Now you and I know that there might not actually have been something called Basil-Bacon Salsa, but there is now. It could be mis-named, but it seems to work for gilding the lily of this tender, crisp, juicy simple grilled chicken. I occasionally do a sort of Italian salsa (generally called Raw Tomato Sauce) with just tomatoes, basil, and garlic or onion for a quick topping of meat, grilled bread, or pasta; this time I had bacon cooked and thought, “Why not?” Chicken and bacon are certainly compatible–and now “Basil-Bacon Salsa” is a thing around here.
Cooking with Addie posts will come up periodically and are designed for older kids or teens learning to cook. Not a kid? Cook this anyway!!
Grilled Cheese Zucchini Bites with Salsa probably will be thought of as a SNACK, Addie. Maybe a
- starter, (UK terminology)
- an hors d’oeuvres (French version–scroll down for definition) or
- an appetizer (USA)…
…something you’d serve before dinner if you’re hungry or if there’s company and some drinks are being served. I think they’d also be good as a meal–perhaps with other fresh vegetables and whole wheat crackers or maybe in addition to turkey rolled up in tortillas if you’re really hungry. However you might want to serve them, I think you’ll be happy because this is fun food. While I sometimes want chips, I often would rather eat veggies. These crispy bites kind of hit the sweet spot that wants crunchy, but hopes for healthy, too. You may feel the same way. My zucchini bites could also be made topped with mozzarella or Parmesan cheese, in which case you might use a marinara or even pizza sauce for the dip. Continue reading
It is the time of the year when zucchini gets a bad name. There are boring jokes bantered about, lots of eyes rolling, and tired recipes for zucchini bread dug out of old recipe boxes. While good cooks guard against eating anything but the tiny, tender cigar-tube-shaped baby bitty zukes, some of us still end up with nearly Little League-sized bats on our counters. (Below are medium-sized squashes perfect for grating or stuffing grown by my old neighbor, Wendy Ruble.) Continue reading
Last summer, when I began to make the first vegetable curries of the season, I was right here in our Colorado house up on the mesa. I needed a quick dinner and had a bunch of vegetables lying around the counter–including lots of tomatoes. A pot of rice was put to boil and I threw a bunch of vegetables and a little curry powder into a big skillet. We ate quite happily very soon thereafter.
DISCLAIMER: I’ll freely admit I’m no authenic Indian cook; check out Just a Girl from Mumbai or The Lady 8 Home (two of my Ina Friday friends’ blogs) for authentic recipes. Or, for a general set of instructions, check out this post.
Last week, we moved permanently from Saint Paul back to Colorado into the house we’ve owned there for eight years by now. To say it was or is a wrench is an understatement, because we love Saint Paul and I so loved my choir job at Prospect Park United Methodist in Minneapolis. Finances dictated a change to owning one house only and here we are. I’m still in the midst of figuring it all out and can’t believe what an emotional upheaval it’s been. After all, it’s just a house–right????
|St. Paul backyard|
|Gab and Tuck were both puppies in CO|
While we are born midwesterners through and through (Dave from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois and me from the south suburbs of Chicago)–and adore the four seasons, as well as the Twin Cities culture, we have always just sunk into the beauty and comfort of our ranch house in Colorado. At night in bed in the middle of a frozen Minnesota winter night, I’d walk through the Colorado house in my mind–poring over each room, looking out each window, nearly crying that no one was there. Come holidays or summers when the choir was off, we’d drive out west with Miss Gab and Tucker, and I often sobbed in relief as I walked into the house. I spent hours on the living room couch, reading and dreaming out over the city of Colorado Springs, which spreads just east of our property. On a clear day, you can see forever. I often watched Dave’s planes take off from the airport which is over 13 miles away. The same distance in the opposite direction brings views of approaching winter storms from the north or, in the case of this last summer, fires from the northeast in Black Forest. Step Inside this House–sung by Lyle Lovett.
And while it appears idyllic (“Oh, Colorado is so beautiful!”), and often is, it can be a harsh environment. Bears, coyotes, bobcats, and the occasional mountain lion make it through our neighborhood. Right now, we have a bear family traveling between our houses, snacking on available garbage, charging people and dogs and simply refusing to hibernate. In other words, sitting outside at night in the summer is best done on the deck with quick access to the house through a strong door! Fires — and recent floods — are often our frightening nearby companions. Sudden winter storms create havoc and, here in the ‘hood, mean walking home up the steep icy hill unless you have a great four-wheel drive vehicle.
|Stollen cooling on the east deck|
|bear photo borrowed from a neighbor|
|Dave with grandson, Rhyan. One of the joys of living in Colorado is our son Sean and family are here–living with us temporarily while their house is being renovated.|
|Sunrise in my backyard|
- 4 cups–give or take– cooked couscous (I used 1 box Near East couscous with olive oil and garlic)
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Large onion, chopped
- Celery stalk, chopped
- Red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 carrots, scrubbed and thinly sliced (don’t peel)
- 2 cups chopped zucchini
- 1 cup chopped cooked butternut or acorn squash
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons curry powder*
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper or a small pinch of cayenne, optional
- 1/4 cup white wine or vegetable or chicken broth
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon grated or finely chopped ginger
- 2 cups chopped cherry or regular tomatoes
- 1/4 cup each chopped fresh basil and fresh parsley
3. Stir in wine or broth and let cook down a few minutes, adding more if the vegetables appear dry.
If you liked this, you might also like my curried peppers and tomatoes on rice with grilled chicken or cooking in a time of grief
|Fresh sliced cherry tomatoes are hidden at the bottom of the bowl for a surprise.|
There may be more recipes for zucchini than anything else at this time of the year. Long gone are the tiny, tender and sweet pencil-slim squashes of early summer. Here now are baseball-bat sized –could I say clubs?–appearing on back porches, in countless loaves of bread, stuffed and broiled, or any of the above.
|My basil died while I was gone. Market had plants 3 for $10 this week. I’m starting over.|
Since zucchini is my favorite vegetable, perhaps after asparagus… or maybe green beans…I just don’t care. I’ll buy or take all I can get and never be tired of it. Shredded, mixed with egg, onion, and a bit of flour, it’s a supper pancake served with grated cheese. Slit open, scooped out — the moist innards sauteed with onions, garlic, and pepper–and refilled, I’m thrilled to stick it under the broiler under nearly burned and definitely crispy. But what I really love to do is make soup. Any kind. Especially with lots of fresh herbs Which you knew. (And the new soup book, Soups & Sides for Every Season truly is done! Available through amazon.com. (edited September 18, 2014)
If it’s a warm day, start early, and chill this soup. Serve it from a pitcher under the trees in the yard with an icy-cold glass of rosé or pour it into a thermos to take to the park. Warm it briefly and serve it in the dark of the cool basement watching “The Newsroom.”
|Flowering dill. If you live where dogs take a lot of walks, wash your herbs carefully!|
Maybe you’ve been lucky and found some zucchini that somehow–perhaps anonymously– made its way onto your back porch. As did I yesterday. Actually, I did know mine was from my Victory Garden next-door neighbor. If not, grab an inexpensive basket full at the market. Here’s how:
|Saint Paul Mac-Groveland bounty|
creamy zucchini soup with parmesan and cherry tomatoes
This simple, herb-filled soup is lovely hot or cold (see Cook’s Notes) and contains a surprise of fresh tomato added to the bowl just before serving. The tomato cooks slightly in the hot soup or provides even more textural contrast in the cold. Along with some sliced fresh vegetables or whole wheat toast, this is a complete summer meal. While it does contain some half and half and grated Parmesan, the calories are fairly low if you’re serving no other protein.
For vegan option, use vegetable broth and omit cheese and half and half.
8 servings 3 Weight Watchers Points Plus 160 calories
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- Kosher salt
- Ground cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons each fresh basil, dill, and thyme, minced plus extra julienne basil for garnish*
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 medium zucchini, chopped (about 4 cups)
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 1/2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup each grated Parmesan cheese and half-and-half or light cream (omit for vegan option)
- 1/2 cup sliced cherry tomatoes, assorted colors (can used chopped larger tomatoes)
*Most any one herb or any combination will work if you don’t have all three in the garden.
Cook’s Notes: For cold soup, let come to room temperature after adding cheese and cream, if using. Chill for 8 hours or overnight, and garnish with tomatoes and basil when serving.
Every summer, I get about half-way through and want…chili. Pot Roast. Lamb shanks. I’m a bit perverse, I’m fond of saying. I can’t wait for the first grilled chicken and tomato salads. I’m nuts about burgers on the patio in May with zin. But there comes a day when salad looks bleh (stick out tongue) and I don’t even much care about that long-awaited burger. I want something real. I want pasta. And I don’t want it in a restaurant.
So last year, in January (way ahead), I experimented with a pasta dish that included grilled vegetables and sausage, but I still made a cooked sauce in a pot. A lot of folks have been interested in that post, so here’s a continuation…
I had the idea then to create a dish totally done on the grill--much fresher– and I’ve now tried it. Even the pasta is cooked on the side burner, if you have one. (If not, buy fresh pasta to cook indoors; it cooks much faster.) I’ll amend that; Dave mostly tried it. I designed, orchestrated, cheer leaded, made fresh cheese, and ate it up. The only true heated cooking I did was to saute some garlic in the microwave and warm the milk to make cheese! (5 minutes) Do you have to make cheese? Of course not. Buy ricotta–fresh if you can get it. But I’d love it you made cheese.
I lately have been encouraging cooks to just try making an easy, quick fresh cheese. There isn’t much simpler to do and the brief instructions are below. I’ll also point out that if you need a lot of ricotta, this is the way to go; you’ll save a bunch of cash. To purists, this isn’t true ricotta, which is made with all milk; here I add some yogurt. My idea actually is a riff (a mistake I made and liked) from a recipe created by dessert guru and Parisian blogger David Lebovitz. See the original here. (See my first attempts and info on how to make a firmer cheese here.)
Imagine pasta in the summer and no hot kitchen? Try this:
grilled eggplant and sausage pasta made on the grill
directions: (ingredients below)
1. On the grill’s side burner (or on stove indoors): bring to a boil a kettle of salted water with a couple of springs of fresh basil and several grinds of black pepper. This takes a while outside, so start here. When it boils, add 1# whole wheat linguine. I like Whole Foods 365 brand; it’s luscious. Cook until al dente — where your teeth are stopped just gently as you bite into it. (Read package directions.)
2. Heat oiled grill to medium heat and add 2 sliced unpeeled Japanese eggplant*, 2 sliced medium zucchini, and 2 large onions sliced. Grill, watching closely, until nicely browned grill marks appear on one side and turn. Continue grilling until vegetables are almost tender. Remove to a large pasta bowl or pot. Sprinkle with a bit of kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper and toss.
3. Grill 4 Italian sausages (buy locally made if you can), turning once or twice, until thoroughly cooked–about 6 minutes on each side. Remove from grill, let rest a couple of minutes, and slice into rounds about 1/3″ thick. (Juices should run clear.) Add to the pasta bowl with the vegetables and toss.
4. Meantime, microwave two minced cloves of garlic with a little olive oil in microwave-safe container on high about 30 seconds. (I use a 1-cup Pyrex measuring cup.) Stir into the meat and vegetable mixture.
5. When pasta is done, drain well, and add to the meat and vegetables. Add 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes or cherry tomatoes cut in half. Toss with 2-3 T extra-virgin olive oil. (Cont’. below)
If you’d like to make your own cheese, here’s how:
|In 2 qt saucepan, heat 2 c whole milk, 1 c plain yogurt, 1 t salt, 2t vinegar for a few minutes. When curds form, pour the mixture through a colander or sieve lined with 2 layers of cheese cloth.|
|Let drain a few minutes.|
|Et voila…cheese for your pasta|
6. Stir in 2 cups homemade or store-bought ricotta and 1/4 cup shredded fresh basil. Sprinkle with kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper. a pinch of crushed red pepper and stir well. Taste and re-season. Serve hot or at room temperature with grated Parmesan cheese, if you like.
- 1# whole wheat pasta (I like 365 Whole Foods brand)
- sprig of basil for the pasta water, plus 1/4 cup shredded to finish dish
- kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 2 Japanese eggplant, unpeeled, and sliced (or 1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2″ x 2″ pieces)
- 2 medium zucchini, unpeeled and sliced 1/4″-1/2″ thick
- 2 peeled onions, sliced 1/2″ thick
- Canola oil to oil grill
- 4 Italian sausages
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 4 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided (a bit to cook garlic; the rest to toss with pasta toward end)
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes or cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 2 cups fresh ricotta, homemade or store-bought
- crushed red pepper
- Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
Summers in Colorado are hot days and cool (sometimes cold) nights. Wild lightning storms across huge skies. Stacks of summer reading take me to Italy and beyond.
|I adored this.|
Testing recipes for the soup cookbook keep me in the kitchen mornings before it’s too hot.
|Grinding spices for the Red Lentil (vegetarian) I’m working on. How do you spice your Red Lentil soup?|
Neighbors pop by for a drink on the porch or get together to watch a movie in a cool basement. Friends come for supper to try the soups on the back deck. So far, I like the Corned Beef-Potato with Irish Cheddar best. But I’m far from done and even that one needs working on.
|Last night off the back deck after the rain we both love and fear due to mudslides.|
|Giving up on corner grass…planting ajuga and a bit of sod.|
|Tuck’s fave pose here.|
|You’re where I want to be, Mom.|
|Leaving the robin’s nest on front porch light. Too sweet.|
|Close-up: She used our Russian sage. A work of art by an animal.|
|Temporary herb garden outside the front door.|
|Our columbine in Colorado–chooses its own spot. Illegal to pick.|
|Our front yard here in the Springs.|
|On the front walkway—wild yarrow and milk weed I’ve left. I usually call this the “Primrose Path.” But I’ve yet to plant primrose this year.|
|Bees and Russian Sage with my one pot of annuals that must be watered daily or twice-daily.|
Sing a new song,
I have a friend named Lori. She’s smart and tall, is mom to a big hulking chocolate lab, is beautiful and talented, and does things like run a salon and also fly airplanes. Sometimes in the same day. Did I mention she’s a runner and that she’s from Boston? She also “did” my nails for several years in Colorado Springs. When you spend an hour and a half every three weeks literally face to face with someone for years on end, you either become friends or sleep. Lori and I chose to become friends. (I miss her.)
So, being women and being friends, and being a foot apart so often, Lori and I talked food. (Also family, men, sports–her, not me, work, whatever) Lori’s mostly vegetarian, though she eats some chicken, etc. And Lori makes meatloaf. Turkey meatloaf. It’s good, says she, but she’s a bit bored with it. More than once, she asked if I had another recipe. Recipes, now that we have the internet, are a dime a dozen, but I hadn’t made turkey meatloaf in years. I was intrigued and remembered someone saying, “You cannot season turkey meatloaf like beef meatloaf; it’s awful. You must season it like turkey.” While that brings sage, onions and celery to mind, for me it also brings hot peppers, feisty cheese, and salsa. Living in San Antonio for four years and Colorado for 15 would do that. Taking cooking classes in Santa Fe would definitely do that.
One day, after months of turkey meatloaf ideas perking around in my head from time to time, I decided to try it. Wow! Both Dave and I loved it. This loaf is full of chiles, onions, garlic, and salsa, and I stuffed it with overlapping slices of pepperjack cheese so that when you cut it (make sure and let it sit a while or you’ll have a gooey mess), there are lovely melting bites of sharp cheese right at the center.
I mean, if meatloaf is good, people adore it–right? It’s filling, homey, stretches to feed a bunch, and makes great sandwiches. Though, really, loving meatloaf isn’t something everyone wants to admit. It’s not on top of the trendy list, though come to think of it COOKING LIGHT has a meatloaf article in the October Issue. But trendy or not, if you make it, they will come. And they’ll want the recipe. It’s one of those emotional food-pingers like, “My grandma made the best meatloaf!” Make this even if you have to invite people over to eat it. ESPECIALLY if you have to invite people over to eat it.
Side: Mashed potatoes is the usual suspect, but I did an all-in-one sauté of sliced new potatoes, onions, garlic, and late summer squashes that comes together just before the meatloaf comes out of the oven and while it rests before serving. Top it with finely diced fresh tomatoes and sweet green peppers for color and crunch. That’s not much for directions; let me look in the cooking journal and see if I kept amounts listed when I cooked it. If I did, I’ll include a recipe. How’s that for informality in the cooking blog? Here’s the meatloaf recipe, for which I definitely kept the list of ingredients and, uh–techniques and methods!
Here you are, Lori. Sorry it took so long.
Southwestern Turkey Meatloaf Stuffed With Pepperjack Cheese
Serves 6-8 (or 2 with lots of leftovers for sandwiches or freeze half for later)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided (one for oiling pan, one for the top of the meatloaf)
- 2 pounds ground turkey
- 1 ½ cups salsa, divided (1 cup in meatloaf, ½ cup on top for serving)
- 2 cups whole wheat bread, cubed
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/3 cup minced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces (about 1 ½ cups) chopped button mushrooms
- 4 ounce can chopped mild or hot green chiles, drained
- 1/3 pound sliced Pepper Jack cheese
- Chopped fresh tomatoes and bell peppers for garnish, optional
Note about salt: I do not include much salt as the salsa contains quite a bit. If you’d like to check and see whether or not you’d like to add salt, make a small meatball of the mixture and fry it in a bit of oil. Taste and see (great song, too!) if you’d like any salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil 9”x5” loaf pan using 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
- Wash your hands well and take off your rings and watch. To a large bowl, add the second group of 11 ingredients—turkey through chiles– using only 1 cup of the salsa. Put your hands down into the meat mixture and mix for about 2 minutes or until combined thoroughly.
- Pat half of the meat mixture firmly and evenly down into the oiled loaf pan and place the slices of pepper jack cheese right down the middle of the loaf, overlapping, stopping before the very end. (So that the cheese doesn’t ooze out so much while the meatloaf bakes.) Pat the other half of the meatloaf mixture on top of the cheese—again, firmly– to create the loaf. Brush top of meatloaf with the other tablespoon of olive oil.
- Place loaf pan on a foil-lined sheet pan and bake for about 1 1/4 hours or until instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees F. Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes; temperature will come up to 165 degrees F. Invert onto serving platter, first pouring out excess liquid if necessary, and top with the other half-cup of salsa. (Carve in pan if easier.) Garnish with diced tomatoes and green peppers as desired. Surround the loaf with the Potato-Zucchini Sauté and serve hot. Store leftovers tightly wrapped in refrigerator for up to four days. (Can wrap tightly and store in freezer up to 3 months.)
Yes, it was in the cooking journal and here it is…
Potato Zucchini Sauté serves 6
- 6-8 small (1-2″) new red potatoes, sliced thinly
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (I like Penzey’s; choose your style.)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 each: small zucchini and yellow squash, sliced thinly
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Garnish, optional: 1/4 cup each: diced fresh tomato and green pepper
- In a large skillet or sauté pan, heat oil and butter. Add potatoes.
- Cook until potatoes brown on one side. Stir and turn potatoes. Add onions and dust with chili powder, salt, pepper, and oregano. Cook one minute and add squash and garlic.
- Cover and cook until potatoes are tender–perhaps a total of 35-40 minutes and squash is al dente or grandma done (your choice)–another 2-3 minutes.
- Serve garnished with tomatoes and peppers if desired.
Two-Dog Kitchen and Around the ‘Hood
It’s that time of year. Keeping the cantata on the piano at all times (skipping my own piano lessons), planning holiday travel, getting the last of the outdoor chores accomplished before it snows, changing out the clothes, ordering wool socks, taking as many walks as we can with the doggies, and grabbing yet another bouquet out of the flower garden. This may have been the last rose of summer:
Or maybe this one!
|While very dry, the grass is still mostly green.|
Here are the pies I baked for Pops and Pies, one of the monthly concerts at Prospect Park United Methodist:
|Must be October if it’s pumpkin!|
Sour Cream Apple (above)
|I did make that beef-vegetable soup I mentioned (with three variations plus some ideas on how to make it a bit cheaper) and if you’d like to see how I did it, you’ll need to visit examiner.com where I write cooking and food articles for St. Paul.|
|Basic Beef-Vegetable Soup|
|Pumpkin Custard just for YOU|
Also, on my blog for The Solo Cook (Dinner Place), there’s a great pumpkin custard topped with cinnamon-kissed creme fraiche. It’s made for those who cook for one and is done in one minute in the microwave. Your very own (crustless) pumpkin “pie.”
|Warm enough for flip flops yesterday.|
|Stubborn Tucker: wouldn’t turn around for his picture.|
Happy October, my friends.
Sing a new song,
Last Friday night was a use-what’s-on-hand night:
- The first of the Minnesota corn (very tiny kernels, but yummy)
- One of the pork tenderloins I’d gotten on sale at Kowalski’s (froze 4 of them in April)
- Salad makings that wouldn’t be good the next day. I sautéed the greens with garlic and lots of fresh herbs:
|My own garden herbs: marjoram, sage, chives, tarragon, basil, and thyme.|
|I added raisins and chopped cashews to the sautéed greens.|
|The first of our tomatoes went in at the end.|
Despite heat and humidity that all Minnesota is ready to get rid of, we ate outdoors under our big maple tree that reaches toward the house and garage, creating a canopy to cover the patio. That soft, shady spot is often the coolest place anywhere and you can bet I’ve looked. Along with everyone else on Wheeler Street.
Next night, a quick look-see in the frig assured me I had enough to throw together some sort of salad as I had a snake squash (can’t find right name) from my victory garden neighbor:
|Tastes like a cross between a mild zucchini and yellow (summer) squash.|
Some asparagus (now out of season, but still my favorite) was sagging in there and a little bit of the pork tenderloin called me. What really appealed was the rest of my fresh cheese (blogged at Dinner Place), which I knew would fry. Could there be anything bad about fried cheese?
|Alyce’s 2-1 cheese|
What about a salad of greens, sautéed squash and asparagus, with avocado, blueberries, and thinly sliced pork tenderloin topped with fried cheese? With a perky, ramped up orange vinaigrette? I was sold. Moral of story: make up your salad as you go along.
|I cooked the squash and asparagus in a bit of oil, salt and pepper, and set that aside.|
|Sliced up my avocado. Creamy and fatty, it would be a good foil for my spicy greens.|
|Blueberries for color, texture, contrast of taste, and sweetness.|
|About 3-4 oz cooked pork tenderloin–or how much of whatever meat you have.|
|My homemade cheese fried in olive oil and black pepper. Dave was so excited.|
Fried Cheese Snake Squash Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
MAKE YOUR VINAIGRETTE FIRST:
Place the following ingredients in a small jam jar, close tightly with lid, and shake well until emulsified. I like to do this to “America” from West Side Story: Shake to this rhythm..123,123, 1—2—3—. (Thanks, Leonard Bernstein.) Set aside while you make the salad.
- 1T fresh orange juice
- 1/4t kosher salt
- 1/8 t freshly ground pepper
- pinch crushed red pepper
- 1/2 t honey
- 1/2-1 t minced shallot (or garlic)
- 2T extra virgin olive oil.
MAKE THE SALAD:
- 2 T olive oil, divided
- 1 cup each: sliced zucchini (or snake or summer squash) and chopped asparagus (or green beans)
- Kernels from 1 ear of fresh cooked corn (you can cook it in unshucked in the microwave.)
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
- 6-8 cups baby greens, your choice
- 1/4 cup fresh herbs of your choice, optional
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts chopped
- 2-4 ounces sliced, cooked pork tenderloin, steak or chicken
- 2T fresh lemon juice
- Kosher salt and Freshly ground pepper
- 6-8 small pieces fresh cheese
- Orange vinaigrette (above)
- In a large skillet, sauté squash and asparagus in oil over medium heat for five minutes. Dust with salt and pepper.
- Remove veggies from pan and place in a large bowl. (Keep pan out; you’ll use it for the cheese)
- To the squash and asparagus, add the corn, chopped avocado, blueberries, walnuts and pork, keeping the ingredients at the center of the bowl.
- Around the pile of veggies and meat, place the salad greens and fresh herbs.
- Set aside or in refrigerator.
- In the skillet, pour another tablespoon of olive oil and heat over medium heat once more. Grind some black pepper into the oil as the pan heats. Place the cheese slices in the pan and cook a few minutes or until nicely browned. Turn carefully with a spatula and let the other side brown.
- Take the salad and drizzle with the lemon juice. Dust the whole thing with some salt and pepper.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad and top with the browned cheese.
- Eat immediately. Won’t keep.
- Take downstairs and watch movies.
Two-Dog Kitchen and Around the ‘Hood
|On the wall ladies’ room in restaurant The Angry Trout|
|In our south garden|
|Heavy, heavy hydrangeas after rain– next to drive|
|As my mom would say, “Morning, Glory.”|
|This incredible flower showed up in my corner garden yesterday.
My pharmacist’s assistant tells me this is a perennial hibiscus.
|I’ve been making blueberry jam, actually blueberry-orange conserve.|
Hot and muggy. Lots of storms and rain. Tomatoes are coming. The first ones weren’t so good. Wonder if it’s like pancakes–throw out the first ones?
Sing a new song; enjoy August,
|Easy, healthy and truly yummy, as a good friend would say|
I’m sure this could have a better name.
Sometimes people ask how I name recipes and my answer is always the same, “It must say what it is.”
Do I want catchy names? Yes.
I just seldom use them. How about Taco Trouble Soup? Tonza Turkey Soup?
Of course, as a working cook of sorts, the recipe must also be FINDABLE IN WORD DOCUMENTS. You could think about that and come up with wonderful storage ideas for people who cook on multiple levels and must maintain articles, recipes, photographs and so on.
This could be Turkey Chili Soup or Taco Soup (of which there are many) or Turkey Vegetable Chili–etc., but it’s very soupy and it tastes like tacos. Without the gazillion calories of the tortillas. Without the cheese (though you could add that at the end, if you’d like.) And it’s quick.
This hot bowl of fuel fulfills the black bean, onion and tomato portion of my series on meals or dishes including the “12 best foods,”
- Black beans
- Sweet potatoes
Nearly everyone I talk to about food just wants things fast. I like everything at Alyce-speed. I don’t like to rush; I don’t think it’s worth while. If I don’t have time to cook, I always can have an omelet or grab a piece of cheese and an apple. But, hey, I hear you. I hear everyone who works, everyone who has kids, everyone who just wants time to veg and I don’t mean eating them in the kitchen. So, for all my students, friends and family hard-pressed for time, here’s something scrumptious that makes a ton (save some little containers for lunch) and can be frozen in batches. So you can skip cooking next Saturday, too. See below…. (For more really quick recipes, check out my examiner.com recipe page –link at right and below–some are labled “Dinner Now!”)
Frozen Soup in the Crock-pot: Place your container of frozen soup (or stew or casserole) upside down in the sink and turn on the hot water over it for a minute or two. Dump that container into the crock-pot; add a 1/4 c water to the bottom, cover and turn on low. Dinner that night is on the way. You will have a hot and ready meal by late afternoon. (Make sure you freeze your meals in containers that will easily turn out into your crock-pot. This is worth buying a couple of extra containers just for this very purpose.)
Turkey Taco Soup serves 6-8 generously
Note: These ingredients can be changed to suit your tastes or what’s in your cupboard. The ingredient police will not arrive if you change what goes into this soup. Add corn if you like. Use no rice at all. Cut down on seasonings. Add canned chile peppers or roasted red peppers. Leave out the zucchini. Add a bag of mixed frozen veg. Drop in a little Tabasco sauce or let a big jalapeno cook whole in the pot. Get in there and cook, honey.
1T olive oil
3 slices bacon chopped into 1″ pieces (optional)
1 large onion chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1# ground turkey breast
1t freshly ground black pepper
2 t kosher salt
1T ea dried basil and oregano (or 1T Herbes de Provence)
2-4T chili power to taste (You can make your own or I like Chili 3000 from Penzey’s–Spice Islands is next)
1/4 t ground cayenne pepper, opt.
1 28 oz can chopped tomatoes (no salt)
1 6oz can tomato paste
2 c salsa
1 zucchini, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
1 yellow squash, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
1 c red wine or water
2 c low-sodium chicken broth or water
1/4 c raw rice or use 1 c cooked rice or cooked small pasta (if cooked, add later)
1 can no-salt black -or pinto- beans (if you use regular ones, rinse and drain)
2T Dijon-style mustard (like Grey Poupon)
Toppings: 2 ripe avocados, chopped; 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped; 2 c shredded lettuce; 1 c grated Cheddar, 1 c crushed tortilla chips-can use any, all or none
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat and brown the chopped bacon in it. Remove bacon and reserve to add in a little while. Add onions, green peppers, garlic and turkey breast. Cook, stirring often, until turkey breast is done and no pink remains.
- Add seasonings: salt, pepper, basil, oregano, chili powder, cayenne. Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring.
- Taste and adjust seasonings; they should be very strong and bright! Add tomatoes, tomato paste, salsa, water/broth/wine and uncooked rice if you’re using. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.
- Let cook about ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Add zucchini, yellow squash, canned beans, Dijon-style mustard and cooked rice or pasta if you’re using that.
- Let simmer until all vegetables (and rice if you’re cooking it) are tender, about another 10 minutes. Add reserved bacon and stir. Taste; adjust seasonings and serve hot with toppings if you choose.
Around the ‘Hood +Two-Dog Kitchen
Why didn’t anyone tell me to read THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE? I couldn’t put it down. I ran into June at Costco and she, omnivorous she, had read it and seen the movie–which she didn’t think anyone would understand if they hadn’t read the book. Often the case, I think.
We watched “The American” with George Clooney. Well done, slow-moving, sadly violent and just sad. How many people are that lonely in our world…and why?
Maybe you noticed I updated colors and pics on the blog. Tell me if you liked it the other way better. Or if you like this.
Prayers for my friend L’s dad in the final stages of cancer. Prayers for healing for C.
Snow: On the west side of Mesa, you can’t walk ecause of the snow. On the east (and by our house), it’s all melted except in odd, shaded spots. It’s 40’s and 50’s every day. Spring in the winter is what I call January and February in the Springs.
Planning a trip …we are, if I didn’t tell you, in the midst of serious move plans. To somewhere around the Twin Cities. A several year topic around the house. It is a huge thing in some ways; we’ve been in Colorado 15 years nearly. How I walk away from my loved ones here is more than I can figure out. To not worship at First Congregational …ach. On the other hand, this is our 23rd house and…why not have 24? To live and cook at sea level has long been a goal for us…to be able to plant a big garden and eat a little off our own land is another…for me to find a job is a biggie. That just hasn’t happened here.
So, it’s time. There are a few people I’d like to put in my suitcase and you know who you are.
Drank some Chappellete cab Friday night–a soooo sweet Christmas gift from someone we love. Ye gods and little fishes, that was a tasty wine. 2006. Mymymy. And did it have a steak? Yes. Thank you!!
Going to the Mondavi wine dinner at The Blue Star Tuesday…a great night and someone’s birthday, too. Happy Day.
I am working on BLUE CHEESE Biscuits w/ Steak. Sneak Peak:
Happy Birthday on Monday to our much loved son, Sean
Be well in 2011 as you sing a new song,