Monday, January 3, 2011

Fridge Cleanout Pizza

Our little one has been recovering from having her adenoids and tonsils removed so food has not been the top priority in our home.  However, when she woke up from a nap craving pizza, the good parents that we are indulged her.  My husband thought of this as a good excuse to clean out our fridge from the holidays and use what was still usable.  Let's just say that Maya was ravenous for her Fridge Cleanout Pizza.

 We used Trader Joe's herb pizza dough - it was really tasty for a pre-made dough.

  Trader Joe's pizza sauce was generously slathered over the dough.

 We then sprinkled Trader Joe's mix of four cheeses - not my favorite choice for pizza, but it did the job.

 The only "cook-like" thing done with the pizza was the toppings mis-en-place.  We had polish sausage, chopped bell peppers, sweet onions and garlic.

 This masterpiece enticed our Maya Rosie to have her first "real" meal since her surgery.  I think that her making the pizza with B. made it more interesting to her.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

My passion for cooking and writing has been renewed, especially by this chilly weather that we have been having in Los Angeles.  Rain, dark skies, and a nip in the air are what make me want to stay in and just cook, cook, and cook.  All that said, I hope that your new year brings you lots of good flavor, great new recipes, and good health.  Happy 2011!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembering Our Parisian Walks

During our last Spring Break, B., Maya, and I took a two week trip to London and Paris. Visiting Paris has been a dream of mine, and to spend a few days of Spring in the City of Lights was heavenly.  It was cold and rainy, but the idea of being in such a beautiful city, rich in art, culture, history, and cuisine, didn't stop us from wandering the narrow, crooked streets.  On our walks, we came upon lots of delicious finds. 

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Resolving to Eat Light - Salmon Cakes

When deciding upon a New Year's resolution, it seems like a futile task because before the first week of the New Year has passed, without doubt, I will have probably broken my resolution.  Most of my resolutions are weight related - exercise more, eat better, drink more water, etc.  This year, I am determined to lose 30lbs, but I am determined to do it the right way - by changing my outlook on food.  My emotions control my eating habits, but I have tried to educate myself to find foods that work in sync with maintaining my emotions - in a positive way.  In addition, I vow to do nothing drastic.  This will be a true change.  Let's hope this works.
To begin with, I started out by chosing a simple dish of salmon cakes that I could eat over a few days, and with with I could vary the accompaniment.  One day I had it with a small cucumber salad, and the next with steamed peas and carrots.  The cakes are rather easy to make.

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 15 ounces canned salmon, drained, or 1 1/2 cups cooked salmon
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten (seasoned with salt and pepper)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Garam Massala
  • 1 cup of mashed cauliflower
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
Once the ingredients were all mushed together I made my little cakes and put them in the fridge for about 30 minutes so that they would set.  Spraying the skillet with olive oil, I put them on the pan until each side was golden brown (about two minutes a side).  Then, I put them in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Parmesan Chicken a la The Barefoot Contessa

In the days that follow the Christmas feast, after rolling from party to party sampling everything that is rich, and luxurious, the dinner I am in search for is something light.  I am still rebelling against the need to diet after packing on the holiday pounds, but my system is yearning for something that is refreshing and new.  Doing away with recipes that may call for leftovers, I turned to my goddess, the Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten).  In her Barefoot Contessa Family Style cookbook, I found her Parmesan Chicken (printable recipe).
Although this recipe calls for the chicken to be fried in butter, I chose to fry the breasts in a mixture of olive oil and butter, and I fried them until they were lightly golden on each side.  The cooking process continued in the oven set at 360F for 20 more minutes.  Served with banana squash roasted with brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter, and a side of steamed asparagus spears, this was a light, satisfying meal.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dinner with Friends at 82 Queen

Yesterday, I actually ventured out beyond the two-block perimeter that I had set for myself and joined my new friends for dinner at 82 Queen.  Located on King and Queen street in the very snazzy end of Charleston, it's a beautiful restaurant with a courtyard tucked away, off the street.  The weather was gorgeous, warm with a light breeze, so the hostess guided us outdoors.  We stepped into a courtyard with white wrought iron furniture, a brick floor, creeping ivy and a sprinkling of fairly lights and poinsetta flowers, everywhere.  It was just magical.

Our server explained the basics of the menu and the night's specials, simple, great low country ingredients that were turned into such mouthwatering dishes.  Since we were looking for variety, we decided to order off the appetizer menu...this would also allow us to have dessert, and not push us off the scales.  I chose a bowl of the She-Crab Soup with Sherry, Scallops with a Bacon Risotto and Pepper Coulis, and ofcourse, Creme Brulee.  However, to start us on the right path, our server brought over a basket of cheddar and garlic biscuits, fresh out of the oven - served with a honey butter, this was a nice start to our meal.  Served steaming hot, it a large bowl, the She-Crab soup was epicurean delight.  It was lighter than other ones I have had, and did contain the roe whose flavor was brought out by the sherry.  My scallop dish was indicative of the treasures that the Charlestonian shore has to offer.  The scallops were perfectly seared, succulent, and flavorful...more than anything, they were fresh!  Two large scallops sat on a bed of bacon risotto and the plate was drizzled with a red pepper coulis.  To sweeten an already perfect meal was the creme brulee - the custard was light and the glassy sugar topping was just burned enough.  Served with strawberries and homemade whipped cream, it was a great finale to a magical night with friends.