Broccoli with Roasted Fennel

Fennel is one of the many wonderful vegetables Americans do not incorporate into their diet enough. Though fennel is becoming more popular in the states, it has been widely consumed in Europe and Asia for centuries. Some cultures claim that fennel contains slimming properties while other use it to cure hangovers. Whatever the claim, it is damn delicious. Yes, I said damn. The only adjective that really comes to mind when I try to describe the taste of raw fennel is licorice. Now please, do not let this turn you off (though it shouldn't) from trying it, as the flavor transforms into something magical when roasted.

I came up with this combination when frankly just being bored from eating broccoli. I had been preparing roasted fennel on its own and one day decided to toss it in with some broccoli I had prepared. It has been a staple ever since.

Some tips before you start:

- Watch the fennel closely as it cooks. I have burned it many times!
- Don't over-steam the broccoli. You really just want to soften it as the
broccoli will cook in the frying pan.
- Add the garlic at the very end. Otherwise, it will burn.
- Experiment! Don't just limit yourself to broccoli. Fennel would make a great
accompaniment to a plethora of vegetables.

Broccoli with Roasted Fennel and Onions

1 fennel bulb
1/2 sweet onion, sliced
1 broccoli head, cleaned
2 garlic cloves, minced
olive oil
red pepper

Remove the stem and bottom of the fennel. Cut fennel in half and remove the bulb at the very bottom. Slice in thin strips. Toss sliced fennel and sliced onion on a pre-lined baking sheet with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in a 425 degree pre-heated onion for 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, steam broccoli in boiling water for 6-8 minutes. Be careful not to overcook, as the broccoli will continue to cook when sauteed. Strain broccoli and saute in olive oil for 3-5 minutes. Add salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes. Add the roasted fennel and onion


Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

The holidays are here and I really want to do something different this year. Now, I fully realize that some people are strongly devoted to the traditions of the holidays, so rest assured that I am by no means trying to revolutionize the festivities. My husband usually whips up some divine mashed potatoes, but I thought that roasting them this year would be just enough pizazz without offending anyone.

The best part about this recipe is that it is way easier to prepare than mashed potatoes and the crisp factor, I feel, will compliment any turkey. To me, it seems that all the sides at the Thanksgiving (or Christmas) table just meld together into one big mush. Seriously, between the consistency of the mashed potatoes, the sweet potatoes and the green beans you can't tell one from the other.

A few tips before you begin:
  • Don't use baking potatoes, rather, opt for Yukon Gold potatoes. They have a waxy exterior and taste creamier.
  • You don't want to slice the potatoes too thin. This will cause them to crisp up like a french fry and we aren't looking for that type of consistency.
  • Try to slice the onions the same width as the potatoes to ensure they cook evenly.
  • Skip chopping the rosemary. Simply tear it off the stem.
  • Once in the oven, make sure to stir every 15 minutes.
  • The cooking time certainly varies so keep an eye on these. We are looking for a slightly crispy outside, and a nice soft interior.

I think these babies will be a new tradition out our holiday table. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Until next time, cheers and happy eating!

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

5-7 Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced somewhat thin
1 sweet onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 sprigs of rosemary, torn off the stem
about a 1/4 cup of olive oil

In a buttered baking dish, combine all ingredients. Bake in a 425 degree heated oven for approximately 50 minutes. Stir every 15 minutes.


Change of heart

I have always been attracted to white cabinetry in a kitchen, but as of late, I have had a change of heart. We are talking a complete 180 degree change of heart to...black. Black?! I know. I can hardly believe it. I have, for as long as I can remember, known exactly what my dream kitchen would look like. White cabinets, dark counters, open shelving and some glass-front cabinets. Here are some samples of what I had in mind:

Coastal Living

This hits all my "white kitchen" requirements and then some. I especially love the hanging light fixtures and exposed beams. I am partial to drawer pulls, but I could let that slide.


I do like butcher block and I love the exposed shelving. Not sure how I feel about the transition from back splash to wall though.

Jenna Lyons Kitchen

J. Crew's creative designers kitchen makes me question my kitchen aesthetic.

Gwyneth Paltrow, Hamptons Kitchen

This is the kitchen that turned my kitchen world upside down. Gwyneth Paltrow's kitchen in her Hampton home is a dream. The gray graphite cabinets, the white sky-high walls and white chandelier are sheer perfection. I think what appealed to me most about this kitchen was, that despite the dark cabinetry, it feels so airy and bright.

Nathan Edge White

This leads me to consider that maybe there is a happy medium, as seen in this white meets black kitchen. White cabinets, black island, shiny carrara marble counter tops and to top it all off, glossy espresso wood floors.


Guest Post: Odi et Amo


Taking a departure from the food world, and guest posting some mommy advise over at the ever so chic blog Odi et Amo. Enjoy the post, and then spend some time browsing the decor eye candy Averill provides. Cheers and Happy eating!


Chickpea Salad

I should preface this post with the fact that I an utterly obsessed with chickpeas. I could eat them out of the can. (I actually have, terrible, I know.) I wish more than anything I could take credit for coming up with this simple, yet delicious, chickpea concoction. It really is a testament to how a few ingredients can pack a flavorful punch.

This recipe is brought to you by one of my favorite food blogs, 101 Cookbooks. Hiedi's recipes, photos, and stories make me want to run to the farmers market and frolic as I pick my produce. She has a unique view on ingredient combination, influenced from the middle and far east (think tahini, curry, and sesame) which has taught me a lot in the kitchen.

Leeks aren't used too often in American kitchens. They are pretty much an enlarged, milder version of a green onion. What balances the mildness is the bite from the red onion. For the yogurt sauce, I highly suggest Greek yogurt. Its creamier than traditional yogurt, while still being low in fat. I hope you all enjoy this as much as I did.

Cheers & happy eating!

Pan-fried Chickpea Salad
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

1 tablespoon clarified butter, olive oil, or coconut oil
2 cups cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans), pat them completely dry with clean dish towel
1 cup of chopped leeks
1 medium clove of garlic, minced
zest of one lemon
1/3 cup plain yogurt (I typically use low-fat Greek)
1 1/2 teaspoons Indian-style curry powder (or to taste)
scant 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 or 2 tablespoons warm water
1/2 cup of loosely packed fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup red onion or red spring onions, chopped

1/3 cup of toasted slivered almond, chopped

Heat the cooking oil in a large skillet and add the chickpeas. Saute over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until they start getting a bit golden in color. Stir in the leeks and cook until the chickpeas are more golden and the leeks have browned a bit as well, roughly 7 - 10 minutes total. At the last minute stir in the garlic and the lemon zest. Remove from heat, and set aside.

While the chickpeas cool (I like to serve this salad at room temperature), make the yogurt dressing by combining the yogurt, curry powder, and salt in a small bowl. If you need to thin it out a bit, particularly if you are using Greek yogurt, whisk in warm water a tablespoon at a time. Taste, adjust, and set aside.

When you are ready to serve the salad, toss the chickpea mixture with most of the cilantro and most of the chopped red onion. Add about 1/2 of the yogurt dressing and toss again. If you like more dressing, keep adding until you are pleased. Serve on a platter sprinkled with the remaining onions and cilantro.


Sky High Pancakes

Haiku for Pancakes
Fluffy and yummy
Childhood memories in mind
Each bite a delight

Seriously, what is there not to like about perfectly fluffy pancakes topped with an ooze of maple syrup? Now, the crucial word here is FLUFFY. I have had disastrous experiences with pancakes, and it is not an understatement for me to say that it has taken years for me to find the perfect combination of flour, sugar, and baking powder to pull off these fluffy babies.

Big tips to keep in mind:
-Sift! I use to think sifting was just an unnecessary step, but it is crucial to getting the right consistency.
-Don't over-mix. Mixing too much will cause the pancakes to be rubbery rather than fluffy.
-Make sure to use a non-stick pan that is hot! I usually put it on the stove while I am preparing the batter.
-Once I am done mixing, I like to pour the batter into a measuring cup for easy pouring.

Before we get to the recipe, I wanted to leave you with a song to listen to as you read it. This song is my new obsession, and I hope to play it on the guitar some day soon. Till next time, cheers and happy eating!

Perfectly, Fluffy, Pancakes

3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
3/4 cup of whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/4 cups milk (might need to add more if the batter is dense)
1 egg
4 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the middle and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until you reach a smooth consistency. Be careful to avoid over-mixing.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Pour or scoop batter onto the pan. Brown on both sides and serve.