March 10, 2014

Foodgasms: Spinach, Arugula & Strawberry Salad

I love salads. But sometimes, they can get rather boring. Because of that, and because I am trying to eat healthier, I’ve decided to start experimenting with different salad makings and new flavors. My ultimate goal is to make a salad with over 20 ingredients that all work harmoniously. Plus, a homemade dressing that ties it all together. And that is how I came to discover arugula.

If you have never tried it, arugula is a leafy green veggie that tastes fairly peppery and mixes perfectly with spinach. Arugula is wonderful to use in a summer salad, and while it’s definitely not summer, I couldn’t wait to try it out, especially after I found some deliciously ripe strawberries at my local grocery store.

This simple, five ingredient salad comes to a perfect finish with the sweet & tangy lime dressing that I drizzled all over the top. If you’re looking for a great accompaniment to a summer barbecue or picnic, then look no further.

Spinach, Arugula & Strawberry Salad:
1 cup fresh arugula
1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 pint sliced strawberries
1 medium cucumber, sliced, with or w/o peel

In a salad bowl, combine all ingredients and lightly toss together. Serve chilled and drizzle with sweet & tangy lime dressing.

Sweet & Tangy Lime Dressing:
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 to 1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup olive oil
Season to taste with kosher salt and pepper

In a medium bowl, whisk together dijon mustard, sugar, lime and orange juice vigorously until completely blended and the sugar is dissolved. Drizzle in the honey and whisk vigorously until completely blended. Then slowly add the olive oil in a continuous thin stream while whisking the whole time until fully incorporated. Season to taste with kosher salt and either black or white pepper.

February 18, 2014

Foodgasms: Homemade Peanut Butter Marshmallows

Marshmallows. Is there a delicious treat that is fluffier, sweeter or tastier than a marshmallow? I didn’t think so. Aside from being absolutely delicious, marshmallows are also fun. They jiggle and sway and you can use them in many different recipes. And as someone who loves to bake and enjoys expanding her horizons, I had to see how difficult it was to make marshmallows from scratch.

Surprisingly enough, it turns out that marshmallows are actually pretty easy to make. The hardest part actually, is waiting for them to cure. Which can take up to 8 hours. Why is that so hard? Because you’ll want to eat them right away. This was actually the second time that I had made marshmallows from scratch. I learned a lot from the first time and these definitely came out better.

While I had the idea to make Peanut Butter Marshmallows, I cannot (and won’t) claim ownership of the recipe. This delicious recipe came from Amy Christie of This Heart of Mine Blog. If you have never been to her blog, I urge you to go and visit asap. You might want to eat something first … I followed her recipe completely and these are easily the tastiest marshmallows ever, and the peanut butter is not over-powering in the slightest. I did decide to melt some chocolate and dip a few of the marshmallows in the gooey deliciousness and I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest.

Anyone for s’mores with homemade marshmallows?! Party at my house! Have you made marshmallows before? What was the hardest part of the process for you? Leave a comment below and let me know!