Fig + Goat Cheese Crostini.

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This recipe was divine. I am frequently browsing instagram and other blogs for inspiration and tasty vegetarian recipes. I came across this one on Glitter Guide. Since figs are in season I thought, why not? It’s possible that some of you have a dreaded memory of figs from fig newtons and have been scarred as to what figs really taste like! If prepared right, or even eaten plain you might fall in love. I have become obsessed with all things cooking as of late (this is not new but more frequent as I love sharing recipes on my blog). If you aren’t sure if you are a fan of figs…try this! I think it might change your mind. You can always substitute the cheese for your choice such as gorgonzola or blue cheese.

{what you’ll need}

Baguette (slice and bake)
Goat cheese (organic preferred)
Honey (for drizzle)
Figs (fresh + sliced in half)

Cut the bread into slices. Set oven to 350 degrees and bake. Add goat cheese. Top with fig slices and drizzle with honey. (Note: I put the Crostini back in the oven to warm the goat cheese before topping with fig and honey.)

Watermelon + Feta + Mint Salad.

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{What you’ll need}

-Watermelon
-Feta
-Chopped spinach
-Chopped mint
-Sliced red onion
-Olive oil/ red or balsamic vinegar (I like both)

This Salad is SO easy, fast and refreshing. I recently bought a watermelon last week and little did I know it was enough watermelon to feed a family of five. No joke! After eating the watermelon as is I had to become a little creative. Trust me when I say this is the perfect salad to bring to a summer BBQ. Mix all the ingredients and add salt/pepper as needed.

Enjoy!

Orzo Salad.

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{What you’ll need}

Orzo (I used 1/2 a cup and only used half)
Fresh basil
Fresh dill
Cherry tomato
Red onion (chopped)
Sliced black olives (canned is fine)
Olive oil
Salt/Pepper

Boil orzo for about 7-9 minutes. The first time I cooked orzo I overcooked so beware, it cooks fast and will become mushy if overdone. When you rinse run under cold water and let sit until cool.

In a separate bowl add chopped basil, chopped dill, onion, sliced cherry tomatoes, black olives, olive oil and salt and pepper. A teaspoon of olive oil should do- you can always start with a little and add more if you need. Combine orzo and you have a delicious, light salad. If you are not a fan of pasta you can switch out for barley. Can serve both cold or while orzo is warm. Enjoy!

CSA. Learn it & Do it.

CSA

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. This is something you should definitely invest some money in and be a part of. It requires no extra cost than what you are probably spending at the grocery store already. Every week you can receive a box full of fresh produce including vegetables and fruits that are locally grown and in season.

When considering whether or not to join a CSA, there are a few questions that you might ask yourself. Be sure to answer for yourself and the people you live with since asking other people to change their eating habits is not a  small thing.

  • Do I like to cook and does my schedule allow me to make homemade meals most evenings?
  • Will it be fun to vegetables that are new to me?
  • How will I handle excess produce? (Do you have a neighbor who would like to get some if you get “behind”?) Feeling bad about wasting food is one of the top reasons former CSA members site for not renewing. If anything you can throw the extra veggies in your juicer or blender and get your daily intake of vitamins.

I know for me personally, throughout the week  I frequent Whole Foods daily. Mainly because I buy as I go, and it prevents a lot of waste since it’s only me. I don’t mind considering I love to cook, I love good food and it thrills me to know that I have access to amazing foods. For some people going to the grocery store is a dreadful process. I think in order to change this, you have to take a little time out of your day to look up some recipes and find things you love. If you know how to read, you can learn to cook! No excuses.

Do your research and find a CSA close to home. Why is this important? Because the more local the ingredients the faster it hits your dinner table after being picked. Nutrient value is at the highest value when your food is picked and served in a short amount of time. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t always accessible, but since we live in a community where it is I recommend you take advantage of it!

Have a great weekend!

Here is a link to find a CSA in your area. Good Luck!

Tis’ The Season…Butternut Squash Soup.

{Take seeds out}

{Remove Skin}

{Freshly Made Vegetable Stalk}

{Butternut Squash Soup}

I finally got around to making this soup from scratch. If your not a big fan of cooking- I think soups are probably easier than whipping up anything in the kitchen…especially this one. Fall means everything squash is in season, so why not make some delicious Butternut Squash Soup. This is very affordable (Squash was $1 I think @ Famers Market.)

What you will need:

  • 1 Butternut sqaush (Makes enough for about 5 people)
  • Veggie or Chicken Stalk  ( I made my own veggie stalk)
  •  Cinnamon (1 teaspoon)
  • Nutmeg (1 teaspoon)
  • Honey/Agave (1.5 tablesppon)
  • Heavy Whipping Cream (Optional)
  • Salt ( To taste)
  • Parsley (Garnish)

Cut squash in half/ take seeds out. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Start by baking the squash at 400 degrees on cookie sheet for about 1 hour (or until squash is soft.) Once squash is soft, you can either scoop out of the skin, or cut skin off. Place squash in blender or food processor  w/about 3 cups of veggie or chicken stalk to get a pureed consitancy. Take out of blender and place in pot on med/high heat (you want a small boil.) If consitancy is too thick you can slowly add more stalk. Add salt, agave or honey, nutmeg, cinnamon and heavy cream (optional- I used only 1/2 cup bc my tummy doesn’t like cream based soups). If the soup is too sweet you can always add a few red pepper flakes to add a kick.

*I am not a fan of store bought veggie stalk so I made my own. I baked the squash for about 30 minutes to get soft, so when I cut the skin off it wouldn’t be so hard. I then placed sqaush in a large pot with water, carrots,celary, garlic, white onion, zuchini and let boil until veggies can’t cook any longer. From this I took the squash out of broth- while draining the broth and throwing the boiled veggies out. If you don’t use all of it, just throw in the freezer in a plastic bag and you can use at a later date.

This soup is SO good, and I’m not just saying that because I made it! Hope you enjoy…

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti’s…Yum!

{Flour & Baking Powder}

{Unsalted Butter & Organic Sugar}

{Recipe makes enough for 2 loaves}

{First round in the oven}

{Second round/after cut- for the hard crunch}

This is one of my favorite baking recipes. Not only is it super easy, but I feel better when I make treats like this vs. buying them at the store (usually they have preservatives). Cranberry and Pistachios are two of my favorites when adding in trail mix, so why not add to a sweat treat? Baking can be tricky- so make sure you add the ingredients just as they say. The first time I made them, I had to re-do because something wasn’t right…too much dough not enough love? Perhaps, something like that. The second time was perfection! Also, don’t forget to twice bake these puppies as that is what gives the biscotti the extra crunch. Hope you enjoy!

What is your favorite type of biscotti?

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 3 large eggs, plus 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Place cranberries in a small bowl; add boiling water. Let stand until plump, about 15 minutes. Drain, and set aside. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture, and mix on low speed until combined. Mix in cranberries and pistachios.
  3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Shape each piece into a 16-by-2-inch log, and transfer to prepared baking sheet, about 3 inches apart. With the palm of your hand, flatten logs slightly. Brush beaten egg over surface of the dough logs, and sprinkle generously with sugar.
  4. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until logs are slightly firm to touch, about 25 minutes. Transfer logs on parchment paper to a wire rack to cool slightly, about 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
  5. Place logs on a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut logs crosswise on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place a wire rack on a large rimmed baking sheet. Arrange slices, cut sides down, on rack. Bake until firm to touch, about 30 minutes. Remove pan from oven; let biscotti cool completely on rack. Biscotti can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Recipe is by Martha Stewart and can be found here .