Posts tagged ‘simple’

October 22, 2011

Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

There’s a juicer in my house. Technically, I guess there are two. There’s a machine that you plug into an outlet then use a plastic plunger type tool to push the to-be-juiced object into the whirring blades. It hasn’t been used since my roommate, its owner, moved it. I don’t know when it was last used. I took it out to examine it as a candidate. I immediately put it back in the box and returned it to its storage location. It, obviously, has been used. And when last used wasn’t properly cleaned. I’m not sure why I’m divulging all this unnecessary, kind of gross information to you except to say, I am juicer!!

Why didn’t anyone tell me how AWESOME freshly squeezed juice is??? It is far superior than bottled up, purchased straight from the store juice. Oh, I’m so excited about this orange juice. So the process is simply. Look:

I have a bowl. I have a strainer. I have the best juice now.

And it was hand squeezed. Fancy, right?

What’s even more exciting that glorious glasses is thinking of all the recipes I might use the juice and, of course, these guys for:

If anyone needs zest, at all, please let me know! I have about a pound of oranges here for the zesting.

Oh, boy. Stay tuned. I’ll keep you posted. Promise.

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March 14, 2011

Simpler Salmon

I’ve talked to you about salmon before. I really like it. A lot. This uses the same marinade, but a different method. Let’s go!

Pour equal parts orange juice and soy sauce.

In a medium to large sized bowl, mix two parts each of orange juice and soy sauce to one part brown sugar (light or dark is fine here). Mix well. Put salmon into the marinade so that as much of the salmon is immersed as possible.

Let marinate for a couple of hours in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a roasting pan, place the marinated salmon and pour the marinade over and around the salmons.

Then, cook in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the salmon is fork flaky.

Enjoy. Again and again.

 

March 3, 2011

Simply Chocolate Cake

This cake is great and simple. Chocolatey but not overly sweet. Delicious and not long lasting at all. It gets gone. Quickly.

Simple Chocolate Cake
Inspired by Smitten Kitchen

1/2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 c buttermilk (or regular milk plus lemon juice or vinegar equalling 1 c. Do you know this trick? It’s great.)
2 t vanilla extract
1 1/2 c A-P flour
1/2 c cocoa powder
1/4 c Ovaltine (because I ran out of cocoa powder. If you have enough cocoa powder, use 3/4 c and no Ovaltine, unless you want to found out how it ended up. [Pretty darn good.])
1/4 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 c chocolate chips (semi-sweet, milk, or a combination)

Preheat oven to 325 degree F. Butter and lightly flour 9 x 9 pan.

Cream the butter until smooth with an electric mixer on medium.

Add the sugars and continue to beat until fluffy, about three minutes. Add the egg. Mix to incorporate. Then, add the buttermilk and vanilla. The batter will look a little… off. Too runny. Too clumpy. That’ll be correctly shortly. Leave it be for now.

Sift the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, Ovaltine (if using), baking soda, baking powder, and salt). If you want this to be a one bowl dish, just sift the dry right into the wet ingredients! So great. Don’t overmix; just stir until combined, scraping down the sides. Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into a loaf pan or a 9 x 9 pan. You know; that one you buttered earlier. Bake for 65 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then plop out and let it completely cool.

Enjoy it while you can. Like I said, this cake magically disappears.

 

February 6, 2011

Mozzarella Bruschetta

Isn’t it just the greatest when a food is both delicious AND simple??

This is the best of all those worlds. Easy. Simple. Fast. Delectable. Incredible. Delicious. Warm. Crunchy. Cheesy. Flavorful. Awesome.

Mozzarella Bruschetta

1 baguette
1 medium-sized tomato (or 2 Roma tomatoes)
8 oz. fresh mozzarella
1 1/2 T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 T Balsamic vinegar
2 t (or more to taste) fresh basil
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Begin by slicing the baguette.

Use your discretion when deciding what to do with the end pieces. I recommend using them as snackrels. However, just about anything will work. You want to slice the baguette on the diagonal to give yourself a little bit more surface area for delicious ports.

Once you slice the baguette, place the slices on a cookie sheet. Spread minced garlic over each slice, top with sliced fresh mozzarella. Then bake for about 7 minutes, or until cheese is melty.

While toasting up and melting down, you can prepare the tomato mixture. Dice the tomato into little squares. Place in bowl. Pour in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add salt, pepper, and basil to taste.

Take baguette out of the oven and top with tomato mixture, pouring a little bit of the oil and vinegar from the bowl over the bread.

January 19, 2011

Simply Great Vanilla Whipping Cream Pound Cake


I was stumped for cakes. We had an important birthday to celebrate, but I came up empty for any and all ideas. Last year for this friend I made a caramel cake. This year, his sister made him a Tres Leches Cake. But I wanted to make him one. Who doesn’t love multiple cakes for a birthday?? Who?

Simply Amazing, Utterly Devine Whipping Cream Pound Cake

3 c cake flour
3 c sugar
3 sticks butter, at room temperature
6 eggs
1/2 pint whipping cream
2 t vanilla
1 pinch salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Sift flour.

 

It’s a mountain. A great and mighty mountain that needs to be set aside for the time being.

In another bowl, put the sugar in then the butter.

Cream butter and sugar for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy.

Keep going. Even at this stage, it’s not quite done. When very light and very creamy, add one egg at a time and mix until incorporated after each addition.

Mix, egg, mix, egg, mix, egg, mix.

Now, begin to add the flour. Just add 1/4 of the flour. Mix until incorporated.

Then add about 1/3 of whipping cream. Mix until incorporated.

Flour, mix, cream, mix, flour, mix, cream, mix, flour mix.

Now, add the vanilla. Mix.

Prepare a 9″ fluted tube ban with butter and flour. Then add the batter.

Bake for between 1 hour 15 minutes and 1 hour 30 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.

Allow to cool.

Serve by itself or with a simple glaze.

Simple Glaze

1 c powdered sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1 T lemon juice
2 T milk

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Add more milk if too thick. Add more powdered sugar if too thin.

I didn’t drizzle over the whole cake. But drizzled over individual slices. You can drizzle or not. It’s your choice. Isn’t it great to have delicious decisions to make?

January 18, 2011

Pizza Night

The simplest meals– Ah, how delightful.

Pizza night is a wondrous thing. I would recommend that you use any and all delicious ingredients you have on hand. However, I always find myself buying ingredients excitedly for Pizza Night. Feta! Tomatoes! Kalamata olives! Spinach! Fresh mozzarella! Artichoke hearts! Mushrooms! Garlic!

Pizza Night

1/2 pound fresh pizza dough (You can pick these up at most local pizzatariums and a lot of grocery stores have started selling them! I only use half a round at a time, because there are only three of us.)
1 small clove of garlic
Marinara sauce or simmered down pasta sauce (Homemade or store-bought is fine.)
1 handful of spinach
1 medium-sized tomato
8 oz fresh mozzarella
2 artichoke hearts
4 kalamata olives
5 button (or cremini) mushrooms

Allow your 1/2 ball of dough to lose it refrigerator chill. Just sit it on the counter while you assemble your ingredients. But don’t let it to sit too long. You don’t want it to be stick-meister, clinger extraordinaire. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Stretch and form the dough into a pizza dough shape. Yep, we’re real professional around here. I don’t toss the pizza dough (anymore), but I do take a nod from the professionals: I stretch my pizza dough-draped arms gently away from each other then turn the dough 90 degrees, stretch again. Then 45 degrees. Stretch. 90 degrees. Stretch. So I’m evenly distributing the stretch.

Place on round pan or a cookie sheet big enough to accomodate your pizza needs or a pizza stone. Mince garlic and spread on dough.

Then spread the marinara.

Then the spinach. It’ll wilt not burn under the mozzarella.

I added the tomatoes next.

Oooh. Mozzarella. Fresh.

Slice it and put it on your pizza.

Then. Okay. Everything else.

Also, because your oven is super hot, I highly recommend taking the opportunity to roast some garlic.

Bake for about 18 minutes.

November 30, 2010

Oh, Salad.

Salad. For months now my thoughts about salads have not been kind. Ugh. All that effort for raw vegetables??? Boy, was I wrong. To all the bags of spinach and hearts of romaine, please forgive me for throwing you away after you just sat in wait in a crisper for weeks on end. I’m sorry!! I’m so very sorry.

Salad is terrific. Case in point:: today.

Oh, what a bounty I got when I went to the grocer’s today– vegetables, meats, dairies. I’m very excited about cooking. I think Thanksgiving renewed that for me. Thank you for all the support, family. Your encouragement meant a lot to me. More than I even realized before today. (I had a really hard time not spelling “toady” just now.)

Simply Chopped Tossed Salad
**A note:: You can substitute, add, or subtract anything you wish with this “recipe.” I love when that happens, because you can let your imagination work for you.

Vegetables::
Romain lettuce
Broccoli
Carrots
Celery
Cilantro

Rinse and chop each vegetable. Add to bowl.

Now, your salad bowl should be piled high with delicious.

In the bowl you’ll eat out of, mix your salad dressing. I used one of the simplest, most delicious dressings I know.

Dressing::
Dijon Mustard
Honey
Olive Oil
Freshly Ground Peppercorns

I think I used about 1/2 t each of mustard and honey and enough olive oil to make me smile (1 T??) and a little bit of pepper.

Then, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh.

Then, add your salad on top of that. Then, mix it all together.

And, yes, this picture is blurry. But no, I’m not going to give you another. Because I feel it necessary to convey my excitement over this delicious salad. Here you go, my excitement, in the form of a wobbly picture of some vegetables.

 

October 1, 2010

Happy October. Here’s a meal.

I love cooking. Even more than cooking, I love cooking with loved ones. If I’ve ever cooked with you, well, thank you. (I was attempting to be pompous. I almost wrote “You’re welcome.” However, I really appreciate it in a way I probably didn’t express enough when we were doing the cooking and the cleaning up and the enjoying.)

The other night, I had the honor and pleasure of donning my apron alongside my most favorite cooking partner. That’s him up there in that picture. Well, that’s our shadow. His particular part of the shadow is the left; mine is the right. You probably figured that out. And back to point:: We used to make food together all the time. All the time. But then, that sort of pittered to an all but stop. I really enjoy cooking (I think I’ve mentioned that.), and so he, in all his wondrous kindness, lets me enjoy it. I put on music; I get in the zone; I experiment. The other night, we cooked together– shared and bounced ideas, prepped ingredients for each other, and chatted. Oh, what joy! What fun! What a gloriously delicious meal.

It was pretty simple. However, that’s some of the best food. Right?

The meal::

Linguini
Sockarooni sauce by Newman’s Own
1 (12 oz) can diced tomatoes
Mozzarella shredded cheese

Focaccia
Minced garlic
Mozzarella shredded cheese

Pasta:: Cook linguini (or any pasta you have on hand). While the pasta is boiling away, prepare the sauce. Mix sauce and diced tomatoes together. Allow to lightly bubble. Low-medium heat works well.

Bread:: Mince garlic. Spread onto sliced focaccia. Add cheese atop. Put into a 350 degree F oven. Cook until cheese is melted and bread is slightly toasty.

Back to pasta:: Once pasta is al dente, drain. Put back into pot to serve– pasta, sauce, lots of cheese. Hold hands in celebration with your favorite partner chef, and enjoy!!!

Optional additional ideas:: capers, bell peppers, spinach, meatballs, parmesan cheese, black olives, broccoli, and I’m sure you can think of plenty more that would be equally delicious.