Sunday, August 26, 2018

A Visit from the Blotto Botanist! #recipe #bookgiveaway

LESLIE: Earlier this summer, I saw a piece in the paper about a young herbalist living nearby whose first book was coming out September 5th. It sounded intriguing so I dropped her a line; we started chatting, and I thought you'd enjoy meeting her, too. Please welcome Spencre McGowan to the Kitchen, with a recipe I know I'll be trying soon!

Spencre's website, Gingertooth & Twine, is a delight. Pop over to learn more about her and the book, drool over photos and recipes, and soak up a little herbal magic! (And note the pre-order link and prize below.)

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a copy of Blotto Botany: A Lesson in Healing Cordials & Plant Magic

SPENCRE McGOWAN: This year has been a hectic one for me. With my first cookbook, Blotto Botany, about to be released and changing directions with my small business, I’ve been busier than ever. While I’ve been cooking more that I have in the past, I’m currently in a kitchen rut. The days have been too hot to be near the oven and I’d much rather keep things simple with a toast, salad and the occasional bowl of cereal. However, those dishes have a tendency to get a bit boring after constant consumption and when that happens, I find myself staring into my fridge with the same thought on my mind, “how do I make something out of nothing?”

I’m a big fan of meal prepping for the week, especially if my meals can come in a cute little pocket of dough. These mini galettes are simple and can easily be taken to a picnic or eaten on the go. Fill them with something sweet or savory, it’s up to you! The following recipe outlines what I did for this particular batch.

Savory Galettes

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tbs sugar
1/4 tsp salt
7 tbs chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons ice water (or more)
1 beaten egg (for brushing)

½ small sweet potato, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, sliced
2 packed cups swiss chard or other leafy green
1 tbs unsalted butter
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup soft goat cheese
4 heaping tbs tomato sauce
1 tsp chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk flour, salt and sugar together. Add butter, then mix together with your hands, until dough is course and crumbly. Add 2 tablespoons of water and continue to mix with your hands, adding more water if dough is dry (I added about 5). Once dough is sticky, form into a ball then roll out in a small disk form. Wrap with plastic wrap and keep in fridge for 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Remove dough from the fridge and rest on counter for at least 10 minutes. While the dough is warming to room temp, cut your onions and peppers into thin one inch strips and caramelize with butter in a medium size pan. While the onions and peppers are cooking, slice sweet potato into thin circles then add to a small pot of water and bring to a boil. (You’re looking for the potatoes to be soft but still maintain their shape.) Once the potatoes have cooked through, remove from heat, strain and place in a clean bowl to let cool.

When the onions and peppers have caramelized, removed from heat and place in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add greens, garlic, spices and mix well.

Divide the dough into 4 separate pieces and roll out into 5-6 inch circles. Place onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Making sure to leave a 2 inch border of clean dough, spread 1 tbs of tomato sauce onto each dough piece and add a generous helping of mixed veggies. Sprinkle with goat cheese and top with a slice or two of sweet potato. Begin crimping and folding dough around the veggies to decorate and contain filling. Brush beaten egg on dough and sprinkle with a flaky salt or chili pepper. 

Bake for 45 minutes or until the dough has become golden brown. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

How do you prep your meals for a busy week?

Leave a comment below with your email address for a chance to win a copy of Blotto Botany! (US addresses only; the winner will be chosen Tues, Aug 28, and the book will be mailed on or about September 5, the official release day.)

Spencre L.R. McGowan is an herbalist and writer from many places, but primarily Maine and Nantucket. She is the creator of Gingertooth & Twine, a blog and shop dedicated to enhancing herbal wisdom through plant based brews, meals and publications. Spencre received her certification as an herbalist from the California School of Herbal Studies in 2013. She currently lives alongside the icy caps of Montana with some plants.

Find more plant magic and herbal recipes at & @gingertoothandtwine on Facebook and Instagram

About Blotto Botany: A Lesson in Healing Cordials & Plant Magic

Blotto Botany is a little book of medicinal cordials created by herbalist and witchy healing expert Spencre McGowan. Blotto Botany was originally a zine that swept the indie circuit, and we are now turning it into a full-length book with nods to the original design. Inside, readers and herbalism practitioners will find 40 cordial recipes organized by season, each with their own healing properties. Soothe Yourself Tonic, for instance, soothes the nerves after a hard day with gentle lemon balm and rose petals. Lovers’ Lip, by contrast, contains stimulating damiana and elderflower, the perfect recipe for “one, two, or few.”

Published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins

Pre-order here and get an exclusive coloring book!


  1. I'm really intrigued by herbal lore & recipes so Blotto Botany is definitely on my list of books to get. The recipe is also perfect for my new baking hobby---rustic tarts, pasties & empanadas.

    1. Oh, excellent -- delighted to feed your new hobby, literally and figuratively!

  2. I like to make my own flavors, so this book of cordial recipes sounds like it would be lots of fun. Thanks for the chance to win.


    1. of course! thank you for taking the time to look over the recipe!

  3. Blotto Botany sounds like a charming book. I am fond of herbs for thier flavor but do not know very much about their properties. The galettes look elegant and would be great to serve for a dinner outside.
    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

  4. Laughing! Blotto Botanist certainly got my attention. It looks like a really interesting book.

    1. This is my first time being called the Blotto Botanist and I think it's so great!! haha

  5. What an interesting post today and a great giveaway. The galettes look good and I will be trying them. As for advance prep, I don't do too much actual advance cooking because schedules change quickly for us, but I do like to plan a variety of meal choices and have the ingredients on hand.

  6. yum will have to make it gluten free but yummy

    1. A gluten free version would be great!! I still haven't done a ton of gluten free doughs, but soon!!

  7. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I try to prep on Sunday. I chop veggies and fruit and pack in storage containers to reduce my cooking time during the week. Thanks for offering a chance to win this book.

  8. These galettes look so cute & yummy. I make a lot of meals ahead of time that can be frozen. It makes dinner on busy nights much easier.

  9. Your delectable recipe interests me greatly. So tasty and enticing. What a fascinating book which I would treasure. Thanks for this most interesting post. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  10. Spencre, lovely to have you here! What an interesting journey you are on. ~ Daryl

  11. What a delicacy which I would love to serve. I create easy meals on the weekend which I have all week and for lunches too. Your book sounds wonderful. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  12. I think the most I do for advance prep is thinking about it!
    Congratulations on your book release! Dm_richards(at)yahoo(dot)com

  13. Taylor R. WilliamsAugust 26, 2018 at 2:39 PM

    Sure looks tasty - and your book sounds great - thanks for the chance to win - trwilliams 69 at msn dot com

  14. A lovely idea and so versatile.
    As to pie crust and water amounts--try the original amount and if the dough seems too dry spray water on and work it in. That way you avoid the "hm, too dry I'll add water, oops, too wet I'll add flour, etc. etc."
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  15. Looks tasty but I don’t advance prep😊thank you for the chance, I’m thinking of prepping though.

  16. The book sounds great, and the recipe looks good. Thank you for this chance! areewekidding(at)yahoo(dot)com

  17. My advance prep is mostly cutting up vegetables for stir fry dishes or soups.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  18. I don't prep for meals in advance. It's been so hot lately that I usually put something on the grill. I really like the recipe for galettes, good for both savory and sweet. The book looks like it has some really great recipes.

  19. I am now retired. I really don’t prep for meals unless I am marinading something. Bahn at is dot net

  20. Correcting. Y email. Dbahn at iw dot net

  21. Love the Blotto Botanist,caught my eye as I am slso a botanist and love trying cordials and cocktails with unique botanicals. just had my first Pimms Cup this weekend. I don't totally prep for the whole week like my daughter does. I plan for 2 dinners that will each have enough leftovers for another night, so that gives me 4 out of 5, then make something simple for the 5th usually Friday night (steak, pan fried tilapia). looking foward to your book

  22. We just try to have plenty of fresh ingredients on hand and take it day by day. Luckily we have the time to create something new and fresh daily. Thanks for the chance to win this cool book! crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

  23. I love herbals. This recipe looks amazing. I will have to check out the website. Thanks for a chance to win. kayt18 (at) comcast (dot) net

  24. Sounds yummy! Thanks for a new book to add to my cooking repertoire!
    Kelly Braun

  25. I know I missed this, but I want to play along! Lol. This is my adult interaction, I have little ones. I need to gain some herbal wisdom, I usually use herbs to taste. This has been very eye-opening. Thank you for sharing. I wing it, not much for weekly prep, although I think I'm going to start prepping about once a month...then it falls apart. Nobody here will eat anything made ahead of time...=/ Lol. If you have any helpful tips on that subject, I can be reached at konecny7 (at)gmail .com