that type of atmosphere or enjoy sitting at a table with that in effect. 
Table time should reflect perfection on a plate and beautiful messy imperfect conversations that embody community, connection and hearts that serve as bridges for all gaps!
I have envisioned many times over, tables that stretch as far as the eye can see with people seated, sharing high's and low's of life and passing bowls and platters of food, breaking bread, toasting to what has been lost, and what is to come. 
Although I may not be a musician, this is a sure melody of the heart if your willing to hear the sound {and try a new dish with me, of course}

Savory Spice Shop: SouthEnd

posted Wednesday, February 20, 2013.
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Being somewhat of a blooming food connoisseur, one of the most valuable aspects of all things edible is flavor. The flavor one experiences can either make or break your palette. Learning to use a variety of spices, salts, pepper, sugar's and essence's is vital to how a dish or a drink will present itself.

If you know me personally, you would know that wether it is cooked, baked, braised, shaken or stirred.. it has to be the most natural and organic way possible. I am a huge advocate for using local or fresh ( non- GMO) products in all that I create. With spices I have a strong preference to them in the purest form. The spices and blends available at the grocer almost always have ingredients that I cannot pronounce (chemical based) and MSG.  So in saying that, I was delighted to find The Savory Spice Shop in SouthEnd. They have spices from all over the world, as well as non-GMO and gluten free! Their spices are ground fresh weekly, organized by type, sold by the jar or by weight so you can try as many as you would like!

On a personal note, being an INFJ myself.. I took note of how the staff gave me my own personal space to enjoy shopping and tasting, all the while being super friendly and informative in a non obtrusive way. I readily admit I am always "still learning"... but the journey in that is super exciting, and having this shop close to home will greatly benefit my efforts. I grabbed a few items on this trip and plan to use or at least try every single spice in one way or another by the end of the year.

Here's to a flavorful 2013!

Afternoon Chocolate Musing's

posted Sunday, February 10, 2013.
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It is indeed that time of year where Chocolate is consumed in lavish amounts. So as it is, it is definelty on my mind and I wanted to indulge this weekend as an early Valentine treat. With a fridge full of berries we chose to just dip, roll, and toss them all in!

A friend had first introduced me to Callebaut chocolate while making the most amazing chocolate ice cream from the Jeni's Splendid cookbook.

Callebaut is sold at our local Earth Fare in small bricks. I chose the Belgian milk bar for this indulgence.

A few personal tips when melting your chocolate and using fresh fruits:

- always go low and slow by placing a glass bowl in a pot with a slow boil... stir as it melts, you do not want to overheat and burn your chocolate. that would be sheer tragedy!

- although dipping the strawberries is ok to tackle slowly , when using more delicate berries as raspberry... dip quickly and remove to keep the berry in tact

So, yeah. That is about it... I think I need to make this short and sweet... I hear little berries calling my name! {smiles}

Edible Joy February Favorite Four

posted Thursday, February 7, 2013.
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Are you one that nearly faints when your eyes fall upon that “got to have” shoe in the window, or handbag made of the most splendid leather? Or maybe you give no mind to maxing out any and all credit cards to have the closet girl’s dream of? In the same way, I myself experience some of the same excitement and feelings when it comes to culinary consumerism. Here are just a few of my most recent favorite find’s!

1. Oh the simplicity of a pine box to tote a pie around is just lovely to me. Made of chemical free-raw pine and handcrafted in Chicago. PIEBOX offers it up, classic or deep dish fit.
In my opinion a well made pie is art. From the buttery flaky crust to the warm filling that comes roaring out while in the oven…oh my!
Check them out at www.piebox.com

2. Cheese Please! Beehive Cheese “Ipanema” is an Irish style cow’s milk (cheddar)
hand-rubbed with Sierra Nevada cultured butter and Crio Bru cocoa beans from the Domincan Republic.
Sold exclusively at Whole Foods (where I first experienced it) and online.
Beehive explains it as being rich and creamy with notes of dark chocolate and ripe summer strawberries.
I am not personally sure about the note of strawberries.. but I am sure this would be a crowd pleaser! Hello? Coffee, cheese and pure cocoa? Sign me up!
Check them out at www.beehivecheese.com or at our local Whole Foods

3. Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz. What in the world to say? If you do not prefer red’s you may just have a change of mind on this one! It is like having every berry in your palette going for a swim! I personally love this with my homemade Berry Crumble Tart’s, but it is ever so versatile in pairing. Not only is it super fabo, you can most likely find it for under $10. That my friend is something to shout about!

4. A baker’s staple, French Rolling Pin. Also known as a “rod” style rolling pin without the handles. If you love the feel of working with your dough a French pin is the way to go. It is my favorite style of rolling pin and is easy on your hands and wrist. A little more technique required, but all in all… quite simple. You can find this style rolling pin online, specialty kitchen storefronts, and in random antique stores. The one photographed, you can find here: www.herriotgrace.com