Friday, May 11, 2012

Sweet Potato Salad

It's almost Mother's Day! So happy I get to be with my Mama this year!

Yesterday, I was attempting to compile a tasty, gluten-free menu for her special day while working on the upcoming Baking with Julia pecan sticky buns (that I obviously can't give my Mom,) and got a bit hungry.

With the breeze rustling the papers of my cookbooks and some sweet potatoes staring at me, I had the desire to make picnic food. And you know, I was thinking, a picnic with your Mom in this amazing weather would be really lovely! No matter what you're making this weekend, store this recipe away for a beautiful day. Super easy to put together and great with any grilled protein or burger, it's a must have for your outdoor event!

P.S. These pictures were taken with my new iPhone. Not bad, right? I'm not one for expensive technology but this thing is kind of totally worth it. Although if I don't calm down soon, Siri may be my only friend. But pretty good camera, right? Back to food...

Sweet Potato Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
 serves 4-6 as a side dish

2 large sweet potatoes cut into one-inch cubes, about 4 cups
2 celery stalks, finely minced
1/3-1/2 cup of red onion, finely minced
1 handful parsley, chopped
1 lemon
1/3 c milk
3 tbs mayonnaise
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

- Put the potatoes in a medium sized pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, reduce to a medium-high simmer and cover for 8 minutes or until tender. Drain and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes.
- In the bowl you will store the salad in, zest a teaspoon of the lemon's rind.
- Take 2 tsp of the lemon juice and put into the bottom of your 1/3 cup measure. Top the lemon juice off with the milk and allow to sit for a minute or two (or use buttermilk!)
- Back to the bowl with the zest in it. Add the remaining lemon juice to the zest. Toss in the celery, onion and parsley and season with the salt and pepper. Add in the buttermilk once it is curdled. Toss with the sweet potatoes until well incorporated and refrigerate until ready to serve!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Easy Broccoli Pasta

Life is never just the way we want it. But it is so possible to choose happiness, to make the most of every potentially special moment, and to just soak up what you've got, you know? Yep. I know you know. And right now I know. And I am just so very thankful! My roommates are the best and the funniest, our house is delightfully quaint and is finally coming together (albeit slowly) AND I have a lovely, bright, large kitchen! Yay!

On top of all of the usual busy things happening over here plus the move, I just scored a job at my favorite store, Anthropologie! Eeeeeeeeeeee! As scary as a job in retail is for someone who has only ever been a musician, I'm super excited to work in such a creative environment, to keep blogging and to also be practicing and performing! Might be living the life over here people, so look out.

All of this to say, I've got a terrible case of the Mondays. And there's no way I'm making anything fancy for dinner tonight. So, here's a little recipe from my kitchen to yours. Super simple with fresh ingredients, healthy pasta (I used Ezekiel sprouted grain pasta) and a little reminder to always salt as you go. Salt the water you cook veggies in and always, always salt your pasta water. That's what I'm learning! Happy Monday!

Monday Night Broccoli Pasta
serves 4-6

1 head of broccoli, florets!
1 pound of pasta
4 tbs olive oil
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp chili flakes
1/2 c parmesan

- In a large pot, steam broccoli in boiling, salted water for 3-5 minutes or until tender. Remove with slotted spoon and reserve a bit of the cooking liquid. Cook the pasta, drain, and remove. In the same pot, heat olive oil and add garlic and chili to toast for about one minute. Add in broccoli for a few minutes to toast, add in pasta. Stir in parmesan and a bit of the reserved cooking liquid to thicken the sauce. Serve warm by itself or with a protein of your choice.