Month: June 2015

Travels and Tastes

IMG_2201

My trip began at this tasty eatery in Phoenix. A small chain out of Colorado that does it right. Great decor, very tasty food, vibe, music, servers. All good.

There's something about traveling that makes me want a Bloody Mary. There's was stellar...very herbaceous.

There’s something about traveling that makes me want a Bloody Mary. Their concoction was stellar…very herbaceous and spicy.

Sweet Potato Pancakes with Maple Syrup and Candied Pecans. YUM.

Sweet Potato Pancakes with Maple Syrup and Candied Pecans. YUM.

on to Sedona…

Not a bad view from the hotel. Nice craft cocktails and view that is mesmerizing. Three cocktails later, I was glad my room was within walking distance.

Not a bad view from the hotel. Nice craft cocktails and scenery that is mesmerizing. Three cocktails later, I was glad my room was within walking distance.

Nice Quinoa Salad. Perfect afternoon snack while gazing at the big red rocks.

Nice Quinoa Salad. Perfect afternoon snack while gazing at the big red rocks.

Took Oak Creek Canyon Drive to Flagstaff. Beautiful.

Took Oak Creek Canyon Drive to Flagstaff. Beautiful.

The Grand Canyon…

IMG_2228 IMG_2224

IMG_2238 IMG_2233

I have never heard so many different languages spoken in one location. Truly an international destination. Awesome and humbling.

On to Palm Springs with a stop in Jerome and Prescott…

20150610_105807

Prescott, Arizona is a happening town. Great courthouse square with shops and funky cafes. I enjoyed “The Blue Cat”.

Palm Springs is an oasis in the dessert. Took a great architectural tour and dined in several good places. The standout was Johannes. Delicious meal.

Palm Springs is an oasis in the desert. Restaurants, nightlife, mountains and a mid-century vibe. Took a great architectural tour and dined in several good places. The standout was Johannes. Delicious meal.

On to San Diego…

Coastline at La Jolla. Delicious lunch at George's with a good friend. Spectacular view.

Coastline at La Jolla. Delicious lunch at George’s with a good friend. Spectacular view.

Best fries ever! Really. Leroy's Kitchen in Coronado. Had two orders. Location of the mammoth and famous Coronado Hotel.

Best fries ever! Really. Leroy’s Kitchen in Coronado. Had two orders. Loved strolling the streets and neighborhoods in Coronado. Pricey real estate. Fabulous weather.

California bounty…

20150613_102705 20150613_102737 20150613_102930

20150613_103110

Farmer’s Market in Little Italy. Overflowing displays of gorgeous, organically raised vegetables. Cheese vendors, bread makers, baristas, taco vendors, beer on tap, musicians, gorgeous flowers…so much for the eye and appetite. A MUST DO.

BALBOA PARK…amazing…1200 acres of urban green space: fountains, gardens, museums, theaters, restaurants and the famous San Diego Zoo.

IMG_2270

Most of the buildings at the park were built for the opening of The Panama Canal. Beautiful, ornate carved stone.

IMG_2272

IMG_2274

IMG_2286

San Diego Museum of Art

The Emmy winning Globe Theatre. Three performing venues.

The Tony winning Globe Theatre. Three performance venues.

IMG_2302

IMG_2301

Beautiful succulent garden.

Beautiful succulent garden.

So many roses.

So many roses.

Who could't spend the day here? Had a nice lunch at The Prado. Lovely patio dining.

Who couldn’t spend the day here? Had a nice lunch at The Prado. Lovely patio dining.

AND MUSIC!

AND MUSIC!

Spreckels Organ Pavillion. Patriotic fervor from the pipes. Soon to be the world's largest outdoor pipe organ.

Spreckels Organ Pavillion. It was Flag Day and I heard patriotic fervor from the pipes. The instrument is soon to be the world’s largest outdoor pipe organ.

I guess you can tell that I was most impressed with this park. Such a treasure. Anyway, back home now and back in the kitchen. More recipes coming!!!!

Advertisements

Omega 3 Super Salad

(recipe serves 4-6)

Now serving at High’s….

*5 ounces mixed greens

IMG_2186

*3 hard-boiled eggs

*1 pound new potatoes

IMG_2180

Boil potatoes until just tender. Use a generous spritz of salt and 2 T of white vinegar to cooking water.

*5-6 radishes

Mandolin works best. Using a fork to hold the radish may spare your finger tips.

Mandolin works best. Using a fork to hold the radish may spare your finger tips.

*1/2 pint of cherub tomatoes, halved

*1/2 red onion, thinly sliced and rinsed

IMG_2179

*1 small package of French beans, blanched

Drop beans into salted boiling water. Once the color is vibrant green, remove beans to an ice bath. Once cooled, dry beans on a paper towel-lined baking sheet.

Drop beans into salted boiling water. Once the color is vibrant green, remove beans to an ice bath. Once cooled, dry beans on a paper towel-lined baking sheet.

*1 can of boneless skinless sardines, packed in oil

Bought these at COSTCO. Delicious....REALLY.

Bought these at COSTCO. Delicious….REALLY.

*2 T capers

*1/3 C kalamata olives

*1/4 C of chopped parsley

IMG_2181

*Lemon Oregano Vinaigrette

*Lemon wedges

Prepped earlier in the day for service that evening.

Prepped earlier in the day for service that evening.

IMG_2187

Lightly dress vegetables first. Break up sardines and sprinkle over the top of the salad. Add chopped egg, capers, olives and parsley. Add a generous amount of cracked pepper and a spritz of salt. Lemon wedges garnish. Saltines, anyone? Pass the Fume Blanc!

Vegelicious

First and foremost, ALWAYS FRESH!

First and foremost, ALWAYS FRESH!

High’s delicious veggie sandwich:

*cucumber, thinly peeled

Peel skin. Cut thin strips with a peeler. Sprinkle salt on strips and wrap in a paper towel to absorb moisture.

Peel skin. Cut thin strips with a peeler. Sprinkle salt on strips and wrap in a paper towel to absorb moisture.

*thin slices red onion, rinsed and dried (use a mandolin)

IMG_2178 IMG_2179

*sliced ripe tomatoes

*sprouts

*baby spinach

*smashed avocado

Smash a ripe avocado with a fork. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a pinch of salt.

Smash a ripe avocado with a fork. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a pinch of salt.

*a schmear of cream cheese or highmade hummus

* a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette

*cracked pepper and salt

*whole grain toast

IMG_2192

A S S E M B L Y    R E Q U I R E D 

  IMG_2193 IMG_2195

SO SATISFYING!

SO SATISFYING!

Green Eggs and Ham

(serves 4)

1 large zucchini, diced
1 large yellow squash, diced
1 red bell pepper, trimmed up and diced
1 medium-sized eggplant, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced small
1 pint of cherub tomatoes

6-8 garlic cloves
1/2 C olive oil
4 slices of rustic sourdough bread, cut in half

3 ounce package of fresh basil
Zest of half a lemon
1 C olive oil

4-5 slices of prosciutto

4 extra-large organic cage free eggs
olive oil for basting

For the oven roasted ratatouille: Place vegetables and tomatoes in a bowl and toss with olive oil. Arrange vegetables on two foiled-lined baking sheets that have been sprayed with non-stick spray. Use two sheets so  that the veggies are not crowded. Generously season with salt and pepper and place into a preheated 450 degree oven. Roast for 12 minutes. Rotate and roast for an additional 12 minutes or so until the edges of the vegetables begin to brown. You will need to use a spatula to move the veggies around for even cooking. Remove and cool.

IMG_2145 IMG_2156

IMG_2159

For garlic oil: Place garlic cloves and olive oil into a small sauce pan. Cook over low heat until garlic softens and turns golden in color. Add cloves to the cooked vegetable mix and generously brush sourdough bread with garlic oil. Place bread into a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 12 minutes. Rotate pan and bake for an additional 12 minutes or until golden and crisp.

IMG_2149

IMG_2151 IMG_2152

For lemon basil oil: Place ice and water in a mixing bowl. Bring a sauce pan of water to a boil. Place basil leaves in a strainer with a handle. Dip leaves into boiling water for five seconds. Remove leaves to the ice bath. Once cooled, place leaves on a paper towel. Place another paper towel on top and gently blot the leaves until dry. Place basil in a blender. Add zest, a pinch of salt and 1 C of olive oil…not EVOO. The oil stores well in the refrigerator for several days.

IMG_2143 IMG_2144 IMG_2154

For prosciutto: Place slices of prosciutto on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Place pan into a preheated 375 degree oven. Book for 12 minutes. Rotate pan and cook for an additional 10 minutes or so until crisp.

IMG_2128 IMG_2131

IMG_2134

For service: Place sourdough toast on a plate. Spoon ratatouille over the toast. Place a sunny egg on top. Break up a slice of prosciutto and sprinkle on top of the egg. Drizzle with basil oil.

IMG_2167

Broccoli Salad

(recipe serves 4-6)

IMG_2142
1 package of broccoli florets
1 package of baby carrots, peeled and sliced thin on the diagonal
Half of a red onion, thinly sliced, rinsed and dried
1/2 C of golden raisins
4 strips of applewood smoked bacon, cooked crisp and chopped
3/4 cup of toasted pecan pieces
Zesty French Dressing
Salt and pepper to taste

IMG_2146 IMG_2147

IMG_2157

Fill a mixing bowl with ice water. Add broccoli florets to a pot of salted, boiling water. Leave in the pot just until the vibrant green color occurs. Using a slotted spoon, immediately remove broccoli to the ice bath. Thoroughly chill. Remove florets from the ice bath and place them on a towel-lined sheet pan.  Place in the refrigerator for thorough drying. Once broccoli is dry, slice it thinner and combine it with the remaining ingredients. Dress with Zesty French dressing and season with cracked pepper and salt. Serve immediately. If holding, leave off bacon and pecans and add those prior to service.

IMG_2164

Strawberry White Chocolate Cheesecake

(recipe makes one 9” cake or 8 individual cakes)

no baking required!!!

For crust:

1 1/2 C graham cracker crumbs
1 stick butter, melted
1/4 C sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Place crumbs in a bowl. Add sugar and salt and mix well. Melt butter in the microwave. Add vanilla into melted butter. Add butter mix to crumbs. Mix well. Press crumb mix into pan or pans that have been sprayed with non-stick spray. Place in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

IMG_2132 IMG_2137

For filling:

7 ounces white chocolate broken into pieces
1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
1 C powdered sugar
1 1/2 t vanilla bean paste
Zest from half an orange
Zest from one small lemon

IMG_2135 IMG_2136

1 C heavy cream

IMG_2138

3 T strawberry jam

IMG_2139 IMG_2140 IMG_2141

Melt chocolate in the microwave. Use 50% power and melt in 10 second intervals. Careful not to over heat. Let melted chocolate sit on the counter while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add cream cheese. Make sure it is room temperature. A couple of seconds in the microwave can assure this. Beat until smooth and void of lumps. Sift powdered sugar into the cream cheese and blend well. Add vanilla bean paste and zests. Mix until well combined. Add cooled white chocolate and blend. Once combined, remove cream cheese mix to another bowl. Clean mixing bowl.

In the stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk the cream until firm peaks form. Fold about a third of the cream into the cream cheese mix. Incorporate using a folding technique. Add remaining whipped cream and strawberry jam. Fold to mix. Place filling into graham cracker crust(s). Chill in the refrigerator for 4-5 hours or overnight. They will hold nicely for several days.

For service, unmold and add additional strawberry jam as a topping. Gently warm jam with a few drops of water to reach a spreadable consistency. Slice strawberries on top.

With the addition of whipped cream, the texture of the cheesecake is very light and airy.

With the addition of whipped cream, the texture of the cheesecake is very light and airy.

Recipe lifted from Food & Wine.

I used individual baking molds. For information on those, check out the recipe for Lemon Blueberry Cakes.

Another thought on this idea would to substitute bittersweet chocolate for the white chocolate and omit the lemon zest. Use more orange zest instead. Chocolate cookie crumbs for  the crust would work too.