by Kate on October 2, 2015

anthologymag-blog-food-croquembouche-1Even though I like to treat cooking and baking as a labor of love as often as I can, rarely do I make fancy dishes or even consider the presentation of the meal. There was something about this croquembouche, beautifully displayed and adorned with flowers, that stopped me in my tracks. It has since inspired me to put in the time to make a special, celebratory dish from time to time—for no reason in particular except to enjoy the process.

Croquembouche is a traditional French treat made of puff pastry balls and a coating of spun sugar or caramel, and is usually served at weddings and other special ceremonies. This recipe is much more practical for everyday consumption; each of the three ball recipes can be made vegan and are chock full of healthy ingredients: cashews, strawberries, sweet potato, honey, and shredded coconut, to name a few. I hope you’ll join me in trying out this fun take on the fancy French delicacy. To check out the full recipe, click here.

anthologymag-blog-food-croquembouche-2anthologymag-blog-food-croquembouche-3anthologymag-blog-food-croquembouche-4anthologymag-blog-food-croquembouche-5{ All images an recipe from Not Quite Nigella }


Recipe Roundup: Smoothie Bowls

by Kate on September 18, 2015

anthologymag-blog-food-smoothiebowl-1A couple weeks ago, I was in Santa Cruz for a day trip when one of my friends suggested we stop into this Brazilian cafe to sample their signature breakfast treat: the acai smoothie bowl. I’ve had plenty of smoothies in my life, but this hot pink, fruit-and-nut-laden meal-in-a-bowl was something to behold. It was big enough for all three of us to share, and the mixture of flavors was so wonderful that my taste buds begin to tingle every time I think about it.

I have since been recreating my own version at home, and was delighted to discover that many people are getting creative with this dish. I keep finding new combinations, and as an artist I can’t help but be seduced by how visually beautiful these bowls can be. The ingredients are simple and easy to gather, and the fun is the play of different colors, textures and tastes. I highly recommend sampling all of these versions, but experimenting with your own combinations is also too fun not to try.

{ Image above: Not Your Standard’s Strawberry Banana Smoothie Bowl recipe }

anthologymag-blog-food-smoothiebowl-2{ Perfect for fall: the spiced apple and oatmeal smoothie bowl from Kitchen Konfidence }

anthologymag-blog-food-smoothiebowl-3{ Love this version with edible flowers and tons of grains, from Anniskk }

anthologymag-blog-food-smoothiebowl-4{ Spring Awakening Strawberry Smoothie Bowl recipe from Will Frolic For Food }

anthologymag-blog-food-smoothiebowl-6{ Vegan Cashew Bowl – one of many amazing bowl ideas from Lemon & Leisure }


Coconut Leches Cake

by Kate on September 11, 2015

anthologymag-blog-food-coconut-cake-1I have a weakness for coconut in all forms, and with the crazy heat wave we’re having in the Bay Area, chilled coconut water has become part of my daily regimen. Since I’m on a kick, I decided to pick up a few whole coconuts the other day with no real plans for what to do with them. After searching for a while for the perfect recipe, I came across this coconut leches cake by Elizabeth Evelyn Kirby of Local Milk and knew I’d found what I was looking for.

As Kirby points out, this recipe is not technically tres leches because it actually contains seven different kinds of milk: powdered milk, evaporated milk, whole milk, condensed milk, coconut milk, buttermilk, and heavy cream. Wowza. Her styling of these cakes with fresh flowers and greenery is so lovely; it’s inspired me to whip this up and invite friends over to celebrate my love of coconut. 

anthologymag-blog-food-coconut-cake-6anthologymag-blog-food-coconut-cake-2anthologymag-blog-food-coconut-cake-4anthologymag-blog-food-coconut-cake-5anthologymag-blog-food-coconut-cake-3{ All images and full recipe available on Local Milk }



by Anh-Minh on September 4, 2015


I have to admit: Prior to receiving this week’s guest recipe from Melina Hammer, I had never heard of chermoula. Now, her words and stunning images have me eager to make the sauce this holiday weekend. —Anh-Minh


How many times have you experienced the steak-burger-dog menu during Labor Day festivities? I decided not to go that route because enough of that is readily available. I thought, why not do something a little unexpected (and also terrifically flavorful)?

When you make this, folks will be so busy enjoying themselves, they won’t care they didn’t get a steak. I’ll bet you on that. Plus, this recipe doesn’t require you labor over much.

It’s no more than seven minutes grilling the head-on shrimp, and if you choose to make the chick peas and eggplant sides, one is passive cooking you can easily step away from, and the other is just a couple extra minutes on the grill (for the eggplant to get charred and jammy). With the extra time in your day, you’ll be able to properly mourn summer’s passing, and then plan the exciting things you’re going to do this fall. And to give a few thanks to the countless people who really have labored across this great world.

Chermoula hails from north Africa: think Morocco, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia. To me, it’s their version of salsa or pesto. There is a great variance to its preparation, largely based on region and what is available. Some recipes call for cinnamon, some, saffron. Others incorporate turmeric, allspice, even tomato paste. Keeping the main ingredients constant, it can be fun to play with the “flourish flavors” and see which version of chermoula is your personal favorite.

Often puréed, I kept this chermoula chunky so it wouldn’t appear as muddy, visually. This chopped sauce is bursting with flavor and goes with everything. It’s a shame the sauce color doesn’t describe that brightness.

I chose wild, head-on shrimp as the delectable pairing to go with this chermoula. Serving and eating them feels like a special occasion, particularly because they are not always available. For those of you conscientious folks, farmed shrimp, I learned, uses shore lines for their crowded operations and eradicate precious mangrove forests in the process: nature’s first line of defense against soil erosion and overall coastal health. Now I don’t buy farmed shrimp anymore. If you can find head-on shrimp, cook them intact. They retain a juiciness and sweetness that is very special. If you’ve had head-on shrimp previously, you probably already know to get in on the greatness in the heads!

Since last month’s Cold Noodle Salad recipe format was such a hit, I am repeating it so that the recipe is doable no matter what’s in your cupboards.

for the chermoula

Adapted from Bryant Terry
Makes 1 1/2-2 cups

main ingredients

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated on a microplane
  • 1 1/4 packed cup chopped cilantro
  • 3/4 packed cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 red onion, minced
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground in a mortar and pestle
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne

If you don’t prefer to chop the above ingredients, the puréed food-processor version will do in a pinch.

liquids – one of each

  • juice from 1 Meyer lemon or regular lemon or the equivalent in a vinegar of your choice
  • juice from 1/2 orange
  • 1 tsp honey or agave, cane sugar dissolved in a tiny amount of water, sorghum, maple syrup, etc.
  • extra virgin olive oil

You can add more olive oil and make the chermoula saucier, or let it be chunky and thick. Up to you.

heat – choose one

  • 1/8 tsp habanero, seeded and minced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • hot sauce

flourish flavor – choose one or two

  • 1/2 tsp saffron, crumbled
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/3 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp lemon zest

what to put chermoula on …

meaty – choose one

  • head-on shrimp
  • whole or sectioned chicken
  • lamb chops, lamb burgers
  • tofu, tempeh
  • sea bass/red snapper/flounder/monkfish
  • sausage links

on the side – choose as you like

  • rice
  • couscous
  • quinoa
  • chick peas
  • black beans
  • cannellini beans
  • eggplant
  • zucchini/summer squash
  • carrots
  • green beans


  1. I soaked and cooked dry chickpeas, added some extra minced red onion and chopped parsley from making the chermoula, along with sea salt, black pepper, pickle juice, and olive oil. Fairytale eggplants from the market paired nicely with the rest, cut into 1/4-inch thick pieces, drizzled with olive oil, and grilled until charred and soft. Choose your bounty.
  2. Combine chermoula ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Heat grill (or grill pan) to medium-high.
  3. Toss shrimp in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside until grill is near smoking-hot. You can grill the (olive oil-tossed) vegetables first, or do so after the shrimp. Grill shrimp 3 minutes a side, until nicely charred in places and the shrimp have turned a bright orange.
  4. Transfer shrimp to a platter. Spoon chermoula over, leaving enough to bring extra to the table for diners to help themselves. Serve alongside whichever sides you have prepared, and a crisp, minerally wine to complement. Don’t forget the napkins!
  5. Should you have chermoula leftover, place plastic wrap directly on the surface and then seal tightly to slow oxidation. Sauce keeps 1 week, refrigerated.

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{ Recipe and photos by Melina Hammer for Anthology Magazine }


Grapefruit Rhubarb Cocktail

by Kate on September 3, 2015

anthologymag-blog-drink-rhubarb-cocktail-1I’m not usually much of a cocktail drinker, but I make exceptions. Summertime is my favorite season for enjoying cool, refreshing mixed drinks; and I also have a hard time resisting when the drink is slightly sweet, beautiful to look at, and packed with refreshing citrus flavors. This Grapefruit Rhubarb cocktail fits all of my requirements, and I cannot wait to make some of these for friends (and myself!) to enjoy over Labor Day weekend.

The basis of this drink is grapefruit juice mixed with a rhubarb syrup. Izy Hossack, a student of Food Science & Nutrition in London and the creator of the incredible food blog Top With Cinnamon, came up with the recipe. Hosack notes that the combination of the juice and the syrup yields a gorgeous cerise-colored mix that would be equally wonderful without alcohol. She suggests mixing it with a bit of sparkling water as a fizzy refresher, or swirling it liberally onto a bowl of plain frozen yogurt for dessert. I am going to try all of her recommendations, of course—plus a few ideas of my own, too.

anthologymag-blog-drink-rhubarb-cocktail-2anthologymag-blog-drink-rhubarb-cocktail-3anthologymag-blog-drink-rhubarb-cocktail-4anthologymag-blog-drink-rhubarb-cocktail-5{ All images and full recipe from Top With Cinnamon }