Friday, February 18, 2011

Pinkberry at home, pinkberry to go

I don't know about the rest of you, but I am quite the fan of Pinkberry frozen yogurt. There is something about its smoothness and creaminess. But, the price is quite a deterrant. So, I set about to making my own version at home.

Simple, quick, clean eating. I don't have to worry about whether or not its made from real dairy, is really non fat, or is using fruit or "fruit essence" because  I know exactly what I'm putting in it.

This time I wanted to make nonfat mango frozen yogurt. It was ah-mazing.

In a blender put one cup nonfat plain organic yogurt, and 2 -3 pieces of frozen mango halves from Trader Joes. Blend till combined and savor.

On another note. I was thinking about doing something unique for my wedding. What about having Pinkberry set up a dessert station?

I need to find out how much that would cost.....

Sunday, February 13, 2011

This is how we do it

I LOVE, absolutely Love having friends over for to eat at the same table with me. I have a slight obsession with filling peoples bellies with simple delights.

So, when Superbowl weekend came around I took the opportunity to invite people over. I'm not particularly a fan of football, but I was eager for an excuse to gather people around. This time, most of the inspiration was from my youth. Typical Persian/Armenian appetizers covered the dining table and side console....

The above consisted of four distinct items:

  1.  Armenian String Cheese. I used the "Karoun" brand, found at my local Costco of all places!  If you havnt tried this before, you MUST try it soon. It has much more flavor than  you typical school lunch brand. As an extra bonus, its actually stringy.
  2. Valbreso French Feta cheese - A very light, simple sheeps milk Feta. 
  3. Bulgarian Feta Cheese - Lower in fat, and a slightly more "organic" or "gamey" flavor.
  4. Soujuk - You can call it "Armenian Salami" if you'd like. That's how I grew up thinking about it. Flavored with Paprkia,  Cumin and lots and lots of Sodium. 
This particular display pleased a few people at least... those of us who grow up on it call it comfort food. 
Yes, its simply a big tray of herbs. Basil, Cilantro and Parsley in particular . Oh, and radishes, don't forget the radishes. They are a must before the dinner entree, a perfect apertif. You fill a pita with the herbs, some raw onion and some butter of Feta and you are set. 

Of course to balance out the Kettle Potato Chips and the platter of cheese, I needed to offer some vegetables. Other than the basic tray of crudites I tossed together a simple salad of english cucumber (though I would have preferred persian), Cherry tomatoes, olive oil, fresh lemon juice, chopped green onion and a pinch of diced cilantro and parsley.

Can you guess what the above consisted of?  Hummus I think is the most obvious. I chose to buy it from Trader Joes and everyone loved it. I topped it off with some smoked paprika. Then the duplicates, diagonally from eachother is something similar to Raita, but the Persian version. It consists of yogurt, cumbers, a pinch of dried mint and dried basil ( more mint than basil), fresh chopped green onions, cilantro and dill. Its the perfect dip for chips, or just to eat alone -- i promise. Lastly, closest to you is a simple dip made from a yogurt product called Lebne, if you can't find it at a local store you can make it by placing whole milk plain yogurt in a cheese cloth and hanging it from something like the faucet over the sink, allowing the liquids to drip out. What you are left with is a thick yogurt product. Once you have this Lebne, simply add a bit of sea salt and freshly chopped shallots. Let it marinade over night. Think of it like onion dip, but better :)

Simple potato salad, the recipe can be found here.

Speaks for itself.....

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A twist on loaded baked potatoes...

A little bit of lowfat shredded cheese.....

A handful of diced anaheim peppers 
( I would recommend sauteeing these separately first)

Sliced fresh Blackforest deli ham.

One light strine cheese, cubed.

All together now.

The rest is super simple. 
For those days when you need something comforting really quick.
Microwave one or two large russet potatoes till the are fully cooked.
Dice, and place on the serving plate ( microwavable)
Layer the potatoes with the peppers, ham, and cheese. 
Make sure to keep some cheese for the top layer because you know gooey melted 
cheese makes you feel better on a snowy day