Caramelized Almond Brittle + Cherry Pavlova // Sponsored By Cook Flavoring Company

 
Caramelized Almond Brittle + Cherry Pavlova // Sponsored by Cook Flavoring Company | All Purpose Flour Child

Have you ever noticed that cherries and almonds taste kinda similar?  Or like you smell something almond-scented and you're like "hey, this kinda smells like cherry, too".  I assume there's a scientific reason behind this phenomenon but I'll just accept it to be true and embrace it for now.  Also, I can't be bothered to google it.  ;)

Pavlova, a classic Australian dessert, consists of at once a crispy and marshmallowy meringue, a big 'ole pile of freshly-whipped cream, and whatever fruit your heart desires (or you know, what's in season).  Anyone else SO HAPPY cherry season is finally here?  I teamed up with Cook Flavoring Company to combine the flavors of almond with fresh, Spring cherries.  Their Pure Almond Extract is one of my top 5 favorite smells in life.  No lie.  A little goes a long way to add so much flavor and pairs so well alongside the juicy, slightly tart cherries.  After you make this, you'll wanna put this Almond Extract in everything: pancakes and waffles, cookies, ice cream, ...

Cook Flavoring Company has been a family-owned and run operation producing the highest quality vanilla extracts and flavorings for 100 years.  The company's dedication to crafting only the best vanilla is achieved through their bean-to-bottle approach, taking great care with each step of the production process.  It begins with their commitment to the farmers they buy from.  Cook Flavoring strives to build relationships with farmers and invest in their communities by helping to build schools and foster trust.  In turn, they are able to purchase only the best vanilla beans at the peak of harvest.  The company cures their own beans after harvest and never exposes their extracts to heat as other companies do but rather use a slower cold extraction method to ensure the highest quality and flavor you can buy.  Cook Flavoring Company produces over 200 types of vanilla and flavorings so be sure to check out their selection online or find a location that sells Cook's near you.


Caramelized almond brittle + cherry Pavlova

serves 6

for the meringue
2 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 t cream of tartar
pinch of pink salt
1/2 c superfine sugar
1 t cornstarch
1/2 t white wine vinegar
1 t Cook's Pure Almond Extract

for the filling
1 c heavy cream
1 t Cook's Pure Almond Extract
1 c cherries, pitted and halved

for the caramelized almonds
1/2 c cane sugar
2 T water
pinch of pink salt
1 T butter, room temperature
1/4 t Cook's Pure Almond Extract
1 c slivered almonds, toasted

Make the Pavlova
Preheat oven to 225 °F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment.  If you're using a rimmed baking sheet, I find it easier to flip it upside-down as it makes transferring the baked pavlova to a serving platter later.  In the bowl of an electric mixer or using a hand mixer, whip the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar together for about 3-4 minutes on medium speed until soft peaks form.  Meanwhile, combine the sugar and cornstarch together in a small bowl.  Increase speed to high and slowly add in the sugar mixture in a steady stream. Beat on high for about 5 more minutes until glossy and thick.  Beat in the vinegar and almond extract until combined.  Spoon the meringue in the center of the parchment-lined baking sheet and using the back of a spoon or an offset spatula, spread into a flat disc, about the size of a dinner plate, about 1 1/2 inches tall.  Make a shallow crater in the center, leaving about a 1 inch border around the sides.  This is for the filling.  Bake for about 90 minutes, until the outside is crisp and set.  The interior should be fluffy and marshmallow-like.  Turn the oven off and let it cool inside for at least 2 hours, or ideally, overnight.  If the meringue cools too quickly, it will crack!  Trust me, I know...

Make the Brittle
Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silpat and set aside.  While the pavlova is baking, combine the sugar, water, and salt in a heavy-bottomed saucepan on medium-high heat fitted with a candy thermometer.  Heat until the mixture comes to a boil, gently swirling to help the sugar dissolve.  Head the mixture to 310 °F.  Remove from heat and quickly stir in the butter and almond extract.  Fold in the almonds and spread the mixture evenly in one layer on the parchment-lined baking sheet.  Allow to cool and harden completely then break into small shards.

Assemble the Pavlova

Whip the cream until soft peaks form then add in the almond extract and mix to combine.  Spoon the whipped cream into the center well of the pavlova.  Top with halved cherries and sprinkle with almond brittle.  Serve immediately.

Caramelized Almond Brittle + Cherry Pavlova // Sponsored by Cook Flavoring Company | All Purpose Flour Child
Caramelized Almond Brittle + Cherry Pavlova // Sponsored by Cook Flavoring Company | All Purpose Flour Child
Caramelized Almond Brittle + Cherry Pavlova // Sponsored by Cook Flavoring Company | All Purpose Flour Child
Caramelized Almond Brittle + Cherry Pavlova // Sponsored by Cook Flavoring Company | All Purpose Flour Child
Caramelized Almond Brittle + Cherry Pavlova // Sponsored by Cook Flavoring Company | All Purpose Flour Child
Caramelized Almond Brittle + Cherry Pavlova // Sponsored by Cook Flavoring Company | All Purpose Flour Child
Caramelized Almond Brittle + Cherry Pavlova // Sponsored by Cook Flavoring Company | All Purpose Flour Child
Caramelized Almond Brittle + Cherry Pavlova // Sponsored by Cook Flavoring Company | All Purpose Flour Child
Caramelized Almond Brittle + Cherry Pavlova // Sponsored by Cook Flavoring Company | All Purpose Flour Child
Caramelized Almond Brittle + Cherry Pavlova // Sponsored by Cook Flavoring Company | All Purpose Flour Child

This post is sponsored by Cook Flavoring Company.  All opinions stated are my own and I only promote products I love and use. Thanks for supporting the brands that support me!


My Favorite Non-Toxic Beauty + Skincare Products

 
My Favorite Non-Toxic Beauty + Skincare Products | All Purpose Flour Child

I've been wanting to write this post for a long time and now and it's finally here, yay!  If you've followed me for a while now, you probably know I try to stick to clean, minimally-processed and organic foods *most* of the time.  Same goes for my beauty and skincare products.  Over the last couple of years, I've been trying to purge all the toxic products from my vanity, medicine cabinet,  and my cleaning supply closet (we'll save that for another post).  It's definitely easier said than done but I feel like I've finally gotten to a good place with my routine.

I know it can be overwhelming and kinda intimidating.  Like, how or where do you even start?  And it can be expensive!  Being healthy ain't cheap.  But you know what else is expensive: medical bills.  There's a saying that goes something like "you either invest in your health now, or pay for it later".  Kinda harsh but true.  I choose now!  Ok, I'm off my (organic) soapbox now.  I think the best way to go about getting rid of icky products in your life is to do it one at a time.  Start with the products that have the greatest amount of contact with your biggest organ: your skin.  Things like lotions, soaps, and body washes are a good place to start.  Pick one thing you want to replace when it's almost gone and do your research.  Get to know the chemical names of ingredients you should avoid and read your labels before you buy anything.  And be easy on yourself.  You're doing an awesome thing for yourself and you can't be perfect all the time!  So if you still use a conventional mascara cause you just can't find an incredible natural option that isn't 40 dollars (guilty!), be patient in your search and focus on the good you're already incorporating into your routine. Here's some of my top favorite products!  Do you have any?  I'd love to hear in the comments!  I also listed some great resources at the bottom of the post to help you in your search for what's good and what's not.

My Favorite Non-Toxic Beauty + Skincare Products | All Purpose Flour Child

SLIPPERY ELM ORGANIC LIP BALM | THAYERS

I'm a lip balm junkie.  I have them EVERYWHERE.  In my makeup drawer, on my nightstand, in my purse, on my desk at work... and the list goes on.  With something I use so frequently, I try to stick to all natural varieties.  I love this certified-organic one as it glides on super smooth and is ultra moisturizing.  The vanilla bean is my fave!

NOURISHING CREAM CLEANSER | BEAUTYCOUNTER

It took me forever to find a face wash that was all natural and still took all my makeup off and left my face feeling fresh. Purity by Philosophy used to be my go-to because it was gentle (well, it didn't break me out) and took my makeup off SO well but unfortunately it's full of some pretty gross chemicals.  Pretty ironic given the name, right?  But this one by Beauty Counter is so awesome!  A little goes a long way and works wonders for my skin.  Win-win in my book!  This brand already has quite the cult following and I'm still exploring all their offerings so if you have any favorites, let me know!

My Favorite Non-Toxic Beauty + Skincare Products | All Purpose Flour Child

WITCH HAZEL | THAYERS

This stuff is the best for balancing out pH levels in your skin and to help clear up breakouts and lift impurities.  I make my own toner using this, a little apple cider vinegar, a few drops of clary sage essential oil, and filtered water.  Thayers makes a ton of incredible scents but my favorites are the Rose Petal and Peach.


SENSITIVITY RELIEF TOOTHPASTE | HELLO

I tried a few different toothpastes before stumbling upon this one at Target.  If you've tried natural toothpastes before, you know they're usually nothing like conventional toothpaste.  Like you feel like you're basically just brushing with baking soda.  Bleh.  This one is awesome, though.  It's made with coconut oil which is awesome for oral health and it's made without parabens, preservatives, triclosan, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, or dyes.  All icky stuff.  I've tried a few of the other flavors and really liked them but this one's my favorite since I have sensitive teeth.

ORGANIC HAND & BODY LOTION | DR. BRONNER'S

This is the perfect body lotion for applying after you get out of the shower or bath.  It's not oily or too thick so it absorbs quickly and still leaves your skin feeling moisturized. It's made with organic oils, essential oils, and plant-derived ingredients.  Not to mention it smells INCREDIBLE!

 

CREAM | S.W. BASICS

I have shared my love for this brand before but if I had to pick one beauty product I loved above all others, it's this cream.  I look forward to slathering it all over my freshly washed and toned face each night.  It is so moisturizing and my skin absolutely loves it.  The best part: it has exactly three ingredients!  Organic shea butter, olive oil, and coconut oil.  It is pretty thick but soaks into my skin overnight while I'm sleeping and my face is perfectly moisturized and ready to apply my makeup when I wake up in the morning.  You can find it at Target, too which is super convenient.

My Favorite Non-Toxic Beauty + Skincare Products | All Purpose Flour Child

NO DROUGHT DRY SHAMPOO | LUSH

This stuff is the freaking best.  Firstly, it is not in an aerosol can like most dry shampoos, which is totally awesome for the environment and your lungs. But it also works like a dream. It's made with super-absorbent cornflour to help tame greasy hair and citrusy lime and grapefruit essential oils to leave your hair smelling fresh.  You just sprinkle a little in your hands and rub it into your hair and then brush it out.  And don't be afraid if you have dark hair!  My hair is fairly dark brown and it brushes out perfectly without a trace.  It also lasts forever as a little goes a long way.  

PURE CASTILE SOAP IN ALMOND | DR. BRONNER'S

This stuff is magic.  It can do so many things!  I mainly use it as a body wash and bath bubbles (it's also great for shaving your legs), but you can wash your face with it, your dishes, floors, even laundry!  You can also use it as shampoo in a pinch so if you're traveling, I highly recommend picking up a mini and tossing it in your carry-on!  Face, body, and hair all covered in one tiny bottle!  The best part: it's made with organic oils and it actually lathers really well.  It also comes in a ton of amazing scents but Almond is by far my favorite.  It smells almost like buttercream to me.  Fun fact: almond extract is in my top 5 favorite smells of all time.  

My Favorite Non-Toxic Beauty + Skincare Products | All Purpose Flour Child

ORGANIC COTTON TAMPONS | LOLA

Listen up, ladies.  This is an important one.  Did you know conventional tampons are full of toxic chemicals and scary synthetic fibers?  And we're putting these chemicals inside our bodies every month!  I care a lot about what I eat and put on my body but I had somehow never thought about the feminine products I was using.  Until I heard one of the co-founders of Lola on a podcast and I was like, "oh my gosh", I gotta switch!  And I did.

Lola tampons are made with exactly 1 ingredient: organic cotton.  Awesome, right?  And it's so easy and convenient to use their subscription service, too.  You can completely customize your box and what mix of light, regular, super, or super + you'd like, depending on what's right for you.  You can adjust your box anytime and skip a month if you need to, as well.  And they cost 10 bucks a month.  I pretty much spent that on conventional tampons before so I'd be crazy not to switch, right?  And they also have pads if tampons aren't your thing.

Resources

Environmental Working Group

This is an awesome resource for checking quickly whether a product is good or not.  They have a handy app, too!  You can quickly scan a product or search by name right in the beauty aisle of Target or the drugstore and see if your potential purchase is non-toxic or a no-go!  Not every product is in their database but they do have a lot and I've found it so helpful!


All opinions stated here are my own.  All products were purchased by me with my own money, with the exception of the Thayer's products, which Thayer's gifted me.  


Honey + Bee Pollen "Bulletproof" Collagen Bars

 
Honey + Bee Pollen "Bulletproof" Collagen Bars | All Purpose Flour Child

I got super into bulletproof coffee when I did Whole30 a few months ago.  You know, the whole "add grass-fed butter and MCT oil to your coffee and you become superhuman all morning" thing.  Simply put: the combination provides you with sustained energy to get you through the morning.  While I mostly got into it because I was looking for a replacement for cream in my coffee (this totally did the trick!) during Whole30, I actually did notice an uptick in my energy level.  I felt more clear, alert, and focused.  That coulda just been the coffee, though. :)  After poking around on the Bulletproof site a little, I saw they make bars and I was intrigued so I set out to create my own!

These are the perfect little snack to keep you full and satisfied while you're active throughout the day.  The healthy fats from the nuts will keep you full and satiated, the collagen will help strengthen your bones, and the combination of ghee and coconut oil will keep you energized, focused, and alert.  Have them for breakfast, a mid-morning snack, pre-workout bite, or whenever you need a boost.  They're also refined-sugar free so you won't feel a big crash later.  

And the bee pollen!  If you've never had it or think it sounds too hippy: I get it.   Admittedly, when I hear bee pollen, this is the first thing I think of is that scene in Baby Mama when Steve Martin asks a faint-looking Tina Fey if she needs a shot of bee pollen.  But I'm asking you to give it a chance.  It's like the ultimate superfood because it contains nearly all the nutrients required by humans and it can even help to stabilize your metabolism!  And it tastes good.  To me, it tastes like little pearls of honey.  It's mildly sweet-tasting.  

I've been having one of these at work about 30 minutes before I leave so by the time I get home, I'm fueled up and ready to work out. They're also great to toss in your bag and head out the door to the gym or to run errands.  Wrap 'em up individually to make them super convenient.


Honey + Bee Pollen "Bulletproof" Collagen Bars

makes 12 bars

1/2 c ghee, melted
1/2 c coconut oil, melted
1/4 c cashew butter
1/3 c raw honey (local if you can find it!)
1 t vanilla bean puree (or vanilla extract)
1 c collagen powder (I love Vital Proteins)
2 1/4 c almond flour (or whatever nut flour you'd like) 
pinch of himalayan pink salt
1/4 c bee pollen

Line an 8 x 10 inch pan with parchment and set aside.  In a large bowl, whisk together the collagen powder, almond flour, and salt until combined.  In another bowl, whisk together the ghee, coconut oil, cashew butter, honey, and vanilla bean puree.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until completely combined.  

Press the dough into your parchment-lined pan until it's in a single, even layer.  Sprinkle the bee pollen over the top and gently press it in to the surface of the dough with your hand to help it stick.  Chill for at least 2 hours, or up to overnight.  

Once firm, lift the dough out of the pan using the parchment and slice into desired size.  I portioned mine into about 12 2 inch bars but feel free to slice into squares for a smaller portion or you could even roll the dough into balls instead of pressing into bars for quick energy bites.

Store in refrigerator for up to a month.

Honey + Bee Pollen "Bulletproof" Collagen Bars | All Purpose Flour Child
Honey + Bee Pollen "Bulletproof" Collagen Bars | All Purpose Flour Child
Honey + Bee Pollen "Bulletproof" Collagen Bars | All Purpose Flour Child
Honey + Bee Pollen "Bulletproof" Collagen Bars | All Purpose Flour Child
Honey + Bee Pollen "Bulletproof" Collagen Bars | All Purpose Flour Child
Honey + Bee Pollen "Bulletproof" Collagen Bars | All Purpose Flour Child
Honey + Bee Pollen "Bulletproof" Collagen Bars | All Purpose Flour Child
Honey + Bee Pollen "Bulletproof" Collagen Bars | All Purpose Flour Child

Smoky + Spicy Mezcal Paloma

 
Smoky + Spicy Mezcal Paloma | All Purpose Flour Child

I love a tart and salty margarita as much as the next person, but sometimes I like to change it up, ya know?   There's another really cool Mexican cocktail that doesn't get nearly as much attention as the margarita but is equally refreshing and delicious.  

Enter the paloma.  It's still tart and salty but with the added fruitiness and slight bitter edge of grapefruit.
Palomas are typically made with tequila but I went with mezcal instead.  It adds such a delicious low-key smoky flavor.  Mezcal, if you're unfamiliar, is similar to tequila in that they're both made from agave but mezcal has a distinct smoky flavor which is imparted from the wood-fired pit method of roasting the agave plant after harvest. I rolled the glasses in a little chili powder and lime zest along with the salt and it is so good with the smoky, fruity, tart flavors happening in the cocktail!  I highly recommend you give this one a try if you're needing a change from the same ole margarita, too.  Happy Cinco de Mayo! 


Smoky + Spicy Mezcal Paloma 

serves 1

2 oz mezcal (you could also use tequila)
2 oz grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
1 oz lime juice
1 oz simple syrup, recipe below
sparkling water, to top off the drink
lime wedges, for wiping rim of glass
grapefruit wheel, to garnish

Simple Syrup
1 c sugar
1 c water

Chile Lime Salt
2 T flaky sea salt
zest of half a lime
1/8 t chipotle chili powder

make the simple syrup
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and water and heat until sugar is dissolved.  Allow to cool before using in cocktail.  Store in fridge for up to two weeks.

make the cocktail
Combine the salt, lime zest, and chili powder in a shallow dish.  Wipe the rim of a glass with a lime wedge then roll in the salt mixture.  In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the mezcal, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and simple syrup and shake for about 10 seconds, until shaker is cold.  Pour into salt-rimmed glass and top off with sparkling water and a few ice cubes.  Add grapefruit wheel.

*The salt recipe makes enough for about 6 drinks so if you're having a party, just scale up the cocktail recipe to your number of guests and you're good to go!

Smoky + Spicy Mezcal Paloma | All Purpose Flour Child
Smoky + Spicy Mezcal Paloma | All Purpose Flour Child
Smoky + Spicy Mezcal Paloma | All Purpose Flour Child
Smoky + Spicy Mezcal Paloma | All Purpose Flour Child
Smoky + Spicy Mezcal Paloma | All Purpose Flour Child

Halibut En Papillote with Vanilla Sauce and Coconut Cauliflower Rice // Sponsored By Cook Flavoring Company

 
Halibut En Papillote with Vanilla Sauce and Coconut Cauliflower Rice // Sponsored By Cook Flavoring Company | All Purpose Flour Child

'En papillote' simply means 'in parchment' and is an old-school method of cooking all sorts of things, from fish, to chicken, and even vegetables.  It' so simple, too!  You basically put whatever you want in little sealed parchment pouches and let them steam in the oven for a few minutes.  Easy clean up and delicious, healthy, quick results.  Yes, please!  I decided to go with halibut for this thanks to my dad who goes on a huge fishing trip about once a year and scores some beautiful, wild halibut and cod but you could use any white fish you'd like here or even shrimp.  

Ok, so...vanilla and fish?  Sounds weird, ya?  It's actually a very complimentary pairing and many chefs have been using the two together for years.  I did some searching and found this article and recipe and instantly knew I wanted to re-create my own version of the sauce (sans lobster cause hi, that’s a tad fancy for a weeknight).  This type of vanilla and fish pairing is thought to have originated on Comoros, a teeny island between the East African Coast and Madagascar.  Makes sense since there's an abundance of both fresh seafood and superior vanilla within arm's reach.  Don't worry, this sauce isn't sweet by any means.  Instead, the vanilla adds an aromatic and exotic flavor to the fish and is perfect with the coconut cauliflower rice, too.  I've teamed up with Cook Flavoring Company today and used their superior vanilla beans.

Cook Flavoring Company has been a family-owned and run operation producing the highest quality vanilla extracts and flavorings for 100 years.  The company's dedication to crafting only the best vanilla is achieved through their bean-to-bottle approach, taking great care with each step of the production process.  It begins with their commitment to the farmers they buy from.  Cook Flavoring strives to build relationships with farmers and invest in their communities by helping to build schools and foster trust.  In turn, they are able to purchase only the best vanilla beans at the peak of harvest.  The company cures their own beans after harvest and never exposes their extracts to heat as other companies do but rather use a slower cold extraction method to ensure the highest quality and flavor you can buy.  Cook Flavoring Company produces over 200 types of vanilla and flavorings so be sure to check out their selection online or find a location that sells Cook's near you.


Halibut En Papillote with Vanilla Sauce and Coconut Cauliflower Rice 

serves two

4 T butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/4 c white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 Cook's vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod reserved
2 halibut fillets, about 3-5 oz each
1 c raw cauliflower rice
4 T unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
salt and pepper, to taste
1 lemon, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 400°F.  To make the vanilla sauce, heat a small pot over medium heat.  Melt the butter and sauté the shallot for a few minutes, until translucent.  Add the wine, lemon juice, vanilla bean seeds, and pod and allow the mixture to reduce by about half then remove from heat and set aside until you assemble the pouches.  

Toss the cauliflower rice and coconut together and set aside.  To make the parchment pouches, start with about a 12 x 17 inch piece of parchment.  Fold it in half like a book.  On one half of the parchment, layer about 4 slices of lemon in a row, being sure to leave about a 2 inch border around all sides of the parchment.  Top the lemon slices with half of the cauliflower mixture.  Top with a halibut fillet and spoon half the sauce over the fillet.  Fold over the other half of the parchment and, beginning in one corner, fold the two halves together by making small folds over on itself, until you've enclosed the entire thing.  Think like you're making a calzone.  Repeat with the second pouch and lay each on a baking tray.  Bake for about 15 minutes, until the halibut is just cooked through.  Allow to cool for just a minute or two then carefully snip open the top of the pouches and peel open.  Finish with a squeeze of lemon wedge over the top and serve alongside a quick salad or sautéed broccoli (and the rest of that wine!). 

Halibut En Papillote with Vanilla Sauce and Coconut Cauliflower Rice // Sponsored By Cook Flavoring Company | All Purpose Flour Child
Halibut En Papillote with Vanilla Sauce and Coconut Cauliflower Rice // Sponsored By Cook Flavoring Company | All Purpose Flour Child
Halibut En Papillote with Vanilla Sauce and Coconut Cauliflower Rice // Sponsored By Cook Flavoring Company | All Purpose Flour Child
Halibut En Papillote with Vanilla Sauce and Coconut Cauliflower Rice // Sponsored By Cook Flavoring Company | All Purpose Flour Child
Halibut En Papillote with Vanilla Sauce and Coconut Cauliflower Rice // Sponsored By Cook Flavoring Company | All Purpose Flour Child
Halibut En Papillote with Vanilla Sauce and Coconut Cauliflower Rice // Sponsored By Cook Flavoring Company | All Purpose Flour Child
Halibut En Papillote with Vanilla Sauce and Coconut Cauliflower Rice // Sponsored By Cook Flavoring Company | All Purpose Flour Child
Halibut En Papillote with Vanilla Sauce and Coconut Cauliflower Rice // Sponsored By Cook Flavoring Company | All Purpose Flour Child
Halibut En Papillote with Vanilla Sauce and Coconut Cauliflower Rice // Sponsored By Cook Flavoring Company | All Purpose Flour Child
Halibut En Papillote with Vanilla Sauce and Coconut Cauliflower Rice // Sponsored By Cook Flavoring Company | All Purpose Flour Child

This post is sponsored by Cook Flavoring Company.  All opinions stated are my own and I only promote products I love and use. Thanks for supporting the brands that support me!


Creamy Artichoke + Asparagus Soup with Ezekiel Bread, Lemon + Pine Nut Crumble

 
Creamy Artichoke + Asparagus Soup with Ezekiel Bread + Lemon Crumble | All Purpose Flour Child

Since I finished Whole30 last month, I've still kinda been trying to tweak recipes to make them more Whole30ish.  I've definitely added a few things back into my diet, like whole grains and cream in my coffee (yaaass).  But I really like how good I felt all month (despite the crazy chocolate cravings from time to time) so I've been making my meals much more vegetable-centric rather than grain or meat-centric.  I intended to do a bit of a better job of documenting my progress and giving you guys updates on my Whole30 experience, but I kinda forgot.  Oops.  But here are some quick thoughts on the experience overall.

Overall, I felt so good at the end of it.  I no longer got headaches, I had more energy, and I was in a better mood most of the time, too.  This all kinda broke my heart in a way because I know the culprit behind these changes: eliminating SUGAR.  Ugh.  I was worried I was going to have to try to avoid it altogether for the rest of my life.  But I sort of came down off the ledge after I finished and realized that Whole30 was a month-long reminder for me to consume stuff like sugar and gluten in waaaay more moderation.   So now I really enjoy tweaking recipes to be more Whole30-ish or at least be more intentional with stuff I'm adding to things.  

This Springy soup is so full of fresh flavors and it's totally velvety and creamy without all the cream!  So good and so satisfying!  It's pretty quick and easy to throw together and I highly encourage you to make the crumble, too!  It adds so much crunch and flavor!  Happy Spring!


Creamy Artichoke + Asparagus Soup with Ezekiel Bread, Lemon + Pine Nut Crumble 

serves 6

4 T olive oil, divided
1 T ghee (or grass-fed butter)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 leeks, washed and roughly chopped  
1 lb artichoke hearts (frozen and canned both work great)
1/2 lb asparagus, washed and roughly chopped
4 c vegetable or chicken stock
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 c pine nuts
zest of one lemon
2 slices Ezekiel bread, toasted and crumbled (you could also use 1/2 c panko bread crumbs)
large handful fresh mint, finely chopped
creme fraiche (sour cream works too), to garnish

To Make the Soup
Heat a 5 or 6 quart stock pot over medium heat.  Add the ghee and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sweat the garlic and leeks for a few minutes, until soft.  Add in the artichoke hearts and asparagus and cook for a few minutes then add the stock.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for about 20-30 minutes, until asparagus is tender. Carefully ladle mixture into a blender and blend until smooth.  Return soup to pot and simmer for another 20 minutes or so on low heat.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, a dollop of creme fraiche, and a sprinkle of the pine nut crumble.

To Make the Crumble
Preheat oven to 350.  Toss the pine nuts, Ezekiel bread crumbs, remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste.  Spread out on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 10 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant.  Pour crumble into a bowl and toss with the fresh mint.

Creamy Artichoke + Asparagus Soup with Ezekiel Bread + Lemon Crumble | All Purpose Flour Child
Creamy Artichoke + Asparagus Soup with Ezekiel Bread + Lemon Crumble | All Purpose Flour Child
Creamy Artichoke + Asparagus Soup with Ezekiel Bread + Lemon Crumble | All Purpose Flour Child
Creamy Artichoke + Asparagus Soup with Ezekiel Bread + Lemon Crumble | All Purpose Flour Child
Creamy Artichoke + Asparagus Soup with Ezekiel Bread + Lemon Crumble | All Purpose Flour Child
Creamy Artichoke + Asparagus Soup with Ezekiel Bread + Lemon Crumble | All Purpose Flour Child

Juniper Rose Bees Knees | A Spring Cocktail

 
Juniper Rose Bees Knees | All Purpose Flour Child

Gin seems to be a polarizing liquor.  Either the floral and often intense botanical flavors really appeal to you, or they really don't. Personally, I love it.  Gin is my absolute favorite spirit.  I love the aromatic and complex flavor of the juniper berries.  My go-to gin libation is the classic gin and tonic but I recently discovered the Bees Knees and it's quickly becoming another favorite.  

The Bees Knees is a delicious combination of aromatic gin, tart lemon juice, and sweet honey syrup.  What's not to love, right?  I decided to make a little Spring twist and created a juniper and rosewater simple syrup.  It pairs so well with the gin and is so fresh! It's the perfect cocktail for a Spring gathering, and just in time for Easter!  Cheers!


Juniper Rose Bees Knees 

makes 1 cocktail

2 oz gin (I like Henrick's because it's especially floral/botanical)
1 oz lemon juice
1 oz juniper rose simple syrup (recipe below)
lemon slice, to garnish
dried juniper berries, to garnish (optional)
dried culinary-grade rose petals, to garnish (optional)

Juniper Rose Syrup 
1/2 c water
1/2 c honey
1 T rosewater
1 T dried juniper berries, lightly crushed

make the syrup
Combine the water, honey and juniper berries in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and heat until honey is completely melted and mixture is just starting to bubble.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely then strain out the juniper berries. Add the rosewater.  Chill before adding to cocktail.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month.

make the drink
In a cocktail shaker, add gin, lemon juice, and syrup.  Add ice and shake for a good 10-15 seconds until shaker is cold.  Strain into a rocks glass with one large ice cube (or a few regular-sized ones).  Garnish with a slice of lemon, juniper berries, and dried rose petals.

*I found my juniper berries in the bulk section of my local grocery store but if you have a hard time finding them, simply omit and make a honey rosewater simple syrup.  It'll still be delicious! 

Juniper Rose Bees Knees | All Purpose Flour Child
Juniper Rose Bees Knees | All Purpose Flour Child
Juniper Rose Bees Knees | All Purpose Flour Child
Juniper Rose Bees Knees | All Purpose Flour Child
Juniper Rose Bees Knees | All Purpose Flour Child
Juniper Rose Bees Knees | All Purpose Flour Child
Juniper Rose Bees Knees | All Purpose Flour Child
Juniper Rose Bees Knees | All Purpose Flour Child
Juniper Rose Bees Knees | All Purpose Flour Child