Tagged: Spring

March11

Spring Kitchen!

You can almost smell spring coming on strong!  I'm not looking forward to losing an hour of sleep with daylight savings this weekend, but I'll surely take the sunshine and brilliant hues that are well on their way this month.  I'm loving the bright pops of color in these kitchens -- clean whites, baby blues, peeks of hot pink, grassy green and pastel seafoam!  Just a little springy inspiration to start your weekend off with.  Cheers!

images via :: Red Online

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TAGS: spring, ktichens

posted: 03.11.11

March15

Inspired By…

...Pasta and porchetta princess, Sara Jenkins' green bean salad at her new East Village restaurant Porsena (if you haven't been yet, it's cozy and wonderful - like you're eating at home with your Italian grandmother).  Jenkins may have gained acclaim for her heftier dishes and love of all things pork, but the green bean salad is a total star on the menu.  Fresh, simple, gorgeously green and crunchy--a perfect healthy pick for the first weeks of spring.  I recreated her dish at home based on memory and taste.  Darn close to the original...

(my version above, Sara's pretty version below)

Green Beans with Fennel :: and Toasted Almonds

Serves :: 2

Ingredients

1 bunch of green haricot verts (French green beans)

toasted almonds, chopped

1 bulb of fennel, thinly shaved with a mandolin

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

juice from 1/2 lemon

2 to 3 teaspoons of red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons or so of extra virgin olive oil

salt and cracked pepper to taste


 

Directions

Blanch haricot verts in boiling water for about 2 minutes, plunge into an ice bath.
Remove beans and place in a mixing bowl.
Toss in fennel, toasted chopped almonds and red onion (Jenkins actually pickles hers first, which I adore, but I didn't have the time).
Add lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper.  Mix well and you're done.

images via :: Nourish, the L Magazine

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TAGS: spring, restaurants, nyc

posted: 03.15.11

March28

Beets :: Quick Clean Up for Spring

I'm willing warm temperatures to come on strong...any day now.  If nothing else, sunshine and a bit of spring cleaning is a decent place to start.  If you're looking for a nice 'jumpstart' towards beach season, give a thought to a nice bowl of roasted beets, or a simple beet salad, or some more creative uses for the colorful root veg.  Beets are like your personal springtime cleanup crew.  Jammed with antioxidants and nutrients to detox the liver along with a good dose of fiber, they'll flush out toxins and kick up digestion super fast.  Just beware, they'll stain virtually anything they come in contact with, nothing a good washing can't take care of.  Check out these brilliant photos and easy beet recipes from my latest column in Rue Magazine's fourth issue.  Click here for Bright Beet & Feta Dip with Grilled Toasts; Golden & Ruby Beet Salad with Oranges, Hazelnuts & Fiore Sardo Cheese; Dark Chocolate Beet Cupcakes with Goat Cheese-Hazelnut Frosting (oh yeah, they're crazy good!).

...and a few more gorgeous pics from the talented Rima Campbell.

Dark Chocolate Beet Cupcakes :: with Goat Cheese-Hazelnut Frosting

Serves :: 36 mini cupcakes

Ingredients

• 5 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (64% cacao or higher)
• 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, divided
• 1 cup light brown sugar
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 3 large eggs
• 2 cups beet puree*
• 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon salt

goat cheese-hazelnut frosting
• 5 cups confectioner’s sugar
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
• 8 ounces soft goat cheese (1 large log)
• 8 ounces Neufchatel cream cheese
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 2 teaspoons Frangelico liqueur

*For the beet puree, trim roots and tips of 4 large beets and place in a large pot, cover with water.  Simmer for about 40 minutes until tender.  Drain water and allow beets to cool.  Remove skin by rubbing off with your fingers or a paper towel.  Cut beets into quarters, place in a food processor and blend until smooth.  

Directions

Preparation - Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line mini muffin trays with mini paper liners. Melt dark chocolate and 4 tablespoons butter over a double boiler. Cream remaining butter with sugars in a large bowl with an electric beater or in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Add eggs one by one until well blended. Beat in chocolate, beet puree and vanilla. In a separate mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Stir flour mixture into batter and mix well. Spoon batter into cupcake liners about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 7 minutes and swap the position of trays in oven. Bake another 7 to 9 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool and transfer to a cooling rack.
Frosting - Combine all ingredients in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Beat until well-blended. Frost each cupcake using a knife or piping bag and tip for icing.
*For the beet puree, trim roots and tips of 4 large beets and place in a large pot, cover with water. Simmer for about 40 minutes until tender. Drain water and allow beets to cool. Remove skin by rubbing off with your fingers or a paper towel. Cut beets into quarters, place in a food processor and blend until smooth.

TAGS: spring, cupcakes, beets

posted: 03.28.11

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