Sunday, January 30, 2011

Yummy Winter Soup

This is Butter Bean, Sun-Dried Tomato & Pesto Soup. My roomie and I made this recently and it was freakin' delicious (if you're a soup person). It was filling and perfect for this chilly weather.


1 1/2 pints of chicken or vegetable stock (we used chicken)
Two 14 or 15 oz cans of butter beans (Cannellini or Lima beans are an alternative)
4 tbsp of sun-dried tomato paste (regular tomato paste can be used)
5 tbsp of pesto (homemade or store bought)

1. Drain and rinse the beans. Put the drained beans in a large pan/pot with the stock and bring just to the boil.

2. Reduce the heat and stir in the tomato paste and pesto. Cover, bring back to simmering point and cook gently for 5 minutes

3. Transfer about six ladlefuls of the soup to a blender or food processor, scooping up plenty of the beans. Process until smooth, then return to the pan.

4. Heat gently, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, then season if necessary. Ladle into four warm soup bowls :-D

*Add some shaved parmesan on top or another cheese if you prefer.

For some yummy bread on the side we used a ciabatta loaf and cut it into circles. Put a bit of butter on them and a bit of shaved parmesan cheese (yes I love parmesan cheese) and put them in the toaster oven until cheese was melted and golden brown on top. YUM!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Adventure at Sur La Table

Sur La Table is a store that sells kitchenware and they have some locations that provide gourmet cooking classes and I went to the one in L.A. by the Farmer's Market. It was so much fun!! The boyfriend got me two seats for Christmas so I could take someone else so I took my BFF, because she almost pee'd in her pants when I told her about it :-) Anyway, I had it in my head that each person was going to make everything on the menu and be able to take it home to share, but unfortunately that wasn't the case. It was fun anyway, the class was divided in groups and everyone got to participate in helping to make each item. The class was called Winter Bistro Classics with Le Creuset (oh and each person got to take home two baking dishes by Le Creuset, which apparently was Julia Child's favorite kitchenware brand). Here are pics of the dishes that the class made together. My favorite was the Roasted Potato and Fennel Gratin, it was creamy and cheesy deliciousness. The rest of the menu included Gamay-Braised Lamb Shanks with Nicoise Olives, Thyme and Fresh Chevre Tart, and for dessert Dark Chocolate and Cherry Clafoutis.

Chef Martin Gilligan

The Lamb (which looked great, but it was kinda gamey :-/ ) and plus I'm not
a big meat eater ...

The Roasted potato and fennel gratin (amazing!!)

This was a cucumber salad he added to the menu which was really delicious too!

Carrots and green apples cooked and roasted with brown sugar
(also added to menu and was delish!)

Thyme and Fresh Chevre Tart

Dark Chocolate and Cherry Clafoutis with Vanilla Bean whipped topping!!

Happy faces and full tummies!

If anyone wants the recipes to the items that were originally on the menu (plus the cucumber salad) I can scan them and email them to you just email me at

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Zucchini Torte

So I actually got this from a cookbook called "Mexican: Healthy ways with a favorite cuisine" by Jane Milton. FYI it was freakin delicious!!


1 1/4 lbs zucchini
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 small onion
3 fresh jalapeno chiles, seeded and cut in strips
3 large eggs
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack or mild Cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbs butter
salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350. Trim zucchini ends and slice them in thin rounds. Heat oil in large frying pan. Add zucchini & cook for few minutes, turning them over at least once, until they are soft and beginning to brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to bowl.

2. Slice the onion & add it to oil remaining in the pan, with most of the jalapeno strips, reserving some for garnish. Saute until the onions have softened and are golden. Using a slotted spoon, add onions and jalapenos to zucchini.

3. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Add self-rising flour, cheese & cayenne. Mix well, then stir in zucchini mixture, with salt to taste.

4. Grease a 9-inch round shallow ovenproof dish with the butter. Pour in the zucchini mixture and bake for 30 minutes, until risen, firm to the touch and golden. Let cool.

5. Serve the torte in thick wedges, garnished with the remaining jalapeno strips. A tomato salad, sprinkled with chives, makes a colorful accompaniment.