Saturday, January 31, 2009

Drink of the Week: Jasmine Cocktail

We were introduced to the Jasmine by our bartender (Tara? I can't read my notes from that night.) at The Gibson in Washington, DC last week.

It's a refeshing, not-too-ginny drink. Some versions use more Campari and Cointreau (up to 1/2 ounce of each). If you're not familiar with Campari's bitterness, start at the lower end of the scale. Depending on how sweet your lemons are, you may want to add a little simple syrup to your drink. Give it two sips before you add sweetness though, you might find that your palate adjusts to the puckeriness.

BTW, The Gibson was a lovely experience. It's a "speakeasy": no signage, reservations strongly recommended, dim lighting and a fun selection of music to drink to. I suggest you try to visit if you're in the DC area. Note: They do not serve any food at this time, so don't think you'll be able to grab a munchie or two there. Fortunately, it's just off U Street, so you can hit Ben's Chili Bowl, Dukem, Next Door, or any of the many eating establishments nearby (do NOT go to the exceptionally frightening McDonald's on the corner of U and 14th - scary, and I have a pretty high threshhold for scary eating spots).

The Jasmine Cocktail

Combine in an iced cocktail shaker:
  • 1 1/2 ounces gin
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/4 ounce Cointreau
  • 1/4 ounce Campari
Shake until very cold. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Daring Bakers January: Extra Credit

I was so inspired by the savory nori tuiles over at Cafe Nilson, that I immediately had to try a sweet version. I made the tuiles, using the same recipe in this post with a few tablespoons of black cocoa powder for color (King Arthur sells it). I filled them with rice pudding and used a piece of blood orange as "tuna" and some pomegranate seeds as "salmon roe".

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Daring Bakers January: Tuiles

This month's challenge is brought to us by Karen of Baking Soda and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte aka Kochtopf. They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.

So this is my first experience with Daring Bakers. I have been watching Daring Bakers posts pop up over the last few years and thought it was finally time to join the fray.

This month's challenge was to make tuiles from the provided recipe and pair them with something light. The recipe suggested that the tuiles could be decorated with a little batter that was colored with a "food coloring of my choice". So I pulled out some beet powder and made a pink batter to provide contrast. I prepared a leaf-shaped batch and a batch of "twirlies". I had never really attempted tuiles before, so this was a great kick in the pants to give them a try.

I paired the tuiles with a buttermilk panna cotta and pomegranate gelee. I made the gels in little 1/4 cup ramekins. I used some pomegranate seeds for garnish.

What is wonderful about tuiles is their lightness and delicacy. They taste of butter and sugar and that's about it. If you add a flavoring like vanilla or a fruit liqueur, it will be a major component of the cookie's flavor, so use good quality flavors.

Here's the tuile recipe I used for the challenge. It's taken from a book called “The Chocolate Book”, written by female Dutch Master chef Angélique Schmeinck.

Buttermilk Panna Cotta (from Claudia Fleming)
Makes about 6 full servings, a lot more if you are making layered desserts (for this challenge, I made a half recipe and ended up with 10 gels total)
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin (about half an envelope, but measure directly)
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • pinch salt
Measure out 1/2 cup of buttermilk. Sprinkle the gelatin over the buttermilk. When the gelatin is softening, heat the cream and sugar in a small saucepan. When the sugar is dissolved and the cream is hot, stir in the buttermilk/gelatin mixture. Stir over low heat until the gelatin is dissolved (not long, about 2-3 minutes).

Pour the hot mixture into the remaining 1 1/2 cups buttermilk. Stir to combine. Pour the panna cotta into molds or serving dishes. Put in refrigerator to set.

The panna cotta is ready to serve when it has set, about 2-3 hours. To unmold, if desired, dip the molds into warm water to loosen. Or run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of the mold to loosen and release the panna cotta.

Pomegranate Gelee
Makes 2-4 servings
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
  • 2 - 4 tablespoons sugar (depending on how sweet your juice is)
Measure out 1/4 of juice, sprinkle it with gelatin. While the gelatin is softening, heat remaining juice with sugar. When sugar is dissolved, stir in the juice/gelatin mixture. Stir over low heat to melt the gelatin (about 2-3 minutes).

Pour into molds or serving dishes. Let rest in refrigerator to set, about 2-3 hours. To unmold, if desired, dip the molds into warm water to loosen. Or run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of the mold to loosen and release the gelatin.

About 10-20 cookies, depending on the size
  • 1/4 cup softened unsalted butter (make sure it is very soft, but not melty and greasy)
  • 1/2 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 large egg whites, whisked
  • 1/2 cup ounces sifted all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder/or food coloring of choice (I used beet powder)
Preheat the oven to 350.

Cream butter, sugar, salt and vanilla to a paste using a hand mixer. With the mixer on low, slowly add the egg whites. Make sure the mixture is homogeneous - no clumps of butter should be visible. Add the flour slowly until the batter is smooth. Take a large spoonful of batter, and in a separate bowl, blend in the food coloring you are using. Chill the batters, covered, for at least 30 minutes. You can make the batter a day or so ahead, just take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before you make the cookies.

To form the cookies you'll need a stencil (made out of a yogurt lid or some other stiff plastic) or you can pipe the dough directly onto the baking sheet. If you're using a stencil, just lay it on the baking sheet and use a spatula to spread the dough within the stencil. Lift the stencil, place it on an empty area on the sheet and repeat spreading the batter. You'll probably get about 6 cookies per sheet. Until you're used to forming the tuiles, only do one sheet at a time.

If you are using the piping method, you can just put the batter into a ziploc bag and squeeze strips of batter out on the baking sheet.

Decorate the tuiles with the colored batter. You can use a piping bag or a ziploc with a small hole cut in it.

Bake the tuiles in a preheated oven for about 5-10 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Lift the cookies off the baking sheet and gently curve them over a rolling pin of bottle to shape them. To make my twirlies, I wrapped the piped cookies around a spoon handle.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Pantry Pasta

Another pantry-staple pasta dish. You can pull this together using what you have in the pantry and refrigerator. The only have-to-haves are some kind of pasta (shells or orchiette are preferred - stay in the short and chunky family), canned beans and tuna (I used ultra fancypants Italian oil-packed tuna last night, but a can of Starkist is fine too).

For crunch, I used some celery (you could use fresh bell peppers or turnip or jicama or what have you ...) and I had some scallions and dill in the fridge, so they got thrown in for freshness. Finally, I tossed in some capers for tang (try olives, giardinera or pickled onions) and chopped almonds (sub in breadcrumbs or toasted pinenuts) for crunch.
This recipe is a common fall-back for me: it's easy to adjust based on what I have on hand, and it's fast (by the time the pasta ia cooked it's just about finished). I looked back through my archive and found this tuna and bean salad (which is basically this dish, sans pasta). Here's a version where I used orzo (violating my chunky pasta rule).

So, at the risk of repeating myself, here's how you do it:

Pasta with Tuna and Beans
Serves four
  • 1 pound pasta
  • 1 8 ounce jar of oil-packed tuna, or 2 cans of tuna (olive-oil packed is best, but water-packed is ok)
  • 4 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 can of beans
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 2 handfuls chopped dill
  • 1 handful chopped toasted almonds
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Boil the pasta.

While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce: Saute the celery until a little softened. Add the beans, capers and scallions. When the pasta is cooked, drain it (reserving about a cup of cooking water) and add two-thirds of the pasta to the skillet (you may not need it all - add more until you have a pleasing combination of pasta and the other ingredients). Toss in the dill and almonds. Heat everything together, drizzling in a little cooking water to make the dish saucier if needed.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot or warm.

Any leftover pasta can be used in a frittata.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Drink of the Week: PDT's Bacon Old-Fashioned

Um yeah, this cocktail does contain bacon. Sort of. It actually contains bacon fat. Well ... not really. It contains bacon-infused bourbon. (Which sounds way better than fat-washed bourbon, which is another name for it. Yum.)

Read on, bourbon drinkers and bacon lovers. This is a delicious drink, although it's probably best if you don't disclose the bacon element until after your guests have taken a sip or two.

This cocktail was developed by Don Lee for PDT (Please Don't Tell), a speakeasy in Manhattan. The story of the recipe is here.

The bacon garnish is my fun little addition to the drink, it should be served with an orange twist to stay true to the original.

Bacon Old-Fashioned

Combine in an iced mixing glass:
  • 2 ounces bacon-infused bourbon
  • 1/4 ounce Grade-B maple syrup (or a little less, the full 1/4 ounce made for a fairly sweet drink)
  • 4 dashes Angostura bitters
Stir until extremely well chilled. Strain into chilled cocktail glass and garnish with an orange twist (or a super snappy twirly bacon stick).

Making bacon-infused bourbon is ridiculously easy:
  • Cook 4-5 pieces of smoked bacon (the smokier the better).
  • Reserve bacon fat, let it cool.
  • Eat bacon.
  • Pour bacon fat into 2 cups of bourbon in a mason jar or bottle.
  • Leave it on the counter, give the jar a shake every once in a while.
  • After at least six hours, but as long as 3-4 days, put bourbon into freezer until bacon fat solidifies.
  • Lift off fat and discard.
  • Strain bourbon through a fine strainer.
1/26/10 Update: On the bacon front, folks are in love with Benton's Bacon these days. Benton's is very good. I am also partial to North Country Smokehouse's cob smoked bacon. Whatever bacon you choose, make sure it's smoky. Like house-on-fire smoky.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Quick Creamy Pasta

This was inspired by a post at Apartment Therapy (not that I live in an apartment) and I was reminded of a pasta dish I used to make often. It's a pasta with a cream sauce, but the sauce is pulled together from ricotta and a little pasta cooking water. It comes together right on the pasta and is super easy. If you use part-skim ricotta it's also much lighter than an alfredo or other cream sauce.

I used orchiette (little "ear" shaped pasta), but this would be good with any sauce-catching pasta like fusilli, gemelli or pennette. I had garlic confit, kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes in the fridge - so that's what went in. I also used the beet greens from a bunch of beets I'm putting in borscht tonight.

You could use any combination of vegetables and pickled thing - just use whatever you've got in the fridge. I listed a few suggestions for you at the end of the recipe.

Pasta with Olives, Tomatoes, Beet Greens and Garlic
serves 4
  • 1 pound of orchiette, fusilli, gemelli or pennette
  • 2 cups of chopped beet greens
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup garlic confit (about 1 head of roasted garlic)
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and torn into pieces
  • 2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
  • parmesan cheese, for serving
Boil the pasta until al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce: In a large skillet, saute the beet greens in a little olive oil until wilted. Add the tomatoes, garlic and olives. Saute until everything is warmed through and fragrant. Add the ricotta to the pan and stir it in to make a sauce-like mixture. The sauce will stay a little grainy because it's ricotta. (If you want a smooth sauce, you can blend the ricotta in a food processor to smooth it out - to me, that's a but much for a weeknight dish.)

Reserve about one coffee mug's worth of water from the pasta pot. When the pasta is done, add the pasta directly to the pan with the sauce. Add pasta water to the pan as needed, to make the mixture "saucy". Taste for salt (you may not need any because of the olives).

Serve topped with a little parmesan cheese and freshly ground pepper.

Other flavor pairings:
  • Shredded radicchio, capers, caramelized onions
  • Baby spinach, crumbled bacon, cherry tomatoes
  • Roasted butternut squash, chopped fresh sage, sauteed red onion
  • Cooked sausage, roasted peppers, capers

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Super Easy Short Rib Ragu

One of the beef cuts that seems to be getting a lot of attention lately is short ribs. This is a cut I haven't worked with very much. I have never seen them at my supermarket. But I asked my butcher fella at Tendercrop if they ever sold that cut (they raise their own beef cattle) and he cut me two of the least fatty ribs off the rack he was cutting. At $4 a pound, they weren't exactly cheap, but since he could only give me two pounds, I figured it was a frugal extravagance (oxymoron, I know).

I read a number of recipes for braised short ribs and realized that I'd need more than the two pounds I had to make them a centerpiece. I decided to stretch what I had into a ragu instead and served it over polenta with sauteed kale.

What's nice about a braise like this (aside from it tasting just great) is that the hands on time is very brief (about 20 minutes), so while it takes a while to make most of the time is hands-off. Plus, the overnight rest makes it taste even better, I swear.

So here's what I did to make the ragu (I'm writing the recipe in a stream-of-consciousness form because that's how I made it):

Short Rib Ragu
Serves 4

Heat some olive oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Pat the short ribs dry (I had two large pieces) and brown them well on all sides. This will take about 10 minutes. Remove the ribs from the pan and set aside on a plate.

Pour off some fat if there's a lot. Add 1 large onion, sliced, 4 cloves of garlic and 1/4 cup of dried porcini mushrooms. Saute until the onion softens. Add a bay leaf and a sprinkle of dried thyme to the pot.

Nestle the ribs back into the pot. Pour over 2 cups of red wine and 28 ounces diced tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and let simmer slowly until the ribs are fork tender. This took about two hours.

Remove the ribs and simmer down the sauce if it's too watery. When it's cool enough to handle, pull the rib meat off the bones, shred with fork and put the meat back into the sauce.

Let the ragu sit in the fridge over night. Lift off any fat that's on the surface (there will be a lot). Heat the sauce back up and taste for salt and pepper. Serve over polenta, mashed potatoes or noodles.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Week of January 18

Mother Nature has been very insistent about keeping us in a blanket of white this winter. In twenty-four hours we got well over a foot and a half of the powdery stuff (... my Maine and New Hampshire read this and roll their eyes - woo a whole foot and a half Mary? Anyhoo, I'm tired of shoveling.).

Snow makes me want to make warm, soupy, or braised dishes. It also makes me want to stay out of the supermarket if at all possible: fighting through the scrum of shoppers to grab that last dozen eggs dampens my love for my fellow man.

After digging our way out of our house, a chowder seemed like the proper main course for Sunday supper. While the chowder was simmering, I put together a major component of Monday's dinner as well: a short rib ragu (more on that tomorrow).

Menu for the Week
Shrimp and corn chowder (all the ingredients were in the fridge and freezer)

Short rib ragu (made it on Sunday) with polenta and kale

Orchiette with oven-dried tomatoes, roasted garlic and ricotta

Cucumber salad

Black bean chili (from the freezer)

Field trip!
Sandwiches of pate, aged goat cheese and apple
Some kind of vegetable and bean salad

Friday, January 16, 2009

Drink of the Week: Indian Summer

The Indian Summer is another delightful cocktail from the Food and Wine Cocktails 2007 book. (Guess I should buy the 2008 version, huh?)

It's a play on a Manhattan that was developed by one of the owners of Freemans in New York City. I figure on a night when the forecast is calling for -3 Fahrenheit, we all deserve an Indian Summer!

Indian Summer
In an iced mixing glass, combine:
  • 1 1/2 ounces bourbon
  • 1 1/2 ounces Bianco vermouth
Stir until well chilled. Serve in a cocktail glass, garnished with a lemon twist.

Green Vegetable Curry

Thank you everyone for responding to the survey. Unsurprisingly, meals in under 30 minutes won (edging out under 45 minutes by three votes).

The dinner I pulled together last night is a great speedy dinner. To make it, you rely on several pantry staples and it's very easily adapted to whatever meat and vegetables you have on hand.

The basic method is one I outlined in this post: Curry in a Hurry. The curry I made was a green curry with sweet potatoes, red peppers, cabbage and watercress. I served it over a bed of brown basmati rice. It was perfect for a cold winter night.

These are the steps I followed to prepare dinner:
  • Started the rice. While it was cooking I made the curry.
  • In a saucepan, I sauteed a few teaspoons of curry paste (Thai Kitchen Green Curry). When it was fragrant (about 30 seconds), I stirred in a half can of coconut milk, 2 cups of water and one light boullion cube (I was out of chicken broth).
  • I added a cubed sweet potato to the pot and brought it to a simmer.
  • When the potato was just cooked through (10 minutes), I added some sliced red peppers, a handful of chopped scallions, 2 handfuls of sliced savoy cabbage, a few shakes of fish sauce and a squeeze of lime.
  • When the rice was cooked (about 20 minutes), I spooned some rice into serving bowls. I topped it with some chopped watercress and sliced shallots.
  • I ladled the curry over the rice. Done!
The whole meal took 25 minutes to make and used what I had on hand. I could easily substituted other vegetables for what I used last night. I also could have included meat, seafood or tofu too.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ingredient Spotlight: Ume Vinegar

I was exploring a new supermarket this week and spotted a new ingredient to try. I love vinegars and, aside from super-old balsamico from Modena, they are generally a very economical and fast way to add different flavors to foods.

Ume vinegar is made from the brine left over when plums (ume in Japanese) are pickled into umeboshi (pickled plums). As a result, it has a great deep fruity flavor. It's also hella salty (think pickle brine) so you should use it sparingly (Ask poor Beppo about the tablespoon he shot down last night. Well, ask him after he stops coughing, which should be any time now.).

So far, I have used it on a cole slaw (I diluted it with a little rice vinegar to keep things acidic enough without the salad getting super salty) and sprinkled it over some rice (for a sushi rice vibe). I have read that it's good for salad dressings, but I think you'd want to dilute it with more red wine vinegar (again, it's very salty). I think it would be fabulous on a potato salad (no mayonnaise, but with sesame, basil and mint maybe?).

Look for ume vinegar in the Asian foods section of your supermarket, health food stores or Asian markets. My 10 ounce bottle cost about four dollars.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Week of January 11

I am on the road for the beginning of the week and I had grand plans for posting. Guess who forgot her power cable? Sigh. I'm on a borrowed computer right now.

I've set up Beppo (he's holding down the fort) with a collection of made-ahead items, so the first half of the week is covered thanks to the freezer and the pantry. The rest is a good example of making do with only a few purchased items. I'll only need to find produce when I breeze through the supermarket at the end of my four hour drive on Wednesday.

Menu for the Week
Turkey burgers on foccacia (both from the freezer)
Fennel and carrot sticks

Pork and tomatillo chili (made with the remnants of the pork shoulder we roasted last week - 2 more quarts went into the freezer for another day)

Beef ragu over pasta (ragu from the freezer)
Green salad

Smoked salmon and bialys (I'll pick these up on the drive home)
Cole slaw (cabbage keeps forever in the fridge)

Thai-spiced coconut-vegetable curry over jasmine rice (I'm not sure what these will be yet - I'll see what looks good when I swing through the supermarket on my drive home. Probably sweet potatoes, napa cabbage and green beans.)

Pizza (dough's already in the freezer and toppings are always findable in the fridge)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Drink of the Week: The Paddleford

We wanted a "gin drink" tonight and thought an Aviation might fit the bill. Looking for a lemon, I glanced at the fruit basket, saw a clementine, and voila! the Paddleford was born.

Named in honor of Clementine Paddleford, a food journalist of the 40s and 50s, the Paddleford is a little sweeter than an Aviation, but one that will go into rotation for those nights when something a little gentler than a martini is called for.

The Paddleford
Add to an iced cocktail shaker:
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce clementine juice
  • 1/2 ounce maraschino
  • squeeze of lemon
Shake until well chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Mark Bittman's Farro Soup

This soup is a prime contender for the economical, healthy, vegetable rich requirements I have applied to my menus. The recipe is Mark Bittman's and can be found here on The New York Times' web site.

I used farro, although you can also use barley. The only notes I made on this recipe:
  • I added a Parmesan rind to the pot while everything was simmering (Parmesan rind is a magic ingredient - fish it out before serving).
  • I used flageolet beans that had soaked for 2 hours before I started the soup.
  • The farro took much longer than I expected to cook. The soup didn't suffer for it: the beans broke down a lot more, but they just made the soup creamier.
  • I didn't use any basil: I didn't have any on hand, and besides, to me fresh basil in January just seems wrong.
  • I served it drizzled with some fruity olive oil and a sprinkle of freshly-grated Parmesan.
I was sure this soup would freeze well (most bean and grain soups do), so I made a double batch and put half away for a chilly day.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Help Me Help You

I have posted a quick survey on the side of the page. Can you take a few seconds to let me know how much time you spend on your weeknight dinners? This will help me tailor my posts to what you want to see on the site.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Black Bean Chili

Dinner Tuesday night was this black bean chili. I was inspired by Lighter Quicker Better (a book by Richard Sax and Marie Simmons) and their recipe for black bean chili over a baked sweet potato. I'm not a huge fan of sweets on their own, but in this combo, they were great. I suppose you could also chop up the sweet potatoes and add them right into the chili, but then you'd miss out on the gorgeous contrast of the black beans against the bright orange sweet potatoes.

Black Bean Chili with Sweet Potatoes
This recipe makes enough for 4 to 6 servings - I'd suggest making a double batch if you have room in the freezer.
  • small sweet potatoes, one per serving
  • oil for sauteing
  • 2 cups chopped onion, about 2 medium
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 or 4 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (more or less, to taste)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups cooked black beans, with some of their cooking liquid (cooked from about 1 1/2 cups dry beans, or 2 19 ounce cans of beans, undrained)
  • 1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • lime
  • cilantro
  • sour cream (lowfat is fine, not nonfat though, please!)
Wash the sweet potatoes, poke each one a few time with a fork, and place on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven. Let bake while you are making the chili. Depending on the size and age of your potatoes, this will take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour. Give a potato a gentle squeeze: if it feels yielding and baked through, they're done.

Make the chili: In a small stockpot, saute the onions with a sprinkle of salt in olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute them until they are softened and turning translucent, about ten minutes. Add the carrots, zucchini, chili powder, cumin and cayenne. Saute until fragrant, about five minutes (you'll smell the chili powder and cumin as they cook). Add the garlic and saute another two minutes.

Add the black beans and tomatoes and bring chili to a simmer. Let the chili simmer, over low heat, for 20-30 minutes, until it looks thickened and stew-like. Stir occasionally to make sure the chili isn't sticking. Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed.

Serve the chili alongside a split sweet potato, garnished with chopped cilantro, a squeeze of lime, a dollop of sour cream.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Week of January 4

If you're here via Public Radio Kitchen ... Hello! Feel free to look around and see what catches your fancy.

I'm going to try to get back in the swing of posting weekly menus again (sorry for this late one). Like everyone else, I am starting out 2009 with an effort to eat more healthfully (vegetables, whole grains) and cheaply (cheaper cuts of meat, dry beans, less glamorous vegetables (hello cabbage!)). As always, I'll keep preparing dinner in large enough quantities to provide enough food for lunches a day or two after.

This also means that it's even more important to shop with a plan to ensure that everything is in the pantry for the meals I plan to make. It's also important to not to overshop: how many times have you sadly looked into your trash can at the pile of vegetables you meant to cook, or the bread that went moldy too soon?

I'll try to share some of my make-ahead, money-saving tricks with you as the weeks go on. We can all save some money and continue to eat well!

Menu for the Week
Rabbit braised in white wine and herbs
Mashed potatoes
Sauteed Swiss chard with roasted cherry tomatoes

Red lentil hummus (this post inspired me, but I made up my own recipe)
Savoy cabbage-fennel slaw
Roasted cauliflower with cumin and mustard
Whole wheat bread (baked using the no-knead method)

Black bean chili
Roasted sweet potato wedges

Oven-broiled chicken souvlaki
Fava (a Greek yellow split pea spread - think hummus, but not really) topped with sun-dried tomatoes and capers
Green salad
More whole wheat bread

Slow-roasted pork shoulder (from the Feb/Mar issue of Fine Cooking) with carrots and onions
White beans with sage

Tomato and brown rice soup
Onion-walnut muffins (from Arthur Schwartz's Soup Suppers - which, happily, is still in print)
Green salad

Friday, January 2, 2009

Italian Eats

One of the things I've been working on lately is putting up a lot of pictures from our trip to Italy. I still have a lot more to upload, but if you'd like to see shots of a lot of the lovely foods we ate, you can go to my Italian Food set on Flickr and check them out.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy 2009!

Here's hoping your new year started with a cute little man in your coffee too.
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