30 July 2009
You must try "Barley, Corn, and Pepper Salad" from Pillsbury Annual Recipes 2009. It's fast, easy, nutritious, and very delicious.
Ingredients: quick cooking barley, bell pepper, scallions (green onions), corn, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt (I used Tastefully Simple's Garlic Garlic).
Next time I make this I'll prepare it with regular pearl barley instead of quick and, maybe, add in some shredded carrot and thawed frozen peas.
Seriously, this salad is really good and everyone should give it a try!
28 July 2009
Ingredients: Beans, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, light Italian dressing.
The recipe said to cook the green beans for 10-15 minutes or until crisp tender -- I did 10 and my beans were certainly tender, but far from crisp. 8 minutes next time, I think. The original recipe did not call for fresh basil, but I do have a bunch on hand so I added it in.
Would I make this again? You betcha! Next time I might even add some bocconcini and fresh minced garlic ...
26 July 2009
Whoops! Forgot that this week marks the beginning of Taste of Hartford and that I don't "need" to cook supper again until August 10! What is Taste of Hartford? Local restaurants set a special prixe fix menu (usually includes a start, entree, and dessert) for $20.09. It's a great way to find new favorite supper spots or try out unfamiliar cuisine. -- ed. 7/29/09
- Grilled hot dogs (from freezer) on buns with "Green Beans and Tomatoes" from Better Homes and Gardens Quick-Fix Family Favorites (Meredith Books, 2008).
- "Barley, Corn, and Pepper Salad" from Pillsbury Annual Recipes 2009 with Cabot Hunter's Sharp cheddar chunks, Kashi TLC crackers, and cherries.
Wednesday (La Casona)
- Patacón Casona: Shrimp, fruit, and vegetables in a sweet and spicy sauce served over a large crispy plantain.
- Pollo Tropical: Grilled chicken breast and Portobello mushrooms, with cherry reduction sauce over mashed sweet potatoes and plantains and mixed vegetables. (This was so unbelievably delicious ... I could easily eat it every weekend!)
- Peach flavored caramel flan
- More "Barley, Corn, and Pepper Salad" from Pillsbury Annual Recipes 2009 with honeydew melon, Kashi Heart to Heart crackers, and peanut butter.
Friday (O'Porto Restaurant)
- Sopa de Vegetais: carrot and pumpkin purée with julienne carrots and collard greens
- Linguado Recheado: Baked fillet of sole stuffed with shrimp and crab, served with sautéed spinach and mashed potatoes in a lemon-vinaigrette sauce
- Mousse de Chocolate: Chocolate mousse
- "Tortellini and Peas" from Better Homes and Gardens Quick-Fix Family Favorites (Meredith Books, 2008) with salad. Ingredients: tortellini, peas, milk, diced tomatoes, Parmesan.
Sunday (Costa del Sol)
- Pan Catalan: Catalan style bread with tomato, garlic herbed olive oil and topped with Serrano ham.
- Salmon a la plancha: Grilled salmon with Spanish orange brandy glaze.
- Flan: Spanish caramel custard.
25 July 2009
So (et voilà!) scratch made "Quick Yellow Cake" with "Fluffy Frosting" from KitchenAid Great Baking and More (FBNR, 2005) and fresh raspberries. This is a nice basic yellow cake with decent crumb and not-too-sweet marshmallow-like frosting.
The frosting was actually quite interesting to make -- when I started making the sugar syrup for it, I could not believe that thick brown sugary sludge would become a blindingly white fluffy frosting! I love kitchen chemistry!
23 July 2009
Roasted Cherry Tomaters & Rotini
Halve two punnets of cherry tomatoes and toss with a handful of peeled garlic cloves, chiffonaded basil, red pepper flakes, Garlic Garlic, and olive oil. Dump onto a jelly roll pan and roast at 400 for about 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.
While the tomatoes roast, prepare pasta. Drain. Combine with roasted tomatoes. Sprinkled with shredded Romano. Nom!
21 July 2009
So far, we've eaten everything but the beets and carrots:
- I baked the yam (sweet potato!) and ate it with maple butter for lunch one day.
- Nectarines and plums made perfect work snacks.
- Blueberries were mixed in with Kashi GoLean Crunch and Greek yoghurt for breakfast.
- Bananas went into banana bread.
- Cucumbers and Romaine went into the most delicious chopped salad ever ("Mediterranean Chopped Salad" from Cook's Illustrated July/August 2009).
Salad Ingredients: Black beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), shallot, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella.
Vinaigrette Ingredients: Red wine vinegar, olive oil, fresh basil, Dijon mustard, crushed red pepper, and garlic.
Diced veggies, mozzarella, and beans tossed in a tangy basil dressing -- what could be easier? Or more delicious?
I wouldn't make this recipe more than a day ahead of time and I'd certainly eat it within two, because the tomatoes start to get a bit squishy. Not that I'd expect this salad to last more than a day in my house, anyway, as it's so tasty I could eat the whole bowl in one go.
19 July 2009
(I was excited to find Kashi Heart to Heart whole grain crackers at the grocery store. I like Kashi's TLC crackers quite a lot and always wished they'd make something more Triscuit-like ...)
- Mushroom and sauerkraut pirogi (from freezer) with fresh green and wax (yellow) beans.
- Grilled marinated chicken breasts (from freezer) with squash, tomato, red onion medley and parsley rice.
- "Edamame-Orzo Salad" (yummy!) with cold diced leftover chicken, cantaloupe chunks, and Kashi TLC crackers.
- "Edamame-Orzo Salad" with honeydew chunks, Cabot Hunter's Sharp cheddar chunks, and Kashi Heart to Heart crackers.
- Grilled hot dogs (from freezer) on buns with "Everyday Tomato Cucumber Salad" from The Garden-Fresh Vegetable Cookbook (Storey Publishing, 2005).
- Tuna pasta salad with shredded pickled beets and corn on the cob.
- "Sausage and Orzo" from Better Homes and Gardens Quick-Fix Family Favorites (Meredith Books, 2008) with salad. Ingredients: kielbasa, orzo, bell pepper, and green onions.
18 July 2009
"Rotini-Kielbasa Skillet" from Better Homes & Gardens Every Meal Easy (Meredith Books, 2008).
Ingredients: pasta, kielbasa (from freezer), onion, zucchini, bell pepper, and cherry tomatoes.
An easy and delicious thirty-minute meal which doesn't go weird if you double the amount of zucchini. Easily vegetarianized by substituting chunks of portobello mushroom for the kielbasa.
16 July 2009
"Peppered Pork Chops and Pilaf" from Better Homes and Gardens Every Meal Easy (Meredith Books, 2008) with tomato-cucumber salad.
Ingredients: boneless pork loin chops (from freezer), shiitake mushrooms (farmers market), bell pepper, jarred roast pepper strips, and red onion.
I had to fudge this recipe (a lot) because (among other things) I don't own any instant rice. I made "normal" rice in the slow cooker (using low-sodium chicken broth instead of water). When the rice was almost done, I started the chops.
Because I did not own any herb-pepper seasoning blend, I sprinkled the chops with McCormick Salt Free Garlic & Herb Seasoning. In a large skillet, I cooked the chops in a little olive oil for about 5 minutes per side. Then I set them aside to rest while I worked on the vegetables.
To the hot skillet, I added 6 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms, one diced orange bell pepper, one diced red onion, about half a cup of roast pepper strips, and two shots (seriously) of low-sodium chicken broth. I stirred the vegetables around over med-high until they were crisp-tender and the broth had evaporated.
(This recipe serves 4 and, while we two did eat only one chop apiece, we ate all the veg).
14 July 2009
Mom's Sauerkraut SaladYou could use a different vinaigrette -- while my mother stands by her Wishbone Italian, I've found Olde Cape Cod Sundried Tomato & Basil dressing works quite well, too. You could also substitute light for regular dressing, but don't try fat free -- this salad goes weird and nasty with fat free dressing.
16 oz. bag fresh refrigerated sauerkraut, drained and lightly rinsed
1 bunch scallions/green onions, chopped
8 oz. bottle Wishbone Italian dressing
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Eat as a side dish or on top of hot dogs or sandwiches.
I've also occasionally pimped this salad out by adding a shredded carrot or a finely diced red bell pepper.
13 July 2009
Ingredients: refrigerated tortellini, summer squash, cherry tomatoes, garlic, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), spinach.
Very easy to make! I didn't have any Roma tomatoes so I used half a pound of halved cherry tomatoes and the dish tasted just fine.
If I were to make this again, I would use more garlic (of course!) and swap the black pepper out for crushed red pepper flakes.
12 July 2009
- "Ravioli with Summer Vegetables" from Better Homes and Gardens Every Meal Easy (Meredith Books, 2008) with salad. Ingredients: pasta, summer squash, cherry tomatoes, garbanzo beans, spinach.
- Leftover ravioli with salad and watermelon.
- "Peppered Pork Chops and Pilaf" from Better Homes and Gardens Every Meal Easy (Meredith Books, 2008) with salad. Ingredients: boneless pork loin chops (from freezer), carrots, shiitake mushrooms, onions, and bell pepper.
- Salad day: lettuce from the garden, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, celery, carrots,red onion, and diced pork chop. Plus grapes and chunks of Cabot Hunter's Sharp cheddar.
- "Rotini-Kielbasa Skillet" from Better Homes and Gardens Every Meal Easy (Meredith Books, 2008) with salad. Ingredients: pasta, kielbasa (from freezer), onion, zucchini, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes.
- Grilled marinated chicken breasts (from freezer) with salad and corn on the cob.
- Gourmet hamburgers (from freezer -- manager's special at Shaw's last week) on buns with lettuce and tomato, more corn on the cob, and chopped cukes in light Italian.
(Really, it should say "bake more pie!")
I used a readymade refrigerated pie crust, but you are welcome to be a better baker than I and make your favorite scratch crust!
Mom's Strawberry Rhubarb PieYield: 8 generous slices
- 2 refrigerated pie crusts, prepped as directed
- 3 cups strawberries, stemmed & quartered
- 3 cups rhubarb, cut into ½-inch slices
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup corn starch
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- Pinch of salt
- Combine strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, corn starch, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Toss gently until fruit is evenly coated. Let sit while oven preheats to 400°F.
- Line a 9-inch pie pan with crust. Pour filling into crust and level. Top with second crust. Vent. Brush with a little beaten egg for extra shine and color.
- Place pie on a baking sheet and put in oven. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
This makes an awesome dessert when served warm with ginger ice cream and a little fresh whipped cream. Also excellent just on its own with a cold glass of milk for breakfast!
11 July 2009
And now the store is closing.
O, waily, waily. What shall I do?
me: Need to go to Shaw's tonight and scavenge savings from its blighted carcass ...
TH: blah. it's not worth the money.
me: I don't know ... there are good sales in this week's circular. You don't have to come with me, you know.
TH: We don't need to save the money that much ... and it'll just annoy both of us. Let's just go to Whole Foods instead .
me: You remember this next year, when I have no job and we have a 1K/month Whole Foods bill.
me: Well, if we start doing WF shopping, that guarantees awesome salmon once a week!
TH: True. Eatable strawberries, too, and nice orange juice.
me: And healthy cat noms they'll actually eat!
And that decided it. Cat noms and good orange juice.
10 July 2009
I know, I know ... scratch made pasta salad is infinitely more healthful and, generally, more tasty. But, the pasta salad mixes keep going on sale and, when combined with those 40¢ off coupons, they are dirt cheap. Also, it's pasta salad in fifteen (thoughtless) minutes. Fifteen. Quince minutos.
Anyway, I can't leave a boxed salad well enough alone. No, I have to go and make it "better" ...
Jazzed Up "Classic" Suddenly Salad
Prepare pasta as directed. In a large bowl, combine seasoning packet with a half cup light peppercorn ranch dressing and one tablespoon lemon juice. Stir in cooked, drained pasta. Add half a punnet quartered grape tomatoes, one finely diced shallot, and one can drained flaked tuna to pasta. Toss. Cool. Serve over lettuce leaves.
08 July 2009
Easy Sausages & Vegetables
Preheat oven to 375. Chop fully-cooked roasted garlic chicken sausages into thirds. Toss onto jelly roll sheet. Add one bell pepper and one red onion, thinly sliced. Top with one can no-salt-added basil, garlic & oregano diced tomatoes. Squirt with a bit of light Italian dressing. Stir. Bake, uncovered, for about thirty minutes, stirring once.
While sausages are cooking, prepare 2 servings whole wheat wide noodles as directed on package. Serve half the sausages and vegetables on pasta with a little freshly grated Parmesan. (Remaining half is good reheated the next day for lunch).
06 July 2009
Until Saturday, actually. Our local farmers market should be opening this weekend and I look forward to lots of cucumbers (all my cucumber plants drowned) and corn. Mmmm! Buttery sweet corn and crisp refrigerator pickles! Can't wait! And, if we can get properly organized on Sunday morning, there's always the Coventry Farmers Market with its fresh sauerkraut and delicious beef ...
- Picnic leftovers: Hot dogs with fried mushrooms and chopped cucumbers in light Italian.
- Last of the leftover pasta salad, pickled beets, and cherries.
- Not CMOT Dibbler's Sausages-inna-bun¹: Grilled garlicky chicken sausages (from freezer) with peppers and onions on a bun. Plus salad.
- Salad day: lettuce from the garden, grape tomatoes, cucumber, celery, carrots, and red onion. Plus grapes and chunks of white Stilton with cranberries.
- Grilled boneless skinless chicken breasts (thawed and marinated in light Italian) with parsley rice and tinned green beans.
- Pasta salad on lettuce leaves (from garden) with chopped cucumbers and tomatoes in light Italian.
- Grilled marinated boneless pork loin chops (thawed and marinated in barbecue sauce) with corn on the cob and cucumbers in light Italian.
¹ "And then you bit into them, and learned once again that Cut-me-own-Throat Dibbler could find a use for bits of an animal that the animal didn't know it had got. Dibbler had worked out that with enough fried onions and mustard people would eat anything."
(from Terry Pratchett's Moving Pictures)
05 July 2009
~ Hamburgers & Hot Dogs ~
~ Mom's Devilled Eggs ~
~ Pickled Beets ~
~ Cucumber Salad ~
~ Creamy Italian Suddenly Salad® ~
(w/ added veggies)
~ Mom's Strawberry-Walnut Bread ~
- Mom’s pickled beets
- In a bowl, layer two un-drained cans low sodium sliced beets and one thinly sliced onion (white or red depending on preference or availability). Pour in one cup white vinegar. Refrigerate overnight. The longer this sits, the better it is.
- Cucumber salad
- Halve one English/burpless cucumber and scoop the seeds out with a spoon. Thinly slice & put in a colander with salt. Let sit for 20 minutes or so. Rinse cukes and squeeze in a tea towel to remove as much moisture as possible. Put in bowl with minced red onion, dill weed (fresh from the garden!), a splash of white vinegar, a few twists of pepper, and a tiny bit of sugar. Do not make more than a few hours before serving -- will not keep well overnight!
- Fancied-up Suddenly Salad®
- Open two boxes of Creamy Italian Suddenly Salad®. Combine pasta packets and cook pasta in boiling water for 13 minutes or until of desired chewiness. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine seasoning packets with ½ cup light mayonnaise and ½ cup 1% Greek yoghurt or light sour cream. Thin with a little milk as desired. To bowl: add one minced small red onion, two minced celery stacks, and two handfuls of quartered cherry tomatoes. Drain pasta well and toss, still hot, with sauce and vegetables. Refrigerate until needed.
03 July 2009
Italian Salmon Vegetable Bake
1½ pounds boned salmon fillet of uniform thickness, skinned
3 small crookneck squash, quartered and sliced
1 small red onion, diced
1 can no-salt-added petite diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup low-fat Italian dressing
Preheat oven to 400. Lightly grease 13x9 baker. Place salmon in baker and top with tomatoes, peppers, squash, onion, and Italian dressing. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes. Test salmon for doneness. Serve with parsley rice and green beans.
02 July 2009
Feta-ed Cherry Tomato Chicken
4 trimmed boneless skinless chicken breasts, thawed
1 string bag of Desert Glory Nature Sweet Salad Cherry Tomatoes on the vine, halved
(last week's B1G1 + $1.00 off 2 with a Shaw’s printable!)
1 8 oz. package of feta cheese crumbles
A couple squirts of light Italian
A couple shakes of McCormick Salt Free Garlic & Herb Seasoning
Preheat oven to 400°F. Sprinkle breasts with salt-free seasoning and place in a 13x9 baker. Scatter cherry tomatoes on chicken. Sprinkle cheese on tomatoes. Squirt a couple squeezes of dressing over all. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with parsley rice or orzo.