NOT SO " FANCY" GRILLED CHEESE | RECIPE BY NICOLE LEE


FANCY GRILLED CHEESE RECIPE

Hello Friends,

We’ve been busy over here, as fall is in full swing. You know 6 hour saturdays filled with kids sports, homework, after school activities, and daily dog walks. It feels like we’re always on the go doing something! Most nights have consisted of pumped up mac-n-cheese, breakfast for dinner or take out. Which I’ve decided to have zero shame about doing. Because there is nothing wrong with having french fries every now and then.

I’m also all about my food tasting super good, being easy to make and healthyish. So hence “fancy” grilled cheese”, but in reality it’s not so fancy it all. It just makes you feel fancy after a long week of being mom chauffeur. Oh and don’t forget to have some wine with this meal, it will change your life.

Now let's cook!

xoxo Nicole



“Fancy” GRILLED CHEESE RECIPE | MAKES 6 slices

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 loaf of sourdough bread
  • 3 -4 Cups types of hard cheese ( I like...manchego, grass fed cheddar, + pecorino romano)
  • 1lb heirloom garden tomatoes,
  • 1 head of garlic
  • Non stick spray, for spraying the pan
  • 1 bunch basil
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 can mayo or veganaise
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt ( red diamond)
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • EVOO
  • 1 lemon

DIRECTIONS: PREHEAT YOUR OVEN TO 375 F

  1. PREP TOMATOES. Half and de-seed them. Simply squeeze the halves and put the seeds in another bowl.
  2. Slice your cheese put on a plate and set aside. Thinly slice garlic, basil, set aside. Slice lemon in half, set aside.
  3. Spray large sheet pan with non stick spray. Cut your loaf of sourdough in even slices. And lay across the pan, pop in the oven for 4 min. Once finished take out and set aside.
  4. While the toast is crisping. Cook your tomatoes.
  5. Heat a small pan over medium heat, add a bit of olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of pan), add in your garlic, a pinch of salt + crushed red pepper flakes. Once the garlic is fragrant add the tomatoes, and salt + pepper to taste. Cook for about 5 min or until soft. Take off heat and transfer to bowl. Add in fresh basil, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, toss and set aside.
  6. Take your crisp bread and spread each piece with mayo (or veganaise). Then add cheese to bread (however order you like). Pop back in oven for 8-10 minutes until cheese is bubbling and golden.
  7. When toast are done, simply place your cooked tomatoes over the grilled cheese and enjoy open faced!
  8. CHEERS.

GRILLED CHEESE recipe

INSPIRED BY HISTORY CHANDLER ART MUSEUM WORK | PHOTOGRAPHED + STYLED BY Nicole Lee


Hi Friends, this Summer I created some new work for Chandler Art Museum. This show was such an honor to be apart of, and if your local go see it in person! If not enjoy the images below. (To see these photographs in person, they will be up at chandler art museum until October 31st, 2019.)

TITLE CARD: "Beautiful Insects"
2019 Digital Color Prints

“Insects are typically disgusting, and we work hard to eliminate them. This piece draws on the idea of looking at nature in a different light. Instead, inviting these insects into the picture again. “

x

Nicole


beautiful insects still life

beautiful insects still life

SAVERY TOMATO GALETTE RECIPE | GLUTEN + DAIRY FREE | BY NICOLE LEE


Hi Friends,

This summer I’ve been obsessed with experimenting with baking in the kitchen. I’ve also been cooking my way through several cookbooks and having a blast doing it. Not to say there hasn’t been some mishaps but we won’t go into those today. 

Xo

Nicole


galette recipe gluten free tomato

SAVORY TOMATO GALETTE RECIPE | INSPIRED BY RECIPE IN BON APPETIT MAG

HOT TIPS: PIE DOUGH can be made up to 2 hours to 2 days ahead of this recipe. Make Recipe when you have some time, it's great for SUNDAY AFTERNOONS,OR WEEKENDS. If you're pressed for time buy pre-made pie dough. Because we aren’t all bakers and there is nothing wrong with buying PRE-MADE DOUGH.

PIE TART DOUGH INGREDIENTS:

2 cups gluten free brown rice flour
¼ cup potato starch
¼ cup tapioca starch
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup vegan cashew butter (cold cut into cubes)
4 Tbsp unsweetened cold almond milk

PIE DOUGH ADAPTED FROM ARAN GOYOAGA

FILLING INGREDIENTS:

2lbs heirloom tomatoes sliced ¼” thick
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 bunch of fresh thyme
1 large egg beaten
Good quality extra virgin olive oil
5 oz mixture of finely grated hard cheese combo (Pecorino Romano, manchego, and sharp grass fed cheddar such as dubliner) or any hard cheese that sounds good!
½ lemon zest / 1 squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1 tsp salt
Bunch of fresh basil

OTHER INGREDIENTS: Parchment Paper Non-stick spray 1 large sheet pan

DIRECTIONS FOR PIE TART DOUGH: NOTE: PIE DOUGH MUST BE MADE 1 HOUR AHEAD

  1. Place your cold cashew butter into the freezer for a min while you measure out all of your dry ingredients.

  2. In a large bowl place your dry ingredients. In a seperate cup add a few ice cubes to the unsweetened almond milk to keep it cold.

  3. With your hands gently mix the cashew butter and dry ingredients together until grainy. Add your almond milk and mix together until dough forms. Gently knead together ensuring not to over work. If it feels wet, add 1 tsp of gf flour to the mix, if feels dry add 1 tbsp of more of cold milk.

  4. When the dough forms, pop some plastic wrap over it and refrigerate for min of 1 hour. NO Cheating here!

GALETTE DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees f. In a bowl, place your salt and pick off about 1 tsp thyme. With your fingers take your 1 tsp salt and combine with thyme to make a paste. Then add garlic and mix with figures more. Add in your tomatoes and toss together. Let sit for 5 min, while the tomatoes release some liquid.
  2. Drain the tomatoes with strainer, and lay flat onto paper towel.
  3. Grab your dough, unwrap.
  4. Get a large sheet pan and spray with nonstick spray.
  5. Measure out parchment paper to fit your sheet pan, place on COUNTER (not on pan). Lightly dust with flour. Place another sheet of parchment paper over the dough and GENTLY roll out into a round shape. If it falls apart (stay calm) and gently sprinkle water or almond milk over the dough until it combines. It should be easy to roll out, but still be gentle.IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT. WONKY IS OKAY, THAT'S why they call it a galette!!
  6. When it looks even in shape place your finely grated cheese in the middle leaving 1 ½ inch of dough border.
  7. Add your tomatoes and garlic mixture over cheese. Bring the edges of the dough over the filling using your parchment paper to guide it over. NOTE: SINCE this is GLUTEN FREE you have to be EXTRA GENTLE, pretend you are handling a newborn baby!
  8. Crack your egg, and whisk with fork in bowl, blend in 1 tsp flaky salt. With a brush wash it over the edges of the dough (not tomatoes). Then POP in FREEZER for 5-10 min. (Basically depending on how patient you are!) After it’s done, take a bunch of fresh thyme and place in the middle of galette or on the edge of the baking sheet.
  9. Bake on bottom rack for 55-60 minutes until golden. Rotating 1 time.
  10. When finished, enjoy with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh basil and grated lemon zest!

ENJOY and HAPPY baking ANY QUESTIONS feel free to send me a message!



galette recipe

summer tomato recipes

gluten free savory galette recipe

BERRY CRUMBLE | GLUTEN FREE + DAIRY FREE RECIPE


Hi Friends,

This summer I’ve been obsessed with Crumbles. The berries, and topping. The way it crunches in your mouth. Oh and lets not forget the creamy goodness you get from the vanilla ice cream piled on top. Bursting with flavor and easy to make everyone needs to get themselves into the kitchen and make a crumble. 

I also ordered myself some new cookbooks for inspiration, and to get cooking again. Sarah Copeland has been on the top of my list for some time. She just released her third cookbook, and I couldn't be more thrilled. I pre ordered it. Which was a first for me. But, I couldn't resist! Anticipating her book I felt like I was a child at Christmas Morning and of course I dove right in. Her recipes are simple, but have an elegant flare. She has me cooking again, which makes you feel so good inside to share recipes with the ones you love. So I had a million berries in the kitchen and decided to make her crumble. AND it the recipe held its own! Everyone went back for seconds, total hit. Her original recipe called for rhubarb, but I didnt want to make a second trip to the market so I used all the berries in the house I had! 

Now, I’m sharing her recipe. The next time you think about a new cook book you should go get yourself a copy of Everyday IS Saturday! It will change your life. 



NOW Let's get cooking!

xox

Nicole



NOTE: This recipe was adapted from an original Sarah Copeland Recipe ( All Rights Reserved). Few things were changed do to lack of rhubarb in the kitchen. As well as adding my own preferred twist. For more of sarah’s original recipes Purchase Everyday is Saturday. 


berry crumble recipe gluten free

BERRY CRUMBLE RECIPE

PREP TIME 15 min Total time 1 hour 20 min Serves 6

TOPPING

1 cup Gluten-free one to one flour
1 cup rolled oats
⅓ cup coconut sugar plus more for sprinkling
½ tsp fine sea salt
½ cup plant based organic butter, melted
¼ cup almonds, walnuts, sunflower seed or mixture chopped

Filling

4 cups chopped and destemmed strawberries (about 2 tins whole)
1 cup raspberries
2 cups blackberries
⅓ cup sugar
3 Tbsp organic cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon zest 1 tsp fresh ground ginger Pinch of pink salt

Ice cream (vegan or dairy work great)

Method

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees ( 190C)

Directions:

Topping; Combine the flour, oats, sugar, salt in a bowl and stir together. Toss the melted butter into the flour, creating a mixture that resembles coarse bread crumbs. Add half the nuts and pinch together to make a tight dough.

Filling: Combine the berries, lemon zest, vanilla, ground ginger, pink salt, sugar, and cornstarch toss in a bowl to combine. Transfer to a deep round dish such as deep pie, or round casserole dish. Top with the topping, letting a bit of fruit peek out the sides. Sprinkle remaining nuts and bake until golden and bubbling, 30- 40 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream scooped on to, a drizzle of cold cream, and a stack of spoons.


berry crumble recipe gluten free

berry crumble recipe

SUNDAY SAUCE WITH TURKEY HERB MEATBALLS | RECIPE | RECIPE + PHOTOGRAPHY BY NICOLE LEE


When I was a little girl Sunday’s were for sauce. Growing up with two Italian parents one of them would always had a pot of sauce simmering for hours every Sunday. My mom would make hers with, meatballs, onions, and so much garlic one would smell of it for days. My dad, would cook his sauce with a mirepoix, (carrots, onion, and celery) garlic, and use meat like veal, and pork to get his unique flavor. Both good. I can still smell the aroma from my childhood. 

As the sauce would simmer away in the kitchen, my sister and I would hover over it. Dying for my mother to tell me it was “almost ready” for tasting. When It was I would get a big bowl and scoop it up with bread. It was HEAVEN. Then we would wait another few hours for it to simmer some more before diving in with pasta, and finally getting those meatballs! 

Every Sunday, I mean every SUNDAY through every season of the year was like this. In the hottest of Summers Sunday Sauce was always brewing. My parents would take turns cooking it, or even made it together. Now, I try to do the same for my own little family, and here is a quick version for you!


let's go make some SUNDAY SAUCE! 

Happy Cooking friends. 



Sunday sauce recipe gluten free

*QUICK SUNDAY SAUCE WITH TURKEY HERB MEATBALLS


INGREDIENTS:

Sauce:

12 oz of Bianco Crushed Tomatoes ( or san marzano crushed tomatoes)
1 cup bold red wine (dry)
1 white onion
1 celery stalk
1 finely chopped carrot
1 bay leaf
1 bunch fresh thyme
Crushed red pepper
Diamond kosher salt + Ground Black pepper to taste
1 bottle EVOO on hand
1 bulb of garlic

Herb Turkey Meatballs:

1lb organic dark turkey meat
1 organic pasture raised egg
2 tablespoons organic hemp hearts
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
½ cup gluten free rice crumbs or handmade breadcrumbs
Garlic powder
1 large bunch basil
1 bunch fresh mint
Fresh ground pepper

Pasta:

1lb dried gluten free spaghetti noodles ( or traditional spaghetti noodles) Cooked to package directions, tip: don’t forget to salt your pasta water!

Pecorino Romano cheese for topping

DIRECTIONS:

PREP ALL YOUR INGREDIENTS FOR SAUCE AND MEATBALLS. We aren’t cooking yet we need to get things measured and in front of us. This is called Mise en place.

Prep the sauce: Open your can of tomatoes. Roughly chop your onion and celery. Finely chop your carrot and thinly slice 4 cloves of garlic. Set aside everything in a bowl except the garlic. Put garlic in another bowl or keep on cutting board. Set everything aside and prep your meatballs.

Prep the turkey herb meatballs: Gently roll a big handful of basil together, and chop it you should get about 2 tablespoons. Chop your mint. Set aside together. Measure out the remaining ingredients for the meatballs. Next, In a large bowl put your ground turkey, lightly chopped basil + chopped mint, 1 tsp garlic powder, bread crumbs, nutritional yeast, hemp hearts, egg, 1 tsp olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. With your hands mix all together until mixture is combined.

Then roll out into medium size balls with your hands. Place on a plate or parchment paper lined tray. Put a large deep skillet on medium heat, once hot add in some olive oil, start cooking your meatballs. About 2-3 min on each side, until they are a slight golden color. Its okay if pink inside. As the meatballs finish cooking, place on a plate lined with a paper towel. This is to catch the excess grease. Do not rinse your skillet keep- all the grease for the sauce.

SAUCE:

In the same heated pan, sauté your carrots onion and celery add salt and pepper. Once translucent in color, add your sliced garlic. Add crushed red pepper flakes ( as many as you can handle, I like a lot) Once the garlic is fragrant, add your can of tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste. Then the cup of red wine. Simmer on medium high heat until bubbling. Add your meatballs back into the pan, add in full bunches of thyme. Lower your heat to medium low and pop a lid to cook for about 30 min- 1 hour. Stirring occasionally until the sauce has become thick. If it's slightly acidic you can add more wine or salt, be sure to taste as you cook, so you know how much salt and pepper to add in!

Cook your pasta at the 30 min timer has gone off to the package directions.

Once pasta is finished right from the pot place the pasta into the skillet with your meatballs, add in some olive oil ( about 1 tablespoon) fresh basil and pecorino romano cheese. And dish up to enjoy!


pasta sauce recipe gluten free

STRAWBERRY RHUBARB CRUMBLE RECIPE || GLUTEN FREE + VEGAN | BY NICOLE LEE



Hi Friends,

When Rhubarb comes into season, I find myself terrified of it. I know dramatic right? I have this push pull relationship with it, I want to try it but I don’t... is it a fruit or a vegetable? Not sure if it’s the long stalks that resemble celery? Wait, it’s poisonous?

Lately, I have been trying to FACE the scary things in life and the kitchen. One of the most pressing fears I’ve been avoiding like the plague, is cooking with ingredients I’m unfamiliar with. The ingredients look scary or hard to work with, I tell myself that I can’t do it, and freeze up. That mentality has me stuck, and I don't want to be stuck anymore. HENCE facing The RHUBARB FEAR. It’s weird as it sounds that cooking could be fear based, but sometimes that’s how things comes up. These days I find I learn most about myself through cooking, can you relate?

Part of the journey in facing the scary thing, is to Acknowledge the FEAR - “RHUBARB scares the shit out of me!” Recognize, checking in with yourself and asking, is it a thought or Story I’m telling myself? What’s the truth here? My Truth, ‘I felt that If I fucked up cooking with rhubarb on the first try I would be a failure”. After sitting with those questions, I realized I told myself a STORY. WHAT a STORY I told myself indeed, and why do I need to put that pressure on myself?

NEW MONTRA, GIRL you’ve got this, COOK the damn thing and GET ON WITH IT.! You may fuck it up, but WHO cares it’s no big DEAL. Here is the thing, the best part of cooking is the failure, trying new things, it’s not about PERFECTION but the journey in getting to the destination (or final dish in this case) I realized that sometimes scary things aren't as scary as you thought they were. It’s that simple.

What are the stories you’re telling yourself right now about cooking? Or about life? Keep going friends. x

Now let's COOK!

X

Nicole



Tips for cooking with RHUBARB;**

-When picking your Rhubarb, don't skimp. Make the extra trip to the farmers market, they have the good stuff. Look for deep tones in the stalks, deep red + pink. If they are pale they were picked too soon, they won’t be rich in taste.

-DON'T eat the LEAVES, they are poisonous. Clean the stalks and discard the leaves.



STRAWBERRY RHUBARB CRUMBLE RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:

For the filling;

  • 2 cups chopped rhubarb, cleaned and leafs discarded
  • 2lbs cleaned and chopped strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup organic coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg ( add one ½ tsp if like spicy)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch of pink salt

* For the topping;

  • 3 cups gf rolled oats
  • 1 stick of vegan cashew butter COLD (I use MiyoKo’s brand)
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4th tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup gf flour

TOOLS YOU WILL NEED: Non stick spray, a 9x9 or 9x8 baking dish, bowls for mixing the topping.

DIRECTIONS;

  1. Chop your strawberries and rhubarb set aside. Measure out all your ingredients and set aside. Pre- heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium dutch oven or saucepan put over medium heat, then cook your rhubarb with ¼ cup sugar. Until they are tender, turn your stove off and add in your chopped strawberries, lemon juice, pinch of pink salt, spices and vanilla. Give it a good stir. Set aside.
  2. Prep a baking dish with non stick spray, (9x9 or 9x8 works great). Make sure its deep. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl add all your topping ingredients EXCEPT the VEGAN BUTTER. Give a light mix with a spatula.
  4. With your hands break up the cold butter into your topping ingredients bowl. It doesn't have to be perfect, and you're looking for a small chunk type texture. Do this until all the butter is mixed in.
  5. Pour your filling into the baking pan. Then sprinkle your topping on top until it's coated evenly.
  6. Bake in the oven for 20-35 min at 350 degrees. Let cool on a cooling rack for 15-20 min and then serve with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, yogurt or creme fresh!


GF SPICEY OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIE RECIPE || PHOTOS + RECIPE BY NICOLE LEE


gluten free oatmeal cookie recipe


Hi there,

In my opinion Oatmeal raisin cookies are never going to live up to the ooey gooeyness of the chocolate chip cookie. At first glance one may mistake the raisins for chocolate chips, you get excited, you reach for one, take a bite. Then the moment of utter disappointment sets in as you realize those are NOT chocolate chips at ALL. You may be scratching your head on why in the world I would be sharing this recipe? Well Grandma, that’s why. Which is ALL the reason to make, share and eat oatmeal raisin cookies.

Grandma was the center of my childhood, she had a huge part in raising me, and she gets me. One year we even lived with her, just my sister and I. She always had a stash of cookies, candies or other treats in “hidden” places around the house. One day I asked her why she did this, she snapped back with “I don’t want your uncle’s friends to take them.” My uncle lived with us too, her house was always filled with people coming in and out. BUT despite the cookie thieves, by far her favorite treat is oatmeal raisin cookies. Especially the ones with the icing on top, what are those called? If she really felt fancy she would by the jumbo ones. And when I bake these cookies I can’t help but think of her.

Now, I’m not saying you have to fall in love with the oatmeal raisin cookie. Just commit to the raisin for what it is, and let’s stop trying to make the oatmeal raisin cookie into a chocolate chip and enjoy them for what they are. Maybe, just maybe they will grow on you??

Now lets get baking, xox Nicole


gluten free oatmeal raisin cookie recipe

oatmeal raisin cookies allergy friendly

Recipe:

GF Spicy oatmeal raisin cookies:

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup gf flour bob’s redmill ( 1 for 1 blue bag is what I used)
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
⅛ tsp fresh ground nutmeg
¾ cup brown coconut sugar
¼ cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
2 tablespoon maple syrup
1 egg
¾ cup oil ( ¼ evoo + 2/4 melted coconut oil)
2 cups gf old fashioned oats
1 cup raisins
1 cups nuts if desired

DIRECTIONS:

NOTE: You will need a free standing mixer or hand held and Cooking spray.

*TIP: POP your cookie dough in the fridge for 25 min, this will enhance flavors and the dough will settle. If your feeling free with time, bake them the next day.


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, make sure your middle rack is in the oven.
  2. Measure out all your dry ingredients and set aside, measure out all your wet ingredients and set aside.
  3. In your free standing mixer, add your sugar, maple sugar, oil and vanilla. Mix on medium speed until a creamy mixture forms. Turn mixer off push down the sides with a spatula, and scrape the bottom. Turn your mixer back on and add your egg, mix for about a min.
  4. DON'T OVER MIX.
  5. Add in your flour, soda, salt and spices. Mix until a dough forms.
  6. Pour in your oats and with a spatula mix by hand, then add your raisins.
  7. Once dough is finished let the dough sit in your fridge for 25 min, or freezer for 10-15.
  8. Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 16 min, at 8 min take out flatten and bake for another 8 min. If you want a chewier cookie bake for 10-12 min. ENJOY!

gluten free oatmeal raisin cookie recipe


oatmeal raisin cookie recipe

grandma small.jpg