Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Martha Stewart Living July/August issue – Corn, Crabbing, No Cooking Recipes, Sundaes, Peach Crumble, a Terrace in the Treetops and More!

Don’t you just love this cover on the July/August issue of Martha Stewart Living?  It is quite an amazing issue!  I know one thing…if I don’t have time to cook anything else in this magazine; I plan to make that corn!  I almost bought some the other day but wasn’t sure what else I might need and figured I would have to make another trip to the store anyway so I held off.  As it turns out, I’ll need mayonnaise, fresh oregano, (I have a plant), parmesan and salt and pepper which I have all of except for the mayonnaise.  We use Miracle Whip.  Anyway, the corn looks good doesn’t it!

That’s not all that looks or sounds good and I speak of what is in the “What’s for Dinner, Food and Gathering” section.  I looked at those recipes the other day and came to a conclusion.  Normally, when I grocery shop I buy familiar items which don’t include tofu or bok choy, kale or even beets on a regular basis.  But, when I see a recipe in a magazine, online or in a book that I want to try, I then go out and buy those items that I don’t normally buy.  I guess what I’m saying is, thanks to the people who devise these recipes so some of us can try the different food items that we never tried before and therefore have an opportunity to decide if we like them.   I’m one of those people who look at tofu and say I don’t like it.  And why?  Because I’ve heard things about the ‘stuff’ and as a result, I don’t want to try it.  How stupid is that?  So in this month’s issue there is a recipe called Tofu with Baby Bok Choy and Rice Noodles that looks and sounds inviting.  It calls for fresh ginger, scallions, honey, soy sauce, peanut butter and rice-wine vinegar.  What’s not to like?  I’ve decided this is my chance to experience a trifecta - Tofu, Bok Choy and Rice Noodles, and that’s not all.  No cooking involved!  All I have to do is boil some water!  There is also a Beet Garpacho with Shrimp, and okay I’ll tell you what the other two are.  One is an Italian Pressed Sandwich and the other is a Kale and Lentil Bowl with Avocado Dressing.  I find them all very enticing, and again, no cooking required!   

One page over are 15 kinds of Egg plant.  Did you know there were 15 different kinds of egg plant?  Neither did I!

And now for a biggie – A pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw, and both recipes are included!  The sandwich pictured is quite big and it makes you want to take a bite!

Who wants dessert?  How about a Peach Pie Crumble Bar!  Even I might make those because I was actually drooling as I read the recipe and looked at the results, okay, stared at the results on the page.  They are golden squares, crumbled with gooey looking peaches oozing out here and there.  I’m not a sweet eater but I’d eat one of those in a heartbeat!   Before you get to the peach crumble bar, you will see the article called “From Martha” about Super Sundaes.  Think Strawberry Shortcake Sundae, a real lip smacker for sure and that’s all I’m giving away!    

Just one more thing and then you will have to go and get your own copy.  For those of you who have never seen Martha’s home in Maine called Skylands, I’m sure you will love seeing the Terrace in the Treetops with all the plants in full bloom.  It is quite stunning and if you want to see more of the inside of her home check out Architectural Digest online or you can purchase that particular issue.  The inside is also beyond stunning.  

Another great article is Island Idyll.  Think crabbing and eating crabs and other good stuff.  Yum!  

Happy summer reading and eating I’m almost sure you too will be making some of these recipes.  For those of you who don’t cook, remember there are those four recipes I mentioned that don’t require cooking so no excuses.  Have you seen that commercial on TV where this guy finally tastes Almond Milk for the first time and decides he likes it and the animated almond says, “funny how that works!”  So I’m going to try some things I think I don’t like but I just might like once I taste them.  How about you?         

Friday, June 26, 2015

Call me a foodie I guess because I never get tired of talking about FOOD!

I’m still not cooking a lot but we’ve been eating a variety just the same.  Nothing fancy but I have been taking advantage of my NuWave products such as my grill pan and my NuWave Oven.

 Bacon cooks fantastic in this oven.  Just 8 minutes for this turkey bacon and I cooked three batches of 6 each for the freezer.  From the freezer, they heat up in the microwave in a matter of seconds so I like to keep them on hand for BLTs and also for breakfast.

I also used my NuWave grill pan on my PIC, aka Precision Induction Cooktop, to cook some shrimp on skewers which were really good.  I found a recipe online that suggested we chill the shrimp in a bowl with 2 tablespoons each of kosher salt and sugar then rinse and add olive oil, chopped parsley, minced garlic, lemon zest and freshly ground pepper as seen above.  

 Here they are ready for the grill and they turned out very good.  I made a 15 second video of them cooking but would have to download to youtube first before putting it on here.  I do have it on Instagram though - https://instagram.com/lovetocooktrishc/  I’ll be making them again along with other foods I tested such as steak, burgers and even hot dogs!

 Picture of grill pan on my PIC.  My sister who rarely eats meat enjoyed a hamburger cooked on this grill because I was able to time it perfectly with the timer on the precision cooktop underneath.  She used to eat her burgers rare but now likes them just a little pink.  I like mine a little less pink!  Nothing rare or raw for me including steak tartare or even sashimi!  My egg yolks only run a teensy bit also!

 Costco has plenty of food for us to try so when I spotted this Roasted Tomato Couscous the other day, I had to get it.  I ate it with a grilled mozzarella on rye.  I sometimes buy their Tabbouleh but prefer to make my own because then I can cut the recipe down.

 Check out the color of this blueberry shake!  I usually get frozen blueberries at Costco but decided to try the Dole brand which I think tastes much better.  They are also bigger and are a nice color so I guess it will be Dole for me from now on.

Here’s a larger view of the pineapple monkey pod that was next to my blueberry shake.

 I noticed my lemons were starting to get soft the day I used them for my shrimp so I thought I should use them up in some lemonade.  Now that was really refreshing!  The sun made the glassful whiter than the pitcher.

And because I am a lover of hamburgers, I had to try a char grilled burger from the Habit which opened the other day.   I spotted it one Sunday when I was shopping at Trader Joe’s.   The line-up started at the door and it was 20 minutes to a half hour before my burger was ready to go.  I just left it in the car when I stopped into Costco to pick up a few things because it is so hot here, no way would it cool down too much before I could take a bite!  I’ve done that with ribs too because my car is in the garage where it is like an oven in the summer.

What goods things have you eaten or drank lately?    

Monday, June 22, 2015

To me, Botox is not a good thing!

Botox Syringe

Why won’t people just age gracefully without all the Botox and fillers or whatever they use to erase wrinkles.  In my opinion, those products change their looks completely with puffy cheeks and their eyes seem to disappear when they smile, and their eyebrows look different too.  I wish I had eyebrows but shaved mine off years ago and they never grew back.  My bad!  Anyway, I think faces that were once nice to look at become grotesque with Botox.    

I’m pretty lucky in the aging department with no wrinkles, unless laugh lines and a few creases are considered wrinkles, and my hair seems to be getting darker every day instead of gray.  I’m not bragging – that’s just the way it is.  My son tells me he hopes he ages just like me, with no wrinkles!  He looks good now so I’m sure he will age well.  Anyway, the little gray I have is not enough to make me want to start dyeing my hair because once you start with the dye, it never ends.  I have a former niece who has tried Botox and she dyes her hair blond regularly too.  I think she is about 12 years younger than me, but looks older.  She gave up drinking but I think she needs to stop smoking also.  Unfortunately, the fact that I look younger than she does keeps her from visiting anymore or so I heard through the grapevine.  I have also heard, “that damn Trish never gets any older!”

They need to take a look at my legs if they want to see aging.  I need a knee replacement in my right leg but there is no way I would leave my sister home alone to get the job done.  She can’t even lift the milk container to pour on her cereal, nor can she turn the valve to fill her portable oxygen tank.    My niece can’t help because she takes care of her three young grandchildren and the two year old is not fully potty trained yet.  She’s getting there though!  I’m sure we could hire a nurse for a few days but I’m not fond of that idea.

I don’t buy a lot of beauty creams so I really can’t recommend any except this moisturizer I use called ShiSeido Ibuku that I found on Amazon.  I actually use it to wash my face with a washcloth instead of putting it on after I wash my face. 

I also shower with a washcloth and unscented Dove nourishing body wash.  The more I think about it, my only beauty secret is probably to always just use a washcloth to get rid of old skin cells so new ones can grow, and to drink plenty of water to help the process along!

I know eating healthy is also good for us and I do incorporate fruits and vegetables in my diet but I can’t seem to give up hamburgers and spaghetti, although I normally only have marinara sauce.  When I get stressed out, which I do from time to time, and feel the need to eat something, I know I should be reaching for the raw vegetables instead of chocolate or chips.  Yep, there’s the rub – those darn chips and miniature candy bars.  I have to laugh at my son when he comes over and wants to know where my candy stash is.  Of course I ask, “What stash?” as he heads for the fridge and the drawers where I keep the candy WHEN I have it!  Not all the time though!  Bad girl just the same!

I just don’t understand why people have this strong desire to look younger when it is the look of time on a person’s face that shows their real beauty.  That’s my opinion anyway!   

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Not Cooking Much Lately – Just Simple Eating!

When I get a hankering for something like salami, I can’t stop eating it so I had been having one of the sandwiches seen above, (olive oil on outside of bread, grilled salami and cheese), for lunch until I ran out of Torta bread.   Good thing – I was in salami overload!  

Lately, I’ve been doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that and a whole lot of watching movies and other such stuff on Netflix and Amazon Prime.  I guess you could say I had gotten out of my cooking mode and into movie land.  I even watched 2 seasons of Hannibal just to catch-up.  I didn’t get into it on television as I wanted to because it was on the same time I watched something else which I think was Persons of Interest.  I’m all caught up now though with the awesomely morbid Hannibal.  I think I just like looking at Mads Mikkelsen!  He reminds me of a Danish guy I used to know at the dance studio years ago.  Aw, memories!  But now that I think about it, Hannibal might be the reason I haven’t felt like cooking.  You think?

Our temps have been in the high 80s but with the humidity figured in, it feels more like 99 outside.   Therefore, no gardening for me lately and even pulling a few weeds this morning around 10 sent me back into the A.C.  Before I came in, I took this picture of nine new branches of baby fronds on the ponytail palm.  They grow upward then cascade down as the fronds get bigger and green.  I thought it looked amazing against the sky!

I also transplanted some herb shoots I bought at Costco and they are growing quite well, especially the basil.  I will make some salads and pesto with the basil and parsley but I just want the oregano to grow and flower.  One basil is lemon which I have never tried but it should be good in my recipes.

I put my Madame Queen begonia in a bigger pot also and it’s hanging in there.  I get a little worried whenever I transplant something!

 Here are my other plants in my cooking area which is a table on the other side.  I keep the microwave, toaster oven and NuWave cooktop covered because of the humidity.

And then the other day and before my carrots went south on me, I decided to cook them in a glaze from a recipe on Martha’s site - Honey-Glazed Carrots.   They were superb and we ate them with mac and cheese and chicken cooked with parsley.  I don’t even remember if I used a recipe for the chicken.  I only remember it was a good meal! 

Of course the kids have been over too and the first thing they look for are the crayons and coloring books.

That's to throw me off the track for what they really want - my glasses!  Here's Jaycee...

 …And here’s Kennedy in my distance glasses

And always a funny face for my funny face collage!  Jaycee first...

...and the winner Kennedy.  Hmm, I wonder what happened to my flash!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Southwest Turkey Burgers – recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray.

I thawed out a package of ground turkey the other day just to make turkey burgers but decided to look for a new recipe because I’m tired of the one I’ve been using.  Well, Rachael Ray had one that looked really interesting and so I bought the ingredients and gave it a try.   She calls them Southwest Turkey Burgers but the recipe is actually a turkey bacon cheeseburger. 

There were a lot of ingredients which I am not going to list but you can find them here - Southwest Turkey Burgers  I almost didn’t use the jalapeno and the hot sauce but was glad I did after tasting one of the burgers!  It was just enough heat to make it interesting without burning my mouth.  I have never been able to eat hot peppers like my mother used to.  I would ask her if the peppers were hot and she would say, not too hot, I’ve had hotter so stupid me would take a bite and then spend an hour trying to cool my mouth down!  I could never understand why people enjoyed hot things such as red hot chicken wings which they pour even more hot sauce on!   

Anyway, here’s what I used:  1 lb. ground turkey, 2 cloves garlic, ¼ red onion, dried thyme leaves, cumin, fresh cilantro, red pepper to equal ½ small, 1 jalapeno pepper, 1 to 2 teaspoons hot sauce, (I used 2 – brave!), 2 teaspoons Montreal Steak Seasoning, (McCormick), vegetable oil for drizzling and pepper jack cheese.
Everything was chopped pretty fine because you will want it to cook a little inside the burgers. 

The ingredients looked great in the bowl.  I like anything green and red together as far as food goes.

The formed patties looked equally nice.  I drizzled vegetable oil on both sides and cooked for 6 minutes a side on medium to medium high heat.

I then added cheese about 2 minutes before they were done cooking and then ate one with ketchup and tomatoes.  It was good and like I said, just enough heat but not enough to burn my mouth.  No doubt there are some who would pour on more hot sauce like my son for instance! 

Also on the list were Kaiser rolls but I used wheat rolls with ketchup and sliced tomatoes.  I didn’t use 1 cup sweet pepper relish or pepper jelly, and I also skipped the turkey bacon because I didn’t feel like cooking it. 

I’ve got one more package of ground turkey in the freezer and since I like Torta bread, I will use that the next time I make these burgers which could be as early as next weekend!  They were that good! 

P. S. This is the main reason I cut up and mix my ingredients on the stove top.  The magnet on the hood holds my copied recipe in place so I can easily read the directions!  The writing on the magnet is from sis to make sure I turn the fan on when cooking!  

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Better Homes and Gardens Skinny One-Dish Issue

It doesn’t show in my picture but near the bottom is written “Back by Popular Demand – SECOND PRINTING.

I’m just glad I noticed it this time around.  That salad is what caught my eye and the minute I saw it, I knew I was going to get the issue.  They named it a Mediterranean Summer Salad and a page over from it is one called Red-on-Red Chicken Salad with Feta and Honey Balsamic Drizzle.  It has watermelon and strawberries in it also which I’ll be making next unless the kids come over and eat all the watermelon and strawberries!  They swim a lot and manage to work up a big appetite!

 Check out the colorful ingredients for this salad.  It has ¾ cup orzo pasta, 12 ounces fresh green beans, 10 ounce package of frozen shelled edamame, 1 cup of grape tomatoes, a seedless cucumber chopped to measure 2/3 cup, ½ cup crumbled feta cheese, ¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives, ¼ cup chopped red onion, 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons fresh snipped parsley, 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, (I used ground because I just put my oregano in a larger planter and it’s pretty small yet, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard and ½ teaspons salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.

While ¾ cup of Orzo is cooking in a couple quarts of water, trim and cut your green beans in approximately 2 inch pieces and open up your 10 ounce bag of frozen edamame.  Mine was 12 ounces so I put 2 ounces aside in the fridge. 

When the orzo has 3 or 4 minutes left to cook is when you add the edamame and green beans.  I actually cooked mine for about 5 minutes which didn’t hurt the orzo.   When all three are cooked to your satisfaction, drain the pot, rinse and then drain again.

While the orzo and beans were cooking, I got my 1 cup of tomatoes halved, and then seeded and chopped my cucumber into a 2/3 cup proportion.  I left my olives whole simply because I would rather spear and taste a whole olive rather than one sliced in half.  I also chopped up my red onion and mixed up the olive oil, vinegar and Dijon and snipped my parsley, not shown.   

I put the pasta mixture back into my stainless steel pot and then added the other ingredients.  If you use a large bowl, you can arrange everything in little compartments and then add your dressing, but I like everything mixed together.

 After everything is mixed or arranged, you are to cover it and let it set at room temperature for 15 minutes and then chill until you are ready to eat.  It makes 8 servings and has 187 cal. per cup. 

You can also add grilled chicken for more protein if you like.  I like!  Just brush some olive oil on your chicken breasts, sprinkle with salt and pepper and grill for 15 to 18 minutes or until done, turning once.

I really enjoyed this and especially the dressing which brought it all together.  None of the ingredients were overpowering; it was the right amount of everything and had great flavor but you could add a little more of any of the ingredients if you wanted.  I might add the rest of the edamame and a bit more feta, or maybe not.  I’ll decide tomorrow around lunch time.  

For anyone interested, the magazine will be displayed until July 27.  I think you’ll agree it is quite an impressive issue!            

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Gemelli with Shrimp and Sugar Snap Peas from June issue of Martha Stewart Living

Recipe - Gemelli with Shrimp and Sugar Snap Peas 

I thought about having either grilled chicken or shrimp on Memorial Day since we already had barbecue ribs on Saturday but since I also had the ingredients to make ‘Gemelli with Shrimp’, that is what I ultimately prepared.  It was so good, I almost couldn’t put my fork down after tasting it from the skillet…but I did.  It’s a Martha Stewart recipe from the June issue of her magazine and you only need one skillet to make it.  You can find it on her site here.

There is a little bit of preparation before hand with deveining the shrimp and taking the skin off plus with trimming the sugar snap peas, but after you’ve completed those steps, the rest is a snap!  I couldn’t resist.

Use any short pasta that you like if you can’t find Gemelli, which I didn’t so I got one called Cellentani.  I like its curly shape and for the recipe, you will need 12 ounces.  
The first step is to cook the pasta in 2 cups of low sodium chicken broth and 2 cups of water plus 4 large cloves of garlic sliced.  Season with salt and pepper and stir frequently while you prepare your shrimp and snap peas. 

 I should have cleaned the shrimp and trimmed the peas the day before but I was too busy playing catch-up on Netflix.  I used my kitchen shears to eventually snip the dill. 

When the pasta is approximately 3 minutes to completion, stir in your shrimp and lemon zest and cook for about a minute and a half. 

Then add your snap peas, ½ cup of Feta and your 2 tablespoons of dill.  Cook about a minute, or until your snap peas are crisp-tender and your shrimp is opaque.  They are so good crisp-tender!  

Stir in lemon juice and serve topped with remaining Feta, a teaspoon of lemon zest, coarsely chopped dill and some olive oil.

Here’s my first serving in a bowl which I posted to Instagram and after I had another serving, I put the rest in the fridge.  It tastes pretty good cold too!  What a great combination of goodness!  One of the best pasta recipes I have tasted lately and I will definitely make this again!


Monday, May 18, 2015

Trader Joe’s and a Spatchcocked chicken

Here’s an update picture of the roasted chicken also shown below.

I did a little shopping at Trader Joe’s yesterday just to say I went there before their 1st anniversary showed up on the docket.  The Fresh Market is across the street from it so it’s a nice area for grocery shopping.  Unfortunately, I noticed some dark clouds in the sky and decided I should leave before the rain came.  Too late and I got soaked on the way to my car.  The bags held up quite well though!  Anyway, put me in a store with specialty foods and I want one of everything and at the same time, I don’t know what I want! 

I settled for some romaine lettuce, tomatoes, garlic, kosher ground chuck, thick and creamy Greek yogurt, apples and oranges, and some ciabatta and wheat breads.  I didn’t get a lot of time to look at the frozen foods as in Thai Shrimp dumplings and a whole lot of other intriguing items so I’ll be going back.  I like that they don’t charge an arm and a leg to chop up some fruits to sell in containers and they have fresh packaged chicken piccata that I almost bought, but I like to make my own.  I even keep a supply of capers and usually lemons just in case I feel like making it.

Today I decided I would cook a whole chicken I took out of the freezer on Saturday because I wanted to spatchcock it and cook it with the pearl tomatoes I bought at Trader Joe's.  

To spatchcock a chicken, you simply take out the back bone by cutting out both sides of it with kitchen shears before...

...flipping it over and flattening it out.   The whole chicken is supposed to get evenly browned this way.  I cut the tail off too. 

Here is Martha’s page with a video on how to spatchcock a chicken and the tomato recipe too.  The only problem I will have with this recipe is cooking it at 500 degrees.  My NuWave only goes up to 375 so I will just have to cook it a bit longer than 30 minutes although my NuWave cooks pretty fast.  Time will tell and I’ll post my success or disaster picture later.

As shown above, my chicken was a success – the thermometer read 170 after 50 minutes.  I only used 8 tomatoes because sis can’t eat too many of them due to high potassium.

I forgot to mention that because of the rain, I didn’t get a chance to check out the new hamburger restaurant in the same plaza.  It is called California's Habit Burger Grill and this Delray Beach location is supposedly the first in Florida.  I love hamburgers so no doubt I’ll be back over that way soon!