Wednesday, July 29, 2009

simple salads

image courtesy of the New York Times

Wednesday is my favorite day of the work week. Ok, just kidding, Friday is obviously my favorite day, but Wednesdays aren’t so bad for me either, mostly because it is the day that the New York Times updates its Dining and Wine section (and now that I am a West Coast gal, I love me some LA Times Food section as well). I usually snag 3 or 4 new recipes to store in my “Things I want to Make One Day” folder which probably should be called my “Things I Will Probably Never Have Time to Make but OMG They Look So Good” folder. I love when I see articles like Mark Bittman’s recent “101 Simple Salads for the Season". I love salad, especially during the summer, but I tend to fall into a rut and make the same salad over and over again, which, don't get me wrong, is totally delish, but can get boring. Hopefully this will help me out expand my salad horizons. Also, there are links to a bunch of homemade salad dressings. If you haven’t jumped on the homemade salad dressing bandwagon you just don’t know what you are missing.

I can’t wait to try:

39. Yucatecan street food as salad: Roast fresh corn kernels in a pan with a little oil; toss with cayenne or minced chilis, lime juice and a little queso fresco. Cherry tomatoes are optional.

76. Slice fresh figs — many, if you live where they grow — and top with crumbled bacon, balsamic vinegar (the best you have) and crumbled blue cheese.

99. Toss cooked quinoa with fresh sliced apricots, cherries, pecans, and enough lemon and black pepper to make the whole thing savory.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

eat well guide

Want to find a farmers market near you or a baker that uses local organic ingredients? Or maybe you are going on a road trip and want to avoid the mostly fast food options out on the road? Try the Eat Well Guide. I found a baker near my house that I hadn't known about, a few more smaller farmers markets in the area to supplement my big Sunday trip, as well as a ton of restaurants to add to my to-try list. After a little browsing, I found using the city, state as a search term instead of the zip code gave me more results.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


first harvest of patty pan squash from the garden. cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, radishes and beets on the way. my mind is already on expansion of quantity and variety for next summer. stir-fry on the menu for tonight. there is nothing quite like growing your own food.

Friday, July 17, 2009


The August issue of Gourmet was in today's mail. The cover recipe is the most delicious looking photograph I have ever seen. I want to eat the page. Lemon Ice Cream Sandwiches with Blueberry Swirl.

Jessica Mae, when you come to visit NEXT MONTH, will you puhleese collaborate with RKM and make these for me???

I'll be your bestie.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

images from the weekend, on wednesday

another attempt at making bread. not totally successful, but i think i am on the right track.

baby radish leaf, from a bunch of radishes from the farmers market. the realization that you can eat the radish greens made me sad for all the previous bunches that were tossed.

the perfect summer lunch. discovered my new favorite tomato, the red zebra. it's red with orange stripes. almost too pretty to eat. almost.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

it's offical. it's summer.

The first batch of the season, a delicious and creamy mint chocolate chip from my hero Alice Water's book The Art of Simple Food. I made a special trip to the store to get ice cream cones for Pete, my guess is they will be gone by the end of the week. What flavor to do next? Coffee or buttermilk?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Holler at our Girl

Rach was just featured for her amazing "Better for You" desserts in Philadelphia magazine's Health & Wellness section.

I'm blowing up her spot because she would never do it herself. In fact, our ABB readers likely don't know that RKM is the brains (and muscle and baker) behind Sweet Pea Nourishment's baked goods/desserts. Way to go Rach!

Carrot-Ginger Oat Cookies
From Rachel Myers, Sweet Pea Nourishment
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt, fine grain
1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup carrots, shredded
1/2 cup real maple syrup, room temperature
1/2 cup unrefined (fragrant) coconut oil, warmed until just melted
1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and oats in a large bowl. Add the nuts and carrots.
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk to combine the maple syrup, coconut oil, and grated ginger. Add this to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
4. Drop cookie batter onto prepared baking sheets, one tablespoon at a time, leaving 2 or so inches between each cookie. Bake in the top third of the oven for 12 to 14 minutes or until cookies are golden on top and bottom.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


I love granola, but I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to the crunchy stuff. I'm like Goldilocks (this one, not this one) in that my granola has to be just right, which means not too sweet, not too dry, not to boring. Metropolitian's is the indisputable best, followed by Grocery's. However, paying $8-10/lb for oats and dried fruit is a little tough for me to justify.

I consulted several cookbooks to find a recipe with a combination of oil and sweetener that felt right to me. Some recipes call for butter or oil in varying amounts. Ultimately, I loosely followed the Joy of Cooking recipe, using ingredients from my pantry. Results are amazing. I've been eating it plain, sprinkling it on my morning oatmeal and dreaming about putting it on yogurt. The best thing about the recipe is that you can use what you have, in the quantities that make sense for you. Love dried cherries? Add more! Hate walnuts? Leave them out!

This is definitely a permanent addition to the Bronstein catalogue of tricks. Maybe it will even be this year's holiday gift.

Granola, adapted from Joy of Cooking
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 cups old fashioned oats (not quick cooking - hint, buy from the bulk section of Whole Foods or other store)
1 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup roasted salted almond, roughly chopped
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
In a saucepan, heat oil and syrup on low heat, for about 5 minutes. Stir in brown sugar until dissolved.
Pour warm liquid mixture into mixing bowl and stir to combine.
Spread evenly on large cookie tray/baking sheet. Use 2 if necessary.
After 20 minutes of baking, check on granola every 5-10 min. You are looking for toasting and browning of all ingredients.
*Note, this recipe will not form a single "granola bar." Do not wait for that to form - if you do, the mixture will burn.
Store granola in air-tight container until you finish it and need to make a new batch, about 5 days.