Friday Recipe Exchange: Pasta w/Marinated Vegetable and Bruschetta

JeffreyW has his own take on Bruschetta here and here

I’m not ready to jump into fall just yet. My garden is slowing down, but my tomatoes are still flourishing. I’ve been turning my bounty into frozen packets of fire-roasted tomatoes to be used for soups and sauces when the weather cools a bit. As I put this together on Thursday, the temp outside was 80 degrees at 9 pm. Summer isn’t heading to the exits anytime soon.

Every Thursday in the What’s 4 Dinner Solutions Cookbook, there is a travelogue of sorts. Menus with flavors from all over the world. In the summer, it’s various regions of the states and the fresh produce available.  Tonight, it’s a New England Farmers’ Market kinda night

On the board:

MENU
Pasta w/ Marinated Vegetables (recipe below)
Tomato & Olive Oil Bruschetta (recipe here)
Grapes

Pasta w/Marinated Vegetables

  • 10 oz Rotini pasta
  • 1 tray ice cubes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small eggplant, peeled & chopped
  • 4 mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 zucchini, sliced
  • 10 to12 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 6 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1 red onion, sliced in rings
  • 2 oz black olives
  • 8 oz Italian or Caesar dressing (more if needed)
  • 2 oz grated parmesan

saucepan
skillet
bowl
serving bowl

In saucepan, cook pasta according to package directions, drain, rinse in cold water and toss with ice cubes. Set aside and let cubes melt.

While pasta is cooking, in skillet, heat oil and sauté eggplant, mushrooms and zucchini.

Remove and cool in the refrigerator while preparing remaining vegetables.

In bowl, toss remaining vegetables with dressing.

Remove any un-melted ice cubes from pasta, and toss with all vegetables once they are cold.

Add cheese, more dressing if needed, and serve.

As always, omit or substitute anything you don’t like. This one is especially easy to adapt to your flavor palate.

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What’s on your menu this weekend? Earlier this week Alain posted his great instructions for roasting chiles and he mentioned having a vacuum sealer. That’s on my wishlist – anyone have any suggestions?

Okay, hit the comments with your recipe shares!

 








Friday Recipe Exchange: Garden Fresh

Oh, boy, recipes two weeks in a row, we might be starting something here.

I spent the afternoon taking care of some fresh veggies that had been sitting on my counter all week. I love this time of year, when the garden provides harvest every morning. But it is difficult to keep up. Today I fire-roasted tomatoes, pureed and froze for soups and sauces this winter. I also did refrigerator jalapeno pickles to use up a few of the many jalapenos.

JeffreyW does some amazing recipes with his peppers, here are two: Candied Jalapenos (here) and Hot ‘n Sweet (here)

Tonight’s menu takes advantage of all the garden-fresh ingredients available now.  I really like this one because it’s a quick skillet taste treat that elevates a weeknight meal.

On the board tonight:

MENU
Skillet Lasagna (recipe below)
Patty Squash Sauté (recipe here)
Italian Bread
Cherries

Skillet Lasagna

  • 6 oz Mafalda (mini-lasagna noodles) or bowtie pasta
  • 1 lb lean ground beef****
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • ½ green pepper chopped
  • 1 tsp basil, crushed
  • 1 tsp oregano, crushed
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce (or 1 lb fresh tomatoes, chopped or pureed)
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 4 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup fresh spinach leaves, chopped
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 oz grated parmesan

skillet
saucepan

In saucepan, cook pasta according to package directions, cooking to al dente (slightly chewy), drain well.  Meanwhile, in skillet brown beef, onion & pepper. Add spices, garlic, carrot and sauté for 1 minute.  Add sauce, paste, stirring well into meat mixture.  Add pasta, stirring gently to mix.

Mix together ricotta and spinach, spoon evenly into the mixture (do not stir in, you want to create little cheese balls), top with mozzarella, cover and let simmer on low until mozzarella is completely melted.

Serve with parmesan.

Just a note, this menu and recipes are from my Summer into Fall Cookbook.

That’s if for this week. If I get a chance to upload the roasted tomato photos this weekend, I’ll post them here. What’s on your plate this weekend?

Hit to comments to share your recipes.

Otherwise, open thread.

****ETA: Thanks to Ohio Mom for reminding me I was going to say, you can easily omit the beef. I have substituted zucchini and or mushrooms and left the meat out entirely. It’s a great vegetarian dish.








Friday Recipe Exchange: Summer Grilling

strawberries over pound cake

Nobody says the sliced strawberries can’t be served over pound cake. Photo by JeffreyW

I finally finished the first of four cookbooks, so I thought I’d start the recipe threads again. Since I have the menus already formatted, it’s easy enough to copy and paste them into a thread once a week.  I’ve had a few requests to start posting again, if only so everyone has a place to share recipes. Seems like a good idea these days.

On the board tonight: Santa Fe Chicken and Black Bean Salad

MENU
Santa Fe Chicken Breasts (recipe below)
Tortilla chips
Black Bean Salad  (recipe here)
Sliced Strawberries

Santa Fe Chicken Breast

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 cup Picante or salsa (Fresh Salsa recipe here)
  • 4 oz sliced Monterey jack cheese

Reusable plastic container

Add chicken, vinegar and cilantro to reusable container and marinate 1 hour or overnight.

Remove chicken from marinade and slice each breast in a butterfly cut (slicing in half horizontally, but leaving attached at one edge, so it folds open like butterfly wings).

Fold open and grill or broil until cooked through (as little as 5 minutes each side, depending on heat and thickness).

Don’t let dry out.  Use a meat thermometer – remove at 165°

On one half of each breast, add 1 oz cheese and 2 tbsp or more of Picante/salsa, fold other half over and heat until cheese is melted.

Serve immediately.

cookbook

That’s it for this week. What’s cooking in your kitchen? Go ahead and share your favorite recipes and tips.  Otherwise, open thread.








I Baked Today: Apple Strudel

I had a couple of apples about to turn and needed to use them. Peaches, blueberries and plums are cluttering my counter, along with corn and tomatoes, so the chances the apples were going to be eaten anytime soon, were slim.

I hadn’t done a strudel in a long time and the recipe seemed simple enough, so here we are.  I made two small dishes, so I could freeze one. Each little casserole dish held half the recipe.

Apple Strudel

  • 2 1/2 cup sifted flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 c. butter, melted
  • 3 tsp. boiling water

8×8 baking dish, well-greased

Stir dry ingredients; mix water with butter and add to dry ingredients. Knead well.

Divide dough into 5 parts. Roll each part very thin between wax paper.

In the baking dish, layer dough & filling, ending with dough. Bake in 400° F oven for 30 minutes. Remove, cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Filling:

  • 2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/4 c. chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup raisins (optional)
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 apples, chopped finely

Mix together and spread between layers

After turning on the news briefly this morning, I have been offline the rest of the day. Plan on keeping it that way. I will tell you that the state Democratic Party contacted me yesterday and asked me if I would be interested in running for an office. After I stopped laughing, I told them probably not, but sign me up for voter registration and get out the vote efforts.

Respite open thread.








Mmmm….Chocolate Caramel Walnut Bars

Not surprisingly, I don’t have a lot of processed food in the house. I generally make things from scratch. And this week I was really craving something sweet and there was not a cookie or candy bar in sight.  Luckily, I keep a LOT of ingredients in the house. There are always chocolate chips, nuts and raw coconut flakes in the cupboard/refrigerator.

I didn’t have the time to make cookies, so these bars were born.

Dark Chocolate-Caramel-Walnut Bars

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp dash of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 8 oz 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chips
  • 1/2 cups walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 4 oz of caramel chips
  • shredded or flaked coconut (I use raw, unsweetened)

8×8 baking dish, bowl

Beat butter and sugar until well incorporated. Then add egg and beat until fluffy. Add baking soda, salt, vanilla and flour.

Lightly grease bottom of the baking dish. Add batter and spread evenly.

Bake at 350 degrees (F) for 15 minutes. Remove and add chopped walnuts, caramel chips and then chocolate chips on top.

Return to oven for 5 minutes. Remove and use an offset spatula to spread melted chips over the top of the bars. Sprinkle with coconut flakes.

Let cool completely before cutting into bars.


I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe – but there is a good reason for that – I’ve been doing recipe blogging for TEN (!!) years. I’ve just run out of ideas, LOL. I do use my blog as my own personal cookbook, so it will always exist.

But if you guys don’t mind reruns, I’m happy to post recipes again – just realize they are going to be from my “archives” and only the occasional fresh, new items. I do test out new ideas, I’ve just lost a lot of enthusiasm for documenting it.

Otherwise, here’s an open thread.