This Italian dessert and coffee spot is attached to a fabulous Italian restaurant, Cafe Epicure. The restaurant has tried to stay authentic with all signs in Italian (but with English translations) and even an imported cooler that reads the inside temperature in Celsius.
I fear this will be the most negative post I will ever write. I am sorry for this due to Sweet Tomatoes being my grandmother's favorite restaurant when she is in town. I went to lunch with my parents and grandmother one day to take some photos and to write a post about this giant salad bar because it is all Mawmaw talks about when she goes home to Baton Rouge. I will say that unless she or Mom or Dad ever want to go back, I'm keeping my distance.
Chicken Noodle Soup has always been a favorite to me. My mom has had this recipe forever and when my grandmother had a day care center, she cooked it for the kids. And the moms could never understand why their kids refused to eat the soup they warmed from a jar. Those were good memories.
Nachos don't normally come under the heading of excellent food for the body. But maybe it's just the way they are put together. When done using fresh ingredients, there isn't too much you can say against them. That being said, if it were served with a salad or had a salad on top of it, it would look perfectly appetizing and healthy.
For an all-girls mini party, I needed a simple mid-afternoon snack to be more of the main dish for a small group. I already had some crackers made of a variety of seeds--flax, poppy, sesame,etc. The crackers have a great and unique flavor. I simply wanted something to add to them. I then selected a plain, but well seasoned hummus and a medium salsa as dips.
Firstly, I guess I lied. I said I would never make mashed potatoes another way after having the Garlic and Rosemary ones. However, I made these mashed potatoes for a pot luck and know that most people like creamy, skinless potatoes with basic flavors. Secondly, I started this recipe using the Barefoot Contessa's "limited time availability" recipe on foodnetwork.tv. (As an FYI, this recipe is only published around the time a show airs due to legal reasons.) However, when I tasted her product, I was disappointed and chose to edit it my way.
This was a wedding present, and I have come to use it increasingly. My mother liked it so much, she went out and got one for herself. It measures in ounces, tablespoons, and teaspoons. I do also own one slightly smaller, but this one is more versatile.
This was the first time we took Paul's parents, sister and brother-in-law to Ethos. I decided to try the pesto pasta with vegetables and pumpkin seeds. Paul chose the Pecan Encrusted Eggplant served with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy and asparagus. The eggplant was drizzled with a berry sauce. Both meals were served hot and appealing to the eyes.
One Sunday afternoon we met visiting family at this pizzeria by Disney. For a restaurant in a touristy hot-spot, I would rate it as acceptable. The service was very good for our large crowd and the kids all seemed to eat well.
Don't get nervous, I use a soybean based vegetarian alternative to regular chicken. It comes in large rolls from health food stores and is very versatile. We find many uses from slicing like lunch meat to dicing for enchiladas to shredding for chicken salad.
Ok, the first thing about this recipe is DON"T TURN YOUR NOSE UP AT IT! It came out of the Moosewood Simple Suppers cookbook. Moosewood also has recipes for fruit flavored mousse. It doesn't taste like cheese. It just tastes like fluffy chocolate.
This is a great recipe to do something productive with the leftovers from lasagna. Moreover, why not serve it as dessert FOR the lasagna? The recipe is easy, but I think I remember asking my husband to mix the ingredients because he could do it faster than me. Time is of the essence because the chocolate chips can harden so quickly.
These tweezers are totally fascinating. They were a gift from my mother-in-law and my aunt-in-law. Apparently, they shopped all over Vienna, Austria, to get as many as they could. (Marsha gives them away as wedding presents. No, I won't give out her address so you can send her an invitation.) They come from a German store, WMF. I have no idea what it means and don't know that I had ever seen one until we were there. No matter where it came from, this little tool is quite interesting. I'm still learning its variety of uses.
I suppose in my writing I have neglected to point out that my mother taught me how to cook. She helped me get my cooking honor in Pathfinders and still watches over me in the kitchen. This is one of my favorite recipes of hers.
My sister-in-law brought me some fabulous fresh crushed red pepper from Italy. The recommendation was to soak the flakes in olive oil, remove the flakes after one hour, and make a slightly spicy pasta sauce. I loved the idea and couldn't wait to try it. I used it the very next weekend.
Don't let anyone ever tell you sandwiches are only for lunch and are not elegant. Sprouts and avocados can be quite elegant because they are "adult tastes". Sprouts are stringy and often odd to kids. Kids may eat guacamole, but without all the additional flavors, avocados can taste rough. When at peak season, with red tomatoes and fancy bread, such a meal can be very good. And let's face it, counselors on weight loss and proper digestion would recommend lighter compared to heavier dinners because people often get home late and generally have larger entree meals for lunch.
We're big fans of Mexican, and generally don't mind a visit to Taco Bell when it's good. However, since Taco Bell has come out with a line of products in grocery stores, we prefer to do Taco Bell at home. We use the vegetarian blend refried beans and on occasion their medium taco Sauce. Most of the time Paul likes his Cholula sauce instead. It has a stronger vinegar taste.
I was feeling guilty about not having cooked a good, solid meal in a week as we had eaten out a lot with friends and had been on vacation. So when I came across a new variety of frozen vegetables in the grocery store, I took a chance.
This post is in honor of our dear friend, Garalynne, a nutritionist in Savannah, Georgia. Garalynne has been taught how to eat well, and when she and her husband, Trevor, lived in Orlando, they would come over many Saturday nights for smoothies. Paul has a 3-ish cup blender that is perfect for individual drinks. We love our memories with our friends.
The best healthy late evening snack is smoothies and popcorn. Be creative with both. Here are some options:
Pizza has so many options. And, I believe, when made properly can be exceptionally balanced and rather good for you. I like to focus on flavor, less cheese, and a less oily crust. The first time I made a pizza at home was when I was taking care of my father while my mother was visiting my grandmother. His response was "Well, I hope you learned your lesson." Fortunately, that was a number of years ago. But to tell you the truth, cooking is always a learning process.
This was an easy dessert that is best put together immediately before serving. Also, to conserve energy, I only make it when the oven has already been used for another part of the meal or for a baking project.
So, now the cat is out of the bag. We do like sweet foods. We just know how to eat them in moderation and with as little additives as possible. The muffin recipe came out of "Moosewood Cooks at Home". It's a good recipe because the base batter does not change. You simply add a choice of apple and nuts, bananas and nuts, or zucchini. I chose the apple because I had a couple apples that appeared too mealy to eat off the core. I used a regular cheese grater to grate the apple, peel included, and nearly shaved my finger a couple of times, too. The muffins came out very pretty and tasted really good. Blueberry muffins are always my favorite, but these are running a close second.
Not much surprise, here. The food was awesome. I have to say I liked my wrap better than Paul's black bean burger, but I'm sure it's just cause black beans aren't my favorite. I do love sprouts and although the menu said sprouts came on the sandwich, I was unlucky to visit on a day when they were out of sprouts. But don't complain yet. These people pride themselves on freshness. So, who am I to complain about not getting sprouts when it's better than getting nasty sprouts?
This recipe is from "Moosewood Cooks at Home". It recognizes that lemon juice in a pasta dish sounds odd, but we enjoy it. The recipe does call for spaghetti, but we had bow tie and enjoyed it just as much.
In short, you saute the zucchini in oil and garlic, add lemon juice; pour the mixture over cooked pasta, mix in a shreaded white cheese (we chose Asiago) and serve. My favorite part is where I can add fresh basil from our herb garden. I like to make harvesting the herbs my husband's job so he feels like he is participating in the preparation of our food.
I love bruschetta. There are many varieties for creations from my "Moosewood Cooks at Home" cookbook. We had an excess of tomatoes this day, so I created my own. I wrapped the entire loaf in aluminum foil and placed it in the oven at 350 degrees to warm. If it were just the two of us, I would place a few slices in a regular toaster. Toasting to dark makes the bread crumble-y and not toasting enough makes the bread a bit tough so when you bite into it the toppings fall off. We regularly test slices of bread while heating to ensure it's the right texture.
I must have mentioned my desire for one of these contraptions one day because my mother-in-law mentioned to my aunt-in-law that she was looking for one for me. The aunt-in-law sent us one not long after that conversation. Paul's aunt comes from California, which means she has access to pretty much anything you could ever want. She also has a graduate degree in home economics; so, has much insight on cool kitchen products. Many of our favorite items were gifts from her.
Paul likes his Asian food the way he likes it. Sometimes, I have items that must be used and a stir-fry is about the best place to do it. So, there have been times I tell him he must eat what is served. I can't threaten him with cereal cause he'd be happy to eat cereal for dinner any night (and we have!)
We are big fans of IKEA. Paul, a designer, appreciates the classic lines of the products. I appreciate the prices. Not all of IKEA's products speak to everyone. However, I want to share a few products I believe should speak to everyone. They are the products I would never want to live without.
It was dark one evening and I was running around Costco in my scrubs. This doesn't make me special, but it does tell you I had a long day. I pulled 10 hours at work, dined with my folks and my grandmother for some special occasion, and had to do it all over again the next day.