White Bean Spread with Thyme, Lemon, Rosemary & Black Pepper

On a recent trip to NYC, we ate a fancy-schmancy pizza restaurant. You know, the kind that you really shouldn't bring kids to and the end up wondering why they put you at a table where there is a wall of wine bottles that your four-year-old keeps elbowing and knocking over the wobbly ill-placed vessels. In any case, turns out the $25 pizza we had was just good, not great, but the bean dip with crostini that brought to the table before the meal was outstanding. I had been craving it ever since, so I tried to make a less oily version of it for dinner. The restaurant's version was more a flavored olive oil dip with smashed cannellini beans, and I wanted to make it more of a spread for grilled ciabatta bread.

My seven-year-old has been off school for two weeks and is already claiming that she is bored, so I am trying to involve her with household chores. She absolutely loves to be useful! In between the day's frequent rain storms, I sent her outside to pick some sprigs of thyme and rosemary. Being the girl she is, she even diligently plucked the leaves off the stem before giving them to me! I later put her little hands to work smashing the ingredients (her favorite part).

White Bean Spread with Thyme, Lemon, Rosemary, and Crushed Black Pepper Spread Recipe vegan; makes about 1.5 cups

  • 1 can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup of a very, very good quality olive oil
  • about 2 tsp minced garlic (to taste)
  • 6-8 sprigs of fresh thyme (about 1 TB, leaves only)
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary (about 1/2 TB chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • the zest of one lemon (1/2 for the spread, 1/2 for garnish)
  • lots of crushed black pepper (to taste!)
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • dash of white wine (optional, use alcohol-free if you are a teetotaler)

  1. Put all ingredients in a flat-bottom bowl and smash with a potato masher. Mix until creamy (but leave a few larger chunks for texture.
  2. Grill your bread of choice using olive oil.
  3. Spread the bean mixture on finished bread. Dress with extra olive oil, herbs, crushed black pepper and the extra zest. Tip: Would also make a great sandwich spread, topped with grilled veggies and sun dried tomatoes. And oooh! You could even sprinkle the top with roasted pine nuts. Go crazy!

I served the crostini with broccoli rabe stewed with sun-dried tomatoes. Our favorite!

Join Me on a Tour of NYC!

I'm not blogging on the blog for a bit, so join me on Instagram (scissorsandspice) and Twitter for exciting pictures of my culinary and touristy exploits during the summer vacation period. Now we're off to find the Cinnamon Snail!

PS: I wish they made those Citibikes in kid sizes for my two chickadees! I'm missing my bike!

Easy Labeling for Cookouts (& Mediterranean Quinoa Pilaf!)

Late, as usual, I photographed the labeled bowl on my lap as we drove to the playground.
Ever find yourself at a omnivore community picnic or cookout and you have no idea what's what or if you can eat a dish (you know, it looks veg, then you realize that there is bacon in that potato salad)? Ever year, my son's school hosts a community picnic, and every year, I'm left with eating my dish and cut fruit. Not a big deal, but this year, I knew there were several new vegan/vegetarian families at the school, so I wanted to make sure they knew that my dish was meat-free and that the sign would stay on the dish.

I simply took a clothespin and pinched it on the bowl and attached the sign in between the end of the pin. Depending on how tight the "pinch" is, you may need to add a bit of tape on the back of your sign. It stayed on through the whole party, unlike the the paper tent labels I have made in the past which always ended up getting buried under another dish or being blown across the playground.

The quinoa pilaf had: fresh herbs from our garden, local asparagus,yellow and green squash, sun-dried tomatoes, fire-roasted red peppers, fresh tomatoes and really high-quality Spanish olive oil.

Mexican Tofu Scramble & Vegan Coconut Ice Cream in NoLibs

On Saturday, we came to see the Brooklyn Flea at the Piazza at Schimdts in Northern Liberties, but we were a day early. Dur! Instead, there was a free 104.5 concert going on. It was a sea of 20-something guys in the obligatory tight, cuffed cut-off shorts and tight plaid shirts and girls in high waisted shorts with messy buns their heads. Not exactly our scene, but we weren't going to let that ruin our afternoon.

We did a little thrifting at a vintage store in the piazza. My son was quite happy with the trading cards he found and my daughter was head-over-heels with her 1980s unicorn cloisonee pin.

Despite our botched plans, we took a walk along North 2nd Street and the kids admired the street art. I liked that they made perfect backgrounds for portraits of them.

Vegan french toast for brunch at Dos Segundos? Yes, sir! We'll have to go back for that one though. Since it was a late lunch/early dinner, we had the scrambled tofu (amazing!) and the arugala and pumpkin seed salad (so good!). They also have the most amazing green salsa. I could drink it by the glass!

This is Duke from Duke and Winston. Isn't he adorable? He lazily reclined, motionless, with his tongue sticking popped out of his cute mushy mouth the whole time we were in the store.

Of course, we had to stop by Art Star while we were in the neighborhood.

And we promised the kids that if they were good, they could get ice cream, so we stopped by Little Baby's at Garden Variety. The non-dairy coconut was very creamy and very sweet. A great ending to a surprisingly good day.

Easy Miso Tahini Ginger Dressing

Lacinto kale, cabbage, and carrot slaw topped with red peppers and cucumbers. Good idea, but a big fail!

I was craving a miso tahini type dressing to, well, um, dress up a kale slaw I was making, so I whipped out a little mason jar and added some ingredients I had on hand. The sauce was delicious, the slaw on the other hand was overly bitter. I had never eaten lacinto kale raw before. I will never do that again. Cooked, it is great, and I prefer it over the curly leaf variety, but raw... blech! Tastes like grass. I learned that it is pretty bitter juiced as well. Live and learn as they say. Now for the good part of this experiment, the easy miso tahini ginger dressing!

The yummy dressing! Just shake it up in a mason jar!

Easy Miso Tahini Ginger Dressing Recipe (vegan) 
makes about 3/4 of a cup to 1 cup of dressing


  • 1 TB mellow miso
  • 1 TB Tahini
  • 1 TB peanut butter
  • 1 TB toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp minced ginger (you can use more if you really like ginger!)
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (other liquid sweetener)
  • 1 tsp of Sriracha (or some other hot sauce or just leave this out)
  • 1/4- 1/2 cup of water (depending on how thick you want it)
  • sea salt or tamari to taste


  1. Put all ingredients in a mason jar with a tightly fitted lid.
  2. Shake, and shake some more. Put on some good music and dance around your kitchen.
  3. Pour over salad. Easy, right?

CLOSED Win a Vintage Inspired Dress From Shabby Apple!

It's that time of year again! Time for weddings, parties, and the carefree vacation life! And, girl, you need some vintage clothing to get you there in style! Thankfully, Shabby Apple is here to outfit you for your special occasion! They have graciously offered one lucky Scissors and Spice reader a vintage- styled dress or skirt to kick off your summer fun!

Leave a comment on the blog and let us all know what you are up to this summer and/or where you could wear a vintage inspired outfit this season!

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Contest ends on Wednesday, June 12, 2012 @8 PM Eastern Time. Make sure you leave some sort of way to get in touch with you via your comment profile info, or FB, Twitter, or Instagram accounts or a good old fashioned email address will do! The winner (chosen by Randomizer) will be announced on Facebook and Twitter (make sure you follow us!) and right here! So check back on this post next week! Good luck and happy commenting!

Please note: Winner will be given a list a pre-determined dresses and skirts to chose from and will  pick one of their choice at contest end. You must claim prize in two days, or the giveaway will go to the next person. Open to US residents only; sorry my non-US friends, I still really do still love you!