Thursday, July 30, 2009

CEiMB: Cobb Salad

The subtitle of this post is "How I Know I'm Not a Real Food Blogger." One sign - the picture above. Yes, this is the only picture I have to offer you this week - the aftermath of this salad. Sad, I know. If I were a real food blogger I would be very mindful of taking pictures at the right time in the process, making sure I did so at the right time of day to take advantage of the best light. Almost none of my pictures work out that way, and more than a dozen times I've nearly been pictureless for a post. This time, I succeeded??? I figure the aftermath is better than nothing.

Also, if I were a real food blogger I wouldn't be embarrassed to take pictures of my food in restaurants. I've had meals that I wished I documented so I could post something about them, but I find it all so awkward. Really, really awkward. And a smidge pretentious perhaps. No offense to the people who do take pictures of their restaurant experiences. I just feel that no one can really be that interested in what I eat.

And there lies my problem today. I love food. And I was into this recipe. I did some tweaking - I just did mixed spring greens (I prefer them to romaine), and I skipped the chicken (I've recently realized I'm either allergic to or have an intolerance for chicken. Who knew that was possible? Well, it is), and I prefer bacon to ham (sorry Ellie). But anything that combines bacon, tomato and avocado I'm all for (As a native Californian I'm contractually obligated to love avocados. And boy do I). So with great enthusiasm I created a culinary masterpiece ----- and then ate it without a thought for all of you. Ooops!

I made a smaller version of the salad but made the full dressing since it sounded intriguing. I've never put Worcestershire sauce in a dressing before. The dressing was really wonderful. I think it would be lovely just on top of an avocado, let alone all the fixings.

Overall easy to put together and delicious. I may have missed the "healthy" part by adding the bacon, but I promise to have a diet Coke when I wash it all down tomorrow for lunch.

The recipe can be found here. Thanks to Gabi at The Feast Within for this very yummy and easy pick!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

CEiMB: Oven Baked Onion Rings

Somehow this summer I have lucked out with the weather. Every time there has been something that I needed to bake, the last minute to do it (my normal time to complete these things) was the coolest part of the week. With gratitude my luck has held with this week's pick.

I was excited when I saw that Mare from Meet Me in the Kitchen had picked the Onion Rings. I do really love onion rings, and will pick them over fries most of the time. But I do dislike the kind that are simply soaked in grease and become so rich that you can only eat a few. So I thought this would be great.

Then I read the recipe. I must tell you that I never (truly never) buy potato chips. Occasionally I'll buy tortilla chips, but never potato chips. They simply aren't something I think about buying, plus I'm one of those "can't have just one" types of people. I did not want extras lurking about the house.

So I compromised and bought an individual bag and figured I'd just make part of the recipe. Who needs 4 servings of onion rings anyway? Plus I read the reviews online at the Food Network and I wasn't completely convinced I was going to love this.

I followed the recipe, but ran out of chips before I ran out of buttermilk mixture or rings. I supplemented what I had left with some panko. Results? Too much Cayenne in the original batch, not enough flavor in the panko batch. I think this recipe is a definite keeper, I could see (taste?) the potential in what I had. Perhaps the doctoring that Sara did with a downgrade in the cayenne is the way to go.

To sum up - not my favorite thing ever, but this definitely has potential. I'll have to give it a try again - hopefully the cooling trend in the weather will last!

PS - any "Torchwood" fans out there? I'm late posting this week due to my complete immersion into the 5 night series. Tonight was super intense -- I'm not sure my nerves will make it through tomorrow night's finale!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

CEiMB: Aromatic Noodles with Lime-Peanut Sauce

I was very excited when MrsBethorama from Supplicious picked this recipe, as it was on the short list when I was trying to find a CEiMB pick. It looked flavorful and healthy and were it not for Father's Day, I probably would have picked it.

So much enthusiasm and happiness going into this week. I cut up all my veggies the night before while something else was cooking to speed up putting this together. I hate to admit this, but it was the first time I bought Sugar Snap Peas or Snow Peas. Now I'm a big fan. Since I'm not a big fan of whole wheat pasta I decided to try something else. I found some Rice Sticks at Trader Joe's that looked intriguing, so I gave them a try. I found them very delicious and perfect for this dish. I just love Trader Joe's!

I got a chance to use my still-relatively-new Cuisinart food processor, yay, and it all came together quite nicely. I cut the recipe by half, and the three servings I got seemed fairly small, but I didn't feel hungry after I ate the first one.

I liked this so much (by far my favorite CEiMB recipe to date) that I may bring one to work today even though my company is buying us lunch. Whatever they will feed us just won't be as good as this. This will definitely be going into dinner/lunch rotation soon.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Happy Bastille Day!

Sometimes Blogger is not my friend. On occasion it won't let me rotate a picture. Other times it won't publish a post when I want to. I queued up a Fourth of July entry for while I was gone, but nothing happened. Sadness. But, when Blogger gives you nothing for Independence day, simply rearrange the colors and celebrate Bastille Day.

So here is a blue, white and red Bastille Day celebration from the garden. Enjoy!

TWD: Brioche Plum Tart

There are days when it is just too hot to bake. This past weekend in San Diego was mighty toasty, so I was a bit worried that this just wasn't going to happen for me. Happily there was a break in the heat wave, because man oh man, was this yummy!

I don't have a large tart pan, and I certainly didn't need 6 servings all to myself. So I broke out the mini tart pans and planned to make two individual tarts. Usually I would make only 1/3 of the dough recipe, but I've learned that one can divide the recipe down to almost nothing, which is very difficult to work with. So I made the complete dough recipe, and would just do enough filling for the minis.

The dough came together easily, and I planned to do the "slap dance" Monday evening and bake it this morning. Although it required a lot of time, the dough really took no effort at all.

I lucked out and got some very yummy, very ripe organic plums from Trader Joes. I thought I had some strawberry jam, but apparently it has been in the fridge too long to use (I'll leave it to you to create the word picture here....). Luckily I had some apricot jam from another Dorie project, and it worked surprisingly well on the plums.

I baked for 15 minutes and then tented the minis and gave them another 7 minutes in the oven. They looked mighty pretty if I do say so myself, and I just couldn't wait to make a cup of tea and have one for breakfast. The other went to a co-worker celebrating her birthday. Elegant baked goods are such a better gift than knickknacks!

These were so good that I may have to do an experiment and see how well the dough does after a whole day in the fridge. Yeah.....that's it..... another batch would be a service to the wider TWD community and would be seen as an effort to expand our culinary knowledge. Yeah.....

Many thanks to Denise at Chez Us for a great pick. This will definitely be put into heavy rotation (but only when it's not 90 degrees in my kitchen!). I can't wait to try other fruit options. YUM!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

TWD: Tribute-To-Katharine-Hepburn Brownies

When I was in high school the only Advanced Placement class I took was an English class my senior year. One of our assignments was to write to a famous person and to create a letter that was so good we got a personal response. An impossible task today, I would think. Being the odd child that I was, I picked Katharine Hepburn. I admired her independence and smarts, and one of my favorite movies then was "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" (still is).

Sad to say I did not get a personal response from Ms. Hepburn, but did get one from her long time secretary Phyllis Wilbourn. It took a little persuading, but I got credit for the response. I assume it is stashed away in a box somewhere (I tend to hoard paper). I know that the picture I had of Ms. Hepburn on my dorm wall my freshman year (did I mention I was an odd child?) is long gone.

As for these brownies, they were easy enough to put together, but I'm feeling way out of practice. I've been MIA the last week or so - first there was an unexpected health issue (hmmm...are health issues ever "expected?") which happily turned out to be nothing, then there was a much needed mini-vacation over the holiday weekend. Today I had jury duty (not picked, sadness) and I also have a visiting house guest who is sweet, and he keeps me company, but he does snore terribly (he snores enough to make me miss my Dad -- for the first hour.......)

For the life of me I can't get this picture to rotate - ugh!

So although these brownies should have been easy, they were not. They definitely turned out oooey and gooey, not to mention tasty, but very, very messy. I'm so out of touch I forgot to check the P&Qs (I bet there are others who had the same problem). I'll see if I can get the brownies out of the pan (something went wrong there) and into a container without getting covered in chocolate. Or maybe I'll just hoard them too (why stop at paper).

Oh, you're supposed to sift the cocoa into the pan......

Many thanks to Lisa at Surviving Oz for this pick, and also for the beautiful, fantastic new logo for TWD. I absolutely LOVE it! The pictures on her blog are beautiful, and I can tell I'll be digging deep into the archives.
As for me I'll be back into the swing of things soon (I hope!).