Saturday, April 30, 2011

Savory Beer Stew

Being in Portland, anything with beer goes.  I've been told that Portland began the second revolutionary era for the brew, but I suppose Portland takes credit for a LOT of things.  But beer is one thing they treat with respect around here.  Micro-brews around every corner.  It's right up there with coffee and wine.  It's not just for the college frat parties and Monday night football- it's a respected, complex beverage with character.

I've wanted to try cooking with beer.  Beer bread, fondue, marinades...etc.  But Beer Stew?  Now that's intriguing.  When you cook with beer you really get the hop or malt flavors.  So if you want to barely taste it, cook with something lighter, but if you want them to say "hey- what IS THAT in there?!" go with something a little more robust.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Simple Spring Roasted Veggies

I know I've been a little M.I.A. lately.  I've been crazy busy at work and play.  Many recipes back logging (i.e. more to come soon!), but I wanted to share a simple side dish I made last weekend for friends.  I was sick and had to cancel on a much anticipated potluck dinner, but decided to cook and send my food along anyway.  It was the least I could do.

Spring is here.  Or it keeps trying to make appearances.  When it's not Spring outside, it's Spring in the produce section.  And such lovely veggies there are to choose from!

Ina always says roasting brings out the BEST flavor in vegetables (and fruit) and I couldn't agree more.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The (Garlic) Lovers Test

Roasted garlic.  It's the ultimate appetizer.

Lucky for me, Chris loves garlic too.  To me, garlic breath just means the end of a fabulous meal.  Anyone who loves garlic needs to try roasting it.  And anyone who loves someone who loves garlic should kiss them after eating it!

Roasting garlic is SO SIMPLE.  I'm going to introduce you to something I discovered on the whim.  A PERFECT COMBO.  Enter hummus stage left.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Chewy Low Fat Banana Nut Oatmeal Cookies

Hello muffin.  Meet cookie.  And this is banana.  Instant friendship.  And they're healthy friends too!

I got this recipe from Gina's skinny recipes.  She has a lot of great ideas on how to make some of the classics (and the not so classics) better for you.  And for you Weight-Watcher fans out there, she gives you the specs on the points, calories etc.  See here for those.

But when we're eating cookies, that's not really the point.  No one is going to eat a bad cookie.  But a good cookie, or a great cookie: yes please.  And a great cookie that is good for you?  DOUBLE YES.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Easy Veggie Cheesy Marinara-eee

This is a great go-to sauce.  If you like artichokes (and you know I do) you'll be tempted to forget the noodles, it's so tasty.

Easy Veggie Cheesy Marinara-eee

1 onion chopped
2 tbs olive oil
2 cans tomato paste
5 cans water (from tomato paste can)
1 can of dry red wine
1 ½ cans artichoke hearts, strained (about 2 cups), then chopped (I used food processor)
½ c. grated carrot (a fun addition)
1 tsp basil
Secret weapon: a left over rind of real Parmesan (fetch out before serving)
Salt and pepper to taste

Friday, April 1, 2011

New Favorite Sides Part II: "Just the Best" Broccoli

So back to that perfect day (see part I).  And that perfectly grilled steak.  Even with a fabulous main course, what makes a dinner spectacular are the sides.  Check out the creative and edgy Hasselback potatoes.  Now for the green.

I have never had a problem with broccoli.  Maybe it's because mom would put a cheese sauce with it when we were kids... no problem there.  And then there's the super healthy "steaming" method to get all the nutrients: the veggie in it's purest form.  Honestly, I could eat a whole head of steamed broccoli and would be content, but other members of the family mights run and hide... and this time I have Stacy Snacks thank for some creativity.