Friday, July 31, 2009

Artisinal Grain "Sausages" with Sauteed Summer Vegetables

Americans, by and large, eat too much meat, but I'm not here to try to convince anyone to become a vegetarian.  It's true that I don't eat land animals, partly because of the horror that is factory farming, and partly because I'm a incurable girl and think that furry animals are cute. But I do occasionally eat seafood, and, as even a cursory glance at my recipes will demonstrate, copious amounts of cheese, so I'm not exactly on the short list to be a PETA spokesperson.  

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lazy Sunday Sandwiches

Sometimes, especially on a humid summer Sunday, you want a yummy dinner but you absolutely do not feel like getting into anything complicated that involves chopping, dicing, simmering, sauteeing, and most importantly - cleaning up. This is especially true if you've had one too many mimosas at brunch and have woken up hungry and foggy-brained  from a big nap. (Not that I've experienced this personally, I've just heard about it  ... from friends.)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Mother of a Sauce: Steamed Pattypan Squash Drizzled with Mornay

I am obsessed with Sandra Lee. I hate her, but I can't stop watching her terrible shows, reading what nasty things other people say about her, and making sarcastic posts to her unofficial fan site. (The site, as it turns out, is a brilliant joke perpetuated by like-minded Sandra-phobes, with the occasional sincere-yet-confused, and eventually angry and betrayed, real fan.)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tomato Cup Tuna Melts

I heart tuna melts. I'll eat 'em on anything: English muffins, crusty bread, even corn tortillas. But sometimes  I find myself wishing  there were some other, less starchy, way to enjoy them.  Well, kids, there is: Behold the tomato, the perfect low-cal vessel to get all that melty goodness into your greedy little mouths.

Not only is a tomato cup a flavorful bread alternative, you're cutting out so many calories that you can really go nuts with the cheese. It's win-win!

For my first tomato cup extravaganza, I decided to use parm along with the more traditional cheddar to give it a little oomph. And a word about tuna: I don't use the kind that's packed in water.  I don't care if it's better for me, or less fattening. Water-packed tuna is bland and sad. It tastes more like tin than tuna. My favorite oil-packed brands are Genova, which is absolutely delicious, followed by Cento

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cooling Cucumber Salad

Today was hot as hell. Add to that the fact that I have tendonitis and can't exercise for another week, by lunchtime I was feeling sweaty, cranky, and fat. Oh - and hungry.  Of course. I didn't want to cook anything, or go anywhere near hot or even slightly warm food. I wanted something light and refreshing - something that would pack a flavor punch without packing on pounds.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Recipe Hall of Shame!

The other day my dog had a hideous bout of diarrhea (probably not a word you want to see on a food blog), and I had to buy him some white rice and baby food to help soothe his poor tum. Time was of the essence, so I got him Minute Rice white rice. Of course I had to taste it. The flavor - or lack thereof - is truly shocking. Do people like this? Are grains of styrofoam a good thing? I don't understand. Oh well, at least it's "enriched!"

The most offensive aspect of this vile starch product isn't even its sacrifice of taste for convenience, though that's plenty bad. The worst thing about it are the recipes on the back of the box.  Perhaps the most egregious example of fake ethnic food I have ever seen  is the recipe for the Mexican Chicken & Rice Dinner. This mess was undoubtedly dreamed up by white people for whom the heady flavor of a single clove of garlic may cause convulsions, even death.  It makes Taco Bell look authentic. 

Monday, July 13, 2009

Garlicky Beet Greens & Swiss Chard Orecchiette

Throwing a bunch of stuff together and mixing it with some pasta is a huge bang-for-the-buck meal, and it's the perfect dish when you just don't feel like making something complicated or time-consuming.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Cheesy Zucchini Summer Casserole and Crunchy Beet Burgers

Among other veggies, this week we got zucchini and beets from One Straw Farm, our CSA.  This was a pretty sweet haul, especially given that when it comes to food I tend to think in colors - like my mom always used to say, if it looks pretty on the plate there's a decent chance it's good for you and tastes yummy to boot. I couldn't resist the thought of pairing pale green strips of fresh zucchini with the vibrant purple of the beets. But how?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


The day after eating a pile of yummy shrimp remoulade, you don't just make yourself a sandwich and call it quits. Well, I don't anyway.  And  what, I ask you,  says "Sunday supper" more than  Cajun-style catfish and spicy greens?  

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Shrimp Remoulade and Mexican Street-Style Corn

Whenever my husband and I get back from a trip to New Orleans, we're always  inspired to try to recreate some of the many amazing  flavors we've experienced.  (Of course, we're also desperately trying to take our minds off of the fact that we're back in dreary, deadly  Baltimore ...but  that blog has already been done:

We had a hankering for shrimp remoulade, which neither one of us had ever made before. Don't let the complex taste of this rich, tangy sauce fool you - this is one easy dish to make.  If you can mix a bunch of ingredients together until everything tastes right, you can make this. And holy crap! Is it good. Eye rolling, tummy-rubbing, fight-over-the-last-bite good.