That’s the title of the book I picked up the other day…and I say, bring it! The book is based on the concept of a Polymeal, basically, a perfectly balanced diet or as they state: ” Fish, garlic, almonds, fruit, vegetables, dark chocolate, all polished off with a nice little glass of red wine.” They snagged me with those last two.
One thing I noticed but wasn’t expecting when we had Lila was that you start thinking about your mortality and how much you yearn to stick around to not miss one precious moment. This desire lead me to wanting to eat better, get back on my exercise regimen (it’s much harder than I thought it would be after having a baby) and just being good to ourselves so we can be here for her. I picked this book up as a means to end. A way to get us on track and start thinking about everything we are eating and, in the long run, keep our tickers going.
I tried the first Polymeal with like-minded friends last night and gosh, it was good. The meal consisted of Broiled Salmon with Tamari-Orange Marinade; Wild Rice and Green Beans with Shitake Saute and Dandelion Greens with Warm Sesame Dressing. There is also a suggested Spiced Pear Sorbet but I didn’t have five hours of freezing time available so, we scratched that. As promised in the book, the recipes were easy to follow, simple in approach and super delicious. We all agreed that it was perfect portions and felt full but not busting a gut full.
I don’t think I have to tell you all of the health benefits of salmon since they have been touted time and time again (love those Omega-3s) but did you know dandelion greens rank among the top four green vegetables in terms of their overall nutritional value? According to the book, “…and its Latin name – taraxacum officinale – actually means ‘official remedy for the disorders.’ Probably at the top of the list of things dandelion is good for is helping the liver do its job of detoxifying.” I know we could all use that, right?
I can’t share the recipes here, but highly recommend you scoop up a copy right away and follow along with me as I plan to make all the recipes in the book and I’ll keep you posted on how it goes!
Sooooo, I’m a red meat lover, big time. I recall when I use to travel a lot for work, the one thing I wanted when I got off the plane was a big, juicy steak, well, and a glass of wine (or two). I’ve tried cooking steak every which way you can imagine – on the grill; on a myriad of pans on the stove or in the oven; broiling, blah, blah, blah, blah, and it never seemed to really get it just right. A few years ago we went for a blogger tour of Ruth Chris’ Steak House and THAT was a perfect steak. We kept searching for a similar method of how they cook their steaks until one night my husband came across this brilliant one from the oh-so-loved Sir Alton Brown. Yes, I Sir’ed him because if this man was British he would be knighted for his contributions to the food community.
What I love about this method, is that while it works beautifully on a big ol’ ribeye, it can work on just about any cut of steak. You get a nice crisp sear and a perfectly cooked interior. If you want a little more well done, just up to cooking times on each side and in the oven to get it to your desired degree of doneness. We actually have tossed out all other methods since this one nails it every time. Fair warning though, turn off your smoke detector for the duration of cooking because there will be some smoke from you oven with it being that high in temperature. Trust me, you won’t mind once you’ve taken one bite of your perfectly cooked steak. Wow, I really want a steak right now, who’s with me?
So, we’ve had a tumultuous past few weeks with my husband and I both attacked by RSV/sinus infections but even way worse, our little one was admitted to the hospital for an infection. Hospitals are never fun, but watching your four-month old being set-up with an IV and poked and prodded made me an absolute basket case. Thankfully, we are all home and on the mend but oy lambs. I’m hoping for a lot of normal (whatever that means right?), for the next few months after this little sickness dance we’ve been doing.
With said sinus infection, I couldn’t taste or smell a thing. I kept telling David this should be the time that I just eat kale at every meal since I can’t tell the difference one way or another. Today, I finally got back some of my lost senses and actually could taste the dinner I made! Now, you might be taking this review with a grain of salt considering I haven’t tasted my food in four days and therefore cat food might actually taste good, but fear not y’all, I can tell you that this Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese Gratin was all that and then some.
This was an absolutely satisfying vegetarian dish and perfect for all the sickness going around. Did you know a sweet potato has more Vitamin C than an orange? Perfect timing! There were two changes I made to this. First, I had some fresh thyme on hand and included it in the milk/cheese mixture and placed some on top after baking and second, I used panko bread crumbs since I forgot to pick some up the store and I was not packing up the baby and all that jazz for breadcrumbs when crunchy panko would do the trick. I served this with a simple hearts of romaine salad and my lemon shallot dressing. Yum!
I did make another recipe on Monday but since I couldn’t taste it I really can’t tell you much about it, however my husband raved on and one and said I should let you know from a flavor standpoint it rocked. From a assembly standpoint, it was easy breezy so, hey, give this Tarragon Chicken with Spring Greens recipe a try too!
Mind blowing is the only phrase I can think of for this Tikka Masala recipe from Bon Appetit. My husband and I love Indian food but don’t typically make it at home (as you can tell from this blog), but after making this it will go on heavy rotation in our house.
This was a bit of lengthy recipe with a bunch of steps but the end result was well worth it. We loved the deep, rich and spicy flavors the marinade and sauce provided. We also made the Cilantro Yogurt Sauce and Spicy Sautéed Spinach. I loved the surprising addition of mustard seeds in the spinach, YUM! The only thing I didn’t make in their fabulous Indian food smorgasbord was the onion naan. Seriously, HEB store bought works just fine.
David was taking the leftovers for lunch and when he was about to leave them behind, I almost didn’t say anything so I could have them all to myself. Haha, that’s so wrong. If you are up for a unique dish for a crowd, this line-up is definitely an excellent choice. Make this now!
Squee! It’s finally back pandas! We can’t wait for the new Game of Thrones premiere and I hope that little Geoffrey finally gets his comeuppance. Brat.
We have a few friends who are also die hard GoT nerds that come over every Sunday to watch and I’ve decided to make a meal that is inspired by the show. First up is this Buttermilk Brined Chicken with Cress and Bread Salad. I guess “cress” is the new way to say watercress? What do they have against water? I digress. I made this last night and the buttermilk brine keeps the chicken super juicy and moist, plus the dressing is delightful on the bread salad. I’m probably going to add some roasted potatoes too. This will be a perfect roast meat for us to enjoy while watching Khaleesi kick some butt!
To represent the beautiful red tree in Winterfell, I’m making this Mesclun with Raspberries and Sweet Spiced Almonds from Cooking Light and to top it off a White and Dark Chocolate Pudding Parfaits that gives a nod to those creepy White Walkers and awesome Night’s Watch that I hope will keep them at bay. I highly doubt it though lambs. Ugh, don’t they freak you out? I’ll keep you posted on how it goes this Sunday, along with my thoughts of the premiere!
It’s no secret that I love Cooking Light, well I’m obsessed with all of the food magazines I’ll admit, but I love that Cooking Light can still throw a mean punch even with one hand tied behind it’s back. While others can lean on butter, tons of cheese, fatty meats etc, Cooking Light has to bring flavor AND nutrition to the table and this Turkey Sausage and Spinach Lasagna recipe is perfect example of how they can nail it. KAPOW!
Our little one was still sick and had actually gotten worse (cursed daycare!) and while she was screaming and yelling, I still wanted to get a home cooked meal on the table for us both. You need something to keep your strength up right? When I looked up what I had chosen for the night, I sighed loudly and thought about making something else given that we have a screaming kiddo and lasagna can take time and patience, both things I was running very short on at the moment. However, and maybe it was the heat of the moment, the lack of sleep or both, I whizzed through this recipe in no time. It was in the oven and done and what felt like five minutes later my husband and were gobbling this up. I’m not a ricotta fan at all and really shy away from lasagna at most places for this reason, but, because Cooking Light can’t put in too much ricotta this recipe was right up my alley. It’s a very different take on lasagna and to me (and David) it was just perfect. So perfect that even I went back for seconds which is something I rarely do since I want to get to my dark chocolate after-dinner treat as soon as I can.
Once we were done hoovering our food, we looked up at each other, bleary eyed and covered in who knows what of bodily fluids (I never knew so much snot could come out of something so small), holding hands we went back to her room to check on our little sick one. I have to say, I have a whole new appreciation for my parents, and any parents for that matter, now!
It’s no secret that The Hubs and I like short ribs, heck, we had them at our wedding (bless you Primizie, bless you) and when I see a recipe for them I have to make it, it’s like an itch I gotta scratch!
With that, I just had to make these Chile Braised Short Ribs from Bon Appetit because of our aforementioned love of short ribs and because I randomly had a ton of dried New Mexico chiles in our pantry. What an odd thing to have a lot of huh? I was worried that this dish was going to be too spicy for my gentle husband, who loves spice but let’s just say it doesn’t love him back. Actually, the weren’t spicy at all but instead had a great smoke flavor and they were perfect in the falling off the bone department that all great short rib dishes require. We also loved the addition of the fingerling potatoes, carrots and the salty olives. I served this over some braised collard greens since it is my goal for us to eat a leafy green each day. We will be healthy damnit!
I would recommend this for people who have been around the short rib block a few times and want to try a new avenue of short rib deliciousness – you won’t be disappointed, trust me!
“A bowl full of health” is what David calls this Italian Vegetable Stew from Bon Appetit. I made this a few weeks ago for the two of us when the plague was attacking everyone and everything in Austin, including the three of us. It was the first time little Lila was sick and I was on pins and needles but just like everything else with kids, you get through it and you learn that your “gear” is everything. Bless the NoseFrida, the humidifier and saline spray is all I can say.
David and I were so impressed with this stew the first time around we decided to make it again for friends last night for dinner and once again, it didn’t disappoint. I did make this without adding in the bread since two of our friends are gluten-free and served up toasted garlic bread on the side so everyone else could dip as much as we wanted. Also, I did add a splash of red wine vinegar at the end just to give a hint more acidity, which seems counterintuitive given all the tomatoes but actually, we all agreed it needed it. Winter does seem to be winding down so be sure to put this into your rotation before the hot summer months get to you…heck, it’s already 80 degrees here today, yeesh. Mangia!
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved recipes from Food & Wine magazine but I’ve noticed as of late that they have really inspired me to want to cook. Like these whimsical Garlic Bread “Fries” with Marinara “Ketchup” or the three bomb diggity dishes I made the past two days.
Lila just started daycare and while she’s fine, I’m the one losing it with worry and well, missing the heck out of her. So, while I was waiting for her and David to get home, I did what I know will help calm me down and keep my mind off of things…COOK! What better way than to honor the Chef who found sheer joy in cooking than the one and only Julia Childs. I tried this Julia’s Favorite Roast Chicken recipe from Food & Wine and to start, it was divine! Roasted chicken always sounds so simple but to nail it, it takes great timing, and a few simple ingredients to really make it shine and shine this one did. I’m not going to lie, there’s a lot to this but I didn’t mind the effort given the return when it was done. We both raved about this and I followed the instructions to a “T” to ensure I honored Miss Julia. As recommended, I paired it with the Bread Salad with Currants and Pine Nuts. This was bonkers good and perfect with the roasted chicken. I would recommend a smidge more dressing than it calls for since I felt it needed it at then end to dress it up and add a little more flavor. Otherwise, perfect.
For tonight’s State of the Union speech we made this Antipasto Salad with Bocconcini and Green-Olive Tapenade from another icon of women chefs, Nancy Silverton. Simple should be this recipes middle name and out-of-this-world delicious would be its last. YUM. We snarfed this down in no time, and while I was hoping for leftovers the next day for lunch that was just not the case. The only thing I added was toasted bread to add a bit more crunch and texture to the salad.
I’ve got to say that roast chicken recipe was probably my favorite. It’s lengthy and a bit more of a food workout than normal but worth it! As Julia would say, Bon Appetit!
Now that we have a little one in the house, I gotta tell ya, one pot meals are becoming my go-to these days and this Vinegar-Brased Chicken and Onions dish from Bon Appetit still made my feel like my old cooking self but was an easy enough set-it-and-forget-it cooking method that I could still tackle feedings, diaper changes and rockings too.
We both loved it for its nice balance of sweet and tangy due to the two vinegars and golden raisins, plus the pancetta didn’t hurt either. I served over sautéed spinach and cous cous to round out the meal and we are so happy with how this turned out. Easy, breezy and delicious!
Another BRILLIANT idea from the Bon Appetit staff was this Hot Oat & Quinoa Cereal. You pour everything into a pot, heat it up, let it sit overnight and the next morning it’s ready to go with a little rewarming, some milk and nuts. Bonus! You have leftovers for the following day as well. I slurped this up before running all my errands and was full and happy for most of the morning.
This week it’s a bunch of rocking recipes from Food & Wine. Is it just me or have they been bringing their A-game with recipes lately? I can’t wait to try them, more to come lambs.
Oh, and I got some requests from you gentle readers for pictures of our little Lila. Here’s my favorite so far. Didn’t know I could feel so much love for one thing in my entire life!