June 24, 2011

Basil Sauce

So now for the basil dipping sauce.  Get ready.  

Basil Dipping Sauce
½ mayonnaise
1 c. sour cream
¼ milk
1 T. Cholula
¼ t. cayenne pepper
2 scallions
2 cloves garlic
½ basil leaves (or more!)

Hard directions:  add all ingredients to a blender and liquefy (that’s my favorite speed, sounds fun) until everything is combined.  Taste and adjust salt/spice as needed.  Or add more basil.

I have already expressed my adoration for this dipping sauce.  It went very well with the zucchini chips, even though sometimes used them as a mere vessel for the sauce.  We had leftover dipping sauce.  It is sitting in the fridge and the endless possibilities for its use overwhelm me.  Plain.  On a sandwich.  For raw veggies.  More chips.  Pizza.  French fries!

June 22, 2011

Chips...veggie style

Last weekend, we had an appetizer dinner that began at my friend Noe’s house.  She fed us these delicious baked zucchini chips with a BASIL dipping sauce.  I love all things basil and this sauce did not disappoint.  Stud was also a huge fan and declared right then that we needed to make them for his family because they would love them!  It so happened that they were coming over the following night for dinner and we had planned on making pigs in a blanket, but these were a much lighter, healthier option to preface the beef stroganoff for dinner.  I hovered over Noe’s shoulder paying close attention to what she did!

Zucchini Chips
3 zucchini, sliced evenly (I liked a little thinner, a mandolin would be good for consistency)
1 c. Italian bread crumbs
1 T. cumin
½ c. freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 c. milk

Preheat the oven to 450.  While it’s warming up, line a cookie sheet with tin foil and place a cooling rack in the middle.  That way, the chips don’t really require flipping.  In one large flat casserole dish, whisk together the egg and milk.  In another, combine the bread crumbs, cumin, parmesan, salt, and pepper.  You can use smaller, deeper dishes, but with flat ones you can do more at one time.  Dunk the zucchini in the egg milk mixture and then cover them in the bread crumb mixture.  When they are sufficiently coated, lay out on the cookie sheet.  They can be close, but I would make sure none are touching.  When you have done them all, bake for 30-45 minutes until the top is browning.  Serve hot!

 You all have to wait until tomorrow for the basil dipping sauce.  The chips got a little soft after they had been out for a while, but they were still delicious.  Maybe if we had baked them a little longer (closer to 45 minutes), they would have dried out some more and been a little stiffer.  We still had zero left by the end of cocktail hour, so I would say that they were a success!

June 15, 2011

Bok Choy Salad

We are still working on breaking away from mixed baby greens over here.  A few weeks ago, Stud and I were celebrating my cousin's college graduation and my aunt served a bok choy salad that I am SURE I refused as a child.  Now that I have rejected that insanity, I heaped it on my plate and fell in love.  When Stud and I grilled up some shrimp skewers the other night, I thought it would be a perfect side.

Bok Choy Salad
1 small head of bok choy
1 bunch of green onions - the green parts
1 package ramen noodles (no flavor packet)
1 T. Sesame seeds
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/8 c. white vinegar
1/4 c. sugar
2 T. soy sauce

Combine the vegetable oil, vinegar, sugar and soy sauce together.  Before you open the package of ramen, break apart the noodles.  Give the almonds a rough chop and add to the bok choy along with the ramen noodles.  Add the sesame seeds and slice green onions and toss with the dressing.

Ramen noodles in salad is one of the best things ever.  Fact: this is the only way I have ever eaten ramen noodles.

June 13, 2011

Shrimp Skewers

Stud and I decided to branch out a little.  We are pretty traditional folks.  We decided we would try and cook our food on a stick!  We grilled shrimp and pineapple skewers and served it with an amazing Thai sauce. You all should know by now how much Stud loves his Asian foods.  They were delicious and grilled pineapple might be one of my new favorite things, along with sesame oil.

Shrimp Skewers
1 lb shrimp (we used shells on
2 T. olive oil
2 T. salt
1/2 pineapple, cubed
For the Sauce:
3 T. water
2 T. fish sauce
1 T. rice vinegar
1/2 T. soy sauce
1/2 T. sesame oil
2 t. chili paste
1 1/2 T. sugar
Juice from 1/2 lime

Combine the salt with cold water and brine the shrimp for at least thirty minutes.  While they are brining, combine the sauce ingredients except the basil and cilantro.  Right before you grill them, drain the shrimp and toss them with the olive oil.  Spear them on skewers with the pineapple and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side.  Drizzle the sauce over the top and sprinkle with the basil and cilantro, then enjoy!

I actually really really loved the spicy sauce with the pineapple.  Sweet and spicy.  So good.  And these were very easy for the high level of tasty.  Skewers could be a regular over here, who knows what will come next.  Maybe chicken with peppers and onions???

June 7, 2011

Asparagus Salad

Stud picked up some asparagus the other weekend at the farmers market and since Stud and I are venturing away from the constant mixed baby greens, I made asparagus salad!  The asparagus salad is so amazingly easy and addictive.  The recipe comes from my mom’s new favorite TV chef, move over Ina Garten.  Her name is Anne Burrell, she hosts Secrets of a Restaurant chef on Food Network.  And she’s way legit.  All you do is dice and let things sit for a while.  No cooking and minimal mixing and chopping.

Asparagus Salad
1 bunch asparagus, tough lower stems removed
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 c. grated Pecorino Romano cheese
½ c. red wine vinegar
Olive Oil

Cut all of the asparagus stem into little pieces and finely dice the red onion.  Mix in a bowl with the red wine vinegar, olive oil, and salt.  Let sit about an hour before eating so the vinegar can cook the asparagus a little.  And you’re finished!

Finally a little variety from our typical mixed baby greens with vinaigrette.  The pecorino is essential.  It adds a nice salty tang to the salad and off sets the tartness of the vinegar.  And to top it all off, the colors are so pretty!  A new favorite for sure.

June 3, 2011

Daily Fluff Hikes!

Yeah so we made Beau carry his belongings. Food, treats, bowl, leash for the campsite, and my bug spray. He did not seem to mind at all and I loved that he was backpacking with us. No slackers allowed.

June 2, 2011

Camp Food

With this camping trip, since we were doing an overnight, we got to experiment with cooking in the wild.  I refused any sort of gaggy freeze dried things, convinced we could do better.  Stud is all decked out with a little camp stove, so we could make pretty much anything that involved pots and water.  Stud was all about minimizing weight (it was overnight and only about six miles, I think he was being dramatic), so we had to find something that did not need refrigeration (ice = unnecessary weight), but would still be tasty.  Enter curried rice with cashews!  

Looks delicious, yes?  Well, it was not.  It was very very bland and we couldn’t taste the curry AT ALL.  The spices were a mix of curry, turmeric, salt, sugar, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.  But the thought was good and I will make this work.  Before we head out next time, we are going to do a test run.  I still have no idea why this was so bland, the spice mixture smelled delicious.  And we might add some freeze dried tofu for protein. 


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