Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Things I Am Loving This Week

Time for a quick "Things I Am Loving This Week" post, about those (mostly) food-related things that I am enjoying and that I want to share.

I am loving this Artichoke-Walnut Spread and it is proving to be a big hit wherever I take it, as it is rich and delicious and perfect on bread, crackers or raw veggies. From a new favorite, the Tassajara Cookbook: Lunches, Picnics & Appetizers by Karla Oliveira, M.S., R.D., from the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, a Buddhist monastery in California. The book has lots of vegetarian and vegan recipes and I have tagged a good percentage of them to try. If you end up with any leftovers from this one, it makes a great sandwich spread too. 

Artichoke-Walnut Spread
Tassajara Cookbook: Lunches, Picnics & Appetizers by Karla Oliveira M.S., R.D.
(Makes 2 Cups)

1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1/2 cup firm silken tofu (or ricotta cheese)
12 artichoke hearts canned in water, drained
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, asiago or mixture of asiago and provolone cheese
2 Tbsp minced fresh oregano or other fresh herb
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, or to taste
salt and pepper

Grind the walnuts in a food processor until fine. If using silken tofu, wrap in a towel and press with a heavy weight for 30 minutes before using, Add the rest of the ingredients and blend in the food processor or by hand until chunky but a uniform mixture; cover and chill until ready to serve. 

I love dishes of all sorts, especially anything blue and white, so finding these cute little tea cups on sale for .99 cents each at a local Japanese import store made me very happy. Perfect for small portions, I have a super-rich, favorite chocolate pots de crème recipe that I like to serve small amounts of and these will be perfect for it.

A big tea fan, I am on a major iced tea kick lately, icing every tea I have and drinking mass quantities. Right now I am especially loving this Rainforest Mint Maté, 100% Organic Herbal Tea from Octavia which is even more brisk and refreshing when served really cold. Made with yerba maté (pronounced mah-tay) and peppermint, it tastes great. 

Yerba maté, comes from the leaves of a small tree native to sub-tropical forests in South America. Referred to as "the drink of the Gods", it is purported to have many health benefits like loads of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants and naturally occurring caffeine, and it is supposed to do everything from make you think clearly, to improve your mood, to even speed up your metabolism. Who knows if it really is the health wonder some of the claims make it out to be, at least it got me through some long days of heavy workloads feeling refreshed with no caffeine highs and lows like coffee brings. 

So that's what I am loving this week. How about you?


  1. I can see why you love that artichoke spread. I love anything that can be slathered on bread and the artichoke-walnut combo sounds especially good. Those cups are so cute and mint tea rocks!

  2. Oh, that's all fun! I didn't realize that Tassajara had more than just the bread book...I had to get that after I read The Baker's Apprentice & Bread Alone (by Judith Ryan Hendricks)...have u read them? Love the cups, too :D

  3. I love those bowls - they sort of look like giant sea shells. And for .99 cents, really? What a steal.

  4. everything this week sounds so fun!

  5. Great find on those cute little bowls for .99 cents. They are very cute and I'm sure you'll find many uses for them. My mom's dishes are blue and white and I think they photograph better than mine. I love iced teas too and the rosemary mint sounds great, especially in the morning as a wake me up!

  6. We are also eating an artichoke and asiago spread right now! I love the addition of walnuts in yours, that sounds perfect!

  7. While it didn't make the long trip cross country, I at one time had the first Tassajara cookbook. It was dog eared by the time I retired. I love the dip. I'll have to take a look at thhe new book.

  8. Love that you used tofu in the spread....great recipe!

    DebinHawaii....you entered a OOBA Sparkling Beverage coupon giveaway on my site last week and you WON! Please email me at holistic_nutrition@hotmail.com with your mailing address and I'll make sure you receive your coupons!

    All the best, Amanda

  9. Oh my word - that spread looks amazing! I will be making that for my next "spread" occasion. Those cups are too cute - wish I had a few of those for this week's TWD souffle!

  10. (Tea) party at you house!
    I love the little cups, so cute. I have to get this cookbook, I do have the bread book - a wonderful read.
    Please pass me an iced yerba mate tea, it's sweltering here today!

  11. I love the little cups! And the artichoke dip sounds so yummy!

  12. That dip sounds amazing. But I can see myself making it with philadelphia and artichokes in oil and it not being healthy at all!


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