Friday, September 13, 2013
Jeanne Robertson says don’t send a man to the grocery store (hi.larious clip) and I was reminded of this when the one or two peaches I put on the shopping list showed up in the kitchen as four huge peaches… and my man doesn’t eat fruit. So after a little peach with my yogurt, a little peach with my cottage cheese I wound up making the best leftover fajita with you guessed it, peaches and another leftover I had – some smoked gouda cheese. So when I decided to throw a quick girlie dinner together I knew I wanted to pick up a rotisserie chicken and some salad and to throw in some peaches and smoked gouda.
And it was good : ) You could of course make this recipe with goat cheese or fresh mozzarella, but you know, go running with scissors and try something a little different and refreshing with the smoked gouda.
Roasted Chicken and Peach Salad
Yield: 4-6 servings
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
2 bags bibb lettuce and radicchio salad
2 - 3 peaches, cut wedges
3/4 cup smoked gouda, shaved
1/3 cup candied pecans
1/3 cup red onion, sliced
6 oz snow peas, blanched (optional, I made them and forgot to put them in)
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- combine first 5 vinaigrette ingredients in a mason jar or bowl
- add oil and shake or whisk in oil
- combine lettuce, onion, half of cheese and half of peaches, snow peas if using, and toss with enough vinaigrette to lightly coat
- platter salad and top with chicken, remaining cheese and peach wedges
- sprinkle nuts, serving remaining vinaigrette on the side
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
This great set of recipes for turkey burgers and sour cream sauce came to me as I pedaled on the stationary bike ‘cruise’ setting at the gym. I’m supposed to be in a ‘muscle building phase’ with no cardio in my workouts right now, but alas, the skinny jeans still call. So pedal I did while talking recipes and meal plans for getting to fighting-weight with a friend who works there. Before I left she made me a copy of the Spicy Turkey and Zucchini Burger from Simply Recipes (adapted from the cookbook Jerusalem). And so glad she did!
The burgers are delicious and the sauce is even deliciouser. I find myself dipping veggies in it and spreading it’s garlicky, citrusy business over random stuff. I grated zucchini while prepping a metric ton of vegetables I had for this and a few other recipes… I know you have zucchini coming out of your ears right now, and they help keep even super lean turkey from becoming dry burgers. And it all fits into the eating plan. Are we buff yet?
Zucchini Turkey Burgers with Garlic Sour Cream and Yogurt Sauce
Yield: about 6 burgers
For the burgers:
1 lb ground turkey breast
2 cups zucchini, grated (about 2-3 small zucchinis or one large one)
3 green onions, white and green parts sliced
2 Tbsp mint, chopped
2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne
3 Tbsp coconut oil for pan searing or use the grill
For the awesome sauce:
1/4 cup sour cream (I used low fat)
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (again with the low fat)
1 lemon zested and half of it juiced
1/2 tsp garlic, minced (I probably tripled this)
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
- for sauce stir ingredients together until combined and chill until ready to serve
- in a large bowl combine all of the burger ingredients except the oil, form patties and refrigerate (or freeze) until ready to cook
- when ready to cook, heat oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat then lower to medium heat and working in batches place patties in the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, then flip and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes until lightly browned and cooked through
- enjoy as is with sauce, or on a bun with sauce
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
What do I have in common with Katie Ledecky?! She and I swam (in her case swim) for the same high school swim team. Unfortunately for me, the similarities end there. While I’ve logged some time in pools, it’s nothing like the 10-20k meters she’s likely doing in a workout, and my time spent jumping in the ocean surf or sailing isn’t sufficient training for a frigid 1-mile ocean swim, for which, somehow, I had signed up. Why you ask? Because of this guy, my friend Corey who’s gone from sporting a diaper in a coma to swimming across the Chesapeake Bay and 7.5 miles across the Potomac River, to organizing Swim Ocean City this past spring.
He organized the swim to benefit Hopkins Brain Trauma Research Center where he landed after coming out of the coma, ditched aforementioned diaper, and relearned virtually everything. He asked me to participate in the swim and I felt like I could say Sure! or Sure! Guess I’m a sucker for the dain bramaged.
So I took on some coaching from my husband/ former Tennessee Volunteer swimmer and swim coach and it was a recipe for disaster only once. After seeing some water temps in the 50s in June and July I rented wet suits and off we went to Ocean City, MD.
That’s me searching our bags for Brian’s lost, I mean safely stashed swim cap. You’re supposed to wear your numbered cap. We didn’t get started until around noon because the 9 milers got started a couple of hours earlier and for some reason, no matter how insignificant my performance was, it’s hard to dodge nerves the whole time. As my cousin’s fiance who swam the 3 mile and who’s done an Ironman put it, you get a few moments of ‘why am I doing this?’
But eventually they blew the horn and in we went.
Forget the initial surf, the swim to that yellow start buoy can suck the life out of you. I was ready to turn around by the time I got to it!
Once you round that you can get into a groove swimming parallel to shore although the swells made it hard to keep track of where you were. But a mile later I did find the finish buoy and head into the beach and the finish line up on the beach.
So did this guy… he and a few others actually finished the 9 miler in 62 degree water! They were popsicles when they got out, but they did it.
This day involved my usual race day food which is peanut butter and honey sandwiches. They’re the right proportions of everything, portable and are light enough to eat before a workout without getting sick. Ok, a summer veggie recipe coming tomorrow!
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Ginger and cayenne in tea form can cure lots of what ails ya, and today I’m trying to cure the dark threat of summer ending, posed by some nasty, cold rain that has moved in and made itself comfortable here in Virginia. That and the excesses of my beach vacation last week. So this morning’s workout was followed by a couple cups of this detoxifying hot tea.
Simple, easy, fresh – run-of-the-mill sales pitch, but true, and anything but mediocre results. Just peel some ginger…
Slice it. I run in circles with no such perils now, but for many years had to engrave my initials into every knife and kitchen tool that could be etched to keep them from being stolen in restaurant and catering kitchens.
Just add water, nuke, and polish it off with a pinch of cayenne, some lemon and honey or agave. I have agave on hand because I liked the idea that it’s lower glycemic and sweeter (therefore needing less in order to sweeten), but I will probably just use it up and not buy it any more because most of the ones available are more processed than honey. Here is a brief comparison of the two, and here is a more comprehensive, yet very digestible review and opinion on natural sweetener options.
This mug, which was a gift from a friend, allows one to drink out of either end, depending on the sunny or otherwise disposition one wants to communicate while caffeinating or detoxing. Sometimes one may start with one mug orientation and evolve to the other. It depends on the day and the one drinking, but I generally try to choose the YES! orientation so that I may appear not nearly as defeated and burned out as I am, and more positive and outgoing and just possessing gobs of gumption. Gumption, were you to ask my great grandmother, is really all you need. So when I’m not producing it organically, I sometimes try to manufacture and I feel this mug helps move the needle ever so slightly on my gumpto-meter.
So does this tea.. am I buff yet?
Fresh Ginger Cayenne Tea
1 1-inchish piece of fresh ginger
1 lemon wedge
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 - 1/2 tsp honey or other sweetener of your political persuasion
- peel and slice ginger.. I slice on a bias across the grain because I think it exposes more surface area and might get more flavor out of it.. just a theory though
- add ginger and one cup of water to a microwaveable mug (switch-hitting or otherwise) and nuke for about one minute on high
- check temp and stir in lemon juice, cayenne and honey or whatever
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
This awesome spice rub is super easy and great on everything. We had some on hand from when my mother-in-law made a big batch and used it on pork and salmon when we fired up the smoker the other day.
Generously rub on pork loins, fish, chicken breasts or thighs and grill or smoke. Open cold beer. Drink.
We polished off a big salmon filet at my in-laws’ house and I made sure to get the recipe.
I suggest quadrupling : )
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Not sure why I chose these Buffalo Chicken Balls as my entry into last week’s Tasty Tuesday on Anyonita Nibbles last week, but I’ve been featured! Go check it out along with all of the other wonderful features and today’s entries : )
Sunday, July 14, 2013
STRONG was the call of the July Bon Appetit magazine cover and I, and clearly many others have answered that call already! The recipe was posted on epicurious.com on July 1 and already has 29 comments of folks waxing lyrical primarily on the recipe’s awesomness/level of heat. And I’m here to add.. wait for it… it’s awesome, and it’s hot.
It was after a tough dinner service at Equinox Restaurant when the grill guy handed my a spiced chicken thigh and lime wedge straight from the grill. I weerily layed it on my messy station, sprinkled sel gris, gave the lime a squeeze and have been forever in love with grilled chicken thighs. I also like very spicy food, so trying this recipe was a no-brainer.
Generally a first time with a recipe I try to follow it to the letter so I can get the full intent of the cook who wrote it before I make adjustments for my own taste. So many times I’ve questioned a recipe to be pleasantly surprised or shocked by the results, so that was my plan going in on this one. And probably because I had family here and had bought double on chicken and made double on the marinade, I got a little nervous when I tasted to the final marinade. It’s hot! So I wound up mellowing mine out slightly with some honey and molasses as I cooked it down.
Next time I’ll try without any modifications, but the results I got with them were great. You gotta try this one, one way or another, this summer.
Sambal Chicken Skewers
Yield: 4 servings
This is the Bon Appetit recipe with the addition of some honey and molasses and the omission of cubing and skewering the thighs because I think they grill perfectly the way they are and we don't need extra work : )
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup hot chili paste (such as sambal oelek)
1/4 cup fish sauce (such as nam pal or nuoc nam)
1/4 cup Sriracha
2 tsp finely grated ginger
1 1/2 lb skinless boneless chicken thighs
honey and or molasses to taste, about 1/4 to 1/3 cup total
- prepare grill for medium high heat
- whisk brown sugar, vinegar, chili paste, fish sauce, Sriracha and ginger in a large bowl
- add chicken to toss and coat
- remove checken to a dish and transfer marinade to a small saucepan; bring to a boil, add honey and/or molasses, reduce heat and reduce sauce by about half (about 7 - 10 minutes)
- grill chicken basting often with reduced marinade until cooked through, about 8 - 10 minutes
July print edition of Bon Appetit magazine and online at Epicurious
Monday, July 1, 2013
I love sipping red wine while nibbling on chocolate and was scheming for ways to get my father-in-law to try it during our recent wine tasting. He’s a skeptic of all things sweet, so I wanted to make a hazelnut cake and decided to try a version of the Chocolate Hazelnut Cake I found on Red Star to Lone Star.
I backed off of the sugar when I made it and announced ‘I backed waay off the sugar when I made this.’ It worked for me, the mother-in-law and my handsome rocket scientist (MHRS), and according to MHRS it was a hit with Dad as well.
To do over I think I would use a dark chocolate with cocoa content closer to 70% than the 54% I used this time, and keep the sugar at 2/3 to 3/4 cup. The dark chocolate with reasonable sweetness and the crunch of hazelnut was so delicious! Aaaand had the desired effect of working with a nice glass of cab sav as well as my afternoon coffee the next day… oh, and as far as baking goes – not my forte – this is a totally approachable recipe : )
Chocolate Hazelnut Cake
Breakfast, coffee break, red wine sipping, picnicking... whatevering! this is a great, crowd-pleasing choice
1 1/3 c hazelnuts, chopped
2 T flour
2/3 - 3/4 cup sugar
1 stick butter, softened
5 large eggs (I put in a quart container with warm water for 5 min)
6 oz dark chocolate, melted and cooled
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
pinch coarse sea salt or maldon flakes (option, if you're a salted-chocoholic like me)
powdered sugar to garnish, optional optional -looks nice but don't use if you're feeding my father-in-law
- heat oven to 350 degrees and toast hazelnuts in a single layer on a sheet pan, about 3 - 5 minutes
- process hazelnuts, flour and about a quarter of the sugar in a food processor
- beat butter and remaining sugar together
- add yolks one at a time until each is incorporated
- add hazelnut mixture and chocolate
- in a separate bowl whip egg whites and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt to stiff peaks
- gently fold egg whites and chocolate hazelnut mixture together by thirds at a time
- pour into greased or sprayed 9-inch springform pan and bake for 45 - 50 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean
- cool completely on a wire rack and then unmold
I adapted this recipe from the one I found on Red Star to Lone Star.
Friday, June 28, 2013
Soooo I try not to follow trends too much and I personally think it’s hard to drink out of a mason jar without dribbling on myself, but there is no denying that aside from preserving, the good old mason jar has it’s very practical uses. And this time of year with boating, picnics and Fourth of July entertaining they’re perfect for these portable salads.
I make them days in advance and then they fit in a cooler easily for lunch out on the water or just in the back yard. It’s hard to say what the genesis for jar salads is, but certainly a major champion and tester of them is appropriately named saladinajar.com. If you need tips she has got it down to a science!
I made a lighter and leaner red pepper vinaigrette… in part because we were doing a wine and cheese thing the other night and I didn’t want a dressing that was too assertive with the vinegar messing with my Pomerol if you know what I mean. So it’s healthy, with the red peppers and olive oil and come to think of it, could be even more so with cider vinegar.. that’s what I’ll do next time! It’s also easy on the calories, easy to make and very wine-friendly.
You have to separate the lettuce from the dressing in the bottom with something… in this case I used chopped cucumber tossed with lemon zest and then put luscious lettuce from my farm share. I dropped a few flakes of Maldon salt in there because I wanted it to be slightly seasoned, but salting ahead will wilt the lettuce. Just a few of the large Maldon flakes kind of mind their own business. Put in the fridge days ahead and then it’s effortless entertaining when everyone’s ready to eat. Give them a shake and dig in.
Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette
Prep Time: 5 minutes
A large hothouse cucumber and this vinaigrette recipe are just about right for six 12-ounce, wide mouth mason jars. I used pomegranate molasses because I tend to have the Persian Version on hand, but honey will be great too.
1 12-oz jar roasted red peppers (whole peppers)
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic or apple cider vinegar
splash red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp olive oil, or more to taste/desired consistency
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
- puree peppers, garlic and balsamic or cider vinegar
- taste and add splash of red wine vinegar for desired acidity
- turn blender on low and stream in olive oil
- season and prep your picnic!