Hot Topics In The Community
Becky Rosenthal has a confession to make. Without shame she romanticizes her grandmother's era. Perhaps she's a victim of Golden Age thinking, but she believes her grandma could teach us a few things about hosting a party, warming up a room, welcoming strangers, cooking for them and striking up a conversation. We could all benefit from sitting down around a great meal and simply enjoying our families and friends more often.
Enter Vintage Mixer. She originally started Vintage Mixer to share lessons and recipes learned from Grandma Grace and to tell stories of world travel.
The heart of Vintage Mixer is about a meal, a table and a conversation contrasted with calendars that fill as quickly as we allow. Sadly, hosting and hospitality rarely make it on our schedule anymore. It feels like an after-thought, like something we do if we can't figure out what else to do or, worse, we do it half-heartedly valuing nothing more than simply getting it over with. It's time to gather around a table again with a meaningful meal and get to know each other.
Vintage Mixer provides recipes, atmosphere and the art valuing family, friends and strangers by making incredible food paired with good drink in a room that encourages guests to stay as long as they'd like and leave more refreshed than when they arrived.
Becky does all of this in Salt Lake City, Utah where she lives with her husband and singer/songwriter Josh Rosenthal and their hopelessly needy Portuguese Waterdog, Henry. Becky and Josh are the owner/operators of Grace Food Group, responsible for Vintage Mixer, SLCfoodie and SLCmixers.
Thursday, May 23, 2013 by Becky Rosenthal
Springtime mornings call for subtly sweet and wonderfully simple breakfasts. Breakfasts that are made for an east-facing porch, or a cozy outdoor dining area, where you're more interested in sitting and staring at the morning sky than worrying about a big, involved breakfast-making experience. I know, you have to wake up early enough to enjoy the summer morning if you're in the hotter areas of the country, but it's worth it when you've got the time. Rarely does the midweek give that time we need, but perhaps a Sunday morning might make itself available. A cup of coffee and a nice homemade granola something or other would do the trick.
Today I'm sharing a recipe for homemade granola that can be made whenever you have some spare time and enjoyed with fresh fruit and yogurt. It's as complicated or as simple as you make it. If you really want to get fancy, you can make your own yogurt as well. This recipe isn't that recipe. This one intends to make things simple but still healthy and homemade.
Thursday, May 16, 2013 by Becky Rosenthal
The warming weather brings us into picnic and BBQ season once again! During this time of year, I am always searching for light, tasty recipes that are picnic-perfect. There's a huge park just up the road from my house in downtown Salt Lake City. I dream of long lunches or evening dinners packed in our picnic backpack, maybe sneaking a little wine in for good measure. Long meals shared with loved ones under the bright blue sky make summers that much better. I love everything about a picnic.
I am sharing a recipe that puts a healthy spin on a classic cook-out staple, pasta salad. Pasta salads are a huge part of outdoor gatherings of all sizes, but its great to have a recipe that off-sets these carb-heavy dishes with some fresh vegetables.
This recipe calls for green beans and arugula, but feel free to get creative with the veggies and greens you choose—summer squash, zucchini, spinach…the possibilities are endless! This recipe takes about 40 minutes, but most of the time is spent allowing the cooked pasta and beans to refrigerate. Enjoy!
Thursday, May 09, 2013 by Becky Rosenthal
Homemade bread is delicious and comforting, but I often find myself putting off the task of baking it. Even though basic bread recipes have wonderfully simple ingredient lists, I am easily intimidated by the finicky nature of rising dough and the hours of commitment required.
But with weekend days filled with springtime home projects, I felt it was the perfect time to tackle my reservations and revisit bread making. The actual “hands-on” time required to make bread fits easily into any schedule, and if you have other projects to do around the house, why not let some bread rise while you work?
I chose a very simple whole wheat bread that is perfect for light snacking and summer sandwiches. It holds together well when sliced, and it is great for beginners. The recipe is very straightforward, and the only word of additional wisdom is to be careful not to use water that is too hot or too cool in the first step. Yeast can be complicated, but just aim for warm/lukewarm water and you should have beautifully risen loaves!
Happy baking and happy spring!
Thursday, May 02, 2013 by Becky Rosenthal
Today I'm mixing up two items - a new popular way of cooking cauliflower plus one of my mom's favorite quick Mexican meals.
Cauliflower seems like all the rage these days. Lucky for me, my husband loves it, so we've been experimenting a lot. We've made cauliflower pizza crust using finely ground cauliflower, eggs, herbs, and cheese; we've made cauliflower couscous; we used cauliflower like a grain for salads and side dishes. For this recipe we cut the cauliflower into steak like pieces and toasted them in the oven with a few Mexican spices, and then we used them as the "tortilla" for a Mexican tostada.
Growing up in West Texas there was no shortage of good Mexican food. We could get it quick and cheap or we could go out for a nice luxurious Mexican dinner, complete with unending chips and salsa and a finale of sopapillas. I distinctly remember my mom bringing my sister and me to a Mexican fast food joint, where we would all get our favorite quick bites. I commonly ordered a bean burrito or chicken soft tacos but my mom always ordered the same thing, tostadas.
Tostadas are simply the base of a crispy deep-fried tortilla, covered in refried beans, then topped with tomatoes, cheese, and a variety of other toppings. For these tostadas we baked the cauliflower instead of frying it and then topped it with a few easy ingredients. You can feel free to get creative with your own toppings or make a topping bar and let your family choose which toppings they'd prefer. This easy recipe is perfect for quick weeknight meals or for a healthy Mexican dinner. Enjoy!
Thursday, April 25, 2013 by Becky Rosenthal
Frozen yogurt is just an easy excuse for me to have a form of ice cream all summer long. I recently started making my own and could literally eat it for a light, guilt-free dessert every evening.
You see, I'm a huge ice cream fan – or really gelato, custard, frozen yogurt or any frozen dairy treat fan. I inherited this from my dad, so I blame him. He used to eat ice cream with his cereal and call it ice milk to make himself feel better about it. He, still to this day, enjoys malts and milk shakes at least a few times a week.
In order to satisfy my inherited craving, and continue down the path of eating well, I've created a frozen yogurt recipe that is to die for. By adding strawberries and rhubarb to the frozen yogurt you're getting a boost of sweet and tart flavor along with the creamy nature of the Greek yogurt used.
Try mixing in any fruit or jams that you might have around the house to sweeten or enhance the flavor of this frozen yogurt. Or you can simply go plain and add toppings or a light sauce to finish it off. What is your favorite frozen yogurt flavor?
Thursday, April 11, 2013 by Becky Rosenthal
Artichokes are in season in most places around the country. For some this fact may be thrilling, yet for others it may be intimidating. Today we're sharing a recipe for homemade pizza with artichokes and we're also giving detailed instructions for how to prepare and cook fresh artichokes. So for those who are thrilled or intimidated, we hope to bring everyone together in the kitchen today!
Preparing artichokes takes patience, more than just a little time and attention. Start with carefully snipping the tips of the artichoke leaves, then peel the outer dark green layer using a paring knife, seasoning the vegetable, and finally simmer or steam the artichoke. Below you will find step by step instructions to prepare and cook a fresh artichoke. When you master this, you'll be eating artichokes all the time.
Thursday, April 04, 2013 by Becky Rosenthal
For some, the thought of making or eating chicken nuggets is one that brings back sweet memories of childhood, but others may be turned off because of the many nuggets out there that are highly processed, fried, and causing many of our children to be overweight. This recipe for chicken nuggets is all natural, using real ingredients, and makes for a meal that everyone in the family will enjoy.
While many fast food chains have scared us away from eating or even making chicken nuggets, the truth is that they don't have to be bad for you. You can use boneless skinless chicken breasts, which are lean and high in healthy protein. Also, another great tip is baking instead of frying the nuggets. This way you can have full flavor, yet the chicken doesn't soak up all of the oil as it would if you were to fry them. Coating the chicken pieces in a small amount of butter before you dip them into the breadcrumb mixture will give off great flavor, but if you want to forgo oils all together you may replace the oil with egg whites. Soaking the chicken in a simple marinade of fresh herbs and spices will also help amp flavor in the chicken without compromising the health of the recipe.
Thursday, March 28, 2013 by Becky Rosenthal
Spring is a great time for tacos. And whether it's warm enough to bust out the grill or not, you can make fabulous tacos. This recipe for Shrimp Tacos with Avocado Salsa can be made on the grill or simply sautéed in a large pan on the stove top. Both ways result in a delicious meal for the family.
There are many varieties of tacos out there but some of my very favorites are those with seafood. We have a fabulous little hole-in-the-wall joint that we frequent for fish tacos that are just amazing! Sometimes the line to this place is all the way out the front doors, and in the spring and summer the patio is packed full of fish-taco-loving folks. This little joint occasionally serves up shrimp tacos but those are much more rare.
To make a great shrimp taco at home you only need a few key ingredients - quality shrimp (we buy shrimp rarely so when we do we want the fresh ones!), a few spices, corn tortillas (I think corn tortillas are more fitting for any seafood taco) and a good salsa - in this case, avocado salsa. Besides those ingredients you can really substitute away at the rest, using what you have around the house. If you don't have red cabbage, use any lettuce you have around, and if you don't have sour cream, feel free to use plain Greek yogurt.
So weather you're grilling or staying inside and even if you don't have the full list of ingredients right now, these shrimp tacos should make the weekly menu soon!
Thursday, March 21, 2013 by Becky Rosenthal
It is the time of year for Passover festivities and whether you observe this holiday or not it's still interesting to partake in some of the food-related rituals. The one recipe that we make yearly is Matzo Ball Soup. This quintessential Passover recipe just takes a little time to make, but the steps and ingredients are quite simple. And the history is what makes the soup so interesting.
The Jewish religion calls for eating kosher foods during Passover. Matzo meal is important for kosher eating because it is a form of unleavened bread. The reason why many people don't eat leavened bread (bread with yeast) during Passover is to remember how Moses lead the Israelite people out of slavery in Egypt. As they quickly escaped by night, they had no time to let their bread rise, so they ate unleavened bread, which resulted in a cracker-like product. The small matzo balls in this soup are made from the ground-up version of these crackers. The matzo balls taste like a cracker while resembling a dumpling in the soup.
Thursday, March 14, 2013 by Becky Rosenthal
As St. Patrick's Day approaches my mind fills with ideas of green: green desserts, green soups, green salads.... I imagine a table lined with all things green to make the most of the holiday. For dessert I'll be serving up theses Whoopie Pies filled with mint green icing.
There are only a few holidays where you actually get to have a little fun with colors in the kitchen so for Valentine's Day, Christmas and St. Patrick's Day, I enjoy the holidays to the fullest making elaborate and colorful meals. Though this is my first year of making Mint Filled Whoopie Pies, I definitely feel a tradition coming on! Do you have any traditions as you cook for St. Patrick's Day?