Salt and Vinegar Chocolate Tart | @thefauxmartha

I had the opportunity to fly to Portland on a #chiptrip with Kettle Chips. We toured their beautiful innovation center and production facility. In fact, it’s so beautiful I didn’t believe they actually produced chips on-site until I saw chips being produced on-site. A modern building straight out of Dwell Magazine greeted us. Lush, thoughtful landscaping stood between the restored wetlands and the innovation center. Could it be possible to love Kettle Chips even more? I knew it was in the realm after having my mind blown the night before at Park Kitchen. We finished dinner with a bittersweet chocolate tart that sat above a pool of salted caramel sauce. Adjacent to the tart was a scoop of hazelnut ice cream with crunchy Salt and Vinegar Kettle Chips underneath. Salt and Vinegar Chips! I’ve never fallen so madly, deeply in love with a dessert. It’s like the first 10 seconds of a Christina Aguilera song when she hits every last note. Bitter, sweet, salty, sour, smooth, rich, crunchy. I was ruined. Read more

I’m fighting against the seasonal clock to make as many rhubarb infested treats as possible. The window is short. Too short. I nearly broke out in sweat on a cool 70° morning at the farmer’s market this week. Was I late? Where’s all the rhubarb? Oh, it was there alright. At the very last stand. Read more

I had grand plans of posting twice this week. While on vacation. Ha! It’s now Thursday. And only by a Christmas miracle is this post live. I’ve been living it up responsibility-free for two weeks straight. Making these bracelets. And these cowls. Sitting by the fire with the A/C on (only in Texas). Sheer bliss. But it’s going to be a rough adjustment back into real life next Monday. Pray for me. Read more

One last recipe before the year end. And here I sit in disbelief that I just typed “year end”. Truth be told, this is my least favorite time of year. The hype of Christmas has passed. The tree is still up but sits lonely and unlit in the corner. It’s trunk bare with opened gifts that have since found new homes. The sun shines brightly trying to uplift my disposition. But seems to do just the opposite as I wish for overcast mornings. For snow covered streets. For the quietness of winter. It’s not time for the bright and cheery. It’s not time to press restart again. Or is it? Read more

 

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Last fall I froze a ton of fresh pumpkin, which is now sitting alongside the fresh cranberries I froze from the winter before. I have this tendency to think that I’m going to want seasonal produce year around. So I stock up like the overly zealous squirrels down the street. At the beginning of the month, I had 4 servings of pumpkin to use before I’d allow myself to buy more pumpkins. So I made pumpkin bread as soon as the summer temperatures dropped. And then [insert dramatic pause] I came across a recipe for pumpkin oreo tarts from Lauren’s Latest. Read more

I’ve written and rewritten this sentence 13 times. How do I compete with this?

Aren’t they cute? And tiny. And little. I have an affinity towards small things. Simon Birch is my favorite movie. And the only movie I can quote every line. “Ah, it’s a horse!” Simon says in a squeaky voice after coming into contact with a large dog. I feel that way sometimes too, Simon. Five. Zero. That’s all the length I’ve got. We short people have to stick together. And that’s why I like mini tarts. They’re just my size. Read more

Pink celery.

Prior to going to the farmers’ market every weekend, I knew rhubarb as pink celery. Embarrassing, right? After looking at it from afar for over a year, I bought a couple pink stalks. But I didn’t know what to do with them. I thought about chopping a piece off to taste it so I’d have a better sense of how to prepare it. I hear it’s a good thing I didn’t. Word on the street: rhubarb is poisonous uncooked, or at least its leaves are. Crisis averted. So I flipped through a bunch of recipes online and landed on a rhubarb galette. It called for lemon juice. From half a lemon. So I squeezed away just as the recipe directed. Popped it in the oven. So far so good. Served it up a la mode. Took a bite, and, here’s where it goes bad, my eye muscles started to freak out. Tears followed. And taste buds were seared. I looked like the bitter beer face guy.

Pink celery.

It’s tart. I’ve learned my lesson—looks can be deceiving. Use orange juice instead of lemon juice. And add strawberries to help to cool the tartness. With that, I give you: nutty strawberry rhubarb bread.

Nutty Strawberry Rhubarb Bread
adapted from King Arthur Flour

1/2 c. finely chopped walnuts
1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. orange oil
2 eggs
1 1/4 c. chopped strawberries
1 1/4 c. chopped rhubarb (about 3 stalks)
1/2 c. canola oil

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. (I always skip this step and it comes out clean.)
2. In a medium sauce pan, cook strawberries and rhubarb over medium heat until they begin to breakdown, about 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat, mash, and set aside. Allow to come to room temperature (or pop them in the freezer for 5 min.).
3. Meanwhile, using a food processor, finely chop walnuts. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the walnuts, flours, sugar, soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the orange oil, eggs, strawberry rhubarb mixture, and canola oil. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, whisking until well-blended.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. (I add a sheet of foil in the last 15 minutes to keep from burning.) Cool the bread in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove it, transferring to a rack to cool completely, 1 hour or longer. For best flavor and easiest slicing, wrap the bread while slightly warm and let it sit overnight. (Great tip! I always let bread sit overnight to allow the flavors to mature. It’s worth the wait.)

How do you like your rhubarb? Tart or tamed?