Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pasta with Broccoli

The original version of this came from Fields of Greens by Annie Somerville.  As usual, I have adapted it to make it work for me:)

It's a good weeknight dinner that everyone liked.  It comes together quickly and is an entire meal in one pot!

Jarred roasted peppers easily substitute for the process of roasting.  It is a good idea to roast a couple extra when the grill is going....sometimes I do that....and sometimes I don't.   Frozen broccoli worked instead of fresh.

Fettuccine with Broccoli, Roasted Peppers, and Olives
1 medium red or yellow pepper, roasted and peeled, and sliced
about 3 cups broccoli
3 T olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
8 olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 T fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper
1/2 lb fresh fettuccine (used dry...from a box...about 1 lb)
2 T fresh herbs like marjoram, parsley, thyme (I used fresh parsley)
Grated Parmesan
Heat water to boil.  Add the pasta and cook a couple minutes.  Then add the broccoli to the same pot.  Cook until both are done and drain reserving 1/4 c or so of the cooking liquid. Add pasta and broccoli and reserved cooking water to the saute pan with the garlic.

While the water is boiling:
Heat 2 T olive oil and add the garlic.  Saute over medium heat for 2 minutes or so being careful not to brown it.  Reduce heat and add pepper strips, olives, lemon juice (original says to add some salt here but I wait until the end).  Add fresh herbs, remaining olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve with Parmesan cheese.
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Salmon Patties and Potatoes

Purple potatoes on the grill.  Regular potatoes on the grill.  Salmon patties from Trader Joe's on the grill.  This worked great for a night without much time.  We're hungry after Paul and I go to a yoga class and Eleanor swims.  While I waited the 15 minutes after my class for her to be done, Paul ran home and started the grill.  The potatoes were parboiled and brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper.  I was out of a vegetable, so some fresh fruit (watermelon and blackberries....yum...summer is almost here) filled in.
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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chicken Salad

Rotisserie chicken is often on my grocery list when a busy week is in the future;  it works to have a jump start on a number of meals.  The meat can always be frozen for future quick meals as well.  This week I threw together a chicken salad with some fresh pea pods, chopped apples, curry powder, and mayo.  Eleanor did say that she wouldn't mind sandwiches more often if they were filled with this. Hmm....we may be onto something.

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Monday, May 28, 2012

Escolar Kebabs

These kebabs were grilled but the picture shows the peppers and fish taken off the skewers. I love summer....grilling...sitting on the patio...things just a bit more laid back.  Summer started early with our beautiful weather this year, so we have had quite a few of those evenings already this year.

Last weekend I pulled out a recipe that is an old favorite...and we invited a friend over who was temporarily single for the weekend....and made these.  Served with our favorite harvest grain blend from Trader Joes and roasted broccoli...great meal.

Paul got escolar instead of tuna since that's what he found at Sendiks.  Escolar does come with some warnings about GI distress due to the fish oil.  I was a bit worried about that when we were eating it; however, it seemed like kebabs were the way to one was eating a large portion of the fish. Consider yourself warned!  No problems here with that, so I guess the portions worked.

Not sure where the original recipe is from since it's been cardworthy for years.  It's also been changed quite a bit by me (surprise).  The original had some of the marinade reserved for a dipping sauce and called for peanut oil.  That's not how I make it, but go for it if you don't mind the tiny bit of fuss.

Tuna Kebabs with Ginger and Chile Marinade
3 T rice vinegar
2 T grated ginger
2 T olive oil
2 T sesame oil
2 T honey (agave nectar this time)
1 serrano pepper. chopped
1 T chopped cilantro
Mix all together and marinate 1 lb tuna (or escolar) for 30 minutes or so.
Skewer with onion and red pepper and grill.

Tuna Kebabs with Ginger Chile Marinade

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

The plan for the week ahead.....

Always a good idea to have a plan as far as meals go.  Since Monday is a holiday we can have something a bit more involved; however, things are wrapping up at school so it's going to be a busy four days.  Paul is getting ready for some international travel, so I don't think Asian food is in order this week.  He'll get plenty of that where he is going!

Here's my menu plan for the week ahead:
Sunday:  grilled pork loin, roasted broccoli, potatoes on the grill
The plan is to roast some poblano peppers for tacos later in the week.  Why, the very next day!
Monday:  rajas poblanos (recipe from Bon Appetit) with plenty of fun taco toppings
Tuesday:  cheesy jalapeno stuffed chicken from skinnytaste
Wed:  Greek chicken pitas from my blog
Thurs:  bacon, date, and goat cheese panini sandwiches a food network website panini idea

I'm holding on more plans for now...with a violin party on Friday for Eleanor, Paul and I may figure out something to have that she doesn't like.  

There are usually changes as the week unfolds, but I'm starting here with my grocery shopping and going from there....  Looks like a good variety of chicken, pork, and meatless for the week along with some Greek and Mexican flavors.  Sandwiches.....kudos to Kelly, the sandwich queen.
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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Crockpot Sweet Potatoes

The baked potato bar for dinner was a good idea, so I tried the sweet potato bar.  I did the same thing...poked some holes in the potatoes with a fork and threw them into the crockpot in the morning.  Topped with bacon, avocado, red onion, cheddar cheese,black beans, and a bit of salsa. 

Great quick dinner idea and uses up leftover bits!
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Friday, May 25, 2012

Grilled Pizza

This is a summer favorite at our house. It's a bit of work, but every time I make it I think that I could eat it every night of the summer. Our old Weber grill that was handed down to us finally gave out, so we purchased a new one and had this as the inaugural grilled meal. I was new to blogging at the time of the inaugural meal and didn't take a picture.  And then another summer went by.  So, I made sure to take the picture early in the season this year. 

I love this recipe so much that I saved the entire issue of Bon Appetit from July 1997 , just so I can look at the pizza pictures again and again.

I make my own pizza dough but the original recipe does say that a tube of refrigerated dough can be substituted as well. I have made the crusts ahead of time to speed up the cook time on the day of the pizza. Whew, this recipe is a bit of work but so worth it.

This is my version...changed a bit from the original.  I'm pretty loose on making the topping.  I usually just drizzle a bit of balsamic vinegar over the finished pizza.  And the cheese.....decreased a great deal from the original and usually sprinkle some goat cheese and parmesan.  And usually that's it for the cheese.  Sometimes I use tomatoes...sometimes not...

Toppings: Grilled Italian sausages (can be done ahead of time), roasted peppers (jarred, if preferred).  We grilled on Saturday night last weekend, so I had Paul grill the sausages and roast the red pepper.  That way on Sunday night these would come together quickly.  It's a lot of work at crunch time otherwise.  I have made the crusts ahead of time too....partially grilled.  That has worked well when we have had people over for dinner since it's quite a bit of last minute tasks, 

We found that it makes quite a bit of dressing, so I would recommend cutting it in half or using the remaining dressing as salad dressing.  A few homegrown chives on the top are a good substitution for the green onions. 

The basic recipe adapts well to highlight whatever is garden fresh.  The herbs aren't ready yet, so I used dried basil in the crust.  Not nearly as good as fresh herbs, but it was still delicious pizza.

The "trick" is to put the toppings on the most grilled side.

This is the underneath. 

Ready to put on the grill.

Finished Product

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Apple Pie Popovers

Apple Pie Popovers

Eleanor discovered a number of different "flavors" of popovers. why didn't I think of that?  We like them for breakfast, but I hadn't thought of anything but plain.  A new world awaits.  We're planning to try cinnamon-sugar, pumpkin, and some savory varieties in the next few weeks.
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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Stir Fry or Once Around the Refrigerator Dinner

Sometimes there are just a lot of odds and ends needing to be used.  This is one of those creations from all the remnants left in the vegetable drawer.  Served on rice noodles with a bit of spicy peppers...yum.  The very next day it was necessary to go to the grocery store since this emptied the refrigerator.

This version used:
1/2 onion, sliced
5 carrots, sliced
ziploc of celery from the freezer
sliced peppers from the large bag of mini peppers I purchased last weekend

1/2 c orange juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c soy sauce
1 T sesame oil
Stir the above ingredients into 2 T cornstarch.  Whisk well and throw in the vegetable mixture when it's about half done cooking. 

rooster sauce
spicy peppers in a jar from the Oriental grocery store
sesame seeds
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Monday, May 21, 2012

Paninis for Dinner

I like this sandwich thing that my friend Kelly does.  Sandwiches for dinner...what a good idea...quick and delicious.  This one has some ham slices, cheddar slices, and some of that homemade fig jam that has been lurking in the fridge for a bit.  This is a great way to use up leftovers without it being labeled as leftovers.  I made these a couple times in the last time with a heap of fresh spinach in addition to the ingredients I mentioned above.

Yep, we'll be making more sandwiches for dinner!

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Cinnamon and Sugar Popovers

Sugar Crusted Popovers 
OK.  I'm not normally a sweets for breakfast kinda gal...but these had to be tried.  Ummm...yea...they rocked.  I liked this popover recipe and will use that as my base for other flavors, so stay tuned.  I adapted the recipe and will put mine below...but check out the link for the original as listed above.
I liked this version just a tiny bit better than the one I have used before.

For the puffs:
2 T butter, melted
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup skim milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup  flour

For the sugar coating:
1-2 T butter, melted and cinnamon/sugar mixture

1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Liberally grease a muffin pan with 1/2-cup indentations with Pam spray.
2. For the puffs, put the 2 tablespoons melted butter, eggs, milk, salt and sugar and whisk for a few seconds.
3. Add the flour and whisk for about 10 seconds, just until smooth.
4. Divide the batter among the molds, filling each 1/2 to 2/3rds full.
5. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the puffs are deep brown.
6. Remove from the oven, wait a few minutes until cool enough to handle, then remove the popovers from the pans and set them on a cooling rack. If they’re stubborn, you may need a small knife or spatula to help pry them out.
7. Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Thoroughly brush each popover all over with the  melted butter, then sprinkle each puff  with the sugar and cinnamon mixture.

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Indian Samosas

Samosa recipe 

You know, I think there needs to be a formula that rates the flavor in relation to the work involved in a recipe.  I don't mind the work in preparation of a dish...but I really don't like a lot of work for medicore flavors.  That's where this one falls....a great deal of work for a so-so product.

I like samosas, so I'll have to see if it was the samosa, my mood that day, or this particular recipe.

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Biscoff Popovers

Biscoff Popovers
I wouldn't tell Eleanor about the surprise breakfast....these popovers.  I was searching and doing a bit of reading about Biscoff spread because the stuff is just so delicious.  I found this and thought she would be very excited to wake up to this hot breakfast on a Monday morning.  It's a bit more decadent than what I usually make for breakfast, but that can be a good thing when it's Monday morning!  Decreasing the sugar to 2 T made the sweetness just right.                                    

I didn't try these....but she reports they're good.  It's gotten us on a bit of a popover phase, so we'll have some additional "flavors" soon. 

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fabulous Mother's Day Meal

Some days are just more fabulous than others....and this Mother's Day....really the entire weekend....was one of the best.  The weather did fun things to do and some down time.  But, I really think it ranked right up there with the best days.

The day was perfect weather-wise....and I was able to get a grocery store run in early.  Then, we split up and did a family tri with Paul cycling (he went 82 miles!!!), Eleanor at swim practice, and me running.  We saw my parents, we saw some friends, planted a garden, and finished the day with this awesome meal.

Paul wasn't looking too happy about the thought of a chicken burger, bur preventionrd had a great one.  In fact, if a speech bubble came out of his head it would have said,  "I want a real(beef) burger".  But, hey, it was Mother's Day, and I did the grocery shopping, so I guess it's my way:)  Glad that we had these because they were really good and will appear on our menu again.

Buffalo chicken burgers, roasted green beans, grilled sweet potatoes, and lemon squares for dessert.
roasted green beans

grilled sweet potatoes

chicken burger
Buffalo Chicken Burgers
(see the link listed above in this blog for the original....or...ahem....more original version)
1 lb ground chicken breast
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp each (basil and oregano) dried
1 to 2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
 2 Tbsp buffalo wing sauce
4 whole wheat hamburger buns
2 oz crumbled blue cheese
2 Tbsp buffalo wing sauce (choose a calorie-free variety), for serving
In a large bowl, mix the ground chicken with the following ingredients (through wing sauce). Divide into 4 equal patties.

Grill for 3-5 minutes per side (depending on thickness).
Serve with crumbled blue cheese and buffalo wing sauce. Print Page

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

White on White Pizza

Unsure of the origin of this recipe, so I'm not giving credit to someone; however, I did change my recipe card quite a I feel comfortable that I'm not plagiarizing recipes today!  The original included asparagus and mascarpone...neither of which I had at the time I was making this. 

It's tough being a foodblogger (well, not really).....the pressure to make the pizza dough from scratch at all times!  My coworker wants to start a kind of anti-cooking blog outlining how to make delicacies such as chicken nuggets and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  So, this blog...with my purchased dough from Sendik's can be dedicated to her!  I bought the refrigerated dough housed in a plastic bag in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. just have to do what works  And I'm all about that.

This is a hummus-like bean mixture on top of pizza.  Interesting idea and it does work in this case. Along with a saute of garlic and artichokes with a drizzle of lemon juice.  Add a bit of cream cheese and some Parmesan on the crust....and freshly grated pepper...and it's a good twist on pizza.

Hummus mixture:
1 can cannelini beans, drained
2 cloves garlic
a smattering of olive oil to blend it together

With the purchased dough it came together quickly.  My plan is to make some of Jim Lahey's pizza dough over the weekend, so stay tuned for some other adventurous pizza next week!
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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sarah's Quinoa Salad

Imagine opening your email to the recipe below!
That's just what happened to me the other day.  It's from my neighbor whose name is.....gee....wanna guess?  The title has the hint:)
There was a bit of a beet craving in this house recently...and then this came along.  My substitutions are in red.  Although I had good intentions of using kale, I already had a huge bag of spinach for green smoothies...and....I just couldn't buy more greens at the same time I'm trying to use up this humongo/giganto bag of spinach.   She did mention hers was a bit salty, so I didn't add any salt when roasting the vegetables but instead adding it at the end (my fine Sicilian salts made it incredible). 

1.5 C quinoa
3C vegetable broth
2 golden beets (~2C total), diced into 1/2" pieces regular pink beets
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 bunch kale chopped, tough stems removed spinach
1/4 C pine nuts omitted (just didn't have any)
1/2 C shelled edamame I always almost always have some in the freezer...but did not this time so it was omitted
1 tsp tarragon

Raspberry vinegar
Olive oil
1/4 lemon
1 clove garlic, crushed

1)  Preheat oven to 400.
2)  Soak quinoa for 15 min.  Rinse, drain, and add to 3 C vegetable broth.  Bring to boil, simmer for 15 min.
3)  *If edamame is frozen:  When quinoa is nearly done, add frozen shelled edamame to cooking quinoa.
4)  As quinoa soaks and then cooks, toss diced beets with olive oil and  pepper.  Place on cookie sheet and roast for ~15 minutes.  
5)  When beets are almost done, add kale to baking sheet and toss with beets to get coated in oil and pepper.  Roast for another 10 minutes or so.
6)  When veggies are nearly done, add pine nuts to a corner of the cookie sheet.  Roast for another 5 minutes or until golden brown, stirring around occasionally.
7)  To make the dressing, I added 2 Tbsp or so vinegar, plus about 1/2 C olive oil, garlic, and squeezed the 1/4 lemon into a vinaigrette shaker and shook to mix.
8)  Add quinoa to a large bowl.  Toss w/ vegetable mixture.  Season with tarragon and add as much dressing as you wish ( I ended up using about half).

Sarah's note: Enjoy!  Even the kids loved it!  Eric loved the edamame.

A couple things I did:
Added a handful of golden raisins and a sprinkle of feta. This is a great base for many vegetables, so it will appear on this blog again!  Way to go, Sarah!

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Biscoff Truffles or Dirty Snowball-Airline Style

WOW...when I checked out preventionrd and saw this recipe I was nearly jumping up and down because it looked so yummy.  Really, I had no idea that Biscoff could be purchased unless you were the buyer for an airline.  And...biscoff spread....pick me up off the floor it sounded so delicious!

I quickly checked the Biscoff website thinking that the products must somehow be contaminated with treenuts....forbidding it from my household.  Score!  That was not the case.  Now, I just had to figure out if I could purchase this locally and avoid the shipping charge (although it is a flat rate, so it was an option).  Score!  The newly built The Fresh Market stocks the products...and just a few miles from home.  And, I have been wanting to go there but hadn't had an excuse reason to get there yet. 

I'm not a shopper.  I can tolerate grocery shopping but detest any other kind.  Clothes shopping....I would rather wear the same things over and over and my teenage daughter reminds me and I am sure my coworkers notice.  Home improvement shopping there either.  But, grocery shopping...tolerable to enjoyable on the shopping scale.  I do have times where I just have a moment and don't enjoy the shopping...yet other times I enjoy looking around a bit.  I think the problem is that I usually stick to my list.  Since I was going to experience The Fresh Market the morning after my usual grocery shopping (and therefore full larder), I decided I would try to enjoy it. Well, enjoy it in the 30 minutes I had there before my TRX class at the Y. 

The Fresh Market was fun.  I do like looking around a new/different grocery store.  My Sendik's store's locally owned and within my village border.  Sendik's sponsors the fireworks in my village and has high school kids as musicians at various times of the year.  So, I really won't abandon it.  Yet, options are fun.  Trader Joe's...always fun to get some new things.  I enjoy looking around Fresh and Easy in California.  The Outpost is a great stop for a local coop.  Whole Foods...while outside my usual food budget sure has some fun finds. And browsing ethnic grocery stores is a bit of a hobby for me.  I guess I do have a bit of grocerystore-philia (my new word for my unnatural attraction to grocery stores...I challenge my psychiatrist sister to come up with a better term!). 

The Fresh Market has a nice feel to it....upscale....good smelling...and fun.  I was able to find both the Biscoff items I wanted.  It was reassuring to read the labels to be sure that these were not somehow contaminated with the thought of a tree nut...or even with an actual tree nut.  I will stop in here again!  It was the first part of my adventurous day off.  I went to a new grocery store...then went to the Y to try a new class.  And now, a new recipe is in the works.  I'll tell about it after my TRX paragraph.

TRX....hmmm...I'm a regular participant in the body pump class; but, I sure think I'm going to feel this one in the next few days.  I just may be hooked on an new and expensive fitness hobby.  My groupon for hot yoga is running out, so maybe this will be my next new decadent workout craze. We'll see just how high I can lift my arms in the morning.

The recipe.  The recipe.  I really thought that Biscoff was so darn delicious only because the tiny packages on the airplane are just a tease.  Maybe I like it only because I just get two little cookies in my package.  These truffles are showing that's not the case.  I like Biscoff cookies because they are delicious!

When reading preventionrd blog about these...dirty snowballs (oreo truffles) were dancing though my head.  These are very similar...just hadn't thought about expanding my repertoire of crushed cookie desserts.  That may be a good thing....because there isn't enough TRX (or cycling or running or zumba) in the world to work off the calories I could consume with these.  So, I'll just try to contain myself!

I made them just the way they are in the link...except the substitution of bittersweet chocolate for the coating......and the package was minus 1 cookie:)

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Tuna Melts

I love tuna...but am really not much of a "tuna mom".  I guess I have had too many tuna casseroles in my life!  In a former life I traveled throughout the rural midwest and was kindly served tuna casserole nearly every Friday from a Nesco roaster.  It was my favorite meal of the week...surpassing hamburger hotdish with tater tots as well as Oriental casserole.  So, I really enjoyed it...but burned out on it a bit.   And, I grew up in the 70s when tuna casserole was in its heyday.  But, every time I have canned tuna I remember that I really like it.  Eleanor came home from a friend's house a couple years ago raving about their guessed it...tuna casserole.  Tuna does make a good, quick, nutritious dinner even though it's much maligned.

Somehow we ended up with a few cans of tuna in our pantry.  Most likely I bought one or two cans and Paul did the same.  I had some leftover grilled cheese slice (Yep....Deli deluxe American slices) from my other 70s craving a couple weeks ago....grilled cheese.  Never having been much of a grilled cheese mom either it's been an adventurous month into the retro world of cooking!

I sliced an avocado on the mound of tuna and the sliced cheese, put it in the panini maker and served it with strawberry salad.

My friend Kelly is the sandwich mom extrodinaire.... having them for dinner frequently.  It's a great idea...everyone gets theirs the way they like it.  Depending on the ingredients it's an entire balanced meal in a neat little package.   Just the thing to use up bits and pieces of leftovers as well.  And a great summer meal since it won't heat the kitchen.

I think I'm headed to a bit of a sandwich out come the sandwich posts!

What's not to like? 
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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Portabella Pasta

 An adaptation of a recipe from a former coworker...

Cook noodles according to package.  Remember to save some pasta water when draining the pasta.  The original recipe called for ziti, but I had these very cool pasta rings from the Italian grocery store, so I used those. 

Saute sliced red onion in 1/2 T olive oil and 1/2 T butter until onion is browned.  Add 1 tsp sugar and continue to cook.  Transfer to serving bowl when mostly browned.  In same pan melt 1 T butter and add 2 cloves garlic, minced, 4 oz sliced button mushrooms and 8 oz sliced portabella mushrooms.  Cook until browned and add to serving bowl.  To serving bowl add handful chives, 4 oz crumbled chevre, 2 T Parmesan, 1/2 c pasta cooking water.   Stir until combined.

This is a recipe that adapts well...add artichokes, asparagus, red pepper, zucchini...any vegetable needing to find its way into your body! Substitute parsley for the chives...or bleu cheese for the chevre....  A couple grinds of black pepper and a very light sprinkling of sea salt from Sicily......yum!

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Another Strawberry Salad

We love strawberries on salad....good with poppy seed dressing......good with bleu cheese....good with goat cheese.

Here's another strawberry salad recipe:
2 TBSP sesame seeds, toasted
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup white sugar
2 TBSP white vinegar

Mix all together and serve over greens.
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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Cheese Straws

Ah...cheese straws....a favorite.  I don't make these will see why when you look at the ingredients.  And they are just so good.  In the past I would make these when a dozen cookies were requested...just because it's nice to have something savory on a dessert buffet at times.  In fact, when I was in the Whitefish Bay Woman's Club (as the youngest member...but that's another story), it was often requested that I make these.

The Whitefish Bay Woman's link to their website here.  It's a different generation of women...and they were a great bunch.  A friend of mine had the idea to join since we had been intrigued with their clubhouse within our village. friend is about 10 years older than I am (and a regular reader so I am kind on our age difference by a bit)...and she was the second youngest a lot of years.  It was delightful to get to know these women (and they were impressed by my ability to scale a ladder in just a few seconds) but life got in the way of me being able to participate.  It's a sad thing to me that many of these clubs just won't survive the way busy households are today, so I am glad that I was part of it when I had a bit more free time during the day.

Back to the cheese straws!
I have Wednesdays off work right now; however, there are some changes in my work department so I don't know how long I will have this schedule.  I LOVE having a day in the middle of the week to get a few things done.  It's been great to clean and catch up on laundry and get an extra grocery store run in the middle of the week.  Not to mention a nice day for fitness...body pump in the morning...returning to the Y in the afternoon during swim practice.  Typically I try to make a special after school snack for Eleanor on Wednesdays...and this week I was dreaming of cheese straws.  The way the three of us ate the rest of the batch that evening reminds me why I don't make these too often.  But we sure enjoyed them the other day!

The recipe comes from The New Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas.  Every time I use this book I remember how much I like it.  The recipes are arranged by menu ideas, so it's not a "go to" book for me.  However, when I have a few minutes to page through it I really enjoy it.  Believe it or not, I made it just like the recipe suggests.
2 c flour
3/4 t salt
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1 stick butter (1/2 c)
3/4 lb grated cheddar cheese
4 T cold water
1 t prepared mustard
1 t Worcestershire sauce

In a food processor, combine flour, sald, cayenne, butter and grated cheese and prcess until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

In another bowl whisk together cold water, mustard, Worcestershire.  Drizzle into the food processor until the pastry pulls together and forms a ball.  May need to add a bit more cold water if needed.

Take the pastry out and divide into two parts.  Roll each part into a rectangle...8 by 16 inches...between wax paper (I used silpat).  Each should be about 1/8" thick.  Chill both sheets at least an hour.

Peel back the paper and slice into strips about 1/3" wide.  Transfer to baking sheets on buttered or parchment lined baking sheets.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, until golden and beginning to brown at the ends.  Let them cool a few minutes before serving.

You can make the pastry ahead of time and slice and bake before serving.  Or you can make them ahead and recrisp them in the oven.  Anna Thomas recommends some pepper flakes, cracked black pepper, or a little Bleu cheese or Parmesan cheese.

She also recommends making a double batch if children are involved:)

BTW....I believe this to be post #500!!!!!

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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Chocolate Yogurt Smoothie

I tried making chocolate yogurt! 
I was at the food coop with Paul and he was looking at chocolate yogurt.  Can I tell you how fun it was to say (in a very loud voice), "I made yogurt this week so we don't need to buy any"? to say at a natural food coop...and it was true. Paul responded that I didn't make chocolate whole milk yogurt.  That's all I needed to prompt me to try it.  So, I ordered chocolate whole milk from the milkman (awesome milk with so-so customer service interpersonal skills) and made yogurt.  It was tricky to get it thick since the draining seemed to take away chocolate-y yogurt rather than just liquid, so I kept it a bit liquidy and used it in a smoothie...with peanut butter and a banana.

I think I'll stick to plain yogurt making (which I am now doing at least once a week)...but this was a fun experiment. 

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Friday, May 4, 2012

Pasta with Garlic, Olive Oil, and Red Pepper Flakes

Pasta with Garlic, Olive Oil, and Red Pepper Flakes
 Sometimes the simplest meal is the best.  I have to admit that I had awesome ingredients...olive oil from the Italian store....sea salt directly from Sicily.  I doubled the recipe but used about the same amount of olive oil...simple and delicious. 
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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Strawberry Salad

An old recipe received from a coworker in a past life.  I burned out on this a number of years ago, but this year was thinking about it and...after making it....remembered that I love this!  Eleanor didn't have a memory of eating this before, so it has been awhile. 

1 head romaine
1/2 med red onion, sliced (rinsed in cold water to remove a bit of the "bite")
1-2 pints fresh strawberries, sliced

1/2 c mayo
2 T vinegar
1/3 c sugar
1/4 c milk
1 T poppy seeds

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Green Smoothie

 I have been reluctant to jump on the green smoothie bandwagon.  Very Very reluctant.  Even though green is my favorite color...and I love smoothies.....and I like the idea of a huge fruit and vegetable dose....I wasn't sold on the drinking of a green concoction.  I have to admit, I'm a convert.

I'm not sure what made me decide to go for it!  Maybe it was seeing it in a couple other blogs.  Maybe it's the dearth of fruits and vegetables this time of year. 

This needed to start with a small amount of spinach and larger amounts of fruits, so the combination was:
orange juice
handfuls of spinach
a couple tablespoons of my homemade plain yogurt

Blended all with an immersion blender.  Guess I don't need a fancy expensive blender for this after all.

It was delicious!  I didn't taste the spinach at all (even though I really like spinach)....which may be a good thing in a morning beverage.  I was hoping this would give me super powers.....I felt the same on the first day of this, but it must be good for me!

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