Archive | May, 2011

Um, Sure – Hop In

31 May


Smoothie Approximation

30 May

This is hard for me to commit to a recipe.  It’s more about judgment.  Here is an approximation of a smoothie recipe – and some ways to fix whatever problems may arise from this recipe.

Fruit & Spinach Smoothie


2 cups or so of frozen fruit

Handful of spinach (you won’t taste it)

1/4 cup of hot herbal tea – any flavor, steep for 3-4 minutes at least (the tea gives a nice flavor and melts the frozen fruit a bit so it’s easier to blend)

2-3 tablespoons of applesauce, no sugar added (the applesauce gives the smoothie a thick consistency and natural sweetness)

2-3 tablespoons of plain yogurt (also for thickness and tartness)

1/4 cup of milk

1/4 cup of orange juice


Combine all ingredients in a blender.  Blend.  If it’s too frozen to blend thoroughly, add a bit more hot tea.  If it’s too stiff, add more milk and orange juice in equal parts. If it’s too liquid, add more frozen fruit.  If it’s too sweet, add more yogurt.  If it’s not sweet enough, add more applesauce.  Drink.  Despite the questionable recipe, the smoothie itself is pretty good.  And healthy, too, of course.

White Memorial Day

29 May

Surreal white morning view.

(As a point of reference, view most other days.)

For Inspiration – Part II

28 May

Amy Poehler gives a graduation day speech at Harvard.  She is not quite as inspirational as Tom Hanks, but she is super funny.  And, interestingly, her speech centers on fear, too.  I suppose this is the 9/11 generation and fear is prevalent.  Anyway, it’s worth it just to hear her say Boston College is the Harvard of Boston.  Hil.

[Video Credit: Harvard Magazine]

For Inspiration – Part I

27 May

Tom Hanks gives an inspirational speech at Yale this week.  He is captivating and funny and his message – to lean toward your future and away from fear – is a nice one.

[Video Credit: Yale University]

Brussels Sprouts

26 May

I am loving Brussels sprouts right now – they are healthful and earthy and take very little time to prepare.  We eat them a number of different ways.  If you eat piggies, pancetta or bacon are classic Brussels sprout pairings.  Kalamata olives are actually a nice vegetarian alternative pairing – the olives are meaty and salty and have a richness that is not unlike the smokiness of cured meat.  Pair Brussels sprouts with orange juice, pine nuts and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese for something different.

Or try Brussels sprouts prepared simply with a touch of pesto.


Olive oil

1/2 shallot, sliced finely10-12 Brussels sprouts – washed, trimmed and quartered4 teaspoons of pesto – make your own or use a good quality store bought (for such a small amount, it may not be worth making your own – I love Trader Joe’s everything, including their pesto)1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock

Salt and pepper


Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a pan on medium heat.  Add shallots and saute until soft and translucent (2-3 minutes).  Turn the heat down if the shallots begin to darken.  Add Brussels sprouts.  Turn up heat to medium high and lightly caramelize (3-4 minutes).  Add stock.  Bring stock to a simmer and allow it to reduce fully (this step is important because it cuts some of the bitterness out of the Brussels sprouts). 

When the stock has reduced fully, take Brussels sprouts off of the heat.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Plate in ramekins with a teaspoon or two of pesto per ramekin. Serve warm.  Best ever.

Let’s Cook Vegetables

25 May

I’m thinking we should cook here on Professional Chicks.  It has been a while and food posts are my favorite ponies, anyway.

We ate at the Purple Pig a few weeks ago – love!; love Jimmy Banos, too – and had a vinegary, salty beet salad that I have been meaning to make at home.

Before we make beets, though, I have to discuss the most amazing thing ever: Melissa’s Baby Beets.  These beets are all natural and delicious – nothing added to them whatsoever – and, (nearly) more importantly in the case of beets, ready to eat as they are.  You don’t have to peel, clean, soak, or steam them, which basically solves all possible beet problems.

Beet Salad with Whipped Pistachio-Goat Cheese


6-7 peeled, cleaned and steamed red beets;1/2 cup of roasted, salted pistachios (I love how cute and green pistachios are!);1/4 cup of goat cheese;

1/4 cup of 2% Greek yogurt (optional, to balance the flavor of the goat cheese – if you are not using yogurt, add an extra 1/4 cup of goat cheese);

Good quality olive oil;


Salt & pepper


Take a knife through the pistachios for a rough chop.  Set aside.Cut beets into quarters (or eighths, depending on the size of each beet).  I cut beets on this random old plastic plate so I don’t permanently stain my cutting boards.In a large bowl, combine quartered beets with olive oil and vinegar to your dressing taste (you don’t need much because beets are sweet and flavorful on their own – about a tablespoon of each).  Salt and pepper to taste.  Toss.

Plate beets in a serving bowl or little ramekins.  I love these Le Creuset ramekins Torey bought me when I first moved to Chicago.  I use them all the time.  Set aside.In a medium bowl, whip goat cheese (and yogurt, if using) with a fork until well-whipped and airy.  You can do this in your KitchenAid – in fact, I’m sure that would be a much better way – but I was too lazy.Stir in pistachios.

Top your beets with the pistachio-goat cheese and serve.  Delicious!

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