beet&baguette

food, travel, lifestyle, and a hearty serving of motherhood

Month: March 2015 (page 1 of 3)

Friday Feast – Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Granola

FIRST OFF, I gotta make this teeny tiny little announcement.

This is my 100th post!

Crazy! I’ve been running beet&baguette for a little over 2 years now, and I am so thankful to those of you who enjoy reading my little musings. I maintain this blog as somewhat of a personal journal. With no annoying advertisements, I don’t make any form of profit from the blog. I simply do my best to share recipes, adventures, and new finds with you! I always enjoy reading your comments and feedback. Thank you for your support!

Remember, if you see something you like, “pin it” on Pinterest — it will link back to my blog, which helps me reach a broader audience. Also, you can follow me on Instagram and Pinterest @beetandbaguette

Now, back to food! Before this little endeavor, I’d never made my own granola. Not bars, not raw bites, not a crunchy yogurt topping.

NADA.

Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Granola // www.beetandbaguette.com

Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Granola // www.beetandbaguette.com

But listen here, I’ve learned (in literally 25 minutes) that making your own crunchy-sweet-salty granola is SIMPLE. Plus, one batch of this stuff is, like, 10 servings.

The end result of MY granola looks suspiciously like Kellogg’s Cocoa Krispies, which I used to get spoiled with at Grandma’s house.

Sooo there’s that.

Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Granola // www.beetandbaguette.com

Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Granola // slightly adapted from Minimalist Baker

Yields ~10 packed half-cup servings

3 cups rolled oats
2 tbsp Truvia Baking Blend
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup creamy natural salted peanut butter
1/4 cup maple syrup (or agave nectar or honey)
5.2oz Chocolove Rich Dark Chocolate Bar or any chocolate of your liking (finely chopped, I used a food processor)

Heat oven to 340°F. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats and Truvia.

Over low heat, warm peanut butter, oil, and maple syrup in a small saucepan until thoroughly combined and pourable. Pour over oats and quickly stir to combine.

Spread evenly on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or nonstick silpat and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until evenly golden brown. Watch closely as the granola will brown quickly toward the end. NOTE: Toss once around the 15-minute mark to ensure even cooking (edges will cook faster).

Remove from oven, toss gently to release heat, and let cool (or not!) — then add chopped chocolate and stir. I wanted the chocolate to melt into my granola, but you can certainly choose to add the chocolate later, when the mixture is cool.

Serve with milk, sliced bananas, greek yogurt, ice cream, on top of a smoothie, etc. Or just put some in a bowl and eat it. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.

Basically, the possibilities are endless.

Oh, and a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt doesn’t hurt either. I mean, does it ever hurt?

Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Granola // www.beetandbaguette.com

Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Granola // www.beetandbaguette.com

Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Granola // www.beetandbaguette.com

7 Fab Spring Fashion Finds

Ah, spring.

Flowers, picnics, cool breezes, al fresco coffee dates, the birds, and the bees (ha).

Spring fashion this year is all about pattern play, bold pops of color, and yes… that oh-so comfy gym-to-street look. I have certainly been hitting the gym, because warmer weather is drifting our way and summer will be here before you can say “spring cleaning”!

If you happen to be doing some closet spring cleaning, here are my top picks for your spring wardrobe.

7 Fashion Trends for Spring 2015 // www.beetandbaguette.com

1. Athleta’s Ariel Aspire Ankle Pant in “Black / Silver Shimmer” – $84

2. Baggu’s Canvas Duck Bag in “Poppy” – $26

3. Athleta’s Sugar Wash Tank in “Baja Blue” – $44

4. Patagonia’s “P6 Logo” Trucker Hat – $29

5. Pistil’s Deena Scarf in “Aqua” – $36

6. Glassy Sunhaters’ “Brandon Biebel” Sunglasses – $39.95

7. Teva’s Original Sandal in “White” – $40

Header photo shows Athleta’s Novella Dress ($118) in “Baja Blue”

Now, get out there and enjoy all that springtime has to offer!

xo Cassie

Friday Feast – Savory Empanadas

Ah, empanadas. Hand pies. Calzones. Pasties. Samosas.

Whatever you call them in your home, these little purse-shaped bread pockets have quite a history. Before I dive into all that, though, I must say that in all honesty, this post was inspired by my brother’s girlfriend, Michelle. She posted photos on Facebook of salted caramel apple hand pies that she made using a recipe from Just a Taste. They looked SO good. I just had to have a go at savory empanadas.

Perhaps originating in Galicia (the northwesternmost region of Spain), the word “empanada” derives from the Spanish verb “empanar”, meaning to wrap in bread. Being a region most famous for its bountiful “mariscos” (seafood), Galicians began making Empanadas Gallegas filled with things like cod, mussels, and octopus.

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral from my trip to Spain in 2008

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral

Galicia has a very special place in my heart, as it was the location of my college study abroad trip. While in Santiago de Compostela, my Señora (host-mother) made vegetarian empanadas as well as a cinnamon-apple variety for me to take on a field trip to the beautiful coastal city of A Coruña. Ugh, I wish I had taken photos of her amazing food. The empanada crust was slightly browned and crunchy, but it held the fillings perfectly. She also taught me how to make the classic Spanish tapas dish, Tortilla de Patatas.

Back to my little take on savory empanadas, though, here’s how I made my version.

Savory Empanadas // www.beetandbaguette.com

I had a store-bought pie crust in the fridge. I also had a spare sweet potato and a few onions lying around… so I caramelized the onions with a little butter and took the easy way out by cooking the sweet potato in the microwave.

Then, in a medium bowl, I mixed the sweet potato flesh and cooked onions with some parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, minced fresh sage, and a pinch of nutmeg. I used an upside-down cup to cut perfect little circles in the rolled-out pie crust.

With a circle of dough in my hand, I added a small spoonful of the sweet potato mixture, gave the rim of each circle a tiny bit of egg wash, folded, and crimped the pie closed with a fork. I also used the fork to prick each empanada, to allow steam to escape. Lastly, I brushed the top of each little pie with egg wash and sprinkled a bit of flaky Maldon sea salt.

After about 15 minutes in a 375° oven, they were done — a nice golden brown on top. Delish! Oh, and Richard totally approves of these little gems.

Savory Empanadas // www.beetandbaguette.com

Savory Empanadas // www.beetandbaguette.com

Seriously though, you can make savory vegetarian empanadas with any produce that you have lying around. Throw in shredded or grated cheese and any complementary spices or herbs, and you’re set!

Savory Empanadas // www.beetandbaguette.com

¡Feliz viernes!

xo Cassie

Decorative Garden Stakes

On a recent Target haul (yeah, going to Target is THAT dangerous), I picked up these plastic herb markers and wax crayon for my herb garden. I had previously considered the chalkboard kind… but it seemed silly to me, since any water would likely remove the writing. Or just make the writing run and look all gross.

Decorative Herb Markers // www.beetandbaguette.com

I decided to fancy them up a bit by practicing my (not good) cursive and adding a bit of knotted twine. The best part is: there is no right or wrong way to tie them. Each one turned out slightly different, and that’s what I love about them.

Decorative Herb Markers // www.beetandbaguette.com

Decorative Herb Markers // www.beetandbaguette.com

Decorative Herb Markers // www.beetandbaguette.com

Decorative Herb Markers // www.beetandbaguette.com

With the odd exception of today, the weather is getting warmer by the day. So, I’ve been outside digging around and tending to our patio pots and planters. GIRL, dirt under my nails and evvvvverythinggggg.

It’s fine, I haven’t had a manicure since January.

Hm, excuse to get one?

Maybe so. (Like my rationalization?)

For real, I’m trying my best to spruce things up in time to use the patio for entertaining before it gets WAY TOO HOT. Because if you live in NC, you know ALL TOO WELL that springtime goes a little something like this:

Day 1 of Spring – Wow, what a pleasant and beautiful day… I wish it could stay 75 degrees forever!

Day 2 of Spring – DEAR GOD HOW AM I EVEN ALIVE IN THIS HUMIDITY RIGHT NOW OMG I CAN’T WAIT FOR WINTER AND SOUP.

Have you starting grilling? Planting herbs and veggies? Decorating your patio or deck? I’d love to hear!

xo Cassie

15 Must-Try Springtime Recipes

It seems that the April showers have come a bit early this year… perhaps the flowers will be here next month?

So, with springtime approaching, I’ve been researching and pinning dozens of recipes that utilize fresh produce and vibrant herbs (that I will hopefully be planting very soon). Here are some gems that I can’t wait to try this spring:

1. Broccoli Rabe & Egg Pizza from TheTartTart

15 Must-Try Recipes for Springtime // www.beetandbaguette.com

2. Mushroom & Asparagus Quiche from Taste of Home

15 Must-Try Recipes for Springtime // www.beetandbaguette.com

3. Broccoli Parmesan Fritters from Smitten Kitchen

15 Must-Try Recipes for Springtime // www.beetandbaguette.com

4. Szechuan Shrimp Po’ Boys with Wasabi Coleslaw from Dash of East

15 Must-Try Recipes for Springtime // www.beetandbaguette.com

5. Strawberry Salad with Lemon Roasted Chickpeas from Edible Perspective

15 Must-Try Recipes for Springtime // www.beetandbaguette.com

6. Mexican Corn Salad from Bon Appétit

15 Must-Try Recipes for Springtime // www.beetandbaguette.com

7. Pesto Pasta with Asparagus from Damn Delicious

15 Must-Try Recipes for Springtime // www.beetandbaguette.com

8. Baked Lemon Salmon with Creamy Dill Sauce from Cooking Classy

15 Must-Try Recipes for Springtime // www.beetandbaguette.com

9. Roasted Asparagus Toasts with Poached Eggs from How Sweet It Is

15 Must-Try Recipes for Springtime // www.beetandbaguette.com

10. Butternut Squash, Crispy Kale, & Fontina Pizza from Half Baked Harvest

15 Must-Try Recipes for Springtime // www.beetandbaguette.com

11. Broiled Salmon Gyros with Cucumber Feta Yogurt Dip from Damn Delicious

15 Must-Try Recipes for Springtime // www.beetandbaguette.com

12. Pasta Salad with Peas & Pesto from Serious Eats

15 Must-Try Recipes for Springtime // www.beetandbaguette.com

13. Goat Cheese & Tomato Tart from Chocolate Shavings

15 Must-Try Recipes for Springtime // www.beetandbaguette.com

14. Pasta with Garlicky Broccoli Rabe from Smitten Kitchen

15 Must-Try Recipes for Springtime // www.beetandbaguette.com

15. Seared Ahi Tuna with Chimichurri Sauce from Kitchen Confidante

15 Must-Try Recipes for Springtime // www.beetandbaguette.com

And a little bonus recipe that looks particularly enticing…

16. Strawberry Basil Margaritas from The Kitchn

15 Must-Try Recipes for Springtime // www.beetandbaguette.com

Cheers!

xo Cassie

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