Friday, August 29, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
- 3 ounces of grilled sockeye salmon seasoned with basil, served over three crisp lettuce leaves and lightly drizzled with homemade blueberry/lemon rind reduction (God bless my boyfriend)
- Thick slices of fresh heirloom tomatoes
- Steamed asparagus lightly drizzled with fake butter
- Heart-healthy Cono Sur Carmenere - a note on this wine. According to its website, Cono Sur is the first vineyard in the world to achieve global CarbonNeutral delivery status on all its global exports of Cono Sur and Isla Negra wines. This means CO2 emissions have been measure and balanced to net zero through Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction projects. Good for them! Cheers to drinking green!
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
- Sotoccenere with truffles and Rancol cheeses to start, paired with slices of fresh starfruit
- Grilled eggplant risotto
- Carmelized broccoli with garlic
- Turkish tomato salad with fresh herbs
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
So I called mom, and here's the zucchini bread recipe she shared with me. The following ingredients are enough for 3 loaves of bread. Divide accordingly for fewer loaves.
- 3 cups flour
- 3 cups sugar
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 1.5 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cinammon
- 4 eggs
- 1.5 cups vegetable oil
- 2 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 1.5 tsp almond extract
- 3 cups grated zucchini
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl (no raisins or zucchini). Combine wet ingredients in separate bowl and add to dry mix until moistened. Fold in zucchini, pecans and raisins.
Pour into pre-greased and floured pan. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes, remove and enjoy! Serve warm with vanilla ice cream for a subtley sweet treat.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
So last night I made a fresh tomato and olive "sauce" for spaghetti. I say "sauce" because this wasn't your typical fluid sauce with a smooth consistency. This was a chunky, hearty sauce that showed off all the ingredients. I used a little too much olive oil to warm up the skillet, but the recipe was otherwise simple and tasty for a quick dinner.
- Dice 2 medium ripe tomatoes
- Slice 1 can of medium pitted black or assorted olives
- Mince a handful of fresh basil leaves
- Heat olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat
- Add sliced olives and heaping spoonfuls of garlic (to taste) to skillet and let simmer for about 5 minutes
- Add diced tomatoes and minced basil
- Stir and continuing simmering for about 10 minutes, or until your house smells like garlic and olive oil :)
- Serve over 1/2 pound of boiled spaghetti noodles
- Sprinkle Parmesan cheese to your liking
My brother gave me Giada de Laurentiis' Everyday Italian cookbook for my birthday, and I'm excited to start mastering Italian sauces. Don't hold your breath, though. According to the Italians I know, it takes years to master the perfect sauce. Check back in with me when I hit 50.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Diana, who is completely perplexed at the content on this blog (her memories of my cooking include me burning canned ravioli and eating cookies covered in garlic) bought me a very thoughtful gift. As a fellow blogger, she knows the importance of capturing your thoughts while you're in the moment, so she treated me to a vintage Italian journal to record my culinary fancies when I'm out and about. And cocktail napkins for any drop-in visitors :)
We came back to my parents' house in Massanutten for a block party with all Elk Lane neighbors. I had NO idea who anyone was, but I will give major kudos for the hearty potluck buffet. Southern potlucks are to die for. I try to eat healthy all the time, but when the southern casseroles and creamy salads line up, I'm a complete sucker. Bowtie macaroni salad, broccoli-grape salad, homestyle green beans with ham, baked beans with green peppers, Amish potato salad, smoked pork and homemade BBQ chicken wings...and $300 dollar cake, courtesy of my mom.
My dad and mom had come prepared with birthday candles and matches, so they sang Happy Birthday to me in our neighbor's garage over mom's orange cake with butter cream icing and pecans. Random setting, but perfect outcome :)
But by 9:00pm, I was small-talked out. Baby showers and block parties had me spent. Today we're celebrating my sister's birthday, and we're currently preparing a feast of grilled shrimp with mango chutney over coconut rice with root beer floats for dessert. Can someone please roll me back to Baltimore?
Friday, August 1, 2008
It's been a while since I've been to Paolo's, but they had just the after work cocktail I needed - a gorgeous light pink glass of white sangria. I'm usually a red sangria girl, but our charming server said a famed chef from DC swears the white is the best sangria he's had in a long time.
Ok, twist my arm. Ladies and gentlemen, it was delicious! Light and fruity, full of pineapple with a splash of grapefruit. Don't mind if I have another!
Just for kicks, Lindsay and I split the crispy eggplant served on top of marinara with a "puff of goat cheese", according to the menu, and the portabello mushroom bruschetta with roasted peppers, pesto and balsamic syrup.
But little did I know I had a pre-birthday dinner being prepared at home for me! More on that later...
Bin hosts GoG about twice a week every week after work, and we've come to cherish this one hour (that we usually drag into 2 by closing the shop down). I would HIGHLY recommend this club to any girlfriends looking for an excuse to drink wine in a great shop and play catch up. Ryan is typically our sommelier for the tastings, and she's incredibly knowledgeable and gracious as we get louder with each new tasting :)
Wednesday was our GoG for July, and we sampled six Roses. To be honest, I didn't fall for any of them, but I appreciated the variety of blends and regions. Four of the wines were from France, one from Spain and one from Austria. One takeaway lesson: only drink new Roses. If they're a 2005 or younger, don't buy them. They need to be enjoyed while they're young.
Since my friends and I kept chatting away after the class officially ended, Ryan treated us to tastes of the new 2007 Cat Amongst the Piegons Shiraz - one of my favorites!
I left the store with a bottle of champagne, Cat Amongst the Pigeons 2007 Shiraz, and a Cabernet Sauvignon from The Show - a smoky, brooding wine that I fell in love with at a previous GoG.