Monday, December 13, 2010

Tomato Bread

We are a little snowed in here in Minnesota. The above pic is my sister who visited from Tenn last week when we got a bit of snow. The piles are at least 3x as high now. We got 17 inches over the weekend and are still digging out. Ish.

So over the weekend we stayed inside, wrapped christmas presents, watched some movies, and generally tried to stay warm.

We have a lot of left overs and freezer items this time of year. One of those things is frozen pesto and tomato sauce.
A good, simple recipe that I made a few months ago was this tomato bread. You just make (or buy) bread dough, cover it with pesto sauce, slice it into strips, roll it up and place ontop of sliced tomatoes. As it bakes the tomatoes roast into the bread.
Turn it over and serve :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ice Chest

Over the Veteran's Day weekend we took a trip up to my parents cabin in Northern Wisconsin. We try to get up atleast once a season and this was our last chance before the snow set in.... or so we thought.
Thursday was sunny and windy. Friday was filled with Antiquing and clouds. We had decided to take the plunge and get the beautiful Antique turn of the century Ice Chest we had seen in Hayward area (a 30 min drive north) on our last trip to the cabin. We would get up early, walk the dog, drive up and *hopefully* it would still be there, purchase it if we could get the right price, and make it back in time for the Iowa Football game.... or so we thought.
Saturday morning it snowed.
A big snow storm that left us wondering if making the slippery trip north, which would take us much more than 30 minutes, was worth it.
I have to say I think it was :) I'm super excited to have my Ice Chest! Yes the roads were slippery, we almost went off a few times. Yeah, we missed some of the Iowa game, but they were horrible this week and ESPN went out because of the snow anyway.
But we now have this!
The chest was built in Eau Clarie, WI some time before 1910. It has the original hardware, kick board on the bottom, inserts, and was refinished by the Antique dealer we bought it from after he purchased it in an auction in Northern Wisconsin. He said he drug it out of an old basement where it had been sitting for who knows how long.
It's in our 4 seasons porch right now. I'm planning on storing serving platters and other kitchen items in it after I finish cleaning the inside and airing it out a bit.
I read that coffee will help remove any of the musyness from the wood. Hopefully it helps a little bit. I think it must have sat in that basement for awhile!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Indian Yum!

We've been eating more and more Indian dishes in our house. The spices are so wonderful; heat, sweetness, savory, spicey, tart, salty.... it just goes on and on with layered flavors.
Layers are a big peice to an indian dish called Biryani.
A biryani is a dish where rice and meat (or veggies) are cooked separately with spices and then brought together in a dish by layering and given one final bake. The final baking gives the rice a rich aroma of flavor, while still maintaining it's consistency and flavor.
I've fallen in love with the below mixtures, especially served with the cooling spinach and yogert or the heat of spicey fried bread. I'm hoping to try this for my family the night before thanksgiving as a really different meal going into a week where there will be tons of gravy, turkey, and potatoes :)
Biryani: Beef, rice, spices (cinnamon, bay leaves, cumin seeds, tumeric, cardamom), golden rasins, cashews

Spinach Yogert: Heat 1 tbsp mustard seeds and 2 thai chillies in olive oil till brown. Mix in 2 cups chopped spinach till wilted. Mix into 1 cup of Greek Yogert and 1 tsp salt. Serve room temp.
Spicey Grilled Bread: Mix together red onions, cilantro, garlic, tumeric, thai chilli peppers, flour, water, salt.
Grill in Olive Oil, butter mixture till fried. Serve warm.

Beef, rice, phyllo covered Biryani w/spinach yogert

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Squash-a-roo Part II

I know it is a little late coming, but here are some pictures of the squash from the previous post.

Homemade crust, par-baked.

Melty cheese and tart ginger :)
Leaf cutouts are from Williams Sonoma a few years back.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010


We headed a bit south to the Farmers Market last week and bought up some of the yummy butternut squash that are out. Ofcourse we made up some of our Roasted Squash Soup for the season.
Much against the FDAs recommendations (ek!) I do can my soup for the winter. I roast the squash, heat it again with the veggies, puree it, water down the soup, reheat it, and then can it under 10 lbs of pressure for 30-40 minutes. I've been doing this for 3 years now and never had a single can go bad. That being said, be careful when canning thick veggies like squash and pumpkins, it is only recommended that you can them in cube form, not puree. I might try some of that with the last butternut squash I have sitting in my cabinet....

Until then we used the other squash up in a wonderful tart recipe that I have. It's really great for left overs and is amazingly sweet and refreshing.
Ginger Squash Tart
1 Par-baked crust
4 c. peeled, seeded, cubed squash (~1 large or 2 small)
4 tbsp butter
1 onion sliced thinly
4 inches ginger, minced
4 eggs
1 c. buttermilk
1 c. gruyere cheese
Partially bake a pie crust in a pie pan until slightly browning and cooked (about 15 minutes or according to your recipe) Let cool slightly.
In a large saute pan heat butter. Add squash and salt/pepper to coat. Heat for about 20 minutes or until soft. Remove to a large bowl. Let cool and mash till a smooth (or slightly chunky) texture is made.
In same saute pan heat onion and ginger till clear, about 5 minutes. Add to squash mixture, adjust salt/pepper to taste. Whip milk and eggs together, fold into squash mixture with cheese.
Add filling to the crust. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until firm (like a cheese cake)
Let cool slightly and enjoy.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tour de Farms

We had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Tour de Farms this past weekend at the Oliver Kelly Farm.

Chef Mike Phillips (formally of the Craftsman here in the Twin Cities) was the featured pork proveer. Luckily I had worked with him the week before and he was able to sneak us on the list. He'll be starting a new venture into the small circle of pork products with a company called Green Ox, selling locally to the Irish Pubs in the cities starting this fall and in the spring of 2011. I can only imagine how amazing the dishes at The Local, Kieran's, and the Liffy will be after he gets his products in!

The locally grown food was amazing, pairing deliciously with the beer and wine. Clouds blew away for the afternoon and the sun shone out for the picnic blankets to be spread out in the feild.
The farm was really pretty and the event so much fun. If you live in the area you should really check it out!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Califlower Curry

Jen this ones for you.

We've started making our fall soups for the year. Going to farmers markets and stocking up on veggies.

When we went this Sunday we didn't expect to find $1.00/head califlower, but when we did, we couldn't pass up the chance to try out a batch and can the extras.

This recipe is from my inlaws and gets better and better as it sits. Try out a batch before the summer is over!

Califlower Curry Soup

2 tbsp olive oil
1 Califlower head, washed
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
4 celery stalks
24 oz chicken stock (4 cans)
1 - 2 tsp tumeric
1 tbsp oregano (fresh is best)
1 tbsp thyme
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup honey

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Saute onion, celery and garlic till translucent, about 5 mintes on medium. Add califlower, oregano, and thyme cooking till slightly browned. Add tumeric until it coats the veggies.

Add stock, bringing to a boil and cook 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low for 5 more minutes. Turn heat off and add honey, salt, and pepper. Using a stick blender puree till just smooth (can keep texture if you like that)

Reheat to desired temperature. Serve warm. Store for 2-3 days in fridge, freeze or can.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Drying out

We've gotten a lot of peppers (jalapeno, bell, etc) from our CSA share at this point in the season. So last week I dehydrated some peppers in strips to store for the winter.

It's a very simple process: Clean and slice the peppers in to strips or chunks, dehydrate for about 3-4 hours until completely dry and slightly brittle, store in an airtight container.

This could also be done in the oven at the lowest setting (150-200 degrees) for 1-2 hours.

I know I used up all of my peppers from last year before the snow melted and it was so nice to just grab a pinch of dried spicy-ness for pizzas or risotto or breakfast eggs rather than pick up over priced and bland peppers during the winter.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Weekend Retreat

We had a wonderful weekend at the cabin in Wisconsin. Grilling, antiquing, boating. Lots of strange fall mushrooms.

A couple of catch and release fishes.

Some walks in the woods to see turkeys and deer.

Veggies along the roadside. Who can beat a bag of red potatoes for $1.80?

So pretty on the lake.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day at the Fair

Ah the Minnesota State Fair! We start out every year with the Tejas breakfast burrito.

so yummy and amazing!

Then it's off to the animal barns.
Sheeps cuddling
Massive bunnies
Uh oh! Some one accidentally entered a puppy into the rabbit competition.... or wait....

Mini cart pull