Fresh Fruit Salad with Mint + Honey

Fresh Fruit Salad with Mint + Honey

On a fruit obsession scale of one to ten, I'm about a twenty, give or take a few points. Until about 10 years ago, "salad" in the traditional greens sense was not something I put in my meal rotation. However, given my passion for all things fruta, I have always been a connoisseur of the tried and true fruit salad. When I lived in Madrid, I think I startled my Señora with the sheer volume of "Macedonia de Fruta" I could consume. It's a gift. 

Beet, Goat Cheese and Garlic Herb Terrine by Hemsley + Hemsley

Vogue publishes articles about food. Who knew? My friend Liz sent me this recipe by Hemsley + Hemsley for a beet, goat cheese and garlic herb terrine, and it only took me a moment to understand why it would be featured. In addition to being tasty (my number one criteria for posting), it's an incredibly beautiful and très chic dish. Between the jewel tone ombre effect, specks of fresh green herbs, and the clean lines, it's a dish that is sure to impress. 

Most importantly, the goat cheese mixture reminds me of good ol' Alouette. If you don't know what I'm talking about, I recommend making a pit stop at your local supermarket.  My middle school self would recommend a wheat thin pairing. The garlic and herb flavoring of this cheese  is equally as fitting for a terrine as it would be on a sandwich or as a dip. 

A terrine was new territory for me, but I think it's a great party trick that you can easily add to your repertoire. This bright dish would be a great addition to an Easter menu, baby shower, or if you're really good at planning in advance, maybe even Mother's Day brunch. Use it as a starter, or even a main and serve it with a light bright salad.

Tasty for the palate and easy on the eyes. Now onto the recipe...


Beet, Goat Cheese and Garlic Herb Terrine  

Hemsley + Hemsley for Vogue UK

Ingredients:

  • 4 purple beets, about 300g
  • 4 golden or any other color beet, about 300g 
  • 2 tablespoon freshly snipped chives
  • 2 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 400g goats cheese
  • sea salt and black pepper

Directions:

1. Line a 1lb loaf pan (8.5" x 4.5") with parchment paper or plastic wrap, leaving enough hanging over the sides so that you can cover the terrine when the tin is full.

2. Scrub the beets, then place in a pan, cover with water, pop on the lid and cook for about 30-40 minutes until tender. Set aside to cool, then peel.

3. Meanwhile, mix all the herbs and garlic with the goats cheese in a bowl and season to taste. 

4. Slice the cooked beets into various thicknesses ranging from .1 - .2 inch. 

5. Put a layer of golden beets along the bottom of the tin, followed by a thin layer of the garlic and herb goat cheese mix. Do this for 6 layers of each, so you have 12 layers in total, and then start on the purple beetroot and cheese layers until you reach the top.

* Note: Spreading the goat cheese proved to be particularly challenging for me. Instead of scooping it in and spreading each layer out, place it in a plastic bag and snip off a corner. Piping the cheese spread seems like a much easier path. Also, between slicing my beets a tad too thick and having slightly under the required amount, I ended up with only 3 layers of each color. 

6. Pull the parchment paper or plastic wrap over so all the terrine is covered. Place a weight on top of the tin and leave in the fridge overnight or for 8 hours to set. Note: I think parchment will leave much cleaner lines on the finished product. 

7. Cover the set terrine with a plate and turn upside down to remove the terrine. Slice and serve or refrigerate the terrine until needed. 

Enjoy!

Grandma Marion's Almond Cake

Grandma Marion's Almond Cake

This Almond Cake recipe, passed on by my Grandma Marion, tastes like the middle of an almond croissant. I'm fairly sure that's why my husband and I can consume multiple slices in a sitting. It's one of those treats that I take just a small sliver of to start, then end up returning back to the cake platter for 5 more. It all adds up to....1 piece...? 

Joy the Baker's Best Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies + Coconut and Oatmeal

Joy the Baker's Best Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies + Coconut and Oatmeal

Ever since Joy the Baker posted her "Best Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie" recipe, I've considered her a baking goddess. Since CCCs are a staple for me, I'm always on the lookout for new and improved recipes. While I was perfectly happy with Jacques Torres's "Secret Chocolate Chip Cookie", I wasn't a huge fan of waiting the recommended 24-36 whole hours to bake.

Dungeness Crab with Lemongrass, Black Pepper, and Basil

Dungeness Crab with Lemongrass, Black Pepper, and Basil

Every winter I'm tempted by the stock of fresh local Dungeness crab in the markets. For one reason or another (usually the exorbinant cost), I've never pulled the trigger and purchased. This year was different - the sea stars aligned and the crab were fat and plentiful which meant that I could buy this little luxury without breaking the bank. 

Healthy Spicy Turkey Chili

Healthy Spicy Turkey Chili

If there is one takeaway I have from years of making chili, it's that you really have to try to mess it up. Cooking chili is more of an art than a science. Everyone has their preference of bean to meat ratio, the type of onions used, whether to go with red bell peppers or yellow, etc. But in the end, after a good long simmer, it's all tasty.

Bacon + Egg Waffles and Banana Walnut Waffles

Waffles. The chewy, crispy, golden queen of breakfast carbs. I was hankering for some recently I decided to turn to my good friend Marion Cunningham and "The Breakfast Book" - she will never let you down. Similar to Ina Garten and a handful of others, I trust them blindly. Like when Ina says you need 4 sticks of butter and every other recipe says 3. Just do it. 

I wish I had time to try Marion's recipe for Raised Waffles which are supposed to be delish (but require an overnight batter raise). I'll have to do it some other Saturday night when I'm at home and thinking about waffles. So I went the Classic Waffle route and decided to mix it up with a few different toppings. 

First variation - BACON. We always eat bacon or some kind of breakfast sausage alongside our pancakes, waffles, french toast or regular toast. Why not cook it, chop it, and toss it right on in? Everything is better with an egg on top so obviously I did that as well. 

Second variation - banana and walnut. A classic combo that can't go wrong.

So here we go! These spur-of-the-moment waffles are a perfect celebratory breakfast. 

Classic Waffles - Marion Cunningham, "The Breakfast Book"

(about eight waffles)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups milk, warmed slightly
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening, melted (I didn't do this - just replace with butter if you have an aversion to shortening)
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted

Put the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar in the mixing bowl and stir the mixture with a fork until blended. 

In another bowl, beat the eggs well and stir in the milk. Combine with the flour mixture until mixed. Add the melted shortening and butter and beat until blended.

Pour about 1/2 cup batter into a very hot waffle iron. (it takes from 1/2 to 3/4 cup of batter to make one waffle, depending on the size of your waffle iron). 

If you are making the bacon variation, take your chopped pre-cooked bacon and sprinkle it over the waffle batter before you close up the griddle. You could mix it directly into the batter as well if you're doing a full batch of these bad boys. 

Bake the waffles until they are golden and crisp. For your bacon variation, fry up the egg while your waffle is almost done. Serve hot. 

Full disclosure: I for the life of me can not get my Cuisinart waffle iron to heat up as much as I'd like it. My first attempt at making a waffle was pitiful. I used canola spray to grease the iron and the waffle turned out limp and not so golden. Second try I used butter to grease it - voila! Better. I'd still consider a griddle upgrade however. 

Homemade Grandma Pizza Pie from Bon Appétit

Homemade Grandma Pizza Pie from Bon Appétit

San Francisco has tons of great pizza options so I've never really felt the need to master the art of the pie at home. The few attempts I have made end up lacking that chewy crust that only an 800 degree oven can deliver. Until recently I'd given up my ambitions to tackle at-home pizza until I received the October issue of Bon Appetit.