July 18, 2011

Spinach Basil Pesto

Some of our plants have perished in the July heat, but luckily not my basil plants.  In fact, they're actually flourishing.  I cut enough to make a batch of pesto tonight but then decided to stretch out the pesto by adding CSA spinach

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: N/A
Ingredients (1 cup / 8 oz)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 1/2 oz Parmesan cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups spinach leaves, packed (1 1/2 oz)
  • 3/4 cup fresh basil leaves, packed (3/4 oz)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Pulse the walnuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and salt in a food processor.
  • Then add the spinach and basil leaves, and pulse just until combined.
  • Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula, if necessary.

Recipe adapted from: Cuisinart
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Peanut Butter Cookie Cups

I do not like traditional peanut butter cookies, but I really love peanut butter cookie cups.  It all started last November when I ran out of Reese's peanut butter cups the first time I made this recipe.  I don't like chocolate, so I sampled the chocolate-less version and loved them.

Without the Reese's cup, you're left with a chewy, almost dough-like, peanut butter cup cookie but only if you use a mini muffin pan.  This recipe does not work nearly as well, if you bake them on a cookie sheet.

I took the photo below tonight, and I swear you can tell how insanely hot it is right now just from the photo.  The cookies almost look steamy!  Or maybe it's just me...perhaps the heat is affecting my head :)

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1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk

Another option is to use a tart shaper to create space for candy in the cups.  This past spring I made the version you see below with Reese's Pieces eggs.  I like this version because the chocolate is easily removable :) 

July 16, 2011

Creamy Basil & Zucchini Pasta

When I saw Joanne's blog post last night, I immediately knew what I wanted to make for lunch today.  There are two things I have an excess of right now, and that is basil and summer squash, so her recipe was ideal.

This is one of those dishes that Chris could not stop complimenting, and I totally agreed.  It's a perfect flavor combination! 

Printer-Friendly Recipe

1/2 lb penne pasta
1 lb zucchini, sliced into 1-inch thin strips
2 tsp butter
1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/4 cup whipping cream
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup basil, chopped finely
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Chris also grilled polish kielbasa for lunch, and I have to admit, despite my meat-hating ways, the kielbasa was really good with the pasta!  Whipping cream is typically associated with heavy meals, but there's not much in this recipe, so it really is a great summer dish.

July 11, 2011

Baked Zucchini Cakes

I received four gorgeous summer squash in my CSA box this week, so I made zucchini cakes tonight.  After trying out several ways to make these, I'm very happy with this version.

Chris and I had these topped with a bit of ranch dressing tonight, but I think they'd also be delicious in a hamburger bun topped with lettuce, tomato and pickle like the zucchini cake minis on the Ruby Tuesday menu.

Baked Zucchini Cakes

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients (12 cakes)
    Zucchini Cakes
    • 3 cups grated zucchini (from 2 medium zucchini)
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
    • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1 egg
    • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
    • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning (or substitute below)
    • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
    • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

    Old Bay Substitute
    • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
    • Heat oven to 400 degrees and spray two baking sheets with cooking spray.
    • Grate zucchini on the large holes of a box grater.  Squeeze grated zucchini in a clean kitchen towel. Zucchini should be fairly dry, and you should have about 2 cups after removing it from the towel.
    • Place zucchini and remaining ingredients in a bowl; mix well.  Form into 12 patties (approximate 2-inch diameter), and place on prepared baking sheets.
    • Bake for 10 minutes. Then turn each cake over and bake for another 8 minutes.  Remove from oven and serve immediately. We like ours with ranch dressing.
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    July 01, 2011

    Soba Salad with Peanut Sauce

    I made Mama Pea's noodle salad with peanut mmmm sauce tonight for dinner, and we both really liked it!

    The only thing I didn't like was the length of the noodles, so I plan to break them next time before cooking them.
    Soba Noodles Bowl with Peanut Sauce
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 10 minutes
    Ingredients (4 servings)

    Peanut Sauce
    • 1/2 cup light coconut milk
    • 1/2 cup fire-roasted diced tomatoes
    • 1/4 cup peanut butter
    • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 2 tablespoons lime juice
    • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
    • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
    • 1 tablespoon agave or mayple syrup
    • 6oz soba noodles (broken into pieces)
    • 6 cups of water
    • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
    • 2 cups bok choy, chopped
    • 2 cups frozen edamame
    • In a food processor or blender, combine all peanut sauce ingredients, blending until smooth.
    • In a large saucepan, bring water for the noodles to a boil. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add vegetables and saute until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
    • When the water comes to a boil, add noodles and stir. Lower to medium heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Drain noodles in a colander and rinse thoroughly with cold water.
    • Add drained noodles and sauce to the vegetables, and toss to coat. Serve hot immediately or refrigerate until serving and eat cold.
    Recipe Source: Peas and Thank You
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