Thursday, August 28, 2014

Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad


Oh the glorious summer salads continue! This one definitely won my vote for best summer salad. Beautifully colorful, super flavorful, and downright healthy, I could eat this salad for weeks on end and not get tired of it. This will definitely be my new go-to recipe for potlucks. It's a feast for the eyes as well as your tastebuds. The only downside I'd have to say about this salad is that there is a lot of chopping involved. But really, that's a gift in disguise cause you're getting your workout in before you dig into this salad's deliciousness! Enjoy :)


Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad
Recipe from Gimme Some Oven
    Salad Ingredients:
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 cups shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded green cabbage
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 mango, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 (large) carrot, julienned or shredded
  • 1 red pepper, cored and julienned (or diced)
  • 1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped cashews or peanuts
  • Peanut Dressing Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons hot water
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (if you are gluten-free, use GF soy sauce or tamari)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • juice of 1 lime
  • pinch of red pepper flakes

Salad:
Toss all salad ingredients together until combined. Drizzle with dressing or toss to combine, then serve immediately.
To Make The Dressing:
Whisk all ingredients together until combined. If the dressing is too thick, add hot water a teaspoon at a time until it reaches the consistency you desire.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

GUEST POST!!!

I now have the absolute pleasure to introduce my beautifully talented friend, Shannon Oslick. I am honored that she wants me to share her work on my blog! I came to know Shannon through my lovely brother and have ever since been addicted to her website. Not only does Shannon blog, but she also handcrafts these magnificent magazines, and works with super famous people in the food photography world. Shannon has a wonderful way of bringing out the beauty in food. She does so in a way that's colorful, simple, and elegant. And every time she puts up a new post it makes me want to run over to her house for dinner. If you want to be struck with awe (and a little bit of drool...) head on over to her website (http://shannonoslick.com/blog/) to view her portfolio, blog, and her Honest magazine. And now, what you've really been waiting for, her post!


Burrata Salad 
Recipe by Shannon Oslick
I think of Burrata as a pillowy cloud, soft and impressionable to the touch but push too hard and a creamy, milky cheese will softly spill out from inside. This is excellent if you are eating a salad of fresh heirloom tomatoes, sweet basil, thinly sliced prosciutto and crisp grilled asparagus. Oh. my. goodness. It reminds me of that moment in Eat.Pray.Love when Liz makes such an art of a lunch- she's almost sad to eat it and ruin the beauty of it. This is that kind of a lunch. 
Buy the freshest tomatoes you can find and, if you feel like shelling out, go for the cold-pressed olive oil. 

Ingredients:
1 Tbl olive oil
12 small spears asparagus, ends trimmed 
3 Heirloom tomatoes, green, yellow and red
Handful fresh Basil
10 slices good quality Prosciutto
3 small whole Burratas
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:
1: Heat 1 Tbl olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the asparagus and grill 7-10 minutes. Season lightly with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. 
2: Slice the tomatoes in large wedges. Pluck the Basil leaves from their stems. 
3: Plate by arranging a third of the grilled asparagus with a third of the Prosciutto and a third of the sliced tomatoes. Place 1 of the small whole Burrata’s on each place and sprinkle with Basil leaves. Top with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Serves 3. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake


I've been on a little bit of a lemon obsession lately. Not only are lemons WAY cheaper in Texas than they are in Seattle, but they are so great for lightening up food in the summer heat. I've been putting lemon-pepper on my popcorn, lemon juice on my salads, and lemon zest in my cakes! Not only do they taste great, but they just look so darn cheerful and smell amazing. 



If you haven't been in the loop lately, I got engaged!!! I've basically been going crazy with excitement in preparing for my wedding and thought I'd try out a few cake recipes as potential ideas for the big day. One bite of this cake and I fell head-over-heels in love. It's exactly what I'm looking for; light, rustic, simple, and bursting with unique flavor. This is but the first recipe on my quest, but it may just "take the cake"!



Lemon-Rosemary Layer Cake
Recipe adapted from Baker Bettie
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour, plus extra for dusting pans
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar (divided)
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 TBSP lemon zest
  • 1 TBSP fresh rosemary, minced
  • 6 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two 8" or 9" round cake pans. Dust pans with flour and tap out excess any excess.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 1/2 cups sugar. In another bowl whisk together the melted butter, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, lemon zest, rosemary and egg yolks.
  3. For the meringue: In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat egg whites at medium speed until foamy. With machine running, stream in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Beat at high speed just until stiff peaks form. Gently transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  4. Add flour mixture to the empty stand mixer bowl fitted with whisk attachment. With mixer running at low speed, gradually pour in butter mixture and mix for about 10 seconds. Stop mixer and thoroughly scrape down the bowl. Mix again on medium for 20 more seconds just until combined.
  5. Using rubber spatula, gently fold in 1/2 of the meringue just until incorporated. Fold in the rest of the meringue. Be very gentle to not deflate the air in the meringue. You will have a few white streaks in the batter. Divide batter evenly between your prepared cake pans.
  6. Place pans on a half-sheet pan and bake on the center rack in the oven at 350F for 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway through. The cake will begin pulling away Bake until cake layers begin to pull away from sides of pans and will no longer jiggle in the center when it is finished.
  7. Cool cakes in pans on wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a thin bladed knife around the sides of the pans to loosen cakes then invert on a greased wire rack. Allow to cool completely (about 1 more hour) before frosting.



Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 TBSP lemon zest
  • 2T lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  1. Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until combined and creamy. Scrape down the bowl as needed.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Chopped Kale Greek Salad


Tis the season for salads!!! I just moved back to Texas and boy is it HOTTTT. I'm not complaining at all, just stating a fact. I actually quite enjoy the heat, and the sunshine sure does make it easier to get up in the morning. Nick and I went grocery shopping the other day and stumbled upon a MASSIVE bag of kale. I'm talking 2 lbs worth of kale for just $4.50! Unreal. The 1 lb bag was just 25 cents cheaper too...I don't get it...but I didn't protest and gladly embraced the abundance of kale I'd just purchased. Well, we had to do something with all that kale and thus created this oh-so-flavorful, light, perfect-for-summer chopped salad. It's got all your favorite Mediterranean ingredients and would be a great, cost-effective choice for your next potluck.


Chopped Kale Greek Salad
Recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven

Greek Salad Ingredients:
  • 1 large bunch (about 10 ounces) kale leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • garlic parsley vinaigrette (see below)
  • Garlic Parsley Vinaigrette Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed (or finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

To Make The Greek Salad:
Toss all ingredients together with desired amount of dressing until evenly mixed.
To Make The Garlic Lemon Vinaigrette:
Whisk all ingredients together until blended. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.