Happy Blog Birthday

Dinner with David + 365 days ago = birthday blog! One year ago I started blogging about what took place in my kitchen on busy weeknights. That evolved into a challenge of incorporating Farm Fresh to You deliveries into dinner planning, which has taken on a life of its own.

While I still whip together meals to wind down after a busy workday, I’ve started really enjoying cooking on Sundays. I pick out my recipe in advance, spend time thinking of the tweaks based on what’s actually in my cupboard, and spend Sunday evening cooking and blogging about it. I’ve learned new techniques and worked with unique ingredients like kale, and made more batches of risotto and butternut squash soup than I thought I ever would.

One of the most exciting things about this whole experience has been the response from friends, family and followers. I love hearing that I’ve inspired someone to try a new recipe, or simply shared in the joy of food. It’s one of my favorite things to talk about, and everyone has their own unique viewpoint and legacy in the kitchen.

To celebrate my blog birthday, I’ll be posting some of my favorite techniques… starting with fruit! Since David and I don’t eat up the seasonal fruit in our kitchen fast enough, I’ve created many ad lib recipes by cooking fruit with meat. This week I came up with a couple of new approaches, inspired by one of my favorite recipe resources: Everyday Food.

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  • Saute sliced, halved apples in olive oil; toss with honey and serve over pork chops (or pancakes/french toast for breakfast!)
  • Poach chicken breasts in homemade veggie broth or low-sodium chicken broth; add orange slices once chicken is cooked through and simmer for a few extra minutes
  • Roast pork chops with sliced apricots; drizzled with honey
  • Add peeled, grated apples to ground turkey to make extra moist (and a little sweet) meatloaf or meatballs

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What’s your favorite way to use fruit and meat together?

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Surprise Pairings

Meatloaf + mashed potatoes = no surprise. Chardonnay + dried apricots? Mmm. The last two nights have been slightly scrappy – using leftover ingredients, I’ve stumbled upon some pleasant pairings of flavor and texture:

  • Last night, I added chopped celery, onion and grated apples to ground turkey to make a deliciously moist meatloaf. (See apple discovery here)
  • Tonight we had creamy mashed potatoes with the leftover meatloaf. Always a very complementary combination of tastes and texture.
  • The chopped celery also made a nice addition to creamy spinach salad – adding a refreshing crunch to each bite.
  • For dessert, we had dried apricots which left a sweet, tart aftertaste that created a delicious palate with a swig of Chardonnay.

Sometimes it’s the little things!

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Shout-out

Local wine + local cheese = 🙂 Last night we participated in a delightful wine & cheese pairing at the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay. While the imported Alfred Gratien Champagne and Pierre Robert Triple Creme were incredible, I was pleasantly surprised by some of the local producers:

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