After driving by literally hundreds of farms and thousands of acres of corn fields in Minnesota and Wisconsin, during our vacation to the North Woods, I’ve had corn on my mind. I took dozens of photos of as many of the charming farms and barns as I could, as we sped by in our rental car. We even came upon a flock of wild turkey on the side of the road. I made Dave turn the car around so I could get a picture. They took flight just as I clicked the shutter. That, and more barn pictures are at the end of this post.
The first meal I made when we returned home was this pasta with shrimp and fresh corn off the cob.
Even though the pasta is in a cream sauce, it is still lite and perfect for a summer supper. Instead of clam juice, I used some lobster stock I had in the freezer (the continuation of my perpetual freezer clean-out!) and wow, did it make a delicious sauce! And that is the reason my sauce is a little darker than yours will be if you use clam juice.
July 23, 2012 2 Comments
These individual lasagna servings are a fun and less-mess way to serve lasagna at a casual party. They are delicious straight from the oven or even at room temperature.
July 17, 2012 2 Comments
Do you have a child in your life?
Does he/she love spaghetti?
Do you want to see a huge smile on their face?
Then make this – and be sure have them help you!
July 6, 2012 1 Comment
My cup runneth over… my three tomato plants are producing between one and two dozen tomatoes each and every day. It’s hard to keep up!
We are eating tomatoes at just about every meal, every day; under a poached egg on an English muffin for breakfast, on sandwiches for lunch, and mixed into something or another for dinner. This pasta dish was especially popular with my guys.
May 25, 2012 No Comments
This salad comes together quickly. The pasta takes ten minutes to cook and while that is boiling away, you just have to chop up a few things and then toss it all together in a bowl… and you’re done. Easy and quick, right?
You’ll only be using half of a can of beans. Refrigerate the rest and add it to another salad later on or mash with a little olive oil, garlic, minced cilantro, salt, and pepper and you have a tasty little bean dip.
The feta I used is, of course, from Trader Joe’s and I love the addition of the Mediterranean herbs. Oh, and crumbled goat cheese would be a lovely cheese to use instead of feta.
May 2, 2012 4 Comments
My poor husband is working at least 90 hours a week. He has dragged his worn-out self in the door at 9:30 or 10:00 the last several nights, exhausted to the bone. At least there is a dim little light at the end of the tunnel… unfortunately, it does not shine into full brightness on April 15th this year.
Last year it was April 18th because of a Federal holiday that fell on a Saturday but was observed on the Friday before, which was April 15th. And since tax filing deadlines can’t fall on a weekend or holidays, it was extended to Monday, April 18. Confused yet? Well this year the 15th is Sunday and then Monday, the 16th, is that same holiday. Many people know nothing of this new (only since 2005) day off for the Feds. Here is the lowdown from the ever reliable Wikipedia:
“The municipality of Washington, D.C., celebrates April 16 as Emancipation Day. On that day in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act for the release of certain persons held to service or labor in the District of Columbia.
On January 4, 2005, Mayor Anthony A. Williams signed legislation making Emancipation Day an official public holiday in the District. Although Emancipation Day occurs on April 16, by law when April 16 is a Saturday, Emancipation Day is observed on the preceding Friday.
In 2007, the observance of this holiday in Washington, D.C. had the effect of nationally extending the 2006 income tax filing deadline from April 16 to April 17. The 2007 date change was not discovered until after many forms went to print. In 2011, the tax deadline was extended to Monday, April 18, since the observed date for the holiday was Friday, April 15. In 2012, because Emancipation Day falls on Monday, April 16th, and the normal tax deadline of April 15th falls on a Sunday, the tax deadline will be on Tuesday, April 17th.“
There you go, now you know exactly why your taxes aren’t due until April 17th this year and why my husband and CPA’s everywhere are tortured for an additional two days.
Since I’ve been cooking for one, I’m cooking quick and light. This recipe is a perfect example. I’ve eaten it for dinner, lunch the next day, dinner again, until finally I just tossed the rest of it. It is the perfect vegetarian meal. If you’re observant you’ll notice that I used chicken broth instead of the suggested vegetable broth, only because I had a partial box in my fridge left from Easter. Use vegetable broth or water to keep it vegetarian.
April 13, 2012 1 Comment
I’ve been working with a friend/neighbor, cooking together once a week, to help increase her repertoire and confidence in the kitchen.
We make a meal for that night and another meal for the next night… something in the crock-pot or a casserole that can be refrigerated overnight and then popped in the oven the next day.
She has two sons who are picky eaters, I had forgotten what it felt like to have picky eaters! Because of that, we are taking it slow. Let’s see; no fish or seafood, extremely limited variety of vegetables (when I say limited, I’m talking only potatoes, corn, and tomato), nothing too spicy… you get the picture.
They like pasta, and red sauce, and meatballs… so I came up with this easy recipe for the “second night” dinner… from refrigerator to oven. Add a fresh salad and she is ready to rock and roll.
April 12, 2012 No Comments
Spaghetti, Angel Hair, or Linguini
Fresh garlic cloves or Trader Joe’s frozen garlic cubes
Extra-virgin olive oil
Red pepper flakes
If you always have these four items in your pantry – you always have dinner ready in less than 10 minutes! Seriously, you can use only those four ingredients for a meal or add-in whatever you have on hand. Some of the things I’ve added into this standby dish? For protein; cooked shrimp, chicken, bacon, scallops, or slivers of leftover pork or beef. Generally I keep it vegetarian, in which case, anything I have in my fridge goes in; green beans, asparagus, mushrooms, leftover caramelized onions, herbs, snow peas, sugar snap peas, leftover cooked squash, sliced summer squash, arugula, or spinach. Honestly, the list is endless. For dinner last night, I only added in sliced Belgium endive and cherry tomato halves.
This is the go-to meal when the goal is to get dinner onto the table before anyone has a chance to whine, “When are we eating, I’m starving!”
March 6, 2012 2 Comments
Recently, one of you asked me, “Do you cook a big fancy meal every night?” The answer is a big plain Jane, “NO!” I am just like you, racking my brain about what to get onto the table.
This recipe is a good example of shooting from the hip to get dinner done in a pinch. I made a nice meal one night with a large piece of salmon that I grilled and glazed with raspberry-chipotle sauce.
The next night I used the same bottled sauce to turn the leftover salmon into a quick pasta dinner. Just like you, I’m throwing stuff together at the last minute with what I find in my fridge!
March 4, 2012 No Comments
A few weeks ago I filmed a TV segment with Scott Light of NBC Channel 12 EVB Live. The segment is called “Wednesday’s Child.” Scott now fills the shoes of longtime, now retired, Channel 12 anchor Kent Dana, who started the monthly segments more than 20 years ago. “Wednesday’s Child” is a profile of special-needs children available for adoption thru AASK, Aid to Adoption of Special Kids. In a 2009 interview, just before Kent Dana was to be inducted into the Arizona Broadcasters Hall of Fame, he said, “I’ve profiled over 1,000 kids over the years, and close to 80 percent were adopted. That show really changed lives, and it was a fun thing to do.”
It was fun for me to do too. You may recall that I am good friends with Tram Mai, Scott’s co-host on EVB Live. Tram had mentioned to Scott that I was adopted, so he asked if it would be all right to ask me a few questions about that during my interview portion of the segment. I, of course, said it would be absolutely fine…. but then I met Robby…
The first people to show up to my house that morning were three women from AASK, including the two videographers. Next came Robby and his foster dad. I fell for Robby the second I saw him. My heart just melted as we talked and then even more so as we cooked and hung out afterwards.
Scott and a couple more people from AASK came and we got busy with the filming. The shoot was of Robby and I cooking together in the kitchen. He was so sweet and interested and curious and polite and sweet, oh I already said sweet. He had wonderful manners and insisted on helping me clean up. Then, as the adults all gathered to figure how and where to shoot the interview portions of the segment, Robby and I played a little Foosball outside on the back patio. I’m pretty good – but he beat me. Next, Scott came out and Robby beat him too. He has so much joy and confidence for a child who has not had it easy and who as been shuffled around.
You might think that AASK is only for kids with physical, mental, or emotional special needs. There are any number of needs that make a kid “special” and in Robby’s case all I could see that made him “special” was that he is 12 years old, not an infant, who is up for adoption. You can check out Robby’s AASK profile HERE to see what I mean, this little boy stole my heart! Oh, and we made the Lasagna Soup recipe you will find below – just take a look at the list of foods he likes. I didn’t know a thing about it until about an hour ago when I pulled up his profile to write this! That just makes me smile.
The segment will run sometime tomorrow on EVB Live between 4:00 – 5:30 PM. I am dreading it a little bit though, because after Robby and his foster dad had gone, while Scott was interviewing me alone, I broke down. I don’t know how much, if any, of that they will show, but I’ve never cried on camera before. What if it’s the “ugly cry” as Oprah calls it? I have no idea how they will edit the interview. Channel 12 doesn’t do any of that portion, they just provide Scott and the airtime, AASK does the rest.
Oh well, it is what it is, that sweet boy and the position he, and so many other children like him are in, just breaks my heart. So if the segment has any impact and helps him get adopted by a loving family, any old ugly cry is worth it!
February 21, 2012 1 Comment