Sunday, August 21, 2011

It's Finally Time...

Time to start acting like I need to be organized again. I'm anticipating doing school-ish stuff all week, so I need to get my head wrapped around the idea of being planful with my food again. So, my first "transition back to school" menu...

I did my long run today for my marathon training, and when I run long, the thing I crave the most after is protein. So Phil pulled some giant t-bones out of the freezer. Way more than I'll be able to eat, but I'm sure the leftovers will go to good use!

Grilled t-bone steaks with horseradish sauce
Grilled corn on the cob
Pan-sauteed zucchini (we are up to our EARS in zucchini right now -- the freezer's already full of diced and shredded -- ready for a winter of soup and bread -- and we still are eating it every day. Geesh.)
Delicious crispy whole grain bread


Craving seafood lately -- so we're going there a few times this week:

Clams with wine sauce: Saute some garlic, onion, and tomato. Add white wine and bring to an easy boil. Add clams, put lid on & turn heat down to a simmer, cook for 5 - 8 minutes until the clams open up. Pull them out and reduce the rest of the sauce a bit, then pour the sauce over the clams.
Crispy bread for dipping
And, let's face it, probably zucchini (or maybe green beans -- if we're feeling zesty)


Fajitas -- maybe with leftover t-bone, maybe with chicken breast, maybe with shrimp
Cook up some onion, garlic, red peppers, and zucchini. Add the protein and fajita spices (basically, anything orange in the spice cabinet -- chili powder, cayenne -- and I also add some cumin, and maybe some salt and pepper. Simmer it for a few minutes until sauce thickens.

Heat tortillas and put mixture in.

Top with yummy toppings: shredded cabbage, salsa, sour cream, chopped avocado, cheese


Horseradish crusted salmon (we're also up to our EARS in horseradish in our garden, so we're looking for ways to use it.)
Sauteed baby carrots
Maybe some zucchini :)


Mini flatbread pizzas: Naan flatbread, pizza sauce, veggie toppings, some sliced chicken sausage, chopped fresh mozzarella. Cook on the grill with indirect heat (turn off the burners underneath -- use the other burners to heat and cook it, but that way it won't burn the bottom) until the cheese is a bit browned and delicious.

And just because I'm doing this -- it doesn't mean summer's over. I just wanted to put that in writing. It's NOT over yet. :)

Have a good week!

Monday, August 15, 2011

It's the Middle of August... Time to Start Planning Again?

Not quite. But as I'm getting all my "going back to school and having to be hyper-organized" ducks in a row, I'm feeling the tug of sitting down with a notepad and stack of cookbooks once again. Not so much as to do it for this week, but I'm thinking about it, and that's the first step.

It is squash blossom time, and I got a quart of them at the farmer's market on Saturday. A quart of squash blossoms is quite a lot, really -- over 30 -- but only comes in at 7 ounces.

So the recipes I found that call for either 4 squash blossoms or an entire pound? Didn't help me so much. But we used them for Sunday night dinner, and had squash blossoms two ways:

Way #1: Stuffed fried squash blossoms:
* Mix together some cheeses: I used some goat cheese, a bit of shredded Monterey Jack, and a touch of cream cheese to hold it all together. The goat cheese had some spicy seasoning -- maybe a bit of cayenne? -- so I didn't add any more seasoning.
* Washed out some blossoms, stuffed about a teaspoon of cheese mixture into each one.
* Made a really thin batter with a bit of flour, cornstarch, baking soda, an egg, and part of a beer, seasoned with salt and pepper.
* Dipped each blossom in, shook off extra batter, and pan fried on medium/medium-low-ish heat in some olive oil.

Way #2: Pasta
*Chopped and sauteed the rest of the squash blossoms, just to wilt them. They smelled fabulous. Removed from pan.
* Cooked a bit of bacon, some garlic (fresh from our garden -- first time ever!), and a few chopped green zebra tomatoes. Added a bit of white wine for some liquid.
* Added in some pappardelle noodles (already mostly cooked) and the squash blossoms, stirred it all together.
* A bit of grated parmesan on top.

It turned out fine, but we encountered a few bitter stem ends on the blossoms -- not something we noticed when making them in the past, but we just avoided that part of the stuffed blossoms when eating them.

The stuffed blossoms kind of look like chicken wings. But they're from zucchini plants, I promise!

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