Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sweet Pea Pizza

So the other day I had some pizza dough, lots of sweet peas from our garden and the CSA and a random thought: "how can I combine the dough and the peas and make something yummy?"

I started brainstorming (next to actually cooking and eating, my favorite kitchen activity): "I know that peas taste really good with fresh herbs, especially mint...olive oil would be nice with the peas...oh, and I have some fresh mozzarella in the fridge...hmmm...did I remember to put the wash in the dryer?" And then I got up to do laundry, a few other things and came back to the kitchen to create:

Sweet Pea Pizza

1 cup of fresh peas, steamed (or you can use frozen, but do NOT use canned)
3-4 tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs, such as mint, parsley, basil)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt and fresh ground pepper
4-6 ounces of fresh buffalo mozzarella, sliced thin
Red Pepper Flakes
Diced Tomato (optional)
Homemade Pizza Dough

In a bowl, combine the peas, herbs, olive oil and salt and pepper and stir well.

Roll out your dough and top with the pea mixture. Add the cheese, a dash of red pepper flakes and tomatoes, if using.

Bake in a 450 degree oven for 8-10 minutes (or you can grill pizza too, you know).

Sprinkle with a few extra herbs before eating, if desired.

I know some of you might be thinking, "hmmm, not sure if this sounds good to me...I mean, peas on a pizza??" Let me tell you, it was my favorite pizza in a long time!!

What are you favorite pizza combinations? Gimme some good ones, not just pepperoni with mushrooms or the such...


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Kohlrabi in the House

Our first kohlrabi from the CSA arrived this weekend, so I used it, the chinese cabbage and the green onions in our week's crop share to make:

It was delicious! I posted the recipe today on familyeducation.com.

Caris, this one is for you!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Feelin' Hot! Hot! Hot!!

As I type this I am hunkered down in the basement, not feeling the least bit guilty about being in the cool underground rather than outside, baking in the sun.

Summer arrived this weekend and thus the season of cooking and eating most meals al fresco has arrived. I love this time of year because clean up of our porch is so much easier than our kitchen and we can take measures to make sure the boys are easier to clean up too:

Hey, don't try to tell me you don't do this too!

Our meals for the week:

Grilled Shrimp and Grits, Grilled Spring Onions and Squash
Hanoi Pork, Napa Asian Slaw, Berries
Greek Salad with Grilled Chicken, Hummus, Tzatziki and Pita
BLT Pasta Salad

Have a great one!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sweet Pea Harvest

I had been told that sweet peas don't like the heat, that they are more of a spring and autumn vegetable than summer. The last few days our plants have been looking pretty forlorn, so while G napped this afternoon, R and I picked the remaining pods:

and then spent some time on our back porch shucking the peas:

There is something about the slow pace of shucking peas that just screamed "lazy summer day" to me. What a treat to have R excited and willing to sit and shuck and talk while we enjoyed the breeze from our porch fan.

Tonight we are doing grilled pizzas with fresh mozzarella and roasted peppers for our dinner. I think I may give this recipe from Epicurious.com a try as well...

(Photo from Epicurious.com)

We are also going to try and save some of the peas to plant in the fall. The sweet pea seeds we planted in early March looked just like dried peas, so I figure it might work. We'll keep you posted...

Have a sweet weekend--

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Just Bag It

I am not sure how it happened, but somewhere along the line I seemed to have amassed a reusable grocery bag collection. What began as several Giant bags that a family member bought for me now includes ones from some of my favorite stores. Heck, when we were in Houston I even picked one up as a momento. Sad, isn't it? When your souvenir from a trip is a grocery bag.

Well, G has become quite fond of playing with my collection. Like clock work he finds a use for each one when I am unloading the weekly groceries. This week he decided to wear them:

I know, I know, it is a probably not a good idea to pause to take a picture when your two year old has loads of things wrapped around his neck...

As much as I love my collection, some are getting a bit mangy, which is why I was excited to see my favorite West Coast food blogger Rookie Cookie doing a bag giveaway this week. Go there and check it out!


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Roughing It

This past weekend we went for a four day camping trip with my mom's side of the family. In a nutshell:

18 adults + 7 kids (all 7 and under, 6 boys, 1 girl) + 7 cabins + great weather = a really great time

It was a lot of fun and G had his first tastes of roasted marshmallows:

We even discovered what has to be one of the coolest undiscovered places of Ohio, The Wilds. The Wilds is the largest wildlife preserve in North America. It is 10,000 acres of animals from Africa, Asia and the rest of the world that have been given an open range habitat.

We saw giraffes, rhinos, zebras, cheetahs and other exotic animals, all just roaming around on our safari style tour.
I took these pictures from our bus:

We'll be roughing it for our meals this week too, since I am just too tired/lazy to put together any meal plan today. Lots of stuff on the grill and some summer salads too.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sweet Peas in Abundance

Remember way back when in October when I posted some photos to ask you all which recipes you wanted? I forgot about the potato and pea salad until this week when we got our first CSA delivery and there were gobs of fresh sweet peas.

we're also growing sweet peas in our backyard:

With all these (extra) sweet peas around our home, this recipe is definitely in order!

This potato salad uses a vinaigrette instead of mayonnaise, which creates a super flavor without all the calories. Although the recipe calls for fresh peas, you could use another kind of vegetable to complement the potatoes.

Fresh Sweet Pea and Herb Potato Salad

5-6 medium sized red or new potatoes, diced
1 cup of fresh peas (or frozen are fine too)
2-3 ribs of celery thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
2 tablespoons fresh basil (or just use another 2 tablespoons of parsley)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons rice wine or white wine vinegar

Dice the potatoes into small cubes. Boil in a pot of water for 3-4 minutes or until just tender. While the potatoes are cooking, place the peas and celery in a medium sized bowl.

Drain the potatoes and pour into the bowl with the peas and celery (placing the potatoes into the bowl with the peas and celery with gently steam the green vegetables).

Add the fresh herbs and mix well. Let cool.

Mix the salt, pepper, mustard, olive oil and vinegar in a small bowl and then pour over the potato mixture. Stir well. Chill or serve warm temperature.

Serves 4.


Monday, June 8, 2009

Homemade Slow Melt Popsicles and Such

It was hot this weekend and the boys had a good deal of popsicles...but I had not one messy shirt to clean. You want to know my secret?

This weekend was full with a trip to the Columbus Arts Festival, T-ball practice, a birthday party that included a fire truck visit

and some preparations for our upcoming weekend camping trip (more on that later this week). Since G is in that "let me help!" stage, we let him clean up the cooler, which he turned into a make-shift personal pool.

Our meals for the week:

Grilled Chicken Sausage, Fresh Sweet Pea and Herb Potato Salad (recipe tomorrow!), Marinated Grape Tomatoes
Ginger Shrimp Stirfry
Taco Salad

Happy Week All-

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

And so summer begins...

Have you been sniffing the grilling in the air? Along with the peonies, roses and other flowers in bloom, I've been smelling a lot of grillin' going on in my neck of the woods. Yesterday we added to the barbecuing symphony...

We arrived home late afternoon Sunday from our ten day trip back East. Tired, but ready for a home cooked meal, I raided the freezer and pantry to see what we might be able to whip up.

Then I remembered to check our garden too, and found our cilantro growing like crazy. Inspired by our plethora of cilantro, I pulled out some frozen steaks and started them quick thawing in some cold water in our sink. With the cilantro and some lime and jalapeno that somehow survived the extended stay in our fridge, SPH whipped up some cilantro sauce for the steaks. A can of baked beans, peaches and some frozen sweet potato fries, and we were set for dinner without a late day trip to the grocery.

Cilantro Sauce for Steaks

1 cup of cilantro, loosely packed
Juice of half of a lime
Half of a jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup almonds, toasted
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Greek style yogurt (or just use plain yogurt)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine all in a food processor and whirl until smooth. Serve over steaks, or whatever is coming off your grill.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Back to the routine?

We're back from our vacation, rested, relaxed and somewhat tanned (well, SPH at least), since the sun did manage to appear the latter half of our beach trip.

A fun time was had by all, thanks to SPH's wonderful family for hosting us during our stay!

We attempted to get some beach pictures of the boys while we were there, but as you can see, R and G have perfected their ability to make their smiles look as UNnatural as possible. Better luck next year.

After we arrived home late yesterday, I did a freezer/pantry/garden dive to conjure up our meal. SPH whipped up some yummy cilantro chimichurri style sauce for our steaks. I'll post the recipe later this week.

Our other meals for the week:
Olive Bar Fish, 3 Bean Salad
Grilled Pizza, Corn on the Cob
Teriyaki Chicken Thighs, Asian Pasta Salad
Eggplant Parmesan, Spinach Salad
A new Chicken Burger Recipe, Sauteed Kale

Happy June All!