Saturday, June 28, 2008

Grilled Ratatouille with Chicken

DH & I have been following the South Beach Diet for almost 2 weeks now. I haven't really been blogging about our food because, damn it, it's been boring.
I decided that the only way that I was going to be able to stay on this healthy lifestyle is to get more creative with the foods we are allowed.

Last summer, I made this recipe from Everyday Food, quite a few times. So, when I saw this similar recipe in Bon Appetit, I knew I'd like it. It's delicious & I know I'll be making it again.

First, you'll need 2 red, ripe tomatoes, 2 medium zucchini, 1 red bell pepper, 1 small eggplant, and 1 red onion.
Then, preheat your grill.

Take the zucchini, trim the ends, and slice in half lengthwise.

Put them in a large mixing bowl,

and add the pepper, sliced into thick strips,

the onion, cut in wedges, with the core in tact,

the eggplant, sliced in half length wise,

and the tomatoes, sliced in half cross wise.

Grab some olive oil, salt & pepper,

and drizzle the veggies with about a 1/3 cup oil. Then sprinkle very generously with salt & pepper, and toss to coat everything.

Next, you'll need 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves.

Place each piece in between a layer of plastic wrap & pound thin.
Set aside for later.

Next, lay all the veggies directly on grill.

Save the used bowl for the chicken.

After about 4-5 minutes, flip 'em. Some of the vegetables may need less time than others...

Like the peppers.
But, most will take about 8-10 minutes total.

Put all the veggies on a cutting board to cool a bit, while you cook the chicken.

Put the chicken breasts in the mixing bowl,

& toss them in whatever leftover oil is in there. Add more salt & pepper.

Place the chicken on the grill,

and cook about 4 minutes a side.

Remove to a plate & let it rest about 5 minutes.

Lastly, you'll need some basil...

a few sprigs.

Coarsely chop the vegetables & place in a clean bowl.

Chiffonade the basil,

and add about a 1/3 cup to the bowl,

and mix.

Slice the chicken & serve with the ratatouille.

Friday, June 27, 2008


A few nights ago, DH & I had plans to go see Shakespeare on the Sound.
They were giving a free performance of Julius Caesar, in the park.

When it came down to it, DH was less than thrilled about going. For one, he hates being hot. Second, he hates fighting crowds.
I think he had pictured himself sitting in a sweltering field, with the sun blaring on him, being stuffed in a mass of bodies like a sardine.
But, I told him to suck it up & we went.
It ended up being a cool, almost chilly evening. Where we sat comfortably in our lawn chairs, and sipped wine...

and had a lot of fun.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Lady Beetles

It's no secret to anyone who knows me, that I love ladybugs. In fact, I even have a blurry, 15 yr. old tattoo of one on my back.

However, I never knew about how a ladybug came to be. I just assumed that they hatched from a little egg, looking like their cute little selves.

I was wrong.

The Bozos and I are raising a handful of ladybug larve in our kitchen right now. It has been very interesting learning about their life cycle.
You can see in the front of their little habitat above, that there is a little black alligator looking larvae walking around. They are freaky looking. And if I was ever to find one crawling around, I would have never known that it was a Lady Bug waiting to be.

Hopefully, within the next few days they will begin to pupate. And then emerge as adult ladybugs. At that point, we will release them in our garden.

We raised Painted Lady Butterflies a few seasons ago.
And this morning while watering the garden, I untangled a tiny Mantis nymph from a spiderweb & set her free.
She is our state bug, after all.

So, next up Praying Mantis...

Victorian Letter Cards

Several years ago, I was shopping in my favorite, and way out of my league, interior design shop. I fell in love with these Victorian letter cards.

They are vintage postcards, with a tiny scalloped border, that are accented with glass glitter.

I haven't been able to find them again since I first purchased mine. But, while browsing around on Design*Sponge, I located them here.

If I had a baby girl, I would buy her name, or initials for her room. But, since I don't, I put them in mine.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


About a year ago, my Mom went to a local craft fair & bought some awesome jewelry. She got two necklaces & two pairs of earrings.
My sister Emily was in town and when my Mom got back we were both oohing and aahing over her new jewelry. She was wearing one set & I asked if I could try on the others. I did, and wore them for a few days.
She kept on telling me that the were not mine & that I had to return them. After a few more days of begging, I finally did return them.

Recently, on our trip to Wyoming, I saw her wearing the jewelry. Not the set I had begged for, but the other one.
When I saw them, I asked her if she brought the other pair with her on the trip? I wanted to wear them to the wedding. She gave me an uncomfortable look. I said, did you not bring them?
She said no, She had given them to my sister Lauren.

After giving her all sorts of a hard time, it became a joke between us sisters.

This afternoon, I met up with my Mom at my Aunt's pool. She told me she had a present for me.
She handed me a little jewelry bag and gave me these.
I have to say that it did bring a tear to my eye. I love, love, love, love, love them.

I told her that she has redeemed herself now.
But, now she's has to find Emily her pair ;)

For a list of where the artist will be for the next few months, click here.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Curried Couscous

I have made this Barefoot Contessa recipe more times than I can count. Love, love, love it. Today, the bozos helped out.

First, you will need some plain couscous.

Put 1 1/2 cups in a bowl.

Next, take 1 1/2 cups water and put it in a small saucepan.

To the water, add 1 tablespoon of butter.

Heat the water/butter to boiling,

then pour it over the dry couscous, and stir. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it sit at least 5 minutes, or until you are done preparing the rest of the ingredients.

Next, grate some carrots,

until you have a 1/2 cup,

and put into a bowl.

Then some parsley. Here is some from my garden, woohoo!

Mince a 1/2 cup,

and add to bowl.

Next up...1/2 cup of dried cranberries,

1/2 cup sliced almonds,

into the bowl.

2 scallions, sliced,

and added.

Lastly, one half, or a quarter cup, red onion,


and added to bowl.

Next is the dressing. You'll need a half a cup of plain yogurt.

Add that to a separate bowl,

Along with a quarter cup of olive oil,

a teaspoon of white wine vinegar,

a 1/4 teaspoon turmeric,

a teaspoon curry powder,

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt,

some freshly ground pepper,

and whisk it up.

Pour the cooked couscous into the dressing bowl and mix to combine thoroughly.

Pour in the other ingredients,

stir it all up,

and serve.

Here are the guest chefs.