March 30, 2012

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday. Instead of posting a recipe, I am sharing a few of my favorite kitchen items. I love the combination of colors. I bought the Infinity Retro Wall Clock last week, I could not resist it is so darn cute. I've also been sampling a few of La Tartine Gourmande recipes, and they are absolutely delicious.

1 - Le Creuset Signature 2 QT Round French Oven 2 - Infinity Instruments Retro Green Wall Clock
3 - La Tartine Gourmande Recipes for an Inspired Life 4 - Fishs Eddy Nut Bowl Set 5 - Waring Retro Green Blender 6 - Anthropologie Laguiole Turquoise Knife Set

March 28, 2012

Creamy Avocado Pasta

My cooking style can eloquently be summed up as: cheese before chocolate, put it in a sandwich and I'll eat it, and avocados and tomatoes are virtually inseparable. I believe that the pairing ability of avocados and tomatoes can be placed in the same category as apples and cheese, beer and pretzels, and pizza and wine. Delicious on their own, but even better paired. Did you know that avocados, or better known to the Aztecs as "butter of the forest", contain up to 30%  healthy fats. I've been on a total avocado kick for the last 6 months, and my hair has been feeling extremely shiny. It could also be the new shampoo I bought. I don't know.


March 26, 2012

Mango Papaya Salad with Cashews

Last night I saw the movie Hunger Games. Naively thinking this movie was about food, I felt myself on the edge of my seat when I realized it was about a hunt for survival. Initially, I thought this movie would be recreating my worst nightmare, being chased in the woods by teenagers and terrifying pit bulls with rabies, fangs, and the ability to run extremely fast. And then I quickly realized that this movie actually was recreating my worst nightmare. If it hadn't of been for the never ending  box of popcorn, and milk duds, I may not have survived the intense nail biting terror I felt throughout this movie. 

disclaimer - the flourishing foodie often feels intense unpredictable and often non-related feelings during movies. It is important to note that she did cry at the end of How to Tame Your Dragon. In no way should you take her opinion of the movie and form your own. It is very important that you see the movie for yourself and make your own judgements. It is also important to note that the Flourishing Foodie did in fact love The Hunger Games, and is extremely excited for the next movie, as long as there's popcorn.


March 21, 2012

Tomato Basil Risotto

I've finally stepped out of the risotto box. I'm experimenting with different flavors and textures. My staple, asparagus and cheese, has been neatly tucked onto the shelf, while I channel my inner creative nature. I had bought a bunch of basil and a small vine of tomatoes, planning to indulge in a margarita pizza. My instincts, food instincts different than real life instincts, told me that this would be a fine flavor combination for risotto. I've learned to always trust my food instincts, unless it involves caramel sauce, and then I pretty much put it on everything regardless of how I anticipate it to taste. Force of habit.


March 19, 2012

photography class with Clare Barboza

On Saturday, I took my first food photography class with Clare Barboza, documentary food photographer. Myself, and 5 others, spent the day in her gorgeous studio, amongst the most amazing collection of props, dishes, linens, etc. Quietly tucked away in Seattle's industrial district, sits the most studio/loft imaginable. Her space is a food photographer's dream.


March 16, 2012

Chocolate Chip Muffins and a Giveaway

I love Fridays, the sense of accomplishment that comes with a weeks end, and excitement for the days to come. Looking forward to St. Patricks Day festivities brings me some much needed joy. The weather looks splendid, maybe I'll do some shopping, or baking, maybe gardening. Whatever the weekend holds, I'm anticipating excitement. If you, like myself, are prepared to shower your friends with Irish themed treats, green beer, and Guinness infused cakes, the following list has provided me with some inspiration, arousing my creative side - my right side.

Chocolate Mint Nanaimo Bars - Flourishing Foodie, Guinness Chocolate Cake - Take a Megabite,
Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes - Bakers Royal, Leprechaun Cookies - Diamonds for Dessert, 
Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur - 6 Bittersweats, Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies - Two Peas and Their Pod


March 13, 2012

Soba Noodle Salad with Edamame

Today, the electricity went off. I'm not sure why, something about an ice storm?!!!!!!? At least my soba noodles had boiled, and my cabbage had been chopped. I sat in the dark, eating my salad, wondering what life would be like without electricity. And then, as always, the lights turned back on and the thought slowly left my mind. I was free to resume my day; internet, lights, and all.


March 9, 2012

Ginger Sandwich Cookies

Spots, streaks, splashes, flour, and butter are just a few things obstructing my vision today, as I've been busy in my kitchen trying to perfect a dynamite sandwich cookie. With little time to breath, let alone clean my glasses, it's been nothing but cookies for days. I've been experimenting with chocolate, pumpkin, cinnamon, and ginger. I've made butter cream, marshmallow puff, and cream cheese icing, madly trying to create the ultimate sandwich/cookie combo. To be considered an ultimate sandwich cookie, the ratio needs to be perfect. A perfect ratio of sweetness, chewiness, and creaminess. To accomplish this, one needs to be sweeter than the other, the cookie or the filling. I prefer a sweet cookie with a milder frosting, more cheesy than sweet. The cookie needs to be soft and chewy with a slightly crisp outer layer, to balance out the creamy softness of the filling.


March 6, 2012

Strawberry Avocado Salad

My life alternates between salads and dessert. I am currently in a salad phase. My fridge is stocked with an array of beautiful colors, fresh ingredients, and it brings me joy. Next week may be a dessert week, one can never tell. For this reason, I must always be prepared with a fully stocked pantry. Enough flour, sugar, and butter to make 10 pies. Really, one must always be prepared, but unfortunately this is a concept I struggle with daily. I have the inability to be prepared, unless it involves butter, sugar, and beer. Then, for some reason, I am always prepared. I am the neighbor who you can reliably count on for an extra cup of milk, or 1/4 cup of sugar. A pint of beer or two. 

In the kitchen, I am prepared. In life, a little less. I do insane things like forget to pack water and snacks on hikes. I often forget to eat. I plan multi day trips into the wilderness, and never intend to bring a map. There has been a few unprepared trips, which have led to one too many uncomfortable nights spent lying awake on a park bench. I once decided to buy a puppy, and I really didn't plan for that either.


March 3, 2012

Fresh Homemade Ricotta

I imagine that I look pretty amazing on a treadmill. I've never seen myself in a mirror or in person, but this is what I imagine. Me running with my arms flailing in the air, a displeased look on my face. I hate running on the treadmill, but I also hate running outside, so no bigs. Last week I felt my pants to be a little tighter. In an attempt to get back into them, I started running. I could've taken my bike out for a spin, or something cool like that, but to be honest, I am still terrified of those rail tracks. 

Ok, so treadmills are lame. We're basically running to nowhere, but we have to do what it takes to look and feel our best. I have come to terms with this. Last week while on the treadmill, I turned on an old re-run of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. In this particular episode, he traveled with his wife to her ancestral home of Sardina. In one of the clips, he watched as some local women created pane carasau, a thin and crisp flat bread which was originally conceived for shepherds. 

After preparing the bread, they all sat down with a few bottles of wine and some fresh pecorino. Energy deprived and completely sick of the treadmill, I decided to go home and recreate this Sardinian experience in my house, but foreseeing a major problem in this plan, the lack of wood burning oven in my kitchen, I opted for a quick and easy 'sorta' ricotta, with fresh bread and olive oil. Albiet, not quite pane carasau and fresh pecorino, but assuming this will quickly fix my immediate desire for Italy, I was content.