in my cupboard: lindt fleur de sel

Apparently I prefer my chocolate with some salt. After searching every store possible, I finally found this chocolate with a touch of salt at Walgreens. Of all places! I love good quality chocolate because you can eat a small portion and be totally satisfied. That is certainly the case with this – one square is enough for me.

This chocolate certainly did not disappoint. Now that I know where to find it, it might just be my newest addition to my office stash ;)

 

 

guest blog #2: the taster

Sliders.  Truffle fries.  That’s what was on the menu after a birthday gift of a special ‘slider’ pan.  Burgers are one of my favorite foods – scratch that…food is my favorite food, but I love burgers and fries – especially since I don’t really eat them that much anymore (thanks to a special nutritionist in my life).  Honestly, I never ate burgers THAT much in the past, but recently (over the last couple of years) I’ve kind of become somewhat of a connoisseur. I like to experiment with toppings and try the specialty burgers I find in restaurants and bars.I don’t always order a burger when I’m out – much like someone I know on a similar quest with patty melts – but I enjoy a nice one every now and then…normally a lunch item while watching a football game.  And, of course, I grill burgers with friends all the time when the weather permits.  When Emily came to me and wanted me to do another guest blog on sliders I was a little apprehensive because I.Like.My.Burgers.BIG.  But I gave in – what the hell, huh?

I broke out my birthday present that had been sitting there exactly one month without being used, thawed some grass-fed (by request of Emily) ground beef, sliced onions, tomatoes, and romaine lettuce and dug the condiments out of the fridge.  Then it was time to kneed the meat with some Worcestershire, chopped onions, dry mustard, and a touch of A1 sauce – don’t forget salt and pepper!  I mixed that all together and used the little scooper that came with the pan to make perfect little meatballs.

We then heated the pan so it was nice and hot when we were ready.  We placed the meatballs into the pan and pushed the top of the pan down to flatten the sliders.  The first batch didn’t turn out as planned.  (Note to self: make the meat into patties before placing them into pan)  But the second batch was pretty darn good.  Add: lettuce, tomato, onion, and condiments and you’re all set.

The fries were a pre-made, frozen brand, but add a little truffle oil drizzled over the top and I thought I was chillin’ at The Bulldog.  Idea: grate parmesan cheese over the fries as well – we were ill-prepared to do so.  Being the cheese lovers that we are, we ran out a couple of days ago.

Taster's Plate

Emily’s “Nutritionist approved” portions below…

My Plate

stuffed portobellas

Stuffed mushrooms two ways. Why not have appetizers for dinner? I would have to say that the pancetta was my favorite, but obviously you can’t go wrong with crab either :)

stuffed mushrooms with shallots, spinach & pancetta

pancetta, roughly chopped

1/2 shallot, minced

2 cups spinach

1 Tbsp light sour cream

2 Tbsp parmesan cheese

Saute the pancetta in large saute pan until close to crisp.  Set aside. Add shallots and heat until translucent. Add sour cream, spinach and season with salt and pepper. Stir in pancetta and divide mixtures into the mushroom caps. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake until cheese is toasty.


stuffed mushrooms with shallots, spinach & crab

1/2 shallot, minced

2 cups spinach

1 Tbsp light sour cream

4 oz lump crab meat

2 Tbsp parmesan cheese

Saute the shallots in a bit of olive oil and heat until translucent. Add sour cream, spinach and season with salt and pepper. Stir in crab meat and divide mixtures into the mushroom caps. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake until cheese is toasty.


grilled cauliflower, sage & brown butter

DSCN2740

 

This is a dish that could be an amazing side or the center of the meal. It is that good and I think my Dad would easily agree. I prepared this for my parents when I was visiting last weekend – there is nothing better than delicious meals, wine and family in my opinion. This dish is so simple and will even convert the non-cauliflower lovers!

grilled cauliflower, sage & brown butter - adapted from The New York Times

1 head cauliflower, sliced in 1 inch thick slices (some will crumble)

Olive oil, salt & pepper

3 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp whole sage leaves

Mist cauliflower with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. We used a grill pan for veggies but you could also roast the cauliflower. While it is cooking, melt the butter in a small pan. When hot add sage leaves and let sizzle until crisp. Set aside and heat butter until it turns brown, stirring occasionally. When cauliflower is done grilling or roasting, pour butter and sage leaves over top and serve.