Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Basil-Infused Gin

With the weather getting cooler I thought it would be good to use up the basil that I have been growing all summer.

1.75 ml gin (I used New Amsterdam, but any gin would be great)
1 cup fresh basil with stems
Glass jug if gin came in a plastic bottle

Remove 1/4 cup of gin to make room for basil. Insert basil leaves and stems to bottle and screw cap on tightly.

Set gin in a cooly dry place for up to 7 days.

Remove basil and store with other liquors.

Basil-Infused Gin recipes to follow soon!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Sautéed Vegetables

So I am kicking myself for not taking pictures of this dish, but to be honest, I wasn't expecting it to be blog worthy. This side dish is great with roasted chicken (what I served it with) or any other roasted meat.

1 large spaghetti squash
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 medium yellow onion, quartered
2 cups sliced button mushrooms
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup low sodium chicken stock
Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cut squash in half lengthwise and scrap out seeds. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and place cut side down on a baking sheet. Place onions and carrots on same cookie sheet and toss with oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes or until squash is tender and flesh scrapes away from skin easily.

While veggies are roasting saute mushrooms and garlic in 1/8 cup f chicken stock until mushrooms are cooked through.

To remove squash from skin, take a fork and scrape flesh out. The flesh will be stringy and resemble spaghetti. Add squash, onion and carrots to mushroom mixture and saute with remaining chicken stock until excess liquid is cooked off. drizzle with red wine vinegar and add salt and pepper to taste.

These veggies are good on their own but I discovered that they are great the next day reheated and topped with crumbled gorgonzola!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pasta with Green Beans Blue Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette

1/2 lb shell pasta
6 oz fresh green beans
1 large chicken breast, grilled and cubed
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette

Cook pasta and set aside. Blanch green beans by cooking in salted boiling water for 7 min and then shock green beans by tossing in ice water.

Combine pasta, beans, chicken and blue cheese in a bowl and toss with vinaigrette. Can be served warm or chilled.

Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp water
3 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp chopped basil
1 tbsp chopped red onion

Place ingredients in a food processor and blend to combine.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

SweetChip Cookies

I've been meaning to blog about my friend Kristin for some time now, but it seems that has beat me to the punch! SweetChip Cookies was recently featured in Urban Daddy's weekly newsletter in celebration of International Chocolate Day (Monday, September 13th)

Everyone has his or her own idea of a perfect chocolate chip cookie, either thin and crispy or soft and chewy. I am more of a thin and crispy girl, so when Kristin from SweetChip cookies announced that she had constructed the perfect chocolate chip cookie I was excited to try her new creation. Oh my sweet Ina Garten were they good! SweetChip's signature Dark Chocolate Chip and Toasted Pecans pleases everyone's idea of a perfect chocolate chip cookie. It has the right combination of crunch and chewiness, not to mention the saltiness from the pecans and bitter dark chocolate tempts you to have another. Not only does SweetChip bake their cookies to order, they ship within 24 hours of receiving an order. Sweet Chip also allows you to customize each batch if one so chooses. One of the most unique custom cookies ordered was chocolate with cayenne and orange zest.

Earlier this week I was lucky to receive an entire box off heavenly goodness for my birthday!

While I was tempted to keep the entire box for myself I decided to share with my coworkers. Knowing that I have a weakness for the chocolate/peanut butter combination, Kristin surprised me with dark chocolate cookies with peanut butter and pecans. SweetChip sends each cookie individually wrapped, making it perfect for gift giving or sharing with friends

So in honor of International Chocolate Day, order a batch of SweetChip's signature Dark Chocolate Chips with Toasted Pecans or create your own cookie with their plethora of mix-ins.