Citrus Roasted Salmon & Barley Risotto

I made the BEST dinner the other night from Power Foods – a cook book that I have had for over a year, but never used. Anthony has been keeping up with his vegetarian diet, so the salmon was just for me. The risotto is made with barley instead of rice, and it was really delicious.

The salmon is roasted on orange and lemon slices for 17 minutes at 400 degrees and topped with a puree of fresh peas and watercress. The risotto has leeks, asparagus and peas, and is prepared just like regular risotto. Delicious

Here is the recipe for the Spring Barley Risotto.

Easter Treats

I am baking for our family’s Easter party this weekend, and I made these Easter Egg sugar cookies yesterday. Usually I decorate actual eggs, but these are much tastier. I have a few more things on my list to make, including some of this good stuff:

The Secret to Chocolate Chip Cookies via America’s Test Kitchen

– This Asparagus Gruyere Tart from Martha Stewart has been on my list of things to try for a while, and I had it at the shower I went to last weekend – it was amazing!

Jello in Real Eggs from Just a Taste is hilarious, and I am thinking of giving it a try.

– If you’re crazy, you might try this tutorial from Shauna Sever – How to Make Your Own Marshmallow Peeps.

– This Arugula Pistachio Pesto from Love and Olive Oil looks delicious.

– I have a huge craving for these Mussels in White Wine Sauce and might give them a try next week.

– The 100 Greatest Cooking Tips of All Time from The Food Network.

Have a great (and delicious) weekend!

Pasta with Goat Cheese, Roasted Asparagus and Lemon

I love goat cheese. A lot of people don’t (at least people in my family). This makes the following recipe fairly controversial, but I promise that the cheese turns into a delicious, creamy, mild, amazing sauce when it melts into the pasta. If you have any hesitations about trying goat cheese, this recipe is a good way to give it a try.

Ingredients:
– 1 box curly pasta such as rotini or campanelle
– 1 bunch asparagus
– 1 small package goat cheese
– Zest and juice of 1 lemon
– 2-3 sprigs tarragon, chopped
– 1/4 cup olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Trim asparagus into bite-sized pieces and spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Coat with olive oil and sprinkle with a little coarse salt. Roast for 10 minutes.
2. In the meantime, prepare pasta according to package directions.
3. Crumble goat cheese into a bowl, add olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and tarragon.
4. Add cooked pasta and asparagus to cheese mixture and stir until cheese is melted and pasta is coated. Serve immediately.

Baby Bok Choy with Rice Noodles

We are in serious detox mode in our house after a few weeks of eating lots of sweets, pizza, and other bad foods. Because of that, I have been trying to pick up some new kinds of vegetables every week at the store. Last week, I gave baby bok choy a try.My go-to method for cooking new vegetables is sauteing them in olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes.

Since greens like these usually shrink down during cooking, I used 6 small bunches for the 2 of us. I cooked them over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, drizzled them with about 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, and served them tossed with rice noodles.It was delicious, light and made me feel a lot better about all of the sugar cookies I’ve been eating lately.

Oh Crap. I have to cook vegetables now.

That was my first thought when Anthony told me he was becoming a vegetarian. I have perfected recipes for chicken noodle soup, pork tenderloin, cheddar and bacon quiche, and (my favorite) short ribs braised in red wine, but now I have to figure out how to make vegetables the star. Sigh.

My favorite vegetable is potato, and I really only think of the green stuff as a side dish. Since Anthony went veggie, I haven’t really been too enthusiastic about cooking dinners. To get my spirits back up, I spent some time scouring the internet for great recipes that will make me forget about delicious meat (at least at dinner time, I’ll save the meat for lunch). Here are some of the ones I can’t wait to try:

Baked Zucchini Chips from Eclectic Recipes

Crispy Penne from Luxirare

Slow Cooked Broccoli with Lemon Breadcrumbs from The Kitchn

Twice Baked Potatoes from A Cozy Kitchen (okay, maybe I’ll eat the ones with bacon and he can have the healthy ones)

Greek Mac & Cheese from Saveur

I think that I can talk myself into being enthusiastic about this new trend in our house as long as there is a lot of cheese and carbs involved. I’ll let you know how long I last.

Mother’s Day Brunch

We just finished a really great Mother’s Day brunch – Anthony and I made Eggs Benedict (his favorite) with Crab Cakes (my favorite) and Crème Brûlée (his mom’s favorite). It worked out really well, but I think we used every pot and pan in our tiny kitchen.

The hardest part of serving a meal with lots of different pieces is making sure that everything is hot and ready at the same time. After a little panic during the final cooking moments when the potatoes weren’t browning and one batch of crab cakes got a little too crispy, somehow we made it work, including poaching the eggs and making a delicious Hollandaise sauce.

I wanted to continue the heavy, buttery, creamy theme of the meal with dessert, so I made Crème Brûlée (I had to look up how to do those accents) for the first time ever, which meant that I got to use my torch, which was tons of fun.

Now the kitchen is clean and I am exhausted and full and happy.

Happy Mother’s Day!