Monday, August 30, 2010

Elephant Ear

An elephant ear from food row at the Western Idaho Fair. Big enough to share and it was buttery and wonderful.

Friday, August 27, 2010

BLT Salad

Happy, happy, happy that the cherry tomatoes are finally producing enough fruit for BLT salad. The dressing is mayonnaise with a splash of red wine vinegar. Crumble baked bacon (yes, baked, don't fry - 325 degrees in a baking dish for about 25 minutes, or until crisp), chopped romaine and halved cherry tomatoes in the dressing. This is also good stuffed in a baguette.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Salsa Bowl at the Fair

I attended, and entered, the Salsa Bowl at the Western Idaho Fair yesterday - sponsored by Los Mariachis, which also provided the judges above. My entry is, I didn't win, but this was a really fun event!
There were two divisions: one for salsa and one for dips (pictured below). And even though I didn't place, I took home a lot of free loot with door prizes and prizes just for entering.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chopped Caprese

Tomatoes from the garden finally! Chopped into a Caprese salad with basil from the garden. Diced fresh mozzarella, a dash of coarse sea salt and a splash of balsamic vinaigrette. The taste of summer.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Kid Version of a Milk Shake: No Blender Needed

This recipe comes from my daughter, Aviana, who found it in book about "how to do everything better." A milk shake - no blender needed.

1 small plastic zip-loc bag
1 large plastic zip-loc bag
1 cup of milk
1 tablespoon of sugar
a couple of drops of vanilla extract
ice (and rock salt if you have it)

Pour milk, sugar and vanilla in the small bag, seal and shake gently. Fill the large bag half-way with ice and sprinkle with rock salt (optional). Put sealed small bag in the bag of ice. Seal and go outside and shake it for 5 minutes. Pour contents of small bag into a glass and enjoy!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Taste Test: Louie's

We hit up Louie's for dinner this past week. They serve a traditional lasagna, and do so generously. Below is the chicken Gorgonzola with cashews and button mushrooms - one of my favorite dishes. Again, generous proportions!
I miss the downtown Louie's - especially when it was upstairs in that awkward space with all the Italian t-shirts hanging from the ceiling. But the location on Fairview in Meridian is certainly spacious.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Apricot Preserves

How fortunate I am that a friend invited me over to pick apricots last week. Here are some of the pitted fruits macerating in sugar. I canned them as apricot preserves, adding only a little lemon juice after simmering them for a couple of hours. I also did an experimental apricot-lavender jam. No judgement call yet on success or failure for that project yet.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Salsa. At Last.

Ahhh. The first-of-the-season batch of cherry tomato salsa. More to come each week until first frost. Cherry tomatoes are more labor-intensive to turn into a salsa, but the flavor is incredible. I don't measure when making each batch, just add ingredients "to taste."
cherry tomatoes
sweet onions
several gloves of garlic
jarred jalapeno slices
Process the onions, minced garlic and jalapenos by pulsing several times in a food processor. Add about a dozen cherry tomatoes and salt and pulse a few more times. Dump into a bowl. Slice and dice cherry tomatoes and mix in. Adjust salt. Top off with chopped cilantro right before serving.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Taste Test: Brick Oven Bistro

One of my favorite Boise restaurants: the Brick Oven Bistro, which will forever really be the Brick Oven Beanery in my mind. The restaurant changed its name a few years ago to become a bistro, but the food stayed the same. Above is the turkey pot roast dinner special with rice pilaf, baby carrots, side salad and kale. It also came with fresh bread, which my daughter snapped up.
The meatloaf sandwich and a side of Cajun gumbo. All happy food!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Quick Dinner Idea

Hot roast beef and Tillamook Swiss cheese sandwiches, along with a side of au jus for dipping. It was a night when it was too hot to fire up the oven or grill.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Pizza Disaster Averted: Calzones for Dinner

There was a mishap in getting the pizza off the paddle and onto the hot stone last, calzones were served up instead. Wow, these turned out really good and now we're thinking about making them on purpose with all kinds of fillings.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Dug out my favorite carrot cake recipe and decided to turn them into cupcakes. My taste buds must have changed because this is no longer my favorite recipe. I really wouldn't have been able to tell the difference between this carrot cake and zucchini bread in a blind taste test. If you've got a great carrot cake recipe, please share!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Taste Test: The Old Spaghetti Factory

We popped into the Old Spaghetti Factory recently, and while I've had some friends share negative reviews, our visit went just fine. Above is the crab ravioli with pesto sauce. It was good. And below was the special of the day: a tortelloni with sausage. I hadn't been to an Old Spaghetti Factory since I was a child. This restaurant is right next to the old Louie's location...I miss Louie's downtown! The Louie's location is still sitting empty.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Cabbage Shrimp Stir Fry

Stir fry sliced cabbage and celery in peanut oil for just a minute or so, add sliced scallions, drained water chestnuts, cooked shrimp, 1/2 tsp. of salt, and 1/2 tsp of sugar. Fry for another 30 seconds, then drizzle with soy sauce and sesame oil. Yum!