Friday, June 11, 2010

Foodie Friday...

Well hullo there Mr. Blog! Haven't seen you in a while... We've been pretty busy with our beautiful Bug.

I've been inspired by the wonderful Nini to document some of my culinary experiments. Most people stare at me like I've grown a spare head when I tell them that I generally cook without a recipe. Once you have a general idea of what goes with what (and in what quantities - I can't wait to check out THIS cookbook) you are free to create whatever you want! I recently started making pasta from scratch (thanks for the birthday pasta roller & cutter, Mom!) and I can't even begin to describe how luscious homemade pasta is compared to the dried boxed crapola from the grocer. Oi. Amazing. But I digress...

I had fun creating a variation of a classic Italian Stromboli last night for dinner. A stromboli is a type of turnover made with dough and a variety of fillings, including meats, cheeses, veggies, spices... After consulting the contents of the fridge I settled on a pulled BBQ chicken, spinach, oregano, basil and quattro formaggio filling. 425*F for 30 minutes and helllooooo beauty! Quite tasty. This would work with most any meat leftovers and roughage combo, paired with a flavorful cheese like provolone or Swiss.

I am ecstatic to be harvesting over half of salad fixings straight from the garden already - with much more in the works. (C'mon tomatoes and pole beans!) Our Thursday night salad consisted of BlackSeededSimpson lettuce, FrenchBreakfast radishes, Nantes carrots, oregano, SugarSnap peas, mushrooms, radicchio, edamame, Fuji apple and slivered almonds in a miso dressing. I'm a bit of a salad-fiend.

The meal served up nicely and would even make a good first course for a dinner party. Be sure to adequately flour your dough so that your creation doesn't come apart while transferring from pastry board to baking sheet. Also be sure to oil up that baking sheet!

Dessert was homemade non-dairy strawberry chocolate chip ice cream. Now before you go thumbing your nose at non-dairy ice cream, let me tell you that even my mother (who generally HATES deviations from the meat/potatoes/butter/cream formula) loves this recipe. Those of us who are *painfully* done in by dairy (that would be me and the hubby) will be amazed at the creamy texture of this frozen delight. Doesn't that sound like a cookbook header? Hmmm, recipe should follow, eh?

Eat-It-And-Weep (for joy) Ice Cream
2C coconut milk (full fat - this is ice cream, people)
1C almond milk
1+ pint fresh, ripe strawberries (or more, as you see fit)
1/4C agave nectar (they have this at Trader Joe's)
pinch sea salt
1T vanilla (not imitation -c'mon and eat well, peeps!)
Blend ingredients well. Pour into ice cream maker and churn at LEAST 30 minutes. (I normally go longer - up to an hour.) Add chocolate chips (minis work best - about 1/3C) five minutes before your ice cream is finished. VOILA. Mmmm. And darned if I didn't get a picture of the final product (two nights in a row!) Just too excited to eat my ice cream, I guess.

Happy Cookin'!