A few weeks back, I had a pretty nice supply of fresh spinach. I started looking for some recipes, and this one was quite out of my comfort zone, but I chose it because it could be made ahead and served at room temperature. This is a great recipe to help you fool your husband. It looks like you slaved away all day, but your kitchen is perfectly clean when he gets home because the food was made earlier in the day. I served it with a sandwich and hardly had any dishes to clean after dinner.
1/2 cup shaved Pecorino cheese (original recipe calls for feta)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon dried mint, crushed
1 teaspoon dried dill
Sallt and black pepper to taste
In your largest pan, saute onions on high until beginning to soften. Add zucchini and heat until cooked through and getting soft. Add sugar snap peas to defrost. Stir in rice and seasonings: lemon juice, herbs, and black pepper. Serve warm or place in bowl to serve at room temp. Top with shaved cheese.
Orlando Family Magazine sent out a coupon for Freshfields Farm in their July issue. It's a well known fact that coupons for produce are rare. So, when you find this, grab it. The value is $5 off $25. It doesn't expire until August 31. (The magazine is well worth getting for its family-related stories, too.
No more mangoes to photograph. Boo hoo! But luckily, my husband has agreed to let me order more! Today is the last day to put an order in to pick up mangoes being delivered to the Orlando Area this Wednesday, July 20. I promise, you will not be sorry to invest in them!
8 oz. (one medium) Zucchini, shredded (medium hole)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
4 slices Fresh Mozzarella, 1/2 or less thick
2 Campari Tomatoes, sliced
4 or more Basil leaves
4 Ciabatta Bread squares
Salt, Pepper, and Balsamic Vinegar to taste
Slice ciabatta in half to open and make two sides for the sandwich. Warm if necessary.
In medium skillet on medium-high heat, cook zucchini in 1/2 tablespoon olive oil until zucchini is soft. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pull the zucchini into the middle of the pan and place mozzarella slices evenly apart on top of pile. Lower heat to medium or medium-low. The goal is for the mozzarella to melt and hold the zucchini pieces together to limit the messy-ness of the sandwich. The zucchini should brown nicely on the bottom, but not burn.
With a spatula, divide the zucchini into four parts and place on sandwich bread. Dress as desired with tomatoes, basil, balsamic vinegar, remaining olive oil, and more salt or pepper.
With all the zucchini we had lying around the house for two weeks, I immediately was attracted to this zucchini cornbread recipe from the July Bon Appetit Magazine. I liked that it had some whole wheat flour in it. And I'm learning to really appreciate cornmeal for the extra iron and little crunch. I immediately started telling friends about it.
Gelatobaby had a very interesting June. It seems that she had bad allergies and learned that a vegetarian, even vegan, diet could lessen her symptoms. She tells a great story in her latest post. I highly recommend reading the story and reading the comments. If you are new to vegetarianism or just trying it out and don't know what to tell people, Alissa understands. She's been there.
There's a group of mommy-bloggers who have coined the term "Eating from the Pantry Challenge". It means that they skip the grocery stores for the week and just focus on eating what they've stored up in their pantries, freezers, and refrigerators.
We are eating from the pantry this week, mostly. We have cheated, though. I have purchased one cantaloupe and one small block of cheese. We also picked up two big boxes of mangoes that we ordered last week as part of a church fund-raiser. Many will be shared.
This was better than I imagined. And Nora devoured it. . .and Paul's. I originally made this dish for a dessert for guests. But Nora got a fever, which called off dinner plans. We (Paul's sister and brother-in-law were here.) ate the sorbet, anyway, and got two meals out of it instead of one!
Recipe for Tropical Fruit Sorbet
2 cups Bananas, mashed and frozen
2 cups Pineapple, diced and frozen
1 cup mango, diced and frozen
4 Tablespoons Lime Juice
10 Mint Leaves
4 Tablespoons Water (or more based on your processor)
Note: The pineapple and mango should total about 24 oz.
Minus the water, combine ingredients in food processor and puree. Add water gradually to help "cream" the fruit, but not to make it too runny. Originally, the fruit will just looked chopped. It will eventually smooth out. Pour sorbet into freezer-safe pan, cover and freeze. Let sit out 5-10 minutes before serving.
This recipe can be done in batches in a mini-processor, which is what I have. But a warning, it works the motor hard. My processor is still going, but it certainly got warm and a little smelly by the end of my preparation.
I'm no authority on this. I'm just sharing my journey.
While many moms do a great job of cooking ahead and freezing their food, I can't do it. Cooking is my outlet. When Nora naps, it's my time to play in the kitchen. I am the type of person who thinks all day about what we're having for dinner. After dinner, I start thinking about tomorrow's dinner. And with all that thinkin' ahead, you'd think I'd actually do some prep work ahead. Cause cleaning up the kitchen isn't so fun. And it's greener to just use that knife and cutting board once.
After our yummy dinner out, I convinced Paul to take us to Yogurtland in Winter Park for dessert. He'd also had lunch dessert there. He had been there once before when his department was interviewing for a new team member. He very much enjoyed it. And I was quite happy with the tasty menu and restaurant design myself.
I'm posting this in lieu of a Menu Plan for this week because I'm still waffling on the menu. We're expecting visitors, and I have been negotiating menus with Paul, but even this morning, I was changing my mind. Anyway, I just can't wait to share this recipe.
Recipe for Ciabatta Bread (For Bread Machine)
Recipe from Ratio by Michael Ruhlman
20 oz. High-gluten Flour
12 oz. water
1 teaspoon yeast
2 teaspoons yeast
Put water in bottom of bread machine. Top with flour. In one corner of the machine, add salt. In opposite corner, add yeast.
Set machine on dough cycle, which should include the first rise. When the machine is done, knead dough again, let rest 10-15 minutes before shaping. Shape by pulling dough until it is about 12 inches long and 1 inch thick. Allow to rise, covered, for one more hour.
Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Turn oven down to 375 and bake another 30 minutes.
Mr. Ruhlman does a fabulous job of explaining the details for using a regular stand mixer instead.
Tre Pupazzi or the Three Puppets is close to the top of my favorite Roman restaurants. It was a big deal when I learned we were planning on going there. I had very fond memories of my food. And for some reason I also remembered the decor, which hadn't changed.
This is polenta, a traditional, Italian peasant dish. It can be served creamy or sliced in this fancy fashion pictured above, possibly even rewarmed on an oiled skillet producing a great brown crust. In America, we'd just call this grits. Or cornmeal. The polenta in Italy generally is very similar to yellow grits. I make it at home with cornmeal for two reasons. For one, cornmeal is reasonably cheap. For two, if I just change the recipes to cornmeal, that's one less item that gets lost in my pantry.
Based on Soft Polenta from Moosewood Restaurant New Classics
3 cups water or vegetarian chicken-flavored broth
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt if not using broth
1/4-1/2 teaspoon celery seed (original recipe calls for fennel seeds)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, topping
Black pepper to taste
Bring water or broth to boil in a large pot. Slowly pour in cornmeal, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. A whisk works best for me. Turn heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until polenta is thick. Season. Serve topped with cheese.
Moosewood adds a note that the grind and variety of cornmeal influence the cook times. Be prepared to add hot water to cooking if necessary. However, I don't recall ever needing to.
I've spent a little more time researching zucchini recipes than I had planned. The ones on the list are just the ones that appeal to me tonight. Who knows what I will want to do tomorrow and the remainder of the week!
We do have family in town, which means I will be dining with them for most lunches and will possibly not be home early enough to have dinner on the table before Paul gets home. So, I'm thinking fast and simple meals for dinners.
Can you believe these peacocks? Combined with the view and the gardens, the afternoon was breathtaking.
Honestly, I have no idea what's going on this week. And I just have one child! There's evening meetings for work, evening meetings for church, birthdays x3; and at the end of the week, my aunt and uncle are coming in. So truthfully, I have no idea how many meals we're actually eating at home. Good thing we always have ingredients for burritos or cereal!