A small note, because, well, I can never be completely “wordless”… This past weekend my mom, sister, sweet niece and I went to my grandma’s to make applesauce. It was a great afternoon, with my amazing mom, who always seems to know what she is doing in any task we undergo. I’m so lucky to have my grandma and mom to learn from. And my niece? Yes, she is always that cute. And we can’t wait to continue the tradition for years to come.
What::: A greek salsa (if there is such a thing as “greek salsa”) which was basically just a mixture of chick peas, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots & red peppers that was coated with a Greek Vinagarette and topped with a little pepper. I also made a rosemary quinoa to add a little more filling to our burritos and we used hummus as a spread.
Where::: Our dinner table that is slowly being taken over with squash and other fall veggies.
When::: A Monday after Sean and I had our weekly yoga class.
With the end of the garden season, i rushed outside and stripped my basil plant. Off went the leaves from the plant and into the food processor they went. I found my pesto recipe in my Betty Crocker cookbook, but made an alteration: instead of using pine nuts, I used sliced almonds. Once the pesto was made, I separated it into individual serving containers, then put it into our freezer. It will be great to bring it out this winter, to have a small taste of summer to remind me that it’s worth waiting through all the snow for the spring.
Do you have a great pesto recipe you love?
Even though we live in the city, we aren’t the greatest “city folk”. I mean, we aren’t bumpkins stuck in city or anything, but no matter how long we live in the city we can’t seem to shake these “country” roots. After a Sunday of cleaning and moving chickens around from here to there, we sat around an early dinner table to eat a veggie pot pie. If home had a taste, I’d like to be pot pie. It’s so filing, making both belly and mind satisfied. I must say, I prefer life this way; it’s best of both worlds here in our little place in the city– it really is.
(Included in our pot pie: Broccoli, corn, potatoes, onion, and kale.)
The other day I went to a restaurant and didn’t order the fish tacos. I got a stir fry instead. Now the stir fry was good and all, but I left the restaurant wanting those tacos. So less than three days later, I found myself in my kitchen, trying my hand at making this meal to squelch my craving. Thankfully, it was a victory. And we got to eat outside, which makes Mexican Food taste better no. matter. what.
How I made my batter:
1/2 cup Dos Equis beer
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper, to taste.
I first stirred chili powder, salt and pepper into my flour. Then, slowly I added the beer. Next, I took a sip of the remaining beer and stirred the batter simultaneously. I’m sure this helped the process. I let the batter sit for about fifteen minutes.
Meanwhile I warmed my tortillas. These are our favorite tortillas! They’re so awesome!
As the tortillas were cooking, I made a quick batch of “cheaters guacamole” by simply gutting two avocados, smashing them and adding pre-made salsa to it. This salsa is our favorite.
I also made a veggie filling to put in our fish tacos. How I made my veggies:
I fried 1/2 yellow pepper and 1/2 red pepper together with a clove of garlic, some chili powder, oregano and a half-cup of corn. Once this was mostly cooked, I added a handful of spinach.
Now for the fun part! How I cooked my fish and batter:
I warmed up about one inch of olive oil in a pan. As it warmed, I cut my fish into small pieces. Then, I dabbed them each in flour, before coating them in my batter. After which, I put them in the oil for about four minutes. When they were done, I piled them up on a tray and we went out to the picnic table for a picnic dinner. It was a super windy night out, but we appreciated the cool down that the evening breeze brought to the Mid-West. Together, we sat under a tree and ate our fish tacos very gladly. And I like to think they were better than the tacos on the menu at that ol’ restaurant.
\When it comes to cooking, I have a few theories. One: anything is better when it comes from the garden. Two: You don’t need to know what you want to make when you begin cooking; just throw stuff in a pan. (Somethings this mean you end up ordering pizza, though.) And three: Breakfast always tastes better at in the evening. Always.
Theory one and three are exemplified in this post. But not two. I knew exactly what I wanted to cook the other evening when I started making this breakfast wrap.
What I included::: Scrambled eggs with a handful of chopped spinach and fresh kitchen basil. Diced tomatoes to top. And pesto to spread, of course. Breakfast is always better with pesto added to the mix.
And luckily, on that hot summer evening, breakfast was just the meal we were both wanting for dinner. Theory number four: meals always taste better when shared.
I’m sure there is pizza in Heaven. There has to be. I mean, how can there NOT be?
After a quick trip to my garden the other afternoon, I came back with whole lot of basil and our first sandwich tomato. I ran into Sean’s office and demanded he touch, demanded he smelled, demanded he get as excited about it as I wasn’t. Spoiler alert: Sean’s calm demeanor translates excitement very differently than mine. So, I settled for him smiling at me and ran (literally) into the kitchen to get started on supper.
I was going to put my garden finds on a tortilla, but I decided to make a garden fresh pizza instead, because even though I love things on tortilla, I love pizza a little bit more.
Then I ate it. A lot of it. And I didn’t regret one bite.
Sean called to say he was coming home from work in twenty minutes. Unfortunately, I was deeply involved in a conversation with Don Draper and hadn’t even considered what I would cook for dinner that evening. Reluctantly, I turned off Netflix and trudged into the kitchen. I hemmed and hawed for about two minutes before opening the drawer in the refrigerator and pulling out the bag of tortillas. Then what to put on top, what to put on top? I’m sure you’ve all mustered this challenge over before. Typically I would reach for the brown rice, but in an attempt to make it look like I hadn’t watched Mad Men for two hours this evening, I decided to really change things up and go for the quinoa jar. And then instead of our go-to black beans, I chose pinto. After cooking my ingredients in the pressure cooker, I added some taco seasoning and fresh cilantro, then mixed it all together.
Then into the wrap they went with some cheese on the side. Next, I folded them up and put them on the Gorge Foreman. And tell you what, by the time Sean got home, he had no idea about my rendevous with Don Draper.
Food is pretty important around here. Sean and I try to eat Pescetarian while we are home. This decision has drastically changed what we eat and how we prepare our meals. People always ask us, “yah, but what do you eat?” Doubtful that we have variety and fulfilling meals in our lives. But the reality is, since we started this process, we have greatly expanded the types of food we eat. I strive really hard to have colorful, healthful meals that can sustain us. Sean likes to eat a lot, which challenges me to make meals that I haven’t tried before. And while every night isn’t a feast, I try to make it eatable. Plus, once I get home from working, I love standing over a stove and preparing meals while Sean plays his guitar in the other room. It’s definitely my 6:00pm Zen Zone.
Luckily I discovered Sean’s mealtime weakness early on in our relations::: burritos. Any kind of burrito– he isn’t picky. Truth be told, I probably make two to three different types of burritos a week. This past weekend, while he was gone, I made a new burrito and man, is he going to be sad he missed this one, because well, it was delightful!
Included in this week’s burrito:::: quinoa, tomato, kale, Veggie Italian Sausage (made by this company) stir-fried in pesto olive oil and served on a whole wheat burrito. This could be an easy vegan fix, but I decided to add some cheese (I’m a sucker for cheese!)
We can’t be the only people obsessed with burritos, right?
Thursday confession: I’m freakish about cupboards filled with bags and bags and bags of food. Especially when the bags and bags and bags of food only have a handful of food left in them. Do you know what I mean, though? I’m not totally crazy, right? And why is it that kids never want that last handful of food; no matter how hard you beg? Isn’t it the same food they had for a snack yesterday, just with less in the bag? Oh the mysteries of youth.
So, when I’m at work and I notice this phenomenon consuming our cupboards, I take it upon myself to make a big batch of trail mix. There is no method to my madness when I start. I just take every bag of food and dump it into one container. Then, we pick at the trail mix all day…at the park for our morning snack, after our picnic, after nap and again when the other kiddos get off the bus. You’d be surprised at how quickly the trail mix goes even though it was just all the food no one wanted a few days ago.
Do you have any household confessions you’d like to share today?