When I was assigned We Heart Vegan for this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I knew I was going to find some great recipes. Brittany started her blog as a way to show everyone that good vegan food can not only be healthy, but appealing to everyone. I naturally cook mostly vegetarian and vegan, meat only a couple of times a week, so am always looking to expand my recipe collection. I figured I’d find some great gluten-free recipes too.
For this month’s Secret Recipe Club I got paired with Lisa from the Authentic Suburban Gourmet. Lisa is born and bred in the San Francisco Bay Area and loves to cook and eat (who doesn’t?!). Like many of us bloggers, she leads a double life. Corporate by day, blogger by night. Scrolling through Lisa’s blog I couldn’t help but drool. Her recipes all look amazing; I had a hard time choosing just one. I especially loved Lisa’s collection of Friday Night Bites with recipes like Mini Grilled Cheese with Jalapeno Apricot Relish or Apple, Gorgonzola and Pecan Salad on Endive Leaves, but I was really in the mood for a full meal. When I saw her Summer Corn Soup, I couldn’t resist.
One of my favorite things about being part of the Secret Recipe Club is getting to know new blogs. When I was assigned to The Egg Farm, I knew I found a new favorite blog. Mary is an amazing person. Over a decade ago she was diagnosed with a terminal illness that has since been upgraded to incurable and progressive. Yet, even still Mary knows how to enjoy life. Four years ago she bought a 5 acre farm in California and has been living there ever since.
With a blog called the egg farm, a lot of her recipes involve, of course, eggs! One of my favorite food groups. As always I had more ambitious plans. Mary’s Potatoes O’Brien and Eggs looks amazing and I’ve yet to attempt hash, like Mary’s Homemade Corned Beef Hash. Sadly, as with most best intentions, life gets in the way. The past few weeks have been a bit hectic and it doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. All good things of course–vacation, family visits, weddings–but less time to spend trying new things in the kitchen. For quick and easy I was instantly drawn to Mary’s Perfect Deviled Eggs.
For years people have been trying to convince me how easy mussels are to make. Add a bit of wine or broth, bring it to a boil, add the mussels and steam. So why have I not taken them up on such simple advice? Well, one reason is because I don’t like mussels. *Gasp!* No, please don’t run away! I’m still game for trying almost any other food. It’s just shellfish. Mainly things you have to eat out of the shell, like oysters, clams and yes, mussels. It’s a texture thing.
I keep saying I’m going to make mussels for my husband–he loves them, but never really worked off the energy. It’s challenging enough to make one dinner, but two separate ones? Ugh. But when I got assigned Cinnamon Freud’s blog this month through the Secret Recipe Club and saw Karen’s Mussels in White Wine Sauce, I figured I had to just go for it.
About six months ago I bought my first jar of coconut oil. It was about a year coming. I was dying to make something with it but never had a recipe in mind so held off buying some for a long time for fear of wasting it. After my first purchase of coconut oil, it continued to sit in the pantry for another several months, still no ideas flowing through my head.
Finally it was time to open the stuff. Baby steps. I cooked up some sautéed chicken with it. The second big step was granola. Replacing my standard canola oil with coconut oil in my simple granola recipe made the flavors burst. I was getting hooked. What happened if I baked with it? The Secret Recipe Club as always gave me a great base to experiment with.