Posts Tagged ‘fall’

#Betterbreakfastmonth Round Two: The Vegan Cranberry Orange Breakfast Loaf

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

 

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Fall is upon us! Well sort of- I want to believe it’s fall, but it’s still 100+ degrees here in Southern California so I’m fabricating fall smells in my kitchen while I pretend to be back on the East Coast with all its cool weather and changing leaves.

There’s something about fall that always inspires me to spend more time in the kitchen. I think it brings back a lot of nostalgic feelings surrounding my Mom, and my parents’ home back on the East Coast. I remember being young and having zero interest in learning to cook, but there was something magical about watching my mom in the kitchen. Some might call it observing her in her element, but knowing what I know now- it was more than that. My Mother is an amazing cook and baker, and spent most of my younger years cooking for an entire neighborhood (you laugh, but there were at least 15 extra kids at my house every night). Baking for my Mom was her way of showing those around her she loved and cared for them, and that act of service is something that has always stuck with me. Now don’t get me wrong- she cooked her butt off year round, but fall was really when she pulled out the big guns. Every day after school my friends would express their jealousy at the delicious smell of home baked cookies wafting from our little apartment (I’m talking oatmeal cookies, chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies…this is just one afternoon y’all). People would randomly drop by during that time, as it was pretty well known in the area that if you came by Janie’s house you were leaving with a huge bag of baked goods, a hug, and likely some extra groceries to tie you over until payday (yea my Mom and Dad are the bee’s knees). So when I started putting together a recipe for this week I thought about a breakfast dish that you could easily share with loved ones, or co-workers, or friends that was comforting but still healthy. I decided I would borrow an old fall favorite, Vegan Cranberry Orange Loaf from Jennifer at the NeuroticMommy blog. She took out the eggs, the processed sugar, and milk, really knocking the calorie count down (and made it more restrictive diet friendly (I’m looking at my fellow lactose intolerant friends!) The recipe is incredibly simple and easy to share! I encourage you readers to whip up your own breakfast loaf and share it with the people you love, and in this case I got to share it with my super sweet co-workers!

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I whipped up this super tasty recipe using Pacific Merchants’ French wood utensils, which are fabulous not just because each utensil is unique (each utensil is hand crafted and therefore each one is like a little snowflake), but since they are made of wood you don’t get any plastic-y taste from the kitchenware. Plus since we have numerous cancer survivors in my family, we don’t have to worry about any plastic based carcinogens that may contaminate the food. I’ve plated the loaf on Pacific Merchants’ responsibly forested 16” x 7” acacia serving tray (so my wonderful coworkers don’t have to fight to get a “slice” of the action), and decorated our table with the Red Tone Fall Deco Parchment leaves so my co-worker’s get the full Fall experience (they may think I’m slightly insane in this 100 degree weather, but oh well- haha!)

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Vegan Cranberry Orange Breakfast Loaf
(Many thank yous to www.neuroticmommy.com)

Ingredients
1 ½ cups cake flour or GF whole wheat flour
1 tsp of Baking Powder
1 cup of organic sugar or ¾ cup of honey (Grade B)  (if you use the honey decrease the liquid in the recipe by 3 tbsp)
Zest of ½ an orange
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
¾ cup unsweetened Almond Milk (or any nut milk)
½ cup organic safflower oil
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup fresh cranberries

Orange Glaze (optional)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp orange juice

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly spray standard loaf pan with coconut oil or nonstick cooking spray
2. In a large bowl sift together dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and orange zest. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together all wet ingredients, almond milk, safflower oil, applesauce, orange juice, and vanilla extract.
4. Slowly mix in wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir until just combined then fold in the fresh cranberries.
5.  Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes. The original recipe calls for 70-75 minutes but because of the ingredient switches, the time varies. Mine loaves were done at an hour and 20 minutes. 6. At the hour mark, just keep an eye on it from there. If you want to keep it in longer but don’t want the top to brown too much, lower the heat and keep it in longer. And of course do the whole tooth pick inserted check.Once done remove from oven and let cool in pan 15 minutes. After that transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before icing (if using).
7. Make the glaze by whisking both juice and sugar together until completely smooth and no sugar clumps are left.
8. Drizzle that yumminess like crazy on top of your loaf cake. Cut, serve and Enjoy!


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Labor Day Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

Friday, September 2nd, 2016


Summer is finally coming to a close this weekend, which is no surprise for anyone- what with grocery stores and coffee shops already pushing pumpkin – flavored everything in our faces. But before we jump onto the ‘I heart fall’ bandwagon, let’s pump the breaks and get you ready for your Labor Day BBQ.

Labor Day is actually one of the best holidays in the US if for nothing else than the country takes a single day to honor all of its hard workers. The idea being that we are supposed to take the holiday and treat ourselves to some relaxation and fun, whether it is extra family time or a cookout (or heck a mid-day nap!). Now if there’s anything we love at Pacific Merchants it’s a good BBQ, and if there is anything we love more than that it would likely be guilt free snacking. BBQ fare is notorious for junk-food items and over-indulgence, but it doesn’t have to be! You can still over-indulge (now sans guilt) with this Vegan Gluten-Free Spinach Artichoke dip. Not only is it creamy and delicious, but a normal order of spinach artichoke dip comes in at a whopping 1,600 calories per order – whereas its vegan counterpart clocks in at roughly 83 calories per cup (WHICH IS A LOT OF DANG DIP FOR UNDER 100 calories). Plus (and this is from experience here) if you don’t tell anyone it’s vegan…NO ONE WILL KNOW- Which is especially helpful if you come from a family like mine, who thinks the word vegan is a synonym for bland.

Now aside from the fact that this recipe is incredibly healthy, it’s also super easy to make! And if you’ve been vegan for long you know how rare it is for those two things to go together. So here we go.

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Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

Ingredients:

1 Jar marinated artichoke hearts
3 cups of frozen chopped spinach (you’re welcome to use fresh)
1 cup frozen chopped onions
1 brick of Jalapeño Havarti Almond Cheese
1 brick of Soy Mozzarella
1 cup Almond milk
2 tsp of Olive Oil (or coconut)
1 tsp of garlic powder
Salt & pepper to taste
Assorted Veggies & multigrain whole wheat pita chips (for dipping)

Method

– Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
– Prep a medium sized casserole dish (I spray mine with coconut oil for easy cleanup)
– Cube the 2 bricks of cheese and set in a large bowl
– Dice the artichoke hearts and set in the same bowl as the cheese
– Pour in the spinach and onions
– Add spices and oil to the bowl (I also toss in about 2 tsp of whatever the artichoke hearts were marinating in)
– Toss all ingredients together to mix everything up
– Pour bowl continents into your casserole dish
– Pour the cup of almond milk over the spread evenly (can add more later if you feel like your dip is too thick)
– Set casserole dish in the oven, cook for ten minutes, stir dip, and then cook for another ten minutes (so 20 min total). This is also the point to add more milk to the mixture if you want a runnier consistency.
– Once fully cooked, you can brown the top of the dip by switching the oven to broil for 2-3 minutes. Be sure to check on it frequently so it doesn’t burn (it browns up super quick!)
-Let cool for 5 minutes, and then plate the dip in your beautiful acacia 7 part flower tray from Pacific Merchants! I chose to use an assortment of veggies and whole grain pita for dipping (to keep this dish as healthy as possible). However, I will occasionally serve this with a nice bread (whole wheat challah or sourdough is my favorite).

Get your own Pacific Merchants Acaciaware serving tray here.

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Fall Table Photography Contest – 2015 Edition

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015
pmtcFallTable
Dear Followers,

Autumn is upon us once again, and to celebrate a beautiful  fall season, and our love for bringing people together at the table we’re hosting our  #pmtcFallTable contest once more this year for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate to our store. Here’s how to enter:

1. Visit any of our social networks (links in header) and #regram the Pacific Merchants fall table photo pictured above.

2. Tag @pacificmerchant in the photo.

3. Want a better chance at winning? Hashtag all your fall food and table photos with #pmtcFallTable to earn an extra contest entry.

It’s time to get creative with your fall food and table photography! We can’t wait to see what you come up with. Contest runs November 10th through November 26th 2015. We’ll #regram our favorites, and announce a winner November 27th. Winner will be chosen at random.
Let the #pmtcFallTable games begin!

Sweaters, pie, and pumpkin spice lattes,
Team PMTC

*Fall Table Contest valid for retail customers only. Contest closes November 26th 2015 11:59PM. Please note that any entries submitted through a private social media account will not be seen by us, and thus will not count as an entry.

Fall Table and Fall Food Photography Contest

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014
pmtcFallTable
Dear Fans,

We are SO excited that autumn is here! To celebrate YOU, the fall season, and our love for bringing people together at the table we’re hosting a #pmtcFallTable contest for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate to our store. Here’s how to enter:

1. Visit any of our social networks (links in header) and #regram the Pacific Merchants fall table photo pictured above.

2. Tag @pacificmerchant in the photo.

3. Want a better chance at winning? Hashtag all your fall food and table photos with #pmtcFallTable to earn an extra contest entry.

It’s time to get creative with your fall food and table photography! We can’t wait to see what you come up with. Contest runs October 1st through October 16th 2014. We’ll #regram our favorites, and announce a winner October 17th. Winner will be chosen at random.
Also, October 1st through the 16th, eat up our super sale prices with 20% off retail purchases on our Acacia Hardwood Plates and our Place Mat collection. Coupon Code FallTable at checkout.
Let the #pmtcFallTable games begin!

Sweaters, pie, and pumpkin spice lattes,
Team PMTC

*Both Fall Table Contest and sale valid for retail customers only. Customers may not combine sale with other offers. Contest closes October 16th 2014 11:59PM. Please note that any entries submitted through a private social media account will not be seen by us, and thus will not count as an entry.

Festive Fall Kilner Jar Cookies – Cookie Mix in a Jar

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Fall Kilner Jars

Need a hostess/host gift going into the fall holidays?  I’ve been making and gifting a lot of these awesome “cookie kilner jars” this autumn. They’re super easy to make, and consistently receive a great response.  Plus, the clip top jar perfectly stores the cookies after they’re baked, or leftovers this Thanksgiving.  Thanks to Very Best Baking for their recipe.  We substituted dried cranberries for nuts, although you can totally customize your cookies however you’d like.  Perfect fall flavors with Turkey Day in mind.

What you’ll need:

(1) 1 Liter Kilner Round Clip Top Jar (You can also use the 1 Liter Preserve Jar)

-2/3 cup all-purpose flour

-1/2 teaspoon baking soda

-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

-1/4 teaspoon salt

-1/3 cup packed brown sugar (Add a little more for added chewiness)

-1/3 cup granulated sugar

-3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or butterscotch chips (or go half and half!)

-1 1/2 cups quick or old-fashioned oats

-1/2-3/4 cup dried cranberries (can put more or less to taste)

Get started:

Round Kilner Clip Top Jar 1 Liter

1. Clean your jar! We always recommend making sure your jar is clean before storing any food in jars.

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2. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in the Kilner Jar, and whisk until thoroughly blended.  Lightly tap jar on counter or with hands to create a more even layer after each ingredient.

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Kilner Jar Kitchen Storage

3. Layer remaining ingredients, making sure each layer is firmly packed in the jar.

Kilner Jar Cookies

4. Seal, wrap, and include a recipe card (online recipe card download Via Cottage-Industrialist)!  It’s important to tell your recipient what to do with the cookie mix you just gave them…I’ve forgotten before, and it’s a sad situation. No cookies, no fun.

Recipe Card Kilner Jar Cookies

It’s super easy to make these jars look amazing.  Tie a bow around the top of the jar, add the recipe card, or seal with decorative paper.

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Oatmeal Craisin Kilner Jar Cookie

Thanksgiving DIY Kilner Jars

Enjoy!  Share your experiences with this project in the comments below.

Celebrating National Pizza Month – How to Make Pizza Dough

Friday, October 4th, 2013

indexgaegOctober is National Pizza Month!  If you’re anything like us, you don’t really need an excuse to grab a slice, but having a whole month to celebrate one of the most delicious foods in the world is a great reason to get in the kitchen, roll up our sleeves and make pizza from scratch!index6at

While there are a lot of components to homemade pizza, it’s actually pretty easy to make.  We start with a simple dough recipe, featured below, add on our favorite sauce, whatever toppings we happen to have on hand, some great cheese, and we’re good to go. The hardest part is making the dough, but with a little planning, even that comes together easily. Ready to learn how to make pizza dough? Let’s go.

Here’s our favorite dough recipe. It makes enough for one small, thin crust pizza for 2 – the perfect size to bake on our Mason Cash Baking stone.  If you’re making more pizzas, or like a thicker crust, go ahead and double or even triple the recipe.  Another nice thing about this recipe is that it only uses one bowl, so you’ll have fewer dishes to do later!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flourmyo_Pizzaalt1
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon active dry yeast – This is about half a packet
  • ½ cup lukewarm water. You may need a tiny bit more
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, including the yeast. Stir in the olive oil and water with a wooden spoon or spatula, trying to get the mixture as combined as possible. I love using a Mason Cash Mixing Bowl for this recipe (and all bread-dough recipes, really) since the bowls are roomy enough to knead in and glazed to make cleanup easy.

Knead the dough right in the bowl until it is completely combined and uniform, then knead an additional two minutes.

Lightly oil the bowl, cover it in plastic wrap, a damp towel, or your baking stone, and let the dough sit in a warm place for an hour or two, until doubled in size.  If you want to make this the morning before, let the dough double in the refrigerator instead of in a warm place. Heat just speeds things up.

unnamedOnce the mixture is doubled in size, gently press the air out of the dough with the palms of your hands. Shape the dough into a ball and let it sit, covered for 10-20 more minutes (the perfect time to slice any veggies you’ll want as a topping!)

Sprinkle your baking stone or a baking sheet (it’ll work, but the crust won’t get as crisp) with cornmeal, put it in the oven, and heat your oven as high as it will go. Mine tops out at about 525 degrees.  Roll out the pizza on a floured countertop, making sure it doesn’t stick to the counter.

Top your pizza with your favorite toppings. If you’re using a lot of toppings, make sure they’re sliced very thinly. Meats should be pre-cooked, but vegetables can normally be put on your pizza raw.

Using a large spatula, the back of a cookie sheet or a pizza peel, gently transfer your pizza to the hot baking stone.  Bake for 10 minutes, or until slightly blistered and very melt-y. 16546_1_zpsd5a1b5e1

If you’re worried about transferring your pizza from the hot counter to a hot baking stone, go ahead and shape your pizza right on your stone, and put the whole thing in the oven. The crust won’t get quite as crisp at the bottom, but you’ll still have an incredible homemade pizza.

We hope you have a fantastic time celebrating National Pizza Month, and we really hope that you take the time to make pizza from scratch. It’s a lot of fun, the pizza is outstanding, and it’s something the whole family can do together!


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