Sunday, July 31, 2011

Potato Enchiladas with Tomato Chile Sauce

This recipe was found in the pile waiting to determine its cardworthiness and blogworthiness. I had clipped it from Bon Appetit and it says that it is from El Mirador in San Antonio. I did a web search to find some more information on this recipe and wasn't successful.

I made this when cilantro was growing and growing in the garden and needed to be used. I had this one evening for dinner and Pad Thai another...just to try to use some of this. I have found that it is a very short growing season for cilantro and goes to seed quickly. So...when it is ready.... I need to be ready!

I made the sauce and the filling on a day I was off of work and combined them for a quick dinner. I had lost the 2nd page of the clipping, so my instructions are probably not exactly as it was originally published...but the ingredients are directly from the clipping. I suppose that the original called for dipping the tortillas in hot oil as per usual enchilada instructions. I dipped them in the warm sauce. I think that the corn tortillas fall apart a bit more my way, but I saved the fat calories for something else (strawberry pie, anyone?).

1 T vegetable oil
3 T chopped and seeded serrano peppers
4 garlic cloves, chopped
large can crushed tomatoes (original recipe called for 4 1/2 c chopped tomatoes, divided). My best guess is some get pureed and some tomatoes are put in chopped????
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 t ground cumin
1/2 c fresh cilantro

I sauteed the vegetables and then put in the cumin and tomatoes and cooked for awhile for flavors to blend. I added the fresh cilantro from my garden at the end.

1 1/2 lb russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 " pieces
The recipe says to boil and mash...then the clipping stops.

1 T butter
1 c chopped green onions
1/2 each red, green, and yellow peppers (I used 2 red peppers)
1 1/2 T chopped serrano chiles
1 t cumin
6 T chopped fresh cilantro
I sauteed the vegetables and added the cumin toward the end. After turning off the heat I put in the cilantro and combined this with the mashed potatoes.

The recipe calls for 12 6" tortillas and 1/3 c vegetable oil. That's why I'm guessing that the original calls for the traditional way of making enchiladas.

I rolled the filling in the tortillas and topped them with the sauce and baked them. We had ours with a bit of feta sprinkled on them.

Paul had a bit of a lip curl on these, so I'm thinking he didn't think they were cardworthy. I would make them again....not often but another time of these would be OK with me.

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

P. F. Chang's Lettuce Wraps

I have made these lettuce wraps a few times but no one in this house remembers eating them before. Each time has been like a new experience for Paul and for Eleanor.

Yikes....maybe that means it is not card-worthy? I guess since it is already on a card it means I should throw away the card. That's really what we thought of this recipe on this round.

I have just been to P.F. Chang's a couple times preferring smaller non-chain places. My memory isn't of the lettuce wraps there but rather of the large (and I mean large) bowls of soup. When my sister lived in the Milwaukee area Eleanor and I met her there for lunch and each got a bowl of soup. They were huge....we floated home after eating this with our doggy bag jugs of soup in the back of the car.

I guess I'll keep the soup memory of this place rather than these wraps. I thought it was a good dinner...but I have other things I'll make since it got two and a half "thumbs down".
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Friday, July 29, 2011

Key Lime Pie

Milwaukee is famous for frozen custard! When we came out of swim practice we noticed that the flavor of the day was key lime pie at the custard place on the way home. It sounded good, but limes were in the fruit bowl on our counter, so we stopped on the way home for sweetened condensed milk and graham crackers. I couldn't remember what else was needed for this recipe.

I did search and found a few variations, but I had to find a recipe matching my ingredients...remember, I was trying to NOT go to the grocery store again. I cut the sugar to 1 T or so in the crust since the pie sweetness would be strong. I cut the butter in the crust to 2-3T or so.

Yum....sweet and limey.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes

We love blueberries so I bought a large container at the warehouse club. Using them isn't a problem since I have a lot of ideas..but we thought pancakes were a good idea. One of our favorite recipes is blueberry cornmeal pancakes..but I couldn't find the recipe we liked, so I found the one linked in the title. I just had vanilla soy milk, so I used that.

They were pretty as the picture.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Feta Black Olive Dip

This is one of my favorite appetizers and is part invention part inspired from a recipe seen years ago from the newspaper, Milwaukee Journal, and said it was courtesy of Grasch Foods in Brookfield. Even though Brookfield is a suburb of Milwaukee it is not somewhere I get very often. It's just outside my normal loop. I did stop there many years ago and, at that time, it reminded me of Sendiks.

Before making it for my friend Amy's sprinkle the other day, I made this and a roasted red pepper dip for a poker party with violin friends. I mentioned this in a post on 12/20...and my hot yoga friend Carol really did go to the World Series of Poker. It's not even MY story, but it's such a good one that I'm repeating it. She won her entry (and an all expense paid trip to Vegas) after entering a sweepstakes on the Planter's Peanut jar. It's such an incredible story! The violin kids are crazy about poker and really get into playing it in a dark room with sunglasses and hooded sweatshirts. It's an odd combination....Suzuki violin and poker..but it works for our group.

I'm not sure why Eleanor and I were both thinking of this recipe recently, so once it was in my thoughts I had to find somewhere to take it and the sprinkle seemed like the perfect place. A couple times this summer some of the swim moms have been "tailgating" in the parking lot during part of practice as a way to catch up with each other on summer evenings. Our friend Amy is having a baby in August. I didn't know about this baby for the longest time, but she told me she couldn't do Dirty Girl when I asked if she was interested since that was around her due date. Hmmm.....after that statement it didn't take me long to figure out a baby was on its way!

We had a sprinkle for her...just a tiny way to welcome the baby into the world.

Oh yeah, the recipe.
The original:
1 lb crumbled feta
1 c pitted whole black olives, drained well
1 t garlic powder
1/4 t dried thyme
1c to 1- 1/3 c mayonnaise

I used some cream cheese and decreased the mayonnaise since I bought the huge size cream cheese at the warehouse club when I was there thinking it was needed in this recipe. So, I used a can of olives and 8 oz cream cheese and maybe 1/4 c or so of mayonnaise.

Served with pita chips..yum.
I got this dip made and knit a baby pumpkin hat all in the same day. Whew! I was feeling a bit pressured to finish that hat since I didn't start it until the morning of the sprinkle. Good thing babies have small heads!

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Caprese Salad

This is embarrassingly easy. Almost too easy to post in the blog, but I'm thinking that if you have found yourself here you are looking for here it is.

Sliced mozzarella cheese
Sliced tomatoes
olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Spaghetti Pie

Last summer my friend Lisa called and asked if she could come over for dinner with her boys....and bring the dinner!! Of course the answer was YES. She had made this and thought we would enjoy it too.

It's a much fresher version than other recipes I have seen for spaghetti pie...and just the thing for an early summer evening with some fresh basil.

1 pkg spaghetti noodles
1/2 c Parmesan
3/4 c ricotta
1 T Italian seasoning
2 eggs, beaten
2 tomatoes
1/4 c chopped basil
8 slices provolone
Spray a springform pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook noodles and drain.
Toss the cooked noodles with parmesan, ricotta, seasoning, and eggs.
Press 1/2 the mixture into the pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 the basil and layer with tomato and 1/2 cheese slices. Add more of the spaghetti mixture to the pan and top with additional provolone and basil.
Bake 30 minutes or so. Let stand 5-10 minutes before slicing into wedges and serving.

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tacos of Creamy Braised Chard, Potatoes, and Poblanos

Chard, kale, greens....used interchangeably in this house! The bag of kale was huge from the CSA box; however, I know that this reduces easily. The greens keep for awhile after picking, but I like to reduce them due to refrigerator space, so I made this recipe linked from the title. I did have plenty of chard to steam and freeze as well.

I have raved about Rick Bayless recipes in the past; this recipe coming from his cookbook, Capturing the Vibrant Flavors of World Class Cuisine. His counter service restaurant in Chicago, XOCO, is one of my favorite places to eat. When we were at XOCO a few weeks ago we even saw his daughter Lainie working at the restaurant, and I felt like we were seeing a star and had to quickly text my friend Nora, since she is an avid watcher of his PBS show as are we. My parents were there earlier this week and saw Rick in the kitchen!! I'll have to post a picture after I get it from them.

I like his cookbooks even though some of the recipes are better suited to a day of cooking rather than a working swim/violin mom. However, when looking at the recipes closer and reading the hints on the bottom, many of the recipes adapt easily to every day life. I do recognize that many of the flavors in his cooking are good due to flavor blending time, but some shortcuts work well without sacrificing too much flavor.

I did roast the poblano peppers (see picture on left). I did this on the same day sliced the onions and put both in a bowl for a bit quicker cooking and assembly. I measured the chard and chopped it and put it in a ziploc bag. I made the creme fraiche with 1 cup half and half and2 t non fat yogurt that's what the recipe in the book uses instead of the heavy cream. I mixed those ingredients together and let the mixture sit in a measuring cup on the counter for 4 hours or so before refrigerating it overnight.

This recipe comes together quickly, so it's perfect on evenings where we get home late. All three of us like it...we get some greens in our bodies and enjoy a quick tasty dinner.

Rick (Bayless) suggests serving this over grilled chicken or adding some chopped ham and tossing it with egg noodles after sprinkling with lots of cilantro.

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Smoked Pork Chops

Paul is the smoking guy...the meat smoking guy, that is!

He had been proposing smoked grilled pork chops for dinner for a few days. The problem was that he had this idea on the day the CSA box came when I really felt I needed to prepare a lot of the vegetables. The box came on Saturday I was ready for his porkchops. They were even on sale!

He sprinkled both sides of them with a a bit of seasoned salt, Penzeys Arizona Dreaming, Grill mates barbecue seasoning, Galena Street,and Penzeys garlic powder and put them in the smoker for about 2 hours. Cooled and refrigerated them grilling them right before dinner.

They were delicious! I think we'll have to be a bit more organized about this in the future and have him smoke a few more and wrap and freeze them for some quicker meals.

Our friends Meghan and Scott enjoyed this dinner that included some grilled potatoes and CSA salad (lettuce, mini tomatoes, cucumbers, and feta with a balsamic and olive oil dressing). And just having them here threw me off a bit with the picture taking job, so I took a picture of the leftover porkchop. I guess that's OK since you already know what a salad looks like as well as what roasted potatoes look like.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Pesto Pasta

Elizabeth blogged about pesto last year (8/20/10 post). I make it pretty much the same way although minus the pine nuts. Although Eleanor isn't really allergic to pine nuts she avoids them because of the potential for cross contamination.

To cut down on the dairy I have used miso instead of Parmesan to give it that nice salty flavor. Living in America's Dairyland doesn't allow that to happen too often. The cheese I don't use in the recipe I use to top the pasta. There! A great crown pleasing answer!

Pesto is good either way...with or without the pine nuts. I made a batch after receiving basil in the CSA box the other week. My basil seeds didn't sprout so well this year...maybe due to the cold and wet spring we had? I'm guessing that this is a plant that prefers the sun. Anyway, it seems like it is growing well at Rare Earth Farms, so I'll end up getting some after all.

Pesto and gazpaucho are two tastes that mean summer to me, so I'll have to blog about gazpaucho when we get to the tomato season. This will have to do for now.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Vanilla Pudding and more!

Milk overload!

We're not huge milk drinkers in this house with 2/3 of us claiming a bit of lactose intolerance. I do like the milk from lw dairy, but we tend to get a stockpile of it in the summer. It seems like we can keep up with the 3 half gallon bottles every other week until the weather gets warm...then I find I need to cancel a delivery or two to catch up. Recently I wasn't on top of that and ended up with quite a supply so I thought about making pudding. At 2 or more cups per recipe I was hoping for rave reviews to bring this supply under control.

First Eleanor and I made vanilla pudding:
Then we made chocolate:
Then she thought of crumbling oreos in the pudding....YUM! I think this will be a good way to use that milk supply before the next delivery.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Vietnamese Summer Rolls


The CSA box was perfect for making these the other week. Fresh chiles and cilantro from our garden combined with CSA veggies such as basil, cucumber, and lettuce and, OK, carrots from the grocery store all combined for this fresh summer meal.

Eleanor and I had dinner with my sister and her friends when they were all in Milwaukee going to medical school one night...making Christine's spring rolls in one of our favorite memories of the time Lisa lived here. I tried to make them as directed; however, Eleanor thinks Christine prepares the ingredients the best. We have tried to finagle an invitation to her house in California since she is a resident at the same hospital as my sister, but it hasn't worked yet. Gee, something about residents working long hours maybe?

Until we can get to SoCal to have the original Christine rolls(which we do prefer), we'll have to settle for these. And settling for these isn't a bad thing since we got to eat a lot of the veggies from the box this week!

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Artichoke Stuffed Chicken Breasts

This recipe...or the original anyway...comes from Weber's Big Book of Grilling. Paul received this book from some friends in Laguna Nigel when he was visiting them a few years ago. They had two copies of the book and thought we would enjoy it. I'm not really sure how they ended up with a couple books...but we sure benefitted from it.

I made the filling on a day off and then was able to quickly pound and stuff the breasts when getting home from work.
2 T olive oil (I used 1 T or so)
1 t dried thyme
1/4 t red pepper flakes
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts
2 t minced garlic
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
3 oz goat cheese, crumbled
3 T minced sun dried tomatoes (I rehydrated dried tomatoes)
2 T finely chopped basil

In med pan combine oil, thyme and pepper. Warm a couple minutes. Drain and chop the artichoke hearts. The original said to rinse them...I didn't rinse. Add to the pan with garlic, salt (I omitted), and pepper and cook 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Stir well.

4 large chicken breasts (with skin)
Pound these to 1/4" or so thickness. Place skin side down and put stuffing in it. Fold in half and use toothpicks to skewer the sides closed.

The flavors of this dish seem very 90s to me...goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes, I suppose. That's not a bad thing...just sayin'.

This was served with fresh green salad with lettuce from the CSA and with mozzarella pearls and fresh basil and fresh tomatoes sprinkled with balsamic.

I roasted broccoli by cutting into bite size pieces and sprinkling with olive oil, salt and pepper and baking at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or so. My neighbor made broccoli this way and Eleanor raved about it when returning from a babysitting job at their house.

The meal was a bit heavy on the cheese with cheese in the chicken and the mozzarella balls...but this is America's Dairyland after all. The dairy was balanced by the vegetables that were very I think we're OK!
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Monday, July 18, 2011

Cilantro Pesto...or help it's taking over!

I haven't been a huge fan of growing cilantro since the season always seems so short. I haven't found that it's like basil where it keeps growing. I still decided to grow some this summer since I do like it...but....all of a's ready.

Much like Elizabeth with basil pesto last summer, I decided to make cilantro pesto and freeze it. On a recent summer day I decided that I needed to go into production mode with this herb! The funny thing about it though is that it grinds/whirs down to a very small amount. I wish I had taken a picture of all the cilantro I had since it compacts much more than basil. The entire packet of seeds...the entire row of cilantro in my garden...came down to this. One meal....delicious and fresh meal...but meal.

As usual, I made a few changes to the recipe. I used miso instead of the cheese. We'll top the pasta with cheese and I have the miso, so I should use that. I did not use walnuts or pine nuts due to allergies.

Miso paste seems to keep indefinitely. I used it in pesto years ago to make it dairy-free. Not for any particular anti-dairy reason but more for variety. When my friend Carol was undergoing radiation therapy her homeopathic "doctor" neighbor told her miso was an important part of her diet to compensate for the radiation. When I asked him how that helped to counteract the radiation effects (in my Western medicine way), he told me that it was due to the salt. My question was....why not eat a bag of chips? He really couldn't answer that one:) Anyway, Carol was trying to drink miso with hot water. Let's just say she wasn't a fan!!! However, I do find some uses for this, so, if it does have some good properties, hopefully I'll get the benefit of the miso!
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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Chorizo and Date Skewers

This recipe served as an idea only since I made quite a few substitutions. I'm happy with the result though and would make it my way again. I probably will try it the way it is written at some point too.

I didn't have couscous, so I used rice and substituted lemon for the orange called in the couscous recipe. I think I would prefer couscous next time but the rice was OK too.

I grilled one pitted apricot on each skewer instead of the dates called for in the recipe and added red bell pepper, just because I had some.

All three of us liked the tartness of the apricot with the spiciness of the sausage, a fine Milwaukee product, Usinger's chorizo. It would not work to use the Trader Joe's soy product since that has a crumbly texture and firmer sausage is needed to put on the skewers.

This meal came together VERY quickly, so I'll have to broaden my sausage kebab repertoire for the future.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saigon Chicken Salad

This has been on my list of things to try for quite awhile; since I first saw the recipe in Bon Appetit a few months ago. While at the Asian grocery store recently I bought some long beans and was ready to experiment. It seems like it is a green papaya salad recipe with chicken, so I did adapt it a bit and used green papaya instead of the cabbage mentioned in the recipe. I didn't use daikon radish either but instead used some sweet radish that I found on that same trip so I bought a package of it for using in Pad Thai. It would be fine without this too.

I didn't use the kaffir lime leaves or the lemongrass but substituted lemon juice and lime juice and a bit of zest. I didn't use the cucumbers or celery leaves either.

There is a long list of ingredients, so I really needed to be in the mood to make this. Even so, I did heave a big sigh before starting this but found once I got going it wasn't too bad.

The chicken....I will make that portion of the recipe again! For the rest of the salad, I may just go with my green papaya salad recipe since that pretty much sums up the taste. I think it's always a bit fun to experiment, so I'm glad I tried this. Even if the entire recipe seems like too much work, I would recommend the chicken marinade.

I would make this again...not soon, but sometime it would be good to have again.

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Friday, July 15, 2011

CSA day....or what to make?

What to do? What to make? How do I fit all this in my refrigerator?

Yep, it's CSA day at our house, so I need to take a couple minutes to develop a plan. The lettuce is easy to start the week...a salad with dinner. The chard isn't too hard either since I have been wanting to make tacos with this (don't worry, I'll post that recipe). The basil needs to be made into pesto. The cucumbers and remaining lettuce will be good in spring rolls this week (another future blog post). The mini tomatoes will be eaten by the end of tomorrow since they are bite size and sweet. The peas were not good; it looks like they were picked quite awhile ago, so I'll need to lodge a complaint about them. Red onions and garlic fronds...always can use them.

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tuna Salad and Egg Salad for Dinner

It was hot and humid and we were post-swim meet. Hot and humid for days in the pool....and now at home. The refrigerator was nearly empty. What to eat?

Salads for dinner!

Mayonnaise isn't a favorite in this house, but a sparse amount with a can of tuna and a sparse amount with some hard boiled eggs (and some mustard) helped to create a necessity dinner. I also added a bit of dried tarragon to both salads. I had a cucumber from last week's CSA box and a few chips....worked for me!

And now I can work on the pile of laundry and a grocery list......

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cake Pops by friends

Aren't these the cutest thing EVER?

Our friends brought them over for our July 4th picnic/party after their girls had been working on them for a few days. I think cake pops are the "in" thing, even though I have been a bit slow on this. I noticed a friend mentioned on her facebook wall that she had made some....and I saw an ad for them at Starbucks...and then this beautiful presentation showed up at our house.

The girls bringing these love to decorate bakery...and it shows. We were interested in making these but doing it at a bit smaller level, so I found a few recipes and Eleanor and I got a few supplies we were lacking such as the sticks and cute bags.

There are a lot of blogs/websites outlining the process but basically it's cake mushed up with frosting and rolled into balls. After the balls are made they need to be frozen...then dipped in chocolate. You can see that the girls bringing them to our house are overachievers in the bakery decorating department and have much more elaborate ideas on making these.

The problem with these is that they are delicious. And bite size.

Start with a cake:
I made a Black Magic Cake. I like this cake with cream cheese frosting, so I made that as well with 1/4 c butter and 8 oz cream cheese and 1 t vanilla. Beat in powdered sugar and a tiny amount of milk. I found that was about twice as much frosting as needed, so I now have some frosting in my freezer for the next time.

The cake and the frosting and the cake mushing and mixing in the frosting was enough of a project for one day (between swimming sessions, of course) so we put the mixture in the refrigerator for the next day. This is a good kid project for summer since it can be worked on a tiny bit each day.

The next day we had some time we rolled the mixture into balls, put a stick in each one and put the tray in the freezer.

Later that evening we dipped them into the chocolate coating(we used Wilton candy melts) and rolled some in sprinkles and some in oreo crumbs. This is the fun place to get a bit more creative, so we'll have to remember that for the next time. There are candy melts in nearly every color, so we'll have to look for some variety when we have a coupon for Michaels.

We did buy the cute bags at Michael's (along with the chocolate coating), so we could wrap them individually...hopefully so we can take them somewhere and not eat all these by ourselves! The bags in the link aren't the ones we got...we got the sticks and bags separately since it was less expensive that way....but you get the idea.

Eleanor is thinking that these would be a delicious treat with pumpkin cake and cream cheese frosting in the fall. I like how she thinks!

I followed the instructions that are outlined in the link from the title of this post.

The first picture in this post is the overachiever picture.....the picture below is our creation.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011 'em or hate 'em

The title pretty much sums up radishes, I think. We're not huge fans in this house. Paul likes radishes...but they don't like him. I'm not a big fan but will eat one or two.

That's the thing about joining a CSA....there are some items that just aren't favorites. We do like most things so this generally isn't a problem, but radishes and celery root both seem to grow really well in Belgium, Wisconsin. The positive part is that I can try some new recipes....and there must be a nutrient in there that my body needs.

Last year I tried to make pickled radishes after Elizabeth threw that idea at me when I was wondering what to do with CSA radishes. They were pungent. Very very pungent. So strong that I didn't even try one last year. So, this year I thought I would try the chips suggested in the Rare Earth Farms newsletter this week.

Here it is:
10-15 radishes, sliced thin
Place in bowl with tight lid and add:
1/4 t garlic salt
1/4 t paprika
1/4 t pepper
1 t olive oil
Shake the container until slices are coated and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 275 degrees for 20 minutes then turn. Bake a total of 60 minutes or so.

Look at the picture of the gorgeous sliced radish. Isn't it amazing that something can be so pretty?

Some friends stopped over when I was making these. I think they thought I was a bit...crazy....on this one.

I did bake the "chips" much longer than an hour and then left them in the oven to dry overnight. I liked them. Yep, my bar was low, but I still thought that they were tasty. I did not like the texture though since they were still moist but still ate them. So, I think this is project for the next time I get these radishes....figure out something with these flavors but with a better texture maybe? At least I'll be a bit excited the next time radishes come in my box.
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Monday, July 11, 2011

Spinach and Bacon Pasta Toss

This recipe was on a calendar posted at a colleague's desk. Every time during the featured month I would visit that clinic in the course of my job I would salivate over the picture of the pasta. After Day 3 or so of this I asked for a copy. What I really wanted was a serving of this delicious looking pasta...but settling for the recipe seemed OK too.

I have had it in my pile of recipes for quite awhile....just not getting to this one. I decided that it would be a good time to try it and to substitute arugula for spinach to use some of the garden abundance. I whipped up a home made dressing...balsamic vinegar and olive oil and a bit of Penzey's Greek Seasoning.

Eleanor is calling this one meat lover's pasta since it has both chicken and bacon.

It came together quickly which is a good thing since summer evenings often a quick dinner is needed. It's nice not to have the homework piece of the evening for a bit but many nights dinner needs to come together quickly after violin and swimming and drivers ed and my work! I'm still waiting for some lazier summer evenings...maybe tomorrow?
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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sriarcha Grilled Tofu

July 4th....burgers and brats and hot dogs!
I'm a bit done with the grilled meats for a bit. Paul did have a bit of a sneer when I mentioned that we were having tofu for dinner; however, once he tried this recipe he gave it the "thumbs up".

I did not keep out any sauce for dipping as recommended in the recipe. I used 2 blocks of tofu just because I wasn't sure if I would have enough for the meal. Other than that, I made it as directed except for cooking it stovetop versus grilling. Paul did not think tofu was worth the grilling effort:)

I was intrigued by this recipe after reading it on the Bitten Word blog, and since we love rooster sauce, so I thought this would be a good recipe to try. I still had the Bon Appetit that had the recipe in it, so I quickly looked at the original; however, the blog had a picture of the recipe that looked great. I think their picture looks even better than the one in the magazine.

I'm an adventurous cook, so I thought I would go for it and try this one.'s spicy. I always feel like I have to sell Paul on meatless meals, so the Korean BBQ note in the magazine was the fact I could use to sell it. Paul is a huge Korean BBQ fan...just ask my sister who witnessed Paul and Eleanor eating fatty meat over the hibachi at a restaurant in the Korean district in LA! Lisa and I weren't thrilled with the fatty meat idea but really enjoyed watching them relish the meal.

I tried hot yoga the night I was serving this for, I need to tie-dye a few clothing items!

Anyway, this is a Korean BBQ entree that we can all enjoy!

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

One Year Later.....

It's our blog anniversary around now!
It's a bit difficult to choose exactly which day to celebrate...Elizabeth's first first post....the idea date....

Elizabeth showed me blog details at the WGLO swim meet while we were waiting for our daughters to swim, so that's the weekend I'm going to celebrate the blog anniversary, kinda like a banking holiday.

Hmmm...thoughts on the anniversary.
  • I still have more recipes to write about...hooray. One of my fears was that I would run out of recipes/menu ideas. Still feel that's going strong after a year (with a few blog vacations thrown in there).
  • It's still fun.
  • I have worked on focusing on my pictures a bit which is difficult since I'm trying to quickly take the picture before eating dinner after a long day.
  • Looking at the stats has been fun. I'm glad people are looking...even if it is to say "yuck" my family would never eat that!
Wow...over 200 posts! I feel like we should evaluate the blog and make some goals on this anniversary...but that sounds too hard, so I think I'll just plug along and keep posting.
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Friday, July 8, 2011

Vegetable Lasagna

This was a creation my friend, Peg, invented years ago. She says that every time she makes it it's a bit different...and I have found that to be true as well. It's a good recipe to have in mind when the CSA box is heavy, but I do purchase the ingredients for it if I need to since it's really good. This was a combination of CSA ingredients and purchased vegetables since we had received basil and mushrooms in the box last week.

Grate various cheeses:
smoked gruyere
About 1 1/2 to 2 c total works for us.

In food processor whir 1 container ricotta, handful of rehydrated dried tomatoes, and basil (of course fresh is best but dried will work).
(check out all that veggie goodness)

In large pan (I use a stockpot or large skillet) saute vegetables in a generous tablespoon of olive oil. The veggies used usually depend on what you have and they are just added in the order of the item needing to cook the longest to cooking the least. For example:
chopped red onion
carrots, chopped
bell peppers
Add 28 ox can tomatoes and cook until most of the juice has evaporated and the mixture is thick.

Layer, sauce, cooked noodles, ricotta mixture and grated cheeses.
Bake at 350 degrees for an hour or so. Let stand before cutting and serving.

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fargo Mansion Breakfast Crepe

I enjoy scrolling through the recipes in the Milwaukee online paper. I have to admit that this caught my eye since it has Fargo in the title. With my in-laws living there, it quickly grabbed my attention. Although the recipe is not from the city in North Dakota, the recipe sounded good....always up for a hot breakfast idea in this house.

This recipe is a combination of the recipes posted on 9/26/10 (apple puff pancake), 10/8/10 (puff pancake), and 4/2/11 (Dutch Baby).

I did cut back on the butter and sugar by quite a bit. Since we never had the original version we don't know the difference. I used 1 T. butter in the batter and 1 T with 1/4 c sugar (total) for the topping. I did not put the sugar in the batter at all.

It says 8 was ONE Eleanor sized portion.

The picture below is her first and second servings.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Chorizo Hash

My new favorite breakfast place in Milwaukee is Cafe Hollander. This place is located on the east side of Milwaukee not too far from my work in an old bicycle shop, owned by the grandfather of my friend Matt. This location has been a number of different restaurants over the past few years but Hollander really is a winner. My sister (now living in California) really liked this place and encouraged us to try it a number of years ago. When they returned for a visit they had to purchase some Cafe Hollander gear; it's just a place you want to think about randomly since it's got great food, great beer, and great atmosphere.

Hollander is one of the spots that is a quick walk from work so an occasional breakfast meeting often means heading there. I have liked everything I have ordered there, but I really liked the chorizo hash with black bean salsa I had a few days ago. Really, really liked it. Liked it enough to try to recreate it at home.

Paul, Eleanor and I rode our bikes to the restaurant the other morning so Paul could try this since I was raving about it that much. Eleanor opted for french toast with fresh berries which was served with real maple syrup (on the Karen scale that scores high). Riding bikes and having breakfast outside just may be my favorite summer activity. I love everything about it...the activity on the way there, cycling home after some good food, the clanking of glassware while sitting outside watching the day unfold....

I usually keep a supply of Trader Joe's soy chorizo in the freezer, a product I have raved about previously. Even if you think the soy meat substitutions are a bit disgusting...this one is different and is good. I think that it could be used to trick someone that it is meat sausage....not that I would do that!

I boiled the potatoes and shredded them when cool. I sauteed the soy-rizo (my term) in a separate pan and put the potatoes on a plate topped with the chorizo. I put salsa on top of that and a poached egg on top of that. Yum. The restaurant serves it with a black bean salsa which I'm not opposed to making it's just that was a bit more time than I had on the day I was making this. The restaurant tops it with a beer cheese sauce which is much lighter than I would have thought. I put a slice of white cheddar on it.

I think I would look great cycling in one of the Hollander bicycle jerseys sold there (hint to Paul for my birthday next year). And the coffee mug is orange and large (hint for Mother's Day next year).

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Beans and Barley Spicy Peanut Noodle Salad

There's a slight aversion in this house to peanut butter mixed with anything and served as a meal. I created that problem with THE SOUP (see 1/13/11 post). I seem to be the only one here without that problem....sometimes I crave spicy, gingery, garlicky, peanutty noodles. I hadn't made this version before but thought I would try it to get the entire serving bowl to myself.

I have made other versions of this but had the clipping from the newspaper in my pile, so I thought I would give this one a try. I added some diced cucumber and used fresh chives from the pot on my patio instead of scallions called for in the recipe. I had some cilantro from my garden as well, so I threw that in. I used 2 T soy sauce total...not worrying about the ingredients shoyu and soy sauce.

I like this and will have it for lunch at work a couple days this week. The recipe is from one of my favorite places to eat near work...Beans and Barley. I don't think I have ever eaten something I don't like from the restaurant or deli. There's a Whole Foods across the street, which I like also, but I'm glad to see that this smaller place is still really busy as well.

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Monday, July 4, 2011

Hot Dog Bar

Pink's! Just the word makes me think of standing in the hot LA sunshine waiting in line. And waiting. And slowly moving around the building for a hot dog. I'm talking about the one on LaBrea/Melrose.....not one of the the satellite locations.

OK. I'm not really a fan of hot dogs, but it's a must have when at Pink's. Last summer my friend Nora (knotmuchofaknitter) had the idea of a hot dog bar for July 4th. Anyway, I totally copied her idea last year and decided to go with it again this year. It's kinda like Pink's...only right here in my kitchen with the "make your own dog" fixins.

We keep hoping to see someone famous in person at Pink's but haven't yet. There are pictures on the wall of movie and television stars enjoying Pink's dogs. I guess we'll have to keep stopping there until we see a limo pull up to the stand! I keep hoping someone famous comes to our little parade and celebration but haven't had anyone famous here either(local politicians don't count...nor does the man in the hamster wheel). Bucky Badger...that's our famous...ummm.... person. Don't expect to see Bucky at Pink's though...more likely in our parade.

We will start today with swim practice and move on to a parade right past our house and fireworks that can been seen from our yard after dusk (if you look through the trees). The entire day will be a sea of people in red, white and blue in the park across from us. There is music all day and delicious smells from the food vendors, so we have to do something pretty special as far as food goes. The rest of the meal is pretty typical picnic fare...salad and watermelon and chips and potato salad.

Happy 4th!

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Hawaiian Coconut Coffee Cake

I have had this recipe a long time. It dates from my days working in an office at the American Red Cross in St. Paul. I had a co-worker who was the baker extrodinaire...making this for some birthday or another. I have the copy right from the cookbook but no mention of the title of the book. There is a note by the cookbook author that the recipe was given to him/her by Richard Sax who acquired it from Simon Waters. Hmm...doing a google search for the recipe, even with those names, did not get me to the cookbook author or the original creator of this cake.

If you remember the Bleacher Butts (by the way, we came in 3rd...but we were honest about our workouts....not that I'm bitter or accusing anyone of cheating), there were a number of recipes calling for coconut. I bought a container of unsweetened coconut but am now feeling a tiny bit of pressure to use it. I have a co-worker who loves coconut...and she is having a milestone birthday this year, so I thought it was time to make this recipe. I did make it as outlined below and felt a bit guilty that I didn't substitute some other kind of flour for the wheat flour so even the gluten intolerant person could have it. BUT, I did feel that I needed to make this as the recipe outlines since I had never (maybe one time) made this.

The cake:
3/4 c unsalted butter, softened
1 c sugar
1 3/4 c flour
1/4 c cornstarch
1 t bkg powder
1 t bakg soda
pinch salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 1/4 c plain yogurt or sour cream
3/4 c grated coconut, preferably unsweetened

Coconut Glaze:
1/3 c canned cream of coconut, such as Coco Lopez
2 t cold water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10" springform pan and set aside.
Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy...6-8 minutes. Sift flour, cornstarch, baking powder and soda, and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper and set aside. Add eggs to the creamed butter one at a time and add the vanilla.
Add the flour mixture and yogurt alternately into creamed mixture beginning and ending with flour. Pour into the pan and sprinkle with coconut and bake until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean...about 50 minutes. May need to lay foil over the top of the cake if it is getting brown too quickly.
Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes then run blade over the sides. Remove from pan.
For glaze: heat cream of coconut and water in a pan. Poke holes in the cake and (while still warm) spoon glaze over the surface.

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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Asian Pork and Pasta

Our mutual friend Hope passed this recipe on to me at a swim meet a couple years ago. As we were sitting in the hot, hot, hot, and humid stands she mentioned that they had this for dinner after enjoying a surplus of sugar snap peas. It is good and has been a standard in our house since that meet especially this time of year.

I don't necessarily use Penzeys spices in this...but it's good no matter how I make it. I did email them to let them know that I plug them on this blog (as does Elizabeth) and never even got an email back. It's not that I wouldn't use their spices because of this....but I now think the homey "send us your stories" is purely marketing. I had thought it was a bit more heartfelt than it probably really is. I wasn't expecting a Frontier Soup basket like Elizabeth received but more like an email back with a thank you for using their products. Regardless, I do like their products even if I don't always use them in this recipe.

Come to think of it, Hope was featured in the Penzeys magazine, so maybe it's just my recipes!

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Friday, July 1, 2011

Strawberry Pie

It's time to pick strawberries in the state of Wisconsin...yum! I have great memories of eating fresh strawberries as a kid during this time of year, but I didn't pick any until I was an adult. There was a place in Green Bay but kids weren't allowed. The crusty old farmer working there said that it was due to their insurance but, thinking about it as an adult I'm having a hard time believing that fact, since other people I know remember picking strawberries as a family activity. I would think that the strawberry insurance people would have similar rules for other fields...hmmmm. Anyway, strawberry picking for me is memories of sitting in the back of the station wagon with my brothers and crayons and paper and a frisbee while our parents Linkpicked.

Fortunately things are a bit different now in the Milwaukee area and Eleanor has grown up picking berries every summer with me. It's one of those things that makes me really happy....ripe berries, sunshine, blue skies, families out together doing an activity. I love seeing the kids (mine included) with red strawberry juice ringing their mouths. I'll gladly pay a tiny bit more for berries to compensate for those eaten in the field.

When she was little we picked at a place called Fletchers but are now picking at Basse's. My friend Kelly assures me that Basse's bought some of the equipment from our former favorite pick your own place, so it's similar. Fletcher's sold out and is a subdivision called.......Strawberry Fields (honestly, I couldn't make this up).

The drink on the left is strawberry milk...a blend of strawberries, milk and ice. Eleanor highly recommends it.

I wanted some strawberries but not an overwhelming amount. I made the pie mentioned in this blog. This recipe is similar to a blueberry pie recipe that I'll blog about some time in the future. Anyway, what I like about it is the fruit is not completely cooked down into a jam-like substance...rather, the fruit taste really comes through in both recipes. I made it fairly close to the recipe in the link; however, I did decrease the sugar to 3/4 c or so since the berries are so sweet. I make my own crusts but any crust could be used.

Our mutual friend Judy picked 100 pounds the other day! Wow! When I called around checking on picking for the day we could go one pick your own place was completely picked out and closed for a couple days. Not that I'm blaming Judy:)

When we called Basse's the recording told us the berries were small but sweet. We didn't think they were all that small...but they are correct that they are sweet. It ended up that it is the place I like anyway, so it all worked out well.

We'll probably freeze a few, eat some fresh, make a few smoothies now, and will enjoy this strawberry pie. I think Eleanor has been dreaming about chocolate dipped berries, so that may be a project for her.

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