Indian-Spiced Beans (Guar ki Bhaaji)

07/16/2016

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There once was was a boy as long as beans,
Because they are heirloom, they are not green.
Seeing that he is small,
He actually would bawl,
If he was fed for dinner purple beans.

Ingredients:

1lb beans, chopped in 2 inch sections
1 onion, chopped
2 T coconut oil
1/2 t tumeric
1 t chili powder
1 t coriander powder
1 t salt
1 c water
1 t garam masala
1 T curry powder
1 green chili, chopped
1/4 c peanuts, chopped

Instructions:

After chopping the vegetables, heat the oil in a skillet. Add all the dry ingredients, and stir for about 3 minutes. Next add the onion. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add the beans and chopped chili, and cook for about 3 minutes. Then add the water, and cover the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the beans are cooked through, transfer to a bowl and top with chopped peanuts.

Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon

07/06/2016

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Just returned from a wonderful week in Iowa, which consisted of buckets of change and love. New and wonderful babies and spouses were brought to the mix, and my dear grandma sadly moved from this world into the next. For the ten days I was there introducing my new little guy to the Midwest, everyone opened their arms to us and fed us love.

With all of this commotion, our multi-course meals didn’t exactly happen. But we did have good Lake Michigan salmon caught by these two fisherman. (With a side of Iowa bratwurst, of course.)

Ingredients:

1lb salmon
2 T brown sugar
1 T olive oil
1 t soy sauce
fresh dill

Instructions:

Turn on the grill to high. Pat the salmon dry. In a bowl, mix the ingredients without the dill together to form a paste. Spread the paste on the fish. Put the fish skin-side down on the grill (if you’re not using salmon with skin, you can use a soaked cedar board, or cook on a cookie sheet in the oven at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes). Cook for 5-6 minutes, or until the ends are done and the middle is still rare. Garnish with fresh dill (or bratwurst, if you’d so prefer).

Sheepshead with Lemongrass & Lime

06/16/2016

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Since our kid came along, the boat has not gotten much use. But this past weekend, finally Gary squeezed in some time to take it for a spin in the Gulf. He came home with only one fish, but one is better than none.

Sheepshead fish have weird human-looking teeth. So if you don’t mind your dinner looking–or frowning–at you, grill it head-on. It’s easy and delicious.

I got this recipe from the NYTimes. Melissa Clark even gives a little video showing the ease of grilling fish.

Ingredients:

2 whole fish, sheepshead or trout
2 T coconut oil
2 limes
2 shallots, chopped
1 stalk lemongrass
1/2 c mint leaves
1/2 c cilantro
1 chili, chopped
1/4 c coconut milk
1 garlic clove, chopped
S&P

Instructions:

If you catch the fish, take out the guts and scale the fish, leaving the head and tail in tact. Slice one lime, and slice one scallion. Fill the cavity with the scallion and lime and lemongrass (you can smash it some, and leave the stalks whole). Salt and pepper the cavity and exterior of the fish. Coat the fish in coconut oil so it won’t stick to the grill.

While the grill is heating, make the sauce. Add the juice from the remaining lime, chop the other scallion, and add the mint, cilantro, chili, coconut milk, garlic, and S&P to a food processor. Pulse, until a chunky sauce is formed.
Grill the fish on high heat over charcoal (or a regular gas grill works fine). Grill each side for 3-4 minutes, or until the fish becomes flaky. Garnish with cilantro, and serve with the sauce.

Balsamic Beef with Roasted Tomatoes

06/08/2016

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Tropical Storm Colin rolled through here in North Florida on Monday; we were left unscathed, but the 6 1/2 inches of rain exploded many of my tomatoes. Given that we’ve had a tree fall on our house from a storm before, I’ll take split tomatoes any day.

Ingredients:

1 c cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 lb beef chuck roast
1 c beef broth
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c balsamic vinegar
1 T soy sauce
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, chopped
S&P
Olive Oil

Instructions:

In a slow cooker, put the broth, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and salt and pepper, and stir together. Put in the beef, and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Right before serving, turn on the broiler in the oven, cut your tomatoes in half, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with S&P, put on a cookie sheet and broil for about 5-7 minutes, or until browned. Serve the tomatoes over the beef and top with broth. It pairs well with polenta, like I have here, or mashed potatoes.

Chicken Quesadillas with Tomatoes

05/31/2016

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Baby toes & wormy tomatoes: ya win some, ya lose some.

Ingredients:

2 c shredded cooked chicken (or refried beans)
1 c salsa
1 T cumin
1 T paprika
Crushed red pepper flakes
1 c cheddar cheese
1 package flour (or corn) tortillas
1 c tomatoes, sliced
1 avocado, sliced
Cilantro, chopped

Instructions:

(This is Gary and my dinner-in-a-flash meal. When we don’t have chicken, we use refried beans instead.) Mix the cooked chicken with salsa and spices. (Feel free to omit the spices if you’re in a hurry, or the salsa is spicy enough.) Chop the tomato and avocado and set aside in bowls. Heat a flat iron skillet. Warm a tortilla, and add a little bit of the chicken/salsa mix on one-half of the tortilla. Sprinkle with cheese. Flip the other side of the tortilla on it, and heat each side until their toasty. Do this to all tortillas. Garnish with tomatoes, avocados, and cilantro.

Chicken & Peppers with Peanut Sauce

05/20/2016

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Pictured: a delicious and nutritious meal! Not pictured: a destroyed kitchen, overcooked chicken, and a kiddo and mama having melt-downs on the kitchen floor. We’re working on balance, people. We’ll get there.

Ingredients:

3 chicken wings, sliced into strips
1 head broccoli
2 carrots
1 onion
1 green pepper
2 banana peppers
1 1/2 c rice
2 T curry powder
1 T paprika
S&P
Olive oil

Peanut sauce:
1/4 c peanut butter
1/4 c coconut milk
1/4 c water
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 T soy sauce
1 T honey
one garlic clove, chopped
one-inch chunk garlic, chopped
1 T lemon juice

Instructions:

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Start the rice on the stove (add 3 c water to the 1 1/2 c rice). Chop the chicken, and season with curry and paprika and S&P. Spread on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Chop the vegetables, drizzle with olive oil, and spread on a separate cookie sheet. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until both the chicken and vegetables are cooked through.

While cooking, put the peanut sauce ingredients in a food processor and blend together. Serve over rice (or quinoa) with the chicken and vegetables topped with the peanut sauce and garnished with cilantro. Add hot sauce if needed.

Snapper with Cantaloupe Salsa

05/04/2016

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We’ve been feeling the new-infant love lately; our dear ones have dropped off meals on our doorstep for nearly the last month. And because our friends are awesome cooks, we have eaten WELL. Here’s another meal that the ingredients were brought to our house and prepared for us (thank you, Sam & Jess!). No ingredients came from our yard, but Sam did grow the jalapeno.

So, my peppers were not included, but I just had to include this picture of Leo loving our Anaheims. Looks like we have a little vegetable enthusiast in the making.

Ingredients:

Fish:
1 1/2 lbs snapper or white fish
1 t paprika
pinch of sage
1/2 t thyme
S&P
Oil for the grill

Salsa:
1/2 of a ripe cantaloupe, chopped in small pieces
2 avocados, chopped
1 red onion
juice of two limes
1 jalapeno, chopped
Cilantro, chopped
S&P

Instructions:

Turn on the grill to high heat. Mix the dry spices together, and spread on the fish. Coat with olive oil. Set aside.

Next, make the salsa. Chop all the ingredients, mix together, and pour lime juice on everything. When this is ready, put the fish on the grill. Grill about 3 minutes per side, or until the fish is cooked through. Put the salsa on top of the hot fish to serve.

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

04/28/2016

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With the last few lemons hanging on our tree, I made a big batch of lemon cookies and mailed them to lots of people for important reasons: my grandma’s 90th birthday, my dad’s 65th birthday, the staff in the NICU for being amazing with Leo, and to Leo’s birth parents in thanks for giving us him. Lemon shortbread cookies are WORTH all this celebration and gratitude, right??

Ingredients:

Cookies:
1/2 c butter, cold
1/2 c white sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 c flour
1 T lemon zest
1/2 t salt

Glaze:
1 T lemon juice
1/2 c powdered sugar

Instructions:

In a mixing bowl, put in the sugar, flour, lemon zest, and salt. Chop up the butter into small pieces. Place in bowl, and mix gently. Add the egg. Mix together. (If it doesn’t look like hard dough, take out of the bowl and mix together with your hands. Make sure you get all the butter mixed together.)

Next, roll the dough into one long tube, and roll it in parchment paper. Put this in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes.  Turn the oven on to 350 degrees. Once the dough is cold, take out of the freezer, and cut into 1/2 inch slices and put on an insulated cookie sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden.

To make the glaze, add lemon juice to 1/2 c powdered sugar. Drizzle over the cookies when cold. Feel free to add more zest to garnish.

Leo Joseph

04/17/2016

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My apologies for the lack of recipes lately–we’ve been a little preoccupied. Namely, we have a kid!! Leo Joseph was born on Monday the 4th; and a beautiful little redhead is he.

Ironically, although I can grow carrots and cabbage, passion fruit and figs, oranges and orchids, and lemons and lettuce, I can’t grow babies. Two years of fertility awfulness plus two years of waiting on an adoption list ended in us being handed Leo. (To make a long story short: my uterus is apparently a waste-of-space.) We were picked over my many many mamas, but the birth-mom who chose us was right. And throughout the last two weeks of getting to know her and her family, and forging this life-long relationship between us, Gary and I have emerged parents. Adoption is a heart-wrenching and beautiful thing when the right people who can’t have kids connect with the right people who choose others to raise theirs. Leo’s birth parents are amazing people who will continue to be in our lives as we all watch him grow. The last two weeks spent in the NICU with Leo have shown us that we have this vast and amazing support system through our family and friends both locally and afar that will help us love this child fiercely.

To use a food analogy, this experience can be likened to my Midwestern love of apples. To me, they taste so much like home. Yet in my little Florida yard here, we can grow everything but. However, I’ve gotten amazing and beautiful apples grown elsewhere, and enjoyed them throughly here. Locally grown is great, of course, but sometimes you just have to import in order to enjoy.

In our short week and a half of being attached to this little guy, missing holes in Gary and my hearts are now filled. We cannot wait to enjoy a lifetime of his deliciousness!

Cabbage Salad with Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette

03/21/2016

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If you’re happy and you know it, eat your cabbage!
If you’re happy and you know it, eat your cabbage!
If you’re happy and you know it, then your intestinal flora will surely show it,
If you’re happy and you know it, eat your cabbage!

Ingredients:

1 head Napa cabbage
1/4 c cilantro
1/2 c scallions, thinly sliced
1/8 c sesame seeds

Vinaigrette:
3 T rice vinegar
2 T soy sauce
2 T sesame oil
1 T honey
1 T ginger root

Instructions:

Chop the cabbage, cilantro, and scallions, and put in a bowl. Put the vinaigrette ingredients in a food processor, and blend together. Toss with the cabbage mixture, and sprinkle the sesame seeds on top.

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