Sunday, March 30, 2014

The World's Most Refreshing Kale Salad

Ok, don't fall over in shock or anything, but I actually have a brand new recipe. It's been a kind of long hiatus- I was busy, I made some stuff that was good that I didn't take pictures of, some stuff that I took pictures of but that wasn't good, and some stuff that I was to lazy to post. Somehow all of the snow this winter put me into some kind of coma. Charlotte loved it. So, now, let's just forget about all that and get back on track.

At this point, it is thisclose to being April, and it is STILL cold around here. I have had soup, and stew, and things made in the slow cooker and I am sick of it  all! So today I decided that I can't be forced to comply with this madness, and I'm just going to go right on ahead and eat as much summery food as I want.
Exhibit A.

My Mom used to make this really good salad when we had enchiladas, with avocado, and grapefruit, and red onions. This is sort of a riff on that, and I must admit, avocados would be the icing on the cake.

-kale (4 cups, when it has been cut)
-1 pink grapefruit, supremed
-a smidge of red onion, sliced thin (less than a quarter of a small one)
-2/3 can of garbanzo beans
-1 small red pepper, julienned
-1/8c chopped cilantro
-1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or citrus juice
-1/8 tsp salt
-1/8 tsp pepper
-1/8 tsp cumin 
-queso fresco (which I used) or avocado, crumbled or chopped depending which one

What to do with them:
Kale- when I make a kale salad, I like to cut it in very thin strips. I take out the pieces of rib that are by themselves but if they're attached to a leaf then I leave it (hey, fiber). Then I "massage" it which is less exciting than it sounds. Basically, grab it in your hands, almost like kneading bread, just to sort of soften it. It really makes the end product so much more appealing. Then, chop the pepper and cilantro

Garbanzo beans- you're not cooking these or doing anything so really wash them super well so that they don't have any of the slimy broth from the can.

Grapefruit- you're going to need to "supreme" the grapefruit. You have to slice off the peel, including the white pith. Then, very carefully slice along the membrane that separates the sections, so that you have a little section of just the inside part of the section. Go along for each one, and do that. This website has really good instructions

Dressing- mix the oil, vinegar, and spices. It is not a ton, but the grapefruit also makes liquid that contributes to the salad.

Combine it all....

Toss, and serve! It's really good- the grapefruit just bursts in your mouth, it really is the most refreshing salad in the world! In the queso fresco vs avocado debate, it's worth pointing out that taking the avocado choice is the obvious way to veganize it.

One of the reasons I'm so into kale salad is that it's one of the few salads I can think of (involving actual greens) that stands up in the fridge for leftovers. Tonight I had it with some leftover arroz con pollo but tomorrow, this is lunch!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Treats, the Grand Finale: Kransekake!

If you're heading into this pre-holiday weekend looking for a cooking project, this, my friend, is it! My family has these at weddings and major birthdays, and every once in a blue moon someone feels motivated enough to make one for Christmas. It is definitely beautiful and festive, and delicious.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Treats: Peppermint Shortbread Cookies!

In the final item of the trifecta of peppermint based holiday recipes this week, I give you peppermint shortbread cookies, which are a really nice twist on a classic cookie. They're also something you can keep in the freezer, cut off a few rounds of, and have fresh cookies whenever someone shows up. Easy peasy!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Treats: Brittle Mania!

This time of year, it's nice to give people a little something. Ideally, this little something tastes awesome, but doesn't take up too much valuable shopping and Elf-viewing time. Even though brittle does involve a candy thermometer (and don't believe anyone who tells you it doesn't, they are either experts or they make bad brittle), it goes together quickly and tastes delicious. These non-traditional versions are extra exciting!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Treats: Peppermint Krispies!

If you need an easy, kid friendly treat that is not yet another thing made of gingerbread, this is your dessert! About 5 minutes more work than regular rice krispies, but so much more festive!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Treats: Mexican Wedding Cookies

Is this the best picture? No. Are these the best cookies? YES! I love these nutty, buttery little powdered sugar bombs and so will you!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas Treats: Homemade Peppermint and Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows!

These peppermint marshmallows are a lot of work, but they're also a lot of fun. If you feel like taking on a holiday cooking adventure, give them a try!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Thanksgiving is Coming, and Maybe You Want Carrot, Not Pumpkin, Soup

Yesterday I posted a quick easy pumpkin soup recipe that would be perfect to kickstart your Thanksgiving dinner. Maybe you liked the idea, but not that particular soup. WELL, here I am to solve your dilemma. I give you.... Coconut Carrot Ginger Soup! A little more work, but still not that hard.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thanksgiving is Coming, and you need this Pumpkin Soup to Kick Things Off!

Cooking for Thanksgiving is stressful, and one of the big stressors is that oven space becomes a hot commodity, what with stuffing and sweet potatoes and turkeys all taking up space, that oven fills up fast. This soup goes together in a flash, just uses the stove, and could be a really good starter for your Thanksgiving feast!

Give it a shot!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thanksgiving is Coming, and No One Wants Rolls- You Want Sage Apple Cornbread!

Amidst the awesome feast that is Thanksgiving are some slightly less awesome things, including the obligatory dinner rolls. You might not really want it, but you kind of have to have it. I actually had the great fortune to have a cousin marry someone with a delicious family roll recipe, so we are in good shape, but if you're just running past the grocery store at the last minute, this might improve things a bit.

(ignore the beans. cornbread is one thing, but cold bean salad for Thanksgiving is just crazy)

These rolls have all the flavors you're looking for in something for Thanksgiving- sage, corn, seasonal apples, it's perfect! 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Thanksgiving is Coming, and You Want THIS Awesome Fresh Cranberry Ginger Relish

When you think of cranberry sauce, do you think of a gelatinous mold, still shaped like the can? Do you think of something that you take a tiny obligatory amount of and then leave secretly on the plate?

Well, feast your eyes on this...

What's that? fresh, vibrant, tart, delicious cranberry lemon ginger relish.

I got the idea from my Mom, who sent me this recipe, which is actually a little bit similar to our traditional family recipe. The family recipe for cranberry salad is based on the same general idea but also involves raspberry jello. Yes. I said jello. It is a gloriously 1950's fandango of a recipe and I could eat it 365 days a year. This, however, is a little easier, does not involve a jello mold (or, cooking sherry!), so is a little less controversial, and tastes awesome. I modified it from the original version, in part out of a lack of candied ginger, which the original calls for.

Here is my version:
-1/2 package fresh cranberries (the other half went into pumpkin scones!)
-1 granny smith apple
-1/4c unsalted almonds
-a plug of fresh ginger, about 2 inches long
-zest of one lemon
-1/4 c sugar (let it sit a bit, add more if you like).

Basically, just chop up each big ingredient (apple, cranberries, almonds) in the food processor. Do NOT process too long- you want some texture, here. For the ginger, peel it, and first chop it up as well as you can- those fibers won't really get food processed that easily. Then throw it in while you chop the berries so it can get a bit finer.

After you combine it, let it sit for a few hours for all of the flavors to meld.

This stuff is really good- the combo of the ginger and the lemon and the tart fresh berries is so good. The apples add a little sweetness (which is why I cut the sugar in half) and some crunch. This gives all the cranberry goodness you could want, without any of the corn syrup or other bad stuff that comes in the prepackaged sauce. 

You could eat this with turkey, or just go hard core and eat it in a salad, which is what I've been doing all week!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Thanksgiving is Coming, and you need this Pumpkin Ginger Crumble Pie!

So, we all know how it goes when jobs are getting doled out for Thanksgiving-- the real experts get the  turkey, the person with the old family recipe that is the most full of marshmallows gets the sweet potatoes, the total rookie gets the green vegetable, the person who can't cook at all goes and buys some rolls, and somewhere in the middle is the pumpkin pie. You have to be able to bake reasonably well, but let's get real, there is a perfectly good recipe on the side of the pumpkin can, so it's not all that hard.

BUT. I am going to help all of you middle of the pack pumpkin pie makers, and show you how to make a seriously awesome pie that will blow them out of the water.

I give you.... Pumpkin Ginger Crumble Pie (originally posted in 2009, man alive, this thing is practically vintage.)

(see it lurking tantalizingly in the foreground?)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

DIY Cover-that-lamp-up Chandelier

Now, I mentioned a while ago that something was afoot and I'm not going to lie, since then I've been pretty busy what with conferences and such, so I only just now got it together.

Basically, ALL of the light fixtures in my apartment look like this:
And I hate them.

However, since I'm renting I'm a little limited in what I can do to about it. Once I had pimped my hallway with the new paintings  (which have gotten almost 900 pins on Pinterest!), I thought it could also use a new light. The side benefit of this is that if it looked really awful, it would be in the hall not the living room. I looked at a lot of options, and was particularly taken with these faux capiz shell chandeliers that you make with wax paper ( My only concern was, you know, burning down my apartment by essentially attaching a giant wick to one of my light fixtures. So, I continued to look for something less flammable.

I ended up deciding to go with a cluster of glass balls- sort of industrial but also sort of fun. Here are my supplies (except, twice as many ornaments).
Here is what I used (I'm pretty proud of hacking this together)
-- a metal plant hanger, from Home Depot (sometimes these have removable moss in them).
-- clear ornaments from Michaels. Now, I used plastic ones, which were on 30% off, and which were cheaper than the glass ones. I have one of those super eco friendly spiral lightbulbs so I don't believe heat will be an issue, plus the plant hanger prevents them from being too close to the bulb
-- monofilmament line, which I found in the beading area (again at Michaels) 
-- a glue gun
-- small white metal screw hooks

First, take off the chain the plant hanger hangs from, make a necklace, hang something else, do whatever- you won't use it here. Then, what you're going to do is tie the monofilament in double or triple knots (that stuff is slippery!) around parts of the plant hanger wire. Glue each knot onto the wire with a little blob of glue- this prevents all the balls from sliding to the middle, and lets you have ones that are hanging from the center of some of the wires. In order to attach the ball to the monofilament line, first pop off the little metal hanger on the bulb (it will look less clean with those on- you want all glass). Then, squirt a small blob of glue on the inside of the curve of the little neck sticking out of the ball. You'll have to take the end of the line you're dealing with (trimmed to the length you want), and stick it in the glue blob. This part takes patience, you will have to hold it still there, until the glue is hard. Sometimes you might have to add another little bit of glue if the line pops out.
Use variable length lines, then repeat, and repeat, and repeat.

Here are the first few:

And here is a much later stage:

You're going to want to periodically turn it over and hold it up so you can see where the balls fall, and where the gaps are. Be sure also that they don't only hang low, but that they go all the way up to the top edge or else you'll be able to see the lightbulb through the top. I fell into this trap and then had to hang the whole thing up while I took a break because I was sick of gluing. (I feel like with all this balls hanging low talk I'm just setting myself up for joke after joke, but I'm really trying to just breeze right on past it - could you tell?)

For the light fixture itself, you'll need to unscrew the brass knob and then take that and the glass off. To hang it, I came up with something I'm pretty convinced was a very clever solution. Basically, I held the plant hanger up, centered it, and marked with a pencil 4 spots on the perimeter. Then I screwed little hooks in at each spot:
You might have to twist them a bit in order to get the thing hung up, but once you do that, it's very stable and you really don't notice the hooks at all.

Now, the tough part is that this is REALLY HARD to take pictures of. In real life the hall is very bright, but the light is nicely refracted (more like the picture below, but in the picture below it's hard to see the light). You can definitely see where the lightbulb is, and some of the black wires, but I kind of like the sort of industrial-ish vibe that it creates. I wish you couldn't see the brass edge of the lamp, but since it is so close to the rim of the plant hanger, it might look like it belonged, if I didn't know that it had been there already.

Here you can see it in context:

So, I think if you have something you want to cover up, this is a good way to go- it definitely changed the whole look of the hall to have something more exciting up but when I move out I can just unscrew it and replace the old light like nothing happened. Magic!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Halloweeny Salad: Black Rice and Purple Carrots

 This weekend while out and about, I ran across some awesome produce, which included some purple(ish) carrots. I'd never had them before, so obviously had to pick some up! As you can see, unlike some, these were mainly purple on the outside, but I think that makes them completely perfect for Halloween week.

 I was trying to think of something good to do with them- I was considering roasting them but got down a google-rabbit-hole and found this great recipe. I'd never used black rice OR  purple carrots, so bonus all around. Plus, I felt like I was getting sick (confirmed today, now that I have spent the day intermittently sleeping, watching the Lifetime Movie Network, and drinking tea with honey and lemon) and this salad is about as packed with super foods and antioxidants as you can get!

The recipe was from over at Scandi Home, and I made it almost just as recommended- this is my version. Actually, once you have all the ingredients, it was easy to put together.

The Stuff:
--1c non glutinous black rice (I used Natures Earthly Choice, which I found at my regular grocery store)
--zest of 1 lime
--juice of one lime (add half, then taste and add more if needed)
--1 tbsp vinegar- I used apple cider
--pinch salt
--1 tsp tamari
--1 tsp sesame oil
--3 tbsp sesame seeds
--5 purple carrots, grated
--seeds of 1/2 pomegranate
--3 tbsp chopped cilantro

What to do with it:
This is so easy. The hardest part is getting out the pomegranate seeds, so if you find those pre-seeded by all means go for it. Cook the rice, it took mine about 30 minutes and the water turns this amazing purple color. Drain it and let it cool slightly. Mix the lime juice and zest, oil, salt, and tamari together. Combine all the ingredients, pour the dressing over, and you're done! The original recipe called for pumpkin oil, which I didn't have and replaced with sesame, and I needed the extra lime to balance that flavor out- it probably depends a bit on your lime, so I'd taste it first.

This is also definitely fancy enough that you could serve it to guests and gets lots of ooohs and ahs. It could be a great appetizer, or larger servings could be a meal on their own. I only made a half batch, and I've already plotted to use up the rest of the carrots making more of it! I had mine with some Green Soup, made with kale I picked up along with the carrots (I've made this before and thought I posted it but it seems not, so that one is coming!). If all those vitamins don't knock down this sore throat I don't know what will!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Yellowfish Shop is Starting to Get Ready for the Holidays!

I went shopping for jewelry supplies recently, which was fun in the Garment District when I lived in LA, but is much more fun in NYC's Fashion District because I can harbor the secret hope that maybe, just maybe, I will run into Tim Gunn. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure that whatever he is doing is much more fabulous than obsessively digging through strand after strand of beads, but hey, a girl can dream.

I'm starting to fill up the shop for the holiday season and thought I'd show you a few of the new things that you'll find over there!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Favorite Recipes Newly Updated!

Ok! I have finally gone through and updates my "Favorite Recipes" tab, which was woefully outdated. This isn't comprehensive, but at least it's also not 3 years old. To save you the clicking, here it is in all its glory.

Weeknight Dinners:
Balsamic Lentils
Peanut Noodles
Squash Soup
Chana Masala
Butternut Squash Pasta
French Lentil Salad
Eggs in Purgatory (cheater version)
Trader Joes Korean Fusion Tacos

Vegetarian Dishes:
Rosemary Chickpea Couscous Salad: this is probably the dish I have gotten the most good feedback about, from a variety of sources, so it goes first!
Roasted Cauliflower, Bulgar, and Pumpkin Sauce: so good on a cold night. very hearty.
Potato Crusted Quiche: the main revelation here is the potato crust, which can be adapted to a lot of different recipes. You can then throw whatever is in the fridge in the body of the quiche
Balsamic Gorgonzola Wheatberries: This is the recipe that got me addicted to wheatberries
Spinach Sweet Potato Adzuki Bean Soup: This is delicious, and probably responsible for the most hits to my blog (other than an old post about the children of the corn, which is mysteriously popular).
Save Yourself From Yourself Kale Salad: this is my go-to recipe when I've been on vacation, going to too many happy hours, or otherwise eating things I wish I hadn't.
Cauliflower Fried Rice: this make it into the vegetarian category because the add-ins are so flexible. A perfect way to use up leftovers!
Avocado Summer Rolls: the most perfect thing for hot weather ever.
Eggs in Purgatory (real version)
Roasted cauliflower and smoked Gouda soup

Meaty Dishes:
French Lentil Salad: this is really delicious either as a warm dinner, or the next day as a cold salad.
Balsamic Lentils: Similar in core ingredients to the French Lentil Salad, the flavors are completely different and very delicious.
Korean Fusion Tacos: This has become a complete staple at all summer events around here.
Slow cooked chicken chili: This is an easy meal to toss in the slow cooker.
Rosemary Lemon chicken: good, and also a good way to marinate chicken in general.

Beyond Decadent Coconut Cupcakes: O.M.G.
Margarita Cupcakes: need I say more?
Coconut Sorbet: light and delicious.
Peppermint Krispies: a classic.
The amazing dairy free, soy free, shockingly delicious chocolate cake.
Kransekake- not for the faint of heart
Not Your Grandma's Brittle- fancy peanut brittle for presents

Most Fun:
pita bread: This may be my absolute most favorite thing I have ever made, ever.
Homemade magic shell: yes.
Pretzels: so much work, but definitely fun!

Most commonly occurring in the Yellowfish Kitchen Daily Rotation:
Squash soup- an old favorite.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts- this made me into a person who likes brussel sprouts.
Huevos Rancheros- sometimes, I eat this every night for a week.
Beer Bread- fasted way to get to fresh baked bread with little chance of failure.
Granola- cheap and easy addition to breakfast.
Stealthy Joes- vegan sloppy joes made with lentils
Peanut noodles- this can go together pretty quickly and is very satisfying.

Favorite Disasters: don't try these at home. or, anywhere, really.
Turkish Delight- man alive, I still have nightmares about cleaning that pan.
Braised cucumbers- WTF. seriously.
Dulce de Leche- fortunately for me, they now just sell this already cooked in cans.
Puffed brown rice- I may have moved just so that I didn't have to locate the rest of the rice.
Scones- one good way not to celebrate the Royal Wedding.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Baked Eggs... in a Pepper!

How does that look? Pretty delicious, right?

It definitely looks 100x better than my first baked eggs attempt which involved very flat, dry eggs in ramekins, one of which had a sort of bizarre bubble like growth on it; I was saving that whole debacle for one of my kitchen disasters posts except that I never got around to it, so here you go:

Since a year or so has elapsed, I thought I'd get right back in there. I was partly inspired by my previously made Fancy Schmancy Springtime Eggs, a rare Pinterest attempt that worked pretty much like they said it would:

ANYWAYS... back to this weekend's brunch. I started with half a pepper, this sort of strange looking white bell pepper is some kind of Long Island pepper that I am entirely unable to find on the internet, but which exists in large piles at my produce stand. It is not quite as sweet as a red or yellow pepper but not as tart as green- you could use basically any pepper of your choice but colored yellow/orange/red would taste better.
As you can see, I lined the bottom with very thin slices of cheddar, which is optional. You could put almost anything in here- other cheese, (cooked) bacon, green onions, whatever!

I then carefully cracked 2 eggs into the pepper- from my disappointing ramekin experience, I learned that the eggs do puff very slightly, but not as much as you might expect. These eggs went basically to the very top, and it was fine.

You might notice that there is suddenly tinfoil in the picture- I used that to brace the pepper so it didn't roll and dump egg everywhere. I sprinkled the top with sea salt, pepper, rosemary, and parmesan cheese.

I cooked the eggs in a 400 degree oven- it really took a lot longer than I would have expected- about 35 minutes for the eggs to cook through. I would recommend checking the eggs frequently (just poke them- you want to be sure the white is set all the way through so that should be pretty firm). I don't like extremely runny yolks, so mine were a bit more on the done side.

Although it took a while to bake, this looked great- definitely brunch-worthy. In addition, it makes almost everyone happy- the vegetarians, the low carbers,  the paleos, the gluten frees- this, my friends, is a people pleaser. I think the vegans are out of luck, but that's about it. Give it a try!

I had it with some avocado, and a side of mango with lime (mmmmmmmmmm).

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Easy Homemade Hanging Jewelry Rack (repost)

As another decorating re-post, here is a jewelry rack, made out of cooling racks! this has now moved coasts and apartments and is still going strong. This probably goes down as the single most useful thing I have ever made. Somewhat ironically, my actual cooling racks for food were lost in the move, so the only ones I own are nailed to the bathroom wall- I guess you win some, you lose some.


This idea came to me in a craft store, here is what you need for a little do it yourself action:
--a gridded baking cooling rack (preferably black)
--a package of black bobby pins
--needle nose pliers, or round nose jewelry pliers
--decoration, if you want (here, some discount Christmas berries. I also considered ribbon woven around the edge).

Take the rack, and put whatever decorations you plan to use on it first- this works better for things like the berries so that you can place your hooks around them. 

To create the hooks, take a bobby pin, and, from behind the rack, clip it onto one of the horizontal bars, so that its hanging straight down on the front. Then, take your pliers, and grip halfway up the bobby pin. Bend the bobby pin upwards so it forms a V pointing up, making a hook. You can space the hooks out as you want- I found that leaving an empty square between them helped a lot when hanging things.

For necklaces, be sure to leave enough space between rows for the pieces to hang. I made one square for necklaces and the other for earrings. On the earrings rack, I put a series of hooks at the top for hoops, and the other earrings I just hung through the squares by their hooks.

Once all your hooks and decorations are installed, nail it up!

Here is the finished product... so far, it is working fantastically! Its not only cute, it was veeery budget friendly. give it a try!

And- a year later, here it is (way loaded up) in its new home!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Drowning in a Sea of Cords!

So, I've been having a problem. I've been obsessively looking at everyone else's apartments, trying to figure out how they deal with it and honestly, I can't figure out WHAT they do, so I finally had to break down and figure it out myself.

What's the problem?

CORDS! So. many. CORDS. 

This problem occurs at what I think you could think of as the nexus of all technology- the TV, the DVR, the DVD player, the modem, the router- it's a hot mess. My main technique has been trying to shove them all under the shelf, but it really didn't work, and having to unplug something made me want to cry.

What do you do about this kind of problem? 
HIDE IT! Yes. Hide it, like a 5 year old cleaning your room.

In my googling, I saw some products on line meant for this, but they didn't seem up to the job of dealing with my massive cord snarl. I went to IKEA, where I'd seen some of these advertised, and they were just really small. But what they DID have were these cardboard boxes. I was already using the polkadot ones to hold DVDs (and elsewhere, photos) so it seemed like a natural choice. 

Basically, what you see here is a double-wide powerstrip with all kinds of stuff plugged into it. The tricky part is that what I did was to feed the cords in through the back hole of the box (meant to be a handle). I did want my laptop cord to be available, so I fed that one out the front of the box. Put the lid on, and seriously, it was like magic. I spent a lot of time obsessively checking the bottom of the box to see if it was hot, or anything like that, but nothing like that happened, and it's been about a month at this point so I'm confident in the system, provided all your cords are in good shape and not sparky or anything crazy like that.

Here it is again... magic!

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