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A Simple Salad for a Crazy Good Life

17 May

Since becoming a Mom, I have found it extremely important to find recipes that are simple and healthy. As parents, we need our strength and energy! I have found making salads is where it’s at. It’s a simple formula really – greens, protein, fat and color (sometimes I add in a nut and a fruit). This last week I made a chicken salad with avocado, bacon, cherry tomatoes and a dijon dressing. So easy and soooo yummy! I make this type of salad at least once a week. I can buy the ingredients a day or two in advance and boom – dinner is ready!

This yummy salad is low carb, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and soy-free for people with food allergies – but totally full of flavor!

This recipe makes 2 full entree salads…

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6-8 (or more!) slices center-cut bacon, diced
  • 2 boneless, trimmed skinless chicken thighs (4 oz each)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp mild jerk seasoning
  • 3 cups chopped romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1/2 cup baby arugula
  • 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 avocado – halved and then sliced

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

FullSizeRender (1)

 

  • Cook bacon in a large heavy nonstick skillet until crispy, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel to drain and set aside.
  • Drain the fat but don’t wipe the skillet, leaving any excess oil in the pan to cook the chicken.
  • Season chicken with salt and jerk seasoning, cook in the skillet over medium-high heat until golden and cooked through, about 5 minutes on each side.
  • Make a bed of the romaine and arugula in a large serving bowl or platter (or divide between 2 plates/bowls). Scatter the cherry tomatoes, avocado and bacon on top.
  • Slice the chicken thighs and add to the salad.
  • To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl whisk the ingredients. Pour over the salad and serve right away.

Enjoy!

 

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Alameda Comfort Food

16 Jun

Wow! It has been a loooong time since I have made a post on here. Things have been extremely busy on my end. I have gotten a new job and engaged since my last post!!

I have a new adventure coming up too… a new one in food. I am a Cookapp Chef! Cookapp is this cool new app that allows you to host dinner parties for people in your area. Mike and I love meeting new people and cooking… so we thought this would be a lot of fun. I am hosting my first event June 28th!

I hope you guys can come! Enjoy a fantastic evening of fun, laughter and as always – great food.

Below is the menu…

Ribs

Cocktail Hour
Assorted Cheeses – Humboldt Fog, Honey Bee Gouda and Truffle Tremor
Berry Vodka Gelees
Corpse Reviver #2-Gin, Lemon Juice, Lillet Blanc, Triple Sec and a dash of Absinthe. (1 cocktail per person)

Starters
Escarole Salad with Horseradish and Capers
Burrata with Olive Oil and Fresh Cracked Pepper

Main Course
Slow-Cooked Short Ribs with Gremolata
Roasted Potatoes with Preserved Lemon

Dessert
Classic Crème brûlée

Beverages
Beer and wine will be offered with dinner, but you are welcome to bring other drinks you may like.

Braised Rabbit in White Wine, Mustard and Thyme

15 Oct

A couple of weeks ago, I ran into an old friend/cooking teacher – Chef MikeC and, now new friend, Chef Mark Dessert (I know right!! Fantastic last name! for a chef!) I got so excited that I wanted to have them over for dinner. I knew right then and there I had to make something that I had never made before… what a perfect opportunity to learn something new! So I thought to make Rabbit.

I immediately called the butcher I usually go to – Baron’s Meat and Poultry but they didn’t have the rabbit I needed… so I then started to ask around to figure out plan B. I was directed to go to The Local Butcher Shop. I love it there! The people that work there are so nice and wonderful. I will definitely be going back.

The rabbit we cooked that night was amazing. So tender, juicy… flavorful… wonderful! I loved cooking this too. It was so easy and I was able to leave in on the stove and go entertain my friends. This was the perfect meal on a nice Saturday night. We served it with garlic confit mashed potatoes and a fresh green salad. I paired the rabbit with a nice oaky Chardonnay from Deerfield Winery.

BraisedRabbit

Rabbit

Adapted from Simply Recipes

Ingredients:

  • 1 rabbit – about 3 pounds, cut into serving pieces (I get my butcher to cut it up for me)
  • Salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups of white wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup whole grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Take out your rabbit 30 minutes prior to cooking – you want your rabbit to be at room temperature. Put salt and pepper on your rabbit.

Melt the butter in a pan and brown the rabbit – about 4 minutes on each side. You might want to do this in batches – you don’t want to crowd the pan! Once the rabbit has browned, remove from the pan and put into a bowl. Sauté the shallots until golden brown and fragrant.

Add the white wine to the pan, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan (makes it more flavorful!) Add the mustard, thyme, and water. Bring to a boil. At this point, taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Add the rabbit pieces to the pan – coat the rabbit with the sauce. Drop the heat to medium/low and cover for 45 minutes. You want the meat to be super tender and basically fall off the bone. You might need to extend the time to 1 hour, but not much more. Wild rabbits sometimes need more time.

When the rabbit is done, remove the rabbit and place on a heated platter. Turn the heat back up to reduce the sauce about half. Turn off the heat and add the cream. Stir to combine. Pour sauce over the rabbit and serve.

With side dishes and a 3.3 pound rabbit, I was able to feed 6 people. We also served burrata with some bread.

My soul was extremely happy that night. Warmed by wonderful food and great company.

A Little More than just Tortilla Soup

1 Oct

So much has happened in the last week! Which is why I haven’t been posting as much lately… but that will all change… meaning – I will be posting more on a regular basis again.

I started off last week with a presentation to my Lean In group, at my old job, on how to face your fears (whether is it with your personal life or at work), and to take the opportunity to Lean In. The presentation I did was one of the more nerve wracking things I’ve had to do in my career. I am really happy I did it… but I am also thankful it’s over with. Right after that I got sick. Soar throat… stuffy nose… a little cough. Luckily, I wasn’t sick for too long and I was healthy again by the end of the week. Friday night I went to the FAAS third annual After The Ball fundraiser – which was fantastic. Great company and wonderful wines (of course)

Saturday was a super special day for me. Not only was this the weekend in between my last and new job… but I had a one on one with none other than the wonderful Joyce Goldstein. We sat in her living room… had some cappuccino and pastries and talked about food and what advice she has for me for my future. It was dreamy and made me feel so inspired. I have a new future and I feel fantastic right now. That evening was also extremely inspiring and FUN! Chef MikeC and Mark Dessert came over to make dinner with Mike and I. We had a blast. We braised some rabbit with white wine, grain mustard and fresh thyme. Chef MikeC and Mark Dessert made some garlic confit mashed potatoes and a fresh corn, radish salad with a simple vinaigrette. My stomach and soul were warmed and content. I couldn’t have been happier.

I leave you today with one of my favorite cold weather recipes… now that fall is upon us. I learned this back in college and it has always been a staple in my life.

ChickenTortillaSoup

Ingredients

1 onion – chopped
5 cloves of garlic – minced
1 jalapeño
2 ears of fresh corn (white or yellow) – cut off of cobs, but save the cobs for later!
2-3 chicken thighs or 2 breasts – cut into cubes or shredded
1 28oz can of diced tomatoes
2 cans of black beans – drained
2 cans of pinto beans – drained
3-4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock (depending on how soupy you like it. I prefer mine more like a stew)
Salt and Pepper
4 TBSP Olive Oil

Garnish
Handful of cilantro – chopped
1 package of cheddar cheese
Sour cream or plain greek yogurt
Tortilla chips

1Cilantro
2BeansTomatoes
3Garnish
TortillaSoup

Salt and pepper the chicken and then brown the chicken in the bottom of a pot with some olive oil. Cook through and lightly browned. You might need to cook the chicken in separate batches to brown it properly. Once cooked, take out the chicken and put it in a separate bowl. Sauté the onion, garlic and jalapeño in the same pot with a little more olive oil and salt. Cook until fragrant and golden brown – about 8 minutes. Add the chicken back to the pot along with the can of tomatoes, pinto beans, black beans, corn AND the 2 corn cobs. Do a quick stir – then add the stock to the pot. Stir again. Adjust the salt and pepper to your liking. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes. Stirring occasionally.

You can serve this soup multiple ways. I like to serve my soup with a dollop of sour cream, a handful of cheese, and a big crumble of tortilla chips on top with some cilantro. I don’t make my bowl that soupy – but you can add more of the broth to your bowl if you want. I have also had this soup with out the garnishes and it is also fantastic. This makes SO MUCH SOUP! But it keeps nicely and you can always freeze it for a quick weekday meal down the road.

I hope you enjoy this. I love this soup and I hope you do too.

Thank you for your support!!

Grand Opening – Gary Francis Fine Art

24 Sep

Friends and family!
I would like to take a moment and invite you all to the grand opening night of Gary Francis Fine Art – right here in Alameda! Yours truly will be serving light bites. Some of which I have already shared on this blog! Plus some more amazing appetizers too! Come on by and check it out.

Transported
October 11th – 6-9pm
1419e Park Street, Alameda, California 94501

Below are some of the pieces that will be shown.

Art1 Art2 Art3 Art4
I am so excited for this event! Not only do I love Gary’s art (my entire living room has his art work in it), but this will be my first event that I will be providing food for.

Come on by – look at some great art and eat some tasty food… support your local businesses!

Thank you!!

Autumn is Coming Up!

17 Sep

My favorite season by far is Autumn. I love the weather, the wonderful smells in the air, the warm clothing, and the beautiful fall food! – Squash! *I’m doing a little squash dance… whatever that looks like*

I am sooo excited for the food I will be cooking… below is a list of food that I want to make… hopefully I will have enough time!

AcornSquash
Acorn Squash and Sweet Potato Soup from Tartelette

pumpkin-bars-cake
Pumpkin Bars/Cake from The Girl Who Ate Everything

squash-pizza
Roasted Butternut Squash Pizza from Taste for Adventure

pumpkin-quinoa-white-bean-chili
What the what?! Pumpkin Quinoa White Bean Chili from Allyson Kramer’s Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes

cheesecake6
Drooling… Pumpkin Cheesecake from Lick the Bowl Good

risotto
Last but not least – Butternut Squash Rissotto from The Pioneer Woman

Oh my… so many wonderful squash recipes. I could go on and on… but I think this is enough for now.

Is your mouth watering? Mine sure is. This year I am also going to experiment with different kinds of squash… for example… the sweet dumpling squash, fairytale pumpkin squash, carnival squash, and buttercup squash to name a few. What fun names those are too. Who gets to name these things? I want to do that!!

I am also looking forward to drinking spiced tea, pumpkin tea, hot cider (that tastes like apple pie with a little Tuaca – so yummy!). I really wish I had a fire place I could snuggle up to… a girl can dream right?

What are you looking forward to this fall? Or are you someone who doesn’t like this season? Please comment below – I’d love to hear from you.

Check out my first post on Kabocha Squash Tortellini  for some more inspiration.

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