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Archive for November, 2007

Spelt Bread

I’ve been experimenting with alternative foods, and discovered a tasty treasure with Spelt Bread. It is really very low in wheat and gluten, so easier to digest. And the best part, is that it actually tastes like bread! I have to have peanut butter on something for breakfast almost everyday. And this spelt bread stuff is ready to tackle my Real Chunky Peanut Butter.

Here are a couple links for more information. But try it, I think you’ll be surprised.

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=143

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spelt

Note: Regarding a photo of the peanut butter toast…. I ate it too fast. So, no photo. But you all know what peanut butter toast looks like, right?

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Yams!!

Such a fun word to say. Yam, yam, yam. I’m making them for one Thanksgiving dinner and got this response when I offered to bring them to the second Thanksgiving.

“No, Sam-I-Am, I do not like yams. I do not like them on a tram, I do not like them served with jam – I do not like them Sam-I-Am!! Sorry I couldn’t resist.”

I don’t like them served with jam either, just a bit of butter and they’re perfect. Since there are so many misconceptions about these fabulous, and ugle, vegetables, I thought I’d look up some details.

Wikipedia says,
Yams are high in Vitamin C, dietary fiber, Vitamin B6, potassium, and manganese; while being low in saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol. Vitamin C, dietary fiber and Vitamin B6 may all promote good health[3]. Furthermore, a product that is high in potassium and low in sodium is likely to produce a good potassium-sodium balance in the human body, and so protect against osteoporosis and heart disease[4]. Having a low level of saturated fat is also helpful for protection against heart disease

I work with a woman who will just pop a yam into the microwave and eat it as is. They’re sweet, and hearty and make a fabulous meal on the go. I’m not sure why I don’t bring them home more often, except that Husband doesn’t like them. Sweet Potato’s are grown in the U.S. and are often called Yams.

I’m also a fan of Cooking Light, so here are a few recipes with yams. If you try one, let me know how it is!

Praline Banana-Yam Pudding

<!– DATA0:Sweet Potato-Pecan Pancakes
DATA1:Breakfast/Brunch
DATA2:264314
DATA3:1338546
DATA4:0
DATA5:Cooking Light
DATA9:null
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Sweet Potato-Pecan Pancakes

Yam Nuea Yang (Spicy Beef Salad)

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Thanksgiving Menu

There’s not much eating going on since I’ve been under the weather for the last couple days, but we did plan our thanksgiving menu, so I’ll share that since it sounds fabulous.

For an appetizer, Husbands favorite Tuna Tataki (we like Wolfgang Pucks recipe on foodnetwork.com), and my favorite, a cheese platter.

Roast Turkey with Truffle Gravy (Nov. 07 Cooking Light, page 136)

Wasabi and Green Onion Mashed Potatoes (Nov. 07 Bon Appetit, page 155)

Cornbread Stuffing with Roasted Fall Vegetables (Nov. 07 Bon Appetit, page 144)

Roasted Green Beans

Spiced Cranberry-Orange Sauce (Lund’s Real Food, Winter 2006)

Yams with Orange Chipotle Glaze (Lund’s Real Food, Winter 2007)

Good Bread with Herbed Butter

For dessert, a apple-lingonberry pie from a local bakery.

And wine, plenty of wine.

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AwesomeIngredients: Truffles

A teammate and I were driving to Duluth this weekend and we got to talking about Truffles. Not the tasty bites of chocolate, but the ugly, earthy fungus that make savory dishes taste orgasmic. I’ve tasted truffle oil at various restaurants over the years, but last fall at the now closed Willi’s wine bar, we were introduced to the ethereal combination of green apple, spanish mahon and truffle oil. Wow. We recreated it at Thankgsiving and a often as we could after that. In honor of this Thanksgiving, and the fact that the little bottle will probably appear again, I did some research on truffles.

Truffles are highly prized as food. Wikipedia says they have the smell of sunflower seeds or walnuts, but all I can really smell is earth. Kinda like a very intense mushroom smell. The two most common kinds of truffles are Black and White. The black sell for about $400 per pound, while the white can go for as much as $2,000 per pound. Most are found in France and Italy. There is also truffle oil available (way cheaper). And now that I’ve done research, really, really disappointing. This is what I found:

Contrary to popular belief, and even the belief of most restaurant chefs, the New York Times recently reported that most truffle oil does not, in fact, contain any truffles. The reality is that the vast majority of truffle oil is actually olive oil containing a synthetic flavoring agent, called “2,4-dithiapentane.” Indeed, Daniel Patterson reported in the New York Times on May 16, 2007 that “[e]ven now, you will find chefs who are surprised to hear that truffle oil does not actually come from real truffles.” Nevertheless, many chefs continue to use synthetic truffle oil, which is inexpensive, because they consider it to be “a reasonable substitute.”

But I’m not ready to believe it. We read the ingredients on our bottle of Urbani Truffle oil, and it didn’t say anything about a synthetic additive, just “truffle aroma.”

I’ve seen truffle oil and truffle salt at my favorite local deli, Surdyks. As for the real thing, I’ve only seen them online. Here are a few links to check prices or splurge.

At GourmetFoodStore.com.
http://www.gourmetfoodstore.com/truffles/french-truffles.asp

Dean and Deluca:
http://www.deandeluca.com/caviar-foie-gras-charcuterie/truffles-and-mushrooms.aspx

SurLaTable:
http://www.surlatable.com/product/o+%26+co.+black+truffle+oil.do?search=basic&keyword=truffle&sortby=gsa&asc=true&page=1

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Chicken with Cherry Tomato Sauce from Cooking Light.

Husband made dinner last night! Yeah! It was a recipe we’ve made before and I planned to make it, but he beat me home and I was very happy to see dinner was started when I got home. The recipe is called Parmesan Chicken Paillards with Cherry Tomato Sauce. The chicken is coated in parmesan cheese and them pan seared. Overall we found the dish salty (me) and bland (husband). The tomato sauce would have been perked up with the addition of good green olives. At least the chicken was nice and tender because he pounded it. (That would be the Paillard technique.)

We probably won’t make the recipe again, but the technique of pounding the chicken and coated it with parmesan is a keeper.

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Quail Eggs at Spoonriver. Or not.

I met a couple friends for lunch at one of my favorite restaurants the other day, Spoonriver.
This gem of a restaurant is owned by Brenda Langton, of my other favorite restaurant, Cafe Brenda. Before we got there, JD called and said she would not eat Quail Eggs. Try as I might, she absolutely refused. I didn’t even realize they were on the menu, but then I remembered that JD is a self-proclaimed “picky-eater” and I shouldn’t have been surprised. She also said there were plenty of other things on the menu she would enjoy.

And enjoy we did. The service at Spoonriver is just really amazing. Our server was laid-back, friendly, new his food, had a sense of humor and really made it a lovely experience. I think he’s waited on me before, and he’s definitely good at what he does.

The friends ordered the Ceaser salad with Free Range Chicken. I ordered the vegetarian special, which was a Zuni Stew served with a Spicy Cheese Quesadilla. The Stew was loaded with Beans and tomatoes and squash and all kinds of good things, including toasted pumpkin seeds on top. The Quesadilla has some sort of mellow spice along with the cheese and crunchy tortillas. The Salads were a hit with the girls, as was the beautiful space of the restaurant.

But we did decided next time we meet its for happy hour so wine can be poured. What were we thinking?

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Something Pretty to Clean that Kitchen With

I saw these cool dish towels on Chow.com the other day and thought they looked really fun. Why not add some lively linens to your kitchen.

And then, I remembered a woman I met this summer, who makes her own and sells them locally. Sarah Kusa makes beautiful pieces, including placemats, table runners, dish clothes and napkins. Its holiday season, someone on your list would appreciate these, right?

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