Thursday, June 25, 2009

BB: Gazpacho

Whoever said that you need a vacation to recover from your vacation obviously had two small children. The morning still comes just as quick as it did when you had plans and the days slip by just as fast.

Sleeping in? Uh, yeah...that happened today...and it was still the lovely time of 7:30am.

Last summer was so much easier. I was still tired, but I had only one moving person to deal with. Sous chef #2 still needed me to carry her from point A to point B and sous chef #1 had yet to achieve maximum sassiness.

The weather here is unbearable. You would think that, being away from my kitchen for 5 days, I would have a burning desire to get back on the horse and whip up dishes. Surprisingly, though, I have no desire to cook. And yet, dinner must be made.

Did I mention that our wireless router went out?

All day long I was thinking about gazpacho. While on my two-week shopping trip, I bought the ingredients that I thought would go well in such a dish. As soon as I did, I realized that having the hubs grill a steak and making a steak salad would be a good way to go. Less mess, less fuss...

When I got home, the hubs surprised me with a new router...the internet was good to go! I started with fervor to read all the things that I had missed. Then I realized that it was Thursday: time for Barefoot Bloggers! I had been such a slacker that I didn't even think to look at what I was supposed to make.

Lucky for was Ina's Gazpacho.

This week's recipe was chosen by Meryl of My Bit of Earth. Thank you Meryl!

This was such a great summer dish that came together quickly. I must have channeled Ina when I was shoppingbecause I had all the ingredients required. Wait, I take that back...the hubs had to run out and get some tomato juice. Other than that, we were good to go.

I will definitely make this one again. Since the hubs and I enjoyed dinner alone tonight (the kiddos ate dinner early and didn't make it to our feast), we have leftovers for lunch tomorrow, or if no one touches it, for a nice refreshing soup before dinner tomorrow.

Please check out the other Barefoot Bloggers to see their take on this wonderful choice! While you are there, sign up and join us!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Taking a Few Days Off

Hi friends!

Although I haven't posted in a few days, I've been around. Just the summer and my love of sleep getting in the way again!

I am, however, going to be gone for a few days on a family trip. I had planned on getting posts ready and having them post while I was gone, but it is just a few hours before we leave and I still have 10 bazillion things that I need to do.

I will miss reading my favorite blogs and look forward to re-visiting my overflowing reader on my return.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Potato Crusted Tilapia

I think that the pictures of this dish speak for themselves.

It was really good.

The process is fast and easy. Perfect for a weeknight meal...or even a weekend....and FABULOUS for company.

Seriously, if you like fish and potatoes, this is your meal.

The process was simple: a medium potato per piece of white fish.

Slice the potato with whatever tool you wish to make it thin. I used my cheese slicer.

Preheat your oven to 375.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat place about two tablespoons of olive oil. Add a tablespoon of butter.

When hot, add the potatoes in an overlapping pattern. Top with salt and pepper. Let cook for
about 7-8 minutes.

Top with the fish and let cook for another few minutes, until the the edges of the potatoes are a little golden.

Place in the oven and cook for an additional 7-8 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Meanwhile, make a lemon/basil vinaigrette...

When the fish is ready, take a spatula, place it under the potato, and flip it onto your plate. (I placed it on top of some rice). Top with some of your lemon vinaigrette. Serve and ENJOY!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Is this how I treat my friends?

Being a person who finds serenity in the confines of the room that she cooks in, I have few people in my life I can count on to be there when times are tough. Thus, I have befriended an inanimate object.

I work closely with my friend at least once every other day. Because of her, I am "that mom". With her help, I make my hubs treats to take to work, I whip up pizza dough without thinking, and I can make cupcakes on a moment's notice.

The other day, though, I realized that I am not a good friend. Not at all.

If I were a good friend, I would take better care of her.

If I were a better friend, I would let her know how much she means to me.

Oh well, like with any other friend, I guess I'll just replace her once she craps out on me.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Oven Baked Country-Style Ribs

I know what you are going to say. Amy, it's summer! Why the heck are you cooking ribs in the oven?

My honest answer? The hubs is the grill master around here and the only way that I was going to actually cook something this weekend was if I made it indoors myself.

I don't have much else to say about these, except that they were really good. The meat was inexpensive and the sauce was just the right amount of spicy and sweet. The main bonus? It required very little hands on time. I would go a step further to say that you could definitely do this in a slow cooker and then you can just leave it alone on one of those busy days when cooking is the last thing on your mind!

Oven Baked Country-Style Ribs
2 lb boneless country-style pork ribs
1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 large garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
olive oil
3/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
juice of one lemon (about 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
1 teaspoon grated horseradish
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the ribs in a 11 by 7 baking dish.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil (a couple of turns of the pan). Once hot, add the onions and saute until the onions are tender, about 5-6 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly so that the garlic doesn't burn, for another minute. Add the remaining ingredients. Turn the heat to medium and let the sauce bubble for an additional 10 minutes.

Pour the sauce over the ribs, evenly coating them. Cover the dish tightly with foil. Bake for one hour, then remove the foil and turn the pour over with tongs and cook, uncovered, until very tender, about 30 minutes longer.

You can skim the fat off the top, but we were hungry and didn't feel like dealing with it. I served mine with creamy mashed potatoes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Pasta with Creamy Tomato Sauce

I have a confession: there are some days that I don't want to make dinner. In fact, the kitchen is the furthest place that I want to be. With summer approaching I could say that it is because we are so busy or because it is so hot, but that isn't the case.
Sometimes the kitchen is so clean and perfect (a condition that is on the RARE end of the scale) that I just simply don't want to mess it up.

For those days, I like to go to my arsenal of go-to meals. I am sure that you have those too. For me they are recipes that have morphed over time and now no longer involve measuring. They involve ingredients that I generally always have on hand.

On a normal spring/summer day, I would have felt a little guilty for making a meal using canned tomatoes and dried herbs. Lucky for me it was pouring buckets when I started to make dinner. The weather cooled right off and this creating the setting for the perfect pasta meal.

The secret in this pasta is the meat. It is regular old breakfast sausage. What makes it even better to work with is that you don't have to defrost it before cooking. What makes it even better is that the sausage was on sale last week for $1.00, and I had a coupon; score!

Pasta with Creamy Tomato Sauce
recipe adapted from Sara Moulton
1 package (12 ounces) frozen link breakfast sausage, sliced about 1/2 inch thick.
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 package (13 ounces) whole wheat rotini pasta
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

In a large skillet over medium high heat, add about a tablespoon of olive oil. Once hot, ad the sausage and saute, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5-6 minutes. (Don't discard any fat). Add the garlic, thyme, and oregano; cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. During the last 7-8 minutes of the sauce cooking, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente. When you add the pasta, add the cream to the tomato mixture and stir to combine. Let the sauce simmer until thickened and the pasta is finished cooking.

Once the pasta is finished, drain and add it to the tomato cream mixture; toss. Add the parmesan and stir.

Serve with a salad and garlic bread. Enjoy!

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