Archive for July, 2011

July 29, 2011

Thoughts:

It has been a long week. A long week of Italian food at school. And all of this pasta is making me sleepy.

Off to relax…and work on some blog post for next week.

 

July 28, 2011

Life Lesson: Save.

Save money for vacations and for¬†those much needed pair of designer shoes. You’ll appreciate them all the more.

July 27, 2011

Food: The Grill.

Grilling is fun. 

I use our grill often.

I’ve been known to remove some snow off the top and light er’ up.

I love when I cook the entire meal on the grill. Less dishes is always a good thing.

Check out some grill friendly recipes, that I’ve made!

Black Pepper and Lemon Grilled Chicken Thighs

Tandoori Chicken Kabobs

Garlic Filet of Beef with Mushroom sauce

Grilled Corn Salsa

Lemon Basil Pasta and Grilled Chicken

Summer Sausage and Pepper Pasta

Beer Can Chicken

BBQ Sauce

Smoked Paprika Grilled Corn

 

July 26, 2011

Thoughts: Mothers.

My Mom was in Colorado this past weekend. Yippy.

Super last minute trip. Traveling all the way from Maine for just a few days with her daughter. Love it.

Mr. A¬†was out of town¬†so it was a true girls weekend. We¬†ate, relaxed, got pedicures, ate, relaxed, weeded the garden,¬†saw a movie, visited with friends, strolled the Farmer’s Market, shopped for shoes and dresses,¬†talked, and ate and relaxed some more.

I only cooked her one meal – it wasn’t all that special…pesto from my garden with fabulous authentic Italian pasta and Farmer’s Market mushrooms and zucchini from my garden…good soild veggie meal on a hot summer eve.

Much needed visit! 

Don’t you love the comfort Mother’s can bring?

July 25, 2011

Food: Chicken Bacon Pasta.

Quick story about bacon pasta.

Mr. A and a friend lived together during a semester abroad in New Zealand.  One night bacon pasta was born.

He¬†tells me, “We were in college and it was good New Zealand bacon, mixed with pasta sauce.”

“Like thick Canadian bacon?”, I ask.

“No, good bacon. Google it.”

The End.

Mr. A was excited about this meal. Honestly, my creative juices weren’t following but my stomach was screaming at me to feed it. So I threw this together and it was good. I think this might have been a little better than the college bacon pasta or at least healthy with the addition of chicken and peppers.

Chicken Bacon Pasta

Serves 2 hungry people

Ingredients:

  • linguine, half a box
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast, chopped into 2 inch/bite sizes
  • 3 strips of thick cut bacon, chopped
  • 2/3 onion, sliced
  • 1/2 green pepper, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 can of italian stewed tomatoes
  • salt and pepper

Method:

1. Cook pasta according to package. While pasta is cooking, cook bacon until browned and crispy. Remove with slotted spoon to paper towel lined plate. Discard of fat – but don’t wipe out the pan.

2. Add chopped chicken to saute pan. Cook for 2 minutes on medium high heat on one side, then flip over for another 2 minutes. Remove from pan, place on plate to rest. Add 1 teaspoon Olive oil to pan. Add onions and peppers and saute on medium/low for 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, garlic and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine. Add can of stewed tomatoes. Bring to a rapid simmer until pasta is done.

3. Drain pasta and drizzle with a little olive oil. Add chicken and bacon to tomato sauce. Cook for 1-2 minutes until heated through. Serve it up!

**Note about the stewed tomatoes. I quickly ran mine through my Cuisinart to puree. Completely personal preference though. Tomatoes could be crushed by hand or knife or not at all.


 

July 22, 2011

Food: Pesto and Ham Breakfast Sandwich.

I have a problem with pesto lately. It is a good problem though.

I put it on everything!

I can’t stop.¬†

The summer of 2011 is the summer of pesto.

I used it the other night¬†with frozen corn –¬†cooked it and added a dollop of pesto, mixed and dug in. De-lish! ¬†

In an afternoon snack with cheese and crackers…and pesto.

Of course the usually pasta and pesto recipe here!

And breakfast this morning… what’s a breakfast sandwich without pesto?

I made this just for me. It can be doubled, tripled and made for a large crowd. Here is the recipe for just one.

Pesto and Ham Breakfast Sandwich

Ingredients:

  • english muffin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon milk or half-and-half
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon almond pesto¬†
  • 2 slices of black forest ham
  • 1/2 slice of baby swiss cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste

1. Toast english muffin. While toasting, heat small non-stick pan to medium heat. Add beaten eggs and milk Рmix in some salt and pepper too. About 1 minutes before eggs are done, move them to one side of the pan. Add ham to empty side to saute/brown/heat up. Sprinkle thyme on top of cheese, then add slice of swiss cheese to the top of eggs to begin to melt.

2. Take pesto and spread on both sides of warm toasted english muffin. Add half egg mixture to one side of english muffin. Then follow with half the ham, then the remaining eggs and then ham and of course top with other side of english muffin. Dig in while it’s hot.

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July 21, 2011

Life Lesson: Impossible.

It always seems impossible until its done.
-Nelson Mandela
July 20, 2011

Food: Roasted beet and garden fresh arugula salad.

There is something special about picking lettuce from your own garden. And it is even more special when it is peppery Arugula. Arugula is so easy to plant. Drop a few seeds in a row, and in a few days you will see them sprout. I started eating mine after 2 weeks of planting the seeds. Love that.

So on to beets. I think you either love them or hate (dislike) them. I happen to love them. Besides the long cooking time, visually they are eye candy. Their texture and taste are so velvety smooth.

Plus your finger tips turn pinkish redish while preparing. Not sure if that is a good thing or not?!?!?!

There aren’t exact measurements for this recipe. I usually don’t measure my salad greens or feta cheese or qunioa when I am plating a dinner in a hurry for one. The ingredients list are a guide for you.¬†

I cooked 1 cup of quinoa, so that I would have leftovers for another dish during the week. I probably used about 1/2 cup on this salad. 

Roasted beet and garden fresh arugula salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium to large beets, scrubbed
  • arugula, freshly picked from my garden
  • quinoa, cooked and cooled
  • feta cheese
  • Garlic Balsamic¬†salad dressing
  • chives, cut
  • slivered almonds…i added these after I took the pictures, oops.
Method:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap beets tightly in foil and place on sheet pan. Roast for 1 1/2 hours or until tender in the middle. Let cool on sheet pan, with foil open. Once cool enough to handle, with a paper towel remove skin. Dice 1/2 or 1 whole beet up per serving.
2. Assemble salad plate. Layer with arugula, quinoa, diced beets and feta. Dress salad and sprinkle chives and almonds on top.
 

 
 
July 19, 2011

Life Lesson: Dwelling.

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.

-Buddha

July 18, 2011

Food: BBQ Sauce.

I love condiments. I enjoy food and its natural flavors but let me be honest, I love to dip foods in things.

The flavors and textures of a BBQ sauce is a personal preference.¬†There is sweet, spicy, tangy, white, red, thin, thick…you name it BBQ sauce. In order for me to cover as many different versions, I came up with this recipe. I’m a thick, sweet, spicy and red bbq¬†sauce kinda girl. That sounded weird.

And you can tell that I forgot about dinner for a few minutes – things got a little toasty in the grill – but hey, a little crispy char is good for you.

I made a similar sauce here¬†for the Black Pepper and BBQ Molasses Chicken sandwiches. This time I added more heat and a secret ingredient. Well, it isn’t so secret anymore, thanks to the orange zest.

BBQ Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Canola oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon fleshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons¬†Chipotle¬†Adobo¬†Sauce (Chipotle Peppers Are Packed in this sauce)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons distilled vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Orange zest – 1/2 of 1 orange’s zest
  • dash of salt
  • dash of smoked Paprika
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • pinch (or more) red pepper flakes
Method:
 
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

1. Saute garlic in oil in medium-sized pan/pot for 2-3 minutes on medium. Please be careful not to burn the garlic.

2. Add the remaining sauce ingredients from ketchup to red pepper flakes to the pot. Stir to combine. Heat for 1 minute and stir occasionally. Turn heat off.

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July 15, 2011

Friday Thoughts/Life Lesson.

I have today off from school and I am loving it! What to do?

I’ve been in the garden. Made another batch of pesto. Zucchini bread in the oven – from my garden of course. Lemon, thyme and garlic chicken marinating for the grill tonight. Planning a long and high hike for tomorrow.

Oh the joys of relief. Love the feeling of being done with a week’s full of tests. Bring on the weekend!

 

July 14, 2011

Thoughts/Food: Books..I want to read when I have more time.

 

 

 

 

 

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