Wednesday, July 24, 2013

We've Moved...

I was hoping to announce the move alot sooner but as I primed our new space, I realized it's not quite ready yet. I don't have all the keys and don't know the ins and outs of the rooms. And I have yet to paint and re-decorate. And a month later, I realized, it's never quite going to be completely ready so I'm having a house warming party anyway! Our new address is Welcome! Make yourself a better ice cream float and stay a while...

Friday, June 14, 2013

Creamy Chickpea Dip

I bought these two big cans of organic chickpeas on sale and I was so excited. (Sales, sometimes give me a little thrill. ;)) But they have been sitting in my cupboard for a while and I thought to myself, I gotta do something with them already. And I thought a creamy dip would be nice with some cut up veggies. To make your dip extra creamy, peel your chickpeas. I know it sounds a little labor intensive but I find it meditative. (Maybe that's even weirder than peeling the chickpeas, lol.) Either way, enjoy and have a fantastic weekend!

  • 3 cups chickpeas (about a 29 oz. can, drained and rinsed)
  • 7 oz. full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon grape seed oil
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • garlic powder
  • paprika
  • sea salt
  • a handful of sorrel leaves, minced

Using a hand blender or an immersion blender, puree your chickpeas, add the yogurt, oil and lemon juice and continue blending until nice and smooth. Add in the sorrel and the seasonings, adjust as needed. If you don't have an sorrel on hand, don't worry and just add in some lemon zest. Makes a nice big bowl, perfect for a party.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hot Honey & Vanilla Coconut Milk

You wouldn't believe that summer begins next week, as here on the east coast, it's chilly and rainy as ever. When I attempted to take Daisy out for her walk this morning, she refused. She takes some steps backwards and then shakes her head, "No". It doesn't happen every time but when it does, I can't help but laugh out loud and attempt to coax her down the stairs by assuring her I will keep her covered with the umbrella. (Sometimes, she still refuses.) She really is Miss Daisy, as most of the time she gets her way and we go back inside until the rain lets up, lol. With this day and evening as raw and clammy as it is, I needed something warm to drink, with a promise of summer and when I think of summer, I think of tropical coconuts! This is a creamy, sweet and a little peppery drink that's just perfect for a beating-rain-against-the-window type of night, such as tonight. Enjoy!

  • 12 oz. coconut milk, (the drinkable, milk substitute type)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon coconut milk (the condiment type, in a can)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon honey or more to taste
  • 1/3 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • fresh ground black pepper

In a pot, combine all of the ingredients and heat on medium heat, until steaming hot. Adjust the sweetness as needed. Garnish with extra pepper, if you like. Serves 1. Double the recipe as needed.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Fun Salad Greens

It's almost summertime and that means it's salad time! And if you are a little weary of the spring salad mix sitting in your fridge, you can always make your salad a little more interesting and fun by adding in some fun salad greens, which are not typical and add so much more personality to a salad. These are nice grown right in the garden, as some of these are perennials or in pots. With fun salad greens, you want to experiment but in most cases, less is more and mix with mild lettuces such as a butter lettuce for the best flavor. In some salads, just a single leaf, minced, adds a nice flavor. And you may want to use some as just a pretty garnish, either way, they will make your salads more exciting! Enjoy and happy salad making!

A few fun salad greens to consider...

Lemon Gem Marigold: The word lemon is in the name but the lemon is not so prominent in flavor. They taste like a mix of bitter grapefruit pith along with a slight citrus freshness-along with that taste of greens. You can separate the flower and just use the petals but I think the most interesting flavor is in the whole flower. And the leaves may be the best part, very nice mixed into a salad. Garnish with a few flowers for a nice touch.

Lemon Balm: As the name states, it's lemony and fresh at first with a strong ending of bitterness. This would be nice used sparingly along with a roasted piece of fish on the side.

Salad Burnet: A little reminiscent of cucumber skin...You want to just use the actual leaves with this one, as the stems are a little tough and you want to use the mature leaves as the little clusters of new growth are bitter. (Not enjoyably so.)

Nasturtium Leaves: These are nice while you are waiting patiently for the flowers to bloom and are craving a little peppery and bitter bite to your salad. They are beautiful and striking in a salad.

Corsican Mint: If you are a mint lover, you will love these ever so tiny leaves, as they are so concentrated in mint flavor. They are so pretty and delicate and would be just gorgeous strewn around the outside of a plate as a garnish.

Lemon Verbena: A great lemon-lime flavored leaf, that's not overwhelming and would be pleasant in a salad with more of it, if you are a fan of lemons and limes.

When experimenting with atypical salad greens such as these, make sure you look at the tags and talk to some knowledgeable people at the plant nursery to be sure that they are edible and start with very small amounts, as they can upset sensitive stomachs.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Basic Chicken Salad

Last week, I didn't have time to make dinner one evening and it was quickly declared a "rotisserie chicken day!" And I made a bee line for the rotisserie chickens coming right out of the oven, piping hot. As my day started getting better, (I had the most perfect cup of iced coffee) I got a little silly and asked the nice guy behind the counter to pick out the "nicest, most juiciest, fattiest looking chicken" and I laughed. Good thing for me, he shared my sense of humor and said, "This is the nicest, chicken I've ever seen." I laughed and it was one of the tastiest, juiciest rotisserie chickens, I've ever had. (I'm serious.) As a young girl, I would cringe and want to hide under my moms skirt, as she would point out with her finger which chicken she wanted or which kielbasa or even stuffed cabbages she wanted to take home but here I was, doing the same, lol. And as always, with a rotisserie chicken dinner, come the leftover chicken breast, sometimes nice over a green salad the next day or in a salad itself, like here. Enjoy!

  • leftover chicken breast
  • 1/3 cup minced celery, reserve some leaves for garnish
  • 1 heaping tablespoon minced red onion
  • pear infused white balsamic vinegar or any fruit infused white balsamic vinegar 
  • 3 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise, a little more as needed
  • sea salt
  • ground black pepper

Let the onion sit in the vinegar while you prepare the rest of the salad.  Pull apart the chicken breast and roughly chop. (Makes about 2 cups.) Give your red onion a quick rinse with cold water and add to the chicken along with the other ingredients. Adjust the seasoning as needed. I like to serve the salad with Belgian endive leaves, just perfect to hold a spoonful of creamy salad. Serves about 4.