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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.
IMG_0408 IMG_0409 - Copy IMG_0410 IMG_0411 IMG_0413
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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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!

Fennel and Tomato Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Seriously simple and so tasty!
This is a great combination of flavors and textures. The tomato is soft, juicy and acidic and the fennel is crunchy and complex with a slight anise flavor, The lemon rounds out the flavors and make this a fresh tasting healthy side dish to serve with any meal.
WHAT YOU NEED:
2 Large tomatoes (they must be fresh picked from the garden or local from the farmers market. Grocery store tomatoes are tasteless and covered in wax.
1 Large Fennel Bulb with fronds
1 Lemon
1/2 Tsp dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
pinch of sugar

WHAT YOU DO:
Slice the tomato and fennel and place in a large bowl
Top with the Fronds from the fennel (the top greens that look like dill)
Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing until emulsified and drizzle over the fennel & Tomato
Serve immediately YUM

Enjoy -T


Enjoy -T

Stacked Summer Salad

Or….as Heather called it “Veggie Layered Deliciousness”. I didn’t have a name for it at the time.

This is a little bit of a project but worth the “Ooh’s and Ahhh’s”  This can be done with all kinds of vegetables but I found this combo worked the best for me. I did do a few unnecessary steps I will let you know about as we get into it. I put in a ton of photos so you can see exactly how to do it. It’s easy just layering each veggie takes a little time.

WHAT YOU NEED:
4 Medium/Large Carrots
2 Medium Zucchini Squash
2 Medium Summer (yellow) squash
1 Small Red Onion
2 cups Baby Lettuce (or spinach)
3 Tbls Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 Tbl Fresh dill, chopped
1 Tbls Fresh Parsley Chopped
Fresh Ground Pepper
Kosher salt
Chopped chives or parsley for garnish

WHAT YOU DO:
With a Mandolin slice all the vegetables the long way. For the squashes make them about an 1/8 of an inch thick. You want them to bend with out breaking but not so thin you can see through them. The carrots and onions make as thin as the Mandolin will let you but stay in one piece.
Generously salt the Zucchini and Summer squash on both sides and put in a colander to drain for about a 1/2 hour. This is very important to draw the water out. If you do not the salad will be very watery and not cut nicely.
While you are waiting for the squashes, make the dressing.
Combine the Lemon Juice, Olive oil, Parsley, Dill and pepper in a bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
Once the Squashes have been sitting for the 1/2 hour gently rinse them with cold water to remove all the salt.
Lay them flat to dry on dish towels, gently press them to make sure all the water is off.
In a square baking dish (9X9 worked well for me) metal or glass, Place vegetables in layers covering the pervious layer completely before going on to the next except the red onions just lay a little down otherwise that is all you will taste. Finishing with the red onions on top.
See Photos
You will see I lined the dish with plastic wrap, thinking it would make everything easier and it was a completely unnecessary step. (I was not sure how this would turn out or if it would even come out so I used it as back up, but don’t bother. You end up cutting through it and you don’t want to serve someone clear plastic in their food, you make kill them.
Starting with the zucchini or summer squash lay the pieces side by side, be sure they are touching or even a little over & cover the bottom of the dish completely. Follow with something different in texture and color (this will give you the best end result as far as color goes. I did Zucchini, carrots, onions, summer squash, lettuce. Then repeat. (if you look closely I messed up and I guess it didn’t matter too much:)) Make sure you go right up to the edge.
After you place a few layers of vegetables drizzle with a little of the dressing and repeat as you go making sure to have just a little left for the last layer.
After you drizzle the remaining dressing on the final layer, top with plastic wrap and place a weight on the top to press and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
To serve cut portions with a very sharp knife and lift out with a spatula. (this cuts surprisingly well I thought the carrots would make it hard to cut nice layers but it worked out perfectly.)
Garnish with some fresh chopped chives or parsley and a little drizzle of olive oil.
YUM & WOW

You Say Potato, I Say Poe-tah-toe Pancake

OH MY GOD IF I EAT ANY MORE POTATOES I’LL BE ONE!!
Ok, I’ve eaten a lot of them the past few days but I had to post one more potato recipe because I had so much leftover and this came out better than I thought.
WHAT YOU NEED:
2 Cups Leftover cold chunky mashed potatoes. I used the leftover from the “petite stuffed potato” blog. (you need thick chunky mashed potatoes or they do not work…trust me)
1/4 Cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbls Butter
1 Tbls Olive Oil

WHAT YOU DO:
Roll the potatoes into about a 2 inch ball. (as with most of my recipes you can adjust the size depending on what you like…want them cute and small? just make them smaller:)) Try to make them the width of your spatula or smaller, this will make flipping easier.
Press them out to about 1/2 inch thick.
On a small plate combine the Panko & Parmesan.
Place the potato in the crumbs and press the crumbs onto each side. ( Be sure to generously coat them because these are what holds the shape)
Melt the butter and olive oil together on med/high.
Place the pancake in the pan and cook on same heat until one side is browned. VERY IMPORTANT: Do not move it around just let it cook so it will stay together, this takes a few minutes and you can tell when it is browned by looking at the edges. Let it get good and crispy.
Using a solid spatula (one with holes will let the potato fall thorough, did that…) quickly slide the pancake onto it and flip. If you go too slow it will fall apart.
Cook until it is browned on the second side, you may need to adjust the heat a little. Just keep an eye on them.
Transfer to a plate using a clean spatula (if you have stuff stuck to it, it might mess up the process, did that too…).
Add some parsley and TA-DAH! Potato Pancake!!
I sautéed some Portabella’s and made it my lunch.

Enjoy- T

Rosette’s Super Easy to Make Potato Salad

Rosette is most definitely the nicest person I have ever met, She also makes incredible food and a fresh, light tasting potato salad. Yes light! My husband did work on her house and we all became fast friends. Lucky for us she likes to cook and share her food.
We have all had the mayonnaise drenched potatoes that people call salad but I can not stomach it, mostly because I really do not like mayonnaise, Nayonaise or any other version of aise.
So when Rosette said she was making me potato salad, I panicked, I’ll always say thank you and take a bite. But much to my surprise this is what she gave me.
Did I mention this is easy? Well it is, very easy and you should go make it right now.

WHAT YOU NEED:
1 bag of Baby Red potatoes (I had some left from my last dish I posted)
2 lemons (juice and a little zest)
3 tablespoons Olive Oil (less or more to taste)
1 large garlic clove, minced
Salt & fresh Cracked Pepper (to taste)

WHAT YOU DO:
Boil the potatoes until just tender, then let them cool. If they are over cooked they will not hold together well. Be sure to boil them whole, this makes a big difference.
Once they are cooled enough to handle cut them into quarters (bite sized) try to make them uniform in size.
Place them in a large bowl and add all the ingredients.
GENTLY mix them so they are coated with all the flavors.
Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.
The lemon adds a freshness that a cooked potato just does not have. This is great side dish and is perfect for a Picnic, Barbecue or party and you do not have to worry about the mayo in the heat/sun. Just before serving put a little chopped parsley (my make all food look great herb) and a little drizzle of olive oil….pretty!!

Enjoy -T

Hummus Among Us

There is nothing easier than making your own hummus! You can make so many different types and it is so good for you. This is a basic recipe I make and you can add in what every you feel like having. Peppers, artichoke hearts, spinach, roasted garlic, roasted peppers, See I could keep going but I wont. Here is my favorite all around recipe.

WHAT YOU NEED:
1 Can chick peas strained & rinsed well ( also called Garbanzo beans you want to rinse the salt from the canning. Using fresh beans is best but i’m going for the quick version)
2 Tablespoons Tahini
1 Garlic clove minced
1 Lemon (juice & zest save the zest for garnish)
fresh cracked pepper
chives for garnish (optional)
Olive Oil (about 3 tablespoons but more as needed to get to desired consistency, I like it very smooth)

WHAT YOU DO:
*Put it all in a food processor and blend until desired thickness.
*drizzle in olive oil as you go very slowly and when you like the texture, you are done!
*put in a nice serving bowl and put out some dipping favorites. In our house its pretzel chips & carrots.
Some other dippers are bell pepper slices in all colors, celery, pita bread, cucumber slices, zucchini slices
SO EASY

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