Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Veggie chili

It's been crazy cold here in LA the last week, so what better way to warm up than will a bowl of hot chilli? And even better, in a bread bowl?

Veggie chilli
I followed this recipe from SparkPeople to the tee, but poured the chili into a bread bowl.
Gimme some hot chocolate and a pair of slippers and I'm all set!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Caprese skewers

I hope everyone's Thanksgiving dinner was fantastic!

I served the usual - turkey, corn, carrots, etc - but I also threw in a little Italian with parmasan-crusted green beans, my harvest lasagna and for an appetizer - caprese skewers.


Couldn't be easier, or tastier:
Grape tomatoes
Fresh basil leaves
Mozzarella balls

All impaled on a long toothpick. A caprese salad in one yummy bite.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!
from your friends at Eat Well and Prosper

We'll be back with more great recipes soon!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Spicy stuffed acorn squash

You may remember my acorn squash recipes from awhile ago - Winter Stuffed Squash and Stuffed Squash. As it's autumn, nearing winter, I thought I'd try this again but change it up a bit.

1 acorn squash
1 clove garlic, diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1 carrot, chopped
Peppers of choice, chopped
1 can black beans, rinsed
Dash of spices - cumin, cayenne
Cheese of choice, shredded

1. Following squash cooking instructions as in previous posts.
2. Meanwhile, heat veggies in a pan in oil until slightly browned.
3. Scoop out the pulp from the squash and mix with veggies. Spoon the mix back in to the shells. Top sith spices and cheese.
4. Bake for another 10-15 minutes.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Wine of the Week - Spin the Bottle 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon


This wine has a great, complex scent signature.  Predominantly cherries, but with a variety of red fruits and some dark cloves underneath.

On tasting, the blast of tart acid up front is a surprise.  But that quickly subsides, and you soon start to notice some minerality and more of those dark flavors; I singled out some subtle earthy coffee bean notes.

Very good wine!

13.8% alcohol

Friday, November 1, 2013

Wine of the Week - Jubileo "Zapata" 2009 Zinfandel


Here's a wine that I very much enjoyed, but may not be for everyone.  It depends on how much you enjoy deep, dark flavors.

This wine has notes of black pepper, burnt leather, and black licorice.  A little bit of berry aftertaste.

15% alcohol

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The World's Easiest Tomato Tart

Another great pinterest find! I had to bring appetizers to two different parties last weekend (as well as 2-3 dozen cookies to each), so I wanted something simple, yet classy and tasty. This fit the bill perfectly. It's from babble and I doubled the amounts to make the two pictured.
1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted
2-3 large tomatoes, or a handful of cherry tomatoes, cored and sliced
2-3 branches fresh thyme
1 T. good quality olive oil
a generous pinche of Sea Salt

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper or a Silpat. Place the puff pastry on the lined baking sheet and lightly score a 1/2″ border around the edge with a sharp knife. Use fork tines to prick the pastry inside the border all over. This will prevent the pastry from puffing up too much when baking.
2. Place the tomato slices in a single layer on the puff pastry (the original recipe said be careful not to overlap, but I think that would make it even more delicious). Strip the thyme branches and sprinkle over the tomatoes, then drizzle with olive oil, a few cranks of good pepper and sea salt.
3. Baked for 30-40 minutes or until pastry is crispy and deeply browned. Sprinkle on a dash more salt. Serve.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Halloween Wines! [repost]

Not sure what wines to serve at your Halloween party this year?  Don't worry, we've got you covered!

Back in 2009, Eat Well and Prosper explored the resurgence of ciders in America. Ciders tend to taste similar to white wines and champagnes, and are a great thematic drink to serve at any fall function due to their being made of apples.

Read more about cider here.

A company called Bellwether conjures the Halloween spirit every year with a blackcurrant-blended cider called Black Magic.

Here are some other ciders from Bellwether previously reviewed on this site:
And Trader Joe's always has you covered with nice theme labels containing good wine.

And there's a fun Elvira wine on the market from our friends at Sort This Out Cellars.


If you have any favorites, be sure to mention them in the comments.

Happy Halloween, everybody!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Roasted Cauliflower, Broccoli & Sun-Dried Tomato Salad with Chickpeas

Another "inspired by pinterest" recipe.

I found a recipe for Roasted Cauliflower, Broccoli & Sun-Dried Tomato Salad with Chickpeas and knew immediately that it would be my lunch the entire following week. I love how easily it comes together and how little work is involved. Especially if you're roasting veggies for dinner, you can just make extra for tomorrow's lunch!

I left out the olives and served it over mixed greens. I added in some baked tofu and topped it with a dijon vinaigrette. So yummy! If I were going to eat it immediately, I'd roast the chickpeas in the oven and get them super crunchy. If you're preparing it ahead of time, I don't think that cooking them at all is really needed, but that's a personal preference.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Homemade hummus

A few weeks ago, I came across this infographic of hummus recipes.

And whoda thunk - these recipes are actually pretty good! I tried the classic hummus and then the beet hummus, since I had some beets laying around. Both were very tasty, and so easy to make - just throw all 5 ingredients into a processor, blend, and serve! I accompanied the hummus with fresh wheat pita, couscous and tabbouleh for a Mediterranean feast.

Homemade hummus

Friday, October 11, 2013

Wine of the Week - Carivintas 2010 "Rocket" Rosé of Tempranillo

Smells of fresh-cut grass, which I often get from rosés, as well as sour candy and a little bit of foot-odor funk (which, again, does not mean there's anything wrong with the wine, and doesn't usually have an effect on the taste).
On the tongue, there's a mixed sensation happening here.  The wine has some bite to it; so much so that it could almost be mistaken for being semi-sparkling (it feels a little bit like bubbles on your tongue).  But at the same time, this wine is somehow flat; just sort of bland and uninteresting.  A mediocre wine, probably overpriced for its quality.
13.9% alcohol

Friday, October 4, 2013

Wine of the Week - STO 2010 "Zin City" Zinfandel

Dark cherries and blueberries on the nose, with an undercurrent of caramel.  Tastes of burnt leather, and more of those dark cherries.  Some unfortunate bitterness.
I've been blown away by previous vintages of Sort This Out's Zin City, and this one doesn't quite hold up to that standard.  But this is still a very good Zinfandel that I would highly recommend.
13.5% alcohol

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Autumn Pizza

Who doesn't like a good pizza?

And now that it's fall, I feel the need to incorporate autumn vegetables into everything. So, autumn pizza it is!

Autumn pizza

Olive oil Large Butternut squash
1 small Yellow onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, diced
Wheat tortillas
Basil pesto
Ricotta cheese
Parmesan cheese
Nutmeg Pepitas(or roasted pumpkin seeds)

1. Slice the squash in half lengthwise. Lightly oil a cookie sheet or glassware and place squash face down. Cook at 375 degrees for 45-60 minutes, until the "meat" is soft.
2. Meanwhile, in 2-3 tbsp olive oil, brown the onion and garlic.
3. Spread out the tortillas on a cookie sheet. Spoon 2-3 tbsp pesto across each tortilla. Top with cooked garlic and onions.
4. Once squash is soft, spoon out the guts (the yucky looking pulp with the seeds)and discard. Spoon out the rest of the 'meat' and spread by tbsp-ful evenly over the tortillas. Top with dollops of ricotta, and sprinkle on Parmesan, pepitas, and nutmeg.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until tortillas are crispy. Slice and serve.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Wine of the Week - Blue Mountain 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon


Summery red fruits on the nose - strawberries, cherries, raspberries.

The taste up front is sweetly acidic. Might be a bit much for some, but I liked it. The taste of red fruits carries over from the nose, and some earthy tobacco notes drift up from underneath. Premium stuff, and a good showing from a Pennsylvania winery.

13.1% alcohol

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Veggie broth

With fall comes the warm tasty fall veggie soups that come with it. I make a lot of soups, but the one thing I've never made was my own veggie broth. I found this recipe from VegantYumYum.com and tweaked it a bit to fit my tastes.

For my broth, I used carrots, celery, potatoes, onions, garlic, leeks, and tomato paste.

I split the broth into two tupperware containers and froze them until needed.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Wine of the Week - Sandler Wine Co. 2010 Grenache


This wine has a very potent bouquet - you can smell it from across the room. That was promising to me, as I like my wines bold.

The boldness ends up kicking you in the teeth a little bit. Hot up front, with strawberries and floral tastes coming through only after you've had a moment to collect your senses. Finishes tannic and anise-y.

Drinkable, but I'd recommend keeping away from this one. I got it at a discount price, and I'd still say it's not a great value.

14.3% alcohol

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fresh Apple Cookies

Fall is here! So that means I get to buy loads and loads of apples. First up, yummy apple cookie recipe I found at Food.com.

I recommend pushing down the dough balls with your hand of the back of a spoon. I had followed the instructions and left them as balls on the pan, but that's how they cooked then - they didn't flatten out.

See the baking mat in the picture? A friend involved with Chico Chef asked me to try it out since I bake pretty often. I ordered the silicon mats off Amazon.com. When I took the mats out of the packaging, they had a weird oily feel to them, so I was a bit apprehensive. But once I pulled the cookies out of the oven, I totally saw their worth. The cookies didn't stick to the mat at all, the baking pans stayed clean, and the mats cleaned up very easily. So, if you're looking to save a few minutes in the kitchen, pick up one of these mats!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Wine of the Week - Maurice Car'rie Heather's Mist


Here's a smooth-textured, light and crisp white wine, perfect for closing out the waning days of summer.

Rose and apple scents precede a mostly apple taste.  Develops into a nice tart, and finishes with succulent grapeseed tastes.

12.2% alcohol

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sweet Potato Quinoa Loaf

With Labor Day over, that means it's officially autumn, right? So time for those autumn veggies!

A tasty meatloaf alternative from Hope for Healing.

Rather than topping with tomatoes and the glaze as per this recipe, I made it a bit more Italian. I filled the loaf pan halfway with the mix. I topped it with mozzarella cheese, then added the rest of the mix. More mozzarella was added on top of the loaf, then some spaghetti sauce (and a little more cheese sprinkled on top).

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Chocolate breakfast smoothie

I've been into making smoothies for breakfast lately, finding some good recipes online. But I decided to try one for myself. It's almost like dessert for breakfast!

Chocolate shake

Serves 2:
1 banana
~15 sliced strawberries
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3 scoops vanilla protein powder
1 cup vanilla almond milk
8-10 ice cubes

Throw all in the blender and combine.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Wine of the Week - Corgi wine!


From Carivintas Winery comes this 2011 100% merlot.

Bright and tart, it has traces of cranberry and chocolate. A little dry, but balanced. Nothing complex, but easy to enjoy.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lavender cookies

I just realized I never shared this recipe before! Shame on me.

Lovely cookies to snack on - not too sweet, and great with a cup of tea! From Food.com.

Lavender cookies

Rather than eggs, I used ground flax seed. I also used gluten-free flour rather than all-purpose, and they came out just fine.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Wine of the Week - Wiens 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon


Rich, full strawberries and traces of tobacco scents as you sniff. Definite tobacco flavor, as well as a variety of red fruits. This wine is so good! Full bodied, yet balanced. Top notch all the way. Highly recommended.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Wine of the Week - Project Happiness 2009 Syrah


This is a wine with a lot of dark, moody flavors, which is a personal preference of mine.

Black cherry and blackberries on the nose. The taste builds on that fruitiness, adding some lightly burnt toast, leather and a hint of tobacco.

If you like your flavors dark, this is a pretty good basic wine at a very affordable price.

13.8% alcohol

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Mexicali Burgers

A friend of mine told me about this recipe years ago, but I never got around to making it until recently. Big mistake. Instead of making sliders, I made big burgers, because I had big burger buns and it just made more sense. And I skipped the Spicy Mango Sauce, because I hate both mangoes and spicy food. And in the salsa I used my new favorite salsa, Trader Joe's Organic Tomatillo & Roasted Yellow Chili Salsa.

Chef Chloe's Mexicali Sliders

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Strawberry jam

My first attempt at canning - although I was worried at first, it turned out to be a success!

For my birthday, I received this book and a starter set for canning. My first recipe was a basic one for strawberry.

The recipe came with some tweaks, including adding vanilla bean or balsalmic vinegar. I decided to experiment - yes, without even trying the basic recipe first - and added a vanilla fig balsalmic vinegar to the batch.

In the end, the vanilla flavor is very faint. But the jam is still really tasty!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Wine of the Week - Maurice Car'rie Winery: Cody's Crush


Here's a good example of wine that tastes nothing like how it smells.

On the nose, there's a lot of strawberry and fresh cut grass. There's also a little bit of dirt to go with that grass. And there's a general funk permeating the whole thing - smelly cheese or feet.

But on the tongue, it tastes very jammy. Blackberry jam. Nice and tart, followed up by some heat. Ends with a good, medium finish.

This is a Southern California winery I've only recently discovered, and look forward to trying a lot more.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Fiesta salad

Somewhat similar to my fiest corn salad, here's a tasty sidedish from A Teaspoon of Happiness that's really easy and quick to prepare. No cooking involved!

I cut the recipe in half. That makes more than enough for two people.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Wine of the Week - Carivintas 2008 "Aspen" Syrah


I have to admit I was a little bit disappointed with this one. It was sour, with sort of strawberry and dirt tastes. Overwhelmingly tannic. Maybe in a couple years this will develop into something better; but it's already five years old, and I don't think it was designed for longevity.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Wine of the Week - STO 2010 Million $ Eyeful Cab


This cabernet sauvignon from Sort This Out Cellars has a bed of sweet grape juice and some nice, dark anise overtop. This is a fun, easygoing wine.

13.5% alcohol

Friday, July 19, 2013

Wine of the Week - Mazza Vineyards 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon


A simple and tasty wine with red fruit throughout. Quick finish.

12% alcohol

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

No Guilt Lemon Cookies

Wouldn't that be my luck that my neighborhood bakery that sells gluten-free desserts would be closed the day I need to pick up stuff for my gluten-allergic coworker?! So I had to quickly google some recipes while I was riding the bike at the gym when I came across this recipe from TheVedge.org. I just had to pick up the coconut oil on my way home and I was set.

For some reason, my dough wasn't moist enough with the ingredient amounts posted, so I added a little more of each liquid.

These cookies pack a surprise: They are a little bit crumbly/powdery, but once it hits your tongue, they become a bit creamy (possibly because I added more liquids?). Very tasty, plus vegan and gluten free!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Wine of the Week - Epicuro 2010 Primitivo


This wine's primary scent is strawberry.  There are peppery notes underneath, but that might just be how I was reading the alcohol.  Because, to taste, alcohol is very present.  Also tannins.  Some dark cherry develops on the back of your throat at the end of what is a very slow finish.

After leaving half a bottle corked for a day, it was only slightly mellower, and had a bit of chalkiness to it that I actually enjoy.

All in all, a somewhat harsh wine.  But decent.

14% alcohol

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Summer Series: Too Hot to Cook - Part 1: Panzanella & BBQ Tofu

I'm attempting a summer-long series inspired by my lack of desire to do lots of prep work or stand over a hot stove as temperatures hover in the 90s.

Last night, I made a Panzanella salad and BBQ tofu strips (which I just called "BBQ strips" until my 3-year-old declared them a winner) with a side of sliced avocado. Simple, not a lot of prep and perfect for a hot summer evening. Honestly, I would eat just the salad for dinner with some sliced avocado, but for the kid's sake, I wanted to round the meal out.

For the BBQ tofu, I followed this recipe from my BBQ Tofu Sandwiches.

Panzanella Salad
(all vegetables are approximate)
5 nice-sized tomatoes, cut into a large dice
1 English cucumber, cut into a large dice
1/2 red onion sliced thinly
1 loaf of yummy bread (ideally getting stale, but if it's not, that's okay!), cubed - I used ciabatta
1/4 cup vinegar (red wine or balsamic)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 (small) clove garlic, minced or grated on the microplane
salt & pepper to taste
1 handful basil, chiffonaded

If your bread isn't stale, set your oven to 200 and put the cubes on a cookie sheet and let them dry out for about 40 minutes. Once that is done, continue with the recipe.

In a measuring cup, measure out the vinegar and oil, add the garlic and salt & pepper and mix together.

Put the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Add the dressing and toss and toss and toss. Then refrigerate for at least an hour to let the dressing soak into the bread.

Add basil and toss again just before serving.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Blueberry Pie

I've never been a big pie person. Nor have I ever really made pie from scratch. But I decided THIS is the summer where that will all change.

So I started with Google and found a few great recipes from VeganDad:
Blueberry Pie
Homemade flaky pie crust

So yeah, now I'm a pie person. This pie won me over. My crust didn't turn out as pretty, but it was sure damn tasty.

Blueberry pie

Friday, June 28, 2013

Wine of the Week - Frey 2011 Zinfandel


This organic grape wine is one of those curious cases where the nose doesn't match the tongue.

On the nose are scents of seedy strawberry and mild anise.

None of that is on the tongue. Instead, you'll find a lot of bright, fruity flavors with a long, tart finish.

Not a stand-out wine, but completely functional.

13.3% alcohol

Friday, June 21, 2013

Wine of the Week - Presque Isle 2010 Syrah


Presque Isle Wine Cellars, Lake Erie

Atypical for its region, this is a delicious wine full of dark, earthy scents and flavors.

Strawberries, raspberries and black licorice on the nose.

The licorice carries through to the taste, joined by ashy smoke, black pepper and some berries.

When you're in the Lake Erie region, this wine is an excellent escape from the more typical colorfully sweet wines produced there.

12% alcohol

Friday, June 14, 2013

Wine of the Week - Buttonwood 2011 Syrah Rosé


The first things you'll notice are scents of honeydew and fresh cut grass on the nose.

As you taste, you'll notice the well-rounded richness of this wine. Tasty sour acid with golden, honey-tinged fruitiness. This is a full-bodied and balanced wine. A rosé that red wine drinkers can appreciate and white wine drinkers are sure to love.

12% alcohol

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pancake puffs

Is it breakfast or dessert? Who can tell? But it doesn't matter - they're super tasty!
Pancake puffs from Vegan Fling.

I made several different ones - blueberry, strawberry, banana, and chocolate chip. It's very easy to make each puff differently since you don't add the variations to the batter, but to the muffin tin itself. It'll be fun to experiment with different ingredients!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Wine of the Week - STO 2011 Red Hot Rosé


This sweet, sweet, sweet grenache rosé from Sort This Out Cellars comes from Santa Barbara County.

Overwhelming sweet apple scents on the nose, with some watery strawberry notes underneath.

Sweet and tart strawberry candy on the tongue, which develops into some apple skin taste before finishing with a little bit of a sting on your taste buds.

If you like your wine like candy, this one should be at the top of your list.

13.5% alcohol

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Pizza salad

I saw this recipe from the June issue of Good Housekeeping and knew it would be a great summer meal!

I used sourdough English muffins instead of pizza crust, since it's what I had on-hand. The muffins were cut in half, sprayed with oil olive, topped with garlic powder and Parmesan cheese, and baked at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes.

I followed the rest of the recipe pretty closely and it turned out great! I served baked asparagus topped with Parmesan cheese on the side.

I think next time I make this, I'll add black olives to the salad, and maybe some fresh basil.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Wine of the Week - Carivintas "Lola Lu" 2011 Rosé


This is a deceptively good wine. It didn't strike me at first, but it grew on me. A blend of 80% Tempranillo, 12% Syrah, and 8% Malbec.

Apple skin and light strawberries on the nose. The taste up front is grade seeds. Overall, it's light, crisp, with some mild sourness. Refreshing, and nice for a warm summer evening.

I was pretty unimpressed at first, then found myself compulsively sipping it and realizing I could finish the whole bottle very quickly if I didn't keep myself in check. Very nice.

13.9% alcohol

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Huevos rancheros

Just realized, my last few posts have all been breakfasts! Guess that's been on my mind recently.

I never realized huevos rancheros were so easy to make. I foresee this meal a lot more in my future.

Huevos Rancheros

I followed the recipe from SmittenKitchen.com but with a few changes:
1. I sprinkled cheese on the tortilla itself, but then on the finished cooked product. We love us some cheese.
2. I used my favorite fresh pre-made salsa rather than making my own. Saved a lot of time.