Monday, September 14, 2009

Revisiting the weekend...

I did make the fried rice for lunch on Friday, it turned out quite nicely, although, as usual, I was missing a few things I thought I had.  The veg I used were all green, so there was no snap of color from any carrots, etc.
Friday night dinner was the mushroom fajitas, they were quite tasty.  I found several different marinade recipes on the interNOT & threw something together based on what I liked from each recipe I saw.  All the recipes I saw were quite similar, and an ingredient in almost all of them that kind of surprised me was soy sauce.  I used soy sauce in mine, as well as some balsamic vinegar & a dash of Worcestershire sauce, along with some other spices.  Also whipped up a bit of guacamole & viola, dinner was served!  Pretty easy & delicious, what's not to like there?
Saturday we had dinner at my parents' house to celebrate my newly employed status.  My mom & I decided on a vegetarian feast, and let me tell y'all, it was one of the most delicious meals I have had in a while.  My mom made pesto, which we used on fresh pasta & fresh gnocchi which was purchased from Valenza Pasta (just across the street from our apartment here in Midtown).  Side note:  Valenza Pasta is awesome!  I have used their homemade pizza dough when I was too lazy or pressed for time to make my own.  Also have purchased their fresh lasagne noodles at least 4 times in the past & they are always lovely.
I made some Italian-style green beans which were fab, and a salad with fresh FM greens.  If you read my posts on facebook you'll know that I forgot to put the FM radishes in the salad Saturday evening, not to worry though, Dave & I finished the salad yesterday & I put a few radishes in & also made some cheesy garlic toasts with baguette leftover from Saturday.
I did not make the dessert surprise for my man, as I had planned to.  Will probably do that tonight as I am making a pot roast for dinner.  I purchased a lovely chuck roast from Donnell Century farms at the FM on Saturday & pot roast dinner seems like a dessert kind of dinner. 
Perhaps I'll update later tonight with recipes & to let y'all know how the dessert turns out.  Wish me luck!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Weekend cooking

Plans for cooking this weekend include:
Trying to make a Benihana style fried rice for lunch today when Dave gets home from work (inspired by my brother, Matt.  He made some delicious fried rice when they were here last month).
Tonight may try to make some wild mushroom fajitas made with shittakes from the Farmer's Market. 
Also bought a bunch of tomatoes & cucumbers at the Wednesday Farmer's Market, so I am going to whip up some of my delightful cucumber & tomato salad. 
Other weekend cooking will depend in large part on what looks good at the FM(henceforth, let's refer to the Farmer's Market as 'FM'...we have given it a code name!  How clandestine.)  in the morning.  I may get some beef from the beef folks or, pork from the Berkshire pork folks.  We bought some peppered bacon from them a couple weekends ago - Dave & I agreed, it was the best bacon we had ever laid mouth on!  There's also some seafood guys who have been there every weekend, if I feel adventerous I may buy some seafood for tomorrow night.  I'm  not as comfortable cooking seafood as I am other foods, probably because I am a relatively new eater of seafood & am quite particular about the fishes & other sea creatures that I eat. 
I really like the flaky whitefishes...halibuts, groupers, tilapias.  I cannot eat salmon - it's too oily & fishy for me.  I absolutely can't stand tuna salad, but, on our wedding night, Dave & I went to Blue Fish in Cooper Young; Dave had their black & white sesame tuna, which I had a bite of & suprisingly, really liked it.  It was rich & flavorful but not fishy.  And, I didn't have any 'texture issues', which I frequently have with fish & meats.  I do love me some scallops, but I don't think the seafood guys at the Saturday market have ever had those available.
So, we shall see what foody goodness awaits the Phillips household on this September weekend.  I will say that I am planning a dessert for Dave, it is a surprise, so I can't say what it is, but it's from a Jamie Oliver cookbook.  Will let y'all know how it goes over....
Y'all enjoy your weekends & let me know if you make anything yummy!

Lunch with G-Girl

Okay, so I had lunch with Little G on Wednesday, and am just now posting about it...  But, you know, I had a job interview & stuff yesterday & well, my blog-laziness doesn't take long to kick in. 
Anyhow, for our veggie-full lunch on Wednesday I made a 'salad' I love to make during the summer, when tomatoes & basil abound.  There's no just slice up some lovely fresh tomatoes, preferably from your own garden or local Farmer's Market.  Slice up some fresh mozzarella (I just discovered a brand at Schnuck's that I like alot, Mozarella Fresca) & layer that on top of the tomatoes.  Drizzle with some good quality balsamic vinegar & some equally good quality olive oil, salt & freshly ground pepper to taste, and some finely chopped basil leaves.  Totally easy & delicious!  I made 3 layers in a little Rubbermaid container to take for lunch Wednesday.
I also got up that morning & baked a squash pie, improvising on a recipe from Book Club Vicky.  It turned out quite tasty, although, I think I should've added a bit more flour as mine was more oily than either Vicky's or my mom's.  I will post the recipe as given by Vicky & let you know what I changed.  The one she brought to Book Club last month was great, the one my mom made using Vicky's recipe was great, and mine was great too, so winners all around!
Grace also enjoyed both items, in case you are wondering.  She did think I used too much pepper on the tomato salad.  Go figure!

Book Club Vicky's Squash Pie
2.5 to 3 cups grated squash (I think my mum & I both used zucchini, not sure about Vicky)
1 small chopped onion (since you don't saute it first I made sure it was very finely chopped)
3 beaten eggs
1/2 cup flour (being Christine, I did not actually measure the flour & just dumped some in till it 'looked about right'...I think I should've used a bit more, so maybe a good idea to measure, at least the first time round).
1 cup grated cheese (I think Vicky said she used co-jack, my mom & I used extra sharp really could use anything hard to semi-hard I'll bet.  I think next time I may try Swiss or Gruyere).
1/3 cup oil (I used butter...which also might've contributed to the oiliness of my pie!)
salt, pepper, and chopped fresh sage to taste

Okay, you know I added some stuff, right?  I added about 1/2 tsp dried thyme, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and a smidge of garlic powder. 

Mix all the ingredients together & put it in a pie pan that you have greased or sprayed with Pam.  Pop the pan into a preheated 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes (I think mine took about 45). 

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The stuffed peppers...

Turned, okay.  I used Elise's recipe from, with some modifications, because I didn't have a few ingredients, like ketchup.  Only okay, compared to last time I made them...probably about 5 years ago, but still, that memory lingers.
If you've read the 'main' blog this evening you'll know I'm cranky, so I won't go on about the peppers.  Taking veggie lunch to my G-girl tomorrow...planning to get up in the morn & make something yummerific for her.  Y'all will get an update on how that goes.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Stuffed Bell Peppers

I bought some nice, big red bell peppers at the Farmer's Market Saturday & am thinking of making some stuffed bell peppers for dinner tomorrow.  I can't find the recipe that I've used before, which was really good...ground beef, cheese, onion, rice..all baked into a delicious bell pepper container.  Anyone have a good recipe to share?  I also have zucchini I need to use, going to make Vicky's squash pie recipe with those...then I'll have something to take to my little vegetarian for lunch on Wednesday.
So y'all send me any delightful bell pepper recipes before about 3 tomorrow & perhaps I will try one out.  Tonight, we are grilling out over at Ma & Pa's house...yummers!

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Soon, I will post recipes, thoughts on food, perhaps even photos of food, on this page.  Right now I just wanted to kick things off by adding this page to my repertoire & putting a link to it on the 'Very Concerning' page.  Trying to use my very limited knowledge of HTML to add this blog as a 'sub-blog' far, not going so great.
While I am creating the greatness, here is a delightful recipe that I make frequently for my little vegetarian girl, Grace.  Non-vegetarians also give it rave reviews!  As with most of my recipes, measurements for most of the ingredients will be estimates.  Some people are bothered by this...if you are one of those people, you probably should not attempt this at home.  Just a thought...

BAMF Cannellini Beans With Manchego

2 15-oz cans white beans
1 smallish onion, chopped
about 3 cloves of garlic, also chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup or vegetable stock (I use chicken stock when making it for the non-vegetarians
1 teaspoon each chopped fresh rosemary and thyme
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes (I like the fire-roasted variety)
1 tablespoon tomato paste (I like the kind in the squeezy tube, y'all)
grated  Manchego cheese (I use alot, probably about 3/4 of a cup)
smoked paprika (probably about 1/2 tsp)
cayenne pepper (just a pinch)
Aleppo pepper or crushed red pepper (just a bit, unless you want it quite spicy)
salt and freshly ground black pepper  (to taste)
1 tablespoon chopped  fresh parsley (only if you have it, if you don't skip it)  (and, under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you use dried parsley in this dish, or any other, for that matter.  vile, taste-free stuff that!)
If I have any I will also throw in a few pieces of roasted pepper (red or yellow) that I've chopped up.  I also will use about a teaspoon of Penzey's 'Tuscan Sunset' seasoning blend if I have some on hand.

Preheat the oven to 475°F.
Oil up a baking dish of some sort (I go with olive oil)...I use my Pampered Chef  baking dish thingy, which probably holds 4 or 5 cupfuls of stuff.  You can use any kind of dish you would normally use to bake a casserole in, but it shouldn't be too deep.  The sides of my PC stoneware thingy are about an inch, inch and a half high.
Add butter & olive oil to a skillet.  Saute the onion till it's soft but not browned, add the garlic toward the end.  After you've sauteed the garlic about a minute add your spices & herbs (except the parsley),the roasted red peppers, and your tomato products.  Saute for another couple minutes, then add the beans & simmer for 15 or 20 minutes, uncovered.  Check it to make sure it doesn't dry out; add more broth if it looks like this is happening.
Put roughly half the bean/tomato mixture in a bowl & immersion blender it all to hell.  Well, okay, maybe you don't have to be quite so harsh, but you want it to have a creamy texture.  If it's too dry add a bit more broth while you are blendering it, but not too much.  It shouldn't have a soupy quality, should be more like the consistency of hummus but a bit more chunky.  I know, I'm being very vague here...get over it y'all,sheesh.
Stir the two bean & tomato mixtures together & spread them into your oiled baking dish of choice (if the skillet you used is oven-safe to 475 degrees you can use that for both the sauteing & the baking, to save yourself a dish).  Sprinkle the cheese on top (you could use any hard or semi-hard cheese, we prefer manchego.  it is a delightful should get to know it!), pop that joker in the oven & bake it for 15 or 20 minutes, until the cheese just starts to brown.  Oh, and if you went with the fresh parsley, sprinkle that on now.
Take it out of the oven, let it cool off a bit & viola!  you got you a delicious, nutritious vegetarian meal.
I like to serve it with some crusty french-style bread or rolls & a salad or some nice fresh veg, like steamed broccoli or sauteed fresh green beans.
If any of you make it, leave me a comment & let me know how it turned out for you.  It really is verra, verra good.