Tuesday, June 23, 2009

giada de laurentis and everyday pasta.

Most of you blog followers know I have been writing restaurant reviews and cookbook reviews for a local entertainment magazine in Fort Wayne. Part of the process I go through for reviewing cookbooks is to borrow them from the library, snuggle up on the couch and go through them. Soothing and inspiring, this process allows me to relax as well as research which books Fort Wayne foodies may benefit from most. One of the books I recently perused was Giada de Laurentis' Everyday Pasta. Not typically a fan of her show on Food Network, I was rather impressed with this book. Loved the layout and the majority of recipes seemed simple and intriguing, even for pasta (not your typical spaghetti and meatballs book). I made a soup from this book which brough together swiss chard, pancetta, ravioli (though the book listed tortellini, the store was out), carrots, cannellini beans, shallots and broth. I topped mine with a sprinkling of pecorino romano. I loved that it took less than 30 minutes to put together and that it was healthy too. I plan on trying one her pasta recipes this week, it's an artichoke pesto pasta!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

yucatan lime soup.

So it's a weeknight, you want to make a light meal, you are strapped for time, what do you make? Well, why don't you pull out your Yucatan Lime Soup recipe?? I found this gem many years ago, thanks to the Food Network (it was an old episode of Emeril Live) and since then it's been like a trusty friend. This soup will be ready in about half an hour and requires minimal prep work. This lime juice infused soup contains chopped onions, cumin, 1 chopped chicken breast, a chopped serrano chili, a chopped tomato, garlic, chicken stock, cilantro and to garnish, some creamy avocado. And to boot some homemade tortilla chips seasoned with Emeril's essence (this has become a staple in my pantry, I especially enjoy its flavor in burgers). While the soup packs a little heat, it also packs some veggies, a wee bit of protein, and just enough zing to make your mouth perk up.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

weekend baking.

A couple of weekends ago, I found myself in the mood to bake. I had tabbed a recipe in my recent issue of Gourmet magazine - a Raspberry Buttermilk Cake, and I was also in the mood for some homemade bread. So alas, I spend Saturday evening baking a rustic country bread (recipe from New School of Cooking) and on Sunday, I made this Raspberry Buttermilk Cake (which I brought to my small group on Monday night for devouring). The cake was moist and delicious, the raspberries enhanced this buttery cake with its sweet and tart qualities. A perfect afternoon dessert, goes especially well with coffee or tea. A light dessert, you could easily substitute the raspberries for a different berry or other fruit if you'd like. Nothing is like baking, especially bread. For me, it's always been a source of therapy. Using my hands, my energy to create a living organism (yeast that is). Yes it's timing consuming, but ever so worth it. The bread was dense, chewy and yielded a beautiful crumb. Just warm with butter, a sprinkly of kosher salt and jam made a fine late night snack. It's important to take time out and do something in life that brings you joy and pleasure, whether that takes place in the kitchen or elsewhere. Take time.