Monday, March 26, 2012

Sunday Dinner

Sundays are meant for relaxation. A good sermon at church, a walk in Piedmont Park, a random movie on television, followed by a fantastic dinner. Cooking on Sundays should be minimal, using only the simplest recipes with the freshest ingredients. I have grown up always eating steak on Sundays. Back in Macon, Ga. my parents paired the juicy, tender meat with Caesar salad and baked beans. Now that I am older and do my own cooking on Sundays I like to serve the charred steaks with sauteed green beans or roasted asparagus and a baked potato. There is little prep work that has to be done and dinner comes together fairly quickly (depending on the potatoes- baked in microwave or oven). I love the tradition of red meat on Sundays and know I will continue this perfect, simple Sunday dinner the rest of my life.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Date Night

Everyone loves a date night. Especially when you get to enjoy fabulous food at your favorite restaurant with great friends. Last night my boyfriend came in to town and we headed to Last Resort with my roommate and her boyfriend. Because it was a Tuesday there was no wait. We sat right down and ordered yummy cocktails, a dirty martini was my drink of choice. Soon warm bread arrived that I love to dip in Last Resort's famous Vidalia Bacon Dressing. Salads were then served, mine topped with a rich balsamic vinaigrette. My main course was by far the best thing I have ever had at Last Resort, it ultimately could be the best thing I have eaten in 2012. I ordered the special, a cornmeal crusted tilefish served with a corn barley mash, balsamic kale and roasted beets. The fish was crisp and sweet, the mash was rich and succulent and the kale was just heaven. Altogether it made for a scrumptious bite. Plates were cleaned, but stomachs weren't full as we made room for their white chocolate cheesecake. I left completely satisfied. I think we need to plan another date night for next week, especially if I get to enjoy food like that.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Donna Hay

About a month ago, I visited Birmingham to work on a photoshoot for Oxmoor House. I was working with the most amazing food stylist, prop stylist and photographer. Working along side them was one of the best experiences I have had in college. I enjoyed getting to know each of them; they offered me priceless career advice while I was there. I forgot I was even working as we got carried away with conversation about amazing restaurants and must-try recipes. It was here that these three fabulous women introduced me to Donna Hay, the quintessential Australian foodie. Her magazines are filled with pages of beautiful photography and mouthwatering recipes. Each image is composed perfectly, creating a serene balance with style and sophistication. I discovered the website, magazine and most recently cookbooks. Her ideas make weeknight dinners a breeze with recipes requiring only a few ingredients and limited hands-on time. I can't thank my Birmingham friends enough for sharing Donna Hay with me, I am now a very loyal fan.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Eat Your Veggies

Second semester, senior year of college is priceless. Yes, some parts are stressful, but the amount of free time I have compensates my worries of the future. I recently took on a new project: going through all of my old magazines and cutting out recipes I want to try. I attempted to look specifically for healthy recipes with spring break approaching next week; however, I found my self clipping Pimiento Mac and Cheese and Mushroom Croque-Monsieur out of last year's Bon App├ętit. Sorting through all the various starters, entrees, even condiments made me very hungry.

I found a cover recipe I knew I had to try. Roasted Vegetable Tart, the cover recipe for January 2012. It wasn't very labor intensive, only time consuming. Making sure veggies were going in the oven at the appropriate time so that they roasted into perfect yumminess. I tried a short cut using pizza dough (as opposed to the homemade dough), which was not a complete failure, but I would not recommend it. Perhaps I will try a premade pie crust next time. The filling needs a substantial crust to go along with it.

Flavors were right on point. Eggplant, red bell pepper, sweet potato and balsamic tomatoes made this dish sing. Considering I ate it for dinner 3 times this week, I would say it was a success.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Simply Divine

During these final cold, dreary days of winter, there is nothing more comforting than a simple grilled cheese and hot bowl of tomato soup. I surrendered to my craving for the All-American classic and bought the essentials: Campbell's Tomato Soup, Kraft American Singles and Sunbeam Old Fashioned White Bread. Directions are easy, and cooking time is less than 6 minutes. Slather each side of bread with butter, layer two pieces of cheese between bread, cook in non-stick skillet over medium high heat on either side until golden brown. Follow directions on soup can, wait until simmering bubbles appear on the side, basically until it is warmed through. The tasty comfort food is then ready to serve. It's a simple meal, one that requires no thought at all, but results in pure happiness.