One woman's foray into cooking for herself, for her family, and for her friends. It's not always picture-perfect, sometimes a little messy,
but it's always delicious. Join me in exploring new recipes, savoring the "résultats" and learning from the "erreurs".

Friday, April 23, 2010

Saturday Blog Showcase #16 - Mango Sorbet

Welcome to the sixteenth edition of Saturday Blog Showcase!  Ann (Thibeault's Table) hope you join us in showcasing some of the wonderful bloggers and their recipes.  The guidelines to participate can be found at the bottom of this post.  Join in the fun!

I found my inspiration for this week at Sidewalk Shoes.  Pam's beautifully presented Mango Sorbet caught my eye.  It was a great opportunity to break my ice cream maker out of winter hibernation.  I found some wonderfully ripe mangoes at my local produce market and I was set to go.  I thought Pam's addition of dark rum (just a smidge!) was brilliant.  The sorbet was delicious, the color rich.  It will become a permanent part of my frozen treat repertoire for the summer.  Thanks, Pam!

Mango Sorbet
adapted from the genius of David Lebovitz

2 large, ripe mangoes
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
4 teaspoons fresh squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon dark rum, plus more to taste
pinch of salt

Peel the mangoes and cut into chunks. Place the mangoes and the rest of the ingredients in a blender. Squeeze the mango pits over the blender to try and get as much juice out of the flesh as possible. Puree until smooth. Taste and add more lime juice or rum. Chill thoroughly and the process in your ice cream maker per it's directions.

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If you would like to join us this week just :

1.Make a recipe from a fellow blogger's website and share the recipe on your blog with a link back to the blog where you found the recipe.

2.Add the Saturday Blog Showcase logo to your post.

3.On Friday night or Saturday, link your post to Mr. Linky

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Saturday Blog Showcase #15 - Spanish Varillas

It's time for Saturday Blog Showcase again.  Thanks to Ann (Thibeault's Table) for hosting this week!  We'd love to have you join us.  To participate, make a recipe from another blog, introducing us to the original blog (or reminding us of one we already love!)  Link back to that blog and place the Saturday Blog Showcase logo on your post.  Then sign in to Mr. Linky (located at Thibeault's Table this week), and that's all there is to it!  It's a great way to show appreciation to the many great cooks of blogdom!

This week, i discovered a blog called Spache the Spatula.  With beautiful photography and delicious-looking and -sounding recipes, I knew my pick would not disappoint.  And it did not!  A simple recipe, but full of flavor, an appetizer called Spanish Varillas caught my eye.  With great ingredients like Prosciutto di Parma and goat cheese and arugula, how could it be anything but great?  A simple goat cheese mixture is spread over the prosciutto, layered with arugula and wrapped around a crispy breadstick, and cocktail hour is complete.  Absolutely delicious!  Thank you, Rachael! 

Spanish Varaillas

-Prosciutto di Parma (or serrano ham), sliced very thin
-crispy bread sticks (you could get flavored ones if you want but I just stuck with the traditional; also, I could only find grissini, the very thin breadsticks - so I used 2 per 'roll')
-goat's milk cream cheese (I couldn't find this but did find a creamy goat cheese - I used about 1/2 cup)
-chives, diced
-sun-dried tomatoes (I  used three), minced
-pinch of freshly ground pepper
-pinch of sea salt
-baby arugula (I used a mixture of baby arugula and baby spinach)

Mix together the chives, pepper, sea salt, sun-dried tomato, and cream cheese in a small bowl.  Spread the cream cheese mixture over one side of a slice of prosciutto and add the arugula on top of that.  Carefully roll the prosciutto around a bread stick. Repeat for as many as your heart desires.

Serve with leftover cream cheese mixture to dip!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Saturday Blog Showcase #14 - Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Welcome to the 14th week of Saturday Blog Showcase.  Join Ann (Thibeault's Table) and me in using this opportunity to showcase the delicious recipes of our many fellow bloggers. 

My entry for this week's Saturday Blog Showcase is Cate's World Kitchen's recipe for Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies.  Cate's beautiful photos of these cookies were so compelling, I had to make these for myself.  And the cookie lived up to Cate's pictures.  I absolutely love the texture of these cookies.  The chocolate does not overpower the oatmeal cookie but adds another dimension.  The outside is slightly crisp, but the inside is soft and almost fudgey.  Thank you, Cate, for a wonderful recipe.  I'll be making these over and over again!

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
Makes about 30 cookies

10 tbsp butter (2/3 cup), softened
1 cup light brown sugar (packed)
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
4 cups old fashioned oats

Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a couple cookie sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat.

Beat the butter until smooth and creamy and add both sugars. Mix well, then beat in the eggs and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, salt, cocoa powder and baking soda. Add to the butter mixture and mix until all traces of dry ingredients disappear.  Stir in the oats.

To form cookies, scoop out 2-3 tbsp of dough at a time and flatten slightly, 12 to a cookie sheet.  Bake for about 15 minutes, or until set on the edges but slightly fudgey inside (they’ll harden up as they cool).

Cool on the sheets for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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If you would like to join us this week just :

1.Make a recipe from a fellow blogger's website and share the recipe on your blog with a link back to the blog where you found the recipe.

2.Add the Saturday Blog Showcase logo to your post.

3.On Friday night or Saturday, link your post to Mr. Linky


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tablescape Thursday - Gray Areas

This week I'm doing a simple table of gray and white.  The placesettings are pretty streamlined and the table decor is minimal, but I love the effect.  A touch of greenery from the tulips and I'm calm just looking at this table!

I picked up a bunch of tulips from my local grocery store for a mere $10!

These little darlings were a Big Lots find.  Don't you love that store??

Napkins, basket: Tuesday Morning
Bird figurines: Big Lots
Flatware: Pottery Barn
Gray dishes: Dillards
White dishes: Sur La Table

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Many thanks to Susan of Between Naps on the Porch for hosting Tablescape Thursday.  Please visit her site to see all the beautiful tables created by the participants.  Thanks again, Susan!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Seared Scallops, Carrot Fritters and a Yoghurt Dressing

I love scallops.  When you can find fresh ones, their sweetness and texture is beyond compare.  And one of my favorite ways to prepare them is with this recipe.  It's one I came across several years ago, though for some reason I don't make it as often as I should.  The three elements of this dish come together to form one spectacular flavor combination: the unusual carrot fritters with their Indian spices, the sweet, caramelized scallops, and the tangy yogurt dressing.  This makes for a wonderful appetizer or even a light meal.  Try it - you won't be sorry!!

Seared Scallops, Carrot Fritters and a Yoghurt Dressing
12 medium-sized scallops, intestinal tract removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

to serve
carrot fritters (below)
yoghurt dressing (below)

Place the scallops in a bowl, add the olive oil, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium to high heat and cook the scallops for 1 minute each side.

Place 3 carrot fritters on a plate, top with the watercress and scallops and drizzle with the yoghurt dressing. Season with pepper. Serves 4.

Carrot Fritters
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup club soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon superfine sugar
1 teaspooon sea salt
1 small red chili, seeded and finely chopped
1-1/2 cups grated carrot
8 green onions (scallions), finely sliced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 315 F. Place the flour, club soda, egg, cumin, coriander, turmeric, sugar and salt in a bowl and mix well. Add the chili, carrot, green onions, and cilantro and stir to combine. Heat a frying pan on a mdium to high heat, add the oil and heat until hot. Cooking in batches, add 2 tablespoons of batter per fritter and cook for 2 minutes each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Cook teh remaining fritter batter, adding extra olive oil if necessary. Place the fritters on an ovenproof plate lined with paper towels and keep warm in the oven while you cook the scallops. 

Yoghurt Dressing
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
1 tablespoon lime juice
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
Place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk.

Source:  Bill Granger's Bill's Open Kitchen (copyright 2003)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Saturday Blog Showcase #13 - Oven Roasted Cauliflower, Onions & Garlic

Welcome to this edition of Saturday Blog Showcase.  Ann (Thibeault's Table) is hosting this week.  Thanks, Ann!  To participate, make a recipe from a fellow blogger, add the Saturday Blog Showcase to your post, and sign on to Mr. Linky (on Ann's website this week).  That's all there is to it!  It's a great way to show appreciation to our fellow bloggers for their wonderful contributions we all drool over each and every week!

I recently discovered a wonderful blog called Butteryum - don't you love that name?!  She has wonderful recipes (my "to-try" list is growing exponentially!) and beautiful photographs of her dishes.  If you haven't yet visited her site, please do so.  You're in for a real treat!

One of Butteryum's dishes I've been wanting to try is her Oven Roasted Cauliflower, Onions and Garlic.  Her photos are stunning and made my mouth water.  I love roasted vegetables and cauliflower is no exception.  I loved the idea of roasting some garlic and onion along with the cauliflower.  The dressing adds a wonderful flavor element.  It took my oven a little longer to get that wonderful caramelization, but it was well worth the wait.  I'll be making this again and again!

Oven Roasted Cauliflower, Onions, and Garlic

1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
3-5 cloves garlic, cut in half if large
1-2 small onions, cut into large cubes

3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Optional Garnish - chopped parsley or chives, crushed red pepper flakes, or parmesan

Preheat the oven to 400F. Place veggies in a large casserole dish; toss with dressing. Bake at 400F for about an hour, stirring every 10 minutes. Garnish.
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