Category Archives: things I like

things I like: sweet potato + pomegranate salad by love & lemons

salad

photo credit Love & Lemons

This salad was featured on Love & Lemons right after Christmas. Isn’t it PRETTY?!  I’ve made it so often that my husband politely asked when we might try something new.  Never.  The correct answer is: never.  I am utterly addicted.  For quick assembly, I typically prep all of the ingredients at the beginning of the week.  Chop and roast the sweet potato, then store it in the fridge.  Make a big batch of the dressing to use throughout the week (or just use your favorite balsamic or champagne vinaigrette).  Trader Joe’s carries shelled pistachios – just chop ’em up and toss ’em in.  And, if you are not a big feta fan (my husband is not), you can easily substitute soft crumbled goat cheese.

My favorite part of the prep is the pomegranate. I refrigerate the seeds in an airtight container, and use them all week long.  There are many ways to de-seed a pomegranate (I have a friend who swears by the under water method), but I  prefer to beat the hell out of it with a wooden spoon.  Cheap therapy.  Here is a great video of Martha getting the job done…just make sure to wear an apron, because girlfriend is not kidding – it is messy business.   Enjoy!

click here for RECIPE

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THINGS I LIKE: heather’s salted caramel brownies

photo credit: Heather Hands, The Flourishing Foodie

These brownies, by The Flourishing Foodie, are the best thing you will ever put in your mouth.  True confession:  I was lazy and used “Trader Jacques” Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce…

…and they are were amazing.  The brownie recipe can be found HERE.

Next week I’ll share my recipe for the second best thing you’ll ever put in your mouth:  Sweet & Spicy Roasted Nuts (because who doesn’t love warm nuts?!)  Stay tuned!

Wishing you all a very happy 2012!  xo

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things i like: EVA’S CHAI PUMPKIN LOAF

photo by Adventures in Cooking

Because it’s almost Thanksgiving (what?!) and because I’m good at sharing….I thought I would pass this little gem along.  The fabulous Eva, over at Adventures in Cooking, posted this recipe back in September.  I have proceeded to bake (and consume) this bread more times than I can even count.  The only variation that I make is adding a dash of nutmeg.  Do not skimp on the buttermilk, as it gives the bread perfect texture (I ran out of buttermilk once, and substituted yogurt in my panicked state, which turned out fine– but I prefer the buttermilk version).   You could even spread on a bit of  caramel cream cheese frosting to really sweeten it up.  But then again, it is just fine on its own.  Enjoy!

Recipe here:  CHAI PUMPKIN LOAF

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things i like: LEARN

I’m captivated by this video, which was recently featured on one of my favorite blogs, Poppy & Leo.

LEARN from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage… all to turn 3 ambitious linear concepts based on movement, learning and food ….into 3 beautiful and hopefully compelling short films…..

ENJOY!

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THINGS I LIKE sunshine & iced coffee

Now that summer has finally arrived, life just seems better.

The yard is slowly coming alive….

My cutting garden will soon be full of dahlia blooms….

Orange kitty is tuckered out from mousing in the field all day…
Good kitty!!!   



A new season of True Blood is back on TV…

Oops.  Sorry….I got distracted there.  Where was I?!…

Oh, Summer.  I love summer.  The temperature is perfect for drinking these….

I’m weighing the pros and cons of running an IV line of iced coffee straight into my arm.  Pioneer Woman posted her “Perfect Iced Coffee” recipe in June, and I’ve been filling the iced tea jug in my fridge with it ever since.  It’s delicious.  And addictive.  You should make some.  Now.

CLICK HERE FOR RECIPE 

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THINGS I LIKE: atk slow cooker revolution

Without a doubt, my mother is reading this post with a smug grin on her face.  Let me back up– as a teenager, I harbored inexplicable disdain for anything prepared in a slow cooker.  When the “crock pot” came out of the cupboard, it was usually accompanied by many groans and eye rolling on my part (next time you see Lin-Babes, make sure to ask her about what a cute teenager I was).  Then I grew up.  And got a job.  And so….my love affair with the slow cooker begins.

I’ve mentioned this book in my WFDW posts, and I’ll say it again:  it is an excellent source for anyone who works all day and wants dinner DONE when (s)he gets home.  Brought to us by the cooks at America’s Test Kitchen, it is loaded with fool proof recipes.  Of course, in typical Test Kitchen style, they are not all simple “throw it in the cooker” recipes.  Therefore, I sometimes do the prep work the night before.  The pages have “Easy Prep” tabs to indicate meals that can be thrown together the morning of.  So far, our top five favorites (in no particular order) are:

1.  Loaded Baked Potato Soup (p. 30)   Tips:  I used the full 8 ounces of cheese (weigh it, don’t measure it) and I mashed more than 2 cups of potatoes to achieve desired consistency.  This prep takes longer than others, so do it the night before–or make it on a day that you’re not working.  It’s an artery clogger–but so worth it!

2.  Japanese Pork and Ramen Soup (p. 23) — Easy prep for a weeknight!

3.  Tortilla Soup  (p. 11)  — I did the prep the night before.  The recipe calls for ladling the soup over tortilla chips, but this resulted in soggy chips.  I would put the chips on top next time.

4.  Everyday Shredded Chicken Tacos (p. 202) — Easy prep for a weeknight.

5.   Ground Turkey and Chipotle Tacos (p. 212) –Easy prep, good for a crowd.

I’m still making my way through the book, so this list barely scratches the surface!  Next up:  Short Ribs and Red Wine Sauce (p. 170),  North Carolina Pulled Pork (p. 145)  and Chocolate Pudding Cake (p. 293)–that’s right, there’s a dessert section.  If you have the book, I’d love to hear your favorites!

*Update:  Some of you have expressed apprehension about this book after reading negative Amazon reviews.  My two cents:  do not expect a cookbook from ATK that requires zero prep on your part.  Personally, I save the dishes that require more prep for the weekends, when I have more time.  The second thing to consider is that ATK is very scientific.  If you want the recipe to be PERFECT, then follow their recipes to a “T”.  But it’s not always necessary to do so.  I do not always precook things before putting them in the cooker and I’ve left the chicken recipes in for longer than the recommended 4-6 hours….and it turns out fine.  I’ve used it as a guide and I’ve been very pleased with it.  

Tortilla Soup, page 11

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THINGS I LIKE: liquid sunshine wheatgrass

Because the weather has been shite…and because I like to keep my hands dirty, I recently planted some Liquid Sunshine Wheatgrass.  It grows quickly and makes a great springtime centerpiece!
DAY ONE:  Plant the seeds according to packet directions, then place the pots in a sunny, south facing window.
DAY FIVE:  The sprouts emerge quickly!
DAY SEVEN: 

After one week the grass measured about 4 inches in height.
FUN FACTS about wheatgrass juice (by Botanical Interests, Inc.):
  • It has more vitamin C than OJ
  • Helps purify the liver (ahem…if you need that sort of thing)
  • Keeps hair from turning gray (what???) 
Caution:  Do NOT put wheatgrass in your normal juicer as it may clog it.  They manufacture commercial juicers that produce the liquid, so double check before you try it in yours!  Most people grind it up and add a little water.   OR….you can just put it on your dining room table, where it looks REALLY cute.

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