June 30, 2010

Garden Update (Post II)

Finally, some sunshine! (No...I don't mean Steve...although he makes my garden grow too, if you know what I mean :) wink, wink)

My plants are doing good - with the exception of my lettuce. It never came up. At all. Not even one piece. Now, I don't claim to be a professional gardener or anything, but really? I've grown lettuce before. It is one of the easiest things to grow. And the weather has been cool with plenty of moisture...what the hell? I must have got a bad batch of seeds. Yup, that is what happened...it's not my fault at all.

Anyway, here is how my garden is growing...

...actually, this is how my garden was growing as of a couple weeks ago. I am behind on garden posts...

Beans! Green beans, with an "early girl" tomato plant growing in the background!

And again...

My tiny, precious, baby basil plants. I know - they are so small. They will grow big and strong though...hopefully soon. I am starting to worry. I have planted basil from seed before, but only in pots...I will cry and suck my thumb and beg for my mommy if these babies don't make it.

Roma tomato...aka "happiness in a square cage"...

Corn! Oh, I hope that this corn grows...I love corn on the cob! I have heard people say that it is hard to grown corn on the cob in this climate (frozen tundra of MN), because the growing season is too short. I am hopeful though.

Yes, peas! Pretty little buggers! I need to get some lattice or something in soon for my peas and beans to climb. And yes, that is my sprinkler sitting on top of an overturned pot in the background. Steve wants to mount the sprinkler on the top of the fence, but for now, this will have to do. Remember how long I told you it took him to "perfect" the fence? Yeah, I think I'll just make do.

Speaking of the fence...do you want to see what he did? I took some pictures, but it is hard to see because the mesh of the fence is so fine. Basically he hung sheets of deer fence from the top frame, and he weighted the bottom of the sheets with a piece of wood that fits neatly into brackets mounted on the side of the garden...does that make sense? Here are some pics:

See the board on top? That is what I do when I need to get into the garden to weed, harvest, etc. I lift the fence up and rest the weighted board on the top frame. Then, when I am done, I replace the board into the brackets at the bottom, and then critters can't get in. Here is a close up of the brackets...

See how the boards fit tightly and neatly in there? And those are my carrots coming up in the corner there...right next to my onions and in front of my peppers. In case you were wondering. That's all for now folks! Thanks again to Steve for my totally rad garden (and fence)!

June 28, 2010

Monday...Chicken Satay Skewers!

A week late and without pictures is better than not at all, right? Right?!

Where did last week go? Days are starting to fly by (like summer always does), and I can't believe this weekend is the 4th of July. I wish summer never ended...

Remember last week I told you that I was hosting some lovely ladies for book club at my house? We had a great time with good company, delicious food and plentiful wine. I made PW's Asian Noodle Salad, which is always a hit; and Chicken Satay Skewers with peanut sauce to accompany (see below)!

I have been trying really hard to pay more attention to my measurements when I am making a recipe because I'm sure it is frustrating to read how I used a "pinch of this" or "a couple shakes of that"...I know this, because it is how my mom cooks too, and I know when I ask her for a recipe she's going to say..."Well...I don't really use a recipe..."

So like I said, I've been trying...

But I failed miserably during this recipe...because it was just a marinade! And I was in a hurry to get the chicken marinading before guests came! So, I am just estimating on this...but the good news is with these nummy ingredients, I don't think you'll have a problem making something delicious!

As a side note: I ran out of time so I didn't make my own peanut sauce...but the store bought stuff I got was pretty good. If you want to make your own, here is the recipe I was going to use: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/chicken-satay-with-peanut-sauce-recipe/index.html. This was not the chicken recipe that I used, however...but the peanut sauce looked good.

Without further ado, here is the approximate recipe for Chicken Satay Skewers!

Chicken Satay Skewers:

  • 2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons of ginger
  • Juice from 1/2 a lime
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons red chili paste
  • 6-10 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 20 minutes so they don't burn
Combine all ingredients except skewers in a zip-top bag. Allow to marinade for at least 30 minutes. Preheat grill to 400 degrees. Thread chicken on bamboo skewers (the long way). Grill for 4 minutes per side or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with peanut sauce for dipping. Enjoy!!

Printable Recipe

June 21, 2010

Happy Monday and Easy Beef Taco Recipe

I am going to make you read through my randomness before I give you the recipe for tacos.


Unless you are thinking that tacos are a no-brainer and "who needs a recipe?" so you will just skip this post altogether. Then the jokes on me. But in the off chance that you are bored at work or blissfully retired (Hi Georgia!) and need something to do (or just think I'm interesting...ha), why don't you let me ramble for a little while?! Thank you!

Today is Monday. However, I am having a surprisingly good day for a Monday...for several reasons (you knew a list was coming, didn't you? It was inevitable):

  • I haven't had a cigarette in 8 days. Hooray for me! I'm feeling good.
  • I got up at 6 AM and exercised today. For real. Me, Lindsey. Seriously. Steve and I are doing the Couch-to-5K running plan and today was day number 1. It kicked my behind but I am proud of us for getting out of bed and doing it (especially after a long weekend!). 
  • As a reward to myself I ordered 2 new pair of yoga pants. Exciting! 
  • I am hosting several lovely ladies tonight for book club. I am making PW's Asian Noodle Salad, and my own Chicken Satay skewers with peanut dipping sauce. I was hoping that the weather would be nice so we could sit out on the deck and sip wine by the fire, but I just looked out the window and it is pouring rain...boo hoo. 
  • I hosted Steve's kids for dinner again last night. It was Father's day, and I didn't want him to have to cook...plus, they actually asked if they could come over to my house! That's a good sign, right?! I made tacos (hence the impending taco recipe), and the kids devoured them. We went through 2.5 pounds of ground beef. I couldn't believe it. Chris (the oldest - 12 years old) told me that they were better than a $50 steak dinner. Um, THANK YOU! It's too bad that the boys only ate the meat and cheese...but at least Katie had lettuce on hers.
  • Last random tidbit: The kids (with the help of their mom) recently adopted a 4 year old lab mix from Animal Allies (his name is Tick), and they brought him over to meet Kempton and I. He is super cute and a lot like Kempton (who is also an adopted mix). We took the dogs for a nice long walk and they got along great. Tick follows Chris around like Kempton follows me. I love it. The kids are crazy about him, and I just think it is such a great thing...dogs are good for kids and kids are good for dogs, and to adopt an animal from a shelter is a tremendous and very admirable deed. It gives me the warm fuzzies! 
  • I'll shut up now and post the recipe. Just one more thing: I know that these tacos are quick and dirty and mostly made from pre-packaged food (which I try to use sparingly), but don't hate - these are for nights when you just got into town from being at the cabin all weekend long, and you are trying to cook, clean, and prep for a book club gathering that you are hosting the following night, but your boyfriend's children (who you only recently met) ask to come over and hang out with you, so you agree to make them dinner because it is Father's day and you don't want their dad to have to cook all evening. Amen.
Easy Beef Tacos (serves 50. 2 adults and 3 hungry children. Recipe can easily be cut in half)

  • 2.5 lbs of ground beef
  • One packet of store bought taco seasoning (like Ortega), or 3 Tablespoons of this homemade taco seasoning
  • 3/4 cup of Ortega taco sauce (mild if you are serving it to those with delicate taste buds, otherwise I would use medium)
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 12 hard shell corn tortillas
  • shredded cheese (I used the pre-packaged taco variety. I know. I feel ashamed. Some day I will get organized and not have to take shortcuts. Today is not that day...and evidently yesterday wasn't that day either)
  • shredded lettuce (no, I didn't go buy a bag of shredded lettuce, but only because I had some romaine hearts that I chopped up)
  • chopped tomatoes
  • sour cream
  • taco sauce or salsa
Brown the ground beef over medium heat, drain the grease. Reduce heat to low. Stir in a half cup of hot water (if I wasn't cooking for children, I would have used beer), the taco seasoning, and the taco sauce. While this is heating through and the flavors are mixing, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. When preheated, put the taco shells on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven for a couple of minutes. Assemble tacos and top with whatever fixings you like! Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Taco or Fajita Seasoning

Here is an easy recipe using ingredients that you probably have on hand for homemade taco or fajita seasoning...I'm actually not sure if there is suppose to be a difference between taco and fajita seasoning...but I use the same spices, and just change up the meat and veggies...is that bad?

Either way - make this with dried, crushed herbs. It makes a large quantity, so use 2 - 3 tablespoons per pound of meat and then store the rest in a cool, dry place. Also, feel free to adjust the amounts according to your taste...for example, I don't always put in that much salt. Enjoy!!!

Taco (or Fajita?) Seasoning

  • 3/4 cup chili powder
  • 4 tablespoons cumin
  • 4 tablespoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons pepper
  • 2 tablespoons garlic
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried onion
  • 2 tablespoons oregano (optional)
  • crushed red pepper (optional)
Printable Recipe

    June 17, 2010

    Kid Friendly Chicken and Broccoli Mac N Cheese

    Ok. This recipe was good, but it wasn't earth shattering. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that is why it was kid friendly.

    Now begins my rant...

    I'm starting to suspect that cooking for Steve's kids is going to mean cutting back on a lot of the flavor in certain dishes. Moms - is that true? Do you have to cook bland for young children? Or am I being over-paranoid or ultra-sensitive? I realize that I'm not an expert, but I have been secretly cooking for Steve's kids for months (meaning I cook, he takes it home, heats, serves...and gets the credit for it - which I don't mind tooooo much...he he he), and it seems like most of the dishes that they like are watered-down-in-flavor compared to my preferences (leave some of the heat out of the chili, finely dice and hide some of the vegetables in soups, use a milder cheese for the pasta, etc). Do most people cook differently for their kids? Do kids have really sensitive palettes? Or do you just cook like normal and let them slowly adapt to your tastes?

    Either way - at this point, I am trying to convince them to try new things (I think their culinary existence prior to this was pretty boring, as was Steve's when we first met) without scaring them off of eating...and eventually cooking. When I decided to make this dish (and chose to use white cheddar) it was going to be for myself, Tara and Eli...I didn't plan on Steve and the kids joining us. I was a little worried that the flavor explosion that is white cheddar would be too much for the kids, but for whatever reason, the white cheddar that I used was very mild. Probably the reason why I didn't think it was earth-shattering but the kids loved it. If your white cheddar is very sharp (and you are cooking for kids with sensitive palettes), you may want to mix in some mild cheddar or (gasp!) American cheese. I know.

    Here are the two recipes that I used as inspiration and guides for this recipe, and see below for my version:

    Pasta with Roasted Garlic, White Cheddar, and Wine Sauce from Annie's Eats

    White Cheddar Chicken Pasta from Homemade by Holman

    PS - this is a little labor intensive for Mac N Cheese

    Chicken and Broccoli Mac N Cheese

    • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    • 3 - 4 cups white cheddar cheese, grated (or whatever kind of cheese you want)
    • 1 head of broccoli, chopped to make bite sized florets
    • 1 cup of milk (you could use half and half)
    • 1 lb pasta (any kind you want - I would recommend rotini though)
    • 1/4 cup of dry white wine
    • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
    • 1 head of garlic
    • thyme, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes
    • salt and pepper
    First, roast the head of garlic by cutting the top off of the head (so all the cloves are exposed), drizzling it with olive oil and wrapping it in foil. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour. Set aside. Side Note: Roasted garlic is delightful and wonderfully mild. Use it in everything, or just eat it on a toasted baguette. Yum!

    Trim any icky stuff off of the chicken breasts, season liberally with salt and pepper. Grill until done. I know this might seem a little excessive, but the grill taste (especially if you are using a charcoal grill) really adds something special. You could also season the chicken with Italian seasonings, or more Dijon mustard (if that's how you roll). Chop the grilled chicken into bite sized pieces. Set aside.

    While the chicken is cooking, blanch the broccoli until crisp-tender and cook the pasta until al dente. *Tip* throw the broccoli into the simmering pasta and water for the last 3 - 4 minutes of cooking and save yourself a pot to wash! Drain pasta and broccoli, set aside.

    Melt butter in a dutch oven, and squeeze the garlic into it. Cook and stir for a couple of minutes. Whisk in the flour (making a wonderful smelling roux), cook for 1 - 2 minutes. Add the wine and the broth, let it simmer (stirring) for about 5 minutes or until it has thickened and reduced down. Add the mustard. Slowly whisk in milk and cheese, stirring constantly. Season to taste with thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. If the sauce is too thick, add more milk or broth. If it is too bland or thin, add more cheese and spices. When the cheese sauce is seasoned to your liking, add cooked noodles, chicken and broccoli. Toss to coat and serve!

    Seriously - any advice on cooking for kids would be accepted and much appreciated!

    Printable Recipe

    June 16, 2010

    Lindsey's Garden, Post I

    Did I tell you guys that Steve built me a garden?

    My very first garden ever!

    The last few years I've grown an assortment of things: Tomatoes, Peppers, Basil, Onions, Lettuce, Peas...but always in containers out on my deck. This method is great if you have limited yard space or if you don't like weeding.

    The problem with container gardens is this: some plants just don't grow right in containers! Another issue is that you have to water more frequently. I also had problems with space (last year I had 18 large pots of various shapes and sizes on my deck, which didn't leave a lot of room for anything else), and the pots started to leave dark rings on the wood of the deck. Clearly, I was starting to outgrown container gardening.

    Then, Steve and I went and bought new patio furniture...lots of it. And a fire bowl that we can set right on the deck (observing the proper safety precautions of course, Mom).

    This left no room for my vegetables. How sad! But after talking with Steve's Mom and doing some research, we decided that it was probably time to built a raised vegetable garden.

    The first thing I did was call my Daddy. He is the one who inspired me to start growing vegetables. I would help him plant his garden, and as a thank you, he would give me some starter plants...a couple tomatoes, a couple pepper plants, some onion sets. The first couple of years I totally killed everything I planted. Brown, withered, dead. Then I realized what I mentioned above: you have to water containers more frequently than beds! And, like most things in life: you get out what you put in. The more time, care, love I put into my plants, the more I got out of them! Not only delicious, healthy vegetables...but the other benefits of gardening: stress relief, sense of accomplishment, responsibility, nurturing, etc...

    But I digress...

    The reason that I called my Dad was because I wanted his opinion and input on what kind/size/shape of garden I should put in...and so between him, Steve and I, we came up with this:

    A 4 foot x 16 foot garden made out of landscaping timbers, 12 inches deep. Steve hauled in a bunch of dirt...which, you would think would involve the back of a pickup truck and possibly a wheel-barrow, and/or shovel...but instead involved a dump truck and heavy equipment.


    This is what I get for asking a man who owns an excavating company to build me a garden. Oh, and did I mention he is a perfectionist too? Let's just say that the garden is very level. Hee hee hee - thanks sunshine!!!

    After the dirt was in place I went and bought several bags of organic hummus and manure (yum), and mixed it in. By hand. Alone. With mosquitoes eating me alive. Now where was my big strong man and his heavy equipment??? I was abandoned. But, don't cry for me...I'm just being dramatic (as usual). It was hard work, but I knew it would pay off in the end.

    Later, Steve built a fence around the garden to protect it from deer, rabbits, Kempton, and other thieves and mongrels. Finally I planted (with Steve's help): 7 tomato plants (plus 2 in pots on the deck), 5 bell pepper plants (including one Giant Marconi that my dad gave me...see picture below), 3 jalapeno plants, basil, romaine lettuce, onions, carrots, sweet corn, sugar snap peas, and green beans.

    I'll continue to update you on the status of the vegetables I'm tending, including pics of the progress of the plants! I'll leave you with a picture of my dad's contribution to my garden...A Giant Marconi Pepper (Italian Grilling Pepper):

    Thanks Daddy!

    June 15, 2010

    Tuesday...why can't you be Thursday???

    There. That brightens your day, doesn't it? My Poppy's are blooming!

    You might notice that I made some changes to the blog...I added a bunch of additional categories (tags) so it would be easier to find recipes...for instance, instead of just clicking on the "Food" tag on the left hand side of the screen (and having gazillions of recipes come up), you can get more specific...like clicking on the "Food - Main Course" tag, and only having slightly less than a gazillion recipes come up! Yay for me! I'll see how this goes, and if needed I will get even more specific and we can narrow according to ingredients. This helps me (and hopefully you!) find recipes, because I use this blog as my online recipe organizer!

    In other news, I met Steve's kids last week! Yay! After much deliberation, planning, talking to the kids therapist, making sure they were ready, flipping coins and shaking magic eight balls (kidding), we did it! And so far it has been highly successful. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Steve on being a fantastic father. The last 10 months have not been easy for him - trying to keep the kids and I separate, trying to make sure that we all had what we needed and that we all got enough of his time...but he stuck to his guns and did what was best for the kids. By easing them into our relationship, I believe that he has made this transition way easier on them. They seem so well adjusted, and well...comfortable around me. (Which is a shocker, I know. I imagined lots of awkwardness and effort to make things work...after all, one a scale of 1 - 10, I have pretty much zero experience with children.)  Yippee! What a weight lifted off of both Steve and my shoulders. Hopefully things continue to go as well as they have so far...I'll keep you posted!

    *Side Note* I would like to proudly add that Steve's youngest, Andy, the pickiest eater in the universe has agreed to try my cooking both times they were over at my house for dinner. The kid lives off of Kraft Mac N Cheese and peanut butter sandwiches. I would like to report that he devoured my White Cheddar, Chicken and Broccoli Pasta (minus the broccoli), and even tried a marinated, grilled shrimp on the second visit (which he did not care for...but he did eat all of his pork tenderloin! And told us that the next time someone made shrimp, he would try it again...which is a victory in itself!). I consider it my personal mission to get Andy to expand his eating horizons. Wish me luck.

    Later on this week I will start posting about my garden (WHOOO HOOOOO!!!), and I will continue to give you updates and pictures throughout the season on how my delicious home grown veggies are doing. I will also give you the recipe for the White Cheddar, Chicken and Broccoli Pasta that makes kids swoon. If I haven't already posted it before, I also may put a recipe for a super-fast and easy Vegetable Soup that will hopefully help me lose 10 pounds and tone my entire body. Before this weekend. Not likely? Well, it's a start. Have a fabulous week!

    June 14, 2010

    Stuffed Chicken Breasts

    Yum. This is a technique that I learned a long time ago from Cooking Light magazine...once you have it down, you can adapt the recipes to include anything you want to stuff chicken with! This particular recipe is a Greek inspired filling...and I served it with a delicious Greek salad. Take a lookie!

    Here is the filling before I put it inside the chicken breasts. It consists of: feta cheese, kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil, oregano, a drizzle of oil from the sun-dried tomatoes, and a drizzle of chicken broth (to keep the mixture moist). I could eat this mixture by the spoonful (and may or may not have).

    Here is a look at the delicious salad I made to accompany the meal. It included romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, croutons, and homemade Greek-style dressing (which was a basic red wine vinagrette, plus oregano).

    And finally:

    Ok - I realize that this doesn't look very appetizing, because the chicken is baked in foil packets, so it doesn't get the nice, golden-brown color. If this bugs you, before you serve them put them under the broiler for a minute or two and give them a tan. It doesn't bother me, however, and I didn't want to dry them out so I served them as is. Your choice! The Greek-style recipe is below, but feel free to modify it to your tastes...you could also stuff these with: ham and Swiss cheese (ala Cordon Bleu style); pepperoni, marinara and mozarella cheese (kid pleaser!); or blanched veggies and parmesan cheese (healthy!). The possibilities are endless!

    Stuffed Chicken Breasts:

    • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
    • 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped and a tablespoon of the oil reserved
    • 1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese
    • Several leaves (3 - 4 tablespoons) of fresh basil, julienned and divided
    • One handful of kalamata olives, chopped
    • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped
    • 1/2 cup (approximately) low sodium chicken broth, divided
    • 4 small pats of butter
    • salt and pepper
    Combine feta cheese, basil (reserving about 2 teaspoons for garnish), sun-dried tomatoes and oil, kalamata olives, and oregano in a bowl. Mix and drizzle in a little chicken broth to keep mixture moist.

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

    Trim any fat or yucky stuff off of chicken breasts. Place them in a large ziploc bag with all of the air squeezed out, seal. Using a meat mallet, pound the chicken breasts until they are an even thickness. Using a very sharp knife, carefully cut a slit in the side of each of the chicken breasts, as far in as you can without coming out the other side, making a pocket.

    *TIP*  If you pound the breasts too thin, this will be difficult and you will probably blow a hole out the top or bottom of the breast (which totally isn't a huge deal), so just pound them until they are even.

    Stuff each breast with 1/4 the feta cheese mixture. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breast.

    Place a small pat of butter on a square of aluminum foil, place the stuffed chicken breast on top, drizzle with about a tablespoon of chicken broth and fold foil around chicken, sealing the edges. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts.

    Once the oven is preheated, put all four packets on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes. At this point, I determined that the chicken didn't seem done enough, so I continued to cook for another 7-8 minutes...it just depends on your oven.

    While the chicken is cooking, make a salad. When the chicken is done, you can either open up the packets (on the cookie sheet still) and broil for a couple minutes to turn the chicken golden brown, or just remove from the packets and serve. Enjoy!!!

    Printable Recipe

    June 10, 2010

    Memorial Day Weekend

    Steph, Chad and Koho came to visit me over Memorial Day Weekend. We stayed up super late every night they were here, ate too much, drank too much, slept too little, and had a blast just hanging out and talking around the fire. I didn't take a ton of pictures, but the ones I did take pretty much sum up the weekend...

    Outside Fitger's after a delicious and fun dinner at the Brew House, Lake Superior in the background.

    Chad and Koho - snuggling on the deck. Koho thinks he is a lap dog...I once rode in the back of the car with him on a 3 hour trip up to Rainy Lake to go camping with Steph and Chad, and Koho sat on my lap the entire time. It was like August. Hot. With an 80 pound golden retriever acting as my seat belt. But I love him anyway...he's like my hairy godson.

    FOOD. Delicious food. Chad cooked Steph and I dinner one night that consisted of what you see here: steak, shrimp, portabella mushrooms and asparagus. All done perfectly on the grill. Plus we had asiago and garlic bread that we dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Delicious!

    Steph and Chad kickin' it on the deck around the fire...this was pretty much our permanent location all weekend until 3:00 am or later (earlier?).

    Last but not least, my Stephanie and I. Miss you honey! Thanks for coming to visit me! Love you!

    Kitchen Sink Pasta Sauce With Orzo And Croutons

    I have lots of posts to catch up on. Please bear with me!

    Remember how I told you that I was trying to do at least one vegetarian and one fish/seafood meal per week? Last Tuesday after yoga (which totally kicked my butt by the way - I started a new class that is just a little more intense...as in, I was sore for 3 days after. Some peoples bodies just don't bend that way!), I was craving pasta but had a completely random mix of ingredients on hand...canned tomatoes, a red bell pepper and jalapeno that needed to be used up, a huge container of orzo, onion, etc. I hadn't taken any meat out of the freezer, so I decided to whip up a tomato based pasta sauce with the addition of my random fresh veggies (vegetarian!). I didn't have any french bread to accompany it, so I grated some Parmesan cheese in there and tossed in some croutons! Delicious addition! I would recommend them as a substitute for garlic bread any time - especially for soups and chunky pasta sauces. My sauce was probably a little too chunky for the orzo, but I love orzo so it worked for me...you can use whatever pasta your little heart desires!

    Kitchen Sink Pasta Sauce with Orzo and Croutons

    • 2 14.5 oz cans of tomatoes (I used one diced and one stewed)
    • 1 whole red bell pepper (or whatever color), seeded and chopped
    • 1 whole jalapeno pepper, chopped (I didn't remove the seeds)
    • 1/2 a medium onion, chopped
    • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 1/2 cup of white wine
    • 2 tablespoons of butter
    • pinch or two of sugar
    • salt and pepper
    • Italian seasoning (you know I love my Pizza and Pasta Magic)
    • Orzo, cooked to package directions
    • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • Handful of croutons (I used cheese and garlic ones)

    I pretty much used the same technique for this as I did my Super Fast Tomato Pasta Deliciousness:

    Saute the onion and garlic in butter until very tender, add wine and let it reduce down by half, add peppers and let them simmer in the wine/butter mixture for a few minutes or until they are getting tender. Add the tomatoes and seasonings and let it all cook for about 20 minutes. In the meantime, cook the orzo and drain it. Check the seasonings on the pasta sauce and add more salt/pepper/sugar/etc as necessary. Pour the pasta sauce over some orzo in a bowl, then toss with parm cheese and croutons! Enjoy!

    Printable Recipe

    June 9, 2010

    Buffalo Shrimp Sandwich

    Last weekend I made roasted shrimp and risotto for Steve and I. I had been in a cooking funk for a week and I needed something delicious to pull me out of it.

    Risotto is that something for me. Yummy comfort food deliciousness. But I've already posted the recipe for that right here.That isn't what this post is about. This post is about what I did with the leftover shrimp the next day for lunch!

    I was thinking about making a shrimp po' boy...but I didn't have Louisiana French bread or fried shrimp...two very important parts of a po' boy. So I settled for this:

    Buffalo Shrimp Sandwich

    • 4 - 6 cooked shrimp (I used leftover roasted shrimp)
    • 2 tablespoons of Franks Red Hot or your favorite hot sauce
    • 1 slice of provolone cheese
    • ranch or bleu cheese dressing
    • one sub bun (or hoagie, baguette, etc)
    Arrange shrimp on one half of bun, top with hot sauce and provolone cheese. Place under the broiler for 2 - 5 minutes (watch it the whole time...broilers are finicky...it can go from cold to burnt really fast...I keep the oven door cracked) or until cheese is melted and bun is toasted. Top with ranch or bleu cheese and enjoy! If you want an extra kick, you can sprinkle blackened or cajun seasoning on your shrimp first. Yum!

    Printable Recipe

    June 3, 2010

    Grilled Corn on the Cob...and randoms.

    Neglect. That is what I have been bestowing on you all week. Not because I don't love you, but because Steph and Chad came home last weekend and killed a majority of my braincells. We'll talk more about it later, but because of them I have not been able to stay on task for more than a few minutes at a time. I have not even been able to stay focused long enough to upload the pictures off of my camera. Boy, did we have fun! And I'm still recovering.

    Besides my whirlwind weekend of eating, drinking, talking, and staying up late; this week has been crazy busy - at work and my life in general. I am very much looking forward to the weekend.

    Either way, I have lots of posts for you: Memorial weekend posts, garden posts, food posts.  I am trying to eat/make at least one vegetarian dinner each week, and at least one fish/seafood dinner each week. Mostly because it's healthy, but also because I like to mix things up.

    What was I suppose to be talking about again?


    Corn. That's right.

    This is such a simple thing! (Which is why I wanted to post it today...I might actually get it right.) I used to think cooking corn on the grill had to be a complicated process...pull the husk back, pick all the silk off, replace the husk, tie with kitchen string, etc., etc., etc.. I avoided, figuring if I was going to have to go through all of that, I might as well just boil it in water.

    Steve has opened my eyes to my ignorance. Corn on the grill is not only easy, but it is also delicious. Better, crisper, tastier, and yummier (is that a word?) than boiling it in water. It's a must try...especially since it's GRILLING SEASON!!! (Ok, I'm calm now. Sorry for the outburst.)

    Grilled Corn on the Cob:
     You will need:
     However many ears of corn you want to cook. Plus some water. And a grill. Amen.

    Plop the ears of corn (completely intact - with husks and silk and all) in a pot of cool water. Forget about them. No really - go about your business. We have let them soak for 20 minutes and we have let them soak for 4 hours. No difference. Just make sure it's at least 20 (minutes, not hours). When you are ready for them, throw them on the grill. Turn occasionally. Cook until the husks are dried out. And that's all folks.

    Seriously - the kernels get like steam-cooked inside the husks with a very subtle grill flavor...plus, if you keep them in the husks until you are ready to eat them, they will stay warm for quite a while. So you can do the corn first and then cook your burgers, brats, steak, etc. Also, the silk comes off super easy when done this way. Steve is very manly and tough so he holds the corn cob with his bare hand and pulls the husk off, but I am girly and weak (with sensitive hands!). If you are like me, use a kitchen towel to hold the bottom of the cob while you pull off the husks. The silk comes right with it!

    Try it. Soon. And be amazed. And humbled.