Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tasty Friday Dinner

Another great local dinner!

Friday night Alex and I stayed in and cooked, and I was really pleased with the results. I had picked up a chicken earlier in the week, and decided Friday would be a good a day as any to roast it up. (As a side note, I got my chicken from a vendor that goes by the name Bacon Hypnosis. If there ever was a time that you should buy something from someone just for their name, I think this might be one of those times! Apparently they also raise a few chickens along with their signature item.)

I had gotten a pretty small chicken as I wasn't sure how much it was going to cost me, but this guy had plenty of meat for both Alex and I for dinner, and leftovers that I'll make soup and stock with.

Roast Chicken:

I cleaned the bird in warm water, then rubbed him all over with olive oil and put it in a glass baking dish. Then I stuffed him with some yellow onion, a few garlic cloves, which I also placed under the wings and legs, and some chopped celery. Then I sprinkled it with rosemary, thyme, oregano, and garlic powder.

We roasted it in the oven for about 1 hour and maybe 20 minutes at 350 degrees, until the thickest part was about 170-180 degrees. I took it out after 30 minutes and then every 15 or so to baste it with the drippings and some melted butter.


The chicken was moist and tender and smelled almost like Thanksgiving. YUM!

While the chicken was roasting, I also put 3 ears of corn in the oven for about 30-40 minutes and these also turned out delicious!


As a side, I decided to give Pioneer Woman's Red Pepper Risotto a try, and it was a winner for sure. The last risotto I made was much too heavy. This one was just the right amount of creaminess and went great with the chicken and corn on the cob. I made it according to her recipe, with about 1/2 C of Parmesan and a TBS or two of goat cheese.

I also made a tasty salad to start things off, fresh arugula, red and yellow cherry tomatoes, with goat cheese tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette.

The dressing was super easy to make, mix your olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a 3-1 ratio (I did 3 TBS Olive Oil and 1 TBS vinegar and had leftover) a bit of dijon mustard (I used 1/4 tsp), a pinch of sea salt, pepper, and a little pinch of sugar.


I loved this salad, arugula has so much more flavor then lettuce and the goat cheese went together perfectly with everything!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

What I Did With My Pretty Tomatoes



Sliced thin, a sprinkle of sea salt, torn basil leaves, a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and grated cheese. Deliciously fresh summer treat.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Summertime Stew and Pretty Tomatoes



I was inspired to make this crockpot stew from this recipe on the Year of Slow Cooking Blog.

I changed things up a bit though, and made sure I chopped all my vegetables the night before. All I had to do was throw everything in the crockpot and then came home to a very tasty, super healthy dinner!

Summertime Crockpot Stew

2 summer squash, sliced into thin slices
2 Zucchini, or one gigantic one like I had, sliced thinly
2 ears of corn, kernels sliced from the cob
1/2 C - 3/4 C black beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
3 good size garlic cloves, minced or pressed, or whatever suits your fancy
A couple handfuls of cherry tomatoes, whole
1 tsp or so of dried basil
1 tsp or so of dried oregano
1/3 C of dried lentils
1 C water
4.5 C of broth, veggie or chicken
1 C prepared spaghetti sauce, I had tomato basil from Trader Joes
A decent amount, maybe 1/3 the package? of spirally, curly pasta, cooked to package directions, added just before serving

Put all your ingredients together, stir it up, and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Add your pasta. Viola! Dinner.

This was a great veggie, almost all local meal as well. After reading The Omnivore's Dilemma as well as Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (thanks Em!), I've made the decision that I'm going to try my darnedest to keep our kitchen free of CAFO raised meat. I by no means intend to go vegetarian on anyone, I love steak, really I do, but I've joined the locavore bandwagon, and there's no turning back. I'll keep you posted on how well this works out for us as I've got Alex on board with me as well. I'm not saying I'm going to be all picky at other people's houses or restaurants, mostly I just intend on keeping our kitchen full of things that make sense to me, and I can deal with where they came from.

(Mom, you can stop rolling your eyes at your idealist daughter now. )

And, just for your viewing pleasure, some very lovely heirloom tomatoes!



Monday, August 24, 2009

Breakfast Cupcakes

Bacon, Egg and Toast Cups from Annie's Eats

So I know Annie from Annie's Eats made these like two days ago, but I saw them, was craving eggs for breakfast, and needed something new to try. These fit the bill, and hi, are adorable. These are easily the easiest cute breakfast item I've made to date.




Mine aren't quite as cute as the original, as my yolks didn't quite stay together, but they were certainly tasty!


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Visitors in the City

Wow! I am SO behind in my blogging. Apologies all around. After Alex and I went to Boston, I had the fun pleasure of hosting my two lovely friends Laura and Megan for a weekend in the city!

I unfortunately had to work for two of the days they were here, but the rest of the weekend we had a great time exploring the city. They saw all of the main sites, seriously more then I could fathom ever seeing, by bus tour while I was working, so on the weekend, we saw a few other fun things.

We tried lots of tasty free beer at the Chelsea Brewery, walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, had some tasty sushi and free pizza in Williamsburg, and on Sunday, spent the afternoon exploring Coney Island. I'd never been to Coney Island before, so it was a fun new experience for me as well. It was an interesting place to the say the least, lots of people watching and certainly a feel you would never get anywhere else!












Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sweet Corn!


It's sweet corn season! I've been passing by the piles of sweet corn at the market lately and finally decided it was time for me to pick some up as my google reader has been overflowing with tasty looking recipes!

Over the weekend I made both Corn, Black Bean and Chicken Quesadillas and Grilled Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salad with Honey Lime Dressing. Both of these were awesomely delicious and very easy to make. I don't have a grill, so just oven roasted my corn at about 350 or so for about 30 minutes.


On Monday, I was craving the salad again, especially the super tasty dressing. It was also a million degrees, so I thought a nice cool salad would hit the spot. However, I decided to jazz things up a bit.

I made the standard salad, more or less following the recipe, but then also mixed it over fresh lettuce, about a half cup or so of black beans, shrimp sauteed with olive oil, garlic, lemon and lime; and a bit of leftover grilled chicken. This was super filling, really easy, and an excellent summer dinner. We will for sure be making this again!


Boston, Finally!

So, we went to Boston over the 4th of July. Which, was a long time ago. However, after we went, we had visitors through July, went home for a week, and just in general, I was busy. And just kind of hate editing photos. I like taking them, it's the whole post processing that I just really could do without. Hence, it took me 800 years to get through these photos.

Anyway, so, Boston.

Alex and I went over the 4th as kind of a fun belated anniversary gift to ourselves and had a great time. We took the Bolt Bus from New York, which was highly awesome. Clean, efficient, on time, and wi-fi the whole way. So much easier then flying even actually as there's no hassle of getting the airport and such.

We arrived on Friday afternoon and found our hotel right by Boston Common. Our room was huge and had a balcony with a nice view of the city.


We spent most of Friday wandering through the park, made our way down to the water and walking along admiring the boats and enjoying the view. We made sure to stop for some New England clam chowder and a brew and had a overall relaxing time.







That night we had reservations at a place called Ten Tables a little ways out from central Boston, but easy to reach on the T. As an aside, why does every single city manage to have a clean subway system aside from NYC? I really will never understand. Ten Tables was fantastic. It was adorable little bistro, with literally only 10 tables. All the food they use was locally grown and all their meat is local, pasture raised and certified cruelty free. We also had a bottle of Portuguese wine which I'd never had before which was mighty tasty. After dinner the waiter also brought us two glasses of Port on the house. I usually am not a big fan of the stuff, but this was really nice and not too strong like others I've had.

Saturday we spent most the morning and afternoon walking along the Freedom Trail, it was the 4th of July after all, and seeing all the history Boston has to offer. I'm not big on this stuff usually, but I had fun walking around the city.







And walk we did. At the end we decided we were going to climb to the top of this monument, and we got halfway up before realizing the line was too long. After climbing back down, both Alex and realized we literally couldn't walk anymore. Our quads had cramped up something awful. Shoot.

The monument that caused the pain...

After that we headed back to the hotel to relax a bit before the fireworks. We knew we had to get to the promenade early, but there were approximately 1 million people there when we arrived around 6, and the people just kept coming! We got lucky and managed to snag a spot on the grass, but I haven't seen that many people in one place in quite some time. We brought books and enjoyed the people watching until the music started later that evening.


Now, overall, the fireworks themselves were great. One of the longest fireworks displays I've ever seen. However, the other part of the show was awful! Not only were there several commercial breaks, but the Boston Pops didn't even play during the fireworks! They played awful pre-recorded country music instead! Not even good country music, in addition to other random selections like Grease Lightning. What? Alex and I were very confused. Oh well.

They still made for some pretty photos though, even if I had no tripod.




On Sunday we went over to Cambridge and enjoyed the campuses of Harvard and MIT, and then strolled back along the river.



Saturday, August 15, 2009

For Licorice


For the past 14 years, Licorice has been a beloved member of our family. She brought an infinite number of smiles and laughter into our home and was the most mellow, loveable dog one could hope for.

Unfortunately, a week ago, her little body gave out and we had to put her to sleep.

She meant the world to my family, and it was incredibly difficult to let her go. She will truly be missed for a long time to come.