Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Garlic Mashed . . . Heaven

page 139:

Roasted Garlic - Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes

There were a couple reasons this recipe appealed to me. I have never roasted garlic before and I wanted to give it a try. Also, we love mashed potatoes, my son especially.

So, first - roasting the garlic. The recipe calls for eight cloves of garlic to roast in a bath of olive oil and rosemary. After about half an hour in the oven, you squeeze the garlic out of the peels and set aside. I thought this might be difficult, but it was very easy, and I have to admit, kind of fun.

After boiling the potatoes, I mashed them with a masher, added a butter/milk mixture and then the garlic and a little more olive oil.

I was worried I'd read the recipe incorrectly because the consistency was more whipped than mashed, but I double-checked, and I had done it correctly. Despite that small concern, this dish was delicious. We're on a roll with these recipes because even though this wasn't super easy, the taste trumped everything. Another solid 5!

I will make this again and again. I suspect I'll use a little less of the butter/milk mixture next time just to see if the consistency is more appealing.

Yuuuu . . . uuuum.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Grilled Onions

We eat lots of onions. Sometimes we eat them raw, but typically we saute them in olive oil with mushrooms and serve with burgers, steak or pasta. Until a couple years ago, I don't think I ate one onion in the span of a full year. Now, we probably have four to five a week. I heard how good they were for you and I decided I'd try to get them in our diet. Raw's okay, but when I started sauteing them (which probably isn't as healthy as raw, but still) we couldn't get enough. We all love them.

On page 136: Grilled Marinated Red Onions

We got the huge red onions from our farmers' market. So, so fresh!

This was amazingly easy. The marinade was oil, vinegar and thyme! Thyme -- who knew what that spice would do to oil and vinegar? The onions grilled up perfectly and mixed very well with the marinade. They were delicious on their own, but I suspect they'd be perfect on burgers or steaks or . . . gosh, I think the list would be endless.

Most definitely a 5! I bet we'll not only make this again soon, I bet we'll make it within the next couple days.

Don't forget about the contest. Here are the details:

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I think it's unladylike of me to admit how much I like bacon. Bacon's supposed to be a "man's food," isn't it? Well, I love breaking stereotypes so here I am! I love bacon!

On page 163 of the cookbook: Avocado, Bacon & Tomato Tartines. YUM!

Along with the above-mentioned ingredients, the recipe calls for the garlicy Aioli spread that is used in a number of the recipes. The combined tastes and textures of this "tartine," along with how easy it was to put together make this my favorite recipe, so far.

A solid 5!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Zucchini is a Mystery

I have no idea what to do with the stuff. Other than zucchini bread, I've never tasted a zucchini I liked, so I thought I should see if adding tomatoes, onions, basil and marjoram would help.

Oh page 110: Baked Zucchini and Tomato Tian

The thing I've noticed most about the recipes in the book is that almost all of them could use more salt than I've used. They do say to season with salt and pepper, which I do but it never seems like quite enough. The missing salt was more apparent with this dish than with the others, so we added more when it was done.

It was pretty good. I still can't say I liked the zucchini, but the spices and additional salt made it bearable.

We used our first garden ripe tomato but also added others that we purchased. I bet we're going to be overflowing with tomatoes in a few days, but for now most of them are still green. The tomatoes and onions were both delicious and there's a chance I'd make it without the zucchini.

Rating: 2 - 3. Without the zucchini, a solid 3, probably.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I love to cook. I love spending time in the kitchen. I love trying new recipes. Sadly, the kitchen can't always be a high priority. Hope to get back in there this weekend. The farmers' market recipe book is sitting on the counter. I've marked the recipes I want to try. Between some writing deadlines and my son's schedule of football and more football, we've been grabbing food on the run or preparing some yummy macaroni and cheese -- the blue box variety.

I keep thinking my tastes should change away from that fake-cheese powder, but I still love the stuff. To me, it tastes good and it's very easy. My husband and son both like it, too. We sometimes throw in some veggies, but not always. My husband puts ketchup on his. Yuck.

Recipe critiques will be back. The contest is still going. There are some yummy things ahead.

Hope your summer is full of good books, great farmers' markets and fun family time.


Monday, August 9, 2010

Last Plum Recipe

I had no idea what Greek yogurt was, so I just used plain for the Warm Plums with Honey & Greek Yogurt recipe on page 233.

You start by broiling the plums (covered in a honey/brown sugar mixture) briefly. This part was delicious as it was, but then you mix in the yogurt and top with some crushed pistachios and it was a smooth, sweet (but not too sweet), slightly tart dessert.

I've never done much with plums other than just eat them. These recipes have given me a whole new appreciation for the fruit. They are sweet and tart and I will no longer under appreciate them!

Rating - 4

Friday, August 6, 2010

More Plums

Page 233.

I decided to try a recipe that sounded awful: Roasted Plums with Blue Cheese.
I had the plums and sometimes you just have to test yourself. It probably wasn't too much of a risk because I like both plums and blue cheese; I just thought the combination of the two sounded terrible.

It's an easy recipe: plums, cheese, olive oil in the oven for a short time and then served on bread.

I was surprised. It didn't taste terrible. In fact, I kind of liked it. I'm not sure it'll be something I'll make again soon. I was the only one to try it. Both husband and son dislike blue cheese, so while they agreed to try everything, they drew the line at blue cheese. So, it was good enough to enjoy and be pleasantly surprise, but not good enough to crave, really.

This one gets a 3.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Garlic Potatoes

Took my laptop in yesterday morning and got it back this afternoon. I'm so happy and so relieved they were able to bring it back to life, and fix the DVD/CD drive while they were at it. Fist-bump to T.J. at Valcom; thank you. It's amazing how attached we get to these little machines.

Okay, back to the recipes. On page 83 of the recipe book: Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary and Bay.

Here's the picture:

Yeah, pretty boring picture. But this recipe gets my first solid "5" rating. Of course, the potatoes were delicious, but the preparation was very easy, too. And, there's so darn much garlic included that we'll probably smell of it for days. Our neighbors might not like that, but we don't mind it a bit.

It's one of those foil recipes. Potatoes, rosemary, bay leaf, garlic and olive oil. Easy, and I'm sure we'll make this again very soon.

Do you have a favorite "foil" recipe?

Cookbook contest details here: Contest

Monday, August 2, 2010

Plum Pie

I'm cheating today.

My laptop is either dead or very sick, so I'm using an old laptop that we were smart enough to keep. Putting pictures onto this old laptop isn't as easy as it is on my newer, faster (though still a couple years old) one, so I'm not including pictures. I'm just going to direct you to a recipe I found that is mouth-watering yummy. Plum Pie!

I keep trying to add the link, but it keeps redirecting after it's clicked on once. So copy and paste this to your browser.

- You'll see there's a picture included with the recipe. I don't think it's the correct picture.

- I used a ready-made, refrigerated pie crust and a round pie pan. I had no idea what they meant by pastry shell.

- I used five cups of sliced plums, not four.

- Cutting in butter is a pain in the . . . neck, but I did it mostly by using my fingers and pinching, not by kneading like my grandmother used to do.

Okay, other than the above issues, this was absolutely and positively one of the best pies I have ever tasted. It is sweet, but it is more tart than sweet. I typically don't like tart, but this pie was good enough to convert my taste buds!

4-5 stars.