Tuesday, April 13
Last week I happened to be in Emeryville, CA…my good friend Lindsay used to live there, so I called to find out if there were any good bakeries we could swing by quickly while we were in town. She guided me to Arizmendi Bakery. The girls and I grabbed a few goodies and a sourdough baguette and ate almost everything by the time we got home!
Arizmendi Bakery is a worker-owned cooperative that grew out of the Cheeseboard, a famous Berkeley-based cooperative. If you’d like to read more about it, click here. It’s interesting and classic Northern California.
All of the baked goods we purchased were tasty…but the sourdough baguette is where it’s at, my friends. The texture was perfect and the sourdough flavor was subtle and well-balanced. The baguette was good just by itself, but when we got home Cate asked for a piece with butter…good call, Cate. I think I just had bread and butter for dinner that night and was completely satisfied.
Friday, June 12
Okay, so an exposé on This Week for Dinner is definitely not as exciting as one on Entertainment Tonight…but it’s an exposé nonetheless! Did you know the cinnamon in your cupboard is not really cinnamon? Shocking, I know! The stuff pictured below is “true” cinnamon, called canela or ceylon. What most of us have lying around (ground or in sticks) is called cassia. (There’s a nice side-by-side photo on Wikipedia.)
Years ago, Alton Brown from Good Eats went on and on about how cassia cinnamon stinks and that ceylon, the “true” cinnamon, is the only way to go, blah blah blah. I thought it was interesting and then forgot the different names for everything. Until Lindsay (my super gourmet friend) pulled out her ceylon cinnamon to grind one day. Then it all came rushing back to me.
You may be asking yourself, what IS the difference and does it matter? If you really want to know, click “more” and keep reading!
Thursday, May 7
When I wrote about Aaron and Lindsay’s Chicken Tortilla Soup Extravaganza last month, the response was huge. Understandably, since it looked SO delicious. I knew the soup was tasty, but I had never actually made it myself. This week I finally tried out the recipe.
It was really easy to make! SO simple. And of course just as delicious as ever. My kind of recipe! The tortilla strips were also a cinch to cook, but mine were NOT as tasty as Lindsay’s, so I’ve gotta ask her what EXACTLY she does there. Anyway, just wanted you to know that not only is the recipe delicious, it’s quite simple, despite the fact it is classic Gourmet Lindsay. Thanks again, Lindsay and Aaron!
Friday, April 3
Remember Lindsay? I think it’s about time I start sharing some of her recipes with you!
Today it’s Aaron and Lindsay’s Chicken Tortilla Soup Extravaganza! I’m going to start adding the word “Extravaganza” to the end of all my recipes. It’s just so festive! (Aaron is Lindsay’s husband, by the way…who is one of the maybe five male commenters on this site. Thanks, Aaron!)
Lindsay actually fries up her own tortilla strips for the soup. She is WAY more gourmet than I am.
Lindsay has the most beautiful spices. She puts them all in matching containers. And how cute is her bowl of salt? I always feel like I’m in the audience of a cooking show at her house.
I no longer live next door to Lindsay. I so miss our afternoons of her cooking and me photographing. Those were the days…
And now, for the recipe!
Aaron and Lindsay’s Chicken Tortilla Soup Extravaganza
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- olive oil
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 2-3 tomatoes, chopped
- ½ bag frozen corn
- 1 large chicken breast
- 1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
- 1 lime (one extra for garnish)
- 1 handful cilantro, chopped
- 4-5 corn tortillas, cut into strips
- 1 avocado, diced
- cayenne pepper
- chili powder
- salt and pepper
- cheddar or jack cheese, shredded
- sour cream
Sautee onion in olive oil until soft, then add garlic, green onions, cayenne, chili powder, and cumin. Sautee until fragrant (a minute or two). Add chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Add tomatoes, corn, black beans.
Grill up chicken spiced with cayenne, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. (You can also pan-fry it, but it won’t add the smokiness that the bbq does). Cut up or shred chicken and add it to the soup. Try the soup and add more seasonings according to taste, if needed. Add lime juice and cilantro.
In large fry pan over medium-high heat, crisp up tortilla strips. Add salt. You may do this with oil or cooking spray. (For a shortcut, use tortilla chips instead).
Serve soup garnished with avocado, cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips, fresh cilantro, and a lime wedge.
Friday, December 19
Lindsay cut these towel strips for me (from here on out called “cake strips”) and gave them to me as a little gift. Here’s how to use them: wet with water, wrap around cake pans and attach with safety pin.
Why would you want to dress your cake pans in a pretty pink towel? Well the cakes stay moist around the edges AND, as you can see from my picture, they stay flat! No big dome in the center of the cake. I am SO HAPPY to have learned this little trick.
You can buy cake strips (just Google ‘cake strips’)…but why spend money when you can just cut up an old towel and use a safety pin?
On a related note….I have pictures of the finished product on my camera. More on that later…
PS – Neither Lindsay or I have ever had a cake strip catch on fire. They ARE dry by the end, but have never had issues. I guess what I’m saying is it seems pretty safe…but if your cake strips light up, well, consider this my statement of “This Week for Dinner is not liable for cake strip fires.” Honestly, you should be FINE. How’s that for a disclaimer? My attorney would be so proud.
Saturday, December 6
We met some friends the other night in Berkeley for dinner. They had both lived there for years and love the ‘hood, so we decided it was time to make the trek and see what it was all about. We were not disappointed! Great food, fun neighborhood, cool campus.
We ate dinner at Gypsy’s, an Italian restaurant close to campus. The food was great and we could not believe the prices! Living in Silicon Valley has it’s advantages, but one of them is NOT cheap food. Even our local burger joint puts a dent in our wallet. I find whenever I venture outside of my little silicon bubble, I’m pleasantly surprised at the prices (it also makes me a little bitter about my bubble!). Anyway, Gypsy’s was delish and a great value.
Then off for dessert! How about a little gelato at Gelataria Naia? Yum!
Friday, October 10
I’ve decided to start a new category here at This Week for Dinner – Simple Side Dishes. I don’t always put much thought into side dishes, and I would guess that I’m not alone. Sometimes all it takes is for someone to remind me of a side or point out an easy way to prepare a vegetable and I’m good to go. So, whenever I discover or re-discover a simple (e.g. fast, minimal ingredients, easy prep) side, I’ll be sure to share it with you!
How about a nice salad today?
Spinach Salad a la Lindsay
From Lindsay Rutman
- Candied pecans (yes, candy-ing them is pretty easy, but to keep it really simple, jut buy them!)
- Feta cheese
- Strawberries, sliced
- Poppyseed Dressing (or Brianna’s Blush Wine Vinaigrette)
From Lindsay Rutman
Feel free to just buy poppyseed dressing (Brianna’s is AWESOME, by the way)…but if you WANT to make your own, this is some dang good dressing
- 3/4 T. poppy seeds
- 1/3 c. vinegar
- 1/3 c. sugar
- 3/4 c. vegetable oil
- 3/4 T. grated red onion
- 3/4 t. salt
- 1/3 t. dry mustard
Mix all the ingredients, and preferably let it sit a few hours before serving so the flavors can combine.
Wednesday, October 8
I’ve got a Lindsay post for you, and you know what that means – it’s gonna be Gourmet and Yummy. Today it’s a baking tip.
Ever wonder how to get your ganache all smooth and shiny-like? It’s simple. Get out your blow dryer! Turn the heat up, bump the speed down and blow dry your cake, while simultaneously smoothing it out with that there cake spreader tool.
I tried to get a good action shot of Lindsay blow drying the cake, but I they didn’t come out the way I wanted. Hopefully you can get a good idea of how to smooth out your ganache from the pictures!
Thanks, Lindsay! The ganache cakes of the world just got prettier, thanks to you!
And for those of you would like to make the amazingly delectable Chocolate Ganache Cake with Raspberry Coulis that was featured in this post, click ‘more’ for the recipe (and more pics)!
Wednesday, April 16
Today’s featured recipe comes from a reader named Michelle. She shared this simple recipe over a year ago. It is a great recipe. Easy, delicious…and you don’t have to just cook it for a holiday dinner…I just couldn’t come up with a better name.
My friend Lindsay and I split the cooking responsibilities for Easter this year. Lindsay was in charge of making these potatoes. Since she’s way gourmet, she actually used fresh potatoes. As you can see in the picture, they came out great…although, since I’m a big cheat in the kitchen I’m pretty sure I’ll still use frozen hash browns in the future, but it was excellent cooked this way. One more thing – Lindsay made one dish with fresh garlic added and it was a good addition.
CREAMY HOLIDAY POTATOES
From TWFD Reader Michelle
Buy frozen, shredded hash brown potatoes, put a layer in a baking dish, sprinkle salt over the potatoes, continue layering potatoes and salt until dish is 3/4 full. Pour heavy cream over all until potatoes are not quite covered. Bake at about 300 degrees for several hours (see comments for more specifics on how long) until done. They will be golden brown and a little crunchy on top but creamy and yummy under the crust. If you are using a dish the size of a 9 x 13 cake pan, you will use about 3 cups of cream.
Thursday, March 27
Since videos on YouTube don’t always stick around forever, here’s a quick run down of what to do. Super easy:
1. Spread your asparagus on a cookie sheet – a big enough tray that they aren’t crowded and touching too much.
2. Drizzle olive oil, salt & pepper (I used Onera seasoned salt and pepper)
3. Toss the asparagus with your hands to evenly coat.
4. Roast in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes (although, my asparagus were very skinny, so I only did 10 minutes…I don’t like overdone asparagus)
That’s it. Easy and yummy. I’ve been using Onera on asparagus for a long time and love it. I usually saute, but I think the asparagus seemed less oily when it was roasted and it was easier, so I’m roasting from now on. Thanks for the link, Lindsay!