Posts Tagged ‘strawberries’

tooooo many strawberries

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

I am such a gigantic sucker for enormous containers of reasonably priced fruit.

Even when I look at all of the containers and see that several of them have already crossed over the line into visible mold.

And I suspect that said visible mold might be the source of the reasonable price.

What I’m trying to say is that I’m rapidly losing strawberries to gross softness and, yes, mold.

I had to combine them with these wacky organic frosted mini wheats that I bought awhile ago and put on top of the fridge and then forgot about.

Sure, they LOOK ok – that’s how they get you.

Ok, fine. They weren’t all bad. I’m guessing I have about eight hours to deal with the remaining pound, though.

I’m thinking New York Cheesecake with strawberry sauce.

Two nights ago I made chicken parmesan.

That doesn’t have anything to do with strawberries.

Crockett remembers chicken parm as being cafeteria food, so I though I’d see if I could improve upon it.

Chicken Parmesan
Inspired by a Cooking Light recipe I can no longer find

Two chicken breasts
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup grated romano cheese (yes, this does remove it the ‘parmesan’ from chicken parm – I like romano more so this is what I keep on hand)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1-2 egg whites or 1/4 cup purchased egg white
1 cup tomato sauce (I bought mine – I’m half Italian, sue me)
3/4 cup grated mozzarella

  1. Heat your oven to 400, and grab an oven safe dish that will about hold your two flattened breasts.
  2. Ha.
  3. Mix together the flour, cheese, salt, and pepper in a flat dish or on a plate.
  4. Pour the egg whites into another flat dish.
  5. Put the chicken somewhere safe and cover it with plastic wrap, and then smack the thick halves of the breasts a bunch of times until it’s they’re the same thickness as the thin halves. (The plastic wrap is to stop chicken juice from getting everywhere with each wack. It’s possible that I’m too enthusiastic about this part.)
  6. Put a non-stick pan on the stovetop over medium high heat.
  7. Rinse the wacked breasts off and pat them dry with paper towels, and then dip them in the egg, and then lay each side in the flour cheese mix. You know how chicken breasts have a smooth side and a craggy side? Start with the craggy side, then flip for the smooth side, then lift the breast into the hot pan. Do the same with the other breast, and while the bottoms (smooth sides) brown, use your fingers to sprinkle any leftover flour mixture onto the top in areas that didn’t get a lot of coverage.
  8. When the bottoms are brown, flip and brown the top sides.
  9. Pour two quarter cup piles of tomato sauce into your dish, and place a breast on each. Top them each with half of the remaining sauce, and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese.
  10. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the mozzarella is browned around the edges and the chicken is cooked through.

Honestly, I’m not sure I NAILED it, but I beat the hell out of Crockett’s elementary school experience, so I’m placing this at least tentatively in the win column.

 

spring loves me – spring loves me not

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

I bought more strawberries.

I couldn’t resist.

They went really well with my mango Chobani and tomato soup.

Aren’t they pretty?

Today I have to really really have to finish cleaning out my townhouse. I mean, REALLY. I moved in with Crockett almost two months ago, and I give my tenant his keys on Wednesday. I suppose I could cut this even closer – but not much.

Then I’m going to plan the garden I’m going to plant here at my new place. We have a backyard and a frontyard. There will be at least a single occurrence of strawberries, and perhaps more.

Spring makes me want fish and salads.

Me and the rest of the world, I suspect.

Except the fish thing. That might just be me. I mean, does fish really have a season?

I bought some end-of-winter pears, too, and then didn’t want them, because pear is winter fruit damnit. I ended up grating one into my muesli and I have to admit it was truly fantastic. Juicy and sweet – no honey needed.

Buh-buh-buh butterflies.

I think butterflies are a spring thing.

This has nothing to do with springtime. I just think Maida’s naptime cave is kind of adorable.

We had a kissing party.

Or I washed a bunch of strawberries and laid them out to dry before chopping them up to make coffee cake.

One of those two things happened.

Some of the kisses/strawberries also went into muesli.

I’m excited for the teeny tiny strawberries that I will soon be growing.

I don’t know how long strawberries take to grow – my plants at my townhouse are like four summers old now so I don’t remember the first summer.

If I’m not going to be harvesting my own strawberries soon, don’t feel like you have to tell me that.

Really.

I’m happy in my wrongness.

Spring sprung

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

See?

These little crocuses appeared in our front yard.

I don’t know where they came from. Crockett might have planted them at some point, but I prefer to think that they just happily landed in what looked like the funnest house on the street.

I don’t know very much about flowers. What is this goofy thing that looks like it’s trying to grow a sucker out of it’s face? Is it going to try to suck my blood or something? Seems unlikely.

These little guys are my favorite. They’re working so hard to climb up from inside the grasses.

I thought about trying to clear the grass away, but I think maybe the grass is protecting them from the frost, so I’m going to let them keep hiding.

In order to celebrate spring, I had strawberry muesli and? Bought new placemats.

Except that they’re not placemats.

They’re scrapbooking pages that I bought at Michael’s.

Pretty, huh.

I got one with sock monkeys, too.

You’ll just have to hold out for that.

Because right now this one seems most appropriate.

Flowers aren’t sophisticated enough for lunch, though.

Silly flowers.

A lunch of tomato soup with wild and brown rice and fresh greens (and more of the 567 pounds of strawberries that have taken over our kitchen) requires stripes.

It’s like formal wear for a home cooked lunch.

Except that the tomato soup came in a box.

I stirred in the rices and mixed greens to liven it up a little and heated it all up on the stove.

Spring in a bowl.

Also, grapefruit.

Have you ever noticed how grapefruits get kind of weird inside when they get old? Kind of… actually, I’m not going to try to describe it, because then I’ll get grossed out and won’t be able to eat my remaining grapefruits.

Carry on.

extra milk

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Extra milk is a weird thing to have, don’t you think?

Extra milk.

Like, how much milk do you have, Emma?

Oh, definitely extra.

Anyway, we had almost an entire gallon of low fat milk that we had no plans for. Niether of us drink milk in a glass, and while I could make pastry cream or something I would then EAT that pastry cream, and everyone knows that eating pastry cream with a spoon isn’t the healthiest thing ever.

So I made ricotta instead. (Please do not point out the inconsistency between that statement and the one that immediately preceded it.)

I have a lot of happy ways to eat ricotta.

On toast with salt and honey, for example.

Or mixed with oats and milk for a sort of non-traditional muesli.

Alice approves.

A couple of days ago I took my dogs to the groomer, and while I was waiting, I went to a different grocery store than I usually do.

A grocery store that had ten pounds of grapefruit for $2.50.

Yeah.

We have a lot of grapefruit now.

Also, four pounds of strawberries for $5.

I love spring.

So, you can only eat so much ricotta.

Earthbound Farms had the best idea of anything I’ve ever heard, so I used it to break my ricotta streak.

It’s half Spring Mix and half Baby Spinach.

With Morningstar Farms crunchy faux chik’n.

Mmm.

 

Protective gear, 24/7

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Tuesday morning I took my last chocolate chip scone out of the freezer and put it on the counter to defrost, so I could snack on it when I got home from school.

When I did get home from school, I was distracted by cookies and I completely forgot to eat or re-wrap the scone.

Cookies are very appealing. They’re something of a brain black hole. What should I have for dinn… HEY COOKIES.

Yesterday morning the scone was all dried out, so I crumbled it over some cottage cheese and cut up some strawberries on top.

Then I pretended that had been my plan all along.

I had a showing of my house at lunchtime (anyone want to rent an adorable Louisville townhome?), and afterwards I was disheartened. Happily, Crockett had also had a moderately crappy morning.

What? I don’t like to be cranky alone.

We went out and let other people prepare food for us.

That always cheers us up.

Thank you, OLI, for my never-fail happy lunch of green chili.

I took the girls for a walk and then settled down to get some homework done prior to….

HOCKEY.

Full disclosure: I don’t really enjoy the actually hockey as much as I enjoy the beer and the yelling.

Beer and yelling.

Me, in a nutshell.

The beer was 1554 – I love it when there’s a non-Bud Light option.

Not that I won’t drink Bud Light, if that’s all there is at a sporting event.

I totally will.

Sadly, the Avs lost in overtime.

Also, you don’t get to see the nachos we ate because we both woke up, unhappy in our bellies, at 3:15 this morning, and I blame the nachos. They’ve forfeit their right to be pictured by making us sick.

Please accept this lovely picture of happy coffee in exchange.

strawberries and lamb

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

I find the grocery store calming. Even when I’m busy as all hell, I love to go in and see what’s new or really, just look at the food.

I like looking at food.

Yesterday, after showing my house but before driving to school for a presentation (that went super well), I stopped by the store and found strawberries. They’re probably from Mexico. Or Guatemala. Or Mars. But I had some for lunch, and they are SO good. Those Martians know what’s up. The strawberries shamed the hell out of the grapes.

I was feeing colorful. So I had salad, with my grapes and strawberries.

Aren’t the antioxidants just jumping off the screen at you?

Someone who used to live in this house (roommate, Crockett’s family, who knows) left behind a box of mate. So I drank some.

Crockett missed the black bean burgers on Tuesday night, so he busted one out for a sandwich yesterday for lunch. Cold. I can’t imagine it was super delish, but he said it was tasty. Trust him or not – I leave this decision entirely up to you.

He is getting a cold, though. Keep that in mind.

After lunch we made an avocado person.

I wasn’t lying when I said I was busy yesterday.

It’s just that sometimes you have to take the time to make avocado people.

The avocado people judge you if you don’t.

For dinner I busted out one of my favorite yet most rarely used cookbooks. I travelled to Turkey when I was an undergraduate, and this book has all of the recipes I spent several years trying to track down. Little spicy pizzas and savory cheese pastries… and lamb pie.

Of course, I didn’t have all the correct ingredients for Ms. Roden’s lamb pie, so I improvised.

Cinnamon Pastie Casserole (adapted from Puff Pastry Meat Pies with Raisins and Pine Nuts, Arabesque)

1 large onion, chopped
4 tablespoons lightly flavored olive oil, separated
1 pound ground lamb (or beef, if you want)
3/4 tsp salt
10 grinds black pepper
3/4 teaspoon allspice
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup chopped dried fruit (I used an anti-oxidant blend that had prunes, blueberries, and cherries)
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
8 sheets fillo dough

Heat the oven to 350. Fry up the onion with half the olive oil, until it’s soft and starting to color. Add the fruit, salt, pepper, allspice, and cinnamon, and then cook on medium low for eight to ten more minutes. You can mostly ignore it during this part, just stir it every so often. Add the lamb and cook, breaking it up into crumbles until there’s no remaining pink.

In the meantime, use some of the remaining oil to grease an 8 x 8 baking dish, and layer in two sheets of fillo. (They’ll hang over the edge, that’s ok.) Brush them with oil. (You may need more than the two tablespoons you have left, use your judgement – you don’t want it to be greasy though.) Put in two more, perpendicular to the first two, and brush again.

When the lamb is all cooked, take the pan off the heat and stir in the parsley and almonds. Dump the filling into the casserole dish, and put tow more sheets of fillo on top. Oil them, add two more, oil them, and then fold all the edges in on top.

Bake for between 25 and 40 minutes. Since the filling is cooked, you’re giving it time to get all meldy and for the fillo to brown. Take it out when you find that brown appropriately tasty looking. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then eat.

The onions with the spices and fruit.

All the filling ingredients. This is what the fully cooked lamb looks like.

All wrapped and ready for the oven.

Crockett called this the parchment stage. It’s flaky and delicious. If you take it much past this stage, your filling will probably start drying out, so this is a good color to look for.

I served it with strawberry feta salad with balsamic vinaigrette.

It was delicious. Regular rotation (cept probably not with the lamb – I might actually see if I can sub something non-animal. Mushrooms and zucchini, maybe?). Try it, y’all, you’ll like it.