Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Doing the Harlem Truffle

Truffle Fries
If the title of today's post got you excited about dessert truffles, sorry to disappoint. Today we're talking about fungus:-)

recently went to this little beer garden in Harlem that had the most amazing Truffle Fries. Tossed with roasted garlic, shaved Parmesan and then drizzled with truffle oil, I knew I had to try and recreate these at home. A truffle is a type of mushroom, and truffle oil is infused with the robust, earthy flavor of the truffle mushroom. It is popular in pasta dishes and soup to round the flavors. Simply delicious.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Going Green

Dill Pesto with Orzo Salad
Leftovers and global warming have a lot more in common than you think. I have a very green solution for your environmental woes: pesto sauce.

I don't really know what precipitated this, but lately the *Girl From Scratch household has taken an interest in being "green" and not wasting so much. This applies to food and grocery stuffs along with clothing and resources. It's been interesting to monitor our grocery budget and see the amount of food that gets wasted from being forgotten in the back of the fridge. Not good for the environment or our wallets.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Holding Out for a Gyro

Before I share today's recipe, some breaking news: *Girl From Scratch joined Twitter! There are so many little fun things to share-- blog updates, and you know, the latest nail colors. For occasional extras in 160-characters-or-less, get your bite-sized fix by following @GirlFromScratch.

Lemon-Chicken Gyros
w/ Homemade Tzatziki 
This week I am still suffering from it's-hot-and-I-don't-have-any-motivation, so I turned to my kitchen BFF, the Crock-Pot. When I'm too busy to watch the stove, she works tirelessly all day, like my own personal live-in cook. And in the summer, my Crock-Pot cooks a hot meal without raising the temperature in the entire kitchen. If you can't stand the heat, go ahead and stay out of the kitchen! Crock-Pot will get the job done.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mangoes, Margaritas and Mom, Oh My!

Mango Bruschetta with Raisin Bread
It's difficult to stay connected with close friends in this busy, bustling city, so I decided to start a monthly ladies night called Margarita Mondays @ Mamasushi (a sushi place around the corner). Nothing formal, just some fun female bonding-- a chance to stay updated on each others' lives. It just so happens that for this first ever Margarita Monday @ Mamasushi, my mama was visiting from the good ol' Bluegrass State of Kentucky (and boy was she ready to live it up with all of us ladies!)

Strawberry Margarita
To cut costs, I decided to serve the margaritas at my apartment first before we walked to the sushi restaurant for dinner. So, of course I couldn't resist using these ladies as guinea-pigs for this new appetizer recipe. 
I first heard about Mango Bruschetta with Raisin Bread Crostini on one of those stressful competitive cooking shows. I fell asleep before the end so I never got to see how it was made, but in true *Girl From Scratch fashion, I improvised, and it turned out just fine. The sweet ripe mango sings with the purple onion and salty warm raisin bread. I was a little nervous at first because I had never really used a fresh mango, but wow! I have a feeling this will be my fruit of choice all summer. So good.

Mango Bruschetta with Raisin Bread Crostini
Cast of Characters: Raisin bread, mangoes, purple onion, red bell pepper, parsley. (Not pictured- Pantry items: Vegetable oil and crushed red pepper, olive oil and salt.)
Slice raisin bread.
Peel mango.
Dice mango, red bell pepper and purple onion and combine in bowl.
Add crushed red pepper.
Add vegetable oil.
Brush olive oil on bread.
Sprinkle with salt and toast in oven for 10 minutes.
Coolest new find! Raspberry-shaped ice mold. Fill with berries and ginger ale and freeze.
A perfect summer appetizer.
Nail Color: Sally Hansen "Lickity-Split Lime"

Margarita Monday was a success! I encourage all of you this summer to take a little time to enjoy the people in your lives. It's so worth it. To quote my friend, "You had me at margaritas..." 

Mango Bruschetta with Raisin Bread Crostini
1 1/2 Mango petite diced
1/4 red bell pepper petite diced
1 small purple onion petite diced
1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper
1 T veggie oil
parsley to garnish
Slice bread, place on baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Toast for 10 minutes on 375.

It was fun to try a new recipe with my friends. Next time I might try cilantro, papaya and jalapenos with maybe a little chili oil. The fruit is pretty sweet so don't be afraid to use bold flavors to balance it out. What do you guys think? Any other fruits or flavors to consider?