Thursday, June 30, 2011

Movie Mayhem

When the remake of the Cowboy Flick True Grit was initially released, my husband wanted to see it really badly. At the time we had a newborn baby and trips to the movie theater were not on our daily agenda. So, in order to fulfill his desire he did a bad thing. He tried to download a bootleg version of the film on our home laptop. As it often goes when you do bad things, karma smacks you in the face. Mid download - our laptop crashed. Great! I had nothing to do with this illegal transaction, but now I had to suffer the consequences. Luckily (for him), he is an IT guy so he was able to fix the laptop in a few days and we were back in business. And he learned his lesson and figured he would have to wait to see the movie until he could do it legally.

Well about 3 weeks ago he announced that the new Tuesday release on OnDemand would be True Grit. He was so excited that he would finally see the movie he had patiently after not so patiently waited for for several months. I wanted to do something fun the night he had planned to watch the movie so I decided we would do a campfire breakfast for dinner. It was great fun using the skillet on the grill top and we had a blast cooking up dinner in the backyard pretending we were cowboys.....

Campfire Fried Eggs with Bacon Potato Hash
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living June 2011

  • 1 pound baby Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 8 ounces thick sliced bacon
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 large eggs
  • 3 green onions, chopped (green parts only)
  1. Cook potatoes in a large saucepan of boiling water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain.

  2. Cook bacon in a cast-iron skillet set over a campfire or on a medium-high grill,

  3. turning occasionally, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove bacon, let cool slightly; crumble. Discard all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon grease. Leave the remaining grease in the skillet

  4. Add potatoes to skillet, lightly smash each using the back of a spoon, and cook until just starting to brown, about 5 minutes.

  5. Season with salt and pepper. Stir green onions into hash.

  6. Stir crumbled bacon into skillet.

    Push hash to one side of skillet.
  7. Working in batches, and adding oil as needed, crack 4 eggs into skillet,

season with salt and pepper, and cook until desired. Serve eggs with hash.

Click Here for My Adapted Printable Recipe

Monday, June 13, 2011

Farmer's Market Finds

Forrest and I have been wanting to go to the Crescent City Farmer's Market for a long time now. But since we had Rex, it takes us a lot longer to execute on things like that than it ever did before. We finally made it there after several months of talking about it and we were so happy we did. It was much smaller than expected (maybe we were spoiled from our days in DC), but it was still very nice and we enjoyed the diverse stands they had set up.

One of my scores of the day were these huge beautiful zucchini and I knew exactly what I would make with them. I couldn't wait to put this recipe together and it was a great one to use locally grown produce in. The flavor of this dish was delicious and it could just as easily be served as a side dish at a casual weeknight meal or at a fancy holiday dinner.

Stuffed Zucchini with Cheesy Breadcrumbs
Adapted from Cooking Light June 2011
  • 3 (1.3-ounce) slices day-old whole-wheat bread
  • 1/4 cup dried Italian bread crumbs
  • 3 medium zucchini
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup canned artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Place bread in a food processor; pulse until fine crumbs form. Set aside.
3. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick shell.

Chop pulp. Place zucchini halves, cut sides up, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

4. Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini pulp and onion; sauté 5 minutes.

Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, artichoke hearts, thyme, and garlic; cook 45 seconds.

Add chicken stock; cook 1 minute or until most of liquid evaporates. Combine both breadcrumbs and onion mixture in a large bowl; stir in cheese

and remaining ingredients.

Spoon 1/2 cup breadcrumb mixture into each zucchini shell.

Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until just tender.

Click Here for My Adapted Printable Recipe

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Great Grub Grilling

Back when we still lived in DC I wrote about condo living and its restrictions on owning a grill. There were so many recipes that I didn't attempt because they required an outdoor grill or had to modify to make them work on our indoor grill. Well now that we are homeowners with a real backyard and a legit grill, we can't get enough of outdoor cooking.

I was so excited to see Giada DeLaurentiis' recent episode "A Girl's Grill", that included some fun and unexpected recipes for the grill. I was immediately attracted to this particular recipe because of its delicious ingredient list. I couldn't' wait to make them, and for good reason. They were amazing! They were sweet and crunchy from the corn, smokey and gooey from the cheese and from the grilling and the perfect side dish to accompany any grilled meat. We loved them. And thanks to my generous in-laws for passing down your grill, we are really enjoying it!

Grilled Corn and Cheese Cakes
Adapted from Giada DiLaurentiis

  • 2 cups fresh cooked corn, taken off the cob
  • 3/4 cup shredded smoked mozzarella (3 ounces), rind discarded
  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs, divided
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, for serving

In a food processor, pulse the corn into a chunky puree. Place in a medium bowl. Add the cheese to the corn and mix.

Add a 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, chives, sour cream, salt, and pepper.

Stir until combined.

Form the mixture into 9 balls and then flatten into patties, each about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and 3/4-inch thick. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Coat the patties in the remaining 1/2 cup breadcrumbs and drizzle with olive oil. Place a grill pan over medium heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Brush the patties with olive oil

and grill until toasted, 4 minutes on each side.

Arrange the corn cakes on a platter and top with a dollop of sour cream and small chive pieces.

Click Here for My Adapted Printable Recipe