Cashmere Apron

burrata and pesca ‘peach’ salad

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My mom passed this scrumptious recipe on to me after attending a cooking class last weekend. She filled my inbox with a stream of images from the yummy dishes they were sampling and raved about this particular recipe so I couldn’t resist making it for myself.

As usual, my mom was right. The Burrata and Pesca is a blissful combination of “light and fresh,” ideal for the blazing hot days of August. Served on a simple white platter, all I can think of is “summer on a plate,” with the vibrant color, drizzles of flavor and variety of tastes. I loved the salad so much, I made it twice this week and it’s already on the menu for the weekend. Enjoy!

Ingredients
1 round of Burrata cheese (sliced)
2 fresh yellow peaches
1-2 Tb toasted Hazelnuts
1-2 Tb balsamic reduction (see easy recipe below)
4 cups wild arugula
2 Tb olive oil (1/2 to marinate the peaches and 1/2 to drizzle over the Burrata)
Black pepper and salt to taste
3 Tb lemon olive oil (2 Tb olive oil and 1 Tb fresh lemon juice combined)

Balsamic reduction, olive oil, and fresh lemon juice swirl together in a perfect touch of flavor

Balsamic reduction, olive oil, and fresh lemon juice layer in a perfect pattern of flavor

 

Directions
Cut the yellow peaches into wedges and marinate with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. In a flat griddle or non-stick saute pan, sear the peaches for a few minutes or until golden brown.

Place the peaches in a metal bowl and add the lemon olive oil and arugula and mix together gently. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon the salad on a nice platter, making sure to display the peaches. Place the Burrata across the top of the salad. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and the balsamic reduction. Top with the toasted hazelnuts.

Toasted hazelnuts lend a subtle rich nuttiness to the light and fresh flavors

Toasted hazelnuts lend a subtle rich nuttiness to the light and fresh taste

Easy Balsamic Reduction
Combine 1 cup Balsamic vinegar and 1 Tb sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The liquid will reduce by about half.

Remove saucepan from heat and sauce will thicken as it cools.

What do you do with the extra balsamic glaze? Whatever you want! Drizzle on vanilla bean ice cream, on fresh heirloom tomatoes, on salads, on fresh fruit; especially strawberries or as a finishing glaze on chicken, steak and seafood.

The presentation couldn't be more appealing - summer on a plate

The presentation couldn’t be more appealing – SUMMER ON A PLATE

Recipe compliments of Canaletto Restaurant, Newport Beach, CA.

organic broccoli soup

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Our friends at Red and Honey have a fun feature called Sunday Night Soups. Given that it’s a football Sunday in November, please enjoy this re-post from Cashmere Apron and check out the link to Red and Honey for their super yummy soup suggestions.

Soup is one of those meals that warms your heart and soul. When the human body gets sick, it is soup that it craves. It is a true “comfort food” that makes you reminisce of cold winter nights and family meals together. I love how you can make this soup so quickly and fill your loved one’s stomachs with loads of pureed vegetables. I try my hardest to purchase organic products when making this soup and have replaced the original heavy cream with fat-free cream. It is a simple recipe that can help you get through the middle of a busy week. Let’s face it, we are all making our Thanksgiving To Do lists and no one has time for burdensome meals. If you have an extra hungry mouth to please, just add a chopped salad or a nice piece of crusty bread.

Ingredients
4 Tb butter, room temperature
2 pounds fresh, organic broccoli, small chop
1 large organic onion, medium chop
1 large organic carrot, small chop
Salt and pepper to taste
3 Tb all-purpose flour
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup cream (I used fat-free)
Garnish with sliced scallions, bacon bits, cheddar cheese

Directions
Melt buter in a heavy-medium pot. Add broccoli, onion, carrot, salt and pepper and sauté until onion is transparent. Add the flour and cook for one minute or until the flour is a blonde color. Add stock and bring to a boil.

Simmer uncovered until the broccoli is tender, about 15 minutes. Pour in cream. With an immersion blender, puree the soup. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Can add more cream if you want. Serve with the garnish of your choice. Serves:4

 

leoda’s kitchen and pie shop, maui

Leodas Lead

There’s a feeling you get every time you return to a place you love – a certain familiarity and time tested traditions you rely upon. One of those places for me is the island of Maui. My parents discovered it for the first time in the early 70’s and brought us almost every summer to visit.

I remember the days of flight attendants garmented in long flowy Hawaiian dresses with leis around their necks and orchids in their high tight buns. My mom always dressed my sister and me in matching Hawaiian dresses for the flight. And as soon as we stepped off the tarmac, the overwhelming feeling of excitement was hard to temper especially with the warm tradewinds blowing, ukeleles playing and greetings of “Aloha” and friendly smiles from every person you passed. I don’t know how many times I have visited this place but it’s close to 40 I would imagine. That’s how my family is…we find something we love and we stick with it. We have explored some other wonderful places but our hearts always lead us back here. And now we have passed that love on to our own kids. Whenever they are asked about vacation spots, they always say, “We want to go to Hawaii,” and we have been fortunate enough to carry on the tradition.
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On our way in from the airport this year we noticed that Chez Paul, a long standing landmark restaurant was gone. Replacing the landmark in tiny Olowalu town was Leoda’s Kitchen & Pie Shop. We didn’t think anything of it UNTIL some New Yorkers we were sitting next to at lunch mentioned that we should try it. Apparently, the way we were all “scarfing” down the food (their words) made them think we would appreciate good food and good pie. And, of course, they were right.

We hit Leoda’s after a rousing tennis match with our stomachs churning for food. Leoda’s did not disappoint. The place is quaint, warm and homey. Wood floors, bright white tile, soft hanging lights, a large vintage sideboard housing cups, napkins, silverware, condiments and a display of cake stands and plenty of high and low tables to sit and enjoy your food which is served in vintage pie tins. Their approach to food is this, “Our menu features hand crafted specialties made fresh daily using only Maui’s freshest ingredients. We take a unique approach to many classic or traditional favorites…we call it glorified grandma comfort food.”
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We stood in line to order and despite the size of the line, it moved quickly, pressuring us to make a decision after looking at all the different and yummy choices on people’s plates. The various choices are hand-written on chalkboards flanked by a Daily Specials Board, a listing of local farms the food comes from and an abundantly filled display case of mini-handmade pies and pastries. Known for their sweet and savory pies and their homemade breads, we had a little bit of everything…the Chocolate Mac Nut pie, the Olowalu Lime pie and the Chicken Pot pie, and those were just the items we shared. Amongst the food we ordered was Leoda’s burger, homemade fries with a garlic aioli dipping sauce, a roasted pork hoagie smothered in onions and sauce, a cobb salad with amazing greens, a fried salad (my order) which had fresh greens topped with slim pieces of flash fried brussel sprouts in an orange vinaigrette, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich made from thick pieces of Leoda’s homemade bread.

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Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Leoda’s Kitchen & Pie Shop is a must visit. There’s always something new to discover in a place you love. We are planning on visiting Leoda’s again before our vacation ends. Aloha!

ancho chile dusted shrimp cobb salad

IMG_9062Ingredients

Marinade
1/4 tsp Ancho Chili Pepper (kick up the spice by adding 1/8 tsp more)
1/2 tsp Cumin
1 Tb Italian Parsley, chopped
3 Tb Olive Oil, divided
2 Tb Butter, melted and slightly cooled

Salad Ingredients
8 large, tail-on raw shrimp
5 pieces cooked bacon
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 avocado, diced
6-7 teardrop tomatoes, cut in half
1, 15 ounce can Garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
Crumbled Blue cheese
1 bunch of fresh Romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Accompaniments
1 jar Trader Joe’s Corn & Chile Tomato-less Salsa
Tortilla chips
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Directions
Whisk together all marinade ingredients in a bowl, making sure melted butter isn’t too warm. Use 2 Tb Olive oil in the marinade and set 1 Tb Olive oil aside for your grill pan.

Add 1 Tb Olive oil to grill pan and heat over medium high. While oil is heating, add shrimp to whisked marinade in bowl. As soon as Olive oil in grill pan is hot, add shrimp. Grill for 2 minutes on each side (4 minutes total). Once shrimp are grilled through, remove from heat and add to a clean bowl while you assemble the rest of the salad.
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Layer from the bottom up using the chopped romaine. Add bacon, egg, avocado, tomatoes, garbanzo beans and Blue cheese. Drizzle with a dressing of your choice (I prefer a light vinaigrette) and top with four shrimp.

This recipe makes two large servings.

 

kale salad with currants and feta cheese

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When did kale get so popular? I don’t remember it ever being on the menu or the dinner table when I was growing up. Is it a cross breed of some sort? Did one farmer’s cabbage get planted with another farmer’s spinach (remind me to look that up!). I remember the first time I ate kale. It was on a road trip up the coast of California to San Francisco. We stopped at this cool little hipster lunch spot/coffee bar/henna salon (don’t laugh…..that’s what it was) outside of Santa Cruz, and Kale Salad was the special of the day. I’m not sure that it was love at first bite, but I did find it interesting enough to make my own version when we returned home. I can honestly say that after much experimentation, I am a kale fan and maybe even a kale fanatic!

This gorgeous plant is one of the healthiest foods on our planet and has only 33 calories per cup. It can be eaten in a variety of salads, soups, and casseroles. I love to roast this veggie and make kale chips. It’s said this super star vegetable will lower your cholesterol and is a cancer fighter when eaten on a regular basis. I am sharing this kale recipe with you because it is one of my favorites. I hope you will love this salad as much as I do. I’m off to do some research on this interesting plant and hopefully, answer my questions.  Stay tuned……..

Salad Ingredients
6 cups kale leaves, washed and chopped small
1 cup purple cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup carrots, shredded
1/4 cup currants
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

Arrange all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Pour salad dressing on top of salad and massage dressing into the kale. This salad tastes better if it sits about 5 minutes before serving.

Salad Dressing Ingredients
1 lemon, squeezed
1/2 cup olive oil
3 Tb agave nectar
1 tsp salt
1 large shallot, minced

Combine all ingredients in a bowl; mix well.

eat-more-kale

 

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apple orchard cobb salad

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This Apple Orchard Cobb Salad is a unique twist on the traditional cobb salad. The Apple Cider Vinaigrette is heavenly on this salad and is also delicious tossed into a spinach salad. Apples are one of the only fruits I can think of that most people like. Didn’t we all grow up on apple juice, apple pie and apple sauce? It just seems like the All American fruit. Speaking of All American… Monday is Veteran’s Day, so why not invite your favorite veteran for dinner and make this salad? Serve it with a lean protein and veggie and raise your glass in a thankful toast.

Ingredients:
2 large apples seeded and chopped
3 Tb fresh lime juice
2 medium avocados, peeled, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup golden raisins
3 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
1 cup watercress leaves
3 cups shredded romain lettuce
1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half
4 ounces shredded white Cheddar cheese
4 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
Spiced Apple Pecans (recipe to follow)
Cider Vinaigrette (recipe to follow)

Salad Directions:
Arrange all of the salad ingredients on a large platter. Top with the cheese and the Spiced Apple Pecans. Drizzle with Cider Vinaigrette.

Spiced Apple Pecans:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour 2 cups of apple juice over 1-1/2 cups pecan halves in a small bowl. Let stand about 15 minutes; drain. Stir together 3 Tb sugar, 1 tsp. apple pie spice, 1/8 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper in a medium bowl; add pecans, tossing to coat. Spread in a single layer on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring once. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes; separate pecans with a fork.

Apple Cider Vinaigrette Ingredients:
1 cup apple cider
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 shallot, minced
1 Tb Dijon mustard
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 cup canola oil

Directions:
Cook the first two ingredients in a 3-qt. saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until cider is reduced to 1/4 cup. Remove from heat, and cool completely.

Transfer cider mixture to a bowl, discarding cinnamon stick. Whisk in vinegar and next 6 ingredients. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth.

PicMonkey Collage

 

 

 

roasted butternut squash soup with leeks

Butternut Squash Soup LeadIngredients
2 to 2 1/2 pounds roasted Butternut squash
3 Tb butter
2 leeks; white and soft green parts, diced
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cut up Granny Smith Apple
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/3 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
sprinkle of thyme

Optional toppings
sour cream, chives, basil and bacon

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise and remove seeds and string (you can speed up the process at this point by placing squash cut side up in a microwave safe dish and cooking on high for 12 to 15 minutes).

For roasting, drizzle with olive oil and lightly season with Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. Roast uncovered for about 45 minutes. Cool slightly, remove skin and cube.

Butternut Squash 2

In a stockpot, melt butter and sauté leeks for a few minutes. Add remaining ingredients and puree with an immersion blender. Let simmer for about 20 minutes and serve with condiments.

To save time
1. Purchase bag of Butternut squash already cubed and ready to be roasted or microwaved. I like the Butternut Squash found at Trader Joe’s.

2. Roast Butternut squash in advance so it is ready to be pureed when you are ready.

This recipe is compliments of our Gluten-Free friend Sarah!

 

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the best caesar salad by our friend, brenda

Brenda's CaesarMy mom’s multi-talented bestie, Brenda, has treated us to many a homemade meal. This salad is one of my favorites because of the lightness and crisp bite of the salad dressing. Caesar salad, at least this one, is the perfect complement to an Italian holiday meal (or any meal for that matter). Thanks for sharing Brenda!

Ingredients

3/4 cup olive oil
4 Tb lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp anchovy paste, or to taste
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 head romaine lettuce, torn into small pieces
Croutons
extra parmesan cheese to mix into salad

Directions
Put the lemon juice, garlic, 1/2 cup Parmesan, anchovy paste, mustard, salt, and pepper in a blender or cuisinart and blend until smooth. With the blender or cuisinart  running, slowly add the 3/4 cup oil.

Make croutons ahead of time or use store bought.

To assemble salad, add extra parmesan cheese (freshly shaved is best) and croutons to the torn romaine lettuce. Toss with the dressing just prior to serving.

Recipe compliments of Brenda Macklin

corn and arugula salad

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I have always loved the peppery taste of arugula. On one of my daily trips to Whole Foods Market (I go to this store A LOT), I decided to try a few of their mouth watering salads in the deli section. I loved the presentation of this corn and arugula salad with the corn ever so carefully cut off the cob. The taste was even better. I was so sad when I had to take my final bite and decided my mission for that afternoon was to go home and try to re-create this salad myself. After much research I found the recipe on Girl Loves Food blog. I was thrilled! I followed her instructions and sure enough it tasted just like the delicious salad I had eaten at Whole Foods. Thank God for bloggers and their love of food and their selflessness to share. So now Cashmere Apron shares this great recipe with you. Pass it on.

Ingredients:
6 ears of fresh corn, shucked
1 bunch of arugula
1/4 cup red onion sliced thin and cut in half
1 Tb fresh thyme
1/2 Tb canola oil
1/2 Tb white wine vinegar
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Put the corn in the water and boil for 4 to 5 minutes. When corn is cooked through, take it out of the pot and let it cool for 15 minutes. While the corn is cooling, slice up the onion and set aside. Combine the thyme, canola oil and white vinegar in a small bowl, whisk with a fork and set aside. Once corn has cooled, cut the kernels off the cob using a serrated knife and place into a large bowl. Add as much arugula to the corn mixture as you like, tossing in the red onion and mixing together. Once all ingredients are mixed, pour the dressing all over and toss everything together. Serves: 6

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tequila lime chicken and grilled potato salad

Tequila Lime CollageA few bites of this and your family will recant the eye rolls and sighs of “uuugh,” when they learn “salad” is on the dinner menu. It’s filling. It’s versatile. It’s full of smoky and tangy flavor. And the ease of preparation makes it the ideal Wednesday on a Whim Meal. My daughter asked for this dinner two nights in a row she loved it so much. If you have selective eaters (like my son), you can serve the chicken and potatoes without the salad and it is still a complete meal.

Ingredients for Tequila Lime Chicken
1/2 cup gold tequila
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 Tb chili powder
1 TB minced fresh jalapeno pepper (1 pepper seeded)
1 Tb minced fresh garlic (3 cloves)
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Directions
Combine the tequila, lime juice, orange juice, chili powder, jalapeno pepper, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken breasts and refrigerate overnight (*if you don’t have enough time to marinate overnight it’s fine, just let the chicken marinate as long as possible that day).

Brush the rack with oil to prevent the chicken from sticking and heat your grill to medium. Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade and sprinkle with salt and pepper and grill for 5 to 6 minutes on one side. Turn the chicken and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes until cooked through (be careful not to dry the chicken out by cooking a little longer on a lower flame). Remove to a plate, cover tightly and allow to rest for five minutes.

Grilled Potato Ingredients
One package mini red and white potatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, diced
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 to 2 Tb olive oil
Grill basket

Directions
Add all ingredients to a ziplock bag, seal and shake. Add potatoes to grill basket and let cook for 10 to 20 minutes, rotating every five minutes or so, until tender and browned.

To Assemble Salad
Slice chicken breast into strips and place atop shredded romaine. Then over sliced chicken breast, add pinto beans, olives, corn (roast if you have the time), bacon, warm grilled potatoes, fresh avocado and Cacique brand Cotija cheese. Drizzle with the salad dressing of your choice (I use Brianna’s Home Style Real French Vinaigrette).

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*Tequila Lime marinade is from The Barefoot Contessa, Family Style

peach salad with charleston pecans

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While visiting Charleston, South Carolina, I had the opportunity to visit The Charleston Farmer’s Market which is held every Saturday. What a treat to taste so many different fresh foods from local vendors. One of my favorite booths was Molly & Me Pecans. This Charleston company sells a variety of different gluten-free nuts sure to leave everyone wanting more.

Salad ingredients:
1 bag Spring mix
1 peach, peeled, pitted and sliced
1 cup candied pecans (recipe below)

Bolthouse Farms Tropical Mango Vinaigrette

Directions:
Toss the above ingredients gently and serve on a chilled salad plate.

Candied Pecans ingredients: (not Molly’s recipe)
1 egg white
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
2 Tb water
1 pound of pecan halves

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Lightly butter  baking sheet.

In a bowl, beat the egg whit until foamy. Mix in the cinnamon, sugar, salt and water. Mix well. Stir in pecans halves, stirring until well coated. Spread on a baking sheet.

Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Serves 4. Compliments: all recipes.com

slightly sweet chicken salad

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This chicken salad is often requested by my friends and family. Slightly salty with a hint of sweet honey. Baking the chicken results in tender soft meat which is perfect for chicken salad. I like to serve this chicken salad over avocado slices or in a crisp and cool lettuce bowl.

Ingredients
4 skinless chicken breast with rib meat
3 stalks of celery
1/2 onion, cut into 4 equal size pieces
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 cup of celery, chopped small
20 red grapes, cut in half
1/2 cup, chopped candied pecans
1/2 cup apple, seeded, peeled and chopped small
3 Tb light mayonnaise
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1- 1/2 Tb honey
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Place the 3 stalks of celery and onion in a baking pan and lay the chicken on top. Sprinkle with rosemary, salt and pepper. Add 1/2 cup of water to pan and cover with foil. Bake chicken in a 350 degree oven for 1- 1/2 hours. Let chicken cool then remove the meat from the bones and chop up. Put the chopped chicken in a bowl and add the celery, apples, grapes and nuts. Gently toss. Combine the mayonnaise, honey and lemon juice in a small bowl. Pour the mayonnaise mixture over the chicken and mix well adding salt and pepper to taste.

spinach, strawberry salad with pistachios

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Summer schedules can get so busy and we don’t always have the time to make a three course meal. This summer salad is quick and simple. We like to pair it with one of our favorite dressings, Brianna’s Blush Wine Vinaigrette. Avocados are ripe and in season and you can take advantage of delicious strawberries through August. Toss a piece of fish or chicken on the grill and “voila,” dinner is served.

Ingredients
1 bag organic spinach
1 cup strawberries, rinsed and sliced
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup pistachios
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Brianna’s Blush Wine Vinaigrette

Directions
Toss all ingredients in a large salad bowl and drizzle with desired amount of salad dressing. Enjoy.

PicMonkey Collage

 

asian cole slaw

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Salad ingredients
2 Tb butter
1 (3-ounce) package ramen noodles, broken (discard flavor pack)
2 Tb sesame seeds
1 ounce slivered almonds
1 Tb sugar
1/2 (12-ounce) bag of broccoli slaw
1/2 ( 16-ounce) bag of cabbage slaw
2 green onions, sliced

Asian Dressing
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
4 to 6 Tb red wine vinegar
3 Tb soy sauce

Directions
For the salad, melt the butter in a skillet and stir in the noodles, sesame seeds and almonds. Cook for 5 minutes or until the almonds are light brown, stirring constantly. Stir in the sugar and cook for 1 minute longer. Spoon the noodle mixture onto a plate to cool. Toss the noodle mixture, broccoli slaw, cabbage slaw and green onions in a salad bowl.

For the dressing, combine the oil, sugar, vinegar and soy sauce in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake to mix. Add the dressing to the salad mixture just before serving and toss to coat. Yield: 8 servings.WOW4

greek salad

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Ingredients
1 head of romaine lettuce, rinsed and drained and torn into small pieces
1/4 cup thinly sliced sweet onion
1/4 cup sliced Greek olives
1/2 red pepper sliced thin
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup peeled and thinly sliced cucumber
1 cup water packed feta cheese, crumbled
6 Tb olive oil
2 tsp dried oregano
1 lemon juiced
a splash of red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
In a large salad bowl, combine the romaine lettuce, onion, olives, bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumber and feta.

Whisk together the olive oil, oregano, lemon juice, vinegar and salt and pepper. Pour dressing over the salad; toss and serve. Serves 6.

watermelon stars with goat cheese

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Ingredients
1 watermelon seeded and cut into stars with a star shaped cookie cutter
1 Tb sugar
1/4 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
3 Tb  fresh basil leaves, julienned

Directions
In a small saucepan, whisk together the balsamic vinegar and the sugar. Cook over medium heat until reduced by half. Be very careful not to let the vinegar burn.

Cut watermelon into star shapes using a star shaped cookie cutter. Arrange the watermelon on a platter and sprinkle with the goat cheese and basil. Drizzle with the balsamic reduction.

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vegetarian mexican salad boats

Finally a salad that doesn’t have cheese in it!

Ingredients
1 bunch of romaine hearts, rinsed and drained
1 sweet potato, finely diced
1 Tb ground cumin
1 Tb chili powder
1 (14.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 ears of fresh corn, grilled and taken off of the cob
4 radishes, thinly sliced
10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, rough chop
1 lime
5 Tb olive oil, divided
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 avocado, seeded and diced

Directions
Heat 2 Tb olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add the sweet potatoes, cumin, chili powder and a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Sauté for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes are browned and cooked through. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 3 Tb olive oil, juice of the lime, cilantro and another pinch of salt and pepper.

In a bowl, combine the beans, corn, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and radishes, and toss well. Pour in the dressing and toss again.

Spoon mixture into each lettuce boat and top with diced avocado and more cilantro, if desired.

Recipe courtesy of bevcooks.com

albondigas soup

Albondigas at 600I am half Mexican and half Irish and was born to parents that heavily celebrated their respective heritages – corned beef, Jameson and the Clancy Brothers in March; tacos, enchiladas, tequila and mariachis in May.

As a kid, I remember going to my Nana’s house for Sunday morning brunch. A staple on that rotating menu was my Nana’s Albondigas soup. So full of flavor and spice, just like our Mexican heritage, all the cousins would sit on a long wooden bench in my Nana’s kitchen dipping warm tortillas into the steaming soup. I call it “Chicken Soup for the Mexican Soul.”

You know a recipe is magic when you ask for a copy and instead get a verbal recitation. Is there really any better way to pass along a special recipe from one generation to the next?

Ingredients
8  1/2 cups chicken broth
1, 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 Sweet yellow onion diced
1 Tb oregano (ground)
1 teaspoon ground cumin powder
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp sea salt
Pepper to taste
1 pound organic ground beef (15% fat)
3/4 cup white rice
1 egg
1-2 zucchini, julienned
1-2 carrots, julienned
2 small white potatoes, chopped

Directions
Bring broth to a simmer. Add diced onion, garlic, tomatoes and all of your spices to the broth. Continue to simmer. In the interim, take beef, rice, egg and a tablespoon of flour and mix together. Form meatballs (any size you want) and place on parchment paper.

Bring broth to a boil and gently add the meatballs with a slotted spoon – do NOT mix or meat will fall apart. Reduce heat to a simmer. Wait 5-10 minutes and add julienned vegetables + fresh cilantro. Test for flavor after the meat is cooked. Add more broth, tomatoes, or spices if needed. Simmer on low for about 20 more minutes.

Serve with fresh tortillas, avocado and spicy salsa. This recipe makes five to six servings.