Archive | June, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

24 Jun

Thank you thank you thank you for all the love for my one year blogiversary, it’s really tremendous. I look forward to many many more years of blogging! But now……the WINNER of America’s Test Kitchen Cooking for Two 2011 is…..

Drumroll please?

And the #43 entry is…..

Congrats Carly! Check your e-mail after you read this!

By the time you all read this, I will be on my way to the happiest place on Earth. No, not Disney, but Camp Sunshine!

 

For those of you that know me at all, you know that I look forward to this week every year. It’s like a huge family reunion and it’s the greatest week ever! I’ll be back on Thursday with more goodies, but until then, I’ll catch ya on the flip side ūüėČ

Pan-Roasted Fish Fillet w/ Olive, Almond & Orange Relish

21 Jun

Fish is something I grew up with when I was a kid. Being half Portuguese, I would probably be excommunicated if I didn’t like fish. Especially if that fish was cod or sardines. My Mom makes this killer baked cod with olive oil, potatoes, & onions. I’ve tried making it a few times, and my husband says that my version is pretty tasty as well.

This particular dish left me with some battle wounds. You see, I tend to get a little frazzled in the kitchen. I have my music playing in the background, 4 different pans going, the oven on high, and stuff scattered EVERYWHERE. Sometimes I don’t pay attention. Sometimes I take a pan out of the oven, plop it on top of the oven, go do something else, and FORGET that I JUST took said pan out of the oven, and proceed to grab HOT handle and yelp and run to the bathroom.

All while my husband plays video games.

While it hurt like a b&*tch it wasn’t actually as bad as I thought. And I got my first kitchen battle wound. Guess worse things have happened….

Have you entered for a chance to win a copy of America’s Test Kitchen’s Cooking for Two yet?!? Head on over HERE to enter. Remember, you have until 3PM on Wednesday 6/22 to enter!!


Pan Roasted Fish Fillets w. Olive, Almond & Orange Relish
From Cooking for Two 2011 

For the Fish

  • 2 (6-8oz) skinless white fish fillets, 1-1.5″ thick (I used haddock)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
Adjust oven to middle position and preheat to 425 degrees. Pat fish dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle 1/8 tsp sugar evenly over skinned side of each fillet.
Heat oil in 10″ oven safe non-stick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Place fillets in skillet, sugared sides down, and press down lightly to ensure even cooking. Cook until browned 1-1.5 minutes. Using two spatulas, flip fillets and transfer skillet to oven.
Roast fillets until centers are just opaque and register 135 degrees on instant-read thermometer. 7-10 minutes. Serve immediately w/ lemon wedges and relish.
For the Relish
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted lightly
  • 1/4 cup pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp grated orange zest plus 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh mint
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper
Pulse almonds, olives, garlic and orange zest in food processor until nuts and olives are finely chopped, 10-12 pulses. Transfer to bowl and stir in orange juice, olive oil, mint, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste and spoon over fish before serving.

A Year in the Making & A Giveaway!

17 Jun

It’s been a pretty good week over here in Beantown.

Boston has officially become Championship City thanks to the Bruins winning the Stanley Cup this week. THANK GOODNESS. I’m not a huge hockey fan by any means, but I’ve been GLUED to this Stanley Cup series and have been washed up in Bruins pride.

This week also marked my ONE YEAR BLOGIVERSARY! It’s pretty crazy that it’s already been a year. It feels like I’ve only been doing this for a day. I started this blog after I got married because suddenly I didn’t have a wedding to plan anymore and had a BOAT LOAD of free time. With grad school coming in the fall, keeping up with this blog, and life in general, life’s going to get a whole lot busier. And now, because I like bullet points, let’s talk about all the awesome things that has happened because of me starting this little ol’ blog:

  • I’ve met some amazing people. A-MAZING. People that I consider to be my best friends. People I talk to every day now and make my days at work bearabl
  • I’ve become way more confident in my cooking and baking abilities. Granted, I still feel like I have a long way to go, but I’ve grown exponentially as a result of this blog. I was one of those girls that used to be too lazy to take some frozen orange chicken out and make it. Now I make it from scratch. I’m hoping in my next year of blogging I can do more experimenting to create more of my own recipes
  • Most Popular Blog Post: Apple Cinnamon Pop Tarts.¬† Does this surprise anyone, really? I mean, 1 it’s pop tarts, and 2 the recipe is from the Flour Bakery Cookbook. DUH. You people have good taste
  • I never thought that I would be part of such an amazing food blogger community. Even though I have WAY too many blogs on my Reader, I still try very very hard to read all of it because I truly enjoy being part of this community and going to blogger events.
  • My family almost expects me to make something magnificent every time an event happens. I still haven’t decided if this is a good or bad thing
  • I like to giveaway stuff to my readers. One, because sharing is caring and two, it proves that people other than my husband and mom reads this blog.

Which brings me to……

A GIVEAWAY!!! The lovely people over at America’s Test Kitchen provided me with a copy of Cooking for Two 2011 to try out and they have graciously offered me another copy to give to one of my readers!!!!

Let’s face it, a good number of recipes are usually for 4-6 servings of something or other. That is difficult if you are a household of 1 or 2. There are some recipes I make that give us leftovers for DAYS (mainly because again, I’m too lazy to scale it down. It’s the math). What’s great about this book is that it’s perfect for 2 people, or even for 1 person that wants some leftovers for the day.

My favorite section is the dessert section, for reasons that are not so obvious. Many many times I find myself wanting to make a dessert but not wanting to have any leftovers. If I bake a whole cake, I’m most likely going to eat it. Same with pies, cookies, muffins, cupcakes, brownies, WHATEVER. Cooking for Two includes a whole section on desserts for two, in which a smaller pie is made, or only 4 muffins are in a recipe, which drastically cuts down on leftovers, and keeps my waistline intact. I plan on using those recipes as a baseline to create multiple different flavors.

I love this recipe for Linguine with Arugula-Mint Pesto. Most of the ingredients are pretty basic, and I happened to pick up most of those ingredients from the farmer’s market, so the flavors were tripled. This couldn’t be a simpler meal to make, and it took no time at all. While the spaghetti is cooking you could be making the pesto and then all of a sudden BAM, dinner is ready.

So I’m really excited that one of you will be able to get a copy of this amazing cookbook.

Rules:

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment telling me what you are looking forward to doing the most this summer, food or non food related. Please make sure to include your email address in the form so I know how to contact you!

Entries will be accepted until Thursday June 23rd @ 3PM. Any comments left AFTER that time will NOT be counted.

Winner will be announced on Friday June 24th.

For EXTRA entries:
– Follow me (@Kitchenmisfit) & America’s Test Kitchen (@TestKitchen) on Twitter and Tweet: I want to win a copy of Cooking for Two thanks to @KitchenMisfit & @TestKitchen http://wp.me/pVDUw-iq and leave a comment saying you did that
– Like Tales from a Kitchen Misfit & America’s Test Kitchen and leave a separate comment stating you did so.

GOOD LUCK!!!!!

 

Linguine w/ Arugula-Mint Pesto

Recipe from Cooking for Two 2011

  • 1 garlic clove, unpeeled
  • 4 oz baby arugula
  • 3/4 cup tightly packed fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 oz cooked linguine, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water
  • 1/4 grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
Toast garlic in skillet over medium heat, shaking pan occasionally, until fragrant and color of clove deepens slightly, about 7 minutes. Let garlic cool slightly, then peel and chop.
Process garlic, arugula, mint, walnuts, lemon juice, sugar, red pepper flakes and 1/2 tsp salt together in food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with spatula. With machine running, slowly drizzle in oil until incorporated, about 30 seconds.
Add pesto and Parmesan to pasta and toss to combine, adjusting sauce consistency with reserved pasta cooking water as desires. Season with salt and serve with extra Parmesan. I also served mine with some fresh heirloom tomatoes I got at the farmer’s market!

Strawberry Cream Scones & the Best Weekend Ever

14 Jun

So, how was everyone’s weekend?

Photo Courtesy of Nicole @ Iamahoneybee

My weekend was pretty flipping fantastic. I basically satisfied a life long dream of mine by going to see my favorite band on the face of the Earth this weekend. I’m talking about none other than NKTOBSB (My favorite band being the BSB portion of this acronym)

Let me give you the rundown of this epic concert that I attended this weekend, in bullet form.

  • Mark Wahlberg introduced NKTOBSB. If you know me at all, you know that I am in love with Marky Mark. Like, IN LOVE. Like, I-would-divorce-my-husband-and-run-away-with-him-if-he-ever-asked love. Do you have a list with your spouse about who you get to hook up with if ever the chance came up? Mark is #1 on that list. (I think Tina Fey is on hubby’s list). Poor Nicole had to deal with me screaming my every loving head off when he came on stage
  • I still know all the words to songs I haven’t heard in 10+ years.
  • Half naked men in the rain WILL reduce you to your former 15 year old hormonal self
  • I LOVE RAIN. See previous bullet.
  • Nick Carter using the stage as a Slip N Slide and almost flying off said stage, MAGIC.
  • When the Backstreet Boys bring 4 girls on stage and commence serenading them, you WILL turn into a jealous 12 year old who will want to rip their heads off
  • Even the mere suggestion that a shirt will be taken off will send women of all ages into hysterics
  • The fact that they were selling snap bracelets and Naughty by Nature made a guest appearance made me think I was actually back in the 90s.
  • Donnie Wahlberg is H-O-T. Obviously not as hot as my love Mark but those Wahlberg’s are blessed with some amazing genes. I would like a Wahlberg sandwich TO GO thanks
  • Greatest concert ever in the history of ever
  • Did I mention half naked men in the rain?
I love you Mark!
I was definitely more into the Backstreet Boys than New Kids on the Block. I got into NKOTB towards the end of their career, but I followed BSB from beginning to now. Remember how you used to get into fights with the other girls about who was better, *NSync or BSB? Oh wait…..you didn’t have those fights? Nevermind then
I ‚̧ Brian 4eva
Side Note: Brian is my favorite. While the majority of girls were pining over Nick Carter (fact: he kind of bugs me) I loved soft spoken and hilarious and omg cutest boy ever Brian. Everything about this concert was epic. The venue, the group, the songs, the experience. EVERYTHING. It was kind of amazing to see girls my age (and older! Much older!) scream like 15 year olds again when they sang. I went with Nicole of I Am A Honey Bee and she has some fantastic video of the concert! Go check it out!!!
I’m going to tell you right now that these scones have nothing in common with the concert except for the fact that I made them on the same day and they are delicious just like all the members of NKOTBSB. Yeah, I said it.
I bought some delicious strawberries at the farmer’s market in Dewey Sq and knew that scones were going to be on the agenda. Cream scones. Because when you have delicious strawberries from the farmer’s market, you want to treat them right.
What’s great about this particular recipe is that it’s for only 4 scones! Now, I love sweets just as much as the next girl, but my butt and thighs don’t. So when I find a recipe that’s been cut down to a reasonable amount so I can still get my fix but don’t have to worry about gaining 20lbs, I make it. The original recipe calls for currants, but I really wanted to use my strawberries, and I think they worked great! This will definitely be my go to recipe when I want to make a couple of scones for breakfast!
Strawberry Cream Scones
Slightly adapted from Cooking for Two
  • 1 cup (5oz) all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/4″ pieces and chilled
  • 1/3 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Pulse flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in food processor to combine, about 3 pulses. Scatter butter evenly over top and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal with some slightly larger butter lumps, about 6 pulses. Transfer mix to a large bowl and stir in strawberries then stir in cream until it can be formed into a loose ball.
Flour your countertop and form the ball into a 5″ round disk. Cut into 4 scones and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Let stand about 5-10 minutes and then serve with your favorite side of whipped cream.

Strawberry Rhubarb Tart on Local In Season

10 Jun

Hey everyone! Did you know that yesterday was National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day? Now you know! Now go on over to Local in Season where you can see my post on how to make a delicious Strawberry Rhubarb Tart using fresh and local ingredients!

Eat Pop-Up @ British Consulate

5 Jun

A few weeks ago husband and I went to the Pop up restaurant at the British Consulate which is hosted by Eat Boston. As visitors to London before, we were really excited to relive some good memories of London.

The menu was presented to us beforehand and it was seriously impressive.

For cocktail hour we got to nosh on some seriously tasty tidbits. The first was my favorite. Toasted bread with a mango chutney spread and cheese. I ate 2 they were so good.

The second appetizer that was passed around was not my favorite. It was a small version of haggis, which as you may or may not know is a sheep’s liver, heart and lungs mixed with herbs and cooked in the stomach. I took a tiny bite and gave the rest to my husband. Not my thing AT ALL.

The next thing that was served was pigs in a blanket, with sausage wrapped in phyllo dough. Also very difficult not to consume 5 of these. Meat wrapped in dough, I mean, how can you really go wrong?

There was also a good selection of drinks on tap. Sadly, they didn’t serve any true British beers, but Pretty Things was there with their Field Mouse’s Farwell. It was delicious! I also tried the Tom Collins, which was being made with a local gin from Berkshire Mountain Distillers. I’ve never really drank gin, but this drink was good! We also sipped on wine from Bear Flag Wine during our dinner.

Once we sat down we were greeted by a pretty floral arrangement courtesy of Bittersweet Gardens.

Our first course was probably my favorite course, which was seared foie gras and a homemade crumpet with maple gel, HP powder, pickled berries,  and lemon butter. It was like melt in your mouth good. Just give me a side of clotted cream and I would be in heaven.

The second course was an interesting take on Indian street food which is very popular in London. This was a chicken korma soup with curry leaves, green garlic and fiddleheads. I had never really tasted fiddleheads before but they had a pleasantly mild flavor that complemented the spices from the korma soup. A great interpretation.

We also got a visit from Will Gilson in between each course in which he described what the dish was and how it was inspired.

The third course was a fun take on an English Breakfast. My husband is a HUGE English breakfast person and we must have had a traditional English breakfast for the majority of our trip in London. I loved this interpretation.¬†Earl grey tea smoked duck bangers with bubble and squeak, griddled tomato and fried local egg. The egg was OUT OF THIS WORLD. I’m telling you, that picture is 100% accurate, the yolk was that spectacular color. And it was delicious.

Another interesting take on an English classic, fish and chips. This dish was made with Local Dayboat Cod, brik batter, crispy fried parsnips, leek cream, citrus and basil tartar sauce. It was probably my least favorite of the night, but it was still excellent. I only wish there was a tad more flavor, maybe extra tartar sauce? But otherwise, the fish was delicate and cooked to perfection.

I was looking forward to dessert the whole night. This was their interpretation of Sticky Toffee Pudding. I had the most SPECTACULAR sticky toffee pudding in London and I was seriously looking forward to reminiscing about it. This was a very different take, but it was still very good. The cake was on the drier side, but I liked the addition of the crumbled candy bar. The lavender whipped cream was also a nice touch.

The total cost for the two of us was $140 which seems steep I know. But seriously, totally worth it. This was our first pop up experience and will certainly NOT be our last.

Also, if you are planning to be anywhere near Truro down on Cape Cod, make sure to stop at Adrian’s restaurant because the Eat Boston team is going to be setting up shop there for the summer. I can’t wait to go down the Cape and visit!

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