Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Irish Hot Toddy

So, I realize that I have mentioned many times already how long this winter has been, but now it has finally gotten to me...it gave me a wonderful cold complete with frogger like voice and a cough that doesn't want to go away. I don't know how you are with colds, but I generally try all the the basics and am responsible for the first few days...drinking lots of water, vitamin C, taking only the prescribed amount of over the counter meds and getting as much rest as possible. The unfortunate thing about this cold is that I am functional for everyday life. The type where I can still function at work and get stuff done at home...I just sound bad and feel a little disoriented. I almost wish it was a cold where I could just sleep for two days straight and it's gone...I said 'almost wish'.
Anyways, in normal progression of any cold I have by day four, I'm truly sick of being sick and at that point it's time to bring in the big guns....my buddy Jameson in Hot Toddy form. Now I forgot to take a picture when the drink was made because I was too busy wrapped up in a blanket with the warm mug in my hands and zoning out on tv (probably cooking shows). Maybe I'll need to make another tonight to add to the site later.

On to the good stuff...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Truffle Oil Pizza with Olives & Gruyere

This is a homemade fun adventure of a dinner.  From making the dough to sauteing the mushrooms to taking that first warm, savory bite, the only thing missing is your own wood burning pizza oven...unless you have one.  As we all know, and it's not the first time I've mentioned it this year, but it has been a long, snowy winter and one winter Saturday early in the season I looked out my windows to see only white and snow coming down all around me.  Perfect...I'm snowed in ...time to cook. 



Not much can beat a quiet afternoon with the house to myself, whipping up some fresh dough from scratch, smelling the truffle oil and sauteed mushrooms, and truly taking the time to welcome that moment to create and be myself.  Of course, the left overs the next day weren't bad either. 


Greek Sandwich Wrap


As much as I love the detailed meal with a marinated tenderloin or slow roasted bird, I sometimes can truly appreciate a meal that is simple, takes virtually no time and is just as yummy as those times you spend the afternoon in the kitchen preparing a meal for friends and family. 

Irregardless of how relaxing my large meal preparation may be for me, my two-job-social-butterfly-ish lifestyle does not always allow me the time to make grand meals every day and night...that is, unless I do not want to sleep. And I definitely want my sleep to keep up with that busy life. So began the hunt to find quick and yummy lunches for work that fill that small amount of time from when I wake in the morning to when I head to work.



This lunch's prep time is 10 minutes or less - depending on how fast you can chop.


Greek Wrap
 
Ingredients:

  • 4 Roma Tomatoes - Diced
  • 1 Med Size Red Onion - Diced
  • 2 Cucumbers - Diced
  • Spinach
  • Feta Cheese
  • Greek Dressing
  • Sandwich Wraps

Preparation:

This doesn't need a lot of instructions with it. Dice all of the tomatoes, onion & cucumber and store in container together. Wash spinach well. Both of those steps done in the morning. At lunch, assemble sandwich, lay spinach in the middle of the wrap. Top with veggies, feta cheese & Greek dressing and wrap the sandwich up.

Variations:

1. Add the dressing to the diced veggies before you head to work. Marinading them could bring more of that flavor out. This depends on how many days it will take you to finish the mixture though. If it sits for too many days, you could end up with soggy veggies.

2. Depending on the amount of meal planning you do in your household, if you have left over chicken or steak that is seasoned in the similar fashion, it would work great with this dish.

FYI - It goes great with a side of Greek yogurt and some sweet potato chips for me today.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Experiment with Fondant

The desire to play with fondant had been growing and the thought of decorating a beautiful or fun or funky cake was almost too exciting to stop thinking about.  My usual perusal through foodie websites and flipping through shows like Cake Boss and Extreme Challenge on TV only encouraged this desire.  As everyone knows, I really enjoy trying new things and learning how to perfect them to my style, but without the actual opportunity, why would I just make a fondant cake.



I can thank my mother for her impromptu wedding for just that opportunity to play with fondant.  That's right...I said impromptu wedding...four days notice...or more like 8 years in the making, but only four days notice for the actual service and small reception.  Some how managed to help plan, put together, make a cake and clean (with the help of some really wonderful people) in less that 48 hours and everything was absolutely beautiful.  

Congrats to the happy couple!