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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

This salad was a delicious and refreshing treat, especially now that spring is near and its getting warmer outside. I ate this as a one-bowl dinner, but it could be a lovely side dish brought to a potluck or cookout. Its filling and incredibly healthy. Yum yum yum.
Adapted from

2 cups cooked quinoa
1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 cup canned corn, drained
3/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1 small jalepeno, seeded & chopped
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped

Dressing Ingredients
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1 lime, juiced

Add all the salad ingredients to a large bowl and stir/fold to combine using a spatula, so as to not mush the avocado. Mix together the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to combine. Pour over salad and stir to incorporate. Refrigerate for 2+ hours before serving.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chocolate & Bailey's Truffle Pudding

I have wonderful friends. They are kind and hilarious and always have my back. My friend Stephanie (Stephanie's Blog) is one such friend. She is always helping me dream up ways in which we can quit our day jobs and open up a bakery and spend our days cooking, eating, and feeding people. Yesterday, she sent me a recipe that had my name written all over it, knowing that if I happened to overlook it, I'd be devastated. Within 2 minutes, my shoes were on, keys in hand, and I was walking running out the door to the grocery store. Within 20 minutes, I was back home and cooking. I'm no psychologist (...), but I think I have a problem.

The original recipe described this as a no-bake cake that you slice. Well, if thats what I was going for, my attempt was disastrous. It was impossible to slice, did not hold shape, and had to be scooped into bowls. But then, after my first bite, I realized that sometimes when recipes don't work out the way you intended they actually turn out better than you could have ever imagined. This is a WINNER. Elegant, smooth, rich, flavorful, silk. Perfection. Recipe from How Sweet It Is.

15 ounces milk chocolate
12 ounces heavy cream
4 ounces (1/2 cup) Bailey's Irish Cream

Heat the cream and Bailey's in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Do not boil. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring every 15 seconds until just melted and smooth. Once the cream is heated, remove from heat and pour in the chocolate. Whisk until mixture is totally incorporated and smooth- this could take 3-5 minutes. Pour into a bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 6+ hours.

Once ready to serve, spoon into ramekins, wine glasses, or martini glasses with a dollop of Bailey's whipped cream on top!

1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream
2 teaspoons sugar

Using an electric mixer beat together the cream and Bailey's. Once thickened, slowly add the sugar and continue beating until finished.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sausage Egg & Cheese "Bodega" Sandwich

Confession: I have this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad habit of prematurely turning my nose up at foods like this... I'm foolish in the worst way possible. Before even tasting certain foods, I've decided that they're too simple, or have too many processed ingredients, or whatever soap box I'm on that day. Its honestly terrible... I'm trying to get better, because I am wrong 99.99% of the time. Dead wrong. Hence my first experience with a sausage, egg, & cheese breakfast sandwich at a bodega in NYC. I was on my way to a museum one morning and a friend thought we should get coffee and split a sandwich from his corner bodega. Trying to be polite I said, "sure!'... but was thinking, "oh gross. a bodega egg sandwich? i'll probably take one bite and let him finish the rest."

Time stopped when I tasted that sandwich. And I've thought about it many times since. Lucky me that I stumbled upon a recipe for such a sandwich last week... even more lucky: I'm going to NYC in less than 2 weeks and am assured that the best bodega breakfast sandwich is actually on the corner of a different friend's block.

1 english muffin
1 teaspoon butter
1 egg, plus 1 egg white
1 1/2 teaspoons water
1 slice american cheese
1 patty breakfast sausage (I used turkey)
salt & pepper

Cook the breakfast sausage until cooked through (if you buy precooked sausage then just warm it up). Keep warm.

Meanwhile, beat the egg and water together in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper and stir. Heat a small pan on medium heat and melt the butter. Pour the eggs into the pan and swirl the pan to coat the whole bottom in a thin, even layer. Place the cheese in the middle of the egg and cook for about 1 1/2 minutes, or until cooked. Using a spatula fold the egg over the cheese like the fold of an envelope... continue to fold sides of the egg on top of the cheese, working clockwise (all together 4 folds). Cook for another 30 seconds.

Place on half of a toasted english muffin and top with the sausage and other half of the muffin (or one of those thin bagels would be good, too). Serve and enjoy!