Monday, 23 July 2007


Although a more appropriate photo might have been the empty wine bottles, here's what we ate in between drinks when our friends Chuck & Kari came over for a cookout.
It's corn season here in Wisconsin & it is just so delicious right now. It's hard to beat grilled corn on the cob. Alongside we had some grilled brats, rice salad, pasta salad & watermelon. And wine.

Saturday, 21 July 2007

insalata caprese

I cannot wait until the tomatoes in my garden make the transition from unyielding green to beautiful deep red, but in the meantime grocery store ones will have to do. I just know they're going to reach perfection when we go on vacation next week...

This salad is tied for first place all time favorite summertime salad next to a good Greek salad - just chopped up cherry tomatoes, fresh buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil (something that my garden is actually producing, and how) a quick slug of olive oil and a grind each of salt and pepper. Now, how could you improve on that? It's just not possible, people!

Friday, 20 July 2007


A little bit of help from Trader Joe's Korma simmer sauce helped make a quick, cheap and delicious dinner - cooked off some chicken and sweet potatoes, then put them in the sauce to warm up while I steamed basmati rice. Finished off with a dollop of plain yogurt and some not very good nan bread from the supermarket. Not exactly a meal for the middle of summer but it really worked.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

lemon feta chicken

This was a good & zesty dinner - chicken breasts baked with lemon juice & fresh oregano sprinkled over the top - scatter some feta cheese over the top & bake @ 350 for about 40 minutes. I threw on some capers at the end, although I think it was already quite salty with the feta. Made some turmeric rice to go along side & some peas from the garden.

Monday, 16 July 2007

bits & pieces

This time of year as the weather gets hotter we tend to start grazing rather than sitting down to 3 square meals. Strawberries & blueberries are plentiful & cheap right now so we've been eating bowls of them with our lazy summer dinners. Alex tried his hand at making focaccia this weekend & the top picture is the result - it was sublime. Lots of sea salt, fresh rosemary & olive oil brushed on top & pooled into the dimples. Just heavenly.

Saturday, 14 July 2007


Here's a twist on the classic BLT (bacon, lettuce & tomato sandwich, for the uninitiated.) Instead of bacon I used an amazing substitute called Fakin' Bacon - smoked tempeh. My kids completely rejected it, but I love it. Lettuce from the garden, tomatoes & lots of mayonnaise.
I made homemade potato chips to go with it - thinly sliced potatoes, tossed with olive oil, sea salt & rosemary baked in a 450 oven for 20 minutes. They didn't come out as crispy as I would have liked, but we still ate them all up. Fresh blueberries finished off a good meal on the porch.

Friday, 13 July 2007

middle eastern feast (out of a box)

I know it's almost a sin to start ripping open boxes to make dinner when there is so much bounty at the farmers' market and, after all, we're trying to eat whole foods....but this mama doesn't have time to do it all from scratch all the time. So! Last night - a box of falafel mix was made, then another box of tabouli was opened, but then I added fresh parsley, mint, cucumbers, tomatoes, feta cheese & lemon juice to the tabouli. We put the falafel in a pita with chopped carrots, cukes & tomatoes, then topped it all with hummus.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007


This was the first time I had ever cooked gnocchi & we're all converts - even the extremely picky Jack ate a whole bunch (but only after we picked off the 'green stuff' - basil.)
This is just plain gnocchi boiled then added to sauteed sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, the aforementioned green stuff and parmesan cheese to finish. Pretty simple really, but I can see why gnocchi is Italian comfort food.

Monday, 9 July 2007

cleaning out the fridge

This photo didn't come out too well, but it was certainly a tasty way to clean out the fridge. We had gone to the Farmers' Market on Sat. AM and came back with some fingerling potatoes, scallions & mushrooms. Threw it all together in a pan with lots of garlic, s & p, then threw in some spinach from the garden at the last minute. Lots of parmesan cheese on top made everything come together. Salad was too gritty: must do a better job of rinsing the lettuce when I pick it.

chicken fajitas

What a beautiful summertime meal, eaten outside on the picnic table after a long day playing in the sprinkler (the boys, not us.)
Chicken and lots of peppers & onions marinated in a cilantro/cumin/lime marinade and grilled. Just served with flour tortillas & some fresh watermelon, what more could you ask for?? As for me, a break from chicken coming up...I feel like we've been eating waaaaaay too much of it lately.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

southwestern salad

Adapted from a Vegetarian Times recipe to include chicken rather than pinto beans. Quite labor intensive because of the number of ingredients, but this was a very fresh tasting salad. I used red peppers, avocado, green onions, corn, cilantro, chicken, grape tomatoes and a chili/lime dressing.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

chicken cheese quesadillas

Just when I thought I was getting burned out on chicken we made these quesadillas for dinner tonight. Grilled cubed chicken which had been sprinkled with lime juice & Wundoemus. White cheddar cheese on top of that, then cooked up in a pan. Sprinkled with some very good sweetcorn (still the frozen stuff - fresh not quite ready yet - then some Trader Joe's salsa.
So good Alex is making me make it for lunch again tomorrow.

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

spagetti bolognaise

Ok, so it isn't real meat - the fake stuff - but I simmered it in my tomato/basil sauce from last summer (the last of the good stuff) and threw in some bay leaves and a good splash of red wine. Not exactly July type food but it really hit the spot. Served up with some of Alex's bread and a glass of red, it didn't really need anything else.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

chicken of the gods

You might think that's hyperbole, but this was a seriously good chicken dinner. Could it have something to do with the entire stick of melted butter? I got the recipe from Simply Recipes - a very good, concise food blog. Chicken dipped in garlic butter, then rolled in breadcrumbs, parsley, parmesan, more garlic and Italian seasonings. Just bake it for 15 mins then prepare to feast.
Something this rich didn't need anything too fancy to go with it. Sauteed up some spinach for a few seconds and topped with goat cheese, diced avocado & sunflower seeds.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007


Our spinach is coming in like crazy now so I'm on the lookout for creative ways to use it all up. First up was tonight's spanakopita: first I sauteed some scallions in a little bit of butter, then threw in the spinach. Covered with a lid & let it steam and cook down for about 10 minutes. Seasoned with nutmeg, salt & pepper, then folded into little filo dough triangles (well, more like hectagons...)
We served this up with tzatziki, basmati rice & more greens from the garden.

Monday, 25 June 2007

summertime special

Every single bite of this was heaven on earth. Nectarines. Baguette with goats cheese, tapenade, home grown spinach and a drizzle of olive oil. So colorful, flavorful, filling...just right for a very warm summer's evening.

Sunday, 24 June 2007


A homemade pizza and a bottle of cold beer. Does it get any better than this?

Saturday, 23 June 2007

key lime pie

Yes, we did eat an actual meal before ripping into the key lime pie, but this photo looks much more appetizing.
Dinner was Tuscan Tuna & Bean sandwiches - delicious recipe from Epicurious below. Served with a simple salad of greens from the garden with honey mustard dressing, it didn't take much to fill us up.

But the real star of the dinner show was my first attempt at key lime pie. Our local grocery store has 2lb bags of key limes for less than $2 and that was all the motivation I needed.
I used the classic Joy of Cooking recipe, omitting the extra sugar, and topped it with whipped cream just before serving.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

green noodles

Every time we eat any kind of pasta tossed with pesto Jack calls it Green Noodles. This one was penne with green olive pesto mixed up with a lot of olive oil & parmesan cheese. More greens from the garden and some of Alex's bread. Delicious.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

a cold quiche & couscous

A trip to the Wednesday Farmers' Market yielded a bag full of veggies, fruit & eggs and a plan for dinner.
  • Quiche made with spinach from our garden, sauteed with garlic & sun-dried tomatoes in basil oil
  • Whole wheat couscous served cold with artichoke hearts, toasted walnuts, lemon, parsley, scallions and blue cheese crumbled on top
  • Fresh local strawberries & blueberries

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

the debut dinner

Not a bad start.

  • Grilled chicken which had been marinated in lemon, thyme & garlic.
  • Fresh spinach & lettuce picked from our vegetable bed a half hour before, mixed with an olive oil/cider vinegar/honey/Dijon mustard dressing & thin shavings of parmesan.
  • Radishes from our neighbor's CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box
  • Blue cheese
  • Green olives