Monday, March 22, 2010

Atlanta Junior League Tour of Kitchens

How hard it it to cook in a kitchen like this? On Sunday, I did a chef demo for the Junior League's Annual Tour of Kitchens. Karen graciously welcomed me into her home, and I made Healthy Snacks for Kids. And, they are healthy and delicious for adults, too!

Almond Honey Fondue

1 8-oz Container Fat Free
Vanilla Yogurt

2 TB Natural Smooth Almond Butter

1 TB Honey

1 TB Chopped Toasted Almonds

Carrot and Celery Sticks

Mix the first 3 Ingredients together. Top with the Toasted Almonds. Dip away!

Cheesy Veggie “Spreader”

1 Cup Shredded Lowfat Cheddar Cheese

1/2 Cup Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt

1 Tsp Lemon Juice

1 Tsp Lemon Zest

1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Red Apple

1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Green Apple

1/4 Cup Shredded Carrot

2 TBs Minced Fennel

2 TBs Finely Chopped Toasted Almonds

2 TBs Dried Chopped Cranberries

1/2 Tsp Curry Powder

1/2 Tsp Cumin

Kosher or Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to Taste

Process the cheese, yogurt, lemon juice and lemon zest together in a food processor until smooth. Stir in the remaining ingredients and taste for seasoning. Serve a dip, stuff celery, or use as a topper for open faced whole wheat sandwiches.

Pomegranate Cinnamon Oranges

8 Large Navel Oranges, Sliced into Thin Rounds

8 Large Dates, Pitted and Chopped

¼ Cup Almonds, Toasted and Chopped

3 TB Honey

3 TB Pomegranate Molasses (or to Taste)

½ Tsp Cinnamon

Pinch of Salt

Place Orange Slices on a Large Platter, overlapping. Top with with the dates and almonds. Whisk together the honey, pomegranate molasses, cinnamon and salt and drizzle over the platter.

Taste The World

Saturday at Callanwolde was too much fun! Refugee Services held their annual "trip round the world of food". I had a great time showing people how to make a trio of easy and delicious recipes from Africa. My friend and fellow chef Beci Falkenberg made my job easy - and we did a lot of laughing and cooking for the hungry crowd.

Here's the African goodies we cooked up:
African Spice Dip

1/2 cup salted peanuts

1 Tsp chili powder

1/4 Tsp ground ginger

1/4 Tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 Tsp ground cloves

1/4 Tsp ground cinnamon

Kosher Salt to taste

Grind the peanuts to a coarse powder in a mortar, blender or food processor, and then add the ground mixed spice, chili powder and a little salt.

Serve with Goat Cheese topped Apple Slices. Or, use for a rub on Chicken or Pork, top Goat Cheese with it, Use as a dip for fresh fruit like Apples or Pears, or serve it with Crusty Bread and Olive Oil.

Tropical Coconut Fruit Salad with Mango Vinaigrette

1 Recipe Mango Vinaigrette*

1 Peeled and Cored Pineapple, in 1” Cubes

2 Large Navel Oranges, Peeled and Segmented

¼ Cup Coconut

½ Cup Chopped Peanuts

¼ Cup Chopped Mint

Toss the pineapple, oranges and mango together in a bowl. Drizzle with the Mango Vinaigrette, garnish with the coconut, peanuts and mint.

Mango Vinaigrette*

1 Mango, Coarsely Chopped

Zest and Juice of 1 Lime

Zest and Juice of 1 Orange

1 TB Chopped Cilantro

¼ Cup Rice Vinegar

1 Tsp Dijon Mustard

½ Cup Nut Oil

Kosher or Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper To Taste

Place the mango, lime zest and juice, orange zest and juice, cilantro, vinegar and mustard in a blender or food processor and puree. With the machine running, drizzle in the oil. Taste and add the salt and pepper.

Black Eyed Peas with Rice

Theibou Niebe - Senegal

1 Tsp Olive Oil

1 Cup Minced Red Onion

2 Cloves Garlic, Grated

½ Cup Smoked Turkey or Chicken

1 Tsp Ground Cumin

¼ Tsp Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

1 (16 oz) Bag Frozen Black Eyed Peas, (Prepared as Package Directs)

1 (14 ½ oz) Can Fire Roasted Chopped Tomatoes, Undrained

½ Cup Minced Fresh Cilantro

¾ Cup Chopped Sweet Cherry Peppers

Kosher or Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to Taste

Basmati Rice to Serve

Step One

Heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onion, until golden. Add the garlic.

Step Two

Stir in the chicken, cumin, pepper, peas and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in cilantro and peppers. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve on top of Basmati Rice.


Did you know frozen fruits and vegetables could be more nutritious than their fresh counterparts? When you pick fresh vegetables from your own garden, or buy them at a farmer’s market the day they are harvested, they are at the peak of freshness. But fresh produce from the supermarket may have been sitting for days or weeks in transit. Frozen fruits and veggies have been picked at the peak of ripeness, and are immediately flash frozen. Freezing locks in the minerals and vitamins. This means they may be more nutritious than those sitting in the grocery store for days.

Mindful Tastes and Sips

When you think about "tasting" you may think it only applies to wine. Not so - and we proved it at Cancer Wellness at Piedmont last week. A fun group participated in a 5 course tasting, and appreciated not only the food and drinks, but Angela's Mindfulness direction. It was so interesting to receive feedback from the participants. We asked that everyone try each pairing, whether or not they would typically drink wine or green tea or coffee. The quiet observation of Mindfulness allowed them to really taste the pairings, and the food and drink interacted and even brought out the flavors or amplified the tastes of the food.

If you didn't get a chance to attend, here are the recipes and drinks we enjoyed together.

Seared Scallops with Avocado Tomato Cucumber Salsa

Water With Cucumber

¼ Cup Finely Chopped Cilantro

4 TB Olive Oil, Divided

2 TB Lemon Juice

¼ Cup Chopped Green Onions, Green Parts Only

2 Hass Avocados, Chopped

2 Large Ripe Tomatoes, Seeded and Chopped

1 European or Hothouse Cucumber, Peeled, Seeded and Chopped

Kosher or Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to Taste

2 LBs Large Sea Scallops

Finely Chopped Cilantro for Garnish

Step One
Combine the cilantro, juice, olive oil, onions, together in a large bowl. Gently fold in the avocados, tomatoes and cucumbers and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Step Two
In a large skillet, heat the oil. Season the scallops with salt and pepper and cook over high heat until browned outside about 2 minutes per side. Remove from the skillet and serve topped with the salsa and cilantro.

Sparkling Wine Vinaigrette Salad
Botter Prosecco or Sparkling Water

1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ Cup Champagne Vinegar
½ Cup Cava
½ Tsp Emulsifier*
Kosher or Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
Pinch of Sugar

Place all ingredients in a jar and shake – or whisk in a bowl. Serve on top of field greens.

*Emulsifiers for Salad Dressing Include Dijon or other mustard, egg yolk – pasteurized, mayonnaise, miso, goat cheese or cream cheese if you are using a blender.

Orange-Rosemary Green Tea Chicken

Matcha Blend Green Tea

6 Green Tea Bags 

4 Large Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

3 Large Navel Oranges

1 Large Red Onion, Coarsely Chopped

2 TB Olive Oil, Plus more for cooking

1 TB Chopped Fresh Rosemary, Plus more for Garnish

1 TB Grated Fresh Ginger

Kosher or Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to Taste

2 – 4 TBs Honey to Taste

4 Green Onions, Thinly Sliced, Green Part Only

Step One

Steep the tea bags in one cup water for 10 minutes.
While steeping, cut the chicken in half horizontally and set aside.

Step Two

Zest and juice the oranges and place in a large zippy bag. 
Add the 2TB of olive oil, rosemary, ginger and onion. Add the tea, and mix well. Add the chicken, and let marinate at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. Remove the chicken from the marinade, reserving 1 cup, and discard the rest.

Step Three

When ready to cook, remove the chicken from the marinade and sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

 Heat olive oil in a large cast iron (or grill) pan on medium high heat. Remove chicken pieces from the marinade, wiping off excess marinade. Working in batches, cook the chicken pieces for 3- 5 minutes on each side.

Step Four

While the chicken is cooking, add the reserved marinade to a small saucepan. Add the honey and bring to a boil. Simmer for at least 5 minutes, or until the liquid begins to reduce. Remove from the heat and puree the reserved, cooked marinade in a blender or food processor.

Step Five

Top the chicken with the orange tea sauce and garnish with chopped rosemary.

Basmati Brown Rice and Mushrooms

Yealands Pinot Noir

3 TB Olive Oil, Divided

8 oz. Crimini Mushrooms, Sliced

5 Green Onions, Thinly Sliced, Divided

Kosher or Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to Taste

4 Garlic Cloves, Grated

1 TB Balsamic Vinegar

1 Cup Brown Basmati Rice

1 Cup Light Chicken Broth

1 Cup water

1 TB Lemon Juice

Step One

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a medium skillet, heat 2 TB of the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and all but 2 tablespoons of the green onions, and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until any liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated and the mushrooms are browned, about 8 minutes.

Step Two

Add the garlic and the remaining TB of olive oil and cook over moderately high heat and stir for about 1 minute. Stir in the vinegar and rice, then add the stock and water and bring to a boil.

Step Three

Season with salt and pepper and place the rice into a non-stick sprayed baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Let the pilaf stand, covered, for 10 minutes.

Step Four

Squeeze the lemon over the rice and fluff with a fork. Taste for seasoning, and garnish with the reserved 2 TB of green onions to serve.

Chocolate Walnut Cake

Decaf Caffe Verona

8 Large Eggs, at room temperature

1 Cup Sugar, divided

1/2 Cup Packed Dark Brown Sugar

1 ½ Cups Toasted Ground Walnuts* (about 2 cups walnuts)

2 Tsp Vanilla

6 TB Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (or Rice Flour for a Gluten Free Cake)

1/3 Cup Cocoa Powder, Sifted

½ Tsp Salt

¼ Tsp Cinnamon

1 Cup Whipped Cream

½ Cup Toasted Walnut Pieces for Garnish

Step One

Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly oil and flour, (or use Bakers Joy) a 9-inch springform pan, tapping out any excess flour. Divide the eggs as follows:

2 whole eggs plus 2 yolks in one bowl (reserve the other 4 yolks for another use)

6 whites in a bowl of the electric mixer

Step Two

Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer at high speed until foamy. Add 1/3 cup sugar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Set aside.

Step Three

Clean and dry the beaters. Place the bowl of whole eggs/egg yolks in the mixer bowl and add the brown sugar and the remaining 2/3 cup granulated sugar. Beat with the mixer at medium speed until thick and light in color, about 3 minutes. Beat in the nuts and vanilla until combined. Then beat in flour, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon.

Step Four

Remove the bowl from the mixer. Fold in 1 cup of the beaten whites with a rubber spatula until smooth, then fold in the remaining whites, just until incorporated (some white streaks may still be visible). Gently pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Step Five

Place the pan in the oven and reduce heat to 325F. Bake the cake until set and puffed about, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely, about 2 hours. As it cools, the cake will deflate and shrink away from the sides of the pan.

Step Six

Run a knife along the inside, and remove the pan's side. Release the cake and transfer it to a serving plate if desired. Cut the cake and serve with the port whipped cream, and garnish with the toasted walnuts.


To toast the walnuts, spread them on a baking sheet and set your timer for 7 minutes. Bake at 350 F, checking on them after 7 minutes, and again at 9 minutes. At 10 minutes remove them from the oven. Let the nuts cool, and then grind into a coarse meal in a food processor or blender.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wow - how time flies when you are having fun. Can't believe it's been 3 weeks since I posted a blog. I love what I am doing - so sometimes sitting down at the computer instead of cooking is challenging. Here's something I really enjoy - I am sharing a picture of some of my favorite assistants at Cooks Warehouse. Not only are the unfailing efficient and thoughtful, they are some of the most fun people to be around! And in the spirit of really wonderful folks, here's a fast and easy delicious dessert recipe to share with some of your favorite "peeps":

Refreshing Lemon Cake
The Cake:
1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
½ Cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
2 Tsp Baking Powder
2 Tsp Lemon Zest
½ Cup Nonfat Greek Yogurt
1 Cup Sugar
3 Large Eggs
½ Cup Canola Oil

The Glaze:
1/3 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
¼ Cup Powdered Sugar

Step One
Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray an 8-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray and line the bottom of the pan with a parchment round - coat with nonstick spray.
Step Two
Place the flour, baking powder, and zest in a bowl, stir to combine.
Step Three
In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar, and eggs, stirring until well blended. Add the flour mixture to the yogurt mixture, then add the oil and stir to incorporate.
Step Four
Pour the batter into your prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cake feels springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cake for 15 minutes.
Step Five
Run a knife around the edge of the pan, and remove it from the pan. With a toothpick poke holes all over the top. Combine the ingredients for the glaze and pour slowly over the cake. Cool completely before serving.