A Midsummer’s Fiesta

June’s dinner had so many incredible elements. First of all, we were able to dine outside by a GORGEOUS pool and pool house, complete with a margarita maker (which took our Watermelon margs to the next level, y’all). Second, we were joined by our dear friend Emma Ball and her husband, Matt. Emma founded the Hip Handmade Market, and Matt is a co-owner at 24 hour fitness in Joplin. They are a constant source of inspiration and laughter, and dining with them was nothing short of spectacular. Lastly, we finally hosted a dinner that included guacamole. It’s. About. Time. The third photo in this sequence is our reaction to the guacamole. It’s raw. It’s real. It’s love, people.

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While the guac was magic, and the margaritas made for a well-rounded fiesta, once again our company outshone anything we put on the table. Emma and Matt proved themselves to be nothing short of a power couple, enlightening us on how they balance being business owners and party-enthusiasts, all the while raising two of the cutest, most exuberant children you’ll ever meet. While Matt owns a gym, and is a certified man-of-steel, he is a huge part of Emma’s success in the Hip Handmade Market. He plays a huge role in deciding which applicants will become vendors at Hip Handmade, and is unashamed at his enjoyment of handmade soaps. Emma takes pride in her highly curated craft show, making sure that the vendors compliment each other and are as hip as they are handmade. For many makers, getting to be a vendor at the Hip Handmade Market is a highlight of their year. It is an opportunity to network, to sell product (maybe for the first time ever!) and to be encouraged by others and their pursuit of their craft. Emma has given these artists an avenue to take pride in their creations and be rewarded, something that we believe all creatives deserve. This is why we love her (other reasons include her dance moves, her cute kids, and her insatiable desire to have fun).

If we share too much, we fear you loyal readers will have no reason to buy our book! So, we’re going to share a recipe, then drop the mic and get outta here. We served these Jicama chips with Pineapple Salsa as an appetizer for our June dinner, and absolutely could not get enough. It’s incredibly easy and refreshing, perfect for any Summer get together.

Enjoy!

Jicama Chips:

1 Jicama

Peel and slice Jicama into slices with a mandolin. Dehydrate for 8 hours at 145 degrees.

Let cool before storing in air-tight container.

Pineapple Salsa:

1/2 small white Onion, finely diced

1 1/2 C Pineapple, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1/2 of one Red Bell Pepper, chopped

1/2 of one Orange or yellow Bell Pepper, chopped

1-2 Green Onions, white and green parts, sliced

Juice of 1/2 an Orange

1 Tbsp. Cilantro, roughly chopped

Salt to taste, approx. 1 tsp

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir until well mixed. Serve with Jicama chips!

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Pop-Up Shop Love

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First thing’s first: if you’ve completely missed out on the fact that &Company is selling product, I urge you to make your way over to our store ASAP (https://andcompanyeats.com/store-2/). We’ve compiled and are selling three options for Take & Make Meal Boxes (an appetizer, an entrée and a dessert), as well as reusable totes for all of those organic fruits and veggies you’re hauling home from the store each week. All of that being said, we can now move on to what this post is actually about, the So Fresh Pop-Up Shop!

Back in March, we attended a get together of creative women in our community. There were so many tacos. There was beer and wine. There were cookies and cheesecake and I can’t believe I forgot to mention guacamole. Naturally a wonderful time was had by all. Toward the end of this get together, a collaborative Pop-Up Shop was proposed, and for the next six weeks, our lives revolved around making said Pop-Up Shop a reality. It was deemed the, ‘So Fresh Pop-Up Shop’ and it was nothing short of spectacular.

Being a new business, we’ve actually never sold product until the Pop-Up Shop. Let us let you in on a little secret: selling product is hard. Knowing how much to order, what percentage to mark-up, etc. It’s not easy. Thinking of cute displays, marketing, figuring out how to target a customer base that extends beyond your immediate family… it’s no picnic, people (p.s. thanks for buying so much of our product, Mom). The great thing about the So Fresh Pop-Up Shop? So many people were introduced to &Company and our mission: Eating real, whole, clean food is absolutely achievable. It’s accessible (in Joplin, MO!) and not the least bit intimidating. That fact alone made our stressing and planning and nail-biting in preparation for the Pop-Up Shop SO WORTH IT!! The late nights, the cases of produce hauled from store to car (by our husbands, lets be honest) were all so beyond worth it for the simple fact that somebody prepared an appetizer, or entrée or dessert compiled of completely clean, organic whole ingredients and enjoyed it. Maybe they even shared it with family members or friends. To that we say, ‘Mission Accomplished’.

If you take nothing else from this post, please know that we at &Company truly want nothing more than for our followers, and supporters and community members to know that what we put into our body matters. And while there are seemingly so many “rules” as to what should and should not be ingested, the truth is simple: Eat what the Earth gives you. Know where your food comes from, and don’t be afraid to care. We guarantee you won’t be sorry you hopped on the bandwagon.

If you’re at all intimidated by this concept, visit our store. We have meals ready for you to order, pick up and make at home with pre-measured, organic ingredients. Then, check out our Pop-Up Shop collaborators who are creative in different ways, and offer apparel, prints, party supplies, sharable cards and the most incredible sugar cookies.

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Muffintop Shop

Emma Made

Write It Down Stationery

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A Kiddo’s Birthday Treat: Cherry Truffle Pops

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If you read our post from earlier this month, you know that our first venture cooking for children was an intimidating (but still very enjoyable) one. We had many a trial, many an error and many honest conversations with our younger selves about whether or not our recipes were actually “kid-friendly”. In the end, though, the enjoyable part won out over the intimidating part, and a perfect celebration was had in honor of three year-old Valentine.

We wanted to share with you one of the recipes that was thoroughly enjoyed by children and adults alike. Shaylea worked tirelessly to perfect this recipe, and perfect it she did. As a testament to said perfection, I consumed somewhere around 10 truffles by the day’s end. Give or take. These things are incredible and THE most festive party treat. Enjoy!

Cherry Truffle Pops:

Toothpicks: You’ll need one toothpick per truffle!

Filling: Makes 16 1” truffles or 34 smaller truffles

1C Shredded coconut, blended until very fine

2C Sweet dark cherries

1/2C or roughly 10 dates, chopped

1/4C cacao butter

1/4C Coconut flour

Blend shredded coconut first, then add remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth, creamy and truftle-esque.

Chocolate:

1C cacao butter

½C cocoa powder

1/4 C+ 2 Tbsp agave

Once truffle firing is creamy, roll into balls, stick in the toothpicks and place in the freezer.

For chocolate, melt cacao butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat, then stir in cocoa powder and agave. Keep stirring until chocolate thickens.

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Remove cherry truffles from freezer and dip in chocolate. After all truffles have been dipped, place in freezer until first chocolate layer is frozen. Remove, and dip again. Repeat 3 times. Sprinkle with coconut flakes and serve!

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Valentines Day

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May’s “dinner” was a challenge for us. Sure, we have had challenges with previous dinners. At times we feel rushed or unprepared, and we nearly always forget supplies and have to make emergency runs to the grocery store. And this month we met all of those challenges. But they seemed so small in comparison to one very new challenge: cooking for children. A child’s birthday party, in particular. So not only did our food have to appeal to kids, but it had to look like the standard, sugar-laden party food that anyone expects (and hopes!) to find at a birthday party.

Yes, we spent many brainstorming sessions trying to think back to our youth, asking ourselves, “Would I have eaten that when I was three?” We tested a few recipes, and sometimes the answer was a resounding, “NO.” We finally landed on a menu that we felt was (for the most part) kid friendly, festive and nutritionally sound.

Despite the stress and uncertainty leading up to sweet Valentine’s third birthday party, it was the most rewarding of days. Pretty much all of our worries melted away when Valentine and her friends started gobbling up everything in sight. Honestly, they were so cute I don’t think we would have cared if they hated everything we had prepared.

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Interviewing the party goers proved challenging as well, since they obviously had more important things to do (i.e. hide-and-seek, cupcake eating and lounging by the sandbox) than to talk to the cooks. After bonding over dinosaur figurines and burying toes in the sand, however, we were all buds. According to the kiddos, some highlights from the afternoon included “just the games… and the cupcakes”, as well as the homemade corn chips. Jax Eidson, 3, of Webb City described them as “really hard to eat”, and later told us that they were his favorite food at the party. We even received a weather report for Joplin, Kansas City and Muskogee, Oklahoma. If you’re ever wondering when to pack that umbrella, just ask Alice Epperson.

We offer a sincere thanks to Anna and Logan, who so graciously let us cater Valentine’s party though we had absolutely no experience cooking for children. And to all of the parents who allowed your children to attend the party, you are generous and encouraging souls. And last, but most certainly not least, thank you Valentine for turning three and being the most optimistic and appreciative three-year-old we’ve had the pleasure of knowing.

Stay tuned for a recipe post later this month!

Brunch & Politics

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We are serious advocates of brunch. There’s really just something magical about it. Maybe it’s the hollandaise. Who can say? The point is, we love brunch. So for our April “dinner”, we had brunch. It was a beautiful Spring Saturday, perfect for casual conversation paired with benedicts and MIMOSAS (keep reading to see our twist on this brunch staple). Our guest was an old friend from High School, who we have been keeping tabs on via social media in addition to reading his articles published in the New York Times.

Yes, you heard correctly. Eli Yokely is his name, and political journalism is his game. In 2010 he founded PoliticMo, an in-depth political blog covering all things Missouri Politics. Eli resides in Columbia, Missouri and spends a majority of his time at the Capitol, reporting on House and Senate happenings, campaigns, and political issues ranging from marijuana legalization to the recent and sobering suicide of Missouri’s State Auditor.

The great thing about Eli (other than the accolades he’s received from the NY Times, Washington Post and countless other noteworthy publications) is that he knows politics as well as he knows journalism. He has been a political journalist since elementary school, founding the Halsey News Network, making sure that 5th graders everywhere (or at least in Webb City, Missouri) were informed of the state of things, politically. While he can speak fluent politic, he also has the rare ability to communicate political issues to the Average Joe’s and Josephine’s who may not know all of the jargon. To be honest, we were a little intimidated by Eli’s political prowess until we actually sat down to talk with him. He was as fun and casual as we remembered, and was never annoyed by our frequent questions regarding the similarities between his life and House of Cards.

As per usual, you will have to pick up our book, in order to hear all of the political secrets that were unveiled in our time with Eli. But we cannot speak highly enough of his skill, his humility, his taste in French champagne or his divine sense of humor. Check out his work over at PoliticMO, or, you know, the next time you’re on the streets of New York and pick up the local paper.

Now let’s hear it for a mimosa recipe.

This one is our take on the standard OJ and Champagne version, substituting the OJ for GJ (Ginger Juice) and muddled blackberries. Enjoy responsibly, y’all.

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Blackberry Ginger Mimosas

Serves 4-6

1 large ginger root, peeled, juiced and chilled

3oz Blackberries (or 2-3 berries per mimosa glass)

Champagne (or sparkling wine, either will be delicious)

In each champagne flute, pour 1/4 t. of the chilled ginger juice

Add 2-3 blackberries, and muddle with the ginger juice (you can use a pestle or muddler if you have one, or the handle end of a wooden spoon will suffice)

Pour Champagne over the ginger juice and berry mixture, until the glass is full to the brim, of bubbly.

Cheers!

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So Fresh and SO EXCITED!

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Hey, y’all! We are so, so excited to tell you about some serious creative collaboration taking place in our community. On May 23rd and 24th, from 10am-6pm, we will be participating in Joplin’s first-ever Pop-Up Shop! Ourselves, and seven other makers will be setting up shop and selling some made-with-love products to the public. That’s right. We are selling stuff! #swag

For our first official selling venture, we have developed three recipes – one appetizer, one entree, and one dessert – which have all of our typical attributes: gluten-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free, and organic. When you come to the pop-up shop, you will have the opportunity to purchase all of the ingredients needed to make one of these recipes in one box. You heard right. You don’t have to do any shopping – we’ve done that for you! Each box will contain everything you need to whip up the course(s) that you purchased at the Pop-Up Shop, as well as a recipe card with step-by-step instructions. The following is a list of the recipe boxes that will be available for purchase:

Appetizer: Spinach and Garlic Hummus

Entree: Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl 

Dessert: Raw Peanut Butter and Carob Slice

Box pricing will be released in the coming weeks, as will the Pop-Up Shop location!

In addition to our meal boxes, there will be apparel, prints, party supplies, stationery, sweet treats and SO MUCH MORE from some of Joplin’s most talented artists. We feel so honored to be a part. Please stay tuned for updates, and mark your calendars – this is going to be two days of “oohs” and “ahhs” you won’t want to miss!

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Cocoa Dusted, Blood Orange Rice Pudding

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We want to share with you a simple, yet SO yummy dessert that we served at our march dinner. While we and our guests both agreed it turned out tasting like one of those spicy, warm holiday dishes you can’t get enough of in December, it was equally as delicious enjoyed in the Springtime. And the great thing about this one, is it’s incredible served hot OR served cold. Believe us. We tried both.

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Cocoa Dusted, Blood Orange Rice Pudding

1 cup Arborio rice

1 Tbsp Coconut Oil

1 cup coconut milk (full fat)

1 cup water

2 Tbsp. Agave

2 whole blood oranges, peeled and pieced (Save a few slices for garnish!)

Zest from one orange

1 Tbsp Cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

Cocoa for dusting

Combine coconut oil, rice, coconut milk, water and agave into a pot on the stove. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until the mixture reaches a “puddingy” (correct culinary term) consistency.

Serve garnished with a blood orange slice, and dust with cocoa.

If enjoying cold, allow pudding to chill for 4-6 hours or overnight before serving…if you can wait that long.

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Mango Pineapple Smoothie

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Mango & Pineapple are two of my favorite fruits. You see this cup isn’t very full…I kept eating the fresh fruit while chopping it up, because all that’s in this is my two favs! It’s so refreshing & simple.

All you need is:

1 Mango

1/4 of a pineapple

A blender

Blend that fresh fruit up & drink until your hearts content. Or double up on the fruit & make a cup for some company, you know we’re all about that company.

Mini Brussel Sprout Quiches

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If you’re still looking for the perfect Easter dinner side, or maybe a good brunch item while the family is in town these Brussel Sprout Quiches are pretty delectable.

Ingredients:

1 pound Whole Brussel Sprouts 

2 Eggs

2 Tbs Ground Flaxseed

1 Tbsp Dill

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Garlic

¼ cup Water

6 oz. Dill Havarti cheese (4 oz. for blending & 2 oz. for topping)

A couple drops Olive Oil for muffin tin

Preheat Oven to 375˚ & drop some olive oil in the bottom of each muffin cup.

Place rinsed Brussel Sprouts into food processor & pulse until coarsely chopped. Then, add in eggs (which are beautiful, so here’s a picture)

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Add the rest of your ingredients, excluding the cheese, along with the eggs & blend.

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Add 4 oz. of Dill Havarti Cheese cut into chunks into the food processor & pulse until evenly throughout mixture. Once everything is mixed scoop ingredients into muffin tin (should make 1 dozen regular sized muffin quiches).

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Place into oven & bake for 20 min. After 20 minutes top each quiche with a square of Dill Havarti Cheese (roughly 2 oz.) and bake for another 8 minutes. Once they come out of the oven run a spatula along the edges for easy removal. Set them on a tray and sprinkle with dill.

Happy Easter!

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