Since I’m all about learning new tricks and facing down fears in the kitchen, I taught myself how to roast bell peppers over an open flame this morning. Up until now, I’ve been a purchased-jarred-peppers-kinda-girl when I’ve needed them for a recipe, mainly due to the fact that roasted capsicums resemble pepper-shaped lumps of Kingsford briquettes, and I guess I was intimidated by the idea of charring anything that badly in my own home. Well, I’m here to tell you that it wasn’t at all difficult to do and although it makes a little bit of a mess, I had a great time and the results are delicious. I watched this video and got perfect results. Give it a try, don’t be afraid. It’s fun! : )
In honor of June being Dairy Month, I decided to kick things off with summer’s first batch of ice cream from scratch. I sacrificed a waffle maker in the process. While I was standing on a chair above my pantry this morning, I moved our behemoth bread machine to the side and inadvertently knocked my thousand year old waffle maker to its (timely?) death on the kitchen floor. It was quite a scene, let me tell you. All in the name of homemade vanilla bean. Oh well … what’s that phrase? If you wanna make an omelet, you gotta break a few waffle makers.
Oh my gosh, here’s a post for any and all bargain-hunting carnivores: I’ve got one for you today. A really good one. And even though I almost just burned my house down (no lie) by broiling the steak that’s in the photo above, I am still like, mega excited to tell you about this recipe. However due to the recent pyrotechnics in the oven, my entire house now smells like an Outback Steakhouse, so let’s just get on with this so that I can get on with the small matter of airing out the joint.
I’ve had a slight issue of late with my ice cream maker. And the issue is that I cannot seem to stop finding excuses to use it. In the past oh, about ten days or so, I’ve made four different flavors: chocolate gelato (both milk and dark; milk was better), cookies and cream (a great use for those stale Oreos I had thanks to people in my house who cannot seem to figure out how to properly seal packaging), and a fantastic mint chocolate chip. Mint chocolate chip was the absolute, hands down, bombdigity. I’m not even that big of a sweets fan, but I swear, I could not tear myself away from that stuff. Amazing.
This no-cook sauce is is possibly the freshest tasting and most frugal recipe I’ve made all summer long. In this version, diced roma tomatoes marinate in their own juices along with good olive oil, fresh garlic, Italian parsley, and a bit of jalapeno for just a little punch. Toss it with a pound of cooked pasta, top it with a little good Parmesan, and serve some warm bread alongside. Yum. Dinner is served!
Despite my feelings about raw tomatoes, this salad is one of my all time favorites. I could eat it for dinner all on its own, but I love it alongside grilled chicken or fish. It’s the perfect summer side dish, and a great way to use both the sale Romas and the Sendik’s Artisan Ciabatta Bread.
By now you know that I’m not much for baking due to the fact that I pretty much stink at the whole process. So you might think that I paid someone off to make the fruit tart I’m discussing today, but that would be wrong. In fact, the tart pictured above was made by me, myself and I with very little fuss or muss. And believe it or not, I even managed to keep the use of questionable language in check.
The Pickle and I were driving over to the high school this morning for her 8:00 cross country practice, and we had Kramp & Adler on the radio. They were discussing all the different ways for Milwaukee locals to stay cool in the heat this week and they were taking calls from anyone with constructive suggestions. So this guy out in Oconomowoc called in and offered some really helpful advice: he said everyone should stop in to Lorleberg Hardware on highway 16 and pick up an anti-chafing product they have there that can help you avoid …. uhm, uncomfortable situations in the heat. Because this is a food blog I’m not even going to tell you what the product was called, but given my immaturity and all I thought it was quite funny. The Pickle however is 14 and she embarrasses quite easily and thought that anyone talking about this sort of thing on the radio must be flat out of their minds and she asked me to please change the station, stat.
I’m constantly on the lookout for great grilling ideas. Easy ones. I don’t get in to the whole “let’s soak mesquite chips then build a dual cooking hi temp / low temp charcoal fire and smoke a twenty pound brisket for five hours” scene. When it comes to that type of grilling, I fully admit that I’m fighting outside my weight class. You’ve probably noticed by now I’m pretty much all about simple, uncomplicated, family-friendly, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants recipes, and when it comes to grilling, I don’t really make any exceptions. Some would call me stubborn annnnnnnd …. I would have to agree.
Suppose your inner Martha is considering hosting a cookout this coming weekend. You’re feeling pretty good; your patio pots are planted colorfully and the lawn is greening up. The guest list is coming together in your head and it’s growing by the minute because you’re a sweetheart of a gal and it pains you deeply to leave anyone out. The forecast looks amazing. A perfect party playlist is synced up in your head, it just needs to make its way to your portable electronic device. But even though you are channeling Martha, the menu has you stumped.
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