Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Little Spice

We eat a ton of mexican-ish food around here.  Beans and rice are always on our weekly menu - it's cheap and everyone loves it.  Here we used brown rice and black beans.  I use a base recipe to start with and then tweak it depending on what I have on hand.  We had a variety of toppings available (cheese, radish, avocado, cilantro, sour cream and cholula) for a build your own bowl.

Beans & Rice

I've also been experimenting with masa.  Last week I made some sopes with refried beans and salsa verde.  I used canned refried beans because it was easiest and jarred salsa verde.  The only thing I dislike about this recipe is the oily smell of my house the next morning - ew!


Another day, another mexican-ish dinner!  Here we made tilapia tacos from Weeknights with Giada.  I love seafood tacos but rarely cook them at home.  I'd definitely make these again!  My absolutely favorite seafood taco is the calamari taco at Sea Salt - oh yum!  Sea Salt just opened for the season but we haven't been over yet.  Shocking, since for several years, we'd always go during the pre-opening or on opening day.  I can't wait to eat a taco and drink a beer in the park!

Tilapia Tacos with Mango and Arugula

Mike is an excellent cook and his primary specialty right now is breakfast.  When Dada is home, we get some tasty eats in the morning.   From ebelskiver to overnight yeasty waffles, we get it all.  This time he treated us to crepes with whipped cream (homemade) and strawberries.  On a Tuesday morning!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

I'm back!

I took a break from blogging in attempt to simplify my life a bit. But you know what? I love thinking about food and cooking so much that I might as well document my thoughts and experiments. If nothing else, it's a great reference for myself!

Several years ago (5?), I met a great group of ladies through an online mom's group. I hauled two kids in bucket seats (my son and the girl I watched at the time) to a stranger's house for a play group. Little did I know that it was only the beginning of great friendships. Our play group evolved to a weekly knitting night (which often doesn't involve any knitting) and this April we'll be going on our third annual "knitting retreat" together. A little over a year ago, we decided to introduce the husbands and try out a dinner club and it has been great fun!

Last night was an aphrodisiac theme (ooooh la la!) and we ate amazing mussels, steak with chimichurri, asparagus and crusty bread with honey butter. The host was whipping up some fantastic champagne and Crème de cassis cocktails. Oh man was it good! Mike suggested we do something with avocado (who knew it was an aphrodisiac?!) and mentioned avocado ice cream. I was quite skeptical but processing ripe avocados with some cream and sugar creates this magically delicious and amazingly smooth ice cream. We tried out three toppings: honey, salt & lime, and mexican chocolate. I think the honey won over most people and the ice cream is incredible on it's own, too.  

Avocado Ice Cream
David Lebovitz A Perfect Scoop, by way of Two Peas in a Pod

Avocado Ice Cream

3 medium ripe avocados
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
Pinch of salt

Slice open the avocados, remove the pits, and scoop out the flesh. Put the avocados in a blender of food processor. Add the sugar, sour cream, heavy cream, lime juice, and salt. Blend until smooth.

Freeze in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. If you like soft ice cream, go ahead and eat. If you like firmer ice cream, store in the freezer for a couple of hours before serving. 

Yield: 1 quart ice cream

Tonight we had a simple easy pizza for dinner.  I used a Boboli* crust and topped it with red sauce, goat cheese, Penzey's pizza seasoning.  After it was out of the oven, I added some arugula, a drizzle of some nice balsamic vinegar, and a few shakes of red pepper flakes.  We had a side of fruit salad and a nice cold beer along with it. 

Simple goat cheese and arugula pizza

*I have to say that I'm embarrassed about the Boboli crust.  I bought two of them a few weeks ago when I didn't have a chance to make my own pizza crust.  Sometimes you just have to fake it to make it.