Peach and Arugula Salad

There’s a lovely blogging group, that you may or may not know about, called the Love Bloghop. Every month they highlight a seasonal ingredient and we all link up together so you can see everyone’s recipes. I’ve participated many times, but as you know, life has a way of keeping you busy…and I think this is my first time back in several months!

I really love doing these bloghops, not just because of the extra exposure one gets, but also because it’s a great way to discover delicious, new recipes from all over the web in one convenient place!

Peach and Arugula Salad

In recent months, I have become obsessed, perhaps even infatuated, with watermelon salad. I combine juicy, delicious watermelon atop a bed of arugula, sprinkle with some mint (or basil), goat cheese, and a drizzle of oil and balsamic vinegar, and I’m in heaven.

Seriously, you can ask Nate, I ate this salad for dinner every night for at least 2 weeks straight. But now that peaches are equally juicy and in season, I couldn’t help myself from buying a few the other day. And you know what? They are just as good, if not better in this same simple salad.

Peach and Arugula Salad

The bitter arugula, sweet peaches, creamy goat cheese and fragrant mint combine in the most amazing way. Also, at Nate’s insistance, I added some candied pecans on top.

If it looks like there isn’t mint in my pictures, it’s because I forgot it at the market when I photographed this and wasn’t about to go back and get it. But trust me, you don’t want to leave it out!

Peach and Arugula Salad

I join with the following lovely hosts this month for #peachlove!

Becky @ Baking and Cooking, A Tale of Two Loves  
Betsy @ Java Cupcake
T.R. @ No One Likes Crumbley Cookies
Jessica @ Oh Cake
Shelia @ Pippi’s in the Kitchen Again
Helena @ Rico sin Azúcar 
Linda @ Savoring Every Bite 
Liz @ That Skinny Chick Can Bake!!! 
EA Stewart @ The Spicy RD 
Susan @ The Wimpy Vegetarian
Serena @ Teaspoon of Spice Serena

Please join in on the #peachlove fun by linking up any peach recipe from the month of August 2012. Don’t forget to link back to this post, so that your readers know to come stop by the #peachlove event! The twitter hashtag is #peachlove :).

Recipe is below linkup!

Arugula Salad with Peaches, Goat Cheese, Mint, and Candied Pecans

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Serves 2

1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 Tbsp sugar
3 cups arugula
1 ripe and juicy peach, sliced
3 Tbsp crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Put chopped pecans in a small saute pan over med-hi heat. Sprinkle with the sugar. Stir occassionally until sugar melts and coats pecans. Turn the candied nuts out onto a piece of tinfoil to cool.

Put arugula and mint in a medium-sized bowl and toss with the oil and vinegar. Add peaches and goat cheese and toss to combine. Divide on plates and sprinkle with pecans

16. June 2012 · 14 comments · Categories: Drinks, recipes · Tags: , , ,

Frozen Lemon Mojito

If you’ve been searching for an alcoholic summer drink that’s perfect for sipping by the pool, look no further.

As you know I had a couple people over to dinner the other day and I wanted to make something fun and refreshing for them to sip on while I was busy in the kitchen making the rest of the meal.

I don’t drink at all, and Nate only likes wine, so we didn’t have much in the way of hard liquor in the apt. I did have a bottle of Absolut Vodka I had gotten as a gift a while ago, so I was determined to use it.

Frozen Lemon Mojito

I knew the drink would be great with lemon or lime, and I really wanted something frozen since I love using by awesome Blendtec Blender. I was thinking along the lines of a frozen mojito since I couldn’t get the flavor out of my head after seeing this post from Kelly.

After a bit of searching, I came across this recipe for Frozen Lemon Vodka Mint Mojitos. I didn’t have Lemon Vodka but it didn’t make much of a difference. It was basically a Lemon Mojito Slushie. It doesn’t have enough alcohol to make you too tispy and even I couldn’t really taste it, so depending on how strong you like your drinks you might want to up the alcohol content.

That being said you could easily leave out the alcohol and have an amazing Mint Lemonade Slushie. I think I might do that soon because this drink is perfect for the hot and humid weather that’s about to hit us.

I may not have a pool, but at least I can sip this drink and pretend I’m sunbathing :)

Frozen Lemon Mojito

Frozen Lemon Mojito

Very slightly adapted from Salt and Serenity

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Serves 3-4

4 cups ice cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons simple syrup (recipe below)
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice ***check amount on rewritten recipe
2/3 cup vodka
1 1/2 cup, loosely packed mint leaves

Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into tumbler glasses, garnish with a lemon slice and
mint sprig.

Simple syrup:
2 cups white sugar
2 cups water
Combine ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and continue cooking until all the sugar is dissolved. Let cool and pour into a covered jar. Will keep in the fridge for several weeks.

 
 

Tabouli

If you like chopping vegetables, then this recipe is for you.

Nate and I headed down to his mom’s for Memorial Day weekend, and as always I took advantage of her giant kitchen with ample counter space to make lots of recipes.

I love having room to spread out! I literally had every square inch of the counter covered with ingredients for three different recipes I was making at once. It’s such a nice change from our little apartment kitchen where I have to clean as I go (something I’m horrible at) if I want any hope of keeping some semblance of order in the kitchen.

Tabouli

I will be SO happy when we move to a house with *hopefully a nice big kitchen! Unfortunately, we just signed our lease for another year, so it’ll be at least a year til my dream comes true.

Anyway, this salad isn’t quick to make. There are a lot of vegetables to chop…and not just any vegetables, but small vegetables. I wish there was an easy way to chop small things.

I did use Rachel Ray’s tip for cutting cherry tomatoes. She kind of annoys me sometimes, but in this case, she’s a freaking genius. This is hands-down the best time-saver EVER.

Tabouli

Speaking of Rachel Ray, did I ever tell you guys I was in the audience of the Rachel Ray show, and they kept panning the camera to me. It was my 15 minutes (okay, seconds) of fame :) You can see it here…if you go to minute 1:50, you can see me!

Try to ignore the fact that I look directly at one of the cameras. I’m not an actress, folks. I was beckoning to the camera man. I’m also in the other segments from show that day, which you can find here. They loved me!

Ok, so back to the recipe. This may be time-consuming, but when all is said and done, it’s so colorful, fresh and delicious!

Be aware that this makes a lot of Taboulli. Perfect alongside your summer barbecues or for a light lunch!

Tabouli

 

Tabouli

From Mom’s recipe box (i.e. source unknown)

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Serves 8-10

1 cup bulgur, uncooked
1 cucumber, diced
2 tomatoes, diced (or 2 handfuls cherry tomatoes, cut in half)
1 bunch radishes, chopped in 1/4 dice
3/4 cups scallion, sliced
1/2 cup fresh mint, minced
1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Wash bulgur in cold water til water runs clear. Place in bowl, cover with 4 cups boiling water. Mix and let stand 30-40 min.

Drain bulgur and squeeze out excess moisture. Place in clean bowl

Add rest of ingredients. Adjust seasonings.

The weather in nyc has been so nice lately (aside from all the rain). It finally feels like spring is here to stay :)

On nice weekends, Nate and I like to get out and walk as much as possible. Most people in nyc take the subway if their destination is more than 20 blocks away, but we look at that as a great opportunity to sneak in some extra exercise while getting to where we want to go (and saving $ to boot!).

We’re always looking for fun stuff to do on the weekends and this week I came across an ad for the James Beard Foundation’s Bi-Annual Cookbook Sale. Nate and I laced up our sneakers and headed downtown.

The sale said it was supposed to start at 10am. By the time we got there at 10 on the dot, there was a line of about 5 people. Apparently, the sale takes place in James Beard’s one-time residence- a historic townhouse in the west village. The books are scattered on tables in one little room and it can only hold so many people, so they limit how many people can be in there at once.

Check out that line!

While waiting in line, Nate and I had a discussion to determine whether bi-annual means twice a year, or every two years. I finally pulled out my phone and looked it up, and apparently it means both definitions…how stupid is that?! The two guys in line in front of us must have heard our somewhat ridiculous conversation and informed us that this sale only occurs every 2 years…good thing we didn’t miss it!

I’m not sure where the cookbooks come from, but it’s a sale of used cookbooks that range between $1 and $20. Because I like to think I’m rather frugal, I jumped at the opportunity. I always have the urge to buy cookbooks but never want to spend the money when I know I’ll probably forget I even have them. This was the perfect solution.

After about a 20 min wait, we finally got in. There were hundreds of cookbooks! It was kind of hard to really take your time and look through them since there were so many people and the books were scattered on tables in no particular order. I made my way to the back where the $1 books were. We browsed for about 15 min and finally selected 5 cookbooks. I had no idea if they’d be any good, but at that price I couldn’t resist. I got all 5 books for $14!

When we left the building, the line was all the way down the block. I couldn’t believe so many people knew about this thing and came to it. We walked all the way home (6 miles roundtrip) with a stop off at this awesome spice shop, Kalustyan’s, to pick up some Indian spices for what I was going to make for dinner.  When I finally got home and assessed my goods I was quite pleased with my thrifty purchases :)

When I arrived home I got to work on dinner: Curried Chickpea Stew with Spiced Rice. I had been wanting to make Indian food for so long (although this recipe was adapted from Cooking Light so I’m not sure how authentic it is) but kept putting off going to the spice store since it’s not exactly around the corner. I didn’t want to get the spices at the regular supermarket, thought, because if they even had the ones i wanted, they were sure to be ridiculously priced.

At the spice store I had picked up a big bag of cardamom pods, and some tumeric, neither of which I’ve ever used before. As soon as I opened the cardamom pods, the fragrant, almost floral aroma wafted out. They smelled SO good. I’m definitely going to put the rest to use in some dessert since this recipe only used 3 of them.

*Please do not be turned off by the extensive ingredient list for the chickpeas. They turned out so delicious and now I have all the spices on hand for next time.

I’m also throwing a bonus recipe into this post since the few dark, crappy pics don’t warrant a post of their own. I made a simple and delicious Israeli Couscous with Peas and Mint the other day…just in time for the wonderful spring weather. Nate later informed me that he doesn’t actually like peas (oops!) but he ate it anyway, indicating how delicious this dish really is.

Ugly picture. Yummy food.


Curried Chickpea Stew with Spiced Brown Rice

Adapted from Cooking Light

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serves 4

Rice:
1 cup uncooked brown rice
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
3 cardamom pods, crushed
1 cinnamon stick
1 2/3 cups water
1 bay leaf

Stew:
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onion
1 Tbsp grated peeled fresh ginger
2 tsp garam masala (or 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp coriander, 1 cinnamon stick)
3/4 tsp ground tumeric
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 cardamom pods, crushed
2.5 cups water
1 cup diced carrot
1/4 tsp salt
1- 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1- 14.5 oz can fire-roasted crushed/diced tomatoes, undrained
1 Tbsp cornstarch, if needed
1/2 cup Fage 2% Greek yogurt
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Rice:
Put all ingredients in Rice cooker and stir. Cook til done. Or you could could it in the normal rice way in a pot.

Stew:
Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tbsp oil and swirl to coat. Add 2 cups onion; saute for 6 min or until golden. Add ginger through the cardamom; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Add 2.5 cups water, carrot, 1/4 tsp salt, chickpeas, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 min or until carrots are tender and sauce is slightly thick. If stew still isn’t thick, take out some broth, whisk the cornstarch into broth until dissolves, then mix back into pot. Continue cooking and stirring for 1-2 min or until thicker.

Discard cardamom.

Place rice mixture into each of 4 bwols; spoon chickpeas over rice. Top with yogurt and cilantro.

*To cut carbs, I served my portion over spaghetti squash. I baked it for an hour at 375. After letting it cool, i cut it in half and scraped the strands out with a fork. Then I mixed in some salt, pepper and garlic powder.


Israeli Couscous with Mint and Peas

Adapted from Martha Stewart

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serves 4

1 cup Israeli couscous (or orzo)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 shallot, minced (about 2 Tbsp)
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 lb fresh peas, shelled, or 2 cups frozen peas
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp chopped mint

Cook couscous according to package directions. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and lemon zest, and saute until translucent.

Add peas and lemon juice, and cook until bright green and tender, adding a little water if shallots brown before peas are tender.

Add cooked couscous, season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Remove from heat and stir in mint.