Sunday, January 31, 2010

Winter Blahs? Feeling S.A.D.? Plan a Party!

Smile inducing photo

Seasonal Affective Disorder is common in my neck of the woods. But who would call it that? Usually, at the beginning of the winter - I am excited for the increased "carb cravings" and becoming more of a "homebody." I didn't think there was anything SAD about it. Now that it is January - well, I'm looking forward to warmer temps. Looking forward to that Spring Break trip to a warmer climate and putting away the wool socks! My brother told me that he has a happy lamp in Alaska... i'm not sure whether he's telling me a story or if its true.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What's for Dinner? Thai Chicken Burgers!

It's january. I want healthy. I also want SPICY to deal with the cold weather. I want COLOR to combat the white [turning dingy] Minnesota landscape. I want EASY to deal with a law school schedule.

Chicken Burgers - and damn good ones at that. Hits all the elements that are required for this particular dinner - with the added bonus that I got to use some fun kitchen gadgets [though not required!]Check out the recipe here and see how I fared.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Tangerine and Olive Oil Cake

Heavenly Housewife had a great idea to make a citrus/olive oil cake. I used tangerines instead of clementines - and liked how juicy they were. The visual of the cake (which i hope to upload when i get home) - is too close to a pound cake in my opinion. I look at a "loaf cake" - and i think rich, with a thick hearty crumb. Instead, it's super moist and delicate. No complaints - it's just messing with my visual taste buds - like a tease!

Tasty - for sure. With 1 cup of juice and the zest - it's just slightly tangy and sweet. I think this would be GREAT in a 8" round - single layer - with a sprinkling of powder sugar. That - or just make a citrus pound cake!

Gotta love trying new recipes!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

MPLS: Breakfast ideas from The Good Day Cafe

Best Breakfast i've had in - well, awhile - was at the Good Day Cafe in Golden Valley, Minnesota. Idea # 1: A dessert/Appetizer before breakfast - freshly made beignet with sugar, served before the breakfast comes out. YUM!

Idea #2: Fried Egg sandwich - on brioch! The sandwich could be easily replicated at home - fried onions, tomato, fried egg, shaved ham and avocado slices.
Idea #3: Eggs Benedict - with guacamole instead of meat. There was something magical about the lemony hollandaise over a pile of guac. This particular sandwich could have used half the guac (a little overwhelming) but the effect was nice. Could be replicated at home if I felt like making hollandaise in the morning. Maybe this one is best left to the experts!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Friday Night Special: Roasted Root Veggies and Steak au Poivre

You know its Friday when you can open the bottle of wine while getting the ingredients together - and not in any hurry or rush, but just enjoying the act of making dinner. I love making dinner when time is not an issue, it just isn't the same on a school night.
This particular Friday night's menu included slow roasted root vegetables, and a relatively quick steak au poivre paired with a bottle of old vine red that was on sale at Surdyks. The vegetables needed 90 minutes in the oven, so I wanted to get that started first. This recipe is quite easy - and can be adapted to include things you might already have onhand. Read more for the recipes.

Monday, January 11, 2010

January Desserts: Tres Leches Cake

Alton's finished version
picture/recipe credit: Alton Brown's Tres Leche Cake
January is all about cold - without the holidays. There still seem to be plenty of post-holiday gatherings where you cannot get away with pulling out the holiday cookies because everyone knows that they are at least 2 weeks old (and probably much older!) - so you need a fun alternative. This is great because it is (deceptively) light in this health-concious month.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bread Pudding

I love when you have homemade bread - and too much of it! Bread pudding is one of those great recipes that turns leftovers into a fantastic dessert!
Choose your own baking adventure:
Individual Bread Puddings: bake in buttered ramekins [25-30 minutes - depending on size]
Bread Pudding Bread: Use a little less bread and pack the mixture into a buttered bread loaf tin after letting the bread soak in the liquid for at least 30 minutes. You can then slice the loaf and serve with brunch. [bake 30-45 minutes, until set. Let cool completely before slicing.]
One Dish Wonder: use any casserole dish, cake pan, or even a lasagna pan for big crowds [bake 35-45 minutes until set]