Friday, June 28, 2013

Pear Mimosas

(recipe from Real Simple magazine)

Makes 8 servings:

2 bottles Champagne, chilled
4 cups pear nectar
1 lime, cut into 8 wedges

For each serving, pour 3/4 cup of Champagne into a flute or wine glass and top with 1/2 cup of pear nectar.  Squeeze and drop in 1 wedge of lime.

(Pear and lime mimosas are nice.  These were sampled in Vermont, while visiting my dear friend for her father's birthday.  We sipped these at the party, and the day before.  It was a lovely weekend, and so, in my mind, these will always be lovely cocktails.)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Peach and Pistachio Salad

(recipe from Food & Wine magazine)

1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1 large hot red chile, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
3 underripe medium peaches, very thinly sliced
1 small jicama (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick matchsticks
3/4 cup shelled, salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
2 cups baby arugula

In a large bowl, combine the shallot, red chile, sugar and vinegar and let stand for 5 minutes.  Whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Add the peaches, jicama, and pistachios and toss well.  Fold in the arugula and season with salt and pepper.  Serve right away.

(This is one of the best things I have ever eaten.  I brought this for lunches by keeping the arugula in a separate container and combining with the peach/dressing mixture at lunchtime.  Just amazing textures and flavors.  Bravo!)

Creamy Peach Tart with Smoky Almond Crust

(recipe from Food & Wine magazine)

2 cups vanilla wafer cookies (5 ounces)
1/2 cup smoked almonds
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1 egg
2 firm, ripe medium peaches, peeled and cut into thin wedges

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a food processor, combine the vanilla wafers with the almonds and 2 Tbsp. of the sugar and process until fine.  Add the melted butter and pulse until the crumbs are evenly moistened.  Press the crumbs into the bottom and 1/2 inch up the side of a 9-inch springform pan.  Bake for 10 minutes, until the crust is set.

Meanwhile, wipe out the food processor bowl.  Add the cream cheese, sour cream, egg and 2 Tbsp. of the sugar and process until smooth.  Pour the custard into the crust and bake for 15 minutes, until set.  Let the tart cool slightly and transfer to the freezer to chill, about 15 minutes.

In a bowl, toss the peaches with the remaining 2 Tbsp. of sugar.  Arrange the peaches in 2 concentric circles over the custard.  Remove the ring, cut the tart into wedges and serve.

(Nope, not vegan, not even close.  Made this to serve the ladies along with snacks and drinks in my garden.  Peaches were on sale, it's a quick recipe.  I couldn't find smoked almonds, just used roasted unsalted ones.  The crust is a bit crumbly, but tastes good.  Any fruit would be fine in this.)

Roasted Strawberry Salad

(recipe from Thug Kitchen, and I'm going to write it exactly as it appears there...)

16 medium strawberries, about 1 lb.
1 tsp. olive oil
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup coconut flakes (you can use sliced almonds to save some cash)
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp. olive oil
a big bunch of basil, chopped into thin strips, about 2/3 cup
salt and pepper to taste
1 big head of lettuce (green leaf, spinach, butter, whatthefuckever kind of lettuce is fine)

Warm up your oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the tops off the strawberries and throw that shit out.  Slice the berries in half lengthwise.  Toss them in a bowl with the teaspoon of olive oil and salt.  Mix that shit up good so everything is coated.  Put the strawberries cut side down on a cookie sheet.  I hate doing dishes so I usually cover the cookie sheet with foil or something because the strawberries can release some juice and it's annoying as fuck to clean.  Roast the strawberries for 10 minutes.  Throw the coconut flakes in their own section on the cookie sheet and then roast them at the same time for 3 more minutes or until the coconut looks toasted.  Let everything cool the fuck down to about room temperature.

Mix together the lemon juice, vinegar, and oil in a small glass.  Toss the lettuce and the basil in a big bowl and add as much of the dressing, salt, and pepper as you like.  Make sure everything is coated and then put the strawberries and coconut flakes on top.  Arrange that shit so it looks nice.  If you don't feel like fucking with the oven, then just leave the strawberries raw.  I don't give a shit JUST EAT A FUCKING SALAD or 10.

(This is a tasty salad.  The strawberries do release a lot of juice when roasted.  I added all of that juice to my dressing, and it made the vinaigrette look so pretty, like a sunset.  In the future, I would fiddle with the ratios of the vinaigrette, maybe less oil?)

Friday, June 7, 2013


(recipe from Real Simple magazine)

2 ripe avocados
3 scallions, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, minced but not seeded
1 tomato, coarsely chopped
Juice of 1 1/2 limes
1/2 tsp. salt

Scoop the avocado pulp into a medium bowl.  Add the other ingredients and mash with a fork until combined but still chunky.  Spoon into a serving dish.

(Tangy!  Maybe too tangy...  Perhaps the juice of one lime is sufficient, or even half a lime.  Taste as you go.  I mean, it's guacamole - hard to go wrong.  But this particular recipe is quite lovely.)

Monday, June 3, 2013

French Lentil Salad

(recipe from

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 red onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 cup French green lentils, rinsed
salt & pepper
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 cup toasted almonds, roughly chopped (optional)
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1 cup torn fresh herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, tarragon, basil, and/or mint

In a medium saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp. oil over medium heat.  Add onion, carrot, and celery, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 6 minutes.  Add lentils and cover with 2 inches of water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes.  Drain and season with salt and pepper.  Let cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining oil, lemon juice, and pepper flakes.  Season with salt.  Add lentils, almonds (if using), cabbage, and herbs and toss to combine.

Refrigerate lentil salad in an airtight container up to 3 days.

(I made this using parsley and omitting the almonds.  Such a good lunch salad!  Make sure to let the lentil mixture really cool well, so when you combine with the cabbage and parsley at the end, everything stays crisp and vibrant.  Stores and travels well, good at room temp or refrigerated.)