Tuesday, May 29, 2012

more of the same, and cook's block

My mom has been giving me quite a bit of produce from her garden lately. The other day, I received all the ingredients for a delicious Greek salad (minus the olives-- but does an authentic Greek salad have olives?). 

I topped it off with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar, some salt and pepper.

My dad called to chat and I ended up inviting him over for dinner. In less than 40 minutes, we were sitting at the table to a complete dinner, whipped up in a flash!

I sauteed some broccoli in a little butter, and made some mashed potatoes, which turned out awesome.

Of course, we had to have some dinner music. I listened to this record 24/7 when I was younger, and lately, my dad puts it on every time he comes over. On the Radio was always my favorite, but MacAurther Park is a close second.

isn't she lovely? 

The chicken is from Publix. Now that I'm back in Florida, I don't really feel the need to fry it up myself. I will, however, be making my own mashed potatoes again. Next time I think I'll make them a little fancier.

This past weekend, we got our first tropical storm, Beryl. Because of the way we are situated in Florida's little dip, Jacksonville doesn't usually get the worst of Florida's storms. So being prepared meant having plenty of board games and flashlights, in case we lost power. We never did, but the following morning, my mom asked if we wanted to come over for lunch. A friend in the neighborhood had lost power, so about 8 of us gathered at my mom's for what turned out to be a Beryl Party...

I love this yard

Finally, last night I took the last of the produce from my mom and made some pizzas for me, my sisters and their boyfriends. I used the homemade pizza dough recipe from last year's baking adventure and made a couple different options. I have to say, it turned out much better this time around. I didn't add as much flour, I flavored it with a little garlic salt, and I let it sit a little longer. I rolled it out a bit thinner as well, so I got a thinner, crispier crust. It was delicious.

The first was a tomato, basil and sliced mozzarella pizza with oil and balsamic vinegar.

The second had sliced zucchini, onion, garlic tomato sauce, mozzarella and chopped basil.

After dinner, Katie made a batch of brownies, which we had a la mode, and watched The Bachelorette. So, that's just a glimpse of some of the cooking I've been doing for my household this week. Katie told me that she enjoys having a wife.

It's almost time for me to shift my attention the the upcoming school year, lesson planning, and classroom arranging.

Now for a disclaimer: I've only been grocery shopping once since I moved back. Between my mom's garden, my penchant for making do with what's on hand, and my not feeling completely settled yet,  my cooking hasn't been incredibly creative. I still want to show you what I'm up to, but with the promise that I will step it up a notch once this little kitchen becomes my own.

There are a few things I've been meaning to try, actually. Parmesan crisps, homemade flavored water crackers, and something with these:

Have any of you every done anything fun with these? I'm looking for some interesting ideas, so speak up if you have any!

What have you been cooking up lately? How did you Floridians weather the storm?

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