Appetizers and Snacks · Recipes · Salad · Vegetarian

watermarc beets

We had a tasty dinner at Watermarc recently.  Mom and Dad took us for Joey and Sunshine’s birthdays.  I shared a beet platter with Dad that tasted as good as it looked.  I’ve been getting beets galore in our CSA box, so I thought I would give them a try.  Here is my version…

Watermarc Beets

  • Baby beets
  • French feta
  • Micro greens
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Dijon mustard
  • Finely minced shallot
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400º.  Season beets with olive oil, salt and pepper and wrap them in foil.  Cook until they are tender when pierced with a fork.  Timing will depend on size.  It can take anywhere from 40 minutes to just over an hour.   Let cool and peel.

To make the dressing: mix two parts olive oil with one part lemon juice.  Mix in a little bit of mustard, salt and pepper.  Add shallots and mix to combine.

Toss the beets in the dressing, set on the platter.  Toss the micro greens with the dressing and create mounds on the platter.  Cube the feta and place on the platter.  Season to taste.

Can’t wait for the tomatoes!

Figs are coming too..

Paige can be a sweatheart.

She got a new kennel.  She’s getting used to it.  And then one day I’m hoping we will be able to sleep through the night!!!!

It looks like prison, but then again you can consider it to be her private suite.

Recipes · Side Dish · Vegetarian

oven baked truffle fries

Yum…fries.  Truffle fries.  Crunchy, salty, glorious fries.

We had these last night.  Mine were inspired by Ellie Krieger’s version in her cookbook – “The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life”.

This truffle salt is really good.  It’s great on pizza.  I also love it on cauliflower puree.

Oven Baked Truffle Fries

  • 1 large baking potato
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • truffle salt or truffle oil

Preheat oven to 450°.  Insert a rimmed baking sheet into the oven.  This tip comes courtesy of Tyler Florence. It helps to prevent your fries from sticking to the baking sheet.

Heat olive oil and sliced garlic cloves in a small saute pan until garlic is golden brown.  Remove from heat, strain olive oil into a mixing bowl.  Slice potatoes lengthwise into 1/4″ matchsticks.  Add potatoes to the garlic oil and toss to coat.  Season with salt and pepper.

Remove preheated baking sheet from the oven and add potatoes in a single layer.

Bake for 35 minutes until golden and crisp.  Sprinkle with truffle salt and parsley.

My mouth is watering.  I think I need more.

Greg Schroeder, owner of Amazing Grapes Wine store

Greg says:

Salt and fat – yeah baby!  Fries work really well with sparkling wine.  Yup, Champagne is a great way to go with this one.  There’s nothing quite like gourmet trashy food like these truffle fries and a superlative Champagne which gets the balance just right!

Find one that has loads of bread yeast with flavors of truffle and wood smoke.  A perfect one at Amazing Grapes is the Perrier Jouet 2000 Fleur de Champagne.  It offers complex aromas and flavors of truffle, wood smoke, butter and spice with a strong mineral element on the finish.

Thanks Greg!!  Now that sounds amazing!!

Main Dish · Recipes · Salad · Vegetarian

biggest loser and sweet beets

I love beets.  I also love how I’ve lost 10 pounds since the beginning of this year!

Gretchen organized a biggest loser competition at work and it’s been great.  Treats around the office are healthier than they used to be.  And everyone is working out at lunch time.  There is a $200.00 pot for the biggest loser.  I want that pot.

So that explains all of my light and lovely posts.  I want to eat great food, period.  And this is great food in my book.  It’s big on flavor, so a little goes a long way.  We had this for dinner, along with Sunshine’s famous swai and broccoli.  Swai is a farmed catfish.  It’s considered a “best choice” by Monterey Bay’s Seafood Watch because it is farmed in a more ecologically responsible manner.  And since it’s farmed, it’s inexpensive.

Roasted Beets with Pistachios and Stilton Blue Cheese

  • beets
  • handful of pistachios
  • crumbled Stilton blue, or any blue cheese you happen to like
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350°.  Wrap the beets in foil with a splash of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast until fork tender, about an hour.  Allow to cool, rub off the skins and slice into wedges.  To make the vinaigrette: whisk olive oil, lemon juice and mustard together.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Toss the beets in the vinaigrette, top with pistachios and crumbled blue cheese.

Sunshine’s  Famous Swai

  • Swai
  • Old Bay Seasoning
  • Lemon Juice

Preheat the grill.  Season the swai with Old Bay Seasoning and a squeeze of lemon juice.  Sunshine creates a foil boat and places the swai inside.  Cook over high heat for 6 minutes with the grill lid closed.  That’s it folks.

The wonder drug.  Our pooches decided 3:30AM is an appropriate hour to get the day started.  Not anymore… the vet suggested we give Molly and Paige a half  of a Benadryl, and now we get to sleep until 5:00AM.  It’s a whole new world.  See how happy Sunshine looks?

The culprits.

Appetizers and Snacks · Healthy · Recipes · Vegetarian

delicate little kale chips

These delicate little kale chips are crunchy, a little salty, and I feel oh so righteous eating them.  The whole bunch is worth 3 points in Weight Watchers world.  Not only is it low in calories, it’s a great source of vitamins A, B6 and C, along with fiber, iron and calcium.

So easy to make…  just remove the center rib from the kale. I used Dinosaur Kale, but any kale will work.   Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a mixing bowl, and toss the kale to coat.  Season with salt or try spicing it up with a mixture of ancho chile powder, cumin and salt.

Spread kale on a parchment lined baking sheet in a single layer.  Bake at 300° for 20 minutes, or until crisp.

Our feet are ready for our vacation next week, thanks to Teresa at R Spa.  She is a miracle worker.  She gave us the most amazing pedicure ever!  We love Teresa, she is such a doll!  And yes, those are Sunshine’s toes:)

Healthy · Recipes · Salad · Vegetarian

asparagus and zucchini crudi

Sibley made this for us a while ago.  It was so delicious…I HAD to have the recipe!  After she sent it to me I realized I already had it in my  Giada’s Kitchen: New Italian Favorites cookbook.  I’ve flipped through that book at least a million times…it just took Sibley for me to see it.  It takes just minutes to prepare because there is nothing to cook!

Asparagus and Zucchini Crudi

  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 ounce shaved parmigiano-reggiano

Using a vegetable peeler, shave zucchini into long strips.  Trim hard stem ends of asparagus, slice in half lengthwise, and then into 2″ long pieces.

Mix olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to combine, and then drizzle over vegetables.  Garnish with shaved parmigiano-reggiano.

Healthy · Recipes · Salad · Vegetarian

fantastic broccoli salad

Check it out.  I had a similar salad at Haute Cakes Cafe a few days ago.  It was so delicious…I couldn’t wait to try my own version with the broccoli bounty from our garden.   I used raspberry vinegar to dress this fantastic broccoli salad, but you could use cider vinegar just as easily.  I also used the blood orange olive oil Melissa sent us from B.R. Cohn, thanks Melissa!  I’ll make it for you the next time you come over….The Bachelor on Monday perhaps?

Fantastic Broccoli Salad

  • 1 bunch broccoli
  • Handful of blueberries
  • Handful of grapes, halved
  • Handful of slivered almonds
  • Handful of walnut pieces
  • Small amount of goat cheese, crumbled
  • Good splash of raspberry or cider vinegar
  • Drizzle of good olive oil, the blood orange olive is really tasty, but not absolutely necessary
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Cut the broccoli into small florets, chop the tender stem ends.  Reserve the rest of the stems for soup.  Add to a large stock pot with a small amount of water and pinch of salt.  Steam for a few minutes until crisp tender and bright green.

Add the blueberries, grape halves, slivered almonds and walnut pieces.  Toss with vinegar and olive oil.  Gently fold in the goat cheese.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

I made a little soup with the stems.

I’ve never grown broccoli before.  I’ve got to come up with a recipe for the leaves…hmmm.

So pretty!  It was a little frosty outside when I took this picture.

Breakfast · Recipes · Vegetarian

Who-hash and eggs

Chik brought over my new Cuisinart food processor!  I accidently told him to order one for me while drinking mimosas.  Oopsie.  It is quite fabulous!  It comes with 3 bowls and a nice tool kit.  My old one works fine…who wants it?  It needs a good home.

I made this who-hash on Christmas morning.  It’s also known as white and sweet potato hash with fennel on page 23 in the booklet that came with my glorious new food processor.  Of course I changed it up a bit according to what I had on hand.  This one is for Kristi….

Who-hash and eggs

  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 pound baby new potatoes
  • 2-3 small yams, or sweet potatoes
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and halved
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Finely chop onion and parsley by hand or in your wonderful new food processor.  Set aside.  Shred potatoes and fennel.  Combine onion mixture and potato mixture.

Heat butter in a large sauté pan.  Add all ingredients and cook on medium low until done.  Cover for at least 5 minutes of the cooking process.

Prepare eggs according to your taste.

Who-hash and eggs!!

We had some fresh squeezed orange juice and champagne.  There we go with the mimosas again…

Oh look, here’s Kristi!  This picture must have been taken while shopping for her ice cream cake ingredients.  Happy Holidays my fellow food lover!!  Yours, Sloppy.