Category Archives:Food & Drink

What’s for Dessert? Peach Cobbler with Cornmeal Biscuits

Today, we bring you part three of our collaboration series with food stylist, Mary Valentinfood10 food12Peach Cobbler with Cornmeal Biscuits

With all the apple recipes this time of year, we chose this gluten free, hearty peach cobbler dessert as a delicious alternative! For the crust of the cobbler, we used a recipe from the latest, most up-to date book on gluten free baking.food11

Ingredients:
1 cup cornmeal 
1 cup gluten free flour blend
1/3 cup sugar
about 3 tablespoons sugar (separate)
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ¼ inch pieces
¾ cup buttermilk, chilled (yes, it has to be buttermilk)
4# ripe but firm peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into ½  inch slices
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of cinnamon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch

Instructions:

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Adjust oven rack to center of oven and preheat oven to 375°.  Pulse cornmeal, flour blend, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, baking soda and ½ teaspoon of salt together in food processor until combined.  Scatter chilled butter over the top and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.  It will have a few larger lumps.
  • Transfer mixture to a large bowl, add buttermilk and stir with a fork until dough gathers into moist clumps.  Using a greased ¼ cup measured scoop, scoop out and drop 8 mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, spaced about an inch apart. Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon (or more, if you like) of sugar and bake until biscuits are lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Combine peaches, 1/3 cup of sugar, ginger, cinnamon and pinch of salt together in Dutch oven, or large cast iron skillet.  Cover and cook over medium-low heat until peaches have softened and released their juices, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Wisk lemon juice and cornstarch together in a bowl, then stir into peaches and continue to cook, uncovered, until liquid has thickened, 2 to 5 more minutes.  Season with extra sugar to taste.  
  • To serve, arrange biscuits on top of peach mixture and bake until heated through 3 to 5 minutes.  Serve immediately with some melty ice cream.

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Peach cobbler recipe by Mary Valentin.
Photography and  styling by Heather Day.

Read full feature and interview of Mary Valentin here.

Homemade Donuts with Amanda Frederickson

Homemade Donuts | Taupe & BirchLast month, I visited Amanda Frederickson for a fun afternoon in the kitchen. We were calling it a collaboration but let’s be honest – Amanda made everything while I took some photos and sampled the frosting.

I got to know Amanda through the lifestyle blog, Sacramento Street and through Instagram. She’s a professional chef for the Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen and a food stylist for her personal blog, A life Well Lived.

Homemade Donuts | Taupe & Birch

You can find the full recipe for the donuts on Epicurious.

Vanilla Glaze:

  1. 2 cups of powdered sugar
  2. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  3. 3 Tbs water

Combine sugar, vanilla extract and water. Stir well and dip donuts into glaze.

Homemade Donuts | Taupe & Birch
Homemade Donuts | Taupe & Birch
Homemade Donuts | Taupe & BirchHomemade Donuts | Taupe & BirchHomemade Donuts | Taupe & Birch
Donuts by Amanda Frederickson | Photos By Heather Day for Taupe & Birch.

Made By Hand : Tree Fort Soda

A few months ago I went to the Harvest Beer Festival put on by Minneapolis St. Paul magazine. After trying dozens of local craft brews, I spotted Verdant Tea. Surprised to see them there, I went over to sample some of their new Kombucha flavors. They were also sampling Tree Fort Soda. This is where I first discovered these delicious botanical sodas hand crafted by 18 year old Eva Duckler. We got the details on the Tree Fort Soda from Eva herself.

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When did you start hand crafting your own sodas and what was your motivation? I began exploring the unusually vast world of craft sodas from a very young age. I grew up tasting all of the weirdest brands I could get my hands on—I have collections of inked-scrawled napkins from notes I’d take on flavor profiles of soda as a geeky middle schooler. Just as I’d watch adults around me swirl a glass of fine scotch and note the robust flavor, I’d be fascinated by the amber glow and full-bodied taste of delicious root beer. Because I had created my very own personal cultish devotion to flavor and the quest for the perfect soda, brewing my own seemed nearly sacrilegious.

Fast forward several years and I am working at Verdant Tea, a Minneapolis based tea house and tasting room. At Verdant, the experience is based entirely on the senses; they encourage exploration in all sorts of realms; from tea to chai I got to immerse myself in the brewing world. l was asked to help out with drink specials and began making small batches of herbal syrups for making hot steamers and sodas. They already had a tap system for kombucha at the teahouse so I decided to take a crack at an herbal drink to have on tap. People really loved the sodas I was making and as a culminating end of high school project I decided to make a business out of it. I graduated and decided to take a year off before heading off college to pursue the business further because I was having so much fun with it.  

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How much experimentation did you do to get the flavors you were looking for in each soda? The root beer took a lot of time—months of perceived failures. I probably went through 60 batches to even get it to where I wanted to share it with others. I had to learn a lot about beer brewing because there are so many parallels between the worlds and I needed to learn how kegging and bottling works. Once I got the hang of the brewing process and all of the equipment involved, I found it a lot easier to develop the ginger ale. If you are using fresh ingredients and real cane sugar you don’t have to work really hard to get it to taste good.

My favorite is the root beer. It’s so good and really different from traditional root beers. What in your opinion sets yours apart? The root beer is very different from what people expect of it. Because it brewed with real botanicals people are often surprised by how herbaceous the flavor is. I like it because it is a nod to what root beer was before America became obsessed with synthetically produced flavors and concocting products out a lab. The flavors of our root beer come from the rich history of using the drink as a medicinal tonic, or later as an alternative to alcohol during prohibition.

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How did the name Tree Fort come about? I was looking for something that inspired nostalgia but also incorporated a sense for the botanical qualities of the sodas. I grew up playing in a tree fort and I imagine many others had a similar place of imagination and childhood wonders growing up.  

Where can we find Tree Fort sodas? Currently it is available on tap at Verdant, East Lake Brewery, Lakewinds Co-ops, and in bottles at Seward Co-op, Linden Hills Co-op, and Caffetto. The Kowalski’s markets will be carrying it in bottles and on tap at select locations as well.

What does the future look like for Tree Fort? I’m working on building out a fully equipped brewery in Minneapolis. We are currently in the middle of demoing the space to prepare for some much larger tanks and other fun brewery equipment. This will allow us to get a lot more product out there and share it with more people. I plan on putting my heart into getting the operations side of things to a self-sustained state with the help of a great team by next fall when I will be leaving to attend Wellesley college. While I’m away I’ll be involved in the administrative and business side of things. 

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The owners of Verdant have invested in this new space as well and the current Verdant will be under new ownership. The new teahouse, taproom and shop will be located at 2009 E. 24th Street coming early 2015.

Interview by Sara Chars | Photos supplied by Tree Fort Soda

Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto with Arugula and Sage Brown Butter

We are thrilled to share yet another recipe from Nabila at Spirit PlateThis is a fancy dish with multiple steps. It requires some patience but the result is SO well worth the wait. It’s deeply rich with layered flavors that bring to mind sitting on a trattoria patio in Italy with a glass of wine and great conversation. The trick is to let each portion of liquid be completely absorbed by the risotto rice before adding the next portion to slowly coax out the starches and get a nice, creamy result.

Spirit Plate | Taupe & Birch
Spirit Plate | Taupe & Birch

Part I: Make the Butternut Squash Puree

  • 3/4 lb washed, peeled, and cubed butternut squash
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 large fresh sage leaves
  • 2 tbsp butter (regular or vegan)
  • 3/4 cup stock (approx.)
  • sea salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 475F. Melt butter (I used Earth Balance) over medium heat in a small pot. Add squash with sage leaves, garlic, and vegetable stock. Season liberally with sea salt and simmer until squash is fork tender. Remove sage leaves and blend mixture until completely smooth. Pour back into pot, keeping warm until ready to use.

Part II: Roast the Butternut Squash

  • 1/2 lb washed and peeled butternut squash
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt, to taste

Cut squash into 1/2″ cubes. Toss with olive oil and salt to taste. Place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast in the oven for approximately 5 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Once done, remove from the tray and set aside.

Part III: Fry Sage Leaves

  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil (or other high-heat oil)
  • 1/4 cup fresh, clean and dry sage leaves

Heat oil in small frying pan over medium high heat. Lower sage leaves with a slotted spoon into the hot oil for 5-10 seconds until they all turn an even brown color. Remove leaves with the slotted spoon and dry on a paper towel.

Part IV: Make the Sage Brown Butter

  • 1/2 cup butter (Earth Balance)
  • 10-15 fresh, clean and dry sage leaves

Melt 1/2 cup of butter in a clean sauce pan over medium heat. Brown the butter to an even rich golden color, stirring frequently. Add 10-15 fresh, clean and dried sage leaves to the butter and remove from heat immediately. Once butter has cooled (but is still liquid) remove sage leaves and strain into a bowl and set aside.

Part V: Make the Risotto

  • 2 1/2 cups stock
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 cup onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup arborio risotto rice
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine or vermouth
  • 2 cups of butternut squash puree (see above)
  • 1-2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups arugula
  • roasted butternut squash (see above)
  • sage brown butter (see above)
  • fried sage leaves (see above)

Place stock and water into a large pot. Bring to boil and then turn down heat to keep liquid at a light simmer. In a separate large heavy bottom pot heat oil over medium-low heat. Add onions and pinch of salt and let sweat until translucent, 10-15 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of stock liquid to soften onions. Let the liquid evaporate completely. Turn the heat up to medium high and add all the rice. Toast the rice for a few minutes until the edges of the grains are translucent. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the wine to deglaze. Stir the rice until the wine evaporates. Add one cup of the hot stock liquid. Stir often to coax the starches out of the rice. Once absorbed, add the warm butternut squash puree and continue to stir. Once the puree thickens and reduces, go back to adding the hot cooking liquid. Add the next cup of liquid only when the last cup has been absorbed by the rice. Stir frequently. During the cooking process, make sure to adjust the heat so the liquid is always gently boiling. Continue to add liquid and cook the risotto until it reaches the al dente stage or cook to your liking (I prefer more tender grains). Once done, stir in the butter and turn off the heat. Fold in the roasted squash cubes and arugula. Cover and let rest 2 minutes. Just before serving, add a bit of hot liquid to loosen the consistency, if necessary. Plate on warmed dishes. Top with fried sage leaves and a drizzle of warm sage brown butter. Serve immediately.

Note: Extra squash puree can be frozen for up to 3 months. Extra sage brown butter can be refrigerated in airtight container for a few weeks. Spirit Plate | Taupe & Birch

Photos and Recipe by Spirit Plate.

Fig, Hazelnut and Chia Yogurt bowl

Food | Taupe & BirchFig, hazelnut and chia yogurt bowl
Serves 1

Ingredients

1 tsp ghee or butter
4 small figs, halved lengthways
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp honey
Sprinkle of cinnamon
1 cup (280g) plain full fat or Greek yogurt
Small handful of hazelnuts, halved
1/4 tsp chia seeds

Instructions

Heat ghee in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the figs, water, honey and sprinkle with cinnamon. Stir and allow to gently cook for 2 minutes, or until figs have softened a little. Remove from heat and set aside.

Place yogurt in a bowl. Top with the fig mixture, along with the juice. Scatter with hazelnuts and chia seeds.

Recipe by The Grounded Kitchen.

The Perfect Hot Toddy

Today was the first day I noticed a significant temperature drop and a cool breeze drafting through the open windows as I slipped on cozy sweats early this morning. I decided to make something using the oven to warm me up a bit and thought homemade granola would do the trick. As I was waiting on the granola, I made some tea. This got me thinking about great warm fall drinks and the first one that came to mind was The Hot Toddy, commonly used to treat onsetting colds but equally as good when you’re healthy! This recipe was found on Blue Apron which adds their personal touch of cinnamon sticks, Earl Grey tea, and apple cider.Hot-Toddy2 Hot Toddy

We like a nice bourbon in our hot toddies, but you can easily work with any whisky or brandy you have on hand. Be sure to take these off the stove as soon as they’re warmed to your liking; if you keep simmering the drink, the alcohol will begin to cook off.

INGREDIENTS : Serves 4

  • 8 ounces whisky, bourbon, or brandy
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 2 lemons
  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 4 earl grey tea bags
  • 4 cinnamon sticks

DIRECTIONS In a small pan over medium-low heat, heat the cider, cinnamon, honey, and whisky until hot, stirring to dissolve the honey. Remove from the heat, add the tea bags, and allow the drink to steep for 2 minutes. Remove the tea bags and squeeze in the juice of half a lemon. Pour into four glass mugs. Garnish with the cinnamon sticks and some lemon slices cut into half moons. Enjoy!

Content selected by Sara Chars.

FALL CORNBREAD PANZANELLA SALAD

Taupe & Birch: FALL CORNBREAD PANZANELLA SALAD WITH MAPLE-MUSTARD VINAIGRETTEFall Panzanella Salad with Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette
Serves 2-4
Prep time: 15 min
Cook Time: 60 min

Cornbread
½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons maple syrup
¼ cup walnut oil or melted butter
½ cup milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh minced rosemary

Roasted Veggies
1 small sweet potato
1½ cups quartered Brussels Sprouts
½ medium red onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Salad 
2-3 cups fresh spinach
1 ounce blue cheese

Dressing
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon brown mustard
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚ and lightly grease an 8×8 pan.
  2. Combine pastry flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and sea salt in a bowl, stir to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, maple syrup, walnut oil, and milk. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until batter is combined. Pour into prepared pan and bake until golden and springs back when pressed, 25-30 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  3. Once cornbread has cooled, carefully cut cornbread into ½” cubes and place 2 cups of the cubed cornbread into a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and rosemary, tossing until cornbread is covered. Place on a baking tray and return to oven. Bake for 13-15 minutes until cornbread is firm and toasted, stirring halfway through.
  4. To roast vegetables, peel and cut sweet potatoes into ½” cubes. Toss with quartered Brussels Sprouts, onion, 1 tablespoon oil, salt, and pepper. Place in the oven and roast until vegetables are tender and browning, 40-50 minutes.
  5. While everything bakes, combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, and maple syrup in a jar with a lid. Shake well until dressing is combined.
  6. To serve, combine roasted vegetables, toasted cornbread, spinach, and blue cheese in a large bowl. Drizzle dressing on top and toss until everything is well coated.

Recipe and photography by Naturally Ella.

Happy Hour: Roasted Peach Bourbon Cocktail

Happy Hour : Taupe & Birch

Ingredients

  • 1 small peach, cut in half and pit removed
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 ounces bourbon (I used Maker’s Mark 46)
  • 2 ounces simple syrup
  • club soda or ginger ale for serving
  • fresh peach slices for serving
  • fresh thyme sprigs for serving

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place peach halves cut side up in a glass baking dish (I used a glass loaf pan, but any small baking dish will work). Drizzle peaches with honey and sprinkle with thyme leaves. Pour 2 Tablespoons of water in the bottom of the dish. Cover with foil and roast for 30 minutes. Allow peaches to cool. Remove and discard skin, but reserve peaches and any juice at the bottom of the dish.

Place roasted peaches and any juices from the roasting dish in the bottom of a cocktail shaker and muddle with a cocktail muddler or the back of a wooden spoon. Add bourbon, simple syrup and ice. Replace lid and shake until chilled. Place two large ice cubes in two high ball glasses. Strain cocktail through lid into a small mesh sieve to ‘double strain’ the cocktails into the highball glasses. Top off the glasses with club soda or ginger ale. Garnish cocktails with fresh peach slices and thyme sprigs. Serve and Enjoy!

Recipe and Photo by Jelly Toast Blog

What’s for Dessert? Peach Cobbler with Gluten-Free Cornmeal Biscuits

Today, we bring you part three of our collaboration series with food stylist, Mary Valentin

Peach Cobbler: Taupe & BirchPeach Cobbler: Taupe & Birch

Peach Cobbler with Cornmeal Biscuits

We chose this recipe because we wanted a gluten free, summer dessert and the peaches at the market were looking good. For the crust of the cobbler, we decided to use a recipe from the latest, most up-to date book on gluten free baking.  

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Ingredients:
1 cup cornmeal 
1 cup gluten free flour blend
1/3 cup sugar
about 3 tablespoons sugar (separate)
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ¼ inch pieces
¾ cup buttermilk, chilled (yes, it has to be buttermilk)
4# ripe but firm peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into ½  inch slices
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of cinnamon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch

Instructions:

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Adjust oven rack to center of oven and preheat oven to 375°.  Pulse cornmeal, flour blend, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, baking soda and ½ teaspoon of salt together in food processor until combined.  Scatter chilled butter over the top and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.  It will have a few larger lumps.
  • Transfer mixture to a large bowl, add buttermilk and stir with a fork until dough gathers into moist clumps.  Using a greased ¼ cup measured scoop, scoop out and drop 8 mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, spaced about an inch apart. Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon (or more, if you like) of sugar and bake until biscuits are lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Combine peaches, 1/3 cup of sugar, ginger, cinnamon and pinch of salt together in Dutch oven, or large cast iron skillet.  Cover and cook over medium-low heat until peaches have softened and released their juices, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Wisk lemon juice and cornstarch together in a bowl, then stir into peaches and continue to cook, uncovered, until liquid has thickened, 2 to 5 more minutes.  Season with extra sugar to taste.  

To serve, arrange biscuits on top of peach mixture and bake until heated through 3 to 5 minutes.  Serve immediately with some melty ice cream.

food8Peach Cobbler: Taupe & Birch

Peach cobbler recipe by Mary Valentin.
Photography and styling by Heather Day. 
Special thanks to our talented assistants Sara Mitchell and Courtney Day! 

Read full feature and interview of Mary Valentin, here.

Beet, Arugula & Goat Cheese Grilled Cheese

Beets are in season and one of those underrepresented foods that can really make a lot of tasty recipes and even be substituted for meat. I went to the MN food truck fair this past weekend and tried the beet sliders from The Moral Omnivore which were mouth-watering. When looking for other beet recipes, I found this beet, arugula & goat cheese grilled cheese on BS’ in the Kitchen. One thing consistent about both of these delectable beet recipes is that they were paired with cheese. I think smoked gouda or goat cheese are most complimentary.

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Beet, Arugula & Goat Cheese Grilled Cheese

  • 1-2 Beets
  • Olive Oil
  • Arugula
  • Goat Cheese
  • Butter
  • French Bread
  • 1/2 ounce sherry (optional)
  • Salt

Start off by roasting the beets. Skin them with a paring knife, slice them evenly, toss them in some olive oil and salt, then bake on 375°F for 20-30 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Once the beets have cooked to your desired tenderness (poke them with a fork or taste a few slices), take them out of the oven and in a pan on medium-high heat, quickly fry them with about a ½ ounce of sherry wine or balsamic vinegar, cooking until evaporated.

Finish frying the beets, slice up your bread, butter each side, lay down some arugula, a little bit of goat cheese, then your beets and some more goat cheese, and slap it together. Fry the sandwich in a pan on medium heat until each side is golden brown, then sliced it in half and enjoy!

Recipe and photo by Bob of BS’ in the Kitchen.

 Post by Sara Chars.