Roasted Potatoes with Fresh Sage, Mushrooms and Toasted Pecans

Oh my goodness you guys- it really has been a while since my last post!  I was back in the city most of last week taking care of some things and it really kept me on my toes!

I was going to bring my camera but in the end decided not to because of all the other things I had to bring.  Instead, I took a lot of cell phone pics (of course).

Aren't they the cutest??

Aren't they the cutest??

First of all, I was able to have some good old snuggle sessions with the kitties.  They really are window cats- they love looking outside!

Nostrand Ave Church

The weather was absolutely perfect and the skies were beautiful during the day.

Pisces Full Moon - Nostrand Ave

And on the 8th there was the Pisces Full Moon which was even bright and visible in Brooklyn!

St. Marks
West Village

Between St. Marks and the West Village there were certainly a lot of interesting sights to see.

Beautiful dessert from Kokage.

Beautiful dessert from Kokage.

And my boyfriend and I shared a very special dinner at Kokage to celebrate our 5 year anniversary.  

Potatoes - Union Square Green Markets

Wednesday I made the trip to my beloved Green Markets at Unions Square and I was not disappointed!  There were so many wonderful things to see- I bought far too many things to bring back with me.  (My suitcase was much heavier coming back despite me leaving a lot of items at the apartment)

I was so excited to see the huge variety of wonderful potatoes!  Fall is moving in- and fast!  I'm jumping right in to embrace it.

Roasted Potatoes with Fresh Sage, Mushrooms and Toasted Pecans

I was struck by the rose finn apple variety and wanted to whip up something special with some of the things I found.  I love fingerling potatoes.  I guess I'm just into "little" things but they're just so cute!

Rose Finn Apple Potatoes

So here's my first recipe to embrace and welcome the changing of the seasons and I hope you enjoy it (don't worry- lots of pumpkin and squash recipes will follow!).

 

Roasted Potatoes with Fresh Sage, Mushrooms and Toasted Pecans 

Serves 3-4

1 lb Fingerling Potatoes

3 TBSP Butter

1 Small Leek, sliced into rounds

3 TBSP Fresh Sage, finely chopped

4 Large White Mushrooms, roughly chopped

Salt

Lemon Pepper

1/3 Cup Chopped Pecans

Wash potatoes and slice length-wise into halves.

Heat butter in a medium pan and toss in leeks, 2 TBSP of the chopped sage and mushrooms.  Let them soften slightly before adding potatoes.  Toss to coat and season with salt and lemon pepper.  Cook for 15-20 minutes, string occasionally until the potatoes are cooked through.  In the last 5 minutes of cooking, heat a smaller pan and toast the pecans for a few minutes until they are fragrant- make sure to move them constantly so that they don't burn!

Add pecans and remaining TBSP of sage to the potatoes, fold in to combine and serve!

Curried Chickpea Sandwich for Big Kids

My two weeks of summer "break" are over and today starts my first day of my classes for the fall. I'm only taking online classes however, so it leaves me with some more freedom this semester.

And with that freedom I can make more sandwiches and awesome lunches.

Curried Chickpea Sandwich

I've had a lot on my mind recently and like the super mature person that I am (and how I typically deal with most problems), have decided to completely ignore some serious, will-have-a-huge-impact-on-my-future-in-the-next-few-months, decision-making.  I will deal with it when the time comes and when I have more information that I can feel confident in making a decision.

Ok, I lie.  The decision has (unfortunately) already been made and it's really just a matter of "when".  The "when" is the area that I am avoiding.

Either way, I have been choosing to ignore thinking about my immanent future and have been working on staying away from any serious thought and contemplation.

How have I been doing this?

With the skills I carefully mastered through years of special training in high school and college: The Art of Procrastination.

This involves a lot of nothing.  Watching tv, taking naps, wandering around aimlessly, spending hours at the gym.

To the untrained eye, this may appear to be a skill anyone can achieve but it truly is an art form.  

Continuously ignoring the issues at hand takes quite a bit of work and can affect many of your other habits.  In my case, it has affected my cooking.  I have been much less creative and inspired as of late and continue to wonder, "What should I make??"  Even if there are things I should make or have ideas of making, I just don't feel like actually doing it.

I have begun to lose interest in my beloved summer produce and am now ready for the fall.

So, in stepping away from my more recent produce-inspired posts I decided to make a recipe from something I make quite often but never bothered to actually measure out.

Curried Chickpea Sandwich

I make this sandwich quite often but usually just throw the ingredients and spices together and adjust until it's just right.  This time though, I did it with measuring spoons and cups so that I would know what exactly "just right" is.

And ironically, this recipe comes out right when school has started again so it's an easy meal to prepare and pack for later on in the day for yourself or someone else.

Win win, right?

I'm so on top of it.

In some areas, at least.

Curried Chickpea Sandwich

Serves 2

Sandwich:

4 Slices of Bread

4 Slices of Tomato

Handful of Spinach

Chickpea Mash:

1 Medium Carrot

1 Cup Chickpeas, cooked and drained

1/8 tsp Garlic Powder

1/4 tsp Onion Powder

1/2 tsp Cumin Powder

1 tsp Curry Powder

Dried Chili Flakes (to taste)

3 TBSP Mayo

Chickpea Mash: Wash and peel the carrot before grating it over a medium bowl.  Take your chickpeas and toss them into a blender or food processor and process until they are broken down (but don't let them become a paste!) and add to bowl with grated carrot.  Toss in the rest of the ingredients* in the chickpea mash and mix well to combine.

*Note: if you don't like really spiced things, tone it down by using less curry and cumin powder

Sandwich assembly:

Toast the bread and place a tomato slice on two slices of bread.  Add a small handful of spinach onto two of the slices and top with some chickpea mash.  Top with another slice of tomato and bread.

Eat right away or pack it up for later!

 

 

Recipe Round-Up for Labor Day

I've kind of done unofficial "recipe round-ups"' before on my Facebook page before but I haven't done it here but I figured with Labor Day coming up and all, now was as good a time as any to do so.
Frozen Watermelon, Basil and St. Germain Cocktails
Now with any good party, it's appropriate to start with some cocktails. For me, these Frozen Watermelon, Basil and St. Germain Cocktails are perfect to keep your guests hydrated and happy.
Creamy Potato Salad
Next up, a Creamy Potato Salad never hurt anyone! This exciting flavorful take on potato salad with be a crowd pleaser for any party.
Portobello Pineapple Shish Kabobs
Whether you are hosting your own party or have been invited to someone else's these are a great because they are easy to prepare ahead of time. I bring you the delicious Portobello Pineapple Shish Kebabs
Chickpea Sweet Potato Mushroom Burger
And last but not least, what party is complete without some burgers? I'm usually the only non-meat eater at parties and BBQ's so I always come prepared with my own goodies. Last time I brought these patties ready to grill along with all the trimmings (freshly sliced tomatoes, onions, sprouts and avocado) and they were a big hit with my carnivorous counterparts as well. Give these Chickpea Sweet Potato Mushroom Burgers a try some time.

Sugar Cube Melon with Port Wine Dessert

When I graduated from art school two years ago I left feeling fed up with the art world.  Without going too deep into discussion about it, I'll say that I had lost my faith in it along with my trust.  The art world became inauthentic.  The moment I graduated, I stopped doing art.  I haven't picked up a paint brush, made a sketch or attempted to sculpt anything since.

Sure, I started doing other things, that, with the wide spectrum that is "art", could be considered art, such as sculpting my own body for competition or playing with food (aka, recipes) but nothing such as sitting down and saying "I want to draw something".

Recently however, things have started to change.

After living out here for almost 8 months I feel like I've started to get that itch back.

I've started sketching people I see and while I'm no photographer, I've also begun to really enjoy taking my camera with me and photographing things that interest me on a day-to-day basis. (Which you may have noticed on your own based on my more recent posts)

Sometimes it's beautiful things that attract me or sometimes just little details.

IMG_1484.JPG

This past weekend my aunt and boyfriend were visiting so we spend the day on Solomons Island.  It's only a 10 minute drive (probably less) from the house but we don't often take trips there.  With the boardwalk, shops, restaurants and bars it's an enjoyable place to go in the day or at night.  

The first time I went there on a Friday night I was shocked by the number of cars there- it's hard to even find parking on the weekends.  I remember saying, "Wow, so the entire community of Southern Maryland goes here on the weekend!"  (I exaggerate of course, but that's my view on non-city life- you never really see that many people)

Life can be beautiful when you pay attention to the little details  and I've been trying to focus on a balance- the good and bad and finding a way to accept it all at face value.

Sugar Cube Melon

And now we will make a completely random segue to today's recipe based on the produce of choice: Sugar Cube Melons.

These are basically mini cantaloupes- your own personal sized breakfast meals.  You know how you cut up a melon for one or two people and then have to cover the rest of it and stick it on a plate before finding room in the fridge because otherwise it will drip all over the place a make a mess?  Yeah well not these guys!  You cut one open and you're done.  If you're me, one cantaloupe is one serving but for the average consumer I would say each half is one serving.  Either way, it's so much less mess and boy are they sweet!

Sugar Cube Melon

But if we want to keep with the theme of finding balance I would say that this recipe adds a nice touch of savory to the sweetness of the melon.  Nothing to crazy or fancy but it works.

I'm a big fan of alcohol- I like drinking it, mixing it and using it in cooking or baking.  Any food with alcohol in it automatically gets my attention so I really enjoy this as a dessert because it's just right- not too sweet, not too unhealthy and it contains some alcoholic beverage.

Sugar Cube Melon with Port Wine Dessert

2 Sugar Cube Melons

8 TBSP Port Wine

4 tsp Thyme leaves

Cut the melons in half and scoop out the seeds.  Pour 2 TBSP port on each half of melon and sprinkle with 1 tsp of thyme leaves.

Serve!