Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Ten Favorite Recipes of 2011

Roasted Baby Eggplant with Cilantro-Yogurt Sauce

Happy New Year's Eve!

Can you believe that 2012 is almost upon us?

This year has flown by for me, as I'm sure that it has for you, too. I find that today is a great time for reflecting on the past year and how far we've all come. I love making a list of all of the things that I've accomplished this year.

Here are a few quick ones in no particular order:

1. I finished my debut novel and signed with a fabulous agent and went out on submission with it (still waiting to hear back from some publishers). 
2. The traffic for Domestic Divas more than doubled this year! Thank you to my wonderful readers. Just last night, I wanted to look at swordfish recipes for dinner. So I typed into google search: "Swordfish Recipe." Lo and behold, my own recipe for Blackened Swordfish with Tarragon Yogurt Sauce came up on the first page of results! That's amazing! I made it for dinner and it was delicious. 
3. I launched a new website and blog for my writing ( You can also follow me on Twitter @jennifer_brody. 
4. I conceived and began writing my new novel (YA science-fiction). 

And that's just the beginning.

Not to mention, all of the cooking and great recipes that have filled my year. I'm a better cook now than I was at the start of the year. I also always think about health and fitness and love and the Adorable Monster and my husband and family and give thanks for all of it.

This year, I am meditating on my new year resolution. It's pretty simple really:

To write and write and write and write and then write some more!

I want to finish my new book and follow whatever path it may lead me down. I also want to continue on my journey to eat beautiful, fresh, healthy foods and exercise.

If you feel inclined, share what your resolution is in the comments section. I'd love to hear how everybody is planning to rock out 2012!

I also thought I'd share a list of my ten favorite recipes from 2011. There were so many great ones to choose from, but here they are in no particular order.

Sous Vide Scallops with Pea Tendrils & Buerre Blanc Sauce

My 10 Favorite Recipes from 2011:
  1. Curried Sea Bass with Coconut Milk
  2. Spicy Peanut Kale
  3. Sous Vide Scallops with Pea Tendrils & Buerre Blanc Sauce
  4. Panko-Crusted Squash Blossoms 
  5. Roasted Baby Eggplant with Cilantro-Yogurt Sauce
  6. Cranberry Apple Crisp
  7. Curried Coconut Lentil Soup
  8. Braised White Bean Cassoulet
  9. Sous Vide Pork Chops with Apple-Bourbon Coulis
  10. Blackened Swordfish with Tarragon-Yogurt Sauce
So there you have it! Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Smoked Paprika Cauliflower Puree (pictured with Pork Chops with Apple-Ginger Relish)

Did anybody get a Sous Vide Supreme for the holidays?

Judging from my blog traffic, I'm guessing that you did! 

I've written about mine at length and love the way it renders meat exceptionally tender and moist. It's especially great for lean cuts that might otherwise dry out with conventional cooking. I'll be positing a fabulous recipe that I made for Sous Vide Bison Steaks in the coming weeks. 

The other day, I made a Smoked Paprika Cauliflower Puree to go with my recipe for Sous Vide Pork Chops with Apple-Ginger Relish. The puree was light and flavorful. It paired perfectly with the sweetness of the apple-ginger relish and earthiness of the pork chops. 

So I decided that it was worthy of sharing here today. The puree would work beautifully as a side dish to almost any meal. It's lighter than mashed potatoes, but provides similar satisfaction. 

If you don't have a Sous Vide Supreme, then the pork chops can be prepared conventionally, too. Just rub them with herbs, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then, fry them up in a pan.

Either way, it will be delicious.

Smoked Paprika Cauliflower Puree
Serves 4-6 people
Cooking time: about 30 minutes
Vegan; gluten-free

  • one head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 1 russet potato, peeled and roughly chopped
  • about 3 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (pimenton)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Place the cauliflower, potato, and chicken broth in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  2. Puree the cauliflower and potato with the paprika, olive oil, and the chicken broth. Begin by adding about 2 cups of the broth and then add more to desired consistency.
  3. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays from Domestic Divas!

Thanks to all my divalicious readers for their support this year!

Drum roll please...

We more than doubled our traffic this year!

That's thanks to all of you. I can't tell you how much it warms my heart every time I hear from a reader who has tried a recipe or enjoyed one of my posts.

Wishing you a happy holiday season filled with great food, wine, and love!

Now let's all rock out 2012!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Spicy Peanut Kale

Only one week left until Christmas.

This year has flown by. I feel like I blinked and it was December. While it's tempting to work my way through the end of the year with all the projects clamoring for my attention, it's worthwhile to take a few days off to reflect on the year. And prepare for 2012, which should be a great year.

Just to let you in on my state of mind, I've been listening to "A Long December" by the Counting Crows quite a lot. It especially rings true to me because he talks about living in the canyon (where I live) and how it's getting cold in California. And how he hasn't seen the ocean in a long time.

I'm guilty of that as well.

My hubby and I are off to Floyd, Virginia on Wednesday for a week. While I wish the Adorable Monster could come with us, he's off to Mutt Maniacs. I'm sure he'll have a blast.

Over the holiday, we'll be seeing a lot of movies (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and War Horse), cooking up a storm, drinking tons of delicious vino, petting various animals (including, but not limited to dogs, cats, and horses), and enjoying the quiet of the countryside.

But before I fly the proverbial coop, here's a great winter recipe for Spicy Peanut Kale. It was inspired by one of my favorite side dishes at M Cafe on Melrose. We all know that kale is a superfood—and I always try to sneak it into any dish that I can. But kale, like most greens, can be a bit on the bland side if it's not prepared properly. Well, folks, this recipe is anything but bland.

The kale is quickly blanched and then tossed with a spicy peanut sauce made from soy sauce, fresh lemon juice, peanut butter, fresh ginger and garlic, and chili flakes (red pepper).

This dish is also great, if not better, leftover the next day.

Spicy Peanut Kale
Serves 4-6 people
Cooking time: about 10 minutes
Vegan; gluten-free
Print Recipe

  • 1 big bunch (about 8 cups) of kale, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons tamari (gluten-free) or soy sauce
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes (red pepper)
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled

  1. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. To blanche the kale, quickly cook it in the water for about two minutes, or until tender. Once it's cooked, plunge the kale into cold water to shock it (this will preserve the color). Squeeze out the excess water and set aside.
  2. To make the spicy peanut sauce, place the peanut butter, tamari or soy sauce, lemon juice, chili flakes, garlic, and ginger into a mini food processor. Process until blended together. It should be creamy and not too thick (a little water may be added if needed to thin it out). This step may also be done by hand (just mince the garlic and ginger first and then whisk the mixture together).
  3. Toss the kale with the spicy peanut sauce. Enjoy!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Curried Coconut Lentil Soup

It's soup weather.

Translation: it's cold and rainy and December, so all you want to eat is something warm and comforting!

This is the kind of weather that makes it tough to get out of bed (especially if you attended KROQ's Almost Acoustic Xmas last night). And unfortunately, it's raining on my farmers market parade. I will probably hit Whole Foods later in the day instead.

The Adorable Monster has the right idea—he's snoozing on the sofa, curled up into a tight bundle of fluffiness.

So I thought I'd write up this recipe that I made the other week for today. It's a Curried Coconut Lentil Soup. Even though this soup is vegan, the curry seasonings, fresh ginger, and coconut milk imbue it with a rich, creamy flavor. I also added quinoa (extra protein and fiber) to the mix.

This soup is sure to spice up any dreary winter day.

Curried Coconut Lentil Soup
Serves 6-8 people
Cooking time: about 50 minutes
Vegan; gluten-free
Print Recipe

  • 1 cup red split lentils
  • 1 cup yellow split peas
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • about 7 cups of filtered water
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 can (14 oz.) light coconut milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • fresh chopped cilantro for garnishing
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and bell pepper and saute until beginning to soften (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic, ginger, and curry powder and stir to combine. Cook for one or two more minutes.
  2. Rinse the lentils and split peas until the water is no longer murky. Add the lentils, split peas, quinoa, and bay leaf to the pot. Cover with water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the split peas are soft.
  3. Stir in the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered for about 20 minutes or so, allowing the soup to thicken to desired consistency. If it becomes too thick, then more water can be added (though I like this soup nice and thick).
  4. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with the chopped cilantro. Enjoy!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Raisin Walnut Spiced Muffins

When I host brunch, I love to bake muffins.

It does many wonderful things. First, it makes the house smell... heavenly. Second, it adds that special homemade touch that only baked goods can bring. Third, they're always a big hit at the breakfast table. Fourth, leftover muffins are great for breakfast all week long.

The only downside to muffins is that many recipes are astoundingly unhealthy, loaded with saturated fat refined carbs, tons of sugar, and god only knows what else. But not these muffins!

I make them with a combination of cornmeal and whole grain spelt flour (hello fiber!). The only sweetener I add is a touch of maple syrup. Instead of butter, I use extra virgin olive oil. What makes them so tasty? I load them up with jumbo raisins, walnuts, and tons of great spices.

They're great for brunch, or any day of the week.

Raisin Walnut Spiced Muffins
Makes 8-10 small muffins
Baking time: about 20 minutes
Vegetarian; dairy-free
Print Recipe

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup whole grain spelt flour 
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup almond milk (or other dairy substitute)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup jumbo raisins tossed with a little flour
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. 
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and then combine with the wet ingredients (vanilla, almond milk, olive oil, maple syrup) and whisk together. 
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, stirring to combine, but be careful not to over-beat the mixture. 
  5. Add the rasins and walnuts and fold them into the batter.
  6. Oil a muffin tin and then spoon the mixture into it, filling each spot. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown. Enjoy!