Friday, June 29, 2012

Corn by Jake

Last night we had take-out from Zhang's. When I pulled into the parking lot I saw the sign I have been looking for every day when I drive by - Jake's Corn Opens 6/30! Oh happy day! I got home and I told Chris we were going to have Corn for dinner on Saturday night!
And we did have corn. Amazingly delicious corn. And we had steak too! Porterhouse on sale this week. Half price! As much as I love veggies the porterhouse is my favorite steak.
I also found a wonderful recipe for Italian Potato Salad. It is from Nonna Lina's Kitchen blog. I have a weakness for authentic Italian recipes or at least recipes that I think my mom, grandmother or any of my aunts would have made. This site is a delight.
And I made dessert. From the new Bon Appetit, Cheesecake with Ginger-Lime Candied Raspberries. It was light but it did not firm up like the magazine photo. I am not experienced with gelatin so that was probably the problem. What I liked best was the raspberries. I think they would be good on just about anything. Cheesecake is rather rich to eat more than once a week, at least for me. Check out the Nutritional Info at the end of the recipe!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Chicken with Leeks and Pancetta Quiche

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that when Chris I were dating we worked together at a small restaurant in New Haven, Nancy Lee's. One of her menu items was Chicken with Leeks and Bacon.  That was the inspiration for this quiche. It was easy to make, yeah I cheated and used a pie crust that was in the freezer. The chicken was from rotisserie chicken, also in the freezer. The leeks were sauteed in a little olive oil and butter, seasoned with salt and pepper. I had some Fontina cheese which was shredded and the Pancetta was cooked. All ingredients went in to the pre-baked pie shell. I added 2 beaten eggs and about a cup of milk. A dash of nutmeg, salt and pepper. And I added some sliced olives. My mom would put black olives in just about everything she made. I suppose it could be said that they were her signature! The quiche baked for about 35 minutes. Yeah it was as good as the dish that inspired it!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Grilled Mini Meatloaf, Grilled Potatoes and Arugula Salad

New favorite meal, well my Mom's Baked Macaroni and my brother-in-law's Christmas Eve dinner will always be my favorite favorites. But tonight's dinner was right up there... let's say it is a summer favorite. Grilled Mini Meatloaf and Grilled Potato Slices. I got the idea from this recipe,  Mini Meatloaf and grilled potato slices, but used my own meatloaf recipe. Super moist and delicious.

The salad was put together in 5 minutes. Okay I roasted the Chickpeas on Sunday.
I loved the peppery taste of the Arugula and the splash of mint. Want the recipe.... Click right here - Arugula and Roasted Chickpea Salad with Feta.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Grilled Veggie Caesar Salad

Oh this was good. 
But much left for lunch tomorrow  : (
We added some rotissarie chicken and someone 
added some olive oil to the dressing... 
no harm done it was still quite good.  

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Italian Flank Steak Pinwheels, Green Beans, Cats, Flowers & Sargent Pepper

Okay Sunday night dinners have been pushed up a notch. With last week's hot weather I spend some time online trying to find recipes that require little to no heat being produced in the kitchen. And first up we have Italian Flank Steak Pinwheels from the Whole Foods web site. I had the butcher butterfly the flank steak. Talk about an amazing meal. Wow! Arugula and provolone.  The rolling up the meat with the filling was a challenge but it is amazing what you can accomplish by saying a Hail Mary!
The side dish was also from Whole Foods, Green Bean Salad with Goat Cheese Dressing. Nice dressing. A nice lemon flavor.

 And the deer did not eat our flowers!

 And someone enjoyed their new window seat!
And this morning as I am doing my Sunday morning cooking listening to Breakfast with the Beatles it was stated that the Sargent Pepper album came out 45 years ago this month. I remember when my brother brought the album home... Let's just it was a turning point...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Amazing Grilled Chicken

Gotta love it! After an exceptionally long day I walked in the house to see Chris grilling chicken he had marinated in Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Salt, Pepper and Oregano. Oh it was so good! Have I mentioned that I have the world's best husband!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Double Cheese & Proscuitto Calzone and The Who

As soon as I took a taste of this calzone I remembered why I made the recipe again. Amazing flavors! The cheese and the prosciutto. It could bring tears to your eyes. And the crust was perfect.
I thought a salad would go nicely with dinner and I was right!

Today is the first day of summer and it sure was hot out. But let's not freak out like our local weather people. Let's just enjoy the heat.
This is one of my favorite "summertime" songs...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Eggplant Towers

I saw the eggplant and I bought it. Now what...
I breaded and baked it in the oven, yes fried would have tasted better.
I had prosciutto so I was thinking rollatini. But I decided to make stacks. Sauce in baking pan, eggplant slice, some ricotta (that was mixed with Parmesan and parsley), a slice of prosciutto and top with a dollop of sauce (homemade marinara, of course). Repeat stacking 3 more times. Keep building stacks until you run out of eggplant or you baking pan is full. Add additional sauce to the pan, you can never have too much sauce. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
Just remember to serve with Italian bread!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Fava Bean Pasta e Fagioli

From Food and Wine, Fava Bean Pasta e Fagioli. This will probably be the last soup of the season. The start of summer is a day away.

I used precooked fava beans that I picked up at Whole Foods. We added some meatballs that did not make it on to the pizza last night. There was also one piece of pork left from Friday's dinner so into the soup it went. The extra meat added another level of flavor to the the soup. But it would have been fine even if we had not added the extra meat.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Pizza and the Vacation Wrap-Up

Happy Father's Day!

Today is the last day of my vacation. Sigh... It was a fantastic week. I did quite a lot, and did not blog about it but I can give you a wrap up... and I am sure you are sitting at the edge of your seats!

On Tuesday my sister and I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I wanted to see Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations and my sister wanted to see Cloud City. We arrived early so we could get the tickets for Cloud City. The 6:30AM train out of Madison to be exact. Yawn!
Anyway we got to the roof of the Met and our time slot came around. I made it up to the first stage and I bailed. No I am not a heights person. My sister went all the way through. Trust me, it was scary!
Now about the Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations... if you like fashion you have to go. It is that simple. It was a great presentation with the clothes and the video installation. Alas no photos allowed. But here are some from the Museums site.
For lunch we ate at the Petrie Court Café and Wine Bar. I had Farfalle Pasta Garden Vegetables, Wilted Greens, Picholine Olives, Aged Asiago with a glass of Pinot Gris.  My sister had Chopped Salmon Salad, Market Vegetables, Boiled Egg, Lemon-Dill Cream with a glass of Shiraz. That's what I call a lunch!

Spending the morning looking at beautiful clothes put my sister and I in a shopping mood. Okay that is not hard to accomplish. We headed down Madison Avenue stopping in a few shops to look around. And did I mention the rain. Not really rain but more like torrential rain. I love weathermen... they said it would rain at night! We did the logical thing and took a cab to Sak's. Well the cab stopped in front of St. Patrick's which is right across the street from H & M. And they were having a sale! Two shirts for $7 and one shirt for $5!

Next stop Saks. My sister had never been to the Shoe Department. Take the express elevator if you go! We also checked out the designer dresses, they were having a sale too! And if I had a spare $585 I would have bought this dress-

Back home dinner was waiting. I baked of some chicken thighs and breasts on Monday. I baked them in lemon juice and olive oil and hot sauce. Chris heated them up and made some rice and green beans. After a long day in New York it was a perfect way to end the day. Sorry too tired for photos!

Wednesday I visited my sister-in-law who babysits 3 of her grandchildren. They are ages 5 years, 4 years and 9 months. I brought over a quiche for lunch and Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Thursday was house cleaning day and Friday I met a friend for lunch and went to the outlets. New William Sonoma Outlet store!

And back to tonight's dinner, the whole reason for the blog, we had pizza! Pizza with meatballs and with ricotta and olives! Yes I cleaned out the fridge for this one. The results... only 3 pieces left!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Pork Chops with Cherry Sauce and Golden Semolina-Quinoa-Spinach Cakes

Wow what a great vacation week! I enjoyed sitting down every morning with my cookbooks and my laptop and trying to figure out what to make for dinner every night. Did I spend more at the store then usual? Yes, but I was on vacation! Whatever I spend at the store it was a lot less then if we ate out every night. Don't get me wrong I love to eat out but why eat out when you can make the same meal at home!

Anyway.... tonight's dinner was found on I had bookmarked this awhile ago. The timing was perfect. Cherries were arriving at the store and they were not too expensive! Super fast and easy to prepare, this was a big hit. Loved the sauce, don't usually make this type of meal. But the best part was the Golden Semolina-Quinoa-Spinach Cakes.
I cut this recipe out of Food and Wine. Okay I have to realize that cutting recipes out of magazines is no longer necessary... the Internet has everything! Click here for this amazing recipe! Chris loved this dish. I did not add the egg wash before dipping them in the panko bread crumbs. They were a bit too moist to add the egg wash. I also salted them immediately after removing them from the pan, something Alton Brown recommended on one of his shows.

So the best part of my vacation was...
spending time with this little face!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sausage, Leeks, Zucchini and Pappardelle

Another easy pasta dish. Brown the sausage, then add a knob of butter, sliced leeks and zucchini. Add a  1/4 cup of white wine. Season with salt, pepper and parsley. Cook the pasta, reserving about a 1/2 cup of pasta water. Add the pasta to the saute pan along with some pasta water and a little more butter and cook for a minute or two. Serve topped with Parmesan Cheese.

And did a little baking while dinner was cooking. This recipe is from cue the music.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Not My Mom's Stuffed Peppers!

Dare I say it... I found a recipe that I like better than the stuffed pepper recipe I have been using for, well lets just say awhile!

I found Spinach and Sausage Stuffed Peppers at Food And Wine. First, I loved the use of Italian Frying Peppers. The stuffing was something I never thought to use. I always go with beef and maybe rice. And the sauce was perfect. Just remember to make sure you have enough Italian bread!

For a side dish I had some rice and Farro In the fridge so I put together a rice salad. I used up the dressing from the Tortellini Salad. Added some fresh Mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, olives, scallions and parsley.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Chicken Saltmbocca

A vacation day! Chris was off today so we went to see Prometheus in 3D. It was the first 3D film experience for both of us. Wow. Wow. Wow.
For dinner I made Chicken Saltimbocca from Quick to prepare and quite delicious.

Side dishes - parsley potatoes. and sauteed zucchini. I remember my mom making parsley potatoes and I use to think they were so cool. I do not think I have met a potato dish I have not liked yet.
Also did some baking today for some little kids I may see on Wednesday....

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Lunch at Infinity Bistro

Today we went see Dickey Betts at the Infinity Hall. Excellent show! But no photos. They were kind of strict, and we were very close to a security guy so why risk it. But I found this video of Dickey and his son on youtube. It is a video showing how to play Jessica. So any budding guitarist out there enjoy!

Before the show we had lunch at the Infinity Bistro. It was a beautiful day so we sat outside.
We started with the Crispy Calamari and ordered a new item, Goat Cheese Crostini's, roasted red beets, pistachio's, balsamic reduction. Nice!

For lunch I had the Infinity Salad with Tenderloin Tips, I am on kind of a red meat kick. Chris had the burger with a side of Black Bean Salad. Both meals were very good.

Really enjoying the vacation frame of mind! It is Sunday night and I have no idea what we are eating for dinner this week. Gonna play it by ear! Be prepared for anything...

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Grilled Skirt Steak, Tortellini Salad and Lemon Blueberry Scones

Today, the first day of my vacation, I started off baking Lemon Blueberry Scones. I used the Joy of Baking recipe as a starting point. But I had some plain Greek yogurt I wanted to finish up. And I did not want to make them with a Streusel topping.

Here is the Joy of Baking recipe with my variation -

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup  granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup  fresh blueberries
grated lemon peel from one lemon
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Gently fold in the blueberries and lemon zest. In a small bowl mix yogurt, beaten egg and vanilla. Add this mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix the dough or the scones will be tough.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough gently four or five times and then pat the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches (18 cm) round and about 11/2 inches (4 cm) thick. Cut this circle in half, then cut each half into four pie-shaped wedges (triangles).  Place the scones on the baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper.  Or put each piece in scone pan. Sprinkle the tops with sugar

Bake the scones until nicely browned, about 25- 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a scone comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.

On to dinner.
I went to Whole Pay Check, oh sorry, Whole Foods, and picked up a piece of skirt steak that the butcher cut for me while I waited! Very cool. When I got home I Googled Skirt Steak and found this recipe on What an amazing marinate. I did not add the shallots, garlic or cilantro (just not a fan of cilantro).

The side dish was easy. Summer Tortellini Salad from 365 Great Barbecue & Grilling Recipes. I think I got my copy of this back in '93. It is the one cookbook I pull out every summer. If I find a recipe in a magazine or newspaper that is a summer recipe it gets tucked into this little paperback.

Summer Tortellini Salad

3/4 pound frozen tortellini, I used cheese filled
1/2 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into thirds
1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, halved if large
Creamy Vinaigrette ( recipe follows) or salad dressing of choice.

Cook tortellini according to package direction until just tender. Drain in colander and rinse under cold running water; drain well.
Drop green beans into a large pot of rapidly boiling water. When water returns to a full boil, cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender. Drain and rinse under cold running water; drain well.
Gently toss tortellini with beans, tomatoes and just enough Creamy Vinaigrette to moisten, about 1/2 cup.

Creamy Vinaigrette

1/4 c. white wine vinegar
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. plain yogurt
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. garlic powder (no I did not add this!)
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. hot pepper sauce
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. vegetable oil

In a jar with a lid, mix vinegar, lemon juice, yogurt, mustard, garlic, sugar, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Add olive oil and vegetable oil, cover tightly and shade until blended. After use store any remaining vinaigrette in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Fettuccini Primavera

Wow what a week. I needed something for dinner that was fast and did not require a trip to the store. I opened the fridge and saw leeks, zucchini, yellow squash, spinach, tomato and scallions. The light bulb went off - Fettuccini Primavera. Perfect! I used this recipe for the sauce. The veggies were just sauteed in olive oil, a bit of butter, salt, pepper, thyme and parsley. So simple.

We had lot leftovers so... a frittatta! I might bring it to my dad's tomorrow for lunch.

Lucy is a tired after this week. But does she know I am on vacation next week?