Archive for January, 2012

January 31, 2012

Life Lesson: The secret.

The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their troubles.

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January 30, 2012

Food: Soba Noodle and Tofu Soup with Baby Bok Choy.

I had this for lunch and dinner. In one day. It is that good.

Talk about refreshing. I had the beginning of a cold or the end of a cold – I have felt ‘stuffed up’ for the last couple of weeks, so I’m not sure if it is coming or going. Don’t be worried about me. I’ll live.

Back to the soup. It made me feel so much better. The fresh ginger (I just typed fresh finger :)), soy and¬†hoisin¬†kicked the ‘stuffiness’ out of my system. Plus the heat from the Sriracha knocked¬†everything out of the door.

Enough of this sick stuff. Just look at this.

I want more right now..but it is the morning, so I might have to wait.

Soba Noodle and Tofu Soup with Baby Bok Choy

makes 1 1/2 quarts

Ingredient:

  • 1 tablespoon dried crimini mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 quart vegetable stock
  • 1/4 white onion, sliced
  • soba noodles (a quarter – the coin- amount of noodles)
  • 1-2 baby bok¬†choy’s, separated into individual pieces
  • 1 heaping teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 heaping teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 1¬†tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (low-sodium)
  • 1 squirt (or more) Sriracha
  • 1/4 of a extra firm tofu block, cut into small cubes
  • 1 heaping pinch of freshly chopped cilantro
  • 1 scallion, chopped

Method:

1. Reconstitute the dried crimini mushrooms in hot water, in a small bowl. Let sit.

2. In a medium-sized stockpot, pour vegetable stock. Bring to a rapid simmer. Add onions. Bring back to a rapid simmer and add soba noodles. Cook noodles for 4 minutes. Remove crimini mushrooms from liquid, chop finely. Add 1 tablespoon of the mushroom liquid to the vegetable broth and noodle mixture on the stove. Add the chopped mushrooms as well.

3. Then add ingredients bok choy through Sriracha. Mix to incorporate sauces. Cook for an additional 1 minutes or until soba noodles are done.

4. Turn heat off. Add tofu and stir carefully. Add half of cilantro and chopped scallion. Serve in large warm bowls. Garnish with remaining cilantro and scallion. Enjoy hot!

 

January 27, 2012

Food: Roasted Cauliflower with Spiced Coconut Milk.

Do you like Cauliflower?

Cauliflower steaks are all over the food blog world right now. In an effort to be apart of the cool crowd, I made these. My take..and of course since my current obsession involves curry (and cilantro), I had to add some to this.

Cutting the cauliflower head into ‘steak’ gives this dish more of a meaty consistency…you need a knife.

The caramelization (whoa, that’s a long word) that comes from roasting makes fireworks in your mouth. The depth of flavor that is brings to the cauliflower – that can be somewhat bland – is bland no more!

Love this picture. Look at the detail!

Roasted Cauliflower with Spiced Coconut Milk

Enough for 2 heafy portions.

Ingredients:

  • Olive Oil
  • 1 Cauliflower¬†head
  • 1/2 can coconut milk
  • 1 heaping teaspoon ground¬†Garam Masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 squirt of Sriracha
  • pinch of each salt and pepper
  • 1 large pinch of freshly chopped parsley

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Olive oil a sheet pan with sides.

1. Cut¬†the end¬†with the¬†leafs off of cauliflower head. Cut into ‘steaks’, approximately 1 inch thick. Place on prepared sheet pan. Put in oven for 18 minutes – or until browned on the bottom.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Combine the remaining ingredients (not parsley), in a small saute pan. Whisk to combine over medium-low heat. Once a slow simmer begins and it is heated through, turn heat off. Place cauliflower steaks in pan, one at a time. Flip over to coat each side with the sauce. Repeat until all steaks are coating, adding the steaks to a serving plate.

3. Top with parsley and remaining sauce. Eat right away!

January 26, 2012

Life Lesson: Always Remember.

Always remember to tell the people in your life that you care about….that you care about them. It only takes seconds for them to be¬†in heaven. Hugs. Emails. Cards. Random acts of affections.

January 25, 2012

Food: Breakfast Sausage and Pepper Frittata with Guryere.

The most important word in this blog post title is Gruyere. Let’s be honest…that cheese is heaven.

Anyway.

In a second of despiration…I mean, I needed a second to realize that I need to change the usual weekend breakfast.

I am sure you have never heard of a frittata.

Well this is what it looks like. Looks fancy, huh? It is.

Peppers, sausage, cheese, eggs, parsley…sourdough toast! Yes, please!

Breakfast Sausage and Pepper Frittata with Guyere

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3/4¬†breakfast sausage
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow/orange pepper, chopped
  • 5 eggs, scrambled
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 pinches of parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup grated gruyere cheese

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1. In a medium-sized non-stick saucepan (one that can go in the oven), turn heat to medium. Cook sausage for 2-3 minutes, until almost cooked through. Add peppers and saute for 2-3 more minutes.

2. Mix eggs, milk, salt and pepper, parsley and red pepper flakes together. Once combined, add to pan with sausage and peppers. Sprinkle cheese on top. Put into preheated oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Checking half way through. Move the pan slightly to see if egg mixture has set. If it moves, it needs more time. Should puff up and be browned on top. Turn on broiler, if needed to brown the top.

3. Let cool for 1 minute before slicing into. Serve with toast, hot sauce, ketchup or on its own!

January 23, 2012

Food: Coconut Green Curried Lentils with Sweet Potato.

Yes, I am eating more and more vegetarian meals.

And I am liking it.

This is a spicy dish. Make sure you have a glass of water next to you.

The sweet potato cuts the spicy green curry! It’s one of those perfect combinations. I swear. You are just going to have to try it. For real this time.

Coconut milk. Cilantro…obcessed, if you didn’t know.

Coconut Green Curried Lentils with Sweet Potato

Makes enough for 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon Olive oil
  • 1 Sweet Potato, cooked
  • 1/2 can of Coconut milk
  • 1 heaping tablespoon Green Curry Paste
  • 1/4 cup or more Cilantro, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • Lentils (see note below)

Method:

1.  In a medium-sized saucepan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Dice sweet potato into medium size bites. Put into saucepan. Saute for a couple of minutes until the sides of the potato pieces are brownish Рtoss occasionally. Turn heat down to medium low. Add coconut milk, curry paste and cilantro.

2. Stir gently to fully incorporate ingredients without breaking apart the potato. Taste and add salt and pepper. Add lentils – I added about 3/4 cup per serving. Heat for 30 seconds, until everything is heated through and combine.

3. Serve and enjoy hot! …add more cilantro to the top for more garnish and color ūüôā

*Cooking Lentils: I don’t measure – this could be a bad thing for you if you are following this recipe to a ‘t’. I poured about 1 cup of lentils into a pot an about 2 1/2 cups of vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, cover slightly and turn down heat for a rapid simmer. Stir occasionally and check the liquid – you may need to add more. Test the lentils for doneness – they should still have somewhat of a bite to them but not be complete baby food – somewhere in the middle is perfect! I would say roughly 20 minutes. In this recipe, I made the lentils the night before and chilled them overnight.

January 19, 2012

Check it out!

I am the Paperblog’s Blogger of the Day today!

If you haven’t checked out their website, do so. It is a great way to explore all kinds of blogs…on one site!

Here is the link to the food and drink section…my Mexican Bean Salad is front and center!¬†http://en.paperblog.com/food-drink/

January 19, 2012

Food: Mexican Bean Salad.

My pantry is always stocked with canned beans. I love adding beans to almost anything…wrapping them in a corn tortilla and some cheese…quick little snack is heavenly.

If you can open a can and dice a pepper, you can make this. Just check out the colors. Instantly eye appealing.

It’s crunchy too!

I get hungry just looking at these pictures.

Check out the Method. Yes, you are seeing that correctly, only 1 step!

This is even better made a day or two before eating. The beans soak up all the spice and taste even better.

Mexican Bean Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed quickly
  • 1 can white/cannilini beans, drained and rinsed quickly
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, diced
  • 1/2 orange pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 heaping tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, fine diced, seeds removed, if desired
  • zest of half 1 lemon
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cumin
  • 1 heaping teaspoon medium chili powder
  • 1 heaping teaspoon smoked paprika
  • pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • pinch ground chipotle pepper
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

1. Combine all ingredients. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper and taste. Add more if needed. Eat or save for another day!

January 17, 2012

Food: Cilantro Sweet Potato Eggs.

I decided to eat a little bit healthier in 2012…in my head. I haven’t told anyone yet.

Focusing more on healthier breakfasts. I love bagels loaded with cream cheese. Actually any bread product slathered in butter or some form of cheese.

Those bread products aren’t really getting me going in the mornings…and they aren’t helping my mid-section either.

So in an effort to start my day off on the right foot…I added sweet potatoes!

This combination is worth a try. Sweetness from the potato, spice of the cilantro, creamy eggs, earthy mushrooms and just plain delicious gouda cheese…

If I had spinach, I would have added it to the eggs too. Next time.

Yes, I ate everything on the plate.

Just ignore that english muffin. It was for the photo shoot, Folks. Purely, used as a prop.

Cilantro Sweet Potato Eggs

enough for 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • handful of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 sweet potato, diced
  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • cilantro, rough chop
  • 2 pinches gouda cheese, grated
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

1. Heat small saucepan over medium heat. Melt butter. Add mushrooms to melted butter and saute until browned. Add eggs and milk (scramble together prior to pouring into pan).

2. Meanwhile, heat sweet potato in microwave for 30-45 seconds or until heated through.

3. When eggs are almost finished, add a heaping pinch of cilantro and gouda. Stir to combine and to finish cooking. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Add heated sweet potato to plate. Top with eggs. Sprinkle more cilantro, if desired. Eat right away.

 

January 16, 2012

Life Lesson: To try.

If you try something once and don’t like it. It doesn’t mean that you won’t like it the second thing. Always a good thing to try again.

January 13, 2012

Thoughts: Random Friday.

Happy Friday the 13th! Yikes. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Kidding.

I’ve been up since 6am cooking….now I’m eating eggs, as I type this.

I’m in for a crazy culinary weekend. Hope you eat lots of delicious food this weekend!

 

January 12, 2012

Food: Cauliflower Gratin.

I am going to tell you something.

Actually I am going to tell you what to do.

Make this. Tonight. This weekend. Whenever, just make it soon.

You will thank me.

Check out that gruyere and swiss. Party time!

Bread crumbs make it even better. There aren’t essential¬†but necessary.

Cauliflower Gratin

Adapted from Food Everyday, Fresh Flavor Fast.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 slices bread, torn into large pieces
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into small florets
  • Kosher Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated swiss cheese

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. In a food processor, pulse bread and parmesan until coarse crumbs form. Add dried thyme and 1/2 handful of cheese mixture. Mix with hands.

2. In large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour; cook, whisking constantly for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk.

3. Add cauliflower, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Cover, and cook until cauliflower is starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; gradually stir in Gruyere and Swiss cheese.

4. Transfer mixture to a 2 quart baking dish or individual ramekins. Sprinkle evenly with bread crumb mixture. Cover with aluminum foil; bake until cauliflower is just tender hen pierced with a knife. Remove foil, and continue to bake until bread crumbs are golden brown Рabout 20 minutes more. Serve hot!

 

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