I got a new cookbook this week – Everyday Food Light! It’s the third in the series of Everyday Food cookbooks from her royal highness, Martha Stewart. I have all three and I’ve subscribed to the Everyday Food magazine for years so they are my go-to resources for recipes. I still mix things up with family recipes, favorites and websites like Epicurious, but Everyday Food recipes are my favorites. I always know they will be reliable and simple, which makes them easy to tweak here and there to fit my own style. Enough Martha love.
The first recipe I tried was the Soy-Glazed Tofu and Carrots. I used tofu from Honolulu and the carrots and scallions were from local farms – yay! I also mixed things up a bit because I haven’t totally replenished my pantry since the move. Instead of vegetable oil and sesame oil, I used “gourmet” garlic oil, which I got in a Christmas gift pack. I also substituted white vinegar for the rice vinegar. And it still turned out great!
This recipe was interesting because it was similar to a stir-fry but broiled instead. After marinating the veggies, you just lay them out on a baking sheet and broil. I love cooked carrots, but I’m also super picky about them since there’s nothing worse than mushy cooked carrots. These turned out perfect – and tasted almost like they were grilled. I will definitely make this recipe again.
Every year my husband and I try to visit at least 50 new restaurants. Thanks to check-ins via Foursquare and Facebook, it’s now super easy to track these new locations. We hit 50 new places by May this year! This post inspired me to make a list of my own. Here goes:
- Pizzicato – The Puttanesca with artichoke hearts, feta and kalamata olives is yum.
- Timberline Lodge – We had three meals here. Best hot chocolate in America, I guarantee it.
- Pambiche – You had me at plantains. Desserts are fanciful.
- Meat Cheese Bread – Green bean sandwich is delish.
- Sweatpea Baking Company – Good vegan cookies, hold the attitude.
- Jam – Ty’s Big Breakfast, please! My favorite breakfast place of 2011.
- Oasis Café – Meh. But husband liked the calzone though.
- McMenamins on Broadway – Pass, I think we had a Groupon.
- Rimsky-Korsakoffeehouse – Not my style. At all!
- Kettleman Bagel – Mmm, mmm lox.
- Veritable Quandary – Great, under-the-radar brunch spot.
- Savoy – We hit the happy hour. Deep fried cheese curds were darn good.
- Bumblekiss – Take it or leave it. Maybe it’s because I have a ping pong table at home? 😉
- Fuego de Lotus – Venezuelan food cart. Yummy but pricey.
- Pix Patisserie – One of those places I should have been to but hadn’t. Favorites are Shazam and Queen of Sheba.
- Nicholas Restaurant – Another Portland classic I’ve passed up. Great food, but I’ll take Ya Hala over Nicholas any day.
- Hollywood Burger Bar – Building and atmosphere = +5 hipster points. Food = greasy.
- Fenouil – Oh why did you close? I was just getting to know you…
- Byways Cafe – Acceptable but not remarkable breakie. Awesome wait staff though.
- Pastrygirl – Hands down, best cookies in Portland!!!
- Thai Chef (Maui, HI) – Do not go here!
- Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar (Maui, HI) – Go for the butterfish sushi, stay for the karaoke.
- Kihei Caffe (Maui, HI) – Best breakfast on Maui. Can’t go wrong with sweets or savories.
- Hula Cookies (Maui, HI) – Huuuge ice cream sandwiches.
- Star Noodle (Maui, HI) – The best restaurant on the planet. Seriously, my favorite. Everything is great, the share plates, Vietnamese crepe, malasadas…
- Honolua Store (Maui, HI) – Great sandwiches, and it might be the cheapest lunch you have in Maui.
- Julia’s Banana Bread (Maui, HI) – The little green banana bread house. Good bread and coconut candy.
- Fish Market Maui (Maui, HI) – Get fresh fish and a rub or marinade to go.
- Aloha Mixed Plate (Maui, HI) – Pass, just go to Star Noodle again.
- Maui Tacos (Maui, HI) – Go elsewhere, save yourselves!
- Flatbread Pizza Company (Maui, HI) – Just OK, but it seemed very popular so maybe worth another try.
- Aunty Sandy’s (Maui, HI) – Good banana bread, but not as good as Julia’s. 🙂
- Food trucks on the road to Hana (Maui, HI) – Not sure the name, but there is a parking lot of five or six food trucks halfway to Hana. A great find after hiking!
- Makawao Sushi & Deli (Maui, HI) – Average sushi, but you’re in upcountry.
- Charley’s Paia (Maui, HI) – Surfing cowboys and Willie Nelson love it, but I’ll pass.
- Oaks Bottom Public House – A mistake.
- Juan Colorado – Tualatin – Another mistake.
- Bunk Bar – I heard good things but was disappointed in my small, spendy sandwich and drink.
- Toast – Biked here and really liked it. Go Woodstock!
- Dove Vivi – Good cornmeal crust pizza.
- Gather (Berkeley, CA) – What a treat! We had a very special dinner here.
- farm:table (San Francisco, CA) – Great coffee, good breakfast. Only two food choices.
- Ghirardelli Original Chocolate Shop (San Francisco, CA) – You know you have to do it, but it’s not great. 😉
- Boudin Bakery & Cafe (San Francisco, CA) – Meh.
- Melt! (San Francisco, CA) – Cool North Beach location. Very chill.
- Murray Circle Restaurant at Cavallo Point Lodge (Sausalito, CA) – Dreamy, dreamy brunch. Oh happy day.
- Fish. (Sausalito, CA) – Favorite San Francisco dining experience. I had the fish special and it was amazing!
- Papalote Mexican Grill (San Francisco, CA) – Good burritos in the Panhandle area.
- Restaurant St Jack – I am disappoint. I so wanted to like it, but didn’t. The building is adorable though.
- Artemis Foods Cafe – Cute little Division coffee shop with friendly baristas.
Well, that wraps up my first 50 new restaurants of 2011. Happy noshing!
I hosted a dinner party for six with this vegetarian Cinco de Mayo menu. Shamefully, I was too busy cooking to take photos of my food!
We started with a simple wild greens salad with a citrus vinaigrette dressing. Then I served two soups: creamy corn soup and vegetarian tortilla soup, with garnishes of tortilla strips, scallions, lime, avocado, green pepper, cilantro, pepper jack cheese and jalapeno. The corn soup is from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food cookbook and it was super runny! I’m not sure I’d make it again, but thankfully there was plenty of food to go around and great garnishes so no one seemed to notice. I don’t have a “go to” recipe for vegetarian tortilla soup since I usually use up what I happen to have, but sometimes I combine this one and this one.
I also made a “chicken” taco casserole, a special recipe from Mr. Comma Happy’s mom. It’s bad for you, but a crowd-pleaser. We had several drink choices, but I think Mexican Coke and Jarritos are the only ones worth mentioning. The perfect dessert for this menu is churros with chocolate dipping sauce (including a kick of paprika and red pepper).
Overall, a great dinner party and something I need to plan more often. Who can resist a themed dinner?
Veggie overload. I am absolutely in love with in-season cooking during the summer. Why? Because almost everything is in season! This is a super quick recipe from Everyday Food (I have some similar ones from Epicurious). And since I had leftover corn on the cob from the weekend it was even quicker. Steps:
- Stand cooked ear of corn in a wide, shallow bowl. Slice and rotate until you have all the kernels off.
- Add a pint or two of cherry tomatoes, one avocado – diced, and 1-3 scallions – sliced.
- Stir together with the juice from 1/2 a lime, a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper.
My favorite thing about this recipe is you don’t need any measuring cups or spoons since proportions don’t really matter… just use what you have and it’s delish! I didn’t have scallions this week so I left them out and I doubled the amount of corn to use up what I had in the refrigerator.
I made this dish during World Cup to show my support of team Brazil. If only I had little tiny Brazilian flag toothpicks!
This meal has such a simple combination of flavors. The beets are the star attraction for me, but I also really like the black beans and cheddar. The Brazilian black beans recipe comes from the April 2009 edition of Everyday Food (and it’s been in my menu rotation since then).
A tip to cut down on the prep time (and fart quota*) is to soak the black beans… I usually start them soaking in the morning. Something I read said black beans really only need to soak for 2 to 6 hours because they are small beans. This really cuts down the cooking time!
For this recipe, I simmered the beets and beans together for about 45 minutes until the beets were done, then took the beets out and let the beans cook for about 15 more minutes before moving on to step 3 with the scallions and garlic. This cuts the total time in half so it takes just 1 hour, 15 minutes. The recipe serves six so it’s great if you want leftovers or extra beans for another dish later in the week. Enjoy!
* The first time I searched for instructions on soaking beans, I was amused at the number of websites and cookbooks willing to talk about farts and flatulence!