Category Archives: Simple – 5 ingredients or less

Carrot Soup

Carrot Soup


I’ve been working with the wonderful and talented Selina Maitreya to complete my portfolio.  After going through all of my current images, we decided that I needed at least 15 more. One missing category: soup.

After our last meeting, we decided that I needed two soups: one creamy and one chunky. Today was creamy soup day. I spent the afternoon peeling and roasting carrots and then pureeing and straining.

The end result was very delicious. Think I need to work on the styling a bit more though. My cream swirls need some practice :)

Food photography is much more than shooting beautiful food. So often we need to be the chef and stylist too. It’s fun to wear so many hats!

 

Spiced Chicken Thighs

Here’s some more summer grilling goodness. If you can’t find boneless chicken thighs, ask your butcher to debone them for you or do it yourself (http://allrecipes.com/howto/deboning-a-chicken-thigh/).

Oh, and don’t leave the grilled thighs alone on the kitchen counter while you’re setting up your photograph. Especially if you have a cat. Apparently cats love them too :)

If you’re eating Paleo, just skip the yogurt on the side.

Recipe adapted from Donna Hay magazine.

Spiced Chicken Thighs
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish, Chicken
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • ½ tsp finely shredded lemon zest
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 2 tsp each, paprika, ground cilantro, ground cumin
  • 4 boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • Fresh spinach leaves and greek yogurt to serve
Instructions
  1. Combine the oil, lemon zest, juice, garlic and spices in a small bowl.
  2. Heat your grill or grill pan over high heat.
  3. Brush the chicken thighs with the spice mixture and grill over high heat about 4 minutes per side or until done.
  4. Lightly grill the lemon halves.
  5. Serve the chicken with the grilled lemons, fresh spinach leaves and greek yogurt.
Notes
If you're eating paleo or on a diary restricted diet, just skip the yogurt. It's delicious without it too.

 

Guilt Free Dessert – Yogurt Cheesecake with Strawberries and Pineapple Sauce

A refreshing dessert that’s good for you too.

 


Yogurt Cheesecake with Strawberries and Pineapple Sauce
Recipe type: Dessert
 
Plan ahead for this luscious dessert. The yogurt needs a minimum of 24 hours in the refrigerator before serving.
Ingredients
  • 1 32 oz container plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 3 cups unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 pint strawberries, sliced
Instructions
  1. Line a small sieve (5-7 in diameter) with 2 layers of paper towels.
  2. Place the sieve over a bowl.
  3. Stir the yogurt and scoop into the sieve.
  4. Adjust the paper towels to remove folds.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 24 hours. The yogurt with drain and thicken.
  6. Place the pineapple juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  7. Cook over high heat until reduced to about 1 cup. This will take about 30 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and let the sauce cool.
  9. Refrigerate the sauce until serving time.
  10. To serve, unmold the the yogurt by placing a plate over it and then turning it over.
  11. Remove the paper towels and use a warm knife or spreader to smooth the yogurt.
  12. Serve with sliced strawberries and the pineapple syrup.
Notes
I used Greek vanilla yogurt when I made this (you can see the black flecks of vanilla bean in the photo). I also let it sit in the refrigerator about three days before I could finish the dish. I di use paper towels, but cheesecloth would also work. Use a large pan for the pineapple sauce as it sputters quite a bit on high heat while reducing. Disclaimer: I've had this recipe in my file for a very long time and I do not recall it's source. I think it may have been in Oprah magazine.

 

Grilled Steak, Corn and Potato Kabobs

 

Parboil the potatoes and corn cob sections. Skewer corn, potatoes and steak. Brush with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper – then grill to rare steak nirvana. Dinner tonight:

 

And lunch tomorrow:

 

 

Chicken Caesar Salad

Lunch Break.

Pesto!

Citrus Season in Florida – Orange Arugula Salad

Bright oranges, tangy arugula, slivered kalamata olives and a drizzle of champagne vinaigrette. A Mediterranean inspired nod to Florida winter goodness. Next up – luscious Florida stawberries.

Rainy Day – Just Right for Cooking

It was a rainy day in South Florida.  I got some much needed beach time this morning even though it was overcast and a bit gloomy. Stormy weather is my favorite time to go to the beach – it’s a little wild and windy and a lot solitary.

 

 

When I got home from the beach, the cooking frenzy began. After a crazy work week last week and no time to eat home cooked, whole food meals, this week would be different. After shopping for everything I needed, I launched into a marathon cooking afternoon. Gluten-free pizza dough – pizza recipes and pics later this week. Free range roast chicken with fresh herbs and basil, basted with oregano, orange, and lemon infused olive oil I got at the market yesterday. Hot Italian sausage, potato, and kale soup. Turkey burgers with cranberries, mashed potatoes and green beans. My daughters’ childhood favorite and my favorite comfort breakfast food – shepherd’s pie – seasoned grass-fed ground beef, a few shreds of extra-sharp cheddar, topped with mashed potatoes laced with gobs of butter and cream – served with al dente green beans. Gluten-free apple cakes. Collard greens that will be a side dish for Southern shrimp and grits later in the week. Southern creamy cole slaw and chili spiced fish to make fish tacos. Slow cooked beef flank steak, shredded and dressed with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for a delicious lunch salad and tacos. And preserved lemons. I so want these to be ready now! But they take about 4 weeks to morph into tangy, heady, lemon deliciousness.

 

Preserved-Lemons-(jpeg-for-web).jpgPreserved-Lemons-2.jpgPreserved-Lemons-3.jpg

Thanks to Jules at Stone Soup for the preserved lemon recipe:

3 – 4 thick skinned lemons
extra lemon juice
6 – 8 tablespoons fine sea salt
1-2 bay leaves, optional

1. Sterilise a medium jar (with a good lid or seal) by popping in the dishwasher on the hottest cycle, or using your favourite sterilisation method.

2. Place the thick skinned lemons in a strainer and pour boiling water over the lemons to get rid of any dirt or bugs. Drain.

3. Chop a lemon into quarters, lengthwise.

4. Place a tablespoon salt in the bottom of the jar and pack in the lemon quarters, squashing them in to release as much juice as possible. Scatter with another tablespoon salt.

5. Repeat with the other 2 – 3 lemons, until the jar is full. If using the bay leaves, poke them in along the sides of the jar while layering.

6. Finish with a final tablespoon or two of salt. Cover with lemon juice.

7. Seal jar and store at room temperature for 4 weeks.

 

Fall = NY + Macintosh Apples

It’s Fall everywhere but in South Florida. The G-man came home with 2 bags of NY macintosh apples the other day. I think he’s feeling a bit homesick. He lived in upstate NY (way upstate on the Canadian border) many years before this Florida girl came into his life. I tried. Really I tried to live there. But the sunshine and the ocean are too strong a draw.

Anyway, fall was always mac season when the apples were abundant and the evening temps begged for warm, gooey, comfort food. It may still be 90 here, but the enticing aroma of spice baked apples brought back floods of memories of crisp fall nights and sweets baking in the oven. Ahhhhhhh.

Enjoy.

Baked Apples

Tart cooking apples, preferably macintosh

Brown sugar

Chopped walnuts

Butter (Kerry Gold from grass-fed cows)

Spiced Sugar (combine granulated sugar with cinnamon, allspice and cardamom)

Preheat oven to 400 F.

With a sharp knife, cut around the core of the apple from the top leaving the bottom of the apple closed. Using a small melon ball tool, scoop out the remaining apple core. This leaves a nice hollow place for the rest of the goodies. Peel around the top half of the apple.

Pack the hollow space with brown sugar and chopped walnuts.

Place a pat of butter on top os the apples.

Sprinkle with the spiced sugar.

Place in a baking pan or individual cast iron skillets and bake approximately 15 -20 minutes.

Enjoy straight out of the oven (we did for breakfast this morning) or serve with cream (poured or whipped) or a big dollop of vanilla ice cream.