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Sunday

19

October 2014

0

COMMENTS

Vegetarian Soft Tacos

Written by , Posted in Beans, Cheese, Dinner, Fruit, Kid-Friendly, Legumes, Lunch, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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Even though I’m tired of the heat we’re still experiencing, I’m hanging on as long as I can to the summer veggies. Specifically summer squash.

I’m fine that the apples are here. I’m glad that we’ve got grapes. But, I don’t want the cute little squash to go bye bye.

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So I’m using them as often as I can. Savoring each squashy bite.

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I feel like squash kinda goes with everything. I like to add it to eggs, wrap it with pie crust, and slice it thin for pizza.

Oh my squash it’s good.

See what I did there?

Sorrynotsorry.

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Squash, shallots, radishes, and a chile pepper are added to some hot oil.

This isn’t going to take long.

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Next come the beans and seasonings.

I love beans in tacos and enchiladas. Meat is great too, but we eat a lot of vegetarian meals, just because we do, so often things like beans, quinoa, and eggs are our forms of protein. That being said, this would taste great with some ground beef. The main reason I didn’t use any: I didn’t have any.

I used pinto beans. They’re my favorite for tacos and enchiladas. But, kidney, black, or garbonzos would also work. They will change the taste of the dish a bit, but no big deal.

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Almost before the lettuce is washed, tomatoes are chopped, and cheese is grated, the bean and veggie mixture is done. This is a seriously quick meal.

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Everything gets piled onto half of the tortilla (whole grain for me, white for Tim), then the unadorned half gets folded over.

You could totally fry up some tortillas and make hard shell tacos. Corn tortillas work great for this. But, for a super quick meal, I like ’em soft.

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I usually bring the salsa and yogurt with me so I can add more while I eat. I like my tacos messy.

Happy Eating!

Vegetarian Soft Tacos

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 9 minutes

Total Time: 14 minutes

Vegetarian Soft Tacos

Ingredients

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 radish (or carrot, or both), grated
  • 1 small summer squash, grated (or bell pepper, chopped, or both)
  • 1 hot chile pepper, ribs and seeds removed (unless you'd like more spice), diced
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1/4 C corn
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1 t paprika
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 1 to 1 1/2 C pinto beans
  • 2 tortillas
  • cheese, grated
  • lettuce, shredded
  • tomato, chopped
  • Greek yogurt
  • salsa

Instructions

  1. Heat a skillet and add oil. When oil is hot, add radish through shallot. Cook over medium-low heat for about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add garlic through beans. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  3. Divide the bean mixture between the tortillas and place on half of each one. Top it with cheese through salsa. Fold the un-topped half of the tortilla over the toppings.
http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/vegetarian-soft-tacos/

Thursday

28

August 2014

3

COMMENTS

Squash and Scrambled Egg Wraps

Written by , Posted in Breakfast, Brunch, Cheese, Dinner, Eggs, Fruit, Kid-Friendly, Low Carb, Lunch, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Thoughts, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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My family lives entirely too far away from me. Or I live too far away from them. Today has been one of those days where I’m missing them especially a lot.

Sniff. I’ll be ok. It’s always too long in between in person visits, but I’m always thankful for the technology like Skype, so we can talk and see each others faces every week. Usually at some point someone sounds like a robot, there’s a delay and we all talk over each other, or it sounds like there’s a train rushing by at someone’s house. But, we’re hearing each other’s voices, seeing each other’s faces, from so far away.

If Anja (who is almost 2 years old) is on, we’re just dying at the cuteness, as she says our names and chats about the puzzle she just got.

Oh I love technology…

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These wraps seem like the kind of thing that we would enjoy together when we’re all gathered around the table for a meal. In person. All of us at the same table.

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We all enjoy food. In fact, all three of us kids are involved in the food industry in some way. My mom and dad have a banquet hall and have passed on their love for eating, cooking, and gardening to us. I have fond memories of plucking still warm raspberries and cherry tomatoes from the garden that we had in our backyard growing up. There are so many things about those years that I find myself trying to duplicate now as an adult with my own home.

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I don’t know if I was crazy about squash as a kid. Mom would hide it in “Zoo Bread” (made with zucchini), which we loved. But, I love squash now and can’t get enough of it this summer especially.

One of my favorite easy lunches is Squash’n Eggs. This is almost the same thing, just topped with cheese and salsa, and all wrapped up.

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If possible, I always have eggs on hand. They’re the perfect meal saver. From pasta topped with a fried egg, to Pasta Carbonara, to Roasted Broccoli and Fried Egg Sandwiches, it’s eggs to the rescue.

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I whisked the eggs with a little bit of milk, some salt, and pepper. Keeping it simple.

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Once the eggs start to set, they get scraped off the bottom of the pan a bit. Low heat is key with scrambled eggs. Cook them gently.

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Once they’re just set, they’re ready.

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Half of the mixture is scooped out on to each tortilla. Whole wheat for me, white for Tim. It’s what we both prefer.

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I like to add a little bit of monterey jack or cheddar cheese to them. Tastes so good.

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A plomp of salsa, then they get rolled up. My whole wheat tortillas aren’t as flexible as Tim’s white ones. But, even cracked, they taste good.

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We have tons of fresh tomatoes right now and they’ve got the most incredible flavor, so we’re eating them on everything! I hope you are too. And, I especially hope that you’re enjoying these wraps with your family. Even if it’s just via Skype.

Happy Eating!

Squash and Scrambled Egg Wraps
Author: 
Recipe type: Main, Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Brunch, Quick and Easy, Eggs, Vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
One of the quickest, easiest lunches for those super busy days. Squash and scrambled eggs are topped with cheese and salsa, and all wrapped up.
Ingredients
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 medium summer squash, chopped
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • ½ C corn
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 T milk or water
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 2 tortillas
  • ¼ to ½ C monterey jack (or cheddar) cheese, grated
  • salsa
  • 1 tomato, chopped, for topping
Instructions
  1. Heat skillet, add oil, when oil is hot add squash, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes over medium-low heat. Add corn and cook for about 2 minutes more.
  2. Turn heat to low. Whisk together eggs, milk or water, salt, and pepper. Add to squash skillet. Gently scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon or heat-safe spatula to scrape up the eggs as some bits begin to set. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, or until eggs are just set, scraping occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  3. Scoop egg mixture into the tortillas. Top with cheese and salsa. Fold ends in and then sides.
  4. Serve topped with tomato.

 

Monday

30

June 2014

4

COMMENTS

Half Birthday Fun – Beef Chili

Written by , Posted in Beef, Cheese, Dinner, Fruit, Gluten Free, Kid-Friendly, Lunch, Main Dishes, Meat, Potlucks, Sides, Soups, Thoughts, Vegetables

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Tim’s birthday is on Christmas Eve. We always try to make it special. But, the day is usually a mixture of birthday and Christmas Eve celebrations.

He is always a good sport about it.

But, this year, I thought that a half birthday celebration would be nice. An entire day devoted to celebrating him.

The day was filled with things that he loves.

We started with doughnuts. We’ve discovered a place that’s close enough to walk to. Often on Saturday mornings we will take the dog for a walk and get ourselves a treat.

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Then he went to a movie with a couple friends while I set up for later.

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We invited a few friends to continue the celebration of things that Tim loves.

Things like candy, caramel corn, and Blue Moon.

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Dinner was more of his favorites: hot dogs, beef chili, store bought potato salad, fruit salad, and chips.

He loves the things that I cook. He’s fine with our healthy lifestyle. So it’s fun to surprise him with things that aren’t so healthy once in a while (although I used organic hot dogs and organic grass fed beef for the chili, so I still felt good about eating it).

It was a fun treat. (I maaaay have felt a little bit sick afterwards, but it was worth it. ;))

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There was laughter. Lots of laughter.

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Another favorite is ice cream. It’s pretty much an entire food group for Tim.

A serving size for him is a third of a carton.

We’ve discovered a little ice cream shop called Quenelle (pronounced kuh-nell). They make all of their ice cream. It’s insanely good. An ice cream cake from Quenelle seemed like the perfect way to end our little dinner.

It was.

I don’t know that I’ve heard as many exclamations about how good a dessert was as I did that night.

The cake was a layer of nutella, a layer of cookies and crème fraiche, with a devil’s food cake layer at the bottom.

That expression “we all scream for ice cream” – yeah, we did.

I accidentally put trick candles on the cake. I didn’t know that we had them. It was a trick on everyone.

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As the light faded, we lit candles and sat for hours around the table.

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The evening was one of those times when, as I went inside to get something and looked out the window, I just kinda stopped, and almost got a little bit choked up, looking at some of our dear friends gathered around our table. We’re so thankful for the little community of loved ones we have here in L.A.

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I figured I should feed people chili. It’s easy and most people like it. It’s perfect in a bowl, or to top hot dogs. I made it the day before, then re-heated it the day of and kept it hot in the crock pot. Finding as many things to do beforehand made half birthday day so much more relaxed. I don’t think I stressed out at all. We had fun the whole day long.

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Tim loves chili with beans. He’s happy eating it when I add tons of veggies. But, since it was his day, I though I’d try something new, and just do it with beef.

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It’s pretty simple. The beef is cooked for a little bit with some seasonings. Onions are added partway through.

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Since bell peppers are one of his favorite veggies I added two. Plus one hot pepper for just a bit of heat.

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I have a hard time cooking without loads of garlic. Whatev.

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And then piles of canned diced tomatoes are added in to make it saucy. I cooked it for two hours the first day, then probably a good 4-5 on half birthday day. It doesn’t need the extra day of cooking, but it sure didn’t hurt.

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What a fun way to celebrate. It was a good day.

Happy 31 and a Halfth Birthday, Tim!

Beef Chili
Author: 
Recipe type: Main, Side, Beef, Meat, Dinner, Soup, Chili, Bell Peppers, Easy, Potlucks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lb. ground beef
  • 2 white onions, chopped
  • 1 T chili powder
  • ½ T sweet paprika
  • 1 T smoked paprika
  • pinch cumin
  • pepper
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 hot pepper, leave seeds and ribs (optional), chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 T balsamic vinegar
  • 2-28 oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 t sriracha hot sauce
  • 2-3 t salt
  • cheese, grated, for topping
  • onions, chopped, for topping
Instructions
  1. Heat a large soup pot. When hot, add beef and seasonings through pepper. Break apart (or mash using a potato masher) and cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add onion and cook for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add peppers and cook for about 5 minutes more.
  4. Add garlic and cook for about 3 minutes.
  5. Add balsamic vinegar through salt. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 2 hours, stirring every once in a while.
  6. Served topped with cheese and onions.

Tuesday

24

June 2014

0

COMMENTS

Aaaand We’re Back… With Squash’n Eggs

Written by , Posted in Breakfast, Brunch, Cheese, Dinner, Eggs, Gluten Free, Herbs, Kid-Friendly, Lunch, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Sides, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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Simple.

So simple.

So simple that I didn’t think about posting this until I’d started chopping the zucchini…

I mean, it’s eggs. It’s squash. It’s cheese.

There is fresh savory. You could use any fresh herb that pairs well with eggs.

It’s so simple.

But, then I thought, you might need simple. Right? For those lunches or dinners when there’s just nothing to make… then you spy the carton of eggs.

Eggs and pasta (sometimes together) have rescued many a meal at my house.

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Squash is gonna be around for a while. I don’t like to eat the same thing, prepared the same way, over and over again.

This is not the same old squash.

These may be the best eggs I’ve had in a long time. Ok, except for the Eggs Benedict that I tried for the first time a few weeks ago. Right. I almost forgot. Those were excellent. Let’s call it a close second.

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It all starts with some butter. Many of my favorite meals start with butter. I used salted butter. Unsalted will work fine too, just add a bit more salt to the dish.

A heap of zucchini (or whatever squash you have on hand) is plomped into the hot buttery skillet to cook on its own for a few minutes.

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When the eggs join in they don’t need too long to cook, so don’t forget about them.

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What really makes this dish is a bit of extra sharp cheddar cheese that’s sprinkled in. But it doesn’t just melt on top, it’s stirred in, so maybe there will be some crispy bits. Those are the best part.

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That’s it. Done. Easy as… eggs.

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Serve with some fruit, some homemade blueberry jam laden toast, and you’re golden.

Happy Eating!

Squash 'n Eggs
Author: 
Recipe type: Main, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Eggs, Squash, Summer Squash, Zucchini, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Vegetables, Quick and Easy
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
A delicious, quick, and easy way to use summer squash, while making the best eggs.
Ingredients
  • 1 T salted butter
  • 1 C summer squash*, chopped
  • ½ t savory (or any fresh herb that compliments eggs: dill, basil, chives, parsley, tarragon, thyme), chopped
  • pinch salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T milk
  • pinch salt
  • ¼ C sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Instructions
  1. Heat a skillet over medium. Add butter. When butter is hot, add squash, savory, and a pinch of salt. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Whisk eggs, milk, and salt in a bowl. Add to the skillet. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until eggs are mostly set, stirring occasionally.
  4. Sprinkle with cheese, then stir cheese in. Cook 1 minute more.
Notes
*Depending on what's in season, other veggies could be added, like: bell peppers, broccoli, greens, tomatoes, radishes...

 

Monday

6

January 2014

2

COMMENTS

So That Was Christmas – Baguette Pizzas

Written by , Posted in Appetizers, Cheese, Dinner, Herbs, Kid-Friendly, Lunch, Main Dishes, Meat, Pizza, Quick and Easy, Snacks, Thoughts, Vegetables

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Looking through our photos, I’ve concluded that our holiday consisted mostly of family, friends, and food. There were some gifts thrown in there, a movie or two (ok, more than two), and a few games here and there. But mostly, we were with family and friends for two weeks. Can’t get much better than that.

We put about 1,200 miles on our car. We spent Christmas morning here together, just Tim, the dog, and I. It was nice. Then we packed up and headed out.

Our first stop was the farm Tim grew up on, and his family. Lots of good family time sharing about our adventures this year, eating, gifting… being together.

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Partway through the visit my youngest brother, Josh, and his girlfriend, Karensa, arrived. We took them to see the Giant Sequoias and had some great family dinners before heading home for a few days.

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(Photo credit Shannon Oberg – I think??! Or did Josh take this one?)

I think I’ve lost count of how many french fries I ate. I’m ok with this. We needed to introduce Karensa to In-n-Out, a road trip staple. Done.

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There was also a need for Quenelle.

More than once.

Tim’s birthday is on the 24th, so before we started our Christmas Eve celebrations we had lunch at Quenelle. We had ice cream. For lunch. It was delicious.

The next week we had to go back with Josh and Karensa.

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Having guests in town is a fun excuse to visit some of our favorite places. Umami Burger is a fun treat. I can’t order anything but the Truffle Burger and Truffle Fries. I’m sure there are other things that are good, buuuut I don’t want to branch out. I like my favorites.

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Guests are also an excuse to play tourist in our town (this is Tim giving a tour of the WB lot – I think he’s showing J&K the spot where Spiderman hangs upside down and kisses Mary Jane… he might also just be pointing at a wall).

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We had our third Christmas morning with J&K while Skyping with my parents so they could watch us open our gifts. It’s not the same when we’re not with the whole family, but we will take what we can get. One of my favorite gifts of all was this magnet of our super cute niece. It makes me want to cry every time I see it because I miss her so much, but I love having her little face on my fridge.

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My other favorite gift: a new knife. I’ve been wanting this knife for a year. I yelled when I opened it, I was so excited. It cuts through potatoes like they are room temperature butter.

I love it. I love it. I love it.

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After a few days at home we went to the coast to visit with our aunt and uncle. To say that the sun setting over the ocean is majestic is an understatement. I don’t think I could ever get tired of this view.

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While at the coast we stopped by the Honeymoon Cafe. We’ve been going there since our honeymoon (I know, how cute), and go back anytime we’re in the area. If the food wasn’t so scrumptious it would be easier to skip it. But, there’s the sentimental and delicious factors that keep bringing us back.

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For our last dinner together, which happened to be at the coast, Josh, Karensa, and I made Baguette Pizzas. I totally love pizza with real crust, but these were super yummy. See all that cheese that dripped on to the pan and browned?! That’s the best part!

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Happy New Year, friends! Here’s to a great one, filled with family, friends, and lots of good food!

Happy Eating!

Baguette Pizzas
Author: 
Recipe type: Main, Dinner, Pizza, Cheese, Vegetables
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1-2 T olive oil
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • salt, to taste
  • 6 baguettes, sliced in half lengthwise and widthwise (in the middle)
  • 1 head garlic, diced
  • 2 C tomato sauce
  • 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
  • ½ head broccoli, chopped in small pieces
  • pepperoni (optional)
  • additional veggies like: mushrooms, olives, and tomatoes; sliced
  • 1 brick mozzarella cheese, grated
  • basil, chopped
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375F.
  2. Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium or medium-low heat. Add olive oil. When oil is hot add bell pepper, onion, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until veggies are tender, about 5-8 minutes.
  3. Place baguettes cut-side up on a baking sheet. Bake for 5-7 minutes, or until slightly toasty.
  4. Add garlic to skillet and cook 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  5. Let everyone top their own pizza, starting with tomato sauce, sautéed veggies, pepperoni (optional), raw veggies, cheese, and basil.
  6. Place back onto a baking sheet and bake until cheese is melted, about 5-10 minutes.