• On the Menu: Grad Party Treats

    May is the month to celebrate! Whether it's wrapping up a chapter and beginning a new one, or just taking the time to ring in a new season, May feels like a fresh start. And what better way to bring it all together than a party? (You don't need to ask us twice if we're down to throw one...) We teamed up with Jessie Snyder from Faring Well to whip up a special menu of treats that are perfect for celebrating any occasion and planned with a special early-summer spin (because have you been to the farmers' market lately?! Strawberries are outta control right now, you guys). So start calling your friends and pop the champagne. Let's celebrate!  
    Photos by Jessie Snyder

    Mini Strawberry Shortcakes

    Ingredients (Makes 16 minis)
    1 cup light spelt flour (or all-purpose flour)
    2 tablespoons cane sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1/4 cup coconut oil, solid
    1/3 cup full fat coconut milk
    1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
    2 teaspoons maple syrup (or cane sugar)
    Fresh strawberries, sliced

    1. Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Measure out the full fall coconut milk and coconut oil in separate small bowls and place in the freezer to chill for at least 15 minutes.

    2. Combine the flour, cane sugar, baking powder, and salt in a small mixing bowl. Mix well with a fork, then add the coconut oil from the freezer. Using a fork, cut the coconut oil into the flour until the mixture resembles a bunch of small little peas. Then add in the coconut milk from the freezer and mix well. 

    3. Turn shortcake dough out onto a lightly-floured surface and pat into a one-inch thick circle with your hands. Using a two-inch circular cutter, cut out the mini shortcakes and place on the parchment lined baking sheet. Continue to pat together the extra dough and cut out more shortcakes until none is left. 

    4. Place the shortcakes in the oven and bake until lightly golden around the bottom edges, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the sheet of parchment with the shortcakes onto the counter to fully cool before slicing.

    5. While the shortcakes are cooling, rinse and slice your fresh strawberries. Place the slices in a bowl and set aside while you make the whipped cream.

    6. For the whipped coconut cream, scoop out the hardened coconut cream at the top of the can that has separated during the overnight chilling process. Place the cream in a medium mixing bowl, and whip with a hand mixer on high until light and fluffy. Add the maple syrup (or cane sugar) during the whipping time to sweeten. 

    7. Once the shortcakes are cooled and coconut cream whipped, slice the cakes in half and assemble by sandwiching a dollop of whipped cream and a few fresh strawberry slices in each shortcake biscuit. Serve right away. If making beforehand, store each shortcake component separately (whipped cream and strawberries in the refrigerator, shortcakes in an airtight container at room temperature) and assemble just before serving. 

    Sweet Potato Chips w/ a Cucumber Dill Sunflower Spread + Micro Greens

    For sweet potato chips
    2 medium/large sweet potatoes
    drizzle of olive oil
    salt and pepper

    For cucumber dill sunflower spread
    1/2 cup sunflower seeds, soaked for 4 hours
    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt to taste
    few dashes of pepper
    2 heaping tablespoons fresh dill
    1/4 to 1/3 cup diced cucumber
    Micro greens (or other sprouts) as a topping

    1. For the sweet potato chips, preheat the oven to 400F and line a large baking sheet with parchment. Wash and dry the sweet potatoes, and slice into 1/4 inch thick rounds. Toss the sweet potato rounds in a medium size mixing bowl with a light drizzle of olive oil and a few dashes of salt and pepper. Evenly space the rounds on the parchment lined baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove and flip each sweet potato chip for even browning. Place the sheet back in the oven and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes (or until your desired level of crispiness is reached). Remove the sheet from the oven once done and let fully cool on the counter.

    2. While the chips are baking, prepare the sunflower seed spread. Combine the sunflower seeds, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a high speed blender and puree until smooth (I used my stick blender to puree the ingredients in a small mixing bowl). If you did not soak your seeds beforehand, add 2 tablespoons of water at this time. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed. Slice 1 small julienne cucumber (or 1/3 of a large cucumber) in half and scrape out the seeds using your finger or a spoon. Press the inside of the cucumber with a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture. Slice the cucumber halves into 1/4 inch thick strips. Cut those strips into 1/4 inch cubes. Place cubes on a paper towel and roll up and squeeze to remove any remaining liquid. Add the diced cucumber, and fresh dill, to the sunflower seed sauce and fold in until combined. The sauce can be made ahead and stored in an airtight glass jar in the refrigerator until ready to use. Best if consumed within three days.

    3. When ready to serve, assemble your chip-bites by topping each sweet potato round with a spoonful of the cucumber dill sunflower spread and a pinch of fresh micro greens.

    Bubbly Peach Cream Soda (Can be made alcoholic as a party punch with champagne!)

    (Makes about 12 eight-ounce glasses)
    1 cup sliced peaches, fresh or frozen, pit and skin removed
    1 cup purified water, chilled
    1 tablespoons maple syrup
    1 can full fat coconut milk
    Champagne (or club soda)
    Fresh thyme to garnish
    Ice cubes

    Combine the peaches, water, and maple syrup in a blender and puree until smooth. Fill your serving glasses with ice and spoon a few tablespoons of the peach puree into each glass. Top with a few tablespoons of the coconut cream, and fill with either champagne or club soda. Garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme and serve...cheers!

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