The Cheesecake Addiction

My Life in Food

Archive for the tag “kale”

Fancy Fish and Cookies

Hey guys!

I’m kind of in a hurry to clean my room for the cleaning lady tomorrow (oh come on, we all know that chestnut) SO, I’ll try to make this as brief as possible–with little heart-felt yammerings.

Yammerings: This week I started my new job as a nanny, and it was a little rough, but mostly pretty great. The paycheck was nice too. Still looking to fill five more hours of childcare and/or personal assistant work on Thursdays…so please feel free to hit me up (I know, not so heartfelt). I had a wonderful girl’s lunch with Gabs and Em on Thursday and it was exactlt what all of us needed. Two whole hours of laughter. And yesterday, I saw A Christmas Carol and Paul was my date for the evening. He even accompanied me for late night tacos. Thanks, bud. A little bit each day, I feel like I’m a little less on the crazy train. A little bit. Please note that as I say this, I have six GIANT sheets of blank paper strewn about my room that I have to turn into backdrops for the Christmas pageant. There’s a million canvases and articles of clothing thrown around and between me and the computer screen I have: a toiletry bag, a Victoria’s Secret perfume box, a journal, Nine Kinds of Naked, two pill bottles (left over from the pneumonia), an inhaler, sheet music, a notebook, an old mp3 player, insurance papers, a necklace, a hair clip, Pier 1 reed diffuser fragrance, and about $8.50 in change (dimes and pennies). So. A while still on the crazy train.

BUT. On Friday night, I decided that I would make CDR a fancy date-night dinner. I decided that the menu would be grilled salmon, orzo-stuffed tomatoes, and a kale, spinach, and red pepper saute. All in all, pretty fantabulous. We paired it with a delightful pinot grigio (but keep in mind that with salmon, you could really go either way–white or red) and enjoyed ourselves on a makeshift indoor picnic blanket.

Oooh la la, que bueno!

Oooh la la, que bueno!

To make these dreamy little balls of heaven (pretend I came up with something better to say), you simply hollow out tomatoes and sprinkle them with a little S&P. Reserve the liquid from the tomatoes, because you can use it to cook the orzo (or rice, or cous cous, or whatever). In a small saucepan, toast two tabelspoons of butter, 1 sliced shallot, and 1 clove of garlic. When the butter has melted, add 1 1/2 cups of orzo and lightly toast. Pour in the tomato liquid and chicken stock and cook orzo until done (about 8 min). Make a breadcrumb topping by combining breadcrumbs and a variety of herbs (I used parsley, basil, and rosemary) with salt, pepper, and olive oil (HINT: also add some parm. I was out of cheese, so I couldn’t do that part). When the orzo is done, stir in half of the breadcrumb mixture and fill the tomatoes (you’ll have orzo left over for later). Sprinkle the tops of the ‘maters with the rest of the bread crumb mixture, drizzle with a little bit more olive oil, and throw them under a low broiler for a few minutes. Delish, is really all that I can say.

It didn't even taste healthy!

It didn’t even taste healthy!

For the kale and spinach mixture, first chop a shallot and a clove of garlic and bring it to temperature with a bit of olive oil and butter (1 1/2 TBL total). Also, if you’d like (and I liked) add 1/2 tsp of red chili flake. Then add 1 sliced red bell pepper at saute 2 min. Add one bunch of kale and one bunch of spinach (this stuff wilts down to almost nothing, so if you’re cooking for more than 2, be sure account for that), and saute until it wilts, but still has a bit of a bite to it. Sprinkle in a dash of nutmeg, too. It brings out the flavor of greens.Now, for this salmon–I went a little outside my fish comfort zone. Usually, I just like to drizzle with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper it and be done with it, because I like to keep the fish as pure and as simple as possible. BUT, I thought, what the hell? Make it herbacious, right? So, about ten minutes before I threw it on the grill, I slathered it with some honey mustard, basil, parsley, rosemary, salt, pepper, and a little bit of lemon juice. Slathered may not be the right word…because I definitely just lightly coated it. Threw it on the grill 4 min a side (I took it a little far. 3 min a side would have been better) The flavor was unbelievable and the skin was crispy.

Look how yumy!!

Look how yumy!!

This has CDR's stamp of approval!

This has CDR’s stamp of approval!

Now, with Friday night’s successful dinner, I thought I’d make fancy Christmas cookies on Saturday morning. They really aren’t that fancy. They’re sugar cookies with some chopped rosemary. Couldn’t be easier. Everyone has their own favorite sugar cookie recipe, so just use that and add about 1 tablespoon of chopped FRESH rosemary, and it gives your cookies a wonderful pine, Christmas flavor.

I wish YOU a Merry Christmas!

I wish YOU a Merry Christmas!

So maybe this year we give Santa a little sophistication and leave him some nice rosemary-sugar cookies. They’re delectable, and quite perfect for those of us that want to feel a little grown-up this Christmas.

Make enough for reindeer!

Make enough for reindeer!

Ciao, guys. I have a room to clean.


Recaps, Plans, and Bus Rides

Four. That’s how many Starbuck’s there are in the O’Hare American Airline terminal. Four. Just saying.

I’m writing this from the Peter Pan bus line, on my way to Woods Hole on Cape Cod. The flight passed without much incident, except for the bro-iest take-off ever and the bickering flight attendants. Already, as I settle into the familiar bus seats, I’m feeling a sense of ease wash over me. Going home (or at least one of my homes).

So, there quite a bit of food to recap. Earlier In the week, I made a huge pot of white bean and chicken soup with kale. See the process below. Start with onions, shallots, garlic and celery sautéing over medium-high heat in olive oil and butter. Also, add some fresh thyme and bay leaf to the mix. Salt and pepper as you go along. Add potatoes and the chicken (I let the chicken marinate in salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, and some cream for several hours). Next, to thicken I added about 1/4 cup of flour, stirred it in, and cooked it for a few minutes before deglazing the pan with some white wine. Add a can of crushed tomatoes and enough chicken stock to cover all the vegetables. Cook for about half an hour (until potatoes are cooked through). In the last ten minutes, add the white beans (2 cans) and some kale. Serve with delicious garlic, parm crostini. Yum.

CDR and I also made a home made pizza a few nights ago. We used one of those prepared store-bought crusts (whole wheat, thin crust). I doctored up some jarred red sauce with wine, chili pepper, and garlic. We spread the red sauce on the crust, leaving an acceptable border. Then we topped the red sauce with garlic, green peppers, broccoli (extra broccoli, extra good), and lots of fresh basil. Then came the cheese: mozzarella, Romano, and Parmesan. Sliced white onion, pepperoni, and even more fresh basil on top of that. Bake at 450 for about twelve minutes…and of course, garnish with basil.

For Saturday’s block party–CDR made bratwursts. He simmered them first in beer, peppers, and onions before I tossed them on the grill. We toasted up buns and served with some mustard seed cheddar cheese (find it at Trader Joe’s) and the peppers and onions. Pictures coming.

We also tried a wine called Vinho Verde at the request of thewinegetter. Thanks so much for that rec. It went very well with cheese and crackers. It also had a very nice effervescent quality, which typically I don’t like. But I liked it here…maybe because the wine wasn’t very sweet.

And breathe. There’s the food recap. I want to take a moment now to thank all my readers and followers (whether you’ve been here from day one or are a new follower). This blog has helped keep me sane. And I know that in the grand scheme of things, this summer is but a rough moment…but damn, it’s been a ROUGH. So thanks for coming back. You’re awesome. And please, follow in Mr. Winegetter’s footsteps and offer your culinary suggestions. I’d love to hear your thoughts and favorites.

I have a long bus ride ahead (not quite long enough to do any emotional damage), but with each passing mile, I’m getting closer to some peace of mind and an ocean. Thanks for stopping by.









It’s a photo blog!

Hey everyone!
It’s been a few days. Tonight, I will attempt to roast a chicken (and I will succeed).
But it has certainly been a food-filled couple of days. Yesterday, while baby sitting I made kale quesadillas…and got little Janine to eat them. We also made really yummy vegan brownies. Lots of fun.

And a couple days earlier, I made a Mexican feast! Marinated flank steak, lemon-cilantro rice, peppers and onions, and mango avocado salsa. I won’t lie to you. I rocked the shit out of that night’s dinner. See below.

So, a more heartfelt blog post is coming at you either tonight or tomorrow. Tomorrow morning I have an interview for a part time teaching position at a preschool. I’m wildly excited and horribly nervous, but hopefully I’ll have good things to report. Last night was a wonderfully therapeutic night out with friends. We caught up and laughed and seethed about the happenings of Summer 2012. I hope you enjoyed the photos, people. Back soon.







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