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Currently Browsing: My Joy of Cooking

A Warm Salad?

This is a republication of an old favorite from 2012. Hope you feel inspired to cook from it. I can always use some inspiration.

I’d promised to pass along my recipe for a yummy warm salad with garbanzo beans (aka chick peas), orange zest, tomatoes, and salmon to my friend. Having pulled the recipe out of the box, it was last spotted with a pile of papers in the office area. That was about a week ago. I seem to have misplaced the recipe card. I have searched for it under my chair, inside my books, and even online but to no avail. And thinking about it gave me the appetite to have it in my belly immediately. So this was my solution with what I had on hand.

Warm some olive oil in a skillet.

Then Add

2 stalks of celery, half-inch sliced across

Half a red onion chunky chopped

A cup of red cabbage chunks

Sauté for two minutes to take a little of the edge off. Then add

Small can petite diced tomatoes

Can of garbanzo beans

Half cup each sliced dried apricots

And pitted kalamata olives

Then stir and add

Homemade balsamic dressing

Dash of Herbs de Provence

Ground coriander

Ground marjoram

Salt and pepper

Juice and zest of an orange or even some fruit juice

 

Serve on a bed of mix greens topped with warmed salmon filet and a slice of toast. Because it was a warmed salad , it still feels good to eat even on a chilly day. And visually, it is an edible rainbow. Gorgeous red, purple, orange, and brownish purple chunks amidst little beige orbs and green crescent moons. All atop leafy greens and a salmon pink crown. I was even thinking a nut on top would be fun. Or crumbled feta or blue cheese.chickpea salmon aka warm salad on Shalavee.comsalad

This isn’t exactly what I had in the other recipe. And I didn’t have an orange in the house or I would have added the juice and zest. But it hit the zone if not the spot of what I was after. Righteous in many ways, sweet and salty, it reminded me of a caponata. Create variations according to your taste. Enjoy your food or you’re doing it wrong.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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Food Porn

I realize that you may or may not know how much I love to cook. I do take pictures sometimes of what I make but I even more seldomly am posting them. I don’t know why. Well maybe it’s because there’s a lot that goes into being a food blogger. Except who doesn’t like oggling the pictures. And we all need some inspiration to be in the mood for food to make. So I’ve decided to give you a food porn picture-athon for today only. Enjoy!

gardentomatoes on Food Porn on Shalavee.comHomegrown garden tomatoes went into gazpacho (recipe here) and homemade tomatoes sauce and got roasted by the cookies sheet full. Roasted sungold and grape tomatoes became my ketchup with my breakfast eggs.

gazpacho on Food Porn on Shalavee.com

Fresh tomatoes and garlic on Food Porn on Shalavee.com

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cooking-peppers-and-onions-and-freezing-the-pablanos on Food Porn on Shalavee.com

Cooking peppers and onions and freezing the garden poblanos that grew like gangbusters.

gluten free pizza on Food Porn on Shalavee.com

Gluten free pizza has the best texture but sadly tastes like nothing.

crabs-an-eastern-shore-maryland-delacacy gluten free pizza on Food Porn on Shalavee.com

Two years in a row I’ve celebrated my birthday with crabs. This years bushel did not disappoint. Sweet and fat and too many were left over. Accompanied by Maryland Silver Queen sweet corn and more slices of homegrown tomatoes with mozzarella and basil and our meal is complete.

 

eastern-shore-corn-porn Food Porn on Shalavee.com

sausages-and-biscuits on Food Porn on Shalavee.com

I was raised on Midwestern breakfasts. Biscuits, sausage, and gravy. And poached eggs not pictured.

I thought for a moment these were my killer crabcakes sizzling in the cast iron pan, the recipe for which you can find here on this post.

But the biscuit recipe can be found here. And I’ve taken to using frozen salted butter chopped into the flour mixture in a cuisinart.

The resulting biscuits are to die for.

 

biscuits in-the-pan on Food Porn on Shalavee.com

chicken-wild-rice-and-mushroom-soup

And a chicken, Portobello mushroom, and wild rice soup I whipped up recently because it’s become soup season now. Fair-the-well sweet Summer garden food. Hello heavier more caloric winter feasting food. We’ve missed you.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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Making Fresh Pasta for the Fresh Tomato Sauce

Usually in August every year, when the tomatoes begin to stack up, I suddenly need to make tomato sauce. I roasted the cherry and grape tomatoes and added them into the sauce for a twist. It was so sweet I had to add a little rice wine vinegar to bring back some acidity.

Making pasta on Shalavee.com

And since I’m making fresh tomato sauce, it’s also the perfect time to make homemade egg pasta. There is nothing in the world like fresh pasta. And luckily, the making of the dough is one thing that three-year olds like to help with and can actually help with.Making pasta on Shalavee.com

Making pasta on Shalavee.com

So this time it’s Fiona who cranked my pasta machine handle. And other than cranking it the wrong way several times (“The other way, the other way”), it went pretty well. Until Eamon came in and wanted a turn and she threw a fit and stormed out. Making pasta on Shalavee.com

The process is about as easy as it gets but you do need the machine to do the rolling and cutting of the dough. We’ve gotten our money’s worth out of it alright. And as long as there’s a young one in the house, I’ll have to do less of the work. See this previous post on making the dough for this linguine or raviolis and for more pictures and a recipe.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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Eating From Our Cupboard

There is definitely something satisfying about having my cupboard stocked. As much as I wanted to complain about grocery shopping in this post, I have a sense of bounty when it’s full. Our cupboard is an old metal cabinet inherited from Grandmom that is more like a pantry. I removed my upper cabinets in the kitchen and this is what we use now instead. And to have it stocked means that I can throw together quick-breads or a pasta dish or a soup based on what’s in there and the fridge. I can be lazy or I can make effort but it’s there for the cooking. Some of the meals I have given recipes for that I think of as cupboard meals are my Cannellini bean and Tuna salad and the Warm Salad.

Cannellini bean and tuna salad on Shalavee.com

On the random day that I inventoried my cupboard just to see what I had, it contained the following ingredients:

Oats, grits,olive oil, vegetable oil, bulk fake yellow sugar , sugar free syrup, peanuts, almonds, cashews, craisins, prunes, raisins, popcorn, goldfish, graham crackers, animal crackers, rice cakes, saltines ,triscuits, oreos, Nillas, rice crackers, peanut butter, natural peanut butter, taco shells, breakfast bars,squeezy applesauces,peach cups, whole grain spaghetti, penne, angel hair, rotini, quinoa, mac and cheese, chicken stock, black beans, black-eyed peas, pinto beans, cannalini beans, re-fried beans, taco shells, salsa, tomatoes and green chilies, evaporated milk, coconut milk, tuna, petite diced tomatoes, olives, green chilies, artichokes, brown sugar, cornmeal, Masa Harina (corn flour), wheat flour, mayonnaise, juice bottles, freezer bags, and brown rice. Not to mention the various vinegars and sauces that we use and all the baking powder, soda, and salt. The sugar, flour, and rice live in tins on the counter top. Architecture with butter on Shalavee.com

The fridge and freezer are stocked by mood and sale items. Currently there’s shrimp, pork butt, pork chops, chicken breasts, ribs, flat-iron steak, and various frozen veggies as well as chicken nuggets, fish sticks, and ice cream in the freezer.

The “rotter’ as my husband likes to call the fresh veggie drawer, is filled with lettuce, cabbage, spinach, carrots, celery, thyme, ginger, cauliflower, mushrooms, peppers, and a lemon or two. Dairy includes butter, cottage cheese, yogurt, milk, sour cream, cheese, and buttermilk. And breakfast sausages and bacon as well. The onions, potatoes, and hand fruit sit on my counter behind my sink.kitchen window and sink on Shalavee.com

I do find that too much choice can be a bad thing so I feel much much better when I write out suggestive menu plans for the week. That way I can get “in the mood” for some meals. And I can switch around meals depending on the amount of effort I feel like making . Although it almost seems hard to make that meal plan out sometimes, I’m always happy when I do.

I also didn’t realize that I cook breakfast 5 days out of 7. I don’t often just let everyone eat cereal or yogurt. So we eat eggs or leftover pancakes or oatmeal more often than not. And leftovers can be bundled into a burrito later. I try to be frugal and mindful of making what I have bought. My kids hopefully will eventually appreciate this. Or not.salad nicoise on shalavee.com

Tip number 7 of the 10 Smart tips for eating healthier on a budget from the Kitchen.com is to keep a well-organized fridge and pantry. Shopping for fresh produce at the end of the farmer’s market, sale meats, whole grains, planning and eating outside your box/comfort zone are all on the list. Wonder how well you’re doing ? Read the article and find out.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Are You a Mourning Cook Too?

There was once a time when I cooked for the joy of it. I dared to try different techniques, different regional tastes, or daring feats of culinary craziness. I deboned a turkey for Thanksgiving just to say I did it. I make a mean tiramisu when I take the time to. That went with my Italian Christmas feast I made one year with homemade pasta and reinforcement salad. And now I am in mourning for the cook I used to be.

I soooooo miss those days when the pursuit of culinary loveliness was just for self-gratification. And for the gratification of the ones I love of course. What wine pairs with my culinary feat du jour and who am I inviting over to impress? Do we have enough wine? Who cares the time.

Those days are gone Daddy gone. I became a Mom and Eamon and Fiona are happy to be eating some boxed mac and cheese and a microwaved hot dog. Don’t forget the ketchup. And the ice cream.Thanksgiving dinner 2015 on Shalavee.com

When I indulged these thoughts, I felt suddenly as if I were mourning this memory. I love cooking to cook. And I resent cooking plebeian meals for temperamental palettes. But my wise and dear husband pointed out, after I shared my depressing revelation of cooking sentence, that he thinks eventually those same children will develop their taste buds and sense of adventure and they’ll be cooking with me and eventually for me.

I dearly hope his prediction is correct. I won’t hold my breath. But my love of cooking came from my parents, yes, although I also was an adventurous eater. I find it very hard to put so many parts of my soul on hold for the sake of the children. And yet, my complaints are rare because I do understand that this is one of many sacrifices one makes for your children. Like the reading of a book or peeing in private. And that to wish the hurrying through of this phase is to wish to hurry their childhood. And I’m not about to do that.Saturday morning breakfast in the living room that we dine in on Shalavee.com

Sandra Lee had a pretty keen idea of mixing the downtown and the uptown cooking and I commend her for her efforts to create fancier meals with less prep and throw in a decorative element to make the dining experience an event. Children can learn to revere the meal times and eventually the food that is there on their plates. And it’s time I revisit the review I did of French Kids Eat Everything by Karen La Billon. It was really good.

So here’s me dreaming of truffles and oysters and sabayon. And planning a dinner party sometime soon so that I can get some culinary yaya’s out.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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