this week in my kitchen

I’m linking up for another fun week of peeking in each other’s kitchens! You can check out the rest of the great blog hop over at Beauty That Moves.

kitchen (4):: thanks to the generosity of a very sweet friend, I recently had the privilege to join in Heather’s summer soul camp. It was delightful! And a bit of a pickle love fest, so I just had to make some refrigerator pickles on my own!::

kitchen (5):: salmon patties ::

kitchen (2):: nothing says summer like lemons! ::

kitchen (3):: fresh squeezed honey-sweetened lemonade with mint from the garden ::

kitchen:: sweet potato mac-n-cheese ::

blog (1):: beans ready for the freezer. Making up big batches of beans and then freezing has made cooking with dried beans so easy… just wish we had a larger freezer! ::

blog:: peach, basil, and fresh mozzarella pizza ::

kitchen (6):: birthday breakfast yogurt parfaits for little N’s third birthday! ::

kitchen (7):: victoria sponge for the birthday boy ::

kitchen (1):: favorite summer breakfast: berry smoothie and avocado toast ::

kitchen (9):: and the birthday celebrations continue! ny cheesecake with lemon blueberry compote, three celebrations for a three year old… it blesses this mama’s heart to have so many love little N so well! ::

This summer has been flying by and we have been drinking deeply of all the season has to offer. Long, leisurely mornings at the park, walks along the river, sweet birthday celebrations, picnics in the back green, visits to the zoo and spontaneous overnight trips to country cottages. It has been a wonderful few weeks filled with much laughter, sunlight and time outside. I love these long, light-filled days and while I am starting to feel myself look towards the cooler days of autumn and the more regular rhythm that will come with the changing seasons, I’m happy to linger a bit longer in the care-free days of summer. It makes me feel like a kid again.

this week in my kitchen: black bottom banana cream pie

I’m linking up for another fun week of peeking in each other’s kitchens! You can check out the rest of the great blog hop over at Beauty That Moves.

 

sparrowhopes.com:: first peach of the summer! loving all the wonderful fruit this season has to offer ::

 

sparrowhopes.com:: That little blue pan was part of a set from my sweet mama, given to me freshman year of college after she saved up the little stamps from our local grocery to earn the full batch. The others are now long gone, but this little pot has moved back and forth North America several times, and has now made its way to Scotland. Who would have imagined the journey it has taken (let alone my own!) and the countless dishes it has helped prepare over the past 15 years? Thanks Mom! ::

sparrowhopes.com:: Easy weeknight supper after a long day ::

sparrowhopes.com:: love a good back-yard picnic ::

smoothie time - sparrowhopes.com:: I’ve been on the hunt for a blender for a couple of years now. When the budget is tight and counter-space at a premium, new appliances are not added lightly. But, when this guy popped up on the classifieds for £5 this week we couldn’t resist. Little N and I christened it today with blueberry-banana-grape smoothies. Mmm. ::

grill out - sparrowhopes.com:: grilled corn is the best! ::

saturday (nine hour) artisan bread - sparrowhopes.com:: More fun with artisan breads. I got a couple of bannetons… see the spirals? They make the bread so pretty ::

black bottom banana cream pie - sparrowhopes.com:: ah-ha. see? I told you there was banana cream pie. My dear in-laws headed back to Seattle this week, but before they left we had to have a little pie to celebrate their visit. What is it about this pie that is so homey and comforting, yet feels special and festive at the same time? Thought I’d share my version of this classic with you all… enjoy! ::

Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie

(adapted heavily from Allrecipes)

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 2 c crushed digestive biscuits (could use graham crackers)
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil

Chocolate ganache:

  • 1/2 c chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c heavy cream

Vanilla pudding:

  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 3-4 ripe bananas
  • Milk chocolate bar, for shaving garnish, if desired

Whipped topping:

  • 1 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 2-3 tbsp icing sugar

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, grind the digestives until they resemble sand. And the coconut oil and process until well mixed.
  2. Press crust into pie plate, place in freezer to firm up while preparing the ganache.
  3. Combine chocolate chips and cream in microwave safe bowl. Heat in 30 second increments, stirring well after each 30 seconds. Take care not to scorch chocolate or cream. This won’t take much heating, just keep stirring once chocolate has begun to melt until well incorporated and you can no longer see any cream and chocolate is shiny.
  4. Pour chocolate into prepared crust. Return pie to fridge until chocolate is firm.
  5. In a saucepan, begin pudding by combining the sugar, flour, and salt. Add milk in gradually while stirring gently. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is bubbly. Keep stirring and cook for about 2 more minutes, and then remove from the burner.
  6. Stir a small quantity of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks, and immediately add egg yolk mixture to the rest of the hot mixture. Cook for 2 more minutes; remember to keep stirring. Remove the mixture from the stove, and add butter and vanilla. Stir until the whole thing has a smooth consistency.
  7. Slice 2-3 bananas (reserving one banana for garnish) and spread evenly over chocolate in prepared crust. Pour pudding mixture over bananas and refrigerate until cool and set. Approximately one hour.
  8. When ready to serve, whip cream and icing sugar with whisk attachment using a stand-mixer or hand-blender until soft peaks form. From here watch closely as you want to whip the cream a bit more than normal so it is denser and firmer on the pie, but use caution as you don’t want to make butter.
  9. Spread whipped cream over pie, garnish with remaining banana and chocolate shavings, if desired. Enjoy!

this week in my kitchen

I’m linking up for another fun week of peeking in each other’s kitchens! You can check out the rest of the great blog hop over at Beauty That Moves.

honey butter popcorn - sparrowhopes.com:: love our whirly pop! for a little change of pace I made some yummy honey butter popcorn… it never lasts long! ::

superfood salad - sparrowhopes.com:: another spin on the superfood salad. J’s family is here visiting us (hurrah!) and they brought a little americana with them… N is loving it! ::

black forest cake - sparrowhopes.com:: black forest cake, made by my wonderful mother-in-law to celebrate our sister-in-law’s birthday ::

sparrowhopes.com - pizza night:: friday night is pizza night ::

poached egg and toast - sparrowhopes.com:: since living in the UK I’ve developed a deep love for runny eggs ::

maple tamari salmon - sparrowhopes.com:: grilled salmon with a maple tamari glaze, adapted from here. try it, I think you’ll love it as much as we do ::

grilled asparagus - sparrowhopes.com:: grilled asparagus. why does everything taste better cooked over charcoal? ::

whole wheat cheddar crackers - sparrowhopes.com:: whole wheat cheddar crackers to celebrate N’s last Steiner playgroup before the summer break. love those dear mornings together ::

oven yogurt - sparrowhopes.com:: found ourselves with an abundance of milk and decided to have a go at making yogurt. seriously easy and tasted great! we’ve changed our milk order to have an extra 2 liters delivered each week so we can keep up the practice, yum! and yep, we have a milkman… isn’t that fantastic?! :) ::

homemade breakfast - sparrowhopes.com:: simple delights. homemade yogurt with homemade granola, local raspberries and raw honey. bliss. ::

beans and rice - sparrowhopes.com:: weekly beans and rice, the variations are endless ::

chocolate pavlova - sparrowhopes.com:: chocolate pavlova with strawberries, whipped cream and nutella. you can find the recipe here. ::

It has been a busy few weeks getting ready for guests, wrapping up the end of term activities with N, and catching up with friends before we all head in various directions over the summer. Good, full days that leave you tired out in the best ways. J’s parents and brother and sister-in-law arrived this past weekend for a two week visit. It is such a blessing to have family that will travel all this way to spend time with us. And little N is beside himself to have so many loving adults at his beck and call. They’ve all flown over because tomorrow J officially graduates with his PhD in Ethics and Practical Theology. He earned his degree last fall, but put off the actual ceremony until this summer because his family all wanted to be here to celebrate, and July is a much nicer time to visit Edinburgh than November. This is such a big day in the life of our family. We’ve been working our way to this moment for over ten years now, in three different countries, on two continents. Pretty surreal to officially no longer be students, as one or the other of us has been working on graduate degrees since we got married! I, for one, could not be a prouder wife. It’s really something to get to walk along side your best friend on such a long, and sometimes difficult journey, and to now be on the other side together. This is a milestone that I want to savour, and having family here to add to the festivities makes it all that much sweeter. Little N (who is not the biggest fan of doctors) proudly walks around cheering for ‘Dada Doctor Teacher’. He’s worked out that J isn’t the kind of doctor you visit when you’re sick, but is still trying to sort out, what, exactly, it is that Papa does all day. To quote a friends’ precocious little one whose father is also a theologian, “He’s a doctor, but not the kind that helps people.” :)

this week in my kitchen

I’m linking up for another fun week of peeking in each other’s kitchens! You can check out the rest of the great blog hop over at Beauty That Moves.

sparrowhopes.com:: we’re loving the artisan bread experimenting going on around here, next up… sourdough ::

pea soup - sparrowhopes.com:: fresh pea and tarragon soup ::

banana bread in the woods - sparrowhopes.com:: banana bread in the woods ::

wheat berry salad - sparrowhopes.com:: wheat berry salad ::

baked oatmeal - sparrowhopes.com:: baked oatmeal, modified a bit from this lovely recipe ::

It has been such a nice week here in Edinburgh. Lots of warm sunny days, the chance to hang our laundry outside to dry, and plenty of impromptu picnics with my boy in the back green. We even managed to sneak away for an overnight camping trip in the Blinkbonny Woods. There is something really soul nourishing to have the time and space to quietly keep the rhythms of the home going… cooking, cleaning, hanging laundry on the clothesline to be dried. Sometimes these tasks seem so mundane and ordinary. And then, every once in a while I’m able to go through these movements with a centeredness that can only be received as a grace. Breathing in fully the ordinariness of life and being able to rejoice in it. The gentle flow of water on my hands as I wash dishes, feeling the sun warmed clothes as I fold them, and sweeping off our front path with N beside me sweeping away with his little broom. I want to drink in these moments deeply and store them away for the days I feel harried or tired or bored with the repetitive rhythms of life. I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on remaining in the moment when so many moments seem the same. I want to lean in to the sameness, there is comfort to be found there. My prayer is to savor this ordinary time, as I know these sweet, simple days at home with N are really very fleeting.