Sunflower Seed, Rosemary Crackers

A couple of years ago, my friend and I were in Vancouver and all of a sudden I got a hankering for something bread-like, tasting of rosemary and salt. The hankering turned into a fierce, unwavering craving and I told my friend; I was on a mission. She was doubtful of our finding such a specific snack, but lo and behold, while wandering unsuspectingly through a fun marketplace, our eyes landed on a beautiful display of fluffy foccacia studded with rosemary, glistening with olive oil and sparkly salt crystals. I think I gasped, my eyes may have started to fill, I don’t know, but our mouths were definitely hanging open enough for the guy manning the counter to ask what was up. He happily served up some warm fluffy salvation with a chuckle. It was one of the most fulfilling experiences. This is what these crackers remind me of.
summer bulgur-heirloom tomato salad

I found this recipe on the Food & Wine website a couple weeks ago and we ate them so fast that I’ve made it two more times since them. These crackers are the best. A great vehicle for bleu cheese…or any kind of cheese.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 tsp minced rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

summer bulgur-heirloom tomato salad

  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour with the sunflower seeds, rosemary, yeast and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Stir in the water and 1/4 cup of the olive oil until a dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead until it becomes a smooth ball, about 5 minutes. Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 2 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Turn 2 large baking sheets upside down. Divide the dough in half. Set 1 half on a baking sheet and roll it out to a 9-by-15-inch rectangle about inch thick. Trim the edges to make a neat rectangle. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough crosswise into 1-inch-wide strips. Drizzle the tops with 1 teaspoon of the oil and season with salt. Repeat with the remaining dough and oil.
  3. Bake the crackers for about 28 minutes, until golden. Let cool completely before serving.

Original recipe: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/sunflower-seed-and-rosemary-crackers-cocktails-2008
summer bulgur-heirloom tomato salad

© 2014, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Vitamix Japanese Miso- Shiitake Soup

This was one of the first Vitamix recipes we tried in the and it was a huge success. Lots of umami.
summer bulgur-heirloom tomato salad

  • 3 cups shiitake or oyster mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2-1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp miso, white or brown
  • 1×1 inch cube fresh ginger root, peeled
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  1. marinate mushrooms in soy sauce and 3 tbsp evoo, set aside to marinate
  2. put miso, remaining olive oil, ginger, garlic and water into the Vitamix
  3. make sure lid is secure and turn on to variable 1
  4. slowly increase to variable 10 then to High
  5. blend for 30 seconds
  6. pour soup and top each bowl with scallion and mushrooms

© 2014, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Mediterranean Deviled Eggs

I love deviled eggs but I especially like dressing them up and making my own variations. There’s so much to more to fill with than just the plain ole’ egg yolk, mayo, mustard
summer bulgur-heirloom tomato salad

This is my most recent rendition.

  • 3 hardboiled eggs
  • 1 tbsp grainy mustard
  • 12 capers
  • 1 tbsp pickled onions
  • 2 sprigs thyme or rosemary or both
  • black pepper sprinkling
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp goat cheese
  1. peel eggs, halve and scoop out yolks
  2. chop some of your herbs making sure to leave a coupe of sprigs (only the most good-looking) for garnish
  3. add mustard, olive oil and goat cheese and mash
  4. refill egg halves with the mix (baby spoons are great)
  5. top each egg with a sprinkle of pepper, a pickled onion or two, a couple capers and a nice little sprig of herbacious greens of your choice

© 2014, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Cockles in white wine, tarragon sauce

One of the adventures my mom and I went on this summer was to the only Spanish store in San Diego. One of the many eclectic things we picked up were cockles in brine which are in the same family as clams and have a very similar flavor. The night we decided to create something with them there were some strange lookin lobster mushrooms at the store so we decided to give them a try. This was basically my mom’s creation but I loved it so here it is.
the dish

  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp tarragon
  • 8 threads saffron
  • 1/2 tbsp thyme
  • 1/4 lb lobster mushroom (or other mushroom)
  • 1 pat butter
  • 3 shallots
  • 1 can cockles/clams
  • 1/2 lemon
  • nice crusty bread
  1. caramelize shallots in butter
  2. juice lemon
  3. remove caramelized shallots and use pan to heat white wine on low heat with tarragon saffron, thyme and sliced mushrooms
  4. once mushrooms start to soften, drain and add cockles
  5. let simmer at low temperature until the aromas are strong then add lemon juice, cook for another minute then remove from heat
  6. serve in bowls with toasted bread

We used black olive rolls, toasted with garlic and it was divine.

This is the Spanish market: https://plus.google.com/104522045584702124507/about?gl=us&hl=en

The lobster mushroom:
the mushrooms

© 2014, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Olive Oil, Amaretto, Almond, Orange Cake

My mom got this recipe from Food52 and adapted it while I was studying abroad in France. She made it for my dad for Valentine’s dad and sent me pictures. I was dying to make it since then and we finally got around to remaking it last week. It was incredibly moist and the perfect dessert to go with our homemade Ricotta Possibly the best cake I’ve ever tasted!
in all its glory

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup almond flour/meal
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk (we used 1 cup whey left over from the ricotta and 1/4 cup heavy cream)
  • 3 lg eggs
  • 1 1/2 tbsp grated orange/tangerine zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange/tangerine juice
  • 1/4 cup amaretto
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Oil, butter, or spray a 9-inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and powder. In another bowl, whisk the olive oil, milk eggs, orange zest and juice and amaretto. Add the dry ingredients; whisk until just combined.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for one hour, until the top is golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and let cool for 30 minutes.
  4. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, invert the cake onto the rack and let cool completely, 2 hrs

Ricotta is highly suggested!       Original recipe: https://food52.com/recipes/26709-maialino-s-olive-oil-cake
in all its glory

 

© 2014, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Creamy Avocado Sauce/Dip

This recipe came to me one night when my mom had made a spicy dinner and we had a huge about-to-go bad reed avocado sitting around. I used spices to compliment the flavors of her dish. It was great as a cooling agent and it was just as good the next day as a snack on crackers.

Avocado Sauce/Dip:

  • 1 lg reed avocado
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 pinch dried ginger
  • a few grinds of black pepper
  • a pinch salt
  • 3 tbsp plain nonfat/lowfat yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  1. blend all ingredients in a food processor

 

 

 

© 2014, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Summer Sangria

My cousin recently moved to San Diego to get her Master’s degree. When she was moving in, her parents gave her a hand-me-down punch bowl that had been an unused wedding present. We quickly came up with a new future use for the clandestine punch bowl as a sangria bowl. That same week, Jess came over with the bowl and we came up with this summery sangria recipe. The bowl even has matching glasses that hang off the side.
summer bulgur-heirloom tomato salad

Summer Sangria:

  • 2 bottles red wine (blends)
  • 4 cups sparkling water
  • 1 bag frozen cherries
  • 2 large, firm peaches
  • 2 passion fruits
  • lotsa ice

© 2014, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Heirloom Tomato Bulgur Salad

summer bulgur-heirloom tomato salad

I found this recipe on the whole foods website and decided to spice it up. It’s a great idea for summer because you don’t have to cook it and it really utilized the flavors and natural juices of superripe heirloom tomatoes.

Heirloom Tomato Bulgur Salad:

  • 1 lb heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 cup uncooked bulgur
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • a few sprigs thyme and rosemary
  • a few squirts mustard
  1. Cut tomatoes into large dices, saving juices
  2. gently mix the tomatoes and their juices into the bulgur and let sit for three hours or more
  3. add capers, herbs and mustard

© 2014, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Sesame Balls

hiking the NA PALI coast...

When my mom got a vitamix we went into a crazed vitamixin’ phase. One sunday when my dad was making breakfast we realized we’d finished the peanut butter. After breakfast he likes to have some peanut butter. Not one to just spoon it out of the jar, he artfully modifies his spoonfuls with honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, sometimes some nuts or seeds. Anyways I decided I would whip up (or grind up) some peanut butter in the new handy contraption. The peanut butter was great but it only lasts up to a week and I guess I got a bit overzealous because I made a bit more than we really needed. So, towards the end of the week I solved that problem and turned the leftover peanut butter into these no-bake dessert/energy snacks.

Peanut Butter:      (I used my vitamix but it would probably work in a food processor)

  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • a splash H2O
  • dash vanilla extract
  • dash cinnamon
  1. blend peanuts w/ a little water until it turns into a paste. eat peanut butter

Aforementioned Dessert/Snacks:

  • peanut butter (you can use store bought if you don’t have home-ground)
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • a few more dashes on cinnamon
  • a dash of salt
  1. spread sesame seeds on a mini baking sheet and toast them for a couple of minutes. not long.
  2. mix the cinnamon with the hot seeds (to bring out the aroma)
  3. add salt to the mix
  4. roll peanut butter into balls then roll in the mixture
  5. keep in fridge

 

© 2014 – 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Fig & Olive Tapenade

I love figs. so. much. We’ve had a big ole fig tree in our front yard for as long as I can remember. I used to take my first-day-of-school photos in front of it every year. Last year when I went back to school in SLO my friend and I realized how many figs were going uneaten on our fellow community members’ bountiful trees. We decided it was not only tragic but a crime against humanity so we started doing nighttime missions to relieve their trees and transport the fat figs to a more happy home, with us. Where they would be thoroughly appreciated*. Although they aren’t the black mission figs I am used to from my tree in San Diego, they are free and we do it for the figs sake, so I’m not going to complain. BUT the late summer months at home when our tree produces, are some of my favorite days of the year. I check the tree daily, sometimes two or three times. I will not let a fig go to waste. I’ve made many a fig recipe this year but this is one of the simplest and tastiest.

Fig & Olive Tapenade

  • 10 ripe figs
  • 2 cups pitted kalamata olives
  • a drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • 3 sprigs rosemary and or thyme

Blend ingredients together and get some good crackers or bread. It’s also divine on top of roast chicken or next to herby lamb meatballs.

*we have also been asked to leave our schools’ orchards, for sneaking into the fig tree enclosure

© 2014, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

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