I am so happy that you have landed in my little corner of cyberspace. If you join me here, you will, hopefully, get to know a little about me. You will read my thoughts, my hopes and dreams, and see some of my favorite things. I hope you will visit often. I will try to update it regularly and hopefully you will see an improvement in the blog along the way. Thank you for stopping in to see me as I travel on this journey called "life"!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Ruby Tuesday

In keeping with the food theme that this blog has seemed to take on recently, this is my entry for this week's Ruby Tuesday. 

Baby arugula, baby spinach, pea shoots, avocado,
goat cheese, sliced onion, grape tomatoes and
honey balsamic vinaigrette on a whole wheat wrap. 

You can find the recipe for the vinaigrette here and you can find more Ruby Tuesday photos here.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Have a happy Tuesday!


So it all started with reading a blog...

I know you're shocked, right?  Bloggers are just so creative and the food bloggers blow me away...not only with the food that they prepare but with their photography, as well. So recently I was visiting one of my favorite blogs.....

and Joanne had posted beautiful photos and a recipe for making slow roasted beets with buttermilk bleu cheese, arugula and toasted pecans.  This looked so good to me!  

If you have not been over there to visit her blog, you should totally go over there and visit her. You will be so glad you did. She makes the most incredible sounding food and the photographs that she posts just makes you want whatever it is that she's serving.

So anyway, I shared with you last week that we made a trip to the local Coop Food Store last weekend. While I was wandering around the store, I happened to run across some wonderful organic golden beets.  When I saw them, I remembered seeing the beets on Joanne's blog so I grabbed a couple of them and brought them home.  I hadn't expected to make the beets when I went shopping that day so I didn't have the ingredients for her recipe on my shopping list.  I just knew when I saw them that I had to buy them and I would figure out what to do with them later.

When I got ready to cook them, I didn't have the ingredients to make her recipe exactly and didn't want to go to the store.  I did what I normally do when I don't have the ingredients for a recipe...I improvised.  I knew that I wanted to roast the beets which is really very easy to do and just like with other veggies, roasting brings out the natural sweetness in them.  

To get started with roasting them, I just washed the beets really well and cut the root end off of them I kept the skins on intact.
I rubbed them with olive oil and placed them in a baking dish with a head of garlic that I planned to use with another dish.  I covered the dish and roasted them in a 350 degree oven until I could pierce the beets easily with a fork.  It took about an hour for them to get tender. 
Once the beets were tender, I removed them from the baking dish and allowed them to cool before trying to peel them.  The skins come off pretty easily once they are cooked. After they had cooled, I cut them into chunks.  Slicing them would have worked as well; but, I wanted them bite sized.

At the Coop, I was able to find the most beautiful organic, locally grown baby arugula which I knew would be perfect for this salad.
I, also, found pea shoots which have become my latest obsession. 
Aren't they beautiful?

They taste so fresh and I've spent the week nibbling on them and putting them in salads and on sandwiches. I am even attempting to grow them myself. I will share more on that at a later date.

To put the salad together, I mixed the arugula and the pea shoots and added baby spinach to round out the greens.
The dressing was adapted from a recipe that I found here on the Savvy Chef blog.  It was a very simple recipe that tasted so good!  We liked it so much that I think I will keep some of it prepared in the refrigerator to dress our salads and sandwiches.

I started with 1 tbsp. of local honey.
I mixed the honey with 1/3 cup sweet balsamic vinegar that I get locally at an Italian deli/market.  Any balsamic vinegar would work fine for this dressing.  This is just a particular favorite of ours.
No dressing is complete without some good olive oil. I added 1/3 cup of it to the vinegar and honey.
Last but not definitely not least, I added grated shallot.  The recipe called for 3 tbsp. of shallot. I assume that was chopped shallot.  Instead of chopping the shallot for the dressing, I grated it.  That gave me all the nice flavor of the shallot without having pieces of it in the dressing.  That worked out great for me. 
A little salt and pepper and a good whisking and it was ready to go on the greens. 
I dressed the greens added the cubed beets on top.  On top of the beets, I added this wonderful local herbed goat cheese that I found at the Coop.   
To the top of the salad, I sprinkled some toasted pine nuts.

It was an absolutely fabulous salad.  The two beets that I roasted were enough to make this salad one more time this past week.  We enjoyed it so much that I picked up more greens, beets and goat cheese this past weekend.  David and I are like that.  We find something that we love and we eat it often. 
We ate fresh......we ate local.....we ate well.

Thanks so much for stopping by to say hello. I hope you have a wonderful week!

This post is being linked up with Seasonal Sunday , Decidedly Healthy or Horribly DecadentMellow Yellow Monday, Hearth and Soul and Let's Do Brunch.



Friday, February 25, 2011


One thing we have not had nearly enough of around our house since we moved is Mexican food. In Louisiana, we had Mexican or Mexican inspired food several times per week. We were constantly throwing something in a tortilla or having a salad with grilled meat, salsa, cilantro and avocado.  I think part of our breaking out of the box up here is that I had not been able to find decent tortillas and I haven't been brave enough to attempt making my own yet.  I finally located some at the store and knew that it was time to bring it all back to "normal" and have some tasty tacos. 

I started with a pound of ground white turkey breast...

And a whole bunch of seasonings....

I didn't want to use a pre-packaged mix and I hadn't taken the time to make my own blend so I just started shaking seasoning all over the turkey.  I used garlic powder, onion powder, cumin and Weber Tex-Mex Fiesta.  I know that is a dry rub but it worked great.  I seasoned it like crazy because to me, turkey needs all the help it can get.  Feel free to use your own blend or your favorite packaged mix.  When I used mixes, I always blew off the directions and seasoned the meat while browning and then followed the package instructions.  My theory was why let good meat brown up without seasoning?  Let it season the meat while it's cooking.  I think it creates much better flavor in the meat.  That's just my opinion for what that's worth.  Moving along....

And a little salsa never hurt anyone so I added some of this to the mix.  This salsa traveled all the way from Louisiana. 

Superior Grill is a restaurant in Shreveport with the best Mexican food in that area. Great food and great service! It's one of the things that I will miss most about Louisiana. If you are ever in the Shreveport area, you should definitely give it a try. 

While the meat was cooking, I took time to prepare the fresh ingredients.  My tacos are just not complete without lettuce and tomatoes.  I had fresh romaine and some wonderful grape tomatoes. 

We always add a little salt and some garlic red wine vinegar to the tomatoes and let them sit for a bit.  The vinegar gives it just the right amount of "tang" that we enjoy on our tacos.
Fresh cilantro is always a good addition to...well....just about anything, actually! 
Some Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar Cheese is a must!
And avocado....
We don't even bother with making guacamole anymore when we have tacos.  We love avocado so much that we just slice it up...add some salt and a little lemon or lime juice.  This time we added lemon.  I think I like it better than the lime actually....

All of the wonderfully fresh ingredients on the taco with a little chopped fresh onion and I'm all set.  I might have been really hungry for tacos; but, I have to say that these were some of the best that I have ever made.

I don't think I'm going to wait so long next time to have these.  Now that I've found some good tortillas, we will be having these more often, I'm sure.  In fact, I think I need to have them again this week.

If you love Mexican cuisine as we do at our house, you will definitely want to visit Mely at Mexico in My Kitchen.  It is a beautifully written blog with new recipes to try and lots of information on Mexican culture and the cuisine.  Mely is, also, hosting a great giveaway for a traditional Mexican kitchen utensil called a Molcajete.  It is perfect for making salsa and guacamole.  Please take a moment and visit this wonderful blog and say hello to her.  You will be glad that you did!

Designs by Gollum is, also, hosting a giveaway in honor of the second anniversary of Foodie Friday.  You can enter here to win a Kitchenaid mixer.  Who wouldn't want one of them, right?

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and see me.  I hope you are enjoying a wonderful week.

This post is being linked up with Friday Potluck, Follow Friday - 40 and Over, Boost My Blog Friday, and Foodie Friday.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Cake

I have read about Meyer lemons forever and I have never had the opportunity to try them.  I think the fact that I've never even seen them before yet have read about them being used over and over again just made the desire to have some even greater.

When I saw some beautiful ones at the store the other day, I knew that I needed to pick them up and give them a try.  I had too much going on yesterday to try to make anything with them but today was different.  Today I had leftovers from last night to serve for dinner which left me with a little time to make something. 

I did a quick search online for "Meyer Lemons Healthy Recipe" and this one jumped out at me......a Meyer Lemon Olive Oil cake.  I had the ingredients for it or I should say that I had some ingredients that would work in it so I gave it a shot.  I was pretty pleased with the way it turned out so I thought I would share it with you here.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Cake
Adapted from the recipe by
Winnie Abramson at Healthy Green Kitchen
posted here at Mind Body Green
Serves 8

*1 1/2 cups white spelt flour (or use all purpose unbleached flour or almond flour if you need it to be gluten-free)  *I used All Purpose Flour because that was what I had on-hand.
*2 teaspoons baking powder *Again, you can substitute a mixture of 1/4 tsp. baking soda and 1/2 tsp. of cream of tartar per 1 teaspoon of baking powder.
*pinch of sea salt
*2 teaspoons candied Meyer lemon peel (or use Meyer lemon zest or regular lemon zest) *I used Meyer Lemon Zest.
*1/2 cup plain organic yogurt *I used Chobani vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt.
*1 cup organic sugar
*3 large eggs, preferably organic and free-range
*1/2 cup fruity olive oil (melted butter would work, too) *I used olive oil

For the syrup:
*1/4 cup organic powdered sugar
*1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice (or regular lemon juice)

For the icing:
*1 cup organic powdered sugar
*3 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice (or regular lemon juice)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 inch springform pan with olive oil, and flour the bottom of the pan. *I only have a 10 inch pan so I baked it in that.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add the candied lemon peel or lemon zest and mix well.

In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar, eggs and olive oil. Whisk well to combine. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk again to combine.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. I suggest you start checking after 25 minutes: you do not want to overbake it. 
*I set my oven temp to 325 degrees because it's a convection toaster oven and I had some issues during Christmas of over-baking things while getting accustomed to the oven.  I read that I should set the temp 25 degrees lower for better baking and so far it has worked.  This time I had a hard time getting it done.  I ended up baking it for about 35 minutes.

Cool the cake for 15 minutes and then remove the sides of the pan. Prick the cake all over with a fork, whisk the syrup ingredients together, and then drizzle the syrup all over the cake. The syrup will seep into all those fork holes you just made, and this is a very good thing.

Allow the cake to cool for another 30 minutes or so and then whisk the icing ingredients together. Using a offset spatula (or a spoon), cover the top of the cake with the icing. You can serve the cake immediately, or wait 45 minutes to 1 hour and the icing will harden.

*My notes: This cake was really good  We both enjoyed the taste of it.  I love a tangy lemon flavor and this had it.  I think next time that I will double the syrup.  I think it would have been even better had there been more of that to soak down into the cake.  I know it adds calories with the sugar but it also adds flavor.  I will definitely make this again!

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and see me!

This post is linked up with Hearth and Soul Blog Hop, Hookin up with HoH, and Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday.



Miz Helen’s Country Cottage