BEHIND CLOSED DOORS: LORIA STERN

   

Loria Stern is a true flower whisperer. Her botanical creations light up our feed on the daily, and we’re thrilled to learn more about her deep love for plants and the power they hold. Loria might just be making the prettiest (and most delicious) food out there. Expect pansies, roses, marigolds and more in her magical creations. Consider her food the definition of “eat the rainbow.”

Have you always been interested in food? 

Yes! My mom was a terrific cook and I remember helping her in the garden and in the kitchen since I was able to stand.  Baking was always my favorite.

What’s always in your fridge? Your pantry? 

I always have homemade items in my fridge-- sauces, dips, dressings, chutneys, jams, pickles, nut butters, syrups, infusions, etc, so that I can make anything extra special and delicious at the drop of a hat.    

Your food is so beautiful, has it always been that way?  

Thank you so much <3  Like anything, the more you do something the better you get!  As I kept practicing my craft-- whether it be cooking for myself, for friends, on the job at restaurants, or for clients, I realized that people first eat with their eyes, and it's easy to make food look pretty once you better understand the ingredients you're working with as well as this concept.  

What are must have ingredients in your kitchen?  

Coffee, eggs, toasted nuts, fresh fruits, sweet potatoes, onions, fresh or dried botanicals. 

What does a day in the life of eating look like for you?  

Since my schedule and body is constantly changing, I just listen to it and follow the cues.  Sometimes I'm craving a burger and other times I just want vegetables.  I don't have any dietary restrictions and eat everything, although I haven't had fast food in over 2 decades and avoid processed foods or anything with ingredients that I cannot identify their source.  I love a cup of coffee every morning and mostly eat a vegetarian diet.    



 

Any favorite restaurants?  

I must admit-- I'm kind of a food snob and working in restaurants has changed my view of eating at restaurants.  If I'm eating out, I opt for authentic, hole in the wall places. 

Other people that inspire you in the world of food?  

There are so many individuals that inspire me in the world of food, starting with my local farmers.  Their hard work, dedication and passion for growing delicious, nutritious food is incredible.

What else do you love?  

Being in nature!  Painting, music, racquet sports, foraging, antiquing, thrift store shopping, making old things new, altering clothes (sewing!) and spending time with loved ones.

What are your thoughts on how food relates to beauty?  

I believe you are what you eat and that food can be the strongest form of medicine.  I also truly believe that everyone's body is different and has different nutritional needs.  Thus there is no prescription or one right way to eat 

 

LEMONY ROSEMARY ALMOND CRACKERS

Here is one of my favorite paleo cracker recipes that appears in my cookbook zine! Paleo and Gluten Free. 

 

INGREDIENTS 

1¾ cups almond flour or almond meal

½ teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped 

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary or rosemary flowers, leaving the leaves long

1 teaspoon lemon zest, and 1 teaspoon lemon zested curls

1 tablespoon grapeseed, sunflower or olive oil

1 large egg

 

METHOD

Preheat your oven to 400° F. 

In a large bowl mix almond flour, sea salt, 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary and 1 teaspoon lemon zest, massaging the zest into the mixture to release the essential oils.  Now make a well in the center and add your oil and egg.  Mix together until a ball forms.  Gather a long sheet of parchment paper (26”) and fold in half.  Unfold the parchment, then place your dough onto one side of the parchment paper and flatten so that it’s a 1/2” rectangle.  Now fold over the top of your parchment and roll out your dough until it’s about 1/8” thin, being careful there are not any creases on either side of the parchment (this will lead to imperfect crackers!).  Damage control: if the dough cracks in some areas, just gather dough from the side and stick on to where it cracks and re-roll so that both sides of the parchment paper are smooth and your dough is the same thickness (or flatness) throughout.  

Now is the fun part— decorating with the rosemary, lemon zested curls or super thinly sliced lemons.  Lift up one side of the parchment and sprinkle the herbs on the dough as you’d like (fun for kids to decorate also, OR NOT), then place the side of the parchment on the dough and roll out just hard enough to press the zest and rosemary into the dough.  Lift up the parchment again, and cut that extra paper off so that your rolled out crackers are on one side of the parchment.  

Now cut your crackers into shapes.  You actually don’t have to do this part.  You can be rustique and just bake the cracker as a slab and then break into irregular shards when it’s baked.  If you are cutting into crackers— I like making 10 cuts on the horizontal side and 2-3 cuts on the vertical side (creating long slender crackers that are nice for double dipping ;)   

Carefully slide your parchment onto a baking sheet and place in the oven for about 10 minutes, checking at 7 minutes.  If your oven has hot spots, rotate your pan at 5 minutes.  These crackers can go from perfect to slightly burned in a matter of seconds, so once they start to turn golden, take them out of the oven.  Like any baked good, they will continue baking on their hot metal baking sheet after you take them out of the oven.  

Let cool to room temperature and serve!  They’re best same day but they will stay good in an airtight container for up to 1 week on the counter or 3 weeks in the fridge.  You can toast in a preheated 325 degree oven for 5-10 minutes before serving and they taste as if you just baked them.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published