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Asian Cucumber Slaw

15 Sep

Pickled Cucumbers

Apparently my six-foot-three, bearded, sport-obsessed husband has turned into a middle-aged, midwestern woman who is preparing for the seasons by pickling and canning everything in sight. Aside from the fact that we don’t have a pantry (Pickled jalapenos for everyone!  No really, I mean everyone. We have enough for everyone in America.), we also aren’t growing the produce out back or anything, so it’s not like we need to do something with our harvest.  This is definitely one of those food-phases that he is going through.  (Pizza anyone? Anyone?).  But I always happily oblige when he is going through his inspirational spurts, because I get to reap the (delicious) benefits.

These pickled cucumbers were something that he made, intending to be a garnish.  But we actually whipped it out as an accompaniment to some cheese and meats we put out for a happy hour with some friends, adding a nice, crisp partner to the other heavier foods. Continue reading

Beef Stock

4 Sep

Beef Stock

My summer baby Ella. I sweated through (what I swear) was the hottest summer and she was graced with an August birthday. When she was about 3 months old, I started to freak out about her having a summer birthday. I asked every August birthday-card-carrying-member that I knew if it was okay not being able to celebrate your birthday in school and all those weird, crazy thoughts that pop into your head when you are a new mom.

They all reassured me that it would be okay and she would turn out to be a functioning member of society (and pool parties=awesome parties).

One of the (quality) problems we have found out though, is a lot of people are away during the summer, so we end up celebrating Ella’s birthday a few different times. Definitely a good thing in the birthday girl’s mind. This year, we had a kid party at her gymnastics place, a get together with Chris’ family, a get-together with my family, cupcakes for daycare, Skype date and cupcakes with my parents and Chris’ sister and a birthday dinner at the Delaware shore.

And what’s better to serve for a summer beach birthday at the shore? Hot soup! No, really though, it was an overcast day, so it was the perfect thing. Chris had been talking about making a seafood soup for this occasion for the last month, so this is the stock that started it all. Continue reading

Pickled Jalapenos

28 Aug

Pickled Jalapenosposted by: Chris

I don’t have a vegetable garden, yet. That was low on my priority list when we got our new house – not quite as high as a new roof, but slightly ahead of installing a zip line from our second story deck directly to the train station about five blocks away.

Luckily for me I have family who have been cultivating gardens for years. And luckily for my neighbors, the Town of Bedford frowns upon zip lines. Either way, everyone’s a winner!

What I’ve noticed from a far about having a vegetable garden is how great it is to have fresh produce right outside your back door. I’ve also noticed (and this may only be a northeast problem) but everything tends to come at once.

You may have a need for four dozen tomatoes, but what are you gonna do with all those cucumbers, or five plants worth of jalapeños. That’s where I come in.

Send me your poor, your weak and all the homegrown produce you couldn’t possibly eat before it spoils. I’m on a pickling mission and it started with these jalapeños. After a few weeks they’ve maintained a great crisp and pack much of the heat that store-bought, jarred jalapeños lack.

I made this batch with a bunch of chilies my uncle asked me to take off his hands. I thought I cleaned him out. That was until he sent me the rest of his harvest in the mail and just in time. I’m about to polish off jar No.1 and can’t wait to pickle another batch. Continue reading

Pineapple and Roasted Poblano Salsa

23 Aug

Pineapple and Roasted Poblano Salsa

As I mentioned in our last post, we were on vacation recently. Usually when we go on vacation, we don’t tend to cook too much. Maybe a meal here or there, but going out for meals is a big part of helping me switch into vacation mode. Along with a beer. Or two. And a frozen custard… However, on this last trip, we ended up eating at the house a lot and it was actually a nice change. Maybe it was cooking in someone else’s kitchen, or being in a beautiful house on the beach. It all contributed to the little bit of work not feeling so much like a task.

In addition to the full-on meals that he cooked, Chris whipped up this quick salsa with ingredients plucked out of the garden (poblanos), fruit that was on the counter (pineapple) and something you always have in the fridge (garlic). This was awesome with salty tortilla chips and would be delicious on grilled chicken, in tacos or on top of a salad. Or if you just have a spoon, that would also be just fine. Continue reading

Mint Mojito

28 Jun

Mojito

Chris and I were just talking about how we want to permanently instill Happy Hour every weekend during the summer.  All you need are some delicious snacks (read: lots and lots of cheese), good company, something sweet and a fun drink.  It’s usually very hot here so no one ever wants to eat a huge feast.  But people always want cheese. Always. We really love having guests over and want to relax and be able to enjoy the  company, so this is a way to entertain low-key.  And let’s get real, as long as you have alcohol, you are most likely a good host in your guest’s eyes. Continue reading

Brown Sugar Black Pepper Bacon

17 Jun

Brown Sugar Black Pepper Bacon Brunch is one of my absolute favorite things.  And I don’t mean just a favorite meal.  I mean an absolute favorite thing in my life.  What’s not to love?  Sweet and savory.  Loads of alcohol.  Passing desserts off as “brunch” food.  I dig it.

New York also seems to be the unofficial “land of brunch” (I just made that up, so don’t quote me.).  On almost every restaurant menu, they are pushing some sort of brunch option, always complete with free-flowing mimosas.  Just a warning: Free-flowing mimosas on Sunday make for a rough Monday.  Those are my wise words for the month.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Brunch is also one of my favorite times to entertain, which means I have a few favorites that I can always rely on.  The following recipe is one of those and is always a crowd favorite.  As the bacon cools, the sugar starts to caramelize and you get something that is similar to candied bacon.  Meat candy.  You’re welcome. Continue reading

Chorizo and Roasted Corn Grilled Jalapeno Poppers

31 May

Chorizo and Roasted Corn Grilled Jalapeno Poppers

We live in New York and if you are familiar with housing costs here, you would understand the reason why we haven’t been living with an “outdoor space” for the last ten years.  I would rather not have to sell organs on the black market to have a 10×10 foot piece of mulched yard.  Thank you. But now that we are homeowners (can I get a “what-what?!”), we have a yard.  And a deck (two!).  And a side yard.  I never thought I would be so happy about a side yard in my life.  I seriously am. And with outdoor space, that means that we can now have a grill.  Yes, my husband, the meat machine (that doesn’t sound right now that I am reading it…), didn’t have a grill for the last ten years.  He was like a BBQ nomad, grilling at different people’s houses, at their door, raw meat in one hand, spatula in another; huddling around a makeshift grill in dark alleys, made with a tin can and old newspaper (okay, that’s an exaggeration.  Close though.).  But really though, it was a happy day when that grill was brought home.

I was making a grocery list the other day and asked Chris what we should get that could be grilled.  And his answer was: “You can grill anything. Anything at all.”

So that is one of our summer challenges, to see how much stuff we can shove on that grill.

And this is our first one, happy grilling. Continue reading

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