Showing posts with label Vegetarian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vegetarian. Show all posts

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Barefoot Contessa + Tyler Florence (and Winter Slaw)

Did you see the new Barefoot Contessa episode with Tyler Florence? Baby rosebud and I loved it! It airs again on Monday, September 9th at noon if you missed it (see the details here).

 {look at them high five, haha!}
They started by making a birthday cake for Tyler's son. The chocolate cake was made with buttermilk and the batter looked amazing (Ina is a pro after all). She made a ganache frosting and stacked the cake up asymmetrically at Tyler's request. They decorated the whole thing with bright candies that really popped off the chocolate frosting. It was beautiful (and I might be heading to ABC Cake Decorating to finally buy some legit cake pans to make it for Baby Strawberry's FOURTH! birthday next week).

Then they went to Ina's favorite place to buy chicken for Jeffery's dinner every Friday. My kids loved seeing the chickens and I love Tyler quipping about how proud he was to hear Ina's secrets.

{look how cute they are on Tyler's instagram!}

For lunch, he made Fried chicken and added whole fresh herbs and garlic to the oil to layer the flavors. The seasoned flour looked amazing. He added Sriracha to the buttermilk for even more flavor. I liked his tip to fry only a few pieces at a time to keep the temperature up. I don't fry things often but after I watched him make this recipe I was dying to make some chicken! You can see the recipe here.

Ina made a winter slaw recipe using shredded kale, radicchio, and Brussels sprouts. With a fresh lemon vinaigrette, craisins, and some Parmesan, it looked so light and yummy. I made it for dinner that night and while my husband wasn't sure that it was actually 'Cole slaw' it was great. The veggies were crunchy and fresh with the light dressing and the sweet and salty kicks from the cheese and craisins were perfect. It also only took a few minutes to make so I think it's going into regular side dish rotation (although the kids aren't happy about that, they looked at me like I asked them to cardboard or something!)

The best part of the episode was when Ina boxed up the enormous three layer cake and said "I don't envy you getting this home on the airplane." Haha! I hope you get a chance to watch it because it was a really fun episode full of great recipes as well. I'll let you know how that big cake goes (this is a pretty massive undertaking considering I barely passed Wilton Course 1 Cake decorating at the craft store- the employee was hesitant to give me the participation certificate, no lie!)

PS If you're on Pinterest... Barefoot Contessa is finally! It's kind of fun to follow her. If you're a dork like me. Don't tell my friend Kara I wrote this blog post. She'll die. Hopefully some of you like Ina like I do. And try the slaw. I'd never had Brussels sprouts before (seriously) and it was fun and yummy to try them.


Winter Slaw
from Ina Garten and Tyler Florence (recipe originally here)

6 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved, and cored
6 large kale leaves, center rib completely removed (8 to 10 ounces)
1/2 small head radicchio, cored
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dried cranberries
1 (6-ounce) chunk good Parmesan cheese

With a very sharp knife, cut the Brussels sprouts, kale, and radicchio across in thin shreds and put them all in a large bowl.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pour enough dressing on the slaw to moisten it well. Add the cranberries.

Shave the Parmesan in big shards with a vegetable peeler, add it to the salad and toss well. Check for seasonings and serve cold or at room temperature.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Homemade Salad Dressing & Croutons



I read a post today on one of my favorite craft blogs, Infarrantly Creative, where she shared a few of her great ideas. I love getting tips from people on how to simplify and improve our lives in easy ways. She's also giving away two of my favorite things to go along with her linky party- a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker and a Metal Cookie Scoop. I've gushed about both of those before and can't imagine my kitchen without my drawer full of scoops.



Since I loved her post so much I thought I would join in and got me thinking about something I do on a regular basis that we love. Sure I make crazy treats occasionally, but it's not all brownies and cupcakes for dinner (though I'm sure Baby Strawberry wouldn't object!) I always need more healthy, quick, and economical meal options. Making croutons and salad dressing go right in with that. I heard a quote once about how the French think Americans are bad cooks because we actually BUY our croutons. Making them is quick and tastes SO much better. I usually use the heels or unwanted end of the loaf of French bread from last nights dinner. Toss with salt and pepper, olive oil, and some seasoning and you are pretty much done. A few minutes in the oven or tossed on the stove and the house smells good, you have a nice bag of delicious croutons, and it was pretty much free (that's fuzzy Anne math for you there!) You can even use left over rolls, hamburger buns, whatever bread you have around. They taste incredible in Panzanella too.

You can see the crouton recipe here.

Making salad dressing is just as easy. I use my blender bottle (a lidded jar works too) and just dump everything in. I will include the recipe below but when I make it, it usually goes something like this, "one inch of vinegar, two inches of olive oil, a scoop of brown sugar, a pinch of garlic, salt and pepper." Shake and serve. It tastes 100 times better than store bought dressing and I love knowing exactly what went into it. Swap out spices and vinegar for a completely different flavor, too! I think people see 'Balsamic Vinaigrette' and think that's something you could only buy. I hope you'll try making your own dressing and see how it goes, it's really easy and delicious (a winner in my book!)

Do you have any simple, great ideas that make life easier for you? I'd love to hear em!


Anne Strawberry's Simple Balsamic Dressing
(adapted from Emeril)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (regular, sea salt, whatever will do)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (it's cheap at Costco!)

Combine all ingredients in a blender bottle (or jar) and shake to combine. Toss salad and serve immediately. This makes a lot of dressing so I usually half it and store my extra dressing in the fridge for couple of weeks- but it always gets eaten before it goes bad.

Serve with my Cheesecake Factory Knock Off French Country Salad (with goat cheese!), panzanella, or your favorite green salad. You can't go wrong here.

You can see the crouton recipe here.


Friday, April 22, 2011

By the Book Friday- Parmesan Asparagus for Easter

{printable recipe here}
Can you believe Easter weekend is here? It's snuck up on me again. We are going to have our standard menu- ham (Costco style), potatoes, homemade rolls, and Parmesan asparagus or green beans (whichever is on sale, is that awful?) I usually make something fruity for dessert, like Lemon Curd Cheesecake. This week I tried out a Cherry Pineapple Cobbler thanks to Lucky Leaf Pie Filling. I will post that delicious recipe later today (crossing my fingers!)

The recipe that inspired today's By the Book Friday Post comes from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Family Style. It's no secret that I have a big crush on Ina and she really can't do any wrong in my eyes. I'll admit that I didn't follow the recipe exactly, as she roasts the asparagus and my oven was full at the time (oh, to have a double oven!) So instead, I blanched the asparagus by cooking them for two or three minutes in boiling water, then stopping the cooking by covering them with ice water. Then I crisped them up in a hot skillet with a little butter and olive oil and added the rest of the flavors in Ina's recipe- kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, generous Parmesan cheese, and lemon juice. It just takes a couple minutes and the final product is really fragrant and delicious (even my little man ate these up). And like I said, you can use fresh green beans instead- either makes a delicious spring dinner side dish.

Do you have any Easter favorites that you make every year? I hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend!

Parmesan Asparagus with Lemon from Anne Strawberry
{printable recipe here}
adapted from Ina Garten

2 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus (about 30 large)
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 lemons cut in wedges, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. (note- I blanked them instead, so I boiled a large pan of water to begin).

If the stalks of the asparagus are thick, peel the bottom 1/2 of each. Lay them in a single layer on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and return to the oven for another minute. Serve with lemon wedges.

Variation: Instead of roasting in the oven, I blanched the asparagus for three minutes in salted boiling water. Next, submerge the asparagus in ice water to 'shock' it. Transfer to a skillet warmed over medium high with a couple tablespoons of olive oil or butter and brown for just one or two minutes. Then season and garnish as above, with salt, pepper, sliced Parmesan cheese, and the juice of half a lemon. Serve immediately.

Friday, April 1, 2011

By the Book Friday- Roasted Red Pepper Goat Cheese Tarts

Photobucket
{printable recipe here}
Ina Garten is my favorite so I figured I should start with one of her recipes for my first "By the Book Friday". I really want to focus on trying new things and actually getting through my cookbooks instead of just using them as decorations. I planned to take a nice picture of my cookbooks to show the material I would be working with for this new challenge but my hutch is just too crammed full of books (so next week, maybe?) We had Church recipe group this week and I happened to have a jar of roasted peppers, several boxes of puff pastry I scored at half off, and goat cheese, cheap from Trader Joe's. Everything else required was already in the pantry so I figured this was perfect. These tarts are so great- flavorful, crunchy, creamy, sweet, savory. It takes some time with the caramelized onions but every step is simple and the final product is stunning (even if the older women at recipe night told me the cheese smelled like goats! I think they liked it though!)

A few people asked to join up with By the Book Friday and so I signed up with Mr. Linky to get a widget, but I haven't gotten my sign up info yet so (hopefully) next week we will be good to go! Feel free to leave a link to your post in the comments if you've joined in! And please if you have a better name idea let me know!


PhotobucketRoasted Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Tarts
from Anne Strawberry
recipe adapted from Ina Garten's Back to Basics
{printable recipe here}

1 package (17.3 ounces/2 sheets) puff pastry, defrosted {I thaw it overnight in the fridge}
Good olive oil
4 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (2 large onions)
3 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dry white wine {I used a 1/4 cup white grape juice}
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1/2 freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese
4 ounces garlic-and-herb goat cheese {I used regular goat cheese}
1 large tomato, cut into 4 (1/4-inch-thick) slices {note- I used 3/4 cup roasted red peppers or sliced bell peppers in the past}
3 tablespoons julienned basil leaves


Unfold a sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll it lightly to an 12 by 12-inch square. Cut sheet into thirds each way, to yield 9, 3 x 3 squares per sheet (18 total). Place the pastry squares on 2 sheet pans lined with parchment paper and refrigerate until ready to use.


Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium to low heat and add the onions and garlic. Saute for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are limp and there is almost no moisture remaining in the skillet. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, the wine, and thyme and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. Remove from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Using a sharp paring knife, score a 1/4-inch-wide border around each square (being careful to go through only part of the pastry, just use gentle pressure). Prick the pastry inside the score lines with the tines of a fork and sprinkle a tablespoon of grated Parmesan on each tart, staying inside the scored border.

Place a teaspoon of the onion mixture on each circle, again staying within the scored edge. Crumble goat cheese on top of the onions. Place a slice of tomato (or bell peppers or roasted bell peppers) in the center of each tart. Brush the tomato lightly with olive oil (not necessary with the roasted peppers) and sprinkle with basil, salt, and pepper. Finally, scatter 2 or 3 shards of Parmesan on each tart.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. The bottom sheet pan may need an extra few minutes in the oven. Serve hot or warm.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fruit Salsa with Triscuits and Cream Cheese

Photobucket
{printable recipe here}
Oh it's so hot. It's not as bad as last summer (when I was super pregnant) but it's really, really hot. To compensate, we've been spending all of our time in the pool. Baby Strawberry, Ms. Happy herself, loves it of course and my Little Man is getting used to the idea. I think three is the age of irrational fears but hey, we're all afraid of things (me? Mayonaise. SUPER creepy.) Well last weekend was no exception and we were in the water almost all day Saturday. We had a Church swim party and there was also a Salsa contest. While it seems contradictory I love super hot food in the summer and I think everyone else agreed, practically drinking up the hot salsas. I brought this fruit salsa for something different and even though it didn't win, when I took it home and tried it on top of triscuits I couldn't believe how great the combo was. Then I got thinking, "This just needs some cream cheese" (not a rare thought for me, I'll admit) and so I spread a little on and it was perfect. Creamy, crunchy, sweet, salty, everything. It even distracted me from the heat so I think this is a winner!

Have you heard about the home farming movement from Triscuit? They sent me a couple of boxes of Triscuits that include seed packets to start an herb garden. I have a pretty good little one growing on my front patio and love the smell of the fresh basil as I walk outside. They also included a giftcard to buy supplies to grow the herbs (basil and dill) and I have a new little pot sitting on my counter waiting to sprout. I've never grown anything from a seed before so we'll see. It was a really fun little project for my Little Man and I and Baby Strawberry loves Triscuits (I love that they don't make an enormous mess!) Try the reduced fat Triscuits with this salsa (and my favorite- Neufchatel reduced fat cream cheese) and let me know what you think.

Anne Strawberry's Fruit Salsa
{printable recipe here}
Note: This recipe easily accomodates whatever fruit you have on hand- try to chop everything to the same size for better presentation. A food processor makes nice work of this (particularly with the copious strawberries) but make sure to pulse, not puree, to end up with perfectly chopped fruit.

2 pounds of strawberries, chopped
2 peaches, peeled and diced
2 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 pint of blueberries, roughly chopped
1 mango, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons fruit jam (I used raspberry)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
zest and juice of two limes
3 ounces neufchatel cheese, softened
1 box of reduced fat triscuits

Prepare all of the fruit and stir together into a large bowl. Stir in the jam, brown sugar, zest, and lime juice until nicely combined. Refrigerate for an hour and serve with Triscuits spread with cream cheese.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Vegetable Tian (or how to use all that zucchini)

{printable recipe here}
When I saw Ina make this, I knew I would love it (not uncommon while watching Barefoot Contessa, I'll admit). I like every single vegetable in there. Add some seasonings and roast- how bad can that be? Ina delivered as usual. And since you don't have to peel any of these veggies, all you have to do is chop chop and line them up. It looks pretty impressive but is actually super simple. With all the delicious, summer veggies overflowing, this dish is cheap, delicious, and healthy. Go go.

What do you like to make with all the summer produce? I can't live on just zucchini bread (although I might like to, it really hardly qualifies as bread, don't you think?)

Vegetable Tian
from Anne Strawberry
{printable recipe here}
recipe from Ina Garten

Good olive oil
2 large yellow onions, cut in half and sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound medium round potatoes, unpeeled
3/4 pound zucchini
1 1/4 pounds medium tomatoes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, plus extra sprigs
2 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (I subbed Parmesan- I'll only eat that stinky Gruyere in Croque Monsieur, Macaroni, or Fondue!)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Brush a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking dish with olive oil. In a medium saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook the onions over medium-low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Spread the onion mixture on the bottom of the baking dish.

Slice the potatoes, zucchini, and tomatoes in 1/4-inch thick slices. Layer them alternately in the dish on top of the onions, fitting them tightly, making only 1 layer. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, thyme leaves, and thyme sprigs and drizzle with 1 more tablespoon of olive oil. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Uncover the dish, remove the thyme sprigs, sprinkle the cheese on top, and bake for another 30 minutes until browned. Serve warm.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Spinach and Feta Greek Pita Pizza

Photobucket{printable recipe here}
You Want Pies with That is back {they were actually back last month but I had a big old cast- now I'm chopping and cooking again, so I guess we're both back}! This month's theme is Pizza. It's a sad, sad truth that I love pizza but my Tall Man, Mr. Carbohydrate himself, doesn't eat tomatoes (or much dairy) which pretty much eliminates most pizzas from our regular dining. Nonetheless, I snap up any opportunity to enjoy a piece, which usually happens when I take little man to Costco. But, in an attempt to please my taste buds and my Tall Man's obnoxious and ornery stomach, we have Spinach and Feta Greek Pita Pizzas. Whew. The title is pretty much longer than the prep. And please tell me there's some, beloved food you don't make because of your husband. I'd feel better.

See my previous (albiet long ago) Pies with That Posts here (including my favorite "Emma Hearts Knightley Pie" that won the very first month). And lastly- I need to give a shout out to my new favorite pan, making it's first appearance on my blog. It's my first and only All Clad pan and I got it for three bucks at Goodwill. I was a little excited, as you might guess. Even my Tall Man was excited when I told him I'd saved close to 200 bucks, haha (not that I would have spent the 200, but getting the goods for nothing counts as saving, right? Right?)

PhotobucketSpinach and Feta Greek Pita Pizza
from Anne Strawberry
{printable recipe here}

2 onions, finely diced
1/2 bag baby spinach, roughly chopped (don't stress over the amount- I just used what I had on hand)
5 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
kosher salt, pepper, and oregano
4 pitas
1/3 cup crumbled feta (read more here for brands we like)
paprika

Over medium heat, cook onions in olive oil for 5 minutes. Stir in spinach and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until everything is soft and carmelized. Add seasoning to taste and spread 1/4 of the mixture over each pita. Top with a little feta and a sprinkle of paprika and broil for two or three minutes, until slightly browned. Remove, cut, and serve.

Note- if you prefer a nice, crispy crust (like my mom, I'll be honest- I like soft or mushy food as my family would say) carefully place the prepared pizza straight onto the oven rack- but be sure to put a baking sheet below just in case something spills!