Friday, October 2, 2009

Menu Week 1 Oct. 5- 11

Monday: Linguine with Fresh Tomato Sauce, Cheese Straws
Tuesday: Pita with ground Lamb and Zucchini, Tabbouleh Salad
Wednesday: Sauteed' Flatfish, Slow Cooked Greens, Brown Rice with Cashews and Herbs
Thursday: Short Ribs Simmered with Potatoes and Mustard, Cress and Barley Salad with Dill Vinaigrette Dressing.
Friday: Shrimp My Way, Basic Polenta Version 1, Simmered Chard
Saturday: Pan Seared Steak in Red Wine, Popovers, Boiled New Potatoes
Sunday: Curried Rice Noodles with Vegetables

Inspiring NEW project!

An epicurean adventure awaits my family!
I know you are dying to know what in the world I am talking about so, here goes. I just finished reading the book Julie and Julia and LOVED it, I was amazed by Julie's dedication to such a difficult project. 1 year to cook ALL the recipes in Julia Child's book "Mastering the Art of French Cooking", SO, I have decided to take on a similar adventure (not nearly as daring though) I am going to cook almost all (I WILL not cook rabbit) the recipes in Mark Bittman's book "How to Cook Everything" Buy the book and follow along, its going to be a blast!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Grilled Eggplant with Cherry Tomatoes and Mozzarella Cheese

WOW My house smells wonderful! Great vegetarian dish with salad, brown rice and loaf of crusty Italian bread. Eggplants were a good deal at Sprouts and I had to buy a few, it seems like I can always come up with a yummy way to prepare them. Will Max eat it? Probably NOT


2 medium eggplants, unpeeled and sliced
olive oil
1.5 pints cherry tomatoes cut into halves
1/2 lb. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp. capers
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Brush eggplant slices with olive oil and pan fry/grill until browned
Arrange grilled eggplant in baking dish
Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in saute pan, add cherry tomatoes and garlic, cook until soft
Add capers
Top eggplant slices with tomato mixture, mozzarella and parmesan cheese
Bake in 400 preheated oven for 20 minutes

Baked Zucchini Fries

This was a great side dish for last nights dinner! I was hoping I could get my 10 yo son to eat zucchini by calling them "fries", DID NOT WORK...He did try it though!
I served them with a drizzle of Trader Joes Pizza sauce for some extra flavor.

1-2 lbs. fresh zucchini cut into sticks, washed and patted dry
2 eggs beaten
1 cup bread crumbs or Panko (I would have used Panko if I had it on hand)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. Italian spices

Preheat oven to 425
Mix bread crumbs, Parmesan and Italian spices
Dip zucchini sticks in eggs, roll in bread crumb mixture
place on parchment lined cookie sheet
bake 20-25 minutes in preheated oven
serve with marinara sauce or **sigh** ketchup...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cold Peanut Soba Salad

WOW I came across this recipe and HAD to try it, I changed it a little bit to fit what I had in the house but its pretty darn tasty! I always have Buckwheat Soba but, was rather upset to find out my Sesame and Peanut oil had gone bad, I threw in a small amount of olive oil in its place. I had no green onions so, no onions PLUS, oldest daughter would pick them out anyway! I am the queen of adapting recipes to fit what I have in the house, obviously Peanut Butter could not be substituted too easily but, I am sure someone out there has done it with soy or almond butter.

1 pkg. Buckwheat Soba Noodles
4 Tbsp. Peanut Butter
3 Tbsp. Honey
2 Tbsp. Water
2 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
Chopped Garlic to taste ( I used 2 tsp of already chopped)
1 Tbsp. Rice Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Sesame or Peanut Oil
1 C. Julienned Carrots
2 Green Onions sliced
1 red or orange bell pepper (I used green)
Sesame Seeds as garnish

Cook Soba Noodles according to pkg. directions, rinse with cold water and drain.
Mix Peanut Butter, Soy Sauce, Garlic, Water, Rice Vinegar, Honey and Oil, stir well. Toss sauce mixture into noodles and add carrots, peppers and onions, let cool, then refridgerate and serve! This makes a nice main dish meal with the addition of a asian salad or would be a great side dish to grilled steak or chicken.

AMAZING Iced Coffee

I have to give the NPR show The Splendid Table for this wonderful recipe for homemade Iced Coffee, I made it the same day I heard it on the show and must say have not hit Starbucks once since!!

1 lb. of your favorite ground coffee
Large bowl or stock pot
11-16 cups room temp. water

OK, this is hard so you better pay attention!
Take the coffee put it in the bowl/pot, add the water (its strong so I use 16 cups) let sit on your counter overnight, strain well, put in a pitcher and PRESTO you have enough coffee to last the week! I recommend straining the coffee twice, once in a strainer and once in cheesecloth, you could even slow strain it though a coffee filter!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

My Favorite Cookbooks!

Cookbooks I LOVE

How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman
Vegetarian and Vegetable Cooking by Christine Ingram
Starting with Ingredients by Aliza Green
Every Cooking Light book EVER MADE
The Splendid Table's How to Cook Supper
The Food You Crave
Cooking Jewish
Food to Live By

Baked Fries with Olive Oil

WOW these are the best baked fries! Forget the awful bagged frozen nasty fries, you cannot get any easier or healthier than this, for added flavor I will toss on some fresh Rosemary or grated Parmesan, fresh ground black pepper is a MUST. OH forgot to add, toss on some fresh chopped garlic and you have the best garlic fries EVER..

6 scrubbed russet potatoes
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Various Herbs to taste

Preheat oven to 425
I prefer a baking stone but, you can line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper, works just as well.
Slice potatoes into sticks and place in cold salted water, let sit 30 minutes. Strain and pat dry. Place potatoes in a large bowl and toss with oil and herbs, arrange potatoes on baking sheet, place in oven for aprox. 30-45 minutes depending on how crispy you like them.
Enjoy, my family gets very excited when they smell these cooking! :)