Balsamic vinegar and strawberries are friends. Balsamic be all like, “Strawberry! Missed ya! Why you only visit me once a year?” I figure they should have a good long visit together… in a pan…where they wouldn’t be interrupted. And seared scallops are just seared scallops; they’re awesome all on their own. We all know that spinach already gets along with everybody else so I had to invite them to the party. I can’t say much more here other than sometimes I impress even myself, which is saying a lot. My inner food critic is pretty harsh.
By the way, I did not lick the browned butter out of the pan when the scallops were done. It was tempting but I resisted. Instead I wiped it up with crusty bread and then toasted the bread. I highly recommend this! So yummy. Continue reading →
Last week was one long week. The roofers showed up Monday for the new roof, I started a new job, and allergy season hit like Mohammad Ali. By Friday night I was all in. Good news showed up in my inbox from Denison Farm though, strawberry season has started! They’re a few weeks early, but I’ll take it! The first strawberries of the season were enough to draw my itchy, watery, exhausted rear out the door and down to the farmer’s market. I had planned on getting at least a half flat, but since they only had about a flat left by the time I made it down there. There was a line behind me, so I settled for a couple of pints. There will be more strawberries to come.
The first strawberries call for something simple, I’ve waited all year to taste fresh strawberries, I want to taste the strawberry. So I settled for a classic, which is all I could handle through allergy fog anyway. I used raw almonds, if you use salted almonds I would leave the salt out. Continue reading →
I really do loved stuffed squash; I’m not sure why I don’t do more of them. Well, I’m likely to as all those beautiful squashes I bought months ago (see Squash is Beautiful) are now telling me, “use me or lose me.”
What I like about this recipe is that I can section it up, do a little at a time. I think it would be a good recipe for when you invite friends over. You can do most of the work ahead and then just slip it in the oven to finish it off. That’s actually how I made this recipe. I roasted the squash one day, cooked the sausage mixture on another day, and put it all together to bake it the next. It’s also a way to still have a nice meal on a busy work week. Continue reading →
The dressing goes together relatively fast. Once the bacon is cooked it just takes minutes to finish up.
This salad really doesn’t keep well, most dressed salads don’t. I did have leftovers though and trying to be frugal I drained the salad really well, moved it to a sealable container, and decided to see what it was like the next day. It was okay. The flavor was still really good but the texture and looks were, well, very wilted. It’s also pretty salty the next day. Rather than eat it cold, as I did, you could try heating it and have cooked spinach instead of salad. All the ingredients would stand up to a sauté, as long as it was quick. Continue reading →
It’s really pretty hard to cook for one person. You make a recipe and then you have leftovers for far too long. I blame my absence on using up what I already had around, not to many recipes being used. That and I have been avoiding my computer. We have a tendency to spend far too much time together, much of it not quality time. There are only so many hours people should spend looking at cat pictures. It’s totally me and not it, but that doesn’t change things. Also, I haven’t been eating as many salads as I should have. I admit it, I fell of the wagon.
This one is pretty easy and it helped use up some random ingredients from the fridge. I love honey mustard dressing but the kind from the store has far too many calories. This is a much lighter version, although, I might go with more mustard next time. Hope you like it! Continue reading →
Most of the time I have no idea why pasta salads are called salads. Really they should just be called cold pasta. I say this because most pasta salads are devoid of what I usually associate salads with, vegetables or even fruit. There’s no reason for this, just pack more veggies in! So that’s what I did.
You could substitute other veggies for the spinach, I’ve made this recipe with broccoli or even mixed frozen veggies. But spinach is what I had that needed to be used up so spinach it was! If you substitute, make sure you cook the veg at least a little. With broccoli I just throw it in with the tortellini, frozen veg you just need to defrost. I used a bowl with a lid with the spinach so that when I threw in the tortellini I could close it up and steam the spinach a bit. Continue reading →
Dukkah is Middle Eastern nut and spice blend primarily dip bread. The bread is basted or dipped in oil and then into the dukkah. Recipes vary widely but the nuts are usually hazelnut, pistachio, and/or almonds. The spices can include sesame, coriander, cumin, fennel and anise seeds, black peppercorns, mint, and slat as well as many others I’m sure.
Dukkah caught my eye while I was trolling the aisles of my local Trader Joe’s. It looked yummy and the ladies at checkout had great things (and ways to use it) about it. I had a few misgivings once I got it home and looked at the ingredient list. Trader Joe’s dukkah includes almonds, sesame seeds, fennel seeds, coriander, anise seeds, and kosher salt. I don’t care for fennel or anise, it’s a black licorice thing, don’t like it. Somehow I managed to put away quite a bit more bread than I had intended to when I used it as a dip though. It’s rather addictive! The fennel and anise don’t overwhelm and have a definite role in the background.
I can’t wait to try it on other recipes! The salmon was quite tasty but I like the idea of using it with chicken or grilled steak and I’m sure it would be great as a topping for veggies. There are many recipes out there for making your own dukkah; it doesn’t seem to be too hard; although, you’ll probably want to make sure you have a food processor. Continue reading →
If you like Japanese food at all, you’ve probably come across the adzuki bean in its red bean paste form. It is a common dessert ingredient and quite tasty. Being from the West I wasn’t sure about beans for dessert but liked red bean paste from my taste which was in ice cream. This was my first experience of adzuki beans in their original form. In size and texture I found them too much like black beans but with a taste more like red beans only sweeter.
What I found fascinating is that adzuki beans have been in cultivation since at least 4000 BC in Japan. To put that into context, which was about the time that corn was being domesticated in Mexico and the Great Pyramids were being built in Egypt. One little red bean has been grown and eaten for 6,000 years, well, it’s tasty, of course it has!