Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sweet Freedom!

Walking up South St in Philadelphia I saw a sign that was unfamiliar - Sweet Freedom. The sign was cute and welcoming too, and once I saw it was a bakery I had to go in.

As I walked in I was welcomed by a swanky pink chandler hanging in the middle of the bakery which was very cute inside.

I was welcome by Allison - one if the owners of Sweet Freedom. She explained to me the uniqueness of Sweet Freedom - they're
a vegan, gluten free, dairy free, egg free, corn free, wheat free, peanut free, soy free, casein free and no refined sugar bakery (whoo, that was a mouthful). I was impressed and curious to see what the beautiful array of baked goods taste like. I took my time and Allison was not only helpful but also very patient with the tons of questions I had. Once I knew what I was getting, I really felt good about bumping into this place. I purchased the.....

double chocolate chip mint cookie sandwich
the blueberry oat crumble

and a brownie (forgot to take a pic)
Here are some chocolate chip cookie sandwiches instead

I am munching on the sandwich cookie right now and it taste like a thin mint cookie in the best possible way. The brownie is rich yet light, and blueberry oat crumble is something I would look forward to after a good dinner. Everything I bought I would definitely buy again. I was really
pleasantly surprise after tasting each item. Even though my family doesn't have any allergies; this would be a bakery I would enjoy taking my kids and myself to when a sweet treat is craved. The prices maybe a slightly higher then most bakeries but the quality of goodness and
taste is well worth it. Such Sweet Freedom to treat yourself with the betterment of your health in mind.


Thanks again Allison, hope to see you again soon.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Special Suprise Delivery!!!

My good friend Dj has the kids today, so I was able to make a few errands (and also blog today - twice!!). As I waiting for them to be dropped off, I am surprised with a special surprise delivery. My good friend Nina (from that's what friends are for blog) had a bag of hot of the grill goodies dropped off to me (I love her). I even kissed the delivery man (my husband, lol) for such a special delivery. I opened the bag and it was two hot foiled wrapped hidden treasures. So like a kid, I hurried to open what was hidden inside. Whatever it was, the smells started to escape the bag and fill my nostrils with enchanting aromas that was blissful (yes, it was that serious). I finally open the bag, and.......

Grilled Tikka Chicken!!!

As I'm texting, I am eating and I must say these grilled tikki wings are grilled and seasoned to perfection. Thanks Nina! You did again

Moroccan Eggplant Salad

Have you ever look in your frig and see certain items you normally don't buy when you grocery shop, but at the time it looked so good you had to get? That's what happened to me when I bought 2 large eggplants last week. I like eggplant, I just don't cook it. When I was younger, I did try but it came out horrible. Since then I would just avoid buying or cooking it. However, a local moroccan restaurant makes this eggplant salad that is finger licking good - literally. See you eat the salad with you fingers or by scooping up with a homemade bread that is served with it. So I wanted to do something with these 2 large pretty eggplant (yes, they were pretty). I didn't want to parm it - too easy. Whatever I did, I wanted the flavors to tantalize my taste buds. The eggplant salad came into mind and I immediately attacked the frig. I looked online and found a recipe that had a list of ingredients of which I had at home. Great! The recipe was simple and I was finished in no time - less then an hour. Now, this salad can be served warm or cold. In the restaurant it was always served cold. However, last night the flavors were really good warm so I served it over some basmati rice that had a spring of rosemary and flavored olive oil. This is one of those "I want a light with substance " type of meal. It was also good the next day spread over an organic rosemary boule bread for breakfast. You should try it yourself, here's the recipe:

Moroccan Zaalouk Recipe - Cooked Eggplant and Tomato Salad

Serves four to six. Serve with crusty bread to scoop up the salad.

  • 1 large eggplant - peeled and chopped
  • 4 large tomatoes - peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • hot paprika or ground red pepper, to taste (optional)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • small 1" wedge of lemon (optional)

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients -- except the lemon wedge -- in a 10” or 12” skillet or pot and mix.Don’t be alarmed by the quantity; the vegetables will reduce as they cook.
  2. Cover the pot and bring to a fast simmer over medium-high heat. Cook, covered, for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant and tomatoes are very tender.
  3. Mash the cooked eggplant and tomatoes with a potato masher or large spoon. If desired, add the wedge of lemon.
  4. Continue cooking -- now uncovered -- to reduce the liquids; this could take another half hour or more. Stir frequently, and adjust the heat as necessary to avoid burning.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat when the liquids are reduced to oils and the zaalouk forms a mass that can be stirred away from the sides of the pan. Adjust the seasoning as desired.
  6. Serve either warm or cold. If desired, drizzle additional olive oil on the salad as a garnish.
Click here for recipe site. Enjoy!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dinner is Served

After a great enjoying Pasta Pomodora at a local restaurant, I had to try at home. Thankfully, the waitress shared the recipe with me. Viola! I did it. Simple and tasty .

Pasta Pomodora

4 heirloom tomatoes, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
6-8 leaves of fresh basil ( I used purple basil but green basil is just as good)
1/2 cup of grated parm cheese
fusulli pasta,cooked (you can use whatever pasta you like - the kids love this one)
salt, pepper to taste

In a saucepan, add your olive oil and tomatoes on a medium heat. Cook tomatoes until they release their juices. Add onions and cook for about 2-3 mins or until the onions are transparent.
Then add garlic, and cook for another min. Once that is done, turn off your heat and immediately add your parm cheese to the sauce and stir. Once you see the cheese creaming of the sauce, take your cooked pasta* and basil and toss in sauce. Plate and serve.

*Turn heat on medium low to warm up pasta if it was cook before adding to the sauce. *

My kids loved this dish and ask me to make it again the next day, that really warmed my heart.

Enjoy!

Cooking BFF!

Food Channel Recipes - 9pack

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Summit On The Summit.