Sunday, August 29, 2010

11th Annual Paperhand Puppet Intervention

Friday night a friend and I went to Chapel Hill to see “Islands Unknown” put on by the Paperhand Puppet Intervention – it was fantastic and was even better than expected.

Here are some photos of the life size puppets, masks, and shadow puppetry.

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“The Library”

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“Animal Island”

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“Mustache Island” I thought this was the funniest act.

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“Wilderness Island”

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“The City with No Past”

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“Islands of Trash”

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“The Storyteller”

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New Tabs

In addition to the “About Me” tab I also created two additional this week, you’ll now find a “Best Dishes” and “Tips” at the top of my page.

Here’s a preview of the “Best Dishes” tab:

Croque Monsieurs with Asparagus Tips
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Vegan Bean Burger
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Slow Cooker French Beef Sandwiches
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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork w/ Mango Barbecue Sauce
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Reuben Dogs*
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Monday, August 23, 2010

Tomato & Goat Cheese Pizza

Nom, nom, nom – this is one incredible pizza that really highlights garden fresh cherry or grape tomatoes. I found this to be pretty irresistible!

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  • 1 round pizza dough
  • 1 Tbsp sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp grainy mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, cut into thin slivers
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 3/4 lb grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 ounces fresh goat cheese. crumbled
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, minced

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface; transfer to a baking sheet. In a small bowl, stir together sour cream and mustard and season with salt and pepper. Spread mixture evenly over dough.

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Meanwhile heat a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter and place sliced onions in the pan with salt and pepper. Cook 8 minutes until onions are soft. Arrange onions evenly over dough. Top with tomatoes, reseason. Bake until dough is golden brown and crisp, 15 minutes. Let cool slightly. Top with goat cheese and herbs before cutting into squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe adapted from Everyday Food

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: Aug 23

Monday: Tomato & Goat Cheese Tart (using pizza dough)

Tuesday: leftovers

Wednesday: Bean Burritos and Mixed Berry Cobbler

Thursday: Fullsteam Brewery

Friday: “Islands Unknown” by Paperhand Puppet Intervention

Saturday: Potato & Chive Pancake

Sunday: Pizza and Cookie Dough Sarahbars

Thyme Pasta Frittata

A beautiful pasta frittata full of fresh herbs, cheese, and lemon zest. If you pre-cook the pasta and shred the cheese the day before the rest is super quick work. I enjoyed a wedge with green grapes this afternoon.

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  • 6 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 3 cups cooked and cooled penne pasta
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Stir in the cheese, pasta, 2 tablespoons of the thyme, parsley, lemon zest, salt, and pepper.

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In a 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and cook for 7 to 8 minutes until the edges begin to brown. Remove the pan from the heat. Using a spatula, slide the frittata onto a dinner plate. Carefully invert the frittata back into the skillet and continue to cook until firm, 5 to 6 minutes

Garnish with the remaining thyme. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

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Recipe courtesy of Giadia at Home

Yesterday, Andy and I headed over to Scratch Bakery where we were meeting Sarah, Josh, and Lacey for lunch. I ordered the lardo pizza with fresh ricotta, hot peppers, & mint and Andy the pimento cheese sandwich. Both were delicious and you can really taste the difference with the quality, local ingredients Phoebe Lawless uses.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

White Turkey Chili

This was really awesome.

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  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 medium poblano peppers (about 4 ounces each), seeded and white ribs removed, finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more to taste
  • 1 pound ground white meat turkey
  • 2 (15.5-ounce) cans white beans such as cannelini, preferably low-sodium, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can hominy, drained and rinsed
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Heat the oil in large pot or Dutch oven over moderate heat. Add the onion, and poblanos; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander and cayenne and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the ground turkey and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until the meat is no longer pink about 2 minutes. Add the white beans, broth and oregano. Cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes.

Add the hominy and salt and more cayenne pepper, to taste, and continue cooking, partially covered, 10 minutes longer. Ladle into individual bowls and top each serving with cilantro.

Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger

Local items this week:

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  • Peaches and Eggs from the Farmer’s Market
  • Pork Shoulder and Cherry Tomatoes from our CSA

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Shrimp Fra Diavlo (plus a Banana Tree!!)

This was good but not great, it might just be because it was HOT today and this didn’t seem to be what my body was craving. Andy said he enjoyed it though, smart guy :P

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  • 3/4 pound whole wheat pasta of choice
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can no-salt-added petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 cups lightly packed baby spinach leaves (3 ounces), coarsely chopped

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente and according to the package directions.

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While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for an additional minute. Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, tomato paste, the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the shrimp and spinach and cook, stirring, until the shrimp is just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the drained cooked pasta to the sauce and toss well until combined.

Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger

The pups however didn't mind the heat a bit, they thoroughly enjoyed sunbathing this afternoon.

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Look what I found, a BANANA TREE!! Snikroc Farm, where I picked blueberries a few weeks back, announced that they had banana trees available for $15, plus you get a free banana split at their softserv stand. Though our yard is small, I just couldn’t pass up the chance to own one. These were grown in their greenhouse this summer and I expected them to be 2-3 feet tall. Imagine my surprise when I saw that they were taller than me!!

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How fun is that!?! I’ll be reading all about banana trees now and was told that they should produce fruit next summer! It seems like the most important things are to keep them in the sun and well-watered in the summer and mulch them with a thick layer to keep them warm in the winter.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: Aug 16

Monday: leftovers

Tuesday: Shrimp Fra Diavlo

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: White Turkey Chili

Friday: American Tobacco Campus’ Music on the Lawn, Thad Cockrell

Saturday: Southern Eggs, Sausage, & Grits

Sunday: Thyme Pasta Frittata

Local Tomato, Basil, & Smoked Mozzarella Panini

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  • local crusty bread slices (pain de campagne)
  • local tomato slices
  • garden basil chiffonade
  • fresh mozzarella slices (smoked or regular)
  • salt and pepper

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Heat a grill pan or panini press over medium heat. Prepare sandwich with above ingredients, to taste. Brush outsides of sandwich lightly with EVOO.

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Grill 3-4 minutes per side. Remove from heat, rest 1 minute and slice diagonally.

Chickpea and Tomato Salad

This weekend is all about body restoration and healing. I’m keeping my cooking plan light & healthy with items such as Greek yogurt, berries, green smoothies, and bright colorful salads such as this one.

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  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas (or 3 cans)
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • salt & pepper

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Toss together, chill, and eat! This can also be served at room temperature.

Along with several at home restorative yoga sessions planned for this weekend, I found that a dose of silliness does so much for the soul and simply makes me happy. While making the above salad I danced barefooted in my pj’s to a little Debbie Gibson, Journey, Paula Abdul and Meat Loaf, among others. It brought me right back to the 80’s when I was a little girl dancing in my bedroom. Fun!

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Chicken Paella with Sausage and Olives

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  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 oz chorizo sausage, casing removed, chopped
  • 1 lb skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
  • 1 large ripe tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped green olives
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of ground turmeric
  • small pinch of saffron threads

1.  Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet or a medium-large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 3 minutes.  Add chicken pieces and cook until browned on all sides (not necessarily cooked through), about 4 minutes.  Transfer chicken and chorizo to a plate.

2.  Add remaining oil to pan.  Add leeks and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes.  Add garlic and cook, stirring, about one minute.  Return chicken and chorizo to the pot and add broth, peas, rice, tomato, olives, salt, pepper, turmeric, and saffron.  Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer on low for 30 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fig and Peach Cobbler

This turned out to be such a great pairing. 

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  • 2 cups fresh figs, halved
  • 2 peaches, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • cobbler batter

Slice fruit.

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Melt butter in a 2 qt baking dish. Prepare cobbler batter and pour over melted butter.

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Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

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Monday, August 9, 2010

Franks & Beans

A much healthier version of Andy’s ultimate comfort food, he happily approved.

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  • 4 cups cooked pinto beans or 2 cans, drained
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • One 12-ounce package nitrate-free turkey hot dogs, such as Applegate Farms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the turkey hot dogs and cook, stirring, until lightly browned. Add the garlic, chile powder and cumin and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato sauce and 1 cup water. Add the beans to the mixture, stir and simmer for 15 minutes with the lid on.

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: August 9

Monday: Franks & Beans (Andy’s favorite childhood dish)

Tuesday: leftovers

Wednesday: Chicken Paella with Sausage & Olives

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: Homemade Pizza

Saturday: Chickpea and Cherry Tomato Salad with Cilantro Dressing

Sunday: Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella Panini

Figs in a Blanket

These are a delicious little appetizer or afternoon snack.

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  • 10 black mission figs, halved
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 ounces soft cheese (goat, brie, or blue), crumbled
  • One sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 large egg yolk

Preheat the oven to 400°.

Rinse the figs and slice them in half, lengthwise. Drizzle a little balsamic on each and roast for 7 minutes. Remove and set aside.

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Unfold the pastry sheet onto a lightly floured surface. Using a 2-inch round cutter, cut out 40 rounds; place 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.

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Top each pastry round with a fig half and a dollop of cheese. Fold the edges of the round over the fig and gently pinch together.

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In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water. Brush with the egg wash and bake until puffed and golden, 12 to 15 minutes.