Thursday, May 17, 2007

wine and cheese, for dinner

I had one of those "too lazy to make dinner" moods the other night; so I poured myself a glass of cabernet sauvignon/merlot wine and had it with sliced cheese and granny smith apple for dinner. I have these nights once in a while but I am posting about this particular one because I really enjoy a bottle of
Frontera's Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot from the Concha y Toro vineyard in Chile.

I used a jalapeño pepper cheese (monterey jack or habañero would also work). The spicyness in the cheese compliments this smooth, medium bodied wine. The wine has a slight dark fruit flavor with a hint of spice in the background. Next time, I will have grapes or plums with it to excite my taste buds, even more.

This was a quick and easy dinner after a long time. And just perfect!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

leftovers are my favorite

When I have any kind of leftovers, I either reach for the tupperware or freeze the food. Nothing EVER goes to waste in my household (with an exception to forgotten and lost vegetables in the fridge). I am so particular about this even the hubby takes only the amount he plans to eat.

Few days prior, I made Mussels with Cilantro Cream sauce at my parent's house and we had sauce leftover that did not make it into our bellies. Sadly, we didn't have bread that night to mop up. Before everything was thrown to waste, I bought whole-grain French baguette and made Garlic bread with a Cilantro sauce.

The garlic and olive oil make it really scrumptious. Use your favorite extra virgin olive oil, this is the time to bring out the best of the best.

Garlic Bread with Cilantro Cream sauce

One whole grain French
1/4 cup of cilantro cream sauce
1 garlic clove, halved
Extra Virgin Olive oil
Parmesan cheese, optional

Cut French bread into slices, broil for 5 minutes. Rub half of garlic on the bread and drizzle extra virgin olive oil, generously. Broil for 2 more minutes; this will heighten the flavors of olive oil and garlic. Remove from oven, drizzle Cilantro Cream sauce evenly on all slices. Add parmesan cheese, if using. Serve immediately.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

scalloped potatoes

I used to make scalloped potatoes often but lost interest after I discovered my love for mashed potatoes. Nothing personal to either dishes; the whipped buttery taste won me over sliced baked taste. If given a potato slicer (or something like it) for a present, I'd go back to loving scalloped potatoes. But for now, my heart belongs to..... ok ok enough already, you say.

When I saw Elise's version of the potatoes, I was inspired to make them before it was too warm to turn on the oven. She's a great cook and I used her recipe as a guide to my perfect scalloped potatoes.

Scalloped Potatoes

3 medium russet potatoes; peeled, par-boiled and thinly sliced
1 cup Swiss cheese, grated
3/4 cup milk
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon all purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter, cubed and divided
Red pepper flakes, to taste
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375F degrees.

Par-boil potatoes in a medium pot of salted water. While potatoes come to a boil, thinly slice onion, grate cheese and stir milk with onions, flour, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Prepare baking dish by buttering the dish with 1 tablespoon of cubed butter. Remove potatoes from the hot water and allow to cool. When cool, thinly slice potatoes.

Spread one layer of sliced potatoes on the bottom of the dish, add 1/2 tablespoon of cubed butter, 1/2 cup of Swiss cheese and 1/4 cup of the milk mixture. Spread second layer of sliced potatoes, add rest (1/2 cup) of the cheese and 1/4 cup of milk mixture. Spread last layer of sliced potatoes, finish with 1/4 cup of milk mixture and 1/2 tablespoon of butter.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 35 minutes. Uncover foil and bake for additional 20-25 minutes until bubbling on top.

Yields 4 side dish servings

Eating healthy is important, right? Yes it is! In the past few months I've been eating healthy (or have tried to), walking around the office building to get my daily exercise (or think about it, doesn't that count?) and pushing myself to increase my daily fiber, omega and protein intake. While browsing for healthy foods and healthier lifestyle one day, I came across a
site that really promotes all of this. The host holds weekly ARF (Antioxidant Rich Foods) events, so she’s not messing around. It's a good way to remind us health foodie wanna be's on how to maintain a balanced and healthy diet. Not so bad right? We’ll see…. This is my first entry to the event and I hope to continue submitting in future.