Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The bounty of August: salsa

Ok. I fell off the face of the earth. I got a new job! I've been trying to clean my house and work on various projects and prepare for some big changes in my life. Oh, and eat as much August produce as possible. So I made a number of things that I just didn't post. So get ready. I know it's the end of August and I'm going to get everything in!

I received a box of tomatillos from my CSA a few weeks ago, and as they started to look a little past prime, I whipped up some salsa.

8-9 tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed and cut in half.
1 large tomato, chopped
3-4 small peppers, (pick your hotness level)
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

Cover a baking sheet with tin foil and place tomatillos on it, along with peppers. Roast for about 30 minutes until the tomatillos look a little charred.
Place tomatillos, peppers, onion and tomato in food processor and pulse several times.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The bounty of August: BLT

When my mom or dad would make BLTs growing up, no one every felt like they got enough bacon. My mom would stand at the range, listing to the news as she cooked the it. She'd place the crispy slices on a paper-towel covered plate. Someone would always walk over and steal pieces of the bacon, running out of the room before she noticed.

BLTs seem like a perfect summer meal to me- featuring amazing home grown tomatoes and limited preparation time. Don't use grocery store, imported tomatoes for this. Please find some heirloom tomatoes from a farmer's market. There's a huge difference!

If you made the cobb salad yesterday, you might have leftover bacon. Put that to use by whipping up some BLTs. (Please note, I ran out of "L" for mine in the picture, but it was still delicious with the B and the T!)

Bread - toasted
Tomatoes - sliced (either get a really big one or use 3-4 slices from a small tomato per sandwich)
Bacon- go the healthier route with turkey bacon or use your favorite  bacon
Lettuce- I prefer something with some crunch.

Directions- toast bread, spread with your favorite topping like Mayo or peanut butter, layer lettuce, tomatoes and bacon, top with other bread piece.

BLTs are a key ingredient in the perfect picnic meal.

Fresh corn needs just a few moments in boiling water and the merest hint of butter and salt to be incredible.
Slice up cucumbers and throw them in a mason jar for easy portability.

There you go. A no-cook meal (technically, you could microwave the bacon). Enjoy!

Monday, August 9, 2010

The bounty of August

August is the worst of the summer months in Missouri. July can be steamy, with temperatures reaching in the 90s. But it seems as though the 100 degree days are strung together more frequently in August. When that happens, I can barely roust myself to make anything for dinner, much less something complicated or that involves a grill or an oven.

Luckily, August provides us with a bounty of options for simple meals, without much fuss or complication. Friday night I got home from work and Chris and I realized we had no food in the house. We went to Winslow's Home for dinner, the place that does our CSA - community supported agriculture. We pay a set amount at the beginning of the summer and each week pick up a basketful of interesting produce.

Anyway, I had an amazingly simple dinner dish - tomatoes, fresh ricotta cheese and spinach gnocchi. It was so fresh, it made me think - "This is what I need to be making every day!" Sometimes I need a little inspiration from a restaurant or friend to get me out of a cooking rut.

So each day this week, I'll be bringing you a simple recipe each day that showcases the best of August produce in hopes that you will be inspired. Check them out and let me know what you think!

This salad needs no dressing. It's a twist on the Cobb salad. Makes enough for two, or three or four.
  • Lettuce ( 3 cups, ish)
  • Tomato (2 medium, chopped)
  • Avocado ( 1 chopped)
  • Green Onions (handful, chopped)
  • Ham chunks ( I bought these precut in a bag)
  • Turkey bacon ( I know Turkey bacon can be gross and weird, so the trick is NOT to buy "extra lean" but buy some that talks about how it has half the fat of regular bacon. That way, it'll have enough fat to crisp up nicely, but you don't have to feel guilty).
  • Hard boiled eggs (3 or 4, chopped)

Assemble. It's good with blue cheese dressing or none at all.

Friday, August 6, 2010

An Interview with a Creative Few: Jenny Larson

I know so many creative people and talking with them about their projects often inspires me to try new things. So I've decided to introduce them to you in a format that I like: an interview.

Jenny Larson is a full-time mom to three kids with a fourth on the way and part-time photographer. She started taking pictures to document her children's lives and has turned the hobby into a career.

She photographs families, children, seniors in high school, moms-to-be and does birthday parties.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Digging through the past

Mom had left me a phone message.

I checked it as I climbed in the car to drive home from work last week.

"Logan is moving into Shannon's old bedroom and Dad emptied the closets. You had some things in there and I'd like you to come get them."

Great. My childhood stuff.  I took a mental inventory of what she was talking about.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Orzo, lavender lemonade and bruschetta

As I was planning my deck party, I knew I wanted to serve something easy to prepare and seasonal. The first thing that comes to mind for me is orzo. It's a dish that's so easy to customize depending on your individual taste and what you have on hand. My mom loves it with roasted zucchini, mushrooms, tomatos, feta cheese and pine nuts. My version had parmesean cheese, tomatos and basil.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Deck Party: The food

Sorry to have disappeared on you all last week. After weeks and weeks of nonstop crafting, cooking and building, Chris and I took a few days to just relax!
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