Monday, February 28, 2011

Thai coconut soup (tom kha gai): a recipe

Thai coconut soup (tom kha gai)
When I enjoy a really good dish at a restaurant, I'm always tempted to try to recreate it at home. With the exception of the buffalo chicken pizza that I copied from the Carolina Brewery in my former hometown of Chapel Hill, my home version usually just isn't quite the same.

That's not to say that my home version is bad, either -- just different.

Case in point, this Thai coconut soup.

I first had this soup at the Tiny Thai restaurant in my soon-to-be new hometown of Essex, Vermont. It's fantastic -- a flavorful, milky broth with just a hint of tangy lime.

So I searched the internet for some recipes -- and found that most of the necessary ingredients are not readily available to me. Dag.

Back to the drawing board.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Chocolate and cherry scones: a recipe

Chocolate & cherry scone
Observation: Posting about crack cookies yielded interesting comments and a follower that actually called herself "Team Ninja", while posting about collards yielded chirp-chirp crickety silence.

So let's talk chocolately tarty baked goods!

I love scones and was pleasantly surprised when I realized how easy they are to make. In fact, one of my favorite scone recipes came straight from the side of a Land-o-Lakes half-and-half carton (I am no recipe snob, my friends -- a good recipe is a good recipe).

I adapted this scone recipe (below) from one of my favorite blogs, Dinner with Julie. I will warn you that Julie's scone dough is very sticky and a bit tricky to manipulate, but please try to persevere, as the end result is really moist -- like a super-dense cake inside, with a crunchy scone outside!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cheesy baked pasta with collards: a recipe

Cheesy baked pasta with collards
Don't stop reading at the word "collards" -- they are a very misunderstood vegetable.

Being a New Englandah, I had never had collards before I moved to the South. Even then, they generally appeared only at "country cooking" types of restaurants, sickly green and stewed beyond recognition -- um, no thanks.

When a big bunch of collards showed up in one of my first CSA shares in North Carolina, I was at a loss for what to do with them.

Thank god for Google. (What the hell did we do before the internet, I ask you? I don't really remember...)

Here's a list of what I have learned about collards over the past few years:

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mini breakfast quiche: a recipe

Mini sausage and spinach breakfast quiche
First of all, congratulations! You made it through Detox January!

See? That wasn't so bad, was it? And I bet you dropped five pounds, didn't you?

For about the past 10 years, I've been on a quest for delicious, healthy, filling and portable breakfast recipes. Frankly, it has been a little like tracking Big Foot or trying to capture a chupacabra on film.

But today, we have a winner!

I made these mini quiches from a recipe on the Eating Well magazine web site; technically they are an appetizer, but I thought they'd be ideal for breakfast. They are small enough to eat quickly before you run out the door or you can take them with you on the way to work. If, that is, you don't have a spouse that believes eating in the car is a crime second only to murder (ahem).