we.bite | white chocolate oatmeal cookies

 

i LOVE oatmeal cookies. the texture is JUST right, gooey, yet firm, and perfectly chewy. the only thing that can make them better is no raisins (just my personal opinion–or add craisins instead of those pruny things) and a nice fluffy layer of white frosting in between. WHOOPIE PIE WHATT??! today we have white chocolate oatmeal cookies for your munching pleasure.

 

enter the lovely leslie grow:

For the last 4 months, I have patiently waited for Beatrice Peltre’s cookbook of latartinegourmande.com to be reprinted, after she sold out insanely fast after her initial release in February 2012.  It’s finally here!!! It finally came and my anxiety can be put to rest.  Who doesn’t love her?!  Her food is simply out of this world and her photography is absolutely stunning.  If you haven’t got a copy yet, it’s an absolute must have!

I thought it would only be right to do a post on a recipe from her cookbook.  I have been craving, and I mean CRAVING, cookies.  Why?  Not sure, but once I saw the Oatmeal Cookies with White Chocolate and Cranberries, I knew that was exactly what I was going to make.  Milk and cookies is always a nice treat, especially when they are healthy (without the cardboard taste of ‘healthy’ store bought cookies).

Since I’m not vegan (but slowly working that way), I don’t have all the vegan flours that she uses, so I adapted to what I have in my pantry.  They came out a bit dense, more like a dry granola bar, but the flavors were still harmonious and exquisite.

Note: The (*) is where I made my substitutions.

Oatmeal Cookies with White Chocolate & Cranberries

yield: 18 cookies

Prep time: 15 min., Bake time: 15min.

For the (*) ingredients, I substituted ½ Cup whole-wheat flour and ½ Cup all-purpose flour for the flours, and sea salt for fleur de sel.

Ingredients:

* ½ Cup quinoa flour

* ¼ Cup millet flour

* ¼ Cup brown rice flour

½ Cup rolled oats or quinoa flakes

½ tsp. baking soda

*¼ tsp. fleur de sel

8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

2/3 Cup packed light brown sugar

1 small egg

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

¾ Cup slivered almonds or coarsely chopped walnuts

¾ Cup coarsely chopped white chocolate

½ Cup dried cranberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375ºF.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, combine flours, rolled oats, baking soda, fleur de sel. Set aside.

In a large bowl (or bowl of stand mixer), beat the butter with the sugar until light and pale in color.  Stir in the egg until well incorporated, then add vanilla.  Slowly stir in the flour mixture; mix until just incorporated.  Fold in the nuts, white chocolate, and cranberries.

Drop heaping tablespoons of batter onto the baking sheets, making sure to leave 2-inch space between the cookies, as they spread slightly while cooking.  Place in the oven and bake for 14 minutes, rotating halfway through.  Bake until cookies are light golden in color.  Remove from the oven and, using a spatula, transfer immediately to a cooling rack.  The cookies will firm up while cooling.  Keep them in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

 

 

we.sip | lavender lemonade

 

what’s not to love about lazy summer days. soaking up the sun is one of those things that’s hard to do with a bad attitude. if you’re sipping on a condensation-covered glass of ice cold lemonade…then. well, you’ve got it made.

this week leslie shows us how to make lavender lemonade, accompanied as always with her gorgeous pictures.

A couple months back, I met up with my closest girlfriend that I hadn’t seen for probably 3 months. I have been traveling so much for work and she is always so busy with her own work, we just never had a spare moment to relax, catch up, and just enjoy each other’s company. Finally I was home for more than a week, and she had a free day, so we were able to schedule a couple hours of uninterrupted time for just her and I.

It was her pick on where to meet for lunch. She brought me to this place called Native Foods, which I always wondered about but never stopped in to try their food (since I try to be frugal and healthy, I rarely eat out, but she is always an exception!). She has been a vegetarian for about a year now and (of course) looks stunning, is always telling me how great she feels, and how she has so much energy. Little did I know, Native Foods is a Vegan restaurant. I was a little skeptical but she assured me that I would LOVE this place.

It is true, I do love that place! Especially their famous Lavender Lemonade. The other day I was desperately craving a cold glass of it, but I just couldn’t live to pay $2.50 for a glass (yes they have free refills), but I’d rather have an entire pitcher at home! I scoured the Internet trying to find their exact recipe, and I think I came upon one that isn’t too far off. This is a relatively inexpensive drink (when lemons are at a good price). You may be wondering where to find cooking lavender…any organic grocery store such as Sprouts or Whole Foods should carry it in their bulk seasoning section. It’s so cheap…$1/oz. Which is about all you need for this recipe. (I got extra because I love the smell of lavender.)

I hope you enjoy this relaxing, floral twist on a traditional classic.

post by alex michael may. photos and recipe adapted by leslie grow.

Lavender Lemonade:
Yield: 6 servings
Prep time: 15min, Cook time: 15min
Adapted from: spoonwithme.com (syrup), allrecipes.com (lemonade)

Ingredients:
1 Cup sugar
6 Cups cold water
3 Tbsp. (1.5oz) dried lavender flowers
1 Cup lemon juice freshly squeezed 6-8 lemons (best at room temp.)
½ Cup to 1 Cup lavender simple syrup

Lavender Simple Syrup
1 Cup sugar
1 Cup water
3 Tbsp. (1.5oz) dried lavender flowers

Directions:
Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, over high heat. Immediately remove from heat, stir in lavender flowers, and allow to sit until cooled to room temperature. Strain, pressing the lavender flowers to release oils. Can be refrigerated in a jar for up to 2 weeks.

Lemonade
1 Cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
½ to 1 Cup lavender simple syrup (add more syrup to mix if you like it sweeter)
5 cups cold water

Directions:
Stir all ingredients together in a pitcher. Serve over ice.

*Optional: Frozen fruit ice cubes
Add a couple blueberries, raspberries or strawberries to the water of ice cubes, let freeze.

we.do | the brigitte


i have a little motto i like to live by. the words go big or go home can be interpreted in a multitude of ways, but for me, generally it’s referencing my hair.

i also have a little sign hanging in my bathroom that says “the higher the hair the closer to god.”

don’t judge me.

yes, i used to go overboard with this (maybe i will post a pic of my too-big hair days…i’ll think on it. i went all conehead with it one time. or 12.)

big tousled VS angel style hair will ALWAYS be sexy as far as i’m concerned. i’ve always thought brigitte bardot really created the perfect balance between, big, styled and messy/effortless. how she did that i don’t know, but how she did this i do.

check out our video below for step by step instructions on how to get the look.

and check back next week for another bardot-inspired style!!

we.deux le brigitte bardot (we.do the brigitte!) from alexmichael may on Vimeo featuring cynthia marie. videography by herman vides.

we.bite | HEATWAVE creamsicles to the rescue!

man alive it’s hot outside! hotter than blazes! and i’m enjoying the scorching sun sans humidity, unlike my comrades in other parts of the country (right, family? nebraska is sticky icky icky.) when i was little the dinging of the … Continue reading

we.do ESSENTIAL TOOLS | making waves: curling with a flat iron

photos, video and post by alex michael may. style created by cynthia marie. music: home again blues by aileen stanley.

soft, flowing waves are the ultimate in femininity and a perfect summer style for any occasion. they seem so effortless and romantic and personally, face-framing wings make me feel beautiful and just together.
it can be difficult to achieve the waves with a curling iron, and it’s a fine line between curly and shirley temple beachy, so cynthia and i thought creating flat-iron waves would be a perfect way to kick off our essential tools guide, where we will share the building blocks to good styling technique. once you master a few simple tricks, you can pull off nearly any style!
back to today’s tutorial, it’s also awesome  (and economical!) to get multiple looks with one tool, so without further ado i give you making waves! oh, and see that little video down there? please watch! it’s my first project after having taken blogshop video on monday. needless to say i was prrrettty excited to share it with you :)

we.do: making waves from alexmichael may on Vimeo.

we.bite | peach raspberry crisp

okay, okay, i know what you’re thinking. JEEZ! another we bite, and no other posts this week? actually, i’d be quite flattered if that’s what you were thinking. it would mean you noticed and you pay attention. so i’m going to go on thinking that’s what YOU’RE thinking…hmm?

this week marked the dawning of my twenty-something-ith year here on earth, and i was too busy celebrating, basking in gifts and revelry to be sitting at home blogging, ok? false. just busy, and yes a little celebrating. more on that later.

ah, fruit of the summer. an ice cold juicy watermelon and sweet peaches, little can beat it. this week our very own spectacular leslie shows us a tantalizing little cobbler, perfect for your contribution to a summer picnic. pick up some fruit at your local farmers market and get to baking!


from leslie:
It’s peach season! I love biting into a sun-ripened peach and having the juices drip down my arms and all over my face. Nothing like a real sticky, juicy mess. The delicateness of the tender fruit and the sweetness of the juice just can’t be beat! Fresh peaches are one of those fruits that I wish I could bottle up and have year round. I guess you could freeze them, but then you lose the experience of the juices dripping everywhere.

It was such a beautiful day today, perfect for an afternoon at the farmer’s market. I arrived early and it’s a good thing I did because it was bustling with locals grabbing all of the freshest peaches like it was the last time they would see them until next year. Luckily I got my hands on a dozen before the lady next to me almost swiped them out from under me! And then came the, oh crap, part…what do I do with a dozen peaches for 1 person? The next booth down I saw some perfectly ripe raspberries that would be great on my cereal…but would be even better with the peaches that I just walked away with.

Ah ha! I got it! What’s better than juicy peaches and sweet raspberries in their raw form? Nothing, really, but once they are baked into a crisp and topped with rich creamy vanilla bean ice cream, I think that tops the charts. It’s the velvetiness of the peach and raspberry juices mingling together in a sugary concoction with orange zest, and the crunchy oatmeal crumble on top that puts me on cloud nine. I could literally each the entire pan of this it’s so good!

Peach Raspberry Crisp
Yield: 10 servings
Prep time: 25min, Bake time: 1 hour
Adapted from: Food Network Ina Garten

Ingredients:
4-5 lbs firm, ripe peaches (10-12 lagre peaches)
1 orange, zested
1 ¼ Cup granulated sugar
1 Cup light brown sugar, packed
1 ½ Cup plus 2-3Tbsp. all purpose flour
½ pint raspberries
¼ tsp. salt
1 Cup quick cooking oatmeal
½ lb. cold unsalted butter, diced

post by alex michael may, photos and recipe by leslie grow

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter the inside of a 10x15x2 ½ in oval baking dish, or something similar.
Immerse the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds, then place them in cold water. Peel the peaches and slice them into thick wedges and place them into a large bowl. Add orange zest, ¼ Cup granulated sugar, ½ Cup brown sugar, and 2 Tbsp. of flour. Toss well. Gently mix in the raspberries. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. If there is a lot of liquid, add 1Tbsp. of flour.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine 1 ½ cups flour, 1 Cup granulated sugar, ½ Cup brown sugar, salt, oatmeal, and the cold diced butter. Use the paddle attachment on low speed. Mix until the butter is pea-sized and the mixture is crumbly.
Pour the peach and raspberries into the baking dish and gently smooth the top.
Sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly on top of the peaches and raspberries.
Bake for 1 hour, until the top is browned and crisp, and the juices are bubbly. Serve immediately with vanilla ice cream. Store in refrigerator. Reheat in preheated 350ºF oven for 20-30min., until warm.

we.bite | chewy granola bars

TGIF! with such a short, choppy week behind us, i think we can all agree it’s nice to head into the weekend. i think being put into holiday mode midweek threw me for a loop (note my lack of posts!) especially since i took off for a super-mini vacay to balboa island. i LOVE it there, and could easily see myself living the island life. i hope you did something fun and relaxing with loved ones!

i didn’t want to leave you completely empty-handed (normally i’m stuffing some kind of craft or recipe in your face, begging you to do a weekend project, after all!) and today i have a perfect weekend project that will be a gift that keeps giving all the week long.

last week i met with my friend, leslie, who is an AMAZING photographer, to brainstorm and talk food (who am i kidding, of COURSE that was the real agenda there.) her food shots are absolutely gorgeous, and the coolest thing is the recipes are REAL and the food is all natural, as is the lighting. it’s a very organic process, and i’m SO excited to announce that she will be contributing to the blog for the next few weeks with original photos and recipes!

we’re going to kick it off with some gooey, chewy granola bars!

a bit from leslie about the recipe:

I’ve been very snacky lately. I want to eat everything in the cupboards but nothing is really satisfying my snack attack. I think I’ve been wanting chocolate, but not a whole chocolate bar, but I also want the sweetness of dried fruit, oh and something gooey.

I remember the summer after 8th grade at bible camp in Montana when our cabin had to spend ‘quality time’ with nature to reflect on the week’s lesson. We were getting packed up for a hike, but before we hit the trailhead we had to have some ‘quality bonding time’ with our cabin mates. Oh joy! (sarcastically). I thought it was going to be another one of those ‘trust your friend to catch you as you fall backwards’ game. But it wasn’t. Actually it was making our own gorp (aka trail mix). The kitchen staff set up a smorgasbord of nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate pieces. We went crazy grabbing handfuls of this and that and mixing who knows what with that. It was an interesting gorp to say the least.

I wanted to recreate that gorp but with more thought out decisions about what was going into it and making it easy to eat one handedly. I found Kristin’s recipe at her blog iowagirleats.com. It’s a fantastic, protein packed, got-to-have-another-without-feeling-guilty kind of granola bar.

Chewy Granola Bars:
Yield: 12-16 bars
Prep time: 15min., Cook time: 4 hours
Adapted from: iowagirleats.com

Note: (*) are my additions

Ingredients:
1 Cup almonds (whole, half, or slivered)
1 Cup pecan or walnut roughly chopped
*1 ½ Cup any trail mix
*½ Cup chocolate chips
1 Cup old fashion oats (not instant)
1 Cup dried fruit (cherries, orange, craisins) roughly chopped
1 ¼ Cup plus 2 Tbsp. honey
3 Tbsp. coconut oil (or natural peanut butter with oil)
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. almond extract (optional)
dash of cinnamon
* 8 oz. dark chocolate (optional)

photos and recipe by leslie grow, post by alex michael may

Directions:
In the bowl of a food processor, add ½ Cup each of almonds, pecans, trail mix, chocolate chips, and oats. Process until fine (but not too long or it will turn into nut butter), then pour into a large bowl. Roughly chop the remaining pecans and almonds, then add to the bowl. Add remaining trail mix, oats, and dried fruit. Mix well and set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine honey, coconut oil, salt, vanilla & almond extracts, and cinnamon over medium heat. Stir until mixture melts, then foams, the cook for 15 seconds longer (or even longer for harder bars). Pour over nut mixture and mix thoroughly to coat all the ingredients.
Line a baking pan or 8×8 pan with enough parchment paper to let it hang far over the sides, then our in granola. Press firmly with your hands or something with a flat bottom (may need to spray it with non-stick spray). Wrap the overhanging parchment paper up and over the sides. Refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.
OPTIONAL: Chocolate drizzled topping. Using a double broiler set-up, melt 8 oz. of any chocolate. Spoon and drizzle on top of bars. Refrigerate again until chocolate hardens.
Using a sharp knife, cut chilled granola into bars. Wrap individually in saran wrap and store in fridge or freezer.

we.bite | grilled cheese skewers + tomato soup shooters

today on the mini series we modernize a classic and scale it down to a palatable bite (and gulp!) jenna has created a delectable crouton-esque sandwichette that pairs perfectly with a caramelized onion tomato soup. in the heat of the summer the shooters can be replaced with a chilled gazpacho! yum! you can find the recipe below with a list of ingredients. we’d love to hear your feedback on this recipe and see what amazing modifications you’ve cooked up! now, let’s get to the mouthwatering pics!

Caramelized Onion & Tomato Basil Soup Shooters with Grilled Cheese Skewers

Makes 16 shooters

Stuff You Need

Soup
2 Tbsp butter
3 large sweet onions, sliced
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp crushed red pepper
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
4 cups stock
1/3 cup basil, julienned
Salt and pepper, to taste

Croutons
4 Tbsp butter
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups ciabatta bread, cubed
3 oz. gruyere cheese, cubed
Salt and pepper, to taste

How To

Melt the butter over medium heat in a large stock pot or Dutch oven. After the butter has melted,
add the onions, sugar, crushed pepper, salt and pepper. Turn heat to low and stir occasionally
until onions are a deep golden brown about an hour and a half. After the onions are done, add the
crushed tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Turn heat to medium low, and let simmer for 30
minutes.

Preheat broiler. Melt the butter in a sauce pan, and add crushed garlic. Stir until fragrant, about
30 seconds. Add cubed bread and mix until well incorporated. Place the pan under the broiler for
2 minutes until croutons are crisp and golden brown. Remove from oven and cool slightly.

Assemble skewers by sandwiching the gruyere cheese cube between 2 croutons.

Take off soup heat, add the chopped basil, and check for seasoning. Pour soup into double shot
glasses and add skewers. Serve immediately.

recipe by jenna schiedermayer, photos, layout and intro text by alex michael may

we.style | throwback sunshades

the epitome of summer glamour, we’re seeing a resurgence of vintage-inspired shades this summer. nothing says “i’m kind of a big deal” (or “i’m still a dreamboat with no eye makeup!”) like an oversized pair of glam glasses. below are some of my faves (and budget-friendly versions, too!)

throwback sunshades