All posts filed under: COOK

Coconut Granola

My friend Marcy and I recently visited our friend Sarah in Denver, and she cooked up a storm of beautiful, healthy, and delicious dishes for us.  Many of which I’ve tried to recreate since being home.  While I might not have the same wonderful company of friends here and definitely don’t have the glorious views of the sky and mountains, I do have the memories.  One of my favorites she made was this coconut granola.  We had it each morning poured over greek yogurt, fresh fruit, and a spoonful of chia seeds.  We also dipped our hands into it throughout the day… and her supply started to become very low. I knew this was one I’d have to make straight away upon my return home. Coconut Granola Ingredients: 3 cups Old Fashion Oats ¾ cups Raw Cashews, Roughly Chopped ¾ cups Almond, Roughly Chopped 1 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut (I used sweetened coconut and reduced the brown sugar to 1/3 cup) 1 teaspoon Salt 1 teaspoon Cinnamon 1 stick Unsalted Butter ¼ cups Agave Nectar (or Honey) …

Garlic Scape Pesto Pizza with Egg

Last Fall I planted two varieties of garlic in one of my raised beds: German Extra Hardy from Seed Savers Exchange and some unknown variety from a local nursery.  They quickly sprouted a few weeks later and I just let the garlic rest and do its things over the rest of the Fall and Winter.  Even after being covered with tons of Cleveland snow, they all perked back up and continued to grow through early Spring.  Over the past few weeks, the prized scape started appearing on the plants.  The plant shoots up this scape with a pointed flower bud on the tip–it comes from the middle of the plant and is very firm and curvy.   By trimming the scape off at the base, you have 2 major benefits.  One, it pushes the plant to send more of its energy into growing the bulb in the soil below.  Two, you get to eat these deliciously garlic-y jewels.  You don’t have to have your garden to enjoy these–just visit your local farmers market or you may even …

Smoked Salmon Toast

My favorite “sandwich” of the moment is so simple and a play on traditional lox & bagels and gravlax. Smoked salmon toast couldn’t be easier… simply toast your favorite crusty bread (I like Whole Foods’ Farmer Bread), spread with cream cheese, top with capers, thin red onion slices, smoked salmon (I like gravlax style with dill–but you can get any kind you like), and add fresh romaine leaves or tomatoes or radishes (or all three.)  I eat this “open face,” with 2 piled high-toasts ready for my tummy.  Pure bliss.  Simple.  Quick.  Healthy.

Italian Wedding Soup with Kale

  Winter, why oh why won’t you go away and come again some other day?  It’s been a brutal few months, oh so cold and covered in snow.  With another forecast in sight for MORE snow, what’s a girl to do but warm up her tummy.  Nothing ever seems more cozy to me than a hot bowl of soup.  I’ve been rotating between this recipe for Italian Wedding Soup with Kale and a super easy Split Pea with Ham Soup (might post on that later) all Winter.  My version of Italian Wedding Soup sometimes contains escarole and sometimes kale.  When using escarole, I chop up the tough dark green leaf tips to use in the soup and save the heart/lighter green leaves to be served raw in a salad.  To keep this super fast, I purchase pre-made teeny meatballs from our local Italian speciality foods market.  If you can’t find those, you can easily make your own.  Just Google it–or do your favorite mix of ground pork, dark meat turkey, or beef with egg, grated …

Escarole Salad with Chicken, Radish, Feta, and Pumpkin Seeds

My perfect equation for an entree salad is: base lettuce + veggies/fruits + protein + crunch + dressing = salad awesomeness At this time of year with the holidays quickly approaching, I try to be as healthy as I can be on weekdays, especially at lunchtime.  Following the 80/20 rule (80% eating healthy, 20% eating what you want) is always a good approach for maintaining weight and good health.  Healthy entree salads fit into the workday beautiful–either packing it up at home and bringing to work in a Tupperware (dressing on the side), hitting a local salad bar, or ordering in a restaurant.  There are so so many variations you can try, and feel good about your choices.  Look for an upcoming post soon on some of my other fave salad options. This particular combination has become my go to for lunch these days.  And I actually use (gulp) a bottled dressing I found at a local grocery store called “Pine Club” House Dressing.  It’s sold in grocery stores in the Ohio area, but you …

Mortadella Fattisu with Pistachios

  pasta. One of my three favorite food groups: pasta, cheese, and wine.  You can imagine my glee when my hubby surprised me the other day with a cookbook from Flour + Water, a hit pasta and pizza restaurant in San Francisco.  The cookbook is simply named Flour and Water: Pasta. In my never ending quest to master homemade pasta, you will be seeing many of my attempts at recipes from this book over the next few months.  Just by doing this first recipe from the book I learned 3 awesome new techniques: how to really make dough by hand, how to properly run dough through a pasta machine, and how to make pan sauces.  Now, it’s not like I haven’t done those last 3 things before–I just didn’t do them as well as I could have. This ravioli dough is truly luxurious.  It’s so egg-y–the yellow color is gorgeous, and the texture is as smooth as can be imagined.  Please see my post Ravioli Dough for the full details and recipe. Once the dough …

Ravioli Dough

This dough.  We’ve all read recipes and seen videos of building a “well” with the flour.  That’s not new here.  What IS new to me with the dough is how precisely perfect it is.  Most recipes call for “adding more flour as needed” when it sticks to the board.  Not here.  I followed the ingredients and measurements precisely and the dough needed absolutely nothing else.  I whisked up every flour glob on the counter into the dough.  It all came together beautifully. Once all the bits were incorporated, I kneaded it and kneaded it and it just became more and more silky, more and more homogeneous.  Gorgeous.  Chef McNaughton describes it as “adult play-doh.”  Perfect description.  This recipe can be used for ANY stuffed pasta: ravioli, agnolotti, plin, tortellini, etc. After the dough rested, I divided it into 6 even pieces, just to make passing it through the pasta machine easier.  His technique here again is mastery.  Please also follow these instructions exactly.  I was never able to get my pasta sheets to the correct …