Citrus Fennel Salad

To coin a Cole Porter phrase- It’s Too Darn Hot. I don’t know about you, but I’ve found as I’ve matured that I have an increasingly smaller temperature gradient that works for me… not too hot, not too cold…and truthfully, if I had to choose- as much as I love hot weather, I’m more comfortable bundling up in silk long johns, furs and mukluks, than I am spritzing myself with cooling spray and sticking my head in the freezer. Quite frankly, I don’t know how you folks who live in hot areas do it… Heat just makes my head want to explode.

So when the thermometer goes way up what do I do? Pop the wine in the freezer, make a batch of gazpacho (something we’re doing in June these days thanks to an overly warm winter), and follow it with a fennel-citrus salad. Super-fast, super-easy, super-cool. It’s all I have energy for. And for dessert? Fresh peaches from the trees in the backyard. Pure unadulterated sweetness. Eat your heart out Julia Child. Sometimes the best recipe is food the way nature intended it. Until my next post- stay cool- whether by pool, air-conditioning, or basement.

Citrus Fennel Salad 2Citrus Fennel Salad

ratio: 1 orange to 1 head of fennel

1/8th lemon & lime

1 tbs + olive oil

drizzle of champagne or other light vinegar

1 tbs sesame seeds for every fennel/orange combo

Directions: Slice fennel and orange into small pieces. Drizzle olive oil and vinegar over the mix. Squeeze the lemon & lime over the mix and toss. Add sesame seeds and toss again… This is a very laissez faire type of recipe- meaning do what is easy and what feels right to your tastebuds. It’s too hot to do anything else. Really- if you could twitch your nose and have the ingredients mix themselves- that would be best.

Baked Fennel a lá Française

Credit for this recipe belongs to a dear, dear friend of mine who came to spend New Year’s Eve with us this year. Kelly loves Italy the way I love France, and she made a version of this for our New Year’s Eve feast. I, of course, don’t know how to leave a recipe alone, and so the next time I made it- because it is very delicious and very easy to make- had to change it up. I’ll give you the French inspired version first, followed by the traditional Italian way taught to me by Kelly. Either way you prepare it, you will not be disappointed! And, if you feel so bold, you can change a few things and make it your own. Bon Appétit! Or, as the Italians say- Buon Appetito!

 

 

Baked Fennel a lá Française

Serves 4 as a small side dish- if this is dinner, make more!

Ingredients

one fennel bulb, chopped lengthwise

3-4 tbs olive oil

2 slices of cured ham such as jambon d’auvergne, jambon serrano, or prosciutto, diced

1/4 cup of shredded comté (preferably aged), parmigiano reggiano will also work

1 tbs breadcrumbs (gluten-free if need be)

Directions

Place fennel in an oven proof baking dish. Drizzle the olive oil over the fennel. Sprinkle on the meat, then the cheese, and lastly, the breadcrumbs. Bake in a 375 (fahrenheit) degree oven for 45 minutes, or until the fennel has softened. How easy was that??

Italian Version

Chop one fennel bulb lengthwise and place in an oven proof dish. Cover with 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs and drizzle with olive oil- about 5-6 tbs. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes, or until fennel is thoroughly softened. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately. How’d I do Kelly??


 

Project Food Blog Voting is Now Open!!

Hello everyone! Voting for Project Food Blog Challenge #1 is now open. Whether you’re a regular reader or this is your first visit to my site, I welcome your support and your vote! I’m really excited about this challenge as it presents a golden opportunity to show people that you can eat incredible, beautiful food that just happens to be gluten-free.

To vote for me click on this link: http://www.foodbuzz.com/project_food_blog/challenges/1/view/607 and then, please cut and paste, or forward your subscription email far and wide. With your help I can advance to the second round. Thanks for your support and encouragement, and keep cooking fun things in the kitchen!

A Re-post of my challenge # 1 Ready, Set, Blog  Entry- Enjoy!

Dancing like Ginger, Drinking like Dr. Seuss

My Story:

I learned how to cook because I was a chicken. I don’t come from a family of cooks. By the time I was 19 I had a history of cooking disasters under my belt ranging from setting grilled cheese sandwiches on fire to putting the last batch of Christmas cookies in the oven and then driving my little brother to McDonald’s for ice-cream, returning home to a smoke-filled house and a cookie sheet so hot I dropped it and then kicked it outside to the snow, worried I’d melt the linoleum and the carpet.

Then I moved to Madrid, Spain, for a family exchange, and on my first day wandering around the city, my bohemian dreams of a European life were dashed by a man my grandfather’s age who propositioned me. Horrified and unsure of myself, I took to hiding out in the apartment. The housekeeper, Marisol, a frizzy-haired battle-axe, dressed in a blue-striped housecoat with tobacco stained teeth and coke-bottle glasses, took pity on me. She brought me into the kitchen, sat me on a stool, and forced me to practice my Spanish by memorizing, and then preparing with her, the family recipes.  I returned home passionate about food and confident not only in my cooking abilities, but in life.

Twelve years ago, my foodie world was rocked when I was diagnosed with celiac. At that time, it was a foodie death-sentence. Even at the best restaurants, I was resigned to vegetable terrine and ice-cream. Tasty, mind you, but boring. It became my mission to create food so delicious that no one would care that it was gluten-free.

What defines me as a food blogger:

My blog works to dispel the myth that gluten-free food is tasteless and boring; that cooking gluten-free is difficult and confusing. I do this in a way that is entertaining and encourages people to take risks and have fun in the kitchen.  For me, cooking is an act of love. And chances are, you or someone you know, perhaps even someone you love, is gluten-free. Cooking or living gluten-free doesn’t have to be a big scary thing. It is simply another food adventure, filled with heavenly flavors and textures, sure to delight your senses.

Why I should be the next food blog star:

To create incredible food that is also gluten-free is a little like Ginger Rogers doing everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high-heels. So bring on the blogging challenge. You’ll be drooling over food that looks and tastes amazing, and you won’t care that it’s gluten-free because your taste buds and your heart will be doing the happy dance! I’m here to help you share the cooking love with all the people you love- gluten-full and gluten-free. Share the laughter and passion, and dive fearlessly into the kitchen with me for a new and wonderful food adventure.

Watermelon Fennel Breeze  

My blog would not be complete without a recipe. To kick this challenge off in a way that is fun and glamorous, to celebrate a new adventure, and because I had a watermelon to use up at a party I hosted last night, here’s a fun cocktail to try. The fresh squeezed watermelon is vibrant and flavorful, while the fennel stalk adds a little whimsy (think truffula tree) and a hint of anise flavor to the drink. The bigger stalks are hollow and make great straws! So put on your dancing shoes and go have some fun in your kitchen!

 

Ingredients:

1 tbs agave nectar (Simple syrup will also work)

1/3 cup fresh squeezed watermelon juice (you can use a juicer, or just take a sieve and mush the watermelon through into a 2 cup measuring cup)

1/2 of a lime wedge

2 oz vodka-  infused vodka is also nice, we used raspberry in some of ours- I prefer plain

For a family friendly cocktail, use 4 oz of sparkling lime-flavored mineral water

1 fennel stalk

Directions:

In a 2 cup measuring cup, combine agave nectar, watermelon juice, lime and vodka. Stir vigorously until agave nectar has dissolved. Pour into your favorite glass over ice, and add a fennel stalk.

 

Be warned- while these beauties are delicious- they are also potent. Do not consume more than one or two….Unless you want to find your face implanted on the keyboard a bit later. Cheers!



Watermelon Cocktail

In the spirit of Adventure I have  joined a foodblogging competition!  Project Food Blog is hosted by the great people at Foodbuzz.com. For me, this is an opportunity to show the world that great tasting, beautiful food can be fun to make and gluten-free. The post below is my entry into the first round of the competition. I ask you to join me on this adventure by casting your vote for my blog beginning tomorrow (I’ll send another post with the voting link!). And, by all means, if you like what I’m doing here in The Adventuresome Kitchen, please forward to your friends and family. Let the Adventure Begin! Oh yes, and enjoy the delicious cocktail at the end of this post!

Challenge # 1: Ready, Set, Blog!

My Story:

I learned how to cook because I was a chicken. I don’t come from a family of cooks. By the time I was 19 I had a history of cooking disasters under my belt ranging from setting grilled cheese sandwiches on fire to putting the last batch of Christmas cookies in the oven and then driving my little brother to McDonald’s for ice-cream, returning home to a smoke-filled house and a cookie sheet so hot I dropped it and then kicked it outside to the snow, worried I’d melt the linoleum and the carpet.

Then I moved to Madrid, Spain, for a family exchange, and on my first day wandering around the city, my bohemian dreams of a European life were dashed by a man my grandfather’s age who propositioned me. Horrified and unsure of myself, I took to hiding out in the apartment. The housekeeper, Marisol, a frizzy-haired battle-axe, dressed in a blue-striped housecoat with tobacco stained teeth and coke-bottle glasses, took pity on me. She brought me into the kitchen, sat me on a stool, and forced me to practice my Spanish by memorizing, and then preparing with her, the family recipes.  I returned home passionate about food and confident not only in my cooking abilities, but in life.

Twelve years ago, my foodie world was rocked when I was diagnosed with celiac. At that time, it was a foodie death-sentence. Even at the best restaurants, I was resigned to vegetable terrine and ice-cream. Tasty, mind you, but boring. It became my mission to create food so delicious that no one would care that it was gluten-free.

What defines me as a food blogger:

My blog works to dispel the myth that gluten-free food is tasteless and boring; that cooking gluten-free is difficult and confusing. I do this in a way that is entertaining and encourages people to take risks and have fun in the kitchen.  For me, cooking is an act of love. And chances are, you or someone you know, perhaps even someone you love, is gluten-free. Cooking or living gluten-free doesn’t have to be a big scary thing. It is simply another food adventure, filled with heavenly flavors and textures, sure to delight your senses.

Why I should be the next food blog star:

To create incredible food that is also gluten-free is a little like Ginger Rogers doing everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high-heels. So bring on the blogging challenge. You’ll be drooling over food that looks and tastes amazing, and you won’t care that it’s gluten-free because your taste buds and your heart will be doing the happy dance! I’m here to help you share the cooking love with all the people you love- gluten-full and gluten-free. Share the laughter and passion, and dive fearlessly into the kitchen with me for a new and wonderful food adventure.

Watermelon Fennel Breeze  

My blog would not be complete without a recipe. To kick this challenge off in a way that is fun and glamorous, to celebrate a new adventure, and because I had a watermelon to use up at a party I hosted last night, here’s a fun cocktail to try. The fresh squeezed watermelon is vibrant and flavorful, while the fennel stalk adds a little whimsy (think truffula tree) and a hint of anise flavor to the drink. The bigger stalks are hollow and make great straws! So put on your dancing shoes and go have some fun in your kitchen!

 

Ingredients:

1 tbs agave nectar (Simple syrup will also work)

1/3 cup fresh squeezed watermelon juice (you can use a juicer, or just take a sieve and mush the watermelon through into a 2 cup measuring cup)

1/2 of a lime wedge

2 oz vodka-  infused vodka is also nice, we used raspberry in some of ours- I prefer plain

For a family friendly cocktail, use 4 oz of sparkling lime-flavored mineral water

1 fennel stalk

Directions:

In a 2 cup measuring cup, combine agave nectar, watermelon juice, lime and vodka. Stir vigorously until agave nectar has dissolved. Pour into your favorite glass over ice, and add a fennel stalk.

 

Be warned- while these beauties are delicious- they are also potent. Do not consume more than one or two….Unless you want to find your face implanted on the keyboard a bit later. Cheers!