Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
I made this recipe off the cuff so the proportions are approximate, but definitely reproducible!
Chicken Pot Pie Casserole (serves 4)
1 pre-cooked rotisserie chicken (huge time-saver)
3 large celery stalks
1 large onion
4 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of flour
1 cup of chicken stock
4 slices white or whole wheat bread, crumbled
1 pinch herbs de provence
salt and pepper to taste
Cube the chicken, carrots, celery, and onion. Mince garlic. In a large sauce pan, melt butter and add in flour, then saute onions and garlic. After a few minutes add in carrots and celery. Then add chicken cubes. Finally pour in the chicken stock and let it reduce down for a few minutes. Add salt, pepper and herbs de provence. Pour it all into a glass baking dish and add the bread crumbs on top. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until the bread crumbs are golden brown.
Serve and enjoy!
It turns out that that very combination of greens, citrus and emollients is fantastic for your body. The arugula itself packs a punch with Vitamins A, B(almost all of them), C, as well as iron, magnesium, potassium, etc. The fresh lemon juice adds acidity and more Vitamin C, while the olive oil delivers that good for you monounsaturated fat we hear so much about. The parmesan cheese shavings are a luxury calorically and economically, so I often skip them and the salad is just as good.
If you've never tried arugula yet go for it. It's an awesome alternative to lettuce with a peppery taste that will keep you coming back for more.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Question: Has anyone ever made pear sauce? I wonder which pears would be the best for the making.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
1 head of iceberg lettuce
1 can of red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 lb ground beef (browned, drained, and cooled)
1 package mix-it-yourself Good Seasons Italian dressing + 1 tablespoon chili powder
Brown the ground beef in a skillet. Set aside and let cool. Chop the lettuce and tomatoes. Place into a large bowl and add kidney beans, cheddar cheese, ground beef and salad dressing. Toss together and serve.
Unhealthy options: Add half a bag of crushed Doritos for extra flavor and crunch.
Healthy options: Slice up some scallions, cilantro or jalapenos for heat.
The Breakdown (c/o the Nutrition Advisor):
Lettuce: Folate, vitamin C, iron, potassium
Tomatoes: Vitamin C, folate, vitamin A, Potassium, Iron, fiber
Red Kidney beans: Folate, Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Thiamine, Vitamin B6, Zinc
Cheddar cheese: Calcium, Vitamin B12, Riboflavin, Zinc
Ground beef: Zinc, vitamin B12, Niacin, Iron, Riboflavin, B6, Potassium, Magnesium
Italian Dressing: Olive oil!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
What this article tells me is that while winter may be a time for indulging in your favorite potato chips, cookies, and pies, it should also be a time for beefing up on all the healthy food as well. Our dinner last night was a case in point: an appetizer of edamame, main course of lean pork loin marinated with plenty of garlic and lime juice and a side of sweet potato cubes baked in the oven with olive oil. So far we got a few of the colors necessary for a healthy diet, green and yellow-orange, plus fiber and protein. But let's go to the video tape to be sure.
By the video-tape, I mean Prevention Magazine's Nutrition Advisor edited by Mark Bricklin, a recent Goodwill find that outlines all the vitamins and minerals in over 1,000 foods. So here we go:
Edamame: protein, folate (B vitamin), calcium, zinc
Sweet potato: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, riboflavin, fiber
Pork: thiamine, zinc, B vitamins, niacin, potassium
Not too shaby. Interesting fact also gleaned from Prevention, sweet potatoes have more vitamin a than most other vegetables. So go for seconds and thirds of the spuds this Thanksgiving!
Sources: Landro, Laura. "The Flu-Fighters-- in Your Food." The Wall Street Journal. 11/24/09
Bricklin, Mark. Prevention Magazine's Nutrition Advisor: The Ultimate Guide to the Health-Boosting and Health-Harming Factors in your Diet. Emaus: Rodale, 1993.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
So, here it is:
2 lbs of chicken wings (cut in half, no tips)
7 oz. of Kikkoman soy sauce (it has to be Kikkoman, no substitutes, please)
1 tsp dry mustard powder
7 tbsp dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Mix all these ingredients together in a plastic freezer bag and add the wings. Smush around so that all the wings get coated and marinate for an hour in the fridge. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the wings on a baking sheet with raised sides and pour the marinade over the wings. Baste and turn the wings every 20 minutes and make sure they don't start to burn. Cook for 1 to 1.5 hours, or until the wings reach the desired level of gooey-ness. Serve and watch them disappear!
Monday, November 9, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Regardless of the sweaters, this is a great time of year to be enjoying warm and savory soups like this lobster bisque from Firehook Bakery in Alexandria, just the right thing when shopping on King Street downtown:
And yes, that's a slice of olive bread on the side, absolutely delicious for dipping and I must find the recipe.
Or a nice glass of red wine and some tapas like this piquillo pepper and buffala mozzarella sandwich from Grape and Bean also in Alexandria.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I think this recipe has a lot of potential, but it needs more work before it is blog ready. So the moral of this story is go out get some foods you like, throw them together and see what happens!
Monday, October 19, 2009
4 ½ cup Rolled Oats
1 cup Sunflower seeds
¼ cup white sesame seeds
1 ½ cup almonds
½ cup ground flaxseed
¾ cup apple sauce (unsweetened)
2 tbsp sunflower oil (or canola)
2/3 cup brown rice syrup
¼ clover honey
¾ cup brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
2 cups raisins or other dried fruit
Mix everything except the dried fruit in a very large mixing bowl. Spray some Pam on the baking sheets. Then spread out the granola on two baking sheets with edges. Bake in 300-325 degree oven for 40 minutes, turning once about halfway through. Take out of the oven, sprinkle with the dried fruit and let cool before placing in a air-tight container. The granola will keep for about a week
Monday, October 5, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
The next day, we visited the beach on Sullivan's Island with Brendan, Angela and Jacob for some surfside R & R. After a good long morning of sunning ourselves and riding the waves, we were ready for some lunch at Poe's Tavern. The tavern offers appropriately themed eats like the Tell-Tale Heart, Amontillado and Gold-bug burgers. The food was really top-notch and the service is fast and friendly. The fish tacos are also exceptional (and I have these just about everywhere). I also found their logo especially clever, but that may just be the English major in me talking.
Charleston is a great city to visit for history, beaches, a laid-back atmosphere and world class dining with a Southern flair! (one more Charleston post to come about our visit to Cru Cafe.)
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Case in point, we had some that were about to go and some bananas to match so I threw them together in the Williams-Sonoma banana bread recipe I made a while back with chocolate chips. The banana peach bread came out great, just the right amount of sweetness from the bananas balanced by the tartness of the peaches.
We also tried making a peach cobbler, but this didn't turn out quite as well. Turns out that when you use fresh peaches instead of canned in heavy syrup, you need to add a lot of sugar to get it right. Using bisquick, as a short-cut was probably a travesty on these Battleview gems. Oh well, live and learn. We can't wait until next year when these babies are back in season.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Kids start their sugar rush early with candy canes for breakfast. Visitors start coming by with last minute gifts and cookie trays loaded with goodies. If the lechon is at your house, the anxiety begins will it be ready? Did you add enough salt? Maybe you should have pealed a few more bulbs of garlic? If the lechon-making is at someone else's house, its time to visit, maybe take the roasters some cafe cubano or pastelitos? You sit down and play a round of dominos with Abuelo and sneak a peak at the pig under the banana leaves to see how it is coming.
Before long, you shower, head to church, try to concentrate on what the priest is saying instead of your empty stomach, and FINALLY make it to the Noche Buena celebration. Gifts, family, and food in short sleeves and sandals!
I know its only August but on a balmy day like to day, I can't help dreaming...
This is a picture of a pear tree in my neighborhood. It lives in front of an apartment building not too far from mine and it is covered in fruit. I don't know why, but I find fruit trees fascinating. I've also heard that they offer the best bang for your buck as far as backyard gardening is concerned.
I grew up around mango trees and avocado trees and I love those too, but there is something about seeing a fruit you only know from the grocery store shelves out in the wild, even if that wilderness is just suburbia.
For an extreme take on neighborhood and city dining, check out this website on foraging (i.e. finding your food in an urban jungle). People actually do this!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
This weekend I had the chance to see Julie and Julia in the theater with a great group of girls, who coincidentally also blog about food.
We had a lovely time and completed our experience with a French dinner at Bastille in Alexandria. Yummy!
I came away from the movie with a few pearls of wisdom and here they are:
1. In life, its so important to have a mate (if you have one) that shares your values, nourishes your dreams, and will stand by you in your darkest hours. Stanley Tucci and Merryl Streep do a great job of portraying Paul and Julia Child's loving, passionate,and supportive relationship.
2. Sometimes not getting something you desire can open up opportunities you never imagined, but that ultimately make you the person you were meant to be. Throughout the movie, you realize how badly Julia wanted to have a child. It obviously pained her not to hold her own baby, but she rarely let herself wallow in dreams of what could have been. If Julia had been able to have a child, she might never have been able to give birth to Mastering the Art of French Cooking and that would have been a great loss to us all.
3. Live life to the fullest. This sounds cliche, and it is, but so often we need to be reminded that the petty details and annoyances in life are small compared to the beauty and fullness it has to offer. Not all of us can have the privilege of living in Paris, but we can find joy in our everyday situation and make things a bit more delicious for those who live with us.
Julie and Julia, a lovely story about a girl who sets out to conquer a cookbook and learns how to live life as well. This story is excellent for anyone who has ever found themselves at a crossroads in life, uncertain what to do next and worried about making a leap into what seems irrational or absurd. If you haven't seen it yet, I highly reccomend it. Take some tissues and go out to dinner after!
P.S. DC restuarant week starts today! Happy Eating!
Friday, August 14, 2009
I picked it up on a whim and at the urging of a more culinarily adventurous friend than I on a recent shopping trip. Unfortunately, this post is prompted by the fact that I found it decomposing in the back of my fridge yesterday. It kind of reminds me of a sea cucumber or a spine-less cactus. What do you think?
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Pizza Dough Recipe (Gourmet Magazine, July 2009, p.86)
2 (1/4 oz.) packages of active dry yeast
4 1/2 to 5 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, divided plus additional for dusting
2 cups of warm water (105-115 degrees) divided
2 tsp salt
Wisk together yeast, 2 tbsp flour, and 1/2 cup warm water in a measuring cup and let stand until mixture develops a creamy foam, about 10 minutes. (If this mixture doesn't foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)
Stir together salt and 3 cups flour in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture and remaining 1 1/2 cups warm water and stir until smooth, then stir in 1 cup more flour. If dough sticks to your fingers, stir in just enough flour (3/4 cup), a little at a time, to make dough just come away from side of bowl. (This dough may be wetter than other pizza doughs you have made.)
Knead doung on a lightly floured surface with floured hands, lightly reflouring work surface and your hands when the dough becomes too sticky, until dough is smooth, soft, and elastic, about 10 minutes.
Divide dough in half and form into two balls, then generously dust balls all over with flour and put each in a medium bowl. Cover bowls with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a draft free place at warm room temperature until doubled, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
Cook's Note: Dough can rise slowly in the refrigerator for 1 day. Bring to room temperature before using.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
It was so good that we special ordered it to go on the last day that we were in Playa Hermosa.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Thanks A, B, and J for a great weekend!
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
1 teaspoon of ground pepper
1 teaspoon of worcester sauce (the cookbook calls this English sauce)
1 teaspoon of hot sauce
Equipment: 1 large stockpot, food processor.
Sofrito (onions, peppers, garlic)
Pimentos and parsley
*I say bootleg because I'm pretty sure that the copy I have is a direct rip on hers, minus the name of the author. After being the Cuban Julia Child for years, she pledged allegiance to the revolution, thereby meriting erasure from her own book. Ah, the tangled web of Cuban exile politics! But don't quote me on this as it's just a theory. If anyone has more info, please let me know.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Here is a before picture:
And an after! All the juices from the filling ran down and into the zucchini giving it a really sweet and mellow taste that perfectly balanced the the savoriness of the sausage and mushrooms. He pretty much eye-balled the whole recipe, but if we can remember how we made it I'll be sure to give you the recipe!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Cooks Illustrated: This non-glossy, non-frilly magazine takes top honors for their straightforward approach and well-investigated articles. Explanations of gadgets, chicken parts, and the best way to grill a rib eye accompany accounts from the test kitchen that will encourage any home chef, no matter how infrequently they enter the kitchen. The magazine does not include any advertising (another perk) which bolsters their objectivity and my trust in their product reviews. This is the perfect gift for any serious or aspiring chef in your family. Issues come out bi-monthly, but are chockful of recipes and will keep you busy for the duration.
Gourmet Magazine: The fabulous photography in this glossy monthly will make your mouth water. Between the covers you will find over 50 recipes interspersed with stories about cooks and cooking that are funny, inspiring, or just plain entertaining. Gets a number two spot for a minimal amount of advertising.
Food and Wine: Another great magazine, this periodical branches out from the kitchen to cover restaurants, chefs, and the fruit of the vine. Glossy pictures, a good number of recipes, and lighter content.
Not Recommended: There are two magazines out there that I think are over-hyped and really kind of boring.
Food Network Magazine: I realize that we all love our celebrity chefs, but really they do much better on television. The magazine is light on content and feels like a multi-page Food Network advert. Save the trees and stick to the tube.
Bon Appetit: More like Bore Apetit, the beautiful pictures can't make up for the plethora of advertisements. Plus, I'm not sure I like the recipes that I see in there. Can't say I've ever been inspired to make them, so it might be a hasty judgment on my part, still I'd say your money is better spent elsewhere.
Do you have a favorite cooking mag? Any suggestions? Disagree with one of my rankings? Let me know in a comment!
Buen Provecho! (that means bon appetit in spanish, but I thougth that it would be wrong to use that term since I just slammed the glossy!)
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Took the Island Queen ferry out of Falmouth to Martha's Vineyard and rode bikes to South Beach and through Edgarton. Lovely little town of shops, candy stores, and restaurants. Had our first Lobster Roll at Newes from America.
Perfectly cooked lobster with just the right amount of mayo, a hint of lemon and some capers.
Vince ordered a rack of beers to taste the local brews.
Here is a picture of the Bridge seen in Jaws which was actually filmed in Martha's Vineyard. The water lets out of the ponds on the island to the sea which makes jumping in much more pleasant.
Can't forget...Ice cream from the Four Seas (3rd oldest ice cream shop in New England)...creamy, custardy goodness...watching fireworks from the beach...swimming in an icy cold Atlantic...and hanging out with friends new and old.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
On our last road trip to NJ, I unexpectedly stumbled upon the answer. Trying to clean out my fridge of perishables, I found a half-used English cucumber, some celery sticks and a bag of baby carrots. "Hmmm, these will have to come along," I thought. So I tossed them in with the half-eaten bag of Doritos and set off to conquer (I mean crawl) along the Beltway. It was a success, not only did the veggies taste good, but they kept us hydrated and cool. Although, I still missed the Twizzlers, as we head off to Cape Cod for a beach weekend, I'm sure my waistline will thank me.
P.S. Parents, this might be a good trick to try with your kids. Fewer sugar roller coasters mean less fighting and fewer are-we-there-yets. Plus, you can save the candy as a reward for x-amount of miles of good behavior.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Now, if you have leftovers, and when you are cooking for two you will, just pop them in the fridge until you need another quick fix dinner. This one is even easier than the first. Buy a loaf of Cuban bread or French, if you are in non-Cuban area, something long and soft-ish. Then chop up the remaining pork and sautee it with some onions and oil in a frying pan until the onions are translucent and the pork is warmed through. Split the bread down the middle and stuff with the pork mixture. Voila a quick and easy pan con lechon (bread and roasted pork sandwich) Plate and enjoy! This really needs no side dish, but if you must, I recommend an arugula salad or something crunchy.
Monday, June 22, 2009
I'll let you know how it turns out.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Loli used a flat bottom glass to squash the plantain into a thin disk.
Then its back into the frying pan, this time at high heat to get the edges nice and crispy.
Once they are finished, sprinkle with salt, let cool just a bit, and enjoy your delicious crispy tostones.