Lamb Stir-Fry with Pomegranate and Yogurt

Lamb Stir-Fry with Pomegranate and Yogurt

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Rose’s Vinaigrette

If somebody is cooking for me, I honestly don’t care what they put on my plate. Sitting down to a meal cooked entirely by somebody else is the height of relaxation for me. I don’t want to be asked if I think the chicken is done or if it needs more salt (it does). I just want it placed in front of me with a glass of wine. Letting go and having no control over the preparation feels good.

The exception, however, is salad dressing. I have a hard time being a passive observer when it comes to salad dressing.  When Amie, Carolyn and I lived in San Francisco we had one of those glass salad dressing containers and we would fill it with the packet of Italian spice mixture, oil and vinegar. Every night. The thought of having one more teaspoon of that overly-flavored concoction makes me gag. Why get good lettuce if you are going to drown it in bad dried oregano?

Have I converted you? Anyways, recently my mom made me dinner. I don’t even remember what it was to be honest because like I said, I don’t care as long as it’s made for me! What I do remember, however, was the salad dressing. It’s called Rose’s Vinaigrette after cookbook author Lucinda Scala Quinn’s mother I believe.  I doubled the recipe and it’s been in my fridge all week. It has a few more ingredients than my standard vinaigrette but it’s awesome and  works with everything.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Fall always feels a bit melancholy to me. I think it still, even after all these years, reminds me of going back to boarding school after awesome summers at home. (sniffle, sniffle)

Luckily fall food is awesome…roasted vegetables, stews, apple crisp and pumpkins. Yesterday I took a stab at pumpkin whoopie pies for Lionel and Julie's Oktoberfest BBQ.

I felt a little ridiculous making these cutesy little desserts. I purposely skipped Martha Stewart's version of the recipe to maintain some semblance of badass-ness. But despite their cuteness, they are really good and not as high maintenance to make as I originally assumed. And washing them down with a good German beer made me feel a little cooler. Then this morning I sent a few to school for Xavier and Annecy’s teachers. My coolness took a big hit.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Apples and Onions

I’m still trying to use up our apples. We have a giant bag of them dangling off our kitchen cabinets (to protect them from the mice) and I have barely made a dent in them. Last night I made a pork tenderloin recipe that used the two Granny Smith apples that were the least likely to get eaten fresh as snacks.  It’s a very easy, quick weeknight recipe that I will put into a weekly rotation this fall. I used green anise instead of fennel seeds but otherwise followed this recipe exactly.

Considering how few ingredients there are, it is full of flavor.  Next time I would double it so there are more leftovers. By next time I mean tonight. These apples aren’t going to eat themselves!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Apple Cake

This weekend we went up to Mark’s “cabin” about two hours north of the city. I say “cabin” because it had five bedrooms, a tree house, a huge heated pool, a fire pit down by the lake and a basement set up with a projector and giant screen for rainy movie days. When we weren’t teasing Mark about the meaning of the word ‘moderation,’ we were playing scategories, swimming, drinking and eating.

Mark had gone apple picking the day we arrived so we had plenty of fresh apples. Ryan made a great whiskey and cider cocktail garnished with fresh apples…but we still had dozens to use up. The house was stocked with awesome cookbooks including “Edible: A Celebration of Local Foods.” I made the recipe for apple cake which I think goes something like this. (If I’m a cup or a tablespoon off, blame Ryan’s cocktails!)

Mix together 3 cups of flour, one teaspoon baking powder, one teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and set aside. In a larger bowl, whisk together 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup grapeseed or vegetable oil. Then mix in one teaspoon of vanilla and three eggs. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients and four cups of chopped apples. Pour into a greased bundt pan and cook for an hour. Check for doneness and cook another few minutes if necessary.

This is a sturdy, fruit-packed cake that isn’t too sweet. It’s great for breakfast and snacking.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Pan Roasted Chicken Breast with Dijon Sauce and Crispy Pancetta

I went back to work this week. Along with this fresh start came the usual New Years-esque promises of going to the gym and healthy eating.  I figured eating lunch with colleagues might stem my peanut butter from the jar and ice cream habits and force me to at least acknowledge the existence of salads. But then I saw a recipe for roast chicken with pancetta. Cooking with bacon didn’t exactly scream ‘salad’ but this recipe includes some of my favorite ingredients such as Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar and shallots.

I made as is except my chicken breasts were skinless. The pancetta makes up for the loss of fat. As I have mentioned before, chicken breasts can easily become dry and gross so take them out of the oven when you are still a tad worried they are undercooked.

Serve this over greens….and it’s a salad!