Spiced Lamb Sliders

July 26, 2010

Spiced Lamb Sliders with Tahini Yogurt Sauce

I’m not a huge red meat lover. Aside from the occasional fillet or burger, I’m content to forget about beef. But lamb. Oy. It makes me swoon. And drats, I’m not the only one, it seems. Last year I could count on finding a decent stock of ground lamb or lamb shoulder at my local grocery. Nowadays I’m engaging in purse battles with Neighbor Nelly over the last lingering loin. It’s become somewhat of a hot commodity. Who told you it was so good?

I already gave you the run down on this lamb ragu, forever ago in March. And since, there’s been hearty lamb stew and fall off the bone lamb shoulder and ack! no photos to prove it. But believe me when I tell you they happened and they were glorious and ack! no photos to prove it. I can only test Kyle’s growling stomach for so long. At times I think he’d like to chuck my camera against a wall. Plus, not everything makes for pretty pictures. So yeah, hearty lamb stew and fall of the bone lamb shoulder, both of which resembled…I digress.
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tubers + beans

May 11, 2010

Sweet Potato Hummus

Sweet potatoes make everything better. And orange.

Hummus included.

I snagged this recipe out of a magazine before bothering to read the ingredient list. The title said it all.

It’s slightly sweet in a what-is-that-in-a-good-way sorta way. Think roasted red pepper hummus. But better. And crazy good for you. This totally opens a zillion doors. Next up, peas! And beets! And turnips, oh my! You know you’re a vegetable addict when…
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It’s the little things

April 17, 2010

Marinated Cremini Mushrooms

It doesn’t take much to make me really happy. A clean kitchen (heck, an empty dishwasher and sink will do it). Shoes that fit perfectly (I have terrible feet, you see). Discovering a forgotten pair of jeans (that I actually like) in the back of my closet. The aroma of fresh brewed coffee before I’ve really woken up (coupled with an errand-free Saturday morning is perfection). Swiffer dry cloths (if you have wood floors you know why). The high after a long run. A near empty peanut butter jar and a spoon. A glass of really good red wine after a really long week. The TV to myself along with a TiVo queue full of Project Runway and Chopped. The first open window drive home of the season. The way my hair looks and feels after a haircut (how do they make it so shiny?). And appetizers that don’t take much effort, like these here marinated cremini mushrooms. They make me happy, they do.

Is it just me, or does anyone else struggle with appetizers? When it comes to entertaining I am always at a loss for pre-dinner noshes, wrapped up in planning the main dishes and dessert, distracted with deciding which serving platters and bowls to use and focused on all of the other necessary logistics (Are there enough wineglasses, did I hang a fresh towel in the bathroom, did I remember to put on deodorant. You know, the usual). We tend to keep things simple. One main “thing”, like a cheeseboard, and a few supporting “things”. But sometimes the supporting “things” require a lot of last minute time and energy that I lack to wrap, stack, toast, roll or stuff. So stumbling upon appetizer recipes that require very little effort and less than 20 minutes of my time, and should be made hours, a day even, in advance makes me really happy. Like I said, it doesn’t take much.
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Homemade Greek Yogurt

March 17, 2010

Yogurt Cheese/Greek Yogurt

I caught Mark Bittman’s column today which reminded me of the batch of yogurt cheese I made last week. If you’ve never tried this before, and like Greek yogurt, give it a shot. We usually turn it into dips made with olive oil and the Middle Eastern spice blend za’atar (recipe included) or tahini, lemon juice and garlic. You can control the thickness and consistency depending on how long you allow the yogurt to drain. I usually drain my yogurt for 24 hours, yielding a cream cheese consistency. Draining for 8-12 hours would yield a consistency more similar to Greek yogurt. Omit the table salt if you enjoy Greek yogurt with sweet pairings, such as fruit and granola or drizzled with honey or jam. No special tools required, provided you own a colander, bowl and cheesecloth (or flour sack kitchen towel). It’s the easiest homemade cheese you will ever make.
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Shrimp, roasted

February 18, 2010

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

If I had to pick a favorite cooking method it would have to be roasting. Ok, maybe grilling. But around here, the charcoal grilling option is limited to about 6 months of the year, so roasting is our fail safe year-round dry heat method for yielding big flavor. A gas grill would likely expand the grilling option to about 9 months (even though nothing beats the flavor of a charcoal flame). But that is on my long list of “wants” which also includes a cook’s kitchen with a stone topped island and double ovens, and a pony (code for it ain’t happening anytime soon). So until then, we’ll roast our way through the winter months. Fine by me, especially when it comes to this roasted shrimp cocktail recipe we discovered about a year ago. It’s really more a method than a recipe. But after you realize how insanely simple and delicious this is, you’ll say buh-bye to pre-cooked rubbery shrimp and the poaching method. Forever.
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