Tag Archives: dinner

Summer Winner Dinner

This is one of those dishes that pops into my brain every once in a while, and then I can’t stop thinking about it until we make it for dinner. If you ignore the fact that it requires the oven, it’s the perfect summer recipe. It’s very simple, and does a great job featuring the flavors of fresh garden tomatoes, basil, and zucchini.

All you do is roast sliced tomatoes and zucchini…

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And layer them with a mixture of ricotta, egg, basil, garlic, and Parmesan.

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Then bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
Easy as crustless ricotta summer vegetable pie.
Actually it’s more like a lasagna without the noods.
(That’s noodles, for those of you who didn’t go to college with me… As featured in the self-explanatory dorm-friendly meals of buttery noods and saucy noods.)

Here’s the recipe.
It’s a Washington Post recipe from 2 summers ago. The recipe says to sprinkle the garlic on top, but we mix it in with the cheese mixture. I’m sure both are good. Or double the garlic and do both. That’s probably good too. It’s one of those recipes that’s hard to ruin. If you do manage to
ruin it you can always call on the backup dinner of buttery noods… : )

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Fillings

Life has been full.

School is busy, but I’m loving the class. I’m still having fun waiting tables. I’ve been running a little more this week, after a total of only 9 miles for the entirety of last week (it was probably my busiest week yet). I’m tired but happy.

Expeditions…

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O’s game! (they lost :()

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But I won because the weather and company were great and I ate grilled corn 🙂

Experiments…

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It’s called a waterfall braid… Looks cool when it’s down, too!

and Eats!

Quesadillas are easy, quick, and can be really healthy. Oh yeah and they taste good.

I have here two variations I made this week:

Sweet potato, goat cheese, bellavitano (nutty, a little sharp, delicious) and chard…

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(chard not pictured…you’ll just have to take my word for it)

Spinach, goat cheese, and a fried egg…

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Both are so good! Last year I made my own tortillas– that would definitely take these up another notch.

May your life and your quesadillas be full of good things!!

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Frittaterole

Another leftover makeover. That seems to be my thing these day.

My favorite thing about rice is actually the smell. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste great with cheddar and broccoli in a frittata/casserole hybrid creation.

This was super easy to make and tasted even better than I anticipated.

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First I steamed some broccoli, which, at about 5 minutes, was probably the most time-consuming step. Next I heated some chopped garlic in olive oil until just starting to brown, then added the rice, some salt, and pepper, and cooked to combine the flavors. I added the broccoli, sautéed for just a minute more, then removed the pan from the heat.

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4 eggs. You can do more or less, depending on how much rice you have, how many people your are feeding, or how much you like eggs. I whisked them with a splash of milk.

I grated some cheddar (You can use whatever cheese is most pleasing to you in the moment. Or whatever is in your fridge.), then I mixed the cheddar with the rice and broccoli, which had cooled a little.

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I stirred in the eggs, then dumped it all in my freshly-greased skillet and cooked it on medium heat for about 5 minutes. I also added some goat cheese on top because I like melty goat cheese.

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After it had cooked enough that I could see the eggs were solid almost to the top, I put the pan under the broiler for about 3 minutes to cook/brown the top. This will only work if you are using cast iron, or some other pan that can go in the oven. If this does not apply to you, you can cook it all the way through by covering the pan with a lid as soon as you add the egg/rice mixture. It’s done when the eggs are solid all the way through to the top! It will smell like delicious browning cheese.

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I forgot to take a picture until after we started eating it… But all that matters is I remembered before we finished!

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7…6…5…4….

It’s the final countdown!  A week til the marathon…and it could be a pretty busy one.  Thanksgiving is a crazy time at the bakery, so I’ll be working an extra shift this week to help out.  I’m only working at Growlers once, though, so that means only one double, and I think I should have plenty of down time from Wednesday on.  Including Thanksgiving, which also happens to be the day I should really start increasing my carbohydrate consumption.  Convenient.  Gotta make sure I’m storing away some glycogen!

I have a recipe for you.  But, as of yet, no picture.  My parents went to a wedding and took my camera… so I used my brother’s to take pictures.  But then he went to St. Mary’s and I don’t know where the camera went.  So you’ll have to wait for a picture.  Or, just look at one of my green smoothie pictures, because the resemblance is quite striking.  But this time the recipe is for a more commonly accepted green-sludge-in-appearance food.  Soup!

We had spinach that needed cooking.  It was a tired, chilly Friday evening.  And I hadn’t cooked anything beyond an egg in quite some time.  Here is the result:

Loosely based on a Spinach and Pea soup from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone (one of the cookbooks I use most; her recipes often feature genius combinations of flavors).  I didn’t have green onions so I used shallot, and she didn’t call for garlic, but I added it, because why not?  At the end I wanted a little more warmth in the flavor so I added cayenne.

Savory Spinach Soup

  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 3 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 10 stalks of parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried basil (or 1 tbsp fresh)
  • salt and pepper
  • a lot of spinach (I used maybe… 8 cups?  loosely packed?)
  • 1 cup peas (frozen works)
  • lemon juice
  • cayenne

Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a large soup pot.  Add the onion, garlic, shallot, carrots, herbs, and 1/2 tsp salt.  Sautee for 5 minutes or so, then add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes until carrots are soft.  Add spinach and peas and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, until spinach has wilted.  Remove from heat and blend soup in two batches using a food processor, or using an immersion blender, which is about 4 million times easier.  Season with salt and pepper, lemon juice, and cayenne, all to taste.  Salt and pepper bring out the vegetable flavors, lemon juice makes the soup brighter and have a little more presence, and cayenne rounds out the flavors and gives the soup extra warmth.

False alarm!  I found my brother’s camera.

Could be a green smoothie in a pot.  Am I right?

Green soups are not very photogenic…

I’m about to go for my last “long” run of my training, which is 8 miles.  But first, let me show you my lunch.  I made a sort of pizza on a tortilla.  A tortizza…???

I started with a tiny smear of hummus (because that’s all we had left), Trader Joe’s Red Pepper Spread (a staple in our household), and feta cheese.

I added some sauteed onions…

And some collards that had been sauteed with garlic.  Then I put it in the oven for about 5 minutes at 400 degrees, just to heat everything through.

All done, topped with chopped cured black olives.

SO good.  The tortilla didn’t get very crispy, but I just cut it up in slices and folded them around the toppings.  What made this was especially good was the collards, which we got at the farmer’s market.  They are so sweet.  I sauteed the whole bunch and could easily eat it all right now, but I want to share some with my parents.

Okay, time to run!

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Pizza Take Two

The crust wasn’t such a smashing success this time.  It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t as crispy delicious as last time.  I think it’s because I used all white whole wheat flour (still made from the whole wheat berry, but it’s a different variety that is much lighter) instead of the half white whole wheat, half all-purpose I used last time.  So the results of this cooking experiment are: pizza crust is better with some white flour in the mix.  It also didn’t rise very well… though that could have been because it was kind of chilly in the kitchen.  After an hour and a half I got impatient and started rolling it anyway; it definitely wasn’t as workable as last time.  Oh well, live cook and learn.

Other than that it was pretttty good.

Pizza #1: Roasted Red Peppers, Red Onion, Sauteed Spinach, Artichoke Hearts, Black Olives, Feta, Mozzarella

Toppings

Ready (well, minus cheese)...

Done!

Pizza #2: Caramelized Onions, Blue Cheese (Gorgonzola Dolce and Blue Brie), Pear, and Mozzarella

Toppings (sans onion)

Ready...

Done!

The only change I would have made was a little less olive on pizza #1.  The saltiness of the olives + the feta was a little over-powering.

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When Life Gives You Cheese

Make Pizza!

(A a good decision, given that the other option would be Cheese-Ade)

 

We have so much cheese!  Cheddar, goat, cambozola, mozzarella, fresh mozzarella, gouda, parmesan, cottage, cream, and more!  I had the day off yesterday, so I was able to put some of that cheese to work.

Here’s the dough, in need of kneading…

The recipe is from my beautiful “Anna’s Favorite Recipes” binder that my wonderful friends gave me for my birthday this year. They contributed recipes to it, and I have added recipes from magazines and my experiences.  It’s the best.

I feel Katie may have had something to do with the fact that it matches our kitchen (even if only subconsciously)...

 

You are now entering the pizza section.

This recipes is from Mer.  It’s the best crust recipe I have yet to encounter.  And, of course, it is impeccably presented.  If you are interested in the recipe but can’t read it from the picture, leave a comment and I’d be happy to type it out for you!

Pizza #1 is pan-browned zucchini and sauteed red peppers with fresh and not-fresh (what do you call it? Is it aged?) mozzarella.

Toppings, ready for topping.

Before...

After!

Pizza #2 is cambozola (if you like blue cheese but have never tried this one, go buy some- you will absolutely not regret it), caramelized onions, walnuts, and mozzarella.

Before (Pizza #2 doesn't photograph as well)...

Pale in color, but not in flavor!

 

They were both so good in their individual ways.  On pizza #1, the sauce was garlicky from a huge clove of home-grown garlic, and I simmered the sauce for a long time, so it had that concentrated tomatoey sweetness.  Cooking the vegetables beforehand gave them a more intense flavor; in my opinion they suit a pizza better that way than when they only cook for the 8 or so minutes the pizza is in the oven.  Pizza #2 had that super-savory, uninterrupted cheesiness of a white pizza, especially since the cheese was a blue, and with the addition of the onions and toasty walnuts.  Mmm now I wish there was more of it.

Our cheese drawer is not empty, to say the least, but the assortment is now more manageable.  If anyone has any brilliant ideas for using cheese, don’t hold back!

 

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