Archive | September, 2012

Turkey Chili

18 Sep

Today was rainy, and stormy. I felt like making something comforting and still healthy. Using turkey is a much better option and you can’t even taste the difference. This chili is so good and practically made itself —

Turkey Chili

Ingredients
1.5 pounds lean ground turkey
1 sweet onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans
1 can (15 ounces) black beans
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
2 tablespoons chili powder
dash of paprika
2 tbsp parsley
2 tbsp cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
In a big stock pot, throw in the chopped onion, garlic, celery, and turkey. Brown on medium heat until the turkey is cooked. Use a fork to separate the turkey if there are any big pieces. Drain excess fat. Add the peppers, and the rest of the ingredients. Cook on low heat for 2-3 hours. Serve with tortilla chips, cornbread, or with cheddar and sour cream. Enjoy!

M.S.

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Avocado Salad

18 Sep

Avocados are delicious. Seriously.. my brother is an avocado hater! how is that possible? I don’t. get. it!!!

They’re so healthy too. Did you know that? They are a power food and a “good” fat!

My family makes them several ways. I will post below!

Version 1
4 avocados mashed
dash of lime juice
Salt to taste

Version 2
4 avocados mashed
1 hard boiled egg diced
salt to taste

Version 3 (my personal fave)
4 avocados mashed
1 sweet onion, diced
dash of lime juice
salt to taste

We serve it in bowls and leave it out with pita chips or bread for spreading. I made myself a sandwich today as I had avocados handy and some leftover challah bread! Sooooo easy. Try it!

M.S.

Rosh Hashanah Apple Cake

15 Sep

Last year, when Dave and I were living in Florida during his first year of residency, I came across a great Jewish food blog that I’ve been using to reference a lot of things on high holidays. One of them was this apple cake. Since we’re back in an area where we can see our families, we are celebrating the start of Rosh Hashanah tomorrow night. Traditionally, apples and honey are used to symbolize having a “sweet new year”, as Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year.

Apple Cake
(link to recipe)

Ingredients
3 cups of AP flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 ½ cups no pulp orange juice
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp lemon juice

For the apples and topping
5-6 apples sliced thinly (only use baking apples like macintosh)
2 ½ tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup granulated sugar

Instructions
Peel apples and slice thinly, mixing with 1 tbsp lemon juice in a large bowl to prevent browning. In a small bowl, mix the cinnamon sugar topping mix together by adding the cinnamon with the sugar as seen above under apples and topping. Set aside.

Mix dry cake ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. In another, mix the wet ingredients together. Add the wet to the dry and beat until smooth. Pour half the batter into a greased 10 inch tube pan with a removable bottom.

Sprinkle with a little less than 1/2 of the cinnamon sugar. Arrange half the apples with half of the juices, if any, then sprinkle with a little more cinnamon sugar. Repeat layer again, batter, sugar, apples, sugar. You may have some apple leftover. Be sure to cover the top layer well as the cake will separate a bit from the edges while baking.

Bake at 300 degrees F for 90 minutes or longer until a toothpick comes out clean and the top is browned. Let cool completely as the juices from the apples need to be absorbed by the cake before being removed from the tube pan.

*this cake actually tastes better the next day; the juices from the apples flavor the cake further.

Its really delicious, and perfect for the holidays! Shana tovah u’metukah!

Camera 360

Camera 360

-M

Engagement

9 Sep

So guess what?

I got engaged! Here’s my wonderful story…

11 am-5:45 pm – Lounging around the apartment playing video games (literally, looked gross all day and didn’t suspect a thing. apparently he was sweating all day)

6:00-7:15 pm – Showering and getting ready for our evening out for dinner to celebrate my new job (yeah, that happened too! i got a job working for a great company in NYC)

7:30-9:00 pm – Dinner at Perla in the city, foie gras for appetizer, arugula salad with pistachios, oriechette with sausage and pesto (like my recipe!), and Dave got the lamb breast and wine.. we had a great time, the place played old 80’s hip hop and we talked about how happy we are to be back in NY, both working, and finally settling in. We’re also going on vacation tomorrow to Bar Harbor Maine just to relax a little. It was a wonderful dinner.

9:00-10:00 pm – We went to eataly (mario batalis market) and got Hazelnut Pistachio Gelato. This is significant because we did this when we first started dating a lot… i walked in, and dave immediately stopped me because he said he “left his wallet in the car” and had to go get it. We got gelato when he got back, and he wanted to go outside. I was like, no!! its drizzling and wet! hes like its fine we have an umbrella.. So we walked over and sat on a bench in front of the flatiron building in madison square park. I just sat there, enjoying the sights and refusing the eat anymore gelato.

He put down our gelato, and started getting all serious on me saying, you’re my best friend, I would never want to spend my life with anyone else, and at that point i knew what was going on, and looked at him in that, OMG whats going on face. He got down on one knee, and proposed with the most beautiful ring!!

After tons of hugging and kissing and crying, Dave wanted to go to his favorite bar, Flatiron Lounge, for a celebratory drink. Little did i know, my parents, his parents, and my brother and his fiance were there waiting for us with champagne and flowers. How awesome is that!??!?

I had the most wonderful week. I celebrated my birthday the week before, got a job offer, and got engaged to my best friend in the whole world.

Hints of the night i realized later:
*He DROVE into the city, he said he wanted me to be comfortable since it was raining and i was wearing heels. He never drives into the city!
*He asked me to bring my camera
*He dressed up real nice, and wore cologne and he NEVER does. i was like, whaaaa?
*At dinner, he asked me to keep the cork from our wine

P.S…. look at my ring!!!!

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M.S.

Lamb Stew

9 Sep

I got this new amazing fontignac french oven for my birthday. I just have to say that in comparison with a Le Creuset, for the cost, these are great quality and the food comes out so delicious.

To this day, this is my #2 best thing i’ve ever made. Seriously…. holy…. wow!!!

Lamb Stew – adapted from thekitchn.

Ingredients
2 pounds stew lamb, cut in chunks, could use any type of meat instead (with or without bone, we deboned it)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 onions
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons fresh sage
8 cloves garlic
1 big carrot, peeled
Olive oil
2 cups red wine
1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
1 28-ounce can peeled whole plum tomatoes

Instructions
Pat the lamb chunks dry with a paper towel. Liberally coat the lamb chunks with salt and pepper and set aside. Peel and coarsely chop the onions, and chop the garlic. Chop the carrot into thin rounds.

Place an oven-proof Dutch oven or heavy stockpot over medium-high heat, and add olive oil to cover the bottom thinly. When oil is hot, add the lamb and brown deeply. Don’t overcrowd and do this in batches if necessary. Don’t worry about drying out the meat — you want it browned darkly for good flavor. (I usually brown for at least 6-10 minutes)

When the meat is thoroughly browned, add the onions and garlic. Lower the heat, and cook slowly over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the onions are golden. Add the rosemary and sage, and the carrots. Reduce heat to medium-low and sauté until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.

Add wine and balsamic vinegar and continue to simmer until liquid has reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Crush the tomatoes in the can with a fork or back of a spoon, then add them and their juices to the pot. Bring to a simmer, then cover and place in a 275-degree oven for 3 to 4 hours. Alternately, put everything in a slow cooker and cook for 4 hours on HIGH or at least 8 hours on LOW.  The longer it cooks the more tender it will be. Season with salt and pepper. I would recommend serving with mashed potatoes as it creates more decadence, flavor, and texture.

This smells SOOOOO good, too. I made it again for my parents with 1/2 filet mignon chunks and 1/2 lamb!

M.S.