It’s been a while…

We seem to be terrible at updating this thing. That doesn’t mean we haven’t been cooking and eating all kinds of deliciousness the past few weeks, despite the adventures of moving with 2 cats…. Shall we recap?

This is my new all-time favorite breakfast, favorite way to use arugula or goat cheese or eggs or tomatoes, and favorite 5 minute healthy meal! Even you can make it. It’s foolproof and shockingly delicious.

Got 5 minutes? Quick: Fry an egg in olive oil (not butter, this is important) – when the egg is mostly cooked, tip the pan and spoon some olive oil over the top. This gets a nice crispy-edged result with the velvety yolk still liquid. Plate a bed of arugula, sprinkle with chopped tomatoes and crumbled goat cheese and then slide the egg on top. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil in the pan. Prepare to want seconds.

I also made a nice chilled zucchini soup in the middle of a hectic weekend of cleaning and packing. It was beautifully accompanied by the fried egg salad.

The iPhone app ColorSplash is entirely too much fun…. moving on!

Last Saturday at the farmers’ market (we actually went to 2, shh…) we fell in love with the adorable variety baskets of heirloom tomatoes in rainbow colors. So we promptly made fresh bruschetta.
Pulse a bunch of basil, a clove of garlic, olive oil, a splash of red wine vinegar, salt and pepper in a food processor. Mix with chopped tomatoes and spread on toasted baguette.

Perfect post-market lunch, followed by a nice bike ride to a free ice cream tasting fest near Gallaudet. 4 free samples with the expectation you’ll vote for your favorite.  The heat (and crowd) was nearly unbearable, but the free ice cream and gelato was fantastic. I voted for Dolcezza for best gelato. We sampled their chocolate mint which is made with actual chocolate-mint leaves and their lemon basil which was just outstanding. They make everything from fresh, local ingredients and you can taste the difference. They also have really creative flavors, which keeps it interesting. Too bad (or not) Georgetown is eons away from where we live…

    

We also picked up both yellow and green zucchini (no, yellow zucchini is not yellow summer squash), fresh herbs and local goat cheese from our favorite producer, Cherry Glen. We made some delightful linguine with zucchini, goat cheese, lemon, mint and basil. The next day, we baked the leftovers with a breadcrumb-parmesan topping. Oh yes we did.

                            

We have a growing obsession with pie – I blame Dangerously Delicious Pies. I mean, the name says it all. We also have a new addition to our cookbook collection: Cooking in the Moment by Andrea Reusing of Lantern (Chapel Hill, NC). You can catch a glimpse here. This is her blackberry-apple pie. We had a bit of a disaster the first go-round when the organic blackberries from the market turned out to be infested (I’ll spare you the unsavory details). But we persevered with a new batch of berries, and boy, was it worth it. We’ve eaten pie for breakfast every morning since!

We also made another of her recipes this week, the baked tomatoes with parmesan-herb breadcrumbs and olive oil, accompanied by zucchini-ricotta fritters,   from another favorite blog, Love & Olive Oil. I whipped up some lemon-cayenne aioli for dipping.

                             

And then there was last night. It was a damn good night. I invented my very own cocktail and it was mind-blowing. I’m still trying to come up with a good name for it, but it’s essentially a blackberry-mint cocktail.

I used my immersion blender, which was fantastic, but I’m certain you could also use a regular blender, food processor, or if you’re especially desperate, just cut up the berries and mint with a knife. Put 2 tsp sugar, 4 or 5 torn mint leaves, 1/2 shot of Rose’s concentrated lime juice and 1 shot of vodka into your blender/whatever and pulse until well combined and the mint is finely shredded. Add a couple of ice cubes and chop those roughly, then add the blackberries and puree until smooth, dark purple bliss. Serve over additional ice, garnished with a mint sprig. I think I might call it the BlissBerry.

Finally, we made a pizza that was so sublime, Emily swore it could have come out of a restaurant kitchen. I might’ve blushed a bit, but mostly I gave credit to the recipe, courtesy of all-time favorite Smitten Kitchen. I did not make the fresh ricotta, but I did make the honey-wine dough, my first successful pizza crust. I also added fresh basil and parmesan.
The photo, the blog post, the description – none of it does it any justice. It’s the onions. Caramelized with brown sugar and balsamic vinegar, they form an almost-jam or marmalade that I had to resist eating with a spoon. I can’t stop thinking about that onion jam, people. I am thinking up amazing ways to put it on other foods (though I’m certain this pizza won’t be missed for long). I’m dreaming of puff pastry filled with caramelized red onion jam, mushrooms and goat cheese… Or sweet potatoes gently mashed and accented with the onion marmalade… Or fancy BLT’s…

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Char.

This is what summer time is all about. We spent a lazy 4th of July weekend devouring RedRocks Pizza on the patio,strolling through Eastern Market, grilling everything we could find, enjoying drag brunch at Nellie’s, and finally taking a nice long bike ride to the National Arboretum. Oh, and then we watched a 360° panorama of fireworks from the roof.

Life is good.


We made an excellent batch of kale chips to start. No, not on the grill. Wash and dry any variety of kale very thoroughly – drying is the most important part. Then shred into bite sized pieces, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and bake for about 15-20 minutes in a 300° oven until super crispy. Can’t be beat.


Next, Emily made eggplant bruschetta, using grilled eggplant slices in place of bread, fresh pan-seared tomatoes, basil and feta cheese. As vibrant in flavor as it is in color.


Now this was the kicker. Dijon-glazed salmon burgers, grilled to perfection and made all the more heavenly with bacon and arugula. Hell. Yes.


Salmon burgers, kale chips, and potato salad with radishes and celery.

…I hope you don’t think we stopped there.


Grilled cinnamon glazed peaches with ice cream (not pictured: fresh blueberries).

Yeah, this makes the summer heat all worth it.

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