Meals

Smoked Salmon Toast

Smoked salmon toast

During my recent vacation in Portland, I made multiple trips to Roman Candle Baking Co. Everything I ate there was delicious, but their salmon toast was particularly memorable. So memorable that I had to create my own version of it at home. It’s a no-cook, no-fuss recipe that will have you eating in just a few minutes.

Start with a slice of rustic, grainy bread. I used walnut levain. Spread with unsalted butter and sprinkle on some capers. Add sliced avocado and smoked salmon.

Smoked salmon toastIn a bowl, toss arugula with a drizzle of olive oil and sea salt. Take a handful of the dressed arugula and place on top of the salmon. Finish with some freshly cracked black pepper over the plate and you’re done!

Smoked salmon toast

Smoked salmon toast

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Poached Egg on Toast

Poached Egg on Toast | Dressed In Orange

Poached eggs always seemed so fancy and difficult to make. Intimidated, I reserved my poached egg cravings for restaurant brunches. Turns out, it’s pretty easy and I’ve been missing out on some serious poached egg meals that could be cooked at home. Just add some white distilled vinegar to your simmering water before adding the egg. That’s it?! you ask? That’s it. I must have missed this not-so-secret trick in home ec 101.

While the egg cooked, I toasted a slice of sourdough, washed some arugula, and made some coffee. I was sitting down at the table in 5 minutes. It felt like I was having breakfast at a cafe, except I was in my pajamas.

Poached Egg on Toast | Dressed In Orange

Poached Egg on Toast | Dressed In Orange

PS – check out our other egg recipes. We’re clearly obsessed.

 

Avocado y Huevos Caliente

Avocado y Huevos Recipe (Baked Egg in an Avocado) | via Dressed in OrangeAlthough I am a sweet-breakfast person to my core, I can never say no to a plate of Huevos Rancheros when it’s listed on a brunch menu. This version of the dish, with avocados standing in for refried beans, has the added bonus of making the meal a bit healthier while still remaining completely delicious, and the whole thing was pretty simple to boot. I was able to scrape this dish together at the spur of the moment with items I already had in my fridge, but if you need to cut a corner while cooking this, I bet substituting a good store-made chunky salsa could work in place of step one in the recipe. If you do have some extra time, however,  I think making your own tortillas would really put the dish over the top– but then again, what dish isn’t improved with a hot, fresh tortilla? ;)

You can find the recipe here, on Food52. Enjoy!

Avocado y Huevos Recipe (Baked Egg in an Avocado) | via Dressed in Orange

Avocado y Huevos Recipe (Baked Egg in an Avocado) | via Dressed in Orange

Avocado y Huevos Recipe (Baked Egg in an Avocado) | via Dressed in Orange

Avocado y Huevos Recipe (Baked Egg in an Avocado) | via Dressed in Orange

Avocado y Huevos Recipe (Baked Egg in an Avocado) | via Dressed in Orange

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Cream of Mushroom Soup | Dressed In OrangeWith all the rain this week in San Francisco, I was eager to be inside to cook something warm and comforting. I had a lot of mushrooms on hand so I decided to make a cream of mushroom soup.  I used this recipe from Ina Garten, but substituted the wild mushrooms for just creminis. It was exactly what I needed in this dreary weather.

Cream of Mushroom Soup | Dressed In Orange

Cream of Mushroom Soup | Dressed In Orange

 

Grown-Up Grilled Cheese

Grown-Up Grilled Cheese | Dressed In Orange

I love a simple grilled cheese, but sometimes I crave a little more than just bread and cheese.  To keep my grilled cheese from feeling too much like ‘kid food’, I use sourdough, add arugula and tomatoes, and use olive oil instead of butter.

Grown-Up Grilled Cheese | Dressed In Orange

Grown-Up Grilled Cheese | Dressed In OrangeOil the outside of each slice of bread, then place one slice oil-side down onto a heavy bottom skillet over medium-low heat.  Place slices of sharp cheddar cheese onto the bread, then cover with the remaining slice of bread oil-side up.

Grown-Up Grilled Cheese | Dressed In OrangeCook for 5 minutes on each side or until bread is crisp and golden brown. Don’t raise the heat too much – cooking longer over a lower temperature allows the for bread to get the desired golden crust and for the cheese to melt. Once done, carefully open the sandwich and add tomatoes and arugula. Re-close the sandwich and cut in half.

Grown-Up Grilled Cheese | Dressed In Orange

And a grilled cheese like this tastes even better with a bowl of creamy tomato soup!Grown-Up Grilled Cheese | Dressed In Orange

Resolution: Have Fun with Cooking

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This year I also resolve to keep expanding my cooking repertoire by trying one substantially new recipe every week. Whether it’s beef bourguignon for dinner or a towering croquembouche for a birthday party, I’m hoping to gain a bit more skill in the kitchen, have some fun, and to hopefully add a couple dishes to my cooking arsenal along the way (and not set off the smoke alarm in the process).

Below are a couple of my favorite dishes to make at home, perfect for winter (especially if you are freezing on the East Coast right now!) and chock full of vegetables to make you feel good, even on your second helping. Do you have any dishes you love to cook right now? I would love to try making it. Whether it’s a tried and true family recipe or a new to you favorite, please share in the comments!

•••••

Roast Chicken With Cumin, Honey and Orange by Mark Bittman. Considering I usually have all these ingredients in my kitchen, it’s surprising I don’t make this more often. I actually use 3 lbs of boneless breast instead of a whole chicken, and I also serve it on top of greens dressed with the reserved liquid which makes it a perfect meal.

Southwestern Spiced Sweet Potato Fries by TasteFood. These are some of the best sweet potato fries I have had, but beware: they can get pretty spicy if you aren’t careful with the cayenne. Instead of serving with their suggesting dipping sauce, I eat my fries with a bit of crème fraîche which helps temper the spices without adding in additional flavors.

White Bean Soup by Merril Stubbs. Simple to make and especially delicious with a grilled cheese sandwich, this soup can be easily reheated for several meals to come. If you have rosemary, thyme, and sage plants in your garden or kitchen you can substitute in 2 cans of white beans and make this in just half an hour– making it easy if you keep the ingredients on hand to cook a last minute dinner. (Just rinse the beans and add them to a pot with the stock, herbs, garlic, and a couple pinches of salt. Bring to a boil over low heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, then add the tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes and continue to step 3 of the recipe.)

Photo by Grace for Dressed in Orange.

Summer Salad

Summer Salad | Dressed In Orange

I always crave refreshing and crisp foods in the summer.  Salads with seasonal additions make for a light, but satisfying meal during these long, sunny days.  Salads are often labeled as boring or unappetizing but I couldn’t disagree more!  Lettuce + dressing alone, to me, don’t count as a real salad…

I like to pick up fresh ingredients at the farmer’s market and improvise when I get home.  I made the salad above using romaine, basil, green onions, fresh corn, mushroom, radishes, quinoa, and shaved Gruyere.  Experimenting with new ingredients is a small pleasure that also helps me improve and broaden my cooking.  And there’s something so satisfying about using the ingredients you picked up that morning in an effortless meal.  Plus, I always make my own dressing at home — way more cost effective and delicious than store-bought dressing.

 

Homemade Granola

Homemade Granola, via Dressed In Orange

During the week, I like to keep breakfast pretty simple.  I usually eat when I get to work (just to be able to sleep in a little longer), so my options are limited to what I can assemble at my desk.  Parfaits made with greek yogurt, fresh blueberries, and homemade granola have become a staple.  A lot of store-bought granola tend to be high in sugar and fat, making your breakfast not-so-healthy.  Making your own granola let’s you control the quantity and quality of the ingredients.  I made an oil-free, honey-sweetened granola recipe which is much healthier and still tastes delicious.

Homemade Granola, via Dressed In Orange

As an oil substitute, I used fresh squeezed orange juice.  This gave the granola a mild citrus flavor and also kept the oats from drying out. And instead of using brown or white sugar, I sweetened my granola with honey.  Make sure you’re using real honey – it makes such a difference.

Because granola is very experiment-friendly, try out different nuts, seeds, and dried fruits to see what you like best.  The steps will still be the same.   I used this recipe as a base, but made adjustments along the way to better suit my taste.

Homemade Granola, via Dressed In Orange

Parfait with homemade granola, via Dressed In Orange

I think my next batch will include shredded coconut and sunflower seeds.  Do you have any favorite granola ingredients?

Weekend Recipe: Frittata

Veggie Frittata, via Dressed In Orange

When having friends over for brunch (or any other meal), I sometimes go overboard with the menu.  My ambition usually gets the best of me and I end up spending more time prepping in the kitchen than socializing with guests.  Recently, I discovered the ease and versatility of the frittata.  Last weekend, I made a frittata for my family on Mother’s Day using ingredients I found in the fridge.

Any frittata will follow the same basic steps:

  1. Preheat oven to broil setting
  2. Beat eggs until pale yellow (about 2 eggs per person)
  3. Stir parmesan into the eggs (optional)
  4. In a heavy bottom oven safe skillet, saute chopped up veggies (and meat, if desired) over medium high heat until tender – I used onions, carrots, bell peppers, and mushrooms
  5. Pour eggs evenly over sautéed veggies. Make sure the whole mixture is evenly distributed on the pan.
  6. Let cook for about 5 minutes, letting the bottom of the mixture set
  7. Sprinkle desired fresh herbs or delicate veggies, like green onions
  8. Place skillet into oven and broil for about 2-4 minutes, until cooked through
  9. Carefully remove from plan, slice, and serve!

This is a great dish to make for guests because it’s quick, requires little effort, and can be made with almost any veggie. I like to serve mine up with sliced avocado.  Just make a pitcher of mimosas and you’re ready for brunch!

Apple Cinnamon Scones

Apple Cinnamon Scones via Dressed In Orange

I love baking on the weekends – for me, the very methodical baking process is so calming and the result is a wonderfully indulgent end to the week.  I had some Granny Smith apples on hand, so I decided to make apple scones last night to enjoy this morning. I used this recipe, which tells you to saute and caramelize the apples in sugar and cinnamon before folding them into your batter.  This added so much more flavor than other recipes I’ve tried that just mixes in raw apples.

Apple Cinnamon Scones via Dressed In Orange

This was the perfect breakfast treat to enjoy while drinking hot coffee and reading The New Yorker – my favorite weekend read.  What is everyone up to this weekend?

Apple Cinnamon Scones via Dressed In Orange

Happy Weekend!