Archive for April, 2008

Earth Day Dinner

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008 | edibles, tuesday night dinner | No Comments

It’s Earth Day today so we went vegetarian. And remember, kids, ALWAYS use canvas bags for your grocery shopping!

Peach Caprese Salad
Makes 8 salads
4 balls Mozzarella (I used 2 tubs of Trader Joe’s pre-cut “Medallions”)
4 large frim-ripe yellow or white peaches (I used 2 glass jars of Trader Joe’s Peach Halves)
Any kind of Salad
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Place salad in plate and layer peaches and mozzarella, repeating layers 2 or 3 times. Get fancy. I made a simple olive oil/vinegar/honey dressing, but balsamic dressing works great too. The recipe I took this from also layers mint sprigs and basil leaves in the mix, topped with a curry/olive oil/vinegar/honey dressing if you’re looking for fresh ideas (1/2 Tbsp. curry, 1/2 olive oil c. and 1/2 c. vinegar, 1/2 tsp. mild honey). This salad can be made any number of ways…so just make it how you like it.

Penne with Spinach Walnut Pesto
(Surprise–no basil in this pesto!)
Serves 8

1 pound penne pasta (1 bag of wheat penne)
4 oz. chopped walnuts
1 cup veggie broth
10 oz (about 1 package) of baby spinach
2 cloves garlic
2/3 cup grated Parmigiano or Romano Cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Heat 1 cup veggie broth to a boil and remove from heat. Using a food processor, working in batches, grind spinach leaves with nuts, veggie broth, and garlic (Hint–I pre-ground the nuts and spinach individually to make this process work better in my ancient blender). Transfer ground spinach nut paste into a large bowl. Stir in the cheese, nutmeg, olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Spoon over pasta, or toss together. Best served with extra cheese on top of the pasta/pesto, with some additonal salt and pepper.

P.S. The pesto is really great on leftover crostini slices!

Added Bonus: Peach and Strawberry Bellinis
Ingredients: Proscecco + Fruit Nectar

Tecktonik

Thursday, April 10th, 2008 | ramblings | No Comments

I think I have to learn this new dance craze that’s swept thru Europe : Tecktonik

YouTube “Tecktonik” for more!

Dinner Next Week

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008 | edibles, life lesson, ramblings | No Comments

I found some recipes for Pad See Ew and it seems pretty easy. So, I think next week, I’m going to make Pad See Ew and Tom Kha Kai (or Tom Kha Shrimp, not sure what the Thai word for shrimp is). Is that cool?

I’ve been really about cooking the last few weeks. Consider me re-inspired. I might revert to my original plan of catering because I think I like serving people food that tastes good. Maybe I’m not a 9-5er after all.

6 Year Anniversary of DFT

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008 | ramblings | No Comments

It was almost 6 years ago, in the boredom of summer 2002 a few of us started getting together to make dinner. It was just a fun joke that the theme would be deep frying foods but that joke has become a weekly tradition thats lasted this whole time.

People have joined and left but it’s been steady and strong. Thanks everyone that has made this possible.

{{ HUGS & KISSSES }} all around.

So what’s for dinner next week? I’m hungry!

Pork Tenderloin w/ Arugula & Walnut Vinaigrette

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008 | edibles | No Comments

We made this in conjunction with Moroccan-Style Potatoe and Egg Sandwiches (recipe below)! It was super fun and I learned to make dressing for the first time! So so good. (thank you epicurious!)

Here, a garlic-packed vinaigrette is infused with caramelized sucs—pan drippings—from the roast pork, creating an uncanny fusion of nutty, meaty flavors.

Active time: 15 min Start to finish: 1 hr

Servings: Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

1 1/4 pound pork tenderloin
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/3 cup red-wine vinegar
About 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup walnuts, toasted, divided
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons water
5 ounces baby arugula

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle.

Pat pork dry and sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Heat vegetable oil in a 12-inch ovenproof heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then brown pork on all sides, about 6 minutes total.

Transfer pork in skillet to oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 145 to 150°F, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand 10 minutes.

While pork stands, add vinegar to skillet (be careful; handle will be very hot) and boil, scraping up any brown bits, until slightly reduced, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a heatproof measuring cup and add enough olive oil to bring total to 3/4 cup liquid.

Pulse 3/4 cup walnuts with garlic, water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to a coarse paste in a food processor. With motor running, slowly add oil mixture to make vinaigrette.

Toss arugula with just enough vinaigrette to coat, then divide among plates. Top with thin slices of pork and drizzle with remaining vinaigrette. Crumble remaining 1/4 cup walnuts over pork.

Moroccan-Style Potato & Egg Sandwiches

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008 | edibles | No Comments

Our version we left out the peppers. I think making sure there is a 3rd flavor is important as it was a tad on the bland side without it. Potatoes were amazing though!

Inspired by the street food in the grand plaza of Marrakech, food editor Ruth Cousineau recasts the sandwich.

Active time: 30 min
Start to finish: 40 min

Servings: Makes 4 servings.

Ingredients

4 large eggs
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1/2 lb Italian frying peppers, cut into 2- by 1/4-inch strips
1 large onion, halved lengthwise, then cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
3/4 lb boiling potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 Portuguese, challah, or kaiser rolls (about 4 inches in diameter)

Special equipment: an electric coffee/spice grinder
Accompaniments: extra-virgin olive oil; harissa (spicy North African condiment) or cayenne (optional)

Preparation

Cover eggs with cold water by 1 1/2 inches in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan and bring to a rolling boil, partially covered. Reduce heat to low and cook eggs, covered, 30 seconds. Remove from heat and let eggs stand in hot water, covered, 15 minutes. Rinse eggs under cold water 5 minutes to stop cooking. Peel eggs and quarter lengthwise.

Meanwhile, toast cumin seeds in a dry 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant and a few shades darker, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool, then grind to a powder in grinder. Transfer to a small serving bowl.

Cook peppers, onion, potatoes, salt, and pepper in oil in same skillet over moderate heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are browned and very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut off an end of each roll and pull out some of bread from center to form a wide deep pocket in each roll. Put 2 egg quarters in bottom of each pocket and fill with vegetable mixture. Top filling in each sandwich with 2 of remaining egg quarters and sprinkle with some of cumin.

Serve sandwiches with remaining cumin and oil and harissa for seasoning.

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