Friday Foodie: The Vanilla Bean Blog

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I really love sourcing these Friday Foodie posts. There are so many fabulous cooks out there making such stunning and creative efforts with the food they’re cooking, the images they’re snapping and the words they’re penning. Or typing! The Vanilla Bean Blog is a case in point. Once a professional but self-taught baker, Sarah Kieffer left work to be a full time mother, which, you know, happens. In doing so, she slowly came to the realisation as she herself surfed food blogs, that she was lacking a culinary story, a kitchen journey.

There were no family recipe books passed down, filled with recipes known, made and devoured with love by those who had tied on apron strings and leaned over simmering pots before her, and before, and before. So Sarah decided this would start with her and that her children would have family food to turn to, and familiar recipes to make. There’s not much to beat that and I for one salute her efforts!

Kieffer also encourages guest posts which really shakes things up and some of the ideas that come via her internet-working are truly delicious as well. There are great quotes to read and ponder and I know you’ll love it.

As always I try to find food that would work just as well around a campfire, over hot coals or camping stove. These are my favourites:

This peanut butter granola with cacao nibs and bittersweet chocolate, recipe here, would be great to make ahead and take for an early breakfast!

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Warm lentil salad with cherries, pistachios and goat’s cheese, recipe here. Can you imagine this alongside some BBQ’d chicken or a side of salmon?

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And to seriously inspire your fellow campers to get into the day, try this einkorn dutch baby with maple-bourbon peaches, recipe here. I mean, how enticing does that sound?!

And I love a nutty wild rice salad, recipe here. They’re great to make ahead and are ready to go as soon as all the tents are up, the campfire lit and the sausages are cooked. Visit Kieffer’s blog. I know you’ll become fans.

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All images via The Vanilla Bean Blog, with thanks.

Friday Foodies: Happyolks

pizza_17Happyolks is a lovely, lovely food blog written by Denver based Kelsey Hayes. She writes movingly about her life, loves and friendships here and accompanies these posts with truly delicious recipes to “celebrate the experience of creating a wholesome meal and the happiness that inherently grows from it”. Kelsey doesn’t make a living from Happyolks, instead she pens it and whips up sumptuous dishes purely for the joy in it and she shares them because she’s very attached to being a part of a community that stretches around the world and the realisation that there are “thousands of people in this big crazy world who share similar passions, interests, and goals.”.

I adore reading her blog and meandering through the great recipes and images (all taken by her boyfriend-now-fiancé, Shaun). It has fast become one of my absolute favourites food blogs. She finds beautiful little quotes like this one below from the remarkable Joan Didion. I’ll include it here because Joan Didion rocks and because it’s a wonderful thing to have in your mind as we head into another weekend before another week, another month, another year …. :

“I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave’s a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that’s what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it.”

Happyolks is a sweet little sister blog for campfirestyle because she also loves camping and has loads of great things to try on your next expedition. Like this camp cobbler (be sure to watch the little movie, it’s really cute!) or this open fire scramble, which I’m definitely going to try next time I’m out in the wilds with a campfire, eggs & bacon ….

But my choice for this week’s FRIDAY FOODIES is her divine looking pizza on a grill. I’ve always had a niggling thought that pizza on a grill is a possibility. Perhaps not on an open campfire, but I often take my little Smokey Joe BBQ with us when we go camping. It’s tiny, works brilliantly, and could easily make a fabulous camping pizza stove. I’ll let you know when I try it.

Be sure to visit the blog and get the full recipe for her pizza on a grill here. Enjoy and let me know what you think!

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