Sunday, October 11, 2015

Those Soups That Turn Out to Be Award Winning....

Soup. The food of Gods. Er, well, maybe not. But, here in this kitchen it's the stuff leftovers are made from. Wait, what?

Stopped at a Whole Foods yesterday (first time ever in a Whole Foods) on the way home from a beautiful hike at Ward Reservation in No. Andover, MA. There were two of us and we were famished after our 5-mile trek that included all kinds of hilly terrain. Along with some delicious-looking, organically grown red seedless grapes and fair-trade chocolate bars, we loaded up on the following:

Friday, August 14, 2015

Getting Creative with Pesto

Not a summer goes by without this cook making some form of pesto. It's so easy to get creative with pesto, and unless you go insane and add too much of something like, say, jalapeno, you really can't go wrong. It's easy to make, too; and, being so damn tasty for spiffing up a simple weeknight pasta, potato, or pizza dish, it's a trifecta condiment/sauce/paste to have handy. Aaaand, little 4oz mason jars filled with this deliciousness make for much-welcomed gifts for friends!

There are many options for greens that deviate from the classic Genovese basil used in pesto, and some can be used on their own or in a mix: arugula (adds a peppery note), cilantro, garlic scapes (whoo!), mezuna (adds a less peppery note than arugula), or radish greens (whoa, spicy!). Spinach is one of my favorite bases, and it's featured in the recipe below. Of course, there are also all the different flavor profiles of basil itself! Lemony...or cinnamon-spicy...or just super-basily.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

A Year in Eating. Almost.

Let's start with August 2014, the month I began ignoring my poor wee blog.
'Top of the Hill' eggplant layered with rounds of fresh 'Wolf Meadow Farm' mozzarella and simple homemade marinara sauce made from super ripe heirloom tomatoes from 'From My Head TomaTOES Farm'; grated scamorza cheese from 'Wolf Meadow Farm' laced their tops. Adapted from bon appetit. Their tip: slice your eggplant in half lengthwise, all the way through the intact stem for an appealing, rustic presentation.  Prebake before layering.  Drizzle with olive oil before baking.  Sprigs of garden marjoram or oregano laid across the top before baking perfume the kitchen wonderfully. 
Can't have August pictures without tomatoes, basil and fresh mozz in the mix (lol, I know, it's supposed to be about the tomatoes).  Who here eats half the mozz before serving?  There is simply no point in ever attempting this supreme combination at any other time of year than deep summer.  Don't even consider it.

September 2014
Pick-your-own blueberries from an Epping farm made for a good attempt at hiding all of my frosting flaws! I believe this was a blueberry-flavored cream cheese-frosted yellow cake.  For no one's birthday.  :)
'Top of the Hill' flank steak all ready for fajitas. Remember to slice thinly on an angle, across the muscle fibers, for ultimate tenderness.  Sprinkle with a bit of Morton salt...then frig the fajitas. ;-p

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Freezing Corn for winter, and Good Tips for while you're at it!

This whole process took no more than a couple of hours, and was a perfect task to take care of with the cooler weather we've been experiencing.  For only two dozen ears of corn you'll end up with more than 6lbs of plump kernels in your freezer, making for super delicious summer-fresh chowder, or perhaps a scrumptious shepherd's pie, this winter.  That alone, I think, is worth two hours.

TIP: First, start with impeccably fresh corn--which you'll only find at farmers' markets or a well established farmstand.  Be wary of those roadside set-ups where corn is sold out of boxes from the back of a truck.  They're not always what they claim to be, with goods bought from out-of-state distributors and sold as "local" produce.

Barker's Farm corn.  So sweet and tender!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Cottage Pie aka Shepard's Pie Without Lamb

Adapted from Kevin Dundon's Roasted Garlic Cottage Pie

Yes, it's July.  But, the temps have been dropping into the 60's at night here in the northeast USA.  And, every primary ingredient--save for celery, which may or may not be classified as primary--needed for this dish is locally abundant.  So I ask you, why not make a "winter" dish in summer?