Saturday, April 30, 2011

ultimate ice cream

If you are an ice cream lover, Ultimate ice cream has the absolute best!  They have some of the most interesting flavors I have ever tried! OK, this might sound strange, honey mustard ice cream, I was intrigued, so much so I bought a pint. Only after tasting it , yum,yum! The next taste I tried was a lemon-mint sorbet, an absolute must! So refreshing! I too, walked away with a pint of that.
Ultimate ice cream also does beautiful gelatos, yup I took home a pint of blueberry gelato. Just one more must haves lemon sorbet, talk about refreshing, thanks to Genevieve, I also took home a pint of that! Thankyou Genevieve!!!! I think!
I am NOT much of an ice cream person at all, John and Sophia are!
So you can imagine how scrumptious their ice creams are, all the freshest ingredients, they do not skimp on quality. Hence, taking home 4 pints of ice cream, gelato and sorbets!
I can't imagine those of you in Asheville not knowing about Ultimate.
They have two locations, one on Tunnel Rd and one on Charlotte St. Thankyou Ulitmate ice cream for a superb product.   Maggie

Monday, April 25, 2011

middle eastern vegetable salad

This salad, served with pita , is divine. An absolute complete meal. The recipe is from the new Barefoot Contessa cookbook "How easy is that?" Oooohh, those words get a bit old for me, but she is right! Let me know if you would like the recipe or maybe you have the latest cookbook of hers.
So easy, so fresh, so many herbs! I love the warm weather for foods like these.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

a very non-traditional easter

After a long week and the weekend of the production for Beauty and the Beast, Sophia is relaxing in her easter best!
I read the New York Sunday Times for about 2 hours on our lovely front porch, sipping of course, yummy mugs of coffee, yes mugs!
I could hear John above me working in my study/snuggery to prime the walls before it gets painted. Everyone in their quiet spaces, just taking in the ahhhh of Sunday morning!
One of our neighbors walked by, with a wee one in tow, and 4 weeks away from delivering another wee-one! We exchanged hellos, and she said " Is that the New York Times?" I just smiled and said "ohhh yes!"
I imagine she looks forward to the days of sitting on her beautiful porch, doing the same!
I savor these moments, I know how quickly it all goes by!

the real deal!

 This was our week, work, play practice, for the performance of "Beauty and the Beast". All very time intensive to say the least! I was to put together something simple to have with other noshy food, beautiful summer wines. So that we as parents could eat before the production,  thanks to our friends, planning ahead , getting couples together, feeding the children, and the dads off to drive the children off to the play! The Mums could linger a bit longer.
So , immediately I got home from work put together this lovely platter, 3 different cheeses, one of them my favs, blue castello, very mild, a fab parmesean, and a soft cheese of your choice. Add with that thin wafer crackers slathered with a fig and cocoa spread, DIVINE!
Had to pair those with organic red grapes and pretty green olives.
So quick , looks pretty , and everyone ohhhhddd and ahhhhhd.
Just a pretty presentation, and quality of the food get them (and me) everytime!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

hmmm.... one of those days!

Ever have one of those days? Running gear, check, water bottle, got that too. Sunscreen, yep. All set, ready for a nice 50-60 min run. Out of no-where, I just had to have combos. Ick, right? Not really , not this time, besides I had water, with them, not so bad! I was totally indulgent, did not run, (though I looked the part) and just let myself enjoy (sort of) the junk. Combos are my go to place, pure junk. It was wonderful, besides I can just run extra tomorrow. Really! I would LOVE to hear about your "go to" junky fix! We all have them! Right?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

sunday ~ john's morning in the kitchen!

 Aren't these beautiful muffins? Sunday mornings in our home are wonderful.
John brings coffee to me in bed (he does that every morning ), but somehow Sunday mornings are more special because I can smell the muffins baking in the oven. I just smile knowing what is to come. And I am not even a breakfast person!
The thing that makes even more special is the fun I have listening to John and Sophia laughing together while enjoying their breakfast ! They are breakfast buddies!
Eventually I make it down, kiss them both, fill my mug with more beautiful french press coffee and off I go to read in the quiet. Of course, armed with the sunday new york times, and a stack of cookbooks.
John has had this recipe for years, so we are not sure of  where it came from. They are banana/blueberry/bran muffins made with ww flour.
If you'd like the recipe , just let me know!
Happy Sunday....

Monday, April 11, 2011

straight from south africa!

My dear friend Anne and co-worker, went to Cape Town , South Africa and brought back this wonderful gift, one to swoon over. Chili chutney olive spread/tapenade..... At first I thought , hmmmmm, olive chutney, what can I add to jazz it up, and before you know it I was moaning over this spicy, somewhat sweet treasure.
This chutney was one of the most divine, and I do mean divine chutneys that I have ever had. I warmed up some great crusty bread , rubbed with fresh garlic  and slathered the chutney on the bread! A salad and a lovely glass of wine and call it dinner!
I can't help it, just the name, Darling Olives, isn't that sweet?  Lucky me with such a thoughtful friend!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

puff pastry, mascarpone, fresh berries

I love this little treat. Below are the pictures of  the "sous-chef" who is responsible for the "snow feature" on top!  Hmmmmm........ Actually, to Sophia , she has an eye for juuusssst the right amount of sugar, the end product. She did mention tonight as she was so carefully composing this dessert that she might like to be a vegetarian, the kind of doctor that takes care of animals. "oh, I say, GREAT idea!" I continue to watch this beautiful little face , so proud of HER creation, off in her thoughts about becoming a vegetarian for a living. What's not to love more than the dessert (her dessert!)
Total joy.....

the goodies

this is what I know

this is what I know about this dessert, a friend Kristine, told me about this simple dessert, she thinks it came from the food network, I tried to find it everywhere so that I could give credit, where credit is do! No luck, Sooooo, I did what Kristine told me to do. I bought, yes bought puff pastry, I am not a baker, to precise for me,so with that, cook the puff pastry until it looks like this. Let it cool. Put mascarpone in a bowl and add vanilla, though, next time I might add some almond flavor to it , and simply topped with lovely berries! Sprinkle confectionate sugar over berries.
If you have a sous-chef , as I do, they can give it a winter appearance!

Foodie movie

Just a change from food talk, sort of ! If you haven't seen the movie, "Today's Special." It is delightful! The pictures of the food will make you moan, ok, it made ME moan. Just the color of the spices are so exquisite!
As my friend told me run , don't walk , I don't think you'd be dissapointed!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

easy, healthy, off to work!

oven-roasted carrots

What a pretty dish. Drizzle olive oil, s&p over carrots and roast in a 400 degree oven until tender. Plate along with the black beans and rice and there you go! Quick and easy, not to mention healthy!

simple, simple!

All of these wonderful ingredients, I had on hand. Brown rice, black beans, pineapples, fresh scallions. I simply sauteed garlic in olive oil,  added the black beans with some s&p, put a dollop on top of rice, add pineapples along with pineapple juice spooned over top add scallions or cilantro, whatever suits you! A great quick dinner even before getting to work! So much fun doing this for my most appreciative audience, my family!

Monday, April 4, 2011

parmesean chicken

so yummy!

a keeper!

parmesean chicken

I know this sounds so incredibly easy, it is! I usually use chicken breasts, but I wanted to try it with boneless chicken thighs, which were surprisingly good. I have this fear of finding ONE piece of fat on my chicken and it's over for me. I trimmed these up quite nicely and they were delicious. This recipe is from Ruth Reichl's The Gourmet Cookbook.
3 tbls dijon mustard
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
6 small skinless, boneless chicken breast (about 2 #'s) rinsed and patted dry
1 1/2 english muffins ( I use the whole wheat)
3/4 C parmigiano-reggiano
1 tbls unsalted butter, melted
I usually double up on above ingredients so that the chicken can get nicely coated.
Whisk together mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Add chicken, tossing to coat well.
Pulse english muffins in a food processor until finely ground. Add cheese, butter and remaining pepper and pulse until well combined.
Dredge chicken one piece at a time in crumbs, coat completely and press gently so crumbs adhere. Transfer to baking dish . Bake until golden brown , about 15-20 minutes.
Truly easy! Enjoy!