garlic

Homemade Croutons and/or Garlic Bread

So I have an unfortunate habit of buying baguettes and not eating all of them fast enough before they get stale and un-chewable. Fresh bread is worth it. No regrets – and here’s why:

Garlic Bread – perfect for a loaf that a little stale and crunchy – the oils soften it up for normal chewing and tastiness

Mix freshly minced garlic (2-4 cloves) in olive oil and/or melted butter with italian seasoning (rosemary, basil, oregano, onion powder, etc) and red pepper flakes, and shredded parmesan cheese. The mixture should be clumpy more than runny but the proportions are extremely flexible. Slice the baguette either hasselback (across the length every half inch) or lengthwise, then place on a sheet of foil big enough to wrap the entire loaf. Stuff the open edges with the garlicky cheesy oil mixture – its ok if it gets all over the bread thats why the foil! Wrap all of the loaf and throw in the oven for 10 min or as long as your meal is cooking at roughly 350 but basically any temperature is fine. The longer it bakes the better but it also will basically never burn just get more melty (we left it in at a friendgiving for almost an hour as it got hidden behind a casserole – no problem). Watch for steam when opening the foil – slice and enjoy!

Croutons – if you don’t feel like garlic bread or the bread is too far gone

Based on this recipe

Cut up the bread into bite-sized chunks, marinate in olive oil and italian seasonings and garlic – she calls for longer than I’ve really let it marinate – I usually just toss it in a tupperware with a lid and let it sit until the oven preheats. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes – they do get a bit crispier after you take them out FYI. Toss into a salad or keep for up to a week? That’s the longest mine have lasted – a good incentive to make a salad.

Dinner with sides!

You know you’ve made a fancy proper meal when it has more than one item AKA sides!

This is an easy one that you can make in the time it takes to boil pasta or bake chicken.

Sauteed mushrooms and spinach with garlic –

exactly the ingredients above, plus olive oil for sauteeing and fresh pepper and salt to season

Saute mushrooms (sliced) in olive oil for 3-5 minutes or until soft, then add the spinach and minced garlic and stir until wilted – remove from heat and serve!

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Pictured here with a tasty Sauvignon Blanc and Penne and Broccoli

More asian food!

Winter. Pretty. Also frigid. Here’s an amazing ramen recipe to warm you up –

http://bakerbynature.com/20-minute-spicy-sriracha-ramen-noodle-soup/#more-19623

I skipped the tomatoes and added a frozen veggie mix with broccoli and carrots and mushrooms and instead of blending it to make a smooth broth I just added the noodles at the end.

I also made some tasty sticky chicken – and since cooking two new recipes can be tricky with timing I cooked the chicken then the ramen and ate the chicken while I made the ramen since it was SO TASTY DELISH.

http://www.carlsbadcravings.com/sticky-honey-lemon-ginger-chicken/

I also halved both recipes – and fresh ginger and cilantro really made a difference in both recipes. Mmm. Stay warm out there.

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Penne and Broccoli

Quick and easy. Old family favorite.

(for two/leftovers)

1/2 lb penne pasta

1 head broccoli

2-3 cloves garlic

olive oil

parmesan (to taste)

Salt and boil water for the pasta. Cut the broccoli into bite size florets. Cook the pasta, adding the broccoli to the water 3-4 minutes before the pasta is done. Mince the garlic while the pasta is cooking and toss with the pasta and broccoli, as well as some olive oil after draining the pasta and broccoli. Top with parmesan and black pepper and enjoy! One of my favorite one pot, under twenty minute meals.

Porkchops!

Another meal that came 100% from the grill. Excellent.

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Mmm.

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http://bitzngiggles.com/2014/06/lemon-basil-grilled-pork-chops.html

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Real professional – using a meat thermometer and everything.

Also – most recipes (and my Dad) say to cook until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees, then immediately pull them off so they don’t dry out. I think people who don’t like pork chops have only had sad overcooked dry pork chops.

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Sides: grilled salad and fresh bread

Grilled salad – cut romaine heads in half, with the base left on so the leaves are all attached, and brush with olive oil and salt and pepper. Grill for a few minutes over medium heat on each side until slightly wilted and a little blackened, then grate parmesan over the leaves and dress with a light vinaigrette.

 

ENJOY!

Cheese Kick

The boy and I have a dinner deal where he brings the wine and sous chef-s and we make a delicious dinner together.

Like this one – I’m going to miss summer.

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Broccoli cheddar risotto, arugula salad and fresh bread.

For the risotto:

1 C arborio rice

2-3 C chicken stock

2-3 cloves garlic

olive oil

medium to large head of broccoli

1 C sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Mince the garlic and brown in a pan with the arborio rice in the olive oil.

Add the chicken stock a 1/2 cup at a time and stir until absorbed by the rice over low heat – just enough to keep it simmering. The more you stir the creamier the risotto – real risotto doesn’t have any cream at all, just the starch in the rice mixing with the stock.

Have your sous chef (aka super helpful and essential partner in crime) keep stirring and adding until the rice is soft and creamy. This should take 20-25 minutes. After 10-15 minutes, add the broccoli, cut into bite size pieces so it can cook with the rice. When the arborio rice is the consistency you like, turn off the heat and stir in the cheddar until well mixed and eat immediately!

Arugula salad and bread are good sides, or just gorge on cheesy creamy goodness. Cheers!

Fish envy

A friend saw my grilled fish picture on Instagram and insisted we have a grill night.

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I mean can you blame her?

We ended up getting some salmon and picked a tasty spicy and QUICK recipe.

http://bbq.about.com/od/salmonrecipes/r/bl060322b.htm

We left the salmon in the marinade for 5 minutes while making another flatbread and arugula salad and then grilled it for 16 minutes skin side down on indirect with the lid closed on the grill. I flipped mine and cooked the top for the last few minutes since it was kind of thick and I kept opening the grill to cook the flatbread. Tasty and flaky and delicious.

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Fish fish fish. Yessssss.