Friday, May 8, 2009

Dinner Love Address Change!

Hello everyone!

I'm just letting you all know that I have changed Dinner Love's web address from TO I decided to host on a different server, which is why blogger will not automatically redirect to the new site.

I will post blogs on both sites until May 12, 2009 (Tuesday).

So please, update update your bookmarks, etc, because I have a schnazzy new site (complete with all old material) over at:


<3 Stef

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Recipe: Chicken and Zucchini Layered Enchilada

Today is the day! Enchiladas made, Mexican feast delivered, Rubik's cube solved. Perfection.
Ok, I didn't solve the Rubik's cube. But everything else is true. Scout's honor!

Enchiladas are crazy easy to make, especially when you make them casserole-style (as I do). You can use nearly anything for a filling, just add some enchilada sauce, cheese, and tortillas and BAM! Enchilada madness. These are made with leftover chicken and zucchini. Leftover chicken because I had it, and it needed to be used. Zucchini because I received some in my CSA box and it's extremely important to me to use fresh, local produce. I'm lucky because I live in California, which means that some kind of produce is available year-round. In August I'm moving to Boston for grad school, and I'm already wondering what kind of CSA boxes are available, or if anything even grows in Boston in the winter! I've never lived on the east coast, so I have no idea what to expect.
You can make these vegetarian really easily by leaving out the chicken and the chicken broth, and doubling the amount of zucchini (or squash of your choice) and substituting veggie broth.
If you're looking to turn your enchiladas into a full-blown fiesta, add some pico de gallo and a margarita or two!

1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 C chicken broth
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp flour
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes (optional)

Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan.
Allow to simmer 10-15 minutes, until sauce has reduced by about 1/2 C. While you are waiting for the sauce to reduce, start on the enchiladas.

1 medium zucchini
1/2 lb of chicken
quarter of an onion, diced, about 1/3 C
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 TB olive oil
4 turns black pepper mill
1/4 tsp salt
1.5 C jack cheese
corn tortillas

Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the garlic and the onion, saute until fragrant. Add the zucchini, the pepper, and the salt.
Cook until browned on the edges. This is total zucchini porn. This is when you know it's getting good-when it get brown and slightly caramelized. Delicious!
Add the chicken. If you're using leftover chicken, cook a few minutes just until the chicken is heated through. If you're using raw chicken, cook until the chicken is cooked through.
Turn off the heat, and assemble the casserole.
First spoon a very light layer of sauce on the bottom of a pan 8x8" W and approximately 2.5" D. Then add a layer of tortilla, followed by chicken and zucchini mixture, sauce, and cheese. Repeat. Then add a final layer of tortilla, sauce and cheese.
Your casserole should be:
Little bit of sauce
chicken and zucchini
chicken and zucchini
At this point, you can either cook it or store it to cook at a later date. It will keep for about two days in the fridge, or if frozen it will keep for at least 4 months, possibly longer.
If you cook it immediately, put it in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. After refrigerating, cook at 350 for about 30-45 minutes. After freezing cook it at 350 for 30 minutes covered and 30 minutes uncovered.

So. Good.

<3 Stef

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mexican fiesta on hold.

Hey guys,

I had this amazing Cinco de Mayo enchilada extravaganza planned for yesterday, but the fates conspired against me. I ended up being just to busy to pull something adequate together! Sorry about that.
Never fear, however. I will absolutely, definitely post the Mexican enchilada feast on Thursday, followed on Friday with a Mother's Day brunch special.

Thanks for being patient!

<3 Stef

Friday, May 1, 2009

Recipe: Gingersnap Sandwich Cookies

My birthday was last weekend, and my one request to my boyfriend was that he procure a birthday cake-specifically carrot cake-by any means necessary. I bought my own birthday cake last year, and it was a little depressing! I told him that I didn't care if he bought the cake or used a box to make it, as long as I didn't have to get it myself.
He surpassed my wildest expectations when I discovered him in the kitchen, making me cupcakes from scratch.
This is photo documentation of the first baked good he has ever made! He's measuring and everything.I don't have pictures of the final product, but let me assure you that they were delicious. I mean seriously. I had to fight people off of my cupcakes. Well, okay, the cupcakes were for sharing. But I wanted more than one! (I ate three. Maybe more. It's all a haze. . .)

The frosting was a maple-cream cheese frosting and while it was extremely tasty, there was an absurd amount of it left. I don't know who wrote the recipe but they are insane if they think that 2 dozen cupcakes require 3 cups of frosting. We have tons of frosting left.

Exhibit A.
This tupperware contains nearly 2 cups of frosting. Which brings me to my brilliant leftover frosting cookie idea.

Gingersnap sandwiches! Yessssss.

Ginger Cookies
Recipe modified from Betty Crocker's Cooky Book (1963 edition)
3 TB butter
1/4 C sugar
1 egg
1/4 C molasses
1 TB milk
5/8 C (1/2 + 1/8) flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp coriander
1 tsp vanilla

Maple-cream cheese frosting
Recipe from smitten kitchen. I cut the entire recipe in half and increased the maple syrup. This should make a little less than 1.5 C of frosting.
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 C powdered sugar
1/4 C maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350˚.
Let the butter (for both the cookies and the frosting) come to room temperature. This is really important! I usually try to speed things up by putting it in the microwave, but that never works as well as you think it does. Melted butter actually is much different from softened butter. This is a lesson that has taken me years and dozens of flat, melty cookies to find out.
Cream together the butter and the sugar.
Add the egg, molasses and milk and stir well. Mix in all of the dry ingredients, and the vanilla. Mix until the batter is smooth.
Chill in the fridge for at least an hour, or until the dough is firm. Spoon the dough onto a cookie sheet using a small spoon, making sure they are spaced at least 2" apart.
Bake for 15 minutes. While you wait for the cookies to bake, make the frosting.

Cream together the cream cheese and the butter. Slowly add in the powdered sugar. When all of the sugar has been thoroughly mixed in, add the maple syrup and stir again to combine.

When you remove the cookies from the oven, allow to rest for a few minutes before removing. My cookies became attached while baking. Touchy cookies.
Pick a few pairs of cookies that are approximately the same size and shape. I choose four, to make a cookie sandwich for me and one for boyface. I prefer to create sandwich cookies as I go, as opposed to making a bunch of them and having to store them in their delicate frosted state. I also assumed that I would eat less of them at once if I didn't have a dozen on a plate staring at me.
Anyway, find matching-ish cookie pairs.
Turn them on their backs.
Fill a plastic bag with frosting and cut off the corner. Or, use a pastry tube. Squeeze frosting out onto one of the cookies.
Now cover with the other cookie. Mmmm.
Way better than any oreo.
The cookie recipe turned out to be completely perfect for this use because they bake flat and have crispy edges but soft chewey centers. Frosting will likely fall out of your sandwich while you eat. It's worth it.

<3 Stef

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The BrokeAss Gourmet Good Vibes Giveaway Post: Recipe: Asparagus with Lemon, Parmesan and Prosciutto and Rolled Lasagna with Bechamel Sauce

I am so very, very excited to have won! You can read all about the contest and the prize at both BrokeAss Gourmet and at Good Vibes. OMG!

Anyway, I wanted to write a more detailed post about my submission. So, here you have it! The step by step instructions, pictures included, of how to make my winning 3 course sexy locavore meal! (Well, 2 courses, anyway. The Molten Chocolate Cake has already been published in my blog. You can find the recipe here.)

Oh, and just a quick note, I have the recipes listed here in order of course, but if you actually make all 3 courses you should make the lasagna first, pop it in the oven, then start on the asparagus. If you plan on making dessert, I'd cook the cakes halfway then put them in the oven after you eat the asparagus so that by the time you're done with dinner, the cakes are ready to go!

Asparagus with Lemon, Prosciutto and Parmesan

1 small bunch asparagus tips
1/2 lemon
2 thin slices prosciutto, chopped into big pieces
1-2 TB parmesan, to top
1 tsp olive oil

Cut the very bottom off of the asparagus, but leave whole otherwise.
Cook in a shallow pan with 1" of water for 3-5 min, just until bright green. This is about what 1" of water looks like.
This is what they will look like when you need to turn off the heat. Bright green! See the color difference?
Strain the water. Add 1/2 lemon of juice and about 1/4 tsp salt and a few turns of a pepper mill. Cook for another 3-5 minutes, until asparagus is cooked as you like it. (I like mine crisp, so I would cook for about 3 min, but you may like yours more well done.) Remove to a plate. Crisp prosciutto in the pan for about 1 minute. Top the asparagus with the prosciutto, parmesan, cracked pepper, and the olive oil. Serve. Yes, it tastes as good as it looks!

Rolled Lasagna with Bechamel


Lasagna Rolls:
1/3 C chopped onion
1 clove garlic
1/2 C ricotta
1/2 C jack cheese
1.5 C uncooked chard, leaves and stems
2 oz prosciutto (3 thin slices)
6 lasagna noodles
1 TB olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

1 TB butter
1 C milk
1 TB flour
Pinch of nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt

Set oven to 400. Cook noodles according to package directions, cutting the cook time by about 1/4. We don't want the noodles to be cooked all the way, because we will be finishing the dish in the oven.
Mix together ricotta, jack cheese, salt and pepper.
Saute onion and garlic in olive oil. When translucent, add chard and 1/4 C water.
Cook until reduced by half. Add more water throughout cooking if needed. Cut the prosciutto pieces in half lengthwise. When the chard and noodles are done, you're ready to roll. (Ha!) Lay the noodles on a flat surface.
Divide all ingredients by 6; there should be about 1 TB for each noodle. Smooth 1 TB of cheese, 1 TB chard, and a piece of prosciutto on the noodle.
Gently roll and place in an oiled casserole dish seam side down.
Make sauce.

Melt 1 TB butter in a pan. Add 1 TB flour; whisk to make a roux.
Slowly add 1 C milk, allowing ingredients to incorporate before adding more. This is what the sauce will look like when you add the milk.
Then you should whisk to fully incorporate the milk, and it will look like this.
Then add some more milk, and repeat until you've added all the milk. When you've added all the milk, add the salt, pepper and nutmeg. When adding the nutmeg, remember, a little really does go a long way! Don't over do it or the sauce will taste like Christmas, which isn't what we're going for here. :-)
Allow sauce to simmer for about 5 min. You want the sauce to be thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon.
Turn off heat, pour sauce over noodle rolls. Top with parmesan.
Bake for 20 min. After 20 min, turn heat up to broil and bake for another 5 min to brown the top.
Yum! Serve, and enjoy!
I adore lasagna rolls. They feel so much more fancy than normal lasagna, and they are actually really easy (and cheap!) to make.

Thanks again to everyone heading over from BrokeAss Gourmet and Good Vibrations Magazine. If you had any questions about the recipes, please don't hesitate to email me at sefarros at gmail dot com.

Happy Eating!

<3 Stef

Hello, hello!

Hello to anyone who may be here from BrokeAss Gourmet! I am so excited to have won their Good Vibrations Giveaway with my sexy 3 course meal idea.

My blogging schedule is typically Tuesdays and Fridays, but in honor of my victory I am planning on doing a detailed write up of my winning recipes, with a lot more pictures than are posted on the BrokeAss site, later today. I figure I will have everything written and ready by 3pm.

If you would like to see the Molten Chocolate Cake recipe, that recipe was featured on Friday, April 10th. You can get to it by either using the Blog Archives on the right, or just scroll down.

Again, thanks so much to everyone, and I hope you enjoy what you see here! If you have any questions about any of the recipes posted, or about the ones I wrote for the BrokeAss giveaway, please don't hesitate to email me at sefarros at gmail dot com.
Wooden spoon meditation.

<3 Stef

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Special "OMG It's HOT" Duo: Recipe: Pico de Gallo and Margaritas

It has been ungodly hot in San Francisco the past few days. As a result, I haven't felt like turning on the stove. Or the oven. Or anything that produces heat, really. I've subsisted on pico de gallo and margaritas.

Ok, that was a lie. But I am eating/drinking them right now, and I have to admit that the combination might just be the perfect summertime pair. Even though, technically, it isn't summertime.

Margarita (serves 1):
1 TB powdered sugar
1/4 C water
1 lime
1/2 orange
3 oz tequila
1.5 oz triple sec

Grab a cocktail shaker and put the sugar and water into the shaker. Squeeze the lime and orange into the shaker with the sugar. I use my handy dandy lemon squeezer apparatus.
Squeeze it! Squeeze them citrus fruits!
Add the tequila and triple sec. Now give the shaker a few good shakes, and pour the mix into a glass with ice.
Oh yeah.

Pico de Gallo!
3 medium sized tomatoes
1/2 lime
1/4 of an onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove
1/4 C (or more, depending on your taste) of chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper

Chop the onion, garlic, and cilantro and put in a bowl. Add about 1/2 tsp salt, and a bit of pepper. Chop up the tomatoes and add them to the bowl, then add the lime. Use the same lemon squeezer thingamagig that you used for the margarita.
Stir the salsa to combine, and eat with corn chips!
Or, if you would like to be a bit more healthy, another good idea is to eat with thick cut cucumber slices.
So. Good.

<3 Stef