Tuesday, June 28, 2011

10 Minutes 'Til Dinner

Alright, this is going to be a super quick post for a super quick, super healthy week night meal. It's so quick that it will probably take me longer to type up this blog post than it will take you to make this dish! It's South Beach Diet friendly and Gluten Free! This is less of a recipe and more of a meal idea.

Chipotle Black Bean Lettuce Wraps

You'll need the following:

  • Four black bean patties (I used frozen this time, if you want to prepare your own use my pinto bean burger recipe in my burger and fries post)
  • 1 head of butter leaf lettuce
  • 1avocado
  • 1 tomato
  • 2T chopped red onion
  • 4T chopped cilantro
  • juice of one lime
  • garlic salt
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Cheese (optional)
While the black bean patties are cooking in a large skillet, chop the avocado, tomato, onion and cilantro and mix together with garlic salt and lime juice. Clean the lettuce and gently remove each leaf and set on a platter. When the patties are cooked, break them up with a spatula like you would ground meat.

Top a leaf of lettuce with some of the black bean patty mixture, avocado salsa fresca and sour cream and cheese if desired.

That's it! ENJOY!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Margherita Pasta

With summer definitely upon us here in Southern California, my weekly CSA shipments have taken transformation. I'm so happy to see the summer produce that the warmer temperatures have been providing! I used four items from my weekly Harvest2U shipment in my dinner tonight.

This dinner really couldn't have been easier. It's definitely a week night meal and it's South Beach (phase 2 and 3) friendly.

Margherita Pizza

Here's what you'll need:

1/2 box organic whole grain pasta (I used thin spaghetti) cooked

Olive oil (I used meyer lemon olive oil)
The stalk of one large onion (you may substitute a leek if you cannot find a onion stalk)
1 dozen med-large cherry tomatoes, halved
fresh basil (about 2T chopped)
garlic chives (about 1Tchopped)
salt and pepper to taste
parmesan cheese (optional)

Cook your pasta and set aside

Clean and slice your onion stalk. Once it's sliced, place in large skillet with 1T olive oil and a dash of salt. Cook just until barely softened, you don't want to cook them too much. Turn off the burner and toss the tomatoes into the pan. 

Toss pasta into the pan, as well as basil and garlic chives.

Add 2T of meyer lemon olive oil to pan and toss. Salt and pepper to taste.

Plate and serve! See, couldn't be easier!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Getting my cake on....Oh BABY!

One of my oldest friends is expecting her first child next month and I was honored to create her baby shower cake. She provided me with a napkin as a sample of the shower theme, told me what flavors she wanted and left the rest to me. Of course, I never do cakes completely alone. I'm so blessed to have a husband who is not only incredibly talented, but also enjoys helping me create my cakes.

So, we set out to design the cake. For some reason I kept hitting creative road blocks. Perhaps it's because I wanted so badly for it to be perfect and for the mommy-to-be to totally and completely love it. Who knows, all I can tell you is that I was stumped in a huge way. I had WEEKS to plan this cake and I didn't even really decide on my design until one week before the baby shower.

Alright, before I get to photos of the finished product, I wanted to share a few photos of the cake that I snapped in the process of building the cake. Here we go.....

Once the cakes are baked, I crumb coated them. My next step was to fill the cakes and then stack them. This particular cake was the bottom tier and it was chocolate cake with bittersweet chocolate ganache filling.

While I was filling and stacking the cakes, Dan was busy working away on the little animals. He was molding them out of gum paste.

Once I had the cakes filled and stacked, I put another thin coating of buttercream frosting on them and put them back in the fridge. The next step was to make the fondant and cover the cakes in fondant.

I divided the leftover green fondant into two pieces. I knew that I would need a little bit of green again later. The piece I wasn't using right away I double wrapped it in saran wrap and placed it into a ziplock bag.

After the cakes were covered in fondant we stacked them using dowels for support. Once the cakes were stacked I piped the borders and piped the wording on the cake as well as placed the leaves (this is where I used that green fondant again) and the stars.

While I was working on the piping and the embellishments, Dan was busy working on making those adorable little animals come to life. 

Now, the moment you've been waiting for.....The finished cake! Happy Baby Shower Day Dominique and welcome baby Aidan!

Recipe of the Month Club: May Review

I've mentioned before that I subscribe to a message board online, and one of the threads on this message board is a recipe of the month thread. This post is going to be short as it's only a review of a recipe that was chosen as the May recipe of the month.

The recipe is Lemon-Mint Cake with Lemon Syrup. It can be found here on the Foodnetwork.com website at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/lemon-mint-cake-with-lemon-syrup-recipe/index.html.

The recipe was relatively easy to make and came together quickly. The instructions were straight forward and simple to follow. The result was a delicious summery cake with a definite lemon zing and a subtle hint of mint in the background. So subtle that you might miss it if you didn't know it was there. I believe it did bring something fresh to the recipe.