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*All recipes on this blog (unless otherwise noted) are Martha Stewart's from the Everyday Food Cookbooks here and here, they are not my own. If other than this I will post links to the recipes or indicate that they are originals*

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Delicious summer lunch OR dinner

I have always loved salads, especially in the summer, but have often had difficulty coming up with new and delicious ideas.  This is one of my favorite "meal" salads that I have made so far.  It was light, but also filling enough to be a meal.  I think that the salad is very versatile, while I was eating it I thought next time I could add eggs or chicken or a number of other things.  This dressing is really easy and actually very low cal/ low fat because I used fat free mayo.  Also this was my first time ever making home made croutons, which are SO easy and really really good.  I never really bought croutons before but now I really won't ever buy them, because of how easy they are to make.  The recipe calls for a baguette, but I actually used some leftover hamburger buns we had in the freezer and they turned out great.  I think you could use any bread you have laying around.  The only other thing I changed was that I used turkey bacon.  I know what you're thinking, that stuff is disgusting and tastes nothing like real "meat candy".  BUT I happened to find an awesome brand that tastes really good, even Logan thinks so and thats saying something.  It saves you a lot of fat and calories and you really aren't sacrificing much in taste...the brand is Eating Right, if you can find it, give it a try!  I don't think you'll be disappointed.  

BLT Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
8 slices bacon
1/2 baguette, sliced into cubes
2 T olive oil
S&P
1/3 cup buttermilk
3 T mayonnaise
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 lb romaine hearts, chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

Preheat oven to 375.  Bake bacon on a baking sheet until browned and crisp, about 15 min.  Transfer to a paper towel to drain, cool and then crumble.  

Meanwhile toss the baguette cubes with oil and season with S&P.  Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown about 15-20 min.  

Whisk together buttermilk, mayonnaise, vinegar, and scallions; season with S&P.  Add romaine and tomatoes and croutons; toss to coat with dressing.  Sprinkle with the bacon and serve. 
Serves 4.


Logan Rating: ***


Tostadas!

More Food!  Well I am again trying to catch up on this back log of recipes that I would like to share with you all.  This one we had a few nights ago and it was awesome.  Actually very simple and fresh and surprisingly light.  I fell in love with tostadas a few years ago and have always wanted to make a healthier version, that didn't involve deep frying.  So here it is, and it definitely lived up to my expectations.  The recipe calls for a jarred salsa verde, but I ended up making one from scratch and will include that recipe since it is also part of the challenge.  It was quite good and we have eaten it just with chips as well as in these tostadas.  Enjoy!

Tostadas Salsa Verde
4 flour tortillas (6in)
3 oz shredded pepper jack cheese
2 1/2 cups shredded chicken
1 cup jarred green salsa (or salsa verde, recipe below)
1/4 cup plus 2 T chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce 
3 plum tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 400.  Arrange the tortillas on a rimmed baking sheet.  Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the tortillas, bake until golden brown, about 8-10 min.

Meanwhile, in a medium bwol, toss the chicken and salsa, 1/4 cup cilantro and cumin.  Spoon this mixture onto the tortillas and bake until heated through, about 8 min more.


Top with lettuce, tomato and sour cream.  Garnish with cilantro.  
Serves 4. 

Yellow Tomato Salsa Verde
1 lb yellow tomatoes (I used tomatillos, because I couldn't find yellow tomatoes)
1 jalapeno
1 garlic clove (unpeeled)
1/2 white onion
1 cup packed cilantro leaves 
S&P
2 tsp white wine vinegar

Heat skillet over high heat.  Add whole tomatoes, jalapeno and onion half; cook until charred on all sides, about 20-30 min. 

Peel garlic clove.  Coarsely chop jalapeno, tomatoes, and onion.  Place ingredients in a blender along with cilantro, 1 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper, and the vinegar; blend until smooth.  
Makes 2 1/2 cups. 


Logan Rating: ***

Monday, June 28, 2010

Lentil Pasta

This vegetarian friendly pasta was very good and extremely simple.  I made this on a night that I almost decided not to cook and just have leftovers.  I'm really glad that I did, because it was really quick and easy and it makes a lot so we had leftovers for another night that I didn't feel like cooking.  I got to use fresh arugula from the garden again and I think it added a great bite to the pasta.  Make sure you don't skimp on the cooking time for the onions, the long time gives them such a great caramelized flavor,which I LOVE!  You could also garnish with a little bit of red pepper flakes if you like a little kick.  The lentils added a great texture and really helped make this a substantial meal.  I feel like this is definitely more of a winter months meal, but it still tasted great.  Hope you all enjoy this one.

Pasta with Lentils and Arugula
2T olive oil
2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced
S&P
12 oz plum tomatoes, cored and diced
3/4 cup lentils, picked over and rinsed
12 oz orecchiette pasta (or shells work too)
1 bunch arugula, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium low heat, add onions and 1/2 tsp salt; cover and cook until onions wilt, about 20 min.  Uncover, raise the heat to medium.  Cook stirring the onions often, until they are dark brown, about 20-25 min more. 

Add 1/4 cup water; stir.  Stir in the tomatoes; remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, cover lentils with water by 1 in.  Bring to a simmer.  Cover and cook until lentils are tender, about 15-20 min.  Drain, stir into onion mixture.  Season with S&P.

Cook pasta until al dente.  Reserve one cup of pasta water, drain and return to pot. 
Add lentil mixture, arugula, cheese and reserved pasta water; toss and season again with S&P.  
Serves 6.

Logan Rating: ***


First Meat in the median supper club, peach salsa


I know what your thinking and NO that is not a typo, we really do mean "meat" in the median.  The theme of this supper club was, well yup you guessed it, Meat.  And with our meat we all met in the grassy median outside a friends house.  A huge shout out to Neil and Emily for thinking up this genius idea, it was an absolute blast.  We brought chicken apple brats to stick with the meat theme and then I made grilled peach salsa to accompany them.  What great food we had at this BBQ.  If you are wondering what supper club is, well it is a group of our friends that get together every week (or try to at least) and have a themed pot luck dinner.  Next week is our week and we are attempting an open fire cookout and possible campout...cross your fingers!
So I have failed again as far as getting a picture at supper club, I will NOT forget my camera next time, and I can promise that since it will be here at our place. :)  Anyway this salsa was AMAZING, kind of time consuming as far as salsas go, but totally worth it.  I doubled the recipe, but it makes a lot as is so unless you're serving a lot of people you wouldn't need to.  Try this one, its such an awesome refreshing twist to salsa.

Grilled Peach Salsa
1 T olive oil
4 ripe peaches, pitted and quartered
1/2 white onion, cut into 2 wedges
1 T chopped canned chipotle in adobo
1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
S&P

Heat grill to high.  Lightly oil grates, to keep the fruit from sticking.  Drizzle peaches and onion with oil and rub to coat.  Grill until the peaches and onion are lightly charred and peach skins begin to loosen, about 10 min.  Make sure to turn every few minutes.  Let cool.
Peel peaches and cut into 1/2 in pieces; finely chop onion.  Combine in a bowl with remaining ingredients, and season with salt and pepper.  Add more vinegar fora  tangier taste, or more sugar for a sweeter flavor.

Logan Rating: ***

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Steak and Potatoes, YUM!

Hello blog world, sorry about my recent absence.  You will be glad to know I have been in the kitchen, so I have plenty of recipes to share with you all.  This one in particular was VERY delicious.  I am definitely a steak girl, I love a well cooked steak and this one was no exception.  Actually I must say this was probably one of the best steaks I've ever made.  The cut of meat was not particularly expensive or amazing, but the sauce and preparation WAS amazing!  So I urge you to not get lazy and skip the green salsa sauce, it only takes a few minutes and makes a world of difference.  The potatoes are actually meant to be served cold, but I think they are good either way.  

Skirt Steak with Spicy Green Salsa
5tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
S&P
1 1/2 lbs skirt steak
2 tsp olive oil

Combine chili powder, cumin, oregano, 1 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper.  Sprinkle this seasoning mixture over the steak; drizzle with oil.  Let this sit for 10 min.

Heat grill to high; oil grates (very important).  Place the steaks on the grill; cover and cook turning once, until the meat has reached the desired temp, 4-6 min for med-rare.
Serves 4.


Potato Salad with Sour Cream and Scallions
2 lbs white new potatoes, quartered and cut into 3/4 inch chunks
S&P
3/4 cup reduced fat or fat free sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)

Put potatoes in a large pot and cover them with salted water.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are fork tender, about 15 min.  Meanwhile, whisk together the sour cream and mayo and add it to warm potatoes, gently fold to combine.  (or mash if you like it more mashed).  Cover and refrigerate for at least and hour.  Fold in scallions, S&P and garnish with bacon.
Serves 4.

Spicy Green Salsa 
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 T minced pickled jalapeño chiles
3 T olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1/8 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients with 1 T water.  THATS IT! So easy!  Can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.
Makes 1/3 cup.

Logan Rating:
Steak: *****
Potatoes: ***



Thursday, June 24, 2010

I love Summer! Turkey burgers and cucumber salad.


I think that grilling is one of my favorite summer activities.  I feel like you can't screw it up, if you grill it, it will be awesome.  While I'm sure there are some exceptions to this rule, so far it has rung true for me, therefore we are grilling A LOT.  This is just another one of those fantastic grilled meals.  I'm very glad I decided to pair this with a cucumber salad, because the burger is pretty hefty and definitely doesn't need a hefty side dish.  The cucumber salad was the perfect light side and SO summery!  I grew up on cucumber salad with vinegar, so was a bit skeptical of this recipe, but I absolutely loved it and will definitely be making this all summer long!  A quick tip about the burgers, don't skip the step of oiling the grates and/or brushing a little oil on the burgers, because turkey is so lean they WILL stick the the grill...I may have learned this the hard way! ;)  
Onto some important business...
If you are reading this blog, are you a follower?  If not its super easy, just go ahead and click the "follow" button on the right, I'd love to see all of you that are reading, PLUS then you can comment if you are making these or if you have any suggestions or thoughts.  Now I say this is easy, but I know a certain someone who will remain nameless that has been trying to figure out how to do it for weeks...so if you are technologically impaired you may have trouble, but for the rest of you this should be a very simple task.  HOPEFULLY there are some more readers out there, if not, oh well I will just keep blogging! :)
Alright now onto the FOOD.

Favorite Turkey Burgers
1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
1/2 cup finely grated Gruyère cheese
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
S&P
oil, for grates
4 hamburger buns

Heat grill to high.  Use a fork to combine turkey with the Gruyère, scallions, breadcrumbs, dijon, and garlic; season generously with S&P.  Divide this mixture evenly into 4 patties.  
 
Lightly oil the grill and/or the patties.  Place the patties on the hottest part of the grill; sear until browned, 1-2 min per side.  Move the patties to the cooler part of the grill; continue grilling until cooked through, 5-10 min per side.  Split the buns and toast on the grill if desired; place burger on each bun and serve with accompaniments that you enjoy.
Serves 4.



Cucumber Salad with Sour Cream and Dill
1/2 cup sour cream ( I use fat free)
2 T fresh lemon juice
2 T finely chopped fresh dill (spring for the fresh it definitely makes a difference)
S&P
4-6 cucumbers, (1lb) halved lengthwise and thinly sliced into half moons

Combine sour cream, lemon juice, and chopped dill.  Season with salt and pepper and whisk well until combined.  Add cucumbers and toss to coat.  Serve or refrigerate.
Serves 4.



Thanks again for reading!  Look forward to meeting some new followers...hopefully! ;)

Logan Rating: 
Burgers:****
Salad: ***


Monday, June 21, 2010

Quick and Easy Breakfast



Onto the second half of the first 100 recipes.  This is one of the last breakfast recipes in the book, which is kind of sad because they've all been really good.  This one is extremely easy and very delicious.  It literally took me less than 5 minutes to make this, so it can be a quick on the go meal if needed.  It's nothing very special, I will be honest, more of a staple breakfast item.  You could skip the pita bread if you are trying to cut down on carbs or you could also serve the eggs with your favorite piece of toast.  I feel like the options are endless.  Try this one, its so easy and so worth it!

Dill Feta Scrambled Eggs in Pita
2 large whole eggs plus 4 egg whites
S&P
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tsp olive oil
2 T fresh dill, coarsely chopped
1 whole wheat pita, halved

Whisk together whole eggs and egg whites; season with S&P.  Whisk in cheese to combine.
In a small skillet, heat oil and cook eggs, scraping across bottom of pan frequently with a flexible spatula until just set.  Stir in dill, and remove from heat.  Spoon eggs into pita halves.


Like I said...SUPER EASY!

Logan Rating: ***

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Wine +great friend+ recipes number 49 and 50!!!


Thats right ladies and gentlemen...I have now completed 50 recipes!  I can't believe it, can you?!?  While I still have 450 to go, when I don't think about that this feels like a awesome feat to have accomplished.  I was worried when I started working that I would fall behind in this blog and with cooking, but I've done pretty well.  While I'm still glad I didn't put a time limit on this challenge I think I'm on track to finish in a timely manner.  Not that I can see the end in sight AT ALL, but thats ok, for now I am relishing in 50 recipes completed!  How awesome is that?  I've had so much fun so far with this challenge and I am excited to see what the rest has in store.  Just looking through the cookbooks, I see lots of adventures in my future, so hopefully you will all continue on this journey with me.  Now ONTO the food...

While our men were on a manly backpacking weekend, my good friend Kate and I took the opportunity to have some serious girl time.  I'm lucky that she enjoys cooking as well, because she was more than happy to help.  This was a somewhat impromptu meal, but I managed to fit in two recipes from the challenge which in itself was a complete success.  Since we have so much leftover BBQ sauce and since it is SO tasty, we decided on an awesome barbecue meal.  The recipes from the book were grilled corn as well as a napa cabbage salad and we served this with BBQ chicken and grilled potatoes.  VERY delicious.  There will be no Logan rating for this post, so Kate will have to leave her guest rating in the comments. :)  Thanks for such a fun night Kate!

Grilled Corn on the Cob
4 ears of corn
vegetable oil for grates
1 T butter, cut into 4 parts
S&P
chili powder or paprika (we used chili powder)

Peel back the corn husks, leaving them attached at the base of the ear.  Remove and discard the silk; pull the husks back over the corn.  Place the ears in a large bowl or pot; cover with cold water.  Let soak for about 10 min. 
Preheat grill to high; lightly oil the grates.  Drain the corn.  Arrange ears on the grill.  Cover and cook, turning occasionally until the husks are slightly charred and the corn is tender, 15-20min.  

Remove from the grill.  Holding the bottom of each hot ear with a towel, peel back the husks and coat the kernels with butter.  Season with s&p and chili powder. Serves 4.


Napa Cabbage Salad with Peanuts and Ginger
2 T rice-wine vinegar
1 T dijon mustard
1 T grated peeled fresh ginger
3 T vegetable oil (I used olive)
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
S&P
1/2 head napa cabbage, cored and cut into bit sized pieces
1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup coarsely chopped roasted unsalted peanuts

In a small bowl whisk together vinegar, mustard, ginger and both oils until dressing is smooth and combined.  Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine cabbage, bell pepper, cilantro and peanuts.  Add dressing to taste and toss to combine.  Serves 4 as a starter.


Serve with a great bottle of wine!


Paige's Rating: 
Corn: ****
Salad: ***

Another 5 star recipe from everyday food!


First I should apologize for the poor quality of this first pic, sometimes I get so excited to eat that I don't even notice that all of the pictures I just took were blurry.  So you will just have to imagine how good it would look if it were a nice crisp image.  
Now onto more important topics, like the actual food.  So this is a turkey chili and while Logan gave it a whopping 5 stars, I'm not going to lie to you it was more like a 4 for me.  While it was really delicious and probably one of the best chili recipes I've ever had, it was definitely not as amazing and mouthwatering as the ribs that we had a few days earlier.  So in comparing the two, if the ribs were a 5 this was definitely a 4 in my book.  But nonetheless the ratings on here are not called Paige ratings, so we will always go with what Logan decides and he thought this one was a 5 for sure.  So way to go Everyday Food, and Martha Stewart, chalk up another 5 stars from a Logan rating.  :)
This chili was very simple, skill wise, but it did take a little bit more time than I had expected.  It has one of the longer ingredients lists that I've seen so far, but most of the things I had on hand and you may too.  This would be a perfect meal for a rainy summer night or a bitter cold winter evening, probably better with the latter.  Even though I halved the recipe, there was quite a bit of leftover, which is always great, so I was able to freeze a couple of portions and will probably pull them out sometime during the school year when I am way too busy to even think about cooking.  I love having meals on hand in the freezer, we just pull them out put them in the microwave a tad-ah home cooked meal in minutes.  It saves me from ordering a lot of pizzas and/or buying pre-packaged processed frozen dinners, which is great.  Anyway I will stop rambling and get to good part..the RECIPE!  ENJOY!

Tex-Mex Turkey and Bean Chili
(I halved this recipe, it serves 8 as printed)
4 slices of bacon cut crosswise into strips
3 lbs ground turkey
4 onions, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapeño chiles, minced
3 T chili powder
3 T unsweetened cocoa powder (don't leave this out, it really makes all the difference in the depth of the flavor!)
4 tsp ground cumin
2 cans (28oz each) whole peeled tomatoes in puree
2 T unsulfured molasses
1 cup water
coarse salt
3 cans (15.5 oz each) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
Assorted toppings, such as cheddar cheese, sour cream, pickled jalapeno slices, and fresh cilantro.

Heat a dutch oven or heavy 5 quart pot over medium heat.  Add bacon; cook, until crisp about 6-8 min.  Raise heat to high; add turkey.  Cook stirring and breaking up meat with a spoon, until no longer pink, 8-10 min.

Add onions, garlic, jalapenos; cook until soft about 5 min.  Stir in chili powder, cocoa and cumin; cook stirring until fragrant, about 1 min. 


Break up tomatoes with kitchen shears (while still in the can) or with your hands, and add them to the pot along with the puree.  Add molasses, water and 4 tsp salt; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer; cook, partially covered for 30 min.
Add beans; continue cooking, uncovered, until turkey is very tender and liquid has thickened, about 30 min more.  (For this step I put it in the crock pot, this allowed me to go to the gym and when I got home the chili was ready to eat).  Serve with assorted toppings as desired.  


Logan Rating: *****