October 20, 2015

Say Cheese!

All who know me are well-aware that I am a lover of all things cheese, and a cheese or charcuterie board is a staple in our household every weekend (party or not). After interviewing our Cheesemonger during my first few months on the job, I was hooked on learning more about my favorite appetizer/snack/full-course.

Why does that specific style of cheese age that way? 
What gives it that distinct smell? 
What types of meats could I pair with this, and why? 

With our Cheesemonger's help, I've learned to experiment and pair all sorts of things together, things I wouldn't normally consider. And since I have not blogged in months, I decided to share a cheeseboard from a few weekends ago. Now, I am no cheese expert, so in a few weeks she's agreed to share some more cheese love on my blog, as I slowly start posting again.

What's on my cheeseboard?

1. Deer Creek Vat 17
2. Murray's Drunken Goat
3. Point Reyes Toma
3. Widmer's 4-Year Aged Cheddar
4. Granny Smith Apples
5. Sliced Almonds
6. Dalmatia Fig Spread
7. Cocoa Fig Spread

And before I forget, that beautiful serving piece that I have ever so lovingly turned into my favorite cheeseboard is from Pier 1, available here.

March 7, 2015

Saturday Clean-Out

Rich and I have a tendency to splurge on produce all week long. Once Saturday comes, we still have a bunch of things left in the fridge that we have to use quickly. So we throw everything together, and this makes Saturday my favorite day. We have a boatload of quinoa right now, so I decided to throw some things together for a quick lunch.

Disclaimer: this meal is HOT, in both temperature and flavor.

What you'll need:
1 Tbsp olive oil
Chopped onion (about 1/4 cup)
Chopped carrots
Chopped radishes
Chopped green and red peppers
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 tsp red pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup frozen corn

What to do:
Heat olive oil on skillet.
Once warm, add onion, carrots, radishes, green and red peppers and cook until brown.
Add in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Mix in uncooked quinoa and add 1/2 cup vegetable broth.
Add red pepper, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
Stir and continue to add in the rest of the vegetable broth as it soaks in (I added 1/4 cup at a time).
Cook for 15 minutes.
Add in frozen corn and cook for another 5 minutes.
Top with either Feta or Cotija (I changed to Cotija last minute) cheese and you're done!

March 1, 2015

"That Avocado Dip"

I love drawing inspiration from others. A coworker recently told me about a quick avocado snack that she and her husband love making. We, of course, had to try it because of our undying love for the delicious fruit. We made a few changes to her original recipe along the way; using Kumato tomatoes rather than traditional red and adding fresh garlic. 

This snack, donned "that Avocado Dip" in our home, is a simple recipe with all whole ingredients and a little spice from my new favorite store, Penzey's Spices. Full disclosure: next time, Rich and I decided to add a few squeezes of lemon and a Serrano pepper. We love the heat!

What you'll need:
A pestle and mortar
2 avocados
1/2 onion
1 garlic clove
1 Kumato tomatoes

Do this:
Halve your avocados and mash in the pestle and mortar.
Chop up your onion, garlic and tomato.
Throw into the mashed avocados and add 1 Tbsp of your spice.
Mash all together and serve with tortilla chips.

April 1, 2014

Kale Chips Galore

Hello again! I know it has been a while and for that, I'm sorry! Life has thrown a lot my way in the last month, thankfully all good things. While making kale chips the other day, I remembered that Gina of Pregaming with Coffee said she wanted my recipe. The thought of disappointing her is too much to bear so here you go, my kale chips recipe, which Rich and I use regularly. By regularly, I mean ever day. Happy Spring, no jokes here!

Lil Hil's Kale Chips (Ha!):
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut fresh kale into pieces equal to chips in size. Combine seasoning (anything you'd like, I love lemon pepper) and olive oil in large bowl and mix together. Add in kale bits (chips once cooked). Mix and make sure that kale is lightly coated, but not saturated. Place flat on baking sheet. Place in over for 4-5 minutes, turn to other side and bake for another 4-5 minutes.

All ovens are different, if your chips are turning brown and crispy, take them out of the oven and put the rest back in. It's all about how your oven works for you.