Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving goodness

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving weekend! Mine was full of family, friends, and food. Hm, the 3 F's.  For this year's Thanksgiving I was in charge of appetizers. I scoured the cookbook for something great to bring to share with my family. Onions seemed to be heavily present in both of the recipes I chose.
#1. Butternut squash and caramelized onion galette.(Don't worry, I googled it too)
#2. French onion soup toasts.

Butternut Squash and caramelized onion galette. Sounds fancy doesn't it? Well be prepared to have your family/friends ooh and ahh at this creation and it was simple as can be. One of the things I love most about this cookbook is the short and sweet ingredient list.

The filling: butternut squash, caramelized onions and fontina cheese. The recipe called for 2.5 lbs of butternut squash and mine was less than 2 lbs so I subbed a kabocha squash. This japanese pumpkin is my favorite squash. I believe you can buy them at the regular grocery store but they're kind of pricey. If you have an asian market near you, i'd look there. Very inexpensive. Probably 1/3 of the price than the ones in the regular grocery stores.  The squash tastes similar to butternut but I'd say it's even butterier and creamier. Mmmm. You can actually eat the skin of this squash, but for this recipe's purpose... I peeled it. Be careful though, tough tough skin. I peeled right through to my finger.  Anyhoo, The crust was simple as well. Flour, butter, greek yogurt, salt, and white wine vinegar. Be prepared to impress with this one. and it was SO delicious. Very filling. I topped mine off with a little bit of goat cheese and it was to die for.

French onion soup toasts. This recipe is BRILLIANT! Sautee those onions until they are caramelized, add in some brandy and beef broth and you've got your onions. Throw some on french baguette toasts and topped with grated gruyere and voila! You've got yourself the simplest appetizer to please a crowd. These were getting eaten left and right. They would be great to bring to a party. I will be making this in the future for sure!

Mom made the rest of the food, and everything was mouthwatering delicious. Turkey, brussel sprouts, sausage stuffing, corn pudding, green bean salad, sweet potato casserole, and finished off with a New Orleans Bourbon bread pudding.  Food coma for the rest of the weekend.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Make peace with stress

This past Sunday my boyfriend and I attended a workshop at Charm City Yoga. Stephannie Weikert led a 2 hour workshop that helped showcase the yogic way to handle stress. We all know that daily stress sneaks into our lives. Stress can be extremely detrimental to your health so learning the different ways to cope with these difficulties was exactly what the doctor ordered during the holidays. There was pranayama {breathwork}, a physical practice, meditation and savasana.
The physical practice was really interesting because the class would be led into a difficult pose and we would be prompted to pay attention to how we were feeling, how stress would build and how to bring the body back to neutral. We would practice reigning in our mind when it would wander.  There were restorative postures at the end which I just ate up. They were deeeelicious. I have fallen in love with restorative classes it was the perfect way for me to end the practice.
If you're in the Baltimore area, try to check out a workshop. They're currently offering multiple community workshops with advanced teachers for $6. An amazing deal to dive deeper into your practice.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Recipe #3 & 4: Green Me

The holidays are here, and with them come the foods we all know and love. Unfortunately I tend to forget about veggies during this time. When looking for my next recipes to try I decided to go green. I went with vinegar slaw with cucumbers and dill, and kale salad with cherries and pecans.

I love me some colelaw. Usually my go-to is slathered in a pulled pork sandwich to give an addiitonal cool and creamy crunch. A vinegar slaw is nice because it's light and fresh. This was a really simple recipe that I think gets better the longer it sits and soaks up with dressing. I substituted dried dill instead of fresh and halved the amount. This recipe would be great for a summer BBQ.

Recipe #2 was a kale salad with cherries and pecans. This used lacinato (dinosaur) kale. This kale is beautiful and I especially love it for my fresh veggie/fruit juices. The salad started off with a bowl of chiffonade kale. Perfect ribbons of kale topped with toasted pecans, chopped dried cherries, fresh goat cheese and a tangy mustard vinaigrette. A shockingly simple dressing that was made in a less than a minute. Once the dressing has been added and tossed, you let it sit for an additional 20 minutes. I was surprised at how mellow the kale was. Not too bitter at all this was a beautiful salad.

Served alongside some turkey, gravy and biscuit.

Now, where's the pumpkin roll?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Recipe #2: Tomato Scallion Shortcakes with Whipped Goat Cheese

What a relaxing Sunday it was. Woke up bright and early, went on a nice quick run, cleaned the apartment and cooked, cooked, cooked.

Tomato scallion shortcakes with whipped goat cheese was up on the list.  A savory scallion biscuit was the base and was my favorite part. I'll let it be known that tomatoes aren't one of my most beloved foods. In sandwiches i'll pull them out, i'll eat around them in salads, but I try over and over again to love them.  It may just not be in the cards for me.

It was my first time making biscuits and it was surprisingly quick and simple. Breads tend to be intimidating to me, but these biscuits came out really well. Fluffy inside and a nice golden crust. I had a hot biscuit on the side with some butter and it was divine. I also think they'd be really nice for a breakfast sandwich.
Tomato lovers, this recipe is for you. For me? I'm taking away a nice savory biscuit recipe, and the whipped goat cheese was divine.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Recipe #1: Gingerbread Dutch Baby

What is a dutch baby you ask? I wondered the same thing.
Deb describes it as a mix of a French crepe and an American pancake. I'd say it's the best of both worlds.
This was literally the easiest breakfast to make. As long as you have a blender, the prep is done in less than 5 minutes, and is in the oven in 15. While the dutch baby is in the oven, it gives you the time you need to make a pot of coffee and warm up the syrup.
I made a few substitutions.
I subbed maple syrup for molasses, 2% milk instead of whole, and left out the cloves and ginger and added in a little more cinnamon.

All ingredients are thrown in a blender, then you pour it into a hot buttered cast iron skillet. 15 minutes in the oven and you've got yourself your very own dutch baby. Once out of the oven, I drizzled with some heavy cream and maple syrup. Served alongside a hot cup of coffee, and voila! The ideal fall breakfast.

Cook the Book: Smitten Kitchen

So i've always had the want/need to cook through an entire cookbook. The only problem is that I could never find a cookbook that made me want to try every recipe.
Let it be known, the time has come! I have found it.

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook  by Deb Perelman

I've followed Deb's blog for a while now. She lives in NYC, and creates these perfect recipes in a small city kitchen. Some of the things I love the most about her recipes: simple ingredient list, whole foods, and delicious outcomes.  Every recipe i've made on her blog has turned out flawless.

When I was searching for a new recipe to make the other week I saw that her cookbook had come out and I immediately knew I had to have it. It's under $20 at amazon, but when I saw it at Target at 30% off sticker price, I bought it on the spot. A little more expensive at Target, but worth the immediate satisfaction.

Well, after sifting through the book i've decided this is the one. I'm going to cook the book.
The book has 105 recipes and is broken up into the following:

  • Breakfast
  • Salads
  • Sandwiches, tarts and pizzas
  • The main dish: Vegetarian
  • The main dish: Seafood, poultry, and meat
  • Sweets
  • Party snack and drinks
I'm going to go in no particular order, but i'm going to give myself a goal time of 1 year to complete. I'll make substitutions here and there depending on what I have in my cabinets, but for the most part will try to follow the recipes as is. 

Busting out the apron, it's go time. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

from class to dinner

Hello all!
I wanted to share my new favorite yoga pants. What I love most about them is that I can wear them to the studio, or I can wear them out.
These are the Under Armour Studiolux Noir Moto Pant. They have leather looking insets on the front of the leg, and mesh insets on the back. When I first saw these on a friend, I thought they were some awesome leather leggings. When I found out they were yoga pants my heart melted a little more. I love anything that has multiple purposes, and this my friends is my latest find. To wear these around town, slap some tall boots on, a long tunic, sweater and scarf and we've got ourselves a perfect fall/winter outfit.
These dry amazingly quick as well. I wear them to my hot vinyasa classes and I've been really impressed with the dry time. 

You can find them on the UA website. And while they run a little pricey at $108, at least you can tell yourself you're buying 2 for 1 here :)


Hope you enjoy! Lots of food, yoga, and fun to come.