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Archive for September, 2009

Feta Obsessed? Which is best?

Lets face it, feta is quickly becoming the new cheddar. During the summer months it is especially apparent that we are becoming a feta obsessed nation, from the mounds of featured recipes that incorporate feta in everything from salad to dessert. But like cheddar (and all cheeses for that manner) there are many varieties of styles/brands of feta and picking the right one can be hard. There is the French feta, Greek feta, Israeli feta, crumbles, blocks….OH MY! Don’t feel overwhelmed, after much trial and error I am confident that I have officially found the perfect one and am here to share it with you.

The best feta: barrel aged. I am a cheese fanatic, so when I find a good one it sends me through a series of emotions. When I first tried Mr. Vikos barrel aged feta, I nearly cried. It is extremely flavorful and has a firm but not tough texture. It is also the perfect feta for baking or making a warm dish because of the way it is aged. I had been searching for a good feta for so long and up until this day was consistently let down. The week prior to my feta enlightenment, my roommate and I made a “Greek Style” meal of lemon parsley pasta with a light olive oil dressing, shrimp, kalamata olives, tomatoes, red peppers, onions, artichokes and spinach and were planing on finishing it off with feta cheese to melt in the steaming dish. We chose a French feta, and what a mistake that was. It was creamy and lacked flavor. As my roommate put it, “it tastes like fresh milk”. I wanted a pungent hearty cheese to complete the dish and was left completely dissatisfied because of that one missing element.

Barrel aged feta tends to be a bit pricier than the average feta you find in the grocery stores (why I continue to spend my minimal college income on food…I will never know) but it is completely worth it. Go big or go home!

Do Your Own Taste Test,

Nora

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As my work load and commitments increase, I find myself struggling to find time to make my favorite “home-cooked-meals”. My roommate and I have been cooking as much as possible because the thought of another salad or sandwich for dinner leads to a melancholy air in our quaint apartment. Luckily, we share the same love and attitude about food, recognizing the importance of a good meal. In our desperate search, we found a recipe for a “Black Bean Butternut Squash Chili”, PERFECT for the fall. We discovered it in her Bon Appetite cook book (unabridged dictionary sized), and were excited to find a simple recipe that seemed like a fresh take on the traditional chili. We served the chili in over sized mugs with toasted sourdough baguette pieces for dunking. It was hearty, and soul soothing: a meal that could make all of your daily stresses disappear. Needless to say after clean up we found ourselves full and comfortable, wrapped up in blankets on our couch. What a perfect end to a long day.

The recipe is found on epicurious.com:
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Black-Bean-Chili-with-Butternut-Squash-and-Swiss-Chard-234146

Wine Pairing: This spicy yet semi-sweet (form the butternut squash) meal is perfect with a dry Gewurztraminer. It calms the heat and provides a nice balance.

Try it out! I promise it will not let you down.

Savor The Fall,

Nora

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The start of my senior year of college has been filled with flurries of articles, and reunions with friends that I have not seen in months. It has kept me away from my blog for a few days, but things are starting to become more normal and I have many foodie thoughts to share(beware!)! The first thought I am going to share: I LOVE THE FALL! The air is crisp, the leaves are brilliant shades of red, orange and yellow and the food…comforting and warm. I am a sucker for warm hearty meals on cold days. My favorite warm meals are crock pot dinners. Whoever decided to create a machine that you can put a variety of ingredients in for 7 hours and magically transforms them into the most scrumptious meal you’ve ever eaten, should be given an award. I love the flavors that culminate when you place a variety of sweet vegetables and meat in one pot for an extended amount of time. Carrots, tomatoes and onions bring out the best in beef and a simple potato can make the meal so hearty and rich. It is the perfect no-hassle (and healthy) dinner to warm you on those dark, cool fall nights.

I have been looking through some food for fall 2009 magazines and they are all featuring warming comfort foods. It is only September but it is starting to get dark earlier and the chill has already started to sink in. I’m looking forward to making some soul warming meals and pairing them with good bread and wine. This weekend the bakery is featuring their new fall bread “Apple Cider Golden Raisin Bread”…oh the endless possibilities.

Bring on the squash, apples and root vegetables!!!!

Nora

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