Posts Tagged 'Martha Stewart'

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

I was excitedly flipping through my new July issue of Martha Stewart Living when I came across a section for bean salads.

(I would have just linked to it, but they still have the June issue online!)

I’ve been trying to eat healthy these days and I know that I don’t get enough protein or fiber…and I had an abundance of veggies in the fridge that I needed to use.

This salad was really easy to throw together! It was also a great way to work on my knife skills because there was a LOT of chopping involved!

Note: chickpeas = garbanzo beans

I used canned chickpeas instead of boiling my own…so drain 2 cans of garbanzo beans and leave them in the sieve/colander to drain.

While those are draining, make the dressing.

Place the garlic (I used the pre-minced, jarred stuff) and salt on the cutting board and flatten the mixture with a knife. (Don’t mind the green flecks. That’s some parsley that I chopped on the same board)

Run it back and forth like you are smearing it on your cutting board. It will make a paste like this.

Place this in a plastic storage container (big enough for dressing + chickpeas) with the vinegar (I used white wine vinegar instead of sherry vinegar), olive oil, oregano, & pepper (I used freshly ground pepper instead of crushed peppercorns. I don’t enjoy crunching into a spicy little peppercorn!). Shake vigorously until well-combined.

Throw the chickpeas into the plastic food storage container with the dressing and let them marinate while you are chopping all the other veggies. Give it a shake every few minutes to make sure everything is coated.

Chop the cucumber. Even though it was an English cucumber, which has thinner skin and less watery seed pulp, I scooped out the center so that my salad wouldn’t get watery later.

I chopped 1 whole bell pepper because I like it, but the recipe calls for half.

Carrots roughly the same size.

I also added a bit of red onion because I like it.

The whole pint of tomatoes (I used grape, but the recipe calls for cherry). I only cut about half of the tomatoes in half and left the rest whole…which would also help to keep the salad from getting watery.

Roughly chop the parsley.

Slice the green onions on a diagonal.

Chiffenade the basil…doesn’t have to be too thin.

Throw it all in a big bowl, add the chickpeas & dressing. Toss until well-combined.

It makes a lot, so it would be great for a get-together.

Isn’t this a gorgeous salad?! Super fresh, healthy, crunchy and delicious! Enjoy!

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Almond Macaroons a la Martha Stewart

The second type of almond macaroon that I made was considerably simpler and had a finer texture. Definitely a good cookie to sip some tea with…light, crisp and chewy.

The almond paste I purchased for this recipe came in a can. I bought this type because it was an 8 oz can, and the recipe called for 4 oz. I simply used half the can. Now, if I had a digital food scale, I wouldn’t have to guesstimate this stuff!

Add the powdered sugar and salt. Blend until crumbly.

Please use your stand mixer if you have one. I had to cut this in with a pastry cutter and then finish it off with my electric hand mixer…

Add the egg white and vanilla. Blend until smooth.

Drop tablespoons of the batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, topping each one with two slivered almonds. This batter will make EXACTLY 12 cookies. No more, no less.

Bake for 20 minutes at 300 degrees, until the cookies are slightly golden.

Let them cool completely. You can just slide the entire parchment onto a wire rack.

You can dust them with powdered sugar for serving, but I didn’t. Also, if you’re going to store these, make sure you put parchment paper between the layers of cookies or they will stick to eachother!

Almond Macaroons
Recipe from Martha Stewart Living

4 ounces almond paste (about 5 1/2 tablespoons)
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
Pinch of coarse salt
1 large egg white
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Put almond paste, sugar, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until crumbly, about 3 minutes. Add egg white and vanilla. Mix until smooth and thickened, about 3 minutes.

Drop batter by tablespoons onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart. Place 2 almond slices on each mound of dough. Bake until cookies are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Just before serving, lightly dust cookies with sugar. Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days

Homemade Neopolitan [Coconut] Sundaes

Do you remember those Brach’s Pick-A-Mix bulk candy bins that they had at all the grocery stores? They still have them at some grocery stores, but you definitely don’t see them as often. You could eat a piece of candy and they had a little slot for nickles.

I absolutely love Brach’s Neopolitan Sundae…a chewy square of coconutty goodness!

When I saw this recipe for Neopolitan Coconut Strips on Martha Stewart, it looked so easy, I had to give it a try…

Combine the white chocolate (I used chips instead of chopped), condensed milk, butter, salt and vanilla (I used extract instead of vanilla beans) in a sauce pan and cook, while stirring, until smooth. Make sure the heat isn’t too high because you could burn the mixture…you don’t want to get little brown burnt flecks in your nice white mixture!

While that’s cooking, line a 8X8 square pan with plastic wrap. Once the mixture is smooth, take it off the heat and mix in the two types of coconut.

Divide the mixture by three. Add the chocolate to one batch and food coloring to the other, leaving the third batch plain.

The chocolate batch goes on the bottom. Smooth it out with a rubber spatula:

Then dollop the plain batch on top of that and smooth it out evenly:

Lastly, the pink coconut:

They look kinda gross up-close, huh? It yummy though, trust me.

The mixture is really sticky, so it makes it difficult to spread. If I could do it again, I would cut out 8X8 squares of wax paper to lay on top of the mixture and spread it out with my hands. You’d get more uniform layers.

Here’s what it looks like when you’re done. Chill it for at least two hours.

After it’s nice and chilly, you can grab hold of the plastic wrap and lift the whole thing out. Peel off the plastic and plop it onto the cutting board. Trim off the uneven edges. I like to use the giant cleaver I bought at Hong Kong Food Market. It is awesome. I bet you could use it as a machete…

Cut it however you like. The recipe tells you to cut it into strips, but you can cut it into cubes…

See how the layers are uneven? And do you notice the little air pockets? Try the wax paper thing and I think it would look nicer…

I know you’re thinking, “Hey, what’s up with all this coconut stuff? Butterscotch bark, toasted coconut flan, Neopolitan coconut candy…” Well, I just like it! I will leave you with this:

“I love coconut, because when you think you’re done eating coconut, 25 minutes later, a little piece of coconut comes out of the back of your mouth, and then you say, “Hey! It’s more coconut!” I think any food with that kind of determination needs a little respect.” – John Mayer

Easter Treats for Co-Workers

Easter is just days away and I thought it would be nice to bring in some goodies for the co-workers.

I rummaged through my pantry last night and found that I had all the ingredients for Butterscotch Bark from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food and some homemade chocolate chip cookies.

I won’t bore you with all the steps of making the chocolate chip cookies, but here they are in their unbaked glory.

If you know me at all, I am a stickler for uniform shapes and sizes. A must have if you’re making cookies, truffles, etc are these stainless steel spring-loaded scoops.

Some people looking at this picture are salivating right now over this little ball of dough. I am not a fan of eating raw cookie dough…bleh…

Now, this is what I’m talking about…a Silpat-lined, baking sheet full of warm, gooey, chewy chocolate chip cookies….oh yea…

Come to mama…

Next up, the butterscotch bark. It does seem kind of random that I made this, but I had graham crackers, toasted coconut and pecans…

Toss the toasted coconut with the toasted pecans. I used a combo of chopped pecans and pecan pieces.

Once that mixture is cooled, toss in the chocolate chips. I used a combo of semi-sweet and milk chocolate because what I had left over from the cookies wasn’t enough!

Break up the graham crackers and put them on a foil-lined baking sheet. Cook the butter and brown sugar over medium heat until smooth and then pour it over the graham crackers. Bake until bubbly…it’ll look like this:

It doesn’t look very appetizing at this point, so quickly sprinkle that mixture over the top while it’s warm and gooey. Press down a little with a rubber spatula.

You might be tempted to touch it right now, but DON’T! The chocolate chips are barely keeping their shape and will melt into an ugly blob at the lightest touch!

Once it’s completely cooled, you can break it up:

Packed and ready to go!