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Showing posts from July 11, 2010

Summer Fruit Salad

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Perfectly summery, a variety of seasonal fruit is welcome in my house at any time.


After a visit to the farmer's market, I brought home some lovely peaches, nectarines, strawberries, plums, apricots, just to name a few of the delights found there. I also saw stalls for jerky and local honey along with the fruits and vegetables.

I let the stone fruits sit out in a bowl for a day or so to fully ripen. Around here, there is no such thing as "ripe off the tree" unless you grow it yourself.  Even with farmer's markets, sometimes you get so-so produce.

Anyhow, breakfast one recent morning consisted of Puff Pancakes topped with this fruit combination and little extra syrup, plus bacon.

Ingredients
2 white nectarines, pitted, peeled, sliced
2 plums, pitted, peeled, sliced
1/2 lb strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 lb Bing cherries, pittedand cut in half
1/4 lb blueberries
3 Tablespoons sugar
4 generous sprinkles of Fruit-Fresh

Method
1. First, as with all produce, make sure …

Sauteed Peppers and Onions

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Ingredients
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 orange bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1/2 medium size yellow onion, sliced into rings
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter

Method
1. Heat olive oil and butter to sizzling in a frying pan. Add the onions and saute until they begin to soften.

2. Add the peppers. Cook over medium heat until they soften to your liking. This should be about 10 minutes.

3. Add the garlic last and cook about 1-2 minutes.


4. Serve with fajitas or on top of Italian sausages.

Grilled Steak Fajitas with Bell Peppers

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I decided it was time I posted a new recipe for beef. Being summertime, it was the perfect environment for grilling. Instead of boring you with how to grill a steak, I went for making fajitas.

Fajitas are basically whatever you want on top of grilled meat rolled in a tortilla. I especially associate sauteed peppers with fajitas so I made those too. Mom made up some rice to accompany it all.

Ingredients
1 1/2 lb flank steak
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3-4 Tablespoons olive oil
Guacamole
Sauteed bell peppers (see below)
6-8 flour tortillas
sour cream
salsa
refried beans and rice
shredded cheese

Method for the Steak
1. Combine cumin, chili powder, oregano, garlic salt, and pepper in a small bowl.

2. Sprinkle half of the spice mix over the flank steak. Drizzle about half of the olive oil on top and rub it into the meat. You want the spices and oil to evenly coat the meat. Repeat on botto…

Rhubarb Strawberry Pie

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Early summer is really the best time to pick rhubarb from the garden. However you can still find decent rhubarb at a few farmer's market stalls or the grocery store if you are desperate. I asked my mom to bring me a cutting from her rhubarb plant to add to my garden, but it's already too late into the season. Maybe I can get my own rhubarb plant next year.

Still, Mom had a few decent stalks left so she brought those so I could make pie. I don't make pies very often and I was really in the mood for rhubarb pie. So I did. And it was good.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
3 1/2 cups rhubarb, diced
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup Minute tapioca
1 Tablespoon butter
Pie crust for double crust
1/4 cup milk (you won't use it all)
3 Tablespoons sugar (you don't have to use it all)

Method
1. Combine rhubarb, strawberries, tapioca, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix up then let sit on the counter about 15 minutes.


2. Meanwhile, prepare pie crust.

3. Pour/dump rhubarb …

Pie Crust No. 2

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I decided to try a new pie crust recipe. The funny thing about crust recipes, is that there are only so many things that can change.
I tried this one about a month ago for Quiche and it worked very well. I wanted to make a pie this weekend, so I used this to be different. I didn't have my usual crust mix stored in the fridge so I threw this one together.
It was a bit more dry and uncooperative. I think that a lot of times, the weather effects baking more than we realize. It's been very hot and dry (Hello Nevada!) so I kept adding more water until it actually held together. The end result was a little thicker than my other crust recipe, but tasted good, nice and crisp and flaky.
Ingredients for one 9 inch crust 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
4 Tablespoons cold water

Method
1. Combine flour, salt, and shortening in a bowl and mix with a pastry blender. Mix until the shortening has been mixed in well, and the overall appearance has a sandy texture.


2…

Italian Pasta Salad

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I was on a cooking spree this weekend. I had so many plans, that I didn't get to everything.  However, I managed to make this, which happens to be one of Justin's favorite pasta dishes.  It's great for a quick lunch or as a side to something else.
This versatile pasta salad has been a hit whenever I bring a bowl of it to a pot-luck. It's mayonnaise-free so food-poisoning chances are slim.
Also, you can change up the additions, say roasted red bell peppers are one of your favorite foods.  Go ahead and add some!  Change up the cheese.  I used Colby-Jack this time.
Ingredients 1/2 pound shaped pasta, like rotini or fusilli (corkscrew-shaped pastas) 1 garlic clove, peeled 1/2 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 1/2 tablespoon water 1/4 cup olive oil or canola oil 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped 1/4 pound cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, provolone, or Colby-Jack) cut into 1/2-inch cubes 3 ounces sliced hard salami, cut int…