Monday, August 10, 2009

Creating New Dishes!

One of the things that I enjoy sometimes is a good brainstorming session with myself. Because of the struggle you all know I have about following recipes - I tend to simply look through cookbooks and stare at the pictures studying the idea of what's in the dish. Then I pace back and forth from my pantry to the refrigerator to see what I have on hand. Wasting food drives me insane so during the week I will make up a dish with whatever I have and I refuse to go buy more stuff at the store!

Since I know some of my friends and family will read my blog, maybe I should apologize to them for serving them dishes I create :) - and the future ones I will serve them. I can't promise I won't do it again - All I think is food and what to make next from the hundreds of recipes I've read. Here are a few pics of some of my made up dishes - Proceed with caution, I am not promising some of these dishes won't look scary to eat - but I do promise they are tasty :)

Shrimp and Veggie Stew with avocado and garlic/olive oil toast-trying to use ingredients I had on hand

Grilled Sea Scallops on a bed of Gnocchi with spinach, roasted sweet potatoes and a garlic creamy sauce - It was my attempt to recreate a dish from Bravos Italian Restaurant I tried a while back

Roasted Potatoes, sauteed spinach and chipotle cilantro roasted chicken

Tomato Basil soup, salmon cakes and a salad tossed with a light vinagrette dressing

A staple in our house - Oven fried Tilapia with fresh salsa and brown rice - YUM!

Delicious Blueberry Lime Bread

Recipe a courtesy of my dear friend Captain Beauty

1 - 1/2 c. sugar (divided)
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
Grated peel of 1 lemon
2 1/4 c. flour (divided)
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 c. milk
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. fresh blueberries
3 T lemon juice

Preheat oven 350 deg. Grease 5x9" loaf pan. Cream 1 cup of sugar with butter in large mixing bowl until fluffy. Add eggs and lemon peel. Beat well. Set aside 2 T of flour. Sift remaining flour with baking powder and salt. Add four to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating smooth after each addition. Toss reserved flour with blueberries then gently fold berries into batter. Turn into pan.

Bake 1 hour and 15 min. or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 mins then pierce gently with a fork. Combine lemon juice with remaining 1/2 c. sugar. Stir to dissolve sugar. Spoon over bread. Let topping set before slicing. Makes 1 loaf.

Just a note - I used lime instead of lemon since it was what I had on hand and it turned out really good.

Bon Apetit!

What an inspiration!

For a while - the idea of cooking for a living has been bugging me. I have mentioned it to some friends and my husband and they all think I should do it. All I can think about is food. Sometimes I get insecure thinking - do I really know how to cook? Do I really do it well? But then I think - I truly truly love the art of cooking and that's all that matters. Of course it helps that some people do think I do it well - my guinea pig and dear hubby included.

On the other hand, I could use learning a few things. For instance, I have a problem following directions - I seem to have a VERY difficult time measuring things when I cook. I just like throwing ingredients together and creating something delicious. Measuring to me seems like a waste of time and dirtying more dishes - hahaha
So going back to the title of this post - I am inspired! Yesterday I went to see one of the best movies I've seen this year (except for the hangover but that's another post). I went to see Julie & Julia - what an inspiration that was. I then decided to take my blog more seriously - I created it a while back and don't post things often enough. But after the movie, I decided that I will post and share with all of you my measureless recipes and pics of my creations. Creations that are modified recipes that I read and the ingredients stay in my head until the moment I decide to go into the kitchen - see what I have available and make a meal. That to me is the most relaxing, most wonderful thing to do.

Which brings me to last night - I was so inspired that I decided to make tomato basil bruschetta. I also made a chunky tomato sauce with portabello mushrooms and spinach served over pasta and baked a delicious blueberry lemon bread. This bread was so beautiful that I should take a picture of one slice (if it's not already gone by then). I will for sure post the recipe - it is a recipe I got from one of my good friends who I will call Captain Beauty.

Stay tuned...