Saturday, March 12, 2011

Wine Review: Gazela - Vinho Verde

In my continuing quest to find a decent Vinho Verde, I decided to try one called Gazela (Figure 1). I previously tried the Twin Vines 2009 Vinho Verde paired with Tofu Pad Thai. The Twin Vines is 10% alcohol, but the Gazela is only 9%. Gazela's label states that it is "a fresh, young and floral, light and smooth wine." It also says that it should be served "chilled at 6-8C, as an aperitif, with salads, fish or seafood."

When life gives you lemons, make Lemon Drizzle Cake!

I'd been promising Rob a lemon cake since his birthday, and I found some yummy Meyer lemons at Whole Foods. I decided that Jamie Oliver's Lemon Drizzle Cake recipe would be a nice choice, and after perusing the recipe, Rob approved. However, I didn't have any poppy seeds, self-rising flour or an 8" spring form pan, all of which were called for in the recipe. I decided to nix the poppy seeds, and use my 9" spring form pan and hope for the best. The internet also informed me that I could substitute 1 cup of self rising flour with 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder. The results were a delicious treat that was thoroughly enjoyed by Rob and even me, despite my less than enthusiastic opinion of things lemon flavored.
Figure 1: Drizzling the lemon glaze over the cake.

Pancake Day 2011

Pancake Day celebrations made their way across the Atlantic this past week. Americans reading this post are probably more familiar with Mardi Gras celebrations, but in our apartment, we celebrate Pancake Day. For those new to this holiday, it doesn't refer to typical pancakes made with the likes of Bisquik, but instead pancakes that are more of a crepe like consistency. I used the classic recipe Delia's Basic Pancakes with Sugar and Lemon from my copy of Delia Smith's Complete Cookery Course. Enjoy the pictures and a movie of our pancakes. Happy Pancake Day!

Frying up some pancakes in butter!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Vegetable Lasagna with Butternut Bechamel

Amongst the many food blogs I read on a regular basis, one that never lets me down is The Kitchn. In its semi-recent "Best Healthy Casserole" contest, the winner was this Vegetable Lasagna with Butternut Bechamel. With it's use of healthy colorful vegetables in a creative way, I had to give it a try. The result received mixed review from me and Rob: I loved it, but Rob just thought it was okay. As a bonus, since Rob didn't like it as much, I got to eat all the leftovers! I would definitely recommend it and would love to make it again. The only changes I would make to my initial preparation are that I think I would have liked it better if i made the butternut bechamel a bit thinner, and I miscalculated the spacing of my lasagna sheets, so there were a few "holes" in the layers. I've posted the recipe below. I hope you give it a try and enjoy it as much as I did.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Swiss Chard & Baby Spinach Spanikopita

Don't be afraid of phyllo dough. I stocked up on some when it was on sale at Giant Eagle a few months ago. In my current quest to cook more seasonal recipes, I bought some rainbow Swiss chard. I've also been looking for recipes that I can make one day and will leave leftovers that reheat well the next day. I found this recipe for Swiss Chard Spanikopita at I adapted it to use what I had in my fridge at the time; the recipe is listed below. I really liked this dish and so did Rob. It was really easy to prepare and only used 2 pans, one to saute the ingredients and one to bake it in the oven. We ate this as a main dish one night, then I brought some into work for lunch the next day, and the day after I served the rest as a side dish alongside some fish. The recipe is definitely a keeper.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Butter Poached Scallops and Sleek

"This is Top Chef, not Top Scallop" ~Fabio Viviani

Well, this isn't Top Chef, it's just my blog, and a couple weeks ago, I decided to buy some scallops that were "Eco-OK". I've been trying to incorporate fish into my diet more frequently to increase my protein intake and have a more balanced diet, but I've also been interested in understanding the idea of sustainable fishing. I won't go off on a rant about sustainable fishing right now (I'll be writing an article on that for my Science Writing class later in the semester, so you can hear about it then), but for now, let's just say that I decided to buy the scallops.

First Interview Article Re-write

Well here's the final draft of my interview article. I ended up getting a B-, and I must admit that I didn't put in much effort in the re-write. Not my proudest moment, but I'm getting better. We have mid-semester check-ups in a week, so we'll see if my teacher thinks I'm getting any better as well. Here's the article. Up next, another interview article, but of a more personal nature. I'll post the draft when I have one.

A woman drops her daughter off in the morning at day care. The daughter happens to spill some paint on her clothes during playtime, so the teacher tells her to change her shirt. At the end of the day, the woman returns to pick up her daughter but cannot find her among the children. She patiently waits for the teacher to bring her daughter over to her.