Vegetable skewers are a great way to showcase the best of your summer bounty. Whether your vegetables are from your own garden, from the local farmer’s market, or they were on sale at your grocery store, grilled vegetables are my favorite way to accomplish crisp, tender vegetables.
Skewers are such an easy meal! Just skewer, grill and eat. You can get creative with marinades or keep it simple with a little drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. You can feature these as an entree or as a side dish. Aren’t they beautiful?
If you decide to marinate your vegetables, my favorite base marinade is olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, a citrus of some kind and any herbs I have on hand. Just add everything into a large ziplock bag, toss and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Then skewer the veggies onto metal or soaked wooden skewers (alternating your veggies) and grill. This is a nice alternative for the vegetarians in your life at your next BBQ.
Cut the vegetables into bite-sized pieces and skewer them onto metal or soaked wooden skewers, alternating vegetables as you go. Preheat grill to medium heat. Brush the vegetables with olive oil and salt and pepper them to taste. Place kebobs over the heat and cover. Cook for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through the cooking time. Remove from grill when the vegetables have grill marks and are tender. Serve as is or with warm tortillas.
Today is my birthday. My, how times flies. Because this is such a sweet day I thought I would post something sweet for you!
In case you couldn’t tell, I’m more of a cook than a baker. I feel more comfortable cooking, a mad scientist of sorts, experimenting with new ingredients here and there. Baking is more an exact science, which is why I usually stay away, but I do like to dabble once in awhile.
One of my favorite desserts to indulge in is pie. I love how fresh fruit bursts and becomes ooey and luscious after it bakes in a flaky pie crust. Yum. Because it is prime strawberry season, these seemed absolutely perfect to make.
If you’re a pie crust maker, feel free to make your own crust for these pies. I cheated here and used store bought crust for my pies. I hear these make good leftovers for breakfast the next day too (if you have any leftovers)! Don’t ask me how I know that, just trust me.
I um, got a little too ambitious with the filling so my pies leaked a bit more than they normally would. A personal thank you to the person who invented parchment paper!
About 2 pounds of strawberries (3-4 cups, chopped)
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
pinch of salt
Pre-made pie crusts (4 single rounds total)
sanding or granulated sugar
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Combine the strawberries, sugar, corn starch and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk the egg and water together in a small bowl. Let sit and prepare the crusts.
Use a large biscuit cutter or large mouthed glass or mug and cut as many 5-inch rounds as you can. Combine any leftover scraps of dough and roll it flat with a rolling pin. Cut another 5-inch round from the combined scraps.
Put about 2 tablespoons of filling in the middle of the rounds. Brush the edges with the egg wash, then fold the crust in half and create a half circle. Press and crimp the edges to seal. Place the pies on the prepared cookie sheets. Cut a vent into each round then brush each pie with more egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Keep in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Yes, you are completely right. I am failing you as a food blogger. I have abandoned this website and thus, abandoned you. I just wanted to say that I am so thankful to all of you who have followed me throughout the years. I really am. Even though I may not be showing it lately. I will try harder to post more often. Thank you for your patience!
I’ll be honest, I miss cooking. I really, really do. Cooking is very therapeutic for me. Chopping, sauteing, smelling, creating, making messes – I love it all. Those were the good ol’ days. I spend so much time working, commuting and sleeping that I hardly have time to even check my mail. This new job has been a whirlwind of an adventure. I am thankful for the paychecks, but I still feel lost. It’s been an uphill battle for me personally to find a new routine. I am so lucky to have someone who helps me through all of this.
Okay, back to the main event – Walleye! I could not believe it when we found walleye in a grocery store. Natives of Wisconsin know walleye very well. We look forward to attending Friday Fish Fries to gobble down freshly caught walleye and perch. Walleye is like cod, it’s light and flaky and very mild in flavor. It’s something I miss very much. So when we saw Wisconsin walleye here in Colorado, we couldn’t NOT buy it!
When we decide to fry fish in our household, we typically follow our chip crust recipe. This time, we didn’t have chips on hand so we used saltine crackers instead. We really like the results! The crust was lightly crisp and didn’t overpower the mild flavor of the flaky fish.
Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or large pot over medium high heat to 375 degrees F.
In the mean time, double check the fillets for bones and remove skin if necessary. Cut into uniform pieces if the fillets are larger.
Beat the egg in a bowl and set aside. Combine the flour, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper in another bowl.
Pour the cracker crumbs into a third bowl.
Test the oil by dropping a cracker crumb into it. When it crackles and pops the oil is ready.
Dip two fillets into the flour mixture, then the eggs, and then press the fish into the cracker crumbs and set them aside on a plate. Carefully lower two fillets into the hot oil. Cook until browned, about 3 minutes per side, using tongs to turn the fillets if necessary. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with remaining fillets.
’tis the season for fresh strawberries! The recipe is easy to whip up in a few minutes and you’ll have delicious sweet strawberry butter that you can spread on your next bagel, toast, biscuit, homemade muffins… whatever you can get your hands on!
I came up with this recipe idea when I visited the local market here and purchased way too many strawberries for one sane person to buy. I needed to find another way to use them outside of just popping them in my mouth (although I did plenty of that too). I do not have the tools necessary to can or jar fruits (although a goal of mine some day) and thought about my childhood when my grandparents would take me to local farms for their farmer’s breakfast and the farmers would always have homemade varieties of fruit butters (although the strawberry was my favorite).
Those were such treasured times with my grandparents that I will never forget. So in a sense this recipe is a nod to the many times I devoured delicious strawberry butter atop fresh biscuits at those farms with my grandparents.
I never realized how easy this recipe is to make. Granted, I semi-cheated by using butter I had purchased from the store, but still, this easy recipe has inspired me to try to make other fruit butters at home!
Summer always makes me think of the fair. The sights and sounds of the ferris wheel, classic rock concerts and food stands galore! There is always an astounding variety of foods – wrapped in foil, served on a stick and deep-fried every which way. My favorites range from funnel cake to corn on the cob, but sometimes I just want to sink my teeth into a big hunk of meat and gnaw at a tasty bone. Here’s a recipe you can make at home for your own roasted turkey legs. This way you can get turkey and seasoning all over your hands and face and be in the vicinity of a sink.
In a pot, combine water with the salt, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon seasoning blend, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil then remove from heat. Allow to cool, then pour into a large container or bowl filled with ice. When mixture is cold, submerge turkey in the brine. Cover the container and brine in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours, more if you have time.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix the dry rub ingredients. Remove the turkey legs from the brine and rinse them under cold water. Pat them dry. Rub the dry rub all over the turkey legs, getting under the skin when you can.
Roast on a baking sheet in the oven for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 and roast for another 30-60 minutes, or until turkey is cooked through and the internal temperature is 180 degrees F. Baste occasionally with juices.
Remove them from oven, allow to rest for 5-10 minutes and enjoy!
How was your Independence Day? I hope it was filled with good people and good memories. And here’s hoping you don’t have to work until Monday!
After all of that alcohol and BBQ, it’s nice to treat your body with an easy vegan meal. Salads are great, but sometimes I need something more substantial. These fajitas are great for that. Seitan is my absolute favorite non-meat. To me, the texture resembles chicken breast. I spiced these up and added this seitan fajitas for Mister and he didn’t even know it was a Vegan meal until I saw him going back for seconds and mentioned, “Not bad for a meatless meal, huh?”
Fajitas are great because they are so versatile. We put onions, peppers and mushrooms in ours, but you can really customize it according to your likes and dislikes. You can add slaw, avocado, corn, etc. to your own fajitas.
1 10-ounce chipotle flavored package of seitan (or omit the chipotle if you want milder fajitas)
1 cup bell pepper strips
1 small yellow onion, cut into strips
1 cup mushrooms, sliced in half
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 Tablespoon canola oil
Salsa, sour cream, guacamole, etc. (optional)
Cut the seitan into 1-1/2 inch strips of a moderate thickness. Add the salt, cumin, chili powder, and both types of pepper, and toss together until evenly coated. In a large skillet heat the canola oil. Add the onions, pepper strips and mushrooms and stir fry quickly over medium high heat until they barely soften. Add the seitan and cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until seitan is warmed through! Do not overcook! Because seitan is already “cooked” all you need to do is just add it at the very end.
Warm the tortillas and keep them covered so they don’t cool off & dry out. Serve these buffet style with toppings and sides.
Happy weekend to you all! I hope this post finds you well. If you haven’t noticed, I have been very busy here outside of blogland. My new job is keeping me out of trouble and the commute is time consuming. Because I spend most of my weekday away from home, I haven’t been cooking as much as I would like to. This has been a big adjustment for the two of us. We used to work together, commute together, and spend many waking hours together. Now, I leave before the Mister wakes up and return home as the sun sets. It’s been a challenge, but it is something we are working out. Most nights, he has taken it upon himself to cook our dinners so we can spend less time working and more time relaxing together. I can’t express how grateful I am to have such a wonderful partner who has been so supportive.
Anywho, that’s the news with me. Are you getting excited for 4th of July? Are you the type of person who really goes out each year? Typically we grill something up with friends or go hiking and watch the fireworks from the top of a mountain. I’m not sure what will do this year. Here’s hoping we can do a little of both!
To keep with the 4th of July BBQ theme, I thought I would post this beautiful grilled pizza. The dough recipe is from Weber’s Way To Grill and is one of the best dough recipes I have tried to date. You can always tell that something is going to taste good because it smells good …and this dough smells absolutely FANTASTICAL when it is cooking! The neighborhood smelled like a pizzeria the second this dough puffed up on the grill.
Mozzarella cheese (shredded or sliced and ripped into smaller pieces)
Any other veggies your heart desires really!
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine the water, yeast and sugar. Stir briefly and let stand for 5 minutes or until the top surface has a thin, frothy layer. Add the flour, oil, salt, garlic powder and oregano. Fit the mixer with a dough hook and mix on low speed for about 1 minutes or until everything is combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue to mix until the dough is slightly sticky. smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Turn it over to coat all sides and tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size (1 1/2 to 2 hours).
In the mean time, prepare your sauce. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside at room temperature.
Once your dough is risen, cut the dough into 8 equal pieces. Lightly brush eight, 9-inch pieces of parchment paper with olive oil. Using your fingers, flatted each pieces of dough on a sheet of parchment paper to create 8 rounds. Each round should be about 1/3-inch thick and 6 to 8 inches in diameter. Lightly brush the tops with oil. Let the round stand at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes.
Lower the temperature of the grill to medium heat. Brush the cooking grates clean. Working with 4 rounds at a time, place the dough on the cooking grate with the parchment paper facing up. Grill over direct heat, with lid closed as much as possible, until the dough is well marked and firm on the bottom, about 2 to 5 minutes, rotating as needed for even cooking. Peel off and discard the parchment paper. Transfer crusts to a work surface with the grilled sides facing up. Repeat with the 4 other rounds.
Spread the sauce, cheese (and toppings) on each crust. Return the pizzas to the grill and cook over direct medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until the cheese is melted and the bottom of the crust is crisp, about 2 to 5 minutes, rotating the pizzas occasionally for even cooking. Transfer to a cutting board cut and serve.
I’m pretty much a fan of mini anything. Mini corn dogs, mini burgers, mini pizzas, mini cheesecakes, mini chocolate chips, etc. etc. I admit, I’m the person near the food table at parties, happily talking in between handfuls of bite-sized foods.
Mini tacos in wonton shells make tiny crispy, crunchy, spicy, Mexicany, chickeny, cheesy, tasty (yep, I ran out of adjectives that end in ‘y’) finger foods. These are easy to make as an appetizer for guests or to enjoy as an entree for taco night served along side some Spanish Rice.
taco toppings (we had shredded cheddar and fresh pico de gallo, yum!)
Place the chicken in a slow cooker. Add the salsa, green chiles, seasoning, lime juice and add enough water to cover the chicken. Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 5-6 hours or until chicken is tender. Once the chicken is cooked, shred the meat with two forks in the pot. Set the slow cooker to warm and set aside.
In the mean time, make the taco shells. You can bake your shells or deep fry them. To bake them, brush the wonton wrappers lightly with olive oil. Drape them over a wide edged baking sheet to create a taco shape. Bake at 375 degrees for 5 minutes or until the shells are golden brown. Deep frying the shells can be tricky. Your goal is to get a basic shape of a taco shell. I used my tongs and fried one wonton wrapper at a time. I gently fried one side for about 5 seconds, then used my tongs to fold one corner across to the other corner while leaving an opening and frying the other side of the shell. You'll have to work quickly but you'll get it! Drip dry the fried wonton shells on a paper towel.
To assemble the tacos, take a shell and add a bit of chicken (doing your best to drain the chicken as you do so). Add a bit of cheese and pico de gallo (or whatever you like to eat on tacos), then devour!!
I eat an average of 1 billion poached eggs each year. I may or may not be exaggerating (EGG-aggerating?). I also may or may not be made of poached eggs. Scientists are still trying to figure that out.
As you may already know, kale is packed with all sorts of good stuff for you (fiber, iron, vitamin k, antioxidants, yadda yadda) and has zero fat. The taste to me is like a mix of spinach and seaweed – it takes a little bit of getting used to at first. For me, the runny yolk from the eggs adds the perfect amount of richness to balance the ‘healthy’ factor of this dish.
1 large slice of bread or 2 small slices of bread, toasted
1/2 clove of garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 bunch kale, center ribs removed, sliced into 1/2-inch-wide ribbons (about 2 cups)
salt and pepper
Add about 1 teaspoon olive oil to a skillet. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook over medium-low heat until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the kale and cook until wilted, 2-3 minutes.
Fill a medium pot with water 2/3 of the way full. Bring the water to a simmer (so there are rapid champagne-like bubbles coming from the bottom of the pot, but not rolling water). Add the white vinegar to the water and wait for the temperature to return if necessary. Add the eggs and cook for 3-4 minutes. While the eggs are cooking, take a slotted spoon and gently spin the water above the eggs to help the eggs keep a rounded shape.
Transfer the kale to a plate and top with the poached eggs. Add salt and pepper to the eggs if desired and serve with toast.
If you’re anything like me, you tend to make way more rice than you need. I seem to ALWAYS have leftover rice in my fridge! This Spanish Rice is a great way to spruce up your leftover rice for your next taco/Mexican night.
I like peas and carrots in my Spanish Rice. Feel free to take a more traditional approach to your own rice and omit the veggies if you’d rather keep it simple.
Tofu is a new protein in our household. I’ve never been a huge fan of tofu growing up but I have been eating more and more of it to help ease into more of a plant-based diet. Call it a transitional food for me. Though there are mixed feelings around soy in the vegan community, tofu seems to be everywhere these days.
Tofu has a reputation for being plain or boring, and frankly, it is… by itself. But think of tofu as a blank canvas, and think of yourself as an artist who can manipulate that canvas to your heart’s content. Tofu can be a very flavorful addition to your dish if you treat it right.
Here I took an Indian spin on tofu. Traditionally, Aloo Matar is a curry dish with potatoes and peas. I didn’t have potatoes on hand but I did have tofu so I thought I would try it out. I like the way this dish turned out. It is vegan-diet friendly, the tofu absorbed all of the flavors of the curry and because I omitted the potatoes and served this on rice, I feel that this dish turned out a lot lighter. Not a bad way to enjoy tofu if I don’t say so myself!
Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a large pan to medium heat and add the onions and ginger. Cook until the onions begin to sweat, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato, chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, curry powder, cayenne powder (if using) and salt. Add about a tablespoon of water and mix. Cook for 2 minutes.
Add the tofu, peas, 1 cup of water and bouillon cube and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the garam masala powder, mix and cook for another minute. Serve ith bread or rice.