Mariah Can’t Cook: Sweet Potato and Kale Frittata

25/06/2013 § 3 Comments

QC Cooks: Frittata

I will freely admit that I am not an expert when it comes to cooking, nor is it something I frequently do.  In fact, at home, I actually keep my shoes in the kitchen cupboards where my pots and pans should be.  My cardinal rule is that if I make something that you can consume, it’s to be considered “cooking” — and this includes cocktails, natch.

That said, I do enjoy eating well and luckily I have a someone to help me hone my (lackluster) culinary skills: my good friend Tara Cole, who is a holistic health and nutrition counselor.  She patiently spent a recent morning cooking with me and passed along this super easy recipe for a sweet potato and kale frittata that looks a good deal fancier than it actually is.  So whether you’re making an effort to impress the in-laws or to simply step up your home brunch game, I can attest that anyone can make this.  Even me.

QC Cooks: Frittata

Frittata ingredients:

  • 1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes (thinly sliced)
  • 1 red onion (sliced)
  • 1 pepper (any color, diced)
  • 5 stalks of kale (de-stemmed and ripped apart)
  • 6 eggs
  • goat cheese
  • fresh thyme
  • 3 tbsp almond milk (optional)
  • olive oil (for cooking)
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1-2 scallions (sliced for garnish)
  • grape tomatoes (sliced for garnish)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of fresh nutmeg (optional)
  • red pepper flake (optional)

Salad and dressing ingredients:

  • mixed greens
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ lemon (juice)
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Note: must use an oven-safe pan (no rubber handles).

QC Cooks: Frittata QC Cooks: Frittata QC Cooks: Frittata QC Cooks: Frittata QC Cooks: Frittata QC Cooks: Frittata QC Cooks: Frittata QC Cooks: Frittata QC Cooks: Frittata QC Cooks: Frittata QC Cooks: Frittata QC Cooks: Frittata QC Cooks: Frittata QC Cooks: Frittata

Preheat oven to 450F degrees.

Saute sliced sweet potatoes in olive oil in a medium-heat pan for 10 minutes, (season with salt and pepper) stirring constantly. Once fork-tender, add in the onions and peppers and season, saute for 5-7 minutes (you may need to add a bit more olive oil). Add in both vinegars, stir, add kale and season, mix for 1-2 minutes. Whisk eggs and milk together, add thyme, nutmeg, and red pepper flake, and pour into pan. Ensure that the egg mixture is evenly distributed in pan, add as much goat cheese as you like. Place pan in preheated oven and bake 10-15 minutes or until the eggs are cooked. Serve with diced tomatoes and scallions on top, and side salad (recipe below).

QC Cooks: FrittataQC Cooks: Frittata

Salad: In a bowl, add olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard,
and salt and pepper, mix together then toss in lettuce.

QC Cooks: Frittata

Voila!  Fancy (looking)!

Tara assures me this is a great basic recipe to get creative with.  She suggested substituting in things like mushrooms, Gruyere cheese, fennel, and/or spinach.  If you have any questions — or would like more recipes — hop over to Tara’s site and she will set you right up.  Enjoy!

Advertisements

Quite Continental Charm School: Day 15 – Brew Your Own Bitters

13/03/2013 § Leave a comment

The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life

QC Charm School: DIY BittersGreta Garbo, Beatrice Lillie and patrons at a New York City speakeasy, 1933.
Photo by Margaret Bourke-White for Life Magazine.

Editor’s Note: I’m very pleased to introduce today’s guest speaker!  Please meet Lani Zervas, the exceedingly fabulous and fashionable lady behind the blog Mon Petit Chou Chou.  While she’s a Boston native, I had the pleasure of meeting Lani in New York two years ago and we’ve been fast friends ever since.  She’s been such an amazing partner in crime at Brimfield and New York Fashion Week, that I am more than a little upset with myself that it has taken me this long to feature her brilliance!  Her charming blog encompasses her interests in fashion, interior design, art, cooking, two very lovely dogs and all things Boston — but wait, there’s more!  She’s also getting ready to be the most fabulous mommy the world has ever seen!  I’m sure that you will find her to be as lovely and as funny as I do.  If you are not yet familiar with Lani or Mon Petit Chou Chou, it is my pleasure to introduce you.

Without any further ado, Lani’s tip for a charmed life.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Day 15: Brew Your Own Bitters
A proper lady knows when she has had too much, and likewise should know how to speed the road there when the occasion calls for it, with an arsenal of tried and true recipes to mix it up, at the bar and in life.

To that end, embrace your inner mixologist and commit to memory the recipes for some basic tipplers. I would suggest you have the classic Manhattan, Aviation, Martini, and Daiquiri in your repertoire and ready for the mixing at your home bar. Practice makes perfect and you’ll find your friends willing participants in your ‘research’ for cocktail perfection. When you have mastered these basics, time to take on more advanced studies, in home brewed simple syrups and bitters.

Simple syrup is, as the name would lead you to believe. painfully simple to make. It is a one to one ratio of sugar, water, and what ever you decide to steep. I personally like ginger, rosemary, cinnamon, and a turbinado, or raw, sugar syrup. These also make easy and chic gifts, appreciated by all hosts, and often immediately employed at social get-togethers (recipes and more on simple syrup here). Ahh, but the bitters, now these are more involved, take a bit more time, and are worth every ounce of effort. Not sure what bitters are? Or how they fit into the equation?

“People say bitters are the salt and pepper of the bar, but really, they’re like the spice rack,” (per Brad Thomas Parsons, author of Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-all).

QC Charm School: DIY Bitters

Bitters are a type of infused high-proof alcohol, with flavors derived from plants, barks and herbs. Originally brewed for medicinal purposes they evolved into flavorful additions to cocktails, via the classic brands Peychauds and Angostura, both of which rely heavily on gentian (a bitter herb for flavoring). You don’t need these store bought staples though, not when you can wow people with your home brewed batches.

It will take some initial effort to gather the more exotic ingredients — if you count ordering from Amazon effort — but once your pantry is stocked, you will have more than enough to make batch after batch of the home brew. The recipe below for Cranberry Anise bitters from Food & Wine is a personal favourite, and makes use of gentian root, an ingredient that usually repeats in all bitters recipes and which is a good foundation to start experimenting with your own creations.

QC Charm School: DIY Bitters

Cranberry Anise Bitters

2 cups high-proof vodka (like Stolichnaya Blue 100 Proof)
1 1/2 cups fresh or thawed frozen cranberries, each one pierced with a toothpick
1 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
2 star anise pods
One 3-inch cinnamon stick
One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 teaspoon gentian root
1/2 teaspoon white peppercorns
2 tablespoons simple syrup
  1. In a 1-quart glass jar, combine all of the ingredients except the syrup. Cover and shake well. Let stand in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks, shaking the jar daily.
  2. Strain the infused alcohol into a clean 1-quart glass jar through a cheesecloth-lined funnel. Squeeze any infused alcohol from the cheesecloth into the jar; reserve the solids. Strain the infused alcohol again through new cheesecloth into another clean jar to remove any remaining sediment. Cover the jar and set aside for 1 week.
  3. Meanwhile, transfer the solids to a small saucepan. Add 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes; let cool completely. Pour the liquid and solids into a clean 1-quart glass jar. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 week, shaking the jar once daily.
  4. Strain the water mixture through a cheesecloth-lined funnel set over a clean 1-quart glass jar; discard the solids. If necessary, strain again to remove any remaining sediment. Add the infused alcohol and the syrup. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 3 days. Pour the bitters through a cheesecloth-lined funnel or strainer and transfer to glass dasher bottles. Cover and keep in a cool, dark place.
Bitters can be stored at room temperature indefinitely. For best flavor, use within 1 year.
QC Charm School: DIY Bitters QC Charm School: DIY Bitters QC Charm School: DIY Bitters QC Charm School: DIY Bitters QC Charm School: DIY Bitters
In short, stir up high proof vodka, cranberry’s, anise, gentian, along with cinnamon sticks, anise and white peppercorns.  Allow to sit in a cool dark space for a few weeks. Then strain, boil, strain again, add simple syrup, and allow to sit some more. Finally, once everything has melded to perfection in this mysterious cool dark space, you have a rich, deep, aromatic elixir to bottle, and share (or hoard, I won’t tell).
I often keep a bottle in my purse — one never knows when cocktails will be needed and best to be prepared! As every proper lady and fledgling mixologist should be.

For more ideas and recipes, check out the full Food and Wine article here, and the aforementioned bible on bitters, Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-all.

Sante!

By Lani Zervas, of Mon Petit Chou Chou.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life

Quite Continental Charm School: Day 6 – On Table Manners: Fork Technique

06/02/2013 § 1 Comment

The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life

QC Charm School: Table Manners

Editor’s Note: I’m very pleased to introduce our second guest speaker!  Lizzie Garrett Mettler is the exceedingly talented journalist, writer, and founder of the amazing blog Tomboy Style.  She’s also a dear friend who I love to pieces (and force to hang out with me whenever I am visiting Los Angeles).

It goes without saying that Tomboy Style is one of my absolute favorite places on the internet.  It has been a daily read for me for years and I always marvel/get jealous at the amazing things Lizzie discovers and discusses.  A compendium of all things adventurous, rebellious, fashionable and female, the blog is an expertly researched and magnificently cross-referenced guide to embracing your inner Françoise Hardy or Diane Keaton.  If you are not yet familiar with Lizzie and Tomboy Style, it is my pleasure to introduce you.

Without any further ado, Lizzie’s tip for a charmed life.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Day 6: On Table Manners: Fork Technique – American vs. Continental
Over the years, I’ve toggled between the two ways to properly hold a dinner fork. Before this riveting topic puts you in a boredom-induced coma, let me first say that although there are technically two acceptable ways (according to traditional etiquette masters), I also feel that it’s a free God Damn country, so hold a fork in a way that makes you happy. So yes, there’s two styles, the Continental Style, which is favored in Europe, and the American Style, more prevalent stateside. According to Forbes Magazine, some say the American Style is actually traditional to pre-Napoleonic Europe, while others argue that the pioneering Americans created it to be different.

A quick refresher: the American Style, also known as “Switch and Switch”, demands the diner cut her food with the fork in the left hand and knife in the right, then puts down the knife and switches the fork to the right underhand position before taking a bite. The Continental Style allows the diner to cut her food in the same manner, but then can go directly from fork to mouth while still holding the knife in her right.

Emily Post, if I recall correctly, like other authorities of etiquette, note that both styles are equally acceptable. Growing up outside of Chicago, literally in the middle of America, I was watched like a hawk at the dinner table by my mother. If I didn’t put down my knife and switch hands, I was made aware. So naturally, once I was out of the house, I switched from the American Style to The Continental Style— if there’s a better way to rebel against your mother in your late teens, I’d love to hear about it.

Today, being the open-minded and well-grounded adult that I am (one who opines on minor differences in fork grips), I have to say there is a time and a place for both. If you’re looking to have a nice leisurely metered conversation while eating, go for the American Style. If you’re aiming to be less clumsy and more efficient, opt for The Continental Style—this is great, for example, if you’re eating a Croque Madame with a fork and knife, or if you like to gesture crazily like an old Italian grandmother while holding a steak knife in your hand and suffer no social (or legal) consequences. If you’re a “When in Rome” type, take on The American Style here and switch styles when traveling abroad, because, that would of course be so quite continental of you.

by Lizzie Garrett Mettler, of Tomboy Style

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life

QC Recommends || Silver Lining {and the Brown Derby cocktail}

03/04/2012 § Leave a comment

Just a quick note to recommend Tribeca cocktail and jazz bar Silver Lining.  Located in the basement of the gorgeous Bogardus Mansion, which was built in 1850 and named for its builder James Bogardus, the originator of cast-iron architecture, Silver Lining offers serious cocktails and a menu of small plates that are so good they could stand on their own, alongside nightly live jazz music, served up in a speakeasy atmosphere.  This somewhat still-hidden gem — bustling, roomy, but never ridiculously crowded — is the product of the Joseph Schwartz/Sasha Petraske partnership (Little Branch), was recently named the best cocktail bar of 2012 by New York Magazine and is on the shortlist to become my new local. 

Personally, I’m quite partial to their Brown Derby cocktail, probably at least partially due to its Los Angeles roots (like me).  The cocktail takes its name from The Brown Derby, an iconic chain of Los Angeles eateries, founded in the 1920s.  Their most recognizable location, on Wilshire Boulevard, was actually hat-shaped (it’s since been demolished, today its dome sits atop a mini-mall in Korea Town — so sad!), while their more storied location in Hollywood was where the entertainment set went to see and be seen, with their illustrated portraits lining the walls in the dining room.

Can’t make it to Silver Lining to order your own Brown Derby? Try it at home:

1 ounce bourbon
1 ounce grapefruit juice
½ ounce clover-honey syrup (1 part water, 1 part clover honey)

In tin-on-tin shaker, add freshly squeezed grapefruit, then honey and bourbon; shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass (ideally, a 5 ½-ounce Champagne coupe).

Recipe via the Los Angeles Times, where you can watch a video of it being made by bartender Marcos Tello.

Silver Lining
75 Murray Street, Tribeca || 212.513.1234
Closed Sundays

Quite Continental Charm School: Day 22 — Eat Chocolate

22/02/2012 § 2 Comments

The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life
Taken at Fort Myers in 1940 by David Scherman for Life Magazine.
Even the US Army understands how important chocolate is.

Editor’s Note: I’m very pleased to introduce our next guest speaker!  Sarah Seilbach Brasher is the amazingly talented designer behind Edelweiss by Sarah, a line she started in Brooklyn in the summer of 2008 after spending time at Vena Cava, Maggie Norris Couture and Elise Overland.  I can’t remember how I first found Sarah, but immediately after seeing her collection, which is heavily influenced by the styles and silhouettes of the 1930s and 1940s, I demanded an invitation to her atelier (you can view my post on our afternoon here).  It was then that I was able to discover how delightful a person she is, as well!

After you peruse her shop, you’ll quickly notice how remarkably well she incorporates an air of nostalgia into her completely wearable and feminine designs.  My love of Edelweiss by Sarah is a complete no-brainer.  If ever you are in need of the perfect party dress, Sarah’s your girl.  If you are not yet familiar with Sarah, or Edelweiss by Sarah, it is my pleasure to introduce you.

Without any further ado, Sarah’s tip for a charmed life.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Day 22: Eat Chocolate
To me nothing is more mysterious and intriguing than eating chocolate.  Chocolate was said to have come from the Amazon some 4,000 years ago but it was the Maya and Aztec people who really brought cacao to us.  Using the cacao bean as money as well as using if for offerings to their Gods, they would make spicy chocolate drink during their most sacred ceremonies.  It symbolized life and fertility.

I own and run a small fashion business.  I find that work can get stressful and overwhelming to which I find myself looking for a little outlet.  Chocolate.  I believe that a woman taking the time to really enjoy a piece of chocolate is not only fabulous but also captivating.  That afternoon chocolate will give me a burst of energy that will get me through the rest of the day.

Photo from Sarah’s instagram. Find her at @edelweissnyc

Find what chocolate excites you.  To be honest most of the time I only have the Lindor dark chocolate truffles on hand. They are still delicious but if I could, I would keep a box of Voges Chocolate Truffles in my desk.  I would either go with an exotic assortment or a box of their Aztec Truffles.  I would eat one a day and take the time to step away from my work and enjoy that piece of chocolate.

We all need to take a little time to enjoy the beauty and mystery of chocolate.

by Sarah, of Edelweiss by Sarah.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life

Quite Continental Charm School: Day 21 — Drink More Gin

21/02/2012 § 9 Comments

The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life

Women in a New York City bar, 1941. Taken by Nina Leen for Life Magazine.

Editor’s Note: I’m very pleased to introduce our next guest speaker!  My good friend Marisa Zupan is a journalist, writer and the founder of the excellent men’s style blog The Significant Other, where she provides a thoughtful and studied female opinion on issues, brands and individuals important to the well-dressed man.  If your boyfriend/father/boss/anyone! is in need of a bit of a sartorial upgrade, please forward him to Marisa posthaste.

After I learned of our shared love of wearing beautiful neckties, I guessed we would get along famously, and I was right.  Marisa is one of the most grounded and supportive individuals I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and I’m also quite pleased she chose to write about gin, one of my favorite libations.  If you are not yet familiar with Marisa, or The Significant Other, it is my pleasure to introduce you.

Without any further ado, Marisa’s tip for a charmed life.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Day 21: Drink More Gin
Let’s face it ladies, you’ve been drinking mostly vodka your whole life. In high school it was vodka and crystal light (everyone did that right?), college it was vodka and whatever the hell juice your roommate had in the fridge, and in your young adult life it’s been some vodka martinis with the occasional ironic whiskey on the rocks to switch things up. Through all of this, gin has really gotten the short end of the stick.  I’ll admit, in my younger less classy days, I thought gin tasted like licking the underside of a moss covered rock, but those days are over and this year will be the one when I educate my much more mature palate.

Like its flavor profile, Gin’s history is varied and complex. It was discovered by Italian monks, used as medicine during the bubonic plague and, because it was cheap and (too) readily available, gin became associated with people and places of disrepute in London. Despite its sordid past, gin made a come back in the British colonies and has since then been the spirit of choice in some of the classiest and most popular cocktails. In my efforts to become more gin-knowledgeable, I discovered Brooklyn Gin, a company based right in my backyard. The ingredients, fresh citrus and juniper berries, are bought at a market only a 10 minute walk from my apartment, and distilled 30 minutes out side of the city. Local and delicious, what more could a lady ask for? A cocktail recipe. Below is just that, I hope you enjoy, here’s to kicking the vodka habit and getting more sophisticated in 2012.

Olive Rosemary Martini (via Martha Stewart)

Ingredients

2 ounces gin
2 teaspoons dry vermouth
1 rosemary sprig
Pitted olives

To Make: 

Shake 2 ounces gin and 2 teaspoons dry vermouth with crushed ice; strain into a stemmed glass. Strip leaves from bottom 2 inches of a rosemary sprig, skewer through pitted olives, and add to the drink.

by Marisa Zupan, of The Significant Other.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life

Look at Life: The London Coffee Bar

01/02/2012 § 2 Comments

A charming British short tries to understand the London coffee bar craze, which started in 1952, when an espresso machine was set up in London Soho.  And of course now I’m searching for as many of the Look at Life clips as I can find…

Sidenote: Man, I wish I could’ve hung out with Iron Foot Jack

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing entries tagged with Food at Quite Continental.

%d bloggers like this: