Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Summer is for grilling and fresh fruits and veggies... taking time to obsess over flavor and breath in all the smoky, minty, spicy flavors you can.

One new favorite and a household staple for us:

New Mint and Cilantro Melon Salad :I swapped out lime juice for lemon and added a touch of apple cider vinegar to the dressing. 

Staple Hummus : I double the garlic to 4 cloves, swap paprika for ground red pepper and replace parsley with an obscene amount of cilantro. 


Saturday, May 28, 2011


Eggs are perfect in my opinion. I can eat them everyday without getting tired of them. I have only been cooking for 10 years, but in that time I have never once made an omelet to perfection.... until this week.

In the book Raising Chickens by Ashleigh English there is a recipe for omelets in the back and something caught my eye that I had never read before. A lid. Put a lid on the pan while the eggs set up.... Low and behold it made an amazing difference. My eggs set up perfectly and I enjoyed one of the best egg dishes I have ever had.

Here is my adapted recipe:
2 eggs
habanero chile sauce (to taste)
1/2 carrot, shredded
few slices of onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 roma tomato, chopped
fresh herbs (we currently have thyme, oregano & basil in our garden so that's what I used)
cheese (I used cheddar. Although if we had gouda I suspect it would be the perfect companion to this omelet)
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
salt & pepper

* Whisk together eggs and chile sauce in small bowl.
* Heat a medium size skillet on medium-low heat. Melt 1 Tablespoon butter. Saute veggies first. Remove from pan.
* Melt the other Tablespoon of butter in same pan. Add egg mixture. Cover with a lid for a few minutes until eggs set up and you can run a spatula all around the edge without the eggs sticking or breaking.
*Top half of the omelet with veggies, cheese and fresh herbs. Fold omelet in half covering veggies. Cover with lid again for another minute or so.
* Slide beautiful omelet on plate. You can add salt & pepper if you like or salsa or sour cream or more chile sauce (yes please!)

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Mornings are blurry around here. Our little one still isn't sleeping in her own bed through the night which leaves one of us with a waking imprint of an elbow in our back at the beginning of each day. I try to make muffins at least once a week to help get us started without too much fuss. If things are going really well we might even get 2 batches. This recipe was originally my mother-in-laws tried and true base muffin recipe... and I added my own flavors and goodness to make it our own.

Apple Walnut Muffins

1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1 Cup sugar
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons vanilla
1 C all-purpose flour
1 C whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 C chopped walnuts
1/4 C milled flaxseed
2 medium size apples peeled and grated
dash of cinnamon
dash of cloves

I'm not a stickler for method. So for me I toss things in the mixing bowl as I pull them from the cupboard or the refrigerator and I mix it all together. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

Sweet Coconut Banana Smoothie

We usually make this with Chocolate Almond Milk, but I accidentally bought Vanilla Coconut Milk from Silk this week. While everyone agrees on its yumminess, I haven't found much to use it for besides smoothies and with cooked oats.

Recipe for 2 adults, 2 children:

3 C Vanilla Coconut Milk by Silk (not the thai food canned coconut milk stuff)
2 T home-made chocolate sauce (we had some leftover from last weeks ice-cream)
1 frozen banana, sliced
2 spoon fulls of creamy peanut butter

Blend. Don't forget to lick the peanut butter spoon for good luck.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Grilled Chicken & Strawberry Salad

Kid Version
(grilled chicken, carrots, strawberries & grapes)

In between the beautiful day and the frightening storms there was some time to grill and get some yard work finished up.

Sort of recipe:

I marinated 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts for about 3 hours before grilling: olive oil, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, honey, crushed fresh garlic, black pepper

Salad: baby spring mix, a few strawberries, some grapes, cut up carrots, and a tiny bit of onion.

Serves 2 adults 2 kiddos. I separated things out for my little ones because they tend to just waste the salad part. 

That's it. If I were allowed to eat feta right now, believe me it would have joined this combination.... I just pretended it was there and I could almost taste its yummy saltiness.

Monday, May 23, 2011

What a weekend!

See that pitchfork in the header? It's there to do more than just tickle your eyeballs when you hit up this here blog--it's a reference to the fact that our food interests supersede just combining elements to produce mouth-watering (and hopefully photogenic) delicacies. A tomato is awesome, but a homegrown tomato--well, there's nothing quite like a homegrown tomato, is there? So we're growing tomatoes. Well, more than just tomatoes--we're also growing cucumbers, peppers, potatoes, carrots, lettuce, broccoli, spinach, peas, beans and zucchini, not to mention strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, apples, pears and peaches. Here are four vegetable beds which, if my math is right, occupy about 240 square feet of our back yard.

Our climate hasn't exactly accommodated our gardening endeavors this year--the past month has seen multiple dips from the 80's to 40's, and rainfall has been a nightmare for the folks around here who grow stuff in the ground for a living--but we've been out there, shoveling, hoeing, and tilling whenever the sun offered us a few hours of productive time. So we're not sure what we'll actually be harvesting and what we'll be mourning, but we have high hopes, and, if even a percentage of our little backyard farm yields results, we'll be soon be blogging about recipes assembled from homegrown ingredients...and that could take us to some exciting places.

This past weekend handed us two days of glorious sun, and we spent both days out back, adding our sweat to all those pools of rainwater. Today, of course, my muscles scream in protest. It's important to have little joys to anticipate while waiting for basketfuls of larger joys come harvest season, and that's where this cinnamon ice cream with chocolate swirl comes in: It's how we ended our back-breaking weekend of sunburn and strained...well, everything. I grabbed this recipe and layered in this recipe for the swirl.

  Cinnamon ice cream with chocolate swirl (homemade chocolate sauce pictured in jar).

Fishy Burritos

I woke up from a nap on Friday in desperate need of a burrito. I don't really have a recipe for this I just use whatever we have on hand and... there aren't exact measurements. Below are some general guideline.

Serves 2 adults and 2 children or 2 really hungry adults.

3 tilapia
olive olive
garlic powder
crushed red pepper
ground red pepper
salt & pepper
1 C brown rice
2 C broth
1 Tablespoon butter
1 green pepper, cut into strips
1/2 onion, cut into strips
3 cloves garlic, chopped
avacado, diced
spring mix lettuce, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
cheese (optional)
sour cream (optional)
4 soft tortilla shells

I start the rice first. 2 C of broth to 1 C of brown rice.
Then in a medium size skillet I saute garlic, onion and green pepper in olive oil until tender add some crushed red pepper to taste.
Remove the peppers and onions. Drop a tablespoon of butter in the skillet and cook tilapia. I usually end up chopping this up in the pan as it cooks. Add about 2 teaspoons of cumin, about 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, dash of ground red pepper, salt and pepper. Add a touch of water or broth for the spices to stew in with the tilapia.
Dice the veggies you have on hand... in our case it was spring mix lettuce, tomatoes, and an avacado.
Once the rice is almost finished cooking I toss the tilapia right in the pot with the rice add 1 - 2 more teaspoons of cumin and garlic powder and continue cooking until rice is tender.
Wrap up your burritos in whatever kind of shell you like. Top with salsa. Add cheese and sour cream if you like.


Thursday, May 19, 2011


I can bake a cake, I can whip up some cookies, and I can make ice cream that'll put you into a sugar coma, but I am no cook. Occasionally, it'll fall to me to make dinner and I'll invariably visit my go-to recipe: Boil spaghetti, drown it in olive oil, dump a flavored sauce on top, and serve with a salad (I like salads and have been known to spend more time arranging vegetables than actually attending to a simmering pot).

Now my wife, the other contributor to this blog--she can cook. She knows how to dip into those mysterious jars that line two shelves of our cabinet and create flavors that'll make your heart sing (ProTip: Her recipe posts deserve your attention--they'll do you right). I'd love to have that intuitive ability to season and spice, but it's going to take a little more than just pulling out some pots and willing their contents into delectable cuisine. So I'm considering picking up the book "Man with a Pan" by this guy--the trailer alone makes me hope that, just maybe, my wife and kids will someday perk up when they hear dad say, "Okay, what do you guys want for dinner?"


Monday, May 16, 2011

Backyard Soup

When spring refuses to do anything but deliver showers the only thing for a gardener to do is cook. Chop veggies and throw them in the crockpot to be more exact. It may not be the same as the scent of lilacs drifting through an open window, but it will fill your kitchen with some delicious smells and that will just have to do for now.

One day soon I hope to pull these things from my backyard to make this family favorite soup. 

2 cooked chicken breast shredded
1 red onion chopped
2 whole garlic cloves
2 C fresh or frozen carrots
1 C frozen broccoli
1/2 C dried split peas
1 can black beans or soak 1 1/2 cup dried beans overnight
3 potatoes diced
2 C vegetable broth
1 C water
2 bay leaves
handful of fresh spinach torn into small pieces
salt and pepper

Simmer in crockpot 4 to 6 hours

Chocolate Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Chips

There's this theory, popular in America, that if you avoid eating things that taste good you'll live a long and happy life. I personally believe that days spent denying oneself a spoonful of homemade ice cream can only tenuously be called a "life." I made this bowlful of joy from a recipe I found on the web, tweaking it a bit and adding some peanut butter chips in the final minute of churning. The first bite made my jowls hurt and eyes lose focus for a moment--meaning that the first ice cream of the summer was as unqualified success.