Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

I turned 32 a few weeks ago, and had a dinner party with friends this past weekend to celebrate. Thanks to the total awesomeness of my friends, it was an incredibly fun evening. The food didn't turn out too shabby either. A few highlights below...

Blueberry Goodness

I've been on a blueberry kick lately, pretty much ever since they were on sale at a too-good-to-pass-up price and I was reminded how awesome they are. While I enjoy just eating them on their own, my favorite thing to do with them is to make Blueberry Clafouti. The first recipe I tried was the one here, and it never gave me any reason to move on to experimenting with any other... I like to rewarm them to have with my morning coffee, or to serve with a soup of vanilla frozen yogurt as dessert. Simple, quick, and totally delicious.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Playing with a New Toy: Applewood-Smoked Scallops with Spring "Succotash" and Bacon Beurre Blanc

After months on my mental wish list, a cool new toy arrived at my door for my birthday: The Smoking Gun. I knew I wanted to play with smoking a scallop first... and thought about pairing bacon with the smokiness... and also using gorgeous spring favas and asparagus... This is what I came up with:
The Bacon Beurre Blanc broke under the heat of the smoke (I'll be tweaking that component today... update to follow), but the flavors of this dish were amazing. It was almost as though I am a genius...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cookbook Adventures: Ricotta-Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

So, here's the thing: I've had this cookbook for years, but on the back flap is a photo of the author. Every time I see that photo, I think to myself "Um... I don't think this is going to turn out well..."In spite of this (understandable, yeah?) trepidation, I tried his Caesar Salad recipe a few weeks back with Mindy and it rocked, so I decided to forge ahead and try another recipe that sounded great to me: Ricotta-Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce.
It's a bit on the rustic-looking side, but it's so delicious that I don't really care. I'll admit to not following his recipe 100% (I mean... look at him! Plus, I have a sous vide obsession...), but this dish was fantastic and I will definitely make it many many many more times.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Compressed Melon and a Gorgeous Summer Salad

When I was ordering groceries last week, sale prices dictated that I had no choice but to order a watermelon. While this fruit is delicious and refreshing on its own, it also presented a fun opportunity to play with compressing fruit using my new favorite toy...The watermelon on the left is freshly cut, while that on the right has been compressed. Nothing added but pressure. Pretty cool, yeah? Which would you rather put on your fresh, beautiful summer salad?