Fire Cider

horseradish, garlic and ginger prep

horseradish, garlic and ginger prep


Fire Cider is an immune-boosting health tonic. It stimulates the fire in your digestion, it is full of antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, it can alleviate sinus congestion, and promote blood circulation.

I have had this tonic before but this was the first time I made it at home. I had the brilliant idea of offering to make it for 7 of my close girlfriends as well (whats a few more onions and horseradish to chop?) Halfway through my prep and my husband and daughters went running out of the house, hands over noses, as if an apocalyptic fog descended upon our living room. I barely saw them leave as I could no longer see through the tears in my own eyes… But an hour later, along with some scented candles and all were happy again.

The gist is this;

fresh horseradish, garlic, onions, ginger, cayenne pepper, fresh hot peppers, fresh turmeric, lemon juice, fresh oranges, and raw apple cider vinegar (with the mother).


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I checked around at different recipes, most all were the same. I ended up adapting my recipe from Mountain Rose Herbs. Use all organic ingredients.

FIRE CIDER

1/2 c grated fresh ginger

1/2 c grated fresh horseradish

10 cloves of garlic, crushed or shopped

1 medium onion, chopped

2 inches of fresh turmeric root, chopped

2 fresh jalapeños, chopped

zest and juice from 1 lemon

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 Orange, sliced

1 sprig of rosemary, or 1 tsp dried (optional)

1 or 2 drops of oregano oil (optional)

1 bottle of Raw apple cider

1/4 c raw, local honey (to sweeten at the end)

Add all ingredients into a mason-type jar. If using one with a metal lid, then place a small sheet of parchment between the liquid and lid. Stir or shake once every day for 4 to 6 weeks. Store in a dark and cool place. When ready to strain, use cheese cloth and squeeze all the juice out of the ingredients. Add honey until desired sweetness.

Continue to store in a cool and dark place, not in the fridge.

HOW TO TAKE:

  • Take a shot (about 1-2 Tablespoons) straight up.

  • It has been recommended that you can take up to 5 or 6 T per day when fighting a flu

  • Dilute the fire cider tonic with warm water, juice or apple cider.

  • Swap vinegar in a salad dressing for fire cider 

  • Add to fried rice 

  • Drizzle over steamed veggies.

  • Use as a marinade for tofu, meat, etc.

  • Add to soup or chili.

  • Use as a hangover cure.


Foggy Fire Cider ready to shoot back!

Foggy Fire Cider ready to shoot back!

Winter is on it’s way here in Switzerland, but I have Fire Cider to keep me warm.

Stay Healthy Everyone!

Super-mom Smoothie

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A smoothie is something very simple, and probably not worth a recipe. But I must admit, that I have had some really terrible smoothies while living here in CH. Watered down with too much ice, too chunky from apple, too sour from lemon, too milky, etc. In CA a smoothie is treated like a meal in itself, completely balanced with the right amount of fruit or veg, a protein kick, an immune boosting element and a secret ingredient or two that make you genuinely satisfied and full. 

A smoothie is also a great way to get ingredients in your kids quickly. We make a variety here at home in our Vitamaster, but the one below has been on repeat lately.

During the time of my pregnancies, I gave up coffee and most other forms of caffeine. Not because I believed that my babies would pop out with a similar hipster-quality cappuccino addiction (I am looking at you, ViCafe!) I just didn't feel good on it anymore. So I began the journey into adaptogens. Postpartum life also gave me hormonal mood swings and imbalanced adrenals. The addition of Ashwagandha, Reishi, Maca, Cordyceps, and Prash combinations helped me (in moderation). 

I am not going to educate you on how to use adaptogens. There is plenty of information out there on it. Just start small and pay attention to the subtle changes. But do follow my girl Bri @seed.leaf.life  for amazing adaptogenic inspiration. Also Lee From America  has a great beginners guide.

I buy mine from stores in California on my bi-annual trips home to the states. But a great website for those of you in CH is HERE


yogi berries, coconut butter, cocoa nibs.

yogi berries, coconut butter, cocoa nibs.

Collagen Peptides, Reishi, Mangosteen Beauty Tonic, Prash Combination

Collagen Peptides, Reishi, Mangosteen Beauty Tonic, Prash Combination

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SUPER SMOOTHIE

1 banana

1 cup frozen strawberries

1/2 cup frozen or fresh wild blueberries

1/2 cup nut milk or yogurt + water combination

1 T coconut butter OR almond butter

1 heaping T cocoa nibs

1 heaping T gogi berries

1/2  scoop Collagen Pepitides

1/2 t prash combination

1/4 t reishi

1/4 t mangostein + hibiscus powder

Blend all together starting on low and moving upwards until completely blended. Add more water or milk if your smoothie is too thick. And I can highly suggest investing in glass or bamboo straws. We have had ours for several years. Easy to clean, fun to use and less to throw away!

 

 

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Enjoy!

En Guete!!!

The Cookie

Little kitchen assistant

Little kitchen assistant

This is the cookie of the year for us. On rotation, we make a fresh batch each week or as the brown bananas in our fruit bowl designate our needs for a new batch. Now that I have a kindergartener in the house, my snack game has gotten significantly stronger - Watch out, Kinder-moms!

The original recipe discovered by Heidi Swanson. Doubled on chocolate, nut-free (making it the perfect school snack) and sweetened only by bananas. I have made various versions of this recipe. Ground Hazelnuts with the chocolate has been a favorite recently. Or adding oat flour and chai spices and leaving out all the chocolate. I always add a bit of flax and lucuma to our batches as well. We have fun with this one and my 18 month old can have a place at the table helping me make them each time. 

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The Cookie (The secretly healthy cookie)

  • 2-3 large, ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (warmed) or olive oil
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup ground hazelnuts (or almonds, or sunflower seeds)
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder (or oat flour)
  • 1/3 cup coconut, finely shredded & unsweetened
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon lucuma powder (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon ground flax seeds (optional)
  • 6 ounces chocolate chips or dark chocolate bar chopped (we love the Lily's brand)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/ 170 degrees C

In a medium bowl combine the bananas, vanilla, and coconut oil. Set aside. In a large bowl stir together the oats through flax seeds. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the chocolate. The dough is a bit wetter than a standard cookie dough, don't worry about it. Drop dollops of the dough, each about 1 - 2 tablespoons in size, an inch apart, onto a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet. Bake for 13 - 15 minutes. Until golden on the bottoms and slightly dry looking on top.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

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Daily Dal

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I spent 5 months in India in 2010. Much of that journey has shaped my current life path in one way or another. This blog post would be too long to divulge all the pithy details now. But the one story that I tell more than others is how I left my craft of cooking behind on a journey to find something else. What I ended up with in the end, was a deeper understanding of the cooking world and the power of food.

February 2010. Market in Mysore India

February 2010. Market in Mysore India

I was 25 and had been traversing in and out of America, Europe and SE Asia for 4 years at that point on pennies, cooking for free wherever I could and making money just for the next plane ticket. As you do in your 20's. India had always allured but never felt right, until it did. 

Once in India I ignored my urge to follow the food and instead dug deep into discovery of color, feel, history, and belief. Eyes wide and heart open, I left India completely broke and returned to Spain to sleep on friend's sofas and exist on nothing more than tortilla español and tangerines. My always logical and not-so-easy-to-convince father called to wake me up to my financial situation of late. 

"you have $500 in your bank account, Ash. You cant even afford a flight home"

Running on fumes from my India awakening, naturally, my response was;

"Something is going to happen, dad, I can feel it! I am living in the open question of life!" (insert prayer hands and eye-roll emoji here)

A week later I was asked by a good friend in Mallorca to help someone she knew who was coming to the island for holiday. You know, fix up their cottage when they leave for the day, maybe set up breakfast. I was looking at an easy 500 euros to push me through at least 2 more months of the egg and orange diet. "Oh, and I told them you can teach yoga and maybe cook too, they are super stoked!"

I made a welcome Moroccan dinner on the Thursday they arrived- tagine, couscous with melted sweet onion marmalade, roasted vegetables and a fresh carrot, cilantro salad. I arrived in the morning to teach yoga and serve them homemade CA-style granola and superfood smoothies.

By that Sunday the couple had flown me to their home in Vienna to be their yogi chef. It's been 6 years and 11 countries that I have traveled and cooked for them in. On their boat, I was introduced to the Swiss engineer who is now my husband, and so many other soulmates have been met along the way though this work relationship. In the end, I always credit India to the gratitude of those turning events. India un-doubtingly has magic and power, if you let it in. I felt my heart open in a whole new way when I walked through her land and dropped into sacred moments. Shift happened.

Now that I am more ROOTED than ever before and growing my family, reconnections with Mother India will be far and few between. I foster my Yearning for India often with cooking. Filling my kitchen with the scent of steeping spices in homemade ghee, and Pairing ginger, lime and curry leaves wherever possible, and tucking into a satisfying dal on a monthly basis.

Here is my go-to recipe for everyday Dal. Made with coconut milk, ghee, and mustard seeds. Variations are easy to spin off of and creativity is invited. Spinach, diced carrots, or peas? I like to top mine with cool yogurt, fresh cucumber, lime and something super spicy. I would even suggest frying an egg in ghee and topping the dal and rice for a protein packed meal. This is a staple in our home. Enjoy.

Everyday Coconut Dal

3 cups red lentils (masoor dal)

1 medium yellow roughly chopped

1 cup tomatoes, canned, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 tablespoon sea salt

2 tablespoons ghee

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

15  fresh or frozen curry leaves (optional but worth seeking out)

1 14-oz can coconut milk

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the lentils, coarsely chopped onion, tomatoes, cayenne, ground cumin, ginger, coriander, and turmeric. Add 7 cups of water and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils begin to break down. Add salt (it's always best to add salt to any legume after they have been 80% cooked)
  2. In a frying pan, warm the ghee over medium to high heat. Once the ghee is hot, add the cumin seeds and the mustard seeds. Staying close to the pan, wait briefly until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Then add the finely chopped onion and the curry leaves and cook, until lightly browned. Stir often to prevent burning.
  3. Add the curry leaf mixture to the lentils along with the coconut milk. Cook for another 10 minutes or so, until the flavors have melded.
  4. Serve with basmati rice, fresh cucumber, cool yogurt, a squeeze of lime, and some spicy pickle relish, etc.
  5. NOTE: you can add fresh spinach or diced carrot, fresh chiles or even fresh ginger. Get creative and add ingredients where and when you see fit.

Warmth

Autumn arrives with eagerness here in Switzerland. It's mid-October and the mountains are already capped with snow, visible on a rare clear autumn day. Our first of the season colds have set in already and I've un-earthed my hibernating knitting projects.

My life with tea has always been abundant and favorable to the everyday coffee. Listening to the needs of my body first thing in the morning and for the mid-day pick up. How well did my child sleep? Am I still bloated from yet another fondue dinner? How quickly do I have to run out the door?

Here are a few of my most gratifying, replace-the-cafe-latte, tea recipes to steep on. Enjoy the warmth.

 

Masala Chai

A love affair ever deepening since my time in India 5 years ago. This recipe is so unlike the cinnamon ladden, sugar syrup you get with frothy milk at your local Starbucks. It's deep with cardamom (my favorite spice) and only as sweet as you like. I prefer mine spicy, to add warmth and digestive fire to my day, therefore you can be as generous as you like with the ginger- 4 or 5 slices, and even toss one or two back in after straining and blend to incorporate. Plus, blending it will add froth to your Masala Chai Latte. 

serves 2

  • 3/4 c water
  • 2-4 green cardamom pods, smashed
  • 5 whole black pepper
  • 1-2 this slices of ginger
  • 1 one inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 piece of star anise
  • 3/4 c milk (or milk alternative)
  • 1 1/2 t  strong loose-leaf black tea
  • sweetener of choice- honey, cane sugar, jaggery, xylitol, etc

Add water, cardamom pods, black pepper, cinnamon stick and star anise to a small pot. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and cover. Leave overnight.

In the morning, add ginger and bring back to a boil, reduce to simmer. Add milk and tea. Simmer for 1 more minute then turn off heat and steep for 2 minutes.

Strain and add sweeteners. 

GOLDEN MILK -Turmeric tea

 

Benefits of turmeric: Turmeric is especially known for its benefits to digestion, immune function, reducing inflammation, liver health and even possible protection from cancer. Turmeric is one of the foods with the highest antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. When you mix turmeric with black pepper, you increase your body's absorption significantly. I especially love this recipe without cows milk as I like to give my body a break from dairy now and again (it is hard to do during fondue season in Switzerland, mind you...) Cashew milk has recently been my go-to as I have not found the coconut milk brand that I LOVE here yet, but in California, I navigated to the coconut version often. This is a great one to drink before bed as well. I think it has done wonders for my toddler's sleep patterns (extra honey and cinnamon added, of course)

  • 1 cup of coconut milk plus 1 cup of coconut water
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric 
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey or maple syrup or to taste
  • Pinch of black pepper (increases absorption)
  • 1 inch piece of fresh, peeled ginger root or ¼ tsp ginger powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

Instructions

  1. Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.
  2. Pour into a small sauce pan and heat for 3-5 minutes over medium heat until hot but not boiling.
  3. Drink immediately

recipe made with fresh turmeric:

  • 1 1-inch knob fresh turmeric
  • 1 1/2-inch knob fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ghee 
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup coconut water, or water
  • 1 tablespoon manuka honey, or other raw honey

Instructions

  1. Peel both the turmeric and ginger, then grate them finely into a mortar and pestle. Spoon the ghee into the mortar and grind the ghee into the turmeric and ginger with your pestle until they form a fine paste.
  2. Pour the coconut milk and coconut water into a saucepan, and spoon in the paste made with turmeric, ginger and ghee. Turn the heat up to medium-high and warm the ingredients together until little bubbles just begin to creep up the sides of the pot. Turn off the heat and cover the saucepan, allowing the turmeric and ginger to steep about 3 minutes. Strain the golden milk through a fine-mesh strainer or tea strainer into a tea pot. Stir in the Manuka honey and continue stirring until it dissolves. Serve warm.

Notes

Golden Milk is traditionally made with cow's milk. If you wish to omit the coconut milk and coconut water, simply substitute 2 cups whole milk. Or another way I love it is with fresh cashew milk.

 

MATCHA LATTE

This creamy, dreamy, green wonder caught my attention when I was a teen. Mind you it was the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (CA coffee chain) version, blended, heavily sweetened, and topped with whipped cream. But still introducing me to the desirable, earthy undertones of green tea. More often than not, this is my go-to replacement for the cafe-latte days of my past (coffee has never felt the same in my body since my pregnancy 3 years ago.) This is my 3 pm pick-me-up or Sunday morning brunch tea. Most other mornings I gravitate towards pure sencha for a clear mind and a little boost. It is important to remember that all green teas turn bitter if over-steeped or made too hot. It is a tea to be mindful and delicate with, in turn, it will provide the same for you.

  • 3/4 c cows milk, almond milk, soy milk or coconut milk
  • 1 tsp matcha powder

Heat your milk choice gently on the stove, not boiling. I use a hand held milk frother. Spoon out approximately 2 T of hot milk into a small bowl with the matcha powder. Whisk vigorously with a bamboo whisk until frothy and slightly lighter in color. It is better to use bamboo when working with green tea and not metal, but if you are without a bamboo whisk, then you may. Froth or whisk the left over warm milk

 

Enjoy and stay warm everyone. -Ash

Apricot

"Aprikosen, 7 Juni". -The sign read for over a week.

It's funny how even a word written in a language not your own can still strike a strong cord of an almost edible nostalgia. Have you ever tried a Blenheim apricot? It leaves it's mark.

Stone fruits are a pretty big deal here in Switzerland. Year round, perfectly firm, tart and ripe plums and apricots are sold in the frozen department of the general supermarket for your mid-winter kuchen (cake) cravings. And not a single block of old, over-frozen, post season fruit barely suitable for the occasional smoothie, like I once found in the states. I'm talking about ruby-skinned, perfectly cut in half at their peak, and flash frozen for ease of cake baking. But when they are ripe and ready here, people don't hold back, and they are sold in no less quantity than over 2 kilos.

I was there at apricot man's stand on the 7th of June, ready for my bunddle. 2.5 kilos for 19 francs. That afternoon, my sous chef and I went to work. 

Apricot jam is a no brainer as I think it profiles the golden globes best. Tart and not too sweet. A PB&J is almost exclusively sworn to the raspberry, and a summer pie seems to always be peach territory. I prefer my apricots in a jam for my morning toast with my tea, and in a rustic french-style gallette with ground bitter almonds (apricot kernels). Of which I am currently cracking open and drying out the lot from the leftover 2.5 kilos of fruit. More on that process later.

The apricot jam recipe I love and have put into practice for years is this one by David Lebovitz. This time I added ground cardamom to the mix, because it's great friends with the apricot.

Here is my variation on his recipe:

Apricot Jam with Cardamom

Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz. Yeild 3-4 jars

  • 2 1/4 pounds (1kg) fresh apricots
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) water
  • 3 cups (600g) sugar
  • 1/2 t fresh ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • optional: 1 teaspoon kirsch

1. Cut the apricots in half and extract the pits. If you wish, crack a few open and put a kernel in each jam jar you plan to fill. I highly recommend this as it gives the jam a slightly bitter almond flavor (think marzipan).

2. Place the apricots in a stockpot or Dutch oven, and add the water. Cover the pot and cook, stirring frequently, until the apricots are tender and cooked through.

3. Put a small plate in the freezer.

4. Add the sugar to the apricots and cook, uncovered, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. As the mixture thickens and reduces, stir frequently to make sure the jam isn’t burning on the bottom.

5. When the jam looks thick and is looks slightly-jelled, turn off the heat and put a small amount of jam on the chilled plate. Put back in the freezer for a few minutes, then do the nudge test: If the jam mounds and wrinkles, it’s done. If not, continue to cook, then re-test the jam until it reaches that consistency.

(You can use a candy thermometer if you wish. The finished jam will be about 220ºF, 104ºC.)

6. Once done, stir in the lemon juice and kirsch, if using, and ladle the jam into clean jars. Cover tightly and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, refrigerate until ready to use.

Storage: I find this jam will keep up to one year if refrigerated. If you wish to can it for long-term preservation, you can refer to the USDA Canning Guidelines for techniques.

I also made a version of my Everyday Cake with apricot, sour cream, and spelt flour. A recipe I am still developing in it's variations and will post when I am ready. Now it's just a teaser to help insist that you put apricots in every baked good from now until August. Your welcome. 

 

-Ash

Green Grün - Muffins -

"bear-geh", in Swiss German"

"ber-gen, in High German"

My father in law patiently explains to me the difference in pronunciation of the word Berg (meaning mountain). I tend to roll my R's too Spanish-like, and I silence my ending vowels too French-like. I am a bit of a mess in learning the ropes and etiquette of Swiss German, all the while enrolled in a Babbel online course of High German. After 4 years of high school french, 8 years of travel to and living in Spain or Latin America, Learning Arabic and Italian for work, and spending loads of time in SE Asia. I end up marrying a Swiss man, and moving to Switzerland. Where I need to speak not only German, but the slightly more rolling, jumpy, and throaty neighbor- Schwiizerdütsch. 

Integration into a new language in a new land is always overwhelming at first, but it will get better. It always does. The saving grace to my constant frustration in language blending is that my 2 year old is fearless in her new language. Yes, she has heard it since birth from her father, but there is a courage that I see in her as she pushes through and attempts her words with family and strangers that I admire so.  

I would not say that I am "good" at learning languages. In fact, I'm terrible and lazy. Plus since I am on the move a lot, I have a much harder time to transition back and forth. Or maybe thats just a good excuse, no? dang.

Here are a few tips I TRY to keep with while adapting to new languages and picking up the ropes:

Rule of 3: I give myself the challenge of new 3 words or rules per day. This is a trick I picked up when I moved to Spain in my early 20's. I thought my Mexican kitchen Spanish could pull me through. But alas, I was completely unprepared for spain. 3 new random words or rules or phrases per day and repeat them as much as possible. 

Repeat, repeat, repeat: Whatever it is that you know and feel comfortable saying. Say it out loud and over and over again. In public or alone. Just keep repeating what you know.

Take a course: Even online, even if it's just 10 minutes a day or 10 minutes a week. Make progress and show others that you are trying to break through and become more confident in speaking their language.

Write it and read it: I need to see the word and even write it down a few times for it to log properly in my language memory bank. The image of the word arrives in my brain before I speak it. If I don't ever see the word written (and know that Swiss german is not a written language... save me) then I've noticed how much harder it is for me to remember the pronunciation.

Accept the challenge: Allow others to challenge you by not speaking your native language all the time when you know they can. 

Talk to small children: My 3 year old nephew has taught me more than any book so far. His language is slow, without slang, simple, and often does that adorable toddler-sentence-repeat-thing. This is golden for me.

*Side tip for saddling up your language skills before a trip- If it's just a vacation or quick trip your embarking on, then it's always good and polite to have a few language tricks up your sleeve. My rule of thumb is to always know and feel skilled with pronouncing a few basics. 

Hello. How are you? Thank you. Your welcome.

Thank you very much - great for when you want to show someone that you are not just on autopilot with your gesture of gratitude.

I'm sorry/Pardon me. How much?

This. That. Here. Yes. No -These are really all you need to know when buying food or goods at a market stall. I use these a lot.

Beautiful/Cute - as a compliment for someones child, a helpful stranger's gorgeous purse, or the cute guy at the coffee shop. All are needed, am I right?

And heres a recipe for green banana muffins that my toddler is devouring these days which gives me immense joy to see something green entering her body when normally all she will eat is bratwurst and fresh bread.... But who can blame her when Switzerland can basically turn any Atkins dieter into a bread believer. I mean.... brot gläubiger.

Banana Spinach Muffins, that just so happen to be vegan

Note that you can use all purpose flour instead of spelt, or even half all purpose and half whole wheat flour. You can also replace the almond milk for any variation descending from animal or nut. I am a strong believer in topping all cakes with a crumb topping, but feel free to omit. You'll regret it. Enjoy!

  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup almond milk (or other)
  • 1 (6 ounce) bag fresh baby spinach
  • 2 mashed banana
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Crumb Topping. Mix all together and hold in the fridge until ready.

  • 1/3 cup turbinado sugar (or brown)
  • 1/4 cup spelt flour
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 2 T melted coconut oil (or butter!)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners.
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl: flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a blender, place oil, milk, and spinach. Blend on high for about 30 seconds or until completely puréed. Add banana and vanilla; blend on low just to mix.
  4. Pour puréed mixture into dry mixture and fold together with a rubber spatula until completely combined.
  5. Fill muffin cups about ⅔ full, top with about 1 T worth of crumble per muffin and bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

love from a very green Switzerland. 

White Asparagus Frittata

White Asparagus fritata with arugula salad

Whether you consider breakfast for dinner better than, well, breakfast for breakfast, like I do most days. Then Frittata is or must be a regular in your eggs-for-everything  line up.  I like mine thin, as opposed to the frittata's beefier cousin, the Tortilla Español. The frittata is quick, lite, and versatile as a blank slate for any season. For it's simplicity, it has a way of still impressing your friends at a picnic, brunch or last minute dinner party.  

Right now the white and green asparagus are impressing the pants off me here in Switzerland. My experience with white asparagus in the past was never this tender and flavorful, or the season seemingly this long. Spring here has made the transition from an agricultural abundant California life very easy to digest, as the spring farm stands have my husband pulling the car over every 20 minutes on a drive out of the village. All payments with the honor system, I'd like to add. It is enriching to see small acts of silent trust in the world again.

A Spring Picnic

After a morning of farm stand hopping and a copious dose of much needed Swiss sunshine, we came home for a picnic in the backyard. A quick white asparagus frittata, topped with spicy arugula salad and shaved pecorino was exactly what we needed. On the side, we finished up the Austrian wild deer salami I brought back from being in Vienna for work. That and the sourdough I found which had a 36 hour ferment from an ancient sourdough starter (insert heart eyes) and a hefty chunk of Gruyere.

White Asparagus Frittata

note: Do know that I leave room for intuitive instruction and amounts in my recipes. A place to play and feel for your food and not to be stuck with an exact process that will make or break it. Freely change out the vegetables for others of your choice; zucchini, broccoli, spinach, bell pepper, etc.

serves 2.5

  • 5 eggs, whisked
  • 6 medium or small white asparagus, not the double-wide ones
  • 2 spring onions, or 1 med shallot, chopped
  • 1/2 red chili, seeded or not, finely chopped
  • 4 T olive oil, separated
  • plenty of salt and pepper
  • 2 handfuls of arugula
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 T red wine vinegar, or vinegar of your choice
  • pecorino or parmesan, amount to your liking, shaved

Peel the stems of the white asparagus if need be (if young and small, I don't peel). Slice at an angle 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. You can really slice how ever you like, this cut is always more instinctual for me. Heat up 2 T olive oil in an 8"  nonstick skillet. Your welcome to use a smaller sized pan, just note that your frittata will be thicker and will need to be flipped and cooked longer.

Add your asparagus, spring onion and red chile to the hot oil and turn down the heat to medium. Stir to take the raw edge off the vegetables, then distribute the mixed veg around the pan. Pour the whisked eggs over the vegetables, season with salt and pepper and turn the heat down a bit more to med-low and cover with a lid.

While the frittata cooks, add the vinegar, remaining oil and some salt and pepper to the bottom of a medium bowl and whisk to combine.  add sliced cherry tomatoes, arugula and shaved pecorino (i use a vegetable peeler) to the bowl and toss to combine. 

After about 7 or 8 minutes, check the frittata. It should be cooked on the top just by the steam and golden on the bottom. Loosen up the sides with a spatula, and shake the pan to to be sure the whole frittata is detached from the pan.  Place a cutting board or round platter over the pan ann with your right hand (if your right handed, that is) flat on the bottom of the board, and the left hand on the handle of the pan. With one swift motion, FLIP the frittata onto the board. I like to cut the frittata into portions next, before adding the salad. Top the round frittata with your salad and a few extra shavings of pecorino, maybe an extra sprinkle of salt (I like Maldon finishing salt).

Enjoy your picnics before the spring rain comes!

-Ash