BAKING SODA

 LASDI©

LASDI©

Oh my GOODNESS!  And I do mean GOODNESS.  I made my annual Irish meal for the St. Patrick's holiday.  This year it fell on a Saturday so I decided to make it a Sunday Supper the following day, since that is our reward day and carbs are allowed!  So I went SOOOOO cabacious!!  The meal started with appetizers.  Sweet LAWD!  Home made pretzels, beer cheese dip, cream cheese dip, and creamy mustard dip.  OUTRAGEOUS!  Next we had a shamrock salad - with REAL SHAMROCKS!  It also had almonds, crunchy celery, Swiss cheese, and was tossed in a home made white wine vinegar-vinaigrette.  Main was pulled home made corned beef, cabbage and red potatoes, side of from-skrizzatch Irish soda bread (soft, wonderful, and AMAZING slathered with Irish butter!), and for dessert - grasshopper pie, minus the grasshoppers!  

Though I outdid myself - if I do say so myself, and I DO - my kitchen looked like a tornado had blown through it the next morning.  But ask me if it was worth the clean up.  GO on, ASK ME!  Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaasss!

Below, I have the recipe for the Irish soda bread.  So easy you will want to make it way more often than just for March!  Slainte! ('to your good health")

IRISH SODA BREAD

4 cups flour

4 tbs  sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 tbs baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter, super-softened

1 cup buttermilk (I make my own!  See notes below!)

1 egg

FOR BASTING:

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and butter. Stir in the one cup of buttermilk and egg. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round of sorts and place on prepared baking sheet (see notes). In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush the top of your round loaf with a little of the buttermilk / butter mixture. Use a very sharp knife to cut an "x"; into the top of the loaf round.  Bake about 45 minutes, or until golden brown, brushing the loaf with the buttermilk / butter mixture every fifteen minutes or so until it's gone.

NOTES:  To make my own buttermilk, I pour two tablespoons of white vinegar into a measuring cup and pour milk over it until it reaches remaining one cup.  Need more?  for each cup of milk you add two more tablespoons of vinegar.  Let sit at least 20 minutes.  It's so easy and you don't have to buy buttermilk and then wonder what to do with what's left over!

SUFFERING SUCCOTASH!

 LASDI©

LASDI©

When most people hear, "We're having succotash with dinner", they don't get too excited, and feel they have to suffer through that part of the meal.  I DO get excited.  Now that it's March, and my color-themed OCD has been set to 'green', I couldn't WAIT to make this green-themed side.  It went with our oh-so-succulent sage and brown butter cod.  So we had succulent and succotash.  And it.  was.  WONDERFUL.  It was RICH.  It was ER'THANG. 

SUFFERING SUCCOTASH

extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

1 medium onion, diced

1 clove elephant garlic (or two cloves regular), minced

1 bag frozen lima beans, thawed

2 medium zucchini, diced

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp white pepper

1 tsp cumin

2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 cup white wine

1 large handful frozen sweet peas, thawed

chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

In a heavy pot (I use my cast iron Dutch oven!), sprinkle enough evoo to cover the bottom and let it heat for about two minutes on medium high.  Carefully add the onion and garlic cloves and stir into the evoo.  Let cook without stirring anymore for about two minutes, or until just-brown around the edges of the onion.  Add the lima beans and stir to blend with onion and garlic clove mixture.  Let cook without stirring anymore for five minutes.  I know.  This sounds like it's hard to do, but trust me - it makes for SUCH good succotash because it caramelizes your beans a little.  Once you see the beans browning, add zucchini and stir with onion / garlic clove / bean mixture.  Add seasonings and wine and stir.  Let cook another two minutes.  Remove from heat, add sweet peas and stir.  Garnish with parsley.  And stop eating it all while you're cooking it so as to save some for the others!

 

LIVE BY THE SWORD

swordfish

Well, this Cleanse & Detox (word on the street is its called the SHEtox.  Get it?) I wrote is WORKING!  It is everywhere I look right now and I am so grateful it's helping me earn an honest living, and I'm happy it is helping people be healthier all at the same time.  So I was going through some of my foodie-photos to post and came across this swordfish steak.  I remember I made it in May because in my world of obsessive compulsivité (just looks fancier that way), May is pink month for me.  So I made it with a pink puree made from cauliflower and a little beet juice and seared up some gorgeous fish to set on top.  The beets and artichoke hearts were definitely a bonus but not the star of the show!  This is SHEtox Week Two-friendly, easier than you could possibly imagine, and oh-my-GRAND-PUBA-delicious!

SEARED SWORDFISH

4 swordfish steaks, rinsed and patted dry

2 tbs coconut oil

1 tbs sea salt

1 tbs pepper

1 tbs garlic powder

1 tbs cumin

1 tbs paprika

1 tbs Italian seasoning

juice of one lemon

Heat the coconut oil in a heavy pan (I use my cast-iron skillet, of course!) on medium heat.  Meanwhile while the oil is heating, mix all seasonings in a bowl and rub into both sides of the fish.  Lay each steak into the heated oil carefully, making sure not to crowd your pan with more than two at a time (see notes).  Cook for about five minutes on each side, squeeze a little lemon over the top of each one just before removing from the pan to serve.  Yes.  It is THAT EASY!

NOTES: If you crowd your pan with too many steaks at once, you will end up steaming your fish and will miss out on a beautiful sear on each side.

NO TEARS HERE!

  SHE2016©

SHE2016©

I mostly make onion soup in the fall and winter, with plops of brie, and drops of toasted home-made bread.  But with the “She-tox Detox” everywhere I look right now, and Spring moving to Summer, it was time to lighten it up and make it inside-out Cleanse-Friendly.  So I made it with vodka instead of Winter-rich brandy (you can use veggie broth instead, Cleansers!), used a bright seasoning, and made the onions translucent instead of deeply caramelized.  It was unbelievably delicious and ridiculously EASY!!  Paired with a simple salad of Romaine and cucs with home-made lemon-poppy-seed (heavy on the poppy-seed for me, if you please!) dressing, there were no tears involved from THESE onions!

SPRING-TO-SUMMER ONION SOUP       

4 medium purple onion, cut in half and sliced thinly

extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

1 tbs sea salt

1 tbs pepper

1 tbs garlic powder

1 tbs herbes de provence

½ cup vodka

1 ½ boxes vegetable broth

Sprinkle enough evoo in a heavy soup pot to cover the bottom.  Heat on medium for about a minute or so and then add onion.  Cook on medium heat for about two minutes and add all seasoning.  Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until onions are translucent, about five more minutes.  Add the vodka a little at a time, letting it evaporate into the onion each time before adding more until vodka is gone and onion has absorbed all of it.  Add vegetable broth and turn heat to low.  Let simmer fifteen minutes and EAT!!

NOTES:  This is Meatless Monday friendly, too!  If you are on Week One or Two of the “She-tox” Detox, omit vodka and simply use a shot of the veggie broth instead.  The flavor profile changes a bit, but worth it while you cleanse.  This recipe is perfect for Week Three!  Interested in this Cleanse & Detox?  Message me!  Want to help the Texas Flood Victims but not sure how?  Message me!  Want to make some variation suggestions for the recipe?  Message me!!  I love all feedback, and love you She-Peeps!!

  SHE2016©

SHE2016©

YES, PEAS!

  SHE2016

SHE2016

I LOVE the part of the Life As She Does It quadrant that allows me to cook for people.  It truly is a joy for me.  This catering job was for my home church and was a lot of fun to set up for, too.  The May menus to choose from included Kentucky Derby (of course!) and that is what they chose!  The menu was made up of Kentucky Bourbon Chicken, Muddy Mash,  Southern Greens, a Mint Julep Pea Salad, Honey Biscuits, and Pecan Pie for dessert.  WOW!  Well, believe it or not, everyone went WILD for the pea salad (said no one ever!!).  They really loved it and asked me about it for days afterwards.  And even if you don't typically care for peas, trust me when I say you should VERY MUCH still try this at home!  It's also perfect for the Spring-time warmer weather!

MINT JULEP PEA SALAD

1 bag frozen peas, thawed and drained

1 small pkg Spring mix greens, chopped fine

3 hard boiled eggs, diced

1 cup sharp white cheddar, shredded

4 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped roughly

1/2 cup mint, diced fine

1 cup sour cream

2 tbs milk

1 tbs sea salt

1 tbs pepper

The ease of these peas is CRAZY!!  Watch this: Mix all ingredients.  Serve.  BOOM

NOTES:  I use organic ingredients, but I think as far as flavor for this recipe it is not absolutely necessary.  I do notice the texture of organic sour cream is different from that of the regular.  I also notice an empty bowl every single time I make this!!