Sunday, July 31, 2011

Gazpacho and Corn Salad

This was dinner last night. Very good and no heat was used! That means a lot because I would be very crabby if I had to turn on the stove. Gazpacho is a cold tomato based soup with a variety of fresh chopped ingredients, which sounds awful, but its sour and refreshing at the same time. I was very surprised how good it was. And the corn, wow, cut the kernels off the cob, leave them raw and add lemon juice, canola oil, sunflower seeds and sugar and a little ground red pepper. Google either and you'll find some great recipes! Or email me and I'll send it to you.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Salad of the Day

Spinach, arugula, strawberries, blue cheese, candied walnuts, with strawberry vinaigrette.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Fruity Vinaigrettes

I am on a mission to eat more greens! There is a book called Eat to Live by Joel Furhman (no relation to Mark Furhman of OJ fame, but there is OJ in one of these recipes :)) and Joel talks about how we as humans really need to eat more greens. That we were intended to eat much, much more than we now eat, even having greens for breakfast. He suggests Bibb or Boston lettuce, that softer, sweet lettuce, with vinaigrette and some light cheese to start your morning. I've tried it actually, and its not bad. Refreshing. He also claims that if you will increase your greens, you will lose weight. So this week, I am all about salads.

To get us started, we need to make some dressings. You can use any type of fruity sauce, jam, or even juice concentrate. I made a Jalapeno-Razz, Apricot Pomegranite, Pine-Orange-Strawberry, and Limeaid vinaigrettes this weekend.

Basic Recipe:

-2 Tblsp of your favorite fruit jam, concentrate or syrup (slightly warmed in microwave if its thick)
-1/4 Cup vinegar (I used Pomegranite for red fruits and white wine vinegar for orange, peach, lime)
-1/3 to 1/2 Cup Oil (I used Canola oil as Olive oil has too green of a taste for me)

Start with 1/3 cp oil and taste. If its a little too vinegary, add a bit more.

That's it! I'll share some salads with you tomorrow.

Raz-pepper jelly, slightly warmed in microwave and I used pomegranite vinegar.
A variety of jams, syrups, homemade jellys or frozen concentrates will work.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Fun Finds at the 'Markets'

I LOVE SUMMER! I can finally wear flip flops, eat snowies, and hit the markets! If you have never been to the Downtown Farmer's Market or the Park Silly Market, you are missing out. Great booths, food, gourmet goodies to take home. And its very accessible, easy to park, just get there early!

So here are a couple cool items you can find at the markets.

an antique watch turned into a necklace, only at Park Silly Market

this soap smells so good, I buy a couple bars each summer, she is only at the Park Silly Market

found these at SLC, $10

love this, at a booth at SLC, crimped in lasts 6 weeks, shampooable $20

switch plates, all different styles, SLC market $5

glass blown necklace, $10, henna tattoo, $10 SLC

beaded bracelet, crazy color combos, all real stones, $35+ both SLC and PSM

fresh flower bunches, $10 SLC

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Feast before the Famine

My son came to visit last week and we had such a great time together. We both love movies and good food. We saw Buck, a great documentary about the real Horse Whisperer, Conan O'Brien Can't Stop, a strange documentary about his anger at NBC and his subsequent creation of his live show, Harry Potter 7.2 which was cool (I am not that huge a Harry Potter fan but I can appreciate how one could be) and Horrible Bosses, which was the most hilarious movie I've seen in a while (although very off color), the dialogue was superb.

I have to say that we made some great food choices too, plus he finally had his first shaved ice! My Chicago readers aren't gonna have a clue what shaved ice is. Think of hard packed snow, covered in sugary syrup, then topped with cream. Not like the snow cones we grew up with, icey balls that nearly break your teeth. These are seriously good, really. And I have SUCH a hard time deciding on what flavor to get.  They offer 30 or so and you can mix as many as you want. I tried to get Doug to step outside the box with me and choose something really wild. What about Tiger's Blood and Godzilla and Grape? or how about Wedding Cake and Root Beer and Licorice? He stepped right up to the window and chose, Mango, Raspberry and Peach. How boring.  I know there are some snowie connoisseurs out there. What's your favorite shaved ice combo? I need help deciding!

We had some GREAT food at Vinto (approx 200 S. 400 E.) and Wild Grape Bistro (approx 600 E. S.Temple). I highly recommend both of them for lunch and dinner. Vinto has small gourmet pizza, very creative combos and each night there is a specialty pizza, like the Marinated Flank Steak w Cherry Tomatoes (see picture below). And if you've never tried a food truck, check out Chow Truck and Torta Truck's schedules. They are both superb for a walk up and grab a gourmet meal. We found them at Gallivan Plaza where there is a food truck fair every Thursday between 11a and 2p. And last, but not least, is a local chain, Cafe Zupas which has awesome sandwiches, soups and salads. I love, love, love the Vermont Maple Blueberry salad!

Anyway, after all this binging, its time to get on track. So for the next few weeks, I will be making salads, lots and lots of salads and some wonderful dressings. Make sure to stop back!

Strawberry Salad at Wild Grape.
Very good and very re-creatable. Spinach, arugula, strawberries, feta, candied cashews and strawberry vinaigrette.

Wild Grape's Lobster Risotto. VERY good even though its presentation is a little boring.

Cranberry Rhubarb Tart at Wild Grape Bistro. Sour. Perfect.

Flank Steak Pizza from Vinto

I love this! The Gelato Sampler from Vinto.

Vinto specials.
Tacos and root chips from the Chow Truck.
And Zupas! Always good choices even for a chain restaurant. Their summertime special,  Chicken Pesto sandwich, is delish.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Summer Treat

Freeze grapes for 15 minutes or so for a refreshing and healthy treat.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Ten Great Places to take Visitors

Last week we entertained out-of-town guests and it helped me remember what super things there are to do in Salt Lake and Park City in the summer. I thought I would give you a peek at my Top 10 great places to take family and friends:
1. Downtown Farmer's Market in Salt Lake at 300 S. 300 W. 8am to 1pm every Saturday (check website for dates) and always hoppin'. Get there early and here's a secret parking tip. On the south end of the market on 400 South, Western Nut Company charges $3 for one of their parking spaces and very few people use it. It puts you so close, its SO worth it. Food? So much it's hard to pick. Try the open face pesto - veggie sandwich for $5 (can't remember the name of the vendor but she's halfway down the main food aisle) or the mid-east plate with shishkabob, rice, falafel and salad, all for about $8. There are samples galore: cookies  from RubySnap, bread from Great Harvest, hummus from Happy Monkey, as well as gelato, cheese, salsa, bratwurst and fresh produce samples from the myriad of vendors.

2. Park Silly Market in Park City on Main Street runs from 10am to 5pm every Sunday, usually through September. Try the Mexican Hot Dog or the Mahi Mahi Tacos. We found a cute jewelry booth with 2 for $5 costume jewelry and they had a great selection of Owl and Butterfly necklaces. Other fun items: glitter dog collars, henna and air brush tattoos, purses, soap, lotion, pillows, and rugs.

3. Silver Fork Lodge Restaurant in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Patio seating gives great views, good breakfast (I recommend the huevos rancheros or the homemade corned beef hash with eggs) and the hummingbird feeders are always busy. Weekday mornings are best because Sat/Sun is always crowded and getting seated on the deck is near impossible. Lunch and dinner are good too but are much pricier than breakfast. As long as you are that far up Big Cottonwood Canyon, I recommend a walk around 4. Silver Lake at the Brighton Resort. It's boardwalked part of the way and then continues through the woods on a dirt trail. Many times we have been able to see a moose lounging in the grassy meadow in the center. If you are fit, try the walk up to the rock slide on the trail leading to Twin Lakes. Stand quietly right above the slide and you may see a Pica gathering grass for the winter. Both Silver Fork Lodge and Silver Lake Trail are outstanding between September 20 and October 5, while the Aspens are in full golden glow.
View from Deer Valley Sterling Express Lift
5. Deer Valley has a great scenic lift ride to their wonderful dining at the Royal Street Cafe. EVERYTHING is delicious - a very creative menu. If you have time, ride the second lift up to see the views off into Heber Valley. Spectacular. Of course, staying for a Deer Valley Concert is the icing on the cake.
Wildflowers at Albion Basin
6. The wildflowers are blooming in late July/ early August. You can combine a beautiful drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon with a small walk among the wildflowers at Albion Basin. Shuttles are provided up to the parking lot at Catherine Pass Trailhead to minimize your walk, or you can choose to hike through the lower parts of Alta Ski Resort to reach the spectacular fields of pink, blue, yellow, purple and white. On your way back down the canyon stop at Snowbird for lunch or just a refreshing drink on the patio, where the Cool Air Concert Series plays free at 6pm every Saturday.

7. Sundance Ski Resort is another beautiful location to take a scenic lift ride. Sundance has less crowds during the week and you can get a great lunch on the patio at the Foundry Grill or buy a sandwich at the deli in their General Store (highly recommend the Turkey/Bacon/Avocado) and eat on the porch or at the top of the mountain. Be sure to check out the jewelry items on sale in the Art Shack behind the resort. The stained glass necklace was a steal at $15 and the soap stack was $6.

8. Sugar House Shopping District offers some of the usual large chain stores like Old Navy, The Loft, Barnes & Noble and Whole Foods, but it also offers some not so common shopping like Pib's Exchange (a great resale clothing shop) Central Book Exchange (resale books), Sugar House Coffee, Sundance Outlet Store (where I found $2 wool sweaters in the little, obscure room at the back), Piper's Quilts and Yarn, plus there is now a  Sugar House Farmer's Market on Friday evenings. Also check out the NEW Sugar House DI Thrift Store, which is heralded as the best of the DI's in the valley, great bargains on clothes, books, and household goods. If you are in to old LP album covers, this is the place!

9. Check out the downtown restaurant/shopping districts, i.e: 3rd and 3rd (where you will find Caputo's Market (check out the chocolate aisle!), Aquarius Fish Market, Bruge's Waffles & Frites , and Carlucci's Bakery; then there is  9th and 9th where you will find cute shops, Dolcetti Gelato (the Coconut Sticky Rice is to die for), Mazza middle eastern food (love, love the Chicken & Cauliflower Kabseh), Coffee Garden and great independent films at Tower Theatre; another great corner is 15th and 15th where you will find the book store King's English, The Blue Cockatoo Gallery and Fresco Italian Cafe as well as a Starbuck's Coffee House. While you are downtown, try out the two best Sushi spots, Sapa and Takashi. I have become quite picky about my sushi and both are excellent. Sapa has happy hour priciing on many of their sushi rolls from 5 to 6 pm, Monday through Thursday.

10. And finally, Antelope Island State Park is the place I take visitors to catch glimpses of vast bird populations, bison, pronghorn antelope and sometimes a wolf or two. You can get a bison burger at the snack shack but really, this is about the quiet beauty of the Great Salt Lake and the enormous views of the Wasatch range. There is a nice museum with videos of the bison round up that happens each October and displays about the wildlife on the island. This is a destination for people who appreciate things being left as they are. Click on the photos for larger views. Enjoy.