Saturday, October 24, 2009

Grapes with Goat Yoghurt and Brown Sugar

My mother used to make a very simple dessert she called 'Russian Grapes'. It was basically green grapes, sour cream and a sprinkle of brown sugar on top. Now, I'm not sure what makes that dish Russian, but I always really liked it. I had a Mexican friend who made a similar dessert with fresh strawberries, and topped them with the Mexican crema and sprinkled them with brown sugar. So, since I have a bunch of red grapes, and I just love goat yoghurt, I gave made an adaptation of this, and I am loving it! The easiest dessert ever....and simple, healthy and pretty. So, do you really need a recipe? Oh, and for those of you who ask me if I style my food when I'm at home cooking, these photos I took should answer that question. Hey, I just want to make some food that I like to eat! Enjoy!
(Okay, here's what I did, for those of you who want a recipe....
Grapes and Goat Yoghurt
serves 4
2 cups washed red grapes
1/2 cup plain goat yoghurt
1/4 cup brown sugar
Wash grapes and divide into 4 cups. Drizzle each cup with 2 Tablespoons goat yoghurt and sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon brown sugar.)

Roasted Cauliflower with Walnuts, Orange zest and Parmesan

After talking about how much I love roasted cauliflower with a friend at work this week, I just had to make it and 'scratch that itch'. So, I made a pan of roasted cauiflower, and it was so delicious and soul-satisfying, that I just had to blog about here it is...

Roasted Cauliflower with Walnuts and Parmesan Cheese
serves 4

1 head cauliflower, cored and chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
zest of one orange
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle 2 Tablespoons olive oil into an 8x8" baking dish and toss in the cauliflower, orange zest, walnuts and salt and pepper. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese, and then drizzle with remaining 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy warm or at room temperature. I could pretty much just eat the whole pan in one sitting, but it really is a great side dish for all kinds of things. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Kale Chips...the latest, greatest thing!

Here is a recipe that has been my favorite thing all summer, and will help us enjoy our abundance of kale from our garden well into the fall! My friend Pegi Lee brought some of these tasty chips into the studio one day, and we all immediately fell in love with them...I mean, what's not to like about crispy, salty, and healthy chips! I have adapted the recipe a little, but really, it is so simple to do.
Here's how you do it....

Kale Chips
makes about 4 cups

1 healthy bunch kale (ruffled kale is the prettiest, but dinosaur kale, or other varieties work great, too. I even use the leaves of broccoli!)
1/3 cup Bragg Amino acids
1/4 cup Gemasio, or other sesame seed and salt rice seasoning
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Wash and dry the kale leaves, cut out the stem and cut into large 'chip' sized pieces. In a large bowl toss the kale pieces with Bragg's and then toss with the Gemasio. Arrange the kale chips in a single layer on a cooling rack placed over a cookie sheet. Place the chips in the oven to dehydrate for about 20-25 minutes, turning chips over halfway through the baking time. When the chips are crisp, remove from oven and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container until ready to eat. Enjoy with 'Bloody Mary's' made from fresh garden tomatoes! To customize, try adding a dusting of wasabi powder, or some Japanese rice seasoning with Nori, Bonito flakes, and other tasty additions.
Thanks to Katie Holm for shooting the Kale chips and Bloody Mary's, and to Betsy Thayer for pulling awesome props....all thrift store finds! Thanks also for enjoying the drinks with me! Rod Komis shot the lovely kale still life shots...Thanks Rod!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Thai Basil Mojito

Thai basil has such a lovely sort of perfume-y quality, and I just love to use it to flavor sauces, water, and cocktails. Here is my favorite version of the classic mojito, replacing the mint with Thai Basil. Here's how I do it...
In a tall glass, muddle several Thai basil leaves with 1 teaspoons sugar, and cut 1/2 lime into wedges, juicing them into the glass and then dropping a few of them in the glass as well. Add 1-2 ounces of white rum, and fill with some crushed ice and seltzer water. Stir with a fresh lemongrass stalk and enjoy!

*The beautiful photos are taken by David Schmidt of Maki Strunc Photography. Thanks, Dave!

Blueberries, Basil and Cream...oh my!

The flavor of wild blueberries is so distinctly different from cultivated blueberries, and because of all the work involved in picking them, it seems really important to serve them in a way that doesn't cover up their flavor with a whole lot of other ingredients. I found that basil pairs nicely with the tart and slightly earthy flavor of the blueberries. This is a very simple recipe, using only 4 ingredients, blueberries, purple basil, sugar and cream. It's basically beautiful, too!

Blueberries, Basil and Cream
serves 4
1 cup wild blueberries
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup chopped purple basil
2 Tablespoons sugar
Stir the basil and sugar into the cream and chill for at least 2 hours to infuse the basil into the cream. Strain out basil and lightly whip the cream until slightly foamy and thickened. Ladle the basil cream onto each place and top with blueberries. Garnish with a few purple basil leaves.

*The lovely photo was taken by David Schmidt of Maki Strunc Photography. Thanks, Dave!