Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Grilled Sausage & Peppers

We are indeed alive!  Our little farmer arrived April 2nd & we couldn't be happier about it!  Life got extremely busy for us quickly.  However, things are settling down & we are getting into a new routine.  I am learning how to really prioritize between naps & feedings.  Cooking is very near the top of the list so hopefully that is a good harbinger for this blog.  We had a fabulous new recipe yesterday!  It's one for the grill (& friends!) -- grilling weather is definitely here.

This recipe comes from Coastal Living magazine (May 2014).  We used Turkey Sausage & I only had red peppers.  It would be a gorgeous dish using a red, orange & yellow bell pepper.  Go for the sherry vinegar without substituting.  I'm pretty sure you will make this recipe again.

Grilled Sausage & Peppers
Makes 4 servings.

2 Tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 Tablespoons honey
1/4 Teaspoon salt
1 (12- to 16-ounce) package smoked sausage
3 red, yellow and/or orange bell peppers, halved & seeded

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.  Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl.  Cut sausages in half lengthwise.  Grill sausages & peppers 4 minutes on each side.  Remove charred skin from peppers, if desired.  Slice into strips.  Cut sausages diagonally into 4-inch pieces.  Toss peppers & sausages in honey mixture, and transfer to serving platter.

We combined it with corn on the cob & potato salad.
Oh, it tastes like summer!!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Still Farming...Our latest favorite salad toppings

Our household is slowing down these days getting ready to gear up for our new little farmer.  Hard to believe we are just around the corner from little overalls & Radio wagons!  Meanwhile, cooking has occurred at the Bacon resident (although a dear mother-in-law has filled in many gaps); however, I have not been experimenting so much in the kitchen but leaning on the old faithfuls.

Our latest salad topping fad is mandarin oranges & toasted almonds on butterhead with Freddie's favorite dressing.  I think I could eat it nearly every day (at least for a while!).  It is so refreshing.

Did I ever show you our best bok choy eater that comes to visit us at market?  Here he is:  Baby Bird :)

Have a great week!  We will post a picture of the new little farmer when he arrives!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Crunchy Granola

This recipe goes along with unprocessing foods.  I'm always looking for breakfast replacements.  My sister always makes this recipe & we love it.  It comes from The New York Times blog Diner's Journal with a few comments of my own.

Crunchy Granola
Yield: About 8 cups

6 cups old-fashioned oats
2 cups mixed nuts & seeds
1 cup dried unsweetened coconut
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash salt
1/2 cup to 1 cup honey or maple syrup
1 cup dried raisins or other dried fruit

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Combine all but the dried fruit.  Place on a sheet pan & put in oven.  Bake 30 minutes, stirring about every 10 minutes.  Mixture should brown evenly.
Brown = Crunchy
(Dark brown = Burnt, watch out!)

Remove from oven & stir in dried fruit.  Cool on rack, stirring occasionally while the mixture reaches room temperature.  Store in a sealed container & store in refrigerator (I left mine on the counter because I ate it too fast--ask Freddie!!)  The recipe says it will keep indefinitely -- not in my house!

NOTES: I used walnuts, almonds & sunflower seeds.  Next time I want to add flax seed.  I also used dried blueberries because I had some supreme ones on hand -- yummy!  You know we are fans of dried cherries so they will likely make another mixture.  I only used 1/2 cup of maple syrup.  It was sweet enough for us but likely most people would like it a little sweeter.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts

Please allow me one more post on Brussels Sprouts!  These 'little cabbages' have won a spot on our dinner table.  I posted earlier about roasting them.  We have another way that we enjoy them.

Our daily view!
Prepare fresh Brussels sprouts by chopping off the stem edge.  Peel back the outer layers of each little sprout until it looks fresh (a bit like cleaning green cabbage).  Rinse under water. Slice the sprouts by hand or run them through the shredder blade on a food processor.  Place about a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet.  Heat to medium & add sprouts.  Toss & cook until tender, a few minutes.  Remove from heat & pour honey mustard dressing (to taste) over sprouts.  Toss & eat.  We of course use Freddie's Favorite Salad Dressing, which we usually have a flask of in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Cherry & Sunflower Seed Kale Salad -- #3 Kale Salad

I am definitely slowing down on this final stretch to Baby Boy's arrival so bear with me.
I do not plan to forsake our blog but likely the posts will be farther between.
I apologize!

We did enjoy this salad very much.  We have a soft spot for dried cherries as my sister's family lives in Michigan so we get access to the BEST cherries.  The northerners can buy them at Meijer & us southerners (if lucky) can buy them on-line here.  We buy the 4 lb box & you have to buy them in season -- June or July.  However, you can find dried cherries in our groceries stores, too!

Cherry & Sunflower Seed Kale Salad
1-1/2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine dressing & toss with 5 ounces kale, 1/4 cup dried cherries, 1/4 cup sliced red onion and 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds.

(Another Cooking Light recipe.)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts were never top on my list until I met my husband.  He loves them.  To be a good wife, I decided I needed to learn to incorporate them into our menus.  In the process, I found out that I love them too! 

I do not use recipes for many of the day-to-day vegetable side dishes we eat.  Roasted Brussels Sprouts is one of them.  So, I decided I would try to put into words what tastes good to us!  Excuse the 'vagueness' to the recipe.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Preheat the oven to 425 F.  Prepare fresh Brussels sprouts by chopping off the stem edge.  Peel back the outer layers of each little sprout until it looks fresh (a bit like cleaning green cabbage).  Rinse under water.  Peel an onion & cut it in half pole to pole.  Set the flat side on a cutting board & slice it thinly longways.  (I use about half of an onion for a two serving portion size.  The amount is to your liking.)  Place both the slices of onion & sprouts in a bowl & toss with olive oil - just enough to coat not to drench.  Sprinkle with garlic salt.  Line a baking sheet with tin foil & spread out the vegetables.  Bake 20-25 minutes until the sprouts are browned & tender.  The onions should be tender & starting to caramelize.  For best results, I stir the vegetables twice during the cooking process.  Enjoy!

(I apologize for not taking a photo of the end product -- we ate them too quickly!) 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Caesar Salad with Kale -- #2 Kale Salad

This kale salad was a hit with us!  We loved the Caesar twist.
One of the ingredients in the dressing is anchovy paste. 
Do not be scared off by this -- and don't omit it!
This is the kind that we can find in our grocery here.

Caesar Kale Salad
Serves 4

Combine Dressing:
2 Tablespoons hot water
2 Tablespoons Mayo
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 grated garlic clove (or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder)

Stir in 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese. Add 5 ounces kale (or lots more like us!); toss.  Top with toasted cubed baguette.

Recipe from Cooking Light Jan/Feb 2014 issue