Saturday, February 20, 2010

Community Garden Season is right around the corner!

I decided that my feeble gardening attempts would be better cultivated (get it..) in a community garden atmosphere this year. I will learn a lot share recipes and pointers, and I won't have to worry about bad soil and little sun! Don't worry, I know what you're thinking... I haven't given up backyard gardening. In my current rented house I don't have much of a backyard to garden! What are you guys doing this year? Does anyone have any backyard ambitions? Community garden?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Chocolate-Raspberry Tiramisu

This sweet recipe was called for on the account of one of my best friends birthdays! And I am a big believer in birthday celebrations! My roommate Jenna (who I've previously introduced to you) and I decided to tackle this very easy nontraditional tiramisu recipe from her Best of Cooking Light cookbook which she has been having a hard time peeling her eyes from since she got it!

Chocolate-Raspberry Tiramisu
adopted by Cooking Light
Makes about 12 minis

1/4c powdered sugar
1/4c (2oz) mascarpone cheese, softened
1/4c raspberry-flavored liqueur, divided
1 (8oz) block fat-free cream cheese, softened
12 cake-style ladyfingers, split (we couldn't find ladyfingers, believe-it-or-not, so we used Twinkies, scraped and split)
1 1/2T unsweetened cocoa
2c fresh raspberries
mint sprigs (optional)

1. Place powdered sugar, mascarpone, 1 1/2T liqueur, and cream cheese into a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at a high speed until blended well. 2. Brush cut sides of ladyfingers with remaining 2 1/2T liqueur. Spread about 1 1/2T mascarpone mixture over bottom half of each ladyfinger, cover with tops. 3. Arrange on dessert plates. Sprinkle evenly with cocoa (sift cocoa over desserts with a sifter) and arrange raspberries over each. Garnish with mint sprigs.

Teaser Pic!

Guess what Jenna and I are bakin' up in the kitchen tonight??

Hint- It's our lovely friend Caitlin's Birthday!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Hearty Tomato Bisque and the Onion Monster!

Brooke: I love onions. I love onions so much that I could eat them like an apple.
Me: Really? Like an apple?
Brooke: Yeah I really like them. You rememb...
Me: (Interrupting) Prove it.
Brooke: Uh...what?
Me: Prove it.
Don't fret. (onion monster enters the scene...luckily we captured it all on film to show you guys)
She shows no mercy.
Muahahaha (Evil cackle after onion defeat)
Shortly after we put the onion out of its misery.

This my friends is a recipe that will stand the tests of time. It is one of the most phenomenal, knock your socks off soup recipe. Words.... wor... they can't even describe this masterpiece.

Tomato Bisque Recipe
adapted from The Food NetworkServes 4-6
1T olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
5T all-purpose flour
5c chicken broth (or veggie broth)
1 (28oz) can whole, peeled tomatoes (with liquid), chopped
3 parsley sprigs (or about 1/2T dry parsley)
3 fresh thyme sprigs (or 1/2T dry thyme)
1bay leaf
1 cup heavy cream
1 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, about 8 minutes. 2. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Pour in the broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil while whisking constantly. Tie the parsley sprigs, thyme, and bay leaf together with a piece of kitchen twine and add to the pot (sprinkle in if using dry ingredients). Lower the heat, place the lid on, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. For those of you who are impatient like me, fill kitchen sink with ice cube (aprox. 1 tray) and ice cold water to speed up the cooling process. 3.When the soup base is cool, remove and discard the herb bundle. Working in batches (if you need to), transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Using a sieve (I used my food mill) over a large bowl, strain the tomato puree. Return the puree to the pot and reheat over medium heat. Whisk the heavy cream and salt into the soup and season with pepper to taste. Divide among warm soup bowls and serve immediately.
Almost all gone!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Cookbook oh Cookbook...

I've been recently on the hunt for a new cookbook. The kind that makes me want to get my hands wet, and then before I know it my whole being is in a tub of recipes that I can't wait to taste and share with you all. You know, I want to be eyes deep in food. So, this is it. Well, not it, as in, tada "I've reached the end of the rainbow, now what?" But, this is IT! I ordered this cookbook and I am gripping at my cutting boards waiting for it to come. I am pacing the kitchen with bowls of all sizes in my mits. I can't wait. 
Ok ok, I'll stop scaring you. I'll try to tone down my excitement enough to tell you all about it. It is a cookbook created (recipes, photography, and all) by Heidi Swanson from 101Cookbooks (a fantastic go to site for all of your cooking and baking needs). Super Natural Cooking is  cookbook that is all about cooking whole, natural, non-processed foods. The recipes are vegetarian recipes (for all of you carnivores out there like myself you can usually stick in a chicken leg or some lamb chops here and there) that are made with care for you and care for the planet! Check out the book here and her website here (did I mention that it is in my top 5 go-to cooking pages?!).
Cookbooks are hard for me to purchase because there are so many out there and I am one to judge a book by the cover, but with cooking and baking, most of the time you must see the writer's credential to know if you will like their style of cooking, photography, and their style of writing.

Do you guys have any favorite cookbooks that you have or would like to get soon??

Friday, February 5, 2010

Happy Friday!

Hey everybody this is my sister Brooke. Hi Brooke. I am very excited because she is coming down to visit today!!! Yay! She's a little goofy, but I think we can keep her around for a while. These are some of the exciting things we are going to be doing:

Zza celebration of taco pizza and guacamole from Joy the Baker (a new foodie that I just discovered!), Movies, the BEST tomato soup OF MY LIFE! (seriously, its really really good - recipe to come), Gouda and pumpernickel bread, board games, and much more!! Don't worry, don't fret. I won't leave you guys out at all! I'll be bringing you some pictures to join in the fun and the recipes to try out!

What are you doing this weekend?? Any exciting food adventures that you are holding back?