Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tamale Pie

Since introducing my kids to Trader Joe's tamales a few months ago, they have become all the rage in our house. I happen to love tamales too & thought it would be fun to try making some.
But, upon further investigation, I decided that they were a bit too complicated to deal with...being that my life, at the moment, will only allow for quick & easy meals.
So, I decided to try & find a tamale pie recipe. I figured they would like that just as much & it turns out they like it even more!
The recipe that looked the most fantastic to me, was one I found over on the food blog, Simply Recipes. I made quite a few changes to it, but the basis of the filling is pretty much the same.
I highly recommend trying this out, as it received more praise than anything I've made in a very long time. Don't be deterred by the long ingredient list. It really couldn't be easier! If you can make tacos, you can make this!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cold Sesame Noodles

I've tried countless recipes for sesame noodles & there is always something about each of them that I'm not completely wild about. Either it's too heavy on the peanut butter, or not heavy enough...too vinegary tasting, or too bland...
Here, I have come up with my own recipe...adding in all the things I love & leaving out the things I don't.
For the first time in a long while, I tried making them with Soba noodles {Japanese buckwheat noodles}...which, many recipes out there actually call for. Usually, I just use regular spaghetti. After trying these, I think I'll bag the Soba noodles next time. I've decided I like plain ole' spaghetti better. But, by all means, use whichever you'd like.
When it's as hot as it has been outside, eating cold sesame noodles is the best. It's a great picnic food & leftovers are always fantastic too!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Garden 2010

Every year, our gardens get bigger & bigger...and, become more & more work. This year, DH built us two raised garden beds in our backyard. They replaced two very large & overgrown Forsythia bushes, that I've been dreaming of getting rid of for years.
Growing up, we always had a vegetable garden. So, enjoying summer harvests has been something I have always looked forward too. But, having our very own garden, is even more rewarding. We have moved on from our little container gardens & can plant so much more.
We've planted loads of tomatoes. Along with, eggplant, cucumbers, raspberries, strawberries, acorn squash, peanuts, amaranth, radishes, arugula, lettuce, sugar snap & sweet peas, dill, tarragon, basil {which is mostly all gone now, due to some insect, or rodent}, cilantro, beets, rapini {broccoli raab}, leeks, shallots, chocolate mint, spearmint, chives, bell peppers & of course, parsley.
I've already been using plenty of the herbs & this weekend we harvested our first ripe cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet peas & eggplant. So amazing!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bozo Picture of the Week...

This is how I found my guys, the other morning, when I went in their room to wake them up for camp.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Crunchy Peanut Slaw

This is another fantastic summer side dish. Perfect for a picnic, or BBQ. I made this for the Fourth, along with macaroni salad & balsamic ribs. Being as that was nearly 2 weeks ago...I am pretty far behind in my posts. With the Bozos out of school & summer activities in full swing, I am swamped!
Like the macaroni salad, this can be a make ahead dish. I recommend adding the dressing shortly before you serve it. If it's left on too long, it will be soggy. I found the recipe on "the kitchn" website & they recommended slicing the cabbage very, very thin. You want it to be almost thread-like & then cut into small enough lengths, that it's easy to eat, picnic-style.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Macaroni Salad

I made this macaroni salad for the Fourth of July. I wanted to make some classic picnic foods & this recipe came to mind. Like most Macaroni salad recipes, this one is super basic. Yet, a bit un-traditional, with the use of red onion & parsley.
It's a perfect make ahead side dish & can be chilled for up to two days.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ricotta Pancakes

When my kids were smaller, we had a regular weekend ritual of making pancakes. Now, with crazy sports schedules, we don't have very many lazy weekend mornings.
We made these pancakes for Father's Day a few weeks ago. I wanted to try something new & this recipe was on my list of things to try. They are super light & fluffy, with a texture unlike any pancakes I've made before. Everyone loved them! They require a bit more effort than regular pancakes. But, that's what makes them perfect for special occasions, like Father's Day.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy 4th of July Weekend!

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend! We had an awesome time, hanging with friends & seeing the best fireworks ever!
I didn't make these cupcakes. They're from Baked in Brooklyn...aren't they pretty?

Friday, July 2, 2010

Pesto Pasta Salad with Grilled Chicken

As promised, more from Cooks Illustrated "30 Minute Meals" mag. How could I resist making this meal? It's perfect in every way. It's has all of your typical dinner food groups, all in one bowl. It can be served warm, room temperature, or cold. It tastes delicious the day of, or days after. It's simple, nutritious & quick.
Then, the sugar on top...everyone in my family will eat it! My Bozos love pesto, which is great for me, because I do too!
They finished school this week & I need all the help I can get keeping them entertained. So, I brought them both into the kitchen for this dinner...I even let my 8 yo. grill the chicken! Which, I'm pretty sure was the highlight of his life so far...along with making me coffee in the morning {Is this really happening?}.
If you've never served pesto to your kids & you're not sure how they will like it...this is a great start. As, this particular recipe for pesto is pretty mild. It contains more nuts than typical versions & less garlic. Not like the pesto I am used to, but so good!