Friday, February 27, 2015

Fashion Friday: Spring 2015 Trends

Spring 2015


Here are some of my favorite upcoming trends for Spring 2015. I know I am going to rock a lot of hats, sheer kimonos, and gingham shirts this spring/simmer - what about you?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Chickpea & Tempeh Sunbutter Curry Over Jasmine Rice

I probably should be packing a box or working on my finals right now but it seems the internet has other plans...Upon this highly distracting internet adventure, I realized whilst perusing my recipe lists that I had not included a recipe with tempeh...I've had some killer tempeh dishes at places like The Bee's Knees and the late Amy's Cafe but despite my pescatarian lifestyle I don't actually cook with this ingredient often...
Tempeh is essentially made from the same ingredients as tofu just processed in a different way. Since tofu is made from soy milk, it has lighter texture than tempeh which is fermented whole soy beans. Because of it's more substantial texture, tempeh also has a higher amount of protein and fiber per serving (boy, I bet all this talk about yummy fermented soy beans and fiber has you really psyched to try this stuff - trust me, it's better than it sounds).
I will say that I think still prefer the taste and texture of tofu, but I am still willing to experiment with this ingredient. As far as the sunbutter twist, it happened to be the only thing in our pantry even slightly resembling peanut butter, you could also sub out cashew butter too if you have a peanut allergy.

Chickpea & Tempeh Sunbutter Curry Over Jasmine Rice

serves 2-3

2 cups cooked Jasmine rice
1 TBS coconut OR vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely sliced (about 1 cup)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 red bell pepper, diced small, seeds removed
2 tsp dried basil
1 TBS Peanut butter OR Sunbutter
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
1 package of tempeh or tofu cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 TBS yellow curry powder
2 tsp paprika
Squeeze of fresh lime juice (about 2 tsp)
Salt to taste

Sliced green onions and toasted sunflower seeds for garnish (optional)
1/4 soy sauce mixed with 1 TBS honey (for marinade)

Directions:

1.In a sauce pan heat oil on medium heat, add onion and saute until translucent. Add peppers and garlic and cook for at least 6 min.

2.Marinate tempeh in soy sauce and honey - set aside.

3.Add spices to onion mix (adding more oil if needed) and toast spices until fragrant. Add coconut milk and mix. Add sunbutter, chickpeas, and tempeh, and let sit on medium low heat for 10-15 min, stirring often. Add basil and cook until chickpeas are tender. Finish with lime juice and serve atop jasmine rice.





Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Classic Pot Roast With Carrots & Fingerling Potatoes (and some pretty big news)

So I'm gonna be honest here, I totally winged this recipe and I pretty much had no idea what I was doing or how it was going to turn out (just what you wanted to hear from a food blogger, right?!)
I haven't really cooked a big hunk o' beef since culinary school so when Lewis mentioned he wanted pot roast for dinner, I knew it was time to dust off my culinary knowledge. I remember that there was at least three necessary steps in making a delicious pot roast,
Step 1:The cut of meat, you want a cut with some fat like a chuck roast because as you know, fat = flavor.
Step 2: Brown your meat before roasting (aka braising). This step is crucial in order seal in all those tasty juices annnd helps on our next step which is...
Step 3:Use the juices and crispy bits leftover from browning the meat to cook your veggies.

I included the choice of using either red wine OR balsamic vinegar because if you're not fond of that slightly alcoholic taste, you can just use that semi-sweet acidity in the vinegar to balance out the savory flavor of the broth.

Classic Pot Roast With Carrots & Fingerling Potatoes

serves 2-3

2-3 TBS vegetable or canola oil
1-2 pound Chuck Roast (I choose a smaller cut since it was only for one person)
1 medium to large yellow onion, chopped
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar OR red wine
2-3 TBS Dijon mustard
5 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1-2 tsp dried thyme)
pinch of dried rosemary
2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
2 bunches small carrots, with tops cut off
1 pound very small baby potatoes or fingerling tricolored potatoes
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

1.Preheat oven to 275F. Place potatoes and carrots in roasting pan.
2.Heat oil in a large dutch oven over high heat (if you don't have a dutch oven like me then just use a sauce pan then transfer to roasting pan later on). Season chuck roast well with salt and pepper, add to pan and brown well on all sides (a few minutes a side). Remove roast and set on top of carrots and taters.
3.Add chopped onions to drippings in pot and reduce heat to medium. Saute onions until soft, about 5 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar (or red wine) and deglaze pan, increase heat to medium-high and boil until reduced and slightly syrupy, about 4-5 more minutes. Stir in Dijon and stock.
4.Pour onion mix on top of meat and all over veggies, add herbs and cover and bake for about two hours or until tender (check after an hour).

Speaking of big hunks of meat, I thought this would be a fitting post to announce that after applying pretty much everywhere across the U.S. Lewis and I will be moving too...

*Drumroll .........................................................................................................................

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Yep, Houston, TX ya'll a place that is pretty much a complete mystery to us - which is both thrilling and terrifying. While it's not my first choice (I was hoping for mountains and cooler weather) after splitting my time/work between rural GA and Jacksonville, FL it's going to be a breath of fresh air finally settling down in one place, not to mention all the new food places we get to explore! We'll be flying out there next week to scope out the area and hopefully find a place to live so if any ex or current Texans are out there feel free to comment and give us some advice!



Thursday, February 19, 2015

Chocolate Creme Brulee with Raspberry Sugar (For 2)

So, has anyone else noticed how fast 2015 is going or is it just me?
I have a file full of unpublished drafts that seem to agree with me. I think I was a tad overzealous with my Valentines Day recipes - the plan was, of course, to get these posted BEFORE the big day but you should celebrate your sweetie all year round am I right? Ya...we'll go with that.
Seriously though, who said we had to confine indulging in delicious chocolate delicacies to just the 14th of February? Not me! If wanting your chocolate fix all year long is wrong I don't wanna be right!
This was my first time making chocolate creme brulee, usually I always use Alton Brown's recipe and it never fails me, however, with my recent trip to Savannah, GA and the purchase of this magnificent sweet + tangy raspberry sugar from The Spice & Tea Exchange, I was encouraged to widen my creme brulee horizon. I made this recipe to make exactly two brulees so I wouldn't have to have five by myself annnd it takes way less time. I just loved the rich indulgence of this creamy custard paired with the slight tang of the raspberry sugar - it was dangerously delicious.

Chocolate Creme Brulee with Burnt Raspberry Sugar

serves 2

9 fluid oz heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 TBS unsweetend cocoa powder (sifted)
1/4 leveled semi sweet chocolate chips
1/4 tsp almond extract
3 egg yolks

1.In a mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks and set aside.
2.In a sauce pan add cream, sugar, and almond extract and heat on medium low heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Add chips and cocoa powder and stir until smooth.
3.Pour a little bit of chocolate mix into egg mix and whisk (you want to temper the eggs so they don't end up scrambled) pour the rest of the chocolate mix into bowl, then strain into 2 ramekins and place in fridge for at least two hours.
4.Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a water bath, place ramekins and carefully place in oven (you can also pour in water once the pan is in the oven instead, some consider this to be easier) and bake for 30-40 min. or until custard is set and jiggles slightly in the middle.
5.Cool, then top with sugar and torch until burnt and crisp, wait 5 min. then enjoy.

*Please note you cannot torch a brulee using a candle lighter (believe me I've tried). If you're a serious foodie I would suggest investing in a Brulee Torch you can use it for other cool stuff like toasting meringue, marshmallow, searing tomato skins and bell peppers and other cool stuff.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Faithful Love (Chris & Jihan are Getting Married!)

It's been a while since I actually shot people (besides myself) since I surprisingly feel vulnerable in front of a camera I have always gravitated towards shooting food, nature, or animals aka things you can easily pose and don't hold any high expectations. But when a friend asked me to take their engagement pictures I must admit I was SUPER stoked. It's one thing shooting a singular person but when you get the chance to document and share the natural love and chemistry between a couple, that is something I LOVE doing (and just in time for Valentine's Day :D )

Here are just some of my faves - the bible verse with the ring is the verse Chris proposed with and this church is where they met!
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