Herb-y Shortbread Clouds, Three Ways

Happyolks | Shortbread Clouds, Three Ways

Happyolks | Shortbread Clouds, Three Ways

Happyolks | Shortbread Clouds, Three Ways

The Happyolks facelift we began planning last October is finally here! Designer and dear friend Samantha Kogle became pregnant almost immediately after we started in on things, so, naturally, my interest in site talk was backseat to LIFE most times we met for coffee. Sam is a badass, there is really no other way to say it. I honestly do not know a woman in my life with more moxie, humility, and grit. In the past six months she has conquered a massive company merger, two trimesters of pregnancy, buying her first home, single-handedly managing the layout of a local magazine, oh… and building out this site. Wowsa, no?

Then there’s Ali Nelson. Effusive, vibrant, and courageous beyond measure, Ali inspires me with her radical authenticity and uncanny ability to encourage the women who know her and wish to know her with her unique voice and craft. Kindred spirit. Soul sister. Hometown kin that, if we lived close now, I know I would smother to death trying to get her goodness to rub off on me. Not pretty. She hand lettered this new logo, which I adore. In our first email exchange when she asked about the general vibe I was going for in the update, I literally sent her a stylesheet of images of PEOPLE, not logos like a normal person would/should do, comparing faces and personalties that were emoting “lovely” postures (think Kate Middleton, Grace Kelly) vs “quirky” postures (think Susan Sontag, Marlon Brando). I preferred, as you probably can guess, the latter. Ali, being the amazing visual artist that she is, made it happen.

This makeover was for me, in some ways, to match how I feel in my skin on the internet six years into this gig. But it’s mostly for you. I have received SCORES of emails with requests for changes over the years, and I’ve heard you. Since this has always been a part-time affair, NOT a career blog, it has taken me a little longer than most to get around to things. At long last we finally have a subscribe feature that works(!!), a recipe index that actually makes sense to peruse, and there are a few other features that you may find popping up over the next few weeks, months. I hope this place is easier to navigate, easier to read (darker script!), and generally more pleasant to poke around. Hugs from Australia.

Happyolks | Shortbread Clouds, Three Ways

Happyolks | Shortbread Clouds, Three Ways

Happyolks | Shortbread Clouds, Three Ways

Happyolks | Shortbread Clouds, Three Ways

Happyolks | Shortbread Clouds, Three Ways

Happyolks | Tilly Bean

Shortbread Clouds, Three Ways

Adapted from Gourmet 

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lavender buds, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 Tsp fresh lemon zest
  • 1 3/4 cup cultured butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup local honey
  • ––– 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ––– 2-4 tsp 2% milk

 

Preheat oven for 300′ F. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside. In the basin of your stand mixer, beat together butter, honey, and confectioners sugar. Add flour mixture and mix until dough resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Gather dough into a ball and then divide into three equal portions. On a lightly floured surface, knead one portion of the dough with the prepared rosemary until evenly distributed. Repeat with prepared lavender, then again with the thyme and lemon zest. Roll out dough portions on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on baking sheets. Bake for 2o minutes or until golden brown.

For the icing, mix together powdered sugar and milk to make a paste. Place in fridge until ready to use. Drizzle and spread across completely cooled cookies Icing will harden in 10-15 minutes.

Happyolks | Shortbread Clouds, Three Ways

Happyolks | Shortbread Clouds, Three Ways

Happyolks | Shortbread Clouds, Three Ways

Happyolks | Shortbread Clouds, Three Ways

Happyolks | Shortbread Clouds, Three Ways

Happyolks | Shortbread Clouds, Three Ways

Happyolks | Shortbread Clouds, Three Ways

Carrot Habanero Hot Sauce

Happyolks | Carrot Habanero Hot Sauce

I have a piece in the new issue of Darling Magazine this month. I was asked to write a rosy-cheeked take on family dinners––their evolution from youth to adulthood, tradition, nostalgia, how the act of gathering around a table “transcends the act of dining as a means to an end.” I was feeling OK but not awesome about my rough draft when I submitted it in December, then: Christmas. We hosted my family at our new place. It snowed. I planned a few elaborate meals because, you know, food is love, and on the second night, before anyone took their second bite of potato tarragon galette, my brother and I were in a shouting match over my request that he not text at the dinner table. He got defensive. I called him an asshole. He got up and left. My mom cried, dad got quiet. Shaun tried to mediate.

It was ugly. But, it was real. More often than not, the meals we get to share with family and friends do not take on the convivial, alluring nature we see promoted across blogs and boutique media. It’s easy to set a beautifully-styled farm table and encourage meaningful, open-hearted dialogue and then CONVENIENTLY disregard that meaningful, open-hearted dialogue is, by nature of our human-ness, a fucking mess most of the time. The mess doesn’t sell.

Happyolks | Carrot Habanero Hot Sauce

Happyolks | Carrot Habanero Hot Sauce

Happyolks | Carrot Habanero Hot Sauce

There is nothing precious about our dinner table. It is, and has been, a mighty kickstand for the hardest and heartiest conversations in our lives. Sure, we’ve made many memorable, effortless, joy-filled moments around our table over the years, like that one night we stayed up late on a weeknight braiding challah and eating boozy french toast with a friend who kicked her dude to the curb. The time Cody and Emily stopped over before Corbyn and Caroline’s wedding with the kids and Shaun poured a bowl of tomato soup for Ev’s “Mr. Shark,” which he proceeded to splash all over his clean pajamas and Mr. Shark. And yet, for every uncomplicated and tender occasion we’ve experienced at the table with loved ones, there have been at least a dozen gritty, soul-obliterating instances that preceded it. Like New Years Eve of 2012 when Shaun and I ate buttered toast before The Lumineers show at the Ogden, contemplating if we’d even do 2013 together as a couple, or the night before our wedding that we ate bad pizza together on the floor, holding each other, laughing, crying, wishing we would have just eloped like we’d wanted all along.

Here’s my addendum to the story that was actually published: family dinner is where we do the work. And when I say family I mean our biological families, friend families or otherwise. And when I say table,  I mean the couch or the barstools or the floor or the porch or the car. Wherever we eat, wherever we are forced to stop and reckon with the day or our lives or our relationships with one another in the presence of food: we go to work. We take something that is hard and make it easy, or take something that is easy and royally overcomplicate it. We wrestle, together, with what Anne Lamott calls “the three most terrible truths of our existence: that we are so ruined, and so loved, and in charge of so little.” It’s the angst and heat and sticky stuff that comes with the work that builds real, long-lasting commitment and goodness in our lives. We need to get better at celebrating THAT.

Happyolks | Carrot Habanero Hot Sauce
 
Happyolks | Carrot Habanero Hot Sauce
 
Happyolks | Carrot Habanero Hot Sauce
 
Happyolks | Carrot Habanero Hot Sauce
 
Happyolks | Carrot Habanero Hot Sauce
 
I struck my match, she poured out her gasoline.
We burn now. All the time. ― Tarryn Fisher
 

Happyolks | Carrot Habanero Hot Sauce

Happyolks | Carrot Habanero Hot Sauce

Carrot Habanero Hot Sauce (aka Honeymoon Heat) (aka SUPER SPICY)

Adapted from my friends Corbyn and Caroline who discovered a love of carrot based hot sauces while honeymooning in Belize last year. This recipe makes about 6 quarts of hot sauce. Yes! You read that right 6 qts. I felt like there was really no sense in making a small batch when so many friends go through sriracha so quickly. You can easily halve, quarter, or further divide the recipe to make a smaller portion with the same result. 

  • 15 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 cups peeled, chopped carrot
  • 4 medium sweet yellow onions, chopped
  • 30 medium habanero chiles, stemmed
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • ¼ cup salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • Juice of 6-8 limes

_____

Roast the garlic in a skillet over medium heat, turning regularly until soft and blackened in spots, 10 to 15 minutes.

In the same pot, combine the carrot, onion and habanero chiles with the vinegar, 3 cups water, salt and sugar. Partially cover and simmer over medium-low heat until the carrots are thoroughly tender, about 20 minutes. Blend until smooth. Thin with a lime juice and more water if the sauce seems too thick. Taste and add salt as preferred. Store in glass jars in the fridge.

Happyolks | Carrot Habanero Hot Sauce

Celery Root Salad with Apple, Caraway + Horseradish

Happyolks | Raw Celery Root Salad with Apple, Caraway + Horseradish
 
Happyolks | Raw Celery Root Salad
 
Happyolks | Raw Celery Root Salad
 
Happyolks | Raw Celery Root Salad
 
Happyolks | Raw Celery Root Salad
 
Happyolks | Raw Celery Root Salad with Apple, Caraway + Horseradish

Raw Celery Root with Apple, Caraway, and Horseradish

Adapted slightly from the forthcoming release of The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook and the fine folks at America’s Test Kitchen. The cookbook offers a shortcut to preparing the celery root by running it through the blade setting on your food processor. I found that the salad held up better the next day with the matchstick preparation. ATK is giving away one copy of The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook to Happyolks reader. Leave a comment with the best thing you’ve read or watched recently and you’ll be entered to win. Giveaway will end 3/4.

  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tsp honey
  • 3-4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 3 Celery root, peeled
  • 1 Crisp apple
  • 6 scallions, sliced at a bias
  • 1 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 25 sprigs tarragon leaves
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 2 heaping teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • –––––

Whisk lemon juice, mustard, honey, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisking constantly, drizzle in oil. Add sour cream last, stir to combine, and then set aside.

Clean and peel celery root. To create matchsticks, place halved root on the cutting board and cut a slice to a ⅛ inch thickness at a bias. Continue cutting, maintaining a wide bias through the whole root. Repeat with remaining half, then again with the two remaining prepped roots. Create a stack of two or three slices.  If you are doing this for the first time you may want to start with a single slice just to get comfortable with the method and as you practice a bit you can start stacking. Cut across the celery root, lengthwise. The thickness we’re aiming for, again, is ⅛ inch. Repeat with remaining slices. Place celery root in a large bowl. Repeat this technique with the apple and add to the bowl of prepped celery root.

Stir in dressing immediately after creating your matchsticks to prevent browning. Add scallions, parsley, tarragon, caraway seeds, and horseradish. Stir to combine, adding more greens or if things feel a bit sparse. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Happyolks | Raw Celery Root Salad with Apple, Caraway + Horseradish