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Archive for January, 2013

by Sarah Steimer

Riding public transportation during cold and flu season is one of the worst experiences ever. But drinking a tall glass of this ginger limeaid felt like a nice detox after a germ-y ride.

Riding public transportation during cold and flu season is one of the worst after-work experiences. But drinking a tall glass of this ginger limeade felt like a nice detox after a germ-y ride. By the way, simmering the ginger will make your kitchen smell like heaven.

For the ginger syrup:

  • 1 cup ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 cups water

Combine the ginger, sugar and water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer. Let the mixture simmer for about 1 hour.

Drain the mixture through a fine strainer to remove the ginger bits. Let the syrup cool.

For the limeaid:

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup lime juice (about 5 regular limes)
  • zest from 1 lime
  • 2 cups water

Combine the sugar and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan over high heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Strain the lime juice into a pitcher and mix in the zest, 2 cups water and the cooled simple syrup (not the ginger syrup).

Add enough ginger syrup to taste when serving.

Makes about 4 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Use Real Butter

*We’re taking advantage of the winter citrus season (and healthy New Year’s resolutions) during the month of January. Look for six drink recipes focused on lemons, limes, grapefruits, oranges and more. Find all the Fresh-squeezed recipes here.

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by Caitlin Saniga

Fresh-squeezed pomelo mint mojito

I also tried this drink without the rum and with a bit of fresh-squeezed blood orange juice, which was just as refreshing.

Pomelo is the president of the citrus club. The one I bought weighed a bit more than 2 pounds and was 7 inches in diameter. Its sweet, grapefruity aroma filled my kitchen for the couple of days it sat in my fruit basket, waiting to be used. By the time I peeled away the rind, the edible part was about 6 inches in diameter and could have made 5 mojitos.

Pomelo is the president of the citrus club. The one I bought weighed a bit more than 2 pounds and was 7 inches in diameter. Its sweet, grapefruity aroma filled my kitchen for the couple of days it sat in my fruit basket, waiting to be used. By the time I peeled away the rind, the edible part was about 6 inches in diameter and could have made 5 mojitos.

  • 6 sections of pomelo, seeded, peeled and chopped
  • 12 mint leaves
  • 4 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
  • ice
  • 1/2 cup rum
  • club soda
  • 2 lime wedges, for garnish

Divide the pomelo, mint and orange juice concentrate between two glasses. Use a whisk to break up the pomelo and bruise the mint leaves.

Pomelo skin is thick! Once you get past the lime-yellow skin, there's lots of cotton-candy pink fluff underneath. When you get down to the sections, I recommend peeling away the tough, bitter membrane that surrounds each piece.

Pomelo skin is thick! Once you get past the lime-yellow skin, there’s lots of cotton candy-pink fluff underneath. When you get down to the sections, I recommend peeling away the tough, bitter membrane that surrounds each piece. It will be easier to crush with a whisk that way, too.

Fill the glasses partway with ice, and divide the rum between the glasses. Top with club soda, and stir. Garnish with lime wedges. Serve immediately.

Makes 2.

Recipe adapted from: Food & Wine

*We’re taking advantage of the winter citrus season (and healthy New Year’s resolutions) during the month of January. Look for six drink recipes focused on lemons, limes, grapefruits, oranges and more. Find all the Fresh-squeezed recipes here.

Read Full Post »

by Sarah Steimer

The original recipe called for dates as the fruit topping. No thanks, sounds boring to me. I happened to have half of a grapefruit in my refrigerator and opted for that --- so by all means, use what you have.

The original recipe called for dates as the fruit topping. No thanks, sounds boring to me. I opted to use a grapefruit half that I already had in the refrigerator. You can substitute whatever fruits you have on hand.

  • 1/2 grapefruit (from a fruit that has been cut width-wise, of course)
  • 2-3 teaspoons good-quality honey
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons uncooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup low-fat or fat-free Greek yogurt

    The crunch of the quinoa and the tartness of the grapefruit definitely helps a groggy morning. Plus coffee, who am I kidding.

    The crunch of the quinoa and the tartness of the grapefruit definitely helps a groggy morning. Plus coffee, who am I kidding.

Use a small, sharp knife to cut along the membrane-defined sections of the grapefruit. Do not remove the sections. Drizzle the grapefruit with honey and add a pinch of sea salt. Place in a tin or glass baking dish under the broiler. Broil for about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Toast the sesame seeds and quinoa over a low flame in a small, dry saute pan, stirring constantly (the quinoa will pop a little when it is hot). Saute for only a couple of minutes or until the quinoa has darkened a little. Remove from the pan.

Place the yogurt on a plate or in a bowl and top with the quinoa-sesame mixture. Use a spoon to remove the grapefruit sections and place on the yogurt.

Makes 1 serving.

Recipe adapted from: Bon Appetit

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by Caitlin Saniga

Do yourself a favor and take a big whiff in the bowl of the food processor after you've ground down the garlic and roasted walnuts.

Do yourself a favor and take a big whiff after you’ve ground down the garlic and roasted walnuts in the food processor. My nose was all like: “Caitlin, can we live in here?”

  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh herbs (Try a combination of parsley, cilantro and basil.)
  • 3 cups prepared black rice (or another rice of your choice)
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Pulverize the walnuts and garlic in a food processor, then add the vinegar, oil and 3 to 4 tablespoons water, enough to make a smooth dressing. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in half of the scallions and herbs.

Divide the rice between four dishes. Top each serving of rice with beans and pour a bit of dressing over each. Finish with a sprinkling of herbs and scallions. If not serving immediately, mix all of the herbs into the dressing to allow the flavors to meld and store the rice, beans and dressing in separate airtight containers in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

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by Sarah Steimer

I enjoyed my grapefruit sour with a handful of spicy peanuts --- a little salute to the south.

I paired my grapefruit sour with a handful of spicy peanuts — so Southern. By the way, my drink may look darker than yours. The honey I used is a very dark buckwheat honey.

  • juice from 1 grapefruit, strained
  • 4 ounces bourbon
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • ice

In a small sauce pan, combine the honey and water and whisk over medium-low heat until the honey has dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil and remove from heat to cool.

Combine the bourbon and grapefruit juice and shake with ice. NOTE: If you do not have a cocktail shaker, just stir the mixture around with the ice in a bowl on shake up in a jar with a lid. Add the honey simple syrup to taste.

Strain the drink into a glass over additional ice and serve.

Makes about 2-3 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Marcus Samuelsson

*We’re taking advantage of the winter citrus season (and healthy New Year’s resolutions) during the month of January. Look for six drink recipes focused on lemons, limes, grapefruits, oranges and more. Find all the Fresh-squeezed recipes here.

Read Full Post »

by Caitlin Saniga

Fresh-squeezed vanilla-rosemary lemonade

Lemonade isn’t just for summertime! Rosemary and citrus is a classic cool-weather combination that’s rounded out nicely with a hint of vanilla in this drink.

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 cups lemon juice (from 8-10 lemons)
  • ice
  • 1 lemon, sliced into thin rounds for garnish
  • additional rosemary sprigs for garnish

Combine the water, sugar, vanilla and 4 sprigs of rosemary in a medium pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 5 minutes. Strain the rosemary from the liquid. Allow to cool 10 minutes before placing in the fridge to chill for 1 hour.

Pour the rosemary water and lemon juice into a large pitcher and stir to combine. Serve the lemonade in glasses with ice, lemon rounds and rosemary sprigs.

Makes about 6 cups.

*We’re taking advantage of the winter citrus season (and healthy New Year’s resolutions) during the month of January. Look for six drink recipes focused on lemons, limes, grapefruits, oranges and more. Find all the Fresh-queezed recipes here.

Read Full Post »

by Sarah Steimer

My parents gave me a waffle maker for Christmas. Instead of blasting into a fancy recipe, I wanted to get used to the machine with something simple. These were the perfect choice.

My parents gave me a waffle maker for Christmas. Instead of blasting into a fancy recipe, I wanted to get used to the machine with something simple. This was the perfect choice.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I used skim)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 eggs, separated

    I topped my waffles with real maple syrup and blueberries I froze from the farmer's market over the summer.

    I topped my waffles with real maple syrup and blueberries I froze from the farmer’s market over the summer.

Whisk together the flours, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, oil and two egg yolks.

Beat the egg whites in a small bowl until stiff peaks appear. The easiest way to do this is with an electric beater, but feel free to test your arm strength like I did.

Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until just smooth — make sure not to mix too long or the waffles will be tough. Using a spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the batter. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes.

Heat the waffle maker. If there is a temperature option, set at medium-high. Cook the waffles according to the waffle maker instructions. Place on a cooling rack too crisp up a little more before serving.

And remember — always warm up your syrup! I swear, it tastes 100-times better than room-temperature syrup.

Makes 4 Belgium waffles or 18 regular waffles.

Recipe adapted from: The Cooking Actress

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by Caitlin Saniga

This cake takes commitment, but if you follow the directions closely, it’ll be the best damn cake you’ve ever made. This particular carrot cake was made for my neighbor Katie to celebrate her daughter’s first day on earth. Katie had gestational diabetes during her pregnancy, so she had to ignore her many cravings for sweets (which was torture!). So of course she wanted cake on her baby’s birthday!

Cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3 sticks (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 pound carrots (8 to 10 medium carrots), peeled and shredded on a box grater or in a food processor (about 2 3/4 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange peel (from 1 orange)
  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 1 cup toasted almonds, coarsely chopped

Icing:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
  • 2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted (I used all but about 1 cup from a 2-pound bag. It was plenty sweet!)
To make the cake:
Today would have been my dad's 59th birthday. Carrot cake was his favorite. I wish I could have made this for him.

Today would have been my dad’s 59th birthday. He was the greatest. Carrot cake was his favorite. I wish I could have made this for him.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper, and butter parchment. Dust with flour, tapping out any excess. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger and allspice.

Beat the butter and sugars with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat for 3 minutes. Add the vanilla, water, orange peel and carrots. Beat until well combined, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low, and add the flour mixture, then the finely chopped pecans.

Scrape the batter into prepared pans, dividing evenly. Bake, rotating the pans on the oven racks halfway through, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of cakes to loosen, and turn out cakes onto rack. Turn them right side up, and let them cool completely.

To make the cream cheese icing:

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and vanilla until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, gradually add the butter, beating until incorporated.

Reduce the mixer speed to low. Gradually add the sugar, beating until incorporated.

To assemble the cake:

If your cakes are rounded on top, use a serrated knife to trim the tops of 2 cakes so they are flat. Place one trimmed cake, cut side up, on a serving platter. Spread 1 cup of icing over cake. Top with second trimmed cake, cut side down. Spread 1 cup icing over cake. Top with remaining cake. Spread the remaining icing over the top and sides. Gently press the almonds onto the sides of cake. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Makes 10 servings.

Recipe adapted from: MarthaStewart.com

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by Sarah Steimer

Bill and I made pad thai for Valentine's Day last year --- and the result was pretty awful. The amount of fish sauce that recipe called for totally overwhelmed the dish and tasted like a dirty ocean. This Martha Stewart recipe, however, had one of the shortest list of sauce ingredients: only three. Looks like simple is best for pad thai.

Bill and I made pad thai for Valentine’s Day last year — and the result was pretty awful. The amount of fish sauce that recipe called for totally overwhelmed the dish and tasted like a dirty ocean. This Martha Stewart recipe, however, had one of the shortest list of sauce ingredients: only three. Looks like simple is best for pad thai.

  • 8 ounces dried, wide and flat rice noodles
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (from about 1 lime)
  • 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • vegetable oil
  • 1/2 14-ounce package of extra-firm tofu, cut into small cubes and patted dry with a paper towel
  • 3 scallions thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup julienned carrots
  • 1/3 cup julienned daikon radish
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup roasted and salted peanuts, chopped

NOTE: This recipe requires some quick working over the stove, so it’s very important to get all of your ingredients ready before you begin cooking.

Soak the noodles according to package directions.

Whisk together the brown sugar, lime juice and soy sauce in a small sauce pan. Warm the sauce over very low heat until the sugar dissolves. Turn the heat off and cover to keep warm.

Heat either a large pan or a wok over medium-high heat until hot. Add a couple teaspoons of vegetable oil and allow the oil to get very hot, but not smoke. NOTE: A nonstick pan does work best for cooking tofu, but it is not necessary. If you do not have a nonstick pan, be sure to get the pan and oil very hot so the tofu does not stick.

I've used both a wok and a regular (not nonstick) pan for this meal and both turned out great.

I’ve used both a wok and a regular (not nonstick) pan for this meal and both turned out great.

Carefully add the tofu to the hot oil, which will pop when it meets the remaining water in the tofu. Cook the tofu over medium heat, occasionally tossing until the pieces are golden. Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside.

If needed, add a touch more oil to the hot pan. Add the onion whites, garlic, carrots and daikon. Cook over medium heat for about 30 seconds. Push the vegetables to one side of the pan.

Add the eggs to the clear side of the pan (do not worry if the egg trickles into the veggies a bit). Use a spatula to move the eggs around, cooking until just set. Remove the eggs from the pan and set aside.

Add the drained rice noodles and the warm soy sauce mixture to the vegetables in the pan. Toss everything quickly to coat. Add the eggs — breaking them up as you go — and the tofu.

Serve the pad thai topped with the onion greens, cilantro and peanuts.

Makes about 4 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Martha Stewart

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We LOVE popcorn. The snack was a staple in our apartment when we lived together, and we would often eat it while we watched movies with our favorite toppings (hot sauce for Sarah and Italian dressing for Caitlin). Caitlin and her sister Holly came up with a great way to test popcorn pairings: They pour various condiments and other refrigerator goodies into mini muffin tins so they can sample multiple combinations. Sarah’s dad taught her how to make popcorn over the stove before she moved into her first college apartment (see the video below for the how-to). She has it down to a near science now and often pops a big bowl right as company arrives.

We’re offering two new recipes to try this Popcorn Day, but also be sure to check out our previous popcorn recipes:

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Asiago and thyme popcorn

Like cheese popcorn but hate the powdered stuff? This is a great, classy alternative

Do you like cheese popcorn but hate the powdered stuff? This is a great, classy alternative

by Sarah Steimer

Make about 6-8 cups popcorn. While the popcorn is still warm, spray or drizzle with olive or vegetable oil to lightly coat. Finely grate about 1/2 cup Asiago cheese. Add the cheese and about 2-3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves to the popcorn. Add a pinch of salt. Gently toss and serve.

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Brown butter, rosemary and lemon popcorn

I loved the way the butter crackled and bubbled in the pan when I removed it from the heat and tossed in the rosemary. That step made for super-crispy flecks of rosemary. Don't be tempted to add the lemon zest to the butter. It's much more delicate and could burn.

I loved the way the butter crackled and bubbled in the pan when I tossed in the rosemary. That step made for super-crispy flecks of rosemary. Don’t be tempted to add the lemon zest to the butter. It’s much more delicate and could burn.

by Caitlin Saniga

Pop about 6 cups of popcorn. Place 3 tablespoons butter in a small pan and cook over medium heat until it turn light brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the stove and add 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary. Pour the butter over the popcorn. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon lemon zest (from 1 lemon) over top and finish with a few grinds of salt and pepper. Toss to coat and serve.

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