The Fortress, Great Press, and More: It’s the Top 4

I know that keeping up with your favorite blogs can be hard. Everyone is busy, and we all are constantly going here and there. Sitting down for some “me” time to catch-up on blogs can be challenging. That’s why this month, I’m starting something new: the top four.

I’ve taken a look at my favorite posts for the month (and yours!) and have rounded them up into one post. You’ll be able to see the best of what March had to offer without having to search through posts on your own. Fun, right?

Top 4 for March:

Hot off the Press: AJS Workshops are Making Headlines

Mood Board for La Fortrezza Decor

Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe

My Go-To Boots: Spring Wardrobe Update

Let me know if there are any other posts you loved. I always like hearing from you!

xx Annette

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Recipe:: Fried Green Tomatoes

While it's not quite green tomato season yet, tomato season will be here before we know it. Put this recipe in your spring appetizer arsenal.

As most of you may know I am the Entertaining Editor for Atlanta Magazine’s HOME. In the latest issue, I showcased a traditional Southern recipe, Fried Green Tomatoes from one of the most original party ideas to date. One of my dear friends has a party called “The Birthday Club”. My friend and fine art gallery owner, Arnika Dawkins, gathers throughout the year with her best gal pals to celebrate each of their birthdays in a unique way.

Here’s how it works: each woman chooses an activity for her birthday and the other birthday club members make it happen. The club has enjoyed traveling, spa days, and concerts. In the Spring issue we featured Arnika’s birthday party. Everyone came together for lunch at Arnika’s photography gallery. For the complete feature make sure to pick up a copy of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME on newsstands now.

Make sure to put this recipe in your spring appetizer arsenal and enjoy them with family and friends.

xx Annette

Fried Green Tomatoes with Goat Cheese and Red Pepper Coulis 
Serves 6

You will need:
– 1 cup goat cheese
– 4 green tomatoes, sliced 1⁄2-inch thick
– 2 eggs
– 1⁄2 cup milk
– 1 cup whole wheat flour
– 1⁄2 cup panko breadcrumbs
– 1⁄4 cup yellow cornmeal
– 2 teaspoons salt
– 1 cup vegetable oil
– Feta and fresh basil leaves, for garnish (optional)

To prepare:

Spread a small amount of goat cheese onto one side of each tomato slice. Arrange on a sheet pan, and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Whisk eggs and milk in a shallow bowl. In a separate bowl, combine flour, breadcrumbs, cornmeal, and salt. One by one, dip each tomato slice into the egg mixture, then the crumb mixture; shake off any excess.

Pour oil into a deep frying pan and place over medium heat until a thermometer registers 350°F. Working in batches, fry tomatoes until golden on both sides, about 3 minutes per batch. Garnish with feta and basil, if using, and serve immediately with red pepper coulis.

Red Pepper Coulis

You will need:
– 7 ounces roasted red peppers from a jar
– 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
– 1 clove garlic
– 1⁄4 cup olive oil
– 1 cup fresh basil leaves
– 1⁄2 teaspoon salt

To prepare:
Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

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Tomato Basil Soup Recipe: An Easy Winter Meal

Chilly winter months are the perfect time to whip-up a batch of tomato basil soup. This tomato basil soup pairs well with a grilled cheese, too.

At last weekend’s L.A. style+photo workshop, I whipped up a quick batch of this cream of tomato basil soup for our attendees. They were able to capture the cooking process and style their bowls, too. After all, the best part of a food photoshoot is actually eating the food.

This tomato basil soup pairs wonderfully with a grilled cheese. At the workshop we made grilled cheeses with fig and prosciutto, but any sort of grilled cheese would be perfect. Use whatever is in your fridge and embrace an opportunity to be creative with it! There’s no such thing as a bad grilled cheese.

I love soup during chilly months, and since according to the groundhog, there is still a lot of winter ahead of us, store this recipe in your arsenal to pull out when you need a quick and easy lunch or dinner.

Cream of Tomato Basil Soup
Serves 8
You will need:
– 1/2 medium onion sliced thin
– 3 tablespoons butter
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 teaspoon salt
 – 1/2 teaspoon pepper
– 2  28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
– 4 cups vegetable stock
– 1 cup heavy cream
– 1 cup fresh basil chopped
To prepare:
In a large stock pot, heat butter and oil, add onions, salt and pepper.
Sauté until onions are lightly caramelized. Add tomatoes, vegetable stock, cream and basil. Simmer for 45 minutes. Garnish with basil. Serve warm.
Note: The soup may be made creamy by placing it in a blender or using a hand blender if desired. I personally like it a little chunky.
Enjoy!
xx, Annette
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Spicy Cauliflower Rice Bowl

Rice Bowl

Today’s recipe was created by Sydney, my son’s girlfriend. She is studying to be a dietitian at The University of Texas in Austin. You can imagine we have a lot in common. When I told her about Juice January, we had a long discussion about nutrition and the benefits of eating clean. Sydney and I wound up in the kitchen making lunch. Full disclosure, I had no idea how to prepare tofu. Sydney said she would show me how to make a cauliflower rice topped with curried tofu. Of course I took her up on her offer. We had a fun morning putting together this Spicy Cauliflower Rice bowl. What a perfect recipe to share during Juice January. Thanks Sydney for sharing this recipe; I finally feel like I know how to work with tofu.

Spicy Cauliflower Rice Bowl
Serves 2

Preheat oven to 375 F

You will need:
– 1 block of firm tofu
– 3 tablespoons of olive oil
– 1 cup carrots
– 4 cups cauliflower
– 1 1/2 cups snow peas
– 1/2 small onion finely diced
– 1 large garlic clove minced
– 1 tsp tumeric
– 1 tsp ginger
– 1/2  tsp ginger
– 1/2  tsp chili powder
– 1/2  tsp salt

To prepare:

To prepare tofu: Place tofu on a paper towel or dish towel, wrap and then place a heavy book on top of the tofu and press gently, Allow to drain liquid for 15 minutes. Set aside.

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In a food processor fitted with a blade, place cauliflower into the bowl and pulse until cauliflower becomes the consistency of rice.

Once the tofu is drained, cut into 1 inch cubes. In a medium frying pan, add oil and toss the tofu cubes with the curry powder and fry on both sides about 10 minutes. Place the cubes on a parchment lined cookie sheet and place into a 375F oven. Bake for 10 minutes until tofu is crispy. While the tofu bakes, in the same pan, saute the onion, garlic, carrots and snow peas, about 10 minutes. Set aside veggies and in the same pan, toss the cauliflower rice with spices and saute for 10 minutes until cauliflower is lightly browned. Serve immediately.

To Finish:

Place rice in a bowl top with tofu, veggies and serve.

Optional toppings*

*Fresh Basil
Sriracha

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Kale with Sweet Potato and Quinoa

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My friend actually told me about this recipe for kale with sweet potato and quinoa, and I am excited to share it with you. I think it’s the perfect side dish paired with grilled salmon. Just remember that a one cup serving is plenty during a cleanse. It’s a great side for Juice January or anytime.

I usually make enough for a few dinners and pair it with a different protein each night. It’s also great to mix in other types of kale or spinach.

Kale with Sweet Potato and Quinoa
serves 4
You will need:
– 1 cup quinoa
– 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
– 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes, tossed in 2 tablespoon olive oil, roast for 30- 45 minutes in a 400 degree oven until lightly browned. set aside until ready to toss with all the ingredients.
– 1/2 cup sliced button mushrooms
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– 1/2 cup vegetable stock
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
– 1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
– 1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves cut into 1-inch pieces

 

To prepare:

In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the quinoa, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook for 12-15 minutes or until water is absorbed.

Bake off the sweet potatoes as described above. *Note I have added my own spin on the sweet potatoes; I like to roast them separately to add depth of flavor to this dish

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock, salt, pepper, and chile flakes. Stir to combine. Add the kale and cook for about 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender.

To serve, toss the quinoa with the vegetable mixture.

The Daily Meal is a great resource for anything food and entertaining. Check it out!

{I am a contributor to the Daily Meal, but did not write this recipe}

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