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Sunday
Jun122011

Garlic-herb pinwheels

Somehow it feels odd to be writing about food while sitting in a hospital. Food has been the last thing on my mind for the past few days, although I suppose I have eaten plenty of it. Our friends and family always provide us with plentiful amounts of food whenever we are here. It's nice being able to focus all of our energy on our little boy and to never have to worry about how we are going to sustain ourselves.

Anyhow, onto the recipe at hand, the pinwheels I made early last week (from Food Everyday: Martha Stewart magazine). I had all of the ingredients at home, so I threw them together quickly. I fully intended to share them with my husband once he got home from work, but, um, well, let's just say that I really enjoyed them. They are much tinier than I expected them to be, so that is how I justified my shameless pigging out.

So while my brave boy naps in his hospital bed next to me, I will share with you how easy it is to make these delightful little treats!

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine:

1/3 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs such as parsley, chives and mint

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

Coarse salt & ground pepper, to taste

On a floured surface, unfold 1 thawed puff pastry sheet and spread the herb mixture over top.

Roll pastry along the long edge.

With a sharp knife, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, and arrange the rounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven until puffed and golden on edges, about 15 minutes.

Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. For the record, I did not wait 10 minutes.

I love the simplicity of the ingredients and how totally easy these were to make. And eat.

Back to my beautiful boy now..

Click here for a printable recipe!

Thursday
Jun092011

Redhead in bed

This is Week #23 of my 2011 cooking challenge! Click here to view all recipes from this challenge. All recipes created for this challenge come from the Food and Wine Annual Cookbook 2010: An Entire Year of Recipes.

I'm a day late with this post again this week. I'm not sure how much time I will have in the coming days to post, so please forgive me for that. (If you are interested in following the progress of our son's surgery, you can follow us here.)

So, drinks! Summer drinks! I love them. For me, lovely Minnesota weather = fun drinks, bbq-ing and family/friend outside time. When you endure an insanely cold and treacherous winter, these things all become really exciting. I was excited to mix up a fun new cocktail for my husband and me to enjoy in the 95-degree weather this week. It's the kind of cocktail you can't drink more than one of, or at least I can't. Its sweetness satisfied me after just one, and we are saving the rest for another day. I have placed the remainder in the freezer for a post-surgery indulgence.

In a medium bowl, toss together:

3 pounds strawberries, hulled and coarsely chopped

2/3 cup sugar

Let stand, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries release their juices, about 10 minutes.

In a blender, combine half each of:

The strawberries and their juices

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vodka

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1 cup of ice

Puree and pour into a pitcher.

Repeat with the remaining strawberries, juices, vodka and lime juice and 1 more cup of ice.

Fill 10 glasses (or just 2, and chill/freeze the rest) halfway with ice. Pour into the glasses and top each with:

1/2 tablespoon chilled Riesling

Serve!

I hope you are all enjoying this hot summer weather as much as I am.

By the way, the pile of snow is gone. :)

Click here for a printable recipe!

Wednesday
Jun082011

Trader Joe's giveaway winner!

Thank you so much for reading and for entering our giveaway, our wonderful readers! The winner of this Trader Joe's loot:

is the 16th commenter:

Kate from Diethood (whose blog I happen to love)! Congrats, Kate!

Send me a mailing address and I'll get these goodies in the mail to you right away!

Tuesday
Jun072011

Sister's awesome pasta salad

I have fabulous sisters. They have helped me through an incredible amount of crap. I am sure they will all have a spotlight on this blog eventually, but for now I would like to tell you about my sister Lissa. She is an amazing, beautiful woman. She has been by my side through all of my son's surgeries and hospitalizations. She genuinely loves my children, my husband and me. She has beautiful children, a beautiful home and she makes delicious food. Years ago, she and her husband opened up their home to me when I was going through a particularly difficult time in my life. During that time, I fell in love with the food my sister made. This pasta salad was one of those recipes I fell madly in love with. I make it often in the summertime. No other pasta salad compares, to be completely honest. Thank you to my beautiful sister! Not just for this recipe, but for your love and kindness and endless support.

This salad is extremely easy to make. I usually make an enormous batch, so I use our extra large saucepan to mix everything together. If you want a smaller batch, cut the recipe in half and use a large bowl.

In an extra large container/bowl/saucepan, combine:

16-oz. jar zesty Italian salad dressing

1-lb. box rotelle pasta, cooked and drained/rinsed

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

8 medium celery stalks, thinly sliced

16-oz. package cojack cheese, cubed

16-oz. tube summer sausage, cubed

3 13.75-oz. cans quartered artichoke hearts, drained

2 6.5-oz. cans pitted black olives, drained

2 8.5-oz. jars julienned sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Mix well and chill overnight to allow the ingredients to marinate.

I have a large helping left in my refrigerator that I am going to go munch on! Perfect for a hot-weather day (finally).

Isn't summer wonderful? Sisters, too.

Sister’s Awesome Pasta Salad

You will never make another pasta salad again. This is my sister's recipe and it is the BEST!

Contributed by Megan Porta from pipandebby.com.

Published Jun 7, 2011

Serves: 24

Total time: 25 min

Sister’s Awesome Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 16-oz. jar zesty Italian salad dressing
  • 1-lb. box rotelle pasta, cooked and drained/rinsed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 8 medium celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 16-oz. package cojack cheese, cubed
  • 16-oz. tube summer sausage, cubed
  • Three 13.75-oz. cans quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • Two 6.5-oz. cans pitted black olives, drained
  • Two 8.5-oz. jars julienned sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and let sit overnight. Serve chilled.

 

 

Thursday
Jun022011

Avocado and onion salad (and a giveaway!)

This is Week #22 of my 2011 cooking challenge! Click here to view all recipes from this challenge. All recipes created for this challenge come from the Food and Wine Annual Cookbook 2010: An Entire Year of Recipes.

I'm a day late getting this posted. Life is kinda crazy for my family. My son's surgery is a week from tomorrow, and I'm not handling it the best. I want it to be over with, but mostly I don't want it to happen at all. So, while attempting to deal with those conflicting feelings, I'm also carrying a full-time job, being a mom and a wife, maintaining my blogs, cooking, photographing, trying to sleep.. One thing that has gotten pushed to the back burner in the past week is my perusing/commenting on others' blogs. Please be patient with me, and know that I am so grateful that your eyes glance at our little blog on occasion!

As a BIG THANK YOU for reading, and for being patient with me while I get through these next few weeks, I would love to give one lucky reader a box full of goodies from Trader Joe's! Here's what you'll get (Orange Flavored Cranberries, Corn & Chile Salsa, Dried Green Mango, Banana Chips, Milk Chocolate Crisps, Dark Chocolate Bar, Liquorice, Sea Salt, Pecans and Gummy Tummies):

To enter, leave a comment on this post saying anything at all!

For additional entries, leave separate comments for any or all of the following:

- Subscribe to our RSS feed.

- Follow us on Twitter.

- Friend us on Facebook.

- Write about this giveaway on your blog, linking back to it.

I will randomly select a winner on June 8th at 6:00 am!

 

Now onto this simple yet delicious little recipe!

Arrange the following on a serving platter:

3 Hass avocados, thinly sliced

1/4 small red onion, very thinly sliced

In a small bowl, combine:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Drizzle the dressing over the avocados and onions and serve immediately!

My husband and I sat in front of the tv and ate this entire plate like it was a bowl of popcorn. Except we used forks. And we had really bad breath afterward. :)

Click here for a printable recipe!