Saturday, May 30, 2009

Omelet Oh Omelet

Omelet is a funny word. It makes it sounds like you are making the miniature version of something else (like piglet and pig). I made the most delicious omelet today and it was chalked full of protein and low in fat.

3 egg whites
2 asparagus spears
1 handful fresh spinach
3/4 shredded mozzarella cheese
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Better Than PF Changs

One of the most difficult parts of enjoying really good food is the damage it does to your wallet and/or savings. One of our most difficult bills to control is our food bill. We love to eat. So, when I stumble upon really good recipes that don't have 5 billion ingredients AND use some of the lovely vegetables from our CSA, I try them. This one is a real winner. I found it on this blog, Sidewalk Shoes. I think this blogger and I would be kindred spirits. She teaches middle school, hunts for good recipes, and it appears that she enjoys reading. Check and check. This recipe was fantastic. It's from Rachel Ray and the author made a few changes. I made a few of my own. I put my changes in bold print
Spicy Shrimp and Bok Choy Noodle Bowl
Serves 4
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, 3 turns of the pan
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 inches ginger root, peeled and cut into very thin matchsticks or grated
1/2 pound shiitake mushroom caps, sliced, a couple of cups these are expensive, so I just
bought a little carton and chopped them up finely (2.50 for a carton)
1 medium bok choy, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces, then cut sticks lengthwise I had a lot of this stuff so I used two bok choy
Salt and pepper
1 quart chicken broth since I skipped the seafood stock, I used three cups of chicken broth and three table spoons of fish sauce
1 cup seafood stock, available on soup aisle or, 1 cup clam juice I skipped this
1 1/2 pounds medium peeled and deveined shrimp on sale!
1/2 pound vermicelli (thin spaghetti) I used Udon noodles (you can find them in the ethnic food aisle) They are salty and very tender
4 scallions, cut into 3 inch pieces, then shredded lengthwise into thin sticks also in my CSA from last week!

Heat a medium soup pot I used my skillet over medium-high heat. Add vegetable oil, 3 turns of the pan, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, and bok choy, then season with salt and pepper. Add chicken broth and seafood stock or clam juice. Put a lid on the pot and bring soup to a boil.Add shrimp and noodles and cook 3 minutes. Add in scallions and cook 2 minutes, then turn off soup and let it sit 2 to 3 minutes more. Adjust salt and serve.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Week 2: CSA Veggies

So here is the line up for this week. It will be tough to eat all this spinach. So, we have spinach, bok choy, green beans, asaparagus, and another leafy vegetable that I'll need to identify.

Here goes week 2

Dinners Week 1

It's been tough, but we pretty much wiped out last week's CSA batch. We've had some pretty great meals including this great recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I made my own version with basil and roasted garlic instead of the tarragon. It was delightful. Oh, and as you can see, I used rigatoni.

We really enjoyed the asparagus and kale. The kale makes an interesting salad, but it's good for you. Here are two more meals. We ate the salads with sushi.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Be Our Guest

I love love love to host parties at our house. I love the frenetic cleaning, preparing, baking, chopping, and watering. I also love to serve people. Since we're not close to finishing our bathroom (let's be honest, I haven't lifted a finger), I don't think we'll be doing as much entertaining this year. So, I want to make sure I'm a good guest so people don't feel like we are always mooching off of their hospitality. I'll be posting some cooking for pitch ins or potlucks...whatever you call them. Until then, check out Smitten Kitchen's 30 Ways to be a good guest post.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Fresh Start

We ate lots of stir fry last summer, lots. So, one of my goals this summer is to get a bit more creative with the way I use our produce. Meal #1: stir fry It's actually a yummy, easy recipe for making just about any vegetable. Here goes:

1 T chicken bouillon granules
1 C warm water
1 T garlic powder (I prefer fresh garlic but I didn't have any)
1 T ginger
1 handful baby carrots
1 handful snow peas
4-5 handfuls of mixed greens (I used radish greens, kale, and collared greens)
4-5 small radishes
1 handful basil chopped finely
1 handful flat leaf parsley chopped finely
1 handful cilantro chopped finely
1 thinly sliced green pepper
Directions: Dilute granules in warm water and bring to a boil in a wok. Add garlic and ginger. Add mixed greens and denser veggies (carrots and radishes in this other cases potatoes or broccoli). Boil for several minutes allowing the water to evaporate before adding the seasonings. Continue to cook over medium heat until carrots and radishes are tender. Serve over pasta or rice.
The verdict. It was a great first try. I added the snow peas at the very end and we enjoyed them el dente. Nothing too exotic about this meal. LOVE this rice pilaf. I could tell there was a lot of salt in the bouillon. I might try to find one that was lower in sodium. Just because.

Week One: Hollar if you hear me, collared greens are all the rave!

Each Sunday, I'll drive to our designated pick up to retrieve our veggies from Farmer Mike. I'll post pictures of the veggies here. The reason for this is twofold: 1) These gorgeous locally and organically grown veggies deserve some time in the spot light. Anyone who is nervous about veggies should see the colors in these fresh beauties. 2) I want you to see them in all of their raw glory...I think random veggies can be intimidating if we don't know what to do with them.

My experience with fresh vegetables last year was mildly successful. We have a really amazing compost pile to show for some of the things I couldn't figure out how to cook. We did a good job cooking the things we were familiar with (corn, spinach, beans) and a not so good job with things that we were unfamiliar with.
So here is what we have this week.

(left to right)asparagus, green onion, collared greens, kale, snow peas, and radishes.

I also want to show your what I have to work with from my own backyard.

This will be my "team" for the summer. I'm hoping they will help me to spice things up in the kitchen. Let me introduce you to strawberry, chives, basil, cilantro, rosemary, flat leaf parsley, more basil, and mint.

Stay tuned for this week's recipes. Also, check out some recipe blogs on the side bar. Smitten Kitchen rocks my world.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Farm Fresh Challenge

I Stinky Pete do solemnly swear to cook with, munch on, or share the veggies from my CSA this year from Martin Hill Farm. If you don't know much about CSAs, check out the farm here. My pledge to you, my readers, and really to the Pete family is to be more efficient with the produce we bought this summer. That means lots of recipe posting, pictures of fresh produce, and griping about yet another meal of stir fry.

I really can't complain since the veggies are super fresh and local. It's just difficult to use up a whole head of fresh spinach before it goes bad. I'm looking forward to canning, freezing, and steaming a bunch of it too.

My challenge to you is to buy more local produce. I'll be featuring recipes and uses for a lot of produce that you can get at your local farmers' market. Hopefully watching me struggle through the produce will encourage you to shop for and cook your own fresh and local produce.

Here goes nothing...

PS: Our first share arrives this weekend.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Recipe Review

I've been doing some I've been doing some cooking. I love this new blog (new to me) called Smitten Kitchen. She has some pretty amazing recipes AND she takes beautiful pictures of the food she prepares. Note: not all of these recipes are from Smitten Kitchen. Here are some of my favorite recipes to date:

Huevos Rancheros

OK so these incorporate pretty much every ingredient I love except for dark chocolate. Black beans, eggs, garlic, tomatoes. This is a weeknight meal at the very least and a crowd pleaser any other night. The salsa fresca along is amazing. Great for chips, tacos, anything really. I'm making the chicken tacos tonight. More on those later.

Elvis Preseley's Favorite Pound Cake

So I was inspired by this post by Smitten Kitchen. Mr. Pete has an aversion to anything with a funny texture...ketchup, cream cheese, etc. So I couldn't make the pound cake with cream cheese and I found this Elvis recipe instead. about velvety, buttery, vanillay might be the seven eggs the recipe calls for. Be sure to spring for the cake flour. We had some left over from our Gingerbread people during the holidays. Mr. Pete learned on NPR that it was the best for Gingerbread. The cake flour is smooth and light and helps the whole pound cake to be just moist and delicious.

Monkey Bread

I think this is an old familiar favorite for most people. I just love that Pillsbury Grands are often on sale and this is a great recipe for an easy brunchy snack. By the way, my grandmother's coffee cake is better BUT this comes in a close second and it's easier to make.

Lentil Edamame Stew

Another week night meal that is easy and has relatively few ingredients. Mr. Pete liked it must be good.