Monday, May 28, 2012

homemade catsup

Happy Memorial Day!
Have some good plans???
Wanna make some homemade catsup?

We had a good ole time.

Similar recipe here!
(Can't share the family secrets...because it's a friend of the family!)

Friday, May 25, 2012

lemon, parsley, and olive quinoa cakes

Memorial Day is a'coming.
And yes, there are a lot of dishes you can take to a bbq.
But, why be ordinary?
Bring these.
Men will like them because they look like delicious little fried patties of yum.
The ladies will love them because they are so healthy.
Our son just likes snacking on a whole cake as he walks around the backyard.

ps-I'm cheating right now and we are actually in Boston!  Stay tuned for a foodie version of our trip ;)

Lemon, Parsley, and Olive Quinoa Cakes
makes about 2 dozen small cakes
adapted from Super Natural Every Day
*The quinoa mixture can be left, uncooked in the fridge for a few days.  Cook as necessary.*
1 1/2 cups raw quinoa (I used red quinoa but white is perfect too)
2 1/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, beaten
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup coarsely chopped green olives (optional) *I've subbed green onions before*
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoon olive oil

Place dry quinoa in a fine mesh strainer.  Wash under cool water for a few minutes.  
In a medium saucepan, place rinsed quinoa, water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Place over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Cover, decrease the heat, and simmer for about 25 t0 30 minutes, until the quinoa is tender.  Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.  You'll only need 3 cups of cooked quinoa for the recipe, so use any leftovers as you will!
In a small bowl, whisk eggs and set aside.
In a large bowl, toss together onion, garlic, cheese, olives, if using, parsley, lemon zest, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and cooled quinoa.  Add beaten eggs and stir until all of the quinoa mixture is moistened.  Add water to thoroughly moisten mixture.  Quinoa should be slightly wet so it doesn’t dry out during cooking.
Scoop out mixture by two tablespoon-ful.  Use clean, moist fingers to form into a patty.  Create as many patties as you’d like.
In a large skillet over medium low heat, heat olive oil.  If you pan is large enough, add four to six patties to the hot pan.  You’ll need a bit of room to successfully flip them.
Cook on each side until browned, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side.  Low heat helps the quinoa cakes cook slowly. Brown on each side then remove to a paper towel lined plate.  Enjoy with a dollop of sour cream!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

strawberry cake

Don't blame me.
I told you there would be a lot of strawberry recipes a'comin'.
And since my 19 month old son picked almost 2 pounds of strawberries himself, we just had to make something with them.

Strawberry Cake
Serves 8-10.
Martha Stewart
6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved

Preheat oven to 350*. Butter a 10-inch pie pan or 9-inch deep-dish pie pan.
Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 1 cup sugar until pale and fluffy with an electric mixer, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg, milk and vanilla until just combined. Add dry mixture gradually, mixing until just smooth.
Pour into prepared pie plate. Arrange strawberries, cut side down, on top of batter, as closely as possible in a single layer (though I had to overlap a few to get them all in). Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.
Bake cake for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 325* and bake cake until golden brown and a tester comes out free of wet batter, about 50 minutes to 60 minutes. Let cool in pan on a rack. Cut into wedges and sprinkle with powdered sugar to serve!

Friday, May 18, 2012

gd likes

a brand new little BOY!!!

(photo from The Daybook)

Sooooo, what do you like this week??

Monday, May 14, 2012

grapefruit sorbet

Fresh, easy, delicious.
No other amazingly complicated descriptive words needed.

Grapefruit Sorbet
Serves 6.
1/2 cup sugar
6 cups freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

Bring sugar and two cups juice to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat until the sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat and cool.
Combine sugar syrup and the rest of the juice until blended.  Cover and chill for two hours.
Pour mixture into ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's directions.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

riven rock ranch

A few months back, the bebe and I went to visit my in-laws in Boerne, Texas.
It's just beautiful down there and I always request that we go drive around in the hill country of central Texas.
Luckily, my mother-in-law had already anticipated me and made reservations for a lovely Sunday lunch at the Riven Rock Ranch, a beautiful resort/B&B overlooking the river.

Riven Rock Ranch is at one with its hilltop panorama high above the Guadalupe River. That it appears to have taken root and grown among the native trees is part illusion, part reality. Original ranch structures built by German settlers in the 1870s were the beginning of today’s expansive ranch enclave. Stones and rocks used in construction and landscaping were—and still are—quarried on site. Founded as a ranch and farm operation, and still a working ranch with self-sufficiency farm undertones, Riven Rock Ranch is developing a new dimension as a legendary resort of very real pleasures and restorative powers.
Proprietors, Chris and Elaine Havens, have lovingly combined their energy, industry and artistry to create the perfect setting for rejuvenation, tranquility and celebration.They take great pride in providing their guests with a unique combination of luxury in a pastoral setting. It is their desire that, when you leave Riven Rock Ranch, you feel transformed and whole after experiencing this truly remarkable place.
This was our afternoon, in foodie pictures :)
gorgeous salads

amazing local and organic entrees

delicious desserts!

the gorgeous view

Monday, May 7, 2012

chipotle sweet potato bisque (vegan!)

I know sweet potatoes are usually an autumn thing.
But, here's the deal:
I can't really add chipotles to anything and not think of summer.
Texans just believe that the hotter the weather, the spicier the supper should be.
So, I make this super creamy soup in the summer.
I just turn down the air conditioner ;)

ps - did I mention how healthy it is??  Swimsuit-perfect!

Chipotle Sweet Potato Bisque (vegan!)
Adapted from Vegan Latina
Serves 4.
2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 pound white waxy potatoes, scrubbed, peeled and diced into 1 inch chunks
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, scrubbed, peeled and diced into 1 inch chunks
2-4 chipotles in adobo, chopped, plus 1 to 2 teaspoons sauce, depending on how spicy you like your life
1/4 cup coconut milk or non-dairy milk
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions

In a large soup pot over medium heat fry the garlic in the olive oil for 30 seconds. Add onion and sauté until onion is tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in ground cumin and oregano, then pour in water or stock. Add the chopped potatoes and sweet potatoes, cover the pot and increase the heat to high. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to gently simmer for 28-32 minutes or until both white and sweet potatoes can be easily mashed when pressed against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon. Turn off the heat.
Add chipotles and adobo sauce to the soup. Use an immersion blender to puree soup to a smooth, creamy consistency. If you prefer to use a blender, let the soup cool for at least 20 minutes before pouring into a blender; pulse until smooth then return to the pot. Warm the soup over low heat and stir in the coconut milk or non-dairy milk, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning with more lime juice and salt if desired. Ladle soup into serving bowls and garnish with sliced scallions.  Enjoy!

Friday, May 4, 2012

gd likes

Ok, family, friends, husband.
Here are my likes for Mother's Day and my birthday.
Hint hint :)





Sooo, what do you like this week??

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

strawberry basil ice cream

I'm sure you've heard of this by now.
It's weird but oddly popular.
I wanted to make it at home so I looked up handy dandy Dave Lebowitz (all things ice cream) and got started with fantastic results!

One guinea pig friend described it as tasting like you are eating the whole strawberry, stem and all.
It kinda does taste like that, in a really good way!
Hope you enjoy!

Strawberry Basil Ice Cream
Dave Lebowitz, of course
2 cups heavy cream 

1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Table salt
1 cup tightly packed, coarsely torn basil leaves
5 large egg yolks
1 pound fresh or frozen strawberries, trimmed, pureed, strained, and mixed with 1/2 cup sugar 

In a medium saucepan, mix 1 cup of the cream with the milk, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Warm the cream mixture over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and tiny bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan, 3 to 4 minutes.
Stir in the basil leaves. Cover, remove from the heat, and let sit for 1 hour. Taste and let sit longer if you want a stronger basil flavor.
Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with several inches of ice water. Set a smaller metal bowl (one that holds at least 1-1/2 quarts) in the ice water. Pour the remaining cup of cream into the inner bowl (this helps the custard cool quicker when you pour it in later). Set a fine strainer on top. Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl.
Rewarm the cream mixture over medium-high heat until tiny bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan, 1 to 2 minutes. In a steady stream, pour half of the warm cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from curdling.
Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heatproof rubber spatula until the custard thickens slightly (it should be thick enough to coat the spatula and hold a line drawn through it with a finger), 4 to 8 minutes. An instant-read thermometer should read 175* to 180* at this point. Don’t let the sauce overheat or boil, or it will curdle. Immediately strain the custard into the cold cream in the ice bath. Press firmly on the basil leaves in the strainer with the spatula to extract as much flavor as possible.
Cool the custard to below 70* by stirring it over the ice bath. Stir the strawberry puree into the cooled custard.
Refrigerate the custard until completely chilled, at least 4 hours. Then freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the just-churned ice cream to an air-tight container, and freeze for at least 4 hours or up to 2 weeks.

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