Homecoming Stew

homecoming_stew_mmmThis dish was named this way because it was created on homecoming weekend for many of the local colleges.  It definitely falls under the category of “comfort food.”   We call it a stew because it has a lot of solid ingredients, but it could also be considered a soup, as it is very liquid.  Either way, it is very satisfying and tasty, and will be made again.

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Sesame Tempeh with Mushrooms

tempehThis post is the result of an exciting new experiment.  Having tasted tempeh at a restaurant, we decided that we had to attempt something with it.   For those who do not know what it is, tempeh is a soy product which originated in Indonesia.   Unlike its cousin tofu, it is not highly processed, but is grainier, consisting of soy beans held together by a fermentation process.  It is extremely tasty, has a crunchy nutty characteristic, and is also quite healthy, and is a vegetarian dish that would satisfy many meat-eaters.    It can be found in the vegetable section of many supermarkets, near the tofu.   Despite never having cooked it before, we decided to create a brand new recipe, which while using some techniques we found in other recipes, is wholly our own.    It came out extremely good.  We can’t wait to cook with tempeh again.

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Rosemary & Dill Salmon

dill_rosemary_salmonHot summer day, time to grill outside again.  There’s something about a backyard party with friends that inspires creation.  We love salmon, and decided to try something new, with a few tried and true elements, with the addition of fresh dill.   The results were a resounding success;  salmon grills exceptionally well.      Continue reading

Stuffed zucchini

stuffed zucchiniThis is a fairly easy and fast dish, that should please just about anyone.   It is vegetarian, but many who prefer meat may not even notice the difference.   We made this last weekend as a side dish, but it can very easily work as an entrée as well.  While some of the basics were found online on various sites, there were some creative touches added which worked pretty well.   The entire thing can be made in about half an hour. Continue reading

Grilled Sesame Salmon and Vegetables

salmon_veggiesIt was another warm spring day, and it is grilling time again.  We don’t make fish enough, but I love salmon.  It looked particularly appealing in the supermarket, so this was thrown together based on what else looked good in the produce section.   The sesame oil is a piece of experimentation, which turned out successfully, especially on the vegetables.   The pasta side is simply some rice noodles with a Thai peanut sauce (found on the international foods aisle). Continue reading

Shrimp Pasta Primavera Extravaganza

pastaprimavera2This time of year, this type of dish comes to mind;  fresh vegetables always remind us of spring.    We like to toss together a combination of vegetables and mix it together with some pasta and wine and have a light meal.   Shrimp is a nice touch as well.   However, this time we went a little berserk in the vegetable aisle of the supermarket and decided to add pretty much everything that came to mind.  At one point during the cooking we felt some concern that there were too many  vegetables as they seemed to be piling over the edge of the pot and the pasta had yet to be added (thus the “extravaganza” in the name, and it was no longer what one would call “light”), but this proved to be not an issue at all.   The dish turned out to be a resounding success and all of the flavors worked really well together.  We couldn’t stop piling extra helpings onto our plates and still have plenty of leftovers, which will make the next few days that much better.   Here’s how we did it:

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Chicken and rice pilaf

This is a recipe that I have been making for years.  I am uncertain to its source, but this is how I make it.  It works well as a good meal in one pot, and great for serving a many people as it is easily scalable to create more.    I have tried a number of variations but almost always go back to this basic recipe.     It is very easy and people usually go back for seconds (or more). Continue reading

Mustard Chicken with Squash and Potatoes

mustard_chicken

This recipe came about one night out of ingredients that were already in the house.  We were hungry, but the store was closed.  I thawed out some chicken pieces and quickly threw this together.  It has since evolved a little and now has become a staple.    It goes well with kale and mushrooms as a side dish, as the sauce tends to bleed over and the flavors augment each other.   This a good easy dish, and is great on a cold night or anytime.

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Steak and vegetable skewers with couscous

IMG_20140412_163807On the first sunny Saturday of spring, the urge to grill was too great to resist.  In the area of safe experimentation, I used a similar recipe that I had used in the past for swordfish.   A good marinade seems to be something that can transfer from one medium to another, so I’ll probably use it again, maybe with some other sort of meat, or maybe with none.  However, for the sake of simplicity I will describe how I made it this time.  The meat and vegetables are served as one dish together, either on or beside the couscous.

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Ribollita

ImageOne of our absolute favorites is soup that we learned about in Tuscany, known as Ribollita.  This is a traditional peasant dish that is generally made up of beans, tomatoes, and whatever is in the garden, and some stale bread.   It is delicous, filling, and very healthy.  I love making this.  This recipe is made up of a combination of ones I have found online, with a few personal touches (especially adding more and more garlic!) Continue reading