Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Making the Cut- Jillian Michaels, Day One

So, last week I decided to try Jillian Michael's Making the Cut Plan. I figured I would start today and that way I'd have Memorial weekend to eat whatever I wanted and not exercise. Today is Day 1 and I'm already over it. Isn't that sad? I'm just not cut out for diets. But, since my hubby is doing it with me and I promised I could do anything for 23 days (I'm only doing this until my birthday which is in 23 days) I can't flake out. Hopefully, blogging about it will help hold me accountable. Here I sit after dinner sipping tea.....tea is NOT a good substitute for cookies, but it will have to do and putting together my thoughts on the day.
I chose Jillan's plan because it is for those people who are in fairly good shape and want to lose 10-20 pounds. I'd be super proud if I could lose 10 pounds. I'm comfortable in my curves and have no desire to be rail thin.
My morning started with eggs. This was really hard for me because I usually start with bread. I love love love bread. I've been known to say I'd rather be fat than give up bread.
You also get cereal and skim milk for breakfast with the eggs. I took this to work and ate it a couple hours later as a snack.
Bad blogger that I am I totally forgot to take a photo of lunch. This may have been because I was dying of starvation and wolfed it down QUICKLY.
Apple and raw cashews came next as a snack. Ok, I've never eaten a raw cashew and wow do they need to be roasted and salted. Tasted nothing like the cashews I'm used to but still edible.
I sipped iced tea all day. Does anyone else save their to-go cups? This was is from the weekend lunch I had. I usually use them for about a week and then toss.
Dinner roasted chicken with garlic and wild rice. I should probably explain that while I'm trying to follow the diet as closely as possible, I'm really picky. I'll be altering her recipes as I go to suit my taste.
Before dinner I did the 5 circuit exercises from Day 1. Great workout. I huffed and puffed but didn't feel like I was going to die so that leads me to believe I haven't totally let myself go.
So, dear bloggers, is anyone else on a diet? Any diet advice? I need some good cardio music suggestions too.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Panzanella- On A Stick

As I'm sure most people did over Memorial Day weekend, we had a BBQ. Complete with hotdogs, hamburgers, beer and yummy panzanella sticks. I received the cookbook On A Stick by Matt Armendariz for review in my mail on Friday and couldn't wait to try it out. The photos are great and each one makes me want to try the recipe.
Doesn't the corn dog on the cover look delicious? Can't wait to try that recipe.
So easy to put together and I was able to use more of the basil from the plant I'm trying to keep alive.

Just before serving I drizzled balsamic vinagrette over them. The recipe calls for a sherry vingagrette which I'm sure would be just as yummy.
I hope you'll check out this cookbook. I saw it for sale at Barnes & Noble over the weekend so I know it's easy to find. I really want to make the cake pops next but that will have to wait about a month. I'll explain tomorrow.

How did you spend your weekend? Did you BBQ or travel?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Tomato Bruschetta and Tuscan Lemon Chicken

This month I'm joining the fun over at Food N Flix. May's movie is Under the Tuscan Sun which I had never seen before. It's one of those movie with beautiful landscape, fast-moving plot and all ties up nicely at the end. Plus, any reason to make some Italian inspired food is a good reason for me. I chose to make Tomato Bruschetta and Tuscan Lemon Chicken.
Tomato Bruschetta before it's all mixed together. I just love the vibrant red and deep green.

Tomato Bruschetta Recipe
adapted from www.tuscanrecipes.com

8 chopped ripe roma (plum) tomatoes
5 leaves chopped fresh basil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 pinch of dried oregano
1 dash of crushed red pepper
1 pinch salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
2-3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 loaf of Italian-style (or French) bread, cut into diagonal slices

1.In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, basil, garlic, oregano, red pepper, salt, pepper and olive oil. Use more olive oil, if necessary, to coat the entire mixture. Allow the mixture to sit for 10-15 minutes for flavors to blend.
2.In the meantime, preheat the broiler. On a baking sheet, arrange the slices of bread in a single layer and brown both sides slightly in the oven. Remove the slices from the oven.
3.Spread the tomato mixture on the still warm toasted bread slices and serve

Dinner- YUM!. As we all know, chicken is just not photogenic, but trust me it's delicious. Probably because it's another recipe from Ina Garten.

Tuscan Lemon Chicken
by Barefoot Contessa

Ingredients
1 (3 1/2-pound) chicken, flattened
Kosher salt
1/3 cup good olive oil
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, halved

Directions
Sprinkle the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt on each side. Combine the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, and 2 teaspoons pepper in a small measuring cup. Place the chicken in a ceramic or glass dish just large enough to hold it flat. Pour the lemon marinade over the chicken, turning it in the dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Turn the chicken 2 or 3 times while marinating.

When ready to grill, prepare a hot charcoal fire on 1 side of a grill (or turn a gas grill on low heat). Spread 1/4 of the coals across the other side of the grill. Place the chicken on the cooler side, skin side up, and weigh it down with the dish you used for marinating. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the underside is golden brown. Turn the chicken skin side down, weight again with the dish, and cook for another 12 to 15 minutes, until the skin is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through. Place the lemon halves on the cool side of the grill, cut side down for the last 10 minutes of cooking. Remove the chicken to a plate or cutting board, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Cut in quarters, sprinkle with salt, and serve with the grilled lemon halves.

My newest basil plant from Trader Joes which I used for the bruschetta.
Any gardeners out there? I have killed every single basil plant I've ever purchased. I really try to keep it alive and happy but it always dies. Any suggestions?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Jamie Oliver's Southern Sausage Stew

This week's I Heart Cooking Clubs is called Mad About Herbs.
I chose Jamie Oliver's Southern Sausage Stew. If you like bell peppers, you'll love this dish. There's a ton in the recipe. I didn't love it but I didn't hate it. Make sure you season it will with salt and pepper before you serve it or else it will be really bland. I also cut the amount of cayenne in half. It was still spicy but not overwhelming.

Southern Sausage Stew
by Jamie Oliver

Ingredients

• olive oil
• good-quality sausages (2 or 3 per person)
• 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
• 1 red bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
• 1 green bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
• 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
• 2 celery stalks, trimmed and roughly
chopped, yellow leaves reserved
• 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
• 1–2 fresh red chiles, seeded and
finely chopped
• 10 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
• 1 heaping teaspoon paprika
• 1 heaping teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 2–3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon white wine or apple cider vinegar
• generous 3 cups chicken broth, preferably organic
• 1 x 14-oz can diced tomatoes
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• cooked long-grain rice, to serve
• 3 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
• a small bunch of fresh curly parsley, roughly chopped

Method

Put a splash of olive oil in a large saucepan and let it get hot.Add your sausages and let them cook away so they brownnicely on all sides. Once golden and crisp, take them out ofthe pan and put them on a plate to rest. Depending on yoursausages, there may be a lot of fat left behind in the pan. Youonly want to keep about ¼ cup of it in the pan, so carefullypour any extra away. If you don’t have enough, just add asplash more olive oil.Add your onion, bell peppers, and celery to the fat and fry ona medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, untilsoftened. Stir in your garlic, chiles, thyme, and spices and fryfor another minute or two. Stir in your fl our and vinegar, andafter a couple of minutes add your browned sausages, chickenbroth, and canned tomatoes, using a wooden spoon to breakthem up a little. Season with a nice big pinch of salt and pepper,stir, then bring to a boil and let it tick away for 15 minutes or so,until you have a thick and delicious gravy.Serve with a hearty spoonful of rice on the side and sprinkleover some sliced scallions, chopped parsley, and any reservedcelery leaves. Really tasty stuff!PS: I’ve also stirred chopped up pieces of cooked chicken,quail, and smoky bacon through this with great results! Put a splash of olive oil in a large saucepan and let it get hot.
Add your sausages and let them cook away so they brown
nicely on all sides. Once golden and crisp, take them out of
the pan and put them on a plate to rest. Depending on your
sausages, there may be a lot of fat left behind in the pan. You
only want to keep about ¼ cup of it in the pan, so carefully
pour any extra away. If you don’t have enough, just add a
splash more olive oil.

Add your onion, bell peppers, and celery to the fat and fry on
a medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until
softened. Stir in your garlic, chiles, thyme, and spices and fry
for another minute or two. Stir in your fl our and vinegar, and
after a couple of minutes add your browned sausages, chicken
broth, and canned tomatoes, using a wooden spoon to break
them up a little. Season with a nice big pinch of salt and pepper,
stir, then bring to a boil and let it tick away for 15 minutes or so,
until you have a thick and delicious gravy.

Serve with a hearty spoonful of rice on the side and sprinkle
over some sliced scallions, chopped parsley, and any reserved
celery leaves.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tuscan White Bean Soup

I came across this Tuscan Bean Soup recipe from girlichef and decided to try it out since I love the combination of garlic and white beans. She is hosting Food n Flix this month. I'll be posting my recipe for Under the Tuscan Sun soon since I just finished watching the movie and I'm making my dish for dinner tonight. Have you seen the movie? If you have, you should join in on the recipe fun.
What do you have planned for this long weekend? I've got tickets to see Tree of Life and try out a new restaurant in Malibu. Can't wait to sleep in and relax for 3 whole days.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Chocolate Cake and Jillian Michaels

This is my downfall.....CAKE. Or cookies, or lemon bars, pie or scones. Bascially anything that comes out of my oven and has sugar in it.
Specifically this is Barefoot Contessa Beatty's Chocolate Cake. You might be able to tell that this piece of cake had been refridgerated. That's because it makes a huge tray of cake and I felt the need to have a piece every night until it was gone. I should have taken it to work but I kept forgetting. And now, I'm being punished by the 30 Day Shred Workout. It's been a while since I visited Jillian Michaels so I started with Level 1 and today I am so so so sore. How did I get out of shape so quickly? I definitely can't promise myself to give up baking during swimsuit season but I can at least put some effort into getting back into shape. I felt like I hibernated all Spring. Aren't you supposed to do that during the Winter? Do you hibernate too?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Tagliarelle with Truffle Butter

Today my hubby and I celebrated 7 wonderful years of marriage. Looking back on photos, even though it wasn't that long ago, I feel like we looked so young. I was hardly old enough to be drinking champagne and there I was a wife. Getting married was one of the events in my life that really sparked my passion for cooking. I wanted nothing more than to be domestic and cooking became my outlet for that. I'm not at all a crafty person, nor can I sew or iron the perfect seam, but ask me to bake some cookies or bring a casserole and I'm there.
So, of course, instead of going out to dinner, I cooked. But first, we went on a hunt for Truffle butter. 3 stores and we finally found it. Our first time having anything truffle related and it was oh so good. You must try this recipe. It's quick but elegant and richly delicious.



Tagliarelle with Truffle Butter

Barefoot Contessa

Ingredients

Kosher salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 ounces white truffle butter
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (8.82-ounce) package Cipriani tagliarelle dried pasta or other egg fettuccine
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
3 ounces Parmesan, shaved thin with a vegetable peeler

Directions

Add 1 tablespoon salt to a large pot of water and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a large (12-inch) saute pan, heat the cream over medium heat until it comes to a simmer. Add the truffle butter, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, lower the heat to very low, and swirl the butter until it melts. Keep warm over very low heat.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 3 minutes, exactly. (If you're not using Cipriani pasta, follow the directions on the package.) When the pasta is cooked, reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta. Add the drained pasta to the saute pan and toss it with the truffle-cream mixture. As the pasta absorbs the sauce, add as much of the reserved cooking water, as necessary, to keep the pasta very creamy.

Serve the pasta in shallow bowls and garnish each serving with a generous sprinkling of chives and shaved Parmesan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve at once.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Jamie Oliver Pancakes U.S.A Stylie

Still cooking up a storm over at I Heart Cooking Clubs with Jamie Oliver.
One of my favorite dinners is breakfast for dinner. Last night I tried out Jamie Oliver's pancakes. This was my first time using egg whites to lighten the batter. I have to say, while yummy, they weren't the best pancakes I've ever had. The outside was a little tough and the inside wasn't as fluffy as I like. I substituted strawberries for blueberries in his recipe. Anyone else loving that it's strawberry season?
Pancakes, eggs, bacon and cantaloupe. What could be better? yum!
Adding a little fancy to my dinner, I served orange juice in wine glasses.

Jamie Oliver's Recipe
Pancakes U.S.A Stylie

Ingredients
• 3 large eggs
• scant 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
• a pinch of salt
Method
First separate the eggs, putting the whites into one bowl and the yolks into another. Add the flour, baking powder and milk to the yolks and mix to a smooth thick batter. Whisk the whites with the salt until they form stiff peaks. Fold into the batter—it is now ready to use.

Heat a good nonstick pan on a medium heat. Pour some of your batter into the pan and fry for a couple of minutes until it starts to look golden and firm. At this point sprinkle your chosen flavoring (see below) on to the uncooked side before loosening with a spatula and flipping the pancake over. Continue frying until both sides are golden.

You can make these pancakes large or small, to your liking. You can serve them simply doused in maple syrup and even with some butter or crème fraîche. Or if you choose to sprinkle with a flavoring, try one of these .

P.S. Blueberry pancakes (above) are great but you must try the corn pancakes. On one condition—you must use fresh corn. To do this, remove the outer leaves and carefully run a knife down the cob—this will loosen all the lovely pieces of corn— and sprinkle these raw over your pancake, before flipping it in the pan. I like to have some grilled bacon over my corn pancakes, drizzled with a little maple syrup. This sounds bloody horrid but it honestly tastes pukka!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Grilled Tandoori Chicken

In preparation for summer, we bought a new bbq a couple weekends ago and have been trying out new recipes. This Tandoori Chicken recipe is fantastic and I'll definitely be making it again. I failed to read the recipe all the way through and missed some steps at the end but oh well, it was still super yummy.
The yogurt based marinade makes the chicken tender and juicy. I served it with brown rice and sliced mango. Has anyone had a mango lassi? I was thinking of making it to drink with this recipe next time.
Tandoori Chicken Recipe
Williams & Sonoma Complete Grilling Cookbook

For The sauce
1 cucumber
1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

For The Chicken
3/4 cup plain yogurt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 whole chicken cut in 4 or 6 pieces. If you can buy skinless, even better but the bones need to be in.

To prepare the sauce, peel the cucumber, halve it lengthwise, then scrape out the seeds. Cut the cucumber crosswise into thin slices. In a bowl, stir together the cucumber slices, yogurt, cilantro, salt, and black pepper. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

To prepare the chicken, in a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of the oil, the garlic, ginger, curry powder, turmeric, salt and cayenne; set aside.
Remove and discard the skin from the chicken. Using a sharp knife, score the chicken meat 1/2 inch deep at 1 inch intervals. Coat chicken with the marinade evenly, working it into the cuts. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.
Prepare grill.
(These next steps I totally forgot to do. We just grilled the chicken as we normally would but if you follow these next steps, let me know how it turns out).
Remove the chicken from the marinade. Scrape most of the marinade from the chicken. Boil the remaining marinade and reserve. Rub the chicken with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Place on the grill rack and grill, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Turn and brush with some of the reserved marinade. Grill for 10 minutes longer, then again turn and brush with the marinade. Cover the grill, open the vents halfway, and cool until opaque throughout and the juices run clear, about 15 minutes longer.
Transfer to a warmed platter and serve at once. with the cucumber-yogurt sauce.
Enjoy!
Do you have any fantastic grilling recipes to share?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Orange Yogurt

I must have breakfast in the morning. Usually within an hour of waking up or else I get really really cranky. This is also true for having a cup of coffee. I'm always looking for new breakfast ideas and when I saw the Barefoot Contessa flavor her own yogurt, I was sold. Turned out delicious.

The key is to drain your yogurt overnight in a strainer with a paper towl or piece of cheesecloth. This takes out the excess liquid.

Sans excess liquid

Then you add in your favorite flavors. I used her example of orange zest, orange juice, a little vanilla and some honey.

Delicious yogurt in my morning parfait. I'll definitely be making this again. I'm thinking of trying a pomegrante flavor. Yum!

Here is her original recipe http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/orange-yogurt-recipe/index.html

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tequila Lime Chicken

Tequila Lime Chicken is by far my favorite Barefoot Contessa recipe. You can really taste all the flavors of the marinade after grilling. I served this with brown rice, black beans, and topped with salsa, sour cream, shredded cheese and lime for squeezing. Delicious.
Do you have a favorite Barefoot Contessa recipe?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Jamie Oliver's Proper Blokes' Sausage Fusili

Delicious pasta from Jamie Oliver. This recipe went much better than the cake I tried to make last week. Check out I Heart Cooking Clubs for more yummy pasta dishes.

Proper Blokes' Sausage Fusili by Jamie Oliver
Ingredients
• 2 heaped teaspoons fennel seeds
• 2 dried red chillies, crumbled
• olive oil
• 600g good-quality coarse Italian or Cumberland sausages
• 1 tablespoon dried oregano
• a wineglass of white wine
• zest and juice of 1 lemon
• 500g good-quality fusilli or penne
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• a couple of knobs of butter
• a handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
• a small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and chopped

Directions
Bash up the fennel seeds and chillies in a pestle and mortar or Flavour Shaker until coarsely crushed, then put to one side. Heat a splash of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan. Squeeze the meat out of the sausage skins and put into the pan, really breaking it up using the back of a spoon. Fry for a few minutes until the meat starts to colour and the fat has rendered slightly, then crush it once more so it resembles coarse mince. Add the bashed-up fennel seeds and chillies and cook on a medium heat for around 10 minutes until the meat becomes crisp, golden brown and slightly caramelized.

Stir in your oregano, then pour in the white wine and allow it to reduce by half. Add the lemon zest and juice. Turn the heat down to low while you cook your pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water according to the packet instructions. When the pasta has cooked al dente, drain it in a colander, reserving some of the cooking water, and toss it in the pan with your sausagemeat. Coat the pasta in all the lovely flavours then add the butter, Parmesan, chopped parsley and a few spoonfuls of the reserved cooking water. This will give you a lovely loose, shiny sauce. Taste and check for seasoning, then serve immediately with a little extra grated Parmesan sprinkled over the top.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Magnum Ice Cream Bar = YUM!

After every meal, I must have something sweet. Whether it be a cup of tea with honey, a cookie or a spoonful of ice cream, I just don't feel like a meal has ended without a little sugar. My mom is the same way. She always carried Hersheys kisses or Andes mints in her purse so I know I got this from her. Are you the same way?
As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received Magnum Ice Cream bars to try. I normally don't buy ice cream bars since the portions are too big for me but an indulgence every once in a while is a good thing. Right?
I chose the almond kind and the bar was delicious. I loved every bite. I saw a dark chocolate one available so I'm going to try that kind next. Especially since the box only came with 3 and that's not enough to fairly split between the hubby and me.
As you can tell, I was eating in bed. Nothing like yummy ice cream, cozied up in bed with some trashy TV to make me happy.
Is anyone else watching Khloe and Lamar? It's my new guilty pleasure.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Margarita Lime Cookies

I had to show the photo first because how cute are these margarita glasses? I got them at Party City really cheap the day before Cinco De Mayo. We had a potluck at work and I wanted to bring something festive so I packed Margarita Lime Cookies in them to share. I found the recipe on Smitten Kitchen (love her website) and after reading the reviews made a couple minor changes to enhance the flavor. Here is a link to her website and I've copied the recipe below with my changes noted.

Margarita Cookies (Smitten Kitchen)
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Sabl├ęs au Citron

Makes about 50 cookies

2 sticks (8 ounces; 230 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (70 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons tequila: 4 teaspoons for me
Grated zest of 2 limes: 3 limes
Grate zest of half an orange: I used the whole orange
2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour

Coating:
Approximately 1/2 cup clear sanding or other coarse sugar
2 teaspoons flaky Maldon sea salt*

1. Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until it is smooth. Add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and beat again until the mixture is smooth and silky. Beat in 1 of the egg yolks, followed by the salt, tequila, grated lime and orange zest. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, beating just until it disappears. It is better to underbeat than overbeat at this point; if the flour isn’t fully incorporated, that’s ok–just blend in whatever remaining flour needs blending with a rubber spatula. Turn the dough out onto a counter, gather it into a ball, and divide it in half. Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

2. Working on a smooth surface, form each piece of dough into a log that is about 1 to 1 1/4 inches (2.5 to 3.2 cm) thick. (Get the thickness right, and the length you end up with will be fine.) Wrap the logs in plastic and chill for 2 hours. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and kept refrigerated for up to 3 days or stored in the freezer for up to 1 month.)

3. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

4. While the oven is preheating, work on the sugar coating: Whisk the remaining egg yolk in a small bowl until it is smooth and liquid enough to use as a glaze. Mix the coarse sugar and flaky salt well and spread the mixture out on a piece of wax paper. Remove the logs of dough from the refrigerator, unwrap them, and brush them lightly with a little egg yolk. Roll the logs in the sugar, pressing the sugar/salt mixture gently to get it to stick if necessary, then, using a sharp slender knife, slice each log into cookies about 1/4 inch (7 mm) thick. [Deb note: To get the sugar/salt mixture to stick better, I moved the log over to a piece of plastic wrap, and in the sort of technique you'd see a sushi chef use to shape a roll, use the plastic to press the sugar in by wrapping it tightly.] (You can make the cookies thicker if you’d like; just bake them longer.) Place the cookies on the lined baking sheets, leaving about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) space between them.

5. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they are set but not browned. (It’s fine if the yolk-brushed edges brown a smidgen.) Transfer the cookies to cooling racks to cool to room temperature.

Keeping: Packed airtight, the cookies will keep for about 5 days at room temperature. Because the sugar coating will melt, these cookies are not suitable for freezing.

* Updated to add that if you should choose to use regular table salt and not Maldon, use less! Much less. Probably half or less. Because Maldon has such volume, the equivalent amount of a finer salt would be much more pungent. Better on the safe side than sorry, right?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Jamie Oliver's Fruit Salad and Carrot Cake

I'm a big fan of Jamie Oliver. I really admire his dedication to educating the public on the importance of healthy eating and when I saw I Heart Cooking Clubs is featuring him this month, I knew I had to participate. The following recipes can be found on his website www.jamieoliver.com

Tropical Fruit Salad
I added strawberries and orange slices since I couldn't find a ripe papaya at the store. The lime juice added a nice tang to the sweet fruit. I'll definitely be making this again.

A Rather Peasing Carrot Cake with Lime Mascarpone Icing
This cake although beautiful and the icing delicious was a huge failure for me. So much so, that I actually had to throw it away. it was all my fault. I tried to measure the ingredients with a conversion chart I found online because I don't have a kitchen scale. Please, do not try that home. The texture was completely off. Not to mention, I'm still learning how to bake with an electric oven so the top was overly browned and the bottom undercooked. Oh well, it's all part of the learning process so I tried not to be too upset about it. Confession, I may have let one tear slip and cursed the oven a little bit. So sad.

I hope you'll check out I Heart Cooking Clubs. Have a wonderful Mother's Day.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Roast Chicken with Stewed Lentils

Again, the Barefoot Contessa makes me love her. Each of her recipes that I've tried have been a success. In this case, I used her method to roast chicken and then I made her Stewed Lentils as a side dish. Delicious warm from the pot with a nice piece of juicy chicken. I serve roasted chicken at least once a week and am running out of side dish options. Any ideas?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Berry Bundt Cake

Doesn't it look delicious? Fresh and hot out of the oven. I couldn't wait to try it.

This is what happens when you're not patient enough to let it cool fully. *sad face* but it still tasted great.

How has your day been?