Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Nature's Way Goat Cheese

I'm so excited to share this month's Focus on the Coast feature - all about Nature's Way goat cheese!

I'm a bit of a goat cheese fanatic, and there is truly none better than Nature's Way.  Hand made locally, this cheese is the creamiest and most delicious goat cheese you'll taste.  Serve it as is, on a cracker, or in any of the recipes below. 

My Raspberry Goat Cheese Cigars in phyllo are such a buttery, sweet-and-savory treat.  Mike and I ate about half the pan when they came out of the oven, but they also make a perfect accompaniment to a simple green salad.
Photo by Jason Armond for Focus on the Coast
If you can believe it, goat cheese makes a wonderful frosting!  It's similar to a cream cheese frosting in these Orange Dream Cupcakes.

Photo by Jason Armond for Focus on the Coast
 Goat cheese also makes the perfect creamy pasta sauce, without being too heavy.  In my Creamy Pappardelle with Asparagus and Peas I use just a touch of goat cheese and thin out the sauce with starchy pasta water.

Photo by Jason Armond for Focus on the Coast

View the full article here and head over to Focus on the Coast for the recipes!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Chinois Chicken Salad with Chinese Mustard Vinaigrette

During the Oscars, I noticed Wolfgang Puck was hosting an instagram contest for a variety of categories.  I few of those included Best Plating, Best Cocktail, Best Decor.  Obviously, I immediately got to hash-tagging some of my photos and much to my surprise, I ended up being the third runner up!  Now, I realize i'm probably not going to be quitting my job because I won an instagram contest, but let me tell you, I was excited! Just to have Wolfgang Puck re-gram my photo was enough to set me over the edge. 

I wasn't actually recreating their dish, but i'll let Wolfgang think that! 

Even better, when I arrived home from work last week I found on my front doorstep an autographed copy of his newest book, Wolfgang Puck Makes it Healthy.  This book is so beautiful and the recipes look amazing.  


Everything looks so flavorful and delicious, and the book includes so many new and fresh ideas for lightening up some of our favorite things (even pizza!). 


I've been on a big salad kick lately so I thought I'd start by making a batch of his popular dish, Chinois Chicken salad with Chinese Mustard Vinaigrette.  The recipe did not disappoint - i'm looking forward to eating it all week.  I switched up a few of the ingredients that were hard to find, and the results were fantastic.  So many delicious flavors between the chinese mustard and soy sauce, with great crunch from the cabbage and snow peas. 



Ingredients:
Chinese Mustard Vinaigrette
*1/4 c. rice vinegar
*2 tbsp. honey
*1 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
*2 tsp. sesame oil 
*2 tsp. Chinese hot mustard (the recipe calls for dry Chinese mustard, which I couldn't find)
*2 tbsp. peanut oil (I used olive oil)
*salt, pepper

Salad:
*4 c. shredded chicken (I used one rotisserie chicken)
*4 c. napa cabbage, shredded
*2 c. romaine, shredded
*1 c. snow peas, thinly sliced
*1 c. carrot, shredded
*1 tbsp. sesame seeds
*1 scallion, thinly sliced 

Combine all ingredients for vinaigrette in a mason jar.  Shake well to combine.  Taste, and add more salt/pepper as needed.

Toss together all of the salad ingredients.  Toss with dressing and serve immediately.  Enjoy! 







Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Mandarin Pasta Salad with Spinach and Teriyaki Dressing

Last week, I saw the most amazing looking pasta salad on one of my favorite blogs, Designer Bags & Dirty Diapers.  She is always posting the best looking recipes!  As soon as she posted a pic I immediately craved it and knew I wouldn't be able to wait long to try it. 

After some digging, I found the original recipe on another great blog, Le Creme de la Crumb. Let me tell you - this recipe did not disappoint.  I made the dressing just as the recipe called for, but mixed up a few of the salad ingredients.  I chose to skip the cilantro, pine nuts, and craisins, and instead added salty feta and crunchy slivered almonds.  I've been eating this all week for lunch and have yet to tire of it!


This salad has kept really well in the fridge.  I tossed it immediately with just enough dressing so that the pasta wouldn't stick, and have been adding more dressing when I have it for lunch. 


Ingredients (adapted from original recipe found here):
 Dressing:
*1/3 c. teriyaki sauce (I used the thicker, glaze style)
*1/3 c. rice wine vinegar
*1/2 c. olive oil
*1/2 tsp. garlic powder
*1/2 tsp. onion powder
*1/4 tsp. salt
*1/4 tsp. pepper
*1 tbsp. sugar

Salad:
*8 oz bowtie pasta (half a box)
*4 c. spinach
*1 (4 oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained
*1/3 c. feta cheese
*1/3 c. slivered almonds

Prepare the pasta according to package directions.  Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking.  Meanwhile, combine all dressing ingredients in a mason jar and shake to combine.  In a bowl, combine all salad ingredients and toss with just enough dressing to ensure the pasta does not stick together.  Refrigerate, then top with more dressing when ready to serve.  Enjoy!


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Crispy Oven Chips

Happy Monday all!  I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend.  I also hope you were lucky enough to get a day off! Although that seems rare these days.  

Today I bring you crispy oven chips.  Who knew that you could make healthy,  restaurant style potato chips with just a little heat and cooking spray? The first time I discovered this it was actually by mistake.  I was trying out Martha Stewart's recipe for Muffin-Pan Potato Gratins  and I ended up with a plethora of extra potatoes.  Rather than making more gratins than I needed, I spread potatoes out on a cookie sheet and baked them.  The results?  Crispy perfection!  And I have to say, we actually enjoyed them more than the gratins (sorry Martha).  


With these chips, you'll end up with the perfect combination of super crispy (Mike's favorite) and crispy yet still chewy (my favorite), but if you want all crispy or all chewy, you could time the potatoes accordingly! 

Ingredients:
*Russet Potatoes (one per person)
*olive oil cooking spray
*salt, pepper

Position oven racks in the top and lower third of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 400.  Slice potatoes as thinly as possible (I used a mandolin).  Spray a cookie sheet lightly with cooking spray and arrange potatoes in a single layer on the pan.  Spray the top of the potatoes with more cooking spray (they shouldn't be soaked, just lightly oiled).  

Bake the potatoes for 10 minutes, then flip the potatoes and also rotate the pans in the oven.  Bake for another 10 minutes, then remove any potatoes that are totally browned.  Continue baking until all potatoes are crispy (about 25-30 minutes total).  Serve with ketchup, ranch, or whatever you heart desires.  Enjoy! 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Anthropologie Home Picks

I'm teaming up with some great bloggers today for a $150 Anthropologie givaway!

Anthropologie is one of my favorite shops and always my first stop when I head home to visit my mom in Greensboro.  I absolutely adore everything in their home line, and they even recently started a wedding registry as well.  Here are a few of my favorites - good luck and happy shopping!
 
Christine // Kelly
Magen // Tabitha
Margo // Christina
Kippy // Sarah 
Jessie // Sara
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway