For those of you that see me often without a chefs coat on – you’ll know that I love the color pink. And this week I had so much fun being “in the pink”, with lots and lots of beautiful women. The week contained the Pink Carpet Gala, a fun evening celebrating breast cancer survivors who are graduates of Pink. Pink at Piedmont is a comprehensive wellness program for women undergoing treatment for breast cancer. The elegant evening, expertly planned by Barbara and Julie, was full of good (mostly pink!) food, amazing makeovers by Saks cosmetologists and great giveaways. A couple of the recipes are listed below for you, so you can create your own “Pink Gala”.
2 Cups Quinoa, Rinsed
1 Can Chickpeas, Drained and Rinsed
1 Cup Pomegranate Seeds, (or 1 Cup Dried Cranberries)
4 Green Onions, Thinly Sliced
1 Fennel Bulb, Thinly Sliced
1 Cup Toasted Walnut Pieces
1 TB Pomegranate Molasses, (or Honey or Agave Syrup)
1 Tsp Whole Grain Mustard
¼ Cup Red Wine Vinegar, (or Sherry Vinegar)
1/3 Cup Walnut Oil (or Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
Kosher Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to Taste
1 ½ Cups Crumbled Feta Cheese
2 Heads Romaine Lettuce, coarsely sliced
1 Bag Baby Spinach
Place the 2 cups Quinoa and 4 cups water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all the water is absorbed, (until it is translucent but still has a bit of crunch), about 7-10 minutes. Drain well, and spread out on a baking sheet to dry.
While the quinoa is drying, combine the pomegranate syrup, mustard, vinegar and walnut oil in a jar and shake well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Combine the quinoa with the chickpeas, pomegranate seeds, onions, fennel and walnuts in a large serving bowl. Toss the salad with the dressing, beginning with half of the dressing and then toss, adding dressing as needed.
To plate the salads, toss the romaine and baby spinach together. Place some of the lettuce and spinach mixture on the plate and top with the Quinoa Salad. Sprinkle with Feta Cheese.
Stars in Your Eyes White Chocolate Cupcakes with Pink Chocolate Frosting
2 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
(or use 1 cup of white whole flour and 1 ¼ cups of All Purpose Flour)
2 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp Salt
1 1/2 Sticks (6 oz) Unsalted Butter, softened
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
4 Large Eggs
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 1/4 cups Milk (or use skim, 1 or 2%)
8 oz White Chocolate, Melted and Cooled
1 Recipe *White Chocolate Buttercream
Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 12-hole muffin pans with liners.
Sift the flour with baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl or standing mixer, cream the butter at low speed. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between additions. Add the vanilla. At low speed, beat in dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with milk. Beat in melted chocolate at low speed until incorporated.
Divide the batter between the prepared liners and smooth the surfaces. Bake the cupcakes in center of oven for 25 – 30 minutes, or until cupcakes are golden and springy and a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. When cool, spread the frosting over the top of the cupcakes and enjoy!
*White Chocolate Buttercream
1/2 LB Unsalted Butter, Softened
12 oz White Chocolate, Melted and Cooled
1 Cup Confectioners’ Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla
2-3 drops Red Food Coloring
In a large bowl or standing mixer beat the butter at medium speed until creamy. Beat in the melted white chocolate. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and beat at low speed, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl, until light and fluffy. Add the red food coloring and beat until color is evenly distributed throughout the frosting.