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Watermelon Feta And Mint Salad!

IMG_0412OK I actually thought…..Uh Weird! cheese and watermelon but when you think of Apples and cheese or pears and cheese you’re like “move aside I need that cheesy fruit combo”, am I Right??
Well this is the now “go to bring along to anything dish ” for me, My husband is kind of over it. It couldn’t be easier to make and I’ll prove it!

WHAT YOU NEED :
1 small Watermelon, of course…. (try to make sure it is not over ripe, if it is really soft and really dark pink it may be a little on the old side so stick to bright pink and firm. If you buy it cut in half  you can see it.
8 Oz’s Feta Cheese – go crazy, buy a good one. A Greek one in water would be nice- just make sure to drain and rinse in gently.
1 fresh lime – not the ones with brown spots on them, bright green with a fresh bright scent, I actually like extra lime so you can add another if you want.
2 Tablespoons Fresh Mint chopped – sweet mint is the best there is a difference with spearmint, peppermint etc. You can tear a few extra for garnish too.
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WHAT YOU DO:
Cut the watermelon into 1 inch cubes -approximately or bite size – no need for a ruler.
Place it gently in a larg serving bowl – you know me, I like white.
Squeeze Lime over the watermelon and very gently fold them
Sprinkle over mint and crumble feta cheese but do not toss until you are serving on the plate.

This a light refreshing salad with a bite of salt and hint of mint, Your guests will love it and your husband will get sick of it!
Enjoy -T

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Couscous…Simple, Easy, Delicious!

My Husband and I went to Rosette’s house and of course she insists (and we absolutely love it) we eat. She is from Egypt and has some of the best food ideas and combinations that I just never even thought to put together. I write about her often because she is so good to us and lucky for us she and her daughter Danielle live down the street. I’ll tell you about the olives and cream cheese sandwiches later…..
This Couscous dish is so fast, so simple and has fresh basic ingredients that make it delicious.
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WHAT YOU NEED:
1 Cup Couscous
1 can Chick Peas (Garbanzo Beans)
3 to 4 Scallions Chopped
1 Avocado
2 limes
(just a note we did it with lemon and lime and both work
beautifully)

WHAT YOU DO
-Chop the scallions and set aside. I like the flavor of them so I did 4 but you can go with 3 if you want it a little more mild.
-Drain and rinse the Chickpeas very well to get out any of that canned juice. Let them soak in cold water while you make the rest.
-Juice the limes into a small ramekin or bowl
-Boil 1 cup of water, when it comes to a boil turn it off and add couscous stir gently, cover and set aside for 5 minutes.
-Once the couscous is ready add in all the ingredients and toss together.
That’s it. Eat it alone like I do or serve on the side of whatever dish you like.
Enjoy -T
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Edamame And Pea Pesto….Another Pesto????

But it really isn’t Pesto and it is definitely healthier for sure. It is similar to pesto but is healthy, delicious, versatile and pretty to look at!
I have done pestos in the past (see pesto here: Arugula Pesto ~ BEST-O PESTO ~Wild Mushroom Pesto, and I mean it in the loosest sense of the word ) and now Edamame & Pea Pesto. This is another easy one so you should try it.

WHAT YOU NEED:
1 Cup cooked Edamame
1 Cup Thawed frozen peas (baby or regular, no need to cook them)
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese ( Cubed or grated )
1/4 Olive Oil
1 Cup Cashews (uhhhh YUM)
1 Clove garlic minced
Fresh Basil (if you’ve got it or you can use your (Basil Ice Cubes)
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and Pepper to taste (which means a good pinch of both)

WHAT YOU DO:
Grab the Cuisinart or food processor
Put in the cheese of it is cubed like mine and pules a few times to break it down
Add minced Garlic, Edamame, peas and blend until it is all chopped and mixed together
Add in Cashews, basil, salt, pepper & Lemon juice and blend.
While blending add in Olive Oil a few table spoons at a time until it becomes a thick paste.


Transfer to a bowl and dip away!!
Spoon it over hot pasta fresh out of the past water and it will melt over the noodles and stick like glue and there is no need to cook it.
Put it on top of baked sweet potatoes
Or anywhere else, I added it to my roasted tomato soup yesterday.
I’m off to Virginia so, I will see you soon!
HAVE A WONDERFUL THANKSGIVING!

-T

Enjoy -T

Tomato Beautiful

I already miss my garden tomatoes…..The store bought are just not the same, no flavor! So I did a quick and easy side that not only looks beautiful on the plate (Or Thanksgiving platter hint hint) it adds flavor.

WHAT YOU NEED:
Tomatoes on the vine (however many you want) I did 4
Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper
Olive Oil

WHAT YOU DO:
Pre Heat your oven to 350 degrees
Keep the tomatoes attached it looks way better
Drizzle them with a little olive oil
Sprinkle with salt and Pepper
Roast in the oven for 30 minutes

Place them on and around your platter with the Turkey, the red looks so beautiful and roasting them really brings out the flavor.
If you have any left over, peel the skin and add them to soup stock, salads, whatever!!


If I don’t see you before have a Happy Thanksgiving….I have to study 🙂
Enjoy -T

Deconstructed Apple Pie…

Well, as you know from the previous blog we went a little apple crazy and I had to use up those beautiful fresh picked gems!!
I did the Candy Apples and we ate those until we were sick and then I made these, A warm baked Apple Crumb dessert with Homemade Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream! I can actually hear myself gaining weight! But seriously when you eat these you will not care 🙂 Its like an apple pie ,just lazy with out the pretty crust, instead you put on a crumb topping and it is delicious!
The Weck Jars are my favorite things right now and they have made my desserts look exactly as I imagined them. (Its weird I am really not a dessert person and this blog has really brought out my SWEET side) I think desserts must look prettier then regular meals because there are so many on my Blog?! The Weck Jars are available on the Weck website and are much less then ordering them on other sites so if you are getting them go right to the source. I think it’s around $12 to $15 for 6 of them, maybe less…
This is another easy one so get your peeler and your pen, you will really be a Kitchen Queen when you serve this one. Anything served a little different really makes people impressed.

WHAT YOU NEED:
4 Cups chopped peeled apples, I use a variety so there is great flavor and textures
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1 1/2 Cups flour (any type will work)
1/2 Cup packed brown sugar (this is a must for the flavor regular sugar won’t have the richness)
1/2 stick butter melted (go get the good butter! Homemade from Vermont)

WHAT YOU DO:
PREHEAT YOUR OVEN TO 350 DEGREES
~Peel the apples and cut them into bite sized pieces and slices (They will cook down a little)
~Set them aside and sprinkle with a few tablespoons of lemon juice to keep them from turing brown
~In a mixing bowl add all the ingredients except the apples.
~Mix it well until it becomes a gravel type consistency, you want it to stick together if you squeeze it in your hand.
(If you do not have the Weck jars you can use any type of baking dish just follow the same steps)
~Spoon in a few Tablespoons of the crumb mixture into the bottom of the Jar and press it down to create a “crust” it should be about an inch thick.
~Scoop in 1 cup of chopped apples (more or less as need to get to about 3/4 of an inch from the top
~Top with 2 or 3 more Tablespoons of the crumb mixture this time just spoon it on and do not press it down.
~Place the jars in a baking dish and place in the oven for 45 minutes until baked crumbly and brown.

Whip up some fresh whipped cream with fresh vanilla bean and serve a dollop on top!
ENJOY -T


Im Sorry I’ve been busy

So Hopefully you don’t mind I am using an old recipe because it’s perfect for this weather, I am starting a new direction in my career and need to study and it is so, so  hard I am trying to get  into a good swing were I can get back to blogging.It should only be a few more weeks. I have so many recipes stored up and photos still in the camera it’s killing me BUT!…. I will be back in action soon and I will figure out how to schedule both 🙂

WHAT YOU NEED:

3 Tbls olive oil
2 16 oz cans of whole peeled tomatoes (the best kind you can find)
1 Cup of slow roasted tomatoes (from a previous post or sun dried tomatoes, not in oil)
1 Cup fresh basil leaves torn into large pieces
3 cloves of garlic minced (on a micro-plane if you can)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbls fresh pepper
good pinch of red pepper flakes or Aleppo Pepper
1/4 cup cream or half & half heated (optional)
Toppers:
Fresh ciabatta croutons with parmesan
Panko Parmesan crumbs
chives

WHAT YOU DO:
Heat Oil in stock pot and add the minced garlic, heat on med for just a few minutes to cook out the raw garlic flavor.
add salt, sugar, & pepper and cook for 3 to 5 minutes
Add in the tomatoes (cans)
Add in 2 cans of water making sure to get all the tomato left in the cans
stir in basil and bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and continue to simmer for 1 hour. You really want to cook down and intensify flavors it starts out very plain but really ends up very tasty.
once you have cooked it all down use and immersion blender  and blend the whole tomatoes, trying to leave some of the slow roasted ones in tact. if you can’t that’s ok too.
When you are ready to serve temper cream by adding a ladle of the soup to the cream to keep it from curdling and then mix into pot. this adds a nice smooth taste.

For toppings, cut up some bread drizzle with olive oil, parm cheese, salt & pepper and toast in the oven at 425 till crunchy. Put in a bowl on the table
in a small saute pan put in 1 Tbls butter, 1/4 cup parm cheese & 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs and brown. Also put in a bowl for the table
cut some chives and be sure to add them to the soup for that light onion flavor & bright green contrast of color!

Creamy Mushroom Linguine

Oh Yea, This is not for the faint of waist line. This is a rich creamy, cheesy decadent dinner. Just be sure to serve a nice starter salad so you don’t have to eat a pound of this gooey deliciousness, because you will, it has everything you could want any more from a pasta dish.

Making the mushrooms perfect is the trick and I will walk you through it, and of course PHOTOS! Lots of photos.
A few tips:

  • This dish cools fast, as do most creamy dishes so be sure to time it properly or keep the pasta and sauce separate until you are just about to serve so you can re-heat sauce and add it as you are serving….I don’t like my dishes to get cold.
  • Mushrooms are very independent and like to be alone in the pan. They brown much faster and better if you don’t crowd them. If there are too many they will not brown at all, so take your time and do them in small batches, it is not that big a deal this you can totally do ahead of time and set them aside.
  • Buy mushrooms whole and slice them your self, they dry out pre cut and loose flavor, so if possible get them in one piece.
  • Use Butter and oil in the pan when browning so you get the high cook temp of the oil but the flavor of the butter.
  • Mushroom variety and sizes are what really makes this dish. You get complex flavor and great texture if you mix it up. Slice them thick and thin & quarter them, that way you have different bites rather then having a plate of pasta with mushrooms that are the same texture…..Boring (Zzzzzzz) Each type have a different texture too so mix it up
  • Try other combinations like Enoki, Porcini, Oyster & Portabella. the only ones I don’t suggest are canned (Eww Gross) or dried, Dried are great for other dishes

Now lets get to it!
WHAT YOU NEED:
1 Lb of Linguini cooked al dente, The box directions almost always are perfect but you can cook it to you liking, obviously.
3.5 Oz Shitake Mushrooms (Pkg was that size use what ever amount you want)
8 Oz White Button Mushrooms
8 Oz Baby Bella Mushrooms (Crimini)
1 Large Shallot Minced
2 Cloves garlic Minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less if you like the heat)
1 Pint Light cream
4 oz plain cream cheese (1/2 of a package at room temp)
3/4 Cup really good freshly grated Parmesan (Rigianno if your purse can handle it, it is good and salty and really noting compares)
3 Tablespoons chopped chives
Fresh Cracked Pepper
1 tablespoon Kosher salt (to salt the water)
3 tbls butter (as needed)
3 tbls oil (as needed)
WHAT YOU DO:
~Fill a large stock pot with water and set on high heat to boil, add in the 1 Tbl salt (this is the only time you can flavor the pasta and it is crucial to really salt the water before the pasta goes in, it will absorb into each piece and really boost the flavor of the dish…I promise)
~When it is at a FULL ROLLING BOIL add in pasta and set the timer.
~When timer goes off drain but DO NOT RINSE that removes all the starch, If you can time it properly you can use tongs and scoop the pasta right from the boiling water into the mushroom mix & that would be the best way.
~Cut up your mushrooms first make 2 piles out of each kind around the same size. so you will have 6 piles. Quarter half and slice the other half. but be sure the are all in different bowls, they will all have different cooking times.
~In a large saute pan add 1 tbl oil and a little butter and heat on medium high to melt.
~Add in the first batch of mushrooms and saute until brown on all sides, watch the pan you don’t want anything to get burnt.
~As they brown remove them to a dish. Some may brown faster and just remove those to the bowl.
~Follow with each batch browning each one until they are all done, this takes a little time but feel free to do this step ahead.
(Mushrooms cook way down so it might seem like there are a lot but they will shrink up so se sure to use them all or even add more!)
~Once they are all browned and removed from the pan add in the shallots and saute until translucent.
~Add in the garlic and cook another few minutes. If you add the garlic too soon it will brown and take on a slightly bitter taste and that is not what you want.
~Add red pepper and saute one more minute to release the heat
~Return mushrooms to pan and add in cream cheese.
~Mix well as the cream cheese melts
~Slowly add in the Light Cream about a 1/4 cup at a time mixing to incorporate and making sure everything is mixed together.
~Once all the cream is added mix in the grated parm and fresh cracked pepper.
~The mixture should be bubbly hot and add the pasta right to the creamy mushrooms.
~Serve immediately, making sure to get out all types of mushrooms and garnish with fresh chopped chives and a few shavings of parm. Drizzle just a touch of olive oil to make it look really pretty!!
DELICIOUS!! ENJOY-T

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