grilled cheese + apple sandwich

January 27th, 2010

Some days just require a little more comfort than others. Something comfy like good old-fashioned grilled cheese. I’ve had plenty of those day, but recently I got the urge to mix it up and add some apple slices into the mix. Ummm, so delicious!

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pistachio + date scones

January 25th, 2010

Oh how I love a good scone! I think they are one of the best ways to start the day, especially if they’re right out of the oven. A friend gave me a treasured box of Iranian dates, which are perfectly sweet and moist. It took me a few weeks to get up the nerve to actually make something with them because I wanted to make sure I didn’t waste them on a recipe I wasn’t sure about. Then this weekend it came to me, pistachio and date scones. This combination of sweet dates, pistachios and the buttery dough of scones was most certainly worth the wait. Read the rest of this entry »

in the garden

January 20th, 2010

From the moment I heard about Alice Waters Edible Schoolyard project I was in awe. I think it’s such a simple and brilliant idea to involve children in the process of growing food and eating fresh fruits and vegetables. The first New York branch of the Edible Schoolyard will be going up in Brooklyn along with an amazing solar-powered kitchen. I also read this article about a non-profit called La Mesa Verde building gardens in the backyards of low income folks in San Jose as a means to bring fresh fruits and vegetables into the neighborhood. So simple and inspiring, I love it.

School Adds Weeding to Reading and Writing

In Latino Gardens, Vegetables, Good Health and Savings Flourish

Images by Work Architecture and Darcy Padilla for the New York Times

ridiculously easy butterscotch sauce

January 18th, 2010

Oooh la la, this is good. Really good. When I saw this recipe over on smitten kitchen and it was titled, ridiculously easy butterscotch sauce, I thought “yes please”. The combination of easy and sweet is more than enough to get my attention, but the richness of this sauce is what makes this a true keeper.

This recipe boasts a mere five ingredients, brown sugar, butter, heavy cream, sea salt and vanilla. If you have those ingredients and ten minutes, you’ll be exponentially happier than you were before, trust me.

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new york in love

January 15th, 2010

Woohoo! We made it another week! That’s always a good sign. I came across two things that made me super happy this week and decided to combine the two. First, as I was flipping through Saveur (which I always forget that I like so much) I found a recipe for the New York cocktail, a combination of Rye whiskey, lime juice, confectioners sugar (?!) and grenadine. That sounded crazy and awesome all at once. The second thing that made my day was walking into the grocery store and seeing blood oranges. Oh how I love those beautiful, sweet oranges! Do you see what I’m getting at? It’s delicious and full of goodness.

I hope you have a lovely weekend!

new york in love
inspired by New York Cocktail in Saveur
makes 1 cocktail

1 1⁄2 oz rye whiskey
1⁄2 oz. fresh blood orange juice
1⁄2 tsp. confectioners’ sugar
Blood Orange peel, for garnish
1. Fill a shaker with 1 cup ice and add rye, orange juice, and sugar. Cover and shake until well chilled, 10–15 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with orange peel.

kumquat salsa

January 13th, 2010

I am constantly enamored by nature’s lovely ways. Sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of it when it’s so cold and blistery outside, but take a peek at your local market and you’re sure to find some beauty. Particularly if you happen to find a basket full of kumquats. If you’re not familiar with kumquats, they’re super cute little citrus fruits about the size of large pecans. In addition to being mini and cute, kumquats have a sweet, edible rind with sour flesh. After bringing home a boatload, I needed to use up at least a handful of those orange gems, which is how kumquat salsa came about.

The hardest part about this recipe is slicing the kumquats into thin rounds. Once you’ve gotten past that you’re golden. Chop up a purple onion, toss in some cilantro, a pinch of salt and pepper and maybe a dash of hot pepper flakes if you’re feeling spicy. Let that hang out for awhile so the flavors can meld. Right before you’re ready to serve, slice up an avocado and stir it in with the other ingredients. Read the rest of this entry »

honey wheat crackers

January 11th, 2010

Oh boy, I cooked up a storm this weekend and it felt amazing! I’m still figuring out our new kitchen, trying to deal with it’s quirks while basking in its glories (i heart dishwashers!!). These lovely little honey wheat crackers were the first in a long line of recipes I whipped up and man are they tasty… I couldn’t help myself from snacking on them throughout the day. There’s just something about honey and wheat that just makes me a happy lady.

If you’ve never made your own crackers, let me introduce you to the easiest thing ever. Toss equal portions of whole wheat flour and white flour in the bowl on a food processor (if you don’t have one, don’t fret, you’ll just have to use a little muscle). Add some butter, honey, a little cream and a pinch of salt and press go. A ball will quickly form and you’re almost ready. Even with my new love, mr. dishwasher, I’m always looking for ways to cut down on dirty dishes, so I just flour a baking sheet and plop the dough right on it. Next just roll the dough out until it’s about 1/4 inch thick, then using a pizza cutter, score a grid pattern into the dough. Pop it in the oven and shazam… you are a mere 10 minutes away from tasty, homemade crackers.

While I let my crackers cool, I pulled out one of my favorite cheeses, Bucheron, from the fridge to enjoy alongside the sweet, wheaty crackers. The crackers are light and slightly flaky, and the flavor is the perfect balance of a little sweet and a little nutty with a hint of salt which goes so perfectly with the smooth, slightly sharp nature of Bucheron. But beyond being delicious, I absolutely love this recipe because it’s so flexible. As long as you keep similar proportions, the variations are endless. I’ve substituted the butter for olive oil and tossed in a little rosemary and had myself some tasty rosemary crackers. Try adding chopped nuts, use different flour or herbs or whatever floats your boat… chances are it’s going to be tasty.

honey wheat crackers
adapter from mark bittman’s parmesan cream crackers

1/2 cup all-purpose flour, more as needed
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup cream or half-and-half, more as needed

Heat oven to 400 degrees.
1
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly dust with flour.
2
Put flour, salt, honey and butter in bowl of a food processor. Pulse until flour and butter are combined. Add about 1/4 cup cream or half-and-half and let machine run for a bit; continue to add liquid a teaspoon at a time, until mixture holds together but is not sticky.
3
Roll out dough on the lightly floured baking sheet until 1/2-inch thick or even thinner, adding flour as needed. Score lightly with a sharp knife, pizza cutter or a pastry wheel if you want to break crackers into squares or rectangles later on.
4
Bake until lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes.
5
Cool on a rack; serve warm or at room temperature or store in a tin for a few days.

Yield: About 4 servings.

classic margarita II

January 8th, 2010

Hip hip hooray! It’s happy hour! I had to make this years inaugural happy hour my all-time favorite drink, a margarita. I’ve made many margaritas and drank many more, so when I happened to imbibe one with an agave syrup and salt coated rim, I considered it an evolution of the already-perfect cocktail. Try it out and I think you’ll agree.

Cheers!

classic margarita with salted agave rim

1 1/2 oz 100% agave tequila
1 oz lime juice
1/2 oz Cointreau
agave syrup
kosher salt

1
Squeeze about a Tablespoon of agave on a small plate.
2
Place a tablespoon or two of salt on another plate. Dip the rim of a glass in the agave, then quickly dip it into the salt.
3
Combine tequila, Cointreau, lime juice and ice in a cocktail shaker and shake for 10 seconds.
4
Pour margarita into salt-rimmed glass and enjoy!