Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Starry sky, country music and a chiminea fire! Last night was one of those perfect summer nights that make you feel like a little kid again. And laying down on the little outdoor rug with a pillow, next to the fire, all I could see was the stars... and I could have been anywhere else in the world.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Bread, cut into 1 inch cubes (stale or fresh, I used about half a baguette)
3 tomatoes, cut into large dice
Roasted red peppers (to taste)
Kalamata olives (to taste)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
one clove of garlic, minced
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Optional: fresh basil, chopped, and/or sliced cucumber
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Brush the bread cubes with olive oil, then toast in the oven for 5-10 minutes, until golden. Combine olive oil, vinegar and garlic in a bowl, and whisk (or put it all in a container with a lid and shake :P). Allow bread cubes to cool a little, then put them into a bowl and pour the dressing over them. Add diced tomatoes, roasted red pepper slices, olives, and other optional ingredients if using, and toss. Let the salad sit and marinate in the dressing for 30 minutes, tossing several times to distribute the dressing evenly. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste. Yum!
Monday, July 16, 2012
Well, it was another one of those weekends where you wake up on Monday morning and wonder where on earth those days went :) But it was well spent, I think!!! Here's some of what we got up to:
- new tires (skidding on slick roads has a way of making you PRIORITIZE things you have been procrastinating over!) - free oil change with two new tires at Pep Boys at the moment :)
- super late nights
- finished the four canvas painting I've been working on (I think...)
- concert in the park
- babysitting the most well-behaved kids I know - playing in tents at REI
- laughing a lot because those kids are HILARIOUS!
- hanging out with friends
- finally hung up some art around our house!
- impromptu birthday gathering
- first attempt at chiminea fire!
So it was fun. And I went to bed super late on Sunday night, but happy. And grateful. For friends and family, and for a house big enough to comfortably fit everyone after many, many years in our tiny apartment.
Friday, July 13, 2012
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Every now and then, I have one of those days where I realize that my alfalfa growning, quasi-vegetarian childhood has made a lasting impression on me. Yesterday was one of those days. I had a fridge full of veggies (my compulsion to buy beautiful looking veggies, even when I'm not sure of when or how I'll use them is probably another side effect) that were going to go to waste if I didn't use them quickly, so my veggie-loathing hubby and I had a yummy vegetarian dinner that he enthusiastically raved about the next day("She made these zucchini things taste like steak" - hahahahaha).
There were grilled portabello mushrooms, season with cumin, pepper and garlic salt, with leftover chimichurri sauce (which is SO good on anything!), a yummy salad of chopped cherry tomatoes, avocado, feta cheese crumbles and kalamata olives, and of course, the very popular zucchini cakes. It's a bit of a joke to call it a recipe, but here's how I made the zucchini cakes.
Preheat the oven to 425. Grate zucchinis (I used three medium sized ones) into a bowl, add a little salt and let it stand for a while (salt draws out some of the water, which can make these tasty little bites soggy, so the longer you can let it stand, the better). Drain excess liquid from grated zucchini, then add one egg and mix well with a fork. Add seasoning (I added salt, garlic salt, onion salt and pepper to taste), and mix well, then form flat heaps of the mixture on a greased cookie sheet. Bake until crispy, about 20 minutes. You may need to flip them over to brown the other side, or if you're impatient like me, you could just brown the other side in a little olive oil in a skillet (the same skillet you grilled the mushrooms in, for example :P). This made five good-sized zucchini cakes, which were eaten before I could snap a pic! Try them - they're veggie-licious!
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Well, not everything went the way I'd thought it would this long weekend, but that's okay! I had plenty of time to relax, and be at home, and loved EVERY second of it! But I did get to cross one very big 'to do' off my list. We finally set up our patio!! And I love it! I spent all day Friday reading out there, while trying to dodge a persistent wasp that seems to love my lavender plant! We haven't lit the chiminea yet, but that's coming soon! And for now, I love knowing that we have created the perfect little retreat with the space available to us - my new favorite 'room' in the house!!
Thursday, July 5, 2012
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Happy Independence Day!! Just found this recipe online yesterday and since everyone else is bringing something blueberry-related, I saved my favorite blueberry crumb bars for another day and made these for 4th of July!
Recipe slightly adapted from Sweet Peony
3 large apples, peeled & cored (I used 5 medium sized apples)
1/2 cup light brown sugar (I used a little less, as I don't like things overly sweet)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon corn starch (I skipped this)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of salt (I skipped this, by accident :P)
1. Cut out rounds of pastry and press into greased cupcake pan (or mini-cupcakes). Two pie crusts made 20 cupcake-sized pies for me.
2. Cut up apples into small pieces (so they have time to cook!).
3. In a large bowl, mix apple with sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
4. Slightly overfill mini pies (filling will shrink a little), and then top with lattice, or pastry shapes cut out with a cookie cutter (I used stars - wish I'd had a slightly bigger cookie cutter laying around, but they're packed up with my Christmas things! Next time though...).
5. Brush with an egg wash, and bake in 350 degree oven for 35-45 minutes (depending on your oven - just keep an eye on them).
Yummy!! Mine could have used more filling and a bigger pastry star on top! I think they'd be really cute served warm with melon ball sized scoops of vanilla ice cream, but took the easy way out with whipped cream :)
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Bunch of parsley
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup of red wine vinegar
One garlic clove
Salt to taste
Throw everything except the salt in a food processor or blender, and pulse until it reaches a pesto-like consistency. Add salt to taste. Smother everything in it and enjoy :) Keeps for at least a week in the fridge.