May 31, 2009

Summer Preview

Watermelon & Feta Salad

Grilled Honey-Lemon Chicken

May 25, 2009

Salmon Cakes

These salmon cakes are delicious all alone or pair up perfectly with a large mixed green salad tossed with a zingy vinaigrette. You can make these cakes as big or small as you like. I prefer a bit of heft to my cakes, so I use a 1/2 cup measuring cup to form.

May 20, 2009

Bowl Full of Berries

Berries are the charming sidekick to these Bittersweet Chocolate Tartlets.

I've been particularly giddy as of late! I must admit, it's still quite a shocker to see plump red berries this early at the market! Being a Northwest gal I'm used to July-August berries.

These darling tartlets are a farewell to Winter and a warm welcome to Summer. They are simple to whip up, the only difficult step is the waiting that must be done before they are completely set. So I suggest, set at room temperature, whisk your whipping cream, dust out your berries and leave the kitchen at once!

You are allowed to return, IF and ONLY IF you can keep your fingers out of the setting tartlets. If you find it's too much to handle, then return after 2 hours and you'll be pleased to find your little lovelies, eagerly awaiting a dollop of whipped cream and a bowl full of berries.

May 16, 2009

Spring Asparagus

A simple way to get more veggies into your diet is by steaming them and tossing with your favorite vinaigrette.

Steaming vegetables retains more nutrients than boiling or blanching and it takes little time. So invest in a good steamer and steam away!

This Zinfandel Vinaigrette is delicious drizzled over all sorts of veggies or tossed into your favorite salad. It's divine with a pinch of fresh oregano and splashed over a plate of sliced tomatoes & feta.

Zinfandel Vinaigrette:
1 small shallot, minced
1 T Zinfandel vinegar, or red wine vinegar
3 T fruity extra virgin olive oil
pinch of sea salt & a few turns of black pepper
optional: a few pinches of your favorite fresh herbs

In a small bowl let the shallots and the vinegar bloom together for 10 minutes. Whisk in the olive oil and season to taste with salt, pepper and your favorite fresh herbs.

The trick to steaming your veggies is to keep a little bite in them, al dente as we Italians like to say. You may want to pull the vegetables out of the steamer basket a little sooner than you think, as they will continue cooking with the residual heat. After all, who likes soggy veggies?

May 1, 2009

Circus Cheer

Get your Big Top Brownies here!
Big TOP Brownies, BIG Top Brownies, BIG TOP BROWNIES!

This swirly creation is one of Alice Medrich's recipes, although I found it on The Joy of Baking website. Leave it to the Queen of Bittersweet Chocolate to come up with this irresistibly creamy and dense fudge-like bittersweet brownie.
This recipe calls to all cheesecake lovers, but a warning, must love chocolate too!

One of my client's has a school Circus to attend this weekend and wanted to bring along bakesale goodies. Travis helped design a vintage circus label and he had a BIG part in the name. So here it is, my Big Top Brownie all dressed up and ready for the Circus.