Everything But The Bagel Vinaigrette, Farro Cucumber Date Salad

Everything But The Bagel Vinaigrette, Farro Cucumber Date Salad

Everything But The Bagel Vinaigrette
Farro Cucumber Date Salad

I like to make my salads from scratch, using the freshest ingredients dressed with a homemade vinaigrette. Today I took a short-cut.

Trader Joe’s sells a snappy seasoning blend with a clever name called Everything But the Bagel made with black and white sesame seeds, sea salt, garlic, onion, and poppy seeds. I put a scoop of the seasoning blend into a mixture of olive oil, vinegar, and agave syrup. It was a surprisingly good vinaigrette with sweet and savory flavors and a nice crunch. The dressing paired perfectly with my farro cucumber date salad. It was visually stunning too, with contrasting black and white seeds; ribbons of cucumber swirling around the platter; and just a few scattered edible flowers that made the neutral brown-green palette come alive.

Farro Cucumber Date Salad Recipe

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Kiwi Strawberry Pavlova, Lime Coconut Yogurt Whipped Cream

Kiwi Strawberry Pavlova, Lime Coconut Yogurt Whipped Cream

Kiwi Strawberry Pavlova
Lime Coconut Yogurt Whipped Cream

Oh how I wish I could ask my mother about the history of the beautiful vintage candy dish pedestals that I inherited. I don’t know their age but I vaguely remember them appearing on special occasions in my childhood, piled with individually wrapped little fruit candies…

Enamored of these pedestals, I’ve photographed them with two dessert recipes this week alone. Leaning much more to the savory side, this just might be the first time in ten years for back-to-back sweet recipes on Taste With The Eyes. Both the Pavlova and the Vegan Cheesecakes feature fresh fruit, are gluten-free, and couldn’t be more delightful for summer entertaining.

Pavlova is a charming meringue-based dessert named after prima ballerina Ánna Pávlova. It is typically filled with whipped cream and fresh fruit. I give the whipped cream extra pizzazz by blending the cream with tangy yogurt and flavoring it with coconut and lime. The synergistic colors and flavors of kiwifruit and strawberries result in a dessert almost as captivating as the ballerina herself.

Kiwi Strawberry Pavlova Recipe

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Semi-Frozen Vegan Cheesecakes

Semi-Frozen Vegan Cheesecakes

Semi-Frozen Vegan Cheesecakes
Cashew Coconut Filling
Date Walnut Crust, Frozen Berry Topping

I really like the idea of having an elegant little dessert on-hand. One that is homemade and ready to serve simply by thawing for 10 to 15 minutes. Beyond tasty, this recipe is also gluten-free and vegan so it appeals to all my guests!

The icy cold dessert would be great any time of year, but it is especially nice for summer entertaining topped with fresh berries that have been frozen to get that cool frosty look.

Semi-Frozen Vegan Cheesecakes Recipe

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Pasta Chilaquiles-Style

Pasta Chilaquiles-StylePasta Chilaquiles-Style
Black Beans, Salsa Verde, Fried Eggs

I got such a kick out of an email from Bon Appétit today: “If you take a photo of something in a cast-iron pan, it increases your engagement by 132 percent.”

Anyone who knows and loves the flavors of classic Mexican “chilaquiles” will fall for this dish where rigatoni stands in for corn tortillas. Chilaquiles is traditionally made of fried tortillas smothered in salsa (green or red) and garnished with cheese. Eggs, avocado, onion, sour cream, beans, chicken, cilantro and a whole host of other ingredients can be incorporated into the dish. It is designed to use up leftover ingredients.

I served it in a cast-iron pan! Yay for “engagement.” And the pan is no less a collector’s item. Griswold manufactured high-quality cast-iron cookware in Erie, Pennsylvania beginning in 1865.  The plant closed in 1957.

Griswold Cast-Iron Skillet #14

This Griswold #14 pan is between 60 and 77 years old. Due to the size of the logo, we know the pan was produced somewhere between 1940 and 1957. Older Griswold cast-iron skillets have a larger logo.

Pasta Chilaquiles-Style Recipe

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Spanish Chilled Tomato Soup aka Salmorejo

Spanish Chilled Tomato Soup aka Salmorejo

Spanish Chilled Tomato Soup aka Salmorejo

Hailing from the South of Spain, the refreshing chilled tomato soup called salmorejo is ideal for warm weather entertaining and the perfect soup to kick off a delicious summer.

Traditionally, salmorejo is garnished with chopped hard boiled egg and Serrano ham. Here, as a nod to salmorejo’s close relative, gazpacho, I keep this version meatless by substituting cucumber spirals for the ham. It is often finished with a drizzle of olive oil, however I jazz it up with cool crema and fiery chili oil. A jammy egg sits on top. Purple garlic blossoms make a pretty addition, hinting at the garlic in the soup.

Salmorejo Recipe

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Cloud Egg Avocado Toast with Wild Arugula

Cloud Egg Avocado Toast with Wild Arugula

Celebrating 10 Years of Taste With The Eyes
with
Cloud Egg Avocado Toast with Wild Arugula

Captured in the image above are many of the signature elements that have made Taste With The Eyes what it is today. In honor of the 10 Year Anniversary, I present this satisfying and sunny Cloud Egg Avocado Toast as a reflection of my site. It is my hope that the dishes continue to delight and inspire you for years to come. Thank you so much for all your support.

EDIBLE FLOWERS: Edible flowers have been a passion of mine for a long time. Taste With The Eyes has a complete section dedicated to edible flowers. Various flowers have their own characteristics, the flavor of the flower absolutely must harmonize with the dish. A few years ago on Pinterest, I saw a stunning chocolate cake adorned with pretty purple flowers, unfortunately, those flowers were society garlic blossoms…you can imagine the fail there.

DINNERWARE: I am admittedly addicted to dinnerware and usually appreciate a simple clean photoshoot with no fussy elaborate props. Here we have just a cup of strong coffee, a little pot of thyme, and one of my million plates or bowls. These white, scalloped-edge dinner plates with raised dots are the newest in my collection.

FIREPLACE HEARTH: Many of the dishes are photographed on my fireplace hearth. It is made of brick and it is old, and is just a few steps from my kitchen. Lots of food photographers hunt for the perfect background…I am so fortunate that mine is built in.

SOMETHING INTERESTING: We love avocado toast but it is everywhere. So I jazzed it up with a cloud egg. Now cloud eggs might be a fad, but they make a really neat presentation. The whites and yolk are separated, then the whites are whipped and baked to a spongy consistency. The yolk is added after 5 minutes, the result – warm and runny.

FROM MY GARDEN: When the arugula plant starts to flower, the leaves become more intense in flavor – so spicy and peppery. Adding arugula flowers (which taste like the leaves but a bit milder) is another neat way to use arugula in the dish.

SOMETHING LOCAL: The toast is from our local artisan Baltic Bakery. Made of rye, wheat, and whole grains…and no sugar. I am not opposed to sugar but I don’t want it in my bread. It is difficult to find an unsweetened bread – be it sugar, molasses, or honey at the supermarket. I am so happy to give a shout-out to this authentic bakery. Locals can purchase this Bavarian Country Style Bread at Darko’s Meat Shop in San Pedro.

PHOTOGRAPHY AND FOOD STYLING: First of all, the dish must be delicious (no matter how pretty the picture) in order for me to share it on Taste With The Eyes. Next, it does have to look good…we taste with the eyes first, after all!

Cloud Egg Avocado Toast with Wild Arugula

FIRST POST: Hundreds of thousands of food images later, here I am. What began on a lark  in 2007 has turned into an absolute passion. Back then when food blogging was relatively new, I came across “the first foodblog I ever read” and thought, hey, I have recipes and restaurant experiences to share too. That is how Taste With The Eyes was born.

On June 10, 2007, I created a blog and taught myself how to upload my first photo. It was a picture of our family’s dinner at (my hero) Charlie Trotter’s Kitchen Table (that’s me on the right). I never imagined that my new hobby would “blossom” the way it has over these 10 years!

Charlie Trotter's Kitchen Table

HOW TO MAKE CLOUD EGGS

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