August 29, 2010
This is the other recipe I made at my cooking demo last Saturday, and I figured it’s time that I share it with you guys, too!
Pureed roasted beets and creamy tangy goat cheese come together for one of the easiest homemade pasta dishes you’ll ever tackle (promise!). Start with pureed roasted beets (make them yourself, buy them pre-roasted and peeled in those lovely little vacuum packs, or go ahead and use canned, if you’d like) and whisk in the cheese, an egg and some flour to bind it all together.
You only need about a half cup of the puree for a batch of pasta big enough to serve four. These freeze well, too, so even if it’s just you, I recommend making the whole thing and freezing the rest for easy meals the rest of the week.
August 21, 2010
I just got home from an exciting day of hosting two live cooking shows at the New York Botanical Garden where I showed two audiences how to prepare different recipes featuring delicious, in-season beets. It was the first time I ever cooked before an audience, and I think it went pretty well! I'm pretty exhausted after spending the day on my feet cooking, but I promised the audience that I would post this recipe for the Beet Chocolate Bundt Cake that I made so for now, here it is. I'll be back tomorrow with more details about the event (and a few pix, too!)
P.S. I realize this cake is a little unusual, but it's delicious; everyone in the audience tasted it and liked it (some were clamoring for 2nd and 3rd pieces!).
August 20, 2010
|Alejandra at New York Botanical Garden (Not to scale.)|
If you're in the NY/NJ/Connecticut (heck...even Pennsylvania!) area, I'd love for you to come to the New York Botanical Garden tomorrow (Saturday). I'm going to be hosting two LIVE cooking shows on their state of the art Conservatory Kitchen Stage at 1pm and 3pm.
This will be the first time I've ever cooked before an audience so it would be really great to have your support and see some familiar faces out in the audience!
I'm going to be making two delicious beet recipes. The first, for the 1pm show, is Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter Sauce. At the 3PM show I will be making Beet Chocolate Bundt Cake with Chocolate Truffle Glaze. I'll also be talking about eating seasonally, working with beets, ways to serve them to those pesky "i hate beets" people, and a few of my personal beet anecdotes (don't we all have those?!).
If you haven't been to NYBG before or have been meaning to go check it out, this is the perfect time to do so. It's absolutely gorgeous there right now and there are activities and exhibits for the whole family to check out! Tickets are just $15 for adults, $13 for students, and $8 for kids. (babies get in free) That's about the same as a movie ticket for a whole day of fun! (Fun AND personal beet anecdotes!)
New York Botanical Garden is located in the Bronx right next to the Bronx Zoo (so you can make a whole day out of it and go check out the cute baby animals next door after my show). It's about 20 minutes from midtown on metro-north and 25 minutes from the GWB if you're driving in from NJ. Visit www.nybg.org for more details on the park, directions, and to buy your tickets.
I hope to you there!
August 16, 2010
The bonus is that roasted beets can be prepared in a large batch all at once, then stored in the fridge for a bevy of uses over the coming week. Think sliced into salads, paired with tangy goat cheese as an appetizer, sauteed in hot herbed butter, mashed into ravioli filling, or (my favorite) pureed and baked into chocolate cake. Roasted beets are in fact so versatile that they're actually sold that way at the grocery store, but there is no need to spend extra bucks to have someone do the work. With just a few quick steps, you can learn to roast a perfect beet every single time.
August 15, 2010
Similar to cherry tomatoes in appearance and size (though not flavor), Peppadews is actually the trademarked name of a variety of sweet piquante pepper native to South Africa. The name is a reference to the pickled version, and are sold stemmed and seeded with a tiny open cavity just perfect for stuffing.
For this salad, I was inspired by the one I had at work, and paired the peppadew peppers with a combination of salty Bulgarian feta and diced, broiled peaches that I first tossed in a simple dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, and black pepper before placing under the flame for a few minutes (I live in an apartment so grilling isn't an option, but if it is for you, by all means do!)
August 13, 2010
You know I like to follow rules.
So I got back from a run around Lake Merritt this morning and needed a nice scoop of almond butter before heading over to Blue Bottle for the latteIwouldorderifondeathrow. My endorphin high was completely shuttered because I remembered that on the side of my freshly opened almond butter it told me to 'stir and refrigerate after opening' as it always does.
Look, I hate refrigerating peanut and almond butter; the refrigerator sucks the life and creaminess out of an otherwise smooth treat. I just don't want to have to 'defrost' my fucking almond butter before I eat it.
All I am saying is, what am I risking by not refrigerating my favorite post-run snack?
Ahhh...Matt. What an excellent question!
I feel the same way you do about peanut butter and almond butter (and, for that matter, cow butter). I only ever eat the organic unsweetened kind so when I refrigerate it, it gets extra hard and unmanageable which is just no fun.
August 9, 2010
The night after our lunch, I found myself laying in bed thinking about those caramels. I'd already eaten the extra one in my purse (it barely made it back to the office) and proceeded to spend the rest of the night plotting my next trip, wondering if I would be able to slip away during lunch the next day for a repeat meal.
Morning light made me realize just how impractical it would be to pay for an entire lunch simply for a handful of complimentary caramels, so I decided that I would just have to make them myself. Cobbling together various classic caramel recipes, I tweaked and stirred until I finally fell upon the one that seemed closest to the buttery, chewy treats I remembered.
This recipe is actually quite easy. You need a candy thermometer, of course, but other than that, it's really just a bit of occasional stirring and patience. The hard part comes at the end, once the caramel has been cooled and cut into (semi) uniform pieces; that's when you'll have to sit and wrap each individual piece for hours. I made mine early on a Sunday evening and then proceeded to sit on the couch cutting and wrapping caramels straight through an episode of Rubicon (my new favorite), then Mad Men, then immediate encore of Mad Men, followed by the first half of the encore of Rubicon. Yes. That would be 3.5 hours of wrapping caramels.
August 4, 2010
As part of my wedding planning, I’ve been spending quite a bit of time lately thinking about cookies and candies that can be made in advance. Though I haven’t really figured out the specifics yet, I’ll likely end up making several different kinds of these make-ahead treat to use either as favors or on a dessert table, or perhaps even served on platters of mignardises to be set on each table post-dinner along with the cake and coffee.
The latter solution made me think of the classic cantuccini that were served along with tiny cups of Vin Santo after dinner at nearly every restaurant in Florence. A classic Tuscan treat, the cantuccini are tiny, dry little biscotti-type cookies that are meant to be dipped in the sweet wine (or coffee) for a bit of sweetness after the meal. When I went back to New Jersey after my time in Florence (where I went to culinary school), I brought my dad a bag of the little hard cookies and a bottle of Vin Santo to try, and we ate them after our dinner for weeks after my return.
August 2, 2010
AMC and Banana Republic are co-sponsoring a contest called the "Mad Men Casting Call" where fans of the show are invited to enter a photo of themselves showing their best "Mad Men Style." I decided to join the fun and entered a photo of myself taken during the swank Mad Men cocktail party I hosted last Christmas. People are asked to vote on the photos and 10 male and 10 female finalists will be chosen at the end of the voting period (in mid-September). From their, the director of the show will select one Male and one Female winner to win a walk-on role on an episode of Mad Men.
This, as I'm sure you can understand, would be an absolute DREAM for me. You can totally help me get on there! All you have to do is click the "VOTE" button under my photo. You can vote for me once a day every day (or even more if you have multiple computers). You can also help get the word out by posting the link to my photo on Facebook, Twitter, sending it to your friends via email, etc. It's super simple as it requires absolutely NO login info or registering.
Let's make this happen together!!!
Vote for me here: http://madmencastingcall.amctv.com/browse/detail/ZQJ33H
P.S. I'm calling on the Law of Attraction to make the post title a reality. ;)