Red Berry Almond Blondies by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal


this past weekend sasha from the beautiful site, tending the table made her way down to los angeles.  she and i had been planning a shoot for almost a month before she got here.  we went back and forth about recipe ideas - we originally were thinking gazpacho but somehow we made our way to these blondies ;)  we also secured a sponsorship with one of our favorite brands, california olive ranch, and made it our goal to make a recipe that highlighted their delicious olive oil.  so last sunday i met sasha at one of my favorite spots of all time, cookbook.  we chatted a bit and then drove to the farmers market.  we circled the market a few times scouting all the beautiful produce they had, and settled on a flat of strawberries, and another flat of blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.  

when we got back to my place, we quickly got to work measuring out our ingredients and stirring everything together.  once the blondies were in the oven we got to styling and shooting.  i was most looking forward to having fresh eyes in my space.  so often i reach for the same props or style things in a simple, time-saving way.  but with a free (baby-less) day to work and being alongside sasha revived a feeling i haven't had in some time.  it was so nice to focus on work and not have to worry about 5 other things simultaneously.  plus, it was such a pleasure working alongside someone who's work i've admired for some time.  we styled and shot things in a backward motion starting with a few ingredients shots, then some berries shots; and then, once the blondies cooled, we got to work on them.  they weren't completely cooled when i lifted them from the pan (i should have listened to my recipe notes!), and they cracked a little in the center.  i would normally freak out and try my best to squish them back together but sasha, very coolly, said that they looked better that way, so i went with it ;)  after we finished we talked some more about life and work, and it couldn't have been a nicer afternoon.  

you wouldn't guess by looking at them, but these blondies are quite rich.  they're definitely on the sweet side which is why using olive oil is so key, as it helps to mellow the sweetness and provide a subtle earthiness.  the berries are a bonus here as well.  while they are sweet on their own, when paired with the blondies their flavor and slight tartness produces the ultimate summer treat!

xo's! and be sure to check out sasha's site and her beautiful strawberry shot below 😍

this post was made in collaboration with california olive ranch.  all thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own. thank you so much for supporting the sponsors that keep dolly and oatmeal going ❀️



red berry almond blondies | gf & df

just like the perfect brownie, these blondies are quite dense and dare i say, gooey.  they're grain free, naturally gluten free, and free of dairy. they're also on the sweet side.  i would say these border on the almost too sweet side for my taste, but i know blondies/brownies are supposed to be ;)  the berries really cut through a lot of the sweetness, so i wouldn't leave them out, but they could definitely be swapped for your (tart) fruit of choice.

| makes 16 blondies |

  • 1 1/4 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup california olive ranch olive oil
  • 2 large pasture raised eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, halved or quartered (depending on size)
  • handful of fresh raspberries
  • sliced almonds, for garnish
  • powdered sugar, for garnish

photo by sasha swerdloff


head on over to sasha's blog for the recipe method!


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Izy's Fattoush Dip by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal


i have to say, it takes a lot for me to admit i'm tired. but i am.  i don't think i ever knew an exhaustion like this.  every day is full throttle, taking care of a crawling, teething child who has a determination to pull himself up on just about anything and everything.  trying to balance being a baby chaser and having some semblance of a career has been a challenge as well. i've been determined to do "this" on my own, to take care of my child without the help of someone during the day.  i'm not sure why i limit myself, why i have to stick with an idea regardless of how realistic it is.  i can be very harsh with myself.  i don't like taking things easy, nor do i like not being busy. but since we touched down in LA it's been go, go, go. 

so some things have changed around here.  frank and i found a babysitter, and are going on our first date since amesy was born (yes, he's almost 9 months old), we are also in the process of getting a very part-time nanny to help during the week, and we just booked a little vacation next month to the desert (not sure if that was the smartest idea at the height of summer).  all good things that will hopefully alleviate some of the drained vibes around here.

i haven't been cooking for fun lately, and i rarely find time to recipe develop anything more than an iced matcha latte.  so i couldn't be more grateful to cookbooks these days.  their pages are like little gifts giving me instructions and measurements and telling me how put one foot in front of the other and put a meal together.  this fattoush dip recipe comes from izy hossack's 2nd book, the savvy cook.  the dip is a riff on a traditional fattoush salad but placed on top of a kidney bean puree.  i love a good dip, and this one popped out at me.  first, i love how vibrant it is, but it's wonderfully original, and delicious.  the dip is flavored with a bit of garlic, and the salad is dressed with a simple dressing that's tossed with cinnamon.  i wasn't sure how the garlic and the cinnamon would play off each other, but it's definitely a flavor i'm going to revisit.

happy almost summer! xo  



fattoush dip | v

recipe from The Savvy Cook by Izy Hossack

| serves 3 to 4 |

dip 

  • 1 1/3 cups (240g) red kidney beans, drained (except for 3 tablespoons liquid from can) and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped or crushed
  • salt
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

salad

  • handful of cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 2 radishes, thinly sliced
  • handful of arugula or pea shoots
  • handful of cilantro, coarsely chopped (leaves and stems)
  • handful of mint leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 scallion, finely sliced
  • handful of pomegranate seeds (optional)

dressing

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • pinch of salt


method

  1. using a handheld blender or a countertop blender, blend all the dip ingredients together until smooth.  transfer the dip to a serving plate, spread it out slightly, then top with the salad ingredients.
  2. in a jar with a screw-on lid, combine all the dressing ingredients, put on the lid, and shake to mix.
  3. pout the dressing over the salad and dip, then serve with pita chips, pita bread, or crackers for dipping.

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Sweet Pea Oven Risotto w/ Garlicky Pea Shoots by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal


apparently there's something called june gloom here in southern california.  the mornings and early afternoons are cloudy and chilly, and the late afternoons open up to bright blue skies and warm sunshine.  but i'm not really finding anything super gloomy about it (for now). back in new york there would be super cold spring days, and the kind of spring days that are muggy and in the 80's.  essentially, real spring days are numbered in new york, which is why i'm loving the LA weather lately.  and to be honest, i'm not quite in shorts or bathing suit shape yet, so i'm selfishly excited i still get to rock yoga pants and sweatshirts for a little bit longer.    

the desert nights are another thing i absolutely love here.  no matter how hot it gets during the day there are always enough cool breezes to go around and sufficiently cool everything down.  which is why i love this spring risotto dish.  the recipe hits that seasonal in between perfectly, in that it has all those great spring vegetables, but it's cozy enough for a cool night.  the risotto comes from sarah waldman's new book, Feeding A Family.  i had been anxiously awaiting sarah's book since she began teasing posts about it on instagram a ways back, and she was kind enough to send me a copy.  i'm a big fan of her site and love that she lived on my favorite island in the world, martha's vineyard.

the book is organized by season.  in each season are dinner recipes accompanied by a side dish, and in most cases, a dessert.  the book provides great structure for making family-based meals, which i love.  in this (still) new world of having a baby, and still trying to prepare meals for my family, this book is a wonderful guide.   sarah's recipe are approachable yet delicate, and are inclusive of lots of diets.  but what i love most is her notes on how to make each recipe baby-friendly, or how to involve your older children in the process of making a meal.  her notes also include how to turn "tonight's dinner" into tomorrow's dinner.  so clever!  

this risotto was super simple to put together.  for someone who never knew you could make risotto in an oven, this was a revelation.  it's so awesome to know there's a baby/family-friendly risotto recipe out there that doesn't require you to stand over a pot stirring for 40 minutes. and the rice comes out just as creamy and delicious as if you stood over that pot.  i made some substitutions that are more friendly to my diet which i highlight in the notes below ;)

june hugs! xo



sweet pea oven risotto w/ garlicky pea shoots

recipe from Feeding A Family by Sarah Waldman

i substituted the 4 tablespoons of butter with 2 tablespoons of ghee.  you could add more, just make sure to taste as you go since ghee has a distinct flavor.  i also substituted roughly 3/4 cup of nutritional yeast for the grated parmesan, but you could add more/less depending on your preference.  since i didn't use parmesan there's a lack of salt.  i added salt, to taste, in the step where you add the peas. 

| serves 6 |

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 cups aborio rice
  • 4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups sweet peas (thawed if frozen, blanched in boiling water if fresh)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 handfuls of freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • garlicky pea shoots, for serving

garlicky pea shoots

| serves 4 |

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or grated on a microplane
  • 3 loosely packed cups pea shoots, torn into peices
  • kosher salt


method

  1. preheat oven to 400Β°F.
  2. place an oven-safe pot over medium heat.  add the olive oil and the chopped shallots and saute until soft but not browned.  add in the rice and cook it for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until the grains glisten.
  3. meanwhile, pour the broth into a separate saucepan, bring it to a boil, and immediately remove it from the heat.  add 4 cups of the hot broth to the rice mixture.  stir to combine and bring the rice pot to a boil, the cover the pot and transfer it to the oven.  cook for 20 minutes or until the liquid is mostly absorbed and the rice is tender.  remove the pot from the oven and add the peas, butter, the remaining 1/2 cup of broth, and handfuls of parmesean cheese.  stir everything to combine and served topped with garlicky pea shoots.

garlicky pea shoots

  1. heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  add the minced garlic and pea shoots.  continuously toss the pea shoots with garlic until they are just wilted.  sprinkle with salt and serve on top of the risotto.

sarah's notes:

for baby: the sweetness and soft texture of this risotto are perfect for baby.  if you'd like, stir in finely chopped pea shoots for added nutrition.

tomorrow's dinner: risotto cakes - make a second pot of oven risotto and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.  the rice will get firm and sticky. form the rice into small patties and fry them in a large skillet coated with olive oil until crispy and browned on both sides. 


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