Turning 40. Midlife. Middle age. This is cause for something epic to be done, right? Thanks to the inspiration from a dear friend, I compiled a 16-item bucket list of forty things to achieve during the year.  These include things that I’ve been wanting to do, been putting off, quietly nagging at me or just plain fun!

I love food! I’m fascinated with new foods and learning about foods from different cultures.  There’s so much out there!  One of my #40 bucket list items is to cook forty new recipes.  What makes this more ambitious is that I’ve stopped eating meat and dairy this year, while my family has not.

Rassasy, an old 15th century word meaning to satisfy a hunger.  Could there be a better name for a food blog?  I think this just may be my new favorite word.  If I’m having deep thoughts, thank you Jack Handy, this hunger could also be my love for adventure.  Or food adventures.

 

1000 Foods to Eat Before You Die

Could there be a better name for a book? Hello, I may have become slightly obsessed with getting this book after I found out about its’ existence.

And with the timing of it, it just had to become one of my New Year’s Resolutions, to make at least one item from each of the sections that I have not eaten before. I hope to do much more and at some point it would be amazing to even work through all the foods in each section and have themed months. But, I’m trying to be realistic and know that is not very likely at this point.

So, a lot of rassasyme.com will now be foods found in this book. And while ‘1000 Foods to Eat Before You Die’ is not a recipe book, it more describes the foods and where you may find it, it will give me lots of ideas and let me find my own recipes.

I’m in love ❤️

Stay tuned 😊

Puffed Quinoa Treats

I was intrigued by this recipe, or really, any recipe that has no added sugar.

I was momentarily stumped by the puffed quinoa. Since I’m on a no spend streak I didn’t want to immediately buy puffed quinoa if I could make it at home with my own quinoa. Well, I tried that and it didn’t work. I can’t really tell you why. But, when my husband ate these last night he thought maybe it had “puffed” up more than I thought. But, I digress.

I finally just succumbed to Amazon and it arrived in a nice resealable bag all puffed up for me.

With just four ingredients; dark chocolate, unsweetened coconut flakes, coconut oil and the puffed quinoa, it was a breeze to make. The only issue I ran into was I couldn’t form them into balls like the recipe showed. So instead, I just put them into a rectangular dish and made them more into bars.

Puffed Quinoa Treats – www.cleanfoodcrush.com

After they sat in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. I pulled them out and they definitely set up. We were able to just break off chunks, like you’d do with bark. They were a great treat, my daughter declared them a much better version of rice krispie treats.

Folio Cheese Wraps

My new, fun food find at Costco are these cheese wraps. I was super excited to try them and just felt like the possibilities were endless.

I couldn’t get my groceries put away fast enough…. I may have already had a pan heating up on the stove before I was done so I could sautee the spinach and onions. Hungry much?!

I thought how fun would it be to make an inside-out omelette. Well, my kitchen is where all good dreams go to die 😂 Alas, my omelette turned into a tostada. While the spinach and onions were sizzling away anticipating the arrival of the eggs, I placed the cheese wrap in the microwave. I was expecting a nice, gooey loveliness of cheese; but instead I got a crispy, breakable cheese circle.

At first I was disappointed, I would not be able to roll the egg/spinach/onion mixture inside for my inside- out omelette…. Instead it all got placed on top to create a tostada!

My disappointment was very short lived, because this was the bomb! I loved the crunchy cheese with the softness of the eggs and spinach.

And they’re so versatile. Days later when I made traditional omelettes for the family for dinner, I placed the cheese rounds inside and it melted just enough for the perfect amount of cheesey gooeyness and covered it perfectly. My family all thought they were the best omelettes they’ve had and I think the credit goes to the Folio Cheese Wraps.

Christmas Pavlova

I may have a slight obsession (I really mean huge) with the Great British Baking Show. While the bakes are intriguing because they’re so unique to my American upbringing, what I really love is the camraderie between the bakers. It doesn’t appear to be a competitive, back-stabbing show that is typical to what is commonly seen on TV.

While most of what they make is terrifyingly complicated to me, the pavlova really peaked my interest.

Was it the marshmallowy center or the crisp outside, the sweet whip cream or the healthy fruit😉? God only knows.

I followed Mary Berry’s Wreath Pavlova recipe and it was delicious along with being beautifully festive.

Christmas Pavlova Recipe

Guess what I’ll be making for Christmas desert?

Miso Hard Boiled Eggs

Fat, Salt, Acid, Heat is a new food show I found on Netflix. Did someone say food and Netflix? I loved the beauty of the series shown by being on location in amazing places and seeing first hand what goes on behind the scenes to produce these vital elements into our food.

Instead of buying the first plane ticket to Italy and meeting these red cows as shown in the first episode, Fat, I exhibited self control and went with what I had in my fridge. Miso and eggs. I’m not a huge salt fan, but I do like a little salt on my hard boiled eggs and I was intrigued to see how miso could deliver it.

After you hard boil eggs and let them cool, I just cocooned the peeled eggs in miso paste.

I let them sit overnight and absorb all the saltiness and was eager to try them the next day. Well, going back to how I’m not a huge salt fan, I found them to be way too salty. Although they definitely had a different depth of salt flavor, it was just too much. But, it may not be that way for everyone. 😊

Rugbraud Bread

I am one lucky girl, having just returned from an amazing trip, including Iceland.

While there aren’t a lot of traditional Icelandic foods that particularly appealed to me. Hello, fermented shark. I absolutely fell in love with this bread, rugbraud. It was served along side the traditional fish stew, plokkfiskur. Rugbraud is a dark rye bread, very dense and slightly sweet. I was thrilled when we found it in the grocery store and enjoyed it at our hostel. Then, I saw it at the airport and brought it home to share with my family. When that was gone, I looked up how to make it. I just couldn’t get enough. 😊

But, I’m so glad I looked up rugbraud recipes because I learned about the history and how it is traditionally made. Buried in the ground and slowly steamed next to a geothermal hot spring. How cool is that?! Or hot? 😉

Often, I don’t have a lot of luck with baking so I was somewhat skeptical how it would turn out. Added that I was substituting molasses for the golden syrup could be disastrous.

I followed this super simple recipe.

www.saveur.com – Rugbraud Bread

I initially used 1/3 cup of molasses in place of the full cup of golden syrup, but it wasn’t enough moisture. So I added in another 1/3 cup molasses and a splash of milk. This did the trick and it mixed up well! It baked in 7 1/2 hours; low and slow!

It looked just right and tasted just right!

One of the joys of traveling is experiencing different cuisines and being able to incorporate it back home in my Oregon kitchen. Where to next?

‘Not Missing Anything’ Sandwich

When there’s so many flavors bursting in your mouth, I finally made something that my husband can’t comment his typical, “it’s just missing something.” Mission accomplished!

I was given garden fresh okra and I was a little stumped on how to cook them, along with the everyday struggle of what to make for dinner, hence this sandwich was born.

I had to ‘OK Google’ what to do with the okra, also known as lady fingers because, well, they look like fingers ha! This is the recipe I used to make the okra.

www.blog.fatfreevegan.com – Okra

Roasting the okra, then sautéing it with onions– seasoned with garlic, ginger, cumin, tumeric, gram masala and salt was terrific. The okra didn’t get the stereotypical slime, but cutting them length wise made it hard to eat on a sandwich because of their stringiness. Live and learn.

I had previously thinly sliced tempeh into a pool of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce and vacuum sealed it for the freezer.

I followed this recipe (from an unknown source) for the tempeh marinade.

This made dinner come together in a snap. I baked the tempeh at 425° for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Cooking tempeh until it’s almost burnt is the secret to life!

Using ghee to toast the sandwiches, layered with the tempeh, okra mix and these crushed jalapeño chips

was an explosion of tastes! Or as my daughter said, “there’s a lot going on in my mouth.”

I call that a win! 😁