Tuesday, August 31, 2010

presto pesto


ages ago

hubster and i
were in san francisco
where my good friend mia and her husband christian
hosted us for dinner

we don't often get invited for home cooked meals
i frequently hear
"i couldn't possibly cook for you
i would be so embarrassed"
it makes me a little sad
because we eat normal food around here
and sometimes we even eat bad food
and i mean--spit it out before it kills you bad

my kitchen is like a laboratory for me
and
i hate waste
so, you can only imagine what i sometimes serve
under the guise of
nourishment

so,
i am always so grateful
when a brave friend
extends an invitation 
to break bread

mia treated us
to perfectly cooked pasta
coated in emerald green pesto
it was gorgeous
and delicious

i took really great photos
so i could feature this meal
but
i lost my card-thingy from my camera
and those memories remain only in my head
however
i make a bit of a mean pesto myself

armed with loads of basil from our garden
i whipped this up
and was treated
to 
a mock-mia dinner for two
*i use a mortar and pestle to make my pesto--but it is common to use a food processor. use whatever makes you most comfortable
3 cups--packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cups toasted pine nuts
1 large garlic clove-coarsely chopped
2 cups grated parmesan cheese
pinch of sea or kosher salt
zest of 1 lemon
pinch of crushed red peppers
1/2 cup or so of extra virgin olive oil
because i use a mortar and pestle, i have to do this in "batches".    place the coarsely chopped garlic in the mortar.  sprinkle the salt over and grind to a paste.  next, add in the basil.  adding a handful of basil at a time, grind with the pestle against the side of the bowl.  continue this until all the basil has been smooshed.  repeat this procedure with the pine nuts, adding a few tablespoons at a time, then the cheese.  slowly stir in the olive oil, lemon zest and crushed red pepper.
if using on pasta, cook the pasta according to package instructions.  reserve a few tablespoons of pasta water.  in a skillet, heat the reserved water and the pesto on low.  toss in the cooked pasta and warm until all is coated. use more cooking liquid if desired. top with a bit more cheese

I am linking up to
and



Monday, August 30, 2010

Tuesday Night Supper Club--Link Up number 5

I am looking forward to seeing what you are fixing this week!

for those of you whom are new to the club....here are the rules

Here's how it will work:

-Grab the "tuesday night supper club button" and put it on your blog (not required, but I would appreciate it)
-Link up with your blog post beginning at 5pm (pst) on Mondays and before 5pm (pst) on Wednesdays
-Visit sites that are linked up and see what they are making--leave a comment so they know you stopped by
-Be Nice--please refrain from profanity and "not for prime time" vernacular in your post


-Make sure your post is food related.
-Make sure your post is your own--please don't link up a great post you found (unless it is embedded as part of your own post)
-While most weeks will be a free-for-all, there will be some "theme" weeks, I will give you advance notice.
-There will be prizes. Random prizes that are food/cooking/entertaining related. Not every week, but there will be some, and they will be good.
-You do not need to be a follower of FudgeRipple to participate, but you do need to be a follower to win a prize. It is just too difficult to track you down otherwise.
-Don't forget---This is supposed to be fun!


Thanks for coming by---now link up and join the fun.  It is a recipe meme focusing primarily on savory dishes...but all food is welcome!  Some weeks we have themes and some weeks we have prizes.  
Grab the button on the right.



add your post and link back to here..

Tuesday Night Supper Club Participants
1. Summer Veggie Skillet Pizza (Katie @ Riddlelove)
2. Chocolate Almond Cheesecake (Ramona @ Create With Joy)
3. Poached Halibut w/ Heirloom Tomatoes
4. Taco Twist Bake - Debbi Does Dinner Healthy
5. Lemon Lemony Cupcakes and Tour of SF
6. Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cake-YUM!
7. Beef & Spinach Shells w/ Creamy Tomato Basil Sauce
8. Pizza Pasta Casserole (kathie's kreations)
9. Roasted Green Beans & Onions
10. Unfried-Refried Beans
11. Easy To Be Gluten Free - Zucchini Gratin
12. Alison @ Under the Big Oak Tree (Veggie Fritters)  
13. pesto
14. grilled fruit & seasonal dinners with recipes
15. Smoked Salmon and Baked Potato Soup
16. Jambalaya @frugalcrunchychristy
17. Spicy Chinese Cucumber Salad
18. Healthy Spinach Quiche



Sunday, August 29, 2010

garden bounty

we have been well nourished 
by our summer garden
aside from 
the unfortunate
bee sting on the tip of my nose
incident
(which swelled my face to an unrecognizable state)
it has been as simple
as 
pluck and eat

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

summer quiche


our garden
has been my produce stand
all summer long

i just love the idea
of
freshly plucked veggies
cluttering my counter tops

we have an abundance of
chives 
which i imagined would be
amazing 
paired with goat cheese
and roasted tomatoes
for a simple summer quiche
summer quiche
(printable recipe)
puff pastry to fit an 8" fluted tin
10-12 chives--snipped into small bits
2 oz herbed goat cheese
1- 1 1/2 cups freshly roasted tomatoes *
*(place halved cherry or other tomatoes chopped into 1" bits onto a roasting pan with a glug of olive oil, 2 cloves whole garlic, and a sprig of rosemary or other herb and roast at 400 until the tomatoes soften and release some of their juices.  sprinkle with a smidgen of sea salt and let cool.  remove the rosemary sprig and garlic before using in the tart--or alternatively you can smash the garlic into a paste and use it in your creation!)
3 large eggs
2 Tbs cream
pinch salt, pinch black pepper
1/4 cup (or more) grated gruyere or swiss cheese
roll out your puff pastry to about 1/4" thickness, and place in your tin. it is best if the pastry is kept very cold, so place it in the refrigerator while you prepare your other ingredients.  whisk together the eggs, cream, salt and pepper until well combined.  sprinkle the chives evenly over the pastry.  follow with chunks of the goat cheese, and the tomatoes. you want to make sure every piece gets a generous amount of each ingredient, so be sure to evenly place them.  gently pour in the egg mixture.  top with as much cheese as you like. 
bake for approximately 35-40 minutes in a 375F oven.  check on the progress after 20 minutes and adjust your time accordingly.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

simple spaghetti sauce--guest recipe

my husband's step- father was a fabulous cook
and would do most of the cooking in their house
sadly,
he has passed now,
but his memory and recipes live on
through his children 
and my mother-in-law
who has graciously offered 
dante's spaghetti sauce recipe to both me
and you
it is simple and straightforward
thank you phyllis
for this wonderful recipe 
and for being part of our
Spaghetti Sauce
1 lb ground round
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 medium onion--finely diced
6 oz tomato paste
15 oz can tomato sauce
1 cup white wine
1 tsp (or more) italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
grated parmesan cheese for serving
cook meat and onions in 2 Tbs butter.  when the meat is completely cooked through, add the tomato paste tomato sauce and remaining butter.  cook on medium heat for 1/2 hour--do not let it boil.  add wine and  italian seasonings and cook another 1/2 hour. serve over pasta of just dip your bread in the pot and get full before dinner is served--like i tend to do!


i am linking to
tuesday night supper club
and
two for tuesdays

Monday, August 23, 2010



Week Three Was Prize Week!
and the winner picked by random.org
is number 34
(all 3 weeks counted, remember)
number 34 is...
Roberta @ a little bit of everything
roberta...please send your mailing details to
christy(at)luciagrace(dot)net
so i can send your prize to ya


I am looking forward to seeing what you are fixing this week!

for those of you whom are new to the club....here are the rules

Here's how it will work:

-Grab the "tuesday night supper club button" and put it on your blog (not required, but I would appreciate it)
-Link up with your blog post beginning at 5pm (pst) on Mondays and before 5pm (pst) on Wednesdays
-Visit sites that are linked up and see what they are making--leave a comment so they know you stopped by




-Be Nice--please refrain from profanity and "not for prime time" vernacular in your post
-Make sure your post is food related.
-Make sure your post is your own--please don't link up a great post you found (unless it is embedded as part of your own post)
-While most weeks will be a free-for-all, there will be some "theme" weeks, I will give you advance notice.
-There will be prizes. Random prizes that are food/cooking/entertaining related. Not every week, but there will be some, and they will be good.
-You do not need to be a follower of FudgeRipple to participate, but you do need to be a follower to win a prize. It is just too difficult to track you down otherwise.
-Don't forget---This is supposed to be fun!


Thanks for coming by---now link up and join the fun.  It is a recipe meme focusing primarily on savory dishes...but all food is welcome!  Some weeks we have themes and some weeks we have prizes.  
Grab the button on the right.








add your post and link back to here..

Tuesday Night Supper Club Participants
1. PB & Snicker Brownies (kathie's kreations)
2. Baked Salmon (kathie's kreations)
3. Melts In Your Mouth BBQ Spare Ribs (Ramona @ Create With Joy)
4. Sour Cream Blueberry Pie
5. Beef Burritos from Slow Cooked Roast and Spice Rub
6. Cocoa Meringues
7. Oatmeal Cookies-2 Ways
8. Fried Rice - Bittman Style@frugalcrunchychristy
9. Kids Cook Monday: Italian Chicken Pita Pockets
10. Winger's Asphalt Pie (OUR FAMILY TREAT)
11. Four Layers of Goodness Peach Tart
12. Chocolate Mousse - no eggs, no dairy-only goodness
13. Easy To Be Gluten Free - Chiles Rellenos Casserole
14. simple spaghetti sauce
15. pulled pork enchilada
16. Tasty Chicken Couscous Salad
17. Alex@amoderatelife-Real Food for Rookies Giveaway!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

honey ice cream

this morning
started with a dozen fresh farm eggs 
homemade vanilla
sea salt
bottled cream
and honey from our very own hives
what would you make?

i don't really like french toast
so
i made honey ice cream
honey ice cream
(printable recipe)
5 egg yolks
1/2 tsp sea salt
2/3 cups honey
1 cup milk
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1 cup cream
1 tsp vanilla
whisk egg yolks, salt and honey together in a bowl.  heat 1 cup milk until it simmers.  temper the egg mixture with the hot milk and return the entire mixture back into the pan and cook, while continually stirring until it thickens to nappe. it will be the thickness of heavy cream.  strain into a clean bowl...let cool a bit.  while it is still warm, but not hot, stir in the yogurt.  let cool to room temperature and add the cream and vanilla. chill and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.
**you can stir in toasted nuts just before you pack into freezer containers if you desire.

i am linking up to: just something i whipped up

Saturday, August 21, 2010

megpies

in a few short days
my niece and god-child
is heading off to college 
i am filled with pride

intelligent, engaging, athletic and determined
she has grown up so very fast

in these last few days of summer vacation
the entire family has been together 
relaxing in the sun, 
by the pool and at the beach
and when the sun goes down
playing in the kitchen

"meg pie" is a nickname
meg pies are a serious dessert
conjured up, tested and refined
by meghan herself
and she has graciously
allowed me
to blog it
as a going away gift 
good white sandwich bread
peanut butter
jelly or jam
1 1/2 cups pancake mix
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/2 cup cold milk
approx 3/4-1 cup cold lemon-lime soda or soda water
oil for frying
ice cream for eating
in a skillet with deep sides, heat about 2" of oil to 350f.  meanwhile
mix together the pancake mix, baking powder, egg and milk. slowly pour soda in to make a batter, thick enough to coat the bread---but not as thick as pancake batter.
make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, being generous with both.  you can cut the crust off, but it is not necessary. fully immerse the sandwich in the batter and lift to let the excess drain off a bit.  do not let it sit and soak, you want the bread to be firm. immediately fry in batches. turning as necessary.  cut into quarters and serve with ice cream. 
**these are also yummy with nutella, bananas, dulce du leche and chocolate



Thursday, August 19, 2010

ice cream dreams

i once had a boyfriend 
who thought i should create
"the great american ice cream diet"
and he would go on it
lose lots of weight
and we would become
gazillionaires

instead

i told him to lose my number
and i immediately lost 250lbs

not because of the ice cream thing
just...
..because

i did however
at one time
want to open an ice cream store
back when i was living in a foreign country
as an executive for a large bank
where everybody seemed so unhappy
about everything

i used to tilt my head
and let my mind wander 
and think to myself
"no one leaves an ice cream store unhappy
everyone is saying 
please and thank you
and 
have a nice day
my next career
should be in dairy"

hasn't happened yet
but i am still
young
enough
mint chocolate-chip ice cream
(printable recipe)
*this ice cream is not like you get at the store. the fresh mint gives it a bit of a herbaceous flavor
i add peppermint extract to tame it a bit.  you can make it without fresh mint without issue.
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream--divided
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 cup lightly packed mint leaves
6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1-1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract (taste as you go)
few drops green coloring (optional)
1 cup bittersweet chocolate--melted
place the milk, 1 cup heavy cream, mint leaves and salt in a saucepan. bring to a simmer and then let steep for about 30 minutes to an hour.  drain off the mint leaves and bring the mixture back to a simmer.  meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla together.  temper this mixture with the steamed mint milk and then put back on the stove to thicken to a nappe (when it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and if you wipe your finger through it, it will hold form--it is about the thickness of heavy cream).  remove from heat and add peppermint extract and food coloring (if using) and the remaining cup of cream.  cool and freeze according to ice cream maker instructions.  when your ice cream is just about finished churning, drizzle the melted chocolate in a steady stream. you will have both chunks and chips of chocolate in your finished product. 

i am participating in colors of the rainbow
for alphabe-thursday 
summer school
over at jenny matlock
this week
we honor the color GREEN







Monday, August 16, 2010

mushroom risotto

i have been on a family vacation 
and most of the kids in the family
are very interested in cooking
i therefore,
never lack for kitchen assistants

but for this risotto
i was the assistant
to the two oldest boys
who turned out
a very blog-worthy
dinner
this makes a very large portion
as we are a big family
with healthy appetites
just adjust for your specific needs
Mushroom Risotto
(printable recipe)
4 Tbs unsalted butter
3 Tbs olive oil
1/3 cup minced shallot
3 cloves garlic--finely minced
3 cups arborio rice
1 1/2 cups dry white wine (or cognac or vermouth)
9-10 cups chicken broth--warmed
2 cups sliced then chopped crimini mushrooms
2 Tbs reduced balsamic vinegar (heat 4 Tbs over low heat until it reduces by half)
finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
6 chives-- finely snipped with kitchen scissors
1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
salt and pepper to taste

in the bottom of a large pot, melt the butter with the olive oil.  add the garlic and shallots and stir until they become translucent.  dump in the rice and stir until all the grains are glistening.  pour in the white wine and stir until the rice has absorbed all the liquid.  begin adding the chicken broth about 2 cups at a time and slowly stir until all the liquid has absorbed.  do not let the rice get completely dry before adding the next 2 cups. *you do not have to continually stir, but keep an eye on it...the stirring is what gives the risotto its creamy texture. the stirring releases the starches.  when you have about 2-3 cups of broth left, toss the mushrooms into the risotto and stir.  add the last of the broth and stir to absorb.  the rice should be firm, but not crunchy.  toss in the lemon zest, the balsamic, the chives and the parmesan.  taste for salt and pepper.  

I am linking to
and 

Tuesday Night Supper Club


Another week of great recipes!

ALERT!!!
This is a Prize Week
I will do a random drawing from all the linked posts (including the first two weeks
if you have linked all 3 weeks, you get 3 entries)
that are followers

repeat...

Week Three is Prize Week!
what is the prize you ask?
this beautiful entertaining planner 
and
hand carved bottle stop
they are both from italy
i hope you like them
as much as i do


for those of you whom are new to the club....here are the rules




Here's how it will work:




-Grab the "tuesday night supper club button" and put it on your blog (not required, but I would appreciate it)




-Link up with your blog post beginning at 5pm (pst) on Mondays and before 5pm (pst) on Wednesdays




-Visit sites that are linked up and see what they are making--leave a comment so they know you stopped by
-Be Nice--please refrain from profanity and "not for prime time" vernacular in your post
-Make sure your post is food related.
-Make sure your post is your own--please don't link up a great post you found (unless it is embedded as part of your own post)
-While most weeks will be a free-for-all, there will be some "theme" weeks, I will give you advance notice.
-There will be prizes. Random prizes that are food/cooking/entertaining related. Not every week, but there will be some, and they will be good.
-You do not need to be a follower of FudgeRipple to participate, but you do need to be a follower to win a prize. It is just too difficult to track you down otherwise.
-Don't forget---This is supposed to be fun!


Thanks for coming by---now link up and join the fun.  It is a recipe meme focusing primarily on savory dishes...but all food is welcome!  Some weeks we have themes and some weeks we have prizes.  
Grab the button on the right.




add your post and link back to here...


&Banana
Tuesday Night Supper Club Participants
1. Guilt free vanilla cupcakes (kathie's kreations)
2. Glazed Salmon (kathie's kreations)
3. Southwest Turkey Burger - Debbi Does Dinner Healthy
4. Cocina Diary: Chocolate Glazed Chocolate Tart
5. STUFFED MUSHROOMS
6. mushroom risotto
7. Strawberry Crepes
8. Wheat Sandwich Bread & a Giveaway!
9. The Dinner for Two Project: Easy Thin Crust Pizza
10. The Kids Cook Monday - Turkey Dog Chili Mac
11. Healthy Spinach Calzones
12. Creme Brulee
13. Easy To Be Gluten Free - Southwest Chicken and Veggie Stir-Fry
14. Brown Sugar Bundt Cake
15. Tex-Mex Beef Tacos
16. Merlot Beef and Summer Veggies
17. Wendy @ Around My Family Table (Mexican corn & a giveaway)
18. Grilled Chicken Gyros
19. DON'T BE A NUB, TRY SPAGHETTI TACOS
20. Seasoned Pork Chops With Apples @ Create With Joy
21. green beans, bacon and tomatoes

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

lemon fluff

do you know who ron white is?
on this last road trip of ours, 
hubster and i
must have listened to at least
50 hours of
blue collar radio
and ron white
was one of the few comedians
who really got me giggling
every time
and he was full of
good advice
this here
being some of it
I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade... And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party
funny
right? 
so i was going to present a vodka, tonic with lemon
as my recipe today
and then thought
that might not be family friendly
so 
i went with dessert instead

this tastes like
lemon meringue pie
without the crust
and it is so light
and airy
and almost feels
calorie free

but it isn't
it just feels that way

but it is light
and would go nicely
with a vodka-tonic chaser
on a warm evening
with the windows wide
lemon fluff
(printable recipe)
zest of 3 lemons
1/2 cup + 4 Tbs fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 cups sugar--divided
1/2 tsp kosher salt
8 large eggs--separated
8 Tbs  cold unsalted butter-cut into pieces
separate the whites from the yolks of the eggs, placing the yolks in the top of a double boiler and the whites in a clean bowl.  to the yolks add the finely grated zest of 3 lemons, 1 cup sugar, salt, and lemon juice.  whisk together and cook over double boiler until the mixture becomes the consistency of a curd or warm custard.  do not let it boil or simmer.  remove from heat and whisk in the butter. set aside.  meanwhile, beat the whites until they begin to get foamy.  "rain" in the remaining, 1/2 cup sugar and beat until the whites are at a firm but not stiff peak.  When the lemon curd is cool to the touch, but not ice cold, gently fold into the egg whites.  place in individual serving vessels or 1 large bowl.  serve with whipped cream, candied lemon peel, or toasted coconut...or all three!

i am participating in colors of the rainbow
for alphabe-thursday 
summer school
over at jenny matlock
this week
we honor the color YELLOW

Monday, August 9, 2010

Eggplant Parmesan



we have two versions of this dish in my family

i am of italian decent
100%
and
on both sides of my family
eggplant parmesan
is a family favorite
but the technique
is not the same

while both are quite good
i prefer the recipe from my maternal side
which is lighter on the sauce and cheese
giving the eggplant a real starring role

this is true comfort food for me
when i would return home from college
for holidays and summer break
this would be part of the meal 
greeting my arrival
paired with 
chicken cutlet and roasted asparagus
and a 
big glass of milk

its kinda like 
a  big tight hug
Eggplant Parmesan
(printable recipe)
2 large eggplant
5 or 6 eggs
about 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
about 1 1/2- 2  cups mozzarella (not the fresh kind floating in the water)--grated
about 3 cups prepared marinara sauce
salt and pepper
olive oil
cut the eggplant crosswise into about 1/4" slices.  lay slices in layers on paper towel.  let sit 6 hours or overnight at room temperature (i know, i know...but i have never gotten sick and i stand by this method.)  you can alternately salt the eggplant and let it sit in a colander to drain for an hour..but i am not a fan and i don't think it gives as good a result...just sayin'. the idea is to get the eggplant to dry out a bit.
whisk the eggs with a bit of salt and pepper...a pinch or so of each... in a shallow bowl.  dip the eggplant into the egg.
fry in batches in a bit of olive oil until each side is golden brown
at this point you can cool and then place in freezer bags for future use. i like to fry up a bunch of eggplant and have it at the ready.
take your standard casserole dish (8x13 or so) and put a bit of sauce on the botton. not so much that the eggplant will swim in it, but enough to keep the eggplant moist and keep everything from sticking.  place a layer of eggplant on top, slightly overlapping the pieces.  put a bit of sauce on top...a thin but complete layer.  sprinkle some parmesan cheese---not a heavy hand, but a nice even layer and then place a light handed layer of mozzarella randomly on top. if you love, love, love cheese...do whatever you want at this step. repeat steps for at least 3 layers, but not more than 4 layers (of eggplant).  divide your ingredients accordingly..so you have the same amount of each ingredient in each layer.  top with a bit of sauce and  this is where you can get heavy with the cheese...it just looks so good all melty and gooey.
place in a 350F oven for about 35 minutes or until it is bubbling with goodness and the cheese begins to brown a bit.  you can also wrap this up and pop in the freezer for another day.
now
EAT UP!
I am linking up to 
and


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