Friday, May 28, 2010

NEW! comment box

Hello all my lovely readers... just in case you haven't noticed yet I have a new comment feature...I know it might look a bit complicated but I promise its very cool....if you have a blog, or twitter, or flickr or even facebook account (I think?) it will link your most recent info to your comment (and update it automatically). This means that me (and my readers) will be able to keep up with what you are doing online!

Unfortunately if you had a blogger (or gmail) login I don't think it will work any more and you may have to re-submit your info

Anyways let me know what you think and if you like it - I saw it on a blog I commented on earlier this week and though it was a fun way to help others promote what they are doing so everyone gets a little love!

(oh and you can also link directly to facebook if you comment on something so feel free to play with these new toys!)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

5/19/10 - Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal Cobbler

After spending 20+ years of my life only hearing about rhubarb but never tasting it, it has quickly become one of my favorite spring treats. The slender celery-like stalks are the perfect match for my all time favorite strawberries. As I child, I loved strawberries that I ate so many I ended up in the hospital with an allergic reaction! I don't know how or why this happened but it hasn't I haven't had any issues since and I am never shy with the strawberries. Rhubarb is a bit tart but the sweetness of the berries (or another fruit) contrasts it wonderfully making both seem even more delicious. This recipe is very fast which makes it a great option for an after dinner treat any night of the week.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

5/23/10 - Tomato Basil Open Faced Grilled Cheese

The best ingredients make the best meals..... this advice is true no matter what you might be cooking. And I think it might be even more applicable when you are cooking some thing simple since each ingredient makes a big impression. It seems that all my posts recently are revolving around the Greenmarket in Union Square and I have to admit, the first sites of spring have me a bit giddy! There is something about walking around among like minded foodies knowing that everyone is in search of the perfect tomato or cheese to make thier dinner just right...unlike the super market where I often find myself tsk-tsk'ing (I know I shouldn't judge!) behind a cart filled to the brim with processed foods, sodas, cookies etc. As some one who doesn't have children, I know that I can't even begin to understand the time (and energy and money) needed to raise a family, but sometimes I wonder just how convenient some of these pre-package foods are? Do they really save time or is it just the marketing telling us that we don't have time and we deserve a treat/ time off/ to relax etc? I mean this delicious fresh meal only took me about 10 min tops to make and only about 1 min to clean up!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

5/20/10 - Pork Pizzaiola with a Portabello mushroom cap

While supermarket produce has really improved, the time and transportation needed to get it from the farms to our stores prevents truly ripe products from being picked in most cases (because they are too easily bruised/ rot). When we buy from the farmers market, you are usually guaranteed a very fresh and ripe product that is just bursting with flavor. I never really considered mushrooms something that was very flavorful but once I tried these giant portobello caps from Bulich Mushrooms at the Greenmarket I was surprised! Mushrooms can have a taste! This dinner was quick and made good use of some left over pasta sauce that I had defrosted for some raviolis earlier in the week.

Pork Pizzaiola topped with mushroom cap
2 boneless pork tenderloins - sliced
1/2 onion- diced
1/2 green bell pepper - diced
2 cloves of garlic - smashed and diced
1 tbsp oil
2 c pasta sauce
2 tbsp fresh basil - chopped
4 tbsp grated cheese

4 portobello mushroom caps
1 tsp olive oil

1)  In a large pan, heat the oil and add the crushed garlic
2) Add the sliced pork, and saute until browned
3) Add the peppers and onions, combine and let soften
4) Stir in the pasta sauce to coat - cover and allow to simmer for 5 min
5) On a heated grill pan, place mushrooms coated in olive oil (cap side up)
6) Once they are softened removed and plate one mushroom with each serving
7) Top with basil and cheese

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

5/16/10 - More Greenmarket Meals

Finally a Saturday at home! An exciting start to the morning with an 8 AM wake up knock by the police!!! Before you start asking what *I* did...apparently (even though the signs said last week!) the gas company was digging....under my! But we took advantage of the early start to the day to get into the city for the Greenmarket in Union Square. This week we tried some new items and new vendors. Getting there earlier definitely helps but we still missed out on asparagus. Perhaps next week I will need to ask for a 7am wake-up call!

We got quite a few goodies on this trip many of which have already been sampled!
4 pack of bavarian herb beef sausages
4 pack of bison garlic sausages
1/3 lb hooligan cheese
1/3 lb black ledge blue cheese
1 pt shallots
1 bunch red scallions
1 seedless cucumber
1 bunch broccoli rabe
1 lb mixed mini baby fingerling potatoes
1 jar peach raspberry fruit spread
1 doz eggs
1 lb sea scallops
1 lb steamers
3 "old fashioned" pretzels
4-5 stalks of rhubarb
3 amazing portabello mushrooms

A day later the fridge is already starting to empty! Last night we enjoyed a salad with the cucumbers, scallions and blue cheese with a side of steamers. Lunch was a Bavarian Sausage sandwich with peppers, mushrooms, onions and swiss. And finally for dinner we had Broccoli Rabe with some seared Scallops (heavenly!) I love shopping locally and having very fresh food I find that the taste is quite noticeable versus most supermarket food.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

5/5/10 - Cinco de Mayo Burrito Buffet

 I just love doing buffets! Guests are able to customize exactly what they want which also means less waste (and more leftovers)! Its really a win-win situation for everyone. Since I love doing theme nights, I used Cinco de Mayo as an excuse to make burritos. This prep was more about chopping than cooking! Luckily I had a helper in the kitchen that was willing to fill up all the bowls of condiments while I prepped dinner. The bar included pickled hot peppers, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, shredded cheese, grilled mushrooms and zucchini, marinaded chicken, sauteed peppers and onions and brown basmati rice.

Monday, May 10, 2010

5/4/10 - Creamy Tomato Veggie soup with Spicy Chicken Sausage

This weekend was almost a diet-buster! Between the burgers, ribs, homemade french fries (!!!) and fresh falafel, grabbing some of the (delicious) spinach salad with some grilled chicken was just not an option. So I tried to obey the good old rule of moderation. In theory, this rule practice, doesn't count if no one sees it, right? So even though my friends were eating plates full of ribs, I stayed focused and enjoyed more than one taste of all my favorites.  But now its back to the work week and even though we didn't get to the grocery store doesn't mean I have an excuse to order takeout!

This soup is made with some vegetables that were still hanging around in the fridge and few pantry staples that I try to keep stocked....just in case! I took the cue for this soup from a childhood favorite, pasta fagioli - while my mother always made this more as a pasta dish my grandmother's was definitely a soup. I love soups so it was easy for me to twist that recipe into this creation. This dish is easily made vegetarian by increasing the beans and taking out the chicken sausage.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

5/6/10 - Recycled Fried Rice and Grilled Jumbo Shrimp

Its easy to cook too much rice... it starts out so small but by the time it is ready you have more than enough. Such was the case last night, luckily day old leftover rice is the best base for fried rice! I bulked the rice up by adding plenty of vegetables and some fried egg along with lime ponzu sauce and traditional soy. I served the fried rice with some jumbo grilled shrimp in Teriyaki sauce for a fast, healthy delicious dinner. 

Sunday, May 2, 2010

4/29/10 - Grilled Mahi Mahi with Broccoli Rabe

This is a simple dinner but preparing Broccoli Rabe correctly can sometimes be tricky. This vegetable is one of my favorites but because of the care needed in the prep it can sometimes be less than delicious. Broccoli Rabe belongs to the bitter green family and needs to be blanched in hot water before being sauteed. I almost always cook it the same - blanched, then sauteed in olive oil, garlic and crushed hot pepper - as its familiar from my childhood.

To get this dinner together on time I began by boiling the salted water for the greens. Once I had that at a boil I heated the pan to sear the fish, starting with the skin side down. I coated the fish liberally in a store bought seafood herb blend (in a large grinder which is very convenient! I also have a beef seasoning one) After the broccoli rabe turns bright green (about 2-4 min in the boiling water) remove it and then heat some oil and garlic to saute the rabe till it is infused with a delicious rich garlicky flavor.