ELEGANT PICNIC BY THE SEA

Elegant Heart Healthy Picnic by the Sea

Congratulations, you’re one step closer to becoming the next Food Blog Star!
Your entry has advanced to the next round of Project Food Blog 2010.
Your next challenge? “Road Trip.”


Challenge Prompt: For this challenge, you’re tasked with creating a delicious meal that will travel well and still look great. From picnics and school lunches to bento boxes, or any other meal on the go, you need to whip up a entree, side, drink, and dessert to enjoy after hitting the road. Be sure that your meal fits inside the Project Food Blog Road Trip Cooler. (from foodbuzz here)

Shall we go for a drive?
I want to show you where my secret favorite picnic table is located!

Often times, eating on the road can be less than healthful. On Taste With The Eyes I am always excited to share delicious foods that are also good for the heart. Heart healthy eating has two components. First, it is to eliminate foods that are high in cholesterol and detrimental to the heart, such as trans fat. Second, it is about adding food to the diet that is good for the heart, like those high in fiber and rich in omega-3s.  The delectable meal I prepared for our Road Trip is heart healthy and travels quite well. So – the weather is perfect! High 60’s with a slight breeze. And with those clouds, there is the promise of a breathtaking sunset. Let’s go down to the beach!

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Rose-Shaped Heart Healthy Olive Oil Cake


Rose-Shaped Heart Healthy Orange Olive Oil Cake
with
Rosemary and Toasted Almonds

For my upcoming heart-healthy picnic by the sea I was looking for a dessert that was very tasty, would travel well, and be cholesterol free and good for the heart. Mario Batali has a divine olive oil and orange cake, but alas, it is made with whole eggs. Here, I tweak his recipe and substitute three tablespoons egg white plus one tablespoon olive oil for each whole egg. I add ground flaxseed, fresh rosemary for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, and toasted slivered almonds which are full of vitamin E, plant sterols, fiber, and heart-healthy fats.

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The Chanterelles

Heart Healthy Chanterelle Scramble with White Truffle Oil

Cantharellus formosus, the Pacific golden chanterelle, from Oregon
gorgeous golden-orange color
a distinctly fruity aroma
a mild peppery flavor
funnel shaped with ridges instead of gills

  • Sauté finely chopped onion in olive oil.
  • Add cleaned sliced chanterelles, sea salt & fresh ground pepper, and sauté until lightly cooked all the way through.
  • Add minced garlic, cook for about a minute more.
  • Add a splash of dry white wine.
  • After the wine has completely evaporated, add egg beaters or beaten fresh egg whites.
  • When the eggs are barely cooked through, transfer scramble to a plate.
  • Lightly drizzle with White Truffle Oil and a bit more sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

The Chanterelles

When we were fourteen years old, my girlfriends and I formed a little song & dance group. We called ourselves The Chanterelles. After school and all summer long we would just practice in Wendy’s basement, for no particular performance.

We were so into Motown.

Knew every word to every Supremes song, my baby love! Went crazy seeing The Temptations in concert at the (long gone) Mill Run Theater-in-the-Round in Niles, Illinois. I was in love with Melvin Franklin, the bass singer with the Temptations. His signature line “and the band played on…” delivered in his deep deep sexy voice sent my fourteen-year-old self into fits.

(that’s Melvin on the far left)

Our Favorite Double Album:  Diana Ross & The Supremes Greatest Hits

Our Favorite Song to Sing Along:  Ball of Confusion by The Temptations

Our Favorite Dance Routine to:  I Want You Back by The Jackson 5

(artist shots borrowed from wikipedia here and here)

It wasn’t until almost a decade later that I found out that we had named our group after a fungus.

Project Food Blog
Voting for the current challenge ends at 6 PM Pacific Time, Thursday October 21st.
If you are a fan of my latest entryAsian Pizzette, it’s not too late to vote here!

Asian Pizzette


Congratulations, you’re one step closer to becoming the next Food Blog Star!
Your entry has advanced to the next round of Project Food Blog 2010.
Your next challenge? “Recipe Remix.”


Challenge Prompt: One recipe, 72 variations! We’re challenging each of you to put your own spin on the same recipe. How you do it is up to you. Will you try out some molecular gastronomy techniques? Share a super-secret trick? Or re-envision the dish from a different perspective? You’ll be asked to put your own spin on Pizza. For the purpose of this contest and challenge, we are defining pizza as having a solid base, a sauce and at least one topping. Get super creative or just share your secrets for the very best results. (from foodbuzz here)

Thank you to the folks at foodbuzz for hosting such a unique and well-executed competition. It has been a blast! The serendipity of participating in this contest has been the introduction to so many creative bloggers! To my readers, thank you for your warm comments and enthusiasm, as well as taking the time  to vote and support Taste With The Eyes. Voting for this round is now open through Thursday, October 21. Please come to the Pizza Party, and vote for your favorites!

Finally, another note of thanks to my dear friend Gina and and my favorite local restaurant, Gina Lee’s Bistro in Redondo Beach, for the inspiration to remake their terrific dish, Chicken Katsu with Soba Noodles, into a pizzette! I have been meaning to share my noodle cakes made with udon noodles and chow mein noodles – usually topping them with sautéed mushrooms or spinach. The buckwheat soba noodle cake makes an earthy base for the juicy chicken katsu cutlet, and the flavors from three vibrant sauces and colorful slaw work very well together in this Asian Pizzette. I think Gina would approve.


buckwheat soba noodle cake
macadamia nut chicken katsu, yuzu tahini sauce, sweet ginger soy
tri-color slaw, rice wine chile syrup, daikon sprouts

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Squash Blossom Tortillas

How to Make Squash Blossom Tortillas

The response to my quesadillas florales post last Sunday (here) has been overwhelming! Thank you so much for your kind words and enthusiasm! I thought I would show another variation of tortillas florales, by using a flor de calabasa (squash blossom). In addition to being quite pretty, the blossom does add a nice hint of squash flavor to the tortillas.

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quesadillas florales

quesadillas florales

edible flowers and herbs harvested from my garden this morning

rose, geranium, lavender, day lily, marigold, mint


Once again I turn to John Sedlar for inspiration. After a most enchanting lunch at his restaurant Rivera in downtown Los Angeles, we fell head-over-heels for his Modern Southwest Cuisine. The chef serves tortillas florales with “indian butter,” a spread made from avocado. Here, I take his idea to embed flowers into the masa and make decorated quesadillas filled with brie.

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