Saturday, October 25, 2008

Salad Dreams Realized!

I've been working on a different blog for about two just doesn't seem to want to come clearly it wasn't meant to be my next blog, this is!

I have had an idea for an autumn salad in my head for months, and yes friends, this weekend I finally made it!

Mesclun with granny smith apples, toasted walnuts and raw sharp cheddar with an apple cider vinegar dressing (including a splash of olive oil and touch of pure honey) and seasoned with salt to taste.

Toasting the walnuts was really the key, it gives the salad a touch of fall!

The second salad was a re-creation of the salad I had on my birthday in Edinburgh! It consisted of butternut squash, mixed greens, pine nuts, fresh basil, cherry tomatoes, garlic croutons and goat cheese...

I cubed the squash and steamed it until tender but still holding the cube shape, then sprinkled it with garlic salt and pepper and let it cool a bit before adding it to the other ingredients. For a dressing, I simply drizzled it with a little olive oil and white wine vinegar and a touch more salt and pepper. The sweet squash is a divine flavor amongst the greens and goat cheese...and it incorporated my favorite colors, green and orange (heart and sacral chakras).

Monday, October 6, 2008

Nick Cave, Rarebit & True Blood, Oh My!

Yes, the apartment is coming along....

This past weekend was full of great food, great music, and great company...

On Saturday I spent the day trying to semi-clean my apartment and do the mountain of laundry I'd been procrastinating over for a, ignoring does not make it go just eventually topples and smothers you...

I barely took time to eat what with an acupuncture appointment (awesome!), a Fresh Direct delivery and all that tidying up going on...but when I did, I had to make it my quick lunch consisted of a simple salad with garlic salt and peppered cherry tomatoes and crispy garlic toast!

I had to stop the cleaning, however, to get ready to go into the city to see Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds! In preparation for breakfast the next morning I opened a bottle of Guinness Extra Stout, measured out the needed amount for the Rarebit's Sauce (because you all now know my love of cooking with stout) and drank the rest while dressing and putting on my makeup. I was pleasantly mellow for the train ride. :)

Nick Cave was AWESOME! We had GA tickets and started out about 4 people away from the stage and by the end were 1 person away. He hovered over us with his voice booming, my delighted gaze always on him...he is a fantastic showman.

But back to the food. Yes, I mentioned Rarebit above...

My wonderful friend, Krissy, agreed to help me organize my apartment in preparation for people...and in exchange I cooked, drum roll please....

"Stout and Cheddar Rarebit with Fried Eggs"

the recipe can be found on

Holy smokes...that thing was good....

For lunch, I whipped up a yummy salad of plum tomatoes, basil and hummus, a side of sliced apple with cheddar cheese, and a piece of lightly buttered yoga toast (The Baker's "Yoga Bread" rules!) to replenish Krissy who was diligently clearing out my craft corner at the time...

The apartment coming together, Paul and Brian came by in the evening with "Werewolf" Cabernet Sauvignon. We then ordered pizza and watched True Blood (I'm addicted to this show!)

I also made bloody marys....I love theme evenings :)

...and for anyone interested, here's the Apricot Brandy cookie recipe from my last post:

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt

3 T Apricot Brandy
1 T Peach-Tree Schnapps
3 T Mild flavor oil
3 T Milk

Now here's where I got creative...

A handful of chopped pecans browned in a pan with brown sugar, chopped crystalized ginger, a touch of oil and a splash of the brandy....

Chopped dried apricots (handful).

Mix wet and dry ingredients separately (add the pecan mix to the wet to break it up), then together...spoon onto parchment lined cookie sheets and bake in a 350 degree oven for 18 minutes or until golden...