Friday, July 19, 2013

Summer Squash turned into "Spaghetti"

Fresh from the garden: summer squash. The squash was julienned, and then softened in a hot skillet with a tiny touch of butter. Fresh pesto stirred in and topped with Parmesan cheese. Simple dinner for a 100-degree day.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Pesto Without Pine Nuts

Basil is booming in the home garden, so it's time for pesto. Traditionally, pesto contains pine nuts, but I don't add them because they leave a strange taste in my mouth for a couple of days. "Pine nut mouth." Basic recipe: about 2 cups of fresh basil leaves, 3 cloves of garlic, 1/4 cup of high-quality olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 cups of shredded Parmesan cheese, or Romano, or Pecorino. Pulse everything except olive oil in the foot processor. Then add the olive slowly to the food processor. Adjust measurements to your liking. We always like more garlic. You can freeze this in an air-tight container if you have any left over. Our favorite way to eat pesto? A "green on red" presentation. Add a big scoop of pesto as a topping on homemade spaghetti sauce. Life is good. My teeth are green.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Snow Pea Slaw

Slice snow peas length-wise and mix with a few traditional slaw ingredients: shredded cabbages and carrots. Dressing: orange balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, soy sauce and brown sugar. Toss and top with crunch onions.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Cream Puffs: Alternatives to Cupcakes

I've seen a lot of fancy cream puff recipes over the years, but I'm sticking with my grandmother's easy-peasy version. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Bring 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup of butter to a boil in a large pan. Stir in 1 cup of flour and 1/4 tsp of salt until a dough ball forms. Transfer dough to a heat-proof large bowl. Add 4 beaten eggs, one at a time, while mixing with a hand mixer on low speed. Mix until all eggs are incorporated. Drop mounds of sticky dough (your call on the size) on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake about 25 minutes, until outside is brown. Puffs may deflate a little while cooling, but don't panic. Cut off about one-third of the top and stuff with whatever you want: ice cream, custard, pudding, fruit, or as we used, freshly-whipped cream. Top with powdered sugar. Or maybe chocolate syrup?