Saturday, March 31, 2012

delicious spring scrambled eggs

Hello, friends! Here's Jamison's recipe for a delicious and richly flavorful version of shirred eggs. A pal shared some ultra fresh organic eggs with a deep golden color and wonderful depth of flavor that inspired this special treatment...

Shirred Eggs with Scallion and Radicchio
serves 2

5 organic eggs
1/4 head radicchio, shredded fine
5 scallions, green and white sections, sliced thin
1/8 cup each Asiago and Havarti (Dill flavor, if you can find) cheese, grated
1 generous tablespoon of Greek Yogurt
ground chipotle pepper

Crack eggs in a bowl and combine with Greek yogurt, salt and fresh ground pepper. Melt a slice of butter in pan, saute radicchio and scallion until tender, then add eggs/cheese and cook over very low heat, adding pinches of cheese and about 4 shakes chipotle pepper. Cook until tenderly done with a soft texture. Enjoy!

Monday, March 26, 2012

orange mint quinoa salad

Hi there! This weekend I came up with a refreshing springy salad that I'd like to share...

Orange Mint Quinoa Salad

1 cup of quinoa
1 cup chickpeas, cooked
3 scallions, sliced on bias, white and green
1/2 fennel bulb, sliced thin and cut to 1/2 inch pieces (reserve feathery fronds)
a large handful of fresh mint, torn
about 10 almonds, chopped
one juicy orange, cut in half
1/2 orange, peeled and cut in small pieces
a pour of orange infused olive oil or your fav
one teaspoon garlic paste or one clove, minced fine and crushed
3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon mayonnaise

Cook quinoa in two cups of water (with salt or dissolve half a vegetable bouillon cube), adding grains when water is boiling; lower to simmer and cook until tender.

Place quinoa in bowl, add chickpeas. Lightly salt and add fresh ground black pepper to taste. Squeeze orange halves over, blend, then add a pour of orange infused olive oil.

Make the yogurt dressing: combine Greek yogurt and garlic paste (or crushed garlic), mayonnaise in a small bowl then blend together with quinoa and chickpeas. Add scallion, fennel slices and fronds, almond pieces, torn mint and orange pieces and combine. Taste, correct seasonings, and garnish with whole mint leaves. Enjoy!

We had a rainy weekend that soaked and replenished bright flowers--tulips at vibrant peak right now:

Have a wonderful week, friends!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

misty day spring soba bento

Hi there! Spring has officially arrived and today we enjoyed a softly overcast day that contrasted beautifully with luminous flowers everywhere emerging...

The Van Gogh bridge in Reston, VA, surrounded by pink pastel enchantment:

      Virginia bluebells, colorfully resplendent, sweetly demure:



Soba Noodles with Fennel and Yellow Pepper

This tasty dish is simple, energizing and enjoyable both hot and at room temperature in a bento...

1 bundle soba noodles
one fresh fennel bulb, sliced (reserve fronds for garnish)
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
one half inch ginger piece, sliced (or more to taste)
red pepper oil
3 scallions chopped in half inch lengths

Stir fry all veggies as you set a pot of salted water to boil; cook soba, drain.
Combine vegetables with soba noodles, toss with a pour of pepper oil.

Today's bento features a little bowl of soba with fennel, plus peppery watercress, wild (edible) violets, and tart grapefruit, photographed in our garden:

Enjoy the rest of the week, everyone and happy spring!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

bánh xèo spring bento

Hello friends! After a mild winter, spring has arrived early and bright. 


Blue Nikko hydrangea leafing out in glorious bright green this morning:

Native redbud. Love the candy like magenta pink bud-blooms: the festive essence of spring!

There is a feminine light and brightness to Vietnamese cuisine that always makes me think of spring; today's bento reflects that spring-association and a recent visit to Eden Center, Northern Virginia's epicenter of all things tastily Vietnamese.

Likely for the last time (our home is under contract now!), we visited our fav restaurant in the center, Huong Viet, for a selection of tried and true delights.

Bánh xèo, a crisp and addictively delicious filled crepe, served with aromatic herbs:

Caramelized heads-on jumbo shrimp over lotus root salad

Savory squid with cilantro

We ambled around Eden Center after our meal. Pretty and friendly Song Que Deli offers bahn mi and other prepared snacks and treats, a delightful place...

 Mmmmm, mango ice cream!

Delectably pastel Banh Bo rice flour sweets

The corridors of Eden Center house innumerable cafes, restaurants, snack bars...

Tropical bubble drinks!



In today's bento, a portion of bánh xèo is nestled on a bed of springy green watercress, with fresh fennel and ruby red grapefruit in fan shaped sections...

Happy spring and happy cooking this week!

Monday, March 12, 2012

asparagus and lamb salad bento

Hi bento pals! A quick lunch for a radiant and springlike day...the kind where breezes are edged with birdsong and a mild delicious chill that sings of the new season arriving!

In the bento we have a buttery stir fry of asparagus combined with lamb in a Greek yogurt-mayo dressing accented with fresh tarragon and green peppercorns. Plump cherry tomatoes and a sweet fruit section of champagne mango and a heart-accented clementine. The bento is resting on a lush bed of periwinkle, a sweet harbinger of spring with delicate yet tough little blooms in one of my very favorite colors.

Delicate pale pink magnolia twilight flower captured on an early evening walk....

Happy cooking and bentoing this week, friends!

Monday, March 5, 2012

sunday at the national gallery of art, dc

Hi friends! I wanted to share some images from a relaxing Sunday we spent at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. In additional to a wonderfully diverse collection of European and American art, this museum is one of our very favorite venues for people watching and Sunday paper-reading...

We settled in with cappuccinos in the Cascade Cafe...enjoying this month's display of brilliant, deliciously tropical hibiscus blooms in wild shades of pink-coral-orange:

Orange-gold (and rare) clivia:

Have a sweet gelato with your cappuccino (unless like me you had leftover Thai food for a late breakfast)!

This museum features an amazing series of gift shops with delightful books, art supplies and colorful gifts for adults and children...

Some favorite artists, works: The Artist's Garden at Vétheuil by Monet. Love the blue and white ceramic detail in this riotous summer garden, and the intense blue sky above...

Matisse: Still Life with Apples on Pink Tablecloth, 1924. Such a sense of dynamic yet deeply harmonious color and pattern...

A permanent installation of Henri Matisse cutouts in the East Wing, a wedding of organic, joyous form and the colors of spring in the French Midi

Wayne Thiebaut's "Cakes", 1963. Luscious pop art--tender colors, ample and festive cakes sweetly frosted onto canvas:

Outside, in a chill March wind intense pink magnolia had burst into bloom...

Happy cooking this week!