Saturday, July 31, 2010

Proscuitto Wrapped Sea Scallops With White Beans Chard And Cherry Tomatoes

Tonight I made Proscuitto Wrapped Sea Scallops With White Beans Chard And Cherry Tomatoes. I found the recipe on FoodBuzz. It was a featured recipe on July 9. It was easy to make and the results were amazing. Thank you Pam for sharing this recipe.

Before dinner we enjoyed Watermelon Martinis on the deck. Nice view...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Grilled Sausage and Fried Peppers



Sausage patties were from Whole Foods. Fried Peppers were from my dad. Yes my dad fries peppers! Zucchini was grilled to perfection by Chris. All I did was set the table!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fresh Tomato Sandwiches Again!


What can I say. The tomatoes are delicious. I used Fresh Mozzarella on mine and Chris added American Cheese. Can we have these for dinner again this week!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bruschetta, a Little Salad and Eggplant Parmigiana

Too tired to fuss... so Bruschetta was prepared. The tomatoes were of course from our deck. This has been the best year so far for tomatoes.

The salad was made with Romaine and Baby Spinach. I added the leftover steak that we grilled the other night along with some fresh Mozzarella cheese.

Now the eggplant... I found this recipe on the NYTimes site. Putting the Egg in Eggplant Parmigiana. It sounded so interesting. So yesterday I gave it a try. I even prepared the eggplant a different way, baking them. There was a link in the NYTimes article, Fixing Eggplant Parmesan, that explained the procedure. Pour some olive oil onto a sheet pan (I lined mine with non-stick foil), turn the eggplant slices in the oil and bake in a 375-degree oven, turning occasionally, until tender. I would recommend reading the article. It was very interesting. The Eggplant recipe was good but I think the next time I will bread the eggplant and then bake them.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tomato Sandwiches with Kale and Chicory Chips

This is my favorite summer meal. A ripe tomato with a little mayo, salt and pepper on wheat bread. We had provolone cheese in the fridge so that was an added bonus. The tomatoes were from our deck and so ripe. I think this will be my lunch a few times this week.

To go along with the sandwich you need chips. Of course we had regular chips, Kettle Chips Fully Loaded Baked Potato, and I also made Kale and Chicory Chips. I can not eat just one!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Shaved Zucchini Salad with Parmesan and Pine Nuts

Today was an interesting day to say the least... But dinner was wonderful. A wonderful cut of meat from Whole Foods which was grilled to perfection. The corn was from a local roadside stand. And I have a new favorite salad.

The salad was from the new Bon Appetit Magazine, Shaved Zucchini Salad with Parmesan and Pine Nuts. Wow. The Zucchini and the dressing are such a wonderful combination. My favorite salad dressing is olive oil and lemon juice. And the sliced zucchini was so tender. I think I may have some now... no wait I think I earned a Klondike Bar today!

Look at those grill makes! We also enjoyed a very nice bottle of Saladini Pilastri Rosso Piceno 2007.

Sea Scallops with Zucchini

It's 5:30 on a Friday night, yes it is raining, and I ask myself,"What the hell am I making for dinner?"

No need to fear we have zucchini! And yellow squash. And scallops in the freezer! An hour later, after the scallops have thawed according the the instructions on the bag, I proceed.

It is the usual preparation, saute the veggies in a little olive oil. Season them with salt, pepper and fresh parsley and thyme. Remove them from the pan and add a bit more oil and then saute the scallops. I am not sure if Chef Ramsay would approve of the scallops but they were cooked through. I just wish I was able to sear them better... Maybe next time...


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dinner with Dad

Tonight I stopped by my Dad's for dinner. We made Knorr's Parmesan Pasta Side. To the pasta we added in all kinds of vegetables that he had cooked up. There where green beans, zucchini in a little tomato and some fried red peppers (yes he prepared all this earlier in the day!). It was a very pretty dish (I need to carry a camera with me at all times....) and there was more than enough for the 2 of us.

And for dessert we had Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Black Raspberry Ice Cream!

Meanwhile back at the ranch...

Chris enjoyed Cheeseburgers! The tomatoes are from our plant on the deck.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Chicken and Summer Vegetables


So once again the weather has interrupted the challenges. I am driving home and in my rear view mirror all I can see a dark sky following me home. I got in the house right before the rain came down.

So no grilling and the stove went on. I made orzo with butter, Parmesan cheese and Parsley. I sauteed chicken breasts sliced in strips along with Zucchini and Eggplant (from my dad's garden), Red Onion, Red Pepper and Collard Greens (from Debi's farmer's basket) in olive oil and butter. We seasoned the dish with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, Cholula Sauce and fresh parsley. Not what I was planning on making but not a bad meal.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Chicken Salad Sandwiches

This recipe has been around our kitchen for quite some time. I think it originally was from Cooking Light magazine but I am not sure. It has to date back to at least 1993. It is fast to prepare and so flavorful.

We used tomatoes from our plant on the deck. Wonderful texture.

We made a Green Bean Salad with beans from my dad's garden. I picked them up from his house last night. He even steamed them for me! Now that is service!

Chicken Salad
Dressing-
1/4 cup mayo
1 tbsp parsley
1 tsp Dijon
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp sour cream
2 tsp horseradish

Salad-
2 cup cooked, diced chicken
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup sliced radishes
1/4 cup scallions

That all that's written on the recipe card! I guess it is obvious what to do.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sausage, Sourdough and Bell Pepper Sauté

Day 3 of the Challenges.
First of all it was pouring out so grilling was not an option. The second part of the challenge was accomplished. Tonight's dinner was a variation of a recipe from Bon Appetit magazine. The recipe was Sausage, Sourdough and Bell Pepper Spiedini. Our variation of the recipe was done in a saute pan.

Chris had dinner well underway by the time I got home. First, he sauteed the Red Onion and Red and Orange Peppers in butter and olive oil for about 5 miutes. Next he added the Kielbasa and the bread. For seasonings he used salt, pepper, fresh basil and oregano.

I fixed a salad with baby greens, Kalamata Olives and Grape Tomatoes. We used Paul Newman's Balsamic Vinaigrette for the dressing. Delicious!


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Spiedini of Sea Scallops, Grilled Chapati and 2 Challenges!

So here we go. I have given myself 2 challenges this week. The first challenge is outdoor cooking only. We are in a heat wave so all dinners will be cooked outdoors. (There is one recipe that will require me to make Orzo and another to cook string beans but that is it.) I would like to thank Chris in advance for all his hard work. The second challenge is that all of the recipes used this week were found in my file of recipe clippings and cookbooks. It was fun going through the cookbooks and clippings, like the way I did it back in the day!

Tonight we turn to Mario Batali's Simple Italian Food book.
Spiedini of Sea Scallops with Marinated Onions, Lemon and Baby Spinach was very good. The onion and lemon marinate was amazing for only sitting one hour. And of course Chris cooked the scallops perfectly! This was a good choice for a hot summer night.

Spiedini of Sea Scallops with Marinated Onions, Lemon and Baby Spinach (serves 4)

Ingredients
1 large Red Onion, thinly sliced
2 large Lemons, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced into 1/4 inch thick half moons

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar

1/2 cup Water

1/4 cup Sugar

1/4 cup Salt

16 Large Sea Scallops, about 1 1/2 pound

Salt and Pepper

2 cup Baby Spinach leaves, rinsed and spun dry

10 tablespoons extra virgin Olive Oil


Method
Preheat the grill. Soak 4 bamboo skewers in water. (we used metal skewers)


In a large mixing bowl, stir together the onion, lemons, 2 cups vinegar, the water, sugar and salt until well mixed and let stand 1 hour.


On each of the skewers, thread 4 scallops alternately with the marinated lemon pieces, beginning and ending with lemon pieces. Season with salt and pepper and grill until just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side.


While the scallops cook, toss the baby spinach in a mixing bowl with 6 tablespoons of the olive oil and the remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar and mix until evenly coated. Divide the spinach among the plates.


Strain the onions and place in small piles around the rim of each plate. Place the scallop skewer over the spinach on each pile. Drizzle each with 1 tablespoon of the remaining olive and serve.


As a side dish we had Grilled Chapati. I think this recipe came from Bon Appetit magazine but I am not sure. This was so easy to make it was ridiculous. This recipe will be made quite often this summer. Talk about a quick bread! Obviously I cut this recipe in half. I also found a link for Grilled Chaptis from Mark Bittman, who is one of my favorites.

Grilled Chapati (makes 16)

Ingredients
1 1/3 cups Whole Wheat Flour

1/3 cup all purpose flour

2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon water.


Method
Combine the flours in a medium bowl. Gradually add water, stirring until mixture forms crumbly dough. Turn out onto work surface and knead until smooth, about 4 minutes. Form into 8-inch-long log. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 1 hour.

Place dough log onto lightly floured work surface. Cut into sixteen 1/2 inch slices. Roll 1 slice into 5-inch round (keep remainder covered with plastic). Repeat with remaining dough pieces, stacking rolled rounds between sheets of plastic wrap. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Wrap tightly and refrigerate.)


Preheat the grill (medium-high heat). Remove dough rounds from plastic and grill until puffed and dry, about 1 minute per side. Serve warm.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Beef Skewers and Bulgar Salad



Remember cookbooks? I use to check into my "go to" cookbooks for recipes every week. But not so much anymore. With the exception of La Cucina I rely on the Internet for most of my recipes. Tonight for instance - Beef Skewers with Blue Cheese Sauce was from RealSimple.com. The Blue cheese dressing, of course I could not used a bottle dressing, came from lowcarbdiets.about.com. And the Bulgur Salad was a variation from Ciao Chow Linda.
There I was in my kitchen with my laptop and iTouch with all the recipes at my fingertips.
Dinner was delicious but I feel that I should go and visit my cookbooks. Cooking is tactile after all.

First harvest!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Grilled Chicken, Zucchini and Corn

Well the rain stopped so Chris was on grilling duty. We marinated the Chicken breast in olive oil, lemon juice and hot sauce. The Chicken and vegetable were perfect.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Zucchini and Sausage Frittatta

Tonight's dinner was suppose to be Grilled Chicken Sausage and Zucchini. But then it rained. And rained. And rained some more. When all else fails there is always the frittatta. We added fresh mozzarella and Fontina cheese along with some fresh thyme, parsley and basil. Nice meal for a rainy night.

Monday, July 12, 2010

"Look to the Cookie"

Wow! Forget what we had for dinner.

Well wait a minute. Dinner was quite tasty. Grilled meatballs and an awesome Greek Pasta Salad.

Okay enough about that... I entered my mom's Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe in a Top Cookie Contest at a local coffee shop, Koffee, and my mom's recipe was selected to be in the top 5 recipes! I am going to be in the running for bragging rights to having the Top Cookie. I never thought I was a competitive person but my mom's recipe is at stake.
Who could the other 5 be? What if I am up against a Pignoli cookie! Chocolate Chip vs. Pignoli. I would be torn. All I know is my mom would be tickled pink.

The next question is what do you wear to a bake off? My lucky apron of course. And yes I have a lucky apron.

The title of this entry is from Seinfeld, Season 5 Episode 13, The Dinner Party.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Middle Eastern Chickpea Platter

Before I got married I lived in New Haven. My studio apartment was so cute! You could only use 2 burners on the stove as it was located next to the wall and it seemed to be a bit of a fire hazard.
I did not start cooking in the apartment until I met Chris. And that was because I thought I should try to impress him with my cooking abilities. (The first meal I made him was so bad… Chicken Lake Cumo… it is a wonder he did not run away). Up to that point I had gotten all my food from one of the many restaurants in the area or from my mom. My mom made the best care packages.
As for the restaurants... Across the street was Pizza House. Excellent Greek pizza. At the other corner was a Chinese take out place, Ming Garden. Around the corner for that was Rudy's Bar and Grill. Then there was the Elm City Dinner. Wonderful soups and sandwiches. But less than a half a block from my apartment was Mamoun's.
Tonight's recipe reminded me of Mamoun's. I found the recipe at eatingwell.com. It was like combining Baba Ghanouj and Hummus. I did make a small change to the recipe. I added the Chickpeas to the pan with the Eggplant and let them fry up a bit. I think this could be one of my comfort foods.

This past week we lost a family member. My brother-in-law Jay passed away unexpectedly. He was a wonderful man, a great friend and a loving father of 2 beautiful girls and he will be sorely missed.


May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind always be at your back.
...
May the sun shine warm upon your face,

and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July



Tonight we had dinner at my sister's house. My contribution was Baked Kale Chips. They went over very well. There was a nice antipasto to start the meal. Cheeses, Stuffed Grape Leaves (my favorite!), fresh Mozzarella and Tomato, Olives, Crackers and amazing Bread Sticks that my sister made.

For dinner we had homemade pasta with a Shrimp and Scallop Sauce. My brother-in-law made the pasta. He has been trying a few different recipes and I have not tried the others but this one was wonderful.

Lenore made an Ice Box Cake for dessert. Forgot to take a photo!

I am putting out a request for the bread sticks recipe and the pasta recipe...

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Grilled Sirloin Steak with Zucchini, Rice and Sauteed Kohlrabi

The steaks were on sale at Whole Foods this week. I picked up 4 and froze 2 but ended up freezing the third because they were way too big for one person to eat. We split one and had some leftover... at least I think there is some leftovers.
Chris took care of the grilling so the steak and the zucchini were perfect. I made a lot of Arborio rice so there would be some left over to make Rice Balls!

Now about the Kohlrabi. I got it from Debi from Sh*t My Five Year Old Says. I had never eaten Kohlrabi before. So I did the obvious thing which was to Google it. I came upon this link for Sauteed Kohlrabi from the New York Times. I needed to add a little more salt and pepper but I liked it. The taste was similar to an artichoke heart.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Homemade Cavatelli with Chicken Sausage, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Onions & Feta Cheese

Wow! I made a fantastic dinner! Sorry about the exclamation points but this was really good.

I made the cavatelli that I had in the freezer from the batch I made on Mother's Day. The zucchini was from my dad's garden.

I sauteed some Chicken Sausage in olive oil. Then I added thinly sliced onions, with about a knob of butter. After sauteing the onions for about 10 minutes then I added the zucchini and yellow squash. I sauteed that for about 5 minutes then I added fresh basil, parsley and thyme.

Meanwhile I was boiling salted water to which I added the cavatelli and let them cook until they were done.

I added about a 1/2 cup of the pasta water to the veggies and sausage. Then I added the Cavatelli and sprinkled on the Feta Cheese.

Perfect.

A nice bottle of Mazzoni Toscana Rosso, 2006 and some Italian Bread.

Life is good.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Grilled Pizza



A couple weeks ago I made Pizza dough and froze it. Tonight we used it for our grilled pizzas. I rolled out 2 crusts and chopped up some whole tomatoes. Chris took over at this point. The pizzas were brushed with olive oil and placed on the grill until the first side was done. He flipped the pizza over and we topped the cooked side with the tomatoes, oregano, parsley, crushed red pepper and mozzarella cheese. As the photos show the grill marks were perfect. What a delicious meal.