Foraging, Feasting and Chocolate Ricotta Mousse!

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I’m joining the The Novel Bakers with The Forest Feast: Simple Vegetarian Recipes from My Cabin in the Woods by Erin Gleeson

The Novel Bakers

Join us this week as we step into the magical world of Erin Gleeson, food blogger, artist, photographer and cookbook author of The Forest Feast. . .

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Jain found this cookbook for The Novel Bakers to play with this week! I’m a sucker for cookbooks with lots of beautiful photos and this one fits the bill, since every recipe has a full-page photo along with an easy to follow format, with the ingredients and directions on the opposite page with minimal text.

“Erin Gleeson made her dream a reality when she left New York City and moved into a tiny cabin in a California forest in order to be closer to nature. The natural beauty of her surroundings and the abundance of local produce serve as the inspiration for The Forest Feast, based on her popular blog.”

“Most of the book’s 100 wholly vegetarian recipes call for only three or four ingredients and require very few steps, resulting in dishes that are fresh, wholesome, delicious, and stunning. Vibrant photographs, complemented by Erin’s own fanciful watercolor illustrations and hand lettering, showcase the rustic simplicity of the dishes. Part cookbook, part art book, The Forest Feast will be as comfortable in the kitchen as on the coffee table.”

This cookbook is a feast for the eyes with its deliciously photographed recipes and hand-painted illustrations added for a dash of artistry and a pinch of whimsy!

And would make a great gift for a new cook with the easy to follow directions and recipes with a minimal ingredients.

 While the recipes are vegetarian, many would work as sides for an entrée and are designed for entertaining that can be served at room temperature.

Appetizers, cocktails, salads, vegetable dishes and sweets with emphasis on fresh, colorful produce and ingredients.

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There was plenty to choose from and for novel baking in this cookbook, but I have to admit that I did more foraging than feasting this week. . . (oops ;) 

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Searching for leaves, moss, ferns, and acorns for this book as inspiration rather than ingredients.

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It gave me the excuse to play outdoors and enjoy the fleeting fall color in our wee bit of woods . . .

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And to harvest some fall foliage to enjoy. . .

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Along with some crisp fall weather before the artic blast arrived.

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We feasted on one of the recipes in the ‘sweets’ category,

 Chocolate Ricotta Mousse Cups.

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4 Ingredients and easy to make and that satisfies your inner chocoholic!

Chocolate Ricotta Mousse Ingredients

Melt 4 oz of chocolate (dark, milk or semi-sweet) using your preferred methodin a double boiler over hot water or in the microwave. If using the microwave, break into small pieces and heat chocolate at 50 percent power for 1 to 11/2 minutes. Remove and stir, returning to microwave and repeat, stirring every 20 seconds to avoid scorching. When only small bits of chocolate remain, remove and continue to stir until completely melted.

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 Add 2 cups ricotta cheese, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 tablespoon brown sugar and melted chocolate to a food processor.

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Blend everything together in the processor for about 30 seconds. Chill in refrigerator several hours. It’s even better refrigerated overnight.

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 Serves 4, along with most of the recipes in the The Forest Feast.

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Serve with whipped cream, chocolate shavings, slivered almonds,

a pirouline wafer cookie if desired. . .

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And maybe a bird or two :)

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Foraging & Feasting Details:

Bird Tray, HomeGoods

Transferware Plate / Bountiful-Brown by Ridgway

White Bird Dish/ Gracie Teaware, HomeGoods

Twig & Leaf Spoons / Tuesday Morning, several years ago

Bird Cup & Saucer / Williamsburg Aviary by Wedgwood

Tree Slice Server / Bed, Bath & Beyond

Pumpkin Pillow / Pottery Barn

Leaf Pillow / Hobby Lobby

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The Novel Bakers return on Wednesday, November 19th with more Forest Feast!

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Feast with Jain and Michael Lee. . .

Jain, a quiet life

Michael Lee, Rattlebridge Farm

Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

 Metamorphosis MondayThe Scoop,

Inspire Me TuesdayWow Us Wednesdays,

Home Sweet Home,

 Tablescape ThursdayFoodie Friday

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  25 comments for “Foraging, Feasting and Chocolate Ricotta Mousse!

  1. November 17, 2014 at 5:39 am

    Looks like you’re enjoying fall Mary! Your pics are pretty and I’d love some mousse…With cookies please:@)

  2. November 17, 2014 at 7:04 am

    What an inviting, cozy corner you’ve created, Mary!! That chocolate ricotta mousse looks good enough to eat right NOW…for Breakfast! LOL
    The cookbook is very enticing & I, too, love to find ones with delicious pictures to drool over. YOU should write one…your photos alone would make it an instant best seller.

  3. November 17, 2014 at 7:25 am

    As usual your table scapes are beautiful! The food looks fantastic! Yum! When it gets cool that is when I love to be in the kitchen creating! Happy Monday !

  4. November 17, 2014 at 7:53 am

    Oh my gosh Mary, your photos are a feast for the eyes!! What glorious views of Fall that you’ve shared with us. I loved to try the ricotta mousse in your pretty setting.
    I’m thinking that you should write your own book!

  5. November 17, 2014 at 8:37 am

    Beautiful! Just beautiful! Fall is my favorite time of the year. I especially love the leaf cushion on your chair. The cookbook looks amazing and I can’t wait to try the recipe. So simple to make but looks very elegant. I so enjoy your blog first thing in the morning with a cup of coffee or tea :)

  6. Phyllis Farr
    November 17, 2014 at 8:49 am

    This is about my favorite of your thousands of masterpieces. Thank you for the eye feast first thing in the morning. :)

  7. November 17, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Gorgeous post, Mary. Dessert looks delish, too!

  8. Linda Dager Herzog
    November 17, 2014 at 9:12 am

    You are truly talented. You have a way of pulling me from my chair and placing me right into your pictures. If you look real hard..you can almost SEE me there.! Thank you for sharing your talent with the world, Mary.

  9. Cheryl
    November 17, 2014 at 9:15 am

    How do you get anything done living in such a gorgeous place? I’d be lollygagging out on the lake taking in the last of fall. Beautiful as always.

  10. November 17, 2014 at 9:26 am

    The spot you have created with your foraging is a magical place Mary, and perfect for the equally magical sounding chocolate ricotta mousse! The book is sheer delight, I LOVE the way you laid out your ingredients to mimic her illustrations!! Not only do I love her clever recipe drawings, the recipes themselves, beer battered artichokes [yes please] and polka dot pizza [how cute!] really appeal~ It is all completely enchanting!
    Jenna

  11. November 17, 2014 at 9:44 am

    oh what a gorgeous rendition of these pages! i am huddled up in a cozy sweater, its 34 degrees at the beach right now, running barefoot through your forest feast! i ADORE your take of these pages, i played it simple, mimicked the book for its ease and simplicity, you know i always love to go over the top, but i choose restraint… damn, your way is MUCH MORE FUN!

    first i love your seating, i thought did you hit your mil’s, its all so familiar, just a different garden, but as you pull up i can see its home sweet home. such a perfect spot for your foresting, mother nature blessed you for this seasonal vignette :-)

    i can see how much i missed homegoods for the 6 months i had been away, that bird tray has surely flown south for the winter :-( oh such styling… not only is my favorite season, but you even served chocolate on a bed of moss… be still my heart :-( yes i am heart sick over too much beauty in one place!

    the leaves on the water
    a canopy of color setting off those comfy chairs
    leaves artfully fallen on surely the best set in the house
    that way too adorable leaf pillow
    did i mention chocolate yet?
    your freaking recipe styling, omg, can it get any better?

    oh heavy sigh of beyond contentment, now i see why “just because” had me nervous, you took a simple single page and made THE most exquisite little story with ALL of my favorite things. no wonder it took you so long too, you can see why i said this was easy peasy FOR ME! :-(

    thanks for such a lingering moment by the sea…

  12. franki
    November 17, 2014 at 9:52 am

    YUM!! However, those pirouline wafer cookie’s never seem to last from the time I purchase them to the time I drive home… franki

  13. November 17, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Again and again, you work the magic! This forest feast is without question a feast for the senses. I adore your natural setting and the way you spotlighted the pages of this special book. I’m ordering myself a copy today! Like you noted, it is an art book as much as cookbook, and that appeals to me. Your forged details make it all come to life. I don’t want to leave but rather linger all morning taking in the sights and smells of your woodland wonder. Very artistic the way you shared the ingredients. You are a master at staging, Mary. I find myself studying your images to learn from you.
    I have one of the older PB pillows but see that I need to search for one of these dark linen ones. Too beautiful, especially with your wonderful wool throws. Oh, and the iron gate ~ fabulous touch!

  14. Ellen
    November 17, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Mary, you never cease to gladden my heart. This collection reminded me of being a child with my sister building faery homes with moss, lichen and sticks. This child hood love never has left, I still collect that stuff, all about my home. It is good to know a person of like heart! Gentle beauty…….

  15. Rattlebridge Farm
    November 17, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Oh, Mary, you have created an enchanted world, one that swept me right into your autumn garden. I love that both of us foraged for moss! I love all of your NB posts–and all posts–but this one is pure magic, a little spot where Life is Good, to take a moment and enjoy nature–and divine chocolate mousse. Thank you for brightening my day! (We have a dusting of snow!)

  16. November 17, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    OMGoodness! You knocked this out of the PARK! The beauty that surrounds you is breathtaking! I am coming back as the last 5 or 6 pictures won’t load right now:( You never cease to amaze and delight me.

  17. November 17, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    This is a delight in every way and once again makes me green with envy!

  18. November 17, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    Thank you! Love the cookbook’s format!

    Your foraging and feasting results are spectacular!

  19. November 17, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    I feel as though I entered an enchanted forest…and then having amazing food and drink in such a magical environment…the book looks amazing…love that the recipes look pretty simple…gorgeous pictures in the book and of your “forest”….the mousse looks wonderful!!

  20. paula
    November 17, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    ~Mary~
    Looks so yummy , everything is so lovely !
    Thank you for all you do Mary , I know to do all this takes a lot of time. Speaking for myself and Im sure many many others, I can tell you love what you do because it truly shows in all that you do !!
    Paula
    IN

  21. November 18, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Oh, Mary, I could write and write accolades for this delightful post. It is a feast for the eyes and heart. How can I describe in words how much I enjoy every post of yours but I especially enjoy the Novel Baker posts. You can present a theme in photos so well. Your attention to every detail delights and enthralls. I love the woodsy moss and fern tray!!!!

    Great book. I hope the author reads all the comments and sees each of the Novel Bakers posts. It shows how much you enjoyed The Forest Feast so thank you for sharing it with us. The book is enchanting and a great Christmas gift idea.

  22. Becky C.
    November 19, 2014 at 10:45 am

    I made the mousse yesterday to bring to a friend’s house for dinner last night. It was a huge hit! It was very quick and easy to make and tasted delicious. Thank you! I’ll be holding onto this recipe!

Thank you for your comments~ they make my day ♥

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