Monday, February 13, 2012

Playing Hostess

To any of you Matchbook Mag gals out there: I'm sure you appreciated as much as I did their latest "how to" guide on stocking your bar cart.  While I'm patiently awaiting warm weather (cough cough since winter.  Keep reading for my own list of Bar Cart Essentials and a few favorite cocktail recipes...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Recipe: Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter

Perhaps the most popular-- and my new favorite-- tomato sauce recipe can be found in Marcela Hazan’s Essentials of Italian Cooking.  This genius recipe calls for only 3 ingredients: tomatoes, onion and butter.  As a gal living on a less-than-fabulous Capitol Hill salary, Hazan's tomato sauce is the latest (and permanent) addition to my recipe box.

Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter
28 ounces whole peeled tomatoes (if you are not going to use fresh, ripe tomatoes the best canned option is San Marzano, if you can find them)
5 tablespoons butter*
1 medium-sized yellow onion, peeled and halved
Salt to taste

Place all ingredients in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, with the onions facing down.  As the sauce comes to a simmer, crush the tomatoes against the side of the saucepan.  Reduce heat; simmer for 45 minutes.  Remove from heat and discard the onion. Add salt to taste.  Serve warm over your favorite pasta. 

*Depending on your salt tolerance, opt for unsalted butter and unsalted canned tomatoes. Although if you're anything like my Greek, salt-craving roommate you will opt for salted butter and salted canned tomatoes.

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Recipe: Mocha Rounds

The girls within my family have an annual Cookie Exchange each year.  The gathering has been a tradition since before I was born, and continues with each generation.  It is with each cookie exchange that I have garnered my love for baking and learned to perfect my grandmother's recipes.  I'll continue to share these timeless recipes over the course of the year. P.S.- If you haven't visited Sara on Twirly Girl yet, go check out her blog where I shared this recipe in a guest post!

Mocha Rounds
1 tbsp. milk (warmed)
1 ½ tsp. instant espresso powder
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg
2 1 oz. squares semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted
2 ½ cups flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt

4 (1 oz.) squares white baking chocolate, melted
6 tsp. shortening
4 (1 oz.) semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted

Friday, January 27, 2012

Inspiration Board

Surrounded by motivation...

The perfect workspace. If I could take all of my favorite photos, outfits, ideas (not to mention every page of every moleskine I own) and place it on a wall, it would definitely be in this manner.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

You are what you eat

Superfoods: Every grocery aisle I turn down, every study I stumble upon, I find a new superfood being touted as "the healthiest food EVER".  Of course each food that has ever been listed within this category is considered healthy: they all offer nutrition benefits beyond your average healthy food.  So what exactly warrants the illustrious title of "superfood"?
"Though there is no legal or medical definition, superfoods are nutrient powerhouses that pack large doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. Eating them may reduce the risk of chronic disease, and prolong life, and people who eat more of them are healthier and thinner than those who don't. Read about several foods that are considered super, what health benefits they offer, and how to fit them into your diet." (source)