Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pomegranate Seeds over Vanilla Ice Cream

Tomorrow is the first day of fall! Can you believe it?!

Stew's family celebrates the Autumnal Equinox by making homemade vanilla ice cream and topping it with fresh pomegranate seeds. It sounds so simple, but it is phenomenal (even with store-bought ice cream)!

[ photo found online ]

Some of the pomegranate seeds burst and color the ice cream, and some of the seeds slightly freeze. The fiber center of the seeds, which can sometimes be annoying and too crunchy, adds a nice texture to the ice cream.

Try it for the first day of fall tomorrow!

What do you do to celebrate fall?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tres Leches Cake- Topped with Fresh Peaches

We recently had fresh peaches on tres leches cake! It was delectable! Possibly better than strawberries!

Go here for the original posting with the recipe.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Chinese Noodle Stir Fry

If you don't know already, I love stir-fry dishes. They are so easy, you can throw whatever you have into the pan, and they are delicious! Here's a great version I came up with that has noodles instead of rice. It was yuuuuuuuummy!

Chinese Noodle Stir Fry
[recipe by me]

1 small package of pre-cooked Chinese noodles, stir fry noodles (usually found in the produce section)
2 chicken breasts, sliced or diced (I love using my food processor for this!)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 Tbsp oil
Veggies of choice: zucchini, carrots, green beans, bell peppers, broccoli, etc.
1/4–1/2 cup water
5 Tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp hoisin sauce*
1 tsp sugar
1/2 Tbsp crushed red pepper
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Chopped cashews or peanuts for topping, optional

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken until browned on the outside and cooked through. Turn heat down to medium and add garlic and ginger; stir. Add veggies and stir. Add about 1/4 cup (or more) water to the pan and cover with lid to allow the veggies to steam. Cook for about ten minutes, until veggies are tender but still crisp.
Meanwhile, mix sauce together by combining soy sauce, hoisin, sugar, crushed red pepper, and lime juice.
Add noodles to skillet, then add sauce. Stir to thoroughly distribute sauce. Sprinkle with chopped nuts before serving, if desired.

* If you don't have hoisin sauce, you can make your own. Check out this post for directions!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ratatouille Soup

With the abundance of summer veggies we have—zucchini, eggplant, squash, tomatoes—I wanted to make ratatouille. I've wanted to make ratatouille ever since we saw the movie actually. We love that movie, I love seeing the animated food!

So I used my creativity in the kitchen and made a ratatouille soup! I was surprised at how good it was, when I didn't use a recipe! I wrote down what I did, so you can make it too!

3 Italian eggplants (also called baby or finger eggplants), thinly sliced; or 1 regular eggplant, diced
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 yellow squash, thinly sliced
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 links of sweet Italian sausage (or spicy if you wish), casings removed
2 8oz. can of tomato sauce
2 tomatoes, chopped
5 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 1/2 tsp basil
1 tsp salt
1/4–1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup couscous

Heat large pot over medium-high heat. Add sausage and crumble with spatula. Cook until browned. Add onions and cook for a minute or two. Add garlic and cook for five minutes. Add eggplants, zucchini and squash and cook until veggies are slightly soft. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth and spices. Heat through. About 5 minutes before serving, add couscous and cook until done. Can top with cheese or croutons! *Can be made meatless.

Enjoy! And go watch Ratatouille! ;)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Broccoli Salad

Most broccoli salads I’ve had are good, until I start gagging on the big pieces of raw broccoli! I think that’s the problem with most broccoli what’s a girl to do? Blanch the broccoli! To blanch means to cook briefly in boiling water. So you bring water up to a boil, dump the broccoli (and cauliflower, which I absolutely HATE raw) in, boil it for only a minute, then transfer it to a pot of ice water (or just rinse it in cold water until it’s cold)! What do you get? Broccoli with bright color, great flavor and nice crunch that doesn’t make you gag. Perfect! Of course, if you love raw broccoli, go ahead and use raw. But trust me on this one, blanched is the way to go!

I really loved this salad and ate WAY too much of it (hey, at least it’s relatively healthy, right?). The dressing is GREAT and tastes similar to poppy seed dressing, only with less fat because I used low-fat mayo! It’s best eaten the first day you make it, but it still tastes good the second day, even if it is a little soggy. This makes a huge bowl, perfect for an end-of-summer family party! And really, you don’t have to measure anything (except the dressing), just get the ratios you like!
I found a bunch of broccoli salad recipes online and just compiled the best of each one into this one, so it’s FULL of everything! I love the texture of this salad with the many ingredients!

Broccoli Salad
[recipe by me]

4 cups fresh broccoli, chopped (about 3 nice-sized broccoli crowns)
1 head of cauliflower, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2 cups frozen peas
1 cup raisins, grapes or craisins
6–8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup of Monterey Jack cheese
1–2 cups matchstick carrots, optional

1 cup low-fat mayonnaise
2 Tbsp fruity vinegar (such as apple cider vinegar)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Mix all dressing ingredients together with a whisk until well combined. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow sugar to dissolve and combine. Bring large pot of water to a boil, add broccoli and cauliflower, and boil for 1–2 minutes. Transfer immediately to a bowl of ice water or rinse under very cold tap water. Pat dry with paper towels. Mix all salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Refrigerate until serving. Mix the dressing in just before serving, tossing well.