Monday, March 29, 2010

Soló Queso

It's a rare occasion when we Tarts take a day and just chill. And chillax we did, as we drove down south to Laguna Beach, sipping iced chai lattes and chatting like teenagers with the ocean breeze whipping through our slightly dirty hair. Does it get any better?

Ummm, yes, yes it does. The bar rose quite a bit in fact when we pulled into The Montage and headed straight for the The Loft with one thing on our mind...

"Hello, welcome to The Loft, will you be-"

"We'll be having cheese."

"Would you like to sit in-"

"Just cheese."

"Would you like a glass of-"

"Cheese? Yes, please."

They finally got the message...

Hello cheese, goodbye self-control.

This truly is an experience. Especially when you're lucky enough to have Janice as your personal fromagier. She invites you into her palace of cheese and crafts an adventure to satisfy your every whim, marrying each one with a homemade compote, mustard or honey, like this aged gouda...

...rocked out with a lavender caramel sauce. What?! I think my mouth just did a cartwheel!

Janice went above and beyond the call of queso and invited us on a tour of the kitchen where we 'borrowed' some delicious homemade truffles. One of us, the pregnant one, popped a few in her mouth before Janice even offered. Bad Tart. But great truffle:)

It was a beautiful, lactose-filled day and an adventure we shall treasure. Thanks Janice!

Oh yeah, and to top it all off...the cheese plate comes with a view...

Cheese will never be the same. Shame on you, Cheese Lady!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Salmon Morissette

When Alanis Morissette sings, "And isn't it ironic...don't ya think," I'm pretty sure she's referring to my eating habits. Last night, I, Danielle, was reading a book about the macrobiotic diet...while eating pizza. Very delicious, cheesey pizza.

Yes, Alanis, I do think it's ironic that we Tarts intend to be healthy, but sometimes we 'come to' and find ourselves eating a hot, gooey, cinnamon roll. "Well, now how did that get in my mouth?" But this week, we bring you something that Alanis can feel good about. Unless she's a vegetarian. Then I'm sure she'd sing a different song, perhaps something catchy like, "Taking Down The Tarts."

Salmon Morissette
by Ham and Rye

Preheat grill on high.

Take 2 lbs. WILD Salmon, we chose Sockeye...

...and rub with a generous amount of preferred spices or rubs, like Potlatch Seasoning from Williams-Sonoma, a gift from my awesome friend, Clarkles.

When grill is nice and hot, spray or brush with olive oil and place salmon FLESH SIDE DOWN on the grill. Cook for about a minute and then flip over so skin side is touching the grill. Reduce heat to medium, drop the lid and cook to desired doneness, anywhere from 5-7 minutes.

Serve with fresh lemon and wallah!

Pair with greens...

...and you have a healthy meal that even Alanis would be proud of.

Until you top it off with ice cream pie and caramel sauce.

Which is very ironic...don't ya think?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

As the Tarts Turn

This week on As The Tarts Turn...

Erin receives a message from her unborn child...

"The baby says the Tarts are getting lazy."

"Oh, no he didn't."

Oh, yes he did.

The Tarts, shamed by a tiny little baby, leap into action.

"Let's make something from Sprouted Kitchen. That'll impress him."

8 Parsnips, cleaned and peeled
2 Large Egg Whites

1 Tbsp. Dried Oregano

2 Tbsp. Fresh Rosemary, finely chopped

1 1/3 Cup Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese

Sea Salt

Fresh Ground Pepper

//Dipping Sauce//
1 Cup Organic Tomato Pulp/Diced Tomatoes

3 Cloves Roasted Garlic

2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pinch of Salt/Pepper
Roasted Red Pepper Flakes

Preheat oven to 425

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and either spray or give it a rub of butter.

Cut the parsnips into wedges or halves depending on the thickness. Since they taper so much, use the ends whole then cut the fat top into fourths. Try to get them as evenly sized as possible.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites til frothy with 2 tsp dried oregano.

Working with about half of the parsnips at a time, toss in the egg white and then gently roll in the Parmesan cheese.

Place each parsnip on the baking sheet, with space in between. Sprinkle the fresh rosemary and generous amounts of fresh pepper and salt. (*We misread the directions and added the rosemary before they were on the sheet.) You may even want to give one more sprinkling of
parmesan. Sara recommends drizzling with olive oil before baking.

Bake the wedges 20-25 minutes until crispy and cooked through. Rotate and test them after 15 minutes as the size of parsnips will vary.

We turned the oven off and let them sit for a while; we wanted them crispy.

While baking, simmer the sauce ingredients listed above.

Yum. Thanks Sara! The Tarts are thrilled!

But is the baby?

Find out next week on...As The Tarts Turn.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

And the Oscar goes to...Pati's Chipotle Guacamole!

We'd like to thank the Academy, the genius who invented the avocado and of course Pati for this simple twist on a classic dip. Starring some very talented chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, this guac is a real crowd pleaser and sure to bring you many accolades!

2 large ripe Haas avocados, about 1 1/2 lb, halved, seeded, meat scooped out and diced
1/3 cup white onion, chopped
1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
2 tablespoons chipotles in adobo sauce, seeded and chopped, more if desired
Tortilla chips, toast squares, pita chips, crackers or vegetable sticks, optional

Gently mix ingredients in a bowl and serve.

Craze McCraze! Can't wait for the sequel!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Food Friend-sie

How does a pregnant Tart entertain her girlfriend Sari when she comes from NYC to visit? By exploring the sights? Uh uh. Touring a few museums? Nope. Hiking perhaps? Negative!

A pregnant Tart entertains her friend with food. And food. And more food.

And for one of the stuff-fests we made Smitten Kitchen's Rice Pudding (Arroz Con Leche)...

It was delicious; my fellow Tart didn't even know we subbed brown rice for white! (Yes, we are nerds and when we can't cook together, we bring each other tiny morsels.)

Not only did I put Sari to work in the kitchen, I also forced her to take these amazing photographs! They're so good, Danielle broke a tooth trying to eat her computer screen.

Come see us more often, Sari! I promise, next time we'll go shopping...

After we go to BLD, Huckleberry, Campanile...this awesome sausage place downtown and...