Monday, June 30, 2008

Asparagus, Sun Dried Tomato and Ricotta Pizza

So here is Monday's dinner. Pizza with Asparagus, Sun Dried Tomato and Ricotta. It was delicious. I grilled the scallions and the asparagus,and tossing them in some sun dried tomato oil was just brilliant, and then cooked the pizza in the regular oven. The recipe calls for grilling the pizza dough as well, but I didn't want to try it tonight, because if it failed, there was nothing else for dinner. I also made the kids a cheese pizza.

And for the pizza dough - I make my own with one of Ina's recipes, but store bought (Trader Joe's is a good one) would do just as well.

Here's the recipe.

A Weeks Menu

I mentioned last week that I was going to challenge myself and do a whole weeks menu from one of the Everyday Food magazines.

I chose the menu this morning, it's from the June 2008 Everyday Food. "Weeknight Wonders" starting on page 81. I have made one subsitution only. Monday in the Everyday Food Menu was "Tuna Steaks with Lemony Tomatoes and Onion" and I'm subsituting the Rosemary Fried Chicken from the same magazine.

So here is the weeks menu. I will be posting each dish so you can see how it turns out.


Grilled Pizzas with Asparagus and Sun-Dried Tomatoes


Roasted Chicken Thighs with Zucchini and Couscous


Spaghetti with Pancetta, Green beans and Basil


Steak with spinach, grapes and almonds


Rosemary Fried Chicken

I am going to be making a couple of incidental subsitutions, and I'll write those up when I make each dish.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Surprise! I got this in the mail yesterday from FoodBuzz! Thank you! A very nice little bag for shopping at the farmers market .

And it even has a button on it with my bog name! The person who got all the right buttons in the right envelopes was very vigilant.

and ps: Tastespotting is back under new management!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Eat My Words

Well, I'm already having to eat my words regarding the July/August Everyday Food. I had the magazine sitting on my desk and I just thumbed through it again and came across a recipe for Bay Scallop Stir Fry. I was desperate for a dinner idea, I knew I had some scallops in the freezer, so I decided to give it a try. I didn't really like the sauce, it wasn't quite right, but it was OK, we ate it. And I also didn't have most of the other ingredients, so I substituted!

Serve this dish over rice!

Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon vegetable oil.
1 red bell pepper (ribs, seeds removed, thinly sliced) I used green beans instead
2 bunches of scallions, white and green parts separated (left it out because I didn't have any!)
2 carrots, halved lengthwise or quartered if large and cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths (I actually had carrots!!)
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 pound bay scallops, patted dry (I just used the small ones in the bag from Costco).

Prepare rice whichever way you like.

Whisk together vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set sauce aside.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high. Add bell pepper , scallion whites, carrots and ginger; cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are crisp-tender, 4 to 5 mins. Add scallops and scallion greens, cook, stirring occasionally, until scallops are cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.

Whisk sauce briefly, and add to skillet; cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Serve scallop stir-fry over rice.

I also found a Strawberry Cream Cake recipe which I'm going to try. I have one from Ina which is fantastic, but this one only has 1 stick of butter in it, and Ina usually has a lot more than that!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Barefoot Bloggers: Parmesan Chicken

This delicious dish for Barefoot Bloggers was no hardship at all. My whole family loves this and my 5yr old even asked for seconds, which is practically unheard of!

I've made this once or twice before,but never with the lemon vinaigrette and the arugula salad, and those two things really enhanced the whole dish and made it that extra bit special.

The breading process is one step longer than normal, or at least the way I usually do it, but it's worth it.

Here's the recipe!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New Challenges

And having just said this about Martha and Everyday Food, my new challenge to myself for next weeks dinners is, choose one of the Everyday Magazines that I have and make every dinner for a week that they suggest in one of their "week of dinners" sections. I haven't chosen it yet, but I'll post the whole menu when I do.

Tonight we are having the Garlic and Parmesan Turkey Burgers!


The July/August 2008 is the most disappointing edition of Everyday Food Magazine ever. I'm usually marking off every second page when I get my magazine, and and I always try at least two or three things out straight away. This time... nothing. Not one thing in here looks even remotely appealing to me, or it's a rehash or twist on a recipe that I've already tried. I'd love to hear if anyone else feels the same about this one, or it's just me.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Last day of school today. Sigh.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Food Gawker to the rescue!!!! In the absence of Tastespotting, some lovely people have started Food Gawker, a similar site to Tastespotting, where we can all happily browse, find new blogs and get some new readers ourselves. Thank you Food Gawker!!!

Weekend Cooking

This weekend I've made a few things but nothing new. I made Nana's Sponge Cake again, but this time I divided the batter into three 8" pans, because I wanted to see how a tripple layer worked. If you want to make this in 3 layers it only takes about 13-15 mins to cook.

It was sort of a waste of time to do the three layers because it didn't really make it better, only more lopsided - so next time I'm sticking with the two layers. Here's a bad photo:

All the raspberries and cream were slipping off the other side of the cake. It still tasted good. I think I was in a total funk putting the cake together because I had just learned about the demise of Tastespotting.

I also made these chocolate chip cookies for Marc for Fathers Day, and I put together a French Onion Dip from Ina.

It doesn't look much in this picture, but it is really delicious. I usually make and just fry up the onions inside, but this time I used the side burner on the grill and did them in a cast iron skillet and it added a lot of flavour and as a bonus didn't stink up the house.

2 large yellow onions
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise

Cut up the onions in slices and then halve them, or however you want really - I don't think it makes a difference . Heat the the butter and the oil in a large saute pan on medium heat. Add the onions, cayenne, salt and pepper and saute for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 more minutes, until the onions are browned and caramelized. Allow to cool.

Place cream cheese, mayonnaise and sour cream in the bowl of an electric mixer, with the paddle attachment, and beat until smooth, add the onions and mix well.

This makes a TON of dip. You would have to have 50 people over to eat all this in one session, so I sometimes halve the recipe and it's about the right amount to snack on before dinner.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tastespotting Is Gone.

Inexplicably has disappeared due to "legal complications" and no one has heard anything or read anything about it!

This is really disappointing to a lot of food bloggers for a lot of reasons. Not only was Tastespotting a fantastic place to discover new blogs and great recipes, it was fun to look at and also had the added bonus of driving traffic to my site when I submitted something and it was accepted.

I really hope that something similar is created so that all the small food bloggers out there (like me!) get a chance to have their hard work seen by a wider audience.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Barefoot Bloggers: Pasta, Pesto & Peas

This is my first recipe for Barefoot Bloggers. Ina's Pesto, Pasta and Peas from the Barefoot Parties Book. Here is the recipe.

I made it slightly different from the recipe, namely totally forgot to put the spinach in and then only used bowtie pasta, as I already had it in the house and did shaved parmesan on the top, not grated. It is still yummy without the spinach,and to be honest, tastes a lot better than I thought it would. It's an easy weeknight dinner and it's surprisingly light!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Chipmunk Update...

I recently posted that chipmunks and squirrels were digging up my basil,and I hooked up an ingenious device to scare them away. Chipmunks are not afraid of ribbon!!! They are still digging. Solutions anyone?

ps.Tomorrow I will be blogging my first recipe for Barefoot Bloggers!


Last night,for something different and healthy I tried the Trader Joe's Brown Rice Spaghetti Pasta. I was worried about how it would turn out and if it would taste just like regular spaghetti, but I shouldn't have worried at all. It turned out really well and you couldn't tell the difference. The rice spaghetti passed the biggest test of all, my 7 yr old, who loves regular spaghetti and I thought he might notice immediately, but he shoveled it in,no problems.

You could tell when cooking it, that it was different because the water went really white, and you definitely needed to rinse it in hot water once it was drained, but it served up and sat on the plate just like wheat spaghetti. If you were on a gluten free diet this would be a life saver!

I served it with a shrimp and tomato sauce.

You won't save calories or carbs eating this, I compared it to a regular spaghetti and it was the same, but it is made from organic brown rice and water, so it is definitely better for you than pasta made from processed wheat.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

10th Anniversary Cake

Today is our 10th Wedding Anniversary and I was surprised with a lovely pair of diamond earrings!! I couldn't have been more shocked. So I was really pleased that I promised to make Marc a Devils Food Cake for our anniversary.

I used a recipe from Martha Stewart Holiday Halloween 2007 and it turned out really well. Much better than the last time I did one of these cakes from Martha.

It's your typical Martha recipe, you have to use your mixer, two bowls and a saucepan, but it is worth it, because the cake is really moist and chocolaty and the icing is fantastic.

The recipe calls for two 8" cake pans, but you could even put it in three pans, there is so much batter it fill the pans right to the top.

Here is the recipe. I didn't alter it one bit for my first try, and it really doesn't need any tweaking. This cake will probably become the standard birthday cake that I make from now on. It's that good!

Barefoot Bloggers

I just joined Barefoot Bloggers and we are going to be posting two Ina recipes per month. I have all the Ina Garten books and love her recipes, so this should be a lot of fun. The members get to choose which recipes we are going to do, so I will be attempting lots of things I probably wouldn't choose to cook normally - which has to be a good thing!!