Sunday, July 26, 2009

Herb Vinagrette Potato Salad

Some where along the line I feel that I've lost my blog followers. I never had many but I enjoyed the comments I was getting. Now I have none! Did the newness wear off? Was it the vegetarian sloppy joes? They were good, I swear!

At any rate, I will continue. At least I amuse myself.

Back when I was working (I remember those days well...getting a paycheck so I could buy groceries) we had potluck lunches. The last one I attend was highlighted by this potato salad. No mayo in this one! My coworker was nice enough to pass along the recipe. I was dying to make this for Seth who swears that he doesn't like potato salad. He claims that he doesn't like the mayonnaise part. Well, perfect, he'll love this salad.

So one warm night I made a vegetarian barbecue which included this salad. I made the dressing from scratch (my first time!), I put lots of love and care into slicing all of the veggies and cooking the potatoes. We sat down, I watched him take a bite and he seemed to like it. Once he had cleaned his plate I said, "So, you liked the potato salad?" he sort of made a face and replied, "I think I don't like cold potatoes."

Really? That's it? Ugh. Men.

Herb Vinagrette Potato Salad
Source: Former coworker
Yield: 4 servings

3/4 lb small, scrubbed new red potatoes
3/4 c. vinaigrette dressing
1 13oz. can artichoke halves, quartered
1 small green pepper, cut into strips
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 small red onion, in rings
1/4 c. black olives, halved
1/4 c. parsley, snipped

Cook potatoes in boiling salted water until tender but firm (about 15 minutes), drain, cut into quarters.

In a large bowl, pour dressing over potatoes.

Add remaining ingredients, toss gently to mix. Cover and chill for up to 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Transfer to serving dish and dig in!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dorie's Blondies

You may have noticed that you haven't seen a "Tuesdays with Dorie" post in awhile. I quit. When it comes to my extra curriculars, like blogging, I don't like playing by the rules. I couldn't bake something every Tuesday. My husband doesn't eat sweets, I have no job to bring the sweets to for consumption, and if I eat them I won't fit in my jeans and I have not job so I can't buy new jeans. See? I just couldn't do it.

When my sister was up for her vacation we were craving a sweet and picked these out of Dorie's book. I sent a big plate back to my dad's house with my sister. Apparently they were gone in no time and Cate didn't get to have one!! Of course the next day I took one out of my stash for my most favorite niece.

These were fantastic. Sweet and chewy. I froze a bunch and they were delectable straight from the freezer!

Chewy Chunky Blondies
Source: Baking: From My Home to Yours
Yield: 32ish

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or 1 cup store-bought chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips or Heath Toffee Bits
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9×13-inch baking pan and put it on a baking sheet.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add both sugars and beat for another 3 minutes, or until well incorporated. Add the eggs one by one, beating for 1 minute after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing just until they disappear into the batter. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chips, nuts and coconut. Scrape the batter into the buttered pan and use the spatula to even the top as best you can.

Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the blondies comes out clean. The blondies should pull away from the sides of the pan a little and the top should be a nice honey brown. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for about 15 minutes before turning the blondies out onto another rack. Invert onto a rack and cool the blondies to room temperature right side up.

Cut into 32 bars, each roughly 2-1/4 x 1-1/2 inches.

Monday, July 20, 2009


When we were kids we lived next the service plaza on the turnpike. The one with the gas station and the Burger King. On the road into the back side of the plaza were these raspberry bushes and we always went down with containers to pick them. They were the sweetest berries around. I remember one day I was around 10 years old and I was skipping down the road with my container of berries in hand. I tripped and fell on the tar. I wasn't upset about my skun knee but I was devastated I had dropped all my raspberries.

I don't know why I thought about those raspberries the other day but I told my father that I wondered if they were still growing there. Seth and I decided to take a drive out and see. Of course they were still there!! There weren't as many as I remember but they tasted just as sweet.

We decided to take a stroll past my old house. My parents lived in the house for about 25 years. Maybe a little more. I spent 21 of my years there and have so many wonderful memories. I think of the house often and wonder what it is like inside. A few times a year I will take a detour home just to drive by.

I did pretty good until we were right in front of the house and then I started crying. I don't really know why. Just nostalgia I guess. I thought of my mother out by the pool. My father tinkering with a car in the garage. A cemetery of pets in the back corner of the field. Remnants of my tree house were still there. My swing set was gone. The landscaping is different. But the smell of the country air is exactly the same.

This is the field where the dogs and cats rest. Where the iris' grow that we would pick for Mummy. Where Mummy loved to go snowshoeing.
Taken before I got teary. Yeah, I used to live there.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

As a kid we had sloppy joes often. Caroline calls them messy janes which I find cute. Mummy would get the manwich mix in the can and Robbie loved them! Whatever you want to call them, the vegetarian version is delicious!

I halved this recipe for the two of us and it still could have served four!! I heated some up the next day for lunch and it was awesome. Packed full of veggies and beans these are healthy and will fill you up. For a treat I will stop at Whole Foods and buy these whole wheat hamburger buns. They are awesome but not so awesome on the wallet (seems that way for everything at Whole Foods).

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes
Source: Rachael Ray Magazine
Yield: 4 servings (or more)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 red, green or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 jalapeƱo chiles, seeded and finely chopped
1 red onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
Two 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
Salt and pepper
One 15-ounce can diced fire-roasted or crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1 lime
4 crusty rolls, split and lightly toasted
2 large dill pickles, chopped
1/3 cup chopped cilantro (a generous handful)

In a large skillet, heat the oil, 1 turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper, jalapeƱos, red onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the black beans, cumin and coriander; season with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Add to the black beans and simmer for a few minutes. Stir in the lime juice. Serve the Sloppy Veg-Head Joe on the rolls. Top with the pickles and cilantro.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Versatile Flatbread

Brianne, you are a bad bad blogger. Tisk, tisk.

I've set a new rule for myself to do new postings twice a week. I've been a food blog slacker lately!

How pathetic that I made these back in May and am now just blogging them. I haven't forgotten how much I enjoyed them though! These flatbreads came together very easily and kept, wrapped up, for a few days. I actually made them to use as hot dog rolls and found that there is no good way to photograph a hot dog. No matter what angle you use, it always looks...well...just wrong.

Some other options for using these are for pizzas, sandwiches, "pita" chips, or I liked them just plain as a snack!

Source: Rachel Ray Magazine
Yield: 8 pieces

1T sugar
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water (105-115 degrees)
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon salt, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
2T butter, melted
1 1/2 heads roasted garlic (I don't think I did this)

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar and the yeast into the lukewarm water and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Using a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flour, salt and baking powder at low speed.

In a medium bowl, stir together the buttermilk and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Add to the dry ingredients along with the yeast mixture and 3 tablespoons roasted garlic and mix at low speed until just combined. Switch to the dough hook and knead at medium speed until smooth, elastic and slightly sticky, about 5 minutes.

Grease a large bowl with 1 tablespoon melted butter and roll the dough in the butter to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat a griddle or large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Place the dough on a work surface and cut into 8 pieces. Lightly flour the work surface and roll out 1 piece of dough into a 6-inch-long oval. Add to the hot skillet and cook, turning once, until puffed and golden, about 3 minutes total. Repeat with the remaining dough. Brush the flatbreads with the remaining melted butter and sprinkle with salt.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Happy Birthday America

This idea came from Katie at Good Things Catered. I thoroughly enjoy her blog.

When going to a party or BBQ I feel bad if I don't contribute something. Even if the hostess says not to bring anything. I can't help it. I must. So I was scrambling on the morning of the Fourth. We decided to visit an old family friend who was hosting a BBQ. I needed to do something patriotic. The whipped cream and berries thing? No. Cupcakes? Overplayed. To Food Gawker for inspiration I went! I happened upon these and had native strawberries on hand as well as a half pint of blueberries. It was a plan!!

Once I got the dough rolled and filled and was tucking the edges up and into itself...I wasn't so sure this was a good idea. They weren't the prettiest little tarts. My sister said they are "rustic" sort of like the flower planter that I made that no one likes. After brushing them with egg and then baking them they did look much better. They were a hit at the party!!

Mini Berry Tarts
Source: Adapted from Good Things Catered
Yield: 10-12 tarts

Your favorite pie crust
3 cups halved fresh strawberries
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
Zest of lemon
Just of one lemon
1 beaten egg

Mix the berries, sugar, lemon juice and zest.

Roll out the dough and cut into circles. (I used a little bowl.) Place the circles on a pan and top each with a bit of the berry mixture. Tuck the sides of the circle up and pinch the edges to keep the sides there. Brush each tart with egg and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.