Friday, July 25, 2014

Carrot Soup and Sticky Sweet Chicken


We have been reading and loving the book Monsieur Saguette and His Baguette. It's prompted many a baguette-eating meal/adventure, and lots of laughter. But, when J asked me to make carrot soup, inspired again by M. Saguette, I had to obligue.

I found a recipe for creamy carrot soup, which is meant as an easy kids-can-cook recipe, so it seemed quite fitting. Lucky for us we also had some farm-fresh carrots in the CSA this week! This soup was a breeze to make. I added about 2 1/2 c broth, and only about 1/2 c of half-and-half. For the finishing touch, I used some CSA green onion and cilantro. Yum, yum, and yum! This soup is very sweet, and not too rich. A perfect side for any meal. And, I LOVE the colors in the bowl.

I served the soup with some couscous topped with chunks of sticky sweet chicken. I used a sauce recipe from The Smitten Kitchen's sticky sesame chicken wing recipe, and just replaced the wings with chunks of chicken breast. I have to admit to forgetting to add the sesame seeds and the scallions at the end, but no matter, the chicken was still sweet and delicious!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pasta with Yogurt, Peas, and Spicy Pine Nuts

Tonight's dinner was yet another winner from the cookbook Jerusalem. I can't get enough of Yotam Ottolenghi's recipes, and this one was certainly another complete delight.

This dish, pasta shells, yogurt, and peas was a breeze to make, but the flavor combinations were phenomenal. The garlic is strong, but the yogurt makes this meal feel rich. These noodles are fabulous hot or cold, and the spicy pine nuts really finish it off perfectly. Yum, yum, and can't-wait-for-the-leftovers;)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Quick and Fabulous Rosemary Focaccia

It was another scorcher here today, and the kids and I wanted to make it out to the pool for a bit of cool-off play time. I had already planned a dinner of fresh CSA veggies (Tuesday is our pick-up day), and hummus. But, while flipping through some recipes on the "to-make" list, I stumbled across this recipe for quick rosemary focaccia and decided that this would be the perfect addition to round out the meal.

This focaccia was incredible, and incredibly easy to make. The dough literally took only a couple of minutes to put together, and the second rising occurred while the oven was preheating. So painless, and the end product was beyond delicious. I can't wait to munch on the leftover loaf tomorrow at lunch!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

CSA Love

I cannot get over how amazing our local CSA farm share has been this summer.  We are literally overflowing with amazing produce. A few nights ago, I wanted to use up a bunch of veggies, so I went all out. I roasted thinly sliced beets and turnips, patty-pan squash, eggplant, zucchini, yellow summer squash, and made kale chips. I served a bunch of the roasted veggies on a toasted ciabata roll with fresh mozzarella, and the rest on the side for munching. Oh, and this farm share cucumber! It's to-die-for! I'm always amazed at how something so simple as a cucumber just tastes that much better straight from the farm! The kids totally agree too:) Happy munching!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Massaman Curry, CSA Style

It's been a LONG time since I've made a Massaman curry, and now that we're back on the coast it's much easier to locate my favorite curry pastes. Making a Massaman curry is really quite simple...a bit of curry paste into some coconut milk, add some sautéed vegetables and voila! We are overflowing with summer squash these days, so this curry was chalk full of zucchini, yellow summer squash, farm share carrots, and some onion, and it was finished with basil from our patio garden. I served the curry on top of some brown rice. The result was super, warm, flavorful, and homey. Yum, yum!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Farmer's Market Pasta

Tonight's dinner was so simple, and simply delicious.  I'm happy to report that the entire "sauce" was made from vegetables from our farm share and herbs from our patio garden.  The whole meal came together in less than 30 minutes, but tasted like it took a lot longer.

As I was waiting for the pasta water to boil, I headed a bit of olive oil in a sauté pan, chopped onion, summer squash, patty pan squash, zucchini, and fresh spinach. After the onion had softened in the oil, I added the squash and sautéed until tender. I finished this sauce off with fresh spinach, chopped fresh basil and parsley, a bit of salt, pepper, red pepper flakes (for a kick), and stirred in about 1/3 c of shredded parmesan cheese.

Fresh, easy, fabulous.

Farm Share Borscht and Yogurt Flatbreads

I love getting a farm share because it gives me the excuse to try new recipes that utilize a whole variety of fresh vegetables. This week's experiment was borscht. I had some beautiful beets, scallion, fresh dill, and a summer craving. The result was absolutely fantastic!

My love for all recipes created by Ina Garten is not a secret, so she was obviously my first go-to person in my recipe search. I followed her summer borscht recipe, but omitted the addition of the sour cream and Greek yogurt,and opted to add my own dollop of Greek yogurt at the end instead. The borscht is sweet, full of flavor, and even better when eaten the next day!

I served the borscht with a fresh farm share greens salad, tossed with a homemade lemon vinaigrette, and made Yotam Ottolenghi's yogurt flatbreads  (minus the mushroom topping) on the side. The cilantro in the flatbreads really added another flavor dimension, and I really enjoyed dipping mine into the borscht. Fantastic summer meal!