Bear & Poppy + The Rec Room by Kate Whitlow

Excited to announce Bear and Poppy's new partnership with the stylish, convenient and FUN kids & parents play space in Berkeley, The Rec Room. I met the owner and visionary of this incredible spot, Annie Frey, last year when I popped in with Penny looking for a clean and chill place for her to crawl around. Annie's curated a really special spot that hosts music classes, mom's night's out and everything in between. 

Launching October 13th (cause Friday the 13th is a good time to start new things, right?) we had our first day of fresh food for kids and parents alike. Featuring items like Kids Lunch Boxes with Hummus, Fresh Fruit, Veggies, Sun Butter and Cheese and the Seasonal Super Bowl with Roasted Winter Vegetables, Farro, Kale, Great Norther Beans, Feta & Pepitas. Love bringing fresh and healthy food for babes and those that love them. Bonus that I get to spend more time at The Rec Room space and can bring Penn with me when I delivery food! 

If you're local, come check it out: https://www.recroomkids.com

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Cold Cauliflower Salad by Kate Whitlow

First it was brussels sprouts.

Then kale.

Then avocado toast.

As a fruit and vegetable lover I'm stoked that these items have risen to stardom over the last few years. I'm pretty certain that I ate fried sprouts weekly in New York when we lived there (okay, I basically lived off of fried food and frozen margaritas at the time). If only I could figure out what the next vegetable trend will be so that I can get out ahead of it, blow it up and become a millionaire living on a farm with hundreds of puppies and a 24-hour ice cream shop. The dream! 

Somehow while I was day dreaming about a puppy serving me ice cream in bed, cauliflower "rice" emerged as the new sexy veg of choice. While I haven't seen it on a restaurant menu, I'm seeing lots of recipes for it and even seeing cut up cauliflower bagged up and marketed in the grocery store as "rice". 

A few things to note:

1. Okay, I know I'm stating the obvious here, but cauliflower will never be rice. Can we all agree on that? 

2. Bagged up cauliflower rice is a super easy and accessible way to take some prepped cauliflower home with you to throw into a stir fry or soup, but...

3. Buying a whole cauliflower and making "rice" is SUPER easy and cost effective. Yes, YOU can make cauliflower rice! At home! With a knife! Or (my preference if you have it) with a food processor.

In cold weather months I LOVE roasted cauliflower - and really roasted anything. But to keep your oven off and prep super easy in summer, here's my take. And I'm calling it Cold Cauliflower Salad because I can't bring myself to call it rice. 

COLD CAULIFLOWER SALAD (VEGAN)

1 head cauliflower, diced extremely fine (with knife or processor)

1 can garbanzo beans, drained

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced

1 bunch parsley, diced

Lemon Juice, Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper

Mix the first four ingredients together. Add lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. If you have the time, dress this salad a bit in advance of eating to let the flavors meld together a bit and keep in cool in the fridge until you're ready to grub. 

 

Weekend Breakfast - Can't Stop Making Pancakes by Kate Whitlow

Well, can't stop making pancakes, eggs & bacon, if I'm being honest. We started getting a weekly farm box from Tara Firma Farms in Petaluma with sustainably raised ("happy") pigs. Every other week we pick up meat, eggs and vegetables that are delivered by the farm to a neighbors porch. I still haven't totally gotten back on the bacon bandwagon after 2 years of vegetarianism, but their bacon tastes different. The yolks of the eggs are bright orange with varying shells of pink, white and blue. I feel like I'm living the farm fresh life in the middle of Oakland and it's awesome. PLUS all of the above taste incredible with some accidental maple syrup running over it.

Lunch - October 9th, 2016 by Kate Whitlow

Build Your Own Healthy Bowls. It's really all about the Maple-Tahini Dressing. Like, I'd take a bath in this stuff. 

Maple-Tahini Dressing

(this makes a big batch but it's great to put leftovers in a jar and keep on hand in your fridge for your next salad or healthy bowl)

1/2 Cup Tahini

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

3 Tbl Red Wine Vinegar

2 Tbl Maple Syrup

Juice of 1 large lemon

Salt & Pepper to taste

 

Muesli Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe by Kate Whitlow

Muesli, granola's less popular breakfast cousin, is delicious, low-fat, lends itself well to being paired with milk or yogurt and can also be an ingredient unto itself (think adding hot water and making hot breakfast cereal). OR think adding a few other delicious ingredients and making gluten free oatmeal peanut butter chocolate chip cookies!!! Because healthy breakfast can also become a some-what healthy afternoon snack or dessert. 

I made these cookies from the Bear and Poppy Muesli and had them as samples for the Anthropologie Pop-Up in April. They just may have been asked about more than the muesli or granola itself. 

  Muesli Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies Gluten & Dairy Free     2/3 cup chunky, salted peanut butter (natural) 2/3 cup real maple syrup 1 tsp vanilla extract 4 Tbl coconut oil, melted 1 egg ½ tsp baking powder ½ tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt (preferred: Farmer Freed Vanilla Bean Salt (www.farmerfreed.com) 1 cup Bear and Poppy Muesli, pulsed in blender or food processor until broken down to a thick oat “flour” 1 ¼ cup Bear and Poppy Muesli 1 ½ cups semi sweet or dark chocolate chips     Note: Bear and Poppy Fruit and Nut Muesli contains gluten free oats, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, apricot, coconut & pecans*   Mix together peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla, coconut and oil in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, mix together baking powder, baking soda, salt, muesli (“flour” and whole muesli). Add dry ingredients into wet and combine with spatula. Fold in chocolate chips. Refrigerate dough for ½ hour at least or up to 3 days. Preheat oven to 350. Use small ice cream scoop or measuring spoons to make 1 inch round balls of dough. Press down onto cookie sheet, leaving a bit of room between each cookie (they don’t spread too much). Cook for approximately 10 minutes or until cookies are golden brown on bottom and beginning to crackle on top (better to pull them out a little underdone – they will bind together even more as they cool. Enjoy!    

 

Muesli Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies

Gluten & Dairy Free

 

 

2/3 cup chunky, salted peanut butter (natural)

2/3 cup real maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 Tbl coconut oil, melted

1 egg

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt (preferred: Farmer Freed Vanilla Bean Salt (www.farmerfreed.com)

1 cup Bear and Poppy Muesli, pulsed in blender or food processor until broken down to a thick oat “flour”

1 ¼ cup Bear and Poppy Muesli

1 ½ cups semi sweet or dark chocolate chips

 

 

Note: Bear and Poppy Fruit and Nut Muesli contains gluten free oats, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, apricot, coconut & pecans*

 

Mix together peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla, coconut and oil in a medium bowl.

In a small bowl, mix together baking powder, baking soda, salt, muesli (“flour” and whole muesli).

Add dry ingredients into wet and combine with spatula. Fold in chocolate chips.

Refrigerate dough for ½ hour at least or up to 3 days. Preheat oven to 350. Use small ice cream scoop or measuring spoons to make 1 inch round balls of dough. Press down onto cookie sheet, leaving a bit of room between each cookie (they don’t spread too much). Cook for approximately 10 minutes or until cookies are golden brown on bottom and beginning to crackle on top (better to pull them out a little underdone – they will bind together even more as they cool.

Enjoy!

 

 

Turkish Breakfast by Kate Whitlow

We often eat in for breakfast on the weekends. Not because I don't LOVE the ritual of brunch out but because I'm an even bigger fan of the ritual of making my own coffee and working on my egg game at home. Plus once you get your egg game in shape you can whip up brunch faster and waaaay cheaper than anywhere else. 

HOWEVER - on our incredible vacation I was introduced to Turkish breakfast. A delight of seemingly never-ending small plates of accoutrement to elevate each bite of your meal. Starting slow with bread, jams, home-made nut butters and soft cheese and escalating into an all out meat/egg/veg bonanza, there's nothing I've ever seen quite like it and I'd give up making breakfast forever if I could take part in this ritual everyday. 

Day One

Day One

Day Two

Day Two

Nicoise Salad - July 2015 by Kate Whitlow

Wikipedia says: "Salade niçoise is a composed salad of tomatoes, tuna, hard-boiled eggs, Niçoise olives, and anchovies, dressed with a vinaigrette. It is served variously on a plate, platter, or in a bowl, with or without a bed of lettuce."

I like to ignore most of the tradition to this salad and focus more on the element of "composed" - meaning you can take any ingredients you like, have on hand, or make sense for the season and create a beautiful palette around a protein. Or keep it all veg. No need for nicoise olives, either. Go wild! 

Birthday Dinner - June 11th, 2015 by Kate Whitlow

It's always a pleasure to get a window into one's dinner table. Tonight's dinner was hosted by a birthday girl looking to enjoy an easy and relaxed meal with friends. I love getting to cook for a group like this and of course join in with my horrible voice for a good rendition of "Happy Birthday" before taking off to let them drink and enjoy into the night. 

- Kale & Parmesan Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

- Salt & Pepper Chicken Thighs

- Quinoa, Roasted Beets, Chèvre & Micro Greens

- Sweet Potato Mash

 - Double Chocolate Cake with Fresh Berries

Three Kitchens in 2 Nights & Pan Fried Chicken by Kate Whitlow

Last week I was in New York to cook two back-to-back dinners. It was crazy to be in my old kitchen with my 22' stove. That guy and I have been through a lot together and in a weird  way, it was good to reunite. It was also fun to cook in two beautiful new kitchens (with BIG ovens and all the tools) - one which is a friends spot and the other which is called The Kitchen Table. I had a blast exploring these new spaces and getting to chat with so many new people about what they cook in their kitchens and what they like to eat. Everyone always has something to bring to the conversation when it's about food. It's the best. One such new friend came back for seconds with the question: "how do you get the skin so perfectly crispy on the chicken?" The trick is so easy I have to share. The answer: HEAT. 

Here's the chicken I've been making a lot lately. It's straightforward, nearly fool proof and delicious. You can do it! 

 

Pan Fried Rosemary-Garlic Chicken Thighs

10 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

10 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup fresh rosemary, diced

Olive Oil 

Salt & Pepper

In advance of the meal (8-10 hours is ideal but less time will work!) combine the chicken, garlic, rosemary and 1/2 cup olive oil in a bowl, toss to coat and then cover in plastic wrap or move to a gallon ziploc bag and place in the fridge. 

When ready to cook, heat a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Coat it with a thin layer of olive oil and let the oil get hot, almost to smoking. You can test for heat with a flick of water. If the pan isn't hot enough, you'll get soggy chicken skin. Bummer. Sprinkle the hot pan with a generous amount of kosher salt and pepper. Pat chicken dry on a paper towel and with tongs, carefully place in the hot pan in a single layer (depending on the size of your pan you might need to do two batches). Cook for approximately 5 minutes or until chicken pulls easily away from the pan and is perfectly golden. Remove to sheet tray and bake in the oven at 425 for another 20 minutes (or cooked through). Let rest for a couple of minutes before serving. 

 

New York Dinner - June 4, 2015 by Kate Whitlow

- Summer Squash Tartlettes

- Tomato Stewed Chicken Thighs

- Roasted Salmon with Green Olives, White Wine & Lemon Butter

- Corn, Nectarine, Arugula & Sheep Feta Salad

- Morels, Peas & Asparagus with Balsamic Reduction

- Blood Orange Almond Cakes with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream 

Vegan Avocado-Pistachio Pesto by Kate Whitlow

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Full disclosure right off the bat - I'm horrible at following recipes. I like to draw inspiration from others' ideas and pictures, but when it comes down to following the rules I can't help but color outside the lines. Every once in a while it doesn't work so smoothly (think: free-hand cake or improv vegan waffles) but for the most part it works out. So in writing these recipes, I encourage you to trust yourself, taste, and don't get scared! I hope these can be inspirational in perhaps leading you to create your own recipes. 

Tuesday I made my first batch of Avocado-Pesto Hummus with the goal of creating a dairy-free but still tasty pesto for a gluten-free pasta. You could of course also try this on gluteny (yes, I'm spelling it like that from here on out) pasta, or on bread. I left mine fairly thick so I could also use it as a dip or spread. 

Avocado-Pistachio Pesto

3 cloves garlic

1 cup basil

3 cups kale

3 ripe avocados, halved and pitted

2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

2 medium lemons

1/2 cup pistachios

Olive Oil

Put the garlic, basil, kale, salt, pepper and lemon juice in a  food processor or blender and pulse until the greens and garlic have begun to break down to tiny pieces. Slowly add olive oil, adding just enough to keep it all blending together towards a smooth consistency. Add the avocados and pistachios and let run until well blended. Add more olive oil to achieve the desired consistency (perhaps thinner for a pasta or thicker for a sandwich spread). Taste, adjust salt and pepper and enjoy.

 

 

Napa Dinner Party - May 9th, 2015 by Kate Whitlow

Such a treat to get to drive up to Napa to put on a dinner for 12 friends enjoying a weekend get away. There's nothing like cooking with vineyards as your backdrop. 

- Fresh Fruit & Local Cheese Platter with Crostini & Rosemary Candied Nuts

- Kale, Avocado & Crispy Garbanzo Bean Salad 

- Roasted Carrots with Pepitas, Parsley & Lemon Oil

- Roasted Dill Salmon over Fingerlings

- Whole Roasted Salt, Pepper & Garlic Chicken

- Warm Berry Galette with Vanilla Whipped Cream  

 

Dinner Party - May 2nd, 2015 by Kate Whitlow

Dinner party for 8 this evening. Spring produce is looking gorgeous!

- Chive Ricotta & Easter Egg Radish Toasts

- Shaved Asparagus & Wild Arugula Salad with Soft Boiled Egg, Pickled Shallots & Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

- Roasted Halibut with Mixed Mushrooms & Green Olives

- Rainbow Carrots with Toasted Walnuts & Fresh Herbs

- Kumquat & Orange Cornmeal Upside Down Cake