SUPER FANCY ASPARAGUS SALAD

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SUPER FANCY ASPARAGUS SALAD

I admit, I sort of hate when people put out all of these asparagus recipes at this time of year, because really: do you want it any other way than simply and barelygrilled or roasted with just a touch of really good olive oil and your favorite sea salt? Well, now you do. This recipe is GORGEOUS, fancy, and just so special. It takes a little bit of time in the prep work, since the main components of this salad are really just the three different parts of the asparagus—the head, the outer peels, and the crunchy-sweet tender stalks. The end result is so impressive, though, it's totally worth the little bit of extra effort.

SUPER FANCY ASPARAGUS SALAD

WHAT YOU NEED: 

1 tsp. Olive Mill Roasted Walnut Oil 

1 tsp. Olive Mill White Lemon Balsamic Vinegar 

Dash of Sea Salt & freshly, finely ground pepper

2# Raw Asparagus, as fresh as you can get, thicker stalks are easier to work with 

Your favorite platter 

1-2 TBS Toasted Sesame Seeds

WHAT YOU DO: 

-In a small bowl, mix Walnut Oil, Lemon Balsamic, sea salt & pepper for the vinaigrette.

-Using a vegetable peeler, peel off the outer skin of the asparagus into a bowl (this is the hardest part of this recipe. Hang in there—it's worth it). 

-Chop off the heads and add that to the bowl as well.  

-Then thinly slice the stalks of the asparagus at an angle, and add it to the mix. 

-Spread the asparagus onto your favorite platter artistically (this is the fun part where the fruits of your labor will be revealed—it looks so pretty!). 

-Drizzle the vinaigrette over the top, and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds. Serve with a flourish, and impress your friends! 

 

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PISCO SOUR, PADDINGTON STYLE

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PISCO SOUR, PADDINGTON STYLE

We love when our globe trotting customers turn us on to something new. Hailing from deepest, darkest Peru, this cocktail is super refreshing and packs a wallop! Made with Pisco (which we now sell), a clear brandy from the winemaking regions of Peru and Chile, key lime juice and egg whites, I'd say it counts as both a fruit and a protein, um...right? Icy cold, easy to make, and frothy as all get out. We think it's especially good for brunch or in the hottest part of an afternoon. 

PISCO SOUR, PADDINGTON STYLE

WHAT YOU NEED: 

1 oz Key Lime Juice (or substitute regular limes if that's what you've got) 

½ oz Simple Syrup (or substitute extra fine sugar if that's what you've got) 

1 egg white 

2 ½ oz Pisco  

1 cup ice 

Extra ice for serving 

Dash of Peychaud Bitters 

WHAT YOU DO: 

Blend Key lime juice, simple syrup, and egg white in blender until frothy (doesn't take long). Add Pisco and 1 cup ice. Blend on chop setting until ice is coarsely chopped. Pour over a glassful of ice, and top with a dash of Peychaud bitters. Makes two to three cocktails. Cheers!  

 

 

 

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SHHHH! THIS IS A SECRET RECIPE

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SHHHH! THIS IS A SECRET RECIPE

A plateful of these is a fantastic treat that will make someone's day: they are rustic and magnificent. Unexpected, and of course, delicious.  Put this one in your repertoire. It's easy, it is a medium amount of time/work because there are several steps to the process, but it's SO worth it. You can choose the flavor of your ice cream filling, the cookies have a super compelling and satisfying texture that is a combination of crunchy and chewy. You can make then whatever size you want, but I make them small so you can eat more than one and feel OK about it.

 MY MOM'S SECRET RECIPE FOR ICE CREAM SANDWICHES

WHAT YOU NEED: 

1 egg 

½ cup shortening (I actually didn't have any shortening when I made these recently so I used all butter, and the texture was a little off but it worked great. Also thinking coconut oil would work) 

¼ cup butter (the original recipe actually calls for margarine. Hey—it was the 80's) 

1 tsp. Vanilla 

1 chocolate cake mix (YES: a cake mix!) 

½ gallon ice cream (I recommend Mooville, of course) 

WHAT YOU DO: 

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

-Beat egg, shortening, butter, vanilla, and ½ of dry cake mix until smooth.  

-Stir in remaining cake mix. 

-Divide intoequal parts. 

-On a lightly floured surface, roll each into a 10" x 6" rectangle. 

-Cut into 3" x 2" pieces. (or any size you like) 

-Bake on ungreased cookie sheet (I use parchment paper, but you don't have to) for 6-8 minutes. 

-Remove from oven and prick with fork. Let them cool completely. 

-Soften ice cream on counter for about 20 minutes, then pair up your cookies, and fill each pair with softened ice cream. I use a large knife to actually cut the ice cream into squareish shapes to fit into the cookies. Wrap each cookie in wax paper or parchment paper and store in freezer.  So. Delicious.

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FRIED FISH.

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FRIED FISH.

Pan-Fried Fish. Do I have your attention now? If you love fried fish like I do, then you must get into Jaddin's Precious Soul Cafe (701 Riverview Drive)asap. Last night I was driving home from work (ironically, trying to think of someplace where I could grab a healthy meal to take home for dinner...whoops) and I decided to stop into this place--I had been meaning to for a while and thank goodness I finally did. This. Place. Rocks. It's a family restaurant from start to finish and little Jaddin (whose Mom owns the restaurant) was working behind the counter with his older cousin when I arrived. They were both sweet as pie, I told them it was my first visit and they were welcoming and helpful, enthusiastic and ready with the recommendations. You basically can pick your meat, and then choose two sides to go with (can't be a vegetarian easily here--sorry!). We got Fried Swai (crisp, delicious whitefish and NOT greasy at all, which is almost impossible to find), black-eyed peas (rich and flavorful), okra (fried--yum), Fried Pork Chops just like my mom used to make, but smothered with home-made BBQ sauce which was sweet and flavorful with a bit of a kick, greens (delicious), and the MUST TRY recommendation of the boys, the Baked Mac-n-Cheese. I thought I had tried every style of mac and cheese under the sun, and I personally make a MEAN baked mac-n-cheese but I'll be damned if those kids weren't right. I don't know what they are putting in that baked mac-n-cheese but it is really, really good. I had to wait maybe a half an hour for the food (which I appreciated because clearly everything was made to order), but it was actually kind of fun hanging out and watching the people come and go. They seem to have a pretty regular group of customers, and the place just had a homey and friendly vibe about it. I overheard several people who were disappointed to find rib tips weren't on the menu that day (the menu changes daily), but I guess they only serve them on the weekends, so if you love rib tips, go on a Friday or Saturday. Something tells me it will be worth your while.

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POPCORN. DINNER.

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POPCORN. DINNER.

If you are like David and I, and love a good Popcorn Dinner every once in a while (or more often), this is a must-try. Since I've made it this way, I'm simply not interested in popcorn any other way. And...if you're wondering if using the Snow Pea Farms Heirloom Popcorn Kernels makes a difference, I challenge you to do a taste test (plus this is a very fun activity to do with kids). Buy Orville Redenbacher's, and a couple of other kinds of corn if you feel like complicating it up, and buy the Snow Pea Farms, pop them all up and do a blind popcorn tasting. It's amazing the difference a kernel can make. Each popcorn will be visibly different, and each will taste completely different, with a completely different texture. Did I just say different like four times? Yes, it's that amazing...and different. The Snow Pea Farms Heirloom Popcorn pops smaller kernels that are more substantial in flavor, and they read to me almost nutty. Anyway, here's the recipe:

IT'S SATURDAY NIGHT! POPCORN

  

WHAT YOU NEED: 

Your favorite heavy popcorn-popping pan with lid 

2-5 Tbs. Butter or Bacon Flavored Olive Mill Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

½ Cup Snow Pea Farms Heirloom Popcorn plus 3 test kernels 

2-3 tsp. Everything Nice West Indies Rub 

 

WHAT YOU DO: 

-Pour 2 Tbs. Butter or Bacon-flavored Olive Oil into Heavy Popcorn Pan.  

-Put three test kernels into the pan, and heat on high until you hear three POPS! Now, quickly: 

-Pour ½ cup Snow Pea Farms Heirloom Popcorn Kernels into the pan, and sprinkle about 2 tsp of the Everything Nice West Indies Rub onto the kernels. Cover pan and wait until you hear popping. 

-Shake pan regularly to keep the kernels moving, so they don't burn. I have no idea if this is really necessary, but it's how I learned to make popcorn, and I make good popcorn so why mess with a good thing? Plus it gives your arms a little exercise before you veg out in front of the TV, eating popcorn, for the next few hours. 

--When the POPS are less frequent, remove from heat. Tell the the dog to go away (ho won't listen to you), since he's at your feet now because he knows when you take off the lid, a few kernels are going to pop out and onto the floor where he can eat them.  

--Remove the lid, pour into your favorite popcorn bowl or bowls, and taste. Does it need more oil? Does it need more West Indies Rub? Add to taste and enjoy. Warning: go slow with adding the West Indies Rub. This popcorn goes from delightfully and mildly spiced to wildfire in your mouth pretty easily. 

 

  

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