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Wellness Wednesday: Perfectly Poached Eggs

recent obsession:
POACHED EGGS!

I don’t know why I’ve been avoiding learning to poach an egg all my life.  Maybe because everyone makes it out to be “so difficult”.   I found it to be the easiest thing I’ve recently learned!  Expect to f**k up a few times at first .  But that’s to be expected, it’s just food, no worries.  Before you know it, you’ll be whipping them up with no troubles at all! Practice makes Perfect.

We could spend a lot of time going into the politics around eggs (which I LOVE doing), from cage free to pasture raised or from cholesterol concerns to the perfect protein source…there are a lot of opinions out there around eggs.
My philosophy is: Enjoy everything from nature in moderation (and sure, an occasional apple fritter is fine too!).

I happen to LOVE eggs.  They’re versatile, affordable (well, kind of. $8 farmer’s market pasture raised, ek!) and not to mention, packed with vitamins, minerals and protein.
(However, I would never eat an egg on the airplane, in a random restaurant or from a place I know does not support the humane treatment of animals…see HERE)

OK, HOW TO POACH AN EGG…

What you’ll need:
a slotted spoon
shallow pot of boiling water
paper towels
eggs from happy chickens
distilled white vinegar

What to do:
bring a small pot of water to a boil
lower to a simmer
add distilled white vinegar
crack the egg into a small cup (I used an espresso cup)
slowly drop the egg into the pot of simmering water (I kind of slide it down the side of the pot)
set your timer for 3 minutes
it’s going to look weird and messy in the water- don’t panic
use your slotted spoon to move the whites towards the yolk, keeping the shape looking somewhat uniformed-ish
in the meantime, place a paper towel on a plate
in 3 minutes the egg is cooked (or when the white part of the egg looks firm and not runny)
remove the egg with your slotted spoon to the paper towel to dry for a bit
season with salt and pepper

(if making more than one, you can add eggs 30 seconds apart)

Recipe for above picture: I roasted a sweet potato, chopped greens and almonds in ONE dish in the oven while I made the egg.  If you can do simple math you can learn to cook entire meals in ONE dish.  Oven at 400.  On a large cookie sheet bake the sweet potatoes (I poke with a fork and wrap them in foil).  When the potato has 12 minutes remaining, scoot them to one side of the pan and add the chopped broccolini and kale (tossed with evoo and sp) along with the almonds. (I feel silly for even explaining this)

ENJOY!

Whipped it up again for a late lunch yesterday.  Earrings off, computer aside… hello deliciousness!!!! Think I’ll make it again today!

 
 

Giving Thanks Soiree

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Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Today is my favorite day of the year!  It’s a day that represents what I love most: family and friends coming together over healthy home cookin- amen!

 

This year was a little different than my past 27… my mom has decided (to my pleasant surprise) that it’s time to pass down the turkey torch to me.  I am so thrilled to be able to carry on our family tradition of hosting dinner for 20+ family members, neighbors and friends.

I hosted my first Thanksgiving for 15 Italian friends when I was 19 living in Milan.  I didn’t have an oven so I’d jet across our courtyard  and up three flights of stairs to my friend’s apartment to baste the turkey.  Just imagine a little American carrying a turkey through Milan, sigh.  So, this year in my parent’s kitchen and with my mom’s expertise it’s going to be a walk in the park.

I want to mention how I’m able to sit at my computer and enjoy a trail run on Thanksgiving morning and not stress that company will be walking through the door in an hour… The secret to stress-free hosing is

PREP ladies and it’s what I teach in my cooking classes! Yesterday my mom and I (plus pops was a huge help too!) prepared everything.  All we have to do today is throw things in the oven.  I’m telling you, I won’t even need to get out a knife today if you can beleive it or not.  Hosting a dinner for 20+ people should not be stressful, it’s something to be enjoyed and loved.

I will post the recipes later, but here’s the menu:

Wishing everyone a wonderful thanksgiving.  I am so grateful for all of the kind, loving and supportive people in my life.

 

 

Planks & Pinot

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plus healthy appetizers! What better way to spend your Friday night!?

Pilates Pro Works hosted a party Friday and I was so thrilled to have my first official Stiletto & Spice event with people who share the same philosophy for a healthy lifestyle as me: Exercising, Wine, Friends, Natural Whole Foods!

The Menu 

Recipes by Stiletto & Spice

Healthy & Hearty

Quick & Easy

Chic & Smart

PB&J Quinoa Crunch Bars (Full story here)

2 cups peanut butter – 1 cup brown rice syrup. 1 t vanilla . 4 cups quinoa crisps

and 2 cups rice crisps

Warm first 2 in saucepan.  Add vanilla.  Combine with crisps in a big bowl.  Press into a lined pan.

Spread 2 cups jelly.

Top with 2 cups chopped peanuts nuts.

Roasted Beets and Carrots with

Lemon Pistachio Dressing

Roast Beets in Foil – cut carrots into pieces, toss with evoo and s&p.

400 cooking times will vary.

½ cup evoo, juice and zest of 1 lemon, 1 T honey. Toss all with

1 cup chopped pistachios.

Recipes can be made ahead and enjoyed all week!

 
 

Muruvvet’s Sarmas

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Turkish Stuffed Grape Leaves (Etli Yaprak Sarmasi)…


Not only is Muruvvet a wonderful person, she is a wonderful cook!

Everyday she would whip up something so tasty, and still manage to make it look so effortless.
Like any authentic home cooking, what makes it so delicious is the cook’s familiarity of the cuisine, and of course their true love and appreciation for their culture’s food.
There are many reason why I love Turkish cuisine, for example, dishes are based on local ingredients and what’s in season, they use whole ingredients and know exactly where their animal products come from.
Sounds the way it should be, pretty basic, right?
Turkish woman put a lot of time and effort into their cooking and don’t cut any corners in the kitchen, for example they make bread weekly if not daily, soak beans over night, chop onions by hand, and buy fish, chickens and even lamb whole… the list goes on.
What is Sarma?
The term sarma comes from the Turkish verb “sarmak,” which means to roll.
Sarma is pretty much the same at the Greek dolma, the only difference is the name. In Turkish, dolma means “stuffed.” Therefore, Turkish dolmas are things like stuffed peppers, artichokes, eggplants, etc.
Muruvvet used grape leaves from her garden, because like I said, Turks don’t cut corners. But like I did, you can just buy grape leaves from the grocery store. In this case soak them in water for about an hour

Sarma Ingrediants:
About 50 grape leaves
1/2 lb of ground lamb (optional, I used TVP to make it vegetarian)
1/3 cup rice
2 medium onions finely chopped
1 cup chopped parsley and dill
salt and pepper
1 T tomato paste
2 T olive oil
juice of half a lemon
In a bowl combine the first 5 ingredients.
dissolve the tablespoon of tomato paste in about 3 T of hot water.
Add to your rice mixture and mix well.
Prepare a your cooking pot by putting any of the grape leaves that are broken or too torn up to use along the bottom- this keeps your sarmas from sticking to the pot.
Place a grape leaf stem side up, smooth side down on a flat surface
Place about a spoonful of the filling down.
Fold over the sides and then roll up.
Continue until all your leaves or filling are finished.
If you have left over rice mixture you can stuff peppers
Neatly and tightly layer your sarmas
Add about 2 T olive oil, your lemon juice and just enough water to barely cover the sarmas.
This part cracks me up- place a plate on top of your sarmas- this keeps them from moving.
Cover with the pots lid and cook on low heat for 35-45 minutes.
Serve with a fresh loaf of bread and yogurt or cacik
AFIYET OLSUN!