A New Addition!

Hey everyone, I hope you all had a fantastic Memorial Day weekend. We entertained ourselves by beach time, stumbling upon 10 cent Sunday cocktails, wedding advancement!, and pool time with the kiddos. Long weekends are indeed amazing.

I am beyond excited to share with you a couple of new creative pursuits and additions.

1. Gluten Free & Vegan Snickerdoodles. (added to the Etsy shop!)

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These guys are one of the most popular items at the cafe, and I am excited to make them available online! Yay. They are a wonderful treat for anyone who has dietary restrictions, AND they taste AMAZING. Tooting my own horn? Guilty.

2. Weddings!

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Saturday afternoon I held my first cupcake tasting for a wedding happening in the later part of the year… it was so fun! I made various types of gluten free cupcakes for the bride, her fiance, and her parents…they were ecstatic! Being able to connect and share with people made me so happy, especially when their feedback was so nice and encouraging.

These new events and happenings lately have been keeping me more present, more engaged, and excited for creating in general, and what is to come. Yay! So excited!

Hope this is finding you all so happy and enjoying the beginnings of summer…

Love,

Steph

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Tarte aux Epinards

I know, “real” cooks aren’t suppose to follow recipes. They substitute with their intuition; the fresh & local flavors that are offered from the season’s bounty. Well guess what? I’m a baker.

There is something about following a recipe verbatim, that brings me into the moment. Its something about potentially learning a new technique or ingredient, unable to revert back to my same old tricks… my same old combinations.  The meditation and relief of just simply being told what to do. Don’t get me wrong, there is something oh so valuable about being able to use what you have and making last moment subs that sometimes make the recipe even better than its original. Creativity! But in making this spinach pie, I tried not to run too much off track and try something new. It kept me present and engaged.

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But, then again, I don’t know what I’m talking about…. I used butter instead of olive oil, added prosciutto, and cracked three eggs on top of this beauty that strayed from the original instruction. But in my defense, the recipe nudged me to reach for the red pepper flakes I rarely give attention to, and even forced me to go to the store to buy a shallot. I guess I’m just meandering somewhere between cook and baker. Regardless, the sure thing is, this is flipping delicious. You must try it, rule breakers and rule followers alike.

Spinach Pie with Butter Cracker Crust

serves 4-6 ; adapted from June 2013 Martha Stewart Living

Crust

1 ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1/3 cup melted butter

1/3 cup water

Filling

1 ½ pounds spinach, rinsed well

1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil

1 large shallot, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 ounces goat cheese

¼ cup prosciutto, optional

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

3 large eggs

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon sesame seeds

  1. Crust: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Whisk together the flour, salt, and sesame seeds in a large bowl. Stir in the melted butter and water, then knead until a ball forms. Roll out dough into a 12-inch round and fit it to a 9 ½ inch tart or pie pan. Trim any excess length and if using a pie pan pinch the edges to look lovely. If using a tart pan, trim any excess length. Prick bottom all over with a fork and bake until crust is golden brown and crisp, about 35 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
  2. Filling: Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Place spinach in a large pot and add a splash of water and cover. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until just wilted, about 6 minutes or so. Transfer to a colander to drain. When cool enough to handle, wrap in a kitchen towel and squeeze to remove excess water. Coarsely shop and transfer to a bowl. Wipe pot dry and heat butter over medium heat. Add shallot, garlic, red pepper flakes, and prosciutto; cook, stirring, until shallot is softened, about 4 minutes. Add goat cheese, beaten eggs, and salt; stir until combined.
  3. Pour filling into crust and sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Bake for 10 minutes and then crack the 3 remaining eggs on top of the tart. Bake until the eggs are fully cooked, about 20 minutes more. Serve warm or at room temperature with red pepper flakes and a dollop of sour cream if you dare.

Bachelor in Paris

Moments that make me the happiest usually involve a couple of reoccurring concepts: simplicity and beauty.

After taking a break from the my world and resting on vacation with my parents, sister, and fiance in Hawaii, I could feel myself re-inspired again. I don’t think it was even so much being in a paradise (which didn’t hurt of course), but the ability to relax and be with my family, smile together, and let go of worries….had me finding inspiration wherever I looked.

And now; refreshed and back home, in the midst of spring, I have again been finding beauty everywhere. Flowers, color, longer days, the fresh, and the new. I was particularly inspired by my simple lunch… sauteed cabbage and farmers market green onions in butter and salt/pepper topped with sour cream and smoked salmon. It made me feel simple and decadent at the same time. (not to mention pretty darn great!) I sat and ate it, imagining the same meal being nonchalantly grazed over by a bachelor in Paris on his teeny front steps, where the fabulous and simple are showcased at their prime.

 

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Right now, Im just so happy for the simple beauty I see (and dream) in my everyday life. Its just lovely. What have you been seeing lately?

Saturday Inspiration.

A look back at the week has me feeling so inspired. curious. ready for new. ready for change:

Leopard. How a funky pair of heels puts a pep in your step, even if you’re only folding laundry.

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Etsy. The handmade work and art of others keeps me constantly entertained. Such a beautiful thing, the creative. (check out my shop!)

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Spring. flowers. colors. spring onions. strawberries!

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Martha. Ok, don’t kill me, but I’m obsessed. She’s over 70, curious, fantastic, and makes everyday living more like an art than a waste of time. LOVE.

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Seapony. Cute, indie girl music meets summer Santa Cruz boardwalk.

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More light, longer days. Thanks, Spring… I feel ya.

Love,

Steph

Extra, Extra Shop All About.

Greetings Everyone. I hope you are all doing well. I’m so excited to announce the launch of a new venture… my Etsy shop! I’ve been eyeing this site for such a long time. I love the opportunity it gives the hand-made world to easily promote, share, and tout their creations. I just love it. Its the first place I look for my wedding knick knacks, birthday & holiday gifts, et plus.

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I’ve put up Bliss Balls so far, a stand in for granola/power bars, healthy dessert/snack…..they are so nutritiously delicious. They’ve been such a hit at Happy Girl that I’ve decided to make them available (to order!) to people beyond the Monterey area. I’m excited about the packaging as well…. design is so fun! Anywho, click on over to the shop and check it out. 🙂 Feedback welcome! Coming very very soon (like, today): Superseed Granola. Gush.

Love, Steph