Saturday, January 31, 2009
I took leftover asian dinner night and transformed it into a delightful supper of salmon cakes over salad with green beans, snap peas, and red peppers.
Cooked salmon, flaked
1 egg white
Mix together, make patties, coat in more bread crumbs.
Saute in olive oil
Put atop greens with veggies.
Dressing: lemon juice, dijon, honey, S&P, olive oil
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
I had prepped everything last night because I was pretty sure Alicia and Terrin would be impatient to eat.
So here's the menu: Mushroom potstickers , Spicy Green Bean Saute, Asian Grilled Salmon, Clementine granita
Sunday, January 25, 2009
The soup honestly is perfect: three ingredients, lots of nutrition, delicious, and it probably cost me less than $2 to make the whole pot. The taste of this soup literally stopped me in my tracks. First, I couldn't believe how silky the texture was. Also, the flavor was surprisingly complex for the few ingredients. And just two ladels-full was incredibly filling.
I did have a lengthy internal debate about white vs. red wine with this dish. As you can see, I went white and it was a nice pairing. Something about the hot soup with the chilled wine - it worked.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
And to give credit where it's due, I ripped the idea for this salad off from the Good Day Cafe in St. Louis Park/Golden Valley.
Caprese (sort of) Salad
romaine and spinach
grilled chicken breast
Dressing: 1 Tbsp mayo, 1 Tbsp homemade pesto, white wine vinegar, olive oil
Tonight I cleaned out the fridge/freezer to make this soup. Cass and I did a tortellini soup when she was here at Christmas and now I like to use fresh pasta in soups to add more "heartiness" to the meal. Because sometimes a bowl of broth soup doesn't really fill me up. I can fool myself by adding some cheese and spinach filled wheat pasta.
Here's what's in this version...
1 can Amy's butternut squash soup
1 can water and 1 cube veggie boullion
cheese-filled wheat ravioli
Serve with grilled bread*
*NOTE: why do I waste cupboard space with a toaster? I haven't used it in years. Grilled bread tastes so much better. I am going to donate that toaster to Goodwill.
Ina Garten/Barefoot Contessa - because she loves to entertain, she lives in a fabulous big house in the Hamptons, she makes classic recipes with real ingredients (nothing light or fat-free), and she's not super skinny.
Giada DiLaurentiis - because her recipes are light and yummy and usually include fish or seafood.
Michael Chiarello - he lives in Napa on a vineyard with lemon trees in his backyard! And he's always throwing a party so the recipes are always appropriate for a crowd.
Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver - for a short while, they had shows on Saturday/Sunday mornings but not anymore!
What I hate about Food Network:
My favorite chefs are hardly ever on! Instead, they waste air time with stupid people like the Neely's, Big Daddy, Guy Fieri, and Ted Allen.
Food Network Challenge - who really cares who can toss pizza dough the highest? Or make the tallest building out of cereal?
The Next Food Network Star - DUMB! Don't go lookin for new stars, utilize the good ones you already have and do more "In the Kitchen" stuff.
What I love/hate about Food Network:
Rachel Ray - Yes, she is mega-annoying. If I hear her say "hello Mr. Bear" when the recipe calls for honey in her scratchy cigarette voice/baby talk one more time I might throw something at the TV. But I really hate to admit that I like to watch her recipes because that is how I cook. Give me a show about an entire meal that works with options on how to modify it to my taste and I'm happy. This is actually a show that helps people with ideas on what to cook and encourages them to cook more at home. She just needs to drop the cutesy catchphrases and focus on the recipes and it will be a lot more enjoyable to watch.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Another source of good recipes is to go to www.cookinglight.com and sign up for their daily recipe email. I often get really great ideas from these daily emails and if I like it a lot I print the recipe out and add it to my cookbook.
So I discovered homemade granola.
There are lots of reasons to make your own granola....it's better for you, it's cheaper, it tastes better, and there's less packaging and waste.
Even when I don't have yogurt in the fridge (like today), it's a protein packed breakfast that's portable and tasty all on its own. Stored in mason jars (less waste) it keeps for quite awhile (not that it's ever lasted long enough to determine a shelf life).
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
This picture isn't the best, but I think you get the general idea. We went with a vintage pin-up theme for the cute little tubs of balm. I think we made these the same day Bettie Page died so that's her picture on the label.
So, I decided to make Christmas Tree Ornaments and give them away to all my friends this year for gifts.
Here's how you do it: go to a hardware store and buy some small "screw eyes." The friendly people at Hudson Hardware store on 42nd St and 28th Ave in South Mpls helped me in about 2 seconds. Screw the eyes into your prettiest cork. Wrap an ornament hook onto the screw eye (you can find the hooks at Target for not much $). Add a red, white, and/or green bow and PRESTO! You have a unique and personal Christmas gift for the wine lovers in your life!
These are 3 of my favorites. From L to R: from a bottle of French wine my friends and neighbors Marney and Colin brought over for dinner one night (Colin's sister had brought them the wine from France, where she lives), from my favorite winery in California that I visited with my friends Cass and Lindsey - Sunce, and finally a cork from Vintner's Cellar in downtown Fargo, ND where I went with my mom as we were researching a wine tour business that my dad may start this spring.
My current top 3 appetizers are: lemon/herb goat cheese spread, edamole, and feta salsa. But if you have to choose just one - I promise the goat cheese spread will make everyone swoon - it works on everyone, even those who think they don't like goat cheese.
Lemon/Herb Goat Cheese Spread
1 pkg goat cheese - room temperature
chopped fresh herbs (basil, parsley, and whatever else you like)
juice of 1 lemon
Mix together and enjoy with crackers and veggies
Edamole (adapted from Cooking Light)
1 1/2 bags frozen edamame beans - thawed
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp hot sauce
2 cloves garlic
Blend first 5 ingredients in food processor, stream in oil until you get desired consistency.
Serve with veggies or rice crackers.
Feta Salsa (adapted from a Whole Foods recipe)
1/4 lb good feta cheese
1/4 lb pitted kalamata olives
some sundried tomatoes in oil
1 clove minced garlic
Chop all together, serve with Stacy's Naked Pita Chips or (even better!) your own homemade pita chips!
Also, I've been eating this on a bed of field greens with halved cherry tomatoes and cucumbers. I think it would also be awesome on a panini with sliced tomato and arugula.
PS - Bill's Imported Foods of Minneapolis has the best feta, olives, and pitas ever!
Yes, way behind the times to start blogging. I know. But I don't care because nobody is supposed to see this but me. This is going to be my personal reminder to make delicious, lean meals and be more eco-friendly in 2009.
For someone who professes to never make New Year's Resolutions, this seems suspiciously like a way to keep resolutions...hhhmmmm.
But, I'm also going to try to keep a record of favorite recipes I make so I can go back some day and make them again when inspiration is needed.
So, let's start the first post with my new all-time favorite recipe - sauteed kale on toast with a poached egg.
My friend Cassandra taught me how to make this. I thought she had made the recipe up - but then I saw it on the Orangette blog (highly recommended). The key to the greatness of this dish is the Tuscan (or Dinosaur) Kale. Here's how I made it.
Egg, Kale, and Toast
chopped white onion
freshly cracked black pepper
fresh grated nutmeg
Extra virgin olive oil
Saute the kale, onion, salt, pepper, and nutmeg together in a skillet with olive oil for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add balsamic vinegar and cook for another minute or two until delicious.
Serve over a piece of good grilled bread (or toast) and top with a poached egg.
Sometimes I add vegetarian sausage to the kale and top the whole shebang with some fresh grated Parm.
Goes great with either red or white wine, followed up with a square of good quality dark chocolate.