Thursday, June 25, 2009

Kentucky (and TN) Bound!

The past several nights I have dedicated to packing and cleaning up for our trip home to KY. We’re driving straight through Friday afternoon and will be swinging by my husbands aunt and uncle’s house in TN on our way back.

So the last two nights our suppers have been quite easy, and special treats for us. After work Wednesday, I stopped by the Durham Farmer’s Market and picked up a couple burgers for our dinner from Only Burger.

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I got both a veggie and a classic cheese burger for the two of us to split. They were awesome, I especially loved the cheese burger!

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Lastly, I got another delicious loaf of flatbread from Scratch bakery to save for tonight's dinner with hummus.

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I’ve loved using my new hand and dish towel set that my sister gave me when she was visiting earlier this month. Homemade gifts, foods, and drawings mean so much more to Andy and I now that we don’t get to see our loved ones as often as we’d like.

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(Sorry for the dark photo)

Brinkley Farms Final Spring CSA – Week 12

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2 green bell peppers
1 dozen, white sweet corn
1 pack sweet Italian sausage

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

CEiMB: Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Blueberries and Cranberries

I’m posting this a week early since I’ll be away from my kitchen next week and am busy packing and cleaning the rest of my evenings home :)

Next weeks CEiMB is hosted by What's for Supper?foodblog 001

This time around, since I’d made these before, I veered from the original recipe. I think Ellie’s recipe has a great taste and crunch, but for me they are too caloric with little satiety. I decided to boost the amount of oats, drastically reduce the oil and sugar and remove the walnuts. I was very happy with how these turned out and I was able to get about 30 small cookies at just over 50 calories each.

This rendition satisfies my cookie craving and doesn’t leave me feeling the least bit guilty. It doesn’t hurt that I can have warm cookie, hot from the oven in about 15 minutes either! I plan on keeping this recipe handy as my “go-to” cookie.

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed meal
  • 1/4 cup honey or agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup mixture of dried blueberries and cranberries

Preheat oven to 350*F.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well until batter is blended evenly.

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Use a tablespoon to portion cookies on a greased baking sheet, approximately 1 inch apart.

Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes.

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I'm also entering these little gems in this weeks Blogger Secret Ingredient (BSI) contest, which is blueberries!

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CEiMB: Vegetable Cheese Strata

Hosted by A Mid Life Culinary Adventure. This was so good – the bread was warm, moist and crunchy on the edges. The vegetables and thyme added so much savory flavor; I also tossed in some leftover diced lasagna noodles. I used pre-sliced oat whole wheat bread from our local bakery and was very pleased.

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  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups (8 ounces) sliced mushrooms
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 whole wheat baguette, crusts removed, cubed (about 5 cups)
  • 8 eggs and 8 egg whites
  • 2 cups low fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 10 ounces broccoli, steamed, cooled and chopped (or frozen, thawed)
  • 1-ounce (1/3 cup) grated Parmesan
  • 4-ounce (1 cup) part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes, reconstituted
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent and beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another 1 minute. Transfer the onion mixture to a medium bowl and allow to cool. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in the skillet and sauté the mushrooms until they release all of their water, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.

Spray an oval baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange the bread cubes in the dish. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, egg whites, milk and mustard until incorporated. Add mushrooms, onion-garlic mixture, broccoli, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, sun-dried tomatoes, thyme, and salt and pepper and stir to incorporate. foodblog 017

Pour mixture over bread, making sure liquid saturates bread. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or at least 8 hours.

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the plastic wrap from strata and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until top forms a light brown crust.

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Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger

I served the strata with gorgeous, green and waxed beans that were washed and trimmed the other night and then roasted with rosemary, salt, pepper and EVOO.

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

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Monday: leftovers

Tuesday: CeiMB - Vegetable Cheese Strata

Wednesday: Only Burger

Thursday: Flatbread from Scratch at the Durham Farmer’s Market

Friday: Driving to KY!

I was looking back, today, at how little my nephews were when I moved away in February, 2007 :(

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June 2009

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Spring Vegetable Lasagna

Very, very good stuff! I love the crunchy, cheesy topping. Yesterday, I decided to caramelize the vegetables before assembly, rather than sautéing as the recipe calls. This really developed the flavor! Once cooked the vegetables were kept in the refrigerator until ready to use.

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  • Cooking spray
  • 8  cups  torn Swiss chard (about 3/4 pound) or 1 box frozen, thawed spinach
  • 2  cups  chopped yellow squash
  • 1 1/2  cups  chopped onion
  • 1  cup  chopped red bell pepper
  • 1  cup  sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 1  tablespoon butter
  • 4  garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2  tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2  cups fat-free milk
  • 1/4  cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 2  cups  low-free ricotta cheese
  • 1/2  teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4  cup  grated Asiago cheese
  • 1/2  cup  grated Monterey Jack, cheese
  • 6  no-boil lasagna noodles, or 9 regular

Heat a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add chard, squash, onion, bell pepper, mushroom, and salt; sauté 10 minutes or until tender. (OR Preheat oven to 425°. Dice vegetables, drizzle with EVOO, salt and pepper and roast on two baking sheets for 30-45 minutes until carmalization begins. Prepare chard or spinach, add to heated vegetables.)

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add flour, and cook 1 minute. Stir constantly with a whisk. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook until thick (for about 4 minutes). Remove from heat; add Parmesan. Stir until cheese melts.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine ricotta, oregano, salt and pepper in a bowl.

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Spread 2 tablespoons milk mixture in the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 2 noodles over milk mixture; top with half of ricotta mixture, half of vegetable mixture, and 1/2 cup milk mixture. Repeat layers, ending with noodles.

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Spread remaining milk mixture over noodles. Sprinkle with cheeses.

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Bake at 375° for 45 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes.

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Recipe courtesy of Cooking Light

Happy Father’s Day!

We love you!!

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Dad and I a few weeks ago at my brother's wedding.

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Me and David (my step-dad of 23-years) with my nephew Colton.

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Andy with his Dad at Buckhorn Inn

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Zucchini and Olive Flatbread and Roasted Potato Salad

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Last night Andy and I really enjoyed hearing the NC Symphony at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, for the “Soundtracks Under the Stars” show. We packed an awesome picnic supper, wine, and lawn chairs…all set for a pleasurable evening. Thank goodness it started at 7:30 PM and that we were shaded by pine trees, both gave us a little relief from the hot day we had…98 degrees!!!  I also found out that, William Henry Curry, the conductor, just recently started working with the Durham Symphony Orchestra! We’re going to check them out in October for the Fall Classical Concert at the Carolina Theatre.foodblog 013

Zucchini and Olive Flatbread

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  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1 pound pizza dough
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil plus extra, for drizzling
  • 1 large zucchini, trimmed and cut into 1/8-inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1/2 cup pitted sliced black or green olives

Place an oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch circle. With a pastry brush, brush 1 tablespoon of the oil over the dough. Using the tines of a fork, prick the dough all over. Arrange the zucchini slices in a single layer on top of the dough. Drizzle the zucchini with oil. Bake the dough for 18 to 20 minutes until the edges begin to brown. Remove the bread from the oven, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of oregano, the cheeses, and the olives. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes until the cheeses are melted and bubbly.

Sprinkle the flatbread with the remaining oregano, cut into wedges and serve. foodblog 005

Recipe courtesy of Giadia at Home

Ann's Roasted Potato Salad

This is my FAVORITE potato salad, I’ve made it several times before and it never disappoints. The potatoes get all golden brown and crisp in the oven and then they are tossed in a Dijon mustard vinaigrette!!

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • Handful chopped fresh thyme and rosemary leaves
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, cut into large dice
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 1 cup chopped basil leaves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the garlic, salt, pepper and herbs. Add potatoes and toss. Spread out onto a baking sheet and bake for 55 minutes, stirring occasionally. When potatoes are golden brown remove the pan from the oven and let cool.

When potatoes are cool, place them in a bowl and scrape the pan drippings into a measuring cup. Add enough oil to the drippings to measure 4 tablespoons of oil. Whisk the vinegar and mustard in a small bowl. Gradually add the oil and then mix in the shallots. Pour the dressing over the potatoes and combine. Season with salt and pepper, if needed. Add chopped basil. Let stand for 1 hour at room temperature. Serve.

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Oatmeal Hello Dolly Cookie Bars

Recently Zesty Cook had a guest blog post from Brandi, of Bran Appetit, on how to lighten up Hello Dolly Cookie Bars. I grew up calling these 7-Layer Bars but since I think the southern name of “Hello Dolly’s” is much cuter, I’m switching over :-) I also recall my Mom making these for Heather, my step-sister, because she just loved these! This version is not nearly as rich, thank goodness, but still has all the sweet flavor components.

On my new platter, that a good friend of mine had hand painted for me!! For such an elegant platter, I  thought the bars looked nicer cut into triangles.

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  • 2 cups oats, old fashioned
  • 3/4 cup graham crackers crumbs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 smart balance butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup butterscotch chips
  1. Mix oats, wheat bran, sugar, salt, and cinnamon.
  2. Add in applesauce, butter, and eggs.
  3. Fold in coconut and chips.
  4. Spread into a greased 9x13 baking pan.
  5. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.
Recipe courtesy adapted from Zesty Cookfoodblog 016

Compared to the classic recipe, this version has:

  • 4x’s less sugar
  • 2.5x’s less calories
  • 2.5x’s less fat
  • 2x’s the fiber

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  • Thursday, June 18, 2009

    Stuffed Onions

    I made stuffed onions to go along side our leftover baked corn dogs. This was a recipe Andy happen to see on Food Network with me recently and thought he would really enjoy it. It came out nicely and was fun to make, but not typically my type of dish.

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    • 4 large sweet onions, peeled
    • 2 cups frozen vegetable medley, thawed
    • 4 tablespoons thyme
    • 1/2 cup herbed goat cheese
    • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

    Preheat grill to medium heat.

    Slice off the top third of each onion and set aside; save tops. Slice an "X" in the inner 2/3 off each onion. Using a spoon remove the inside of the onion forming a bowl. Dice the removed inner section of the onions and set aside.

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    In a medium bowl combine the vegetable medley, diced onion, thyme and cheese. Evenly divide the mixture into each onion bowl. Top each filled onion with a tablespoon of butter.

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    Cover the onion with its original top. Wrap with 2 layers of foil and place on the grill or in a preheated 400 degree F oven. Grill or bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until onions are tender.

    Recipe from Sandra Lee

    Brinkley Farms Spring CSA – Week 10 & 11

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    2 lbs broccoli
    1 qt red potatoes
    1 qt yukon gold potatoes
    1 lb squash
    1 lb zucchini
    1 lb large sweet onions
    1 lb green beans
    1 lb yellow wax beans
    1 lb roma beans
    1 lb ground chorizo

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    Wednesday, June 17, 2009

    Baked Corn Dogs and Potato Fries

    I think corn dogs are such a fun, comfort food. I put them in the same category as fish sticks. I used to pull these from the freezer as a kid on nights when my Mom wasn’t home. I suppose it was assuring to know, even as a kid, that I could always pull something like this out of the freezer and be set. Now as an adult, I prefer to make a healthier version. I’ve made this same recipe for a couple years now.

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    I meant to mix in chopped fresh rosemary and thyme but forget, so instead I garnished the tops with it. I always serve my corn dogs with a even mixture of ketchup and mustard.

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    Durham Hype 

    Washington Post has a great article out today on Durham’s Counter Culture Coffee, our local coffee bean roaster. I’ve been wanting to go get “coffee educated” at one of their Friday cuppings for awhile now…

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    Finally, last night we went to a Durham Bulls game with our church group. It was a cloudy day, which was almost perfect except for the small amount of rain we had to endure.

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    Wool E. Bull

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    Each home run the bulls eyes light up in red and smoke comes out of his nostrils.

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