- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.2lzcOnhH.dpuf Nothing but Delicious: January 2012

Food to Share: Lovely Lemon Madeleines and a Winter Picnic

We haven't had much Winter here in Nashville but lately I've found myself longing for Spring nonetheless. Perhaps it's because the weather hovers in the 50's, teasing me. A picnic on a bleary (thank you Rebekka, that is the perfect word) Sunday was exactly what I needed: to be outside, to relax, to eat delicious food and drink wine with friends. 
I went to Arrington Vineyards to share a picnic with Rebekka and Colleen. We had prosciutto and mozzarella sandwiches, brie and with crackers, and I made lovely lemon madeleines. They're lovely because, well, they're just beautiful to look at. That much is obvious. They're also packed with lots of meyer lemon zest, cornmeal, almond flour and best of all, butter!
Oh, and did I mention that I woke up to this precious face on Sunday morning? My sweet little Pixel, patiently waiting for me to get up and take her to play outside in the fog.

Lovely Lemon Madeleines
makes 18

1/3 cup semolina
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup sugar
1t baking powder
3 large eggs
pinch kosher salt
1 stick (8T) unsalted butter
1T limoncello
1T meyer lemon zest

Preheat oven to 400.
In a small bowl, whisk semolina, almond flour and baking powder together. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, sugar and salt with electric mixer until tripled in volume, about 5 minutes (if you see peaks beginning to form you have gone too far!). Melt butter and let cool slightly. Pour butter and almond extract into egg mixture. Beat until combined. Add zest. Fold dry mix into wet mix with spatula until just combined. Let chill in fridge for one hour. Spoon batter into madeleine mold. Bake for 6-7 minutes at 400, drop oven temperature to 350, and bake for another 4-5 minutes.

Food to Share: Cheesy Brunch (And a GIVEAWAY!)

 *Write your favorite kind of cheese as a comment to enter the giveaway. Winner will be chosen at random and will receive a cheese package for two, including a gift certificate to The Bloomy Rind.*
I'd like to introduce you to a new series I will be writing. It's called "Food to Share." I recently read a quote by Shana Ahern that simply said, "Figure out what fascinates you about food." Well for me, it's sharing food. Why? Let's put this into practical terms. I don't want to down an entire pint of ice cream by myself at home because I don't have any other food for dinner. That's sad and shameful. On the other hand, walking to Jeni's to share an ice cream sundae with a friend is nothing short of a happy memory. Shared food is the best kind of food.
My favorite meal to share (because dessert doesn't count as a meal unless you don't eat anything else) is brunch: sleeping late, drinking early, eating fancy. What more could a girl want? I've decided to share a brunch recipe with you first. 

Now I got a lot of great presents this Christmas but one of the best was a butcher shop (I say, as if it opened just for me), complete with cheese monger Kathleen Cotter, owner of The Bloomy Rind! The Porter Road Butcher/Bloomy Rind shop is a dream come true. They carry a menagerie of local meats, cheeses, bread, honey, and coming soon, Sweet Betweens
Have I ever mentioned my predilection for cheese to you? Well it started early. I ate broccoli cheese casserole instead of baby food. For an entire year during my adolescence I ate only cheese: I would order slices of cheese for lunch instead of a sandwich at restaurants. Sometimes I still plan my meals around which type of cheese I've purchased that week. 

So you can imagine my delight when I saw Kathleen Cotter at the Nashville Farmer's Market for the first time this past summer. I couldn't believe my eyes and walked by her several times just to make sure I wasn't hallucinating. Then I walked up to her and accidentally said something very awkward: "I've been checking you out all morning!" She laughed

This dish is, and pardon my redundancy, delicious! It's small, but rich- just enough, or possibly a little too much depending on who you are, for two. Layers: spicy, fatty chorizo, topped with earthy and tangy mushrooms, and on top of that, fresh and sweet wilted leeks, and best of all- ooey, gooey cheese and an egg yolk on top. Sigh. I want some right now. Brunch food is good for dinner too, you know. 

Cheesy Brunch For Two

1 link raw chorizo
1/2t red pepper flakes
1/2 pint mushrooms
1T balsamic vinegar
1 leek, trimmed and roughly chopped
1/3 cup dry white wine 
about 3oz good cheese (if it slices or grates you got ripped off!) 
1-2 egg yolks
In a skillet, saute chorizo and red pepper flakes over medium to medium high heat until cooked through and remove from pan. Place evenly in ramekin. Chop mushrooms roughly and cook in sausage fat until ever so slightly golden brown. Remove pan from heat and add balsamic vinegar, stirring until none is left. Put mushrooms in even layer on top of chorizo. Wipe pan clean with paper towel. Add a touch of butter and oil to the pan and cook leeks over medium heat (with a pinch of kosher salt) until they just start to caramelize. Pour wine into pan and cook down until mostly evaporated. Layer leeks evenly on top of mushrooms. Slice cheese as best you can and put it on top of leeks. Last, put egg yolks(s) in the center of the ramekin on top of the cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and yolks are warmed through. Serve with toast. 

Guest Post: Ruth Kerr

For a quick intro, my name is Ruth Kerr. I am the Healthy Eating Liaison at Whole Foods in Chattanooga and I have found myself very passionate in educating people about the importance of fueling our bodies with healthy food that serves as preventative medicine. It is urgent that we realize all of the heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases and western degenerative diseases can be prevented with the food we eat.

{You can read more about Ruth here.}
Consider the start of a new year with the start of a new way of thinking. This is not about cutting out, but reconfiguring your plates with healing foods. You decide what you want your lifestyle to look like, while striving to eat to live, not vice versa. Here are some points to ponder as you do that:

1. Eat as many plants as possible. Plants are the proverbial fighting warriors for our bodies. Each one has thousands of vitamins, phytochemicals, minerals, enzymes, and complex carbohydrates, and even a proud amount of protein! This may be a simple and obvious point, but I am amazed how many people don’t realize the necessity of vegetables. They are essential to thrive. Whatever diets you follow, focus on plants being the main part of your plate.

2. Choose whole foods. While there are good reasons for juicing, eating an apple with all its fiber and bulk is more beneficial than apple juice in general. Also, most of the products in the grocery store in the middle sections are NOT even real food, but “food products”. If you can’t pronounce something in the product, I wouldn’t touch it. Processed cheeses and deli meats are “food products” in my book. With these processed foods come nitrates, hydrogenated oils, chemicals, and preservatives that are better to be left alone. Instead of worrying about the fat content and carb count of a 100-calorie snack pack, throw all the concern away and just choose foods that are whole and as unadulterated as possible.

3. Foods that have a lot of nutrients are the way to go. This may seem obvious, but the trick is to get as much “nutrient bang” for your “calorie buck” as you can. Dark leafy greens such as kale, collards, chard, arugula, spinach, etc have nutrients out the roof compared to their calories, while walnuts, even though they have plenty of nutrients, also have a lot of calories. I mention this not to worry you about calorie counting, but remember how important nutrients are for your body! Choose those foods that have the most of them.

4. Don’t be afraid of healthy fats. These are very important for all of our organs, which are protected and function using these healthy fats. Avocados, nuts and seeds provide your healthy fats as well as some fiber and minerals. Also, try to limit oils that have been stripped from their whole food source.

This is an extremely brief summary of health and nutrition, so if you have any questions I welcome you to contact me at ruth.s.kerr[at]gmail[dot]com. I feel deeply fulfilled when I can help in this regard, so don’t hesitate!

Happy New Year! Don’t forget to drink water!

In Health,

Here’s one of my favorite side dishes. It's fast, easy and nutrient dense.

Creamed Spinach Baked in Artichoke Bottoms
-serves six-ten
This sauce is very versatile. Ruth uses it in dips, spreads, pasta and enchiladas. In the photos above I used it to make creamed spinach baked in artichoke bottoms.  

3/4 cup raw, unsalted cashews
3/4 cup plain, unsweetened soy milk
1T lemon juice
sea salt (to taste)
2-4 garlic cloves *
6T nutritional yeast *
6oz fresh spinach
2 cans artichoke bottoms

* These two ingredients are optional. If using garlic, I recommend using one clove at a time and add more after you have given your sauce a taste. You can also add roasted garlic or onions, lemon rind, herbs or other spices, depending on what dish you are making.

Preheat oven to 375.
Pulse cashews in food processor until they are ground very finely (they will look a bit like couscous).  Add the rest of the ingredients and grind until smooth. Add more cashews for a thicker consistency and more soy milk for a thinner one. Drain and rinse artichoke bottoms and pat dry. Place artichokes into a casserole dish. Microwave spinach in a bowl covered with plastic wrap for one minute. Mix sauce around spinach and stuff artichokes. Bake for 30 minutes or until heated through and slightly brown on top.