Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What I like right now:

I love these little installments!
1. Frozen blueberries. I went and picked some at Hubers last weekend. I almost like these frozen better than fresh. They are so yummy. I eat a handful with some Cool Whip Free - nice evening snack after walking and yoga.
2. Gelato Gilberto's. Amazing place near the Summit in the ville - totally opposite end of town, so I'm glad or I would eat more. I'm still thinking about the Key Lime Pie I tried and the Cookies and Cream on a cone which I devoured. Glad it had less calories than Cold Stone. Going there again hopefully on the 11th.
3. Mustard. I think I may have put this on here before. I love its tang. And the fact that it is natural and few calories. I'm dipping my carrots in them right now for part of my lunch.
4. Homemade Jam. My friend Rachael taught me how to make freezer jam. SO GOOD! I've never had jams taste as much like their fruit counterparts as this. So glad I still have 3 ctrs in my freezer. I just had some on a pbj.
5. Water. I know - this is a copout. But, I drink it mostly room-temp because I don't like it cold unless I have a straw. I drink so much of this stuff. I'm glad its free at restaurants (and you can probably see most wait-staff rolling their eyes because it takes away from the price of your total bill - or doesn't add anything to it). But, its also good for you - and great when it is really hot outside (like its been recently in the Ville).

Oatmeal Bread (2009.25)

Ok - I think I have a problem with new convection bread machine. It looks pretty, has lots of buttons, but I just want my plain old white one back! Mom!!!
Anyway, I won't even put this recipe on there because it didn't turn out at all. 2 tries - 5 cups of wasted bread flour. I had to borrow some of my neighbors oatmeal because I was out. Yuck.
Good taste, hard as a rock, deformed loaf.
When I get back the old bread machine I'll try it again (should be in August).

Monday, June 29, 2009

Taste of Louisville: Kayrouz Cafe

I love trying new places. And I love St. Matthews. My church is starting a new campus in St. Matthews (a 4 mile area that I live near here in the ville). So, Rayann and I tried Kayrouz Cafe, behind The Reader's Corner (a great used book store) on Willis/Breckenridge. Unfortunately, this little cafe didn't live up to all the reviews (print and personal) I had received.
Liked the decor, inside and outside table, it was hot that day so we chose the indoor route. They are definitely known for their burgers. But, I didn't want a burger. I had been told their hummus was good and everyone knows I love hummus - so we got that and a cucumber cream cheese sandwich on rye (because it was so hot outside, we wanted something cold to eat).
Hummus: platter looked pretty with warm pitas, kalamata olives, tomatoes and cuks on it. The hummus didn't live up to the platter. It was overly tart because of too much lemon in it. The texture was good - the taste wasn't right. I loved the warm pita though and that turned out to be the best part of the meal.
Cuk/Cream Cheese Salad on Rye. Think chicken salad but with cream cheese and chopped cuks all mixed together. With bacon (which I took off) on toasted rye. I actually liked the rye bread, thought that flavor went well. The salad reminded me of watergate salad (you know the kind with pistachio pudding and marshmallows). I didn't care for it. I asked Rayann how the bacon was on it and she said the flavors clashed.
So, it was ok - don't need to go there again. Both of those things with water came at 15.
So, here is a new "beef" with local restaurants. If you are really good at something and that is what you are known for - stick with that, don't venture out into other things just to broaden your menu and then have it taste horrible. Stick with what you are good at. Because when I go to a restaurant I want to be able to pick anything off the menu and have it be amazing.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Menu Week - June 29

Well, we are halfway through the year. It is hot here in Louisville, so I don't like to cook much. I like simple things and cold things.
Monday - roasted veggies and egg white omelettes (the veggies are already done)
Tuesday - Blueberry Coffee Cake Scones for a secretary breakfast as this will be the recipe of the week. First though I'm heading to Calistogas for breakfast with a friend
Wednesday - new restaurant - El Mundo. Looking forward to it.
Thursday - egg white omelette and salad with blueberries and tomatoes
Friday-Sunday - I'll be housesitting and just chilling. So I doubt I'll be eating a lot. I would like to cook something special for the 4th - so if you have any grand ideas I'd love to know them. Maybe grab a steak and veggies - that will be good. Something light for dessert while out by the pool - use those berries I got this past weekend.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Taste of Louisville: Come Back Inn

I had asked a friend for a recommendation in the West part of the Louisville. He said his brother liked this place. So, we went to the Come Back Inn on Swan. Let me start with what I liked about it:
1. The service. Our waitress was kind, fun, laid back - this wasn't an "uppity" place, and I really liked it. She gave me recommendations for what she liked. She kept my water filled and it didn't take forever to get our food. She deserved a good tip.
2. It was a local place. Small parking lot, but with lots of street parking. Neighborhood pub type feeling. Well attended for Tuesday dinner, but no wait.
3. The sauteed shrooms. The above bruschetta that Billy ordered for our appetizer came plain but with two small bowls: diced tomatoes and sauteed shrooms. The shrooms was so good. I ate more of them on my salad once the bread was gone.
Things I thought were just ok: (ok, just ok, fazolis is just ok)!
1. I got the caprese salad (although they didn't call it that). It was big salad with lots of bocconcini balls. The tomatoes were tasty. I gave more than half the balls of mozzerrella to Heather to finish off. The croutons were good but tasted like they came out of a bag and weren't "store made".
2. Heather's gyro wasn't much to look at and she said she had had better. Billy's salad was huge and he said it was good.
3. There were spelling errors on the menu. We were trying to figure out what a clamalta olive was - a kalamata olive. Oh...
So, maybe the pasta and pizza are amazing - but we didn't get those. So, I know I can't judge a restaurant on the 4 things that we ate. But, I would rather Fazolis - its cheaper too and the breadsticks are better!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Taste of Louisville: Blue Dog Bakery

I finally made it to a trendy spot right here in the Crescent Hill area of Louisville. With Rach here to visit, I thought it a perfect time to try out Blue Dog Bakery (no website). It is a bakery turned restaurant but mostly still a bakery.
I had the Bourbon Orange French Toast. 2 slices of I think brioche (but I could be wrong) bread that had the greatest flavor of orange in it. So soft, melt in your mouth texture. Amazing pairing - really didn't even need the syrup but I used some.
Rach got the scrambled eggs with goat cheese and green chili sauce. Saltiness from the goat cheese paired with the green chilis - light and fluffy eggs - served with 2 pieces of grain toast. She also said the decaf was very tasty.
Praice were reasonable (9-12) because the food was good.
The service...we got seated ok. We didn't go during the breakfast rush and I was glad. But, it took a while to get cream for the coffee and it took asking for a glass of water from 3 different people, 4 different times to get it (at the end of the meal).
To go, we got a nainamo bar to split (it was ok, would have been much better chilled or at least cool) and their granola - which was pretty good.
All in all - I will go back - but it won't be an every Saturday thing unless I just had more money and wasn't concerned about my waistline!

Triple Strawberry Cookies

This is definitely one of those recipes that I wish I came up with...but I didn't. Props go to the Oatmeal Cookie Guy who makes any and every kind of oatmeal - these are absolutely amazing. I only changed a few minor things - but this is HIS recipe. Go look at his blog if you want some more yummy goodness!

1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 sliced fresh strawberries
3 T skim milk
1 T lemon juice
1 T sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup ground red-fat vanilla wafers
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup chopped dehydrated strawberries (near the bin aisle at Whole Foods)
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Turbinado Sugar

Cream first two. Heat berries through zest till smooth, cool. Add in the vanilla. Add to creamed mixture. Add dry ingredients. Mixed just until combined. Roll each cookie in turbinado sugar. Lightly spray cookies sheets - 350- 11-12 minutes or until done.
These are amazing! Oh, wait - have I mentioned how amazing these are??? I had to get them out of my house! Everyone I have given them to has agreed. Well worth the dehydrated strawberries.

Cauliflowe Chick Pea Stew

This was easy and delicious - served over rice or plain like I am having it today. Veggies and protein.

2 T olive oil
2 white onions, chopped
5 tsp curry powder
1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 cans chick peas, drained
2 can diced tomatoes with green chilis
1 14 oz can light unsweetened coconut milk
s/p to taste
cilantro if desired

Heat onions in oil for about 8 minutes. Add in curry powder. Then the rest - bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until desired doneness.
This recipe is from May's Bon Appetit magazine. Its a winner.

Homemade Granola Bars

Rach was in town this weekend for the convention, so we did a lot of cooking (especially since it rained on Sunday and drowned our plans for hiking). This was the first time for either of us granola-makers to make granola bars. These were wonderful. A little crumbly if you don't let them completely cool before cutting them. Rach wrapped them individually in saran wrap so you can easily pick one up on the go.

3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup currants
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
4 T sunflower seeds
2 T flax seeds
4 T shredded coconut
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt

1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 T molasses
2 t vanilla
1 tsp lemon zest

350 - line 9x13 with parchment paper (for easy removal and cleanup)
Combine dry. Heat wet ingredients until smooth - mix wet and dry together.
Pat into pan - bake for 25 minutes. Cool completely. Refrigerate after cooked.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Crispy White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

I got this idea from a friend of mine here in the ville - and thought sure - let me back some more oatmeal cookies. I baked a whole batch last night. TOnight was only half a batch and gave them away to be eaten by some guys who are helping a friend move tomorrow.
These cookies were good, but I think I like my cookies a little sweeter - these didn't have enough sweet to me. Oh, well. They were still good. Like the texture of them, although I didn't think they turned out as crispy as the recipe lead me to believe.

1 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 cup rolled oats
6 oz white chocolate chips (or candy bars cut in pieces)

Mix dry, cream weat, add together just until combined. Fold in oats, fold in chocolate chips. Bake on lightly sprayed (or parchment paper) at 350 for 12-14 minutes depending on the size of your cookies.

I had really high hopes for these because of what I read on other blogs about them - but I don't think I'll be handing this one down to my children. They were good though - I don't think you can have any type of oatmeal cookie that is a complete flop. Last night's were better, though.

Menu Week: June 22

This wk is busy due to the annual denominational meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. It is here in Louisville this year. Which means - some of my friends come to me. My world's collide! It is great fun to see people that I haven't seen in a while.
Monday: Cauliflower and chickpea curry
Tuesday: Dinner with friends at the Come Back Inn in West Louisville
Wednesday: Food provided by Southern as I'm a hostess for the 150th Anniversary Lunch
Thursday: Something really light - probably veggies and an egg white omelette
Friday: Oatmeal Bread I am baking at night - from this week's cookbook: BHG Biggest Book of Bread Machine Recipes. Try mine again. I didn't have too much success with my new machine this past week, the crust setting was too dark - so we shall see.
Saturday: Going to Hubers to pick berries, very excited about that.
Sunday: Veggies and salads.

Gruyere Chive Popovers (2009.24)

I have never made popovers. This recipe in W-S Small Plates would be a good addition to my strawberry salad I made for a girls' dinner in. I love gruyere cheese - with its hard to say and odd spelling name. I love its saltiness and the creamy texture - it really just melts in your mouth. yum!
The batter for the popovers is liquidy - I almost didn't know if they were going to rise, but they did. I actually should have turned the temp down on them a bit because I was using a dark mini-muffin pan. But, the flavor was great, just a little brown. Next time I'll know.
I loved the chives and cheese together - what a wonderful combination!

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 T snipped chives
1 1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1 T melted butter
3 oz grated gruyere cheese

Spray mini muffin pan. Mix the dry, add the wet. Fill a well-greased pan almost full with batter. Put a small amt of cheese in the middle of each one. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, then drop temp to 350 for 8 minutes. Mine were done in 8 minutes, more than done, but I think that was caused by my dark pan. Enjoy!

Avocado Palm Salad (2009.23)

W-S puts out some good cookbooks. More than just the recipes, some books give great details about the food, the products, the land, the specialties, etc. W-S Florence is no different. This could very well be a coffee table book due to the gorgeous pictures and many pages of history about the food and culture of Florence, Italy.
This salad allowed me to try something I have never had: hearts of palm. Slightly tangy, mozzerrella stick-looking like things, 15 calories and 2 grams of fiber per 1/3 of cup, great addition to a salad (less sodium than pickles and adds that same tang).
What is a heart of palm you may be wondering? I didn't know either. Behold - the power of the internet: First, Brazil was the main importer, but now Costa Rica reigns supreme in the exportation of hearts of palm. Here is what I found:
Heart of palm, also called palm heart, burglar's thigh, palmito, chonta or swamp cabbage, is a vegetable harvested from the inner core and growing bud of certain palm trees (notably the coconut (Cocos nucifera), Palmito Juçara (Euterpe edulis), Açaí palm (Euterpe oleracea), sabal (Sabal spp.) and pejibaye (Bactris gasipaes) palms). It is costly because harvesting in the wild kills the tree. Heart of palm is often eaten in a salad, sometimes called "millionaire's salad".
Kroger or Walmart sells the can of tangy sticks for about 2$ a can - but they go a long way! I may even throw some in the panzanella I am making this wknd?

1 avocado, sliced
1 can hearts of palm
lemon juice
red onions

I put some spinach down on the plate, then the avocado and hearts of palm according to the recipe. Then I added the rest because I wanted more of a salad. I also put an egg white omelette down as well for some added protein. I loved the egg white with the avocado - amazing goodness, creamy.
Anyway - this was a good bet for one person! But, I had to throw most of the avocado away since I didn't have any other use for it at the time and they go bad rather quickly.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Reading and Journaling...

I know most of you will read the title and think this post belongs on the other blog - but no, it does belong on here.
I love to cook. Want to be a better cook. I don't really like cooking for one, but if I want to get married someday, I need to use this time of singleness in becoming a better cook and also serving others with my food.
So...I'm reading and journaling. Not like a food intake journal they tell you to keep in order to lose weight (1 banana, 7am, 100 cal), but one that talks about the taste of the banana, etc. I want to know and appreciate the food I put in my dutch oven and oven and eventually on my plate and in my tummy. I want to become a better food writer.
I am reading a book I've wanted to pick up for a while: Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant. And, no, I don't like eggplant - the one veggie I've tried that I just don't like (give me pink eye purple hulled peas any day and I'd be happy). But, this book has already made me laugh and I relate to much. It is a series of essays written by different people.
What a fun topic to write about!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

AB Chocolate Chip Cookies - Updated

Facebook may not have been that great for my waistline today. A friend said she was making homemade chocolate chip cookies - so I thought - I wonder if I:
1. Have a new chocolate chip cookie recipe to try?
2. Have all the ingredients on hand?

I had both. And whoever came up with the idea of warm chocolate chip cookies dunked in cold milk - had a great idea!
These turned out pretty good. These are from Alton Brown. They weren't my favorite chocolate chip cookies - but they were still edible and giveawayable. Anyone want any? They were fluffier than mine normally are - with a nice chew due to the brown sugar.

2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt (AB said 1 tsp)
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup EACH brown sugar, white sugar
3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup dark chocolate chips (Alton said 2 cups of milk chocolate)

Stir dry ingredients. Cream the wet ingredients. Fold in chips, don't overmix. 375 for 12 minutes. Ungreased.

UPDATE: So, I stole a small one from the bag I have set aside for company for my snack today. I just ate it (yes, I know, its only 9:45am) - it was so yummy. I think even better than right out of the oven. The sugars were still chewy, it wasn't hard like most day old chocolate chip cookies are. This one had plenty of chocolate chips. Also, this one was one of the last ones baked, meaning the dough had had time to rest, so that might be a good trick too (as I've seen in some recipes). Very yummy!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Menu Week: June 15

Again - this post of next week's menu is coming early as I have a busy and mostly out of the house weekend coming up tomorrow.
Vegetarian week has gone well again. I've been housesitting and didn't have a surplus of veggies on hand, so a little harder. Definitely gotta keep stocked!
So, here it is:
Heading to a friend's house for Mexican and berries on Monday (my meat meal for the week).
Egg white omelettes and veggies and salads are my friends. Picking my strawberries at Huber's tomorrow.
A strawberry-mozzerrella will make an appearance this week - can't wait for that.
Friend is coming in town for the wknd: Blue Dog Bakery, Gelato Gilberto's, healthy snacks for hiking, Beargrass Farmer's Market, seafood and salad with this week's recipe (Gruyere-Chive Popovers), Quillo's for coffee and live jazz, Grape Leaf, and a yogurt bar complete with homemade granola, whole wheat bread, and strawberry sour cream brown sugar scones.
Again - fresh veggies this week from markets, baking, and exercising! Buy locally, hike locally! Good motto for the week!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Curried Zucchini (2009.22)

I love shopping the cheap bookshelves at Borders - especially the cookbook section. I found this Curry and Chillis book in Apex when I was there a few weeks ago. This recipe proved a good one.

2 large zucchini (or about a pound)
1 onion
1 can petite diced tomatoes
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 T garam masala
1/2 cup water

Sautes sliced onions in oil for about 3 minutes over medium heat. Add spices. Then add in the rest. Simmer till zuks are done. Enjoy. I had it over a salad, but I know it would be much better over couscous or any other grain. I think I might add chickpeas next time I make this!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Summer Simple Lentil Salad

Josh Harris is definitely known for being a pastor and preacher of the Word and an author. WEll, there is a woman in his family known for her healthy cooking. I got this recipe from The Nourishing Gourmet. Great and simple recipe. I'll probably eat it on top of salads or with some pita chips.

2 cups uncooked green lentils, soaked and drained
2 bright colored peppers, chopped
1 cuk, (preferably seedless), quartered and sliced
basil leaves, chopped

1/2 cup each of apple cider vinegar and evoo
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp dry mustard
salt and pepper.

Cook lentils for about 25 minutes or until desired doneness. Rinse in cold water and drain. Add basil, peppers, and cuk. Mix the dressing. Pour over it. Let chill, preferred and eat.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Menu Week: June 8

Week two of vegie eating this summer. I'm also continuing my cookbook recipe a week. That has gone fairly well. If anything, I am trying new things. This week I will be having:
leftover lentil salad
leftover curried cucumber
egg white omelettes
Arugula Salad with Pine Nuts, Avocado, and Heart of Palm (new recipe from William-Sonoma Florence)
Spicy Black Bean Taco Salad (http://www.5dollardinners.com/2009/06/spicy-black-bean-taco-salad-gluten-free.html)

I think my meat meal will be down in AL when visiting my Dad and his family. I'll get some more strawberries and the fruits/veggies for the following week at hubers when I go run a 10k up there next weekend. Looking forward to continuing!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Fresh Green Beans with Roasted Tomatos and Onions (2009.21)

Sara Foster has a winner again. This came out of The Foster's Market Cookbook. I made this recipe with all the ingredients she said, but different proportions because it was only me, and I still have leftovers which will be yummy. I ate mine piled on top of some salad - didn't need a salad dressing. It was good and filling.

1 lb of green beans, cut
1 pint of grape tomatoes
1 plum tomato, sliced
1/2 large vidalia onion, sliced
1 yellow tomato, quartered
1/2 cup pesto
parm cheese
olive oil

Put tomatoes and onion on a baking rack, season with s/p and drizzle with olive oil and roast at 400 for about 20-25 minutes. Boil beans for about 4 minutes and then take them out. Toss with the pesto, then add the roasted veggies. Grate some fresh parm cheese over the top.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Things I like this week

I love summer - fresh fruits and veggies! They are so yummy. Well, here is what is keeping me happy in the kitchen lately:
1. Fresh strawberries. Rayann and I went to Huber's in IN this past weekend. I got about 13 lbs of strawberries. They are very juicy and sweet. I do plan on making a berry pie and some scones when my friend comes to visit. The rest will just be eaten. And I've given some away to neighbors and friends. Kinda reminds me of Plant City strawberry season!
2. Sun-Ni Original Hummus. I usually like to make my own hummus. But, with having a busy weekend and starting housesitting today - just haven't had time. The best hummus store bought is Sun-Ni. I love Lotsa Pasta's and Grape Leaf's and definitely George's Garage in Durham.
3. Hint of Lime Tostitos. Man - they are so addicting. Salty and tangy. Great with corn and black bean salsa.
4. Fresh everything. Right now in my fridge I have green beans, tomatos, apples, cherries, zuks, cuks, corn on the cob. Yum! So healthy too.
5. Barbara's Organic Pomegranite Granola Cereal. Its what I've been eating for breakfast. Got it at Rainbow Blossom.