Holiday Crafting

I love the holidays. Its true…. I’m indeed one of THOSE people. The people who love to look at the Christmas lights on Candy Cane Lane, wrapping presents, writing holiday cards, putting up the Christmas tree while listening to endless renditions of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” while drinking hot cider. I just love it. And part of the joy for me of the season is being able to support local crafters and artists; giving a gift of handmade love and beauty to my family and friends is so magical. And that is why I am over the moon excited to be putting together the Happy Girl Holiday Craft Market.

HGK-HolidayCraftMarket-2013-R2-2This Sunday Happy Girl Kitchen Co. will be teaming with local artisans selling their beautiful goods such as handmade jewelry, local artwork, ceramics, beeswax candles, and so much more. Top it all off with live music, yummy food, and our amazing community… well, I think its going to be a winner! Can’t wait to see you all there, supporting our neighbors and what they do best:  creating, celebrating, and bringing about joy!

Much love,

Steph

Adventures in Baking: Fall Workshops

Fall is almost here, and I am ready to welcome pumpkin spices, apple picking, and celebrating the change in the season. I have a whole new lineup of baking workshops scheduled… so, take a peak!

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2013 Fall Whole Grain Baking Workshops

Bed & Breakfast Baking
Saturday September 28th, 10-3pm

coffee cake
sweet potato rosemary biscuits
homemade chai tea
cranberry chocolate scones

Nutritiously Delicious Treats Vol. 2
Wednesday October 9th, 6-8:30pm

raw almond milk
vegan chocolate chip cookie dough bites
almond butter cups
3 ingredient vegan and gluten free banana ice cream

Cozy Fall Baking
Saturday October 19th, 10-3pm

Pumpkin Bread
Rustic Apple Tarts
Gluten Free Snickerdoodle Cookie
Maple Leaf Cookie Sandwiches with Maple Vanilla Buttercream Centers

Gluten Free Baking
Saturday November 9th, 10-3pm

snickerdoodle cookies
coconut macaroons with chocolate ganache
maple cookie bars
double chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream

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And thank you to all who came out for the Lilify event! It was so fun and inspiring..

Until next time…
xoxo Steph

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.

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!)

jennarosehandmade

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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

A Year In Review

Looking back and reminiscing about the past year, I have so very much to be grateful for. Thank you 2012, its truly been perfect.

Yandara Yoga Teaching Training. AMAZING.

Ah, Mexico

Yandara.

Newport with the fam.

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Monday Dinners at the Farmers Market. Falafel! Indian! and sneaky wine.

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Teaching the Lovely Ladies at Catalina Summer Camp. They continue to teach me so much….

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Attempting our first garden…

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Eating copious amounts of greens…

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And baked goods….

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I finally visited KK le fou in Seattle…

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We brought home Izze! Our newest love bug.

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Got ENGAGED down in Big Sur to the best man I could ever ask for, my best friend, and the love of my life…

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Explored new parts of San Francisco, saw the Nutcracker!!!, ate well, and lounged…

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Spent wonderful time with the best parents & sister I could ask for….

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And the best in-laws I could ask for….

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Even tried on and found! the dress…. and these weren’t it (but they were close!)

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And I could really go and on. And I guess I already have. I’m so thankful for the happiness and love I have experienced in the last year. I just can’t believe it. So thank you again, 2012, and here we come 2013…. I can’t wait for all the wonders that await.

HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL! May you be filled with love, peace, and so much joy.

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A Link & Workshop Info

Greetings from the unusually warm and summery weather in the Monterey Bay. I have to admit, the sunshine is helping me beam. It’s true that normally I’m a fog type of gal, loving the overcast cozy feeling it brings to my nature. But even I can’t resist the sunshine and its effects and contagiousness from time to time. I just find myself with more energy, more smiles, and finally having an excuse to grab an icy cold green smoothie. Love, love, love.

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A couple exciting tid bits I wanted to share with you. First, I have listed below my upcoming 2012 Fall Workshop schedule. You can also check out the “Workshops” tab above to find out more info. I am beyond excited to be teaching some more raw dessert recipes, as well as how to include more healthy super foods into your diet. So powerful they are.

Super Foods Workshop, Saturday September 22nd. We will be making raw almond milk and flour, raw chocolate bliss balls (delicious!), green smoothies, and learning how to sprout grains and seeds. A great chance to get started adding nutrient and flavor dense food to your lovely life.

Cozy Fall Baking, Sunday October 28th. A good fall seems extra complete with apple pie, banana bread, pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, and mulled cider. We will making all those things while learning how to utilize whole grains and bake using mostly vegan recipes. Coffee, many baked yummies, and a vegetarian lunch is included.

Healthier Holidays, Saturday November 10th. Everyone wants to partake in the sweet fun of the holidays, but now we can learn how to make desserts that wont make us feel icky after. Actually they will help us feel great! Healthy, sweet and delicious finally meet when we make vegan chocolate macaroon truffles, homemade pumpkin butter, and raw pecan pie.

I am beyond excited for the upcoming workshops and I hope to see you there. 🙂 I also wanted to share with you the sweetest link over at a blog called Get Allergy Wise. Sarah Chuck is a faithful customer and supporter of Happy Girl Kitchen (where I bake) in Monterey, and has a great blog that lends great ideas and raises awareness about food allergies. She wrote such a kind post about her experience with my baked goodies… take a peak! It made my day.

Wishing all of you so many smiles and so much happiness…..