Sunday, June 27, 2010

Rosemary Polenta, courtesy of Ina Garten

Please note: This is not my polenta recipe, but it makes very very good polenta, and I had a request to share it, so here it is!


  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves (*Note here: I've never used the rosemary, but go ahead if you want to.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup good grated Parmesan
  • Flour, olive oil, and butter, for frying


Heat the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, rosemary, salt, and pepper and saute for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock, half-and-half, and milk and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and slowly sprinkle the cornmeal into the hot milk while stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for a few minutes, until thickened and bubbly. Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan.

***(Note: Here, you can go ahead and serve it immediately. Or you can follow the rest of the recipe and serve it as skillet fried patties. In my experience, it's delicious after being skillet fried, but it also falls apart.)

Pour into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch pan, smooth the top, and refrigerate until firm and cold.

Cut the chilled polenta into 12 squares, as you would with brownies. Lift each one out with a spatula and cut diagonally into triangles. Dust each triangle lightly in flour. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large saute pan and cook the triangles in batches over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, turning once, until browned on the outside and heated inside. Add more butter and oil, as needed. Serve immediately.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

The New Enemy I Must Vanquish...

I know, I know, sounds a bit dramatic, right? So maybe it isn't the end of the world, but I've taken up arms against High Fructose Corn Syrup. Yes, I know those commercials with the people shaming the dissenters into drinking the disgusting syrupy fruit drink are cute, but they're also misleading. So, I'll give you all the facts. At least, I'll give you the links I feel like pasting. You can read through yourself. The bottom line seems to be: HFCS causes more weight gain than sugar, and besides-- you don't NEED HFCS in all the stuff that the processed food companies are putting it in. The best course of action seems to be to avoid processed foods altogether, but if you need to shop that center section of the grocery store, try to avoid products that contain it. I'll periodically post things that I discover have HFCS in it, and attempt to keep a running list.

Now the information:

[The HFCS mascot site]

[Wiki article on HFCS]

[Mayo Clinic on HFCS]

[Science Daily on HFCS]

Now for the list:

Yoplait Yogurt (The kind I got was Thick & Creamy Light Strawberry)-- the SECOND ingredient is HFCS.

Ritz Crackerfuls-- How utterly ridiculous is it that they feel the need to put sweetened corn syrup in a cracker and cheese snack?

Subway's 9 grain wheat bread-- now this is just depressing. Even my healthy fast food standby uses the stuff (plus, I understand that that brown "wheat" color to the bread is just a fake additive, not at all real wheat.)

More when I (stupidly) purchase more products before reading the nutritional labels!

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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Black Bean and Corn Salsa, Amplified

Another recipe for Black Bean and Corn Salsa. I've added avocado for protein and healthy fat. (Note: I'm not a big fan of avocado, but I find if it's chopped up small and mixed in with other things, I can stand it.)


Mix all ingredients together. Stir. Chill. Enjoy with tortillas or chips. or just eat it by itself.

Nutritional Breakdown:
The ENTIRE recipe yields about 950 calories and 30 grams of fat. This calorie count also includes 45 Grams of fiber and 35 grams of protein.

1/14 of the recipe (I'm estimating about 1/2 cup) would yield 68 calories, 2 grams of fat, 3 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of protein...

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Long Time, No Blog...

Well, it is official. This domestic lawyer is now, well, a lawyer. Commencement ceremonies took place last week, and now I'm hurling headlong into the horrors of the bar study program. Since we had to move out of our apartment (tenement) on Monday, I'm staying with my Aunt K while I attend the bar study class.

Husband's in our hometown, going back to school to pursue an M.A. in animation and visual effects. School started back again on Tuesday for him.

We move into our new (carpeted! central aired! diswasher-and-disposal equipped!) apartment on July 1. It's a two bedroom (glory) two bath (glory) apartment with a separate dining area. (triple glory!) In preparation for a huge and life-changing event such as moving into an apartment that doesn't completely and totally suck (excuse my teenage vocabulary), I have expanded tenfold (twenty-fold? one hundred-fold?) my amazon wish list(s), as well as created a registry on crate and barrel and adding many many things from to my wish lists. That isn't to say I've bought everything, but there you go.

What has been purchased is this: two sets of magnetic spice racks. Purchased by Hubby for me for graduation. Briefcases? Pens? Lawyer stuff? PSHH. Give me kitchenware ANY day.

Also purchased (by me this time) is this: Erasable Food Labels. I plan to use them both for food labeling, and to label the magnetic spice tins, which don't come with labels.

July 1 will be a very exciting day!

In other news, we have adopted a turtle, Schlomo, and are also watching for the summer, a turtle, Lucky, whom Robert describes as "an asshole." I've yet to meet lucky, but we shall see... Read More......