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Wow! I just heard about this unbelievable collection of books called Modernist Cuisine on The Colbert Report and I NEED IT!

It is a 6 volume collection with over 2,400 pages of recipes, techniques, basics, out of the ordinary cooking methods….and AMAZING IMAGES! I think that is what is drawing me in more than anything. I am a visual learner so this would be of great help to me!

Slight problem….the pricetag is over $460.00! Ummmmmm…holy cow! Maybe this will be a birthday, Easter, Christmas, New Years present…for a fre years…ahem.

Either way…a fairy can dream!

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That’s a lot of HHHHHHHHuhs….. But its ok. Its HUMP DAY!

SanTan Brewery is a local brewpub in Chandler, AZ and has some really delicious beers. Joe and I wanted something a little bit more special than the average grocery store beer last weekend, so I went over to SanTan and purchased a couple of growlers (1/2 gallon= 4-5 beers). This is a great (and safe!) way to have a happy hour at home with well-crafted beer straight from the tap. Straight from the tap??? YES! They fill the growler while you are waiting. No pre-packaged beer for you! Growlers last 4-5 days in the fridge.

For this particular get-together, we chose:

Epicenter Amber Ale

Sun Devil: A blend of the Sunspot Gold and the Devil’s Ale

DO NOT PANIC if you don’t live anywhere NEAR SanTan Brewery….You can use their online Beer Detective to find where SanTan is being poured near you. Just go HERE!

I picked up this tool at Crate & Barrel about a month ago and it has become an essential part of my kitchen weaponry! I have long been looking for a good zester, which is actually hard to find.

Microplane seems to be the way to go as far as graters and zesters. This tool in particular is compact and has multiple uses. It has a zester as well as a peeler, so you can make those cute little lemon and lime twists, just like the pros. Its dishwasher safe which is a BIG bonus for me- and well-priced – only $14.95.

You can purchase this tool, here or head to your local Crate & Barrel to pick it up.

*Image from Crate & Barrel website.

Today is Monday. . . ARRGGGG….

If you are trying to lose weight, or maintain a healthy weight- you know what Monday means. . . The chance to start fresh!

In honor of ARRRRG, Monday- Here is a light recipe that will give you the fresh start you need for the week.

You can do it!

KF’s Light & Tasty Tuna

  • Ingredients:

2 Ahi Tuna Steaks (or as many as you are cooking for) (**Note: Extra tuna can be used the following day for lunch in a salad!)

1 Large Sealable Freezer Bag

  • Marinade:

1 Tablespoon Lemon Curd

Zest of 1/2 Lemon

Juice of 1 Lemon

1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Garlic Clove, Crushed

Salt & Pepper

  • Method:

Mix all of the marinade ingredients together by whisking, in a small bowl. Add salt & pepper to taste. I do about a teaspoon of each.

After marinade is complete, add the Ahi Tuna and the marinade into the freezer bag. You can let stand in the fridge for as long as you would like. For this particular dinner, I did 24 hours- Making it on Sunday and eating it Monday night.


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Remove bag from the fridge and empty entire contents of bag into a shallow roasting dish. Once oven is ready, cook on one side for 7 minutes. Flip and bake on other side for an additional 7 minutes.

A NOTE ABOUT COOKING AHI: It cooks quickly, and overcooks even faster! I have tried this a few dozen times and 7 minutes in my oven seems to be the perfect tenderness. Any longer and it is a chewy mess. If you prefer RARE tuna, you can do 5-6 minutes on each side. As always, your oven will differ from mine, so find the best timeframe for your equipment.


Remove from the oven when done and salt to taste. Add a small bed of brown rice and side salad.

Now, pat yourself on the back for preparing a healthy and figure-friendly meal to kick off the week. GOOD JOB!


It’s Spring Break for some of us. And, for others of us…well, we can pretend!

This recipe comes from our best friend’s mother, who happens to hail from the great state of Illinois as well. She comes from the North, but we Southerners won’t hold that against her! He he . . .

I was at a bridal shower last weekend, hosted by said friend’s mother, and this cocktail was served as a frozen treat!

I got the recipe from her and had to share this idea with you! It is great for a weekend treat as the weather heats up. I think it would be perfect to take to the pool or campsite! The recipe and technique is as casual as it comes….big tupperware, large spoon, plastic cups!

Enjoy!

Whiskey Slush

Ingredients:

12 oz. ORANGE JUICE, frozen in can

6 oz. LEMONADE, frozen in can

7 cups WATER

2 cups ICED TEA, double strength

1.5 cups SUGAR

1 cup WHISKEY (Jack Daniels) – I would personally opt for stronger. . .

Method:

Mix all ingredients together in large tupperware. Cover and freeze at least 24 hours.

Remove and scrape to serve. If it begins to melt, simply refreeze.

For Japan

March 18, 2011

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Please donate by going to this site…
For Japan with Love

Happy St Patty’s week!

Going to a St Patty’s party or having a get-together at your house? Try this unique Irish cocktail and green appetizer for a little something different.

Black Velvet:

1 Bottle Guinness

1 Splash of Champagne or Sparking Wine

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White Bean, Artichoke and Basil Tapenade

1 12oz Jar of Artichokes (Marinated or Plain), Use only 1/2 of the juice

2 Cans of Great Northern White Beans, Drained

1/2 Cup of  Fresh Basil

1 Large Garlic Clove, Crushed

Salt and Pepper to taste

Method:

Combine all in the food processor.

Mix until basil is spread throughout and color becomes light green.

Salt and Pepper to taste.

Serve atop crusty bread or these delicious parmesan crisps from Trader Joe’s.


This is my MOST REQUESTED RECIPE! And I am giving it to you!

Having a good spinach dip recipe is like having an ace in the hole. You always need it, and it comes in handy VERY often. I cannot even tell you how many times I have made this, and I have no clue where the original recipe came from . . . but little by little I have changed things here and there, according to my taste.

Without further ado. . .

Sam’s Super Simple Spin Dip

Ingredients:

1 Bag Frozen Chopped Spinach

*Tip: On the day you are making the dip, throw the bag of spinach in the fridge to thaw. This makes it easier to work with.

1 Tub of WHIPPED Regular Cream Cheese

1 Tub of WHIPPED Chive Cream Cheese

Grated Parmesan Cheese

Salt

Pepper

Method:

In a large mixing bowl, combine the thawed spinach and the two tubs of cream cheese. If it is hard to mix, put in the microwave for 20 seconds to melt.

Mix until all combined. Add 2 handfuls of Parmesan cheese, mix. Salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer mixture into an oven safe casserole dish.  Use Parmesan cheese to create a thin layer of cheese on the top of the caserole dish.

Bake on 400 degrees for 15 minutes or warmed through. Switch to broil for about 10 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Serve with veggies, endive spears, pita or tortilla chips.

*Note: You can add a can of artichokes or a can of sliced water chestnuts to the recipe for variation. Just as yummy!

This weekend, March 11-13, is the Ostrich Festival in Chandler, AZ.

I visited the festival tonight and this is what I loved!

FYI: You can visit the Ostrich Festival at Tumbleweed Park in Chandler

Saturday 10am-Midnight

Sunday: 10am-11pm

Food:

MAN! The Ostrich Festival has it all. This event rivals the AZState Fair as far as food goes.

I would say the Top 3 Best Food Items are the following:

  • The Ostrich Burger – $10 :

Similar to Bison Burgers, lower in fat than Beef. Pretty yummy!

  • Pulled Pork Sandwich- $8

Memphis-style succulent barbecue pulled pork. To die for!

  • Philly Cheese Steak – $7

With the real cheese-wiz and all. Very tastey!

They have so many varieties of food. . . it’s pretty overwhelming. Something for everyone!

The entertainment is great, too. Ostrich races, rides, and concerts!

We got to see The Ready Set and they were pretty good!

Overall, The Ostrich Fest is a MUST DO this weekend!

Check out the attractions and the great food!

Cheers!

Movie Manger is a monthly feature that will highlight a culinary inspiration or concept from a film.

Don’t you just love the movie French Kiss. I am pretty sure I have the entire thing memorized, which can PRETTY obnoxious. Anyhow, it was playing on TV the other day and I found myself drawn to the scene where Kate and Luc are on the train heading to find her beloved pig-of-a-fiance Charlie. Kate, who happens to be lactose-intolerant, finds herself immersed in the delectable French cheeses they are serving in the dining car. WHO WOULDN’T BE!?! Yum! Luc finds her there, pigging out…

Kate: “Did you know that there are 452 official government cheeses in this country? Don’t you think that’s incredible? To come up with 452 ways of classifying what is basically a bacterial process?”

Luc: “You would prefer one cheese and one cheeseburger to put it on, and one restaurant to eat it in?”

Kate: “I’m saying I *LIKE* the cheese. God!”

This scene got me thinking how little I actually know about French cheese. Sure, I use Gruyere from time to time when it’s called for. . . but I have seen so many varieties of French cheese at the market and I haven’t ever ventured out to try any of them.

Until now!

I had a little French Cheese Tasting the other night, and this is how it went!

4 French Cheeses:

Raclette Livradios

“Racler” means to scrape, and this is a perfect cheese to scrape on crackers or fruit.

  • Found cut into a triangular shape- Holds up well for a cheese tray for a party or happy hour
  • Salty, yet mild
  • Would taste great with sliced apple or pear
  • Would be great for melting

Port Salut

  • Identified by its bright orange rind
  • Very soft and extremely mild to taste
  • Versatile, can be paired with anything
  • Great finish and after taste

Comte

  • Hard cheese, feels like a block of Parmesan
  • Tastes a lot like Swiss, but a tad more mild
  • Has a woody taste
  • Would be a good grated finish on a dish that needs a little PEP

Goat Cheese

  • Refreshing light and creamy
  • Similar texture to ricotta, but a bit more firm
  • Extremely versatile, could be used in MANY dishes
  • Would be great with pork

All four of these cheeses were under $5, and can be found at Trader Joe’s. I am going to challenge myself to use them more often in my dishes. I also challenge you to pick up a new cheese and try it out. It was actually really fun to taste the cheeses and talk about each of their characteristics. The amazing wine didn’t hurt!

A demain!

French Flag from here.