Tag Archives: recipe

Lemon Honeydew Sorbet

So, lately, my husband and I have been super into sitting in our Adirondack chairs in our front yard, just socializing and eating ice cream cones.  By super into, I mean we do it every night, which in theory is great, but if you’ve ever been served an ice cream cone by my husband, you’ll know that his portions are large.  As much as I love our new evening routine, I wanted to create a lighter frozen treat and with a frozen ice cream maker canister and a pile of honeydew, this sorbet was born.  It’s light and only slightly sweet with a burst of fruity flavor.  It’s not something I would serve on a cone, but luckily it can be served on a spoon pretty well. 🙂

IMG_4787 Lemon Honeydew Sorbet

4 cups honeydew melon, chopped
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice (I used bottled, but if you use fresh lemon, you would need 2)
zest of 1 lemon

Prep work: Make sure the bowl of your ice cream maker is thoroughly frozen.  My bowl usually takes a full day to freeze completely.
1. Add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and blend thoroughly.
2. Transfer blended ingredients to a covered bowl or quart sized mason jar to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
3. Pour chilled blend into prepared ice cream maker and process until frozen.  My ice cream maker usually takes 20 minutes to freeze.
4. The sorbet will be extremely soft after processing, so I recommend transferring the sorbet to a freezer-safe container to freeze more solid.

Enjoy!

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Summer Panzanella Salad

Hi!  Have you ever had panzanella salad?  It’s a hearty salad made with crispy (usually day old) bread cubes, assorted vegetables and a vinegar based dressing.  It’s refreshing, but filling enough to serve as a meal if it’s too hot too cook, or you’re too tired after a long day.  It also is a great way to use up old bread and clean out your crisper drawers in your refrigerator.

 IMG_4854  For today’s salad, I made my own bread & used the oven to crisp it up and also grilled some summer squash that I had sitting in the fridge as an addition, but you can obviously make things much more simple on yourself by buying a loaf of a crusty bread such as ciabatta & using vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and peppers that you’d normally have on hand.  I’m sharing today’s recipe below, but use that as a guideline and make it your own!  Panzanella is best served the day it’s made.

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Summer Panzanella

6-8 cups crusty bread, cubed (few days old or toasted in the oven to crisp) I made my own using this recipe.
2 summer squash, grilled & chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped (I used one large tomato and a handful of cherry tomatoes)
1 cucumber, chopped (peeled & seeded if you prefer)
1/2 onion, finely chopped (I recommend red or Vidalia)
basil leaves, thinly sliced and parmesan cheese to garnish (optional)

Dressing
1/2 cup olive oil
3-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (red wine vinegar is fine too)
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
salt & pepper to taste

1. If you’re going to grill vegetables (such as summer squash, zucchini, mushrooms or onions), prepare those first.  For the summer squash, I cut them into thirds lengthwise and drizzled each side with olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme.  Grill over high heat for just a few minutes until you see grill marks on each side, but you don’t want the vegetables to be mushy.  Remove to a plate and let cool completely.
2. Prepare the bread,  If you’re using day old bread, you can just cube the bread and toss it into a large bowl.  If you have fresh bread, cut into cubes and toast at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or so to dry it out (a drizzle of olive oil can help with browning, if you want your bread to be browned) and then place in large bowl after it cools down.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients, taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
4. Add vegetables to crusty bread in large bowl.
5. Pour dressing over vegetables and bread, toss together to coat. Let sit at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour to allow the dressing to absorb a little and soften the bread.
6. Garnish with thinly sliced basil (and some parmesan cheese if you’re feeling it!) and eat! 

We had our panzanella alongside turkey burgers with feta sauce & it was a perfect summer evening meal!

11108228_10204287488210505_1139016625066127123_n Enjoy!

Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette

My husband is an eater.  He prefers things featuring high spice levels, meat, cheese and basically anything wrapped in a tortilla, but I’m pretty lucky in that my husband will eat basically anything put in front of him.  Last night we compromised by having sausage burgers on homemade cheese buns, grilled potatoes (oh my goodness, so good!), and this delicious quinoa salad.  I thought it was delicious, and apparently so did he because he also had it for breakfast and a post-run snack today.  Which is all well and good, except for the fact that there’s no more left for me!  So I’ll be making this again, and you should try it too!

Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Cumin Lime Vinaigrette 

Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette

1 cup quinoa, dry
2 cups water or broth (I used vegetable broth)
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (equivalent to 1 can, drained and rinsed)
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen, thawed
1 large tomato, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, ribs & seeds removed (optional)

1. Bring water/broth to a boil.  Add quinoa, reduce heat to low, cover.  Quinoa usually takes anywhere from 15-20 minutes to cook.  It should be soft and water should be absorbed.  Let quinoa cool slightly.
2.  Add beans and corn to medium sized bowl.  Mix together.
3. Add slightly cooled quinoa and vinaigrette (see below for recipe), mix together.
4. Fold in tomatoes and pepper, if using.
5. Eat!  Can be served cold or room temperature.

Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette

1/3 cup olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (white vinegar would be fine)
1- 1.5 tbsp lime juice, to taste (I used 1.5 because I like the zing!)
1.5 tsp ground cumin
salt & pepper, to taste
hot sauce, to taste (optional, I used chipotle Tabasco)

1. Whisk/shake together all ingredients.  Taste and season accordingly to your preference. 
(I like to make my dressings in mason jars, so they can be quickly shaken together)

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Enjoy!

Lists of 5.

I always have the best intentions to blog more often, but they never come to fruition.  Rather than dwell on that, I’ll just say hello, happy 2015!  I’m a sucker for fun surveys and I liked this one a lot.

5 recipes I’ve tried lately

1. Puffles.  Life changing.  We made sweet (Nutella) and savory (Ham & cheese, and chipotle cheddar) and they were all fantastic. puffle

2. Rosemary Sea Salt Soft Pretzels (I made these for the super bowl and they were a hit)

pretzels

3. Braised Pork Belly (I added kale at the end, and used cider instead of beer.  I would cut the spice in half, but it was deeelicious)

4. Chicken Tikka Masala (subbed coconut milk for the heavy cream)

5. Moroccan Spiced Quinoa with Broccoli & Chickpeas (I like this better with cous cous, but it’s quick and hearty either way!)

5 things I am looking forward to

1. Our move to Norfolk, VA in April.  The temperature when I woke up this morning was –19, so I’m ready for some warmer temps.

2. Completing my practicum for my M.Ed during the month of March.  I will be working at a large medical center in the employee wellness department leading smoking cessation classes, shadowing for health coaching and assisting with focus groups.

3.  Eating dinner (ok, I look forward to this every night) tonight because I made corn chowder and it smells delicious.

4. My “food tour” of home before we move to Virginia.  On the list – Thai food, Indian food, brunch, and King Arthur Flour so far.

5. D’s command awards banquet at the end of March.

5 of my favorite exercises

1. Running!  #1 love

2. Body Pump.  This is my new “thing” and I am obsessed.

3. Yoga

4. Push-Ups

5. Spin Class

5 things on my wish list

1. A fully furnished house in Virginia (we had an arson incident 2 years ago and everything needed to be replaced).

2. A tortilla press (Darren got me one for Christmas, but it was only a 6” so we returned it.  We like to go big or go home with tortillas.)

3. A female black & white Newfoundland puppy!  Summit needs a girlfriend.

4. An air popper for popcorn to feed my popcorn addiction (and make me feel a little better when I pour melted butter over everything).

5. A day at the spa (complete with a massage, manicure, pedicure, waxing, hot tub, etc).

5 photos from my instagram feed

valentine Valentine’s from my school kiddos

 weather The really awesome weather we’ve had this week.

compass My newest Alex & Ani from work friends.

flashback Flashback – my brother and I in first and second grade.

summit The man and (one of) the dog.

My St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Party

Hey!  Happy Saturday!  I’m feeling pretty happy because I was supposed to babysit tonight (after graduate school most of the day) and they ended up rescheduling so I get my evening back.  Dinner is in the oven, I have no homework, and my husband isn’t home yet, so I thought I’d share about my St. Patrick’s Day dinner party.  (And then my husband came home and now it’s Sunday morning and I am finishing this post)

One of my 26 by 26 goals was to have a dinner party and the other was to make corned beef and cabbage for St. Paddy’s day (because I do every year and I love it).  Two birds, one stone people.  We ended up only having my husband’s parents and grandparents over because other people canceled or couldn’t make it, but it was still fun.  Here’s what we had:

Bread:  I made Irish Oatmeal Soda Bread, which is one of my favorite easy quick breads, and I made it last year and Darren’s 82 year old grandfather was still talking about it in July.  In fact, there was nearly none left over, so I will probably make another batch soon – it’s so nice with breakfast too!

Main:  Obviously, corned beef and cabbage.  To make it, I put about 6 lbs of lean corned beef in a large stockpot covered with water.  I added peppercorns, bay leaves, salt and mustard powder (the corned beef I bought didn’t come with a spice packet, but if yours does, you can skip the additional seasoning).  Brought to a boil, then simmered about 2 1/2 hours.  I added about a pound of carrots, potatoes and onion and cooked for 30 minutes more.  Added chopped cabbage and cooked a few minutes more.  Scooped out veggies into a bowl, sliced the corned beef and feasted!

Dessert(s):  I made chocolate stout cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and they were a huge hit – my father in law ate 3.  Darren’s grandma brought this chocolate mint dessert (which I looooove), so that was exciting too,

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Overall, it was a successful endeavor, though sort of a copout as far as dinner parties go!  Smile

Do you like to have people over for dinner?

Wheat Basil Pasta.

Hey!

So, Wednesday night, I should have gone to the gym.  Instead, I came home, put on both embarrassing music (I’m looking at you, Wrecking Ball) and even more embarrassing pajama pants and made pasta.  It was necessary.  Dig in.

Wheat Basil Pasta

2.5 cups white whole wheat flour (Always King Arthur!)
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour (see above!)
4 eggs (fresh from the birds)
3 tbsp. water
3 tbsp. basil paste (I use this brand)
1/2 tsp. salt

1.  Combine all ingredients in bowl of mixer.  Mix with flat beater for 30 seconds on speed 2.  Mix with dough hook for 2 minutes on speed 2.
2. Hand knead dough for a minute or two.  Use a knife to divide dough into 8 pieces.
3. Working with each piece separately, begin to run dough through pasta roller.  I find that I need to run the dough on setting 1 with repeated folds about 5-10 times to get it to come together nicely in the width I want.  I prefer my pasta sheets to be as wide as possible, so I repeat the folding and shaping until that happens (or close to!).
4.  After pieces are shaped, put through each setting until setting 6 is complete.  Cut sheets to desired length and hang on pasta tree (mine is  from Homegoods, but this is the same one).  Proceed with next piece of dough.
5.  After all eight dough pieces are rolled, run through pasta cutter of choice.
6.  Freeze if not using immediately (I do portions in muffin tins, freeze until solid and transfer to Ziploc bag – see photos), or drop into boiling, salted water to cook. 

Note:  This recipe is intended for use with a KitchenAid mixer and pasta attachment, but could be easily adapted to any machine or hand rolling!
Cooking time is only 2-4 minutes, but taste test to desired doneness.  Serve with desired toppings!  We had ours with shrimp, broccoli, tomato and pesto, but it’s also awesome with just butter and cheeeeeese!

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Black Pepper Pasta with Cauliflower Alfredo.

Sooo…I said I missed blogging, but then I haven’t posted.  Good thing this is just a hobby. 🙂  To be honest, I never intended to share this recipe anyways, but there was some interest after I posted a picture on Facebook, so here I am with IPhone pictures and a rambling recipe.

I haven’t “introduced” you yet, but my man-friend is awesome.  Awesome for a lot of reasons, but specifically for this post, awesome at giving gifts.  For Christmas, he got me a Kitchenaid mixer.  A bright red, shiny, glorious Kitchenaid mixer which is obviously my favorite kitchen appliance.  To make it even better, for my birthday last month (25 – where is my life going?!) he bought me the pasta maker attachment.  Now, I can have FRESH PASTA ANY TIME I WANT. Yeah, it is as awesome as it sounds.

This black pepper pasta was the third pasta I made, after a basic egg pasta and a basil pasta.  I go with the fettuccini cutter, because fettuccini is the best pasta shape (after wagon wheels, obviously).  For this recipe I used a semolina pasta dough, as an experiment, but this dough is easily adaptable to all purpose flour as well.

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Black Pepper Pasta
(Makes 1.25 lbs dough)
3 1/3 cups semolina flour (or all purpose – I use King Arthur)
4 eggs
2 tbsp water (reduce to 1 tbsp for all purpose flour)
2 tbsp oil (omit if using all purpose flour)
2 tsp cracked pepper
1/2 tsp salt

1. In Kitchenaid mixer fitted with paddle attachment mix all ingredients 30 seconds.  Change to dough hook, mix 2 minutes. (or do it all by hand!)
2.  Knead by hand 1-2 minutes.  Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
3.  Divide dough into 8 pieces (4 pieces if using all purpose flour)
4.  Run dough through pasta roller on setting 1, folding in half after each roll.  Repeat roll and fold 5-6 times until dough is uniform with no holes and as wide as the roller. (Or, roll by hand as thin as possible)
5.  Progress to setting 5, running dough through each setting once.
6.  Divide the (very) long sheets in half or thirds, dust with flour and continue until all of the dough is rolled.
7. Run each dough sheet through pasta cutter of your choice. (Or, cut into shapes of your choice – a pizza cutter works well!)

After the dough is cut, I like to portion some of it into fettuccini bird’s nests by placing one sheet worth of noodles lightly into a muffin cup and freeze them.  Since I am cooking for two, I don’t need to cook a whole pound+ of pasta at once.  For this batch, I made 8 bird’s nests and hung the rest on a coat hanger while I prepped the sauce/waited for the water to boil.

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Of course, fresh pasta is awesome, but if you don’t have a pasta maker, or are feeling lazy (I’m not judging, I eat cereal for dinner sometimes too!) – just use dry pasta and make the sauce!  And no, I am not afraid of recipes that use excessive amounts of butter and/or cream, but I’ve been hearing a lot about cauliflower based sauces and pizza crusts and I thought I’d try it out.  Now, this doesn’t perfectly mimic either the texture or taste of traditional Alfredo, but it is delicious, and that is coming from someone who doesn’t actually like cauliflower and loves Alfredo.

Caulifower “Alfredo” Sauce
5 cups vegetable broth
6 cups frozen (or use fresh!) cauliflower florets
1/2 cup 1/2 & 1/2 (or milk or cream)
2 tbsp minced garlic (6-8 cloves)
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

1. Bring vegetable broth to a boil.
2.  Cook cauliflower until tender.  Reserve 1 cup of broth.
3.  In a blender (or if you are using an immersion blender, just use the pot), combine all ingredients including cup of broth and blend until smooth.
4.  Serve hot over pasta or rice.IMG_0192

Enjoy!