Sunday, May 25, 2008
but not to sidetrack here. husband and i loved this sandwich. i know, because after consuming the leftovers the next day, i received an email from him: "i could eat one of these everyday". before we move to the recipe, my two tips: don't skimp on any of the ingredients because they are all important and try to do as rr says and put everything in a big bread bowl..not these individual things i used. i'm thinking they might be a little easier to eat. maybe not, but worth a try...unless you don't mind having your entire face covered in pesto.
spinach pesto and spicy vegetable & olive salad
this is what it all started with. i saw "olives and marinated vegetables" in the recipe and i was sold. cheers to husband for whipping these two toppings up...even if i did have to explain how to use the food processor. twice.
veggies grilling and the start of the end: the hollowed bread slice
a sequence of ridiculous assembly photos - totally out of control
the final touch - trying to fit olive & veggie salad onto this overloaded sandwich
it really isn't a muffuletta without the olive salad. it's true. i looked it up. that's what this baby is all about. so if you don't like olives and you've made it this far thinking you could go without: you're wrong.
well...you probably could make this sans olive salad, but don't you dare run around calling it a muffuletta.
and there you have it! with all of these goodies, you won't miss the missing meat and you'll be sure to have a great time trying to figure out how to open your mouth wide enough and bite down just right so as not to push all of the fillings out the other side. good luck!
i've been cooking up a storm and posting like all i do is work in the kitchen. i promise, i've been doing other things. making other things. but, i'll be honest, i have been taking some crafting downtime...i'm not sure why. maybe because spring means so much tasty produce that i just have to get my paws on everything colorful and fresh. i'm easily persuaded by good looking food...who can blame me?
anyway...i did make one crafty thing recently. literally, one item.
husbands sister, my sister-in-law, (whom i refer to normally as just sister) graduated from college a week or so ago. a little card with her school colors went into the mail to congratulate her. didn't i luck out in finding that perfectly matching paper for the envelope liner? yes, i would say so.
Labels: paper/graphic design
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
i first had a version of this dish at a house warming gathering years ago. the host was just about my favorite person and she could have served almost anything and i probably would have loved it. everything about her was (and i'm sure still is) so cool and chic and effortless. i pretend i'm like that when i whip up variations of this salad. i say variations because you can put whatever you like in with the wheat berries and dressing and i'm guessing it will always be great.
i don't have and don't use a standard recipe, so i'll do my best to offer up the necessary info. this "recipe" comes from a variety of web searches; play around with it until it suits your tastes. (i'm kicking myself for not even writing down exactly what i did for today's salad!)
wheat berry salad
10-15 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
a few stalks of broccolini, sliced into 1 inch pieces
a few handfuls of string beans, sliced into 1 inch pieces
3-4 scallions, sliced (white to medium green portions)
1/4 finely chopped red onion
3 tbsp olive oil (+1tbsp for cooking)
3 tbsp balsamic, red whine or champagne vinegar (you choose!)
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
few shakes of dried dill
salt & pepper
(you can add a few shakes of sugar if you find the dressing too tart)
1. add wheat berries to a large pot of boiling water, cook for 45 minutes to an hour, uncovered, until soft
2. drain wheat berries and rinse with cold water, shake in a colander to remove all excess liquid
3. blanch broccolini and bean pieces*
4. in a large bowl combine tomatoes, broccolini, beans, scallions and cooled wheat berries
5. saute red onion in olive oil until soft, allow to cool
6. in a small bowl combine red onions, vinegar, lemon juice, dill, and s&p
7. slowly whisk in the olive oil with the rest of the dressing ingredients
8. pour dressing over wheat berries and veggies and toss to combine
*i totally used the same boiling water the wheat berries were in...dropped the veggies in, scooped them out...it didn't seem to effect the cooking of the berries one bit
we ate this with some balsamic chicken that i didn't really like. husband enjoyed it, but this is my blog and he only gets one post for the month of may.
Monday, May 19, 2008
maybe it was my ingredients. i did choose "lite" coconut milk...and before you even have time to think it, yes, that is jarred ginger there. i promise, i'm big on fresh stuff. but the grocery store (you know, the one that doesn't carry plums...) didn't have any. none! the bin for fresh ginger appeared to have been empty for weeks. so i bought this jarred stuff, which was next to where the fresh stuff should have been and i moved on with my life.
also, my friend helen claims that this rooster sauce is in no way authentic to real asian cuisine. this might be true, since i've only seen it in americanized chinese restaurants...but i happen to like it for spiciness. plus, i'm pretty sure that's authentic fish sauce i used and that has to win me some major points.
so on with it. this recipe is from my current rr (june/july 08). it has the most easy, decent sounding recipes in one magazine that i've seen for a while now. page after page, there are things i'm ready to try. i did cut this recipe in half, as it makes for 3 meals, she says.
shrimp and noodles in coconut broth
1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
half 14.5 oz can chicken broth
1/2 tbsp asian fish sauce
1/2 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tsp chopped ginger
1 tsp ht chili sauce
1/2 tsp fresh lime juice
1 lb raw shrimp, shells & tails removed
1 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
3/4 pasta noodles, cooked
1. bring the coconut milk and broth to a simmer over medium heat
2. stir in fish sauce, garlic, ginger, chili sauce and lime juice, cook for 2 minutes
3. stir in the shrimp and cook until opaque
4. stir in the cilantro and remove from heat
5. serve shrimp and broth over cooked noodles
I wouldn't go all YUM-O on this dish...but it wasn't bad. I just needed more from the broth. i think the full fat coconut milk would have helped and more flavors from the ginger and garlic.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
i usually come out to find him elbow deep in flour and sugar, carefully measuring and making a bit of a mess. then i poke around, tell him his butter isn't soft enough or that he should use a different bowl...just generally bugging him. then i get booted from the kitchen and have to wait until the batter is ready. he brings me spoonfuls and i relish in the fact that cookie dough just came my way and i didn't have to lift a finger.
ok, yes, he's a nice guy. husband is doting and loving and all that jazz. but, i'm going to be honest here. his track record in the baking arena is not so good. in the past his cookies efforts have resulted, multiple times, in a pancake like food stuck to my good cookie sheets (he swears they were separated when they went in the oven). yes - one giant, thin cookie mess that can only be consumed by chipping away at it and eating the crumbles.
oh, but not this time!
this time the stars were aligned and the butter was the right temperature and husband's cookies came out golden and perfect. soft on the inside, just a bit crunchy on the outside...and lots of melty chocolate. we ate them and he took pictures of them like an old blogging pro. he stacked them up for their photo shoot and got closeups from all angles.
and i took a picture of my own. yum! three cheers for husband, who has seen baking success with his hershey's special dark chocolate chip cookies (recipe can be found on the back of the bag).
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
i pretty much love kabobs. i have requested or made this grilled meal more times than i can remember for birthdays, trips home, and hot summer evenings. usually, i like it classic: beef and chicken, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms. i probably ate that exact skewer combo on 15 separate occasions just last summer. this summer, we're getting married, kabobs and me. i know this because i'm sure the feelings are mutual and because rachel ray just did a feature in her june/july issue and there are three new recipes for me to try. and i know my old stand-by will be walking me down the aisle, but before we commit, i decided to try out the others first. ;)
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
is it may? already? and i haven't made anything worth blogging about since april? how sad!
i can say that i made something, though, and that's making it through another year. today is my birthday and i got special things on my special day. husband got me a very great gift that we'll all benefit from - a canon 100mm macro lens! apparently he thinks i'm decent at food photos and would like to see me have more success at close ups. i'll tell you, it was tough to be at work thinking about that new lens just waiting to be used. i got a few quick shots in this morning after i opened it, but we had a mini photo shoot this evening and wow! it makes everything look so pure - i can't wait to see tiny flecks of vanilla in my frosting..or little sugar crystals...or ripe, juicy fruits. drooling yet?
yeah..me too! this picture is my one of the first shots from the new lens - my birthday breakfast made by husband. pancakes with mixed berry syrup, fresh raspberries and whipped cream. i'm a pretty lucky birthday girl!
and i know this lens can capture nature like whoa. here is a hibiscus flower from our tree - it bloomed especially for me this morning!
i took this while getting ready for work - can you make out my makeup? oh who cares, do you see that detail?? i'm not even good at this yet and i have little to no idea what i'm doing, so thank you, lens, because you're making me look good...i hope?
i hear it's good for pet portraits, too. Miles plays camera shy, but he was rolling around working it for me like nobody's business.
Hoss was "working" it as well. Poor guy, his neck makes him look like a little doxie linebacker. oh, i love him so and when my flash* isn't blinding him, he loves me too. (*yes i used the flash. i know it's a horrible thing to do. i'm still learning and without it or a tripod, you'd have vomited from image motion sickness about three pictures ago.)
so we went out to eat and i had plum wine sangria and spicy salmon with spinach and chick peas and rice and lentil sides (husband had scallops atop asparagus and lo mein and a wicked strong ginger martini)...and i came home to this cake batter confetti and red velvet ice cream cake. and hey, i didn't make one thing but that's ok because it's my birthday!