Thursday, June 7, 2012
There are times when you find a food product and you just want to let folks know about it. I do not like to buy premade food unless I really know it is good and how it is prepared. Especially since I am breastfeeding and I like to keep it process and chemical free as much as I can.
But a few weeks ago I was contacted by Pasta Prima about tasting their ravioli. I have bought some store made ravioli and I am always thinking they are just ok. For a quick dinner, sure why not. So I wasn’t expecting much when I received a box of this Pasta Prima ravioli, but i was wrong. . .
I like my ravioli prepared simple so I cooked these for 3 minutes just as it said on the instructions and then I quickly sautéed them in a sage, garlic and butter sauce. I have to say these were the best premade, store brought ravioli I have ever had. The inside is spinach, garlic and cheese and you can taste all the ingredients. It was delicious and I want all of you to get a chance to try these out.
Sunday, May 27, 2012
It’s Memorial Day weekend in the US and this is the weekend the grilling seasons starts. I l0ve preparing food outside and eating outside. If i could i would move move my kitchen outside for the whole summer. Unfortunately Seattle weather is not that cooperative so it would not work but i can dream.
Rhubarb crumble on the grill is such a fun thing to do for a picnic (yes you can easily transport this) or just do outside on the grill. This recipe is for 6 people but it can easily be doubled for a bigger crowd.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Oh Gazpacho, one of my favorite soups of all time. It’s refreshing, delicious, healthy, and reminds me of summer. The key to making a good gazpacho are you ingredients. If you have fresh produce and some amazing sweet tomatoes your gazpacho will be awesome. I don’t know how many times I have been to restaurants and the gazpacho has been disappointing. Making a good Gazpacho is really hard because you need excellent produce. Your tomatoes are key to this recipe. Since farmers markets are just starting up here and didn’t get to one, my tomatoes are store bought, and I chose some nice heirloom tomatoes that I found in the store. I also think if you use fresh tomato juice this recipe will be much nicer. I highly recommend making this recipe the night before you are about to serve it. It always tastes much better the day after.
If you have any other Gazpacho recipes to share let me know and include a link at the bottom, always looking for other Gazpacho recipes.
Have you tried my Mango Gazpacho? Another great one.
Yield: Serves 8
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 30 minutes
6 ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 purple onion, finely chopped
1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped
1 sweet red bell pepper seeded and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
2 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp sugar
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
6 or more drops of Tabasco sauce to taste
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
4 cups tomato juice
Chop all ingredients in small cubes. The smaller cubes the better. You still want some crunch. Combine all ingredients. Place in non-metal, non-reactive storage container, cover tightly and refrigerate overnight, allowing flavors to blend. If you want more sour add more red wine vinegar, want spicier add more Tabasco (I had double the amount).
One Year Ago: 20 Reasons why cruising is not for me
Two Years Ago: Chocolate Mousse Cake
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Today was my first Mother’s Day – very unreal to get to celebrate this day with my new family. Ella is now 11 weeks old and just awesome. I am so blessed that she sleeps through the night and she has an awesome mellow personality.
On top of that it was 80+ in Seattle today and just a gorgeous day and I was just so excited to dress Ella in shorts and T-shirt. I hope everyone had a fabulous Mother’s Day as well.
This biscotti recipe i got from Heather’s Dish who also celebreated her first Mother’s Day today, she has an adorable son called Weston, who is just 3 weeks younger than Ella. I found this recipe awhile ago and have been wanting to make it for weeks.
Biscotti to me feels like you are eating a fancy dessert but a little healthier. At least that is how I think about it.
I love the combination or cranberry and orange and some nuts. To me that is the perfect combination. This biscotti is fruity, nutty and not sweet at all. Dunk in your tea and coffee and enjoy.
Orange and Cranberry Biscotti
Yield: 12 pieces
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
1/4 cup sugar
3 egg whites
Orange Zest from two large oranges (about 3 tbsp)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup crushed walnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Preheat your oven to 300F.
In a bowl mix together the egg whites and sugar until they start to dissolve, around 4 minutes. Then mix in the orange zest until it’s broken up and combined.
Add in the flour, cornmeal, and baking powder. Mix until combined. Finally add the walnuts and cranberries.
Turn dough out onto a sheet pan lined with parchment or a Silpat, and using your hands mold it into a log about 3x12”. Bake at 300F for 30 minutes until the top is just starting to brown. Let the log cool for about 5 minutes, then gently remove it to a cutting board.
Using a serrated knife cut it into 1-inch slices width-wise and place them cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake for another 20-30 minutes, or until the cut sides are golden brown. Let cool completely before eating and storing in an airtight container.
One Year Ago: Rum Balls
Two Years Ago: Strawberry and Rhubarb Pie
Monday, May 7, 2012
When a blogger says, “The best cookies i ever made were chocolate chip shortbread at Christmas. I got phone calls asking for more shortbread. So yea, it’s my go-to from now on.” How can one not try them. And let me tell you – huge hit. Love these cookies. I made a huge batch and these are good even a week later, not many cookies last that long. This is definitely a keeper.
This is another Secret Recipe Club “assignment!” Every month you get a name of a blog and you need to choose ANY recipe from that blog and then blog about that recipe by a date. It’s a secret because the blog owner does not know you are doing this until the reveal date. My secret blog this month was Isn’t everything in the Kitchen Trial & Error which is written by Kate who lives in Rochester, NY. Kate is an environmental person by and and cook by night. Love her blog and it was hard to decide what to make, and next i am going to make the creamy mints. But for now you have to try these cookies.
Chocolate Chip Shortbread
Yield: 30-2" cookies
Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
12 tbsp (1 & 1/2 sticks) butter, room temp
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 ½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Make sure the butter is room temperature and then cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whisk or sift together the flour and salt.
Add the flour and salt to the butter mixture. Mix on low speed until it comes together into a dough. Add the chocolate chips and mix in.
Roll the dough into a log about 2 inches in diameter (roll it wider or skinnier depending on how big you want your cookies). Roll the log in some wax paper.
Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Slice the log into 1/4 inch slices. Place the slices on the sheet. They don't spread much, so they can be pretty close together.
Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to brown.
Remove from the pan and cool to room temp.
One Year Ago: Top 10 Restaurants in Ft. Lauderdale
Two Years Ago: Seattle Top 10 Brunch Places
Sunday, April 29, 2012
It’s time for World on a plate is a blogging cultural exchange. On the last Sunday of the month, bloggers from all over the world get together to interpret a food through the lens of their home country cooking. Each blogger will produce a wonderful dish featuring the food chosen that is typical of her/his home country and will tell us a bit about the dish. This month the theme is picnics. There are so many items you can make using the picnic theme – Swedish Meatballs, Swedish Pancakes, or Swedish cinnamon rolls. Those are all very delicious for a picnic.
But another common thing to eat in Sweden are savory pies, they can be eaten hot or col. Today I have choose to make the famous Västerbotten Cheese Pie.
Västerbotten is a region in Sweden, located way up north. Västerbotten cheese is s a very strong and sharp cheese, and it has tiny holes in it. It’s sometimes described as Swedish parmesan. You can eat it as is, as a side dish at a crawfish party, or with crème fraîche, finely minced red onions and bleak roe. You can find Västerbotten cheese in a few cheese stores, sometimes IKEA carries it and you can also get it online.
Västerbotten Cheese Pie
Yield: 1-9” pie
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
10 oz (300 ml) heavy cream
7 oz (200 g) grated Västerbotten cheese, or any other sharp, tasty cheese
pinch of cayenne pepper
Make the pie crust in a 9” form but do not bake it. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Whisk together the eggs, cream, cayenne and cheese, and fill the pie shell. Bake for about 25-30 minutes until the filling is set, and lightly golden. Eat at room temperature, or cold.
Few other savory Tarts/Pies/Quiches:
One Year Ago: Tomato and Green Bean Salad
Two Years Ago: Carrot Cake with Coconut Frosting
Monday, April 23, 2012
These days i am looking to make things that i can easily eat during breakfast, lunch or dinner. I do not always get the time to cook during the day (since this little one who is 8 weeks old now is keeping me busy) and i still need to eat healthy, so i try to make things i can easily store and warm up. This is a great little tart that you can eat any time of the day. It could also be called a quiche, or just savory tart either way it is delicious and very light. Usually my quiche and quiche and quiche are pretty hardy and I love them, but this one is light and delicious and you don’t feel that you over ate during brunch.
Roasted Vegetable Tart
Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 60 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
1 pie crust
2 red bell peppers
11 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 small butternut squash, cut into 1" cubes
Freshly ground pepper
1 small red-skinned sweet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2" cubes
4 oz of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 small onion, thinly sliced
1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, divided
4 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled
2 large eggs
3/4 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 425F. Make the pie crust in a 9” or 10” glass or pie dish then let cool and set aside.
Change the over temperature to 450F.
Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 450°. Using a small paring knife, cut around stems of bell peppers. Lift out stems with seeds and discard. Transfer whole peppers to a small baking dish; drizzle with 2 tbsp. oil. Roast on upper rack, turning peppers occasionally, until tender, about 40 minutes. Transfer peppers to a small bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Let stand for 15 minutes. Peel peppers, then tear into strips. Set aside.
Meanwhile, toss butternut squash and sweet potato with 4 tbsp. oil in a small bowl to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Spread out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast on lower rack for 30 minutes. Set vegetables aside.
Line another rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss tomatoes with vinegar, 1 tbsp. oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Arrange tomatoes, skin side down, on prepared sheet. Roast on lower rack until tomatoes are beginning to brown and are tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat remaining 4 tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and fennel; cook, stirring frequently, until parts of vegetables are slightly softened and others still crisp, 5–6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Change the oven to 350F.
Scatter onion-fennel mixture over bottom of tart crust. Top with butternut squash and sweet potato mixture and roasted peppers. Scatter 1 tsp. thyme over. Top with goat cheese and tomatoes.
Whisk eggs and cream in a small bowl; season lightly with salt and pepper. Slowly pour egg mixture over vegetables. Scatter remaining 1 tsp. thyme on top.
Bake tart until filling is set and pastry is golden brown, 50–60 minutes. Let stand for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: You can do the pie crust a day ahead and also prepare the vegetables a day ahead. And if you are having a dinner party or brunch you can just put it together and bake the day off.
One Year Ago: Raspberry Chocolate Tort
Two Years Ago: Oatmeal Wafer with Nutella
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Caramel fudge Brownie with Peanut Butter Gelato at Anchovies and Olives
Salmon with herbed fregola sarda, butternut squash, and arugula-almond pesto at Anchovies and Olives
Seattle Restaurant Week is here again. If you haven’t been yet do not forget to go. This is a opportunity for folks to take advantage of the great restaurants Seattle has to offer.
Seattle Restaurant Week is from April 8-12 & 15-19 with over 100 restaurants that will offer $28 three course dinners or $15 lunches.
This is a great time for Seattle restaurants to show what they can do for a reasonable price and get customers they would usually not get, but also this is a great time for us foodies to go to our favorite places and get a good 3-course meal for only $28.
Since there is only two days left for this amazing offer and with over 100 restaurants to choose from that is a very hard task to figure out which place you should go to. So I am giving you my top 5 places. On top of that I am telling you what I ordered or would order on the menu.
You can view the full list of restaurant on the Seattle Restaurant Week website but below is my top 5 list.
Don’t miss this opportunity!
Here is my top 5 restaurant list:
Anchovies and Olives – This is the best seafood place in Seattle according to my opinion. There are many seafood restaurants in Seattle but it is hard to find a place that cooks fish simply and to perfection. They do both. The worst thing I know is fish that doesn’t taste like fish anymore and is very dry, for example a place that will have fish with some kind of salsa on the fish, I will never order that. I like my fish perfectly cooked, and that it is prepared in the way that you can still taste the flavor of the fish. I go to Anchovies and Olives often and have had excellent service and excellent food.
The $28 menu is excellent, I always order the Escolor Crudo which is out of this world and they have it on their special menu. This appetizer just melts in your mouth. I have been there and order two of them. Then for the entrée I ordered the Salmon with herbed fregola sarda, butternut squash, and arugula-almond pesto. Cooked perfectly with a little crusty skin. Excellent. And for dessert I got the Caramel fudge Brownie with Peanut Butter Gelato. I don’t think I have to describe this dessert, I almost licked the plate it was so good.
The only thing I have to say negative about the place is the music. If I could just let the manger know I would tell them to switch the music to something softer and also lower the volume slightly.
Anchovies and Olives
1550 15th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122-4008
RN74 – Their Hudson Valley Fois Gras Sliders are not on the $28 menu but you still have to try this place out. For appetizer I would get the Ahi Tuna Tartare, I am a huge tartare fan. For entrée I would get the Cassoulet de Toulouse with duck confit, pork belly saucisson D’ail which is excellent. And dessert I would have to try the Crème Carmel with compressed smoke pineapple and passion fruit gelee.
1433 Fourth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
Lark – One of my local favorites, I can always find something on the menu and I love the small plates because I can eat many different things. For the $28 menu I would get the Pork Rillettes with French Breakfast radish with butter and smoked salt for appetizer. Then for entrée I would get the Pan Fried Trout with bacon, spinach and hazelnut brown butter sauce. And for dessert the Pineapple tarte tatin with rum caramel and vanilla ice cream.
926 12th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122
Chez Shea – This is one of the most romatic restaurants in Seattle. If you are looking for romantic and good food this is the place for you. From their $28 menu for appetizer I would get the Pan Sauteed Calamari with Asparagus, Bagna Cauda, Caper Emulsion, Roasted Garlic, Herbed Croutons. For entrée their delicious Potato Gnocchi with Italian Parsley & Tarragon Pesto, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Parmigiano Reggiano, Toasted Pine. And for dessert their fabulous Chocolate Mousse.
94 Pike Street
Suite 34, Pike Place Market
Seattle, WA 98101
Monsoon – One of my favorite places to do take out from. Always so tasty and fresh. For their $28 menu I would start of with the Crispy vegetarian rolls with taro root, tofu, carrots and woodear mushrooms or bo la lot, la lot leaves wrapped around carlton farm flank steak and grilled. Then for the entrée I would get their delicious Caramelized Idaho catfish claypot with lemongrass, spicy yellow curry, roasted peanuts. For dessert I would get the Banana cake with savory coconut sauce.
615 19th Ave. E.
Seattle, WA 98112
Don’t miss this opportunity! Hurry and pick up the phone and make a reservation. Many restaurants use OpenTable for you to make reservation, which makes it really easy.
Want to see all my Seattle Restaurant reviews go here!
One Year Ago: Raspberry Orange Muffins
Two Years Ago: Strawberry Cones
Monday, April 9, 2012
The rotating doors at our house are over for at least now, all visitors have left. It was really busy here with parents and in-laws and all other visitors, but now I can get back into my routines.
I hope everyone had a fabulous Easter (this is how we celebrate Easter in Sweden) or Passover; here in Seattle the weather was fabulous we had 70F weather and it was just gorgeous. I even had some time to do yard work and start planting my seeds for my vegetable garden.
Ella is growing fast, already 6 weeks old, time just flies. Things are great and she only wakes up once a night to eat, she is such a good sleeper and just a very mellow little girl, I am lucky.
Ever since I got pregnant I have been more conscious of eating healthy, don’t get me wrong, I will still eat desserts but I just make sure that not only do i take all my vitamins, but I just make sure I eat lots of fish and vegetables as well. I was feeding a human being. The same goes today, since I am breastfeeding I feel like I need to eat healthy since I am feeding this little child. It just makes me thinks twice of what I put in my mouth. The same goes for this recipe, quinoa is so good for you, it’s filled with fiber, iron, and all these amino acids, and when you make it into tabbouleh – YUM! I am a huge tabbouleh fan and when I made this recipe I at the whole thing for dinner. It was so good.
It’s time for another Secret Recipe Club “assignment!” Every month you get a name of a blog and you need to choose ANY recipe from that blog and then blog about that recipe by a date. It’s a secret because the blog owner does not know you are doing this until the reveal date. My secret blog this month was Nutmeg Nanny which is written by Brandy, and I love her blog.
She was just interviewed on Not Rachel Ray, here is a snap shot. “I’m a recently engaged 30-year-old freelance writer and nanny. I grew up in Ohio and moved to New York when I was 19 years old. I started Nutmeg Nanny a little over 3 years ago after I came across the blog Culinary Concoctions by Peabody. I remember reading her blog and thinking “Wow! She is amazing! I want to be like her”…haha that probably makes me sound like a crazy person, but that is really what I thought.” Continue reading.
Since I am a huge tabbouleh fan and was looking for something healthy to eat and feed my little girl I chose this recipe.
Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
2 cup chopped Italian parsley
½ cup chopped scallions
2 medium tomatoes chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 minced garlic clove
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
½ cup fresh lemon juice, about 2 medium lemons
¼ cup olive oil
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground white pepper
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a sauce pan. Add 1 cup quinoa and cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes until all the water has been absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff, cover and let stand for another 15 minutes.
While quinoa is cooking, chop vegetables. Add all chopped vegetables and herbs to a large bowl and toss with lemon juice and olive oil.
When the quinoa and cooled add to vegetables and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper. Let Tabbouleh sit for a few hours to let flavors blend.
One Year Ago: Lasagna Bolognese
Two Years Ago: Swedish Brownie
Sunday, March 25, 2012
I haven’t posted in two whole weeks – wow time just flies when you have a little newborn, I have all these recipes to share but the past two weeks have been really busy. We have literally had rotating doors at our house. My parents staying with us, and now the in-laws here and in between having other family and friends visiting it has just been so busy. And can you believe my Ella is 4 weeks old today. Time just flies when you are having fun. She is such a great baby sleeps 4 hours at time at night and so mellow and easy going. Motherhood is so much easier and so much more rewarding and fun than I ever expected.
Now back to food – today I am joining a new group of folks called World on a plate.
World on a plate is a blogging cultural exchange. On the last Sunday of the month, bloggers from all over the world get together to interpret a food through the lens of their home country cooking. Each blogger will produce a wonderful dish featuring the food chosen that is typical of her/his home country and will tell us a bit about the dish. This month the theme is meatballs – and being from Sweden how can I not feature Swedish Meatballs.
This recipe is a reprint from my early days of blogging – but it is so good and such a huge hit that I have to repost it again.
The Swedish meatball in Swedish “Köttbulle” [pronounced cheutbulle] is very different from the German or known Italian meatball here in the US. Swedish meatballs which are a smaller size then the Italian ones are severed with cooked potatoes, creamy brown gravy and lingonberry. Some history that I found on the Internet:
- In northern Scandinavian countries beef was considered a luxury item, which meant meatballs were highly prized.
- Meatballs are traditionally in served at Swedish smörgåsbord and other festive occasions.
- Swedish meatballs were brought to the USA by Scandinavian immigrants; many of whom settled in America’s northern mid-west states. Other Northern European countries also have meatball/gravy recipes. Regional variations are often a reflection of taste and ingredient availability.
- In the US, Swedish meatballs were very popular in the beginning of the 20th century, and again in the 1950s-1960s.
Here is a recipe for my Swedish meatballs, again there are many variations to this, some don’t add the heavy cream, some add ground veal as well, some only have ground beef, some add carrots etc. But this is my version of them and this is how I like them.
Yield: 24 meatballs
Prep Time: 15
Cook Time: 30
Total Time: 45
½ cup breadcrumbs
½ lbs of ground pork
½ lbs of ground beef
1 onion finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp of soy sauce
3 tbsp flour
2 cups beef stock
¾ cup heavy cream
Note: You can also do a short cut and get the Grädd Sås mix from Ikea. If you are doing so you can add some extra salt and pepper for taste.
Boiled potatoes with sprinkled dry dill
Take the ground beef and mix them together. Chop the onion very fine and put it into the mixture then add the egg, heavy cream and breadcrumbs and mix well. Then add all the remaining ingredients salt, white pepper, and allspice and soy sauce and mix well. I usually use a fork for that and then at the end use my hands.
Once you have it mixed it is time to roll them meatballs. Again, Swedish meatballs are small and should be about 1 inch in diameter. Fry on a frying pan with butter until brown on the outside. You can also make them in the oven as well.
The potatoes I usually like to serve with this are the smaller fresh potatoes because they don’t flake when you boil them. And I will boil them with their skin on them. You can also do other flavors of potatoes like potato au gratin or roasted potatoes or mashed potatoes as well. If you boil the potatoes serve with some dry dill.
To prepare the brown sauce, return your skilled from the meatballs, add flour, and cook, stirring, until smooth and light brown, about 4 minutes. Whisk in beef stock until smooth, and then bring to a boil; stir in heavy cream. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring gently, about 5 more minutes.
Serve the meatballs, with potatoes, brown sauce and with Lingonberries (lingonsylt) which you can find in many local stores and in IKEA but this is a must item.
One Year Ago: Apple and Carrot Bran Muffins
Two Years Ago: American Pancakes