2/29/16

Banana Bread With Dark Chocolate, Walnuts & Cranberries


Molasses cookies
Roasted salmon with olives, artichokies and sundried tomatoes
Chocolate flourless cookies
Pizza
Chocolate stuffed challah French toast
Banana bread with dark chocolate, walnuts and cranberries

What do all these dishes have in common you may ask? Well, at one time or another, I've made these recipes for the men I was dating. The two most notable recipes are the molasses cookies and banana bread. Why? Because I strongly dislike both.

Alas, I liked the men who liked molasses cookies and banana bread.

Neither one is in the picture any more. One, for over 10 years; another, for a few days.

But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy a recipe for banana bread if you like that sort of a thing :)

Thanks to my friend Laetitia for sending me a copy of the recipe from Cook Something. I used buttermilk instead of sour milk, all-purpose flour, and added 3/4 cups of frozen cranberries.

Banana Bread With Dark Chocolate, Walnuts & Cranberries



2/26/16

Happy Weekend


2/25/16

What To Do With Snowpeas: Quick & Easy Blackened Snowpeas With Creamy Mustard Sauce

I love snowpeas. I usually eat them raw dunked into Ranch dressing. Last weekend, however, I decided to turn them into a side to go along with an open faced sandwich of toasted challah, mayonnaise, lettuce and smoked turkey.

This cooking method can be repeated with other vegetables: think about asparagus, green beans, and edamame.

What To Do With Snowpeas: Quick & Easy Blackened Snowpeas With Creamy Mustard Sauce

1. Blanch snowpeas in salted boiling water: you only want to keep the snowpeas in the boiling water for about 3 minutes. Then, drain the snowpeas and add to a big bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Once you take the snowpeas out of the iced water, remove as much moisture as possible with paper towels or a clean (duh) kitchen towel.

2. Heat olive oil in a hot cast iron skillet. Add snowpeas, season with salt and pepper and saute until they are blackened (or charred).

3. Make creamy mustard sauceb by combining 3 parts plain (full fat) Greek yogurt and 1 part stone ground mustard and seasoning with a bit of salt and adding freshly chopped cilantro.

You are done!



The creamy mustard sauce can also be used on sandwiches or a baked potato or as a salad dressing.


I ate the whole thing ;)

Happy almost weekend!

2/22/16

Vegan Spiralized Zucchini & Beets With Creamy Avocado Tomatillo Sauce


Have I mentioned how much I love my spiralizer attachment? I do ;)

Below is another quick dish I created using the spiralizer to make zucchini and roasted beet spirals and a recipe for a quick tomatillo sauce. Please don't make the-less-than-awesome photo of the final dish deter you from making this vegan dish that's perfect for Meatless Monday and is creamy and satisfying with very few calories.

Vegan Spiralized Zucchini & Beets With Creamy Avocado Tomatillo Sauce


Ingredients

tomatillo sauce
6 tomatillos, skins removed
1 white onion, cut into wedges
salt & red pepper flakes to taste
1 avocado

the rest
olive oil for sauteeing
1 zucchini, spiralized
1 roasted beet, peeled, spiralized (I used a golden beet)
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 cup chickpeas
salt to taste

Directions
1. Heat a cast iron skillet. Do not add any oil. Place tomatillow and onion wedges into the skillet and char until most of the vegetables are black.
2. Cool tomatillos and onion and add to the blender with avocado, salt and red pepper flakes. Puree.
3. Heat olive oil in a skillet. Saute zucchini and beets with garlic slices for about 5 minutes. You don't want the zucchini to turn into mush. Add chickpeas and heat through. Season with salt.
4. Add tomatillo sauce and coat the vegetables. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.




What are you making/eating for this Meatless Monday?

2/19/16

Decadent & Easy Breakfast: Stuffed Challah French Toast


TGIF! Are you ready for the weekend? I am!

Today I want to share with you an incredibly easy breakfast to make that looks impressive and tastes like decadence! All you need are chocolate covered strawberries, which you can make yourself, and challah. Well, and a few staples from your refrigerator.

Decadent & Easy Breakfast: Stuffed Challah French Toast

Ingredients for 1 {multiply by the number of servings you want}

olive oil or butter for sauteeing
1 egg
a splash of half & half
1" thick slice of challah {carefully cut a slit in the bread without cutting it all the way through: you want a pocket you can stuff!}
2 chocolate covered strawberries, sliced
powdered sugar


Directions

1. Heat olive oil or butter in a cast iron skillet.
2. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg with a splash of half & half.
3. Stuff your slice of challah with sliced chocolate covered strawberries and dunk into the egg mixture.
4. Saute your French toast for about 3 minutes on each side and serve topped with powdered sugar.

Flowers are optional ;)



Happy Weekend!

2/15/16

Meatless Monday Dinner in Minutes: Red Peppers with Zucchini & Chickpeas

Do you need a quick dinner idea for tonight? If you follow Meatless Monday, or need a bright, easy and quick side dish, you'll love my Red Peppers with Zucchini & Chickpeas.


1. Saute chopped red pepper in a bit of olive oil until the pepper pieces have softened and browned a bit.
2. Add spiralized zucchini and continue to saute for a few minutes. Season with kosher salt.
3. Add chickpeas, chopped garlic and red pepper flakes with a splash of white wine and warm everything through and allow the wine to reduce.
4. Serve with a sprinkle of your favorite cheese and your choice of herbs.

2/10/16

Avgolemono Soup Recipe From Serious Eats With A Few Of My Touches


Confession: I've never tried Avgolemono soup. WHAT!? Yes, my twin was shocked by this statement too.

When I saw my friend Paige's tweet about the comfort and warmth of Avgolemono soup she was looking forward to eating after work, I asked her for the recipe and was determined to make it that same weekend.

The recipe for this Greek soup of rice or orzo with eggs and lemon juice comes from Serious Eats. I only made a few changes and so will not be retyping the recipe here. Go show Serious Eats some love ;)

Avgolemono Soup Recipe From Serious Eats With A Few Of My Touches

I only made half the recipe and used orzo and not rice. My orzo cooked faster than the recipe metioned it would.

Adding a mixutre of eggs and lemon juice to the soup sounded so weird to me. It added milky and frothy texture and a very rich taste to the soup. To counter the richness, I added defrosted peas and fresh dill. I also added shredded rotisserie turkey breast to the soup once it was done.


If I were to make the soup again, I'd take the cooked orzo out of the pot before adding egg/lemon mixture and only add it as necessary to bowls right before eating the soup. If you have leftovers, the orzo would expand overnight.


Thoughts: this was one of the strangest soups I've ever had. Not a bad strange. I was happy to try a new recipe ;)



2/5/16

Super Easy Dessert For Entertaining: Dorie Greenspan’s Mediterranean Yogurt Cake



TGIF!!! So excited it's almost the weekend. Do you need an incredibly easy dessert recipe that tastes great, takes very little effort and can stay at room temperature for days? How about something you can also eat for breakfast or as a snack? Well, Dorie Greenspan's Mediterranean Yogurt Cake is your answer!


Last week my friend Alyssa moved back to town (yay!) and came over to catch up over coffee. I decided to make Dorie's recipe because she suggested it during her chat on Washington Post.


I made only a few minor changes to Dorie's recipe, so I will not retype it. You can find it here.


Super Easy Dessert For Entertaining: Dorie Greenspan’s Mediterranean Yogurt Cake

The recipe is made with flour, citrus zest, yogurt and oil. There is also sugar and eggs. I decided not to add the flesh of citrus to the actual cake, but to save it and serve on top of the cake with blackberries. Also, I added extra zest of lemon to the recipe.



I think this cake looks especially great in my Polish baking dish that I bought for less than $20 at Marshalls.



How beautiful does it look? So little effort, so much enjoyment!



Dorie was right: the cake is even better after it sits for a day or so. It's also awesome toasted and served with a bit of whipped cream and cherry jam. This will definitely stay in my baking repertoire.


Have a great weekend!

2/1/16

Where Do I Find Inspiration For Cooking? Roasted Broccoli & Savory Dutch Pancake With Dill

Where do you get inspiration for cooking meals? I find mine at a grocery store, restaurant menus and my imagination, to name a few. Instagram and a few websites are also a great source for either new ideas or as a reminder of things you've been meaning to make and haven't yet.

That's exactly what happened last week when I made a simple lunch of Roasted Broccoli & Savory Pancake With Dill. This is a great Meattles Monday lunch, but can as easily be made as breakfast for dinner.

The recipe for roasted broccoli came from TheKitchn. The only changes I made were the following: 1) I preheated the oven with a cookie sheet inside to help sear the broccoli faster 2) I did not measure the oil 3) I added green za'atar.

Roasting broccoli is fast, easy, and you get great results. I'd recommend, however, only to roast the amount you'll be eating because I did not like the leftovers.




The inspiration for the Savory Dutch Pancake with Dill came from @onetomato_two's instagram account. The only changes I made to her quick recipe was to add a bit of salt to the egg/flour mix. I also used Kerrygold's Dubliner instead of chevre because that's what I had.


You combine 3 eggs with 3 tablespoons of flour, 1/4 cup milk and 1 tablespooons butter {or oil, which is what I did}. I used my Blendtec to make sure the mixture was perfectly smooth. You then bake this in a cast iron skillet for 15 minutes in a preheated oven {425F} and top it with dill and cheese when it's ready and fluffy. 

As luck would have it, the broccoli required 425F oven too! You start by roasting the broccoli, then 10 minutes add the savory Dutch pancakes and 15 minutes later your meal is ready!


A few tomatoes never hurt anyone ;)


Your turn: tell me where you get your inspiration for cooking!