Monday, August 20, 2012

how do you do happy hour?

This past Saturday (after Vance had been at the hospital for roughly 30 hours - yes 30) we had a relaxing happy hour before dinner. 
Warmed brie with crackers, Organic Adiratic Fig Spread, Kalamata olives and a sauv blanc and a Blue Moon - hello happy hour. And the coasters on the wine are my first solo sewing project! Pattern, via Chez Beeper Bebe, these fabric coasters were (relatively) easy to make and only take a small amount of fabric.

Friday, August 17, 2012

pinto and rosemary dip

Pinto & Rosemary Dip
1-15 ounce can of Pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1-15 ounce can of white beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons EVOO
2-3 cloves garlic
3 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons water
juice of half a lemon
zest of quarter of a lemon
S&P to taste
Place beans, water, lemon juice and salt in food processor. Pulse until almost smooth (may have some whole beans still). Add garlic, cumin, rosemary and EVOO, process until desired consistency is reached. Mix in pepper and more salt if needed. Top with zest and a sprig of rosemary. This hummus-dip is great with vegetables, pita or crackers or even in a wrap. It is super quick and healthy - enjoy!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

whole wheat pizza with asparagus, tomatoes & purple onion

That is a very long name for a pizza - what a mouthful, literally! A pizza is a great way to use up fresh veggies (with out a lot of planning). Simple, fresh, hot pizza - what more could you want on a Tuesday night? Well, other than a beer.
Whole wheat pizza dough (1 ball - store bought or make your own)
1 cup small tomatoes (I used yellow grape and black cherry tomatoes), sliced 
1 cup sliced asparagus (cooked and cooled)
1/2 purple onion, sliced thinly
4 oz goat cheese, softened
1/2 cup fresh herbs, well-chopped (basil and chives from our pot-garden)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
S&P to taste
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons Blaze (or other balsamic reduction)
flour for rolling out dough
corn meal for dusting pizza stone
Preheat oven to 425 degrees, place pizza stone in oven and heat for about 15 minutes. Remove stone and sprinkle with corn meal. After you have rolled out the dough to the size and thickness you like, carefully lay on hot pizza stone. Toss tomatoes, onion, asparagus and herbs together until everything is evening coated and mixed. On pizza crust, spread softened goat cheese, assemble vegetable mix and top with shredded mozzarella. Brush the exposed crust with EVOO (this helps the crust stay "crusty"). Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese bubbles and crust is golden.
Remove pizza from oven and drizzle with honey and Blaze, slice and serve.
The honey and Blaze really add some great sweet and tangy elements - so good.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

you say toe-may-toe...

and I say tah-mah-toe. And then I say "yum, more please." This morning, I went to the East Nashville Tomato festival with my friends Shana & Sandler and their son, Rowan.
East Nashville Tomato Festival 2012
and peaches.

Tomorrow, we will have Brandywine and Beefsteak tomatoes.
After a lovely morning with friends at the festival, I had a sewing class in Brentwood. I now have a tomato tote for shopping at the market! I am already for next year's festival. Have a great Saturday night!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

may i have avocado on that?

do you say that all the time? or "with guac, please." My friends and I have been saying that all summer - guac on tacos, salads, sandwiches. Avocado (sliced or mashed) on eggs, toast, burgers, the list goes on. After a long day of new student orientation, I wanted a super easy and fast dinner. I made a similar pasta in May with more of a pesto spin, but I like this one better.
Pasta with simple avocado sauce and tomatoes.
2 medium sized ripe Avocado, pitted
1/2 lemon, juiced
2-3 garlic cloves, (I used 3 and it was like "whoa," so cut it to 1 to 2 cloves if you don't love garlic)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup fresh basil
2 tablespoon EVOO
2 servings of pasta - angel hair used tonight
Freshly ground black pepper
While pasta cooks (according to package), prepare the sauce by placing the garlic cloves, lemon juice, and olive oil into a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Add basil, pepper and salt - pulse until basil is chopped. Add avocados in chunks and a bit more EVOO. Pulse until smooth and creamy. When pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse in a strainer and place pasta into serving bowls. Spoon sauce over pasta and add tomatoes. For a fresh spin, garnish with lemon zest. Serve immediately -makes 2 servings. This pasta could definitely be expanded upon with grilled shrimp or chicken.
Happy (almost) Friday.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

stuffed zucchini

This time of year yields so much delicious zucchini! I have been trying to find new way to prepare this veg, and I think I hit a good one last night.
Couscous and Vegetable Stuffed Zucchini
2 zucchini
1/2 cup couscous, cooked
2 small tomatoes, diced
small onion, diced
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup mozzarella, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
1-2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
Slice zucchini lengthwise and scoop out the inside - set aside. Dice zucchini (inside flesh) and combine with couscous, tomatoes, onion, chopped basil, yogurt and mozzarella. Mix well and season with S&P. Assemble in zucchini shells and top with Parmesan cheese. Lightly spread a little olive oil on each zucchini. Place on lightly oiled foil-lined cookie sheet, cover with foil. Bake for 25 minutes at 375, remove foil and baked for another 10 minutes uncovered. You will likely have leftover mixture which makes a good couscous salad.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

mushroom & veg burgundy

Although, it is summer - and it is hot - and humid - I had an overwhelming craving for a bourguignon or burgundy dish this week. In trying to keep it a bit lighter, I added some fresher seasonal options instead of the traditional beef or even just mushroom.

2 tablespoons EVOO, divided
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 1/2 pounds baby portabello (or button) mushrooms, sliced
1 medium yellow onion, diced 
2 large carrots, diced 1 teaspoon thyme, dried
1 1/2 cloves garlic, minced
1 750-ml bottle of red wine 
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup pearl onions, frozen
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
S&P to taste
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan over high heat. Add mushrooms and saute for approximately 4 minutes until golden. Remove from pan and set aside. On medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil along with carrots, onions and thyme. Season with salt and pepper (approximately 1/2 teaspoon each). Saute for about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Pour in wine and increase heat to high. Simmer for 5 minutes until liquid is reduced by half. Add mushrooms, pearl onions, broth and tomato paste. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. In a separate small saucepan, combine 2 tablespoons butter with flour on high heat to make a roux. Whisk for a minute to make a roux. Stir roux to mushroom/wine mixture and add tomatoes. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over egg noodles - makes about 4 servings. 

ol'fashion ice cream sandwich

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick oats
1-2 cups mini chocolate chips
vanilla ice cream
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cream the butter and sugars until smooth; beat in eggs and vanilla. In a bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon well - slowly mix into creamed mixture. Stir in oats and chocolate chips. Spoon small amounts of dough into well greased (or Silpat mat). Bake for about 9 minutes and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes on pan outside the oven. Once the cookies have cooled, place a small scoop of ice on the underside of a cookie and push another on on top. For an extra chocolate kick (which I think this needed), melt some dark chocolate and dip or drizzle on cookies - allow to cool before assembling the sandwiches. Yum!