Monday, June 2, 2014

Mediterranean Turkey Meatballs

So over the last few months, I've been a part of an awesome little work idea, a lunch club. Once a month, I cook for about 12 people. I love it. I love cooking for people. And it gives me a chance to cook for others. 

This month, I decided to cook a meal that was very simple for everyone. I made my basil pesto, baked tomatoes and potatoes with lavender salt, kale salad with an orange champagne vinaigrette, and tzatziki. And these Mediterranean meatballs.

These meatballs are made from turkey, with plenty of herbs, they're healthy and delicious. As one of my friends said, these are perfect summer meatballs. And I think they're more like delicious little Mediterranean sliders. These would be great with tzatziki, on their own, or with vegetables. I hope that you enjoy these, as they were a recipe that turned out well.  

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Basil Pesto

Ah summer, the time of delicious herbs and lighter fare. And what is one of the best ways to celebrate all of the delicious herbaciousness? Pesto, my friends. Pesto. While there are many different types of pesto to make, this is one of my favorites. Pure basil. This recipe in particular is vegan, and much healthier for you than some of the canned pesto that you will fid (which in my opinion is usually far too oily).

I did get a tip from a good friend (thanks Ari!) that toasted almonds helps step pesto up a notch. And I completely agree, the toasted almonds helps this. You can serve this pesto on pasta, sandwiches, or just eat it straight. Whatever pleases you most. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Lavender Lemonade Champagne Popsicles

What is better on a warm summer night than popsicles? A throwback to childhood, sticky sweet goodness, all things good and yummy. But what about an adult version? Can they be made? Is it possible

Oh yes, yes they can. And these ones were particularly delicious. Fresh lavender, lemonade, champagne, frozen blueberries. All frozen and delicious. It's incredibly simple but you do need to think ahead of time. The ahead of time is because these can take up to 12 hours to freeze.

So enjoy these one of these weekends in August. Or on a weekday. Whenever popsicles strike your fancy.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Pan Seared Rainbow Trout

It's funny, I think this week is the "your ingredients won't work out so you get to use your brain muscles to come up with a new menu" week. Yes, I know. That's a long ass name. But back story. I was prepared to cook duck. A colleague of Brett's had given him a frozen duck. And it was in a couple plastic bags, so I didn't look at it until I had dethawed it and discovered....wild ducks are enormously different than domesticated ducks. For one, this had no fat on it. None. And it kept bleeding EVERYWHERE. I'm talkin blood blood Carrie-esque blood scene. I only after discovered that wild ducks should be brined in order to get rid of the blood.

Oh and did I mention we were having a guest for dinner?

Yeah.

So off to Whole Foods! And I decided that with the clock running down I needed something that would be quick. Also it is about 1 million degrees outside so I didn't want to play too much with fire.

I looked over the coolers filled with fish. Salmon? No. I do it all the time. Crab? Holy crap $45/container!?! No. $6 for softshell crabs? NO. But wedged in between are some awesome lookin rainbow trout fillets. Why not? Reminds me of my youth, catching rainbow trout near my grandparents' cabin with a creek running right near by.

But what to do with it? Well. Simple preparation is the best. And maybe a dill yogurt-ish sauce? Sure. Let's go! I paired it with the honeydew and fig salad and a crisp arugula salad and a lemon vinaigrette. And it was awesome. I actually think that this is the best prepared fish I have ever done. And the best part? SO EASY! So I hope you can do this and enjoy.

Honeydew and Fig Salad

Mellooooonnn everywhere! I stood at a display at Whole Foods, nearly overwhelmed by the options of melons. Most of which I had never even heard of. But I found myself drawn to the honeydew. Oh honeydew. When I was a kid (aka 5 minutes ago), I used to covet the fruitcups that had honeydew in them. So superior to the mealy cantaloupe (sorry cantaloupe lovers), honeydew always had my heart. It's simple sweetness, it's refreshing flavor...honeydew is, pardon me, the shit.

So I decided to scoop up the honeydew and make a salad of it. I perused the aisles of produce and came upon figs. Mmm figs. Okay. Throw in the basket. Now what else should it go with? I knew I still had some purple basil and chocolate mint (awesome, right) in my fridge, so that would give it some zing. And since I think cheese is the nectar of the gods, I decided to go stroll through the cheeses and see what came to me. Feta? Eh, overdone. Goat cheese? Meh it'll melt in everything. Halloumi? Actually. That was a glorious idea! I decided I would slightly caramelize the figs and grill up the halloumi.

The result was glorious. The saltiness of the halloumi cheese paired with the earthiness of the basil and the sweetness of the figs and the creaminess of avocado....mmmmm. I promise, it'll be delicious. It could be a main dish, or a side dish (I served it with a rainbow trout and arugula salad, which will be coming after this post). Enjoy the tastes of summer!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Mediterranean Chicken and Creamy Couscous

So. Funny story tonight. I had this whole plan that I was going to make curry. I was really amped up about it because I bought all of these awesome curries while in Zanzibar. All I could think of was spicy creamy curry. 

And I went and bought all of these ingredients and I'm heading into the kitchen thinking YES CURRIES! I even bought a vinho verde to pair with the spicy. And right as I start to prep the ingredients.....

I realize that I forgot coconut milk. Kind of one of those critical ingredients. And it is about a million degrees outside. There was absolutely no way that I would venture back into the crushing humidity just to get coconut milk. 

So it was back to the immediate drawing board. I looked over what I had in the kitchen. Well okay, got some unpitted olives, some fire roasted tomatoes, basil, some goat cheese and some Israeli couscous. 

And thus came the new game plan. I'd go with a Mediterranean flavor profile of tomatoes, olives, and fresh herbs. And combine it with Israeli couscous made creamy with goat cheese, it becomes a complete meal.

And you know what? This ended out being a perfect summer meal. Light and had some good briny and earthy flavors. The combination of the kalamata olives and fresh basil made the dish shine. And event though my original plan had to be scrapped, I'm kind of glad it did.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Bison Burger with Caramelized Onions

There are times that I reeeaaallly wish I had a grill. Or an outdoor space for that matter. But alas, while I love our place, no outdoor space is available. But that doesn't stop me from "grilling." I think I've actually gotten pretty good at doing indoor burgers. Because these puppies turned out AWESOME.

Now, I know I've posted a bison burger already. But this one is slightly different. And with totally different ingredients. I used different flavors. Curry. Harissa sauce. Honey. Goat cheese. Tomatoes. Are you intrigued yet?

Honestly I can't go wrong with burgers. Also it's Brett and my dating anniversary today. And Brett loves his burgers. Like a lot. And he especially likes bison burgers. I also like them, and I like the fact that bison is so darn lean that I can eat a big ol burger and not feel AS bad. Or as full. I think I also just really like bison.

I can wax on about my love of burgers, but I think I'll just get down to the recipe. Also I served this tonight with the tomato basil cucumber salad. Mmmm. Summer deliciousness.