Sunday, August 5, 2007

Greens and Greenies

we have been blessed with wonderful neighbors who grow wonderful food, and that means ZUCCHINI! now, i must admit that i quite like the vegetable-of-plenty, but i am the only one in my house that does. so that means new recipes and disguises. first up, chocolate z-bread. a recipe that i found in my bed and breakfast cookbook, and it was ok, a little too cinnamony though. tonight i made 2 new breads: a plain z. with a coarse sugar topping-weird, tasted like burnt cheese jumped in! and a z. bread with white chocolate and craisins, also with a coarse suger topping. yum. i suggest you make your fave recipe- i like to use sour cream and no cinnamon-then add 1 c. chopped white chocolate and 1c. craisins or cranberries, which would probably be better. i made a delicious and very soupy, soup. the flavor was so amazing with lots of curry, but we are a thick soup kind of family-thanks to g man- and so with leftovers i am using it as a simmering sauce to cook chicken in. i think it'll be really good. i also think adding chunks of sweet potato and even some shredded chicken. i am trying to find new summer meatless dishes. and my meatless means even poultry and seafood. no meat. none. so, the soup up there was a try and i also made this cucumber and mango salad to go along with it, because also from the garden we have many cucumbers. i don't love cukes, and i really only like the seedless versions, but this salad is pretty good, and we'll definitely have it again. next up on the baking list: triple chocolate cookies. we wanted cookies and we wanted chocolate, lots of it, so i recipe hunted and found nothing. no good triple choco recipes. i should explain further that i was missing cocoa powder, but i had 2 kinds of dark choco and white choco and i didn't want to use espresso, so that meant no recipes for me. luckily, i can manage to rework a few recipes and i created a super tasty version. now, i should warn you that glenn and i think the dough is better than the baked option, but we usually do. the recipe should be off to the side there. my last little bit here has a funny story. i sign up to feed the missionaries once a month, as long as there is good day left with a husband at home for dinner, and i prepared to have them come the last fri of july. we were having my favorite salad-the luau-courtesy of one of liz's friend's who somehow got this amazing recipe, and i kept thinking it was strange that the missionaries hadn't called to confirm. now, our missionaries always call, and we have 2 sets of missionaries that need feeding, 1 with a car and 1 with bikes. so, it's important to know who i have signed up for because they might need a ride. of course i have no idea who i am supposed to feed, we haven't gotten the call, and it's getting close to eating time. glenn makes a few calls and finds out the lady who runs the menu calendar is out of town and her husband is pretty uncertain about the set-up for the night. they determine we have the "car" elders, and glenn leaves some messages on their phone. we wait for awhile, me thinking i've written down the wrong time, the kids are getting antsy so i feed the cabes and haven , and get them off to bed, when the elders call. they don't know anything about the dinner, but they'll gladly accept glenn bringing them some before they have to head out again. i am relieved. they are fed. i did my monthly duty. ok. then i receive a call on the following friday morning from the "bike" elders-"sister ashworth, are we still on for dinner tonight?" woah. hold up. i'm confused. it's not on my calendar to feed the elders, what happened here? now things are slowly clicking in my brain. i signed up for the last fri on the calender, which happened to be the 1st friday in august (a very tricky move i must say) and fed the wrong missionaries on the wrong day. i freakishly talk on the phone and convince them that yes we are good. i was not planning on much cooking that day, we have been working on painting furniture and rooms for the kids before glenn heads back to school, and so we were having leftovers. but now i must cook, and so i made a staple pork recipe that is perfect for guests, that i have blogged earlier on, and coconut jasmine rice and luckily we had some honeydew and had made above mentioned cookies that morning. but a vegetable was evading me. i had no time to go to the store, and i had not a lot of choices. oh, did i mention that all the kids and i had some funky stomach ache that involves toilets and no goodness? thankfully to the internet and tweaking of a recipe i made this spicy asian vegetable toss and everyone ate dinner! i love to cook, but i am a procrastinator and i like to have the time to be able to put it off to the last minute, because i want to, not suddenly have to. glenn had to deliver another meal, because the kids and i weren't feeling well enough to have people visit the house of belly pain. the elders have now asked me to cook for an upcoming luau, which i wasn't planning on attending, but i must need to be there, and i'm glad i have a week to procrastinate it!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Dough -a-Dear Me!

i have a bit to catch up on, but we'll start with foods from a few weeks ago!
i have to admit that in the summer months i really don't like to cook as much, because it's hot and sticky, and because we're off doing activities and i don't want to stop playing. some of my fave things to eat in the summer are fairly simple and require little prep. salads are great, if you don't mind the choppping. i adapted a couple different pasta recipes to make this fabulous orzo pasta salad, my version is on the side, but i used a bit from giada and the barefoot contessa. i love to have corn on the cob with a loaf of bakery fresh bread, and serve some amazing fruit and maybe a little cheese on the side. also, i love the "treat" dinner, and so do the kids! usually, that consists of ice cream in some variety and occasionally it means a trip to dq or other local soft-serve location. sandwiches are one of my all-time favorite things to eat, but glenny makes them better! let's see, so many ways to eat them: definitely start off with good bread, or toast regular sandwich bread, then we are a complete mayo family (be gone ye zip of the m. whip!) and we use a variety of mustards depending on the innerds of the 'wich, and quite often we don't use (or have) "lunch meat" so we veg up our bread with avocado, tomato, red onion, and a good cheese. i love fontina, smoked gouda (not so much the regular, what's up with that?), maple-infused cheddar, seriously aged white cheddar, and for fun monterey jack WITH the peppers. i like to put sliced tart apples on mine, and usually a bit of balsamic vinegar or try champagne vinegar--very tasty! i made this uber-delicious pork sandwich and it's sooooo good! definitely use individual rolls instead of the loaf of bread. and glenn is anti-horseradish so i used dijon, and skipped the lettuce. this is a messy meal, but amazing! and also try the simple pork recipe on its own with some good crusty bread and fresh fruit and a spinach salad. now let's talk dough! i have a really good white bread recipe that i got from liz, and i use it to make scones, and rolls and even wheat bread, of course i use half wheat flour then, and it's so moist! look for it on the side. and bread dough brings me to my discussion topic: pizza. i use a pretty decent dough recipe (not liz's, although she says i need a better one), and par-bake it with some basting oil on the dough-- on my pizza stone (a must for certain), then i use a homemade sauce, some diced FRESH mozzarella, and parmiggiano-reggiano, and i top it off with choppped tomatoes (sometimes) and a sprinkle of italian seasoning and finish the cooking process. we like our pizza, and it is definitely better than the pizza they sell here in buffalo--not to offend those buffalonians who like the pizza here--but it just seems like everything is about the same, mostly tomatoey tasting, fairly cheap (or really cheap), with poor quality toppings. we like the cheap, but it's not worth it. we miss pizza from home! the organic and amazing hot lips hawaiian with the FRESH pineapple, the perfect pizza a fetta pepperoni with the sauce i am trying to duplicate (at cannon beach), the amazing wheat crust (and regular too) and the most amazing pepperoni's ever at flying pie, and the all-around yumminess from pizza schmizza. oh, the pizza envy we have for you still at home! but until i can afford to fed-ex a pie or 2, i'm looking for some good sauce tips. we like fresh made and with layers of flavor! give 'em to me folks!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Just a Minute....

ok, so i've been in my own little non-blogging world, but i have been cooking! and as soon as i relearn how to post a link i'll put up all the new tasties! you'll have to wait a day or so, until the kids go to sleep, and i finish my "vacation" laundry, but i promise you'll love all the new stuff when i get going again! just you wait....

Thursday, June 21, 2007

All About the Pork That Came to Stay

so this past 2 weeks has been a little light on the actual cooking, but we have had some delicious food, and tried a few new things as well. we had friends come and stay with us a couple weeks ago and one of my fave things to make for company is peppercorn-encrusted pork with soy caramel sauce. it's tasty, fairly simple, and all the family loves it. we also had another staple in our home: spicy yogurt-marinated chicken and ate it with a new couscous recipe: hansen's beverage thai-style couscous. so yummy! even glenn liked it, and he doesn't particularly care for the cous, he's more of a rice guy. the recipe is this week's "new love" so you should be able to see it to the side. we had a great time with our visitors and loved all the kitchen help! one of our little caleb's favorite things to eat is pork and his favorite pork recipe is maple-mustard pork, which we also had last week with some sweet potatoes and fruit. oh, how we love pork let us count the ways.....a couple nights ago i tried a nice soup, pork and pepper. now, i didn't follow the recipe exactly. for example i used sweet tato's for the white, omitted the tomatoes, put in dried thyme, because my fresh had well, run out of time. and i added some jamaican jerk seasoning instead of the optional jalapeno. the pork and broth were amazing. the tato's too soft, and the peppers? i really wanted to just take them all out. i love bell peppers, but this recipe had me rethinking my pro-pepper stand. my thoughts next time: cook the soup with large chunks of peppers and remove them at then end, oh and also add the sweet tato's half way through the simmering section. oh, and char-sil. yummy! and appeases the rice-guy since we serve it with rice. a side note about hoisin sauce here-be wary and choose wisely. the wrong hoisin and your dish will turn into sadness and your kids will nickname it "poison sauce". kikkoman is pretty good, the best i can find out here in ny, but back home i bought kee kum luck, or close to that name. it's a very pleasing looking jar and very good hoisin. it seems that the more expensive the better the sauce. oh so much pork, but that's what happens when it's time to clean out the freezer! happy cooking!

Eat, Drink and Be Merry!

i have this spot here and i really didn't know what to do with it. i would type and type and then end up erasing it all. my blog was turning into this ranting place of complaining and stubborness. that's not me. well, atleast that's not what i want people to think of me as. i know, i know, i do complain and i am stubborn and i am very opinionated about the things that i actually have an opinion of, but some of you don't really know that. in fact it might be shocking to even read this much information about me. so, in the end i decided this spot can't house my inner most thoughts, in fact those should not ever be written down anywhere. i will scare my posterity for generations to come with my actual deep darkness. and so i announce that i will discuss food here. my food, others food, my opinions of food (well, it is my blog), and possibly offer help to those who are trekking on the food path further behind me. i say "a toast to you all!" and happy adventures in the kitchen.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


i've decided to to have a spot just for me. just to write, and maybe slap on a picture or 2. i'm not certain if anyone will ever read this, but "hello" if someone gets here.