Marinated olives are a great party nibble. They are best when made ahead, which makes life a little easier when you are hosting the gathering. I like to take homemade (food) gifts with me when I am a guest at a party, especially during this time of the year. New Year’s Eve is only days away and I’m sure if you showed up to a shindig with these in hand, the host/hostess would be very happy. The olives are ready to serve, all that needs to be done is pour them into a bowl. And who wouldn’t appreciate an extra appetizer that arrives ready to serve?
Meal prep can be the difference between staying on track with healthy eating choices or going off the rails and finding yourself ordering a Mc whatever through a speaker in the drive-through. Dedicating a few extra minutes on weekends to set up your meals for the week is time well spent. Whether it be lunches, dinners or both – planning ahead is essential.
If you are a tomato person, you will want to check back here from time to time and here’s why: I have an exploding tomato population. As someone said to me a few days ago, this is not a bad problem to have!
So let me just tell you now that for the next few months, there will likely be a number of recipes here using tomatoes… Salsas, tomato tarts, tomato jam, tomato soup, etc.
Sometimes I am hesitant to put recipes here that I think will be too simple or maybe you just won’t find that interesting. Recently, there was a discussion amongst a few of my foodie friends regarding the subject of “overdoing” food.
Example: a cookie inside of a brownie inside of a cupcake inside of a pie, then deep fried and topped with caramel and chocolate sauces, whipped cream and sprinkles.
Obviously this is a gross exaggeration, but you catch my drift….
It’s finally summer and you know what that means… picnics, barbecues and long days at the beach.
This pasta salad is perfect for taking on the go. It is light, yet substantial and dressed in a light vinaigrette, so no worries over gloppy mayo sitting out in the sun.
I love this particular pasta salad because of all the veggies in it and you can even add more… broccoli, julienned zucchini, summer squash, cauliflower, red bell pepper, summer beans, etc. would all be great in this salad. The beauty of summer is that so much fresh, gorgeous produce is available!
One of my goals in summer is to avoid turning on the stove most days… The black tar roof of the building I live in is my ceiling, need I explain further how I have come to understand what a roast chicken must feel like in the oven?!
These basic four ingredients that most of us already have in the pantry plus a few other add ins and that’s all that is needed to turn a few basic ingredients into focaccia.
I had been thinking about making it for months, but for one reason or another talked myself out of it every time… until now. I was thinking that it was such a hassle (it’s not) and that it would be a process (it hardly qualifies as work) to make it… blah, blah, blah. It had been awhile since I had made focaccia and I had just forgotten how ridiculously easy it is.
It is as simple as weighing some flour, mixing yeast & water and turning on a mixer. I should be ashamed of myself for putting it off for so long, especially when it really is that easy.
If you don’t have a kitchen scale, a cup of flour weighs approximately 5 ounces.
There are 16 ounces in a pound, so therefore 1 lb and 4 ounces of flour is 20 ounces. Divided by 5 gives you 4 cups of flour. I used a little more than that. I weighed my flour first and then measured it so I could give you the cup measurement and for me it came out closer to 4 and a half cups.
I know with all this math, I’ve probably just talked you out of weighing flour but it really isn’t all that bad. Please forgive the math lesson and let’s get on with the dough…
Some things just go together… peanut butter & jelly, bacon & eggs, mashed potatoes & gravy, champagne & … hell, ANYTHING.
For me, another one of those pairings is fish and any kind of salty condiment. I love salt. I know it isn’t good for you in excess, but I can’t help it. There are at least 8 different kinds of salt in my kitchen at this very moment. Smoked Salt, Truffle Salt, Hawaiian Pink Salt, French Sea Salt, Kosher Salt, Maldon Salt, Australian Pink Flake Salt, Sel Gris, but NEVER idiodized table salt.
I am not alone in this near-obsession. As is the case with most Chefs, we have a salty palate. What I mean by that is we are so accustomed to highly seasoned food that for the average person it can be a bit too salty. (My Mom used to tease me that she was going to buy me a salt lick at the feed store by our house).
To feed my addiction, I made olive tapenade. It is one of the most delicious things and it will keep in your refrigerator for over a week. It can be eaten on its own: spread of a piece of warm, toasted baguette, or use it as a flavoring on a piece of fish for example. Luckily for me I have a great fishmonger a few blocks away, which brings me back to some things just go together… Fish loves salt. It doesn’t have to come from actual salt, it can come from bacon, capers or olive tapenade! If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Where do fish live? (in salty ocean water…)