Battle of Ingredients #7: Easter/Spring Edition

Battle of Ingredients

Welcome to the next Battle of Ingredients. My co-host Starry Traveler Phoebe and I gathered this time with friends for a little Easter/Spring celebration.

Heres what we did!

Wine

Barefoot Sparkling Moscato

Tonight’s wine from our friends is the Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato. It was light and sweet. A more in depth talk will be in the wine recap next month.

Main Meals

Lamb Chops – Phoebe

Lamb Chops

Phoebe gets the big task of taking care of the meat dish this time around. We did research and realized that Easter usually revolves around ham or lamb and after some talk, she decided to take on making lamb chops. They were marinated and topped with salt and various herbs. It took about 2 hours to cook in the oven.

This one turned out pretty good. It wasn’t cooked through but I’ve had chops before and they usually aren’t plus it was marinated and seasoned just enough to have a lovely taste.

Ratatouille – Kim

Ratatouille

Recipe via Pinterest: https://www.ricardocuisine.com/en/recipes/5312-ratatouille?epik=0DYovE_IWH0tx

Trying out a quick one pot ratatouille this time as our primary vegetable dish. I followed the recipe above fairly closely. Eggplants aren’t in season right now so they were hard to find good ones. So the portion for that was a little less. However, this ratatouille was both easy to make and tasted pretty good. I may have overcooked it a little and it would have benefited from having some pasta or something to serve with. In comparison to the original, I think I skimped out on diced tomatoes a little. Everything’s a learning curve and I certainly had fun making this one and would try it again particularly using a pot this time instead of a pan since there is a lot of vegetables to add in so it started getting a little crowded and that affected the cooking time.

The better version would be to slice everything thinly and then organize it and pop it into the oven to cook. Perhaps a future trial.

Dairy-free Scalloped Potatoes – Kim

Dairy-free Scalloped Potatoes

Recipe: https://veganinthefreezer.com/dairy-free-herbed-scalloped-potatoes/

Next up is something of a side thing which was the scalloped potatoes. I recently made scalloped potatoes for a Goodfoods box and thought about it for this meal as a dairy-free style and found the recipe above on Pinterest. Scalloped Potatoes were done in the afternoon in advance as to free up the oven space and then reheated. We used a mandoline to quicken the process. We used some unsweetened almond milk (unfortunately, I only had the vanilla flavor) and we took a chance with it to see if it would affect the taste. It did still have a slight vanilla flavor which felt a little weird but overall, the texture is still there. I’d redo this one with the herbs (as the recipe above indicated but I didn’t have any this time around) and also with some unflavored and unsweetened almond milk. We only ended up with one portion left over so I’d say it had a decent result.

Dessert

Marshmallow Wands – Kim

Marshmallow Wands

Recipe: http://www.twosisterscrafting.com/springtime-marshmallow-wands/

The ideas I went through for the dessert was numerous but with the two dishes above, I wanted to go for something a little simpler so I went with these springtime marshmallow wands which is basically skewering three marshmallows and then coating them with dark chocolate and adding sprinkles then letting the chocolate harden. Its times like these that I wish I knew how to temper chocolate before coating it so that it would have that lovely crunch when you bit into it. Anyways, I am still learning and these did turn out really great. I know that the coating could have been better but I learned a lot from this recipe as simple as it may seem. Marshmallows and dark chocolate is just yummy! It is a little on the sweet side so I only made enough so everyone had one.

This wraps up this Easter/Spring edition of Battle of Ingredients!
Not quite sure what is next one but might be a spring Farmer’s Market edition for 2018.
Its still in discussion right now 😉

Do you celebrate Easter and what foods do you make?

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Valentine’s Baking: “Pink” Cupcakes with Marshmallow Hearts

Yesterday I posted a selfie with these darling cupcakes that I made.  They were supposed to be pink but it didn’t really exactly look pink even though I used red fool coloring.  So now it just looks like plain cupcakes with marshmallow hearts on top.

Valentine's Cupcakes Marshamallow heart

Don’t you love the world of pinterest? I found the recipe there.

Here’s the link: http://blahnikbaker.com/2014/02/pink-velvet-cupcakes/

Valentine's cupcakes marshmallow hearts

Fresh out of the oven

You see the color difference in that? Its because the batch on the left has not milk so it retained a more “pink” look. While the one on the right has black sesame soy milk so it looks more dark and neutral.  That replaces the buttermilk. I am lactose intolerant so that was the best alternative I could think so.  Either removing it completely or using milk and I’m in the phase of black sesame soy milk.  Plus, I’m still learning about how to get the right shades with food coloring and since I don’t use it all too often, its been hard.

Valentines cupcakes marshmallow heart

Still, garnishing it with a little marshmallow heart that I formed with my hands after cutting a marshmallow in half was a nice little touch, no? I think it looks cute even if the cupcake doesn’t look too great. But, I can guarantee you that it tastes good 🙂 Of course, the ones without milk were a tad more dry but the ones with were nice and fluffy. It wasn’t too sweet and the marshmallow adds to the flavor. Everything worked out good in the end.

I’m going to try to do another Valentine’s baking session if I get inspired.  If you are looking for something else, I really like my last year’s bake, Valentine’s Shortbread Hearts 🙂 You can check it out HERE! Those were mega adorable and tasted so awesome because I love shortbread.

What do you like as sweets for Valentine’s? Do you know any alternative for buttermilk?