Monday, September 28, 2009

Parsley Pesto

I usually don't discriminate with food, enjoying most of it and not claiming one favorite. However, I have already used this recipe 5 or 6 times, and am not one to repeat a recipe more than twice. It's so good and extremely versatile. I've used it in several different pasta recipes, to top of bruschetta, and last night I used it with boneless chicken breasts. So good.

2 cups packed Italian flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup walnut pieces
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove
salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

Combine first 5 ingredients in blender or food processor. Pulse for several minutes, or until mixture is crumbling. While still pulsing, add olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Continue mixing until you have a nice paste, not liquefied but thoroughly combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.
I have also used spinach in place of the parsley and it was amazing. You can use pecans or pine nuts in place of the walnuts as well.

This is the dinner I made last night:

3 boneless, skin-on chicken breasts, rinsed and sprinkled with salt and pepper
1/4- 1/2 cup Parsley Pesto
4 Red potatoes
1/2 Red onion
1 garlic clove
olive oil
2 heads broccoli, stems cut off

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Keeping the skin on the chicken, place a large spoonful of the pesto under the skin of the chicken, being sure to cover the surface well. Tuck the skin over the pesto. Heat cast iron skillet to medium high, pour in 1 tsp olive oil. Place breasts skin side down on cast iron skillet. Sear for 1-2 minutes or until they are a nice golden color. Flip breasts and immediately place in oven for 15-20 minutes, uncovered. Meanwhile, cut the potatoes into 1" squares. Chop the onion into large chunks. Slice the garlic clove very thinly. Place all these ingredients on a baking sheet sprinkled with olive oil. Pour a thin stream of olive oil over the potatoes and onions and sprinkle with salt. Place in oven for 20-25 minutes or until fork-tender and golden brown.
Steam broccoli for 3 minutes and rinse under cold water. Place back in the pot it was steamed in (water should be drained) on the burner you just used, to keep it warm.
When the chicken is finished cooking, remove it from the oven and cover with tin foil to keep it warm and moist.

That's all!

Tuna Town

After what seemed like an eternity of gray skies and rain, the sun decided to show it's beautiful face yesterday and we absolutely loved it! Spent the morning lolling around our apartment, watching Gossip Girl and eating Eggo waffles. Then we went to the park, took some pictures, read some books, came home and I made this for lunch:

1 can of tuna
1/2 tomato, diced
1/4 red onion, diced
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried parsley
dash of s&p
Olive oil mayo
dash of mustard

Extra sharp white cheddar cheese

Heat oven to Broil. Combine all ingredients except cheese in a medium sized bowl. Toast a piece of bread. Place 1/3 of the tuna mixture onto the toast and top with thin slices of cheese. Place on baking sheet and broil for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melting and bubbly. I topped mine guessed it: Tapatio. Wonderful.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hello, Pancake!

Yesterday morning I was feeling a little feisty and decided to make some pancakes from scratch! I haven't done that in months, but it ended up being quite successful. I used another recipe from Everyday Food (I use that resource all the time, and is one of the only places I will follow a recipe without modifying it.) Here it is:

1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsb baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk (could use buttermilk instead)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg

In a medium sized bowl, mix together dry ingredients. In a large bowl whisk together milk, butter and egg. Once well incorporated, pour in dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated-lumps are fine. You don't want to over mix.

Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees. Heat a medium sized non-stick (or in my case, cast iron) skillet over medium heat and rub with olive oil. Pour 1/4 cup portions into skillet and flip when edges begin to bubble up. Once finished cooking, place on an oven safe plate and slide into the oven to keep warm.

I also fried some eggs and my sweet husband made coffee in the Bialetti.

I put strawberry jam, butter and some of the granola I made the other day on mine.


I hate potato salad

So that is why I made this version of the old classic. It has a vinegar and oil based dressing, making it much more palatable to people who don't enjoy goopy, potentially e. coli infected mayo-based potato salad. Plus it has haricots verts (or plain old green beans), roma tomatoes and hulled peas, making it delightfully refreshing and rustic.

Here's the (slightly modified) recipe, borrowed from "Once Upon a Tart"

1/2 red onion, halved again and cut into thin stripsApprox 1 lb purple hull peas, shucked, rinsed and simmered in 4 cups unsalted water for 1-2 hours or until fork-tender
4 cups salted water
5 medium red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1" cubes
4 cups salted water
1/2 lb haricots vert (yellow, green or both), de-stringed and cut on the diagonal.

4-5 Roma tomatoes, cored, seeded and diced
1 Tbsp capers, drained
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian flat leaf parlsey
1 tsp fresh lemon thyme, minced


1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt
a few shakes of pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

Start by placing the sliced red onions in a large bowl (this bowl needs to fit the entire salad). Pour the drained Hull peas on top of the red onions while still very hot so that the steam can soften the onions. Set aside.

In a large pot, bring the salted water and potatoes to a simmer over medium heat. Once boiling reduce the heat and slowly simmer for 30-35 minutes or until fork-tender. Drain and add them on top of the Hull peas.

In a medium size pot bring the other 4 cups of water to a rolling boil on high heat. Place the haricots vert in the boiling water for 45-60 seconds. Drain and immediately run very cold water over them for another 60 seconds or until they begin to cool off. That is blanching the green beans and will still allow them to retain all of their flavor and color and much of their crunch without being offensively "green" tasting. Once fully drained pour the green beans on top of the potatoes.

Put the roma tomatoes, capers and herbs on top of the haricots vert in the large bowl.

To make the dressing, put the vinegar and s&p in a medium sized measuring bowl. While swiftly whisking the mixture, pour the olive oil in a steady stream. This is called an emulsion and will help the olive oil to mix with the vinegar without seperating too much.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss using a large spoon (or your hands) until all ingredients are well coated. Serve while still warm or at room temperature.

I'm not gonna lie...this is a pretty impressive and tasty side dish.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Anyone who knows me well at all knows that I absolutely love coffee, or as my husband put it I "drink coffee like a fish". But I go through phases about what my favorite way to make coffee is. Sometimes it's the French press, for a long time it was the Bialetti, I always love the cone method, but lately my favorite has been a latte sort of thing made in my crappy little espresso maker.

Here is what I do:
Steam 1/2 cup 2% organic milk and 2 Tbsp organic half and half
Grind espresso beans (currently using Zappia Family Espresso, Drew's Brews)

Place in this thing:

and then on top of the espresso place 1 tsp raw sugar like this:

Pour the pulled shot into a mug, quickly adding the steamed milk on top, allowing the foam and milk to mix together like this:

I've been drinking one every morning...I like to think of it as my daily calcium's good for me, right?

Adventures in Peanuts

Lately our CSA has been giving us raw peanuts. As far as I know there are only several things to do with them: roast them, boil them, or fry them. Since we've gotten a quart of them for the last 2 weeks I thought I would try 2 of the 3 methods, roasting and boiling.

Here is the method I used for boiling them (original):

Place 6 cups water, 1/8 cup of salt, 1 tsp seasoning salt and 1 lb of Raw shelled peanuts in a large pot. Boil water, place lid on top of pot and turn heat to low/medium. Keep it at a high simmer for 3-4 hours. Drain and allow to dry on a sheet of paper towels.
I'm not a big fan of mushy peanuts so I don't think I'll do this again, but it was fun to try once, and even though they aren't incredible they're still pretty addicting.

Here is the method I used for roasting them (I made this up):

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Thoroughly rinse peanuts. Place on large rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle with 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp sea salt. Bake for 25-35 minutes. (I had to check them every so often to see how crisp they were.) Next time I'll use more salt and slightly more oil.

This Morning

I made granola. The recipe was for blueberry almond granola, but having neither dried blueberries nor sliced almonds I omitted those and added some other things instead. The original recipe is here. But this is mine:

2 cups thick rolled oats
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
Place in large baking sheet with edges

2 Tbsp Olive oil
2 Tbsp Raw Honey
1 tsp Vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt
pour over oat mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once removed from the oven add 3/4 cup raisins. Let cool and place in airtight container for up to a month.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Eggs Again

On Wednesday nights my husband has a mixed martial arts class he attends from 8-10 pm so I usually make an early dinner of salad for him and then a late dinner of eggs for me.

Tonight I did this with the eggs:
Combine 1 egg and 1 egg white.
Fry until over-medium
add White cheddar slices on top of egg once flipped but while still in the pan
Crisp up 2 slices of turkey lunchmeat
toast 2 pieces of Ezekiel bread and smother with olive oil mayo and Tapatio
Once cooked put the egg and cheese on top of the bread, put the meat on top of the egg and several tomato slices on top of the meat. Cut it in half and eat it up.
Grapes on the side for a little fresh fruit.
This dinner is generally accompanied by a glass of red wine and the newest Top Chef :)

I Cheated

Last night I used Hamburger Helper "tomato penne".
Instead of ground beef, I used lean ground turkey, browned it, sauteed half of an onion, added some sweet peas and then followed the instructions on the back of the box :) I topped it with parmesan cheese.

On the side I made a salad of:
-Equal parts spring greens and spinach
-chopped carrots
-extra sharp white cheddar
-toasted strips of red chile tortillas
-sunflower seeds
-balsamic vinegar dressing

It was fine for a midweek "didn't feel like cooking" dinner, but nothing special.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dinner 2 nights ago

1 butternut squash, the neck separated from the bulb.

Roasting the squash (I used the bulb for this part):
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Peel the squash and cut into 1" squares (approximate)
1 Tbsp raw honey
1 Tbsp olive oil
dash s&p
dash cinnamon

Place on roasting sheet and bake 10 minutes. Stir the squash, adding a small handful of dried cherries and put back in the oven for 10 more minutes.
Allow to cool 5-8 minutes.

Once cool, add it to the top of this salad:
2 cups baby spinach
2 cups mixed greens
1/4 cup toasted walnuts (or pecans)
1 Yellow delicious apple, chopped into 1" pieces
1/4 cup feta or goat cheese

Chips to top off the salad:
heat frying oil to between 3oo and 350 degrees. Slice the neck of the peeled butternut squash into extremely thin rounds (a mandoline would be preferable, but I don't have one) and place in hot oil until crispy, usually 2-4 minutes. Remove chips while still hot sprinkle with:
Sea salt
Parmesan cheese
Italian seasoning

Place several chips on top of salad and snack on the rest.

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp raw honey
1/2 tsp dijon mustard

You definitely won't need all of this dressing, btw. Refrigerate the rest for up to 2 weeks.

Eat it.

Pesto Tuna

1 can of tuna (albacore preferred, but I used regular)
1/2 tomato, diced
1 Tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
1-2 Tbsp olive oil mayo
1-2 Tbsp basil Pesto
dash of salt
dash of pepper

Mixed it all together in a bowl.

Toasted half a whole wheat bagel, placed about half of the mixture on top of the bagel, topped with sliced sharp cheddar and broiled for 1-3 minutes. It was delicious and I could eat it at least 3 times a week (that's a lot).

Last Night

Whipped together:
2 large eggs
A splash of organic milk

Put it in my cast-iron skillet and scrambled it up.
Once halfway cooked I added in:

1/2 cup baby spinach leaves
1/2 tomato
2 pieces of mesquite turkey lunchmeat

When that was fully scrambled I tossed on top:
A quick dash of Tapatio hot sauce
some shreds of extra sharp white cheddar
salt and pepper

On the side:
-toasted and buttered Ezekiel bread
-glass of red wine.