Saturday, June 30, 2012

post script

I instagramed this the other day and got a few comments on it, so I wanted to share...

It's just a little snack I threw together in no time and very little effort. All it is is italian bread grilled on a cast-iron grill pan. I tossed a handful of cherry tomatoes in the pan until they got juicy and were about to burst. Then I topped them with sea salt and olive oil.


roots and gills

One thing I could never quite figure out in Boston (and I have to admit, I didn't try as hard as I could've...) is gardening. I had a little herb garden in my apartment that didn't last very long. I'm used to twice as much sunshine, ergo, about double the possibilities as far as produce. 

In addition to my mom's tomatoes and peppers, I've started growing my own cherry tomatoes, sage, parsley, cilantro and rosemary.

Last week, I took some things over to Madaline's so I could cook while she rested took care of her twins. I tried the recipe featured on this month's bon appetit. It turned out so good, that I decided to make it again for my family, with a couple of additions.

additions #1 and #2
I made the yogurt sauce earlier in the day. With that out of the way, I started by boiling the beets. I've never cooked beets myself, but I'm told that they bleed if you don't prepare them before cutting into them.

As for the cauliflower, I decided to keep it simple. I sliced them very thin, sprinkled them with some olive oil, sea salt, and a few springs of thyme, and roasted them with the sliced beets.

(they still bled a little)

I also added some shredded carrot and halved cherry tomatoes to a cup of whole wheat cous cous, for another quick and easy side dish.

Usually when I make salmon, I use a different sauce made with sour cream. This yogurt sauce (almost exactly like tzaziki) is just as delicious and much better for you. But the big surprise was the roasted veggies. I honestly can't remember the last time I ate cauliflower, but I know I was young and I didn't like it. Roasted with salt and thyme was pretty tasty! This is my new favorite dinner, hands-down. It's shout-your-lungs-out good.

Be honest. The second you hear the word "beets", this cartoon band comes to mind...

You're welcome.

Now that I'm a beet and cauliflower convert, what are your favorite ways to prepare them? What are you taking to the Fourth of July cookout?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

a very lovely engagement [& dinner]

We got the head's-up from Kelly's boyfriend Kyle that Saturday was The Day. As soon as they left the house for their day-date, Katie, Blair and I threw together the fastest Congrats Party you've ever seen. With a handful of close friends and family on stand-by, Katie ran to Publix to get a cake, Blair made house calls tracking down a couple guests we couldn't reach by phone, and I set up the house.

By 3pm, we were all sitting around, waiting for a call. Finally, Kelly's friends' phones started ringing, and we knew they were headed home...

we got her good

Katie and Max, excited

Bruce, notsomuch

champagne wishes

telling the story

showing off the ring

Congrats Kelly and Kyle!

My dad was working while all this was going on, so we had him over for dinner a little while later. On the menu were celebratory mussels in tomato sauce, and spinach artichoke dip. THIS was everyone's favorite dinner so far. I wish I could tell you what I did differently to make this my best red sauce to date, but I just kept tasting and tweaking. I used red pepper flakes, fresh basil, two cans of tomato sauce and one can of whole stewed tomatoes. When everything was almost ready, I tossed in the mussels and put the lid on.

The artichoke dip is my mom's recipe:

1c mayo (or greek yogurt)
1c garlic parmesan cheese
1 can artichoke hearts
bake for 20 minutes at 375

I didn't have garlic parmesan, so I added a spoonful or so of minced garlic. I also added a handful of spinach, which turned out to be a good call.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

dinner in a jar

Even though I haven't been writing much lately, I have been cooking more than ever. I've made pizza from scratch several times, pastas, and salads.

And a couple weeks ago, I finally got around to making these. They were not only delicious, but so fun to make. I'm thinking about all the different flavors I can experiment with next time.

Oh, and remember these?

I mixed the lemon artichoke pesto with a little mayo and some parmesan cheese, baked it and out came the perfect dip for my rosemary flatbread.

For dinner, I used the sweet pepper sauce on some amazing pasta from my favorite Italian grocery in Boston, Salumeria. I mixed it with some red wine and added some fresh zucchini. Kelly said it was her favorite meal so far... and I might have to agree. We used the jar of olive pesto on some toasted italian bread.

And that is how I used those three jars to feed the masses.

In other news, we had a very exciting event yesterday. Stay tuned and Ill try to update you sooner rather than later.