Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hurricane Cooking - Day 4. Steak.

So after last night I decided for the rest of our time without power we will buy what we need for dinner that day. Tonight Chris picked up two beautiful steaks, corn on the cob and he even made a big salad. I like this idea!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hurricane Cooking - Day 3. Just cook everything.

Tonight I discovered that the chicken breasts and sausage patties I had planned for dinner later this week were thawed! Yes the freezer needs power to stay cold.
Anyway, for dinner we had a frittatta that I had made on Saturday night during my cooking frenzy before we lost power. And we also grilled the chicken breasts and sausage patties just because they need to be grilled.
I am rethinking what we are having for dinner for the rest of the week.
Sorry no photos tonight.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Cooking - Day 2. "We are living like animals."

Hamburgers. Greek Pasta Salad (from Stop & Shop) and a Tomato Salad.
Let's recap. Power - no, Water - no.
I had some tomatoes from the plant on our deck. I decided to use them in a tomato salad. But I did not want to dirty a bowl that I would have to bring over to my Dad's house to wash (no running water).
I came up with a great idea. Mix the salad in a ziplock bag. And serve the salad in the bag.  If the cats can eat of of paper plates for 7 to 10 days (sigh) then I can use a ziplock bag in place of a Pyrex bowl.
Wow it sure is dark in here without lights.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurriciane Cooking

Quite a day. We were fortunate that we did not have any damage. Compared to others around us we were very lucky.
We lost power at 3AM. I heard the first snap of a tree about 15 minutes later so it was a rather long day. Just a note - I am writing this blog entry on Monday from my Dad's house. No power means no Internet. Talk about a very long day. I finally found time to read the new Bon Appetit. Can't wait to try some of the recipes.

Anyway back to dinner. The weather actually cleared up around 2 in the afternoon. So the grill was open. We kept it simple as we will all week. Hot Dogs and Roasted Cauliflower. It was fun eating by candlelight but what is it with cats and candles?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Have you heard about Irene?

So there is a category whatever hurricane heading in our direction. What would you do? Well this is what I did.
Roasted Cauliflower!
 Lucy catching up on the storm this morning
Back to the storm. Last night I watched, for the first time, a full newscast about the upcoming storm. I was inundated with Irene. I knew the storm was coming and I was sure I was prepared. Cat food, kitty litter, water, vodka and ice. What else would we need! Well I woke up at 3:30 this morning in a panic that I was not prepared.
I won't even start about the trip to the grocery store at 7am!
Somewhere in all the "how to prepare for a storm" reading that I caught up on this morning was someone saying that you should us up all the things in your refrigerator that would not last if you lost power. So I get it into my head that I needed to use everything up. You see were this is heading...
I should also add that we have the potential of losing power. We have propane and plenty of food to throw on the grill. But what if we lose power before I can cook dinner tomorrow night and it is pouring rain out?
So here is what I made today... in case I lose power and can't post for awhile, I do like to be prepared!
For dinner tonight to keep up with the clean out the refrigerator idea I used the leftover Tomato-Zuchini Tian to make a pasta dish. I sauteed some Pancetta and added the Tomato-Zuchini Tian and some of that Roasted Cauliflower. Mixed it with some pasta and done!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tomato-Zucchini Tian

I found this recipe on Saveur site. The flavors were wonderful. This is an excellent recipe for this time of the year.
I also had a little roasted pepper sandwich with it. I could not resist them!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Roasted Pepper Sandwiches

I was reading Italian Food Forever blog this week, as you can tell from the past two posts, and I found a recipe for Roasted Peppers. My mom use to make Roasted Pepper Sandwiches for my dad's lunch quite often... like every day!
Tonight we had Roasted Pepper Sandwiches. Wow they were great! No wonder my dad took them for lunch every day!

Grill Chicken with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Chris grilled the perfect chicken breast.  He marinated it in olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, white balsamic vinegar and fresh sage, 3 leaves to be exact. It was very moist. I made the tomato sauce which I had found on Italian Food Forever.
We had sides of grilled zucchini and white rice.
Is it just me or is that photo blurry? 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bread and Cheese Meatballs

Polpette Pane e Cacio. I found this on Italian Food Forever. The Polpette were nice and light, at least I thought so, and the sauce was fantastic!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Grilled Steaks, Corn, Butter Beans and Zucchini Salad

The steaks were grilled perfectly and leftovers will appear in a salad very soon. The corn was from Jake. It is a Butter and Sugar corn. As always it was delicious. And we will be having more of that this week! I found out the corn comes from his brother's farm in Chaplin CT.
The Creamiest White Beans and Leeks was a Jamie Oliver recipe. I have not forgot about the I Heart Cooking Clubs! Luckily this is Pot Luck Week!
I found the the Marinated Zucchini Salad on New York Times site. The lemon flavor was nice.
The wine was a perfect Chianti.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwiches

Today was a day when the tomatoes from my dad's garden were perfectly ripe. There are 2 things I like do make with perfectly ripe tomatoes. One is a Caprese Salad. But there was no fresh mozzarella in the house. So we opted for the second choice. The BLT.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Greek Tomato Tart & White Bean Soup With Tomato Salsa was the source of tonight's recipes. Greek Tomato Tart and White Bean Soup with Tomato Salsa. It was one of those times where I thought that I could not just make a tart for dinner or just the soup. A light dinner is one thing but we were hungry! Both dishes were delicious.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Taco Salad

I found this recipe on My Wonderful World blog. For the taco seasoning I used a blend of cayenne pepper, cumin, oregano, chili powder and salt. Chris added tomatoes, olives, celery, carrots, red onion, and grated cheese to the red leaf lettuce. We used multi grain Nacho chips in place of the burrito shell, but I would like to try that. We also mixed the salsa with the sour cream to make a dressing which we served on the side.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Turkey Piccata?

Whatever you want to call it, this was really good. Dredged turkey cutlet in flour and sauteed in olive oil. Removed turkey from the pan and added a splash of olive oil, chopped plum tomatoes (from Jake), capers, chopped olives, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Let that cook down for a couple of minutes and poured it over the turkey. Wow!
Sides were steamed zucchini and Aborio rice. I was planning on making an Herbed Risotto but... did not plan on being locked out of the house for an hour. I really like vacation days!

Happy Birthday to Julia Child. Today would have been her 99th birthday. Her is one of her quotes, "The secret of a happy marriage is finding the right person. You know they're right if you love to be with them all of the time."

Eggplant Parmesan Pizza

In the Eating Well Newsletter I found this recipe - Eggplant Parmesan Pizza. I was planning on making pizza for dinner and decided to try this method. It was pouring rain out all day so instead of using the grill I used the oven. The idea of flipping the dough after baking it a couple of minutes was interesting but I was not crazy about the crispness of the crust. The topping was good. I did add the left over pork from last night! So much for a meatless meal.
For an appetizer I finally made the Mini Crab Cakes from the April 2009 Bon Appetit. These were very good!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Pork Tenderloin with that Secret Marinade....

Chris was in charge of tonight's dinner. We had a pork tenderloin which he put in a marinade for a couple of hours.  Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Salt, Pepper, Fresh Rosemary and Sage. It was so good.

We had Corn by Jake. Butter and Sugar. Excellent!

And Chris's wine choice was a perfect compliment -  Pennywise 2009- Cabernet Sauvignon.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Two Tomato Pasta with Mozzarella, Basil & Toasted Almonds

This recipe is a twist on a recipe that I saw online last week. The blog The Italian Dish has a lot of amazing recipes. This one was suppose to be Two Tomato Pasta with Mozzarella, Basil & Pine Nuts. Never mind that on the blog the dish is presented in a beautiful bowl, the pasta looked delicious.
My variation started with not roasting the tomatoes. I sauteed them in a little olive oil and salt to make a quick sauce. I also opted for the orrecchiete because, well I had it in the cabinet!
Oh there was one other change I made... the pine nuts. $9.00 for a small container of pine nuts! Seriously! No way was I going to make that purchase. So I went to Food52 and visited the FoodPickle and typed in substitution for pine nuts... toasted skinless almond, which I had in the cupboard!
We both enjoyed this. The tomatoes were so nice ripe and the basil was from my plant on the deck.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Zucchini-Parmesan Squares

Well not exactly squares but...
I had first made this recipe in July of 2001. I have made it a couple of pre-blog times. It is always a hit. Tonight we had it with a big salad.
Click here for the recipe.

In all honesty it is a darn good recipe. But I would add a little crushed red pepper the next time. I had made this for my nephew's children once and Andrew loved it... and he is very selective in what he eats.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Stuffed Zucchini

The zucchini came for Pete's garden. I cut them in half, cored them, saving the insides. I steamed the shells just a bit. I chopped onions and browned them and then added ground beef to the the pan. Next I added the zucchini that I had scooped out, after chopping it up. Seasonings were added, salt, pepper, thyme and basil. I removed the pan from the heat and stirred in cooked brown rice and Parmesan cheese. I filled the cavities of the steamed zucchini boats and placed them in a baking dish. Topped the zucchini with marinara sauce and grated cheese and into a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Second zucchini dish of the week... more to come...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Fresh Fried Soft Shell Crab

Tonight we met Lenore, Ralph, Anna and Andrew at Lenny & Joe's Fish Tail. I was told the steamers and lobster were a good choice but when I saw the Fresh Fried Soft Shell Crab on the board there was no turning back. Sooooo good!
Chris had a combination plate of clam strips and scrod. We both cleaned are plates quickly.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Zucchini, Pancetta and Ricotta Tart

I found a recipe for a Zucchini, Asparagus and Ricotta Tart on Food52. I had everything but the Asparagus. So I made slight variation for tonight. I sauteed onions and pancetta. Then I added zucchini slices. I finished up using the Food52 recipe.
We had a Spinach Salad and Chris made a nice Balsamic Vinegar dressing.
I made some cookies for some visitors... By the time I got around to baking them it was getting a little warm out so instead of making a lot of cookies I made the recipe as bar cookies. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Gamberi Coi Fagioli, Shrimp and Beans

Tonight's recipe is from Every Night Italian by Giuliano Hazan. This is one of my favorite books. Chris gave it to me a few years ago and it has been used a lot. There is not a bad recipe in the book.
The shrimp and beans are fantastic together and than add pancetta and forget about it!
This recipe serves 4 people so I cut it in half and there was just enough (but no leftovers).
It is noted in the cookbook that the recipe can be prepared in 2 stages. The beans can be prepared ahead of time. Than the shrimp are cooked at the last minute and will be done in the time it takes for the beans to reheat.

1 cup yellow onion, thinly sliced crosswise
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound)
1 1/2 cup drained canned cranberry or cannellini beans
6 to 8 fresh sage leaves
4 garlic cloves, lightly crushed and peeled
3 tablespoons dry white wine
2 tsp chopped flat leaf parsley
fresh ground pepper

Put the onion and 2 tbsp olive oil in large skillet and place over medium heat. Sauté until the onion turns a rich golden color.
While the onion is sautéing unravel the pancetta and cut into strips about 1 inch long and 1/8 inch thick. Peel and devein the shrimp.
Add the pancetta to the onion and cook until it begins to color lightly, then add the beans and sage and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
When you are ready to serve, put the garlic and remaining tbsp olive oil in a clean skillet and place over high heat. Begin reheating the beans over low heat, if necessary. Sauté the garlic until it begins to color, then remove the cloves and discard them. Add the shrimp and sauté for about 1 minute. Add the wine and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Cook the shrimp until they turn completely pink, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Toss the beans and shrimp together and serve at once with a good crusty bread.

As a side dish I sauteed some Swiss Chard with crushed red pepper, olive oil, salt and pepper. Quite good.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Grilled Pork Chops, 2 Beans and a BIG Salad

This is what was on the table when I walked in tonight!

Chris also grilled the pork chops that he marinated in olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and fresh basil. They were wonderful!
The green beans were from my Dad's garden and the wax beans were from Jake's Farm Stand.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Eggplant Stacks with Prosciutto

I was planning on making Eggplant Rollatini but the slices came out a little too thick. So we had Eggplant Stacks with Prosciutto. First I breaded and then baked the eggplant for about 25 minutes, flipping then after 10 minutes. Then I started the stack. Eggplant. Next a mixture of ricotta, Parmesan, shredded mozzarella, salt, pepper and parsley. Another slice of eggplant and little more cheese and a slice of  prosciutto. And topped it all with the last slice of eggplant. A little Marinara and cheese on top and baked for 30 minutes.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Vegetarian Ribollita

I love this recipe. It is so easy and the flavors are wonderful. I found the recipe, Vegetarian Ribollita, at And being a Monday we had a bottle of Naked Grape Cabernet Sauvignon. Nice Blackberry flavors.
And who is that handsome cat?