Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Better Complexion

Is winter getting you down? I know that I am ready for a few sunny days. In the meantime, certain foods can really help make your complexion glow. Two powerful nutrients really help your skin stay hydrated are Antioxidants and Beta Carotene and Omega 3s. Omega 3s are easy, fatty fish like salmon or nuts like walnuts and almonds and greens(the darker the better). For antioxidants and beta carotene think color - Winter Squash, carrots, sweet potatoes. Here is a recipe that is delicious and gives you all of these in one dish. From Real Simple...

Winter Lentil Soup

Real Simple

Photo: Kana Okada

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour(s)
Yield: Makes 6 servings


  • 4 leeks, white and light green parts only
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into a 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2 cup brown lentils
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 12 fresh basil leaves (optional)
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmesan (optional)


Slice each leek in half lengthwise, then slice each half into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons (about 2 cups). Place in a large bowl of cold water and swish to remove any grit. Drain and pat dry.

Remove the stems from the kale. Stack the leaves on top of one another and slice them crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips; you'll need 3 cups.

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, breaking them up with a spoon, for 5 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Stir in the kale, sweet potatoes, lentils, thyme, salt, pepper, and basil (if using). Simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Spoon into individual bowls. Sprinkle with the Parmesan (if using).

Tip: Basic brown lentils retain their shape better during cooking than pricier red and yellow lentils, so they're terrific for soups. You can substitute green lentils, which taste slightly peppery.

To Freeze: Omit the Parmesan. Let the soup cool, then ladle into large resealable bags, filling each one halfway. Store for up to 3 months.

To Reheat: Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or thaw partially in the microwave. Warm in a covered saucepan over medium heat for 20 minutes. Ladle into individual bowls and sprinkle with the Parmesan (if using).

Nutritional Information

Calories: 190 (21% from fat)
Fat: 4.5g (sat 1g)
Protein: 10g
Carbohydrate: 31g
Fiber: 9g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 1,070mg
Real Simple, MARCH 2006

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Classes in Fairfield County

Hi All,

So it is a new year and lots of new things are on the horizon. I am teaching classes in 2 new locations: B'nai Israel in Southbury and at Dish on the Post Road in Fairfield County, a couple of doors down from the Ash Creek Saloon.

So here are my questions??? If you are interested in the classes at Dish, what night works for you? Would you rather have classes on Wednesday nights or Friday nights?

Here are some topics that I am thinking about. So please click on the comments link below(next to the pencil) and give me your feedback. Feel free to post class topics that you are interested in; i.e. fish, brunch, bread baking etc.

Thanks everyone! Hope to see you soon!

Spring Dinner Party
Savory Palmiers
Springs Greens with Goat Cheese and Hazelnut
Shrimp Risotto with Spring Peas and Asparagus
Lemon Tart with Almond Crust and Lavender Creme Fraiche

An Elegant Dinner Party
Asparagus and Mushroom Tart
Pistachio Crusted Lamb Chops
White Cheddar Potato Gratin
Melting Greens
Chocolate Pots de Creme

Luncheon in the South of France
Bacon, Onion and Gruyere Tart
Roasted Salmon Salad Nicoise
Profiteroles with Tupelo Honey, and Ice Creme

Dinner Party from the Grill
Grilled Piadina with crispy proscuitto, arugula and tomato
Seared Tri-Tip with Red Wine BBQ Sauce
Creamy Parmesan Polenta
Grilled Portobello Mushrooms, Peppers and Onions
Grilled Mangos and Peaches with Orange Creme Fraiche

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Classes at Williams Sonoma

Here are the new classes at Williams Sonoma.

Feburary - 10 & 11
Entertaining with the Seasons: Winter Supper
Menu: Goat cheese and shallot toasts, Frissee endive, and watercress salad with Roquefort, Bake Gnocchi with taleggio, pancetta and sage and gingerbread with whipped cream

Feburary - 24 & 25
Homemade Pasta
Menu: Fresh pasta, Fresh spinach pasta, Gnocchi with tomato sauce, Kerchief pasta with caramelized squash and fresh herbs, and basil-lemon pesto

March - 10 & 11
Pizza Basics
Menu: Basic Pizza dough, food-processor pizza dough, three-pepper pizza, sausage and caramelized onion pizza, zucchini and basil pizza

March - 24 & 25
Winter Soups and Stews
Menu: Spanish chicken stew, balsamic beef stew, Italian bean and pasta soup, and baby bok choy and beef noodle soup with warm spices

April - 7 & 8
Simple Spring Pastas
Menu: Farfalle with Peas and Prosciutto, Penne with morels and spring vegetables, torn pasta with zucchini and arugula and spring vegetable pasta

April - 21 & 22
Cooking from the Farmer's Market
Menu: Roasted Chicken Breasts with fresh beans and sage, spaghetti with arugula-mint pesto, beef and sweet potato stir-fry, sweet dark cherry clafouti, and warm plums with honey and greek yogurt

May 5 & 6
Mother's Day Menu
Menu: Chilled Potato-leek soup with fennel and watercress, onion tarts with mixed greens, chicken with garden vegetables and mini strawberry cheesecakes

Hope to see you there!