The heat has been a bit intense this week. Suddenly temperatures went from mild 70s to 90 and humid. Caught off guard, we found ourselves installing our bedroom window AC at 10pm at night on a weekday just to survive the night. Needless to say, intense cooking was not high on my list. When I was assigned to Rainstorms and Love Notes for this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was looking for simplicity, tastiness and minimal heat.
For this month’s Secret Recipe Club I was paired with Stephanie from Dessert Before Dinner. I find a bit cruel to be assigned to two sweet blogs (last week it was Annie’s Noms) just before and in the middle of my first Whole30. A true test of strength indeed! But none the less, as soon as I could again eat real foods, I couldn’t wait to indulge with one of Stephanie’s recipes.
This month I had the privilege of being assigned to Annie’s Noms for my Secret Recipe Club assignment. Just clicking through to the site is a sugar high. Annie’s site is full of delectable baked goods of all sorts. My own personal fantasy world. Except for the fact that I recently went gluten-free…and was about to embark on my first Whole30. So in this case, my own personal hell.
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.
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.