Blackberry Apple Toffee Crumble

blackberry apple toffee crumble

A new dish set is totally excuse to step up the dessert game, right?

This is a recipe from Rosie the Londoner posted last fall that I’ve been eager to try for a while and simply haven’t had the excuse to. I know, I shouldn’t NEED an excuse for dessert but they seem so much more special if they’re done with an occasion in mind.

I used this recipe as dessert for my British Dinner Party, which was a blast!

So the recipe says it’s a very fall dish. And I agree that it will be just as delicious come fall but, frankly, I love crumbles all year round. And since it’s the height of berry season, I have declared it the perfect time for such cooking.

As I said the recipe originally came from The Londoner blog. The adapted version below is changed from grams to cups, made vegan, and eliminated nuts (mostly because we didn’t have any and pecans aren’t my favorite nut).

You’ll need:

  • 1/3 c flour
  • 1/4 c butter (I used vegan butter)
  • 1/4 c light brown sugar
  • 1/3 c oats
  • 1 large or 2 small apples (pick your favorite kind to bake with)
  • 1 pint blackberries
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • cinnamon
  • 1/4 c vegan caramel sauce¬†
  • Non-dairy ice cream of your choosing

Steps:

  • Preheat the oven to 350. The original recipe says 330 but I like a little more crisp to my food.
  • Chop up your apples. Toss them in a bowl with the berries, lemon juice, and several good dashes of cinnamon. Transfer to your greased baking dish.
  • Combine flour, sugar, and butter into a bowl and cut together with a fork. You could also do this with a food processor but, in the interest of making minimal mess, I opted for the fork. Mix these until you have the consistency of damp sand.
  • Pour in your oats and mix thoroughly.

blackberry and apple toffee crumble | Stile.Foto.Cibo

  • Take your crumble and sprinkle it over the top of the fruit mixture.

blackberry and apple toffee crumble | Stile.Foto.Cibo

  • Bake in that 350* oven for 40-45 minutes. Take some time to tidy up, get plates ready, kick up your feet, and prepare for the amazing smells that are about to waft through your home.

blackberry and apple toffee crumble | Stile.Foto.Cibo

  • Serve scooped on pretty plates with a scoop of your favorite ice cream. Prepare for some heavenly bliss.

blackberry and apple toffee crumble | Stile.Foto.Cibo

This one is a crowd pleaser all around. Super delicious, super hearty, and also secretly good as leftovers for breakfast. I’m not saying I know from experience, I’m just saying I strongly recommend everyone try it.

blackberry and apple toffee crumble | Stile.Foto.Cibo

Un-Lobster Rolls

lobster rolls

Every single time summer rolls around, I start to crave super summery foods. To the point where nothing else will do. If it’s not bright and fresh or full of summery flavors, I really don’t want to eat it.

So I’ve taken things into my own hands here.

I present, vegan lobster rolls!

…served on hamburger buns because that was all we had and I was, honestly, way too lazy to go to the store.

You’ll need:

  • 1 package firm tofu, pressed.
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/3 c vegan mayo (I used Just Mayo. Pick your favorite)
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard (or whatever mustard you like)
  • garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste
  • Bread of your choice- preference given to hot dog buns or actual nice rolls. Don’t be lazy like me.

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Steps:

  1. Chop up your block of tofu. Think about how pieces of lobster look on the rolls and try to mimic that the best you can.
  2. Sautee up the tofu in some oil with 2 tsp Old Bay and some salt and pepper. Get some good color on the tofu.
  3. Let the tofu to cool a bit and chop up your onion.
  4. Add all ingredients except bread into a mixing bowl. Combine.
  5. Serve on toasted bread vessel, top with some chopped chives, and serve alongside potato chips.

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Taco Night!

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Tacos are the actual easiest and most delicious food ever.

If you do them right.

None of that cheese and tomato and lettuce stuff.

These tacos, not counting marinade time, took approximately 10 minutes to put together. They’re vegan, they’re healthy, they’re fresh, and they’re delicious.

I really don’t know what else to say about them. Tacos are one of my favorite week night meals because of how insanely easy they are to make. This recipe works for two at home looking for a quick bite or can be doubled into some real easy entertaining.

You’ll need:

  • 1 small can chipotle sauce
  • 1 can black beans NOT drained or rinsed
  • 1/2 block firm or extra firm tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 small handful cilantro
  • Juice of 1-2 limes
  • Cumin
  • Garlic powder
  • Chili powder
  • 4 soft tortillas (2 tacos per person)
  • 1 avocado, sliced (optional but delicious)
  • 1 6 pack of your favorite summer beer

Steps:

  1. Combine 3 tablespoons of the chipotle sauce in a container with the spices, mix.
  2. Add tofu to the marinade, cover, and put into the fridge for anywhere from 30 minutes-2 hours.
  3. Mince onion and cilantro, mix together. Add the juice of half a lime.
  4. Pop open your black beans, dump into a pot with 1 tablespoon chipotle sauce and the juice of half a lime. Cook these on low until hot, 15-20 minutes.
  5. While the beans are cooking, heat an oiled fry pan over medium heat. When hot, add marinated tofu.
  6. Cook tofu for 5-7 minutes, stirring.
  7. This is the fun part! But only really works with a gas oven. Turn a front burner on low (like, 2) and toss the tortillas onto the grate. Periodically flip until you have some color and the tortilla is warm. Hands down the best way to heat tortillas.
  8. Add tofu, onions, and cilantro to the tortillas.
  9. Serve alongside black beans topped with more onions and cilantro and the slices of avocado.

Pair with your favorite beer and enjoy!

marinating tofu

minced onions and cilantro

minced onions and cilantro

cooking blackbeans

cooking tofu

fire the tortillas

cooked tortilla

assembling tacos

Bog wave by Kona Brewing Company

 

Big Wave by Kona Brewing Co. is my sumer favorite!

taco dinner is served

Indie Cafe, Chicago

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Warm weather in Chicago means it’s outdoor dining season. Mind, it takes us until late May/early June to get there. But we eventually do and then everybody is outside all the time. Going anywhere to eat, the question “do you want to sit outside or inside?” is always “outside.”

So when Sarah and I had a much needed date night and we ended up at Indie Cafe on Broadway, of course we said yes! dining al  fresco is my favorite. Made even better by some wonderful Asian fusion.

Drinks first! This pomegranate cosmo is vodka, peach and orange infused liqueur, pomegranate juice, and fresh lime all garnished with a lemon rind and mint leaves. It’s SO REFRESHING! Hot days of July, I’m coming for you armed with this stuff.

Appetizer round included sweet potato samosas and miso soup, spicy for me and regular for her.

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The samosas were wonderful and slightly spicy, full to bursting with curried sweet potato. And the miso? Let’s just say I treated those fresh jalapeno slices more like tea leaves than an actual soup ingredient. That stuff was HOT and it was wonderful. But no way could I have handled all that extra jalapeno.

Finally, the main course. Sushi! Sushi is my “I’m a bad vegetarian” dish. Not all of us have one, but I do. So I got an Alaskan roll and a Spicy Salmon. Both spectacular! The fish was downright buttery.

Indie Cafe | Spicy Sake

Spicy Sake (salmon) roll

Indie Cafe | Alaskan Roll

Alaskan roll (Smoked salmon, avocado, and cucumber)

A much needed date night outside with wonderfully fresh and delicious food. I HIGHLY recommend Indie Cafe. Their menu spans many cuisines so there’s sure to be something for everyone. The sushi is insanely fresh and delicious. And their extensive drink menu will quench any thirst you could have.

Baked Tofu Steaks and Roasted Asparagus

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Farmers Market season has begun in Chicago! To celebrate, we immediately bought the best looking asparagus bunch we could find and took it home for roasting.

But asparagus is definitely more of a side, even in vegetarian land. I suppose I COULD try to make it a main dish. Or I could serve it alongside this bomb-ass tofu and be much happier.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 block firm tofu, sliced into 4 pieces and pressed.
  • 1/4 c maple syrup
  • 1/4 c dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • rosemary (either fresh or dried)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 big bunch of asparagus
  • olive oil

First and foremost, preheat your oven to 400*F

Combine the syrup, mustard, vinegar, rosemary, and some salt & pepper into a flat-bottomed dish for marinading. Insert tofu and leave for an hour or so.

I know, the sauce sounds weird but I promise it’s the most delicious savory sauce you will ever eat. Pulled it from a chicken recipe that involves roasting chicken thighs in it. If meat’s your thing, I say go for it.

tofu marinade

While your tofu is marinading and getting delicious, tend to your asparagus. Trim the bases as much as you need/want for the super woody stuff. I usually trim around an inch depending on how it looks. Use your own judgement.

Lay the asparagus out on a foil covered baking sheet and get ready to make them wonderful.

drizzle some olive oil over the stalks, add the salt & pepper and any other flavor-enhancing devices you would like. I have a spice mix that I put on almost everything but I have no idea what it contains. I think there’s some dried minced onion, garlic, black pepper? No idea but it tastes like heaven.

Roll the asparagus around in the oil and spices and let them get solidly coated.

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Back to your tofu. You should have let it hang out for 15-20 minutes. Go ahead and transfer the steaks into a lightly greased baking dish and drizzle some extra of the marinade on top. You know, for added levels of delicious in the oven.

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Put both the asparagus and the tofu in that 400*F oven for approximately 20 minutes, give or take.

Then sit back, pour yourself some wine, enjoy the sunset, and get ready for a delicious dinner.

Aforementioned sunset to enjoy.

Aforementioned sunset to enjoy.

After 20 or so minutes, your asparagus tops should look crunchy. The tofu should have firmed up, dried out, and taken on some toasty good color.

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For plating, include a salad of spinach greens and drizzle everything once more with the leftover marinade, which is now a sauce. [[please note this is not something you can do with raw meats as the marinade will be contaminated]]

Serve with a side of wine, candles, and romance!

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Buffalo Skillet Chickpeas

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This post has been long promised to several people. Skillet chickpeas are a staple in my kitchen. They’re quick, easy, delicious and, most importantly, full of yummy protein goodness!

You will need:

  • 1 8 oz can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans
  • 1/4-1/2 c hot sauce (I use Franks but you can use your favorite)
  • Vegan parmesan (optional)
  • Fresh chives (optional)

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Drain your chickpeas and add the hot sauce. You can do this right in the can, in a bowl, whatever.

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Put a small fry pan, skillet, or your other favorite shallow flat-bottomed cooking vessel over medium heat.

When it comes to temp, add your chickpea hot sauce goodness.

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Let it cook. Let it sit there for anywhere from 5-10 minutes. The hot sauce will absorb into the chickpeas, the chickpeas will cook to a glorious tenderness, and you’ll get this wonderful sauce from the extra hot sauce. BE WARNED the longer you cook the chickpeas, the more potent the sauce will get. I do spicy food on the regular and 10 minutes on a lower heat setting is basically too hot for me to handle. So proceed accordingly.

When everything is absorbed and delicious, transfer your quick and easy lunch into a bowl. You can top with the vegan parmesan and fresh chives, can serve over garlic bread, or basically anything else you can come up with.

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Garlic Infused Olive Oil

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It’s been a really long time since I’ve done a food post on here! So getting back into things, I’m gonna start really super simple. Garlic infused olive oil made with the blooms of my garlic chive plant.

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You will need:

  1. 1 small mason jar
  2. The blooms of a chive plant
  3. Extra virgin olive oil

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Take the flowers and crush them with the blade of a knife.

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Drop em into the mason jar.

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Pour olive oil on top! Just fill the jar right on up.

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Screw on the top and let the oil sit for anywhere from a day to a week. Enjoy delicious garlic flavored olive oil without having to mince up garlic! The best bit, you can cook with the blooms, too. So no need to strain them if you don’t want to.

I love this stuff!