Friday, December 25, 2009

Panetone French Toast

I adapted an Alton Brown recipe, instead of french bread I used a medium sized panetone.

1cup heavy cream (I used light cream because that's what we had)
3 eggs
2 tbsp honey (warmed in the microwave for 20 secs)
A pinch of salt
4 tbsp of butter

Preheat oven to 375F
Mix cream, honey, eggs, and salt together. Pour into a pie dish. Soak slices of panetone on each side for 20-30secs.

Melt butter in the frying pan. Fry each side for about 2 minutes or until brown. Then place on a baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 5-10 min depending on the thickness of bread.

The panetone is incredibly filling so this is great for feeding a lot of people. Neither myself nor Shannon could make it through more than one piece.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wait, TV producers actually edited you to look bad?

I've made no secret that during Top Chef I was completely smitten with Bryan. His nervous laugh was by far the cutest thing I've ever seen from a grown man. (Plus the episode where he talked to his son on the phone and his son called him Bryan omFg so cute). But the more interviews I read with Michael after his win, the more I realize maybe he deserves an equal share of my affection (and it pains me to do this to Bryan).

Here are a few excerpts from an interview on that made me fall a little bit in love with Michael.

What’s the one holiday dish you would love to eat all year round? Christmas cookies 

What’s the one food that always cheers you up? Ice cream (How about a spring wedding?)

If you were going to open a restaurant with another chef from this season, who would it be and why? Bryan, he is an amazing chef with a similar style and discipline. Oh, by the way, we are also brothers. (Yes, darling, we noticed)

Ok, maybe I just love him cause he also has the appetite of a four year old. But he was also super cute on Conan and he seems like a genuinely nice guy when the Bravo editors don't have their say.

Picture taken from my new favorite place on the interweb

Monday, December 21, 2009

Nigella lawson's plum pecan crumble

Not sure I can mark this down as a success. I had plums I wanted to use up. It ended up being way more crumble than fruit. The crumble bit was yummy. But I expect a bit more liquid.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Maxwell's 148

Three days ago was the lovely Shannon's birthday. And since that holidays are here and people just HAVE to have their latte steamed to 120 degrees, I've been a bit knackered. So instead of cooking her something so-so, we go all tarted up and went out.

Shannon decided on Maxwell's 148. It's in this completely non-desrcript building. And the description of the cuisine, chinese and italian, seemed intriguing if not a little weird. But oh my lord was it good. They start off wit giving you foccacia and hummus and wonton strips with this peanuty sauce stuff. I wasn't a huge fan of the hummus. It had this weird smoking flavor that reminded me of cheap cigars. But the peanut sauce was delicious, just the right amount of kick. For an appetizer we had lobster rangoons. I remember commenting that I'd never had a rangoon that tasted so much like what was supposed to be in it. There was a good amount of lobster and some cheese in there too. Very yummy. For dinner I had the Kobe pub burger. I am a sucker for some red meat. It had bacon, cheese, onion straws, and some house dressing. It was so juicy and rich. And the fries that came with it belonged wrapped in paper at a state fair, that is to say they were amazing! Shannon had the penne carbonara. I only had one bite, but again it was rich and creamy. She loved it. For dessert I had the chocolate terrine. I have a pretty high tolerance for chocolate, but even I struggled to finish this. It was delicious but after the richness of the rest of the food I probably should have opted for something lighter. Shannon had the meyer lemon cheesecake. It was the light and airy kind of cheesecake, not that super dense stuff. The little kick of lemon really lightened it up. It came with a bing cherry sauce that I didn't try but Shannon really liked. Plus the put a candle in a strawberry for her birthday.

A lot of people on yelp had complained that the place was too expensive. It certainly wasn't cheap. But for the quality of the food it was well worth it. I still have sticker shock every time I see how much cocktails cost in the state of Massachusetts. But since neither of us are big drinkers it didn't end too badly. Including tip it was less than a hundred for a meal that left us feeling very roman.

Plus it was a bit slow since it was a tuesday night. So after dinner the chef/owner Mitchell Maxwell came around to everyone's table to wish them happy holidays. I may have fangirled a little bit. He has really great hair.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Reason #856 Why I could never be a vegan

Store bought pancake mix made with vanilla soy has a very "soy-y" taste. It's not like they are inedible, but not the comforting late night dinner I wanted. And no amount of butter and syrup can fix it.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A couple of things

First and most importantly (and most blurry apparently) my mommy got me a Cuisinart 11 cup Food Processor for my birthday. Yay and huzzah! So far we've used it to slice onions and puree soup. I can't wait to use the dough hook function. Plus Julia Childs thought it was perfect for pie crusts.

Also, how have I lived in Mass for over a year and I've never been into Home Goods. It's like a crazy World Market/TJ Maxx hybrid.
They have Sioux City Sarsaparilla!!! I've never had it outside of Iowa. I hope that have it year round. They have all the different pops; Orange Creme, Birch Beer, the weird Berry kind. I was pretty jazzed.
And wtf monin? They had some really random monin syrups, like this and pomegranate. I broke open the seal and it actually smells like chocolate chips. We're gonna have a little in some steamed milk later tonight. I'll let you know how that goes.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Okey Dokey

So I haven't posted in more than a month. And the sad part is, that's mostly due to the fact I didn't have anytime to actually bake/cook for most of October. But I'm back with full force. Let's begin with something simple.

Nigella Lawson's Breakfast Bars (aka the easiest recipe known to man)

14 oz can of condensed milk
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup mixed seeds (I used sunflower, flax, and pumpkin)
1 cup unsalted peanuts

Preheat oven to 250F.
On the store warm condensed milk.
Mix all of the other ingredients in a bowl, then pour the condensed milk over it.
Spread on a 9x13 inch baking sheet.
Bake for an hour.

So I'm a bit scatter brained and was still a bit high from my ridiculous purchases at Whole Foods (which we'll be discussing later, don't you worry. Three words: Blood Orange Vinegar) so I completely forgot to add the peanuts even though they were right in front of me. So my bars were a little bit sweeter and stickier than Nigella's, but they were still super delicious. Maybe a bit much for breakfast, but with the added substance they'd be perfect. And they're perfect for playing with different seeds and dried fruits.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Barefoot Blogger post: Beatty's Chocolate Cake

Ummmm...this went a bit awry. Apparently the spray I used to coat my pans was not all that great and I couldn't get either out. So instead of a layer cake I had two round sheets. Which means waaaaaaaay to much frosting. Good thing it was so delicious. 

(can you tell we both had tough days?)


  • Butter, for greasing the pans
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups good cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee


Chocolate Buttercream, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

Chocolate Frosting:

6 ounces good semisweet chocolate (recommended: Callebaut)

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

1 tablespoon instant coffee powder

Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don't whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Top Chef

Last season scarred me a little. Seriously, Hosea wins? Really Bravo? Suffice to say I'm still a little bitter. This season seems to have a higher caliber of contestants than they have in the past. And I've actually agreed with all the cuts so far (although I would have sent Matin home after the french food challenge, but mostly because he tried to throw Ashley under the bus). 

So here are my predictions (or mostly what I want to happen):
Top 4 

I'm not gonna lie, I might be biased for Ashley since she reminds me of Rachel Maddow so I swoon whenever she's onscreen. 

And the winner is:
I like that he's thoughtful and just the right amount of confident without being cocky. 

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Daring Bakers Post: Birthday Sheet Cake!

For the cake:

  • 18 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces (about 1 cup) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 12 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.

    To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. On medium speed, add the eggs, 2 at a time, then the sour cream, vanilla, and lemon zest, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix well. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir just until smooth. Finish mixing by hand to be sure the batter is well mixed. Pour evenly into the pan, smooth the top with a spatula, and bake in the center of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan to room temperature.

    For the frosting, place the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chips are completely melted. Off the heat, add the corn syrup and vanilla and allow the chocolate mixture to cool to room temperature. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the chocolate mixture and softened butter on medium speed for a few minutes, until it's thickened.

    These were good. I love the look of the frosting. They weren't like the most amazing ever. I won't use food coloring on them again. It's too yellow and the color gets washed out.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I've been meaning to make treats for Boxcar Dad (Shannon's dad) since he told me he liked my marshmallow cookies. Basically, I'm a pushover. One catch, he lives in Washington and I live in Massachusetts.  I wanted to pick something that would ship well and would stay fresh. I picked Barefoot Contessa's Madeleines!

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter, to grease the pans, plus 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • Confectioners' sugar, optional

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Thoroughly butter and flour the madeleine pans.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed for 3 minutes, or until light yellow and fluffy. Add 1/4 pound of butter and mix. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt, and stir into the batter with a rubber spatula. Stir in the coconut.

With a soup spoon, drop the batter into the pans, filling each shell almost full. Bake the madeleines for 10 to 12 minutes, until they spring back when pressed. Tap the madeleines out onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper and allow to cool. Dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired. 

*I changed the recipe a bit. First off i doubled it. Instead of coconut I put in about a tablespoon of lemon zest. Instead of doubling the vanilla i put in one tsp vanilla and one teaspoon almond extract.  I've done this recipe as Ina intended and it is delicious, I just wanted to play a little bit. 

These are delicious and so easy and I'm a little hesitant to package them up and send them off.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Daring Bakers' Dobos Torta, Barefoot Blogger White Pizza with Arugula, and the Barista Competition

It's late on posting day and we've got a lot to cover people, so bear with me. 
The August 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Angela of A Spoonful
of Sugar and Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella. They chose the spectacular Dobos
Torte based on a recipe from Rick Rodgers' cookbook Kaffeehaus:  Exquisite
Desserts from the Classic Caff├ęs of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.

It's a fairly long recipe so I won't repost it. Let me know if you desperately need it. This was an interesting dessert. The caramel layer is really lemony which struck me as a little odd on its own. The sponge cake turned out nicely (even if I did cheat and baked it in a well greased round cake pan). Like most baking, this would have worked better in a climate controlled kitchen where everything could have sit up properly without being put in the fridge. It is a visually pleasing cake. I think with a few tweaks this is definitely making it into the rotation.

I must also think my amazing "soup" chef Shannon. My month has been crazy so my only free night to bake this was on the day it needed to be posted. So the most delicious element of the cake, the frosting, was actually all her. 

White Pizza with Arugula 

So this was not my favorite Ina recipe. It takes a long time and I'm adamantly opposed to any pizza that requires the use of a fork. The mix of cheese was delicious. And the vinaigrette for the arugula was tasty too. Bottom line, I didn't really enjoy the dough anymore than I do the frozen stuff we get at the grocery store. 

Barista Competition

Last night was the district barista championship. It was actually kind of exciting. If for no other reason than I got to nerd out with Mo and Robert from Home Office. I actually did pretty decent for my first time. If only I learned how to keep time (I got some major time penalties). I'm looking forward to going back next year and crushing the competition :D

Look of relief once it was over (And just a cute picture of me)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers post: Mango Banana Daiquiris

I should start with a confession. Mangos and I have had a very turbulent relationship. See, I like mango flavored things, but I have yet to taste an actual honest-to-god fresh mango that was at all appealing to me. I'm sorry to say this didn't really help.

Mango Banana Daiquiris

serves 4

2 cups chopped ripe mango (1 to 2 mangos, peeled and seeded)

1 ripe banana, chopped

1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (4 limes)

1/4 cup sugar syrup

1 1/4 cups dark rum, such as Mount Gay

Mango slices, for serving

Place the mango, banana,  lime juice, sugar syrup, and rum in a blender and process until smooth.  Add 2 cups of ice and process again until smooth and thick.  Serve ice-cold in highball glasses with the mango slices.

Ina can't really be blamed for any of this. My ability to know when mangos are ripe is non-existent. So no matter how long I blended everything together it never got smooth. It was like super pulpy orange juice. I liked the general flavor of the drink, mostly because I could only taste the banana and rum. Turns out unripe mangos are flavorless pulp. All was not lost, I used the rum and some frozen strawberries to make strawberry daiquiris the next night that were downright yummy. 

Plus we served them with a delicious chicken quesadilla with homemade salsa. I have to say I'm quite proud of the little foodie I spawned. When I got home Shannon had already marinated the chicken in cayenne pepper (her new obsession) and lime juice and had started the salsa. It was really simple, just homegrown tomatoes, jalapenos, some onion, a little white wine vinegar. It was really tasty and totally made up for any disappointment in the cocktails. 

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Farmer's Market and other produce related things

We woke up early thing morning and headed into town for the farmer's market. It isn't like the most amazing farmer's market. It's maybe a third the size of the kind I'm used to in Iowa. But I do get a weird thrill wandering past stall after stall of fruit and veg. 

We picked up some massive carrots, some peaches, some haricot verts, and some gorgeous flowers.   

Speaking of fruit and veg here's a little update on my container garden.
My jalapenos are finally growing and I could not be more excited for fresh salsa.
We have our first little pumpkin. Who knew pumpkin plants were so pretty?
And we have strawberries again. Maybe we'll even get to eat a few this time.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Random Happenings post!

I must start by saying I realize I've actually been very lucky this summer as far as the weather has been concerned. Sure it's rained a lot but I actually like rain and it cools everything off ( and waters my plants for me).

That being said, I have become extremely reluctant to do anything that involves turning my oven on. I made lasagna on sunday and had to go lay in front of a fan while it baked to keep from passing out. I've never lived, let alone baked, without airconditioning before. That is one luxury my mom would never let us do without.

So what I need is inspiration. I need ideas about things I can make and enjoy with heating up the oven. Cause while my marshmallow cookies were delicious they were a total mess when left out out of the fridge. (side not- when the weather cools off I'm going to be making home made marshmallows like a madwoman. So good!)

In other news, I've decided when I go back to sioux city in a few weeks I'm getting a new tattoo. My brother's childhood friend is an artist there. I'll be getting my kitchenaid mixer on my right underarm. I'm pretty excited for that.

Lily came over for dinner a few nights back and she still seems pretty stoked about me making some desserts for an event at the Davis museum. I'm pretty psyched for that too. I need to start doing some research on buying in bulk. Anybody know a good place for buying candy melts in bulk?

And last but not least there's about a month until the district barista competition. I think I've decided on Italian roast as my espresso. Hopefully it'll be slow tonight and I can experiment. I really want to win and get a free trip to Portland. Plus my manager would love me forever cause she'd get to go too. Think happy coffee related thoughts for me!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Daring bakers post

my first daring bakers post and my first iPhone post to boot ! These were delicious but a bit melty in my air conditioning free apartment.

The July Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network.
Mallows(Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies)
Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, from Food Network website

Prep Time: 10 min
Inactive Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Serves: about 2 dozen cookies

• 3 cups (375grams/13.23oz) all purpose flour
• 1/2 cup (112.5grams/3.97oz) white sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 3/8 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 12 tablespoons (170grams/ 6 oz) unsalted butter
• 3 eggs, whisked together
• Homemade marshmallows, recipe follows
• Chocolate glaze, recipe follows

1. In a mixer with the paddle attachment, blend the dry ingredients.
2. On low speed, add the butter and mix until sandy.
3. Add the eggs and mix until combine.
4. Form the dough into a disk, wrap with clingfilm or parchment and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
5. When ready to bake, grease a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
7. Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness, on a lightly floured surface. Use a 1 to 1 1/2 inches cookie cutter to cut out small rounds of dough.
8. Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool to room temperature.
9. Pipe a “kiss” of marshmallow onto each cookie. Let set at room temperature for 2 hours.
10. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or silicon mat.
11. One at a time, gently drop the marshmallow-topped cookies into the hot chocolate glaze.
12. Lift out with a fork and let excess chocolate drip back into the bowl.
13. Place on the prepared pan and let set at room temperature until the coating is firm, about 1 to 2 hours.

Note: if you don’t want to make your own marshmallows, you can cut a large marshmallow in half and place on the cookie base. Heat in a preheated 350-degree oven to slump the marshmallow slightly, it will expand and brown a little. Let cool, then proceed with the chocolate dipping.

Homemade marshmallows:
• 1/4 cup water
• 1/4 cup light corn syrup
• 3/4 cup (168.76 grams/5.95oz) sugar
• 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
• 2 tablespoons cold water
• 2 egg whites , room temperature
• 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. In a saucepan, combine the water, corn syrup, and sugar, bring to a boil until “soft-ball” stage, or 235 degrees on a candy thermometer.
2. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let dissolve.
3. Remove the syrup from the heat, add the gelatin, and mix.
4. Whip the whites until soft peaks form and pour the syrup into the whites.
5. Add the vanilla and continue whipping until stiff.
6. Transfer to a pastry bag.

Chocolate glaze:
• 12 ounces semisweet chocolate
• 2 ounces cocoa butter or vegetable oil

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Guerilla French Cooking post!!!

It's only about a month late, but I, Shannon, Jennifer's faithful soup chef and gal Friday, am finally posting about the Ina-inspired French dinner I made to celebrate her promotion. 

Menu and table ambiance for the evening.

Soup Course

Vichyssoise with cheese straws.

Cheese Course

(clockwise from top) Mint-honey Greek yogurt, a slice of gruyere, apricot-filled cheese, lemon goat cheese.

Main Course

Chicken with forty cloves and bacon-sauteed brussels sprouts.

Dessert Course
Creme brulee with lavender sugar crust, a dollop of marscapone, blackberries, and a sprig of lavender.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers post: Peach and Blueberry crumble

Dear Ina,
Please marry me. You can keep seeing Jeffrey. I don't mind.

I really love crumble. If I could consume all my daily allotment of fruits in crumble form without dying I totally would. And this one was both really simple and delicious. As always I halved the recipe (except the blueberries which I basically tossed in as many as the dish would hold). I got impatient toward the end and could have probably left it in another ten minutes to let the fruit soften more. But this gets a big thumbs up for me. I'm excited to try it with other fruit combos too. 

For the fruit

  • 2 lbs firm, ripe peaches (6-8 peaches)
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (1/2 pint)

For the Crumble

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 lb (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Immerse the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until their skins peel off easily.  Place them immediately in cold water.  Peel the peaches, slice them into thick wedges, and place them in a large bowl.  Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, granulated sugar, and flour.  Toss well.  Gently mix in the blueberries.  Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes.  Spoon the mixture into ramekins or custard cups.
  3. For the topping, combine the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas.  Rub the mixture with your fingertips until it’s in big crumbles, then sprinkle evenly over the fruit.  Place the ramekins on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and back for 40 to 45 minutes, until the tops are browned and crisp and the juices are bubbly.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  If you want to make these early, store the unbaked crumbles int he refrigerator and bake before dinner.  Serves 5 to 6.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Little Update

So my computer bit the dust this week. That's why there has been a significant lack of posting. Shannon is being very lovely and generous in letting me use her computer. And I'll still be posting all my Barefoot Blogger and Daring Baker assignments but for now other posts might be few and far between. 
PS- is anyone watching the Top Chef marathon on Bravo? I love Harold so much! They don't show the first season nearly enough.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Barefoot Blogger: Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

  • 1/2 pound fusilli (spirals) pasta
  • Kosher salt
  • Olive oil
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes, medium-diced
  • 3/4 cup good black olives, such as kalamata, pitted and diced
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, medium-diced
  • 6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped

For the dressing:

  • 5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 1 teaspoon capers, drained
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves, julienned


Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water with a splash of oil to keep it from sticking together. Boil for 12 minutes, or according to the directions on the package. Drain well and allow to cool. Place the pasta in a bowl and add the tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

For the dressing, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, capers, salt, and pepper in a food processor until almost smooth.

Pour the dressing over the pasta, sprinkle with the Parmesan and basil, and toss well.

~The basil and parmesean are omitted in the photo only because I made this to take for lunches when I go to work and I'd rather add those the day of~

I can't lie, I thought I wasn't going to like this. I'm not a huge fan of sun-dried tomato. I have this issue with tomatoes being sweet. But with the saltiness of the kalamata olives, that is an amazing combo. Plus any excuse I can get to buy the tiny little balls of mozzarella (a third of which were eaten before the dish's completion, good thing I got extras).

There is one technical issue I need to work out when I go to do these recipes though. I need to actually look at the dish for what it is and decide if it can be dinner all on it's own. Generally Ina serves a few dishes so it's a well rounded meal. Just like with the gazpacho I felt like this could really use a protein.I'm thinking it would be delicious as a side with a warm steak sandwich or something roast beefy.