I was the only one who liked this dish. But I wasn't down because I really liked it. I made it at my parents' house while while we were babysitting my grandmother for a weekend. My grandmother needs soft foods. And Paul isn't a big fan of quiche. I'm not really sure why Nora turned her nose up at it. But I loved it. Really enjoyed it as a matter of fact. Wanted to eat it all myself. Would make it again. Except, I'd have to eat it all by myself. Wait, what's wrong with that?
Recipe for Paprika Pie Crust
2 C all purpose flour
1 t salt
1 t paprika
½ C oil
¼ C cold water
Mix paprika, flour and salt. Blend oil and cold water with fork. Make lots of bubbles. Add liquid mixture to flour and stir. Roll dough between 2 pieces of waxed paper. Place dough in pie plate. Flute if you have the talent. Poke 5 sets of holes in the bottom of the crust with a fork.
Pre-bake the crust just about 7 minutes.
Recipe for Cauliflower-Asparagus Filling
6 asparagus stems, chopped 1/2 inch long
1 cup small cauliflower florets
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
3 Tablespoons milk
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely shredded (optional)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Layer vegetables in crust. Beat eggs, add seasonings, salt, pepper, and milk. Mix together and pour over vegetables. Top with cheese. Bake at 400 degrees until top is golden brown, about 35-40 minutes.
College starts this week. I actually have to be on a schedule. I had bread dough mixing at 0730. I was awake on schedule. Just not out of bed. I'll get there. But I had ten heavenly weeks of getting into a different habit. Anyway, we're back to grading papers, and I'm actually looking forward to it.
I've created a monster! No, I'm not talking about the food face. I thought it was pretty cute. But I have pushed myself into a corner where Nora seems to only like peanut butter when it's made into a sandwich with Cherrios. Do you know how small Cherrios are? Do you know how messy creamy peanut butter can get if you goof and it oozes through the hole of the Cherrio? And she eats them as fast as I can make them. There must be an easier way! But I can't complain because she really is a good eater.
We've enjoyed our mangoes quite a lot this summer. I must say, after the first case of mangoes, I was getting very speedy at my mango cutting. And I hope this video makes it easy for others to learn how to cut mangoes and enjoy their special tastes.
School starts next week! That means that we are spending this week doing whatever we need to do to be prepared. It also means Paul gets lunch every day because of meetings. Which means I'm grateful for the extra padding in our food budget.
Paul has a formal this week that I've been invited to. But I have no child care. I've decided to invite another mom in the same predicament to the mall for dinner and indoor playtime.
New to Yoga? Me too. Today was only my third trip to the gym for a yoga class. Being from a cardiology-educated background, I always thought a good workout consisted of getting your heart-rate up to 85-100% of your maximum predicted heartrate (MPHR) for 30 minutes. But I was wrong. And while this post isn't directly related to eating well, it is related to living well.
Just a note for those of you who read the posts through email or RSS feed. I want to alert you to our Facebook Fan page and Twitter account. Fan or follow ELAR to get additional health, eating and food tips.
My husband saw a sign out and stopped for fresh, local, organic produce on Friday. He brought home some beautiful okra, two large Florida avocados, and summer squash. I finally drove passed Downtown Orlando to a favored vegetable market and purchased some exciting vegetables. Full story tomorrow.
This face reminds you of summer. Bleached hair from the sun (or at least lightened for us people with naturally black hair), sunglasses, sunburned ears because you forgot sunscreen on them, and thick layers of colored sunscreen on the nose and Chapstick on the mouth. Wait, do they have that fun green sunscreen from my childhood any more?
The real description would be rice pilaf, black olives, tomatoes, shredded zucchini, and a sugar snap pea.
Michael Ruhlman's book, Ratio, has been a turning point for me. I've never considered myself a baker. But he sure can make it easy, as was proven by the amazing ciabatta bread recipe.
Apple Fritters on the Griddle
Ratio by Michael Ruhlman
4 oz. flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 oz. (1/2 cup) milk
1 egg or 2 oz. egg replacer
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 medium apples
Peel and core apples. Chop well or shred them in a food processor. Set aside.
In blender, combine remaining ingredients to make batter. Blend until dry ingredients are incorporated. Stir apples and cinnamon into batter. Heat griddle to 300 degrees. Pour batter onto griddle to shape 3 inch pancakes. Cook five minutes on each side or until nicely brown.
Here's a favorite, speedy side dish. We ate it alongside bean burritos (cheese, onions, peppers, beans) that can easily be put together while waiting for the microwave to beep.
Please either ignore or be amused by my hungry child's voice in the background. She's saying "Oooo" as I stir in the vegetables and squeezes in a few hiccups. But you know what? She's right where I want her to be. I want her to learn to love cooking healthy foods, too.
We spent a long weekend taking care of my grandmother, which we all enjoyed. However, I didn't get around to my usual grocery shopping list and meal planning on Thursday like I normally do. So when I got home, I reviewed the fridge cabinets in case I didn't make it to the store this week. Luckily, we are well stocked on mangoes after the last delivery last Wednesday. It's not my most creative meal plan, but it'll work just fine.
While I am ending a series of focusing on adding enjoyable bean recipes to your diet, in truth the discussion will never end. For beans or for any healthy foods to remain in our diet, we're likely to always be looking for yummy new ways to serve them. Here are just a few recipe take-aways. But remember, the options truly are endless.
I've linked to a few additional bean recipes. Remember, these are basic categories to show you how to add beans to your diet. There truly are endless options.
You've heard of too many cooks in the kitchen spoiling something. Well, a few hands participated in this silly creation. Nora didn't seem to mind, though.
Ms. Food Face wears a green Vaudeville-style hat with a ribbon of hommus. It's jeweled with juicy raisins. She models Sweet-Pepper Orange lip-plumping gloss and peaks out behind a potato salad mask secured to her ears with tomato clips.
I have no excuse. The cauliflower was on super-duper sale. The asparagus? I just wanted it. That's the beauty of living on a budget. When I crave a food, we can buy it.
Also, my parents' anniversary is on Wednesday night. Because of my dad's work schedule, they won't have time to do anything special. So, I'll be fixing a lovely dinner for them on Wednesday night. Then Friday night, we'll be taking care of my grandmother; so dinner will be geared toward soft foods.
This series is about how to use one pot or one crock-pot full or beans to make great meals for the remainder of the work week. When I made this list, I completely ignored the option of just eating them plain, like they do in Italy. There are just so many uses for white beans! They really can be fun to eat. Hope these ideas inspire you, too.
I'm cooking beans this morning. A big pot. Then, I have them to lean on for menu plans. They can last a week or more depending on if I freeze some or not. Also, if they get frozen, they don't have to be eaten every day, but can spread out over three weeks.
There are many more options for using beans than the five I have listed here. But these are fun and can feed a crowd pretty well. (I'm the type that has a weekly menu. If we have guests, I just make more of what I was planning to serve. I don't go shopping to make something special.)
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.