Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sick Day

Work and jam-packed weekends got the best of me and I've been sick for a little over a week. I decided to stay home today to sleep for most of the day. Mission accomplished, but I had to eat. I purchased some broccoli last Sunday in hopes of making a broccoli salad for my work lunches this week. At least I got it done for Friday right? Better late than never. In attempt to look my best for our wedding (now in only 65 days!), I'm trying to focus on lots of veggies and fruit. This broccoli salad was calling my name. The recipe is from Primal Cravings, a Paleo cookbook, and while I'm not completely Paleo, the recipes in this book are winners. The recipe called for raw broccoli, but I decided to cook it for a short time to take the edge off. You need: 1 12 oz. package of bacon (I love Nature's Promise the best) 1 pound of broccoli 1/3 cup raisins 1/3 cup slivered almonds 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar I like to cook bacon at 350 for 23 minutes. Once the bacon has cooled, cut it into small pieces. Cut the crown of the broccoli into bite-sized pieces. In a saute pan, use some of the leftover bacon fat from the baking sheet to cook the broccoli over medium heat. I cooked the broccoli until it was a more brilliant green, but still plenty crunchy. Transfer the broccoli and bacon pieces over to a bowl. Mix in the raisins and almonds and pour the red wine vinegar over the mixture. Stir until coated. Enjoy right away or pack away in the refrigerator for lunches like me. Yum!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Back on the Wagon

It was back to Weight Watchers this evening after a week in Barbados eating copious amounts of food. On the menu this evening, Wild Scottish Salmon and Sweet Potato Spears, inspiration courtesy of the blog Carrots and Cake. The salmon was a little over done. I think next time I would cook it at a lower temperature for a longer time. The 4 oz. fillets were cooked at 325 for 20 minutes. Prior to putting the fish in the oven, I sprinkled some Whole Foods Jerk Seasoning on the top of each fillet. For the sweet potato spears, two sweet potatoes were cut into skinny wedges, tossed in olive oil (I used my fancy truffle olive oil for these guys), and then topped with a pinch of sea salt before going in the oven for 40 minutes at 400 degrees. We put them back in on broil for 3 minutes to get them extra crispy. It isn't flying fish in Barbados, but I'll take it. Yum. Happy 2013 all!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Estia's American




Wow! I can't believe I haven't blogged since December! Hard to believe it is already mid-April and I"ll be posting for the first time in 2012. Time is flying.

I am on April vacation for the week so my Mom treated me to breakfast at the new Darien, CT eatery, Estia's American. Although Estia's is new to Darien, they are also located in Sag Harbor, NY as Estia's Little Kitchen. My Mom and I split an omelet and blueberry pancakes. We went for the mushroom & goat cheese combination with whole wheat toast & fresh fruit. The omelet was even better when I had a couple of bites with Estia's homemade hot sauces (red & green). The blueberry pancakes were wonderful - the pancakes were fluffy and the blueberries were plump and just the right amount of sweet. We both had mugs of Kobrick's coffee, although I think I could have gone for an iced coffee on a warm day like today.

There is patio seating, but the interior is adorable and feels like home. Some of my favorite cookbooks sit atop table dividers in the middle of the space. Books by Alice Waters and chalkboards are usually an indication of good, wholesome eats.

I took a freshly squeezed beet & apple juice to go. Our waitress reminded me that beet juice is good for your blood. It seems that Estia's is good for me. I can't wait to go back...

Estia's American
Open for breakfast & lunch. Opening for dinner in May 2012
1020 Post Road
Darien, CT
(203) 202-7051

Monday, December 12, 2011

Rosemary Shortbread with Candied Walnuts



The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap was a huge success in my book. I was very pleased with my creation and even more important, I got to eat amazing cookies from California, Maryland, and Minnesota. I can't tell you how excited I was to check the mailbox for the last week. I was so sad when my final dozen arrived, but elated that my last batch was inspired by one of my favorites...Heidi Swanson (www.101cookbooks.com)


I was happy to send my rosemary shortbread out to:

Laura from http://www.sprint2thetable.com
Naomi from http://www.bakersroyale.com
and
Kim from http://www.kideats.co

It was such a coincidence that my Minnesota arrival was inspired by Heidi Swanson, since my cookie idea stemmed from my love of Heidi's recipe for Brown Sugar Rosemary Walnuts. I made the candied walnuts earlier this fall and wanted to incorporate elements of the recipe into my cookie swap idea. I adore shortbread and thought it would travel and keep well, thus rosemary shortbread with candied walnuts.

Start with the walnuts...

1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoons sea salt
2 large egg whites
4 cups (1 pound) shelled walnut halves

Pre-heat your oven to 300 degrees F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. You want the parchment paper - this is a sticky situation when these come out of the oven.

Mix the sugar and salt in a small bowl. Put the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk the egg whites to break them up. Pour the walnuts into the egg whites and mix until the walnuts are coated. Pour the sugar & salt mixture into the walnuts and toss until the nuts are covered.

Spread the nuts over the two sheets in a single layer. Bake for 25 minutes or until the walnuts are golden. Let the sheets cool for a couple minutes before moving the parchment paper to a cooling rack. Let the nuts cool while you make the shortbread dough.

Now for the shortbread...

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar

The oven will stay at 300 degrees F (hopefully you didn't turn it off).

Combine flour, salt, baking powder, and rosemary in a medium bowl.

Mix the butter and sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer at low speed, then add flour mixture and mix until dough resembles coarse meal. Gather dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Knead dough until it just comes together, about 8 times. Halve dough and form each half into a 5-inch disk.



Roll out 1 disk (keep remaining dough at room temperature) between 2 sheets of parchment or with a lightly floured rolling pin. If you used parchment, take off the top layer and use a biscuit or round cookie cutter to make rounds out of the dough. I didn't have my biscuit or cookie cutters handy, so I used a glass (which I also floured). Depending on the size rounds, this recipe will make close to two dozen cookies. After you transfer the rounds to your cookie sheet, place a walnut or walnut cluster in the center of each shortbread. Press down lightly.



Bake the cookies until they are golden brown, 20 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to a rack and cool 5 minutes.



Package with rosemary sprigs when sharing with someone special...And yes, those are crumbs in the picture. I was sampling while packaging. I had to make sure they were up to par in order to share.



Recipe inspired by:

"Brown Sugar & Rosemary Walnuts" by Heidi Swanson, 2011
http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/brown-sugar-rosemary-walnuts-recipe.html

Rosemary Shortbread by Gourmet, 2002
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Rosemary-Shortbread-107452

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bruschetta



Chop some tomatoes.



Chop some garlic.



Chop some basil.



Add olive oil, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper & mix.



Spread on baguette toast (400 degrees for 8 mins).

Enjoy one of my favorite parts of summer. Bruschetta.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Cooking up a Vegan Storm




Since I didn’t have school today, and since I woke up early due a thunder storm, I thought I’d create my own storm in the kitchen. I cooked from 8AM - 2PM (with some most welcome phone catch-up interruptions from California) and made several vegan delights. After an amazing dinner at Angelica Kitchen in NYC last Tuesday, I was inspired to make some vegan food. I consulted Alicia Silverstone’s Kind Diet and decided on four recipes: Pecan-Crusted Seitan, Hot Rice with Cold Lemon, Basil, and Tomato, Sicilian Collard Greens with Pine Nuts and Raisins, and Pumpkin Bread.

This was my first time working with seitan and although it wasn’t the most appetizing-looking item at Whole Foods, this dish came out beautifully. To be honest, I think you could put the marinade from this recipe on an old shoe and it would be delicious. This will be quite a treat for lunch for the remainder of the week.

I’ll be eating the pecan-crusted seitan with the Hot Rice with Cold Lemon, Basil & Tomato. I used the brown rice that I purchased from M Cafe in Culver City (I’m almost out of my bag…can someone send me more?) for the Hot Rice dish even though it calls for Arborio and added the lemon, olive oil, tomato & basil.

This was my third or fourth time making the Sicilian Collard Greens and they are just as tasty as I remembered. I made these when I first got The Kind Diet and found myself craving them for breakfast they were so good.

I will be eating pumpkin bread for breakfast the rest of this week, and I can’t wait. I had to use butternut squash instead of pumpkin, as pumpkins are hard to find out of season. I’m sure this bread would be wonderful with pumpkin, but I’m elated with the butternut squash version. Did I mention it is covered with macadamia nuts and carob chips? Wow! I think I might just have to have it as a dessert too…

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Keepers


I strive to find keeper recipes, and yesterday I found two. I my friends Kerry & Thea over for dinner and since I’m not cooking very much these days, I decided to go all out. I was going to make my family’s standby shrimp recipe, but decided to keep the meal completely veg-head friendly.

I found a Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Balsamic Glaze recipe from Love & Olive Oil and a Pear Custard Pie recipe from Martha Stewart’s Great Food Fast book. I also roasted some asparagus with olive oil, salt & pepper, made a Heidi Swanson herb salad with mint orange dressing, and heated up some rolls from Trader Joes. All in all, it was delicious.

I was so happy to find some coconut milk vanilla ice cream to have with the Pear Custard Pie. It was the perfect ending to a hearty dinner. I knew Heidi’s salad recipe and the asparagus would be good, but the mushrooms and pie definitely passed the test.

Lindsay + Heidi + Martha = Success.

Thank you Love & Olive Oil and 101 Cookbooks as always.