This time, before I start squeezing & freezing I remembered a simple carrot salad I’d just read about in La Tartine Gourmande. I noticed the book at the library and quickly photocopied a few recipes from it.
Try this!!! I mean it.
All you need:
The amounts in this recipe serve about 4 people. I would definitely double it next time but I was hand grating…
4 large carrots, peeled
1 TBSP flat leaf parsley, chopped (I used Italian parsley as that’s all I had)
2 TBSP chives, chopped
sea salt & pepper
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
6 TBSP olive oil
Grate the carrots and place in large bowl. In a separate smaller bowl, combine the vinaigrette ingredients in the order listed, whisk together and pour over the carrots. Combine well with spoon. Cover & refrigerate. Dress with the fresh herbs just before serving.
Maddie ate 3 bowls in rapid succession and then asked if she could take some to school the next day. There were no leftovers.
Here’s a healthier potato for the holidays. It’s still soooooo tasty!! Even if you can’t bring yourself to forgo mashed potatoes (I can’t) - try these this winter. They’re a cinch!
12 small round potatoes
salt to taste
black pepper to taste
rosemary (yes, you guessed it – to taste)
These are VERY simple.
Preheat oven to 450.
Set a medium-large pot of water to boil.
Add 2 generous pinches of salt to the water.
Ok, now add the potatoes carefully, carefully so nobody gets hurt. Boil them till the potatoes JUST get tender. You should be able to stick a fork in them without too much trouble. Immediately drain them at that point.
Drizzle olive oil across a cookie sheet (make sure it has sides!) & brush to cover. Place the potatoes down as you would cookie dough – with plenty of spreadin’ space around them. Using a potato masher, gently push down on them, flattening them somewhat.
They need to still be in one piece when you are done. Drizzle or spray olive oil over the tops of them. Sprinkle salt & pepper to taste as well as the rosemary.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until they are browned and slightly crispy at the edges.
Back from vakay with a longggg to do list. What the heck! Let me get you this yummy salad how-to – still good for those end of summer picnics & BBQ’s. I’m making it tomorrow for the last “Jazz on the Lawn” concert.
We ate this at a dinner party up there. I couldn’t get enough of this. Neen and I had been wandering aimlessly around Sequoia National Park all day and arrived late & ravenous. How polite of us. With Nina’s help, I tried to replicate it when I got home and I’m please with the result! This salad is so satisfying, tasty & hearty. It’s REALLY easy to make. The most time-consuming part is boiling the grain which takes about 45 mins.
Here’s all you need:
1 1/2 c uncooked wheat berries or barley (barley is cheaper & easier to find but I was out)
8 oz feta (depending how much you like)
1/3 c sliced sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 c sliced kalamata olives
parsley to taste
1/4 c olive oil
2-3 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1/4 c fresh squeezed orange juice (about half an orange)
First, cook your grain according to package directions. You can do this a day ahead and chill in the fridge. Just be sure to drain thoroughly first.
Now drain & chill the barley. You don’t want it hot when you combine your ingredients.
NOTE: I didn’t really measure anything. I just added ingredients and tasted. That’s partly why this is such a simple salad – you can add more of things you like or have.
Combine ingredients in a large bowl.
Stir to combine and add dressing ingredients.
Here’s a rough approximation of the dressing amounts:
1/4 c olive oil
juice of half an orange
2-3 TBSP balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
Whisk together dressing ingredients. Drizzle about half that on salad & stir to coat thoroughly. Taste & adjust, adding more dressing if needed. I don’t like a puddle of dressing at the bottom of my salad so I start light & add more. The barley will absorb the dressing but I liked this as leftovers for up to 3 days.
Don’t let Maddie’s excitement fool you. She didn’t dig this.
Jazz on the Lawn
Rogelio Mitchell & Friends
Sunday, August 26
Bring a picnic/blanket and/or low chairs!
You know those nights you’re so sick of serving pasta with jar sauce? Yet, you know you’ll still be serving pasta out of some weakness of character? This is the recipe for you!
Our friend, Liana, made this over vacation. It’s the perfect meal for a large crowd – especially a large crowd who just hiked for several hours at altitude carrying toddlers. When we got home she threw this together & everyone loved it!
It’s so easy & satisfying.
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb dried pasta (I used whole wheat)
1 head broccoli, cut into small pieces (I use the stems too – peeled & sliced)
1 can diced tomatoes
a couple of handfuls of baby spinach
salt & pepper to taste
fresh parmesan cheese
OPTIONAL: crushed red pepper to taste
Heat water in large pot for pasta. When water has started boiling, add salt & pasta.
Heat your oil in a large skillet. I only have a medium sized skillet. But if I had a large one, that’s what I would’ve used!
Add garlic & cook for about a minute, stirring occasionally.
Add broccoli & stir to coat with oil.
Cover & lower heat to medium-low. Cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Test a piece of broccoli – it should be just tender but still have some crunch.
Remove lid & add tomatoes. This will give it some “juice” too!
Top with a couple of handfuls of spinach, stir to combine & turn heat up to medium.
Meanwhile, cocktail hour Legos.
When spinach has just barely wilted, remove from heat.
When pasta is done, drain & drizzle with olive oil to keep it from sticking.
In a large bowl or pot, combine pasta & veggies. Adjust salt & pepper to taste.
Serve with sprinkled parmesan cheese!
Either my kids loved this or they were starving to death.
London. 1994. I was sleeping on someone’s floor that summer. We decided to go see “Reservoir Dogs” at the cinema. (Yes, I called it “cinema” to get you in the frame of mind.) I ordered popcorn. Crammed a large fistful into my maw. What the WHAAAAT??? Sweet? It was sweet. AND savory. Mmmmmmm…like an adult’s Cracker Jack.
People were smoking cigarettes in there. The good old days!
Last week, a new friend was telling me how to make microwave popcorn in a brown paper bag. (Thanks, Kristy!) I remembered seeing something about it on Pinterest so I decided to give it a whirl.
Today I got a hankering for the sweet version so I looked up some recipes. Most of them called for what most Santa Monica moms consider the devil of all sugars: corn syrup (which makes a mean pecan pie) but I thought I could find something more “natural.” It came out real nice. REAL nice!
Btw: if you’re interested, here’s what’s in Pop Secret, Premium Popcorn:
POP SECRET, PREMIUM POPCORN, 1-STEP WHITE CHEDDAR
INGREDIENTS: Popcorn, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Salt, Modified Cornstarch, Maltodextrin, Natural Flavor & Artificial Flavor, Lactic Acid, Monosodium Glutamate, Color (Yellow 5 Lake & Yellow 6 Lake), Nonfat Milk, Freshness Preserved by Propyl Gallate.
That isn’t sooooooo bad. But check out this one!
ORVILLE REDENBACHER’S, MICROWAVE SHAKEABLES, REAL RANCH POPCORN
INGREDIENTS: Popcorn Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet Popping Corn, Palm Oil, Salt, Freshness Preserved with TBHQ and Citric Acid. Pouch Ranch Seasoning, [Buttermilk, Salt, Tomato Powder, Monosodium Glutamate, Cornstarch, Sugar, Whey, Sodium Diacetate, Onion Powder, Citric Acid, Garlic Powder, Spices, Cheddar Cheese (Cultured Milk, Salt, Enzymes), Lactic Acid, Natural Flavor and Artificial Flavors, Disodium Inosinate and Disodium Guanylate, Canola Oil, Artificial Color (Including Titanium Dioxide, FD&C Red 40, FD&C Blue 2 and FD&C Yellow 5) Maltodextrin, Disodium Phosphate, Less Than (2%) Silicon Dioxide Added as an Anticaking Agent], Buttermilk Powder, Salt, Onion Powder, Natural Flavoring, Modified Cornstarch, Tomato Powder, Citric Acid, Spice and Herb, Disodium Guanylate, Disodium Inosinate, Spice and Coloring, Artificial Color, FD&C Blue 1, FD&C Red 40.
1/4 c popcorn kernels
1 TBSP olive oil
salt to taste (1 pinch up to 1/4 tsp)
brown paper bag (OR a vented lid which can be laid across a micro safe bowl – prolly more eco friendly)
First I’ll show you how to make the straight up kind, then I’ll share a couple of variations.
Combine kernels, olive oil & salt in a small bowl.
Unceremoniously DUMP into a brown paper bag (or your bowl – incidentally, I plan on using a bowl with a vented lid as soon as I GET a vented lid.) But hey, I had a package of brown paper bags from 2009 – when I was teaching 6th grade.
Some recipes advised STAPLING the bag. Listen, I used to bus tables at The Old Heidelberg in Naples, FL and will never forget the sparks that flew when I put a wicker bread basket with staples in the micro. Nor the ass-chewing I got from the cooks.
I folded my bag.
Unsure of how long to microwave it, I pushed the “POPCORN” button.
Then, b/c I missed the heavenly trill of the smoke detectors, I pushed it again.
So I tried it again. This time I just pushed the popcorn button once. When I heard the popping slow down, it happened to turn off. I suggest you stand right by your microwave and when the popping slows down, turn it off since all microwaves tend to have different POWER.
The second time it came out perfect! I added a little salt.
Now for the flavors.
1. SPICY. Add a tsp of spice rub to the kernel/oil/salt mixture. I used Tony Chachere’s spice rub.
2. HERB/PARMESAN. Add a few sprigs of fresh herbs to the kernel/oil/salt mixture. I used rosemary & thyme.
Make sure the herbs are coated in oil so they don’t burn. You can also mix them in the oil/kernel concoction for about 5 minutes prior to nuking so they can infuse the oil.
Sprinkle fresh parmesan on top of the popped corn. YUM!
(I forgot to take a picture of that.)
3. SWEET. This is my favorite. Add 1-2 tsp of maple syrup to the kernel/oil/salt mixture. You still need the salt!
Because of the sugar it seems to burn but it might be just caramelizing. Just pay extra attention to cooking time.
It looks burnt but it’s not!
Macro feature really can’t make my fingers/nails look dirty enough!
Quick & easy snack. Sooooo much healthier than the store bought microwave popcorn!
¼ c popcorn kernels
1 TBSP olive oil
1 pinch salt (you can always add more later)
brown paper bag OR microwave safe bowl with vented lid (lid can be bought separately)
sprigs of fresh herbs
fresh parmesan cheese
1-2 tsp maple syrup
In a small bowl, combine popcorn kernels, olive oil & salt.
Pour mixture into a brown paper bag.
Fold bag several times.
Microwave using “Popcorn” button. If you don’t have that button, try 2 minutes on HIGH but be ready to shut it off when the popping slows down!
To add flavors:
1. SPICY: add spices directly to bowl of oil/kernels/salt. Continue as you did with the plain.
2. HERBS: add sprigs of fresh herbs to the bowl of oil/kernels/salt. Allow to infuse for 5 minutes. Continue as you did with the plain.
3. SWEET: add 1-2 tsp of maple syrup to the bowl of oil/kernel/salt. Continue as you did with the plain.
Finally, the one con to making popcorn this way: there tend to be a lot more unpopped kernels than you’d get in the pre-made microwave popcorn bag. I’ve yet to find a solution to this problem but am interested in hearing if anyone out there has?