Archives for the month of: December, 2014


chanterelle + white wine + shallots + risotto

I went chanterelle mushroom hunting for the first time this week. It was amazing to be outside in the woods, everywhere you looked you saw beauty, unfortunately everywhere we looked we did not find any quality chanterelles. Next time. It was still a lovely day, in good spirits and luckily I was able to procure some excellent chanterelles from our mushroom vendor. These golden looking, golden tasting mushrooms also happen to be golden priced. While I am not hesitant to spend my money on high end, quality ingredients it is oh so much nicer to enjoy the perks of my profession.

I have never made risotto, I was always nervous to make it because of the dreaded mushy consistency it often becomes, and I shied away from this Italian style dish. It sounded like the perfect pairing and I know my man loves it, so it was just the right thing to try out for date night.

3 cups chicken stock
4 tbsp. butter
2 minced, peeled shallots
4 cups cleaned small chanterelles
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano

1. Bring chicken stock to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low to maintain simmer.

2. Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a medium deep pot over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook for 1 minute. Add small chanterelles and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then transfer to a bowl.

3. Melt 2 tbsp. additional butter in same pot over medium heat, add short-grain rice, and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the hot stock and cook, stirring frequently, until liquid is almost absorbed. Continue adding stock, about 3/4 cup at a time, stirring frequently, until rice is tender but firm to the bite and mixture is creamy but not soupy, about 25 minutes. Add chanterelles just before last addition of stock. Stir in parmigiano-reggiano, adjust seasonings, and serve immediately.

We also baked chicken with white wine, spices, and parmesan to serve with our risotto as well as a simple baby kale and pomegranate seed salad. A perfect rustic meal.

fish stew best

cod + shrimp + couscous + basil + serrano

I was looking forward to cooking dinner for my witty and pretty friend April. We both wanted something healthy, but I didn’t want to serve something boring. The spice and the flavor from this dish gave it the kick needed to make this worthy of our girls night in.

This was inspired from a Jamie Oliver recipe that was featured on the magazine.

1 cup quick-cook couscous

olive oil

2 lemons

sea salt and freshly ground

2 cloves of garlic

1 fresh serrano

a bunch of fresh basil

I teaspoon whole cumin seeds

¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 x 6-ounce white fish fillets, skin off and bones removed

¾ pound large shrimp, raw, peeled

1 x 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes

2 handfuls of fresh or frozen peas, fava beans, or green beans (or use a mixture)

1. Cook the couscous according to directions. I used pearled couscous for a hearty texture.

2. Get a large saucepan on a medium heat. Peel and finely slice your garlic. Finely slice your chili. Pick the basil leaves off the stalks. Put the smaller ones to one side and roughly chop the larger ones. Add a couple of lugs of olive oil to the hot pan. Add the garlic, chili, basil, cumin seeds, and cinnamon. Give it all a stir and put the fish fillets on top. Scatter over the shrimp. Add the canned tomatoes and the peas and beans. Squeeze in the juice from the two remaining lemon halves. Put a lid on the pan. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for about 8 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily. Taste, and season with salt and pepper.

3. By the time the fish is cooked, the couscous should have sucked up all the water and be ready to serve. Spoon the couscous into a large serving bowl and give it a stir with a fork to help it fluff up. Top with the fish, vegetables, and juices from the pan, sprinkle with the reserved basil leaves, and pour a glass of wine and enjoy!

arbonne smoothie

baby kale + almond milk + banana + almond butter + arbonne protein powder

I am both excited and nervous to be doing the 30 day Arbonne cleanse in January. This is not a deprivation diet, and I am already happily starting my days off with this simple shake. It fills me up, gets me going and gives me energy. My NutriBullet makes this the easiest meal of the day, hands down. I will keep you posted with some of the healthy meals come January.

1 cup almond milk

1/2 banana (I keep them in the freezer, but you can use fresh)

1 tablespoon almond butter

Baby kale (or spinach, or mustard greens, chard, etc)

2 scoops Arbonne Vanilla (or chocolate) Protein powder

1 scoop Arbonne Fiber Boost

*You can add ice too, I prefer without

I’m looking forward to starting the new year with a healthy mind and body, energized and refreshed and ready to take on new challenges.

baby leeks

Beef. Barley. Baby leek soup.

This recipe was directly inspired from as I was doing an internet search for uses for the (two week availability) baby leeks I had a sample of from Coke Farm. We also happened to be in the middle of the storm we had been so desperately needing, as schools were closed and people were staying home from work, so I was so happy when she gave me this simple soup recipe. This may be the easiest soup I have ever made. It smells delicious slowly cooking while we watched the storm.

1. Trim two big, meaty short ribs and put them on the bottom of your soup pot.

2. Add 1/2 cup of barley, three big cloves of garlic shopped up, two chopped onions, and three leeks cut lengthwise and then into segments–use both the white and the green parts. I added crimini mushrooms, you could add any other vegetables you might like. Grind in a little black pepper.

3. Add about eight cups of filtered water or beef stock ( I like the way beef stock makes the dish rich) and let it simmer on the back burner for at least three hours while you go about your business.

4. Before serving, skim off the fat, take the meat off the bones, chop it and put it back in the soup.

Now invite all your friends that are playing hooky from work too, serve with some crusty bread, maybe a little whiskey for added warmth and you have yourself a storm party. You might even be warm enough to go play in the puddles and the mud.