Tuesday, June 26, 2012

fried Zucchini Blossoms

Oh look! I'm blogging? What?
Every time I log on lately I see new updates to this Food Blogging group on Facebook - that I am now a part of - and then I start stalking all the new blogs I see and then have to continue the cyber creepiness by checking out their Pinterest boards and god forbid they be linked to Twitter! 

All of a sudden the family is home and wondering where dinner is?!!! 

"I don't know! Just let me look through One more board?!"

It's actually rather sad...

The first step to recovery is admission right?

Well, let me get this little recipe up quick so I can go back to scrolling through all these amazing websites.

During my Farmers Market visit last Sunday morning I picked up these beautiful zucchini blossoms. 
Husband was a little skeptical but I was a little determined. 
It was definitely one of those "You're going to this party and you're going to have fun" moments.

It also just so happened that on Saturday's episode of French Food at Home - Laura Calder made these little fried treats - so, with all of this fresh in my mind, I pay for my little blossoms and head home.

BTW - I am without camera right now so I apologize for the quality of my photos. :-(

Here they are

Ada said they look like baby birds begging for food...they kind of do actually.

LC said to use Peanut Oil to fry these and I did happen to have some so that is what I used. The other ingredients are 1/4 cup flour with a 1/4 cup of cornstarch in one bowl, then 1 egg and 2 tablespoons of milk in another bowl - add a little salt and pepper to both bowls and mix well. 
And that's it!


Wash and dry the blossoms - make sure they are really dry inside and out.

Get your oil heated and ready - I figured this was a good time to let my blossoms dry a bit and get all the other stuff prepped for dinner.

When ready, thoroughly dip a blossom in the egg and milk mixture.
Then gently turn over and over in the flour, cornstarch mixture until it is completely coated.

Carefully place into the fry pan.
Let cook until golden brown then flip.
Cook then remove to a paper towel to drain.

Sprinkle with a little fresh, chopped Dill.
Serve immediately.

Ada said the above photo looks like a photo of a Dinosaur foot...it kind of does.

These taste like regular Fried Zucchini - Delicious!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

roasted beet and fennel salad

The idea for this came from French Food at Home with Laura Calder. I don't actually remember if she used beets in her recipe but I needed to use mine up so here they are.
Most of the ingredients for this also came from my Farmer's market visit.
And except for getting the beets in the oven and roasting the fennel there is almost no cooking. Perfect since it's been so hot here in Sacramento (until today anyway)

And by the way, yes, I do keep toasted pine nuts on hand at all times.


2 roasted beets
1 orange
maybe a third of a red onion - sliced as thinly as possible
1 fennel bulb
1 handful of toasted Pine nuts
olive oil


oven to 350

Line a baking tray with foil - make sure it's completely covered.
Wash and dry the beets.
Rub them with olive oil then place on the baking tray.
Salt and pepper.
Cover the tray completely with another sheet of foil.
Into the oven for an hour.

When beets are ready let cool for 10 minutes then peel - set aside.

Remove the leafy parts of the fennel but save a little for garnish.
Wash and dry the bulb - stand on its end - then slice.
Heat your frying pan - when ready add a tablespoon of olive oil then add the fennel slices. This can also be done on the grill but I always lose too many little pieces so I quit doing it that way.
Cook the fennel until the edges start getting crispy.

When ready, lay the fennel slices on a plate.
Slice up a beet or two and add on top.
Slice your orange making sure to slice around the skins.
Add those then add some slivers of onion.
Toss on some pine nuts.
Sprinkle with some pieces of the fennel fronds.
Add a little salt and a lot of pepper.

Serve immediately.

Now the other night I made this again but added Goat cheese on top.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Kauai 2012

Where have I been?


I imagine I can just leave it at that and anyone who has been there will understand.

Then home to lay to rest one of my most favorite persons in the entire world.
.....sad.....and confused.....

Then it's finishing up all the projects from the school year and trying to make it to summer break. Just need a few minutes to breathe - but those minutes seem so elusive lately.
Then Ada started summer camp since she is taking a year off from swim team. She loves it and all the play dates after. I've hardly seen her this week.
I miss her.

Anyway, I thought I would share a few photos from the trip. There are actually 736 total. I will spare you the torture of sitting through the 'vacation photo' pack. But I thought it might be fun to take a peek into my world of late.

The above photo makes me think of Nate - 30+ years of friendship and  family.....my heart still aches for his wife and sons.

I figured since this is a Food Blog I'd better get a photo of food in here somewhere. I actually did cook quite a bit, but this trip wasn't really about food and cooking. Although I would have been perfectly happy to eat the above every day!

For some reason I am completely obsessed with the above photo. I love it.
Another one of my absolute favorite photos. Hanalei Bay.

Good night world.

That's probably more than plenty photos for now.
This trip was rejuvenation, fun, adventure, peace, calm, solace...and in the end a reminder to keep all things in perspective.
The people we love are just 'the people we love'.
They are here right now with us at this very moment.
Remember that - embrace it and cherish it...
"for we do not know what tomorrow may bring"

Monday, June 11, 2012

beet greens

Something about this dish reminds of me of my mother. 
Strange because I don't remember her ever making beets when I was a kid.
I do remember being maybe nine or ten years old. Our family driving down the highway in our giant brown station wagon with it's side paneling on the outside. No air conditioning in the car so all the windows were open and the wind was so loud I could barely hear my mother telling dad to pull over. She wanted to harvest the greens growing along the edges of the freeway. 
I wanted to die - I would slouch down in the back and pray no one I knew drove past us.
I think it was mustard greens she was after. I think.
And I think it was probably twenty years before I ate any sort of 'greens' again.

None of this is relevant to this recipe. But every time I saute greens this is what is playing in my mind. These images of my mother and the foods she made.

Anyway, here is the dish.

I love these greens over rice and with the egg - although I think a poached egg would have been even lovelier but I already had hard-boiled eggs in the refrigerator so that's what I used.
Next time you're at the Farmer's market and the person asks if you want the tops cut off your bunch of beets tell them no. Take them home and cook them as follows. You will love it.

Couple notes: 
*These greens cook like spinach - i.e...you start with what looks like 50 pounds of greens and after cooking there is enough to fill a teacup. One bunch of greens (from 5 or 6 beets) yields about 1 serving. Sorry....when I'm at the market I always ask the farmer for the tops that have been cut off from customers before me. This will usually get me enough for 3 or 4 servings.
*Wash them super, super well. I do this one leaf at a time and yes, it is beyond tedious.

This recipe is for 1 bunch of greens. Double or triple as needed.

1 bunch of Beet greens - they usually come 5 or 6 in a batch - wash and rinse.
4 cloves of garlic - sliced.
1 sweet white onion - thinly sliced.
4 or 5 strips of bacon.
a pinch of sugar.
red chili pepper flakes if desired.


Wash the greens thoroughly - set aside.
Fry up the bacon - remove from the pan - chop and save - but do not drain the  bacon grease (unless there seems to be a lot of it) you really want some of this leftover bacon goodness to flavor your greens.
While the bacon is cooking you can chop up the greens, garlic and onions. 
For the beet greens - I usually cut the stems at the point where the leaf ends.
Chop up the stem part and set that aside - this part needs a couple extra minutes cooking time.
Then chop up all the leafy parts into bite size pieces.
First into the pan (that still has bacon grease in it) goes the garlic slices - cook 2 or 3 minutes - just until they start looking a little crispy.
Then add the onion and stem pieces and a sprinkling of sugar.
Cook until softened - probably 7 or 8 minutes - longer if you like your vegetables softer (I do not).
Once the stem parts are ready add the leafy pieces and the bacon.
Saute just until the greens are cooked and wilted.
Taste for salt and pepper and add the chili flakes if you're using.

Serve immediately.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

orzo pasta salad

It was not my intention that this little dish be my first post after such a long absence, but I need to bring a dish to my daughter's class picnic today so this is what I'm bringing. Easy, no fuss, serve at room temperature? Perfect!

This is an older Giada de Laurentiis recipe. It's also a staple here during the summer and quite frequently my go-to dish for events like today.



1 12 ounce box orzo pasta
4 cups chicken broth
1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans - drained and rinsed
about 2 cups cherry tomatoes - I like to do a mix of colors - halved
2 handfuls finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup fresh Basil - chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint - chopped
around 3/4 cup red wine vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Red Wine Vinaigrette:

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 to a 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
lots of fresh pepper (if you like)
1 cup extra-virgin Olive Oil


Make the vinaigrette first and set aside.
If it separates just give it a really good shake/whisk.

Bring the chicken broth to a boil.
Add the orzo - stir a lot!
Cook until tender - drain - set aside and let cool while you chop up all the other ingredients.

Chop the onions, halve the tomatoes, julienne the herbs...
Toss it all in the bowl with the pasta and add the beans.
Add the vinaigrette in small amounts - adding more to taste.
Give it a really good mixing.
Add a little salt and pepper if needed.
Serve at room temperature.