Where has the summer gone?

June 29th, 2009

As I was writing that title, I started slowly humming “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?” and then immediately thought, to the Pride Parade, of course!

Let me go back for a minute. Where has Ginny been? Mark emailed me this week to see what was up since I haven’t posted in awhile. Well, to be honest, I haven’t felt much like cooking or writing much…I’ve also found lately that I am so incredibly busy… running around the city like crazy and finally having time to see all that Chicago has to offer… The Taste of Chicago, the Pride Parade, the Green City Market, miniature golfing at Grant Park, the beach… the last few weeks have been fun… hanging with friends and enjoying the long awaited sunshine!

This week I started wanting to cook again… J came to visit last week. We explored Old Town… stumbling across Old Town Oil (Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar) and the Spice House…where I may have picked up a few new things… with J here, I started to cook a little bit again and it was fun! well, most things with J are fun… even moving my bed up 9 flights of stairs… now that’s a story…

I think the cooking bug has starting biting again… I feel inspired… I’m excited to start playing in my teeny tiny kitchen again… I also was hit by an idea… details will follow… so you must stay posted…

Don’t worry I haven’t forgotten my goal to make a recipe from that huge stack of cookbooks… This recipe comes from Seafood, a gift from two of my great high school friends. That birthday, my seventeenth, I believe, I had to answer riddles before they would hand me a gift.  Given my love of cooking, they picked a beautiful cookbook…gorgeous photographs and some amazing recipes using fish I have never ever heard of… I love flipping through it and decided on this recipe to use my new cute basil plant. I really liked the scallops out of the oven but not as much the next day. The sauce was amazing but you really can’t go wrong with shallots, white wine and butter… enjoy!  Thanks, girls!  I miss you!

Scallop Piroshskis with Basil Leaves
(adapted from Seafood)

6 Scallops, rinsed and patted dry
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
6 basil leaves
1 egg yolk
1 shallot
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon heavy cream
3 tablespoon butter (recipe calls for a whole stick but I cut that down a bit!)
salt and pepper

1. Peel and finely chop the shallot. In a frying pan, add the white wine, white wine vinegar and shallots. Reduce until only 80 percent of the liquid. Add the cream and reduce the liquid by half. Beat in butter with a whisk. Keep the sauce warm in a double boiler (or on low)
2. Slice the scallops in half and place a basil leave in between the halves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. On a lightly floured surface roll out the puff pastry and cut into 6 equal pieces. Place a scallop in the middle of one piece and wrap the puff pastry around it. Brush with the egg yolk. Repeat for all the scallops.
4. Bake at 350 for about 8 min. (If I remember correctly, mine took about 10-12 min.). Serve warm with the sauce.

Cry Me an Onion: Onion Pizzas!!!

April 15th, 2009

For my Cry Me an Onion Contest, I have chosen two more recipes.  E, J’s sister, suggested Fugazetta, an Argentine white pizza.  Libby gave me the recipe for a Basil and Artichoke Pesto with Caramelized Onion Pizza.  So, I had a bit of a pizza night!  I used the no-knead Nook & Pantry pizza dough, which was enough dough for two pizzas.  The pizza dough was a great choice… it was a bit sticky so make sure to use a lot of flour when handling the dough.  I do not have a pizza stone anymore due to a small oven… I used a cookie sheet.

Verdict: Yummy!  I love the onions and cheese.  In Argentina, the pizzas sometimes have olives on them so I added some.
Cry Factor: sobbing (2 onions)

(from E, Sylvia, and a little googling)

1 pizza dough, shaped into a circle
1 1/2 cup mozzarella
1 teaspoon oregano, dried
2 onions sliced
2 tablespoon olive oil
5 green olives

1. Spread the olive oil on the pizza.
2. Sprinkle with the onions and oregano, top with the mozzarella.
3. Place the green olives around the outside of the pizza.
4. Bake at 500 for 10-12 minutes until the crust is browned.

Verdict: Wow!  Artichoke Pesto, where have you been my whole life?
Cry Factor: bawling (3 onions)

Basil & Marinated Artichoke Pesto with Caramelized Onions
(from Libby from the Allergic Kid)

1 pizza dough, shaped into a circle
2 tablespoons pesto
3 sliced onions, caramelized
some goat cheese crumbles, if you like

1. Spread the pesto on the dough.
2. Sprinkle with caramelized onions and the goat cheese crumbles.
3. Bake at 500 for 10-12 minutes, until the crust is browned.

1/3 cup dried basil leave
1/4 cup marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulverize.

P.S. Haven’t entered my Cry Me an Onion Contest, yet?  What are you waiting for???  Get going!

You know Ginny is stressed when…

February 20th, 2009

She finds herself pounding out her stress on bread! This semester has reached that point. I have so much work to do that I am not quite sure when exactly it is going to be done… but I keep working…

I have some good news. I have a summer job! I am very excited about it.  I love history and art. I also love law especially the legal research, the analytical reasoning and the daily interaction with clients. When I went to law school, I was hoping to find the intersection between these interests. This summer I will be interning at one of the museums here in Chicago learning the ins and outs of museum law. I can’t wait!

In the blogging world, you develop friendships with other bloggers. One particular blogger has really made an impression on my life. She is so sweet and thoughtful. She always unnecessarily apologizes when it has been awhile since I have heard from her. Lately, she has also been under a ton of stress. Although I know she couldn’t eat this bread, I would like to dedicate it to her. This is for Veggie Girl!  (when I get my friend’s excellent vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe, I will really dedicate something to you…if I could just track down that recipe)

I made this bread with some leftover pesto and goat cheese.  I would like to send it over to Bayleaf’s Bread Mania Event.  It was quick and delicious!

Pesto-Goat Cheese Swirl Bread
(adapted from Betty Crocker)

3 cups flour
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 package quick active dry yeast
1 1/8 warm water
2-3 tablespoons of pesto
3 ounces of goat cheese, crumbled

1. Dissolve the yeast in the water with the sugar and salt. Make sure the mixture is bubbling so as to assure that you did not kill the yeast.
2. Mix in the flour and olive oil.
3. Mix in enough flour to make dough easy to handle.
4. Knead dough for about 10 min.
5. Place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise for 40-60 minutes or until double.
6. Grease a loaf pan.
7. Punch down the dough and roll it into a square. Spread with the pesto and sprinkle with the goat cheese. Starting at one end, roll up the dough and place into the loaf pan.
8. Cover and let rise for 35-50 minutes.
9. Heat oven to 425. Bake 25-30 minutes.