Life..a miracle

Life..a miracle

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Calm down o weather..calm down o me!

Alright this has turned out to be a real long one! But this is a simple effort to make up for the sporadic posts in the last few weeks.
The past week was a real mixed one for me.. I started off the week with a fiasco in making something..n I guess that trend lasted a few more days.. the weather wasn't rewarding either! I was hardly making progress at work..n to top it off we had a small tiff at home.. truly the heat got to me. So to cool things down at home as well as in me I had to come up with something light..quick n still delicious..
I had ample of arugula at home because of an earlier fiasco I mentioned and had to consume it, so I decided to make something I had eaten at an organic food truck in Del Mar. It was a arugula pesto sandwich which was really light and delicious. Usually a pesto is made with pine nuts but since arugula has a strong flavor, I decided to pair it with walnuts and it surely was a good idea.

Arugula pesto-avocado sandwich

For the pesto:
2 cups packed baby arugula leaves
1 cup walnuts roasted
6 cloves garlic (roasted with skin on)
1 clove garlic peeled and chopped
4-5 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon

For the sandwich:
2 avocados
4 slices provolone cheese
8 slices whole wheat bread
1 cup walnuts roasted
Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • Brown 6 garlic cloves with their peels on in a skillet over medium high heat until the garlic is lightly browned in places, about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic from the pan, cool, and remove the skins.
  • Combine the arugula, walnuts, roasted and raw garlic into a food processor. Pulse while drizzling the olive oil into the processor. Remove the mixture from the processor into a bowl. Squeeze in some lemon juice and season with salt. (NOTE:Because the pesto is so dependent on the individual ingredients, and the strength of the ingredients depends on the season or variety, test it and add more of the ingredients to taste.)
  • Now to make the sandwich just spread the pesto graciously onto each slice.Place a cheese slice on half of the slices and toast them in a skillet on medium heat. Once the cheese has started to melt, place avocado slices and season with salt and pepper. Top it off with the another slice and toast the sandwich well on both sides. Serve hot with a side salad or just as it is!

Now the peacemaking process didn't just end there.. I was a depressed baker since my first try at macarons was a sheer failure and had to bake something right. Knowing that my fiance loves biscotti and on reading Deeba's blog about these lovely biscottis, I had to conjure up a version of my own and here it goes..

It was again a first time for me to bake these goodies and after some research I decided to make my version of this one. I actually loved the suggested combo.. dried cranberries..n pistachios..yum! But I decided to stick with ingredients readily available at home..n had a huge batch of almonds lying had to use them.

Note: Since it was my first time, I laid easy on going too healthy..still I managed to use wheat flour for 50% of the flour requirement..and it came out really well..n no effects on texture,crunch or color (means me doing the dance around my kitchen :P) Next time I am trying 100% whole wheat flour and brown sugar.

Cranberry Almond Biscotti

1 cup All-purpose flour
3/4 cup Whole wheat flour
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. I finally bought a Silpat mat for myself, at least this is going to save me all the parchment paper I use up.
  • In the bowl, beat the sugar and eggs rigorously to get a thick, pale, and fluffy texture (about 5 minutes). (When you slowly raise the beater the batter will fall back into the bowl in slow ribbons.) At this point beat in the vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the egg mixture and beat until combined. Fold in the chopped almonds and cranberries.
  • Transfer the dough to your lined baking sheet and form into a log, about 12 inches (30 cm) long and 3 1/2 inches (9 cm) wide. You may have to dampen your hands to form the log as the dough is quite sticky. Bake for 25 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Transfer the log to a cutting board and cut into 3/4 inch (2 cm) slices, on the diagonal. Place the biscotti, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, turn slices over, and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 12-16 biscotti. Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee!

So with my week set right, my weekend had to be a good one and passed by like a flash of light.

For this week, I have a few things planned and hope its a more fulfilling week than the last one..fingers crossed!
Have a good week everyone!

1 comment:

  1. Lovely!! Honestly, the sandwich looks better than what we had. And I can't believe those biscottis are home made! They look absolutely delicious. Must try!