Happy Mother's Day everyone! I decided to push my "Seasonal Saturday" post to Sunday so I can combine my love of seasonal ingredients with one of my favorite days.
Every year I make a big brunch for my family as per my mother's request. When a mother says, "I would rather eat your food than any restaurants," you'd better take it seriously.
So I go all out....deviled eggs, shrimp cocktail, eggs benedict with homemade hollandaise sauce, quiche...a real smorgasbord. In fact, I'd better head over there now!
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
That would be a little presumptious of me, no?
However, a few of my favorite food blogs are nominated and I couldn't resist spreading a little love and encouraging others to vote for them.
So anyway, Saveur holds the Best Food Blog Awards each year and there are a lot of categories, like Best Photography, Best Regional Cuisine Blog & Best Original Savory Recipe, to name a few.
From Saveur's website:
In SAVEUR’s ongoing mission to chronicle “a world of authentic cuisine,” we find what we’re looking for more and more in one place: online. We’re thrilled to shine a light on the very best of the best in the second annual SAVEUR Best Food Blog Awards — and we need your help. After going through all your nominations for the best blogs, posts, and photographs on the web, we’ve narrowed the field down to finalists in each category — and it’s time for you to pick a winner! Voting is open from April 26 – May 12. We’ll reveal the winners on May 17. Start voting today!
Head over to Saveur to vote your faves but check out the categories for a few of my favorites:
Smitten Kitchen (http://smittenkitchen.com/)
Traveler’s Lunchbox (http://www.travelerslunchbox.com/)
Alinea at Home (http://alineaathome.com/)
Remember, voting ends on May 12!
P.S. Anyone else checking out the Future of Food Conference live? Prince Charles said some very inspiring things about agriculture.
"The entire food system is at the mercy of the increasing price of oil."
"We must have 'agri-culture', not 'agri-business'."
The current panel is on the future of agriculture, but panels III & IV are beginning at 2:15 and 3:15 and are on Health & Nutrition and the future of International Food, respectively. Check it out!
Friday, April 29, 2011
The Mediterranean flavors quite simply sing and compliment the cod beautifully. I served it on top a bed of steamed spinach (though sautéed would be tastier) and tri-color orzo (Go full throttle on that one- make it with chicken stock and mix in some of the tapenade) but a nice rice pilaf and roasted veggies would be nice accompaniments.
Like many people out there, I woke up early this morning to watch "The Royal Wedding" (which will most likely be referred to in exasperated whispers and clasped hands from now on. Heretofore written only in quotes. Seriously it's a big deal). Because of the miracle of DVR, I was able to wake up at 6:30 am instead of 4, but I still want my "early morning wake-up street cred".
This being the biggest royal wedding in I-don't-know-30-years(!) they really pulled out all the stops. But for me it wasn't about the dress (it was beautiful!), the celebrity guests (Posh & Becks looked amazing but her "fascinator" had some sort of parasite (wink, wink)) or even the first fairytale kiss (yes, it was très adorable), for me it's all about the food!
Obviously "The Royal Wedding" wasn't going to have a reception following the church like many of us are used to in America so it's been interesting to see what kinds of celebrations will be going on throughout the day (Fun fact: There will be a dance party at the palace tonight and rumor has it, MOH and sister of the new HRH stood up to the Queen herself and had disco balls installed).
One event that sparked my interest is the lunchtime reception held by the Queen. According to the official Royal Wedding website, "The Queen is giving a lunchtime Reception at Buckingham Palace for around 650 guests drawn from the Wedding Service congregation, representing the Couple’s official and private lives."
Considering the 6 hour time difference, this is old news but who cares! It's almost lunch time in New Jersey and I'm hungry!Since this blog was borne out of my love for appetizers, I simply had to share the menu with you all.
Doesn't the phrase "Scottish Langoustines with Lemon Mayonnaise Pressed Confit of Pork Belly with Crayfish and Crackling" give you the warm & fuzzies?
The website is also so kind as to give us a play-by-play of the luncheon as well as assurances that the food is locally sourced (Bravo Royals!)
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Again, why is this important?
In my opinion, there are three very good reasons for eating seasonally: nutrition, freshness, environmental damage.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Hi guys. I’ve been feeling a little under the weather lately and haven’t been up for blogging so much. However, I promise I’ll have a whole bunch of new content this week starting with this great lunch/snack/side dish item.
Let me begin by telling you why I love this vegetable. My mother, a pure-blooded Italian-American, is generally more of the Semi-Homemade Sandra Lee School of Cooking, as opposed to the Pancia Mia Fatti Capanna Italian Nonna School of Cooking. She’s a good cook but like many mothers, she likes her short cuts and recipes her mother used to make rarely made it to the dinner table (They did occasionally make it to the holiday table which is why I was blessed to eat Calamari and Anguilla as a child…right up until my cousin told me they were eel and squid! Forgiveness for this is impossible.).
Also like most mothers, Mom tried not to buy pricier items until they came on sale. This accounted for the “extreme cereal binges” of my youth in which my mother would purchase multiple boxes of my favorite cereals and then vigorously encourage me to eat them all before they expired (To this day I have difficulty opening that cabinet in her kitchen).
There were a few family dishes that my mom did make for us and steamed artichokes is one of them. Due to the high price of artichokes, this precious commodity only came around when there was a sale, which made them a delicious treat for my sister and I to enjoy.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
|Sorry for the cell phone picture!|
You may have noticed a string of healthy posts on my blog in the past week. There's a reason for that. I'm on a diet (insert melodramatic music here). Specifically, I'm on the 17 Day Diet, a diet that involves tricking your body's metabolism into burning more fat, thus creating weight loss. All kidding aside, it's fairly strict but not all that difficult to follow. I'm actually quite happy with the results so far.
Anyway, the worst part of this diet is all the salads! I hate salads! I like my lettuce stuffed in sandwiches or buried under a pile of pulled pork. On this diet, I may have gotten used to salads but that doesn't mean I have to like them. Enter the 17 Day Diet Eggplant Parmesan.
This is a great meal to break up the monotony of most diets. It may not be your grandma's eggplant, but it's a healthy, simple, and surprisingly tasty alternative. I've had it a few times and been very happy with the results.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
But trust me, they're worth it.
These little crisps are a healthy, tasty, innovative (and trendy!) alternative to classic potato chips and really easy to make.
There are a few different versions floating around the internet, some with vinegar and others with seasonings like chili powder, but I think simple is the best way to go (at least to start).
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Recently, I began taking classes at the Institute of Culinary Education (recreational for now). It has been a wonderful experience and I’ve met many amazing people—from the instructors to the sous chefs (Shout out to Jesus!) and students.
One of my classes was on risotto. Now let me tell you something. I love risotto. I try to make it as much as possible because risotto is definitely a dish you get better at over time. So, when I saw this class, I quickly signed up. I also love mushrooms, so when I was tasked with preparing the Mushroom risotto (more on that below), I was on cloud nine!
Our instructor was the incredibly talented Peter Berley. Chef Berley was former executive chef at the world-renowned Angelica Kitchen, an organic, plant-based restaurant. He has also written numerous books, including the recent Flexitarian Table: Inspired, Flexible Meals for Vegetarians, Meat Lovers, and Everyone in Between, which is an amazing book that not only helps meat-lovers and vegetarians share meals together in a way that doesn’t require the vegetarian to eat side dishes or the host to cook a separate meal, it also helps you think seasonally(Remember, not only does choosing in-season fruits and vegetables give you more flavor, in-season produce also contains more nutrients)
I’ve worked with Chef Berley before and I was excited, not only to try out different risotto dishes but to discover different grains (farro, barley, rye berries) to use to prepare “risotto style” dishes. To be a true risotto, a dish requires a short-grain rice such as the popular Arborio. However, you can prepare risotto-like dishes using the same or similar methods.
Here are a few steps to making a typical risotto:
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
I recently stumbled upon this interesting article about “the recipe for the most astonishing cookbook of our time,”…or so says the Wall Street Journal.
“Take one multimillionaire computer genius, a team of 36 researchers, chefs and editors and a laboratory specially built for cooking experiments. After nearly four years of obsessive research, assemble 2,400 pages of results into a 47-pound, six-volume collection that costs $625 and requires four pounds of ink to print.”
Apparently this Nathan Myhrvold guy, a former chief technology officer for Microsoft who holds two master’s degrees and a doctorate in mathematical physics, decided that Microsoft was really getting in the way of his cooking, quit his job, and got to work on this book.
Whether this book really is a “game changer” as their touting it, is a mystery to me and is likely to remain that way. I certainly won’t be spending the $625 to find out (er…at least not now).
The Journal article did, however, select a few “counterintuitive nuggets of wisdom” for us poor folks and I picked out one that I thought was really interesting.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
One day, when pondering what to pair with my lobster tail, I came up with the idea for “Outside-In Lobster & Mashed Potatoes”—a quick & easy recipe that involves “butterflying the tail”, cooking the lobster using the method of pulling the tail meat out of its shell (but keeping it attached and resting it on top) and then stuffing the hollow shell with mashed potatoes, so the yummy lobster juices seep into potatoes imparting yummy lobster flavor.
Friday, February 11, 2011
This idea started when I fell in love with a book I received for Christmas, "Hors D'Oeuvres" by Eric Treuille & Victoria Blashford-Snell.
Have you looked at something and something inside you just clicked? That's how I felt when I began looking through this book; it was as if I had found the man of my dreams. Once I picked it up I couldn't put it down again until I thoroughly read through every recipe.
Why this book?
I cook a lot, so this wasn't my first experience with a cookbook. Nor is it my first encounter with the delectable subset of cuisine known as hors d'oeuvres, appetizers, tapas, amuse bouche...whatever you like to call them, for that is one of my favorite things to make. It's something else.
It's the way the book is done. Everything is laid out like a house. They give you solid foundations and many different options to build different rooms and different additions.
You'll see what I mean soon. I can't wait to get started...