Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Wow, can't believe that it's been 10 days since I've posted, but the next few days will hopefully be worth it. I promised in the last post to let you know how the cake turned out, so sorry that it's taken so long. The cake was in honor of my father in law's birthday and he got to enjoy it for four long days. Happy Day, Papa!!
The best story of the whole adventure had to do with the eggs. Norah had gotten up from her nap early and aided me in making the batter. She's a great sous chef and handed each egg to me as a painstakingly cracked each one into the stand up mixer which was running on low. Just a reminder, I NEVER bake and in hindsight should have cracked the eggs into another bowl first, but I didn't. So, on egg four, PLOP, in goes the egg and half of the shell. Damn. I quickly turn off the mixer, but flip the switch the wrong way. HOLY CRAP!! Once I finally got it turned off, I spend the next five minutes fishing shell out of the batter. Not good. Thankfully, I seemed to get all of the shell out, at least no one mentioned anything crunchy.
It was definitely a labor of love (started it at 2:30pm and sliced it at 7:30pm) and I screwed up a bunch, but it was SO worth it! The cake tasted great. It was moist, chocolaty (if that is a word), and crumbly. But, the best part of the cake had to be the frosting....Oh, that frosting. Make it and find out. You'll NEVER have frosting out of a can again.
Oh, and we had leftovers! Here's your piece:
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Wednesday night was a bit cooler here in Connecticut, so my warm salad theme worked a little better than the night before. I found this recipe, but wanted to add a bit to it to make it dinner sized.
Ham and Eggs with Roasted Squash and Pecorino
1 large butternut squash
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground coriander
18 slices of prosciutto
5 cups baby arugula
4 tbls olive oil, divided
2 tbls white balsamic vinegar (regular would work as well)
1 1/2 oz pecorino cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
In a small bowl, add your balsamic, then whisk in 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Set aside.
Peel butternut squash and slice in half, discarding the seeds. Cut into 2 inch cubes and place in roasting pan. Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over the squash then sprinkle with the chili powder and coriander. Cook for 45-60 minutes or until tender. Keep warm.
Now, the prosciutto preparation is up to you. I like mine a little crisp, but some don't. I took the slices and put them on a cookie sheet and threw them into the oven with the squash until they were just starting to get crisp. Take out and set aside. I like to cut into strips or crumble, depending on how crisp you like it.
In a big bowl, add your arugula, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then add your balsamic viniagrette to your taste. I used about half. Toss well and add equal portions to 4 large plates.
The egg is up to you. I either pan fry mine, sunny side up, with a little cooking spray, cook it in a coffee mug, ala the egg mcmuffin, or poach it. Which ever way you choose, just make sure the yolk is a little soft.
Ok, after all of that, place the squash on the greens. Add the prosciutto. Grate the pecorino cheese over all of it, then top with the egg.
Serves 4 (453 calories per serving)
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
It's cold here in Connecticut and when I woke yesterday morning there was a fine layer of white on the grass. So, what do you suppose I would conjure up for dinner? Soup? Stew? Warm biscuits? Nope, salad.
My sincerest apologies to those of you who thought this blog post was going to be about Paris Hilton. I'm taking this opportunity to jump into a realm of food that I haven't spent much time thinking about and took it as a challenge when Amy suggested that we do another salad week. So, with respect to our favorite non-celebrity celebrity, I give to you: The hot salad.
While perusing the Internet for ideas, I came across a Bon Appetit recipe for a spinach salad and became intrigued. As most of you know, the fun of cooking these days for me is finding a recipe and lightening it. So, I set off to do just that. The salad by Bon Appetit, as written, was over 700 calories a serving and didn't have enough components to be a "dinner" salad, thus giving me two challenges: Lighten it while adding more ingredients. Needless to say, I was happy with the results. Hell, that's why you're reading about it!
Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Feta Dressing
(As adapted from Bon Appetit)
24oz cherry tomatoes
1 large red onion
4 tbls olive oil, divided
6oz turkey bacon, cut into small pieces
10oz baby spinach
6oz feta cheese, fat free
2 tbls sherry vinegar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place tomatoes and whole unpeeled onion in separate roasting pans. Drizzle one tablespoon of oil over each pans component, sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside.
When oven is preheated, add the pan with the onion and roast for 1 hour. When the onion is finished, take out and let cool. Add tomatoes to the oven and let them roast for 15-20 minutes. Take out and set aside.
While the tomatoes are roasting, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium high heat until crisp. Drain and set aside. Save pan.
When onion is cool enough to touch, cut off the root, peel and slice thinly lengthwise.
In bacon pan, place the feta cheese and vinegar, cooking over medium low heat for 3 minutes. Slowly whisk in the remaining 2 tbls of oil and turn off heat.
On 4 large place, evenly split the baby spinach and top each with equal portions of onion, tomatoes and bacon. Spoon dressing over each to taste or put it into a bowl for guests to add for themselves.
Serves 4 (375 calories per)
Monday, November 8, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Headed home and unpacked while Cole drew with chalk on the deck and brought leaves into the house. Unfortunately, dinner preparations were derailed by one moment. The following is a reenactment:
Cole @ my spice drawer: "SHAKE!" (wanting one of my spice containers)
Dadda: "Ok, bubby. Here's the fennel seed."
Cole: "MOE SHAKE!" translation - "I would like another container to shake, please"
Dadda: "Really!? Fine, I need to get something done, so here are the peppercorns."
Cole: "Dank goo." translation - "thank you"
Now I'm back to prepping greens in the big a$$ bowl and start grating the ginger for the salad dressing......
Dadda: "Bubby, I am not opening the peppercorns."
Dadda: "It's going to make a mess."
Cole: "OPEN! OPEN! OPEN!"
Dadda: "Where's the vacuum?"
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
I'm sure we're not the only ones, but our house has been invaded by Dora. Dora dominates the conversation, pretend play, and pretty much everything else. So, I've decided to embrace it.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
For the last four days, I have been in Texas.....more specifically, North Richland Hills, TX. It's between Dallas and Fort Worth, but it is more Fort Worth than Dallas. The moment I landed, I began to sweat. Not a, "Oh, it's a little warm here" sweat, but a "OH MY GOD! IT'S F'ing HOT HERE! sweat. It was 9am.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
When it comes to these delectable spheres, I'm a purist. I do mostly salads with herbs (basil/oregano) or cheese (goat/mozzarella) or other veggies (fennel/cucumber/olives) or just throw together a huge bowl of gazpacho (see recipe below). This time, however, we had some unexpected guests stop by and I wanted to show off at least a little bit. Enter the Tomato Tart.
- 4 cups coarsely chopped tomato (about 2 pounds)
- 16oz tomato juice
- 1 cup coarsely chopped peeled cucumber (about 1 large)
- 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 1/4 cups finely chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; stir well. Cover and chill.
(4 servings - 95 calories per serving)
There is but one season that Amy and I live for: Tomato season. It's exciting! It's glorious! It's....tomato-tastic!
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Amy is a beet fanatic. Really, she loves the things. So, because of that, I try to find a lot of ways to prepare them. Let's call them "brownie points." We've enjoyed them in many ways (see post #1), but our absolute favorite has to be with goat cheese and oranges.
Friday, August 6, 2010
Where would I be this week without "the bowl"? It is silver, dented and VERY large. Oh, and I found it on the side of the road. Don't worry, it wasn't garbage, but it was in a pile of things marked "free" in some one's driveway. When we found it, Amy exclaimed that I would never use it, but I have and I do and I will again.....so there.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
That's what makes Salad Week so productive, so simple, so...awesome. For today's word problem, let's tackle Jicama Pineapple Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette (as adapted from Bon Appetit Cookbook).
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
The market behind my house is a godsend. It allows me to decide what I'm going to make for dinner completely at the last minute.....which is what I do.....almost every day. When I don't have a market in my backyard, I screw-ed.
- 1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt
- 1/8 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 3 tablespoons chopped green onions
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 8 cups torn romaine lettuce
- 1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
- 2 tomatoes, each cut into 8 wedges (about 1 pound)
- 2 hard-cooked large eggs, each cut into 4 wedges
- 1/2 cup diced peeled avocado
- 1/4 cup (1 1/2 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
To prepare dressing, place first 10 ingredients in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Chill.
To prepare salad, place 4 cups lettuce mixture on each plate. Arrange 6 tablespoons chicken, 4 tomato wedges, 2 egg wedges, 2 tablespoons avocado, and 1 tablespoon cheese over each serving. Serve each salad with 1/4 cup dressing.
Monday, August 2, 2010
A bag of peaches. That's what I brought home from the farmer's market last week and I had no idea what to do with them. They looked great, but there were a TON of them and they were REALLY ripe....I mean, two handed, juicy faced, two paper toweled, ripe.
2 cups water
1 cup apple juice
1/4 cup honey
Zest and juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Cut a small “X” through the bottom of each peach, then drop them into the water to blanch for 20 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer peaches to a bowl of ice water. When peaches are cooled, drain well then peel them, starting from the “X” at the bottom of each peach. Discard skin and pits and transfer peaches to a blender.
Add water, apple juice, honey, lime zest and juice, salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours.
Serves 6 to 8 (Serving size: just over 1/2 cup (90 calories per)
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
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