Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Baby it's Hot Outside

Asian Coleslaw
It's hot and I don't feel like cooking. Summertime might be a city food-blogger's biggest challenge. Gone are the chilly afternoons calling for gloriously-warm baked goods and steaming pots of soup. Instead there's a muggy, sunny kitchen with no air-conditioning (on the 6th floor, I might add). In the suburbs, we would take all our cooking outside to the patio, grill meats and veggies by my family's pool, and take a refreshing dip before dessert. With its amazing and admirable qualities, New York City falls a little short in the "grill, patio and pool" category.

Catching up on the latest food news at our picnic.
I know I'm whining. I'm even starting to annoy myself. I truly have no room to complain because we had a fabulous holiday weekend filled with picnics, friends, sunshine, thrift stores and (of course) good food. Thank you to all the service men and women out there who protect our freedom on a daily basis!

Since it's too hot to cook, today's recipe is all prep and no cooking. Praise! Sunday afternoon we met with a group of friends at a nearby park to relax and play a little frisbee. It was a potluck style picnic and I wanted something quick and light so I turned to Asian Coleslaw. The slivered almonds and fresh cabbage provide a great crunch, while the vinegar and sugar pair well to make a tangy, refreshing dressing that's not heavy with mayo and can sit in the sun. (BTW Rachel Ray said that the whole "mayo-in-the-sun-salad-potentially-dangerous" idea is a myth. Call me crazy, but I'm not taking any chances.)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Easy as (Dinner) Pie.

Salmon Asparagus Pie
I think we'd all like to eat healthier but it can get expensive, and let's be honest, kind of boring. Organic, local, and farm-raised are all worthy, admirable causes but they ain't cheap.

And then to top it all off there's this little thing called motivation. It can be my best friend or my worst enemy. Cooking healthy is a lot more work than prepared boxed foods. I know nuking a plastic tub of Bob Evans mashed potatoes is way easier than chopping and boiling up a fresh side dish. So what's a gal to do when on a quest for healthful and easy home-cooked dinner ideas? Today's recipe comes to the rescue:-)

Salmon and Asparagus Pie rocked my world this week (in fact, I made it twice!). I had a bunch of asparagus and 2 salmon fillets and was prepared to do my usual meat with vegetable side. Something in me rebelled. I just couldn't take the monotony anymore, and figured someone must have put this dynamic duo together in a recipe. In my search I discovered Salmon and Asparagus Pie. Sharp, creamy Swiss paired with eggs, chives and baking mix make one winner of a dish! And the added budget bonus? I ended up using only 1 fillet of salmon instead of my normal 2! This recipe stretched my weekly grocery budget just a little farther :-)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

If it Sounds Too Good to Be True...Epic Fail

Kitchen carnage...
Then it probably is too good to be true. It all started out so innocently. My husband and I are finishing up Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet. That means for 14 days, nary a carb (including fruit) has trespassed our lips. The other day, I happened upon this recipe for Peanut Butter Cookie "Dough" and Chocolate Fudge Brownie "Batter" made from garbanzo beans and low in carbs and sugar.

My heart leapt within me! I jotted down the ingredients, raced to the store, scrambled to make my purchases, took the stairs two-at-a-time back up to my kitchen (we live in a 6th floor walk-up btw), and like a frantic whirlwind whipped together this recipe. I was quaking in anticipation for Peanut Butter Cookie "Dough" and Chocolate Fudge Brownie "Batter." And then...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Simple and Sublime

Frozen Key Lime Pie
My first and only dessert post, Three Steps That'll Make Your Day  featured a simple and delicious recipe for flour-less chocolate cake. So far, that post received the largest, quickest response and the highest number of weekly views. I even had several people send emails or comments that they tried and loved this quick and easy four-ingredient dessert. I was surprised by the response! It got me thinking about what you, my dear readers, like to read on this blog. And according to the stats, *Girl From Scratch readers are busy, no-fuss chefs who like a fast and easy dessert. Sounds familiar:-)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Italy goes South of the Border.

Mexican Lasagna
I'll admit it. For 5 seconds this week, I thought I was a recipe genius. Upon careful review of the pantry, I discovered I had way too many boxes of lasagna noodles and a ridiculous amount of Colby- Jack cheese that I didn't want to spoil. 

And that's when it dawned on me: I could substitute the Italian herbs for taco seasoning, the mozzarella for Colby-Jack, and the Ragu for taco sauce. Mexican Lasagna! Stop the press. Call the president. Look out Food Network-I've just invented a new recipe.
People this one is for the history books. I'm a genius! (And extremely humble.)

Of course once I googled 'Mexican Lasagna,' I realized that I wasn't the first to  think of this concept. There are hundreds of similiar recipes out there. However mine IS one of the few to still use actual lasagna noodles and not tortillas... So there. (sticks out tongue)