Friday, August 20, 2010

Cucumber Gimlets!

It's been a while! Since school ended, I've gone to New York, got hired and not hired at Pinkberry, danced at Faith Evans' CD release party at Compartes Chocolatier, back to New York again, spend the day in Santa Barbara, and been a lazy person at the beach! So thats why updating has been a little challenging....

Anyway, this week in Los Angeles has been the hottest this year and people are out everywhere! I have also noticed Happy Hours popping up everywhere. The Lobster in Santa Monica, Sor Tino in my very own Brentwood, and Martini Mondays! With Kevin's request for Cucumber as a featured ingredient (specifically not in a salad) I have decided make Cucumber Gimlets. The crisp cucmbers brigten the summer drink and leave you wiht someting crunchy! (Guilt free? hahah!)

Cucumbers are grown vinelike, with leaves that grow over the fruit. They're grown and can be eaten raw from the ground..after being washed! ;) In the US they are mostly grown in greenhouses' and in Europe, outside where they are are pollenated by bees.

They originate from India and have been cultivated in Western Asia and by the Romans for thousands of years. Roman Emperor Tiberius ate cucumbers throughout the year, due to his own greenhouse method of growing them. Romans also used cucumbers to heal scorpion bites, improve eye sight, and to scare away mice.

There are many types of cucumbers that range from size and taste. English Cucumbers are very large and almost seedless, commonly found in most supermarkets wrapped in plastic! Asian Cucumbers have darker green skins and are smaller and mild. Persian Cucumbers, my favorite; are crisp, small and seedless. All cucumbers can be prepared savory, and for a surprise to compliment something sweet! (Have you tried Watermelon Pinkberry with persian cucumber?? Delish!)

Ok! Drink time!!

Cucumber Gimlet

2 english cucumber
1 persian cucumber
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon simple syrup (boil equal amounts of water and sugar, let cool)
mint leaves
1/2 cup gin

Peel, and cut cucumbers. Use a juicer or food processor to make a puree. Strain puree so it is smooth, and clear.

Add gin, simple syrup, and lime juice to cucumber juice and stir.

In individual glasses, place mint leaves, and ice, and pour cucumber juice over it.

Take a yoga class or a run at the beach!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Ice Cream...yes please

I want ice cream I think.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Why do we eat Matzah?

Matzah, matzos, matzah balls, brei, meal. I don't care I love it. This unleavened bread or cracker bread is a comfort food for me, and a very serious symbolic food that is mandatory for Jews to eat for seven days during the holiday of Passover.

This bread is made simply of water and flour and is made in a quick baking process. Because the Jews leaving Egypt had no time to wait for their bread to rise, Matzah was born! Today it symbolizes redemption, and freedom. Matzah is the most popular Passover food because for all carbohydrate addicts (thats me) this is withdrawal week and Matzah is the only bread like food allowed to eat. I don't mind though because 'm not strict and I really enjoy Matzah.

Top this flat bread with butter, honey, tomato sauce and cheese, cheese. Get creative. Or not your choice.
I don't believe there are any health benefits of Matzah. Maybe lower calories. Sorry I should have researched better.

My cousin Becky gave me an idea to make a Matzah Lasagna so here is my take!

Vegetable Matzah Lasagna
4-5 pieces of Matzah
2 cups tomato sauce
1 onion chopped
2 small zucchinis cut
1 small yellow squash cut
1 cup spinach
1/2 cup cheese (Mozzarella, for dani vegan cheese)
2 tbs olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste (Red pepper flakes or Italian seasoning good too)

In a sauté pan, cook vegetables in olive oil until cooked. (Add salt, pepper etc.) Add tomato sauce to vegetables. Now, assemble the lasagna substituting pasta with matzah alternating matzah and tomato sauce vegetables. On the top layer, add excess tomato sauce and top with cheese. Bake for 15 minutes at 350. Okay see ya!!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Artichokes are in Season

Hello artichokes!!!!! I've missed you!
This morning the Brentwood Farmers Market was filled with large artichokes! They are not only delicious but beautiful and really interesting. Sometimes you get lucky with reddish colored flowers towards the center. I wish out artichoke plant grew properly but these are just fine too :) (Also, I am trying to figure out the sunchoke. Will get back to that)

Artichokes are native to Southern Europe and the Mediterranean and are made up of the flowers with edible buds and heart or choke. They are eaten and grown everywhere, but cultivated in Sicily during Greek and Roman rule. They are also cultivated in Naples, where artichokes are popularly used in appetizers and entrees.

Today, artichokes are eaten and grown almost everywhere. In the US, they are popularly eaten with butter, lemon juice, hollandaise, or garlic and olive oil. In Italy, artichoke hearts are eaten in oil, alone or to top a pizza. In Spain, artichokes are mixed in paella, sauteed in olive oil, or in a frittata. YUM!

My recipe is for a dipping sauce to accompany a boiled artichoke.

Ginger Garlic Olive Oil
1 tbs fresh peeled ginger
2 garlic cloves peeled
3-4 tbs extra virgin olive oil

In a a semi heated sauté pan, add olive oil. Before it boils, add garlic and ginger. Let the flavors catch without burning the ginger and garlic. Do this for like 3-4 minuets. Transfer the oil into small dipping bowls (with or without the gingergarlic your preference). Serve this with a boiled artichoke and you will please your guests and yourself with a spicy fresh tasting treat!

And this is how you prepare an artichoke.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Smells Like Summer!

This is weird because my last post was for cold weather, but that is what you get in Los Angeles! Its 90 degrees today and I love it!!!! It's extra nice because after eating grilled cheese and tomato soup, this weather calls for lighter food.
I have wanted to give a good broccoli recipe and here is my chance!

Broccoli is a fairly large plant that is fully eidible from its flowers to stalk. It is green in color and from the cabbage family. It resembles cauliflower but is much different in taste!
Broccoli is high in Vitamin C, K, and Agood for preventing some cancers, and heart disease. Purple broccoli and brussel sprouts are also from the same family.
I mostly prefer Broccolini, but broccoli is also great when done up like this.

Lemon Roasted Broccoli
1-2 cups broccoli, cut up and washed
olive oil
lemon juice
salt and pepper
red pepper flakes (if you like some spice)

Place cut broccoli on a baking sheet with parchment paper or silkmat, and coat lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast them at 300* for 15 minutes. When you remove the broccoli, add lemon juice and red pepper flakes. Serve warm! Crunchy, flavorful, and a good summer meal! YUMM

Thursday, March 11, 2010

YUM! im cold

Eat this while its still cold out. The perfect winter meal. Maybe i'm getting sick or something I dont know.