Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Juice - Le Jus

So I received the amazing Breville Juice Fountain Elite from my husband for our anniversary, and I have to say that I am slightly obsessed.  This is an excellent way for me to get my family to ingest more fruits and veggies!  I love it!  The first juice photo is a combination of strawberries, apples and pears I like to call Strawberry Surprise.  The "surprise" being that Mason thinks that he is just drinking strawberry juice.  The last juice photo is my personal favorite.  I call it The Green Dream.  One day Mason and Gabby will love the Green Dream as much as I do.  For now I am happy to have them drink Strawberry Surprise.  I hope you enjoy these recipes and happy juicing!  

Les Recettes:
Strawberry Surprise-
1 pint Strawberries washed
2 pears washed
1 apple washed

-Cut the pears and apples into pieces that fit into your juicer and follow your specific juicer instructions.  The Breville juicer is so easy to use, I literally dump everything in and voila - juice!
-Makes about 20 oz.

The Green Dream-
5 1/2 cups spinach washed
1.5 cups kale washed
1 lemon washed and peeled
4 cups pineapple, skin removed (and you can use the core too!)
1 orange peeled
1 -2 inch piece ginger peeled 
-Again, cut everything into pieces that will fit into your juicer and follow your juicer instructions.  
-Makes 20-25 oz.  
*If you don't have a juicer you can put everything into a blender and food processor and strain it, but having a juicer is much easier.  

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tres Leches

Tres Leches is one of my kids favorite cakes.  I always make it on Cinco de Mayo but I made it on Mother's day as well because it's such a big hit.  It's sweet cake topped off with fluffy home made whipped cream sprinkled with cinnamon.  What's not to love?  Please try this recipe and tres leches will become one of your favorite cakes too!  As you can see below, Mason and Gabby can't wait! 

This post is dedicated to my friends at mammagranate.  http://www.mammagranate.com  Sarah and Simon were over for a play date last week and I think they became fans of this cake as well!

La Recette:
Nonstick cooking spray for the cake pan 
1 1/2 cups gluten free baking mix - I recommend gluten free Bisquick
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs separated
1/2 cup skim milk
7 oz. sweetened condensed milk
5 oz. evaporated milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon orange zest
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

-Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a 9 inch cake pan with 2 inch sides.  Line with parchment, spray again and dust with flour.  
-Mix the gluten free baking mix and baking powder in a medium bowl.  Set aside.
-Using a stand mixer or hand held electric mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk the whites until soft peak form.  With the mixer running, gradually add the sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form.  Beat the yolks in one at a time making sure they are well incorporated.  Add the flour mixture and alternate with the milk.  Start and end with the flour.  Example: flour-milk-flour-milk-flour.  Add the orange zest and mix until it's blended well.
-Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.  Slam the pan on the counter once to release any air pockets and bake for 30-35 minutes.  Test the cake before removing it from the oven.  Make sure the tester, inserted into the center of the cake, comes out clean.  
-Cool the cake slightly then invert onto a platter with sides.
-Pierce the cake all over with a thick skewer. 
-Mix the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, freshly squeezed orange juice, and 1/2 cup of the heavy cream together.  Pour the mixture over the cake while it's warm.  I like to start on the outside and work my way in.  It's ok if the mixture pours over the sides of the cake.
-Cover and refrigerate for at least three hours or overnight.
-Combine the remaining 1.5 cups of heavy cream and 1/4 cup of powdered sugar.  Using an electric mixer, beat until soft peaks form.  Spread over the top of the cake and sprinkle with cinnamon.  

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Clams, Carbonara, and Crevettes

I love when kids eat food that you normally wouldn't expect them to eat.  This little cutie pie and her family are good friends of ours and she is one of my favorite munchkins to  have over for dinner.  Kayla is eating one of my favorite hors d'oeuvres - grilled clams!  It's a recipe from one of my idols, The Barefoot Contessa - Ina Garten.  I made it gluten free by making my own breadcrumbs.  I basically save the ends of my gluten free bread loafs and put them in the food processor until them are finely ground.  This is an excellent recipe to make gluten free.  I love it and the breadcrumb mixture can easily be used as a breading for chicken or fish.

This pasta carbonara recipe was fantastic and I loved the combination of these three courses for dinner.  I found this yummy dish in Food and Wine and it was so easy to make gluten free with my favorite BioNaturae pasta.  The arugula really adds the perfect touch. 

This soy sauce and lime marinated shrimp salad has so much flavor and I love to make it in the summer.  It's also great with a margarita!  My kids love the shrimp, cucumbers and Parmesan crackers - this is a perfect dinner for us.

La Recette:
6 cups roughly chopped romaine
1 English cucumber cut and half vertically, seeds scraped, cut in half vertically again, then cut horizontally into half inch pieces (it doesn't have to be precise- just sort of cube it)
2 avocados, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 pint grape tomatoes cut in half
1/2 lb. shrimp, 15-20 count, peeled and divined
1/4 cup gluten free reduced sodium soy sauce - I like San-J Organic Tamari (and it's non- GMO verified, extra bonus)
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon honey
1 clove garlic, minced
8 Tablespoons freshly graded Parmesan

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced shallot
1 Tablespoon champagne vinegar
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees
-Combine the first 4 ingredients in a large salad bowl for serving.  
-In a separate bowl combine the shrimp, gluten free soy sauce, lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, garlic and honey.  Marinate for only 10-12 minutes tops.  The soy sauce and lime will kind of "cook" the shrimp.  If it marinates for too long will be really tough after it's roasted.    
-Line a baking sheet will aluminum foil.  Remove the shrimp from the marinade and spread the shrimp out in one layer.  Roast for 8 minutes.  Let them cool to room temperature and add them to the salad bowl.
-Meanwhile, turn the oven down to 375 degrees and line another baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.  Using a Tablespoon, make 8 mounds with the Parmesan cheese and flatten them with the back of the spoon.  Make sure they are spaced a least an inch apart.  Bake them until they are golden 6-7 minutes and let them cool to room temperature.  They should be crispy and easily come off the the parchment.  I like to make extras because they are so tasty and make a great snack.  

-For the dressing, combine all the ingredients and whisk vigorously for 10-15 seconds until well combined.  Drizzle the dressing on the salad, toss, and serve the chips on the side.  Enjoy!

Serves 6
*If you don't have the mango vinegar, put all of the dressing ingredients plus 1 Tablespoon of fresh mango and blend in a food processor or blender.  Also, add 3 Tablespoons of champagne vinegar instead of 1 teaspoon.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Roasted Salmon with Dill Tzatziki Sauce, Hericots Verts, and Basil Rice

The first time I made this dinner I was very skeptical.  I really wanted my kids to eat salmon but I wasn't sure that they would.  I had my back ups ready, but I didn't need them.  Mason and Gabby ate the salmon and rice really well.  The haricots verts were a different story but two out of three isn't bad, and I'll keep working on the green beans :)  This has become one of our favorite meals and a starter in our dinner line up.  Also, it's very easy to make this meal dairy and nut free - just leave out the dill sauce and pine nuts.  Another dairy free idea would be making the dill sauce with plain soy yogurt.  

La Recette:
4 - 6oz. salmon portions (I like fresh Atlantic Salmon)
1.5 cup rice (any kind will work- jasmine, basmati, etc...)
1/4 cup pine nuts toasted
1/3 cup fresh basil chopped
1 lb. hericots verts or green beans, blanched and shocked (I really like to buy the haricots verts from Trader Joes.  They are already cleaned and ready to cook)
2 Tablespoons champagne vinegar 
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 shallots thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste

Dill Tzatsiki Sauce:
1 cup of plain greek yogurt (I like Fage 2%)
1/2 english cucumber - seeds scraped and grated
2 Tablespoons fresh dill chopped
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 teaspoons kosher 
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
*I like to do the dill sauce the night before.  This way I have very little prep at dinner time.  

-Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  
-Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and drizzle the salmon front and back with extra virgin olive oil.  Just a light drizzle will do.  Next, sprinkle the salmon with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.  Don't be afraid to use a generous amount of salt.  Let the salmon sit in room temperature for about 20 minutes.  
-Bake for 8 minutes at 400.  If you have an extra piece of fish add 1-2 minutes tops to the cooking time.

-Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to boil.
-Once the water is boiling drop in the hericots verts and cook for about 5 minutes.  Then transfer them to a large bowl of ice.  This is blanching and shocking.  It stops the cooking and retains the beans vibrant green color.  
-Pour out the cooking water from the hericots verts and in the same pan cook the shallots with 1 Tablespoon the extra virgin olive oil.  Cook until slightly browned.  Next, add the 2 Tablespoons of champagne vinegar and scrape up any of the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.  Pour the ice water and hericots verts into a colander and transfer the beans back to the pan.  Sauté the beans for about 2 minutes, just to heat them through.  Again, season with salt and pepper to taste.

-While the beans are cooking, pour the rice into another saucepan with 3 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of salt.  Cook until soft and let it cool slightly.  Add the toasted pine nuts and basil.    

Dill Tzatziki Sauce-
-Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix will until combined.  Chill for at least 30 minutes.

Serves 4
*I really like this dish with a glass of La Crema 2010 Chardonnay.  Delicious!  

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