Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Soy Cilantro Roasted Potatoes

I am always looking for new ways to prepare potatoes for our dinner. I get tired of the same old, same old mashed potatoes or plain roasted potatoes and was excited when Nichole of Cookaholic Wife posted this recipe on our cooking board.  Our farmer's market is bursting with potatoes and cilantro right now and this seemed like the perfect recipe to try. 

This recipe is very easy to prepare and perfect for a busy weeknight. The potatoes smell fantastic while they are roasting! The soy and cilantro gave such wonderful aromas I could hardly wait to dig in. 

Ron and I both loved these potatoes. The soy sauce allows for a nice salty crust on the potatoes and the cilantro gives a fresh flavor. It is funny because these were originally a mistake made by Nichole! I am happy she made it because these are delicious! The only change I made was a slight increase to the cilantro because it is one of our favorite flavors and I roasted it with the potatoes over sprinkling it on top after.

We are headed to Door County this afternoon and our first stop is the beach to get our toes in the water ass (or diaper) in the sand! 


Ingredients

1 1/2 lbs red potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
2 Tbl olive oil 
3 Tbl soy sauce 
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste


Instructions

Preheat the oven to 450. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl toss potatoes with olive oil, soy sauce, salt, pepper and cilantro.

Spread potatoes out onto the baking sheet and cook for 30-40 minutes, flipping half way through, until potatoes are tender. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Weekly Meal Plan 7/28 - 8/3

Happy Monday! 

I seriously shouldn't even post a meal plan this week because we are going to be in Door County all week.  However, we are going to a few fun restaurants and I thought I would post them for you to take a peek at in case you are planning an adventure up there anytime soon. 

This weekend past weekend was really fun! My family was in town for the weekend for my cousin Shane's wedding and it was such a blast. We all got together at my parent's house on Friday night for pizza and Thai food (odd combo, but we were hungry for different things). Saturday was the wedding, and Sunday we went out for Pho before they headed back to Chicago. 

This week I full intend on relaxing and playing with Kellen. Vacation time is so precious to me and I can't wait to get to it! Have a great week! 

Here's what is on tap: 

Monday: Out w/ my friend Emily to Bleu
Tuesday: Door County- Grilling Chicken
Wednesday: Door County- Out to Parador or Whistling Swan
Thursday: Door County-Out to Nightingale 
Friday: Door County - Grilled Steaks
Saturday: Door County - Grilled Brats
Sunday: Tatertot Casserole and Green Beans


Friday, July 25, 2014

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

It is no secret that our family loves weekly (or sometimes bi-weekly) trips to the farmer's market.  Our garden got away from us this year due to our two week trip to France and we love that we can still farm fresh produce a few times a week.  This past weekend I pick up some local zucchini and fresh Michigan blueberries.  I really love sauteing zucchini in a bit of olive oil with a sprinkle of sea salt- perfect side.  However, I wanted to try something different with zucchini and when I saw Eva's recipe for zucchini blueberry bread on our cooking board I was sold. One of my favorite breaks is my zucchini banana crumble bread and I was excited to try this recipe.  I also really liked that this recipe omitted any oils and used applesauce instead.  I was able to pull some from our freezer that I made last fall from our apple trees. I also love any excuse to use our homemade vanilla extract. I use a bit of rum in ours and love the flavor. 

My entire family loved this bread. Kellen adores blueberries and was very excited to see them. He picked up his bread and loudly exclaimed "ah booooburrrrrr".  Please don't grown up because you are too adorable. 

Tonight my entire family is in town for my cousin's wedding on Saturday afternoon. We are heading to my parents house and ordering pizza. I am bringing a roasted beet and goat cheese salad for a side.  I am so excited to see everyone and celebrate! 


Ingredients

2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar; lightly packed
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour (you can substitute all purpose)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup fresh blueberries (+ a few extra to sprinkle on top)


Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8.5 x 4.5 loaf pan.

In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugars. Fold in the zucchini. Gently mix in the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Gently fold in the blueberries and transfer to the prepared loaf pan. Top with additional blueberries. 

Bake 55-65 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean. Allow bread to cool completely before removing it from the loaf pan. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Caprese Macaroni and Cheese

There are a few dishes that pop up on my reader and I immediately know that I am going to make it as soon as possible.  One of these dishes was Caprese Macaroni and Cheese from Stephanie Cooks.  I love caprese salads and sandwiches, and thought a pasta sounded absolutely divine. I stayed pretty close to the original with the exception of increasing the milk over using a heavy cream. and  increasing the amount of noodles from 1/2 pound to three quarters pound.  I also opted to stir in the tomatoes and basil over topping the finished product. I knew that Kellen would be more likely to eat it as long as everything was mixed together. 

The result was delicious and gave the familiar caprese flavors, but in a warm pasta. I serve this with grilled garlic scape pesto shrimp and it was a perfect combination! Kellen absolutely loved the pasta and ate two small portions for dinner and a bit more for lunch the following day. 

We actually have a free night tonight! I think we are going to take advantage by grilling a few steaks and potentially taking Kellen for a few rides and Bay Beach.  Next week I start my vacation and I could not be more excited to have a few days off to enjoy summer with my family! 


Ingredients

3/4 pound elbow noodles
2 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cup milk
2/3 cup chicken stock
1 tsp garlic salt
Black pepper
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil


Instructions

 Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. 

In a large sauce pot melt the butter and garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the  flour until a thickened paste forms.

Slowly pour in the milk and chicken stock while whisking continuously. Add garlic salt and black pepper. Bring to a slow simmer and allow it to slightly thicken.

Stir in mozzarella cheese and stir until completely melted. Add the noodles and stir till combined. Next, gently stir in the basil and tomatoes.  Serve immediately. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Feta and Garlic Scape Pesto Pasta Salad

My in-laws came over for dinner on Sunday to help evaluate an uneven spot on our deck.  I wanted to use up the rest of my garlic scape pesto before freezing the remainder for later. Ron and I love pasta salads with a pesto dressing and I thought it would be a delicious way to feed the crowd.  I kept the recipe pretty simple and used a basic mayo based, but opted for greek yogurt over sour cream.  I think you could easily use a basil based pesto in this recipe and have lovely results. 

Our family loved this recipe and it was a perfect side for our cook out.  Kellen has started to get into liking noodles and thought it was delicious as well. However, the brats always steal the show for him- he is a Wisconsin boy! 

Tonight we have volleyball and I am excited because we have been on a winning steak. However, I probably just jinxed us....oops.  I am certainly looking forward to having a beer or two.....who am I kidding or three....


Ingredients

1 lb shaped pasta
1 1/2 cup mayo
1 cup greek yogurt
6 oz crumbled feta
3/4 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sugar


Instructions

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside. 

In a medium bowl, whisk mayo, yogurt and pesto together.  In a large bowl, add pasta, tomatoes and olives. Add pesto dressing and stir gently to evenly coat. Add feta and gently stir until  the cheese is evenly mixed in to the pasta.

Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate till you are ready to serve.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Peach and Plum Galette

Right now the farmer's market is chucked full of peach from the south. It is one of my favorite things to buy each week because they are such a rarity for us the remainder of the year.  I am always looking for different ways to prepare the peaches and I book marked this recipe from Confessions of a Foodie Bride  because it looked absolutely amazing and easy (as we know this is a must when it comes to me and baking).  The only change I made was to use a little course raw sugar in place of granulated because I love the crunch it gives to dough when baked.  We served this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream over the top, bit I also tried it with a bit of my salted caramel gelato and it was delicious. Kellen gave this a thumbs up as well which is not surprising because he adores peaches.  One of Kellen's new favorite things to do is stand next to the fridge or counter and yell "maaaa peeaacccch maaaa peeeeaaccchhh!!"....... ask and you shall receive my boy. 


Ingredients

3 medium peaches, skin-on and sliced
3 plums, skin-on and sliced
1 pie crust (I used a pre-made from our bakery, but you could make our own)
Flour
1 egg whisked with 1 Tbl water
1 1/2 Tbl raw sugar


Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Stretch (or roll if you made your own) your pie crust on lightly floured parchment paper.

Arrange the sliced fruit working out from the center in a spiral. Make sure to leave about 2 inches boarder around the outside to fold over. 

Fold the crust edges up and over the fruit (I tucked as I circles the fruit). 

Transfer the parchment to a baking sheet.
Brush dough with egg wash and sprinkle evenly with sugar.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the fruit center is bubbly and the crust is golden brown.

Top with ice cream and serve. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Weekly Meal Plan 7/21 - 7/27

Happy Monday! 

This weekend was super low key and wonderful. On Friday we went for steaks and visited with friends from Madison.  Kellen tried a few bites of steak for the first time and gave it a rave toddler review of "mmmmm!".  Saturday we went to  the Farmer's Market with our friends and picked up lovely produce and a beautiful bunch of colorful flowers.  After the market, we bummed around and caught up on house work before grilling our dinner after the afternoon heat died down.  On Sunday, we went for breakfast at one of our favorite spots and prepared dinner for Ron's parents. Ron's dad came to look at our deck, which will thankfully be an easy fix, and help cut down a dead tree (yay for firewood!).  Ron's mom and I played with Kellen and did a few laps around the yard to watch the tree chopping in action.  Later in the evening we feasted on brats, beans, pasta salad, watermelon, grilled corn and my mother-in-law's delicious cake with fresh raspberries.  Perfect lazy weekend. 

This week is a pretty slow, but it is followed by an exciting weekend! My cousin is getting married and my entire family will be in town. I am really excited to be with everyone and go to a wedding- I love weddings! I am also hoping to get in a trip to the farmer's market to stock up before our week in Door County (yes- an entire week...so excited!). 

Here is what is on tap: 

Monday: Rosemary Ranch Grilled Chicken, Leftover Pasta Salad and Fresh Peas
Tuesday: Chicken Chorizo Patty Melts, Raw Veggies and Fruit
Wednesday: Crab Cakes, Old Bay Roasted Potatoes and Fresh Fruit
Thursday: Grilled Steak,  Cheesy Zucchini Rice and Green Beans
Friday: Dinner with Family
Saturday: Shane and Erika's Wedding
Sunday: Loaded Potato and Chicken Casserole and Green Beans