October 30, 2012 § 1 Comment
Entertaining tomorrow night? Here is a last minute solution for what to serve. The sake needs to be done the night before but everything else can come together just a few hours before people arrive. So even if you didn’t have plans, why not throw something together last minute? Menu taken care of.
I would start with the cupcakes first (of course). I used the recipe here and they were delicious. The batter even started tasting like pumpkin before I even added the pumpkin (yes, I tried the batter).
This fiesta dip was sort of inspired by a few different versions of 7 layer dip and other Mexican dips. I just tried to simplify the best I could. I think one version that is topped with shredded lettuce, diced tomato and cilantro could be delicious.
I used the Devils on Horseback recipe here. Mine turned out a little more well done than I would have preferred but I am always someone who would take my bacon overcooked rather than undercooked. The grease from this bacon gets your oven really hot so keep an eye on them.
The rest of the apps are just slicing and dicing! If you don’t have a full bar already stocked, a good way to cut down is by serving a signature drink. Then have a few standard options like beer, wine and whiskey.
October 26, 2012 § 8 Comments
In this case “ultimate” means easy, quick, and extra thin and crispy. If you are looking for deep dish, be gone with you, call Jet’s. I came across the goodness that is the recipe whilst browsing Lesley Eats who in turn learned of it from Fearless Homemaker who adapted it from The Kitchn (so goes the blogosphere), so this thing is tried and true. I followed the original instructions here which were simple and produced great results (no equipment other than a rolling pin needed). And now I pass this wisdom on to you!
1 teaspoon active-dry or instant yeast
2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Preheat oven to 500°F or as hot as it will go and let stand for a half hour. If you have a pizza stone, put it in the lower-middle part of the oven now. Combine the water and yeast in a mixing bowl, and stir to dissolve the yeast.
Add the flour and salt to the bowl and mix until you’ve formed a shaggy dough.
Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface along with any loose flour still in the bowl. Knead until all the flour is incorporated, and the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. The dough should still feel moist and slightly tacky. If it’s sticking to your hands and counter-top like bubble gum, work in more flour one tablespoon at a time until it is smooth.
If you have time at this point, you can let the dough rise until you need it or until doubled in bulk (about an hour and a half). After rising, you can use the dough or refrigerate it for up to three days.
Cover the dough with the upside-down mixing bowl or a clean kitchen towel while you prepare the pizza toppings.
When ready to make the pizza, tear off two pieces of parchment paper roughly 12-inches wide. Divide the dough in two. Working with one piece of the dough at a time, form it into a large disk and lay it on the parchment paper. Gently press and stretch the dough until it’s about 1/4 of an inch thick or less. For an extra-thin crust, roll it with a rolling pin. If the dough starts to shrink back, let it rest for five minutes and then continue rolling.
Now here come the toppings. Use the back of a spoon to spread your sauce out to the edges, then add the rest of your goodies.
Slide your pizza (still on the parchment) onto the baking stone in the oven. If you don’t have a baking stone, bake the pizza on the back side of a baking sheet. Bake for about 5 minutes and then rotate the pizza, removing the parchment from under the pizza as you do so. Bake for another 3 to 5 minutes until the crust is golden-brown and the cheese looks toasty.
Remove the pizza and let it cool about five minutes before slicing on a wire rack. Repeat with the second pizza.
Ours was a little different from the original magarhita style since I had been eyeing this recipe on the back of Chobani’s Greek Yogurt for a few weeks now. It combines sauteed onions and garlic with a mix of greek yogurt and ricotta cheese topped off with cherry tomatoes and fresh basil. Delizioso!
October 25, 2012 § Leave a comment
October 24, 2012 § Leave a comment
This weekend, the stars aligned to create the perfect time for a quick trip to California. Since my brother lives in Venice Beach, we always have a vacation and place to stay at our fingertips there. The flight out from Nashville is much easier than from the East coast so even leaving after work on Friday, I landed in time for dinner. I’m so glad I did because the restaurant was fantastic. It was an Italian spot with a Southern Californian twist called Superba that invites lingering late outside over wine (they have blankets table-side if you catch a beachy breeze). We chose the tasting menu which was served in a totally unique way- small plates style. Instead of everyone getting their own mini portion of each dish, plate after delicious plate was set down before us to share. It’s my favorite way to eat and with pastas made in house, the food was four stars.
In other news, today is Food Day celebrating real food!
October 19, 2012 § Leave a comment
I love to have the inside scoop and this past weekend I got the first taste of one of Nashville’s newest brewers. They specialize in craft beers and started with one pot on a stove. What they’ve come up with though awesome, really unique and great-tasting beers. We had an absolute blast tasting them this weekend and it’s so refreshing to actually be able to smell the ingredients in a beer just like wine (unlike some other beer varieties I’ve been known to throw back). My favorites were a light, floral-y beer that had a secret farm ingredient (!) and a subtle IPA that I actually enjoyed since I am not a crazy hop head. They are planning to do a bunch of dinners and pairings before opening up shop so be sure to keep an eye out for Tennessee Brew Works events! The logo below is still in the works but the beer is ready for action.
October 17, 2012 § Leave a comment
Last night at a friend’s pumpkin-carving party, I had chili that was everything it should be and more. So thick and creamy with rich spices topped with sour cream and fritos (yes, those fritos–when was the last time you had those?). While the original is definitely a must to indulge in once in a while, I like chili enough to know I need an alternative that I can feel guilt-free about. Enter this turkey chili taco soup. Even if the texture wasn’t as rich and creamy as the original, all the spice and flavor was there and I was more than satisfied with it.
1 1/3 pounds 99 percent lean ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
10 ounces RO*TEL Tomatoes and Green Chilies
15 ounces canned or frozen corn, thawed and drained
15 ounces kidney beans, drained
8 ounces tomato sauce (I used leftover homemade with had Italian spices and that was great)
16 ounces fat-free refried beans (I used black instead)
1 packet reduced sodium taco seasoning
2 1/2 cups fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
While the turkey is browning in a large pot, slice up your onions and veggies.
Cook with onions and peppers 2-3 minutes or until softened. Then add RO*TEL tomatoes, corn, kidney beans, tomato sauce, black beans, taco seasoning, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Top with Non-fat plain greek yogurt, scallions and cilantro. Perfect on chilly day!
Plus it’s one pot! I haven’t tried this in a slow cooker but I wonder if that will thicken it up?
October 16, 2012 § Leave a comment
Oktoberfest. The name alone conjures up images of lederhosen, steins of beer and good cheer all around. That’s exactly what we found this weekend in Germantown at the 13th annual street festival to commemorate the holiday. All that, plus tents of food blockading streets in every direction, fun bands around every corner and a healthy 5k to kick off all the merry-making. Throw in the fact that it’s mid-October and I was in sandals and I just may choose this over a flight to Munich.