Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bon Appetit!

Hey guys! I was busy working on a little food project today and I made sure to take plenty of pictures so I can do a nice little how-to that I'll share with y'all tomorrow.. I'll give you a hint on what it is though...
Was that too big of a hint? Probably! But I couldn't contain myself :P
More on that tomorrow!!
I got very excited when my Bon Appetit magazine came in the other day. I got it on one of those special deals where it was selling for like $4 for a 12 month know, one of those special deals that happen, oh, all the time:P
Seriously, if you ever pay more than $6 dollars for a year's worth subscription to a magazine then you're being ripped off, there's always a sale going on somewhere (Amazon is usually the best).
I immediately ripped it open (with my teeth, I was desperate!) and took a quick flip through the magazine. Wow! The photography was beautiful and it was chocked full of mouth watering type of magazine!
I love how most of the recipes even had the nutritional facts, and if they weren't there in the magazine you can go to the recipe on their website.
I usually save my magazines for the gym so I can read something interesting if I'm stair climbing, but this one I couldn't resist. Also, they had an article talking about 12 or so favorite restaurants across the country that serve the best desserts and one of them was in Austin! Score :D
Despite reading a lot of the magazine at home already, I took it to the gym anyways. I found this delicious looking recipe as I was sweating it out on the stair climber. Honey-Marinated Pork with Gremolata? Count me in! We had nothing planned for dinner and pork loin in the freezer so I figured it was fate! And since my gym grows rosemary bushes out front I figured I could just grab a sprig on my way out, I'm sure they won't mind :P
Instead of sprinkling the finished pork with the gremolata mixture, I just put the rosemary and orange zest into the sauce. We didn't have fresh thyme or sage so I couldn't add those. Oh and chicken stock instead of white wine in the sauce, but I'm sure the wine would have tasted nice we just don't have it around the house.
Sure looks pretty!
Posing with my stolen sprig.
The pork was marinated in honey, garlic, and orange juice and then browned in a pan before put in the oven. The honey caramelizes in the pan and gives it a great crust!
I served the pork along side steamed snap peas and roasted sweet potato.
The sweet potato was flavored two different ways- one pan was spicy, and the other was sweet!
I used my mom's new mandolin slicer that gave me perfect quarter inch thick slices.
Here's my "recipes" for the sweet potatoes
1 pound 2 ounces sliced sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 pound 2 ounces sliced sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 tsp kosher salt
pinch cayenne

Directions (for both)-
Mix all the ingredients (except sweet potatoes) together until combined. Pour over sweet potato slices and arrange on lightly sprayed cookie sheet so that they are all in one layer. Cook at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
***what I found with the coconut sweet potatoes was that when I poured the mixture onto the sweet potatoes, the oil started to clump and harden. To fix this, make sure your coconut oil/spice mixture is hot and your sweet potatoes are room temperature before combining.

Wow, I can't tell you guys which one I like better, they were both SO good! I think I liked the sweet ones a tad better but that may be because I love chocolate and coconut together..
So remember when I said that my dad was going to make his famous Santa Fe french toast for breakfast? Well he didn't disappoint! I was startled awake this morning by my dad saying "French Toasties in 20." Too bad I went to bed at 12:30 and my dogs kept me up all night. It was 7:30 in the morning and I was so tired (and a little cranky)!
Unfortunately, my dad couldn't resist putting in a little bit of heavy cream into the custard mixture (instead of just milk) but he did use my whole wheat bread (instead of white). Oh well, ya can't win every battle I guess.
The special thing about this french toast is that it is pan fried, then baked! Also, he uses jumbo pieces of bread (and my bread fit the bill nicely). No skimping with the lovely, lovely carbs!
Here they are after they were done baking (they puff!)-
I topped mine with a fruit mixture that consisted of mixed berries, lemon juice, lemon zest, and a little sugar. I made the mix the night before so the fruit could thaw since it was frozen.
And a little powdered sugar for show!
Is that magazine worthy, or what?!
My dad says he could charge 20 dollars for one of these puppies, thankfully he makes them for his family free of charge. :D
I drank three cups of expresso hoping it would wake me up, but I was still feeling miserably tired so I somehow managed to go back to bed and get another hour of sleep. Still not enough, but it got me through the day at least.

And lastly, I would like to share with you the soup I made last night. It was this Italian Sausage Soup that I saw on All Recipes. My mom had bought some Italian sausage for something that we ended up not using it for, so it was up for grabs. Unfortunately, it was full fat sausage (30 grams of fat per link!!) so I wanted to make sure I drained a lot of that fat out when I made the soup. I could show you pictures of the fat drenched paper towels, but I'll spare you :P I actually think I did a really good job getting most of the fat out because when I checked on the soup today (after it had cooled) there was only a few small dots of fat that had hardened and risen to the top.
I followed the recipe exactly except I used a 32 ounce container of low sodium beef broth instead of 24 ounces, added half of a big sweet onion in with the carrots, and didn't add the 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
You know what pisses me off though? After I put in the can of italian style stewed tomatoes I glanced at the ingredient list to see what kind of seasonings they put in it and guess what I found-
Since WHEN does a simple can of tomatoes need high fructose corn syrup?! I avoid HFCS like the plague and it bummed me out that they put it in there. I usually check the ingredient list of every new (to me) product I buy but I figured that canned tomatoes would be safe. Apparently they aren't. Lesson learned! I already added the can, so there was nothing I could do about it. Pooooooop.
Anyway, I served up the otherwise very healthy and colorful soup with some of my cottage cheese herb loaf that was from the freezer.
This soup was packed full of veggies with zucchini, spinach, tomatoes, onions, and carrots. And each bite of the delicious Italian sausage gave a huge burst of flavor. I am definitely keeping this recipe and will make it again and again! Instead of Italian sausage, you could do tortellini (and vegetable broth) instead for a great vegetarian meal. And the cottage cheese bread was still amazing! I need to figure out a better way to freeze my bread, though. It always seems to get a little stale. Any ideas?

Off to bed!
Goodnight :D

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