Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Deliciousness - three recipes

I've been baking and cooking and trying new recipes lately and wanted to share a few of them. I'm always looking for new dinner ideas, so if you want to comment on any quick or easy ones that you've been using lately, I'd love that. . .

1. I made some yummy BLT's a little while back that went like this: 
  • Tomato slices placed in the toaster oven and slow roasted for about two hours on 120F with a little olive oil drizzled on top and a sprinkle of sea salt. This brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes. 
  • Favorite bread, toasted.
  • Organic bacon (turkey bacon can be substituted if you're into that kind of thing) that I cooked and crisped in our toaster oven at 400F for 10-12 minutes.
  • Grapeseed Veganaise (or Mayo) with fresh basil chopped up and stirred in. 
  • Fresh lettuce, baby spinach, or spring mix. 
Put all those things together and that's one tasty BLT (or BST if you're using spinach) sandwich. And I feel less guilty using the Veganaise. Plus I only eat this delightful sandwich once in a while which makes it totally OK.

2. Easy peasy yummy delicious fish tacos: 
I got the idea for these from my friend and neighbor Sandy. She made hers with mayo and cod, but I opted for salmon because I can't get enough of it and always have some on hand. I think halibut would also be tasty, and I would give just about anything for some ono (a.k.a. wahoo, I'm not kidding.) but I haven't seen any since Hawaii... 
  • Corn tortillas. (I used sprouted corn tortillas by Food for Life because they're super delicious and that's what Jon bought when he went shopping. So good!)
  • Salmon (wild)-- pan roast with a little bit of olive oil and then flake it a bit. 
  • Fresh chopped up lettuce.
  • Veganaise (see above recipe) with fresh oregano and fresh basil added in. 
  • Mango Salsa-- 
  • 1 whole mango, cubed. 
  •  1/8th red onion, finely chopped. (Can be substituted or omitted if you're an onion hater.)
  •  hefty pinch of cilantro, chopped up like crazy. 
What I did was lay down a little flavored veganaise in the center (fold) of the tortilla, then the lettuce, then the salmon (to keep the lettuce in place), with the mango salsa all over the top. You can not have too much mango salsa on this, I'm telling you now. Since you're using small tortillas, it is totally normal to eat 4 or 5 such tacos in one sitting. I'm pretty sure.
Also, I was thinking that for my non-fish-loving friends, you could sub out the fish for shredded chicken in lime juice... or whatever.

3. Anniversary cake:
So I made this a couple of weeks after our actual anniversary. What can I say, after our trip to California, I was swamped for a while playing catch-up. Initially it was going to be a chocolate sponge cake that I know how to make quite well. It is sort if a go-to for me. But while Jon loves chocolate, I know he's also a huge fan of good old fashioned vanilla. And since I wanted to make this cake as a thank-you to the most awesome man in my life, I went with vanilla.
I found a delicious recipe HERE. It is a super vanilla-y cake with a vanilla and rosewater frosting. I made it to the recipe on that link minus the fresh vanilla beans because while I had everything else at my disposal at home, I do not often have vanilla beans. OK, I never have vanilla beans in my home. But some day I might.

Here is how the cake turned out:

Just look at that fluffy frosting!

And of course, I had to smother it with berries. In the recipe I was following, there were berries in the cake as well as on top, but I thought it would last better if we just dumped fresh berries on top or all over whenever we felt like a bite, or a slice. 

Don't mind the ugly plates, just check out that lovely cake.

I'm not going to lie, I'm so proud of how this cake turned out. It was my first time cooking part of the frosting, and I just love how it turned out. It was so fluffy and light and easy to spread. And it as pretty as it is yummy. Vanilla with just a hint of rosewater. It got me thinking of trying it with a hint of mint (using fresh mint leaves of course). Jon's words were, "This tastes like no other cake I've ever tried before. You can really tell you put time into it. It is really, really good." That was the best compliment I could think of receiving. Jon is a man who likes his vanilla, and I was so happy that I made something he approved of wholeheartedly. Yay! And honestly, it didn't take THAT much time. But don't tell him. 

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