In the Kitchen

Kitchen

Happy Friday, sweet readers. We’ve made it through another week! And in anticipation of another beautiful weekend ahead of us, I thought I’d share another easy and delicious dish to highlight one of my favorite summer vegetables… tomatoes.

Have a last-minute BBQ to attend? I suggest you make this. I made it for my book club ladies a few weeks back and they all begged for the recipe before they left. I promise, everyone will love it!

Tomato and Cheese Tartlett

Ingredients

  • Frozen pie shell
  • 1 Tbs. whole grain mustard
  • 1 quart cherry tomatoes (quartered)
  • 1 1/4 cups Fontina cheese (shredded)
  • Handful of parsley
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Olive oil/salt + pepper
  • 1 egg/water {for egg wash}

Directions

Preheat over to 375 degrees. Remove frozen pie shell from freezer and brush with 1-2 tablespoons of whole grain mustard. Place a layer of the shredded Fontina cheese over the mustard, followed by a layer of the quartered tomatoes. Repeat this twice and finish with another layer of cheese.

Make an egg wash by whisking together 1 egg with about a tablespoon of water and brush the pie edges with a pastry brush. Place in over and bake for 45 minutes till cheese is bubbly and crust is golden brown.

While the tart is baking, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and one peeled clove of garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Transfer the garlic infused olive oil to your mini food processor and add in a handful of parsley and salt/pepper. Pulse until it forms a paste.

As the tart cools, spread this parsley/garlic paste on top.

A special thanks to my Mom for this recipe. As the Office Administrator for Sustainable Nantucket, she works alongside farmers and growers who are working to build  a more locally based, self-reliant food economy on the island. This recipe was shared at one of her events a few years back. I know it will be in my recipe collection for years to come!

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In the Kitchen

Food

Is it really only Wednesday? I’m ready for the weekend!

Since making my award winning chili last week, I must be honest and say very little has happened in my kitchen. While catching up on my blog reading this am, I read this interesting piece on the five things in your kitchen you wouldn’t be caught without. So, I thought today I would add my five things to the list, which include:

  • A block of delicious cheese
  • Crackers (I could easily make a meal out of crackers and cheese)
  • Olive oil (I’m obsessed with Frankie’s 457 oil at the moment)
  • Eggs (I’m a huge fan of breakfast for dinner)
  • San Pellegrino (I think their glass bottle is one of the prettiest things on a table)

Do share yours too!

In the Kitchen

Chilli

Yesterday was my firm’s annual chili competition. And who doesn’t love a food competition?! I tell you, I’ve got a serious competitive streak when it comes to this stuff {explains my addiction to Top Chef, which is hours away}. After submitting my name, I knew the place to go for inspiration. Pinterest. My fountain of youth for all things, really. Knowing that I work with conservative, Type A’s, I knew I wanted to do something a little different. When I stumbled upon a buckwheat and chocolate chili, courtesy of heavenlynnhealthy.com, I knew I had found my winner. And while it wasn’t the prettiest dish I’ve ever made, it certainly was delicious. I followed the recipe to a T but have made notes below on a few modifications I will make next time. And the good news… I took home the prize for Most Creative!

Bean and Buckwheat Chili with Dark Chocolate 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin
  • 1 fresh chili (next time I will use two… needed a little more heat)
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika powder
  • 2 teaspoons of ground oregano
  • ½ teaspoon of dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon of raw honey
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato purée
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 cup of buckwheat groans
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 celery sticks
  • 1 cup  of walnuts
  • 1 15 oz. can of kidney beans
  • 1 15 oz. can of chickpeas
  • 3 15 oz cans of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 teaspoons of sea salt
  • ½ cup of apple cider vinegar (next time I will do 1/4 cup… very strong vinegar taste)
  • ¼ cup of red wine
  • ½ regular bar of 70 – 80% dark chocolate

Directions

Start by chopping the onion, crushing the garlic and chopping the vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Remove the seeds from the chili and roughly cut it into strings. Finely chop the walnuts.

Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven. Add the onion, garlic, chili, cumin, paprika, oregano, and marjoram and sauté for a minute or two until fragrant. Be careful not to let it burn.

Add the chopped carrots, bell pepper, celery and sauté for another 3 to 4 minutes. Now add the buckwheat, beans, walnuts, canned tomatoes, tomato purée, water and salt and let it cook for about 30 minutes on medium heat.

After 30 minutes, add apple cider vinegar and chocolate and stir for another 5 minutes. Add more salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

All in all, the recipe comes together in about an hour. I made it Monday night and served it on Wednesday and I think it really allowed it some time for the flavors to develop. I served it with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, fresh cilantro, and fresh squeezed lime juice. With the left overs last night, I made a burrito with it and added in avocado. Yummy!

 

 

In the Kitchen

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I’ll admit it. I skip breakfast from time to time. But I have a feeling those days are long over now that I have found this simple and easy recipe for Overnight Oats.

I was first introduced to overnight oats about a year ago while staying at a little b&b. I asked the inn keeper for her recipe. When I returned home, I gave the recipe a try and was disappointed. No bueno. Last week, Nectar and Green* included a recipe in their weekly email from Darling Magazine and I had to give it a try. Second time must be a charm as they were delicious and super easy.

Overnight Oats

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cups of oatmeal
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 Tbs. chia seeds (I opted for a little over 1 Tbs.)
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • handful of yellow raisins
  • handful of slivered almonds

Directions

Combine all the ingredients in a glass jar (I used my Wreck .5 L glass jars), stir well and let sit overnight in the refrigerator. Next time, I’m going to add some fresh fruit to the top.

*I met Laurel through my dear friend Abby last year. Laurel is the creative genius behind Nectar and Green, a weekly distributor of small batch almond milk. Not only is her product delicious but the nutritional benefits are impressive. She has pick-up locations throughout the city (we pick up our milk at Urban Grape). Check out her website for more details.

 

 

In the Kitchen

chili

Is everyone else freezing today?! My goodness, winter certainly has arrived. To help add a bit of warmth to you and your homes, I wanted to share one of my favorite chili recipes. I found the recipe last year on Feed Me Phoebe. I have made it my own by making a few slight modifications. All in, this recipe takes about an hour to make. I promise, it is worth it!

Moroccan Chili with Sweet Potatoes, Chickpeas and Kale

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbs. harissa
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes {I always use San Marzano}
  • 1 15 oz. can chickpeas {drained and rinsed}
  • 3 cups diced sweet potato
  • 2 cups water
  • bunch of fresh kale
  • 1 lemon

Directions

In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil and saute onions over medium heat until soft. This usually takes about 5 minutes. Push the onions to the side of the pan and add the ground turkey. Cook the meat, breaking apart with a wooden spoon until browned and cook through. The onions will become incorporated as your brown the turkey. Add the garlic, harissa, cumin and sea salt and cook for 1 minute or until the spices have become fragrant.  Pour in the tomatoes {with the juice} and cook for about 15 minutes. Stir frequently and make sure to scrap up all the brown bits at the bottom of the pan. This is where the flavor is!

After the mixture has reduced, add the chickpeas, sweet potato, and kale. For the kale, I usually buy a bunch at the store and just tear the leaves off the stem. I think it works out to be about 3 cups when said and done. Bring chili to a boil, turn the heat to low, and simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes or until the sweet potato is tender and the chili has thickened.

Before serving, add in the juice of 1 lemon. To serve, I add in a little sour cream, grated cheese and finish off with a warm corn tortilla.

In the Kitchen

cookies of the world

This past Sunday, I was lucky enough to join a wonderful group of women at my friend’s charming South End shop for a cookie swap. And what fun we had. While searching for the perfect holiday cookie recipe, I came upon a Cookies of the World post on Food52 and decided on the homemade mint slices from Australia. I was sold on these as the author said these cookies are better than thin mints. I wasn’t sure such a thing existed!

The truth is in the pudding as these cookies were delicious and a huge hit not only at the cookie swap, but at my office and Kristen’s office. Do you need to bring a little something to a Christmas celebration, I suggest you try these!

Homemade Mint Slice Cookies

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

For the filling and the coating:

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 4 ounces milk chocolate
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon coconut or vegetable oil {I used vegetable oil}

Directions

Cream together the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl, add the egg, and continue beating until the egg is incorporated and the mixture lightens in color. Add the cocoa powder to the egg mixture and beat until there are no lumps. Finally, fold in the flour until it is all incorporated. You should expect the dough to be very soft.

Turn it out onto a piece of baking paper, roll it into a log about 1 1/2 inches thick, and wrap the dough. Place the log into the freezer to chill for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350° F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

When the dough is finished chilling, take it out of the freezer and slice it into 1/2-inch pieces; you should get about 20 rounds. Place the cookies onto the baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and leave them to cool completely on the baking sheets.

To make the mint filling, simply stir together the powdered sugar, the peppermint extract, and 1 tablespoon of water {I used a little more than 1 tablespoon and used my hands to incorporate}. Take a scant teaspoon of the mint filling and use it to top each cookie, patting and smoothing it with your fingers so that it covers the top but stops shy of the edge of the cookie.

To coat the cookies, melt the chocolates and vegetable oil in a metal bowl over boiling water {my version of a double broiler}. Make sure the water is not touching the metal bowl. Once the chocolate mixture has cooled slightly, dip each cookie in the chocolate, coating it completely. To speed up the process on my second batch, I just dipped just the tops of each cookie and let them set.

Once complete, make sure to store cookies in the fridge. This will help the chocolate harden as well.

Image Credit: Food52

Pantry

ILA

Hello from Boston on this rainy afternoon!

Are you still looking for some last minute gift ideas or just need a little something to make you smile today? Look no further than ILA, a wonderful new source for kitchen essentials, brought to you by the creative genius behind Sunday Suppers.

Much is in a name, no? And ILA is derived from Hindu Mythology and a woman whose beauty was irresistible and spirit was gentle, kind and grounded. In Sanskrit, ILA  means earth, beauty and prayer. I may just have a new favorite word!

Each offering is beautifully packaged and sourced from farms, purveyors and artisans around the globe. ILA’s mission is simple: inspire one to gather and feast together. What a delightful notion. I can’t wait to test their olive oil, a little treat for myself this holiday season.

Photo Credit: ILA website

In the Kitchen

unnamed

I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather these past few weeks and can’t quite seem to kick it. I don’t know why but whenever I’m sick, I lose my appetite, which doesn’t help the whole getting better process. Last night I decided I needed a meal that felt like a big hug. And don’t you just agree that soup does that! I found this flu fighter soup on Pinterest and it has since become by go-to. Feeling under the weather? Give this a try. The broth will instantly make you feel better, I promise!

Flu Fighter Chicken Noodle Soup

For the chicken:

  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast tenders
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F).
  2. Place chicken tenders in a large baking dish lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil and sprinkle with spices. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, flipping the chicken at the half way point.
  3. Once cooked, pull into small chunks using two forks and set aside.

For the soup:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 very large onion, finely diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • Big pinch of salt
  • (1) 32 oz containers chicken stock
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups of pasta noodles (your choice)
  • Juice of 1 lemon, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
 Directions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed soup pan over a medium flame. Add carrots, celery, and onion, and cook – stirring occasionally – for 8-9 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and salt and cook for another minute before adding the bay leaf, water and chicken stock.
  3. Increase heat to high, bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, stir in noodles, and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
  4. Stir in cooked chicken, dill, and lemon juice. Taste soup to adjust seasonings.

In the Kitchen

unnamed (1)

Apple picking really has become my favorite way to welcome fall. Last Sunday, K and I traveled to South Natick to meet up with my sister and her family to enjoy the day at Lookout Farm. And what a day we had: a train ride, camel ride, cider donuts and some of the most beautiful apple trees I’ve ever seen! With the help of my little pickers {my nephews}, we came back to the city with one giant bag of apples. Not wanting any to go to waste, I got myself into the kitchen to do some baking and thus far have made a cake and these muffins, which were super easy and super delicious.

Apple Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 cups peeled, cored and diced apples (about 3 apples)
  • Brown sugar for topping

Directions

  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. Cream together sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla.
  3. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  4. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture until combined. Note that the batter will be very thick.
  5. Add in diced apples and incorporate.
  6. Fill muffin liners to the top and sprinkle with brown sugar.
  7. Bake for 22- 24 minutes.

Yield is about 18 muffins. Next time, I may add just a bit more cinnamon to the mix. Oh and if you’d like to know, the ceramic muffin pan and napkins are from Anthropologie.

In the Kitchen

unnamed (1)

57 weeks ago I posted the above photo on Instagram of one of my favorite soup, promising to share the recipe soon. Since today is the first day of fall, I thought today would be the perfect day. I’ve been making this soup for nearly 15 years now as it is super easy and super delicious. Plus, it has a pretty high wow factor.

French Fish Chowder

*slightly modified from New York Times recipe

  • 1 lb. cod fillets
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion {1 medium onion}
  • 1 cup chopped celery {usually about 3 stalks}
  • 1 cup diced red pepper {1 red pepper}
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. turmeric {an Indian spice with cancer fighting power}
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups of broth {fish, vegetable or chicken}
  • 1/2 cup orzo

Directions

  1. Cut fish into 1-inch cubes.
  2. Heat oil in large saucepan {I use my dutch over} and add onions, celery, red pepper and garlic and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  3. Add turmeric, wine, tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme, pepper flakes, broth, and season a little with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the orzo, stir well and simmer for about 8 minutes.
  5. Add in the fish and return soup to a boil. Remember to remove the bay leaf.

I like to finish the soup with about a tablespoon of cream and a dash of curry powder. I serve with grilled french bread rubbed with olive oil and garlic. I think the soup tastes better with a little time to rest so I tend to make the base ahead of time and just bring to a boil a few minutes before serving and then add the fish.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!