Jumat, 31 Agustus 2007

Artichoke Dip a la Natalya

Many things can be sources of inspiration, but nothing occasions accidental brilliance like necessity. That is how a "Eat Us Out of House and Home" party to consume perishables before my husband and I move to Africa became the inspiration for an outstanding artichoke dip. This dip features many of the traditional elements of classic artichoke dip, but with a few modifications that really elevate

Rabu, 29 Agustus 2007

A twist on a classic salad

There are some salads that are classics: they are always delicious, but rarely surprise. On Sunday my husband and I were invited over to have dinner at our friends' house. Since she quit smoking five months ago, Berit has taken up cooking, and with impressive results. Dinner was delightful. They started us off with a bruschetta appetizer similar to my bruschetta essenziale. Our main course was a

Sabtu, 25 Agustus 2007

Bruschetta Essential

Bruschetta is, in essence, the simple rubbing of garlic cloves onto toasted peasant bread, drizzled with olive oil so fresh and unadulterated that it still has delectable fruitiness. In the United States however, the basic image of bruschetta is the combination of tomatoes, basil, and garlic. This recipe also makes use of some thyme, which is one of my favorite spices. Thyme has a long and

Selasa, 21 Agustus 2007

Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Roasted beets pair exquisitely with the subtle tang of goat cheese. I first fell in love with this combination while dining al fresco in Napa Valley, but have since tried it just about anywhere they serve it, including at Crofton on Wells in Chicago and Quince in Evanston. So I decided to prepare some version of this favorite and submit it as my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging #97, hosted this

Developments for the Skinny Gourmet

With any luck at all it will not rain tonight in northern Illinois. Altruistically, this will help the many people in the Midwest who are facing potentially horrible flooding. On a much more petty level, this will also mean I get to see the queen of soul, Aretha Franklin, live in concert. This is a woman whose music I have sung along to with reckless abandon for years. I can't carry a tune, but

Senin, 20 Agustus 2007

Ravinia Picnic Table

One of my favorite picnic items is the Crate and Barrel "Table in a Bag". This is a great inexpensive wooden table that packs easily into a canvas carrying bag, and assembles quickly into a gorgeous, low table. It is easy to eat around this low table, whether in lawn chairs or on the ground. Several people have emailed to ask about where to find these classic tables, which are favorites for

Sabtu, 18 Agustus 2007

Asparagus and Blue Cheese Bruschetta

This unconventional bruschetta puts big flavors together in an unusual combination that somehow just works. The gourmet combination of blue cheese, lemon, and asparagus, in just the right proportions, delights the palate while being very low in fat and calories. I served this as part of the trio of bruschettas for a picnic at Ravinia last friday night. I also brought some to a friend's house for

Crostini or Bruschetta?

Are you looking for bruschetta recipes? I offer a good recipe for classic bruschetta, but you may also enjoy the more innovative beet and goat cheese bruschetta, or asparagus and blue cheese bruschetta.There is often some disagreement as to whether a particular dish, consisting of some kind of bread and topped with some kind of topping, is bruschetta, or crostini. In my experience, food purists

Jumat, 17 Agustus 2007

Skinny Gourmet in New York

Traveling is always a great chance to check out food trends in new places, and find inspiration in different traditions. For the past five days I have been in New York, which is as good a place to seek inspiration as any. I was there for a professional conference of sociologists, but managed to get some good food experiences in on the side. Along the way I learned the value of trusting your food

Sabtu, 11 Agustus 2007

Ripe Melon with Mint

This dish relies solely on elevating the natural sweetness of summer melon. When paired with this subtle variety of mint, both tastes find a unique balance. This dish is perfect served as a side salad at a picnic, or dressed up as a cold summer soup for a dinner party.This is the second of a two part entry this week for Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by Cooking Diva.About Mint…In

Jumat, 10 Agustus 2007

Curry & Thyme Chicken Salad

This recipe is a favorite in our household, and really highlights the flavor of thyme. I love the way the crisp and subtle tartness of the apples stands up against the creamy, spiced curry base. The fresh thyme is really the star of this dish, bringing the rest of the tastes together. If you are someone who likes a little more sweetness with your chicken salad, you may enjoy the optional addition

Kamis, 09 Agustus 2007

Blueberry Kuchen

At the Farmers Market in Evanston, IL nearly every booth from Michigan featured some variety of plump, sweet blueberry. My husband, who loves blueberries, simply could not resist. With our newly acquired blueberries in hand, I decided to try to update my husband's favorite dish from his mother's kitchen: blueberry kuchen. The resulting recipe heightens the natural taste of the blueberries, with

Rabu, 08 Agustus 2007

Ravinia Picnic

float:right;">Are you looking for Gourmet Picnic Recipes? Or an elegant portable picnic table?This is another installment of the Skinny Gourmet packs a picnic. On Sunday the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performed Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony at the Ravinia festival grounds. My husband and I went with three other friends (Sian and Ian are pictured at right).Much of the menu is inspired by my trip on

Senin, 06 Agustus 2007

Rustic Plum Tart

Make use of summer’s bounty. The natural sweetness of dark, ripe plums means no need for added sugar. The succulent ripe plums pair nicely with the sweetness of the dried plums and the heartiness of the wheat crust. This is a simple and quick dessert that gives a rustic European presentation to traditional fruit pie. Better still, using one crust halves the fat and calories found in traditional

Jumat, 03 Agustus 2007

Artichoke and Purple Basil Pizza

For my first foray into Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by Kalyn's Kitchen I knew I wanted to put together an interesting pizza. Putting together pizza toppings can be a really fun inventive process. My husband and I went over to visit our friends Kelly and Rachel with nothing but a rising bowl of whole wheat pizza crust and a plan. The four of us raided their kitchen and garden to come

Kamis, 02 Agustus 2007

Small Update

The Skinny Gourmet is now listed at Blog Directory.

Rabu, 01 Agustus 2007

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

Everyone should master one recipe for pizza crust. I think many people avoid this divine experience because they are intimidated by the apparent time involved. Yet with this simple, easy to master skill you can make healthy, delicious pizza with whatever you have in your home. Improvising topping ingredients turns the making of pizza into a collaborative event. The active time in making pizza