Tag Archive | food

Made a Berry Good Smoothie in the New Blender Today!

Guess what we got?! A new blender!

After getting our rebate in the mail from Costco, we were off to find the perfect blender. Did you know how confusing it can be when shopping for kitchen appliances? Lucky for us, our kitchen is so tiny that I can’t shop for fun gadgets very much. So the other day I found myself *ecstatic* going store to store and comparing all the blender options – the differences aren’t very noticeable until you start touching the device. I’m serious!

For example, the moment I lifted the glass container on what would become our new blender, I knew it was “the one”. The one that had all the traits I’ve dreamt about….The one that seemed to know how to fit my needs like a missing puzzle piece….The one that made me wonder if God really does create our other half…. Sigh…  Oh, wait! I’m supposed to be talking about our blender, not my man!!…. I always seem to veer off track and daydream about him…..

Okay, back to the blender.

The best part is that it has pre-programmed buttons that provides a timed blending of your food in a perfectly rhythmic pace. When I hit the smoothie button, it goes on high for a few continuous seconds, slows to a one-pulse-at-a-time for a couple of rounds, back to a continuous pulse, etc., and repeat. It does EXACTLY the same routine I would do! All on its own!! *Magic* I LOVE LOVE LOVE this thing!!

Here is the newest member of our growing family:

Isn’t she purrrdy?!

Even though I’ve been out picking fresh blueberries & raspberries, we have a freezer full from last summer that I really need to use. Perfect for a smoothie!!

Berry Smoothie

1     cup frozen or fresh blueberries

1     cup frozen or fresh raspberries

3/4  cup vanilla yogurt

1    cup orange juice

1    cup milk

A handful of ice cubes

With my blender, it is easier if I put in the ice cubes first, followed by the OJ and milk. Next I add in the blueberries, raspberries, and yogurt. Blend for a couple of minutes so that the ice is crushed well and the remaining ingredients are blended. Serve in a pint glass and serve immediately.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A Taste of the Sea

Fish.

And lot’s of it.

It amazes me how much fresh fish we eat. Would you believe me if I said 16 weeks a year we are eating fresh fish? And I very well may have under-estimated that number. We are serious about fresh fish in our home – not only for the health factor, but it doesn’t get much more organic than bringing home your own food from the wild, whether it be veggies or meat. We are proud to eat from the meat we “hunt”; fish, elk, duck, goose.

Well, I only catch fish, but my rugged outdoor-loving real-life Jeremiah Johnson of a man (who can also wear a tailored suit better than any model in any Gucci ad) brings home the rest. He’s the more patient one in this relationship. We’ve agreed that if he hunts it, I will cook it. Yet, somehow I have yet to find any recipes for anything other than fish. Coincidence? Maybe. Or maybe not. I stand by the fact that the pages of my cookbook always stick together in the “game” section. I swear it’s a sign that I don’t need to learn to cook it!

Here’s one of our favorite recipes for cooking our fresh fish:

First, fillet the fish and remove all the bones.

Next, we spread olive oil over the fillets; then add freshly ground pepper, salt, and dill. If using dried dill (as we do), be sure to crumble it in your palm prior to sprinkling over the fish. It helps to release the oils/scent. Add the juice of 1/2 lemon over the fillets. Finally, cut 1 tablespoon of butter into quarters and place on the top of the fillets. Place the fish on the grill on medium-high heat for 15 min., then check to see if its done. Proceed to continue cooking until the fish is fully cooked.

While I prepared the fish, I had 1/2 yellow onion sauteing in olive oil over medium-high heat on the stove. Add a pinch of salt to help them sweat, followed by a pinch of pepper for seasoning. Once they are translucent and beginning to carmelize, I added 1 cup of sliced mushrooms. These were button mushrooms, but shiitake mushrooms would work well too. Cook the mushroom and onion mixture until the mushrooms are brown along their edges, about 5-7 min. Add 1 cup of white wine (I use Pinot Grigio because then I can drink a glass with dinner!) and continue to simmer until the liquid cooks down, about 4 min.

The fish is done! It looks so good in this photo that I am literally starting to salivate. No. Joke. It’s like I can smell the buttery-lemony-dill sauce through the computer!

I served a cut of the fillet with the caramelized onion & mushroom mixture on the side. I HIGHLY recommend serving it on the top, though, because every bite we took tasted so much better when both were on the fork together. YUMMY goodness!! It’s healthy, easy, and flavorful.

You will be so excited for the next chance you get to make it! Enjoy!

Grillin’ with Bobby Flay

Well, with his cookbook, that is.

Last week I whipped up an easy meal with rib-eye steak, buttermilk mashed potatoes, and Dinosaur BBQ baked beans. Ever hear of Dinosaur BBQ? No, they don’t grill up dinosaur meat, but that could be a great story to tell kids to get them to eat their dinner! They are in upstate NY and have a few restaurants across the capital region area. I believe they originated at Harley Davidson gatherings! I know, a far cry from my typical weekend hangouts, but good food brings all kinds of people together! My mom found out about their food and it made such an impression on her, she gave us all cookbooks one year for Christmas! Yummy recipes that can satisfy any BBQ meat lover’s palate!

Bobby Flay’s Rib-Eye with Molasses-Mustard Glaze

2     bone-in rib-eye steaks

1/2  cup molasses

2     Tbsp. Dijon mustard

2     Tbsp. horseradish

1     tsp chile powder

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

canola oil

Remove the steaks from the fridge 30 minutes before grilling.

Whisk molasses, mustard, horseradish, chile powder together in a small bowl and season with s&p. Let the glaze sit for at least 30 minutes before using, allowing the flavors to meld together.

Heat the grill to high. Brush both sides of the steaks with canola oil & season liberally with s&p. Place the steaks on the grill and cook until golden brown and slightly charred, 4-5 min.

Turn the steaks over, brush tops with glaze, reduce heat to medium and continue to grill until bottoms are golden brown and slight charred. Center should be medium-rare, 6-7 min.

Remove the steaks and brush with more glaze. Let rest for 5 min. before slicing.

Dinosaur BBQ Beans

2     cans Bush’s baked beans

2     Tbsp. olive oil

1/2  large onion, chopped

3/4  cup chopped green pepper

kosher salt & black pepper

2      garlic cloves, chopped

8     ounces hot Italian sausage (removed from casing)

1     Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1     Tbsp. ketchup

2     Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1     Tbsp. cider vinegar

1     tsp chili powder

1     Tbsp. molasses

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and peppers, cooking till soft, adding salt & pepper. Toss in the garlic and cook for one minute.

Crumble the sausage into the veggies and cook, chopping to break the meat into small pieces. Cook till the pink disappears. Drain off some of the bean liquid in each can so that it’s at the same height as the beans; then mix the contents on both cans into the cooked veggies and sausage.

Turn down the heat to medium-low and add in the remaining ingredients. Simmer for 5-7 min. Serve immediately, or cool and reheat before serving. (We love it best the next day!)

Inspiring Chefs: Bobby Flay

Bobby Flay has recently made an impression on me. It wasn’t his barbecue tips or his competitive spirit to “throw” chefs “down” under the table. It was the fact that he found what inspired him and made a life out of it, thereby inspiring others. Nothing like creating a life that comes full circle.

He is a high school dropout that has built an empire around food. I think his success comes from how he commands the attention & authority of a room through his steady tone and strict expectations of behavior from others.  Oh, and he really knows how to cook, and it’s a lot more than just BBQ meats. Iron Chef anyone? And have you watched him on the Next Food Network Star? The way he calmly looks at the contestant while ripping them and their food into so many pieces that it makes pulled pork look like chunky squares. Okay, maybe that’s a little exaggerated, but I think you get the idea. He’s one tough cookie!

I’m not the only one that has found a lot of respect for this guy either. This morning he was co-hosting Today with Kathie Lee and Hoda (Hoda was off for the day). In his best Don Drapper attire, this kitchen king found his way into a whole new realm. He pulled off the gig with flying colors, which says a lot considering he was sidekick to Kathie Lee. The moral of the story? It’s somewhere in between “The kitchen and food can inspire people who may have been lost to create a new life filled with success”.

In honor of Bobby Flay, tonight I’m grilling up some rib-eye steak. Recipe to follow.

It’s Raspberry season!

Did you know there is an island in the state of Oregon? I sure didn’t. During my first visit here in 2009, I learned about Sauvie Island by going berry picking in the 100 degree heat of July. They have blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, marionberries, raspberries, etc. and many varieties of each.

Fast forward to 2011 and I still can’t get enough berries in July!I picked 15lbs of Tulameen raspberries and began to run out of space in the fridge for them – I needed a solution – STAT!

So what else to make on a lazy summer Saturday morning when I can’t sleep in no matter what? Make Raspberry Syrup over Buttermilk Pancakes!

After tasting the tart yet still sweet raspberry syrup over those light ‘n fluffy pancakes, I may just have to rethink maple syrup’s role in my pantry… It. Was. That. Good. Can’t wait to see what other recipes I can find for this wonderful berry!

Here are both recipes, from Food & Wine:

Raspberry Syrup

5     cups fresh raspberries

¼    cup of water

1 ½ cups sugar

Directions:

 In a non-stick saucepan, combine the raspberries and the water. Lightly crush the berries against the side of the pan, then cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Strain the raspberries into a bowl, pressing down on the berries.

Wipe out the pan and pour in the raspberry liquid. Stir in the sugar, bring to a boil over high heat and cook. Skim the surface and stir until the sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Serve warm.

The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month.

Makes about 1 ½ cups.

The Best Buttermilk Pancakes

1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2     tsp. baking soda

¾    tsp salt

2     cups buttermilk

6     Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

2     large egg yolks

2     egg whites

Fresh raspberries for garnish

Directions:

While making the batter, heat a griddle on medium-low heat. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt. In separate large bowl, combine the buttermilk, butter, and egg yolks.

In another medium bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add the dry ingredients to the buttermilk mixture and stir just until combined. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the beaten egg whites into the batter just until combined.

Heat a lightly buttered griddle. For each pancake, gently spread the batter on the hot surface to form a 4-inch circle. Cook over moderately-low heat until the top pops the bubbles, about 2 minutes. Flip the pancakes and continue cooking until golden about 1 minute longer. Transfer to a large plate and keep warm while the other pancakes cook.

Serve with Raspberry Syrup for a wonderful weekend breakfast.

Makes 4-6 servings – I halved the recipe to make exactly enough for 2 people.