Monday, August 20, 2012

Tomato, Roasted Zucchini and Nectarine Salad

Sometimes I am faced with the fact that I have a huge amount of vegetables and fruits and I have purchased with little plan as to what to cook. Tonight I faced that fact.

When I see so many beautiful fruits and vegetables at the farmers market, all I can do is purchase them. So tonight I faced a bowl full of produce. Brett is out of town, which means usually I eat vegetarian. So a basket full of produce isn't a bad thing! But what do you do with tomatoes, zucchinis, and nectarines? Well, let me tell you...you make this salad. 

Now I know that a lot of my recipes I preface as SO AWESOME! But this really is. It was one of those moments where I bite into my dish and say DAMN THIS IS GOOOD! It's a combo of fresh ingredients and an interesting red wine vinegar vinaigrette. I promise that this makes an amazing first course or main course. Eat this and you will not be disappointed. Cross my heart, hope to die. Well not really die. It's a saying, you know? Anyway enjoy!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Roasted Tomatoes and Sausage

Tomatoes tomatoes tomatoes! How I love thee. I really think that the best part of the summer is consuming massive amounts of the fruit/vegetable (yeah, I know it's a fruit, but it always seems like sort of a vegetable to me). And you know what is my favorite prep for them? Roasting them. 

Now some people insist on slicing them in half and roasting them open faced. I say NO. I say roast them whole! Trap in the juices! I love nothing more than biting into a roasted cherry tomato. It's like the wholesome version of a Gushers fruit snack. God I also loved those as a kid. Juicy inside. 

Anyway, so in addition to picking up two whole containers of little orange tomatoes, we also picked up some delicious looking buffalo sausages at the farmers market. Usually I cook them sausages on a grill or stovetop, but today I threw them into the oven to roast. The only other thing I threw in was a bunch of basil, a drizzle of olive oil, a touch of red wine vinegar and some salt and pepper to taste. 

To finish off the meal, we also had some delicious crusty bread and a hunk of awesome cheese. I highly recommend eating this dish with those as well!

Roasted Peaches with Herbs and Reduced Balsamic

I love this time of year. Peaches and tomatoes and the like are full of flavors and juicy. And this morning, even though it was in the pouring rain, we headed out to the farmers market to pick up some produce. It's why I love Sundays. Dupont farmers market is the best. It's such a great farmers market and it is a close walk from our abode.

However, what was I not planning on? A downpour. It poured rain as we wandered from tent to tent, avoiding the waterfall-like pour off from the tents. Truth be told, I love rain when it's 70+ degrees outside. And it's a welcome break from the awful humidity that we've had for months. But, all of the sprinting from tent to tent did bruise my peaches a bit. They looked uh a little lumpy.

But no worries! Peaches be bruised, that be okay. I wanted to try out a concept I had heard about yesterday. Roasting nectarines. But my peaches were bruised and I didn't want to waste them. So I roasted peaches! Topped with reduced balsamic and tossed with herbs, the flavors worked out amazingly. I actually think that this would be amazing on vanilla ice cream. Even as a side dish, this works out great.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Feta, Spinach and Sausage Crustless Quiche

My favorite meal, perpetually, is brunch. It's the best of both worlds, breakfast and lunch. And in DC, brunch is hugely popular. There are a ton of awesome places here that are delicious.

But waiting for weekends? Not good enough for me. I want to have brunch all the time! So I decided to make a brunch for dinner meal.

One of my favorite things to eat? Quiche. Eggs, cheese, fillins and crust? Awesome. But one thing I do not know how to do? Make a quiche crust. But my desire for quiche was insatiable. How would I get myself a quiche, homemade, and in my belly? Why, by doing a crustless quiche!

I took some of the ingredients I had in the house and decided to make a spinach, feta and spinach crustless quiche. I used 2% milk, although I think that next time I will use cream and whole milk. I think it may help the custard fill out a bit. But it's an ongoing experiment.

Actually, I should say it's a warm up. Because know what happens soon? Oh that's right folks, college football season. And know what that means? Brunch every Saturday here. And I'd like to get some new brunch options on the plate. And I think that, even with some small changes, this is going to go over real well with the hungry crew.

Oh and know how I'm not a baker? Well. I didn't even realize that I didn't have a single round baking pan hahhhh! So behold....SQUARE QUICHE!

(Note to self: buy a circular baking pan)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Salmon Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

I feel like after I travel a lot, my body hates me. Maybe it's because I eat as much delectable, buttery, craptastic food that I can imagine. Oh hello bacon egg and cheese on an enormous croissant, why yes you are a WONDERFUL idea at 6:00 AM at the airport! Oh, giant sandwich packed high with pastrami and dripping with fat, why yes I will consume all of you!

It's kind of like I travel away from home and I eat all the things. Everything. Everything bad, that is. So after traveling three of the last four weekends, my body is in a bit of disarray.  FEED ME GOOD THINGS! -my body.

Tonight I decided that instead of anything heavy I would go with light light light and fresh and crisp and delicious. What immediately comes to mind for me? Salad. With salmon. Noms.

This salad is simple to prepare. A basil vinaigrette dressing with only seven ingredients (well, plus S&P to taste), cherry tomatoes, apple slices, creamy decadent avocado, and poached salmon. And we all know how much I love to poach fish now. I'm telling you, it's a game changer. The salmon has never been cooked to easily in my kitchen than it has when I poach it.

I promise you, it will be a hit.

Also you know who is very happy to have me back home? This little bebe.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Spaghetti with Spicy Buffalo Meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs. Comfort food at its best. I still crave spaghetti like I did when I was young. Big huge heaps of starch, gobs of tomatoes, huge savory meatballs. Om nom nom. 

I used to buy meatballs and canned tomato sauce. But now I'm all about making my meatballs and sauce. It's a little bit more work, but really, not that much more. And it gives me to freedom to play with my balls. Yup, you heard me, I play with my balls. 

This time around, we had some ground bison meat in the fridge and so I decided that they would work well for the balls. I used some of the basics, bread soaked in milk, oregano etc. But I also decided to throw in a secret little ingredient. Sriracha. And let me tell you, it worked out fantastically. It gives the meatballs a bit of a kick, but nothing too overwhelming. And if you don't want the spicy? Easy omission. Just leave it out and they'll still be as delectable as usual. 

For the sauce, I stuck with the basics. Onions, garlic, mushrooms, basil, tomatoes, etc. This was a quick cook sauce, although I usually prefer to let the sauce simmer for a couple hours to marry the flavors better. But, we had someone coming over for dinner and it was a week day. Worked out just fine. 
I've also decided to try something out when recommending recipes. We're big wine drinkers in our house. No, we don't let Cody drink, but Brett and I enjoy wine. So I'll let you know what pairs well with the dinner, if we have wine. Not every post will have wine, because we don't drink every night. 

In this case, the dinner was paired with a 2005 Ruffino Chianti and a 2001 Aglieta Brunello di Montalcino. 

Second caveat, we did not buy these wine. No, we didn't steal them. We have a very dear friend who is a total wine connoisseur. He collects wine, knows more about every vintage and varietal than I will ever know. And at least once a month Brett and I have dinner with him. The arrangement is I cook, he brings wine. It's a pretty awesome arrangement. Our dinners are also always really fun. 

Anywho, off to the recipe!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

White Chocolate Covered Strawberries

So earlier this week we hosted people over at our house for the Olympics opening ceremony. And I had all the intentions in the world to make white chocolate dipped strawberries. But then came the six pizzas. And the champagne cocktails. And soon, I had completely forgotten about the massive amount of strawberries in the fridge and the white chocolate chips sitting beside them. 

Now, I couldn't let the strawberries go to waste. I didn't want them to rot. And I mean, chocolate! A friend of ours was coming over for dinner and he has a huge sweet tooth. So I knew he would help to consume loads of the chocolate covered strawberries. 

I don't know why I don't dip more things in strawberries. It's easy to do and delicious to eat. These make an easy and quick dessert. And we ate every single last one of them.