A Rhubarb Fool

I have been away for a bit longer then favorable. Summer can do that to a person. IF you can call the weather in NYC summer, I think we had a few days of it….somewhere….lost amongst the rain, lightening storms, fog, and chilly winds most likely. Not letting this get in the way, however, I am still very much in a sunny mood. Promise. So lets get down and dirty and shall I say ‘foolish‘ with this lovely summer treat.

This recipe is from Laura at thefirstmess. I love every single one of her recipes and her photography is all sorts of crazy awesome. I might even go as far as to say I have a bit of food-blog-crush going on. Yes food-obbsessed people should know what I am talking about…when good recipes and pictures combine I hear angels sing….

…..But Back to the Fool. This is basicly a very tart rhubarb compote. Can you believe this was my first time ever trying rhubarb? It will not be the last. I layered mine with yogurt and paired it with banana coconut bread in the morning. It would be great on ice cream and probably a million other tasty combinations.

Click here for the original link.

Combine the chopped rhubarb (only the pink pieces), orange juice, cardamon, and ginger in a sauce pan and cook over medium heat for around fifteen minutes until the rhubarb has broken down and the fool will resembles a compote. Use more/less honey or other liquid sweetener depending on your own level for sweetness. The link above goes into detail on why this dish is called a fool.

Go let yourself loose in these summer days. Be Foolish.

Blood Orange Upside-down Cakes with Sage

It is the end of April. And with that comes.. May, a month full of excitement and anticipation of a good summer season. The weather here in NY has warmed up and though it is predicted to drop again on Monday with May around the corner my spirits remain high.

To me blood oranges scream summer. They come out and shout it with their tart, juicy, deep red goodness. Paired with a moist almond cake with just the right crumb and fragrant sage we have a treat fit for any pre-summer celebration. I ate these for breakfast with a large cup of mint tea. They would go great accompanying a picnic or eaten after dinner…preferably on a porch, in a rocking chair and listening to crickets.

Blood Orange Upside-down Cakes with Sage

1 orange

3 tiny blood oranges or 1 large blood orange

1/4 cup plain greek yogurt

1 tbsp dark muscavado sugar (this requires a bit of work to keep from clumping together, I love the stronger molasses taste but light or brown sugar would also work)

1 tbsp honey + more for drizzle

2 tbsp + 2 tsp olive oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp fresh orange zest

1 egg

1 tbsp ground flax

1/4 cup millet flour

1/4 cup brown rice flour

2 tbsp + 2 tsp almond meal

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp of juice (I used the juice made from segmenting the oranges)

pinch of sea salt

fresh sage leaves

1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Segment the oranges and set aside. In a large bowl mix the flours, almond meal, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon – set aside. In a separate bowl combine the flax, honey, olive oil, vanilla extract, sugar, zest, and juice. Then stir in the egg and yogurt. Add the wet to the dry and stir to combine. In a muffin pan (grease if necessary) criss-cross leaves of sage in the bottom of nine compartments. Spoon a little of the orange segments on top, then a drizzle honey. Add a spoonful of batter next, I had just enough batter for this so start with a small spoonful in each until it is all used up. Bake for around 30 minutes or until cooked though and golden brown on the edges. Remove from oven and carefully use a dull knife to flip them out of the pan. Cool and enjoy. Keep leftovers in the fridge.

Refreshing Mexican Salad

Summer is in the air ~

And I am ready. Ready for the colors, the sun, and most of all – the produce. This recipe is a perfect example of how to incorporate all of these things in one dish. The star ingredient in this salad is the lime, it takes the show…I find myself making this dish a lot throughout the winter months to create a small bit of warmth. But no longer will I have to pretend, so put on your short shorts and get ready to refresh your taste buds with this salad!

This recipe is very versatile, what you put in can vary to take advantage of whatever you have on hand.

First off is chopping fresh veggies. I used a yellow and orange bell pepper though next time I would use red and green. The yellow tends to be a bit sweet.

dice onion

Then put the chopped peppers and onion in a large mixing bowl

Drain and rinse beans, three cans of what ever your fancy [black bean, pinto, cannellini, great northern, kidney] and throw in the bowl.

Next is a bag of frozen corn, I usually make this dish within 30 mins of eating and always enjoy how the frozen corn gives that extra chilly factor but canned corn would work just as well. Add large amounts of cilantro and the dressing, then mix and serve, or cover and leave in fridge until ready.

Refreshing Mexican Salad

3 cans of beans [black bean, cannellini, pinto, great northern, kidney] drained and rinsed

2 bell peppers – chopped

1 medium red onion – chopped

1 bag frozen corn

Bunch of cilantro

for the dressing:

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

2 tbsp fresh lime juice

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp salt

1 clove minced garlic

1/2 tbsp ground cumin

1/2 tbsp black pepper

1/2 tsp chili powder

I recommend tasting as you add the salt and sugar, you may not need all of it.  Then season with hot sauce afterward if desired.

 

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes for Two

A taste of heaven.  The Potato.

In all of its creamy goodness.

I made a quick stop into a local health grocery earlier this week and left with one large bag full of red and baby sweet potatoes.  Normally sweet potatoes are huge but they had a wide selection of tiny sweet potatoes, great for when your cooking for one. {!}

And so I welcome you to the –

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes for Two

Or if you really like potatoes, like myself, this is easily a recipe just for one…

Taking one small sweet potato and three reds, chop them, any which way, shape, and thickness that your heart desires.

In a bowl toss with 1-2 tbsp of oil, you may need more  just enough to get an even coating over everything, any oil will work fine ~ I used grapeseed.  Add a dash of salt and a few shakes of pepper, toss again.  Fresh rosemary is always amazing but dried will work just as good, roughly a tbsp.  put in a bake safe dish and into the oven at 400 degrees until tender, 25-35 mins.

When your kitchen is filled with the tantalizing essence of baked rosemary you know your potatoes are almost done and that it’ll be a good night.  One day I will invent an herbed tomato based dipping sauce to accompany this side dish but until then ketchup does the trick.

~ Happy Potato Eating ~

Baked Butternut Squash

Let’s get our Squash ON

The new year has passed.  And now a million different events come into play.  The biggest of which will be finishing up college.  A very surreal time full of all sorts of crazy.

BUT lets get back to the squash at hand.

This particular butternut squash has been on my counter for what seems like forever.  Great shelf-life.

The most daunting aspect, however, is cutting it lengthwise before blissfuly leaving it to sit in the oven.

With a large knife in hand I approached the squash.  Placed it on its side and cut off the top tip with the stem.  I did not cut the bottom piece off but feel free to do so.

Then bringing the squash back to an upright position place the knife in the center and begin your decent downward.  It won’t be easy.  It will take many bouts of effort and a few choice words.  Some people use small plastic mallets and tap on either end of the knife.  Some people might be blessed with superior upper arm strength, in which case disregard the previous statements.

I am not one of those prized few.  But after a few minutes of careful cutting my squash lay in two beautiful halves on the counter.

With a spoon or other tool of your liking remove all the seeds and string-y insides.  SAVE THE SEEDS.  Put them in a small bowl.  Whatever you do, do not throw them away.  You will be grateful later, I promise.

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.  Use a large baking dish and pour enough oil into it to nicely coat the bottom.  I used grape seed oil, but olive oil amongst others would be more than fine.  I then rubbed a bit of oil onto all sides of the squash halves, sprinkled with salt and pepper, then placed flesh side down into the baking dish and into the oven it went.  Cook for around 40-50 minutes.  Until inside is tender.

Remove from oven and serve!  I sliced mine before sending it around the table and everyone ate all but the skin on their own plate.  It is so versatile and can be served with a variety of seasonings, mashed, or pureed.  But baked with a bit of salt and pepper is beyond divine 😉

Sea Urchins. It’s What’s for Dinner .

YES.  Sea Urchins.

It’s what was for dinner.

This is a meal from a couple of months ago when I was living in Southern France.  We decided to try something new.  Live on the wild side.  Sea Urchins are a delicacy because of the effort it takes to collect them and the edible percentage per each sea urchin is rather small.  Have no fear, however, this was not all we dined on.

There was bread.  Lots of fresh bread.

AND.  Figs.

Beautiful figs.

These figs were picked off trees right outside where we were staying.  I don’t think I ever ate as much fresh fruit {off the tree fresh} as I did in France.

Diced and thrown into a hot skillet.  Add cloves.  Orange juice.  And other desirable spices.

The result will knock your socks off.

When everything becomes hot and bubbly perfection has been reached.  PROCEED to spread on fresh baguette or eat straight with a spoon.

But back to the prickly side of things.

Getting to the inside of a sea urchin was a more challenging endeavor then expected.

The edible parts of the sea urchin are located on the sides so you can’t just cut right in.  Their is a special tool just for this purpose but with nothing but scissors on hand we very carefully cut around the small circular opening on the urchin.  Once cut this small piece can be pulled out and the urchin drained.

After this we were able to cut the urchin open and in two.

The part of the sea urchin that you eat is commonly known as roe but is actually the organ of the urchin that produces the roe, or gonads.  They are small and light red in color.

Normally rinsed to remove any unwanted internal parts we put them in a bowl of freshly squeezed orange juice.  Slightly salty in flavor with the essence of the sea.

Whether you go home today and make a delicious hot fig spread or serve your family a plate of sea urchin gonads..

I wish you the best of luck.

Happy Holidays