side dish

inspired side — veggie poke

one of my favorite plates ever.

one of my favorite plates ever.

When the boy was lucky enough to bring home 50 lbs of flash frozen ahi last winter from the baja, we dedicated ourselves to mastering how to cook the delicious, clean, and meaty fish. I think I could eat ahi every day, and we basically did for a couple months.

We would sear it rare on the salt block with some sesame seeds and serve it with some jasmine rice. But, what about a veggie? In comes my invention, veggie poke, based off a yummy dish I enjoyed at The Sushi Bar in McCall, Idaho.

It’s quick, simple, refreshing, and sophisticated and brings plenty of color and nutrients to your plate.

servings

 

4

prep:cook time

 

20 minutes

ingredients

 

  • one large cucumber
  • one bunch asparagus
  • two large carrots
  • one large avocado
  • sesame seeds
  • soy sauce
  • juice from one large lemon

instructions

 

  1.  add a teaspoon of olive oil to a medium frying pan and heat over medium heat. rinse and chop the asparagus into .5 inch pieces. add the asparagus to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until barely tender. remove from heat.
  2. peel, core (with a spoon to get the soft seeds out) and medium dice the cucumber and add to a medium bowl.
  3. peel and medium dice the carrot and add to bowl.
  4. half, grid in .5 inch pieces, and scoop out small cubes of avocado into bowl.
  5. once cool, add the asparagus to the bowl.
  6. mix about 1 T soy sauce, the juice of one large lemon, and a healthy dash of sesame seeds into the bowl. mix well. add more of any of those ingredients to taste and even add some sriracha for some kick.
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yummy, simple ingredients

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chopped asparagus

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scooped cucumber

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perfect avo

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finely grid the avocado and squeeze or scoop out the chunks

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some beautiful ahi, direct from our local grocery store

undressed veggies

undressed veggies

veggie poke ready to go

veggie poke ready to go

cheers krista

 

brass blossom

summer side — lemon orzo

perfect summer meal!

perfect summer meal!

This simple side dish is one of my summer favorites. It’s incredibly easy to make, cost-effective, and includes some of my favorite flavors like lemon, olive oil, and…parmesan cheese. It’s mild but tangy and not too filling. Anyone could come up with this, but this side’s charm lies in its simplicity — no sense in complicating something that satisfies every time!

The dish goes great with any kind of protein main course including chicken, fish, and steak. Add it to your next BBQ!

prep:cook time

 

30 minutes

servings

 

4

ingredients

 

  • four servings orzo pasta (regular or gluten free)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T butter
  • 3 T parmesan cheese, grated or shaved
  • zest of one lemon
  • juice of half a lemon
  • salt and pepper

instructions

 

  1. Cook the orzo according to the instructions so it’s al dente; drain and rinse quickly with cold water.
  2. Add the olive oil, butter, parmesan cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste; stir.
  3. Serve hot.
simple ingredients

simple ingredients

gluten free orzo

gluten free orzo

orzo

orzo

orzo

orzo

cheers krista

 

brass blossom

fit for an artichoke — four-ingredient dip

a delicious summer artichoke deserves a little dip!

a delicious summer artichoke deserves a little dip!

This recipe is one of those that I’m pretty sure was born from just mixing whatever my parents had in the fridge at the time, but don’t let that deter you. Nothing gives me the heebie jeebies like a ramekin full of straight mayonnaise when you order a whole artichoke at a restaurant. Gross. This four ingredient dip actually includes mayonnaise, much to my chagrin, but it’s tangy (the lemon is crucial), surprisingly light and tasty. It’s a crowd pleaser and perfect for the artichoke season that’s upon us! Enjoy!

servings

 

one artichoke’s worth

prep:cook time

 

5 minutes

ingredients

 

  • 2 T mayonnaise
  • 1 T dijon mustard
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 t soy sauce

instructions

 

  1. measure and mix all four ingredients in a small ramiken — it requires some serious stirring to get the right consistency.
  2. sample the dip with an artichoke leaf and add more of whatever you desire
  3. add some Sriracha for some spike if you like to live dangerously!
  4. serve with a whole cooked artichoke
ingredients you're likely to have in your fridge anyway

ingredients you’re likely to have in your fridge anyway

the lemon is crucial

the lemon is crucial

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I'm a "modest dipper," so we always have some leftover, but other are more aggressive!

I’m a “modest dipper,” so we always have some leftover, but others are more aggressive!

cheers krista

 

brass blossom

 

nutritious & delicious – squash-beet bake

I originally made this recipe last fall out of It’s All Good when the boy was posted up in the wilderness for weeks at a time. Try as I might he just doesn’t love squash, so I figured I would chow down in solitude with no complaints or judgement. And while I took pictures and devoured the leftovers I totally spaced about blogging the recipe until I saw fresh beets in the market this week.

And while the ingredients are generally affiliated with the Fall and Winter, I think this recipe would make a perfect summer salad and is also beautifully colorful. I plan on recreating it this summer and possibly serving cold with a sprinkle (or seven) of goat cheese.

Enjoy!

ingredients

  • 2 large beets or 4 small beets (the more color the better) peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced, or 1 bag bag frozen, already cubed squash
  • 6 large shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (i used grapeseed oil as i had it in my pantry)
  • sea salt
  • arugula or green of choice
  • 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

instructions

 

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet (I prefer aluminum foil as it aids in the cleanup).
  2. Combine beets, squash and shallots in a large bowl and drizzle with oil and salt.
  3. Roast ~30 minutes while tossing halfway through.
  4. Place arugula or green of choice in serving bowl. I dressed my spinach lightly in a homemade salad dressing of oil, apple cider vinegar and mustard.
  5. Lightly layer vegetables on top of greens and sprinkle with toasted seeds and/or a sprinkle of goat cheese!
  6. Serve immediately or toss for a summer salad to serve cold!

**recipe from It’s All Good

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lovely beets

lovely beets

those colors

those colors

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i used frozen, already cubed butternut squash

i used frozen, already cubed butternut squash for convenience

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apple cider vinaigrette

how cute are these small bowls?

how cute are these small bowls?

ready to be served!

ready to be served!

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taylor brass

brass blossom

summer favorite — no mayo potato salad

Although Idaho mountain weather is doing its very best to keep us guessing, sweet summertime is on the horizon. Nothing says summer like a BBQ, and no BBQ is complete without some potato salad.

I — shocker — love potatoes, but hate mayonnaise and egg and so set out two summers ago to make the perfect no-mayo, no-egg potato salad. I couldn’t find a recipe online that I loved, so I basically decided to combine all of my favorite potato salad aspects and add a dressing that I also use on all of my green salads.

It’s been a crowd favorite ever since, and you can easily make it vegan by not adding the bacon (a.k.a. taylor’s special bowl). Here it is!

prep:cook time

 

1 hour

servings

 

20 (side portions)

ingredients

 

  • approximately 50 small red potatoes, or as I like to measure, a full plastic produce bag (double bag it though!)
  • one medium red onion
  • one bunch green onions
  • one head celery
  • two medium cans sliced black olives
  • one package sliced bacon

dressing:

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 T dijon mustard
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 T champagne vinegar

instructions

 

  1. make sure the potatoes are clean and put them into a large pot. cover with at least 2 inches of water and bring to a low boil. cook until tender and easily pierced with a fork, before the skin starts to crack, about 40 minutes.
  2. while the potatoes are cooking, chop the other vegetables: dice the red onion; clean, slice and dice the celery; thoroughly clean, then chop the green onion; drain the olives. set aside and keep refrigerated if the potatoes won’t be done for awhile.
  3. cook the bacon until crispy. I prefer to bake my bacon on a cooking sheet covered in tin foil at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes. Place on a paper towel to absorb any extra grease, and coarsely chop.
  4. make the dressing: mix the olive oil, champagne vinegar, diced garlic, dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. I suggest putting all the ingredients in a sealable container like a mason jar so you can just shake the ingredients to mix them.
  5. when the potatoes are ready, drain them and rinse them in cool water. allow them to cool for a few minutes (or you’ll burn your fingers will cutting them) and then cut into quarters, or bite size pieces and place in a large bowl.
  6. add the celery, olives, red onion, green onion, bacon, and dressing to the large bowl of potatoes. don’t pour all the dressing in at first — slowly add it to your liking. stir until the ingredients are evenly mixed, and keep refrigerated if you’re not serving immediately.
  7. enjoy!

no mayo potato salad

no mayo potato salad

no mayo potato salad

no mayo potato salad

no mayo potato salad

bacon ready for baking

no mayo potato salad

bite size potatoes ready for mixing

no mayo potato salad

dressing with just the olive oil and champagne vinegar

no mayo potato salad

no mayo potato salad

vegan, a.k.a. “taylor’s” version 🙂

no mayo potato salad

with bacon — yum!

cheers krista

 

brass blossom

“good luck and true love” — st. patrick’s day dinner

I’ve come a long way from building complex Leprechaun traps (side note: how creepy is the concept of Leprechauns?!) and drinking green-dyed kid, and then adult, beverages. I can claim no Irish heritage, knowledge, or travel history to the country…But, it’s an understatement to say that we can use all the luck we can get for the rest of 2015. Also, who can possibly resist a holiday marked by gold accents?!

So, we rallied last minute to have an intimate St. Patrick’s Day dinner complete with corned beef, tokens of luck, and other kinds of greens. Here’s a look at the night!

decor

 

We opted for understated green and gold accents, including:

  • Gold tinted burlap runner
  • Arrangements of greenery and baby’s breath in gold vases
  • Gold glitter votives, like always
  • Tokens of good luck with face-up pennies hiding under napkins and face-up horseshoes at every other setting
  • Neutral accents — white plate with no placemats, gray napkins, and white candles
  • Shamrock inspired place cards that were trimmed from the greenery arrangements

st. patrick's day décor

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my handwriting isn't nearly as lovely as Taylor's but the occasion seemed to call for cursive. thank you, third grade

my handwriting isn’t nearly as lovely as Taylor’s but the occasion seemed to call for cursive. thank you, third grade. Each guest was greeted by a hidden penny when they picked up their place setting.

St. Patrick's Day decor

St. Patrick's Day decor

St. Patrick's Day decor

I found the horseshoes, which even said "good luck" on them at Huck and Paddle on Sun Valley Road

I found the horseshoes, which even said “good luck” on them at Huck and Paddle on Sun Valley Road

st patrick's day place setting

menu

 

We enjoyed classic St. Patrick’s Day fare with some corned beef and potatoes, but we spiced it up with some sides, and, of course, greens:

  • Corned beef, cooked two ways according to the same recipes we used at last year’s celebration. I think we’ve finally mastered them, and the baked version seemed to be the favorite. I recommend using Sun Valley Mustard!
  • “Gold coin” potatoes as I will call them from now on. Check out the recipe here. They’re like a cross between french fries and baked potatoes. Yum!
  • A beautiful all-green salad including kale, brussels sprouts, avocado, green apple matchsticks, sunflower seeds and parmesan
  • Sautéed greens including asparagus, zucchini, onion and garlic
  • Adorable and delicious “rainbow” baked chocolate donuts
very green salad — delicious mix of ingredients!

very green salad — delicious mix of ingredients

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sautéed greens by anna

"gold coin" potatoes — definitely serve with sour cream and chives!

“gold coin” potatoes — definitely serve with sour cream and chives

had to boil some cabbage, carrots, and more potatoes with the traditionally prepared corned beef!

had to boil some cabbage, carrots, and more potatoes with the traditionally prepared corned beef

baked corned beef with brown sugar, cloves, and sun valley mustard

the full plate

the full plate

Taylor's vegetarian plate — I love having her over for dinner because I feel like I eat healthier!

Taylor’s vegetarian plate — I love having her over for dinner because I feel like I eat healthier!

delicious rainbow donuts by Taylor

delicious rainbow donuts by Taylor

the company

 

It was a family affair with cousins, moms, caregivers and friends — who may as well be family at this point. Lots of love and good luck to all of you!

st. patrick's day dinner

casey photobombing in a big way

casey photobombing in a big way

In case you didn’t understand the title, check out Reckless Kelly’s  “Good Luck and True Love” — Reckless Kelly is one of our all-time favorite bands!

Here’s to good luck and true love for all of our supporters!

krista and taylor

 

brass blossom logo

 

quintessential christmas recipe — fondue for four

Cheese is my favorite food, period. Goat cheese, cheddar cheese, brie cheese, burrata cheese, I don’t discriminate.

A boiling pot of cheese mixed with champagne, garlic, lemon juice, some more booze, and pepper? My heaven. What’s more is you can dip anything — healthy or not — into the cheese and it’s instantly more delicious. Fondue makes for a social meal, and you may even get some action — our household rule is that if you lose what you’re dipping in the pot, you owe the person to your left a smooch. This recipe is super easy to multiply, so it makes for a great group dinner paired with a big green salad.

With the holiday season upon us, we had my dear cousin, Anna, and her husband, Robert, over for one of my all-time favorite winter meals. I highly recommend enjoying some fondue at The Ram or the Roundhouse in Sun Valley this winter season…or, making your own!

Here’s a look at my mom’s incredible recipe, with some minor tweaks.

servings

 

4

prep:cook time

 

30 minutes

ingredients

 

  • 20 oz. gruyere cheese, grated (any kind goes…unfortunately, the more expensive, the more delicious. it takes about three packages to get the job done for four people)
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • juice from one large lemon
  • 2/3 cup champagne or white wine
  • 3 T kirsch (cherry liqueur…there’s no reason you’d ever have this in your cupboard except for this recipe)
  • pepper to taste

instructions

 

  1.  Mix the grated cheese with the cornstarch in a bowl.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and stir often. Heat all ingredients until the fondue begins to thicken, stirring often.
  3. Add pepper and more of any ingredient to taste.
  4. Serve hot — ideally in a fondue pot — and enjoy with cubed baguette, green apples, veggies and sausage.
fondue

I couldn’t decide on the gruyere cheese, so I got a few different kinds

delicious prosecco that's also fun to drink and (not so delicious) kirsch, cherry liqueur

delicious prosecco that’s also fun to drink and (not so delicious) kirsch, cherry liqueur

grated cheese mixed with corn starch

grated cheese mixed with corn starch

a nice assortment of dipping options, including gluten free bread

a nice assortment of dipping options, including gluten free bread

chicken apple sausage, or a spicier sausage like this jabañero sausage, is really delicious to dip in fondue — I recommend browning it well before serving

chicken apple sausage, or a spicier sausage like this jabañero sausage, is really delicious to dip in fondue — I recommend browning it well before serving

once the bottle is open...you may as well finish it! with some pomegranate arils for an extra pop of color and flavor

once the bottle is open…you may as well finish it! with some pomegranate arils for an extra pop of color and flavor

fondue ready for dinner

fondue ready for dinner

sterno ready to do its job

sterno ready to do its job

all the trappings for a delicious meal!

all the trappings for a delicious meal!

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the perfect bite

the perfect bite

delicious plate

delicious plate

anna digging for the best part — you can't let any go to waste, it's too good!

anna digging for the best part — you can’t let any go to waste, it’s too good!

looks weird, but this is the best part — the toasted cheese that sticks to the bottom of the pot

looks weird, but this is the best part — the toasted cheese that sticks to the bottom of the pot

cheers krista

 

brass blossom

 

homemade strawberry rhubarb freezer jam

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strawberry, rhubarb freezer jam!

Winter is finally upon us. And while the Polar Vortex isn’t as extreme in Idaho as the rest of the country, it is still incredibly cold and snowy. It is also a semi-awkward time in Idaho as there isn’t a ton to do, that is if you don’t count hunting as the only legitimate activity to ever take part in. Since I’m more of a gatherer, I decided the only logical thing to do when it was -1 degrees outside was to make some freezer jam.

I have had a few bags of garden-picked rhubarb in my freezer for a few months now. While they were frosting, I was dreaming of the plethora of opportunities for the beautiful plant. And I finally decided upon strawberry rhubarb freezer jam.

These beauties are literally foolproof, colorful and delicious. They are currently storing back in my freezer with big plans of passing them along as holiday gifts! Requests gladly accepted!

ingredients

  • 6 cups frozen, diced rhubarb
  • 4 cups frozen, diced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup baking sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • a few pinches of cornstarch as needed
  • clean and dry jars (I used 4 13-ounce Bonne Maman clean jars)

instructions

  1. Dice frozen rhubarb and strawberries into small pieces.
  2. Combine rhubarb, strawberries, sugar and water in a large pot and heat over low-medium heat.
  3. Stir constantly until the mixture is the thickness of desired jam. Add a few teaspoons of cornstarch as necessary if the jam needs thickening. (I used cornstarch to avoid using pectin or other thickening agents)
  4. Cool jam to room temperature.
  5. Pour jam into prepared jars. Freeze jars for up to half of a year. Thaw before use.
  6. Enjoy!
clear jars ready to use - since i froze my jars i avoided having to follow the strict canning process

clear jars ready to use – since i froze my jars i avoided having to follow the strict canning process

chopped garden-picked rhubarb

chopped garden-picked rhubarb

frozen rhubarb and strawberries ready to be cooked

frozen rhubarb and strawberries ready to be cooked

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clean jars ready to be filled

clean jars ready to be filled

adorable recipe cards that were a gift from my lovely friend bri!

adorable recipe cards that were a gift from my lovely friend bri!

ready for the freezer!

ready for the freezer!

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perfect for toast, yogurt or whatever your heart desires!

taylor brass

 

brass blossom

easiest app ever — parmesan “pull aparts”

With the holidays just around the corner, this super easy, crowd-pleasing appetizer is sure to come in handy. My mom has been making this for years, and it’s a family favorite.

servings

 

10 people as an appetizer

prep:cook time

 

30 minutes

ingredients

 

instructions

 

taken from a cookbook from my mom — I use a little extra parmesan (shocking) and serve it with red sauce

taken from a cookbook made by my mom and family friends — that’s brother Drew in the photo

A few extra tips:

  • I use extra parmesan (almost twice the amount) and dust the top of the finished product with some more.
  • Fully coat each piece in the mixture — push the mixture to the opposite side of the pan as you arrange them. I usually arrange them in a spiral, starting from the outside in.
  • I recommend serving the pull aparts with red sauce (a specialty freshly made tomato sauce = extra points) and starting the “pulling” process yourself — each biscuit will easily separate from the others, and it’s perfect finger food.
  • For a healthier version, use half the amount of butter and supplement with olive oil.
  • For a simple presentation and plate transfer, place your serving dish face down on the baking pan with the pull aparts in it, then flip it over. The pull aparts will transfer easily.
the ingredients!

the ingredients!

I recommend cutting the biscuits into small pieces

I recommend cutting the biscuits into small pieces

biscuit bites ready to go

biscuit bites ready to go

the dry ingredients ready to be mixed into the pan

the dry ingredients ready to be mixed into the pan

mixed up and ready for the biscuits!

mixed up and ready for the biscuits!

fully coat each piece

fully coat each piece

arrange the biscuits in a circle, starting from the outside moving in

arrange the biscuits in a circle, starting from the outside moving in

ready for baking

ready for baking

golden brown — they cook quickly!

golden brown — they cook quickly!

appetizer

post plate transer

post plate tranfser

a dusting of more parmesan for presentation

a dusting of more parmesan for presentation

serve with marinara or another sauce of choice for some extra flavor

serve with marinara or another sauce of choice for some extra flavor

easy to serve and pull apart!

easy to serve and pull apart!

cheers krista

 

brass blossom

taylor’s big 2-5 — harvest inspired feast

the birthday girl!

the beautiful birthday girl!

In honor of my dear co-author’s quarter-century birthday, Rachel and I wanted to return the favor of a great dinner party in her honor. Honoring her favorite season and her vegetarianism, we set out to create a heart vegetarian feast, complete with pumpkins, vodka, and gold.

Here’s a look at the night!

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Though it was a small, all-girls gathering, we couldn’t not send a Paperless Post…We went for the ever classic black and gold template that added a little “hunter-gatherer” flair.

paperless post

paperless post

decor

It was perfect autumn weather for a cozy night. Here’s how we decorated:

  • Pumpkins and more pumpkins
  • Sunflowers and mums in mason jars, wrapped with raffia
  • Mason jar cocktail glasses with orange striped straws
  • Lots of candlelight — in our gold glitter mason jar votives, and with tall white column candles
  • A burlap, gold-painted table runner

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menu

I have to say, cooking a vegetarian meal is quite lovely and stress free — no incessant hand-washing, no fat trimming, no gross bloody packaging…That being said, I couldn’t help but slip some bacon in there! Rachel and I must have exchanged about a dozen emails plotting and plan this evening. Here’s what we decided on, and what our dear friends contributed:

  • A vanilla, pear, and vodka cocktail with a rosebud sugar rim — sweet, but very yummy!
  • Burrata (you can never go wrong with burrata) and an antipasto platter with salami, cheese, and olives
  • Homemade bruschetta from homegrown tomatoes from Sara’s garden
  • A whole roasted head of cauliflower — both cool to look at and totally delicious. The marinade was so good that I dipped celery sticks in it for the next couple days
  • An artichoke, green bean, squash, sunflower seed, roasted garlic, and quinoa salad — this provided a nice light balance to our meal, but we added some champagne vinegar to tarten it a bit
  • Brussels sprouts, Enoteca style — thinly shredded and sautéed with goat cheese and (bacon)
  • The main event, butternut squash soup — a delicious concoction that Rachel made from a fax recipe. That’s legit!
  • Mini mason jar pumpkin cheesecakes — also gluten free, the boy has devoured one of these every night for the last week (I made some extras)
delicious butternut squash soup by Rachel and a brilliant fax

delicious butternut squash soup by Rachel and a brilliant fax

a perfect plate!

a perfect plate!

harvest dinner

roasted cauliflower

roasted cauliflower

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vodka and burrata — what more do you need?

vodka and burrata — what more do you need?

mini pumpkin cheesecake (pre-baking)

mini pumpkin cheesecake (pre-baking)

Happy Birthday, Taylor! We love you so much, and we had so much fun celebrating your big birthday!

cheers krista

brass blossom