Saturday, January 11, 2014

A Long-Awaited Play With Your Food Day

We have been itching to cook more and the schedule is finally easing a bit for a bit, so after a store run, we held court in the kitchen for a fair part of the day.  We re-arranged the pantry, purged the fridge and pulled out condiments that just weren't working for me anymore to kick them up a bit.  Threw one bottle of underwhelming "calorie-free" ranch dressing in a bowl and woke it up with garlic pepper and a few hits of Sriracha to take to work with some freshly-peeled carrots.  I used my spankin' new West Virginia cutting board from hometown hang the Greenhouse, as WV was heavy in my thoughts what with this horrific chemical spill the southern part of the state has been dealing with.

Finally, we were ready to cook.  I find it somewhat sad that we own these gorgeously overstuffed shelves of cookbooks, but ended up finding our ideas online as of late.  We are indeed social media junkies, so it isn't surprising, but still a bit disappointing.  Keith chose the entree and side from Pinterest ideas...I got the salad from Twitter.  The salad came from  I was looking for a healthy spinach salad; not the version with hot bacon dressing (much as I love it).  This one is called the Super Seven Spinach Salad and it was beautifully easy.  Seven ingredients: spinach, apples, dried cranberries, red onion, slivered almonds, cheddar cheese and poppyseed dressing.  The recipe called for Fuji apples; we used Jonagolds, as that's what we had and they worked great.  In fact, that's one of the reasons I chose it: I had most of the ingredients on hand.  We loved it, doubled the recipe in order to eat on it all week, and you can find the recipe here.  The first Pinterest recipe was a Mushroom-Asiago chicken from the What2Cook site.  The pan-fried chicken with the creamy asiago and mushroom sauce with fresh thyme was delicious and you can find that one here.
We paired that with the second Pinterest recipe: cheesy cauliflower cakes from A Good Appetite site (recipe here).  These crunchy cakes with cheddar and cayenne were a beautiful thing and healthier (and tastier) than a lot of potato cakes I've had.
We thoroughly dug this dinner tonight and it made for plenty of leftovers which I like for take-to-work grub.

I didn't ignore those cookbooks entirely, however.  I cracked one of our newer ones; Artisan Pizza and Flatbread Pizza in 5 Minutes A Day.  We had enjoyed great success with another cookbook by these authors called Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day.  Dr. Jeff Hertzberg and pastry chef Zoe Francois have created super-fast recipes with no-knead dough that makes seriously superior bread (check out their website).  They also offer tons of gluten-free and whole-wheat alternatives. What we have made and sampled so far have gotten nothing but raves.  Keith got Harry and David smoked salmon as a holiday gift from a coworker, so I decided to make the Scandinavian Salmon Flatbread with Capers and Dill.from the artisan pizza book.  We mixed up rye flour, regular flour, kosher salt, yeast and warm water and let the dough rise for two hours, then put it in the fridge for a few days.  We will make the flatbread next weekend, so stay tuned...

So good to play with our food again!


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