Orzo, Arugula and Tomato Salad

Orzo, Arugula and Tomato Salad (8) WM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked orzo

baby arugula (or spinach)

cherry tomatoes

goat or feta cheese

balsamic vinegar

olive oil

salt

pepper

 

 

Directions:

1) Boil orzo according to package directions.  Rinse in cold water and let cool.

2) Wash the arugula and cherry tomatoes; slice the tomatoes in half.

3) In a large boil mix together about 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar (more/less of each depending on preference).  Add a pinch of salt & pepper (again, more if you want).  Mix the dressing up.

4) Put the cooked/cooled orzo, wash arugula, tomatoes and a handful of goat or feta cheese in the dressing.  Stir to coat.  Serve immediately.

 

Orzo, Arugula and Tomato Salad (5) WM

Orzo, Arugula and Tomato Salad

Orzo, Arugula and Tomato Salad (8) WM

I love salad, and I like interesting salads.  This one combines arugula (though I’m sure it would be just as yummy with spinach!), orzo pasta, goat (or feta) cheese and tomatoes.  Super simple and full of flavor – how can you go wrong!??

 

serves: about 6

time: 20 minutes

 

Ingredients:

baby arugula

1/2 cup dry orzo, cooked

tomatoes (I used cherry), sliced

goat or feta cheese

5 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

salt

pepper

 

Directions:

1. Boil the dry orzo according to package directions.  After it has cooked let it cool.

2. Wash and chop the tomatoes.  Wash the baby arugula

3. Mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt & pepper (to taste) together in a large bowl.  Throw in the baby arugula, cooked & cooled orzo, cut tomatoes and a handful or so of goat or feta cheese (the amount of cheese is to taste).

4. Gently stir the salad to combine all ingredients, serve immediately.

 

 

Orzo, Arugula and Tomato Salad (5) WM

Buttermilk Biscuits

Buttermilk Biscuits (23) WM

I love homemade buttermilk biscuits, but for some reason I haven’t made them in awhile – my husband said that this is the first time I’ve made them with him and we’ve been together for 8 years.  So…it was about time that I made buttermilk biscuits again!!

We served this on the side of buttermilk fried/baked chicken.  Amazing combination.  You can find the buttermilk chicken recipe here.

timeButtermilk Biscuits (13) WMtime: 30 minutes

makes 6 biscuits

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
9 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
3/4 cup buttermilk

Directions:

1) Heat your oven to 400 degrees and spray a round baking pan with oil.

2) Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in large bowl. Using your fingertips (or a pastry blender, I need to get one!) mix the butter into dry ingredients until combined – try to not have any big clumps of butter and lots of dry flour.

3) Add the buttermilk and stir, then knead with your hands until all of the dough is moist.

4) Sprinkle a little bit of flour onto a clean & dry surface, turn the bowl over and dump the dough onto the floured surface.  Roll the dough to about 3/4 inches thick.  Cut out round biscuits using a cookie cutter or glass.  Place each biscuit into the sprayed round baking pan.

5) Bake about 12/15 minutes until the biscuits are golden brown on top.  Serve warm with honey & butter!

 

Buttermilk Biscuits (19) WM Buttermilk Biscuits (2) WM

Broccoli Rice

Broccoli Rice (9) WM

During the World Cup hosted in Brazil, I decided to make a Brazilian dish.  I made Cachaca marinaded chicken and broccoli rice (arroz de brcolis).  From what I read, Brazilians eat rice every day.  I love broccoli and it was a really neat combination to plain ‘ol rice – I would have never thought to combine the two!  This meal (and the World Cup) made me miss Oasis Brazilian Steak House in Medford, MA – it was about two blocks from us and we would go there regularly for their pay-by-the-pound BBQ.  It was out of this world! Especially the fried plantains.  Another favorite was Muqueca in Cambridge, MA.  Muqueca is a Brazilian styled seafood stew that is so, so, so tasty!!!  We went there when it was super freezing / beginning of a snow storm…ah, the memories!

Onto the broccoli rice!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 medium bunch broccoli, crown only, chopped finely
salt to taste
3 cups cooked white long-grain rice, hot

Broccoli Rice (28) WM Broccoli Rice (26) WM

Directions:

1. Cook the rice according to the package directions (about 1.5 cup dry rice).

2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet, then add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Saute until they are soft but not browned.

2. Add the chopped broccoli;  cover the pan and let the vegetables “steam” for about 3 minutes.

3. Add the rice and salt, stir to combine the garlic & onion and heat the rice if it has cooled at all.  Serve immediately.

Broccoli Rice (2) WM

corn, bacon & tomato salad

corn, bacon & tomato salad WM

I am pretty much excited that summer is here once again.  I am a California girl, and I live for the sun (but not the heat).  I love the water, the warm air, sitting outside with friends eating/drinking/chatting at night and most of all the fresh fruits and vegetables.  All of these things make me so happy.  This is a salad that goes perfectly well with all things summer.

Ingredients:

1 can corn, drained

red & yellow cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

baby mozzarella balls, sliced in thirds

4-6 bacon sliced, cooked and crumbled

basil, sliced

olive oil

balsamic vinegar

Lawry’s seasoned salt

black pepper

croutons

Directions:

1) Cook the bacon until it is crispy, drain off the fat and crumble with your hands once it is cooled, set aside.

2) Chopped all of the vegetables and the baby mozzarella balls.

3) Combine all of the ingredients in a serving bowl.

4) Stir together approximately 4 tablespoons olive oil, 2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with Lawry’s seasoned salt & black pepper; drizzle over the salad and stir to combine.

5) Set the croutons next to the corn, bacon, mozzarella and tomato salad so the the salad can be topped with the croutons.

Fall Galette

fall galette (44) WM

I kind of got creative here.  And, thankfully this dish turned out wonderfully.  I used what I had on hand, and what is in season: potatoes, kale, apples, cranberries, brussels sprouts and turned it into a galette (a fancy word for a pie/pizza).

Ingredients:

2 red potatoes

a few kale leaves

a handful of brussels sprouts

1 apple (granny smith, or fuji – something crisp)

dried & sweetened cranberries

Parmesan cheese

salt

pepper

garlic powder

onion powder

fresh garlic

pie crust

fall galette (42) WM

Directions:

1) boil the potatoes until you can pierce them with a fork, let cool.

2) thinly slice all of the vegetables and the apple.  Slice large-ish pieces of the Parmesan cheese with a vegetable peeler.

3) in a skillet, heat up some olive oil and once hot throw in the brussels, kale leaves, and crushed garlic – lightly season with salt, pepper, garlic & onion powder.  Remove from pan and set aside.

4) add more olive oil to the hot skillet.  Throw in the sliced potatoes in, lightly season with salt, pepper, garlic & onion powder.

5) on a floured surface roll out your pie crust then pace on a baking dish.  Spread the cooked & seasoned veggies on top of the pie crust.  Arrange the sliced apples on top, and then the slices of cheese on top of the apples.

6) Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 30-45 minutes until the crust is golden brown.  After the galette has cooked sprinkle the cranberries on top and serve hot.

fall galette (14) WM

fall galette (57) WM

Brie & Blackberry Puffs

brie cheese puff pastries (22)

Brie cheese and blackberry jam are amazing together.  Add light, fluffy and buttery puff pastry, and you have yourself a quick heavenly appetizer.  I decided to be bold and try blue cheese.  Yep.  Blue cheese and blackberry jam do not go together.  Please ignore the block of blue cheese in all of these pictures.  I didn’t have much brie cheese left, and I hadn’t tasted the blue cheese and blackberry jam puff pastry yet, so I didn’t know that I wouldn’t be recommending not paring the two together.  So, maybe just put your finger over the blue cheese in the pictures and just pretend it’s not there.  Yep. That’ll be good.

brie cheese puff pastries (23)

Ok.  So, this appetizer is utterly easy to prepare.  You need like 3 ingredients and your two hands.  Oh, and an oven and baking sheet.

Ingredients:

1 box puff pastry, just thawed enough but not overly thawed

1 block brie cheese

1 jar blackberry jam (with seeds, it’s better)

Directions:

Since I always overthaw my puff pastry I end up with this gooey mess of two sheets of puff pastry that don’t want to come apart even though the cardboard between the two sheets is supposed to prevent this.  SO. Don’t thaw your puff pastry for too long.  And, since mine is always overthawed (yep, just made another word up) I have to roll the sheets out and make a big mess.  Try to avoid this too.

1) Cut little blocks of the brie cheese.  Cut little squares of the puff pastry.  Place the little block of brie cheese in the middle of the little square of the puff pastry.  Smear a small spoonful of blackberry jam over the little block of cheese.

2) Pull the edges of the puff pastry over the cheese and jam.

3) Place on a greased baking sheet.

4) Do with remaining puff pastry.

5) Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve immediately.

brie cheese puff pastries (12)

brie cheese puff pastries (19)

Pancetta, Cranberries & Candied Walnuts Brussels Sprouts

pancetta, cranberry, walnut brus spr (18)

As a child I hated Brussels sprouts.  That’s because my grandma boiled them, and probably only put salt, pepper and butter on them.  Yuck.  Now, I have learned to either bake or pan fry them with olive oil and to add some other seasonings – the seasons that I add are still pretty basic, but man oh man do they make these round little green veggies amazing!

pancetta, cranberry, walnut brus spr (19)

I typically only put olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic & onion power on Brussels sprout when I eat them for dinner.  But for Thanksgiving this year I decided to add a little bit of color and a lot of flavor to these vegetables that so many children and adults hate.  I wanted to make my friends believers of these little things.

pancetta, cranberry, walnut brus spr (12)

So, here’s what I did.  This served about 12 people, since it was Thanksgiving and we had so many sides.  I think this amount would serve 4 or so if it’s just for a regular meal.

Ingredients:

pancetta, one package

Brussels sprouts, 1 pound

salt

pepper

garlic powder

onion powder

dried cranberries (sweetened or unsweetened, your preference)

candied walnuts (or pecans)

grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1.Wash the Brussels sprouts, chop of the stem end, then slice each into 4ths.

2. Cut the pancetta up into little squares and begin to heat in a large skillet.  Once the pancetta is hot, add the sliced Brussels sprouts.  Stir and sprinkle with the seasonings, stir again.

3. Add 1/4 cup of water and cover for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally.  Remove the lid and let the Brussels sprouts get crispy.

4. Right before serving stir in a handful or two of the dried cranberries, the candied walnuts and the grated Parmesan cheese.

5. Scoop out into a fancy dish and sprinkle with the remaining grated Parmesan cheese.  Serve warm.

pancetta, cranberry, walnut brus spr (4)

Watermelon Goat Cheese Bites

watermelon goat cheese (2) WM

Ingredients:

seedless watermelon

goat cheese

mint

balsamic vinegar

total time: about 20 minutes

Directions:

1. Cube the watermelon.  Place on a place.

2. Place a bit of goat cheese on each watermelon cube.

3. Place a mint leaf (or you can chop them up) on every other watermelon cube.

4. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over each watermelon cube.

serve cold.

watermelon goat cheese (1) WM