Archive for February, 2008

Roasted Beet Salad

I LOVE beets.  I only recently discovered how easy it is to make them yourself. Yes, they actually sell bunches of beets in the grocery store. They look like something out of Farmer McGreggor’s garden but they are delicious!

I adapted the following recipe from Giada De Laurentiis’ Family Dinners cookbook:


1 bunch (4-6) beets (peeled and each cut into 6 wedges)

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

1 large shallot (chopped)

1 tablespoon honey

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a large piece of aluminum foil on a baking sheet. In a medium bowl whisk together the vinegar, shallots and honey. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss beets in enough dressing to coat. Place beets in center of foil on baking sheet. Top with another piece of foil and crimp edges of foil to seal tightly. Roast beets until they are tender when pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes. Uncover beets and continue roasting until slightly caramelized, about 25 minutes longer. Set aside and cool.

Toss together lettuce, walnuts, cranberries or whatever other topping of your choice. Arrange beets around salad and top off with remaining vinaigrette. Sprinkle crumbled goat cheese on top and serve! Or chicken!


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My mom’s secret recipe…. (although I suppose it’s not so secret now). She has been making these for us since we were kids and they are the best pancakes ever. However, no matter how many times I make them (ok, not that many) they never taste as good as when she makes them! But isn’t that always the case…

Anyway my sister was in town this past weekend and Tony suggested we have pancakes. Great idea! So I slaved away in the kitchen while they played Battleship at the dining room table! No worries though, I left him a huge mess to clean up in the kitchen afterwards 🙂


  • 2 cups flour (1 white; 1 whole wheat)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Salt (a dash)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 ¼ cups milk
  • 1/3 cup melted butter


Heat the skillet first (sprinkle water on the pan and if it beads the pan is ready). In a large bowl sift together the first six ingredients. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk and then stir in the melted butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat with a fork until the batter is smooth. Melt a slice of butter on the skillet (no cooking spray allowed!). Spoon approximately two tablespoons of batter on the pan. Fit as many as you can. Flip pancakes with a spatula when the sides begin to firm up and bubble. And of course, you have test one pancake yourself first! Serve with hot syrup and butter and jam. Yumm……

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Lobster Risotto

We made lobster risotto for Valentine’s Day! It was great. Risotto is one of the few dishes, aside from cereal, that I don’t need to follow a recipe. It takes awhile, but only because you have to slowly add the liquid and constantly stir the risotto so it doesn’t stick. I actually really enjoy it- there something very therapeutic about all the stirring…

There is a very basic recipe to follow when making risotto and then you can basically add anything to create different dishes (mushrooms, cheese, fish, vegetables, etc…). So here is what I did in this case:


1 cup risotto (Arborio rice
1 large shallot (finely chopped)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup champagne (because it was Valentine’s day!
I usually use dry white wine)
4-5 cups chicken stock (heated)
2 lobster tails (steamed and cut into small pieces)
½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (finely grated)
Salt and pepper to taste


First thing: bring chicken stock to a boil in a small pot and keep simmering (I usually forget to do this right away!). This is important because you don’t want to add cold stock to the hot, cooking risotto.

Next, heat a large pan over medium heat and melt butter. Add olive oil and shallots and cook until translucent, about two minutes. Add risotto and cook for another two minutes, stirring constantly, until the rice becomes clear and starts to crackle when you listen closely. Add champagne and stir until absorbed, stirring constantly. Add 1 cup stock and stir until absorbed. Continue adding stock one cup at a time until absorbed and, you guessed it- keep stirring! Once all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, stir in the lobster meat for a minute or two. Remove from heat and fold in parm. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately!

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Mon Ami Gabi

I’ve taken the next step up from my foodie blog and have started writing as a contributor to The DC Scene. Very exciting!

Read my review of Mon Ami Gabi in print here!!:


Next stop…. editor-in-chief of Gourmet by summer 🙂

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