Tuesday, December 21, 2010

pumpkin oatmeal cookies

I made Ali and Tom's (Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen's) pumpkin oatmeal cookies for a dinner party I had. Pretty sure I ate way more than my fair share.. They were amazingly soft, and spiced so deliciously :)

I followed their recipe exactly.. And I'm feeling lazy tonight, so I'll quote:

"Use canned pumpkin, baked pie pumpkins or other winter squash. You may need to add extra flour if your baked pumpkin is very moist. I used coconut oil in all four batches I made but I imagine that unsalted butter would work too ~ of course they wouldn't be vegan then! Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temp before mixing. Your coconut oil will be soft enough for this if your house is in the mid 60's (Fahrenheit). Do not melt your coconut oil or use another liquid oil."

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

1 cup softened virgin coconut oil (or unsalted butter)
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups coconut sugar, maple sugar, or brown sugar
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups oat flour
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 to 4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

In a large bowl beat together, using an electric mixer, the coconut oil, pumpkin, sugar, flax seeds, and vanilla extract. Add the remaining ingredients and beat together again.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. While your oven is preheating let your cookie dough rest on the counter for 20 minutes. The oat flour will absorb some of the liquid during this time which helps the cookies hold their shape.

Drop by the spoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until slightly golden around the edges. Remove cookies and place them onto a wire rack to cool. Cookies are best after they have cooled."

rice and lentil soup: yummy meet frugal

Photo 1: Deborah Madison's Lentil Soup with cumin, cilantro, and chard. Just as I made it before.. straight from her cookbook. But this time, I used chard instead of kale. It was delicious.

Photo 2: I can make this soup last longer, I thought. (I'm going through an intense frugal period in life. Only spending money on traveling.. if I can help it. And at this rate - it looks as though I will travel until there is none left. Time is more difficult to get than money, I think.)
Anyway! I added chicken broth and rice to the soup.. and it was quite delicious. The taste kind of reminded me of stuffed grape leaves. Probably because of the lemon juice.

Monday, December 20, 2010

grilled veggies and swordfish

I've been in St Louis just about every weekend that I'm in Missouri.. for? Tango dancing, of course. But I don't drive 4 hours just to dance.. I also get to make yummy dinners with my friend Kelly :) Here was our meal a couple weeks ago. Marinated and grilled swordfish kabobs, grilled mushroom kabobs, and foil wrapped grilled asparagus.

I know I've posted about grilled swordfish before - but now you don't have to search for the old post.

1 swordfish steak per person, cut into cubes
Marinated in white wine with honey. We didn't measure out the marinade.. but as long as the cuts of fish are covered.. you should be fine. For a sweeter meal, add more honey... for less sweetness.. you know what to do.

Wipe (not wash) with a damp cloth, the mushrooms clean. Then toss in a bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper, and.. that's it. Put on kabobs and grill.

We prepared the asparagus in the same way - evoo, salt, pepper.. and wrapped them in a foil pouch.

The veggies need more time than the fish.. so in the meanwhile, set the table because grilling doesn't take too long!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

restaurant review - bleu

I don't really have restaurant reviews for my town in Missouri. Guess I should start! Here are a couple photos from Bleu. I think some of their meat and produce is locally grown.. but the place isn't what I would call an organic-y restaurant. It's just a nice restaurant. There aren't many things I can order there.. but I succeeded with with side of sautéed brussel sprouts (san the bacon) and their signature fish tacos (san the grilled taco and the crème fraiche). Pan-seared cod, spicy Asian slaw, avocado puree, mango relish and honey chili sauce. Yum!!

massive purple cauliflower

Just look at the size of that thing! I ate purple cauliflower for a couple weeks...

Puréed into soup.

Sautéed in soup. (This soup is made of sautéed leeks, carrots, maitake mushrooms, cauliflower, and kale in a mixture of lovingly vegetable broth and chicken broth)

Simply sautéed with fresh maitake mushrooms and leeks, with a drizzle of truffle oil on top.

restaurant review - M cafe

I taste tested M Cafe on my last night in Hollywood, CA. (This was in early November.. I'll probably be back in LA before I finish catching up with old photos!) The food was.. good. Maybe I didn't choose the food they make - or maybe my taste buds are getting more and more demanding. They serve "Contemporary Macrobiotic Cuisine" so I was pretty much able to choose anything on the menu. None of the dishes contain any refined sugars, eggs, dairy, red meat or poultry. There were also many many gluten free choices.. my favorite being dessert. It's not often I get to order dessert at a restaurant (but this was more like a deli..) Anyway.. They sell Babycakes NYC's desserts there. It was my first time trying any of their sweets.. and unfortunately there is no photo of the smile on my face. It was big.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

bs as inspired salad and my aunt's kitchen

Just days after returning from the southern hemisphere.. I was in a nostalgic mood, and concocted this salad with my aunt Allie. One thing I found interesting was, in Argentina, carrots were almost always eaten in the grated form, and usually in a salad. They were always very finely grated there.. and it makes me want to get a special blade for my food processor.

Here's what we threw together:
We had no hearts of palm, but we had artichoke hearts.. and quartered them
Grated carrots
Random salad mix from the fridge, which included celery and little broccoli trees
Sprouts of some kind
And an avocado that was too mushy to cut, so we each got a half to spoon ourselves.
Dressing: Olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, and a pinch of salt

My aunt's kitchen is a fun place.. later that night I got to help as she made some salve for her organic and super healing skin care line, madre tierra. It's still in the works - as far as getting products on shelves in different shops - but if you're interested in ordering things from her, just contact her through the website :)

restaurant review - cru

Back in LA.. I visited Juicy Ladies in Woodland Hills and got a piece of truffle cake that lasted me 4 days. Ok 3 days. Ok.. 2 1/2 days. All girls exaggerate.

This amazing treat made by Cru contains: organic raw cocoa powder, organic raw agave nectar, organic raw coconut butter, organic raw almonds, organic spices, and Celtic sea salt.

Sorry it's not a full restaurant review - I didn't actually get to go to the restaurant. Maybe next time I'm in LA.. I'll try anyway. Not much left to say... Was it as good as it looks? Yup.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

soup and tango

I made a version of this lentil beet soup in Argentina. If I can remember, I think I added an extra beet or two, I used different colored lentils.. leftover style, and I topped it with fresh basil instead of cilantro. Both are on the sweeter side of herbs.. and as long as the herbs are fresh - the soup works :)

La Glorieta, pictured second, is a place I loved to dance. In the middle of the park, open on all sides, beautiful weather.. ah.. I miss it.

picture book. san telmo and a picnic

San Telmo..
Antique shops galor
Vendors drinking mate and playing chess
Beautiful old buildings
More art painted on walls

A census day picnic :) Life isn't so bad when everything is closed.

still catching up from october.. and baba ganoush

Hey there :) I still have a handful more posts left before I've finished updating you with food and life from my trip to Buenos Aires...
1 - My grandmother's bana ganoush
2 - Artwork on a building, down town Bs As
3 - Sneeky picture of a tango orchestra. (There is a free tango orchestra concert every Thursday at Teatro Presidente Alvear!)

How do you make this delicious dip? It's really easy.
Here's how my grandma taught me: (remember.. October is spring time in Bs As. For all you in the states, I recommend waiting some more months before buying - or growing - or trying to grow eggplants)

Oven! 450. (So hot! I know.. but there's no oil.. so it's ok)

You will need:
2 eggplants
1 lemon
1/2 yellow onion
olive oil

Poke the eggplants all over with a fork. Don't forget! Cook on a baking sheet for 30 minutes. Flip them, then cook for another 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Let cool.

Peel eggplants and get all the insides into a bowl, squeeze lemon juice all over. Cover and put in the fridge until you feel like continuing.

Feel like it? Ok. You can do it tomorrow, if you want. Just letting you know.
Dice up however much onion you want (don't you hate recipes like that?! But that's what my grandma said.. so it has to go into the post. If you're an onion person, add more.. if you don't feel like onions today, then add less.) Add the diced onion, along with a splash of olive oil and vinegar (again.. to taste) and a pinch or 2 or 3 of salt.

Serve on crackers and enjoy! (There are fresh chives sprinkled on top in the photo)

btw: Eggplants are on the "avoid" list for the blood type A's... But sometimes, you just have to let loose.. you know?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

restaurant review - el mirasol, and some more buenos aires photos

I enjoyed this swanky salad at El Mirasol, a restaurant in Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires. I've made it at home a couple times now.. it's somthing special. I recommend making it for someone you like.. (as opposed to someone you don't) because the ingredients are all pretty pricey. Boy, I'm on a roll with the alliterations tonight...

1. Golden delicious apples.. or a different variety, as long as it is crunchy and not too too sweet. Peel apples and dice into little cubes.
2. Avocadoes - not too ripe! Dice into bigger pieces.
3. Hearts of palm :) mmm... sliced, and broken if they are too big around.
4. Carrots, finely shredded.
6. Walnuts. It isn't necessary to soak and dehydrate them.. but they taste SO much better that way. Up to you.
7. Ideas for additions: spinach (just a little)... I can't think of more now.. I'll come back to this list.

The Dressing:
Olive oil with a squeeze of lemon and a SMALL pinch of salt. There may have been a little vinegar used as well, at the restaurant.. but.. I'm not positive.

See the man in white in the corner of the photo? He's wearing really tall stilts.


Yep, there's me, getting my dance on.. pretty much everywhere I could.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

steamed artichoke and a dip

I don't know why, but I never made steamed artichoke myself before my trip to Buenos Aires. I don't think it's a staple food there or anything.. but my grandma made it as a snack, and I soaked up as many recipes from her as I could while we lived together. Also.. it was spring there, and artichokes were everywhere. Missouri isn't lucky enough to host artichokes.

Here's how ya do it:

1. Slice about 3/4 inch to an inch off the tip of the artichokes.

2. Pull off any smaller leaves towards the base and on the stem.

3. Cut excess stems, leaving up to an inch on the artichoke.

4. Rinse the artichokes in running cold water.

5. Pour a couple inches of water in a pot. Add the artichokes.. (I put mine in so they would stand up.. but I don't think that's necessary)

6. Juice 1/2 a lemon over the tops of the artichokes and add the juiced lemon to the pot. Pour a tbsp or so of olive oil over the tops of the artichokes. Add a 2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed. And lastly, add some salt (and any other spices you'd like).

7. Cover. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 25-45 minutes.. the time depends on the size of the artichoke. You can test it by tasting the outer leaves.

I made a simple dip out of olive oil, dried herbs, and a little vinegar.

And if you don't know how to eat an artichoke... youtube it.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

a day in buenos aires

Photo 1: Breakfast of soaked oatmeal with ground flax seeds, cinnamon, and raisins. And yerba maté. I'll do another post soon, to tell you all about maté..

Photos 2 & 3: Getting my feet measured for tango shoes. Yes.. I had some made just for me :)

Photo 4: One of the many ombú trees.. this one's in Recoleta.

Friday, November 19, 2010

restaurant review - la posada

So, there is this restaurant, La Posada.. that was 3 blocks from my apartment in Buenos Aires, and I went there a bunch. I think the kitchen was open til around 1am.. so, as long as you got there before midnight, they'd serve you anything on the menu. Quite the shock I had when landing at the St Louis airport at 11pm and only having 1 option for dinner.. on a Friday night! In a city! (besides fast food anyway.. which.. isn't an option.)

Back to the story. They would start by bringing six little ramekins, each with different appetizers. Sometimes liver
pâté, or a fruit jam, or a cucumber salad, or steamed carrots with garlic, or potatoes.. and I'd always be able to enjoy at least one of them. Don't you love the wooden plates? I have to say.. I miss them.
The food here was delicious. The salad.. the salmon.. the skirt steak..

After dinner, I'd usually leave my family early, and catch a cab to a milonga for a night full of tango dancing. sigh....
Honestly, it's too late for me to be awake (in the United States, anyway. In Buenos Aires, my night would just be beginning) so I'm going to cut this short, and stop blogging for the night.

Buenas noches.