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Sick Day

Work and jam-packed weekends got the best of me and I’ve been sick for a little over a week.  I decided to stay home today to sleep for most of the day.  Mission accomplished, but I had to eat.  I purchased some broccoli last Sunday in hopes of making a broccoli salad for my work lunches this week.  At least I got it done for Friday right?  Better late than never.

In attempt to look my best for our wedding (now in only 65 days!), I’m trying to focus on lots of veggies and fruit.  This broccoli salad was calling my name.  The recipe is from Primal Cravings, a Paleo cookbook, and while I’m not completely Paleo, the recipes in this book are winners.  The recipe called for raw broccoli, but I decided to cook it for a short time to take the edge off.  

You need:
1 12 oz. package of bacon (I love Nature’s Promise the best)
1 pound of broccoli
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup slivered almonds
3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

I like to cook bacon at 350 for 23 minutes.  Once the bacon has cooled, cut it into small pieces.  Cut the crown of the broccoli into bite-sized pieces.  In a saute pan, use some of the leftover bacon fat from the baking sheet to cook the broccoli over medium heat.  I cooked the broccoli until it was a more brilliant green, but still plenty crunchy.  Transfer the broccoli and bacon pieces over to a bowl.  Mix in the raisins and almonds and pour the red wine vinegar over the mixture.  Stir until coated.  Enjoy right away or pack away in the refrigerator for lunches like me.  Yum! image

Filed under Salad Paleo Broccoli Bacon

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Stuffed Mushrooms 

Ingredients:
2 portabella mushroom caps 
1 package frozen spinach
1 cup leftover chilli
1/3 cup havarti cheese

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Sauté frozen spinach until thawed.  Add chilli and stir to combine.  Fill mushroom caps with spinach/chilli mix.  Top with shredded havarti cheese.  

Bake for 20 minutes.  Enjoy!

Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients:
2 portabella mushroom caps
1 package frozen spinach
1 cup leftover chilli
1/3 cup havarti cheese

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Sauté frozen spinach until thawed. Add chilli and stir to combine. Fill mushroom caps with spinach/chilli mix. Top with shredded havarti cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

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OMG Pancakes!  Daniel and I have been searching for a delicious, gluten-free pancake recipe and I think we have a winner.  I read about this recipe in a Paleo recipes post on Carrots and Cake and have been dying to try it ever since.  My first pancake was great, the next five, not so much.  These call for medium low heat and you have to pour them with a heavy hand.  No petit pancakes for this recipe!  

We had them with sugar-cured bacon from our meat CSA (the farm is in Litchfield, CT), fresh blueberries and our last beans from Blue Bottle coffee.  Delish! 

http://carrotsncake.com/2012/03/omg-pancakes.html

OMG Pancakes! Daniel and I have been searching for a delicious, gluten-free pancake recipe and I think we have a winner. I read about this recipe in a Paleo recipes post on Carrots and Cake and have been dying to try it ever since. My first pancake was great, the next five, not so much. These call for medium low heat and you have to pour them with a heavy hand. No petit pancakes for this recipe!

We had them with sugar-cured bacon from our meat CSA (the farm is in Litchfield, CT), fresh blueberries and our last beans from Blue Bottle coffee. Delish!

http://carrotsncake.com/2012/03/omg-pancakes.html

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Mushroom vegan soup, recipe courtesy of Joy the Baker.  Avocado slices for extra creamy taste.

Mushroom vegan soup, recipe courtesy of Joy the Baker. Avocado slices for extra creamy taste.

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Estia’s American - Darien CT
Wow! I can’t believe I haven’t blogged since December! Hard to believe it is already mid-April and I”ll be posting for the first time in 2012. Time is flying. 
I am on April vacation for the week so my Mom treated me to breakfast at the new Darien, CT eatery, Estia’s American. Although Estia’s is new to Darien, they are also located in Sag Harbor, NY as Estia’s Little Kitchen. My Mom and I split an omelet and blueberry pancakes. We went for the mushroom & goat cheese combination with whole wheat toast & fresh fruit. The omelet was even better when I had a couple of bites with Estia’s homemade hot sauces (red & green). The blueberry pancakes were wonderful - the pancakes were fluffy and the blueberries were plump and just the right amount of sweet. We both had mugs of Kobrick’s coffee, although I think I could have gone for an iced coffee on a warm day like today. There is patio seating, but the interior is adorable and feels like home. Some of my favorite cookbooks sit atop table dividers in the middle of the space. Books by Alice Waters and chalkboards are usually an indication of good, wholesome eats. I took a freshly squeezed beet & apple juice to go. Our waitress reminded me that beet juice is good for your blood. It seems that Estia’s is good for me. I can’t wait to go back…Estia’s AmericanOpen for breakfast & lunch. Opening for dinner in May 20121020 Post RoadDarien, CT(203) 202-7051

Estia’s American - Darien CT

Wow! I can’t believe I haven’t blogged since December! Hard to believe it is already mid-April and I”ll be posting for the first time in 2012. Time is flying. 


I am on April vacation for the week so my Mom treated me to breakfast at the new Darien, CT eatery, Estia’s American. Although Estia’s is new to Darien, they are also located in Sag Harbor, NY as Estia’s Little Kitchen. My Mom and I split an omelet and blueberry pancakes. We went for the mushroom & goat cheese combination with whole wheat toast & fresh fruit. The omelet was even better when I had a couple of bites with Estia’s homemade hot sauces (red & green). The blueberry pancakes were wonderful - the pancakes were fluffy and the blueberries were plump and just the right amount of sweet. We both had mugs of Kobrick’s coffee, although I think I could have gone for an iced coffee on a warm day like today. 

There is patio seating, but the interior is adorable and feels like home. Some of my favorite cookbooks sit atop table dividers in the middle of the space. Books by Alice Waters and chalkboards are usually an indication of good, wholesome eats. 

I took a freshly squeezed beet & apple juice to go. Our waitress reminded me that beet juice is good for your blood. It seems that Estia’s is good for me. I can’t wait to go back…

Estia’s American
Open for breakfast & lunch. Opening for dinner in May 2012
1020 Post Road
Darien, CT
(203) 202-7051

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Chop some tomatoes,

Chop some garlic,

Then chop some basil.  

Add some olive oil, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper.

Mix it up.

Spread on baguette toasts (8 mins, in 400 degree oven).

Enjoy one of my favorite parts of summer.

BRUSCHETTA.

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Cooking Up a Vegan Storm

Since I didn’t have school today, and since I woke up early due a thunder storm, I thought I’d create my own storm in the kitchen.  I cooked from 8AM - 2PM (with some most welcome phone catch-up interruptions from California) and made several vegan delights.  After an amazing dinner at Angelica Kitchen in NYC last Tuesday, I was inspired to make some vegan food.  I consulted Alicia Silverstone’s Kind Diet and decided on four recipes: Pecan-Crusted Seitan, Hot Rice with Cold Lemon, Basil, and Tomato, Sicilian Collard Greens with Pine Nuts and Raisins, and Pumpkin Bread.

This was my first time working with seitan and although it wasn’t the most appetizing-looking item at Whole Foods, this dish came out beautifully.  To be honest, I think you could put the marinade from this recipe on an old shoe and it would be delicious.  This will be quite a treat for lunch for the remainder of the week.

I’ll be eating the pecan-crusted seitan with the Hot Rice with Cold Lemon, Basil & Tomato. I used the brown rice that I purchased from M Cafe in Culver City (I’m almost out of my bag…can someone send me more?) for the Hot Rice dish even though it calls for Arborio and added the lemon, olive oil, tomato & basil. 

This was my third or fourth time making the Sicilian Collard Greens and they are just as tasty as I remembered.  I made these when I first got The Kind Diet and found myself craving them for breakfast they were so good.

I will be eating pumpkin bread for breakfast the rest of this week, and I can’t wait.  I had to use butternut squash instead of pumpkin, as pumpkins are hard to find out of season.  I’m sure this bread would be wonderful with pumpkin, but I’m elated with the butternut squash version.  Did I mention it is covered with macadamia nuts and carob chips?  Wow!  I think I might just have to have it as a dessert too…

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

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KEEPERS.

I strive to find keeper recipes, and yesterday I found two.  I my friends Kerry & Thea over for dinner and since I’m not cooking very much these days, I decided to go all out.  I was going to make my family’s standby shrimp recipe, but decided to keep the meal completely veg-head friendly. 

I found a Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Balsamic Glaze recipe from Love & Olive Oil and a Pear Custard Pie recipe from Martha Stewart’s Great Food Fast book.  I also roasted some asparagus with olive oil, salt & pepper, made a Heidi Swanson herb salad with mint orange dressing, and heated up some rolls from Trader Joes.  All in all, it was delicious. 

I was so happy to find some coconut milk vanilla ice cream to have with the Pear Custard Pie.  It was the perfect ending to a hearty dinner.  I knew Heidi’s salad recipe and the asparagus would be good, but the mushrooms and pie definitely passed the test.

Lindsay + Heidi + Martha = Success. 

Thank you Love & Olive Oil and 101 Cookbooks as always.

And here are some pictures from a walk in a nearby park this afternoon.  I’m so happy spring is on the way.

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Super Bowl Goodness
Since my family’s favorite team just missed the Super Bowl this  year, there wasn’t too much excitement about who was playing.  That  being said, the food at the Super Bowl party was something I could get  excited about.  The guests who brought food to the party we attended  brought an assortment of items for appetizers.  I would have been happy  just having those for dinner.  The coffee table was covered with shrimp  resting on remoulade-covered crostini, olive tapenade and goat cheese  toasts, Chinese roasted eggplant, guacamole and chips, pate and  crackers, and three types of cheese that I didn’t touch because  everything else was so enticing.Since I was the only one who  wouldn’t be eating the meat at the party, I was told to bring a  vegetable entree.  I made this butternut squash and mushroom wellington  for Thanksgiving, and it was so good I ate it for breakfast for a couple  days after the holiday, so I decided it would be a good thing to make  again.  If I were the only one eating, I’d have delicious leftovers for  the rest of the week.  This recipe takes a little time, but it isn’t  difficult and it is worth it.  Butternut squash sauteed in butter and  maple syrup coupled with a mushroom and goat cheese mix all in puff  pastry!  Delish!  Definitely try this at home.  From the New York Times, here is Melissa Clark’s Butternut Squash and Mushroom Wellington:4 tablespoons butter1 small butternut squash (1 1/4 pounds), peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes1 teaspoon maple syrup1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme1/8 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika or regular paprika1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste2 garlic cloves, finely chopped1 large shallot, finely chopped3/4 pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and roughly chopped1/3 cup dry white wine1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper2 tablespoons chopped parsleyFlour1 (14-to-16-ounce) package puff pastry1 cup crumbled goat cheese1 egg, whisked with 1/2 teaspoon water.1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment.2.  In a very large skillet over high heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add  the squash in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, for 4 minutes. (If  squash won’t fit in a single layer, cook it in batches). Stir and  continue to cook until squash is golden, 7 to 10 minutes more. Stir in  the syrup, thyme, paprika and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook one minute. Scrape  mixture into a bowl.3. Turn the heat down to medium and melt  the remaining butter in the skillet. Stir in garlic and shallot; cook 1  to 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and remaining salt. Cook until mushrooms  are soft and their juices evaporate, about 10 minutes. Stir in the wine  and cook until the mixture is dry, about 5 minutes. Stir in the pepper  and parsley. Taste and add more salt if needed.4. On a lightly floured surface,unwrap  the puff pastry. Cut into 2 5-by-15-inch rectangles. Spread mushrooms  on each pastry rectangle leaving 1/4-inch border. Spoon the cheese  crumbles over the mushrooms. Then spoon the squash over the cheese,  leaving a 1 1/2-inch border (it will look like a stripe of squash lying  on a bed of cheese and mushrooms).5. Brush the exposed borders  of dough on each rectangle with the egg wash. Fold the long sides up to  meet in the middle and pinch together to seal; pinch the ends, too.  Transfer the pastries to the baking sheet and turn them over so that the  seam is face down. Brush the tops with more egg wash. Bake until they  are puffed golden, and firm to the touch, about 30 minutes. Let cool for  10 minutes, slice and serve.Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

Super Bowl Goodness


Since my family’s favorite team just missed the Super Bowl this year, there wasn’t too much excitement about who was playing. That being said, the food at the Super Bowl party was something I could get excited about. The guests who brought food to the party we attended brought an assortment of items for appetizers. I would have been happy just having those for dinner. The coffee table was covered with shrimp resting on remoulade-covered crostini, olive tapenade and goat cheese toasts, Chinese roasted eggplant, guacamole and chips, pate and crackers, and three types of cheese that I didn’t touch because everything else was so enticing.

Since I was the only one who wouldn’t be eating the meat at the party, I was told to bring a vegetable entree. I made this butternut squash and mushroom wellington for Thanksgiving, and it was so good I ate it for breakfast for a couple days after the holiday, so I decided it would be a good thing to make again. If I were the only one eating, I’d have delicious leftovers for the rest of the week. This recipe takes a little time, but it isn’t difficult and it is worth it. Butternut squash sauteed in butter and maple syrup coupled with a mushroom and goat cheese mix all in puff pastry! Delish! Definitely try this at home.

From the New York Times, here is Melissa Clark’s Butternut Squash and Mushroom Wellington:


4 tablespoons butter

1 small butternut squash (1 1/4 pounds), peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 teaspoon maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1/8 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika or regular paprika

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 large shallot, finely chopped

3/4 pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and roughly chopped

1/3 cup dry white wine

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Flour

1 (14-to-16-ounce) package puff pastry

1 cup crumbled goat cheese

1 egg, whisked with 1/2 teaspoon water.

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment.

2. In a very large skillet over high heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add the squash in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, for 4 minutes. (If squash won’t fit in a single layer, cook it in batches). Stir and continue to cook until squash is golden, 7 to 10 minutes more. Stir in the syrup, thyme, paprika and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook one minute. Scrape mixture into a bowl.

3. Turn the heat down to medium and melt the remaining butter in the skillet. Stir in garlic and shallot; cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and remaining salt. Cook until mushrooms are soft and their juices evaporate, about 10 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook until the mixture is dry, about 5 minutes. Stir in the pepper and parsley. Taste and add more salt if needed.

4. On a lightly floured surface,

unwrap the puff pastry. Cut into 2 5-by-15-inch rectangles. Spread mushrooms on each pastry rectangle leaving 1/4-inch border. Spoon the cheese crumbles over the mushrooms. Then spoon the squash over the cheese, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border (it will look like a stripe of squash lying on a bed of cheese and mushrooms).

5. Brush the exposed borders of dough on each rectangle with the egg wash. Fold the long sides up to meet in the middle and pinch together to seal; pinch the ends, too. Transfer the pastries to the baking sheet and turn them over so that the seam is face down. Brush the tops with more egg wash. Bake until they are puffed golden, and firm to the touch, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, slice and serve.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

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SAILS American Grill - Rowayton, CT
Many residents of Rowayton, CT were saddened at the closing of the popular, local spot, the River Cat Grill.  When the owner of the restaurant had to sell, I was elated to learn that our friend Mr. Hooper would be buying the place and taking the reigns.  The River Cat Grill is now known as SAILS American Grill and I hope to pay many more visits to this Rowayton eatery. 
While my parents previously dined at Sails prior to this evening, this was my maiden voyage.  My Dad marveled at the Roasted Marinated Pork Chop, saying it was the “best he ever had.”  I’d have to take his word for it on the pork chop, but was excited to sample several of the other menu items.
A fire in the fireplace lended to a cozy atmosphere, rope tied winches lined the booths and sails met at a light fixture overhead.  Olive oil was poured and sprinkled with pepper as soon as we took our seats and waiters circled the tables dolling out piping hot dinner rolls while we surveyed our dinner options.  
Blue Point’s Hoptical Illusion IPA caught my eye on the specials list as did the side dish of truffle fries.  I chose the Cedar Planked Wild Salmon for an entree and agreed to share the Warm Herb Crusted Goat Cheese and Beet salad with my Mom.  My Brother started his meal with the Meatball Sliders, which he said were “Excellent” and had the Wisconsin Burger for an entree.  The Wisconsin Burger was topped with Wisconsin smoked cheddar, BBQ sauce and crispy onion grass.  My brother’s review was that the burger was “Flavorful and juicy.”  My Dad ordered the Spiced Rubbed French Chicken Breast at the recommendation of Mr. Hooper and stated that it lived up to its praise.  My salmon was cooked to perfection and the sun dried apricots in the accompanying bed of red rice provided a sweet contrast to the savory fish.
The dessert menu’s offerings were all appealing, but I went with the Warm Chocolate Ooze Cake.  The cake was everything an “Ooze” cake should be.  Hot out of the oven and paired with vanilla ice cream.  Sails added a creative twist by making the ice cream a milkshake, served in a small glass adjacent to my ramekin of cake.  The shake was rich with vanilla flavor, so I wasn’t surprised to see tiny vanilla beans when I reached the end of the glass.
The nautical theme pays homage to the neighborhood in which it resides and offers excellent food and first class service on the charming Rowayton waterfront.  Can’t wait to visit Sails again.           
Open for Lunch & Dinner Tuesday-Saturday Open for Brunch & Dinner on Sunday 148 Rowayton Ave. Rowayton, CT 06853
http://www.sailsamericangrill.com/index.html
or look for them on Facebook…
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sails-American-Grill/170099863002508?ref=ts&v=info#!/pages/Sails-American-Grill/170099863002508

SAILS American Grill - Rowayton, CT

Many residents of Rowayton, CT were saddened at the closing of the popular, local spot, the River Cat Grill.  When the owner of the restaurant had to sell, I was elated to learn that our friend Mr. Hooper would be buying the place and taking the reigns.  The River Cat Grill is now known as SAILS American Grill and I hope to pay many more visits to this Rowayton eatery. 

While my parents previously dined at Sails prior to this evening, this was my maiden voyage.  My Dad marveled at the Roasted Marinated Pork Chop, saying it was the “best he ever had.”  I’d have to take his word for it on the pork chop, but was excited to sample several of the other menu items.

A fire in the fireplace lended to a cozy atmosphere, rope tied winches lined the booths and sails met at a light fixture overhead.  Olive oil was poured and sprinkled with pepper as soon as we took our seats and waiters circled the tables dolling out piping hot dinner rolls while we surveyed our dinner options.  

Blue Point’s Hoptical Illusion IPA caught my eye on the specials list as did the side dish of truffle fries.  I chose the Cedar Planked Wild Salmon for an entree and agreed to share the Warm Herb Crusted Goat Cheese and Beet salad with my Mom.  My Brother started his meal with the Meatball Sliders, which he said were “Excellent” and had the Wisconsin Burger for an entree.  The Wisconsin Burger was topped with Wisconsin smoked cheddar, BBQ sauce and crispy onion grass.  My brother’s review was that the burger was “Flavorful and juicy.”  My Dad ordered the Spiced Rubbed French Chicken Breast at the recommendation of Mr. Hooper and stated that it lived up to its praise.  My salmon was cooked to perfection and the sun dried apricots in the accompanying bed of red rice provided a sweet contrast to the savory fish.

The dessert menu’s offerings were all appealing, but I went with the Warm Chocolate Ooze Cake.  The cake was everything an “Ooze” cake should be.  Hot out of the oven and paired with vanilla ice cream.  Sails added a creative twist by making the ice cream a milkshake, served in a small glass adjacent to my ramekin of cake.  The shake was rich with vanilla flavor, so I wasn’t surprised to see tiny vanilla beans when I reached the end of the glass.

The nautical theme pays homage to the neighborhood in which it resides and offers excellent food and first class service on the charming Rowayton waterfront.  Can’t wait to visit Sails again.           

Open for Lunch & Dinner Tuesday-Saturday
Open for Brunch & Dinner on Sunday
148 Rowayton Ave. Rowayton, CT 06853

http://www.sailsamericangrill.com/index.html

or look for them on Facebook…

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sails-American-Grill/170099863002508?ref=ts&v=info#!/pages/Sails-American-Grill/170099863002508