Posts Tagged ‘Epicurious’

Independence Day!*!*!

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Celebrating freedom this Fourth of July with the incredible bounty of our country! With a nod to the diversity of this nation, flavors were All-American, Mexican and Italian. The American component was a Lemony Potato Salad, a recipe from Epicurious, offering the zing of Meyer Lemon juice and zest, crunchy celery and buttery Yukon Gold Potatoes. Luscious creme fraiche enriched the dressing. Guacamole and chips, a natural segue from the U.S. to Mexico, took a twist with the use of cumin along with sweet red onion to flavor the organic avocado. Primavera Butternut Squash Tamales, filled with corn and Jack Cheese, paired with a new partner –Dave’s Gourmet Roasted Red Pepper Chipolte Hot Sauce. This delicious sauce delivered smoky soft fireworks! Savory Aidell’s Italian Sausages completed our entree and sweet ripe strawberries completed our holiday meal. With a salute to the Armed Forces and my Father, the folded flag was used to adorn the table.



Saturday, June 25th, 2011

It’s Summer Solstice! As apropos, this evening’s entree featured something grilled – Grilled Oregano Prawns, an inspiration from Epicurious. With fresh oregano from our garden, sweet red onion and succulent prawns (from local market, AK Meats), this first of the season venture was off to a great start. A French Fingerling Potato Salad was the perfect complement with its buttery potatoes from Zuckerman Farms (purchased at the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market) and a piquant sherry, shallot vinaigrette. Warm multi-grain bread from Grace Baking sopped up the dressing as we enjoyed a golden Chardonnay from BR Cohen. Ya gotta have ice cream as your dessert on an occasion like this and Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia Ice Cream was the ultimate choice!


The Wishbone

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Thanksgiving ’10, a dazzling clear and chilly day, provided the perfect ambience for creating a feast. Tradition met innovation with the dishes served, from the organic turkey – painstakingly prepared on a Weber grill by my husband – to Green Beans with Blackened Sage, an Epicurious recipe advising “forget that green bean casserole”. Cornbread stuffing with fresh herbs, cranberry sauce with fresh cranberries and dried bing cherries and a yam roasted along with the turkey continued the holiday ritual of incredible aromas and flavors. The 7 Deadly Sins Zinfandel and Pecan Pie heightened the excitement of the occasion and fueled us for an after dinner walk under the Starry Night (better than Van Gogh’s). Now there is a wishbone beckoning, filled with hopes of dreams come true!


A Salute to Memorial Day

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Our Memorial Day celebration embraced both the traditional significance of the day in acknowledging war veterans (in this case, the folded flag holding bullets fired at my father’s funeral) and the always fun summer barbecue with friends. Real Simple Magazine’s June feature on finger-licking fare inspired me to head to Marin Sun Farms at the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market where I purchased baby back ribs. Using the classic barbecue sauce recipe in this issue, it was my first foray into making barbecue sauce. I tweaked it by adding some Worcestershire sauce.

A Caesar Salad recipe from Epicurious provided the perfect combination of delicate hearts of romaine (from Star Route Farms) and savory garlic croutons, a wonderful accompaniment to sweet corn. Vanilla ice cream with honey-poached nectarines and toasted coconut, crowned by a strawberry, was the dessert of choice, also adapted from Real Simple. Then there was the wine  brought by our friends from their well-stocked cellar …. all I can remember now is that it was wonderful. And there was a lot!


Sugar Snap Peas

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

I don’t really like peas. Yet the overflowing table of sugar snap peas at the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market, and my husband’s urging, prompted me to buy these “pod fruits”. A great Epicurious recipe combining the sweet peas with a pungent garlic paste and parmesan cheese yielded an explosion of juxtaposing flavors. The luscious sauce drenched delicate garlic and parsley fettuccine.  As an embellishment, I added sauteed baby shiitake mushrooms and Aidell’s Chicken and Apple sausage. As oft stated, “give peas a chance” now made imminent sense!


Snap Judgements

Monday, May 17th, 2010

The intended fish course for this meal was to be salmon, but one look at the beautiful, fresh red snapper at Safeway, that was it – I was off in a new direction. Quickly looking online for some cooking instructions since I hadn’t made snapper in a while, I found a recipe on Epicurious for a Roasted Red Snapper, Lemon and Artichoke dish. The original intention for the glorious artichokes from Castroville (found at Pezzini’s) was to simply steam them. Yet once again, finding I could roast them under the snapper, this lead to one more change in direction. Yam fries completed our meal with everything getting a dollop of garlicky basil aioli. Sometimes, things just fall into place!


Dinner before Phoenix

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

With my husband’s impending departure for a business trip to Phoenix, this was the perfect opportunity to have a special farewell dinner. Artichoke risotto and grilled halibut were the featured dishes this evening. The purchase of a huge jar of artichoke hearts from Costco propelled my search for a recipe which I found online through a surprising source – the Junior League of Tulsa, Oklahoma! Wild halibut (which I actually ended up broiling) was dressed in lemon juice, lemon zest, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, capers and basil, a great recipe presented on A delightful Edna Valley Chardonnay accompanied this meal. Thanks to the current issue of Martha Stewart Living, we enjoyed a blueberry crisp for dessert. Delicious!  P.S. I heeded the advice in the recipe about making extra topping and freezing it so that it would be ready for quick assembly when we next have fresh fruit on hand.

Cold Weather Comfort Food

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Panzanella, an age-old Italian recipe for using stale bread, is still very much in the 21st century as it appears in my new “Everyday Italian” cookbook by Giada de Laurentiis. This delicious recipe was the perfect solution for some of the Mediterranean pita bread left over from the recent Rex Foundation 25th Anniversary Benefit (what a wonderful evening of great music!). Organic tomatoes ( purchased from both the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market and Safeway) olives, capers, garlic, basil, balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil are also key ingredients in this recipe. In addition, I used some sun-dried tomatoes (since I didn’t have the peppers called for) which gave the dish some extra flavor. Fragrant cream of cauliflower soup with saffron paired wonderfully with this salad. Baby cauliflower from the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market was transformed by this recipe from Epicurious. I use an immersion blender when I make soup. I love this but learned to put the pot with the soup and blender into the sink so it doesn’t splatter all over the kitchen! Our wine this evening was a gift from a visiting daughter of a college roommate –  a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from the R Collection. We were truly warmed and comforted by this meal!

Thanksgiving ’07

Monday, January 21st, 2008

It was a nuclear family Thanksgiving, graced by my Mom and Sister and family visiting from out of town. The menu was traditional with kosher and vegan accents. My husband is master of roasting turkey on the Weber. Along with the turkey, he also barbecued petite yams purchased at the Ferry Building Farmers’ Market – no need for marshmallows or brown sugar! We had traditional stuffing using lots of celery and onion and a green bean casserole. My sister also made delicious Yukon Gold mashed potatoes. A meal highlight was the cranberry sauce. Using a recipe from Epicurious, the ingredients include tart dried cherries (from Trader Joe’s) and cinnamon. For dessert we had a vegan pumpkin pie purchased in San Luis Obispo and a chocolate pecan pie with whipped cream made from a recipe in Gourmet. Beverages included cherry cider and Zinfandel. The table setting was the creation of my mother using a new napkin fold and “turkeys” made from pine cones with old silk flowers for tails.

After Movie Dinner

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

Inspiration: I needed a dish that required only reheating at 9:30pm after seeing the movie “Waitress”. I had some ricotta in the refrigerator that was about to expire and some ground beef in the freezer from a prior dinner that I wanted to use up. I also had some multi-grain penne — so what recipe would work for these ingredients?

I first looked at and considered a recipe by Giada de Laurentis but didn’t want to fry a bunch of meatballs. So I then went to Epicurious but found no inspiration. I opened Dashboard on my Mac and typed “Pasta Ricotta Beef” into Google since those were the ingredients I had to work with. The Google search revealed this recipe at which I adapted.

Shopping: Ingredients came from Trader Joe’s, Safeway and a little market next to where I had my nails done earlier in the afternoon which had some really good mozzarella.

Amendments: The recipe called for canned tomatoes and I substituted fresh hot house tomatoes. The salad recipe I used was in Food and Wine. It called for spinach, plums, basil with a dressing of orange and lemon zests, juices, etc. I made the dressing exactly but had spring greens and apricots so used those instead of spinach and plums. It was great!

Ambiance: We listened to Tangents Radio. Host Dore Stein played sensual acoustic Mediterranean music.

Prep Time: 1+ hours
Cooking Time: 13 minutes
Cost: about $20
Wine: Ravenswood Old Vine Zinfandel from Lodi 2004 $9.99 (coincidentally, this wine is featured in the June issue of Gourmet as a recommended wine)