Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve Menu

  • Antipasto platter
    • cheese, salami, olives
  • Funghi tagliati e fettine sottili, con mozzarella fusa e timo
    • sliced mushrooms with melted mozzarella and thyme
Taittinger Brut Champagne
  • Oysters rocafella
    • Naked Cowboy, Kusshi, and Delaware raw oysters with champagne foam and mignonette
  • Sea scallops crudo 
    • with shaved fennel and extra virgin olive oil
  • Baked clams
    • parsley, oregano, shallot, parmesan and bread crumbs
Michel-Schlumberger 2011 La Nue Chardonnay 
  • Casonsei from Val Camonica
    • Homemade pasta stuffed with a sausage, potato, and chard filling
Canetto 2006 Reserve Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
  • Tagliati di manzo con radicchio
    • Thinly sliced beef with wilted radicchio and gorgonzola
  • Edible rocks 
Loxton 2009 Late Harvest Zinfandel
  • Salted caramel tart with chocolate ganache

Saturday, December 22, 2012

(Early) Christmas Eve Menu

Stanislaw Christmas Eve has been moved to the 22nd this year! My sister-in-law and her family weren't going to be with us on the 24th so we're celebrating a few days early all together. 

Given the non-traditional timing of the celebration, we decided this year to go with a non-traditional (for us) menu. A Mexican inspired feast featuring recipes from Mod Mex: Cooking Vibrant Fiesta Flavors at Home by chef Scott Linquist, a couple Rick Bayless recipes, and a few home-brewed ideas. 

We started prepping Thursday and had a major cooking session last night. We're heading out with bags and food in tow in a couple of hours to finish, assemble, and enjoy. Recipes to follow after the holiday!

Wild Mushroom Sopes
Chorizo, Potato, and Goat Cheese Sopes

Rice with Roasted Poblano, Spinach, and Fresh Cheese
Romaine and Radish Salad with Tomatillo-Lime Dressing

Cascabel Chile-Marinated Carne Asada Tacos
Pumpkin Black Bean Tacos
Chipotle Marinated Chicken Tacos

Monday, December 3, 2012

How to Cook Brown Rice

Cooking rice can be difficult. I've had the most success with this method. With rice, once the lid is on no peeking!!

1 cup brown rice
1 1/2 cups water

Add water and rice to a pan and bring to a boil.

Lower to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes remove from heat and let sit covered 10 - 20 minutes.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

How to Cook Quinoa

fool proof method for perfect, fluffy quinoa! When using quinoa, rinse it before cooking.

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water

- Add water and quinoa to a pot that has a tight fitting lid and bring to a boil.

- Lower to a simmer, cover pot and let cook for 25 minutes.

- Turn off the heat and let the quinoa sit covered for another 5-10 minutes.

- Fluff with a fork and serve!

Jason's Glazed Mushrooms

These are delicious. Once you try them you will want to make your mushrooms this way every time. The amounts are approximations as Jason doesn't like to measure.

12 oz. mixed mushrooms, sliced (we often use shiitake, maitake (hen of the woods), and bunashimeji (beech mushrooms)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
Splash sherry vinegar or white wine (approx. 1 Tbsp)
1 tsp soy sauce
Sambal oelek chili paste to taste
1 tsp honey

- Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat

- Add the mushrooms and saute until they release their liquid and start to brown. Be patient! -js

- Once mushrooms have started to brown, add a splash of sherry vinegar or white wine and let that evaporate

- Add soy sauce, sriracha, and honey. Stir over high heat until a glaze forms.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Pepitas

2 Pounds brussel sprouts
3 strips of bacon
1/2 cup of pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
olive oil
salt & pepper (optional)

- Preheat oven to 375

- Trim the tough ends off of the brussel sprouts and slice in half

- Toss the brussel sprouts in a little olive oil and roast face down on a baking sheet for 25 - 30 minutes, until they start to brown. Little leaves of the sprouts may get very dark, this is fine, the burnt bits are delicious!

- In the meantime, cut the bacon into lardons (little strips) and saute in a pan

- Remove bacon from pan, cook raw pepitas in the bacon fat remaining in the pan until they begin to swell and pop

- Return the bacon to the pan. Squeeze the juice of half of a lemon into the pan and swirl it around.

- Pour the dressing over the brussel sprouts, season with pepper and taste to see if you need salt (this will depend on how salty your bacon is). Continue to roast for 3-5 minutes.

- Serve and enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. Wishing you good food and the love of family and friends!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Almond Milk

I've been participating in a "Get Healthy" challenge at work. It's a weekly team challenge in Biggest Loser style without eliminations. I've gone back to logging my foods which is always a great thing for me to do. Over the last 5 weeks I've lost 5 pounds and am feeling and looking better! The two main dietary issues I've been focusing on are eliminating gluten (it just doesn't sit well with me) and upping my protein intake as I know that my body likes protein. In the mornings I've been having a hard boiled egg for breakfast which keeps me full almost through lunch, usually with a couple of gluten free crackers and almonds in between. However, I've been concerned about what the egg a day might do to my cholesterol.

I was getting caught up on a couple of my Yoga Journal issues and came across some yummy smoothie recipes involving almond milk. I recently bought a giant bag of raw almonds on sale as well as a pineapple and couple of pomegranates and figured I might try making my own almond milk and alternating smoothies and hard boiled eggs for breakfast. It was surprisingly easy to do. I haven't had a chance to figure out the cost-benefit ratio of making versus buying, but I had pounds of almonds and time on my hands. In the coming days I'll share a few of the smoothie recipes I try out!


1 cup almonds
filtered water for soaking
3 cups filtered water
1 date

- Soak the almonds in filtered water overnight in a glass bowl or container in the fridge

- Squeeze the skins off of the almonds (this is easier than it sounds, they slip right off)

- Add the almonds, 3 cups of water and date to a blender and process until smooth

- Strain the milk through a cheesecloth or fine sieve

- Store in the fridge for 3-4 days

**I'm trying to come up with uses for the leftover almond pulp. Any suggestions would be welcome!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Curried Lentil Soup

Made this Epicurious recipe on Sunday. A nice, warm meal to get through a long evening of poll watching.

I hope you all voted today!


Olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
1 medium carrot diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 1/2 Tbsp curry
1 cup green lentils
4 cups water
1 15-oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1-2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Salt & pepper

- In a large pot or dutch oven, heat approx. 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the carrot and onion, season with salt & pepper and cook until onions become translucent, about 5 minutes.

- Add the garlic and cook until vegetables are softened, about 4-5 more minutes.

- Add the curry and cook for 1 minute

- Add the lentils and water, bring to a boil, decrease heat and let simmer for 30 minutes.

- Meanwhile, add the chickpeas, lemon, 1/4 cup water and 2 Tbsp olive oil to a small food processor and blend until smooth

- Add the chickpea blend to the soup. Continue to season with salt, pepper and curry as desired!