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Archive for July, 2009

Chip(w)iches

Cookies are yummy. Ice cream is yummy. Chipwiches are ALSO yummy! Saucy and Emily cooked up a double batch of Amanda’s classic oatmeal chocolate chippies today–half of which Christina took to a work party, and half of which we kept for chipwiching or straight up cookie consumption.

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The perfect dessert to follow a dinner of leftover risotto!

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Laid-Back Asparagus Risotto

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Saucy’s distractions-of-choice during downtime at our jobs are obviously our favorite food blogs. Having always been a little apprehensive about approaching risotto, we were excited when Christina came across Mark Bittman’s recipe for “laid back” asparagus risotto. We discussed, took deep breaths, and decided to face our fears. Despite the lack of air conditioning in my current apartment, we were snapping asparagus stalks and stirring (though not constantly!) with confidence and determination. Dana made some baked mushroom polenta slices and wine was poured before we all crawled out on the fire escape to enjoy some fresh air and fresh risotto. Overall, a successful first attempt, though we still might need some lessons from BB.

Laid-Back Asparagus Risotto

1 pound asparagus, peeled, trimmed and cut into one-inch-long pieces, tips reserved
4 to 6 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 medium red onion, diced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
Salt to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Snap the asparagus stalks into pieces roughly one inch in length. Bittman says to also peel the stalks but we skipped this. Bring a pot of water to boil and add half of the asparagus, cooking for about 5 minutes. Strain and rinse with cold water. Place stalks and a bit of water into a food processor and puree until smooth, set aside.

In a medium size pot, heat up vegetable stock.

Add 1 tablespoon butter and vegetable oil to a deep skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add red onion and saute until translucent, 3-5 minutes. Add Arborio rice to the skillet and stir until rice is coated and glossy, about 2-3 minutes. Add white wine and stir occasionally until reduced. Add a pinch of salt. Add the vegetable stock 1/2 cup at a time and stir a few times. Once the stock has evaporated, add more. After about 15 minutes, add the remaining asparagus stalks and stir to incorporate. Continue to add vegetable stock.

Once all the stock has been added to the rice, mix in asparagus puree. Remove the skillet from heat and quickly stir in remaining butter and Parmesan. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

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By some strange stroke of luck, Cuddlegan was able to coordinate schedules (for the most part) and head up to Kim’s house in the Catskills for the weekend. Christina, Amanda and Nina piled into Kim’s car for the drive upstate on Friday evening. Linnae joined us on Saturday morning and Nina headed back home on Saturday afternoon. Of course we missed our Emily, but had a great weekend nonetheless. We have compiled a top-8 list of weekend happenings for you to enjoy.

1. Smores: our go-to dessert on both nights. Amanda like her marshmallow to be completely lit on fire, held close to the chocolate to melt it slightly, blown out and then smooshed on top and eaten open faced. Christina prefers her marshmallows lightly toasted until brown then placed ontop of chocolate squares, sometimes skipping the graham cracker altogether.

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2. Our morning hike. The epic hike Kim had planned was downgraded to a walk to the reservoirs due to muddy conditions on the trail. We saw tadpoles, risked our lives, put our toes in freezing water, and played with some pups. We returned home with rumbling tummies and made ourselves yogurt parfaits with blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and bananas.

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3. Woodstock. We piled into the car and drove into Woodstock to explore for a bit. We picked up some fresh bread for dinner, shared some homemade chocolate ice cream, and bought a quarter pound of homemade Twizzlers. Yum!

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4. Pink champagne toast. Linnae brought along a bottle of pink champagne with which to have a traditional Cuddlegan champagne toast before dinner. The champagne was finished by the time we sat down to dinner so we popped open a bottle of another favorite, a magnum bottle Yellowtail’s Shiraz-Cabernet. And of course we had Woodchuck Amber cider with dessert.

5. Saturday night dinner! We sliced some bread and poured some olive oil to up our energy while we cooked. We chopped some veggies, made a simple tomato sauce (tomato puree, whole peeled tomatoes, red wine, shallots, garlic, and spices), and put together a salad (romaine, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, and Naisy’s dressing). Soon enough we were sprinkling chopped fresh basil and fresh mozzarrella on top of our pasta, loading our plates with roasted vegetables and salad, and sitting down to eat.

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6. Stargazing on the basketball court. After dinner and dessert we drove down to the golf course to look at the stars, bottles of wine in hand. Kim had a semi-panic attack about a campout that a seven year old had told her about and so we decided to spread our blankets on the basketball court instead. The stars were great, the snuggling was better.
7. We woke up early on Sunday morning and headed to Maggie’s Krooked Cafe in Tannersville for breakfast. We each polished off a half order of atmeal pancakes loaded with seeds and grains and stole bites of Linnae’s banana (aka blueberry ::ahem::) pancakes and Kim’s top secret omlette. We left with satisfied tummies.
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8. Move over Columbia tennis team, Saucy is hitting the courts. We suited up in (borrowed) tennis whites and headed over to the tennis courts. Christina showed off her serves while Amanda dodged the incoming balls, and even hit a few. Final score? Love-Love 🙂

A special thank you to Kimmy for opening up her home and sharing it with us. xo, Saucy

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C on the C

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If you ask Saucy, nothing says summer like corn on the cob. We are self-proclaimed experts at corn choosing, husking, cooking, and eating. It’s the perfect addition to just about any summer dish and especially perfect when enjoyed on the roof deck as the sun goes down. To celebrate summer, we made our signature pizza (homemade dough topped with asparagus, goat cheese, and sliced tomatoes), a tomato and cucumber salad, and fresh corn on the cob. We trekked up to the roof, wine in hand, and enjoyed a great dinner. In fact, according to renowned food critic dmo, “dinner was so dank”. Need we say more?

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