Monday, September 21, 2009

Salsa, Cookies & U2

Quite a few years ago, Michelle & I took a cooking class at a natural/health food store in Oakville. The store no longer exists - I think it went out of business when Whole Foods moved in which is really sad because this place was really nice and the classes were small, informative and a lot of fun and the take-home recipe sheets have been well used over the years.
One of the things made during that class was an avocado salsa. This is one of those recipes that is so simple, yet so good. I make it quite a lot and serve it with things like fajitas.

A bit of a blurry shot, but here we have a whole wheat tortilla with some sautéed seitan, onions & peppers. Add some salsa, sour cream, roll up and voilà! Yumminess.

I also made an un-authentic rice & beans dish. This is done in a casserole in the oven from a recipe I've had for so many years I don't even remember where I got it. It's full of veggies and just enough spice. I like it!

This meal gave us lots of energy for U2!

These were taken at Rogers Centre. What a great show!

The rice & beans recipe makes a lot so a few days later I used most of it as a filling for enchiladas.

Again, no where near authentic, but it was a good way to use up left overs.

A little bit of cheese and some salsa made it pretty tasty.

I haven't been baking much of anything for months and then, out of the blue, was craving oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

Out came The Garden of Vegan and I whipped up a batch of "Maureen's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies".

These are amazing! The evenings have a bit of chill in the air and these are definitely comfort cookies.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Fast Food the Gordon Ramsay Way

Fast food doesn't have to be greasy take-out. You can use fresh, quality ingredients and make a delicious dish in a short amount of time.

That's the idea behind Gordon Ramsay's Fast Food cookbook. Yes, we're all busy, and although these recipes do take a little bit of time, they are relatively simple and don't require a ton of ingredients or hours of slaving to make a special meal.

This salad was really good. Green Bean, Red Onion & Romano Salad took maybe 10-15 minutes to make.

Now, who doesn't have 10-15 minutes to make a delicious side dish?

For our main dish, I made this -

Tomato & Pesto Tart. OMG! This was so freakin' delicious, I made another one a few days later.

The crust is made with frozen puff pastry which is topped with pesto, cherry tomatoes, green onions, some herbs and grated Parmesan cheese. YUM!

Doesn't it look absolutely, mouth-wateringly delicious?

We pulled out this bottle of wine. I'd been saving it for a special dinner and Jim & I home together on a lazy evening seemed special enough. Brunello di Montalcino (or just called Brunello for short) is a wonderfully delicious wine from the Tuscany region in Italy. Made from a Sangiovese clone, this is considered one of the best wines that Italy produces.

Since peaches & nectarines are everywhere right now, this seemed like a logical choice.

Roasting them softens the fruit and produces a delicious flavour.

Once topped with the amaretti cream and sprinkled with crushed amaretto cookies, these went to a whole new level. Simple, yet quite gourmet.

With everything ready before I started, and a thorough read of the recipes, this kitchen adventure in fast food proved to be a resounding success!