This Rosemary Orange Zucchini Bread is our latest fix. Using this recipe, I made 4 mini loaves and froze them. Over the course of a few weeks, we enjoyed it with guests for breakfast, with lunch on a Sunday, and for snacks just because it’s that good. Zucchini bread is typically moist and dense, which I love. What I really love about this recipe is the addition of orange zest, fresh orange juice and chopped fresh rosemary. These simple additions to a traditional recipe make these mini loaves outstanding. I think they’d make a great gift for neighbors, hostesses and of course, you. Enjoy!
Thai Beef Cabbage Cups October 14, 2012
It’s very that if you enjoyed the Dan Dan Noodles, you’ll like this too. Thai Beef Cabbage Cupsare a delicious and satisfying meal. Ground beef gets some serious flavor from sesame oil, fresh ginger, garlic and fish sauce.
For my paleo friends, this is right up your alley, as cabbage leaves substitute for tortillas.
Of course, if you prefer, you could always put this filling in tortillas and top it will Zesty Coleslaw. Uh oh…that sounds pretty good. Perhaps next time!
Grilled Halibut with Chimichurri Sauce August 19, 2012
This recipe for Grilled Halibut with Chimichurri Sauce was inspired by the herbs in my garden. Traditionally, chimichurri is made with fresh parsley, garlic, vinegar, olive oil and red pepper flakes. Herb-y and fresh it adds great flavor to steak, chicken and seafood. In this version, I substitute cilantro and lemon juice with great results. I served it with roasted patty pan squash tossed with chickpeas, parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
If you have any leftover chimichurri (which is doubtful), it’s also great as a topping for grilled steak or chicken, tossed with roasted vegetables or stirred into brown rice. Good stuff!
Grilled Chicken with Zucchini Pappardelle August 12, 2012
For my birthday, I got the Flavor Bible, winner of the 2009 James Beard Book Award for Best Book: Reference and Scholarship. Organized alphabetically by ingredient, season, and other topics of interest, it is a culinary guide to pairing flavors across food groups. Today, I had several ingredients on hand that I wanted to use to create a sensational summer dish – grilled chicken, zucchini, fresh basil and corn. As predicted, when I looked up each ingredient in the Flavor Bible, it was readily apparent that they were in harmony and would enhance one another when paired. This, of course, is not surprising given the season and the propensity to grill outdoors.
I got creative with the zucchini, slicing it into thin, wide ribbons using my best little mandolin. I quickly sauteed it in olive oil with corn, basil, salt, pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Treating it like pasta, I used it as a base for sliced grilled chicken. I drizzled the whole thing with olive oil and lemon juice, a touch of salt and pepper, and viola – a simple and sensational summer dish – Grilled Chicken with Zucchini Pappardelle.
Easy Peasy Strawberry Jam + Lavender Infusion July 29, 2012
We are hosting two Italian exchange students for two weeks – it’s been an adventure! Giovanni and Giacomo are 17, from Genoa, love volleyball and eat us out of house and home. It’s been a lot of fun introducing them to some of our favorite dishes – Watermelon + Tomato Salad, Grilled Lemon Chicken Salad, and other seasonal favorites like this Strawberry Jam.
I made the jam yesterday morning before anyone was up. We used it to top Belgian waffles for breakfast. It’s that simple and that easy and yes – that delicious! I infused it with lavender from the garden. Classic strawberry jam is a wonderful thing, but the lavender infusion makes it really something special.
Yesterday was my birthday. Under the guise of going for a bike ride to the beach, the Italians went shopping and surprised me with an apron that boldly states “Keep Calm and Bake On.” Perfection!
Black Bean Burgers July 15, 2012
Black Bean Burgers are easy to make at home. Simple pantry items (including oats!), herbs and spices come together in the food processor. They make a great meal, with or without a bun. They are very portable, so they also make a great lunch. Dress them up with traditional burger fare or top them with avocado and salsa. They deliver lots of flavor for not a lot of fuss.
If you cook your own black beans for this recipe, cook a lot and use them during the week in soups, sides and salads including one of my favorites – Polenta and Black Bean Casserole.
Chipotle Pork and Bean Soup June 17, 2012
On Wednesday, our family was stopping for the night on their way through town. I had a pork tenderloin sitting in the fridge but was concerned about it feeding five people for dinner, so I turned it into a hearty soup. This recipe for Chipotle Pork and Bean Soup relies on some of my favorite flavors for inspiration. So good it’s worth sharing!
Pork tenderloin is cut into bite-sized chunks and browned in a soup pot. Add vegetables, spices, tomato paste, chipotle chili puree, broth, and beans. Finish with some lime juice and chopped cilantro. It’s even better the next day – assuming you’re lucky enough to have leftovers. Enjoy!
Cheese-Stuffed Grilled Peppers May 27, 2012
The grill is getting a workout this weekend. Lots of family, friends, and visitors. It’s the kind of weekend where dinner happens when it happens and I get to experiment with new things on some of my best taste-testers.
Take these Cheese-Stuffed Grilled Peppers, for example. Whether cooked on the grill or inside on the grill pan, they make a fun and different starter/snack for guests to enjoy while the rest of the meal comes together. You can prepare them ahead of time and refrigerate them, bringing them to room temperature before grilling.
Sweet little colorful peppers get stuffed with ricotta, fresh herbs and a flavorful cheese of your choice, maybe Parmesan or goat. I used ricotta, goat cheese, chopped basil from the garden and a pinch of salt to stuff my peppers. Brushed them with a little olive oil, sprinkled them with a little sea salt and put them to grill for a few minutes. The peppers roasted and the cheese got warm and gooey. Tasty, different and little messy but in a fun way. Don’t forget the napkins!