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Not As Good As Pork Cracklins

misadventures in cooking

Monday, May 30, 2005

Tiny Pasta with Zucchini & Peppers

Still in Myrtle Beach, I cooked dinner for Jay, Jeff, Ken, and Gary. I like this side dish a lot. I could eat it as a meal. It would have been better with grilled chicken (more summery), but we were all grilled out. Try getting a "small dice" out of crappy rental condo knives. Fun! I should learn to bring my own. The result was very pretty, though. Too bad I didn't take a picture for Katie.

My sister-in-law Ashley gave me the recipe for the citrus dressing, and it's one of my favorites. Jay really seemed to like it. I let him eat my share too. He's funny: He thought whipped cream comes out of a tub and seemed confused when I got the mixer out. What has Sheri been teaching him??
  • Sage Roasted Butterflied Chicken
  • Tiny Pasta with Zucchini & Peppers (The Best of Fine Cooking, Cooking Fresh 2005, p. 86)
  • Spinach Salad with Citrus Dressing, Mandarin Oranges and Sliced Almonds
  • Strawberries with Whipped Cream

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Grilled Shrimp with Cilantro Pesto Pasta

David, Ashley and I went on a search for a fish market in Myrtle Beach to get fresh shrimp. It was an adventure for sure, but that's a story for another time. David grilled, Ashley made the pesto. Jay and Ken joined us. Jay broke out in hives. Not sure what caused them, but they were hives for sure.
  • Grilled Shrimp with Cilantro Pesto Pasta (recipe courtesy of Sara Newsom)
Cilantro Pesto
1 large bunch cilantro
2 T. walnuts
3 cloves garlic
3/4 c. olive oil
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan
salt to taste

Makes enough pesto to generously dress a pound of bowtie pasta.

Big Tomato Sandwich

This is the best sandwich in the whole world. It is summertime on a plate. Perfect for a beach weekend lunch. David and Ashley went to the farmstand and got lovely tomatoes. David seemed skeptical when I started making the sandwich. He was picturing soft white bread and mayonnaise. Nope.
  • Big Tomato Sandwich (Local Flavors, Deborah Madison, p. 176)

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Shells with Arugula, Feta & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Late dinner our first night in Myrtle Beach because we had a late lunch of oysters at Bimini's. I like this pasta salad a lot, but be forewarned that it's a little dry. Not bad dry, just not a lot of wet soggy dressing. The feta, olives and sun-dried tomatoes are what make it good.

I marinated the chicken breasts in rosemary, dijon, lime juice and olive oil, one of my standard hurry-up-I-can't-be-bothered marinades. David grilled them in the dark. Poor man.
  • Grilled chicken breasts
  • Shells with Arugula, Feta & Sun-Dried Tomatoes (Best of Fine Cooking, Cooking Fresh 2005, p. 44)

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Grilled Portobello & Red Bell Pepper Salad

This recipe has been on my to-do list for a while. The combination of flavors is excellent. I'd make some changes to the dressing though. I like a higher ratio of vinegar to oil. The recipe only calls for 1 T. vinegar to 1/3 c. oil. And I'd recommend mashing the garlic to a paste with some kosher salt. I had the salad with a ciabatta roll.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Lemon Barley "Risotto"

This is delicious.
  • Lemon Barley "Risotto" with Shrimp, Bacon & Spinach (Fine Cooking #71, p. 86c)

Monday, May 16, 2005

Broiled Tex-Mex Drumsticks

Mmm, lunch. Easy, cheap, tasty. There is an accompanying recipe for Avocado & Tomato Salad that I didn't make, but would like to try.
  • Broiled Tex-Mex Drumsticks (Fine Cooking #67, p. 94c)

Friday, May 13, 2005

Individual Vanilla Puddings

I cooked dinner tonight for Dean & Doris, who leave tomorrow to go home to Michigan after spending the winter in Texas.

I think this pudding is a nice dessert as a treat for my mom, Dean, or Jay. It isn't low fat (whole milk, although I don't see why you couldn't use 2%, egg yolks & butter) or sugar-free, but it is healthy and low in carbohydrates if you're not having potatoes, rice, bread etc. with dinner. It has 250 calories, 25 g. carbohydrate, 6 g. protein, and is much much better than something from a box. I served it in pretty little glass dishes that were my grandmother's, with 1/2 of a strawberry fanned on the top.
  • Sear Roasted Salmon with Lemon-Rosemary Butter Sauce (Fine Cooking #71, p. 39-40)
  • Quick Braised Vegetables (Fine Cooking #71, p. 42-43)
  • Individual Vanilla Puddings (Fine Cooking #71, p. 68)

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Macadamia Nut Biscotti

It's a rainy dreary day. Why not cook? I happened to have recently purchased Fine Cooking #5 off of Ebay and I happened to have macadamia nuts in the pantry.

Biscotti dipped in vin santo became my post-prandial ritual when Gary and I went to Italy in 1999. Generally speaking, I'm not a big dessert eater. Mostly because if I'm still hungry, I'd rather eat more dinner. Dinner in Italy usually lasted 2-3 hours and I was definitely full. But this was the perfect ending, not too sweet and not too filling. I love biscotti with coffee for breakfast, too.

This recipe is not traditional, made with butter that gives it more of a shortbread texture. Not sweet at all, which is nice. Only half a cup of sugar to two cups of flour. But a little bland. I would like to try the almond biscotti from the same article.
  • Macadamia Nut Biscotti (Fine Cooking #5, p. 36)

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Rosemary Chicken Salad

Gary is having bridge party here tonight, and asked for some help with dinner. It needed to be something I could have made ahead of time, because I won't be home today. So I suggested chicken salad on a bed of mixed lettuces, with a dinner roll and fruit.

Very yummy mix of flavors: roasted chicken, minced rosemary, smoked almonds, and green onions. I didn't think it was moist enough and added quite a bit more dressing. I guess that defeats the purpose of "cooking light", but oh well.
  • Rosemary Chicken Salad (Cooking Light Magazine, April 2005, p. 170)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Cream Cheese & Wild Blueberry Pound Cake

This is a very nice loaf cake with a fine texture, very small crumb. It's from an article about pound cakes. I'd like to try the other two recipes also: Sour Cream Pound Cake and Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake.
  • Cream Cheese & Wild Blueberry Pound Cake (Fine Cooking #44, p. 75)