Sunday, July 26, 2009

Summer Soup ~ Gazpacho

Gazpacho is an extremely healthy soup full of great flavors. Garlic, onion, cucumber, tomatoes, zucchini, celery..... HEALTHY!


2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large red onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 large cucumber, diced
5 ripe tomatoes, diced
1 zucchini, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
4 cups tomato juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoons sugar
Tabasco to taste
Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Sliced avocado
Sour cream

In the bowl of a food processor or in a blender, combine the minced garlic with half the red onion, half the cucumber, half the tomato, half the zucchini, half the celery,half of the yellow and red pepper, half the tomato juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, Tabasco, and a dash of salt. Pulse until all ingredients are blended well; mixture will have a nice speckled, colorful texture. Pour into a large bowl and add the rest of the tomato juice, and half of the remaining onion, cucumber, tomato, zucchini,red and yellow pepper, and celery. (Reserve the rest of the diced vegetables for garnish.) Stir mixture together and check seasonings, adding salt if needed. Chill soup for at least a couple of hours.

Remove the soup from the fridge and stir. Check seasonings one last time. Ladle into a bowl and garnish with remaining diced vegetables, a sliver of fresh avocado, sour cream, and cilantro.

Great for the hot summer evenings.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes, Olives and Goat Cheese

One Night ~ Two Dinners
My husband went crazy in the kitchen tonight!
He made a great dinner tonight and he prepared dinner for tomorrow as well.
I am extremely greatful!!

Pasta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Olives and Goat Cheese

1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
4 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 9-ounce package fresh tagliatelle or fettuccine pasta
2 ounces soft goat cheese, at room temperature
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the cherry tomatoes, olives, unpeeled garlic cloves and olive oil together on the baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes, or until the tomatoes have begun to collapse and the garlic is tender when pierced with a knife.

While the vegetables are roasting, bring a large pot of water to a boil. When the vegetables are ready, add the salt and pasta to the water and cook until al dente (fresh pasta cooks quickly; check package instructions for correct cooking times). Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.

When garlic is cool enough to handle, remove the papery skins. Toss the roasted vegetables, goat cheese, basil and pasta in a large serving bowl, adding enough of the reserved pasta water to create a sauce-like consistency. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

This is a very nice recipe. Creamy, balanced flavors.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Chocolate, Peanut Butter Cake

As I have confessed before ~ I am not much of a baker but sometimes you just need chocolate. So I made a Chocolate Cake with peanut butter in the middle. Then to top it off with a little more chocolate I covered the cake in chocolate ganache.
I will have to send this entry to my friend C who is the true baker and see what she thinks.

Chocolate Cake ~ YUM!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Great Food at the B&B on Tiffany Hill

I surprised my husband with a trip to Asheville, NC 4th of July weekend.
A friend of ours recently opened a Bed and Breakfast in Asheville.
Her name is Selena and her amazing place is called the
Bed and Breakfast on Tiffany Hill.

Selena describes her B&B as "Casual Elegance filled with Southern Hospitality" and it is that and so much more. The B&B is gorgeous. There are five guest rooms that are decorated to make your stay comfortable and relaxing. Selena is a gracious and extremely helpful Inn Keeper. She will assist you in planning your day with local activities or encourage you to relax on the property walking around the 7 gardens or taking a nap in the hammock. Each night we found a special treat in our room like chocolate chip cookies or pecan nugget bars. My husband loved that each day upon return from our adventures there was a new German Chocolate Truffle sitting beside the bed to replace the one he ate earlier that day.

Each morning we were served and extraodinary three course breakfast.

Day 1
Fresh fruit with honey, citrus sauce:

Artichoke Egg Strata with asparagus and seasoned potatoes:

Pineapple Upside Down Cobbler:

Day 2
Fresh Fruit with a Vanilla Cream Sauce

Banana & Pecan Stuffed French Toast

Frozen Vanilla Yogurt with Raspberry Sauce:

Day 3
Peaches in Simple Sauce with Infused Mint

Ham, Mushroom and Egg Cups

Banana, Pineapple Cream Pie

The food was another wonderful aspect of this bed and breakfast. All three days we we were there the breakfast was truely delicious.

Of course after eating a big breakfast each morning we needed to get a little exercise. So lucky for us the Dupont National Forest was only a few minutes away.
The are around Dupont Forest is known as Land of the Waterfalls. The waterfalls were breathtaking.

Thanks again Selena!