Archive for June, 2008

Spiked blueberry lemonade

To make this lemonade, we basically added booze to a recipe printed in the local newspaper. My husband added the vodka, but neglected to measure. So his best guess was that it was about a shot-full per glass. It was certainly enough to lift my mood after a night at work!

blueberry lemonade

Spiked Blueberry Lemonade (4 servings)

1 pint (2 cups) fresh blueberries
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained (more if you’ll be using plain vodka)
2 to 2 1/2 cups water
Ice
4 shots lemon vodka

In a blender or food processor, puree blueberries and sugar until smooth. Strain mixture into pitcher, discarding solids. Add lemon juice and water and stir well to combine. Add vodka before serving. Serve over ice, if desired.

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June 30, 2008 at 9:56 pm 2 comments

Ahhh…summer

Our CSA box was totally different this week than past weeks, and I was so happy. Almost all of my favorite vegetables were included: red potatoes, corn on the cob, tomatoes, green beans, squash and onions. Since we’re going to be out of town starting Thursday, we figured out how to make meals with those vegetables and stuff on hand, meaning no need for the grocery store! With the big tomato salmonella scare, it’s nice to feel confident about where your food is coming from. I’ve talked to the farmers and know all the food they grow goes on their table, also.

I accidentally deleted the pictures, but we made a squash and tomato pizza last night, loosely based on this recipe. Very yummy.

June 29, 2008 at 12:34 pm Leave a comment

Fruits of our labors

blueberries

Yesterday, the husband and I took a little trip to a blueberry patch southeast of Atlanta. The owner warned us that the ripe ones were looking a little sparse, but an hour and a half of picking yielded us a full bucket, about a gallon. So for $9, we should have all the blueberries we could want this summer for desserts, breakfasts and drinks. We put three pans worth in the freezer, so maybe they’ll last us a while. Already, I made the easiest blueberry cake ever, recipe here.

blueberry cake

This morning, we made mini parfaits for breakfast.

parfait

I’m thinking about making a pie for a work potluck this week, and some blueberry lemonade, but besides that, I’d love to hear some other suggestions!

June 29, 2008 at 12:23 pm Leave a comment

Individual cherry pies

When cherries first started appearing in stores, I told myself I wasn’t going to buy any since they were neither local nor organic. But then I kept running across recipes and beautiful pictures of cherry pies in cooking blogs and magazines, and I caved. Since a whole pie only usually only lasts a few days in our house, I thought I’d try making small ones so I could freeze some and we could exercise a little more self control. On a whim, I picked up Smart Balance’s new stick butter, and I think that was to blame for the disaster that was my crust. Oh, it tasted great, but it was a nightmare to work with and made for some ugly little pies. And I managed to get four in the freezer before we ate them all!

cherry pie

Individual cherry pies

Crust: Find Martha Stewart’s recipe here or use your favorite for a double crust pie

3 cups fresh (sweet) cherries, cut in half and pitted
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg white, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water
3 tablespoons turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Make crust, leaving time for it to refrigerate before rolling out. Combine all ingredients except egg white and water and turbinado sugar and set aside. When dough is chilled, take one ball out of the fridge, let it sit a few minutes, and then roll it out to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut dough into circles about 5 inches in diameter (I used a Pyrex container). Brush one edge of circle with the egg, add about 1/4 of filling, and press to seal, using the tines of a fork. Cut a gash in the top. Brush with egg wash, if desired, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
Bake pies on parchment-covered cookie sheet for 15-20 minutes, or until browned and filling is bubbly.

June 27, 2008 at 1:12 pm Leave a comment

Chicken, 3 ways

A little while ago I learned of a Georgia company that sells chicken that’s not only local, but fed a vegetarian diet and treated humanely. That definitely fits in with how we’re trying to eat, but most of the cuts are not as budget friendly as I’m used to. But with the help of a coupon and sale at Kroger, I managed to pick up two whole chickens recently for $6.50 each, a great deal considering all the food we’d get out of them. Not quite as easy to work with as boneless, skinless breasts, maybe, but both my wallet and conscious could be happy.

For the first night, my brave husband cut the chicken into pieces, putting the back aside for later. Then we rubbed it all over with a little oil and spices (we love Penzey’s blends) and set it under the broiler. One smoke-filled apartment later, we had dinner! (Our tiny apartment oven has issues.)

chicken

After dinner, I cut up the extra meat, putting aside the dark pieces for my husband (and dog) and dicing the white into a bowl for the next day. And later, I put the extra bones and the reserved chicken back into a soup pot with a halved onion, three carrots and 8 cups of water. A few hours later …. broth!

Tonight, I made Cooking Light’s Spicy Southwestern Chicken Salad, which was delicious. And as a bonus, it left us with three-fourths of an avocado and half a red pepper. So I mashed the avocado, diced in some pepper, added a splash of lemon juice and dash of salt, and we had some makeshift guacamole to start. It was pretty yummy, if I do say so myself. We didn’t have any chips on hand, so we just sliced up some tortillas and baked them for about 8-10 min. at 300 in the toaster oven.

guac

This is getting long, so click below for the chicken salad

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June 25, 2008 at 8:16 pm 2 comments

Lentil stew

My husband is not a huge fan of Swiss chard, which has been in our CSA boxes for the past few weeks, but he loves anything with curry, so this soup turned out to be a winner. I adapted the measurements a little to make it thicker, and topped it off with some brown rice, skipping the yogurt.

stew

Curried Red Lentil Stew with Swiss Chard, adapted from Bon Appetit magazine, and recommended by Liz

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
5 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 small bunch Swiss chard, tough stalks removed, coarsely chopped (about 5 cups)
2 cups lentils
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
Plain yogurt
Hot, cooked rice, if desired

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté until golden, about 13 minutes. Mix in curry and cayenne. Add broth and chard. Increase heat; bring to boil. Add lentils and garbanzos; reduce heat to medium.

Cover; simmer until lentils are tender, stirring twice, about 10 minutes. Divide stew among bowls. Top with sour cream (or plain yogurt).

June 24, 2008 at 4:33 pm 4 comments

White pizza

Last week I went the healthy route when making pizza, with a whole-wheat crust topped with tomato sauce and lots of veggies. But sometimes I crave something a little different, and I was out of wheat flour. So I mixed up a lovely batch of pure white pizza dough, and for reasons unknown to me, it yielded more than normal. Must have been in the rise. So half of the batch of dough was a more-than-generous base for the toppings of carmelized onions, roasted garlic and feta and mozzarella cheeses. It smelled amazing in the oven and was so good I kept going back for more even though I was mostly full after 3 slices. In fact, it might have been my favorite pizza yet.


Click below for recipe

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June 20, 2008 at 11:08 pm Leave a comment

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Weekly menu

-Sesame chicken
-Black bean burgers with sweet potato fries
-Salad with hot bacon dressing and corn on the cob
-Tomato and bacon frittata