Sunday, August 31, 2014

Kitchen Business: New Gadget!

I have been thinking about getting one of these spiralizers for a while and finally broke down and bought one. Now, I'll be having some fun with this little toy. Vegetables: you've been warned!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Tuna with a Twist

Sometimes you feel like you need to switch up a tried and true concoction like tuna salad. I learned this from my daughter-in-law and it's good. Add chopped onion, celery, and chopped Granny Smith apple to a can of tuna. Sprinkle on salt and pepper and about a t of curry with a T or so of mayo. I piled this on a toasted ciabatta roll. YUM!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Cheddar Burger

Oh boy, here's a good way to dress your favorite burger:

Shredded Picconing sharp cheddar
Mayo spiked with Frank's Hot sauce
Jalapeno peppers


ps-don't forget to butter and grill the bun :-)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Blueberry Chicken Chopped Salad

When I make a salad for dinner, it really has to be somewhat hearty or my husband will wonder what's for dinner? This salad fills the bill as it has fruit, cheese and chicken.......and nuts!


  • 2 grilled chicken breasts, chopped
  • 1 tub of arugula 
  • 1 pint (2 cups) fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup roughly-chopped toasted pecans
  • 2/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese 
  • Dijon vinaigrette (see below)

Dijon Vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of salt and black pepper

To make the vinaigrette:

Whisk all ingredients together until combined.

Toss salad ingredients with dressing and serve. Add a piece of crusty french bread.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Chicken with Herb-Roasted Tomatoes

If you happen to have a carton of cherry tomatoes and some chicken breasts then I have a good dish for you. Roasting the tomatoes really intensifies their sweetness. I served this dish over a product that I got at Trader Joe's in the frozen food section: Lentils and Green Garbanzo Beans. Sounds really weird but honestly it made a wonderful "bed" for this flavorful chicken dish.
  • 1 carton of cherry tomatoes or other small tomatoes on the vine
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 3 small garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
Preheat oven to 450°F. Combine tomatoes, 2 tablespoons oil, and herbes de Provence in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy ovenproof skillet. Carefully add tomatoes to pan (oil may spatter). Transfer skillet to oven and roast, turning once, until tomatoes burst and give up some of their juices, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl using slotted spoon so as to leave oil in skillet, drizzle tomatoes with Worcestershire sauce.
Season chicken all over with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Using the same skillet over medium-high heat sear chicken on both sides until golden brown, 6–8 minutes. Transfer pan to oven and roast chicken until cooked through, 8–10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest for at least 5 minutes.
Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to same skillet; heat over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Deglaze pan with vinegar and chicken broth, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan; add tomatoes and their juices and simmer until sauce is just beginning to thicken, about 1 minute. 
Slice chicken breasts and serve topped with this delicious sauce.
Recipe adapted from Epicurious

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Easy Zucchini

Do you have a lot of zucchini from your garden, a friend or the Farmer's Market? Here's an easy way to use some of it. Preheat oven to 400. Cut the zucchini in 1/2 inch chunks, layer on greased cooky sheet. Spray with cooking oil, sprinkle on garlic powder, parmesan cheese, and some black pepper. Bake 35   minutes or (depending on your oven) until a little golden and a knife goes in easily. Nice side dish and so easy.

Credit goes to Prevention Magazine :-)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Salmon with Swiss Chard

This was so good. If you like salmon and swiss chard--make this! I used a product that we really like from Trader Joe's-Brown Rice Medley, also. I had never bought fish at Costco before and this salmon that I purchased there was very good.

1 lb salmon, cut in two pieces
juice of one lemon
some soy sauce
some sesame oil
salt and pepper

About an hour or so before cooking salmon, season the salmon with salt and pepper and pour over lemon juice, the soy sauce and sesame oil. Turn the fish flesh side down and let it sit in the marinade.

1 large bunch swiss chard, washed and dried
1 medium onion sliced thinly
3 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
some olive oil

Separate the stalks from the leaves. Chop the stalks and rough chop the leaves. Get your rice medley cooking as it takes some time.

Get out two skillets (one with lid). You can sort of cook these side by side. In large skillet with lid heat some olive oil, get your garlic and onions started. In the other skillet heat some olive oil until smoking a bit and add your fish flesh side down and cook about 4-5 minutes (depending on the thickness). In other skillet, add the stalks and stir around for about 5 minutes. Flip the fish and cook for few more minutes and add the greens to the other skillet, a couple T of water, put a lid on and let them steam.

Serve layering rice, then greens and top with fish.

Good, yet healthful!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Yummy Snack

This is a really easy treat--can be used as a snack or as a nice little appetizer before dinner.

1 slice good, sturdy bread--I used Avalon's Motown Multi-grain
1 radish, thinly sliced
sweet unsalted butter
smoked salt ( I found a jar at TJ Maxx)

Spread butter on bread, layer the radish and sprinkle with smoked salt.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Shanghai Noodle

  • I wanted to use the bok choy I had purchased at the market and found this yummy recipe on a site for Williams and Sonoma. I made a few changes, but stayed fairly true to the original recipe. Right before serving, when I tasted the dish it still seemed to need a little "something" so I stirred in a bit more sesame oil and oyster sauce. This was quite good--will make again.

  • 10 oz Chinese egg noodles
  • 2 Tbs. sesame oil
  • 2 Tbs. peanut or canola oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 red cherry peppers, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups wide strips of bok choy
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
  • 2 green onions, white and light green portions, cut into 1-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 4 Tbs. oyster sauce
  • 2 cups cooked chicken


Boil the noodles
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Drop noodles into water and stir, boil 3 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold running water and drain again. Toss the noodles with the sesame oil and set aside.

Stir-fry the vegetables 
In a wok or large fry pan over high heat, warm the peanut oil. Add the garlic and cherry peppers and stir until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Stir in the red pepper flakes, bok choy, carrot and the white portion of the green onions. Stir-fry the vegetables until the bok choy wilts, about 2 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together the broth and oyster sauce and set aside.

Stir-fry the noodles
Add the noodles, chicken and broth mixture to the wok and toss to combine. Cook, stirring often, until the noodles and chicken are heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in the light green portions of the green onions and serve immediately. Serves 4. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Brussels Sprout Salad

We bought some brussels sprouts at the market the other day and I was looking around for a different way to use them. I came across this recipe for a salad made just with the brussels sprout leaves. I was intrigued and decided to give it a go. The good news is that this is a very tasty salad. The bad news is that it takes quite a while pulling all those leaves off the darn sprouts. So, my guess is the person who developed this recipe is RETIRED! Seriously, no working person would ever have come up with this. You cut the ends off the sprouts and then pull off the larger intact leaves. You are left with the center of the sprout which you can save to use for something later. I guess I'll just steam or roast them? The pleasant surprise is the brussels sprout leaves make a lovely change from the greens we normally eat.

3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 T white wine vinegar
juice of one lemon--also a bit of lemon zest
salt and pepper
t of dark mustard
1 clove garlic minced

Whisk all together and refrigerate for about an hour. This will make more dressing than you will need.

Leaves from a large bunch of brussels sprouts
large handful of fresh blueberries
large handful of dried cherries
large handful of almonds
1/4 shaved Parmesan

Toss leaves with 1/2 cup dressing, add the rest of the ingredients and toss again. Makes two big salads or four small.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Good Lunch

Sometimes it seems as though there's nothing in the house for lunch but then I remember there's Fried Rice! I had a very little bit of cooked rice in the fridge. I always have carrots, onions and eggs as well as soy sauce. I also just happened to have two small slices of Canadian bacon so we were in business.

1 small carrot, diced very small
1/4 onion, diced small
Canadian bacon, diced small
some butter
some cooked rice--maybe 3/4 cup?
1 large egg, beaten
soy sauce

In medium non-stick skillet I melted some butter and sautéed the carrot, onion and bacon for five minutes, then added the cooked rice. Sloshed on some soy sauce and stirred that all around. Then I pushed that mixture to one side and poured in the egg and scrambled it up. When the egg was pretty much cooked, I broke it up and stirred it into the rice. Transferred all that to a bowl and had a nice lunch :-)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Potatoes and Beans with Radish Leaf Pesto

We bought the most beautiful bunch of red globe radishes at the market the other day and the attached greens were just too beautiful (and healthful) to pitch. I made a pesto with those greens and then added that to fresh green beans and small red potatoes. YUM!

1 bunch washed radish leaves, dried and trimmed of stems
1 handful almonds
2 garlic cloves
some salt and pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup olive oil

Whirl this up in a processor--adding more oil if too thick.

Bunch of fresh green beans, trimmed
container of small red potatoes, cut in half

Bring large pot of salted water to boil, add the potatoes and cook for ten minutes and then add the green beans for another ten. Drain and toss with pesto.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mama!

Today my mother would have been 97! Sadly, she has been gone for the past 17 years and I miss her presence, her laugh, and her sense of humor. Today also happens to be my brother Beale's birthday--what a present she got that day 71 years ago! I am feeling nostalgic for foods that defined us as a family and one favorite was a dish commonly called "Wilted Lettuce" which at first blush may not sound that appetizing. However, upon closer scrutiny, one sees that it's leaf lettuce that is doused with hot bacon dressing so really, how could that be bad? When my mother would make this salad back in the day it rarely even made it to the table as my brothers and I would literally inhale it as soon as she poured that hot dressing on the green leaves.  One bite of this dish takes me back, way back to the house on Merrick Avenue and a time when our greatest dilemma was what drive in movie we'd get to see that night. I miss my mom and I miss my big bro Jeff. Food is comfort and love--RIP to two of my favorite people.

a bunch of leaf lettuce washed and dried (can't be damp)
5 pieces of bacon
4 T apple cider vinegar
1 T sugar
some pepper
a bunch of green onions, sliced
2 hard cooked eggs, diced up (I added this cause I thought it would be a good addition and it was)

Cook up the bacon, drain on paper towel, and crumble. To the bacon grease, add the vinegar, sugar and some pepper. Stir well and cook just a bit.  Pour over the greens, toss, and add the onion and bacon. Serve right away adding the optional egg on top.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Tuna Caprese Salad

This is a keeper combo. We love caprese salad this time of year because the tomatoes are luscious. We also love quick cooked rare tuna so really this salad is a win/win in our book. I also am able to buy these really cute marinated fresh mozzarella balls at Arbor Farms Market and I have fresh basil growing out back. Have I mentioned that I love summer? :-) Oh, and I only had one pan to wash-life is good!

This is quite simple to make:

Sauté a good sized tuna steak in a cast iron skillet 3 min on first side and maybe 2 on the other.
Slice some nice tomatoes, add some fresh mozzarella, lots of chopped fresh basil, drizzle on some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and fresh black pepper. Add a baguette and a glass of red wine and head out to the deck for dinner!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

To Market, To Market

We went to the farmer's market and possibly over bought? Stay tuned..........

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Szechuan Green Beans

This dish is usually made with ground pork but I had only ground beef and it was just fine. It would also work nicely with ground chicken or turkey.

1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon peanut oil
  • 2 1/2 cups (1-inch) cut green beans 
  • 2 garlic cloves minced 
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 small red hot pepper, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 cups hot cooked brown rice
  • Combine the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef mixture, beans, and garlic; cook 3 minutes or until beef loses its pink color, stirring to crumble.
  • Combine hoisin and next 3 ingredients (through soy sauce) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add hoisin mixture to pan. Cook 10 minutes or so stirring frequently.  Might want to add more soy sauce--I did. Serve over rice

Friday, August 15, 2014

Italian Wedding Soup Pasta

Have you ever thought that much about what really draws you to a recipe? Often times it might be that it looks easy or you have the ingredients on hand and can avoid yet another trip to the grocery. This particular dish caught my eye for two reasons. The first being that it said Italian Wedding Soup and I love that soup-probably because of those miniature meatballs. The other thing that caught my eye was that it called for ditalini and I just happened to have that in my pantry.  Ditalini is a very small tubular pasta and I had seen it months ago and thought it looked so cute that I bought a box of it. When I saw this recipe which included ditalini and small meatballs....well, it was pretty much a done deal.

This was really tasty. I made a few tweaks to the recipe, but pretty much followed it as written.

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan 1 small yellow onion, minced
2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs2 celery stalks, finely diced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into thin rounds or half-moons
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper3 cups chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder1/2 teaspoon salt (kosher)
1 large egg3 cups roughly chopped romaine or spinach
1/2 pound ground beef1/2 pound ditalini
2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon dried red pepper

1.  Make the meatballs. In medium bowl, mix together beef, salt, pepper, garlic powder, breadcrumbs and egg. Make 24 meatballs.

3.  Sauté carrots, onion, celery, and red pepper for five minutes. Add chicken broth, bring to simmer

5.  Add the meatballs back in and cook for a few more minutes, add the romaine and let that wilt.
grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, for garnish

2.  Brown the meatballs in olive oil in a large lidded skillet several minutes on each side and then transfer to plate

4.  Add ditalini and simmer for ten minutes, stirring now and then.

6.  Serve with Parmesan

Thursday, August 14, 2014

TBT (Throw Back Thursday) Pumpkin Parfaits

It's not too early to begin planning for Thanksgiving, right?  We enjoyed this dessert several years ago.  Wonder what we should have this year?
Pumpkin Gingersnap Parfaits
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 container Cool Whip
  • 16 gingersnap cookies
Crush 12 of the gingersnap cookies. Set aside.
Beat together the pumpkin, cream cheese, brown sugar, and spices until evenly combined. 
To assemble the parfaits, divide half of the pumpkin mixture into four parfait glasses. Sprinkle 1/3 of the gingersnap crumbs over the pumpkin. Spoon about half of the Cool Whip over the gingersnaps in the four glasses. Sprinkle with another 1/3 of the gingersnap crumbs. Spoon the remaining pumpkin mixture over the gingersnap crumbs. Sprinkle with the remaining crumbs. Garnish with the remaining Cool Whip and a gingersnap cookie.
Serves 4

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Burgers and Rings

Sometimes you just feel like a burger. I also added Alexia Onion Rings because they're pretty good for something you can find in the frozen food isle. I like their potato products and these onion rings bake up nice and crispy. Add a nice topping to your burger and you've got dinner.

Here's the topping I made:

1/2 red onion, sliced
8 oz chopped mushrooms
3 T butter
salt and pepper
garlic powder
dried thyme
a bit of bleu cheese

Sauté the red onion in the melted butter for ten minutes and then add the mushrooms, salt, pepper, garlic and thyme. Stir around and continue to cook for ten to 15 minutes more.

Make your burgers however you prefer, add the topping, bleu cheese, and some onion rings to the plate and there you have it!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Haloumi Cheese, Snap Pea and Zucchini Salad

I really like the taste of Halloumi cheese, a distintive, yet mild sheep and goat cheese combo. It has an interesting texture and lends itself well to being lightly grilled. This salad is simple, yet a bit unusual. We enjoyed it but I felt it lacked something but I'm not sure what? Maybe a bit more olive oil, more mint, and some black pepper possibly? It was still quite tasty and a lovely accompaniment to grilled chicken.
1/2 lb sugar snap peas, strings removed
4 oz Haloumi cheese, cut into 4 slices
1 medium zucchini, trimmed and cut into for four slices
2 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp fresh mint leaves
1 lemon, juiced
1. Prepare lightly oiled grill for medium heat or you can use a grill pan on stove top.
2. Cook snap peas in pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain in colander and transfer to bowl of ice water. Once cool, drain and halve crosswise.
3. Coat cheese and zucchini lightly with olive oil spray. I used a grill pan and cooked on the stovetop, first lightly browning the zucchini, then the cheese slices. Cut zucchini crosswise into bite-size pieces and break cheese into chunks.
4. Combine snap peas, zucchini, cheese, oil, and mint in large bowl. Pour lemon juice over salad and toss. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Pinot Noir Sauce

Ok, this is seriously good. If you eat pork, then I suggest you give this a try.

1 pork tenderloin, cut in 1 inch medallions
salt and pepper
olive oil

1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup pinot noir
1/4 cup dried Michigan (yay) cherries
2 garlic cloves, minced

In large skillet, brown the medallions, 3 minutes on first side, two minutes on second side. Remove and keep warm. In skillet, add the garlic and stir around then the chicken broth, the wine and the cherries--cook down about 3-4 minutes. Pour over meat.  Enjoy :-)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Potato and Shrimp Fritilla?

I have coined a new term. I often make fritattas (eggs cooked, then finished in the oven). I have never made a Spanish tortilla which is an egg dish always made with potatoes and often just cooked on the stove top. So, this dish is a combo because I used potatoes but I cooked the entire thing in the oven: Fritilla!
Honestly, the main thing to know is that it was a pleasure to eat :-) I served it with an arugula salad with beets, mushrooms and feta cheese. **Take note that if you want to make this you should do a few things earlier in the day before dinner since the potatoes need to cool, etc.

1 1/2 pounds red skin potatoes
1 large onion, chopped
8 oz shrimp peeled
7 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 t smoked paprika
1/2 t salt
pepper to taste

Boil the red skins in a bunch of water for 25 minutes and then drain and chill.
Sauté the onion in olive oil slowly for ten minutes and then let them cool
Steam the shrimp and let them cool.

When cool, slice the potatoes thinly. Chop each shrimp into 4 pieces.

Preheat oven 325

In medium bowl, whisk the 7 eggs, add the salt, pepper, milk and paprika. Pour 1/2 cup in bottom of 10 inch pie plate. Then add the onions and shrimp to the rest of the egg mixture in bowl. Make layer of sliced potatoes, then add 1/2 the egg mixture. Add another layer of potatoes and the rest of the egg mixture. Add one last layer of potatoes on top. Bake for 60 minutes and then let it cool at least 30 minutes. It will cut easier and it tastes better at room temp.

ps. It's also great the next day cold right out of the fridge.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Salsa Verde Pork Soft Taco

Here is an easy way to get yourself some nice tender pork for soft tacos: ye old crock pot! This tenderloin was in the crock pot for 7 hours on low and the meat is so tender and shreds easily.

1 pork tenderloin, cut into chunks
1 jar salsa verde
1 large onion, chopped
1 T cumin

Mix all together well in your crock pot and cook on low for 7 hours. Before ready to serve, take the meat out and shred and return to the sauce and cook on high for 15 minutes.

You can serve this with flour tortillas, or over rice. We garnished with cheddar cheese, jalapenos and some Greek yogurt and a little hot sauce for good measure.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Carrot Confit

I love Mark Bittman, food writer for the NYT. I have several of his cookbooks and I find his videos amusing. Watch this and you'll know how to make the dish below:

You'll need:
olive oil
salt and pepper
fresh thyme

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Szechwan Eggplant Stir-Fry

This recipe is from the Food Network and I followed it pretty closely. It was tasty but we added extra soy sauce and Siracha hot sauce at the table, so next time I would add more heat--more red chili I guess?  I served it over jasmine rice. I like to try to make a few meatless dishes now and then, and this was good.  

About 2 pounds eggplant
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 green onions, white and green parts, sliced on a diagonal
1 -inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 fresh red chile, sliced
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
Fresh basil for garnish

Cut the eggplants in 1/2 lengthwise and then slice crosswise into wedges, no more than 1-inch wide.

Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high flame and add the oils; tilt the pan to coat all sides. When you see a slight smoke, add a layer of eggplant, stir-fry until seared and sticky, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the eggplant to a side platter and cook the remaining eggplant in same manner, adding more oil, if needed.

After all the eggplant is out of the pan, add the green onions, ginger, garlic, and chile; stir-fry for a minute until fragrant. Add the broth. In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and cornstarch until the sugar and cornstarch are dissolved. Pour the soy sauce mixture into the wok and cook another minute, until the sauce has thickened. Put the eggplant back in the pan, tossing quickly, until the sauce is absorbed. Garnish with sesame seeds, and basil.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Mushroom and Red Onion with Bleu Cheese

This is so good! It is very rich and would go well with beef or grilled chicken. It would also be just great on its own with maybe some potatoes or a rice pilaf.

1 box sliced portobello mushrooms
1/2 large red onion cut in wedges
some fresh thyme
olive oil
some bleu cheese

Preheat oven to 425

In bowl mix mushrooms, onion, thyme, salt and pepper and olive oil.

Spread mixture on parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake 30 minutes.

Take out and transfer mixture into a small baking dish. Sprinkle on some bleu cheese and return to oven for five minutes.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Chilled Cucumber Tarragon Soup

I don't often have buttermilk in the fridge but the other day a recipe called for just a wee bit. At the store they were out of the small cartons and I was forced to purchase a quart of buttermilk-eek, what now? Cucumbers and Parade Magazine to the rescue. I just happened to see this recipe in the Sunday paper and it turns out to be a pretty good chilled soup. Although the corn is just a garnish, it's important-don't omit.

3 cups low fat buttermilk
2 English cucumbers, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup fresh tarragon
1 cup frozen sweet corn, thawed
a few basil leaves, sliced

In a blender or processor, whirl up the buttermilk, cucumber, tarragon and about a t of salt. Transfer to bowl and chill several hours. To serve, garnish with some corn and fresh basil. Makes a nice light first course of a summer night :-)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Fresh Feta, Beet and Shrimp Salad

We recently have had the good fortune to acquire some outstanding chevre and feta from Lucky Penny Creamery in Kent, Ohio. It's a long story about our connection, but suffice it to say, their products are top quality and we have been thoroughly enjoying them. This dish is just a simple salad of baby romaine, arugula, thinly sliced radish, sweet onion, sliced beets, sautéed shrimp and Lucky Penny Fresh Feta. I tossed it all with a simple lemon/olive oil dressing and added a corn muffin. I've included their website if you'd like to learn more about them:

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Mustard-Horseradish Sauce

I don't always serve a sauce with grilled flank steak, but decided to do so since I had some fresh tarragon in the fridge. This sauce worked well with beef but would be good with salmon, shrimp or chicken.

2/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 T chopped fresh tarragon
2 T olive oil
2 T prepared white horseradish

Mix all together and chill well.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Cauliflower Crack!

We love roasted cauliflower but this dish was even better than regular-always-good cauliflower. I often roast at a higher temp but this dish was roasted for 1 and 1/2 hours at 325. The slow roasting allows the cauliflower to caramelize and for the spices to really bloom. Total yum!

Preheat 325
1 large head of cauliflower, broken into flowerets
1 T ancho chili powder
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 t dried red pepper
1 t cumin
4 T olive oil
1/2 fresh lime, juiced

Put cauliflower in bowl and add chili powder, red pepper, garlic, cumin, salt to taste, and olive oil. Mix well. Transfer cauliflower to shallow baking dish and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Sprinkle with lime juice.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Be Gone, Vampires!

If, according to folklore, garlic can keep away evil spirits, then we are good to go for quite a while here at our house.

When I made this shrimp and clam pasta and I happened to use a package of pasta that I had picked up in the TJ Maxx food section. I love roaming the isles of my local TJ's (both Trader Joes and TJ Maxx). This particular pasta was a garlic and parsley linguine. A more cautious person, would have cut back on the garlic in the sauce, but not me. We loved this dish but it is not for the "garlic" fainthearted.

 8 oz of linguine (whatever kind you like)
16 shrimp peeled
1 can of minced clams, drained (save the juice)
handful fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper
1 t red pepper flakes
butter and olive oil

In a large deep skillet, melt a T of butter and T of olive oil. Quickly sauté the shrimp just until they turn pink and remove to bowl. Add another T of butter and olive oil and quickly sauté garlic and red pepper--don't let garlic burn. Add the wine, the clam juice, and broth and bring to a boil-add the pasta and submerge it letting it cook until the pasta is tender and has absorbed most of the liquid. Add the shrimp and clams and stir around. Add the parsley. Pass Parmesan cheese.