The-too-good-to-do-anything-else dish…

The dish I just finished licking my plate of was way too good to let sit in my word documents waiting to be shared with the world and also is just too damn good to be named. Caprese doesn’t do justice to the way this tomato, mozzarella, basil and balsamic dish is prepared. Comments or ideas on possible names please come rolling in, I will need help with this one!!

I guess I’ll give you the juicy details so you can recreate it in your sweet smelling home…. So start off by liberally dousing sweet cherry tomatoes with olive oil and salt. Place them in the oven at 425 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes letting them roast and explode! While these are roasting get started on the balsamic glaze. I found the recipe online at Simply Recipes and it is oh so simple. Reduce half a cup of balsamic with two teaspoons of sugar over high heat until it thickens. Plate the tomatoes with fresh mozzarella, rip up fresh basil and then drizzle the balsamic glaze all over the place (adding salt to the finished meal if needed). Try this and you may never want to eat a caprese salad any other way.

Next up is figuring out what else I can make with this DIVINE balsamic glaze… bon appetit!

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Portabella Marsala Sando.

This post is almost one of my favorites because this sandwich is out of this world and will definitely be featured in a future cookbook!! Lunch was aproaching quickly and we had some portabella mushrooms calling our names.. what to do, what to do?? We decided to get a bit adventurous and created marsala mushrooms with portabellas and slapped them in-between some veggies and bread, waalaa.

The preparation of the mushrooms was like any other marsala preparation. Slice the mushrooms and sauté them in butter and when they are on the edge of being done add a splash of marsala cooking wine to caramelize them. Make sure to add the marsala at the end because adding this essentially finishes cooking the mushrooms. Once the mushrooms have a nice coating of marsala feel free to continue cooking for a few more minutes.

When creating the sandwich you can choose whatever you like but we sliced up some fresh mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, last nights grilled zucchini and shreds of fresh basil.

Bon appetit to turning a dinner entrée into a tasty sandwich.

Not MJ’s Beets.

This post is no where near Michael Jackson’s hit single Beat It but almost as good and hopefully soon to be as popular!! Searching for a good summer recipe to go along with the large bundle of beets we just purchased from the farmer’s market we came across the website Simply Recipes highlighting a Roasted Beet with Balsamic Glaze. From time to time I go on a beet craze and ever since I returned from China this was a vegetable I was dying to dine on. The recipe was as simple as the name of the website (SimplyRecipes) and took only a few tries to perfect.

  

The beets are roasted at 400 degrees for an hour or two, depending on how large the beets are. It’s important to rub with olive oil and salt in order to give more flavor and to avoid drying them out while roasting. Poke the beets after about an hour every so often in order to find out when they are ready to be taken out.

The best part isn’t with the roasting but instead the Balsamic Glaze drizzled over top!! It may take a few attempts but start with a small, shallow sauce pan and add the balsamic vinegar and sugar in order to reduce into a syrup. When the beets are finished roasting chop them up to the size you prefer and pour the balsamic glaze over. We choose to grate some citrus zest over the top, whatever you have available would work, but we went for orange adding an extra bite to the dish.

These are a great snack or an accompaniment to any meal and can be served hot or cooled, or even in a salad. To find the original recipe visit SimplyRecipes online.

  

Not to mention cooking with beets always makes for some fun artwork, even though mother always told me never to play with my food, bon appetit!

A Sweet Summer Salad.

If there was one fruit that I would describe as sweet summer loving it would be watermelon. This colorful melon is so thirst quenching when the degrees start racking up as well as being extremely versatile. Slices of watermelon is hardly a snack you can go wrong with but what about adding some chili powder or lime sprinkled over the top, it’s easy to get creative and always rewarding. My favorite watermelon concoction is a salad with feta, Kalamata olives, onions and lime. All these flavors combined can create an addicting snack or the perfect side dish for any summer meal.

The recipe I used was Nigella Lawson’s and the reason I choose to use one is because she has an interesting approach to getting the flavors to really blend well. Her advice for the onions is to soak them in the lime juice so they lose some of the bite onions can dominate a salad with. When working with watermelon this is an especially helpful tip.

The rest of her ingredients include black olives but I like the flavor of Kalamata olives instead, and make sure to get pitted olives for maximum enjoyment. Nigella also chooses to add mint and parsley to go along with the tartness of lime and rich flavor of feta allowing for everything to compliment each other giving your taste buds a ride of their life.

The recipe can be found at http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/watermelon-feta-and-black-olive-salad-205, however if you google a Watermelon Feta salad you can find a list of other combinations that suit your style.

Bon appetit and enjoy your sweet summer salads.

My go-to Greek Yogurt.

My initial intention when purchasing a bunch of pears was a healthy one and would allow me to have some fresh fruit to munch on. Although with all this crazy heat in Madison nearly twenty-four hours later they were brown and on their way to molding, so it was time to get creative, and fast!!

I had just finished din din and was craving something that would satisfy my sweet tooth. I sliced off all the bruised parts, which unfortunately was the majority for some. However, I then scoured my cupboards and drizzled honey over while sprinkling on brown sugar and cinnamon. Next up was time to throw it in the oven and wait to see what the finish product would be. About twenty minutes later I had a gooey warm poached style pear to top on whatever I pleased. Unfortunately whatever I pleased turned into whatever I had, Chobani Greek yogurt. Lately yogurt has been my go-to ingredient and strikingly it was amazing because the tartness of the yogurt complimented the sweetness of the pears making me craving more, more, more!

Bon appetit and when it’s brown, don’t throw it down.

Rhubarb… summer’s favorite veggie!

 

Madison’s summer was well under way when I was lucky enough to have a few of my besties visit all the way from Minnesota!! I was feening to be in the kitchen cooking and also to satisfy my sweet tooth. The best thing about visitors is I can cook the tasty treats I dream about without being worried I will devour the entire dish MYSELF!

My roommate and I had just come back to our apartment after spending a few hours moseying around the Saturday Farmer’s Market. I had a bundle of rhubarb, raspberries and the fixings to make a mean dessert bar. I took to my Mac in order to find a recipe I could get creative with, and landed on Martha Stewart’s Rhubarb Crumb Bars.

The prep work for the rhubarb took a while but otherwise I was baking away within minutes and popped my version of the cake as a Raspberry and Rhubarb Crumble in the oven and took a break from cooking in 90-degree weather. Forty minutes later my crumb cake was out of the oven and ready to cool so that ALL my friends could devour it.

The cake had a really nice flavor because the rhubarb is more of a tangy taste instead of many other desserts loaded with sugar. I tried some hot out of the oven as well as later on when it cooled, and my vote is hot with ice cream. Cooled off allowed the flavors to set in and was more along the lines of a pound cake. Either way it was a success and with a full apartment it didn’t even last 24 hours.

Bon appetit and FYI the leaves of rhubarb are toxic, YIKES, steer clear!!

PIZZA FIX!!

I must admit one of my favorite things to eat is a piece of damn good pizza. This post therefore is about two pizzas I created in… the last week, whoopsy, I guess it is fair to say I was on a PIZZA FIX!

The first pizza is from Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog, GOOP! I’d like to think we are best friends that spend their time cooking and laughing but we all know that isn’t true, at least she has great taste in food and culture so it’s like we are blog friends. This recipe is adopted from another chef in the blogosphere. My mom and I also did our part by adding our own pinches and touches of honeybee loving! The recipe is for the pizza crust and is easypeasy to follow but does take a big chunk of your time. If you have that time it is well worth all the effort and leaves you with pizza crust for maybe ten more meals!!

Once our pizza dough had risen we were ready to get creative and scavenged the fridge and ended up with our version of a good old margarita pizza. The tomato sauce was from GOOP and really made a difference as it asks for carrots and is supposed to simmer for about 40 minutes allowing all the flavors to cook together. Gwyneth instructs you to purée the sauce but we left it nice and chunky for a heartier pizza. We topped the pizza with chunks of crushed garlic, thinly sliced zucchini, heirloom tomatoes, mini mozzarella balls and aged parmesan cheese! It only cooks in the oven for about two minutes and it is best served piping hot with a refreshing salad and fine glass of organic wine. Ooohlalayumyum this pizza was almost 11” x 9” and we finished every last bite!! We decided to make our crust extra thin which produced a final product that was like a cracker bread crust, however I have heard the thicker crust is just as delicious.

  

  

After sampling the amazing ingredients we put on our GOOP pizza I was craving more but now back in Madison taking classes and cooking with Slow Food. Part of my internship with Slow Food is to promote the amazing idea of supporting local grocers and farmers while eating divine dishes. Williamson Street, or more popularly known as Willy Street, in Madison is about a mile of locavores who know how to cook and live life. I spent the afternoon drawing up my own Slow Food flyers and headed to Willy Street Co-op in order to start promoting our Slow Food chapter. By the time I was done I had gone full circle and ended back up at Willy Street Co-op starving!! While aimlessly walking the aisles looking for something that caught my interests I came across Vicolo Pizza crusts!! The Vicolo pizza crusts come pre-made and packaged in the freezer section of only a few grocery stores. This did not fall in line with the Slow Food idea I spent the afternoon promoting so I decided to fill the pizza with ONLY local ingredients. My mom and I used to get these pizzas pre-made in Mill Valley but having the cornbread crust as your blank canvas made it much more fun!

  

The Willy Street employees helped me find an amazing Sweet Basil Pesto from Renaissance Farm of Spring Green, Wisconsin along with their own Mozzarella cheese, heirloom tomatoes, and garlic!! Once I was home and all the ingredients were ready to go I had my own personal pizza ready in fifteen minutes.

  

I spent the rest of the night reading for my summer class and blogging about my new best friend, pizza!

Bon appetit to All Hail Honeybess’ 50th post!!

A Vegged-out Hearty Piece of Heaven!

Surprise surprise this vegged-out twist is actually exactly what I mean, a sandwich appearing as a hearty hamburger minus the meat. One day I was absolutely craving a hamburger but am not really the biggest fan of having to cook raw meat so I decided I would cheat a little and make my very own veggie burgers!! This was very impulsive but I hustled off to the grocery store in order to gather what I thought would help make my creation. I checked out some prepackaged veggie burgers to get a good idea and started shopping.

  

Twenty minutes later I walked out with mini Portobello mushrooms, black beans, walnuts, scallions, eggs along with the usually burger fixings and hearty country white bread. Back at my apartment I chopped everything up to a size that would keep a hearty texture but also blend flavors well. Then was time to start forming the burgers making sure to add enough black beans and eggs so that they would be cohesive and keep their shape.

  

I think the trick was to place a square of butter on the bottom of each patty allowing them to keep from sticking while adding flavor. Then I placed them in the oven at 350 for roughly 15 minutes or until they felt firm as if they wouldn’t crumble from a simple poke. My roommate and I then created our own sandwiches as I choose to add sharp cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, and a Lite Caesar Vinaigrette. Instead of a bun we opted for a country wheat so it wouldn’t mask the flavors of the burger.

This was my little creation I was so very proud of being able to successfully enjoy! The recipe is simple and already lost in my noggin of foods but can be recreated with whatever veggies or nuts you prefer. Someday I will venture out to possibly add meat and create the greatest walnut/veggie/hamburger, someday…

Bon appetit creatively!

Going Greek.

 

Summer heat always leaves me only wanting cool refreshing treats which recently has left me craving yogurt. In order to restore my tummy after the extremely adventurous foods I sampled in China I have been leaning towards Greek Yogurt which is full of live cultures and probiotics. Both of these help restore the bodies digestion system and greek yogurt also has high amounts of protein, healthy perfection. However, this does not come cheap and many are flavored which I am not wild about. I have discovered the perfect solution, farmer’s markets. Depending on what county you reside in there is sure to be a farmer’s market close by and if you are lucky enough you can find home made greek yogurt, score!!

I stumbled upon this in the Sheboygan County Farmer’s Market, hosting only about fifteen to twenty stalls. I choose to add fresh strawberries, blueberries or just honey for some extra sugar. This tastes better and is waaaay healthier than the added flavors and sugars found in most yogurts. It is also really good with granola or on the go for a full meal, if your bowl is big enough! Maybe next summer I can take my greek yogurt to the shores of lovely Greece… #dreambig.

Bon appetit.

A morning of lattes, Britney and yoga.

All Hail Honeybees ventured out to lovely Kohler, Wisconsin to spend the morning in Brewed Awakening, a coffee shop located in the entrance of Woodlake Market. This coffee shop happens to be employed by a friend of mine and we listened to Britney Spears, a mutual favorite, while keeping the fort down and sipping on lattes. I was of course the only one relaxing while he was proving himself to be the ideal Kohler employee.

Brewed Awakening offers a variety of drinks made with the amazing Alterra Coffee and a counter of in house baked goods. They have wifi and a small counter for those who wish to spend mornings inside cafes.

Inside the Woodlake Market is a wide selection of local produce, fresh baked goods and prepared meals along with the usually grocery goods but on a scale above the average Piggly Wiggly. I purchased a Fage Greek Yogurt and Kind Granola Bar to go along with my Poor Man’s Latte, skim with honey and cinnamon. Woodlake Market is also offering a CSA, Community Supported Agriculture, allowing the market to offer their customers the freshest and local products that also help out local farms. The produce for the CSA comes from Garden Weedin’ in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The meats here are also of good quality as the sausages are packaged in house.

All in all this was a successful morning and now its time to finish hitting the other hot spots of Kohler’s  Shops of Woodlake as I venture over to Yoga on the Lake to have my butt wipped into shape by the enthusiastic instructors. The studio has me stretching in front of the bay windows framing Woodlake, not too shabby.

Bon appetit.