Monday, July 25, 2011

My Mom

We don't know what brought on these symptoms that are similar to Parkinson's, but we're sure it was some event. Perhaps, one of those times she fell down. (darned low blood pressure!)
 I'm just glad she's been able to hang onto her sense of humor.
I don't know if I would.

Farmer's Markets recipe collections

Here are a few links to Farmer's Markets recipe collections. There are some treasures to be found, but many of the sites I visited made me wonder what would be the best way to put/sort/display recipes on a website.

Farmer's Market Chicken Saute (a single recipe)

Carrboro Market

Rhode Island Farm Fresh

Massachusetts Dept. of Agricultural

Washington State University Extension

Chesapeake Bay Farm Fresh

Summer Squash and Pasta Salad with Crispy Chicken Thighs

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Mmmm, Need to make this soon

Maui Salmon Skewers with Pacific Rim Peanut Sauce

Serves 10 to 12

Although I like to serve this salmon on skewers, you can also marinate sides of salmon and grill them for a delicious entrée. This marinade also works well with shrimp. Marinate 2-1/2 pounds of large shrimp, skewer them, and broil or grill until pink, about 2 minutes each side.

1 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
1/2 cup rice wine or seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons Asian chili-garlic sauce
1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons seeded and finely chopped jalapeño pepper
One 1-1/2-pound salmon fillet or 1-1/2 pounds tuna steaks, sliced on a 45-degree angle to 1/2 inch thick
1 recipe Pacific Rim Peanut Sauce (recipe follows)

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, water, rice wine, sugar, chili sauce, 1/2 cup of the cilantro, the lemon juice, and jalapeño until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is blended. Add the salmon, turn to coat, and cover.

2. Soak wooden skewers in water for 1 hour. Remove the salmon from the marinade, pat dry, and thread a slice of salmon onto each skewer.

Do Ahead: At this point, you can cover and refrigerate for up to 6 hours.

Pacific Rim Peanut Sauce
Makes about 3 cups

This Asian sauce makes a terrific dip for satay, Thai spring rolls, or cold seafood. It's also delicious to serve alongside grilled pork or poultry.
1-1/2 cups creamy peanut butter (don't use natural, which becomes grainy)
1/2 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup rice wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
4 shakes of Tabasco sauce
6 scallions (white and tender green parts), chopped, for garnish
1/2 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts for garnish
1. In a food processor or blender, combine the peanut butter, coconut milk, rice wine, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, and Tabasco and process until smooth.

Do Ahead: At this point, you can cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature before serving.

2. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the scallions and peanuts.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Perfect marriage: Vegetable Tian + Grilled Steak

When N and I ate the two together the first time, I assumed the orgasmic experience was due to my hunger or the red wine. The second time around has proven to us that it wasn't a fluke. This is a wonderful pairing.
You can follow Barefoot Contessa's recipe or you can realize it's one of those dishes you can put together by the seat of your pants--to a certain extent.

This time around all I had was the craving, thyme, olive oil, zucchini, red potatoes, an onion, a red pepper and some Gruyere cheese.

(Preheat oven to 375 degrees.)
In a large skillet, I sauteed a thinly sliced onion with a sliced red pepper on medium low for approximately 20-30 minutes, stirring about every 5 minutes. 
While the onion and pepper cooked, I sliced (thinly) two small to medium zucchini, four small red potatoes. a handful of plum tomatoes and shredded a half cup or so of Gruyere cheese. 

When the onion and pepper were done, I spread them evenly in the bottom of a 10 - 12", round dish. In a spiral pattern on top of the onion and pepper, I alternated equal amounts of zucchini and potato slices. When you end up with two many slices (and usually you will), go back and add slices into the spiral. 
Then I added the sliced grape tomatoes on top, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled generously with thyme and covered with foil. 
I placed it in the oven for 20 minutes. 
Finally, I removed the tian from the oven, sprinkled cheese over top and put it back into oven without foil for an additional 10 minutes. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lamb--it's what's for dinner (again)

So many delicious marinades for lamb! Which is why I selected the recipe below--not for the cooking instructions. It's summer, so of course we'll be grilling.
I could easily convert from eating beef to lamb. While growing up, I repeatedly heard about my father's nasty mutton experience and how he's never forgotten the smell. It's probably why I had to reach my 4th decade before touching it.

I'm thinking of this dish for a side. Sounds simple, yet tasty.
Here's a link for other rack of lamb recipes.
Chowhound folks have some nice grilling tips

Contributed by Marcia Kiesel  SERVINGS: 8
Rack of Lamb with Soy-Balsamic Marinade from Wine & Food
Ask the butcher to french the bones and trim the fat for you.
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
Four 8-chop racks of lamb, bones frenched, fat trimmed and scored
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
In a glass or ceramic dish, combine the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and lemon zest. Add the lamb racks, fat side down, and marinate at room temperature for 2 hours, turning once.
Preheat the oven to 450°. Remove the lamb racks from the marinade and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. In each of 2 large skillets, heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the racks, fat side down, and cook over moderately high heat until nicely browned, about 3 minutes; turn and sear the meaty side of the racks, about 2 minutes longer.
Transfer the racks to a rimmed baking sheet, fat side up. Roast in the upper third of the oven for 15 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of each rack registers 120° to 125°(for medium rare meat). Let the lamb rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011

Lazy housekeeper's bathroom cleaning tip

Mr. Clean<sup>®</sup> Magic Eraser Bath ScrubberIf I didn't already own the chore of keeping the main bathroom clean, it would still be a first choice for me. Ever since I discovered the simplicity of keeping it clean with just a few extra minutes each day or even just 3 days a week, if you wish.

Seriously, I haven't lost my mind. It's when we neglect that room for just seven short days that the job becomes a bit more daunting. So now I keep one bath sized Mr. Clean Magic Eraser in the shower at all times (thumbs down on the addition of Febreze).

Once a week, before I jump in the shower,
I wet the sponge, add a squirt of handsoap (I don't like overuse of harsh chemicals) and
go over the counter, sink, toilet
do a quick swipe of the floor around the toilet,
rinse again,
toss the sponge in with me while I'm taking my shower and
then do a good wipe down when finished. 
My daily routine is to just go over the shower and doors and store the sponge in the shower.

What's your favorite housekeeping hint? Please share, I'm always in need of some new ones.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer Cooking

Last summer, I was excited to find what appeared to be one of the better potato salad recipes, but after making it the second time I decided that it, like so many others, was just too bland. I've always had a tendency to create "accidental" dinners, mainly to utilize the ingredients on hand and because I know what we like. And so, earlier this week, without much thought, I threw a potato salad together at the last minute. My late in life discovery? (speaking only for me, of course) It's all in the mustards. Ratios are also important, but in my slapdashish hurry I added stoneground mustard, dijon mustard and dry mustard to the bowl, along with a generous dollop of dill pickle relish (no pickles on hand). The second time around will let me know for sure, but, yeah, it's all in the mustards.

My other discoveries this summer? New Years was not a one time fluke--I really do LOVE to eat lamb. Particularly, the leg of lamb and the racks of lamb . . . mmmm! Also, Costco began carrying a quinoa & wild rice blend from Seeds of Change. I use it to create quick and healthy sides for dinners. It's easy to saute a variety of vegetables, like carrots, squash, green onions, grape tomatoes, etc, a pinch or two of spices and create something delicious.