Monday, October 10, 2011

Squash Blossoms!

This weekend I went apple and pumpkin picking with some friends and the pumpkin patch was full of squash blossoms! I stuffed my purse full of them. Shhh....

I ended up stuffing them with a combo of queso fresco, cream cheese, cilantro, a bit of a spicy pepper that I roasted, chili powder and cumin. I splashed in some milk to bring it all together then put the mixture in a baggie with the corner cut off and stuffed the blossoms. Make sure you can twist the blossom at the end - don't overstuff!

The batter was tempura-ish. An egg, a cup of flour, some salt and a little less than a cup of seltzer. I made mine in a bowl that was sitting in an ice bath because I read that the batter is supposed to be really cold.

I dipped all the blossoms in the batter and fried then in 350 degree oil until they started to crisp up then placed them in a warm oven while I cooked the next batch.

I also made a cilantro dipping sauce - lots of chopped cilantro, chopped chives, plain Greek yogurt, a bit of mayo, salt, pepper and a squeeze of lime.

Dinner was completed with grilled veggies (great with the cilantro sauce!) and leftover tortilla soup. Delicious!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tofu & Green Beans

This is one of those meals that can come together in like 15 minutes. It's great for times like when you take the chicken you were planning on having for dinner out of the fridge and it smells like a weird combo of blue cheese and trash even though you just bought it the day before. That happens to everyone right?

Well it's for times like these that I always keep tofu in the fridge and on this day I totally won because I had a bag of green beans from the farm stand in the fridge, too. I crumbled tofu and dry fried it - once it was starting to get brown I added a combo of soy, hoisin, rice wine vinegar, ginger, garlic and a little veggie stock. Once almost all the liquid was absorbed I mixed the tofu with steamed green beans. I sauteed some shallot until they were on the verge of burning - that's how I like them! I topped the green beans and tofu with the shallots and chopped roasted peanuts and BOOM - dinner!


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Local Potato, Corn, and Tomato Salad

Itty bitty fingerling potatoes from the Sunday farmer's market at Dickinson Park, heirloom tomatoes from the same market and our backyard, and corn, long hots and Hidden Hills Dairy feta from our CSA make one very local, very delicious salad.

Roast and peel the skin off of a long hot, cut the corn off the cob and sautee the in olive oil, steam the potatoes, let everything cool before tossing with the chopped tomatoes, feta, chives (home grown!), a little red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Chow down.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tomatoes + Homemade Bread = Perfect

I didn't always love tomatoes - in fact they were one of the few foods that I didn't like. But over the past few years I've smartened up and this time of year I can't get enough.

photo-5 photo-7 photo-4 photo-6

Tomatoes with cream cheese on toast? Okay! Pico De Gallo on just about everything? Yup. Perfect little heirlooms cut up with salt and pepper...for breakfast? Definitely.

Or how about this? BLT's on homemade no-knead bread. This might just be the perfect food.


This bread, slightly stale, tossed in olive oil and toasted up makes an awesome panzanella. Just one more way to use up all those tomatoes!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Garbanzos con Morcilla

Garbanzos con Morcilla sounds prettier than chickpeas with blood sausage, right? I wrote about this delicious dish that Ron and I had in Barcelona a couple of years ago. When I was eating it I had no idea it had blood sausage in it - but turns out that's probably the ingredient that makes it so delicious.

Sometime on lazy Sundays we like to experiment with some more time consuming dishes or with some ingredients we don't normally use. I had pulled out a Barcelona cookbook that our friends bought us when we got engaged and it had me craving those chickpeas! After finding this recipe, tracking down blood sausage at Cousins Supermarket in North Philly and throwing together a batch of no knead bread we were well on our way to this at-home version of that awesome Bar Pinotxo meal.

chickpeas with blood sausage

Not too shabby right?

The recipe was definitely close to what we remembered but looking back at pictures today I think we could have used half the amount of blood sausage.


Along with the chick peas we had a homemade baguette that we topped with olive oil, white anchovies, olives and spicy little red peppers. Oh, and a bottle of prosecco - you can't have a spanish meal without a bottle of prosecco!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

University City Dining Days + Why Philly is Awesome!

The folks at Philly Homegrown were kind enough to invite me to dinner last week. Philly Homegrown is an initiative of GPTMC. They have some pretty great goals like getting more consumers to buy local and promoting the folks creating all this amazing local food - from farmers, brewers, cheese makers, and bakers to the chefs that are serving local foods in their restaurants. Check out their website:

We had a quick visit to Clark Park Farmer’s Market and then a delicious dinner at Rx in University City. Rx is one the many restaurants participating in University City's dining days that are dedicated to using fresh, local ingredients. Have you heard of Dining Days? It's like Center City Restaurant week but with $15, $25, and $30 price options - see more info on that here. It's a real bargain and it only goes through July 28th - so get to it!

My Rx dinner was great - I had a delicious salad with spicy pecans and local apples:
Trout with black eyed peas and green beans:
and rice pudding (I tried all the desserts and they were great - chocolate bread pudding? chai creme brulee? fried apple pie? Yes, please).
I'm going to try to make it back out to Dining Days this week for 3 dishes at Biba for $15 - bargain, right?

This was my first visit to Clark Park Farmer's market - I've been meaning to go for months and can't wait to check it out again on a Saturday. It was chock-full of local fruits, veggies, meat, dairy and baked goods. Ever had ice cold goat's milk? No? You should try it - it's seriously delicious.

We also had the opportunity to chat with folks from The Food Trust. They're an awesome organization in Philadelphia that is working hard to make sure everyone has access to healthy food. They're in schools teaching healthy eating habits, starting farmers markets in every part of the city, working with corner stores to help them stock healthy foods and so much more. They're pretty amazing.

Thanks, Philly Homegrown, for a lovely, informative evening!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Zucchini Salad

This recipe had been all over the blogs and when my friend Mark made it a few weeks ago I knew it'd become a no-cook standby.

Zucchini thinly sliced on the mandoline, lemon juice, olive oil, pine nuts, parm (grate it on your cheese grater not your microplane - way better), salt and lots of fresh ground pepper.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Sweet Potato Pancake with Arugula Salad

Please forgive my iPhone photo! I don't have my camera handy but I wanted to share this easy dish.

I grated a sweet potato and cooked it in a pan coated with nonstick spray until brown on both sides - it wasn't crispy, just cooked through. I topped it with an Arugula salad that was simply dressed with lemon juice, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper. A touch of blue cheese and almonds made this simple salad pretty darn tasty.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Greens, Greens, and more Greens

Our CSA is pretty heavy on the greens and that's a good thing because I love greens! I'll happily incorporate them into my breakfast, lunch and dinner. Here's an easy, healthy, green-y breakfast:


I sauteed some swiss chard in a little olive oil with some garlic, red pepper flakes, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and a splash of water. Once the greens were wilted I added some white beans and halved cherry tomatoes until they were heated through. I topped it with (surprise!) a sunny side up egg!

Like I said, I had this for breakfast but I've also had versions of this for lunch and dinner.

P.S. I think that "put an egg on it" is the culinary equivalent of "put a bird on it" - just sayin'.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


A couple of weekends ago Ron and I picnicked in Redhook Brooklyn. We originally planned to picnic in Prospect Park but decided to venture a little further from Ron's apartment. We had homemade hummus, roasted vegetables with feta and shrimp salad with artichokes, olives, parsley, cherry tomatoes and lemon. Oh and little cans of Sofia champagne :)


But really we should have brought NOTHING because the Redhook ballfields are home to a ton of great food trucks. See evidence here. Everything looked and smelled great, we'll be back soon empty handed to snack on things like empanadas and pupusas.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Breaking the Fast with Zucchini Pancakes!

I'm off the juice! The 4 day Catalyst Juice Cleanse that is. I feel a little lighter, a little "cleaner" and a lot relieved that it's over. This cleanse was relatively easy - you just pick up the juices (6 a day) and drink up. I was never hungry but I did have a dull lack-of-caffeine headache for the first 2 days. The only real problem with doing a cleanse is that it's BORING, especially for people who love to cook, eat, and drink, like me! I did this Wednesday through Saturday and yesterday there was a BLOCK PARTY on my block and I had to stay inside like a hermit so not to be tempted by the booze and grub. It was a real bummer. But I'd certainly recommend a juice cleanse especially if you're finding yourself stuffing your face with too much bad-for-you food and drink.

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas of last year I did the Master Cleanse - you know, that nothing but maple syrup, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper for 10 days diet? There are additional unpleasantries that I'll omit because people come here to read about food not um...poop. Anyway...the Master Cleanse is something I refuse to believe is healthy although it helped me lose about 10lbs (about 7 of them stayed off) and really set my eating habits back on track. Not because I thought I did something really healthy for my body but because I kept telling myself things like "You just didn't eat a thing for 10 days, don't screw up the results with those french fries!". The juice cleanse it WAY easier and more pleasant - I didn't love any of the juices (there is even a lemon juice, agave, cayenne one that gave me pretty scary Master Cleanse flashbacks!) but I didn't hate them either.

Now lets talk about my first solid meal in 4 days, okay?

We're doing the Greensgrow CSA again this year and I think it's started stronger than ever. Last week we got zucchini and since I didn't eat for 4 days this week I wanted to use them up today before they went bad. Zucchini and summer squash tend to get stock piled in my fridge around this time each year so I'm always searching for new recipes. This is an Ina Garten Zucchini Pancake recipe. They came together really quickly which is good because frankly, I was hungry.

I halved the recipe - 1 grated zucchini, 1 egg, 3 Tbs flour (I used whole wheat), 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 Tbs grated onion, salt & pepper.

I like to use my potato ricer to squeeze liquid out of anything that needs to be squeezed! It's the best way to dry shredded potatoes for hash browns.

I used a little spring release scoop to make all of the pancakes the same size. I'm sort of crazy about things being even - if you've ever seen me pour a glass of wine you'll know what I'm talking about! Instead of frying these in lots of oil I used nonstick olive oil spray. Flip them when the top started to bubble, just like regular pancakes.


I topped them with sour cream and halved cherry tomatoes that I had tossed with salt, pepper and a touch of red wine vinegar.


Ooh and I had coffee, too. It was delicious.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Weekly Detox

While Ron's away working in NYC I tend to eat super healthy during the week - heavy on the fruits and vegetables and light on the meat. I eat this way during the week for lots of reasons: it's good for me, it's easy, it's cheap BUT most of all it's because my weekends tend to filled with things like this:


Our weekends in NY are indulgent to say the least - Ron has a roommate so sitting around the house and making meals at home always seems a little awkward so we eat out...ALOT at places like Eataly (aka heaven) where the above picture was taken and great little joints in Ron's Park Slop neighborhood like Miriam for brunch and Palo Santo for dinner.

So come Monday mornings I generally feel like a little detox in necessary. I lean on meals like this one:


Tons of roasted vegetables (in this case mushrooms, onions, carrots, broccoli AND red cabbage!) with some chick peas, feta and toasted pita on the side. Roasting enough vegetables for five meals is just as easy as roasting enough for one and lately I've been making a giant tray of them and eating them all week. Plain greek yogurt with fruit and whole grain cereal for breakfast and meals like this for lunch and dinner so far have kept me fitting in my pants while allowing me to still be a giant pig on the weekends (see proof of piggy-ness here).

Monday, April 25, 2011


This is a very belated post! As some of you probably already know Ron and I go to a lot of Phillies games and we take a lot of pride in out tailgates. Our friends go all out - tents, tables, grills, games, beer, wine, booze and lots and lots of grub. We generally stick to the Holiday Inn parking lot but large scale tailgates call for a spot at FDR park and this April 2nd tailgate was a big one with one VERY special guest. The boys get props for coming up with the brilliant idea to invite this guy:

Yummy. I mean look how happy he made everyone!

Apparently pork make boys happy and, I gotta be honest, the girls were pretty happy too. How could you not be when there were fixin's for pork three ways?

With garlicly broccoli rabe and sharp provolone or vinegary BBQ sauce and creamy slaw:

Or in taco form with pineapple salsa, queso fresco and chipotle sour cream:

Yup - we take tailgating pretty seriously. I also made sweet potato salad and cookies but who cares about that when there's an entire pig and all it's crunchy skin to eat?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Need to blog...

I've been busy, I know it's an excuse I use constantly and I really wish I was better at keeping this blog up...but I'm not. Work and life tend to get in my way. It's not that I haven't been cooking or baking it's just that I've been working weird hours and when I cook I really just want to eat, not take a picture, not write a blog, just eat.

BUT the good news is that we just signed up for Greensgrow again which means soon we'll have local produce galore and I'll try to blog more. My current gig will be done in 7 weeks or so then I'll be back on the job hunt. If the hunt is unsuccessful chances are you'll see a lot more blogs! Especially since my husband took another job in NYC - when he's not around I have a lot more free time (read: it's sort of lonely).

Just for kicks I'll leave you with this little gem:

THAT readers is a jello shot bar from my buddy Carla's bachelorette party. This bachelorette party started with pole dancing, it was a week ago and I'm just now getting the full movement back in both of my arms. I have a new respect for strippers. Anyway...these jello shot lead to a ridiculously fun night. But these aren't just any jello shots - these are classy jello shots. Most recipes are from this blog. I recommend you make a couple, slurp a couple then go dancing.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

My New Mandoline Trick!

Mandolines are scary, right? I pretty much told my mother she's not allowed to buy one, far too risky. I was at the point where I'd lost too many thumb chunks to even bring the thing out of my cabinet anymore. When I watch "Iron Chef" and see them slice things lengthwise so their palm is so close to the blade I cringe just imagining what a hand would look like without a palm.

Then I read about this little trick:
(Um...please ignore the mess in the kitchen, this is generally what it looks like pre-dinner party!)

Brilliant right? You might lose a little fabric from your oven mitt but you'll keep all of your fingers and your palm! I can't remember where I read this but Oven-Mitt-as-Hand-Guard Inventor if you're out there - thank you!

Here's a closer look:

Now just toss those carrots with a bit of honey, butter, salt and pepper and saute until they're just tender and starting to get golden then add a handful of chopped parsley - so good and really pretty.

Did everyone know about this trick already and I'm the only idiot left without fingerprints? Hope not.