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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*

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Grilled lamb

Does this look appetizing to all of you?
I love rare meat...I don't know why...there is just something about it.
Maybe its the animalistic side of me coming out...or maybe it is just delicious.
Or maybe BOTH!
Anyway this lamb had an AWESOME rub, that gave it so much flavor, without over powering the taste of the meat itself.
Oh my so delicious.
Plus you just can't go wrong this time of year when you grill.
Everything taste better on the grill in my opinion.
So this was served with some grilled lemons and a lemon orzo...sounds really lemony, but it was perfect!
This recipe calls for a butterlied leg of lamb, but I did not buy a leg of lamb
because they are $30...and that is just NUTS! 
So instead I bought lamb shoulder, and it was just as good as I expect the leg would have been.
I think I bough shoulder...I can't really remember now if I'm being honest.  
Onto the must try this one!

Spiced Butterflied Leg of Lamb
2 T olive oil
1 T coriander seeds, crushed
1 T fennel seeds, crushed
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 lbs butterflied leg of lamb
oil for grill
2 lemons, quartered

In a shallow dish, combine olive oil, coriander, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.
Add lamb, and turn to coat.  Marinate at room temp for 30 min or overnight in the fridge.
Heat grill to med low, lightly oil grates.  Place lamb on grill. Cover and cook until thermometer reads 130 degrees for medium-rare, 6-8 min per side.  (remember to adjust the cooking time for different cuts of meat). Transfer lamb to a plate and cover loosely with foil; let rest 5 min.
Meanwhile, grill lemon wedges until cut sides are marked, about 1 min per side.
Thinly slice lamb and serve with grilled lemon wedges and orzo.

Lemon Orzo
1 lemon
1 cup orzo
1 T olive oil 
2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced

Use vegetable peeler to remove peel from half the lemon in wide strips (leaving the bitter white pith behind).  
Thinly slice peel with a sharp knife.  Halve lemon and squeeze 2 T of juice out.
Bring a large saucepan of water to boil; add generous amount of salt.  Add orzo and lemon peel.  Cook until orzo is al dente; drain and return to pan.
Add lemon juice, oil and scallions.
Season with S&P and toss to combine.  Serve warm or at room temp.
Serves 4.

Logan Rating: ****

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Freezer Cooking

Look at all those tinfoil wrapped goodies!
YES, those are what you think they are...
Homemade Frozen Burritos!
I love frozen burritos, but can never get myself to buy them at the store, 
mainly because of the fat content and processed nature, but also because of the price.  
So when I saw ground chicken on sale at the store, I knew just what I wanted to do with it.
This takes a few hours of prep and assembly, but it is so worth it you guys.
I now have a freezer full of burritos, that I can bust out any time I am too lazy to make dinner, lunch, hell even breakfast!  This would be perfect with those of you out there with children, 
because you have a real reason to be too tired to make dinner.  
My excuses are generally ridiculous.
But anyway, you must all try this, its easy, and just takes a little planning and prep and viola you have BURRITOS!

Ok so I mixed my meat with this taco seasoning, which I swear by...its so good!   Same stuff I used for the tacos at our engagement party.
After the meat was cooked, I added black beans.  I used 2 lbs of meat and 2 cans of black beans, but you should make however much you want.  The more the better in my opinion.
Then I made 2 cups of rice (1 cup uncooked) and added two cans of tomatoes (mexican style).
I also shredded up a whole bunch of cheese, which I didn't use even close to all of.
Then I enlisted my wonderful fiance for some assembly help.
It went much faster with 2 people.
He put the warmed tortillas on a piece of foil (rip a bunch ahead of time), smeared them with the sour cream and hot sauce mixture (highly recommended) and added the meat and bean mixture.
I put the rice mixture on top of that, added some cheese and topped it all off with a bit of fresh cilantro.
Then I rolled them up.

Roll side of tortilla that is closest to you over the filling. 
Fold left side of tortilla in.
Fold right side of tortilla in.
Keep rolling the tortilla away from you until it is completely rolled together.
Tadah! Burrito!

Don't be a dummy like me and buy taco sized burrito size...after all you are making BURRITOS!


Monday, July 25, 2011

Homemade Bagels!!!

While this is not part of the challenge, I had to share these with you!  
Look at those babies!
I know what your thinking...
"you're crazy"!
And yes, I am a little crazy, but I promise you these are SO easy!
They are a tad time consuming, just because you have to let the dough rise to ensure you get nice puffy doughy delicious bagels.
BUT they are not hard and they do not require a ton of hands on time.
You will be amazed.  You are saying "pfff" to the computer screen right now,
"yeah right Paige, homemade bagels, easy, I don't believe you".
Well BELIEVE It!  And don't take my word for it, try it yourself.
We made sea salt bagels as well as sesame bagels.
I will try mixing things into the dough next time, such as sun dried tomatoes, caramelized onions, and maybe even jalapenos and some cheese. 
Oh the possibilities...they are endless.
I got the recipe from this book, which I love by the way.
I plan to make many more bready things in the future from this lovely book.

4 1/2 cups strong white flour 
2 T sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp fast action dried yeast
1 1/4 cup water
1 egg yolk, to glaze
3 T poppy or sesame seeds ( or any other topping you like)

Put the flour, 1 T of sugar, slat and yeast into a large bowl.  Gradually mix in enough warm water to make a soft dough.
Knead on a lightly floured surface for 5 min (I just mix it in my kitchenaid mixer with the dough hook), until dough is smooth and elastic then put back into the bowl.  Cover loosely with oiled cling wrap and leave in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Tip the dough out on to a lightly floured surface, knead well (I just do a few turns) and then cut into 10 equal pieces.  Shape each into a ball then make a hole in the center using a well floured finger.  Enlarge the hole by adding a second finger and moving your fingers round and round.
Transfer bagels to 2 baking sheets, sprayed with non stick spray, cover again loosely with oiled cling wrap and leave to rise in a warm place for 30 min more.
When the bagels are nearly ready pour 8 cups water into a large saucepan, add remaining sugar and bring to a boil.   Carefully lower bagels one at a time into the boiling water for 1-2 min each side.  Lift the bagels out of the water with a slotted spoon and put them back on the baking sheets to drain.
Transfer to greased baking sheets and brush with egg yolk mixed with 1 T water and sprinkle with topping.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 12-15 min.  Let cool.

Here's what my bagel making station looked like!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Have you ever grilled fruit?
Or maybe I was grilling a vegetable...
depends on what your beliefs are about the all mighty TOMATO.
Well either way...this was delicious.
Seriously, let me tell you, grilling REALLY brings out the sweetness of the Tomato.
What a great idea..who thought of such a tasty thing?
So I don't know if I've told you all this,
but sometimes I have an aversion towards spaghetti, 
because my mom made it at least once a week growing up...
but this was a fantastic fresh summer twist on the traditional stuff.
and it really hit the spot.
So this night, my aversion was no where to be seen!

This pasta was perfectly sweet and smoky
and I added red pepper flakes as a garnish to bump up the flavor a bit.

Try it....I dare ya!

Grilled Tomato Linguine
3 lbs plum tomatoes, cored and halved lengthwise ( I used beefsteak because they were on sale)
5 T olive oil
1 T chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
1 lb linguine ( or any other pasta you like)
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

Heat grill to high.  In a bowl, toss the tomatoes with 3 T oil and the thyme; season generously with S&P.
Starting with cut sides down, grill the tomatoes until soft and charred, 8-12 min per side. 
Return to the bowl; cut into coarse pieces with kitchen shears.
Meanwhile, cook the linguine in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente.  Drain and return to pot.
Add remaining 2 T oil, parmesan, and grilled tomatoes.  
Divide among bowls, and serve immediately with more grated Parmesan.
Serves 4.

Logan Rating: ****

Saturday, July 23, 2011

More summer food...Summer slaw!

Oh my gosh do I love SUMMER!  
This is what I did on this lovely Saturday Morning...
Slept in
Woke up
Made coffee
Let dog out
Decided what to make for breakfast
made this...
(German Pancakes) 
Recipe here
And then made tea and set it out to steep. (pictured above)
Did I mention it is absolutely beautiful here??
While the rest of the U.S. is battling through a major heat wave,
us Montanans well we are basking in our non humid beautiful climate...
not that I'm rubbing it in Minnesotans! :)
Lovely Sat Morning...
Now I have to study, not so lovely Sat afternoon! :(

But first I would like to share a recipe with you
this is a new fresh twist on a summer slaw.
Made with bok choy instead of american cabbage...its a great way to mix it up a bit.  
Logan was a huge fan, he loves ginger and the ginger really makes this recipe.  
For all of you that are suffering with 120 degree heat indexes...stir this baby up.
And serve it with something that does not involve turning on your oven. :)

Bok Choy, Carrot and Apple Slaw
1 lb baby bok choy (regular bok choy is all my store had)
1 apple, peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 large carrots, shredded
3 T fresh lemon juice
1 T vegetable oil
1 tsp finely grated peeled fresh ginger

Rinse the bok choy under cold water to remove grit.
Cut crosswise into thin strips; place in a large colander, and sprinkle with 1 tsp salt.  Toss to coat.  Top with a plate that fits inside the colander; weight with a heavy object, like a skillet with canned goods (or a growler full of beer, my personal fave).  Set in sink to drain.
In a large bowl, mix apple, carrots, lemon juice, oil and ginger.
Add bok choy; season with salt and pepper, toss.  *Remember you already salted the bok choy, so don't have a heavy hand with the salt...or you'll be sorry and adding sugar to try to compensate.  What? I didn't do that...oh wait...I DID! Whoops!  You will learn from my mistakes! :)
Serves 4.
Logan Rating: ****

Friday, July 22, 2011

Light Summer meal

OH this is so incredibly amazing, because it was so incredibly quick, easy and delicious!
The simplicity of this recipe is what gets me, I just love it.
I can't believe I never thought of this. 
I have made orzo as a side dish SO many times
and adding the veggies and the chicken really made this a meal. 
For real guys, this is awesome.
Grill some chicken for dinner one night
and then the next night shred up the leftovers and boil some water and BOOM you have another meal.
So simple, right!?
Genius, Martha, Genius!

Orzo with Chicken, Corn, and Green Beans
8 oz orzo
8 oz green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 in pieces
1 T olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 package (10oz) frozen corn, thawed ( I used canned, because I love it!)
4 cups shredded chicken breast

Bring a  pot of water to boil; add a generous amount of salt.  Cook orzo until al dente according to package instructions, adding green beans during last 6 min of cooking.  Drain orzo and beans; rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. 
Meanwhile in a large skillet, heat oil over med.  Add garlic; cook stirring until fragrant, 1-2 min.  Add corn and 1 tsp salt; cook stirring until warmed through 2-3 min.  (At this time I also added about 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes.
Toss orzo and green beans with corn mixture and chicken.
Season generously with S&P.  The dish can be made up to 2 days ahead; let cool, then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, chilled or at room temp.
Serves 4. 

Logan Rating: ***

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I like some Jerks

This is the kind of Jerk I like!
Not the jerk that cuts me off in traffic and then gives me the finger...
no not that one.
Jerk chicken!
I'm so very sorry for the lack of pictures,
but one of my best friends in the WHOLE world was visiting and we gabbed way too much!
Which is evident by the lack of pictures as well as the very very charred potatoes.
Cooking was sort of secondary to chatting and wine drinking.
After all we don't see each other, but a few times a year!
Her fiance was also here with her, THANKFULLY, because he likes burnt food.
And I'm telling you most of those potatoes were inedible to most people. 
Other than the potatoes I think they enjoyed this meal, 
we definitely enjoyed their company! :)
Along with the burnt potatoes, I served this with a watermelon/cucumber salad, which was divine.
First time I've ever had salt and pepper in my fruit...delicious...not weird I SWEAR!
If you are a jerk, or you know a jerk or you've ever encountered a jerk,
make this chicken...I'm telling you it is delicious!
And it may make you reconsider how you feel about certain JERKS!

Jerk Chicken
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and finely chopped (1.5 cups)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 jalapeno chile, finely chopped
2 T fresh lime juice
2 T olive oil
1 T light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 
coarse salt
2 T water
8 pieces bone in skin on chicken (drums and thighs)
*I used breasts
oil for grill

In a blender combine scallions, garlic, jalapeno, lime juice, olive oil. brown sugar, allspice, thyme, cinnamon, 1 tsp salt and the water; blend until smooth.  Reserve 1/4 cup for brushing.
Place chicken in a shallow dish or resealable bag; season all over with salt.  Pour marinade over chicken; toss to coat.  Cover (seal); refrigerate, turning once or twice at least 2 hours or up to overnight. 
Heat grill to med-high, lightly oil grates.  Lift chicken from marinade, letting excess drip off (discard marinade); place on grill, and cover.  Cook, turning occasionally, until chicken is blackened in spots, about 10 min. 
Move chicken to a cooler part of the grill; brush with reserved marinade.  Cover and grill until chicken is cooked through, 10-15 min more.  
Serves 4

 Cucumber and Watermelon Salad
1 english cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/2 in cubes
1 small seedless watermelon cut into 1/2 in cubes
3 T fresh lime juice
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
In a large bowl, toss cucumber and watermelon with lime juice, 3/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper (or to taste).  
Serves 4

Logan Rating: ****

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hodge Podge Pasta

Now you KNOW that looks good!
Ahhh why do I always blog on an empty stomach.
My mouth is watering!
Anyway, this was a really yummy pasta.
I especially love it because you could put pretty much anything in it and it would taste delicious. 
I added radishes fresh from our garden and some toasted almonds because they were the only nut I had.
I also added the sliced olives and torn fresh herbs (basil, chives, thyme) from the suggested toppings list.
One suggestion I have for you  is to reserve a little extra pasta water to add at the end, because the 1/2 cup that the recipe calls for didn't make my pasta quite creamy enough. 
What a great staple recipe, that you can change up every time you make it!
Oh and did I mention it takes a TOTAL of 20 minutes from start to finish???
Just another bonus of this awesome recipe!
Try it, let me know what you think!

Rigatoni with Goat Cheese
1 lb rigatoni 
1 1/2 cups crumbled goat cheese (4oz)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Topping Suggestions
1/4 cup sliced pitted black olives
1/4 cup chopped or torn herbs
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup slivered sun dried tomatoes

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the rigatoni until al dente according to the package directions; drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. 

Return the pasta to the pot, and toss with the goat cheese and Parmesan cheese.
Season with salt and pepper and add some of the reserved pasta water as desired.
Sprinkle pasta with any or all of the suggested toppings, as desired.
Serves 4-6.

Logan Rating: ***

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Lamb Burgers

So the next time I went to the store, 
BOOM, lamb on sale + coupon=amazing deal.
You guys, I'm so serious, these were AMAZING.
Do you like gyros?  
You will like these! 
Perfectly cooked lamb burgers + tzatziki=tasty 
What a great twist on a traditional burger.
It was such a nice change.  
THIS is the reason I love this challenge. 
Finding absolutely amazing recipes that I would have NEVER tried otherwise. 
Thank you Martha for the great recipes and inspiration.
Try these...thats an order!

Greek Style Mini Lamb Burgers
1 1/2 lbs ground lamb
1/2 small onion, minced (1/4 cup)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 
2 tsp chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried
4 pita breads
2 med beefsteak tomatoes, sliced for serving
shredded lettuce for garnish (optional)
For Tzatziki 
1/2 english cucumber, peeled, seeded and grated
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp chopped fresh mint
1 small garlic clove, minced

Heat grill to high.  Make tzatziki in a med bowl, combine the cucumber, yogurt, lemon juice, mint and garlic; season with S&P.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Make the burgers; in a med bowl, use a fork to gently combine the lamb, onion, parsley and oregano; season with S&P.  Gently form the mixture into 16 small patties, about 3/4 in thick.  Grill until med-rare, 2-3 min per side. 
To serve, warm pitas on the grill
halve pitas and fill with tzatziki , burgers and tomatoes.
Serves 4.

Logan Rating: ****