it's easy being green

>> March 18, 2009

are those flipflops in state college in march? yes, yes they are. my dashboard weather says it's 70. i love 70. oh, please ignore my horribly chipped toenail polish. i haven't gotten around to fixing it yet.

somewhat ironically, all my meals for the past 3 days have been green. this wasn't intentional because of st. patrick's day, but the coincidence adds a little something to my life. on monday, i served up some fresh spinach linguini with that tomato sauce i made over break. fab.

last night i tossed some romaine and olives with a fig-yogurt dressing from food & wine.  i bought an artichoke at wegmans on sunday, and since it takes a little bit of time to prepare, i needed to wait for a night when i didn't have any meetings or time constraints. tonight was perfect.

i love, love, LOVE steamed artichokes, but it's so hard to find one not stuffed with things in a recipe. i turned to my trusty friend mark bittman and his bible how to cook everything. it's really easy to prepare artichokes. just trim off the stem and peel off some of the gross outer leaves at the bottom. cut off about an inch from the top, just to expose all the leaves. using kitchen scissors, trim off the tops of the leaves and pull them apart gently. you can leave in the middle and the choke if you're going to be pulling it apart to eat it. just don't eat those. 

steam it over boiling water, covered, for 25-30 minutes until it's tender. i threw in a couple of the leaves i ripped off to test the doneness. (it is not remotely cooked in the picture above. it will turn brown almost immediately, like below.)

i needed a dip, and since i opened the yogurt, i had to use it again tonight (and will be using it again tomorrow and friday, i'm sure). what a perfect excuse. hot baked crab dip is a great accompaniment for artichokes, other crudites, chips, pita, or just eaten with a spoon.

hot baked crab dip
yields 1/2 cup (2 servings)

½ cup fancy white crab meat (from a can, not lump)
1 small stalk celery
1 tablespoon plain yogurt
1 ½ teaspoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dill weed, (dried)
2 tablespoons saltine crackers, crushed
salt & pepper

preheat the broiler. drain the crab meat. finely chop the celery and add to crab meat in a small bowl. mix in the yogurt, dijon mustard, vinegar, and dill. mix thoroughly, and season with salt and pepper to taste. divide between 2 6-ounce ramekins (or 1, it will fit, if you're eating the whole thing yourself) and sprinkle the cracker crumbs on top. bake under the broiler for 10 (15 if your broiler is absurdly unbalanced and an antique, like mine) minutes, until the crackers are browned and the edges of the dip is all bubbly. remove and serve carefully, as the ramekin will be wicked hot.

the area residence association i belong to is having a st. patrick's day event tomorrow, and i was asked to bake cookies. over christmas, i bought some adorable mini cookie-cutters in various shapes (including card suits) from williams-sonoma to make dog treats, and i loved the excuse to use them again. i went to the adapted version of my favorite chocolate cookie recipe from martha stewart (natch). if i don't want "thin mints," i just swap vanilla extract for the peppermint and don't coat them with chocolate (i made these at christmas, photo here). i punched out the center with my little club cookie cutter. yum yum.

a cold front is supposed to come in tomorrow, bringing rain and 40 degrees, so no more sandals. alas, i guess i will just savor it for tonight by going for a run outside and keeping the window open while i truck through some econ homework.



Anonymous,  March 19, 2009 at 10:37 AM  

What a lovely meal! And those flipflops look really cute! Alisa@Foodista

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