Saturday, December 29, 2012

Ozoni: Japanese New Year's Soup - Cathy and Caity

Ozoni is a traditional Japanese soup eaten for New Year’s. It generally consists of a simple broth with a few simple ingredients.  There is great variation, however—if you Google it, you will see many, many different versions, but the one that my mother (Caity's grandmother) prepares is quite simple and we do it exactly the way she does.

Growing up, I was always told that ozoni must be the first thing consumed on New Year’s Day in order to ensure that one would have good luck in the New Year, and we have continued that tradition in our family--to sometimes varying degrees of enthusiasm, particularly when the kids were younger.  But now it’s become something that we look forward to preparing and eating on New Year’s morning, and we have a steady stream of friends dropping by to share in the good fortune of the New Year. It is also nice and soothing for a stomach that may have ingested a little too much champagne on New Year's Eve. 

Our version is just a clear broth (simple enough to make with dried konbu, or kelp, and bonito flakes; but we use Hondashi dried instant broth as my mother does), daikon, a few slices of carrot cut into flower shapes (this is a must, sorry), some fresh mizuna greens, and the most important part—mochi cakes.  (I also like to add a few dried shrimp, but only in mine; that’s where my family draws the line.) If you can't find mizuna, you could substitute fresh spinach perhaps, or maybe even arugula, or any green that you find satisfying that will bring a bit of green color and flavor to the soup. (If you are wondering what in the world hondashi, daikon or mizuna leaves are, see ingredient list below for more information.)

The mochi cake—purchased either fresh or frozen, however you can find it where you live—becomes nice and stretchy and delicious when it’s hot, and so delicious in the soup.  Eat it with much Good Luck in the New Year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Panna Cotta - Cathy

Another one of Erin’s favorites, panna cotta is an Italian cream dessert—kind of like a cream jello, actually, though that’s not a particularly appealing description.  It’s a very simple dessert; just a creamy, vanilla-y, soft gelatin that’s usually served unmolded onto a plate or out of a nice wine glass—either way served with a fruit puree sauce or some fresh fruit.  

This recipe is the best version I’ve found, from the ever-reliable “Best of the Best” Cookbook II—written by those Canadian Best of Bridge ladies. I like to serve this with just a few fresh berries.  

Most American restaurants serve it with a raspberry or other fruit puree, but I think that fruit purees overwhelm the delicate panna cotta, but that’s just my humble opinion. What the Best of Bridge ladies say about it is “You’ll never make anything else that’s this good and this easy!  The texture is like velvet!"

We have it for dessert with Christmas dinner. It's great because you can make it the day before, then throw it in the fridge and you don't have to worry about it all day. It always comes out great! We have even served it to a large group for one of Caity's high school Christmas dance dinners, transporting it easily to another home to serve where it was a big success.

Makes approximately 6-8 servings depending on serving size.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hot Chocolate Truffles - Caity

I am a hot chocolate addict and have been for a very long time. I would rather have hot chocolate in the morning than coffee. Most mornings, I'll make hot chocolate in my Starbucks to-go mug and take it to work. Everyone assumes I am a grown-up and drink coffee but really it's delicious hot chocolate! 

Last Christmas, Keegan and I made hot chocolate truffles on sticks and once I tried one, I knew I had to make them again. I love these truffles because they are so festive and they taste really good. Last year, Keegan and I dipped them in marshmallows, cinnamon/cocoa, and matcha green tea. The green tea looked really pretty and colorful. This year, I tried using crushed candy canes (because I LOVE peppermint hot chocolate) and holiday sprinkles from Target that cost a dollar (I love Target!). I also tried a "Mexican Hot Chocolate" truffle which basically involved adding a little cayenne to the cinnamon/cocoa mixture. I think dipping them in powdered sugar would also be really pretty. 

These truffles are really easy, basically melt the chocolate, chill, reform and dip. Things can get a little messy when you're dipping them but my friend, Karlee, had a great idea to put the finished truffles in a mini-cupcake tin to help hold their shape. I don't have one though so my truffles were slightly more.... oblong. But they still taste great! 

This recipe is from the "Your Cup of Cake" blog and makes approximately 15 truffles (depending on the size of your truffles). 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Beans and Toast - Caity

When we used to go visit Erin in the U.K., our bed and breakfast would always serve us a "Full English Breakfast" which (depending on location) can involve eggs, bacon (not bacon like we're used to in the U.S., the U.K. bacon is called "back bacon" in the U.S.), sausages, baked beans, white pudding, black pudding, kidneys (grilled or fried), potatoes, toast, soda bread, pancakes, bubble and squeak (the English are so strange with their funny names sometimes), fried mushrooms, fried tomatoes, oatcakes, and fruit pudding. 

After a breakfast like that, I never felt ready for the day, I felt ready for a nap. But my dad doesn't allow for morning naps. We usually powered on and walked the length of the city at least twice to work off some calories. 

Since Erin has moved back to the states (and I am very glad she's here), I was not getting any more authentic English breakfasts soooooo I started making my own once in a while. In Salt Lake City, you can buy back bacon and Heinz beans at the London Market by Trolley Square. It makes a nice Sunday morning brunch! 

When I don't feel like making the WHOLE thing, I like to make just beans and toast. It sounds like a strange combination (especially since I usually don't care for baked beans) but I really enjoy the combination in the morning. It fills me up enough to get through the morning but not so much that I feel the need to walk for hours to burn off some calories. And it only takes 2 minutes to make so its a good breakfast before a long day of work. 

Is anyone still wondering what bubble and squeak is? 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Lime Matcha Grinch Cookies - Caity

I've seen recipes for matcha cookies before and have always wanted to try them but I always chickened out because of the green color. But since it's Christmas time, I think green cookies will be more widely accepted. They're "festive"! In fact, they remind me of the Grinch which is my favorite Christmas movie ever. 

These have great flavor, and the lime compliments the matcha green tea flavor very well. These cookies are great straight off the plate or served with tea. 

This recipe is from Nicole Stich's cookbook "Delicious Days". 

Preparation time: 10 minutes plus 1 hour for cooling
Cook time: 10-15 minutes

Monday, November 19, 2012

Holiday Green Beans - Caity

These green beans are a staple of all our holiday meals, particularly Christmas and Thanksgiving. I have been making them for a really, really, really long time. The recipe is from the American Girl Cookbook (it was Felicity's recipe to be exact) and it's been a really, really, really long time since I had an American Girl doll, so that should give you some sort of time frame.  

I stopped using the cookbook after a couple times of making the green beans and it disappeared a couple of years later. I don't remember what the original recipe was exactly but it has become something very simple, just a couple of ingredients with lots of flavor. I hope you enjoy and have a happy Thanksgiving!!!!! 

Serves about 4 (depending on how much you like green beans)

Two years ago: Thanksgiving Stuffing

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fresh Cranberry Orange Relish - Cathy

When my kids were little, I always made a traditional, cooked cranberry sauce (recipe here)--with one simple addition that Erin always demanded (that recipe coming up!).  One year I decided to try a back-of-the-bag recipe that called for all raw ingredients, and we loved it! Especially Erin; so now our family requires two cranberry sauces for every Thanksgiving dinner! Since we always seem to do an extra summer turkey dinner--usually on the grill, and with not quite all the fixings, this means that we make this sauce twice a year. 

This year was an extra-special early Thanksgiving dinner, and we did do all the fixings, as it was a send-off to Keegan right before he went off to Marine boot camp on October 9.  He will be in boot camp through his birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's, so we wanted to have a big family meal for him to think of and sustain him during some of those long, lonely days.  

We had a big Thanksgiving feast on the patio with a lot of family and friends (served in two seatings because Caity had to fly out early back to Portland, but Erin couldn't get off work in time to sit down with everyone else. So some of us ate twice! Not admitting anything...).  

This Thursday we will be missing him and holding him in our hearts, but are lucky enough to have his girlfriend, Jaymie joining us from California!  It will be like having a part of him there with us, and we are so pleased.  And another year still, of Caity being able to make it home from Portland.  We know we're awfully lucky to still be able to get her here for Thanksgiving.

So here's just one part of the big day!  We hope that you all have a wonderful, delicious, and peaceful Thanksgiving with much to be thankful for.

Two years ago: Thanksgiving Stuffing

Pecan "Crack" Pie - Caity

Crack pie. I saw the recipe on Pinterest and was immediately intrigued. Why is it called crack pie? Is it because the filling cracks as it cools? Is it because it has crack in it?  Is it because it is so good you'll quickly want more? Now that I have tried it, I know it's because it is SO GOOD! 

Growing up, I never really liked pecan pie until I tried a pecan pie made by a family friend, Rhonda Dodson. She made her grandmother's recipe which was a combination of two classic southern pies, pecan pie and chess pie. It was amazing! The inside was sweet and dense and custardy without the use of corn syrup. I have made several different recipes for pecan pies and found that I never like the ones with corn syrup. In my opinion, they are too sweet and leak out all over the place. You cut your pie and the next thing you know, you have pie crust in pie filling soup.

Crack pie is somewhat similar to a chess pie, but also very different. This particular recipe comes from the restaurant in New York, Momofuku's Milk Bar, a restaurant well known for sweets and big tasty pies. I made some small changes and I decided to add pecans so that I had an excuse to make it for Thanksgiving. It would be good both ways if you really don't like pecans. 

This is a good pie for Thanksgiving because it's supposed to be served cold. You can make it up to 2 days beforehand and throw it in the fridge. This recipe does include a homemade oat cookie crust which is really amazing and I think you should try it BUT if you're short on time and desperate for a little crack (hahaha) then I think a graham cracker or regular pie crust would be okay substitutes. 

Two years ago: Thanksgiving Stuffing

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Wild Mushroom and Asparagus Fettuccine - Caity

It just about kills my mom when I tell her that I am cooking mushrooms for dinner. I refused to eat mushrooms nearly my entire life despite her best efforts. I would pick them out of anything she tried to hide them in. Now, I feel like I am playing catch up for all that I've been missing. Mushrooms are so good!

I like choosing a couple of different types of mushrooms to put in the fettuccine because they all taste different, and they are all so pretty! The nurse practitioner I work with goes mushroom hunting on the weekends. The last time I made this pasta, I used a couple of chanterelles she had picked the day before. I'm won't lie and say I wasn't a LITTLE nervous about eating them, but I am still breathing and from what she has told me, she is quite experienced in chanterelle hunting. 

This recipe is adapted from a recipe in the "Cooking Outside the Box: Easy, Seasonal and Organic cookbook". I bought it a long time ago from Anthropologie and this fettuccine was the first thing I've made from it. I think I'll have to test out more! The original recipe calls for prosciutto but I decided to use asparagus instead and I like it that way a lot. The asparagus cuts some of the creaminess which I really like. 

Serves 2 generously, or serves 4 as a light meal. 

One year ago: Crab and Brie Soup

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Acorn Squash with Jalapeño Lime Vinaigrette - Caity

This is a great autumn side dish (or anytime side dish really!). The richness of the squash is nicely balanced with the lime and cilantro vinaigrette. 

It makes a good amount of squash so if you're only cooking for a couple people, you could either cut the recipe in half, or re-use the leftovers. I used my leftovers in risotto with arugula and it was tasty!!!! This recipe is slightly adapted from the Smitten Kitchen blog. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Peruvian Style Roasted Chicken - Caity

I found this recipe at Whole Foods. It's easy to prepare and its really big on flavor without using a thousand ingredients. If you're a sick puppy like me and live for the chicken and turkey skin, you'll really like this chicken! 

Roasting a whole chicken is easier than it sounds and it gives you good leftovers that you can reheat or use to make sandwiches or salads with. I really like making roast chicken on Sunday because then I know I will have lunch ready to go that week. Plus it makes my apartment smell amaaaaaaaaazing! 

Its up to you if you want to truss the chicken or not. Trussing the chicken helps prevent the extremities from cooking faster than the rest of the chicken. We learned how to truss a chicken with this helpful video (warning: man in video makes lame jokes). 

Serve with potatoes or rice and a salad. Makes about 6 servings. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bacon & Jalapeño Corn Chowder - Caity

When it's raining outside, there is nothing I'd rather do than climb into bed with a hot bowl of soup and a good movie. Corn chowder has always been one of my favorite soups because I'm obsessed with corn! I also love bacon and this chowder is a great combination of both. This recipe based on a recipe from Bon Appetit magazine. 

Serves 4-5

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Creamer - Caity

I feel like I can't get enough pumpkin spice lattes lately. I will wake up early to get to Starbucks so I can get my fix before work. Then my mom sent me this recipe from the website, The Kitchn, and not only does it save me money but it gets me an extra 15 minutes of sleep which is amazing! 

You can use the pumpkin spice mix right away and make 2 lattes, or what I did was make 1 latte right away (yum!) then put the rest in the fridge and used it the next morning. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Hungry High Schooler Beef Sandwiches - Caity

Have you ever come home from work or school and been so hungry you'll eat anything in sight? Pickles, chips, cookies, croutons, ice cream.... your hand.... I have! One time, I even poured the rest of the crumbled tortilla chip bag into the salsa jar and ate that. 

There is nothing better than coming home after a long day and being able to find something tasty and satisfying in the freezer. I used to eat a lot of these sandwiches in high school. My mom used to keep them in the freezer so I could heat them up when I got home from soccer practice (and since I was growing at that point, I'd eat dinner later too). This recipe makes about 12 sandwiches, depending on the size of bun you use. You can serve them all at once for a big group or freeze the leftovers and throw them in the microwave later.

Looking at the ingredients you might get a little weirded out. Chopped pickles and ketchup??? I promise its good! You have to try it! 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Barley Greek Salad - Caity

Last month, my cousin Jacob married a cute woman named Jessica in Milwaukee and (almost) the entire Walsh family got together. This is a very large group of people and they are all fabulous and I love seeing them! I am already looking forward to the next Walsh reunion, whenever that happens. 

The wedding was gorgeous and everyone had a blast. The weekend came to an end too quickly and before I know it I was at the airport. I came back to Portland with two very special souvenirs: a sausage shaped like a bottle of beer (weird right?) and a delicious recipe for Barley Greek Salad. 

My Auntie Ellyn (the one and the same Auntie Ellyn from Auntie Ellyn and Uncle Todd's Chopped Salad) was telling me about a recipe she has been making a lot lately that is Greek Salad but made with barley. She said the flavor was fantastic, it was easy to make, AND it kept well in the fridge. I was sold. 

The first time I made it, I ate it for dinner on Monday, lunch on Tuesday, dinner on Tuesday and lunch on Thursday. I have made it twice since then and love it just as much every time. 

The recipe comes from "Down Home With the Neely's" on the Food Network. The recipe doesn't call for cucumber, but I like to add it because it adds nice color and crunch. Today, my mom suggested adding some Preserved Lemons which I think would be just fabulous. 

One year ago: Corn Risotto Dip

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Blueberry Banana Bread - Caity

Whenever I buy a bunch of bananas, at least 3 of them end up turning black before I can eat them. In college I learned that, even if they are black, just throw them in the freezer and thaw them when you're ready to make banana bread. The riper the better! I love this recipe because it uses whole wheat flour and blueberries so I can tell myself that I am eating health food while I finish the entire loaf with my whole milk latte. 

Lynn Kestle gave this recipe to my mom and it's from bestselling Canadian cookbook "Fare for Friends", published in support of battered women. The original recipe uses all white flour but Lynn substitutes 1/2 cup whole wheat flour which my family likes to do too, because it gives the bread such great flavor. Another change Lynn makes is to use chocolate chips instead of blueberries. Both variations are great! 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Baby Bok Choy and Snow Peas - Caity

I always thought baby bok choy were so cute. I never bought them until I found this recipe in Jaden Hair's "The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook". It's so easy and tasty and goes perfectly with my favorite salmon recipe, Asian Grilled Salmon (here). The baby bok choy and snow peas only take a couple of minutes to soften up so I'll start cooking them as soon as I take the salmon off the grill. Add a little bit of rice and BAM! Dinner is served! 

Serves 4

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Rice, Bean and Many Veggie Gratin--Cathy

This is a great meal for Meatless Monday (or any other time) that even my veggie-challenged husband, Kevin likes.  He even took leftovers to work for lunch the next day of his own free will. Whoa! 

This is a delicious combination of brown rice, wild rice (I tend to make a big batch of these and throw any extra into ziploc bags in the freezer to use when I'm in a hurry. Which seems to be always, I don't know why),  and lots and lots of veggies.

Feel free to use whatever veggies or beans that strike your fancy and that you happen to have around.  This is much easier of course in the summer, when our garden is bursting with gorgeous things that Farmer Kevin is growing organically (and fertilizing with alpaca poop that he gets from his friend, Jim--but that's another story), but also pretty easy even in the winter.

I used vegan cheese in this--which takes a little getting used to, but is not bad once you do--because someone in my family (ahem, Caity) has guilted me into going totally vegan on Meatless Mondays, but you can certainly use regular grated cheese if you like.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Basil Saketini - Caity

Sake can seem like a scary thing. If you've ever gotten the hot stuff at a sushi restaurant... let's just say not my favorite. I'm working on liking the cold ones. Just like wine, you like some and you avoid others like the plague. Luckily for those of us who aren't completely sold on sake tasting, there is the SAKETINI!

To me, saketini's don't really taste like sake. Think of it as a Japanese sangria. This recipe is based on a drink I had Oregon's Spring Beer Festival in March. The original recipe calls for Ruby Red Grapefruit syrup but I had no idea where to get that so I looked in my cupboard and I had elderflower syrup from Ikea. Feel free to use whatever syrup strikes your fancy. You could do simple syrup or I bet grenadine would be good!

Also, for those of you who may not have had sake, compare it to wine. If you have 4 glasses of sake, that is like having 4 glasses of wine. This stuff is so good it goes down VERY easily!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Hamachi Shots - Jaymie

I first encountered these delicious Hamachi Shots at Alexander's Steakhouse in Cupertino, CA.  My version is not as great as the ones I had there, but I continue to recreate the happiness I felt as I downed that first hamachi shot.  This is my interpretation of the Hamachi/Salmon Shooters recipe I found on Tastebook, while searching for hamachi shots for Keegan's 25th birthday dinner.

Since finding this recipe, Keegan and I have made it for his entire family and it has become a Walsh favorite.

hamachi shots

Serves 6 people  (or 3 people x 2 shots, 2 people x 3 shots)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sweet Chili Baby Back Ribs - Caity

You learn something new everyday. On Saturday, I learned most ribs are pork. I always thought they were beef. I had no idea! 

I also had no idea that ribs were so easy to make. Two ingredients (unless you count salt and pepper, then it's four), one oven, four hours = heaven. I was afraid that the ribs would be tough because I didn't have a "special rib smoker" but these ribs were falling off the bone and so tender. Thai sweet chili sauce is a perfect sauce for these ribs and very different from regular BBQ sauce. 

This recipe  comes from "The Steamy Kitchen" blog which has lots of other easy to make, incredibly tasty items. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Mushroom Basil and Parmesan Orzo - Erin

This is just a variation of Brendan's Orzo with Parmesan and Basil that I made one night when I had a bunch of mushrooms to use up.  You could do it with whatever mushrooms you can find, but I love getting a range of different types and shapes.  My favorite place to find the weirder mushrooms is usually Asian stores, but some grocery stores have a good variety too, so you can just use whatever you can find!

what you will need
3 Tbsp. butter
1 1/2 cups orzo 
2 cups mushrooms, cut into bite-size pieces
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
6 Tbsp. fresh basil sliced Chiffonade style
salt and pepper to taste

Monday, May 28, 2012

Sicilian Carrots - Cathy

This is a recipe that is ridiculously simple to make, with very few ingredients, but the end result is gorgeous and delicious!  It's a great thing to serve in the winter when you need something colorful and vibrant to perk up your taste buds, but great any time of year because it's so colorful and unusual. 

The recipe (adapted only very slightly) is from food writers Marian Burros and Lois Levine's classic book, "Elegant but Easy", and they attribute it to a grocery carryout shop in NYC, Agata and Valentina.  

This is best served at room temperature which makes it wonderful for picnics, potlucks; anything really.  
Have a wonderful, peaceful Memorial Day as we remember those who sacrifice so much for all of us.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Chorizo and Smoked Paprika Brussels Sprouts - Erin

I've had a recent obsession with brussels sprouts. Usually, I make it with bacon which is fabulous (as bacon always is) but seems like everywhere you look is a brussels sprouts recipe with bacon. Then other day when I went to get something out of the spice cabinet I saw the smoked paprika which started me thinking how good this would be with Spanish chorizo and smoked paprika!

what you will need:
3 cups brussel sprouts, shaved on a mandolin or sliced very thinly 
2 handfuls chorizo (the kind that's harder, more like salami than sausage) cut into small pieces
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (the Spanish kind is the only good kind!)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1.5 Tbsp. olive oil
freshly ground pepper

Monday, May 14, 2012

Coconut Whipped "Cream" - Caity

I love whipped cream. I love coconut. When I saw the recipe on Pinterest, I knew I had to try it.  

Its tasty, easy to make, and dairy free for your lactose intolerant friends (shout out to Kamauri and Erika!!!!). 

I whipped it up and threw raspberries on top and ate it that way, but I've read it is good in coffee too (or hot chocolate!). 

Just note that the can of coconut needs to be refrigerated overnight! 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Wild Rice Broccoli Casserole - Caity

This is the ultimate comfort food and so easy to make. It can be a great side dish or add some cooked rotisserie chicken and BAM! Main course! This delicious recipe comes from the "Best of the Best Cookbook" which also features other family favorites like Christmas Morning Breakfast Bake and Orzo with Parmesan and Basil

This is also a great "make ahead of time and bake when you're hungry" meal. Serves around 6 people. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Marinated Buffalo Mozzarella and Tomato - Caity

Another sunny day in Portland! To celebrate the coming of spring, I wanted to make something with lots of fresh, ingredients and flavors. This recipe is from the "Plenty" cookbook written by Yotam Ottolenghi. The cookbook is entirely vegetable recipes and I can't wait to try more of them out.

Marinated mozzarella with tomato is a simple, fresh tasting starters that is easy to make and verrrrrryyyyy rewarding. The mozzarella is marinated in olive oil spiked with fennel seeds, lemon zest, basil and oregano. The tomato breaks up the richness of the mozzarella and makes it one delicious dish! Make sure you buy buffalo mozzarella (the kind that is sitting in the gross cloudy water) or else it won't be as tender. 

The foodstyling credit goes to Brendan for his excellent ability to arrange my culinary tornado into an appetizing looking meal (see Brendan, I told you I'd give you credit!).

what you'll need:

for the marinade:
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
grated zest of 1 lemon
15 basil leaves, shredded
2 tsp chopped oregano
2 tsp. good quality olive oil plus extra to finish
2 tsp grapeseed oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 tsp big flaky sea salt
fresh ground black pepper

8-9 oz of fresh buffalo mozzarella
2 ripe medium tomatoes (try experimenting with heirloom)

To make the marinade: start by pan frying the fennel seeds in a small frying pan over medium heat and dry-roast until brown but not burned. Transfer to a mortar and crush roughly. In a small bowl, add the crushed fennel seeds and the rest of the marinade ingredients.

Break the mozzarella up roughly with your hands. Smear it with marinade and let sit for 15-30 minutes.

To serve, cut the tomatoes into wedges and serve alongside the mozzarella. Drizzle with extra olive oil and serve with nice crusty white bread.