Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fridge Pickles

One of my first baskets a few months ago had pickling cucumbers in it. I was so excited to make pickles. I wasn't prepared for the whole water bath thing yet though, so I decided to make fridge pickles. They are way easier and they last a really long time (in the fridge). I think it has to do with the ph balance or something. My mom used to make a huge thing of pickles every summer. It was delicious. Plus my kid loves pickles. And you could use any veggie, not just cucumbers.

Anyway, i just googled a recipe and found a great one. Can't find it anymore, but it's essentially this recipe in a nutshell

Check out my
giveaway for a chance to win some super cool popsicle molds and a cookbook!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lobster Ravioli and Pesto

So, I'll admit, making pesto with the basil from my Italian Pack, probably isn't the most exciting or unique idea. But I don't really care, cause i could eat pesto by the spoonful, all by it's lonesome. I love pesto. And fresh pesto is really the best. I had been watching "Extra Virgin" on the Cooking Channel, and they made pesto in their mortar and pestle. Now, they had this enormous mortar and pestle that was like 300 years old or something. I just have this little old mortar and pestle. So, I was going to be all fancy pants and make my pesto the old fashioned way. Until about 45 seconds in, when I realized that I didn't have the magic of television to fast forward through the 4 hours it was going to take to make pesto by hand. So, I switched to the food processor (oh, by the way, the reason I was really using the mortar and pestle, was because I was too lazy to wash the food processor which was in the dishwasher, but I did anyway).

In any case, homemade pesto is totally simple. I used two crushed cloves of garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper Parmesan and instead of pine nuts, I used sunflower seeds. I like sunflower seeds and they are way cheaper than pine nuts. Plus sunflower seeds are way good for you.

The asparagus I roasted with some olive oil and lemon pepper.

Check out my summer giveaway

Baba Ghanoush and Other Adventures in Eggplant

Ok, so eggplant, I like. I've always liked eggplant, but it's one of those veggies that hardly ever bought. Before Bountiful Baskets I really was in a veggie rut. I would buy maybe some lettuce and cucumbers or something to make salad. Broccoli. Uh, oh and maybe some zucchini or squash. Now, I typically get at least one or two curve balls. Not usually something that is so foreign I have no idea what to do with it. But usually something that wasn't on my typical shopping list.

So, last week when I got eggplant, I made eggplant Parmesan. Oh, I actually made too many of the little fried lovelies, because my friend donated hers to me. I froze the extras and figured I could make single serving eggplant Parmesan by just throw them in the toaster oven and warm them up. Actually, I took a couple of the leftover ones and topped a pizza with them. This was based roughly on a chicken parm pizza at a local pizza joint. All of the fried eggplant deliciousness was awesome.

So, this week when I got more eggplant, I wasn't thinking eggplant parmesan. First of all, it's still 137,000 degrees outside, so a heavy cheesy meal was the best sounding thing. Ok, who am I kidding, breaded, fried and cheesy always sounds good. But I did want a change of pace. I've kind of been on a Middle Eastern kick lately. So, I thought I would make Baba Ghanoush.

I was at Target when the inspiration struck me. So, I thought I'd see if they had tahini. I knew I had just seen it somewhere completely random the other day, and thought perhaps it was Target. It totally wasn't. I confused almost every single employee in Target asking for tahini. For those of you who are just as confused, tahini is simply sesame seed paste. It's used in hummus and baba ghanoush. But I texted my mom who assured me that I could make it sans the tahini. And it would cut down on the fat as well.

All I did was cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, brushed with olive oil and baked cut side down for about 40 minutes on 425, till soft. Then, I scooped it into the food processor with two cloves garlic, grated onion, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Now, I was supposed to put olive oil in it too, but I totally forgot. So, I drizzled some on top. Now, since there is essentially just eggplant in this dip, I used that as an excuse to chow down on all of it. And it was delicious.

I made kebabs from the bell pepper, mushrooms from the basket, along with cubed chicken. I simply brushed with olive oil and topped with curry, cayenne salt and pepper, then grilled till the chicken was done. And pita. Gotta have some warm, fluffy pita.

Don't forget to check out my giveaway

Summery Giveaway!

Ok, it's time for my giveaway.

I love, love, love these Tovolo popsicle molds. We get so much fruit in our baskets, a lot of times it's hard for me to get through it all. Popsicles are a great way to use some of that fruit and get your kids eating some extra fruit (maybe some yogurt too).

So, here's my giveaway.

One set of Tovolo ice cream popsicle molds

and this Delicious book by Krystina Castella.

The rules are simple. For each thing you do, you get 1 point.

Follow my blog and comment about it, get one point.
"Like" my facebook page and comment about it, get one point.
Follow me on twitter and comment about it, get one point.
Promote me on your blog and comment about it, get one point.
Promote me on your facebook page and comment about it get one point.
Vote for us on "picket fence blogs" and comment about it, get one point.

The contest will run from Monday, August 8th thru August 31st at midnight.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pizza Stuffed Squash

I got three enormous squashes this week and they seemed to be begging to be stuffed. I wanted something a little different and I came across a recipe that called for pepperoni. I thought that was brilliant, but these seemed a little large to have pepperoni be the star player. But, it had me thinking pizza. So, I picked up some Italian turkey sausage at the store. I used the whole package, but I probably didn't need to, because I ended up with too much stuffing. However, the mixture would be great served over pasta or rice as well. It was a hit with the family and it was low carb-ish and had a variety of colors, flavors and veggies. I almost snuck some spinach in there, but forgot.

1 package Italian sausage (I used turkey)
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
i can diced black olives
1 jar pizza sauce
several handfuls of mozzerella
parmesan, if you so desire

Decase (is that a word?) the sausage, and crumble it in the pan and let brown, with some olive oil. Then add the pepper and onion and cooked until softened. Then add pizza sauce and olives and let it warm to a simmer. Meanwhile, slice the squash lengthwise and scrap out the insides. Then spoon warm mixture into the squash, top with cheese and cook on a baking pan till tender, about 20 minutes at 350.

If you want it extra cheesy, you can add cheese to the mixture before stuffing the squash. I simply added it to the top.

Between the sauce and the sausage, there were plenty of seasonings, so I added no salt to it.

Hey, don't forget to add me to your facebook, I'll be doing a giveaway before the end of the month.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Spicy Peanut Sauce

I made a menu for this week, which included lettuce wraps. I was a little tired of using my romaine for salads only. And it's hot hot. So lettuce wraps sounded great. I was going to use ground meat of some sort. But, I went to the store and forgot all about the meat until I was at the car. How I forgot meat, is beyond me, because I even brought a list. In any case, I wasn't about to leave my food in the car and go back for meat, because, as mentioned in a previous post, it's roughly 137,000 degrees in the great state of Texas these days. So, I decided to use chicken instead. I simply used one zuchinni, diced. Plus one package of chicken breast tenders, also diced. For the sauce, I used:

2 tablespoons spicy peanut butter

if you don't have spicy peanut butter (you really should) you could use regular peanut butter and add some ceyenne or hot sauce. Or if you don't like spicy, just use regular peanut butter.

about 2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
ginger, grated, till I got bored (2 teaspoons)
1 clove garlic
rice wine vinegar
a bit of water if it's too thick.

I added some corn starch and I don't think it's needed, because the peanut butter seems to thicken it. Also, it wasn't very salty, so if you like salt, add more soy sauce and less water.

After the chicken was cooked, with the zuchinni, I tossed it together with the sauce and let it cook for a moment.

I also used some basmati rice in them, but for a low glycemic meal, leave the rice and sugar out. And if you really like peanuts, throw some in there for crunch.

Don't forget to like my facebook page, I'll be doing my giveaway soon.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ice Cream Pops

Check these out. I love these.

Tovolo Ice-Cream Pop Molds, Set of 4

I them ordered off of amazon a few weeks ago. I already had a couple other sets of the same brand. But I saw these and thought they were adorable and fun. I used my strawberries to make "strawberry ice cream." Which, is essentially strawberries and yogurt. Typically, I would have used vanilla yogurt, but all I had was plain. So, I added some sugar to the strawberries and let them sit for a while and blended them with the yogurt. Aside from the added sugar, I think this is a totally healthy afternoon snack. Especially when it's 137,000 degrees outside, like it's been lately.

I will be doing a giveaway soon, so don't forget to "like" my facebook page, so you can stay updated.