In Our Kitchen

1. potstickers & edamame for dinner at a friend’s (she made quinua stir fry…delicious)
2. coucous (the dish so nice they named it twice) salad topped with sautéed chicken breast 
3. pre-roasted yellow tomatoes, garlic, onion & jalapeños with parsley & olive oil,
finished veggies were served over wild rice
4. veggie sautée
5. steak & bacon
6. finished steak & bacon + mashed sweet potatoes
7. pizza & wine…because somedays you just want to chill
8. roasted spaghetti squash + butter & bacon
9. spicy tomato & bell pepper shrimp over roasted garlic risotto + roasted cauliflower

I believe I have mentioned before the lack a light in our place (only a few dozen times).  Trying to take quality pictures with the Nikon in the kitchen often proves very frustrating.  The task of getting pictures of the food we cooked, became more consuming than the cooking itself (turns out having a tripod set up in the kitchen while your multitasking a meal can be stressful).  Needless to say it took some of the enjoyment out of cooking.  Because of this, I have been unable to share the amount of food I would like to, despite many efforts.   I really wanted to be able to share the wonderful foods, and recipes, we make and experiment with, however I don’t want to sacrifice the pleasure I get from cooking.  I have come up with a solution until we get a space with more natural light.  With the use of my iPad I will be documenting our weekly kitchen endeavors through a simple shots.  It will be fun for us to see our eating habits change with the seasons, or the contents of our fridge.  We are big on using what we have on hand, making a meal up as we go, so don’t be surprised if you see a few dishes that seem discombobulated.  I’ll still be doing more recipe specific blogs, but this will save me from feeling I have let too many wonderful meals go unacknowledged, and I can share even more food here.  Yay more food! Plus who doesn’t like food collages.

Still in Season

Feeling inspired by fruit today.  I want to incorporate fresh fruit into as many meals as possible for the next few weeks while everything is still in season!   Last night we had Apricot Mint Couscous that was killer.  I’m looking forward to my lunch leftovers already! We were too hungry, and the food was to good, so we didn’t slow down to take any photos.  But I promise it’s pretty amazing.  I added goat cheese and pine nuts to mine also.

This evening I’m going use the blueberries and cherries in our fridge to try out this new crumble crust.  (The pictures above were taken while making mini cobblers a few weeks ago).

How do you prefer your fruit? Savory or Sweet. Personally I can’t get enough of either.

Lemon-Pepper Pasta with Asparagus

{minimal ingredients so the pasta’s flavor can stand out}

This recipe is full of fresh flavor and a cinch to make.   With the on set of warm weather I have been craving foods reflective of  clean, crisp summer eating, so it seemed appropriate to create a dish using just a few wonderfully paired ingredients.   Citrus is a flavor I always love in the warmer months so this lemon-pepper pasta I picked up at the farmer’s market provide the perfect base for a spring time pasta.  If you can’t find this particular pasta, I imagine that using regular pasta (whole wheat or white) would work too for this recipe, but I would ramp up the lemon and pepper flavors by adding more of both to the dish while cooking.  Also, while asparagus is in season currently, the bunch I bought at the grocery by my work was kind of woody, so I really can’t wait to try this with more tender, slender stalks of asparagus. I would probably skip my first step, boiling asparagus, if using more petit stalks. Enjoy! And let me know if you try it!

*this dish was perfectly paired with baked salmon and a lemon, dill, greek yogurt sauce. yummmmm

                    Ingredients: ( when I was cooking for 2  )

                -1/4 lb lemon-pepper pasta

                -1/2 lb fresh asparagus cut into smaller pieces 

                -4 large garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

                -3 slices of lemon

                -1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil

                -spinkling of thyme, about 1/2 Tblsp

                -1tsp sea salt

                – shaved parmesan, if desired

To begin I flash boiled the asparagus.  I wanted to give them just enough time to soften, but pulled them out quickly, after about 5 minutes, so that they would still have some snap in the dish. Rinse with cool water and set aside.  Then in a medium sauce pan I began to heat the olive oil, garlic, and lemon slices over a low/medium heat to keep the garlic from browning.  I let these simmer together for about 15 minutes.  When the garlic is soft, and very aromatic, add the asparagus, thyme, and salt.  Let all the ingredients cook together for another 10 minutes or so, then reduce the heat to low/warm and cover.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil and cook the pasta al dente, 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently.     Drain pasta.  

While still warm add pasta to the sauce pan with olive oil garlic, and asparagus, removing the slices of lemon with tongs first.  Toss lightly and serve. I garnished our dishes with fresh shaved parmesan.

And now you have a delicious spring inspired dish.

{bon appétit}