Thursday, May 21, 2009

Travel + Food = Travel Food Blog?

So I haven't posted in a bit anyway, but now I'm in Liverpool, England, waiting for my flight to Berlin with Aaron and his sister Becca. Anyway, my point is that I'm going to try to post from the road, as it were, about different tasty deliciousness from Eastern Europe. We'll see though. At the very least though I'll update when I get home with the couple of things I made before leaving and whatever goodness I have over here.

See you soon!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Cilantro Pesto

This post will perhaps make me look a bit obsessed with a certain sauce. Yes, dear readers, it’s yet another pesto recipe (other iterations seen here and here). However, this is one I made up myself! It came about when I realized the bunch of cilantro I had was starting to look sad (ugh, did I just rhyme?). So off to the mini prep food processor it was (someday I’ll have a regular size one. Someday. *wistful sigh*) Anyway…

I didn’t measure anything, as usual, so here’s just a rough estimation of what I did:

A bunch of cilantro, minus the stems
A handful of pine nuts, toasted (as seen here)
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 roasted garlic cloves (as seen here-ish)
Zest from one lime
Juice from one lime plus a bit more (I love lime!)
Olive oil

Blend up your garlic and cilantro. Toss in the pine nuts and blend together. Add the lime zest and lime juice and blend. Add the roasted garlic and blend. Then add olive oil slowly until you reach your desired consistency. I probably used about ½ of a cup, but I’m not sure.

It is delicious! It’s definitely different from the other pestos I’ve made. Because of the heavier use of roasted garlic over fresh garlic, this has a much milder, smoother taste to it. Plus, the roasted garlic adds a nice, creamy texture. Lime and cilantro are also natural partners. I can’t wait to put this on everything!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Pineapple Sangria

Finally! The last party post from my birthday party that was over a week ago.

What party would be complete without some sort of fabulous cocktail? I first made this sangria blanca last summer and it was so delicious, I had to do it again for my birthday party. Because I knew I was making pineapple salsa, I decided buying a whole pineapple was the way to go. Half for the salsa and the other half for the sangria. Perfect. This is fairly easy to throw together, especially if you just buy pineapple chunks, but even with a whole pineapple it’s not too difficult and the results are well worth it.

The original recipe, found here, calls for pineapple soda. I took a hint from the comments on said recipe and went for lemon-lime soda instead because I don’t know if I’ve ever seen pineapple soda and if I have, it was probably in Europe, which is not exactly helpful. If there isn’t enough fruit in here for you, find some other melon or something tropical and toss it in. Last summer saw the addition of watermelon along with the orange and pineapple. Go crazy! It’s sangria!

Pineapple Sangria from Cookie via

Makes 8 servings and some very happy people

3 c. pineapple juice
1 bottle dry white wine, such as Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc
1 c. brandy (pear brandy is nice but not required)
½ ripe pineapple, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 cup lemon-lime soda
1 bunch fresh mint, roughly chopped
1 orange, sliced

In a pitcher, combine the juice, wine, brandy, pineapple, and soda with ice and stir. Pour into large wineglasses and garnish with the mint and orange.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Cheese Straws

Behold the duel wonders of Trader Joe’s and recipes on the back of food boxes. After deciding on the fruit salsas and making my own tortilla chips, I felt that there needed to be something else to snack on that was at least a wee bit more substantial. I picked up a box of the puff pastry sheets, last seen at Aaron’s birthday party, just in case. As it turns out, the recipe on the back of the puff pastry box for cheese straws is both really easy and really delicious. It’s full of win!

At some point in the future I may attempt to make my own puff pastry but until that day TJ’s has my back. So yes, I am telling you how to make the recipe from the back of the box. I suppose this is helpful if you buy a different brand of puff pastry sheets or makes your own. Whatever, they were good.

Cheese Straws from the back of the Trader Joe’s Puff Pastry Box:

Makes a whole bunch

2 sheets puff pastry
1 egg
Cracked black pepper
A bunch of sharp cheddar cheese (or Swiss or some other flavorful cheese)
A bit of flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Defrost dough for 10 minutes. Roll out onto a lightly floured surface until 1/8” thick. Beat the egg in a small bowl and brush over dough with a pastry brush. Cut with a large knife or pizza cutter into strips about ¾” wide by 3” long. Sprinkle with cheese and a bit of ground black pepper.

Place on a baking sheet that is lined with baking paper or very lightly buttered. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Let cool slightly before removing from pan.

These were a perfect snack to make ahead of time. There would’ve been more for the party, but I ate a bunch throughout the afternoon. Oops! So that’s party post number 3. Almost done!
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