Jealous Tomatoes

29 07 2011

So, I got these guys in my CSA box last week.

Aren’t they purty? They were getting a little jealous of all the beautiful tomatoes I saw at the market over the weekend. They were annoyed that I wasn’t giving them the proper attention and having a photoshoot with them!

Well, I had special plans for them.

I saw Jenna’s recipe for Gnocchi with goat cheese, grape tomatoes, and basil, and immediately starred it in my Google Reader. Tomatoes + Basil + Goat Cheese? Yes please. I mean, what doesn’t taste good with goat cheese? Especially when the recipe calls for a “log” of it (6oz).

source

Anyhow, I realized I had everything I needed, except for the gnocchi, but I did have some angel hair pasta. Hmmm…

I wanted a bit more protein in my meal too, so I looked in my pantry and pulled out some cannelini beans. I also found some walnuts while in there, which I thought would be a nice addition too. There’s a lot more in my pantry…but yeah, its a little very disorganized and not exactly blog worthy.

What else from my CSA needed to be used up before Wednesday? A squash! My take on Jenna’s pasta dish was formulating very clearly in my head at this point.

So, I present to you, Steph’s Angel Hair Pasta with tomatoes, basil, squash, white beans, walnuts and goat cheese! (That’s a mouth full, so if you just want to call it angel hair pasta with veggies and goat cheese, that’s cool too)

Ingredients:

angel hair pasta (I had about 1/4 of a box left)

1/2 cup reserved pasta water

1/2 pint of grape tomatoes, halved

1 tomato, roughly chopped

1 yellow squash, sliced into 1/8 in rounds

1 can cannellini beans

1 small log of goat cheese

handful chopped walnuts (optional)

handful fresh basil, torn

EVOO, for sauteeing squash

salt and pepper, to taste

How to:

Cook pasta as directed on package.

While you are waiting for you water to boil and pasta to cook, saute the squash in a little EVOO. Turn off the heat, and add the tomatoes and beans.

When the pasta is done, drain the water, reserving about a half cup of the water. Dump the pasta into the pan with the squash and tomatoes.

Add the water and cheese to the pasta and veggies. Stir well to melt the cheese.

Stir in basil and walnuts.

Season with salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

Question of the day: What’s your favorite food combo?

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You Win Some, You Lose Some

13 06 2011

Sometimes I (Steph) wish that on Monday morning I can press the rewind button and go back to Friday, so that my weekend is only about to begin, instead of just ending! For the sake of sharing, I’m going to do just that, but unfortunately, when I’m finished, it will still be Monday. If only I had super powers…

So, my Friday was off to a great start. I’m working summer hours, which means that I can work longer days on Monday through Thursday, and on Friday, I get a half day! Score! Anyhow, I scheduled a hair cut for Friday afternoon to get my long locks trimmed:

I was a little early for my appointment, so I walked around the block to Sweetgreen for some fro-yo. I ordered my usual: tart fro yo with strawberries, blackberries, and candied walnuts.

I give the cashier my frequent buyers card and a five dollar bill. She swipes my card and she says I have 57 points. Ok what does that mean,  I’m thinking in my head, since I don’t really know how many points I need to redeem anything there. I must have paused long enough, because the guy behind me chimed in and said, “It’s 50 points for the yogurt.” SCORE! I told the lady I wanted to use my points, so she gave me my $5 back, and off I went with my FREE fro-yo! Happy Friday to me!

Before I move on, here’s my post-hair cut ‘do:

Whaddaya think?

Anyhow, I head home after my hair cut, with big plans to cook and blog. After all, since I’m getting home from work a little early, and the sun sets so much later, I’ll have plenty of sunlight to cook and take great photos. (Wait, did I just admit that I was spending my Friday night home cooking? Yes, I’m a cool cat!)

I was pretty excited because I had made some pizza dough on Thursday, to make a pesto pizza with balsamic chicken, roasted red peppers and goat cheese. I was also planning to make some homemade garlic scape pasta to go on the side. (No, I wasn’t carbo loading for a race, just really excited to get creative in the kitchen and take lots of pictures with great lighting.)

So, I marinated the chicken in some balsamic vinegar with a few cloves of garlic.

While that was marinating, I got started on my pasta. I threw a garlic scape into my Vitamix, and blended it up as finely as I could. Then I put in a dash of salt, 1/8 cup semolina flour and 1/2 + 1/8 cup all purpose flour, and blended some more. When the scape seemed to be mixed throughout, I dumped the mixture onto the counter in a mound, and made a well in the center, where I cracked an egg.

Beginning by pinching the flour into the egg, and then gradually pulling all the flour into the egg, I kneaded it until it formed a nice green ball of dough:

While the dough rested, I went back to my chicken, and popped it in the oven at 375ºF for 25 minutes.

When it came out of the oven, I prepped my pizza.

I rolled the dough

Topped it with garlic scape pesto, roasted red peppers

Added the chicken and goat cheese

and snapped LOTS of pictures (I’ll spare you most of them:) )

Work it, pizza.

As I opened the over to put it in, all of the sudden  the oven shut down, the AC turned off, the clock on the microwave went blank. Um? Did I blow a fuse? Nope, my friends, the power went out. It came right back on for a second, and then off again. And stayed off. For 4 hours. My poor pizza, all ready to go into the oven, sat on the pizza stone from 6:45 until 10:45. Fail.

And my pasta dough! I almost forgot about it, in my disappointed state. I wrapped it in a wet paper towel, and let it sit some more, while I sat and waited for the power to come back on.

With nothing better to do, and my stomach starting to growl, I decided to head to Chop’t for a salad. I ordered my usual there, the Vegetarian Powerhouse (Greens, broccoli, edamame, carrots, sunflower seeds, walnuts, crasins, apples) with hard boiled eggs and goat cheese too. As I checked out, I pulled out my frequent buyers card there and the lady told me that today I get a free soda! Though I don’t normally drink soda, it was free, and I wasn’t going to be able to eat my pizza, so why not? I got a creme soda, and it was DELICIOUS. A real-sugar soda beats a HFCS soda any day:)

So, I was having good luck when it came to salad shops and frequent buyers cards, but when it came to making food for myself, it was a total failure.

I went back home and ate outside while the sun was setting, and played around on my iPhone for a little. At about 9:45,  I saw the lights starting to turn on in the apartments around me, and the sound of the AC units turning back on. Hooray! I packed up, and went inside, eager to get back to cooking, though all my sunlight was now gone.

No sooner do I get inside, but all the power goes out again. ARGH! At least I had food in my belly!

So, I lit some candles and read some old magazines for awhile to kill the time. At about 10:45, the power turned back on, and stayed on, thankfully! I immediately turned on the oven and threw in the pizza, not even letting the oven preheat.  I also finished making the pasta, some half moon raviolis.

When everything was done cooking, I wasn’t hungry, but I tasted it anyhow.

The pizza looked pretty, but was soggy in the middle and I wasn’t super keen on eating something that had been sitting out for that long.

The pasta was pretty tasty though, but I didn’t have  tomato sauce, so I ate them plain. I have some pasta dough leftover, so I’ll be making them again, with sauce this time.

Sigh. What an annoying Friday night. Oh well, there’s always next Friday!

Question of the day: has a power outage ever spoiled your plans to do something fun? How do you keep busy when the power goes out?





Operation Clean Out The Fridge

12 04 2011

First and foremost, today is Free Cone Day at Ben and Jerry’s. I’m sure you’ll find Chloe there;-)

In other news, today I head back to Chicago (well, technically the suburbs) for a few days to do some work with teachers. Since I’m headed out of town, it didn’t make sense for me to go grocery shopping for the week. As I contemplated dinner, I saw this post, and for half of a second considered creating my own unusual peanut butter sandwich. Even though I really like am obsessed with peanut butter, I don’t think I’d be THAT daring. Especially not with these ingredients to use up:

I had some sauce leftover from last week’s Biggest Loser Night, some ricotta that I used with my Wilted Spinach and Lemony-Ricotta, and some sausage I bought without really having plans for it. I had also bought some brussels sprouts to try to recreate a recipe from my last Chicago trip, but never got around to it.

I thought I could come up with something tastier than a bizzare peanut butter sandwich, and I did. The result: an easy peasy pasta dinner!

First, chop up the sausage into bite sized pieces:

Sauté until cooked through and browned:

Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the pieces and lay them on a paper towel to soak up some of the grease (don’t pour them onto the plate; you need the grease for your brussels!)

Chop up your brussels like Anne suggests:

Toss them into some boiling water, but only for a few minutes. You don’t want them to get soggy!

Drain out the water, then toss them into the pan with the sausage grease so they get a little browned:


Pour in the tomato sauce and cooked pasta and stir to combine:


In a small bowl, mix 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder with the remainder of the ricotta cheese (there was probably about a cup left?).

Put a dallop on top of your pasta and enjoy!

Quick and easy, and pretty tasty!  Now I won’t return to a fridge with rotten food!

Question of the day: What’s one of the best (or worst meals) you’ve made with the random assortment of food left in your fridge?