Thursday, March 31, 2011

Some Things I Just Love...

{a.} How cute are these twist ties?? You can find them @ Olive Manna! {b.} I'm in the spring clothing frame of mind & this is the kind of cotton dress I could live in all summer...and probably will! {c.} I love these reusable fabric gift wraps from chewing the cud & the adorable message {d.} I'm obsessed with tunic tops, especially these beautiful kurtas from rikshaw design {e.} Who knew that a cutting board could be so gorgeous? Check these out @ Fine Little Shop. {f.} I have featured many glass storage jars here before, but Weck Jars are by far my favorite.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Thai Chicken & Noodles

I saw this salad featured on one of my favorite food blogs, Dinner: A Love Story last week & knew immediately I had to make it. First, because it's reminded me of an Asian salad I used to eat on a very regular basis when we lived in Brooklyn. It was my favorite item on the menu at a place called Cambodian Cuisine, in Fort Greene, BK...about a block from our old apartment. Unfortunately, the restaurant no longer exists...which, makes my memory of this dish nothing more than a memory at this point.
Secondly, the marinade is similar to the marinade I use for Chicken Satay, which is a favorite with the, I knew they would love this. The fact that the veggies are raw in this salad was something I knew would also meet their approval. They both love cucumbers & carrots...but do not like cooked vegetables. For anyone else out there with picky eaters, meals like this are great because you can pick & choose what elements you add...and, each person can make their own salad to suit their taste.
Finally, this meal is healthy & quick...making it an ideal weeknight dinner.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Bozo Picture of the Week...

I've been pretty bad about getting the camera out & taking picture of my guys lately. I know once spring finally decides to make a real entrance we'll be outdoors more...and, I'll be taking more photos. In the meantime, I did get some pics of my little guy's beautiful artwork this weekend.
I had a vase full of roses on our dining room table. He saw them there, pulled out his art supplies & got to work. At the moment, he's obsessed with still lifes. It makes me so happy to see him enjoying art...and, although bias, I think he's pretty darn good at it. My favorite detail was that he chose all the colors for his picture before he started & had them all laid out neatly, in order, next to his paper.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cranberry Bean Hummus

I was at a local specialty food shop recently and saw they had fresh cranberry beans. I've always loved the way cranberry beans look, but rarely ever see the fresh ones available. Plus, even if I did happen upon some, I have no idea what to do with them.
However - this particular time my impulse shopper ways took over and I bought some. Then it became my mission to find out what to do with these beauties.
Cranberry beans, also called borlotti beans, are popular in Italian cuisine. I've seen them most commonly prepared in a simple way - maybe sauteed with lemon and olive oil or used in pasta fagioli. I was having a hard time deciding on what to make with them when I saw this recipe for a hummus made with borlotti beans and search was over.
I made it this afternoon and happen to be enjoying it for dinner with the DH as I type this up {did I ever mention I love having appetizers for dinner?}. We both seem to be very pleased with the result as it's all gone!
With the zucchini added in this recipe is more like baba ghanoush than hummus...or maybe a perfect cross between the two.

Friday, March 18, 2011

For Japan with Love...

I will be observing a blogging day of silence today, along with many other bloggers, to reflect on Japan. The For Japan With Love campaign was spearheaded by the folks over at Utterly Engaged & Ever Ours. Hundreds of bloggers are participating & thousands of dollars have been raised for the lifesaving organization, Shelterbox. They are providing much needed supplies & emergency shelter to people in Japan right now. Please help, if you can...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cheddar & Guinness Dip

The nice people at the Wisconsin Cheese Board recently asked me to do a guest post for them over on their blog. They said it could be anything, as long as it included Wisconsin cheese.
Of course, I said, no problem! I love might be my favorite food.
The post would be published in March. So, right away, I knew I wanted to make something appropriate for St. Patrick's Day!
Growing up, St. Patrick’s Day was a big deal. My mother is of Irish descent and she always made the traditional Irish meal – corned beef, cabbage, boiled potatoes and of course, Irish soda bread. Even as an adult, I always enjoyed having dinner at my mom’s house every March 17.
However, for the past few years, I have taken the reins on hosting the festivities. I wanted to create the same childhood memories I have for my children, and each year I get a bit more adventurous with my menu. A few years back, I experimented with making homemade Guinness mustard and a horseradish cream to accompany the corned beef. Last year, I made Boxty {Irish potato pancakes}.

This year, I decided to make an appetizer that would mix some of the flavors common on St. Patrick’s Day with
a cheese and Guinness dip. What’s St. Pat’s without some Guinness, right?
This dip is packed full of flavor. It’s perfect for entertaining, because it can be made well ahead of time and in fact, tastes even better after the flavors have a chance to meld. I served the dip with rosemary flatbreads, which was absolutely fantastic! It would also be great served with crackers, assorted vegetable crudités, some cubed rustic bread, or pretzels.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Some ways to help...

As the pictures and videos keep coming in of the disaster in's hard to think about much else right now. A moment is all it takes to change everything.
Six thousand people came to visit The Parsley Thief yesterday. If even just a quarter of you donated $10 to the charity of your choosing, $15,000 could be raised to help the victims of the Japan Earthquake/Tsunami.
For those looking to help, here are some ways to do so...
  • The Red Cross: Donate here, or text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 from your phone. Follow them on Twitter, for updates on how they are helping @RedCross, or on Facebook, here.
  • International Medical Corps: "We are putting together relief teams, as well as supplies, and are in contact with partners in Japan and other affected countries to assess needs and coordinate our activities." Donate here, or text MED to 80888 to give a $10 donation. Follow them on Twitter, for updates on how they are helping @IMC_Worldwide, or on Facebook, here.
  • Global Giving: "We are working with International Medical Corps, Save the Children, and other organizations on the ground to provide support. Our partners on the ground are working hard to provide immediate relief." Donate here, or text JAPAN to 50555 to make a $10 donation. Follow them on Twitter, for updates on how they are helping @GlobalGiving, or on Facebook, here.
  • Save the Children: "We are extremely concerned for the welfare of children and their families who have been affected by the disaster. We stand ready to meet the needs of children who are always the most vulnerable in a disaster." Click here, to contribute to the Japan Earthquake Tsunami Children in Emergency Fund, or text JAPAN to 20222 to donate $10. Follow them on Twitter, for updates on how they are helping @savethechildren, or on Facebook, here.
  • Mercy Corps: "Mercy Corps is working to help survivors of Japan's earthquake and tsunami with our longstanding partner, Peace Winds Japan". Donate here, or text MERCY to 25283 to make a $10 donation. Follow them on Twitter, for updates on how they are helping @mercycorps, or on Facebook, here.
  • Americares: "Americares is mobilizing to send medicines, medical supplies & humanitarian aid to Japan". To help, donate here. Follow them on Twitter, for updates on how they are helping @AmeriCares, or on Facebook, here.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Irish Brown Bread

Finding a recipe for authentic arán sóide {Irish brown bread, or soda bread}, is such a complicated endeavour. It seems that no one agrees on exactly what constitutes "authentic". Some say that traditional Irish soda bread should contain only 4 ingredients...flour, baking soda, salt & soured milk {or buttermilk}. Yet, in many recipes you will find lots of extras. Things like, wheat germ, oat bran, oatmeal, sugar, molasses, brown sugar, yogurt, butter & many more...
There also seems to be as many varying names as there are ingredients. I've seen it called Brown Bread, Wheaten Bread, Whole Wheat Soda Bread, Irish Soda Bread, Wholemeal Soda Bread, White Soda Bread, Farl...the list goes on.
In America, Irish soda bread typically contains caraway seeds & raisins. It also contains some sort of sweetener & tastes more like a dessert, than a bread. I grew up eating the American version & I do love it. In fact, I made a version of it here, a few years back. If you want a great "American" soda bread recipe, I highly recommend it!
This year, I wanted to try a more rustic, real Irish version of it. I found so many different recipes, my head was spinning. In the end, I made my own! I took a little from here, a little from there & developed my own recipe. I definitely did not want it sweet, so I nixed any recipes with sugar, or any sweetener. I saw many recipes that included "cut in" butter & that method intrigued me, as I thought it would make a flakier bread. I also liked the idea of adding in some oats, for the texture & appearance of the finished loaf. In the end, the entire family was very happy with the results. It was devoured within an hour. Both my boys went on & on about how good it was...begging me to please make it again on Thursday!
If I happen to have any readers in Ireland, please let me know how I did?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Cherry Pecan Granola

I'm loving the new cookbook, published by the people of Whole Living magazine, called Power Foods. The pictures alone make the cookbook worth owning. I've always wanted to try making homemade granola & when I saw this recipe, I decided to give it a try.
I've been going through a granola obsession lately. I eat it for breakfast, sprinkled on low-fat Greek yogurt, with some agave syrup over the top. I was intrigued by this recipe because it's packed with healthy ingredients...I love the addition of ground flaxseeds. I did adjust it quite a bit, because as written, it was a bit flat. In my opinion, it needed some doctoring. I think they were going for a more healthy, low calorie take on granola & of course, I made it a bit less healthy.
So, this is my take on it. It makes a big batch...plenty for lots of breakfasts, or as a great gift, packaged up in a pretty glass jar. Who wouldn't love to receive some?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Babble's Top 100 Mom Food Bloggers List!

I am honored & very excited to share some news! My blog has been included on the Babble Top 100 Mom Food Bloggers list! Visit to check it out!

Bozo Picture of the Week...

Making a wish...
Can't believe he has 9 candles on that cake!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fresh Mozzarella

Fresh mozzarella is probably one of my most favorite foods. I'm not sure what it is about it, but I can't get enough. My love {obsession} for this smooth, rich, salty cheese, has been passed down a my children. Both of whom, are just as obsessed as I am.
My husband's grandparents used to make homemade fresh mozzarella. They would bring it to family parties. Little hand-tied mozzarella knots...usually, served with some roasted red peppers & really good Italian bread {a meal I could live the rest of my days eating}. I have always wanted to try making some myself...but, until now, never had. I knew it would be difficult to shoot pictures while stretching cheese, I enlisted the help of my 9 year old.
What I have here isn't really a "recipe", as we cheated & started from curd. You can make your own curd at home...there are tons of recipes out there on the internet. Someday, I would like to make some from scratch & when I do, I will be sure to post it here! But, until then, I will share this somewhat homemade technique.
As this was our first attempt...not to mention the cheese was made by a 9 year didn't come out perfect. The curd got a bit overworked & came out a little too rubbery. But, the flavor was unlike any fresh mozzarella you could buy at a market. It was the best ever! Next time, we will try working it a bit less & see how it comes out.