Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Nothin' Beats Home-baked Bread

I am a baker's daughter, but apparently MO is the baker in our house. Last weekend I came home from a long day working and to my surprise MO had baked a big beautiful loaf of bread! He used the Olive Oil Bread recipe from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook and the result was a flavorful, rich, moist bread that we've been enjoying all week. Actually, I finally had to freeze some because the loaf was so big. I think when we (he) make it again maybe we'll try making little rolls - this recipe would make killer dinner rolls. So, the bread was delicious and I may have to share the kitchen more often!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Asparagus and Peas: Take Two

Since I had a few leftover asparagus spears and a handful of peas from the garden, I tossed them with some homemade gnocchi Matt and I made a few weeks ago, along with some green garlic pesto I made (recipe below).

The pesto was very yummy, but VERY garlicky - I might try blanching the garlic greens next time). This recipe is approximately what I did.

Green Garlic Pesto
4-6 stalks of green garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. warm water
1/4 cup graetd shredded parmesan cheese
s & p

Finely chop green garlic (green parts only), rinand rinse and pat dry. In a blender or food processor, pulse pine nuts to chop. Add green garlic and process, until bright green and smooth. With blending, drizzle in olive oil and warm water until desired consistency is reached. Pulse in reserved pine nuts and cheese. Taste and season with salt amd pepper.

Asparagus and Peas: Take One

Asparagus and peas are two of the best offerings Springtime has. We had some peas (and baby spinach) in the garden and I picked up some gorgeous asparagus at the Farmers Market and combined them with farro, my new favorite grain. Simple, delcious, and so springy...

Farro Salad with Green Spring Vegetables

1 cup farro (my new ingredient of the week)
1 cup asparagus spears, cut into 1-inch lengths
1 cup fresh peas (frozen would work, too)
large handful fresh baby spinach
1 bunch scallions, chopped
juice of one lemon
zest of half of the lemon
2 Tablespoons olive oil
s & p

Prepare farro following package instructions. 2 minutes before cooking time ends, add asparagus, peas and baby spinach. Drain all and rinse with cold water. Add remaining ingredients, stir and season with salt and pepper. Chill in refrigerator and serve at room tempature or cold. Great accompaniment to any springtime meal!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Coconut Macaroons

Since we moved to California, we've been celebrating Passover with our "West Coast family". The first time we were invited, I looked all over to find a dessert recipe that would be appropriate for Passover - no flour, no leavening - and I didn't find a lot of options. So, I called Fat Boy to ask for his Coconut Macaroon recipe. The macaroons are delicious and coconut-y and I drizzled some bittersweet chocolate on top for some extra decadence (actually, macaroons are not so bad for you compared to other desserts). Now, my macaroons are a Seder table staple and the plate is cleaned every year.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Give me (balti)MORE crab cakes!

MO and I were recently in Baltimore visiting friends and had some amazing crab cakes. We sampled crab cakes at three different restaurants and they were all much much better than anything we can get here in California. Strange but true. Well, I guess it's nice to know that there are still regional specialties that haven't been McDonald-ized. The Chesapeake-style broiled crab cakes full of big chunks of crab meat (no breadcrumbs!) are one of my favorite foods. I guess I will just have to wait until our next trip back East. Or make some myself...(stay tuned)