Saturday, July 17, 2010

Frittata with Basil and Tomato

To prevent my basil from going to waste, I made one of my favorite breakfasts.  Simply take three eggs, beat them well with a hand mixer, pour into a small skillet coated with cooking spray, and sprinkle the top with quartered cherry tomatoes and basil chiffonade.  DO NOT STIR!  Cook on the stove, on medium heat, until the edges are set and the bottom is starting to brown.  Then, place in the oven on the low broil setting until the center of the frittata is set.  Sprinkle the top with a few tablespoons of shredded cheese, mozzarella or a cheddar-jack mix, and allow to melt.  Slide onto a plate and serve.  Enjoy!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fresh Pesto

My new garden has gone gangbusters this year, most especially the tomatoes and basil.  While my tomatoes aren't ripe yet, the basil was getting extremely large, and what else to do with a bunch of basil than make fresh pesto!

Louisville Food Geek Basil Pesto:

2-3 cups basil leaves
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup pecorino-romano cheese
1/4 cup walnuts
2 T lemon juice
A good-quality olive oil (I used Williams-Sonoma House Olive Oil)

I put the cheese through the food processor until it was well grated, then put the basil leaves, garlic, nuts and lemon juice on top of the cheese.  I processed it until it was well-chopped and incorporated.  Then, with the processor running, I drizzled in the olive oil until it was to the consistency I wanted.  I probably only used 1/2-3/4 of a cup of olive oil, as I like my pesto thick.  I cooked up some linguine and tossed it with a few tablespoons of the pesto.  Mmmmmm, great dinner!  And sooo quick!!!

I also have to note, if you haven't tried the WS House olive oil, go buy some, now!  It has to be the absolute best olive oil I have had.  It doesn't need cheese, pepper, or any other seasoning to be the perfect dipping oil.  If I wouldn't end up weighing 400 pounds, I would eat bread and oil at every meal.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

I decided to put some blueberries to use making lemon-blueberry muffins.  They turned out absolutely yummy and perfectly sweet.  I don't know why some of the comments on the recipe page says they aren't sweet enough, but to each their own.

I may have mixed the batter too well.  I dusted the berries with flour before folding them in and most of them still fell to the bottom of the muffins, but they were still delicious, so who cares?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


I grew up watching my mom make wedding cakes and professional birthday cakes, so of course I have made a few off and on in my life.  I decided to try my hand at making a "topsy-turvy" cake for my soon-to-be cousin's bridal shower.  And I learned a few things.  1) Give yourself PLENTY of time, just in case.  2) Make sure your frosting is just the right consistency.  3)  Freeze the daggone cakes before trying to frost, because if you don't, they WILL fall apart.


As you can see, got the layers frosted and put together just fine.  Even got the whole thing trimmed just how I wanted it to be.

And then, when attempting to frost the newly-trimmed decided to desintegrate.  I could have cried.  But, I kept my cool, and decided to attempt making "cake truffles."  A coworker brings them in regularly and everyone loves them.  As all this happened two days before the shower, I figured I had the time to make another cake, if need be, but that I should at least attempt to use up all the cake I had by making the truffles.

How do you make cake truffles?  Well, you take a cake that has desintegrated, with all the frosting you have made, and stir the hell out of it until it becomes a big blob.  Then you have to chill it thoroughly so the "dough" can be rolled into balls.  If you run a high body temp, like me, enlist the help of someone who runs a cooler temp to avoid making the newly-chilled dough into a sticky mess (thanks, Mom!)

After the truffles have chilled, dip them in chocolate and place on wax paper to harden.  I used Ghiradelli chocolate chips.  I've also had them dipped in candy coating, but I think the chocolate was better.  (shocking)  After they had completely cooled, I melted some white candy coating chips, colored it with frosting dye, and drizzled it on the truffles. 

As you can see by the picture, it turned out beautiful, and everyone LOVED it.  When life gives you cake crumbs, make cake truffles! 

Sunday, July 4, 2010

It always happens

It seems like every time you get a favorite at a restaurant, they take it away.  I loved the chicken tortilla soup at Chili's, gone.  I loved the steak and bleu cheese sandwich at Panera, gone.  I loved the chicken portobello at Macaroni's gone.  Ugh.  I was so excited to be able to go there last night with my mom.  We were going to have a great free meal, courtesy of a gift card she received.  I had dreams of the chicken portobello dancing in my head, only to find it's no longer on the menu.  Okay, stay calm, look at the menu, figure we're not paying for it, so try a dish I would almost never be willing to pay for, the lobster ravioli.  Almost $17 for ravioli just makes my frugal gene rebel, but what they hey.

While waiting for our meals, we ordered the new olive sampler appetizer.  A medley of olives marinated in orange peel and bay leaf for just under $4.  I love olives, and these were okay, but I don't think I would order them again.  I would rather have a selection from the grocery olive bar.  Then my ravioli arrived.  I already had a problem with the $17 price tag, and for that I only get 5 ravioli with a few small bits of lobster tossed on top?  Felt a little ripped off.  It tasted okay, but when they say creamy sauce, I expect the consistency of cream, not milk.  Because it was so thin, it didn't really stick to the pasta, so most of it was left in the dish.  The lobster meat seemed like it came from the lobster's legs.  It was small and a little tough.

The only thing that redeemed the meal was the dessert.  Lemon Passion Cake.  Mmmmmmm.  Lemon cake that had the consistency of tres leches cake, layered with a thick lemon mousse and topped with a lemon zest- infused whip cream.  It's not often that I would choose something other than chocolate, but I am SO glad I did.  For that, I would go back.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Little Disappointed...

As I've said in previous posts, I much prefer Java Brewing Co. brewed coffee hands down over Starbucks, but I still frequent Starbucks from time to time, simply due to their saturation in the market. I've been wanting to try some of their new food selections for awhile (I've been a huge fan of their "perfect" oatmeal for years) so while heading to a meeting in northern Kentucky, I stopped at the location off I-71's exit 16 to order one of the new English muffin sandwiches. I chose the one with turkey bacon...trying to be a good girl here. :-) While the egg was perfectly done, not overcooked and unbelievably tender, my enjoyment of the sandwich was way below what I expected it to be. The turkey bacon was the shelf-stable type that is sold at Kroger's. Thin, not much flavor, and the texture and consistency of construction paper. I liked that the English muffin was whole wheat, but the cheese was just weak. I think there's more flavor in a slice of Velveeta. I was expecting something more like Panera's breakfast sandwich, with a powerful slice of white or yellow cheddar. If Starbucks would do that, I might get the sandwich again. As it is, I think this was just a one-shot deal.