Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Italian veggies

Taken from my new subscription to Vegetarian Times... a super simple, quick, and healthy sidedish. Goes great with pastas!

1 Tomato, sliced
1 Zucchini, sliced lengthwise
Several Asparagus spears, trimmed
1 Red pepper, sliced
Oregano and pepper

Sprinkle pepper over the veggies. Grill on medium-high for about 10 minutes. Top with oregano and served.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Wine of the Week - Canvas 2009 Chardonnay


This is a perfectly nice little wine that you can get during your stay at Hyatt hotels.  The nose and taste are both floral, particularly rose.  Would pair well with many foods, including a red sauce pasta.

13.5% alcohol

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chocolate heart cakes

Happy post-Valentine's Day!

We celebrated with by dining in, and enjoyed a dessert from Care2.com - Chocolate beet cake.

I followed the recipe from the website pretty closely (but veganized to cut the fat/cholesterol). Someone mentioned in the comments on the site to use 4 beets instead of 3. I would agree. I used 3, and as the cake was baking, the aroma of beets filled the house. But once cooled, there wasn't much of a beet taste.

I poured the batter into a 9" x 13" baking dish and made it only about and inch deep. Since this was shallower than the recipe called for, I only had to bake it for about 25 minutes to prevent burning.

Once pulled from the oven and cooled, I used a large heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut cake hearts from the dish, and placed them on wax paper. I then poured melted chocolate chips over the cakes and tried to spread it evenly (I'm not too good at that). Topped it off with some Valentine sprinkles and set in the refrigerator to harden. Happy Valentine's Day to us!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Black Bean, Potato and Quinoa Soup

This was another soup I made by using the random things I could find in my cupboard. It was quite tasty!

For those of you unfamiliar with quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah"), it is a grain-like crop from South America that is very high in protein.

  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 4 cups chopped potatoes
  • 1/4 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 tsp garlic powder (or fresh garlic if you have it)
  • 2 tsp onion powder (or real onion if you have it)
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
Combine ingredients and simmer for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
Serve hot and enjoy!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Wine of the Week - Martin Cendoya Reserva 2005 Rioja


This is a wonderfully hearty wine that I could barely put down.

Strawberry is predominant on the nose, with a little bit of butter underneath.

Flavors of black pepper and smoke on the tongue. This is a full-bodied, well-balanced wine with a lot to offer on the attack, the mid-palate and the finish... with bonus points on the mid-palate. Loved it the whole way through.

14% alcohol

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pine Nut Orange Cookies

I'm not sure where exactly I got this recipe from as I stole pics of the recipe from a friend's magazine. So I've written out the recipe below, with a few of my own alterations I saw as needed:

1/2 roasted pine nuts
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp grated orange zest
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large egg, beaten (or equivalent)
1/2-1 cup almond milk
1 tsp vanilla

1. Stir all the dry ingredients together, including the nuts, in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, vanilla, and egg together and add to the dry ingredients.
2. Mix with your hands until you get a moist dough. Add milk as necessary.
3. Place about 1/4 sugar on a flat plate. Roll a teaspoonful-sized ball of the dough in your hands, coat in the sugar, and place on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.
4. Dip the bottom of a drinking glass in the sugar, and press the dough balls to flatten to about 1/4 inch thick.
5. Bake at 375° for 10-13 minutes, until the tops are golden with browned edges. Let cook on the cookie sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Wine of the Week - Tuscan Moon 2009 Sangiovese


They can't all be winners.

This unfortunate wine is all acid and tart, with a little bit of earthiness underneath. Other than that, there's not much to discern on the nose or palate. Devoid of any distinguishing characteristics, this plays like someone doing an impression of "wine."

13.5% alcohol

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sliced potato

Altered from an old recipe my mom used to make:

1 Russet potato
1 Leek, sliced
Seasonings: salt, pepper, sage, basil, rosemary
Sprinkle of shredded cheese

1. Make several slices in the potato, but not all the way through. Smear a little butter in each slice.
2. Tear a piece of foil slightly bigger than the potato. Spray with a little olice oil so the potato won't stick.
3. Stuff each slice with leek. Top with the seasonings.
4. Wrap the foil around the potato. Bake at 350°F for about an hour. After an hour, check the potato. If it's getting soft, sprinkle the cheese on top, cover once again with foil, and bake for another 15 minutes.