Friday, February 26, 2010

Tuscan White Bean and Garlic Soup

No, this recipe isn't from Everyday Food or even Real Simple magazine, rather it is from one of Giada De Laurentiis' cook books "Giada's Kitchen", which I'm borrowing from our friends Joel and Katie. The soup turned out to be much thinner than I thought, which was a good thing because it meant the soup was lighter and less substantial (which I loved). And grilling the bread was such a good idea. I've never done it before, but I'll definitely remember this technique. My husband would suggest putting the bread in the bowl and pouring the soup over it, in his words it was "a very special experience".

For the Soup:
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 medium shallots, roughly chopped
2 sage leaves
2 15 oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed (or halved, either way is fine)
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup half and half (she uses 1/2 cup heavy cream)
dash of course salt
dash of fresh ground pepper

heat a large stock pot over medium heat. Add butter, oil and shallots and saute until shallots are tender, 3-4 minutes. Add sage leaves, beans and garlic and stir. Add chicken broth and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook 15-20 minutes or until garlic is tender. Puree half of the soup in a blender (make sure to get the sage leaves in there) and add it to the soup in the pot. Turn the heat to low and add the half and half and salt and pepper. Allow to sit for 8-10 minutes on low heat to allow the flavors to marry. Garnish with chopped, cooked bacon and/or sage leaves.

To grill the bread:
cut panna bello or ciabatta bread into slices and drizzle with olive oil.
Heat a skillet or grill pan over medium high heat. Grill the bread for 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown grill marks appear.



Toasted flax seeds
Chopped toasted walnuts
Feta cheese
Red wine vinaigrette

Toss it all in a bowl and eat it up.

New Blog Home!!!

Hello to the 5 people who read my blog! I've decided to move myself elsewhere on the internets:

Thanks for following me!

- xo Elly

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sandwich Times

Smoked turkey from Publix
Muenster Cheese

Slap it all on some Panna Bello Bread from Whole Foods and you're good to go! We ate these while watching the movie District 9 last night...that might not be the best movie to watch while eating food, but these were still quite scrumptious.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Delicious "lighter" Chocolate Cakes

This recipe is so easy and so so good, and it definitely doesn't taste "light".

1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup a.p. flour
1/4 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush either eight 8 oz ramekins or one 8"X8" pan with oil. Set aside for later. In a medium sized bowl sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda and salt. In a separate larger bowl, whisk together sugar, applesauce and oil until smooth. Whisk in egg white and vanilla. Add flour mixture and stir just until moistened.
Pour batter into the ramekins or pan and smooth the tops with a spatula. If using ramekins, place on a rimmed baking sheet before baking. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Serve with chocolate sauce, chopped nuts or fruit and ice cream.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lettuce Wraps

1/4 cup soy sauce
4 tsp fish sauce
4 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small serrano chile, miced
1 lb ground turkey
2 heads iceberg lettuce

2 cups cooked rice

shredded carrot
chow mein crispies
sesame seeds
lime slices

add soy sauce, fish sauce and sugar together in a small bowl and stir until sugar is dissolved.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add shallot, ginger, garlic and chile to pan and heat until fragrant, 30 seconds or so. Add turkey and 1/2 the sauce and cook until turkey is completely cooked, 5-6 minutes. Serve wrapped up in lettuce leaves topped with the carrot, crispies, seeds and limes

The night after I made this I did a variation using red bell peppers, onion and sugar snap peas. For the meat I used chicken thighs which I cooked and shredded and added at the same time I added the turkey in the recipe above. Both were really good. The ginger, shallot, garlic, chile added so much flavor it was amazing. I'll definitely do this again.

original recipe from everyday food jan/feb 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

The New Oatmeal

The most recent breakfast fetish in our home:
1/2 cup rolled oats made with 3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup almond milk, sea salt and vanilla
topped with:
maple nut granola (recipe below)
1/2 banana
Greek yogurt
maple syrup
flax seeds

Maple Nut Granola:
3 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 tsp sea salt
5 tsp veggie oil
5 tablespoons maple syrups
1 tsp vanilla extract

Bake in a 325 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.

*Next time I would add 2 tbsp of olive oil and 3 tbsp of honey. It was a little juice might help also. This is great on top of yogurt though!

original recipe from everyday food jan/feb 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Linguini in Tomato Sauce

Sometimes at the end of a long day all you want is some warm and familiar comfort food.

Boil 1/2 package of linguine according to directions on box
In a small pan saute 2 garlic cloves in 1 Tbsp olive oil for 1-2 minutes. Add 3 cups spinach a cup at a time waiting for it to shrink down as you go.
In a medium sized saucepan heat 1/2 container of spaghetti sauce over medium heat.

Drain pasta, toss with olive oil and portion it out into 4 bowls. To each bowl add the garlic/spinach, a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper. Lightly toss the pasta and add sauce to the top. Sprinkle with more Parmesan and a small amount of feta cheese. I also added some Tapatio to give it a little kick. Totally hit the spot!

Friday, February 19, 2010


I can't post the recipe for these because it's my own little secret, but I did want to post some pictures because they're just so cute! The boutique I work at had a Valentine's Day party last week and I made these cupcakes for the event.
These are only 2 of the many cakes that have been baked and madly consumed over the past few weeks. I'll post recipes for some of the other cakes soon, for now we can let the pictures speak for themselves.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Poached Eggs on Salad

This was my first time poaching an egg and though it wasn't without it's faults, the end result was fairly satisfactory.

The salad consisted of:
turkey bacon, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, cucumbers and chicken (from last night's dinner) and of course, a poached egg.
The dressing is simply: olive oil, red wine vinegar and s&p.

The egg poaching process was far easier than I imagined. First crack 3 eggs into 3 separate prep bowls. Fill a straight-sided saute pan with 2 inches of water. Warm the water over medium heat until small bubbles form on bottom and sides of the pan. Once a few bubbles break the surface of the water (a gentle simmer?), very gingerly pour the eggs into the water. Let them sit undisturbed for 3-4 minutes until whites are fully cooked and yolk is still runny. Gently release the egg from the bottom of the pan with a spatula. Remove the egg with a slotted spoon and shimmy it onto whatever you're serving it with. If the yolk is extra runny it can be used as part of the dressing for the salad...yuuum :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Pork Tenderloin with Polenta and Swiss Chard

This was my first experience ever making polenta from scratch and I was extremely pleased with the result. I saved the remainder and put it in an oiled dish which I later flipped over, cut into triangles and broiled for a few minutes to give it a crispy top. This may also have been the first time I've ever made pork tenderloin. These recipes are also from Everyday Food.

4 cups 2% milk
6 cups chicken broth
1 1/3 cups Bob's Red Mill "Corn Grits" or Polenta
salt and pepper
1, 1lb pork tenderloin cut into 12 thin slices
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil
2 medium yellow onions halved and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems cut into 1/2" pieces and leaves roughly chopped
2-3 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 tsp unsalted butter

In a large pasta pot, bring milk and 5 cups broth to a boil over med-high heat. Slowly whisk in the polenta and continue to whisk until polenta begins to thicken. Reduce heat to low and season with S&P. Simmer gently, stirring often until cooked, 25-30 minutes.
While polenta is cooking, flatten pork pieces with the palms of your hands. Season with course salt and pepper. Heat 1.5 tsp olive oil over medium high and cook the medallions in batches of 6. Cook until well browned on each side, 3-4 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
Return skillet to heat and add remaining olive oil, onions, chard stems and 1/4 cup of broth. Cook, scraping up all the brown bits until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 min. Add chard leaves and cook until wilted, 2-3 minutes. Add vinegar, the remaining broth and cook until liquid has nearly evaporated. Add pork to the top and stir lightly. Serve on top of warm polenta.

I also made Apple Spritzers:
combine 2 cups chilled club soda, 1 1/2 cups chilled apple juice and 10-12 dashes bitters, and 1 apple sliced into thin rounds. Serve over ice. (also good with whiskey added!)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Curried Chickpeas and Brown Rice

Curried Chickpeas:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
a pinch of cloves
2 cans chick peas
1 cup frozen peas
3 tablespoons ketchup
salt and pepper
chopped cilantro and lemon wedges for garnish

In a large straight-sided skillet. Heat oil over medium and add onion. Cook until dark brown around the edges, stirring occasionally, 6-8 minutes. Add garlic and spices and stir until fragrant, 20-30 seconds. Add chickpeas, peas, ketchup, salt and pepper and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 20-30 minutes or until liquid is slightly reduced and thickened (I added 1 tsp cornstarch+water paste to help it thicken). While chickpeas are cooking, make brown rice:

2 cups brown rice
4 cups water
pinch of salt
drizzle of olive oil

Add all ingredients to a medium sauce pan. Bring to a simmer, cover and turn heat to low. Cook until rice has absorbed all the water, 20-25 minutes.

Serve topped with curried chickpeas, lemon wedges (I used limes) and cilantro if desired.

recipe from Everyday Food, January/February 2010

Frittata with Biscuits

The recipe for the frittata is from Everyday Food and the recipe for the biscuits is from an ooooold edition of a Better Homes and Garden's cookbook. Yes the biscuit recipe uses shortening, but if this is only the second time I've ever used shortening I think we'll be alright. The important thin is that they are my first fluffy and light biscuits EVER! We ate them with copious amounts of salted butter and orange blossom honey. The frittata is especially good with extra shredded cheese and lots of Tapatio.

Spinach and Cheddar Frittata:
3 large eggs + 4 egg whites
6 tablespoons shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons whole milk
salt and pepper
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely minced
4 1/2 cups baby spinach

Place 4, 8 oz lightly oiled ramekins on a baking sheet and preheat oven to 450. Place the baking sheet with the ramekins in the oven while you prepare the frittata.
In a medium sized bowl, mix together eggs, 1/2 of the cheese, milk, a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
In a medium sized skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook 1-2 minutes. Add spinach a handful at a time and cook until just wilted. Add spinach mixture to eggs. Remove ramekins from oven and immediately divide the egg mixture among them. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and return to oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the frittata is puffed up and beginning to turn golden brown.

Fluffy Biscuits:
2 cups sifted AP flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup milk

Cut the shortening into the sifted dry ingredients until mixture resembles course crumbs. Make a well in the center and add the milk all at one time and stir quickly with a fork until dough follows the fork around the bowl (DO NOT OVER MIX!)
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently for 30 seconds (DO NOT OVER-KNEAD!). Roll dough to 1/2" thick and cut with biscuit cutter; do not twist or turn biscuit cutter while cutting-just go straight up and straight down. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. Best served warm.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bad Blogger!

I'm fully aware that the fastest way to lose blog readership is to be a sporadic poster, so I'm sorry I've been slow about posting lately! We haven't had the good camera (my husband's boss graciously lends it to us almost weekly) so I haven't been as excited about posting images of the food I've made...which is a damn shame cause I made some really really good food last week!
Updates will come tomorrow, if not tonight. Thank you for continuing to check up on my blog...don't give up on me yet!


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Eggs and Ramen

You can hardly tell because of all the veggies on top, but this is a delicious bowl of ramen noodles with an egg on top. One of the most satisfying and enjoyable dinners I make when we are completely out of foods to cook with. Just put some water in a pot, add the noodles, add the vegetables (if you so desire) and add 1/2 a ramen seasoning packet. Immediately crack an egg on top of the noodles, cover for several minutes or until it's cooked to your liking. Serve and top with Sriracha.