Friday, July 30, 2010

Sweet, delectable, colorfulness


Initially I had started calling this post, "Sweet, delectable, colorful art." But, I decided it didn't quite look like art. As a kid, I remember my mom often saying that when making food, presentation matters. Certainly, taste matters most. But, if the food tastes wonderfully but appears like a disaster, people won't be interested. I've hung on to those words since. I treat anything I am creating in the kitchen as a work of art, carefully and thoughtfully crafting.

On the flour tortilla: caramelized red onions, yellow bell peppers, red bell peppers, fresh corn (I am sad to admit, I usually use frozen corn, but I shucked that corn off the cob myself), chicken breast. Then I added shredded cheese and pineapple peach salsa. Salsa I've been on to lately? This one.

P.S. I love when the non-green bell peppers go on sale. I have to keep myself from going crazy.


I am not be given anything by Archer Farms (aka Target) to advertise for them. I simply enjoy this salsa at the moment.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sweet corn at a sweet price

Yesterday, I took advantage of Sunflower Farmer's Market's deal on fresh sweet corn. 10 ears for $1.

Turns out it was a sweet deal from what I've sampled and from what my 2 year old enjoyed.


She polished most of an ear of corn on her own.

This is all without any help from her mommy. Not bad for a 2 year old.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tofu and Shrimp Pad Thai in review

Earlier this month, I made a huge portion of Pad Thai when we had Susan and some of her children over: read about it here. Also gave some to other friends, including Phil and Darbi. Asked Phil for input, and he gave me constructive criticism: the noodles broke into small pieces and the dish wasn't very spicy. The former is something I've been working on and have been frustrated with, to the point of not really enjoying the leftovers. I don't know whether Phil had other things he didn't like about the dish, but those two aren't bad. I'll perfect the former, hopefully sooner rather than later. As for the latter, members of this household do not necessarily appreciate truly spicy dishes.

I made Pad Thai this past Friday. I changed a few things about how I treated the rice noodles. I didn't soak them, to start. Then when I added the water and chicken broth to it, I poured boiling water over the noodles.

Tofu and Shrimp Pad Thai


Result? Success. Initially, anyways. See how long and luxurious the noodles look?

But, after sitting in the pot for awhile, even with the stove off, the noodles got soggy and broken. FAIL.

Phil said that he and his wife flash boil the noodles and pan fry the rest of the way. That might help take care of the sogginess. But, pan frying noodles isn't my preference, at least not now. So, I must make more adjustments, changes, and refinements.

For now, take a look at some of the component parts of the Pad Thai, which were all cooked separately.

Tasted the rich flavors embedded in the eggs, even after it joined the soup.

Ah, caramelized onion. Love them.

The shrimps could have been a dish by themselves.

The tofu.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tacos, fajitas, or something


This was the second of the dishes I made Friday, the first being hot and sour soup. Right against the flour tortilla is a stir fry: caramelized red onion, green peppers, chicken breast, and corn. Other ingredients: shredded cheese, Archer Farms pineapple peach thick and chunky, mild salsa.

Though I made a pretty generous amount, this dish didn't last past the weekend. My husband claims it was that good.

Two of my Favorites: Rice and Hot and Sour Soup

We've been experiencing hot, sweaty weather that is more than I can handle with grace. I'm talking about over a hundred temps for several days and minimally the high nineties for a week or so. I live in a house with a down draft swamp cooler for cooling (no air conditioning). Dying here.

Somehow none of that deterred me from two foods that I consume on a regular basis: rice and soup. Hot and sour soup is one of my favs lately.

This past Friday, I made two things: hot and sour soup and tacos. Despite the fact that it was so hot that day. By the time I consumed my lovely hot and sour soup with rice, I was a sweatier mess than I was before I started eating.

Not a pretty sight, whatsoever. But, the food was so satisfying.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Seared Tuna with Caramelized Onion


Bought some Ahi Tuna at the store today. Since we've been in this house one year as of today and that's anniversary of sorts, thought we'd celebrate.

I caramelized a red onion, by cooking it on lower heat with a bit of olive oil, until the onion turned a bit transparent. Then i added the tuna. It wasn't frozen when I was ready to cook it. So, I cooked it no more than a few minutes on each side, adding a bit of sea salt on each side.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Enough Pad Thai to feed a king and his kingdom


Pad Thai with Tofu and Shrimp

I had told my husband I was planning on making Pad Thai yesterday. When he heard that, he was ever excited and requested I make a huge amount. Huge amount I did make. We didn't have company over or anything, but I still made roughly the same amount the last time I made this - for Susan and some of her kids. Click here for that recipe.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Garden delight all done

Pickled Kohlrabi

My side of the family came towards the end of June, and they left, leaving behind exquisite vegetables from Daddy's garden. Yesterday, the last of the vegetables were consumed. I was the only one working on the kohlrabi.

And there was much to be had. See?

Not the usual size one spots in the grocery store. Took some effort to cut the thing.

Since I wanted to pickle the kohlrabi, I cut it into small pieces, so it would soak in the sugar, salt, vinegar, and sesame oil more easily.

Into smaller pieces, I cut.

And finally this.

Lots of kohlrabi to come. That's why I took nearly two weeks to finish all of it. Oh yes, and I had a violent stomach bug to interrupt consumption of delicious food.

I am sad all that deliciousness is gone. Sad, sad, sad.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Homemade Pineapple, Mushroom, and Caramelized Onions Pizza


Homemade Pineapple, Mushroom, and Caramelized Onions Pizza

Yesterday was the 4th of July; a celebration of freedom and liberty that must be observed. Also had my best friend since the 4th grade visiting from out of state; last night was her last night in town. Wanted to have something special for dinner; the verdict was home made pizza.

Our friends, Liz and Geoff, had has over for dinner not long ago, and they told us about getting dough from King Sooper's (perhaps owned by the same company as Kroger's) bakery section. Liz said to ask a bakery employee for the dough used to make the store's French bread. The store uses ready-made, frozen dough to bake their French bread. I took that suggestion and ran with it.

Troy and I enjoy having the combination of mushrooms and pineapples on our pizza. Abby is a vegetarian, didn't specify other ingredients she preferred on the pizza(s), and agreed my suggestion of putting mushrooms, pineapples, and onions on the pizza(s).

This is a very easy recipe, considering I didn't need any time or effort to make the dough. Six ingredients. A bit of cooking, before the baking. Loads and loads of deliciousness. Ready?


1. dough.

2. mushrooms - sorry, no photograph available.

3. red onions.

4. pineapples.

5. pineapples.

6. shredded cheese.


Flatten dough on stoneware (I love using my Pampered Chef stoneware to bake, and no, I am not being paid or being given any gifts to speak highly of their products). Um, we could have easily used one loaf to make two crusts, but we didn't take that route this time. My husband rolled the dough.

Wash and cut the mushrooms. Cut very thinly.

Peel and cut the red onions. Half an onion, and cut into very, very thinly, then half.

Lessons learned from the past. Make sure to cook the mushrooms BEFORE baking them; otherwise they turn out crunchy.

I first caramelized the red onions (in a pan, cook the onions with a bit of olive oil on medium heat, until a bit transparent). Pull out most of the red onions and set them aside in a bowl, leaving behind the olive oil and any onion juice in the pan. Then, throw in the cut mushrooms. Add a bit of sea salt. Cook until tender. Pull out the mushrooms (leaving behind the juice that developed from cooking the mushrooms) and set them aside in a bowl.

Spread the pasta sauce over the dough. Then add the toppings - in this case - onions, pineapples, and mushrooms. I left part of each pizza without toppings, for our daughters.

Look good?

Then add the cheese.

I cooked each of our pizzas (individually - because the huge round stoneware didn't fit alongside the rectangular stoneware, and I didn't think about baking them on different levels simultaneously) at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes. I baked ours until the crust started turning a bit golden.

Here's one of the final products:


Oh, and by the way, those two generous size pizzas barely lasted the night, last night. The girls polished off the little remaining at lunchtime today. The pizzas were ever popular.