You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Salad’ tag.

It feels like we have been waiting for non-rainy warmer temperatures in Ohio for 100 years. This past winter and spring was a little rough. Too much precipitation, in my humble opinion.

However, I am really appreciating the warmth and the sun these days.

It has been so great to eat dinner on the patio while the ding dongs dig around the yard.

Yesterday, Lola thought that one of Miss Jackson’s (our lab) poos would be a fun toy. Have I mentioned that Lola has issues?

Nothing like a poo mention to transition to talking food.

Am I right?

While the summer has about a billion things that I love, one of my favorite parts of summer is the availability of perfect summer fruits and vegetables.

Oh, and the fact that it is grilling season. Woop! Woop!

I took a trip to the grocery the other night and loaded up on the fresh juicy produce. And I highly advise you to do the same.

First, let us discuss the perfect summer salad.

I, for one, am crazy for a salad that has fruit in it. It is the essence of the perfect summer salad. I really don’t think there is much in all of the land that tastes better- except maybe bacon. Or ice cream.

So, I thought I would whip a dinner side dish to die for.

For one person, I got out a peach, 2 large strawberries, and a handful of red raspberries. Oh, and some spinach.

Arugula (the spicier lettuce) would have been my first choice. Alas, I didn’t have any.

Plop some spinach on your plate and then pile it high with your sliced peach, strawberry, and raspberry.

As you can see, this is a very complicated cooking technique.

Dust on some parmigiano reggiano for a hint of savory and salt.

And add some black pepper. Rumor has it that black pepper increases your metabolism. I have no clue if that is true or not.

But, in case it does happen to be true, I like to pile on the pepper.

It doesn’t hurt that I love me some fresh-a pepp-a.

Then, finish the salad off with a little balsamic vinaigrette.

Or a raspberry vinaigrette, if you have it.

And there you have it.

On a sweltering summer day when standing in front of an oven, stove or grill seems unbearable, this should be your go to meal.

Now those same fruits I mentioned above have a sinister side.

For they love to be combined with  naughty sugar to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Ina Garten makes a lovely peach and raspberry crisp that served as my inspiration for this dessert.

While Ina is pretty much my food idol, I wanted a little more from this crisp. So, this is my version.

My friends, I give you the Peach, Raspberry, and Strawberry Crisp.

Before you do anything…

Preheat your oven to 350.

Get out an 8″ x 8″ pan.

And get out a pot large enough to hold 5 medium sized peaches. Fill the pot with water, and get that water a-boiling.

Here is what you will need:

5 glorious peaches- ripe, but still firm (don’t want a mushy peach)

1 pound of strawberries

1 1/2 pints of raspberries

1 orange

You will also need some sugar, brown sugar, flour, salt, a stick of butter, and some oats.

Remember your 8″ x 8″ pan you got out?

Slather that bad boy in butter and set it aside while you assemble the rest of your ingredients.

In a large bowl, zest your orange.

You only want the orange part of the fruit- if you go crazy zesting and get to the white part of the orange rind, it becomes bitter.

Bitter=nastiness.

We don’t want nastiness anywhere near this dessert.

Add in 1/4 c of sugar.

And 1/3 c. of brown sugar.

And then, add in just shy of 1 c. of flour.

Now, slice up your strawberries and add them to the party.

At this point, I hope that your water in your pot looks like this.

We’re going to give our peaches a 30 second dip in this very hot tub to help us coax the skins off of the peaches.

Carefully drop your peaches into the boiling water.

Let them hang out for 30-60 seconds.

While they are in the hot tub, prepare a shockingly cold bath for them.

Fill a large bowl with ice and water.

After 1 minute in the boiling water, pull the peaches out one by one.

Turn off the heat under the pot because you are now done with your boiling water.

Drop your peaches in the icy bath.

Let them cool down for about 1 minute.

When you pull them out of the ice water, the skins slip right off.

Easy Peasy.

Aren’t peaches beautiful?

Give your peaches a chop and toss them in your bowl.

Stir it up, little darlin.

Now add in your raspberries.

And stir it again. Gently. Don’t crush your berries.

If you have super juicy fruit you may have some juice pooling up in the bottom of your bowl.

If that is the case, I would add in 2 T. more flour. It will help your crisp stay crisp.

Other wise you may end up with Peach, Raspberry and Strawberry Slop.

But let’s be honest… it would still taste great!

Now transfer all of that to your waiting buttered 8″ x 8″ pan.

Head on over to your mixer (with the paddle attachment) to throw together your topping.

Combine 1 c. flour, 1/2 c. sugar, 1/4 c. brown sugar, a teeny-tiny pinch of salt and 1 c. oatmeal.

I, like Ms. Supreme Idiot, that I tend to be from time to time forgot to check and see if I had any oatmeal.

I did not.

Woopsie.

I searched high and low for a worthy substitute, and I decided on Rice Krispies.

And I’m telling you right now… for a summer crisp, this may be my new go to ingredient!

Turn your mixer on low, and combine your ingredients.

Dice up a stick of cold butter.

And add that to the party.

The butter should be about the size of peas when you transfer your topping from the mixer to your waiting fruit.

Pour that sweet Krispie topping all over your fruit.

Then pop the whole kit and caboodle into the oven for 1 excruciatingly long hour.

Folks, are you ready for this?

Oh dear me.

This is what it looks like when it comes out of the oven.

Ooey, gooey, fruity, bubbly, warm and crisp.

And the smell?

Fuh-get-about-it.

The flavor is bright and summery.

And the perfect combination of sweet and tart.

Pile some of this (still warm is perfection, in my opinion) into a bowl and top with some vanilla ice cream

Oh, summer.

It is so great that you have returned.

Please don’t ever leave again.

Thanks.

XO,
Leah

Oh brother.

I fear I have developed a new obsession.

This happens with me (all too frequently) with food.

I taste something.

I die because it is so good.

And then I keep thinking about it until I fold and make it again.

Thus is the case with roasted pears.

You may recall that last week I roasted some up with carrots and parsnips.

And since then, I have been longing for the sweet roasty pear again.

I have issues.

I picked up these two beauties in the store.

And I cut them down the middle.

And I scooped out the center.

And then I peeled them.

And I cut a tiny bit off of the bottom so the pairs wouldn’t be all wobbly in the pan.

I preheated the oven to 350.

By the way, this recipe is 100% Ina Gartens. I do not want to take credit for something so delicious that I did not create!

Now, we have to mix up the stuffing.

I used equal parts cranberries, blue cheese, and chopped walnuts.

For the four pear halves, I used 1/4 c. of each of the above. And that was the perfect amount.

Stuff your pears.

Seriously, how good does that look?

Ooh, did I mention to buy firm pears? Because if they are fully ripe they will fall apart in the oven.

And we definitely don’t want that.

Squeeze some lemon over the whole kit and caboodle.

Caboodle.

Yeah, I had a personalized one of those bad boys when I was growing up.

Jealous?

In a bowl, mix 3 T. of red wine or port and 1/3 c. of brown sugar and 1/2 c. of apple cider.

Now, I didn’t have any apple cider.

But I did have some white grape juice.

Yep, that’s what I used.

And it was lovely.

Pour that over the pears and in to the baking dish.

Pop that into the oven for 30 minutes.

The pears should soften up and the cheese should melt, and it should smell delicious!

Pop some arugula on your plate.

I love the pre-washed stuff from the grocery store. It makes my life easier.

And I love ease.

Give a little squeeze of lemon.

And a little drizzle of olive oil.

Pull your pears out of the oven.

Take some of that syrupy winey, juicy, sugary cooking liquid and drizzle it over your salad.

Pop a pear on top.

Give the whole sha-bang a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Serve it up with some pot roast (recipe coming peeps!) and mashed taters.

Roasted pear craving.

Attacked.

And conquered.

So, so good.

Lots of love to ya,

Leah

I feel as if it has been far too long since we have discussed my favorite food group.

Cheese.

Oooh la.

Today, I would like to talk about how much I love goat cheese.

I would go so far as to say that I LURVE goat cheese.

My main man also loves cheese of the goat… in fact, his affection borders on obsession.

I think I could serve him up a slice of Spam, and as long as it was topped with some goat cheese, he would deem it the best meal of the week.

So, I was watching the OWN network over the weekend (jury is still out on whether or not I’m liking this network), and there was a cooking show on.

On the show, the woman was making fried goat cheese rounds.

Um.

What?

Excuse me?

Did you say…

Fried.

Goat.

Cheese?

Oh.

Oh. My.

Like fried cheese, but it is goat cheese?

Oh yes.

I truly had a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that I had never entertained the idea of frying up goat cheese.

What is wrong with me?

Anyhow, I decided then and there that fried goat cheese was a must for this week’s meals.

Here is how I made them (again, stealing the recipe from some cooking show, the name I can’t remember, on OWN).

I had a 3.5 oz log of herbed goat cheese in the fridge. Truth be told, I scraped some of the herbs off of the side because I was afraid I wouldn’t like them all herby tasting. I sliced the log into 1/4 in. thick disks.

Then, I put 1/3 c. of flour in a small bowl.

And I cracked one egg in a bowl.

And I put 1/3 c. of Panko breadcrumbs in a bowl.

Panko Breadcrumbs are also called Japanese Breadcrumbs, and they are decidedly more delicious and crunchy that regular breadcrumbs. I have found these in two different places in the grocery store. Sometimes they are in the Asian foods aisle, and sometimes they are in the baking aisle near the flour and the rest of the breadcrumbs.

They are pretty inexpensive, and as long as you seal the bag correctly, they keep in your pantry for a LONG time.

Whisk your egg.

Take your first round of cheese, and coat it in flour.

Next, drop the round into the egg.

The flour helps the whisked egg stick to the cheese. If you skip the flour step, the egg will drip right off of the uncoated cheese.

Then, coat the round in Panko breadcrumbs.

The  egg obviously helps the breadcrumbs adhere to the cheese.

Repeat until you’ve got a whole plate of coated cheese rounds.

Now, pop that plate into your freezer for 5 minutes.

We want those cheese rounds to be good and cold when we drop them into our hot pan.

While your cheese is chillin’, get out a small skillet and pour 1/2 c. of vegetable oil into the pan.

Vegetable oil is a light oil that can handle higher heat than say, an olive oil.

Turn on your burner and crank it up to medium-high heat.

In the picture above, can you see the tiny little ripples at the bottom of the pan?

That is the oil telling you that it is ready.

Add your cheese.

Carefully!

One layer, evenly spread out.

Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to cook these in two batches.

Once you put your cheese in the pan, do not touch them.

After 1-2 minutes, you have permission to touch the cheese. Give them a flip.

And let the underside cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Remove the cheese from the pan to a paper towel lined plate to let any excess oil get absorbed.

I threw a cup and half of baby spinach on my plate.

Topped that with three of those glorious cheese rounds.

Then I squeezed the juice of half of a lemon over the top.

I added a drizzle (approx 1 T) of olive oil.

Top that off with a bit of salt and pepper.

And there ya have it.

The most delicious fried cheese.

Ever.

In.

My.

Life.

Guess what?

It is Thursday.

That, and goat cheese, makes me very happy!

XO,
Leah

Note: Click on the recipes tab above this post for the full catalog of Seven Hills Recipes.

Our household is entering in to an insanely busy time.

There are lots of exciting happenings for us right now, but it does mean more dinners for one.

Tear.

Sniffle.

Sniffle.

Cry.

Sob.

Wait?

What’s that you say?

Mama O is back on with her final season?

Well, then.

That is a different story entirely.

I’ll happily take my meal for one and spend my evening watching the Mighty Opes.

And that is exactly what I did just the other night.

This dinner was for one. But I made extra to pack for lunch the next day. This recipe could easily be turned into dinner for 2 or 4 or 12.

A couple of weekends ago, at my brothers wedding, my mother-in-law brought us a present from a recent trip.

Wine flavored barbecue sauce.

Hello, lover.

I didn’t want to wait to use this treat!

So, when the man was working late, I decided to put the gift to good use.

Raw chicken in a bowl.

Nothing says delicious and yet disgusting quite like raw chicken.

Bleck.

I put just enough barbecue sauce in to coat the chicken. I put the airtight lid on the container and I stuck it in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

You, of course, can use any barbecue sauce.

Pick one that floats your boat.

In the meantime, I threw together my salad.

I actually really love salads.

Especially the hearty kind with lots of toppings and flavors.

Spinach on a plate:

Chop up a ‘mater:

And some cuke:

Drain some black beans:

And sprinkle some on top:

Hmmm… at this point, I’m looking in the fridge trying to figure out what else would be delish.

What do I like?

What do I want?

This is the true beauty of cooking for one.

No one else’s tastes or opinions matter.

And sometimes being selfish is fun.

So, guess what I found??

Yep, Bacon!!

So, you know some of that is getting crumbled on top.

Random hard boiled egg.

Sure.

Why not?

Avocado.

Mmmmm. Hmmmm.

Let’s throw that on.

Some crumbled blue cheese on top.

Yummers.

Just two things missing at this point,

Chicken and some dressing.

For the chicken… pull it out of the fridge.

I desperately was hoping to grill these up.

But, it rained.

And the ground and my poor thirsty plants desperately wanted the rain.

So, I settled for a non-stick pan.

And I put down a little extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.

And I threw my bbq covered tenders in about 5 minutes on each side.

Right before they were done, I wanted a little more of that winey barbecuey saucey.

So, I slathered some on.

Chop it up, and on to the salad it goes.

For dressing, nothing I had in the fridge was feeling quite right.

So, I took a little ranch:

Added in a bit of the barbecue sauce:

And I think a splash of hot sauce.

Oh yes.

Mix it all together.

And drizzle on your salad to top it off.

Grab a glass of this:

And maybe some of these (for you know how Mama O rolls):

Sit down in front of this:

And snuggle in for some special one-on-one time with your BFF:

Happy eating friends.

XO,
Leah

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 613 other followers