Ursa Miner Launch Party

Hello all! I’m excited to announce that I have hosted my first catering event: a board game launch party for the new game “Ursa Miner.” The event was a huge success and I’m so glad to be a part of it. I did not get photos of all of the courses, but thankfully Mike Batista, one of the game designers, snapped a couple of shots for me!

On the left: honey and red wine broccoli with butternut squash, coconut crusted chicken, and honey barbecue beef meatballs. On the right: honey vanilla cupcakes.

So the game’s setting involves bears seeking honey, so I used that as a creative launching point for the menu theme. I wanted to use a “signature ingredient,” like the TV show Iron Chef so I chose honey! For the appetizers, I made garlic salt kale chips and a raw vegetable platter with carrots, bell peppers, grape tomatoes and a coconut honey dill dip. For the main course, I had honey peach barbecue beef meatballs, coconut encrusted chicken tenderloins with honey mustard, and a red wine vinegar and honey-drenched broccoli and butternut squash hash. And for dessert: honey vanilla cupcakes, and cinnamon honey shortbread cookies. Almost every last morsel of food was gone at the end of the night!

The guests playing the game.

Here is a link to the game’s Kickstarter page for more information: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1875412263/ursa-miner-bears-mining-honey/posts/1882184?ref=backer_project_update

I’m currently writing up the recipes for everything I made that night, so stay tuned for those! I did a quick survey, and the kale chips and the barbecue meatballs were definitely the most mentioned dishes, however, the desserts disappeared the quickest! I think people definitely enjoyed themselves and had fun playing the board game. Check my Facebook page for more coverage and updates!

-Anne

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Honeycomb Ice Cream

It’s no secret that I love ice cream. And honey. Those two things together make magic.

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In my never-ending quest to make the perfect ice cream, I think I’ve come pretty close with honeycomb ice cream. It has the perfect ratio of sweetness to fat, with a smooth creamy texture punctuated by semi-frozen crystals of honeycomb. And, even better? It doesn’t freeze solid into a brick like most of my ice creams do in my freezer. Somehow it retains its creamy texture, and resists freezer burn.

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The only problem is that honeycomb is both expensive and hard to find. I usually buy it when I see it, and it’s usually around $16 a pound or so. I would say use it judiciously: either eat it whole, put a small amount in a high quality tea, or the best application (in my opinion) mix it into vanilla ice cream!

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This recipe is wonderful on its own, but it pairs really well with a salted caramel sauce, fresh strawberries, or even a few dark chocolate chips. I was being very intuitive when I was making this ice cream so the measurements might be a bit off, but this is the best I can remember.

Honeycomb Ice Cream

In my opinion, this is the best application of honeycomb. It’s sweet, delicious, and the little frozen crystals of honey make the ice cream surprisingly pleasant.

  • 1 can organic full-fat coconut milk
  • 1.5 cups of homemade almond milk
  • ~0.5 lb of honeycomb in honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of collagen hydrolysate dissolved in 0.25 cup of water (this acts as a stabilizer so that the ice cream keeps its texture)

First, dissolve collagen hydrolysate in water by mixing together with a spoon. Then, place all ingredients except the honeycomb in a blender.

Blend ingredients on high until fully blended. Pour as much of the liquid honey into the blender as you can, then blend on high.

Break the honeycomb into smaller chunks and either mix in by hand or with the blender on low. You do not want to fully break down the honeycomb, since it adds a wonderful texture to the ice cream. You can also save some honeycomb to mix into the ice cream later while it is churning in the ice cream maker. Once it's uniformly spread in the ice cream base, pour the ice cream into an airtight container.

Refrigerate for 4 hours or more, or you can freeze for 1 hour and then pour into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Honey Cinnamon Graham Crackers

Hello!

Hope you are staying warm during this winter freeze. I know I’m getting sick of this weather. We already had a record-smashing blizzard that caused 2 power outages in my building, so I thought the worst was over. Then yesterday we get hit with a little snow and ice storm that gave us an additional 2 power outages (although these were shorter)! It’s pretty ridiculous that my building had so many power outages, considering we’re in the middle of the city and on 2 power grids! What is happening?! Well, anyway…

Whenever I make ice cream for my husband, it usually requires 6 to 8 egg yolks. Now…what to do with all of those leftover egg whites? I am not one to waste things, and egg whites are very versatile. So I actually like to make a little treat for myself – honey cinnamon graham crackers!

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The key to this recipe is to keep the oven temperature low and to watch them so they don’t burn. The crackers on the exterior of the pan will cook much faster, so I usually place the thicker crackers there because they take longer to cook. They’re still tasty when they’re burned, though, so don’t throw them away! They are quite crispy…just not quite as photo-worthy.

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Honey Cinnamon Graham Crackers

Yields: 2 dozen crackers (depending on size)

  • 4 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 cup coconut flour, sifted
  • 1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, softened
  • 1/2 cup raw honey, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In one bowl, mix together dry ingredients (coconut flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda). In a separate bowl, mix together softened honey and coconut oil until uniform. Add vanilla extract, mix until uniform. Add room temperature egg whites and mix until uniform. Once the batter looks thoroughly mixed, carefully sift in dry ingredients until a nice, smooth batter is formed.

Take out dough and roll into a ball on a sheet of parchment paper. Take another sheet of parchment paper and place on top of dough, and using a rolling pin, roll out dough until it is a little less than 0.25 in thick. Using a pizza cutter or other rotary cutter, cut crackers to your desired width. Also, use a toothpick to poke holes all over the dough.

Very carefully, using a thin spatula, transfer the cut crackers to your parchment paper. Roll up remaining dough and form into crackers until all of the dough is used. Since I am a perfectionist, I use the pizza cutter to force the leftover dough into nice rectangles, instead of raggedy-edged crackers.

Bake for a total of 18 minutes. After 9 minutes, switch racks so that they cook more evenly. Start watching them at 15 minutes to make sure they don't burn! Depending on how thick they are, they cook unevenly.

Let cool, then enjoy! Maybe with a cold glass of almond milk.

  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 18 minutes
  • Total time: 38 minutes