Saturday, April 23, 2011

Chocolate Cups with Vanilla Bean Mousse and Mango

Happy Easter! It seems like this past year I've managed to miss blogging about most major holidays (e.g., Thanksgiving and Christmas). I took the approach of simply not mentioning them and hoped you wouldn't notice. Did you?? I hope not! I've resolved to be much better about that this year.

I recently saw a fun little idea for an easy Easter dessert — dark chocolate cups that look like egg shells, and they're filled with smooth and creamy vanilla bean mousse and a dollop of mango puree to resemble an egg yolk.

Pretty cute for the occasion! And did I mention delicious?

Making these is a two-step process: First make the chocolate cups, and second whip up the mousse. Wait, there's a third and fourth step. Third you puree some ripe mango and dollop it in the center of each mousse cup. And fourth? Fourth you eat your heart out.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Low-fat Papaya Coconut Muffins

With the wedding around the corner, I haven't been baking much. Maybe it's a little cliche, but I'm trying to watch my figure and also detox a bit from "the white stuff." I came across this tasty recipe when I was poking around Gina's Skinny Recipes and loved that it was so low in fat, lower in sugar, and used whole wheat flour.

Plus, let's be honest. I was thrilled to have an excuse to purchase a papaya.

They're not much to look at from the outside, but they're beautiful on the inside! Never judge a papaya buy it's cover! Isn't that what they always say?

The batter for these muffins was the loveliest shade of pink thanks to the papaya puree. They were good warm out of the oven and for a day or two beyond.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lime Cilantro Quinoa Salad

Let's just say that if cranberries are the ninja fruit, then quinoa (keen-wah) is the ninja grain! Oh, except it's not a grain — it's actually a seed. But it sure seems like a grain. Anyway, it's a great base for making salads that you can either serve as a main or side dish. For breakfast, lunch, or dinner, in fact!

Quinoa is great for vegans and vegetarians because it packs a lot of nutritional punch (protein, manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, and phosphorus). It's also a nice change of pace for carnivores like me, and you can take a lot of liberty with the dressing you use and ingredients you add. It's a very customizable base for whatever you can think up!

I adapted a recipe I saw on RadMegan's blog. It has nice flavor and will be a great salad for summer, when the herbs and tomatoes are growing in the garden and corn is fresh and local at farm stands! Furthermore, this recipe is quick to make and keeps nicely in the fridge for a few days.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

On Carrots

I fell in love last weekend. Don't worry, Brad didn't mind.

I stumbled across the most beautiful, organic, rainbow carrots at Reading Terminal Market (Iovine Brothers). Had to have them.

To maintain the integrity of these beauties, I simply chopped them into thick strips, tossed them with a little olive oil, kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper, and roasted them at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.

They made a fab side dish for braised short ribs!
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