After being back in Colorado for a couple of weeks, I finally was able to go to the farmers’ market! I went to the Vail Farmers’ Market last week and stumbled upon some really great produce and meat. The Vail market is nice because you are so much closer to the farmers from the Western Slope. I was able to fill over half of a grocery bag with all kinds of veggies for only $10! I also got some great wine-poached goat cheddar and sage goat cheddar from Jumpin’ Good Goat Dairy, as well as a delicious grass-fed leg of lamb from Crystal River Meats. While all of this was fantastic, I have to admit that the perfectly-ripe assortment of heirloom tomatoes were the highlight of the market for me.
In Colorado, “April showers brings May flowers” means next to nothing. They have been getting feet of snow then 80 degree weather this month! In NYC the saying is pretty accurate. Springtime in the city really does feel like spring. The trees here are so pretty with beautiful blooming flowers!
Once again, Secret Recipe Club has provided me with another great blogger and recipe inspiration. This month I was assigned to Jeanette’s Healthy Living. Jeanette’s blog is filled with gorgeous food photos and so many delicious recipes, it was so hard to choose! I wanted to make her Roasted Red Pepper Carrot Pesto, Mango Panna Cotta w/ Kiwi Mango & Strawberries, Chinese Szechuan Spicy Fish Soup, and so much more. It was a tough choice, but I decided to make her Mango Avocado Pepper Salsa for my SRC post.
Everybody watch out, I have had a creative moment so beware. I’m sure we all suffer from the same feeling; you know the one where you feel like you never have your own good recipe ideas and everybody else has the coolest ideas, so you just want to copy them? I am always trying to think up my own recipes, but very rarely do I actually think up a blog-worthy idea. So as you can guess I am VERY excited to share this recipe with you; it is my very own recipe brainchild. The one thing you will notice about my own recipes is that they always have some outrageous title, way longer than any should probably ever be. But just think of it as a way to attempt to show how deliciously packed the recipe is!
Do any of you have that one (or two or three) food that you crave CONSTANTLY?! I have two, pizza and cheese. I could eat pizza anytime, anywhere. Lately all I have been thinking about it pizza, but for some odd reason I went a really long time without having any. As you could imagine, I was stoked when I walked into Morimoto a few days ago for work to find out that staff meal that day was focaccia pizza! Even after eating more than my fair share of staff meal, I still am craving pizza, so naturally I want to share one of my newest pizza creations with you to feed my craving.
I don’t necessarily think that New Years means that you HAVE to immediately start dieting, but I feel like it is a good time to start out fresh. I like to refine my eating and exercising habits after the holiday bingeing is over. I recently did a cleanse to start out fresh before my move. One key component to a cleanse is flushing out your system and getting detoxifying nutrients, which makes this smoothie perfect for a cleanse.
Can you believe that it is almost Christmas?! What are your plans for the holidays? I will be spending Christmas in Denver with parents, brothers and a few other relatives. I am really excited about this Christmas because I hardly get to see my brothers any more, plus I will be moving far, far away in exactly two weeks from today. I hope that the holidays haven’t stressed you out, but if you are panicking about what you are going to cook for dinner with your family this guest post is perfect for you. I would like to welcome Denise from Dinner With Denise this friday. She is sharing one of her delicious side dishes for the holidays. This is a great alternative to the typical sweet potatoes and marshmallows if you feel like you always serve that dish during the holidays. With that, I give you Denise:
Sweet Potato & Apple Casserole w/ Pecan Crunch Topping
A few months ago I entered the Pillsbury bake-off challenge. Quite a bit of time has passed and I haven’t heard anything, I am assuming that my recipe did not make the cut. I didn’t share my recipe originally because I had high hopes that I would make finals, but obviously I was wrong..haha. Luckily, I know that my recipe was delicious and now I can share it with all of you to make at home. I would also like to let Pillsbury know that they are missing out!
Finally, to the cooking part of my cooking trip! We headed to a small town called Spongano the morning after our welcome dinner in Lecce. This is where the castle was located. Some people may call this a manor house, but call it what you want. There were like 20 bedrooms and bathrooms and an awesome pool and a garden filled with all sorts of fruit trees… I’d call that a castle. (Also, thanks to my mom, the host of the trip, for most of these photos! I was too preoccupied to take pictures most of the week. If you think you would like to go on this trip next time she takes people, check out her site here!)
For those of you who don’t know, I am currently in a small town in Southern Italy called Spongano. I am taking classes at a cooking school in a CASTLE! The weather has been great and the food has been delicious. I will be posting a couple of things about my trip soon, but for now I want to share this delicious gazpacho recipe that I made before I left.