Friday, May 29, 2009

Cauliflower Mac 'N Cheese

The other day I saw a clip of The View where Tyler Florence (my favorite chef from the Food Network) was trying to convince Whoopi (by far my least favorite co-host) to eat a vegetable. He made mac n' cheese with cauliflower puree, and I knew I had to try it. Although I'm often tempted when I see a good recipe, I never make homemade mac n' cheese because I know it's not the healthiest choice. My husband, in particular, shies away from anything that looks too creamy. (Except cream cheese frosting, of course!)

So—replace some of the cream with cauliflower puree? Tyler, you had me at hello.
In the end, though, I've gotta be honest—I'm not sure I'd make it again. However, if you're a big mac 'n cheese fan, I do think you should give it a try. It is a pretty darn decent replacement, and when it comes to fat and calories, it's a far better alternative. If I hadn't known it was cauliflower puree, I don't know that I'd have noticed.

But since I wasn't a huge mac 'n cheese fan before this recipe came along, I don't think I'll be adding it to my dinner rotation. :)

But hey, that's why I say this blog is to share my adventures in the kitchen! Not everything you try can turn into a regular. But trying lots of recipes definitely guarantees that your dinner rotation will grow.

Anyway, have a great weekend, everybody! Thanks so much for reading.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Eatsa Pizza :)

I love making pizza. It's an art. Granted, it's an art I'm still perfecting, but I'm getting closer every time I make it.

I've made about three other dough recipes lately, to see how the others fare against my tried-and-true. Three points for tried-and-true. I loooove this recipe. It's easy and only takes about 20 minutes altogether, which is a huge plus. But it also makes fabulous crust, with just the right texture in my book. Did I say I love this recipe??


1 1/4 cup warm water
1 Tablespoon yeast
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water.
2. Add sugar, salt, and 2 1/2 ups flour. Mix to form dough.
3. Add more flour (up to a 1/2 cup) if needed to pull together. Mix about 3 minutes.
4. Let rest for 10 minutes in bowl.
5. Let it rest for another 10 minutes after you've rolled it out.

Since I'm always improving my pizza-making skills, here are some of my latest tips. Refer to previous pizza post for more. (These assume that you've already been converted to the pizza stone.)
  • Preheat the oven for a good while. Get your oven HOT. I've been a too timid to crank my oven up to 450, but tonight I ventured to 435 and liked it better than normal. If it's good and hot, I think it crisps the very bottom of the crust without over-cooking the rest of it, meaning that the inside of the crust (as in, right below the sauce) can still be tender.
  • Cornmeal makes a huge difference. (Refer to the last paragraph of my previous pizza post.)
  • To jazz up the dough recipe, throw in some Italian spices, like oregano, basil or rosemary. It tastes delicious and makes the crust even prettier.
That's it for now. I'm sure I'll come up with more another time. Good luck with your pizza-making endeavors, and please let me know how it goes! I love to hear about what you're doing in your kitchen!

The little guy was a big fan. :)


Monday, May 25, 2009

Deli Roast Beef with Pesto & Havarti Cheese

I'm sorry, friends. I've been a bad food blogger lately. Why, you ask? Because I am in a food rut! I'm just not coming up with many new and tasty ideas, probably because for who-knows-why nothing sounds good lately! Not chicken, not beef, not much of anything. You'd think I was pregnant! (which I'm not!)

Anyway, I'm sure I'll snap out of it soon and be back to my normal nonstop baking, food blog prowling self.

For today, let me share with you what HAS sounded good lately. I'm pretty much obsessed with these sandwiches. I eat one for lunch every day.

The way I see it, you can't live in the Bay area without loving sourdough bread. I hadn't developed much of a taste for it before living here, but I have since grown to be quite fond of it. :) This sandwich was inspired by a sandwich I had at the Boudin Bakery once with my friend Amber and our kiddos. So glad I can make this version at home!!!

Here goes...

Deli Roast Beef with Pesto & Havarti Cheese
2 slices sourdough bread
1-2 thin slices of deli roast beef
1 teaspoon pesto, slathered onto bread
2 tomato slices
1 slice Havarti cheese (or whatever you have on hand!)
freshly ground black pepper and coarse salt

FYI, I use San Luis Sourdough Cracked Wheat bread (2 grams of fiber per slice), which I've found at Piazza's and Trader Joes.

Hope you enjoy this simple sandwich as much as I do! And hopefully it won't spoil you for all other foods, as it seems to have temporarily done for me...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

A few nights a week we eat vegetarian dinners. I wish I could claim that it was entirely for health reasons. (You know, eat red meat sparingly...) While that is a factor, our main reason is because we're cheap! For us, this recipe works as a main dish, packed with both veggies and flavor. But it also makes an excellent side dish, paired with flank steak or grilled chicken.
Balsamic Roasted Vegetables
1 zucchini, sliced into half-inch pieces
1 small butternut squash, cubed
2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into bite-sized pieces
3 yukon gold potatoes
1 red onion, quartered
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (Last night I subbed the fresh thyme for 1 tsp. dried)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  1. Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and herbs. Add fresh ground pepper and sea salt.
  2. Toss the vegetables with the dressing, and let sit for about 10 minutes.
    Spread onto a large baking sheet.
  3. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes in a 450 degree oven.
(Before going into the oven)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Broccoli Raisin Salad

I can thank BYU's cooking class for this recipe. (Man I loved that class.) It's full of varied flavors—broccoli, raisins, walnuts, bacon pieces—with a tangy sweet dressing. To me it's the quintessential bridal/baby shower salad. :)
Broccoli Rasin Salad
Serves 6

1 large head briccoli, washed and trimmed
1/2 cup chopped onion (I use red for color)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 pound bacon, crisped and crumbled (I use 4 slices)

3/4 cup low-fat mayo
2 Tablespoons vinegar
1/2 cup sugar

Whisk together the mayo, vinegar, and sugar for the dressing. In a large bowl, pour dressing over salad ingredients and combine well. Refrigerate for a few hours (or even overnight) to soften the broccoli.

**I only make half the dressing recipe, and I think that is just enough for one head of broccoli.