February 22, 2012
February 20, 2012
My best friend is having a baby!!! In fact, today is her baby shower!
I could not be happier about this little angel joining our close knit group of girls. My friend is the first of any of our clan to be pregnant.
So while this is all new and exciting, it is also the end of an era so to speak.
No more inappropriate conversations out in the open. We will have to think of the baby. No more spur of the moment outings; we will have to plan way in advance so there is somebody to watch the baby. (Unless somebody wants to volunteer to miss out and be the DD and the DB: designated babysitter.) No more crazy summer house parties…well, that needed to end some time soon, I mean we are all getting a little too old for all night flippy cup and power hour.
All of our lives have to change eventually. I know this, but I didn’t really think about how different it would all be until now.
I guess instead of being selfish and filling my BFF’s mind with sad thoughts, I started thinking about all the new things we are all going to be experiencing in the coming months. (Read that paragraph in a Carrie Bradshaw voice… “That night, I got to thinking…”)
We are going to have a new little girl in our group to watch out for, to spoil with the trendiest baby clothes, to teach about all the dumb boys in the world, to share many many giggles with, and to make sure she always feels all the BFF love that we have to give.
So, it might be the “end of an era”, but it is also the start of a new one. I know my best friend is going to be a wonderful mother and I can not wait to be right there along side her for this journey. I mean, I can just see what a cool aunt I am going to be!
So, for my sweet friend, here is a little something sweet for you on the day of your sweet baby girl’s shower.
Ingredients (Makes 16)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons molasses
3/4 pound strawberries, thinly sliced
¼ Cup Port or Red Wine
1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 ¼ cups fresh ricotta
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
In a bowl, sift both flours together with the cinnamon and salt. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter, light brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar at medium speed until fluffy, about 1 minute. Beat in the honey and molasses, about 30 seconds.
Scrape down the side of the bowl and beat in the flour mixture at low speed, just until incorporated. Pat the dough into a disk, cover with plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick.
Using a 3 1/2-inch oval cookie cutter, stamp out 16 ovals; reroll the dough scraps if necessary. (I used a 3 inch drinking glass to cut out the tartlet shapes.) Transfer the ovals to the baking sheets and bake for about 12 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through, until lightly golden around the edges.
Let cool on the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer the ovals to racks to cool completely.
In a bowl, toss the strawberries with the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar, port, and the lemon juice. Let stand until syrupy, 20 minutes.
In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta, confectioners’ sugar and lemon zest.
Spread about 1 tablespoon of the ricotta mixture on each oval.
Arrange the strawberries over the ricotta, drizzle with the syrup and serve.
Recipe adapted from Food & Wine
February 18, 2012
Here it is-the easiest recipe I have ever posted on my website.
No joke, start to finish, this recipe takes thirty minutes at most. You can make it for one to 12 people; as long as you have a full carton of eggs, some goat cheese, and an avocado you’ll do fine. It still won’t take you longer than thirty minutes to make this.
Well, it might take a bit longer if you are cooking for 12 people just because it takes a little longer to assemble twelve of these little cups of awesomeness.
This recipe can be made in a muffin tin, an individual ramekin, or even on a larger scale in a casserole dish.
Since there are only two of us in the house, I went for individual servings. It is kind of like a quick, breakfasty lasagna you can eat any time of day.
Ingredients (makes two ramekins)
1 Haas Avocado
1 Jalapeno, seeded and diced
3oz Goat Cheese
A Pinch of Fresh Cilantro Leaves
Juice from 1 Lime
Butter for Greasing
1 Roasted Red Pepper, drained and cut into fourths
A Pinch of Salt and Pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
First: add the avocado flesh, diced jalapeno, goat cheese, cilantro, and lime juice to a food processor. Puree into a thick, slightly chunky paste. Spoon the avocado and goat cheese mixture into a small bowl.
Grease the inside of the ramekins with the butter.
Cut the roasted red pepper into fourths. Place one piece of the red pepper in the bottom of the dish. Cover with a tablespoon of the avocado goat cheese mixture. Layer another slice of red pepper on top of the cheese. Spoon another tablespoon of the cheese mixture on top.
Crack the egg into the dish. Season the egg with salt and pepper. Continue that process for the other ramekin.
Place the ramekins in the oven and bake for twenty minutes. The egg will still have a runny yolk when it is done. If you don’t like a runny yolk, feel free to bake it a little longer.
I am not going to lie to you, when I make this I cook two baked eggs for myself and my husband each. I also serve it up with a side of bacon and roasted potatoes.
Can’t beat breakfast any time of day!
February 17, 2012
Have you ever looked around at your life and thought, “Is this really my life right now?” I have thought this to myself on more than one occasion: for both good and bad reasons.
I asked myself this question yesterday during what I had thought to be very pathetic circumstances.
Last night, around seven thirty, I was lying on the couch, a Whitney Houston E! True Hollwood Story was droning on in the background, and I felt myself starting to drift off to sleep.
I looked to the love seat next to me and saw my husband already miles into a deep slumber. Then I glanced down at my feet and saw my dog snoring away.
Before I completely dozed off, I had to double check that it was really only 7:30 pm. It was. And at that moment I thought, “Is this really my life? Twenty seven years old, newly married, and asleep on the couch by seven thirty.”
My best laid plans of not watching as much TV and eating more balanced meals was kind of shot to shit last night by a very filling burrito bowl from Chipotle and reality TV that, in reality, I wasn’t that invested in.
I am 27, not 60! I do not do hard labor and my life is not that jam packed with activity. I should not be falling asleep atseven thirty.
So tonight, this is not happening again! I am eating a lighter meal and not going to be put into a food coma by mindless television.
Ingredients For the Salad (Serves 4)
1 Cup of Quinoa
2 Cups of Low-Sodium Vegetable Stock
1 lb Shrimp, peeled and de-veined
Juice of Half a Lemon
1 Tablespoon of Paprika
½ Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
¼ Teaspoon of Salt
1/8 Teaspoon of Pepper
1 Teaspoon of Olive Oil
½ of a Red Pepper, diced
½ Cup of Canned Corn Kernels, drained and rinsed
½ Cup of Canned Black Beans, drained and rinsed
½ Cup of Frozen Shelled Edamame
10 Grape Tomatoes, halved
¼ Cup Red Onion, finely minced
1 Teaspoon of Fresh Cilantro, chopped
Ingredients for the Jalapeno Cilantro Dressing
A handful of Fresh Cilantro
1 Small Garlic Clove
1 Jalapeno, seeded and roughly chopped
1 Teaspoon of Vinegar
The Juice and Zest of 1 Lime
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
1/3 Cup of Water
¼ Teaspoon of Salt
1/8 Teaspoon of Pepper
Start by bringing the vegetable stock and quinoa to a boil in a small sauce pan. Reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook quinoa over medium/low heat for 10-15 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the shrimp with the lemon juice, paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Toss to evenly coat the shrimp in all the seasonings.
Add the teaspoon of olive oil to a medium skillet and heat for a minute over high heat. Add the contents of the bowl to the skillet. Cook shrimp for 1-2 minutes per side as to not overcook it.
When the quinoa is cooked, fluff with a fork, and remove from heat. Place the quinoa in a medium bowl along with the diced red pepper, corn, black beans, edamame, tomatoes, and red onion. Toss the salad together. Chill in the refrigerator for at least thirty minutes. (If you so desire, this salad can also be served warm.)
To make the dressing; add the cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, vinegar, lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, water, salt, and pepper to a food processor. Puree until the dressing is smooth.
Pour the dressing over the quinoa and mix to evenly combine. Top the salad with the cooked shrimp and the chopped fresh cilantro for garnish.
This salad can be done however you like. As long as you have the seasonings for the shrimp, the ingredients for the dressing, and quinoa on hand you can add and subtract vegetables as you see fit.
After this meal I now feel so alert and awake. I am ready to take on the world…Well, at least until 9:30 when it is more socially acceptable to fall asleep. I mean, I’m not 21 anymore.
February 16, 2012