Vegetarian Chili and Nachos

Here’s a few shots from a “how to” article I shot for Walgreens last week. It’s a super easy veggie chili with a healthy spin on traditional nachos. The nachos use baked pita chips in place of tortillas, topped with a homemade bean puree, crumbled feta, avocado and diced veggies. Initially, I thought nachos were no place for a cheese like feta, but I must admit, I was sorely wrong. These are awesome and hearty enough to make for a quick light meal.

a link to the full recipe will be posted later this week!

food_photography food_photography2-1 food_photography3-1

Valentine’s Day Breakfast ideas

Take Valentine’s Day/ Snow Day breakfast up a notch this year with these cool spins on egg sammies and p-cakes. If your in the northeast and have been hit by the snow fairies, you probably have a little extra time in the morning to cook these up.

food_photography

food_photography egg sandwich with arugula-1

out of maple syrup?

try a homemade strawberry syrup. Add a few spoonfuls of strawberry jam and some mashed strawberries to a small saucepan and simmer for a few minutes. ricotta pancakes with berries-1

food_photography

Polar Vortex Ice Cream

Did you know you can make ice cream out of snow?

food photography_ice cream

Now, eating snow is a personal decision. Personally, I am OK with it.

I am more cautious about foods that come out of a lab than foods that come out of a sky.

And it is a new activity for the kids on their 657th snow day this year. (it feels like the 657th snow day, anyway)

ice cream_photography

ice cream 1_photography

Maple Snow Ice Cream

6 cups of clean fresh snow

1/2 cup cream or half and half

4 tablespoons of maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

Pear Pancake

red pears

 

Pancakes seem like such a quick, easy meal. And they are, except for the mess. All those little batter drips that get cooked onto the stove top..ggrr.

and waiting for pancakes to cook – it’s like watching paint dry!

I’d rather just pour the whole thing into one big pan and cook it.

Like I did here.

No drips, no mess. And with the addition of sautéed pears and walnuts, this is looking  a smidge healthier than plain old pancakes.

red pear pancake

pear walnut pancake

pear walnut pancake

 

(recipe to follow)

Simplified Halloween Decor

homemade halloween decoration

My daughter loves all those sparkly- glittery Styrofoam pumpkins in the stores.

But my inner environmentalist only sees a heap of plastic that has to be packed up and stored somewhere for the other 11 months of the year.

Store- bought- sparkly- pumpkin- request: denied.

She didn’t throw a fit.

she didn’t beg.

she didn’t cry.

She got creative.

She made a beeline for her art supplies and made one herself out of a real pumpkin that will eventually decompose back into the earth.  (Whew)

Along with a hearty dose of glitter.

My 5 year old can’t type yet, but if she could this would be her Sparkly Pumpkin Making Tutorial:

You just paint the pumpkin your favorite color, then you hold it by the stem and sprinkle the glitter all over everywhere.

But make sure you sprinkle glitter on a piece of big paper so it doesn’t get on the floor.

Easy Halloween Decoration

I am shedding tears of pride.

Spot of Tea

hot tea

I have been trying to photograph steam for some time now.  I’m getting close, yes?

The sweltering northeast summers are steamy enough that the mere thought of drinking something with more steam has been completely out of the question for the past 3 months.

But now it’s fall and hot foods are inching their way back into the kitchen and it is possible to drink a cup of coffee outdoors and.not.melt.

Fall- I love you.

Steam- i love you too.

Wanna photograph steam? Strong directional sidelight and a dark backround.

 

 

Preserving Peaches, the easy way

It’s the last week at the markets for peaches…

 

still life-4

 

and plumbs are on their way out, too…

anne dale photography

But now is the best time to take advantage of fruit “seconds”. I just picked up two bushels of peaches for under $8.00.

 

Tips for freezing Peaches:

Dunk the peaches in a hot water bath for 30 seconds and immediately drop into an a bowl of ice water to cool.

The skins will peel right off. (Kids love helping with peeling the skins)

Split or cut in half and layer flat into freezer bags.

Perfect for smoothies all year round.

 

Chocolate Covered Ice Cream Bars

Were you a pool kid?

chocolate ice cream bars

I grew up at the pool. I remember refusing sunscreen, getting stung by bees, lots of skinned knees, and  that big wet spot on my shorts that was left behind from my swim suit.  We wore those pool-wounds like badges of honor -as proof that we were having fun.

And some days we were even allowed to pick a treat from the pool snack bar that gushed Choco Tacos’, Push Up Pops and Screwballs.

chocolate covered ice cream

And among a crowd of fancy frozen novelties were the old standbys -chocolate covered ice cream bars. So simple and understated, just like we were.

Here’s a refined but simple version of that snack bar classic.

chocolate and cream

Ingredients:

1 quart of vanilla ice cream
1 cup heavy cream

1 cup chocolate, coarsely chopped

Directions:

chocolate sauce

Fill Popsicle molds with softened ice cream. Freeze several hours or overnight.

To make the chocolate sauce:

Pour the heavy cream into a small saucepan and heat on medium low. When warm, stir in the chocolate. Whisk until smooth.

Allow to cool to room temp.

Gently remove the ice cream bars from the mold and arrange on a baking sheet lined with wax paper.

Using a spoon, pour the chocolate sauce onto the ice cream bar. Lay the bar back on the tray and freeze until firm.

a juice fast for foodies

A juice fast.

It seems like a good idea.

Even though I don’t  like juice.

So it started out like this…

smoothie

A thick frosty smoothie with frozen mangoes, berries and a handful of kale for good measure.

Always keep an eye out for jammy clad smoothie snatchers who like to nibble on frozen fruit…

smoothie snatcher

Later, mid day calls out for an icy cold coffee…

iced coffee

With a teeny tiny swirl of vanilla whipped cream…

iced coffee

Then a cold beer while waiting for the sun to set…

beer pour

And there you have it.

A juice fast for people who don’t like juice.

quinoa stuffed cabbage- a gluten free galumpki

stuffed cabbage, galumpki

I love putting quinoa in unexpected places. If I put it out somewhere expected, like in a bowl on the dinner table, no one would eat it. Myself included. But here, the quinoa blends seamlessly into the salty sausage, caramelized onions and it just loves being all snuggled up in a warm blanket of cabbage leaves.

I know, some folks still aren’t on the quinoa train, but this dish is sure to convert them. It even got the thumbs up from my inked up ex-marine brother who seldom strays from cheese steaks and meatballs. And he is way too cool to give an actual thumbs up.  It was more like “This is good”.

I interpreted this as an enthusiastic thumbs up.

stuffed cabbage-Easter

Gulumpki

Disclosure this is yet another one of my grandfather’s traditional Polish dishes that I have successfully butchered and healthified.

Ingredients

1 pound sausage, casings removed

1 cup cooked quinoa (about ½ cup uncooked)

1 cup chopped onions (1-2 small onions or one large onion)

1 head of cabbage, about 3 pounds

1 cup tomato sauce

Directions

Trim the stump off of the cabbage. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. During a full boil, add the entire head of cabbage and boil, rotating if necessary, until the leaves begin to loosen and fall off. This will take approximately 6-8 minutes. Using a  large slotted spoon, carefully remove the head of cabbage. Allow to cool while you prepare the sausage. Begin cooking the sausage in a hot skillet.  When evenly browned, remove the sausage from the pan with a slotted spatula. Add the diced onions to the pan. Fry the onions in the sausage fat. (If you are hesitant to fry things in pork fat, feel free to wipe the pan out and cook the onions in olive oil)

When the onions are fragrant and nicely browned, add the sausage back into the pan along with cooked quinoa. Gently heat and mix all ingredients together. Season with black pepper or any herbs you may have on hand.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Once the cabbage leaves are cooled, begin by laying a large leaf out and slicing out just the hard white core in the center. Scoop some of the sausage-quinoa mixture in the center of the cabbage leaf and roll it up like a burrito. Repeat for the remaining cabbage leaves.

Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of a casserole pan and arrange the cabbage rolls on top. Any extra cabbage leaves can be layered on top of the rolls. Bake for 20 minutes.

Serve with additional tomato sauce.

stuffed cabbage-Easter (2 of 1)