Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The breakfast project

An easy (yet delicious) one:
Mash a ripe avocado, add a little squeeze of lemon or lime and salt/pepper to taste. Spread on some whole wheat toast... YUM!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

French Onion Soup

I don't know what I am more excited about - the fact that I made a delicious French onion soup or that I bought these beautiful gratin dishes...
Let's say it was the soup, which turned out awesome!

Ingredients:
1/4 cup butter
4 onions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
5 cups of beef broth
1/2 cup white wine
1 French baguette
8 ounces gruyere cheese

Directions:

Melt butter or margarine in a 4 quart saucepan. Stir in sugar. Cook onions over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Stir in flour until well blended with the onions and pan juices. Add wine and beef broth; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low. Cover soup, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Cut four 1 inch thick slices of bread from the loaf. Toast the bread slices at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) just until browned, about 10 minutes. Reserve the remaining bread to serve with the soup.

Ladle soup into oven-safe bowls. Place 1 slice toasted bread on top of the soup in each bowl. Fold Gruyere cheese, and fit onto toasted bread slices. Place soup bowls on a cookie sheet for easier handling.

Bake at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 10 minutes, or just until cheese is melted

Delicious!
I can't wait for Vidalia Onions to be in season so I can try this soup with Georgia's own sweet onions!...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Go baby go

Nice weather could only mean one thing... The reignited desire to take on the bicycle without the training wheels. Miss V has been working hard at it in the past (see previous post here) but this time around she had no hesitation. She got on the bike and just went...


and again the next day...

Of course that also meant sometimes she fell and tears were shed... The bruises on her legs are badges of honor. I am so proud of her.
Side note: Sometimes I wonder to myself if all this documenting is getting a little out of hand... But then I think that years from now I will be happy that I did it.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Menu for the week

Green lentil soup/Salad
Spaghetti and meatballs/Rolls/Salad
Chicken pot pie with cornbread crust - Recipe from here/Salad
Goulash soup/Salad

Breakdown:

Aldi/Kroger $35
Costco $16

The challenge continues - This is week III and still going strong. (Check out the menus for Week I and Week II).

I also wanted to share another favorite salad. It is perfect for those {not quite Summer} days when tomatoes and cucumbers are not in season (or when the harsh winter ruined the tomato crops so we have to do without). See another favorite salad post here.

For the salad:

Bed of baby spinach
Dried blueberries (These can be a little pricey... You can find them in Aldi on a seasonal basis so if you see them there, get them. They have the best price I've seen).
Crumbled feta cheese
1 avocado chopped
Nuts (I like almonds, walnuts or pecans)

For the vinagrette:

Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
1 small Garlic clove, minced
Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
A pinch of sugar

Directions:

In a small bowl whisk together all the ingredients except the olive oil. Pour the olive oil slowly until the vinaigrette has emulsified.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A deal at the store

I took an unscheduled trip to a new supermarket to check what I heard was amazing low prices. I also heard the produce came from local farmers, so I definitely had to go. I have to say it did not disappoint. They did not have a great variety of produce like Super H Mart but they sure have very fresh produce and very reasonably priced. I will be going back, for sure.

Something I like about it is that when fruits and veggies were starting to not look their best, they significantly reduced the prices... I don't care if a couple of eggplants are a little bruised here and there when 5 more in the bag were perfectly fine... And the whole bag for a dollar?... You can't beat that.

... Enter, the mangoes

The pack of 3 mangoes for $1. Seriously? Just a little soft, perfect for smoothies... which I made and it was fabulous

All you have to do is remove the peel, cut and blend with some water (add sugar if necessary, these mangoes were plenty sweet, no sugar necessary). Put through a sieve and serve...


As it turned out, once I cut into the mangoes they where perfect, I did not have to use them in smoothies, I could have used them for mango salsa, fruit salad, or Asian barbebued pork wraps (a recipe I have been dying to try).

So, if your supermarket offers better prices for the produce that are not looking perfect, go for it... Great way to save up some money.

I'm going back to the store this week... If I find some more mangoes I will be making some Lassi... I can't wait. Stay tuned for that post.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The breakfast project

We have decided to eat more organic/cage free eggs. But being that they are a {lot} more expensive than regular eggs we are going to have to diminish the consumption (which is hard for us since we usually eat eggs everyday for breakfast). That being said I am going to try to come up with healthy and filling breakfast ideas. As I find them I will be posting them here... So, if you are interested, make sure to come back to check them out and maybe try them for yourself. If you have ideas for filling and healthy breakfast feel free to share it here.

I am starting today with Pumpkin pancakes (recipe from here)
Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon, ground ginger, and salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
A pinch of ground cloves
1 cup milk
6 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree (this is a seasonal item. I stock when the go on sale after Thanksgiving. You can find the large cans for $1. I use what I need and freeze the rest for later)
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 egg

Preparation:

Whisk dry ingredients. In a separate bowl stir together the wet ingredients. Fold mixture into dry ingredients. Melt some butter in a skillet over medium heat; pour in 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Cook pancakes about 3 minutes per side; serve with butter and syrup if desired.
This recipe is amazing friends... So yummy. They almost taste like pumpkin cookies. Double the recipe and freeze them for your kid's breakfast. You know, for when you are running late for school in the morning... You'll be happy you did.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pictures from the weekend

Even though Spring did not start officially until Sunday, Saturday felt like Summer to us here in the ATL. Yes friends, Summer!!!... I'm not ready for those Southern Summers, not yet...
Anyway, we decided to pack a picnic lunch and head to the Chattahoochee Nature Center for a little dose of nature.
Flowers on trees, little buds everywhere


We learned a lot about injured birds that are being rehabilitated at the center

All in all a lovely day.



I hope you had a good weekend too!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Menu for the week

Onion and crab souffle (recipe from here)/Salad
Stuffed meatloaf/Wild rice
Curried vegetables/Basmati rice
Tuscan white bean soup/Salad

Breakdown:

Aldi/Kroger $38
Costco $8
GW of GA $9

Week II

The eating-the-food-you-already-have-in-your-pantry-or-freezer challenge continues... I'm on a roll friends! So far so good... Are you giving this a try?

Note to self: As I am doing this challenge, do you think I need stick to my shopping list?... Well, when your local store has rotisserie chicken on sale for $3.99 and I have a coupon for $1 off, you tell me, can I pass that up? I think not! I plan to get at least three meals and some really good stock out of this chicken...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rösti

We have finally mastered the art of making Rösti!... (Not that you care but this is big for us, I mean, me!). Ever since we tried Rösti on our trip to Switzerland we have been trying to make it at home, with no success... The key is to have a non stick pan... Who knew?

Ingredients:

1 pound yellow-fleshed potatoes such as Yukon Gold
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preparation:

In a large saucepan cover potatoes with salted water by 2 inches and simmer until tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. Drain potatoes in a colander and cool. Chill potatoes, covered, at least 4 hours and up to 2 days. Set a four-sided grater in a large bowl and coarsely shred potatoes into bowl.

Season potatoes with salt and pepper, tossing mixture with a fork. In a 9- to 9 1/2-inch nonstick skillet heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1/2 tablespoon oil over moderate heat until foam subsides. Add potatoes, spreading them evenly and tamping them down with a rubber spatula to form an even cake. Reduce heat to moderately low and cook rösti until underside is golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Slide rösti onto a large plate. Invert another large plate over rösti and invert rösti onto it. (Browned side of rösti should be on top.) In skillet heat remaining tablespoon butter and 1/2 tablespoon oil over moderately low heat until foam subsides. Slide rösti back into skillet, browned side up, and cook until underside is golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.

Slide rösti onto a serving plate

Even better with a pan fried egg on top.
I could eat one of those right now!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bakers' twine

I have been coveting beautiful baker's twine for awhile now but most times they come in large rolls and I often talk myself out of buying it because I don't think I can possibly use so much. But I so love the colors... They are just so pretty.
Picture from here

Every time my parents come to town they bring me a roll of plain baker's twine. I love it but the color is off-white. So boring...
The other day I decided to intensify the dull color of a black shirt by dyeing it. That's when I thought to myself, what if I dye some of the bakers twine too?... Here is the result:
I love it! I am having all kinds of ideas in my head. I could take one of the rolls and dye them in every color possible... Colorful bakers twine for cheap! Sometimes I just amaze myself at how smart I am :)

See an idea of how to use bakers twine here

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Citrus honey tea

I have been a little sick (for the second time in a four weeks period... urgggg). My friends Lucy and Tracy told me about this Korean citrus honey tea... It is so delicious... The citrusy flavor will make your cold go away and make you feel so much better!

If you are local here in Atlanta, you can find it here.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pictures from the {last} weekend

A rainy weekend meant a trip to the museum
We saw some art we could not understand (try explaining to your child that beauty is in the eye of the beholder... Not easy!).
and some (really awesome) Toulouse-Lautrec
After a fabulous lunch at Fox Brothers we had a little impromtu photo shoot... Who could pass up a colorful mural?... Not me!
PS. This weekend I can not help but to think of the horrible tragedy that has hit the country of Japan. The images are disturbing... Our thoughts are with them in this difficult time.

PSS. Check out the studly pictures of my husband as he ran the Tough Mudder Race. He wore a homemade flag of Japan in support of the earthquake victims. Check out the write-up on his blog.