Tuesday, June 26, 2007

On The Lighter Side

The weather in Atlanta has been rather warm lately ranging anywhere from 85-93 degrees.

Because of the heat I decided to cook something light for dinner.

I made Cold Asparagus and Tomato Pasta

Step 1:
Sauté asparagus in garlic, butter and a touch of lemon until the asparagus is tender.

Step 2:
Put one cup of extra virgin olive oil in a bowl. Add 3 garlic cloves (cut in halves to add flavor – take out right before serving), 6 -8 Roma tomatoes diced, the asparagus, and salt and pepper to taste.
Put the bowl in the refrigerator to chill.

Step 3:
Boil the pasta of your choice. I used bowtie noodles.

Step 4:
Drain pasta and let cool. Then pour the tomato and asparagus topping over the pasta. Top with parmesan cheese.

This is a great summer dinner!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Tilapia with Red Peppers and Onions

Tilapia with Red Peppers and Onions

I have tried many Tilapia recipes.
I have found it to be an easy fish to cook so I decided to make up my own recipe.

I started by sautéing red peppers and onions in a little olive oil until they were tender.
While the peppers and onions were cooking,
I added tin foil to the bottom of a baking dish and preheated the oven to 400 degrees.

Then I put the peppers and onions on the bottom of the baking dish.
I placed two pieces of tilapia on top of the peppers and onions.

I drizzled olive oil over the fish and then sprinkled it with black pepper, thyme, basil and a little lemon juice. Then I placed it in the oven to bake.

Depending on the cut and thickness of the tilapia it should probably cook for 15 -20 minutes until solid white and flakey.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Variety: The Spice of Life

I brought the brownies I made the other day over to James and Marsha's house with the "plentiful bounty".

After dinner we had a very yummy dessert. Brownies with ice cream.

As you can tell from the photo we all had our own favorite ice cream to put on top.

I love this picuture - FUN!

Story Continued....

After picking up our "plentiful bounty", Marsha and I decided to come up with a dinner that used as many of the fresh items as possible. I think we did a great job.

Dinner was:

Salmon with a tomato and feta brushetta ( using fresh tomato and basil)
Squash lightly seasoned with butter, salt and pepper
Cucumber and Beet salad on Cabbage ( Wow!)

Doesnt' this look AWESOME!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Plentiful Bounty

We recently joined a CSA with our friends.

You may be asking : What is a CSA?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture which brings consumers and farmers together in a relationship of mutual support.

Each member makes a commitment to support the farm throughout the season.

In return, members receive a weekly box of fresh produce from late spring though early fall.

In effect, the farmer and the shareholder literally share the risks and the bounty of the garden.

The partnership allows the farmer to provide a wide variety of produce of the highest quality while keeping costs at or below supermarket prices.

If you would like to know more about the CSA click on the link below:

A photo of this week's fresh produce.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Apple Crisp

While driving home from the airport the other day our good friends called and asked if we wanted to come over for some Apple Crisp. Marsha had just finished making homemade Apple Crisp and it was in the oven baking.

Hmmm, it is 4:30 in the afternoon - should we really go have warm Apple Crisp before dinner? Well, after about 30 seconds of thinking practically, we said YES we're on our way!!

When we arrived at James and Marsha's we could smell the delicious apple crisp. Marsha served it warm in delightful, little, glass bowls with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

WOW! It was so good. The best Apple Crisp ever!!

I bet you wish you had friends like ours!

If you would like to make this wonderful Apple Crisp the recipe came from
"The New Best Recipe," from the editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine.

Apple Crisp
Serves 4-6 (really 4)

Topping: 6 T flour, 1/4 c. light brown sugar, 1/4 c. granulated sugar, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg, 1/4 tsp. salt, 5 T cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces, 1/4 c. coarsley chopped nuts, such as almonds, pecans or walnuts

Filling: 3 medium Granny Smith apples, 3 medium McIntosh apples, ( apples should make 6 cups chopped) 1/2 tsp. grated zest and 1.5 T juice from 1 lemon, 1/4 c. sugar

For the topping:

Place the flour, sugars, spices, and salt in afood processor and process briefly to combine.
Add the butterand pulse 10 times, about 4 seconds for each pulse.
The mixturewill first look like dry sand, with large lumps of butter, then like coarse cornmeal. Add the nuts, then process again, four orfive 1-second pulses.
The topping should look like slightly clumpy wet sand.
Be sure not to overmix.
Refrigerate the topping while preparing the fruit--about 15 min.

Preheat over to 375.

For the flling:
Peel, quarter, and core the apples, then cut into 1-in chunks.
Toss the apples, zest, juice, and sugar in a medium bowl.
Scrape the fruit mixture into a 9 inch deep dish pieplate.
Distribute the chilled topping evenly over the fruit.
Bake for40 minutes. Increase the temperature to 400 and continue baking until the fruit is bubbling and the toping turns deep goldenbrown, about 5 more minutes. Serve warm.

My variations--Used 1/2 cups oats instead of nuts, since James doesn't like nuts.Used ALL the juice of one lemon, which made the dish very lemony, but different and interesting. I would do it that way again. Used 4 McIntosh apples and 2 Granny Smith, since that is what I had. Having two different kinds of apples is important though.

Thanks Marsha!

Goowey Brownies

If you read my friend Chris' blog - Mele Cotte you know that I am really not a great baker. She has worked hard to encourage me and help me improve in this area and I really appreciate it.

I decided to try my luck with brownies this weekend. Small steps are really the best way to go when I am baking so I started with a Duncan Hines package as the base of the brownie. I followed the directions on the package with a few minor adjustments. I added one extra egg and a cup of chocolate chips. Then I toasted some almonds and added them on top of half the brownies for friends who like nuts on their chocolate brownies.

They were very good.

Crisp on the outside and nice and goowey on the inside.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

A New Salmon Recipe

I have a favorite Salmon recipe that has soy sauce, honey, ginger and orange marmalade but I decided to venture out and try something new this time.

I found a new Salmon recipe by Bobby Flay on the food network website.

Salmon with Brown Sugar and Mustard Glaze
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey (I added a little more honey)
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
Vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 salmon fillets, 6 ounces each

Melt the brown sugar, honey and butter in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the mustard, soy sauce, olive oil and ginger. Let cool.

Preheat grill to medium heat. Brush salmon with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the salmon skin side down on the grill.

Coat the flesh of the salmon fillets with the brown sugar mixture. Grill for 6 to 8 minutes to medium doneness, turning once after 5 to 6 minutes.

This recipe was very good. I would definitely make it again!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

A Good Thing Gone BAD!

Blackberry and Cherry Cobbler - doesn’t that sound great! That is what I decided to make the other day.

So I used the following recipe only I did half blackberries and half cherries.

Berry Cobbler
4 cups blackberries
1 tsp. lemon juice
Cooking spray
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 to 2 tbsp. water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 dash salt
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
3 tbsp sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine blueberries and lemon juice in a 9-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray; stir gently, and set aside. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (flour through salt) in a bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine oil, vanilla, and egg whites; stir well with a whisk. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto blueberry mixture. Combine 3 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over topping. Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes or until filling is bubbly and topping is lightly browned.

When the cobbler came out of the oven it smelled SO good. After taking a few bites we noted that the blackberry seeds were very prevalent and made the cobbler hard to chew and enjoy. Wow, what a major disappointment!

Looks good, smells good, taste good but NOT fun to eat!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Pasta Primavera

After our last trip to the Farmers Market I felt obligated to make Pasta Primavera because of all the fresh, delicious vegetables I purchased: mushrooms, onions, zucchini, asparagus, pepper... I mean how could I refuse. There are many variations to this dish but here is how I like to make it.

I started by washing and cutting all the vegetables and then into the frying pan for a little sautéing in butter.

I aslo add a little dash of red pepper flakes to the vegetables for a little spice.

After sautéing until the vegetables were tender I added

3/4 cup of heavy cream

1/2 cup chicken stock

tbsp basil and a tbsp oregano

1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese

dash of nutmeg,

dash of cracked pepper

a pinch of salt

Cook all together for about 2-4 minutes.

Then serve over your favorite pasta. Top with a little more parmesan cheese.

Bon Appetite !

Monday, June 4, 2007

French Toast

My husband shared with you in an earlier post that we like breakfast. Most of the time we like to eat out for breakfast but the other day I felt inspired. So, I decided to make Strawberry, Banana French Toast. It turned out great! Besides then we were able to sit around at our own table and drink coffee and talk at our leisure.
Doesn't this look good?

Sunday, June 3, 2007

I Need A Bigger Kitchen

There have not been too many times where I felt that my kitchen, or my stove top to be more specific, was too small - except maybe when cooking for 75 ( our housewarming) .

The other night I was making Tilapia with a tomato topping, rice, and sweet corn when I ran out room on the stove.

Hmmm maybe I need a bigger stove top!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Tilapia with Olives and Cherry Tomatoes

I enjoy trying new recipes. I have made Tilapia several times. I love making "Foiled Tilapia" with red onions, lemon juice and butter. Tonight I made Tilapia with Olives and Cherry Tomatoes. The flavor was good and I enjoyed it. If I were to make this recipe again I would cut down on the black olives a little - they were a tad overpowering.

Tilapia with Olives and Cherry Tomatoes

1/4 cup olive oil

2 pounds tilapia

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cup Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives chopped

6 garlic cloves, minced

Heat olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Add half of fish to skillet and sauté until just opaque in center, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer fish to platter. Repeat with remaining fish. Add parsley and crushed red pepper to same skillet; sauté 1 minute. Add tomatoes, olives, and garlic; sauté until tomatoes are soft and juicy, about 2 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper; spoon over fish.