My dear friend Karen recently turned me on to a gluten-free noodle product. The noodles are made from either tofu or white yams.
The brand is Shiratki and they can be found locally at Sprouts and Fry’s. At Sprouts the everyday price is $1.69 each, at Fry’s a bag is regularly $2.29. They are found in the refrigerated section, near the tofu.
(Thanks to a kind comment from LCDC, I learned that the brand of the noodles I found is House Foods and that Shirataki is the type of noodle. I happily stand corrected. Thank you, LCDC!)
I was skeptical at first, considering they come packaged in water and look a bit slimy … but they were delicious! Shirataki noodles are quite a bit more expensive than dry noddles, but considering they are precooked, quick to use, and the yam variety has zero calories, the tofu style – only 20 calories… it may be worth the extra dough.
They have a long (about 3 month) expiration date, so if you find them on sale, stock up!
March 9, 2013 2 Comments
This is the final recipe from our dinner party with Karen and Bob. As with the other recipes, I found this in a food magazine, this time from the February issue of Food & Wine.
The changes I made; two large onions seemed like too much, I decreased it to one. The recipe was called Ratatouille Toasts with Fried Eggs, it is now Ratatouille Toasts with Poached Eggs. Poached eggs are easier and able to be done ahead, a huge bonus when entertaining.
To do so; poach your eggs as normal, but under-cook them slightly. About 30 seconds off of your normal cooking time should do the trick. Just make sure the whites are nearly set. Lift the eggs directly out of the simmering water and into an ice bath to stop the cooking. Then place them into the refrigerator until you need them.
When you’re ready to serve, bring a pot of water to a gentle simmer and give your eggs a final 45 seconds of poaching. Because the whites are already set, you can heat several eggs at once without worrying that they will stick together. This takes much less time than poaching all the eggs at the last minute.
I usually poach the eggs the night before or the morning of a dinner or brunch. In the recipe below, I have instructions as if you are going to serve the eggs immediately, just in case that is how you would prefer to do it. Use the instructions above for making ahead.
January 25, 2013 1 Comment
This was my horoscope on Tuesday.
How perfect is that? Oh, here are the last few words you can’t see, “… nourishment and warm feelings.”
It’s perfect because I already had on my calendar two dinner parties this week.
Peggy and Anne were over last night and my dear friend, Karen, who was a bridesmaid in my wedding 27 years ago, and her husband Bob, are coming over for dinner tomorrow night. Got to Love It!
Are you ready for the onslaught of Meyer lemon recipes? I hope so, that is what I’ll be making for quite a while now!
Don’t have Meyer lemons? Not to worry. You can use regular lemons in any of my recipes that call for Meyer lemons.
I saw a photo of a version of this salad on Pinterest and was inspired by the use of a trifle bowl to serve it in. I created the recipe from scratch but stole the visuals and serving idea. If you don’t have, but have always wanted, a trifle bowl – Crate & Barrel always has them in stock.
It’s so pretty and springtime fresh and it turned out to be a delicious main course salad. I’m sure Peggy and Anne will attest to that. It would be lovely as a side salad on a buffet too.
January 17, 2013 2 Comments
This is the perfect appetizer to make for your family or take to a party this holiday season. It comes together easily. It can and should be made ahead of time. It’s pretty and makes an impressive presentation. Plus, it feeds a crowd!
3/4 cup pecans
3/4 cup dry seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
16 ounces (2 packages) cream cheese, room temperature
11 ounce log goat cheese, room temperature
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil) drained and finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh chives, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
Fresh dill sprigs
4 cherry tomatoes, halved and, if desired, roasted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch spring form pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottom with a piece of parchment or foil and spray the top of the paper as well. Triple wrap the spring form with heavy-duty foil, coming up the sides and nearly to the top.
Crust: Place the pecans and bread crumbs in the bowl of a food processor and blend until pecans are finely chopped, add the melted butter and turn on machine until the mixture begins to come together.
December 11, 2012 4 Comments
This salad was one of the easiest dishes I made for the Christmas Crafts Party and it seemed to be the most popular thing on the table… go figure!
It kinda looks like a hot mess, but I have to admit, it was pretty darn tasty. I adapted the recipe from one I found on the Hidden Valley® website.
Southwestern Cornbread Salad
12 homemade cornbread muffins, cooled completely and then coarsely crumbled, divided
2.25-ounce can sliced ripe olives, drained and then set to dry on paper towels
16-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed, drained, and then set to dry on paper towels
11-ounce can whole kernel sweet corn, drained and then set to dry on paper towels
1 cup Hidden Valley® Spicy Ranch Dressing, divided
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 cup tomatoes, diced and then drained on paper towels
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
In large salad bowl place half of the cornbread crumbled muffins.
Next layer on the drained olives and pinto beans.
Follow that up with drained corn and 1/2 cup of the dressing.
December 4, 2012 No Comments
The tomato tart recipe I am about to give you is probably different than the tomato tarts you are used to. Generally a tomato tart looks something like this.
It makes for a light refreshing summer-time meal.
The tart recipe I’m about to give you is for the fall and winter. Hearty and immensely flavorful! It may seem like a bit of work, but the steps are leisurely and all steps can be done ahead and then assembled just before you’re ready to serve.
It makes two 8-inch square or 8-inch round tarts. Alternately, you may make individual tarts, as pictured below. The dough will make about 10 individual tarts and you may have a bit of filling left over. The oven temperature and baking times remain the same, no matter the size.
As an added bonus, tomorrow I’ll be giving you a “recipe” using the tomato peels. It will be my first installment of “The 12 Gifts of Christmas” – so do not throw out those peels!
Also, I will apologize in advance for the photos – I was having some camera issues and didn’t know it until I loaded the pictures onto the computer.
November 15, 2012 2 Comments
As you may recall, I belong to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) from which I receive a bounty of farm fresh produce each week. Last week there was something new and very strange in my bag that I did not recognize. It is called purslane. Upon research, meaning a Google search, I found that purslane is an edible weed. The leaves, stems, flowers, and seeds are all edible. It is harvested in the summer and it now turns up at farmers’ markets in the late summer months.
You can use it raw in salads; toss into soups; boil it; or saute it. Purslane is best used fresh. But, if you must store it, wrap it in a moist paper towel and place in a plastic bag in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator. Purslane may be substituted for spinach in any dish that calls for spinach, raw or cooked. And in fact, cooked purslane tastes exactly like cooked spinach. I doubt that even the most advanced palate would be able to taste the difference between the two.
As I said, purslane is a weed. It is the bane of many gardeners. And now that I know what it is… add me to the list of gardeners who curse it. It has been taking over my flower garden for the past couple summers now, and until I found it in my CSA bag, I had no idea what that damned weed was. When I figured out that the greens in my bag were the same thing as the weeds in my backyard, I was so disgusted that I nearly tossed the bundle from my CSA into the trash! I HATE purslane!!! Just look at it in the photo above, it has choked out every flower that was near it. I can’t get rid of it. Google revealed that purslane is an especially hearty weed – NO kidding!
Anyhow, I finally took control of my emotions and packed the stuff into the ice chest I was taking over to Coronado. On the last day we were there, I finally had the courage to cook with the weed.
Yes, I’m glad I did. I made a potato gratin with purslane, and it was delicious and it would have been a waste to throw it in the trash. I guess I’ll get out in the yard this weekend, dig out the purslane in my flower garden, look at it as a blessing instead of a curse, and serve it up.
Most importantly, I want to send a huge shout-out and many thanks to Sheila for a wonderful long weekend at her absolutely gorgeous cottage on Coronado! It was a joy to share such relaxing girlfriend time with you there. xoxo
October 17, 2012 1 Comment
Earlier this week, Marissa sent me an email at 12:05 PM, asking me to make a pumpkin and lentil chili recipe for the blog.
By 1:17 PM, a mere 1 hour and 12 minutes later, I was sending her a text with a photo of the chili cooking away. Yep, that’s how I roll.
This pumpkin chili goes together quickly and there are very few dishes to wash – a chef’s knife, 1 measuring cup, 1 set of measuring spoons, a strainer, a spoon or spatula to stir with, and the pot it cooks in… not bad for 16 delicious and super healthy servings… for a crowd, a party, or a big family dinner. Plus, if it’s for a little family dinner, no fear, it freezes great!
October 12, 2012 3 Comments
When I have little bits of various cheeses hanging about in the fridge – this is the sort of thing I make.
Chicken Alfredo Fusilli
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 cups quartered small tomatoes
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup fat free half-and-half
1 1/2 cups blend of grated cheeses; such as Asiago, Parmesan, and Fontina
1 pound cooked fusilli pasta
One at a time, between two sheets of plastic wrap, pound each chicken breast evenly with a flat meat pounder.
October 2, 2012 1 Comment
I recently purchased this cool “entertaining set” and have been itching to use it. My first thought was that I’d make my “world famous” cucumber martinis for one side and a chilled gazpacho for the other – as a Friday night happy hour for Dave and myslef. But Fridays kept filling up with other things. Opportunity knocked last Sunday when my dad came over for dinner and Connor came home for the weekend.
September 28, 2012 3 Comments