8/22/19

Smashed Potatoes Recipe


Smashed Potatoes: have you heard of them? By this point I thought everyone knew about these crispy on the outside and tender on the inside potatoes that are great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Turns out I was wrong.

When a few friends came over for dinner earlier this week, I decided to make smashed potatoes as a side, and they LOVED them. "I'll have two" turned into "These are amazing: I want more!"

Smashed Potatoes

mini red skinned potatoes
water
salt
olive oil
freshly ground black pepper

1. Cover the red skinned potatoes in a small saucepan with cold water, season with salt and bring to a boil. Turn the heat slightly down and simmer until a knife can easily go through a potato.
2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425F.
3. Once the potatoes are tender, drain and dry them, and then use a cup or a glass to gently smash each of the potatoes without fully destroying them. This is rather therapeutic.
4. Oil a large cookie sheet and place the smashed potatoes in a single layer. Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 15-25 minutes or until the edges are crispy.

Serving suggestion: poached salmon and arugula salad with strawberries.


8/7/19

Heirloom Tomato Wasa Toasts


Summer on a plate:
1) Slice heirloom tomatoes
2) Spread mayonnaise on wasa crackers or toast
3) Top with tomatoes
4) Season with salt (I used truffle salt) and freshly ground black pepper

Enjoy

7/26/19

Weekend Inspiration: Flower Power


TGIF! Above is a gorgeous, if I say so myself, flower arrangement I made in a class I assisted taught by Sarah of Urban Petals.

In the first class (out of 3), I learned how to arrange flowers in my hand instead of in a vase. You start with one stem and then add more stems one by one with the stems somewhat wrapped or twirled around one another: it's harder to explain in words than to actually do.

At the end, you use a rubber band to hold all the flowers together: it's basically a bridal bouquet, but luckily you don't have to be a bride to enjoy this.

The beauty of this technique is that you can easily trim the ends of the flowers and change the water (do this at least every other day) without having to redo the entire arrangement.

Once some of the flowers wilt (irises were the first to go), it's easy to remove them and slightly re-fluff the rest of the bouquet.

Can't wait to see what I learn in the next two Tuesdays! 

7/25/19

Easy Summer Dinner With Hofmann's


Imagine coming home to a care package containing natural casing franks, specialty mustard, and a few other varieties of sausages.

That's exactly what happened to me last night thanks to my friends at Hofmann's! They sent me a few of their products to try, and I made a quick dinner with their natural casing franks. Originally from Germany, Hofmann's has operated in Syracuse, New York since 1879: they clearly know what they are doing. 

Don't have a grill? No worries: I used my panini maker! I loved how the casing burst and got crispy in the cooking process. The franks are already cooked, so you just need to heat them through.

Add boiled corn, horseradish mustard and sliced watermelon, and you have dinner on the table in under 10 minutes.

Disclosure: I received the samples free of charge and am not compensated for this post. 

7/19/19

Fancy Fruit Salad


TGIF!!!! It's hot as hell in DC area. It will feel like 110 degrees this weekend...are you ready? I'm planning to avoid being outside as much as possible, eat cold food, and watch the latest season of Queer Eye!

In the meantime, I wanted to share with you Fancy Fruit Salad I made earlier this week when two of my friends came over for dinner.

What makes it fancy? There are no apples or bananas ;) If you love those fruit in your salad, be my guest!

Fancy Fruit Salad
figs, quartered
cherries, pitted and halved
strawberries, chopped
nectarines, pits removed, chopped

That's it! Mix the fruit together and serve. Depending on how ripe the fruit is, you may want to add a bit of sugar or honey, but mine were sweet as it.

Stay cool friends!

7/16/19

Nectarine, Tomato & Blueberry Salad with Steak


It's over 90 degrees in DC area and supposed to get even warmer. I'm not even talking about the humidity factor!

I'm changing my Facebook status to "in relationship with AC."
Get it!? ;)

Over the weekend I used some of the produce I received as a gift from Seasonal Roots to make a salad to go along with leftover steak I made the night before without turning on the stove or the oven. The heat came from jalapenos!

Nectarine, Tomato & Blueberry Salad with Steak

Ingredients
nectarines, pit removed, flesh diced
tomatoes, whichever variety you like, chopped into bite size pieces
blueberries
jalapeno, minced
red onion, finely diced
basil, chopped
olive oil
salt

steak, sliced

Directions
Mix all the salad ingredients in a bowl. Serve with sliced steak.

The combination of sweet nectarines and blueberries is not only great in a cake, but is lovely in this salad. The jalapeno and red onion add the heat.

7/8/19

Tomato, Mozzarella & Cherries Salad


I have a big announcement: this blog will now become a Meatless Monday blog!

KIDDING! :) It does appear that I've been mostly posting Meatless Monday recipes, so why not continue?

This past Saturday, my friend Sylvie gave me a bunch of home grown tomatoes and basil and took me to Costco where I bought fresh mozzarella balls which I then turned into this beautiful salad!


Tomato, Mozzarella & Cherries Salad
tomatoes of all shapes and colors, sliced or quartered as needed
fresh mozzarella ball, sliced
cherries, pitted and halved
fresh basil, torn
olive oil
salt
rose
fresh mint

Place tomatoes, mozzarella, and cherries onto a plate in a pleasing manner.

Top with fresh basil and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt.

Pour rose into a glass and add a few mint leaves.

Have a great day!

7/1/19

Meatless Monday: Cauliflower Salad Adapted from skinnytaste


If you are in need of a side for your 4th of July get together, or need a fresh idea for using a head of cauliflower you have sitting in the fridge, I highly recommend Cauliflower Salad Adapted from skinnytaste.

I, for one, love cauliflower, and eat it often. I also, however, love potatoes. This salad is good as is, but I'll never give up my love of potatoes!

Here's how I ended up making this recipe:

A few weeks ago, my mom sent me a link to Gina's, aka skinnytaste Low Carb Potato Salad. She said that even my dad liked it! Then, my twin Anna made the salad and said it was delicious.

Not wanting to be left out, I decided to make a batch of Gina's salad, but with a few changes:

1) I used only 4 eggs instead of 6
2) I used whole grain mustard instead of yellow mustard
3) I used cilantro instead of dill
4) I used cucumber instead of celery
5) I used bourbon smoked paprika instead of regular paprika

Helpful tips:

Make sure you cool the cauliflower completely before adding it to the other ingredients. I was impatient and added warm cauliflower to the mayonnaise and it watered down the salad.

The salad gets better as it sits in the refrigerator over night. 

6/21/19

Corn Salad With Sesame Dressing


One of my favorite summer salads is a combination of raw corn with cherry tomatoes, avocado, olives, and herbs drizzled with olive oil and seasoned simply with salt and pepper.

Earlier this week, however, I stepped out of my comfort zone and made Corn Salad With Sesame Dressing slightly adapted from Savory Simple's recipe. The star of Jennifer's recipe is the sesame dressing: I want to put it on everything!

Because I very rarely make salad dressings, I was happy to see how easy it was to make Jennifer's sesame dressing. I substituted a few ingredients based on what I had in my cupboard, left out a few, and added garlic. 

Below is my version of the dressing that I drizzled over a combination of raw corn, grape tomatoes, green pepper, red onion, and basil.

Sesame Dressing Adapted from Savory Simple
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons roasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon crunchy peanut butter
1 smashed garlic clove

In a small blender puree all the ingredients until smooth.

This dressing is also great in a cucumber and red onion salad. It'd be great in a chicken salad or drizzled on top of sauteed or roasted vegetables. 

6/18/19

How To Cook Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts: Chicken Dinner With 2 Salads


Need a fast dinner that will satisfy your taste buds but not make you feel like a ton of bricks? My Chicken Dinner with 2 Salads is perfect for that. Whether you are cooking for one, two or 4, this meal comes together in minutes on a weeknight or can be a great way to get together with a friend Sunday night to catch up.

I primarily eat boneless skinless chicken breasts (other than my occasional craving for wings), and have found a great way to cook them that doesn't dry them out.


How To Cook Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
2. In oven proof skillet (I prefer cast iron) heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom.
3. Pat chicken breasts with a paper towel and season with salt and paprika on both sides (or use whichever spices you like).
4. Cook chicken breasts in a skillet for 3-4 minutes on each side and then bake them in the oven (in the skillet) for 10-20 minutes, depending on the size, until the internal temperature reaches 165F. Rest the chicken breasts for 5 minutes before slicing on a diagonal.

Roasted Beet, Granny Smith Apple & Red Onion Salad
I saw this salad on Domenica Marchetti's insta story and knew immediately I'd have to try it. It was awesome.

Combine sliced roasted beets with sliced Granny Smith apples, thinly sliced red onion, and drizzle with olive oil and champagne vinegar. Season with salt and top with fresh dill. 

Raw Corn Salad With Tomatoes And Radishes
Combine raw corn kernels with chopped cherry tomatoes, radishes, arugula, and torn fresh basil, and drizzle with olive oil. Mix in a bit of lemon juice and season with salt.

To drink: I recommend Sauvignon Blanc.

Dessert: chopped strawberries and whole blueberries topped with home made whipped cream and shaved dark chocolate. 

PS a special shout out to oxo for sending me their crazy impressive corn prep peeler: it works incredibly well! (I was sent a sample; no money was exchanged!)