it's okay to play with your food

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Simple Pleasures

So today was a day of making ridiculously easy meals that were delicious, so I have to share...

Goat Cheese and Honey Open Faced Sandwiches

Slices of a hearty bread, toasted or untoasted (I used left over Pain au Levain from last week's Roasted Beet Salad)
Goat cheese

Smear goat cheese on the bread, drizzle with honey.

Basil and Tomato Ravioli

Small bunch of fresh basil, coarsely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
olive oil
1 medium tomato, diced
ravioli (I had mushroom ravioli from Trader Joe's, really tasty)
coarse sea salt

Mix together the basil and garlic with just enough olive oil to form a paste. Cook ravioli. After draining ravioli, drizzle with more olive oil, add basil paste, tomato, salt and pepper to taste, and toss.


As I mentioned in an earlier post about my new kitchen, the black and white subway tile inspired me to do a retro color palate. Kitchens in the 1950s/60s are known for their bold colors: primary hues, but also pinks and aquas. My color obsession is for anything blue green (my yarn stash and wardrobe can attest to this). So I knew I wanted a bi-color scheme, with a deep sea-green and a warmer cremesicle shade.

My paints came from Greenable, a store in Old City that specializes in eco-friendly home supplies. I chose the colors Wide Horizons and Honey Bunch from Mythic Paint, a non-toxic, low VOC line.

One painting party later, I have a lovely kitchen.

The Honey Bunch came out more yellow than orange, but I still love the look.

You can also see that I have a fridge now. As luck would have it, another client of my real estate agent was buying a house with a fridge she didn't want. The client gave me the fridge. I just had to pay for the move, taken care of by Mambo Movers. It's an old-school Westinghouse model. It works fine, but the gasket (the seal around the door) is busted. So I actually have to buy a new one and install it... and pay a bajillion dollars in electricity bills this month. But I'm going to take care of it this week. (my real estate agent's agency... look for Trish Kelly)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Roasted Beet Salad with Toasted Pistachios and Caramelized Onions

My dad came over for dinner yesterday to see the new house, so I threw together a simple one-dish meal using beets from the Passyunk Square Farmer's Market and other random ingredients from the pantry. Being out of blogging-mode, I didn't think to take photos, but imagine magenta half-moons and flecks of white goat cheese amidst green romaine lettuce leaves and you're pretty close to seeing the finished product.

Roasted Beet Salad with Toasted Pistachios and Caramelized Onions

Bunch of fresh beets
1/4 onion, thinly sliced
Handful of shelled pistachios
Head of romaine lettuce
Goat cheese

Balsamic vinegar
Dijon Mustard
Almond oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut off leafy green tops of beets, leaving a short stem. Wrap beets in foil and roast in oven till tender, about one hour.

Meanwhile, caramelize the onions in butter with a teaspoon of sugar on low heat. (If onions are already sweet onions, e.g., vidalia, you don't need the extra sugar.). Caramelizing takes about 30 minutes. Let onions cool.

Toast the pistachios for about 5 minutes. Chop coarsely once cool.

Wash the lettuce leaves and prepare the vinaigrette (see previous posts for more specific vinaigrette directions).

Once beets are ready, let them cool for a few minutes before peeling off their skins. Slice into half-moons and let them reach room-temperature.

Once all ingredients are cool, dress the salad. Mix in the beets, onions and pistachios. Drop in small plops of goat cheese and lightly toss. Serve with bread. (I picked up a loaf of Pain au Levain from Metropolitan Bakery, a rustic sourdough).

Friday, September 19, 2008

Busy Tizzy

So my life over the past few weeks has been consumed by the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and moving, leaving little time for blogging. However, the kitchen has been painted, a fridge has been acquired and I am refurbing a vintage dining table... photos and posts are forthcoming.

In the meantime, check out this Philadelphia Inquirer article about the midcentury modern trend...