Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Oven Roasted Chickpeas

Feel like a crunchy snack, but not in the mood to break out the chips and crackers? I love roasting chickpeas. There's a nice protein punch in this snack, and you get to customize your spices to boot!

  • 1 15.5 ounce can of chickpeas
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • Your spices of choice (about 2-3 tsp total). Sky's the limit, so be creative and pick flavors you like. I like using:
    • kosher salt and cayenne pepper
    • garlic salt
    • parsley and paprika

To Make
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Rinse chickpeas thoroughly, and allow to drain.
  3. Spread the chickpeas out in one layer on a cookie sheet and bake for 20-40 minutes, until golden and crunchy.
  4. While they're still warm, toss the chickpeas in the olive oil, then stir in your spices.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Cold Sesame Noodles

This dish is a warm-weather favorite in our house. The noodles get better and better over a few days in the 'fridge... if they last that long. Chili paste gives them a little zing, but they're truly not spicy as far as my palate is concerned. Serve 'em up with some freshly sliced cucumbers or sugar snap peas.

  • 8 ounces Chinese egg noodles
  • 2 TBSP peanut oil
  • 3 TBSP dark/toasted sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 TBSP freshly grated ginger (depending on how much you enjoy ginger)
  • 2 scallions, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 TBSP reduced sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tsp red chili paste- I've used Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce and had good results
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 3 TBSP rice vinegar
  • 6 TBSP hot water
  • 1.5 TBSP sesame seeds, toasted
To Make
  1. Cook the noodles to al dente, according to package directions. When cooked, drain and rinse noodles until room temperature.
  2. Put noodles in a large bowl, making sure that all of the water has been drained. Toss them in the sesame oil to keep them from sticking together.
  3. Heat the peanut oil in a pan over medium heat. Cook the scallions, garlic, ginger, and chili paste until soft. Stir in the brown sugar, peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, and water. Mix until the peanut butter is blended in and the sugar has dissolved. 
  4. Toss your noodles in the peanut butter mixture and stir in the toasted sesame seeds. 
  5. Chill for a few hours and serve.

Friday, July 20, 2012


It took me a while to come up with a good recipe for this rich Italian dessert. It was clear to me as I tried recipe after recipe that some cooks/chefs don't test before they share. I've had tirami-soup, as my toddler affectionally calls it. I've run out of coffee to dip lady fingers in only one layer into dessert assembly. All of my mistakes have been delicious, but I haven't been proud of them. Thankfully, I now have a recipe to share with you that I am proud of. But first, a couple lessons I've learned along the way:

  1. The first couple times you make tiramisu, prepare a little extra of the coffee and rum mixture. Better to have leftovers than to run out in this case.
  2. First I will say that I have not been paid/compensated in any way to recommend this product, but: Use Bellino Savoiardi when you're looking for a great lady finger for your tiramisu. After using these lady fingers when making my own, I won't use any other.
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup whole milk or heavy cream (for making custard)
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream (for whipped cream)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 16 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 2 7-ounce packages of lady fingers  
  • 1 cup espresso or strongly brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature
  • 8 TBSP rum
  • 1-2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
To Make
  1. Whisk together egg yolks and sugar in a medium pot until well blended. Whisk in your 2/3 cup milk/cream and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture simmers. Let the mixture simmer for about one minute, and remove from the heat. DO NOT OVERCOOK OR YOU WILL HAVE SUGARY SCRAMBLED EGGS. YUCK.  Cover and put into your refrigerator to cool for an hour. 
  2. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer (or a whisk if you have boundless energy and time), beat the heavy cream and vanilla until stiff peaks form... about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Remove egg mixture from 'fridge and strain using a fine mesh strainer or berry strainer. 
  4. Stir the strained egg mixture into the mascarpone.
  5. In a small bowl, combine rum and espresso/coffee.
  6. Take out a 13x9 baking dish. 
  7. Dip each lady finger in the coffee/rum mixture for 3-5 seconds, then form your first layer at the bottom of the pan. If necessary, break some of the lady fingers in half so that they fit properly.
  8. Once you have a layer of soaked lady fingers, spread half of the mascarpone mixture as the next layer.
  9. Make a third layer of whipped cream.
  10. Repeat steps 7-9 once more.
  11. Dust the top of your tiramisu with cocoa powder.
  12. Cover and refrigerate for 6-8 hours, so that the dessert has time to set and the flavors have time to meld.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Morgan's Pineapple Sangria

In a word: delicious. In two words: summery and refreshing. It only takes about 10-15 minutes to make up a pitcher of this lovely sangria, and you'll get rave reviews whether you share with friends at a barbecue or keep it all to yourself! My friend Morgan was kind enough to share her recipe, and I'm excited to share it with you.

  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 1 bottle white wine
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 1 orange
  • 2-4 TBSP sugar
  • Ginger Ale or Sprite (optional, and not pictured above)
  1. Combine the wine, sugar, and one cup of the juice in a pitcher.
  2. Juice your citrus fruits, and cut up what remains to look pretty. Be sure to remove and toss any obvious seeds.
  3. Pour in lemon/lime/orange juice into the pitcher and stir to combine. 
  4. Add leftover citrus rinds.
  5. Store this mixture in your refrigerator anywhere from a few hours to overnight (if possible). 
  6. Add remaining one cup of pineapple juice right before serving.
  7. If you like bubbles in your sangria, fill your glass about three quarters of the way up. Then pour in the Ginger Ale/Sprite to fill the rest of the glass. Voila! Bubbly sangria.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Stuffed Peppers

Summertime is here, and peppers are in season. What to do? What to do? There's always tossing them into a cold salad or a morning omelet, but when you feel like something heartier, try stuffing them full of tasty brown rice, beans, vegetables, cheese, and spices.


- 6 large bell peppers, any color... tops and seeds removed
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 4 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1 small/medium sweet onion, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, diced small
- 1 cup cheese shredded (cheddar, monterey jack, parmesan, etc.), plus a little extra
- 1/2 cup red kidney beans
- 1/2 cup black beans
- 1 TBSP dried basil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup pasta sauce
- 1 cup vegetable broth


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until lightly browned.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the vegetable broth and pasta sauce.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the rice, tomatoes, cooked onions and garlic, cheese, beans, and spices. 
  5. Arrange the peppers, hollowed side up, in a baking dish.
  6. Spoon the mixture from the large bowl into the peppers.
  7. Poor the sauce and broth into the bottom of the pan, and sprinkle a little extra cheese on top of the peppers.  
  8. Bake peppers for 30-40 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and bubbly and the peppers are tender when poked with a fork.